Disrespect of the Bible

by brotherdan 127 Replies latest jw friends

  • IsaacJ22

    I'm afraid that -- for me at least -- the problems with the Bible outweigh the things which support it. Same story for God, though I'm only speaking for myself there as well. Everybody has the right to believe what they like about both.

    I think the only real thing I would take any issue with in your post is your statements about people throwing out God and Bible because they had a bad religious experience with WTS. I really think you're over simplifying the atheists on the board with that one. A lot of people do this with atheists in general, and it does get a little tough not to roll my eyes when I hear things like that. I can only return your frustration with us with my own frustration at the lack of understanding. To me, and many other atheists, it seems like some believers rush to judge us. Naturally, I'd prefer it if you didn't do that.

    I can't drone on about my experiences and path to atheism here, but I can tell you that I continued to believe in God for years after I left the WTS and was fully aware that there are thousands of other religions out there. I could have chosen any of them. If the WTS wasn't the true religion, then I reasoned that there was sense in blaming God for my bad experiences. He had nothing to do with it. I didn't think that God owed my anything special. Even if it was the true religion, I knew I wasn't going to blame God for any of it.

    In fact, I prayed about my decision to stop attending meetings because I was still sorting things out in my head; I wanted God to know that if I'd made the wrong call and the WTS really was his religion that I was very, very sorry, but couldn't deal with it anymore. I continued to observe the Society's teachings in other areas, like avoiding holidays and politics, for years after I'd left. All because I still believed. So no, I didn't hate God or blame God for my WTS experiences.

    The reality is -- for me -- that my bad religious experience made me more cautious about religion and beliefs. It made me look before I leaped into anything new, and I began doing a lot of research to figure out what had gone wrong. Was it me, or the WTS? Was I right for leaving? If I was right, now what?

    As I dug deeper, I began to learn -- unintentionally -- that there were solid reasons for doubt. For me, the arguments of atheists seemed far stronger than those offered by believers. As the years went past, I eventually realized that I just didn't believe in any of it any more. There was no bitterness or animosity behind that decision. Ten years had passed since I'd left the WTS by then, so my feelings about the organization were old news. The only real gripes I had left were with JWs who felt entitled to aggressively evangelize to me. If not for my in-laws and writing articles about it, I really couldn't care less about the WTS these days. It's not like I think my lack of faith is going to even the score with God or anything like that. That doesn't even make sense to me.

    Many athiests never threw the baby out with the bathwater; we simply changed our minds about God and all other gods. And that's all. We decided that the evidence was too strong and lost our faith in religion due to reason, not emotion. Our bad experiences may have encouraged us to dig deeper and accept the possiblity that maybe there aren't any gods, but that's about it in my case.

    Please don't make harsh assumptions about us. I try to do better than that by believers as best I can, and really appreciate it when believers do the same for us. Even if you can't understand it, I do appreciate it when believers give us the benefit of the doubt.

    No hard feelings. Thanks for reading.

  • brotherdan

    That was an honest and respectable post, Isaac. My intentions were not to "label" all atheists and saying that they became this way because of the WTS. My main point was that the trend seems to be to leave the WT and the Bible at the same time. The trend. I truly respect people that come to this decision after a period of examination, like yourself. I get tired of the anger and bitterness and then the lack of respect for things that others view as holy. It's the post modernism that drives me crazy, I guess you could say. Nothing is sacred anymore. Even to the believers. That's why I talked about the stickers that say "Jesus rocks" or "Got Christ?"

    But I do apologize for my tone. I just get frustrated with the whole thing. I feel a kinship with everyone here, because we have all been through so many of the same experiences. And I know that I am no better nor any worse than those that have different beliefs. Like I said in one of my other comments, I wish some of the others could experience the joy in Christ that I have had.

    But it seems like a lot of people here think that I am ignorant of science, which I am not. I have examined both and made up my mind (for now) in what I believe is true and what is false. But I did not intend to make any others feel like I'm superior. It's just the frustration of a Christian towards those that have not experienced it.

  • leavingwt
    I get tired of the anger and bitterness and then the lack of respect for things that others view as holy.

    If you can get to the point where this doesn't bother you in the least, you'll be a happier person, IMHO. At the heart of Liberty is the freedom to believe what you want to believe.

