Friday, April 16, 2010

Where shall we turn?

One of the things I have learned in witnessing to Jehovah's Witnesses is the necessity of providing a positive presentation of your beliefs. The reason being, you can spend hours explaining the false prophecies of the Watchtower to a JW, but the response will often be, "So what? Where else am I going to go? No other organization has proven to be God's sole channel." Where does this attitude come from? One can point to many places in Watchtower literature, but one of the primary Scriptures a JW will use is John 6:68,

*** w92 11/15 p. 21 par. 12 Serve Jehovah Loyally ***

12 We will be impelled to serve Jehovah loyally with his organization if we remember that there is nowhere else to go for life eternal. When Jesus’ statements caused ‘many disciples to go off to the things behind,’ he asked his apostles: “You do not want to go also, do you?” Peter replied: “Lord, whom shall we go away to? You have sayings of everlasting life; and we have believed and come to know that you are the Holy One of God.”—John 6:66-69.

Notice the contrast between Peter's words and the Watchtowers:

The Watchtower: Where shall we go?

Peter: To whom shall we go?

Peter's application is personal. His loyalty was with Christ, not an organization. Thus, to ask "where shall we go?" is looking for the truth in all the wrong places. Our task should not be to point the JW to our church, but to the person of Jesus Christ to salvation. It is simply amazing how the Watchtower misses Peter's point. In John 6, the emphasis is on Jesus for eternal life. But for the Watchtower, one must go to the organization for eternal life.


Mark Hunter (former Jehovah's Witness) said...

You've hit the nail on the head; this is the absolute that will keep a Jehovah's Witnesses part of the religious group even when they realise something is very wrong in Brooklyn (or Patterson these days...).

The JWs are absolutely fixated on Jehovah needing and/or requiring an organisation on earth in order for truth to be proclaimed. Unfortunately, this Governing Body-inspired fixation has blinded them to who Jesus claimed to be.

My wife and I wrestled with this issue for a while before and after we resigned from the Watch Tower Society. Thankfully we had confidence in simply going to Jesus.

Anonymous said...

If "simply going to Jesus" was all that Our Savior required of His followers He would hardly have been crucified. He did found an organization on earth, His Church, headed by the Holy Apostles. This is not to be confused with the JW nonsense.

Mike Felker said...

I don't claim that "simply going to Jesus" is all that He required His followers to do. But going to Jesus is what Jesus required his followers to do for eternal life, and seemed to miss the part about "going to God's organization for eternal life."

Mark Hunter (former Jehovah's Witness) said...

You need to start somewhere. When we were leaving the Watch Tower Society - having realised it was a false prophetic, lying, Christ-reducing group - we didn't want to go to any church due to our minds being poisoned by the teachings of the Watch Tower.

We, instead, went to Jesus. We relied on him to guide us by his Spirit.

Eventually we dipped our toe into what the church had to offer, seeking out local Christians, tentatively attending a few church services, enrolling in an Alpha course and then eventually having church attendance part of weekly life.

Through time we were eventually baptised and became members of a small, evangelical church.

But that wasn't our first step. Our first step was to go to Jesus. We got our relationship with him sorted out first. He then led us into his body here on earth.

Anonymous said...

That is commendable to a degree but many of those calling themselves Christians have a nebulous "personal relationship" with Jesus "in their hearts", whatever that is. If this was sufficient (and it is more than sufficient for most) then Christ could easily have preached just that, patted people on the head and avoided the crucifixion altogether. As to no organization being mentioned in the New Testament, what exactly did Christ found when he "assembled" his Apostles and prepared them to be sent forth if not precisely an organization? I agree, it wasn't incorporated with a tax ID. Regardless, the Apostles immediately began organizing the Christian communities and one was either in them or not. Being willfully outside of them was considered cut off from Christ, being cut off from the Eucharist. Membership and participation in the visible Christian community was what made one a Christian. There was no independent category. That came about after the Reformation with the novel theory of the "Invisible Church." Suspicion of "man made" organizations is simply good sense --The JWs are laughable. It is blasphemous in the case of a Divinely founded organization, the Bride of Christ, His Church.

Mike Felker said...

You are mixing categories. I'm not saying that "sufficient" is in reference to anything other than salvation; i.e. having faith in Christ. Obviously, there is more to the Christian life than this, but at this point we've made a jump from the requirements for salvation and the fruits of salvation. These are two different things.

As for "no organization mentioned in the New Testament," I certainly am not claiming that and I don't think anyone else here did either. The point I was making is, eternal life is not found in a place, but in a person.

Mark Hunter (former Jehovah's Witness) said...

@anonymous, are you a member of the Church of Rome?

Anonymous said...

No, I am not a member of the Church of Rome. Salvation is found only in the Person of Christ, in His Body the Church. That is why He founded it, for our benefit. It simply isn't optional.

Mike Felker said...

Anonymous, please show us any Scriptural evidence that salvation is found "in His body the church," as if submitting to an organization is a requirement for justification. John 14:6 and Acts 4:12 are emphatically clear that salvation is found in person, not a place.

Anonymous said...

If you are truthfully interested in being shown please go to:

Mike Felker said...

Oh ok, Eastern Orthodox. This explains why you were arguing the way that you were. Thus, it would depend more on the church's authority in determining your point that salvation is found in a place in addition to Christ, rather than in Christ alone. So it wouldn't necessarily even depend on whether or not the Bible explicitly teaches X or Y since you have "the church" to define truth for you, correct?

Anonymous said...

The Church compiled the Bible. It could easily have excluded anything from the Bible that it felt contradictory, X or Y. It didn't. If the Church has no authority then the Bible is only a random arbitrary compilation of writings. As I said, if you truthfully are interested in being shown, using scripture which is your only authority, check out the link. It is much more beneficial than wasting your time studying the Watch Tower. At the very least it should be helpful for an apologist.