Jump to content

AlanF

Governing Body Member Albert Schroeder Denies the Bible Applies to Jehovah's Witnesses

Topic Summary

Created

Last Reply

Replies

Views

AlanF -
AlanF -
20
445

Top Posters


Recommended Posts

In the thread Eight Governing Body etc on page 21, Anna asked me to post the following on a new thread. So here we go.

Governing Body Member Albert Schroeder Denies the Bible Applies to Jehovah's Witnesses

Consider the Bible passage at Luke 21:5-8:

<< 5 Later, when some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with fine stones and dedicated things, 6 he said: “As for these things that you now see, the days will come when not a stone will be left upon a stone and not be thrown down.” 7 Then they questioned him, saying: “Teacher, when will these things actually be, and what will be the sign when these things are to occur?” 8 He said: “Look out that you are not misled, for many will come on the basis of my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The due time is near.’ Do not go after them. >>

The important part here is verse 8. According to most Bible commentaries, and the Society itself, the phrase 'I am he' means "I am someone important, someone to be listened to, someone with authority from Jesus and God to represent them". That obviously includes JW leaders since they directly claim to be Jehovah's representatives. The next part of the verse mentions such people as saying ‘The due time is near’ which obviously refers back to the time when "these things are to occur". Jesus, then, was warning his listeners that if they hear such persons claiming to represent God, and claiming that the due time for 'the end' is near, they should not go after them. Since this perfectly describes what JW leaders have done throughout their history and continue to do, it is obvious that Jesus himself said not to follow them.

In 1994 I had a phone conversation with GB member Albert Schroeder about his failure to follow up on some things he had promised to do. After he said he was reneging on his promise, I decided to challenge him with a question about Luke 21:5-8. I asked him, What do you think that passage means? He got out his NWT and read it out loud. After finishing verse 8, he was unable to speak. After a minute or so, I said, "Well? What does this mean with respect to applying it to JW teaching about the end?" After another two minutes or so of dead silence, he said, "It can't apply to us, because we're God's people!" Of course, you can imagine my reaction.

In 2009 I found myself living temporarily in Utah, in Mormon country. One Saturday morning a lone JW, a man of about 70, came to our door. After some pleasantries where we identified ourselves as ex-JWs, I challenged him with Luke 21:5-8 and asked him the same thing I did with Schroeder. He was silent for a bit, and then said that he understood what the passage meant, so I asked him if he intended to remain a JW, given that his Lord Jesus Christ specifically said "do not follow them". He said that he had been a JW all his life and was too old to change. Perfectly understandable, of course, but also perfectly unchristian.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

57 minutes ago, AlanF said:

After another two minutes or so of dead silence, he said, "It can't apply to us, because we're God's people!" Of course, you can imagine my reaction.

I believe you.

I worked for the man and know that he wasn't one to respond quickly to questions unless he was sure of the answer already given in the publications. He was a Gilead teacher and my father's KM school instructor, and was known to always look for the official answer. (If there was not an official answer, he saw this as an opportunity to come up with a solution. The research assignments I got from him were for areas where he was trying to develop a topic he could write a "new" article about. But he always wanted to be sure it was really "new" and that he could review anything previously "on the books" for any topic. His 1957 generation was a good case in point. He also wanted to develop a medical-based article tying together the Bible's use of "the heart." )

FWIW, I would have answered like this:

  • The verse says not to go after persons who say "I am he" AND who say "the due time is near." 
    • On the first point, we could say that we do not say "I am he" in the CONTEXT of Jesus' answer in Luke. "I am he" is most likely referring to "false messiahs." The problem with this is that the idea of "false messiah" in context sets a kind of trap that you point out, in that anyone who tries to predict the closeness of the destructive judgment is making himself a kind of prophet or Messiah, saying that they are speaking for Christ.
    • On the second point: "the due time is near," this would be much easier. Revelation has John stating that the due time is near.
      • (Revelation 1:1-3) . . .A revelation by Jesus Christ, which God gave him, to show his slaves the things that must shortly take place. . . . 3 Happy is the one who reads aloud and those who hear the words of this prophecy and who observe the things written in it, for the appointed time is near. (Revelation 22:20) . . .“The one who bears witness of these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’” “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus.”

