When postings start to degrade others on this forum, then that bothers me.
I agree, no-one should be attacking anyone else, but I find many Witnesses confuse contradictory discussion on the religion and its teachings, as a personal attack on them. I discussion with views opposing another person's, is not an attack. It is only a discussion.
Unfortunately, the W/T has conditioned JW's to see anyone that doesn't accept the WT view on matters without question, as an attack and hatred of the Witness individual and of JW's as a whole.
Anyone questioning JW 'belief's', especially after learning the W/T sanctioned explanation, is usually considered as not having a 'sheep like heart condition' and therefore, further discussion is a waste of time and discontinued.
So I thought well, we go door to door and meet people that are not inclined to listen and so do hate us.
I rest my case!
On this discussion board, many questions, views and opinions on JW issues are expressed, with no restriction (in adherence to the Posting Guidelines) as to the topic.
Where you encouraged or even allowed to have such open discussion at the Kingdom Hall or with your JW friends, even in Private?
The W/T has conditioned JW's that any such discussion is not allowed and is to be reported to the Elders so that the instigator can be 'dealt with'. 'Dealt with' = my term for an ultimatum to unquestionably accept the G/B current teaching or be removed from the group (Disfellowshipped).
There are out right lies! half-truths.
Just because you think something is a lie or 1/2 truth, does not necessarily make it so. Have you actually investigated any of these issues, not using W/T literature, before calling the matter a lie? 1 Thess. 5:21 says: "Make sure of all things; hold fast to what is fine."
If you are quick to denounce information without further investigation, just because it doesn't adhere to your pre-conceived ideals or official W/T spin, it is not making sure of all things. Proverbs 18:13 states "When anyone is replying to a matter before he hears it, that is foolishness on his part and a humiliation."
... as true christians today ...
This is a judgemental statement! Who gives you or anyone else the right to judge another person's Christian beliefs and activities as 'true'?
I don't know about any 607 BCE. Or any of the other stuff that can't be known.
Isn't this the core understanding that 'proves' the W/T is THE chosen organization?
The W/T says that this stuff IS KNOWN and that only they have the answers, as God's chosen Organization. If you don't understand, don't care or believe this to be true, do you really have a basis for putting your "faith" in the W/T?
I really would like for my life to have counted for something of value.
Just because you want or need something to be true, doesn't make it so!
Your life is yours to control, not for someone else to tell you what to do and lead you around. How you live and view your life, determines whether it is of value. You need to take charge of it and do what you feel is proper.
To have stood up for a set of principles that ...
What's to stop you from standing-up for a set of principles that you determine to be right, not ones dictated to you by someone else?
Jesus provided an example of how his followers should act and treat others. He often quoted the bible ("it is written") as support for his message. I don't recall he or any of his Disciples, peddling additional literature even if in support of the bible.
To be a Christian means to be a follower of Christ and Jesus provided very few requirements to be his follower. He said that 'his yoke is light' so living by his example would likely be easy and not burdensome, if following the simple requirements he put forth.
Following Jesus example should be something you do, because you want to and feel that it is right and proper to do, not because of a mandate from an organization with subsequent guilt, fear or punishment for non-compliance.
I still see the skeleton of the "truth" in there, but I want to be careful about my choices.
Just because there is discussion here critical of the organization and the changeable teachings put forth as 'truths', does not make everything taught from the W/T, 100% wrong.
Hitler was a great leader and some good came as a result of his leadership, but this doesn't reduce the fact that he was a lunatic murderer, responsible for the deaths of thousands. I'm not comparing the W/T to Hitler, but using his leadership as an example that good and bad, right and wrong can come from the same source.
There are many teachings that are great to live by and not necessarily exclusive to JW's. There are many JW's that are good and loving people with high morals and only wish to do what is right, as there are in the 'World'. Just because there are some good teachings and people, doesn't make an organization or JW's, God's chosen organization or people.
A new view of truth never can contradict a former truth. "New light" never extinguishes older "light," but adds to it.
Interesting quote! Shame that JW's are conditioned to treat old W/T literature as un-trustworthy, 'Old Light' or too old to be useful.
frankly, I'm not so sure that ANYBODY knows when Jerusalem was destroyed for positive. I would EXPECT that there would be differences of OPINION on the matter.
The W/T does not put forth these matters as OPINION. They are to be adopted and proclaimed by JW adherents as fact. Openly questioning any W/T teaching by a Baptized JW, is viewed by the Elders (agents of the G/B) as questioning the authority and status of the G/B (leader), and you will be 'dealt with'.
Like maybe living up to the high ideals and principles that they proclaim.
Are high ideals and principles exclusive to Jehovah's Witnesses? Does no-one of the 'World' have high ideals or principles?
It is interesting that you state that they 'proclaim' these things and didn't use the words 'display' or 'practice'.
How do you justify, even in your own mind, when JW's or the W/T as an organization, display actions contrary to high ideals and principles? Paedophilia cover-ups and hush payments is one example as is the hidden W/T association with the UN for almost 10 years.
You may not believe in these things occurring. Do your own independent research and stop relying on the sanitised official W/T response or apathy or fear of looking further.
Personally, I've had money and items stolen from me by 3/4 of the active Witnesses I've had business dealings with. These are the same 'Brothers and Sisters' I'm supposed to be able to entrust my life with. I can't even trust them with a few bucks or some of my belongings. Where are these high ideals and principals you refer to?
To me, kindness and justice trumps 607 anytime!
So you don't believe the teachings put forth by the W/T?
From what I have seen over my 40+ years as an active JW, people of the 'World' often display more kindness and are more Just, than those I've known at the Kingdom Hall.
I have recently come to realize, that to be a "Christian", is not a title gained as part of a group, but a Standard, to be practiced and lived by an individual.
Acceptance by God and entrance to God's Kingdom is not something that Jehovah's Witnesses as a group will do. People will be individually judged, not by works reported to an organization, but by how they live and treat others.
Jesus demanded that we LOVE our Neighbours and to FORGIVE our Enemies and to treat others as we wish to be treated. How does shunning fit in here?
A reward (Eternal Life, God's Kingdom, Heaven, whatever) should not be the motivation to serve God and do what is right, but wanting to be as good a person as possible, with love for others and a desire to live our lives in a true and honest manner, should be.
It doesn't matter if there is ever a reward. It doesn't change my view of how I should live.