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Diakonos

Voluntary Contributions

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The organization often uses the scriptures from 1 Cor 16 and 2 Cor 8 to appeal for us to make contributions to the world wide work. However, as you read these verses in context the contributions that were collected were for the material needs of fellow Christians who were undergoing poverty and famine. I am in no doubt that many of our fellow Christians in this world would welcome material assistance, especially in some of the poorer countries. Instead millions are spent on making the organizations headquarters into a palatial residence not to mention the millions that have already been paid out in settlements regarding sexual abuse cases !! I strongly feel that this is an abuse of those scriptures, making them say what the writer and ultimately the divine author did not intend. Agree or disagree ?

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5 hours ago, Diakonos said:

millions are spent on

Can you provide a reasonably accurate breakdown of how these millions are spent in order to evaluate the propriety of their allocation and thus enable an address to your question?

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Warwick didn't built itself. As for the child abuse payouts,well the media have covered that. My main point however was the fact that the context of those scriptures shows that the contributions were to assist the brothers who were materially suffering. When was the last time your congregation contributed money to feed your starving brothers? I know my congregation has never done that.

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@Diakonos

I visited the Warwick property in the early summer, and I visited (and stayed at) the Patterson facilities two years ago. Warwick was still in a kind of torn up mess, and it was rainy/muddy, so it was hard to call it luxury at the time. Patterson, however, is gorgeous! I love the property, and I think it leaves a pretty good impression in the surrounding neighborhood. It both blends with and improves on the landscape. 

If all of it had been for the purpose of building up new buildings to live and work in "luxury" this might have been more questionable, but I think the point was to make a beautiful and comfortable environment for the working brothers and sisters, and also visitors and those who stay for training or temporary assignments. I believe that the basic idea is to create something that is practical but also gives "homage" to the goals of the earthly hope. It was rather incongruous to run a worldwide religious organization from an upscale urban neighborhood when that organization emphasizes the idealized pastoral setting as an eternal goal. A setting that emphasizes the beauties of Jehovah's earthly creation is more appropriate than factories in the shadow of the Manhattan skyline. (Although I think that can be beautiful in its own way, too, and I loved my 10th floor corner apartment in the Towers Hotel.)

So I have no complaint about the appearance of "luxury," as long as the costs were kept down as low as possible by volunteer labor and volunteer donations. Quality workmanship, quality design, and constant maintenance and cleaning sometimes gives the appearance of luxury when that isn't the real goal. Also, a lot of the cost and expenditures of these new buildings was based on the anticipated sell-off of prime Brooklyn real estate, and could have been, in effect, zero cost.

I can defend it in another way, too, where I see the Organization as a practical business that operates efficiently in the world through its ability to gain economies of scale in purchasing power, and gaining respectability from governments as a legal and business entity through its size and appearance and "clout." In the world, this kind of respect is gained through sheer size, expenditures, purchasing arrangements, lawyers, property, etc.

(Luke 16:8,9) And his master commended the steward, though unrighteous, because he acted with practical wisdom; for the sons of this system of things are wiser in a practical way toward their own generation than the sons of the light are . . . 9 “Also, I say to you: Make friends for yourselves by means of the unrighteous riches. . . ."

So, it's not that I think any of this building activity is "necessary" in a Christian sense (the stones could cry out) but it is sometimes "wiser in a practical way" to use unrighteous riches in ways that will not always get all of these funds out to the poor.

(Matthew 26:8-11) 8 On seeing this, the disciples became indignant and said: “Why this waste? 9 For this could have been sold for a great deal of money and given to the poor.” 10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them: “Why do you try to make trouble for the woman? She did a fine deed toward me. 11 For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.

I'm not one of those people who confuses the Governing Body with Jesus himself, although I've met and conversed with some who apparently do make that mistake, and you might even meet one or two of them here on this forum. The reason I bring up the verse just quoted isn't to tie it to Matthew 25:40 (‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’) It's to point out that "voluntary" giving can go to whatever projects we "volunteer" to give it to. If we volunteer it to a building project during the time that we are aware of what's going on in Warwick, we know that's where it's going. Not even Ananias would have been judged for how he contributed his money, or how much he held back from contributing:

(Acts 5:4) 4 As long as it remained with you, did it not remain yours? And after it was sold, was it not in your control?. . .

Most who are giving at this time actually want to see it used for something "almost luxurious" or jewel-like in Warwick or at various other current Branch projects in the UK, etc.

Beyond these points just made however, I have also been disappointed that there have not been more opportunities for voluntary giving to specific areas where there is hardship that needs to be alleviated. There are places where Witnesses are undergoing extreme hardship, suffering, hunger, relocation, exile, etc., and I don't like to learn how bad it was a year later in the Yearbook. There are many things we can do locally with our funds and resources, or when we travel to "third world" lands and donate directly, but we also know that an international religious society could organize this more efficiently and find ways to directly provide what's needed to the right people. (The WTS often does this, too.) If too much is given for one relief project, then what's remaining can go to the next, and less is wasted. Rather than 1,000 haphazard donations which can be hit and miss and overlapping, each relief effort can be turned into a project that efficiently cares for everyone in need (and especially those related to us in the faith, so I don't think there is anything wrong with a focus on just JWs first, if the money came from JW donations).

(Galatians 6:10) 10 So, then, as long as we have the opportunity, let us work what is good toward all, but especially toward those related to us in the faith.

I agree with the sentiment that the primary "good works" that most early Christians were involved in referred to charitable works not spriitual work. It was fine and appropriate for a specific small group to be more concerned with "doctrine" than the work of "waiting on tables."

(Acts 6:2-4) 2 So the Twelve called the multitude of the disciples together and said: “It is not right for us to leave the word of God to distribute food to tables. 3 So, brothers, select for yourselves seven reputable men from among you, full of spirit and wisdom, that we may appoint them over this necessary matter; 4 but we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

The work of the ministerial servants here was the physical distribution of charity, and therefore the reason we do not forsake meetings is so that we can all know where to participate in the needed "good works" of charity.

(Hebrews 10:24, 25) 24 And let us consider one another so as to incite to love and fine works, 25 not forsaking our meeting together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, and all the more so as you see the day drawing near.

Those taking the lead in the congregational context, the ones we "obey," are the ones who help us to prioritize and coordinate charitable relief efforts helping us to make the most of our "gifts" and our "ministry." We do better when we work together and encourage one another in this way. Our spirituality, our very religion, should be defined by love and fine works. Those "fine works" include ministering to the sick, the hungry, those who lack sufficient clothing. Naturally, not all the ministries are about charitable relief, but these are the most important ones for most of us:

(James 1:27) The form of worship that is clean and undefiled from the standpoint of our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation, and to keep oneself without spot from the world.

 

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18 hours ago, Diakonos said:

When was the last time your congregation contributed money to feed your starving brothers?

Last Sunday for us. I am not sure what congregation you attend if that is not happening for you.

Really, the contributions for the Worldwide work are managed by Jehovah's organisation with due attention given to relief measures where needed. And I read many reports regarding specific JW relief measures taking place in many parts of the world, in the international press, on jw.org, and even on this forum. The web page linked below is a good place to start if you want some detail.

https://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/assist-with-disaster-relief/

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On 11/28/2016 at 1:36 PM, JW Insider said:

 

but I think the point was to make a beautiful and comfortable environment for the working brothers and sisters, and also visitors and those who stay for training or temporary assignments. I believe that the basic idea is to create something that is practical but also gives "homage" to the goals of the earthly hope.

I can defend it in another way, too, where I see the Organization as a practical business that operates efficiently in the world through its ability to gain economies of scale in purchasing power, and gaining respectability from governments as a legal and business entity through its size and appearance and "clout." In the world, this kind of respect is gained through sheer size, expenditures, purchasing arrangements, lawyers, property, etc.

 

 

 

 

A short comment to Eoin Joyce first -  your example of an entire congregation working together to help someone in need is truly rare.  What happens in entire congregations that are poor and can barely feed their own family?

Many years ago, I remember a family so poor that the couple lived in a tent with their five children.  The sister begged the elders for help, stating her family was hungry because her husband (not a ministerial servant at the time) was having trouble getting work.  This area was very depressed economically, but the elders turned her away saying it was her husband’s job to provide food.  I would not have known any of this if she had not come to my house in tears.  How many actually knew her desperate situation in the congregation?  If the word had been made known to all in the congregation, surely her family would have received the needed food, possibly even a place to live. 

We know this isn’t an isolated incident.  Both of your comments in defense of Warwick, show where the treasure is placed -  in the organization.  It appears that the workers at Warwick are more valued than those, say in Africa, who out of their want, serve the organization by donations and ‘field service’.  Do we really give homage to the goals of an earthly hope by building in Satan’s world, as the world does? 

I am not sure who you are defending JW Insider, God, or the organization.

How can those in the organization who are dedicated to this business, honestly say they follow in Christ’s footsteps when he explicitly said these words:

 Stop storing up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moths and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But keep on storing up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal, because where your treasure is, there your HEART will be also.  Matt 6:19-21

This dissolves homage to the goals of an earthly hope.  Receiving the earthly hope comes in time, but to reach that goal, Christ said we give homage to God, by worshiping in the spirit and the truth.  The Watchtower has created a mountain, after Christ clearly said our worship (homage) is only in spirit and truth!

We can’t take this scripture…  Jesus told her, ‘Believe me, dear lady, the hour is coming when you Samaritans will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.’”

…and surmise, “Oh, well, worship may not be in Jerusalem or Samaria, but it’s okay to build a corporation and call it the mountainlike organization – earthly Zion”  (nowhere in scripture is there such an identity)

He follows his words with, “Yet the time is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Indeed, the Father is looking for people like that to worship him God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”  John 4:23-24

Where are those true worshipers?  Are they in Warwick, slaving for earthly things?  How can they possible set their sights on “things above” while laboring on another ‘mountain’, a reasoning that is contrary to Christ’s teachings?

“The Devil also took him to a high placeand showed him all the kingdoms of the world in an instant.  He told Jesus, “I will give you all this authority, along with their glory, because it has been given to me, and I give it to anyone I please.  So if you will worship me, all this will be yours.”

 But Jesus answered him, “It is written, You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’” Luke 4:5-8

Serving God only….NOT serving the needs of a corporation.  They can’t be blended together to make it acceptable to God.

“To whom, then, will you compare me, the One who isGod?
    Or to what image will you liken me?”  Isa 40:18

The concern that Diakonos has, can’t be explained away with such reasoning that you presented.  While those in Warwick live comfortably, the poor who believe they are serving God, live in discomfort.  Should they strive to work in Warwick and be relieved of their discomfort? Is it held out like a carrot as a privilege?  Why, yes it is.

Some Christians have the privilege to do building work, as did Noah and Moses. Some may help build Assembly Halls, Kingdom Halls, and branch offices. Whether you are renovating a local Kingdom  Hall or building the world headquarters at Warwick, New York, cherish your privilege!  It is sacred service. W 10/2014 par. 7 

 Shouldn’t “our sacred service” be to love God with the whole soul, mind and heart, and “our neighbor as ourself”, by following Christ’s example in the appropriate way?  Matt 22:37-40  By following this path, the concentration of love would focus on the needs of each individual sheep – not on building a business.

“Therefore, if you have been raised with the Messiah, keep focusing on the things that are above, where the Messiah is seated at the right hand of God.  Keep your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth.”  Col 3:1,2

You used James 1:27 - The form of worship that is clean and undefiled from the standpoint of our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation, and to keep oneself without spot from the world.

This undefiled worship, is undefiled only because it isn’t shared with ANYTHING earthly, built within the world. 

Now, unless JWs feel that the organization is built on air, surely…surely… all must realize it is exists because of the advantages of Satan’s world.  As the organization buys, sells, and makes profits on their investments, are they truly “no part of the world”?  Are they really hated by those buyers and those with whom they invest their money into?

“If the world hates you, you should realize that it hated me before you.  If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as one of its own. But because you do not belong to the world and I have chosen you out of it, the world hates you.”  John 15:18,19

JWs, can’t you see that you are in the world just as much as any other centralized authoritative religion? Those today who are persecuted as Jesus was, are the anointed ones and all who leave the organization to follow him, and serve God whole souled.  They are those who worship in spirit and in truth.  They are hated by those “in the world”.  If they remained in the organization, they would be loved as one of their own. They strive to follow in Christ’s path by suffering persecution brought upon them for doing so, as Christ experienced at the hands of his own people.  Christ now calls everyone out; those who respond, are hated by family, friends, the entire congregation.  John 16:2; Rev 18:4-8; Matt 10:21-22

But, these particular outcasts have this hope:

Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!”

 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.”  Mark 10:28-30

Submitting oneself to share in building an earthly empire, which rightly describes the organization, and identified as blessed by God, is idolatry; a fact supported by scripture that can’t be dismissed.  Matt 6:24; Ezek 14:4-8

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.”  Act 17:24-25

YHWH's Genuine Mountain - http://4womaninthewilderness.blogspot.com/2013/02/jehovahs-genuine-mountain.html

 

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Witness said:

If the word had been made known to all in the congregation, surely her family would have received the needed food, possibly even a place to live. 

As far as I am concerned we are responsible to make such things known in the congregation, just as much as we are responsible for preaching the good news. As far as I am concerned, this is the real way in which we preach the good news: not by teaching doctrines, but by supporting one another in a way that is as loving as possible. The real way that the true religion is known is not by doctrine but by how we show love to one another.

  • (John 13:34, 35) 34 I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are my disciples—if you have love among yourselves.”

Various situations of the type you area speaking of will happen almost continuously in most congregations, but, in my experience, they are usually taken care of. Whose responsibility is it to make something as important as this known in the congregation? You admit that surely her family would have received what was needed if the word had been made known. That's the point, isn't it? We have the desire to do the right thing, and when we pitch in together, the right thing gets done. But each person plays a part in such service. Many will be willing to give, but not everyone has the skills to lead and organize and prioritize such giving. Some persons are better at "seeing" the needs, some are better at providing helpful services, some are better with the ability to direct.

Note what Paul says of the ideal congregation:

(1 Corinthians 12:14-13:1) 14 For, indeed, the body is made up not of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am no part of the body,” that does not make it no part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am no part of the body,” that does not make it no part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If it were all hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But now God has arranged each of the body members just as he pleased. 19 If they were all the same member, where would the body be? 20 But now they are many members, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you,” or again, the head cannot say to the feet, “I do not need you.” 22 On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are necessary, 23 and the parts of the body that we think to be less honorable we surround with greater honor, so our unseemly parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 whereas our attractive parts do not need anything. Nevertheless, God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that had a lack, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but its members should have mutual concern for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all the other members suffer with it; or if a member is glorified, all the other members rejoice with it. 27 Now you are Christ’s body, and each of you individually is a member. 28 And God has assigned the respective ones in the congregation: first, apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers; then powerful works; then gifts of healings; helpful services; abilities to direct; different tongues. 29 Not all are apostles, are they? Not all are prophets, are they? Not all are teachers, are they? Not all perform powerful works, do they? 30 Not all have gifts of healings, do they? Not all speak in tongues, do they? Not all are interpreters, are they? 31 But keep striving for the greater gifts. And yet I will show you a surpassing way. 13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels but do not have love, I have become a clanging gong or a clashing cymbal.


The ideal congregation has thus been defined. Yet, we no longer see apostles and prophets, and powerful works, and gifts of healing, and tongues in the way that the first century congregation saw them. Even the "teaching" is essentially complete with the completion of the spirit-directed Christian Greek Scriptures. This means that the most necessary part of the current ideal congregation is that "its members should have mutual concern for one another." (v.25) The ideal congregation is foremost, therefore, an outlet for giving us opportunities to show our love through "helpful services" (v.28) and "abilities to direct" those helpful, loving services.

Jesus also seems to have anticipated that the primary concern of those of faith as judgment day approached would no longer be a big concern with prophesying and powerful works, but with practical love through helpful services.

