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If it looks stupid but it works, it ain’t stupid

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    • Just for interest, here is an interview with prince Andrew. It's acutely embarrassing the excuses  he makes and the denials.... Read comments, they are entertaining  
    • Yes. Just watched it. I like that you talk about the broad effects of the impact whistleblowing has had in this particular area. It's not just the Witnesses, but many institutions. Many guilty people would have probably got away with sexual abuse 20 years ago, but not so much today. Even royalty have been put under the microscope. History is rife with stories of rich dirty old men having sex with underage girls and getting away with it. When enough people make noise, it can't be ignored.
    • Maybe this was in the sense of these "bad elders" rejecting the counsel given by "good elders" who were quoting Bible books and the Mosaic Law (as transmitted through angels), or these "bad elders" were speaking out against sayings of Jesus and inspired writings of the apostles, as if they held no value to this time they were in, so many decades after Jesus originally spoke them. Also (less likely) Jude quotes the book of Enoch, specifically a part about the judgment of angels, and he appears to refer to another book about the "Assumption of Moses." We don't know how much more of those books were accepted other than the portions referenced, but these books were part of a genre that gave names to dozens of angels and referenced many more hierachies of thousands of angels. Good point! I doubt it. There are too many scriptures, and too much context that shows what Paul was up against in trying to get the congregations to accept and understand the concept of "grace" or "undeserved kindness." (Along with "law" "legalism" "works" "righteousness" "sin" "conscience" etc.) Paul had to write chapters, nearly whole long letters, on the subject, and it even put him for a short while at odds with the Jerusalem council. Probably it is sometimes. But the whistleblowing of the CSA cases all over the world have drawn attention to a lot of things that go on in the world where the abused victims felt powerless. In many institutions, including once-hostile work environments, this is actually changing for the better. The threat of monetary sanctions has made even rich men who could once get away with anything (as Trump claimed), think twice. It has definitely helped in some suburban schools and even corporations I once worked for. I suspect that many priests and elders who once thought they would get away with anything are now more apt to think again before abusing persons.
    • The old method of handling this was to use the expression "present truth." Many adventists including Seventh Day still use the expression. It's based on a mistranslation of 2 Peter 1:12 where the KJV said: Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. The tendency among 19th century Adventists was to see a "chronology" element or "time" element in the English expression that did not exist in the original Greek. Therefore, the idea was that: even when in the midst of learning or teaching falsehood, it was still "present truth" at the time, and what is now "present truth" could turn out to be false in the future, but it will always have been "present truth" because it's always the best we had at the time. From the Greek, this is better translated as "the truth that is present in you" (American Standard and NWT).  A similar rush to see a time element in the English translation was done by Barbour and Russell and others who had been associated with Adventists. Here's an example from Leviticus: (Leviticus 26:28) 28 I will intensify my opposition to you, and I myself will have to chastise you seven times for your sins. This was originally the primary source for Russell's 7 times = 2,520 years, and the 7 times of Nebuchadnezzar's dream about his own insanity was only a secondary source. But we have since learned that Leviticus here didn't refer to chronological "times" but the sense was "7 times as much" as in "I will hit you twice as hard, or three times as hard, or seven times as hard." This was already in the context, but chronologists and numerologists rarely notice the context until they have already formed a time related doctrine. (Leviticus 26:18-21) . . .“‘If even this does not make you listen to me, I will have to chastise you seven times as much for your sins. . . . 21 “‘But if you keep walking in opposition to me and refuse to listen to me, I will then have to strike you seven times as much, according to your sins. Now that we have noticed this, we have been stuck with using Nebuchadnezzar as if his wicked Gentile kingdom somehow represented Christ's Messianic non-Gentile kingdom. (Another contradiction between 1914 and the Bible.) We still tend to make a "chronology word" out of things having to do with time when we translate the Greek word for time as "appointed time" instead of what might better be translated as "opportune time." Note that it's the exact same word "time" in these two verses: (Ephesians 5:16) 16 buying out the opportune time for yourselves, because the days are wicked. (Luke 21:24) . . .and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled. Neither the word opportune nor appointed is found in the Greek, only the word time. But the more typical meaning is "opportunity" as in: Will you find the opportunity to do this? Will you find the time to do this? Not: Will you find the appointed day and hour to do this? We have added a more specific chronological sense that usually isn't necessary in the Greek.  
    • Elon Musk shows himself to rather out of touch with science. He is using his money to make a name for himself by driving forward with some outlandish plans. He is an embarrassment to his own employees sometimes when he quotes pseudo-scientific ideas that have been obsolete for decades. (One of these was the idea of using nuclear explosions to make Mars inhabitable.) But his optimism to get employees to "make it happen" will drive some scientific progress in spite of himself. Even here, however, he has often just attached his name to some idea that came out of Japan or China or some US or European scientific think tank that was never associated with Musk. He attaches his own unrealistic timelines to these ideas, however, and then begins to lose credibility.  This particular idea has some merit, but there is a lot more expense in creating the infrastructure than people realize. There is the mining of the elements that go into solar cells, the manufacture of solar panels, the trucking of materials to such a solar hub, the infrastructure to build out the lines from the hub across the USA. Currently these types of expenses reduce the ROI value of this particular type of renewable energy so much that it makes carbon (coal/oil/petroleum) seem much more desirable for generating power, and for which an infrastructure is already in place. When viable, I would like to see how close to Hoover Dam this could be built to re-use some power lines that emanate from there, and already reach to many southwest states. Perhaps an even better idea would be to find a place near Yuma or Mexicali, so that half of the power would be used to desalinate water for Mexico and the US by piping saltwater from the Gulf of California, then freshwater back out with a mountain or salt and minerals as a byproduct.    
