Why do all intelligent Christians disobey Jesus?

by StoneWall 347 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • PSacramento
    PSac -- Side question. . .Are all Muslims going to Hell or do you believe in a 'Universalist' approach in which most religions lead to the same God?

    I would think that God would judge them on their individual cases, wouldn't you?

  • leavingwt
    I would think that God would judge them on their individual cases, wouldn't you?

    The stakes are very high, IMHO. This gets into whether or not "correct beliefs" are important. If God isn't interested in correct beliefs, then we can all live our lives as "good people" and look forward to an eternal reward.

    IF my eternal future is at stake, it would nice to have someone explain the fine print.

  • PSacramento
    Do you mean like he did here?

    1Pe 1:1

    Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

    No wonder paul and Peter has disageements ! ;)

    I don't doubt that SOME christians are special and elected by God, no doubt what so ever, I just don't think that God palces them higher than any other Christian nor do I think that 'destiny" is forced upon them and that it still remains their choice to assume that mantle.


    1) picked out, chosen

    a) chosen by God,

    1) to obtain salvation through Christ

    a) Christians are called "chosen or elect" of God

    2) the Messiah in called "elect", as appointed by God to the most exalted office conceivable

    3) choice, select, i.e. the best of its kind or class, excellence preeminent: applied to certain individual Christians

  • PSacramento

    For non believers death is the end. Jesus taught that believers would be transformed into heavenly glory at death.

    Doesn't sound like eternal life to me, sounds like someone dying and being ressurected...

  • PSacramento
    If you can pick & choose which parts are holy vs. not holy, how can you say that you are a follower of Christ?

    I am a tad confused, what makes you think I CAN'T do that? Who told you I can't do that?

    WHy can't I distinguish between literla, story, hyperbole, metaphors, parables, direct sayins, incpired views ?

  • not a captive
    not a captive


    As I see it, use of the written word in trying to live as a Christian is necessary in establishing a relationship with God through Jesus. Jesus is said to have used it when he quit making beam plows and farm implements to inaugurate his ministry. And when believers begin to congregate to "incite one another to love and fine works", the Bible has the authority to guide a lively body of worshippers from descending into pandemonium. Any place where personal experiences and enthusiastic homilies come together there can be craziness, too. It can become a confusing spiritual "pissing contest" where the group's worship gets out of hand (Boasting sessions anyone?). Paul wrote to quell the wild meetings where every one spoke in a foreign tongue---with no one understanding a word that was said.

    You are frustrated by my and other's jumbled responses and we by our inability to give unequivocal answers to your dissatisfaction with Christians and there use of the Bible. But at the same time you say "they are sincere and pleasant people who wish the world to be a better place than it really is". Well if that is the case then reflect please when any of us say that we might not be either sincere OR pleasant without Jesus present int this ambiguous but effective way. And yet this can't convince you either.

    I find Christian life a long personal essay. I am so grateful that I had a moment of knowing God before the WTS came and ransacked my faith (not like the Mongol hordes but more like a friend whose visits you welcomed until you notice your silverware and precious things are gone.)

    I am afraid modern Christians are facing being ruined by the Bible because we are letting it polarize us and we make statements that Jesus would not make, say things that we cannot help but get tangled in. Bible scholars make us appear foolish as we learn how little iof the text can be verified. So what will happen if we are yet filled with conviction --and we can't prove it with footnotes?

    I cannot get a certain thought out of my own head --yet I haven't been able to get it to resonate with any but a few Christians in this forum and out where I live and talk to people: this idea of respecting people and their autonomy of faith. Mark 9 and Luke 9 support this view IMO.But not all Christians agree that a personal relationship with Jesus extends so far as having NO DOGMAS.

    Though the Bible says that all that is necessary for salvation is faith in the life and death of Jesus the Christ, I've gone to churches where publicly members distance themselves from the idea that I can be a "saved"Christian if I do not profess their dogma of the Trinity or election--all distilled from the Bible they say. But, when I discuss my love and faith in Jesus outside of "church", they think God might not throw me out after all.

