The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Romans 5: Paul Leads Us Astray on Sin & the Character of Yahweh

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In the Bible, we read accounts of Yahweh and Jesus doing and saying various things. Then we find a lot of filler material in which human authors give their theological interpretations of the things that Yahweh and Jesus did and said. The problem is that many of the conclusions those humans draw are straight up wrong. For example, the Gospel writer Matthew interprets many of Jesus’ actions as intentional fulfillments of Old Testament prophecies. The problem is that several of the passages that Matthew links to Christ have nothing to do with Christ (see Messianic Passages According to Matthew). In other words, Matthew is just making stuff up.

The author of Hebrews does the same thing—he rips all kinds of passages out of the Old Testament and forces meanings onto them that are utterly absurd. It’s the author of Hebrews we have to thank for this crazy notion that the human priest-king Melchizedek was really Christ incarnate, and that the entire Levitical priesthood tithed to Christ because they were mystically residing in the cellular material of Abraham’s physical body at the time that Abraham gave Melchizedek a portion of property which didn’t even belong to Abraham (see Applying Hebrews 7: Melchizedek Madness). When we read the actual account of Melchizedek in Genesis, we find no support whatsoever for the ridiculous story that the author of Hebrews weaves together. But we don’t read the actual account, do we? We just accept any interpretation that the biblical authors throw at us, no matter how foolish and wrong it is. When Paul says that Christ is just some mortal being whose reign is merely temporary, we just accept it. We don’t protest the blasphemy and write Paul off as the spiritual fool that he was. When John says no true Christian could ever sin after salvation because somehow having Christ’s “seed” in him renders him incapable of sinning, we don’t question it. We certainly should, because Christ Himself never said He was taking away our desire to sin, nor did He say that He was making us “new creations.” It was Paul who came up with the “new creation in Christ” language, and ever since Christians have been wondering what’s wrong when they aren’t miraculously transformed at the moment of salvation. See the problem? Thanks to the foolishness of many of its authors, the Bible is filled with some very wrong theology about who our Gods are and how They operate.

As the main contributor of New Testament epistles, Paul spins out all kinds of outrageous guff about Yahweh, Christ, sin, and salvation. The book of Romans alone is a minefield of lies, and if you just swallow them down like the Church tells you to, you’re going to end up in a muddled mess. This is where most Christians are at today: they’re muddled messes. Thanks to no one ever challenging the idiocy of Paul’s teaching, we all think we were “born under a curse” and that “sin entered the world through one man.” We think there was no real salvation until Christ came, and we think God is blaming us all for something that Adam and Eve did. All of this is utterly absurd, yet this is what we’re taught by our leaders who are just passing on the foolishness of other leaders who said that Paul speaks the very words of God. Yet if we were to actually talk to God directly and ask Him what He thinks of Paul’s teaching, we’d discover that God does not at all consider the irreverent rot we find in Paul’s letters to be “God-breathed.”

Now since it’s considered sacrilegious to say anything against the great apostle Paul, the language we’ve been using so far is going to seriously upset a lot of Christians. Well, how serious are you about knowing God? If you are serious about it, then the day must come when you stop ignoring truth just because it makes you uncomfortable. Paul grossly mangles truth in his writings, and as a serious Christian, you need to stop avoiding this reality. To help you tune in to just how off base Paul can be, we’re going to go through the entire chapter of Romans 5 and check out Paul’s cockamamie theory on how sin, salvation, and Divine judgment work. If you’ve been raised in the culture of the mainstream Church, then this chapter has played a huge role in shaping your theology about sin and salvation. Take a moment to ask God to give you His view of what you’re about to read, because His view is the only one of value. Once you’ve done that, let’s get into it.

ROMANS 5

Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with Yahweh through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through Christ by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of Yahweh. (Rom. 5:1-2)

In her ongoing efforts to help you stay completely deluded in life, the Church yanks references to Yahweh out of the New Testament and replaces them with the generic titles of God and Lord. She then tells you that all of the New Testament boys believed in the idea of a triune God. Well, no, they didn’t. Old Covenant Jews like Paul were dedicated monotheists. They believed that Yahweh was the only true God in existence. This is what Yahweh adamantly claimed throughout the Old Testament, and He even went so far as to say that anyone who dared to worship any God besides Him should be immediately executed.

