Organizations

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Organizations

Post #1

Post by Sherlock Holmes »

Over many years I've developed the view that organizations (for example Watchtower, LDS, Charismatics and so on) are completely unnecessary and a source of confusion, sometimes even fear and misery, for people.

Each of these has some specific set of rules or beliefs that distinguish them from the others and one is expected to embrace and support those beliefs in order to remain (or at least be accepted as) a member.

I have nothing against consulting others, seeking opinions, discussing stuff with others but I am against the whole organization, member, rules, etc structure to Christianity.

My own understanding today is that Christ speaks to me, influences my spirit, as and when I read scripture or think about scripture or God in any way, I have no need for some intercessor.

If I do not understand something I pray on it, I either take steps to learn more or leave it in God's hands, leave it simply as "I don't understand", I am fine and I think God is fine with that.

One of the many problems with organizations like those listed, is that they set themselves up as those who do understand, they encourage individuals to consult them, listen to them when we should really rely on God primarily.

Representatives of these organizations typically try to avoid ever saying "I don't know" as if they'd appear weak to do so. They like to have answers to questions and it seems to me that sometimes having an answer is more important than admitting that they don't know.

I became close (during the 1980s) to the former WWCG, led by the late Herbert Armstrong, I found their literature thought provoking (I spent a lot if time in libraries back then, and contrasted WWCG with JWs and others) but never became a "member", because despite finding much sense in their literature I remained unconvinced about some of their rules, for example tithing, and this was one of the things stopping me from "joining".

Since Armstrong died (and the entire group fragmented with much fall out and misery for some) I've learned to rely primarily on God to guide me, the scripture being a written representation of Christ, able to impart knowledge and understanding, or at least provide the impetus for it, when I choose to consult it, to rely upon it.

Am I in a minority here? are very very few Christians decoupled from formal organizations or is my attitude regarded as heretical by some?
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Re: Organizations

Post #21

Post by Sherlock Holmes »

Eloi wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 2:32 pm [Replying to Sherlock Holmes in post #2]
If I say to my family: "Let's go ALL to the beach" I am not talking to my neighbors.
No Christian ignores the destruction of the wicked.
What manner of argument is this? is this a reasonable response: No Christian regards blood transfusion as a sin?

Of course there's destruction of the wicked, where did I say there was none? why do you claim I ignore it?
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Re: Organizations

Post #22

Post by Sherlock Holmes »

Eloi wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 3:31 pm Do as you please, but ALL (absolute) the examples I quoted above have the Greek word we are talking about. The Bible has no contradictions; the problem is in the preconceived idea that the word "all" in the Bible is limited to the absolute meaning, but as you can see it is not like that ... and neither in modern languages, as I showed before.

Obviously, the lack of information leads to wrong conclusions. I don't expect you to change your mind ... but you are already informed.
I change my mind all the time, that is how I learn, by being willing to admit error, to embracing the discovery of error. You cannot though, even the mere hint that you no longer agree with your leaders will cause you much anguish, not so for me, I am free of that burden, I go where the evidence leads, no man tells me what to believe.

The truth - God's word as sole authority - has set me free.
Last edited by Sherlock Holmes on Sun Jan 09, 2022 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Organizations

Post #23

Post by Eloi »

When we read in the Bible that Paul says to the Christians of some congregation "all of you", or Jesus says something similar, are they speaking to all modern reader of those passages? Of course not; they are talking to particular groups of people.

And yes, you said before that everyone would be saved. Check what you write.

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Re: Organizations

Post #24

Post by Eloi »

Sherlock Holmes wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 3:34 pm
Eloi wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 3:31 pm Do as you please, but ALL (absolute) the examples I quoted above have the Greek word we are talking about. The Bible has no contradictions; the problem is in the preconceived idea that the word "all" in the Bible is limited to the absolute meaning, but as you can see it is not like that ... and neither in modern languages, as I showed before.

Obviously, the lack of information leads to wrong conclusions. I don't expect you to change your mind ... but you are already informed.
I change my mind all the time, that is how I learn, by being willing to admit error, to embracing the discovery of error. You cannot though, even the mere hint that you no longer agree with your leaders will cause you much anguish, not so for me, I am free of that burden, I go where the evidence leads, no man tells me what to believe.
You're wrong. When we have a question about a teaching, we write asking for an answer. We do not decide for ourselves, so as not to fail due to lack of information, like you. We recognize that among us there are more prepared people who can guide us, and WE DO NOT ADMIT AT ALL THAT everyone wants to teach what they want. This is an organized people, and whoever does not want to be led has the opportunity to go where they can govern themselves, alone. If that's what you consider free, be free.

