Hi Believer. I was a born in JW, and left the cult 5 years ago. Now I'm 49 years old. I'm not affiliated to any organized religion, but yes, I'm still a strong believer in God and Jesus. The main reason I still visit the forum is to find out the latest news about the WT, hoping that a bigger number of JW open their eyes about this dangerous cult.
Introduction - Any Believers?
Good morning! This has been an interesting and informative thread. Thanks to everyone who posted their comments to my request to start a conversation about why people still believe in God after leaving the WT. Maybe we can follow up on new threads. But before I complete this one, I want to respond to a couple of questions:
Coffy and StartingOver, you asked me to provide you with a list of books about Jesus. I said, “Google it!” This morning I see that you continued to challenge me on this topic. If you had googled it, you would have seen, as probably the first entry, a link to an article by Wikipedia entitled “List of Books About Jesus.” But so that you don't have to burden yourselves with googling, here is the link.
Starting Over, you shared with me the video called “Dear Believer, Why Do You Believe.” As I said, I will look at the video and respond to the questions raised as soon as I can. I’ll start another thread on it and PM you when I do.
2+2=5, you said you don’t know what I believe. Here it is in a nutshell: I believe in God, but not in any particular religion. I believe God is good, wise, loving, and the first cause of everything. I believe his purpose in creating man is for man to learn to become like God experientially (perfect as he is perfect). And I believe that our life on earth is just the first leg of a long journey Godward.
Giles Gray, I will respond to your questions.
If "we don't have the capacity to experience spiritual things through our senses...", as you said in your earlier post, how can anyone know if a supernatural experience is authentic?
I meant that we cannot experience spiritual things through our 5 physical/animal senses – seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touching. But humans have an additional sense. Some call it intuition, or the 6th sense. This 6th sense is how we perceive spiritual things. The 5 senses are objective and can be authenticated in a way that others readily accept, i.e., they can taste, touch, see, hear, smell it too. But the 6th sense is subjective. It is a personal understanding or epiphany or revelation. One person cannot prove their personal spiritual revelations to another. He may be able to articulate it, but authenticating it can only occur if the other person is also able to perceive it through their 6th sense. But a spiritual revelation is just as real to a person who uses that sense as are the things perceived with the animal senses. Its kind of like love. If I love someone, I know it. But everyone else will just have to take my word for it.
So even if an angel appeared to you, how would you know it was not some spiritual hoax by some other being acting as an angel?
If Jesus materialised right in front of you, how would or could you know that it wasn't actually Zeus playing a game?
I put these two questions together, because they are basically asking the same thing. They do not ask whether Jesus, Zeus, an angel, or being acting like an angel are real. They only ask how one can tell the difference between a good one or a bad one. It would be the same way we can tell if humans are good or bad – by their works and what comes out of their mouths.
And if Satan wrote the bible, how do you know that he hasn't tricked everyone into thinking otherwise? What valid argument could prove or disprove such a claim?
To answer that question, I’d have to assume arguendo that Satan wrote the Bible (which for the record, I reject.) But assuming he is the actual author, you ask now could I know he hasn’t tricked everyone into thinking he didn’t write it. Well, the historical record offers valid evidence that men actually wrote it. Look it up. I think that’s pretty good empirical evidence that would support the conclusion that Satan did not write it. But let’s assume you aren’t really asking who was the actual penmen, but rather are asking whether Satan inspired the writing of the Bible, and whether the thoughts and ideas in the Bible are those of Satan. Well, if that were the supposition upon which this question is based, then if Satan wrote the bible, that would be proof that God and other supernatural beings exist. Right? Well, my position is that God does exist. So if we begin with the established position that Satan is out there writing books, then my position is authenticated.
And that about does it. So in this thread, I discovered that there are at least 20 believers, including 4 who believe, but have doubts about the goodness of God, and at least 19 non-believers, including 1 who wants to believe, and 2 who are open to more information. 20 to 19 in favor of belief is not bad. According to this thread, the non-believers do not outnumber the believers. So maybe we can have more conversations about belief after JW. Believer Out!