Then Jesus showed up in Israel, claiming to be Yahweh’s equal. Talk about blasphemous. But then Yahweh called down from the sky on several occasions and publicly commanded the Jews to listen to Jesus. In other words, Yahweh said Jesus was telling the truth. Well, when the God who has always acted outraged over polytheism (the worship of multiple gods) suddenly announces that He’s just fine with some regular looking Jewish man claiming to be His equal, you don’t just bob your head and feel like all is right with the world. If you care at all about pleasing Yahweh, then listening to Jesus pitches you into one mother of a theological crisis. For an Old Covenant Jew, it is incredibly difficult to accept the concept of multiple Gods. So when Jesus says that He is Yahweh’s equal and that He’ll prove His Divinity by raising Himself back to life, you just don’t want to accept what He’s saying. When Jesus does raise Himself back to life just as He claimed, you reach for a different theological interpretation—one which will protect you from having to accept the notion that anyone could be as fabulous as the glorious Yahweh. Here’s an idea: why not just say that Yahweh raised Jesus? That makes way more sense. After all, Yahweh is God, and Jesus is just a human, so obviously Jesus can’t resurrect Himself. That whole coming back from the grave thing had to be a Yahweh miracle. This is what Paul teaches, because Paul just isn’t going to go there with multiple Gods (see Who raised Jesus from the dead?).

Paul flat out rejects the Divinity of Christ. This is why Paul does not qualify as a true Christian, for a true Christian is one who adheres to the terms of Yahweh’s New Covenant—a Covenant which demands submission to three separate and distinct all powerful Gods. Those Gods are Yahweh, Jesus, and the magnificent Holy Spirit. These Gods are not one mysterious Being with three different personalities. The ridiculous guff we call the Trinity was invented by some Roman Catholic bishops a few centuries after Christ’s ascension. Why did the bishops go Trinitarian? Because, like Paul, they just couldn’t handle the idea that our wild and unpredictable Gods would act wild and unpredictable. We humans have decided that Yahweh doesn’t get to change His program whenever He darn well wants to. Somehow that doesn’t fall under the heading of “sovereign” for us. We’ve also decided that Yahweh must always be telling us the whole truth. So since He told the Jews thousands of years ago that He was the only true God in existence, we’ve all decided that that had to be an absolute, unchangeable truth. Thus we find Paul insisting that Christ was nothing more than human, we find the author of Hebrews insisting that Christ was some kind of angel-human hybrid, and we have Catholic bishops in the Roman Empire saying that the one true God has a split personality (see Who is Jesus?). God is one, but three. And if that makes no sense to you, it’s because it’s ridiculous. It’s not only ridiculous, it’s an irreverent rejection of what Jesus taught. We have three Gods. When we finally decide to stop freaking out over the fact that our Gods are withholding a lot more information from us than They are sharing, then we will be ready to continue on with the work of maturity.

So then, wherever you find the term “God” being used in the New Testament epistles, you should mentally substitute the Name of Yahweh, because that is what the Jewish writers of those letters actually wrote.   It wasn’t until later on that the Hebrew Name of Yahweh was intentionally scrubbed from the manuscripts and replaced with the generic titles of God and Lord. In this study of Romans, we put Yahweh back in where it belongs so that we can all hear what Paul actually said, instead of getting confused by the Church’s doctored version of what he said. It’s pretty hard to make the Trinity theory fly once you realize how the New Testament writers constantly distinguish between Yahweh and Christ. Since the Church wants you to be Trinitarian, she does what she can to hide these distinctions from you. It’s shady, but this is how it works when we’re dealing with facts about God which make everyone uncomfortable.

Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with Yahweh through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through Christ by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of Yahweh. (Rom. 5:1-2)

According to Paul, it’s Yahweh who we need to gain peace with, because Yahweh is the only real God. Christ is just the human who received the great honor of serving as Yahweh’s long awaited Messiah. It’s thanks to Christ’s willingness to sacrifice Himself on our behalf that we have access to salvation. But how do we obtain that salvation? Not by submitting to Christ as God, but merely by believing that He served as our atonement sacrifice. There is an enormous difference between these two concepts, and if you think that simply believing Christ is God will get you into Heaven today, you need to think again.

Believing that there is a God and personally choosing to submit to that God are two very different concepts. Since the beginning of this Creation, salvation has always been granted as a reward for soul submission to our Creators. When people only knew about Yahweh, Yahweh was the only God they had to submit to in order to end up in Heaven. Now that we know about Jesus and the Holy Spirit, just submitting to Yahweh is no longer good enough. Today you must submit to Yahweh and Jesus and the Holy Spirit not just as Gods, but as the Supreme Authorities in your own life before you will be granted salvation. This is not what Paul teaches believers to do. Paul simply says “Believe that Christ is the Messiah and that He died for our sins out of obedience to Yahweh.” Well, no, believing in the fact of Christ is not the same as submitting to Him as God Almighty. Certainly Christ said He died to take away the sins of the world, but He also demands submission from us. Simply not calling Him a liar hardly qualifies as submission. To say “I believe Christ died for my sins on the cross,” will get you nowhere. Simply saying “I believe that Christ is God” is also insufficient. Until your soul says, “Christ: You, Yahweh and the Holy Spirit are the only Gods I recognize, and You are the Ones I submit to as the Supreme Authorities in my life,” you’re on your way to Hell. There is no salvation without submission. No, we’re really not “saved by faith alone.” We’re saved through reverential submission to our Creators, but this isn’t what Paul ever did in his own life, and this isn’t what he teaches others to do.

