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Dan, this is a reply to

by drpruner / April 28, 2005 5:40 AM PDT
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You confused me, Doug.
by Dan McC / April 28, 2005 6:53 AM PDT
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I stopped reading echo2's long post
by drpruner / April 28, 2005 11:18 AM PDT
In reply to: You confused me, Doug.

when I got to the stuff about ex-Witnesses. As I told you honestly, I have come across apostate (our term) material over the years and compared it with what I know of the truth (ours and Jesus' term; John 18:37).
No matter what the original problem- many legitimate, as I told you- their position now is untenable IMO, which opinion comes from bible study, not per 'orders from the top.'

My other link was to a post of mine in which one paragraph summarized some of the scriptural reasons for avoiding apostasy as much as possible; that's what I do.

I might point out that you're getting your current info from a CBC interview program which hardly claims to be fair. I've been called on the carpet as a Witness by Witnesses; I had it coming. I have known other cases first-hand; the complainers had no excuse for leaving Jehovah's organization.

BTW: Been to a Kingdom Hall yet? I've invited you many times. If not, then you've spent more time (here, with echo2, Kiddpeat, the CBC) studying "against" us than about us. Are you then a 'fair-minded seeker after truth?' At least we can count to three without getting into trouble. Happy
Regards, Doug in New Mexico

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A friend of mine
by Dan McC / April 28, 2005 11:43 AM PDT

would love to go to a Kingdom Hall. His niece is being married at one this weekend. He was a JW and it's been made perfectly clear that he is not welcome at this event.

That's neither nice nor polite.

I can only contrast that with the crew at the chapel when I got married. We didn't care, and the good Sisters hosting us were welcoming one and all. It was a group encompasing almost any religious feeling you could imagine; devout, lapsed, and otherwise. But inclusivity is not for everyone and not all faiths are sure enough to mix with those not in full agreement.



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He knew the rules, and swore to live by them.
by drpruner / April 28, 2005 12:06 PM PDT
In reply to: A friend of mine

He is welcome at regular bible study meetings (5 per week), but not at social events. Did he think to tell you that? Uncles and aunts have been disinvited to many family events over the centuries for many reasons.
I "mix" with you, KP, echo, evie, mark- social stuff as well as religious.
"not all faiths are sure enough" Other faiths don't have the surety of Jehovah's word, which is why there are tens of thousands of them, each having become 'unsure' of something at one point. Orthodox "venerate" pictures and anathemize the RC's statues, e.g. We never adopted either.
And your picture of rosy ecumenism left out the Crusader's sword, among other things. That's not part of my religious heritage.

Something relevant I forgot earlier: People often say, 'So-and-so got disfellowshipped for adultery' or whatever. Wrong. We get ourselves disfellowshipped for an unrepentant attitude toward any wrongdoing, which means it will happen again. Our list of "wrongdoing" is longer than yours, perhaps, but your world is in much worse shape than ours. Authoritative proof: Your daily paper.
Regards, Doug in New Mexico

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Poor Doug.........
by Glenda / April 28, 2005 12:16 PM PDT

your persecution complex is showing:( One word for your theory about the rest of us, We have God's word and we also have no need to change any of it, unlike the NWT!

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Persecution?! Just look at this! :-)
by drpruner / April 28, 2005 2:43 PM PDT
In reply to: Poor Doug.........
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Forgiveness. Compassion. Family. Community.
by Dan McC / April 28, 2005 1:14 PM PDT

And more ideas that are paid lip service by too many people of too many faiths. I may fail at these virtues as much or more than people who proclaim faith, but I don't play the hypocrit by claiming to be on the side of god.


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Meaning we have none of the above?
by drpruner / April 28, 2005 2:03 PM PDT

You should ask my and others' standards for those things- knowing the different standards and therefore choosing intelligently could mean your life someday. (Germans are admired for their stolid values in some of those areas, but they adopted Hitler's idea of a 'National German Family,' with the well-known results.)

