13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. 17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
- To your first point, I certainly understand that it is a unique experience to be a JW, or a member of any other religion; but it is obvious that calling it unwise for anyone to assume they know what Jesus would do with people (something your organization does) does not require me to know exactly what it is like to be a Jehovah's Witness. *If you still insist it does, I must tell you that I studied with the witnesses for nearly ten years, attending conventions, bible studies and Sunday meetings. With these credentials in "hand," I still must call it unwise for an individual or group to think they know what Jesus wants, seeing as Jesus' apostles often judged incorrectly, regarding how they believed Jesus would decide on many issues. What can be said is that Jesus loved all, had compassion for all, even when ordinary men condemned these sheep. This tells me that, if Jesus could meet with us now, he would not favor you over me or either of us over even the most "evil" of men. He would call us all his sheep and bring the light to all.
- As for your comment on being a witness being painful, Jesus himself says his yoke is light and easy. Is that not a sign that you might not be practicing in the spirit Jesus intended? The Apostle James describes right worship thusly, and I hope all organizations, amongst Christian denominations, and non Christian groups as well, adhere to this... James 3:
Many groups, make religion painful (as you described), not the light, meek yoke that Jesus spoke of. In addition, I know the JW's organization (not necessarily JW members) to be very boastful and exclusionary toward other groups, even fellow Christians. When it comes down to it, they believe every other church is in league with Satan. How is this free of "selfish ambition?" How is is this free of "boasting?" And when they deny it, which James warns against, are they not making it even more clear that they are unrepentant and running further astray from Jesus' message?
Why is it so hard for you to believe that Jesus loved all people. And, if he is today aware of us, loves all of us and is not exclusive in giving grace to your group?
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10
- I never said JW's are perfect or need be perfect. I said you should not make broad statements, i.e., "Jehovah's Witnesses are not blind followers." JW's are made up of many individuals. Each individual is different. This is my point. The organization, when I was associated with it, liked to make these broad statements: "We are the most peaceful people in the world," etc. Such statements are way too broad and fail to recognize that violence is more than physical, more than just about refusing military service, etc.
- No, it's not the "end of story," Jesus asked for our love, nothing more: 1 John 4,
So the test of divine communion is not one of following rules and repeating empty words and names, it is one of love. Being a witness does not necessarily mean you know love. An atheist, a theist of whatever religion, is free to have this connection, not through empty words and proclamations, and certainly not through repetition of an intermediary's interpretation, but through silent, "complete" love, found in us.
God's terms for communion, even by Christian standards (as laid out by those touched by the holy spirit), are more than just about obedience and salvation. Jesus' religion is meant to inspire sacrifice for the sake of he who sacrificed for all: Jesus, thus his saying on Christians needing to lovingly bear their crosses daily. Jesus' teaching is about selflessness and rejection of material possessions. It is, most of all, about practicing real love and finding a connection to what the new testament calls the holy spirit.
- It's presumptuous of you to believe I ignore YHWH, Jesus, God (as I see it). I read the bible because I love Jesus. I love God as I see it, which is limitless and undefinable. None of this is for you to judge.
- Searching for God on one's own is part of searching for God as part of a group. Now, if the group is being controlled from those above them in a hierarchy, this group is more of an audience to their controllers and not at all participants. With the JW's, sadly, this is what I have found is the case: the watchtower mags turn the witnesses into an audience for their message, rather than engaging them as participants in an open discussion of the bible and its inspiring passages, thus your claim of how hard it is to be a witness.
- Again, your group must be careful not to violate the biblical call for humility, for not judging others and for watching out for haughtiness. You are not the judge, I am sure you will agree, yet you say you are chosen people, thus making Jesus' purpose, even by Christian standards, unnecessary (you have already judged). Additionally, Jesus has saved even those that the apostles condemned, so, even if I believed in literal Armageddon, which I don't, Jesus' ways demonstrate that he cares for all people and is willing to save all people.
Because you make comments, and hold beliefs like the one you wrote out to me, about my so-called wrong knowledge of the bible, lack of connection to Jesus, etc., people are turned off by groups like the witnesses. You use fear (Armageddon) and greed (paradise Earth) to bring people to God.
The Catholics call this "mercenary" (following God for pay, just like mercenary soldiers who fight for a country exclusively for the reward) and rejected this as a reason to follow Christ. I agree with them on this matter. The JW organization should learn to bring people to God by inspiring them with Jesus' love and welcoming nature, not by offering rewards and crapping on other faiths as being part of the system of things. This is exactly why I disassociated myself from them.
This is why your posts of JW book chapters got no interest, while my kind and loving words to several people won, at the least, their respect. Because they saw I respected and embraced them, unconditionally, with no demands, and merely wanted to get them to question themselves, for their own sakes, something I wish people would have done for me years ago.
Hopefully, I have helped you to do the same. Let me know if you'd like my perspective on something in the bible.
God Loves You, brother.
Peace and Love to you.