Really, how do you decide?

by startingover 29 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Ding


    You might enjoy reading Lee Strobel's book, The Case for Christ.

    Strobel was a Chicago Tribune journalist and atheist whose wife became a Christian.

    He wanted to prove to her that the whole Jesus thing was wrong (probably a scam) so he decided to investigate the facts and ended up becoming a Christian.

    You don't have to accept what he says, of course, but I think you would find his book an interesting read because he started from the opposite point from you (you were raised to believe in God; he was trying to confirm his atheism) but he's a fact driven kind of guy.

    The book should be available in libraries and Christian book stores. If not, I'm sure you can get a copy online.

    If you'd like to PM me I'll be glad to discuss this further, but if not, please look up the book and see if you find it interesting.

  • tec
    Take for instance Tec's comment about Christ-mythers. Tec, I think you want to believe, you have admitted that, so IMO you ignored the information until pushed into it by your husband and then you cherry picked the information you wanted to hear accepting only what backs up what you already believe.

    I understand the point you're trying to make, and often times I think it can be true of most believers... but in this instance it is wrong. Yes, I ignored information that I did not want to hear... and it was only when I was pushed, that I researched it. My faith was weak, hence the shame when I discovered that I should have held to my faith without the fear of doubt. Not that I think research, etc, is wrong or anything. I just was so afraid of what I was going to find. I was pretty fresh out of leaving my study with JW's too. Didn't really trust myself or my instincts. However, I did fully research, checking out both sides of the debate, including unbiased sources of these other myths.

    As Leo is a poster you believe to be unbiased in research and presentation, she also considers all these Zeitgeist and similar comparisons to be rubbish. (I think that was the word she used; it might have been hogwash?) But I did not cherry pick. There would have been no point in it, once I finally made the decision to do the research. I don't have that fear anymore, in regard to claims or doubts or whatever by those who believe. I'm not afraid to look at things regarding those claims anymore, either. But yes, at one point, I was.

    I'm not knocking that you are a fact driven person. At all. It doesn't make you any better or worse of a person than me. It simply means you're driven by facts. That being the case, you have to research a lot, as has been suggested, and including the sources of the work you research. I also think it means you just go wherever the facts tend to lead, and that doesn't have to be set in stone. You can change or expand your mind as you are presented with new info at any time.


  • Perry

    The only way for you to know ultimate truth through the scientific method is to actually be God yourself, in that you could exhaust all possible falsifications. Get it? Truth in the hands of any creature is simply an assumption.

    We are dealing with our finite(ness) here..... something that grates against the vanity of man. Man cannot know truth in any ultimate sense except through revelation. Unlike the unknowableness of ultimate truth from effort, God being ultimate himself can be known. Jesus said, " I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life. No man cometh unto the father except by me".

    Truth is whatever Jesus says it is; him being the embodiment of all possible reality. Know Jesus, Know Truth. No Jesus, no Truth.

    Truth is a Person. That's how you decide.

  • peacefulpete

    I empathize with the emotional turmoil struggling with a major change in belief. Mythology both ancient and modern is a facinating topic with many lifetimes of learning. Every day new insights and discoveries that better reveal the cult and cultures of the past and how these inform the present ones. Only when I allowed myself to deal with religion as a social phenomenon rather than a "machination" of the Devil, did I see my own religion as a small part of the larger whole. Many times expose' styled Christianity detractors make tha mistake of compiling simplified lists of parallels as if by the shear length of the list others would see what they see. The issue then becomes a challenge for the believers to compile lists of differences or unique aspects of their religion as they practice it. The larger issue is that religion is a part of a culture and everyone is as unique as the culture as a whole. New religions would not attract many converts if their beliefs and practice were identical to competing ones. No, just as the needs of the society changes, religion evolves and adapts. Even as it does is always retains sometimes awkward vestigial imagery and story that betray it's less sophisticated past. Judaism is a clasic example of a cult caught between adapting to the needs of a modern society and clinging to the ancient adaptations of Palestinian, Persian and Babylonian mythology that served to motivate and inspire past generations. What makes the issue rather ironic is that it is the insistance upon literalness that creates this tension and yet the ancients themselves were not literalists! History and morality were all told through story and symbolism. Many ancient peoples were not so foolish as to believe giants, talking snakes and world wide floods had taken place in their recent history, at least certainly not the authors of the tales. To understand what I mean, talk to a Hindu worshiper and try to understand the power of their acknowledged myths have in their lives. They believe that the message is revealed within the myth, the myth is not understood as history, textbook style anyway. Hinduism is one of the few faiths that has amazingly retained it's ancient flavor while yet enabling it's people to become a technologically advance society. Sadly the less educated in any society have always been given to credulity.

