Organizations

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Sherlock Holmes
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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?
When one has eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

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Re: Organizations

Post #2

Post by JehovahsWitness »

Well as one of Jehovah's Witnesses my view is governed by scripture which clearly indicates God has favored gathering sincere people of faith into an organised religion. While I understand people's disillusionment with religious organisations, examining scripture through an anti-organisation bias means they fail to continue to search for the organisation that does represent God on earth today.


CAN IT RIGHTLY BE SAID THAT THE FIRST CENTURY DISCIPLES OF CHRIST FORMED AN ORGANISED RELIGION?

Image
TheJerusalem Council - Acts 15
  • A chosen name which identified them as a group - Acts 11:26
  • A "hierarchical" structure, with a central body of decision makers - Acts 15:2, 28; Act 16:4
  • Written instruction that those representing said leadership be obeyed - Heb 13:17
  • A system of communicating their decisions and directions to the wider community Acts 15:22, 23
  • Regular congregational meetings for upbuilding and instruction - Hebrews 10:25 compare 1 Cor 16:19, Acts 13:1
  • Appointed elders authorised to discipline, judge and in extreme cases expulse from the community 1 Tim 3:2, 8 ; Acts 14:23 compare 1 Cor 5:13
  • A centralized system to finance community aid and disaster relief Act 11:29
  • Travelling missionairs and local preachers - Acts 16:3-5



To learn more please go to other posts related to...

ORGANISATION, ORGANISATIONAL INFALLIBILITY and ...RELIGIOUS TRUTH
Last edited by JehovahsWitness on Sun Jan 09, 2022 1:33 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Romans 14:8

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Re: Organizations

Post #3

Post by Sherlock Holmes »

JehovahsWitness wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 1:00 pm Well as one of Jehovah's Witnesses my view is governed by scripture which clearly indicates God has favored gathering sincere people of faith into an organised religion. While I understand people's disillusionment with religious organisations, examining scripture through an anti-organisation bias means they fail to continue to search for the organisation that does represent God on earth today.
Well good luck to you.
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Re: Organizations

Post #4

Post by JehovahsWitness »

Sherlock Holmes wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 1:17 pm
JehovahsWitness wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 1:00 pm Well as one of Jehovah's Witnesses my view is governed by scripture which clearly indicates God has favored gathering sincere people of faith into an organised religion. While I understand people's disillusionment with religious organisations, examining scripture through an anti-organisation bias means they fail to continue to search for the organisation that does represent God on earth today.
Well good luck to you.
Thank you. And bible believing Christians would I believe agree that Christians must be part of an organised To please God today. Other favors of Christians that do not hold so closely to the bible model probably do not.



JEHOVAH'S WITNESS
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" -
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Re: Organizations

Post #5

Post by Sherlock Holmes »

JehovahsWitness wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 1:27 pm
Sherlock Holmes wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 1:17 pm
JehovahsWitness wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 1:00 pm Well as one of Jehovah's Witnesses my view is governed by scripture which clearly indicates God has favored gathering sincere people of faith into an organised religion. While I understand people's disillusionment with religious organisations, examining scripture through an anti-organisation bias means they fail to continue to search for the organisation that does represent God on earth today.
Well good luck to you.
Thank you. And bible believing Christians would I believe agree that Christians must be part of an organised To please God today. Other favors of Christians that do not hold so closely to the bible model probably do not.

JEHOVAH'S WITNESS
God is organized, the Bible is organized, my knowledge and understanding and studies are organized. Human built institutions each reflect different characteristics, each one claims to be the "true" church, each one calls out the doctrinal shortcomings of the other.

My experience is that each one makes some claims that are reasonable but each one also makes claims that are not, that are at odds, that are an imposition, a means of control, divisive.

I also know that many who are members of such organizations truly believe they are in the one "true" church and the those in the others are at a spiritual disadvantage.

Frankly I very much doubt it matters, salvation for all seems to be the real Gospel, I only learned of this recently, once one can accept that all will be saved then these organizations can be seen as largely irrelevant, they reflect human, fleshly aspirations.

