Question for Board/Current JWs re Holy Spirit/holy spirit...

by AGuest 39 Replies latest jw friends

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit? Who truly cares? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Gertrude Stein. I am Anglican now. Basically, I accept the Trinity because it seems a historical tradition from fairly early in the Church. I know it is an extrapolation but a nonTrinitarian view is also an extrapolition. It is not clear when I read the Bible. Holy Ghost seems to mean the same but the English usage is dated. This is I know for a fact: nowhere in the Bible in the text or illustrations supplied later is the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society named. Did perfect Jesus just happen to omit the fact.

    They are not Christian in my view. In fact, more than Christian, they are Jehovists, some bizarre strain of Judaism. When I was a Witness, I never heard about Paul's concept of grace or even love. Instead, I heard about obeying the Society. The Witnesses always go off on side issues, too. My father served at Bethel and left to marry my mother in the days before Nathan Knorr was smitten with a woman. Aluminum pots and pans were an issue. My mind slips me now but there were all these matters with no relation to the Bible, even if it were attenuated.

    Doesn't Paul say you can discern the quality of someone by their fruits? I recall newcomers being gushed over but since I was already in by birth, no one would even smile at me. It was such a solitary existence. I participated in Ministry School at twelve. The format for women was awkward. My brother, no special creature in my eyes, could lecture. I could not find a householder for practice. It did not go down well. I was twelve. No one paid for Dale Carnegie public speaking course for me. The brother ripped me to shreds. I hurt to my core. When I see children today and realize how young I was and never receiving encouragement or acknowledgement at Kingdom Hall, I am blown away. People had no food. They lived in hovels. The exposure to poverty haunts me terribly to this day. How many marriages have been torn asunder despite Jesus' statement in Matthew.

    I clearly experience the Holy Spirit in my life. Jesus promised it would aid his followers. Somehow very deep inside of me I experience something deeper than my own human existence. I am surprised by the ferocity of my belief that Jesus was fully human and fully God. It appears the Muslims have a similar formulation of Jesus as the Witnesses. How dare they misappropriate the mantle of Christianity and call everyone else Christidem? Arrogance.

  • PSacramento

    The HS = Personal responsibility and JW's do NOT like that at all, they prefer a man-led organization to take responsibility for them.

    The one thing that almost evert JW will agree on is that they need "God's organization: to tell them what to do, or how else woudl they know what to do?

    The HS has been replaced by the "organization".

  • Chalam

    Agreed, the WT do NOT want anyone hearing from the Holy Spirit, let alone following what He says.

    Thus they change the Hebrew in the very second verse in the bible which reads the "the Spirit of God" to God's active force.

    No JW can tell which of the original Hebrew words means "active" or "force" because none of them do, check for yourself! Note also that even the NWT does not subsequently render the same Hebrew words either as active or force!

    As it is written,

    2 Corinthians 3:7-18 (New International Version, ©2010)

    The Greater Glory of the New Covenant

    7 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9 If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11 And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!

    12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate [ a ] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.


    1. 2 Corinthians 3:18 Or reflect
    The ministry of the WT is that of the law, it brings condemnation and death, not life. JWs are indeed spiritual Israel, their minds are made dull and their is a veil to prevent them seeing the glory of the new covenant, that is Christ! Jesus is the Spirit and where His Spirit is there is freedom, freedom from the law and freedom from those who would enslave you to the law. Blessing in Christ, Stephen
  • designs

    Stephen, there is no more freedom in a Evangelical Church or Fundamentalist Church than there is in the Kingdom Hall. They all comform to their Creeds and Belief systems.

    Case in point about the illusion of a spirit lead christianity is the differences in interpretation while all parties claim divine direction: Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, RCC, Protestants, Evangelicals all differ on the very core of their definition of God.

    A Witness or Fundamentalist is no more dead or alive for their Beliefs and differences than the agnostic, but the religious types sure like to spread that type of superstition and fear around.

  • AGuest

    Dear Amazing (Jim - peace to you!) Somehow I overlooked your response. I need to run out but I will respond when I return. Thank you, see you soon, and again, peace to you!

    Your servant and a slave of Christ,


  • AGuest
    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.

    Hi Shelby,

    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.

    GOOD argument!

    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.

    Ah, well...

    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,


  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    I imagine God cares about important topics, not some screwy interpretation. The God I worship does not care about knowing Koine Greek, altho nothing is wrong with knowing. God looks to the fruit of the Holy Spirit, which is love.

    I am Anglican and have studied much. In America we don't care about how many angels fit on a pinhead. Rather, the Trinity formulation is viewed as a collective groping on the part of Christians to discuss the realization among fellow Christians that God has many aspects. Many include Wisdom to add a much needed feminine aspect to God. I believe in the essence of the Trinity, not a precise formula.

    It makes me nervous personally to read former Witnesses arguing arcane, unimportant points. Love, grace and acceptance are key. I don't care whether Jesus had a beard or no beard. I also don't care whether he was crucified on a cross or on a stake. The important part is his crucifixion and Resurrection. More importantly, how do I as a believing Christian apply these principles in my mundane, daily life? Despite a worldly education, it is sometimes very difficult to figure out what the heck is being discussed here.

  • LV101

    Stephen: so according to 2 Corinthians 3:17 where the spirit of the Lord is there is FREEDOM --- this means no religion necessary? the scripture about continuing to associate together and build one another up, etc., was for that time period? not that i want to join a religion but curious. wouldn't know where to start searching for the "true" religion and that never made sense to me w/the hundreds, thousands, whatever, out there.


  • AGuest

    I realize you addressed dear Stephen, dear LV101 (peace to you, both!), but may I ask which "scripture" you're referring to? Thanks and, again, peace to you!

    A slave of Christ,


  • LV101

    AGuest --- the one above in his post, 2 Corinthians 3:7-18 --- specifically, 3:17 about freedom in christ. i'm thinking it means where the JW religion (like Stephen indicates at bottom of his post) shuts out the kingdom but in the Christ there is freedom. Appreciate your comments.


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