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Albert Michelson

Should JW's punish, disfellowship, or shun members who disagree with certain teachings?

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7 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

If you don't mind, I want to go home after two hours. I don't want each meeting to be like a discussion of the WorldNewsMedia forum.

:)

Notice that I only gave 30 minutes for the "little flock/other sheep" public talk though. I think with works well with the new shorter talk guidelines, but, alas and alack, I couldn't find that topic in any of the new talk outlines.

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3 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

little flock/other sheep"

So quick question and a little off topic but, my opinion is that the other sheep were the gentiles. Is that another doctrine you disagree with or is it one you accept?

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1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

Would someone like to offer a Biblical reason why this proposed doctrine might not be correct?"

If the meetings were this open I would consider going back but only to engage in a respectful discussion. Ironically the early Bible students did this very thing. 

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15 minutes ago, Albert Michelson said:

So quick question and a little off topic but, my opinion is that the other sheep were the gentiles. Is that another doctrine you disagree with or is it on you accept?

I don't know, I haven't heard the talk yet.

Just kidding. I can see this going either way. It makes more sense to me that Jesus meant the other sheep were the literal gentiles. But then again not everything that appeared to apply to literal Israel appears to be strictly about literal Israel, and the Bible gives us some good reasons to see Israel as a kind of "type" of the heavenly Jerusalem, and of course Christ's Bride which is associated with the 144,000. Since that Bride includes people of the nations, an argument can be made for a "spiritual" rather than a "literal" application.

I'm usually for the most simple and straightforward explanation however, and I suspect that if this topic were opened up to entire congregations with only 15 minutes for each of these two perspectives -- I'd say that the simpler perspective would win the day.

Meaning of course that the difference in "little flock" and "other sheep" is this:

  • (Galatians 2:8) . . .for the one who empowered Peter for an apostleship to those who are circumcised also empowered me for those who are of the nations. . .

I think Jesus pretty much gave away the answer when he said:

  • (Matthew 15:24) He answered: “I was not sent to anyone except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
  • (John 10:16) . . .And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; those too I must bring in. . .

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2 minutes ago, Nana Fofana said:

he chooses to leave, and his father has no choice,

Compareing a carefully made decision to a  prideful rebellion doesn't really work. The two aren't remotely analogous. 

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3 minutes ago, Nana Fofana said:

You could have had and could still have a wrong impression of what the 'world' is really like.

It doesn't exist. It's a false dichotomy. The world is everyone and guess what, it's full of wonderful people and it's also filled with a$$holes just like the organization. The difference being that I'm no longer constantly being blackmailed and guilted into doing things and believing things that the organization requires. It may not mean much to you but that freedom of mind and of conscience is invaluable to me.

 

ps this is my last post of the day. 

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20 minutes ago, Albert Michelson said:

It doesn't exist. It's a false dichotomy. The world is everyone and guess what, it's full of wonderful people and it's also filled with a$$holes just like the organization. The difference being that I'm no longer constantly being blackmailed and guilted into doing things and believing things that the organization requires. It may not mean much to you but that freedom of mind and of conscience is invaluable to me.

 

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On 8/27/2017 at 10:23 PM, Albert Michelson said:

My issue isn't with the doctrines. Believe whatever you want I don't care, my issue is with the fact that those who can't keep teaching what they know to be false are punished. 

Nothing unusual about that .. the Catholics have been doing that for 1700 years ...once ANY human organization reaches a certain size, money, power, and position (or fear of losing it ..) becomes the controlling factor.  This is especially true of those claiming divine approval.

It was even true of the Japanese Empire, during WWII, with the Emperor of Japan as their god.

It "comes with the territory".  It did in Jesus' time, and it does now.

Nothing new.

Samo Samo.

There never have been any exceptions ....

There are none now.

Darth Vader and Pope   600.jpg

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14 hours ago, Nana Fofana said:

Anyway, in Romans 14 he still kept the "burden" imposed by the council in Jerusalem.

  • (Acts 15:19, 20) 19 Therefore, my decision is not to trouble those from the nations who are turning to God, 20 but to write them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from what is strangled, and from blood.

Note that it doesn't say abstain from idolatry, murder, and theft, but focuses first on "things polluted by idols." Thayer's Greek Lexicon says that the word  ἀλίσγημα here, refers to "pollution from the use of meats left from the heathen sacrifices." Obviously this meat could have been strangled, or otherwise improperly bled, and therefore contained blood. So 3 out of 4 counts from the "burden" could have been broken just by eating ἀλίσγημα.

In fact the NWT footnote on the word strangled shows that this isn't really the only idea here. It says "Or, 'what is killed without draining its blood.'" When the "burden" is repeated in verse 29, the intention is obviously the same:

  • (Acts 15:29) 29 to keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from what is strangled, and from sexual immorality. . . .

But this time the word "pollution" (implying the ritual uncleanness of the meat) is made even clearer by using the word εἰδωλόθυτος, which is translated as "meats sacrificed to idols" in some translations (KJV) or just "things sacrificed to idols." All the meat-related items are now listed next to each other and sexual immorality is pushed to the end. Notice that the NWT cross-references both "things polluted by idols" and "things sacrificed to idols" with the verse at 1 Corinthians 10:14 which says "flee from idolatry." But the verse isn't about idolatry, it's about abstaining from improperly bled meat which could be bought at a Gentile meat market. Would Gentile Christians now have to go to a Jewish meat market to get their meat? Would they have to inquire as to whether something had been strangled or otherwise bled improperly?

