What does Apostate REALY mean??

by Jesika 5 Replies latest jw friends

  • Jesika

    I found this posted on the women-awake group. I found it interesting----do remember that the comments made after are not mine, even though I thought they were good comments--I won't take credit for them. If this was posted before, sorry, didn't see it.

    Apostates and Apostasy Reconsidered


    New Light on the Present Rampant Apostasy

    The Watchtower and Jehovah's Witnesses use the term "Apostate" and "Apostasy" as though these were copyrighted names that were originated by them and are for their exclusive use in describing those who have forsaken the uncomfortable chains of the WT organization and gone on to another faith, no faith or whatever.

    Some may be, consciously or unconsciously, wounded by the Witnesses use of this term as a derogatory comment on them, as exJWs. Any who feel the WT has a right to impugn the moral or spiritual status of such former believers, are encouraged to take a hard look at what they are being branded as and by whom such branding is being done.

    Funk & Wagnalls standard desk dictionary, 1983 Edition, defines the word as follows

    Apostasy [noun-(plural-sies)] Desertion of ones faith, religion, party or principles. Also apostasy. apostate adj. & noun.

    In view of this generally accepted definition, the terms apostates and apostasy are found to have a wide application and a long history.

    1 - It is generally accepted that a large proportion of Witnesses were at one time adherents to other religious faiths or dogma. Having forsaken (we would assume) such former faiths when they embraced the WT religion, they could rightly be called apostates. Such an assumption would also reasonably apply to many in the worldwide Bethels. It may be concluded, then, that the entire WT organization is permeated with apostates, who have at some point forsaken their faith and turned their backs on their religious teachings.

    2 Although the religious pedigree of many of the leaders in recent times is not too well publicized, it is well established that both of the early church fathers who founded or developed the Watchtower organization, migrated to such beliefs from former churches. In embracing the Truth (as they accept it) they were patently guilty of Apostasy. Thus we can assume that the organization was founded and nurtured by two prominent Apostates, Chares Taze Russell and Judge J. F. Russell.


    3 We can carry the above reasoning down through the centuries. To avoid the redundancy of showing the names and history of the many links the WT tries to make from the present WT hierarchy to the early Christians, we will jump to the apostolic times. We would make the observation that Saul of Tarsus departed for Damascus as an adherent to the beliefs and faith of the Pharisees, a branch or sect of the Jewish faith. When struck blind in his headlong pursuit and persecution of the followers of Jesus of Nazareth, he emerged as the converted Apostle Paul and embraced Apostasy with his abandonment of his former beliefs and his startling conversion to the Christian faith.

    4 We might conclude this brief history of apostasy with the observation that Jesus of Nazareth was raised by Joseph and Mary as an apparently well-taught student of his familys belief structure. His debates, at an early age with the elders at the temple, would attest to his involvement in the religious activities of his day. To any Bible student it is apparent that the religious leaders of his time were sorely aggrieved by his preaching of a doctrine that opposed the accepted church dogma and obviously viewed him as an Apostate, worthy of the supreme penalty, death.

    In summary, it becomes apparent to anyone who wishes to make a study of it, that Apostasy has a long and wide-ranging history. It is also apparent that many people would feel that the Apostates should be viewed as a group who could number among themselves some very impressive examples of approved apostasy, including, depending on your view, many of the accepted leaders of Jehovahs Witnesses.

    Despite having to be bundled in with some persons they may not any longer agree with, current exJWs can accept with pride the designation Apostate, as it obviously has an acceptable, and indeed honourable, history. The connotations and meaning currently imputed to the terms by the average Witness are just another example of the ability of the WT organization to make their followers accept black as white or up as down, as they would wish them to think.

    Hold your heads high, all you Apostates. It is a badge of honour and a mark of distinction to be found able to think for yourselves and thus reject the WT dogma and embrace freedom from the WTs intellectual prison.

