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HollyW

When a teaching changes after baptism.....

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How can you miss the point of the illustration HollyW?  It is simple, practical, reasonable, and follows other disciplines wherein one attempts to understand a thing in a logical progressive way.  Nor is there any conflict with God being a person of Light, without darkness, as I have already explained. Jehovah doesn't just spoon feed those who want to serve him.  He has given them incredible brains and reasoning abilities and allows them to pursue the truth rather than just forcing it down their throats.  Along the way, those who are humble can grow in understanding by admitting that they may have been off a bit initially and are willing to adjust to what has become clearer.  Again, this is the clear advantage that Jehovah's Witnesses have other many other religions.

Your view of Russell/Rutherford change in views was covered in the illustration wherein one tries to discern what the seedling 30 yards away was.  One might not understand initially just what sort of plant that is.  One might get the wrong idea and have to change one's view in light of new information.  That could even happen several times.  But eventually the evidence starts to mount and conclusions become more solid.  This is common sense.

If your point is that the light must be increasing in a strictly linear fashion, then I would suggest you take a step back and view the forest before you view the trees.  Views on things like who the superior authorities are went back and forth for a time.  So what? Eventually that became clear, and if one can step back, one can see the general slope favoring a positive, clearer direction of understanding overall.  Again, this is simple reasoning.  As one grows in knowledge, insight, and understanding older ideas that may have missed the mark are discarded, just as they are in the scientific community, and the truth becomes ever clearer. 

(Note: You said: "You illustrated something being seen in the darkness.  1 John 1:5 shows that this could not be from God because in Him there is no darkness at all."

That is correct.  The darkness referred to the major misunderstandings that Christendom still promotes today, and out of which Jehovah's people came via a generally progressive and positive beam of light)

 

Holley, here is where one can get into trouble.  That is by holding people to standards that are unreasonable and that reflect a strictly "black and white only" point of view. 

Someone says "progressive light" and you focus on the definition of "progressive" instead of the incredible advances of knowledge.  See the point?

Become humble in your understanding.  Open your mind and you will be much more likely to find you way.

 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, HollyW said:

You're probably thinking of one of the questions asked just before being baptized:  "Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization?" 

I wonder if maybe this is the reason they believe they are required to change their beliefs, this association their baptism identifies them as having with the WTS?  That would make sense, wouldn't it, that having been baptized into that relationship, they would expect to continue adapting their beliefs about what the Bible teaches based on what the WTS tells them it teaches, even if it cancels out what they believed when they were baptized.

well, That Is What I Was Thinking 

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6 hours ago, biddy2331@gmail.com said:

you just want to cause trouble and yet give no reasons yourself

Onthe contrary,  proof was given, you just choose to turn a blind eye. Reread the post and think about it.

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12 hours ago, biddy2331@gmail.com said:

you just want to cause trouble and yet give no reasons yourself

Hi Biddy,

Perhaps you'd be willing to explain how my question has troubled you.  Evidently you thought of an answer to the OP that has made you uncomfortable.  Let's talk about it, okay? :)

 

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11 hours ago, LloydSt said:

How can you miss the point of the illustration HollyW?  It is simple, practical, reasonable, and follows other disciplines wherein one attempts to understand a thing in a logical progressive way.  Nor is there any conflict with God being a person of Light, without darkness, as I have already explained. Jehovah doesn't just spoon feed those who want to serve him.  He has given them incredible brains and reasoning abilities and allows them to pursue the truth rather than just forcing it down their throats.  Along the way, those who are humble can grow in understanding by admitting that they may have been off a bit initially and are willing to adjust to what has become clearer.  Again, this is the clear advantage that Jehovah's Witnesses have other many other religions.

Your view of Russell/Rutherford change in views was covered in the illustration wherein one tries to discern what the seedling 30 yards away was.  One might not understand initially just what sort of plant that is.  One might get the wrong idea and have to change one's view in light of new information.  That could even happen several times.  But eventually the evidence starts to mount and conclusions become more solid.  This is common sense.

If your point is that the light must be increasing in a strictly linear fashion, then I would suggest you take a step back and view the forest before you view the trees.  Views on things like who the superior authorities are went back and forth for a time.  So what? Eventually that became clear, and if one can step back, one can see the general slope favoring a positive, clearer direction of understanding overall.  Again, this is simple reasoning.  As one grows in knowledge, insight, and understanding older ideas that may have missed the mark are discarded, just as they are in the scientific community, and the truth becomes ever clearer. 

(Note: You said: "You illustrated something being seen in the darkness.  1 John 1:5 shows that this could not be from God because in Him there is no darkness at all."

