Friday August 29th, 2014
Friday August 29th, 2014
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Christians Are Not the Light of the World

  /   in Article of Faith 12:11 am   /   Comments

A blogger became so exasperated with my criticism of the Christian Church; he decided to launch what would be the definitive counter-attack. “Femi Aribisala,” he declared triumphantly, “is not a Christian!” When I thought about this, I concluded that, using the same logic, the prophets of Israel were not Israelites.

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The Problem with Paul (2)

  /   in Article of Faith 1:30 am   /   Comments

The critique of Paul’s jaundiced theology often results in a barrage of ungodly abuses and invective from Christian pretenders. Then there are those who use Paul’s nonsensical logic to justify Paul. They will quote to you Paul’s self-serving statement that: “The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

“The writings of Paul have been a danger and a hidden rock; the causes of the principal defects of Christian theology.” (Ernest Renan).

The critique of Paul’s jaundiced theology often results in a barrage of ungodly abuses and invective from Christian pretenders. Then there are those who use Paul’s nonsensical logic to justify Paul. They will quote to you Paul’s self-serving statement that: “The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

This is a classic Pauline oxymoron. If the natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit, then no man can receive it because all men start out as natural men before becoming spiritual. Paul himself, in his usual convoluted logic, admits this. He says: “The spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.” (1 Corinthians 15:46).

Many undiscerning Christians are impervious to Paul’s fallacies. But the sheep of Jesus would never confuse them with the word of God. If nothing else, the perspectives presented here should prompt serious-minded Christians to take a critical second-look at Paul. Paradoxically, Paul himself says: “Test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Our salvation just might depend on it.

False prophet

The famous theologian, Helmut Koester, declares in his “The Theological Aspects of Primitive Christian Heresy:” “Paul himself stands in the twilight zone of heresy. Sayings of Jesus do not play a role in Paul’s understanding of the event of salvation. Paul did not care at all what Jesus had said. Had Paul been completely successful very little of the sayings of Jesus would have survived.”

Gerald Friedlander, Jewish Minister of the West London Synagogue, writes in “The Jewish Sources of the Sermon on the Mount:” “Paul has surely nothing to do with the Sermon on the Mount. The Sermon says: ‘Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves’ (Matt.vii.15). This is generally understood as a warning against untrustworthy leaders in religion. Does the verse express the experience of the primitive Church? Might it not be a warning against Paul and his followers?”

Johann Gottlieb Fichte, a German philosopher, writes in “Characteristics of the Present Age:” “(The) Christian System (is) a degenerate form of Christianity, and the authorship of which (must be) ascribed to the Apostle Paul.”

H.L. Mencken, regarded as one of the most influential American writers of the first half of the 20th century, writes in his “Notes on Democracy:” “Is it argued by any rational man that the debased Christianity cherished by the mob in all the Christian countries of today, has any colourable likeness to the body of ideas preached by Christ? The plain fact is that this bogus Christianity has no more relation to the system of Christ than it has to Aristotle. It is the invention of Paul and his attendant rabble-rousers.

The result was a code of doctrines so discordant and so nonsensical that no two men since, examining it at length, have ever agreed upon its precise meaning. Paul remains the arch theologian of the mob. His turgid and witless metaphysics make Christianity bearable to men who would otherwise be repelled by Christ’s simple and magnificent reduction of the duties of man to the duties of a gentle-man.”

Bogus gospel

The renowned English philosopher Jeremy Bentham, in his “Not Paul but Jesus,” declares: “By the two persons in question, as represented in the two sources of information- the Gospels and Paul’s Epistles- two quite different, if not opposite, religions are inculcated: and that, in the religion of Jesus may be found all the good that has ever been the result of the compound so incongruously and unhappily made,- in the religion of Paul, all the mischief, which, in such disastrous abundance, has so indisputably flowed from it.”

Bart Ehrman, American New Testament scholar and Professor of Religious Studies at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, writes in “The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture:” “Paul was quite insistent that keeping the Law would never bring Salvation. The only way to be saved, for Paul, was to trust Jesus’ death and resurrection. Paul transformed the religion of Jesus into a religion about Jesus.”

Holger Kersten writes in “The Jesus Conspiracy:” “Paul has little interest in the words and teachings of Jesus, but he makes everything depend on his own teaching: the salvation from sins by the vicarious sacrificial death of Jesus. Does it not seem most strange that Jesus himself did not give the slightest hint that he intended to save the entire faithful section of humanity by his death? Christianity has his narrow-minded fanaticism to thank for numerous detrimental developments, which are diametrically opposed to the spirit of Jesus.”

