Answers

For all the shades of grey that exist in Christianity, here is a denomination that lays it out in black and white. When the new world arrives, the Jehovah’s Witnesses Organization will become what it was destined to become: a global governing structure. Kingdom Halls are ready and waiting in communities all over the world. These will be the new Kingdom’s headquarters, and the remaining people will be a single race speaking one language.

What language? According to an old Watchtower, it will be like ancient Hebrew—except the letters will look more like our current style of alphabet instead of that weird old blocky text. How will I learn it? The Watchtower assures readers that the Kingdom will employ plenty of good language instructors.

If you’re the kind of person who wants answers, here they are in spades. In fact, you don’t even have to think of the questions—those are provided as well. The day’s “sermon” is a question and answer session lifted directly from the most recent copy of the Watchtower. Every Kingdom Hall all over the world is reviewing this exact article this weekend. The governing board of the Jehovah’s organization keeps a tight grip on the curriculum. Everyone is asked to read the article in advance—carefully, at home, during the week. Now an elder stands at the podium as we open to the correct page.

Today’s lesson is called “Entering into God’s Rest.” Examples from Genesis and Hebrews reveal people being punished for not being obedient to God. The old guy at the podium asks the questions printed at the bottom of each column and then calls on people by name. “Why is obedience essential if we are to enter into God’s rest?” A few people raise their hands and provide an appropriate snippet from the article. He asks, “What does it mean to enter into God’s rest today? Brother James?”

“By being obedient,” says Brother James obediently.

For those who want a bottom line, a “pull quote” is printed at the top of the page: “We can enter into Jehovah’s rest today by obediently working in harmony with his advancing purpose as it is revealed to us through his organization.”

The answers are clearly printed, but I’m left scratching my head.

I’ve skipped ahead to the next week’s lesson and it is about family members who leave the faith, and how they must be shunned. The attached photo shows a young man walking out the door with his suitcase, his weeping mother in the foreground. I want to ask about family and friends who would never in a million years join the faith. Can eternal paradise really be that great if no one I love will be there?

As I am leaving, I can see a group gathering around a flip chart. This is the meeting where they go over their personal ministries, which is what they call their doorstep proselytizing. They are dividing up the neighborhoods, making sure every door gets knocked on.

I can live without celebrating Christmas and birthdays and other holidays. I can steer clear of smoking and gambling and pornography. But there seems to be a massive grey area. During the service, one of the leaders from another Kingdom Hall gave a brief talk about immorality and he singled out Web-based social networking as an example of one of the ways “wicked men will be progressing from bad to worse.” Will I need to ditch my Facebook profile? I’d hate to because I’m reconnecting with so many old friends through it.

What about this blog? Should I hit the “delete” button?

I understand that bad things happen. Some people develop dark and twisted thoughts that compel them to harm others and themselves. It doesn’t matter if their parents were loving and taught them well—it’s hate they breed. Maybe something went wrong in the chemistry of their brains. I don’t know. But focusing on it, and assuming it exists everywhere, seems wrong, like it gives those forces more power instead of less.

I’d rather turn my attention to the good, and grow the love.

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35 thoughts on “Answers

  1. There is a struggle between good and evil in the cosmos. But evil is not as powerful as good; they are not equals, and good will always overcome evil eventually. if we cling to good. Also, in JW it seems that perhaps they feel “safer” with the answers they have created. But, so much is a mystery — and we have to just trust, because we certainly can’t nail down or understand everything. Some walk away as if the mystery is too great and unknowable. But the tension between belief and mystery does not bother me. What would bother me would be to give up faith in God because there are some marginal belief systems that try to resolve all the mysteries/questions. Basically, we have to answer the ultimate question of whether the supernatural intervenes here. Or are we alone and left to our own devises?

  2. Corinna,
    What issue of the Watchtower (study copy) were you referring to that has “Enter Into God’s Rest” as the subject of discussion? I’ve looked at all of my copies, even back through 2012, and I can’t find that information anywhere. I even looked for the other article you said dealt with “family members who leave the faith and how they must be shunned” and could not find that one either. Please let me know specifically which issue you are talking about. Thanks.
    Chuck

    • Hi Chuck, That issue is July 15, 2011. “God’s Rest–What is it?” is page 28 and the picture of the sad mom is page 30, part of the next tutorial called “God’s Rest–Have You Entered Into It?”

