What happens when you argue with JW's?

by Terry 25 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Cold Steel
    Cold Steel

    If Jehovah chose the GB, why wouldn't its members be held to the same standards as the ancient apostles? And that's recognizing that the apostles and prophets were men and the products of their own cultures and predispositions. Paul stated some of his opinions regarding women and celibacy that were more than a little over the top. And he admitted that some of what he preached were his own views. Solomon, who wrote Ecclessiastes, was at the end of his life. He was spiritually spent, having married heathen women who had talked him into doing some crappy things like building altars and shrines to strange gods. His attitudes in Ecclessiastes were dark and clouded. Nothing made sense. Nothing man did was lasting or deserving of praise. It wasn't an eschatological book; it was a philosophical book. Yet the JWs use that book to prove that man has no spirit and "sleeps" at death.

    The only way "light" can be received is through revelation. If the GB prays about something, receives light and knowledge that a doctrine is true, guess what?? They had revelation! If I were a JW and came to the [correct] conclusion that man has an immortal spirit that survives his body, what would the elders say? What would the overseers and GB say if I put my arguments on paper and sent it to them? Why they'd shun me...or give me a stiff talking to! But would they change their views or allow me to continue believing it? Nay, they would deprive me of membership in God's organization due to a difference of opinion! And boy would they be embarrassed when they died and found they were still conscious! I'd be disfellowshiped...excommunicated for you Catholics...and they'd be saying, "Well, what do you know, that idiot we cut off was right!"

    Then someone would come by and caution them that no one there was on a first-name basis with God. "So ix-nay on the ehovah-jay!"

    But seriously, if there are two points of view (or more), why should anyone believe the GB over their own interpretations? After all, they said they don't have any divine inspiration, revelation, angelic ministrations or insight (after all, insight would be a form of revelation). But the state of the dead is only one of the issues that can be argued both ways; there's also the formation of the state of Israel and the myriad of prophecies pointing to Jerusalem that the GB has hijacked to point to themselves. Check out Revelation 11:

    And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

    John here sees that in the last days there will be a temple built by the Jews. It must be built before the Gentiles "tread [Jerusalem] under foot forty and two months." At the time he wrote this, the Jerusalem temple of Herod had been leveled. So this is a temple to be built in the latter days. Ezekiel also measured this temple (chapters 40-47) and today's Jews can use Ezekiel's measurements to build the new temple.

    And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

    These are two prophets who will be raised to minister to the Jews in the last days. They are not symbolic, as they were represented by the two olive trees and two candlesticks written by the prophet Zechariah. To say they are organizations within the church is absurd.

    And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

    Clearly these prophets will wield powers that were had by the ancient prophets. Some have said they might be Elijah and either Moses or Enoch. (There are some traditions that Moses was caught up in the same way Elijah and Enoch were.)

    And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

    Again, how do we know this prophecy is not symbolic? Because it speaks of their "dead bodies" laying on the street of the "great city...where also our Lord was crucified." This is undeniably Jerusalem. Yet ask any elder or GB member who these two witnesses are and you'll get a convoluted story about them being symbolic of people or organizations. Charles T. Russell stated: "Today those remaining of this anointed remnant are known worldwide as Jehovah's Witnesses. They were also his witnesses back there in 1918. They are the ones designated in Revelation 11:3 as 'my two witnesses'." These interpretations are laughable and I've NEVER found a JW who will debate this issue. The two witnesses were represented by two candlesticks, and Jerusalam is represented by Sodom and Egypt. So now the witnesses are spiritually an anointed remnant and Jerusalem is the world.

    One commentator writes:

    The witnesses are called “men” in verse 6 and “these two prophets” in verse 10. The Greek word for witness is martus, from which we get the English word martyr. It is used 10 times in the New Testament, and every time it refers to a person. The same is true of the Greek prophetuo, referring to the witnesses who “prophesied.” The word “prophesy” and its variations appear 165 times in scripture and every time except once describe the act of a person, according to W.A. Criswell. Further, these witnesses are dressed in sackcloth; then they die, are resurrected and carried into heaven in a cloud – actions that best describe human beings.

