The Restoration- a JW teaching that many don't know about

Now, first- I differ from Jehovah’s Witnesses on their denial of JC’s Godhood, the Trinity, an afterlife before the Resurrection, holidays, blood transfusions and their limiting the Heavenly Company to 144,000 and Christ’s Invisible Return around 1914-18…

BUT something I think Charles Taze Russell had a good handle on- that the vast numbers of humanity who didn’t have a true opportunity for faith in Christ will somehow get that opportunity. He & the various Bible Students groups he launched (the JW’s is the most visible & numerous but not the only one) do teach this, placing it either in the Millenium or at the General Judgment afterwards. I find it the most attractive teaching of the JW’s, but for some reason, many people who know something about the JW’s don’t know about this. Especially in light of the major misunderstanding people have that JW’s believe that only 144,000 will be saved, I would think that the JWs would make the Restoration teaching a major emphasis in their evangelistic work.

I’m hoping that the raindog will jump in here (I’ve invited him) to discuss this.

Btw, variations of this teaching were also given by Joseph Smith & the LDS, Herbert W. Armstrong & the “Chuches of God” which have sprung from him,
and even “father of Pentecostalism” Charles Fox Parham (as an AoG member,
I’m on a covert mission to reintroduce the idea).

Ermm . . . so what exactly is the teaching in question? You still haven’t explained it.

Nor done anything to reconcile it with your own (Eastern Orthodox, IIRC) beliefs.

And more importantly, you still have done nothing to defend the fundamentally evil, horrible, abominable and obscene assumption of the necessity of salvation through faith.

After all, JC saved us all by the bringing of Grace (in the guise of the Holy Ghost) into the world on Pentecost. (Wife’s belief)

As for the Witnesses, same Wife invites them in, gives them lemonade, subscribes to Ayuda! so she can practice her Spanish, and admonishes me for laughing at them after they leave. She is a far better Christian than I.

FriarTed -

Can you explain the idea of Restoration or Reconciliation in regards to the various faiths and cults you mentioned? I’m familiar with basics of the doctrine, but as I understand it there are varying theories as to how it would work exactly. Especially what do JW’s and LDS’s believe?

:confused: Is Ayuda! Spanish for Watchtower? I can’t see how that translates.


The teaching as I understand it-

There are vast numbers of humanity who live & die every day, flawed, imperfect, yet struggling to do the best they can, but without any real connection to the Life of God. Christ died & rose for their salvation, but they have not connected themself to God through Christ for various reasons either totally or partially outside their control. However, they will receive that opportunity by being raised to life, either in the Millennial Kingdom or at the General Judgment afterwards. At that point, they will have full knowledge of the Truth necessary for Eternal Life and the opportunity to live by it. Not all people will do so. Some will, with totally open eyes & free will, defy God & thus bring on themselves Final Death.

In this life, there are a few who are granted the open eyes & free will to entrust themselves to God through Christ

And something I have to do is stop using the word “faith”. In fact, if I were doing a translation of the Bible, I’d try to avoid it in favor of variations of “trust” (there may be a few instances in which “faith” or “belief” may be appropriate, but not many). The idea of “salvation by belief” is stupid & wrong, I agree. The idea of “salvation by personal effort”, on the other hand, is arrogant & faulty. Essentially, it boils down to this- Eternal Life in harmony with God is only possible for a perfect being. None of us are perfect. No amount of effort can erase our past imperfections. However, The Son became one of us, lived & died & rose as a perfect being. His Life equals & exceeds the worth of all other lives accumulated.
By entrusting ourselves to Him, grabbing on to His coattails & riding, so to speak,
we are cleansed & gradually transformed to His Image and enter into His Eternal Harmonious Life with God.

To clarify though, JW’s would change my “His” to “his” when referring to JC. They believe JC is the first creation of Jehovah God and His only direct creation. After Jehovah created His son (then named “Michael”), Jehovah & Michael/Jesus created everything else using Jehovah’s energy (“holy spirit”).

I just posted the explanation, which is AFAIK, essentially the same among Russell’s Bible Students (including JW’s), Armstrongist Church of God folk, and Charles Fox Parham. The LDS differ by accepting that the souls of the dead are conscious & being evangelized in this age, while emphasizing that whatever else needs to be done will be accomplished when they are raised during the Millennium.

Which would still be the morally and spiritually better choice, regardless of the consequences.

That still rates an “F,” but I’ll give you a “D+” for sincere and earnest effort.

