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9/4/10 12:40 AM
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zenshin416
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just curious on everyones opinion on the JW religion. They are of the few christian religions who does not believe in the trinity and claim Jesus died on a stake and not a cross.
9/4/10 5:50 PM
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bkprice661
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I worked with a few, I cant stand them. They really like to talk down on other people, they seem to judge a lot, most really hate Catholics.

They have some very strange beleifs but they get around them a lot. Like no Thanksgiving but a day later they would have a big get together with Turkey, LOL.

No birthdays but a week after, almost all of them got money or gifts from their family for no reason.

The girls are really into their Dads, they almost worship them to some degree, it borders on strange.
9/4/10 6:33 PM
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Ridgeback
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 JW is one manifestation among many of American religious movements of the 19th century.  Every psuedo-Christian movement of that century has similar roots.  Harold Bloom wrote an excellent book on the subject called The American Religion.  The 19th century also gave us Rapture hysteria, the Scofield reference Bible, Christian Science, Spiritism, Mormonism, Pentecostalism, Revivalism and a whole slew of other uniquely American religious movements.  It is a fascinating subject, but these religions bear little to no resemblance to historical Christianity.
9/4/10 11:24 PM
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zenshin416
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My mothers family have been involved with the JW for many decades and I somewhat grew up with it, but was never baptized. As a kid I had a fear of crosses lol I know its a shame, but it was all I was told. As I grew older and attended college and became more educated I started doing my own research into the religion and could not believe to some of stuff I uncovered. These people are blinded and brain washed by the whole watchtower organization, my mother is not allowed to speak to my Aunt, her sister because she left the watchtower organization and thats just one instance. I know of people who can not speak to their own children for leaving the organization its ridiculous. The whole no blood thing makes no sense to me. I spoke about it with my mother and pointed out to her that JW are now allowed to accept blood plasma, but not blood? its same concept, how about others in the past that lost their lives because they did not accept blood due to their religion, but now it is accepted to take blood plasma? Why now? I see it as a form of murder. My mother or her friends in the organization have no answers.

Sorry just venting lol. I was just curious on everyones opinion about the watch tower organization. Please keep them coming.

Curious on everyones view o the 144,000
9/7/10 9:21 PM
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Grakman
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Ridgeback -  JW is one manifestation among many of American religious movements of the 19th century.  Every psuedo-Christian movement of that century has similar roots.  Harold Bloom wrote an excellent book on the subject called The American Religion.  The 19th century also gave us Rapture hysteria, the Scofield reference Bible, Christian Science, Spiritism, Mormonism, Pentecostalism, Revivalism and a whole slew of other uniquely American religious movements.  It is a fascinating subject, but these religions bear little to no resemblance to historical Christianity.

 Some would say that's a good thing. ;)
9/8/10 2:21 AM
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Ridgeback
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Grakman - 
Ridgeback -  JW is one manifestation among many of American religious movements of the 19th century.  Every psuedo-Christian movement of that century has similar roots.  Harold Bloom wrote an excellent book on the subject called The American Religion.  The 19th century also gave us Rapture hysteria, the Scofield reference Bible, Christian Science, Spiritism, Mormonism, Pentecostalism, Revivalism and a whole slew of other uniquely American religious movements.  It is a fascinating subject, but these religions bear little to no resemblance to historical Christianity.

 Some would say that's a good thing. ;)

 Most sects claim to be a return to primitive Christianity.  However, the 19th century Christian cults do seem to imply that only after 19 centuries of Christian history has a small and localized group lead by a charismatic leader finally stumbled upon the true interpretation of scripture (or stumbled over a new buried scripture).



9/8/10 8:44 AM
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Grakman
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Ridgeback - 
Grakman - 
Ridgeback -  JW is one manifestation among many of American religious movements of the 19th century.  Every psuedo-Christian movement of that century has similar roots.  Harold Bloom wrote an excellent book on the subject called The American Religion.  The 19th century also gave us Rapture hysteria, the Scofield reference Bible, Christian Science, Spiritism, Mormonism, Pentecostalism, Revivalism and a whole slew of other uniquely American religious movements.  It is a fascinating subject, but these religions bear little to no resemblance to historical Christianity.