      • By the way Corinna,

        It is refreshing to see that you do your homework and that you are always ready to site your sources. It shows that you are actively thinking and taking in the experience!

        My fiancee and I will continue to pray for you.

  3. Hi Corinna,
    Thank you for giving me the date of the issue of that study article. That July 15, 2011 article was studied on Sunday, September 18th, 2011. I thought you had attended the Kingdom Hall recently, but according to the study article you were in attendance for, it was a year and 8 months ago. I also checked out the following study article and saw the picture of the sad mother and father. I must make a correction. It isn’t when someone leaves our faith, which does happen, that a person is shunned. That happens in all religions, but it’s when someone is “disfellowshipped” because of not repenting over some serious sin that one committed, such as fornication. Notice I said “because of not repenting”. The elders try very hard to help the wrongdoer see the badness of his conduct, but when there is no repentance, we do what is commanded in scripture to do–that is to disfellowship the individual. Non-repentance is often seen when someone continues to repeat the wrong action over and over again, and then cries when caught. After some time passes and he/she shows a repentant attitude and is truly sorry for what he/she has done, and has corrected the error after his/her being disfellowshiped, that person can be “reinstated” into our Christian brotherhood once again. The purpose of disfellowshipping is two-fold. To keep the Christian congregation clean as Jehovah’s worshippers, setting an example for others in the congregation, and to hopefully shake up the person to realize what he/she has lost–disfellowship with his God, with Christ, with his family and friends. Every Witness of Jehovah bears God’s name upon him/her, and therefore we must be clean as Jehovah is clean. Many come back after a time, and are stronger for the experience. It’s not a “punishment” per se, but an action the scriptures command, and, as I said, we have found that it makes for a spiritually stronger person when they come back. If you disagree with this practice, how would you interpret Paul’s words at 1 Cor. 5:11-13 “But now I am writing you to quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother [or sister] that is a fornicator or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a man. …Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.” All we are trying to do is abide by what the scriptures say to do. Thanks for listening.
    Chuck

    • Hi Chuck, My goal here is not to judge whether the JWs are right or wrong in their approach. I simply want to try to understand as best as possible. I hope my sincere desire to do so is apparent. My initial response to your question about Paul’s words is this: it is my feeling that the only person any of us can truly know so intimately as to judge on these chracteristics is ourselves. I’ll admit it to the world right here: I struggle weekly (hourly?) with being a reviler. I can be very moody and sometimes I say not-so-nice-things to my husband, like little barbs I hurl to release some of the built-up grumpiness. Basically, I can take things out on him. Now, if anyone was looking from a distance (even a close distance such as my congregation), they might think I was behaving flawlessly. They wouldn’t know that I was not “clean.” It is my personal belief that each of us struggles with some aspect of the things Paul lays out. On a global scale, everyone who lives in the U.S. might be considered “greedy” because we use up more than our share of the earth’s resources. I guess what I’m suggesting is wether or not a person is “guilty” of one of these sins depends on who is judging and what their perspective is. But the truth is probably in our own hearts. So how are we to deal with ourselves? Here’s what my husband does when I am a terrible reviler: he loves me anyway. He knows me well enough to understand that sometimes I can’t express my feelings and they get clogged up and it turns to grumpiness. Sometimes he even laughs and says, “Oh, you need love,” which never fails to throw me off-kilter and is often effective as “revile-away.” Basically, his love is the antidote. I think if he were to turn his back on me, it would not turn out so well.

  4. That is what Paul said, and it is a difficult passage to accept at face value. If, however, you look at ALL the scripture, before and after, you see that Paul is addressing a specific situation in the Corinthian church. Specific to that time and that place and that culture. He was admonishing Corinthian Christians for bringing to outside, non-believing judges disputes that had arisen between church members.

    It is, however, good advice……. sometimes. It is the same advice you will find in AA or Al-Anon when one is told to not mix with former drinkers or addicts, or to realize that someone’s behavior can be toxic, and you must not expose yourself to them because you risk poisoning yourself (abusive situations). Sometimes we don’t ever have the strength to expose ourselves to them.

    But at the back of my mind, my question is always – where would we be if Jesus had disfellowshiped Peter for lying? Or not eaten with taxpayers or harlots? Shunning is not a good thing. Admonishing, showing that you do not approve and and do not support certain behaviour BUT continuing to show love, when you can IS. Even if you have to limit how often you have lunch with someone!

