[A Review of the September 15, 2014 Watchtower article on page 7]
“Prove to yourselves the good and acceptable
and perfect will of God.”—Rom. 12:2
Paragraph 1: “IS IT the will of God that true Christians go to war and kill people of a different nationality?”
By this opening question we set the stage for the article’s main point: We have the truth.
Unlike virtually all the major, medium, and minor Christian denominations, as an organization and especially since World War II, our record of refusing to kill our fellowman on the battlefield is exemplary. True, many non-Jehovah’s Witnesses have also applied that command from Jesus and suffered imprisonment and worse for refusing to participate in warfare. Moreover, they did so as individuals, often splitting with the official position of their church leadership. In effect, their stand was harder than ours for they took it on their own, with no support from their peers. But we, as Jehovah’s Witnesses, are not interested in individual, conscience-driven acts of faith and heroism. Our boast is that as an organization, we held fast to our principles.
Good for us!
To be sure, participation in warfare is a good litmus test for identifying false religion. If we are lining up the world’s religions to find the one true one, the sheer number would seem overwhelming. Thus, a religion’s position on participation in war provides a quick way to cull the herd of prospects. No need to waste time on debating doctrine nor reviewing good works. We can simply ask: “Do your members fight in war? Yes. Thank you. NEXT!”
Alas, as Jehovah’s Witnesses, we often forget that this is a disqualification test only. Failing it means you’re not the true religion. However, passing it doesn’t mean you are. There are still other tests to pass.
The True Litmus Test
Focusing in on our record in warfare (We love to point to our history under the Nazis.) we forget that the Jews were commanded by God to kill. They killed millions in their conquest of the Promised Land. If they had refused to obey God and kill, they would have been sinning. Indeed, they did and they were, which is why they wandered the desert for 40 years.
We are therefore faced with two diametrically opposed requirements. A faithful Jew would obey God by engaging in warfare. A faithful Christian will obey God by refusing to engage in warfare.
What is the common denominator? Obedience to God.
Therefore, if we are looking to find the one true religion, we must find those people who are willing to obey God no matter the cost.
Rerunning the Test
As regards killing in warfare, we have obeyed our Lord’s command at John 13:35.
Let’s try another command of his. Paraphrasing the article’s opening question, we can ask:
“IS IT God’s will that true Christians proclaim the death of the Lord by partaking of the wine and bread?”
“. . .For I received from the Lord that which I also handed on to YOU, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which he was going to be handed over took a loaf 24 and, after giving thanks, he broke it and said: “This means my body which is in YOUR behalf. Keep doing this in remembrance of me.” 25 He did likewise respecting the cup also, after he had the evening meal, saying: “This cup means the new covenant by virtue of my blood. Keep doing this, as often as YOU drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as YOU eat this loaf and drink this cup, YOU keep proclaiming the death of the Lord, until he arrives.” (1Co 11:23-26)
Our leadership would say, No! Partaking of the emblems is only for a select few.[i] However, the leadership of the churches of Christendom say it’s alright to kill your nation’s enemies, even if of the same faith. We condemn them saying that they should obey God rather than men. So here you have a clearly stated, unambiguous command from Jesus. It needs no third-party interpretation for you to obey it. It is up to you, the individual, to prove what God’s will is for you. If you cannot find a Scriptural means to exempt yourself from obedience, then you have to obey God. It is really that simple. This is the litmus test of true worship. If you disobey because your leadership tells you to, how are you better than the Catholic who goes to war because his church tells him it’s okay to kill?[ii]
Are We Obeying Christ’s Command to Love?
Refusing to kill one’s fellow man is a passive expression of love. Jesus called for more:
“I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also love one another. . .” (John 13:34)
Notice first that this is not a suggestion, but a command. But why did he refer to it as a new one? Under the Mosaic law code, Israelites were told to love their neighbor as themselves. Jesus was saying in effect, ‘Go beyond that. Love him as I have loved you.’ No longer are we to love our brother as we love ourselves. We are to love him as Jesus loved us. We are talking about being perfected in love. – Mt. 5:43-48
Are we obeying this new command?
If your brother comes to you and says, “I’m going to partake of the emblems at the memorial because I believe all Christians are required to do this in obedience to Christ”, what would you do? What is the “good and acceptable and perfect will of God” for you in this case? Prove him wrong from the Scriptures? Sure, go ahead. But if you can’t, what then?