Just look down from 1 Cor 10:14 to verse 25-27

  • (1 Corinthians 10:25-27) Eat whatever is sold in a meat market, making no inquiry because of your conscience, . . .  27 If an unbeliever invites you and you want to go, eat whatever is set before you, making no inquiry on account of your conscience.

In fact it was only if someone else with a weaker conscience was there and pointed out:

  • (1 Corinthians 10:28, 29) 28 But if anyone says to you, “This is something offered in sacrifice,” do not eat because of the one who told you and because of conscience. 29 I do not mean your own conscience, but that of the other person. . . .

And you can probably guess, now, what the Greek word was for "something offered in sacrifice." It was the exact same word that the "Governing Body" at Jerusalem put in the "burden:" εἰδωλόθυτος. So what do you think Paul was saying about the 3 meat-related items in the list?

And we don't have any evidence that Paul only said this before the Jerusalem council met, but would have complied afterwards. It was more likely already about 6 years after. For one thing the Insight book times Acts 15 to about 49 CE. And it times 1 Corinthians to about 55 CE.

  • *** it-1 p. 257 Barnabas ***
  • In about 49 C.E., Barnabas and Paul took the burning question of circumcision of non-Jews up to the governing body in Jerusalem, and with that settled, they were soon back in Antioch preparing for their next missionary tour. (Ac 15:2-36)
  • *** nwt p. 1663 Table of the Books of the Bible ***
  • 1 Corinthians      Paul     Ephesus     c. 55[C.E.]

Paul, therefore, appears to have knocked out two or three items from the very list that came from the "Governing Body." And I don't think Paul was ever disfellowshipped for this.

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4 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Paul, therefore, appears to have knocked out two or three items from the very list that came from the "Governing Body." And I don't think Paul was ever disfellowshipped for this.

So I'm assuming you do believe the Jerusalem Council was a Governing Body and not a one time meeting to address a specific issue.

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10 hours ago, Albert Michelson said:

It doesn't exist. It's a false dichotomy. The world is everyone and guess what, it's full of wonderful people

I will partially agree on this one. It's true. Not everyone is the guide leading the blind men into a pit. Some are merely the blind men.

We have a video of someone who left the truth and came back, cautioning others to not do it. "The world will chew you up and spit you out," he says. I don't care for that video. It is not true. Sometimes 'the world' chews you up but does not spit you out. Sometimes it spits you out but does not chew you up. A prime example of the latter lies in the hospital geriatric wing, where a relative works as a nurse. She tells of people experiencing severe letdown at the curtain call, who look around and say (not literally) "is this all there is?" These are not losers. These are persons who have had successful careers and have raised caring families. But as the end draws near and their bodies ungracefully fall apart, they say "is this all there is?"

Why anyone would throw away the freedom derived from Bible knowledge for the petty freedoms this world has to offer is beyond me.

10 hours ago, Albert Michelson said:

and it's also filled with a$$holes just like the organization.

You know, I kind of like this guy. He does not hide what he is. He is not like one who comes in positively cooing love for God and all his witnesses, if only...if only....it does not come out at first....if only they would assassinate those leaders of theirs. I can't stand people like that.

10 hours ago, Albert Michelson said:

and it's also filled with a$$holes just like the organization.

It reminds me of my ill-advised aborted experience at the apostate website. There was one idiot who would give only short 'sound byte' comments, always with insulting graphics, and whenever he mentioned Jehovah's Witnesses, he would 'dollar-sign' every 'S'. Okay. Got it. He thinks we should be like John, subsisting on honey and locusts. In time, whenever I referred to him, I would dollar-sign every 's' within a two millimeter radius. (this is not to call AM an idiot - believe me, the two are poles apart in presentation, though there is some overlap)

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28 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

We have a video of someone who left the truth and came back, cautioning others to not do it. "The world will chew you up and spit you out," he says. I don't care for that video. It is not true. Sometimes 'the world' chews you up but does not spit you out. Sometimes it spits you out but does not chew you up. A prime example of the latter lies in the hospital geriatric wing, where a relative works as a nurse. She tells of people experiencing severe letdown at the curtain call, who look around and say (not literally) "is this all there is?" These are not losers. These are persons who have had successful careers and have raised caring families. But as the end draws near and their bodies ungracefully fall apart, they say "is this all there is?"

Well once again "world" is just a term that  The organization uses in order to create a sense of separation and us versus them.  I think it's commendable that you haven't bought into this nonsense and propaganda that the organization is pushing, at least not fully. However  you still seem to think that it's the world that's going to do the chewing up and spitting out.  In my experience you are more likely to be emotionally abused and psychologically harmed  in the organization than out of it.  But I suppose that's just a personal opinion and it's subjective.

 you also keep asserting that somehow by leaving the organization you've lost all hope which again is another aspect of the JW propaganda.  

First off I'd like to point out that just because you have a sense of hope for the future doesn't necessarily mean that your beliefs about the afterlife or what comes after death are correct.   Asserting that the emotional cushion that a belief  system provides is proof of its accuracy is fallacious.  I will agree with you that most people when facing death probably have a sense of regret and sadness.  You may personally feel that the comfort that you derive from your belief system is an adequate trade for  A clean conscience  but when I faced death I know for a fact that had I remained in the organization the sense of regret I would feel would be far greater and the sense of wasted time and a wasted life would be crippling.  For someone who knows the truth about the truth there is no comfort that can be derived from remaining a member of the organization. 