    Yours in Christ

    I

    • FUN FOR THE SHUNNED…..And a place for support after disfellowshipping: https://www.facebook.com/groups/90686115834
      There are so many excellent ways to help people these days: Counseling Centers, psychotherapists, support groups, Life Coaches. None of these are satisfactory to the JW’s In their defense I know that all they have to go by is their Watchtower interpretation of scripture. They having nothing else to offer. At a disfellowshipping there will be no placing a hand on the shoulder of the “sinner” with kind words suggesting that help is on the way. No indeed. You now have no access to family or friends and if they dare talk to you they put themselves in jeopardy with the elders. You are cut off in extremus with no referral to counseling or outside help. Luckily the internet has helped them to find each other. Usually they think they’re the only one this happens to. What a joy it is to find that you are not alone and there is a big support group on the internet who has walked in your shoes and have walked into a self-fulfilling life in a not so “wicked world”.

    • Patti,
      Thank you for expressing your opinion regarding what Paul said at 1 Cor. 5. Since you recommended looking at “All the scripture, before and after”, let’s do that. In verses 1-8 Paul, in his letter to Christians in Corinth, mentions that “fornication is reported among you.” He says it is worse than among people of the nations (gentiles). TEV says at verse 2: “How then can you be proud? On the contrary, you should be filled with sadness, and the man who has done such a thing SHOULD BE PUT OUT OF YOUR GROUP.” The Phillips Modern English says: “…The man who has done such a thing should certainly be EXPELLED FROM YOUR FELLOWSHIP!” (in other words, “disfellowshipped”). As you probably know, at times in scripture “yeast” symbolizes “sin”. Paul continues in verse 7, 8 saying: (TEV): “You must take out this old YEAST OF SIN so that you will be entirely pure. …Let us celebrate our feast, then, not with bread having the old yeast, the yeast of sin and wickedness, but with the bread that has no yeast, the bread of purity and truth.” Here Paul is admonishing the Christians at Corinth to keep out of themselves the “yeast of sin and wickedness”. Paul’s admonishion back then for the congregation at Corinth is still good for us today. Paul’s words were inspired by God, WHO DOES NOT CHANGE, and so JWs believe that even though Society today might change, God’s words do not!

      Paul continues in 9-11 saying (TEV): “In the letter that I wrote you, I told you not to associate with immoral people. Now, I did not mean pagans who are immoral, or greedy, or thieves, or who worship idols. To avoid them you would have to get out of the world completely. What I meant was that you should not associate with a man who calls himself a BROTHER but is immoral, or greedy, or worships idols, or is a slanderer, or a drunkard, or a thief. Don’t even sit down to eat with such a person.” Then Paul says in verses 12,13 (TEV): “After all, it is none of my business to judge outsiders. God will judge them. But should you not judge the members of your own fellowship? As the scripture says, ‘Take the evil man out of your group.'” NIV says: “Expel the wicked man from your number.” The NEB says: “Root out the evil-doer from your community.” KJV says: Therefore put away from among yourselves the wicked person.” Since that ends the chapter, and Paul’s immediate thoughts, we don’t have to go on to the next chapter in this case.

      JWs follow these inspired words of God. We find that to obey God’s Word, everything always works out best. In the case of disfellowshipping, it helps the evildoer to repent, turn around, and stop the wrongdoing. It also is a protection for the rest of the congregation until “fruits that befit repentance” are shown. (Matt. 3:8). This is one of the things that separate JWs from many other religions who allow wrongdoing of all types to permiate their churches. Others can respond differently if they choose, but that’s how we believe, and it works for us.

      BTW, Jesus would not have disfellowshipped Peter for lying, since Peter repented. You must consider the whole story before you judge us, or anyone else. Thanks for listening, and thanks for the oportunity to present some of our side in this matter.
      Chuck

  5. Frank,
    You are not correct in saying that “None of these are satisfactory to the JWs”. When JWs need help beyond what we can offer them through the scriptures, at each one’s option we may consult psychologists, psychiatrists, counseling, etc. That would be up to each individual JW to decide. I don’t know where you are getting your information, but “they have nothing else to offer” is incorrect. There are JWs themselves who are in these fields, and we might choose a JW phychologist if there is one available in our area, since being of our same faith might be an advantage to the support-giver as he/she would more completely undestand the patient and/or the issues. But that would only be an option. We would be free to consult any professional we want in this, and other personal matters, just an anyone else of other religions would be.