  • If we can extricate ourselves from the "I am he" then Revelation 1 & 22 give us the basis on which to say "the due time has approached."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I should add that the meaning of 'persons who say "I am he" ' is probably best spelled out in Matthew's version:

(Matthew 24:23-28) . . .“Then if anyone says to YOU, ‘Look! Here is the Christ,’ or, ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will give great signs and wonders so as to mislead, if possible, even the chosen ones. 25 Look! I have forewarned YOU. 26 Therefore, if people say to YOU, ‘Look! He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; ‘Look! He is in the inner chambers,’ do not believe it. 27 For just as the lightning comes out of eastern parts and shines over to western parts, so the presence of the Son of man will be. 28 Wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.

It is ironic that Russell put out a book called "The Time is at Hand" AND simultaneously taught that the solution to the "great mystery" doctrine was that those who were of the higher calling, including Russell himself, could rightly speak of themselves as "the Christ." The Christ was not just Jesus, but the full 144,001. Therefore, it was even possible for those who considered themselves of the 144,000, the Bride, the Higher Calling, to refer to themselves as:

  • "the Christ"
  • "the Saviour"
  • "the prophet greater than Moses"
  • "eternal Father"
  • "the Mediator"

FWF was said to have often hinted in the 1940's and 1950's that this doctrine was still in effect. It was one of the reasons that "great crowd" were not invited to the Memorial for several years. But in the 1960's the Watchtower clarified that the expression "The Christ" could not refer to the rest of the 144,000. Even after that point however, books written by FWFranz, including "Then is Finished the Mystery of God" used the expression 144,001, which had evidently been a reference to the older version of this doctrine.

*** w63 9/1 p. 539 Names for Christ and His Congregation ***
“THE CHRIST”
We come now to a consideration of those terms or titles that apply or are used to refer to Jesus Christ apart from his body members. . . .
But what about the expressions “the Christ” and “Christ”? Does the use of the article with “Christ” designate something different from when no article is used? Might it be that, whereas the term “Christ” refers to Jesus Christ alone, the term “the Christ” could also include the 144,000 members of his body? Do the Scriptures support this thought or distinction?
No, they do not. . . .
In fact, the expression “the Christ” of itself at no time includes the members of Christ’s body. So the title “Christ,” with or without the definite article, refers to Jesus Christ, the article serving to draw attention to or to emphasize his office as the Messiah.

And of course there was no little disruption when FWFranz yelled at all of us one morning at Bethel breakfast because a few (somewhere?) had been balking at a recent article that said Jesus was not the Mediator of the great crowd. The much earlier view that had not been repeated in many years was that the 144,001 WERE the Mediator.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JW Insider said:

Quote

I believe you.

Good!

Quote

 

FWIW, I would have answered like this:

    The verse says not to go after persons who say "I am he" AND who say "the due time is near."
        On the first point, we could say that we do not say "I am he" in the CONTEXT of Jesus' answer in Luke. "I am he" is most likely referring to "false messiahs."

 

Correct. Remember that "messiah" and "christ" mean "anointed one", meaning "anointed by God". The term does not apply just to Jesus Christ, or even to someone claiming to be Jesus Christ returned, but to anyone claiming to be anointed by God.

Quote

        The problem with this is that the idea of "false messiah" in context sets a kind of trap that you point out, in that anyone who tries to predict the closeness of the destructive judgment is making himself a kind of prophet or Messiah, saying that they are speaking for Christ.

        
You're confusing two separate ideas. There is nothing scripturally wrong with expecting and hoping for "the end" to come soon. But predicting a specific time period for "the end" is a different kettle of fish. I need not repeat the many warnings given in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 against trying to predict "the end"; they're clear enough on their own.