That is correct.  The darkness referred to the major misunderstandings that Christendom still promotes today, and out of which Jehovah's people came via a generally progressive and positive beam of light)

 

Holley, here is where one can get into trouble.  That is by holding people to standards that are unreasonable and that reflect a strictly "black and white only" point of view. 

Someone says "progressive light" and you focus on the definition of "progressive" instead of the incredible advances of knowledge.  See the point?

Become humble in your understanding.  Open your mind and you will be much more likely to find you way.

 

I don't think I missed the point of your illustration at all.  I understood it just as you've stated it:  "It simply shows that what may appear to be one thing in the darkness, may prove to be something else entirely in the light and upon a closer examination."

That was why I posted what I did when I replied to it.  If at your baptism you understood something to that effect, such as 'this is what the Bible appears to be teaching at present, but it may prove to be something else with more light and upon a closer examination, so let's wait for that light and that closer examination', then your illustration might fit, but I don't think that was your understanding, was it?  

Nor was the teaching about, say, the faithful slave, presented to you as being something that was still in darkness, was it. If we were to apply your illustration to the teaching about the identity of the faithful slave, it would cast Russell and Rutherford and those who came after them as being in the dark about this for nearly the entire existence of the WTS.

Perhaps our views of what progressive light means are different.  From Russell's own description it would not be the sort of light that extinguishes what he called "older light".  His application of this to his teachings was, "A new view of truth never can contradict a former truth."  That would be new light extinguishing older light.  Clearly the differing views about the identity of the faithful slave and also the identity of the superior powers were exactly what Russell said should not happen, that is, "the true increase is by adding to, not by substituting one for another."  He refers to the same scripture I did,  James 1:17  Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

It might be a good idea to read again what he said in the  February 1881 ZWT p.3:

If we were following a man undoubtedly it would be different with us; undoubtedly one human idea would contradict another and that which was light one or two or six years ago would be regarded as darkness now: But with God there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning, and so it is with truth; any knowledge or light coming from God must be like its author. A new view of truth never can contradict a former truth. "New light" never extinguishes older "light," but adds to it. If you were lighting up a building containing seven gas jets you would not extinguish one every time you lighted another, but would add one light to another and they would be in harmony and thus give increase of light: So is it with the light of truth; the true increase is by adding to, not by substituting one for another. 

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Holly, as I have explained several times now, investigation of Bible truths is similar to investigation of the physical heavens or the human cell or a jillion other matters. Progression in understanding is the natural normal way for things to go.  There may be the occasional misunderstanding, but the path is generally positive, and upward.  Quibbling about whether new information conflicts with the older, to what extent, and whether or not that would violate Russell's maxim, "new light never extinguishes older light," has little value.   It does seem obvious however that Russell was likely speaking about basic, well-established truths and not looks at things that may need need further clarification.  In physics, math, and astronomy for instance, there are well established truths such as Newton's Laws and Archimedes' Principle.  But that doesn't mean that nothing new can be learned and that adjustments can't be made where needed.   

Then too, as was written in the Revelation Climax book:

"It is not claimed that the explanations in this publication are infallible. Like Joseph of old, we say: “Do not interpretations belong to God?” (Genesis 40:8) At the same time, however, we firmly believe that the explanations set forth herein harmonize with the Bible in its entirety, showing how remarkably divine prophecy has been fulfilled in the world events of our catastrophic times."

I'm certain Russell would agree that what he wrote was not infallible, don't you?  

Look, in the 1920's, 1930's, 1940;s, 1950's and so on, Astronomy was taught to students.  There were tests to be taken and answers had to be given according to the progress in knowledge up to that point in time.  In the 1920's the answers given on tests might have resulted in a high score.  But those same answers might have resulted in a much lower grade in 2016.  That's how things work.  Progress.  An increase in light or knowledge.  I don't think we can define exactly just to what extent Jehovah points the way or to what extent we grope in the direction he gives, but no matter.  He remains the Father of Light and we do well to progress in understanding.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

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The WT holds fast to the term “food at the proper time”, which also would be considered “new light”.  As you have brought out Holly, James 1:17 says there is no variation or shifting shadows if we keep in God’s light.  Can we not all agree that adaptation is expected when changes are enforced by the organization?  If one looks over the entire span of its history and its changes, we also must consider how these changes affected thousands of lives who held fast to the teaching of the moment.  There is a WT entitled, “Rejoice in the knowledge of Jehovah”.  (2001)  Would those who embraced either an early generation teaching or the 1914/1925 date of Armageddon, the suggested 1975 date also of Armageddon, rejoice in the knowledge of “Jehovah” if their lives were turned upside down by such anticipation?  Would Jesus rejoice in such changes if he sees the heartbreak of those who put trust in a present teaching?