    Congratulations !!!!!!!

  • onacruse

    Jes, I think that WTS is working toward a new definition of apostasy, namely, anything that in their opinion "causes divisions in the congregation."

    Sure would like to get my hands on that divinely inspired Greek/Hebrew lexicon that the GB has hidden away in the secret files, right next to the pedophile list. Must be chock full of unique definitions and as yet unpublished ancient manuscripts (sorta like the Golden Plates, haha).



  • Celtic

    Hiya Jesika

    According to the Cambridge International Dictionary of English, Apostate is (noun [c]):

    An Apostate is a person who has given up their religion or left a political party.

    Apostacy (noun [u]):

    The act of giving up your religious or political beliefs and leaving a religion or political party.

    It might just be me, but that seems to imply a voluntary course of action, not one that has been imposed on the individual by either the religious order or political party. So if you were disfellowshipped for instance, and you felt your judicial committee was unfair in making their judgement, but you didn't want to go through the rigmarole of appealing the decision, obviously, your having left, would not have been of your own accord, rather the ousting came from others higher up the pecking order than yourself. To therefore label these ones with a negative connotation such as 'apostate' I believe is wrong, for anyone having been through this experience, naturally afterwards will question the present environmental experience directly related to the circumstances within which they find themselves. To say that after the experience, questioning is wrong on the part of the victim, (wt mindset), is utter crap, almost slanderous one might say, with the added implications they load into the consciousness of the individual directly experiencing such.

    Hope my 2 pennies worth helps to see the other side of the coin, thankyou for your question though.

    Take care of yourself and have yourself the bestest of weekends, cheerio for now.

    Celtic Mark

    Edited for spelling error

    Edited by - Celtic on 2 August 2002 14:18:47

  • Valis

    We should also make note of the JW idea of what Apostate is and how they have bastardized the bible for thier own good....


    District Overbeer

  • William Penwell
    William Penwell

    Good post Jes,

    The point here is that the definition of apostate is really not a bad word. "An Apostate is a person who has given up their religion or left a political party." Its the WT that has demonized the meaning to be of one that disagrees with anything the mother organization says and is labeled as being wicked and evil. We know how WT teachings have changed over the years and those that once would have been labeled as apostate maybe now would be a good dub.


  • BugParadise
    William~>The point here is that the definition of apostate is really not a bad word

    I agree and in some manuscripts you will find the word 868 aphistemi {af-is'-tay-mee}
    from 575 and2476; TDNT - 1:512,88; v


    histemi {his'-tay-mee}
    a prolonged form of a primary stao {stah'-o} (of the same
    meaning, and used for it in certain tenses); TDNT - 7:638,1082; v
    AV - stand 116, set 11, establish 5, stand still 4, stand by 3,
    misc 17, vr stand 2; 158
    1) to cause or make to stand, to place, put, set
    1a) to bid to stand by, [set up]
    1a1) in the presence of others, in the midst, before judges,
    before members of the Sanhedrin;
    1a2) to place
    1b) to make firm, fix establish
    1b1) to cause a person or a thing to keep his or its place
    1b2) to stand, be kept intact (of family, a kingdom), to escape
    in safety
    1b3) to establish a thing, cause it to stand
    1b31) to uphold or sustain the authority or force of anything
    1c) to set or place in a balance
    1c1) to weigh: money to one (because in very early times before
    the introduction of coinage, the metals used to be weighed)
    2) to stand
    2a) to stand by or near
    2a1) to stop, stand still, to stand immovable, stand firm
    2a1a) of the foundation of a building
    2b) to stand
    2b1) continue safe and sound, stand unharmed, to stand ready or
    2b2) to be of a steadfast mind
    2b3) of quality, one who does not hesitate, does not waiver

    Words with similar definitions:

    2. methormiz, remove from one anchorage to another,

    4. metex-anistamai, Pass., move from one place to another, Luc.Symp.13.


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