How does the WTS explain away THIS scripture?
I'm honestly in awe about this particular scripture (and honestly I can't keep thanking jwfacts enough for providing biblical contradictions to the jw doctrine!)
"John said to him: "Teacher, we saw a certain man expelling demons by the use of your name and we tried to prevent him, because he was not accompanying us." But Jesus said: "Do not try to prevent him, for there is no one that will do a powerful work on the basis of my name that will quickly be able to revile me; for he that is not against us is for us. For whoever gives YOU a cup of water to drink on the ground that YOU belong to Christ, I truly tell YOU, he will by no means lose his reward. But whoever stumbles one of these little ones that believe, it would be finer for him if a millstone such as is turned by an ass were put around his neck and he were actually pitched into the sea." Mark 9:38-42
To me this really is a clear as day statement from Jesus that we need not be part of any organization, I do know that in my Congregations we were given the whole "don't try to stumble one another" speech, but looking at it in full, taking a step back and reading the context - he (in my opinion I suppose!) clearly means not to stumble one another on the basis of whether or not we are a part of this church or that church, we are all his followers!
honestly im learning more about jesus and actual scriptures as a whole NOW then i ever did as a kid in the kingdom hall
If we look at the words attributed to Jesus alone, a totally different picture of Christianity emerges from that provided by the apostle Paul. He sought to impose his authority on the early church by setting out rules and decisions that led to the church becoming increasingly weighed down by opinions masquerading as rules that the faithful had to follow. Hence, when you stick to the words attributed to Jesus, a totally different picture of the church emerges.
It is not modern interpretations of Scripture that have laid the basis for religious exclusivity - but the letters sent by Paul and others to the early Christians that in the following centuries were canonised into holy Scripture and cited as authority even to this day.
The WT's explanation is: "The Christian congregation had not yet been set up, so his not being part of their group did not mean that he was of a separate congregation." February 15, 1988 WT, p. 8.
Insight, Volume 2, p. 1029 says, "Not all who believed in Jesus personally accompanied him and his apostles in their ministry. During this time the Law covenant was in force, by God’s will, and God through Jesus Christ had not yet inaugurated the new covenant and the beginning of the Christian congregation of called ones."
The WT's explanation is: "The Christian congregation had not yet been set up, so his not being part of their group did not mean that he was of a separate congregation." February 15, 1988 WT, p. 8. -- Ding
In line with the above, in 1967, an anointed brother explained that, initially, the arrangement was in flux, but as time progressed the structure of the congregation became tighter and, as a consequence, more restrictive. He quoted Matthew 12:30:
"Whoever is not on my side is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters."
Of course, what he told me doesn't address the variables inherent in such a simplistic explanation. I was yet an unbaptized student and that answer sufficed.
WT explanation: "That does not apply anymore. We have other rules now".
It does seem contradictory this concept of being part of an organization because if you see 1Pe2:21 it mentions Christ is a model to follow closely. From the context it would seem it speaks about Christ when he was on earth. Now the Watchtower's interpretation is that Christ's concept of a Christian organization is wrong and IS NOT to be followed closely and yet 1Pe2:21 speaks about Christ when he was ON earth.
Thank you guys! I suppose at a glance, I too could probably accept that and move on. (Until the next thing I question comes up)
I just don't really understand, and I suppose since I no longer see it that way I never will, that if Jesus & God wanted, or demanded that we in the future form one small exclusive group - who were the only ones that could be saved from destruction, why did they not make that more explicitly clear? Why was nothing laid out in the bible, but instead had to be stumbled upon? Instead Jesus said that the way to gain salvation was through him and him alone.
Guess its in the fine print somewhere
Bottom line is that a Christian is a Christian - regardless of the cult's opinions!
Here's a hypothetical scenario which I've rehearsed in my mind and plan to use if/when I meet my still-in friend:
Me: If I asked you what your religion is, what would you say?
J.W. friend: Why, Jehovah's Witness of course!
Me: No, your religion is Christianity. Hence the reason why you're a Christian! Your denomination is J.W.
J.W. friend: Mumble, mumble, mumble. (can't deny the terms Christian & Christianity)
Me: So if I asked you tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, what your religion is, how would you answer?
J.W. friend: (reluctantly) Christian I suppose.
If it occurs, I will post the actual response.
The JWs use the term "congregation" for "church," and it should be the latter. In latter parlance there were seven congregations that existed within the church, and these are the seven churches spoken of by John.
A paradox occurs in Acts 19:13-19:
Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.
And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
The people of the region saw that there was great power in the name of Jesus, but while some were justified in using Jesus' name, others were not. We don't know what motivated each group, but certainly motivation seems to be a factor. It may be the second group attempted to charge money, or attempted to use a priesthood they didn't legitimately have.
Still, it is a paradox.
In the first century the congregations spread over thousands of miles. They had no TV, no internet, no printing company to supply literature, no motor cars, no telephones.
What they did have however was God's word (Hebrew scriptures), Gods holy spirit employed by Jesus; and of course encouraging letters from faithful followers of Christ such as Peter, Paul and others which combined became the Christian Greek scriptures.
Each of these congregations were independent. They had faithful men who brought out the scriptures strengthening everyone's faith most particularly in the good news of Gods Kingdom AND the good news about Christ (Messiah).
The biggest mistake the WTB&TS has made is to say that they and they alone are the ONLY true religion. To me, that is quite an audacious statement to make given there are some 30000 faith groups claiming to be Christian.
Jesus statement 'He who is not against us is for us' is completely foreign to high control groups like Jehovahs Witnesses.