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  1. 7 points
    Here is the material for weeks of June 10-16 and June 17-23, 2019. TB Watchtower June 10-16, 2019.doc Watchtower June 10-16, 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 10-16 , 2019.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 10-16 , 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 10-16 , 2019 text only.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 10-16 , 2019 text only.pdf CBS June 10-16, 2019.doc CBS June 10-16, 2019.pdf Additional Highlights -June 10-16, 2019.doc Additional Highlights -June 10-16, 2019.pdf Watchtower June 17-23, 2019.doc Watchtower June 17-23, 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 17-23, 2019.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 17-23, 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 17-23, 2019 text only.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 17-23, 2019 text only.pdf CBS June 17-23, 2019.doc CBS June 17-23, 2019.pdf Additional Highlights -June 17-23, 2019.doc Additional Highlights -June 17-23, 2019.pdf
  2. 6 points
    Whenever a new version of Scripture appears that is colloquialized, paraphrased, or just plain dumbed down, the refrain is heard: “If it gets modern people to read God’s Word, it is worth it.” How far you want to take this trend is anyone’s guess. Suffice it to say that the Sinaiticus Sheepngoats pushes the boundaries as they have never been pushed before. It is an incredible find from the dry desert where it has been preserved for thousands of years. (though there are a few critics at the Whitepebble Institute who claim it has only been around two weeks and was discovered in the glove box of Harley’s car) And yet—and yet—though it takes outrageous liberties and outright manufactures a few things, it does serve to convey the basic idea of the entire Book of Galatians. Is it right to spoil the book for everyone else in the course of getting a good grasp of it yourself? Your guess is as good as mine. Anyway, here is the text of the Sinaiticus Sheepngoats edition of Galatians: Chapter 1 Dear Galatians: Hi. Remember me? It’s Paul. How are you? (1:1-5) The reason I say ‘remember me’ is because I’m not sure that you do! I can’t believe how quickly you are screwing up! Is that chair I used to sit in even cold yet? What is this about louts trying to change the whole narrative? They’re not allowed to do that! Look, even angels are not allowed to do that! (6-9) You remember what a jerk I was. Nobody made more trouble for you than me. But after God let me hear about it right there on the Damascus road and that other fellow was sent so that I could see again, I went off to Arabia for three years to think about it. (13-17) Then I came back to Jerusalem and stayed with Peter for a couple of weeks. But no one else—wait, I did see James, but none of the others. Then I went off again. What! You think I am fibbing? For years and years, had you asked those apostles about me, they would have said, “I dunno. Your guess is as good as mine. He used to be the nastiest fellow. Now it looks as though he is on our side. Cool! We’ll take it!” (18-24) Chapter 2 About 14 years later I figured that maybe I had better give those guys a call. I had Barnabas with me by then, and Titus—fine fellows. I met with them privately, of course, just in case I was not doing something—um, kosher. “You okay with this?” I said to them. “You’re not going to make Titus do that Jewish thing, are you? I don’t see any need for it.” They didn’t either! (2:1-3) It probably wouldn’t even have come up were it not for those pinheaded louts trying to drag us down, wanting us to everything Jewish that we don’t have to do anymore. We blew right past them, and it was for your sake just as much as for ours. (4-5) Okay, so I consulted with these ones—I mean, I guess they are important. I wondered if they might try to rein me in, but no!—they said, “Whatever you are doing, keep on doing it. We’ll stick with preaching to Jews, but you—I mean, Peter unlocked that door for the nations, so go for it! Just don’t ignore the poor.” Sure, I can do that. (6-10) But then Peter came calling later on and suddenly he himself goes all Jewish on me. Oh, sure, he pals around with these new Gentile Christians easy enough, but when his buddies show up, he acts like he doesn’t know them. I said, “I don’t believe it! Here you are living the free life, telling others to be like that, and then the narrow-minded fuddy duddies show up and you get all scaredy cat? (11-14) Yeah, well he’s a good sort, but he goes a little weak at the knees sometimes. You don’t have to do any of that Jewish stuff! What do you think the Lord is for? (15-21) Chapter 3 What on earth is wrong with you? How can you be so dumb? You break free but then turn around and go back because you forgot your leg irons? Are you kidding me? (3:1-5) Don’t pull this Abraham stuff on me. Wait, no. If you want to talk Abraham, let’s talk Abraham. You think he earned anything? No! He “put faith in Jehovah, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” THAT’S what you want to take away from Abraham—his faith, and how he pointed the way for other people to have faith. Not the later Law—that Law did nothing but show you up for the basket cases that you were! Did you manage