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JOHN BUTLER

Apostles, Judas, GB, Raymond, Satan, Holy Spirit

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1 hour ago, FelixCA said:

Can we also say you don’t have proof Fred Franz didn’t?

That's true. I have no proof that Fred Franz didn't. But if Fred Franz really had challenged the book in any way, that surely would have been huge news. Some Witness somewhere would surely have made a note of it. Interesting, however, that some Witnesses have said that they first heard about certain controversial issues (re: WTS history) in this book by R.Franz, and believed that some of these things could not really be true. But then Frederick Franz gave a talk in 1985, about two years after the book CoC came out, and confirmed many of the same controversial issues out of his own mouth. You can hear it here:

    Hello guest!

It's a 1 hour and 33 minute talk, but you can find about 10 minutes of excerpts from it in shorter versions on YouTube. Obviously, Fred Franz didn't mention the book, but he surely had a chance to challenge something in it, and instead he either purposely or inadvertently expresses agreement with many details that some Witnesses had first seen in R.Franz book, and had found difficult to believe.

But the main point, of course, is that your "redirection" above sounds like evidence that you didn't have any specific examples after all. Until you offer any, I'll assume that you found no evidence of inaccurate details in the book.

1 hour ago, FelixCA said:

I’m not mentally challenged spiritually to accept apostate literature that you seem to want to promote.

I'm not trying to promote the book. I don't know his motives for writing it. I only know what he claimed, and those claims might be true, and they might be untrue. If his claimed reasons are true, then it is very understandable why he felt it necessary to write the book. If they are false, then we can probably impute all kinds of wrong reasons for him to write such a book.

1 hour ago, FelixCA said:

This person angered over being overlooked for president is a classic case of narcissism.

Maybe he was. I don't know of anyone who had evidence that he was being overlooked or if even if he was actually being considered the prime choice after Fred Franz. I was handling assignments for Brother Albert Schroeder at the time Schroeder was involved in a kind of campaign against R.Franz, and I did get a very strong sense that Brother Schroeder did not want to be overlooked for the office of President. So it is possible that R.Franz was like him, too. I only knew R.Franz through reputation and his 15 minute comments when it was his weekly rotation at "morning worship."

I can tell you that among many serious Bethelites, including many Bethel Elders in the late 1970's and up until 1980, there was a lot of talk that R.Franz would be the most likely candidate for next president after his uncle died. This was one of the reasons that news of his resignation from the Governing Body, and news of his leaving Bethel shocked so many brothers and sisters. There was even a lot of crying, and a line of people waiting at his door to say good-bye to him and his wife the day they left Bethel. But just because a person has a humble and loving reputation, you still don't know what is going on in their heart.

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@Anna  I quoted from FelixCA  " If you’re a person that is looking for excuses to fade or leave, promote this book if you must, just keep the Watchtower and faithful followers of Christ out. Perhaps JW only would be more suitable to discuss this among yourselves since no one will be able to refute misguided understanding." 

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40 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

expresses agreement with many details that some Witnesses had first seen in R.Franz book, and had found difficult to believe.

I can see that it would have been difficult to challenge some of these things, because by themselves, if stated completely factually, without any emotion whatsoever, they were unchallengeable. What was disputable though (in my opinion) was the tone and implication of the things that RF wrote, that could be, and were, misleading.  He was definitely not without bias, and I could point out a number of statements he made that were 'twisted'. (I would have to look for this again because I do not think I made a note of them, and if I did it was quite a long time ago, so I don't think I could find them that easily, but I do remember there was quite a number).

My point is; I think that if  Fred Franz would have made some effort in pointing out these obvious biases and subtle misrepresentations he would have had to do so by writing a book himself, as a kind of rebuttal, rather than talking about them. And you and I both know that this is not an option the GB consider.

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15 minutes ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

@Anna  I quoted from FelixCA  " If you’re a person that is looking for excuses to fade or leave, promote this book if you must, just keep the Watchtower and faithful followers of Christ out. Perhaps JW only would be more suitable to discuss this among yourselves since no one will be able to refute misguided understanding." 

Sure, but I was asking about YOUR definition

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20 minutes ago, Anna said:

What was disputable though (in my opinion) was the tone and implication of the things that RF wrote, that could be, and were, misleading.  He was definitely not without bias, and I could point out a number of statements he made that were 'twisted'.

