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Jehovah's Witnesses Christian or Cult?

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posted on May, 14 2009 @ 02:37 PM
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Points 1-14 show that JW's are constantly refining themselves and searching the scriptures testing the current bible versions against accurate translations to find the most accurate truth possible, and they will continue to have new insights and grow closer to the truth. Its totally cool you are interested in sharing your bible based beliefs with those that want to listen, but in one aspect you are not being Christian or Christ like in that you are overlooking one of his most important tools. That of preaching publicly, and house to house. Actively seaching poeple with open hearts...


Now I'm off to the dentist, enjoy that thought!




posted on May, 14 2009 @ 02:49 PM
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reply to post by Xcouncil=wisdom
 



Its totally cool you are interested in sharing your bible based beliefs with those that want to listen, but in one aspect you are not being Christian or Christ like in that you are overlooking one of his most important tools.


Please read all responces before commenting. As I have stated before and now again these are not my views. After this debate is done I will decide what my view is. I have started to form one but I'm keeping it to myself until I hear all sides. Then again I may keep it to myself reguardless.

Good point on the door to door being a important tool. Thank you for sharing.




Points 1-14 show that JW's are constantly refining themselves and searching the scriptures testing the current bible versions against accurate translations to find the most accurate truth possible, and they will continue to have new insights and grow closer to the truth.


Is it insights, or is it changing/adding/taking away from the Bible?

Revelation 22:18-19, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.


[edit on 14-5-2009 by dthwraith]



posted on May, 14 2009 @ 03:41 PM
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reply to post by jackieps1975
 

Sorry to hear that one of your relatives had a bad experience with the JW's. Was this something that was a result of one individual, or do you think it is something systemic?
You do know that you can talk to the elders of the congregation to work things out if you feel one of the members is acting inappropriately.



posted on May, 14 2009 @ 03:59 PM
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reply to post by jackieps1975
 


Seems to me that many others share your horror story.

Heres the link. Ex -JW



posted on May, 14 2009 @ 06:41 PM
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I'm back to comment again.
Thank you for not taking the "not christ like comment" the wrong way, it bothered me after I posted it, I was concerned it would be recieved poorly.
I will comment on other posts however, like how you quoted, out of context, what Blue_Jay wrote "They know the bible very well, and adhere to it very closely, it is very strange that the deviation from what other Christians are doing get them labeled a cult because they follow Jesus teachings more closely, compared to those that discard clear bible teachings." as "it is very strange that the deviation from what other Christians are doing get them labeled a cult"

That along with how you have operated this post, I am led to question your sincerity as to being objective about determining how to classify the JW's.

Also my appologies for jackieps1975's family issues, jmdewey60 is totally right, approach the elders of that congregation and voice your concerns. Most likely imo your sister found something that made happy, helped her through a tough time and gave her something to look forward to with the strength to do what she thought was right. I however do not claim to know those circumstances and can only sympathize as I have seen both sides of what could be similar scenario's.

dthwraith I wish the best to you as you search for truth, you may be familiar but here are JW sites you might look to to compare the propaganda you posted vs what they say about themselves

www.watchtower.org... www.jw-media.org...



posted on May, 14 2009 @ 07:33 PM
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reply to post by dthwraith
 


Most ex-JW's don't have good things say about them, that's why they aren't anymore.

However the most unbiased realistic report on JW's that is NOT made by JW's or bitter ex-members is a documentary called Knocking. Ironically it was produced by a homosexual, yet I found it to be fair and without prejudice.

www.knocking.org...


KNOCKING opens the door on Jehovah's Witnesses. They are moral conservatives who stay out of politics and the Culture War, but they won a record number of court cases expanding freedom for everyone. They refuse blood transfusions on religious grounds, but they embrace the science behind bloodless surgery. In Nazi Germany, they could fight for Hitler or go to the concentration camps. They chose the camps. Following two families who stand firm for their controversial and misunderstood Christian faith, KNOCKING reveals how one unlikely religion helped to shape history beyond the doorstep.


Knocking Clip

Readers comments on the DVD


Letters From Appreciative Non-Witnesses

"I'm not one of Jehovah's Witnesses, but you managed to show an unbiased look at their religion. This production is truly a work of art. The flow and material are impeccable. This is truly one of the best planned documentaries that I've seen in my 52 years." Deborah Bagley Summerville, SC

"I didn't know much about Jehovah's Witnesses before I saw the film. The documentary made me realize the role the Witnesses have placed in US history when they went to the Supreme Court 62 times for First Amendment rights." R. M. Sarasota, Florida



That's right the Witnesses stay out of politics, but they will fight hard for theirs and everybody elses first amendment rights. Over 60 times they went to the Supreme Court and won almost all of there cases, for issues that relate to freedom of religion and now everybody else can benefit from those rulings too.

