What is the alternative to JW?
What is the alternative to JW?
so assuming that there is a creator and he wrote the Bible, where have JWs gone wrong?
Is it possible that they are nearest to the truth than any other religions? But yes there are mistakes made.
For me the alternative was simply not joining in the preaching any more as I was not convinced of the message due to my reading the Watchtower. I attempted via the elders and writing to the Society to answer my questions but as I found them unable to I had no other choice but to quit.
For the sake of the peace of the congregation and my own peace of mind it was best for me not to attend the meetings any longer. I would have felt a hypocrite if I did not speak my mind to others if asked my views on things and my actions in staying a JW and raising the children as JW whilst not subscribing to what I consider one of the primary beliefs wasn't really an option.We had to make choices concerning what was best for our family with regard to work and education once we had stopped.
I still belief in God and Christianity and live my life to the best of my abilities in accord with my belief. I do not at this point believe that the JW are the closest to the truth as I do not support their preaching work.
(I suppose when you use the word the 'truth' I define that as the truth about the good news, being in the truth or having the truth)
I used to think largely along your lines for a few years , mainly subconsciously to put off the inevitable car crash of me leaving a group like the JWs. It's the kind of mindset that the Org encourages to get people to stay ( if this isn't the truth , who else has it , the Org isn't perfect - it's never claimed to be , even if it's not the truth , its the best way of living etc etc ... ).
Reading Franz's books are helpful in destroying the concept that the Org is nearest the truth. He was a bible scholar that worked hard to try to promote biblical and Christian attitudes in the Organisation but eventually lost out in the post 1975 purge. From a biblical standpoint , they are probably more unorthodox scripturally than many religions but frankly all religions pretty much pick & choose what they want from the bible.
It's up to you how much you want to delve into science , evolution , the bible etc. Some of the books and resoruces that the other posters have mentioned are useful. Once you start looking objectively on whether the bible is true , it kind of collapses like a house of cards. Look for example at the Athiest Book of Bible Stories , written by an ex- JW ( free donwload here https://app.box.com/shared/uclytd91jd ) Look at a particular core story and research it, like Noah's flood ( exactly how did those sloths get all the way from Australia & then back again , or those lemurs to Madagascar , or those Moas to New Zealand ).
Looking forward to some good comments on this thread.
Where do we go? Very typical from a JW point of view. Lies on top of lies.
The video with the "truth fairy" on youtube contains a gem of wisdom that has stuck with me since I first watched it many years ago.
"The greatest obstacle to finding truth is believing you already have it". Think about that sentence, can we deny it? Everytime the JWs change their doctrine they are changing their truth and thereby it is not truth, the moot expression "old truth" is ridiculous when you read that God does not change.
When the witnesses use the expression "where shall we go to?" they forget that Peter said Jesus was the way, the truth and the light, so really if you believe (I do not) then you have no real problem if you turn to your Jesus and approach God through him.
I do understand how difficult it is to start down this road to find answers to your inner turmoil, it takes time, in my case around three years, before I rejected god, the bible and religion in general.
By the way one of the main ways you can see that Jws do not have real christianity is shown when you fade away from the religion. When the elders finally (if ever) come to visit you they are interested in finding out if your still believe that God is using the faithful and discreet slave (not sure which edition of it is current now) to lead the organization. They NEVER ask the most pertinent question of all "Do you believe in God or Jesus". In fact you can be disfellowshipped for not believing in the F&DS but not necessarily for losing faith in god.
So what does that tell you? They are only interested in the org, not in being true shepherds, it is all about control. Read Crisis of Conscience by Ray Franz it will help you a great deal to follow your own values rather than a man made organization that claims to be directed by God.
P.s. Geoffrey Jackson could not even say it out loud that the GB were the spirit directed organization used by God today,when questioned by a lawyer at the Australian Royal Commission, so there you go.
Best wishes with your quest.
I mean this with all due respect, I would like to hear from genuine people who think JW have it wrong and then what is the truth?
Im not talking about silly little quibbles here and there.
You get an A for effort here but if the best indication of the future is the past, then your thread will veer off of your noble request shortly.
I respect and love this forum. I really think it has saved my sanity. That being said, it is unfortunately NOT a good place to learn about things like you mentioned above.
By learn, I mean a friendly non ego based discussion where each person is allowed to draw their own conclusions.
It seems like the basics breakdown along two lines. You quickly become a non theist and are hell bent on making sure others know you have the superior and "only" right way - now.
Or, you wonder, have questions and learn to keep to the edges and try to learn as quietly as you can without drawing the attention of the "we know the real and only truth now" posters.