to keep it? No! All you did was screw up. That’s why when Christ comes along, you are supposed to say, “Exactly what we need! Thank you, thank you, thank you. (6-11) You don’t go back to the Law again—what’s wrong with you? The Law has nothing to do with faith. Christ pulled us out of that—THAT’S what Abraham was pointing to, and you want to dive back in again? (12-14) Okay, now look—let’s take this real slow. Take notes if it will help. So Abraham gets a promise that means the Christ will come through his lineup, but how does the Law figure in? It comes 430 years later. Does it change his promise? I don’t think so. (15-18) Why the Law? It’s because you guys kept messing up, that’s why. And it was supposed to dawn on you that you DID keep messing up and that you’re never (and yes—me, too) going to come out like the champion of Jeopardy. You weren’t supposed to think that dotting all the ‘I’s and crossing all the ‘T’s would get you there—besides, you missed lots of them. (19-22) Yes, it gave you something to do and kept you off the streets. But now that the real thing has arrived, you can set down your slates. Class is over. You can join in with that promise to Abraham. (23-29) Chapter 4 It took a long time for you to get to where you are. A lot of work went into it. Don’t mess it up. (4:1-8) You had real freedom. I mean, real freedom in Christ. And now you want to become law nerds again and focus on dotting ‘I’s and crossing ‘T’s? Really? What! Do I have a death wish or something? What am I doing this for? (9-11) Remember the good times we used to have? Remember how you used to loan me your specs? You didn’t then stick out your foot to trip me up. What’s gotten into you? (12-16) Do you think that these pinheaded louts are your friends? They just want to be your bosses. “Meet the new boss—same as the old boss.” (17-20) Go back to Abraham, you law nerds, and take a point. Two women, remember? One a concubine, one a wife. Hagar gave birth first because Sarah thought she was too old to have a child. No mystery about how Hagar conceived. You see it all the time on TV. But Sarah! THAT’S where God’s promise came in, and she didn’t even believe herself it could happen until it did! The two women stand for two groups of people. Hagar, the one of ordinary birth, is mother to the ones of Law (that you want go back to!) Sarah, the one of the promise, is mother to the ones putting their faith in Christ. (21-28) The Hagar kid made trouble for the Sarah kid back then. It’s the same today with these pinheaded louts trying to force their Law on you. But what does the verse say? “Take this Law and shove it! I ain’t workin here no more!” Keep it that way! (29-31) Chapter 5 You are free from slavery. Don’t go back to it. Or if you do, you’d better not miss a single one of those ‘I’s or ‘T’s. (5:1-6) You were doing so well. Who tripped you up? Who made you think you need circumcision? It ain’t me, babe. Those Jews would give me a free pass if they thought I was turning Christianity into just one of their outposts. “Just you wait, enry iggins”—they’ll get theirs. (7-11) In fact, I have half a mind to come and kick them in the nuts so hard that they won’t qualify to serve in the temple that they want to drag you into! (12) No, brothers, don’t go there. Just don’t. You don’t need their picayune Law. It all boils down to love anyway—that is the greatest part of it—so if you get you head around that, you’ll do just fine. You start nitpicking at each other over every pissy little thing and you’ll tear each other apart! (13-18) Don’t do bad things. Do good things. What do you mean, ‘What bad things?’ “No back-biting, no ass-grabbing, you know exactly what I mean!” [thank you, Randy Neuman] It shouldn’t be hard, if you really are following the Christ. Do the best you can, and don’t go thinking that you are better than the other guy. (19-26) Chapter 6 Okay, let’s wrap this up. Don’t be babies—man up, but pull each other out of the crud when you have to (be sure you don’t fall in yourself). (6:1-5) Don’t try to Play around with God. You can’t. Keep on keeping on—it will all pay off. Lend a hand where needed. (6-10) See the large letters I make, all by myself with my own hand? Why? Because I am blind as a bat—that’s why. I dunno—it comes and goes. That’s why I insulted that pompous character before I knew he was the high priest. I asked God to take it away, but he said, “Nah, it keeps you humble.” And it has. It’s not an altogether bad thing to have a thorn in the flesh. (11) Now, remember—they are pinheaded louts trying to lay their Law on you. And why? They’re just chicken themselves—like Peter might have been, but he saw where he was heading and corrected himself. They don’t want to stand out among their cronies, and they want to find strength in numbers by having you do what they do—it will hide their cowardice. What! You think they do the Law themselves? No way! They just want to do some back-stabbing and ass-grabbing themselves and then throw in a gerbil or something for sacrifice to make it all good again. Come on! Please—you are too smart not to see through them. (12-16) I’ve suffered for carrying the good news of the Christ. So have you. Don’t turn back to be a law nerd again. Press on ahead. God will back you. So will Christ. (17-18) *** What a bunch of idiots there at the Whitepebble Institute—tossing this amazing new manuscript in the dumpster! The place has gone right downhill ever since the director, Wayne Whitepebble, took a course on critical thinking and tried to kiss up to the evolutionists by adding an ancient skull to his library alongside the globe and old maps because he heard that is what smart people do but then it turned out that his ancient skull was actually missing evidence in the Mugsy McDougal ax murder case and he got into serious hot water with the authorities. Plainly, this new find belongs in the Bible canon.