Peter Annet, English deist and freethinker, writes in “Critical Examination of the Life of St. Paul:” “We should never finish, were we to relate all the contradictions which are to be found in the writings attributed to St. Paul. Generally speaking it is St. Paul that ought to be regarded as the true founder of Christian theology which from its foundation has been incessantly agitated by quarrels (and) divisions.”

Defective theology

Ernest Renan, French theologian and expert of Middle East ancient languages and civilizations, writes in his book, “Saint Paul:” “True Christianity, which will last forever, comes from the gospel words of Christ, not from the epistles of Paul. The writings of Paul have been a danger and a hidden rock; the causes of the principal defects of Christian theology.”

The American philosopher, Will Durant; in his “Caesar and Christ,” writes: “Paul created a theology of which none but the vaguest warrants can be found in the words of Christ. Through these interpretations Paul could neglect the actual life and sayings of Jesus, which he had not directly known. Paul replaced conduct with creed as the test of virtue. It was a tragic change.”

C.S. Lewis writes in “Scripture:” “Descending lower, we find a somewhat similar difficulty with St. Paul. I cannot be the only reader who has wondered why God, having given him so many gifts, withheld from him (what would to us seem so necessary for the first Christian theologian) that of lucidity and orderly exposition.”

Stephen Mitchell, world renowned translator of sacred texts, writes in “The Gospel according to Jesus:” “Paul of Tarsus (was) the most misleading of the earliest Christian writers, (and) a particularly difficult character: arrogant, self-righteous, filled with murderous hatred of his opponents, terrified of God, oppressed by what he felt as the burden of the (Mosaic) Law, overwhelmed by his sense of sin. He didn’t understand Jesus at all. He wasn’t even interested in Jesus; just in his own idea of the Christ.”

Robert Frost, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1924, 1931, 1937 and 1943, in his “A Masque of Mercy,” writes: “Paul, he’s in the Bible too. He is the fellow who theologized Christ almost out of Christianity. Look out for him.”

We should not automatically accept Paul because his epistles are in the bible. Instead, it is imperative to ascertain if Paul’s word is in consonance with that of Jesus. Jesus requires no less. He asks: “Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right?” (Luke 12:57).
(Continued).

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A Tale of Two Contradictory Gospels

  /   in Article of Faith 12:42 am   /   Comments

Most Christians are unaware that the gospel Jesus preached is contradicted by Paul. The gospel of Jesus is bittersweet; presenting great challenges to believers. Paul’s gospel is “sugar and spice and all things nice;” offering few challenges.

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The Good News and the Deceitful News

  /   in Article of Faith 7:41 am   /   Comments

The good news proclaimed in the churches today is false. It is different from the one Jesus preached. Today’s good news is the one declared by Paul: “the good news of the grace of God.” (Acts 20:24). This says: “Rejoice: Jesus died for our sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Accordingly, Christians insist Jesus carried away all our sins at Calvary. In exchange, he is alleged to have imparted to us the righteousness of God

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The Falsehood in the Book of Hebrews

  /   in Article of Faith 12:46 am   /   Comments

In the debate about sacrifices, Christians put great reliance on the book of Hebrews. However, Hebrews is very unreliable. It is one of those books in the bible that is full of falsehood. As a matter of fact, there is more falsehood in Hebrews than in any other book in the bible except Romans.

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The Sacrifice of Fools

  /   in Article of Faith 12:02 am   /   Comments

God said to the Israelites: “What do I care about incense from Sheba or sweet calamus from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable; your sacrifices do not please me.” (Jeremiah 6:20).

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Pastors are Jesus Killers

  /   in Article of Faith 12:43 am   /   Comments

Mr Ernest Okorie and others of St Dominic Church Young Christian Workers performed the Passion of Jesus  as Christians all over the world mark Good Friday the day Jesus Christ was crucified yesterday. Photo by Biodun Ogunleye

It is these pastors that decided to sacrifice Jesus. And their descendants are the pastors currently running our churches.

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Jesus can never be a sacrifice for sins (2)

  /   in Article of Faith 6:43 pm   /   Comments

On the Mount of Transfiguration, God the Father counsels that, henceforth, we should only listen to Jesus. He puts this to dramatic effect by having Moses and Elijah, representing the law and the prophets, appear to speak to Jesus. A bright cloud overshadows them and when it clears, only Jesus remains. Then a voice comes from heaven, saying: “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” (Mark 9:7).

