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Comments

Dave

Thanks for providing a comparison of the various bible renditions of the 'mentally diseased' phrase. Anyone who's balanced and reasonable must see that the criticism levelled at the the WT society is off.
Besides, as you say, it's used as an adjective not as a medical diagnosis. Nice explanation Tom.

tom sheepandgoats

It's the dishonesty of these guys that gets me.....trying to make it seem that counsel is directed at all who leave the faith.

BTW, I should acknowledge that the phrase "psycho ex-mate" was suggested to me by Rosie, who used it in a comment following the post "You Got a Timetable on That?"

Dean

Tears of Oberon has some interesting material concerning this on his blog (http://tearsofoberon.blogspot.com/2011/09/laying-to-rest-mental-disease-nonsense.html).

As for the KJV - it too supports the NWT.

One definition of doting, per Dictionary.com is:
"showing a decline of mental faculties, especially associated with old age; weak-minded; senile."

Merriam Webster has a similar definition.

Lest anyone say that the KJV meant the other definition of doting, i.e. "to be lavish or excessive in one's attention, fondness, or affection", note this information about the root word dote (also from Dictionary.com):
"Origin:
1175–1225; Middle English doten to behave foolishly, become feeble-minded; cognate with Middle Dutch doten."

So the original meaning of the word is associated with mental defect. The KJV and NWT agree on the rendering of 1 Timothy 6:4.

tom sheepandgoats

Thank you, Dean.

I didn't include KJV on my list because "doting" seemed less specific/weaker than the other renderings. But, per the definition you supply, it's right there with all the rest of them.

Tony McGurk

"considerable backlash against JWs by those who insist that God is American"
Not being American (I'm Tasmanian or some would call me Australian) I wasn't aware of such an attitude. I am rather surprised to learn that people actually think that way. Nice post Tom, I like the way you explained about those who leave & just move on with life compared to those who have an axe to grind against Jehovah's organisation.

Tony McGurk

P.S. It doesn't matter what explanation is given & how reasonable & logical it is, the haters will always find fault with what The Watchtower says.

tom sheepandgoats

It does seem to work that way, doesn't it?

As for God being American, you understand that the words are not meant literally. Idioms don't necessary translate well into other cultures. As Joel used the words, they refer to how religion follows the flag....God and country....the present country always has God's backing, and in the event of conflict with another nation...well, they obviously don't. Joel grew up during a time when nationalism was especially rampant here.

I used the expression in a different way. Think of counsel often heard through the Watchtower that a spirit of independence is rife today. Well, "independence", insisting upon rights, typifies America, much more so than many nations, where values such as cooperation, yielding to the greater good, finding ones place in society may assume more prominance. For example, Americans (the majority....not all of them) still vigorously insist on the right to bear firearmns. In many countries, people have long ago lost interest in personally owning them.

RK Meier

When someone is painfully divorced from an organization, their impressions of that organization should in most cases be viewed with skepticism. This is not to say that these claims should be ignored, or that, if credible, that these claims should not be investigated.
However, I think for whatever reason, people are more inclined to believe sensational or downright false claims, when they're levied against a group like the Witnesses. I'm not sure if this is due to familiarity, or rather its opposite, as to some degree, the JW are by their nature, a little removed from general society.

Tim

So what you're saying here is that one can leave the religion and that's well and good but if they're open and talk about the reason they left or try to persuade others to not make the same mistake that's who they refer to as mentally diseased?

I'm curious here, I guess I'd take the example of Steve Hassan who wrote a book "Combatting Cult Mind Control" about his time in the Moonies. He feels they are a destructive mind control cult and speaks out against them. I don't think any JW would call him "mentally diseased" in fact they'd probably commend him for speaking out against the things that Moonies do. There are many JWs who were former members of other churches am I right here? Don't they give testimonies at their big meetings (assemblies I think?) saying how they left their previous religion and why? Would JWs call them "mentally diseased" because they didn't move on and stop talking about their previous religion.

It seems a double standard to me, "Those who leave their former religion and testify about it are perfectly fine as long as it's not our religion they left, if they left our religion then they're 'mentally diseased'".

Hoping this comment gets through the moderation, to get your response. Thank You.

tom sheepandgoats

“So what you're saying here is that one can leave the religion and that's well and good...”

No. I said in the post we don't think it's a great idea.

“but if they're open and talk about the reason they left or try to persuade others to not make the same mistake....”

Still no, but closer. There are many reasons a person might leave, but only a few that would trigger verses dealing with apostasy. See, we don't really view it as a “mistake” to become a Christian. You apparently do. Our opposite viewpoints on this might make any explanation hard for you to accept. Verses such as the following help formulate our position:

Titus 3:10 “Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them.”

Acts 20:29 “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.”

Titus 1:10 “For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach...”

From your point of view, these verses sound extreme, I understand, but JWs are a Bible people. We think that book's counsel is the best way to live. So we apply those verses among ourselves.

“that's who they refer to as mentally diseased?”

You have failed to put mentally diseased in quotes, as the article did. The distinction is important. It means you are taking the words quite literally. (though I see you corrected yourself later on) The article made clear it was not meant to be literal.

“It seems a double standard to me, "Those who leave their former religion and testify about it are perfectly fine as long as it's not our religion they left, if they left our religion then they're 'mentally diseased'".”

Seen from your point of view, it would seem strange, I agree. Really, all claiming to adhere to the Bible should apply the verses above to those leaving their ranks in a blaze of apostasy. I admit, that would result in a ridiculous spectacle, all faiths responding that way. But fear not, they're not going to do it. This subject is by no means the only area in which they ignore Bible counsel.

In fact, that's the reason Jehovah's Witnesses will tell you that the joined the faith in the first place, that they found a Christian faith that follows the Bible. That was attractive to them, even if not to you. Nor was it a snap decision. Becoming a Witness involves a period of study and application of Bible principles. It seldom takes less than a year. All the while, they continue to function in general society, just like before. I'm not real familiar with Moonies, but aren't they physically isolated in some sort of a training camp?

Lee John

Why Lamas?

Is this from a Noah's Ark drama or something?

tom sheepandgoats

Nah, I just like llamas. So does Mrs. Sheepandgoats

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