Clashing Cymbal Jehovah's Witnesses If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. (clashing cymbal NWT) If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.

When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:1-13 New Living Bible)

For most of my life as a Jehovah Witness, I never viewed the organization as a “clashing cymbal” or lacking in love. I felt it was the “truth” with all of my heart. They do speak most of the “languages of earth” and I believed they were directed by the “angels”. I had strong faith in what I believed as most JW’s still do. Their works were quite impressive to me, especially the world wide door to door work. Nobody compared to us in my mind as is the case with most JW’s.

My thinking has changed quite a bit since those days. The “clashing cymbal” noise was growing louder and louder in my ears as time went by. At first I only viewed curtain brothers as “clashing cymbals” and I tolerated it as best I could. As I grew older, the “clashing cymbal” of the organization was becoming audible. I tried my best to ignore it but subconsciously it was there all the time. It was something that I suppressed and I believe most JW’s do this.

After much prayer and asking Jehovah to not let me be mislead by man, I awakened. The “clashing cymbal” noise was fully audible and driving me crazy. The new generation understanding was a loud “gong” in my ears. The total lack of humility, love and explanation was mind blowing to me. I couldn’t believe how they showed a lack of faith in what they called “Gods Promise” to bring about armageddon before the generation of 1914 passed away. (More on the generation change HERE) I viewed it as saying “our master is delaying.” (Matthew 24:48) Then the focus really increased on “trusting the faithful servant.” I thought that is what I had been doing all of my life. I tried to keep my faith in the “slave” for years after the generation change but the “clashing cymbal” noise was driving me crazy.

To make a long story short, Jehovah answered my prayers and I finally awakened to “the truth about the truth.” (TTATT) Since then I have done all my research and now I put my trust in NO MAN. Jesus Christ in my only leader. I have been set free. (Psalms 146:3, Matthew 23:10, John 8:32)

Even though I no longer go to the Kingdom Hall, I still hear “clashing symbols” that I try to avoid. This world is full of them. Anyone who insists that their doctrinal view or biblical understanding is the only “truth” rings as a loud “clashing cymbal” in my ears. It is one thing to believe a certain way, it is another to demand all others must agree or God will destroy them. To me, that is the epitome of arrogance and a complete lack of love. I was raised to believe I/JW’s was right and everyone else was wrong and they all were going to die before the 1914 generation ran out. All my life I was told I wouldn’t grow old… It was recommended to stay single but if you did marry, do not have children… I thank God that I didn’t obey every suggestion! A suggestion from the JW/org is more like a subtle command. I let subtle commands go through one ear and out the other.

It is sad but true, the world is full of people who claim to follow the bible and Jesus but fail miserably. Jesus said, “go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:13) All the righteous “clashing cymbals” need to go and learn what that means as Jesus told them to do.

Here is what mercy means from dictionary.com:

1. compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one’s power; compassion, pity, or benevolence: Have mercy on the poor sinner.

2. the disposition to be compassionate or forbearing: an adversary wholly without mercy.

3. the discretionary power of a judge to pardon someone or to mitigate punishment, especially to send to prison rather than invoke the death penalty.

4. an act of kindness, compassion, or favor: She has performed countless small mercies for her friends and neighbors.

5. something that gives evidence of divine favor; blessing: It was just a mercy we had our seat belts on when it happened.

The first century Christians had all things in common, they shared their possessions and gave to the poor. (Acts 4:32) Where are these people today? It certainly isn’t Jehovah’s Witnesses. If we are going to insist on our view as the “correct” life saving view then why not focus on these points? Why not give everything you have to the poor and feed the hungry and sick? Why not take care of the widows and orphans? (James 1:27)

Every “clashing cymbal” that I have known lacks in these points. 1 Peter 4:8 says that love covers a multitude of sins. I know some people who do not even believe in Christ because of all the hypocrisy shown by those who claim to follow him. These people do nothing but good for their fellow man/woman. They give to the pour, take care of the sick, and fed the hungry… and they do it out of LOVE. If you haven’t done any of that in a long time but preach “the word” without mercy and love… chances are you are a “clashing cymbal” in Gods ears.

All of this in only my personal opinion,

With love for all,

Your brother in Christ,

Greybeard

More on the topic of mercy: HERE

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82 Comments on Are You A Clashing Cymbal?

  1. John S says:

    Yes,Greybeard,God is love.You can’t have God’s spirit without it.You can’t be a Christian without love.Yet,we can’t be Christians unless we stand up for the teachings of Christ,or exclude his teachings,including the prophecies,can we?As true Christians we must have love for God,Christ.and their words.”For this is what the love of God means,that we observe his commandments.”1John 5:3 I have always observed your wisdom in doing this ,as a lover of Bible truth and a compassionate minister of the Lord’s mercies and message of truth.(John 1:14)Thankyou for the good reminder here in this essay.

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    • greybeard says:

      Thank you John S,

      I am just a good for nothing slave ;)

      You said, “Yet, we can’t be Christians unless we stand up for the teachings of Christ , or exclude his teachings, including the prophecies, can we?”

      Of course we must stand up for his teachings and his number one teachings was love and mercy. In my opinion those are the most ignored teachings by many who claim to follow him. Some focus more on doctrine and preaching their own views then they do on helping the poor, sick and hungry. Matthew 25:41-46 /

      What type of people were Jesus speaking about at Matthew 15:8?

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  2. John S says:

    Thankyou .Brother GB.
    Yes,Matt.15:8 was talking about religious overlords,like the Pharisees,who in addition to commandment enforcement,made up many more of their own laws and punished those who refused to worship these and those who promulgated them.Religious organizations that do the same today may seek tight control over their flocks for purposes other than love,such as power(Pharisees),the glory of men,or even the money and valuables their members can be compelled to donate.Their “laws” and commands of men are totally out of harmony with the simple statements of Christ as to what commands Christians are to obey.(1 John 5:3and Matt.22:37-39)
    It is sometimes in my enthusiasm,that I over-emphasize my viewpoint of a certain scriptural passage of Christ,or the Apostles,for that I apologize.I feel love and truth are basically two different qualities or properties that can at times overlap.Similar but not exactly,like time and speed.In fact the rate of speed is defined with time,and can’t be defined without it.(30 miles-PER HOUR) Love on the other hand,might mean the dispensing of truth,and actually the surgical removal of some disease-like untruth that may be plaguing a person’s thinking.Notice Jesus’ words here about the truth being used in this way;”I am the true vine,and my Father is the cultivator.Every branch in me not bearing fruit,he takes away,and every one bearing fruit he cleans,that it may bear more fruit.You are already clean BECAUSE OF THE WORD I HAVE SPOKEN to you.”John 15:1-3.
    In my zeal to declare the sanctifying words and expressions of love and truth the Lord is bestowing upon acute listeners of his Gospel,or good news,I’m sure I have come across as a “know-it-all” at times.I’m sorry for this.That is not my intention.I have just a few things left I really want to share on the forum,that I feel must be stated before I either pass or move along.In confidentiality,I will say,I had a powerful dream last week,that I believe was from the Father.It was about my passing over,and in my dream,I disintegrated into the air as a spirit,losing my old body for good.As the dream ended,God’s voice softly said,”It won’t be much longer now,John.”I say in confidence to all here,I don’t anticipate being on this site for many more days,maybe only a few.My son,Micah is receiving a calling of sorts from God,he feels.We are planning a trip to wilderness places from which we may not return,in harmony with what the Lord instructed,”Flee to the Mountains” and the Revelation-Wild Beast-marking prophecies.We feel they are very near to being fulfilled possibly,and are planning our next move.
    I don’t know what the Lord meant in my dream,a sudden death,or his return and rapture of the Christian anointed,but either way,I am planning this move with my son as a priority in my last years of life.I will try to finish up the Anointing teaching on the forum this week.That is also a priority.I didn’t expect to hang around badgering people with the Gospel,but sharing the concept,and letting the next person take up where I leave off.This site is most likely just another whistle-stop for Christians who are on their way out from Jw’s on to the next growth stage,possibly,as all things especially Christian are going to begin to be purged out of the mainstream of human influence shortly.We can encourage each other,instruct,and love one another here for a while,but in this world,all good things may come to an end,and we move on.
    Again,please forgive me my impatience to right wrong ‘tradition of men’ thinking.I am impatient to get the Gospel out there,and as it is my interpretation,this is always to be scrutinized by you,the listeners.(Job 12:11)These teachings I am expounding on are really so basic and straight from Christ’s mouth,that I have yet to be objected to in stating their obvious meaning,and will try to keep it that way.
    I would really stress again,what you are hearing from me is my parting comments to fellow Witnesses who I was a brother with in the Jw’s.Now,as an anointed member of the congregation of the firstborn,the term brother has taken on a lot different meaning than it used to.(see Luke:20,21 and 1John 3:9)Soon,I feel,I will sleep and wait for the change I dreamt about.Or the actual event foretold in 2 Thess.1:7 and our Lord’s words atMatt.24:31. Not to be overly-dramatic,but I have strong feelings about this dream,and I am taking steps to finish up my earthly life.
    Bear with me on this forum,I will pass on to you some wonderful sayings of the Lord,hopefully that will aid you in your walk to the Kingdom and all of our efforts to display that most-important of all quality of the Father…..love.
    Thanks again,brother for the timely,and applicable counsel.I do take it to heart.