Therefore predicting a specific date or narrow window of time is grossly unscriptural. Otherwise, what do the scriptural warnings mean?

Quote

 

        On the second point: "the due time is near," this would be much easier. Revelation has John stating that the due time is near.

            (Revelation 1:1-3) . . .A revelation by Jesus Christ, which God gave him, to show his slaves the things that must shortly take place. . . . 3 Happy is the one who reads aloud and those who hear the words of this prophecy and who observe the things written in it, for the appointed time is near. (Revelation 22:20) . . .“The one who bears witness of these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’” “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus.”

 

Well, there is a lot that can be said about Revelation. What did John mean by "near"? If we say, "within a couple of decades", then Revelation can be dismissed as the ravings of a lunatic. If we say, "we don't know but we believe John was inspired", then it must mean "several thousand years". But that is extremely problematic since several thousand years is not "near" in any meaningful sense. One is then forced to interpret "near" in the virtually meaningless sense of "an unknown time in the future". And the meaning of "near" in Luke 21 is obviously not that.

Quote

    If we can extricate ourselves from the "I am he" then Revelation 1 & 22 give us the basis on which to say "the due time has approached."

The Society itself explained the "I am he" one and only one time, in the Nov. 1, 1964 Watchtower (p. 645). After some commentary it said:

<< The combined testimony of these faithful witnesses pointed to danger from within the ranks of professed Christians. The peril would be not so much from the openly avowed opponents of Christ as from those who would rise up claiming to be Christ or claiming to exercise the rights and prerogatives of Christ as his empowered representatives. >>

Now, who today among Jehovah's Witnesses claims "the rights and prerogatives of Christ as his empowered representatives"? The Governing Body. Therefore, by the Society's own argumentation, the GB is saying "I am he". Case closed.

 

Posted 8 minutes ago

Quote

 

I should add that the meaning of 'persons who say "I am he" ' is probably best spelled out in Matthew's version:

(Matthew 24:23-28) . . .“Then if anyone says to YOU, ‘Look! Here is the Christ,’ or, ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will give great signs and wonders so as to mislead, if possible, even the chosen ones. 25 Look! I have forewarned YOU. 26 Therefore, if people say to YOU, ‘Look! He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; ‘Look! He is in the inner chambers,’ do not believe it. 27 For just as the lightning comes out of eastern parts and shines over to western parts, so the presence of the Son of man will be. 28 Wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.

 

That meaning is consistent with the Society's argument in the 1964 Watchtower: "Christ's empowered representatives".

Quote

It is ironic that Russell put out a book called "The Time is at Hand" AND simultaneously taught that the solution to the "great mystery" doctrine was that those who were of the higher calling, including Russell himself, could rightly speak of themselves as "the Christ."

Which is exactly why Russell and his successors must be among the ones that Luke 21:8 says not to follow.

Further titles were "The Kingdom Is At Hand", "The Approaching Peace of a Thousand Years", "God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached", etc.

All of this is so obvious that Albert Schroeder immediately realized its import, and almost panicked. This caused him to deny that the Bible applies to Jehovah's Witnesses. Otherwise he would have had to admit that the JW organization is fundamentally at odds with Jesus' teaching.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone else, maybe @Witness  (forgive me if I'm wrong) mentioned that the GB were putting themselves in the place of Jesus Christ. I think the idea was dismissed. 

However @AlanF comment here :- claiming to exercise the rights and prerogatives of Christ as his empowered representatives. >> 

This is fantastic. It proves the point beyond doubt.  

I don't link on to anyone, just individual comments. And that comment makes a lot of sense to me. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, 4Jah2me said:

Someone else, maybe @Witness  (forgive me if I'm wrong) mentioned that the GB were putting themselves in the place of Jesus Christ. I think the idea was dismissed. 

