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2019 Annual Meeting wishes

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As we're approaching to our Annual meeting, here it goes my list of wishes! Perhaps there is a chance some of them could be announced:

KNOW THE REASON FOR UPDATES IN PUBLICATIONS
When a new update is available in JW Library, I download it without knowing the reasons for it: we do not know if it is a small editing error, a significant improvement in translation, a more serious adjustment ... Anyway, I would love be informed of the reasons, especially when sometimes the Bible itself is updated. Perhaps I have used outdated information inadvertently and it would be nice to know that there has been an improvement!

WATCHTOWER WITH APPENDIX
Our study articles are nice, no doubt. However, in order not to make them excessively extensive for their study in the congregation, they lacked extension in some ideas. Perhaps in the form of an appendix that can be read by anyone who wishes delve into some subject

LITERATURE WITH REFERENCES
Years ago it was common to find in our publications references to McClintock, Vine, Barclay and others. Now this has almost completely disappeared. Why? So we don't waste time reading them? Not to be confused by reading different approaches? If it has been useful for decades, I don't see why we don't have those references again.

DISCONTINUE THE PIONERING(AUXILIARY-REGULAR)
I know, it sounds blasphemy. But given the advantages that someone could exhibit, I have seen in others and in myself these "collateral damage", nothing insignificant:

  • Preach not for love of God or neighbor, but for hours
  • Feeling bad conscience about having to leave the pioner service to attend family, health or the congregation
  • Feelings of superiority 
  • And then, who would attend pioner meetings with C.O.? everybody who wishes!

DO NOT REPORT THE PREDICATION
I mean in the current format "so many hours, books, etc." Was it reported that way in the first century? Don't we intend to imitate the primitive congregation to the fullest?
Reporting involves the following:

  • The elders falsely believe we know the "flock" for knowing the card
  • The actual effort of the low quatitu of hours  is not included in the card, but you have to sacrifice a lot to do it
  • There are brothers who feel ashamed for informing / preaching little and have to report it
  • There are elders who only call publishers to ask for the monthly report
  • The C.O. gets an idea of the state of a congregation by looking at some forms, that can be equivocal

REFORM THE PREACHING FROM HOME TO HOME
In many countries (especially Europeans) the challenge of entering residential buildings to preach is enormous. People (myself) do not want strangers to enter buildings, not for religious indifference, but for safety and comfort. When someone manages to "sneak in", whether they sell gas, electricity, insurance ... or religion, the reaction is very negative about the product they intend to sell, for not respecting the privacy and security of the building. Solution? Nothing easy, but go through, in my opinion:

  • Abandon the idea of preaching entering buildings in many locations
  • That must be determined locally: in the same city or congregation there are buildings where that would not be a problem, but in others yes
  • Stop counting how many times a territory is made as a way to find out the intensity of the preaching of the congregation
  • Stop preaching with a tie and suit (TJ uniform) but sit in the parks, or visit the malls, or a thousand different ways, and then take advantage to make conversations arise

REPORT ON THE QUALITY OF THE SPEAKERS
Many are invited on the basis of their friendship with whom they invite, or because they appear on the list of speakers. If each congregation had a simple way to survey the speaker:  did you like Sunday's talk YES / NO? the people in charge of inviting would see that some better not to come much, and vice versa

INFORM ABOUT C.O.'s
Many of these brothers are a gift. Others are simply a test for everyone. I have personally met destructive travelers. It is very difficult to help, change or remove them from that job. Many years ago, in the annual report that each congregation sent to the headquartes, one question was, more or less, "Were the c.o.' visits upbuilding?" Of course, if a congregation says that it is very bad but 19 very good, it is known that they are prejudiced in that congregation. But if in 19 congregations the report is unfavorable and only one speaks well ... something should be done.

MECHANISM OF COMPLAINTS
Do I have a way to express my complaint about something that works badly, as the widows in first century? Yes, I will be told: you tell the elders, then the traveler. Of course, but if they tell me that I have to wait, that nothing else can be done, could I not write to the headquartes, even to NY? Well, I've already done it, and the answers that have come to me have been stereotyped.


It is very difficult for negative situations to escalate. There is a protection mechanism. If I express myself openly, it is interpreted as a lack of appreciation, of faith, of collaborative spirit. I know that is so. However, when you want to know the opinion - POSITIVE - of something mechanisms are established, for example:


On the occasion of the recent presentation of the Bible in Spanish, the c.o. sent us a request for reactions from the brothers to the presentation, yes, all positive: that we say what the brothers thought of the new translation, how they received it at the assembly , and so on.

Well, I would like you to ask me things like:

  • Do you think it is good that the branch of Spain spends a lot of money in reforming some huge buildings for the real use that will be given to them?
  • Have you felt encouraged by this or that article? Why yes, why not?
  • Etc

THE QUALITY OF THE ANSWERS AT THE MEETINGS
In my area it is frowned upon to make a public declaration of faith, to express personal feelings. It breaks the scheme of the meeting, in fact, there is no time. The brothers are used to underline and respond. When the watchtower's question is personal: "What do you think about ...?" nobody raises their hand, or we respond by reading

WATCHTOWER WITH PREAMBLE AND CONCLUSION
99% of the Watchtower overseers I have seen in my life waste their time in introductory paragraphs during meetings. Then you have to go fast in the key paragraphs. Why not place an introduction that is not read, and a conclusion that is not read? 

