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JOHN BUTLER

Apostles, Judas, GB, Raymond, Satan, Holy Spirit

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4 hours ago, Anna said:

Have you read the book?

Both! I have read other apostate books as well. I only see meaningless understandings just like any other ex-JW book out there. There's nothing original that the world doesn't already know. Canon fodder for people like butler. 😁

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6 minutes ago, FelixCA said:

I only see meaningless understandings just like any other ex-JW book out there. There's nothing original that the world doesn't already know.

What do you mean by meaningless understandings? And what do you mean by "what the world doesn't already know? Please explain a little. Perhaps give examples of the 'meaningless understandings' you have in mind. And what is the 'knowledge' you are talking about that the world ready knows?

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@Anna You asked. What attracted you to what Jehovah's Witnesses taught'? Why did you become one of Jehovah's Witnesses? Surely there must have been something that you recognized as valuable?

I was fresh out of a horrible children's home (details I've written about before) and my brother helped me a lot. He and his wife were JW's and i sort of thought they are leading a good life and they are good to me. I tended to believe everything my brother told me about any subject. He's my older brother by 8 years, and I thought he had more experience of life than me so I trusted him to teach me the right things. He's now an Elder in a congregation in our hometown... And the people on 'ground level' were good and friendly. BUT that just makes it like a social club. I fell for it all. I did as I was told and didn't ask questions. It all seems to make sense. 

THEN, as time went on, the GB/JW Org changed the meaning of scriptures, changed teachings/doctrine, and well you know why I left. And the more I'm reading on here, the worse the Org seems to be. ... 

The  Org uses the word 'Truth' as a trick word. They are saying being in the JW org is being in the Truth. Hence any thing outside is all lies. It's done to kind of frighten people, that if a person looks outside all they will find is lies. But that is the lie. 

I think it's funny that JW's pretend they don't put their faith in men. Whereas it can easily be seen that JW's are told to believe what the GB tells them. JW's do not question the GB's words, hence why wrongdoing has been going on for so long in the JW Org. Proof from past Watchtowers shows that the Org presents itself as God's only organisation, and the GB as God's only spokesperson, and again the Org as the only means of salvation. And JW's do not question that.  

Quote "I am sure you have faith in your wife, in your children and others? "

You are totally wrong. I have faith in no human, and trust no human.. I'm married to my third wife, the previous two committed adultery. My childhood completely ruined my life. And no I'm not blaming, I'm stating fact. The emotional damage 'killed' me. I'm a shell. But you and others will never understand, only God and Jesus Christ can understand, and I will be judged by them.  

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48 minutes ago, Anna said:

What do you mean by meaningless understandings? And what do you mean by "what the world doesn't already know? Please explain a little. Perhaps give examples of the 'meaningless understandings' you have in mind. And what is the 'knowledge' you are talking about that the world ready knows?

What is the Ex-JW and opposers perception about 607BC, 537BC 1874, 1878, 1914, 1917, 1919, 1925, 1969, 1975 etc.? This is a common theme for ex-JW's books. Nothing original.

If people never understood the significance of these dates, yet are willing to break ranks because of a misguided understanding, what would be the message for loyal witnesses, and what would it be called aside from meaningless.

What does the power of Satan have to do about seeking truth? It becomes a personal opinion about something they believed was understood like Raymond, and then the facts weren’t. Don’t you think Raymond put too much faith on research gathered, rather trust in God the vast research done by the organization reached a different conclusion? How can anyone prove it one way or another? Yet, Raymond and people like Raymond came to an absolute decision, they are correct. By who's standards are they correct?

So, excuse me, I rather trust in God and Bible understanding rather than men trying very hard to prove the organization wrong.

When the same distorted information is circulated, what is the benefit? When the same topics are offered in a closed setting just because some don’t appreciate a response that refutes such claims, what is the difference with what the GB is being accused of?

At some point, this rhetoric needs to make sense? Not just become a selling point for the other side.

