You will go into the Earth. I, however, will go to take some pickles and some bread and butter.
Where do you go from here?
why would there be so many different religions
Inventing scary invisible creatures to control behaviour for one. People have great imagination. That's what separates us from apes. Variety is to be expected.
Finding explanations for natural phenomena for another.
...replace religion with science...
The creation accounts of many cultures are nothing more than the science of the day. Not everbody knows that the earth is not balanced by an elephant that is standing on a turtle. Are people replacing religion with science or science with religion?
Hi Still Looking...and welcome!
One of the problems ex-JW's have when they leave the Borg is that they have been indoctrinated into a mindset of absolutes. The biggest issue with that mindset and seeking the "true" religion is that we live in an imperfect world populated by imperfect people. No earthly organization/religion is absolutely true or perfect...so if that is your quest, you will never find what you seek.
The more important issue for you to consider is that if you choose to worship as a Christian, you need to seperate doctrine from salvation. The more important issues are those core salvation issues revolving around belief in Jesus as the redeemer of mankind and a close personal relationship with him. I cannot go the route of atheism, but I also had issues with many of the aspects you mentioned of Christianity. I can understand how many ex-JW's have rejected religion and belief in God. It sounds like that is not your personal belief, so I encourage you to not get distracted with dogma. Find a good church in your area and give it a try...you won't burst into flames if you step inside the doors :)
I would also recommend the following paper by Tom Cabeen...it really helped me "think" things through.
I wish you the best in your search...
Thank you, that was exaclty what I was looking for. It compiled in one place what a most of the others were trying to say. I can tell it was written by someone who has gone through what I am, it's honest and sincere. It should be a must read for all those who leave the JW's or even before they get taken in.
I'm sure many like me were looking for the right way, and the JW's seemed like they had all the right answers. The one thing, like the writer, I have to say, is they did do a good job getting me into the bible. For that I am grateful to them.
I believe the answer lies with who could be considered Jehovah's people today and what the bible says about that.
I have posted a page from one of my sites (JehovahsFollowers.com) that is designed to scripturally answer this question: (Sorry for the length)
Who are God's people today? And, is it worth trying to one of them?
Just because an organization uses God's name does not mean they have God's approval.
Isaiah 48:1,2 "Hear this, O house of Jacob, YOU who are calling yourselves by the name of Israel and who have come forth from the very waters of Judah, YOU who are swearing by the name of Jehovah and who make mention even of the God of Israel, not in truth and not in righteousness . For they have called themselves as being from the holy city , and upon the God of Israel they have supported themselves, Jehovah of armies being his name."
Let's look at the past example of God's people in Israel in the first century.
- The worship of God's people (Israel) was crooked. Yet, they were still God's people until they bought their way out from the covenant they had with Jehovah and killed his son - Zechariah 11:12,13. Out of that "crooked" generation of people came ones who desired to straighten their worship and serve Jehovah in truth. These ones are accepted by Jehovah and have their past sins forgiven - Zechariah 3:1-5.
- The opportunity for people of the nations to become his people was opened (Although there was the provision in the Mosaic Law for Aliens to become as a "natural" Israelite and they were to be treated the same - in the past) Compare Acts 10:9-48.
Acts 10:28,34-36,42-46 "and he said to them: 'YOU well know how unlawful it is for a Jew to join himself to or approach a man of another race; and yet God has shown me I should call no man defiled or unclean.' " (vs.34-36); "At this Peter opened his mouth and said: "For a certainty I perceive that God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him . He sent out the word to the sons of Israel to declare to them the good news of peace through Jesus Christ: this One is Lord of all [others]." (vs.42-43); "Also, he ordered us to preach to the people and to give a thorough witness that this is the One decreed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone putting faith in him gets forgiveness of sins through his name." (vs.44-46); "While Peter was yet speaking about these matters the holy spirit fell upon all those hearing the word. And the faithful ones that had come with Peter who were of those circumcised were amazed, because the free gift of the holy spirit was being poured out also upon people of the nations. For they heard them speaking with tongues and magnifying God."
