Literacy and eternal salvation

by dgp 13 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • dgp

    Christianity began (or so goes the claim) as a group of mostly illiterate and poor fishermen. Most people were illiterate at the time. So, the god of that religion, then, did not require that you be literate in order to be saved. Once the Bible came out, it turned out that God needed a literate channel to convey its message. So, Christianity today needs literacy, but the Watchtower requires a lot more than that. They need a printing company.

    This being a forum populated by Americans, perhaps the very question of whether someone is literate will seem kind of idiotic. But I'm curious. How would you be saved by the god of the Watchtower if you were illiterate?

    What if the witnesses come to your door, but you have no use for the magazines or the Bible? Will Jehovah annihilate you anyways?

    Just curious. I wonder if anyone on this forum was a missionary and can share something about how it is that you preach to the illiterate.

  • The Quiet One
  • WontLeave

    While the majority of JWs even in 3rd-world countries might be literate in the purest sense of the word, I've noticed even in the US, most JWs are functionally illiterate. While they can technically read the words on a page, they don't have enough of a cognitive grasp to understand the sense of it. This is why the Society can use a Bible passage that, in no way, shape, or form, supports the point their magazine article is trying to make. Mat 24 is chopped up, scrambled, and parts thrown out, yet most JWs don't even notice, even if they've read it 100 times. Acts 15 is used to establish a point diametrically opposed to the actual events recorded.

    JWs put their faith in the opinions of the Governing Body, because they have no clue why they believe the things they do. JWs don't know why they believe Babylon fell in 607 BC. They don't know why they don't celebrate birthdays. They don't know why the Memorial is held on Nisan 14, when Passover is on Nisan 15. They don't know why they believe in "overlapping generations". They don't know why they believe Jesus has been ruling invisibly since 1914. And these have been spelled out over and over and over again.

    Even if the beliefs are pure BS, they've been explained exhaustively, but JWs acutely lack reading comprehension. They have no clue what the Bible says or what the Watchtower says. They just believe what they're told to believe and leave understanding to "the men at the top". I've actually been told, by a pioneer, in just so many words "Isn't understanding the faithful and discreet slave's job?" I was mortified. They're flaming retards and that's why they can be convinced the "Theocratic" "Ministry" "School" (wrong on all counts) is equal to a college education. I've known people who get all Gs on the TMS and they're complete ignoramuses.

  • discreetslave

    Well said Won'tLeave

  • dgp

    I understand all this. But my curiosity has to do with full, complete illiteracy, not just functional illiteracy. I mean the person who just can't read or write. Is this person going to be annihilated because he can't underline the magazine?

    I think it is safe to say that the Watchtower gives a lot of importance to reading material. I see this as a perversion of a religious message. If the Lord delivered his message to the illiterate, why would he demand that we read magazines every so often in order to be saved?

    By the way, if you ever met a fully illiterate person, you will quickly realize that they are not fools. They survive in the world without the oceans of information the rest of us take for granted. That is no small thing. In fact, you quickly see that illiterates can figure out how things work much more easily than those who require a manual.

    I checked the brochure and yes, it's dumb, but that does not mean there are people who cannot read it anyways.

  • ProdigalSon

    There's no such thing as eternal annihilation. The idea is the fabrication of a priesthood seeking control through fear. If you have even one ounce of interest in spiritual things, you are a part of the "I AM" and that inner core of your being cannot be destroyed because God cannot commit suicide.

    Superficial egos, those annoying little voices that drive us nuts most of the time, are another story, and must be "dissolved" in a symbolic "furnace" by the painful process of abandoning them. A person doesn't need to be literate to do so. Paul said that those who never read the law but live by it are a law unto themselves.

  • dgp

    Yes, I get that point. Now, if that is so, why would anyone have to read the Watchtower at all? Or underline paragraphs?

  • ProdigalSon

    Other than for the purpose of indoctrination, and honing the skill of indoctrinating others to generate $$$$ for the Borg, no reason at all.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Won't Leave

    I agree so much concerning functional illiteracy in the U.S. When I was a junior in high school, 3/4 of my class failed a fifth grade arithmetic test. My first great JW turmoil happened when I was in fifth grade, but reading several grades level that level. The Ministry School servants did not have fifth grade reading comprehension skills. I noticed their mistake. B/c I was so young, I had trouble sorting it. If they had the Holy Spirit, why did they make a mistake? Yet I could not tell anyone what I discovered. It was not my place. Recalling the incident in Acts where the Holy Spirit slays the couple that did not turn over their posessions, I felt condemned for sinning against the Holy Spirit, the only unforgivable sin. It tormented me for years.

    There were so many sisters who could read in the KH. Time is precious to the WTBTS. We don't have beautiful stained glass windows or sculpture for which people could learn. I read a lot of English history for an American. Common people knew many Bible stories. Art work is full of obscure (today) references to certain plants, minor saints, and legendary figures. Christianity seems to have been the only entertainment before HBO. Shakespeare's works and others are littered with Biblical references.

    When I visit the Cloisters Museum of Medieval Art in NYC, a set of transplanted abbies and convents, with art donated by Nelson Rockefeller, I feel overwhelmed. There are legends within the legends within the Bible story. I can only assume there were many dramas, lectures, festivals that taught Christianity to the masses.

    We don't have celebrations. No one has time to teach.

    Jesus chose fishermen. I read recently that it is unclear whether Jesus was truly literate. It had something to do with a pointing device when reading a scroll in the synagogue. He did not call the rabbinic or temple schools for applicants. In my personal life, I don't see a correlation between the essence of Christianity, love one another, faith, and advanced scholarship.l

  • tiki

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