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    • greybeard says:

      Dear brother John S,

      This article is about religious people that insist they are right and others are wrong in a unloving way. I am guilty of that in the past myself. I have not noticed this of you although I don’t always keep up with everything on the forum and blog. My opinion is that Jehovah/YHWH and his son are FAR more forgiving and merciful than most Christians present them. I also believe that our heart condition measured by the amount of love, mercy and forgiveness is what we all will be judged by. It is not about how much head knowledge we have or how many doors we knock on. Many believe the trinity and many don’t. Is that a salvation issue? I don’t believe the trinity. However I know to many good hearted loving people in this world that Do believe it. do I think this will cost them there everlasting life? No I do not, but as JW’s we were taught that. All must believe as the JW’s do or be disfellowshipped.

      It is one thing to share your view and then say, this is my opinion. It is another thing to say this is how it is and unless you believe this or that, you won’t make it. Most of those who speak that way have disfellowshipped us by leaving this web site. There has been a few. They leave because we don’t agree with everything they say. I would like to know where they find anyone that does. For some people there is no grey areas aloud, it is all black and white. Jw’s are that way. I am ok with saying, “I just don’t know” and wait to find out. What I do know is there is good people in all religions. There are some very loving people who are not religious at all. Seams to me that Jesus put love above all other things… I believe God loves all of his children and just like Sodom and Gomorrah will be alive for judgment day, the people who died in the flood could too. All things are possible with God and he desires nobody to be destroyed. He is the creator of this universe, I believe he can and will get what he desires. Jesus said he had more things to tell us. What could those things be? I would think they are wonderful knowing him and his father. My opinion is how we judge, we will be judged. Why did Jesus say I came to call sinners not righteous? Mark 2:17

      Romans 3:10 answers that question, there is no one righteous on this planet and there never has been except Jesus. Through one man ALL are dying and through one man ALL will be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:22. “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2

      Of course all of this is only my opinion but I do believe it is founded on scripture. Even if I didn’t have scripture, as a father myself, I would do all in my power to save every child I have, even if it meant erasing there memory and letting them start over. Can’t God do all in his power to get what he wants? I do not say this as an excuse to do whatever, I say it as hope for all including those who don’t believe the way I do. Love hopes all things right? I hope everyone can make it even if they need to be brain washed or reprogramed. That is my hope. Yes I believe Jesus is the way, truth and the life and ALL must come to him before they gain the gift of everlasting life. Call me a dreamer but I believe God can reach every heart if that is what he desires. He can and does change hearts. As far as who will and who will not be saved… I leave all of that in Gods hands. I hope and I pray God will get what he desires and reach them all…

      Your brother in Christ,
      Greybeard

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    • JJ says:

      John

      We have greatly appreciated your thoughts and Christian counsel here.

      May the Lord Bless you and your son and your new endeavors. We hope you can continue to chime in and welcome that and any news you wish to share of
      your thoughts and studies in the future.

      I feel in my heart as you do, that this I
      is but one place in our Christian walk and we shall all move on as we grow and progress in maturity.

      Your Brother in Christ,
      JJ

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    • Scatteredsheep says:

      Dear Bro. John S,

      Your mention of a trip to wilderness places and Jesus’ instruction to “Flee to the Mountains” really caught my attention and won’t let it go. Several years ago I asked Father whether there was a literal flight to the mountains in store for Christians. I understood him to say Yes to that question. So, I’m thinking my family and I will be asking Father more about it very soon. Thanks for calling it to our attention!

      By the way, my son, daughter and son-in-law have been taking trips to the wilderness every year for several years now. They love it. My daughter says when she gets to the mountains she feels like she’s “home.” I’ve heard others say the same thing. The relatively unspoiled beauty of Father’s creation is something many human hearts long for. So you and Micah may not want to come back. Of course you’ll be leaving that decision in Father’s hands. But if you don’t return, we’re really going to miss you! Many libraries have computers with internet access. So maybe you could still check in with us now and then? Tell us about wilderness life? (Just a thought & assuming we still have electricity and computers awhile longer, of course.)

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  3. John S says:

    Well thanks brothers,I know you put up with me in love,and I agree with everything you said too,even about the trinity,and even those who may fear hellfire.By close association and church attendance inmany different religions,even went to a Mormon(OH MY) yes,Church and felt their love for God,too.It opened my eyes.I don’t recommend going to any one church,and many purposely stay non-denominational and as non-dogmatic as possible so as not to create judgementalism.So I completely agree with the comments above.But I am not the Judge,so what diff does it make.To our own Creator we stand or fall.No one else.Peace brothers,I’ll stay as long as God wills it,but I think he was giving me a gift of a heads-up to take care of the last chores.Time will tell.Thanks again.

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  4. Willie says:

    Dear Greybeard, As you may know, some preachers have used Matt. 25:41-46 to preach a “social gospel” with the thought that the more you contribute–the more you will be blessed with earthly blessings. They also use some of the Old Testament promises to the Jews to reinforce this erroneous teaching. Mega-churches are built in this fashion with “love” being stressed along with very little condemnation of sin–the “once saved, always saved” mindset.

    Matt. 25:31-46 is an example of how it will be in the Kingdom when Christ and the Church are reigning. If we start with verse 31 where the paragraph break is found, we see that Jesus is talking about himself: ” When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: {32} And before him shall be gathered all nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.” This separation will continue until everyone has been raised from the dead, including Adam. The process will take the rest of the Millennial Day–hundreds of years. The “holy angels” spoken of in this verse are more likely the Church (in my opinion), who as a glorified class (Rom. 8:17) will have then achieved true holiness of character to exemplify their righteous intentions as new creatures (in their minds) while they were in the flesh.

    As for the poor in this present evil world, we remember the words of Judas who criticized Mary for pouring the ointment, which was worth about a year’s wages, on the feet of Jesus. In John 12:5 Judas said, “Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?” … {7} Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. {8} For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.”

    Though we are to be loving and merciful (Luke 6:36) to our earthly families (I Tim. 5:8), and especially to our spiritual family (I John 3:16), we would never be cruel to even our enemies (Matt. 5:44) if we are walking in the footsteps of Christ; however, the uplifting of mankind–the restitution of all things (Acts 3:19-21)–is the work of the Kingdom Age.

    Respectfully,

    Sister Willie

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    • greybeard says:

      Dear Sister Willie,

      Thank you for your post. If I remember correctly, you are a Bible Student, the group that JW’s came from correct? I love the Bible Students and have been to a few assemblies. What I love about them is they are very knowledgeable, loving and humble. I noticed when a speaker was talking about things that all might not agree on, he would say, “this is my opinion.” Bible students are allowed to have differing opinions. They do not practice disfellowshipping the way JW’s do. They do not dictate doctrine like JW’s do. I have no problem with someone believing a curtain way. That is there God given right. But when they talk as if they are in Christ, and unless you believe this or that, you are not in Christ, I say, “that is YOUR opinion.”

      There are those who speak in a “mater of fact” way lacking humility that sound like a “clashing cymbal” to me. I am sure I have done it before myself. I believe that this only turns people off. We are told that “LOVE builds up” but “knowledgeable puffs up” and “The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.” 1 Corinthians 8:1-3.

      It is my experience that “puffed up” people honor Christ with their lips but do little to truly love their neighbor, love their enemy and help those in need. When the focus is on doctrine more than showing love and mercy to our fellow man, I shy away… For most of my life, that was my focus and I taught others to believe in MEN because these MEN are “chosen” of God. Many others besides the JW’s claim to be chosen. I believe Jesus was clear about who actually are chosen and who are not. Matthew 25: 31-46

      So just because someone claims to be chosen doesn’t mean they truly are including myself. I do not believe in “once saved always saved” and I hope that is not what you took out of my article. I do believe, like most Bible Students, that most people who have ever lived, including those who died in the flood, will be resurrected and have a chance to repent. That is beautiful to me as I do hope God will reach every heart as all things are possible with him. This is something I hope for, it is not something I know will happen. I believe God will win the majority of all hearts in his due time, if not possibly all. That is my hope, that is what gives me peace and lets me sleep at night. More on that HERE

      As far as groups who get together in the name of Christ and do good, overlooking there doctrinal differences, feeding the hungry, taking care of widows, orphans and healing the sick… you can call that a “social gospel” if you choose too… I have more respect for them than I do people who preach doctrine and do nothing to help their fellow man. Many, like JW’s and Bible Students have set wrong dates and made false prophecies. Ignoring what Christ has said about us not knowing the time of his return. He said I will come when you think not. I am not judging them but I will ask, What category does Jesus put people who do this in?

      There is no one on this earth that understands all things but there are plenty of people who act like it. There are plenty of people who think they are right and everyone else is wrong. I was one of them. Now I realize that we only know in part. Much knowledge of the first century Christian church is gone but still “faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 (NASB)

      Love always,
      Your brother in Christ,
      Greybeard

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      • use 2 b a dub says:

        hi greybeard,
        You chose your words well and I, also a greybeard, share your feelings and beliefs on love being the primary teaching of Jesus Christ. I too once thought that we JW’s were right and all others were wrong. Now that I have awakened, I see the good in so many that I use to ‘judge’.
        Lately I have thought. “What would happen if JW’s organized and spent a few hours a few times a month actually helping others in their community or just doing something in a practical way to help their neighbor?”
        Instead of knocking on empty doors, driving around the ‘territory’ looking for RV’s that are also never at home, and then taking a break at the local coffee shop, why not actually accomplish something that makes a real difference in peoples life? Wouldn’t such activities demonstrate love for neighbor and for God?
        I think of the tremendous ‘witness’ that would be given and the excellent reputation JW’s would gain. Instead of being know as the religion that is annoying and bothering people on Saturday morning, being know as the religion that really cares about helping others.