- Notice, it was stated "the man" not "the organization". It also is important to notice the "fears him and works righteousness" part. Compare 1 Samuel 12:14 (top of page).
Acts 15:14-18 "Symeon has related thoroughly how God for the first time turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name . And with this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written, 'After these things I shall return and rebuild the booth of David that is fallen down; and I shall rebuild its ruins and erect it again, in order that those who remain of the men may earnestly seek Jehovah , together with people of all the nations, people who are called by my name , says Jehovah, who is doing these things, known from of old.' " Compare Isaiah 45:20-25; Amos 9:11,12
- Notice, God turning his attention to the nations. So it was not restricted to the Israelites.
- Notice "the booth of David that is fallen down". This would denote that things were not right in God's eyes but it would be erected again for the benefit of all peoples of the nations.
- Notice how God wants people to earnestly seek him out of all the nations and they will be called by his name.
So today, a person who desires to and actually strives to show fear of God and the working of righteousness would be acceptable to him .
- Notice Peter, in Acts 10 did not say "acceptable to me" but "to him".
Ones may feel dejected or unworthy because of leaving or being "put out" of an organization that claims to be supported by God . But how do you think God views the organization that apostatizes against him? In the first century, how do you think Jehovah felt when ones left "his people's religious organization" to pursue true worship? (Such as Jesus or his followers) And how about today? Just because someone is ousted from an organization that uses God's name does not mean that they are not approved by God or that their life does not have purpose!
Irresponsible spiritual shepherds will fight "tooth and nail" to maintain their establishment of crooked worship - Just like they did in Jesus' day or Elijah's day. They will act "wickedly against the covenant". They will fight to keep their members blind and will vilify anyone who challenges crooked doctrine instead of searching the scriptures. Isn't that what happened in the first century? But those who earnestly desire to follow Jehovah will not allow anything to keep them from doing so . And they will prevail! (Daniel 11:32) Their heartfelt actions are to pursue Jehovah's righteousness even though they have to endure personal tribulation. It isn't easy. But for those who endure, they will be richly rewarded.
Is it worth being one of them?
For those who seek Jehovah's righteousness, a definite YES! However, just as in the first century, there are going to be turbulent times ahead. (See Daniel 11:32-35) It is my earnest desire that in setting up this "Jehovah's Followers" website and the http://jwjw.org website, that it will allow ones to at least connect and support one another and at the same time to "straighten" or "whiten" their worship in time for Jesus' arrival in power to judge!
Is there just one group? And; Just who gets saved?
There is just one way to worship. And this is the only way that is acceptable to Jehovah. There will be ones doing this by the time Jesus arrives in power to judge. However, other people are given opportunity to repent and submit to be spared destruction.
- Isaiah 43:10 "YOU are my witnesses, is the utterance of Jehovah.." - Notice it is Jehovah who officially declares who his people are.
- Isaiah 65:9 "..my chosen ones..";
- Daniel 11:32 "...the people who are knowing their God, they will prevail and act effectively"
- Daniel 12:1 "..Michael will stand up, the great prince who is standing in behalf of the sons of your people....your people will escape.."
- Revelation 6:11 "..their fellow slaves and their brothers.."
- Revelation 7:4 "..those who were sealed.."
- Revelation 7:9,14 "..a great crowd...dressed in white robes.."; "..These are the ones that come out of the great tribulation.."
Not everyone gets saved, although they are given opportunity to submit.
- Psalms 2:12 "Kiss the son, that He may not become incensed And YOU may not perish [from] the way, For his anger flares up easily. Happy are those taking refuge in him."
- Revelation 14:14-20 Many of mankind are "reaped". Vs.20 "And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress..
- Revelation 16:11 "...they did not repent of their works"
- Revelation 19:17,18,21 "..an angel..cried out..to all the birds..Come here, be gathered together to the great evening meal of God, that YOU may eat the fleshly parts of kings and the fleshly parts of military commanders and the fleshly parts of strong men and the fleshly parts of horses and of those seated upon them, and the fleshly parts of all, of freemen as well as of slaves and of small ones and great...(vs.21) But the rest were killed off with the long sword of the one seated on the horse.."