SOME ROTATING POSITIONS
I understand that if there are 10 elders in a congregation, not everyone is qualified to be a coordinator, for example. But maybe 3 or 4 yes. I would like those 3 or 4 to rotate the position annually, to avoid "love of the chair"

REFORMULATE THE ANNUAL ASSEMBLIES
Many of us remember the assemblies of years ago. They were long, very long. Extensive speeches Many times in full sun, and we were expected to take notes as not to be distracted. Now however there has been an impressive improvement. However, I sincerely believe that many would benefit more if a national assembly was broadcasted by streaming to the entire country, and that most brothers saw it in the Kingdom and assembly halls. What would be achieved?

  • Savings for siblings who go through hardships to get to the city of assembly and pay for accommodation
  • Central Savings
  • Avoid the sacrifice of early wake ups, fix the children, travel from the hotel to the place of assembly
  • Improvement in concentration. With a few hours of sleep you can't concentrate

And the joy of crowded crowds? That is why there would be a few assemblies nationwide, in rotating cities, upon invitation.

EXTERNALIZE BETEL
That they print commercial companies, that the size of Bethel be reduced to the minimum expression. Let the bulk of the work be done by commuters, whenever possible

RESIDENCES OF ELDERLY
Many brothers who have spent their entire lives for the work, as adults, find themselves dependent on the goodwill of friends or a congregation that wants to support them. Bethel is not the place for elderly people. Places could be set up to care for these brothers with dignity and without having to beg for help

SUPERVISION OF THE WORK BY "NORMAL" PEOPLE
Well, I explain myself. What effect does it have on someone who lives, eats, sleeps, works in a secluded place? That he doesn't need to work secularly, or fight to support the family, who are never denied permission to go to meetings, or go to the assembly ... and surrounded by people with the same situation.
What I have seen is that there is a perverse effect. These excellent brothers year after year, decade after decade of living a different life to the rest of humanity and brotherhood have a distorted view of things and brothers. Not always, of course, but many times yes.


I would like that especially the brothers who have to supervise the spiritual activity of others, have secular work, like any other brother. And in the afternoon, instead of the pionering, they could take care of the spiritual needs of others.
By the way, didn't Paul do that, work secularly?

THE BEARD
Yes, wearing a beard. In our publications only men who are not witnesses wear beards. When they are baptized they have always shaved it. Who decides these photos, how do you think they give freedom of choice worldwide? In theory you can wear a beard, but in reality it is badly seen in many places especially for videos and photographs in our publications. Let photos of JW's with beards come out, now!

DOCTRINAL

1914, PARUSIA
@JW Insider has explained it masterfully on so many occasions. Our 1914 doctrine simply does not hold. The parusia of Christ is his return, it is comparable to his coming. It has not yet occurred

PROXIMITY OF THE END
Of course we are near the end! Not since 1914, but since 33 CE. Since Christ left and said he would come unexpectedly, like a thief. That exactly teaches the Bible

DISFELLOWSHIPPING
Others, and myself, have bitterly written that our position is the strictest and most pharisaic interpretation of all possible approaches to expulsion. Especially when it has to do with relatives.

PHARISEISM
With sadness I perceive that, at the organizational level, we're becoming Christian Pharisees. We have been told that we should avoid that attitude, but the importance given to the dress, the beard, the belief that we are better than others, the ambition of the top positions... How I would like these attitudes to be eradicated at the root

SEXUAL RELATIONS
Clearly state that what the marriage decides to do in their room is only for both of them

HUMILITY
How much I would like that instead of exposing new approaches as the last truth, it will be explained that it is the most plausible, but not infallible, explanation. And that with time and study, a different one may look better.

 

There are more, but I better leave it here

 

 

 

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I thought these were all excellent ideas. And I have to agree with them, especially the one where you mentioned me. 😄

I thought an excellent opportunity arose in advance of the Love Never Fails theme for the conventions.

(1 Corinthians 13:8-13) 8 Love never fails. But if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away with; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away with. 9 For we have partial knowledge and we prophesy partially, 10 but when what is complete comes, what is partial will be done away with. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, to think as a child, to reason as a child; but now that I have become a man, I have done away with the traits of a child. 12 For now we see in hazy outline by means of a metal mirror, but then it will be face-to-face. At present I know partially, but then I will know accurately, just as I am accurately known. 13 Now, however, these three remain: faith, hope, love; but the greatest of these is love.

For me, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to take the exact context of that verse, and develop a theme about ways in which the Governing Body can show that they are now reducing all the emphasis on attempted prophecy. (What will happen next before the end? A more pointed judgment message? Anointed "raptured"? Babylon the Great fallen? "Other Sheep" replacing the Governing Body? Cries of Peace and Security? An attack on Jehovah's Witnesses corresponding to touching Jehovah's eyeball? Gog/Magog? The order of the earthly resurrection? Who will teach whom? What happens at the end of the thousand years?)

