If You Are Not Following Paul, Then You Are Not Following Jesus

Whose words have more weight? The words of Jesus Christ or the words of the Apostle Paul? This is the question that many Christian feminists pose to us as Bible believing Christians.  Yesterday Lori Alexander published an interesting article on her Transformed Wife blog entitled “Do Not Be a Red Letter Christian” were she addressed a statement by the Christian feminist Beth Moore which goes as follows:

“No, I was not subtweeting the apostle but I would like to say something here. I believe wholeheartedly that ALL Scripture is inspired by God. Authoritative. Truth. But the persons themselves – Paul and Jesus – are not equals. I know this is hard for some to swallow, but Paul is not our Savior. Paul would be horrified, I believe, by the way he has been deified.”

Lori then pointed out the problem with Beth’s statement:

“This is a very slippery slope, dear women. I know too many people who have begun elevating the words of Jesus in the Bible over Paul’s words and end up walking away from the faith altogether. I know no one who has deified the apostle Paul, do you? I do know that his words are as valuable as Jesus’ words since the Holy Spirit used Paul to write what he wrote (2 Timothy 3:16).”

Lori also pointed out some responses by some Christian teachers to Beth Moore’s statement:

“James White wrote this about Beth’s tweet, “All egalitarians end up diminishing Paul’s authority. It is a necessary step, even if taken in slow, little movements.”
Another man wrote, “Being a ‘red-lettered’ Christian is dangerous. You’re on a path towards liberalism, if you’re not already there yet.”

The last statement is where Lori got her title “Do Not Be a Red Letter Christian”.

The Gospel is the Most Important Doctrine in All the Bible

I have said it many times on this blog.  Believing in and practicing the doctrines of Biblical gender roles will not save you.  This is why on the main menu for this blog right at the top I have a link to my article entitled “What is the Gospel?” and in that article I give the Gospel as follows.

The word “gospel” literally means “good news”.  The Apostle Paul tells us in his epistle to the Roman Christians what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about:

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” – Romans 10:9-10 (KJV)”

And then I give what we must do to be saved according to the Scriptures:

  1. We must confess that we have sinned against God. (I John 1:9)
  2. We must believe that Christ died and rose again to pay the penalty for our sins. (Romans 10:9 -10)
  3. We must believe that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh, the sinless and spotless Son of God. (Philippians 2:5-8)

The Gospel truly is the most important doctrine in the Bible for two reasons.  The first is that it is the only doctrine we must fully understand and fully believe to inherit eternal life.  If we disbelieve any part of the Gospel, we will one day find ourselves in a place called hell.  The second reason that the Gospel is the most important doctrine in the Bible is because only when we have believed and been indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God can we live the life God has called us to live through his power.  We cannot transform ourselves and we cannot live the life he has called us to live in our power – we need him each and ever day of our lives.

However, just because the Gospel is the MOST important doctrine in the Bible does not mean it is the ONLY important doctrine in the Bible.  The Scriptures tell us in 2 Corinthians 5:15 “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again”.  We were not saved to live for ourselves and do whatever makes us happy, we were saved to live for Christ!  This then leads us to our next question.

How Do We Live for Christ?

In the Gospel of Luke Christ tells us how we are to live him:

“And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”

Luke 4:4 (KJV)

Living for Christ is living by “every word of God”.

This leads us to our next question.

What is the Word of God?

Jesus made the following statement about the Word of God:

“17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:17-19 (KJV)

In the passage above Jesus alludes to the moral law of God found throughout the Old Testament.  Those who think they can throw out the Old Testament will be called least in the kingdom of God, that is what Christ said.

Jesus gave authority and supernatural power to his Apostles to speak and write the very Word of God.

“18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”

Matthew 28:18-19 (KJV)

And he gave the following warning for those who would not hear the words of his Apostles:

“14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. 15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.”