Perhaps you still believe he is wrong, but you can’t prove it, so would the loving thing not be to leave him be?
“In brotherly love have tender affection for one another. In showing honor to one another, take the lead.” (Ro 12:10 NWT)
If he is wrong, time will tell. Or if he is right, then you will be the one to be corrected in your thinking. Would love motivate you to persecute him? That is the course of action usually taken in these cases. We will disfellowship brothers even when we cannot prove them wrong using the Bible. In fact, we disfellowship because we cannot prove them wrong. We view them as a danger to our carefully constructed, fragile framework of doctrine. Our official doctrine and tradition trumps God’s word.
You may not actually disfellowship an individual yourself, but if you support the decision, how are you different from Saul of Tarsus, who stood off to one side approving of and supporting the action to stone Stephen? Like him, you could become a persecutor. (Acts 8:1; 1 Timothy 1:13)
Every one of us should give serious thought to this, as our own salvation is in the mix. – Mt. 18:6
How would you say that we, as Jehovah’s Witnesses, measure up in obeying John 13:35 now? Is our love hypocritical? – Romans 12:9, 10
The Greatest Educational Work in History
It will be interesting to hear how the brothers express themselves during this study. While the study doesn’t claim that the preaching work of Jehovah’s Witnesses is the greatest educational work of all time, there can be little doubt that most will come away with that impression; ignoring the fact that the good news has been preached for the last two millennia resulting in the conversion of one-third of the earth’s population to some form of Christianity with only a token contribution to the effort by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Nevertheless, we will not discredit the sincere and zealous work of millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses who are truly trying to do their best to help their fellow humans come to an understanding of the Scriptures as they comprehend them.
Still, we need to be even-handed so as not to get a distorted view of our own importance. We may be very impressed by the 2,900 Jehovah’s Witness translators working to render our publications into the many tiny language groups in the world today; but let us remember that before we came along, others were (and still are) busy translating not only their literature, but much more important, the Holy Scriptures into these minority languages. Paragraph 9 mentions the work of our team to translate our publications into Mayan and Nepali. That’s laudable. We have yet to translate the NWT into these languages, but fear not, these people can verify our teachings by using other existing translations of the Bible into their native tongue. A simple google search will provide you with links for free on-line download of these and hundreds of other Bible translations in little used and arcane languages. Obviously, other non-JW evangelizers have been hard at work over the years.[iii]
The article chooses to ignore all that, because our purpose it to foster the belief that we are the one true Christian church on earth. All others are false. It is true that almost all the others teach falsehoods like the Trinity, hellfire and the immortality of the soul. Nevertheless, we have our own false teachings as we have shown in other posts on this site. So if teaching only true doctrine is the measuring stick, we’re as bent as the rest. It’s just that our bend goes in a different direction.
Why They Believe
Departing from our opening principle expressed in Romans 12:2 to prove God’s will from His Word, paragraphs 13-18 attempt to use personal accounts, opinions and anecdotes to prove we have the truth. How does this differ from the personal testimonials of faith one finds on any other church’s web site or TV program?
If we viewed such testimonials on some Evangelical web site or TV show, we’d discount them out of hand, probably with a supercilious smirk. Yet, here we are using them ourselves without the slightest awareness of the hypocrisy we present.
What Must We Do with the Truth?
More than any other reason for believing we are the only true Christians on earth today, Jehovah’s Witnesses will point to the preaching work we do. We believe that only we are preaching the good news worldwide.
If true, that would indeed be a defining factor.
A simple google search on “good news” or related keywords will show that every Christian religion claims to be spreading the gospel of the good news. Many preach that the good news relates to the Kingdom of God which they believe is near.
We discredit such claims, teaching that they are preaching a counterfeit kingdom.
Is this true? Let us follow the counsel from the article’s theme Scripture and prove this for ourselves from God’s word.
Paragraph 20 states: “As dedicated Witnesses of Jehovah, we are convinced that we have the truth and are aware of our privilege to teach others the good news of God’s Kingdom rule.”
We teach the good news of God’s Kingdom rule.