1914, 1919, 1922, the 1260 days, the 1290 days, the 1335 days, the 2300 evenings and mornings, the 7 times, etc. These can all be de-emphasized now and replaced with a new message about ways we can show love to one another. This could include caring for aging parents, new counsel about caring for our families materially, caring for the sick and poor among us, even caring for disfellowshipped ones at our own discretion of personal conscience. Becoming known as a group who shows the greatest love among ourselves would be our new "calling card." Preaching could still have a "last days" theme, but it would always be about the sort of persons we ought to be in showing love for one another, knowing that the end could happen at any time, or that our own end could happen at any time. Our hope, and our faith in that hope are still a big part of the good news, but our love right now is the greatest theme of the good news.

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Thank you for your expressions. I wanted to respond a little sooner than this but I ran out of time. Here are my thoughts on some of the things you mention. Just my two cents 😀.

On 9/25/2019 at 11:31 AM, ComfortMyPeople said:

KNOW THE REASON FOR UPDATES IN PUBLICATIONS

I used to think the same way, but just because it says update, doesn't mean the actual content is changed (like different wording of a scripture for example) but it is more to do with technical updates to make things compatible with constant changes and updates in the way  various operating systems work, similar to windows system, Firefox etc.  It is normal for any websites to do that. If there are any doctrinal or organizational changes, then we are usually made aware of them in a WT study.

On 9/25/2019 at 11:31 AM, ComfortMyPeople said:

WATCHTOWER WITH APPENDIX

That would be a cool thing for those who like to dig deep.I noticed sometimes there are references to further reading, but not often.

On 9/25/2019 at 11:31 AM, ComfortMyPeople said:

LITERATURE WITH REFERENCES

I don't know, but perhaps because everything is being simplified, sort of like we've already researched all the subjects, so no need to keep bringing it up, time to move on kind of thing.  The publications with all those references are still available for anyone to read and research though.

On 9/25/2019 at 11:31 AM, ComfortMyPeople said:

DISCONTINUE THE PIONERING(AUXILIARY-REGULAR)
I know, it sounds blasphemy. But given the advantages that someone could exhibit, I have seen in others and in myself these "collateral damage", nothing insignificant:

  • Preach not for love of God or neighbor, but for hours
  • Feeling bad conscience about having to leave the pioner service to attend family, health or the congregation
  • Feelings of superiority 
  • And then, who would attend pioner meetings with C.O.? everybody who wishes!

I understand some of the things you are saying regarding this subject. I especially agree with your last two points. I suppose striving for hours is an incentive some people need. It would be great if the friends would put in pioneer hours without actually pioneering. But we mustn't forget that if a publisher signs up to be a pioneer, then they know what they are doing, they know they are committing themselves to a certain promise. The problem is why are they doing it. Is it because they need an incentive,  or is it because they like the title?

On 9/25/2019 at 11:31 AM, ComfortMyPeople said:

REFORM THE PREACHING FROM HOME TO HOME
In many countries (especially Europeans) the challenge of entering residential buildings to preach is enormous. People (myself) do not want strangers to enter buildings, not for religious indifference, but for safety and comfort. When someone manages to "sneak in", whether they sell gas, electricity, insurance ... or religion, the reaction is very negative about the product they intend to sell, for not respecting the privacy and security of the building. Solution? Nothing easy, but go through, in my opinion:

  • Abandon the idea of preaching entering buildings in many locations
  • That must be determined locally: in the same city or congregation there are buildings where that would not be a problem, but in others yes
  • Stop counting how many times a territory is made as a way to find out the intensity of the preaching of the congregation
  • Stop preaching with a tie and suit (TJ uniform) but sit in the parks, or visit the malls, or a thousand different ways, and then take advantage to make conversations arise

If I am not mistaken, there is no specific regulation which says you can't do those things you have described. For example when going door to door in a remote village in one Easter European country, the brothers do not wear a tie because the locals would get confused and suspicious, and not be open to discussions.  It is always a good idea to adapt our preaching according to local circumstances. We should never be stuck on just one way. With the counting...I read somewhere that JWs keep the best and most reliable records. If there is any kind of worldly survey carried out, for example with regard to the numbers (members) of a particular religion, they always seem to trust the JW numbers the most.

On 9/25/2019 at 11:31 AM, ComfortMyPeople said:

REPORT ON THE QUALITY OF THE SPEAKERS

Haha, that would be funny. I don't think that will ever happen because it's too judgmental. But I understand your point!

 

On 9/25/2019 at 11:31 AM, ComfortMyPeople said:

MECHANISM OF COMPLAINTS

I think it's obvious that the reaction to a new Bible would be very positive. Therefor I don't think this was so much a request for information, but a confirmation of a "work well done". However the questions you propose, are on a different level and would require an awful lot of work sifting through the submissions. But I agree. I think JW Insider mentioned something about a "suggestion box" option on our website. Or even a "ask questions" box. I think both would be a very good idea. At the moment as you say, it is left up to the CO's to give some kind of report. But the thing is, many friends do not like to bring an issue up which they think might be viewed controversial or even rebellious. I know I don't. But if these comments could be made anonymously on the website, then I am sure the organization would get a much better idea of the state of the congregations and friends. The problem is some kind of mechanism would have to be put into effect that prevented just ANYONE from commenting. That way people who were merely trouble makers (opposers etc.) wouldn't clog up the whole site, or give the wrong impression that the friends were having these problems, whereas it would really be ex- witnesses.