    Since you are not a JW, obviously you have never served on a “judicial committee” so you are hardly in a position to second-guess what goes on in a meeting of the judicial committee and a “wrongdoer”. The very first and foremost thing we do is to try to help the “wrongdoer” to understand, by use of the scriptures, that what he/she has done is not according to God’s laws. We try; to “win our brother” back. When that person responds and sees the “error of his ways”, so to speak, and repentance is clearly shown, there usually is no reason to disfellowship that individual. We do everything possible (within our means) to help that individual so that he/she does not have to be disfellowshipped. A JW is not disfellowshipped because of the seriousness of the wrongdoing, but because of either an unrepentant attitude, or a clearly “brazen” attitude toward what they have done. In many cases they could instead be “reproved” which means that they would temporarily lose any exemplary position they may have in the congregation (elder, ministerial servant, regular or auxiliary pioneer). They would also be under restrictions of giving talks or parts in our meetings for a time. But they would not be shunned. All of this is temporary. There is usually someone assigned to help that person by having a Bible study with them, especially concerning the Bible’s view in the area of study that person needs help with. We do everything possible short of disfellowshipping someone, unless the judicial committee believes they have no other choice (perhaps because the wrongdoing was repeated over and over again, which could be a sign of non-repentance).

    Frank, you don’t have all the answers concerning JWs and what we do and do not believe. You might think you do, but you clearly don’t. This is especially so when you represent to others things that are clearly not true! I would suggest you let the few JWs on this blog do the answering for us, unless you are absolutely sure you have the correct information.

  6. At that point in time the “wrongdoer” is not in need of scriptures, reproof or being judged as to the extent of their repentance nor does everyone have to know by the fact of noticing applied restrictions if the person is deemed repentant or reinstated. These congregations are small so that it is pretty easy for people to know what’s what. The person does NOT need more study. It didn’t work the first time and it is unlikely to work a second or third time. They need help beyond what you can give. If they seek outside help, even with your recommendation they will most certainly be looked upon as “immature” Christians if they are allowed to hang around the congregation and will, at best, be suspect and not quickly sort out to associate with. You failed to mention that on the basis of your judgments families will be fractured and told at the same time not to be shedding tears for keeping the faith but to be stalwart and courageous in leaving children and other family members at bay treating them as if they don’t exist. I may not have all the answers but I have enough to share with anyone who chooses to study with Jehovah’s Witnesses to be careful on the walk.

  7. Frank,
    Who are you to say what the “wrongdoer” is in need of, when each case is different, and each person may be in need of something different? We are interested in helping our brothers and keeping them “in the fold”, and the elders who handle such cases are spiritually qualaified to do so, though as I said in the other post, if they decide they need further help than we can give them, they are free to seek such help, whether or not they are disfellowshipped. Following the counsel the Bible provides works best, and that’s what JWs follow. Others are free to do what they wish concerning wrongdoers in their midst—my experience has been that usually other religious groups do nothing—but that’s their business, not mine.

  8. By “spiritually qualified” you mean trained by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society literature. You have no education whatsoever in the works of Jung or Kant or wonderful philosophers and Sociologists like Margaret Mead or Carl Rogers and so many others that offer a much broader way to look at people and life. Thank you for “allowing” “others to be free to do what they wish concerning wrongdoers in their midst” regardless of your VERY BROAD judgment of them that they “do nothing”. How could you possibly know. You have chosen a narrow path and I know why but it saddens me because I see the beauty of your obviously intelligent mind pocketed in Plato’s cave. No matter what may sound like bitter words from me I send you love. It heals all things.

  9. “I’d rather turn my attention to the good, and grow the love.” I’m heartily in agreement with you there, Corinna. I also like what Patti said: “showing that you do not approve and and do not support certain behaviour BUT continuing to show love, when you can IS [a good thing].” I LOVE what you said, Corinna about how your husband piles on the love and trumps your grumpiness. Now THAT is grace, undeserved love. That is what breaks through our hard shells, our protective coatings: grace. It’s unexpected, it’s sacrificial, it rocks our preconceived notions. It’s definitely not black and white, and it can’t be legislated. God is all about grace and Jesus proved it. In my opinion, those who say they follow God and Jesus need to be the biggest grace-givers, not the biggest law-enforcers.