    I am sympathetic to their anxious concern. People are afraid, a little bit, of Christian freedom. People are afraid to allow of a salvation that is as common as that--think of how easily it can be abused! To reference Paul here, "You are slaves of no one except God, so behave like free men, and never use your freedom as an excuse for wickedness." A free Christianity among the the untried and ignorant? It's like sending our lusty young ones out into the world with the full power to have wild sex and hoping they will use this potential with discretion.--Oh, vain hope!--But that is how it is.

    I figure there is a balance between a Christian knowing nothing of the Bible and knowing something

    One day I took my five children to the river and ran into a homegrown holiness preacher. His main instruction in Christian faith had come through the gruesome woodcuts in Foxe's Book of Martyrs and traditional preachers who had impressed upon him that "the woman will be kept safe through childbearing"(and no doubt thought I was being kept pretty safe). He was completely and absolutely illiterate. I was touched by his strange and disjointed and somewhat dark expressions of faith. As a woman I shuddered to think of my life relying on such doctrines.

    But another illiterate preacher learned in a different manner. Her life is well documented by the writer Nell Irvin Painter. Sojourner Truth was a freed black slave in her latter forties some twenty years before the Civil War. She was an anomally among black ex-slave abolitionist speaker because she was a woman who could and would speak. If they were degraded as women ain slavery were so often abused they hadn't the power to stand and face down more white humiliation.

    But Sojourner not only spoke and held her ground against slavers but she held her ground against ministers who derided her faith and her black female perspective. She answer with common sense--and used the Bible that she could not read.

    She learned the Bible in feedom, but she learned of Jesus as a slave. She lived for a time as a laundress in a utopian religious community. They took the time to read the Bible to her at her request. But she requested so often for re-reads of certain passages that her helpful adult reader would stop and editorialize the selection hoping to enlighten her. So she quit asking the adults and had the children read to her. They would gladly repeat a verse as often as she asked and never tried to tell her what it meant. Sojourner realized that a society that could be so blind as to enslave and abuse her could not be trusted to interpret the Bible truly.

    Again, no pissing contest, my personal story vs. someone else's. But I tell stories because they helped me survive as a Christian while I was caught by the Witnesses.

    I figure that my posts are strange in a way. I have no way of knowing what they seem to others. Their length reflects the urgency I feel knowing that I will, for a while (surely not for long ) leave these conversations. And these conversations have been amazingly healthy--for me. They are too long.But I comfort myself: I don't have the power to button-hole anyone; these posts are easily ignored by anyone who notices my lumpy green avatar poofy-haired, bug-eyed, frantically waving at them with her insect arms.

    I am embracing a Christian freedom that I didn't have even before the Witnesses caught me with the false promise of "accurate knowledge" that would please God. The God I met so long ago on the open ocean beyond dogma/doctrine is there still and I'm going out to meet him again and I won't let anything stop me now.

    If you ever wanted to talk about any of this or would be interested in some readings I have found helpful, PM me. You may not wish to, I can understand that, but I am not a Witness and you won't be offered afree home bible study!

    Believe it or not I am moving (though I am spending most my time thinking about and responding to the conversations on this board) I have to reach that tipping point soon, when I pull the plug, literally, from this forum. It is just that I have gotten so much out of the honest and really tough discussions that you and everyone here put out, it is hard to stop.

    I have the highest respect for your skepticism, Gladiator. I consider you in no way my adversary. Best wishes, Maeve

  • PSacramento
    The stakes are very high, IMHO. This gets into whether or not "correct beliefs" are important. If God isn't interested in correct beliefs, then we can all live our lives as "good people" and look forward to an eternal reward.

    IF my eternal future is at stake, it would nice to have someone explain the fine print.

    Those are correct issues to have and God knows of them and God knows why some choose one path over another and all will be judged by the ONE that KNOWS all and SEES all, so I leave that judgment call to God and Jesus.

    Tell me this, as a lowly human, woudl you judge ANYONE to "eternal darkness" without knowing the why's of their views and decisons in life?

  • tec


    Then I don't know what else to add to what I said above. God judges the hearts of all men. Even Paul said that it was not his business to judge those outside the church; that God would judge those outside. If the only option for those people outside the church was condemnation, then why would he not have used that word?

    Let me ask you this:

    If you were shown proof that God existed, and that He was just as Jesus showed Him to be, would you say 'screw you'? Or would you try your best to follow Him?

