Planning exit, alternative venues to preach?

by Goodstein 54 Replies latest jw experiences

  • raymond frantz
    raymond frantz

    i had the same dillema and I couldn't find any church to shut me ,so I started a meetup group in my area for free thinking Christians ,first meeting 14 people turned up.I can't remember the last time I was free to talk about and debate about the Bible ,best experience so far and definetely substitutes and fills the void

  • jgnat
    jgnat is a great idea!

  • LisaRose

    I am curious as to why you feel the need to preach at this point. It seems you should figure out where you need to be on your spiritual path before you start telling others where they need to be. You are obviously very intelligent, this is not meant as a put down, but if you cannot honestly discuss your current beliefs with your own father, what are you going to preach about?

  • Goodstein


    I've always been unusually nonconfrontational about doctrines in talks - really tried to be more informative than argumentative. I have no problems presenting both sides of an issue, and I ususally focus my talks on uncontroversial exegetical / linguistic issues, leaving "what should I belive" to be answered by the indiviudal audience members. If I get a "why is doctrine of 'Christendom' X wrong" sort of talk, it's usually sufficient to trace the historical development of the doctrine and then in the JW worldview it's self-evident that X should be rejected if X appeared first in paganism, etc... I don't have to say it is and act all authoritative.

    I've done this for years and nobody has ever bothered me about it. I think people get tired of talks of the form "(insert literally any scripture here) means we must (sell our houses and pioneer, burn sparlock toys, realize the end will come in 3-5 years)" and to the extent that they are listening at all, actually like to hear about what scriptures meant to the people who wrote them, based on historical or internal evidence.

    Of course, there's certainly a need for solid homeletical talks, but it's never been my strong suite, and so changing my beliefs about some matters of faith wouldn't alter what I'd say all that much.

    That said, I already mentioned that I agreed with the need to get my own beliefs figured out before I attempt to resolve this "burning fire shut up in my bones" feeling by preaching in whatever context. I am continuing to read various bible commentaries to that end.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    My view is tempered by my faith's tradition. I notice that main stream Christian priests and ministers don't preach doctrine. They preach a pragmatic way of living life viewed through the faith culture. Stories of people are related. They do not instruct so much as engage in a dialgoue with the parish.

    I would think that some church would be open to discussing your doubts and feelings.

    When I was in college, I joined an intensely intellectual and learned faith community. Altho I took some courses, I was more on outside in terms of knowledge. I miss it greatly. Great books were referenced. Cultural heroes preached. It was a world wide multidenominational movement. The problem was that unless one was a seminarian or grad student, others were prob. excluded. There were references to the creeds and son of man tradition - with no explanation. It was a given that you knew it.

    Altho I would love to be there now, I see something very moving when our priest preaches to the Sunday School little kids in front of the entire parish.

    My suggestion would be to expose yourself to as many faith communities as possible. It is easier in an urban area. I stopped where I felt at home. Perhaps I should have explored more. Today I will take a Sunday from my faith and attend some other group. My main interest has been the Eastern Orthodox religions.

    There appears to be fluidity between the denominations. When I took classes at a seminary, there were students from four or five different faiths in class. They saw no need for the expense of replicating classes.

    Just a thought.

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