 Some would say that's a good thing. ;)

 Most sects claim to be a return to primitive Christianity.  However, the 19th century Christian cults do seem to imply that only after 19 centuries of Christian history has a small and localized group lead by a charismatic leader finally stumbled upon the true interpretation of scripture (or stumbled over a new buried scripture).
I fear most Protestants fall into that category, not just their 19th Century American counterparts.
 
9/8/10 12:19 PM
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the rooster
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I believe they are really just arianism regurgitated. They cannot harmonize the doctrine of the trinity so they make the error of the arians and even some who are labeled early church fathers (ie Justin Martyr) who viewed Jesus as subordinate and an "angel of the Lord". I believe they are a cult.

ridge: Pentecostalism, ...and a whole slew of other uniquely American religious movements. It is a fascinating subject, but these religions bear little to no resemblance to historical Christianity.

me: that's a nonsensical statement. Pentecostlism or the phenomena of glossalia is both in the bible, and is part of the historical experience of the early Christians (including members of the "orthodox" churches well into the 300's) and found in pockets of Christian faiths all over the world.

In fact there is a modern charismatic (pentecostal) movement today found in the catholic church.
9/8/10 7:35 PM
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Ridgeback
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Simply pointing out that you engage in a version of speaking in tongues (not the actual Pentecost version whereby foreigners can immediately understand what you are saying) is no more significant than pointing out that the first Christians wore clothes and you do as well.  

But my post wasn't directed towards Pentecostals in particular.  The word charismatic has a more general definition and all of the 19th century American religious cults were founded by charismatic leaders.  

And yes I am aware of the charismatic movement in the Catholic church.  I think it is misguided and replaces emotionalism with authentic spiritual experience.  I see nothing in the church fathers except warnings about attempting to have supernatural experiences.  If they come, they come, but working up into a frenzy each week (I attended an Assemblies of God church for 2 years so I saw it first hand) is incantational in nature and bears close resemblance to pagan shamanistic rituals or modern rock concerts.
9/8/10 10:39 PM
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the rooster
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ridge: Simply pointing out that you engage in a version of speaking in tongues (not the actual Pentecost version whereby foreigners can immediately understand what you are saying) is no more significant than pointing out that the first Christians wore clothes and you do as well.

me: actually, again, *sigh* that's not completely true. I have witnessed an occassion of glossalia where the person did not know their "tongue" and a visitor understood what they were saying.

I know of many other occassions this has happened.

But there are different types of tongues including "groanings of the spirit that no man can understand" as well as many different dialects both in modern days and how many non existent ancient languages do we have?

Also not every infilling included an understanding (ie acts 19 in ephesus).

you: But my post wasn't directed towards Pentecostals in particular. The word charismatic has a more general definition and all of the 19th century American religious cults were founded by charismatic leaders.

And yes I am aware of the charismatic movement in the Catholic church. I think it is misguided and replaces emotionalism with authentic spiritual experience.

me: the bible says to love the Lord your God with all your *heart*, soul and mind. Certainly our emotions are part of who we are and in fact...LOVE is an emotion.

you: I see nothing in the church fathers except warnings about attempting to have supernatural experiences. If they come, they come, but working up into a frenzy each week (I attended an Assemblies of God church for 2 years so I saw it first hand) is incantational in nature and bears close resemblance to pagan shamanistic rituals or modern rock concerts.

me: then the church fathers were wrong in that supernatural experiences were common place both with Jesus and His followers, and the church.

Read Mark 16:16

9/9/10 1:32 AM
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Ridgeback
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the rooster - ridge: Simply pointing out that you engage in a version of speaking in tongues (not the actual Pentecost version whereby foreigners can immediately understand what you are saying) is no more significant than pointing out that the first Christians wore clothes and you do as well.

me: actually, again, *sigh* that's not completely true. I have witnessed an occassion of glossalia where the person did not know their "tongue" and a visitor understood what they were saying.

I know of many other occassions this has happened.

But there are different types of tongues including "groanings of the spirit that no man can understand" as well as many different dialects both in modern days and how many non existent ancient languages do we have?

Also not every infilling included an understanding (ie acts 19 in ephesus).

you: But my post wasn't directed towards Pentecostals in particular. The word charismatic has a more general definition and all of the 19th century American religious cults were founded by charismatic leaders.

