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JOHN BUTLER

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

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7 hours ago, JW Insider said:

I know you asked for a response, but you have sometimes indicated that you feel insulted by my responses, so this response is directed only to others who might have also wondered what I meant.

I was referring to the 16 years between late 1979, the last time when R.Franz was involved in the last vote on this issue, and 1996, when the Society finally was able to get a large enough majority for the second time, and the change was finally made. Many brothers who would not have gone to prison by being allowed to act upon their own conscience during those extra 16 years, actually did serve prison time during those years. 

Anyone who wishes can probably see that this is a point that R.Franz made in his book, here:

The twothirds
majority was gone. After further discussion, when another
vote was taken it read: Nine in favor, five against, one abstention.
Though still a definite majority it was no longer a two-thirds majority.
Though only a minority of the Governing Body favored the
continuance of the existing policy and the sanctions it applied toward
any who accepted alternative service (unless sentenced
thereto), that policy remained in effect. Year after year, hundreds
of men, submitting to that policy although neither understanding
it nor being convinced of its rightness, would continue to be arrested,
tried, and imprisoned—because one individual on a religious
council changed his mind. Witness men could exercise their
conscientious choice of accepting alternative service only at the
cost of being cut off from the congregations of which they were a
part, being viewed as unfaithful to God and Christ.
Surely such instances make clear why no Christian should ever
be expected to mortgage his conscience to any religious organization
or to any body of men exercising virtually unlimited authority
over people’s lives. I found the whole affair disheartening,
tragic. Yet I felt that I learned more clearly just to what ends the
very nature of an authority structure can lead men, how it can cause
them to take rigid positions they would not normally take. This case
illustrated the way in which the power of tradition, coupled with
a technical legalism and a mistrust of people’s motives, can prevent
one from taking a compassionate stand.
The matter came up on one other occasion and the vote was
evenly split. Thereafter it was dropped and for most members it
seemed to become a non-issue. The organization, following its
voting rules, had spoken. The Branch Committees’ arguments need
not be answered—they could simply be informed that “nothing had
changed” and they would proceed accordingly. The men in prison
would never know that the matter had even been discussed and that,
consistently, half or more of the Governing Body did not believe
they needed to be where they were.

...

If the published statements in the Watchtower and Awake!
magazines have any validity at all, then, when compared with the
statements of these Branch Committee members, they clearly identify
these young Witness men as either very vulnerable to brainwashing
or as already victims of indoctrination and mass persuasion.
In 1996, when the organization reversed its policy on alternative
service, many hundreds, even thousands, of these young
men were right then in prison, like thousands before them, but they
really did not know why the position they took, which led to their
imprisonment, should have been taken. They accepted a policy
without seeing a sound basis for it, they allowed their decisions to
be governed, not by solid evidence from God’s Word, but by
“group loyalty,” and “organizational loyalty.” These are the same
forces that give such potency to indoctrination on the part of what
Witnesses call “worldly” organizations. It is a case of doing what
one’s associates do and what the authority (the organization) says,
even though one finds the reasons given to be insubstantial, even
“artificial.” The view of alternative service these persons accepted
was clearly a “borrowed” one, not their own. Concern over what
others in their religious community would think, concern over reprisals
by the organization in the form of excommunication, certainly
must have weighed heavily in their thinking, causing them
to shut out any questions from their minds and simply submit.
These young Witness men stood before government tribunals and
declared themselves bound to an uncompromising position of rejecting
alternative service unless first arrested and tried and sentenced
to perform it by a judge, and they perhaps thought that such
was their own conviction. But their inability to explain the reason
for their stand shows that someone else has done their thinking for
them. Recall the Watchtower statements earlier quoted:

 

From what time period were those men told by the GB to 'go to prison' instead of doing alternative service ?

From what date until what date ? 

I notice you mention 1996, as when the Organization reversed its policy on alternative service.

The reason I'm asking is that in 1962 (or so I've just read) the 'Society' changed the meaning of the Romans 13 scripture, back to its original understanding, that is, that the Superior Authorities are the governments / rulers of this world. Hence, if a government / ruler of a country offered Alternative Service that was not going against the will of God, then the people should obey it. 