And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because Yahweh’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Rom. 5:3-5)

To an Old Covenant Jew, “the Holy Spirit” simply meant “the Spirit of Yahweh.” You’ll find many references to “the Spirit of Yahweh” in the Old Testament. It wasn’t until Jesus defined the Holy Spirit as a separate Deity that there became grounds for recognizing a third God. But Paul rejects multiple Gods, so to him, Yahweh is pouring out His own Divine essence into New Testament believers, just as He used to do with prophets under the Old Covenant. Why does Paul have hope here in Romans? Because he thinks he has salvation sewn up. He figures that merely by recognizing that Christ was indeed the promised Messiah, he’s secured the eternal favor of Yahweh. He’s wrong, of course, but since when does being wrong stop us from boasting about something?

For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might dare to die. But Yahweh proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! Much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by Christ’s blood, we will be saved through Christ from Yahweh’s wrath. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to Yahweh through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by Christ’s life! And not only that, but we also rejoice in Yahweh through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have now received this reconciliation through Christ. (Rom. 5:6-11)

Paul always demotes Christ as being a mere middleman who fixes the tension between us and Yahweh. It is Yahweh’s wrath which Paul says we’re being saved from, and it is Yahweh who Paul tells believers to pray to. We are always to pray to Yahweh through the human dispatcher named Christ. Christ is not God, thus He should not be the One we are praying to—at least that’s how Paul sees it.

Now there are two lines in this passage which are favorites among Christians, and yet they indicate the start of some very bad theology. The first one is this:

But Yahweh proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! (Rom. 5:8)

Certainly we are to view the cross as an act of love, among other things. But there’s a very problematic suggestion being made here. Paul is implying that Christ’s coming was the first time Yahweh proved His love for us. It is the language in this chapter and elsewhere in Paul’s writings that has led Christians to view the pre-Christ period as some dark, difficult time when salvation was much harder to obtain than it is now. Yahweh is often described as the brooding, hard to please “God of the Old Testament,” whereas Christ is painted as sweetness and grace. Then Paul throws out this second line:

For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to Yahweh through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by Christ’s life! (Rom. 5:10)

Paul makes it sound like Christ’s death was the first time salvation was ever offered to us. Notice how he says “while we were enemies” and earlier “for while we were still helpless.” Now wait a second—there was no excuse for being “a helpless enemy of Yahweh” prior to Christ. Pleasing Yahweh was very easy to do under the Old Covenant. It was simply a matter of embracing a soul attitude of reverential submission. Certainly Yahweh laid down a bunch of picky commandments in the Torah (which includes the books Genesis through Deuteronomy). And He said that sins had to be atoned for by sacrifices. But in real life, the sacrifices rarely happened correctly and Yahweh never let a lack of sacrifices prevent a sincere soul from being accepted by Him. Salvation has always been a matter of soul submission and only soul submission. When believers couldn’t give Yahweh the atonement sacrifices He wanted because the priests were corrupt or the sacrificial system was shut down or the Temple was burned to the ground or because the believers themselves were stuck living as slaves in pagan lands, guess what? Yahweh wasn’t bothered in the least. Salvation has never been acquired through the atonement of sins.

Throughout the Old Testament, we actually find Yahweh rejecting the very atonement sacrifices He made such a big deal about getting. Why? Because the soul attitude of the ones making the sacrifices were rebellious. You see, it’s always been about soul attitude with Yahweh. This obsession we have with atonement today is something the Pharisees got into, and Paul was a Pharisee. In all of His parables about salvation, Jesus never once talks about atonement. Instead, He constantly emphasizes the importance of submission to God. Jesus and Yahweh both teach that salvation is obtained through right soul attitudes, but Paul says it’s just about keeping your record clear of sins. Christ is not Someone we submit to as God, He’s just the Guy who conveniently erases our past record of wrongs. And since atonement was a lot more complicated before Christ presented Himself as the ultimate sin sacrifice that ended the need for further sacrifices, Paul is excited about Christ. Paul’s logic goes like this: “Hey, Christ is great! He makes atonement way simpler than it was before! Before, we had to always stress about the sin issue and strive and strain to keep every jot and tittle of Yahweh’s Laws. But now we just have to believe that Christ has taken care of the sin issue for us. Isn’t that sweet? Believe that Christ’s Blood has wiped away your sins—that’s the key to salvation.” No, it really isn’t. Christ said His Blood covered everyone’s sins, yet most people are still going to Hell. Why? Because atonement isn’t good enough—we have to submit in our souls.

