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Acts 10 New International Version (NIV)

Cornelius Calls for Peter

10 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!”

Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked.

The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.”

When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants. He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa.

Peter’s Vision

About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”

14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”

15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.

17 While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate. 18 They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there.

19 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three[a] men are looking for you. 20 So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.”

21 Peter went down and said to the men, “I’m the one you’re looking for. Why have you come?”

22 The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.” 23 Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests.

Peter at Cornelius’s House

The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the believers from Joppa went along. 24 The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. 26 But Peter made him get up. “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself.”

27 While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28 He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?”

30 Cornelius answered: “Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. 32 Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.’ 33 So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”

34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues[b] and praising God.

Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

We studied this chapter in a men's bible study group yesterday and I would like the JW's view on one certain aspect....Cornelius....believed in God, used by God, a military officer/centurion. 

What I see here is that military service is not frowned upon by God, it actually shows that God can and will use individuals in the military for His will. And an aside from that, bringing in Matthew 28:19,20, since our military is stationed world wide, this would be another avenue God could choose to spread His good news into all the earth.

I welcome everyone's thoughts.

 

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Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 

Maybe it is that God is not partial but gives everyone a change to serve Him. If a person is in the military because they think it is right to be there then they are maybe not sinning in God's eyes. But once they find out that war is wrong, and that killing people is wrong, then God will expect them to change their ways. 

Look at those words from Peter. God accepts those that fear Him and 'does what is right'. That means 'Does what is right in God's viewpoint, not man's. We all know how wrong war is, how wrong man's inhumanity to man is. The Nation of Israel had a totally different purpose, that of bringing Jesus Christ onto this Earth, so God made them or allowed them to go to war, to keep their nation as clean and safe as possible.  God's way is different now, it's to show love to as many as we can and be peaceable with all where possible. We know that God is not partial, so it would be wrong for us to be. 

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@4Jah2me Not only that, something that I've debated on a while back, and others chimed in, you and your enemy are God fearing men who seek God to gain you victory. A True Christian and or someone who has become a Christian and building up in faith would know that War is not the solution, and going to War is wrong, so in the Christians case, even to the JWs, neutrality is something that must be put into application.

@Matthew9969 

That being said, if one is of God, we do not take the side of men to commit bloodshed on other men. Fighting an old man's war that has no solution, but rather, consequences, and more sons and daughters to be butchered, killed, raped, blown to shreds,tormented, etc. The mainstream accepts this, even marvel at the bombing of men, women and children apparently, true ones do not.

When the rich and powerful wage war, it is the poor and the lowly, humble ones that pay for it in death.

Likewise with Kingdoms and authorizes, submit, but do not serve them over God himself because it is only God's Kingdom that will cure the sickness that is imperfection concerning mankind.

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4 hours ago, Space Merchant said:

@4Jah2me Not only that, something that I've debated on a while back, and others chimed in, you and your enemy are God fearing men who seek God to gain you victory. A True Christian and or someone who has become a Christian and building up in faith would know that War is not the solution, and going to War is wrong, so in the Christians case, even to the JWs, neutrality is something that must be put into application.

@Matthew9969 

That being said, if one is of God, we do not take the side of men to commit bloodshed on other men. Fighting an old man's war that has no solution, but rather, consequences, and more sons and daughters to be butchered, killed, raped, blown to shreds,tormented, etc. The mainstream accepts this, even marvel at the bombing of men, women and children apparently, true ones do not.

When the rich and powerful wage war, it is the poor and the lowly, humble ones that pay for it in death.

Likewise with Kingdoms and authorizes, submit, but do not serve them over God himself because it is only God's Kingdom that will cure the sickness that is imperfection concerning mankind.

I agree with you if we lived in a perfect world, but it's not. Does the believer just stand idle and watch others be killed, raped, tortured, etc., and hope it does not come to their family and then to again just sit and watch it happen to your family. 

Stopping the evil actions of others does not make one a raptist, butcherer, war monger, does it?

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7 hours ago, Matthew9969 said:

I agree with you if we lived in a perfect world, but it's not.

That's the thing - we do not live in a perfect world, but as a man of God, a follower of Christ, you should have the sense to know better during the End Times.