Romans 13.

 Let every person be in subjection to the superior authorities, for there is no authority except by God; the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God.  Therefore, whoever opposes the authority has taken a stand against the arrangement of God; those who have taken a stand against it will bring judgment against themselves.

Wow, now that is very clear, isn't it.

So if the Society / GB deliberately took this stand against those Rulers that had the authority from God to rule, then the Society / GB were in fact taking a stand against GOD Himself. 

 

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10 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

With or without Raymond, the FDS / GB has demonstrated (show it until today) how things are in WT.

I disagree with that. There are many things that are not done at all the same way today (for example the 2/3 majority vote). In fact things are very different only by virtue of the fact that every single person on the GB at the time of Raymond is gone, replaced by a completely different body, and that many of those issue that were pointed to by Raymond have been addressed. (This makes me believe that even today's members of the GB have read Raymond's book).

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50 minutes ago, Anna said:

I disagree with that. There are many things that are not done at all the same way today (for example the 2/3 majority vote). In fact things are very different only by virtue of the fact that every single person on the GB at the time of Raymond is gone, replaced by a completely different body, and that many of those issue that were pointed to by Raymond have been addressed. (This makes me believe that even today's members of the GB have read Raymond's book).

Things may be done differently, but are they done any better ? 

If it seems that one member ruled over the others back then, is it any different now ?

Can anyone here know exactly what goes on in a GB meeting ? Is it recorded and made public ? 

I'm thinking about starting a new topic about " The times they are a changin' "  A line from a Bob Dylan song i think. 

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3 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

Hence, if a government / ruler of a country offered Alternative Service that was not going against the will of God, then the people should obey it. 

Romans 13.

I agree, and this verse was probably the reason for changing the rules in 1996. (Also the fact that F.Franz had died.) Of course, there is still that caveat about "going against the will of God." That left some flexibility in why a group might think one way and not another. Another reason had been that Witnesses had already been disfellowshipped for choosing according to their conscience. There is a rarely repeated doctrine that for many years had declared that if Armageddon comes and you are disfellowshipped you will die at Armageddon. Some Circuit Overseers even taught that if you died in this system and were disfellowshipped and had not been making progress toward repentance that you would not be resurrected into the new system. It's our little version of the "hellfire" doctrine, but without the "hellfire."

Another aside, but I learned recently that the brother who wrote most of the expert opinions and consulted with the service department on all issues regarding blood transfusion has (or had) completely changed his mind on the blood doctrine. (For people who might think I mean the previous brother in this position, this was not Brother F...R..., but Brother G...S......) When I first heard about it I thought it was based only on the fractions issue, but I have confirmed that it was about the entire blood transfusion doctrine. He was not a member of the Governing Body, but had been one of the GB "Helpers" and a long-time member of the Writing Department. I'm not saying he is/was correct or not about this view, but the point is that in discussing whether or not the Society would ever change its stance, the response was that we couldn't because it would cause trauma to all the people who lost loved ones. Those who had been disfellowshipped over the blood doctrine may not have come up, I don't know. I only heard this from a long-time friend of mine in the Writing Department who spoke with this other brother. Last year, I tried, unsuccessfully, to speak with this "blood" brother.

Interesting that you picked that scripture in Romans. Evidently there had been several different "bills before congress" in the sense that a few different members of the Governing Body had tried different proposals that might offer versions of "wording" to define the actual change. The first one that ever passed with the two-thirds majority required for actually making the change happened to be the proposed wording that R.Franz wrote. This was the one that Brother Lloyd Barry changed his vote over. There had been no procedure in place for such a vote change after something passed, which likely was the reason that Brother Barry made use of a mistake in the wording, according to R.Franz. R.Franz explains his mistake in the 2nd book where he accidentally referenced 1 Cor 13:1-7 instead of Romans 13:1-7. When this was pointed out, and R.Franz was correcting the mistake, Lloyd Barry used that as the reason to change his vote: he didn't want Romans 13 used in the presentation. When it was then offered to remove it altogether, he said No to that too. Basically, he just needed to change his vote.