That phrase does not appear in the Bible. Why would we say the good news is about God’s Kingdom rule? Ask any Jehovah’s Witness what the good news is about, and he’ll answer “God’s Kingdom”. Ask him to be more specific and he’ll say that God’s Kingdom will soon begin to rule the earth and it will eliminate all pain and suffering. Good news indeed, wouldn’t you say? However, is that the good news we are supposed to be preaching? Is that the Good News Jesus imparted to us?
Since it is God’s will that Christians preach the good news, we want to make sure we’re preaching the right good news. Otherwise, we could be doing what we claim all the other religions of Christendom are doing—preaching of the “good news” in vain.
The phrase “good news” occurs 131 times in the Christian Scriptures. In only 10 of those occurrences is it linked to kingdom. However, it is referred to as the “good news about Jesus” or the “good news about the Christ” twice as often. Most frequently it is found without a qualifier, since its meaning was already clear to the reader of that time.
News is by definition something new. God’s kingdom has always existed, so while very, very good, it hardly qualifies as news. Jesus came with something both good and new. He preached the good news of an new kingdom. Eight of the ten references to it were made by him. What new kingdom was Jesus preaching about? Not God’s pre-existing universal kingdom, but the soon-to-come kingdom of his Son. (Col. 1:13; Heb. 1:8; 2 Pet. 1:11)
Please try something for yourself. Using the Watchtower library program, enter (with quotes) the phrase “good news” into the search box and hit Enter. Now using the Plus key jump to each occurrence and read the immediate context. It will take some time, but it’s worth it as you are trying to prove what is “the good and acceptable and perfect will of God” for you personally.
See if you can find support for the idea that we should be preaching primarily an earthly hope and life forever in paradise on earth. Is that the hope being extended to Christians? Is that the purpose of our preaching mission? Is that the good news that Jesus was sharing?
We are not suggesting that there is no earthly hope. Not at all! The question is, what is the good news that Jesus wanted us to preach?
If it is as Jehovah’s Witnesses say, then your search of every reference to the phrase should bear that out. However, if we may be allowed to provide a hint, consider what paragraph 19 of the Watchtower study has to say:
“For if you publicly declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and exercise faith in your heart that God raised him up from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one exercises faith for righteousness, but with the mouth one makes public declaration for salvation.” (Ro 10:9, 10)
Based on the context of Romans, what kind of salvation was Paul preaching? What kind of resurrection was Paul preaching? The Kingdom of the Christ, the Messianic Kingdom will eventually restore the earth to a paradise. That is, of course, good news. However, the offer being extended to Christians in this time before the end is of a different good news.
Restoring God’s Name
The article also makes the claim that we alone have restored God’s name to its rightful place in the Scriptures. We are also publishing his name around the earth. Wonderful! Laudable! Praiseworthy! But that isn’t the good news. It is fine that we have restored God’s name to its rightful place in the Hebrew Scriptures and it is wonderful that we are making it known, for it has been too long hidden from the minds of Christians. However, let us not get off track. To apply Jesus’ words to our case, “These things it was binding to do, yet not to disregard the other things.” – Mt. 23:23
Using God’s name does not free us from the binding obligation to preach the good news of the Christ, which means holding out the hope to serve with him in his kingdom. Using and preaching Jehovah’s name while blocking access to the kingdom puts us in danger of those who will say, “Jehovah, Jehovah, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?” – Mt. 7:22 [paraphrased for emphasis]
This is one of those feel-good, give-yourself-a-pat-on-the-back studies that comes along every once and a while to get us to view our Organization as “simply the best. Better than all the rest. Better than anyone.” – Romans 12:3
Let us listen to Jesus who through Paul tells us to ‘prove for ourselves what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.’ It is time to stop listening to the propaganda of men and listen instead to the pure waters of truth from God’s word speaking to us directly through holy spirit.
[i] See “Why We Observe the Lord’s Evening Meal”, w15 1/15 p. 13
[ii] For a detailed discussion of this topic, see “Kiss the Son”.
[iii] While not a complete list, an example of the extensive work done by other Christian denominations can be seen here: “List of Bible translations by language”.
