Palimpsest - I feel like it's a familiarity issue. JWs don't fear the Holy Spirit, but it's something that's discussed so infrequently in their meetings that it doesn't immediately register.
I get that, dear Palimpset (peace to you and please forgive me for overlooking your response!). But again, these are African Americans... and I should have pointed out that I didn't "get" that they were born ins. Of the 5 or so, all were "older"... and based on our discussions it also seemed that they may not have been in "that long" (i.e. less than 15 years/half their lives). So my feeling was that they had had SOME exposure to the term (Holy Spirit)... as well as the, ummmm... leadings. Funny, this discussion is helping me recall quite of bit of "why" I question the manner of their responses as I do.
Also, depending on your region, "Holy Spirit" or "Holy Ghost" can draw an automatic mental association with Pentecostals or born-agains, even if you believe in the Holy Spirit (as JWs do).
Yes, this is true! And could be that some were such prior to, I dunno...
I can remember immediately thinking, "Oh, they must be Pentecostal" whenever someone at a door mentioned the Holy Spirit. So perhaps that's it?
Really? Not me. I think the ONLY ["christian"] religion that doesn't believe in the Holy Spirit... whether as part of a Trinity or not... is JWs (due to the false teachings of the WTBTS... because the Bible certainly speaks of it/him). So, truthfully, when someone DID mention "the Holy Spirit"... I often didn't know what to say/how to reply. The WTBTS canned response just didn't seem accurate, sufficient, or appropriate. Something was always "not quite right". Which is what seemed to occur with these.
Greetings, dear Amazing (is it me or where've you been, dear one? I'm sorry if I haven't been paying enough attention, but certainly peace to you!)
Maybe a year ago a JW stopped at my door and discussed the latest magazine regarding the holy spirit, as they define it. We discussed the topic for about 45 minutes, along with some side points. I pointed him to Acts 13:2-4 where the Holy Spirit expresses his will and speaks in first person. He played the typical "personification" card.
Yeah. I mean, what else can they "play", given what they're taught? Sad, isn't it... because I can't see how they can believe this IF they've actually read about the Holy Spirit in the Bible...
I pointed out to him that Acts is a historical narrative, not subject to use of poetic literary styles. Otherwise, one could make the same argument that when the Devil speaks in first person, it is just a personification of evil.
When he left, he promised to return to see what I thought of the magazine article. But he never did return.
Yes, see?! They don't "mess" with it. I mean, why not push THAT topic as they do the others? Again, I dunno, but it seems like something is "up"...
Perhaps the reaction of the JWs you mention is their inherent fear of encountering a type of Christian, like a Pentecostal, Assembly of God, or Four Square. These and other types of charismatics are thought by many JWs to be "demon-ized" because JWs believe that the Holy Spirit is just a blind force, and not a person.
Yes, and I get that with born in and/or white JWs. Makes sense. Makes sense for some non-whites, too. But I tell you, the reaction doesn't seem to be fear of demons. I've seen how "they" act in such cases. This is... different. Like a kind of... resignation. Like, "Okay, I CAN'T go there with you..." Since they are African Americans, I'm thinking maybe they run into this kind of thing (people raising the subject of the Holy Spirit) all the time, given the "territory" (lots of Pentecostal, Apostolic, Catholic, COGIC, Acts Fully Gospel, Four Square, etc., churches/congregations out there). So I am thinking maybe addressed in a "local needs" talk? Perhaps you dear ones would have to see it to know what I mean...
It is a form of stereotyping bias on their part.
Yes, I agree.
Charismatic Christians never bothered me, so, I would talk with them when I was a JW.
Me, too, until they would say they were led by the Holy Spirit. My thought then would be, now what? Who am I to say the Holy Spirit isn't directing such person? I think I was concerned about the blasphemy at the time. But it wasn't because I thought they were possessed by demons... and I didn't have any fear, so to speak. I didn't leave the door (I left when the discussion ended or I was told/given indication that it was time to leave... by the householder or the car group, etc.). If the household bothered to oblige me, just leaving abruptly because I didn't agree or believe what he/she did was, IMHO, quite rude. I would try to find a common ground - and there was virtually always some common ground.
Side note: Some ex-JWs, I notice, still get confused by the Trinity, and think that Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are the same persons ... which they are not. No Trinitarian worth his/her salt would ever say so.