And yes I am aware of the charismatic movement in the Catholic church. I think it is misguided and replaces emotionalism with authentic spiritual experience.

me: the bible says to love the Lord your God with all your *heart*, soul and mind. Certainly our emotions are part of who we are and in fact...LOVE is an emotion.

you: I see nothing in the church fathers except warnings about attempting to have supernatural experiences. If they come, they come, but working up into a frenzy each week (I attended an Assemblies of God church for 2 years so I saw it first hand) is incantational in nature and bears close resemblance to pagan shamanistic rituals or modern rock concerts.

me: then the church fathers were wrong in that supernatural experiences were common place both with Jesus and His followers, and the church.

Read Mark 16:16


I didn't write that supernatural things did not take place with the early Christians and every generation of Christians since then.  I pointed out that the fathers warned against treating something like that as one would magic, trying to make it happen rather than it happening according to God's will.  If God grants someone a spiritual gift that is his choice to make, not ours to try to manipulate.  Hence the reason the great healers of the Church always made a point of steering the attention away from them and on to God.  

And for the record the Greek for heart and mind is "nous," which is a very different thing than the seat of the emotions.  If you are going to quote the NT go back to the Greek.  English translations are very problematic on any number of levels.  You can't be sober and watchful while you are writhing on the floor with your dress pulled up over your head (actually witnessed by my father in law at a pentecostal church).
 
9/9/10 11:08 AM
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the rooster
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ridge: I didn't write that supernatural things did not take place with the early Christians and every generation of Christians since then.

me: fair enough

ridge: I pointed out that the fathers warned against treating something like that as one would magic, trying to make it happen rather than it happening according to God's will.

me: ok, fair enough again. Certainly there is a difference between the magic of Baal worshippers and Elijah sending fire from heaven. Sure.

you: If God grants someone a spiritual gift that is his choice to make, not ours to try to manipulate.

me: again, I agree.

you: Hence the reason the great healers of the Church always made a point of steering the attention away from them and on to God.

me: amen to that.

ridge: And for the record the Greek for heart and mind is "nous," which is a very different thing than the seat of the emotions. If you are going to quote the NT go back to the Greek. English translations are very problematic on any number of levels.

me: Well let's start with what we are commanded to do. "love". Love is both a choice and an emotion. Agreed? You love God with your mind, your intellect but also with your heart, your emotions.

under "Heart" which is "kardia" blueletter concordance:

http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2588&t=KJV

"...the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavours..."

Certainly "passions, affections and desires" are tied to our emotions.

Soul is psyche. (not sure where you got "nous" for heart and mind).

http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G5590&t=KJV

the soul

a) the seat of the feelings, desires, affections, aversions (our heart, soul etc.)

Finally mind is dianoia which is where I'm guessing you got the root "nous".


http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G1271&t=KJV


1) the mind as a faculty of understanding, feeling, desiring

2) understanding

3) mind, i.e. spirit, way of thinking and feeling

4) thoughts, either good or bad

As you can see, all 3 of these are very closely related and entail feelings and affections and desire.


ridge: You can't be sober and watchful while you are writhing on the floor with your dress pulled up over your head (actually witnessed by my father in law at a pentecostal church).

me: Yes we are called to be sober but aren't we also called to drink of the new wine? Wasn't Peter and the 120 in the upper room accused of being drunk to which Peter said, nope, this is not what ye suppose...this is that which was spoken of the prophet Joel...

The outpouring of the spirit had them reeling to and fro like drunks.
9/11/10 12:54 AM
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5pointer
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my wife now 26 was raised in a very strict JW household, she actually married me after she was saved in my driveway (eloped to gatlinburg) we dated for 9 weeks, she knew she would be disfellowshipped after renouncing the religion so we eloped and her siblings have all banned her. her parents have come around a little more now that we have 2 kids.
9/13/10 2:45 AM
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zenshin416
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5pointer - my wife now 26 was raised in a very strict JW household, she actually married me after she was saved in my driveway (eloped to gatlinburg) we dated for 9 weeks, she knew she would be disfellowshipped after renouncing the religion so we eloped and her siblings have all banned her. her parents have come around a little more now that we have 2 kids.

Thats a shame, it really is. I can not comprehend why they must all shun family members who leave the organization. My cousin lives in Bethel in Brooklyn Heights and will not speak to his mother because she left there organization. I spoke to him recently and reminded him that one of the commandments are "to honor thy mother and father" he had no answer for me. They really mastered the art of brain washing to the max. I dont see anything wrong with your wifes situation you got married which is a Godly thing to do why shun her out like that?