    And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

    It's fascinating to see how one can take scripture that is amazingly easy to understand, and obfuscate it to the point that it becomes unrecognizable. Again, ask an elder to explain Revelation 11. J. Rutherford identified Russell as the faithful and wise servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ. Those who opposed him thus opposed Christ. He confirmed the notion that Russell was one of the witnesses of Revelation 11. As far as I know, Russell was not killed in Jerusalem or resurrected there.

    This is but one horrendous error that all the JWs who have visited my home have been at a loss to explain. I even took their Bible study thinking we might actually study the Bible. Not so. It was merely a series of questions designed to elicit explicit answers. If you don't answer a question in the way the book suggests, the JWs continue to reword the question until it's answered in the way they wish. All I can say is that it's difficult to argue with them. I do, however, think one can undermine the beliefs of individuals if they push back, and I see a lot of it reflected on this website.

  • ÁrbolesdeArabia

    Wha-happen, you posted additional great insights into Terry's piece. Terry, I never could figure out why some girls felt so right with abusive, super controlling spouses. I knew a young JW girl whose new husband forced her to sit in her room each time she got out of line. This went on until two big brothers put the little elder prince into his place.

    I feel a change is happening with younger JW girls, they are not taking the same amount of abuse their older counterparts previously did. In 2012 I counted six girls I know almost or near the age 25 who told their lazy husbands, "I want a divorce!" and left! There is hope, it's going to take more time and additional disappointments from the Organization, people are tired of listening to these out-of-touch cracks!

  • Joey Jo-Jo
    Joey Jo-Jo

    In the end... really in any situation, just with an alcoholic, drug addict or a smoker we can only show them the door, pushing then into the door is illegal, allowing the conversation to get heated is counterproductive and offending them is really not portraying the solution.

    Even with the criticism Hassan has had by other psychologists I prefer his method, but it's difficult considering team work is require and it's all about timing. It's like walking into a land mine, the more experience we have the easier we can tread (speak) without blowing ourselves (allowing them to think without the chain around their brain).

    JW's use coercive persuasion, it's buying yourself into a state of mind that asked you to lock the door and throw the key away, your safe in my temple, don't walk out, don't speak to others... and the core problem is that they have a preconceive notion of their deaths, that is in a paradise earth, let god do the worrying (no need for a brain).

    What you speak of Terry is very similar to a book that a cognitive psychologists wrote, When Prophecy Fails by Leon Festinger, who also coined the term cognitive dissonance and wrote a book about that.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    I find it impossible to have a true discussion. My relatives seemed to be on the verge of nervous breakdowns if I raised subtle issues in a calm manner. I would never engage with them as I would with a JW stranger. They were loved.

    They would mock education and then be proud of my accomplishments.

    JWs don't do well when their script is forsaken. Notice the free Bible study format. The person studying cannot freely ask questions or set the agenda for study.

    They lack cohesive knowledge of the Bible since they never study the Bible.

  • moshe

    Terry, I had those circular talks like this with my JW wife for 6 months- until they Df'd me- then I was an apostate. I went over the same WT scenarios and it just didn't register with her, the KH and her friends were all powerful- to the point they helped her destroy her marriage in order to prove she ( and the JWs) was stronger than I was.

    She finally quit the KH meetings all on her own about 4 years later- the elders got nosey and wanted to know who she was hanging out with at the country western dancehall on Saturday nights- now, when it was her turn to be under the microscope she didn't like it and she didn't want to have to expain why she was dating worldly men and what she was doing with them.-- so, she stopped going to the meetings and the elders allowed her to slide out the back door.

    I have a theory that, if the WT ever got new light and instituted the tithe in the KH, we would see the biggest exodus of people since Moses crossed the Red Sea.- JWs are cheap and a tithe would be just the excuse they need to see the light. I see a lot of faders suddenly finding the cajones the quit the KH upon being handed their tithing bill by the elders.

  • Terry

    What is most successful about Jehovah's Witness recruiting techniques?

    They can take advantage of the level of ignorance of the average churchgoer.

    How so?

    The majority of christians, it is safe to say, have until recently remained unacquainted with their own bible.

    They've not been directed to the inclusion of JEHOVAH as a formal name for god, for instance.

    This can be amazing to some folks. But, how can they argue? it is THERE.

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