I say now because that is exactly how the JWs think. It is like being a car salesman but now you are just selling a different make and model of cars but that belief that YOU are right and everyone must see things as you do? That remains very strong.
I see it as dangerous to adopt any view that must be argued so strenuously that basic rules of kindness have to be suspended for the higher supposed good of imparting what "new facts" someone supposedly currently embraces.
I honestly am searching for answers to the very questions you have raised. I hope this thread continues to draw the thoughtful kind posts it has above. If so, maybe I can learn something. If not, then my learning curve will plod along as best I can on my own.
Is Jehovah real? The the Bible is word? If not whats the alternative? I cant see how any thinking person can believe evolution.
No one can say for sure. That is the torture of it and the beauty of it. Its a peculiarly scary thought to believe one is on ones own for any length of time. Its much nicer to think that we know the answers to the big questions.
Its been said that religions purpose (one of them) is to explain the unexplainable (or scary).
Then couldnt that be said of any belief system, even a non religious one?
I think that the best gift we can give ourselves on learning that JWs have feet of clay is to not rush towards another belief system. No matter how authoritatively it is presented, no matter how "safe" it makes us feel.
There is truth in time. Time resolves a lot of the issues humans have argued over down through the ages. Every Witness should give themselves the gift of time. Time to listen inside the vacuum created upon learning Jehovahs Witnesses dont have the market cornered on "truth". No one does.
Question for you FormerBrother, do you see any way that some of the organic and chemical reactions that have occurred over time that are clumped together under the term "evolution" could have really happened - only they happened under the direction of a Creator?
This is not a question with a right/wrong answer, I am genuinely interested in hearing your thoughts.
I think the process of awakening to what we can believe/not believe is every bit as important as where we end up and should be treated with respect and care so I promise not to ridicule your answer or dismiss it. It is your answer and it is completely relevant to the process at hand.
...have it wrong and then what is the truth?
Right there, you start with the wrong question. You assume that there is this big thing called truth...universal truth perhaps. As Obama said "that's above my pay grade". Concern yourself with little pieces of truth such as:
- Was 1914 a biblical prophetic year? or
- Is the overlapping generation an accurate interpretation of Mathew 24:34?, etc. etc
Regarding your question about JW's being "nearest to the truth" (assuming that we can create an objective standard to compare the different little pieces of "truths"), many good books and threads have been written to help you get a good answer. As for my own answer... I should be respectful to all views, but after learning TTATT, mockery is the most spontaneous response to that question. I don't think you know TTATT yet
Former Brother, It appears you are venturing down a new path in critical thinking. That is a good thing. We were taught (warned/threatened) not to question anything or to even have any independent or critical thinking as JWs. I have been venturing down that same path for a couple years now. I still have not found that concise, one sentence summary reply for many of your questions (except perhaps one).
where have JWs gone wrong?Is it possible that they are nearest to the truth than any other religions?
This is where I started -- examining the WTS/JW doctrine. For decades I had made excuses for many of the unreasonable doctrines/beliefs/policies of JWs. It was while I was conducting a BS with a zealous "student" that I was forced to examine many of these things in greater depth. I now believe he was already examining all the info available online (tho he claimed otherwise). I think he was sincerely looking for a religion to teach his children. Frankly, many of the JW doctrines fell apart when I examined them in greater depth.
The Blood Policy is unscriptural, especially the way they themselves have diluted it with "fractions". Isn't it obvious they would toss it out if not afraid of the repercussions? Transfusing blood is NOT equal with eating/consuming it. Transfusing fractions of blood is certainly not "abstaining" from blood. It is a great example of where the WTS/GB are wandering around lost, clearly without any kind of Divine Direction.
NO Divine Direction. See example #1 above. It is but a small example. Appointing of Elders/MS/Pioneers/GB who are proven to be adulterers; pedophiles; apostates; etc etc. Where was the Holy Spirit?
Eight changes on the opinion of if those destroyed at Sodom & Gomorrah will be resurrected. Count them: EIGHT. The Holy Spirit must have been really confused.
How many changes have you personally seen in the definition of "the Generation"? I'm old enough to know of at least 6 different definitions. SIX changes in about 40 years. And this is one of JWs keystone doctrines that defines them from all the rest of Christianity.
