Last time we asked if Paul was a liar….. this time lets ask another controversial question……..is Paul a hypocrite?
Let’s take a look at some of the things he says so we can determine for ourselves.
Paul says if we circumcise, then we have fallen from grace:
2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.
3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.
4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
But then Paul himself decides to circumcise Timothy so that Timothy can fall from grace:
1 Then he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek.
2 He was well spoken of by the brethren who were at Lystra and Iconium.
3 Paul wanted to have him go on with him. AND HE TOOK HIM AND CIRCUMCISED HIM because of the Jews who were in that region, for they all knew that his father was Greek.
What does this mean?……..Why is Paul saying one thing and doing the other?……. Is it that Paul does not believe in what he is preaching? Or is it that he is just a hypocrite?
Paul wrote to the Galatians:
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For IF I STILL PLEASED MEN, I WOULD NOT BE A BONDSERVANT OF CHRIST.
By his own admission, if Paul still pleased men then he would not be a servant of Christ.
The next question is obvious: did Paul continue to please men?
Lets take a look:
1 Corinthians 10:32-33
32 Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God,
33 just as I ALSO PLEASE ALL MEN IN ALL THINGS, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
Hmmm……so basically according to himself…… he is not a servant of Christ….. but I guess well find out more as we go along.
Paul says we should not curse our enemies:
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
But then he goes ahead and curses those who preach a gospel different from his:
9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, LET HIM BE ACCURSED.
Very interesting…. …can this position of James be referring to Paul?
James 3:10…..”Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so”.
Take a look at what Paul says here 1 Corinthians 9:20-22…….. “To the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; (21) to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; (22) to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I HAVE BECOME ALL THINGS TO ALL MEN, that I might by all means save some.”
So basically, according to Paul himself, he is constantly pretending to be someone that he isn’t, because of the fact that he claims he is trying to make people saved.
Is Paul capable of saving anyone in the first place?
Whats even more amazing, is that he says something completely different again here
Galatians 2:14……….”But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “IF YOU, THOUGH A JEW, LIVE LIKE A GENTILE AND NOT LIKE A JEW, HOW CAN YOU COMPEL GENTILES TO LIVE LIKE JEWS?”
Hang on a second…….i thought he said he was all things to all men so that he could save them…..now he is saying that you cant save someone if you act like them?
So which is it?……..what exactly is Pauls postion on this matter? Does he have a position? …… Or is he just trying to confuse some people?
Once again, I leave you with the question……is Paul a hypocrite?
To be continued……
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