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Christian denominations vs JW "New Light", Unity and Truth

Samael_Khan

Goosebender
The desire for unity is nice. The idea that unity can come through doctrines is a failed idea. Its failed repeatedly. In the end people just have to learn to put up with each other.

Open interpretation is difficult to sustain. It takes energy to let other people have their opinions. The Bible Student Movement begins with that, but look what happens. I think you should have open interpretation but think that unity doesn't come from that.

You do have a true point in what you say.

Open interpretation is difficult to sustain. That is why one must have certain truths to be an anchor. After the reformation many groups formed believing that they could understand the truth on their own. It opened the way for one man claiming that he was sent by God. Then cults are formed. Such as the Anabaptist cult led by Jan Matthys and Jan van Lyden which led to the siege of Munster. You should check out Dan Carlin's podcast called Prophets of Doom which discusses them.
 

Samael_Khan

Goosebender
Protestants do debate eachother at times but it isn't usually from the standpoint of 'I'm saved and you aren't.' There are stunning truths held in common.

An example of an interesting debate is WAR part 1 and 2 ( word of faith AND reformed )


and


Yeah, there are stunning truths held in common and stunning observations that come from sharing different opinions. It makes one think. I will definitely watch these vids. Thanks.
 

Samael_Khan

Goosebender
That is true to an extent. Witnesses study their commentaries and proof text, which means that they don't necessarily choose scriptures based on the whole context. For instance, we had a Bible reading programme in which we gradually went through the bible by ourselves. So I think within the year we would read the whole bible. Problem is that at meetings only certain sections of those verse would be commented on. Which means that they are not doing a true study of the whole bible. True bible study is verse by verse.

I also pointed out to them the same things that you observed. People didn't like it when I did that either.
 

Samael_Khan

Goosebender
Regarding what Deeje said about the religious saying all sorts of horrible things about Jesus:

The things they said about Jesus was not true, which is why what they said was horrible. One has to demonstrate that what I say isn't true in order for me to be classed with them and do class the JW's with Jesus.

Also note that Deeje did not try to refute my statements, which is the easy way to objectively discredit lies and misinformation. If one notices in other threads, Deeje isn't one who refrains from reasoning on things in detail. The fact that she doesn't here is out of character I believe. To me that should validate to others that there is truth in what i am saying. Unless someone refutes me in the future.

She says that she has nothing to defend, but there is actually quite a bit. If she could defend it then she would.

This all demonstrates the aspect of control that I wrote about. Discrediting someone by attacking their character and not addressing the points stated is a sign of cognitive dissonance which is a sign of cult mind control. Also what I really dislike is the lies that the Organisation tells its followers and the misinformation.

I myself am not whining about why I left. If it wasn't for the suicides that result from shunning,the child abuse problem and other mental health issues I have been sad to see in other witnesses I know, I might not even bother. But many Ex-JW's have suffered severely because of abuse in the organisation and are speaking out about it because they sincerely want to help others.

Please do not take my word for it and do research from both sides of the story. Study JW.org, the JW Library app and Watch JW broadcasting. Watch Youtube channels like John Cedars and Kim Mikey. Study JWfacts.com. Watch Leah Remini's Scientology special about Jehovah's Witnesses. Watch the Australian Royal Commission videos on Youtube. Study the BITE model by Steve Hassan regarding cult mind control. Then come to your own conclusion.

Maybe this information will help you to see dangerous signs in other groups and help you come to a realisation about them too.
 

SomeRandom

Still learning to be wise
Staff member
Premium Member
As an Ex-JW (left in February... YAY!) I know that JW's pride themselves with the unity that they have vs the multiple denominations among "Christendom".

From what I understand about most Protestant denominations I have come across (as an example) is that they do not dispute what they see as the fundamentals of Christianity, but they choose the denomination depending on what that denomination emphasizes. So they still see each other as united. So, for an example James White will debate Michael Brown on predestination, but they still see each other as saved and true Christians. The bible allows open interpretation in many cases where it doesn't explicitly say something, such as in prophecy. So it should be left to open interpretation or dependent on a persons conscience.

Now the JW's say that they have unity, but this isn't dependent on open interpretation in most cases. The JW's have to say that they believe what the Faithful and Discreet Slave (Governing Body) say they must believe. So what they "believe" is dependent on other men's understanding. The question is then: are they really united in their faith? Can one's belief truly be changed just because others say it is what you must believe? I have witnessed in many cases (including my own faith, which is why I left) that Witnesses hold to individual beliefs which contradict what the organisation says is believed now. Individual viewpoints also cropped up in Watchtower studies, mostly by older ones, who still believed stuff that they were taught many years ago.

