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Furuli's new book: Is any of it right? Useful? Like Franz?


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The first thread started on this topic, and the topic has already garnered hundreds of responses. But it hasn't dealt much with Rolf Furuli's own theme. His real topic is about how the JW religion is "right," but the current Governing Body is "wrong." That's an unsolvable contradiction to many.

Furuli tries to solve this conundrum by claiming that the GB shouldn't even exist, and that they should not try to find justification for their existence in the parable of the faithful and unfaithful slave/steward of Matthew 24 and Luke 12. There is also the idea in the book that it's only a previous version of the JW religion that is "right." The current version has lost doctrines that should have been kept and this is the fault of a GB that should not exist in the first place. 

There will also be inevitable comparisons between Rolf Furuli and Ray Franz. And there will be associations made between Furuli and Fred Franz, too.

I'll leave this topic up here for a while to see if anyone is interested in discussing any of these points. I'll hold off any additional discussion from my end for a while.

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Okay, JWI has posted a new topic. I don’t want to catch any of you saying irrelevant things. I don’t want 4Jah talking about CSA. I don’t want Allen talking about Zondervan. I can post some of my vacation pictures, of course, but everyone else had better behave. You want me to blow you in to the Old Hen?

The first thread started on this topic, and the topic has already garnered hundreds of responses. But it hasn't dealt much with Rolf Furuli's own theme. His real topic is about how the JW religion is "right," but the current Governing Body is "wrong." That's an unsolvable contradiction to many. Furuli tries to solve this conundrum by claiming that the GB shouldn't even exist, and that they should not try to find justification for their existence in the parable of the faithful and unfaithful

I hate to say it, but you are quite right on this one. I knew that these time periods were always subject to change any time something better comes along. And I was actually very surprised we held onto this 1944 date when the 1999 Daniel's Prophecy book came out. But I was more surprised that it took me this long to notice the significance of the 1971 date for this change. The footnotes of the 1971 Watchtower spell out very clearly that this is the first adjustment since 1959 (which was about th

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Okay, JWI has posted a new topic. I don’t want to catch any of you saying irrelevant things. I don’t want 4Jah talking about CSA. I don’t want Allen talking about Zondervan. I can post some of my vacation pictures, of course, but everyone else had better behave. You want me to blow you in to the Old Hen?

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OK, "a while" is up. I indicated to someone in the other Furuli thread that I would follow up on the comparison between Furuli and Franz.

I'll start with just a repetition of what I put in the other thread, with only slight edits because it would otherwise be too far out of context here:

=============

So far, I can't help but see a strong parallel between Ray Franz and Rolf Furuli's choice of words, style and even some of his entire talking points. I already had five R.F. marks in the margins (pdf) before even got out of the Introduction. And it started not to matter whether the R.F. stood for Rolf Furuli or Ray Franz, so I stopped highlighting those kinds of parallels.

Two of the parallels are so "eerie" that I wonder how aware Furuli is about how they sound. Here's one:

Ray Franz became associated with the term "captives of a concept" as a way to explain how and why the GB see themselves in a position that is so difficult to explain Biblically. Furuli hits several of Ray Franz' points in the same order that Franz presents them:

I do not question
the sincerity of the members of the GB. But it seems to me that they are
held captive by their belief that they are chosen by God as "the faithful
and discreet slave," and that they have been appointed over Jehovah's
Witnesses as their government with unlimited power.

Here's another one, that echos the theme of R.Franz' second book:

This letter shows that the members of the GB believe that they have
the right to . . .
overrule the consciences of individual Witnesses. But this is an attack on
the Christian freedom that Paul mentioned in Galatians 5.1.

Of course, that doesn't necessarily go to [a] point about Furuli's goals, because Ray Franz' style appeared to be much more reluctant about saying anything, but explained how he had been forced into a corner to explain himself due to rampant misinformation. This rang true with Ray Franz that he had never wanted to leave the organization, or try to do anything that would get him in any kind of trouble that would force anyone to try to make him leave, or try to undermine anything to do with current doctrines or teachings, after settling into his congregation. The problem apparently started only when the congregation wanted to use Ray Franz as an elder, and the local elders wrote the Society to find out if that would be appropriate. Until then there was apparently no reason to go after Ray Franz to try to get him disfellowshipped. So, "Chairman Ray" may [not have been very] revolutionary. And Furuli is setting himself up similarly as a non-revolutionary.

One major difference is that Furuli has evidently taken a more proactive role, and pretty much admits to assuming that he won't be answered, just because they haven't dealt with him or his issues yet. TTH might have nailed it when he wondered just how Furuli knows they are refusing to consider his "corrections." But I'm pretty sure that he knows. He knows what is inevitable, or at least what would have been inevitable if he hadn't got this book out there first.

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To that same point about the comparison to Ray Franz, The Librarian, that ol. . . . . , (Wait, now you've got me saying it, TTH). Anyway the Library wondered if he just copied Fred Franz viewpoint, which was barely known by anyone outside of Gilead Students and Bethelites in 1975, until Ray Franz pointed out this talk in his book:

 

On 5/25/2020 at 2:30 PM, The Librarian said:

I wonder if he just copied Fred Franz' viewpoint?

See also

 

 

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Also on the previous thread, I remember that R Franz spoke of the hierarchical similarities between the GB and the Catholic hierarchy. And where else but from trusting the narrative in Ray Franz' first book would Furuli have accepted that Nathan Knorr and Fred Franz were presented with the meaning of the Biblical elder arrangement during the time that the Aid Book was being completed, and how they accepted the change as Scriptural (1970/71).