Jehovah created the family (Gen 2:18-25) so his input ought to be worth something.
As the first to be sinned-against, yet opening up everlasting life for the sinner's offspring, he seems to know something about both forgiveness and compassion. (Gen 3; Romans 6:23)
Community? Too big a word. Do you mean all mainstream Christians? "Their" grandfathers tried to kill "our" grandfathers twice in the 20th century. The family community, like your friend and his niece? I had a friend in CA who kept tabs on his kid brother, the poster boy for ne'er-do-well. When he heard the brother was in his old home town he took steps to keep him away from their parents. As he told the story- and you have only my personal knowledge of him and his word to vouch for it- it made sense. The guy had a history (I was told) of exploiting the parents, who just couldn't say 'no' to their 'baby boy.' I don't think the guy got invited to many weddings. Too cruel? I don't know; wasn't my family.
Regards, Doug in New Mexico

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(NT) Nicely sidestepped, Doug.
by Dan McC / April 28, 2005 10:50 PM PDT
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Well, I gave you food for thought based on
by drpruner / April 29, 2005 4:13 PM PDT

your own post. You gave me generalities, I gave you specifics of history.
Regards, Doug in New Mexico

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(NT) Food for thought is better than a reply.
by Dan McC / April 30, 2005 3:51 AM PDT
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More food; specifics; not generalities.
by drpruner / April 30, 2005 2:46 PM PDT

Recently some ex-member got on with a new userid and started posting irate messages, mostly directed at one of the Mods. It took a few hours, but the malefactor was booted out, and his posts deleted. Why didn't I see any umbrage from your liberal, easygoing quarter? After all, this guy used to be part of the SE family- "our community"- where's your sense of fellowship? Do you simply take the word of the Mods that he doesn't belong? What if his niece is getting married and he wants to tell us about it in the quickest way? Myself, I trust the Ops to run the CNET forums properly, or I wouldn't belong. That's true even though I don't know any of them personally. Suppose you do know him, and vouch for him, but the Mods are adamant. I'll choose to go with them. Am I a fanatic? Too easily manipulated by Authority?

Monday morning in your state's Capital there will be a trial for felony robbery involving use of a weapon. How do I know? Because that's the world we live in- safe prediction. Usually it comes down "Guilty." So the malefactor gets sent to prison. From that point on we're barred from communicating with him or having any fellowship with him without the express permission and watchful eye of The Man. He's excommunicated; disfellowshipped. Consider: We likely don't know the perp, his prosecutor, the witnesses, the judge, the jury if any, yet if the case makes the papers, we'll rejoice. 'Yeah! Finally they got one!'
Where's our sense of community? Of Fellowship? Why do we take the word of The System that got him? Why don't we insist on just walking into the prison yard and taking him out to go to his niece's wedding? How long will you liberals put up with such an unloving, unmodern, hellish system? If you don't go to the prison yard, can I call you a hypocrite?

Our system has none of the disadvantages of the above, and advantages you don't know about because you've avoided opportunities to learn. As I said before, I've lived in your system and in Jehovah's; my choice is the best one.
Regards, Doug in New Mexico

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Specifics, yes, but not analagous to
by Dan McC / May 2, 2005 4:33 AM PDT

the situation at hand. You claim to be welcoming yet you treat your own family in such a way. Revile, despise, and turn your back on the sinner in your family; is that what Jesus preached?

I wonder how many Jesus barred at Cana because his teachings were too feeble to stand against their mere presence.


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(NT) No, He didn't.
by Kiddpeat / May 2, 2005 7:22 AM PDT
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Not [u]quite[/u] analogous.
by drpruner / May 2, 2005 8:47 AM PDT

If you did go to that prison yard in defense of your staunchly-held principles of forgiveness, community, fellowship, you'd be gunned down.
Your friend could show up at the wedding. If so, he'd be asked to leave; if he caused a fuss the cops would be called to take away the trespasser. Just as if he were a voluble drunk relative at your wedding. Jehovah's standards of good behavior are different than yours (it has been noted), but you seem intolerant of them. You don't want the nasty drunk at your wedding, but you don't allow others to set their own standards of cleanliness. Whatever happened to the old liberal, tolerant Dan?
As your friend knows, all the above has been tested all the way to the Supremes. Wonder what else he didn't tell you. So your argument is with your government, which is allowing such execrable freedoms (for the time being) to its citizens. Write your congressman; tell him you want more government, less freedom.

