By Femi Aribisala
Paul’s illogicality cannot be the word of “the only wise God.”
There is no one in the bible as illogical as Paul. He claims he preached the gospel: “not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.” (1 Corinthians 1:17). Nevertheless, Luke says: “(Paul) reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath.” (Acts 18:4). Paul’s “reasoning” is often incoherent and contradictory. To accept some of the things he says, one has to take leave of one’s senses.
Paul maintains salvation is not contingent upon our works, but is “by grace through faith” in Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 2:8-9). Then he puts his foot in his mouth by saying to the Galatians: “You who attempt to be justified by law have fallen from grace.” (Galatians 5:4). But if grace is unmerited favour, then a man cannot fall from it. If the favour is unmerited, it cannot be lost by demerits. Paul says we were “bought at a price,” ostensibly by Christ. (1 Corinthians 6:20). But only slaves are bought; sons are not bought but birthed. Then he says we are forgiven. (Colossians 2:13). But if we are forgiven, nobody needs to pay for us; and if we are paid for, then we don’t need to be forgiven.
Paul says: “there is none righteous, no not one.” (Romans 3:10). He then boxes himself into a corner by saying: “the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9). But if there is none righteous and only the righteous will inherit, where then will God find the righteous who will inherit his kingdom? Paul just cannot think straight. His defective logic about the non-existence of the righteous does not even recognise “Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1 John 2:1). Compare Paul’s irreverent generalization to Jesus’ recognition of God’s exceptionality. Jesus says: “No one is good but One, that is, God.” (Matthew 19:17).
In 1 Corinthians 2:14, Paul sets a trap for himself and falls into it. He says: “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.” Then he says: “However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.” (1 Cor 15:46). But if the natural is first, how can the natural then become spiritual when, according to Paul’s ingenuity, the natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God? Thereby, Paul nullifies his own doctrine and shows it to be idiotic.
Paul tries to compare the coming of the New Testament with the second marriage of a widow. But he muddles everything up; casting serious doubts on his alleged Pharisee training. He says: “The woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. .. Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another- to Him who was raised from the dead.” (Romans 7:2/4). But a widow does not die because her husband dies. A dead wife does not remarry. In actual fact, it is Christ, the “new husband,” who died. The law, the “old husband,” is still alive.
Quoting Epidemedes, Paul says: “One of them, a prophet of their own, said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.’” Surprisingly, Paul agrees with this, saying: “This testimony is true.” (Titus 1:12-13). But if Cretans are always liars, this statement by one of them must also be false. Thereby, Paul trips on his own shoe-laces once again.
Paul comes up with this lofty principle: “Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” (Galatians 6:7-8). However, he then nullifies it by insisting those who sow to the spirit should reap in the flesh. He says: “If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things?” (1 Corinthians 9:11). This is the hypocritical theology of the money-minded con-man which has so many adherents in the pastors of today.
Paul says: “The doers of the law shall be justified.” (Romans 2:13). Then he contradicts himself in the same breath: “By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified.” (Romans 3:20). He says to the Galatians: “Bear one another’s burdens.” (Galatians 6:2). Then he says: “Each one shall bear his own load.” (Galatians 6:5). If each man shall bear his own load, how can we then bear one another’s burdens? Paul says: “All who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law.” (Romans 2:12). Then he contradicts himself by saying: “where there is no law, there is no transgression.” (Romans 4:15). If, as he says, no law means no sin; how then can he also say no law means sin leading to condemnation?
Listen to Paul in his own self-implicating words. He says to the Thessalonians: “Our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, NOR IN GUILE.” (1 Thessalonians 2:3). Then he says to the Corinthians: “I did not burden you: nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you WITH GUILE.” (2 Corinthians 12:16). In short, by his own account, Paul is not deceptive and he also is. Which of these is the infallible word of Paul? Certainly, such illogicality cannot be the word of “the only wise God.” (Romans 16:27).
Lagos drivers are terrible. We drive with scant regard for traffic laws. We drive on the pavements and on the wrong sides of the road. We beat red lights, violate one-way traffic signs, and park in no-parking zones.
But one day, a man called Jesus came to Lagos. He was a perfect driver and he obeyed scrupulously all the traffic laws. In recognition for his fastidiousness, the Lagos State Government repealed all traffic laws on the grounds that Jesus had fulfilled them. Any man who believes in Jesus is then deemed to have also obeyed all the laws. Nevertheless, the government sent Jesus himself to the firing squad for violating traffic laws, even though in actual fact he had obeyed them all.
This is a parody of Paul’s Christology. Why should Christians believe such arrant nonsense?
With the repeal of all traffic laws because of Jesus’ perfect obedience, would Lagos drivers automatically become “new creatures” on the roads? No! What if Paul maintains: “there is now no condemnation for Lagos drivers?” (Romans 8:1). Would that improve the situation? Not likely! What if Paul declares: “There is no good driver, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10). Would that make the difference? Certainly not! What if Paul tells Lagos drivers all things are lawful on the roads, but they should avoid things that are not expedient? (1 Corinthians 6:12). Would they therefore drive with circumspection? Definitely not! What if Paul reassures Lagosians the Chief Judge of the state now “justifies ungodly drivers?” (Romans 4:5). Would that make them good drivers? Absolutely not!
And yet, that is the foolishness and ludicrousness of Pauline Christianity.