This point of the good news was pivotal for me,I realised that the good news was not about having a pet tiger and a house on the lake,it was about the death and ressurection of Jesus. It becomes clear that the kingdom is not a revealed truth as far as its timing and appearance goes,the ongoing changes connected to it prove this. But the new covenant is a revealed truth.I have been talking to the Bible Students about this.Their view which is much more in line with scripture,is that this is the gospel age,not the kingdom age,that is still to… Read more »
This is off subject….it is such a blessing to read the differing opinions of my brothers and sisters and still feel intense love. I’ve never in my life have experienced such a love. I was taught to cast off , disassociate , and even shun other Christians who don’t think like me. I appreciate the love and unity rather than conformity. Although, another christian did express to me the other day that if I didn’t accept the trinity doctrine that I was going to hell O_o I thought to myself “so it’s not just the JWs” eh? (In his sincerity… Read more »
I used to believe that this was the Truth. I haven’t believed that for a long, long time now. Too many things I have read, studied and researched that have convinced me that the WTBTS is just like any other religion. Deep in my heat is a fear however. What if…What if…What if they are right and everyone else is indeed wrong? I know my statements contradict each other, but that seems to be the state of my mind these days when it comes to matters of faith. Another thing that’s going on is this. My heart breaks for my… Read more »
Whats this all about sister . Writng a letter. So that they can study with him . Ive never heard anything like that before .Is this racism or something .your husband is not cursed god is nor partial every man that works righteousness is acceptable to him acts 10 v34 and 35 i think .thats the verse. ..if thats racism in the congregation thats sick .keep your chin up . Kev
Hi Blessednubian, your statement “Too many things I have read, studied and researched that have convinced me that the WTBTS is just like any other religion. Deep in my heat is a fear however. What if…What if…What if they are right and everyone else is indeed wrong?” is I guess so relevant for most of us. It is the result of many years of hearing the same type of teaching regarding the society being the ONLY true and correct organisation. That is why so many in Jesus time we scared to follow Jesus I guess, thinking How can the Jewish… Read more »
Menrov,I believe there is no organization/church/denomination that is the absolute right one.They all have at least one,if not more, “false” doctrine.As I’d said before,God judges us individually.It’s scriptural,too!If we were to be judged by the org/church/denom. that we’re members of,then I think none of us would be saved.Jesus’ ransom sacrifice is for all of us.
We’re only finite beings trying to fathom our infinite God.He pours grace upon grace on us.
WTBTS should operate on a “we agree to disagree” maxim.Members differing opinions are always worth considering.No need for rigid doctrines & rules.
I concur, BlessedNubian, that it can be a constant back-and-forth battle at first and even for some time. This is normal because it is the natural way of things. We were made with the need to self evaluate and self correct. It can cause us discomfort until the conflict is resolved but it it God’s way of equipping us for the proper application of his wonderful gift of free will. Tragically, many humans are so uncomfortable with this process that they prefer to surrender the determination of right and wrong to others. It is a cowardly course of action and… Read more »
It’s not an uncommon idea at all. I have a bible study who is african american who held the same view. He was basically saying that Esau’s red hair was referring to the white race, as he was “red” allover. He said it was possible for 2 “black” people to have white children, but that 2 “white” people could not have a “black” child. This would go to explain how scripture says that Esau would dominate Jacob. Others go to Deuteronomy 28 from verse 16 and are convinced the curses apply to people with black skin. I would be happy… Read more »
You may also consider a tribe of blacks living in Southern Africa who trace their roots back to the tribe of Levi. 60 Minutes did a segment on these people a few years ago and a DNA test prooved them right.
Recall also the Mormon teaching that Canaan’s curse was supposed by the aggressors of that religion to be black.
Hi InNeedofGrace. I thank you so much for your kind offer. I will present this to my husband and then just wait and see. Agape/
Menrov although Jesus 1st priority was fulfilment of prophesy, do you feel the words at Matt 26:52 where Jesus says those who take the sword will perish by the sword, was an indication of his stance on being peaceable? However as a counter point, Jesus was the one who told him 2 bring the sword in the 1st place. (Luke 22:36-38) in connection with fulfilling a prophesy.