"I meant that we cannot experience spiritual things through our 5 physical/animal senses – seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touching. But humans have an additional sense. Some call it intuition, or the 6th sense. This 6th sense is how we perceive spiritual things. The 5 senses are objective and can be authenticated in a way that others readily accept, i.e., they can taste, touch, see, hear, smell it too. But the 6th sense is subjective. It is a personal understanding or epiphany or revelation. One person cannot prove their personal spiritual revelations to another. He may be able to articulate it, but authenticating it can only occur if the other person is also able to perceive it through their 6th sense. But a spiritual revelation is just as real to a person who uses that sense as are the things perceived with the animal senses. Its kind of like love. If I love someone, I know it. But everyone else will just have to take my word for it. "
I totally understand and agree with you about the 6th sense. I feel it very deeply, it has given me deep strength to carry on in life.
Here is a statement that takes a lot of thought because a lot of people will not understand the meaning of it.
Are you walking with God or are you making the appearance of walking with God?
How many people attend a KH, church or any place of worship and the minute they leave they forget the basic rules set forth by their Supreme Being for moral conduct. Love one another, giveto those less fortunate, lying, honor thy mother and father, you know the list.
Believer please try to resist the urge to obfuscate when presented with difficult challenges to your beliefs.
You are dismissive of the necessity of the bible as a source of knowledge about god and Jesus.
I asserted that without the bible there is not one single statement you could make about the person, work or teachings of Jesus.
You claimed that, "there are other books that talk about God and Jesus. Probably hundreds"
I stated that "There are no books that tell us anything at all about Jesus outside the NT."
This is where you get dishonest. None of the books in the google search link tell us a single thing about Jesus that does not originate in the NT. But you already know that.
So my question still stands.
many of our friends on this forum have been so put off by the idiocy over in WT land that they've abandoned belief all together. - Tenacious
That's just something comforting that believers say. The WT had absolutely nothing to do with my reasonable decision to reject faith-based thinking.
there are things that seem to point to evolution but there are also things that point to a creator.
I would love to hear even one thing that points to creation...
you know the list - rebelfighter
Take slaves from foreign nations - you can beat them to death but it's important they don't die the same day
Infanticide is good if god says so
Forced marriage/rape is cool
Genocide - Make sure you don't miss a single man, woman, child, cow or sheep.
Don't boil a kid in its mother's milk
Don't mix your wool with your cotton
Tear down a house if it gets leprosy
Coffy, now who is being dishonest? I gave you a list of books that talk about Jesus like you asked. You come back with
None of the books in the google search link tell us a single thing about Jesus that does not originate in the NT. But you already know that.
How do you know that those books do not contain new information about Jesus? Did you read them? Scan the content? Or just look at the titles? I’ve read many of them so my statement is based on what I know to be a fact. You are just trying to do gotcha questions. If you’re really interested in books that give more information about Jesus outside of the NT, look, seek, knock. Put in some sweat. I gave you the link to the books and put you on the path. If you want to know more, its up to you.
Believer, I think you are missing the point.
If Jesus was a real historical figure that did the things claimed, there would be lots of other independent things about him. But there isn't, there are only books written about the book written about him.
It's like trying to claim that a review of a Harry Potter book is additional and further evidence that Harry Potter really exists.
The simple fact is there is nothing beyond the myth of the bible to support the myth of the biblical Jesus.
If you’re really interested in books that give more information about Jesus outside of the NT, look, seek, knock. Put in some sweat. - Believer
I have been studying the teachings and historicity of Jesus for many years. I know for a fact that there is not a single word you can state about the person, work or teachings of Jesus without the NT.
Anybody who states otherwise has done no research on the subject and is just repeating things other ill-informed believers tell each other.
I’ve read many of them so my statement is based on what I know to be a fact.
Tell me one thing Jesus said or did without reference to the NT as a primary or secondary source.
Simon, you said:
The simple fact is there is nothing beyond the myth of the bible to support the myth of the biblical Jesus.
It seems you haven’t looked into the contents of the books on the list either. Sure there are many books that are commentaries about the NT, but there are other books that are original primary source information. Take a look at the 40-50 books found in the Nag Hammadi Library.
And here’s a link that I think is the most comprehensive and direct writing about Jesus containing information not disclosed in the NT.
Now whether you accept those writings as authentic, true, or valuable is a personal observation. I won’t try to convince you either way. Read them and make your own assessment. And by the way, I have read them all and have made my own assessment. So I am coming from a place of first hand knowledge and experience, not supposition and speculation.
So not only are you picking and choosing which bits of the bible you judge to be authentic but also picking bits out of the Gnostic gospels.
Wow. I've read some of that too. It's batshit crazy. Shall I post some of my favourite quotes?