Hello everybody, It is a pleasure to be here. I have four main questions (I will bold-face for ease of convenience) but first allow me to very briefly introduce myself so you know where I am coming from.
First and foremost, I see myself as a relentless truth seeker, I welcome challenges to my statements as I think this is something that brings out something of real value. Truth can be found only through sincere scrutiny IMO. (1) Is this two sentence statement agreeable with you?
I am a third/fourth generation JW. My great grandfather was exiled to Siberia for over a decade for having a private copy of the watchtower in his home and two of my grandparents were sent to concentration and labor camps (my one grandfather was baptized in a concentration camp and went on to start new congregations through ministry in banned lands when he came out). To me, the stand they took was admirable, and wouldve been admirable even if they were taking that stand for anything else they firmly felt was worth fighting for.
I am also the only one in my family (that I keep in regular contact with) that has stopped going to meetings as of several months ago. I did not stop going due to any wrongdoing on my part but rather due to theological disagreements with some publications (I was never disfellowshipped nor disassociated, I simply stopped going). Now I realize this may sound abrasive to some, but please realize I am telling you this to show full disclosure (and really, this should be valued/commended by truth seekers). I do not want to give the wrong impression and I choose to be a truthful person as I previously mentioned.
So now that you know a little about me, I have some sincere question for you friends.
The title page shows this quote, I will break it up to briefly comment on it...
Because the administrators of "Jehovah's Witnesses - Reasoning From Scripture" are Jehovah's Witnesses we will undoubtedly discuss from that point of view.
This is very understandable imo, no problems there, its what I was looking for!
However, all (except ex-JWs) are welcome to share in reasoned discussions of the scriptures and the life-saving knowledge to be found within.
This IMO is a bit disturbing. (2) Why are ex-jws not welcome here? How would one feel if a Catholic website (and note, I am by NO MEANS of any imagination a catholic sympathizer) said that "discussion is allowed, just not from any ex-Catholics?" Really, replace Catholics with any other religion and the same applies. Im sure we would denounce such a statement. This to me sounds like somebody is hiding something and is not the sign of truthful discussion, which is why I ask. Please clarify and show me I am wrong in that assumption dear friends. Note I am not accusing you but asking for clarification on my initial mistaken assumption.
Please discuss the scriptures - not your personal testimony based on emotion and faith alone.
I couldnt agree more! personal testimony based on emotion and faith, imo cannot be reasonably discussed. What I mean is, to the person who has had this experience, it is an amazingly powerful and convincing one! However it does not and cannot translate to anyone else. I have had two out of body experience in fact, both of which I attribute to my brain chemistry at the time of the instance and NOT something supernatural. It is up to each individual to decide which is which and this never is convincing for an outside observer. Only solid reasoning and logic based on evidence can be reasonably discussed IMO. As such, I have no intention to discuss personal emotions or faith. I will say quite honestly however that I very much am lacking of faith as of late. But again, please note that this is my way of disclosure and honesty.
This community is not the place for discussions about controversial topics that only pertain to the Witness organization. Any infractions of these guidelines will result in probation or removal.
this is a curious statement and I am not exactly sure what is meant by this. I take it the administrators decide what is and is not a controversial topic... (this in itself poses some problems, but Ill avoid those for the time being as I do not wish to be seen as overly insolent).
(3) How can anyone know if they are approaching or crossing this dangerous boundary? What topics are off limits is my question and how can we know? A better question on my part would be "why not discuss controversial topics?" but perhaps this question alone is prohibited from being asked here, so I didnt initially want to ask it. I would like to see my theological differences reconciled by JW's in good standing, however these questions might be seen as "controversial" so really, this is a catch 22 for me (as it was when I considered asking the elders my questions). I am glad to stick to forum guidelines but the guidelines provided are so vague that it approaches the boundaries of censorship (and I believe I am being generous with "approaches").
My final question...
(4) Also, I was a bit taken back to see a website like this because the society very clearly warns against such websites and says NOT to make them or participate in them. Why do you feel the society is wrong when it comes to those warnings?
I thank you all for any/all responses. I understand I may not be liked or welcome here due to my current disposition, but may I remind you of what Jesus said about the prodigals son (and consider this again with your statement on ex jws). I am very sincere in my post here and look forward to talking to you.
I hope this post isnt removed as I am simply asking for clarification on forum guidelines (and my needless removal would really play into the hands of "apostates"), may all of you have a wonderful day.