People perceive that the JWs are self righteous, intolerant of other people's beliefs and rude for trying to force their opinion on others.
People also think that they are smug for feeling special like God's only people (the favoured/chosen ones) - that everyone else will be destroyed...even though Jesus died for ALL mankind and told us to love our neighbours (not judge them).
Hong Kong Phooey - My point proven exactly (you see yourselves as special and superior to "worldly" people - something that would disgust Jesus). You pick the straw out of other religions eyes when you yourselves have made far more man made creeds and laws (blood doctrine, how you should groom/dress etc, don't do this don't do that blah blah blah), things that a member MUST accept or be shunned...all this is completely wrong when Jesus said that God's grace is what will save mankind, not works and physical things (the new covenant was to be upon the heart, not a set of rules/"laws")
Hong Kong Phooey - I used to say things like that years ago, until I observed the gospels without bias. It is easy to pick out scriptures without really getting the sense of them (no disrespect intended - I did the same). I won't cover all that you said because of space/time, but to start with:
I could write a whole book about the blood issue, but to cut a long story 'short' it was only sacred in the sense of the Mosaic Law (it stood for atonement, which was done away with when Jesus died), and in other scriptures (e.g. decree given to Noah) LIFE is sacred (blood is the symbol of the animals LIFE) and not eating it was showing respect to the Life Giver and the deceased animal...again, the life was key thing here (it showed God's LOVE). Again, when this "command" was given again, the context of acts 15 is talking about gentile Christians who had pagan backgrounds (this included disrespect for blood and what it stood for). Not only that, but they had to get along with the Jewish Christians who found their misuse of blood offensive (because of their upbringing on the Mosaic law). This again was showing LOVE - the gentile converts showed respect for the Jewish converts. This "command" was NOT to be burdensome (giving up your child's life is hardly easy is it?).
The over-riding theme of the bible is to show God's love; this is the triumphant quality that always comes first. James illustrated it like this when he said:
James 2:10,11 – “If you obey every law except one (i.e. the greatest commandment of love), you are still guilty of breaking them all. The same God who told us to be faithful in marriage also told us not to murder (all laws of love). So even if you are faithful in marriage, but murder someone (show no love), you still have broken God's Law.”
So even if the blood doctrine WERE true, LOVE must come first (life is more sacred than the symbol of life). Jehovah never allowed Abraham to sacrifice his son. Jehovah was horrified when the nations sacrificed their children in His name. Compare Mark 3:4-5 The list goes on...
Jesus said that the road would be narrow because not many people are conscious of their spiritual need - not many really look beyond just the flesh (here and now) and towards God. But those who do would be blessed. "Those who endure to the end" means those who conquer the flesh (instead of following fleshly desires, they follow the spirit and do the will of God). Working through the narrow gate involves action - the action of proving your faith by showing the fruits of the spirit. If you follow the spirit, the side effects are the fruitages thereof.
Jesus said that "the truth would set you free" - not simply knowledge per se, but the fact that we discover that we can be God's children (the "good news") and as such see his love, in turn this motivates us to be like Him, which in turn manifests the fruitage of the spirit. All this is self motivated based upon love, not based upon the physical "dragging" of our souls to do "righteous acts" with no real heart ("having a form of Godly devotion, but proving false to it's power") just like the Jews.
I really hope you get where I'm coming from :)
Hong Kong Phooey - I believe Jehovah looks at motives and sincerity more than anything else so I respect your conviction and good points. It would take much more than cliff notes to carry this on though so I'll leave it there for now lol