(Matthew 7:20-23) 20 Really, then, by their fruits you will recognize those men. 21 “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of the heavens, but only the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will. 22 Many will say to me in that day: ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them: ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’

(Matthew 25:34-40) 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right: ‘Come, you who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world. 35 For I became hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you received me hospitably; 36 naked and you clothed me. I fell sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you visited me.’ . . . . 40 In reply the King will say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

This was always the primary focus of real Christianity. If we see that our congregation is not living up to the ideals of the kingdom in this way, then we should do what we can to make sure that these opportunities are taken advantage of. This is whether we are in a leadership position or not.

I may not have the same outlook as you, because my family has been the recipient of such kindness back in 1964 and 1965 when my father gave up a lot to move us from a comfortable place in California to a poor area of the Ozarks where there were very few in the congregation who cared that much to learn about the details of the new "Babylon" book at that time. But they could show love to strangers. They helped us find a place to stay, a small farm on 7 acres to rent, a place to work on the broken-down car, and to nearly live off the land where we raised a small number of cows and calves, a lot of chickens, and hand-tilled nearly an acre for corn, beans, peas, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, etc. We canned food, traded for other food. Traded eggs and milk for other necessities. Even though my father was an electrical engineer his first full-time job at the university paid only a four hundred a month [edited: $388/mo] for a family of 5.

My father's job grew 'slowly but surely' so that he could soon hire brothers to work for him at the university, which helped support others in turn. But we knew each other well in the congregation, and we knew the new ones coming in. (In just over a decade the one small congregation became 4 and by the 1990's was about 8 congregations.)

Today, I'll agree that many in the congregation don't know all the others as well. Some who have financial hardships don't want the embarrassment of admitting their troubles. They might pray and cry over the situation, but the solution is already built into the congregational arrangement.

What happens at Warwick, Patterson, Wallkill, Brooklyn, London, etc, is a different story, and I'll admit that it can sometimes seem to become too much of a priority. And yes, it can even become an idol. Humans have a tendency to idolize those who take the lead at the highest leadership positions, too. To avoid such mistakes, this is why we also have a teaching ministry, to keep ourselves aligned with the scriptural principles that should guide us. Correct teaching also helps us continue to give credit, not to ourselves, or to an organization, or its human leaders, but only to Jehovah and Jesus and the right spirit that should motivate us all. 

 

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6 hours ago, Witness said:

Many years ago, I remember a family so poor that the couple lived in a tent with their five children.  The sister begged the elders for help, stating her family was hungry because her husband (not a ministerial servant at the time) was having trouble getting work.  This area was very depressed economically, but the elders turned her away saying it was her husband’s job to provide food.  I would not have known any of this if she had not come to my house in tears.  How many actually knew her desperate situation in the congregation?

This is an extraordinary and tragic account despite the lack of detail. Presumably, although you don't record it, you were able to provide needed assistance to this family yourself, hopefully with the help of others whom you would have surely alerted to the situation. I would like to know what happened in connection with the woefully inadequate response of the "elders" you describe in this scenario. You must have been living in a rather deprived area, or indeed country, at that time.

I am glad to say that such a situation just would not occur in the area in which I live. And indeed, not in any congregation with which I have been involved.....................ever!

I have already directed you to information describing the higher level organised response to physical need in the congregation worldwide. And I am glad that arrangements on this scale are centrally coordinated by Jehovah's Witnesses organisationally, because neither I nor my local congregation could do this effectively. I am confident that the contributions to the Worlwide work are appropriately managed with due priority given to the various areas for which material resources are required. I am sure the $236 million (2015) spent on caring for the fulltime workers worldwide represents only a fraction of centrally contributed funds, to say nothing of the time and materials freely donated by all of Jehovah's people involved in such Christian activities.

This of course does not account for money and resources that are freely given by individuals in assisting their brothers and sisters locally, should they become aware of a need in harmony with Pro.3:27. We rarely hear detail of these actions unless we are directly involved in such kind acts either as giving or receiving. And rightly so, in harmony with Jesus words at Matt.6:1-4. I could list many examples of acts of kindness to fellow Christians that I am aware of or have been a party to over the years, but these are not matters for public broadcast. And neither are the needs of those who for one reason or another fall on hard times.

Jesus said that "you always have the poor with you". And it seems he maintained a fund which included resources to be given to the poor, of which treachorous Judas availed himself. (John 12:1-8). But nowhere in scripture do we find recorded specific examples of donations of that money to any needy individuals although examples of Jesus genorous spirit abound, such as his feeding of multitudes when necessary.

Obviously, specific needs requiring a more organised response locally are sometimes required, such as that recorded at Acts 6:1-4; 1Cor.16:1-4; or 1Tim.5:9. And if today, such arrangements are warranted due to some serious incident on a local level, this is coordinated appropriately with whatever level of needed publicity as I am sure you are aware if you followed the link I supplied earlier.

However, much Christian giving will be of the type exemplified by Dorcas whose example is recorded at Acts 9:36. I have met Christians with this spirit in my years of serving Jehovah, and they are an inspiration to all who associate with them, not least those who benefit from their kindness. These ones don't need public notification to prompt their deeds of mercy as their eyes and hearts are alert to their fellow Christians well-being. And just as their deeds do not go unnoticed by their heavenly father (compare Acts 9:39-40), the plight of those serving Jehovah who experience material difficulties do not go unnoticed either. Compare Ps.37:25.

I hope you now find yourself in less spiritually impoverished surroundings that that which you described in your scenario.

11 hours ago, Witness said:

What happens in entire congregations that are poor and can barely feed their own family?

This is a strange question for one apparently aware of Scriptural principles in relation to these matters? Do you have a specific circumstance in mind? And by that I mean where?, when?, who?, etc.

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I appreciate both of your comments – Eoin Joyce and JW Insider.  I can surmise that both of you have within your heart, a desire to help those in need.

Eion, In the situation with the woman I had mentioned, there were a few members who came to her aid.  If they were to have “taken the lead” in organizing a charity drive for her, the elders would have squashed such an action since their initial decision had already been made – a judgment of unworthiness, because of the father’s failure at obtaining work and providing for his family. With a few of us doing what we could considering our own family circumstances, this family still lived in a tent for almost a year, until the father was able to get work, save, and find suitable housing, which he eventually did.  This happened in California. 

I feel that perhaps you need to get out more, Eoin, although you mentioned you have been in more than one congregation.  There are several parts of the country that live in poverty, and this country I am speaking of, is the U.S.  Have you seen the chart that I am attaching from Pew Research?

 And after seeing this, surely all of us can magnify this frightful reality of poverty that exists in the organization, to other countries, and where other congregations have been formed. 

The opulence of Warwick could feed many.  I would hope that the scriptures posted earlier were acknowledged. If we don’t hear their impact, to whom are we listening to?

JW Insider, you appear to be somewhat of a rogue within the organization, a fish who on occasion, swims against the current, but then turns quickly back around.   I feel you endeavor to detach the congregation from the organization, but we both know this can’t happen.

While I see you grasp the proper mindset in serving God, unless we break free of the concept that the Watchtower is “Jehovah’s organization”, which is the greatest form of idolatry against God; as you say, the “perfect” congregation remains unreachable.

Although 1 Corinthians 12:14-13:1; Matt 7:20-23; 25:34-40  can be applied to all in the congregation in a sense, these scriptures specifically refer to the anointed ones. 

Paul, part of the foundation of the Body of Christ, was speaking to the Chosen ones who were part of that Body.  Today, we may not see apostles, but we see anointed ones, who are also part of Christ’s Body. Matt 16:18; Eph 2:20; 1 Pet 2:5,9; Rom 12:1; Eph 2:21,22; 1 Cor 3:16,17

They have become so obscured through Watchtower admonitions to remain anonymous, that they are forgotten.

 As far as prophets - “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”  Acts 2:17

And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” Rev 11:3

If we both agree that this Body is not perfect, how will it reach the point of perfection?  Certainly, not under any influence of a GB that rules over them, or obedience to elders who do not allow each anointed individual to proclaim Christ as their Head, and their only judge. Matt 24:48; 24:15; Dan 9:27; Rom 14:4,10   God’s anointed ones must shun any form of idolatry; ironically when they do so in the organization, they are then shunned. 

Matt 7:20-23 is also related to the teachings of anointed ones, (John 21:17; Mal 2:7; Heb 13:15) that each one of us must scrutinize.  Matt 25:34-40, which is recognizing these “little ones”, is impossible to do under required obedience to false shepherds.  Luke 17:2; Matt 23:13

They are each, a member of the Body of Christ, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Do you see?  In the organization, all of this is impossible since a theocratic authority rules. The road to  perfection begins for each Chosen one when leaving the teachings of bad fruit, oppression, “trampling”, and turning directly to Christ.  It is then that they find other brothers in Christ -  those who are also members of the Body.  This is where love is nurtured, through the blessing of Holy Spirit. In Christ's light, is where the Temple/sanctuary will be restored and finished – outside of “earthly things” which equates to idolatry. Phil 3:19; Isa 58; Zech 4:7

2 Thess 2:1-12

 

 

 

FT_16.09.29_wealthReligiousGroups-3.png

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5 hours ago, Witness said:

I feel that perhaps you need to get out more, Eoin

This has to be one of the most opinionated responses I have ever experienced on this forum although you likely don't mean to give that impression. You have absolutely no idea of what my experience of congregations has been or, for that matter, where I have had those experiences.

5 hours ago, Witness said:

Pew Research

Yes I have seen this chart. It is open to a considerable amount of skepticism. The sample was only 208 people. Most Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs) I know do not participate in surveys. What is the criteria for one's claim to affiliation? An alternative factor could be the emphasis JWs place on spiritual over secular activities. I.E. many witnesses actually choose part-time or lower paid employment to free them for spiritual activity.

On the results alone I am pleased to see that JWs are separated which is always a good thing. As for them being bottom of the table this goes to show how much we accomplish from such an apparently low income base.  For example, The Journal of Contemporary Religion (Vol. 12, No2, 1997) noted that in the year 1993, the combined efforts of the Protestant Churches of US and Canada spent in excess of $2 Billion to support the work of 41,142 overseas missionaries. JWs spent $45 Million on supporting the work of 3,279,270 in the same period. A similar story would be told every year. As for results, which religious group would first come to mind as associated with God's name "Jehovah" or the biblical term "the kingdom of God"?

And on a strategy level alone, after leaving school at 16, I have spent my life in the bottom 2 sectors of the income table, yet was never without work or income, raised 5 children, own my own home (above average standard and mortgage-free), serve in full time ministry, organised finances to not now require an earned income whilst pioneering. I consider myself to be a fairly "typical"JW. Oh, of course I don't smoke, gamble, abuse alcohol or other substances and am not locked into a trend-pursuing lifestyle or other resource-draining indulgence. So, I wonder if these factors are a consideration in drawing conclusions based on comparisons related to this table?

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      In the OT, there is a direct command, “Thou shalt not kill (murder)!” This command should contain God's view of human life, which emphasizes that life is holy, sacred before God, but also that people must have the same feeling about the lives of other people around them.
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    • By The Librarian
      The Coming of the Name Jehovah's Witnesses - Talk by A.H. MacMillan (Editor of the Watchtower with C.T. Russell) 
      Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity.[3]

      Jehovah's Witnesses are directed by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, a group of elders in Brooklyn, New York, which establishes all doctrines[7][8][9] based on its interpretations of the Bible;[10][11] They prefer to use their own translation, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures.[12][13][14][15] They believe that the destruction of the present world system at Armageddon is imminent, and that the establishment of God's kingdom on earth is the only solution for all problems faced by humanity.[16]
      See also: Jehovah's Witnesses vs. Jehovah's witnesses
      The group emerged from the Bible Student movement—founded in the late 1870s by Charles Taze Russell with the formation of Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society—with significant organizational and doctrinal changes under the leadership of Joseph Franklin Rutherford.[17][18] The name Jehovah's witnesses, based on Isaiah 43:10–12,[19] was adopted in 1931 to distinguish ourselves from other Bible Student groups and symbolize a break with the legacy of Russell's traditions. The name appears to be first coined by H.A. Ironside in 1911 in "Lectures on Daniel the Prophet" when referring to the Jews whom the promises of Isa.43 would be fulfilled, noted on page 152:
       
      "These shall be Jehovah's witnesses, testifying to the power and glory of the one true God, when brother Christendom shall have been given up to the strong delusion to believe the lie of the Antichrist."
      Jehovah's Witnesses are best known for their door-to-door preaching, distributing literature such as The Watchtower and Awake!, and refusing military service and blood transfusions. They consider use of the name Jehovah vital for proper worship. They reject Trinitarianism, inherent immortality of the soul, and hellfire, which they consider to be unscriptural doctrines. They do not observe Christmas, Easter, birthdays, or other holidays and customs they consider to have pagan origins incompatible with Christianity.[20] They commonly refer to our body of beliefs as "the truth" and consider ourselves to be "in the truth".[21][22] They consider secular society to be morally corrupt and under the influence of Satan, and most limit thier social interaction with non-Witnesses.[23] Congregational disciplinary actions include disfellowshipping, their term for formal expulsion and shunning.[24] Baptized individuals who formally leave are considered disassociated and are also shunned. Disfellowshipped and disassociated individuals may eventually be reinstated if deemed repentant.

      The religion's position regarding conscientious objection to military service and refusal to salute national flags has brought it into conflict with some governments. Consequently, some Jehovah's Witnesses have been persecuted and it's activities are banned or restricted in some countries. Persistent legal challenges by Jehovah's Witnesses have influenced legislation related to civil rights in several countries.[25]
      History
      Background (1870–1916)
      In 1870, Charles Taze Russell and others formed an independent group in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to study the Bible.[26] During the course of his ministry, Russell disputed many beliefs of mainstream Christianity including immortality of the soul, hellfire, predestination, the fleshly return of Jesus Christ, the Trinity, and the burning up of the world.[27] In 1876, Russell met Nelson H. Barbour; later that year they jointly produced the book Three Worlds, which combined restitutionist views with end time prophecy. The book taught that God's dealings with humanity were divided dispensationally, each ending with a "harvest," that Christ had returned as an invisible spirit being in 1874[27] inaugurating the "harvest of the Gospel age," and that 1914 would mark the end of a 2520-year period called "the Gentile Times,"[28] at which time world society would be replaced by the full establishment of God's kingdom on earth.[29][30][31] Beginning in 1878 they jointly edited a religious journal, Herald of the Morning.[32] In June 1879 the two split over doctrinal differences, and in July, Russell began publishing the magazine Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence,[33] stating that its purpose was to demonstrate the world was in "the last days," and that a new age of earthly and human restitution under the reign of Christ was imminent.[34]

      From 1879, Watch Tower supporters gathered as autonomous congregations to study the Bible topically. Thirty congregations were founded, and during 1879 and 1880, Russell visited each to provide the format he recommended for conducting meetings.[35] As congregations continued to form during Russell's ministry, they each remained self-administrative, functioning under the congregationalist style of church governance.[36][37] In 1881, Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society was presided over by William Henry Conley, and in 1884, Charles Taze Russell incorporated the society as a non-profit business to distribute tracts and Bibles.[38][39][40] By about 1900, Russell had organized thousands of part- and full-time colporteurs,[33] and was appointing foreign missionaries and establishing branch offices. By the 1910s, Russell's organization maintained nearly a hundred "pilgrims," or traveling preachers.[41] Russell engaged in significant global publishing efforts during his ministry,[42][43][44] and by 1912, he was the most distributed Christian author in the United States.[43][45]

