Ministry Induced By Interpretation, Enforced By Guilt

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by SingleCell, Aug 14, 2018.

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    SingleCell

    SingleCell Experienced Member

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    There are quite a few ex-and-current JWs plagued by guilt

    Perhaps a guilt induced by the dichotomy between "doing what I do not want to do" while simultaneously realizing "I know what I *should* do", indeed, but more complex than this simple reality Paul explained in Romans 7.

    "I'm not doing enough"

    "so-and-so is active and faithful, I'm completely useless"

    "I know the scriptures, but can't quite meet the standard"


    (this appears in all organized Christian religion, not just JWs)


    FULL STOP! Our brother Paul told us this would happen in Romans 7.

    As Jehovah's Witnesses, and as mentioned, all Christian denominations, there is a more nefarious inducement to guilt beyond our personal failing which rightly convicts us and moves us to do better, learning, and discerning.

    The same guilt imposed by the Pharisees which stems from the suggestion that "God can't possibly love you, or accept you, (or allow you into his Son's 1000 year reign)" without meeting some "inferred requirement" agreed upon by committee .

    Example from a comment at a meeting recently:

    "Let us hold fast the public declaration" - Hebrews 10:23a NWT means "go door to door"

    Click the asterisk next to this term public declaration and, you'll find "public declaration" is "confession"

    So what is meant by confession? Is it as suggested the public ministry of Jehovah's Witnesses?

    There is a sister in my hall who can not and should not be in the public door to door ministry. Her personality doesn't work with it. One of the most spiritually beautiful people I know, yet will state that she struggles with faith.

    What a sad commentary on the application of Christ's teaching by the organized harlot, eh?

    This must and will end. Just as Jesus went after the Pharisees, who set themselves up as the model to follow, but inside are like whitewashed graves, so will the Christian system end. Exposed for not understanding God and his prodigal son.

    [​IMG]

    Trust in God and not men. His mercy will cause the self-righteous to cringe when revealed!

    Should a person and their interpretation of a word make you feel unlovable by God?
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    I felt this way for many years. For some 20 years I fought a losing battle, a battle against an ideology that left me without the correct tools of war...

    Idk if matters have ended up as they were destined to on my part or not, that perhaps I am the servant of Gods kingdom today because of my experiences throughout those years, but I regret many things, and believe I understand how undeserving I really am.

    I can attest to the fact that our Lord chooses the weak of the world to bring to shame the strong, and that I know that if I can be forgiven, then anyone can be forgiven.

    I know our Lords day will not be late a single day my dear brother...
     
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    Jan

    Jan Active Member

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    I agree with your post. I have also thought about Hebrews 10:23 and understood how wrong the organization applies this scripture. Even that they twist the meaning from confession of our faith to preaching our faith. There is a huge difference in that.
    The problem with the organization is that they compel brothers and sisters to preach more than needed. What is too much is too much. Like too much sugar in your coffe or to much salt in your food.

    In fact it is even enough to once work through a city or a village door to door. There is no need to return to uninterested people. That is why it says in Hebrews in the original text confession and no allusion to preaching. Because once you have worked through the territory the only thing expected by Jesus is that we are not shy to confess our faith when asked about it by workmates or neigbours.

    Jesus himself gave exactly such instructions when he sent his disciples to preach. For example in Mathew 10:11:
    Into whatever city or village you enter, search out who in it is deserving, and stay there until you leave. 12 When you enter the house, greet the household. 13 If the house is deserving, let the peace you wish it come upon it; but if it is not deserving, let the peace from you return upon you. 14 Wherever anyone does not receive you or listen to your words, on going out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I say to you, it will be more endurable for the land of Sodʹom and Go·morʹrah on Judgment Day than for that city.

    Here Jesus did clearly not give any instruction to revisit unresponding people, to the contrary he said that those who did not receive the message at the first visit will end worse than Sodom and Gomorra.