"You claim to be welcoming"
I made no such blanket claim, as you well know. From the beginning you've noted that we're too restrictive from your [formerly] liberal, tolerant POV.
We follow Jesus' example: Teach those who are willing to be taught; leave the rest alone; beware of ?oppressive wolves [who] will enter in among YOU and will not treat the flock with tenderness, and from among YOU yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves.? (Ac 20:29-30)

These leading, poisoning-the-well generalities are new to you and they do you no credit:
"Revile, despise, turn your back?" Reviling is not our business. We despise bad acts and avoid- turn our backs on- those who continue to commit them. In our family or not. Speaking of which, what should tolerant, liberal people do with unreconstructed child molesters- many of whom, we're told- are related to the victims?

"Cana?" Let's look at the record:
?Now ... a marriage feast took place in Ca?na of Gal?i

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You guys are welcome to do
by Dan McC / May 3, 2005 12:43 AM PDT

pretty much whatever you want. But you can't claim to have a compassionate god on your side while treating your own flesh and blood without compassion. Not without risking others observing your hypocrisy, that is.

Your prison analogy is still not appropriate.

My standard of behavior for my wedding was to invite every relative and friend that I possibly could. I did not apply a test as to whether they agreed with my religious, social, or political beliefs. I know for a fact that many did not. Lo and behold! We all managed to pass a very pleasant, though scorchingly hot, several hours with our various beliefs intact. In fact, our sense of community, fellowship, and love was stronger after the event than it was before it. Imagine that. BTW, the one drunk guy that I noticed was as amiable and happy as could be.

The band was a bit loud.


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You get 'disfellowshipped' if you think for yourself, and
by Kiddpeat / April 28, 2005 2:13 PM PDT

question the Watchtower line. Or, if you start understanding what the Bible really says, and begin accepting that rather than the Watchtower material.

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That's your opinion. And BTW, my apologies:
by drpruner / April 28, 2005 2:17 PM PDT

Sorry if I offended you with my "he-he-he" post. I thought you were into the exchange and saw the humor. However, the Mods were more strict and deleted it with a no-no note. My apologies, it won't happen again.
Regards, Doug in New Mexico

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Did you take the tripartite leaf back to your third grade
by Kiddpeat / April 28, 2005 2:27 PM PDT

students? It is an excellent illustration of the trinity. Be honest! Show them.


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?? If you mean St. Paddy's cloverleaf,
by drpruner / April 28, 2005 3:09 PM PDT

I didn't refer to it. I've never understood its alleged value anyway: Other plants have one to several leaves; what's their significance? And who/what is represented by the occasional fourth leaf?
Regards, Doug in New Mexico

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No, I don't. My dictionary shows a picture of a tripartite
by Kiddpeat / April 28, 2005 3:25 PM PDT

leaf. It is one leaf, but has three identical parts joined into a common leaf at the base. As I said, an illustration of the trinity that even kids can understand. God had a VERY detailed plan in creation even producing things that reflect His nature.

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The fourth leaf is Darwin.
by Dan McC / April 28, 2005 10:54 PM PDT
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Not limited to Watchtower
by Roger NC / May 2, 2005 6:48 AM PDT

While disagreeing personally with much of Dp beliefs, and other times just unconcerned with them, his religion/group/denomination is little different than most when it comes to demanding conformance.

Almost all that I'm aware of have a statement of doctrine. Most I'm aware of use to enforce said document and guidelines much more strictly than today. Many today do little to enforce it. Often there are known regular attending members that the majority of the congregation know regularly violate the tenants of the particular group. But many do not any attempt any enforcement, that I'm aware. There are groups that are exceptions, and normally ones that are regarded by many as unusually different from the mainstream, even as "fringe" groups.

And the not welcoming family at ceremonies certainly isn't restricted to one organization. A shortsighted and narrow view IMO, but that's their right I guess. Such an occasion would be an opportunity for the nonbeliever to meet the membership. Such an occasion would be an opportunity for a non-conformists to be reminded of what he left. But if such opportunites are to be denied, does it strenghten or weaken that faith?



click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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Most do have a set of beliefs that they expect members to
by Kiddpeat / May 2, 2005 7:27 AM PDT

accept. They typically explain these to anyone seeking membership. However, the Christian churches are usually (95% plus IMO) open to people who are not members. These 'regular attenders' are free to participate in all activities, and are not excluded in any way. If people drift away, they are welcomed back. Questions are welcomed as long as it is clear that the person is really interested in an answer.

