We recently told a good friend that we haven't seen in awhile that we are no longer JW's. She is like a sister to me but is on the verge of shunning us because when she asked me why we left the org.....I told her and she didn't like what she was hearing. She said she felt that her faith was being challenged. I reminded her that I wasn't challenging her faith but was simply answering her question. She used all the typical JW phrases and lines of thought that I know so well.
Can you look over this long email she sent and see if you can suggest a good response? I want her to know that I'm open to the idea of there being a God and that the Bible has truths but that I don't agree that JW's are the only truth out there and that some of thier doctrines/dates/prophecies don't ad up. I want her to see that you can't use the Bible itself as proof that it's authentic. I want her to know that there's no way to prove the Governing Body is the faithful and discreet slave or that the Bible indicates there would be a literal FDS on earth etc.
Thanks for your help on this.
Thanks exwhyzee for your kind thoughts. Everyone. due to past experiences, temperament, personality traits, imperfections or whatever. makes up the sum total of who we are,have all experienced a lack of faith or some disillusionments in men or their actions. I have also at times experienced this. Even strong men and woman mentioned in the bible have experienced this. That's why faith is constantly referenced. I cant find where it is in the bible but that scripture man is glutted with agitation rings really true for me. This might be a bit long winded but I know you have an open mind. Just some of what goes on in my mind both emotional and logical. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18) 16 Therefore we do not give up, but even if the man we are outside is wasting away, certainly the man we are inside is being renewed from day to day. 17 For though the tribulation is momentary and light, it works out for us a glory that is of more and more surpassing weight and is everlasting; 18 while we keep our eyes, not on the things seen, but on the things unseen. For the things seen are temporary, but the things unseen are everlasting. . . I have had doubts many times. We even have our doubts about many of our experiences with people, loved ones, life in general. And if you are like me who can tend to be more pessimistic then optimistic I have an even harder time. I always try to counteract it with logical information weighing out what really makes more sense in reality. checks and balances if you will. Studying the Bible for 20 years makes me come to the conclusion of its inherent wisdom and how reasonable it is. It tells me of a more believable reality to live in a beautiful earth (which really is evident in the presence looking at its magnificence in landscape and nature) rather then living on my own planet or a nirvana or nether world state.or other dire consequences- hell, low caste system due to bad karma in another life etc. I did a search of religions and even in my moderate teenage intelligence I couldn't believe in the fantasies being taught in those religions. Even in the eastern religions who felt killing cows or even insects meant their relatives. It just wasn't logical. Mormons will go to war and kill other Mormons, Buddhists kill (Japan in the world war) Catholics against Catholics, Muslims have there own factions killing each other. They all profess love, peace and care but their record shows otherwise. Years ago I used to have conversations with a nice Muslim man and asked him why does one Muslim group kill another Muslim group? He said its like your Christian Catholics kill their Christian catholic brothers. its political. Its all about greed and taking from others what they think is owing to them. Murder is just a means to their end. Mohamed promoted love as Jesus did. Woman in the Muslim religion are treated as sub-class. Are beaten routinely, made to cover up in black from head to toe in sweltering hot climate, cant worship with their husbands, How can this be love? The Bible shows honor to women. It all goes back to checks and balances. It goes back to the fact Jehovah and the Bible came centuries before all these and he created all forms of life. land, planets, universes and dna to make our precious children. I know you are hurt about what happened and how it was handled with your Son and the things you endured as a JW child. I wouldn't know what I would do in your shoes. Sometimes I grapple with why Jehovah would allow Jesus to go thru what he went thru. Illegal charges leveled at him, an illegal trial that the Jews held, an awful death Jesus was treated in the worst way. It seemed a very unfair situation. Why couldn't that be all bypassed? It has something to do with laws that couldn't be circumvented. Perfect man for a lost perfect man. Although that law has been a hard one for me to swallow we nevertheless have the same laws of physics, hereditary, gravity etc. that cant be altered. Those are set and my understanding of them is a bit dimwitted but nevertheless cant be circumvented ever. So because I cant understand the law of a perfect sacrifice to make it all equitable does that mean I throw the baby out with the bathwater or try to be patient that I will get that real understanding some day as well? Just the sheer complexity of all these laws of creation reduces me to a point where its as if I am a 2 year old trying to comprehend my adult parents rules and and way of running the household. At that age there is no comprehension of time let alone the family structure in place to bring me up.I am saying yes I am confused at times not knowing all the information but its hard for me to throw logic out the window. I know you have legitimate concerns and I validate that. Things you brought up about blood. I personally would not take in blood fractions as blood is blood. Do I eat meat that is obviously bloody when Jehovah said meat would be allowed only if the act of pouring it out were to take place? Thus respecting the sanctity of blood as precious. But would I put pints of it in my veins? No. I wouldn't because Jehovah said blood was holy and precious. Now issues arise because their has been such advances in medical procedures it does create gray areas of conscience matters. There are so many conscience gray area that allow us to exercise our conscience's even throughout the Bible. There was an account in the Bible calling for some reasoning where there was questions- (1 Corinthians 10:23-33) 23 All things are lawful; but not all things are advantageous. All things are lawful; but not all things build up. 24 Let each one keep seeking, not his own [advantage], but that of the other person. 