Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Faith in what...?

Where, or to whom, should our faith be directed?

Anyone who has casually read the Bible or knows anything about Christianity knows the very clear answer to this question.

The first of the Ten Commandments reads thus:

"I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. Do not have other gods besides Me. Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. You must not bow down to them or worship them; for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the fathers’ sin, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commands." - Exodus 20:2-6 HCSB

Luther comments on this passage: "What does this mean? That we should fear, love, and trust in God above all things."

When it comes to man-made Organizations, should we put our faith and trust in them?

Listen to the Watchtower's answer:

“If one renders obedient service to someone or some organization, whether willingly or under compulsion, looking up to such as possessing a position of superior rulership and great authority, then that one can Scripturally be said to be a worshiper.” (WT, 9/1/61, p 525)

“Then note what happened to these idolatrous worshipers of a man-made organization.” (WT, 12/1/71, p 723)

“where should your faith be placed - in a religious organization or in God?” (WT, 1/15/70 p 37).

“We cannot take part in any modern version of idolatry - be it worshipful gestures toward an image or symbol or the imputing of salvation to a person or an organization.” (WT, 11/1/90, p 26)

Notice, in these quotes they agree with Holy Scripture. It is idolatry to place our faith in, or look to salvation from, a human Organization.

With that in mind, look at these shocking quotes:

The cover of the March 1, 1979 Watchtower boldly proclaims, “Put Faith in a Victorious Organization!” The accompanying article repeatedly drives home the theme of having faith in the organization:

“Faith in Jehovah’s theocratic organization... Did the remnant of spiritual Israelites and their theocratic companions, the ‘great crowd’ of Christ’s ‘other sheep,’ have such victorious faith? Yes!... Witnesses have kept their faith in Jehovah’s organization.” (p 18)

The article poses the question, “Is there any cause for us to lose faith in Jehovah’s visible organization...?” The answer is given, “Absolutely Not!... Our unwavering faith will be rewarded with victory and the crown of life.”

The same was stated in the Nov. 15, 1981 WT, p 21, where it says, “come to Jehovah’s organization for salvation”.

Worshiping the Organization, putting faith in the Organization, or imputing salvation to the Organization, is idolatry. Here is a classic example of how the Watchtower will speak out of both sides of their mouth. This is another reason why the Watchtower Society is dangerous and deceptive. One minute they'll agree with you, the next they'll deny what they just said. Besides contradicting themselves, they also deny Holy Scripture which says, "there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." - Acts 4:12 ESV

Often when one threatens to leave the Watchtower Society, they ask, "Where will you go? What church or organization is as pure and good as we are." It's not a matter of where, it about to whom shall we go. "So Jesus said to the Twelve, 'Do you want to go away as well?' Simon Peter answered him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.'" - John 6:67-69 ESV

Let us fear, love, and trust in God above all things and look only to his Eternal Son for our salvation! "And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life." - 1 John 5:11-13 ESV

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"Christ's Sacrifice isn't enough," says WT.

Christians love to hear the message that their sins are forgiven by Christ. It's our oxygen. We breathe it in. It is the fuel that powers Christian living. To know that all of my sins, past, present, and future, have been forgiven because of Christ's death in my place gives tremendous comfort to broken reeds and smoldering wicks.

The Watchtower's "gospel" does not bring comfort. In fact, it crushes. It leads to despair or pride those who swallow it. I was one of those who did swallow it for twenty years, and I have not got away unscathed. The Watchtower gospel is not good news, it's really bad news. The Gospel ends up being something you have to do.

Notice, the June 1, 1995 Watchtower, p 30, says, “Certainly we do not expect that in the present system Jesus would apply to us the full merit of his sacrifice. Even if he did, we would still not have everlasting life.”

Notice here that everlasting life is not at all dependent on the death of Christ in your place for your sins. How do these two sentences even logically follow? If Jesus death is applied to us and we don't have eternal life, then what in the world does it do?

The article continues to talk about the account with the paralyzed man to whom Jesus said, "your sins are forgiven you" (Luke 5), the article states, "What Jesus said did not mean that the man got eternal life on the spot. But the man was blessed with a degree of forgiveness.”. This is just silly. What good does a degree of forgiveness do? If Jesus only gives a degree of forgiveness, then there is still a degree that isn't forgiven. If there still is a degree of sins that remain unforgiven then God the just judge will have to execute justice upon them. A scary thought that! Also Jesus didn't say to the man, “some of your sins are forgiven you”, and he didn’t say, “some day your sins will be forgiven you.” He said, “Your sins are forgiven you.”

The article also teaches that:
1. Jesus does not apply to us the full merit of his sacrifice in the present system
2. Just a degree of our sins are forgiven in the present system
3. We do not get eternal life in the present system

Holy Scripture firmly says otherwise.

All of our sins are forgiven us through Christ.

1 John 1:9 - "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

Acts 13:38-39 ".. through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the Law of Moses.”

The basis for this forgiveness is the death of Christ.

Ephesians 1:7 “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace”

1 Peter 2:24 "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed."

Eternal life and forgiveness of sins is a present reality for all those who have turned to Christ in repentance and faith.

1 John 5:11-13. “This is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

John 3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life...”

John 6:47 “I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life."

John 5:24 "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”

I hope this is sufficient to demonstrate that the Watchtower is not teaching the Good News as Holy Scripture reveals it. They teach a legalistic righteousness that is based upon my performance. The death of Christ for them is just there to give you the opportunity to earn forgiveness and salvation by your deeds. That is not the Gospel.