Awakening, Part 4: Where Do I Go Now?

– posted by meleti
Hi, my name is Eric Wilson aka Meleti Vivlon. At the time of this video, I’m in British Colombia on a dock on Lake Okanagan, enjoying the sunshine. The temperature is cool but pleasant.

I thought the lake was a fitting backdrop for this next video because it has to do with water. You might wonder why. Well, when we’re waking up, one of the first things we ask ourselves is, “Where do I go?”

You see, all our lives we’ve been taught that the Organization of Jehovah's Witnesses is like this great ark, like the ark of Noah.  We were told that it was the vehicle we had to remain in if we were going to be saved when Armageddon came. This attitude is so pervasive that it's educational to ask a Witness, “What did Peter say when Jesus asked him if they wanted to go?  This was on the occasion of the discourse when Jesus told his listeners that they would have to eat of his flesh and drink of his blood if they wanted to have everlasting life.  Many found this offensive and left, and he turned to Peter and the disciples and asked, “You don't want to go as well, do you?”

If you were to ask any Jehovah’s Witness what Peter answered—and I’ve asked this of many a JW—I would lay money that almost 10 out of 10 will say, “Where else will I go, Lord?” But, he didn't say that.  They always get this wrong.  Look it up. (John 6:68) He said, “To whom will we go?”

To whom will we go?

His answer demonstrates that Jesus recognized that salvation doesn’t depend on geography nor membership.  It's not about being inside some Organization.  Your salvation depends on turning toward Jesus.

How does that apply to Jehovah's Witnesses? Well, with the mindset that we must belong to and remain inside an ark-like organization, we might think of ourselves as being in a boat. All the other religions are boats as well. There is a Catholic boat, a Protestant boat, an Evangelical boat, a Mormon boat, etc. And they're all sailing in the same direction. Imagine they're all on a lake, and there's a waterfall at one end.  They're all sailing toward the waterfall which represents Armageddon. However, the Jehovah's Witnesses boat is saiing in the opposite direction, away from the waterfall, toward Paradise.

When we wake up, we realize this cannot be so.  We see that Jehovah's Witnesses have false doctrines just like the other religions—different false doctrines to be sure, but still false doctrines.  We also realize that the Organization has been guilty of criminal negligence in it's mishandling of child abuse cases—repeatedly convicted by various courts in a number of countries..  Additionally, we come to see that Jehovah's Witnesses have acted hypocritically in telling the members of the flock to remain neutral—even disfellowshipping or disassociating those who fail to do so—while at the same time, affiliating themselves with the United Nations organization repeatedly (for 10 years, no less).  When we realize all these things, we are forced to acknowledge that our boat is just like the others.  It is sailing with them in the same direction, and we realized that we have to get off before we reach the waterfall, but...Where do we go?”

We don't think like Peter. We think like trained Jehovah's Witnesses.  We look around for some other religion or organization and, finding none, become very disturbed, because we feel we need to go somewhere.

With that in mind, think about the water behind me.  There's an illustration given by Jesus to tell us exactly where to go. It's an interesting account, because Jesus is not a showy man, yet he appears to be putting on a show for some reason.  Admittedly, Jesus was not given to great displays of showmanship. When he cured people; when he healed people; when he resurrected the dead—often, he told those who were present not to spread the word about it. So, for him to make a showy display of power seems unusual, uncharacteristic, and yet in Matthew 14:23, what we find is this:

(Matthew 14:23-31) 23 After sending the crowds away, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone. 24 By now the boat was many hundreds of yards away from land, struggling against the waves because the wind was against them. 25 But in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 When they caught sight of him walking on the sea, the disciples were troubled, saying: “It is an apparition!” And they cried out in their fear. 27 But at once Jesus spoke to them, saying: “Take courage! It is I; do not be afraid.” 28 Peter answered him: “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you over the waters.” 29 He said: “Come!” So Peter got out of the boat and walked over the waters and went toward Jesus. 30 But looking at the windstorm, he became afraid. And when he started to sink, he cried out: “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately stretching out his hand, Jesus caught hold of him and said to him: “You with little faith, why did you give way to doubt?”