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        • greybeard says:

          Hi use 2 b a dub,

          Welcome to the site! Yes I agree with you. To just go around preaching doctrine and not helping anyone is so wrong in my opinion. Then after preaching wrong dated for years and changing the generation view, they don’t admit being wrong. It is like the boy who cried wolf, they keep on crying wolf. People look at them like they are crazy in this world. I feel sorry for them because the GB/JWorg has brain washed them all. I was one of them as many here were. We all understand why they do the things they do.

          Your brother in Christ,
          Greybeard

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  5. Disappointed says:

    Brother Greybeard, I love that scripture.. Love is everything! Sometimes I sit at the meetings and I enjoy it, but the forcing of ideas and opinions and beliefs on others is exactly that.. clashing cymbals. If it’s all done with love, mercy and compassion it goes a long long way. Unfortunately the overwhelming feeling after being at a meeting isn’t of encouragement or refreshment but of having been browbeaten. And it isn’t because we don’t have loving elders in our cong. (because we do). It’s because of what they have to tell us all the time from their outlines, from the WT. I know I’m not the only one who feels like this in my congregation even if they haven’t ‘woken’ yet, they still ‘feel’ something isn’t quite right.

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    • greybeard says:

      Thank you sister,

      That is exactly what I am talking about. The JW’s have been preaching their views as God given facts directed by angles and holy spirit, the “channel” God is using. When it is blatantly evident they have made false prophecies. The recent generation change is HUGE and they brushed it under the table with very little said. If any other religion would have done this it would have been on the front cover of the Watchtower. The “clashing cymbal” noise drove me out of the Kingdom Hall. I would get panic attacks because I was afraid at any moment I was going to jump up and call them what they were, false prophets. You know that feeling you get right before you raise your hand? Heart pounding? That is the feeling I would get.. I had to walk out many times and sometimes with tears. I had to stop going because of my mental and physical health.

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  6. confused says:

    Greybeard
    Nice article. The JW’s will never admit wrong teaching but will say “we have new light friends, oh how Jehovah guides us”…yeah right!!!!! whatever….not that long ago, it was I sitting at the kingdom hall and feeling smug like I knew something…..My opinion has forever changed of them because of the lack of following Christ Jesus and his word and as for love….where??? they mock other churches for helping the “poor” by calling them “rice christians”……they teach “hate” not love……”hate what Jehovah hates”……heard that I dont know how many times……I personally stay away from those that have the “im right, your wrong” thinking….and not all churches teach just love and avoid condeming moral sin….thats what the wt teaches though and most believe it to be true, im sure there are some that do but many do not……I dont want to judge anyone for their spirituality….I did that too much when I was a wittness for years along with everyone else I knew in my congregation….I am very ashamed for being like that…..witnesses and a lot of others like to “speculate” what they think they know of others heart condition….im just trying to work on showing love to others because for years I thought love was handing someone a watchtower and awake. Im working out a lot of things that ive had ingrained and one thing I know for sure is I do not want to be a hypocrite or judgemental…..

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  7. Alden says:

    Hi GB,

    Nope, it’s not just a personal opinion. It’s one shared by many. It’s an observation – even sociologically explainable. Christ’s congregation exists, but it seems scattered among the weeds.

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  8. Very good article GB. How’s this for ironic. Years ago when my 1st wife (she passed away in 98) had cancer, she needed a treatment that almost certainly guaranteed a blood transfusion or she wouldn’t survive. Well there was a hospital in Philadelphia that in cooperation with the Society was pioneering a bloodless method (although it did require the transfusion of our friends, the blood fractions) of this treatment. Still a very risky proposition but given our alternatives we had to move forward with the treatment. After fighting the disease for 1 1/2 years we couldn’t afford the airfare and lodging. My pioneer sister-in-law (elders wife and very zealous) started looking into various charities to try to help us. Guess who she got to pick up the tab. Catholic Charities!!! At the time the irony of the situation didn’t register, mostly because we were just so thankful for the help. After my wife passed away though I thought how strange it was for this model witness, who would NEVER think of donating to Catholic Charities, got them to pay the bill and had no moral conflict at all with this situation. I found that very strange. Not to mention that we can be certain NONE of the brothers and sisters donated any of the blood from which we would transfuse the appropriate fractions. JW’s aren’t big on charity but they seem to have no problem at all taking from them!

    Yours in Christ Jesus Our Lord,

    Dennis

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    • greybeard says:

      I can relate Dennis,

      I needed help myself at one time and was only offered it from the Salvation Army. For years I would look at those guys through the corner of my eyes while they shook their little bells in front of stores. Now I will not pass them up without contributing something. When we really are in need and then search for help, our outlook starts to change. Many people are unclear on doctrine but they understand mercy, charity and love.

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      • They just don’t take care of those in need very much. Maybe some kind hearted individuals do (I’ve experienced this personally) but charitable works are not insttutionalized within the organization (remember the widow and fartherless child). Rarely do any chaitable works even by individaul JW’s extend past their own membership. You’ve heard of the website that was set up to sell the traveling overseers cars? Why couldn’t those cars (that were paid for by donations) be donated to needy JW families? My opinion, GREED and a lack of love for their fellow man. You know they don’t need the money. As for me, I am thankful for the help Catholic Charities extended my family in our time of need. They didn’t know us, we were not Catholic. All they knew is that their fellow man was in need and they set out to provide aid and comfort to us.
        NO STRINGS ATTACHED!
        Dennis

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        • greybeard says:

          Good points bro,

          Actions speak louder than words. To bad JW’s don’t have a place on there time card for actually helping others in physical need. A MAJOR part of Christ’s ministry! Somehow they miss what it was that actually attracted everyone. What they turn around an say is those are “rice christians”.

          They would rather use the Bible to beat people over the head with it than help those in need. Sure they fix homes after a disaster but this in minimal compared to what they could be doing. Most of it is for show in my opinion. Maybe I’m wrong. I am sure some have good motive but the JW/org only cares about control and hoarding money. How many lives could be saved if they started meeting in homes like the first century Christians and gave their billions in assets to the sick, hungry and poor? They do not obey Christ in the most basic teachings.

          Jesus said at Matthew 9:13, “Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.”

          JUST WHAT DOES THAT MEAN???

          HOW can WE show mercy???

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  9. chris says:

    Hi Dennis,
    Its accounts like this that show how much the the WTS brainwashing makes their works drip with hypocrisy.
    Many years ago the old Branch facility here was sold to the Seventh Day Adventists when then Society built a nice new one.
    Its just a building they said.
    7 years ago a local Kingdom Hall was sold to the Exclusive Brethren.
    Its just a building they said.
    Some years back a brother, who had his own painting company, painted a Catholic School- He was stood down as an elder and reproved for taking money from a false religious organisation.
    Such Hypocrites
    Sickens me really!

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    • Chris,

      Good story! It would almost be laughable if they didn’t destroy so many lives. Your story reminded me of another that we’re all aware of. The Society can be a member of the UN so they can use the UN library but the rank and file can’t be a member of the YMCA to use their gym facilities. There are so many more that could be added too (Malawi & Mexico). Crazy!!! I am just so thankful that I was once blind but now I see.

      Yours in Christ Jesus our Lord,
      Dennis

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  10. man oh man says:

    Enjoyed the article. It helped me realize why I keep getting a spiritual headache at the meetings.

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  11. DanielB says:

    Good points . The very mindset determines how much love and giving exists and to whom it “should” be extended . Since the organization considers itself the only true religion , and we are to do these things “especially to those related to us in the faith” , this factors in . Plus , generosity for true needs is not particularly focused on like Jesus and the Apostles had focused on .

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  12. Camelot says:

    Very well said GB! I wasn’t a baptized witness for many years (6) but I was associated and familiar with them on and off for much of my life. The authority they had resinated “confidence” with me because they had the truth. Scpitures on top of scriptures along with the interpretations convinced me this was the truth Jesus spoke of. Knowledge was power. The downfall was they didn’t quite have the heart to back it up. Elders with distant personalities who didn’t go out in service. People didn’t speak of “problems”…you had to carry your own sorrows. My husband was diagnosed with CKD in stage 3 two years ago. I was devasted by the news. The support given was “Rely on Jehovah.” I DA myself a year later after much research. It was a friendly love bombing congregation on the surface. It was a cold distant congregation stuck in cult mentality under the surface. I saw little mercy and sacrifical love. They knew me, my husband and our child for 6 years. Although I am no longer a witness my husband, who is ill, always attended meetings with me. This congregation seemed to like him very much. You would think that they would consider stopping by to check on him and say hello. Nope. My house is skipped when they are on my street. My child and husband have been ruled out I guess. My JW daughter must shun me but in doing so she is no longer around my husband and child (age 5) because she cannot have meals with me or vacation with me. This took her away from all of us, not just me. It’s really a shame to think no one cares that my daughter has lost her family or how my husband and child are dealing with it. No calls, No knocks. No heart.

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  13. John S says:

    Dear sister Camelot,I will pray for your family,and I know the Holy Spirit has been carrying you all in his arms.The days now appear to get darker,as a storm is approaching.Just do this:get your mind and heart ready for some tough times as things are about to change.We probably won’t have much soon,even computers,or electricity may be limited,as money is getting shorter and it’s value also.Find friends as you go,or deal with love and mercy to all.Think of those in your charge as your main resposibility and aid them to live and be calm thru the turmoil.Those in the Witnesses that have a good heart will slowly start walking out like dazed zombies,or they will charge out now,onto the web with power,looking for the others.Keep looking,and keep hoping this is it that’s coming.Read Matt.24,25 over and again,get ready.It’s coming and all will change soon,now…………I have read your posts,you are not alone.

