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Featured Religious Truth And The Jehovah's Witnesses

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Earthling, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    I have to break this down into parts or it would be much too long from the start. This, part 1 consists of my definition of religion. The difference between organized religion and religion in general. Part 2 will be my understanding of the major organized religions. Part 3 will explain my decision regarding which religion is closest to the truth and where my criticisms of that religion are and how that effects my beliefs.

    Part 1 Religion

    I define religion, in it's most basic sense, as a strict adherence to a set of principles. In this regard everyone is religious.

    I see organized religion as being potentially harmful, especially to it's own original teachings. No organized religion has ever remained true to itself. It always transmogrifies into something else. People tend to think that everyone should think like they do. On an individual level deviation from the norm is less harmful, potentially, and is typically perceived that way. On a more massive scale it tends to be abused for the sake of power and money.

    The same applies to charitable organizations, politics, sports, fashion, art, music, science, history, grammar, and every other consideration of mankind.

    Speculation on the origins of religion (religion in general) is only speculation. No one knows. Often such speculation is socially / politically motivated xenophobic attempts to silence one world view with another.
     
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  2. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    Part 2 My Understanding Of Organized Religion

    I've studied the very basic histories of Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Shintoism and Taoism. I've read, proofread and published on past websites, The Four Noble Truths, Dhammapda, Gospel Of Buddha, Paradise Lost, Divine Comedy, Confucian Analects, Mencius, The Bhagavad Gita, The Qur'an, The Pirque Aboth, Nihongi, Kojiki, Tao Te Ching, and Chuang Tzu.

    Though there are a few claims of divine inspiration and references to creation in some religious texts, they are all vague and insubstantial with the exception of the Bible.

    Buddha rejected the concept of a God and his possible interference with man. Confucius referred to a vague heavenly way, or nature, which also didn't interfere with man but is comparable to human nature. Lao Tzu, who formed Taoism, made a similar claim. The sacred texts of Shintoism make no divine claim, though they do include creation myths, they aren't historical and the text can't be, in fact weren't meant to be corroborated with actual evidence.

    Some of the Vedas of Hinduism make vague unsubstantiated claims of celestial inspiration. Their creator god, Brahma was born of another deity, and Brahman is a metaphysical force rather than a divine being. Most Hindus don't believe in a creator, though that is left to the individual. Scientology also leaves the belief in a creator god up to the individual, and teach that the Theta willed themselves into existence generating the MEST, Matter, Energy, Space and Time into being. There is no way to corroborate these claims.

    Mormons believe that the Bible is incomplete, That the heavens and earth were created by Jesus Christ under the direction of God the Father. The writings of Joseph Smith often contradict the Bible, though, and there is no evidence of his alleged historical references. Muslims believe the Genesis account to have been corrupted, Their position on creation and evolution vary over time and individual interpretation. References to a creation in the Qur'an are vague and unsubstantiated.

    Christians believe in the Biblical creation account, though their interpretation of it varies. Some believe in an old earth and some believe in a young earth. The Christian Greek scriptures themselves are in complete harmony with the Hebrew Aramaic texts, which themselves foretold of an acceptance of the peoples of the nations once the Jewish people had rejected Jehovah God and his covenant with them. Both texts have a great deal of corroborating evidence in their support.

    Ancient mythology consists of myths which were not meant to be taken as literal or historical texts. They have a great deal less manuscripts than the Bible to compare and very little if any corroborating evidence to support them.

    Science can only speculate on the possible forming of the universe and planet earth. The current hypothesis is that the matter that formed the universe randomly and spontaneously appeared of it's own accord. The Bible, is, by far, the most likely authority on the subject.
     
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  3. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    IMO, Jesus knew that Christianity would splinter into groups each with separate teachings twisting His words....He talked about weeds being sown among the wheat, and at Matthew 7:18-23, he stressed it even more forcefully.

    That’s why Jesus didn’t mention teachings per se, when He discussed how a person could identify his genuine followers. Rather, He highlighted what actions they would display....indeed, live. Like at John 13:34-35.

    As the song says, “Love is the answer.” Well, one of them.

    Love for Jehovah God (and Jesus) comes first, of course. But that carries over into loving all humans, despite race, nationality, or creed.
     
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  4. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise
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    What corroborating evidence does the Bible have specifically?
    Also minor correction, IIRC correctly Brahma is born from a golden egg. Ahh creation myths.
     
    #4 SomeRandom, Jun 22, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018
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  5. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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  6. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    Jesus said This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ. John 17:3. Does this mean passing a test on the subject? No. It means you earnestly seek accurate knowledge over tradition or massive appeal.