  • Liberty

    Just a reality check. You could not possibly have even the most cursory knowledge of science since you say its conclusions were based on faith. This is not an insult, just a fact. You need to study your subjects with greater intensity before you can make such definitive statements. You are inexperianced with living in the non-JW world, a natural scientific world. The natural world is completely different from the JW world view you are used to. Believe me I know. I have lived in both worlds now and they are diametrically opposed. You must receed further and further away from the JW world before you can see these differences clearly. You have not been out long enough, it is not your fault it just takes time and knowledge.

    A book or two about science vs. religion is a start but hardly an "examination". Years of study are required in our search for "reality" and "truth" and you have only just begun. I highly suggest you take college level courses in all the sciences or at least read several books which are not religious in nature. You have been influenced for years by an anti-scientific cult indoctrination so you should at the very least be willing to equilize this with a sound scientific foundation. You cannot make an informed choice otherwise. You will also benifit from being freed bit by bit from unconscious JW superstition as you grow in scientific knowledge and critical thinking ability.

    I wish you only the best in your search for truth.

  • brotherdan

    And you don't understand what faith is, Liberty. You only apply a religious application to it. Faith is a quality that we are born with. The quality has NOTHING to do with religion. Do you have faith that the sun will rise tomorrow? Can you know for sure? Of course not. But based on what you know has happened in the past you have faith that it will rise. Don't be a dumbass about things you know so little about. So before you start insulting me about my lack of intelligence in science, try to back up your claims.

    In both of your ignorant posts you have been general without saying ANYTHING. You began both by saying I need to study my subjects. I have been talking about respect for the Bible. I did not start a post disagreeing with anything science has said. I agree with MANY aspects of science. But I also know that this is not a completely stable foundation either. Much of it is based on unproven scientific theory in which there are thousands that contradict each other. I'm not going to go into specifics because that was not the purpose of my post.

    Your ignorance of what the word "faith" means and simple critical thinking is lacking. I have not just read "a book or two" about science vs religion. I am constantly learning and while I have made my decisions thus far, I know that they can change as I learn more. What I don't like about people like you is the extreme haughtiness that you tend to show.

    If you don't have anything intellligent to say, then keep your mouth shut, Liberty.

  • brotherdan

    Also, Liberty, I did not say that all of science was based on faith. However, intelligence evolving from non-matter is a matter that requires faith. There is no example of information coming from non-information. If you believe in intelligent life, then you believe that eventually intelligence came for non-intelligence.

    So before you get all snooty with your comments, read what I actually said.

  • cofty

    Brotherdan do you accept that there are at least some ex-jws who know at least as much or more about the bible and the christian gospel as yourself and who have later rejected it based on full knowledge of the matter?

    I know I have traveled that road and after 10 years of post-jw christianity came to the conclusion that it was a delusion just as the borg was.

    If some people jump to that same conclusion in a heartbeat without examining the evidence fully I congratulate them on getting to there a lot quicker than me. Its just my personality that I had to work my way through it all for myself.

    By the way any sentence that equates acceptance of the evidence for evolution with faith is not even wrong, but I think that is getting off topic?

  • Terry

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

    Those of us who were not born into the Jehovah's Witnesses became JW's after a series of Q&A sessions in which we exhausted our skepticisms.

    Once our skepticism was overcome we went along.

    You see, all of us start out----not as a blank slate--but as a repository of presuppositions.

    Which is to say we ALREADY think we know how certain things are----but, may be fuzzy on the details.

    If we come from the Western world we are exposed to christianity and all its "givens".
    This is what philosophy calls an "ethos." Those fundamental "values" of a culture or civlization are commonly accepted and we cannot escape them.

    So much so do we absorb the christian storyline that, persons like myself, already believed the Bible was the word of God before I ever met the Jehovah's Witnesses. I had never been a church member or extensively read or studied the bible. I had, however, absorbed the very strong ethos of christian value attached to the inerrant Word of inspired scripture.

    I was easy prey. I may as well have been arguing Physics with a college professor of Physics. My JW friend was trained and I was not.

    Here were a number of my presuppositions.

    1.The bible was inspired by God and men wrote down exactly what God wanted us to know and believe guided by Holy Spirit.

    2.Bible translations only varied from original manuscript writings by language. Whatever errors of translation existed were nothing that obscured essential theology, truth or divine revelation.

    3. Trying to live the way Jesus taught us to live was the most important part of being "christian."

    What I learned from Jehovah's Witnesses is that just being "christian" isn't good enough. There is only one absolute Truth and pure worship only comes from a specifically selected source: the Watchtower Society and the channeled spirit of Jehovah through the Governing Body.