  10. Homewithin,,,,and Corinna:
    If I was Christian, I would say amen. Instead, I say Hurrah, YES, and Hurrah again. What a blessing to know…to experience Unconditional Love. And, although I am always confounded by Grace….it seems very transparent in this situation. Corinna, how fortunate you are to have this man in your life.
    Merrill

  11. Merrill, I’m not the world expert on grace, but I’d bet you give it out all the time. Even though you say you’re confounded by it. You probably call it something else, like “being kind” or “civility”…but anytime you’re good to someone who’s being bad to you, you’re giving grace. Like if a crabby person in the supermarket line accuses you of cutting in front of her (when you know you didn’t) and you smile and say, By all means go ahead of me. Or when you hear of someone you know doing something hurtful and you refuse to rush to judgment, maybe even stick up for him. You seem like a very grace-full person to me.

    • Homewithin…you can’t have known that I came home from Church cranky and a bit out of sorts….mad at myself for forgetting to do something I said I would do….irritated that choir members couldn’t get to the pre-church practice so we could sing during the service….you know, the usual stuff. So when I read your reply to me, it opened up my heart and brought a smile to my face. I so appreciated your personal comments, and I savored your words: “You seem like a very grace-full person to me.” You are right that I do not call it that, but I do try to live by kindness and civility……..not because someone is watching me or keeping track….the “Kindness Police!” But because it is the Right thing to do…to Be. But I think that you understand this way of living, Homewithin. Thank you.
      Merrill

      • So glad that you sing, Merrill, and that your church has a choir. Music can often speak the word so much more powerfully. I often struggle with all the requirements necessary to make church happen. I can guarantee you, your church appreciates you.

  12. It may seem like an aside, but many of these issues within Christianity are based solely on a misunderstanding of God’s call to enter into His covenantal grace. I just finished a powerful treatise on this issue which would hopefully give some light as to why we treat each other and God as we do. While “covenants” may seem like a side note to the above topic, I think that you will find that an understanding of this topic brings to full clarity major reasons for such a diverse sect base within Christianity. God bless!

    http://www.amazon.com/Granite-Ingrained-Covenants-Reveal-Sabbath/dp/1883925576

  13. Frank,
    You said: “By ‘spiritually qualified’ you mean trained by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society literature…” I find it interesting that you believe you are qualified to put words in my mouth, or to explain what you think you know what I mean by “spiritually qualified”. The elders and Ministerial Servants among Jehovah’s Witnesses are “spiritually qualified” NOT through the WB&TS’s literature, but through qualifying for the duties of elders and Ministerial Servants by what’s given to us by Paul at 1 Tim. 3:1-12 as well as Titus 1:5-9. When any man is being considered as an elder or MS in any congregation throughout the world, the existing elders scrutinize these verses carefully in relation to each prospective new elder or MS. So–No, it’s not “WB&TS literature that shows whether or not a man is qualified for those positions of service.

    You said in your 2nd to last post: “You have no education whatsoever in the works of…” Frank, how would you know that? You assume, and therefore rashly make statements for the benefit of all who are following this discussion, intimating that JWs are ignorant of everything that is not published by JWs. This shows your own ignorance of the facts.

    If you were to question the average, or even above the average churchgoer of any denomination, do you really believe that average churchgoer would know anything about the persons you mention? Would you say the same about these churchgoers—“You have no education whatsoever in the works of…”? Why single me out (or JWs in general)? The fact is that from time to time philosophers and sociologists as well as scientists, etc. are quoted in our literature, often to support truths.

    It is true I don’t know anything of Kant or Rogers. However, I do know enough about Carl Jung and his works to not spend time on him or his works. I know that he dealt with, among other things of course, astrology and the occult. I don’t agree with his path to “individuation”. On the other hand, his idea of spirituality in helping alcoholics may have some value.

    What I like about Margaret Mead are her humorous quips, quotes, and witty sayings, such as one of my favorites: “Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.” Her sayings, to me, are on a par with those of Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan.