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men, because all sinned. (Rom. 5:12)

No, this is total baloney. Sin is not some snake that slithered onto the scene, nor is it a cognizant force. Yet you’ll find that Paul deifies both sin and death in his letters—speaking of them as if they are potent forces to be wrestled with. He even describes Christ as struggling hard to defeat the mighty entity named “Death.” Paul teaches that Christ is only managing Yahweh’s Creation on a temporary basis—until Christ finally manages to overpower several mysterious enemies, the greatest of whom is the mysterious god-like power named Death.

After that the end will come, when Christ will turn the Kingdom over to Yahweh the Father, having destroyed every ruler and authority and power. For Christ must reign until He humbles all His enemies beneath His feet. And the last enemy to be destroyed is death. (1 Cor. 15:24-26)

See how it works? Christ is not God, which is why He can’t keep the Kingdom. He has to turn it over to the real God—Yahweh. And since Christ is still reigning today, according to Paul, that must mean that He hasn’t figured out how to overcome His enemies yet. That darn death is awfully difficult for a mere mortal to beat.

So then, here in Romans 5, Paul says:

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men, because all sinned. (Rom. 5:12)

The “one man” is a reference to Adam. Paul blames Adam for sin here in Romans 5. But flip over to 1 Timothy and you’ll find he puts all the blame onto Eve. Why the change? Well, here in Romans 5, Paul wants poetic symmetry. He wants all spiritually significant events to be associated with the male gender. Sin came through the man Adam, then salvation came through the man Christ. But in 1 Timothy, Paul is building a case for why women need to sit down and shut up in church. When he wants Scriptural support for why women should be viewed as inferior to men, then it’s perfect to blame Eve for sin and whitewash Adam as an innocent bystander.

A woman should learn in silence with full submission. I do not allow a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; instead, she is to be silent. For Adam was created first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and transgressed. But she will be saved through childbearing, if she continues in faith, love, and holiness, with good judgment. (1 Tim. 2:11-15)

See how it works? Adam is innocent in 1 Timothy. But in Romans 5, “Sin entered the world through one man.” In Romans, Paul says we’re all saved merely by believing that Christ died for our sins. But in 1 Timothy, just having faith isn’t good enough for women. They also have to have kids, be loving, be holy and have good judgment. Apparently there is no salvation for infertile women in Paul’s mind, since “she will be saved through childbearing.”

Now we have to cut Paul slack here for growing up in a culture which viewed women like disposable objects. All of the ancient Jews were taught to be major bigots who viewed all non-Jews as scum. They were also taught to view women as very inferior to men. When this is how you’re taught, you naturally freak out over the idea of a woman having authority over men, because that rocks your entire identity as a man. So Paul orders women to stay silent and submissive and to view their husbands as God’s equals. This is why Paul tells women:

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. (Eph. 5:22-24)

Putting the created on the same level as the Creator—now there’s an idea that the very jealous Yahweh is sure to be a fan of. Yet such idolatrous nonsense is what we get from Paul, because Paul was not listening to any of his Creators (see Boundaries in Marriage: Inappropriate Submission).

Now there are major problems with Paul shifting around the blame for sin like this. If we read the Genesis account, the text says that Adam was with Eve when she was talking to the snake and sampling the fruit. We then find Yahweh expressing anger towards both Adam and Eve. He certainly doesn’t let one of them off the hook as an innocent bystander. If Paul is correct that Eve was the only one who really sinned, then Yahweh becomes unjust in punishing Adam for an innocent mistake. Is this really who Yahweh is? No, but many of us think it is. Today Christians are taught to believe that from the moment they are born, God is blaming them for sins they never committed—the sins of Adam and Eve. After contemplating this, honest Christians get angry and feel like this is a very unjust situation. Well, yes, it certainly is. Yahweh Himself says that it is most unjust to condemn a man for a crime he did not commit, yet this is exactly what we’re taught to believe God does with us by believing that we’re all “born under a curse.” We think we’re born on the wrong side of God’s wrath and instantly put on the road to Hell which we then have to scramble to get off of. Well, no, this isn’t correct at all.

In fact, sin was in the world before the law, but sin is not charged to a person’s account when there is no law. (Rom. 5:13)

To Paul, “the law” means Yahweh’s Old Covenant Laws, which were introduced in Exodus through Deuteronomy. He says sin was in the world before the Law was given. Well, yes, Adam and Eve and everyone after them sinned. Then Paul says that sin wasn’t charged to anyone’s account before the giving of the Law. Here’s more baloney. Yahweh clearly states that the reason He flooded the world was a response to the incessant rebellion of the human race. How idiotic of Paul to suggest sin was never addressed prior to the Old Covenant. What is he doing with Sodom and Gomorrah—the two cities which both Yahweh and Jesus said were punished for their great sins? Are you losing respect for this “great theologian” yet? You have to be a real nimbus to think of Noah floating in that ark and saying “sin wasn’t charged to anyone’s account.”

