Does the Average R&F JW understand what grace is in Christianity ?
I`m showing my ignorance here , not being an active member of any church before joining JW`s as a 19 yr old ,whenever I was ever confronted with the question of "grace" I was always at a loss to give an effective answer from a JW point of view.
Was it just me ? or did anybody else have a similar experience ?
(PS , I dont think I ever heard the expression " grace" in a religious sense in all my 33 years in the Borg.studying the WT.)
In contrst to that I wouldnt be surprised if many nominal Christians didn`t understand the terminology of Watctower speak .
JW`s just had to be different from mainstream Christianity
Well, there is "Jehovah's undeserved kindness", but unlike grace, this can be withdrawn at any time. In orthodox Christian theology (as I understand it) God's grace has the nature of a binding legal contract once accepted, so no matter what you do to annoy him, God cannot renegade on his word (which is kinda the point of having grace in the first place).
"Undeserved kindness" is more like a whim than a law. Jehovah doesn't really owe you anything no matter how good you are; since he created you out of nothing, he can likewise uncreate you and be perfectly justified in his decision. Every moment He allows you to continue breathing is an instance of 'undeserved kindness' on his part; so you damn well better stop your grumbling and straighten the fuck up.
I doubt if most JWs have even heard of the term "grace", as it is applied to the Christian religion.
It would certainly be an idea that the WTS / GB would want to downplay, cutting as it does against the "Salvation by Report Card" idea which they would have the R&F believe.
Yes I remember it being translated as undeserved kindness but it was different from mainstream Christianity as I understand it. Grace was something given by God through Jesus' sacrifice and you only had to be a Christian to receive it I think. In the JW religion you had to show your faith by works. That scripture, can't remember where it was, said show me your faith apart from your works and I will show you my faith by my works, faith without works is dead.
Of course by works the JWs don't mean looking after the sick and elderly they mean meeting attendance and hours in FS. So basically undeserved kindness of God can be removed at any time if you don't measure up. I don't think the mainstream view of grace is like that.
Its an important point Smiddy because what you are constantly being threatened with in the JWs, if you don't measure up, or if they throw you out for asking a question, is separation from God's undeserved kindness and death. Yet the whole point of the teaching is supposed to be it's undeserved, you don't have to earn it.
Christian writers eulogize about the wonderful quality that is God's grace to mankind. A specific godly quality whereby he reaches down to love the unloveable sinner ...It is something far beyond the human acts of undeserved kindness that we grant and experience every day.
Why does the WTS not use the word 'grace' in the NW Translation? My theory is that it is just too 'churchy' for them. They have to be different...
Grace to the average JW means saying prayer before your meals...even in Christian homes before the meals they say let us say Grace...then there is Grace period...when you owe but they give you undeserved kindness and extend the due date (because you sinner you promised to pay us on the 15th....so out of the companies Grace, Mercy, undeserved kindness, again, you have been extended time.
JW's will use any words to sound different from other Christian religions...many of them don't even know what the present churches teach, the JW's are still in the Reasoning book mindset....
The average JW doesn't even know what love, or forgiveness is so how would they know what Grace is...Folks that are attracted to the JW religion are worker bees....they feel they have to work out their salvation...they have to keep on the move and busy because Satan is right on their heels....just like the rest of the world except witnesses are not balanced...either they are drinking the orgs. kool-aide or twirling on a barstool somewhere... Many have to be in a structured religion...the rest of their life is kaos...
Trust me they know what Grace is....just ask them about it when it comes to one of their bills they owe, oh, yeah, they can give those little tiny rules you get with your credit card....they read those small print rules...
Many don't feel worthy and so there are many words that they can't accept....ever try to encourage a witness...it's like swimming up hill...I finally told one witness who was down and I tried to encourage them...I used scriptures, you name it....they kept being down on themselves...finally I said....You don't want to be encouraged, you want to be punished....well you came to the wrong place...
I do get the undeserved kindness and it's true, we don't deserve it....but those words are like a constant whip always never feeling....may I use the word again?????....Worthy...
tor, you got it. Grace is a gift that we imperfect, sinning, people receive from Jesus' death and resurrection. His Covenant with us /with God.
We go through life trying to do good, sometimes sinning, sometimes not. But we have His grace when we accept it. It is not a carrot to the workhorse, which is the JW idea of grace, (as I see it).
You have His Grace. You always will when you accept it. His love is always there for you when you ask for it, or even when you don't.
Recognizing his Grace is a wonderful feeling. It eases anxiety and self defeat. It doesn't erase responsibilities to take care of your life, take care of your family, take care of other people when you see a true need, but it gives you peace.
I still have trouble recognizing it sometimes. High Anxiety clouds my perceptions. It is a battle within myself where I hope to someday halt the fogginess. Just have the ability to accept and recognize the Grace so the anxiety is manageable ( I believe we all must have some level of anxiety, but only a healthy low level in order to motivate and produce.)
We all must fail in order to succeed. Failure must be seen as a lesson, one to take action to better yourself and your life, not as a self defeat.
The borgs definition of failure is a man created one. It is a dangerous one. It keeps the people enslaved during the entire lifetime. It is continual and confusing. There is no way to NOT fail in the org. This is a tool of control. Just as the continual confusion in rules, procedures, words, actions, thoughts, etc.,is also a tool of control.
Which brings me to that thought, who is the father of confusion....?
Does the Average R&F JW understand what grace is in Christianity ?
Of course not, how could it be otherwise, if the average christian has no clue either?
Probably the average contemporary understands
an act extending clemency to offenders before the law (such as one at the beginning of a new reign granting pardon or amnesty to numerous offenders)
You got it too... I think witnesses are conflicted with the scripture that says faith without works is dead, then the other scripture says, faith is by hearing, somebody became Gods friend because of faith....faith is believing in something that will happen....you don't have to work for it...(least any man boast).....the Grace Jehovah gave us is for believing that he did send his only begotten son..even though we don't deserve it, but he did it anyway...
Again, witnesses have an unworthy/ yet over worthy gene...they are conflicted, part of them are so prideful to be a witness yet so unworthy to receive the gift of Grace....but what they do receive is being CHOSEN, so they don't need no grace, as we will see in this weeks WT....they are God's People and who are leading God's people, so you see, Grace doesn't even come into the picture, they have decided that they are God's people so they don't need no Grace, God gave it to them already but we heathens only get undeserved kindness...
But, the witnesses better start really believing that Jesus is the way....because He is the Grace God sent to Mankind for us miserable sinners.
" Grace " to an average rank & file JW is pretty much " obedience " by performing WT functions is all it is to them. If they raise their hands and comment at meetings they've accepted God's " grace " , if they give a talk in the Ministry school it shows they appreciate God's " grace " , if they turn in their field service time at the end of the month it allegedly shows they appreciate God's " grace " . If they clean the kingdom hall , then they accept God's " grace " . Even ratting out another fellow believer to elders shows they are in God's " grace " . It's the same measuring stick they use to claim to be a " spiritual " person. By just performing WT functions, period mark, end of story.
A person inside their home, even at the kingdom hall can be rude, moronic, manipulative, unkind, dishonest, treat their marriage mates or children like shit, molest children, be egomaniacs, do all kinds of things within their personality that show they re NOT possessing the " fruitages of the spirit " - but by god if they get 10 hours a month in and pioneer and answer at meetings they come under and " appreciate " God's " grace " . Main thing is performing WT Society functions, they can be total jerks and still be approved . THAT is WT Society or JW grace . Pretty twisted I'd say. Peace out, Mr. Flipper