Follow-up to An update on my Bible study group's Christology study is this "Searching Discussion" that may become quite verbose.
@Searching May 29 I think I owe you a little more than I wrote yesterday so... I stated I'm a former witness, but that may not be completely true since I was not disfellowshipped but just quit going to meetings over 40 years ago. I have found that vast majority of people that left were disfellowshipped or knew they were going to be for various reasons. When I left there were a number of things I was discouraged about, but nothing doctrinally. To explain it in detail would take a couple pages. I did go back a few years ago for a few months but found it different than what I remembered. When I was attending meetings about 60% of the congregation I was in were in their 20's. Vibrant, full of energy, and we had a lot of fellowship with each other, but the congregation I went to were about 70% old folks, like me, and I never felt at home there. Maybe it was because they knew I had not attended for 40 years and were suspicious. If so I don't blame them. I now find it hard to believe they are the "only ones" if you know what I mean.
Thank you for sharing. My journey toward Being Holy as God is Holy has felt like a roller coaster ride having many ups & downs with magnificent Holy Highs intermixed with discouraging/depressing down times.
Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) published 2022 American survey results on 16 May 2023 => Religion and Congregations in a Time of Social and Political Upheaval that includes 56 % of All Americans attending religious services at least a few times a year in 2013 dropped to 43 % in 2022. Also "In 2022, about one in four Americans (24 %) say they were previously a follower or practioner of a different religious tradition or denomination than the one they belong to now, up from 16 % in 2021."
@Searching May 29 I have attended many churches over the years from Pentecostal to Baptist. Some for a number of years. Some had great speakers, one in particular had a great pastor and a couple had great music that could move you, but I always found them lacking in the truth. Every once in a while I will go on a site such as this to see if I can find someone that can refute their teachings of the trinity, hell, Jesus bodily resurrection, etc., but to no avail. Each time I do I'm always more convinced in the Witness teaching than before. Yet, I know the everything about them, so I know they're not perfect in their teaching. I'm in quite a quandary and have been for many years.
What are Watchtower Society teaching fallacies ?
Watchtower Society teaching of Jesus = Michael the Archangel is puzzling/perplexing to me. My understanding is Watchtower Society teaching that Michael's life force was transferred into the human baby of Jesus. Electricity description of life force says nothing identifiable as Michael went into the human body of Jesus. Hence, the Watchtower Society teaching of Jesus = Michael the Archangel makes no sense to me: no reason to believe that an Archangel became Jesus. Related puzzle is what happened to Archangel Michael when life force was transferred. Does Michael the Archangel have pre-Jesus & post-Jesus incarnations ?
To me, Watchtower Society teaching has two deities: God the Father & a god Michael the Archangel (as the man Jesus).
The name "Michael" means "Who is like God ?" that is different than words of Jesus in John 17, who experienced being by the glorious side of God the Father & Loved before the foundation of the world.
John 17:1-26 LEB (with Hebrew word usually translated by Jewish scholars in LXX: אלהים as God) =>
Jesus said these things, and lifting up his eyes to heaven he said, “Father, the hour has come! Glorify your Son, in order that your Son may glorify you — just as you have given him authority over all flesh, in order that he would give eternal life to them — everyone whom you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true אלהים God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have glorified you on earth by completing the work that you have given me to do. And now, Father, you glorify me at your side with the glory that I had at your side before the world existed. “I have revealed your name to the men whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours, and you have given them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they understand that all the things that you have given me are from you, because the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they received them and know truly that I have come from you, and they have believed that you have sent me. I am asking on behalf of them. I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you have given me, because they are yours, and all my things are yours, and your things are mine, and I have been glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, and they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given to me, so that they may be one, just as we are. When I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given to me, and guarded them, and none of them has perished except the son of destruction, in order that the scripture would be fulfilled. And now I am coming to you, and I am saying these things in the world so that they may have my joy completed in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth — your word is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for them I sanctify myself, so that they themselves also may be sanctified in the truth. “And I do not ask on behalf of these only, but also on behalf of those who believe in me through their word, that they all may be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you, that they also may be in us, in order that the world may believe that you sent me. And the glory that you have given to me, I have given to them, in order that they may be one, just as we are one — I in them, and you in me, in order that they may be completed in one, so that the world may know that you sent me, and you have loved them just as you have loved me. “Father, those whom you have given to me — I want that those also may be with me where I am, in order that they may see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, although the world does not know you, yet I have known you, and these men have come to know that you sent me. And I made known to them your name, and will make it known, in order that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I may be in them.”
Did יֵשׁוּעַ Jesus ever speak an untruthful word, which would make יֵשׁוּעַ Jesus & "the only true אלהים God" a liar ?
Who gives eternal life ? What hope can the human Watchtower Society organization give ?
What joy does יֵשׁוּעַ Jesus have that can be completed in believers & followers of יֵשׁוּעַ Jesus ?
Request to keep them in your name is truly consistent with Jeremiah 23:5-6 LEB => “Look, days are coming,” declares יהוה Yahweh, “when I will raise up for David a righteous branch, and he will reign as king, and he will achieve success, and he will do justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell in safety, and this is his name by which he will be called: ‘יהוה Yahweh is our righteousness.’
Hebrew noun (construct spelling => of) for righteousness has pronoun, suffixed, 1st person, plural whose literal translation is: 'יהוה Yahweh righteousness of We'
@Searching May 29 I think the Bible shows that there are not many roads leading to the same place, which seems to me what you are saying. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 1:10 "in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought." In John 17:20-23 Jesus said “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Philippians2:2 says fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Does this sound like the 30,000 denominations of Christendom? Paul wrote this in Acts 2:9,30 "I know that after my departure, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number, men will rise up and distort the truth to draw away disciples after them."
Our spiritual adversary, the father of lies, is a master manipulator who wants to disrupt any human loving Holy God individually and corporately (so savage wolves rage in many places).
Revelation chapters 2 & 3 have seven letters for Christian Churches, who had a variety of issues.
Search results in Paul's letter to 1st Corinthians shows divisions in 1st Century.
To me lawlessness increasing worldwide has more divisions currently in lots of groups.
Sheep stink: they do not clean themselves & cannot drink from moving water. Jesus said: "I AM the Good Shepherd" who truly knows how each person (including me) stinks along with Holy ability to forgive sins against Holy God & cleanse from unrighteousness. Only requirement for cleansing is believing Jesus offered His Holy human body as a sacrifice for my sins (instead of me & every human) and agree with Holy God about my sin stink with my sincere desire to turn from my sin to Be Holy as God is Holy so Jesus has become my Lord God. To me, Jesus is one voice in unique Holy God.
Keep Smiling 😊