Why did he do this? Why walk on water when he could simply have accompanied them on the boat? He was making an important point! He was telling them that by faith, they could accomplish anything.

Do we get the point? Our boat may be sailing in the wrong direction, but we can walk on water! We don't need the boat. For many of us, it's hard to understand how we can worship God outside of an arrangement that is highly structured. We feel we need that structure. Otherwise, we will fail. However, that thinking is only there because that's how we've been trained to think.

Faith should help us to overcome that. It is easy to see men, and therefore it is easy to follow men. A governing body is highly visible. They speak to us, often with great persuasion. They can convince us of many things.

Jesus, on the other hand, is invisible. His words are written down. We have to study them. We have to think about them. We have to see that which cannot be seen. That's what faith is, for it gives us eyes to see that which is invisible.

But won't that result in chaos.  Don't we need organizing?

Jesus called Satan the ruler of the world in John 14:30.

If Satan truly rules the world, then even though he is invisible, we have to acknowledge that he is somehow in control of this world. If the devil can do this, how much more so can our Lord govern, control, and direct the Christian congregation? From within those wheat-like Christians that are willing to follow Jesus and not men, I have seen this at work. Though it took a while for me to get rid of the indoctrination, the doubt, the fear that we would need some kind of centralized control, some form of authoritarian rule, and that without it there would be chaos in the congregation, I finally came to see that quite the opposite is true. When you get a group of individuals together who love Jesus; who look to him as their leader; who allow the Spirit to come into their lives, their minds, their hearts; who study his word—you soon learn that they control each other; they help each other; they nourish each other; they feed each other; they guard each other. This is because the Spirit does not work through one man, or even a group of men. It works through the entire Christian congregation—the body of Christ. That's what the Bible says.

You might ask: “What of the faithful and discreet slave?”

Well, who is the faithful and discreet slave?

Jesus posed that as a question. He didn't give us the answer. He said the slave would be proven faithful and discreet upon his return. Well, he hasn't come back yet. So, it is the height of hubris to suggest that anyone is the faithful and discreet slave.  That is for Jesus to decide.

Can we recognize who the faithful and discreet slave is? He did tell us how to recognize the wicked slave.  He would be known by his abuse of his fellow slaves.

At the annual meeting a few years ago, David Splane used the example of a waiter to explain the work of the faithful and discreet slave. It's not a bad example actually, although it was misapplied in the case of the Organization of Jehovah's Witnesses.

If you go to a restaurant, the waiter brings you food, but the waiter doesn't tell you what food to eat. He doesn't demand that you eat the food he brings you. He doesn't punish you if you fail to eat the food he brings you, and if you criticize the food, he doesn't go out of his way to make your life a living hell.  Nevertheless, that is not the way of the Organization’s so-called faithful and discreet slave. With them, if you disagree with the food they provide; if you think that it's wrong; if you want to pull out the Bible and prove it's wrong—they punish you, even to the point of cutting you off from all your family and friends.  Often this results in economic hardship.  One's health is also affected on many occasions.

That is not the way a faithful and discreet slave works. Jesus said the slave would feed. He did not say the slave would govern. It did not appoint anyone as a leader. He said he alone is our leader. So, do not ask, "Where will I go?"  Instead, state: "I will go to Jesus!"  Faith in him will open the way to the spirit and it will guide us to others of like mind so that we can associate with them.  Let us always turn to Jesus for guidance.


Archived Comments

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  • Comment by LaRhonda T. on 2018-11-27 13:51:13