This book became a long, ongoing conversation for a few years among my former roommates at Bethel and another Bethelite who was a groomsman at my wedding, and a friend who had remained in the Writing Department for 30 years after my last Bethel assignment. (In 4 years at Bethel, I had 5 different roommates, and four of them have talked to me about the book.) This doesn't prove anything, but a former roommate (Service/Correspondence), and the brother in Writing, have both confirmed that copies of R.Franz books were kept in the Writing Dept "special" library since the early 1980's.

Of course, he had bias. And I'm sure he would only choose or emphasize details that would lead one toward that same bias. We are all taught to do that, because there is nothing wrong with bias if it's a bias toward what's true. And, though I don't have proof yet, I also think he was wrong about a couple of things, too. But I tend to think he was factually accurate because I have found good corroboration for a couple of things I personally questioned. Also because it is much more important for someone in his position to pay more than the usual attention to all details claimed, for the same reasons that an outsider plaintiff must be extra careful in a "David v. Goliath" type of court case. One false claim and you get crushed.

If you can recall any of those items you thought "twisted" that could be very important to the current discussion.

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2 hours ago, Anna said:

So my point was that we should not be surprised if someone we previously considered good turns bad.

I do agree.

2 hours ago, Anna said:

I do not believe however that Judas was "destined" to be bad, as that would have deprived him of the freedom of choice that has been given to all intelligent creatures in heaven and on earth. 

 

We all have free will, anyone can and accept the cleansing Word of Christ…unless we have already chosen and ultimately “sealed” our heart to follow another path.   Jesus knew Judas’ hardened, unbending heart condition,  before he was chosen among the twelve.  Scriptures reveal this fact.  John  13:18 (Ps 41:9); John 8:31

None of the teachings by Christ absolved him of his sins.  John 12:4-6; 13:10,11

His prophetic role is verified in the Hebrew scriptures.  Acts 1:16-20; (Ps 69:25; 109:8)

Free will is expressed by our heart’s desire.  This man’s heart made the free choice to pursue evil before joining with Christ.

While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.  John 17:12

 “The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?
10 I, the Lord, search the heart,
I search (examine, investigate) the mind, (the most secret parts)
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings." 
Jer 17:9,10

God knows the end of all things from the beginning, including the sway of our heart.  Isa 46:10

 

 

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36 minutes ago, Anna said:

Sure, but I was asking about YOUR definition

Those seeking truth, not position or just friendship. People like myself, but better than me, that don't mind being shunned for truth. 

And it seems there are people on here looking for truth rather than looking for the easy way. 

The JW Org is the easy way now because there are so many JW's that a person can live their whole life in the Org. 

That is why so many are frightened of the Elders, and frightened to look for truth, because being in the Org has become a comfortable way of life in the Western world. To lose the Org for some people would be the worst thing that could ever happen to them. 

Hence many chose the GB and JW Org, over God and Jesus Christ. 

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23 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

If you can recall any of those items you thought "twisted" that could be very important to the current discussion.

Yes, I figured as much xD. I am back on my laptop, slowly recovering from my...whatever virus it was....but I also have a lot of work I have to catch up on so I can't fully concentrate on here. But of course time allowing I will search for it, if it means I have to read the book again! The problem also with any active Witness who would like to write some kind of rebuttal and put their name to it is practically impossible, for obvious reasons, therefore the book has remained largely unchallenged, I think. It definitely gives much impetus to those who are looking for an excuse to get out though.

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1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

That's true. I have no proof that Fred Franz didn't. But if Fred Franz really had challenged the book in any way, that surely would have been huge news. Some Witness somewhere would surely have made a note of it. Interesting, however, that some Witnesses have said that they first heard about certain controversial issues (re: WTS history) in this book by R.Franz, and believed that some of these things could not really be true. But then Frederick Franz gave a talk in 1985, about two years after the book CoC came out, and confirmed many of the same controversial issues out of his own mouth.

Wouldn’t that be the point for Raymond? Self-serving especially having to rely on people like Carl to make a comparison. Was this an ExJW’s dream come true? I would imagine there were more members at Bethel that would disagree with the interest of Raymond’s book, possed.

I have several Bethel members at my hall that didn’t find the appeal on how Raymond coined the phrase the truth. Therefore, I don’t see any benefit for true Christians, maybe someone that poison the well like butler but that’s just hurting him.

But just like anything, being critical of the Bible student era has always been an argument for those that apostasy. What other misbegotten did Raymond inherit by following others rather than trust in God what he accomplished for the Watchtower just to throw it away because of pride?

Everything that goes inside at Bethel is not always made public no matter how hard anyone thinks the GB is an open book. So, no, if someone would have been critical of Raymond, it wouldn’t be ritually exposed.