 

35 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:
7 hours ago, Albert Michelson said:

and it's also filled with a$$holes just like the organization.

You know, I kind of like this guy. He does not hide what he is. He is not like one who comes in positively oozing love for God and all his witnesses, if only...if only....it does not come out at first....if only they would assassinate those leaders of theirs. I can't stand people like that.

 The way you cut that sentence makes it appear as though I was saying something I wasn't.  Perhaps you just misunderstood or perhaps I didn't punctuate it properly.  The point I was making was not at the organization is filled with assholes.  The point I was trying to make is that both the organization and the world have a mixture of good people and bad people and you're not going to find a uniquely  kind and loving atmosphere in the witnesses( no matter what their propaganda says). You can find the same love, attention and affection anywhere else but without the emotional blackmail and without the extremely conditional love. 

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7 hours ago, Nana Fofana said:

You must be thinking of when the beast dumps Babylon-the -Great in favor of tech-surveillance , social-media confessional producing supposed blackmailability/controlability to the unforgiven.  We'll even have "pre-crime" -mimicing Babylon's false "predestinator" god.  Clownish peeps will have to acknowledge their "shadow-side" then, won't they ? confronted by  2 witlesses , 0's & 1's

NOPE

None of those ideas ever occurred to me, and since I am the one who created the edited graphic.... I ought to know.

I made it as a reaction to the tens of thousands of Bethel Layoffs and Special Pioneers being "shown the door" in the "Red October" Meltdown of 2015, after many years, and sometimes a lifetime of faithful service to the Corporation.

 

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1 hour ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

I made it as a reaction to the tens of thousands of Bethel Layoffs and Special Pioneers being "shown the door" in the "Red October" Meltdown of 2015, after many years, and sometimes a lifetime of faithful service to the Corporation.

Had they not been "shown the door," then you would have bitched about them living a life protected from the wild, where MEN have to struggle EVERY SINGLE DAY for existence, and one MISSTEP means INSTANT DEATH!!!

You're not the easiest guy to satisfy.

1 hour ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

None of those ideas ever occurred to me, and since I am the one who created the edited graphic.... I ought to know.

Did you also create the child baptism one with the misspelled word? Look, I have misspelled many a word here, as it is a here-today, gone-tomorrow thread. But if I were to design a graphic for posterity, I would get the spelling right.

I could design graphics, too. For example, I could picture the ten who jumped from the plane during a choppy flight. Eight are far below, with shoots open, and when the land they will resume their prior life. But two have grabbed hold of a wing, and, with tangled hair, sleet, fumes and dead birds slapping them in the face, they are desperately trying to unfurl a banner for the remaining passengers, who are barely noticing: "Jump off before it's too late! Join us!"

I could do that. But it is simply too juvenile. This from me, the guy who wears out his welcome clowning and who even kidnapped @The Librarianto make a point. (but handed her back - holy moly! that woman is obnoxious)

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4 hours ago, Albert Michelson said:

So I'm assuming you do believe the Jerusalem Council was a Governing Body and not a one time meeting to address a specific issue.

It's not that simple. I believe that if persons completely agree with the doctrines of a religion, that they wouldn't be at all concerned that a "governing body" was helping to guide the decisions of that religion. Therefore, I'm sure that most people who speak out against the concept among Jehovah's Witnesses are primarily speaking out against the doctrines that are promoted through this governing body.

So I do believe that the Jerusalem Council acted in a very similar capacity to the Governing Body in several of its current activities and services.  

I don't favor the terms "governing body" or even "elder body"/"body of elders". I don't believe there is any "body" within the "body of Christ" which is his whole congregation. And "governors" is pretty much the opposite of the idea at 2 Cor 1:24

  • (2 Corinthians 1:24) 24 Not that we are the masters over your faith, but we are fellow workers for your joy, for it is by your faith that you are standing.

That said, I cannot say that I find anything wrong with the service of such a body of elders who handle matters for the entire worldwide congregation, any more than I would find anything wrong with the service of such a body of elders in any local congregation. (Or even an ad hoc committee of elders from multiple congregations if a situation warrants that.) As a large group performing a worldwide activity, we will always find ourselves in need of decisions that no one person could easily make, especially because that one person might not be in a position to hear input from everyone. Remember Jethro's counsel to Moses about appointing capable men as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.

One brother at Bethel, who was defending the leadership style of Rutherford at the time, likened it to picking a carpet color for the Kingdom Hall. If everyone showed perfect love and humility, then everyone would want to unselfishly defer that decision to someone else, and no one would decide. But there are always some who are willing to just decide. These may not come across as the most loving and humble, but they are necessary to the efficient running of a large enterprise among an association of persons.

In Jerusalem, I think it was initially a local problem, a problem started by the Jerusalem congregation, so that made it appropriate for the Jerusalem congregation to decide what they ought to do to fix their own mess. They discussed it and asked for the holy spirit to guide them. It was a body of respected elders, associated with, but not equal to, the apostles who had recently devoted themselves to matters of teaching and studying. This is surely a useful model for something like the group we call the "governing body." Questions come up on a wide scale and centralized direction on these issues is a welcome service.

The problem, of course, is not the idea of "service" but with the "authority." This is surely what Jesus meant when he said:

  • (Matthew 23:10-12) 10 Neither be called leaders, for your Leader is one, the Christ. 11 But the greatest one among you must be your minister. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Of course, Paul wanted to make sure that no one thought these particular men in Jerusalem had some kind of "authority" such that he was commissioned by them, or took assignments just because of them, or accepted their word as law. But he showed respect and followed their counsel to the extent that he could. (See Galatians & 1st and 2nd Corinthians, in general.) I don't think he would have gone to such lengths to diminish the appearance of authority of the Jerusalem council if there wasn't some kind of "appearance of authority" that seemed obvious and even correct to most Christians at the time.