Matthew 10:14-15 (KJV)

The Words of the Prophets, Christ and His Apostles Are All Equal in Authority

In Hebrews 3:3 the Scriptures tell us concerning Christ that “For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house” .   And Apostle Paul speaking of Christ in Philippians 2:9 wrote “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name”.

Believing that the words of the Prophet Moses and the Apostle Paul are equal in authority to Jesus’s words is not “deifying” Moses or Paul or placing them above Christ.  It is simply a recognition of the truth that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).

To all the Beth Moore Christian feminists out there, while it is true that “Paul and Jesus – are not equals” it is true that the words of Christ and the words of Paul ARE equal.  Why? Because Jesus stated of himself “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30) meaning he was God in the flesh.

The Word of God, all of it from Genesis to Revelation is Christ’s Words.  That means Moses’s Words as recorded in the Scriptures are Christ’s Words.  That means the Apostle Paul’s Words as recorded in the Scriptures are Christ’s Words.   So, it is for this reason that every letter in the Bible should be considered a “red letter”.

Babes in Christ Who Don’t Know Paul’s Words

The Bible encourage us to grow in our faith and go further than our just understanding the Gospel and repentance:

“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby”

1 Peter 2:2 (KJV)

“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.”

Hebrews 6:1-2 (KJV)

We are called to “go unto perfection” which means “completeness”.  In other words, we need to have a complete understanding of God’s will and plan for our lives and then by his power live out that plan.

Some people don’t reject the doctrines of gender roles.  They simply don’t know them because our churches have failed in their duty to teach “all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27).

And this is the reason God burden me to start this ministry more than five years ago to stand in this gap that most churches have left and he has truly blessed this ministry.  If you would have told me when I started this blog 5 years ago that this blog would reach more than 8 million views, I would not have believed you.

It is so encouraging for me to hear from young Christians for whom God has used this ministry to literally change the course of their lives.  Over the 5 years I have had this ministry, I have seen numerous young women quit college to become home makers as God has intended them to do.  Just last week I had a young woman write me telling me that she had dropped out of college where she had just begun pursuing a degree in law to pursue being a wife and homemaker.  And just in the last week I was so encouraged to hear from a young 17-year-old man who was standing for Biblical gender roles in his church youth group taking other teens through the doctrines of Biblical gender roles as shown in the Bible.

And this is why it is so important that we as Christians disciple and teach other believers in these important doctrines.  Yes, you can be saved without knowing or believing in the doctrine of Biblical gender roles, but you cannot live a holy life or the life God has called you to live without knowing and incorporating these doctrines into your life decisions.

Blasphemers Who Know What God Spoke Through the Apostle Paul

But some people are not babes in Christ who simply don’t know about the doctrine of Biblical gender roles that was given by the inspiration of God through Paul.  Some are ignorant regarding the concept of the inerrancy the Scriptures, that all the Bible is the Word of God.  Others blaspheme and distort it because they refuse to live by what it says.

The Apostle Peter warned of such ignorant blasphemers in the following passage:

“15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”

2 Peter 3:15-16 (KJV) 

And the Apostle Paul also stated that those who reject God’s role for women are blaspheming the Word of God:

“4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Titus 2:4-5 (KJV)

So yes, based upon the Word of God we must see Beth Moore as an ignorant blasphemer for falsely pitting the words of Christ while he walked this earth against the words Christ which he gave to the Apostle Paul after he ascended to heaven.

Beth Moore stated that “Paul would be horrified” by Christians ascribing the same value to the Word God gave him as the Word Christ spoke while he walked this earth.  Well we know how Paul would feel about this because he told us so in his first letter to the Thessalonians:

 “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”

1 Thessalonians 2:13 (KJV)

Rather than being horrified, he would be thankful.  But you know what Paul would be horrified by? He tells us that in his first letter to the Corinthians:

“34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (KJV)

The Apostle Paul would be horrified and ashamed to see Beth Moore standing in a pulpit preaching to men.  He would be ashamed of her teachings telling women they do not have to be under obedience to men in all areas of their lives especially in the church and in the home.

