by TimothyT 14 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • TimothyT

    Here is an email i received from one of my friends who is still a JW. She would like to know my feelings on the matter of organisation now that im disfellowshipped. I have written my thoughts below the email. Please read and see if i could add anything else, particularly if you can think of anymore scriptures in the New Testament which refer to Jesus as the only means of salvation. Thanks, Timmy xxx

    I understand your feelings in this because i know that one of the things you have great trouble with is placing your full confidence in the organisation that goes by the God given name Jehovahs witnesses. (as you mentioned in chapter 1) but please, be like the bereaons or however they spell it, once youve examined it thoroughly allow the holy spirit to help you to trust. if you look at it logically, the congregation today is the direct successor of the early christian congregation that we have been reading about. is anyone else using Jehovahs name? or preaching the good news of his kingdom under Jesus, all over the world, in hundreds of languages, and in every country, so that all people who want to can hear? is anyone else teaching the truth about what Gods kingdom is? or telling people that they dont have to die and go to heaven to experience the good things Jehovah has promised? as John 6/68 says- who shall we go away to? you have sayings of everlasting life!


    I think I should clarify my feelings on this. Firstly, I would like to say that I’m only searching for the truth which I know to be in Jesus. If an idea doesn’t seem credible to me, then I reserve my feelings on it. Also, I respect what anyone else believes, whoever they are.

    I think I should start with the point you mentioned about the Bereoans. What a good role model they were. I have been taught a lot as a JW but I think it would be both wise and prudent to ‘carefully examine the scriptures’ which were used to see ‘whether these things are so’, just like the Bereoans did (Acts 17:11 -12). This scripture shows that such an attitude is good for a Christian. I have always had this attitude even as a young person. If I cannot see scripture which backs up statement, then I would always reserve my feelings on whether it is true or not.

    I also believe Jehovah has an organisation. He is clearly organised and he always has been. He organised Noah to build and ark, he organised Moses to lead his people, and there are many other examples as the bible clearly points out. If you didn’t follow who Jehovah was using at the time then you were screwed basically. As the scriptures point out in the New Testament, Jesus was the new arrangement and covenant. The scriptures CLEARLY point out that salvation is through Jesus and that ANYONE who calls on his name will be saved – The running theme throughout the entire New Testament. In my trying to emulate the Bereoans, after scrupulous research, the following scriptures testify to this fact (I’m sure you will see why I like the book of John):

    Matthew 20:28

    Matthew 26:28

    John 1:12

    John 1:29

    John 3:15-16

    John 3:36

    John 4:14

    John 5:24

    John 6:40

    John 6:44-48

    John 6:51

    John 6:68-69

    John 8:12

    John 8:24

    John 8:51

    John 10:9

    John 10:28

    John 11:25-26

    John 12:44-46

    John 14:6

    John 17:3

    John 20:31

    Acts 4:12

    Acts 10:34-36

    Acts 10:42-43

    Acts 13:38-39

    Acts 15:11

    Acts 16:30-31

    Romans 1:16

    Romans 2:7

    Romans 3:22-30

    Romans 5:8-9

    Romans 6:23

    Romans 10:9-13

    1 Corinthians 3:11

    2 Corinthians 5:21

    Galatians 3:24

    Ephesians 1:7

    Ephesians 2:8-9

    Colossians 1:21-22

    Colossians 2:13-14

    1 Thessalonians 5:9-10

    Titus 2:11-14

    Titus 3:5

    Philemon 3:9

    1 Timothy 2:5-6

    2 Timothy 1:9

    1 Peter 1:8-9

    1 Peter 1:18-19

    1 Peter 3:18

    1 John 1:7-9

    1 John 2:1-2

    1 John 2:12

    1 John 4:11-16

    1 John 5:9-12

    I’m sure you don’t doubt ANY of these scriptures. I think it’s interesting to note that Jesus never said that people had to be part of a congregation or organisation to be saved. He and his disciples distinctly made it clear that salvation was through Jesus and Jesus ALONE! I certainly believe however, that Jesus has a congregation of which he is the head (Acts 20:28 , Ephesians 1:22-23, Ephesians 2:19-22). If all the scriptures listed above are so adamant that ANYONE who believes that Jesus is the ONE AND ONLY means of salvation, then it makes sense that they are united with him in his congregation.

