Happily married since the Reagan Administration.
Except for the Book of Hebrews, there is very little debate about who wrote which epistle, or indeed any of the New Testament.
The Apostle Paul was by far the most prolific writer of epistles, but there were several others. No serious literary, Biblical, or historical scholar disputes any of that.
No offense taken. What you wrote is just one of the many common misconceptions about Christianity, and I wanted to set the record straight.
About half the epistles were penned by the Apostle Paul, and the other half were written by other people, but there's no real dispute about the identities of those writers (except for the aforementioned Book of Hebrews).
Nobody questions that there were different writers. Most of the letters were signed, after all. Several of them knew each other. At one point Paul tells a matter of doctrine where he personally set the Apostle Peter straight, and both men wrote epistles.
It's just not true that half the epistles have unknown authorship. The Book of Hebrews is up for debate, but nobody questions its inspiration, and it lines up with what the rest of the books say.
As for the idea that:
Christians historically followed what was written in the Epistles and attributed to Paul, choosing to disregard Old Testament teachings they didn't like, rather than follow God/Jesus
That's a common misrepresentation of what Christians believe... and the words of Jesus Himself as recorded by eyewitnesses. For that, you have to understand the purpose of those teachings, especially the Levitical Law. The law was never meant to be permanent: it served a specific purpose for a specific time period, and that time ended on Resurrection Sunday, 32 A.D..
The principles upon which the law were based remain in effect, but the ritualistic observances no longer had any point. The Law was a "schoolmaster" to foreshadow the Messiah. (Entire books have been written about this: it's infinitely more complex than, "Christians like bacon.") Once the Messiah's mission was accomplished the rituals found in the Levitical Law had no further purpose to serve, which is why we don't do them. "Liking" has exactly nothing to do with it.
Jesus Himself, as well as some of the writers of the epistles, were adamant about the fact that believers were to go beyond the Law... not by externally observing rituals whose purpose has already been served, but by internalizing that state of grace and manifesting it in our lves.
Nobody questions the Ten Commandments, after all, which actually preceded the Levitical Law.Read More
You're missing the point that @houseoftolstoy and I are making, and it's encapsulated in your assertion that, "I'm technically a christian."
No... you are not. A Christian is a follower of Christ who has accepted His sacrifice as the payment for his/her sins. There is no infant baptism in Christianity because Christianity requires a conscious choice to follow Christ. Even churches that practice infant baptism either out of a sense of tradition or because they adhere to false doctrine don't assert that it confers salvation if you reject it as an adult. Having Christian grandparents is utterly irrelevant to your standing, too. As for going to religious classes... you said that you don't accept that what you learned in those classes is true. Sitting in a church or a catechism class doesn't make you a Christian any more Christian than sitting in your garage would make you a Buick. Also, religious observance is not something you do because of "tradition." That's just play-acting. Who's the audience?
Again, such distinctions may seem trivial or even foolish to a non-believer, but that's because a non-believer cannot really understand their significance.
I will also echo what Tolstoy wrote about non-religious marriage. There is literally no point to it. Marriage legitimized sex... because fornication is a sin... because God says it's a sin. That's it.
If you don't believe in God then the entire rationale for marriage disappears... you might as well just live together. Like Tolstoy said, I also have repeatedly stated that if the state that issued my marriage license informed me that the license was invalid, my wife and I would not be any less married than we are.
Having said all that, it's telling that @moorecom pointed you to Tolstoy and me. We are different, but the reason why we're different makes all the difference. There's something in you telling you to seek out (a younger version of) men like us. You're not going to find any where you're looking, because of those reasons.
Should you start attending a solid church to find a husband? No. You should attend a solid church to set you on the path toward salvation. If you find a good husband as a result, it's a win-win for you. (Or rather a WIN-win: eternal > temporary. )Read More
While I appreciate the plug, note that Tolstoy and I are both the way we are because of our Christianity. Guys like us are rare even in churches... and we're basically non-existent anywhere else. I would no more have married an atheist than an Irish Wolfhound. I wouldn't even have married a Roman Catholic, and they're "Christian Adjacent."
(There is a lot more daylight between "Sola Scriptura" Protestants and "The Pope is the Vicar of Christ" Catholics than most people realize. In some ways the Sunni / Shia divide within Islam is similar in concept: one side says that scripture is complete and the other says that new revelation can still supercede older revelation.)
Such distinctions may seem trivial to a non-believer, but guys like us take religious compatibility very seriously.
It's hard for serious Christian girls to get guys like us with strict sexual mores... out there among men who practice little or no religion? That's like finding a winning lottery ticket on the sidewalk.Read More
@lurkerhasarisen I've been following the news about Ukraine through various alternative sources, my usual MO on controversial topics to somewhat triangulate on what the actual truth and facts are in a sea of competing special interests and biased (no matter how hard they try not to be) sources.
Between talking with average unplugged people and checking the CNN website for the "official mainstream news/Party Line" take, it's quite frightening how little most Americans actually know about this conflict, much less recognize the seriousness and implications much less the very fact that we're in a proxy shooting war with RUSSIA RIGHT NOW.
Buckle up, boys... this may get bumpy.
Victoria Nuland, who is at the center of every war, was in Kiev on Thursday. She said that the big Ukraine offensive had been in the planning stage for the past four to five months.
On Thursday, the US Secretary of State for political affairs, Victoria Nuland, told an audience in Kiev that Washington has been helping plan the Ukrainian counter-offensive against Russia for almost half a year.
I have no objections to leaving it up.
@lurkerhasarisen @Lone_Ranger dammit you two! If you're going to steal my thunder, at least post it to the #WNB tribe!
(ball-busting aside, yes, I'll use what you two have said so far)
Happily married since the Reagan Administration.