1. Joined
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    18 Mar '12 16:39
    Recently, RJ responded to a question I asked by posting a link to a Christian website that addressed the question. I have no objection to this, but it raised a question in my mind.

    How does a Christian identify and "validate" the sources of guidance they will rely in WRT their faith? Based on my own experience it was a sort of packaged gift from the RCC. The consecrated members of the Apostolic succession and those they identified, were to be looked to, for guidance. Examples were Sts. Augustine and Aquinas. The Imprimatur is used as authorization of modern works.

    It was all neat and tidy, if tremendously conservative. Of course, before the printing press and before the Bible was widely available in local tongues, this was not so much a question, even within the Church.

    So, how do Christians who are not in such a tradition, do it? Aside from relying on their own local religious leaders?

    In this day of numerous easily created web sites, with many of us turning to our PC's for research, this question seems especially relevant. Do you have sites and sources that you recommend? How did you validate them?
  2. Standard memberRajk999
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    18 Mar '12 17:312 edits
    Originally posted by JS357
    Recently, RJ responded to a question I asked by posting a link to a Christian website that addressed the question. I have no objection to this, but it raised a question in my mind.

    How does a Christian identify and "validate" the sources of guidance they will rely in WRT their faith? Based on my own experience it was a sort of packaged gift from the RCC. Th cially relevant. Do you have sites and sources that you recommend? How did you validate them?
    In the days when people were mostly illiterate and uneducated I can understand requiring someone to interpret the Bible. These days with such abundance of knowledge and information there is no excuse for not reading the Bible for yourself. Christ's words are very easy to understand. So are the words of the Apostles. Whatever portions are difficult are not requirements for eternal life.

    Anyone who says they need help either
    - genuinely need help because of their lack of reading skills, or
    - are lazy and want others to do the work for them, or
    - they dont really care for eternal life.
    Those in the first group will be in the minority in these times.

    Im sure you are asking now well why are there so much variation in the interpretation. My answer to that people gravitate to the path of least resistance. The doctrine of Christ requires a drastic change of lifestyle for most of us and its hard going to love your enemies and do good to them to hate you and to constantly give of your time and resources to the welfare of others.

    People are by nature interested more in self that in giving, are mostly takers rather than givers. So the one-sided doctrine prevalent in churches that faith alone, without works is all that is necessary and once saved you are saved eternally .. is popular. Its religions equivalent of the modern welfare state. No need to work.. Christ will take care of you. Lazy and selfish Christians are attracted to that doctrine. .. just my 2 cents.
  3. Joined
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    18 Mar '12 17:51
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    In the days when people were mostly illiterate and uneducated I can understand requiring someone to interpret the Bible. These days with such abundance of knowledge and information there is no excuse for not reading the Bible for yourself. Christ's words are very easy to understand. So are the words of the Apostles. Whatever portions are difficult are no ...[text shortened]... e care of you. Lazy and selfish Christians are attracted to that doctrine. .. just my 2 cents.
    We said, seriously.

    But as knightmeister said in another thread I think you are confusing your (admirable) passion for 'living the life' with the actual doctrines appertaining to eternal life.

    The Bible speaks of those "escaping though the fire by the skin of their teeth" or words to that effect. In the after life I am convinced their will be a hierarchy (for want of a better word) based around whatever purpose God has and those who have followed the path of obedience. It is then that what you talk of will come into play - that's my 2 cents worth. 🙂
  4. Joined
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    18 Mar '12 23:011 edit
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    In the days when people were mostly illiterate and uneducated I can understand requiring someone to interpret the Bible. These days with such abundance of knowledge and information there is no excuse for not reading the Bible for yourself. Christ's words are very easy to understand. So are the words of the Apostles. Whatever portions are difficult are no ...[text shortened]... e care of you. Lazy and selfish Christians are attracted to that doctrine. .. just my 2 cents.
    Im sure you are asking now well why are there so much variation in the interpretation.


    Well, not really, because what you say, already answers that rather neatly. "Whatever portions are difficult are not requirements for eternal life." If the existence of variations in interpretation causes a portion to be difficult for someone (edit: who is otherwise faithful), his understanding of that portion is not (at least so long as it remains difficult) a requirement for his eternal life. So the approach is to accept and live by what you understand, confident that portions that cause you difficulty due to variations in interpretation will not cost you your eternal life.