    You don't have to answer me. But the answer should mean something to you. And only God (and perhaps also you) knows why you don't/can't/won't believe.

    Also, maybe you follow all the requirements of Jesus' law (love) but just don't have faith in him. To that Paul also says, It is not those who hear the law who are righteous, but it is those who obey the law that God will declare as righteous.

    So I stand by my belief in this third option. Black, white, and grey.


  • exjdub
    But the idea that Christians tell the rest of the WORLD how to live? The way it seems to me (I'm trying to listen to Jesus)is that we are silly to tell the rest of the world how to live--but then it seems just as silly totell another Christian how to live. In either case we can only tell them how we see the matter in light of our own faith. But we are explicitly told not to judge the world--And that makes sense to me.
    The scriptures say there will be offenses committed by Christians--Jesus said that would happen at Mark 9:342-50. But he didn't outline an official judicial committee for resolving it. I know JWs say that Mat.18:15-17 is an official outline for the way do things. But it seems that Jesus said if personal troubles don't get resolved privately, then they go public ,into the open community. There is nothing hidden anymore. And if a person is found to be in the wrong and doesn't make things right, then it is up to the individuals in the community to withhold their close association. If it is a serious offense then you don't have to play card with him anymore or let your kids have a sleepover at his house.
    But this is not as it is done in the JWcongregation--no one knows what is going on behind closed KH doors , and that is not ,IMO, what Jesus wanted. It looks like he wanted more transparency. When so-and-so quit doing the rotten things and started showing Christian conduct maybe he got invited to play cards again. Christian conversation would resemble the discussions on this board a lot more ,IMO. Or at least I hope so.
    We can't do all that with non-Christian problems--not entirely. They don't have a personal relationship with Jesus, so they won't have the same point of reference as a bunch of Christians that you are around. But the priciples would still be useful. At least that is how it seems to me. But there are courts for when all else fails in both cases.
    Your thoughts?

    Not a Captive,

    I apologize for not addressing your well thought out post. I didn't mean to be rude, I just had to put the thread down as life intruded and I missed it initially.

    You actually hit a core issue for me that really speaks to the heart of the matter. I agree that it is silly to tell the rest of the world how to live and I am pleased that you feel that way. Unfortunately, Christianity as a whole does want to do that. How else do you explain that Christians seek to control legislation that lets people live a life seeking happiness? Does it really matter that Gay people can marry? While I don't like that it happens, does abortion really affect Christians? How about content on TV? If you don't watch shows that have foul language, or sexual content, or violence, why does it matter whether someone else does or not?

    Please understand, due to the nature of what I do for a living (regional sales in the southeast...what else for an uneducated former JW?) I see and hear Christians daily try to foist their beliefs on me and others. Maybe it is because I work in a region that is a bible belt area, but I get daily e-mails and I hear daily conversations where Christians are quick to speak about how it would all be OK if people would just become Christians. They feel that Gay people are the destruction of America. They think that Obama is a Muslim (yes, they still think it and say it here), which is really immaterial, even if it were true, and that he is the reason for all of our problems. I don't think I have ever seen more cognitive dissonance, from Christians, in my life than I have seen in the last few years.

    What makes this all really humorous is that whenever some of these Christians, who are my customers, get out of their home town to attend a trade show, they are the first ones asking me to take them to a strip club or getting completely obliterated with alcohol. I haven't been a JW in 15 years and I won't go to a strip club. Why? Because I think it is immoral and it is not fair to my wife who I have been married to for 29 years. And that is, I guess, my biggest point: Morality doesn't come from a religion. If it did, the strip clubs and bars would be out of business because 86% of the population claims to be Christian (at least that is the last statistic I read...correct me if it is not accurate).

    So, I guess I agree that Christian principles can be useful, but those principles are not unique to Christians despite what many of them think. They are principles that are sought out by people with good hearts, regardless of their religion, and we can always use more of those. The thing to remember is that hypocrisy is intolerable regardless of where it comes from and I think that when Christians (excluding some, like yourself, that are not interested in being the moral supervisor for the rest of us) try to tell the rest of us how to live, while at the same time hypocritically denying the obvious challenges within their own faith, they just point out their own flaws.

    Those are my thoughts, for whatever they are worth.


  • exjdub

    sorry for the bold lettering...not sure how that happened.

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