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Re: Organizations

Post #25

Post by JehovahsWitness »

Sherlock Holmes wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 3:32 pm Of course there's destruction of the wicked, where did I say there was none? why do you claim I ignore it?
Sherlock Holmes wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 2:44 pm ... if only a subset of humanity are to be saved would you really expect the text of 1 Cor 15:20 to not say so?
Perhaps there is some confusion are you suggesting all humans that have ever lived will eventually be saved and live forever? What is the point you are making based on 1 Cor 15:20 ?
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Re: Organizations

Post #26

Post by Sherlock Holmes »

Eloi wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 3:36 pm When we read in the Bible that Paul says to the Christians of some congregation "all of you", or Jesus says something similar, are they speaking to all modern reader of those passages? Of course not; they are talking to particular groups of people.

And yes, you said before that everyone would be saved. Check what you write.
It is of course possible to formulate counter arguments, this is how and why Christianity has become so fragmented.

You can take almost any assertion about what you think some verse means and someone else can formulate and often reasonable rebuttal.

It is my opinion (and I used to believe the opposite, complete destruction, removal of those denied eternal life) that the NT does not describe what traditional Christianity seems to think.

See 1 Tim 2:4, 2 Peter 3:9, 1 Cor 15:22 for example, these all use the term "all" there is no scope for a subset, they could easily have said "the elect" or "the righteous" or "the obedient" and so on, yet in all three verses no hint is present that anything other than the totality is what's intended.

Furthermore if indeed (for the sake of argument, indulge me) it had been intended that every human be included, is to be saved, what would the text have said above and beyond "all"?

The confusion arises because of medieval views one the concepts of destruction, lake of fire and so on, these are taken and assumed by most Christians to refer to literal actions rather than being representative of spiritual events.

Consider:
Let no man deceive you by any means, for that Day shall not come, unless there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.
What is the "man of sin"? so many Christians believe (and many also teach) incredible things about this, but like so many thing we must try to see it spiritually not fleshly.

The "man of sin" is you, it is me, it is describing something we must spiritually go through, something we must experience, we must eventually - all of us - recognize that we are the man of sin, once this is apparent (has been revealed to us) then we can experience "the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ".

When we read that in the NT God is speaking directly to us, everything said is for us, it is for our benefit, it is a personal revelation to each and everyone of us.

Read what follows the above:
He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
This is describing us, prior to conversion and acceptance that we are nothing, worthless, helpless, this describes us, we exalt ourselves, we set ourselves up as our God, our ego is our God.

Much of the NT has this tone and meaning, the obsession with "fire and brimstone" like so many beliefs were not what the Apostles understood.
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Re: Organizations

Post #27

Post by JehovahsWitness »

Sherlock Holmes wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 11:53 am
Furthermore if indeed (for the sake of argument, indulge me) it had been intended that every human be included, is to be saved, what would the text have said above and beyond "all"?
So please clarify what you are proposing because it seems you currently hold that every human that has or will ever exist will eventually be given eternal life.

Is this what you believe? If not perhaps you can state clearly what you do believe.
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Re: Organizations

Post #28

Post by nobspeople »

Sherlock Holmes wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 12:32 pm Over many years I've developed the view that organizations (for example Watchtower, LDS, Charismatics and so on) are completely unnecessary and a source of confusion, sometimes even fear and misery, for people.

Each of these has some specific set of rules or beliefs that distinguish them from the others and one is expected to embrace and support those beliefs in order to remain (or at least be accepted as) a member.

I have nothing against consulting others, seeking opinions, discussing stuff with others but I am against the whole organization, member, rules, etc structure to Christianity.

My own understanding today is that Christ speaks to me, influences my spirit, as and when I read scripture or think about scripture or God in any way, I have no need for some intercessor.

If I do not understand something I pray on it, I either take steps to learn more or leave it in God's hands, leave it simply as "I don't understand", I am fine and I think God is fine with that.

One of the many problems with organizations like those listed, is that they set themselves up as those who do understand, they encourage individuals to consult them, listen to them when we should really rely on God primarily.

Representatives of these organizations typically try to avoid ever saying "I don't know" as if they'd appear weak to do so. They like to have answers to questions and it seems to me that sometimes having an answer is more important than admitting that they don't know.