In 2013 the NWT changed the word "tutor" to "guardian" in a few places, and the GB began describing their own role as "guardians of doctrine" with its ill-advised acronym. And this resulted in 1 Cor 4:15-17 offering the following idea:

  • (1 Corinthians 4:15-17) 15 For though you may have 10,000 guardians in Christ, you certainly do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus, I have become your father through the good news. 16 I urge you, therefore, become imitators of me. 17 That is why I am sending Timothy to you, because he is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord. He will remind you of my methods in connection with Christ Jesus, just as I am teaching everywhere in every congregation.

Paul saw himself as a kind of "father" in spite of Jesus words that no one is to be called "father" as a title of authority. So he clearly didn't mean it as a title but as a reminder of his love and concern and guidance. But just as important is that the Law had been a guardian or tutor leading to Christ, but now there were at least 10,000 Christians in the overall "world-wide" organization of the time, and all of them were guardians. (Based on the number of baptisms mentioned in Acts.)

Paul looked for a way to get his methods and teaching spread, not just for initial conversion to Christianity, but to remind current Christians in each and every congregation of the proper methods and teaching. But note that all Christians were guardians of each other, or tutors of each other. The role of guardian is not therefore a position of "authority." But there is a "service" that such a committee of elders can provide. For the most part I see them trying to fill this role. I also think they try, at present, to go beyond that role into a role of governing or authority.

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Apologies if I cut off the sentence wrong.

2 hours ago, Albert Michelson said:

Well once again "world" is just a term that  The organization uses in order to create a sense of separation and us versus them.

The Bible uses the term. The organization simply picks up on it.

 

2 hours ago, Albert Michelson said:

I know for a fact that had I remained in the organization the sense of regret I would feel would be far greater and the sense of wasted time and a wasted life would be crippling.

Oh give me a break. How meaningful can life be in a system where ISIS, dementia, cancer, or simple human greed can snuff it out in a second? "Sayanara!" your longtime employer sings out, as he packs up for overseas. "Dust off that resume, why don't you?  And that family and financial obligations you have? FUGEDABOUDIT!" It is as Solomon says: he's seen footmen on horses and kings slogging though the mud. Of course you can get some satisfaction out of life today. More power to you if you have. But many ultimately find it is like chomping down hard on cotton candy - though it looked substantial, there was nothing much there.

The thing you are orgasmic about is that you have chosen a place where no one can tell you what to do. Fine. I think it's a poor trade-off but there's nothing to stop anyone from choosing it. Yet by immersing oneself in 'the world' (I am not reformed from saying it) you are likely to find that manipulation from human scheming in the form of Big Government, Big Business or Big Independent Wisdom ultimately take such a toll that the Governing Body will look positively like doddering and kindly old grandparents in comparison.

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2 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

though it looked substantial, there was nothing much there.

Funny that's exactly how being a witness was/is for many people I know. 

 

2 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

The thing you are orgasmic about is that you have chosen a place where no one can tell you what to do.

No the thing that I'm "all orgasmic about" is the freedom to do objective analysis of claims and to speak and believe honesty. As I said before the comfort you receive from the answers you get from your leaders is all fine and good but don't act like because you get to feel all warm and fuzzy inside that that says anything about the truthfulness of your beliefs or that someone else is going to see that as a fair trade for honesty. 

 

2 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

ou are likely to find that manipulation from human scheming in the form of Big Government, Big Business or Big Independent Wisdom ultimately take such a toll that the Governing Body will look positively like doddering and kindly old grandparents in comparison

Nope I find them equally manipulative ( except for big independent thinking idk what that is) however the difference at least in the country I live in is that I'm allowed to  openly criticize this corruption and pointed out.  As I said before you may feel that the warm feelies are a good trade off for intellectual honesty and freedom of thought/speech but I do not. 

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2 hours ago, Albert Michelson said:

( except for big independent thinking idk what that is)

'Big Independent Thinking' is a clumsy term I devised on the spot to supplement the other 'Bigs.'  It is simply the stupid memes that catch on as wisdom, but invariably fall apart, often causing great harm. Here is an example from a book that the domineering @The Librarianrefuses to stock in her library, though it should replace at least half the rubbish she has sagging the shelves:

I found another atheist on the internet. This one was also raised a Witness, as was Brian. He too, was still a kid. It’s unbelievable! In his heady days of breaking break free!!!!!!!!!! he gushed on about his newfound ‘rationalism’ for the benefit of everyone else:

"Rationalism for me means a life of pure freedom. ..... But this means that this life that you’re living now is the most precious thing you’ll ever have. .... Because there is no Big Daddy to appease or suck up to, or be afraid of, you should be nice to people because it’s nice! You should treat people like you want to be treated! You should not steal or murder because it hurts people, and hurting people is wrong. Always. No one needs a god to tell them this.....Being a rationalist....If you say something irrational or realize the error in your own thoughts, a red flag immediately raises. .....rationalism is a worldview with no drawbacks, and only positives. It encourages honesty and truth.....It promotes interest in the common good..."

