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JOHN BUTLER

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

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8 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

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”?

Well-said. I see your point. It's also true that we only have his side of the story. And I know there was some concern among at least one of his peers to take care of some of the issues he exposed as soon as possible.

But these issues he brings up, along with a review of our own organizational history from WT publications, all support the idea that someone in his situation could easily have had a crisis of conscience. I think he should have had one. I thought it should have led to him resigning from the Governing Body before he was asked to resign, rather than just take a leave of absence from the Governing Body during this time of crisis.

His crisis seems to be initially about whether he should have continued to work for more scriptural policies from the inside, or whether he should stand up more strongly for his own beliefs, or whether he should acquiesce. For years, apparently, he always acquiesced. Within the Governing Body, he would vote against creating a new rule that married couples could be disfellowshipped for oral sex, for example. But then when overruled by at least two-thirds of the rest of the Governing Body, who got the assignment to write it up?

He would be the one asked to write up the Watchtower article to provide the scriptural defense of something he conscientiously believed was not scriptural. Kind of like your point (in TTvTA) about how people are taught to debate by being assigned either side of an argument.

Now as a member of the Governing Body, he could remain and fight for what he thought was the scriptural position: that there was no explicit Bible rule stating that married couples must be dragged through a judicial hearing if, for some reason, the couple admitted to a friend, for example, that they had engaged in oral sex of some kind.

At the same time, the Watchtower claimed that a man could have homosexual relations with another man or an animal, and it was not "fornication" and thus did not constitute grounds for a scriptural divorce. R.Franz still believed, as did his colleagues, that these forms of sex were wrong, and not to be engaged in, and that the person could be disfellowshipped. But for some reason he did not stand up for his conscience and take a stand against what was clearly an unscriptural case of using the supposed "letter of the law" to kill the "spirit of the law."

Of course, he reports that he did fight for the change, from the inside, and sometimes it would take months of collecting letters to the Service Department, and sometimes it would take years. And patience. But in large part, apparently, these areas of conscience were resolved and the rest of the Governing Body finally acquiesced. We have the Watchtower articles that provide evidence to fit his claims.

This might sound self-aggrandizing for R.Franz, but it makes perfect sense considering the persons who made up the Governing Body.

Working as an artist for most of my 4 years at Bethel, I knew who was writing which articles and books. In fact, the initials of the writer and an additional series of initials of those who had seen and approved the article were always at the top of the first typewritten page. This also helped proofreaders and artists know who their department head might talk to if there was a question.

Listening to the Governing Body members rotate through their 15 minute talks every day, sometimes rambling unprepared, and sometimes well organized, it was easy to tell who deferred to whom, and which members were interested in Bible topics and which were interested in organizational rules, and rarely did the twain meet.

Between that experience of hearing them speak daily and knowing which Watchtower articles a GB member had written lets me know that everything R.Franz says in the book makes perfect sense with respect to those who spoke up and what they probably would have said during GB meetings. I should also add that I could sometimes hear L.Swingle and F.Rusk (non-GB) speaking to other writers from their offices. (Most GB members never wrote a Watchtower article, and most had almost nothing to do with Writing of any kind.) It also makes sense why, by way of explanation, R.Franz goes into the history of the creation of the Governing Body from the time it began in the early 70's.

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8 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

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 

Jealous ? Is his book getting more attention than yours ? :) 

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Quote " Within the Governing Body, he would vote against creating a new rule that married couples could be disfellowshipped for oral sex, for example. " 

Quote "The Watchtower claimed that a man could have homosexual relations with another man or an animal, and it was not "fornication" and thus did not constitute grounds for a scriptural divorce.. "

Oh dear it's gets funnier every day. I'm sorry but I'm sat here laughing.

It really does make the GB look like a group of perverts. 

@JW Insider   So can you please tell me the GB / JW Org views /rules on these two matter now ? 

If I had been asked about what my wife and I did in our sexual activities, I would have told the Elders it's none of their business. It is between Jesus Christ (who has been given the right to judge) and my wife and I. 

The threefold cord, does not include the GB or the Elders. 

Sorry I've just got to add a comment from my wife here, after I talked to her about all this, She said about the GB

" They're not the Messiah, they're very naughty boys " (A line from a film you may know) 

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1 hour ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

It really does make the GB look like a group of perverts. 

