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Question 64.
Hello Fr. Christopher,
I don't know if this question will be in your ball park! First I will give you a little of my back ground so you don't think I am some kind of crack pot. I had a Roman Catholic grade school education first grade to the eight from the Sisters of Saint Joseph. I took some course on all the Great Religions of the world. I have done much reading on Jewish history from the Bible stand point to just history of the time. I have read much on the Jesus movement and about the first group in Jerusalem to the spreading of it and from the beginning how many groups there were. My way of thinking meaning today people call themselves Christians meaning the teachings of Jesus of which are very hard to understand, because only those close to Him did he really explain things to. Many are called but few are chosen. I believe the Churches today should be called Pauline. What they preach is Paulineism.

OK to the question. There is this person that lives in Odessa Ukraine he talks like he had a direct phone line to God. He has a University and teaches the revolution of the mined. I have seen his kind here in the States before and the bottom line is dollars. He states that Jesus the whole story is a Church lie. He states Jesus lived in Odessa died by fire and is buried there. Now I have heard some things in my life but, never this. I believe first he is a crack pot and an alarmist when it comes to world matters. As far as Religion goes what he talks about is like he came from another world.
Could you please tell me if you have ever heard of a story like this before or is this some new kind of movement?
Sincerely,
Charley.
God Bless.

 

Answer to Question 64.

Dear Charley,
It is true that much of what we understand about Christianity came to us from St. Paul who was the Apostle to the Gentiles, but Paul did not preach his own gospel but the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If his teaching was not in accord to Christ’s teaching, the Church would never have accepted his Epistles to be added to the canon of the Bible. You say that much of Jesus’ teachings are hard to understand because he only explained what he meant to those close to him, meaning the Apostles, but he explained to the Apostles precisely so that they could in turn pass this on to others. Also Christ said that he “will pray to the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever. Even the Spirit of Truth” (John 14: 16) and “the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things” (John 14: 26).
The Bible therefore is not complete in teaching us everything that we need to know. There is also the teaching we received from the Holy Spirit which is found within the Church and in Holy Tradition which supplement the Gospels. This of course is only valid if you believe what Christ said and that the Holy Spirit was sent and guided the Church into all truth. Do we believe in what Christ said or not? Was the Holy Spirit sent or wasn’t he? These are questions concerning faith and either we believe or we don’t. Is it so hard to believe that if the Holy Spirit was given to the Church, then could not this same Spirit (which is God) have taught Paul the full meaning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Even in the Old Testament before the Spirit was sent into the world, “holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:20)
You say that you believe that Churches today should be called Pauline because what they preach is Paulineism. We call ourselves Christians because we follow and worship Christ who is God. We would never call ourselves after a mere man even if he was a Great Apostle. Paul himself says: “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.” (2 Cor. 4:5)
During Paul’s time there were some who tried to divide themselves into groups of followers calling themselves by the names of certain apostles. Paul distinctly told them: “Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.” (1 Cor. 1: 12-15)

As to your question about the person that lives in Odessa Ukraine, I think you summed it up when you said he is a crackpot. There are many strange sects around who teach strange and weird things and even claim to be Christian, but this is the first time I have heard that Jesus lived in Odessa and that he died there by fire. Many unfounded things have been said about Christ by people who want to discredit the Christian faith or want to attract some attention to themselves. We should not take them seriously and shouldn’t waste our time with their stupidity, for as St. Paul again tells us: “there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (Gal. 1: 7-9)

With love in Christ
Fr, Christopher