Which is More Important: Doctrinal Correctness or Unity?

by Olin Moyles Ghost 18 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • jwfacts

    Interesting points. I don't want to throw a spanner in the works, but have you considered that there is no such thing as doctrinal correctness? The Bible is not a book of doctrine, but can be made to say whatever you want, depending of which scriptures are highlighted - hence 30,000 different sects that all believe they alone have doctrinal correctness.

    Maybe more important is what Jesus highlights: Love of God - Love of neighbour

    I realise that you want to come out with a line of argumentation that will help open the eyes of your family. However, none of the above will do that. Beliefs are a difficult thing to change. They only way they will change is if they want to, or if they are stumbled by something. It is always difficult to predict what that "something" will be - doctrine, pedophiles, the UN, lack of love, lies about its history???

  • LouBelle

    Hi Olin, at my JC the elders kept going on about our unity - I kept asking about the Love factor / false doctrine - it was unity and neutrality.

  • LittleToe

    Good argument. However standing back from the whole JW issue I would state that neither is as important as "love".(1Cor.13:13).

    Augustine is often quoted as saying: "in essentials, unity; in non-essentials, diversity; in all things, love". I kinda like that!

  • slimboyfat

    One of the most insidious ideas promoted by Jehovah's Witnesses is the concept of "running ahead of Jehovah's celestial chariot". This idea alone shows that at heart the organization cares about uniformity and not the pursuit of "the truth".

    "Running ahead of Jehovah's celestial chariot" promotes the idea that even if someone happens to be telling the truth, it is wrong or even wicked for them to do so if it is not "the right time for the truth to be revealed". Even if the understanding they promote comes to be accepted by the "faithful and discreet" slave in years to come, that person is still classed as an apostate for having spoken out of turn.


  • lovelylil

    I am with LT on this topic. btw LT, thank you for that wonderful quote.

    Love and unity are more important than doctrinal correctness. By having Love for each other, the unity will be preserved. Of course the WT perverts the meaning of unity, which to them means walking a tight line behind whatever the leadership decides is truth and not using your conscience to decide on even trivial matters. "unity" in the bible meant more like "peace". Not being in agreement on every iota of scripture.

    The following text from Romans 14 shows that the early church was not in agreement on every matter of faith (doctrine), contrary to what the WT will tell you. And the church in Rome was in fact repremanded by Paul because some were trying to push thier beliefs about certain non-essential issues onto others and judging them when they did not comply. Paul brings out that they are disturbing the peace (unity)of the brotherhood by doing this. And he stresses the importance of keeping peace over "doctrinal" correctness when dealing with small issues.

    Romans 14

    1 Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. 2 One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

    5 One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8 If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

    9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. 11 It is written:
    " 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord,
    'every knee will bow before me;
    every tongue will confess to God.' " 12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

    13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way. 14 As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. 15 If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. 16 Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.

    19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.

    22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

    Peace, Lilly

  • lookingnow25

    Believe me, I understand the flaws in this line of reasoning.

    Is doctrinal "truth" impossible to prove? Yes, I know that.
    Is Love more important than either of these? Yes.

    However, I'm trying to approach this line of reasoning from a JW mind set with two goals. One, to get at least my family to understand that I am not an apostate. Even if they stop talking to me to preserve their relationship with the org, I'm trying to prevent them from thinking of me as "dead". Two, to possibly reach an elder or twol that I think will be receptive.

    I know that it is possibly a lost cause, trying to prepare for the confrontation that I am bringing on. My feeling though is that this may be the best argument I can use because it is not offensive to what they teach, and supported by the bible.

    They do believe they have "THE TRUTH", so they can't argue against it being important, as pointed out by another poster, they even use it as a recruiting tool.

    If I argue for pro love instead of pro truth it could offend their feelings more than intellect, which I think would be more dangerous.


    p.s. - It is pointless isn't it.

  • Pahpa

    Most Jehovah's Witnesses confuse "unity" with "conformity." One can be united with fellow believers in faith, such as accepting Jesus Christ and yet disagree on certain doctrinal points. But the Watchtower demands conformity from its members. Each JW must believe what the Watchtower teaches even though some of these teachings have changed over the years. The Society acknowledges that some teachings have changed but one was still required to believe so as to "not run ahead of the organization." This forced conformity is against the principle of Christian freedom. (Ray Franz addresses this in his book "In Search of Christian Freedom.)

    Interestingly, individual JWs have different ideas on certain beliefs... particularly on Bible prophecy. Among themselves, speculations are often shared. But they consider this as personal views rather than organizational doctrine.

  • LittleToe
    p.s. - It is pointless isn't it.

    Yes, I'm afraid it is.

    Until an individual is faced with the issue that is their personal "deal-breaker" you can probably argue until you are blue in the face with little result. Kudos for trying, though. Keep chipping away...

    As for them deeming you an apostate - JWs have been conditioned to become increasingly sensitive to abherant views. Getting tarred with that title is all too easy. Good luck with dodging that particular mind-closer!

    Its no fun having family trapped in the bOrg {{{hugs}}}

  • Olin Moyles Ghost
    Olin Moyles Ghost

    All: Thanks for your comments. To those pointing out that love trumps doctrinal correctness and unity: I couldn't agree more.

    To those pointing out the fallacy of the whole idea of "doctrinal correctness": I also agree. The reason I considered this approach is because of the emphasis that Witnesses place on doctrinal correctness, or "truth." Sort of how Paul tried to be all things to people of all sorts.

    Anyway, thanks.

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