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Jack Ryan

The French Speaking Baptist Church of Stratford is now located in the former Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall at 494 Milford Point Road.

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2 hours ago, Anna said:

This is why it's always better to call someone, rather than text 🙂.

Perhaps it will be a little expensive to call few of you across the Ocean :)) .... and with my slow mind and weak English .... i think i will stay on text :)))))

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12 hours ago, Anna said:

(Luke 12: 47-48) (This scripture is actually talking about the Faithful and discreet slave/GB).

(Luke 12:41, 42) . . .Then Peter said: “Lord, are you telling this illustration just to us or also to everyone?” 42 And the Lord said: “Who really is the faithful steward, the discreet one, whom his master will appoint over his body of attendants to keep giving them their measure of food supplies at the proper time?

Interesting. So when Peter asked Jesus, "Are you telling this illustration just to us or also to everyone?" Jesus should have answered, "NEITHER!" It's not to any of you apostles or disciples, because you'll be long dead by the time I return, and it's not to "everyone" either, because it's only going to apply to about two or three dozen people who are around between 1919 and, let's say, 100-and-some-odd years after that date.

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On 9/10/2019 at 4:11 PM, Ray Devereaux said:

You may wish to start with the understanding, Christ is the church. Is the Body of Christ a building? Did Jesus not use the temple? Perhaps by visiting JW.org, these questions can be made clear.

An illustration was given by Jesus on what kind of standard should be taken by those that decide to take the lead. The GB doesn’t overreach on its authority. I recall when Brother Jackson commented on how they, including the Elders, should not be seen like the Gentiles of Jesus at the time.  A better defense of contextual evidence than an irresponsible comment from outsiders about Luke. 1 Peter 5:3

Jesus himself stated, he was a servant and not to be served. Matthew 20:25-28

I have not found any evidence to suggest the GB has made it a practice to rule over others except by following Jehovah’s command. I don’t believe the GB has any illusions of being masters, especially task masters.

Maybe some brothers have forgotten. The GB has a greater responsibility as faithful servants and will receive a worse judgment of Jehovah if they deviate from God’s message.

In Brother Russell’s time, it was a given since each congregation was independent of each other. Perhaps the Bible Students felt the same way of understanding, Galatians 6:9.

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On 9/9/2019 at 6:58 PM, Ray Devereaux said:

While there was a difference between Charles Taze Russell’s understanding of the definition of the word “dedication” and “consecration” it does not diminish todays understanding by Jehovah’s witnesses that understand what an “acceptable” dedication really means.

Russell did see a difference between "consecration" and "dedication." But it did not become a big deal. In fact, the song "Consecration" as it was sung from 1928 under Rutherford's leadership, was not changed to "Dedication" until almost a decade into the leadership period of Knorr/Franz, in the 1950 to 1966 songbook (with hardly any other words changed in the song). After dropping that song for a while, most of the words were brought back into the latest song "My Prayer of Dedication" (now #50).

I should clarify that I see nothing wrong with buying a church/synagogue/mosque, or reusing or repurposing it for our own meetings. (With appropriate modifications.) And I see nothing wrong with selling a property to someone who wishes to use it however they want. The "dedication" was for a temporary purpose because it was a material object.

I also do not object to dedicating material objects for spiritual purposes. There is nothing wrong with dedicating Kingdom Halls, Assembly Halls, or even houses, cars and fields for such purposes.

I did want to make the point that because there will be more and more of this "turnover" and material transience in the times we live in, that we should be careful not to think of such material things as permanent. We are but alien residents passing through the world, and this world is passing away, not just in the future, but parts of it keep passing away before our eyes. (From human, economic, and even natural causes.)

To quote another of our songs: (#92) we do NOT attach any special significance to the material in the building or its location:

May we present this place to you,

And here may your name be known.

We dedicate this place to you;

Please accept it as your own.

2. And now may we honor you, Father,

By filling this place with your praise.

May glory ascend with the increase

Of those who are learning your ways.