7 hours ago, Matthew9969 said:

Does the believer just stand idle and watch others be killed, raped, tortured, etc.,

Clearly. Not all instances can be stopped 100%. You can save and or help one, but the other you cannot. We as Christians can help people, but we do not take orders of men of the world to strike down another man who is blindly following the same order. The fact you support going to war only adds more fuel to the fire.

In this sense, you are among the fold who are very supportive of such. I can tell you this, some in the military that I've met don't always want to go fight, others, wish for war to cease, like you said, "a perfect world", but clearly, the rich and power and Babylon has their ways.

7 hours ago, Matthew9969 said:

and hope it does not come to their family and then to again just sit and watch it happen to your family. 

Unfortunately we live in a sin filled war. Unlike you I had seen my fair share of blood and death, some I had prevented, but it does not change the fact that I take drastic action that would cause me to strike and kill someone, who is also God fearing.

7 hours ago, Matthew9969 said:

Stopping the evil actions of others does not make one a raptist, butcherer, war monger, does it?

You clearly do not know what happens in war. There are evil people out there. They have men fight and kill other people's sons and daughters, some of their sons and daughters are butchered and raped, and brutally murdered. You can prevent an action in this village, but you cannot in the next.

Man, no, mankind cannot solve all problems, they cannot prevent all problems, let alone make corrections and or solutions to benefit all people. You and I both know that is impossible, for if that was the case, we would not have a need for God's Day. Only God and his Christ can solve mankind's problems, the very reason God made Jesus King and has given him power and authority, hence the gospel of Matthew and what we read in Hebrews. Only God's Kingdom is perfect and can cure the imperfections of man, and by means of God's Kingdom, His Kingdom will crush all of man's Kingdoms, hence Daniel 2.

That being said, I would also like to point out, of the Temptation of Jesus gospel (Matthew 4:8-10; Luke 4:5-8), what Satan tried to offer God's Son is the Kingdom of this world (governments), and what was Jesus' reaction? He refused and even told the fallen one that it is God that he must render religious worship to, for in this interaction, Jesus, a born Jew, quoted what was written in the Law.

So in regards to going to War, as a Christian, the blunt and absolute and obvious elementary answer is - No.

Yet again, the line is painted between True Christians and Mainstream Christians, and it does not surprise me in this sense to see why the Atheists nowadays like to make jokes in this case of Christians and War, even to the point some would even point out the fact that Jesus is for guns and bloodshed - blasphemy.

That being said, you and I both know this is not a perfect world. Be God fearing and continue to wait for the End Times and Tribulations, try to reach out for hearts - not physically disrupt someone's heart by force and or violence to cease their life, Matthew.

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15 hours ago, Matthew9969 said:

Still no thoughts on why God was using a soldier for His will. Just the usual liner that jws are the only religion that doesn't go to war.

The funny thing is, this still does not help your case, but rather, it shows how little you know of Cornelius. I can tell you this, his history on how he came to become a Gentile Christian pretty much defeats the purpose of what you are attempting to convey. Your case would have been helped if Cornelius continued his trek as a Gentile Christian, thus shows how little you know of the man, and how little you know of the hermenutics of Acts 10.

You have to be very ignorant to think that JWs are the only ones. There are Christians out there who DO NOT SUPPORT going to war, let alone going against a brother of another nation. Then again, you mainstreamers and conservatives consider dropping a bomb on men, women and children is a Godsend, which is a parallel to the early creed followers who think that the death of a Presbyter was something to rejoice about.

That being said, if we are to apply what you've applied, it would have branded the common folk as a mainstream Christian - which you are.

I am a believer of God and a follower of his Son Jesus, perhaps maybe you should try doing the same thing, or continue to pick and choose, and think that God is somehow OK with such ideology.

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7 hours ago, Space Merchant said:

The funny thing is, this still does not help your case, but rather, it shows how little you know of Cornelius. I can tell you this, his history on how he came to become a Gentile Christian pretty much defeats the purpose of what you are attempting to convey. Your case would have been helped if Cornelius continued his trek as a Gentile Christian, thus shows how little you know of the man, and how little you know of the hermenutics of Acts 10.