But from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, everyone had to die, even those who had not sinned by breaking a command, as Adam had. (Rom. 5:14)

Here Paul speaks as if God never taught any humans right from wrong until the time of Moses. This is utterly ridiculous. In Genesis we find no examples of Yahweh instructing Adam and Eve on giving sacrifices to Him, and yet when Cain presents Yahweh with the wrong kind of sacrifice, Yahweh rejects it. When Cain then gets in a big huff, Yahweh says to him:

“Why are you angry? Why do you look so unhappy? If you do what is right, won’t you be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” (Gen. 4:6-7)

Clearly Yahweh feels that Cain has been informed about what God wants in the area of sacrifice. Yahweh accuses Cain of willfully doing wrong and urges him to choose obedience over rebellion. Obviously Yahweh gave many commands that were not spelled out in the biblical record, so there is no grounds for Paul to make the claim that there were no laws given from God to men until the time of Moses. God’s reactions to humans during that period prove this to be a false conclusion. Yet you will find that Paul frequently paints Yahweh in a very negative light—making Him out to be an unfair, impossible to please, unreasonable Judge when He is quite the opposite of these things.

You can’t just run with whatever conclusions the biblical writers throw at you. Here in Romans 5, Paul is describing his theological take on events in Genesis. But if you read through those events for yourself, you’ll discover that they don’t at all line up with what Paul is saying. Paul blames one human for sin, yet Yahweh blames two. Paul says humans had no formal instruction from God until the time of Moses, yet we find Yahweh holding humans accountable to a moral code which He knows they understand. We don’t need that moral code to be spelled out in detail—understanding how good and merciful Yahweh is leaves no doubt that if He’s holding someone accountable for disobeying Him, then they were very well informed as to what He expected of them. Yet this isn’t something we have a good grasp on today, is it?

Today countless Christians are drowning in fear and guilt that God is furious with them for making innocent mistakes. A woman gets an abortion before she even knows that God says abortion is wrong. Later she finds out, and then she gets paralyzed with fear that God is blaming her for willfully defying Him. Well, of course He isn’t, that’s not who God is. But when we listen to our leaders regurgitating the slanderous teaching of Paul for years on end, our view of God’s Character becomes all warped. We’re discouraged from reading the Old Testament, in which God does a whole lot more talking for Himself. Instead, we’re told to think of ourselves as “New Testament Christians” and focus on a section of the Bible that is mostly filled with third party interpretations of God instead of God interpreting Himself. Read through the Old Testament prophetic books and you’ll find Yahweh expounding on just how good His Character is. He specifically addresses fears that He is an unfair, hard to please Taskmaster. He outlines His motivations for disciplining people and makes His wrath sound quite reasonable indeed. When we listen to God explaining His own motivations to us, we realize how easy He is to please. But when we ignore God and allow a dingdong like Paul to speak for Him, we end up all bogged down in fear and lies.

In Romans 5:14, Paul says that:

Adam was like the One who was to come in the future.

No, he really wasn’t. We can’t compare the human with the Divine and get very far. Adam was not an all-powerful, sovereign Deity. Adam didn’t partner with Yahweh and the Holy Spirit in creating all that exists. Adam is not at all like Christ. Christ is God Almighty. Adam is a limited human dot. But to Paul, Christ was just like an Elijah—a mere mortal who had an impressive hookup with Yahweh. Paul urges people to schmooze Christ by respecting Him as “Lord.” In Romans 10, he says:

If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that Yahweh raised Jesus from the dead, you will be saved. (Rom. 10:9)

Of course, to a Jew, when the term “Lord” was being applied to a human, it meant nothing greater than “Sir.” Sarah called Abraham “Lord”, as Peter points out in 1 Peter 3:6. “Lord” didn’t mean to the Jews of the Bible what it means to English speakers today. In America, Christians use the term “Lord” and “God” interchangeably. The Jews did as well, but then they called humans “Lords” much like we use the titles of “Lord” and “Lady” in the United Kingdom. You have to understand that Paul views Christ as a mortal before you can understand what he means by Romans 10:9. He doesn’t mean submit to Jesus as God. He means just respect Jesus as Yahweh’s special Guy. Yes, you should look up to Christ and want to be on His good side. But you don’t put Him on the same level as the mighty Yahweh, because that’s overdoing it. So if you’re only calling Jesus “Lord” using Paul’s definition of that term, are you going to be granted salvation? Not hardly. And if you blow off Jesus’ Divinity by saying that Yahweh raised Him from the dead—just as Yahweh raised many other people in the Bible—are you going to be granted salvation? No. You can’t minimize Christ under this Covenant. He’s God Almighty, He’s not just a “Sir.”

