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Should JW's punish, disfellowship, or shun members who disagree with certain teachings?


Albert Michelson

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The primary issue is that you simply can't  be a witness and not believe in the 1914 teaching.  Because the 1914 teaching is the only justification that the organization can give for destroying families and punishing people for disagreeing with them.  If they are not appointed by God and if they are not gods spokesman then it shouldn't be an issue when someone contradicts them or disagrees with them.  Unfortunately in a master class of arrogance they decided to punish and expel anyone who doesn't agree with their opinions about what the Bible says.

this elders letter is still the current stance as far as I know  and they make it very clear that simply believing something that contradicts the organization's position is potential grounds for disfellowshiping.

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Like I really should watch CNN to learn the truth about Trump or Breitbart to learn the truth about Obama? I'll choose what I choose to see in proper context, neither cherry-picked nor skewed.

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2 hours ago, Albert Michelson said:

Are you honestly going to sit here

I am sitting elsewhere.

 

2 hours ago, Albert Michelson said:

 and try to claim that rejection of these teachings doesn't result in disfellowshiping. Especially when this very article is defending the disfellowshiping of those who reject it? 

Read the entire thread mentioned previously before you jump in from nowhere and carry on about what has been covered already. It's only a few months old and the title makes clear which one it is. Add to that thread, if you must - you see any reasonable points uncovered.

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4 hours ago, Albert Michelson said:

Are you honestly going to sit here and try to claim that rejection of these teachings doesn't result in disfellowshiping. Especially when this very article is defending the disfellowshiping of those who reject it? 

I've aleady said a lot more than my share in the last couple months here. And it has probably dipped the popularity of this particular forum to its lowest levels in a long time. But I would like to share some points that might be right or wrong. They're just opinions.

I too have serious doubts about the 1914 doctrine, but I have not been disfellowshipped. It is true that you have to "muzzle" yourself, and as you say, basically take a vow of silence among your friends, even some of your most trusted friends. I have seen brothers who have "covered" for each other by not turning them in, and even lying for them. I've known this to have happened among brothers (and sisters) on issues ranging from drugs, fornication, belief in evolution, disbelief in our blood doctrine, habitual drunkennes, etc -- but I would never imagine that brothers like that would be trusted to understand how to respond to a fellow Witness on the topic of 1914.

A recent couple of discussions here have shown me that, for some, almost all semblance of Christianity goes out the window when something so basic to our comfort level is threatened. There are books that discuss this phenomenon from a psychological perspective, too, and I have been surprised and saddened to see the precise, predictable patterns emerge among us.

However, if one wishes to stay, work, and serve among Jehovah's Witnesses, as I do, then I'm pretty sure it's possible for almost anyone to remain as a Witness in good standing. There are some with ebullient personalities who will have more trouble than others, but there are other outlets for sacred service that are just as acceptable to Jehovah besides teaching 100% of the current doctrines. (There are 100 other, more important doctrines to emphasize.) There are especially good works, which could be visiting the elderly, offering rides, helping brothers out financially, helping them find jobs, volunteering to help them with food, chores, errands. For me Christianity is not strictly the doctrinal part of the religion on its own, but our form of Christianity is (to me) a clear stepping stone to mature Christianity. The emphasis on the Bible is higher than most religions, and the most important need that it meets is to provide comfort to those who are sighing, learning to throw our burdens on Jehovah, and recognizing that Christianity is primarily the strong bond of brotherhood, the social structure, by which we help and encourage one another to keep our faith.

I have never believed that all the doctrines have to be in order as long as our motivations are out of love for God and neighbor. If they did all have to be in order, then no person associated with the Watchtower and Jehovah's Witnesses from 1919 until 2016 even passed the test anyway, because so many doctrines have changed during that time. And ye we have no problem believing that Jehovah accepted these persons as Christians, in spite of the false doctrines. (In 2018, we will no doubt change more doctrines, which means that none of us had all our doctrines in order this year either.) However, I still find that all the important core doctrines fit the Bible much better than any other set of core doctrines I have seen anywhere else. (war, neutrality, morality, ransom, Trinity, hell-fire, torment, soul, spirit, sovereignty, outworking of kingdom in history, millennium, Armageddon, resurrection, salvation) I question plenty of other things too, but do not reject them outright.

I could still be wrong on 1914, but at the moment, I currently have no doubts; I'm sure it's wrong, and I'm sure it's wrong to emphasize the date even if it were right. But as a Christian brotherhood, we are not much different in our thinking about the final end than first-century Christians. They, too, expected the final end in their own generation. They too wondered how long that "generation" could go on. They knew that times were getting worse and worse for them and comforted themselves knowing that the time for their salvation was nearer to them every day. So we all remain watchful of our conduct and our motivations, but also patient. 1914 has probably created some unscriptural adjustments to that idea of patience, and has no doubt created an air of anticipation about date for the end of the generation that supposedly started in 1914, and  this is spiritually unhealthy. With enough failed expectations behind us, however, we are fairly unlikely to fall into the specific trap of serving for a specific time or season. But humans are humans and the presumptuousness of believing we have been given some kind of special knowledge or special interpretation has affected many, right up to the highest levels of responsibility in the organization.

