'Do not forsake the gathering of yourselves together...'

by bez 22 Replies latest jw friends

  • bez

    Just wondering what some of your opinions are on this scripture??? Its one that has been thrown at me time and time again when i talk of my decision to leave the 'organization of God'. As i would not be gathering together with his people and therefore forsaking the gathering of myself together..... (if ya get me!).. Many have stated its one of the fundamental reasons its Gods organization as we gather together to insturct, build up etc...

    My answer was that firstly when i go to a meeting and do not feel encouraged by many of the hypocrites there, what is the good in that... and i have also said i believe that this verse is almost llike a proverb... and therefore like a principle... dont be a recluse cus its is bad for your mental health..... ???

    Any other thoughts????

  • bez

    ??? obviously not?

  • Cook My Socks UK
    Cook My Socks UK

    The race that we run is in the opposite direction to the worlds. We must support and encourage one another through mutual witness (quote not mine)!

    Surely, whatever the Christian faith you attach yourself to; you have to take this to mean that you need to spend time with like minded people, those on the same spiritual journey. The New Jerusalem bible renders the verse “do not stay away from the meetings”.

    Some would say that being on this forum is in fact gathering together!

  • cult classic
    cult classic

    Hey Bez. yeah that scripture is played out. To forsake means to give up entirely. So my reasoning has been that as long as you get with other christians at some point you're not forsaking. Also, Jesus said "where two or more are gathered in my name, there my spirit is." So no need for a big group of people to gather for worship in the first place.

    The scripture goes on to say "all the more so as you behold the day drawing near." Opens up another issue about when this scripture is to be applied. Ask your mom if that scripture is to be taken literally, why has WT cancelled the bookstudy? Shouldn't they be adding meetings?

    Of course it's only important if you believe the bible is inspired, which I don't.

    edited: I don't know where I got the info that you were needing a response to your mother...LOL disregard that part of my comment.

  • PSacramento

    This was Paul's way of telling people that, even though life can get busy and complicated and even, in their case, persecuted, that they shoudl try to gather together as much as they could to "strengthen" themselves in their faith.

    Of course this was aimed at the home churchs/assemblies that Paul had set up or that were already in existence when he got there.

    Whether it was 10 people or 20 or 5 or 2, as Jesus said, wherever two or more gather, I am there ( this is of course NOT to say that he is NOT there when we are alone, just to show that the number of people in a group was irrelevant).

  • WingCommander

    Funny, the Governing Body completely cracked down on the "gathering of yourselves together" in the form of congregation picnics, parties, etc in the early 1980's. Somehow, this scripture pertains to Kingdom Hall MEETINGS, ONLY!!!

    It's simple really, the WTBTS makes the scriptures say whatever they WANT them to say at the time. For instance, Jesus said there was only ONE mediator between mankind and God, Him (Jesus). However, the Governing Body claim Jesus was speaking about only the 144,000 annointed, and that THEY the Governing Body are the Mediator between mankind and Jesus!!!! Now that's some crazy shit right there. Jesus' words are easy to understand, but the Governing Body claims only THEY can interpret the Bible correctly, which translates to however in the hell they feel like it at the time.

    - Wing Commander

  • wasblind

    When a person who is not in good standing with the cong, continues to attend the meetings they are in harmony with the scripture Hebrews 10:25 "not forsaking the gathering of ourselves"

    When the congregation avoid and treats this person as an outcast, they are not in harmony with Hebrews 10: 24, " And let us consider one another to incite to love and fine works."

    The person not in good standing is not considered or shown love, they are completely ignored, they have already been judged not by God, but by men.

    By their works this is truly not God's Organization,

  • cult classic
    cult classic

    Good point wasblind.

  • donuthole

    If I could add to some of the thoughts already expressed --

    It isn't just the Watchtower that uses that set of verses in such a manner. It is a favorite of pastors used to tell people of the need to regularly "go to church".

    There is a specific purpose for gathering together and the writer of Hebrews tells us it is to "spur one another to love and fine works" (v24) and to provide mutal encouragement. (v25)

    Unfortunately the atmosphere at the local Kingdom Hall is typically not marked by the love that Jesus displayed and requires of those who claim to follow him. The Witnesses boast that they show "Christian love" by not going across the ocean to war and killing their brothers. How tragic that they invalidate such a stand by not showing love to the person across the isle, even harboring hatred! The elderly among them readily will testify of the chronic lack of love that permeates the Organization and grows colder day to day.

    Further those verses do not say when and how often and in what manner ones should gather together. For many years there were meetings at the Kingdom Hall on three seperate days. If a person only attended two of those days - it would be said that they weren't following this counsel. What now? Today, there are only meetings on two days, and that same person in now in full compliance! Early Christian meetings were real interchanges marked by love and mutual encouragement. It wasn't sitting in a chair or on a pew and staring at the back of someone's head for an hour or two before rushing out to the nearest lunch buffet. Some Christians find much more love and encouragement meeting together with two or three for coffee than "going to church" or the Kingdom Hall.

