Saturday, July 29, 2006

Just Like Jesus Did

Love this story from the Times: "The Rev. Gregory A. Boyd caused a stir among members of Woodland Hills Church outside St. Paul, Minn., when he urged an end to sexual moralizing and military glorification and said America should not be proclaimed a “Christian nation.”"

How wonderful.

Those of you who have read the Bible will recall the story of Jesus being tempted with lordship over all the world's kingdoms by Satan when he was fasting for forty days. Still, Jesus turned away from these and said that is kingdom would not be a part of this world; a lesson that Christanity has completely forgotten in its quest for power.

With that, I applaud the stance taken by people like Reverend Boyd; I don't have to agree with his views, but I can agree that we both have to co-exist in this country and that neither of us has the right to limit each other's freedoms.

Having been raised as a Jehovah's Witness, it was always impressed upon me that true believers in God focus on Him and His kingdom to right the human condition; to propagate a human and therefore error-bound system would simply be a waste of time. And since Jesus did say that his true disciples would have love for one another, it's arguable that the true faithful are those who aren't engaged in politics at all. Come to think of it, how can Christians today foment the love of Christ if they're too busy deepening the fissures caused by politics?

It's unfortunate that spirituality has been maligned in our country's culture war. That an intangible concept can be so misconstrued to dictate black and white policy is appalling and its a crime that seems to have no end. I'm glad many more people in the Christian community are taking a stand against this and while championing their faith are also championing the existence and liberty of others.


Danny Haszard said...

-A heads up on the Jehovah Witness-

There is no Armageddon that will annihilate 6.5 billion people,and install Watchtower leaders as world rulers.

The core dogma of the Watchtower organization is that Jesus had his second coming 'invisibly' in the year 1914.Their entire doctrinal superstructure is built on this falsehood.

Jehovah's Witnesses door to door recruitment is by their own admission an ineffective tactic. They have lost membership in all countries with major Internet access because their false doctrines and harmful practices are exposed on the modern information superhighway.

There is good and valid reasons why there is such an outrage against the Watchtower for misleading millions of followers.Many have invested everything in the 'imminent' apocalyptic promises of the Jehovah's Witnesses and have died broken and beaten.

Every Jehovah's Witness member will grow old and die just like everyone else.
Danny Haszard Bangor Maine 'expert witness on the Jehovah's Witness'

GayConservativeLiberal said...

Danny, thanks for your comments. I can't speak for your experience with the JWs, but for me, it's definitely been a life saver. I actually look back fondly at the time I spent with the organization.

Coming out was very hard, and losing that community was equally hard, but I've made peace with my notion of God and it doesn't inspire any hostility toward the JWs. Again, that's just me.

My point with this post was that, unlike most religions in the world, the JWs are so focused on their own understanding of their faith and God that they take no part in could say that's an admirable feat in today's world.

Frank King said...

Hi Danny,

Your comments on JW's sound like so many of those who know little about them. In an attempt to clarify a few things for you:

1. If there is no Armageddon, then why does the Bible book of Revelation speak of one? Rev. 16:14-16.

2. JW's do not teach that "Watchtower leaders" will be "world rulers". The Bible teaches that ruling the world is reserved for Jesus Christ and all faithful anointed Christians in the last (approximately) 2000 years, and that's what JW's believe. (Rev. 5:10; Luke 22:28-30; + lots more)

3. A discussion of the 1914 thing is too extensive for consideration here. It involves an in depth understanding of roughly 7 books of the Bible. Just as there is a difference between 2nd grade math and advanced calculus, there is a difference in a basic Bible knowledge, or perhaps an inaccurate knowledge of the Bible and an in depth knowledge. To fully understand, you will need to talk to a JW. (That is if you want to really have an accurate understanding of what they believe)

4. JW's "entire doctrinal superstructure" is not "built on this (the 1914) falsehood". This statement by itself reveals you have a limited and perhaps biased (Oh, you think?) outlook on JW beliefs, probably from misinformation you've received from those of other religious persuasions.

5. Again, I don't know from what source you are getting your information, but in 1919, there were only about 5,000 JW's world wide. When I became a JW (50 years later, 1969), there were 1,450,000 throughout the earth with about 30,000 congregations, today JW's are approaching 7,000,000 with almost 100,000 congregations worldwide. The power behind this explosive growth, (despite sometimes bitter opposition and persecution and almost universal animas from all the world and other supposed Christian sects), we know and feel comes from God’s Holy Spirit in blessing the door-to-door preaching that Jesus Christ instituted with his apostles and disciples in the first century. Only JW's practice this today in obedience to Jesus (Matt. 24:14: 28:19,20). So it is NOT "by their own admission an ineffective tactic". I might add, JW's are not simply 'members' coming each to 'occupy a seat' each week, but ACTIVE teachers and preachers of God's Word to all our neighbors whom Jesus taught us to love. The Internet has in actuality accelerated and enhanced our door-to-door work as we can now refer people everywhere in the world to and they can learn what JW's "really teach" and not the mis-information they get from others who have never really investigated JW's for themselves or who have been influenced by religous leaders who have a vested (financial) interest in keeping them misinformed. JW's support their entire work on VOLUNTARY DONATIONS and never is the collection 'hat' or 'plate' passed at any of their meetings nor do any of them get paid a wage for any of their work in "preaching the good news of God's Kingdom". No paid clergy either. Matt. 10:8.

6. Of what "outrage" do you speak? We are the only group calling themselves Christians who spends months and even years NOT "misleading millions of followers". We patiently and lovingly expend ourselves in God's service, by going to the peoples homes if they like, (Matt: 10:11-15; Acts 20:20) and at our expense to show them IN THEIR OWN BIBLES what they should have been taught already by their own religions, or introduce them to Christiantity if they come from a land or religion that is not based on the Bible. When they SEE IT FOR THEMSELVES, it remains up to them to CHOOSE whether to dedicate themselves OR NOT to dedicate themselves to the work assigned by the Master, Jesus Christ.

7. You say "Many have invested........and have died broken and beaten". I've known literally thousands of JW's over my 37 years as a JW and have known few if any who lived and died as you described. Of course, money, comfort, riches, and fame should not be a goal of any who would follow Jesus Christ in the way he truly instructed. (1 Corinthians 1:26-31) His enemies then and now say he "died broken and beaten". However his Father Jehovah raised him up 3 day later and gave him the crown of life. Many True Christians have given up their own desires to pursue those of God's Kingdom and trusted in Him to care for them. (Matt. 6:19-34)

8. Yep, we still "grow old and die just like everyone else". But that wont stop us from relying on Jesus' promise and helping all those we can to eventually not! (Rev. 2:10) What are you and your group doing, in addition to trying to hinder us? (John 15:17-21)

Danny, you may consider yourself an 'expert witness on Jehovah's Witnesses'. In court trials 'expert witnesses' can be gotten for each side. You need to learn a lot about JW's before you can be a "True witness" about them.

Frank King. Orange County, Ca.