actually, i have to side with michael on this issue.by mennonite (no login)
...because i agree with him, your interpretation here (i think) is lacking...
you and i may have the same views ultimately, and you may (i doubt in fact, as michael is as knowledgable on the matter as he is.) have found him doing something that is against the teachings of his group... but i don't think you have. let me cover a couple points you made...
"This definition is significant: apostasy involves promoting religious teachings in opposition to the Watchtower and articulating any opinion that is critical of any action or position taken by the Society"
actually this does *not* apply to michael's posts, because the only thing he has prompted is religious discussion. i don't have to be any kind of expert to know that it one of the purposes of being a jehovah's witness to prompt religious discussion.
we turned it into a critcal debate... not that it was hidden. this in fact started above all, with my post about the number 666 and/or mac's post about agnostics. michael's first response was to explain that he wasn't superstitious and offer me publications from his group. if that's not a model JW i can't imagine what would be. they're not monks with an oath of silence, anyone who's been visited by one can tell you that.
>>I could not be disfellowshipped for "participating in this sort of discussion".
no, he couldn't, as long as he stood for the same values his group does. he's fine by them.
> If the idea of being disfellowshipped bothers you, don't try the following experiment. Express to one of your elders that you have been discussing things with some folks on the internet, and have become confused by some of the arguments you have encountered. Ignore the admonitions I GUARANTEE he will give you (based on dogma like that found here: http://quotes.watchtower.ca/bewarethevoiceofstrangers.htm) to stop engaging in these discussions, go back again and tell him about that. Might take a few times.
the error here is a simple one, namely that no one has confused him. if michael continued to be a part of this and became confused, all he has to do is leave the discussion and avoid it in the future. no action based on what you said is required in this case. only in the instance where any of us cause him to actually doubt what he is saying would he be required to report anything, from what you posted.
on the contrary, he has stayed consistant in his points and corrected you each step of the way. that doesn't lead me to agree with what he's saying, but until someone has caused him to abandon or doubt his stance, he has every right, even under the rules you mentioned, to take part in this discussion.
the only part that bothers me is that he would have to leave if he did become confused. personally, i require of any religious participation i'm a part of, that it allow me to associate and ponder things with complete freedom. but that's me. none of this has anything to do with michael breaking any rules, because he simply hasn't broken any.
but michael now appears to be of the impression that you're doing something wrong. i'm curious about this... i've formed some theories about it. even this is acceptable, from what i've seen so far. he's allowed to become confused about your intentions. his view of your intentions are not covered by the bible - so you haven't confused him in any important way.
if i said "hey michael. what's a blipgnargle?"
he's free to say "huh?" and that's one issue. now if the bible says a blipnargle is what god handed moses, and someone convinces michael that in fact it refers to an article in the OT that says "love your neighbor unless he winks at you on a sunday, in which case slap him in the jaw with a fish" then he might have some explaining to do. but the bible as far as i know does not cover the issue of blipgnargles, as i just made them up.
but back to his feeling that you might be doing something wrong... which is fine in and of itself. it is entirely possible that you are well intentioned and have been misunderstood. we simply get back to my question of why he's taking issue with your post. my guess is that as you have quoted pertinent rules that are almost related to the situation, that he assumes you are a JW (or former JW) that has engaged him in a game specifically to test him or try to knock him down.
the fact is that you could have just as easily googled these things or found them out of curiosity that you gained while reading this post. i would say the chances that you are doing this with intentions of making the debate more "interesting" are as good as anything else. but how should i know? in a debate, you are allowed, if not encouraged, to try to prove the other person wrong. if engaging a debate could require a jehovah's witness to leave as a general rule, i don't think they would go on missions anymore. but michael still isn't in trouble. he may be wrong about you, but he's allowed.
|Response Title||Author and Date|
|You in trouble too||GreenMan on Jun 3|
|well, that's different, isn't it?||mennonite on Jun 3|
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