Are Jehovah’s Winesses “Fundamentalists” and “Fanatics”?

by EdenOne 24 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • done4good

    Of course, having a conversation like that with a JW will yield little more than a convoluted, rationalized response. A believer is incapable of applying logic in the same manner to their beliefs, as they do in other areas of their lives. Intelligence and critical thinking are compartmentalized.

    Yes, JWs are both fundamentalist, (as they choose to take much of their particular ancient writings literally), which only could follow that they are fanatical. They very idea of taking such ancient writings literally whole or in part, is fanatical in of itself.

    JWs don't have to kill to be fanatics. They believe their god will do that for them, which is just as evil by proxy.


  • EdenOne

    Let me introduce into this discussion an excellent article that introduces a book by Bruce Bower: "Stealing Jesus - How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity".

    The author draws a dividing line on American Protestantism between legalistic and non-legalistic protestants, which I think it's a novel distinction that makes a lot of sense. From the following quote, see if the Jehovah's Witnesses fit or not into this category of fundamentalist Christians:

    "Among the differences between legalistic and nonlegalistic Protestants are these:
    * Legalistic Protestantism sees Jesus' death on the cross as a transaction by means of which Jesus paid for the sins of believers and won them eternal life; nonlegalistic Protestantism sees it as a powerful and mysterious symbol of God's infinite love for suffering mankind, and as the natural culmination of Jesus' ministry of love and selflessness.

    * Legalistic Protestantism believes that Jesus' chief purpose was to carry out that act of atonement; nonlegalistic Protestantism believes Jesus' chief purpose was to teach that God loves all people as parents love their children and that all humankind is one.

    * Legalistic Protestantism understands eternal life to mean a heavenly reward after death for the "true Christians"--the "Elect," the "saved"--who accept Jesus as their savior and subscribe to the correct doctrines; nonlegalistic Protestantism more often understands it to denote a unity with God that exists outside the dimension of time and that can also be experienced in this life.

    * Legalistic Protestantism holds that God loves only the "saved' and that they alone are truly his children; nonlegalistic Protestantism holds that God loves all human beings and that all are his children.

    * Legalistic Protestantism sees Satan as a real creature, a tempter and deceiver from whom true Christians are defended by their faith but by whom atheists, members of other religions, and "false Christians" are deceived, and whose instruments they can become; for nonlegalistic Protestantism Satan is a metaphor for the potential for evil that exists in each person, Christian or otherwise, and that must be recognized and resisted.

    * Legalistic Protestantism believes that individuals should be wary of trusting their own minds and emotions, for these can be manipulated by Satan, and that questions and doubts are to be resisted as the work of the Devil; nonlegalistic Protestantism believes that the mind is a gift of God and that God wants us to think for ourselves, to follow our consciences, to ask questions, and to listen for his still, small voice.

    * Legalistic Protestantism sees "truth" as something established in the Bible and known for sure by true Christians; nonlegalistic Protestantism sees truth as something known wholly only by God toward which the belief statements of religions can only attempt to point the way.

    * Legalistic Protestantism reads the Bible literally and considers it the ultimate source of truth; nonlegalistic Protestantism insists that the Bible must be read critically, intelligently, and with an understanding of its historical and cultural contexts.

    * Legalistic Protestantism encourages a suspicion of aesthetic values and a literalistic mentality that tends to thwart spiritual experience; nonlegalistic Protestantism encourages a recognition of mystery and beauty as attributes of the holy.

    Some legalistic Protestants are fundamentalists, whose emphasis is on keeping themselves apart from the evil mainstream culture and thus pure; others might more accurately be described as conservative evangelicals, whose emphasis is on bringing the word of Jesus to the "unsaved," or as charismatics, who seek to model their worship on early Christians' miraculous experiences with healing, prophecy. and "speaking in tongues"; some may consider themselves to be all three at once. Members of all these groups believe in a wrathful God who rewards "true believers" with an eternity in heaven and condemns all others to an eternity in hell. (...) In any event, the problem with legalistic Christianity is not simply that it affirms that God can be evil; it's that it imagines a manifestly evil God and calls that evil good. In effect, as we shall see, it worships evil. (...)"

    Apart from some unique quirks, JWdom fits right into the fundamentalist legalistic protestantism camp.


  • cha ching
    cha ching
    Did an eery feeling come over anyone the first time they sang, "Listen, Obey and Be Blessed?"
  • Half banana
    Half banana

    I agree Eden, JWs are fundamentalists but only some of them are fanatics. Fortunately more and more we encounter passive uninformed Jdubs and let's hope this group continues to grow. Better would be to have informed and educated, reasoning Jdubs who on learning the importance of critical thinking, leave the cult.

    @ Cha ching, do they really sing that sinister phrase...oh hell!

  • Vidiot
    IMO, WT rhetoric is, technically, violent.

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