You'll find it on page 269 and 270 of the PDF of the book "In Search of Christian Freedom." Like "Crisis of Conscience," it's floating around on the 'net somewhere.

That's quite beside the main point however, and I thought the following points were more interesting. A point I never knew about at all until reading this book. (I had read "Crisis of Conscience," first edition only, but still had only done a quick skim of "Christian Freedom" carefully reading only a couple of the chapters.) I thought the best summary of the problem did not appear until a later version of "Crisis of Conscience," which I only just read because I had never re-read the entire updated version:

The policy change is unquestionably welcome. Nonetheless, the
fact that it took some 50 years for the organization’s to finally remove
itself from this area of personal conscience surely has significance.
One cannot but think of all the thousands of years collectively lost
during half a century by Witness men as to their freedom to associate
with family and friends, or to contribute to their own economy
and the economy of those related to them, or pursue other worthwhile
activities in ways not possible within prison walls. It represents
an incredible waste of valuable years for the simple reason
that it was unnecessary, being the result of an unscriptural
position, imposed by organizational authority.
Had there been a frank acknowledgment of error, not merely
doctrinal error, but error in wrongfully invading the right of conscience
of others, and of regret over the harmful consequences of that
intrusion, one might find reason for sincere commendation, even
reason for hope of some measure of fundamental reform. Regrettably,
the May 1, 1996 Watchtower nowhere deals with these factors and
contains not even a hint of regret for the effects of the wrong position
enforced for over half a century. It does not even offer any explanation
as to why the mistaken policy was rigidly insisted upon
for over fifty years. In a couple of sentences it makes the change, doing
so as if by edict, one that in effect says, “Your conscience may
now be operative in this area.”
In place of apology, the organization instead seems to feel it
deserves applause for having made changes it should have had the
good sense (and humility) to have made decades earlier, changes that
were resisted in the face of ample evidence presented from the
Scriptures, both from within the Body and from Branch Office
committees. Some of these Branch committees presented not only
all the Scriptural evidence found in the May 1, 1996 Watchtower, but
even more extensive and more carefully reasoned Scriptural evidence.
They did this back in 1978 but what they wrote was, in effect,
shrugged off or discounted by those of the Governing Body who
held out for maintaining the traditional policy then in place.

In the second book, I think R.Franz was "spot on" in his pointing out that the real problem is "legalism." This was clear from an update of "In Search of Christian Freedom" in the chapter "Legalism: Opponent of Christian Freedom."

But yet another technicality was introduced. The organization
even took the position that if, previous to the actual sentence being
passed, the Witness was asked by the judge if his conscience
would allow him to accept an assignment from the court to do
hospital work or similar service, he could not answer in the affirmative
but must say, “that is for the court to decide.” If he answered,
“Yes” (which would have been a truthful answer), he was
considered to have “compromised,” having made a “deal” with the
judge, and thus had broken his integrity. But if he gave the prescribed,
approved response already quoted, and then the judge in
sentencing him assigned him to do hospital work or similar service,
he could comply. He was now not guilty of violating the
apostolic exhortation to “stop becoming the slaves of men.” (1
Corinthians 7:23) Surely such technicalities are truly casuistic and
the application of the term “Pharisaical” does not seem too harsh.

This is no light matter. During World War II, in the United
States alone some 4,300 young Jehovah’s Witnesses went to
prison, with sentences ranging as high as 5 years, not simply because
of conscientious objection to war, but primarily because, in
adhering to the Society’s policy, they refused governmental provisions
allowing them to perform other service of a non-military
nature provided for conscientious objectors. In England, there were
1,593 convictions, including those of 334 women. Though the
policy was rescinded in 1996, there still remained hundreds in pris-
ons in various lands, the imprisonment resulting from their obeying
the Society’s policy. In 1988, in just the countries of France and Italy
there were some 1,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses in prison for this reason.