However @AlanF comment here :- claiming to exercise the rights and prerogatives of Christ as his empowered representatives. >> 

This is fantastic. It proves the point beyond doubt.  

I don't link on to anyone, just individual comments. And that comment makes a lot of sense to me. 

It certainly does make sense. After all, from the 1920s up through about 2013 JW leaders proclaimed that the entire worldwide body of "anointed ones" comprised "the faithful and discreet slave" which Jesus Christ "appointed over all his belongings" on earth in 1919. That, without question, fits the above bolded description. The current Governing Body claims the same thing for itself.

That the phrase "I am He" encompasses the GB's overblown claim is proved both by logical argument and by the Society's own 1964 argument.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, AlanF said:

In 1994 I had a phone conversation with GB member Albert Schroeder about his failure to follow up on some things he had promised to do. After he said he was reneging on his promise, I decided to challenge him with a question about Luke 21:5-8. I asked him, What do you think that passage means? He got out his NWT and read it out loud. After finishing verse 8, he was unable to speak. After a minute or so, I said, "Well? What does this mean with respect to applying it to JW teaching about the end?" After another two minutes or so of dead silence, he said, "It can't apply to us, because we're God's people!" Of course, you can imagine my reaction.

Ha! Ha! Ha!

We are supposed to take the word of a disingenuous person that's track record is fabrication, good one. Show your proof and not just let out hot air. It stinks already. 😂

2 hours ago, JW Insider said:

It is ironic that Russell put out a book called "The Time is at Hand" AND simultaneously taught that the solution to the "great mystery" doctrine was that those who were of the higher calling, including Russell himself, could rightly speak of themselves as "the Christ." The Christ was not just Jesus, but the full 144,001. Therefore, it was even possible for those who considered themselves of the 144,000, the Bride, the Higher Calling, to refer to themselves as:

Try reading the book correctly. Russell mentions how the 144, 000 are part of the kings going to heaven. A prospect of him being one of them, not that he made a guarantee he was. No different with that of the GB, they have a heavenly HOPE. If you're going to distort Watchtower history like AlanF, at least try to appear intelligent.

1 hour ago, 4Jah2me said:

I don't link on to anyone, just individual comments. And that comment makes a lot of sense to me. 

I suspect you don't like education.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, César Chávez said:

Try reading the book correctly.

Of course he mentioned how the 144,000 are part of the kings and priests going to heaven. And of course he knew of the possibility that he might personally not be "guaranteed" to be remain among that number. But he never said anything about NOT being a part of that number while he was writing articles, sermons, books, etc. In fact, the Watchtower's own BIOGRAPHY of Russell said that he privately admitted to being the "faithful and wise servant." 

Even more, Russell said:

but since the servant mentioned is to dispense food to the other members of the body, his fellow-servants, the term seems to be limited to some particular individual (R3355)

Who do you think this particular individual was supposed to be referring to?

This servant, if found faithful, would be intrusted more and more with the distribution of every feature of Present Truth as represented in the parable, by his being given the dispensing of the food in due season to the household. (R3356)

Can you think what person for as long he was being found faithful, considered himself to be dispensing every feature of Present Truth to the household of faith?

. . . the Lord at the time indicated would specially use one member of his Church as the channel or instrument through which he would send the appropriate messages, spiritual nourishment appropriate at that time; because at various times in the past the Lord has used individuals in such a manner. For instance, Peter used the "keys" of the Kingdom of heaven at Pentecost . . . . (R3356)

Who might Russell think it is? Hmmm. We don't have to worry about it, he tells us directly:

No, the truths I present, as God's mouthpiece, were not revealed in visions or dreams, nor by God's audible voice, nor all at once, but gradually, especially since 1870, and particularly since 1880. Neither is this clear unfolding of truth due to any human ingenuity or acuteness of perception, but to the simple fact that God's due time has come; and if I did not speak, and no other agent could be found, the very stones would cry out. (R3821)

Of course, I think you knew this already.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, César Chávez said:

Try reading the book correctly. Russell mentions how the 144, 000 are part of the kings going to heaven. A prospect of him being one of them, not that he made a guarantee he was. No different with that of the GB, they have a heavenly HOPE. If your going to distort Watchtower history like AlanF, at least try to appear intelligent.