    And to make the point even clearer, think about the christians who where ordered by Jesus to flee Jerusalem and Judea three and half years before its destruction. So there was absolutely no preaching the last 3 and half years before Jerusalems destruction. So you see the preaching work is not so important at all.
    But when asked about our faith we should not be shy to confess our faith, as we are told in Hebrews 10:23. And that is what Jesus also told when he said.

    Mathew 10:32 "Everyone, then, who acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father who is in the heavens. 33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will also disown him before my Father who is in the heavens."
     
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    Jan

    Jan Active Member

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    In addition I remember that the organization told about "bad" brothers in 1930:ies who did not think it was necessary to preach that much. Those brothers instead put their main effort in character improvment. Yeah, the organization denounces to make that a priority.

    But to the contrary that is the priority. To improve once character. To become a mature christian, to clothe oneself in Christ, to put on the new personality in its fullness.
    Really Jehovah God wishes most of all that we become good as Jesus and live in peace and love within our families and congregations and behave well with all people around us.
     
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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    Here we go again, with the translation of biblical Greek to English, or other language. Translation by any religious organization depends on how they interpret for their teaching.

    Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;” ( Heb 10:23 NASB )

    Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised ” ( Heb 10:23 KJV )

    let us hold fast the confession of the hope without wavering, for he is faithful that has promised;” ( Heb 10:23 Codex )

    The Greek word is: homologia = hom-ol-og-ee'-ah
    1. profession
    a. subjectively: whom we profess to be ours
    b. objectively: profession [confession] i.e. what one professes [confesses]

    There is no mention of “public declaration”. The only way that idea is made; if you speak to another person, no matter where it may take place. The place that fits the idea of “public declaration”, would be at the Kingdom Hall. “Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” ( 1 Tim 6:12 NASB )

    Let us hold firmly the public declaration of our hope without wavering, for the one who promised is faithful.” (Heb 10:23 NWT)

    The words “public” and “declaration” do not appear in this scripture. There are 5 Greek words translated for public, used in the Greek scriptures, depending on the subject.

    1. anadeixis = public appearance
    2. demosios = publicly, public
    3. theatrizo = made a public spectacle, public spectacle
    4. paradeigmatizo = make a public example
    5. parrhesia = public, publicly

    The other word that does not appear in this scripture is “declaration”. The Greek word is diegesis = dee-ayg'-es-is; a narration, narrative. It is used one place, in Luke 1:1, “Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us,”

    Neither of these words are used at Hebrews 10:23. The NWT and the translators of this verse are totally wrong to add “public declaration” to this verse. Flagrant error!
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
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    SingleCell

    SingleCell Experienced Member

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    Thank you brother, for the further analysis!
     
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    ExLuther

    ExLuther New Member

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    Thank you for this thread. Much insight I haven't considered before...

    Personally, I take advantage of any opportunity to declare my faith. I'm a social person and I'm happy to share Bible truths with anyone. I've had Biblical conversations with many acquaintances and casual friends, some of them ongoing discourses. I know this isn't for everyone, but it is natural for me and I actively pay attention for opportunities to drive spiritual discussion when it could be fruitful.

    Yet I know from conversation with many of my fellow congregation members that this seems uncommon in my area. Many brothers and sisters I know almost seem to use the ministry as their "required" time to go out and fulfill duties, and outside of that they barely speak to non witnesses. I guess I think this is sad because I have far higher quality of conversations this way than door to door...

    An elder once made a comment that was related to me to the effect of "more people come to the truth through informal witnessing than through the door to door work." I don't know what this is based upon but it made sense to me. I began attending meetings because a couple visited us door to door, but I came to the truth because my husband wasn't afraid to offer me discussion based on Bible teachings.

    I struggle to have the desire to do the prescribed ministry work because it feels too formulaic, too ingenuine, too uncomfortable.

