Paul D has a new post up on Paul’s Passing Thoughts called Romans 13:14B; Part 1, “Overcoming Sin and Living Righteously, a Righteous Life of Real and Lasting Change”
Having just read it, I zeroed in on this paragraph which he placed at the head of the post in bold, but which is also repeated in the article:
I only have ONE comment concerning all of the drama that is part and parcel with the institutional church: ‘under law.’ That’s it. To be under law is to be cut off from bearing fruit for God. To be under law is to be cut off from its life and love.
Now I posted a comment, saying the following:
They’re not under the [ceremonial side of the] Torah, because Gentiles never were. So what “law” are they under? Their own invented emotional-crime and thought-crime legislation. Because you’ll notice whenever they list off sins, its always emotional or thought-crime sins…sins that the Torah never condemned because they’re not sins but either simply human emotions or temptations that will lead to sin if you give in to them. You’ll never find them listing adultery, drunkeness, fornication…no real sins.
To them getting angry, or being sad, or wishing you had more money are sins. Well no wonder they always feel condemned!!!!!
The Torah, what part of it always applied to Gentiles, i.e. the moral side, cannot condemn me. Because I’m not murdering, raping, stealing, committing adultery, fornication, etc. So being under the moral Law of the Torah is not going to hinder my bearing fruit. Its the Pauline thought-crime law that hinders you bearing fruit; let’s be honest, Paul invented his own law of thought-crime legislation and then acted like the Torah taught it, and attacked the Torah as teaching what in fact does not come from it but from his own made-up law. That’s where Protestants go wrong; they are under Paul’s law, not God’s.
Now, I want to unpack this a little bit more. Is Paul really responsible for the Protestant thought-crime legislation or did Catholic and Protestant theologians invent that later?
Well, look at Paul’s “ode to love” in 1st Corinthians 13. We discussed this in the comments on another post here a few days back, but let’s look at it again.
1st Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV):
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails….
So, if you ever dishonor someone (even if they are a criminal or very guilty of horrible things) then you don’t love…according to Paul. Or if you keep a record of wrongs, like to say this person turned on me 10 times so I’m not trusting them again like an idiot…then you don’t love. Or, if you are ever proud of an accomplishment…then you don’t love.
Now is that what Paul means or is it Protestant misinterpretation? Because we know this is how their pastors preach it! Either way, either he meant it, or he wrote incautiously in a way that results in that.
So what Paul has basically done is replace actual rules like “thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, thou shalt not commit adultery, etc. etc.” with an impossible standard of love that is thought-crime legislation. If you don’t meet this standard perfectly, then under Paul’s Law, you will constantly have a cloud of guilt hanging over you.
“Oh no, I dishonored that rapist by telling him he’s scum…..I don’t love. I must not really be saved.”
That’s exactly where this doctrine ends up.
Or here, a personal “favorite”:
Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. (Colossians 4:6)
So, if somebody comes at me with Calvinism and I say “That’s just stupid. Only a complete idiot would believe that, or a devil worshiper, because denying free will makes God out to be the author of evil and more foul than Satan,” is that a sin? According to Paul’s infinite thought-crime legislation, it is. But that would make Jesus a sinner since he calls the Pharisees “vipers” and Herod (the king!) a “fox”!
Remember, also Paul’s interpretation is that you can’t insult a ruler in any way. In Acts 23 when he rebuked the high priest for punching him in the face in a manner contrary to the law, Paul is then informed that this was the high priest, what does he say?
I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.
So, the scripture (which properly translated, by the way, says) “thou shalt not curse a ruler of thy people” according to Paul means that you can’t even rebuke them when they break the law!!!!!! Was John the Baptist speaking evil of the ruler of the people when he told Herod it was unlawful for him to have his brother’s wife??? Absurd! You see how Paul overturns the law itself to replace it with infinite thought-crime legislation.
We don’t have to always speak in a politically correct manner as Christians, like Paul and his disciples teach, because Jesus himself didn’t always do so. In fact, when did he do so?
So its not the Torah, the moral law from the Torah that’s the problem, but Paul’s rejection of it for an infinite thought-crime legislation of his own making.
Now, in Acts 15:10, speaking of the ceremonial law, Peter says:
10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
They were able to bear the moral law! In fact, this very council in Acts 15 sends letters to the Gentile churches telling them that although they don’t have to be circumcised they do have to “avoid fornication”!!!!
What Paul does, it seems to me, is toss aside the actual moral law that prohibits actives of an evil nature, and replace it with a prohibition on emotions and thought. With respect to actives he goes so far as to say “all things are lawful”:
Right after speaking in 1st Corinthians 6:9-10 about
fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminates, abusers of themselves with mankind, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, extortioners
he says in verse 12:
All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient
So Paul point blank allows anything the law forbids! Idolatry, extortion, adultery, etc. He allows any activity that is evil. But oh boy, you best not think a thought he doesn’t like or say a harsh word to anyone!!!!!!!
So why are people still following this guy????
In short, to put this simply: If I commit an actual sin, I will repent and confess it. But if I commit one of Paul’s made up sins, I’m not going to feel guilty at all about that.