dozy replied to AuldSoul with the following:
:: If a large, successful, and intensive preaching campaign is what proves God's spirit is with a religion, the Evangelicals have it nailed down tightly. They are everywhere JWs are, and well beyond.
: Are they? Other than their bizarre TV evangelising efforts filled with demands for money and wild emotional sing-songs and appeals which immediately put off any right minded person ,
You don't seem to realize it, but you're doing exactly the same thing that the Governing Body does, and influences the JW community to do, when they lump all non-JWs into the "Christendom" category, and then judge the entire body of Christians by the behavior of a few. All this means is that you, like most JWs, are judging without knowing what you're talking about. Evangelicals are a diverse group and use all manner of preaching methods. Some are certainly the wild-eyed, drooling-at-the-mouth types you describe. Others are far more low key, and are actually quite pleasant to deal with.
What? Pleasant Evangelicals you say? How can that be? I wondered this, given my background of having been raised a JW and imbued with all the prejudices and false views that implies, until I actually spent some time with some of them. These low key Evangelicals might not go door to door as JWs and Mormons and a few other groups do, but they're fully committed to their own methods of preaching, and their large increase in many countries proves that these methods work. The door to door work (the Bible does not actually command this style of preaching; cf. Ray Franz's books, which show that the NWT rendering "door to door" is almost certainly a mistranslation, and certainly nothing to pin a major policy on) is actually quite ineffective, while the more personal, one-on-one methods that low key Evangelicals use are very effective.
When Russia opened up in the 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union, a great many Christian groups went in and did their versions of missionary work. Most experienced increases at least as great as the JWs did, which proves that their preaching methods work quite well. The Pentecostal movement was founded a bit before 1900, and since then they've increased worldwide to between 250 and 300 million. Whatever they do, and despite the extreme goofiness of some of their teachings, they're obviously a lot more effective than JWs are.
: I've never , ever , ever had any contact whatsoever by them (other than when I call on them in the ministry). And I live in an area popular with evangelicals who regularly establish new churches when they fall out with each other. There is a man who shouts at hapless passerbys in the street occasionally , before the police move him on. Does that count as "an intensive preaching campaign?"
Whatever. The obvious increase in membership that Evangelicals and other Christian groups generate speaks for itself.
:: Even the Mormons outdo JWs. By a lot. "But," JWs respond, "they teach things that aren't true, though!"
: In fairness , the Mormons have some fairly bizarre beliefs and would admit that they have relegated the bible to second place behind the book of Mormon (which is demonstrably false) - it contains large swathes of the book of Isaiah from the KJV including translation errors despite supposedly being written hundreds of years previously.
True, but you've merely illustrated AuldSoul's comments.
: The preaching is limited to young evangelists on a 2 year tour of duty - the average r & f Mormon doesn't preach or even have much knowledge of their beliefs.
The average JW preaches because and only because it's demanded at an organizational level, just as is the case with Mormons. And the average JW demonstrably doesn't have much knowledge of his beliefs. This is easy to prove: just ask an average JW to explain the claimed historical and biblical basis for a fundamental doctrine like the 607 chronology.
:: If a successful worldwide preaching work IS THE MARK, then JWs are beat out by several other religions.
: Such as?
:: If accurately teaching the Bible is the mark, then JWs are no better than any other and worse than some.
: I'll agree that they are no better than some other chuches. Accuracy is difficult to establish.
But inaccuracy is not. The 607 chronology is a good example. So is grossly violating the spirit of passages like Luke 21:8 ("Don't predict when the end is coming"). People give good examples all the time on this board of things the JWs teach that are demonstrably false.
:: If "love among yourselves" is the mark, JWs finish poorly among the religions I have seen.
: What other religious order refuses to go to war and kill fellow members in other countries?
That's only one aspect of "love among yourselves", and is arguable in any case. But AuldSoul's point was that in their own congregations, JWs often demonstrate that they really don't have this love. Again, literally thousands of posts on this board prove it.
:: If reliance on the teachings of men who proclaimed themselves to be chosen by God is the mark, JWs have no peers and must be the true religion.
: The above is why some (including my friend previously mentioned) feel that despite all their faults , there is some merit in JWism ,
Yes, just as there is some merit to all religions. If there were no merit, no one would join.
: and why they point to the preaching work as some support for their religion.
Right, and this pointing demonstrably has serious problems.
: I make no claim to be an apologist - I have tremendous doubts myself.
Which is why I term you a semi-apologist. Your post here illustrates this again.
: However , I do not share Auldsoul's view that Jehovah's witnesses (or more specifically their leadership) are corrupt or evil - I take the view that they are simply sincere , honest men who try hard to discern principles and prophecies from scripture but who are misguided when they claim that they inhabit the sole channel of direction and holy spiri and who have "gone beyond what is written" in imposing further laws on their flock.
AuldSoul has clearly demontrated why your view is wrong. Watchtower leaders are modern-day Pharisees, and despite the fact that some are sincere, others are not because they, like the Pharisees, are demonstrably more interested in maintaining 'their place and their nation' than in doing the will of God or obeying real Christian principles. They, like the Pharisees, are gross hypocrites. This is demonstrated, for example, by their ordering three bodies of elders, one week before the NBC Dateline show on JWs and child molestation aired back in 2002, to disfellowship the main ex-JW critics who they knew were to appear on the show. For more examples, just keep reading this board.