On 9/25/2019 at 11:31 AM, ComfortMyPeople said:

THE QUALITY OF THE ANSWERS AT THE MEETINGS
In my area it is frowned upon to make a public declaration of faith, to express personal feelings. It breaks the scheme of the meeting, in fact, there is no time. The brothers are used to underline and respond. When the watchtower's question is personal: "What do you think about ...?" nobody raises their hand, or we respond by reading

To be honest we don't have that problem in my congregation. There are many excellent auxiliary answers given. I suppose it depends on the congregation. Although we are all united, each congregation has its unique style/character. That's why you get some people "shopping" for a congregation they like, if they are not happy in the one they are at. 

On 9/25/2019 at 11:31 AM, ComfortMyPeople said:

WATCHTOWER WITH PREAMBLE AND CONCLUSION
99% of the Watchtower overseers I have seen in my life waste their time in introductory paragraphs during meetings. Then you have to go fast in the key paragraphs. Why not place an introduction that is not read, and a conclusion that is not read? 

I agree completely! I always go to sleep when they do that. I don't see the point.

On 9/25/2019 at 11:31 AM, ComfortMyPeople said:

EXTERNALIZE BETEL
 Let the bulk of the work be done by commuters, whenever possible

I think that this is already going on to a certain point isn't it?

Also I know that things have been simplified where there are no longer room cleaners, each person must clean their own room for example.

On 9/25/2019 at 11:31 AM, ComfortMyPeople said:

RESIDENCES OF ELDERLY

I think something like that exists in the USA.  https://jjha.community/about/

But I don't think it is organized by the society.

On 9/25/2019 at 11:31 AM, ComfortMyPeople said:

SUPERVISION OF THE WORK BY "NORMAL" PEOPLE

Yes. Don't you just love it when an older single brother with no children tries to give you counsel about yours?

On 9/25/2019 at 11:31 AM, ComfortMyPeople said:

THE BEARD
Yes, wearing a beard. In our publications only men who are not witnesses wear beards. When they are baptized they have always shaved it. Who decides these photos, how do you think they give freedom of choice worldwide? In theory you can wear a beard, but in reality it is badly seen in many places especially for videos and photographs in our publications. Let photos of JW's with beards come out, now!

Oh yes, the notorious beard issue! 🐵 A few weeks ago, in my mum's congregation, a young ministerial servant decided to grow a beard. My mum told me that the elders told him that if he wants to keep on carrying the mikes he will have to shave the beard off.  This is in a country where beards are socially acceptable, and in some congregations there are elders with beards. Not many, but I know one personally. I told my mum that usually it is up to the body of elders to decide because they should know the territory well and know whether it would offend an outsider or not.  She then told me that 1. my dad (an elder) wasn't told about it, and 2. there is absolutely no aversion to beards by the public as many people wear one. I asked her if this young brother was a "rebellious" type. She said not at all. Logically, he must have been qualified in order to become a min. servant. So as you can see, there is already a problem because certain elders have taken it upon themselves to decide on the matter without consulting the whole body. Who knows, these elders may not like beards, so it becomes personal, rather than theocratic. They have the Co's visit right now, so she told me she would let me know what happens. The other thing is, which I find odd, is that apparently if he shaves it off, they won't address the issue (!) I feel like telling the brother, don't shave it off, because this issue needs to be handled properly first. And once it's handled properly, and they still ask him to shave it off, then that is a different matter.

As regards the photos, yes, I agree, on the one hand we are told in the WT that beards are ok in some cultures, but then on the other hand shaving a beard off is used as an example of spiritual progress. It confuses people.

(P.S. Quite a large number of elders I know grow a beard while on vacation, and don't mind posting pictures on Instagram or FB, so they are not hiding it, but then once they go back to the meeting they shave it off).

I will comment on the doctrinal part  next time. (when I have more time).

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I used to think the same way, but just because it says update, doesn't mean the actual content is changed (like different wording of a scripture for example) but it is more to do with technical updates to make things compatible with constant changes and updates in the way  various operating systems work, similar to windows system, Firefox etc.  It is normal for any websites to do that. If there are any doctrinal or organizational changes, then we are usually made aware of them in a WT study.

Yes, @Anna, it's possible but the compatibility issues  usually affect the platform, the software, not the data, in this case the publications. If a matter of compatibility affects, let's say, the Watchtowers of the Library, ALL of them should be updated, not just a specific Watchtower.
Well, it is not a matter of life or death. I guess they are often minor problems

 

Quote

The problem is why are they doing it. Is it because they need an incentive,  or is it because they like the title?

Frankly, I have not seen too much the problem of pride in the pionering. The vast majority of pioners do it (we have done it) as a show of devotion and a sort of help to give one hundred percent. So far so good.