    Do Buddhist not love one another? Who would have the most convincing history of brotherly love, among themselves or those outside of their beliefs, Buddhists or Christians? Not that Buddhists haven't had bloody disputes among themselves, mind you, but compared to Christianity? No contest.

    I once went out in service with a group of Jehovah's Witnesses, who were always reminding me of their brotherly love. The group consisted of two elders of the congregation, one of their wives, two ministerial servants, one who later became an elder and one who later disassociated himself. Every time they made a stop and one of them got out of the van to go to someone's door all of the rest of them gossiped unflattering comments on the one absent. When they were all together they talked about the hypocrisy, materialism and laziness of the overseers on quick builds. Except for the one ministerial servant who later disassociated. He remained silent with an almost disgusted look on his face.

    When I studied with the JWs I invited my mother to a meeting, she was invited to study and became a baptized JW in good standing, and remains so to this day. She reluctantly agreed to attend a convention, reluctantly because she has terrible back problems. She fell climbing some stairs and was ignored by every Witness passing by, including the presiding overseer of the congregation.

    Two Jehovah's Witnesses used to come to my grandmother's house regularly. My grandmother didn't like things neat, she liked them messy. I was climbing in a tree outside when the 2 old ladies left, their voices as sweet as molasses telling her how wonderful she was and how much they had enjoyed their visit. Then, on the way to their car, not knowing I was in the tree, their voices changed to shrill and judgmental exclamations of how disgusting she was and how they hated going into her home. Liars. Hypocrites.

    I've seen them park their cramped cars in driveways for an hour or more with their "brothers and sisters" suffering inside needlessly. I've seen them grossly exercise class distinctions.

    These are bad examples of imperfect people, just like myself. Just a reminder to be practical and honest in the application of brotherly love through example. I've also been on the receiving side of real examples of kindness and generosity from the JW's. I've ate at their tables, attended their conventions, and events outside of the formal religious setting. I respect and admire them in general, but think they are a little bit unrealistic at times when referring to themselves.
     
  7. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    Do you remember me saying that a religious organization blessed by Jehovah will have perfect concepts, but it’s still administered by, and filled with, imperfect people?
    You’ll always have that!

    So it seems you’ve had more than a couple studies. Even going in Service, huh?

    I hope you will get back into it. You should remember how Jehovah answered your prayer — the next day. Wow!
     
  8. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    Take, for example, Mormonism. Where is Gimgimno or Zeezrom? Where are the artifacts of the Nephite? (Mormon 1:7 Alma 4:11; 43:18-20) They aren't there.

    There are countless examples of the Bible being proven correct over criticisms of skeptics through, for example, secular histories, archaeology and astronomical information. For a detailed explanation see an old post I made on the Skeptic's Annotated Bible on the subject here.
     
  9. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    Sorry, I meant to comment on this:
    Let’s take Buddhists out of the picture, for right now.

    Why would you say, “......compared to Christianity? No contest.”?? Obviously, you’re referring to mainstream Christianity. You’re moving the goalposts. Aren’t we talking about Jehovah’s Witnesses? (That’s who I meant.) We are Christian, but we certainly aren’t considered mainstream!

    Now, let’s have the “contest”. What do you think? What are the facts?
     
  10. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    I agree completely. Jesus' disciples, for example, arguing who was the better among them.

    I've studied twice with the JW's, first with the Live Forever book to it's completion, second with the Knowledge book and was an unbaptized publisher. I think I got the order and names of those books right. I read as much of the Watchtower Literature as I could get my hands on, going back to 1955. I was considered an excellent student, underlining, highlighting, reading the entire Bible within 6 months and reading the Proclaimers book in it's entirety when the society was admonishing the brothers and sisters for not reading it. I often heard the expression "Talking to him is just like talking to a brother!"

    i lied to them though, telling them I had quit smoking when I hadn't. I later revealed this to the Presiding Overseer who was my study conductor, and a very good one. He said he had done the same thing years ago.

    I never left it. I have studied intensely and regularly all of these years.
     
  11. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    I cannot even imagine that my brothers would behave this way, I have never experienced such a thing....but again, we are all imperfect and those who stumble others by their conduct will render an account with Jehovah. (Matthew 18:6-10) I am deeply sorry that the congregation you associated with left a bad taste in your mouth.

    But you know, when such observations were made, don't you think Jehovah was making them too?

    Do you think God will close his eyes to hypocrisy when Jesus castigated the Pharisees for that very thing?

    I have no doubt that there will be some who imagine that they are "sheep" when in fact Jesus only sees "goats".