I think these are areas where the Christian churches and the Watchtower differ.

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"These 'regular attenders' are free to participate
by drpruner / May 2, 2005 9:45 AM PDT

in all activities, and are not excluded in any way."

This just in:
"[Papal biographer] O'Connor then reports that "the Pope gave the [Blair] family communion, while the other celebrants gave communion to the rest of the congregation". What he does not spell out is whether the Prime Minister took communion.
Most people have assumed that he did not, since - after years of receiving the sacrament when he accompanied his [Catholic wife] to Mass in London - Mr Blair had been told by the late Cardinal Basil Hume that this was not appropriate for a non-Catholic. He duly stopped."

Communion in most churches is open only to those confirmed in the beliefs of that church.
And there's much more on this at
for those interested in facts.

I doubt sensible deacons in any church would allow a non-member to vote on operational or financial matters.

Anyone can be edified (if you've the stomach to read to the end of one) by researching "anathema" in connection with excommunication. These were regularly pronounced against each other by what are now today's bland, "tolerant" mainstream churches. Many Imams and Mullahs, of course, proclaim and enforce the death penalty against apostates or just plain "unbelievers."

"They typically explain these to anyone seeking membership"
As do we. Typical time from first contact to baptism is a year; regular meeting attendance expected the while. Some of us "explain these to anyone" on 'net forums.

"Questions are welcomed as long as it is clear that the person is really interested in an answer."
As in our case. Why do you think I no longer reply to your questions on the trinity or echo's on Paul?

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Hi Doug,
by Cindi Haynes / May 2, 2005 10:11 AM PDT

In our (Baptist) church, anyone who has accepted Christ as their Savior is welcome to take communion. You're correct that non-members are only restricted from things affecting the membership such as voting at business meetings and such.

What you speak of regarding communion may be a Catholic "thang".

Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email the mods

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Re business affairs, agreed
by Roger NC / May 2, 2005 10:18 AM PDT
In reply to: Hi Doug,
non-members are only restricted from things affecting the membership such as voting at business meetings and such.

I'm not certain with some of the more rigidly organized denominations, but many that I'm familiar with through friends and family are set up so that all local expenses are paid from local offerings. In fact, many have very limited amounts flowing 'upstream', and that usually a vote on amount by the members.

As such an independant local organization finacially, even if joined by religious beliefs with others, the inclusion of non-members in voting would seem rather illogical. In fact, even speech by others in a business meeting may be limited, or by invitation only. And personally, I see that as the way it probably should be.



click here to email semods4@yahoo.com
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On the other hand, the regular attenders do support the
by Kiddpeat / May 2, 2005 11:49 PM PDT

church financially, and do have a strong interest in who is selected for leadership positions. In the last few churches I've attended, the regular attenders were crucial to the church's ongoing attendance and support. Many have not joined a Baptist congregation because of the baptism issue. They have been sprinkled at one time, and do not buy into the Baptist insistence on immersion. In all other respects, they accept the church's beliefs and are viewed as active members of the congregation. In fact, one guy was excellent as a teacher of one of the adult classes.

I don't think anyone 'checks' when votes are taken, and these people are encouraged to attend church business meetings. Some vote and some refrain. Those whose status as a Christian is questionable could be counseled. I'm not sure about that.

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"Those whose status as a Christian is questionable
by drpruner / May 3, 2005 3:27 AM PDT

could be counseled. I'm not sure about that."
With all of Paul's counsel on "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" and 'no fellowship between light [Jesus] and darkness [Satan]' maybe you should want to make yourself sure.
Regards, Doug in New Mexico

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Ummmmm, one of the purposes of the church is to invite
by Kiddpeat / May 3, 2005 12:40 PM PDT

unbelievers into the church. I think you need to rethink your position on 'no fellowship'. It sounds like you have no friends who are not JWs. Your church would be scandalized, as were the scribes and pharisees, by Jesus who ate, drank, and enjoyed the company of sinners. Imagine that!

Since I am not in the leadership of the church, I have no need or desire to learn how the church leaders deal various situations.

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