Could WTS Become a Mainstream Religion?

by OnTheWayOut 50 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • OnTheWayOut

    I read threads about reform and needed changes. I don't like the idea. I personally think that a harmful dangerous mind-control cult should not find some way to moderate slightly to keep their membership. It's tough to say that because I don't want harm to come to those that stay within WTS. At the same time, I personally feel that the revolving doctrines and extremes do more to cause people to leave.

    I don't want commentary simply on how they need to stop this or that or allow this or that, only mention those in the context of these questions:
    Could WTS actually become just another denomination of Christianity? Could WTS become a mainstream religion? How?

    Example: JW's admit their buildings are the same as a "church" and don't stop members from attending any services anywhere else. They recognize that holidays of Christendom are fun for kids and make them all optional. This could allow members to share holidays with non-JW family.

  • yknot

    Yes, by dropping the appointed stuff and embracing Arianism as their 'difference'.

    Yes by pushing 'purposeful life' rather then 'the end is nigh'

    Yes by drop kicking Rutherford's partaking rules (yet they could still claim an 'anointed' class) while having everyone observe the Memorial with emblems.

    Yes by encouraging members to exist in the world successfully but only keep themselves 'out of the world' in spiritual contexts. (Read higher education and better professional careers)

    Yes by removing FS as a forced event and creating a Mormon-esque preaching program for young people and older retirees looking to 'serve where the need is greater'.

  • flipper

    OTWO- Personally , I don't think the WT society or Jehovah's Witnesses could EVER become a mainstream religion. I don't think it's within their capability to be what society perceives as a "normal religion ". Not even in the cards. Because the witnesses are TOO EXTREME in their views on many different doctrines and practices . Even mainstream society views their policies on blood transfusions, politics, shunning practices, non-celebration of holidays, .......on and on.

    The GB would have to change many of the " mind control" tactics and adapt or conform to what most of society believes in as a culture. The GB likes their power and control too much on it's members. And I don't see that happening any time soon, or really at all. If anything- the WT organization is becoming MORE bizarre and controlling as time goes on . In fact- I could conceivably see a Jim Jones or David Koresh incident happening in the distant future if the control keeps ratcheting tighter on these people . Say in 20 or 30 years - something very extreme could happen if the GB keeps forcing their control down members throats. So mainstream, nope, I don't think so

  • garyneal

    I cannot say if the WTS would ever become mainstream due to the fundamental core doctrinal differences with main stream Christianity (denying Trinity, denying Christ Deity) but some of their teachings (like not believing in once saved always saved) are similar to some denomination of Christianity. (Yes, I know, there are some churches that deny the Trinity or at least teach it in some erroneous way.) They could start, though, by loosening some of their restrictions.

    Not celebrating Christmas, but allowing (as a concious matter) Birthdays and other Holidays that do not have pagan roots. (Yeah, yeah the birthday candles have obscure pagan roots but just eliminate that is really necessary).

    Their already making inroads on this so this may occur: lifting the blood ban. Strongly encourage JW's to seek bloodless therapies and surgery (I admit that there are some benefits to both the medical community and the patient), but stop insisting that JW's must refuse blood at all costs (including loss of life).

  • jonathan dough
    jonathan dough

    Impossible. Not within the realm of possibility. Not even close. They would have to turn upside down.

  • garyneal

    Yeah, now that I think about it, I think they enjoy being non-mainstream too much. They believe it truly means that they are on the 'narrow path' of righteousness. Their rules concerning blood, holidays, and the extensive list of thou shalt nots help the individuals keep their martyr complex mentality (people are speaking against my studying this religion, it must be right, I am on that narrow path).

  • willyloman

    It depends on how you define "mainstream."

    Are Mormons mainstream now? They certainly appear a lot more mainstream than they used to. You'd be hard-pressed to find a religion with a shadier past, but they seem to have improved their image considerably in modern times. Have they really gone mainstream? Or has the American public's understanding of "mainstream" shifted several degrees?

    Probably a little bit of both. The LDS Church has indeed "mainstreamed" itself in a number of ways. At the same time, they've adopted professional PR skills and enhanced their public image by appearing to have changed more than they have actually changed.

    Dubs could follow that model easily, and in my opinion will. Right now they are just sorting out some leadership issues. But in this century they will follow the paths of their Mormon counterparts. It may take 30-50 years, but they will achieve mainstreamization. Because it's the only way to survive. And survival is the strongest instinct.

  • Farkel

    :Could WTS actually become just another denomination of Christianity? Could WTS become a mainstream religion? How?

    Even if they did everything that would be required to become a "mainstream" Christian religion (whatever THAT means), it would still take many decades to be accepted as one.

    After all, they have 125 years of unbroken history being known as "wackos" by almost everyone who's heard of them. They have to undo that stigma AND people have to forget about that stigma before they could ever be considered as "mainstream."

    That ain't gonna happen in my lifetime, I'll tell you that.


  • JeffT

    Not likely to happen. Witnesses LIKE being different from everybody. It is the defining fact of their religion. If they mainstreamed themselves, they'd be like everybody else, and unrecognizable as witnesses.

  • willyloman

    Good point Jeff, but I wonder: Would a resurrected Mormon recognize his own church today? For a vivid example of how far the Mormons have shifted their public persona in just a short time, read Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer.

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