True, however, testing the spirit does not include drawing one's own conclusions outside scripture. I have not found an insistence where the Watchtower has gone beyond what is written. Do they try to simplify certain things, yes they do. That doesn’t mean they are stepping away from the context.
Another thing is with the comparison made. The GB are following the true spirit of God like the apostles. Therefore, they have NOT taken the position of the Jerusalem counsel.
If you have, then you sit in Moses seat. Matthew 23:2
If the passion is to correct, as God corrected his people, Then I would suspect there is a resemblance to be equal to Christ as the Pope seems to indicate. The GB do not hold themselves in that high regard as to think, they can question God's motives for humanity.
I would recommend studying the issue further. There are areas that haven’t been included with many presentations here. Since you claim the Watchtower is misrepresenting an issue that has become an obstacle to your personal faith, then I would make light of JTR and TTH comments about contacting the Watchtower directly.
Feeding an assumption only emboldens the God of this world, no one else.
Correct. There is only one way to view scripture. Anyone deviating from that is causing personal harm to the spirit of others. It doesn’t matter if those individuals hate the Watchtower, it’s by their own spoken words and actions of clear and concise misinterpretation of scripture, and misapplication of the Watchtower literature where they fail to see the difference. Removing themselves from the context of scripture to argue with the strength of hate and discourse is the sole definition of scripture when Christ clearly stated not to and to stay away from.
Those are the dangers when we engage in an open forum. We like to think it is to discuss issues. However, the ever present danger will always be, the influence of the devil.
It is one thing to defend the truth, but quite another thing to defend the truth when one’s heart is conflicted. Merely following that conduct disqualifies anyone from stating they are Christian. That is the kind of Christian Jesus spoke of as a danger.
The confusion would lie with how the public perceives the Watchtower under the direction of the bible Student association. The word “association” should give anyone, pause to rethink, Russell and Rutherford belonged to the International Bible Student Association.
A reason, Rutherford dismissed the edger pyramid scheme straight up. Russell, used it as a comparison, nothing more.
Another thing that witnesses should consider, those works were made by not allowing Christendom’s view of scripture. Therefore, Russell essentially started from scratch. There are far more reasons why those dates were accepted. Mainly, by events of that time.
Bible Students still believe, the Jewish nation has a pivotal role in the last days. According to Christ everyone became relative in the last days including the Jews. They are not the sole reason for the last days as Christendom exerts.
Remember, even the most conservative view which is Bishop Ussher, his calculation referenced 586BC as the 3rd instance of judgment by Nebuchadnezzar. The third, not the first nor the second as historians and scholars claim, but the third. This is why history itself is flawed, since they continue to insist, there were only 2 campaigns against Judea and Jerusalem. Mainly 597-587BC.
I will not beat on the bush with this one. I am confident we both know what limitations are imposed and previous actions taken.
An interesting take with a lot to say for it.
When Jude mentions these "rocks beneath the surface" for example, it always reminds me of the first time I read "Paul and Thecla" while at Bethel, but at the NYPL, via a book about Christian widows of the 2nd century. Paul and Thecla is an early Christian short story or novella with Thecla, not Paul, as the hero. It's one of a few stories of this type, probably written by and for women in the early Christian congregations. The antagonists of some of these stories are the 2nd century "circuit overseers" who would go from congregation to congregation saying all the right things from the "platform" but then they would also quietly worm their way into the houses of well-meaning sisters and widows, and try to take advantage of them sexually.
I was quite surprised when the Watchtower last year mentioned Paul and Thecla for the second time in nearly 100 years, and was again surprisingly supportive of the work as containing possible reflections of true traditions believed in the 2nd century:
*** w18 March p. 13 par. 3 Questions From Readers ***
The Acts of Paul and Thecla was highly regarded in early centuries, as confirmed by the fact that 80 Greek manuscripts of it exist, as well as versions in other languages. Thus, our artistic presentations are in line with some ancient indications of what the apostle looked like.
I personally have never experienced a "bad" circuit overseer. All of them have been exemplary and I have always looked forward to their visits, especially when hearing a new one for the first time. But I think all of us old-timers have had experience with congregational drifters, and we often look at them with the same kinds of suspicions. Sometimes it's a young brother who is very vague about his last congregation and who quickly latches on to an association with another eligible sister. Sometimes it's a more elderly brother, perhaps even a special pioneer, looking for an alternate congregation, hoping the trouble he caused in the last congregation won't get reported in too much detail. (Speaking from a real example, this elderly brother also latched onto a "relationship," and place to stay, with a family of sisters: a sister with an unbelieving and ailing husband, and a couple of daughters. It was a recipe for disaster.) The younger brother caused some heart-ache by getting engaged to a sister, and the engagement was later broken off.
It's hard for me not to imagine such cases when I read Jude. So, at first, it was hard for me to see them as drifters into forums like this one to cause other kinds of trouble, but I can definitely see a similarity now.
I’m not really sure what “worshipful” means.
When celebrities come into town, they are mobbed by fans. Are those fans worshipful? I might say yes, but the fans themselves will just say they they are flocking to them out of respect for their accomplishments. If brothers pose for selfies with the GB members (much to the latter’s annoyance, I am consistently told, someone said with the possible exception of Lett) are they “worshipful?” It’s in the eye of the beholder, I think.
Though I have a great many faults, admiring personalities is not one of them. I would love to have a GB member stay at my house so I could ignore him. “There’s your room—make yourself at home. If you’d like to visit, that works fine, but you have many things to do and if you ignore us completely that also works fine with us,”
Probably there are few words they could hear that would please them more.
And no, @James Thomas Rook Jr., I wouldn’t present them with a list of my QUESTIONS that, as MEN of HONOR, they are obligated to answer,