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26 minutes ago, FelixCA said:

What is the Ex-JW and opposers perception about 607BC, 537BC 1874, 1878, 1914, 1917, 1919, 1925, 1969, 1975 etc.? This is a common theme for ex-JW's books. Nothing original.

It is evident in Raymond's case, that he only wrote what the Societies' understanding of those dates were at the time. He added nothing of his own understanding or interpretation to these dates. He quotes nobody else but the Societies' literature concerning these dates. It had nothing to do with anyone else's perception but only of the perception of those who mentioned these dates in the first place ( Barbour, Russell, Rutherford, Franz...)

These dates are only a common theme for ex-JW books because most of them derived this information from Raymond's books

35 minutes ago, FelixCA said:

If people never understood the significance of these dates, yet are willing to break ranks because of a misguided understanding, what would be the message for loyal witnesses, and what would it be called aside from meaningless.

I think they understood these dates, but most of these dates failed in their expectations and had to be revised, several times. I think it is up to each individual person to asses whether this is meaningless for them or not.

40 minutes ago, FelixCA said:

It becomes a personal opinion about something they believed was understood like Raymond, and then the facts weren’t.

I am not sure what you mean by this. But assuming I understand what you mean then again, I don't think this is a matter of personal opinion if you quote (in context) the other party. I think it became quite clear how certain things were supposed to be understood. Many times it was crystal clear.

44 minutes ago, FelixCA said:

Don’t you think Raymond put too much faith on research gathered, rather trust in God the vast research done by the organization reached a different conclusion?

I am assuming you mean that Raymond put too much faith in his own research of the society? If that's what you mean then it doesn't make any difference whether Raymond put faith in his research or not because research, or the evidence provided, should be able to stand on it's own, and it should be up to each individual to decide how much faith they will put in the evidence shown. It's what we do with our Bible studies, we show them evidence, and on the basis of that evidence the student decides whether they will accept it or not, or reach a different conclusion. It doesn't matter how much faith in that evidence we have ourselves.

If you mean that Raymond did separate parallel research on the same subject as the organization, then I do not see that in his first book (I didn't read his second book). From what I've seen, Raymond merely reports on beliefs already held, and how those beliefs had to change due to inaccuracies. I do not see him espousing his own ideas.

55 minutes ago, FelixCA said:

Yet, Raymond and people like Raymond came to an absolute decision, they are correct. By who's standards are they correct?

Well he 'only' quoted the organizations own literature and or/letters from branch offices.  So you decide by whose standards are they correct.

59 minutes ago, FelixCA said:

So, excuse me, I rather trust in God and Bible understanding rather than men trying very hard to prove the organization wrong.

I don't think that this late in the stream of time it is difficult at all for anyone to see that the organization has had wrong expectations and understanding. Time itself has has proved this. No one has to try very hard at all.

    Hello guest!

    Hello guest!

What Raymond does focus on though is how some of these misunderstandings have had detrimental results in the lives of some friends.

1 hour ago, FelixCA said:

When the same distorted information is circulated, what is the benefit?

Distorted information has no benefit of course. Did you have something in mind in Raymond's book that would be considered distorted information? There are some things I remember that I did not agree on, but it has been a while since I read the book and I cannot remember what they were. Perhaps you can be quicker in giving an example.

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2 minutes ago, Anna said:

It is evident in Raymond's case, that he only wrote what the Societies' understanding of those dates were at the time. He added nothing of his own understanding or interpretation to these dates. He quotes nobody else but the Societies' literature concerning these dates. It had nothing to do with anyone else's perception but only of the perception of those who mentioned these dates in the first place ( Barbour, Russell, Rutherford, Franz...)