      Russell moved the Watch Tower Society's headquarters to Brooklyn, New York, in 1909, combining printing and corporate offices with a house of worship; volunteers were housed in a nearby residence he named Bethel. He identified the religious movement as "Bible Students," and more formally as the International Bible Students Association.[46] By 1910, about 50,000 people worldwide were associated with the movement[47] and congregations re-elected him annually as their "pastor."[48] Russell died October 31, 1916, at the age of 64 while returning from a ministerial speaking tour and inspecting a recent gold mine investment.[49] 
      Reorganization (1917–1942)
      In January 1917, the Watch Tower Society's legal representative, Joseph Franklin Rutherford, was elected as its next president. His election was disputed, and members of the Board of Directors accused him of acting in an autocratic and secretive manner.[50][51] The divisions between his supporters and opponents triggered a major turnover of members over the next decade.[52][53] In June 1917, he released The Finished Mystery as a seventh volume of Russell's Studies in the Scriptures series. The book, published as the posthumous work of Russell, was a compilation of his commentaries on the Bible books of Ezekiel and Revelation, plus numerous additions by Bible Students Clayton Woodworth and George Fisher.[54][55][56][57] It strongly criticized Catholic and Protestant clergy and Christian involvement in the Great War.[58] As a result, Watch Tower Society directors were jailed for sedition under the Espionage Act in 1918 and members were subjected to mob violence; charges against the directors were dropped in 1920.[59]

      Rutherford centralized organizational control of the Watch Tower Society. In 1919, he instituted the appointment of a director in each congregation, and a year later all members were instructed to report their weekly preaching activity to the Brooklyn headquarters.[60] At an international convention held at Cedar Point, Ohio, in September 1922, a new emphasis was made on house-to-house preaching.[61] Significant changes in doctrine and administration were regularly introduced during Rutherford's twenty-five years as president, including the 1920 announcement that the Jewish patriarchs (such as Abraham and Isaac) would be resurrected in 1925, marking the beginning of Christ's thousand-year Kingdom.[62][63][64] Disappointed by the changes, tens of thousands of defections occurred during the first half of Rutherford's tenure, leading to the formation of several Bible Student organizations independent of the Watch Tower Society,[65][66] most of which still exist.[67] By mid-1919, as many as one in seven of Russell-era Bible Students had ceased their association with the Society, and as many as two-thirds by the end of the 1920s.[68][69][70][71][72]

      On July 26, 1931, at a convention in Columbus, Ohio, Rutherford introduced the new name—Jehovah's witnesses—based on Isaiah 43:10: "Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen"—which was adopted by resolution. The name was chosen to distinguish his group of Bible Students from other independent groups that had severed ties with the Society, as well as symbolize the instigation of new outlooks and the promotion of fresh evangelizing methods.[73][74][75] In 1932, Rutherford eliminated the system of locally elected elders and in 1938, introduced what he called a "theocratic" (literally, God-ruled) organizational system, under which appointments in congregations worldwide were made from the Brooklyn headquarters.[60]

      From 1932, it was taught that the "little flock" of 144,000 would not be the only people to survive Armageddon. Rutherford explained that in addition to the 144,000 "anointed" who would be resurrected—or transferred at death—to live in heaven to rule over earth with Christ, a separate class of members, the "great multitude," would live in a paradise restored on earth; from 1935, new converts to the movement were considered part of that class.[76][77] By the mid-1930s, the timing of the beginning of Christ's presence (Greek: parousía), his enthronement as king, and the start of the "last days" were each moved to 1914.[78]

      As their interpretations of scripture developed, Witness publications decreed that saluting national flags is a form of idolatry, which led to a new outbreak of mob violence and government opposition in the United States, Canada, Germany, and other countries.[79][80]
      Worldwide membership of Jehovah's Witnesses reached 113,624 in 5,323 congregations by the time of Rutherford's death in January 1942.[81][82] 
       
      Continued development (1942–present)
      Nathan Knorr was appointed as third president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in 1942. Knorr commissioned a new translation of the Bible, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, the full version of which was released in 1961. He organized large international assemblies, instituted new training programs for members, and expanded missionary activity and branch offices throughout the world.[83] Knorr's presidency was also marked by an increasing use of explicit instructions guiding Witnesses in their lifestyle and conduct, and a greater use of congregational judicial procedures to enforce a strict moral code.[84][85]

      From 1966, Witness publications and convention talks built anticipation of the possibility that Christ's thousand-year reign might begin in late 1975[86][87] or shortly thereafter.[88][89][90][91] The number of baptisms increased significantly, from about 59,000 in 1966 to more than 297,000 in 1974. By 1975, the number of active members exceeded two million. Membership declined during the late 1970s after expectations for 1975 were proved wrong.[92][93][94][95] Watch Tower Society literature did not state dogmatically that 1975 would definitely mark the end,[88] but in 1980 the Watch Tower Society admitted its responsibility in building up hope regarding that year.[96][97]

      The offices of elder and ministerial servant were restored to Witness congregations in 1972, with appointments made from headquarters[98] (and later, also by branch committees). In a major organizational overhaul in 1976, the power of the Watch Tower Society president was diminished, with authority for doctrinal and organizational decisions passed to the Governing Body.[99] Reflecting these organizational changes, publications of Jehovah's Witnesses began using the capitalized name, Jehovah's Witnesses. Prior to this, witnesses was consistently uncapitalized, except in headings and when quoting external sources.
      Since Knorr's death in 1977, the position of president has been occupied by Frederick Franz (1977–1992) and Milton Henschel (1992–2000), both members of the Governing Body, and since 2000 by Don A. Adams, not a member of the Governing Body. In 1995, Jehovah's Witnesses abandoned the idea that Armageddon must occur during the lives of the generation that was alive in 1914.[100][101][102]

      After the death of Governing Body member Jack Barr in 2009 the organization relaxed many of the previous taboos such as dancing in Kingdom halls and Assembly Halls as well as a more "fun" party like atmosphere at official meetings. Previously avoided evangelistic style choirs were embraced for the first time to entertain the delegates and even used at the Annual meeting. Children's choirs began to appear at the Annual meeting and other events. Formerly corporate and somewhat secretive Annual meetings changed. Starting in 2013 they began to be events where releases were made of publications and other media. In October 2014 televangelism, which was previously avoided and even scorned by the witnesses for decades, was embraced with the new tv.jw.org known as JW Broadcasting. Most witnesses embraced the sudden change pointing out the difference that JW TV does not ask for donations to be sent in such as other TV evangelists have traditionally done to enrich themselves.
       
       
      Rejection of blood transfusions
      Main article: Jehovah's Witnesses and blood transfusions
      Jehovah's Witnesses refuse blood transfusions, which they consider a violation of God's law based on their interpretation of Acts 15:28, 29 and other scriptures.[268][269][270] Since 1961 the willing acceptance of a blood transfusion by an unrepentant member has been grounds for expulsion from the religion.[271][272] Watch Tower Society literature directs Witnesses to refuse blood transfusions, even in "a life-or-death situation".[273][274][275] Jehovah's Witnesses accept non-blood alternatives and other medical procedures in lieu of blood transfusions, and the Watch Tower Society provides information about current non-blood medical procedures.[276]

      Though Jehovah's Witnesses do not accept blood transfusions of whole blood, they may accept some blood plasma fractions at their own discretion.[277][278][279] The Watch Tower Society provides pre-formatted Power of Attorney documents prohibiting major blood components, in which members can specify which allowable fractions and treatments they will personally accept.[280][281] Jehovah's Witnesses have established Hospital Liaison Committees as a cooperative arrangement between individual Jehovah's Witnesses and medical professionals and hospitals.[282][283]
      See also: 
      Organ Transplants and Jehovah's Witnesses
      Vaccinations and Jehovah's Witnesses
      Aluminium and Jehovah's Witnesses
       
       
      Opposition
      Controversy surrounding various beliefs, doctrines and practices of Jehovah's Witnesses has led to opposition from local governments, communities, and religious groups. Religious commentator Ken Jubber wrote that "Viewed globally, this persecution has been so persistent and of such intensity that it would not be inaccurate to regard Jehovah's witnesses as the most persecuted group of Christians of the twentieth century."[295] 
      Persecution
      Main article: Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses
      See also: Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Nazi Germany 
       
      Legal challenges
      Main article: Supreme Court cases involving Jehovah's Witnesses by country
      Several cases involving Jehovah's Witnesses have been heard by Supreme Courts throughout the world.[308] The cases generally relate to their right to practice their religion, displays of patriotism and military service, and blood transfusions.[309]

      In the United States, their persistent legal challenges prompted a series of state and federal court rulings that reinforced judicial protections for civil liberties.[310] Among the rights strengthened by Witness court victories in the United States are the protection of religious conduct from federal and state interference, the right to abstain from patriotic rituals and military service, the right of patients to refuse medical treatment, and the right to engage in public discourse.[311] 
      See also:
      List of United States Supreme Court Cases
      Federal case in Puerto Rico regarding Municipality Gates 
      Publication: Preparing for a Child Custody Case Involving Religious Issues

      Similar cases in their favor have been heard in Canada.[312]

      Child abuse lawsuits against Jehovah's Witnesses started to hit the finances hard starting in 2014 with the Candace Conti lawsuit in California. See Jehovah's Witnesses and child abuse


      Newspaper or Media Reports Involving Jehovah's Witnesses (in the old wiki. For newer articles see the JW News section in this forum)
      New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures
      See also
      Notable Brothers and Sisters
      How to Donate to the Work

      Watchtower Real Estate News and an example of it's investment portfolio strategy 
      Explanatory notes
      Twelve members as of September 2005 (See The Watchtower, March 15, 2006, page 26) Schroeder died March 8, 2006. (See The Watchtower, September 15, 2006, page 31) Sydlik died April 18, 2006. (See The Watchtower, January 1, 2007, page 😎 Barber died April 8, 2007. (See The Watchtower, October 15, 2007, page 31) Jaracz died June 9, 2010. (See The Watchtower, November 15, 2010, page 23) Barr died December 4, 2010. (See The Watchtower, May 15, 2011, page 6) Sanderson appointed September 1, 2012. (See The Watchtower, July 15, 2013, page 26) Raymond Franz (In Search of Christian Freedom, 2007, p.449) cites various Watch Tower Society publications that stress loyalty and obedience to the organization, including: "Following Faithful Shepherds with Life in View", The Watchtower, October 1, 1967, page 591, "Make haste to identify the visible theocratic organization of God that represents his king, Jesus Christ. It is essential for life. Doing so, be complete in accepting its every aspect."; The Watchtower, September 1, 2006, pg 15, "Have we formed a loyal attachment to the organization that Jehovah is using today?"; "Your Reminders Are What I Am Fond Of", The Watchtower, June 15, 2006, pg 26, "We too should remain faithful to Jehovah and to his organization regardless of injustices we suffer and regardless of what others do."; "Are You Prepared for Survival?", The Watchtower, May 15, 2006, pg 22, "Just as Noah and his God-fearing family were preserved in the ark, survival of individuals today depends on their faith and their loyal association with the earthly part of Jehovah’s universal organization."; Worship The Only True God (Watch Tower Society, 2002), pg 134, "Jehovah is guiding us today by means of his visible organization under Christ. Our attitude toward this arrangement demonstrates how we feel about the issue of sovereignty ... By being loyal to Jehovah’s organization, we show that Jehovah is our God and that we are united in worship of him." 2013 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. p. 178. "During the 2012 service year, Jehovah’s Witnesses spent over $184 million in caring for special pioneers, missionaries, and traveling overseers in their field service assignments." A common example given is a baptized Witness who dates a non-Witness; see The Watchtower, July 15, 1999, p. 30. Raymond Franz cites numerous examples. In Crisis of Conscience, 2002, pg. 173, he quotes from "They Shall Know That a Prophet Was Among Them", (The Watchtower, April 1, 1972,) which states that God had raised Jehovah's Witnesses as a prophet "to warn (people) of dangers and declare things to come" He also cites "Identifying the Right Kind of Messenger" (The Watchtower, May 1, 1997, page 😎 which identifies the Witnesses as his "true messengers ... by making the messages he delivers through them come true", in contrast to "false messengers", whose predictions fail. In In Search of Christian Freedom, 2007, he quotes The Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah—How? (1971, pg 70, 292) which describes Witnesses as the modern Ezekiel class, "a genuine prophet within our generation". The Watch Tower book noted: "Concerning the message faithfully delivered by the Ezekiel class, Jehovah positively states that it 'must come true' ... those who wait undecided until it does 'come true' will also have to know that a prophet himself had proved to be in the midst of them." He also cites "Execution of the Great Harlot Nears", (The Watchtower, October 15, 1980, pg 17) which claims God gives the Witnesses "special knowledge that others do not have ... advance knowledge about this system's end".
       