On 5/26/2020 at 1:00 AM, JW Insider said:

But Furuli's book is starting to sound more like a Raymond Franz sequel (on those few points where they agree). Comparisons between the organizational hierarchy and the Catholic Church are even stronger here than in Franz' books. He even seems to acknowledge (or idealize) that there was a short period of time that immediately followed when R.Franz presented the scriptural meaning of elder, etc., to Knorr and FW Franz, and they humbly accepted the loss of power and authority.

 

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A friend also pointed out to me that Furuli's citation of the November 1, 1946 Watchtower was the same set of points that Ray Franz discussed at length in the book "In Search of Christian Freedom."

This is from p.101 of Furuli:

Excursus on the view of the organization in 1946
    The view of the organization in the middle of the 20th century was the
diametrical opposite of the present view that is described above. The
article "Let God Prove to Be True" in The Watchtower of 1 November
1946, pages 330-332, shows the contrast between the hierarchical
Catholic Church and the Christian organization of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Below is a long quotation [from that Watchtower].
   The written Word of God, therefore, does not need the addition of
traditions which are the private interpretations of men and of
religious organizations. It is not on our own authority that we say that
the Bible is sufficient without such .... (2 Tim. 3:15-17, Douay) Had

the oral traditions of religious men been necessary to complement
the canon of the Bible, Paul would not have said that the inspired
Holy Scriptures were profitable to the point of making the men perfect
in faith and devotion to God....
    Now a final argument is shot at us by those who uphold an
ecclesiastical or hierarchical organization. They say: 'Even doing away
with religious traditions, the Bible cannot be left for each reader to
interpret for himself; we still need the visible organization of the
faithful to act as a "living magisterium" or teaching power in order
to interpret the Bible and make plain the will of God from it. Look
at how the Bible, left to each one's individual interpretation, has
resulted in the religiously divided condition of Protestantism.' To this
we say, Protestantism's multitude of sects and cults is no proof that
the Bible is a divisive force to those who take it, and it alone, as
adequate. The Bible is not is a divisive Book, for it is harmonious
from cover to cover and agrees with itself, in all its canonical books.
   The divisive force among the Catholic and Protestant religionists of
Christendom is the religious traditions which they follow. The truth
of the Bible is a unifying power. After Christ Jesus prayed: "Sanctify
them through thy word: thy word is truth," he immediately prayed
that all his believers, those then following him and those yet due to
believe, should be united in one, just as he and his heavenly Father
are one. (John 17:17-23) It is now that this Christian oneness must
be attained; now, at this end of the world. It has been attained by
Jehovah's Witnesses, who have come forth from inside and outside
of the multitude of religious organizations and who now unite in
God's service despite their former religious disagreements.
How is this? How is disunity over each one's individual interpretation of the
Holy Scriptures now overcome and avoided? Is it because they an united around
a visible human organization or around a visible human leader? The answer is
No. It is because they recognize Jehovah God and Christ Jesus as The
Higher Powers to whom every Christian soul must be subject for
conscience' sake. (Rom 13:1) It is because they recognize Jehovah
God as the one true and living God, the Most High or Supreme One,
and Christ Jesus as His anointed King and Elect Servant, whom
Jehovah has appointed as the Leader and Commander to the peoples.
(Isa. 42:1; 55:3,4: Matt. 12:18; Acts 13:34) It is, too, because they
recognize Jehovah God as the living, ever-present Teacher of His
church on earth, and that he teaches the "church of God" through
her Head, Christ Jesus.-Isa. 54:13; John 6:45.

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There are many more points of overlap between Ray Franz and Rolf Furuli on those topics where they agree. One might expect this to be natural since they studied the same topic and came to the same conclusion on a few of them. Perhaps it's just coincidence, except for the idea that some of the points were barely known outside of their exposure in Franz books. Perhaps even the similarities of expression and style are coincidental.

Or Furuli could have read Ray Franz' books and decided to try to debunk them as he had tried to debunk Ray Franz and C.O.Jonsson on chronology subjects.

It probably doesn't matter how similar they are. But anyone else who read both authors might have more points to weigh in on if they wish.

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@JW Insider    I have to say it again. It seems that JWs are so used to being in a group, doing things in groups, almost living as groups, that they seem to have to put everyone else into a group.  I know this isn't putting Furuli into a group, but it is grouping him with R Franz. 

Why can't you just accept the man as an individual ? He is just as entitled to an individual opinion as anyone else is.  It just reminds me as when I say something similar to some one else on here I get accused of being one of their disciples. JWs, it seems, are frightened by people that have their own opinion. I think one reason is that JWs are not allowed to express their own opinion at a KH or amongst the congregation anywhere. 

Your first two questions : - Is any of it right ? Useful ? 

However you couldn't hold back for long could you ?  You had to immediately start  to discredit Furuli by almost saying that he copied Franz. This immediately knocks a big hole in those first two questions. You put the Franz question as last, but you could not resist answering it first. 

You disappoint me, not that it would matter to you. You definitely show how you have been indoctrinated by the CCJW / GB. 

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Perhaps a possible explanation for the Franz / Furuli similarities is that both situations, the time of Franz and the present, share the same problems.

I see a tension, an opposite force, between wanting to have a united, harmonious organization and allowing greater freedom of conscience and thought. Both extremes I think are bad.

Can you imagine going to a congregation that believes in the trinity, or in hell fire?

At the other extreme, it is a shame it is troublesome to wear a beard, not to wear a tie and that sort of thing.

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