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HollyW

God's Kingdom Rules

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On 10/15/2016 at 10:15 AM, JW Insider said:

Sorry. I don't read long posts.

I don't either :D:D

On 10/15/2016 at 10:15 AM, JW Insider said:

Answering a question is the same as teaching in Paul's mind, which is why Paul would probably not even allow a sister to raise her hand and answer a prescribed question at a Congregation Bible Study or Watchtower Study, either. Even asking a question was showing a lack of subjection for them. Yet, a brother could do so. So clearly, we don't do everything the way Paul envisioned it in the first century. But it seems that Paul wanted a meeting in which people came to learn and be encouraged, and he appears to suggest two or three topics, one at a time that could come up, not from some central authority, but from members of the congregation who would offer a teaching (through questions, explanations, prophecy, tongues, interpretation, psalms), and then there would be time for more questions and learning. This may sound a bit like what we do now, but you rarely hear anyone, even brothers, speak up to ask their own questions.

Isn’t this similar to what Russell and his associates did? It  might sound like a good theory for our day too, but it would not work in practice. Although we try and emulate the first Christian congregations, in some areas it just isn’t feasible or practical. If this was “allowed” then we would soon find ourselves fragmented into splinter congregations moving from one to another depending on which congregation supported our idea. We would have “believers in 1914 Congregation”  (JW 1914 for short) and “ supporters of 587 congregation” ( the JW Jonsson group) etc. etc. take your pick. We would end up pretty much the same as Christendom. Isn’t that how various splinter groups of Christendom’s denominations started, from autonomous congregations? Interestingly this is how today’s  Bible Students do it too. By the way, did you know that the Chicago Bible students still exist? Albeit a small number. They have been like that since they split off from Rutherford. Not going anywhere really, and definitely not preaching the God news of the Kingdom. I have spoken to a few of them and everyone believes whatever they want to. They pride themselves with this so called “freedom in Christ”.

On 10/15/2016 at 10:15 AM, JW Insider said:

Also, more to the topic, there are a lot of people who think that questioning means we are not speaking in agreement. This is not true at all. If there are questions about a topic and someone feels they should be dogmatic about a certain interpretation, then that is what creates the conflict, because it becomes impossible to overturn a dogmatic belief - a "strongly entrenched thing" - without a certain level of dogmatism in the response to it in order to show that there are reasons to question it. Dozens of different interpretations can exist simultaneously without the least bit of conflict if we are all willing to question as the Bible encourages us to do.

And there’s the problem I think. You have hit the nail on the head - "The unavoidable dogmatism in the response" which then leads to all kinds of unpleasantness. I read your post about how apparently there is a bit of a commotion among the helpers at Bethel recently. Sounds like something like that is going on already!

 

On 10/15/2016 at 10:15 AM, JW Insider said:

Dozens of different interpretations can exist simultaneously without the least bit of conflict if we are all willing to question as the Bible encourages us to do. The different interpretations are merely accepted as different ways that different persons have interpreted it.

This would be great if that is how it would work in practice, but the problem I see with that concept is what I already mentioned above. It’s a nice theory!

On 10/15/2016 at 10:15 AM, JW Insider said:

t seems to be in this sense that "divisions" (to some extent) are helpful, because when people are willing to question without dogmatism, they help to reveal what is approved and what is not. When people get too dogmatic and speak out against questioning, this also becomes an indicator of what is approved.

Nice theory!

On 10/15/2016 at 10:15 AM, JW Insider said:

There was a brother in Writing when I was at Bethel who often joked: "Argument weak? Shout like hell!" (Eccl 9:17)

Hahaha, funny!

So in summary, what I think you are saying is that you believe the GB should not have the sole authority over the interpretation of scripture. Am I right?

When questioned about this topic at the ARC hearing G. Jackson admitted that he did not believe that they were the only spokespersons for God, but he did say that THEY felt responsible for dispensing the spiritual food, i.e. doctrine/interpretation. I think you are familiar with the transcript, here is the portion I am talking about:

Q. And do you see yourselves as Jehovah God's spokespeople on earth?

A. That I think would seem to be quite presumptuous to say that we are the only spokesperson that God is using. The scriptures clearly show that someone can act in harmony with God's spirit in giving comfort and help in the congregations, but if I could just clarify a little, going back to Matthew 24, clearly, Jesus said that in the last days - and Jehovah's Witnesses believe these are the last days - there would be a slave, a group of persons who would have responsibility to care for the spiritual food.  So in that respect, we view ourselves as trying to fulfill that role.

This kind of arrangement would not allow for for the suggestions you make above I don't think. Another interesting statement from Br. Jackson is one I underlined below:

  ......"what you need to understand with regard to our organisation is it is a faith-driven organisation.  This is not an organisation of lawyers or those that are overly concerned with legal matters.  So our primary allegiance is to Jehovah God.  Now, the Governing Body realises that if we were to give some direction that is not in harmony with God's word, all of Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide who have the Bible would notice that and they would see that it was wrong direction.  So we have responsibilities as guardians to make sure that everything is scripturally acceptable". 

 

Any comments on that?

 

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18 hours ago, HollyW said:

Is that a sneer, Anna, when you put "Christian" in quotes? ;) I ask because that's what you said the WTS was doing when it put quotes around the "Bible reading" some JWs had said was sufficient.

I didn't want to sound to be mean, it's just that I don't think he is following in Christ's footsteps. One thing is calling yourself a Christian and another is following Christ's example. Many people call themselves Christians. I was shocked Bruce (Caitlyn) Jenner calls himself a Christian. Words are cheap.

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On 10/17/2016 at 6:18 AM, Anna said:

I didn't want to sound to be mean, it's just that I don't think he is following in Christ's footsteps

o.O How would you know? Are you familiar with his daily habits, deeds, his beliefs?

 

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On 10/16/2016 at 10:18 PM, Anna said:

I didn't want to sound to be mean, it's just that I don't think he is following in Christ's footsteps. One thing is calling yourself a Christian and another is following Christ's example. Many people call themselves Christians.  

You sounded judgmental.  Is that mean?

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9 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

o.O How would you know? Are you familiar with his daily habits, deeds, his beliefs?

 

No, of course not, but I can read the stuff he has written.

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On 10/23/2016 at 0:38 AM, Anna said:

No, of course not, but I can read the stuff he has written.

Maybe we are not reading the same stuff because what comes out clearly in it is his Christian faith and his respect for biblical and historical truth.

 

EDIT: This part of the discussion has been given its own thread.

 

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