    I just want to take a few moments and speak from the heart. I was baptized in 1992 out at the Woodland Hills Assembly Hall in California. I remember feeling happy and scared at the same time. I was happy because I really believed that I was pleasing Jehovah and scared because even then I wondered if I'd done the right thing and if this religion was true. Over time I began to have more and more doubts, and questions. Timidly I asked the Sister who initially studied with me various questions about the organization and why they did what they did, and why they believed as they did, and while she didn't exactly rebuff me, she made it clear that my questions were an indication that my faith was weak, and that I wasn't progressing towards "Christian maturity". So, I shut my mouth, put my shoulder to the wheel and attended every meeting, went out in field service and studied the publications. Following my divorce (That's a story for another day), I began to research the organization and began to learn anythings about its history, it's U.N. connection, the tragedy of Malawi and the military-service cards in Mexico. This was during the time of the blood cards, the 'durable power of attorney, and finally the blood fractions, it was a confusing time. Seemed like things were changing overnight. I remember the book study and how happy I was to be in a small group of close friends and I was very disappointed when that all ended. I remember how several of the friends opened their homes on Friday evenings for we'd bring a dish, share a meal, study the Watchtower and enjoy fellowship...then the Society forbade that. I was very discouraged and after should-searching, I decided to fade. I explored other faiths, I even briefly returned tot he church of my childhood, United Methodist, even joining for about three or four months. It didn't feel right, because none of their doctrines lined up with Scripture. I met my dear husband in the early spring of 2010 and we married in August of the same year. It was funny in a way, because he too was an inactive, searching JW as well. Together we tried to return, and we did for awhile, different hall, different set of friends but we still could not accept the things we had learned about the organization and the then my husband began researching various Scriptures and became convinced of the Hebrew Roots/Hebrew Israelite movement. I resisted, but as I began to read, it started making sense and I finally accepted some of their ideas. We BOTH rejected and continue to reject those Hebrew Israelite camps out there that hang out on street corners and yell obscenities to passersby , usually while holding Bibles in their hands! Rather, we strongly believe that bloodlines, family lines, heritages, ethnicity is of very little to absolutely NO VALUE in the Father's eyes, as He has already said in Ephesians 2: 11 - 22 that he will reconcile BOTH people and make them ONE. Over the years, we've looked at various groups, most on Facebook, and these groups all seem to be dedicated to arguing the proper name of The Most High and of the Son, some going even so far as to say one MUST use the Hebrew names, must speak Paleo Hebrew, we must wear fringes, we must keep Sabbath, we must keep the Holy Days, we must keep the dietary laws, one group has even said we must wear fringes on the hem of our clothing!! I'm done!!! After serious prayer, Scripture study and really praying for Holy Spirit, I've come to the conclusion that in harmony with what the disciples said to Jesus/Yeshuah/Yahoshuah/Yahawashi (You see how this goes on and on...) "To WHOM shall we go away to, you have sayings of everlasting life..." I'm done with trying to find a group to belong to, I already belong to Jehovah and to Christ. I just pray that I can be forgiven for all the foolish searching and the different doctrines I entertained on my way to TRUTH. I find that I have no desire to belong to any church, organization, fellowship, group, etc.... Most of the groups I am in on facebook now consist of cooking various recipes, clothes and hairstyles. Who needs the drama? Sorry if I've written too much, but the title intrigued me, "Where Do I Go Now?" Maybe if I can share where I've been, it might help somebody else. Peace Out!

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2018-11-27 14:57:27

      You've definitely found "the Way", LaRhonda. Peace be with you.

  • Comment by Kennedy Dafeakeh on 2018-11-09 02:46:36

    I need to keep reminding myself of this because the urge to return back to the comfort of organised structure is so strong, especially as most of my family and close friends are there. It's also hard (not impossible though) to find individuals one can trust outside of witness friends. Their selflessness is hard to find in this selfish society.

    I also worry a bit about how to raise my kids, but I've resorted to simply telling them about Jehovah as their real father who cares about them and how they should take a lot of quiet time to listen to His voice. I also teach them using every situation that life presents to show them that faith in God is always rewarded and that God is trustworthy.

    If there are any parents here I would appreciate any suggestions with regards to building real faith in God and Jesus outside of organised religion.