The idiot! The young naïve idiot! Why does he leave? Because he wants to go where there is no Big Daddy to suck up to! It doesn’t occur to him that with the gamut of human governments, the casinos that are world economies, the health woes that lead straight to death, he will do so much sucking up that God and the Governing Body will seem like doddering indulgent grandparents in comparison....‘C’mon, Tom, don’t be so hard on him! That’s the nature of inexperienced youth. They make mistakes.’ ...Agreed. All is forgiven. But what about the experienced liars that have misled him?

How lofty and soaring his words of rationalism sound! How much crap they are in reality! ‘The Toxins Trickle Downward’ (Economist, March 14, 2009) examined fallout from the financial crisis triggered by the misdeeds of those at the top of finance and government. Credit markets were now closed to the third world poor, commodity prices vital to their survival had collapsed, and remittances from citizens working abroad had dried up. The World Bank reckoned the crisis would account for 200,000 - 400,000 African lives lost, all children.

People at the top had used their “pure freedom,” to grind others into the dirt, and not to “treat people like you want to be treated!” (an exclamation mark, no less; oh, the joys of rationalism!) They were not “nice to people.” They “hurt people,” even though “hurting people is wrong.” Not only did they “hurt people” – they killed them, two to four hundred thousand of them!” All children! Plainly, we do need a “Big Daddy to appease” and a “god to tell us how to live.”

If you had had a son or daughter high up in the banking world back then, who was devising the complex financial instruments that would ultimately ruin us all, even killing the poor, you would have carried on about how well Junior was doing for himself, how respected he was in his career, and so forth. You wouldn’t have said ‘too bad he killed a few hundred thousand in Africa.’ You wouldn’t even have known about it. There is sufficient disconnect in this world’s construction so that the players on top can remain oblivious to the havoc they wreak below, oblivious to any need for soul-searching, until Eisenhower comes along and rubs their noses into it like the German mayor and the concentration camp.

The failure of human rule could not have been shown in more stark relief as in that article, with consequences so directly traceable to the human wisdom running the show. Russian President Vladimir Putin was both blunt and harsh: “Everything happening now in the economic and financial sphere began in the United States. This is not the irresponsibility of specific individuals but the irresponsibility of the system that claims leadership.” In 2016 America, all that remained was to Photoshop Putin with horns, gleefully pecking at his keyboard, doing his level best to hack the American election, but it was he who nailed it about unrestrained greed.

The 2011 film ‘Inside Job’ expressed dismay that no “specific individuals” were brought to justice: Charles Ferguson (film director): “Why do you think there isn’t a more systematic investigation being undertaken?” Nouriel Roubini (professor, NYU Business School): “Because then you will find the culprits.” Culprits and regulators alike belonged to the same social set and were members of the same country clubs; they had no desire to turn on one another.

Humans were not designed to rule themselves. It’s not an ability they have, the same as they cannot flap their arms and fly. Whether through greed, ignorance, pride, cowardice, or some mix of the four, the record of human rule aptly illustrates Jeremiah’s words:

I well know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step. (Jeremiah 10:23)

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16 hours ago, JW Insider said:

And, of course, shunning and punishment should never be used for persons who have questioned a doctrine for Biblical reasons.

That's really the crux of all the problems with the organization. Rank-and-file JWs do not have the right to question any doctrines--even with Biblical support. Only the GB can correctly interpret the Bible. Only the GB can make "refinements" in doctrine. If we have a disagreement with a doctrine, we must quietly wait with the hope that it might get changed someday.

A Governing Body taking the lead is not a bad thing. It keeps our organization...organized. But the Governing Body has no external auditor to scrutinize its ideas. The Bible should be that external auditor, but the Bible and the GB are intertwined. The Bible can't stand apart from the GB. Only the GB's interpretations of Scriptures are correct. Therefore, they can always discern the Bible in a way that supports the status quo.

I believe that's the case with the "two overlapping generations" theory. For decades, the organization said the generation was one group that saw Jesus' presence in 1914--it was apostasy to suggest otherwise. It's clear now that that idea was wrong. I guess a combination of ego and a fear of losing credibility means the GB won't let go of 1914 and the generation. So, they force the square peg in a round hole. They use weak Biblical evidence to make the old idea "work" while maintaining a sense of urgency (the second group is older now so we must be close!!). It's not about a Bible interpretation that makes the most sense anymore. It's about maintaining the facade that the org knows what it's doing and that we are still on the threshold of the new system. No doubt in a few decades (if this system persists) another "refinement" will come along that will have the same purpose (wash, rinse, repeat). If you type random numbers in a keypad it may eventually unlock, and eventually this system will end. So, if the org exists at that time of the end maybe they can say they were right to keep us on the edge--even if the evidence was incorrect. (I believe they use this justification currently in God's Kingdom Rules! paraphrasing from memory: "We were wrong on this but it kept everyone zealous at that time.")

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    • By Kurt
      Here's something you may not have seen, from the JW archives, a countdown to Armegeddon as we once believed would occur in oct 1914. Our brothers used this to help them keep track on their faith. Just a bit of JW history.
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    • By The Librarian
      Master Chronological List > 1914
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  pointed to 1914 as the end of the "Gentile Times" or "The Appointed Times of the Nations."

      Subsequent President of the  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.   Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  established 1914 as the date of "Christ's Invisible Return" and crowning as King of  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.   Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  which had been previously believed to be 1878. Hence, Jehovah's heavenly Kingdom is established.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  teach that Satan and his demons were cast down to earth from heaven after October 1, 1914 at which point the end times began.