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Jesus Can Never Be A Sacrifice For Sins (1)

  /   in Article of Faith 1:40 am   /   Comments

Mr Ernest Okorie and others of St Dominic Church Young Christian Workers performed the Passion of Jesus  as Christians all over the world mark Good Friday the day Jesus Christ was crucified yesterday. Photo by Biodun Ogunleye

By Femi Aribisala If Jesus’ death was a sacrifice, it can only atone for sins committed before his death.  High priests don’t atone for future sins. I often ask fellow Christians if our sins are forgiven or if they are paid for.  Did Jesus die for our sins or do we need to repent?  Most

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God Does Not Desire Any Sacrifice for Sins

  /   in Article of Faith 8:08 am   /   Comments

Quoting Hosea, Jesus says: “Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’” (Matthew 9:13). One of the tragedies of contemporary Christianity is that Christians have refused to follow this injunction of Jesus. If we did, we would understand that God desires our love and not our sacrifice and we would not insist that Jesus was sacrificed for our sins.

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The Holy Spirit Is The Blood Of Jesus

  /   in Article of Faith 12:39 am   /   Comments

Jesus shocked everyone by saying: “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:53-54).

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Salvation from Coca-Cola and Fanta

  /   in Article of Faith 2:26 am   /   Comments

At the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus stood and cried out, saying: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:37-39). However, no one seemed to be interested in what Jesus was offering. No one asked him for a drink of this so-called living water.

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The abundant life in Jesus Christ

  /   in Article of Faith 2:33 am   /   Comments

A farmer was living in a remote village. Every day, he had to walk several miles to the market in another village, carrying his goods on his head. He would start out early before sunup and come back home very late after sunset. The strain was already telling on his health. His feet had grown big calluses and blisters. After some time, he developed hernia.

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A Kingdom Not of This World

  /   in Article of Faith 1:55 am   /   Comments

God says: “as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9). Jesus goes even further to reveal that the ways of God are not only different from, but often diametrically opposite to, those of man. He insists that: “What is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” (Luke 16:15).

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DADDY G.O.

  /   in Article of Faith 2:38 am   /   Comments

I once listened to the testimony of Pastor E.A. Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. He stated that his last child, a baby-boy, quickly became his favourite child. But one day, the child fell sick. The more Adeboye prayed, the worse the boy became. In desperation, he asked God: “Why won’t you heal my son?” The Lord replied: “Because he is your son, I won’t heal him.” Therefore, Adeboye quickly changed his line of prayer. He declared that the boy was God’s son and asked God to heal him. When he did this, the boy was healed

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Building a House On The Sand

  /   in Article of Faith 2:19 am   /   Comments

I had always wanted to build my own house. I would buy “House and Garden” magazines and look at so many different house designs. As a child, I wanted to be an architect. As an adult, it was clear the nearest I would get to fulfilling that dream would be in designing and building my own house. I disliked even the best houses I saw. There was always something missing; always something out of place. But I knew that one day; I would build a house that would put all other houses to shame.

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Babalawo Pastors

  /   in Article of Faith 2:02 am   /   Comments

A cross section of worshippers at the closing service of Kingdom Life Conference.

Bishop David Oyedepo says poverty is not of God. He insists a child of God has no business being poor and declares: “There’s a proven covenant cure for poverty.” If this were true and proven, all the world’s poor would have become rich Christians by now.

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Christians are not saved

  /   in Article of Faith 4:01 am   /   Comments

File photo

God did not send Jeremiah to unbelievers. He sent him to the “Christians” of his day. God told Jeremiah to stand at the gate of the Lord’s house and make a proclamation in the hearing of all those coming to church:

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Money Is Not Valuable

  /   in Article of Faith 12:55 am   /   Comments

The recovered stolen money.

A woman brought an alabaster jar of very costly perfume and poured it all on Jesus. Jesus’ disciples were indignant, asking: “Why this waste? This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” (Matthew 26:8-9). But ultimately, perfume is meant to be used. Even if it is sold, the person who buys it would still “waste it” by using it.

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Dreams and Spiritual Warfare

  /   in Article of Faith 11:13 am   /   Comments

A colleague brought a fourteen year-old girl to see me. Apparently, her mother’s prophet had a horrific dream about her portending great danger. His antidote was just as horrific. He told the mother that her daughter would have to bathe naked publicly at Bar Beach, Lagos or she would meet a bad end. Despite her protests, her mother put her foot down: the word of the “man-of-God” must be obeyed.

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Unraveling the Mystery of Dreams

  /   in Article of Faith 12:45 am   /   Comments

Femi-Aribisala-logo

In 2003, Femi-Kevin’s headmaster sent me an email forecasting that he would fail his GCSE exams because he had done so badly in his mock exams. I wrote an angry response and asked him: “Are you God? How are you so sure he would fail? Is it because he is black?” After he took the exams, God did something strange. Before his results came out officially, he showed them to me in a dream; subject-by-subject and grade-by-grade. The results were excellent: Femi-Kevin got so many “A” grades.