You have to be very ignorant to think that JWs are the only ones. There are Christians out there who DO NOT SUPPORT going to war, let alone going against a brother of another nation. Then again, you mainstreamers and conservatives consider dropping a bomb on men, women and children is a Godsend, which is a parallel to the early creed followers who think that the death of a Presbyter was something to rejoice about.

That being said, if we are to apply what you've applied, it would have branded the common folk as a mainstream Christian - which you are.

I am a believer of God and a follower of his Son Jesus, perhaps maybe you should try doing the same thing, or continue to pick and choose, and think that God is somehow OK such ideology.

You have failed your argument because you did not give details about Cornelius and you are (like a jw), assuming you know my beliefs about certain matters and painting me with a general brush.

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      There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,
      2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
      3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.
      4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.
      5 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:
      6 He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.
      7 And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually;
      8 And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.
      9 On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:
      10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,
      11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
      12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
      13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
      14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
      15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
      16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
      17 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate,
      18 And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.
      19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.
      20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.
      21 Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come?
      22 And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.
      23 Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him.
      24 And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and he had called together his kinsmen and near friends.
      25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.
      26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.
      27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.
      28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
      29 Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?
      30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,
      31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.
      32 Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.
      33 Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.
      34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
      35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
      36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
      37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
      38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
      39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
      40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;
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      42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
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      45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
      46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
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      48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
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He probably has formed his views of them through the contributions of their “apostate” contingent, and those views could hardly be blacker. I looked down among his comments to see whether any of those nasties had reared their heads. Perhaps here was an example: “Not entirely true. Extremists usually have their own misinterpretation of scriptures.” I responded to this one: “If “misinterpretation” results in a religion of peace, perhaps it is not a misinterpretation after all. Perhaps the mainline view is a misinterpretation.” Is that not a no-brainer?  Another one, disagreeing with the above tweet: “Actually no. Most extremists do exactly what is written in their book. ‘Misinterpretation’ is used as an argument by believers that cherry pick morals that fit our secular ethics today.” I know this type, too. This is the type that finds slavery in the Bible or war in the Old Testament and rails at the “hypocrisy.” I responded to this fellow as well: “Everything has a historical context and to deliberately ignore such context is to be intellectually dishonest. If our side does it to theirs, we never hear the end of it.” He blew up at this reference to context. Evil is evil, he carried on, across all places and time-frames. These characters are very predictable—you could even write their lines for them and not be too far off. Has “critical thinking” made us all nincompoops? It was once thought the most intelligent thing in the world to consider historical backdrop; one was irresponsible, even deceitful, not to do it. Very well. If he is going to trash, with blinders affixed, the source that I hold dear, I will do the same with his source: “You should turn your critical thinking skills upon Ancient Greece, the definer of it. When time travel is invented, history revisionists will give a friendly wave to American slaveholding forefathers as they race back in time to fetch wicked Greek pedophiles—it was an enshrined value of that world—back in irons.” He was not chastened by this. Hijacking Twitter as his personal courtroom, he cross-examined: “Is the holding and beating of slaves, as described in Exodus, morally acceptable? Yes or no?” I countered: “Is the raping of children as endorsed by Ancient Greek society morally acceptable? Yes or no?” Incredibly, he was not dissuaded. “Last chance!” he shot back. “Is the holding and beating of slaves, as described in Exodus, morally acceptable? Yes or no?” “To the blockheads, I became a blockhead.”