Devoured by monsters in Hell

by trevor 24 Replies latest jw friends

  • LittleToe
    This thread is not aimed at you personally.

    I know, s'ok

    People are entitled to believe what they want to but I am bemused by the way Christianity has been slowly dismantled, in some churches, until it bears no resemblance to the religion pioneered by Jesus and his apostles.

    Why the bemusement? How much have you got invested in maintaining a worldview that people have to conform to a traditional version of a religion?

    So many inconvenient Bible references are dismissed and air brushed away,

    Ya mean some people are confortable being eclectic?

    Eat your heart out John Lennon.


    As ever, these are rhetorical questions. My point isn't to derail your thread, but merely to widen the scope and challenge from a view that will often be held by those who have just left the JWs. I apologise if my style is easily misconstrued.

  • LDH

    The truth is, just like the JW, other "christian" religions have dumbed down their message to the masses in recent years.

    When the two oldest generations die off, the youth will say, "we have no recollection of that. We never preached hellfire and brimstone."

    The message has been changed in recent years, but if you ask the old-timers---everyone who isn't born again is going to hell. In JW land, everyone who doesn't survive Armegeddon goes into an 'eternal cutting off.' same belief, different words.

  • Narkissos

    As a side remark, fear of death is universal and intimate enough to work in consciences without the need of constant preaching of judgement and hell. Even if you concentrate on the positive (salvation etc.) it is still in the back of everyone's mind, as a cord which can be smoothly played out even in a very allusive way.

    I have still to see a religion which would completely give up resorting to the fear of death.

  • trevor

    LDH - they are my observations too.


    Thanks but - there really is no need to apologise.

    Why the bemusement? How much have you got invested in maintaining a worldview that people have to conform to a traditional version of a religion?

    This is a good point - I see where you are coming from. Why should it matter to me?

    Well the reason I don’t claim to be a Christian is because I am unable to accept the Bible. If I could edit it to my liking things might be different. The problem is there would be so little left it is more honest for me to base my beliefs on say, my observation of nature. If I don’t believe most of what is written in the New Testament can I present myself to the world as a Christian?

    I remember listening to a debate between an atheist and some modern men of the cloth. One of them stated that it was not necessary to believe in God to be a Christian. The atheist laughed and said that they were being dishonest. He said they had taken over an old company and were misusing it’s name.

    There was a time when being a Christian meant making a stand, being no part of the world, seeking first the kingdom to stand approved on judgement day. This is what the Bible claims Jesus taught. Those that rejected these beliefs were not Christians.

    Now many Christians want to reject all these beliefs and still claim to be Christians. There is disagreement within the Christian movement over this. Outsider look and sense that it is a fudge. Modern Christianity is a lot nearer to my values than that taught by the old fire and brimstone brigade. Before long it will not be necessary to believe in Jesus to be Christian. If we are kind and loving people, belief will not be necessary. Good grief - then even I will be a Christian!

    If people want to tailor their beliefs and use the bits of the bible that they feel comfortable with - as you say ‘why should it matter to me?’ As I don’t believe it anyway, it should not concern to me.

  • LDH
    Well the reason I don’t claim to be a Christian is because I am unable to accept the Bible


  • LittleToe

    Thanks for your candid answer.

    I guess my reply would be, why do we have to accept that the "Christian" religion of 100 years ago had it right?

    Was it originally really about works before you gain a relationship, or was it more to do with a relationship that produced works (needless to say I fall into the later camp)?

    There seems to be a chasm set between those who are legalistic and those who are lovey-dovey. The bible canon, as we have it, would seem to indicate that this is nothing new. The wider book of worldwide history would also seem to concur.

    Some "Christian" denominations have already gone so far as to take God and Christ out of the equation, as you observe. I personally have difficulty with the idea of being a Theist and/or a Christian without one and/or the other of those basic components, but hey, whatever floats their boat.

    I guess the point that I enjoy hammering on about here is that there is an incredibly wide variation within denominations, far less between them, far less between religions. People are people, and they are as varied as their own fingerprints. Thus it's really difficult to generalise like we used to in the JWs.

    That having been said, there's an incredible amount of commonality, as you suggest in your initial post. Just as you can look at a human and say "hey, you're human!", rather than mistake them for an ant-eater.

  • greendawn

    The Gehenna does not mean hell but rather the place where the rubbish of the city were burnt, the hypocrites were to be trashed as it were because as characters and personalities they were trash due to a profound lack of moral standards.

  • trevor

    Yes LittleToe - it does seem that I have not full shaken of the Jehovah’s Witness idea that everything in a Bible based religion should be black and white. That is why I prefer to follow a different path. I have some sympathy with The Tao and it’s philosophical approach to life.

    I am waiting for James Thomas to start a religion. I am of course joking. That would defeat the essence of his message.

  • LittleToe
    I have some sympathy with The Tao and it’s philosophical approach to life.

    And so have I, my friend

    Is Christianity ultimately a "bible-based" religion? I guess for many it is. Many strive with rules and religious roles and rote, and miss the essence contained within (which I would also suggest may be found in other places).

    IMHO where Christianity differs from most other religions is the substitutionary aspect of the Christ role-model, and the inference of a relationship with that one. So many appear to get so far as the written word, without appreciating the living "Word". They seem to miss the part where he is alleged to have said "I came not into the world to judge...". Some even seem to enjoy the thrill of "fear".

    As it was in the beginning, so it is now...

  • Narkissos


    The Gehenna does not mean hell

    If you read the NT and contemporary Jewish literature without the WT glasses, it comes very close to "hell" imo.

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