    Everything else is false worship and inaccurate understanding.

    Then, the bomb dropped on my life! The myth exploded. My world view was shaken.

    I still believed those 3 presuppositions just as before. (see above.)

    But, a funny thing happened on the way to the grave......

    I discovered the concept of FALSE PREMISES and PRESUPPOSITIONS!

    I started from scratch. I had to select each and every "given" and test it. Was it really a "given"? Or, had I been indoctrinated passively by the ethos I grew up around?

    This is something many ex-JW's try to do.

    I believe one advantage I had was accidental. I studied philosophy and its essential question: What do we know and HOW do we know it?

    Without learning what a FALLACY is and how they operate I might have become a church member rather easily.

    Fallacies of Relevance
    Fallacies of Ambiguity
    Fallacies of Presumption

    Out of the frying pan and back into the fire!

    The one profound study I made which completely dissolved the presupposition of the Bible being "inspired" by God was the one question:


    Of all the cherished, invaluable treasures belonging to the human race wouldn't the actual WORDS written as guided by Holy Spirit be something humanity would never allow to perish no matter what the personal cost???

    Yet--nothing exists!

    Not even copies.

    We begin to have reconstructed copies of copies of copies in teeny fragments before we have any New Testament complete simulations hundreds of years later.

    Something was clearly fishy about this. The Church preserved the bones of Saints, relics, shrouds, chalices, rings, splinters from the "true" cross, etc. for all time. But, not a shred of actual scripture!!!

    The more I read the more phony it all sounded.

    The basis of TRUTH is the actual words of God and yet we DON'T KNOW and CAN'T KNOW what those actual words are-----we only have speculations passed off as "just as good".

    Think about that!

    We can't cite scripture and divide this from that with any certainty--it is all speculative!

    We can't quote Jesus with assuredness!

    We don't know what was said and what was crafted after the fact that helped the story along.

    Christianity is a STORY told and retold. It has been shaped by every teller according to presuppositions of the time in which the teller lived.

    The letters of Paul came before the Gospels and even Paul's letters weren't considered "holy" as such!

    Gradually.....over time....they.....acquired that status of......holy.......and "inspired" writings. By that time they no longer existed so that we

    can check them against later writings which PURPORT to be accurately copied!

    We only have Paul's (supposed) word that Jesus ACTUALLY appeared to him and told him things!

    Christianity is probably at least as much PAUL talking (supposedly) than it is JESUS talking!

    And we don't have the ACTUAL words of either of them!

    Why would we "respect" the presupposition we grew up hearing and believing without PROOF of actual scripture to compare today's translations with for verification??

    The person who created this TOPIC is under a delusion which is merely a given opinion from childhood.

    He has been breathing the stale air of non-scrutiny so long he can't smell the stench of pre-enlightenment superstition passed off as credible fact.

    It is so easy to remain comfortable with that ethos we grew up with.

    But, it is dishonest.

    Without actual original hand written manuscripts we are at the mercy of superstitious craftsmen who lived in a world without technology, science or neutral authority in matters of "belief".

    The Jews were devolved into factions of fanatics, legalists, political activists, hermits and insular crackpots. Their notions gave birth to factions of superstitious, pagan, neo-Platonic misfits who finally survived and flourished under the might of a crafty Roman emperor of the sun god religious cult, Sol Invictus. The Church of Rome shaped what Christianity would become and remain until it practically destroyed its own credibility through corruption and misadventure. Then the misogynistic, anti-semitic monk LUTHER created a formula for further disaster: SOLA SCRIPTURA.

    Everybody can interpret the bible for himself!

    Hundreds of christian cults, denominations and factions fractured the "Truth" almost immediately which lasts until today.

    Only problem is this: they all claim the Bible as their source of "Truth."

    Something is very stale, fishy, corrupt and anti-intellectual about this breeding ground of lunatic claims for TRUTH!


    Why in the world would I? Why would anybody?

    It is a Rohrschach test for our deepest insecurity and madness of imagination.


    *sticky note*

  • jwfacts

    What bothers me though is the disrespect for anything holy.

    What do you define as holy? If you refer to a holy book then do you show respect for what others consider holy? Do you show respect for the Koran, the Bhagavad Gita, the works of the Greek mythologists or the writing of Ron Hubbard? What is one person's holy book is another persons trash.

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