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Tony Grist

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On The Feast Of The Conversion Of St. Paul [Jan. 25th, 2009|12:13 pm]
Tony Grist
The visiting priest who has taken the morning service these past two weeks is the non-stipendiary curate at  St Anne's- the church where I used to be vicar. He arrived after my time and doesn't seem to recognise me- though he must have seen my portrait on the vestry wall back home. He keeps talking about St. Annes. It's not quite a case of "of all the gin joints in all the world"- because St. Anne's is only a couple of miles away-  but it does mean I'm continually being brought up against my (in)glorious past. Maybe the Goddess wants it this way.

Ailz finds it perfectly easy to meld her Paganism and her Christianity. As soon as we're settled in our pew she mentally erects a little side altar to the Goddess- and she's happy.  "All Gods are one God and all Goddesses are one Goddess". I believe that too. Gods and Goddesses are just masks for a Divine Reality we're incapable of picturing. Still, there's rather a lot of stuff in the service that isn't to my taste- and especially all that harping on and on about Jesus.  One of the great things about Paganism is you're not always staring at the One Mask. You're allowed to swap them around. It can be Hercules one week, Aphrodite the next.  Jesus is lovely: I just can't be doing with him all the time.

We were celebrating our patronal festival this morning- The Conversion of St. Paul.  I'm not one of those who think Paul was a disaster for Christianity. For one thing Christianity would probably not exist without him. And for another he's not necessarily responsible for the "Pauline" teachings that make modern people want to spit. For example: I Timothy, 2, 12-  "I do not suffer a woman to teach etc..." Did he write that?  Probably not. The Epistles to Timothy and Titus are almost certainly forgeries.

[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-01-25 03:33 pm (UTC)
I think that's right. The Jerusalem faction- headed by James, the Lord's brother (whoever he was)- seems to have been no more than a tiny, Jewish sect- which left to itself would probably have died out. It was Paul who took the "faith" out into the world- and is therefore to be accounted the true founder of Christianity.

I don't think Paul was a misogynist. One of his authentic teachings states that "in Christ there is... neither male nor female"- and there is evidence he had female co-workers- Prisca for instance. The teachings that have given him a bad name are mostly (if not entirely- it's a long time since I studied this stuff) from corrupt and forged texts like the Epistles to Timothy.
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