      Citations
      "Court Trial Testimony Redwood City". Superior Court of the State of California. February 22, 2012. "I am general counsel for the National Organization of Jehovah's Witnesses out of Brooklyn, New York. ... We are a hierarchical religion structured just like the Catholic Church." 2014 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. 2013. pp. 185–186. Sources for descriptors:
      • Millenarian: Beckford, James A. (1975). The Trumpet of Prophecy: A Sociological Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. pp. 118–119, 151, 200–201. ISBN 0-631-16310-7.
      • Restorationist: Stark et al.; Iannaccone, Laurence (1997). "Why Jehovah's Witnesses Grow So Rapidly: A Theoretical Application". Journal of Contemporary Religion 12 (2): 133–157. doi:10.1080/13537909708580796.
      • Christian: "Religious Tolerance.org". "Statistics on Religion".
      • Denomination: "Jehovah's Witnesses at a Glance"."The American Heritage Dictionary"."Memorial and Museum AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU". . . . Holden, Andrew (2002). Jehovah's Witnesses: Portrait of a Contemporary Religious Movement. Routledge. p. 22. ISBN 0-415-26609-2. Beckford, James A. (1975). The Trumpet of Prophecy: A Sociological Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. p. 221. ISBN 0-631-16310-7. "Doctrine has always emanated from the Society's elite in Brooklyn and has never emerged from discussion among, or suggestion from, rank-and-file Witnesses." "Focus on the Goodness of Jehovah's Organization". The Watchtower: 20. July 15, 2006. Retrieved 2012-06-16. "Jehovah's Witnesses". The Columbia Encyclopedia. Columbia University Press. 2011. ISBN 978-0-7876-5015-5. "The Witnesses base their teaching on the Bible." Chryssides, George D. (1999). Exploring New Religions. London: Continuum. p. 100. ISBN 0-8264-5959-5. "Predictably, mainstream Christians accuse the New World Translation of inaccuracy, as if their own translations were thoroughly reliable. Jehovah's Witnesses will engage in discussion with others using whatever translation is available." Alan Rogerson (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die. Constable. pp. 70, 123. "This was the Witnesses' own translation of the New Testament ... now that the Society has decreed that they should use the New World Translation of the Bible in preference other versions, they are convinced their translation is the best." Tess Van Sommers, Religions in Australia, Rigby, Adelaide, 1966, page 92: "Since 1870, the Watch Tower Society has used more than seventy Bible translations. In 1961 the society released its own complete Bible in modern English, known as The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. This is now the preferred translation among English-speaking congregations." Edwards, Linda (2001). A Brief Guide to Beliefs. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press. p. 438. ISBN 0-664-22259-5. "The Jehovah's Witnesses' interpretation of Christianity and their rejection of orthodoxy influenced them to produce their own translation of the Bible, The New World Translation." Our Kingdom Ministry, November 1992, "When we read from our Bible, the householder may comment on the clarity of language used in the New World Translation. Or we may find that the householder shows interest in our message but does not have a Bible. In these cases we may describe the unique features of the Bible we use and the reasons why we prefer it to others." "Jehovah's Witness". Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 2007. ISBN 978-1-59339-293-2. Michael Hill, ed. (1972). "The Embryonic State of a Religious Sect's Development: The Jehovah's Witnesses". Sociological Yearbook of Religion in Britain (5): 11–12. "Joseph Franklin Rutherford succeeded to Russell's position as President of Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society, but only at the expense of antagonizing a large proportion of the Watch Towers subscribers. Nevertheless, he persisted in moulding the Society to suit his own programme of activist evangelism under systematic central control, and he succeeded in creating the administrative structure of the present-day sect of Jehovah's Witnesses." Leo P. Chall (1978). "Sociological Abstracts". Sociology of Religion 26 (1–3): 193. "Rutherford, through the Watch Tower Society, succeeded in changing all aspects of the sect from 1919 to 1932 and created Jehovah's Witnesses—a charismatic offshoot of the Bible student community." Isaiah 43:10–12 Franz, Raymond (2007). In Search of Christian Freedom. Commentary Press. pp. 274–5. ISBN 0-914675-16-8. Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 64 Singelenberg, Richard (1989). "It Separated the Wheat From the Chaff: The 1975 Prophecy and its Impact Among Dutch Jehovah's Witnesses". Sociological Analysis 50 (Spring 1989): 23–40, footnote 8. doi:10.2307/3710916. "'The Truth' is Witnesses' jargon, meaning the Society's belief system." Penton, M.J. (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. pp. 280–283. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. "Most Witnesses tend to think of society outside their own community as decadent and corrupt ... This in turn means to Jehovah's Witnesses that they must keep themselves apart from Satan's "doomed system of things." Thus most tend to socialize largely, although not totally, within the Witness community." Chryssides, George D. (1999). Exploring New Religions. London: Continuum. p. 5. ISBN 0-8264-5959-5. "The Jehovah's Witnesses are well known for their practice of 'disfellowshipping' wayward members." Gary Botting, Fundamental Freedoms and Jehovah's Witnesses (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 1993), pg 1–13 Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. p. 6. ISBN 978-0094559400. Beckford 1975, p. 2 Crompton, Robert (1996). Counting the Days to Armageddon. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. pp. 37–39. ISBN 0-227-67939-3. Bible Examiner October, 1876 "Gentile Times: When Do They End?" pp 27–8: "The seven times will end in A.D. 1914; when Jerusalem shall be delivered forever ... when Gentile Governments shall have been dashed to pieces; when God shall have poured out of his fury upon the nations and they acknowledge him King of Kings and Lord of Lords." Studies in the Scriptures volume 4, "The Battle of Armageddon", 1897, pg xii C. T. Russell, The Time is at Hand, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1889, page 101 Heather and Gary Botting, The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses(Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1984, p. 36. Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 18 Zion's Watch Tower, July 1, 1879, pg 1: "This is the first number of the first volume of "Zion's Watch Tower," and it may not be amiss to state the object of its publication. That we are living "in the last days"—"the day of the Lord"—"the end" of the Gospel age, and consequently, in the dawn of a "new" age." 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, Watch Tower, pages 38–39 Zion's Watch Tower, September 1884, pp. 7–8 Studies in the Scriptures volume 6 "The New Creation" pp. 195–272 C.T. Russell, "A Conspiracy Exposed", Zion's Watch Tower Extra edition, April 25, 1894, page 55–60, "This is a business association merely ... it has no creed or confession ... it is merely a business convenience in disseminating the truth."] Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses by George D. Chryssides, Scarecrow Press, 2008, page xxxiv, "Russell wanted to consolidate the movement he had started. ...In 1880, Bible House, a four-story building in Allegheny, was completed, with printing facilities and meeting accommodation, and it became the organization's headquarters. The next stage of institutionalization was legal incorporation. In 1884, Russell formed the Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society, which was incorporated in Pennsylvania... Russell was concerned that his supporters should feel part of a unified movement." Religion in the Twentieth Century by Vergilius Ture Anselm Ferm, Philosophical Library, 1948, page 383, "As the [unincorporated Watch Tower] Society expanded, it became necessary to incorporate it and build a more definite organization. In 1884, a charter was granted recognizing the Society as a religious, non-profit corporation." Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 19 A Chronology and Glossary of Propaganda in the United States Greenwood Press: 1996. pg. 35: "Russell is naturally media literate, and the amount of literature he circulates proves staggering. Books, booklets, and tracts are distributed by the hundreds of millions. This is supplemented by well-publicized speaking tours and a masterful press relations effort, which gives him widespread access to general audiences." The Overland Monthly, January 1910 pg. 130 Penton 1997, p. 26–29 W.T. Ellis, The Continent, McCormick Publishing Company, vol. 43, no. 40, October 3, 1912 pg. 1 Religious Diversity and American Religious History by Walter H. Conser, Sumner B. Twiss, University of Georgia Press, 1997, page 136, "The Jehovah's Witnesses...has maintained a very different attitude toward history. Established initially in the 1870s by Charles Taze Russell under the title International Bible Students Association, this organization has proclaimed..." The New Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, 1910, vol 7, pg 374 Penton 1997, p. 26 Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. p. 31. ISBN 978-0094559400. Penton 1997, p. 53 A.N. Pierson et al, Light After Darkness, 1917, page 4. Crompton, Robert (1996). Counting the Days to Armageddon. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. p. 101. ISBN 0-227-67939-3. Penton 1997, pp. 58, 61–62 The Bible Students Monthly, vol. 9 no. 9, pp 1, 4: "The following article is extracted mainly from Pastor Russell's posthumous volume entitled "THE FINISHED MYSTERY," the 7th in the series of his STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES and published subsequent to his death." Lawson, John D., American State Trials, vol 13, Thomas Law Book Company, 1921, pg viii: "After his death and after we were in the war they issued a seventh volume of this series, entitled "The Finished Mystery," which, under the guise of being a posthumous work of Pastor Russell, included an attack on the war and an attack on patriotism, which were not written by Pastor Russell and could not have possibly been written by him." Crompton, Robert (1996). Counting the Days to Armageddon. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. pp. 84–85. ISBN 0-227-67939-3. "One of Rutherford's first actions as president ... was, without reference either to his fellow directors or to the editorial committee which Russell had nominated in his will, to commission a seventh volume of Studies in the Scriptures. Responsibility for preparing this volume was given to two of Russell's close associates, George H. Fisher and Clayton J. Woodworth. On the face of it, their brief was to edit for publication the notes left by Russell ... and to draw upon his published writings ... It is obvious ... that it was not in any straightforward sense the result of editing Russell's papers, rather it was in large measure the original work of Woodworth and Fisher at the behest of the new president." "Publisher's Preface". The Finished Mystery. "But the fact is, he did write it. This book may properly be said to be a posthumous publication of Pastor Russell. Why?... This book is chiefly a compilation of things which he wrote and which have been brought together in harmonious style by properly applying the symbols which he explained to the Church." Penton 1997, p. 55 Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. p. 44. ISBN 978-0094559400. Franz, Raymond (2007). "Chapter 4". In Search of Christian Freedom. Commentary Press. ISBN 0-914675-16-8. Jehovah's Witnesses—Proclaimers of God's Kingdom. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. 1993. pp. 72–77. Chryssides, George D. (2010). "How Prophecy Succeeds: The Jehovah’s Witnesses and Prophetic Expectations". International Journal for the Study of New Religions 1 (1): 39. doi:10.1558/ijsnr.v1i1.27. ISSN 2041-952X. Franz, Raymond (2007). In Search of Christian Freedom. p. 144. ISBN 0-914675-16-8. Salvation, Watch Tower Society, 1939, as cited in Jehovah's Witnesses—Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, page 76 Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. pp. 39, 52. ISBN 978-0094559400. Herbert H. Stroup, The Jehovah's Witnesses, Colombia University Press, New York, 1945, pg 14,15: "Following his election the existence of the movement was threatened as never before. Many of those who remembered wistfully the halcyon days of Mr Russell's leadership found that the new incumbent did not fulfill their expectations of a saintly leader. Various elements split off from the parent body, and such fission continued throughout Rutherford's leadership." Reed, David, Whither the Watchtower? Christian Research Journal, Summer 1993, pg 27: "By gradually replacing locally elected elders with his own appointees, he managed to transform a loose collection of semi-autonomous, democratically run congregations into a tight-knit organizational machine controlled from his office. Some local congregations broke away, forming such groups as the Chicago Bible Students, the Dawn Bible Students, and the Laymen's Home Missionary Movement, all of which continue to this day." Thirty Years a Watchtower Slave, William J. Schnell, Baker, Grand Rapids, 1956, as cited by Rogerson, page 52. Rogerson notes that it is not clear exactly how many Bible Students left, but quotes Rutherford (Jehovah, 1934, page 277) as saying "only a few" who left other religions were then "in God's organization". The Present Truth and Herald of Christ's Epiphany, P.S.L. Johnson (April 1927, pg 66). Johnson stated that between late 1923 and early 1927, "20,000 to 30,000 Truth people the world over have left the Society." Tony Wills (A People For His Name, pg. 167) cites The Watch Tower(December 1, 1927, pg 355) in which Rutherford states that "the larger percentage" of original Bible Students had by then departed. Penton 1997, p. 50 Rogerson 1969, p. 37 Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. London: Constable. p. 55. "In 1931, came an important milestone in the history of the organisation. For many years Rutherford's followers had been called a variety of names: 'International Bible Students', 'Russellites', or 'Millennial Dawners'. In order to distinguish clearly his followers from the other groups who had separated in 1918 Rutherford proposed that they adopt an entirely new name—Jehovah's witnesses." Beckford 1975, p. 30 "A New Name". The Watch Tower: 291. October 1, 1931. "Since the death of Charles T. Russell there have arisen numerous companies formed out of those who once walked with him, each of these companies claiming to teach the truth, and each calling themselves by some name, such as "Followers of Pastor Russell", "those who stand by the truth as expounded by Pastor Russell," "Associated Bible Students," and some by the names of their local leaders. All of this tends to confusion and hinders those of good will who are not better informed from obtaining a knowledge of the truth." Beckford 1975, p. 31 Penton 1997, pp. 71–72 Crompton, Robert (1996). Counting the Days to Armageddon. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. pp. 109–110. ISBN 0-227-67939-3. Beckford 1975, p. 35 Garbe, Detlef (2008). Between Resistance and Martyrdom: Jehovah's Witnesses in the Third Reich. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. p. 145. ISBN 0-299-20794-3. 1943 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. 1942. pp. 221–222. Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. 1959. pp. 312–313. Beckford 1975, pp. 47–52 Beckford 1975, pp. 52–55 Penton 1997, pp. 89–90 George Chryssides, //They Keep Changing the Dates//, A paper presented at the CESNUR 2010 conference in Torino. Chryssides, George D. (2008). Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses. Scarecrow Press. p. 19. ISBN 0-8108-6074-0. Penton 1997, p. 95 Botting, Heather; Gary Botting (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 46. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7. Awake!. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. October 8, 1968. p. 14. "Does this mean that the above evidence positively points to 1975 as the complete end of this system of things? Since the Bible does not specifically state this, no man can say... If the 1970s should see intervention by Jehovah God to bring an end to a corrupt world drifting toward ultimate disintegration, that should surely not surprise us." "How Are You Using Your Life?". Our Kingdom Ministry: 63. May 1974. "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." Franz, Raymond. "1975—The Appropriate Time for God to Act" (PDF). Crisis of Conscience. pp. 237–253. ISBN 0-914675-23-0. Retrieved 2006-07-27. Singelenberg, Richard (1989). "The '1975'-prophecy and its impact among Dutch Jehovah's Witnesses". Sociological Analysis 50 (1): 23–40.doi:10.2307/3710916. JSTOR 3710916. Notes a nine percent drop in total publishers (door-to-door preachers) and a 38 per cent drop in pioneers (full-time preachers) in the Netherlands. Stark and Iannoccone (1997). "Why the Jehovah's Witnesses Grow So Rapidly: A Theoretical Application" (PDF). Journal of Contemporary Religion: 142–143. Retrieved 2013-07-16. Dart, John (January 30, 1982). "Defectors Feel 'Witness' Wrath: Critics say Baptism Rise Gives False Picture of Growth". Los Angeles Times. p. B4. Cited statistics showing a net increase of publishers worldwide from 1971 to 1981 of 737,241, while baptisms totaled 1.71 million for the same period. Hesse, Hans (2001). Persecution and Resistance of Jehovah's Witnesses During the Nazi-Regime. Chicago: Edition Temmen c/o. pp. 296, 298. ISBN 3-861-08750-2. The Watchtower. March 15, 1980. pp. 17–18. "With the appearance of the bookLife Everlasting—in Freedom of the Sons of God, ... considerable expectation was aroused regarding the year 1975. ... there were other statements published that implied that such realization of hopes by that year was more of a probability than a mere possibility. It is to be regretted that these latter statements apparently overshadowed the cautionary ones and contributed to a buildup of the expectation already initiated. ... persons having to do with the publication of the information ... contributed to the buildup of hopes centered on that date." Chryssides Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses, pp. 32,112 Chryssides Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses, p. 64 Joel P. Engardio (December 18, 1995), "Apocalypse Later", Newsweek Penton 1997, p. 317 John Dart, "Jehovah's Witnesses Abandon Key Tenet", Los Angeles Times, November 4, 1995. ---------
      Penton 1997, p. i Reasoning From the Scriptures, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1989, pages 70–75. Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 91 Muramoto, O. (January 6, 2001). "Bioethical aspects of the recent changes in the policy of refusal of blood by Jehovah's Witnesses". BMJ 322 (7277): 37–39.doi:10.1136/bmj.322.7277.37. PMC 1119307. PMID 11141155. Jehovah's Witnesses—Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1993, page 183. United in Worship of the Only True God, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1983, pages 156–160. Bowman, R. M.; Beisner, E. C.; Ehrenborg, T. (1995). Jehovah's Witnesses. Zondervan. p. 13. ISBN 0-310-70411-1. Botting, Heather; Gary Botting (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. pp. 29–30. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7. "How Blood Can Save Your Life," Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, pages 13–17 "Questions From Readers—Do Jehovah's Witnesses accept any medical products derived from blood?". The Watchtower: 30. June 15, 2000 Sniesinski et al.; Chen, EP; Levy, JH; Szlam, F; Tanaka, KA (April 2007)."Coagulopathy After Cardiopulmonary Bypass in Jehovah's Witness Patients: Management of Two Cases Using Fractionated Components and Factor VIIa"(PDF). Anesthesia & Analgesia 104 (4): 763–5.doi:10.1213/01.ane.0000250913.45299.f3. PMID 17377078. Retrieved 2008-12-30. "The Real Value of Blood". Awake!: 11. August 2006. Durable Power of Attorney form. Watch Tower Society. January 2001. p. 1.Examples of permitted fractions are: Interferon, Immune Serum Globulins and Factor VIII; preparations made from Hemoglobin such as PolyHeme and Hemopure. Examples of permitted procedures involving the medical use of one's own blood include: cell salvage, hemodilution, heart lung machine, dialysis,epidural blood patch, plasmapheresis, blood labeling or tagging and platelet gel (autologous) Our Kingdom Ministry (PDF). November 2006. pp. 5–6. Retrieved 2009-06-21. "Jehovah's Witnesses and Medical Profession Cooperate". The Awake. November 22, 2003. Retrieved 2009-10-24. Kim Archer, "Jehovah's Witness liaisons help surgeons adapt", //Tulsa World//, May 15, 2007. Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. Watch Tower Society. 1996–2014. "Question Box–Should a family Bible study be reported to the congregation?".Our Kingdom Ministry (Watch Tower Society): 3. November 2003. "Question Box—May both parents report the time used for the regular family study?". Our Kingdom Ministry: 3. September 2008. U.S. Religious Landscape Survey Religious Affiliation: Diverse and Dynamic. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. February 2008. pp. 9, 30. The Association of Religion Data Archives David Van Biema, "America's Unfaithful Faithful," //Time// magazine, February 25, 2008JumPEW Forum on Religion and Public Life. U.S. Religious Landscape Survey: Religious Affiliation: Diverse and Dynamic. The next lowest retention rates, excluding those raised unaffiliated with any church, were Buddhism at 50% and Catholicism at 68%. Beckford 1975, pp. 92, 98–100 Beckford 1975, pp. 196–207 Bryan R. Wilson, "The Persistence of Sects", Diskus, Journal of the British Association for the Study of Religions, Vol 1, No. 2, 1993 "Comparisons". U.S. Religious Landscape Survey. Pew Research Center. Retrieved 15 August 2012. Jubber, Ken (1977). "The Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Southern Africa". Social Compass, 24 (1): 121,. doi:10.1177/003776867702400108. Penton, James (2004). Jehovah's witnesses and the third reich. Canada: University of Toronto Press. p. 376. ISBN 0802086780. Garbe, Detlef (2008). Between Resistance and Martyrdom: Jehovah's Witnesses in the Third Reich. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. p. 484. ISBN 0-299-20794-3. Shulman, William L. A State of Terror: Germany 1933–1939. Bayside, New York: Holocaust Resource Center and Archives. Holocaust Education Foundation website. Hesse, Hans (2001). Persecution and Resistance of Jehovah's Witnesses During the Nazi Regime. Edition Temmen. p. 12. ISBN 3-86108-750-2. Kaplan, William (1989). State and Salvation. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press. Yaffee, Barbara (1984-09-09). Witnesses Seek Apology for Wartime Persecution. The Globe in Mail. p. 4. Валерий Пасат ."Трудные страницы истории Молдовы (1940–1950)". Москва: Изд. Terra, 1994 (Russian) "Jehovah’s Witnesses—Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom",chapter 22,page.490 "Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses 1991",page.221 Claims that Jehovah's Witnesses chose a deliberate course of martyrdom are contained in:
      Peters, Shawn Francis (2000). Judging Jehovah's Witnesses: Religious Persecution and the Dawn of the Rights Revolution. University Press of Kansas. pp. 82, 116–9. ISBN 0-7006-1008-1.
      Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, Visions of Glory, 1978, chapter 6.
      Whalen, William J. (1962). Armageddon Around the Corner: A Report on Jehovah's Witnesses. New York: John Day Company. p. 190.
      Schnell, William (1971). 30 Years a Watchtower Slave. Baker Book House, Grand Rapids. pp. 104–106. ISBN 0-8010-6384-1     Jehovah’s Witnesses—Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 1993, pp. 679–701. Botting, Fundamental Freedoms and Jehovah's Witnesses, pp. 1–14; Shawn Francis Peters, Judging Jehovah's Witnesses, University Press of Kansas: 2000, pages 12–16. "Jehovah's Witnesses and civil rights". Knocking.org. Retrieved 16 August 2012. Botting, Fundamental Freedoms..., pp. 15–201 "Following Faithful Shepherds with Life in View", The Watchtower, October 1, 1967, page 591, "Make haste to identify the visible theocratic organization of God that represents his king, Jesus Christ. It is essential for life. Doing so, be complete in accepting its every aspect ... in submitting to Jehovah's visible theocratic organization, we must be in full and complete agreement with every feature of its apostolic procedure and requirements." "Loyal to Christ and His Faithful Slave", The Watchtower, April 1, 2007, page 24, "When we loyally submit to the direction of the faithful slave and its Governing Body, we are submitting to Christ, the slave's Master." Beckford 1975, pp. 89, 95, 103, 120, 204, 221 "Exposing the Devil's Subtle Designs" and "Armed for the Fight Against Wicked Spirits", The Watchtower, January 15, 1983 "Serving Jehovah Shoulder to Shoulder", The Watchtower, August 15, 1981, page 28. "Jehovah's Theocratic Organization Today",The Watchtower, February 1, 1952, pages 79–81. "Avoid Independent Thinking". The Watchtower: 27. 15 January 1983. "From the very outset of his rebellion Satan called into question God's way of doing things. He promoted independent thinking. ... How is such independent thinking manifested? A common way is by questioning the counsel that is provided by God's visible organization." "Avoid Independent Thinking". The Watchtower: 20. February 15, 1979. "In a world where people are tossed about by confusing winds of religious doctrine, Jehovah's people need to be stable, full-grown Christians. (Eph. 4:13, 14) Their position must be steadfast, not shifting quickly because of independent thinking or emotional pressures." The Watchtower: 277–278. May 1, 1964. "It is through the columns of The Watchtower that Jehovah provides direction and constant Scriptural counsel to his people, and it requires careful study and attention to details in order to apply this information, to get a full understanding of the principles involved, and to assure ourselves of right thinking on these matters. It is in this way that we "are thoroughly able to grasp mentally with all the holy ones" the fullness of our commission and of the preaching responsibility that Jehovah has placed on all Christians as footstep followers of his Son. Any other course would produce independent thinking and cause division."     "Will You Heed Jehovah’s Clear Warnings?", The Watchtower, July 15, 2011, page 15, "brothers are 'mentally diseased,' and they seek to infect others with their disloyal teachings. (1 Tim. 6:3, 4)."                   The Watchtower (8/15). August 1988. The Routledge History of the Holocaust, Routledge, 2010, "Labeling the Jehovah's Witnesses as totalitarian trivializes the term totalitarian and defames the Jehovah's Witnesses."                       "Messengers of Godly Peace Pronounced Happy", The Watchtower, May 1, 1997, page 21 Jehovah's Witnesses—Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, Watch Tower Society, 1993, page 708. "Execution of the "Great Harlot" Nears", The Watchtower, October 15, 1980, page 17
    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      I remember in the past a secretary of the congregation anounced the income from donations and expenses incurred by the  congregation monthly, I still hear sometimes about those numbers at  circuit assemblies specially when there are  "deficit" 
      I 'd love to see those numbers globally, or at least for each branch, where do they publish them? 
       