@JW Insider   So can you please tell me the GB / JW Org views /rules on these two matter now ?

I don't think it makes the GB look like perverts. But it does support the claim that R.Franz made in his book, that there was too much concern over legalistic rules without as much concern about the overall "spirit" of Christianity.

First of all, the idea that consenting oral sex within marriage is a disfellowshipping offense comes from the Watchtower, 12/1/1972 p. 735, 2/15/1976 p.122, 11/15/1974 p.704. The idea that homosexuality and bestiality on the part of a spouse in marriage will not qualify a marriage mate for a scriptural divorce comes from the Watchtower,  1/1/1972 p. 32.

In both cases it was due to a definition that F.Franz gave to the Greek word "porneia." Since at least the time of Rutherford's death, Fred Franz was always considered the only one who could come up with a change in scriptural doctrine, or "new truth" as we called it. Creating the Governing Body in about 1971 didn't change this. In fact, when a few people started speaking up with questions about doctrine, the GB was expanded with a lot more " F.Franz loyalists" who would never dare vote against F.Franz. For a while Schroeder was about the only one who would dare to test this deference to F.Franz and try promoting new scriptural teachings on his own by putting them in assembly talks or Gilead lectures. But he got shot down on anything major. Many of his ideas really were crazy, but he had one major good idea that finally got approved, about a decade after he died. It was not an idea that could have been changed during F.Franz lifetime. (Brother Splane admits that Schroeder had been a source of the idea in one of the JW Broadcasts. I'll explain elsewhere.)

At any rate, these practices are considered wrong and one still could be disfellowshipped for oral sex within marriage, but it will be a much more rare occurrence, because elders are instructed not to go out of their way to investigate allegations or follow up even on confessions, except to give counsel. If the person had a title (elder, ms, pioneer) they would likely lose the title for a time, and only be disfellowshipped if they said they would defy the counsel and continue the practice. Also, bestiality and homosexuality are now included in the definition of the Greek word porneia and can now constitute scriptural grounds for divorce and remarriage. (A couple could always separate, although it was optional, but now they can remarry after a scriptural divorce.)

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Well, then it appears that you hold the same misguided understanding on what the definition of apostate means.

Studying the same material with a blind eye doesn’t constitute good results. That just means there are witnesses willing and able to accept obscured thoughts by questionable people that were not qualified to make certain determinations with their own personal opinion.

The devil here indeed works in mysteries ways. It’s good you follow the same thought as True Tom.

To make false claims is to make an argument meaningless. especially when it comes to 1914, etc. Therefore, thanks for crediting misguided people for an opinionated argument. Have you ever thought of writing your own book about accepting apostasy?

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6 hours ago, JW Insider said:

 It's also true that we only have his side of the story. 

You seem to correctly anticipate that I have still not read his book. Though I read all the time, I have read very little of this sort of material, which might seem surprising since I have written four books in support of Witnesses and their organization  I could spin this as being  'obedient,' I guess, and it is that in part. But in greater part it is that I look at such material almost as red herrings that distract. Everyone has a history. Everyone has had experiences. Everyone has acted or not acted upon them. It's not people that count, ultimately, but God, and having been around long enough, you can pick up on and originate words that adhere to the 'pattern of healthful teachings' that Paul spoke about. The doings of others just distract, as they pursue their own service and relationship to God. As long as you do not become obstinate with regard to the earthly organization, you do fine (usually). If you do not, you take your licks, dust yourself off, pay whatever price you must, and get back into the mix. Maybe that will be your fate someday. Maybe (gasp!) it will be mine. But I think not in either case. If it should prove to be, the 'damage' is repairable.

Almost everything on every thread here (at least the ones I frequent) are advancing or defending against an attempt to undermine the earthly organization. The appeal of undermining it is irresistible. That way, if you don't like something, you simply 'interpret it away' and there is no one to call you on it. No harm done.

6 hours ago, JW Insider said:

But these issues he brings up, along with a review of our own organizational history from WT publications, all support the idea that someone in his situation could easily have had a crisis of conscience. I think he should have had one. I thought it should have led to him resigning from the Governing Body before he was asked to resign, rather than just take a leave of absence from the Governing Body during this time of crisis.

