Organized religions would have you believe you need them to "translate" the Bible and only their translation is correct. That's when the trouble starts.
I agree whole-heartedly. The organizational mentality (in my opinion) comes from those who are spiritually/intellectually superior trying to get lamens to see the big picture, as it were. They've read the commandment to make deciples of themselves (a.k.a preach) and they want to be heard. What's the easiest way to be heard by many? Draw a crowd, and preach to them. When Jesus did this, the result was magnificent. Many people followed, and the crowds grew greater and greater. Their 'attraction' to him seemed to be his purity, honesty, compassion, heart-felt love, and maybe just a little bit of being the Son of Jehovah.
Now you get imperfect humans trying to preach and draw crowds (as they were told to do), and suddenly purity/honesty/compassion/love are not a givin. 'Repute', 'political standing', 'namesake', and 'motive' come into play, yet the crowds grow. Soon, the will of KEEPING the crowd (i.e. community) overrides the original purpose of TEACHING, and sometimes undermines it. In a nutshell, you now have organized religion, a pittiful attempt by imperfect humans to be the perfect ministers. Throw in personal opinion, scholarly disagreement, and deliberate deceit (in some cases) and you have the perfect imperfection.
ianao: I admire your position. If I understand you correctly, you believe the Bible should be THE book to live your life by and you study with witnesses because that translation seems most accurate to you. But, you resist getting baptised to avoid the contolling authority of an organized religion. Is this correct?
Please don't admire my position, as it is one of great internal termoil. You are very perceptive though, as I do resist/avoid babtism as a JW in reluctance of getting snared into yet another worldly religion. The WTBTS has done a great job at clearing up mysteries that cloud God's true direction, but they have gone overboard (in my opinion) by applying the scripture to themselves. I Think anyone who TRULY acknowledges that the Bible is the word of God Almighty could have sought the scriptures and found the 'truth' that the Bible Students happened to 'stumble' upon so many years ago. I don't think that God chose them, I think that they chose God. They started UNDERSTANDING what he said, instead of taking dogmatic/traditional BELIEF and applying it to scripture. They broke the bondings of the Roman Catholic church and it's pagan/Christian hybrid theology, which was fed to protestant churches, and unfortunately, is still in practice today.
It's easy to see why today so many battles have been fought over Christianity. Seems inevitable really. Look at the 'Holy Wars' endorsed by the Catholic church, not to mention the inquisition! I don't want to be baptized a JW, because I see an organization that is becoming more and more like the Catholic church. In subtle ways, it seems the society is matting out rules and regulations with scriptural origins being vague at best. If JWs or any of us are around for another 100 years, I see even stricter control coming from the society to keep the numbers growing (as I see today!) I wonder how far the GB is from being as controlling and abnoxious as the Pope when they teach a witness who wants to leave to ask themself 'Where will I go? You have sayings of everlasting life...' (not an exact quote, I realize.) My JW friend keeps spouting this scripture to me in hopes of convincing me that the society is the place to be, but what he doesn't seem to understand is that applying this scripture (as Jesus spoke it) in this fashion is equating the WTBTS with Jesus. When I remind him of his distaste in the Pope equating himself with Jesus, he never comments.
Edited by - ianao on 20 December 2000 14:11:22