Committing this place to your worship,

We give it our generous care.

And long may it stand as a witness,

Supporting the message we bear.

When I worked in the Art Dept at Bethel around 1980, a brother had drawn an Armageddon-like scene from the viewpoint of everyone attending a meeting and the typical destructive view as seen through the window of Kingdom Hall. This view was rejected by the Writing committee in favor of the more typical image of a stream of Witnesses walking away from a city being destroyed and up into the peaceful hills nearby with all eyes forward to a goal and no one looking back. More recently we have seen images of the Great Tribulation from the viewpoint of groups of Witnesses gathering wherever possible, but there is no special emphasis on Kingdom Hall buildings. 

I think that choice of imagery helps to avoid thinking of the buildings themselves as the "ark of salvation." It's much better to think of pure worship, including association with others, as that "ark of salvation."

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5 hours ago, Dotlizhihii Tlenaai said:

The GB doesn’t overreach on its authority. I recall when Brother Jackson commented on how they, including the Elders, should not be seen like the Gentiles of Jesus at the time.  A better defense of contextual evidence than an irresponsible comment from outsiders about Luke. 1 Pet 5:3

I believe that the illustration of the Faithful and Discreet Slave applies to the Governing Body. But I also believe that it is presumptuous for anyone to limit the meaning of the Faithful and Discreet Slave to the Governing Body. In fact, making such a claim of BEING the Faithful Slave before Jesus returns to confirm who has actually been "the faithful slave" is presumptuous, and is therefore a sign of being indiscreet. It is the very definition of being "discreet in one's own eyes."

(Isaiah 5:21) . . .Woe to those wise in their own eyes And discreet in their own sight!

1 Peter 5:3 was referenced by you and it says:

(1 Peter 5:3) 3 not lording it over those who are God’s inheritance, . . .

Referring to oneself as "governors" (i.e. a "Governing Body") is exactly what "lording it over" would be expected to look like. So it's not being faithful to this Bible verse, nor to the original illustration of the "faithful and unfaithful steward/slave" in Luke and Matthew. That same point is made in the NWT cross-referenced verse:

(2 Corinthians 1:24) 24 Not that we are the masters [lords/governors] over your faith, but we are fellow workers for your joy, for it is by your faith that you are standing.

When you mention not wanting to be seen like the Gentiles in Jesus time, you probably recall that this included the titles we might use to identify ourselves as the Gentiles and Jews of Jesus day liked to do:

(Matthew 20:25-27) 25 But Jesus called them to him and said: “You know that the rulers of the nations lord it over them and the great men wield authority over them. 26 This must not be the way among you; but whoever wants to become great among you must be your minister, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave.

(Luke 22:27) 27 For which one is greater, the one dining or the one serving? Is it not the one dining? . . .

(Matthew 23:7-10) . . .. 8 But you, do not you be called Rabbi, for one is your Teacher, and all of you are brothers. 9 Moreover, do not call anyone your father on earth, for one is your Father, the heavenly One. 10 Neither be called leaders, for your Leader is one, the Christ.

The Governing Body members, through the publications and public conventions, continually point out that they are the ones taking the lead over the congregations, and that correct teaching only comes through the hands of a few, rather than just pointing to how well these teaching match the teachings of Jesus himself. We should consider whether this might actually be the very kind of "overreach" that Jesus warned about. 

I see nothing at all wrong with the idea of the committee(s) of elders who preside over matters for the collective congregations, just as there is nothing wrong with the committee(s) of elders who preside over matters that come up for local congregations. But it is our Christian duty to question the food served, especially to comment on any concerns with respect to how well it matches the teachings of Jesus, the congregations' true Leader and Teacher.

As servants (slaves) the ones preparing such meals should expect and desire to be questioned about the ingredients of the meals they distribute, they should humbly seek out the input of others with respect to the content and quality of the meals prepared and distributed by such stewards.