These dates are only a common theme for ex-JW books because most of them derived this information from Raymond's books

I will disagree with this assessment. misinterpreting articles and Watchtower lead information does not the truth make

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If we use that standard, it would be, we couldn’t trust our own heart. It would amount to the same thing if we use men literally rather than men lead by the Holy Spirit. Matthew 15:19

The figure of speech would suggest people weren’t trusting the apostles as ordinary men but rather as messengers of God. How else can we see the power of the Holy Spirit? Raymond fell for the deception.

The Vatican fought holy wars. Their preachers still go into combat as a show of faith that God is on their side. Can we trust people that should understand not to shed blood? 1 Chronicles 28:3, Hebrews 12:4

These people profess to have the Holy Spirit guided by God. What say you about ACTIONS?

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35 minutes ago, Anna said:

I don't think that this late in the stream of time it is difficult at all for anyone to see that the organization has had wrong expectations and understanding. Time itself has has proved this. No one has to try very hard at all.

The argument offered would lead us to what? In ancient times, I can offer many examples where the faithful people of God failed. What is the point, if we don’t allow God to make the necessary corrections rather than rely upon our own heart to make them?

It seems there is an understanding of not willing to allow God, lead his people to the promise land and wish to intervene whenever convenient. Exodus 14:11, Deuteronomy 8:2

Door to Door

If the question were put to the headquarters organization of the Watch Tower Society whether each member (if physically able) must do house-to-house witnessing to be a true Witness, in fact to be a true Christian, the answer would probably be that this is not an absolute requirement. (Actually, it would be extremely difficult to get a clear, straightforward answer on such a question; the headquarters organization is remarkably reticent about expressing itself in writing on sensitive issues and, even when given, answers are often couched in ambiguous terms, or evasive and roundabout reasoning.) We have already seen, however, that responsible men in the organization acknowledge that there is serious reason to question whether in reality the Witness community as a whole engages in this activity simply out of a heartfelt desire to do it, as something freely motivated, done without any sense of compulsion.”

To read an error of attempting to argue against the door to door witnessing when scripture clearly states how Jesus would send the apostles are one of a thousand (exaggeration) ways; maybe not Raymond misinterpreted scripture to win the minds and hearts of troubled people. Therefore, his research was NOT incumbent on Bible truth. James 5:16-20

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On 1/21/2019 at 11:15 AM, Anna said:

What would you say to Jesus when he handpicked Judas Iscariot as one of his 12 Apostles?

That's a good question. 

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5 hours ago, FelixCA said:

Both! I have read other apostate books as well. I only see meaningless understandings just like any other ex-JW book out there. There's nothing original that the world doesn't already know. Canon fodder for people like butler. 😁

I remember the last time I confronted an apostate (who said he was a a Christian) and spoke of God, he said he'd kill me even though he was twice my age, even dared me to go to his town and that I'd be praying to wishing God was here in person when he is done with me. It didn't faze me that much because I was right about what I said because he was saying untrue things about God and about Moses and the Israelites. He was angry because he was corrected on the Old Testament. Even before that some of these apostates attacked the hall I was at, and caused someone who is connected to a sister to go to war against the apostates.

Always another day in the office it seems.

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2 hours ago, Equivocation said:

I remember the last time I confronted an apostate (who said he was a a Christian) and spoke of God, he said he'd kill me even though he was twice my age, even dared me to go to his town and that I'd be praying to wishing God was here in person when he is done with me. It didn't faze me that much because I was right about what I said because he was saying untrue things about God and about Moses and the Israelites. He was angry because he was corrected on the Old Testament. Even before that some of these apostates attacked the hall I was at, and caused someone who is connected to a sister to go to war against the apostates.

I’m sorry to read about this personal experience. A dangerous one indeed. That just shows not all witnesses live a sheltered life like outsiders think they do. Confused witnesses are free to leave the organization whenever they want, and not be stocked like they do with Scientology. Just like it is anyone’s free will, NOT to associate with anybody that doesn’t share the SAME values of being Christ true followers with Christian ethics and faith. Example, If my brother became a drug addict, why would I want to associate with him? I would want him to repent and clean himself up. Raymond thought shunning a derogatory remark was unloving. How could he account for millions of outsiders that do the same?