This leads me to the "New Light". This is the reason why the older JW's have old views. They haven't been keeping up with the organisations teachings. "New Light" also brings truth into the equation. JW's from 50 years ago had a very different view of scripture that they have today. So, up until the recent "New Light", the witnesses have actually been teaching a few falsehoods, and in Rutherfords time they were teaching many falsehoods. And since there will be "New Light" in the future, they are teaching falsehoods now. A person might have viewed the old teachings as wrong, but for the sake of unity, if they expressed disagreement, then they were frowned upon, even disfellowshipped, even if they were right in their viewpoint. Also, when the Governing Body wishes to change a teaching, at some point there must be disunity, because one of the Governing Body must have thought that a current teaching was wrong, which is to be an apostate. He must have openly professed that he believed a teaching to be wrong. He was an apostate when presenting the teaching. The nature of these teachings that are changed should be open to interpretation, such as the understanding of prophecy and the understanding of the "generation", things which have been changed on many occasions and, for the sake of unity, if anybody taught those falsehoods differently, they could be disfellowshipped.

What is more important? The unity in even the most obscure of understandings? Or truth? It seems that many denominations are options for people who believe in different things and allows them to express this with like minded people. JW's have to express unity even if they don't actually believe a teaching which rests on another man's conscience which is subjective.

Example: Among JW's it is frowned upon for a man to wear a beard. Obviously this is not stated in scripture. It is actually endorsed since the Israelites had to have beards. Even Jesus wore a beard. Yet somehow the Witnesses say that it is a bad thing based on obscure reasoning ironically. And to remain united they will limit the privileges of a brother who wears a beard for the sake of unity. The same goes for wearing suits. None of this is biblical. It is Pharisaic in its enforcement.

The fruit that they bear also reveals a lot about them. Yes, many members are lovely people and strive for holiness. But the organisation itself is problematic. The organisation shows signs of Behaviour Control, Information Control, Thought Control and Emotional control. Signs of a cult. Information control even goes so far as members not being able to communicate with apostates. I am surprised Witnesses are on this site. I was on Religious Forums because I was not united with Organisation rules. Any witness who communicates with me will be showing disunity. They disfellowship members, which is shunning, which often leads to many committing suicide. Shunning is very cult like behaviour. They restrict self expression through turning one into a JW clone, which is why JW's sound similar and use loaded language, which often makes one dead inside, as everybody wants to be accepted for who they are. Thought control is achieved by even limiting what they believe. They are discouraged from entertaining alternative scriptural viewpoints to the Organisation. So they cannot read the bible and come to their own understanding even if the organisations understanding didn't make sense. I was seen as argumentative because I questioned many things. Some have been shunned for expressing alternative views in sincerity.

Someone who is studying the bible with them should be aware that they will only discover many teachings once they are in the group. Also, once someone is baptised as a Witness they cannot leave without being disfellowshipped and shunned. This means that everybody who they know or are related to in the group will not even look their way (besides elders). As a result they will be alone in the world. Someone who is raised as a Witness, follows JW rules such as only hanging out with JW's, gets baptised at 14 (for instance), and discovers that the religion is false and leaves or commits an "error"and disfellowshipped, will be shunned and their own flesh and blood will not speak to them. This often leads understandably to depression and many suicides.

The implication of "New Light" when studying to get baptised as a JW is that what you believe to be proper bible teaching now will not be what they teach 50 years down the line as truth. Therefore you very well might not be agreeing with them in the future. You might see that they are teaching errors. So getting baptised now is getting baptised to an organisation and not a set of beliefs. You follow the organisation, not what you believe to be true. So if you get married as a JW, to a JW, have children and only have JW friends, and you see that what they are teaching is not what you signed up for, then there is a great chance that you will lose your family. This has happened in loads of cases. This is thought control and behaviour control.

The Australian Royal Commission revealed that the Witnesses do not deal with child abuse in an appropriate manner. Elders are encouraged by the branch not to report child abuse cases to the police. Many Ex Witnesses have shared their bad experiences with the Org regarding abuse. this is not the sign of bearing good fruit. This is negligence. The right food was definitely not fed to the sheep at the proper time.

Even though Witnesses frown upon denominations, they themselves can be seen as a denomination of the Bible Students. Charles Taze Russell (himself influenced by the Adventist movement) started the Bible Students. When Rutherford took over the group splintered into many different ones:

Read:
Bible Student movement - Wikipedia

The only reason why they say they aren't a denomination is because they see the others as false. And they do not have doctrine to support their validity because it changes constantly, which means that Rutherford's group wasn't the same as the group today. In fact the other groups stick to Russell's teachings and are the same. So they were the true followers of Russell.

Anyway. I write this to show that JW's shouldn't judge Christian denominations. That would be hypocritical. Even though they say they have unity, this actually proves that they should not judge. They are very similar to the Catholic Church (who they judged constantly) with regards to the qualities that they judge the RCC by: The Governing Body is equivalent to the Pope, they demand unity to a much worse extreme than the RCC before the Reformation, they withhold information like the RCC used to, they excommunicate like the RCC used to, they have inquisitions like the RCC used to(Read Crisis of Conscience by ex Governing Body member Ray Franz), etc. The cool thing about the Roman Catholic Church though is that they have changed and admit their mistakes...