When AlanF distorts Watchtower history, I'll call him out on it. But you have said that I did not read Russell's book correctly. You pointed out how, but you were wrong about it. Russell did believe he was of the High Calling and therefore found it appropriate to refer to those with him sharers in "our High Calling," an expression he used dozens of times. He even explained how, while faithful, he was "perfect" and acceptable and justified in this calling:

Therefore because God has a "better thing" for us—our high calling to joint-heirship with Jesus Christ our Lord,. . . . so when we come to realize that we are justified we esteem it a privilege to "present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, our reasonable service." It is acceptable because it is holy; it is holy because it is justified; it is justified because Christ died.

To your second question I reply: It certainly is true, as you say, that none but perfect beings can keep God's perfect law, and I will go further and add that none but perfect beings are acceptable with God.   But as we have just proved we are perfect beings, being justified by Christ Jesus and therefore are acceptable with God by Jesus Christ. [R193]

But although you incorrectly addressed a minor point, I notice you avoided the actual point that I made, that Russell, for example, thought it was proper for those of the High Calling to be referred to as "The CHRIST" ("The Savior" "The Mediator" etc.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Forum Statistics

    61,695
    Total Topics
    114,693
    Total Posts
  • Member Statistics

    16,513
    Total Members
    1,592
    Most Online
    pastel
    Newest Member
    pastel
    Joined




