Jehovah`s Witness/the true Christian faith

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Question
Hello Derrick, greetings in the name of our great God Jehovah and His annointed son our Lord Jesus.I feel that problems abound within the Christian faith and I wonder if you could help me.From being a ' born again ' Christian I found no home within the orthadox Christian churches.I became a Bible student ( the J w's ) would call me an evil slave.Yet the Bible students have their groups each with their own ideas/ doctrine.As do the Jehovah's witnesses ( true faith romania etc etc ) Today in a newsagents I heard one of the staff talking about the wonga ( money lending at high interest) problems of the co of e.She said the church invests in  wonga, gambling and pornography web sites.
She couldn't understand why any one would go to them if they do they must be mad !
         Where is the true faith Derick in your opinion ?
  Phil

Answer
Hello, Phil, and thank you for the warm greetings.  I appreciate your writing with your question.

Phil, the best help that I can give you, is to tell you to look for Jesus, not a denomination.  So many people think their salvation has something to do with finding the right church/religion, and joining it.  The truth of the matter is, the New Testament doesn't tell us to "join" anything.  We are to come to complete faith and trust in the shed blood of Christ, which He shed for us when He was on the cross, and realize that His blood is the complete and final payment for our sins.  Salvation is faith in Christ, plus nothing, minus nothing.  There is not one thing, nor one religion we can join, that effects our salvation.

Ephesians 2:8-9-  "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:  

Not of works, lest any man should boast."


Titus 3:4-7  "But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,  

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;  

Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;  

That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."


Now, I am afraid that I do not know much of anything about the Orthodox Church, to say anything about it.  And truthfully, I have never heard of "wonga", but any church that does as you describe, especially investing in pornography sites, is not a true church.  Not that I am saying that what this person told you is factual, but one thing we do know Phil, is that the Bible itself speaks of false forms of religion in the last days.

You said..."She couldn't understand why any one would go to them if they do they must be mad!"

Well, IF what this lady told you is true, then I am inclined to agree with her.


Regarding religion in the last days, the Bible itself warns us in 1 Timothy 3:1-7....

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  

Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  

Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;  

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.  

For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,  

Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."  


You see, there will be those who have a "form of godliness" (professing Christianity/religion), but instead, embrace the evils that are listed in the above passage.  There are churches who actually promote same-sex marriage, and are considered "gay friendly/affirming".  Others see nothing wrong with people engaging in sexual relations outside of marriage.  

I had a member of my church tell me just this past week, that one of their cousins are messed up in some sort of crazy church, that teaches that a person's gender is determined by the person themselves, once they become old enough to decide for themselves what they WANT to be.  

This is a clear sign of the last days....People professing to be servants of God, but disregarding His Word at every turn.  A church like that, is obviously one to stay away from.

Something else I want to point out, Phil.  It is in regards to the idea of a group, such as the JWs and others, who attempt to separate themselves from everyone else by re-defining words such as "Christendom", and claiming that only THEY are the ones God approves of.  The fact is, if you look at the actual and correct definition of "Christendom", JWs are as much a part of it as anybody.  But by re-defining the term as "everyone else in Christianity besides us", then they claim that they are completely separate.  But we can see something very enlightening, when we look at the accounts in Revelation chapters 2-3, and the 7 churches spoken of there.

The churches were:

1.  Ephesus
2.  Smyrna
3.  Pergamos
4.  Thyatira
5.  Sardis
6.  Philadelphia
7.  Laodicea

Now when we read the accounts of all these churches, we find only TWO that Jesus said nothing negative about, nor gave any rebuke to.  Those 2 were Smyrna and Philadelphia.  The other 5 had things going on, that should not have been.  Some had grown cold in their walk with God, some were teachings some doctrines that weren't correct, and some were even allowing immorality to go unchecked.  

But here is what is interesting....These churches were not labeling all the others as "false Christendom", and claiming they were the only ones correct, and then forming their own little group, claiming to be the "faithful slave".  ALL of these churches had true Christians in them, but some of them had become corrupt as a church.  Each church was dealt with INDIVIDUALLY, not Organizationally.  There was no Governing Body to step in and set the church in Laodicea, Thyatira, or Pergamos straight.

One other thing stands out to me, and that is that a church NAME means absolutely nothing at all, as to its worth of a place of worship.  Consider....

Revelation 3:1-  "And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead."

Notice that a NAME of being "alive", proved nothing.  This church was not of a different "religion" than the others...it was supposed to be a legitimate Christian Church.  But the name was deceptive, because the church was spiritually dead.  