    I suppose it depends on whether you think that the congregation of Jesus Christ is literal, figurative or both. In Ephesians, Paul writes that the congregation IS the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:23 ). He later speaks of unity and oneness in the congregation (Ephesians 4:4-5). Personally I believe (as do bible scholars) that this congregation is figurative in the sense that those who sincerely put their faith in Jesus will be a part of it. If they put their faith in Jesus sacrifice then they are certainly united in Christ, God, Spirit, faith, belief and hope. Whether the congregation is literal or not, it is UNDENIABLE that ANYONE who exercises faith in Jesus will be saved regardless of their religion or church.

    The original Christian church was set up for one purpose: to assist those members to put faith in Jesus Christ. They could meet there, discuss Jesus teachings, listen to its applications in their day and encourage each other (Hebrews 10:24 -25). Similarly today, churches and congregations around the world exist to provide support and encouragement to those who truly wish to follow Jesus and put faith in him. Whether they do or not is entirely their own business. These churches must understand that they only have the truth which they can distribute to their members (John 17:17 ). They are not themselves truth. Likewise, no church today is the means of salvation, but they have the means of salvation – having faith in Jesus. Like I said, whether they do or not is up to them and their members. I’m sure that out of the 2.2 billion Christians in this world and even the other major religions, they are being taught that salvation is through Jesus and are being helped in that respect. They have flaws but so de all religions and organisations.

    The members of these churches must understand that all the scriptures in the New Testament which speak about salvation through Jesus are referring to individuals not groups of individuals. Each one will render his own account towards Jehovah (Romans 14:12 , 2 Corinthians 5:10 , Galatians 6:5), and if he has put faith in Jesus then he will be saved. Again these scriptures testify to the fact that being a part of an exclusive group means nothing to Jehovah – it is by your own personal actions and faith that you are saved.

    After considering all these things many times, like the Bereoans, I tried to understand why the JW’s teach that we need to be in this organisation to be saved. I just can’t get my head around it after reading all the above scriptures which clearly DON ’T say such a thing. I can’t see any reason why Jesus and Jehovah would have suddenly changed their plans and decided to use a specific group as the new means of salvation. The bible clearly states in 1 Timothy 2:5 that Jesus is the ONLY mediator between God and man. The scripture does not speak about a group of men who would mediate between us and Jesus, yet that is what this organisation supposedly does.

    Nonetheless, I don’t think that this means the JWs don’t have the truth because I believe they do. Many religions and churches in the world have both positive and negative points to them. I very much applaud the JWs for their preaching work as I think it’s very important. Likewise, I think its good they recognise Gods name. However, I believe it is incorrect to believe that they alone have the truth and no one else does. That is not what Jehovah purposed. Each member must make sure that he is putting faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and work along with that, if he wants salvation. As you rightly say, who else can we go to for he has saying of everlasting life (John 6:68).

  • cedars

    Hi Timmy - have you thought about breaking it up a bit with bullet points and headers, just so everything is a bit more ordered? It certainly is a great opportunity she's presenting you with. I would keep everything EXTREMELY simple and not throw too many scriptures at her early on. I would break it down into headings such as "Increasing Light", "Shunning", "Failed Prophecy" etc, so she can almost 'cherry-pick' which subjects most concern her, whilst at the same time seeing clearly that it isn't just one issue that's keeping you from returning, but many.

    PM me if you want me to put a draft together.

  • TimothyT

    Well, scriptures are definately good. She loves the bible so if she can see it from the bible then it will help.

    Thing is aswell Cedars, i dont want to tell her why i dont like the JW organisation, i just want to tell her how i feel about their claim to being Jehovahs chosen. I will never return to it for 2 reasons now, but it wont do any good for our friendship. She knows she shouldnt even be talking to me by their standards. I think already when i send this, it will make her question what she is doing even more. She is a good person and i dont want to lose her friendship especialy after sticking by me through my being disfellowshipped.