Read Romans 2.

Let me know whether you agree with me or not, if you find this informative, or, if you disagree with my statements above, feel free to correct me. What I wrote might be jumbled a bit, maybe incoherent at times, like I am jumping from topic to topic, but this is only a speck of what I had to sort through in my mind.

The truth about "The Truth" shall set us free.
Interesting. My only real life experiences are with two little old ladies who drop off the watchtower at our house when I was a kid. They seemed polite and pleasant enough. And always left with food and drink shoved into their hands by my mother (Asians be asians I guess.)
But they did seem standoffish, my mother would often try to engage them in cross religious discussion, but they immediately shut down and ran. :shrug:
I once tried to do the same with two strapping young lads preaching Mormonism. One was very overtly polite and seemed interested. The other actually seemed horrified and whisked off his buddy after a curt farewell.:(

I, for one, am happy that JWs choose to join this little random site. I may act antagonistic and angry to say @Deeje and I’m sure I’ve acted angrily in some convos with an old member JayJay I think. But deep down I am happy they are here and glad for their diversity. I can’t speak to their motives or whether such activities are sanctioned by the Watchtower or not. They seem nice enough, though, perhaps a little too “black and white” Imo. Deeje’s somewhat condescending emojis notwithstanding ;)
 

Samael_Khan

Goosebender
Interesting. My only real life experiences are with two little old ladies who drop off the watchtower at our house when I was a kid. They seemed polite and pleasant enough. And always left with food and drink shoved into their hands by my mother (Asians be asians I guess.)
But they did seem standoffish, my mother would often try to engage them in cross religious discussion, but they immediately shut down and ran. :shrug:
I once tried to do the same with two strapping young lads preaching Mormonism. One was very overtly polite and seemed interested. The other actually seemed horrified and whisked off his buddy after a curt farewell.:(

I, for one, am happy that JWs choose to join this little random site. I may act antagonistic and angry to say @Deeje and I’m sure I’ve acted angrily in some convos with an old member JayJay I think. But deep down I am happy they are here and glad for their diversity. I can’t speak to their motives or whether such activities are sanctioned by the Watchtower or not. They seem nice enough, though. Deeje’s somewhat condescending emojis notwithstanding ;)

JW's are really nice people in general. Or at least they strive to love others to the best of their ability. Same with Mormons. I think many people have a lot to learn from the way they love others.

They don't enjoy cross religious discussion because they fear outside information and opinions. The JW's on this site are out of the norm.

I think that all views should be heard and that all JW's should be open to open discussion. The problem is that they are not to their detriment.

Their motives are well intentioned but the Watchtower doesn't endorse being on sites like these. Some her remember when there was a mass exodus of JW's from this site. It was because the Org told them that they shouldn't have discussions luike these over the internet.
 

paarsurrey

Veteran Member
That is true to an extent. Witnesses study their commentaries and proof text, which means that they don't necessarily choose scriptures based on the whole context. For instance, we had a Bible reading programme in which we gradually went through the bible by ourselves. So I think within the year we would read the whole bible. Problem is that at meetings only certain sections of those verse would be commented on. Which means that they are not doing a true study of the whole bible. True bible study is verse by verse.

I also pointed out what you did. People didn't like it when I did that either.
They in fact tried that I don't go to their Church.
Regards
 

paarsurrey

Veteran Member
It is great that you enjoy civil discussions. I don't think you would be on Religious forums if you didn't. :)

It seems that what you are saying is that one has to point to a right religion in order to say that JW's are wrong? That is illogical. All I have to do is show that you contradict the scriptures and have fruit to show that you are wrong as a group. Unity means nothing when that unity is detrimental to ones mental health and isn't based on truth.

As I implied in my thread, the bible leaves many aspects of Christianity open to interpretation. Also, you want people to worship the right way, but what is the right way now among witnesses is not the right way that the JW's taught 50 years ago because doctrine constantly changes. The orgs promises about being the right way years ago is proven false by the "New light" that gets revealed. So you yourself do not have the right way as proven by "New Light". So what do you mean by "When you learn the truth"?. Which truth from what era of the witnesses are you referring to? And if you cannot "unlearn" "the truth" does that mean that you cannot change what you believe now? Does that mean that you do not believe in the "overlapping generation' because you cannot unlearn what you were previously taught?

The fact that you will not participate further is disappointing. As I said, if you have a problem with what I said then refute me. If you are right then I will become a Witness again. But unfortunately all you have attempted to do is discredit me without addressing my points and use the ad hominem fallacy, which was unnecessary.

I have no problem with you as a person. I believe you have good intentions. But please think about why you do not want to participate further. And also how something like the shunning policy affects those shunned. I was just stating my observations and am open for refutation at any point.