 

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On 1/26/2019 at 10:27 AM, JOHN BUTLER said:

I had to be in excessive pain before the ambulance came and took me in to hospital with pneumonia, and I ask to leave hospital asap after treatment. Was only in three days, then recovered at home. I have no faith or trust in the Police force, none at all.

Still, you did have to have some faith in the doctors, that they would make you feel better, otherwise you wouldn't have gone in to hospital in the first place surely. The same with the Police. You must have some faith in them otherwise why bother reporting the alleged child abuse to them? And why else would you think it was important for the elders of your congregation to report the matter?

On 1/26/2019 at 10:27 AM, JOHN BUTLER said:

Quote " With the Org changing the meaning of scripture, and teachings, I am assuming you preferred the previous ones better? Or is it because you think there should never be any change? "

The Creative Days being 7,000 years long, and us being in the 'Rest Day' of 6,000 years , then 1,000 years of Christ's rule. It made sense that all the days were 7,000 years long. God being a god of order not disorder............   But other changes are constantly being discussed on here, such as the F&DS once being the whole 'body' of the Anointed, but now only 8 men............ The teaching about 'this generation' .... the teaching about 'the superior authorities'.............. You don't have to look far to find them do you ? 

Well all I can say to that is change is inevitable as no one gets everything right the first time. It's also good to put things into proper perspective and honestly evaluate whether the change has been for the better or for worse. Some change is logical. The FDS being only the members of the GB make practical sense as most of the other anointed are scattered all over the earth and are in different time zones, so to expect for them to sit in on, and contribute to the dispensing of spiritual food would be unrealistic. In any case, I don't think everyone of the other anointed, with a few exceptions, ever contributed to the dispensing of spiritual food (apart from their own preaching, just like all the other Witnesses), so it has always been symbolic anyway. The generation teaching obviously had to change because time ran out. You are right, we don't have to look far to find them. Here is a whole list of teachings that were revised or updated:

    Hello guest!

Do you think it would have been better to stick to the previous understanding and never change anything?

On 1/26/2019 at 10:27 AM, JOHN BUTLER said:

Quote But that really is no different than putting faith in anyone else who is doing a particular job,   " 

 Those 8 men misuse that title, which they have given themselves, to promote their thinking NOT God's thinking. 

Well they obviously believe they are promoting God's thinking. Every reason or suggestion for anything is always backed up by a myriad scriptures. So I think you must be talking bout the interpretation of scripture. Wrong interpretation or misunderstanding of scripture is not a sin, it is  part of progressive understanding, making mistakes is a natural part of learning. But again, it's good to put this into perspective, have all the wrong interpretations caused harm? A few have caused some harm, but the vast majority have not. And none of these mistakes have been done in malice or for some personal gain. We need to be able to forgive our brothers. I am sure you would agree this is a Christlike attitude to have. So:

On 1/26/2019 at 10:27 AM, JOHN BUTLER said:

Deliberately misusing scripture to rule over others. 

Do you have an example of a scripture that has been misused to rule over others?

On 1/26/2019 at 10:27 AM, JOHN BUTLER said:

The Child Abuse situation, and on this one, if only i could find the video, I'm sure a member of the GB said it was 'all lies and just apostates causing trouble'.

I am not sue where the video is either, but I know that Br. Lett wasn't referring to the child abuse situation as lies from apostates. He said something to the effect that saying we deny or ignore child abuse are apostate lies. We do not deny or ignore child abuse.

On 1/26/2019 at 10:27 AM, JOHN BUTLER said:

Every time a brother or sister speaks about the promises in the Bible, they are being a spokesperson for God.. " 

Wrong...Most times a' brother or sister' speaks, they are being a spokesperson for the GB or JW Org.  They go out with 'literature' more often than they go out with GOD'S word. There is such a big difference. JW's are taught what to say. Please remember I went to the Ministry School meetings / Work book meetings. It is all written in there. What to say, what to offer. It's JW literature, not God's message through Christ..