    At least, when I look at this from the POV of the faithful, to the extent I can, I can see this as an internally consistent answer.
  5. Standard memberRajk999
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    19 Mar '12 01:04
    Originally posted by divegeester
    .. actual doctrines appertaining to eternal life.
    These doctrines were spelt out by Christ. I dont think it is wise to water it down.

    There are 2 kinds of people in the world.
    Those serious about eternal life.
    Those whose religion is just a side show in their lives.

    The serious ones will erase their minds of the doctrines of men, and those taught in churches today and start reading the doctrine of Christ first. Then read the doctrines taught by the Apostles.

    Everyone can read and spell for themselves.
  6. Standard memberRajk999
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    19 Mar '12 01:22
    Originally posted by JS357
    Im sure you are asking now well why are there so much variation in the interpretation.


    Well, not really, because what you say, already answers that rather neatly. "Whatever portions are difficult are not requirements for eternal life." If the existence of variations in interpretation causes a portion to be difficult for someone (edit: who is ...[text shortened]... e POV of the faithful, to the extent I can, I can see this as an internally consistent answer.
    If you consider that in the time of Christ many did not have access to a Bible. There was the OT hanging around but many who heard Christ's teachings simply went by what he said and many believed.

    Similarly in the time of Paul, there was only a few OT and no NT in the Mediterranean Sea area where he preached. Again they simply accepted the teachings of Paul and the Apostles.

    Clearly followers in those days had no translations, and versions, and commentaries, and Septuagint etc etc to argue over. They simply followed the teachings of Christ and lived the life which Christ said we should live. Followers lived like a small socialist/communist community sharing and giving and helping. Now as a substitute for good works Christians go to church and engage in lots of bible study and analysis etc. Not sure how well that will go down on judgment day.
  7. Joined
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    19 Mar '12 01:571 edit
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    These doctrines were spelt out by Christ. I dont think it is wise to water it down.

    There are 2 kinds of people in the world.
    Those serious about eternal life.
    Those whose religion is just a side show in their lives.

    The serious ones will erase their minds of the doctrines of men, and those taught in churches today and start reading the doctrine of C ...[text shortened]... Then read the doctrines taught by the Apostles.

    Everyone can read and spell for themselves.
    Yes many can read and see what the Bible says themselves. But as you mentioned what are they doing it for? What is their motive?
    We all know the scripture that says "many would call on his name and would do many wonderful things in his name but yet he will tell them to get away from him".
    And this is where one who is interested in learning the truths in the Bible must open their minds and more importantly their hearts to God and use his name when praying.

    Romans 10:13
    New Living Translation (NLT)

    13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD ( or Jehovah ) will be saved.”

    Notice this says "will be saved" not "is saved".

    But the point here is they would first have to know God's name in order for God to respond and search out the heart and then maybe he will let the one honestly searching, see and understand the truths in the Bible.
  8. Standard memberRajk999
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    19 Mar '12 02:13
    Originally posted by galveston75
    Yes many can read and see what the Bible says themselves. But as you mentioned what are they doing it for? What is their motive?
    We all know the scripture that says "many would call on his name and would do many wonderful things in his name but yet he will tell them to get away from him".
    And this is where one who is interested in learning the truths ...[text shortened]... maybe he will let the one honestly searching, see and understand the truths in the Bible.
    Christ knows people's heart and mind. I think you are nitpicking here.
  9. Joined
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    19 Mar '12 02:211 edit
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    Christ knows people's heart and mind. I think you are nitpicking here.
    Nitpick it about what? Did I use this scripture wrong? Did I miss quote it?
  10. Standard memberRajk999
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    19 Mar '12 02:27
    Originally posted by galveston75
    Nitpick it about what? Did I use this scripture wrong? Did I miss quote it?
    I think its important to walk upright at all times. Dont bend and walk ..

    Prov 28:18 Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved:
  11. Joined
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    19 Mar '12 02:29
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    I think its important to walk upright at all times. Dont bend and walk ..