What do you mean by saved in your driveway?
9/13/10 3:27 AM
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Ridgeback
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 Mormonism and JW are borderline cults in how they deal with dissenters and people who leave the faith.  Of course I got plenty of flak for becoming Orthodox from family members and people I knew.  My father in law warned me that my wife would divorce me.  She became Orthodox instead and he was just trying to use it as a threat.   Any group that requires hating someone who leaves or questions has something very wrong with it.  Sometimes the real test of charity is how people treat you when you tell them you can no longer be a part of what they are doing.
9/13/10 2:20 PM
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Grakman
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zenshin416 - 
5pointer - my wife now 26 was raised in a very strict JW household, she actually married me after she was saved in my driveway (eloped to gatlinburg) we dated for 9 weeks, she knew she would be disfellowshipped after renouncing the religion so we eloped and her siblings have all banned her. her parents have come around a little more now that we have 2 kids.

What do you mean by saved in your driveway?

 I would guess that 5pointer means his wife said the Sinner's Prayer while praying in his driveway, which means in evangelical terms that she accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior. All it takes to be saved (what is meant by 'saved' is a whole other discussion) in evangelical theology is believing that Jesus died for your sins and acknowledging this through prayer. This is usually described as 'being saved' or 'born again,' and some who are thus saved / born again can often remember the date, location and circumstances of the event, much like one would remember a formal conversion ceremony or other ritual / celebration in other religions.
9/15/10 10:50 PM
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Ridgeback
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Grakman - 
zenshin416 - 
5pointer - my wife now 26 was raised in a very strict JW household, she actually married me after she was saved in my driveway (eloped to gatlinburg) we dated for 9 weeks, she knew she would be disfellowshipped after renouncing the religion so we eloped and her siblings have all banned her. her parents have come around a little more now that we have 2 kids.

What do you mean by saved in your driveway?

 I would guess that 5pointer means his wife said the Sinner's Prayer while praying in his driveway, which means in evangelical terms that she accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior. All it takes to be saved (what is meant by 'saved' is a whole other discussion) in evangelical theology is believing that Jesus died for your sins and acknowledging this through prayer. This is usually described as 'being saved' or 'born again,' and some who are thus saved / born again can often remember the date, location and circumstances of the event, much like one would remember a formal conversion ceremony or other ritual / celebration in other religions.

 Yep.
9/23/10 1:15 AM
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Ramses II
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"Sometimes the real test of charity is how people treat you when you tell them you can no longer be a part of what they are doing."

Amen. I will go further than that and eliminate the word "sometimes" when it comes to religious shunning of friends and family who no longer believe.
9/29/10 10:35 PM
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5pointer
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Ridgeback - 
Grakman - 
zenshin416 - 
5pointer - my wife now 26 was raised in a very strict JW household, she actually married me after she was saved in my driveway (eloped to gatlinburg) we dated for 9 weeks, she knew she would be disfellowshipped after renouncing the religion so we eloped and her siblings have all banned her. her parents have come around a little more now that we have 2 kids.

<b>What do you mean by saved in your driveway?</b>

 I would guess that 5pointer means his wife said the Sinner's Prayer while praying in his driveway, which means in evangelical terms that she accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior. All it takes to be saved (what is meant by 'saved' is a whole other discussion) in evangelical theology is believing that Jesus died for your sins and acknowledging this through prayer. This is usually described as 'being saved' or 'born again,' and some who are thus saved / born again can often remember the date, location and circumstances of the event, much like one would remember a formal conversion ceremony or other ritual / celebration in other religions.

 Yep.


yes, i dont like using the "say a prayer" to be saved but it was an intense time when we were studying. she always felt something was wrong growing up in it but continued to follow, she basically prayed and accepted Christ for who He truly is and repented of her sin trusting in the finished work of Christ on the cross.
9/30/10 3:35 AM
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Juijitsuboxer
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We all decide at some point in our lives to follow the Lord. Sometimes it is an event, sometimes it is gradual over time as the love for the Lord grows within your heart.

I think conversion experiences which are genuine should not be mocked. It is easy to mock and Orthodox ceremony where a baby is dipped in water and force fed the Eaucharist and at that time becomes a "member" of the church.

The way I look at that ceremony in the Orthodox church is a beautiful ceremony and blessing for that baby and family.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=td3FODNh6qg



Romans 10:8-10 (New International Version)

8But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,"[a] that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

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