I don't know what kind of ministry you were doing but any claim, whether spoken or pointed to in JW literature has to be substantiated by scripture. Everyone does it differently, but I always say regarding the magazines for example, that's its not what we say, it's what the Bible says and to make sure to check all the scriptures that are cited. The publication are merely Bible aids and not there to replace the Bible. That's the big difference.

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53 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

During World War II, in the United
States alone some 4,300 young Jehovah’s Witnesses went to
prison, with sentences ranging as high as 5 years, not simply because
of conscientious objection to war, but primarily because, in
adhering to the Society’s policy, they refused governmental provisions
allowing them to perform other service of a non-military
nature provided for conscientious objectors. In England, there were
1,593 convictions, including those of 334 women. Though the
policy was rescinded in 1996, there still remained hundreds in pris-
ons in various lands, the imprisonment resulting from their obeying
the Society’s policy. In 1988, in just the countries of France and Italy
there were some 1,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses in prison for this reason.

Yes, that is truly sad. It helps me to think of a few scriptures, this one particularly with reference to to the conscientious objectors:

"For it is agreeable when someone endures hardship and suffers unjustly because of conscience toward God. For what merit is there if you are beaten for sinning and you endure it? But if you endure suffering because of doing good, this is an agreeable thing to God". (1Peter 2:19)

For God is not unrighteous so as to forget your work and the love you showed for his name by ministering and continuing to minister to the holy ones. (Hebrews 6:10)

And these in general:

"Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive heavier judgment". (James 3:1) and  

"But the one who did not understand and yet did things deserving of strokes will be beaten with few. Indeed, everyone to whom much was given, much will be demanded of him, and the one who was put in charge of much will have more than usual demanded of him" Luke 12:48

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of the Christ, so that each one may be repaid according to the things he has practiced while in the body, whether good or bad". 2 Corinthians 5:10

"For the true God will judge every deed, including every hidden thing, as to whether it is good or bad". (Ecclesiastes 12:14)

"So, then, each of us will render an account for himself to God" (Romans 14:12) etc...

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@JW Insider Quote "If he answered, “Yes” (which would have been a truthful answer), he was considered to have “compromised,” having made a “deal” with the judge, and thus had broken his integrity. "

Broken his integrity to whom though ? The Society / GB obviously. Not his integrity to God. 

So the Society / GB were demanding that these men serve the Society /GB..

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. 

Quote " In England, there were 1,593 convictions, including those of 334 women. "

As a side note. 

The 'big house' that i am 'caretaker' of, was known as Spicelands in the 1940's. It was run by Quakers and took in conscientious objectors. They were taught farming work and worked on the land around the house. 

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16 minutes ago, Anna said:

Yes, that is truly sad. It helps me to think of a few scriptures, this one particularly with reference to to the conscientious objectors:

"For it is agreeable when someone endures hardship and suffers unjustly because of conscience toward God. For what merit is there if you are beaten for sinning and you endure it? But if you endure suffering because of doing good, this is an agreeable thing to God". (1Peter 2:19)

For God is not unrighteous so as to forget your work and the love you showed for his name by ministering and continuing to minister to the holy ones. (Hebrews 6:10)

And these in general:

"Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive heavier judgment". (James 3:1) and  

"But the one who did not understand and yet did things deserving of strokes will be beaten with few. Indeed, everyone to whom much was given, much will be demanded of him, and the one who was put in charge of much will have more than usual demanded of him" Luke 12:48

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of the Christ, so that each one may be repaid according to the things he has practiced while in the body, whether good or bad". 2 Corinthians 5:10

"For the true God will judge every deed, including every hidden thing, as to whether it is good or bad". (Ecclesiastes 12:14)

"So, then, each of us will render an account for himself to God" (Romans 14:12) etc...

Is this some sort of defence of the Society /GB ? If it is it's a poor try. 

Yes to suffer for the reason of serving GOD is a good thing, BUT to suffer for the reason of serving MEN (the society /GB ) will never be a good thing.

'Put not your trust in earthling man, in whom no salvation belongs'.  Those men in charge misused their 'power' that is so obvious. 

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Hence, if a government / ruler of a country offered Alternative Service that was not going against the will of God, then the people should obey it. - Romans 13.

