08 January 2011

Bring the Word, Leave Your Tract Behind

This is a bit of a continuation from yesterday's post.  After I wrote down my thoughts about ending my weekly visits with my JW friends, I went to bed thinking about my exit strategy.  I don't want to end on a sour note, and I don't want to close the door completely.  If they are open to studying the Bible instead of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society's supplemental material, I'm interested in continuing the relationship.

Each week, the Wednesday afternoon knock means it is time to get out the Watch Tower's "What Does the Bible Really Teach?" tract.  The conflicting logic in this particular publication frustrates me.  In one instance, they say that during creation, God "chose not to know" that man would sin.  When it comes to the theology of the Trinity, they say,

"the Trinity is false doctrine based on Jesus' comment, 'But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.' (Matthew 24:36 ESV) If Jesus were God, he would know everything God knows." 
I say, maybe he chose not to know since He was sent here to live as a man.  Afterall, in their own words, God can choose to know what He wants, right?

This week, we read that Jesus took His throne in heaven in 1914 - the same time Satan found himself confined to the earth.  Matthew 16 is pretty clear that man cannot interpret the signs of the times, so for me to buy into the philosophy that 1914 was so significant based on "signs" and "seven times" (which when interpolated with some funky math comes up to 2,520 years) seems a little out there.  Maybe it was the first time the world was at war with itself, but I can't find the scripture that specifies, "when the planet is all up in arms with itself, you'll know Jesus has taken the throne and Satan can no longer speak to God (like he did when he was going after Job)."  Again, I'm not a Bible scholar, so maybe I'm missing something.  I wish I understood more and that scripture references would come to me faster when I'm in the midst of a discussion.  (Note to self: this is a reason to study more, pray more, memorize more, and meditate more.)

As they leave each week, they say it is okay for us to disagree because the Bible says we are just supposed to study together and to grow deeper in our knowledge of Him.  I agree.  I want that.  If they are interested in meeting each week to study the Bible, game on!  I don't even mind if they want to use their New World Translation even though I feel it has some drastic misses in the translation from Greek to American English.  I am not a Greek scholar, so I won't even go into that argument; however, I will keep my Greek/English Bible handy for reference.

Going through the book of John together, or better yet, Isaiah, would be a treat I would look forward to.  It puts everyone on level ground (sorta') and when we get to scripture such as Isaiah 9:6 (which we both agree refers to Jesus Christ, the Messiah) and it calls him "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" in both of our Bibles, we could have a point of discussion.  ~ Plain & Simple As That!

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