That all will be saved, all humans who have ever existed, will be saved then the magnitude of the Gospel and the true depth of love becomes staggering, I understand this seems hard to reconcile with other beliefs but it can be, there is no huge glaring contradiction.
When one has eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

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Re: Organizations

Post #6

Post by Eloi »

Sherlock Holmes wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 1:49 pm (...)
Frankly I very much doubt it matters, salvation for all seems to be the real Gospel, I only learned of this recently, once one can accept that all will be saved then these organizations can be seen as largely irrelevant, they reflect human, fleshly aspirations.

That all will be saved, all humans who have ever existed, will be saved then the magnitude of the Gospel and the true depth of love becomes staggering, I understand this seems hard to reconcile with other beliefs but it can be, there is no huge glaring contradiction.
That is ABSOLUTELY THE CONTRARY of what Jesus taught (Matt. 7:21-23).

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Re: Organizations

Post #7

Post by Sherlock Holmes »

Eloi wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 1:52 pm
Sherlock Holmes wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 1:49 pm (...)
Frankly I very much doubt it matters, salvation for all seems to be the real Gospel, I only learned of this recently, once one can accept that all will be saved then these organizations can be seen as largely irrelevant, they reflect human, fleshly aspirations.

That all will be saved, all humans who have ever existed, will be saved then the magnitude of the Gospel and the true depth of love becomes staggering, I understand this seems hard to reconcile with other beliefs but it can be, there is no huge glaring contradiction.
That is ABSOLUTELY THE CONTRARY of what Jesus taught (Matt. 7:21-23).
Absolutely contrary?
This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
and
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
and
Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?
and
For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
Of course some, perhaps you, will argue that I am in error, that I do not "understand" and that I am in need of guidance from an organization.

Now I am aware that there are numerous other verses that appear to conflict, I am not blind to these things. But there is no conflict, where there appears to be conflict in scripture there is usually a nugget of wisdom just waiting to be revealed to us.
When one has eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

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Re: Organizations

Post #8

Post by Eloi »

[Replying to Sherlock Holmes in post #2]
You are denying what Jesus said and I just quoted before. Look:

Rev. 20:14 And death and Haʹdes were hurled into the lake of fire. This means the second death, the lake of fire. 15 Furthermore, whoever was not found written in the book of life was hurled into the lake of fire.

Yours is not more than wishful thinking and false hope. Do not deceive yourself.

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Re: Organizations

Post #9

Post by Sherlock Holmes »

Eloi wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 2:03 pm [Replying to Sherlock Holmes in post #2]
You are denying what Jesus said and I just quoted before. Look:

Rev. 20:14 And death and Haʹdes were hurled into the lake of fire. This means the second death, the lake of fire. 15 Furthermore, whoever was not found written in the book of life was hurled into the lake of fire.

Yours is not more than wishful thinking and false hope. Do not deceive yourself.
Yes that is exactly what is written in Revelation, as I said wherever there seems to be a conflict there is a nugget of wisdom waiting to be revealed to us.

Describing what I say as my "wishful thinking" ignores that fact that this is really what is written:
1 Cor 15:20 wrote:For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
The fact is both that and Rev are true, any conflict stems from one's assumptions.
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Re: Organizations

Post #10

Post by Eloi »

The conflict is in your imagination, not in the teachings of Jesus:

Matt. 7:13 “Go in through the narrow gate, because broad is the gate and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are going in through it; 14 whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are finding it.
15 “Be on the watch for the false prophets who come to you in sheep’s covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves. 16 By their fruits you will recognize them. Never do people gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles, do they? 17 Likewise, every good tree produces fine fruit, but every rotten tree produces worthless fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear worthless fruit, nor can a rotten tree produce fine fruit. 19 Every tree not producing fine fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Really, then, by their fruits you will recognize those men.
21 “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of the heavens, but only the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will. 22 Many will say to me in that day: ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them: ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’
24 “Therefore, everyone who hears these sayings of mine and does them will be like a discreet man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain poured down and the floods came and the winds blew and lashed against that house, but it did not cave in, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 Furthermore, everyone hearing these sayings of mine and not doing them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain poured down and the floods came and the winds blew and struck against that house, and it caved in, and its collapse was great.”

Have a good day.

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