Just recently the change was made that the GB alone are the F&DS. It is no longer composed of all of Christ's anointed brothers on Earth. Well, that really puts them in charge, doesn't it? Kind of convenient. Everyone else tossed out in one swoop of the pen. Pray tell me why if Christ appointed the F&DS slave in 1918 or 1919 (that date has also changed back and forth), why did he wait another 90+ years to get them the accurate understanding? Is Jesus that poor of a communicator? Was there a power shortage with the Holy Spirit? Let's also mention that Christ examined the Bible Students in 1914, cleansed them until appointing them in 1919, but did not cleanse them from celebrating Christmas or birthdays or use of the Cross or smoking -- all of which are considered so wicked today they require disfellowshipping. Obvious that Christ's attitude on these things has changed, isn't it?
I pacified myself for a long time by thinking that they were the "closest thing to Truth". Who else had it right about the Trinity, Hell Fire, Immortality of the Soul after death, Creation vs. Evolution, etc. Yes, those doctrines were solid! Then I was shown the outright lies and misquotes in the Trinity Brochure (which I had used as the main basis for a Public Talk I regularly delivered). NOT simple errors (OOPS!). Blatant misquotes. The same for the Creator Book. I always wondered why we only studied it one time in the CBS. Same thing in the Reasoning Book about the Cross. Should "The Truth" have to use blatant lies and misquotes and deceptions to be substantiated? And thus, what do you call something that you have discovered is NOT "The Truth"?
So, I have come to my own conclusion about WTS/JWs. They are NOT "The Truth". Are they the closest thing to The Truth? How much poison or manure is acceptable in your glass of drinking water? (Do you recall that illustration?) That matter is resolved in my mind. I can shut the door on that issue. After being a JW, I think it would be hard for a person to adopt the beliefs of another denomination of Christendom. It's been hammered into us that they are "all wrong". If I had to look at their history and choose the Church that has done the most for Christianity, I think it would be the Catholic Church. Who was it that God entrusted to keep the oldest Bible manuscript for centuries? (Vatican 1209) Do they have any more "poison" than the JWs? Are they any more closer to "The Truth"? IDK.
I am still walking that new path searching for answers to other questions. I would like to believe that the idea/concept that I have always held dearly about God is correct. I would like to believe that there is something better after this (short) life is over. I do not like the idea that the world we live in (as great as life is for most of us) will always be "wicked" and "unjust" and/or unfair. I was taught to believe that God would soon swoop in and rectify all injustice. Sick would be cured. Hungry would be fed. Dead resurrected. Etc Etc. Of course, I ignored the "fact" that he would destroy 99.9% of mankind to do so (according to WT doctrine). I guess that as long as I was part of the 1/10th of 1% who would be saved and walk right into Panda Paradise that was OK then. Frankly, I have not discovered any "evidence" to those things I have always held so dearly. It was a matter of "faith". But not so really, as there is no "assured evidence" to any of it. I'm reading a couple books about evolution currently that have been recommended above. You may not want to do that if you don't want to face facts that contradict your current understanding yet.
I've discovered the trek down this new path is a marathon and not a sprint. I doubt I have sufficient time left in my remaining years to examine it all and come to a definitive conclusion on all of it. I have not just stopped everything else in life to jump into examining all of this, because I have concluded it is at least as important to enjoy living some of the life I have remaining. I think that I can perhaps do the greatest good by helping my children and their children to get a good basis or start in their lives so they can more fully enjoy their future. Hopefully they will think of me (in good ways) occasionally when they reflect on where they are in life down the road. Which brings up the subject of higher education. WTS ban on higher education is downright EVIL. It condemns any with potential to a life of menial labor and likely lifelong struggle. It destroys their likelihood of being financially successful today. It is clearly a tool to control their thinking and to keep them captive within the religion.
Sorry this got so long and probably laborious to read, but I very much related to the questions you too are pondering. I hope this helps. Of course, YMMV. (Your Mileage May Vary)
I cant see how any thinking person can believe evolution.
I can't see how any thinking person can deny that the earth is at the centre of the universe.
Of course if we stop being so lazy and actually examine the objective evidence it becomes undeniable that our subjective feelings are an unreliable guide to reality.
Evolution is a fact. Humans evolved form non-human ancestors over millions of years. This is beyond all sensible debate. Am I right in assuming you have never read a single book that presents the scientific evidence for evolution?
Would you like me to suggest a reading list?
Hello FW, just here to give you my perspective. I still believe in God, but my beliefs have come closer to the Trinity, but not fully the trinity. I do believe the bible is Gods word, however I am not a fundamentalist. I believe in evolution...I don't know how any thinking person can't. I believe God started creation and backed off for a long time. I don't believe it's all from nothing. After research I joined a mainline Protestant church that allows people to have many various thoughts/opinions. Some things are incontrovertible: jesus has died for us, God is merciful. I am really happy there.