Does the Average R&F JW understand what grace is in Christianity ?
Here is the easiest way to explain the difference:
Grace: Here's a gift, because I love you!
Undeserved Kindness: Here's a gift, because I'm so loving! By the way, you don't deserve it, and you never could. I just want to make sure that you know that. Seriously.... There's no way you could ever deserve anything, but since I'm so benevolent, I'm lowering myself to give you this. Your ancient anscestors pissed me off, so I'm still holding you accountable. This gift can be revoked at any time. Oh, yeah, sign here. Don't forget to read the fine print. Enjoy!!
Imagine giving a gift to your child, or spouse, or significant other, and then reminding them how they are nothing but dirt. How would that go? Would that even take place in a healthy relationship?
The understanding of Grace with the JWS is different from main stream Christianity and most of that has to do with the emphasis of old testament adherence, rather than onto new testament teachings.
The WTS doctrinal teachings are more about Christ's return and his newly to formed earthly kingdom and that is to occur because of the significance of 1914.
So one could say its there but its not as focused upon as other Christian based faiths.
What uniquely separates the WTS /JWS apart from the rest is that its doctrines have failed and didn't come true as the organization interpreted Scripture.
ummmmm.... perhaps too much commercialization toward literature ???
I remember a neighbour looking at me with utter pity when she learned I was JW...." but you have no GRACE!!" she cried, face agahst (or words to that effect).
I hadn't a clue what she meant and it took 15 years and leaving to find out.
When I first attended the kingdom hall I was quite surprised about how much they discussed the old testament. It's was always some obscure story about some guy with an messed up name didn't bow to some pagan God and how it's more important to hand out magazines no one wants even if it means we should go jail.
It took a few years to realize they basically avoided the doctrines of grace and Fruitage of the spirit and becoming the new person in Christ.
It's like they don't really get what Christianity is.
Thanks everybody for your enlightening comments ,to me anyway.
It could be a good question to ask the next JW who knocks on my door ,watch their reaction and at least now I know what to say to them .
( I learn something everyday here , I could never get this spiritual education in the 33 years I attended at a KH.)
I think the early church had a tendency to interpret the christian message as more based on obedience than grace. Maybe the witnesses are closer to this.