If You Are Not Following Paul, then You are not Following Jesus

Another ignorant, blaspheming feminist blogger wrote that when Lori Alexander warned against the dangers of elevating “the words of Jesus in the Bible over Paul’s words” instead of treating them equally that she was saying “Don’t Follow Jesus, Just Follow Paul”.

Just listen to her ignorance and blasphemy on full display:

“Let that sink in for a moment. Jesus, the figurehead of everything to do with Christianity, a religious named for him. A man that suggested you should be nice to everyone, and hung out with prostitutes, tax collectors, fishermen and others society sneered at. God in the flesh according to the Bible, part of the Holy Trinity, yet Lori is telling you to ignore his words and rely on the words of someone who never even met Jesus? That is just wacky!”

Jesus is no more “the figurehead” of Christianity than a husband is “the figurehead” of his wife.  He is “the head of the church” as “the husband is the head of the wife” according to Ephesians 5:23. Lori’s warning against “elevating the words of Jesus in the Bible over Paul’s words” said nothing about ignoring Christ’s Words.  She was saying they should be treated equally. It is this ignorant, blaspheming feminist blogger who ignores even the words of Christ when he told us we must listen to the words of his Apostles.

And this feminist blogger displays her ignorance yet again in saying Paul was “someone who never even met Jesus”. Has she not read Acts 9:1-6? Or she is rejecting Luke’s account as well?

She also makes the false statement that Christ and the Apostle Paul had “radically different takes toward women” in the following statement:

Funny how Paul and Jesus have such radically different takes towards women. Jesus talked to women like they were equals, equally valuable in the eyes of God, not walking, cooking, cleaning uteri.”

Really? Did Christ view women as social equals to men? Do you see any women listed among the twelve apostles in the Scripture passage below?

“1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. 2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.”

Matthew 10:1-4 (KJV)

And surely if Christ was such a feminist, he would have chosen a woman to replace Judas but he goes and replaces him with the Apostle Paul, another man.

Some feminists point to the story of Mary and Martha below to falsely saying Christ was a feminist:

“38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. 40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:38-42 (KJV)

It is true that Jesus did break many social taboos of the Jews by talking with tax collectors and others of lower social classes.  His encouragement for women to sit and hear his words alongside of men most likely would have broken some taboos of the Jews as well.

But the question is this. Did he do anything that was “radically different” than Paul? Did He teach anything that would contradict what Paul would later write under the inspiration of God? The answer is no.

Did he ask Mary to lead the teaching? No. But rather the Scriptures tell us she simply listened and “heard his word”.

Jesus never encouraged women to teach, but rather it was the Apostle Paul which encouraged women to teach other women:

“3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Titus 2:3-5 (KJV)

Paul even singled out a woman and her husband who had a church in their home:

“3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: 4 Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. 5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well-beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.”

Romans 16:3-5 (KJV)

Does the Apostle Paul sound like some misogynist hater of women and is his approach to women so “radically different” than Christ’s? The answer based on the Bible is no.

Conclusion

The Apostle Paul wrote almost half of the books of the New Testament with his 14 epistles.  To ignore his teachings as the inspired Word of God equal to what is recorded in the Gospels is to have an incomplete and ignorant view of God.

It is patently absurd to say that if Christ did not speak on a topic, that we can ignore clear teachings on that topic found elsewhere in the Bible.  To do such a thing is to tear down the entire inerrancy of the Scriptures.  It is also an inconsistent position for those who hold it.

You cannot say you live only by the words of Christ during his earthly ministry while ignoring the words of the prophets before him or his Apostles after him. In the Gospels Christ said that you must live by the Word of God given through the prophets and the Word of God given through his Apostles together with his Word which then forms the complete Word of God.

As the Apostle Paul said so let us be.

“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.”

1 Corinthians 11:1 (KJV)