      From 1914 C.E. to the early part of 1918 C.E. or 1,260 days Jehovah's people preached a "sackcloth" message concerning Christendom and the world, in fulfillment of Revelation 11:3, 4. See re pgs. 164-7 pars. 10-18, also see yw pgs. 264-307, also bf pg. 592.

      [KING OF THE NORTH is now Germany, the KING OF THE SOUTH is the alliance between Great Britian and the United States of America, see Daniel 11:27-29], Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife, Countess Sophie Chotek, duchess of Hohenberg were assassinated on June 28th in Sarajevo, Bosnia, (now in Bosnia and Herzegovina), by a Serb nationalist. This action precipitated World War I. 
       
      On October 2, 1914, Jesus took the throne. Shortly thereafter, a war in heaven broke out wherein Satan and his demons were cast from the heavens. Satan then became so enraged that he began to wreak havoc upon the earth. One of the first things he did was to start the Great War (WWI). So WWI must have started a few days after October 2, 1914.
       
      “World War I set the violent twentieth century in motion. It was the first use of chemical weapons; the first mass bombardment of civilians from the sky; the century’s first genocide.” So begins the 1996 PBS series The Great War and the Shaping of the Twentieth Century.


      The war’s horrendous prosecution and unsatisfactory end were made even worse by the Versailles Peace Conference, a conclave which created the false peace that only allowed the combatants to rearm and proceed to a second conflict which was even more destructive than the first one. World War II merely took up the Great War’s unfinished business. Indeed many historians call both conflicts Europe’s “Second Thirty Years’ War.”

      The First World War led to the birth of the first communist dictatorship. The world flirted with nuclear destruction as that dictatorship engaged in a murderous rivalry with its erstwhile allies. When the USSR finally imploded, some of the splinter states which emerged from its ruins fell to either fighting among themselves or suffering internecine bloodletting. And the problems elsewhere in southwest Asia as well as the Middle East can be traced to hatreds fostered by European colonialism which the Great War only intensified.

      The world we have today had its birth pangs in World War I. It was Austria-Hungary’s invasion of Serbia on 28 July 1914 that caused a myriad of dominoes to fall—and they are continuing to tumble even now.


      The war shattered an entire world order. In 1914, sixty percent of the world's population lived under the rule of kingdoms or empires. Today less than ten percent do so. The only important royal dynasty to survive the war was the House of Windsor and that was not without challenge. The fragmentation of these empires led to the rise of independent states which continues down to this day as the doctrine of "self-determination", promulgated by Wilson at Versailles, continues to govern many movements in our time.

      But what makes the Great War different from its predecessors is that it was the first fought in all four quarters of the globe and by blocs of nations as opposed to just a few. Its carnage also was unmatched in previous world history. Nobody knows how many actually died although estamates range from fourteen to twenty million. Among its aftershocks were the Spanish Flu, the pandemic that killed more people than the war itself, and widespread famine. So to say that the Great War was not much different from earlier ones entirely misses the point,
       
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      July 28, 1914. Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia. August 1, 1914. Germany Declares War on Russia. August 3, 1914. Germany declares war on France. August 4, 1914. Britain declares war on Germany. August 6, 1914. Austria declares war on Russia. April 6, 1917 - The United States declares war on Germany.
      Depiction from the 
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      1914-2014 - One Hundred Years of Kingdom Rule!

      Where did you find the theme text for 1914?

      Jesus said that "This generation will not pass away until all these things occur." Did he mean the generation that saw saw World War 1 in 1914?

      What shows that Christ became King in 1914?

      When Jesus began ruling as King in 1914, was that the start of the Millennial reign of the Messianic Kingdom?

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      Watchtower Publications from 1914
      YearText: “Be strong and courageous.” Joshua 1:9
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      Berean Studies on The New Creation - C.T. Russell 
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      Return to the 
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      Watchtower_May_15_1984_pages_1_to_7.pdf
      Previous Watchtower Publications quotations concerning 1914
      “Some persons living A.D. 1914 when the series of foretold events began will also be living when the series ends with Armageddon.” - The Watchtower, September 1, 1952, p. 543

      THE TRAIN ILLUSTRATION - Awake!, October 8, 1968, p. 5

      “The fact that fifty-four years of the period called the ‘last days’ have already gone by is highly significant. It means that only a few years, at most, remain before the corrupt system of things dominating the earth is destroyed by God...Jesus was obviously speaking about those who were old enough to witness with understanding what took place when the ‘last days’ began. Jesus was saying that some of those persons who were alive at the appearance of the ‘sign of the last days’ would still be alive when God brought this system to its end.” - Awake!, October 8, 1968, p. 13


      “But there are people still living who were alive in 1914 and saw what was happening then and who were old enough that they still remember those events. This generation is getting up in years now. A great number of them have already passed away in death. Yet Jesus very pointedly said: ‘This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.’ Some of them will still be alive to see the end of this wicked system. This means that only a short time is left before the end comes!” -  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.

