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Archive for November, 2012

My only comment is that this teaching is blasphemy!

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In my mind’s eye I can still see the scrapbook pages I kept.  Pictures cut out from magazines, sketches I made of what my room would look like in the New System of Things*.    Decorated in red and white — my favorite colors at that time.   A princess canopy over my bed.  Outside of my bedroom window I could see a babbling brook, complete with wildflowers and a deer nearby.  My mother and I would talk for hours about how we would have a farm.  How my invalid sister Robin would be able to walk and talk and could ride horses.  We could have as many animals as we wanted. We wouldn’t be poor anymore and I could meet my dad.  And, it was all just around the corner!

1975 came and went.

Many Witnesses of today will tell you that dates were never mentioned or implied.   A simple search on the internet and a scan of old publication articles and talks will quickly dispel that statement.      I lived it – it was drilled into us constantly.

A depression enveloped me in my middle school years.    I was sick to death of the monotony of meetings 3 or 4 times a week and field service that took up my evenings and Saturdays.   All I knew was I was 14 and already burnt out – and for what?

*Paradise on Earth

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Two beliefs have remained consistent for me.  Through my being raised a Jehovah’s Witness and my subsequent disfellowshipping in my early 20’s.  Through 25 years of being afraid to walk into another church and my fear that God hated me.  Through finding the nerve to attend a local church and gradually realizing that God’s grace is good, so good to me.  Yes, these two things I have always have held on to:

1) There is a God and;
2) His words are true.

However, it is becoming clearer and clearer to me on my journey that there really is no true “religion” but only the truth that comes from following Jesus and, that truth is found in the Scriptures. There are so many varying theologies and interpretations.  The pendulum swings from extreme legalism to ultra liberalism.  At times it can get so confusing and convoluted.

The last 4 years have been an incredible walk for me. I feel very blessed. I have a long, long way to go on this journey, I pray continually for the refiners fire.

I am quite sure that there are a lot of people who would argue with my long held and new beliefs.   But, for me it is important that I follow the path that I feel my conscience is driving me towards.  Right now that is making sure that I check whatever any one (or any group for that matter) proclaims is in line with what the Scriptures say.

John 6:68: Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

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I think those two nice Witness ladies came back today, but alas I wasn’t home.  They left behind a tract entitled “Life in a Peaceful New World”.   I guess it was in response to our discussion about God’s Kingdom.

As I read it I was struck by the fact that there was no mention at all of the salvation that comes through Jesus and his death on the tree.

The requirement for life in a paradise new earth:  Taking in knowledge of God and of the one whom he sent forth (the one mention of Jesus by name), Jesus Christ – John 17:3 New World Translation.

The translation of this passage is different than any other translation around.  All other translations state that everlasting life comes from KNOWING God and Jesus.  http://interlinearbible.org/john/17-3.htm

There is a big difference between taking in knowledge of someone and “knowing” someone.   Knowing someone infers a more personal relationship.  Having an intimate relationship with the Father and the Son — and the only way we can do that is by faith.

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But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, – 1 Peter 3:15

The meaning of a recent post I made on Facebook – really with an innocent intention on my part – was quickly misinterpreted by some of my friends.   After a sleepless night and some prayer, I had to step back and realize why this might have happened to me.  Has the stand I’ve been taking on a certain moral issue been done with reverence and gentleness?   In all honesty, probably not as much as it should have.  I have let my zeal for truth and the witnessing of the past abuse of those close to me – unchain my lips from my brain.

I wondered if I am doing the same here in my blog.  Past hurts of my experience growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness should not color my desire to help others who might be struggling to break from this organization or my desire to help bring the truth of Christ to them.    If my desire is to really speak truth and reach out – it should be done as Christ did – with firmness and in love.

I pray then David’s prayer while I remove the preverbal foot out of my mouth. (Hopefully, I can stop banging my head against the wall.)

3. Set a guard over my mouth, LORD;
keep watch over the door of my lips.
4 Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil
so that I take part in wicked deeds
along with those who are evildoers;
do not let me eat their delicacies.

Psalm 141:3-4

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I love to sing…just ask my poor family, LOL!  Even after 30 years I still from time to time get Kingdom Ministry songs stuck in my head, believe it or not.  I remember that when I was very young (3 or 4) they had a piano player during “hymn” time. I used to love watching her play.  But that didn’t last too long, we got a new songbook and then it was singing along to a record.   I don’t know if this one is still around but it is was actually kind of “catchy”.   I am wondering if maybe it was just the tiny seed that had sprouted some of the doubts I had about the Watchtowers teachings on Jesus in my late teens.  Sometimes,  I get the distinct impression that God’s truth was reaching out to me, seeping into any little crack it could find.

Kiss the Son lest God be angry and you will perish in the way!

Psalms 2:12: Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. ESV (prophesied by David)

Isaiah 35:8: And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it. (prophesied by Isaiah)

Acts 24:14: However, I admit that I worship the God of our fathers as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that agrees with the Law and that is written in the Prophets, NIV  (also known as followers of Christ — or “Christ”ians).

If you search for the exact  term “the Way” on any given Bible site, you will be amazed at the number of hits. But, of course, my favorite is:

John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. NLT

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I got into a rather heated debate with a friend of a friend on Facebook concerning a ballot issue here in my state. When I quoted a certain scripture to him he accused me of “cherry picking” which was funny, because: 1) he had started off his conversation doing that very thing and, 2) if he knew who he was talking to he would realize how strongly I feel about taking such a microscopic view of scriptures.

I had this very same thought in relation to an article I read in the Watchtower those two nice Jehovah’s Witnesses ladies gave me this past week. The article is entitled What Will Happen When I Die? – November 1, 2012:

What does the Bible teach? The Bible does not teach that at death some part of a person lives on. God inspired King Solomon to write: “The living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all.” (Ecc 9:5 NWT). Those who are “conscious of nothing” are totally unaware of their surroundings. They cannot feel or act. So the dead cannot help or harm the living.

This is a prime example of why it is so important to take the bible as whole book and examine each chapter for the purpose for which it was written. The book of Ecclesiastes was written about Solomon’s life apart from God. His attempts to be happy without God by using materialism, science, wisdom and philosophy, and wealth, you name it. He uses the term “Under the Sun” 29 times. A term that basically means living this life”without God” or not a “Child of God”. Ecclesiastes 9:5 is simply stating that this is what death looks like if death is the end and this is all there is. Consider please the verse that follows:

Ecclesiastes 9:6 NKJV: Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; Nevermore will they have a share In anything done under the sun.

God has already told us what happens to the soul when it dies. The body is put in the grave and it is the body that sleeps. The soul of the Child of God , as the scriptures make very clear, is absent from the body and present with the Lord. 2 Cor 5:6-8.

The Bible is beautiful story of our salvation; it is not just a jumble of scriptures or collection of books.

***

The following is an excellent video explanation on the Book of Ecclesiastes:

http://youtu.be/FVI5KGqW-SI

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Favorite Links:

http://4jehovah.org/
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/witnesses-now-for-jesus-convention

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