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  14. confused says:

    camelot,
    Hi sister, im so sorry this has happened to your family. Your story is not isolated……they (the org and congregations) pretend to show love because they are told “no-one else in the world shows love like the friends”…..if this is love, I would hate to see if you didnt like me then….they dont have God’s approval no matter how “self righteous” they think THEY ARE!!!!!
    This is what happens when you leave God out of worship….
    Yesterday, while I was on a very long walk I ran into a man and he was rather a bit “chatty” but he asked me if I was a christian and I told him I have always considered myself one and then he asked me WHERE I worship (it caught me off gaurd), I told him I do not belong to a “church” but I used to attend the kingdom hall for almost 30 years and he said “if I were going to worship any organization it would be them”…….we parted ways after that and I thought how well he summed up what I did decade after decade……as I walked away, I felt so alone and empty. So many wasted years and lost family ties, and left now with my family broken too because of my choosing to not follow the org.

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  15. Camelot says:

    @John S thanks for the support. I liked the point that I ought to focus on those I care for as my responsibility. I had a christian friend tell my recently that the numbers in the US are falling in regards to the organization, but climbing in foreign countries especially where the access to the Internet as a means of life is limited. Awareness is the leading cause of those leavaing due to the information available. The sad consequence is that the resources available for counseling and support leaving the organization is little.
    @ confused: Don’t feel alone or empty because there are many of us in the same boat. We are not organized but we are comrades. I understand your experience. Do not let the time spent in to be stamped a waste. There was good involved and the most important factor is you are OUT. You will not live another day in a cult. You are a someone who can inspire others leaving. I appreciate your commments here. Have a wonderful day friend!

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  16. Jaco v Z says:

    Thank you for the article, Greybeard.
    I faded three years ago after exposing child molestation, slander and fornication in a congregation in South Africa. I served as an MS back then, in my middle 20s. Nothing was done to any of the perpetrators (as should be expected) since all these had happened longer than 2 years earlier. After “fading” I had no contact with any Witnesses, except my dear mother, and the odd phone call a missionary and an African brother would make just to hear how I was doing. I was doing just fine, since I was free and I used biblical resources to my disposal to strengthen my faith according to my personal needs. Obviously this is confusing to the indoctrinated, since they believe that one would regress into utter debauchery without the help of holy Watchtower spirit dispensed by the Governing Messiahs. Just this week I attended a memorial service of a loved one who died. She was the mother of a childhood friend mine, a non-Witness, and someone who loved me dearly. I also had the honor of singing her favorite song in the church where the memorial service was held. Word quickly spread that Jaco sang in a church and it caused much confusion among the Witnesses who learnt about it. What was so funny was that I got a threatening phone call the next morning by a Pioneer who had been a 1975 survivor, and yes you guessed correctly, she was VERY self-righteous and judgmental. We also grew up in front of her. What was so funny, was that she NEVER even bothered to make contact with me after I “faded.” None of them could have been bothered as to how I was doing, especially since reports of my expose of the events in the other congregation spread like wildfire. Yet, they could jump when they saw opportunity to judge and condemn. How loving is that? In whose demented mind does that pass as Christ-like? Then again, religious self-righteousness is the one thing impenetrable to God’s imputed righteousness. The strongest drug cannot numb human cruelty as effectively as religious self-righteousness does. It just made me realise: get out of there. Get those fanatics off your back. Flee out of Babylonian bondage, not only physically, but also administratively…

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    • JJ says:

      Welcome to the site Brother Jaco. Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s great to know that you have kept your faith intact after leaving.

      Your brother,
      JJ

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  17. confused says:

    Jaco,
    I enjoyed reading your insight….yep, a very real lack of love and concern. The only real concern is trying to “catch” you at something. I lost my religion and trying (as most here already have found) faith. Im not whining, just stating a fact….time heals, this I know. It helps reading experiences like yours that I did make the right choice and it was not “just me” who felt like something was so very wrong.

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  18. DanielB says:

    Dear Jaco ;

    I noticed you had said ” It just made me realise: get out of there. Get those fanatics off your back. Flee out of Babylonian bondage, not only physically, but also administratively… ”

    Curiously I wonder if you are considering making your ‘fade’ into their “disassociated” catagory .

    When I faded away from them it wasn’t long before there was a snooping into my affairs which were after I actively made the choice to begin a new life elsewhere . At that point a previous elder rival took the other 2 “brothers” along to see me , and without any discussion told me a letter would follow . In a couple weeks I was killed regarding any family and loved ones . I was curious as to where you find yourself in the process of these political men . ? ?

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    • Jaco v Z says:

      Dear DanielB,

      When I started to fade 3 years ago, it was like I had never been a Witness before. I had started to make friends with decent non-Witnesses, simply because I knew that I would have been rejected in an instant. Word on the can of worms I opened quickly spread and I was instrumental in letting people know what was going on, since that was my way of voicing my disappointment and my sense of injustice.

      I remember counting off the months after my leaving. I just prayed that I wouldn’t return and that I’d maintain my integrity in keeping my resolve. I had started to study Psychology and Linguistics again, so I knew how oppressive groups work from a Social Psychological point of view. 2009 was also the year I partook of the emblems of the Lord’s Meal, since I had a work-colleague about my mother’s age who was a Torah-keeping Christian, who invited me to join them in celebrating the Lord’s death. It was such an amazing experience!

      But I decided not to disassociate myself, since the whole thing about my leaving was so immense to my mother. My younger brother had left several years earlier, but as the elder brother and the one who got our family to join the Witnesses in the first place, I was the one looked up to for guidance and support. Suddenly I was gone and I did it intentionally. I later moved to a town 150 miles away from where I used to stay, so I felt I could live my life without having any of my new friends and associates ever to know I was a Witness. Last year I attended the One God Conference in Atlanta and gave a talk on Psalm 110:1 there. That talk can be viewed at http://www.21stcr.org under “July.” It is just a matter of time and more and more Witnesses will realise that I’ve left that Organisation long ago. My “membership” is only administrative and that is the issue.

      I used to know what the Elders’ Manual say about disfellowshipped family members. I’m also aware of the inconsistencies and mixed messages we used to get as to how to treat cooled off and disfellowshipped relatives. I do not know what the latest Elders’ Manual has to say about it, though. Earlier this week I had a very emotional discussion with my mom and I told her that people’s judgment can not be construed to be Jehovah’s especially if we see a contradiction between the judgment and the character of Jehovah and Jesus. But I also know that she will battle to make peace with the IDEA of my being disassociated. The IDEA that I wasn’t disfellowshipped is but a Psychological comfort to her, even though she would otherwise admit that I’m no longer a Witness at heart and will never return to that.

      So, I’m in a bit of a cross-roads again. My issue is not the contact with Witnesses since I’ve out-grown their whole mentality. After my completing my Honours Degree in Psychology I’d like to do my Master’s in Theology by thesis. I’m moving on and I really couldn’t be bothered over whether the Watchtower sets another date for Armageddon or not. My issue is my mother. I don’t want her to be sad for the rest of her life and if those cultists were to prevent her from contacting me I’d even get the media involved to expose how inhumane the Watchtower truly is. We do not know when the end will come and that day and hour is simply irrelevant. To assume that none of us will see death and use that as an excuse to not look after the relationships we hold dear is utterly foolish. So, I think it’s understandable that I’m so cautious as to what decision I make, not thinking of myself alone, but also of the repercussions it will have on my mother and our relationship.

      As soon as my interview with my brothers in Atlanta is put up on the Net, I’ll let y’all know. It had everything to do about my exiting the Watchtower concentration camp…

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    • Jaco v Z says:

      My reply to you just disappeared, DanielB…I’ll type it again…

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      • Jaco v Z says:

        I’m currently at a cross-roads, DanielB. The reason why I didn’t disassociate myself was purely for my dear mother’s sake. The IDEA that I’m not disfellowship does provide some comfort to her, even though she would admit that I have no desire to be a Witness anymore. It’s merely the hope in her heart that I might return.

        When I served as an MS, I was provided with material on how to treat disfellowshipped family members, but these instructions were contradictory many times. I don’t know what the latest Elders’ Manual says about the topic. Earlier this week my mom and I had a very emotional phone call and she admitted that she couldn’t obey the judgment of people if that contradicts the judgment and character of Jehovah and Jesus. But my leaving for good would still be heart-rending to her.

        Last year May I attended the One God Conference in Atlanta and gave a talk there on Psalm 110:1. She knew about it and was actually ok with that. She can see that I’ve moved on, but to be constantly looking over my shoulder and think how it would impact my “membership” with the Watchtower is not cool. I’m free but there are still some strings attached.

        My talk can be viewed at http://www.21stcr.org. I’m also expecting the interview they had with me about my exiting the Watchtower Village to be put on that site soon…

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  19. DanielB says:

    Brother Jaco . . .

    I can understand what you mean concerning your position regarding your mother . It is very reassuring to have such a mother’s love . Glad to hear she thinks “outside the box” so to speak .

    I have a copy of a summary of the 2010 Watchtower Elders’ Manual that was mentioned on this site recently . If you would like to view this , re: disfellowshipping etc. , you will find it for download at christianwitnesses.com . Some of it’s details will no doubt interest you .

    I looked over the link you cited for the “One God Conference” , though couldn’t find the right way to navigate to your talk . If you could suggest how to locate it , I am sure that others here and I would like viewing it . Ps 110: 1 looks to be an outstanding basis for a talk ! I look forward to seeing your exit – interview as well .