25 Everything that is sold in a meat market keep eating, making no inquiry on account of YOUR conscience; 26 for "to Jehovah belong the earth and that which fills it." 27 If anyone of the unbelievers invites YOU and YOU wish to go, proceed to eat everything that is set before YOU, making no inquiry on account of YOUR conscience. 28 But if anyone should say to YOU: "This is something offered in sacrifice," do not eat on account of the one that disclosed it and on account of conscience. 29 "Conscience," I say, not your own, but that of the other person. For why should it be that my freedom is judged by another person's conscience? 30 If I am partaking with thanks, why am I to be spoken of abusively over that for which I give thanks? 31 Therefore, whether YOU are eating or drinking or doing anything else, do all things for God's glory. 32 Keep from becoming causes for stumbling to Jews as well as Greeks and to the congregation of God, 33 even as I am pleasing all people in all things, not seeking my own advantage but that of the many, in order that they might get saved. Yours and Mrs EXYZ's family under their conscience could have leant emotional support but they didn't to where you needed it. but it didn't invalidate how Jehovah felt about the pain you were going through. Jesus went around healing people to show his love and how this condition of human suffering will be gone in the future. If I still lived near you I would have been at the hospital to show support to you but others consciences went about it differently. You don't want to throw over Jehovah for any imperfect men's actions. Your son and daughter in law would not have gone thru the difficult time of becoming reinstated if they thought it was all so wrong. Jehovah doesn't puppet humans. People have and do get mistreated unfairly. Sometimes the discipline seems excessive and no doubt Jehovah may have found it excessive hoping that a bit more mercy could have been extended. My husband had the same exact thing happen. he was disfellowshipped but he said it did teach him many things. I have questions many times about how Jehovah wants to govern but more problems and questions about man's way of governing and their disparity in justice. Someone getting caught with marijuana doing more time then a pedophile. I know we talked about the flood but I was hoping you would read this? What About the Flood?
26 Many point to another supposed contradiction between the Bible and modern science. In the book of Genesis, we read that thousands of years ago the wickedness of men was so great that God determined to destroy them. However, he instructed the righteous man Noah to build a large wooden vessel, an ark. Then God brought a flood upon mankind. Only Noah and his family survived, together with representatives of all the animal species. The Flood was so great that "all the tall mountains that were under the whole heavens came to be covered."-Genesis 7:19.
27 Where did all the water come from to cover the whole earth? The Bible itself answers. Early in the creation process, when the expanse of the atmosphere began to take shape, there came to be "waters . . . beneath the expanse" and "waters . . . above the expanse." (Genesis 1:7; 2 Peter 3:5) When the Flood came, the Bible says: "The floodgates of the heavens were opened." (Genesis 7:11) Evidently, the "waters . . . above the expanse" fell and provided much of the water for the inundation.
28 Modern textbooks are inclined to discount a universal flood. So we have to ask: Is the Flood just a myth, or did it really happen? Before answering that, we should note that later worshipers of Jehovah accepted the Flood as genuine history; they did not regard it as a myth. Isaiah, Jesus, Paul, and Peter were among those who referred to it as something that really happened. (Isaiah 54:9; Matthew 24:37-39; Hebrews 11:7; 1 Peter 3:20, 21; 2 Peter 2:5; 3:5-7) But there are questions that have to be answered about this universal Deluge.
29 First, is not the idea of the whole earth's being flooded too farfetched? Not really. Indeed, to some extent the earth is still flooded. Seventy percent of it is covered by water and only 30 percent is dry land. Moreover, 75 percent of the earth's fresh water is locked up in glaciers and polar ice caps. If all this ice were to melt, the sea level would rise much higher. Cities like New York and Tokyo would disappear.
30 Further, The New Encyclopædia Britannica says: "The average depth of all the seas has been estimated at 3,790 metres (12,430 feet), a figure considerably larger than that of the average elevation of the land above the sea level, which is 840 metres (2,760 feet). If the average depth is multiplied by its respective surface area, the volume of the World Ocean is 11 times the volume of the land above sea level."14 So, if everything were leveled out-if the mountains were flattened and the deep sea basins filled in-the sea would cover the whole earth to a depth of thousands of meters.
31 For the Flood to have happened, the pre-Flood sea basins would have to have been shallower, and the mountains lower than they are now. Is this possible? Well, one textbook says: "Where the mountains of the world now tower to dizzy heights, oceans and plains once, millions of years ago, stretched out in flat monotony. . . . The movements of the continental plates cause the land both to rear up to heights where only the hardiest of animals and plants can survive and, at the other extreme, to plunge and lie in hidden splendor deep beneath the surface of the sea."15 Since the mountains and sea basins rise and fall, it is apparent that at one time the mountains were not as high as they are now and the great sea basins were not as deep.