    • By Srecko Sostar
      GB claims how they are not "inspired". They also claim that the Organization is "spirit-guided". There is also an idea that God has always had his organization on Earth, the first being the Old Nation of Israel, and then First Assembly at the time of the Apostles, and after long centuries of darkness organization appeared again in 1879 as WT Society. So, we have three organizations in three time periods.
      Who has guided, led these organizations? We see that organizations were guided by people. The first was Moses, then the Judges and Prophets, the Kings, and then the Apostles and today is The GB. According to the present claims of this modern organization of God, it is logical to conclude that both of the previous two organizations had been guided by God by the same principles too, meaning, that no inspirational/uninspired people were at the forefront of a spirit-guided organization.
      Which tools are used to run today's organization? Thousands and thousands of pages of written text and public and private talks. All of these published texts and speeches were/are not "inspired", in fact, they presented many erroneous teachings and instructions, in the face of claims, that the organization is/was spiritually driven at the same time. So we have a God's spirit-guided organization that teaches the wrong things.
      What does this have to do with past God's organizations? In the past, members of those two perished Organizations also wrote texts and held public and private speeches. Did those texts and the words been "inspired". If we judge according to today's GB teachings and the way how God, supposedly,  leads a modern organization, we could rightly say that, how past leaders were not "inspired" when writing and gave speech. Because God has no need to "inspire" imperfect servants when He already has "spirit guided organization" :))
      What is "inspired" in that, if someone had wrote what he has seen or heard during her life? Or if they write down their memories after a few years after the event? Most of the biblical text is precisely this - writing what someone saw and heard personally or that writing came through the oral tradition, something that other people have seen, heard, and spoken in some period of time. Only in exceptional cases, the authors of certain parts of the script, claimed that the instructions/revelations/prophecy  were received through dreams, visions or God or angel directly addressed them. So, for a very small part of the text in the Bible, we can say that it is "inspired" by divine supernatural power. The vast majority of the text in the Bible is actually a retelling  of the events that have been experienced - either from oneself or from other people. And for such, there is no need for extra "inspiration", but a good memory of those who recount the event and a good memory of the one who later writes it.
      To bring claim that God, with his spirit, has led each of these three organizations, but that only the Israeli representatives (and writers) and representatives of the 1st Assembly (and the writers) had "inspired" directly with His spirit to make the written and spoken content, but how God changed his mind in the 19th century and gave up from doing the same way of managing his organization, it seems strange. Why would God be inconsistent with his principle of how to lead his earthly organizations? Why would God "inspire" Moses and the John (and all the rest between) to speak and write, but today he does not want to "inspire" his Anointed Representatives who sitting in GB? Was theirs time more difficult than today? Do not we live in the end time when all is much worst than before? :)))
      If JW  members considers that it is quite right and normal for God to lead his organization through "not inspired" texts of today's "servants of God" whose "research and knowledge was multiplied" and become far greater, clearer and safer because of more and more "Brighter Lights" that is far more advanced than before, of all what previous generations of God's servants knew and understand, then it is strange that today's texts and public speeches are so inaccurate and unsafe and need to be continually changed and corrected.
      From this WTJWORG idea of how God has kept his earthly organization in continuity since Moses' time, it is not difficult to doubt the accuracy of the texts that people have collected and incorporated into a single book, the Bible. In fact, if today's WT Society (WT is equal to God's Organization) texts contain both, accurate and incorrect things, then we could assume that the old records,  "publications" and "public and private talk" of Old Time Organizations, in their content were subject to the influence of the human factor too. The idea may seem strange and impossible (because "God with the spirit" leads his organizations) but that not give guaranties that such Organizations will not End Up in Some Form of Slavery (to inside and/or to outside Masters). Recall yourself how had ended previous 2 God's Organizations. 

      But what do you think that after 1 or 2 thousands of years from now, when we all become old dust and ashes, someone came up with the idea of choosing certain WT Society texts and create a modern "Bible" for JW?
       
    • By Srecko Sostar
      Inspired ....spirit-driven.... spirit-guided.....motivated.....to have spirit of....lead up by spirit....to feel that spirit leads us ..... spirit impelled him .... he came in the spirit....sent out by the spirit....spirit did not permit them.....bound by the spirit...he was in the spirit....carried him away in the spirit... and many more other phrases in the Bible.
      Why JW's mostly, generally think that "inspiration" is action reserved only to JHVH and Jesus or devil and demons?
      "Inspiration" is state/condition of some person soul, mind and emotions.  The biblical / religious state of inspiration comes mainly out of the will of the people. But do you think how this is something that can be  achieved/put on/force upon only by the actions of superhuman powers?
      JW's are very occupied with their religion in own life and have specific relationship to this word and have specific (organizational) understanding of the concept about this special word - inspired. They think, I think that they do think :)), about this word only in religious sense and consider how it is about or only about some sort of divinity or divine holiness (or devil evil) in background.
      Because they attach great importance to this word in only one direction, they forget that there is also a very powerful influence of another force. It's the spirit of man. JW's must recall themselves more often that people are created on the image of God. And that all people in themselves have a strong spirit (of divine source by birth and genetically inherited). This human spirit is powerful and can inspire other people (earthly spirits) around them. You, as individual can be inspired by people around you or by people about whom you hear about, you are watching, you read about. 
      Also it is interesting how some other things can inspire people. For example; nature, music, poetry, stories, events, animals, imagination.
      Please, join to this topic and give, express your thoughts. Let your spirit free and let's inspire others :)))
       
    • By Anna
      Something I thought might be relevant since we are studying the God's Kingdom book. Not long ago, in a WT article, it was mentioned in reference to the "Kingdom being preached in all the inhabited earth" that this will not mean that literally everyone on Earth would have heard about the Kingdom before Armageddon starts.
      When one does a bit of mathematics (not my forte) and calculates the percentage of current Jehovah's Witnesses in comparison to the World's population we arrive at 0.1%. This is a very small percentage indeed. (8 million JW to 8 billion population)
      If we were to assume some averages, and use the United States as a fair example, then we can assume the ratio of 1 publisher to roughly around 400. This seems a fair number since "only a few are the ones finding the road to life". However, as we know, there is practically a non existent ratio when it comes to India and China, two of the world's countries with a population of over 1billion each (the majority of whom have never heard of the Bible, never mind Jehovah's Witnesses).  If we would assume the same ratio of 1:400, then this would immediately create over 3 million Witnesses in each of the two countries, i.e. over 6 million in India and China alone, bringing the total of JWs to over 14 million. If we were to also add 650 thousand in Indonesia, 485 thousand from Pakistan, and 402 thousand from Bangladesh that adds another 1.5 million bringing the total to over 15 million, almost doubling the Witnesses today.
      If we go by the fact that all people are equal in Jehovah's eyes, and that no nation is above another when it comes to salvation, and that all people are basically the same, then we have to assume that there are people in those countries who, if given the chance, would embrace the truth and put themselves on Jehovah's side and create that ratio of 1:400.
      With that in mind, it is evident that either there is going to have to be a lot of preaching done, verging on the miraculous, in order to bring in over 7 million new Witnesses within the allotted time of the "Generation", or, Jehovah will judge their hearts and allow nearly HALF of the people, (agnostics or believers in false Gods) entry into the new world without them even needing to know him.
      Or, is "this Generation" a lot longer than we think.....
      Any scriptural thoughts?
       
    • By Jesus.defender
      1888 "In this chapter we present the Bible evidence proving that the full end of the times of the gentiles, i.e., the full end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in A.D. 1914; and that the date will be the farthest limit of the rule of imperfect men. And be it observed, that if this is shown to be a fact firmly established by the Scriptures, it will prove; Firstly, that at that date the Kingdom of God, for which our Lord taught us to pray, saying, Thy Kingdom come, will obtain full, universal control, and that it will then be set up, or firmly established, in the earth, on the ruins of present institutions." (The Time Is At Hand, 1888, p. 76, 77)
       
       
      1889 "Be not surprised, then, when in subsequent chapters we present proofs that the setting up of the Kingdom of God is already begun, that it is pointed out in prophecy as due to begin the exercise of power in A.D. 1878, and that the 'battle of the great day of God Almighty (Rev. 16:14) which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced. The gathering of the armies is plainly visible from the standpoint of God's word." (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, The Time Is At Hand, 1889 Ed., p. 101. The 1915 Edition of this texts changed "A.D. 1914" to read 'A.D. 1915')
       
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      I made a donation on line at JW.ORG. Why are they using a Switzerland banking address?
    • By The Librarian
      Explore the options and tools you can use to make donations.
      Source
    • By The Librarian
      Part of a series on:

      Sources of doctrine
      Jehovah's Witnesses believe their religion is a restoration of first-century Christianity.[130] Doctrines of Jehovah's Witnesses are established by the Governing Body, which assumes responsibility for interpreting and applying scripture.[53][131][132] The Watch Tower Society does not issue any single, comprehensive "statement of faith", but prefers to express its doctrinal position in a variety of ways in its publications.[133] Its publications teach that doctrinal changes and refinements result from a process of progressive revelation, in which God gradually reveals his will and purpose,[134][135][136][137] and that such enlightenment results from the application of reason and study,[138] the guidance of the holy spirit, and direction from Jesus Christ and angels.[139] The Society also teaches that members of the Governing Body are helped by the holy spirit to discern "deep truths", which are then considered by the entire Governing Body before it makes doctrinal decisions.[140] The religion's leadership, while disclaiming divine inspiration and infallibility,[141] is said to provide "divine guidance"[142] through its teachings described as "based on God's Word thus ... not from men, but from Jehovah."[143][144]

      The entire Protestant canon of scripture is considered the inspired, inerrant word of God.[145] Jehovah's Witnesses consider the Bible to be scientifically and historically accurate and reliable[146] and interpret much of it literally, but accept parts of it as symbolic.[147] They consider the Bible to be the final authority for all their beliefs,[148] although sociologist Andrew Holden's ethnographic study of the religion concluded that pronouncements of the Governing Body, through Watch Tower Society publications, carry almost as much weight as the Bible.[149] Regular personal Bible reading is frequently recommended; Witnesses are discouraged from formulating doctrines and "private ideas" reached through Bible research independent of Watch Tower Society publications, and are cautioned against reading other religious literature.[150][151][152] Adherents are told to have "complete confidence" in the leadership, avoid skepticism about what is taught in the Watch Tower Society's literature, and "not advocate or insist on personal opinions or harbor private ideas when it comes to Bible understanding."[153][154][155][156] The religion makes no provision for members to criticize or contribute to official teachings[157] and all Witnesses must abide by its doctrines and organizational requirements.[158]
       
      Jehovah and Jesus Christ
      Jehovah's Witnesses emphasize the use of God's name, represented in the Hebrew Scriptures of the Bible by the Tetragrammaton.[159][160] In English we prefer to use the name Jehovah.[161] We believe that Jehovah is the only true God, the creator of all things, and the "Universal Sovereign". We believe that all worship should be directed toward Him, and that he is not part of a Trinity;[162] consequently, our religion places more emphasis on Jehovah God than on Christ.[163][164] We believe that the holy spirit is Jehovah God's applied power or "active force", rather than a person.[165][166]
       
      The Tetragrammaton
      Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus is God's only direct creation, that everything else was created by means of Christ, and that the initial unassisted act of creation uniquely identifies Jesus as God's "only-begotten Son".[167] Jesus served as a redeemer and a ransom sacrifice to pay for the sins of humanity.[168] They believe Jesus died on a single upright torture stake rather than the traditional cross.[169] They believe that references in the Bible to the Archangel Michael, Abaddon (Apollyon), and the Word all refer to Jesus.[170] Jesus is considered to be the only intercessor and high priest between God and humanity, and appointed by God as the king and judge of his kingdom.[171] His role as a mediator (referred to in 1 Timothy 2:5) is applied to the 'anointed' class, though the 'other sheep' are said to also benefit from the arrangement.[172]
       
      Satan
      Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Satan was originally a perfect angel who developed feelings of self-importance and craved worship. Satan caused Adam and Eve to disobey God, and humanity subsequently became participants in a challenge involving the competing claims of Jehovah and Satan to universal sovereignty.[173] Other angels who sided with Satan became demons.