      “However, there are people still living who were alive in 1914 and saw what was happening then and who were old enough that they still remember those events. This generation is getting up in years now. A great number of them have already passed away in death. Yet Jesus very pointedly said: ‘This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.’ Some of them will still be alive to see the end of this wicked system. This means that only a short time is left before the end comes!” - The Watchtower, February 15, 1969, p. 101

      “Men of this world offer you nothing stable, nothing sure. Their promises and predictions of better things have failed time and again. Why let yourself be carried along with them in a steadily downward course to ultimate disaster due to rejecting God’s will? God’s prophetic Word has not failed. Time has confirmed its truthfulness, its unerring accuracy. The generation that saw the start of the time of distress that began in 1914 is now dwindling in numbers. Before it passes off the scene the prophesied ‘great tribulation’ will come. You can be among the joyful survivors, experience deliverance from a world system that has proved oppressive, unworkable and death dealing.” - The Watchtower, February 1, 1971, p. 69

      “And the remaining ones of that generation of 1914 are still talking about it. Some of them will be talking about it right down to the time when the ‘great tribulation’ wipes Satan’s wicked system of things off the face of our globe. For Jesus Christ himself assures us: ‘Truly I say to you that this generation [the generation that saw the ‘beginning of pangs of distress’ in 1914] will by no means pass away [completely] until all these things occur. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.’--Matthew 24:3,8,34,35.” - The Watchtower, May 1, 1982, p. 15

      “After drawing attention to the many things that have marked the period from 1914 onward, Jesus said: ‘This generation will by no means pass away until all these things [including the end of this system] occur.’ (Matthew 24:34,14) Which generation did Jesus mean? He meant the generation of people who were living in 1914. Those persons yet remaining of that generation are now very old. However, some of them will still be alive to see the end of this wicked system. So of this we can be certain: Shortly now there will be a sudden end to all wickedness and wicked people at Armageddon. Some of the generation living in 1914 will see the end of the system of things and survive it.” -  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.

      ILLUSTRATION: “1914 The Generation That Will Not Pass Away” - The Watchtower, May 15, 1984, title page

      “If Jesus used ‘generation’ in that sense and we apply it to 1914, then the babies of that generation are now 70 years old or older. And others alive in 1914 are in their 80’s or 90’s, a few even having reached a hundred. There are still many millions of that generation alive. Some of them ‘will by no means pass away until all things occur.’ --Luke 21:32” - The Watchtower, May 15, 1984, p. 5

      “From a purely human viewpoint, it could appear that these developments could hardly take place before the generation of 1914 disappears from the scene. But fulfillment of all the foretold events affecting the generation of 1914 does not depend on comparatively slow human action. Jehovah’s prophetic word through Christ Jesus is: ‘This generation [of 1914] will by no means pass away until all things occur.’ (Luke 21:32) And Jehovah, who is the source of inspired and unfailing prophecy, will bring about the fulfillment of his Son’s words in a relatively short time.--Isaiah 46:9,10; 55:10,11.”
      - The Watchtower, May 15, 1984, pp. 6-7

      “Today, a small percentage of mankind can still recall the dramatic events of 1914. Will that elderly generation pass away before God saves the earth from ruin? Not according to Bible prophecy. ‘When you see all these things,’ Jesus promised, ‘know that he is near at the doors. Truly I say to you that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.’--Matthew 24:33,34” - The Watchtower, May 1, 1992, p. 3

      “Most important, this magazine builds confidence in the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure new world before the generation that saw the events of 1914 passes away.” - Awake!, October 22, 1995, p. 4


      “Eager to see the end of this evil system, Jehovah’s people have at times speculated about the time when the ‘great tribulation’ would break out, even tying this to calculations of what is the lifetime of a generation since 1914. However, we ‘bring a heart of wisdom in,’ not by speculating about how many years or days make up a generation, but by thinking about how we ‘count our days’ in bringing joyful praise to Jehovah. (Psalm 90:12) Rather than provide a rule for measuring time, the term ‘generation’ as used by Jesus refers principally to contemporary people of a certain historical period, with their identifying characteristics.” - The Watchtower, November 1, 1995, p. 17


      “Therefore, in the final fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy today, ‘this generation’ apparently refers to the peoples of earth who see the sign of Christ’s presence but fail to mend their ways...Does our more precise viewpoint on ‘this generation’ mean that Armageddon is further away than we had thought? Not at all! Though we at no time have known the ‘day and hour,’ Jehovah God has always known it, and he does not change.” - The Watchtower, November 1, 1995, pp. 19-20

      “Most important, this magazine builds confidence in the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure new world that is about to replace the present wicked, lawless system of things.” - Awake!, November 8, 1995, p. 4
       
      One hundred years on from the Great War

       
    • By Jack Ryan
      If the love you have for your children is predicated on their beliefs, you don't love your children you love YOUR beliefs
    • By Jack Ryan
      In previous decades, when someone was disfellowshipped, they were told their time would be 6 months. Now it’s a full year?
      Why did that change from 6 mo to a year? and are they getting more ppl to come back with the increased time? With the less members staying in the org, you would think they want to lower the “jail time “
      Also are there any other religions that gives you months or years of time out, if you commit a sin, even if you actually want to come back?
      Also any former elders here? Why is there a standard set time for everyone? And why can they reject someone’s letter who wants to come back? Don’t they need more members ?
    • By Jack Ryan
      Jehovah's Witness Organization Redefines Shunning to Falsely.mp4
      Every JW visiting this page should MORALLY comment below and publicly state that this JW Lawyer is LYING through his teeth to the Canadian Supreme Court.
      If you don't, YOU participate in this gross sin. Because you ALL KNOW this is a false statement.
      Remember as well that this JW Lawyer is also an Officer of the Court.
      What the courts do not know is that JW's consider outright lying in court a part of "theocratic warfare" just like Muslims do. So it is a virtue to them.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. SMH.
      Can you spell P-E-R-J-U-R-Y?
    • By Jack Ryan
      "Sunday, December 30
      Asa’s heart was complete with Jehovah all his life.—1 Ki. 15:14.
      Each of us can examine his heart to see if it is fully devoted to God. Ask yourself, ‘Am I determined to please Jehovah, to defend true worship, and to protect his people from any corrupting influence?’ For example, what if someone close to you has to be disfellowshipped? Would you take decisive action by ceasing to associate with that person? What would your heart move you to do? Like Asa, you can show that you have a complete heart by fully relying on God when you are faced with opposition, even some that may seem insurmountable. You may be teased or ridiculed at school for taking a stand as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Or colleagues at work may taunt you for taking days off for spiritual activities or for not often working overtime. In such situations, pray to God, just as Asa did. (2 Chron. 14:11) Remain firm for what you know is right and wise. Remember that God strengthened and helped Asa, and He will strengthen you.
      w17.03 3:6-8 "