Raymond Franz lost the mission as a disciple in favor of friendship and wanting personal power. A few examples on how perception, of some, can become clouded by following the same pattern of insincere ideals. They call it, “in search for the truth by understanding facts.” The problem there, the more facts are gathered the more confused the original research becomes. I wonder, what will Raymond say when he is judged by Christ. Not about himself, but when asked, did your book prevent anyone from knowing the gospel of Christ? Or interfered enough to prevent a soul from knowing the one true God according to my instructions left in the inspired books that became known as the Holy Bible. 2 Peter 2:20-22

Unfortunately, this is what happens when people confuse the administrative roles of the GB with doctoral understanding.

Stay safe my brother. Always remember with situations such as these, which I know only too well, Matthew 10:28.

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10 hours ago, Equivocation said:

I remember the last time I confronted an apostate (who said he was a a Christian) and spoke of God, he said he'd kill me even though he was twice my age, even dared me to go to his town and that I'd be praying to wishing God was here in person when he is done with me. It didn't faze me that much because I was right about what I said because he was saying untrue things about God and about Moses and the Israelites. He was angry because he was corrected on the Old Testament. Even before that some of these apostates attacked the hall I was at, and caused someone who is connected to a sister to go to war against the apostates.

Always another day in the office it seems.

Well you would probably call me an apostate, but I'm only apostate to the JW Org. And yes I still believe in God and Jesus Christ. 

But you seem to want to jump on the JW bandwagon about apostates, so be it. 

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17 hours ago, FelixCA said:

The argument offered would lead us to what? In ancient times, I can offer many examples where the faithful people of God failed. What is the point, if we don’t allow God to make the necessary corrections rather than rely upon our own heart to make them?

I think his point was, (if he was being genuine) that it wasn't about the failing necessarily, but about how it affected the lives of others (in a bad way) who were completely reliant, and were told to be reliant, on that information, and on those giving that information. 

 

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18 hours ago, FelixCA said:

Door to Door

If the question were put to the headquarters organization of the Watch Tower Society whether each member (if physically able) must do house-to-house witnessing to be a true Witness, in fact to be a true Christian, the answer would probably be that this is not an absolute requirement. (Actually, it would be extremely difficult to get a clear, straightforward answer on such a question; the headquarters organization is remarkably reticent about expressing itself in writing on sensitive issues and, even when given, answers are often couched in ambiguous terms, or evasive and roundabout reasoning.) We have already seen, however, that responsible men in the organization acknowledge that there is serious reason to question whether in reality the Witness community as a whole engages in this activity simply out of a heartfelt desire to do it, as something freely motivated, done without any sense of compulsion.”

To read an error of attempting to argue against the door to door witnessing when scripture clearly states how Jesus would send the apostles are one of a thousand (exaggeration) ways; maybe not Raymond misinterpreted scripture to win the minds and hearts of troubled people. Therefore, his research was NOT incumbent on Bible truth. James 5:16-20

I am not sure what your argument is here. I believe the scriptures are clear on proselytizing. Wasn't Raymond questioning the motivation/desire, or rather the lack of  motivation/desire on the part of the Witness community? I guess I will have to read the whole chapter to get the context...

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25 minutes ago, Anna said:

I think his point was, (if he was being genuine) that it wasn't about the failing necessarily, but about how it affected the lives of others (in a bad way) who were completely reliant, and were told to be reliant, on that information, and on those giving that information.

This would be a good view if it was given as a good cause. Unfortunately, Raymond actions became centered in not being genuine but self-serving.

People at Bethel can say whatever they wish as an opinion, but Raymond’s actions spoke for themselves. Sincerity was not an option for him. Blind rage was.

That type of action affected others to promote apostate understandings, not biblical ones. Those that accepted his kind of methodology did so with a willful mind to accept what men claimed as fact, rather than be reliant on the fact that we are guided by God’s Holy Spirit. That makes a world of difference in Bible understanding.