    • I think that's exactly correct. But we know that as Christians we are still under under a duty to question, reflect, test, prove, meditate, and "make sure of all things." We must do this even if it were an angel out of heaven giving us the interpretation, according to Galatians 1 and 2. And Paul specifically applied that thought to the way the Galatian congregation(s) should have tested and made sure of the incorrect counsel coming from council of elders at Jerusalem, because evidently some were too quick to accept that counsel just because it came from those who seemed to be pillars in the congregation. To Paul, he said, it didn't matter who those men were, or what they seemed to be, and he even included Peter, James and John in that idea of who to question. John himself later wrote that we should test the inspired utterances (1 John 4:1). I have. And the Watchtower has also claimed to have found MANY previous misinterpretations of prophecy which interpretations they said came from God, and yet warranted a redefinition of that interpretation. In fact I quoted you one of several places where the Watchtower has admitted exactly what you say you have not found: *** ws17 June p. 13 par. 16 Set Your Heart on Spiritual Treasures *** At times, our understanding of a Bible prophecy or a scripture may be adjusted. When that happens, it is important to take the time to study the adjustment and meditate on it. (Acts 17:11; 1 Timothy 4:15) We not only need to understand the main differences between the old understanding and the new one, but we also need to pay attention to the details of the new understanding. I've seen you accuse others here of blasphemy, when they defended the Bible, and yet you are able to make a statement such as that! Yes, certain Bible Student congregations continued to follow the Barbour/Russell advent timeline, which included Rutherford and the Watchtower editorial board, up until about 1927, with some intermediate adjustments over time to what Russell had said about 1914, and 1915, and with some brand new ideas about 1918, and 1925. Russell's concerted effort to "finally understand his own chronology" barely changed a thing, except for a few changes to some Great Pyramid measurements, and some vacillations between 1914 and 1915, and a change around 1904 to push the period of tribulation to the few months after 1914 instead of the few months (or years) before 1914. I would agree that Edgar's pyramid scheme hardly influenced Russell. That's because Edgar only wanted to get even more details on the subject, and completed most of this work after Russell had already published all he had to say on the Pyramid. Also, Russell was already satisfied enough with the details he had borrowed from Joseph Seiss. You say: "Perhaps, that is where the confusion lies" but there is no need for any confusion at all. Russell's works include all the necessary details, and they are all easy to find. If we wish to discuss Russell's own published views, we don't need to worry about the many other groups that sprung from Barbour's and Russell's teachings. I think I know what you are talking about. I think the admins or moderators here consider it spamming when someone overuses a long string of a dozen or more dislike emojis at the rate of one per minute on the posts of people they dislike, and a string of a dozen or more "like" emojis at the rate of about one per minute on their own accounts of different names. I think once a person is caught doing this once, it's dangerous to keep doing this with even with a smaller string of up-votes and down-votes. Sometimes the give-away to the game is when the down-vote is simply a negative response to a Scripture or a direct quote from the Watchtower.
    • I would like to expand on the above quote. New truth/old truth......in the same WT in the preceding par (15) it says; "We discovered some priceless truths when we first began to associate with God’s people. These could well be described as “old,” in that we have known and appreciated them from the beginning of our Christian course. What do such precious truths include? We learned that Jehovah is our Creator and Life-Giver and that he has a purpose for mankind. We also learned that God lovingly provided the ransom sacrifice of his Son so that we might be freed from sin and death. We further learned that his Kingdom will end all suffering and that we have the prospect of living forever  in peace and happiness under Kingdom rule". So the "old" truths here are defined as old from the point of view of age. These are the backbone, basics, elementary, fundamental or key doctrines as JWI describes at the outset of this thread. These have not changed. Then there is the "old" as defined in par 16; "old understanding". So we are not talking about any new truth as in newly discovered truth, but an adjustment or new understanding of what has already been taught previously. In this case it really doesn't make sense to call something old truth and new truth because truth can only be one. If it's not truth, its falsehood. So in my opinion, unless something is "old" established truth, the backbone of our Biblical doctrine, then anything else that falls into the "viewpoint" category of "truth" (or the shadow that is thrown) should not have to be accepted as the "absolute Truth", and should it really become "a part of our collection of Bible truths"? (Of course with any kind of truth, whether relativism, universalism (absolute truth) etc. one can go into great depths of the philosophy behind these concepts: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth) (Interestingly, JWI WT quote is from the simplified version. The normal study version does not say "a part of our collection of Bible truths" , but "our own treasure store".)        
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