BUT ... remember that although we have incorporated the example of the Nazarites as a "type" of the pioners , in the Christian era we did not find any example that there was anything similar: commit to preach x monthly hours.


And, the real problem that I have seen is something surreptitious, unconscious and unwavering that has happened to many pioners: that we do not balance our own spirituality, our family, the congregation, rest and other important matters for an obligation, NOT BEFORE JEHOVAH , but before a commitment to the organization. The only commitment to Jehovah has always been and will be to serve him to the fullest.


Then, when one begins to realize that something is not going well, or to increase his stress, it turns out that many feelings of guilt arise from abandoning that service, or the wiser decission is postponed . Anyway, it's what I see

 

Quote

If I am not mistaken, there is no specific regulation which says you can't do those things you have described.

oh dear Anna, YES there is regulation:
Of course, there are many countries where this will be different. I have only preached in the Dominican R., New York (Spanish territory) and in Spain. But in all these places the congregation has (logically) assigned a territory. As you know, this is divided the parts that give us in the meetings. And we are encouraged to COVER ALL BUILDINGS in that territory. If territories remain uncovered when you visit CO, we already have a problem.

Quote

I think that this is already going on to a certain point isn't it?

Regarding Bethel externalization. Yes, slower than I would like

 

Quote

I think something like that exists in the USA. https://jjha.community/about/

Yes, but there is no world policy, based on the Scriptures, that impels us to extend this service everywhere. Here in Spain I know lifelong servants who at the time of old age  the non-believing family have take the control, preventing them from going to any meetings, or the Memorial. Others have their own means and defend themselves, but we would have to worry as an Organization and not leave the matter in the hands of the local congregation.

Anna, I very much appreciate your weighted opinions

 

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1 hour ago, Anna said:
On 9/25/2019 at 11:31 AM, ComfortMyPeople said:

REPORT ON THE QUALITY OF THE SPEAKERS

Haha, that would be funny. I don't think that will ever happen because it's too judgmental. But I understand your point!

“Brother, when I hear you speak I marvel at the wisdom of Jehovah’s organization in cutting public talks down from 45 minutes to 30.”

 

1 hour ago, Anna said:

Oh yes, the notorious beard issue!

All that I will say on this is that the last meeting was enough to end my study with Santa Claus. He had. been making such good progress. I had finally gotten him to stop disrupting meetings with a “HO HO HO!” whenever the speaker made even the lamest of jokes. He had stopped pronouncing the elders “bad” when they asked him and me to take his outbursts  to the back room. He had even said he was giving up the extreme sports stunt he pulls every late December, out of regard for appreciating the gift of life. It wasn’t the full beard the fellow had at the beginning that stumbled him. Nor was it the shaven-off beard that he had at baptism. It was the half-beard that he had at his study, thus indicating progress.

Sigh...and he was a good study. His wife always served the most delicious cookies.

I will weigh in on some of these other things, too, when I get a moment. Thought has gone into them.

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2 hours ago, ComfortMyPeople said:

the non-believing family have take the control, preventing them from going to any meetings, or the Memorial.

That is truly a sad situation. It would be nice if there was some organizational provision whereby these old ones would be taken care of. It is always hoped that the elders, who have the sheep in their care, take care of their sheep in this matter also. The problem is that the situation can get quite complicated. The elders do not want to and shouldn't interfere in the affairs of others. For example when the older parent moves in with unbelieving family, then the elders have no right to tell that family what the parent should be and should not be able to do. I know sometimes the elderly parent has no choice but to be dependent on and live with unbelieving children. It would be good in those cases if, as you say, if these elderly parents could go and live in a JW run assisted living not just in America but all over the world.  We still do not have a charitable arrangement whereby this could be done. Also when it comes to lifesaving surgery, there is no fund for those Brothers and Sisters who cannot afford to pay these medical expenses. It is usually left up to charitable acts by worldly organizations, or other ways to raise money. For instance the little girl Phelicity Sneesby who was featured in one of our videos (and is also part of the video for the Courage song), her family went into enormous debt to pay for all her expensive surgeries and she  received most of the funding for her flight home from worldly charitable donations and from other brothers and sisters.  I am not saying the JW organization didn't contribute, I don't know, and I have not heard. I know our organization's main mission is spiritual, however, I am sure Jesus also spoke about looking after his sheep physically. We seem to be doing quite well when it comes to disaster relief, but we do not have anything in place for other types of disaster.

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15 hours ago, Anna said:
On 9/25/2019 at 11:31 AM, ComfortMyPeople said:

WATCHTOWER WITH PREAMBLE AND CONCLUSION
99% of the Watchtower overseers I have seen in my life waste their time in introductory paragraphs during meetings. Then you have to go fast in the key paragraphs. Why not place an introduction that is not read, and a conclusion that is not read? 

Read more  

I agree completely! I always go to sleep when they do that. I don't see the point.

In “Tom Irregardless and Me” I write that, when Tom conducts the Watchtower, he will milk that introductory paragraph, taking comment after comment about how bad things are in the last days, and then just when they are dying down, he himself will throw in that item about the rhinoceros at the zoo that stomped over that child, as though that, too, was a sign of the last days, and get everyone going again.