  3. 6 points
    Here is the material for the next 2 weeks May 27–June 2 and June 3-9 , 2019. TB Watchtower May 27, 2019–June 2, 2019.doc Watchtower May 27, 2019–June 2, 2019.pdf Watchtower June 3-9, 2019.doc Watchtower June 3-9, 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of May 27–June 2 , 2019.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of May 27–June 2 , 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of May 27–June 2 , 2019 text only.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of May 27–June 2 , 2019 text only.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 3-9 , 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 3-9 , 2019.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 3-9 , 2019 text only.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 3-9 , 2019 text only.doc CBS May 27–June 2 ,2019.doc CBS May 27–June 2 ,2019.pdf CBS June 3-9, 2019.pdf CBS June 3-9, 2019.doc Additional Highlights -May 27–June 2.doc Additional Highlights -May 27–June 2.pdf Additional Highlights -June 3-9.doc Additional Highlights -June 3-9.pdf
  4. 5 points
    [Dennis Christensen’s closing statement] First, I want to thank my wife Irina, who from the very beginning did everything in her power to help and support me. She took care of me, passed me clothes, groceries, medicines and other things that I needed in the SIZO (Pre-Trial Detention Centre). She has supported me emotionally and spiritually with her visits and letters that I have received from her every day. My dear wife, your strong faith, your great patience, your peace of mind and love for me and for the truth, including your optimism, have all been a great example to me. You should know that I love you very much and that I am very proud of you! I also want to thank my family in Denmark, especially my elderly father and my sister. You should know that I miss you so much. I love you and appreciate everything you have done for me. During my stay in the SIZO you supported me with your numerous letters and telephone conversations. I am sure that you will never give up and lose hope that we will be able to come together again as a family one day. I also want to thank all my many friends from all over the world. You supported me with your letters, encouraging thoughts, beautiful drawings and various gifts. All this has helped me to understand that I am not alone, and that I have a large global family. Dear friends, you should know that every letter, big or small, has encouraged and strengthened me. Please do not be discouraged if I do not have time to respond to your letters. I will find you, thank you and hug you in the future, I promise! I also want to thank the Embassy of the Kingdom of Denmark in Moscow and all its staff. You attended many court sessions and repeatedly visited me in the SIZO. Your helpful advice, guidance and encouragement mean a lot to me, and I really appreciate your support and the great help that you have given me. I would also like to thank the Court of Appeal for the fact that I personally was able to attend this court hearing. When I participated in other appellate cases through videoconferencing from the SIZO, it was difficult for me to hear everything that was said. I had to guess half of what was happening there. This is an unworthy way to defend someone. In addition, when using the conference call in the SIZO, you must sit in jail, as if you were an animal in a zoo. I consider this an unworthy, inhuman treatment today, in the 21st century. At the present, I have already been in the SIZO for almost two years, and this trial has been going on for 15 months. To endure all this, not to give up and not to lose heart, it is extremely necessary to have a certain inner strength. The Bible says - in Philippians, the 4th chapter, the 12th verse - that “I can do everything by him that strengthens me.” In the book of the Prophet Isaiah, the 12th chapter, in verse 2 it is written: “Behold, God is my salvation: I trust in Him and have no fear; for the Lord is my strength, and my song is the Lord; and he has been my salvation. " Throughout this period, I have felt that my God, Jehovah, has been next to me and has given me the strength to endure all this. The power to not give up, not to lose heart, to be joyful and happy and to continue to smile. I am sincerely grateful to him for this and am proud to serve Him as one of his witnesses, one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Many people have asked me how this criminal case have affected me. Of course, it is not easy to be in a SIZO for such a long period of time, to be cut off from your wife and from close contact with your family and friends. The last two years I have lived a very closed life. You could say I have just existed. 