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3 hours ago, Albert Michelson said:

The pictures are from the elders book pages 65-66

Notice that "apostasy" is the actual defection, rebellion, and abandonment, not the lack of belief in specific doctrines. Biblically, of course, there is nothing wrong with spreading Bible doctrines even if we are sure that they might differ from some of the doctrines most other Jehovah's Witnesses hold. But it isn't necessary to push Bible doctrines upon those who do not wish to engage in such discussions, same as here on a forum. Even under the legalistic approach of the Flock book, if you can show that your goal is only to teach Biblically-supported teachings, then you do not fall under the category of "deliberately spreading teachings contrary to Bible truth."  Notice, too that causing division and promoting sects is always wrong but that it is not technically apostasy, per se. However, as the book correctly notes, "It may involve or lead to apostasy."

 

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When? 1914

"During that time Michael will stand up, the great prince who is standing in behalf of your people. And there will occur a time of distress such as has not occurred since there came to be a nation until that time. And during that time your people will escape, everyone who is found written down in the book.  And many of those asleep in the dust of the earth will wake up, some to everlasting life and others to reproach and to everlasting contempt." (Daniel 12:1-2)

 

How?

"And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled" (Rev 12:7)

"the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first." (1 Thessalonians 4:16)

"Now have come to pass the salvation and the power and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ, because the accuser of our brothers has been hurled down, who accuses them day and night before our God!" (Rev 12:10)

Destruction of "the wicked" is a process

How?   "Then, indeed, the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will do away with by the spirit of his mouth and bring to nothing by the manifestation of his presence." (2 Thessalonians 2:8)

"Many will cleanse themselves and whiten themselves and will be refined. And the wicked ones will act wickedly, and none of the wicked will understand; but those having insight will understand." (Daniel 12:10)

 

 


 

 

 

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2 hours ago, JW Insider said:

However, I still find that all the important core doctrines fit the Bible much better than any other set of core doctrines I have seen anywhere else. (war, neutrality, morality, ransom, Trinity, hell-fire, torment, soul, spirit, sovereignty, outworking of kingdom in history, millennium, Armageddon, resurrection, salvation) I question plenty of other things too, but do not reject them outright.

You're ignoring the fact that wether you like it or not the society's stand is that the 1914 teaching is a core doctrine. 

 

"Approved association with Jehovah’s Witnesses requires accepting the entire range of the true teachings of the Bible, including those Scriptural beliefs that are unique to Jehovah’s Witnesses. What do such beliefs include?

That the great issue before humankind is the rightfulness of Jehovah’s sovereignty, which is why he has allowed wickedness so long. (Ezekiel 25:17) That Jesus Christ had a prehuman existence and is subordinate to his heavenly Father. (John 14:28) That there is a “faithful and discreet slave” upon earth today ‘entrusted with all of Jesus’ earthly interests,’ which slave is associated with the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (Matthew 24:45-47) That 1914 marked the end of the Gentile Times and the establishment of the Kingdom of God in the heavens, as well as the time for Christ’s foretold presence. (Luke 21:7-24; Revelation 11:15–12:10) That only 144,000 Christians will receive the heavenly reward. (Revelation 14:1, 3) That Armageddon, referring to the battle of the great day of God the Almighty, is near. (Revelation 16:14, 16; 19:11-21) That it will be followed by Christ’s Millennial Reign, which will restore an earth-wide paradise. That the first to enjoy it will be the present “great crowd” of Jesus’ “other sheep.”—John 10:16; Revelation 7:9-17; 21:3, 4."

 

My issue isn't with the doctrines. Believe whatever you want I don't care, my issue is with the fact that those who can't keep teaching what they know to be false are punished. 

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1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

Even under the legalistic approach of the Flock book, if you can show that your goal is only to teach Biblically-supported teachings, then you do not fall under the category of "deliberately spreading teachings contrary to Bible truth."  Notice, too that causing division and promoting sects is always wrong but that it is not technically apostasy, per se. However, as the book correctly notes, "It may involve or lead to apostasy."

And yet so many have lost their families for doing that very thing.

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2 hours ago, JW Insider said:

war, neutrality, morality, ransom, Trinity, hell-fire, torment, soul, spirit, sovereignty, outworking of kingdom in history, millennium, Armageddon, resurrection, salvation

I'll give you the first 9 (sorta) but the rest are false.

 

In reality it doesn't matter because every religion has some accurate interpretations and some false ones. However JWs seem to think it's ok to distroy families by punishing those who can't support them in propagateing falshood.  

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3 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Read the entire thread mentioned previously before you jump in from nowhere and carry on about what has been covered already. It's only a few months old and the title makes clear which one it is. Add to that thread, if you must - you see any reasonable points uncovered.

I've looked and there's no thread attempting to debunk the fact that people are disfellowshiped for rejecting the 1914 teaching. Can you give me the title? 

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2 hours ago, JW Insider said:

for some, almost all semblance of Christianity goes out the window when something so basic to our comfort level is threatened.

Do you really think this has nothing to do with the organization and how they treat and degrade those who reject their claims? This attitude is a symptom of the WTs anti independent thinking rhetoric. Most witnesses (present company excluded) don't think for themselves but rather they allow the organization to tell them exactly how to think and what they can and cannot believe. 

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