      Jehovah's Witnesses teach that Satan and his demons were cast down to earth from heaven after October 1, 1914,[174] at which point the end times began. Witnesses believe that Satan is the ruler of the current world order,[173] that human society is influenced and misled by Satan and his demons, and that they are a cause of human suffering. They believe that human governments are controlled by Satan,[175] but that he does not directly control each human ruler.[176]
       
      Life after death
      See also the video: What Happen's after Death?
      Jehovah's Witnesses believe death is a state of non-existence with no consciousness. There is no Hell of fiery torment; Hades and Sheol are understood to refer to the condition of death, termed the common grave.[177] Jehovah's Witnesses consider the soul to be a life or a living body that can die.[178] Watch Tower Society publications teach that humanity is in a sinful state,[178] from which release is only possible by means of Jesus' shed blood as a ransom, or atonement, for the sins of humankind.[179]

      Witnesses believe that a "little flock" go to heaven, but that the hope for life after death for the majority of "other sheep" involves being resurrected by God to a cleansed earth after Armageddon. They interpret Revelation 14:1–5 to mean that the number of Christians going to heaven is limited to exactly 144,000, who will rule with Jesus as kings and priests over earth.[180] Jehovah's Witnesses teach that only they meet scriptural requirements for surviving Armageddon, but that God is the final judge.[181][182][183] During Christ's millennial reign, most people who died prior to Armageddon will be resurrected with the prospect of living forever; they will be taught the proper way to worship God to prepare them for their final test at the end of the millennium.[184][185]
       
      God's kingdom
       
      Eschatology
      Main article: Eschatology of Jehovah's Witnesses
      A central teaching of Jehovah's Witnesses is that the current world era, or "system of things", entered the "last days" in 1914 and faces imminent destruction through intervention by God and Jesus Christ, leading to deliverance for those who worship God acceptably.[192] They consider all other present-day religions to be false, identifying them with "Babylon the Great", or the "harlot", of Revelation 17,[193] and believe that they will soon be destroyed by the United Nations, which they believe is represented in scripture by the scarlet-colored wild beast of Revelation chapter 17. This development will mark the beginning of the "great tribulation".[194] Satan will subsequently attack Jehovah's Witnesses, an action that will prompt God to begin the war of Armageddon, during which all forms of government and all people not counted as Christ's "sheep", or true followers, will be destroyed. After Armageddon, God will extend his heavenly kingdom to include earth, which will be transformed into a paradise similar to the Garden of Eden.[195] After Armageddon, most of those who had died before God's intervention will gradually be resurrected during "judgment day" lasting for one thousand years. This judgment will be based on their actions after resurrection rather than past deeds. At the end of the thousand years, a final test will take place when Satan is released to mislead perfect mankind. Those who fail will be destroyed, along with Satan and his demons. The end result will be a fully tested, glorified human race. Christ will then hand all authority back to God.[196]

      Watch Tower Society publications teach that Jesus Christ began to rule in heaven as king of God's kingdom in October 1914, and that Satan was subsequently ousted from heaven to the earth, resulting in "woe" to humanity. They believe that Jesus rules invisibly, from heaven, perceived only as a series of "signs". They base this belief on a rendering of the Greek word parousia—usually translated as "coming" when referring to Christ—as "presence". They believe Jesus' presence includes an unknown period beginning with his inauguration as king in heaven in 1914, and ending when he comes to bring a final judgment against humans on earth. They thus depart from the mainstream Christian belief that the "second coming" of Matthew 24 refers to a single moment of arrival on earth to judge humans.[197][198]
       
      Practices
      Worship
      Meetings for worship and study are held at Kingdom Halls, which are typically functional in character, and do not contain religious symbols.[199] Witnesses are assigned to a congregation in whose "territory" they usually reside and attend weekly services they refer to as "meetings" as scheduled by congregation elders. The meetings are largely devoted to study of Watch Tower Society literature and the Bible. The format of the meetings is established by the religion's headquarters, and the subject matter for most meetings is the same worldwide.[199] Congregations meet for two sessions each week comprising five distinct meetings that total about three-and-a-half hours, typically gathering mid-week (three meetings) and on the weekend (two meetings). Prior to 2009, congregations met three times each week; these meetings were condensed, with the intention that members dedicate an evening for "family worship".[200][201] Gatherings are opened and closed with kingdom songs (hymns) and brief prayers. Each year, Witnesses from a number of congregations that form a "circuit" gather for one-day, and two-day assemblies. Several circuits meet once a year for a three-day "district convention", usually at rented stadiums or auditoriums. Their most important and solemn event is the commemoration of the "Lord's Evening Meal", or "Memorial of Christ's Death" on the date of the Jewish Passover.[202]

      Different Schools Provided for Training within Jehovah's Witnesses
      Do Jehovah's Witnesses Practice Tithing?
       
      Evangelism
      Jehovah's Witnesses are known for their preaching from house to house.
      See also: Jehovah's Witnesses publications
      Jehovah's Witnesses are perhaps best known for their efforts to spread their beliefs, most notably by visiting people from house to house,[203][204][205] distributing literature published by the Watch Tower Society in 700 languages.[206] The objective is to start a regular "Bible study" with any person who is not already a member.[207] Once the study course is completed, the individual is expected to become baptized as a member of the group.[208][209] Witnesses are told they are under a biblical command to engage in public preaching.[210][211] They are instructed to devote as much time as possible to their ministry and are required to submit an individual monthly "Field Service Report".[212][213] Baptized members who fail to submit a report every month are termed "irregular" and may be counseled by elders;[214][215] those who do not submit a report for six consecutive months are termed "inactive".[216]
       
      Ethics and morality
      See article: Sex and Jehovah's Witnesses
      Their views of morality reflect conservative Christian values. All sexual relations outside of marriage are grounds for expulsion if the individual is not deemed repentant;[217][218] homosexual activity is considered a serious sin, and same-sex marriages are forbidden. Abortion is considered murder.[219] Suicide is considered to be "self-inflicted murder" and a sin against God.[220] Modesty in dress and grooming is frequently emphasized. Gambling, drunkenness, illegal drugs, and tobacco use are forbidden.[221] Drinking of alcoholic beverages is permitted in moderation.[219] 

      The family structure is patriarchal. The husband is considered to have authority on family decisions, but is encouraged to solicit his wife's thoughts and feelings, as well as those of his children. Marriages are required to be monogamous and legally registered.[222][223] Marrying a non-believer, or endorsing such a union, is strongly discouraged and carries religious sanctions.[224][225] Divorce is discouraged, and remarriage is forbidden unless a divorce is obtained on the grounds of adultery, termed "a scriptural divorce".[226] If a divorce is obtained for any other reason, remarriage is considered adulterous unless the prior spouse has died or is since considered to have committed fornication.[227] Extreme physical abuse, willful non-support of one's family, and what the religion terms "absolute endangerment of spirituality" are considered grounds for legal separation.[228][229]
       
      Disciplinary action
      Main article: Jehovah's Witnesses and congregational discipline
      Formal discipline is administered by congregation elders. When a baptized member is accused of committing a serious sin—usually cases of sexual misconduct[115][230] or charges of apostasy for disputing the Watch Tower Society's doctrines[231][232]—a judicial committee is formed to determine guilt, provide help and possibly administer discipline. Disfellowshipping, a form of shunning, is the strongest form of discipline, administered to an offender deemed unrepentant.[233] Contact with disfellowshipped individuals is limited to direct family members living in the same home, and with congregation elders who may invite disfellowshipped persons to apply for reinstatement;[234][235] formal business dealings may continue if contractually or financially obliged.[236] Witnesses are taught that avoiding social and spiritual interaction with disfellowshipped individuals keeps the congregation free from immoral influence and that "losing precious fellowship with loved ones may help [the shunned individual] to come 'to his senses,' see the seriousness of his wrong, and take steps to return to Jehovah."[237] The practice of shunning may also serve to deter other members from dissident behavior.[238] Members who disassociate (formally resign) are described in Watch Tower Society literature as wicked and are also shunned.[239][240][241] Expelled individuals may eventually be reinstated to the congregation if deemed repentant by elders in the congregation in which the disfellowshipping was enforced.[242] Reproof is a lesser form of discipline given formally by a judicial committee to a baptized Witness who is considered repentant of serious sin; the reproved person temporarily loses conspicuous privileges of service, but suffers no restriction of social or spiritual fellowship.[243] Marking, a curtailing of social but not spiritual fellowship, is practiced if a baptized member persists in a course of action regarded as a violation of Bible principles but not a serious sin.[note 4]
      Separateness
      Main article: Jehovah's Witnesses and governments
      Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the Bible condemns the mixing of religions, on the basis that there can only be one truth from God, and therefore reject interfaith and ecumenical movements.[244][245][246] They believe that only their religion represents true Christianity, and that other religions fail to meet all the requirements set by God and will soon be destroyed.[247] Jehovah's Witnesses are taught that it is vital to remain "separate from the world." Watch Tower Society publications define the "world" as "the mass of mankind apart from Jehovah's approved servants" and teach that it is morally contaminated and ruled by Satan.[248][249][250] Witnesses are taught that association with "worldly" people presents a "danger" to their faith,[251] and are instructed to minimize social contact with non-members to better maintain their own standards of morality.[252][253][254][255]

      Jehovah's Witnesses believe their highest allegiance belongs to God's kingdom, which is viewed as an actual government in heaven, with Christ as king. They remain politically neutral, do not seek public office, and are discouraged from voting, though individual members may participate in uncontroversial community improvement issues.[256][257] They do not celebrate religious holidays such as Christmas and Easter, nor do they observe birthdays, nationalistic holidays, or other celebrations they consider to honor people other than Jesus. They feel that these and many other customs have pagan origins or reflect a nationalistic or political spirit. Their position is that these traditional holidays reflect Satan's control over the world.[258][259][260] Witnesses are told that spontaneous giving at other times can help their children to not feel deprived of birthdays or other celebrations.[261]

      They do not work in industries associated with the military, do not serve in the armed services,[262] and refuse national military service, which in some countries may result in their arrest and imprisonment.[263] They do not salute or pledge allegiance to flags or sing national anthems or patriotic songs.[264] Jehovah's Witnesses see themselves as a worldwide brotherhood that transcends national boundaries and ethnic loyalties.[265][266] Sociologist Ronald Lawson has suggested the religion's intellectual and organizational isolation, coupled with the intense indoctrination of adherents, rigid internal discipline and considerable persecution, has contributed to the consistency of its sense of urgency in its apocalyptic message.[267] 
       
