My attention was recently drawn to the Sheffield Forum and a thread on it about the JA, which is now an astonishing 39pages long. The most prolific of the JA's posters on the forum is called Circa. He writes intelligently, though rather acerbically in defence of the JA...reminding me of myself rather; I was just as passionate about the JA...and as passionate about what was wrong with it when I left. As with my last posting, I must not hold that passion against anyone. I'd be embarrassed if people now could see what I was like when I was young.
What is most interesting on this particular thread is that it attracts the attention of JAs in a way that JAW has never really succeeded in doing, making them vulnerable to public scrutiny in a way that I am not sure I have ever witnessed before, but as they are not really equipped to think or express themselves freely, as soon as they have said their set-piece, they are quite incapable of doing very much more than repeating themselves....as in my exchange with Mendocino.
What none of them will countenance is being drawn into a consideration of how they would feel if I could prove to them that in the old days people were led to believe that if they left the JA they would lose their salvation; that in the old days all leaving was associated with apostasy and leaving the Kingdom, etc.
The JA posters deny, point-blank, that such things have ever been taught and imply that I am lying and it occurs to me that their indignance and apparent sincerity points to them having been kept in the dark, just as my exchange with Tschaka indicated a couple of years ago. Back then Tschaka was adamant that the lost salvation stuff was heresy and so thought I was saying it to make the JA look bad. He asked around and was surprised to discover through an elder that I hadn't been lying after all. He had the good grace to admit as much to me, all the time insisting that it is not what is taught now, though.
Along with never holding their hands up to actual mistakes made (instead preferring always to trash whoever is making the allegation) the JA, it seems, will never actually admit to having taught heresy in the past....because PR is still far more important to them than truth and honesty.
The current membership are being kept in the dark about past doctrine because if it were more commonly known about (if, for instance, it was openly and arrogantly boasted of by some zealot, as they are rather inclined to do) it would seriously undermine the JA's carefully orchestrated re-modelling into a mainstream evangelical church.
If other churches and even the JA's own members knew that in my day the JA was said to be the Kingdom of God and that leaving them led to damnation, that other churches were "the form without the power" and that other churches were only ever blessed because they got splashed by the overflow of God's blessing on the JA, it could very well lead to a serious crisis comparable with their earlier exclusion from the Evangelical Alliance.
All of which explains why the JA, having put in a passionate appearance on the thread, are very evasive indeed when it comes to discussing how they would feel if I proved my claims about the JA's heretical past.