Christians Expect Too Much of God Compared To Witnesses?

by passwordprotected 10 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • passwordprotected

    My wife and I were chatting about this last night. Having left the JWs, we quickly became heavily involved in a born-again Christian church, and the culture associated with it.

    I've completely jettisoned any faith in supernatural god beings, and we were chatting about how intense Christians are about god and how much they expect their version of the sun god to do in their lives.

    However, as Witnesses, you always had a fairly low expectation of Jehovah, right? You never really expected him to "show up" and help you, did you?

    Is that because the Christian faith experience is based on direct contact with their god figure, whereas Witnesses have this wonderfully human, error-prone and egotistical priest class that mediates for them?

  • designs

    I remember early on in my Study being read the scripture about God not doing any miracles in the time of the end, sort of a cushioning job to have low expectations.


    passwordprotected Good to see you are still around and posting.

    I read your post on the Evidence for God thread which expanded on what you are saying here.

    I agree with you. Nothing I can add.

  • besty


  • sir82
    However, as Witnesses, you always had a fairly low expectation of Jehovah, right? You never really expected him to "show up" and help you, did you?

    Depends - there is a wide spectrum in my case.

    I personally never expected it - on the other hand, my mother-in-law has been known to say, while hanging her laundry, "Jehovah, please send a nice breeze so the clothes dry faster" - and when the wind picked up, she was sure Jehovah had sent it.

  • glenster

    If understanding faith as such, so keeping up to speed with the known God is
    possible beyond and not wanting harm for something possible and not proven, is
    more liberal/progressive-reform, there's a lot more of that perspective (and
    growing) in Christianity (and Judaism) outside the JWs leaders' control than
    within it.

    If conservatism is expecting too much, etc., the JWs leaders' conservativism
    is indicated by requiring notably harsh shunning for persistent disagreement of
    all JWs leaders' special rules and predictions, the refusal of blood/major blood
    products for oneself or child, conservative stances on complimentarianism and
    homosexuality, dress codes, old texts and evolution, etc.

    The major Abrahamic religion with the highest % orthodox/conservative is
    Islam, which shares several features and trends in common with the JWs, some
    even extremist. (Knock knock--"Good morning, Great Satan! Can we come in and
    explain our jihad? We believe God will see our willingness to sacrifice our-
    selves at hospitals and spare us on that great day of death to the West.")

    For balance, I'd add that you can't expect too much from atheism, either. It
    just means rejection of belief in God or gods. It doesn't specify anything
    about character, adherance to rationalism and rejection of anything beyond
    what's objectively proven is other regards, rejection of bigotry or crime or
    even rejection of other beliefs (astrology, political extremism, etc.).

    Harmful stipulations go beyond the basic God concept, too (see How to Think
    About God, Mortimer Adler). A believer or non-believer may reject those

    Common human selfishness, including to put up a wall of alienation and be
    'centric and intolerant about those on the other side of it, is an unfortunately
    common example of being "too much" and has caused the most harm by believers and
    non-believers. As usual, the most diplomatic thing I can recommend is that the
    believers and non-believers who don't want harm over such things, are more
    liberal/progressive on the points given above, agree to not like the harm of
    believers and non-believers.

  • dgp

    I would say that other Christians expect God to have a personal interest in them, which would become manifest in their prayers being "heard". It seems to me that Jehovah's witnesses see their god as some kind of spy who is just waiting to catch them red handed.

    Incidentally, that was the way I was raised as a Catholic - that God would see me if I misbehaved. Then they began insisting that God is love, that he is not mean, et cetera, for the simple reason that it became hard to keep the flock if the shepherd was such a bad guy.

    In my opinion, this is one of the real reasons why Evangelicals are making such inroads in places such as Latin America. They are telling people that God loves them, cares for them, will heal them (in the "away with the crutches!" style), et cetera.

  • Lore

    None of the witnesses I know expect jack squat from God until Armageddon.

    The literature always points out: "Of course we don't expect miraculous protection from god in these last days"
    or: "Christians are no longer speaking in tongues or performing miraculous healings in our day"

    Without ever bothering to explain why that is.

    They seem to deliberately avoid praying for anything concrete. They don't pray to god that their relatives survive some illness. Or to keep them safe. Or to provide food. Or anything which could possibly fail to happen.

  • WTWizard

    He will do the bare minimum, but when you do the bare minimum, he turns around and has Marfan syndrome about it. You are expected to keep your end of the deal, but he nicks his to just existing. Existing, that is, as a parasite! And, then he expects you to uphold your end and pious-sneer?

    At least Satan doesn't expect me to go around declaring things from door to door, throwing everything of value away, researching only within a narrow group of publications, and obeying stupid rules. In fact, the only sin I have to worry about is precisely what the witlesses want me committing: Stupidity.

  • slimboyfat

    Wow indeed. Passwordprotected now an atheist?

    Praise be to, uh, the universe.

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