  • blondie

    People have short attention spans, especially jws. Even the WTS knows that which is why sisters and brothers on the school are taught to give 5 minute talks consisting of a theme, introduction, 2 or 3 main points max, 2 or 3 scriptures max, and a brief conclusion. Not that many jws actually apply it in the "field." Most just have a general intro that fits all magazines/publications. A few talk too long 15 plus minutes and give the Genesis to Revelation sermon.

    Pick the 2 most important points and support them well with 2 or 3 scriptures. Even ex-jws can give Genesis to Revelation sermons but they aren't effective.

    Love, Blondie

    PS Don't just list scriptures, emphasize that part that applies and how it connects with the other scriptures.

  • nateb

    You don't need to explain yourself. As long as you understand what you believe with authenticity and clarity you'll be well. This cult member doesn't want to hear your thoughts and is immune to your logic, at least for the time being. If, on the other hand, you find it cathartic or otherwise personally beneficial to put it down in writing, knock yourself out.

    Just my two cents based on lots of hours lost to just such exercises.

  • cedars

    Timmy - I think that no matter what you say, if you write it well and show respect for her beliefs and motives, it will be well received. For example, the first couple of chapters of Crisis of Conscience put the reader completely at ease, because they can see that Ray Franz was very genuine and bore no malice towards the organization. I think if you approach your letter from that angle, and show full sincerity, then whatever you say will be well received, no matter how shocking it may seem.

    Try to use the "makeweight scenario" if you can - it certainly helped me. I would also seriously consider mentioning Crisis of Conscience and asking your friend if she could bring herself to read it. I know that sounds ambitious, but like I said, you can say anything so long as you say it in the right way.

    By the way, I'm not suggesting that you don't use scriptures, I'm just saying to try not to overwhelm your friend with them. Try to think "would I look each of those scriptures up if she wrote me a letter with that many scriptures in them". Pick the best ones, and make it punchy.

  • TimothyT

    Blondie: She has a large attention span and she will sit there and read these several times... i know her that well! Good point though about the scriptures. Thanks.

    Nateb: You could be right. We shall see.

    Cedars: Thanks. I am always as honest and unthreatening when i converse with people anyway. Im sure she will see that. I have sweetened the introduction too. CoC is a good idea, but if i say that she will think im an apostate and likely disregard the letter. If i explain my feelings from the bible, then she wont turn it down. Maybe i could reccomend it in the future. To answer the last point, YES... she will look up each one. She is very studious and she will try to understand what they are saying.

  • blondie

    You might be right TimothyT since she is contacting you knowing you are df'd. She obviously is not the typical jw. But it wouldn't hurt to make some kind of application of the scripture in how it fits into your new world view. She probably could still be partially stuck in the WTS view that she has heard for so many years. A little help from you could make her see it more quickly and clearly.

  • ABibleStudent

    Hi TimothyT, I would suggest keeping your reply as short as (or shorter than) your friend's message to you. Would something like the following with appropriate scriptures work for you:

    Who is your mediator with Jehovah? Who's teachings are you suppose to follow to grow closer with Jehovah? If you said Jesus Christ, may be you should think again! Reading any Watchtower or Awake! will prove that the GB wants you to believe that they are your mediators with Jehovah and that you should follow their teachings and not Jesus Christ's teachings. If you are a Christian, isn't the WTBTS preaching apostacy? Didn't Jesus Christ come to bring us the message of the Good News that included that the Jewish leadership was blindly leading Our Father's children. Accodring to the Gospels, Jesus Christ said that the Holy Spirit would be sent to his disciples. Jesus Christ never stated that his organization would be created to guide us or be a mediator between Our Father and His children.

    The unbolded information you can leave out of your first message to your friend - it is back material encase your friend asks what do you mean. The preceeding ideas I got from a post by Nickolas in the thread If You Had 5 minutes to Create Doubt

    Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,


  • Resistance is Futile
    Resistance is Futile

    Keep it simple, perhaps address the issue she brought up about John 6:68. She is making the very common JW mistake where Jesus=The Watchtower. Of course you can't directly tell her that, get her to explain what the scripture means.

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