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Discussion in 'Religion' started by HollyGolightly, Jun 28, 2014.
Feast day tomorrow - word up
....what about Mary?....they were a great trio....
Undoer of Knots
I used to go to St. Pete's and Paul's when I was in Springfield, Illinois. I liked the church. It had a kind of double-prominence facade that I thought was interesting.
The older I got, the less I cared for the Paul stuff, though. I thought he was hung up and wired too tight. I sometimes wonder if that heralded the transition of the early church from love-and-devotion groups to a more rigid, hierarchical structure.
I prefer St. Peter myself. The gospel of Mark (presumed to be Peter's personal story, dictated to Mark) is my favorite of the gospels. No underlying agenda or group it was supposed to appeal to: it's the brief story of a humbled man whose life was profoundly changed.
I'm lector tonight - whew, that first reading is long. I love both of these guys. I went into RCIA with the attitude that I was just trying to see what I had allowed my children to be baptized into - I would NOT convert. But something started happening to me during this journey. I felt kind of like St. Paul on the road to Damascus - complete struck, unable to continue on as I had been. I know that sounds dramatic, but it was so life changing for me.
Our priest gave a very good sermon regarding the unlikely backgrounds of both saints yesterday. Paul (Saul) being an early persecutor of Christians and the "bullheadedness" of Peter were very interesting.
Especially his uptightness with sex and gender issues. I frankly think he retarded the church's healthy development by centuries.
If i got to chose definitely St. Peter. I've always disliked Paul for his big influence on the church in question like female priests and his female shall be silent quote (don't remember which letter) is some thing i think Jesus would strongly have disagreed with if he had had a chance. If it had been he who had been asked if they should stone that poor woman i have a feeling that he wouldn't have said he who are without sin shall throw the first stone. Jesus was a much more tolerant person than paul ever was and it shows in the churchs evolution. In my opinion that is.
Paul just needed a little more time to mellow out. But I get what you're saying.
I have an irreverent and mildly crude response on what Paul needed, but I'll refrain for fear of being offensive and offputting.
I hear ya, friend! You're right - I imagine that's exactly what Sai Paul needed!
Sorry Gramps, but I don't agree with your comments regarding Paul's "retarding" of the church's traditions. Those traditions were valid for two thousand years--it's only been since Vatican II that the traditions have been violated, in my opinion for the worse.
And having lived through Catholicism from pre-Vatican II to current times, I can't agree, John.
In Acts, you have early Christians dividing up their possessions among themselves, living communally, and spreading their word not so much as God's annointed and appointed, but as fellow humans who were sincere in their beliefs.
Paul comes along. Now he encourages hierarchy. Women aren't supposed to teach or hold authority. Sex is bad, and oh, boy, did that guilt about sex ever not serve the church well. You can't divorce; sorry if you're miserable. There's a reemphasis of spreading charity to abiding by particular rules (men can't cover their heads when they pray; women must) and from the rewards of belief to fire-and-brimstone if you don't.
This system of rule-making and hierarchy worked so well that when the church solidified under the orders of the state, all books deemed noncanonical were destroyed, regardless of their historical, entertainment, or dogmatic value. You had the Great Schism, resulting in the deaths of thousands, a schism that continues to this day. You had the Reformation, resulting in the deaths of thousands, a schism of many parts that continues to this day. You had the attempted repression of scientific progress. You had persecutions and crusades of horrific means. Even up through the 20th Century, you had people killing each other for whether they recognized the Pope, or not.
I guess I don't see the traditions as valid as you do. I think the church would have been much better served with a more communal, egalitarian approach, with conversion through persuasion rather than conquest, with an emphasis to loving thy neighbor rather than punishing thee heretic, and a dogma that encouraged discussion rather than blind adherence, and with the intelligence and capability of 50% of the population (women) contributing to the talent and brain pool.
Just my thoughts.
We'll have to agree to disagree on this one.
Certainly! We knew that from the get-go, and that's quite all right. I was just establishing my analytic basis for how I feel.
John, I keep pulling myself back from the precipice of further discussion, but I'm just really curious, as happens with me when I list out (what I think are) solid reasonings for my opinions and I get a shrug back and a "I disagree." Well, yeah.... but why? I'm open to changing my mind, because I've sure done it enough times in the past. But if I don't have the data, there's no reason to.
So do you think that it's best for the church to have male-only authority?
Or to suppress scientific pursuit when it's contradictory to dogma?
Or for the church to establish dogma through "I said so" hierarchy rather than more communal discussion?
Or that it's best to inveigh against sex except as when necessary in marriage?
Or that people deemed heretics should be repressed and their writings destroyed?
And while those might seem largely as "gotcha" questions, they're not intended that way. Indeed, those are the very things I was alluding to in my post above, and with the only response being, "I disagree," it kinda leads me to the default conclusion that I guess you do agree with all that.
And of course, there's no requirement to jump into the discussion. You voiced fairly simple disagreement, and I'm wondering what your foundation is for it. But if it's not something that you wish to discuss, that's the way it goes.
Grandpa, may I ask whether your argument is with St. Paul on the above topics, or with the modern church? You know that I'm not a shouter and I don't fight online, but I'm genuinely curious. If it's with St. Paul, yeah, I gotcha. He was a bully before the "scales fell from his eyes on the road to Damascus", and he didn't change much after. Though there is truth and solid teaching in his epistles, there's also a fair amount of his own personal and social biases. Still, if your argument is with the modern church, you may be mistaking practices of the misinformed with actual church catechism.
Keep in mind, I'm in no way answering for John--I'm a standard Roman Catholic and he's an follower of a branch that adheres to a Pius (I think Pius X, but I could be misremembering).
Skimom, I see Paul as being a foundational problem with not just the modern church but with church legacy, and I tried to imply that in my allusion to the councils of Hippo and Nicea, crusades, inquisitions, and the strict male dominance throughout. I didn't even go into stuff like selling indulgences and the Medici Popes.
I think a lot of intolerance and rigidity stems from the Paul approach. I think it's a defect in the church DNA. Dignum et justum non est.
Not to disagree with you but don't you think that we should separate the points you mentioned above. Some do stem from Paul as the male authority and the sex but the suppressing of scientific facts is a much later thing that has to do with the church stand many centuries in the future. The same with heretics and the destroying of writings. Even if he made a stand about his interpretation of christianity Paul didn't destroy others writings or heretics. These things didn't start to happen in a marked way until the church decided at Niceae in 323 what was christianity. When constantine made it state religion in the roman Empire. That was when the church got enough power to start that kind of actions. Since Paul been dead for over 250 years then we cant blame him for it. Just a try to nuance the discussion you opened up, not to defend Paul. It is possible Paul would have come down on the "wrong" side in these later conflicts as well but he didn't encounter down in his lifetime. But i think you are right in thinking that Pauls influence on the later church is huge.