Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ray Franz on the trinity

A few Jehovah's Witnesses have asked me if Ray Franz became a trinitarian after becoming an ex-Jehovah's Witness like so many other ex JW's do.In a private e-mail to someone(that someone sent to me),this is what he had to say:

"You will find that many of what are called "ex-JW ministries, " have often simply exchanged their previous beliefs for what is known as "orthodoxy." Orthodoxy undoubtedly contains its measure of what is sound. But it also contains elements that are the result of imposition of religious authority, rather than belief clearly set forth in Scripture.It is difficult, for example, to find any reputable reference work that does not acknowledge the post-Biblical origin of the trinity doctrine. I feel that the main problem with the trinity doctrine is the dogmatism and judgmentalism that customarily accompanies it. That to me is but another evidence of the fragility of its foundation.Were it clearly taught in Scripture, there would be no need for authoritarian imposition of the teaching and heavy pressure to submit to it.So many former Witnesses are at a disadvantage when pressured by others to conform to views these have adopted. Dogmatic assertions from sources that claim to base their arguments on knowledge of Biblical Greek often awe former Witnesses—even as they were previously awed by claims of a similar nature from the Watch Tower organization. So many points could be clarified if people were simply to read the same text in a variety of translations.They would then at least see that where translation is concerned, dogmatism is greater evidence of ignorance than of learning. I find this to be the case with many who adopt the Trinity doctrine."From a private e.mail letter from Raymond Franz

Franz has many similar things to say in regards to this matter in his books,even though his books are not about the trinity by a long shot.You will still find him saying things in this vein & line of thought in them.Anyway,hope that answers your questions,those few of you who were curious.No,you don't have to be a JW to be a nontrinitarian.I'm sure many Christians would boldly say Franz wasn't a Christian at all if he thought Christ was the Son of God instead of God the Son,but that's just ignorance.Ugly propaganda from traditionalist preachers like Walter Martin(in the past) and most prominent preachers today. Their boldly calling Christians who believe Jesus is the Christ,the Son of the Living God(while refusing to confess he's the 2nd of three persons in the very same God he serves, obeys, and worships)"cultists" and "hellbound wolves"(etc.) is every bit as pathetic as Watchtower propaganda(if not moreso considering the hell threat) against "apostates."Sad indeed.

If the trinity is such a clear bible teaching,why did it require biasly translating holy texts,threats,authoritarian imposition,banishment,and massive bloodshed to become "orthodox"?Should we ignore all that and read Jesus' words through the lens of our traditions?

If you haven't read Franz's two books,"Crisis of Conscience" and "In Search of Christian Freedom",I HIGHLY recommend them both!Ray was a fine writer,and it is rare for me to want to reread books.But I definitely want to reread both of his.

1 comment:

  1. “Scattered Brethren”…
    It seems there is something happening over these past few years.
    And it seems that it is around this one well known, and overwhelming doctrine of the trinity.
    Perhaps the Scattered Brethren are starting to gather?
    As many of you know, Jehovah’s Witnesses are non trinitarian, as are the Mormons, and many in the Adventist movement such as the Church of God, etc. and a few little odds and ends. Nonetheless, many have quirky, odd and not so scriptural doctrines as well. This has left many of searching for like minded ones. I grew up in a Orthodox (Russian) Christian, and Roman Catholic family, always being one who believed, and worshiped God. By age 30 I was studying with the Watchtower and was a Jehovah’s Witness for over 18 years, only to walk away bewildered over knowing that a number of their doctrines were not well founded, and had just ignored them for many years, until I could not live it any longer. Fast forward to the present and I found myself back going to the Christian Orthodox faith of my youth. Why? Why, when in fact I do not believe the term, “Mother of God” , or in the trinity doctrine, and that Jesus IS God? Because it is this ancient faith structure who gave us the canonized bible that we all use today, and that because there is no argument that Orthodoxy is in fact the early church of at least 120 c.e. And, have you ever read any of the early church fathers? St. John Chrysostom, St Issac The Syrian? His spiritual homilies on the inner life, which have a human breadth and theological depth that transcends the Nestorian Christianity of the Church to which he belonged, are truly amazing and inspiring. There are dozens of men over the centuries who have such inspiring writings who are also believers in this trinity doctrine, yet I cannot believe! Who am I compared to these men? How can they all be so wrong and I and you are right?
    I am in fear daily of believing wrong. God forgive me for my weak faith!