The church today is confronted with an ideology, fairly novel, but which can be traced to the early Patristic period which is an ideology of skepticism against Paul. I sympathize a lot with this movement as the teachings of Paul have serious implications as pertains to the Gospel Yeshua preached, and these people fear it gives rise to contradictions, which is my fear as well. Paul puts himself in a place I would greatly fear going and I believe you would too, as there is one conspicuous teaching of his that stands out above all others that I think has deep ramifications as to whether Paul truly was an apostle or not. The biggest problem I have with Paul and one that scholarship has as of yet failed to offer sufficient defense for is his teaching on meats sacrificed to idols. If this can be proven then much of the suspicions will be alleviated.
Paul teaches explicitly in I Corinthians 8 that eating this meat is okay but the bigger concern is causing our brother to stumble. I agree that we have a higher obligation to our brother than we do in eating something because it makes us feel good about ourselves, or fit into a size 4 for the first time since graduating high school. But that Paul would stop in saying that this was the only implication in eating it and emphasizing that we can in good conscience, if our conscience does not forbid us.
The church skips over this completely because of the teaching on unclean meats. The church logic goes that according to Mark 7 and Acts 11 those prohibitions were overturned, and so therefore there is no reason for anyone to suspect that basically there might be something seriously wrong with what Paul wrote. To them, it is simply another edifice removed in scaling back the prohibitions of the law.
^^This is very important to understand why it is ignored and why most don't know there is even a question there.^^
For the sake of the discussion at hand, and not for the one we will have at a more appropriate time, let me cede to you the point that you are right in those things, that the unclean meats are now fit for acceptance. My argument stands not changed, because of the verdict at the Jerusalem council. In Acts 15, there is some disagreement as to the role of circumcision and secondly what the Gentiles were expected to do as basic requirements of the faith. It seemed good to the Holy Spirit that circumcision not be impressed upon them, but that the abstinence from blood, things strangled, fornication, and of great concern to us is the abstinence from things sacrificed to idols.
Does this give rise to some concern? How is it that Paul is being issued an order to not teach on eating this as a holy duty before God yet he would suggest that if your conscience is clear, eat it any way?
Why does Yeshua to the church at Thyatira in Revelation 2 said that they had suffered those who taught that this food was permissible to eat, calling it the sin of Balaam, who lead the Israelites astray teaching them to eat this food.
I am not open to being closed-minded. Notice that I am not closed to being open because I struggle in answering this question. I wish that some great prophet or my friend David could give me a deep insight into this question that shuts the book on this question once and for all and that God could use me to reach out to this anti-Paul crowd, a field ripe for harvest but laborers few. They are incredibly hard to reach because their questions were not gathered in a second or a fleeting thought, but that are deep biblical questions that few can answer. If this script of theirs be false, then there must be answers and we must reach them.