I became close (during the 1980s) to the former WWCG, led by the late Herbert Armstrong, I found their literature thought provoking (I spent a lot if time in libraries back then, and contrasted WWCG with JWs and others) but never became a "member", because despite finding much sense in their literature I remained unconvinced about some of their rules, for example tithing, and this was one of the things stopping me from "joining".

Since Armstrong died (and the entire group fragmented with much fall out and misery for some) I've learned to rely primarily on God to guide me, the scripture being a written representation of Christ, able to impart knowledge and understanding, or at least provide the impetus for it, when I choose to consult it, to rely upon it.

Am I in a minority here? are very very few Christians decoupled from formal organizations or is my attitude regarded as heretical by some?
Any time there's people involved, it's always ripe for confusion and spreading false information. Truly, places like LSD, JWs, Scientologists, etc. aren't organizations I'd suggest people look for in order to get clarification. Personally, I think they should all be illegal, but that will never happen. So, it's best to let those who want to seek out those types of places do so. So long as they don't harm others, I don't care what they do with their beliefs. Just keep them away from me and mine!
Are you in the minority thinking the way you do? Probably. But it doesn't mean it's wrong.
Have a great, potentially godless, day!

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Re: Organizations

Post #29

Post by JehovahsWitness »

Sherlock Holmes wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 11:53 am [

See 1 Tim 2:4, 2 Peter 3:9, 1 Cor 15:22 for example, these all use the term "all" there is no scope for a subset, they could easily have said "the elect" or "the righteous" or "the obedient" and so on, yet in all three verses no hint is present that anything other than the totality is what's intended.

Furthermore if indeed (for the sake of argument, indulge me) it had been intended that every human be included, is to be saved, what would the text have said above and beyond "all"?
As has been demonstrated, the greek word alone is not enough (because it can mean "all" in the absolute or all /every as in all of an explicit or implicit subgroup). So'there is no point in running around shouting pointing to "all" , "all" , "all" as if of itself it settled anything; in Greek it essentially means "everyone" which is dependent on context as to who is being referred to. In that its no different from the ENGLISH
To illustrate : A teacher's class is misbehaving and she yells "Everyone get out!! " She said "everyone" without and modifications, does she mean every human that has ever been born? Including herself? As they leave she says "ALL students will be punished" Does this include an obedient group of students in a class that met 90 years ago in a school 12,000 miles away in Manchester England?

Whether her "all" and "everyone" is absolute is implicite in the context. In the same way one has To examine the teachings of Christ and the immediate and wonder context of their Greek scripture commentaries to determine if the"all" and "everyone" being used is or is not in the absolute.

There wil be no "gotcha" momment by just pointing to the Word.
INDEX: More bible based ANSWERS
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 81#p826681


"For if we live, we live to Jehovah, and if we die, we die to Jehovah. So both if we live and if we die, we belong to Jehovah" -
Romans 14:8

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Re: Organizations

Post #30

Post by JehovahsWitness »

Sherlock Holmes wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 11:53 am [

See 1 Tim 2:4, 2 Peter 3:9, 1 Cor 15:22 for example, these all use the term "all" there is no scope for a subset, they could easily have said "the elect" or "the righteous" or "the obedient" and so on, yet in all three verses no hint is present that anything other than the totality is what's intended.

Furthermore if indeed (for the sake of argument, indulge me) it had been intended that every human be included, is to be saved, what would the text have said above and beyond "all"?


As has been demonstrated, the greek word alone is not enough (because it can mean "all" in the absolute or all /every as in all of an explicit or implicit subgroup). So there is no point in running around shouting to "all" , "all" , "all" as if, of itself, that settles ANYTHING.

In Greek it essentially means "everyone" which is dependent on context as to who is being referred to. In that its no different from the english.
To illustrate : A teacher's class is misbehaving and she yells "Everyone get out!! " She said "everyone" without any modifications. Does she mean "every human that has ever been born? Including herself? As they leave she says "ALL students will be punished" Does this include an obedient group of students in a class 12,000 miles away in Manchester England?

Whether her "all" and "everyone" is absolute or NOT is implicit in the context. In the same way, one has to examine the teachings of Christ and the immediate and wider context of their Greek scripture commentaries to determine if the "all" and "everyone" being used is, or is not in the absolute.

There wil be no "gotcha" moment by just pointing to the word.




JW
INDEX: More bible based ANSWERS
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 81#p826681


"For if we live, we live to Jehovah, and if we die, we die to Jehovah. So both if we live and if we die, we belong to Jehovah" -
Romans 14:8

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