23 hours a day I have spent in my prison cell of 3 by 6 meters, and for an hour every day I have gone for a walk in the walking yard, also 3 by 6 meters, although under the open sky. During this time, I met various people with whom I had many interesting conversations. And I noticed that many of them are trying to achieve a decent, honest investigation and trial. Most feel that the system does not hear them, and I have also felt a similar feeling in the past two years. I tried to support and encourage them as best I could, because I am sure that Jesus Christ would have done the same. I made many new friends, some of them were present at a part of the court sessions, and some wrote letters to me. I personally know some of them, but others not yet. Some havethe same faith as I do, others do not, but they still support me, because they cannot tolerate the injustice that is happening here in Russia, the way some here try to make Jehovah’sWitnesses, citizens who love their neighbour as themselves, out to be criminals and call them extremists. This is completely illogical and ridiculous. Many are shocked by the fact that such things happen here, in Russia, in the 21st century. Someone asked me how this criminal case has affected my faith. Thanks to this criminal case, my faith has only become stronger, and I have experienced what the Bible said in the Epistle of James, the first chapter, in verses 2 through 4: “Take great joy, my brethren, when you meet with various trials, knowing that the test of your faith produces endurance; but endurance must have its action complete, so that you may be complete in its entirety, without any deficiency. ” I am still far from perfect, but I have learned to be steadfast and remain joyful in my ordeals. And the most important thing I want to emphasize is that I have drawn even closer to my God Jehovah and have received an even more ardent desire to tell others about him and his purposes, an ardent desire to continue preaching the good news of the Kingdom of God, which is the only solution for humanity. A fervent desire to share with others the joyful message from the Bible about the world and eternal life here, in paradise on earth to help them get closer to the Creator and help develop strong faith in him and his promises. This speech is officially called “the last word in my defence,” and maybe these will be the last words you will hear from me today. Maybe this is the last court hearing in this criminal case, and it will become an end to this last two-year period of my life. But I want to assure you that these are not my last words in this case about the injustice that is happening here in Russia against peaceful and completely innocent people. I have just started, and I have a lot more that I want to tell you publicly. I'm not going to be silent, as if I am guilty and have something to hide. I have a clear conscience, I have not done anything wrong, I have not violated any law of Russia and I have nothing to be ashamed of. What is being done against me and other Witnesses here in Russia are false accusations of extremism, interrogations, detentions, searches, confiscations, discoveries, threats, and now even torture. This should be shameful. It is of course adisgrace. The truth always becomes apparent, and justice will sooner or later prevail. In the Bible, in Galatians, chapter 6, verse 7, it says: “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked. Whatever a man sows, he will reap. ” The court of first instance sentenced me to 6 years in prison, but for what? Nothing. There is no evidence that I did something wrong. On the contrary, there is a lot of evidence that I enjoyed the rights granted to me under Article 28 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. I observe the law of the Russian state and am an honest person. I am a Christian, a believer, a Jehovah's Witness, and I love the Russian people. What are they punishing me for? Why should I be in prison for 6 years? Nothing. This is unfair. I sincerely hope that the Court of Appeal today will protect what is right and take care that justice prevail. That it will namely stop the persecution of faith, which is happening now in Russia. I very much hope that this court of appeal will send a signal to the whole world that here in Russia there is freedom of religion for all people. In the near future these words will be fulfilled: “And he, God, will judge many nations, and they will cast their swords into plowshares and their spears into sickles; nation will not raise the sword against nation, and they will no longer learn how to wage war. But each one will sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one will frighten them.” The words of Micah, chapter 4, verses 3 and 4. God always judges justly, and under his rule there will no longer be disagreements, violence and wars. On the contrary, there will be peace, and there will be no anxieties. In other words, there will be true happiness for all of humanity. Your Honor, with your decision today you can make a big step in this direction, in the direction of justice and peace. A big step towards a world without anxiety, sadness and injustice. And I hope you do that. Thank you in advance! [The appeal failed. Seemingly, it had already been decided that it would.]