 

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On 9/29/2019 at 6:45 AM, TrueTomHarley said:

he himself will throw in that item about the rhinoceros at the zoo that stomped over that child, as though that, too, was a sign of the last days, and get everyone going again.

This  struck my humerus bone. I'm sure you are aware that some (mostly pioneers) are being asked to try out a even more informal witnessing strategy at places like malls, shopping centers, etc: Just practice making use of almost any situation to bring up a scripture or short Bible-based comment and if it "connects" keep going, and if not, just leave it at that.

It made me imagine that TTH would just hang around places waiting for bad things to happen and try out his "last days" spiel. Or perhaps he'd be a little more proactive, and listen on his police radio for his next opportunity, or perhaps even do a bit of "ambulance chasing." 

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I remember during the late 1960's (the Hippie years), talking to someone on a street corner, and he slipped, and was run over by a car.  It's common for people to "freeze" when they see something like that, and he looked up at me and said in a weak voice " ... call me an ambulance ..."

I looked straight at him and said "OK, man .... you're an ambulance!".

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The reason the "beard issue " always comes up, and has been for the past 60 years, is that it is THE CLASSIC EXAMPLE of "going beyond the things that are written', as the Pharisees did with their unscriptural and arbitrary rules.

Of the 17 times I have been in the "little back room", "room 101", 13 have been to try and convince me to shave off my beard. 

Because it was wrong to even ask me, I never did, for them.

Eventually I shaved it off because my dying Father asked me to.  HE had the right to ask me to do that.

I strongly suspect that if the GB and Elders could vote ... they would ALL vote Democrat.

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      I've been able to get my hands on these pictures of the new printed Study Bible which was released at the Annual Meeting yesterday. Has a light brown cover rather than the grey tone of the regular bible. The page edges are gold rather than silver. And it only includes Matthew-Acts. Surprisingly, while many of us were expecting the Org to reduce printing operations even further, this actually wasn't the case this year. Although apparently they did mention that due to the "high resolution colour pages and high quality materials", the Bible is rather "expensive to produce".




    • By Jack Ryan
      Location of Annual Meeting was Jersey City Assembly Hall, date October 5. A new complex will be built that will host 1000 workers for the Audio/video and art production. The architect from the Britain branch relocation project is being reassigned to Patterson where announcement will be made of a renewed Patterson with its own visitor center. Building of the new AV complex will be complete 2026, it will be as professional as any "worldly" complex and the size of the complex will be EXACTLY the same size as Warwick Bethel and it will be located in Ramapo, NY. Construction begins on 2022, a 4 year project.
      Expanding buildings projects doesn’t mean that the end is delayed , those buildings will continue to be used after Armageddon
    • By Jack Ryan
      The locusts of Joel Chapter 2 no longer refer to Jehovah's Witnesses and events surrounding 1919.
      The locusts in Revelation chapter 22 however still do refer to the anointed, but are now no longer connected with the prophecy on Joel.
       
      Joel 2 now refers to the "Babylonians", the coalition of nations that will try to destroy God's people.
      The context of Joel chapter 2 points the time period of fulfillment to Jehovah's Day in the Great Tribulation and how God will save his people.

