Do I have to believe in Jesus to be saved?
One thing I think the JWs did right was their refinement of the sheep and the goats.
I remember there was an adjustment to our thinking to not label people sheep or goats because only God knew. By extension I remember discussions that there would likely be many in paradise who we would have never imagined would be there. In other words, God would choose many who perhaps rejected beleif (amongst other things) but had other redeemable qualities.
That is what I think a loving God would do.
Let me ask you this,
What if I did all I could to believe in Jesus, followed his teachings, went to church, preached the Gospel, helped the downtrodden etc. but deep down inside my logic and critical thinking skills never made me sure beyond all doubt. Wouldn't that mean that I didn't truly believe? How could a God hold this against me?
Even mother Teresa doubted her faith. So '@a watcher' are you implying someone like mother Teresa won't be saved?
Did Jesus reject "doubting Thomas" because he doubted or Peter because he denied him under pressure?
Why, then, do you believe that Christianity requires 100% certainty?
I do not believe that Christianity requires 100% certainty in my own heart, but since I what if everything, and I know some say you need to believe in Jesus as shown by a previous poster, I sometimes wonder what if they are right.
But your point about "doubting Thomas" is a great one, thank you.
The LORD is God. He created the heavens and the earth alone, by himself with no one else.
24"Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;" Isaiah 44:24 KJV
"Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea." Job 9:8 KJV
Since He did it ALONE, then anyone that was involved in the creation of the heaven and the earth MUST be the LORD (Jehovah).
Hebrews 1:10 clearly shows that the heavens and the earth are the work of the hands of the the Lord Jesus Christ.
"And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands" Hebrews 1:10
Therefore The Lord Jesus is Jehovah.
I've sent you further thoughts via PM.
Lately I've been reading a bit about communication, and (the difference between) abusive and healthy relationships.
Except sometimes I think, what if this draw I have to Christianity is Gods way of drawing me to them? That God, Jesus love me, you know the same tired explanations you hear all the time. What if?
You ever tried to be in a relationship with someone who didn't straight up made clear what they wanted by telling you, but tried to make you do it by 'giving hints'? Or worse, they became grumpy or gave you the silent treatment without you even knowing why?
It doesn't work, does it?
Why would an intelligent, loving God use freakin' hints (like 'drawing you with a feeling') and get angry when you don't get it? Doesn't sound like a healthy relationship to me!
Yes it doesn't make sense, but what if the same old tired explanation of Divine Will cannot be understood by imperfect minds is true? My issue is that I always "what if" each side.
Well if we are incapable of understanding God's will, it would be quite unfair if he would hold that against us, wouldn't it? Like punishing a two year old child for failing to pass for a college exam.
Or maybe God should try harder at explaining his will to us?
It's really not that hard for him. Write it in the sky. Or make everyone hear his voice at the same time. Whatever. As long as the message is clear and available to everyone.
Imagine you'd communicate with your colleagues the same way God supposedly communicates with humans. You'd be fired within a week.
Hopefully, if there is a God, they do not fault me for not ignoring my own logic.
If he would, he wouldn't be worth worshiping anyway. And the very fact that you have no idea whether any gods actually exist, nor what they want, and may or may not punish you for being you...shows that either they don't exist at all, or don't really care what you do and think, or they do but won't punish you for it. Or maybe they would because they're like any other abuser: fault you for breaking rules they never even told you about.
Ah well, my religious feelings are long gone. They were probably already gone when I was still a JW. I never 'felt' God either. Maybe I'm the defective one :-D But at least I'm not doubting, feeling guilt nor anxious. And if whatever type of god wants to have a conversation, my conscience is clear.
Unsure: One thing I think the JWs did right was their refinement of the sheep and the goats.
Why do you refer to the WTBTS having a wrong teaching and then changing it a "refinement"?
Do you understand how that term avoids accountability and a direct admission of error? Do you know what doublespeak is?
Did you notice that you referred to JWs which is the religion as a whole and I referred to the WTBTS meaning the leadership that makes and changes doctrine? Do you understand the difference and why it is an important distinction?
I understand these questions might make you uncomfortable which is exactly why it is important you consider the answers--and your emotions--carefully.