    • Reply by Judy on 2018-11-22 07:04:55

      Hi Kennedy,
      I don't have children but .... I was a child and my father helped me build a strong relationship with Jehovah by talking a lot about creation and drawing my attention to the qualities of God shown in what he has made. He also said the most beautiful heartfelt prayers (or at least I thought they were heartfelt.) Sadly my father shuns me now as my husband and I left the organisation in July 2015 after discovering the cover up of child abuse and realising that the organisation cannot be representing my holy God, Jehovah. When I first learned about these terrible things, I rang my dad and shared what I'd learned, all the while crying my eyes out. He shared my pain and was going to leave the organisation too but .... he gave in to the temptation you speak of - 'the comfort of organised structure.' Now, I don't recognise him anymore as he is actually abusive to me. I'm sure I make him uncomfortable because he KNOWS the truth of what's happening but wants to pretend he doesn't. What a terrible way to live! I am so grateful though that I had Jehovah throughout my childhood. He has always been my 'everything'. I wish though that I had been taught more about Jesus. In the organisation, there is a barrier placed between us and Jesus because we are taught that Jesus' words actually apply to the '144,000' and only by extension to us. Since leaving the organisation, reading the New Testament has felt like reading a brand new book as one realises with joy that the words are spoken to all who love truth. I especially love JOHN 1:12. How simple and undeniable those words are!

      So with your children, I would highlight the beautiful qualities of our heavenly Father and Jesus. In this way, they can be moved to imitate them. When you speak of God, you can speak of his son Jesus at the same time since God and Christ are united in all they do aren't they? Even with creation, we can include Jesus as he was alongside his Father as a Master Worker wasn't he?

      Just sharing another thought ..... I have found the audio bible to be great! Most mornings, I sit on my deck and close my eyes and listen to a few chapters of the Audio Bible. Your children are bound to enjoy the Dramatised Version as it brings the stories to life. What a lovely activity to do together. My husband and I sit and listen to the audio bible too and pause it whenever we want to make a comment. Here is the link:

      Just to conclude .... I'd like to share a really nice experience I had. About three months ago I was sitting on my deck praying about whether I should be doing more in my worship. As I'm sure so many would understand, when you've been in the organisation all your life, busy doing all the things a good Witness should be doing, thinking this is what Jehovah wants you to be doing, it's hard to work out what one should be doing now. At the moment I finished praying, my husband asked if I'd like to hear a chapter of the bible. I replied, "Yes please!" He said, "I'll read you GAL 5 since that's where I'm up to in my reading." When he got to verse 6 where it says, "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is ......" I listened with great eagerness. This was exactly what I'd been praying about! "What do I need to do?" Well the verse goes on to say, "The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love." I felt so encouraged and uplifted! There in a nutshell was the course of true Christianity - 'faith expressing itself through love.' It's simple! Our hearts, filled with faith, will move us to show love in all we do. So applying that to parenting, why not find ways to involve your children in loving acts, perhaps helping a neighbour weed the garden or taking them to a nearby nursing home and visiting some of the residents? I'm sure the older residents would love having young people visit. In this way, they are seeing love in action. In the organisation, we only did such things if people showed an interest in listening to the message. Since leaving, it has felt so much more meaningful helping people because we have love in our heart rather than having an ulterior motive.

      I hope these few comments might be of some help in your journey. It's so encouraging seeing you set such a fine example for your children in putting truth first.

      How old are your children by the way? I'm happy to be a pen pal for them if that's something you'd consider. I love children and worked in schools teaching instrumental music for a number of years so would be happy to connect with them. I live in Australia. No pressure of course. Just thought I'd offer since that's what it's all about isn't it? Encouraging one another and helping if we can. ?

      • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2018-11-22 10:55:50

        Lovely comment, Judy. Thank you!