Keep well Deeje.
"The fact that you will not participate further is disappointing. As I said, if you have a problem with what I said then refute me. If you are right then I will become a Witness again. But unfortunately all you have attempted to do is discredit me without addressing my points and use the ad hominem fallacy, which was unnecessary."

It is a rational approach.
For Bible study, no teacher is required. When one of my Catholic friends presented me with a Bible (OT and NT), I just started reading it from the Genesis and making notes. It took me three years to finish it as I did it with a lot of concentration. Now, I knew what is exactly in the Bible even more correctly than a priest or clergy would know. Sometimes the teacher take you away from what is exactly written in the Bible. When somebody from the Christians will discuss with me, I pointed out things what exactly was in the text and the context while they could not deny it and just said that they had not thought of it while they had gone through it many times in their life and even their priests did not know about them.
I therefore suggest that one should study Bible intently from Genesis onward without a teacher. One will know more than a teacher could tell. It is easy.

Regards
 

Samael_Khan

Goosebender
"The fact that you will not participate further is disappointing. As I said, if you have a problem with what I said then refute me. If you are right then I will become a Witness again. But unfortunately all you have attempted to do is discredit me without addressing my points and use the ad hominem fallacy, which was unnecessary."

It is a rational approach.
For Bible study, no teacher is required. When one of my Catholic friends presented me with a Bible (OT and NT), I just started reading it from the Genesis and making notes. It took me three years to finish it as I did it with a lot of concentration. Now, I knew what is exactly in the Bible even more correctly than a priest or clergy would know. Sometimes the teacher take you away from what is exactly written in the Bible. When somebody from the Christians will discuss with me, I pointed out things what exactly was in the text and the context while they could not deny it and just said that they had not thought of it while they had gone through it many times in their life and even their priests did not know about them.
I therefore suggest that one should study Bible intently from Genesis onward without a teacher. One will know more than a teacher could tell. It is easy.

Regards

I am 100% with you on this!!! Awesome Viewpoint! Studying the Bible on my own made me question the teachings of the Organisation a lot. I discovered that they didn't have a verse by verse commentary on passages. There are some verses in Romans 8 which haven't been commented on since 1975 or before that. And Romans 8 discusses the fact that all Christians are anointed, not a select few, because one cannot please god without being an heir of Christ. Their view of the anointed led me to believe that they didn't have the truth.

It is great that you know the Bible as much as you do. Studying verse by verse from Genesis to the end is the best method.
 

Brickjectivity

Veteran Member
Staff member
Premium Member
You do have a true point in what you say.

Open interpretation is difficult to sustain. That is why one must have certain truths to be an anchor. After the reformation many groups formed believing that they could understand the truth on their own. It opened the way for one man claiming that he was sent by God. Then cults are formed. Such as the Anabaptist cult led by Jan Matthys and Jan van Lyden which led to the siege of Munster. You should check out Dan Carlin's podcast called Prophets of Doom which discusses them.
Those reformation groups are somewhat desperate. What bites them in the backside is this insistence of having certain truths as an anchor. Truth is self sustaining in that it shines down from God at all times. (James 1) We walk in the light. We are given birth by the word of truth coming down from the father of the heavenly lights, who alone does not change like shifting shadows. We, however, must confess our sin. We may not own the anchors of truth. That is how I understand this.

I view this as "Let baal defend himself if he be a god." If every baal is required to defend itself, then we must not lower the standard for the truths we would see upheld. That truth which cannot sustain itself is not worth serving, and we introduce corruption by defending it. It must not be an anchor but must be anchored on its own if it can anchor us. This is what I think of the concept of trying to use anchor truths to create unity. It never succeeds. It gives us fat heads, creates a foothold for the satan. Only the God of peace crushes Satan in our midst, not we ourselves.

I think creeds do not glorify God and create confusion, instead. Peace and communion through love, these will defend truth like nothing else will, not all of the various panic attacks the people have. People worry about if they should be re-baptized, if they should be using real wine instead of grape juice, if they should kick out the divorced, if they must not wear makeup. Here's one which divided the church: is trinity monotheist. I don't think God is too concerned about our opinions. They don't glorify God. They glorify us. I am feeling particularly clever for making this post. It glorifies me, so it cannot establish truth.

Consider this explanation of Jesus parable of the house built upon sand (like those who regularly build at the Outer Banks), and see if you can agree. The sands are the anchors of truth people choose. For a time they can build on them, but then comes the stormy season. The rock is the humility required to let God's truth shine down on each person. It is me letting God be your judge. It requires the belief that God can do this, while the sand requires no such trust. The sand has the form of godliness but denies the power thereof. Instead it is grasping. It is mistaking our wisdom for God's power. If Jesus had wanted to he could have laid down full instructions for the Christian life, but instead he sent us something else. Then he prayed we would be unified. He gave us the power of forgiveness and in so doing the power to answer his prayer through humility. Then we would be building upon a firm foundation. We would say together let God be true and every man a liar that his judgment would be affirmed rather than ours.
 

