well, that's different, isn't it?by mennonite (no login)
>>...because i agree with him, your interpretation here (i think) is lacking...
Yes, yes. I took some liberties. You seem to have detected the mildly satirical undertone.
well, it's not like i haven't been sarcastic in any part of this too... but i assumed you were serious... which meant that no, indeed michael had Not done anything wrong
>>i would say the chances that you are doing this with intentions of making the debate more "interesting" are as good as anything else.
> Would you say I was successful?
oh absolutely. although i was mistaken about your intentions. they are indeed apost... need adjective form for person who is an apostate. maybe "apostate" actually. but that's only an issue with michael... he's bound to avoid apostates. i'm not. without any concrete religion binding me, an apostate's just another guy.
>>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 could have, and I do use Google a lot. But my interest in this particular subject predates this discussion considerably. I consider myself one of JW's victims, though indirectly (in much the same way that the family members of an alcoholic, though non-drinkers themselves, may be impacted by the disease).
now i always take the position with victims of an organization over praisers. that is where my stand comes from. having never dealt with the group directly, that is, i've only encountered it through missionaries and their siblings, i have seen people who praise it and people who have suffered for it. what bothers me more than anything is that the organization seems to split families up. now out of respect for michael personally, i didn't bring that up. i had no reason to do so, so it would have simply been the most inflammatory thing i could say. it is my principle concern with the organization. i think it is unforgiveable or possibly "sinful" to break up a family along ideological lines, if "sin" exists. sin litereally means falling short... ie of perfection... but in this case i'll say i think it's a horrid, evil thing to break familes up.
but i haven't challanged with it, because i had no reason. it bothers me. i kept it to myself for the sake of being... it was where i drew the line as far as how hard i leaned into the organization. but when someone says they are a victim of it, i always believe victims first. what michael thinks / will think of that, i can't guess.
i don't hold this against michael. but he knows my position on his group in general. this is where it comes from. i hear of people suffering from this group, and i won't call them liars, or "apostates." i won't assume they are possessed or evil.
they're just people.
the only difference between myself and an apostate is you tried it first. i never have. i don't understand the difference, really, but that's not up to me.
>>i only care about the loving and kindness from people... i couldn't care less about the team names.
Congratulations. Welcome to apostasy. Consider Michael's post:
>>Apostates are individuals or organizations that once served Jehovah, but have since turned against him, and seek to destroy, mislead, oppress, injure, and exterminate the people that continue to serve God.
well i can honestly say i'm not in favor of anyone being "exterminated." people don't draw the line between an organization and its members. i said, quite openly and honestly from the beginning of this discussion, if anyone missed it, that i do not want to see the group increase in size until my concerns are resolved. they may never be resolved.
that has nothing to do with persecution, oppression, destruction, or any of the other things mentioned there. nor do i think you fit that description any more than i do.
i see all who are bound by intolerant and unmerciful theology as victims. take a line of the bible one way and it frees everyone. take it another and they're all slaves of a cruel master. i have already said how many "literal" interpretations are possible - enough to fill or overflow the library of congress.
but that's not special to the bible... maybe in extent, but really you can see ANYTHING in a way that either frees or oppresses you. i'm in favor of people, all people, jehovah's witnessnes, apostates, theists, atheists, men and women being free. it's a bit of fetish with me.
> In the narrowest sense, this could refer to ex-JWs. People often joke about being "recovering Catholics", but there actually are a number of groups dedicated to helping ex-witnesses deal with the trauma and depression which inevitably accompanies separation from the church; they have helplines, meetings, the whole deal -- similar to programs for dealing with recovery from drug addiction.
that's a pretty narrow sense. i would say the connection between ex members and the concept of an enemy of the chuch is cultish and invented by man. harsh charge on a structure, but none harsher on you. you've gone from rejecting a church to being lumped in with murderers. that's a real load of something there.
> Indeed, the most damaging observations about Jehovah's Witnesses often do come from former members, like the hysterically funny summary delivered here: http://www.freeminds.org/buss/truth.htm
Who but an ex-JW could come up with something like that?
anyone who makes himself familiar and cares enough about it. but you're right, the most likely person is an ex-member.
> But apostasy certainly is not limited to those who have left the church, except in a historical sense. The Watchtower considers all other organizations that call themselves Christians as part of a worldwide apostasy from Christianity. This "apostasy," they say, began on a large scale in the fourth century, when the Roman emperor Constantine began influencing the church.
they're not the only group to make that claim of course. but somehow i think "apostate" church and "Apostate" ex members are two terms used with different amounts of disgust.
> Now me, I'm a stone-cold atheist (I'm a weak atheist, since I don't claim that the nonexistence of God is provable, simply that there is no more evidence for the existence of God than there is for invisible pink unicorns or what-have-you). I don't think I meet the JW criteria for an apostate; but whatever I am, I'm sure my thinking would be regarded as just as criminal as that of any Catholic, Baptist, or Unitarian, and that for me to "fall into the hands of a living God" would be anticipated with at least as much relish. (I worry more about falling into the hands of religious fanatics -- of any persuasion).
i too refuse to claim that the nonexistance of god is provable. it just seems silly.
no, i've known mounds of catholics that would almost agree with you. i haven't known as many baptists in general, there's less of a sample to go on there. i've known even fewer unitarians.
my stance here hasn't changed at all. i always side with love and kindness... although sometimes i am a bit of a bastard. i don't deny that at all... but as a rule, i'm not.
you'll see that i will both allow michael to defend his group, even if i don't require michael's group to be defended for me to respect him personally...
but you'll see that i give at least as much weight to those who claim to have suffered under it. if that makes me an apostate, i don't know. it can't be helped. when people say they are suffering, i try not to ignore it.
although in one sense, michael was right about you. that is, you are an ex member after all.
Newbies usually go to www.qbasic.com and click on
The QBasic Forum
Forum regulars have their own ways, which include The QBasic Community Forums