      • Reply by MarthaMartha on 2018-11-29 05:44:35

        Hello Judy,
        How lovely to read your comments. So warm and encouraging! I feel as though I could pop over to have a cup of tea with you on your deck, but since I’m here in England looking at my garden being battered by Storm Diane and you’re in Australia.... well... its a bit of a hike... but it’s a nice thought anyway!
        I really enjoyed reading your comment. I agree with what you said about helping people because of love in our heart. I was brought up as a JW and spent a lifetime being told that we should be kind to people “as a good witness” as though we were doing good as an advertisement for our religion. It’s only since I faded and realised that most people are just like me... trying our best to live a good life and be kind to our neighbours... that I discovered the pure joy of just being kind for kindness sake. Now I think “ what would Jesus do?” And I follow his lead.
        So, I may not be knocking on people’s doors every Saturday bothering them with my religious beliefs, but being kind has already led to me having a lovely conversation about Jesus, and prayer, and faith, with an elderly lady I helped out by driving her home in terrible weather a few days ago.
        She was a total stranger and I would never have done it before from nervousness about interacting with “worldly” people. This time though, I saw a need and just felt impelled to help. No motives, just imitating Jesus.
        She asked me if I belonged to a church and I told her I’m free range Christian, because I’ve experienced the frustration of being in an organised religion which restricts your freedom.
        She said “ well our Lord says we just need to have faith “. It was so lovely to have a discussion on faith with no ulterior motive, just a meeting of minds of two people who are trying to serve God.
        It made me realise that although I’ve been indoctrinated all my life with the pressure to do organised “witnessing” weekly, to show my faith, in which I maybe had three decent conversations in 50 years and never brought anyone to “ the truth” as we so pompously is possible to share our faith and let our light shine just by being a decent human being and treating people with kindness.
        It’s so refreshing.

        I loved Meleti’s illustration of us being able to walk on water... instead of the old illustration at the meetings of us needing to be in the right boat paddling like mad against the tide that’s taking us over the waterfall of Armageddon. We’ve left the boat and are free!

        Is so lovely to hear from others who have found Galatians 5 helpful. I read it often, and I know what you mean about the NT being like a new book when we read it as being spoken to us!

        With love from wild wet England. I’ll think of you sitting on your deck listening to the Bible. My husband and I love houses with decks. We don’t have much use for them here, so at the moment I’m in my conservatory huddled in blankets watching my pond almost overflow! ?

        Bye for now, love to all of our family in faith.


    • Reply by wild olive on 2018-11-15 17:48:33

      Hello Kennedy
      I am in exactly the same position as you, so l can empathise with your dilemma, I also miss the companionship of the brotherhood, but like you, do I push aside truth to satisfy that need? That is where I feel we have been led into a trap, the dependence we feel, which is natural, has been exploited by what I consider to be very sophisticated lieing, armed with this view helps me to stay the course, Jesus said that the TRUE worshippers of Jehovah would do so in truth,he made it a prerequisite, and this also stated by Paul in 2Thess2:10, love of truth is a make or break deal, so the question I ask myself is, what do I exchange for truth? The bottom line is that the only thing that I have of any value is truth, everything else is transitory and subject to decay or manipulation in some way or another. That includes the other members of my family who are all "in" . Jesus made the promise that if we leave all those nice things for his sake, that we would receive back more , this counsel very much ties in with the idea of walking on water, Jesus made us a promise that seems impossible to see. You keep doing what you are, teach your family when and were you can, and strive to be the best person in Christ that you can be, in other words, make sure your backyard is tidy, others will see something different in you and this may be how Jesus gives you the company that's needed, that's what's happened to me so far, hope this helps
      Your brother in Christ

      • Reply by Leonardo Josephus on 2018-11-28 09:45:00

        Good to hear from you again WO.
        I agree completely with your comments about truth. Take away truth and what have you got. Nothing.
        When Jesus said his followers would be the light of the world, it was their conduct that would identify them, how they treated people, and how they dealt with situations. Yes, many people may show those fine qualities, but true Christians (and I mean true Christians, whatever their allegiance) do so because of their desire to imitate Christ and to please Jehovah.
        Surely Jesus and his father look down in pleasure when they observe our conduct if we we are behaving the right way. How do they view us if what we are doing is little more than following men ? I guess, like Jesus, with a degree of pity.
        I may not be as good a Christian as I would like to be, that is true, but I wish to worship with spirit and truth. And I think I know by now how to treat others whose views differ.
        I think it is called integrity, and being true to ourselves.

        • Reply by MarthaMartha on 2018-11-29 05:49:38

          And I love those comments too Leonardo.
          Thank you all, It does me so much good to read these comments when I get the chance to sit and have a good long read.
          Sorry I don’t comment much lately. I’ve been away from meetings for a year now and although I love to read the reviews and articles here I don’t find much to say most of the time. Mainly because I’m not seething with frustration any more but just happy and relieved to be free.
          It still does me good to interact with you when I can though.
          Love to all.

      • Reply by MarthaMartha on 2018-11-29 05:45:25

        Love those comments WO.