SomeRandom

Still learning to be wise
Staff member
Premium Member
JW's are really nice people in general. Or at least they strive to love others to the best of their ability. Same with Mormons. I think many people have a lot to learn from the way they love others.

They don't enjoy cross religious discussion because they fear outside information and opinions. The JW's on this site are out of the norm.

I think that all views should be heard and that all JW's should be open to open discussion. The problem is that they are not to their detriment.

Their motives are well intentioned but the Watchtower doesn't endorse being on sites like these. Some her remember when there was a mass exodus of JW's from this site. It was because the Org told them that they shouldn't have discussions luike these over the internet.
Fascinating. For me, such discussions were a matter of life. A necessary growth experience and a matter of honour. I don’t know why any organisation would bar such (albeit potential) spiritual growth for it’s members in any official capacity.
 

Vee

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
I think this thread deserves a positive JW story, so let me summarize mine.
Most of my life I didn't have a religion and I never felt the need for one. I'm one of those "do your own thing kind of person" and even though I always had certain beliefs, becoming a member of a religious group was not in my radar during most of my life.
I have some JWs in my family who thought me a few things over the years. I listened, filed the information in my memory and kept going. I also have friends and family who are Catholic, Evangelists, atheists and a few other ists (some of them are not even very clear to me).
In my late twenties and after a number of experiences that shaped the person I became, as well as a number of mistakes that could have been avoided if I had adopted better values, I started seeing the world going in a direction that seemed oddly familiar. And then I realized that the things I'd head from JW were developing so I told myself that maybe they were on to something.
I contacted them through the website JW.org and organized a bible study. I studied for 2 years before making the decision of getting baptized. It was MY decision. No one told me that I had to, nobody ever pointed that I had been studying for a certain period of time and I should get baptized, no one pressured me in any way. And when I made the decision to get baptized I had to go through a series of meetings with the elders who waned to make sure I was doing the right thing for the right reasons. That's standard procedure. People become JW out of their own choice. I do however know some who were pressure by family members who thought they were being helpful. It shouldn't be that way, but unfortunately sometimes it happens.
I've been a Witness for almost ten years and it's been very, very good to me. I love the group of people I belong with and they've made my life so much better in every possible way. Are there struggles and difficulties? Of course. But they can be dealt with, one at the time. As an introvert I will always have trouble participating in group activities, so being part of a religious group, as you can imagine, is not easy for someone with my nature. But is the effort worth it? Definitely, yes!
I get along with lots of people who are not witnesses and love them just as much. I respect other people's points of view and appreciate their feedback.
It's a great privilege to participate in this forum, even more to have been invited to become a Mod a while ago. You guys challenge me, give me a lot to think about and I am so grateful to have you in my life, even if it is only in a virtual way.
As for the people who decided to stop being JW and left the organization, they made a choice to leave with the same freedom they had when they decided to join. And choices have consequences. Before getting baptized I was told that if my behavior wasn't in accord with Bible standard and I got dis-fellowshiped I would be excluded from other Witnesses lives. I was aware of the consequences as are all JWs. We all have to be prepared to accept the consequences of our choices whether we agree with them or not. What I have trouble with is people saying that when they get dis-fellowshiped they are alone in the world. Really? There are 7.5 billion people in the world and only 8 million are Jehovah's Witnesses. What stops anyone from making other friends, joining other groups?
Personally I've had a really good experience as a JW so far and I hope it continues that way, but if I ever leave I hope I'll have the maturity and the soundness of mind to find a new path, make new friends and occupy my time with things that bring me and those around me some form of joy.
 