    A study of the texual cues and mythemes makes very obvious the OT is a compilation of stories and myths, some very ancient, some less so, some with historical elements others not. Sections were adapted and compiled more or less by a particular sect as a powerful tool for inspiring national identity and galvanizing particular sectatarian views. As it was inherited by later generations furthur adaptations were necessary. It was not deceipt or malice that motivated its editors and author just politics and religion as it is and has always been.

    Posters such as Leolia and Narkisos have been involved in rather advanced topics in this area in the past. I'd strongly endorse reading the topics they have started or been involved in in the research and belief sections of this forum.

    If you ask yourself honestly, do you really think all the stories in the Bible really took place. I doubt it, noone does. We tend to be selective and emphasize what we do find credible and try to forget the doubts. Honestly, that is true of every believer. That will continue to work for some people but I suspect not you. Coming to terms with that reality is not so much a decision as an epiphany.

  • MrFreeze

    I can't tell anybody how to decide. That is up to each person. Yes, maybe I don't agree with you but that's fine. If your way of life makes you happy, you go ahead and pursue it, just so long as it doesn't hurt others.

  • Snoozy

    I don't know why but suddenly I am reminded of the "Star Wars" groupies..We all know that things like that don't exist but many follow is just a thing to do..I can't help but wonder if maybe that is the case of many JW's.
    The people can have a powerful pull..(not the nutty fruitcake ones)

    In talking to the witness I recently found on facebook I am reminded of all the fun times we had ..many of us would get together quite often and cook and play games and share problems/ stories etc. It brought a pang to my heart..I almost wished I was back then and made a different choice to stay in.

    That to me would be the pull of the religion..not the teachings. I know that would be wrong..I wouldn't be true to myself..but the pull is there..and I miss that.


  • peacefulpete

    That is a very good point Snoozy. Doctrines are basically irrelevant, other than they identify one group as distinct from another. The WT today bears little resemblence to the WT of just 40 years ago and so much less so 100 years ago. The membership have to a larger than average extent surrendered their potential identity normally won through career, art,and accomplishment in favor of the promised security of a high control group. The doctrines can shift routinely but as long as the group identity persists few will become disillusioned and chose to face the harshness of the world alone. Those that do often go through a phase of questioning who they are and what will they do, things they never had to answer before. Even if they were not model JW's they at least knew what they should look like and be doing as directed by the WT leadership.

    I'm of the firm opinion that those who leave, mindful of the larger issues of religion's history and role in society, make the transition to healthy independent living much better than those who linger in beliefs that only served as identification with the group that no longer welcomes them.

  • moshe

    A few years ago I stepped into my old KH in Danville, Illinois for a visit- they had a new building and I didn't see any familiar faces- well it had been over 20 years.. The field circus meeting was just getting underway and one of the brothers came back to see who was standing in the back of the hall observing the goings on. When he found out I wasn't a JW anymore, he ushered me outside- for a private talk. The gist of it was, he wanted to know the "secret" that made me leave and what was the truth that I had found on top of the mountain I had climbed outside the KH. I surmise that he wanted to avoid years of searching for the true religion and going down dead end religious alleys. He was upset that I didn't explain why I had converted to Judaism or what was wrong with the WT religion, etc. He wanted me to hand him the equivalent of the little blue "Truth book" for apostates when no such book exists. I often wondered if he was brave enough to do a Google search ( as I suggested) and begin his quest for personal truth. In the end it comes down to this- Religion is a belief system to explain the unexplainable. Some people don't even need a relgious belief system at all.


    How do you decide?..

    Gather all the information you can and make your best decision..


    Give up control of your life and let someone do it for you..

    "The Watchtower thinks for me!"..

    "I am the happiest WBT$ JW Robot on Earth!!"..

    ...................... ...OUTLAW

  • SweetBabyCheezits
    Truth is whatever Jesus says it is; him being the embodiment of all possible reality. Know Jesus, Know Truth. No Jesus, no Truth.

    Deep! I'm gonna put that little nugget in my pocket and eat it on the way to hell.

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