Is the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses really an inferior form of Christianity?
What's interesting is the GBs claim of being Christ's brothers. The Apostles never wrote such of themselves. What they did write was that they and other believers were all brothers "in" Christ, not brothers of him since that would make them equal to Christ. They were Christ's servants, however, they (Apostles) did make it to friend status.
slimboyfat: One could as well say:
Believe that you've discovered the Truth about reality? Then Jehovah's Witnesses are still your brothers and the rest of the journey is still in front of you.
There's a huge difference between the two camps.
Firstly, I don't claim to know the truth about all reality. I don't know how life got started (although it seems to be chemistry). I don't know what the future holds for me as an individual or for the human species. I don't know if there is a supernatural deity although I do know there is a complete lack of compelling evidence for such.
It seems absurd to proclaim your own modesty but I think the claims I make for reality are modest ones. Jehovah's Witnesses and all other Christians make the most ridiculously immodest assertions on the nature of reality; resurrections, immortality, paradise, angels & demons, miracles and on and on . .
Now this might surprise you Slim' but despite all that I do actually consider JW's and other believers my brothers and sisters. Not in some unthinkingly indulgent spiritual sense but because we really are all family and sharing the same home. We need to pull together.
Bloody hell, I'm turning into a damned hippy!
When you say "the rest of the journey is ahead of you" you imply that exit from JWs has a proper trajectory with a correct destination. That destination being a state of unbelief in Christianity that you have arrived at. That's incredibly arrogant. There are in fact many possible journeys out if he JWs with many destinations. Some may leave as atheists and later find faith. Some join another church and stay there. You seek to delegitimise all those paths and proclaim your own path as the correct one. Anyone who differs is condescendingly told they are at an "earlier stage" of development.
Who is the one who really needs to grow up? Is all I am saying.
I'd say the ones believing childish stories of creation and happily ever after are the ones that need to grow up.
And yes, if you've left one faith camp to simply join another which is less controlling you really have only moved a short distance.
I'm not pointing to any destination other than the door marked 'Exit'. Where folks go after they walk through that door from faith into reason is up to them.
It's a big old world with lots of wonderful possibilities!
So materialism is the only legitimate lens through which to view the world. As long as people adhere to that narrow ideology you grant them the freedom to do whatever they like after that. Very gracious.
Some people's experience with the JWs has apparently taught them the enduring lesson that they must assert the truth of whatever position they personally hold and declare all others out of order: heretical (from a Christian viewpoint) or irrational/ignorant (from a materialist viewpoint).
I'd rather learn the lesson to be tentative in our claims about the nature of reality and not dismiss the perspectives of others out of hand, even if they may at present seem irrational or immature to us personally. We could be wrong. It has been known.
Conscience does not define a standard or a value. It only works to indicate deviation from a known or given value or standard.
Well maybe my conscience defines JWs as an inferior form of Christianity
Fisherman I would think that one of the standards of Christianity would be who Jesus is.
whether he is an angel or part of the trinity.
Calm down Slim'.
I'm not 'granting' anybody anything, people are free within the law to believe and behave however they wish so long as they don't harm anyone. What? You think I'm going to call for punishment of believers?
Your constant misrepresentation of my position is tiring.
I'd rather learn the lesson to be tentative in our claims about the nature of reality and not dismiss the perspectives of others out of hand
I agree, that's why I said honestly that I don't know how life got started or whether there is a god or what the future holds. I wonder if you'd condemn with equal force the evangelisers on this forum who "arrogantly" do claim to have all those answers?
And as I may not be able to decide for sure after listening to those who are more educated. I may think it would be wrong to jump to a conclusion about a matter that is unclear to me and treating those that say one way or the other as not real christians.
this then becomes about right or wrong and my conscience dictates my Christianity in what many see as an important matter.
am I wrong?
The religion is fine. It just needs some minor and major tweaks. Dont we all.