      See also: Are Jehovah's Witnesses a Religion?
      References
       
      Yearbook 2002, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, p. 31, 2002 Van Voorst,Robert E. (2012). RELG: World (with Religion CourseMate with eBook Printed Access Card). Cengage Learning. p. 288. ISBN 1-1117-2620-5. Organized to Do Jehovah's Will, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 2005, pages 17–18. "Cooperating With the Governing Body Today,", The Watchtower, March 15, 1990, page 19. Beckford 1975, p. 119 "Focus on the Goodness of Jehovah's Organization". The Watchtower: 22. 15 July 2006. "Impart God's Progressive Revelation to Mankind", The Watchtower, March 1, 1965, pp. 158–159 Penton 1997, pp. 165–171 "Flashes of Light—Great and Small", The Watchtower, May 15, 1995, page 15. Penton 1997, p. 165 J. F. Rutherford, Preparation, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1933, page 64, 67, "Enlightenment proceeds from Jehovah by and through Christ Jesus and is given to the faithful anointed on earth at the temple, and brings great peace and consolation to them. Again Zechariah talked with the angel of the Lord, which shows that the remnant are instructed by the angels of the Lord. The remnant do not hear audible sounds, because such is not necessary. Jehovah has provided his own good way to convey thoughts to the minds of his anointed ones ... Those of the remnant, being honest and true, must say, We do not know; and the Lord enlightens them, sending his angels for that very purpose." "The Spirit Searches into the Deep Things of God", The Watchtower, July 15, 2010, page 23, "When the time comes to clarify a spiritual matter in our day, holy spirit helps responsible representatives of 'the faithful and discreet slave' at world headquarters to discern deep truths that were not previously understood. The Governing Body as a whole considers adjusted explanations. What they learn, they publish for the benefit of all." "Do We Need Help to Understand the Bible?". The Watchtower: 19. February 15, 1981. "True, the brothers preparing these publications are not infallible. Their writings are not inspired as are those of Paul and the other Bible writers. (2 Tim. 3:16) And so, at times, it has been necessary, as understanding became clearer, to correct views. (Prov. 4:18)" "Do You See the Evidence of God's Guidance?", The Watchtower, April 15, 2011, pages 3–5, "How, then, do we react when we receive divine direction? Do we try to apply it “right afterward”? Or do we continue doing things just as we have been accustomed to doing them? Are we familiar with up-to-date directions, such as those regarding conducting home Bible studies, preaching to foreign speaking people, regularly sharing in family worship, cooperating with Hospital Liaison Committees, and conducting ourselves properly at conventions? ... Do you clearly discern the evidence of divine guidance? Jehovah uses his organization to guide us, his people, through “the wilderness” during these last days of Satan’s wicked world." "Unity Identifies True Worship", The Watchtower, September 15, 2010, page 13 par.8 "This spiritual food is based on God’s Word. Thus, what is taught is not from men but from Jehovah." "Overseers of Jehovah’s People", The Watchtower, June 15, 1957, "Let us now unmistakably identify Jehovah’s channel of communication for our day, that we may continue in his favor ... It is vital that we appreciate this fact and respond to the directions of the “slave” as we would to the voice of God, because it is His provision." Penton 1997, p. 172 All Scripture is Inspired of God, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1990, page 336. All Scripture is Inspired of God, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1990, page 9. Reasoning From The Scriptures | pp. 199–208 Jehovah's Witnesses Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 67, "Materials such as The Watchtower are almost as significant to the Witnesses as the Bible, since the information is presented as the inspired work of theologians, and they are, therefore, believed to contain as much truth as biblical texts." James A. Beverley, Crisis of Allegiance, Welch Publishing Company, Burlington, Ontario, 1986, ISBN 0-920413-37-4, pages 25–26, 101, "For every passage in Society literature that urges members to be bold and courageous in critical pursuits, there are many others that warn about independent thinking and the peril of questioning the organization ... Fear of disobedience to the Governing Body keeps Jehovah's Witnesses from carefully checking into biblical doctrine or allegations concerning false prophecy, faulty scholarship, and injustice. Witnesses are told not to read books like this one." "Keep Clear of False Worship!", The Watchtower, 15 March 2006, "True Christians keep clear of false worship, rejecting false religious teachings. This means that we avoid exposure to religious programs on radio and television as well as religious literature that promotes lies about God and his Word." "Questions From Readers—Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses decline to exchange their Bible study aids for the religious literature of people they meet". The Watchtower: 31. May 1, 1984. "So it would be foolhardy, as well as a waste of valuable time, for Jehovah’s Witnesses to accept and expose themselves to false religious literature that is designed to deceive." Question Box, Our Kingdom Ministry, September 2007, "Throughout the earth, Jehovah’s people are receiving ample spiritual instruction and encouragement at congregation meetings, assemblies, and conventions, as well as through the publications of Jehovah’s organization. Under the guidance of his holy spirit and on the basis of his Word of truth, Jehovah provides what is needed so that all of God’s people may be fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought and remain stabilized in the faith. Surely we are grateful for Jehovah’s spiritual provisions in these last days. Thus, the faithful and discreet slave does not endorse any literature, meetings, or Web sites that are not produced or organized under its oversight." "Make Your Advancement Manifest", The Watchtower, August 1, 2001, page 14, "Since oneness is to be observed, a mature Christian must be in unity and full harmony with fellow believers as far as faith and knowledge are concerned. He does not advocate or insist on personal opinions or harbor private ideas when it comes to Bible understanding. Rather, he has complete confidence in the truth as it is revealed by Jehovah God through his Son, Jesus Christ, and the faithful and discreet slave." Testimony by Fred Franz, Transcript, Lord Strachan vs. Douglas Walsh, 1954. page 123, Q: "Did you imply that the individual member has the right of reading the books and the Bible and forming his own view as to the proper interpretation of Holy Writ? A:" .... No....The Scripture is there given in support of the statement, and therefore the individual when he looks up the Scripture and thereby verifies the statement,...search[es] the Scripture to see whether these things were so." "Do We Need Help to Understand the Bible?", The Watchtower, February 15, 1981, page 19, "Jesus’ disciples wrote many letters to Christian congregations, to persons who were already in the way of the truth. But nowhere do we read that those brothers first, in a skeptical frame of mind, checked the Scriptures to make certain that those letters had Scriptural backing, that the writers really knew what they were talking about. We can benefit from this consideration. If we have once established what instrument God is using as his 'slave' to dispense spiritual food to his people, surely Jehovah is not pleased if we receive that food as though it might contain something harmful. We should have confidence in the channel God is using." Beckford 1975, pp. 84, 89, 92, 119–120 "Questions From Readers", The Watchtower April 1, 1986 pp. 30–31. Holden, Andrew (2002). Jehovah's Witnesses: Portrait of a Contemporary Religious Movement. Routledge. p. 24. ISBN 0-415-26609-2. Ringnes, Hege Kristin; Helje Kringlebotn Sødal (ed.) (2009). Jehovas vitner—en flerfaglig studie (in Norwegian). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. p. 27. Holden, A. (2002). Cavorting With the Devil: Jehovah's Witnesses Who Abandon Their Faith (PDF). Department of Sociology, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YL, UK. p. Endnote . Retrieved 2009-06-21. Alan Rogerson (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die. Constable. p. 87. Beckford 1975, p. 105 Revelation Its Grand Climax, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1988, pg 36, "In the songbook produced by Jehovah’s people in 1905, there were twice as many songs praising Jesus as there were songs praising Jehovah God. In their 1928 songbook, the number of songs extolling Jesus was about the same as the number extolling Jehovah. But in the latest songbook of 1984, Jehovah is honored by four times as many songs as is Jesus. This is in harmony with Jesus’ own words: 'The Father is greater than I am.' Love for Jehovah must be preeminent, accompanied by deep love for Jesus and appreciation of his precious sacrifice and office as God’s High Priest and King." Alan Rogerson (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die. Constable. p. 90. "What is the Holy Spirit?". The Watchtower: 5. October 1, 2009. "There is a close connection between the holy spirit and the power of God. The holy spirit is the means by which Jehovah exerts his power. Put simply, the holy spirit is God’s applied power, or his active force." Hoekema 1963, p. 262 Hoekema 1963, pp. 276–277 Penton 1997, p. 372 Hoekema 1963, p. 270 "Stay in the “City of Refuge” and Live!", The Watchtower, November 15, 1995, page 19 Penton 1997, pp. 188–189 Penton 1997, pp. 188–190 Hoekema 1963, pp. 298–299 Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 25 "Identifying the Wild Beast and Its Mark". The Watchtower: 5. 1 April 2004. "This does not mean, however, that every human ruler is a direct tool of Satan." Hoekema 1963, pp. 322–324 Hoekema 1963, pp. 265–269 Penton 1997, p. 186 Penton 1997, p. 193–194 "Remaining Organized for Survival Into the Millennium", The Watchtower, September 1, 1989, page 19, "Only Jehovah's Witnesses, those of the anointed remnant and the 'great crowd,'as a united organization under the protection of the Supreme Organizer, have any Scriptural hope of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil." You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth,, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1989, pg 255, "Do not conclude that there are different roads, or ways, that you can follow to gain life in God's new system. There is only one ... there will be only one organization—God's visible organization—that will survive the fast-approaching 'great tribulation.' It is simply not true that all religions lead to the same goal. You must be part of Jehovah's organization, doing God's will, in order to receive his blessing of everlasting life." "Our Readers Ask: Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe That They Are the Only Ones Who Will Be Saved?", The Watchtower, November 1, 2008, page 28, "Jehovah's Witnesses hope to be saved. However, they also believe that it is not their job to judge who will be saved. Ultimately, God is the Judge. He decides." Hoekema 1963, pp. 315–319 Insight on the Scriptures Volume 1 p. 606 "Declare Righteous"             Hoekema 1963, p. 297 Hoekema 1963, pp. 286 "Apocalypse—When?", The Watchtower, February 15, 1986, page 6. Penton 1997, p. 180 Hoekema 1963, pp. 307–321 Penton 1997, p. 17–19 The Watchtower 10/1/92 p. 16 par. 6 "The Messiah’s Presence and His Rule" Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 64–69 2010 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses: p. 6 Highlights of the Past Year "UPBUILDING AND ENJOYABLE FAMILY WORSHIP" The Watchtower 5/15 2011 p. 14 par 13 Christian Families—“Keep Ready” Maintain a Family Worship Evening Hoekema 1963, p. 292 Crompton, Robert (1996). Counting the Days to Armageddon. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. p. 5. ISBN 0-227-67939-3. Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. p. 1. ISBN 978-0094559400. Whalen, William J. (1962). Armageddon Around the Corner: A Report on Jehovah's Witnesses. New York: John Day Company. p. 15,18. "Global Printing—Helping People to Learn About God", online, jw.org Ringnes, Hege Kristin; Helje Kringlebotn Sødal (ed.) (2009). Jehovas vitner—en flerfaglig studie (in Norwegian). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. p. 43. "Question Box: How long should a formal Bible study be conducted with an individual in the Knowledge book?". 'Our Kingdom Ministry. October 1996. "We want people to receive a basic knowledge of the truth. Yet it is expected that within a relatively short period of time, an effective teacher will be able to assist a sincere average student to acquire sufficient knowledge to make an intelligent decision to serve Jehovah... (if there is no) clear evidence of his desire to serve Jehovah .... it may be advisable to discontinue the study." Botting, Heather; Gary Botting (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 77. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7. "The society states explicitly that all Bible studies should quickly show signs of 'real progress' to be deemed worthy of pursuit ... unless the potential converts are willing to give clear indication that they accept both the doctrines and the consequent responsibilities of attending meetings and going from door to door themselves, the study should be discontinued." Bearing Thorough Witness About God's Kingdom, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 2009, page 63, "Do you obey the command to bear thorough witness, even if the assignment causes you some apprehension?" "Determined to bear thorough witness," The Watchtower, December 15, 2008, page 19, "When the resurrected Jesus spoke to disciples gathered in Galilee, likely 500 of them, he commanded: 'Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you.' That command applies to all true Christians today." Botting, Heather; Gary Botting (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 52. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7. "Do You Contribute to an Accurate Report?", Our Kingdom Ministry, December 2002, page 8, "Jehovah’s organization today instructs us to report our field service activity each month ... At the end of the month, the book study overseer makes sure that all in the group have followed through on their responsibility to report their activity." "Regularity in Service Brings Blessings", Our Kingdom Ministry, May 1984, page 7. "Helping Irregular Publishers". Our Kingdom Ministry: 7. December 1987. "Keep the Word of Jehovah Moving Speedily". Our Kingdom Ministry: 1. October 1982. Chryssides, G.D. (1999). Exploring New Religions. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 103. ISBN 0-304-33651-3. "Imitate Jehovah—Exercise Justice and Righteousness", The Watchtower, August 1, 1998, page 16. Holden & 2002 Portrait, pp. 26–27, 173 "Questions From Readers". The Watchtower: 30,31. June 15, 2002. Penton 1997, pp. 152, 180 "The Bible's Viewpoint What Does It Mean to Be the Head of the House?".Awake!: 26. July 8, 2004. "Christian Weddings That Bring Joy". The Watchtower: 11. 15 April 1984. Shepherd the Flock of God. pp. 37–38, 124–125. "How should individual Christians and the congregation as a whole view the Bible advice to marry "only in the Lord"?". The Watchtower: 31. 15 March 1982. Penton 1997, pp. 110–112 "Adultery". Insight on the Scriptures 1. p. 53. "Marriage—Why Many Walk Out", Awake!, July 8, 1993, page 6, "A legal divorce or a legal separation may provide a measure of protection from extreme abuse or willful nonsupport." "When Marital Peace Is Threatened". The Watchtower: 22. 1 November 1988. Beckford 1975, pp. 54–55 Penton 1997, pp. 106–108 Osamu Muramoto (August 1998). "Bioethics of the refusal of blood by Jehovah's Witnesses: Part 1. Should bioethical deliberation consider dissidents' views?". Journal of Medical Ethics 24 (4): 223–230.doi:10.1136/jme.24.4.223. PMC 1377670. PMID 9752623. The Watchtower April 15, 1988. Jehovah's Witnesses Official Media Web Site: Our History and Organization, "Do you shun former members? ... If, however, someone unrepentantly practices serious sins, such as drunkenness, stealing or adultery, he will be disfellowshipped and such an individual is avoided by former fellow-worshipers. ... The marriage relationship and normal family affections and dealings can continue. ... Disfellowshipped individuals may continue to attend religious services and, if they wish, they may receive spiritual counsel from the elders with a view to their being restored. They are always welcome to return to the faith [emphasis retained from source]" "Display Christian Loyalty When a Relative Is Disfellowshipped". Our Kingdom Ministry: 3–4. August 2002. "Disfellowshipping-How to View It". The Watchtower: 24. 15 September 1981. "Appendix: How to Treat a Disfellowshipped person". Keep Yourselves in God's Love. Jehovah's Witnesses. 2008. pp. 207–209. Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 163 "Disfellowshiping—How to View It", The Watchtower, September 15, 1981, page 23. "Do You Hate Lawlessness?", The Watchtower, February 15, 2011, page 31. Franz, Raymond. Crisis of Conscience. p. 358. Shepherd the Flock of God. Watch Tower Society. p. 119. "Questions From Readers", The Watchtower, January 1, 1983 pp. 30–31. "Should the Religions Unite?". The Watchtower: 741–742. 15 December 1953. "Is Interfaith God's Way?". The Watchtower: 69. 1 February 1952. Beckford 1975, p. 202, "The ideological argument states that, since absolute truth is unitary and exclusive of all relativisation, there can only 'logically' be one human organization to represent it. Consequently, all other religious organizations are in error and are to be strictly avoided. The absolutist view of truth further implies that, since anything less than absolute truth can only corrupt and destroy it, there can be no justification for Jehovah's witnesses having any kind of association with other religionists, however sincere the motivation might be." "15 Worship That God Approves". What Does The Bible Really Teach?. p. 145. Reasoning From the Scriptures, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1989, pages 435–436. "Live a Balanced, Simple Life", The Watchtower, July 15, 1989, page 11. Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 12 "Keep Your Distance When Danger Threatens". The Watchtower: 23. February 15, 1994. "Steering Clear of Danger ... We must also be on guard against extended association with worldly people. Perhaps it is a neighbor, a school friend, a workmate, or a business associate. ... What are some of the dangers of such a friendship? We could begin to minimize the urgency of the times we live in or take a growing interest in material rather than spiritual things. Perhaps, because of a fear of displeasing our worldly friend, we would even desire to be accepted by the world." Holden & 2002 Portrait, pp. 109–112 Franz, Raymond (2007). In Search of Christian Freedom. Commentary Press. p. 409. ISBN 0-914675-17-6. ""Each One Will Carry His Own Load", The Watchtower, March 15, 2006, page 23. Bryan R. Wilson, "The Persistence of Sects", Diskus, Journal of the British Association for the Study of Religions, Vol 1, No. 2, 1993, "They have extensive contact with the wider public, [in Britain in 1989, 108,000 publishers undertook 23 million hours of house-calls]. Yet, they remain little affected by that exposure—they confine their contacts to their single-minded purpose and avoid all other occasions for association." Questions From Readers, The Watchtower, November 1, 1999, p. 28,"As to whether they will personally vote for someone running in an election, each one of Jehovah's Witnesses makes a decision based on his Bible-trained conscience and an understanding of his responsibility to God and to the State." Questions From Readers, The Watchtower, March 1, 1983, p. 30 Reasoning From The Scriptures p. 178 Holidays The Watchtower 8/15/09 p. 22 par. 20 “Keep Yourselves in God’s Love” The Watchtower 9/15/68 p. 573 par 6 "The Seriousness of It" The Watchtower 10/15/92 p. 18 par. 21 "Work to Preserve Your Family Into God’s New World" Worship the Only True God, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 2002, p. 159. Korea government promises to adopt alternative service system for conscientious objectors Education, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 2002, pp. 20–23 Owens, Gene (September 1997). "Trials of a Jehovah's Witness.(The Faith of Journalists)". Nieman Reports. Racial and ethnic unity Jehovah’s Witnesses Official Media Web Site Ronald Lawson, "Sect-state relations: Accounting for the differing trajectories of Seventh-Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses", Sociology of Religion, Winter 1995, "The urgency of the Witness's apocalyptic has changed very little over time. The intellectual isolation of the Witness leaders has allowed them to retain their traditional position, and it is they who continue to be the chief purveyors of the radical eschataology ....This commitment (to principle) was bolstered by their organizational isolation, intense indoctrination of adherents, rigid internal discipline, and considerable persecution."
    • By Anna
      In view of last weeks WT study "Do you have the facts" (August 2018, page 3) and thanks to @Gone Away for highlighting the following reports, I thought I would put this in a separate and concise topic to show an actual and recent example of misinformation.
      NEWS REPORT: (I cut it a little short because the article went on about the ban in general. You van read the whole thing here: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/five-jehovah-s-witnesses-detained-in-russia-investigators-10812938)
      MOSCOW: Five Jehovah's Witnesses have been detained in Russia and charged with possessing weapons and running an extremist group, investigators said Wednesday (Oct 10, 2018), in the latest case targeting the banned religious movement.
      They were arrested in the Kirov region northeast of Moscow, where authorities said they found two grenades and a landmine in searches of their homes.
      The Jehovah's Witnesses are a Christian denomination that originated in the United States in the late 19th century.
      The Russian authorities consider the movement a totalitarian sect and last year the country's supreme court banned the Jehovah's Witnesses from operating in Russia.
      "They had been conducting meetings and called on others to join their organisation," Yevgenia Vorozhtsova, a spokeswoman for regional investigators, said.
      She said officials were investigating how the members of the Jehovah's Witnesses had obtained the ammunition, but declined to provide further details.
      Yaroslav Sivulskiy, a member of the European Association of Jehovah's Christian Witnesses, said it was the first time the Russian authorities had accused members of the movement of possessing ammunition.
      "We were shocked," he said from the Latvian capital Riga. "It is both funny and strange. Why mines?"
      One of those detained was a Polish national residing in Russia, he said.
       
