Are exJW's not entitled to quote or interpret scriptures in minds of Christians that were never JW's?

by tootired2care 20 Replies latest jw friends

  • tootired2care

    This is one that I've been struggling with since I started hanging out here. When you get on a thread and quote a scripture with a comment to make a point, the believers who have never been JW's often knee jerk reaction jump all over it, and in essensce say that you cannot understand the passage because you are not a believer like them.

    It's as if they are saying what is written and what you have learned about certain passages are automatically wrong just because you were taught from a JW perspective, or that you lack basic reading comprehension. I agree many of the JW teachings are off, but I can certainly respect more of their interpretations of scriptures than I can of other Christian denominations. I say this because I find it highly unacceptable in a discussion when someone says - "no it's not what is written because the lord told me so", or "it can't be that because it has a deeper meaning" or it's a mystery. I mean what kind of arguments are those? Facts and logic are completely disregarded.

    One thing being on this board has made me realize is that I actually have a much higher degree of respect for JW's, than I do for those Christian believers that never were; whom arrogantly think they have interpretation trademarked, and use this forum to proselytize.

    Is this a justifiable position for non exJW Christians? What are your thoughts on this?

  • designs

    This is a position usually held by some Evangelical and Fundamentalist Christians based on some passages by Paul.

  • Billy the Ex-Bethelite
    Billy the Ex-Bethelite

    arrogantly think they have interpretation trademarked, and use this forum to proselytize.

    If you don't have their magic fundy glasses, you can't understand their magic fundy book.


  • ZeusRocks

    Facts and logic are completely disregarded.

    That pretty much sums it up. I'll follow discussions that end up in scripture slinging, but I usually don't participate. No matter what anyone says or claims, the fact remains that when it comes to the bible, it all boils down to personal opinion.
    That's why it's called the big book of multiple choice.

    I refuse to quote any scripture to validate anything I say, because it's all nonsense. Even a murderer could use the bible to validate their actions if they chose to.

    When discussions using scriptures to make points come up, like you said, facts and logic are completely disregarded.

  • Ding

    Let me suggest a more benign take on what often happens.

    One of the problems is that it's hard to have a good dialogue between people who have a whole different set of definitions of Bible words and phrases.

    Take the term "saved."

    To an evangelical or fundamentalist, a person is saved the moment he or she repents of his or her sins and trusts in Christ's atoning sacrifice. That person has passed from death into life.

    JWs never say that they are saved, because in WT teaching, salvation is only determined after the resurrection and 1000 years, after which the person has to pass a final loyalty test.

    So if an evangelical asks a JW, "Are you saved?" or says, "I was saved in 2008," that doesn't compute with a JW at all. It comes across as arrogant or at least incomprehensible.

    Likewise, Hebrews 9:27 says (KJV): "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment..."

    To a JW, "judgment" means a 1000 year period in which a resurrected person will have a chance to progress to an appropriate level of righteousness to be adjudged worthy of everlasting life.

    To an evangelical or fundamentalist, the judgment referred to is God's pronouncement of acceptance or rejection of the person based on whether the person placed saving faith in Jesus Christ during his life -- no second chance after death to get it right.

    It's not my intention here to get an argument going about which views, if any, are right because that's not what this thread is about.

    Rather, I am making the point that the assumptions and definitions each person brings to the table are so different that both parties can quickly lose patience with the other. Quoting a scripture doesn't help because the differing definitions and mindsets the two people bring into the conversation give that scripture totally different meanings. In order to communicate, the two parties have to define terms and take the discussion back several levels of abstraction in order to truly understand what the other person is saying. That's a very time consuming and frustrating process. Each one comes across as ignorant, arrogant, or obstructionist to the other. It often results in an impasse in which to keep peace the two people have to agree to disagree and stop discussing the subject altogether.

  • leavingwt

    Pick a topic and lets find out.

  • NewChapter

    I am concluding that it is impossible to have any type of bible discussion with believers. I try to engage less and less, and hopefully I will find the self control to just abstain. I'll still comment, but it's senseless to use the bible as a reference. Because you see, I don't understand what I read, and I also don't understand what has not been written. The mental gymnastics are stunning. The picking and choosing endless. Well don't look at THAT because we don't hold it valid. Look at THIS because we know Jesus, and we know THAT is what he meant while disregarding the rest.

    I suppose there is some sort of secret knowledge that I have been cut off from Even though I was not always a witness, and much of my bible study took place in a multitude of churches, and so forth, I just don't understand. Without that connection to the Lord, nothing I say will ever be taken seriously anyway. The bible is not meant to be understood without some supernatural intervention.


  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    I tend of quote famous phrases that were once common cultural knowledge. John 1 and John 3:16, Paul's poem about love in Corinthians, Job, some Psalms. It is cultural literacy for me.

    I agree about doctrine shaping interpretation. The Bible is multiple choice. Jumping around theology in wikipedia has me convinced. They need flow charts b/c it is so confusing.

    I don't respect Witness knowledge. Most Witnesses truly know nothing of the Bible compared to other Christians. Indeed, the debate is whether they are even Christian or a new religious movement described in wikipedia. The problem is that anyone can prove anything in the Bible by jumping around and piecing together unrelated scripture. Jesus or Shakespeare said as much.

    I like the Bible. Witnesses may know some stories. You have a clear choice: one can read the Bible and ponder or read WT lit and be brainwashed. Most people acknowledge that they don't know the Bible well. It strikes fear in people who are otherwise intelligent. The Witnesses have an arrogance and belief that they are Bible trained when they are WT lit trained.

    I studied the Bible academically and for private purpose. The more I study the more I am overwhelmed how no one can ever know. You have to live with questions.

    Jesus told me so is not riveting argument. Perhaps He told me something else. Jesus as consumate politican.

  • Captain Obvious
    Captain Obvious

    NewChapter - The picking and choosing endless. Well don't look at THAT because we don't hold it valid. Look at THIS because we know Jesus, and we know THAT is what he meant while disregarding the rest.

    And we all sat there and listened to exactly that for decades! And swallowed it whole. Very well said.

  • tootired2care

    At least It's not just me, and Ding you make some very good points.

    I studied the Bible academically and for private purpose

    I've talked to a few who have been taught the bible academically and some of their explanations were quite convoluted. I recall several explanations always having sentences with "It's a Mystery" in them, when I knew there was a much simpler explanation in the back of my mind.

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