Being that I was christened and confirmed as a Lutheran, I would say... ummm... not all Trinitarians would agree with you. As a christian, I have learned that this is what gets "us" into trouble: taking on, identifying with, supporting, pushing, believing, and teaching "doctrines", beliefs, and things that the Holy Spirit himself never teaches/states. What WE believe... is very often irrelevant, dear one... to the extent it goes beyond having faith that: Christ is the Son of God, sent here to make the name and will of His Father known and give his life, blood, and flesh for those who put faith in him, such faith be demonstrated by listening to and obeying his voice, the voice of the Truth... which voice will lead us into all truth... by leading us TO the True God... by means of entering through him... he who subdues those who belong to him through teaching them true wisdom, manifest through love, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, justice... and faith... now and later... and that if we nourish our spirits... by eating his flesh, he, the Tree of Life, and drinking his blood, he, the Fountain of Life... which flesh is true food and blood is true drink... in faith... that doing so will cleanse us so that we CAN enter before the Most Holy... as well as be resurrected to life and live forever... by means of receiving the "water of life"... God's holy spirit... the spirit of LIFE... within us... FROM him...
Nothing else really matters. Really. All of the other stuff is just that: stuff. Fun to discuss... but unless it is the truth... received FROM the Truth... it has no true value. It is why there are so many sects and denominations and... other... stuff. Muddled, muddied, confused, confusing, misleading... and false.
If the Holy One of Israel wanted us to believe that there is a "trinity"... versus the TWO HE always spoke/speaks of... he would have told us... or those who stayed with him during his trials (and such ones would have written of it; why hide it?). He didn't, though, nor did they write of it. He never said that He, the Father... and the Holy Spirit... were one. He said that he... and the Father... were one. He would have said that we would be in union not only with him and the Father, but also with the Holy Spirit. He didn't. He said that we would in union with him and by means of such union in union with the Father.
Now that is not to say that other spirits weren't/aren't used. Gabriel certainly was used, as was Michael. And I get that some "trinitarians" believe/mean that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are indeed separate entities that make up one, in unity. But that really is NOT the case. And I offer "scripture" as proof - the Revelation. There, the Most Holy One of Israel, God, gave a revelation to the Son, Christ... who gave it to John... through an angel. Why not through "the Holy Spirit"... unless that angel WAS the Holy Spirit. But that angel... who is Michael, the angel of the Ark (or "arkangel")... did not identify himself as such. Indeed, he took issue with John when he [John] fell down to worship at his feet. Twice. Both times he told John NOT to do that, that HE was merely a FELLOW slave... who had the same job: bearing witness to Christ.
I have, on MANY occasions asked our Lord whether Michael was actually the Holy Spirit... the "Spirit of God." The answer I received from my Lord is that while Michael IS a spirit of God... and was used to give John a revelation of what was to occur... that he, himself, is the HOLY Spirit. He is the one who was glorified... AS A SPIRIT... and so is the only one WORTHY... to open the seals. It is this HOLINESS that made him, a spirit, worthy.
But, here too JWs, and thus some ex-JWs, still have it confused because of misleading Watchtower teachings about the traditional doctrines of mainline Christianity, especially the Trinity.
Yes, I totally agree, as to the first... and because of not being led BY the Holy Spirit, Christ, as to both the first AND the second (the "Trinity"). Even those of "mainline christianity".
My 2c viewpoint is that JWs believe holy spirit only leads to JW land. If one claims to have it, yet is not led to JW land, then that person must be delusional or is being led by an evil misleading force.
Yes, dear newlight (peace to you, as well!), but it's actually even worse: they believe one can "have" holy spirit... yet, not have received (i.e., been chosen, and thus, anointed by) it. How does THAT work, exactly? How can one have something one has not received... unless one already has it IN oneself? Which they certainly don't believe. It's like their false teaching that those of the great crowd "have life within themselves" and so "paid for their sins" when they died so as to be resurrected. Indeed, they apparently will resurrect themselves! Because Christ is recorded to have said "He that feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood will live forever and I WILL RESURRECT him"... and "UNLESS you eat the flesh of the Son of man... and drink his blood... YOU HAVE NO LIFE IN YOURSELVES."
He IS the Life! Where, then, do such ones GET such life? They get death, yes. As the "wage" for their sins. But WHO is going to buy them BACK from death? Who is their REPURCHASER????
They actually tend have a problem with any sort of personal insight/revelation that fails to support WT directly, IME.
Well, yeah, that's a given. You can't have a cult/mislead even the chosen ones... if you don't require your followers to listen only to you. A house divided against itself cannot stand... and they would certainly be divided (even more than they are, under cover).
Even just choosing to eat well or exercise can lead to being viewed with suspicion.
EVERYTHING is viewed with suspicion, dear one. You can have been a lifelong adherent, supporter, and WTBTS pusher. Doesn't matter - disagree in a manner and about something they don't want you to... and you're toast. Out in the cold, we don't know/love you anymore, you Satanic evildoer, so get thee away from us... toast. As in burnt.
No problem. Lovely discussion and I thank all of you who contributed (yes, all of you, even if you were a bit of a nerkie... and you know who you are, but even can't always help being nerkies and need love, too, so...). Peace to you!
Your servant and a slave of Christ,