Samael_Khan

Goosebender
I think this thread deserves a positive JW story, so let me summarize mine.
Most of my life I didn't have a religion and I never felt the need for one. I'm one of those "do your own thing kind of person" and even though I always had certain beliefs, becoming a member of a religious group was not in my radar during most of my life.
I have some JWs in my family who thought me a few things over the years. I listened, filed the information in my memory and kept going. I also have friends and family who are Catholic, Evangelists, atheists and a few other ists (some of them are not even very clear to me).
In my late twenties and after a number of experiences that shaped the person I became, as well as a number of mistakes that could have been avoided if I had adopted better values, I started seeing the world going in a direction that seemed oddly familiar. And then I realized that the things I'd head from JW were developing so I told myself that maybe they were on to something.
I contacted them through the website JW.org and organized a bible study. I studied for 2 years before making the decision of getting baptized. It was MY decision. No one told me that I had to, nobody ever pointed that I had been studying for a certain period of time and I should get baptized, no one pressured me in any way. And when I made the decision to get baptized I had to go through a series of meetings with the elders who waned to make sure I was doing the right thing for the right reasons. That's standard procedure. People become JW out of their own choice. I do however know some who were pressure by family members who thought they were being helpful. It shouldn't be that way, but unfortunately sometimes it happens.
I've been a Witness for almost ten years and it's been very, very good to me. I love the group of people I belong with and they've made my life so much better in every possible way. Are there struggles and difficulties? Of course. But they can be dealt with, one at the time. As an introvert I will always have trouble participating in group activities, so being part of a religious group, as you can imagine, is not easy for someone with my nature. But is the effort worth it? Definitely, yes!
I get along with lots of people who are not witnesses and love them just as much. I respect other people's points of view and appreciate their feedback.
It's a great privilege to participate in this forum, even more to have been invited to become a Mod a while ago. You guys challenge me, give me a lot to think about and I am so grateful to have you in my life, even if it is only in a virtual way.
As for the people who decided to stop being JW and left the organization, they made a choice to leave with the same freedom they had when they decided to join. And choices have consequences. Before getting baptized I was told that if my behavior wasn't in accord with Bible standard and I got dis-fellowshiped I would be excluded from other Witnesses lives. I was aware of the consequences as are all JWs. We all have to be prepared to accept the consequences of our choices whether we agree with them or not. What I have trouble with is people saying that when they get dis-fellowshiped they are alone in the world. Really? There are 7.5 billion people in the world and only 8 million are Jehovah's Witnesses. What stops anyone from making other friends, joining other groups?
Personally I've had a really good experience as a JW so far and I hope it continues that way, but if I ever leave I hope I'll have the maturity and the soundness of mind to find a new path, make new friends and occupy my time with things that bring me and those around me some form of joy.

It is great that you have a good experience so far being a Witness. I know many who do too. I myself haven't had a relatively bad experience as a Witness. I have the same troubles as you as I am an introvert as well. Which is also a benefit when leaving because I don't have many attachments as I wasn't disfellowhipped but disassociated myself.

I do have a few questions for you just to get your viewpoint on things:

How do you view the Governing Body?

How do other Witnesses view your participation on Religiousforums and do you think that the Governing Body would approve?

How do you view the organisations stance on bad association? And what qualifies as bad association?

Regarding being alone in the world, do you think that it is easy for people to leave knowing that their whole family will reject them? Do you think that there is a replacement for family and friends? Especially those who value family? Have you ever discussed the affect of disfellowshipping with those who were disfellowshipped?

Also, regarding the doctrine of disfellowshipping, please state what the sins committed are from the context as to what is grounds for disfellowshipping.

Also, if you are willing, would you mind giving a detailed refutation of my opening post?

Thanks very much for the positive story.
 

Samael_Khan

Goosebender
Fascinating. For me, such discussions were a matter of life. A necessary growth experience and a matter of honour. I don’t know why any organisation would bar such (albeit potential) spiritual growth for it’s members in any official capacity.

Such discussions were also necessary for my growth. They wouldn't see considering opposing views as spiritual growth. They would see it as a spiritual sickness. Only obeying what they see as truth is considered spiritual growth.
 

Samael_Khan

Goosebender
Those reformation groups are somewhat desperate. What bites them in the backside is this insistence of having certain truths as an anchor. Truth is self sustaining in that it shines down from God at all times. (James 1) We walk in the light. We are given birth by the word of truth coming down from the father of the heavenly lights, who alone does not change like shifting shadows. We, however, must confess our sin. We may not own the anchors of truth. That is how I understand this.

I view this as "Let baal defend himself if he be a god." If every baal is required to defend itself, then we must not lower the standard for the truths we would see upheld. That truth which cannot sustain itself is not worth serving, and we introduce corruption by defending it. It must not be an anchor but must be anchored on its own if it can anchor us. This is what I think of the concept of trying to use anchor truths to create unity. It never succeeds. It gives us fat heads, creates a foothold for the satan. Only the God of peace crushes Satan in our midst, not we ourselves.

I think creeds do not glorify God and create confusion, instead. Peace and communion through love, these will defend truth like nothing else will, not all of the various panic attacks the people have. People worry about if they should be re-baptized, if they should be using real wine instead of grape juice, if they should kick out the divorced, if they must not wear makeup. Here's one which divided the church: is trinity monotheist. I don't think God is too concerned about our opinions. They don't glorify God. They glorify us. I am feeling particularly clever for making this post. It glorifies me, so it cannot establish truth.

Consider this explanation of Jesus parable of the house built upon sand (like those who regularly build at the Outer Banks), and see if you can agree. The sands are the anchors of truth people choose. For a time they can build on them, but then comes the stormy season. The rock is the humility required to let God's truth shine down on each person. It is me letting God be your judge. It requires the belief that God can do this, while the sand requires no such trust. The sand has the form of godliness but denies the power thereof. Instead it is grasping. It is mistaking our wisdom for God's power. If Jesus had wanted to he could have laid down full instructions for the Christian life, but instead he sent us something else. Then he prayed we would be unified. He gave us the power of forgiveness and in so doing the power to answer his prayer through humility. Then we would be building upon a firm foundation. We would say together let God be true and every man a liar that his judgment would be affirmed rather than ours.