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2 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

It is understandable for me to see your disappoint about R.F. or similar characters inside JW. Yes, perhaps your view about him is correct. But for many of us is of less concern why he wrote a book about GB and WT. We can feel sorrow for him or we can say he is/was hypocrite. Nevertheless, information's we get from his inside insight about WT GB mechanism are more important then he alone. Because "The Truth" is in question, not he, not me, not you. 

what would be the difference from any other ExJW that writes a book with the same old storylines? I don't see how his book is more special than any other.

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2 hours ago, FelixCA said:

Wouldn’t that be the point for Raymond? Self-serving especially having to rely on people like Carl to make a comparison. Was this an ExJW’s dream come true?

I can't really tell what you are trying to say.

2 hours ago, FelixCA said:

I would imagine there were more members at Bethel that would disagree with the interest of Raymond’s book, possed.

I imagine that the vast majority of people at Bethel never read any of the books by R.Franz, at least not while at Bethel. But they certainly wanted to talk about it, and to talk about things they had heard from others about the book.

2 hours ago, FelixCA said:

I have several Bethel members at my hall that didn’t find the appeal on how Raymond coined the phrase the truth.

Don't know what you mean. Surely you don't think that R.Franz coined that phrase. And surely you don't think that R.Franz claimed to have coined that phrase.

2 hours ago, FelixCA said:

Therefore, I don’t see any benefit for true Christians, maybe someone that poison the well like butler but that’s just hurting him.

I don't really see that J.Butler would be benefited from reading the book. I think he already has his mind completely made up about the usefulness of the Organization long before any talk of this book. But if a person can understand from a book such as this that the leadership of the Organization has a human side, and can figure out why Jehovah could still work with (and bless the efforts of) such humans to accomplish something good, I don't see how the book should necessarily hurt. I have a feeling he would read it just for "ammunition."

One benefit I see for true Christians, however, is that it should make us more humble, less presumptuous, and it helps us understand the difficult position of leadership of a the Organization when their is no direct inspiration, no signs, and no miracles. As more members of the Governing Body have explained, they see their role as trying to devote themselves to a study of the scriptures in order to guard the doctrine. They pray over the scriptures, and the best decisions, and best course to take, but there is no "magic wand." It's still a matter of trying to distinguish right from wrong by being spiritually minded persons who know that everything they decide should have a Biblical basis.

For the most part, this produces excellent results. But certain traditions and strongly entrenched things will not necessarily be improved if you only see yourselves as "guardians" of existing doctrine. But in spite of this, a lot of good changes have also taken place. I have not seen a year go by, when improvements were not made. (Especially since about 2000 when the role of the GB became more focused on doctrinal matters and less on legal and bureaucratic matters.)

2 hours ago, FelixCA said:

But just like anything, being critical of the Bible student era has always been an argument for those that apostasy.

And it's also quite possible to be critical of what we should be critical of, to learn from their mistakes. And it's also possible to be critical and come to a better appreciation of Jehovah's ways and his patience.

2 hours ago, FelixCA said:

What other misbegotten did Raymond inherit by following others rather than trust in God what he accomplished for the Watchtower just to throw it away because of pride?

Again, you make no sense. If this is another reference to Carl Olaf Jonsson per the argument that Allen Smith invariably brought up in this context, it is still a false argument. R.Franz discovered the problems with our chronology way back before 1969, while writing the Chronology entry in the Aid Book that came out in 1969. Jonsson had not even started his questioning of the chronology back then, had he? Brothers that I knew in Writing would not touch the Jonsson manuscript precisely because they already questioned the chronology and realized that they might get an assignment to rebut COJ if they took an interest. This is why it sat on a shelf, and was called the "hot potato" for at least a year, and no one dared touch it.

2 hours ago, FelixCA said:

Everything that goes inside at Bethel is not always made public no matter how hard anyone thinks the GB is an open book. So, no, if someone would have been critical of Raymond, it wouldn’t be ritually exposed.

Unfortunately, this is very true that much of what goes on in Bethel, especially within the GB, is not made public.

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1 hour ago, FelixCA said:

I don't see how his book is more special than any other.

Actually, you might have hit on the exact reason that many Witnesses have read it secretly when you said:

2 hours ago, FelixCA said:

Everything that goes inside at Bethel is not always made public no matter how hard anyone thinks the GB is an open book.

It's the fact that he purports to tell people what went on in the GB.