  • Comment by Bernardbooks on 2018-11-09 10:26:11

    Wonderful connection of Jesus inviting Peter to get off the boat and walk by faith
    on the water and the mentality that a religious organization is like a boat and the only way to survive.

    There were times when I first stepped off “the boat” that I felt as though I was sinking like Peter but I feel like my faith in the unseen has grown since then.

    It’s sad the way the organization has tried to discourage the act of faith and trust solely in God and his son and not some rickety craft built by humans. I thought what they wrote in the following article was very sad too.

    w81 8/15 p.28 paragraph 14
    “They say that it is sufficient to read the Bible exclusively, either alone or in small groups at home.”

    Comparing that with another article below the real difference and complaint they have is “you’re not staying on our boat and following our rules”. They seem to encourage putting faith in the visible rather than the unseen which of course is not real faith at all.

    km12/78 p.3
    “Meetings in private homes could well be the oldest and most widely attended of Christian gatherings. In apostolic times groups of Christians met in private homes to discuss God’s Word.”

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2018-11-09 19:57:20

      Good references, BernardBooks. Thanks.

  • Comment by spirodonfl on 2018-11-10 18:01:03

    Fellow BC-er. Sechelt, BC here.

    Excellent post. Keep it up. :)

  • Comment by jamesbrown on 2018-11-12 00:59:20

    Hi Eric

    I am a bit confused, you said:
    Our boat may be sailing in the wrong direction, but we can walk on water! We don’t need the boat. For many of us, it’s hard to understand how we can worship God outside of an arrangement that is highly structured. We feel we need that structure. Otherwise, we will fail. However, that thinking is only there because that’s how we’ve been trained to think.

    km12/78 p.3
    “Meetings in private homes could well be the oldest and most widely attended of Christian gatherings. In apostolic times groups of Christians met in private homes to discuss God’s Word.”

    Wouldn't you say this is highly structured arrangement?

    Appointments of elders and ministerial servants isn't it highly structured arrangement?

    When the Israelite's left Egypt wasn't it structured arrangement?

    Year 66CE highly structured arrangement?

    Can you please clarify these point.

    The majority of Christian scriptures were written to congregations not individuals, wouldn't you agree they were highly structured arrangement?

    Your brother in Christ

    • Reply by Judy on 2018-11-22 05:58:40

      Hi there James. It's interesting that all so-called Christian religions (including the one we were part of) refer back to the first century as the measure regarding meeting together. But Jesus himself prophesied, in the 'wheat and the weeds' illustration, that the purity of Christianity would be corrupted. We know Paul prophesied the same thing and history shows that this corruption began before the first century was even ended. Throughout the centuries that followed, there were still 'wheat like' ones though weren't there? No doubt Jesus made sure they had some interchange of encouragement with other like-minded ones but there is no evidence of any structured arrangement during those centuries. Not that I'm aware of anyway. Jesus' words come to mind in JOHN 10:14, "I am the good shepherd, I know my sheep and my sheep know me." We are united as one in Christ, not by a structured arrangement. I often think about Elijah who thought he was the only faithful one in Israel and yet there were 7000 others. He obviously was unaware of those others. I'm sure he was encouraged though to know they were there. From our heavenly father's point of view, he and Jesus knew who they were and that's the key to salvation, being known by God and Christ and exercising faith in the ransom. One of the main cliches we had repeated to us over and over again in the organisation was this, "God has always had a visible organisation." But .... this is simply not true! In reality God only had a visible organisation once - the nation of Israel. All the faithful ones prior to the Law Covenant served God as individuals or family groups. And once Jesus died, he ended the Law Covenant with its visible representations and led his sheep into a new covenant based on a better sacrifice and better promises as the book of Hebrews explains (actually the whole of the New Testament explains) ? This New Covenant is written on hearts! It is such a joy following the only appointed leader for true Christians, Jesus Christ. Sure elders and ministerial servants etc were helpful in the first century to ensure that the good news about the Christ got off to to a good start and the word spread quickly. It wasn't long though before human pride rose it's ugly head and the role of elder became corrupted, just as Jesus' foretold. In our day though, we have the beautiful words of God and Christ in our printed bibles (and online bibles!) to help us learn the truth. It is a blessing to have others to share thoughts with too but we don't necessarily need a lot of people. Just one other person is still encouraging. We ourselves meet each week with another ex-Witness and read a portion of the bible together. The beauty of these get togethers is that it is not rigorously structured. We chat and have a cup of tea of coffee first and then, when we feel ready, we read some chapters together, freely commenting as each is moved to, and then we say a prayer to conclude. It's so upbuilding! Much more enjoyable than any meeting at the Kingdom Hall ever was. We then allow the holy spirit (the promised helper) to guide us and not any human. Wow! That ended up being a much longer comment than I expected. ??