In reality, there is no parable of the "faithful and discreet slave." It's really a parable of the "faithful slave/steward vs. the unfaithful slave/steward," and it everyone's responsibility to act like the faithful one, and not the unfaithful one.  All of us need to be faithful rather than unfaithful stewards. In fact the parables are MORE about what it means to be the UNFAITHFUL steward. In the parable of "Who really is the [true] neighbor?" this is only a little bit about the untrue neighbor, and MORE about who really is the "TRUE neighbor," using the example of the good Samaritan. But in this parable about "who really is the true steward?" it's about faithfulness, but it's even MORE about examples of UNFAITHFUL stewards, and various levels of unfaithfulness.

That said, it's still true that overseers, including the Governing Body, take on a greater responsibility as stewards. And this also increases the responsibility to act even more faithfully, humbly and discreetly. A slave would never ask for obedience to themselves, only that we obey Christ's leadership. Therefore, as we see how the example of any overseer's faith works out, we obey the lead of those elders. (Hebrews 13:7)

While it's true that we are all stewards, every overseer, especially, is God's steward.

(Titus 1:7) . . .For as God’s steward, an overseer must be free from accusation, not self-willed, . . .

There should be no stewards who set themselves up as a kind of human tribunal:

(1 Corinthians 4:2, 3) . . .In this regard, what is expected of stewards is that they be found faithful. 3 Now to me it is of very little importance to be examined by you or by a human tribunal. . . .

Paul wrote to congregations in Corinth where certain persons were trying to be too influential in "governing" the faith of those in the congregation, going right back to 2 Cor 1:24 already quoted above.

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10 hours ago, JW Insider said:

As servants (slaves) the ones preparing such meals should expect and desire to be questioned about the ingredients of the meals they distribute, they should humbly seek out the input of others with respect to the content and quality of the meals prepared and distributed by such stewards.

This is very good observation. GB are full in pride and self confidence of idea how food they prepare and serve are so good for JW's and non JW's. With expectations that JW's have to trust them because they are worth of trust.

About served food. All of us experienced how, when we were guest in someones home at meal, we have been asked; do you like food, is everything tasty, do you need more salt, paper, etc? Even in restaurants waiter asking; is it all good, all right with served food?   

Self made conclusion by authors of articles (and pictures) how publications and program are "proper food in proper time", or to be more precisely, not by authors always, but by Publishing Company and GB who making last verification and giving "green light" for publishing, not giving that possibility to asking for more "salt" in food. :)) 

Of course, some people need less and some people need more "salt", so it is also good to notice how food is not possible to prepare, for all this various people, only in one "pot".

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16 hours ago, Dotlizhihii Tlenaai said:

I have not found any evidence to suggest the GB has made it a practice to rule over others except by following Jehovah’s command.

When someone forbids JW members to be critical on WT articles, or not to hear opposite view about JW Organization and GB, under treat of rebuke, shunning and dfd, than that can be understand as intention or reality of idea - "rule over others".   

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On 9/12/2019 at 2:14 PM, Anna said:

This club is open to anyone. If you want to join a JW only club here it is:

Question. Is that JW only for Jehovah’s witnesses to discuss uplifting spiritual matters or is it the same as it is here where witnesses will come together to criticize doctrine, policy, and the governing body? I don’t want to be part of any unhelpful discussion if I join.

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11 hours ago, JW Insider said:

I believe that the illustration of the Faithful and Discreet Slave applies to the Governing Body. But I also believe that it is presumptuous for anyone to limit the meaning of the Faithful and Discreet Slave to the Governing Body. In fact, making such a claim of BEING the Faithful Slave before Jesus returns to confirm who has actually been "the faithful slave" is presumptuous, and is therefore a sign of being indiscreet. It is the very definition of being "discreet in one's own eyes."

Question. Isn't that something that is being presented, by you, when the GB doesn't go around promoting themselves.  They are discreet. The reason they are not discreet here is the promotion of something they don't personally claim. 

How would you separate that truth from fiction, here?

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