      THE FACTS: (here I took the liberty of slightly adjusting the translation by Google, so it made more sense)
      On October 9, 2018, in the city of Kirov, during a search of the house of retired Vladimir Bogomolov, a collector of artifacts from the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945), investigators seized fragments of obviously unusable rusty shells. The man was searched because his 69-year-old spouse (the only one of her entire family) professes the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. The woman does not share her husband's fascination with antiques. Thus, the report that the ammunition was seized allegedly from Jehovah's Witnesses is not true.
      Jehovah's Witnesses do not take weapons for conscience reasons. For this position they appeared before tribunals of different countries and went to concentration camps. They will be grateful to the media for clarifying the misunderstanding .
      Vladimir Bogomolov, from whom the relics were confiscated, was in the past an active participant in a search movement (aimed at burying the remains of the soldiers who died in World War II), he was the brigadier of the search party. The activities of his squad were written about in newspapers. On October 9, 2018, upon the discovery of the artifacts, a criminal case on the illegal possession of weapons was instituted, it was allocated in a separate proceeding. The items were sent for examination.
       Source: https://jw-russia.org/news
       
       
    • By The Librarian
      No. Donations have no relevance as to whether a person is counted as a Witness or has any particular assignment or privilege in our organization. (Acts 8:18-20) In fact, most donations are made anonymously. Each Witness donates his time, energy, and resources to our worldwide work according to his own desire and circumstances.—2 Corinthians 9:7.
    • By Jack Ryan
      All in attendance at our local circuit assembly are 'encouraged' to donate as a benchmark £7.50 for the privilege of being there and 'covering the cost of the assembly hall'
      Is this a new tactic?
      How is this different from "passing the plate" that my dad always boasted that JW's did not do?
    • By The Librarian
      Algeria 
      Bahrain 
      Brunei
      China 
      Djibouti 
      Egypt 
      Eritrea
      iran 
      iraq 
      Jordan 
      Kuwait 
      Laos 
      Lebanon 
      Libya 
      Maldives 
      Mauritania 
      Morocco 
      North Korea
      Oman 
      Qatar 
      Russia 
      Saudi Arabia 
      Singapore 
      Somalia 
      Syria 
      Tunisia 
      Turkmenistan 
      United Arab Emirates 
      Uzbekistan 
      Vatican city 
      Vietnam 
      Yemen
      Tajikistan 
      Comoros 
      Saudi Arabia 
      Afghanistan  
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      Wouldn't Jesus throw out the "money changers"?
      How is this allowed?
      Yet we aren't allowed to even leave bags of produce outside the front doors for others who want/need them?
      They don't allow members of the congregation to give away excess home-grown produce at the Kingdom Hall but they have allowed commercial banks to set up?
       
    • By TrueTomHarley
      Today Presidents Trump and Putin meet for summit, and the New York Times tells of an exiled Jehovah's Witness who proposes Trump ask Putin a simple question: "Why are Russians who pay their taxes, follow the law and embrace the Christian values promoted by the Kremlin being forced to flee their country?"
      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/16/world/europe/putin-trump-russia-jehovahs-witness.html
      A simple [and single] question. To propose that Trump do this is exactly the non-confrontational style of Jehovah's Witnesses, and is proof in itself that they are not extremist. Moreover, because the goal is so modest, it is not impossible that it could happen. Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia is not everywhere, but where it is, it is draconian, with police dressed in riot gear breaking down doors to arrest them.
      Meanwhile (and irrelevant), I did a google search of "New York Times Jehovah's Witnesses." The second hit is an article from 1958, telling of (I think) the largest Christian assembly in history.
      Remember, Google is personalized. Your results may vary.
      http://www.tomsheepandgoats.com/2018/07/ill-take-it-fake-news-or-not.html
    • By The Librarian
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

      As you read this.... remember PERCEPTION is 90% of everything. Sometimes it even trumps the truth itself for centuries. It is that important.

      I suspect we should consider that most businesses no longer require suits (business casual and clean is now ok for most jobs)

      I try to not bring my electronic devices to my business meetings. It sends the wrong message I think.  What is wrong with the Bible and songbook (actual books)?

      Let's also consider what a Kingdom Hall full of Mercedes and Audis appears like to the public.

      I remember how I felt as a regular pioneer showing up in California one day at a KH with all their expensive cars. WRONG MESSAGE!!!

      Remember what Jesus said about the RICH?

      Just some random thoughts when I saw this on Facebook.

      Any ideas?
      View the full article
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      The Jehovah’s Witnesses community in the Netherlands will not hold an independent inquiry into the sexual abuse of members, despite being urged to do so by justice minister Sander Dekker. By last month, 267 reports of sexual abuse involving Jehovah’s Witnesses had been made to a hotline set up by the Reclaimed Voices foundation in 2017 after Trouw published a report on the growing scandal. Dekker told RTL Nieuws on Tuesday that the organisation’s decision is ‘disappointing’ and that it is ignoring the victims who want to be heard. He has no powers to force the organisation to hold an inquiry.
      Read more: https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2018/05/jehovahs-witnesses-reject-calls-for-independent-inquiry-into-sexual-abuse/
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      FSB starts detaining Jehovah’s Witnesses on Kola, dozens flee to Finland
      Criminal cases are initiated after FSB and Rosgvardia raided six addresses in the closed navy town of Polyarny.
      By Thomas Nilsen - The Independent Barents Observer
      April 20, 2018
      Last April, a ruling by Russia’s Supreme Court banned all Jehovah’s Witnesses organizations throughout the country, arguing the religious group to be extremist.
      On Friday, Murmansk regional authorities’ newspaper Murmanski Vestnik reports about raids made by FSB and the National Guard of Russia (Rosgvardia) in Polyarny on the Kola Peninsula.
       
      Two local residents were detained under suspicions of being members of the administrative centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, organizing teaching and meetings where reading of banned religious literature took place. Searches were carried out at six addresses in Polyarny.  
       
      The town is home to a naval yard and several of the diesel-powered submarines and other warships of the Northern Fleet have Polyarny as homeport.
       
      The extremist law banning Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia provides for a maximum sentences of 6 to 10 years in jail.
      Meanwhile, a wave of practicing Jehovah’s Witnesses are fleeing Russia. More than a thousand people are now seeking asylum in several European countries, including Finland, the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reported earlier this winter.
       
      It all started last summer, and that’s when the first Witnesses sought asylum in Finland, spokesperson Veikko Leininen with the organization’s Finnish branch told the newspaper.  Many dozens at least are still to come, he said.
      Press adviser Therese Bergwitz-Larsen with the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) can’t go into details about particular reasons for asylum seekers coming to Norway.
      Unfortunately, we can’t say anything in general on the background for reasons to apply for asylum, since the number [from Russia] is so small, Bergwitz-Larsen tells the Barents Observer.
      Statistics from UDI show that 15 persons came from Russia the first three months this year. In 2017, 58 Russian asylum seekers came to Norway.
      In Russia, the number of Jehovah’s Witnesses are estimated to about 175,000. That be, before the organization was declared extremist. Viewed with skepticism for denying military service, voting and refusal to take blood, the members are seen as both a threat to themselves, their children and public safety.
      Also during Soviet times, the Witnesses were persecuted.   
      Human Right Watch recently called on Russian authorities to drop charges against Danish citizen Dennis Christensen adherent for practicing his faith. Christensen has been in pretrial custody for 11 months in the town of Orel. Human Right Watch argues that Russia is a member of Council of Europe and  a party to the European Convention on Human Rights, and therefore is obligated to protect the rights to freedom of religion and association.
      My note: Russia passed a law in 2015 that basically stated that any CE or ECHR resolution or ruling they disagreed with could be ignored. I think it is a very good idea when governments start rounding up people for gas chambers, concentration or slave labor camps, or prison ... just be somewhere else.
      You may have to abandon everything you and your family ever worked for, with the clothes on your back, but at least when they upholster the living room furniture you left behind ... it won't be with YOUR SKIN.
       
       
       
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      (New news ....)  A MONTANA Judge Orders Jehovah’s Witnesses to Turn Over Internal Documents Related to Childhood Sexual Abuse
      April 12, 2018
       
      On April 5, 2018, Judge James Manley of Sanders County, Montana ordered the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization to produce documents and testimony related to internal reports and investigations into the childhood sexual abuse of NPR’s two clients.
       
      In this case, the two Plaintiffs were sexually abused as children by a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Elders in the local Jehovah’s Witness congregation in Thompson Falls, Montana were aware of the abuse and failed to report it to the police, choosing instead to handle the reports and investigations internally pursuant to Jehovah’s Witness guidelines. Their decision not to report the abuse to authorities allowed the perpetrator to remain in the congregation and continue to abuse one of the Plaintiffs.
       
      Throughout this case, and similar childhood sexual abuse cases across the country, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have refused to produce documents related to their internal handling of reports of sexual abuse and related investigations and disciplinary actions claiming that the information is protected by the clergy-penitent privilege and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
       
      Through briefing to the court, NPR convinced the Judge that Defendants’ privilege claims were unsupported and improper under the law. The Court agreed that Defendants could not blanket everything related to their investigations in secrecy and that they must turn it over to the Plaintiffs. Often, this is the very evidence that can win or lose a case like this against a religious institution.
       
      The case of Nunez, et al. v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York, et al.  is set to go to trial in September of 2018.
      The plaintiffs in this case are represented by NPR partner D. Neil Smith and associate Ross E. Leonoudakis.
       
      ----------------------------------------------------------
      A Jury of 12 held in public view ... or a tribunal of three held in complete secrecy.
      Which would YOU choose,  to get Justice?
       
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    • You are right. I was equating the importance not so much in the number of times it is mentioned, but that it is mentioned at all! I just tried to create a graph, but alas, since I've never done one either in word or excel, I failed miserably. I got the horizontal axis right, but I just can't find how to create the vertical axis and how to change the data (numbers) for the vertical axis so I completely messed up. In any case, the chart would show that since 1950 Watchtowers, the mention of 1914 has a sharp downward trend. During 1950 to 1959, it was mentioned 891 times, and during 2000-2009 it was mentioned 216 times. I don't have data for the years 2010 to 2019. So comparatively there is a big difference, but it still seems like too many mentions, if we are thinking along the lines of it slowly being phased out. In my opinion anyway....  
    • I just woke up startled, from my afternoon nap. I had a really scary nightmare, about the Presidential Impeachment effort now going on. I dreamed I was a Democrat Congressman, and in the dream I thought I was possessed by a demon that controlled me like a puppet. And in fighting that double whammy of being a Democrat Congressman, and a demon, I was trying to fight the evil that possessed me. I thought "Could it be that we are just whiney bullies, completely divorced from reality, trying to railroad and frame a man for crimes that do not even exist, but are merely policy differences between adversaries?" I thought "Could it be that this is just a vendetta, for his unspeakable crime of making us and all out friends look like complete fools, in predicting Hillary would win in a landslide of historic proportions?" I thought "Could it be that our hatred for this man, and his continuous string of accomplishing what he promised to do in his campaign is making us hate him even more, giving us NOTHING to run on in 2020?" I thought " Could it be that this unfair sham of a trial to get him impeached is merely to mortally wound him so he will lose the 2020 Presidential Election, especially since every one of our candidates are either senile, or bat-crap crazy .... or both?" And then I came to the unconsious realization ( ... as I was in fact dreaming ...) that "NAAAAH! ... merely a spot of indigestion."        
    • Nice try! Nothing has changed with word manipulation. Face it, its was you, JTR, TTH, Anna that get people banned. But here we go, I prove you wrong, and now you're using it as an excuse to ban. So, let's not contradict yourself, why people get banned because of spamming. It doesn't have anything to do with being rude or anything else. It has to do with people here not wanting to be proved wrong. I don't wish to give anything. I just don't like manipulating other peoples words to come out with a false claim. I could go even further about Russell's spoken words. Put you're the researcher and ranking expert here. Your supposed to know all that already.
    • You are going to have to do some serious explaining, to justify that statement, as it makes no sense at all. Further, if Thor is the reaction you get when eating a Thanksgiving Day meal, you need to take some Athpirin.
    • Watch out, you just admitted that it was you who got people banned from this forum. And up until now, I'm sure no one had any idea that it was you getting yourself banned all those times. 🙄 You said: "Russell didn't care for the Pyramid scheme" and now it appears you wish to give, as evidence, the fact that Russell wasn't sure if the Pyramid indicated anything for the year 1910. If you read what Russell said, however, he claimed that the Pyramid perfectly supported 1874, 1878, 1881 and 1914. He had several times predicted related events timed to about 1910, but he could not distinctly find them in the Pyramid, as he claimed to have found for other dates. Even in 1911, just months after this 1910 question was answered, Russell said in the March 15, 1911 Watch Tower: "No doubt all of our readers have read STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol. III, the last chapter of which describes the Pyramid and sets forth much of the wonderful symbolic teachings shown in its construction. It shows the Pyramid to be in exact harmony with the Bible. Indeed, some, after reading this volume, have referred to the Great Pyramid as 'The Bible in Stone.'" Just because Russell didn't care for how well the scheme supported 1910, doesn't mean he didn't care about how it was in EXACT harmony, he claimed, with 1874, 1878, 1881 and 1914. The 1917 Finished Mystery book bragged about how Russell's chronology was written before he ever saw the Pyramid, and before he even saw any of Edgar's abundant evidences of the accuracy of Bible chronology in the Pyramid. In 1920 Rutherford went to see it, and the Watch Tower in Dec 15 reported that all the other pyramids were built under the direction of Satan except "the Great Pyramid, which was built under the Lord's supervision." In the June 15 1922 Watch Tower Rutherford published that the "present-truth chronology . . . the correspondency of dozens of measurements proves that the same God designated both pyramid and plan. . ." By 1924, it was claimed of course in the May 21, 1924 Golden Age that the Pyramid, the "Scientific Bible" verified the importance of 1874, 1914 and 1925. (This addition of the 1925 date is actually kind of hilarious if you have carefully read Charles Piazzi Smyth and Joseph Seiss, and see how Russell had re-used their material.) Also in 1924, The Way to Paradise, showed the Pyramid with the caption "GOD'S PLAN WRITTEN IN STONE." Here, it was conjectured that Shem probably built it. Russell had conjectured it was Melchizedek. This was repeated in 1925, and as late as 1926, the Watch Tower said that "advanced Bible Students believe that the Great Pyramid at Gizeh is the witness to the Lord in the Land of Egypt mentioned by the Prophet. (Isa. 19:19)" It was not until 1928 that it became a monument built "under the direction of Satan the Devil." It was now Satan's Bible and no longer "Jehovah's Witness" in stone. This was one of the reasons for the controversy when Rutherford insisted that this false information in Volume III, continue to be sold and advertised in 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, etc. And still made available for sale by the Society even in the 1940's. Special deluxe editions of the Studies in the Scriptures were still mentioned in the Kingdom Ministry as late as July 1967.
    • I get exactly what you mean, kinda like these?  "Families are free to report abuse to the authorities"  "leave it in Jehova's hands" "click on jw.orb" "the answers are on the website" "That's for Jehova to decide"  "we don't shun former members"  "we only had the library card"        
    • @JW Insider and there's your 15 minutes of fame!
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