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5 hours ago, FelixCA said:
5 hours ago, Anna said:

I think his point was, (if he was being genuine) that it wasn't about the failing necessarily, but about how it affected the lives of others (in a bad way) who were completely reliant, and were told to be reliant, on that information, and on those giving that information.

This would be a good view if it was given as a good cause. Unfortunately, Raymond actions became centered in not being genuine but self-serving.

People at Bethel can say whatever they wish as an opinion, but Raymond’s actions spoke for themselves. Sincerity was not an option for him. Blind rage was.

Well here we are discussing the man and his motive. We cannot see into his heart. But the principle stays the same. Whether given in a 'good cause' or 'bad cause'. Whether he was genuinely concerned about the lives of others or not,  those lives were still affected.  There were many others whose lives were affected positively. Talking to brothers and sisters we see that most are grateful for having learned the Truth. It improved their life on many levels and gave their life meaning. Those are the positive things we want to focus on. But it doesn't negate those whose life was affected negatively, and the sad part is, quite unnecessarily at times. We don't want to have the attitude of some kind of collateral damage, that that's OK.

5 hours ago, FelixCA said:

That type of action affected others to promote apostate understandings, not biblical ones. Those that accepted his kind of methodology did so with a willful mind to accept what men claimed as fact, rather than be reliant on the fact that we are guided by God’s Holy Spirit. That makes a world of difference in Bible understanding.

Not sure what you mean. Do you mean those in leadership positions claiming something as a fact? And that we should accept this because they are guided by God's holy spirit?

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29 minutes ago, Anna said:

Well here we are discussing the man and his motive. We cannot see into his heart. But the principle stays the same. Whether given in a 'good cause' or 'bad cause'. Whether he was genuinely concerned about the lives of others or not,  those lives were still affected.  There were many others whose lives were affected positively. Talking to brothers and sisters we see that most are grateful for having learned the Truth. It improved their life on many levels and gave their life meaning. Those are the positive things we want to focus on. But it doesn't negate those whose life was affected negatively, and the sad part is, quite unnecessarily at times. We don't want to have the attitude of some kind of collateral damage, that it's OK.

While we don’t know anyone’s heart aside from God himself, Raymond’s actions spoke volumes. It did have a negative impact on Bethel. Only those that revered Raymond thought it was an injustice. Those that learned in a positive way strengthened their faith to understand God was not willing to allow a self-severing person to push the Watchtower backward rather than advance spiritually. What would be his motive now?

I believe JWinsider mentioned there were some at Bethel that saw him as the next “President” of the Watchtower. The unanimous decision to have a governing body was not to overburden only a single individual and it was paramount to develop a body rather than a board. However, Raymond liked the idea of the originator of the Bible Students, Russell. But, if you understand Russell’s ACTIONS, he preferred not to be looked like a leader, rather than a follower of Christ alongside everyone else.

Therefore, Raymond’s Actions were to regress the Watchtower and it had a negative impact. The only good takeaway that can be seen now for true Christians, learn from Raymond’s mistakes. A person that had a positive high responsibility and through it all away for loyalty to a man, and personal desires. All of which goes against, Bible principle.

34 minutes ago, Anna said:

Not sure what you mean. Do you mean those in leadership positions claiming something as a fact? And that we should accept this because they are guided by God's holy spirit?

Understandable. It does get confusing when we try to put our thoughts into print. It gets misunderstood more often than any of us want to admit. Even professional authors are scrutinized for their works. Can the GB claim something factual, YES!, they rely on scripture to make it a fact from a man's point of view. Did Raymond subvert and distort Bible facts to promote his own agenda, YES! therefore, the motive of Raymond would go against God's Holy Spirit, and that's a fact.

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23 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

I tended to believe everything my brother told me about any subject. He's my older brother by 8 years, and I thought he had more experience of life than me so I trusted him to teach me the right things. 