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Dreaming Dreams of the Almighty (3)

  /   in Article of Faith 1:01 am   /   Comments

Femi-Aribisala-logo

God sometimes tells us the future beforehand through dreams. Thus, Daniel said to Nebuchadnezzar: “There is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has told you in your dream what will happen in the future.” (Daniel 2:28). Since only God is able to do this, dreams become one of the things that affirm conclusively that our Lord is God. Jesus says: “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am he.” (John 13:19).

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Dreaming Dreams of the Almighty(2)

  /   in Article of Faith 9:26 am   /   Comments

In September 2012, I had a dream. I was somewhere high up in the mountains and did not know exactly what I was doing there. Suddenly, there was so much pomp and circumstance. A lot of security detail poured into the place and there was no room for me to quickly make my way out of there. I was wondering what all the palaver was about when out came President Barack Obama of the United States.

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Dreaming Dreams of the Almighty (1)

  /   in Article of Faith 1:22 am   /   Comments

Femi-Aribisala-logo

In the scriptures, God often spoke to people through dreams and visions. Jacob’s life was radically impacted by a series of dreams. God revealed little Joseph’s destiny to him through dreams. Another Joseph dreamed dreams concerning instructions about the birth of Jesus Christ. Pilate’s wife was warned in a dream about her husband’s dealings with Jesus’ persecutors. The Holy Spirit gave the apostles Peter and John visions.

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Why Pastors Don’t Go to Heaven (3)

  /   in Article of Faith 12:30 am   /   Comments

It started out as a Sunday morning service like every other one in a Lekki, Lagos parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG). One of the church workers was at the podium briefing the congregation on the up-coming events of the week. Nobody thought anything was unusual when the pastor’s wife came to the pulpit and asked to address the church. Nobody thought that to be out of the ordinary, until she started speaking.

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Why Pastors Don’t Go To Heaven (2) By Femi Aribisala

  /   in Article of Faith 6:27 am   /   Comments

Femi-Aribisala-logo

I became the Pastor of Healing Wings, Chapel of Faith in 1998. But nine years later, I felt constrained to resign. My resignation came from the sudden realisation that even though God specifically called me to ministry, he never asked me to pastor a church.

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Why Pastors Don’t Go to Heaven (1)

  /   in Article of Faith 12:35 am   /   Comments

I was having lunch at “Sweet Sensation,” a fast-food restaurant in Lagos, when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I looked back to see a gentleman grinning at me from ear to ear. “Dr. Aribisala, how are you doing?” he asked expansively. It was one of my former pastors.

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Seeing the Kingdom of God

  /   in Article of Faith 1:00 am   /   Comments

My oldest brother, Bayo, left Nigeria without telling anyone where he was going. He did not tell our aged parents, his wife or his children. And he did not tell Biodun and me, his brothers. Moreover, he communicated with no one thereafter, so we did not know his whereabouts.

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Christian Thieves and Robbers

  /   in Article of Faith 8:33 am   /   Comments

obj-jona-church

I was reviewing this article, initially titled “Ungodly Prayers,” when the Lord suddenly spoke. He said: “Femi, it is written, ‘my house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but they have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” (Matthew 21:13; John 10:10).

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Paul’s Male-Chauvinism Against Women(2)

  /   in Article of Faith 1:13 am   /   Comments

Christians need to ask for the origins of Paul’s injunction that women are not permitted to speak in church. (1 Corinthians 14:34). Surely, the purpose of the gospel is not to deprive women of their inalienable longstanding rights. Prophetesses in the Old Testament were ordained of God not to be silent, but to speak forthrightly to Israel. These included Miriam (Exodus 15:20); Deborah (Judges 4:4); Huldah (2 Kings 22:14); Noadiah (Nehemiah 6:14); and Isaiah’s wife (Isaiah 8:3).

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Paul’s Male-chauvinism Against Women (1)

  /   in Article of Faith 1:23 am   /   Comments

Some months ago, Jimi Sonuga introduced me to two of his female neighbours. “Do you write a column in a newspaper?” enquired one of them. “Yes,” I replied. “Oh,” she smiled, “you are the man who hates Paul.” “I would not put it that way,” I protested, “I don’t hate anybody.” Then the lady did something interesting. She came nearer and whispered to me in mocking confidentiality: “Don’t worry about that. We can’t stand Paul too.”

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Women In The Ministry Of Jesus

  /   in Article of Faith 1:15 am   /   Comments

Jesus chose twelve disciples and all of them were men. What does this tell us about his attitude towards women? Does it mean he discriminates against them? Let me answer the question with a question. God chose only one nation; Israel. Does this mean he discriminates against other nations? Certainly not!

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