Subject: I have a few questions #1

[I got the following email about six weeks ago from my friend Jenny (early 30s, married, three children). Note: I’ve changed the names of any people I know who are mentioned because their questions and situations represent all of us. Aside from Jenny and her family going to the church where I work and the fact that we have a close mutual friend, we also share a interest in several of the same reality TV shows (mostly on MTV, VH1 and Bravo). Like many stay at home parents, Jenny doesn’t usually have a lot of contact with other adults during the day, so when a group of Jehovah’s Witnesses rang her doorbell a few months ago and seemed interested in talking, she invited them in. They had a nice conversation and they’ve been coming back every other week since. Jenny is not interested in becoming a Jehovah’s Witness (and they’re aware of this), but the talks she has had with her new friends have led her to some great questions about God, the Bible and her faith, and that is why she wrote me an email and why we have been writing back and forth ever since. Over the next few days I will be posting portions of our emails in the order that they were sent/received. (By the way, she gave me permission to do this.) I have intentionally left some of the quirks and side comments in the emails to make them feel a bit more real/human, but the writer in me couldn’t help but clean up some of the spelling and grammar. I have no idea if people will find this interesting or helpful, but my hope is that it will be both. Besides, how often do you get to read other people’s mail? As always, feel free to comment.]

From: Jenny
To: Andy
Subject: I have a few questions
Date: Thu, Mar 6, 2008 at 3:42 PM

Andy,

Okay–I have a question for you–a couple maybe. Sarah said she filled you in on my new friends who are Jehovah’s Witnesses. So, a few things have come up that I am unsure about. I don’t know how much you know about their religion (probably more than me) but, I guess they are VERY or only bible based-which is what intrigued me about visiting with them. Learning more about what is written in the bible is something I have been meaning to do for a long time-they are giving me a reason to do that. However, I am having a hard time finding things in the bible. So I will ask you! If you don’t mind!

1. They say that when we die, we return to our beginning-the dust until God comes again and makes his heavenly kingdom on earth. That his original plan was for us to live harmoniously here and in the end he will return the earth to his original intention for it. Only Jesus, God and the apostles are in heaven–we will not go. He as promised us an earthly paradise.

2. There is no hell.–However, I have found several passages in the bible that mention hell. They told me that many people think we are going to heaven or hell, but God never said we would go to hell.

3. This is from a podcast I listened to with Chuck Swindoll–not from the JWs. In his closing prayer he prayed ~nothing occurs in our lives that has not been wonderfully planned by you, our father. Really?

In trying to figure out why bad things happen to good people, I have tried to reason that although God has a plan for our lives, he has also given us all free will. That free will is what is to blame for the awful things that happen in people’s lives but God will help us through it. He will help make lemonade out of lemons. Does he really throw bad things at us to test us? See what we will do? I think of Amanda and Mike who I do not know, except through what Sarah shares, but did God really make Grace [their little daughter] sick to make them stronger or for some other purpose? I really struggle with this one. I also feel like I am going to have kids asking me this soon, and I don’t think I can answer it.

Okay, I know you have a life and are not just sitting at the computer waiting to answer the help line. Don’t feel bad about not answering all or any of my questions. I just thought I would throw it out there since Sarah said you might be open to it! So really, no pressure!

Hope all is well with you. Sarah said that Journey has been awesome! And, I may be way off, but is this your last semester of school?

Are you having withdrawals from The Hills? I have been watching the Gauntlet 3 to try and fill the void!

Take care,
Jenny

[Click HERE to read my response to this email.]

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Subject: I have a few questions #1

  1. Who are Jehovah’s Witnesses?

    Up close and personal Jehovah’s Witnesses can be wolves in sheep’s clothing.
    Think about this-When the devil comes knocking on your door he may not have the ‘dark goth look’. They could be smartly dressed and wielding the Christian Bible.

    The central core dogma of the Watchtower is Jesus second coming (invisibly) in 1914 and is a lie. Jehovah’s Witnesses are a spin-off of the man made Millerite movement of 1840.
    A destructive cult of false teachings, that frequently result in spiritual and psychological abuse, as well as needless deaths (bogus blood transfusion ban).

    Yes, you can ‘check out anytime you want but you can never leave’, because they can and will hold your family hostage.

    The Watchtower is a truly Orwellian world.

  2. Danny, it took me a while to decide whether or not to approve your comment. I want this to be a blog where people’s comments can be made and read by others, and since I did bring up the Jehovah’s Witnesses, I guess making a comment about them is appropriate. However, I was in no way attempting to start a conversation about JWs or their religion, it was merely mentioned in a back story to help explain why/how my friend Jenny discovered she had all these great questions. As I said, she is not considering becoming a JW, but she does admire the faith and knowledge of her new friends who happen to be JWs, and (as a friend), I would warn/caution her if I thought spending time with them was a bad idea. You obviously think it is a bad idea, so I’m leaving your comment up as a fair warning for others so they can decide what to think or believe.

  3. Danny H leaves the same comment just about on everyones Blaog if they are consdiering anythng having to do with JWs or Watchtower…

    Great post and honest – hope Jenny understands ;^) Its important for one to make up their own mind and do their own investigation; understanding is key for anything (or to keep stenghtening your own personal resolve) ;^)

  4. That first comment was full of a lot of hate and anger! It’s that kind of irrational and hyper-emotional response to those with different religious views that are the source of many of the world’s conflicts. How sad. I sometimes wonder if God intentionally created so many different views in order to see how long it would take us to reconcile our differences and peacefully agree to disagree. I enjoy talking to people from other religions, and my own, about their faith – I don’t feel threatened by ideas and beliefs that aren’t exactly what I believe or grew up believing. I may not always understand or necessarily agree but I don’t feel it’s my place or job to tell them they are wrong.

    Jenny is lucky that she has someone with whom she is comfortable asking such difficult questions who takes the time to very thoroughly and thoughfully respond to them.

  5. Hi, my name is Dave. I know Andy through working at a summer camp. As for the question of evil and God.
    Wow! What great questions. And to let you know…these are questions that get struggled over everyday of the year for centuries now!

    I would like to respond to your question about evil and God.

    God did create us and he created us to be good. However, he also imparted free will upon us. Because what is God’s will? I think it is to seek after God. We are to love because we were first loved! We are to love God, and then love others. that’s where it stems from. But you see, we needed the free will in order to chose to love, or some would say that it would not be called love at all!

    Ok, so God gave us free will so that we can choose to love Him. And His will is that we seek after Him. So because we do not do that all the time, we would be out of his will! That I think is where the evil comes into play. I do not think that God created evil or does evil things to people. They are a result of our free will. Does God allow them to happen? Yes, but it is because if he didn’t, then would we really have free will? or would it be a mr. Fix-it God who would save the day every time. Evil exists on our own accord and because of our own desires. I do believe that we can learn things from bad things and stuff like that, but it is very different from God actually doing those things to people! Ok, that’s all I have to say!! this is neat and I hope that I can find my way back to this site! Ok, keep the peace!

    Davepeet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s