23 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

You are totally wrong. I have faith in no human, and trust no human

I am assuming you no longer have faith your brother, but you still do have faith and trust in so many people. You have faith in the milkman that he will bring your milk everyday, (do they still do that?) you have faith in medical staff that they will administer treatment for your benefit, you have faith in the pilot that he will get you to your destination, you have faith in the police force, that they will  help people. Whether that faith is justified or not doesn't matter. The fact is us humans have a need to rely on other humans and put faith in them otherwise it would be impossible to live a normal life. 

23 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

And the people on 'ground level' were good and friendly. BUT that just makes it like a social club. I fell for it all. I did as I was told and didn't ask questions. It all seems to make sense. 

THEN, as time went on, the GB/JW Org changed the meaning of scriptures, changed teachings/doctrine,  ...... 

Maybe that was a mistake, that you didn't ask any questions, but evidently you didn't feel you needed to, if everything made sense....

With the Org changing the meaning of scripture, and teachings, I am assuming you preferred the previous ones better? Or is it because you think there should never be any change?

23 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

think it's funny that JW's pretend they don't put their faith in men. Whereas it can easily be seen that JW's are told to believe what the GB tells them. JW's do not question the GB's words, hence why wrongdoing has been going on for so long in the JW Org. 

From the examples I wrote about above it's unrealistic to think that JWs pretend they don't put their faith in men. I know in this case you mean the men on the GB. But that really is no different than putting faith in anyone else who is doing a particular job, whether it be the milkman, doctor, pilot or policeman. Yes, Witnesses do put faith in the GB, it is logical they do so and there is scripturally absolutely nothing wrong with that, as long as they keep in mind that if there is ever a conflict between what man says, and what God says, then what God says must always take precedent of course. You know the scripture (Acts 5:29). 

With regard to the wrongdoing you mention, I am assuming you mean the mishandling of Child abuse cases? Or were you thinking of some other specific wrongdoing?

23 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

Proof from past Watchtowers shows that the Org presents itself as God's only organisation, and the GB as God's only spokesperson, and again the Org as the only means of salvation. And JW's do not question that.  

Yes, I don't think anyone is denying that the Org. presents itself as God's only orgnisation. Most Jehovah's Witnesses believe that. With the GB being the only spokesperson for God, then that is disputable and would be presumptuous in the words of G. Jackson. Every time  a brother or sister speaks about the promises in the Bible, they are being a spokesperson for God. The Org. being the only means of salvation can be a tricky one. Of course it is Jehovah who is going to save, and every Witness believes that. The concept 'means' or 'by means of' can apply to the fact that the requirements for salvation as stated in the Bible have been proclaimed by that Organisation. If the stones were to cry out instead ( Luke 19:40) then it would be by means of the stones :)

Don't forget about this scripture: "For everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.”However, how will they call on him if they have not put faith in him? How, in turn, will they put faith in him about whom they have not heard? How, in turn, will they hear without someone to preach?  How, in turn, will they preach unless they have been sent out? Just as it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who declare good news of good things!” (Romans 10:13-15)

 

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On 1/24/2019 at 6:51 PM, JOHN BUTLER said:

I think it's funny that JW's pretend they don't put their faith in men.

It's true that most JWs put faith in the GB and in the assembly speakers and in their elders and even put faith in each other to some extent. Taking R.Franz just a bit out of context, he praises the Witnesses for how they have responded in difficult situations, and which often means putting faith (trust) in one another.