—Paul (sort of) —1 Corinthians 9:19-22,” I tweeted back: “Two can play the game of obstinacy. Last chance: Is the rape of children—it was enshrined in Ancient Greek society—morally acceptable? Yes or no?” Then I went away, and when I came back, he had deleted all this tweets so that it was hard for me to reconstruct the thread. However, someone else had pointed out a grave sin I had committed: “Thomas you are guilty of the moral equivalence fallacy.” Am I? I suppose. You can sort of guess by the wording just what that phrase means—I had not heard it before. At least it is in English. I once heard a theologian quip that if there is a Latin phrase and a perfectly clear English phrase that means the same thing, always use the Latin phrase so people will know that you are educated. But my “moral equivalence fallacy” is still is no more than considering historical context, a praiseworthy intellectual technique for all time periods except ours.  Besides, I actually had posted something about slavery long ago. But it is not a topic so simple that it can be hashed out in a few tweets, and so I declined to go there with this fellow, who would debate all the sub-points. If God corrected every human injustice the moment it manifested itself, there would be nothing left. The entire premise of the Bible is that human-rule is unjust in itself and that God allows a period of time for that to be clearly manifested before bringing in his kingdom—the one referred to in the “Lord’s prayer”—to straighten it all out. In the meantime, the very ones who work themselves into a lather at religion “brainwashing” people are livid that God did not brainwash slavery away once humans settled upon it as a fine economic underpinning. If Dawkins’s tweet and my response hangs around long enough before burial in the Twitter feed, I would expect some of our malcontents to observe as they did in Russia, where the only evidence of extremism cited is proclaiming “a religious view of supremacy.” Huge protest will come at how Jehovah’s Witnesses practice shunning and thus “destroy” relationships and even family. But views inevitably translate into consequences and policies. Refusal to “come together” with those who insist on diametrically opposed views is hardly the “extremism” of ISIS—and yet the Russian Supreme Court has declared that it is, with the full backing in principle of those from the ex-JW community—the ones who go crusading, which is perhaps 10%. I’m going to write this up as a post and append it to his thread. Let’s see what happens. Probably nothing, but you never know. Plus, let’s expand on that particular Watchtower some more. The particular article covered was entitled: “Jehovah Values His Humble Servants” (September 2019 issue—study edition) Unlike nearly all religious services, Witness meetings are ones that you can prepare for. You can comment during them. They are studies of the sacred book, not just impromptu rap sessions, acquiescencing to ceremony, or sitting through someone else’s sermon. You can prepare for them, and you are benefited, as in any classroom, when you do. The focus here, as it so often is, is on practical application.  Humility draws persons to us. Haughtiness repels them, and thus makes next to impossible the mantra to “come together.” My own comment, when the time was right, was that haughty people can only accomplish so much—it may be a great deal, for haughty people are often very capable people—but eventually they run up against the fact that nobody else can stand them, and so people are motivated to undercut their ideas, even if they are good ones, out of sheer payback for ugliness. Humble people, on the other hand, may be far less capable individually, but their efforts add up. They know how to cooperate and yield to each other in a way that haughty people do not. Someone else on that Dawkins thread, an amateur wit, played with that them of unlikely extremists: “Jehova's witnesses are peaceful but their extremists are better extremely annoying...” Why fight this? It is a viewpoint. Viewpoints are not wrong, because they are viewpoints—right or wrong doesn’t enter into the equation. Better to roll with it. I was indeed on a roll, and so I tweeted back:  “I will grant that they can be. Still, if you had a choice between a team of JWs approaching your door and a team of ISIS members, you would (hopefully) choose theformer. Those 2 groups, and only those 2 groups are officially declared “extremist” in Russia.” And with that, I included a link to my ebook, “Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia.” I am shameless in that. No matter how many books I sell, it is not enough. I don’t sell them, anyway. The book is free, a labor of love. It is an application of the theme: “If you have something important to say, don’t hide it behind a paywall.” It is the only, to my knowledge, complete history of events leading up to and beyond the 2017 ban of the Witness organization in Russia. As to the latest developments there, another one was herded off to prison, who, making the best of a sour situation, or perhaps genuinely finding value there, said: "I want to thank … prosecution. I don't just thank you, but thank you very much, because thanks to you my faith has become stronger … I see I'm on the right path." Of course. It is unreasonable to oppose so vehemently a people totally honest, hard-working, and given to peace—and yet the Bible says that such will exactly happen. How can it not serve to strengthen faith?
    • According to scientific knowledge, the entire universe is in two states every day: something becomes and something disappears. Life on Earth is in the same status. I am disappointed with suffer of creatures on Earth, too. And can't connect with "my picture" of God as i accepted through JW Bible interpretations and my own interpretations, then and now. What if we made wrong pictures about Creator? .... based on wrong or failed text? 
    • You will find it's not "people" in general who judge too quickly, but it is ex-JWs. People in general do understand the complexities. Even the ARC understands the complexities, and so do prosecuting lawyers. But of course neither are in the business to understand, but to hopefully help remedy the situation and to get justice (well in the case of the lawyers; to get lots of $$$$ too, lets be honest).
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