By What Authority Do you Teach?

by Vanderhoven7 13 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Vanderhoven7

    I am in earnest. I will not excuse; I will not equivocate;

    I will not retreat a single inch. And I will be heard."

    --William Lloyd Garrison--

    15And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
    16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    17That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. II Tim 3:15-17
    1. Is the Bible your authority for doctrine?
    2. Do you view the scriptures the same way the apostles did? (II Timothy 3:15, 16)
    3. Do you believe your religion clearly teaches what the Bible teaches?
    4. Could someone studying the Bible alone come up with exactly what you believe?
    5. Do you believe that someone who only has the Bible can read it and be saved?
    6. Which would you say is the authority for your religious beliefs; the Bible or your church leaders? Which is primary?
    7. Could there be a discrepancy between what your religion's leaders teach and what the Bible teaches? Has there ever been?
    8. If you discovered a discrepancy between what the Bible says and your religion teaches, which one would you believe?
    9. Do doctrinal modifications made by your religious leaders always act as a corrective to change what you believe the Bible teaches?
    10. Could the Bible ever act as a corrective to change your beliefs contrary to what your religions leaders teach?
    11. If a person puts his complete trust in a Bible scholar, with an “if he says it, I believe it” attitude, would his faith ultimately be in the Bible or the scholar?
    12. Do you believe that your religious leaders were given an exclusive an mandate and ability to interpret the Bible for Christians?
    13. When and how was that mandate first given? Who were the original recipients? On what basis were they chosen?
    14. Is acceptance of your religion's leadership necessary to be saved?
    15. If you somehow lost faith in your religion's primary leadership, would you lose your faith in God and the Bible?
    16. Do you believe it could be wise to put ones complete faith in fallible men? (Psalm 146:3)
    - If Jehovah exalts His word above His name, would it be wise to exalt fallible men above His word?
    - Was it wise for JWs in the 20s and 30s to put their faith in leaders who mistakenly condemned smallpox vaccinations as a “direct violation of the everlasting covenant”?
    - Could some faithful JWs have died simply because they believed the Watchtower's prohibition against vaccinations was biblical?
    - Was it wise for JW farmers to refuse to plant crops in the spring of 1925 because the Watchtower determined that Armageddon would be over by the fall?
    - Was it wise for JWs to forgo having children in the 40s and 50s because the Watchtower taught the end was so close that it would be unwise to start families?
    - Was it wise for those JWs to refuse cornea transplants in the 60s and 70s because the Watchtower denounced all organ transplants as a sin equivalent to cannibalism?
    - Was it wise for JWs in the late 60s and early 70s to be selling their homes, abandoning post secondary education and delivering papers to support their families because the Watchtower taught Armageddon was only months away?

  • Anders Andersen
    Anders Andersen

    Awesome questions, highlights some pretty serious issues.

    If a person puts his complete trust in a Bible scholar, with an “if he says it, I believe it” attitude, would his faith ultimately be in the Bible or the scholar?

    I'd take this one a bit further even:

    If a person puts his complete trust in what somebody wrote centuries ago about their God/gods, with an “if he says it, I believe it” attitude, would his faith ultimately be in the Gods/gods or the ancient writer?

  • doubtfull1799

    Great questions but they're all too fundamentally flawed to be of any real use for anything other than arguments along the lines of "my religion is better than yours."

    2 Tim 3:16 doesn't define what constitutes "scripture" so that's useless. Paul doesn't provide a list for an accepted canon that he is referring to, but since the NT hasn't been written yet, it can only refer to Jewish scripture.

    Q2 - we don't actually really know how the apostles viewed scripture as we don't have their written comments on the subject, just hearsay by anonymous authors.

    Q3 - this question is based on a problematic premise - that the Bible teaches anything "clearly." It is too full of contradicting ideas and statements. Most Christian doctrines are based on short pithy cherry-picked quotes or a mash of conflicting arguments.

    The Bible is an extremely poor piece of communication if it is meant to convey divine doctrines, and no-one could ever claim that their interpretation is the closest match to what the author intended, so the whole idea of Bibles clear teachings vs religious leaders teachings is a misnomer.

    Q12 - short of a divinely signed document this is impossible to verify, but so is the mandate of the Bible writers themselves - there is no way to verify that they were authorized by God to write what they wrote, so again the mandate of interpreters is meaningless.

    So to sum up, no-one really has any authority to teach anything about God, assuming there even is one.

  • Vanderhoven7

    Good response.

    Interestingly none of the New Testament writers pointed to themselves as objects of salvation, loyalty veneration, worship, but reported as eyewitnesses of Christ's words, life, miracles and resurrection. They all invited individuals to respond directly to God and His Christ for salvation...and promised believers in Christ would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit who alone could reveal Christ to the heart, mind and spirit of believers.

    The Watchtower distorts the message, drawing men to themselves, calling for loyalty to themselves and equating themselves with Jehovah. You leave the organization and you have left Jehovah.

    Christian's are not responding to men for salvation but to the good news of Christ...whether the messengers themselves down through the ages have read or have not read a single verse of the New Testament.

    Take the Holy Spirit out of the equation and you have nothing.

  • Phizzy

    " reported as eyewitnesses of Christ's words, life, miracles and resurrection ". As far as I can see it is extremely doubtful if any writer of the books we have in the N.T was an eyewitness.

    " Take the Holy Spirit out of the equation and you have nothing. " So it comes down to "Faith", simply trusting that any of it is true, though there is not one shred of evidence.

  • JoenB75

    Christianity is about God given faith and trust in Christ. Some have it, some do not. The Bible is dear to me but not the basis of faith. It should not be forgotten that JW religion and other restorationist Bible religions are based on failure of Jesus and the apostles to establish the Christian religion and Charles Taze Russells ressurection of it. Jesus claimed to have all authority and rule after his ressurection but not in JWism

  • cofty
    Christianity is about God given faith and trust in Christ. Some have it, some do not

    Stop trying to make a virtue out of a vice.

    Believing things on the basis of inadequate evidence is nothing to celebrate.

  • Phizzy

    As I said on another thread Cofty, believing something to be true, with close to zero evidence, is to me indistinguishable form Delusion, and Delusion is a serious mental problem.

    This is not to be nasty to believers, I feel they need to wake up to their parlous state, because if they don't , their lives will not be as they should be, and they are so easily misled. Happiness, and fulfilment, does not lie that way, no matter what you have been told.

  • JoenB75

    Faith is not knowledge of JW doctrines. It is simply a God given assurance in the Cross of God incarnate and that you will go to heaven when you die ☺️

  • cofty

    Just like all of us Joen you have one life.

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