How far does our world-wide brotherhood extend? Is it limited to just ONE Christian group? Is it limited to all EXCEPT a particular group? Can we personally judge a denomination as genuine or not genuine, while accepting the fact that Christ is the judge and individuals from this or that group may be sharers in the “one hope” to which we were were called? (Ephesians 4:4, ESV) I certainly don’t have the answers to these questions. These are complex notions to contemplate and perhaps impossible to answer definitively.
It has been mentioned to me (and I agree) that this place is not necessarily a final destination on our Christian journey as servants of the Father and our King Christ Jesus. But no matter where we go online or in the flesh, we continue to try to upbuild our fellow man, and especially our fellow Christian brothers and sisters. (Galatians 6:10, NIV)
Perhaps you have seen the large sign on one of the buildings of the world headquarters of the Jehovah’s Witnesses “Read God’s Word the Holy Bible Daily”. Without doubt this is good advice. And it is true that the organization does encourage bible reading. However this good advice is counteracted by discouraging deep bible study […]
The title of this article is “Rabbinical Legalism and Bible Study”, and I’m going to get to that first point momentarily. But let’s take the second part of the title first. I have finally been getting through Ray’s second book, In Search of Christian Freedom. It is superb, logical, and thought inducing over and over again. But to really understand the content and reasoning I have been looking up many of the references, and with a length of some 700+ pages, it’s taking me some time. That’s a lot to study! But whatever we choose to study though, you’ll agree that balance is needed. If we drench ourselves in an obscure passage of Hebrew Scripture and every footnote and cross-reference available for hours, days, and weeks, is that balanced if we don’t read or study anything else during those days or weeks?
Jehovah’s Witnesses are well-known for their knowledge of the scriptures. We train our children to learn Bible scriptures at an early age. We make scripture flash cards and quiz ourselves. It would be hard to argue that this is anything but a good thing for a Christian to do. However, there can be a downside to this. (1 Corinthians 8:1) Memorized scriptures are learned solely to become “proof texts”. A proof text is a bible verse that is quoted or read to “prove” a certain doctrinal point or idea.
Does anyone want to work on a research project? My belief is that it will positively impact the lives of hundreds or even thousands of us. I’ve wanted to get on this for months, but my free time is very limited lately, as running JWStruggle.com has taken up quite a bit of it as many of you know. Team members will be able to collaborate on the project using Google Docs, so geographic location will be a non-issue. A call to take on the following project is now hereby being made. A small group of reliable people are needed. Read on, and prayerfully decide if you can help us tackle this project:
I have recently exchanged emails with a very experienced and learned Christian brother who has strong writing skills and is familiar with Jehovah’s Witnesses and their plight. I would like to recommend his site to you:
Brother Werner had some very beneficial counsel for me and I thank him publicly here for his thoughtful emailed comments. For those of us that may be coping with cognitive dissonance and/or feelings of guilt from learning things about the WTS that may have shocked us, the following introductory article entitled “Thriving Spiritually” may prove beneficial.