“I see that you have a book on changes that have taken place in the bible. I’m thinking that you can answer some of the questions that keep me up at night. I am just looking for a short answer truthfully. I have friends that are Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I have been studying with them, but grew up in a community church, so that is the background of the questions.
Obviously, from the question I haven’t read the entire bible and don’t have a huge understanding of it yet…but am working on it. I am just wanting to learn the “right way”
 
 1) is the true name of God Jehovah? And that is what He wants to be called??
 
2) Do we go to heaven/hell when we die?
 
Thanks, Dana

Dana,

Very difficult question which will require a bit of explaining, I will try to keep this as short as possible. I study theology with as much of an open mind as I can, if I were to pick a religion to “follow” it would be Taoism, although I try to follow strictly in a philosophical, moral, and ethical fashion. The “big” three religions Judaism, Christianity, and Muslim all originated from the Old Testament. It is later on they branched out into different religions. I am not a fan of the big three, since they are responsible for many of the bloodshed in human history. During the various inquisitions the Christian/Catholic Churches were responsible for wiping out many of the “savage” beliefs, and it was not always peaceful. They suppressed free thinking by banishment, imprisonment, and death.

I think the issue with the Bible is it has been changed so many times to fit mans needs. The oldest translation of the Bible is the King James Version, since then it has been changed in minor ways for two reasons; they make minor changes so they can copyright it. The King James Version can not be copyrighted, like I said before they made minor changes to fit mans needs. The major change is we are taught we are saved by grace not works, this is simply not true.

I also have issues with the Bible because starting in the early 500 A.D. the Catholic Church ruled supreme next to the Roman Empire; they controlled which books made the Bible and which ones did not, and also controlled translations. The information they were relaying or what we know today may not be the “truth.”  They used fear mongering to make believers out of everyone, and one of the best tactics back then and still used today is the fear of hell and eternal damnation.

There was never meant to be a separation between Judaism and Christianity, many churches base many of their teachings upon the New Testament, and almost make it seem like ok we don’t need to follow the Old Testament, because of Jesus Christ dying on the cross for our sins. Now as far as names go we have two separate names Yahweh (Judaism) and Jehovah (Christianity) Jehovah is mentioned many times in the Bible, but with each translation it has been used less and less and replaced with “LORD.” From what I know of Jehovah Witness, is you need to call God by his true name when praying. I do not think God cares what you call him, regardless he still listens.

 If you read some of Jesus’ teachings, he was not for worshiping in churches, he believed them to be unnecessary and run by charlatans. This is discussed in Revelations and described as the seven letters to the seven churches, or charlatans. These were the churches leading the people away from God (may be a bit off it has been awhile) I believe the seven churches to be the Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Evangelicalism (there are more denominations just using these main ones as examples)

I have read the Bible three times once as a believer, once as a theologian, and the other as a skeptic. I believe if you choose to be a Christian you need to follow the God of the Bible this means you choose no denomination and read and reread the Bible and trust the word. When you do this you will see many things wrong with the way HIS message is being perverted.

I do not believe in hell per say. The Bible describes something like hell, but was not meant to be used as it is today. The Bible says when Jesus comes the TRUE believers will be taken away, it states something regarding all the non-believers will be given another chance to believe and except God into their lives. I also believe regardless of what you believe we all seek the same destination, we just take different paths. These paths lead to the same place.

If you are seeking spirituality I recommend reading many different beliefs until you find the one your heart connects with, it will be then you know you are on the right path. If being a Jehovah’s Witness does not feel right to you, then it is not, and you should move on.

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Comments
  1. johanna says:

    Tim, Much as you might like to think so, You are not a theologian. Studying theology does NOT make you a theologian. You must realize your limitations as a self-educated man. Your thinking is somewhat disordered and if you are really and truly interested in theology, go back to school. You seem as if you have the aptitude to learn, so go for it.

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      I may not be a professor, or have all the answers. I look at it like this; I study and read about religion trying to find the truth. I consider that as a theologian. I am far from having the answers perhaps I will find them someday.

      I have tried working fulltime and taking 12 to 15 credits is too much for my mental state. I wish I had the mental composite to do it I just know I can’t. I spend much of my free time learning, I enjoy discovering new things. I may be 75% self taught, but I have learned a lot about religions. I study because I am seeking truth, wouldn’t that make me a theologian?

    • By definition, a theologian is “a person versed in or engaged in the study of theology.” In my book, that makes Tim a theologian. He may not be a professional theologian, but he didn’t claim to be.

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