So you see, it isn't just a matter of becoming a "Jehovah's Witness".  That is why I cannot come on here and tell you that you will be fine, if you just find a "Baptist" church, even though I myself attend an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church.  Obviously, without knowing the various churches in your area, I would recommend that you find a church that does the following:

1.  Preaches that the Bible is the inspired and INERRANT Word of God, and can actually SHOW you a Bible that they believe is without error, or produce the "original manuscripts" that they claim were inerrant.  If they cannot produce the "originals", then they should be able to take a Bible in their hand and show it to you, and believe that it is inerrant.

2.  Does not deny the deity of Jesus Christ, and reduce Him to an angel or mere creation, but instead, exalt Him as the Creator.

3.  Does not add ANYTHING to Biblical salvation, such as water baptism, abstaining from certain meats, good works, etc.  Good works are definitely part of our Christian life, but they are the fruit of BEING a Christian, not something that we do in order to BE saved.  Biblical salvation comes ONLY by placing trust in Jesus Christ, as the payment for our sins, and believing ON Him for salvation.  The good works are something that come as a natural result of saving faith in Christ, but are not the means of salvation.

4.  Stands for Biblical morality.  By this, I mean that they do not allow sexual sin to go on in the church....adultery, fornication, homosexuality, etc.  

5.  Is active in reaching the lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Phil, one thing I am not here to do, is to tell people to become a Baptist and everything will be okay.  It won't.  I have seen JWs here tell people that they must come to the Organization, and have seen them say that "there is nowhere else to go if you want to live".  That is nonsense.  We don't "go to" a religion....we come to CHRIST.  The truth is, Hell will be populated with JWs, Baptists, and people of almost every denomination, if they have not come to simple faith in Christ.

You mentioned about being "born again".  Phil, I feel that I need to point out, that Jesus Himself taught the necessity of the new birth, for salvation.  He was quite clear that it is a REQUIREMENT, and it is for everyone...not just a select group of people.  Please do not be so quick to remove yourself from among "born again Christians", for that is the ONLY kind of Christian in existence.  

Let me clarify...."Born again" is not a movement...its something that God does when you come to Christ for salvation.  He births you into His family.  Its not something YOU do...its what HE does.  If a person has not experienced a new birth spiritually, they have not been saved.  

My prayer for you, is that you have been birthed into God's family.  And if not, that you will.  Its not about finding a specific church with a specific name on the sign....Its about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

If I can help you further, please do not hesitate to ask.  

Thanks for writing, and take care.


Derrick  

Jehovah`s Witness

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Derrick Holland

Expertise

I was raised in the religion known as Jehovah`s Witnesses for 13 years. Since becoming a born-again Christian, I have researched extensively this religion, especially their doctrines and their history. I can answer questions about their doctrines from the perspective of Biblical Christianity. To be clear: Jehovahs Witnesses is the religion of my upbringing, though I myself was never baptized into the religion, nor have I ever been considered as a Jehovahs Witness.

Experience

29 years of Biblical research into the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith, and how they differ from the teachings of the Watchtower.

Organizations
I would advise each questioner to this forum, to carefully READ the profiles of the various volunteers. There are several such as myself, who are not practicing JWs, but will provide you with an accurate and honest answer, regarding JW teaching. If we don't know the answer, we will try to research and get it for you. There are also some excellent practicing JWs here, who also endeavor to give you a factual and honest answer, based on their point of view. I believe by getting both points of view, the questioner can weigh the evidence for themselves, and make an informed decision. Unfortunately, there are also 3 here who claim to be JWs, but do NOT give honest, or well-researched answers. They will tell you only what they want you to believe, and they often hide facts about the history of their religion, as well as print untruths about other people's beliefs. This is done in an attempt to deceive the unsuspecting reader. It can be easily seen who these 3 are, simply by reading the public posts and "answers" which they write. Their posts will normally be filled with personal attacks, and if you question them about some teaching or aspect of the Watchtower that makes them uncomfortable, they will often reject your question, question your motives for asking it, tell you that you have been reading "apostate" sites, or turn the conversation into an attack on another expert. These ones are better avoided, as there is nothing to be gained by way of positive discussion, as they are not interested in intelligent conversation, or honest dialogue. If after reading the forum, you still have any questions as to who they are, just ask me, and I will be happy to tell you. And I can also provide documentation of their willful dishonesty. One thing is for certain...in a forum where people from both sides claim to be "Christians", there should never be any willful lying. Such ones only create a distraction in the forum, and provide nothing of any real value.

Education/Credentials
High School, some college. Studies of God's Word, the Bible, and how it compares to JW theology. I have found my own personal study and experiences to be far more valuable than any formal education or training. The Bible message is clear...Salvation is ONLY through and by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and no religious organization has a thing to do with it. While attendance at a Bible-preaching, Bible-believing church is a must for spiritual growth and fellowship, no church can grant salvation to its members. Nor is joining a particular group a prerequisite for being saved.

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