The media's comments


Anderson Cooper, CNN -- "Riveting and illuminating. KNOCKING takes us inside the world of Jehovah's Witnesses in a way that is utterly surprising and moving.

Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union -- "A compelling documentary. KNOCKING affirms the principle that in a free society, the protection of religious liberty and the advancement of personal freedoms need not be competing values."

Jon Meacham, Editor, Newsweek -- "A thoughtful telling of an important, often-overlooked story about essential American issues."


I am telling you "dthwraith" there are 2 sides to every story, bipartisan reports like the ones mentioned above go way further than either JW's or ex-JW's comments. Admittedly both sides have an agenda, bipartisan reports do not, and are just trying to inform and expand a persons knowledge base.

It' just like when a couple gets a ugly divorce each side tries to make the other side look bad, for obvious reasons. And there is often bitter resentment that abides in at least one of the ex-spouses.



posted on May, 14 2009 @ 07:43 PM
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Originally posted by Blue_Jay33
reply to post by dthwraith
 


Talk about taking something out of context.

JW's try to model themselves after the first century Christians, the problem is, many 21st century Christians have deviated so far from that model that those that have gone back to that seem strange.

Yet this type of bible based theology is the purest form of Christianity today, based primarily on the New Testament.

[edit on 14-5-2009 by Blue_Jay33]


I didnt take you out of context, think you guys took me that way though. I was agreing with what you where saying it makes sence to as why others would view them as a cult.



posted on May, 14 2009 @ 07:48 PM
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reply to post by Blue_Jay33
 





I am telling you "dthwraith" there are 2 sides to every story, bipartisan reports like the ones mentioned above go way further than either JW's or ex-JW's comments. Admittedly both sides have an agenda, bipartisan reports do not, and are just trying to inform and expand a persons knowledge base.


I know there are 2 sides, if there was only 1 side this post would be a complete was of time. As I said before I'm giving or sharing the info people are sharing with me, to get diff info for my ongoing email debate.



posted on May, 14 2009 @ 07:54 PM
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reply to post by Xcouncil=wisdom
 





That along with how you have operated this post, I am led to question your sincerity as to being objective about determining how to classify the JW's.

Your welcome to your opinon, reason being thats all it is. I havent decided one way or the other yet. Sometimes questions hurt or are received wrong not alot I can do about that. Either you guys can help or move along and I'll figure this out on my own. I can only present from the side I'm being shown, if its incorrect help prove it. I have alot of my own questions that I haven't even gotten to yet.



posted on May, 14 2009 @ 08:43 PM
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So, are you asking for a point by point rebutal on the opening posts? Should I take the task it will take me a bit of time as off the cuff general responses come easy, but if I personally are to take on the responsibility of the reasoning out of over a dozen doctrinal teachings, I will do research first so that my answers are as accurate as possible, however, with the links I provided you, you would be able to do this reasearch yourself.

But should that possibly be done under another thread named maybe "what do Jehovah's Witnesses believe" not "Jehovah's Witnesses Christian or Cult?" ?



posted on May, 14 2009 @ 09:50 PM
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I don't think they are a cult by any means.

From my personal encounters with them, be it on this board or at my front door, they are all nice people but they seem to not recognize, that the only thing they are actually witnessing to is their organizations own interpretations.

Whether I open a thread or open my door, they want to show me a bible verse and give me an interpretation - which is sometimes right but sometimes wrong. Now if you know for a fact, that an interpretation is wrong - you begin to see it for what it is - that they aren't actually witnessing to anything, only interpreting in vain. Thus, in my opinion, they desperately need a name change for their organization.

When Jesus said to witness he did not mean to go door to door or thread to thread offering up interpretations. Witnessing is about personal experience and because of the Bible, the bar has been set pretty darn high when it comes to experiencing things of a divine nature.

There are many, many, many things to experience because Jesus lives and it's all there for the taking for those who open their minds to it but they (JW's) prefer to follow the dogma of their organization and that is part of free will. God's not going to reject them or anyone else for getting it wrong - he loves us all equally. Some may be a bit closer to him than others, but like I said, He's there for the taking.

Since I feel they are basically missing the boat with true Christianity where you experience the miracles, signs, wonders & fullness, it's my opinion they are only borrowing the name of Christianity and only when they begin to realize the deeper truths, that the first resurrection is something they are supposed to attain in the here and now (which is the fullness) will they begin to actually start witnessing.

The good news is now. The kingdom is now. Eternal life is now. The first resurrection is now. Spirit is now. Flesh is nothing, Spirit is everything. It is the Spirit that testifies that everything I just said is true.

God is Spirit.

The Spirit testifies.

Living water testifies.

Our blood is a witness.