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3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Again, you make no sense. If this is another reference to Carl Olaf Jonsson per the argument that Allen Smith invariably brought up in this context, it is still a false argument. R.Franz discovered the problems with our chronology way back before 1969, while writing the Chronology entry in the Aid Book that came out in 1969. Jonsson had not even started his questioning of the chronology back then, had he? Brothers that I knew in Writing would not touch the Jonsson manuscript precisely because they already questioned the chronology and realized that they might get an assignment to rebut COJ if they took an interest. This is why it sat on a shelf, and was called the "hot potato" for at least a year, and no one dared touch it.

Oh! I think we can give Raymond credit for mentioning Carl in his book as though new light was thrust upon his eyes. Evil has the tendency to blind people to the truth. So, it’s not just a matter of mimicking what others had said before about 1914, 1925, 1975 etc. it’s laughable on how one belief was strong but when explained in such a disingenuous way, it became wrong.

That kind of nonsense belongs in an Ex-JW pile. But it’s true those books are for people with a weak heart and wish to follow in Raymond’s footsteps to become as confused as he ended up being.

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“Now when they heard these things, they acquiesced, and they glorified God, saying: “Well, then, God has granted repentance for the purpose of life to people of the nations also.”   (Acts 11:18)

“When he would not be dissuaded, we acquiesced with the words: “Let the will of Jehovah take place.”  (Acts 21:14)

Sometimes a guy just has to acquiesce. There’s not enough acquiescing goin on here.

When I wrote ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates’ I could have gone one of two ways: ‘apostates’ who remained believers and those who went atheistic. I went the latter - the only group I could get my head around. The former produces nothing more than ineffectual islands, so far as I can tell. 

It’s fine not to acquiesce if you want to give up on God. But you must if you don’t want to give up on him.

 

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There might have been one group that was missed. The presumption of an active member that acquiesce to the tune of false and misleading information. It’s always the quiet ones that are overlooked, even though they are the most dangerous when it comes to wisdom. James 1:26

I have looked for this Allen Smith that is being mentioned here. Once by Witness and once by JWinsider. Is this a punchline or an inside joke?

I guess when we go into Walmart, The manager gives us an account on their daily operation, and they mention what the corporate members are saying. This is indeed a new light, can we say it is with wisdom?

It is true that some Bethel members defy scripture with gossip, does this bring new light or just another way of saying it’s a personal opinion on how I see things. Exodus 23:1,  2 Corinthians 12:20

I think the irony here would be that some say it is important to understand Raymond’s thoughts about the goings-on inside Bethel, yet some here find it necessary to develop a JW only section to keep personal thoughts secret. This is indeed amazing how people think without discernment enough to say, what would be the difference? Ephesians 4:29

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On 1/22/2019 at 9:03 PM, FelixCA said:

Oh! I think we can give Raymond credit for mentioning Carl in his book as though new light was thrust upon his eyes.

I've been thinking about this claim for a while. I don't consider Carl Olof Jonsson nor Raymond Franz to be apostate. Not apostates from Christianity, nor apostates from Jehovah's Witnesses, nor apostates from the Watch Tower Society.

The reason is because they didn't "go out from among us." Both of them acquiesced for several years. Both of them were kicked out -- pushed out, instead of just leaving. They didn't go out on their own. And questioning certain doctrines does not constitute leaving the religion, according to directives given in our publications today. Besides most of the doctrines that were questioned have already now been shown to be incorrect anyway. The 2010 change to the generation doctrine was already an admission that 1914 was no longer tenable as the start of the generation that would see Armageddon within their lifespans. Back in 1980, Brother Schroeder himself had questioned this doctrine when he proposed that the Governing Body change that date for the beginning of the generation from 1914 to 1957. I don't think this makes Brother Schroeder an apostate, nor would it even if he had been disfellowshipped over that proposal.

So yes, I think R.Franz should get credit for mentioning Carl Jonsson. They both had studied the same material on chronology, and both of them had decided to go to the experts. But one of them (Jonsson) had decided to carefully question the Society first, and give them several opportunities to respond, and even several years to respond to specific points, before finally going public with the research he collected. So, even after becoming convinced in his own mind, he acquiesced to Witness protocol. Even though he did not originate much of this research, he made it accessible to many more Witnesses. It was very important research in my opinion, especially as it cleared up the problem that the Watch Tower Society was facing at the time. He basically found that the Biblical, scholarly, historical and archaeological evidence perfectly supported the Bible's accounts and resolved the chronology issues that the Watch Tower had been struggling with, changing, stretching, and fretting over for over 100 years. When a Christian Witness has a gift and talent for research, it is a fine thing to share it with others -- to bring one's gift upon the altar -- especially after Carl Jonsson had given the WTS the benefit of the doubt that they would handle things appropriately in time.

