In the third and fourth points that were presented, the writers of the Awake! article bring up the subject of finances and the clergy.
The third in a series of articles commenting on an article from the August 2009 issue of the Awake! magazine that raises 6 points where they say that the churches have deviated from the Bible and where harm has been the result.
As we examine what the Jehovah’s Witness’ leadership have to say about the clergy of the Christian churches, we need to look at whether or not they have their own clergy.
The August 2009 edition of the “Awake!” magazine contains an article entitled “Should There Be a Clergy-Laity Distinction?” This article is rife with inaccuracies and generalizations. I will attempt to cover these in a series of posts. In this first post, we will look how Jehovah’s Witnesses view the clergy of Christendom.
When I was a Jehovah’s Witness, I viewed those who were assured of their salvation as being very presumptuous. Looking back now, that only makes sense because I did not have the testimony of the Holy Spirit.
Here’s another quote that really hit me:
As long as Jesus is one of many options, he is no option. As long as you can carry your burdens alone, you don’t need a burden bearer. As long as your situations brings you no grief, you will receive no comfort. And as long as you can take him or leave him, you might as well leave him, because he won’t be taken half-heartedly.
But when you mourn, when you get to the point of sorrow for your sins, when you admit that you have no other option but to cast all your cares on him, and when there is truly no other name that you can call, then cast all your cares on him, for he is waiting in the midst of the storm” – The Applause of Heaven by Max Lucado, p. 58
I’ve been reading Shane Claiborne’s book “The Irresistible Revolution” lately. In it, he quotes Soren Kierkegaard:
“The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christian are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on the world? Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is ever dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.”
If you haven’t read “The Irresistible Revolution”, I highly recommend it – well, with one reservervation. If you are comfortable in your Christian walk and want to remain that way, if you don’t want to be challenged – you may want to avoid it. It is a book that has, and will continue to, challenge and change my view of what it means to be a Christian.
I’ve been reading and listening to some interesting views on what it means to be a Christian lately. Here’s one example
“A friend of mine says much of the evangelism and witnessing done by Christians today is a pyramid scheme. The purpose is to acquire the product, i.e. salvation, sell it to others and then train others to sell it too, so those others, will in turn acquire it and train others to sell it. The problem, my friend says, is that nobody ever uses the product. … It can be true with the Bible too. We can spend so much time selling and defending the Bible to others that we don’t use the product very much. And we can spend so much time articulating and defending our doctrinal position from the Bible that we forget why it was even important in the first place.” – Steve Brown, Key Life – Radio broadcast, 11/08/2006
I love Steve’s teaching and views. Check out KeyLife at www.keylife.org
Trust is a big issue for many former Jehovah’s Witnesses. After investing a lot of trust in the organization and having that trust violated, most of us are more careful about trusting anyone or anything. The poem below shows in whom we can trust and why.
Has the Watchtower Society ever lied to its readers?