Overall, I think this thread is becoming an assessment of the NEUTRALITY doctrine. :-), My view is that defending the life of your family or Christian brothers, like in a situation with Peter and Jesus, I think it can be explained to Jesus. It has not always to do with war, can be a violent robbery or something like that. The intention is not to harm but to protect. Yes, Jesus warned that there is a risk or counter actions (those who take the sword will die by the sword). But in my view, very personal, it is not similar… Read more »
I agree menrov. Violence used in personal defense of self, family or friends is justifiable in general terms. I’m not making a rule, but only recognizing that the application of Bible principles do support this idea based on the particular circumstances. However national defense is something else. Some would justify the latter based on the principles of the former. However, it is easier to argue this on a case by case basis using specific circumstances so that we can build an understanding of how the principles might apply. Might be an interesting exercise for http://www.discussthetruth.com if someone is willing to… Read more »
This is no easy exercise since situations on personal and family levels are largely hypothetical. (meaning, they so rarely happen to the point they cannot be defused.) Personally, I choose my battles and will not enter even a defensive fray since there is so much more power in being kind and just ‘letting go.’ How many scriptures are there that remind us to cool the fires of discontent with wise and loving words? “Further, reject foolish and ignorant debates, knowing that they produce fights. For a slave of the Lord does not need to fight, but needs to be gentle… Read more »
Hi SW, your statement: since situations on personal and family levels are largely hypothetical. (meaning, they so rarely happen to the point they cannot be defused.) is not so hypothetical to all of us. I have experienced a burglary. Many people live in an environment where violence is very common (street gangs etc) or live in an areas where tribes fight local wars or are even a victim of internal wars like in Syria. I fully agree that a Christian should always try to avoid situations that can become dangerous to him or for the people with him, always try… Read more »
All I’m saying is that we should resist temptation to over-kill. Anger is the most treacherous emotion when one is being robbed, beaten or cut off in traffic (sorry I had to use traffic but that can be just as much a test) 🙂
Defending is what it is, defending. But Peter had to learn its parameters through Jesus. The question is, when defense cannot be separated from retribution and anger escalates, where do we learn its parameters?
The account is as follows: John 18:8 Jesus replied, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, let these men go.” 9 He said this to fulfill the word he had spoken, “I have not lost a single one of those whom you gave me.” 10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, pulled it out and struck the high priest’s slave, cutting off his right ear. (Now the slave’s name was Malchus.) 11 But Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath! Am I not to drink the cup that the… Read more »
However, in Matthew’s account of the same incident, he adds, “. . .for all those who take the sword will perish by the sword.” (Mt 26:52) A soldier takes the sword as a carpenter takes a hammer. In each case, it is a principle tool of the trade. For the soldier, the tool is used to impose the will of his master, which is not the Christ, but Caesar. To impose that will, he must threaten to use the sword and in some cases, actually use it. Let us not forget that wars are not won by killing. Wars are won by… Read more »
Did Peter DEFEND Jesus with the sword? What did Jesus say?
Jesus replied: John 18:11 But Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath! Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?
Like I said, it was to fulfill prophecy.
Wheresenoch, that was my point. A Christian should never let someone else to decide what to do (Since 1 cannot decide which orders to obey/ignore from commanding officers, & since war is not just ‘soldiers killing soldiers’, by definition a soldier would be forced 2 do some very unchristian acts). In other words. we have one Master to obey. What I meant to say regarding protecting the family or a Christian brother, is that this would become an issue when the family is attacked while you are there. Same as Peter did when he draw the sword to protect Jesus… Read more »
I remember watching a SDA public talk by Doug Batchelor (who is a very engaging speaker I might add) and a lot of what he said was scriptural quite palatable until he made a remark about one of his sons serving in Iraq. The talk wasn’t about military service or even war but the tone of his comments around his son’s engagement as a soldier were oddly approving, and betrayed no sense of Christian misconduct. From that point on I started to note a distinct “proud to be an American” current that I had been previously blind to. Maybe this… Read more »
Defending oneself/family is 1 thing, taking up arms nationally is another. Since 1 cannot decide which orders to obey/ignore from commanding officers, & since war is not just ‘soldiers killing soldiers’, by definition a soldier would be forced 2 do some very unchristian acts. Such as taking civilian lives. Matt 26:52. On a side note, the whole ‘Christian neutrality’ concept isnt Christ-like at all! At John 18:36 Jesus clearly chose a side politically. Any true Christian would. Rutherford chose a side too. Upon exiting prison, he changed his stance 2 neutral. You dont have to be a master mechanic to… Read more »
I dont think a christian could go and fight in a war .how could we be loving our enemies by doing so However what the rulers of the nations and their people do its up to them .. I can understand why the nazi party had to be crushed There are no easy answers . I dont believe for i could allow someone to abuse my family though without taking some sort of action . Just a point about the Russians didnt their campaign begin when they invaded poland in league with the nazis .