    There are many others you could have mentioned, such as Erik Erikson, the theories of Leon Festinger or his teacher, Kurt Lewin, or Ivan Pavlov, or Signumd Freid. I studied some of these and others in graduate school many years ago, but still remember bits and pieces of some of them.

    I recall, when doing research on various topics, there were seemingly unending rows and rows of books of the great philosophers. It was to me a verification of the words of Solomon at Eccl. 12:12 (NWT): “…Take a warning: To the making of many books there is no end, and much devotion to them is wearisome to the flesh.” Most translations I have (about 32) say “books”, but I like the way the Living Bible puts it, even though it is a paraphrased version: “But my son, be warned: there is no end of opinions ready to be expressed. Studying them can go on forever and become very exhausting!”

    Because of that, the serious Bible student must be selective as to content and his time factors in choosing what he believes will benefit him the most in his understanding of the Bible; knowledge of and growing close to God and Christ; the Kingdom; and the doing of God’s will, etc.) None of these philosophers that you mentioned, nor of the ancient Greek and other philosophers can teach us the way to everlasting life better than the words of the Bible. Jesus set the example in this. While Jesus quoted from, I believe, every OT book except Ruth or Esther, he never quoted any philosopher! Here’s what the very well-educated Apostle Paul said about following after philosophy of the wise men of this world at Col. 2:8, “Lookout: perhaps there may be someone who will carry you off as his prey through the philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ.” (Check out 1 Cor. 1:19-21; 2:6-8).

    You thanked me for “allowing” others to do what they want regarding wrongdoers in their midst. Frank, your tone and quote marks before and after the word “allowing” shows sarcasm on your part. You knew that I was not “allowing” them to do what they want…but that I was simply acknowledging that they can do what they want. Why would you do that? Possibly because of your dislike of JWs and our beliefs, and you feel a “calling” to warn others of us? I had mentioned that other Christian churches “usually” don’t “disfellowship” their wrongdoers, you asked how I would know that. Over the past 55 years I have spoken to literally thousands upon thousands of people at their doors. Granted, not necessarily on that subject, but in conversation, many things come up. Many people have brought up that they don’t agree with JWs on the subject of “disfellowshipping” and have told me that their church does not do that. Also, from my observations, I’ve never spoken to a single person who ever revealed to me that they have been “disfellowshipped” from their church. I know there are a few groups that do disfellowship, like the Amish, and the Catholic Church has “excommusication” as part of their tradition, but again, I’ve never spoken to a Catholic, or ex-Catholic who has been “excommusicated”, have you? I believe those things have entitled me to make that statement. It is very much a truth that churches in general put up with their wrongdoers, not helping them to come to real repentance and a stopping of the wrongdoing, nor no matter how it affects others in their congregations. As I said before, Frank, you really aught to leave answering things concerning the beliefs and practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses to us, since you really aren’t a JW authority, and you are passing along mis-information. Thanks for listening.
    Chuck

      • Ah…….You make me weary. As to “excommunicated” yes, I know one. My mother for divorcing my father and remarrying. She was not allowed a Catholic wedding until my father died after which she talked with the Priest, showed the death certificate and was able to go through a Church approved wedding twenty years later. She’s 94 and still values her Catholic faith although she, too, has been to the Kingdom Hall with my ex mother-in-law and knew many JW’s in her community. It matters not to me how many scriptures you quote to shore up your activities or beliefs. The fact is you would have known no such references and their Watchtower interpretations without primarily finding them in Watchtower literature. Say what you will about me I will nay say some of the things you say when I believe I have talked with, lived around and known enough Jehovah’s Witnesses and what they report does not agree with what you’re saying or that you are making the appearance of being wise as a serpent but harmless as a dove. Judging from what I’ve been told and read there is much more that goes on behind the scenes. I will continue to suggest to those who wish to study with the JW’s that they dig deeper. This is NOT a simple move into another church.

  14. Corinna,

    After reading several of your recent posts, all I can do is suggest that you get a capable Bible student, who is interested in Scripture rather than Doctrine. Try drawing close to your creator, and ask for His holy spirit to direct you, as to what His purpose is for mankind, and what all of that entails for you.

    Zombies, alley cat singing, polyester, eyes coming out of the sockets, annihilation—-what does that have to do with God Almighty and His Christ? Find out, scripture by scripture and question by question.