    • Reply by Baruq on 2018-11-12 12:12:32

      Hello James.
      The KM says well, In apostolic times groups of Christians met in private homes to discuss God’s Word.
      Now, we have congregations with hundred of individuals. It is another thing than private homes.
      Second, are we discussing God's word during the meetings or Watchtower's word? Are we allow to tell what we think, is there an exchange of views?
      Or are we only seeing videos, and reading publications?
      Appointment of elders can be made by the group, we do not need someone sent by the Bethel for this.
      When Israelites left Egypt, it was an arrangement, but there was no arrangement before. Only when it was time to go they followed Moses, as we'll follow the Christ when he arrives.
      The Christian Scriptures were written to congregation but letters were not from a hypothetical governing body but from zealous men. They did not ask the permission to someone for it.
      Imagine, all of us who are sincere christians left religious organisations (JW, Catho, Protestant, etc). We meet in little group (did you know the group of Jehovah's Witnesses before the 90's?). Some brothers can lead the flock, knowing that the more responsibilities they have, the more they will be accountable. It is not as to have a position like we see in congregation (and in other religious organisations). Some times to times, we receive a letter from a notorious and zealous brother to give us courage (and some letters could arrive by internet from Eric Wilson, why not?).
      Don't you think it could be a valid form of structure?
      In my opinion, but I can be wrong, only when the two witnesses are appearing there will be an organisation and all God's people will be gather.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2018-11-12 13:29:13

      Baruq has done an excellent job of answering all your questions. So I will not go over that ground again. I disagree that the first century congregation was a highly structured arrangement. There simply is no evidence of that. This isn’t to say that I am against being organized. When there is a specific task to be accomplished, organization can accomplish it more effectively. Nevertheless, much can be accomplished even without organization. We have been designed to naturally cooperate with one another, and that innate ability combined with the power of God’s Spirit to guide us really is all we need. The trouble with a “highly structured arrangement” is that it requires someone in charge. Since Jesus is no longer with us in the fullest sense—that is, present so as to direct us as he was when he walked the earth—we then must have a human or group of humans to fill his place. The inevitable result of that is human rule, and since humans cannot rule other humans, human error creeps in and soon the congregation is corrupted.

      This has happened time and again throughout the centuries to the point where it is indisputable that it is a bad thing.

      It has been said that insanity is trying to do the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Given that, I think it’s safe to say that organized religion is insane.

      Let’s just try it Jesus’ way for once. Let’s just give the Lord a chance to make his point. Let’s trust the Holy Spirit to guide us.

  • Comment by jwc on 2023-03-21 15:04:16

    Hi everybody. I'm coming very late to this discussion, the Spirit only introduced me to the BP back in December, and I've been studying very hard to clear away all the fog in my mind. Eric and his team have been very helpful.

    As of today, what I can say is that Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seven Day Adventist, and in almost all churches claiming to represent Jesus Christ, there are good people and not so good people. It is not a great mystery.  

    I am a Christian Witness of Jehovah (as are all true Christians) but I do not subscribe to the teachings of although I do recognise the good they have done in highlighting God's name JEHOVAH. It is a fact that most Bibles and churches do not give God's name the recognition is deserves (Matt 6:9).  

    We all fall into the trap of trying to impress others (and ourselves) with the knowledge we think we have gained. But what is it that God is asking of us? The answer is found in Micah 6:8.  This is not a great mystery.

    Love to you all - 1 John 5:5

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