    There is a link at the top of this page to the Forum here at this site . I hope you explore it and take some time to join us in any of the subject discussions . You will need to log in to post , and you will see more than one way to check out any subject . If you would like seeing the most current posts , I suggest you look near the bottom of the initial page and find the “Active Members” link , from where you can view the most recent comments from the top down .

    Nice having you here . I hope you comment more . Your experience and thoughts are appreciated .

    brother dan

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  20. Willie says:

    Dear Greybeard, I’m afraid that we were on two different wave-lengths (above) in the subjects we were discussing. I was not discussing what one religious group or another religious group believes or does; I was discussing what the New Testament in particular says on the subject of giving to the poor. My purpose was to show that however many times the word “poor” is used in the New Testament in regard to Christ and the followers of Christ “contributing to the poor,” it is almost always the poor of the spirit-begotten Church that is being referred to. Do you know of any instances where Jesus or his followers were admonished to contribute to any of the poor who were NOT of the household of faith? The only Scripture which I could find that was not definitive in language was Gal. 2:10, where Paul was requested by James, Peter (Cephas) and John, the pillars of the Church in Jerusalem (Gal 2:9,1), to “remember the poor” and Paul said, “the same which I also was forward to do.” Considering Paul’s other discussions on the subject, one would expect him to be consistent in his teaching, so by extrapolation we believe that they and he were referring to the poor of the household of faith.

    Paul’s letter in Romans 15:25 reads, “But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. {26} For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achacia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. {27} It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things” [i.e., material goods such as food and clothes, as it is thought that Jerusalem was experiencing a famine at the time; or perhaps they were more severely persecuted than the other congregations].

    The Old Testament had many laws in regard to taking care of the poor of the house of Israel and the stranger within their gates. II Cor. 9:9 says–”(As it is written [in Psa. 112:9] He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.” The principles of giving were stated in II Cor. 9:7 where we read, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” II Cor. 9:1 set the criteria for this entire chapter by beginning: “For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you.” Paul is being facetious here, for actually the Corinthians were quite wealthy as a congregation, but also stingy. There is no record that I know of that they ever contributed to the financial needs of the Apostle Paul.

    You said, “I do not believe in ‘once saved always saved’ and I hope that is not what you took out of my article.” No, Greybeard, that never entered my mind. It seemed to me that you were still on the Clanging Cymbals theme and missed MY point entirely. Matt. 25:31-46, which I discussed, is referring to the Kingdom Age because it begins with the qualifying fact: “When the Son of man shall COME IN HIS GLORY”–a future event, wouldn’t you say?.

    If I am considered to be one of those who write in a “matter of fact” way like I know it all, I apologize; it is just my style. No one has to believe what I say, anymore that I have to believe what they say. I may change my mind on something I have written here, if–in the future–I think the Bible teaches it some other way than the way I understand it at the present. I assume that if they–the other contributors/writers–are writing it, then that is their opinion; however, I have made an effort to sprinkle a few IMO here and there for the sake of the more sensitive readers, though I do not naturally use that phrase.

    I heartily endorse the Scripture of I Cor. 13:13 which says, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity [love], these three; but the greatest of these is love”; however, I believe that most people don’t understand the implications. FAITH will not be needed in the Kingdom Age for all things will be made plain. HOPE will no longer be necessary for everything that anyone ever hoped for–and more, too–will be available to all the obedient in the Kingdom Age and beyond. Therefore, LOVE will abide. As it is now the greatest commandment, so it will be in the Ages to Come–love for God, the Creator of all; love for Jesus, the Savior of the world; and love for your neighbor as you love yourself.

    Respectfully,

    Sister Willie

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  21. greybeard says:

    Dear Sister Willie,

    You asked me, “Do you know of any instances where Jesus or his followers were admonished to contribute to any of the poor who were NOT of the household of faith?”

    I must ask you, “where is it taught in the Bible that Christians are only to be charitable to those who are in the household of faith?” Is this how most Bible Students believe? Please forgive me… but if this is so, that might explain their slow growth.

    Please tell me, are all of your neighbors “of the household of faith?” Are we to “love our neighbor as ourself” only if they are “of the household of faith”? Are we to only show mercy to those who are “of the household of faith”? Who are our enemies we are to love and how do we do that?

    Jesus told the young rich man, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Matthew 19:21 Why didn’t he qualify that and say, “give to those poor in the “household of faith”? Is that what you thought he meant? Matthew 5:48

    Is not God himself charitable to both the righteous and the wicked?

    Matthew 5:44-48, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” What is the point in these scriptures???

    Clearly you and I define love and mercy differently. We look at the events in the Bible differently. Yes we are to do good and show mercy especially to “those related to us in the faith” but this does NOT exclude those who are not does it? Galatians 6:10

    I could go on and on with this subject but I think I have said enough.

    Yes, I do believe Jesus return is a future event,

    As far as faith goes it is my opinion that it will always be a needed requirement. I see your point but I do not agree. Many people have had things “made plain” to them and they still did not believe their eyes. They walked through the Red Sea on dry land… Jesus resurrected the dead… the list goes on and on and many lacked faith. Faith will always be a requirement in my opinion… Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t think so ;)

    Your brother in Christ,
    Greybeard

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  22. Scatteredsheep says:

    Dear Bro. Greybeard,

    May I just add Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) to your list of scriptures that show we should be generous to any who need our help?

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    • greybeard says:

      Amen! Here Christ used a Samaritan, non Jew, a person who was not in the “household of faith” to signify what true love really is. To be knowledgeable of all scriptures then miss the TRUE message of LOVE is to strain out the nat and gulp down the camel. Who did that? Matthew 23:10

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  23. DanielB says:

    Exactly . If someone even demands from us , though he is an adversary , we are encouraged by our Master to go 2 miles for that person , and not just one . This way we prove ourselves sons of our Father in heaven : Matthew 5: 40-48 .

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  24. Anonymous says:

    GB,
    AMEN brother!!!!!! And WHO determines WHO “those related to us in the faith are”???? Did Jehovah say “only you Bible students or JW”???? No he did not. What a very selfish kind of love. It’s not supported by what Jesus taught. I want to follow Christ Jesus example, if I don’t show love as a Christian to others then everything else I do is nothing. I have to agree with those that uphold the scriptures. I can’t isolate one scripture like we all used to as JW’s and ignore all the other scriptures pertaining to charity.

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  25. Willie says:

    Dear Greybeard, How did we get here? The point of my original comment under “Clanging Cymbals” was about the dangers of teaching a social gospel and dealing with social issues as church projects, the way many nominal churches do. I said, “As you may know, some preachers have used Matt. 25:41-46 to preach a “social gospel” with the thought that the more you contribute–the more you will be blessed with earthly blessings. They also use some of the Old Testament promises to the Jews to reinforce this erroneous teaching. Mega-churches are built in this fashion with “love” being stressed along with very little condemnation of sin….” I devoted a paragraph to emphasize that Matt. 25:31-46 is a Kingdom Age picture–for Christ has not yet “come in his glory” (vs. 31). I ended with this: “Though we are to be loving and merciful (Luke 6:36) to our earthly families (I Tim. 5:8), and especially to our spiritual family (I John 3:16), [thus] we would never be cruel to even our enemies (Matt. 5:44) if we are walking in the footsteps of Christ….” Did everyone skip over this paragraph?

    You replied with more of the “Clashing Cymbals” theme, which I did not address except in reference to the Matt. 25:31-46 scripture, and near the end you wrote: “As far as groups who get together in the name of Christ and do good, overlooking there doctrinal differences, feeding the hungry, taking care of widows, orphans and healing the sick… you can call that a “social gospel” if you choose too… I have more respect for them than I do people who preach doctrine and do nothing to help their fellow man.”

    In my last reply I asked for Scriptures concerning contributing to the poor in the New Testament and I gave some examples of what I had found. I was most pleased with your pointing out Galatians 6:10 which says, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” That was the sort of Scripture which I had in mind and goes along with the thought of loving your neighbor as yourself; however, this does not cause me to think that we should be organizing clothes closets, day care facilities for old or young, or soup kitchens, though I know a dear isolated Brother that delivers Meals on Wheels. I cannot tell you what Bible Students believe on this, as each ecclesia is absolutely independent. I have personally been assisted in some way four times by individual Bible Students for which I am very thankful. I know of one ecclesia that takes care of its members in an exemplary way, but fails miserably in dealing with morals problems. Which is more important? Aren’t both dealing with love? Does their manifestation of generosity cancel out a terrible neglect of “loving righteousness and hating iniquity”?

    As for the rich young ruler, he was a very good man, but he was not consecrated to Christ; he loved his possessions more than he loved Jesus and went away sorrowfully. Giving to the poor was really not the issue there–disposing of his wealth was the overwhelming obstacle to his following the Master. Likewise, in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, nobody was pictured as consecrated, but the despised Samaritan turned out to be the good neighbor–not the priest or the Levite, both considered to be “religious” men. Those two examples do not answer the question: “Do you know of any instances where Jesus or his followers were admonished to contribute to any of the poor who were NOT of the household of faith?” A possible answer is John 13:29 which says, “For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag [the money bag], that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.” I did not mention that one initially because we do not know if this was referring to the poor of the Brethren–so that they could buy what they needed for the feast–or if it was referring to the poor in general?

    Anonymous said, “I can’t isolate one scripture…and ignore all the other scriptures pertaining to charity.” Well neither can I.