Almost exactly a year after Jonsson's manuscript got to Bethel, Brother Bert Schroeder traveled to WT Branches in Europe in 1978 with the idea of building a case against Carl Jonsson during a couple of these meetings. I traveled a good portion of this trip to about 10 of our European branches with Brother Schroeder and met up with him at several of the same cities he visited. But, after breaking schedule in Athens, I was not in Wiesbaden, Copenhagen or Oslo on the same days, and I knew almost nothing of any portion of Schroeder's meetings regarding Jonsson. It was a few months later that I was told that Jonsson's document had now been at Bethel for a year already, still spending almost all of that time on a shelf, untouched.

On 1/22/2019 at 9:03 PM, FelixCA said:

Evil has the tendency to blind people to the truth.

This is quite true, but just because the Society made many mistakes about "1914" and the "1914 generation" over the course of many years, it doesn't make them evil. The intention was probably very good on the part of almost all believers in the doctrine, in all its forms at least between 1879 and up until 2010. The idea that the Watchtower could make very specific claims about certain dates might have been based on haughtiness and presumptuousness, but there is no intention to be presumptuous or haughty. So I don't think even a falsehood need be labeled "evil" in any way. 

On 1/22/2019 at 9:03 PM, FelixCA said:

So, it’s not just a matter of mimicking what others had said before about 1914, 1925, 1975 etc. it’s laughable on how one belief was strong but when explained in such a disingenuous way, it became wrong.

Quite true. I'm guessing you are referring to C.Jonsson's book influencing R.Franz. I'm referring to the dozens of disingenuous ways that our chronology doctrine had been supported, although, fortunately, most of these ways of explaining it have now been dropped.

On 1/22/2019 at 9:03 PM, FelixCA said:

But it’s true those books are for people with a weak heart and wish to follow in Raymond’s footsteps to become as confused as he ended up being.

No one need follow in R.Franz' footsteps. It's true that many of the points he made will cause confusion to some. But they are already out there, and this is why they need to be explained and discussed honestly. If they are true, we should be prepared for how we deal with such truths. If they aren't true, we need to search out evidence to defend against those points. But, no matter what, they need not result in leaving the Witnesses or getting disfellowshipped. Because what happened to R.Franz has nothing to do with whether the points he makes in his book are accurate and true. His books can and will be misused. Just as encyclopedias, and websites, and Watchtowers are misused.

But if he said some things that are true, do they suddenly become untrue just because R.Franz was the one who pointed them out?

R.Franz pointed out that the generation doctrine was going to have to change again in the next few years. He turned out to be right. But do you say he was wrong just it because he said it in his book? R.Franz pointed out that it was the Watch Tower Society that put restrictions on our ministry in Mexico and not the Mexican government. It was the Watch Tower Society that later lifted those restrictions on our work when they determined that the circumstances were right. R.Franz pointed out that the situation with imprisonment of brothers in South Korea and other areas was about to change because it had already received enough votes to change. (But then Lloyd Barry reversed his vote, so that nothing changed.)  We know that it finally changed more recently, after a long delay. But do you doubt the accuracy of the R.Franz book? If so, on what basis, specifically. Just because it was R.Franz who pointed it out?

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5 hours ago, FelixCA said:

I guess when we go into Walmart, The manager gives us an account on their daily operation, and they mention what the corporate members are saying.

There was a meeting in Jerusalem once, and the Bible tells us in Acts 15 what the argument was on both sides of the issue. The Bible gives us the reason for the question, what they decided, and even some further commentary on who was involved in Galatians 1 and 2.

I think the Bible should be our model, rather than Walmart.

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5 hours ago, FelixCA said:

I think the irony here would be that some say it is important to understand Raymond’s thoughts about the goings-on inside Bethel, yet some here find it necessary to develop a JW only section to keep personal thoughts secret. This is indeed amazing how people think without discernment enough to say, what would be the difference? Ephesians 4:29

You make a good point. I hadn't realized at first that people outside the "club" can't even read the comments. I thought the purpose was just to avoid extraneous comments, but that anyone could still read it. If they thought what they read was important enough, they could just comment on them over here in this "public club."

I see you are right. When I log out, I get a "do not have permission" notice. I am happy to put all of my own comments from there out here but I doubt you would think they are worth much.

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Maybe what rankles is the title, Crisis of Conscience. Isn’t that a bit self-aggrandizing? Why not name it “Memo From One Whose Eyes Are Too Pure to Look Upon Trouble, Though it Apparently Doesn’t Bother My Colleages Any”?

Now, had he named it TrueRay vs the Stalwarts, it would be a different thing entirely 

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