    • By Jack Ryan
      Is the "Faithful and Discreet Slave" now going to be renamed "Faithful and Prudent Slave" since Discreet sounds like they have been hiding secret child molestation documents away from the authorities and it doesn't sound good in front of the courts?
      I know they are prudent now in their new Spanish translation.
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    • And they sing a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, for you were slaughtered and with your blood you bought people for God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10  and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kingsr over the earth.”Rev 5:9,10 - NWT As a JW, this sounded accurate to me, since it fit the supporting doctrine that the “144,000” will rule strictly from heaven – “over” the earth...not within its vicinity, but from the spiritual realm.  What I have since learned about this scripture and Christ’s truth regarding where the anointed will be “ruling” from, has been an important turning point for me. Notice how the organization’s own Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures breaks down vs. 10: “and you made them to the God of us kingdom and priests and they are reigning upon the earth” Here are a few other examples: “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”  Scripture4all.org “…they will reign upon the earth”.  https://biblehub.com/interlinear/revelation/5-10.htm It is very rare to find a Bible translation using the phrase “over the earth” in this scripture. The organization’s latest pictorial depiction of the 144,000 kings/priests ruling in heaven was of a vast array of emerald green thrones where men appearing identical to one another and to Christ, gazed over the earth as Christ’s “co-rulers”.  I wonder what the anointed JW women feel about a female’s apparent transition into a man, who are clones of each other.  This teaching sounds ridiculous to me today.  However, since the role of JW women is repeatedly slighted, should we expect any acknowledgement of the anointed being both male and female?  I could be in error, but I haven’t seen any photos of women partaking in the magazines.  There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  Gal 3:28 To be one in Christ does not mean the faithful sealed anointed take on the same physical appearance as Christ. All of the members of a fleshly body are distinctly different in appearance; working separately yet collectively, with the unified goal to allow the body to work efficiently.  It is the same in the Body of Christ. 1 Cor 12:15-20  All are given various gifts, and all are individuals with individual personalities. They have abilities reflecting the gift they receive.  Paul described it this way: There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.  1 Cor 12:4-6 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 1 Cor 12:19,20 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized byone Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. 1 Cor 12:12-14 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.  Eph 4:11-16 The 144,000 are the Bride of Christ under the New Covenant “woman”/promise.   (2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:29-32; Gal 4:26) It is curious that the WT's leaders rarely go into detail about this.  When I recall their latest illustration described above, I don’t believe the artist had the idea of “bride” in mind. I could only sense an aura of steely authority, without the needed compassion and love that Jesus exhibited and taught his disciples to nurture within themselves. (Isa 42:3; Matt 14:14; John 13:34,35; 1 John 4: 17; Heb 4:15) Just as a bride and groom are not identical to each other, neither is Christ’s Bride of many members; either to Christ, or to one another, as the illustration erroneously shows. (1 Cor 12:29,30; Eph 4:11-13)  Marriage partners compliment and support each other in love.  It is the same with the Body of Christ, being united in one Spirit that imparts love, faith and knowledge of Christ and the Father. The organization’s leaders are unable to perceive this spiritual unity, since they have rejected the Spirit of Christ, in exchange for the spirit of Satan.  (John 15:4-7;1 Cor 6:15-17; 2 Cor 11:3; 2 Pet 1:10; Rev 2:4; 8:10;13:11) Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  1 Cor 2:12-14  In order to “rule on the earth”, God’s priests must be on the earth.  If we can shed the false belief that once the 144,000 are sealed in “heaven” they will remain there, we are then able to grasp how such “heavenly” angel/messenger/priests will be found ruling, teaching, and helping God’s future children on the earth.  (Mal 2:7; 1 Pet 2:5,9; Heb 1:14; Rev 5:9,10)   We can comprehend God’s “new creation” as having two “births”; one by fleshly parents through Adam and Eve, (Gen 2:7) and one by spiritual parents.  (John 3:3,5; 1 Cor 15:50; John 15:45; 20:22; Gal 4:26) Once Jesus was resurrected, he appeared many times to his disciples in the flesh; and just as easily, disappeared into the spirit realm.   His example set the precedence of what it means to be a “new creation”.  (Mark 16:12; John 21:14; 1 Cor 15:3-8)  By combining this event with Pearl Doxsey's help from her article, “Who are the gods?”, we can visualize the 144,000 “angels” present not only in the spirit realm, but on earth as well: The sons of God ("gods") inherit the promises given to Abraham. What promises are these? "I will make you very fruitful (John 15:8) I will make nations of you (Rev 5:9,10), and kings will come from you (Rev 20:4; 1:5; 3:21; 19:16,15; 2:26,27)". “Jacob had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.  There above it stood the Lord, and he said: "I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying  (Ps 37:29; Heb 2:5,16; Gal 3:29; Heb 11:8-10; 13:14; Rev 21:2; Heb 12:22,23; Luke 10:20) (Gen.17:6).  Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring (Rev 22:2). I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go (Matt 28:20), and I will bring you back to this land (Rev 21:7).  I will not leave you (John 14:18) until I have done what I have promised you (John 16:22).  Jacob was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place (Heb 12:22,23,28)! This is none other than the house of God (1 Cor 3:9,16; Isa 56:7; Eph 2:19,10); this is the gate of heaven (Rev 11:6; Matt 16:19; Rev 3:12; John 10:9; 2 Cor 5:20)." (Gen.28:12-15,17) "Jesus added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open (Luke 24:32; Rev 2:17; Matt 13:11; Rev 4:1; 1:1)  (John 3:12; 1 Cor 2:12,13; Col 3:2), and the angels of God ascending and descending (Heb 12:22; Eph 2:6; Rev 3:21) "on* (Greek--*"in service to") the Son of Man.” (John 1:51) The "angels" (Lit. Greek, "messengers" – Isa 43:10,21; 1 Pet 2:9; Mal 2:7; Acts 1:8) referred to here, could not have served before the time of Christ (John 3:13) Jesus specifically said that they are in service on "the Son of Man" (1 Cor 4:1).  The "Son of Man" is Jesus in the flesh (John 1:14). Therefore, these angels serve Christ, after his coming down from heaven.  To be a messenger of Christ ("ambassador") who harbors God's spirit of life within... who has been made new (Rom 12:2; 8:11) as a part of God's new creation (2 Cor 5:17) by means of incorruptible seed, the Word of God (1 Pet 1:23; Luke 8:11)... …who has been reborn as a Son of the Most High (John 3:3,5; Rom 8:16,17,19,28-30)... who has been made an immovable pillar in the eternal heavenly Temple of God (Rev 3:12; Prov 9:1; Jer 1:18)... ...is a "god" (Ps 82:6; Rom 8:14; 1 Cor 8:5).  