The Spirit, water and blood agree and they are the true witnesses of the reality of God. These are the things revealed and they are not revealed door to door or thread to thread - they are revealed in secret.



posted on May, 14 2009 @ 09:50 PM
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By posting here Im breaking one of the two rules that I have in my life:

-DONT POST ON RELIGOUS THREADS ON ATS

-DONT POST ON 9-11 THREADS ON ATS

....but here we go

The reason that Im posting here is because I was raised as a JW since I was a kid all the way to my teenage years, then got out and currently married with a wife that is catholic...thats my background.

Throughout my life though I've been to numerous christians churches, have had many christian friends from many of the denominations that are out there.

Growing as a JW was hard in the sense of trying to be a kid, no b-days, no christmas, no new year celebration, no christmas decorations, no gifts, no presents, just church and spread the word door to door, bible study, book study.

My family separated from the church when I was like 14 (they still curently attend now), they separated not because of issues with the church, it was just for them to work and sustain a family. No one in their congregation fault them for that, to the contrary I remember members of the congregation coming to my house and droping groceries for us and everything.

My overall view of the JW is that is one of the most faithful to the word church that you can find out there. JW is definately NOT for the weak of faith like myself. In the JW you are hold accountable for your actions, as a Christian and a person of faith you should hold yourself to a higher standard and they are one of the few churches out there that do so.

Congregations are not run by one but by a group of elders that get there by merit not by chance, you have to prove yourself in more than one way that you can be part of the leaders of a congregation, and after that they have a leadership structure that pretty mych resembles any other denomination.

It is not my intention to bash any other christian denomination here, I have been to many catholic, pentecostal, 7th Day, evangelical, but I will tell you that the one I admire the most is the JW. I admire their faith, their actions, their demeanor and their sense of accountability.

I take a JW as my neighbor any day of the week....even if that means listening to their preaching every day.



[edit on 14-5-2009 by Bunch]

[edit on 15-5-2009 by Bunch]

[edit on 15-5-2009 by Bunch]



posted on May, 14 2009 @ 11:31 PM
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Here is my side of the coin if you are interested....

fornicator, drug user, club hopper, used fowl language. lair, bi-sexual, cigarette smoker.

The above describes me in my late teens and early 20's.

I am now, and have been for the past 15 years ONE OF Jehovah's Witness. The BEST thing I could have ever done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We DONT follow men, but follow only our now reigning king, and son of Almighty Jah.... Christ Jesus. The fact that we are organized and follow a Bible based, first century pattern to structure the organization does not make us in any way a cult or "followers of men or an organization".

Although many people may think of JW's as a cult, so did people think the same about first century Christians.... see a pattern here?????

“But we think it proper to hear from you what your thoughts are, for truly as regards this sect it is known to us that everywhere it is spoken against.”—Acts 28:22

BTW - my name is Maribel, here is my youtube channel, feel free to browse through my videos: www.youtube.com...

Would it be right for someone to judge me for my past? or keep bringing things up from my past to bring me down? Do you see what I am trying to get at?

I personally think this is a weird place for you to want to get your two sides of the story, which leads me to question your intentions.... why not go straight to the source. Go to a Kingdom Hall, talk to a JW's that you may know, talk to JW's that knocks on your door. Out of all places, you make your quest for truth about the JW's on ATS?????????????????? Forgive me if I am misjudging your intentions, but it is how your post comes across.

PEACE!!!!!



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 12:51 AM
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To the last 3 posters. Thank you thats the type of feedback thats helpful and meaningful. Why ask on ATS? I have a great deal of respect for many of the posters here, and when you respect a group of people you tend to ask them things. Why not go to the source? IF its a cult, why would I or anyone else want to go near it? Lastly I asked here because I know for a fact that JW's post here.



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 12:53 AM
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reply to post by holywar
 


WOW, Maribel you were one of those wild Spanish gals, before you turned your life around. Didn't know that about you.
All water under the bridge as they say, thanks to Jesus ransom coverage.



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 01:08 AM
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reply to post by holywar
 





We DONT follow men, but follow only our now reigning king, and son of Almighty Jah.... Christ Jesus. The fact that we are organized and follow a Bible based, first century pattern to structure the organization does not make us in any way a cult or "followers of men or an organization".


Firstly let me point out that I'm not on your side, reason being I dont know your side. It's not personal. I was talking to a friend of my mothers the otherday who is a JW. We where talking about the rapture. She said it wasn't true because a man came up with it. Loco pointed this out to me not to long ago as well. If thats true how can you be any different if you follow Russell's writings? Point 1 I'll copy it here.