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By Jack Ryan
      This was a case where in June 1987, the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld the Witnesses' right to shun those who fail to live by the group's standards and doctrines, upholding the ruling of a lower court.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Has there been any cases after this, where DF cases went to court? Have there been cases in other countries were DF decisions were challenged and reversed?
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      Here in the United States we have Cable TV with such things as "History Channel", "Discovery Channel", "Scifi Channel", and "A&E" the "Arts and Entertainment Channel".  Apparently around November 13 of this year they had a famous (?) TV star, Leah Remini,  who had been a Scientologist since she was eight years old turn Apostate, and she has done at least two TV seasons exposing the ills of the Church of Scientology", do an Expose' of Jehovah's Witnesses.
      I do not watch TV as a rule, and missed it, and I spent a few days looking for it and trying to download a copy.  It was not on YouTube, but I did find it under "Aftermath Jehovah's Witnesses" on the Russian equivalent of YouTube, "Rutube.ru". It would not download with my usual download software, so I had to find a free screen capture software, which took about four hours to get the settings just right, and I was able to download the two hour program from my monitor, as it was playing.
      Therefore, I watched the TV program three times, as I experimented with the settings to get a good screen copy to my hard drive..
      I could see both sides of the program viewpoints presented, and did not find us to be misrepresented in any way whatsoever ... but if there was EVER a clear example of the Law of Unintended Consequences, the horror the Governing Body has caused in disfellowshipping the way that it is currently done ... by ripping families apart, and creating  irreparable damage that can never be corrected with reinstatement, was chilling, and puts us in the same class as Scientologists ... which completely disregarding the horror and hardsip, and cruelty without any mercy whatsoever it creates locally, shames Jehovah's Name and Reputation over the whole planet.
      I don't believe there is anything a local Jehovah's Witness could do ... rob a bank ... have a harem ... have sex with horses ... etc., ad nauseum ... that would besmirch Jehovah's name and reputation globally as much as our current blatantly cruel public policies of destroying whole families for the sins of one person.
      I am very glad to have the education I have to know that the TRUTH is still the truth .... even though the 85% drivel has rotted and fermented into rotten sewage.
      Most JWs do NOT have this educational advantage ... so their lives are permanently destroyed.
      I don't expect much from people, and almost NOTHING from groups of people .... so for me, like getting one of those great salads at the Olive Garden Restaurant, and finding a big chunk of solid sewage in it ... I hold my nose, and eat around it.
      This TV Special is global news .... what could I possibly say to the average person that would clear the Name of God, that the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, NOT THE TELEVISION PROGRAM, has corrupted by its Pharisaic policies that have real world consequences?
      The exact same thing happened in ancient Israel, and a system that God blessed and supported for a thousand years and more was abandoned by God.
      The exact same thing.
       
       
       
       
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      CAN A PERSON ... OR SHOULD A PERSON . BE DISFELLOWSHIPPED IN ABSTENSIA?
      Here is the situation .....  a person REPORTED to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses is accused, and NOT convicted ( ... because he is a fugitive from Justice ...) .....

      Apparently he was at one time in a "Position Of Authority", which possibly alludes to his being an  "Elder", and he may have relocated to another State or even another Country. Possibly using an alias.
      The  various Congregation Elders cannot find him, the Society cannot find him, and the U.S. Marshal's Service cannot find him.
      Not having any indication to the contrary ... at least from the information given in the pseudo-Wanted Poster shown above, he is possibly still officially one of Jehovah's Witnesses.
      Whether he is or not, his bad example raises an interesting  aspect of trying to figure out how the disfellowshipping "system" protocol actually works.
      Can any of the Congregations  he went to disfellowship him without his being present  to answer charges ?
      ... and SHOULD he be?
       
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      DO  WE STILL  DISFELLOWSHIP  THE  MENTALLY  ILL ?
      I was a teenager in the 60's,  and I had a good friend that on Scout camping trips I introduced to the Truth, and I was there in NYC at Yankee Stadium when he was baptized as one of Jehovah's Witness. He was a true "straight arrow", and pioneered, always dressed immaculately, and eventually over the years became an Elder.
      One night, at an Elder's Meeting, he announced to the other Elders that he was Jesus Christ, and that his mother was the virgin Mary, and of course he was disfellowshipped.
      He spent several years in private mental institutions until his insurance money ran out, then in a State institution for several years.
      He called me up, and told me the story, and I told him I was the Great Turtleman, and every November, before I hibernated, I rose from the swamp and gave toys to all the good little boys and girls.  I was just pulling his leg, but he was dead serious.
      Later, he was in England, while his wife was trying without success to get him to take his medications, and fell over a balcony at Heathrow Airport and got killed.
      DO  WE STILL  DISFELLOWSHIP  THE  MENTALLY  ILL ?
       
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