I do hope readers here find this information to be a personal turning point as it was for me, in learning that both Christ and the 144,000 kings and priests/ Bride of Christ, will have access to heaven as well as on earth, and living among God’s future children in the Kingdom. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matt 5:14  Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. Rev 21:1-3  “But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” Rev 21:22 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. 4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. 5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. Rev 22:3-5 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 1 Cor 3:16 Pearl Doxsey: (type in her name and the title of the article in the search bar. The link should appear) “End of the New Covenant” “Those not anointed – what benefit now?” “The Holy City”   PLEASE SEE AND ENJOY,   “The Holy City” - http://pearl-holycity.blogspot.com/   Pearl Doxsey, “End of the New Covenant” Those not anointed-what benefit now? - http://4womaninthewilderness.blogspot.com/2013/04/i-received-two-questions-1.html         And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” (Heb.1:6) "Jesus will again, be brought into the world. At that time, the totality of his angels/messengers, will worship him... and be in service to, the Son of Man."  Pearl Doxsey
    • We do have very good reasons, the math for 1914 wouldn't work out otherwise Yes, I think we would laugh. After all, messing around with numbers to "fit something you want it to fit" sounds pretty cultish. When looking at this subject again, in light of Br. Splane's talk about types and antitypes, and how he said that (paraphrased) we have to make sure that when we are talking about types, that they are genuine types, because the word of God says they are puts a whole different slant on it. Then the idea is enforced even further when he says who is to decide if a person or event is a type, if the word of God doesn't say anything about it and he quotes Br. Shroeder: ( We need to exercise great care when applying accounts in the Hebrew Scriptures as prophetic patterns or types if these accounts are not applied in the Scriptures themselves). Therefor reading the account in Daniel 4 without any preconceived ideas, I see these main lessons: verse 17  "This is by the decree of watchers, and the request is by the word of the holy ones, so that people living may know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind and that he gives it to whomever he wants, and he sets up over it even the lowliest of men.”  Lesson: (quite self explanatory really) Jehovah can do what he wants because he is the ultimate sovereign. verse 27  "Therefore, O king, may my counsel be acceptable to you. Turn away from your sins by doing what is right, and from your iniquity by showing mercy to the poor. It may be that your prosperity will be extended". Lesson: Listen to Jehovah and do right, otherwise Jehovah will discipline you. verse 37  “Now I, Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar, am praising and exalting and glorifying the King of the heavens, because all his works are truth and his ways are just, and because he is able to humiliate those who are walking in pride. Lesson: similar to above, and also proof that Jehovah carries out his discipline.  ---------------- The reasoning put forward as to why this particular chapter of Daniel (4) has greater meaning (paraphrased from WT October 2014) is that the book of Daniel has a central theme, that of God's Kingdom, and keeps pointing forward to the establishment of that Kingdom under the rulership of his Son, Jesus. For example what it says in Daniel 2:44: "“In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed. And this kingdom will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it alone will stand forever.” I can see that Daniel Ch 2 is talking about Neb's. dream of the statue, representing subsequent rulerships, and that during the feet period God's Kingdom will come. In my opinion this is one valid and definite description of when the Kingdom will come. Then Chapters 7 and 8 are full of cryptic beasts, Chapter 9 prophesy about the coming of the Messiah including his cutting off, chapter 11 more cryptic descriptions, this time involving the king of the north and south, and the last chapter (12) the time of the end with Michael standing up. I need an encoder! I must admit, because of my more practical disposition, when we studied the Daniel book, I did not pay enough attention. My son was quite small and I had my hands full, and I can't even remember if we studied it again after that? For example what are these numbers about?: Daniel 12:11  “And from the time that the constant feature has been removed and the disgusting thing that causes desolation has been put in place, there will be 1,290 days. 12  “Happy is the one who keeps in expectation and who arrives at the 1,335 days!" (It's ok, no need to answer, I can look it up myself).   ,Sorry, I was being confusing. I didn't mean 607 was special. I meant what happened when counting 2520 years from that date, I meant that 1914 was a very significant year. (have to go, will carry on later)
    • My daughter would play her album Time After Time, over and over. When I found out that Eva Cassidy had already died when the album came out, it kind of made a few of the songs sound even more "haunting" than they already were.
    • Wow  she died of melanoma at the age of 33!!
    • I think you are wrong. The GB and or others at the top, make rules that are not from scripture. The Elders enforce those rules blindly. In Jesus time the religious leaders did the same thing. 'Putting heavy loads on the shoulders of others, which they would not even use a finger to help'. And actually the baptism questions / at baptism, a person agrees to become 'One of Jehovah's Witnesses', so it is much like a contract.  Also the Elders use the threat of disfellowshipping someone, which then means the person will be shunned by maybe 100 or more people / the whole congregation. And it could also mean the loss of business because JWs won't do business with D'fed ones.  Whereas 'interested ones' that go to meetings and do ministry, are not ruled over by the Elders. True that elders could stop an unbaptised one from doing ministry. but that is all they can do.  An Elder does not have the authority to tell an unbaptised person not to talk to a D'fed person.  I think that on some occasions the 'law of the land' shows more justice and mercy than the JW org.  And the rules of the GB /JW Org go beyond the things written in the scriptures. The GB themselves know this and have had to tell their lawyers and elders to lie in courts because of it. 
    • Eva Cassidy died at a relatively young (age 33) and has only a couple albums where she sings by herself, most of them stylistic covers. But her ability to put emotion into a song was amazing. Her rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" is perfect. Wish we had more of her work to listen to.
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