• My Post 37 meant to refer to isaacaustin's Post 1602 (rather than his Post 1606) obviously.
to Billy the Ex-Bethelite (Post 1540)
• "freedom in silence" means "freedom in listening while the one's with the floor are speaking". Death is something to be free from, when the time for resurrection is right. I'm glad that 2 Pet.3:9 is written, it states Jehovah's desire quite clearly. The war of Jehovah is a just war, and includes warning and a time for reasoning and repentance. Jehovah is not a man that he should tell lies. He is not 1000 more than Hitler, the perpetrator of the holocaust of 6 million Jews, is he? Jehovah is love, after all.
to mrsjones 5 (Post 9443) re "watching snuff videos to desensitize yourself Spike"
• I'm new to your sense of humor. You'll need to explain this.
to mrsjones 5 (Post 9446) re the pasting of Matthew 7:1-29 from the NIV
• That's way too quick and easy on your part. To give these matters due justice, I'll need your application to me, along with your reasoning.
to isaacaustin (Post 1607) re charges against the GB re "anything but Christ's brothers", "repeated false prophecies disqualifying them"
• I'll let Jehovah and Jesus be the judge re your claims. They have their means of speaking to your heart.
— Spike Tassel.
Is the Governing Body the Only Channel of Communication between God and Men?
"He is not 1000 more than Hitler, the perpetrator of the holocaust of 6 million Jews, is he? Jehovah is love, after all."
Better start preaching in India for the "Silent Ones in the Sky" Spike. I think Jehovah loves slaughtering Hindus. Then you better work on the Moslems and Buddhists.
Yes, 6 million times 1000 is 6 billion.
And wasn't Hitler a really nice guy after all? Didn't he facilitate the future resurrection of 6 million Jews?
Hitler kills them before big A = resurrection hope after A by Jehovah.
Face the fact: If Hitler hadn't slaughtered them, Jehovah would have... Right? Or do you really think that all those Jews would have become JWs?
B the X
Spike, I just want to thank you for that heartfelt reply, and I wanted to say that I was actually touched by the honesty and genuineness of your post. Thank you.
• If I may paraphrase, you're asking how anyone (me, for one) can keep going to the KH, diligently try to keep up with the reading of JW literature, and do their best to apply what they read and hear there, including discussing and supporting that message.
Well, actually, my main question is, what specifically is in the Bible that has led you to believe that today's Governing Body is the only channel God is using to communicate Bible truth to people on earth?
• For me, it comes down to the way they've put the package together: the interesting variety of meeting parts and articles regarding the Good Book that I probably would have stopped reading otherwise. They gave me a more useful way to think for myself, and about myself and others, even God, the angels, and concepts that I didn't even think of before. I have become more mature in my ability to think of the consquences of my actions. Choice has become part of my vocabulary, and increasingly evident in my life, if I do say so myself.
I am very glad that they have helped you, and I'm glad you have found their articles helpful.
But, I would like to ask you to explain a little more about how they "gave you a more useful way to think for yourself," because as far as I have understood it, the Watchtower publications teach that Jehovah's Witnesses must fight against independent thinking, because it originates with Satan, and they must not go against what the Governing Body or Elders teach, otherwise they are "causing divisions."
"But a spirit of independent thinking does not prevail in God’s organization, and we have sound reasons for confidence in the men taking the lead among us." (Watchtower, 9/15/89, Page 23)
"Apostates often appeal to the ego, claiming that we have been deprived of our freedoms, including the freedom to interpret the Bible for ourselves. (Compare Genesis 3:1-5.) In reality, these would-be defilers offer nothing more than a return to the nauseating teachings of “Babylon the Great.” (Revelation 17:5; 2 Peter 2:19-22) [...] True, such smooth talkers may look outwardly clean in a physical and moral way. But inside they are spiritually unclean, having given in to prideful, independent thinking. They have forgotten all that they learned about Jehovah, his holy name and attributes. They no longer acknowledge that all they learned about Bible truth—the glorious hope of the Kingdom and a paradise earth and the overturning of false doctrines, such as the Trinity, the immortal human soul, eternal torment, and purgatory—yes, all of this came to them through “the faithful and discreet slave.”—Matthew 24:45-47." (Watchtower, 11/01/87, Pages 19-20)
"Avoid Independent Thinking. From the very outset of his rebellion Satan called into question God’s way of doing things. He promoted independent thinking. ‘You can decide for yourself what is good and bad,’ Satan told Eve. ‘You don’t have to listen to God. He is not really telling you the truth.’ (Genesis 3:1-5) To this day, it has been Satan’s subtle design to infect God’s people with this type of thinking.—2 Timothy 3:1, 13. How is such independent thinking manifested? A common way is by questioning the counsel that is provided by God’s visible organization." (Watchtower, 01/15/83, Page 22)
"Fight Against Independent Thinking. As we study the Bible we learn that Jehovah has always guided his servants in an organized way. And just as in the first century there was only one true Christian organization, so today Jehovah is using only one organization. (Ephesians 4:4, 5; Matthew 24:45-47) Yet there are some who point out that the organization has had to make adjustments before, and so they argue: “This shows that we have to make up our own mind on what to believe.” This is independent thinking. Why is it so dangerous? Such thinking is an evidence of pride. And the Bible says: “Pride is before a crash, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.” (Proverbs 16:18) If we get to thinking that we know better than the organization, we should ask ourselves: “Where did we learn Bible truth in the first place? Would we know the way of the truth if it had not been for guidance from the organization? Really, can we get along without the direction of God’s organization?” No, we cannot!—Compare Acts 15:2, 28, 29; 16:4, 5." (Watchtower, 01/15/83, Page 27)
"It is through the columns of The Watchtower that Jehovah provides direction and constant Scriptural counsel to his people, and it requires careful study and attention to details in order to apply this information, to get a full understanding of the principles involved, and to assure ourselves of right thinking on these matters. It is in this way that we “are thoroughly able to grasp mentally with all the holy ones” the fullness of our commission and of the preaching responsibility that Jehovah has placed on all Christians as footstep followers of his Son. Any other course would produce independent thinking and cause division." (Watchtower, 05/01/64, Pages 277-278)
"Jehovah uses his organization to teach and feed his people. (Matt. 24:45-47) Hence believe without suspicion the truth set forth by the “faithful and discreet slave.” (Matt. 24:45; 1 Cor. 13:7) [...] The student must express himself as he understands the truth. (Gal. 6:6) He cannot have independent thinking." (Watchtower, 09/01/62, Page 524)
So, after reading those Watchtowers, how can you say that they have helped you to "think for yourself"?
