A Conversation with a Jehovah's Witness
Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 11:53:12 -0400 (EDT)
From: Rolaant McKenzie
To: Steve
Subject: Re: question

On Tue, 20 May 1997, Steve wrote:

> > I Would define remaining in an organization as supporting its goals
> > through studying its literature, financial means, and seeking to bring in
> > those outside the organization.
> Are the organization's goals your goals? If not then they should be.
> The goals are good.

I guess that would depend on what a particular organization's goals are
and if they are compatible with one's beliefs. Some would not remain with
an organization if it espoused a particular philosophy they could not
agree with or found repulsive. For example, a minority would most likely
leave an organization if s/he found out it supported a racist philosophy.

> Seeking to bring ones in is in fulfillment of Jesus' command to go and
> make disciples and that would include teaching them. Financial? That
> is up to you.

Well, an organization would not last unless it had an income. And this
usually comes from those who are in it and support its goals.

> > I realize that Jesus wants people who will accept Him by faith and follow
> > Him, but anybody can claim to have more truth than everyone else. And
> > usually, I have noticed, when such people or organizations makes such
> > claims they are usually invalid. They usually promote some accurate
> > information with a lot of inaccurate information.
> Like what? And what alternative is there?

It could be anything. It could be a distorted view of Jesus Christ, of
man and the human condition, or a harmful philosophy (i.e. racism, free
love, paranoid view of the world, coercion, spiritual abuse, etc.).

I would see the alternative as not relying on an organization for
fulfillment in life, especially in spiritual matters. If Jesus is the
way, the truth, the life, He looks like the person one should be focused on.

> > My understanding is that Jesus is the way, the truth, the life, and that no
> > one comes to the Father except through Him. Should we not focus on Him as
> > we seek to live a life pleasing to God?
> Yes, we believe that and focus on the Father through Jesus.. However,
> we realize that we can do it individually and are not supposed to do it
> individually. Paul wrote letters to congregations. And these
> congregations were inaccurate and did not have the whole truth. But he
> encouraged them to stay with the brothers.

Actually, Paul and the other apostles encouraged believers to remain
faithful to Christ and the gospel they had delivered to them once for all.
Paul told one church that if anyone who taught a different gospel from
the one he delivered to them before was to be accursed. The apostles did
not teach, however, that believers were to remain with those who taught a
false gospel, or false doctrine, or remain with false prophets. Rather,
they strictly told believers to beware of them.

> We should seek to live a life pleasing to God, but why do it
> individually?

Because individually, we are responsible to Christ for the way we live
our life. We each will stand before the judgment seat of Christ to give
an account for the way we lived our lives. But believers are also to meet
together to encourage one another.

Many people mistakenly believe that they will be saved because they belong
to a particular church or organization. They place their faith in a
man-made structure rather in Christ.

No organization, however, no matter what it claims for itself, can save
anyone. Only Jesus saves those who put their trust in Him. Those who
believe the gospel and accept Him as Lord and Savior by faith.
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