It is easy to narrow our focus down to ourselves and our ability to adjust to present teachings, shutting our eyes to those who stumbled through years of big change.  When thinking of Rutherford sending brothers and sisters away as outcasts because they questioned his leadership role; and then, in the 70’s a theocratic “governing body” was formed, does this not make one wonder what our Father thinks of such oppressive man rule in any form, yesterday or today?  And those that were cast out, what happened to them?  Does God view them as the unrighteous ones, or Rutherford, since his desire as sole ruler was later changed by the introduction of a governing body?  Jer 23:1

 Are such changes enforced at the loss of sheep really a “safeguard” provided by God? 

“Jehovah provides something else to safeguard us: spiritual food at the proper time”.  W 02/12/15 p 13-18

Requirement to believe past teachings appears to be only a requirement if it stays the same.  Once “new light” is introduced, this is considered truth!  Which leads one to believe that truth in the organization wears many faces.

“For a number of years, we thought that the great tribulation began in 1914 with World War I and that “those days were cut short” by Jehovah in 1918 when the war ended so that the remnant would have the opportunity to preach the good news to all nations…Thus, the great tribulation was thought to have three phases: There would be a beginning (1914-1918), the tribulation would be interrupted (from 1918 onward), and it would conclude at Armageddon. 

“Previously, we thought that the judging of people as sheep or goats would take place during the entire period of the last days from 1914 onward. We concluded that those who rejected the Kingdom message and who died before the start of the great tribulation would die as goats—without the hope of a resurrection.”

“In the past, we have stated in our publications that these last four references apply to Jesus’ arriving, or coming, in 1918. As an example, take Jesus’ statement about “the faithful and discreet slave.” (Read Matthew 24:45-47.We understood that the “arriving” mentioned in verse 46 was linked to the time when Jesus came to inspect the spiritual condition of the anointed in 1918 and that the appointment of the slave over all the Master’s belongings occurred in 1919. (Mal. 3:1) However, a further consideration of Jesus’ prophecy indicates that an adjustment in our understanding of the timing of certain aspects of Jesus’ prophecy is needed. “

“After that preaching work would be completed, we expected that Satan’s world would be destroyed. So we thought that there were three parts to the great tribulation. It would begin in 1914, it would be interrupted in 1918, and it would finish at Armageddon.”  “Tell Us, When Will These Things Be"

“So we needed to change the way we understood some parts of the prophecy.”

All the above quotes are from WT 13/7/15 pp 3-8

David Splane, when introducing the new teaching of the generation alluded to liking the “idea”. Doesn't this sound like it is destined to change, simply because it is an idea?  Jer 23:26-32  

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;  and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”  2 Tim 4:3,4

If one is expected to assimilate and idea set forward by a group of men who admit that they “thought” their teachings were right in the past, by listening and embracing such new ideas, isn’t this slaving for men and not Christ? 1 Cor 7:23  Jesus promised that each one us that approaches him directly with our earnest desire will know the truth.  John 8:32,36; John 5:39-44; Prov 2:1-9

If we consider how often the WT uses terms such as “likely”, “evidently”, “seems so”, “must be”,  we must realize that assumptions and personal speculations made by such anointed ones are not in the likeness of Christ’s teachings, who spoke with authority.  John 16:13,14    Why are these speculations still being made, if not because of a snowball effect?  

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”  John 14:26

In order for any of us to rejoice in the knowledge of God, shouldn’t we question any teaching from an anointed one, not gulping it down and expecting God to forgive the misleading of thousands with thoughts and ideas?  Is this truly how the Helper brings to remembrance all things from Christ?  Matt 12:33  Would not past failed teachings in need of an overhaul, be considered “thorns” and stumbling blocks, to those who wholeheartedly had accepted them as truth?  Luke 6:43-45

“God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent.
Has He said, and will He not do?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? 
Num 23:19

But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.  Matt 5:37 (Eph 4:25)

“As we receive teachings from Jehovah, it should be our desire to gain “accurate knowledge.” Without it, how could we apply God’s Word properly in our own lives or explain it correctly to others? (Colossians 3:10; 2 Timothy 2:15) Gaining accurate knowledge requires that we read carefully, and if a portion is deep, we may need to read it more than once in order to grasp the sense of it.” Keep a firm grip on the word of God  Wt chapt 3 pp 23-31 

 http://4womaninthewilderness.blogspot.com/2014/06/operation-of-error.html

 

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Suggest "Witness" that you read my last post. 

Further, I lived through 1975.  Guess what?  No heartbreak.  I think the heartbreak you speak of is vastly smaller than one might imagine.  I know of no one back then who experienced heartbreak.  We, as you said, adapted and it wasn't a problem.  Everyone I knew thought that 1975 could be an interesting date, but our loyalty to Jehovah was much greater than that date.  We don't serve Jehovah based on a date anyway.   