    Though my question was very specific and honestly posed, by now I am very sorry that I asked it. I think that you jumped to conclusions, Greybeard, and put the worst possible spin on that simple question by supposing all kinds of negative things that I never never mentioned. Those who commented after you followed suit, implicating the Bible Students for this “very selfish kind of love”–according to Anonymous. Who mentioned the BS and the JW? NOT ME! Several times I have asked not to be thought of in terms of my knowledge of Pastor Russell, for I am simply not representative of most Bible Students–and who is? since they are all independent ecclesias. I try to base my beliefs on what the BIBLE teaches–not what Pastor Russell taught, per se. My comments and opinions should not be pinned on the Bible Students; neither should the thoughts and opinions of the Bible Students you have met or read about or what you have heard or what you think about them–be pinned on me. Thank you for this consideration.

    Respectfully,
    Sister Willie

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    • greybeard says:

      Dear Sister Willie,

      I am not here to argue with you or anyone else. It is not my intention to “pin” anything on anyone and if I have done that, I apologize. I think it is very clear to most people on this forum that I do love the Bible Students. They happen to be one of the few groups I have associated with sense leaving the JW’s. When it comes right down to it, we probably do agree on most things. You wouldn’t condemn me if I started a soup line for the homeless in my area would you? I wouldn’t think so. I spend much time helping recovering alcoholics and drug addicts regardless of their relationship with Christ. You wouldn’t condemn me for that would you? I don’t think you would. I do not condemn anyone myself, however, when the focus of some people is more on doctrine then love shown to others, it rings my bell, like a clanging cymbal. I am not pointing the finger at you or anyone else. Hebrews 10:24 tell us, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” That is all I am trying to do. Without doing that, I do not see how we can attract anyone to Christ. The scriptures are clear, Christ and his disciples did it so we should too as best we can in my opinion.

      With love,
      Your brother in Christ,
      Greybeard

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  26. Jaco v Z says:

    Brother Dan,

    Thanks for the link. Yes, the WT gets increasingly cultic as time passes. It’s truly dead spirituality.

    You can check out my talk or download my paper here:http://www.21stcr.org/past_features/july_2011.html.

    I’ll keep you guys posted on developments although I won’t be keeping my breath. What will be will be – those people are simply not important enough to lose sleep over…

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  27. John S says:

    What did Christ spend most of his time providing?Fish and bread?Of course his miracles of healing were wonderful,and alleviated the suffering of the people.This showed he was from God,and was indeed the Messiah.
    What was the work the Lord commanded the Apostles to do?
    What was the nature of his charge to the disciples at Matt.28:19,20?
    What did the first century Apostles ask for ministerial servants to be appointed?Wasn’t it so they could devote time to TEACHING?

    So what some may show great kindness and mercy by providing for the poor and needy,which characterizes billions today,as our Lord said to Mary,”….Martha chose the good portion…”(Luke 10:42),when she ministered to Jesus,and LISTENED to his teachings,instead of putting too much emphasis on food.

    “Work not for the food that perishes,but for that which remains for everlasting life”,he said.(John 6:27) This is the gospel,although we should love our neighbors as ouselves,and not neglect the doing of good for others.Because of the magnitude of poverty,as Jesus said,”You always havethe poor with you”,and the tendency of some to take advantage of the kindnesses of others,or even the concept of a welfare state,which at this time has added to governments burdens that soon they will be unable to continue, Christians today can see the need to FOCUS on saving the souls of the people,primarily,as Jesus commanded.This is the notable work the Holy Ones are noted and accused of.” these have the –work–of bearing witness to Jesus.Rev.12:17

    We would ask if this comment would indicate a desire to be noticed as a clashing symbol,”John,are you still trying to be loud on this subject,like a clashing symbol”? I don’t suppose quoting Christ’s sayings is trying to bring glory to myself,but of course when we are discussing viewpoints,I certainly want to introduce mine,naturally,as that is what conversation is.In this case,as we are supposed to ADOPT the Lord’s viewpoint,what I consistently endeavor to do is show HIS directives on important matters.Of course we all must determine the circumstances and opportunities that we personally perceive,and should not judge harshly what others decide to do.We therefore do not put ourselves in the position of judges.Some can afford to give millions.Personally,I am just struggling to pay for necessities.

    I write for what I perceive to be our Lord’s view,and have tied to help others clearly see that,not falsehoods(particularly scriptural) of men.I wish the brothers here could see this as my motive all along,please.

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    • greybeard says:

      Your a good person John with a good kind heart, we all can see that… We all are entitled to our opinions. Nobody here agrees on everything 100% that I know of. I believe everyone here has good motive. I hope you agree.

      Your brother in Christ,
      Greybeard

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  28. John S says:

    Brother Jaco V

    I see similarity in your comment about not losing sleep over what the G.B. are up to,and having dread over any outlaws,demons,or wicked governments.Like you.I am tired of their callous diregard for the afflictions of even the poor and HUNGRY among JW’s ….let alone others.This was I believe the crux of Greybeard’s argument to start with,as the GB certainly has the funds to feed the poor among the witnesses,or allocate funds for at least RELIEF.During hurricane damage down here in the south,they COORDINATED relief efforts and loans to repair roofs of some bros.and sisters,and in many cases pressed these for donations to reclaim costs of shingles,materials,etc.Some Witnesses were shocked when they received letters for cash reimbursements,as they assumed these were gifts of mercy.I was here during the gigantic disaster of Hurricane Katrina.To my knowledge,the donated goods were all from our brothers,who out of their hearts donated truckload after truckload of clothes,food,water,shoes,NEW Electrical GENERATORS costing 5-800 dollars each.Where are all those generators that were donated?Were they sold and the money went to the “Society”?They were brand new,out of the box,and used only a few days,then put back up,never needed again.Where did they go?Wouldn’t it be nice,if the Society just ONCE would have said this truth,”Brothers,our brothers in Cote’d Ivory,Africa,are starving.For years now,they have subsisted on one small meal of rice,flavored in a big pot of just the peelings of one orange(true story from a relative of a missionary there).Would you like to send them an expression of their love,by a special love donation of cash to be sent to that branch in Africa,and earmarked for the following villages…and for food,only,and not any accomodations,computers,or any comforts of that branch?”
    Of course that would be dreaming,and we will never see such a thing,as that “leopard” has become known by its spots. Jer.13:23 They have no funds for feeding hungry Witnesses,although we could have been proudly doing this for decades if they would have set up the charity instead of building their religious empire,like it seems most big churches wind up doing when fortunes come pouring in.

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  29. Anonymous says:

    And furthermore what is sad, is the attitude of helping those in need. Where does anyone get off accusing Christians of not “ministering” to the poor? They do ALL the time and feed them too, ah but if your a JW or “bible student” your taught that “churches” don’t REALLY help out spiritually, simply not true, guess ignorance is bliss for some.
    GB—-just want to say I appreciative your comments. You have some wisdom brother.

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  30. DanielB says:

    Very nice Brother Jaco . I am glad you seized the opportunity to be specific to the title of that One God convention as you did . It is sorely needed among the world of Christians that we live within .

    I have had several psych classes in college though majored in art . In recent years I have come to appreciate exit counselling that would be so beneficial for those who were somewhat related to us “in the faith” from the years gone by . They truly live in denial : “not a sect / not a cult” .

    I had been instrumental in influencing some family into that organization too . We are bound to have some rewards along the way by speaking up when there is opportunity , in order to help them awaken from the tainted (& wrong) course they are still associated with . I appreciate how you and your mother are observant to such thinking and conduct that is against the thinking and conduct of the Son and The Father .

    I had a pleasant surprise last night . A family member thanked me for sending an interview of Brother Mark Martin concerning his exit , by Brother JJ here on this blog . Little steps . . . Let’s keep praying for release from bondage that loved ones must inevitably realise .

    Your zeal and spirit are appreciated !

    I’m with you . When there is opportunity to speak truth , take it .

    Your Bubba . . .

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  31. man oh man says:

    (John 13:34, 35) 34 I am giving YOU a new commandment, that YOU love one another; just as I have loved YOU, that YOU also love one another. 35 By this all will know that YOU are my disciples, if YOU have love among yourselves.”

    Sounds like showing love is a higher priority than preaching.

    Also, (Galatians 6:10) 10 Really, then, as long as we have time favorable for it, let us work what is good toward all, but especially toward those related to [us] in the faith.

    And what about the teaching of the good Samaritan? How do you love your neighbor as yourself if you do not reach out a helping hand?

    Was also thinking that Jesus fed thousands at once, something we can only do ourselves collectively. He said WE would do greater works.

    Are some rice Christians? Sure, but should we judge or trust? Jesus in John chapter six when he said to work for food that doesn’t perish, had just fed those people. Then was able to teach some of them. Which in doing so even stumbled some of his followers. Charity requires balance.(2 Thess 9-12)

    Before telling Peter to “feed my lambs” Jesus actually helped the disciples catch their breakfast. They caught more than they could eat.

    It seems that looking after others materially and saving there souls goes hand in hand. Obviously the spiritual portion is of greater value, but the Bible clearly teaches charitable works.

    Should also add this one:

    (James 1:27) 27 The form of worship that is clean and undefiled from the standpoint of our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation, and to keep oneself without spot from the world.

    The Watchtower Society keeps crashing together their cymbals, and I would say they are made of pure gold as opposed to brass as they continue to suck every dollar they can out of the faithful and then horde it to themselves rather than seeking to help others. They claim preaching is the highest priority and make it a mighty fine business venture at that. May all True Christians continue bringing glory to God the Father and Jesus Christ by working what is good towards everyone and seek to help them in this life and most certainly prepare them for the life that is to come.