Many of the posts here related war to an act of aggression towards another nation or people. Obviously no christian can support that in any way. But one becomes a victim of that aggression, I believe a Christian has the right to defend his life and that of his family and Christian brothers. Not as a counter attack, but pure defence. I tend to believe (but without any scriptural proof I must admit) that as Cornelius was a centurion and as a God fearing, devout man, he was not aggressive but served to protect the people in his area. If… Read more »
I don’t like violence and war either, but as somebody else has pointed out , my country was too delivered from the Nazi occupation by the allies during the WWII. What is your opinion on scriptures like: Rom 13:4,5 – 3 People who do right don’t have to fear the rulers. But those who do wrong must fear them. Do you want to be free from fearing them? Then do only what is right, and they will praise you. 4 Rulers are God’s servants to help you. But if you do wrong, you have reason to be afraid.… Read more »
We have to balance that against other Scriptures which show that the power of the governments is relative. When the apostles were brought before the Sanhedrin, they faced the highest secular authority of the Jewish nation. These were their governors and rulers. Yet they showed the relative nature of that authority be saying at Acts 5:29, “We must obey God as ruler rather than men.” It’s all very easy to use the Nazi invasion to justify going to war in obedience to one’s government and in the righteous cause of self-defense. However, if the brothers in Christ had used that… Read more »
Very good points Meleti. We’d be back to the Nuremberg defense on judgment day: “Yes Lord, I incinerated innocent men, women and children, but only because the higher authorities told me to.” Not to mention “I was just defending my nation against a vicious counterattack by the citizens of the nation my nation invaded.” It’s not going to work. Let’s be practical: Imagine saying to the recruitment authorities “I reserve the right to decide whether to follow orders based on my Christian conscience”. Would they ever put you in uniform? (Well, maybe a prison uniform.) If those are your conditions… Read more »
In my Bible reading today I came across Acts 6: 8-11 “Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia—who began to argue with Stephen. 10 But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke. 11 Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against… Read more »
Thanks for the review of this article .Their reasoning is completely faulty .I read this study a few weeks ago and none of the four main points prove that JW have the truth its misleading to say the least . 1 God declares individuals righteous not organisations . 2 the preaching work done by JW is no proof that they have the truth .because the biible is full of warnings about false prophets..jesus said that love was the mark of his followers not preaching .3 does the fact that JW did not fight in the war prove that they have… Read more »
In fact while we are on the subject i was talking to a sister the other day shes 75 and hasnt been to the meetings for 2 years because the elders upset her .her son and daughter have cut her off shes not even disfellowshipped . .also my son was speaking to a brother whos being shunned by his own parents for marrying a girl who didnt go to the hall anymore although a baptised sister . Needless ro say he doesnt go now either . They have only seen their grand daughter once or twice so he was told… Read more »
Preaching earthly hope is not what Jesus had in mind for us be preaching of the good news. If we look at Charles Taze Russell’s teachings we will notice that he taught that there were the 144,000 The great crowd and then the restored mankind. He taught that the 144,000 would go to heaven and gain immortality. He then taught that the great crowd was a secondary heavenly class which seems to match up with Psalms 45:15,16. He taught that mankind that was not faithful in the Gospel age word to be resurrected into live on the earth forever after… Read more »
I like your idea on “simply the best, better then all the rest”. If you marry someone, and you love each other dearly, you do not need to go remind your wife every 5s why you are a superior husband then everyone else. She knows, and you know. For me personally, I started getting alarmed when I realized every week we are really defending JW being better then everyone else. It made me think… If we are so sure our faith is better, why do we feel the need of continuously hearing that we are so much better then anything… Read more »
I find that the whole war idea is often too easily used as a stick to justify oneself or to start differentiating religion. We are not commanded in the bible to find the one true branch of christianity or to elevate ourselves above our “weaker” spiritual brothers and sisters. Imagine there was an island with 100,000 inhabitants. 95,000 of them would be converted to being JW. 5,000 of them would be left. Who would care for the defense in case the 5,000 took up arms or exploited other JW? Who would be police? Who would be governing? Who would study… Read more »
When Cornelius was baptized as a member of the body of Christ he was a Roman Centurion of the Italian Band, was he not? Peter didn’t tell him he had to resign from the army before he could be baptized, and whether he did or not after his baptism is not mentioned in scripture.