But the gift is not like the trespass. For if by the one man’s trespass the many died, how much more have the grace of Yahweh and the gift overflowed to the many by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ. (Rom. 5:15)

Notice how Paul calls Jesus a man, while he has the grace flowing from the God Yahweh. But notice that language about many dying because of Adam’s sin. It’s language like this that feeds the false belief that God is punishing us today for the sins of the first humans. But is He?

To put the whole death thing in perspective, we need to realize that God knows the end from the beginning and that it was always His intention for humans to spend only a short amount of time in this world. Given what rebellious little snarkers Adam and Eve were despite their easy life in Eden, it’s clear that this world was never the perfect Paradise we make it out to be when we moan and groan about getting punished for the sins of the first humans (see Debunking The Fall: The Many Lies Christians Tell About Genesis 3).

The extremely gracious Yahweh is not the sort of Being who starts cursing everyone the first time they bumble into sin. Yet this is how we paint Him because we listen to Paul and believe his ridiculous suggestion that the fruit sampling was the first sin humans ever committed. Well, no, Yahweh’s angry reaction makes it clear that the fruit sampling was actually the last straw after a whole string of unrecorded offensives. It is only when we don’t understand how good and patient God is that we rush to conclude He’s coming down hard on one innocent offense.

Now since it was always God’s intention that we only exist here temporarily, and since physical death is the means by which we leave this earth and go on to a much better existence with our Gods (assuming we’ve made wise soul choices while we are here), then why do we gripe so much about dying? Just because Paul had personal issues with dying doesn’t mean we have to share in his fears. For the committed Christian, death is one of the best things that can happen to him, and as the story of Elijah reminds us, death is not always a miserable experience. Plenty of people die very fast, painless deaths. God has never taught us to view physical death as some horrible thing that wasn’t part of His plan. He’s never taught us to mourn the fact that we don’t get to live here permanently. Instead, He focuses us on eternity and says that pleasing Him is what we ought to be concerning ourselves with.

And the gift is not like Adam’s sin, because from one sin came the judgment, resulting in condemnation, but from many trespasses came the gift, resulting in justification. Since by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. (Rom. 5:16-17)

It’s very tiresome to hear Paul keep calling Jesus a man once you realize how literally he is using the term. Notice the reference to the believer reigning in life. Paul has a major lust for power and glory which really comes through in his letters. To him the idea of us reigning through Christ is fabulous. But what does Christ think about us viewing ourselves as little kings and queens in life?

Christ is not just some stool we step on in order to get up to our thrones. Christ is God—the same God who told all of those parables about the importance of us submitting to our Gods. So no, reigning is the wrong goal for a Christian. Our Gods are already reigning, and They aren’t looking for assistants. They want servants. Well, Paul isn’t so into the servant package. Paul sees it like this: Christ was a human, just like us. Christ served Yahweh well on earth, and as a reward, He was given a mega promotion in eternity. Now Christ is basking in the glory and rolling in the power. Well, Paul is lusting after a piece of that action, which is why he talks about getting a share of Christ’s glory being the great reward for the believer.

Christ is your life, and when He comes again, you will share in His glory. (Col. 3:4)

Yahweh used the Good News that we preached to call you to be saved so you can share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thess. 2:14)

Since Paul views Christ as the current Gatekeeper to glory, he considers it essential to fawn over Christ on earth. You have to stay loyal and do your part to exalt Christ among humans, because then you’ll get to squeeze onto His throne when you reach eternity. Paul tells Timothy:

For if we have died with Christ, we will also live with Him; if we endure, we will also reign with Him. (2 Tim. 2:11-12)

It’s all about getting to reign in glory. Simply gaining salvation isn’t good enough. Paul wants the public exaltation.

This is why I endure all things for the elect: so that they also may obtain salvation, which is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. (2 Tim. 2:10)

And yet is this really what we should be going for? Certainly our Gods teach us that They are generous Rewarders of those who please Them, but the mature view is to consider Their pleasure to be the highest prize—not to fixate on being publicly exalted. What if you get to Heaven and it’s just you and Them in some private place? If They are pleased with you, do you really need anything else? Do you need to strut around in front of other created beings? Do you need some kind of territory assigned to you with subordinates who you can boss around? In the Church we talk a lot about those mansions and crowns in Heaven, but what are such things really worth? It is the commendation of our Gods that matters—it is hearing Them say “Well done.”