I left something unfinished here-

In this life, there are a few who are granted the open eyes & free will to entrust themselves to God through Christ. Those who do are already saved. Those who defy that Gift also bring death upon themselves. In JW thought, they may not receive any further resurrection but stay dead forever.

Well, if you prefer Death to God, that’s up to you. Good luck with that! :wink:
I do hope you’re correct. I don’t rule out the possibility that those who defy God may exist forever, lanquishing but not Living.

No, I prefer the good to God. God, if the Scripture is anything to go by, is not good. To submit to him is to choose evil, and to deserve it.

Agreed. The God of the Bible is simply not a good entity. And before the inevitable speech about how we mere mortals can’t understand the greater truth and we can’t judge God by human standards, and so on, I really don’t care. I’m a human, and by my human standards God is not good. From my position, an evil being and a being that only acts evil but is good according to some supposed “higher” standard are indistinguishable.

Let me get this straight. I’m going to hell when I die, but some pagan who worships the volcano goddess and who never heard the word of Christ will get an opportunity on the day of judgment to repent and be forgiven?

How is that fair again? Or will I get a mulligan too?

It’s fair because they never heard, yet you heard and did not listen.

That is an interesting facet of JW teaching of which I was unaware. It doesn’t change my overall opinion of JW but here is one area that I think they come closer to the mark. I think a loving God will do right by those who haven’t heard the word, unbaptized infants, nearly born fetuses, etc.

The Spanish version of Watchtower is called Atalaya, a literal translation of the title.

I’d suggest waiting till your eyes are made totally open before making that final choice, you know when you really understand what good really is.

Ayuda! may be the Spanish for AWAKE!, the other JW magazine.

So, basically, anyone who doesn’t know anything about the JW version of the story has a 1in6 of being let into heaven anyway, but those who do know but don’t just leap right in are dooooooomed? So, why are you telling people about this? Is the rate of conversion better than the rate of saved-through-ignorance? If it isn’t, you’re actually hurting people by dooming them when they don’t start believing what you believe.

And besides, everyone here has either heard of the whole JW and rejected it, or are JW. This can’t actually have any effect on us, so is this just rubbing it in our faces? ‘Nya nya ignorant bushmen are getting in but your not…’

Why? It’s all faith, there’s no other word for it. It’s not trust, because you can only trust something you have a reason to trust. There is no reason whatsoever to trust that god even exists, much less that he’ll be letting anyone into anything called heaven. It’s all faith, all belief.

Hmmm, I just responded to marshmallow Re the same point, but the Hamsters got it & they are seldom Restorationists!

So here it goes again- for both of you-

Most Restorationists hold to a non-traditional view of Hell- To JW’s, Armstrongists & Parham, it’s actually Final Destruction, while to the LDS, all decent folk go to some level of Heaven while Hell is reserved for the real rotters who have also knowingly rejected every opportunity for salvation.

Also, just “hearing & rejecting” isn’t even a criteria for damnation. It’s “hearing, being enlightened by God as to the Gospel Truth & THEN rejecting”. Most Restor’ists hold that these people are very few & far between. Basically, in Restorationist thought, one really has to want to go to Hell/Final Death to get there. There are two aspects of receiving Salvation-opportunity- the Call of the Church & the Pull of the Spirit. One can be called but not pulled. Rejecting the pull is what puts one in very risky territory.

C.S. Lewis & some Eastern Orthodox may also qualify as Restorists. Lewis’ picture of the Last Judgment in NARNIA 7 is that all assemble before Aslan & their fate is written on their faces: those who behold Him with love & awe go into New Narnia & those who behold Him with dread & hatred go into His Shadow (which later is also shown to be part of New Narnia). EO thought is that all go into the Fire of God/Christ’s Love & Justice- those who choose to embrace it experience purification & transformation, those who choose to reject it experience torment.

And yes, it is Trust & I have reasons which are sufficient to me. (Did you see the OPUS strip in which he & Steve Dallas are discussing a Creator- “Designed!” “Happened!” - and ends with them both pointing to an awesome sunset as their final evidence?) You will see them as rationalizations, however. Thus, to you, it is just Belief.

Isn’t Ayuda spanish for “Help”?

It seems to work when I ask one of my employees to “Ayuda Larry con los cajas”, they help Larry with the boxes.

Either that or they had already decided to help Larry and ignored my pathetic attempt to speak spanish.