  • Mattieu

    Hi Bez, i agree. Due to the hypoctitical state of every congo, surely it has to be a proverb, the fact we all need association of some sort to prevent us going crazy...... Hmmm. maybe its a fullfilment of prophecy based upon the next generation of yong ones who will grow up not knowing how to interact one on one due to social website networks! Cheers, Mattieu (not 1 on1.....)

  • PSacramento
    Early Christian meetings were real interchanges marked by love and mutual encouragement. It wasn't sitting in a chair or on a pew and staring at the back of someone's head for an hour or two before rushing out to the nearest lunch buffet. Some Christians find much more love and encouragement meeting together with two or three for coffee than "going to church" or the Kingdom Hall.

    There is much truth and wisdom in this.

  • miseryloveselders

    I always hated how they take Paul's letters, and then claim that his words are commands from God. It's one of the reasons I don't believe that the Bible is the complete word of God. It contains some history on the Israelites, some history on Jesus, and several letters by the apostles to various people and congregations. I've heard ones from the platform say that, "not forsaking the gathering of yourselves", was a direct command from God, which is proposterous. Paul told the Hebrews to continue encouraging one nother, and communicate with one another, organize things with one another. I'm certain he didn't mean attending the Congregation Book Study, the public talk, the WT study, the Service Meeting, the Theocratic Ministry School, 2-3 Circuit Assemblies, and a 3 day district convention 3-4 hours from you home. Not to forget, special talks given when Bethel heavies visit, or when the CO/DO visit. If Paul were around today, the Congregation Picnic would be the only thing he would agree is in harmony with what he wrote to the Hebrews regarding gathering together.

    Those old men in NY take the simplest scriptures and turn them into direct commands from God.

  • PSacramento
    Those old men in NY take the simplest scriptures and turn them into direct commands from God.

    They know the power of words, the know the power of words claiming to be from God.

    Book of Eli anyone?

  • bez

    All your comments are very good and just confirm what i actually already did think.

    Funny how once upon a time i would have stayed well clear from these sites as had been told they were clearly 'apostate'... something that i am pretty much being labled as myself today, just for having a bit of independant thinking :-/

    Donuthole i found your post very very true. Funny how i never thought of it that way despite probably being hated by a couple in my congregation. What a bad atmosphere every Thursday night!!

    It is a relief to get my children away from such hostile individuals... not all of course. As i have said in a different thread, i do belive some folk are genuine and i feel sorry for these ones. Maybe one day they will see.

    And maybe one day if there is such a thing as Karma, the meanies will realise they were not right after all!

  • Inkie

    I totally agree with DonutHole when he wrote:

    "Some Christians find much more love and encouragement meeting together with two or three for coffee than "going to church" or the Kingdom Hall."

    Remember, Christ said: "Wherever there are two or three gathered together in my name, there I am in their midst." That certainly is 'gathering together.' And don't forget the "love feasts" in the early congregations where they ate meals and shared and just had a good time among themselves. Nothing formal like the Evening Meal of JW's once a year.


  • clarity


    The way I've come to understand this 'command to gather together', is this ....

    Evidently, (forgive me, just lovin this triggerword!) the Jews and Apostles & converts were not getting along very well. The Jews, were still caughtup with circumcision and various points of the Law and relations were not too friendly with the New Guys on the block. Hence the admonition, at Hebrews 10:25 ... "not forsaking the gathering of our selves together, as some have the custom" (ie the cranky ones who won't co-operate) "but encouraging one another"... CAN WE JUST GET ALONG HERE! ... you get the picture.

    Also, you will be relieved when you read Deut.31:12 .."congregate the men, women and little ones ... that they may learn... " Now let your eyes go up to vs.10 ... do it EVERY SEVEN YEARS!

    Now you gotta love that ...have a great week-end, clarity

  • bez

    lol clarity.

    And yes i do get the picture absolutley, i guess alot of the bible has significance for us today, but ultimatley was written for those guys of the time.

    And the counsel is as i said, good for us today, stop bickering and just get on with each other.

  • pirata

    It means you should log onto JWN at least once a week and catch up on the new postings

  • jwfacts

    Think about what that scripture doesn't say.

    • It doesn't say to meet 3 times a week (or 2 times now).
    • It doesn't say to meet in congregations, in kingdom halls. Early Christians met in small home groups - a bit like the now defunct bookstudy arrangement. "Gathering together" could simply be a handful of people over a coffee.
    • It doesn't say to meet with Watchtower followers - it was discussing meeting with other followers of Christ.
  • Leolaia

    "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:24-25).

    Early Christians met together for "love feasts", the Agape.


    The organic difference between this form of fellowship and JW meetings should be plain.

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