The reasoning was that alternative service would be a substitute or "in place of"....which was perceived being "the same as" fighting in a war, in which case Acts 5:29 would apply  And the point was that as long as this service was commanded by the army, you couldn’t do it. But if it was commanded by any other institution it was ok. I think the problem starts when the brothers get bogged down with absolute detail in an effort to cover all bases. Unfortunately, it then becomes a pretzel of reasoning. It’s like Trinitarians trying to explain the Trinity. Someone on here posted an anecdotal example of this pretzel type reasoning with a mock WT article on why true Christians shouldn't own a cat. I have a suspicion that it was one certain brother who had a penchant for this type of reasoning......

All probably would have been well had this ambiguous situation been left to conscience in the first place, instead of trying to make rules where none existed......

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3 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

Things may be done differently, but are they done any better ? 

I think so. I think they are much better, and I think that discussions of doctrinal issues go beyond the GB circle now. That was true up until about 1978, when there were very open discussions of doctrinal issues, and any Bethel Elder might talk to a table of Bethelites with a new idea.  Then they cracked down on that from 1979 until F.Franz died, and then tightened those kinds of discussions into the GB "inner rooms" only, according to a brother from Writing (who had too many of his own ideas anyway). But in the last 10 years or so, even some of the helpers have researchers.

When I was at Bethel, I was in the Art Department but was also doing research. Brother Schroeder (GB) gave me my first of many research projects in early 1977 and it was to do a survey/report on all the Greek words and expressions that can translate the expression "house to house" and report on Bible dictionaries, Bible translations, and uses from the LXX, Josephus, Philo, etc. His own Greek was pretty good, much better than mine in fact, but at least I knew how to use a dictionary and could do some leg work for him. I don't know who else used researchers back then, because all the brothers in the Writing Department did their own research, as far as I could tell. (There were no sisters in Writing then as there are now.)

3 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

If it seems that one member ruled over the others back then, is it any different now ?

F. Franz died more than a quarter-century ago. I think it's much different now. I don't really know any of them personally but we can see a pattern in the types of talks and topics each of them gets assigned. I don't get the impression that any of them are trying to outdo one another these days. Politics was rampant when I was working at Bethel from 1976 to 1982.

3 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

Can anyone here know exactly what goes on in a GB meeting ? Is it recorded and made public ? 

I doubt that anyone can know, but there are a lot more talks at Gilead Graduations and Annual Meetings that give you a good idea what has been talked about in terms of updates to doctrines. Also, you can learn to listen in a certain way to how some doctrines are brought up to know if it's under discussion. The "Peace and Security" issue came up recently, for example. I was at a WT study about a month ago where a member of the GB was in the audience and I thought it odd that he brought up the scripture and then without any reason I could think of decided to defend the idea that the Peace and Security issue might be a bigger thing than just a general condition. Bringing it up in a defensive way would make one think that maybe it had needed defending recently. I made a note of it on my iPhone at the time, but didn't think much of it until I just noticed that it was under discussion at the annual meeting, which means that if a new doctrine were to come out of this, it was also very likely discussed in a GB meeting. 

Would be wonderful if it were recorded and made public. But that would probably change the whole tenor of the meeting if they knew outsiders might know what goes on. I have heard that things go very smoothly among the GB at their meetings, but that a lot of "we can hear you through the wall" arguing goes on among the GB Helpers. Again that was just one man's report, and he is not one of the Helpers, just a brother in Writing, who might even be jealous. (Just kidding!)

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1 hour ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

Broken his integrity to whom though ? The Society / GB obviously. Not his integrity to God. 

It might look that way. But I think many of the GB (more than one-third) could have believed that voluntarily submitting in support of a military organization was breaking integrity to God. Surely if the Bible says be no part of the world, and love your enemy, etc., anyone could easily interpret this to mean that support of the military is support of the "enemy" which is Satan's world and it's machinations.