And the gift is not like Adam’s sin, because from one sin came the judgment, resulting in condemnation, but from many trespasses came the gift, resulting in justification. Since by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. (Rom. 5:16-17)

Notice how Paul says that “death reigned through that one man.” Well, no, Death is not a god. Death is not a ruler or a cognizant force. Death doesn’t reign. Death is the moment when God decides to separate a soul from its earthsuit and transfer that soul to another dimension. Here in this passage, Paul is setting Death up to be some kind of powerful entity which he’ll later have Christ struggling to conquer. This is absurd, idolatrous language. In Genesis, Yahweh says He’s going to kill Adam off at some point and Paul uses that language to invent a whole new god for himself. And what does Paul think Yahweh is doing while Death is reigning? Has Death locked Yahweh in a closet somewhere? Apparently so, since Paul has Death ruling over the Creation until the human Christ is finally created. The obvious implication is that Yahweh couldn’t find a way to beat Death on His own—He needed help. So He came up with human Christ to help Him beat Death into submission. Christ died on a cross, Yahweh raised Christ back to life. Then Christ went to Heaven, where Yahweh promoted Him as temporary manager over this Creation. Christ is now locked in a difficult duel with formidable Death, but He hasn’t won yet. According to Paul, we’ll know that Christ has won when Christ steps down off of His throne and hands all of His authority back to Yahweh.

For Christ must reign until He humbles all His enemies beneath His feet. And the last enemy to be destroyed is death. (1 Cor. 15:25-26)

And just in case you’re not yet convinced about what a Christ basher Paul is, let’s listen to Paul continue his thought on this business of Christ getting the boot from His current position of power.

For Christ must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For Yahweh “has put everything under his feet” [Ps. 8:6]. Now when it says that “everything” has been put under Christ, it is clear that this does not include Yahweh Himself, who put everything under Christ. And when everything is subject to Christ, then Christ Himself will be made subject to Yahweh who put everything under Christ, so that Yahweh may be all in all. (1 Cor. 15:25-28)

See how it works? Christ must bow down to Yahweh, because Christ is just a man. And to think that we’re actually naming our churches after “St. Paul.” Some of us even pray to the man, even though he so shamelessly bashes on our glorious Lords. So much for our leaders not leading us astray.

So then, as through one trespass there is condemnation for everyone, so also through one righteous act there is life-giving justification for everyone. (Rom. 5:18)

Now hold on—here’s another problem. Paul says that we’re all being condemned for Adam’s sin. But when does God ever say this? He doesn’t. Yahweh and Christ both teach that people are condemned for their own sins, not for the sins of others. No one is blaming you for what Adam and Eve did. No one is going to Hell because the first humans chose to embrace rebellious soul attitudes. People end up in Hell for refusing to submit to their Creators. Of course you can’t submit to Gods who you don’t even know, which is why those who die without ever being given the understanding they need to submit to God end up in Heaven. Think about that. Paul makes Yahweh out to be some unfair Jerk who is condemning everyone for something Adam did. Yet in the Bible we find Yahweh talking about an age of moral accountability and about children needing time to gain an understanding of right and wrong. In Ezekiel 18, Yahweh gets mad when snarky Jews accuse Him of punishing them for the sins of their fathers. Even when He’s doling out major discipline on large groups of defiant rebels, He makes a point to address those in the group who really care about Him and assure them that He isn’t just lumping them in with everyone else. Paul is grossly slandering Yahweh’s Character here in Romans 5 and making all kinds of nasty inferences about Yahweh emphasizing condemnation and punishment when Yahweh Himself has always said that He emphasizes mercy and compassion. Does Yahweh have a wrathful side? Absolutely. Hell is real, and it is terrifying. But to hear Paul tell it, Yahweh would gladly chuck a ton of innocent people into Hell in the midst of some angry fit over something their ancient ancestors did. Paul obviously doesn’t know the real Yahweh.

For just as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. (Rom. 5:19)

No, this is another lie. Adam did not make anyone else a sinner. Adam’s actions didn’t take away your ability to choose between obedience and rebellion. In your life, you are deciding for yourself how you want to respond to God and Adam has nothing to do with it. If God is ticked at you right now, it’s not because of what Adam did, it’s because you’re refusing to obey God’s clear convictions. If you’re in a good place with God right now, it’s not because Jesus came and died on a cross. It’s because you are choosing to submit to your Makers and sincerely desiring to please Them. Paul’s obsession with Adam’s sin and Jesus’ death is swinging him and everyone else way off course. Soul attitude is what you need to be focused on: your own soul attitude, not the attitudes of other humans.

