Clarifying my position
: Would you describe the JW's as;
: a/ Just another religion
: b/ A high-control group transforming itself into a mainstream religion, and undergoing decades-long painful reform in the process
: c/ A high-control group full of innocent dupes run by people who are also dupes
: d/ A high-control group full of innocent dupes run by evil scheming cult overlords
All of the above.
However, I consider the United States government to also have a share in three of those four characteristics.
: Where are you actually coming from?
I think the anti-JW mentality here and amongst xtian fundies is unbalanced and detrimental to a healthy understanding of just what JWism is about for very many contemporary JWs.
: Are you going back in then, Cygnus?
Again, I will point out the only four things that I agree with Witnessism on:
1) you should not murder anybody
2) you should not steal from anybody
3) there is no 3-headed god
4) when you die, you are dead and not living somewhere else
That is all.
"If Joel goes back to the JWs, then so do I."
: Looks like he's well on his way.
As did most readers of this board, you completely misunderstood Joel's intentions. He emailed me and told me that I and one other poster here understood what he was talking about.
I guess I just wasn't as hurt by the JWs as many here were, so I can't empthasize with your strong antagonistic feelings. Many of you will remember when I went through a rough period in my life when the JWs helped convince my wife to separate from me. I have to say that during my exodus from the Watchtower 4 years ago I was more confused than anything, and that was reflected in my posts and online activities. I would like to think that the confusion is done away with by now.
Thanks for this Cygnus,
I admit you have confused me in the past (I can talk) but i understand what you're saying. My parents were violent and abusive and a lot of that stopped when they became JW's. Dad stopped smoking and there other positive benifits for a kid with JW parents.
Sure they're an evil mind-control cult and i'd like to see the whole stupid religion blown to hell as much as the next guy but that ain't gonna happen and for some they're the better of two evils.
My favorite curse around here: "Go become a Jehovah's Witness!" (go on OBVES I dare ya! :)
You wrote: I agree with Witnessism on: ... when you die, you are dead and not living somewhere else
Are you sure you agree with the Witnesses' definition of death? As you know, the Witness definition of "death" is total nonexistence. So much so in fact, that the Witness definition of a "resurrection" is God creating a new copy of you from His memory. A copy which they say will have all your old memories but will not include any actual part of the "old you."
Most Christians strongly object to this JW definition of a "resurrection." They say that such a newly created copy of them would not really be them at all. They say that for the "resurrected" person to truly be "them" there must be some continuity of existence from the original person to the resurrected one. They also say that the JW teachings concerning death and resurrection are not biblical. I agree.
The Bible teaches that everyone has a "spirit" or "soul" within them which survives the death of their body and "returns to God who gave it" at the time of their death. (Ecl. 12:6,7) If this is not the case then Jesus' words recorded in Matthew 10:28 make no sense. There we find that Jesus said, "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul." If we are, in effect, nothing but bodies, as JWs teach, and if no part of us survives our deaths, as JWs also teach, then those who kill our bodies do, in fact, kill our souls. But as I said, the scriptures indicate otherwise. For instance, Luke 23:46 tells us that just before breathing his last breath, "Jesus called out with a loud voice, 'Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.' " And Acts 7:59 tells us that "While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, 'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.' " Do you really think that when Jesus and Stephen spoke the words they did that they thought no part of them was going to survive the death of their bodies?
You may also want to read 1 Samuel 28:7-20 without wearing JW glasses. There we find that after the death of Samuel, Saul consulted a spirit medium in order to seek Samuel's advise. This passage of scripture clearly indicates that Saul's attempt to contact Samuel in this way, following Samuel's death, was successful. Verse 15 tells us what the departed "Samuel said to Saul." Verse 16 also tells us what "Samuel said" at the time. Verse 20 tells us that, following their conversation, Saul was "filled with fear because of Samuel's words." JWs say this must have been a demon impersonating Samuel. But this passage of scripture says nothing of the sort. Rather, it repeatedly tells us that "Samuel" himself was the one who was then speaking to Saul. For reasons which are quite clear to anyone who reads this entire passage and its larger context, God allowed Saul to successfully communicate with Samuel's "soul" or "spirit" following Samuel's death. Saul could not have done so if no part of Samuel had survived his death.
The scriptures indicate that our "souls" or "spirits" normally "sleep" following our deaths, prior to the time we are resurrected. (Acts 7:60; 1 Thes. 4:14,15) Thus we can understand Samuel's comment to Saul, "Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?" (1 Sam. 28:15) I believe that the Bible indicates that a "resurrection" occurs when a person's departed spirit is again united with a body of some sort. In the case of Samuel, evidently God allowed his spirit to temporarily inhabit and speak through the body of the witch of Endor. To me, this Bible passage and others indicate that our departed spirits remain unconscious or "asleep" until they are put into a new body, much like a piece of computer software remains "inanimate" until it is "animated" by a computer's hardware.
JWs love to quote a verse which says that "the dead are conscious of nothing at all." (Ecl. 9:5) But there is a big difference between a person being "asleep" or unconscious and a person being nonexistent, as JWs say all who have died are. As I think I have shown, the scriptures indicate that JWs are wrong about this, and that there is, in fact, a continuity of existence from the original person to the resurrected one.
Nice work aChristian.
You have seen the true meaning of the scripture, but can you now stretch one step further and see the universality of soul. If we are spirits inhabiting bodies of flesh then isn't it possible that we are actually beings of Light that awaken when we die? Planning which bodies we will incarnate in, which Religions we will follow while here, and what expierences we will have each time we come down here?
There are many Religions each as perfect as the Christian one, and within each is just as good an explanition for what we are. Do you only see the one viewpoint, that followers of Jesus have recieved?
Did you know that thier are other true believers of other paths that connect people with the Holy Spirit also?
I have a great respect for Christians, up to the point where they state that they have exclusive ownership of the heavens.
Libra you wrote: : There are many Religions each as perfect as the Christian one, and within each is just as good an explanition for what we are. Do you only see the one viewpoint, that followers of Jesus have recieved?
I am a Christian. That means I am a follower of Jesus Christ. As such, I believe that all that He taught was true.
Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)
I believe that when Jesus said "no one" He meant "no one."
---Read by Hyghlandyr
This post made me really glad that I am going back and reading the threads you have started. Amen to the all of the above.
Like you I havent really been hurt by the JWs. Or their policies. My sisters were no doubt about it. That is really the only pain I have suffered from them.
As to other issues I had with them, well I've pretty much run into the same thing in any group dynamic I have been involved with. Humans are goofy. What can I say.
I went through a period where I was pissed because I had been lied to. Oh well. I've lied in the past. I decided not to hold them to a stricter standard than I hold myself. I think most here do just that. They glee at the mistakes of the watchtower society, and do not even research the history of their own system. Christians are a good example of this.
Personally I feel the witnesses have had their time as a fringe religion. Each group is given about a hundred years to hold such an honor. Now it is time they moved into the mainstream. They are resisting as all the others have done, because that will make them passe. I dont actually know what passe means, but it seemed the right thing to say. So kicking and screaming into the mainstream they will go. It is a matter of economics and surival. With more than six million active members and ten million or more inactive, there simpy is no other choice.
To the others who tried to change the thread from one topic to another and didnt really pay much attention to what you said:
Well fellas I can't speak for ole Cyg, but ole Hygh here believes that when you die, you are pretty much dead. That's why we call it death. You return to The Great Nothing. All hail The Great Nothing!