The Pharasaic, legalistic issues come into play when someone questions, then, why we would submit at all after imprisonment (because the typical sentence in most countries was often to just do 2 to 5 years of the same thing the brother just refused to do voluntarily, and the instruction from the Society was to follow orders of the court in that case. (Romans 13 could be invoked as "the sword" of the authorities -- paying back Caesar's things to Caesar, etc.)

1 hour ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. 

That's always a tendency, but it is not the case that they are corrupt, just human.

I think the problem took 50 years to fix because it had a long tradition. It had become one of those "strongly entrenched things" as the Bible calls them. Perhaps it was seen as possibly going against something that Rutherford had received through one of those "flashes of light" that he claimed to get, perhaps received at a time when Jehovah needed to influence him more directly than he influences the GB today. Remember, that if we "rank and file" publishers have trouble understanding the workings of the holy spirit and inspiration, it must be an even touchier subject for those who claim they have no more holy spirit than a member of the great crowd, but who also know that their decisions will effect thousands or millions. How do they know if Rutherford might have been right when he claimed, for a while, that angels, not holy spirit, brought "flashes" of insight "directly" to the earthly part of God's "temple?" By changing a doctrine, even if it seems wrong, the current GB might feel they are  "standing on holy ground." That time period when military service and alternative service questions started was the same period that brought Jehovah's Witnesses victoriously through persecution, Hitler and WWII. And now the GB are going to question that past and say that a big part of it was wrong all along? It's always so much easier to just let things go as they always have until the issue reaches a crisis or boiling point.

 

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In the US the draft was removed in 1973 after many courts conceded to the language that was drawn in the Act of 1948. The point was to establish JW’s as ministers since witnesses are not ordained in a conventional way through the church with papers stating this person is an “ordained” Minister.

However, some thought the selective service would be extended in 1975 to include men from 1954-1956. That never happened.

But it was President Carter to reinstate the requirements for selective service in 1980. This is what Raymond is referring to. A failure to register would be considered a “felony” punishable by 5 years in prison and a ¼ a million dollar fine. If $250,000 is still considered a high amount for the poor and middle class, back then it was a death sentence.

That precedent became a dangerous position and was suspended in 1988. In 1989, Congress made some changes that required a person to register for selective service if they wanted to work in any government agency. Those that didn’t register could not work for the government. Now, if someone doesn’t register for the selective service or draft card after their 18 birthday. They run the risk of losing government benefits. So there is a difference between conscription within the selective service.

In 2003 congress wanted to reinstate the conscription. This legislation to either draft men or women in the military or for government civil service but was voted against by a 2/3 majority vote.

Raymond began using nonsensical propositions to be biased in what constituted, service free from guilt to service with guilt. His position, however, obscured what was a matter of conscience. The problem there, his examples were too broad even if the intention was to make them simple.

So, the crisis of conscience was a fabricated one. Many witnesses worked for the government, as they do today. The same reason it’s ironic he would use the same principles in page 271-272 to generalize and categorize, since the effect of being imprisoned for being a conscientious objector is a realistic problem any witness might face since 1918-1919 in the US.

This is why the UN drafted a mandate in 1995 that should not exclude the right to have conscientious objections to military service. It was reaffirmed in 1998.

So, witnesses will always be in danger of imprisonment by legislation. A danger that weighs heavy in the minds of the governing body. Through God’s will, they are given the admonition necessary to successfully argue the stance of a minster as a conscientious objector, in the US as well as throughout the world. South Korea comes to mind.

Instead of arguing What was a single man's view about the Watchtower in general, people should be helping the GB find a way to successfully demonstrate what a true witness is, a servant of Jehovah.

It certainly leaves a lot to be desired from Raymond’s attempts for justification.

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12 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

All in all, my prison time went well, working, going to school inside prison walls, not have problems with other prisoners, after 2 years get my first vacation to visit home. I am kind of introvert, and to be alone is not so harsh punishment  in my case :))) i like more to be alone in 3x2,5 cell than in crowd. Perhaps .... or certainly/ obviously.... i have some unsolved psycho and early childhood issues :))))   

There is a certain Paulesqe quality here that is not such a bad thing at all - the ability to be content with an abundance or a lack.

