Conversations with a JW: One True Religion

I got something in my contact right as my JW friend showed up, so she had scanned the paper to follow while I was in the bathroom fixing it – and we didn’t cover what I’d written.  (Will follow, regardless – she took it with her).

Today was about proving that God has had one organization throughout history.  It used to be Israel, and now it’s the Watchtower.   I’m *so* sola Scriptura, that didn’t get her anywhere.  We chatted a good bit.  I got to give her the gospel again, and explain that salvation is through faith by grace, not by works.  (She’s got such a long list of works – although she said that JW don’t really concentrate on salvation as such, they’re too busy telling people about the kingdom).

End game – I’m considered unteachable, and she’s not coming ’round for tea anymore.   She’ll come ’round to see if I’ve changed my mind on anything though.

Here’s the write up…

Is there only one true religion?

Yes.  🙂

But let us explore further, because evangelicals often consider our state of being a relationship with Jesus rather than a religion.

Religion: (dictionary.com)

1.a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances,and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

2.a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects.

So.  A set of beliefs?  Yes.  There is one true set of beliefs.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Ephesians 2: 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

John 3: 14 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.  16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

1 John 3: 23 This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. 24 The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

But is there one set of ritual?  No, because ritual is no longer required.  Ritual was of the Law, and Jesus fulfilled the Law.

How does this work out in practice?  So long as the person claiming Christ truly has Jesus in his or her heart, they are our sibling, and are not to be discouraged.

Romans 14: 1 Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. 2 One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. 3 The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5 One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God. 7 For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; 8 for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

Mark 9: 38 John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. 40 For he who is not against us is for us.

Upon what basis do evangelicals speak of their relationship to Christ Jesus?

John 15: 15 No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.

Romans 5:5 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.

John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

1 John 3: 3 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.

Romans 8:14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

Galatians 4:6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.

(That’s it – I was hoping for more, but God didn’t have me type up anything else.  Now that it’s today, I see why – I wasn’t allowed to go through it as usual.  C’est la vie – I’m not God and I don’t know how He will use today, I only have faith that because this was done for Him, He’ll use it – His Word does not return void).

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