Hi all, I'm halfway through isocf having finished coc recently.. I'm still in, not sure what i believe anymore, but along the christian viewpoint, uncle Ray makes a lot of sense to me. So are there any contrary viewpoints out there, any points Ray made that can be argued against or that you find hard to swallow? Cap'n
COC & ISOCF - (for believers) -what DON'T you agree with raymondo about?
The only thing "hard to swallow" about Ray is: that like many of us, he stayed 'in' despite his gut, brain, and conscience telling him to 'get out'.
CB, I find uncle Ray, a bit heavy to read. I have read COC, but not ISOCF.
christian viewpoint, uncle Ray makes a lot of sense to me.-CB
Can you quote something please he said. I know he died believing in God. I would love to know. Thanks Kate xx
Kate - in particular he talks a lot about the 1st century christians and how they werent GOVERNED but autonomous, each cong running itself, and how Russell started out that way too before that all started to go pete tong. Also a lot about freedom, christ did away with the law code leaving the law of love, but the GOVERNORS of our faith reinstated a gazillion rules and regulations again ,kinda negating what christ said... theres loads more i agree with , and it is all very clearly scriptural too, but i know im gonna have to listen to it all (audiobook) a couple times to sink in i think!
i know im gonna have to listen to it all (audiobook) a couple times to sink in i think!-CB
Seems to be heavy going. Interesting that Ray is simply saying Chritianity is better if you don't belong to an organised religion that can be corrupted, and imitating Jesus' good qualities is beneficial.
Yeah, I would agree with uncle Ray, but I would say the Bible has a lot nonsense in it too. Like 1Cor 14.34,35. That wasn't imitating Jesus IMO.
Love Kate xx
So are there any contrary viewpoints out there, any points Ray made that can be argued against...
I'm not a 'believer', but this particular observation is valid regardless.
Franz' Chapter 9, Blood and Life, Law and Love was largely based on letters concerned JW's had written vis-à-vis the blood doctrine. I agree with Franz end conclusion, but some of the arguments he presented don't stand up to scrutiny.
On page 300 (In my copy) 1 Peter 2:11 is quoted and then commented on:
""Beloved, I exhort you as aliens and temporary residents to keep abstaining from fleshly desires, which are the very ones that carry on a conflict against the soul."
If we were to take this expression literally, in an absolute sense, it would mean we could not satisfy any fleshly desire at all....We have many "fleshly desires" including the desire to eat, to breath, to sleep, to enjoy recreation and a host of other desires..."
This argument makes sense in English, but it is based on the sloppy NWT rendering of 1 Peter 2:11. The NWT's rendering doesn't fully capture the flavor of concupiscence in the Greek word, σαρκικος and is misinterpreted in ISOCF to mean anything and everything associated with corporeality.
Here's how other translations render the phrase:
"..abstain from fleshly lusts.." AV
"..abstain from sinful desires.." NIV
"..abstain from fleshly lust.." ASV
"..abstain from passions of the flesh.." RSV
"..abstain from the lusts of the flesh.." NEB
"..refrain yourselves from carnal desires.." Rheims
"..keep yourselves free from selfish passions.." JB
"Do not give into bodily passions.." TEV
"..keep away from wordly desires.."NAB
An intelligent JW would shoot down the dilemma posed by Franz above as a straw man, since the phrase would not include natural and normal needs and wants of a fleshly creature regardless of whether it is taken 'literally' or not.
A far more basic and fundamental problem with the JW interpretation of Acts 15:29 is that they are separating an incomplete predicate from the context which completes it and invoking it as an independent construction, which is dishonest and not, strictly speaking, even grammatical.
TD if a smart JW can explain what you just did is because they don't trust their own tranlation, lol. Truth is that Ray presented overwhelming evidence against the Blood Doctrine.
I may disagree with quite of bit of the premises in the second book that give it the title: In Search of Christian Freedom.
Things like the very idea that the scriptures taught/lead to freedom.
No matter. The content conveys the important messages that JW's are repeating the pattern of the RCC- heavy importance on centralized leadership and legalism, and that the Watchtower misrepresents the intent of the New Testament writings by choosing obscure definitions and ways of saying things so that they appear to agree with doctrines they already decided upon. Also, Ray seems to capture the essence of how the religion of the Watchtower was so promising to be completely different and better than the established ones, but that Watchtower has turned out to be very oppressive and manipulative.
Td - good man, thanks for that! I had to read your last paragraph at least three times! (and I feel I may have to go to a dictionary and a grammar website to fully understand it!) and that's nothing to do with your sentence structure, it's my ignorance! And otwo - thanks or that summary, you put it far better than anything I could have said! I wondered if there are any other elements of his writings that don't fully stand up to scrutiny? I not trying to pick fault, but for 40 years I've believed EVERYTHING I've been told to read, and I'm increasingly skeptical about everything now!
I just read it quickly. Ray Franz is no theologian to me. I found his description of the GB reasoning very interesting. The Witnesses never had such a high profile defector. It was good to have confirmation. I was shocked at how they forced him to resign. He seemed willing to stay a Witness if reforms were made. I was amazed that such a key Witness would have questions. Perhaps he always was able to have more questions b/c he was Freddie Franz' nephew.
There are neutral, academic sources that describe first century beliefs. i am wary of denominational books. I don't have a current list but any decent religous history department of a secular university should have one. While I was in college, I wrote a term paper on the historical Jesus and son of man doctrine. It is interesting b/c I can't keep up with the scholarship. I only see it when I have to review a new book. It is interesting to me that scholarship changes. For example, Q, the source for Matthew, Mark, and Luke existed when I was in college. After so many years, I read that many scholars now disputed the existence of Q. More recently, I notice that Q exists now. We should be wary.
Besides, these academic books, though, I need to struggle with whether I will be part of a faith community. How do my beliefs play out in my daily life? There are a host of value judgments to make.