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20 hours ago, Anna said:

The FDS being only the members of the GB make practical sense as most of the other anointed are scattered all over the earth and are in different time zones, so to expect for them to sit in on, and contribute to the dispensing of spiritual food would be unrealistic.

funny explanation :))

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20 hours ago, Anna said:

You are right, we don't have to look far to find them. Here is a whole list of teachings that were revised or updated:

    Hello guest!

Do you think it would have been better to stick to the previous understanding and never change anything?

Of course, people have to change previous doctrinal nonsense. If doctrinal nonsense including some trivial ideas that not affect your life in important things then it can be possible for all JW to laugh together on that.

But when some doctrinal nonsense cause prison, death, personal and family problems ---- ???? what comfort and what kind of love will GB Teachers  give you as compensation and help?    

As we can see, from past to today, they give you another nonsense.

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18 hours ago, Anna said:

The reasoning was that alternative service would be a substitute or "in place of"....which was perceived being "the same as" fighting in a war, in which case Acts 5:29 would apply 

Reasoning of this type is/was nonsense ....., and JW people have to take clear stand and say that aloud to their human leaders.

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18 hours ago, Anna said:

Hence, if a government / ruler of a country offered Alternative Service that was not going against the will of God, then the people should obey it. - Romans 13.

The reasoning was that alternative service would be a substitute or "in place of"....which was perceived being "the same as" fighting in a war, in which case Acts 5:29 would apply  And the point was that as long as this service was commanded by the army, you couldn’t do it. But if it was commanded by any other institution it was ok. I think the problem starts when the brothers get bogged down with absolute detail in an effort to cover all bases. Unfortunately, it then becomes a pretzel of reasoning. It’s like Trinitarians trying to explain the Trinity. Someone on here posted an anecdotal example of this pretzel type reasoning with a mock WT article on why true Christians shouldn't own a cat. I have a suspicion that it was one certain brother who had a penchant for this type of reasoning......

All probably would have been well had this ambiguous situation been left to conscience in the first place, instead of trying to make rules where none existed......

Now this is very wrong indeed. However I'm wondering if this fits in with the misuse of the Romans 13 scripture concerning the 'superior authorities'. 

The Society / GB were still misusing this scripture until 1962 I think. So JW's could not use that scripture correctly and say they had to obey the Superior Authorities' meaning the Government / Secular Authority..... Because the Society /GB were telling lies and pretending it meant God and Jesus Christ. 

From 1929 to 1962, the Superior Authorities became “the Most High God Jehovah and his exalted Son Jesus Christ.” (This Means Everlasting Life (1950) p.197)

Which is absolutely stupid as the scripture says :- 

 Let every person

    Hello guest!
 be in subjection to the superior authorities,
    Hello guest!
 for there is no authority except by God;
    Hello guest!
 the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God.
    Hello guest!
  Therefore, whoever opposes the authority has taken a stand against the arrangement of God; those who have taken a stand against it will bring judgment against themselves.

Note :  'stand placed in their relative positions by God'. So if you believed the Society /GB they were saying that the Most High God Jehovah, was 'placed in his relative positions by God'. It makes no sense at all. 

Now back to other stupid ideas.

1. that communal work was as bad as killing people. 

2. that it really mattered who gave the  orders. 

Which takes us back to Superior Authorities being placed in their position by GOD. And if the Armed Forces are part of the Superior Authority because they enforce that authority, then so be it. 

The fact that it was perceived being "the same as"   shows a complete lack of spiritual guidance. 

 

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@JW Insider  Quote " Surely if the Bible says be no part of the world, and love your enemy, etc., anyone could easily interpret this to mean that support of the military is support of the "enemy" which is Satan's world and it's machinations. "

I totally disagree with you on this, but as I've mentioned to @Anna that the Society / GB were misusing the Superior Authority scripture in Romans 13. 

If the Romans scripture had been used correctly then it would have meant they would have been submitting to those Superior Authorities that God had put in place. If it was 'orders from', then it was not showing 'support for', it was just being 'obedient to'. Big difference in my humble opinion. 

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