No when any religion says they have the truth, I must have been colored blind all those years ago.
“Jehovah, Jehovah, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?” – Mt. 7:22 [paraphrased for emphasis] “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. NIV Fathers will:- For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” John 6:40 NIV Everyone who has heard the Father… Read more »
Well done this analyses. Regarding role of WTS in relation to war or military service, it is a real same the do not mention the various other religious organisations that hav a similar or even stronger stance on this topic. A look here is already enlighting http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_pacifism#War_tax_resistance Regarding education, you are absolutely right. Although I am a bit confused by your comment on the earthly hope (We are not suggesting that there is no earthly hope. Not at all!). I am not aware of an earthly hope to be found in the bible. I can see a promise made to… Read more »
I see your point about hope verses promise. I wasn’t suggesting we should be preaching a dual-hope message either, just in case it came across that way. My point was that the hope to serve with Christ in heaven doesn’t negate the prophecies that promise the resurrection of the unrighteous to the earth. Sometimes when one gives the heavenly hope its proper emphasis, others, conditioned by years of JW propaganda, jump to the conclusion that one is preaching that everyone goes to heaven. It was more to assuage that organizational preconditioning that I put in that comment. It is my… Read more »
OK, clear. My view is that Christians are promised eternal life, as long as one lives a Christian life as described by Jesus and other NT writers. It means we can lose our entry ticket to the Kingdom. when we give up our faith or live a life that is similar to giving up our faith. Therefore, one cannot gain or work for his saviour. Jesus already provided the ransom for this and established a new covenant. Therefore is said God loved us first. Maintain loyal or faithful until death and collect your share of the promise. Of course, we… Read more »
“Do your members fight in war?Yes.Thank you.NEXT!” Meleti,just like “InNeedOfGrace” I,too,hate war & violence.Jesus wants us to love our enemies.This also means we shouldn’t kill our enemies & claim self-defense.Our love for our enemies can move them to want to know our Savior & our God.Remember,Paul was once Saul the Christian persecutor. The whole church/denomination cannot be blamed just because some members/leaders are willing to fight in war.I believe sincere & spiritually strong Christians won’t want to go to war.They can say they are willing to defend their country & such but I think most won’t have the stomach for… Read more »
I guess nobody (normal person) likes war. And to use this as an qualifier for being a good Christian organisation, is not scriptural. You will not read anywhere in the NT that says that “anyone who goes to war or participates in war will not inherit the kingdom”. Moreover, as the bible does not teach that God will have an organisation on earth to guide his people, you will not find any criteria for such an organisation. That is why the WBS will have to define their own criteria. The NT makes it clear that every individual is accountable for… Read more »
I see your point. A more accurate wording would be “Does your faith condone fighting in the wars of nations?” or “Do you encourage your members to take up arms against their fellow believers of another nation in time of war?” or “Do you honor and glorify your warrior heroes?” It was not my intention to judge a religion by the individual actions of its members. I think if you go beyond that one sentence, you will see that I was talking about the official position of a church or denomination as respects the wars of man. Some have suggested… Read more »
People today are quick to say , “Only God can judge me! This illustration maybe be a little clumsy but….. I pulled this definition off the web : “A judge is an expert in law and determines how the law will apply in court cases. A jury is a panel of citizens. These citizens are not experts in the law. The judge will instruct the jury how to interpret the law. The jury will also determine, after hearing all of the evidence, whether a defendant is guilty of a crime (in a criminal case), or which party prevails in a… Read more »
Hope you like this one Meliti, As you know I regularly have discussions with my two witness friends each week (they are trying to get me back into the “fold” again) and I like to keep your readers informed of our discussions, so here we go. Armed with the information gleaned from you regarding John 10.16 it was my premise that the sheep classes represented the jews and the gentiles, not the annointed and earthly class as JW’s believe. Well, we were getting nowhere! Then it suddenly struck me, Honest this was like a “eureka” experience. Jesus was talking to… Read more »
I wish I had been there to hear it. 🙂