Really I do not have much to add to your reasoning on this. A real WINNER post in my opinion.
 

74x12

Well-Known Member
As an Ex-JW (left in February... YAY!) I know that JW's pride themselves with the unity that they have vs the multiple denominations among "Christendom".

From what I understand about most Protestant denominations I have come across (as an example) is that they do not dispute what they see as the fundamentals of Christianity, but they choose the denomination depending on what that denomination emphasizes. So they still see each other as united. So, for an example James White will debate Michael Brown on predestination, but they still see each other as saved and true Christians. The bible allows open interpretation in many cases where it doesn't explicitly say something, such as in prophecy. So it should be left to open interpretation or dependent on a persons conscience.

Now the JW's say that they have unity, but this isn't dependent on open interpretation in most cases. The JW's have to say that they believe what the Faithful and Discreet Slave (Governing Body) say they must believe. So what they "believe" is dependent on other men's understanding. The question is then: are they really united in their faith? Can one's belief truly be changed just because others say it is what you must believe? I have witnessed in many cases (including my own faith, which is why I left) that Witnesses hold to individual beliefs which contradict what the organisation says is believed now. Individual viewpoints also cropped up in Watchtower studies, mostly by older ones, who still believed stuff that they were taught many years ago.

This leads me to the "New Light". This is the reason why the older JW's have old views. They haven't been keeping up with the organisations teachings. "New Light" also brings truth into the equation. JW's from 50 years ago had a very different view of scripture that they have today. So, up until the recent "New Light", the witnesses have actually been teaching a few falsehoods, and in Rutherfords time they were teaching many falsehoods. And since there will be "New Light" in the future, they are teaching falsehoods now. A person might have viewed the old teachings as wrong, but for the sake of unity, if they expressed disagreement, then they were frowned upon, even disfellowshipped, even if they were right in their viewpoint. Also, when the Governing Body wishes to change a teaching, at some point there must be disunity, because one of the Governing Body must have thought that a current teaching was wrong, which is to be an apostate. He must have openly professed that he believed a teaching to be wrong. He was an apostate when presenting the teaching. The nature of these teachings that are changed should be open to interpretation, such as the understanding of prophecy and the understanding of the "generation", things which have been changed on many occasions and, for the sake of unity, if anybody taught those falsehoods differently, they could be disfellowshipped.

What is more important? The unity in even the most obscure of understandings? Or truth? It seems that many denominations are options for people who believe in different things and allows them to express this with like minded people. JW's have to express unity even if they don't actually believe a teaching which rests on another man's conscience which is subjective.

Example: Among JW's it is frowned upon for a man to wear a beard. Obviously this is not stated in scripture. It is actually endorsed since the Israelites had to have beards. Even Jesus wore a beard. Yet somehow the Witnesses say that it is a bad thing based on obscure reasoning ironically. And to remain united they will limit the privileges of a brother who wears a beard for the sake of unity. The same goes for wearing suits. None of this is biblical. It is Pharisaic in its enforcement.

The fruit that they bear also reveals a lot about them. Yes, many members are lovely people and strive for holiness. But the organisation itself is problematic. The organisation shows signs of Behaviour Control, Information Control, Thought Control and Emotional control. Signs of a cult. Information control even goes so far as members not being able to communicate with apostates. I am surprised Witnesses are on this site. I was on Religious Forums because I was not united with Organisation rules. Any witness who communicates with me will be showing disunity. They disfellowship members, which is shunning, which often leads to many committing suicide. Shunning is very cult like behaviour. They restrict self expression through turning one into a JW clone, which is why JW's sound similar and use loaded language, which often makes one dead inside, as everybody wants to be accepted for who they are. Thought control is achieved by even limiting what they believe. They are discouraged from entertaining alternative scriptural viewpoints to the Organisation. So they cannot read the bible and come to their own understanding even if the organisations understanding didn't make sense. I was seen as argumentative because I questioned many things. Some have been shunned for expressing alternative views in sincerity.

Someone who is studying the bible with them should be aware that they will only discover many teachings once they are in the group. Also, once someone is baptised as a Witness they cannot leave without being disfellowshipped and shunned. This means that everybody who they know or are related to in the group will not even look their way (besides elders). As a result they will be alone in the world. Someone who is raised as a Witness, follows JW rules such as only hanging out with JW's, gets baptised at 14 (for instance), and discovers that the religion is false and leaves or commits an "error"and disfellowshipped, will be shunned and their own flesh and blood will not speak to them. This often leads understandably to depression and many suicides.