Source of Authority. JWs claim the Bible as their final authority, but Russell's writings, especially Studies in the Scriptures, are considered "the light of the Scriptures." JWs have their own translation of the Scriptures (New World Translation, published in 1961), which reflects the binding interpretations of the group's leaders. The JWs' New World Translation greatly perverts the Scriptures to avoid placing themselves under the judgment of God (cf. Jn. 1:1; 8:58; I Tim. 2:6; Ac. 10:36; Col. 1:16-17; 2:9-10; etc.). Hence, the leader's interpretation of the Bible, not the Bible itself, is the final authority of JWs. The Watchtower magazine is one of the JWs main sources of doctrine, and is considered authoritative by its members.


Thanks for your responce.



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 01:33 AM
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i think the general question of the thread is loaded to begin with.

cult - a: great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book) ; especially : such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad b: the object of such devotion c: a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion

so catholics follow the pope, does this make them a cult?

buddists follow buddha.

muslims follow Muhammad.

does following jesus mean you are part of a cult?

what about following the bible?

it really is a stupid question. is a cult somehow less valid because of its cult status?

does the truth of a religion depend on how mainstream that religion is?

what exactly is this thread about?



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 03:23 AM
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reply to post by Myrtales Instinct
 


Im intrigued to read that your interpretation of a scripture is correct and the JW's interpretation is wrong...

There in lies ego..I am right you are wrong, my way or the highway...religious dogma if you dont mind me saying.



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 08:09 AM
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Originally posted by Myrtales Instinct
Whether I open a thread or open my door, they want to show me a bible verse and give me an interpretation - which is sometimes right but sometimes wrong. Now if you know for a fact, that an interpretation is wrong - you begin to see it for what it is - that they aren't actually witnessing to anything, only interpreting in vain. Thus, in my opinion, they desperately need a name change for their organization.


what it sounds like you are saying is "i'm right and they are wrong". but you arent really going any deeper so you statement sounds like an assumption.


When Jesus said to witness he did not mean to go door to door or thread to thread offering up interpretations. Witnessing is about personal experience and because of the Bible, the bar has been set pretty darn high when it comes to experiencing things of a divine nature.


matt 10:[5] These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
[6] But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
[7] And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
[8] Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
[9] Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,
[10] Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.
[11] And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.
[12] And when ye come into an house, salute it.
[13] And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.
[14] And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

sounds like door to door to me

mark 6:[6] And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
[7] And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;
[8] And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:
[9] But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.
[10] And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place.
[11] And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
[12] And they went out, and preached that men should repent.

this does too.

luke 9:[1] Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.
[2] And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.
[3] And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.
[4] And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart.
[5] And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.
[6] And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.

in others words, jesus was training them to preach not just in synagogues but ALSO door to door.

preaching the gospel was to be a very active thing. not a passive one like you are describing. not telling people testimony whenever it happens to come up.

if preaching saves lives, then what you are saying is that christians should save lives when they feel like it. without urgency. you say your right, but you dont sound right to me.

even the apostles followed the example jesus set for them. they preached (actively) house to house even

acts 5:[42] And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

acts 20:[20] And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,

i find it funny that you should criticize JW's on the one point that all christians SHOULD be doing.


God's not going to reject them or anyone else for getting it wrong - he loves us all equally.


jesus disagrees

matt 7:[21] Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.


Since I feel they are basically missing the boat with true Christianity where you experience the miracles, signs, wonders & fullness,


matt 24:[24] For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

not all miracles are from god.


It is the Spirit that testifies that everything I just said is true.


im sorry, that is quite an arrogant thing to say considering that much of what you said contradicts scripture.

the spirit will not testify against spirit.


These are the things revealed and they are not revealed door to door or thread to thread - they are revealed in secret.


your saying the exact opposite of what jesus said.

matt 5:[14] Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
[15] Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
[16] Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

matt 10:[27] What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.

luke 8:[16] No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.
[17] For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 08:49 AM
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As you can see Miriam knows her bible very well, and she is from Spain, what's the old saying "mess with the bull, and you'll get the horns"

She is not a JW, but she knows the theology very well.

Finally on the cult issue, IF following Jesus Christ(because God gave him that power and status) as our leader makes a christian seem like they are in a cult by the worlds definition, I will take that label, and know that it's part of the persecution Jesus foretold we have to bear as Christians for his principles.

Cult and Sect have a built in negativity attached to there very essence, people like to use them for that purpose.

The Catholics are more of a cult than the JW's with their Pope, that they are suppose to listen to, what he says goes, even overriding what the bible says.

The JW's have moved to system where the President of the Watchtower society is seldom heard from, doesn't set policy, and is basically in that appointment more for legal reasons, than anything else. Most JW's if you ask them don't even know who it is. So if anything they have moved away from the days of the first President (Russell) where the, bible students as they were then known, had a stronger adoration for a single man.

[edit on 15-5-2009 by Blue_Jay33]

[edit on 15-5-2009 by Blue_Jay33]



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