32 What happened to the floodwaters after the Flood? They must have drained into the sea basins. How? Scientists believe that the continents rest on huge plates. Movement of these plates can cause changes in the level of the earth's surface. In some places today, there are great underwater abysses more than six miles [more than 10 km] deep at the plate boundaries.16 It is quite likely that-perhaps triggered by the Flood itself-the plates moved, the sea bottom sank, and the great trenches opened, allowing the water to drain off the land.
Traces of the Flood?
33 If we grant that a great flood could have happened, why have scientists found no trace of it? Perhaps they have, but they interpret the evidence some other way. For example, orthodox science teaches that the surface of the earth has been shaped in many places by powerful glaciers during a series of ice ages. But apparent evidence of glacial activity can sometimes be the result of water action. Very likely, then, some of the evidence for the Flood is being misread as evidence of an ice age.
34 Similar mistakes have been made. Concerning the time when scientists were developing their theory of ice ages, we read: "They were finding ice ages at every stage of the geologic history, in keeping with the philosophy of uniformity. Careful reexamination of the evidence in recent years, however, has rejected many of these ice ages; formations once identified as glacial moraines have been reinterpreted as beds laid down by mudflows, submarine landslides and turbidity currents: avalanches of turbid water that carry silt, sand and gravel out over the deep-ocean floor."18
35 Another evidence for the Flood appears to exist in the fossil record. At one time, according to this record, great saber-toothed tigers stalked their prey in Europe, horses larger than any now living roamed North America, and mammoths foraged in Siberia. Then, all around the world, species of mammals became extinct. At the same time, there was a sudden change of climate. Tens of thousands of mammoths were killed and quick-frozen in Siberia. Alfred Wallace, the well-known contemporary of Charles Darwin, considered that such a widespread destruction must have been caused by some exceptional worldwide event.19 Many have argued that this event was the Flood.
36 An editorial in the magazine Biblical Archaeologist observed: "It is important to remember that the story of a great flood is one of the most widespread traditions in human culture . . . Nevertheless behind the oldest traditions found in Near Eastern sources, there may well be an actual flood of gigantic proportions dating from one of the pluvial periods . . . many thousands of years ago."20 The pluvial periods were times when the surface of the earth was much wetter than now. Freshwater lakes around the world were much larger. It is theorized that the wetness was caused by heavy rains associated with the end of the ice ages. But some have suggested that on one occasion the extreme wetness of the earth's surface was a result of the Flood.
Mankind Did Not Forget
37 Geology professor John McCampbell once wrote: "The essential differences between Biblical catastrophism [the Flood] and evolutionary uniformitarianism are not over the factual data of geology but over the interpretations of those data. The interpretation preferred will depend largely upon the background and presuppositions of the individual student."21
38 That the Flood did happen is seen in the fact that mankind never forgot it. All around the world, in locations as far apart as Alaska and the South Sea Islands, there are ancient stories about it. Native, pre-Columbian civilizations of America, as well as Aborigines of Australia, all have stories about the Flood. While some of the accounts differ in detail, the basic fact that the earth was flooded and only a few humans were saved in a man-made vessel comes through in nearly all versions. The only explanation for such a widespread acceptance is that the Flood was a historical event.
39 Thus, in essential features the Bible is in harmony with modern science. Where there is a conflict between the two, the scientists' evidence is questionable. Where they agree, the Bible is often so accurate that we have to believe it got its information from a superhuman intelligence. Indeed, the Bible's agreement with proved science provides further evidence that it is God's word, not man's.
A much more detailed discussion of the subject of evolution and creation is found in the book Life-How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation? published in 1985 by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.
The book Planet Earth-Glacier draws attention to the way water in the form of ice sheets depresses the surface of the earth. For example, it says: "If the Greenland ice were to disappear, the island would eventually rebound some 2,000 feet." In view of this, the effect of a sudden global flood on parts of the earth's crust could well have been catastrophic 17
One estimate says five million. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14) 13 The conclusion of the matter, everything having been heard, is: Fear the [true] God and keep his commandments. For this is the whole [obligation] of man. 14 For the [true] God himself will bring every sort of work into the judgment in relation to every hidden thing, as to whether it is good or bad. . . Its tough to live in this small microcosm that we are practically dust but I feel we were left with valid logical answers in the morass of humanity. its putting up with all the imperfect humans including ourselves which can be the hardest. I hope I don’t offend you or become preachy as its never my intent. We all stand before our creator equally and He loves us more then we love ourselves though it can be hard to think so at times. Take care. Give Mrs.EXYZ my love Love, (Friends Name Here)