    Christian is as Christian does. Christianity comes from the heart...not an organization or a book.
     
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  12. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    I was talking about perception. You can say Jesus said you would know his followers by their love for one another, and their fellow man by their preaching the good news, and this is correct, and mainstream Christians have a history of rivers of blood, true. And the JWs aren't mainstream, but there are examples of the JWs going way off track on the subject of brotherly love. We will get into some of those in later posts, all I was saying is that, generally speaking the JW's wouldn't be at the forefront of most people's idea of brotherly love, the Buddhists would. In general. Not that they are perfect either.
     
  13. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    All sin comes from the same place. To be unforgiving negates ones own possibility of being forgiven. It also blinds one to one's own wrongdoing. To me this is all practical. I relate to the humble sinner and beware of the self righteous likes of the Pharisees.
     
  14. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    Yeah, good example!

    Even on the night Jesus was going to die.....with all of that “weight” on His mind, the fate of the human race in his hands, so to speak....and He still calmly and patiently taught them a lesson in humility, by kneeling down and washing their feet!!

    That’s perfection! That’s our King!

    No wonder the Bible tells us to ‘follow his steps closely’! But we’ll never be able to do it perfectly. We should try, though. That’s where associating and having fellowship with other worshippers of Jehovah helps....an interchange of encouragement (Romans 1:12) is priceless.

    Goodnight.
     
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  15. danieldemol

    danieldemol Well-Known Member
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    I would never be a JW because I find them opposed to science and from careful examination of science I find it’s methods quite reasonable.
     
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  16. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    Now, look! You've literally made me weep.

    Goodnight.
     
  17. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    here is a post I made earlier about Scientists, all who are Jehovah's Witnesses, and don't believe in Evolution. See here
     
  18. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise
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    Perhaps. I don't know. Everyone always says that about their own Holy Book/s. There are always countless examples of insert Holy Book here being proven correct. Even on here you find the same said of the Q'aran, the Bible, the Torah, the Vedas etc etc etc ad nauseum. It just depends on which practitioner you happen to ask. It's always struck me as a "my tool is bigger than yours" contest to me. (And that's me being polite.)
     
  19. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    But on your own? Not baptized or part of Jehovah's modern day people? So can I ask what you study intensely?
    I notice that you have used our old NWT....did you know its been updated? The new revised edition has made some important changes. :)

    If Paul said that we must "all speak in agreement", (1 Corinthians 1:10) who is it that you are in agreement with?
    If you study on your own and make up your own mind about what to believe, then how are you part of the Master's household? He said he would appoint a 'faithful and discreet slave' to feed all of his fellow slaves their "food at the proper time" (Matthew 24:45).....can I ask who is feeding you? [​IMG]I don't think God recommends self service.

    Is being isolated how Jesus taught us to be a disciple? Paul's words, alluded to by Hockeycowboy meant that we are supposed to associate regularly with our spiritual brothers and sisters, (Romans 1:12; Hebrews 10:24-25)......so who are your 'brothers and sisters', if I may ask?

    Hang on...I have been a Witness for 45 years and I have no memory of being told not to read the Proclaimers Book. [​IMG]Must have missed the memo....

    Hmmmm....the opinions of humans really don't count you know. Was Jehovah seeing you as a brother? That is the more important question. You see, its not about head knowledge or how good a 'student' you are....satan had more head knowledge than any human, and yet he thought more of himself than Jehovah did.....its about what is in our hearts, not about how much knowledge is in our head. (1 Corinthians 8:1) And it matters how we represent our Master. Anyone can put on a front.....and I am starting to get the impression that you were good at it....am I mistaken?

    [​IMG] Here is an example....you're telling us that the hypocrites stumbled you and yet here you are telling us that you lied to the brother studying with you and everyone else? And because he admitted to doing the same, that somehow made it OK? Weren't you also lying to Jehovah? Wasn't he? :shrug:

    I'm sorry but I am getting a bit confused about the accounts you are giving here.....to tell you the truth, I am sick of hearing one sided stories about my brothers for the simple reason we can't hear the other side of these stories. No judgment is possible unless both sides are presented. It doesn't stop people from doing it though.
    I guess the Jews heard some awful stories about those terrible Christians too. It was enough to make them want to kill their leader, even though none of them were true! Does history repeat?

    I will wait to hear about your issues with our beliefs......from what you have said so far, it might be interesting....
     
    #19 Deeje, Jun 23, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
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  20. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    Having convinced yourself and not your audience that your take on Christianity is the best religion there is, you have your sights set on a demonination of Christianity that views itself as the greatest.

    All the best with that.
     
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