Why do you want to do that? Why do you want to dismiss people as "not really xians" for being imperfect? I thought people's beliefs defined whether they are xian or not. You - and not just you, but a whole host of xians - are saying it is defined by actions. I have a couple of problems with that.
I said this.
If he commits a gross sin, as in the case of adultery, then the question arises of was he really a christian to begin with? Usually a serious sin like this reflects a lack of spirituality beforehand.
Sorry, this is not completely correct because I worded it incorrectly. Let me clarify. Please keep in mind I do not expect you to accept this as fact, but this is only my understanding of the Bible.
If he commits a gross sin, as in the case of adultry, then the question arises of "why" did he do this. Was it caused by a "moment of weakness"? Unless this was just an outright case of rebellion then what caused this "weakness" then this likely is the case. Was this weakness caused because the Christian was neglecting his spirituality. In other words, has the offender stopped studying scripture, stopped attending Christian meeting, stopped praying, or he is slacking off in these areas. If this is the case then these issues need to be addressed because God does not accept willful neglect of your worship. Is the Christian ceasing to believe that adultry is wrong?
This is why I compared it to a marriage. If a man commits adultry that does not mean he was a bad husband beforehand. It could mean that but not necessarily so. So if a good husband commits adultry then what was the cause? Has he been neglecting his marriage and is he drifting away from his wife. Is his wife withholding relations from him causing temptation to become more tempting? Was it a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time?
Such sins are considered on a case by case basis and ultimately Jehovah decides whether to forgive the infraction. A man could say to himself, "I will commit sin X and tonight I will ask God for forgivness and everything will be okay." But the Bible shows that this is not so and such thoughts are actually sins in and of themselves.
First of all, I thought salvation was "by faith and not by works". You are saying, it is in fact by works.
It is my understanding that salvation is given freely but work is required to maintain it by "repenting" of your sins. This means to quit practicing them. While perfection cannot be achieved at this time, this is the goal for which a Christian must strive. The Bible says that a person that receives salvation and then goes back to practicing his sinful ways causes, "Christ to be sacrified all over again." it goes further to say that, "No sacrifice remains" for such ones. I do not see that the Bible teaches "once saved always saved" as some others do. If this is true then the word repentance has no meaning at all.
Secondly, you are dissociating yourself from the people who need community support the most. I hear that as a common complaint - mainly by women who have been abused by "xian" husbands - in the xian community. As long as you don't need them, the xian community is there for you. The moment you have a crisis, well, you never were really a xian anyway. The salvation army is the only one that shoots its own wounded.
I'm not entirely sure what you are asking. In the case of an abusive husband the couple would be counseled together or as individuals. Ultimately it is up to the couple if they choose to maintain the marriage. However, being abusive is considered to be a pretty serious offense. If the husband does not repent of being abusive then he will be disfellowshiped. He ceases to remain a "member" of the congregation and becomes an apostate. He would still be allowed to attend Christian meetings but otherwise may only associate with the Elders and that only for the purpose of counseling. The wife is naturally still free to associate with him but the rest of the congregation would not.
The wife, however, still maintains good standing within the congregation and will suffer no ill effects apart from those caused by her husband. Any support that can be provided would be given to help the wife. This includes, physical, spirital, and emotional support. If she becomes a widow then the congregation will still support her in any way necessary. If she is still capable then she will be required to do what she can do to provide support for herself as far as physical needs are concerned. If she is unable to work then she'll be provided with whatever support is necessary.
If, in the future, the husband repents of his actions then he can still be restored to membership within the congregation although he may or may not (not sure), be able to resume any priveleges "responsibilities" within the congregation. Giving a talk would be such a privelege as would becoming an elder.
Jehovah's Witnesses are not organized as a typical church is organized. There are not pastors, priests, or anything of that sort. The only authority that exists within an individual congregation is a board of elders. I don't know how many. These "elders" are required to be those that have been long time, good standing, members and they are required to maintain a good reputation among their community. A murderer, for example, would never be allowed to become an elder by virtue of his reputation at least until such time that he has restored his reputation within the community to the extent that having him as an elder would not bring reproach upon the congregation or upon the name of Jehovah. I do not know exactly where the line is drawn to define what is an acceptable reputation. Basically, anything that would bring reproach upon Jehovah's name or the congregation is not acceptable.
These elders, or anyone else in the congregation, do not receive a salary. The elders, while they are teachers, are not "preachers" of any sort different than the rest of the congregation is considered to be preachers. Every member is considered a preacher. And any member may volunteer to give a talk at on of their meetings, assuming the member has the knowledge to do so. All members are encouraged to reach the point where they can give a talk and are qualified to preach door to door. Of their weekly meetings, this talk take, up one hour of their Sunday worship.
The second hour of Sunday worship is spent reading and discussing, in light of the Bible, the questions posed in the weekly article, from their Watchtower publication. This is carried out in a question/answer format very much like a classroom. All members and non-members are encouraged to participate. All of these things are considered to be priveleges.
I'm pretty sure the bible does not use that phrase, ever.
There was never a need. But it does mention "falst christs, prophets, apostles, teachers" and such. This is my association.
I can understand why a preacher-type would make that kind of proclamation. It attempts to scare people into staying in line. Crowd control, as it were, to ensure a stable income.
But from a "jesus H perspective", this sounds so contradictory to me
This may be so. And this may contradict what you've heard, but the Bible is very clear in this matter. Maybe this is one of those things, among many others, that Christendom fails to teach.
"For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome
, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.” (2 Peter 2:20-22)
"For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance
, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt." (Hebrews 6:4-8)
"For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?" (Hebrews 10:26-29)
That's a childish idea. If jesus H, yhwh and the HS are really all the same thing, why the distinction?
Good question. You are right that doesn't make sense. The Bible's answer is that they are not the same thing.
“Listen, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah." (Deut 6:4)
I have much more I could say on this if you are curious.
No, you misunderstand. Christians don't agree on what they did or did not teach.
So are you saying it is impossible for anyone to be accurate or that's it's impossible for you to distinguish which is accurate?
It depends on which Christians you ask. This is why you're having so much trouble, Jst. You assume that your interpretations of what the bible says are self-evident. That because you read it as saying sectarianism is bad that everyone must naturally read it that way.
No I'm asking you to examine what I say for yourself instead of depending on other christians. Or do you not feel you are able to do so?