    ADIOS, CB

  15. From the news about the terrible bombings in Boston I’ve become more aware of what it means to become “radicalized”. Moving from one state of mind to another due to religious or political persuasion making something normally thought of as destructive into a passion for salvation.

  16. Dear Corinna, How generous and open-minded you are to include JW’s, Scientology and Mormons in your quest – many people are convinced these are cults. Also, perhaps you could send Chuck the acceptable(and much preferred!) form of he/she – S/HE.

    • Carmen,
      S/HE is “much preferred!” by whom? The standard form is “he/she”. Having taught English grammar for many years, I’ll stick to what I know best. According to your “acceptable form” how would that work when writing in the objective case of “him/her”? “h/him”? BTW, Adam was created before Eve, not the other way around. I suppose the standard “he/she” might be because of that fact. According to what you have presented above, maybe when we refer to Adam and Eve in writing it should be “E/Adam” (???).

      Chuck

      • Chuck, you OBVIOUSLY didn’t go to University where I did. .. . .and yes, I’d certainly prefer to hear – and see written – Eve and Adam – I also like “Goddess” for “God”!! Cheers!

  17. Why Eve and Adam? Adam was created first, so why not reflect that when writing? No, I didn’t go to the same university you did, thankfully. The only times “goddess” is used in the Bible (1 Kings 11:5, 33; Acts 19:27, 35, 37) it is in reference to pagan goddesses, and that’s generally what is thought of even today when the word “goddess” is found in writing. Jehovah God is not a “goddess”. Ps. 83:18 tells us that JEHOVAH is the “most high over all the earth”. If you are a Christian, this should make sense to you.
    Chuck

    • Oh dear, your answer crystallizes what I presumed about you. I guess I’m not a Christian because ALL of what you wrote doesn’t make sense to me. I’m sensible and intelligent, you see. Because of this, I think critically. Quoting from the Watchtower bible (lower case on purpose) does not make for a credible or intelligent response. I won’t be engaging in any further discourse. . . .

  18. Carmen,
    All of what I wrote doesn’t make sense to you???? Amazing comment. I’m not saying you are not a Christian, but I have never heard any biblically-knowledgeable Christian refer to God as a “goddess/Goddess”. Also, you said “Quoting from the Watchtower bible (lower case on purpose) does not make for a credible or intelligent response.” My dear Carmen, I didn’t quote from the “Watchtower bible”. I referred to the King James Version when citing the various (and only) verses where “goddess” appears. When quoting from Ps. 83:18, that was ALSO from the King James Version. As far as “engaging in any further discourse. . . .”, that’s your choice. And, by the way, Carmen, how do you address your letters to a married couple? Do you write Mr. and Mrs. so-and-so, or “Mrs. and Mr. so-and-so”? If it’s the latter, that’s certainly your choice to do what you want. if you don’t like the “Watchtower bible”–that’s your loss. Do you even have one? If you do, have you read any of it? It seems strange to me that because some people have spoken against it, everyone suddenly becomes an authority on it regardless if they have actually read from it or not. Now is that “credible” and “intelligent”?

    Here is one of the verses quoted that you say quoting from the “Watchtower bible” “does not make for a credible or intelligent response. We’ll compare 4 different translations:

    1 Kings 11:5, (King James): “For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.”

    Same verse, (American Standard Version): “For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.”

    Same verse, (The Living Bible): “Solomon worshiped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and Milcom, the horrible god of the Ammonites.”

    Same verse, (New World Translation, or should I say “Watchtower bible”): “And Solomon began going after Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom, the disgusting thing of the Ammonites.”

    Not much difference when comparing all four of these translations. Now, let’s see how each treats Ps. 83:18:

    (KJV): “That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.”
    (ASV): “That they may know that thou alone, whose name is Jehovah, Art the Most High over all the earth.”
    (LB): “…until they learn that you alone, Jehovah, are the God above all in supreme charge of all the earth.”
    (NWT): “That people may know that you, whose name is Jehovah, You alone are the Most High over all the earth.”

    Not much difference here either, right? So, even though you say you “won’t be engaging in any further discourse, it would be good for you to explain what you meant by “Quoting from the Watchtower bible (lower case on purpose) does not make for a credible or intelligent response.”
    Even though I didn’t quote from the NWT, I am very interested in what you meant.

    Chuck

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