    And I must wonder, if we listened to Paul and shook the dirt from our feet and left the uninterested alone, might we have a better, more approachable reputation among the masses? Might we have more opportunity to engage in genuine witnessing through honest and kind conversation if the thought of us didn't make people mentally slam their doors on our message? :/

    I think I'll always be in a place of struggling to motivate myself to go out with my congregation friends. This helps me feel a bit less guilty for my struggle. :)
     
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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    There is a saying; “To each his own!” Or, “to each her own!” One has a right to one’s personal preferences, as in I’d never pick that color, but to each his own. Versions of this maxim appeared in the late 1500s but the modern wording was first recorded in 1713. — used to say that other people are free to like different things. I don’t care for [fill in the blank], but to each his own. (Webster’s Dictionary)

    My choice of “field service” is to take advantage of speaking to people I meet in whatever situations arise. Learn how to “read” people. Depending on where you happen to be, start the conversation about your surroundings. Depending on how that goes, ask if they believe in the Bible. Based on their answer, go for it, or let it end there. I don’t attend meetings at the local Kingdom Hall. It’s a long story.

    The most important thing to remember is that most people do not want to have anyone “preach” to them. Those who attend a church are not willing to hear a “different message”. They are likely satisfied with “their” church. So, as Paul said; “because a large door that leads to activity has been opened to me, but there are many opposers.” (1 Cor 16:9 NWT)
    The Greek for opposers is:
    antikeimai ( an-tik’-i-mahee ),
    1. to be set over against, opposite to
    2. to oppose, be adverse to, withstand
     
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    ExLuther

    ExLuther New Member

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    Agreed. This is just how I approach it. Polite and friendly conversation, not preaching, led by their responses! It is very effective!

     
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    Abdiel7

    Abdiel7 New Member

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    I don't focus on the door to door ministry much shifted to informal witnessing. I put the time and effort in but that's more to fit in with the congregation as the territory is a lot less fruitful than the one for my previous congregation. (5 studies at a time previously, no return visits here as of yet) this thread is right that while important, a command and an expression of love excessive emphasis is placed on works and the ministry. While i considered putting in pioneer hours earlier this year I ultimately ruled i wouldn't put in an application as one I'd rather not focus on numbers but giving my father my best forgoing any social status

    6 “Take good care not to practice YOUR righteousness in front of men in order to be observed by them; otherwise YOU will have no reward with YOUR Father who is in the heavens.2 Hence when you go making gifts of mercy, do not blow a trumpet ahead of you, just as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be glorified by men. Truly I say to YOU, They are having their reward in full.3 But you, when making gifts of mercy, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,4 that your gifts of mercy may be in secret; then your Father who is looking on in secret will repay you.

    I'd rather be modest in walking with my god.
     
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    Abdiel7 New Member

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    Two leads in the ministry I'll post about them Tommorow.
     
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    Abdiel7 New Member

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    First I was at one of return visits of the anointed elsee at the hall and I spotted some freemasonic stuff in the garage we are all aware of there infiltration so if I witness to the old lady it'd make for a bit of research. I had a bible study that was one back when I was a teenager.

    More recently I came across a man that studied for two years until the witnesses who used to meet him moved. He's a regular bible reader gone over a few of our books and always accepts the magazines but has no desire to attend any church. My partner at the door was new to the gall but conducts our field service group at his home. The brother will probably resume the study but his approach was precisely to badger him into going to the meetings when he'd just called witnesses pushy about that less than a moment ago.

    I have both there addresses that's where having one other person in the congregation that knows TTATT comes in handy. Hopefully can witness to them in my own fashion discreetly and enable them to make more spititual progress than simply nagging people to go to meetings.
     
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    ExLuther

    ExLuther New Member

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    Thank you for sharing that scripture! I hadn't thought of it in context of the ministry but it does ring a bell, huh?

    If I would actually take time to write down my information witnessing, or record it in my ministry app, I'd have plenty of hours to report. I just feel a little weird about doing it, as it makes me feel like I'm using my honest conversations with friends for something other than discussing the Bible with them.

    I love informal witnessing and was happy that we had some encouragement on it at the last meeting. I've often complained to my husband that I wished they gave more encouragement about it in the congregation.

    I'd love for you to expand upon more of your informal witnessing!

     

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