Does any other denomination change Doctrines as often as JW's?

by TerryWalstrom 25 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • TerryWalstrom

    Would I err in stating most religions and denominations have set Doctrines?
    And yet, the WatchTower's version/rendition of Christianity is riven with contradictions which stem from changing predictions, policies, doctrines, and interpretations seemingly adrift from foundation or principle.

    Wouldn't you think the constant upheaval, sifting, churn, and reorganization bespeaks whim, mood, uncertainty, and wilful speculation more than Divine Guidance?

    There's something endemically jittery and insecure about this religion which I would opine has more than a little to do with unstable mental affect than mere whimsy.

    What's your take on this?

  • nowawake14

    I dont know really what to say about it. Sounds more like men than the Holy spirit to me.

  • neat blue dog
    neat blue dog

    You're probably right, JWs seem to be record holders in this regard. Only problem is, they view this as proof of God's backing, go figure.

  • insearchoftruth

    Amazes me that they always say there teachings are directly from the bible, but then the teachings are always changing, though they say the bible is without error.

  • under the radar
    under the radar

    This is to be expected when largely uneducated men set themselves up as masters of others' faith and dictate what their followers must believe. That much power over others inevitably leads to abuse of that trust and arbitrary, whimsical dictates just because it is so easy to impose them.

    Even if the leaders are honest and sincere (which is not a foregone conclusion), their arbitrary interpretations of obscure passages can have devastating, life-long effects on those who blindly accept them as "Gospel" regardless of the consequences. Some of these teachings are ridiculous on their face, showing sublime ignorance of real world facts. Having untrained self-appointed theologians make medical decisions for others is dangerous in the extreme.

    Some examples:

    The long-standing prohibition of blood transfusions is based on the false concept that it is the same as "eating" blood. This is entirely incorrect. It is true that one can be fed intravenously, but not using blood itself. Blood transfusions are to replace bodily fluids that are necessary for many different reasons. But the blood itself does not function as a nutrient.

    Human organ transplants were prohibited for a number of years because they were viewed as cannabalism. Thankfully, this indefensible rule has been dropped, but it still shows how a few men can deny many people the benefits of life-saving modern medicine on the flimsiest of reasonings.

    For a while, the Society insisted that Bible texts mentioning the heart were referring to the literal heart. Hence the ban on heart transplants. There were articles with anecdotal accounts of "personality transfers" and the like. One district assembly even tried to drive this home with a big heart that lit up to show that one decision or another was actually being made by the heart and not the mind.

    I could go on and on, but you get my drift. Varying explanations of who comprises the "faithful and discreet slave" and the newest, most ridiculous "overlapping generation" tripe are but two more examples.

  • joe134cd

    The Mormon church would leave the JWs in the dust with regard to flip flops. The Book of Mormon alone has been changed and revised thousands of times, from the time of its original authorship, Quite something considering it author claimed it to be “ the most accurate book on earth written by the hand of God”.

  • slimboyfat

    I think a major reason JWs make so many changes is a function of the huge number of dogmatic positions they take, over issues where they really don’t need to take dogmatic positions. It’s just part of JW culture now, to expect, and to receive, official judgements on minute points of Bible interpretation and life issues.

    Take Matt 13:32 for example. As I recall the birds in this verse in Watchtower literature used to be agents of Satan. Whereas the latest Watchtower references insist that these birds are in fact rightly disposed humans.

    On the other hand I once attended a Christadelphian Bible Study where the speaker suggested that the birds of this verse indicated a corrupting influence, whereas others in the ekklesia said they understood the birds as positive, and indicating the growth of the kingdom. There was open disagreement about the exact meaning, and no need for a dogmatic position to be adopted.

    On minor issues like this, most churches simply don’t take a dogmatic position in the first place, so the issue of flip flops doesn’t arise.

    So a major reason why JWs have so many flip flops is because they make so many dogmatic pronouncements on so many minor issues.

  • steve2

    7th Day Adventists continue to modify how they view the role of Ellen White. And of course Adventists had to adjust to the disappointment of 1844.

    BTW, in any other context, I could really admire a religious group that says, "Hey we got it wrong and now need to update our beliefs".

    However, JW organization presents a slanted account of its "adjustments", leaving out the more controversial parts (e.g., members had to totally accept the earlier view upon pain of being shunned) and they highlight the more self-flattering aspects (ed.g., the light gets brighter).

    I recently had a reasonably pleasant exchange with an acquaintance who is JW-friendly on the topic of changes to the 1914 doctrine. She said something like, "Well at least the brothers are acknowledging they don't know everything and so need to make adjustments." I replied, "Sure, that's better than denying a doctrine needs to change. But when a main date recedes so far into the distance, the brothers really had no choice than to adjust their view of the generation that has now effectlvely passed away."

  • slimboyfat

    There is a huge variety of opinion among Seventh Day Adventists on the authority and relevance of the writings of Ellen White. Some hold it up almost like scripture and others don’t look to it at all, with every shade in between. I think the overall trend is away from adherence to Ellen White among Adventists.

    By comparison there is little disagreement among JWs about the role and place of Charles Russell, to the extent that JWs are interested in the topic, they tend to accept whatever the latest Watchtower says on the subject. Which incidentally appears to be that Russell was not part of the faithful slave ans doesn’t have any clear role in Bible prophecy.

  • Finkelstein

    Most other Christian based faiths dont have a publishing house operating at its core which has influenced "The" set established doctrines of the faith.

    The leaders of this Christian organization are the head editorial writers of the publishing house or oversee the writings and this has been in effect since the organization's very beginning.

    The WTS. exploited the public's belief in the Bible to spur on its literature proliferation agenda.

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