…so also through the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. (Rom. 5:19)

Paul is talking about Christ here. But no, Christ doesn’t make anyone righteous. You have Paul to thank for this erroneous notion that you’re a “new creation in Christ.” Christ Himself never said He changed you into a different kind of being at salvation. That’s another fantasy that Paul cooked up, and then we’ve got John joining in the foolishness by saying that once we have “the seed of Christ” we are literally incapable of sinning.

Everyone who has been born of God does not sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he is not able to sin, because he has been born of God. This is how God’s children—and the Devil’s children—are made evident. (1 Jn. 3:9-10)

So then, do you sin? Of course you do. And according to John, you’re not saved, you don’t know Christ, you’re actually a child of the devil, and you’re going to Hell. Feeling despaired yet? And then there’s James: he’s another ray of sunshine as he callously orders humans to rid themselves “of all moral filth and evil” (James 1:21). Oh, and if you have anything less than rock solid faith, then Yahweh will turn His back on you, because apparently He hates doubters.

For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from Yahweh. (James 1:6-7)

In the Old Testament we find Yahweh patiently coaxing doubting Gideon into obedience by giving him one miraculous sign after another. We find Yahweh speaking gently to a despairing Elijah. We find Him constantly saying an encouraging “Do not be afraid” to humans who are trembling with anxious doubts. Yahweh is such a Sweetheart in the Old Testament, but then we get to the New Testament epistles and the early Christians make Him out to be a heartless Jerk who eagerly condemns anyone who falls short of His impossible expectations. What happened? Clearly there was some kind of disconnect happening between these men and God at the time they were writing their epistles. But of course you can’t disagree with them, or that just proves you’re of the devil. As John so arrogantly says:

We are from God. Anyone who knows God listens to us; anyone who is not from God does not listen to us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1 Jn. 4:6)

Today in the Church we continue this fine tradition of slapping the “heretic” label on anyone who dares to contradict the great apostles. Well, sometimes the heretic label is valid. But are we taking the time to ask God for His opinion before we pass judgment? Are you asking God as you examine this material? We certainly don’t claim to have the perfection of God, but we can certainly make a good case that there is a major discrepancy between what the New Testament boys are saying about God and what God says about Himself in the biblical records. Our purpose in pointing out these contradictions to you is to make you aware of them so that you can then ask God for clarification. We need to stop burying the lies behind this baloney about every word in the Bible being “infallible, inerrant and Divinely inspired.” It is extremely errant to suggest that Yahweh condemns people for sins they haven’t committed—Yahweh Himself says so right inside the Book. So are we going to believe Paul or are we going to believe Yahweh? We are forced to pick one over the other because the two are not saying the same thing.

The law came along to multiply the trespass. But where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness, resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom. 5:20-21)

Sin is not an entity. Sin doesn’t reign any more than Death does. Grace doesn’t reign, either. Paul needs to stop creating new gods for himself and stick with the real Gods. Yahweh reigns. Jesus reigns—and not just temporarily. The Holy Spirit reigns. We have three Gods, and eternal salvation is granted as a reward for sufficient soul submission to all three of Them. By the time Paul is done whipping up the sin of Adam into some epic offense that we’re all being condemned for, there is enormous confusion among Christians about how God judges us. If you struggle today with the fear that God is very hard to succeed with, reading through the New Testament really isn’t going to help you put those fears to rest. Instead of putting your trust in men who so grossly misrepresent your Creators, you need to ask Them directly for clarification.

“God, teach me Your unadulterated truth. I want to know You and get untangled from any lies about You that I’m currently putting my faith in. Help me to know You better and to understand how I can succeed with You. Make me all that You want me to be.”

Praying a prayer like this is far more useful than slogging through the messy book of Romans. We progress with our Gods by embracing the soul attitudes that They say please Them. Reverence. Submission. Dependency. Trust. Focusing on these things is going to take you a lot farther than committing a bunch of Paul’s misleading ideas to memory. So decide who it is you want to please in life, and then go directly to that source. If you want the apostle Paul to be your idol, then go ahead and waste your life obsessing over his material. But if you want to please the real Gods, then you need to stop confusing Them with a dead apostle and a collection of historical documents. Go direct. Submit yourself fully into Their hands, then trust that They will reward your desire to know Them better.

FURTHER READING:
Romans 6: Paul Baptizes Christians Into Despair
Salvation According to Paul: If You Sin, You’re Damned (Romans 7-8)
Romans 8: Pretty Promises for Perfect People
Understanding Divine Election: Jacob I Loved, Esau I Hated (Malachi 1 & Romans 9)
Romans 13: How should Christians respond to governing authorities?
Beyond Atonement: Understanding the True Purpose of the Cross
Jesus vs. the NT Jews: What it Means to Please God
Learning from Yahweh: What It Means To Be Holy

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