And by the logic you suggest, there would be no progress since everything would have to be exactly correct from the get-go.  That's the mistake they cling to in Christendom and so they are locked into things like the "Nicene Creed" of 325 and 381 C.E. 

But progress doesn't work like that.  And teachers don't teach like that.  I took astronomy in college, pre-Hubble, and some of the things they believed and taught back then turned out to need to be adjusted, changed, and reversed.  But progress has been made and we know more about the physical heavens now than we ever did.  In fact, you'll commonly hear professors of every discipline regularly say, "It turns out that........", indicating that at one time they believed one thing, but after more discovery and consideration they've reconsidered and come to a better understanding of a subject. 

Why are you so adverse to the logical progression of Biblical knowledge, the steadily growing light of progress and understanding?  Fear of not getting it exactly right could easily be the killer of progress, and certainly much worse than remaining stagnant because one might feel obligated to stick to what was originally presented.  We search for truth. We grope for truth. We pray for truth.  But that doesn't mean we always get it perfectly correct the first time.  Sometimes it's not the right time as in when Jesus withheld info from the disciples because at a certain point of time they were unable to bear it.  But progress comes in time, if one doesn't allow themselves to be stumbled, and if they remain loyal to Jehovah, whose organization feeds Jesus' sheep as they were instructed to do....now in over 700 languages and throughout the earth, as per Jesus commands.  That fact alone should be enough to cause a person to examine themselves to see where they may have erred, as opposed to trying to blame someone else.

 

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27 minutes ago, LloydSt said:

Why are you so adverse to the logical progression of Biblical knowledge, the steadily growing light of progress and understanding?  Fear of not getting it exactly right could easily be the killer of progress, and certainly much worse than remaining stagnant because one might feel obligated to stick to what was originally presented.  We search for truth. We grope for truth. We pray for truth.  But that doesn't mean we always get it perfectly correct the first time.  Sometimes it's not the right time as in when Jesus withheld info from the disciples because at a certain point of time they were unable to bear it.  But progress comes in time, if one doesn't allow themselves to be stumbled, and if they remain loyal to Jehovah, whose organization feeds Jesus' sheep as they were instructed to do....now in over 700 languages and throughout the earth, as per Jesus commands.  That fact alone should be enough to cause a person to examine themselves to see where they may have erred, as opposed to trying to blame someone else.

So tell me this, if you or someone understood a scripture to mean something and it was in disagreement with the WT. You were reproved for this because it went against the org, and later it became that you were right, what would that say to you? You were forced to believe the WT instead of what you knew to be correct. Wouldn't this be the same as those folks who died without a organ transplant? Since it has changed, is the blood on the hands of the WT over these people? You are required to adhere to every teaching they tell you, without question and without harboring your own personal thoughts on the matter, right? How does that make any sense? I mean that's what those people did who died without an organ transplant. 

 

a side note, the issue may be a small one but still addresses my point:

Are the people of Sodom and Gomorrah going to be resurrected? 

yes

no

yes

no

yes

no

these are the answers given to the witnesses over the years. Is this progression? Is this light getting brighter? or is this a who knows we'll just fly by the seat of our pants because all of the witnesses HAVE to believe what we tell them? 

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1 hour ago, LloydSt said:

Suggest "Witness" that you read my last post. 

Further, I lived through 1975.  Guess what?  No heartbreak.  I think the heartbreak you speak of is vastly smaller than one might imagine.  I know of no one back then who experienced heartbreak.  We, as you said, adapted and it wasn't a problem.  Everyone I knew thought that 1975 could be an interesting date, but our loyalty to Jehovah was much greater than that date.  We don't serve Jehovah based on a date anyway.   

 

Hello Lloyd,

I grew up in a farming community, and in 1975 I remember my father saying  JW farmers he knew were selling their land, home, everything in anticipation of Armageddon.  Are you saying that because it didn't affect you, that it didn't affect anyone of a worthy amount in God's eyes?

Surely you have heard of the talk given in 1967 at District Convention by DO Charles Sunutko, "Serving with Everlasting Life in View".  

"Well now, as Jehovah's Witnesses, as runners, even though some of us have become a little weary, it almost seems as though Jehovah has provided meat in due season. Because he's held up before all of us, a new goal. A new year. Something to reach out for and it just seems it has given all of us so much more energy and power in this final burst of speed to the finish line. And that's the year 1975. Well, we don't have to guess what the year 1975 means if we read the Watchtower. And don't wait 'till 1975. The door is going to be shut before then. As one brother put it, "Stay alive to Seventy-Five"" 

The growth rate of publishers in 1974 was 14%, 1975 - 10%, 1976 - 4%, 1977 - -1%, 1978 -1%, 1979 - 0%. (jwfacts)

I will attempt to comment more later.

 

 

 

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