For once I will do a Butler and say that I am looking at things that are too great for me. What is the interplay of the divine/human interface? It's not anything that I am willing to say "this is" and "this isn't." Become minute enough and one might say that there is no interplay at all - that it is all but human politics, but then how does one account for the truly monumental building work that JWs have accomplished in worldwide support of the good news, a coordinated 'shout of praise' that nobody else manages to get off the launching pad? No, I think "too great for me" is where I will hold.

'Acquiescing' appears to be where it is at. For many decades now the emphasis has been on elder bodies reaching unanimous agreement, an almost impossible feat for humans to manage, and then, the 'losing' side to refrain from criticizing the 'winners,' with unity being the important consideration. It wasn't something that I was much good at, and if some 'blockheaded' brother won the day, I was hard-pressed to not carry on about it afterwards. Still,  I managed to do it to a reasonable degree. 

6 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

Jealous ? Is his book getting more attention than yours ? :) 

Furious. The little creep.

I don't have it in for him for writing his book, nor even his title. After a lifetime at Bethel, leaving with but a suitcase, what else is he going to do? I am even reasonably charitable towards a former Witness turned movie-maker that I write about in my book. He must be given credit, if only begrudgingly, for redefining the game. It is still winnable--how can it not be with Jehovah?--but it may call for a new approach in dealing with the malcontents.

 

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@TrueTomHarley  Quote " Almost everything on every thread here (at least the ones I frequent) are advancing or defending against an attempt to undermine the earthly organization. The appeal of undermining it is irresistible. "

Sorry to hear you have such a pessimistic view of debate. 

How about considering that some of us are actually looking for truth. God's truth, not GB / JW org truth. 

And again some of us are giving a warning about certain things within the JW Org that may be a danger to others.

 

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 @JW Insider  Quote " Fred Franz was always considered the only one who could come up with a change in scriptural doctrine, or "new truth" as we called it. Creating the Governing Body in about 1971 didn't change this. In fact, when a few people started speaking up with questions about doctrine, the GB was expanded with a lot more " F.Franz loyalists" "

Is this the truth or just your opinion ?  If it is truth then it is a big worry. 

So who rules the GB now then ? 

Each thing i read makes the JW Org seem worse and worse, hence i ask if this information above definitely true or just opinion ? 

Reminds me of when ONE Elder threatened to disfellowship me for slander. He thought he had that authority. :) 

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44 minutes ago, FelixCA said:

It’s good you follow the same thought as True Tom.

I hope some of our thoughts are the same, but it doesn't matter. Each one stands on his own before the judgment seat of God. I appreciate especially his last thoughts about the topic, just above. I'm not trying to win any converts to my own conscience, though. And I think he (TTH) has made it clear that he disagrees with much of what I say. I think it's fine to disagree. We should be able to hash out our own concerns and issues on a forum such as this, without being disagreeable in person with brothers and sisters who have not subscribed to a discussion of issues as we have here. Hopefully, we can learn from our experiences, and learn from each other. Many things in this life won't matter in the long run.

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6 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

Quote "The Watchtower claimed that a man could have homosexual relations with another man or an animal, and it was not "fornication" and thus did not constitute grounds for a scriptural divorce.. "

This actually this isn't as crazy as it sounds. The reasoning was based on (if I remember correctly) that in order for fornication (which was the only grounds for divorce, according to what Jesus said) to occur, the partner had to "become one" with another person, and that could only happen if the other person was of the opposite sex. That is Biblical.  In Jehovah's eyes you cannot become one with anyone but the opposite sex, and you cannot become one with another creature either for that matter.  The problem was, that the word 'fornication' was understood to be the same as 'adultery'. However, fornication (porneia) is different. It covers any kind of sexual relations whether with a human or animal. It should have been clear from the start because the scripture in Matthew doesn't say "whoever divorces his wife, except on the ground of 'adultery', and marries another commits adultery." It says on the ground of 'fornication'.

But we were not the only ones who understood it this way:

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/love-sex/divorce-adultery-law-rules-gay-lesbian-same-sex-affairs-why-dont-they-count-a7533766.html

 

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