Those who don’t like christianity, and I’m one of them, like to blame the whole mess on Paul, that intrepid apostle who went around addressing epistles to the various churches.
But did he? The core ideas presented in Romans chapters 8 and 9 would contradict the usual christian claptrap.
For example, Romans 8:7, which tells us that the carnal(natural, fleshy) mind is enmity against God and cannot be subject to God’s laws.
Let’s look at this in the form of a syllogism:
All natural minds are enmity against God
I have a natural mind
My mind is enmity against God
Paul goes a step further to say that the natural mind simply cannot be subject to God’s laws.
If all minds are enmity against God, how do we prove that someone else’s mind is not enmity against God?
Read the bible? But the bible is supposed to be God’s infallible word, and my mind is fallible. Whatever i read of “God’s word” is going to come up different from YOUR idea of “God’s word”.
In fact, it is now estimated that there are over 38,000 versions of “God’s truth” being taught by religions who believe themselves to be “God’s elect”, and the number is growing!
So, if Paul’s statement about the natural mind is correct, the result would be exactly what we see around us today, would it not? And that, in itself, would confirm that Romans 8:7, at least, was correct.
As if Paul wasn’t satisfied with that statement, let’s look at the same chapter, Romans 8:29-30. Paul wrote that God foreknows, predestines, calls, and glorifies his children.
Not only do we not have any natural process of reasoning to show just who is “God’s elect”, but Paul kicks christianity in the face by saying that God already knows, and has known from the beginning(Ephesians 1:4) who they are!
The christian will say, “Oh, but God opens our minds so we will know”.
Sure. What will “we” know? There’s 38,000 versions that all say “God has opened our minds”.
Add to that another problem. Back in the 1930s, there was an Austrian named Kurt Godel, who developed something known as Godel’s Incompleteness theorem. That theorem actually had two parts:
1.In any consistent axiomatic formulation of number theory(of sufficient complexity), there exists undecidable propositions
2.No such system can prove its own consistency from within itself.
So? What is means is this: There is no way by any axiomatic process that we can ever predictively contain all truth in one package. No matter how formally we list our proofs, no matter how carefully we develop our strings, we will always encounter undecidable propositions that simply cannot be reconciled within that particular system.
It means that any study of truth will always tend to splinter and speciate into an infinite fragmented process, as we see in religion today, with over 38,000 versions and growing!
IOW, no matter what we choose as truth, if we pursue it far enough, we will find that it cannot lead us to truth! Therefore, Paul’s statement in Romans 8:7 is correct, IF we assume that “God” is consistent with all truth. The natural, carnal mind simply cannot get from “here” to “God’ by any known or predictive decision process!
If that isn’t enough, Paul went to great lengths to show, in Romans 9:16-22, that there simply exists no decision procedure by which we may prove ourselves any close to God than anyone else!
Paul has, in two chapters, destroyed the whole foundation of “freewill” christianity!
But many will still say, “Okay, so he actually spoke the truth. It doesn’t matter, since all the religious garbage we experience today came because of what Paul taught”.
Yeah, right. That’s like me telling you “Don’t jump off that cliff! if you do, it could kill you or cause terrible harm to your body!”
If you decide to do exactly what i tell you that you should not do, have I somehow caused you to jump off the cliff?
Of course not! I told you exactly what would happen if you jumped anyway.
So Paul comes along and tells us directly what has now been proven mathematically, that there is no way any of us can predictively choose truth, much less “God”, and 38,000 versions of “true christians” tell us they believe exactly what Paul said cannot be done!
Well, what about jesus? What did he say? The disciples asked him what would occur at the “end time” in Matthew 24. The first words from Jesus’ mouth was “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, and shall deceive many”.
If the natural mind is enmity against God, and if we have no capacity to decide on truth in one single package, how in the world are we going to know if we are deceived?
Exactly what standard do we use? Follow only Jesus himself? But Jesus isn’t around any more. How do we know who represents him, from among over 38,000 versions?
Add to that the simple fact that our minds are enmity against God, as Paul said. What, exactly, can we do to avoid deception?
Actually, there is one, and only one logically correct choice we can make: Don’t follow any of them!
And that, in fact, is exactly what Jesus said in Matthew 24:23:
“Then, if any man says to you, Lo, here is Christ, or there, believe it not“.
To be “elect”, logically, would be the exact opposite from what the masses assume! Don’t follow any man! Choose freedom!