• They have given me access to a modern language translation of the Inspired Scriptures that always draws me back to, despite having literally dozens on my library shelves. I feel more and more comfortable with the New World Translation with References as the years pass.
That's good. I commend you for studying the Scriptures!
• They have given me access to a practical way to understand the prophecies, a more-comprehensive understanding of history: a history that I feel I fit into and can express (at least in part) to others, relationships that I feel I can grow in, a perspective that keeps me going whether humans around me understand me or not.
Would you please elaborate on what you mean when you say they gave you access to "a practical way to understand prophecies"? Would that be the Great Tree Prophecy in Daniel having a double-meaning? Or the Generation of 1914? Or the 6,000 years of mankind's existence in 1975? Or the famous Assembly Talks given in the 1920's that "fulfilled" prophecies in Revelation? Or that the faithful ones of old would be resurrected by 1925? Or that Armageddon would come in 1914? Or that Christ returned invisibly in 1874?
• They have given me consistency, which I didn't have access to before. They have given me real dignity and respect and purpose and guidance, even though I was more accustomed to the false versions of these. They have given me the tools to forgive and accept forgiveness. Their imperfection has allowed me to accept and work with by my own and that of others.
• They have given me the tools to enable me to fill-in what had felt hollow before. A day's text and comments to review each day, to help me work on my personality and help me progress in understanding and actually grow in my relationships with others. I'm more able to endure than before. I'm more able to focus, and switch my focus, than before.
But couldn't you (or anyone else) have gotten the same things from just reading and studying the teachings of Christ (for example the Sermon on the Mount) without Watchtower publications? Are Christ's (and the Apostles') inspired teachings alone not sufficient for us? Do we also need non-inspired, fallible, imperfect teachings added on to the inspired teachings?
• They want to accept and present what Jehovah actually is, his values, his loves, his hates, his gifts, his perspective. This obedience and submission is seen even in their times of boldness and in their times of silence. I feel more in place, even though I may not be officially accepted as such.
I commend anyone who truly wants to present Jehovah as He actually is. However, the only place we can discover that is in His inspired Word, and from His Spirit, not from imperfect, sinful, men who teach that we must not have independent thinking.
God knew there would be situations where we (both sides of a discussion) would think we are both correct in the way we see scriptures.
That is why he gave us a scripture in Deu.18 v21 And in case you should say in your heart, How shall we KNOW the word that Jehovah has not spoken. 22 When the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or COME TRUE, that is the word that Jehovah did NOTspeak.
Spike Tassel (Post 61) re UnDisfellowshipped (Post 2518)
For me, it's very important that each "carry his own load". "Independent thinking" (as I understand it) means thinking that doesn't take the wholistic Bible picture into account. To "take the lead" means to follow sound Scriptural understanding. It is to be reflected in our thoughts and motivations, in our actions and reactions, and in our counsel and comfort, depending on the context of each situation.
Independent thinking is the desire of a person to convince oneself that the information being presented is true or reasonable. This differs from critical thinking, which is the process used to collect and process information to arrive at a logical conclusion. In other words, independent thinking has more to do with the desire to think for oneself and critical thinking is the process used to deal with information.
Dependant thinkers uncritically accept whatever they are taught and rarely question information or asking themselves if the information really make sense. Independent thinkers feel the need to make sense of the world based on personal observations and experiences rather than just going along with the thoughts of others.
Spike Tassel (Post 68) re mrsjones5 (Post 9494): Working from your definitions, I would say that both independent thinking and critical thinking are vitally important, and that dependant thinking is dangerous (given pervasiveness of Satanic influence). My observations come with one caveat: Let Jehovah God be found true. Our thinking must be dependent upon the reality that Jehovah has put us in, otherwise our thinking is cannot be sound.
My observations come with one caveat: Let Jehovah God be found true. Our thinking must be dependent upon the reality that Jehovah has put us in, otherwise our thinking is cannot be sound.
Circular reasoning at it's finest.
Spike Tassel (Post 69) I meant to finish Post 68 by saying "otherwise our thinking cannot be sound".
shamus 100 (post 72673) to spike tassell (post 69), planet earth,
Circular reasoning at it's finest.