The implication of "New Light" when studying to get baptised as a JW is that what you believe to be proper bible teaching now will not be what they teach 50 years down the line as truth. Therefore you very well might not be agreeing with them in the future. You might see that they are teaching errors. So getting baptised now is getting baptised to an organisation and not a set of beliefs. You follow the organisation, not what you believe to be true. So if you get married as a JW, to a JW, have children and only have JW friends, and you see that what they are teaching is not what you signed up for, then there is a great chance that you will lose your family. This has happened in loads of cases. This is thought control and behaviour control.

The Australian Royal Commission revealed that the Witnesses do not deal with child abuse in an appropriate manner. Elders are encouraged by the branch not to report child abuse cases to the police. Many Ex Witnesses have shared their bad experiences with the Org regarding abuse. this is not the sign of bearing good fruit. This is negligence. The right food was definitely not fed to the sheep at the proper time.

Even though Witnesses frown upon denominations, they themselves can be seen as a denomination of the Bible Students. Charles Taze Russell (himself influenced by the Adventist movement) started the Bible Students. When Rutherford took over the group splintered into many different ones:

Read:
Bible Student movement - Wikipedia

The only reason why they say they aren't a denomination is because they see the others as false. And they do not have doctrine to support their validity because it changes constantly, which means that Rutherford's group wasn't the same as the group today. In fact the other groups stick to Russell's teachings and are the same. So they were the true followers of Russell.

Anyway. I write this to show that JW's shouldn't judge Christian denominations. That would be hypocritical. Even though they say they have unity, this actually proves that they should not judge. They are very similar to the Catholic Church (who they judged constantly) with regards to the qualities that they judge the RCC by: The Governing Body is equivalent to the Pope, they demand unity to a much worse extreme than the RCC before the Reformation, they withhold information like the RCC used to, they excommunicate like the RCC used to, they have inquisitions like the RCC used to(Read Crisis of Conscience by ex Governing Body member Ray Franz), etc. The cool thing about the Roman Catholic Church though is that they have changed and admit their mistakes...

Read Romans 2.

Let me know whether you agree with me or not, if you find this informative, or, if you disagree with my statements above, feel free to correct me. What I wrote might be jumbled a bit, maybe incoherent at times, like I am jumping from topic to topic, but this is only a speck of what I had to sort through in my mind.

The truth about "The Truth" shall set us free.
Follow the money as they say. Where does all the money given to the JW organization go? Where does all the money given to the Catholic church go? Etc.

Jesus claimed that the real gate is tight and the real way is narrow and few find it. Stay away from man made organisations until you are led of the holy Spirit. Pretty much everything really big in this world is controlled at the top by the enemy.
 

Samael_Khan

Goosebender
Follow the money as they say. Where does all the money given to the JW organization go? Where does all the money given to the Catholic church go? Etc.

Jesus claimed that the real gate is tight and the real way is narrow and few find it. Stay away from man made organisations until you are led of the holy Spirit. Pretty much everything really big in this world is controlled at the top by the enemy.

What is interesting is that the JW's are cutting down on publications, selling Kingdom Halls and sending many Bethel members home. They have gradually been doing this over recent years. So they have been cutting down on cost. Before I left members of my congregation were even asked to write down on paper how much they would contribute per month. I do not know if this was throughout all congregations as a fact, but other Ex-JW's from all around the world were saying that it was happening over there as well. This could be a sign that they are low on funds relatively to what they used to have. This coincidently also coincides with the many millions of dollars that they have to pay in lawsuits over child abuse.

Witnesses aren't actually told where the money is going as their finances aren't open for all Witnesses to see what they are doing with donations. So they can do what they wish with it and Witnesses wouldn't know. It is known that they spend a lot on publications and other things which the average Witness can visibly see in front of them. They have the most widely published magazines in the world. But Witnesses do not know how much the organisation actually receives and how much those other things cost.

There are those who have researched and shown on Youtube the money trail of the JW's but I have no way of trusting what they say and dunno if what they say is true.

I do agree with you on all the big stuff being controlled by the enemy. If they are big, then be suspicious.
 

savagewind

Veteran Member
Premium Member
She says that she has nothing to defend,
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect 1 Peter 3:15

I might add that it isn't a group of people which Jehovah wills us to cling to. It is the way, the truth, and the life that is the true religion. I think that for each believing person it means a personal relationship with the way, the truth, and the life.
 

savagewind

Veteran Member
Premium Member
a

They don't enjoy cross religious discussion because they fear outside information and opinions. The JW's on this site are out of the norm.

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It is true that the organization plants fear in Jehovah's Witnesses. I am not afraid of much, but when I had ample evidence that they were not actually "spirit directed" by Jehovah I was still terribly afraid of searching the internet for like-minded individuals. It took some months before I was brave enough to seek some outside information. And it was amazing! I had no idea that real evidence against them has existed for many years and was extremely easy to find.
 

Hockeycowboy

Witness for Jehovah
Premium Member
Some of these ex-JW's would've had a hard time living and coping in ancient Israel. The Israelites had many issues / problems, but as a whole, they were still Jehovah's people. There was nowhere else to go for pure worship.
 
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