What did the apostle Paul teach that makes so many cringe to this very day? It must have been something very terrible, so we best examine his teaching (Acts 17:11). We know he was opposed to unsound preaching (2 Tim. 4:3,4 f; Tit. 1:10,11; 2:1). He was in favor of sound preaching and it was that kind that he did (1 Cor. 2:2 f; 2 Tim. 4:2).
Paul was in favor of cooperation. He believed in working with God (2 Cor. 6:1). He received money directly from churches for his support in preaching the gospel (2 Cor. 11:8) He believed that churches could send funds to churches whose members were in physical distress (Acts 11:27-30 f; 1 Cor. 16:1-4). Paul was opposed to a sponsoring church, the elders of one church overseeing the work of another church or churches. He admonished the elders at Ephesus to mind their own affairs when he told them in Acts 20:28, “Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock in which the Holy Spirit hath made you bishops. ”
Paul was in favor of Christians helping all men and he urged them to do so (Gal. 6:10). He was aware of each individual’s responsibility. He was opposed to the church’s assuming the obligation of unlimited benevolence because he taught that the church was to help needy saints (Acts 11:27-30 f; 1 Cor. 16:1-4), but that not even all needy saints were to be wards of the church. He limited the church support of widows to those of certain qualifications (1 Tim. 5:3-16). Paul was for benevolence but he was opposed to the church engaging in unlimited benevolence.
Paul was not opposed to eating, but he was opposed to such as promoted by the church for entertainment (Rom. 14:17). There is no indication that Paul was averse to wholesome recreation, but he did not promote it as a work of the church. He understood what the work of the church is and his preaching was characterized by Jesus Christ and him crucified (1 Cor. 2:2). Paul was not opposed to recreation, entertainment, and eating in their proper places, but he was opposed to them as the work of the church. He did not regard them as “fellowship” to be found in Christ.
Paul was against women do the work of men and men doing the work of women. He commanded men to preach, to teach, and to lead (Mk 16:16 f; Mt 28:19,20; Acts 20:28). He commanded women to submit, to guide, and to be silent Eph 5:22 ff; 1 Tim 5:14; 1 Cor 14:33-40). We live in a time when both men and women are doing the same things. To this end, both men and women have rebelled against the teaching of Paul. Yet, Paul acknowledges that his teaching is not of himself but of Christ (Gal 1:11,12).
You may hate Paul, but you can never deny his authority. All new testament Christians continued in the apostle’s doctrine (Acts 2:42). The apostle Peter verified that the words which Paul wrote to the churches were scripture (2 Pet 3:16). All scripture was given by the inspiration of God (2 Tim 3:16,17). He challenged all to study and rightly divide God’s Word, and examine their own self by the scripture (2 Cor 13:5). Paul was not the troublemaker, he was the messenger of Jesus Christ. The only way to erase the teaching of Paul is to erase more than half of the new testament. In fact, if you can’t obey the words of the apostle Paul, you can’t be or remain a Christian.