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HollyW

When a teaching changes after baptism.....

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>" 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?"

It would tell me that I lacked patience and was unwilling to wait on the organization Jehovah is using, and furthermore, thought more of myself and my own abilities than the organization that made so many things clear and published those things worldwide in over 700 languages as per Jesus' command.  And that I was quite happy relying on my own understanding rather than taking the advice at Proverbs 3:5 to NOT rely on my own understanding.  It would tell me than I had some serious Eve-like tendencies to do what I imagined was best.  

That goes straight to the "main plot", the main theme of the Bible, namely that Jehovah's ways are best, and I would hope that the elders would make that plain to me and I would pray that I would have the humility to accept that counsel.  I would hope that just because I hit on a point or points that were ultimately correct that I wouldn't feel superior to others or try and push ahead.  If I lived in Jesus' day and happened on the info that he said that the disciples couldn't bear, I would hope that I wouldn't start telling my fellow disciples about what I discovered, knowing that Jesus would reveal what he had to reveal at the time he thought most appropriate, even as he said.

And so I would make a promise to myself that I would never again press my own ideas onto others, flagrantly trusting in myself.  I would realize that I might get something right this time, but that might not be true the next time.  I would hope that I would be humble and not let my pride force me to try and justify myself.

 

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>"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?"

Did I say that?

"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"" 

And how long have you let this stumble you? 

How long will you let the unpublished words of an over-zealous District Overseer keep you from serving Jehovah whole-souled? 

And would you let those words deprive you of everlasting life where suchlike things will be as nothing in comparison?

 

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5 hours ago, LloydSt said:

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.   

I don't think Russell believed he was quibbling in his comments about new light never extinguishing old light. ;)  

Accepting that your understanding of what the Bible teaches will keep changing as the natural and normal way of things (and because that understanding is coming from fallible men), is it reasonable for the WTS to require the entire range of these teachings be believed and taught as the truth on pain of excommunication?

 

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6 hours ago, Witness said:

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

 

 

Thank you, Witness, for your very powerful and insightful post.  I think you can see that even though the men on the governing body say they don't claim to be infallible, what they determine to be a Bible teaching must be accepted just as though they do claim to be infallible.

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2 hours 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.   

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.

Lloyd, even the governing body back in the 1980's admitted they had promoted more than just an "interest" in the 1975 date, saying that considerable expectation had been aroused by them in WT publications which made 1975 more of a probability than a mere possibility.  

Also, they had commended those who had sold their homes and property and planned to finish out the rest of their days before 1975 in the pioneer service:

[km 5/74 p.3] Yes, since the summer of 1973 there have been new peaks in pioneers every month. Now there are 20,394 regular and special pioneers in the United States, an all-time peak. That is 5,190 more than there were in February 1973! A 34-percent increase! Does that not warm our hearts? Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in this old system in the pioneer service. Certainly this is a fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world’s end.—1 John 2:17.

But when 1975 turned out to be incorrect, these same ones were accused of having an unbalanced view and were chided for taking 1975 so seriously:

[w76 7/15 p.440]It may be that some who have been serving God have planned their lives according to a mistaken view of just what was to happen on a certain date or in a certain year. They may have, for this reason, put off or neglected things that they otherwise would have cared for. But they have missed the point of the Bible’s warnings concerning the end of this system of things, thinking that Bible chronology reveals the specific date.

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2 hours ago, Shiwiii said:

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? 

It's the same with "this generation: of Matthew 24:34:  Truly I say to you that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur. [NWT]

In a recent publication, the question is asked about "This generation." Did Jesus have in mind unbelievers? No. (see pg 11 of God's Kingdom Rules, 2014).

Up to 1914, the answer was "Yes."

Then in 1927, the answer was "No."

But in 1952 it was "Yes" again.

And it continued to be "Yes" until 2008 when it became "No" again.

 

 
 

 

 

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5 hours ago, LloydSt said:

How long will you let the unpublished words of an over-zealous District Overseer keep you from serving Jehovah whole-souled? 

That is something to consider.  Jesus’ words:

 “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”  Matt 22:37-40

Now, this first commandment is something that I strive to do every day of my life.  Lloyd, there is no organization, and no man, that stands in my way of serving both God and Christ with my whole soul, strength and mind.  This is worshiping in “spirit and truth” as Christ directed.  John 4:23,24  The organizational setup is contrary to every teaching by Jesus and the apostles.  Only the Body of Christ is an “organization” sanctioned by God. 1 Pet 2:4,5  Your dedication and service toward the organization robs you of giving whole souled devotion to the Father and Jesus.  Matt 6:24  I can serve the Father in Heaven without the need of an earthly organization, and it is acceptable to Jesus also.  James 1:27; Acts 17:24,25

“Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,”  which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men?  These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.”  Col 2:20-23

The second commandment is also much easier to follow, since I don’t disfellowship my brother or sister for various reasons, but use good judgment in my association.  I also would not disfellowship you for your belief as different from mine, which the organization does continually.  This places a mark on one’s fellow sheep as “spiritually dead”.  By judging someone in this manner, love for one’s neighbor is wiped out. How can you love someone that you have “killed”?   

Who has been given the authority to judge?   Rom 14:4

"There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?"  James 4:12

The ever changing doctrines of the organization may well be called “laws”, since refusing to follow these unique doctrines results in disfellowshiping; yet, we see the scriptures say there is only one lawgiver.

Rom 14:10 - "But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ." 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Batwell Soko said:

I feel either you are misled or you criticise unnecessarily.

Thank you for sharing your feelings, Batwell. :)  Since you didn't quote anyone, I'm not sure whose post made you feel that way.  Could you elaborate a bit on the opinion you've given as to who is misled or being unnecessarily critical?  And, did you have any feelings about how you would answer the question in the OP?

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14 hours ago, LloydSt said:

>" 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?"

It would tell me that I lacked patience and was unwilling to wait on the organization Jehovah is using, and furthermore, thought more of myself and my own abilities than the organization that made so many things clear and published those things worldwide in over 700 languages as per Jesus' command.  And that I was quite happy relying on my own understanding rather than taking the advice at Proverbs 3:5 to NOT rely on my own understanding.  It would tell me than I had some serious Eve-like tendencies to do what I imagined was best.  

That goes straight to the "main plot", the main theme of the Bible, namely that Jehovah's ways are best, and I would hope that the elders would make that plain to me and I would pray that I would have the humility to accept that counsel.  I would hope that just because I hit on a point or points that were ultimately correct that I wouldn't feel superior to others or try and push ahead.  If I lived in Jesus' day and happened on the info that he said that the disciples couldn't bear, I would hope that I wouldn't start telling my fellow disciples about what I discovered, knowing that Jesus would reveal what he had to reveal at the time he thought most appropriate, even as he said.

And so I would make a promise to myself that I would never again press my own ideas onto others, flagrantly trusting in myself.  I would realize that I might get something right this time, but that might not be true the next time.  I would hope that I would be humble and not let my pride force me to try and justify myself.

Lloyd, I believe you've presented exactly what baptism as a JW means, "to wait on the organization Jehovah is using", and that means you've agreed, by your dedication and baptism identifying you as one of Jehovah's Witnesses in association with the organization you believe Jehovah is using, to change your beliefs about what the Bible teaches whenever that organization tells you to change them.  This tends to give "the truth" a rather fluid quality.

 

 

 

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