By JW Insider
Note: An entire 30-page topic about "The disgusting thing that causes desolation" was recently deleted. The topic contained hundreds of posts, and they were from most of the usual participants here. I messaged the Librarian about it and he said he didn't know anything about how or why it got deleted, but would look into it. It's possible that the person who starts a thread has the ability to delete it, which is something else he'll look into.
In that topic there were several posts concerning Charles Taze Russell brought up initially by @BroRando and commented on by @Thinking, @Srecko Sostar, @Arauna, @TrueTomHarley, @Anna, KF, Pudgy, PWfT, and others.
There were several comments I wanted to respond to, especially the idea first brought up by @BroRando that C.T.Russell (early in 1914) spoke about some kind of fulfillment in 2034, which I believe is simply not true. And I will explain in this topic.
When @BroRando brought up Russell's date references, @Thinking responded to him that she remembered reading where Russell had apologized for trying to rush Jehovah's timetable with man's timetable, or words to that effect. To that I responded that I had not remembered an apology like that. @Thinking responded that I have made many false and misleading statements about Russell. If this is true, I would like to correct those errors. Since @Thinking has not yet offered any specifics about any of those statements of mine, and because I was asked by @Thinking to look through Russell's statements myself, I have agreed to follow up on this idea.
Another point was brought up by @TrueTomHarley which partially responds to @Thinking and her point about Russell's apology. It was one example of several times when Russell was refreshingly non-dogmatic about the chronology. It was from the January 1, 1908 Watch Tower where Russell says "We are not prophesying, we are merely giving our surmises." It also highlighted the statement: "We do not even aver that there are no mistakes in our interpretation of prophecy and our calculations of chronology." Of course, there were other times when Russell sounded much more sure and dogmatic, but there are enough statements on each side to give a much better picture of Russell's overall attitude toward dates, predictions, and his response when expectations failed. I believe we are able to "reconcile" both the dogmatic and the non-dogmatic in a fair way towards Russell himself. We have to consider both Russell's personal perspective, the historical perspective of the times, and Russell's own changes and growth and influences through the period. It may help us not to give too much weight to statements on either end of the spectrum.
In any case, I'm all for giving Russell the benefit of the doubt on the question of "dogmatism," but from what I remember, some of the Russell's statements which are sometimes utilized to defend Russell's supposedly apologetic nature are quite different from what I would call an apology. Again, I can explain the results of an exhaustive search. (By exhaustive, I wish I meant comprehensive, but I only mean that I'm exhausted from so much reading.)
@BroRando had commented about how Russell made some supposedly significant comments about chronology in the year 1914, even suggesting that Russell proposed we add 120 years to 1914 which would bring us to 2034. 2034 is a date considered very significant by @BroRando. It appears to me that too much significance is still being given to Russell's dates, and judging by other comments, too much focus on the overall continuing relevance of Russell, even claiming that his work prophetically fulfilled the work of Elijah and/or John the Baptist. However, I've done a lot more reviewing of Russell's views and I'll share much of what I found because I think it answers all three of the major points I wanted to respond to:
1. Did Russell really think anything prophetically significant might happen in 2014 or 2034? 2. DId Russell apologize for stepping ahead of God's timetable with his personal views? 3. Can we get a more balanced view of Russell's attitude and response toward dates and expectations?
By The Librarian
"If We Only Understood" by Brother C.T.Russell
Could we draw aside the curtains
That surround each other's lives,
See the naked heart and spirit,
Know what spur the action gives-
Often we would find it better,
Purer than we judged we would
We would love each other better
If we only understood.
Could we judge all deeds by motives,
See the good and bad within,
Often we would love the sinner
All the while we loathe the sin.
Could we know the powers working
To overthrow integrity,
We would judge each other's errors
With more patient charity.
If we knew the cares and trials,
Knew the efforts all in vain,
And the bitter disappointments-
Understood the loss and gain-
Would the grim external roughness Seem,
I wonder, just the same? Would we help where we now hinder?
Would we pity where we blame?
Ah, we judge each other harshly,
Knowing not life's hidden force;
Knowing not the fount of action
Is less turbid at it's source.
Seeing not amid the evil
All the golden grains of good,
Oh, we'd love each other better If we only understood.
Charles T. Russell From "Poems of Dawn" 1912
Arrest Warrant Issued for Charles T. Russell over Contempt of Court for failure to pay Alimony to MariaBy Jack Ryan
For proof, you can view the newspaper clipping about it directly
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. (May 3, 1909). ============
PASTOR RUSSELL'S TROUBLES
A telegram from Pittsburg states that an attachment for the arrest of Pastor Charles T. Russell has been issued in that city for failure to pay alimony to his wife. Pastor Russell recently moved to Brooklyn, taking over the old Plymouth Bethel in Hicks street as a place of worship.
He also moved to this city [Brooklyn] the headquarters of the Millennial Dawn and Watch Tower Society of which he is the head.
Pastor Russell -- he does not want to be called doctor or reverend -- was divorced by his wife on a charge of cruelty. She was at first awarded $40 a month alimony, but this was later raised to $100.
The pastor refused to pay more than $40 and proceedings were started to have him arrested for contempt of court. The telegram from Pittsburg indicates that the wife was victorious in this action.
Pastor Russell cannot be arrested here on the Pittsburg court's order, it is said, but will be taken into custody if he returns to Pittsburg.