    Almost forgot: This is just my opinion!

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  32. JohnS says:

    Good argument man oh man,well said, I have to Amen that myself.

    Thanks for the pat on the back B.Graybeard,maybe things can simmer down some. Disunity and animosity will kill the Spirit if the tension stays on too long.Thanks again.Your maturity is a blessing.

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  33. andrew says:

    Yes, John S. there is no way that Christians can agree on all bible subjects. So we can either choose to be tolerant and accept those who differ with us, or we can split ourselves into innumberable different factions over our differences all the time forgetting that we are all servants of one Lord.

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  34. JohnS says:

    I hear what you’re saying Bro. Andrew
    There are degrees of sin,some minor,some major.Degrees in culpability,and blame,as the ignorant gets a minor chastisement,the lying hypocrite,the worst there is.We may all have been stung by a honeybee over the JW experience,or a mean old spiteful yellow jacket for shooing him off our grilled steak.Or somewhere in between.I would like to hope that we can avoid sin,find more truth,and not get stung.Getting at the truth,realizing how it can help us,will encourage us to keep trying,and not think it’s impossible,while like you said,along the way,while searching,we don’t want to be stinging others in the process.
    Thanks for the good counsel,Andrew,I’ll take it as a favor.

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  35. JohnS says:

    I guess we should ask the question then,is there such a thing as obtaining truthful information from the scriptures,or does the Bible say it is not necessary? Would we at this time say that Bible truth cannot be obtained from this JWStruggle site?,or that we should just quit any efforts to learn the “unattainable truth”.Is this the way to go?
    Not to be smart-Alec,but if we follow a line of reasoning out to the end,such as,”No two people can ever agree on Bible truth.” Or,”Even the Governing body of 5 couldn’t agree on what is truth,so how can we expect to here at this site?” So,who aid they are the fountain of wisdom,I know you brothers don’t waste time reading that stuff.
    I would like to discuss this on a new forum,”What is Truth”,I will welcome point and counterpoint views from all.

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  36. DanielB says:

    Andrew you said here , ” there is no way that Christians can agree on all bible subjects. So we can either choose to be tolerant and accept those who differ with us, or we can split ourselves into innumberable different factions over our differences all the time forgetting that we are all servants of one Lord. ”

    I say there is a way that Christians can agree on all bible subjects . The truth is always in agreement with itself . Jesus knew this when he prayed , “Sanctify them (disciples of him) by means of the truth . ” Why ? ” That they may be sanctified by means of truth ” . John 17: 15-26

    Shall we make the prayer of Yeshua invalid ?

    One more thing to ponder . . .

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  37. andrew says:

    Hi Daniel

    There are many knowledgeable, spiritual Christians who have different views on things. Would the correct course of action be to make a list of our personal beliefs and then have potential Christian associates sign off on it so that they are “approved associates”?

    This is how the creeds got started and does not lead to unity amoungst Christians in general only uniformity amoung those who sign off on the creed. It usually leads to insurmountable divisions among brothers.

    Should I seperate myself from my brother because he views the Sabbath differently than I do, or the modern state of Israel etc.?

    In my opinion it is much, much more in harmony with the spirit of Christianity to be tolerant to those who disagree with us over doctrinal or prophetical issues.

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    • JJ says:

      Andrew I appreciate your point. Once we start to itemized the things that a person “must believe to get saved” we are on dangerous ground. This does not negate our Christian conscience- though it gets harder and harder the more you talk and think about it to differentiate between the two…

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  38. JohnS says:

    Right you are as to tolerant,and have love that covers a multitude of sins.I follow your reasoning on making a list if docrine,and approved associates,another good point.
    The Lord has made VERY good points in the Gospel of John.Brother Andrew do you hold beliefs about Christ that you would say the scriptures are absolutely clear on?I know you do.Of course as much as you research and study,as well as others here,there is a big one that is common. Let’s take this as a test case.
    This teaching is common; God had to come to earth in the form of a man,to define himself to man,and suffer and die as a man,showing his love,teaching,and then resurrected himself back to heaven,and this form is at the right hand of himself now in heaven and is the Lord Jesus,while God himself,the Father sits next to him.As for the Holy Spirit,not much is ever said about him,he’s like a ghost that you can’t see,so nobody has much to say,but…he’s part of the Godhead,and these three are one.etc.etc.
    If you live where there are many of Christian faiths you will hear these loose definitions of what has been lumped together and called the Trinity.No one has a clear vision of this belief.And it’s no wonder,as the book of John for one denies this whole teaching…ONCE you can get passed the bias translation ofJohn 1:1. But the only way you can get to that point,is if you READ THE WHOLE GOSPEL of John,and see the whole point Jesus came to make,over and over,is that he was sent by his Father,and TOLD by his Father what to say and preach,suffered and died,and his Father resurrected him back to heaven to be his only-begotten,which you have to go get a dictionary and look up,to see that this means Jesus was the only-procreated son or brought into being son of the Father.Not that he has always been here,but as John 1:1 says,he was there in the BEGINNING.HE WAS the beginning of the creation of God.
    These matters are well known by us,here at ‘Strugglers’ because we read the word,and take the time to research,and DISCUSS with each other what these things mean.Now,I noticed there are no moderators contributing articles on Trinity,and I hope this never occurs.But,this is the point,although we are tolerant,we should gently but firmly correct persons who clearly are in error,as these errors distort the truth,even worse,destroy the truth,and clearly fall into the category of falsehoods(lies).Some,like this doctrine,are a teaching of demons,and are similiar to the teachings of ancient pagan kingdoms,Babylon for one,which God destroyed shortly after the flood.This teaching is an affront to God and his son,offensive to him,as it puts a lie in the place of God.This violates the 1st of the 10 commandments of Moses,a law which truth will never change.”I am Yahweh,your God,who brought you out of the land of Egypt,out of the house of slavery.You shall have no Gods except me.”(NJB)Ex.20:1-3
    How do we feel about this?Would we tolerate this Trinity view being spewed all over on this sight?Or come here for spiritual feasting if this was being served up?Do you begin to see what can happen if we don’t put Bible truth as the GOAL of the moderators,which you Andrew are one,and JJ another,as the all-important prize to run for? But,on the other hand,it may be best to keep the hard line truth or die ATTITUDE back on the forum site,and not stiff-arm those new here and confused,that just occurred to me,too.

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    • JJ says:

      Excellent point John. The example of the Trinity is apropo, as it can be such a decisive issue among Christians, especially those of us that have grown up our entire lives feeling that it comes from pagan triads of gods.

      As a slave of the Lord we do not need to fight. (2 Tim. 2:24) Most of us have, or have had, plenty of that in our lives, up to our eyeballs!

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  39. JohnS says:

    I can also see your correct use of the word,Andrew….tolerant.The dictionary says..”enduring or patient”,so we need not agree with false statements,but patiently allow them,and those holding them to express their beliefs here.Then what we see as truth can be expressed for their consideration.This I see as good.
    If this is your view,I am beginning to talk myself out loud here,around to the clear understanding of the issue.If so,please forgive my arguments.They are proof of my unwarranted attack on TACT and patient LOVE for weaker confused ones.I am sorry I gave offense.

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  40. DanielB says:

    Thanks Andrew , you make me think . I agree with your point about tolerance . My point was clear that there is one faith in Christ . All Christians go through a learning curve , and it is a blessing to associate with so many who are serious about getting things right .

    For now , we just need to live with the fact that the immense tree has so many branches and so many birds all chirping their own tune . At the same time our building needs to be made out of materials that are impervious to fire .

    The love we have here is the prime thing . All else will clear up and whiten as time goes by ; that’s what we can look forward to . The chaff and the straw are just biproducts .

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  41. JohnS says:

    So right brothers,and then we continue back to what one thing all have been saying,love is A,I say again,A prime directive.Jesus said this.He also said,”I am the way and the truth and the life.”
    Do we then conclude one thing is more important than the other?
    JJ,I wish you had quoted that scripture,and not just cited it,as that is an excellent point,please enlarge on that,as I would appreciate what you mean.(2 Tim.2:25,26)
    Thankyou,and I do believe some progress can be made here,as Dan brought out,we are going to have to be patient and give each other some room to breathe now.

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  42. Jaco v Z says:

    Brother Dan,

    As promised, here’s the link to my interview. You’re welcome to distribute it. It would also be nice if this clip could be posted here as a featured article.

    Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....r_embedded

    Hope you enjoy it. I certainly did!

    Jaco

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  43. DanielB says:

    Thank you Jaco . So many will relate to what you explain here as being your experiences . Keep considering the Firstborn of all creation , and His unadulterated Word .

    2 Cor. 10: 5

    dw

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    • DanielB says:

      I felt the need to add , Jaco ,
      there is the subject addressed , at 21st-century-christians.org , “The Nature of Christ” . I would like you to view this to consider it in relation to things you said in your video interview .

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  44. Jaco v Z says:

    DanielB,

    I had a look at that article, but did not find myself impressed by it, really. As a former Philosophy major at Varsity, I simply do not accept the epistemology of church fathers such as Tertullian, hence the non-validity of the approach of Jesus’ “nature” to begin with. Epistemologically speaking, Jesus’ “nature” is irrelevant, since this was not the cognitive realm within which Jesus revealed himself or the apostles reported on him. Hebrew epistemology allows nothing of this sort.