    Prov 28:18 Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved:
    So still I ask what did I nitpick about?
  12. Standard memberRJHinds
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    19 Mar '12 03:48
    Originally posted by galveston75
    Yes many can read and see what the Bible says themselves. But as you mentioned what are they doing it for? What is their motive?
    We all know the scripture that says "many would call on his name and would do many wonderful things in his name but yet he will tell them to get away from him".
    And this is where one who is interested in learning the truths ...[text shortened]... maybe he will let the one honestly searching, see and understand the truths in the Bible.
    The Holy Spirit is still in the world to teach us if we will let Him. You don't need
    to worship the Watchtower's Teachings. So there is no need for Jehovah's
    Witnesses. We already have a true witness in the Holy Spirit. Hallelu YAH !!!
  13. Joined
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    19 Mar '12 04:011 edit
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    The Holy Spirit is still in the world to teach us if we will let Him. You don't need
    to worship the Watchtower's Teachings. So there is no need for Jehovah's
    Witnesses. We already have a true witness in the Holy Spirit. Hallelu YAH !!!
    Lets make this as plain as I can to you. I worship no one but Jehovah. I do not and never will worship any man or any organization. No JW on this planet will ever do that in any way shape or form.
    So you can keep spouting off these lies it will never change my mind or the mind of any JW no matter how much you reamain in the dark about us. You continue to show how LITTLE you know about the JW's......

    So if you believe the Holy Spirit is among us within the confines of who you think the Holy Spirit is which is God himself according to you, why do we not see him as we did Jesus who you also think is God? Where is he now? Which country is he in? Please let me know as I'd love to see what he looks like..........
  14. Standard memberRJHinds
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    19 Mar '12 07:20
    Originally posted by galveston75
    Lets make this as plain as I can to you. I worship no one but Jehovah. I do not and never will worship any man or any organization. No JW on this planet will ever do that in any way shape or form.
    So you can keep spouting off these lies it will never change my mind or the mind of any JW no matter how much you reamain in the dark about us. You continue ...[text shortened]... ow? Which country is he in? Please let me know as I'd love to see what he looks like..........
    You probably don't know nothing about the founding of the JWs.

    In 1872, a pastor named Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916), organized a
    Bible Study Group in Allegheny, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. USA. Less than 10
    years later, this study group became the Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society.
    Pastor Russell became its founding president. Later, they adopted the name
    Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. In 1931, they adopted the name
    "Jehovah's Witnesses" which has remained unchanged to this date.

    The word "Jehovah" refers to the name of the God of Israel. It is an error
    resulting among Christians from combining the consonants Yhwh (Jhvh) with
    the vowels of 'adhonay, "Lord," which the Jews in reading the Scriptures
    substitute for the sacred name, commonly called the tetragramation as
    containing four consonants." (source: Encyclopedia Britannica 1953, Vol. 12).
  15. Standard memberRJHinds
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    19 Mar '12 09:304 edits
    In 1876, pastor Russell wrote an article entitled; Gentile Times: When do they End?
    It appeared in the October 1876 issue of Bible Examiner. On page 27 of that issue,
    referring to the Gospel of Luke 21: 24, the founding president predicted that the
    "Seven Times will end in A.D. 1914". However, the expected KINGDOM OF JEHOVAH did
    not come. None of the events concerning Jerusalem, mentioned in Luke 21: 24 happen
    in the year 1914. The Society then concluded that the predicted year was to be a
    turning point in human history and not the end of the "Seven Times". Two years
    later, pastor Russell died.

    The Society's succeeding President (Judge) Joseph F. Ruthford (1869-1942) shifted
    the direction of the Society's belief from "The End Times" to "The Golden Age". The
    belief for "The End Times" was based upon the apocalyptic symbolic imageries for
    the "Seven Times" that the author of the Book of Revelation claimed to have seen in
    a Vision.

    In 1909, the Society moved its headquarters to Brooklyn, New York. In 1942, the
    president J. Ruthford who spoke of the "Golden Age" also died.

    Strong hatred for the TRINITARIAN belief of ONE GOD on one hand and equally strong
    adherence for the DUALITY of that same ONE GOD on the other hand, seems equally
    misguided if one was to look at them as an outsider.

    Since GOD is ONE, there cannot be "the God" as well as "a god".

    It is not surprising that the Catholics and the Protestants do not consider
    Jehovah's Witnesses as a Christian movement. They also refuse to accept their
    teachings, literature and the translations of the Holy Scriptures.

    P.S. Russell was only 20 years old when he started this bible study group that
    became known as the Jehovah's Witnesses. Christ Jesus was over 30 years old.
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