  • Topics

  • Posts

    • ronan keating singing a song from the film notting hill   Keith Whitley - When You Say Nothing at All  
    • This song does make you want to "hustle" in whatever you are doing. 😉  
    • From '66 WT: (Just to throw something else into the mix as to the original post) "Questions From Readers ● At times there are changes in viewpoint on Biblical subjects discussed in the Watch Tower Society’s publications. We speak of what we believe as “the truth.” But does “truth” change?—W. P., U.S.A. Really it is the Bible that speaks of beliefs that are in harmony with the Scriptures as “the truth.” At 2 Peter 2:2 the worship based on such beliefs is termed “the way of the truth.” Yet concerning that “way of the truth” we read at Proverbs 4:18: “The path of the righteous ones is like the bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established.” So we do not know all there is to know. In fact, even when the post-Armageddon system of things is ushered in we will not know everything. Throughout all eternity there will always be more to learn. This is indicated by what the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 11:33: “O the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How unsearchable his judgments are and past tracing out his ways are!” It is to be expected, then, that at times there may be changes in viewpoint. Our basic belief may be sound Scriptural truth, but there may be some details that we did not fully understand in the past. In time, with the aid of Jehovah’s spirit, we get those matters cleared up. For example, a few years ago we had a fine series of articles in The Watchtower on the “superior authorities.” (Issues of November 1–December 1, 1962) Before those articles were published, we knew and taught that Jehovah is the Most High, and that Jesus Christ is the second to Him in power and authority. We knew that we should be law-abiding persons, but that, when there was a conflict between man’s law and that of God, we would obey God as ruler rather than men. Those basic truths are the same today as they were before; they have not changed. However, by careful scrutiny of the Scriptures we have come to appreciate that certain Bible texts ought to be applied in a different way. For example, we realized that the “superior authorities” mentioned in Romans 13:1 are, not Jehovah God and Jesus Christ, but the political rulers. That is also true of Titus 3:1 and; 1 Peter 2:13, 14. Yet the basic truth is unchanged. Our viewpoint toward God and toward the State is the same as before. Similarly with our study of the resurrection. We believed in the resurrection of the dead before our recent series of Watchtower articles (issues of January 15–March 15, 1965) on the subject and we believe in it now. We also believed that 144,000 would be raised to heavenly life with Christ. We believed that many more would be resurrected as humans; that some of them would be persons who had faithfully served God in the past, and that others would be those who had lived ‘unrighteously.’ We also believed that a great educational work would take place when they would be raised. Those truths have not changed. But now we see that, according to the Scriptures, more are to return than we expected. So, rather than setting aside the truth of the resurrection, it has been magnified, and our appreciation of Jehovah’s love and mercy in providing for the resurrection has been enhanced. This is in direct contrast to what occurred among certain men of whom the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, as recorded at 2 Timothy 2:18: “These very men have deviated from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already occurred; and they are subverting the faith of some.” Those men no longer had any hope in the resurrection; they believed that what was in the past was all there was to it. But they were setting aside the truth that Jesus had taught. Likewise in Christendom there have been changes in viewpoint; but they are rejecting the Bible as myth and setting aside its moral code as out-of-date. What a tremendous difference between what is taking place among them and what Jehovah is doing for his people in order to bring our thinking even more closely in line with his inspired Word of truth!" As stated above: "Our basic belief may be sound Scriptural truth, but there may be some details that we did not fully understand in the past. In time, with the aid of Jehovah’s spirit, we get those matters cleared up." I'm hoping we get more away from claiming some human ideas/dates (that go beyond the things written), as divine revelations/new light from God. I believe we are getting there, which is a far cry from what established Christendom  accepts: i.e.. thinking in war God blesses one side over the other of nations in Satan's system; that God has people tortured for all eternity in a fiery hell; there is no real need of a resurrection since all humans have an immortal soul that automatically goes to heaven of Hell when they die; Trinity...and on it goes. Nor do JW's claim infallibility as hundreds of millions believe of the Pope and similar views (although not official) to protestant leaders as well. Yes, I do believe we have a lot to work on, but I don't see any other religions offered on this site by the "nay-sayers" as a better alternative. And even if they don't believe other religions have the truth either, having their own viewpoints, they might as well be a religion unto themselves - an army of one - since even among themselves they don't see eye-to-eye on everything either. That doesn't mean I believe that means we need to believe we are correct on everything we currently believe. As stated in the article quoted above, we should accept there will be clarifications and changes in understanding - in some ways our understanding is fluid and that's a good thing, (despite how some people view it.) That is a huge difference from believing blatantly unscriptural doctrines from apostate Christianity - some of which we at one time accepted ourselves organizationally. I know some people would be highly agitated if some "sacred cow" date/idea turned out not to be so sacred. But remember, we didn't dedicate ourselves to a date and while we respect the imperfect, uninspired "channel" we accept guidance from today, we don't and shouldn't worship an organization any more than the Israelites were to worship Moses and Aaron. We worship the creator, not the creation.   
    • @Srecko Sostar I don't know, but it made me laugh anyway.  If some of the 'brothers' are deeply involved in the property business, and other brothers are deeply involved in the legal / lawyer business (court cases), then it seems the JW Org becomes more worldly every day.  I cannot believe this is what God or Jesus Christ wants from 'chosen ones'.   
    • Are JW people, who are involved in making money with buy and sale business  inside WT Society, those "sons of this world" :)) because of their wisdom how to handle and make arrangements with "wicked generation of darkness" ?
    • I see you as a funny spiritually blind person, so your comments do not bother me at all.   Adam blamed Eve did he? Well you seem to blame the Victims of Abuse and wrongful D/fed.  When Almighty God, working through Christ, decides to take action against the Watchtower / JW Org, then you and many others will get the biggest shock of your lives.  I think though that God may be helping the Victims of Child Sexual Abuse within the JW Org, so God may have started His cleansing process. Only time will tell if God wishes to use the Org or to replace it.  Meanwhile you can keep worshipping the GB and your Elders. 
  • Popular Now

  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Who's Online (See full list)

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Service Confirmation Terms of Use Privacy Policy Guidelines We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.