    Not only that, but even though Tertullian believed in the three sharing the same essence he still saw a clear hierarchy in that God the Father, he believed, was greater than Jesus. So subordinationism is what wannabe trinitarians will be stuck with.

    I do think that former Witnesses resorting to traditional Nicean and post-Nicean christology discourage wobbling Witnesses to finally take a stand and leave. Many do get the impression that the Watchtower is true after all, namely, that they’ll sink into Babelish Churchianity. Evangelical Christianity for instance, in my opinion, is more a curse than a blessing in that it fosters a sensational, shallow and hysterical freak-form of Christianity. One of my fb friends, Peter Enns is a Professor in Theology in Pennsylvania. Even though he has a higher Christology than I have, we fully agree on the harm Evangelical Christianity does to people’s spirituality.

    I wanted to make it clear with my interview that Witnesses can leave the Watchtower without ever needing to resort to the philosophical musings and confusion of later Church developments. Essences, natures and beings are philosophical categories alien to First Century Christianity.

    Thanks for the link anyway,

    Jaco

    P.S. And isn’t it nice to be able to disagree and yet to be perfectly fine with it?

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  45. DanielB says:

    Jaco , it seems that your theories and expounded impressions have totally lost me . I speak English . And not “upper-crust” English either .

    Would you be so kind as to run this by me again , in a new set of words , which a mere layman can understand ?

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  46. Jaco v Z says:

    Good day, Daniel

    Sorry if I lost you above. Epistemology is the interpretive scheme or the knowledge frame one brings to the table when a matter is investigated. If an ailment is investigated, for instance, a Western doctor will approach the issue with a different epistemology than a traditional African healer or a Chinese doctor would. The same with Theology.

    It goes without saying that, to accurately understand how the earliest Christians experienced and what they believed about Jesus, one has to also investigate these matters using their epistemology or their scheme within which evidence was interpreted and reported upon. This was undoubtedly Hebraic in theology, history and culture. Certain concepts were therefore Hebraic alone and others could not be reconciled with Hebraic thought. We know Philo attempted reconciling Hellenistic thinking with Hebraic thought, but no true hybridization took place there, as much of his work was metaphorical interpretations of Hebrew history and religion and more of a Greek translation of thoughts than anything else.

    This is unfortunately not the case with later post-biblical Christian writers. Not only do we find a warning that foreign ideas would seep into the early church (one of the earliest contributors to clearly foreign thinking was the writing called the Shepherd of Hermas which was solidly Modalist in its Christology), we see clearly an epistemological deviation from understanding Scripture. Wholly foreign worldviews and categorical concepts were introduced to bridge the gap between what Hebraic thought allowed and not allow and to alleviate any tension it caused to the Hebrew mind. While Yahweh, for instance, was constantly presented in anthropomorphic terms or terms of human reference, then suddenly he was presented as an abstract Being who had to “sound through” personas. A dichotomy between “being” and “person” was introduced (unthinkable to the Hebrew mind) and common factor between these two categories was another alien idea, namely essence or nature. None of these modes of knowledge could ever even be formulated in Hebraic terms. Even if an approximate term could be used to represent these concepts, they’d still not be realised in Hebrew at all. The mere necessity to search for terms to reflect these concepts would be utterly unnecessary since what was revealed and proclaimed about Jesus and Yahweh was sufficient and true Christian monotheism was safeguarded by that. What is more, when a more formal confession was finally arrived at at Nicea and Chalcedon, even then the formula was clearly seen to be rationalised polytheism. But with such a strong and reckless philosophical dictatorship in those days, things such as paradox and contradiction were taken pride in. A formula consisting of sequences of doctrinal statements clearly developing a polytheistic scheme with a final disclaimer denying what was logically developed (polytheism)was therefore embraced without any reservation.

    None of the above developments were necessary to begin with. It was a slow and steady derailment from true Hebraic monotheistic Christianity which escalated to quasi-polytheism and the only gap the camel needed to stick his nose in, so to speak, was a subtle introduction of vague and amorphous philosophical ideas; a superimposition of these onto an unrelated conceptual scheme, namely Hebraic epistemology.

    So from an interpretive perspective, from a perspective of interpretive approach and presupposition frame alone, I completely disagree with the article you referred me to. Such musings have no place, I think, in the thoughts of those who seriously want to unearth the biblical Jesus within the minds of his early followers. Any such endeavors would be as self-defeating and futile as trying to understand Jesus and biblical salvation using a New Age interpretive scheme.

    Thanks,

    Jaco

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  47. DanielB says:

    I see . It’s too simple for you . At any rate , there is a good conversation on the nature of Yeshua where I said , availabe for any to view .

    Thank you for a reply .

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  48. Jaco says:

    Brother Dan,

    Too simple for me? If that is what you see, then you completely misunderstood me. It’s rather too alien, too irrelevant and too inaccurrate for me and many others.

    Remember I’m not ridiculing your position and I hope you’re not ridiculing mine. I feel free to voice my opinion and provide an explanation for it. That is the freedom we longed for in the Watchtower. Let’s celebrate it now that we have it by welcoming even each other’s differences.

    Take care

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  49. DanielB says:

    No ridicule from me . Thank you .

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    • Amos says:

      Brother Jaco,

      What you have said in your last few posts is of major interest to me.
      For the past three years, I’ve neen trying to unearth the first century Jewish mindset regarding the true belief that we should be accepting & following. I personally believe that after the death of the apostles, major adulteration of the Gospel was almost instantanious.
      In Sept/Oct 2009 I began to trace history back to the early believers. I soon realized that I was doing it wrong & needed to go right back to the actual NT times. This has been an ongoing discovery for myself, discovering the “Jewishness of Christianity”.
      For obvious reasons, mainly ridicule, I don’t generally talk openly about this. Could you please send me a PM, as I’d like to discuss this with you in private. I believe we are on the same page.
      I have recently obtained some Jewish writings on this very topic & am almost halfway through my first book. This is certainly an eye opener. I’m reading it very slowly & meditating on almost every sentence before moving on to the next thought.
      This is a whole new ballgame for those who are truely truth seeking.

      Shalom, Amos

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  50. JJ says:

    Jaco

    I appreciate your knowledge on the subject and your strong stand for what you know is right in line with Scripture. Our Heavenly Father is blessing you and your ministry.

    Continue your studies brother. All of us need to search for God and find him, in humility. (Acts 17:27)

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  51. Disappointed says:

    Bro Jaco.
    That was a very interesting interview and although I don’t go along with everything you believe I found your stand for what you believe in as truth very encouraging.I particulary liked what you said at the end ‘that I am not forced to stick to a group and in the process harm myself, harm my spirituality.’ This is so true! It is very damaging to ones spirituality to be made to feel forced to go along with doctrines you cannot believe in or in the process have the consequences of losing all your family and friends and to be made to feel that rejecting an organisation is equivalent to rejecting God himself.

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  52. Ruth says:

    Bro Jaco Greetings from a lover of one truth.

    Your interview was very interesting. I have to say Im very close to some of things you say!
    YOu realise we do not need any organisation nor church to teach us.
    As Yeshua is the head of the congregation you also see everything is through him and for him.

    Im also very interested in what you say that are free in the law of Liberty right now.
    We can separate ourselves knowing we now have this freedom if people in our sphere are not coming across biblically. We do have this freedom. Mina issues we a free to disagree. On essentials we have a right to stand for truth.

    I believe we already have that glory right now being as we sit on earth feeling as Paul says already being seated with him in heavenly places. Ephesians 2. When we realise the spirit is alive and well, guiding the true saints One does not need to die to be with our lord as he is in our midst right now if we are truly saints.

    With the holy spirit to greater understanding as we continue digging will enable us to be a peace.
    Keep searching brother.

    very interesting young man. Thanks. Ruth.

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  53. Jaco v Z says:

    Amos,

    Thank you for your reply. Yes, to understand the Jewish mindset of ancient New Covenant Christianity is the challenge today. We are NOT short of resources, though. To mention just three, do yourself the favor and order the book, The Only True God by James McGrath, Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes by Kenneth E. Bailey and Did the First Christians Worship Jesus? by James Dunn. You can send me a mail at jvzyl@buckman.com or talkingdonkey1981@gmail.com.

    Thanks for the encouragement, JJ. The more one learns, the more one realises how much more needs to be learnt. We are all on the same road, friend, thank you.

    Disappointed, you are correct. Truth and one’s relationship with Jehovah and Jesus are of utmost importance. The Watchtower expected of us to compromise our zeal for truth for the sake of unity (in fact, the early president, Fred Franz and his spokesmen admitted to this in the Walsh Case in the 1950s, if my memory serves me right. ‘Unity at all cost – even at the cost of truth’). A great book on the issue of preexistence is Christology in the Making by James Dunn. I devoured this book several times, and am sure you’ll enjoy it too. http://www.focusonthekingdom.org also has GREAT articles on the issue.

    Sis. Ruth, thank you for your message. Yes, we experience the reality of living in the future kingdom right now already. That is called eschatological (end-times) reality. The future now. We can now represent our King and Our Creator, as Jesus is himself the face or reflection of God (2 Cor. 4:4-6). As the one who brought God close and who brought us closer to God, we will be the closest to God we’ll ever be when he returns in glory, we’ll put on immortality and like him, have the face of God when we’ll rule on David’s throne. If you are interested, you can visit the site, http://www.lhim.org/blog and enjoy some of the articles and engagements we have on there. Search particularly for the page, http://lhim.org/blog/2012/02/0.....hallenged/ and http://lhim.org/blog/2011/09/1.....salm-1101/.

    God bless us all,

    Jaco

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