Ditto the More please!
Ditto the More please!
Introducing the Elephant to the room: Bible authenticity, I feel is the single most
important topic for a JW and an Ex-JW to debate. The B.S. fights over the Trinity and false date-setting are interpretive arguments which go nowhere and change no minds.
IF the Bible is viewed dispassionately as a work of men, the foundation of ALL Watchtower claims is wrecked. Their fraud is perpetrated by ASSUMING the Bible is perfect as a source, and only later does the victim discover the bait and switch over to Governing Body nonsense. The Bible is only a ruse. If you remove the ruse you pull the rug out from under "The Faithful and Discreet Slave" shoehorn doctrine.
The Watchtower devotes no amount of HONEST assessment to the originality of text--it is all exactly identical to Evangelical Conservative Christian Seminaries!
The Bible MUST BE infallible and inerrant for hardcore authoritarians to wield their weapon of influence. Both say: "GOD SPEAKS THROUGH THIS, i.e. "us."
This was absolutely brilliant! I caught something in the beginning of Earl's introduction that maybe others hadn't mentioned yet. Earl was definitely of the mindset that HE'D be the one to lead the conversation, and just ASSumed that Terry would be a meek, gullible, malleable, SHEEP that he could lead around with a WT leash. WRONG. I loved how right from the start Terry wasn't going to play "WT Ball" and immediately cut off the prayer, etc. I really feel like Earl was a presumptuous ass for automatically assuming Terry was some sort of Christian to begin with. How insulting! Terry could have been a Jew, Buddhist, Muslim, or Atheist, and asking someone of a different faith to up and pray to Jehovah is absolutely insulting!!!
The best part for me, was the set-up at the end. Will this guy be back? Who knows? He might be back with more questions than answers. We can only hope. Good job Terry!
And let me add that i was taking notes... ive done my share of reverse proselytizing and wanted to compare tactics. I like the angle of separating the cultiest from the source of authority. That was for me the final straw, realizing the “circle of delusion” that kept me was exactly the same as a muslium or hindu etc etc
If Earl comes across negatively in any way it is my fault for not writing accurately.
He's a special man in many ways. Personable and real. I feel the humanity in him. I can't and we can't judge him as a person for a good reason: he's trying to do the right thing. He could have haughtily cut it off right away and packed up and left dismissing me. He's hanging in there FOR ME. So, I'm doing the same, hanging in FOR HIM.
Hell, in another life, he could be me.
An honest, upstanding JW is like a kid on his way home from school who steps in shit. When he gets home, he tracks it in with him. Once the shoes are removed and the smell is aired out--he's still just a nice kid ...who happened to track shit wherever he went :)
Terry, this is the first time I've ever been moved to sign up as a member, and all because your post really amazed me with your concern for this guy. Your doing an end run around his attempt to "open with a prayer" was brilliant. That would never have occurred to me, but I definitely will use it next time I meet one of these guys. Since I live in a security building in NYC, I don't think it will be anytime soon, but you never know. Anyway, you did really good.
At this very moment Earl is probably digging deep in the Watchtower library looking for information on bible manuscripts. Because it has close to nothing on this, he will have no choice but to turn to doctor Google. Now, I would be hard-pressed to think he can reliably discriminate between unbiased scholarly sources and the scores of apologetic bible-suckling outlets -- perhaps he can.
I would expect him to come back with a trampoline in his bag, fully ready to perform mental acrobatics for you, with a focus on why there is evidence the earliest copies of manuscripts are reliable enough to be believed. Nevertheless, you will have won. Surely he'll concede that there are nothing but copies available. Keep us posted.
I appreciate all the supportive comments very much.
I remember at the Dallas Market Hall assembly of 1966 outside in the parking lot a group of protesters with signs were being quarantined by attendants.
I clearly recall my thoughts in reaction.
I was walking over to the protesters to query them about what gripes they had and I was surprised when an attendant jumped in front of me blocking the way.
"Hold it Brother--these are the EVIL SLAVE CLASS!"
Ooohhhhh. Really? That sounded spooky and devilish.
"I just want to ask some questions."
"No Brother, their father is Satan and he is the Father of lies."
I'm amazed still how absurdly melodramatic this scenario was and how transparently superstitious the attendant was. BUT IT WORKED!
The primitive tactics of debunkers, ex-Dubs, whistleblowers and outright Apostates back in the 50's and 60's was too confrontational and unfounded in reality. It was more like an Anti-war protest than humanitarian. Too bad, too. Who knows what I might have learned?
30 Years a Watchtower Slave and Visions of Glory was as close as you could get to something tangible by way of exposing JW's.
Those protest books took, in my opinion, the wrong path because they sounded like sour grapes and insincere. One day you believed THIS and the next day you suddenly see through EVERYTHING? Nah. Not buying it.
I plan to spend very little time on "Disproving" the authenticity of the Bible. He'll come back and have to admit to "no originals" and I'll pivot to another matter. All his research and apologetic material won't come in handy because we shall be on a completely OTHER topic.
And this is no surprise as i have said it before , but i agree that the confrontational anti proselytizing never works. Even when newbies show up here its a bad tactic, imho. Reason is the only way to go if we are to have any chance at success.
Terry that was a joy to read. Your genuine concern for other people shines through and your patience in trying to help Earl reveals how mature you are. I don't mean old :) It's interesting that you think the authenticity of the Bible is the most important issue, thanks for that reminder. I am going to give that some thought.
Yes I read Thirty Years a Watchtower Slave when I was sixteen. My mother was horrified. I thought it was a very bitter book and for that reason I didn't leave at that time.