We are all imperfect and sin many times ... NOT!

by The Berean 8 Replies latest jw experiences

  • The Berean
    The Berean

    While I have come to distain religious organizations, I do believe that the practical wisdom recorded in Holy writings is of value in determining how things really are.

    Take, for instance, Proverbs 12:15: "The way of the foolish one is right in his own eyes, but the one listening to counsel is wise." NWT

    Now many of us play the "imperfection card" after it becomes obvious we have miscalculated a matter ... yet have you ever noticed that it is usually done in retrospect? Our kneejerk reaction in the midst of committing a potential error is to fight any source of enlightenment. The truth seems to be that most of us need to believe we are never wrong. We are only willing to discuss mistakes after the fact ... Why? Is it because it gives us time to deflect or "spin" our responsibility? If humans as flawed as we claim, what difference is it if we are right 50% of the time and wrong the other half? Smart in some matters, stupid when it comes to others? Shouldn't we expect to harm each other both by accident and on purpose?

    And then there is the matter of correcting one another. It is easy for frustration to set in when another does not see a matter as clearly as we believe we do. But here again the reccomendation seems prudent:" Into the ears of the stupid one do not speak, for he will despise your discreet words." Should we not expect to be ignored?

    Finally, Proverbs 16:2 states what I have come to believe is an accurate observation:"All the ways of man are pure in his own eyes ..." Could it be that man is so insecure that this needs to be so?

    Of course, I could be wrong!

  • Heaven

    I posted this on another thread earlier... this is what I have observed about life...

    I believe that life is the journey of all of us learning about and moving from an expectation of perfection into the realization and truth of love, tolerance, and understanding.

    The WTS expects perfection which is impossible to achieve. Another reason I never joined.

  • mindmelda

    I think the simple statement, "We have all sinned" is sufficient.

    No one lives their lives perfectly, no one has never been tempted, we all need forgiveness and it's freely given if we believe in the atoning blood of Christ.

    That's pretty much all the "religion" I need these days.

    But, I know what "game" you're speaking of. It's using "imperfection" to explain away a negative trait we haven't really bothered to investigate and be humble enough to quit inflicting on others.

  • leavingwt

    You're told that you are a "sinner" by the church.

    As it turns out, the church can help you with that "problem".

    Is your dog a sinner?

  • mindmelda

    Ah, the old "You have a problem, this product can solve it" pitch! LOL Well, that works pretty well for acne cream and deodorant, obviously.

    That can definitely be true if the spiritual assistance comes with strings attached, particularly financial or emotional strings.

    If taken on a purely personal rather than organizational level, where each individual is helped by applying the gift of forgiveness, which is available simply with the profession of belief, then no. The "sales angle" is removed and it simply becomes a way for the person to work through needless damaging guilt and shame, inflicted upon us by all sorts of things, society, parents, ourselves, religions.

    I agree that some do it without benefit of faith or belief, but with the help of the "secular priesthood" of psychologists and psychiatrists now at our disposal, but the principles are roughly the same. I've gotten help from both of these constructs, and although they have different labeling systems, I find the underlying to be the same.

    In a private or group therapy session, confession, forgiveness and acceptance is part of it. In a church meeting, again, confession, forgiveness and acceptance occur. AA and related groups combines both, with a fair degree of success.

    I don't mind being compared to my dog, who I dearly love, but I have this higher concept brain that seems to need some form of mitigation of useless and crippling guilt. Especially if it's been used in your life as control mechanism by abusive cults or parents, or some other authority figure. It's something that requires some sort of "cleansing" process.

    My dog doesn't seem to need that, because she can't conceive of it in the first place.

  • leavingwt

    I definitely wasn't trying to compare anyone to a dog. Sorry.

    I guess I was trying to say that people are what they are. Animals are what they are, etc.

  • mindmelda

    LOL, I know. I agree, we are what we are. Dogs are amazing, really. They have naturally empathic abilities and senses that are far superior to humans.

    Being compared to a dog is a outright compliment if you look at it a certain way. I choose to look at things that way unless directed otherwise. It's easier than being offended over nothing!

    I used to spend a lot of time defending my belief in God, and now I just look at it as belief or disbelief being useful or not useful.

    I've seen belief be quite useful, and disbelief also be useful. The same with both not being useful.

    Skepticism and disbelief are useful and necessary. After all, it's what helped me deconstruct the WTS mental stranglehold. I love and encourage my skepticism. It's a useful and beneficial trait if properly applied.

    However, I personally get more usefulness out of belief in God in some very important ways. So, I do believe. As long as any beliefs do no harm and actually have some proven benefit, they are acceptable as useful constructs to me.

  • BluesBrother

    We are only willing to discuss mistakes after the fact ... Why?

    Perhaps because we do not see it as a mistake until afterwards, otherwise we would not do it...

    I do see the "imperfection" argument as being oh so convenient for dubs. I guess that we all did it. The others in the congo were perhaps selfish or worldly, but us? we were just imperfect...

    The doctrine is designed to make the dubs humble and compliant and of course is based on the fact that we all fall short and make mistakes all the time.

  • WTWizard

    I have looked at the Bible, and much of what is defined as a "sin" is in fact amoral. People have their own decisions as to whether they wish to be straight or gay--no one should bash them for making and living according to the decisions they themselves make in this area (as long as they do not try to force others to live by such decisions). Fornication is not a sin, as the Unholy Bible says--any more than test driving a car before buying it amounts to stealing it.

    There are some things that are in fact bad. If you were to lie, cheat, and steal to get your own way, you probably will initiate fraud against another person or their property. Using initiatory force, or threatening to do so, is also bad. But I notice that most of the "wicked" people in the Bible do not initiate force, threats of force, or fraud--they merely disregard what God says and set up idols, practice sexual activity that deviates from the standard, and fail to trust that Almighty Lowlife Scumbag (likely after He has let them down).

    In fact, there are only three basic sins. Envy is the worst of them--laziness and dishonesty are the other two. Envy is the desire to destroy value because you do not possess it, and is the root of most of our wars, fights, stupid laws, and sabotage. Laziness prevents us from working to achieve our goals in a productive way, while dishonesty prevents us from seeing what is wrong and how to fix it. Notably, children are not born with any of these three traits--they acquire them, usually from church but sometimes from school or their parents and older children.

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