Many religious affiliations could benefit from the example of
Jehovah’s Witnesses in the area of racial integration, in their deemphasizing
of class distinctions, their comparatively strong sense
of commitment and obligation toward anyone, though otherwise
a complete stranger to them, who is a member in good standing in
the organization. Perhaps some of the most appealing—and dramatic—
features in their history are those occasions when they have
been faced with crisis situations, in times of intense persecution
or natural disasters or war, when many of them have shown a will-
ingness to risk their own safety, possessions or even their own lives
in the interest, in one way or another, of fellow members. The accounts
of the experiences of Witnesses during the Nazi regime in
Germany, during the Duvalier premiership of Quebec, or during
the period of mob violence in the United States in the 1940s, make
absorbing reading. The sincerity of those who demonstrated a courageous
and selfless concern for others rightly goes unquestioned,
and I find their example both encouraging and laudable.  -- R.Franz, "Christian Freedom" p.600

Of course, this comes from a person, R.Franz, who would never have been allowed back into the Organization even if he wanted to. Yet after giving it several years of thought, he still recognized areas where JWs excel. Elsewhere in the same book, he still recognized the value of core doctrines he learned through Jehovah's Witnesses.

I am not one to claim that only JWs are good, or only JWs have the truth about many things. In fact, I have no doubt that we are absolutely wrong about certain things, but I consider them minor compared to more important things. But I do find that JWs have the best overall set of beliefs (for me) because I am a core anti-war, anti-Trinity, anti-Hellfire Christian. I could also list a lot of other things about Christian morality and cleanliness, and Christian activities including public preaching and proselytizing, and emphasis on a God who will accomplish his purpose toward the earth, etc., etc. All these things make the JW faith attractive and comfortable. Imperfect, with a lot of things wrong, but I still don't know of a religion with more "truth." I also think it does an excellent job attempting to put the first-century principles of Christianity into the twenty-first century -- and all over the world at that.

I appreciate how this particular combination of beliefs sets us apart from the rest, almost by definition, and by doing so enhances the cohesiveness of our Christian brotherhood. We are therefore going to stand out as different from other denominations, a good thing, in my opinion. We take upon ourselves a "teaching" ministry. If you ever again want to be part of a "teaching" ministry, and you think that this is an important ministry for the times we live in, then I think there is every good reason to consider JWs again. I'm sure Jehovah looks with favor upon Christians and would-be Christians who take up some kind of charitable ministry, too, or any ministry where their goal is to help fellow humans in response what God has done for them, even if it's just what they perceive that God has done for them.

Jehovah looks at motivations of the heart and our responses that are based on love for Him and love for neighbor. This is the great teaching of Jesus, and it matches the goal that the Mosaic Law could have transitioned a nation to do. And now, we can be a part of that nation. I don't believe that nation must be an organization, per se, even if it was a kind of organization under Israel and the Law. I think it's individuals. But under normal circumstances it will be individuals that join together under the same tenets of faith. And not all those individuals have to be JWs as far as I can see. But JWs set forth an attractive combination of teachings that do a great job reflecting the truth about Jehovah.

I can't tell you that you will be very comfortable as a JW again, but it is good and healthy to try to trust people. And I know that it's always more difficult for people who have been through what you have. Even if JWs are just kind of a social club for now. You did say that you sometimes talked to other JWs about issues related to the organization. I think the organization needs more people who are willing to talk to others honestly about issues. And you will always have the balance of having seen right through those times when fellow JWs are too hooked on following men. It's also true that you might get pushed out again. But in the meantime, you will have given it a try, not just walking away. And you might find some comfort in associating again with your brother, the Elder, and explaining things to him. No doubt he is a true believer and was never trying to trick you.

Summarizing, (I have to throw in that word to encourage myself to stop blabbing on and on) I know that you are referring to how some Witnesses will replace faith that should be in Jehovah and and letting faith in the GB supersede this. I admit that this happens. But it's easy to make this claim without understanding that all faith in Jehovah's ability to teach us will involve being taught by others. Jehovah does not teach us by putting complete understanding in our mind. The Bible tells us to expect teaching to come through others, and to hold fast to the teaching as handed down. We probably could get the basic things on our own, but we wouldn't have the encouragement that comes from a group of persons: some who will need our help and some who will be there to help us.

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