  5. 4 points
    Outta Here

    Let's Get It On - identify a cult!

    People give their lives for any number of causes without faith in a resurrection. This noble quality of humans is exploited by "cult" leaders regardless of the damage it might do to the individual, and with no thought of benefit to them. Followers are merely pawns. Interestingly, the word "cult" has come to carry a load of meaning and association that has little to do with it's original etymology and derivation. Bit like the word "gay". One current definition that sums up the way many use the word today is "cult = a religion I don't like".
  6. 4 points
    Over the weekend, I was in a circuit way out there in the back hills, and I came to know some of the strange ways of the local elders out there. I learned that when they really got riled at one another, they would spit out out the most spiteful words that they could think of: “May you be assigned to preside in JTR’s congregation!”
  7. 4 points
    No problem Srecko. As long as you know your stupider than me and uneducated about scripture just as much as most people here, We understand each other. 😏
  8. 4 points
  9. 4 points
    Wow! Is there something holding you back from saying what's really on your mind? My father and grandfather attended KM school in Pittsburgh back in the early 70's about a year apart from each other. So I would often hear them compare notes as to what Bro. Schroeder had said on a topic. Schroeder was still of the "Rutherford" school when it came to how the entire world was "inspired" of Satan, which influenced his speech about who would die at Armageddon and why we don't celebrate Christmas, Easter, etc. As part of their training, Brother Schroeder would give them questions that the "Press" might ask them, so elders could practice answers that were "cautious as serpents yet innocent as doves" so to speak. For example: Question: Do you think the Pope will be destroyed at Armageddon? This gets lots of snickers, and a few brothers willing to say, 'Of course he will be destroyed!.' So Brother Schroeder says that, well, we all know the answer, but what do we tell the Press? He recommended saying: Answer: "He'll get what he deserves!" This gets uproarious laughter, and must have been treated as if Jesus had just said "Pay back Caesar's things to Caesar." It becomes kind of a joke between my father and grandfather, so that they only needed to say: "He'll get what he deserves!" when hearing about other infamous happenings in the world (e.g., Watergate, Nixon Impeachment, US Supreme Court on Roe v. Wade, Spiro Agnew). I don't know whether Schroeder himself mentioned people with Christmas trees, but I remember being a bit taken aback that my father and grandfather even applied it for a while to people with Christmas trees, people singing Christmas carols on TV, etc., even though they started to say it in a kind of joking way, knowing that the phrase was getting old. When you mentioned that the Society knew that Christmas was wrong before 1900 but kept celebrating until the late 1920's it reminded me of this. Imagine if Armageddon had actually come in 1915, or 1918, or 1925, as they sometimes expected. In effect, my father and grandfather were saying that Rutherford and all the people in the entire Watch Tower Society would have been destroyed. I can imagine how we, as an organization, would have felt if we knew that certain people or groups who had already stopped celebrating Christmas were looking at the Watch Tower Society at the time and saying "They'll get what they deserve at Armageddon." When it comes to all this judgmental speech, here in this forum, I try to remember to test it by thinking what we would say if we were guests in a Mormon forum, or a Catholic forum. Would you, for example, go into a Mormon-centric forum right now and say that 15 million Mormons (LDS) are all inspired by Satan. (And yes they have had trouble with child sexual abuse and cover-ups.) And because a high percentage of Catholics support the Pope, would you go into a Catholic-centric forum and say that 1 billion Catholics are inspired by Satan. To me, it seems a bit over the top, even though you could probably find a near equivalent problem in the Mormon Church or the Catholic Church for every problem you see among Jehovah's Witnesses. I'm not one to tell you to stop saying whatever you want to say, as you probably feel like a good part of your life was wasted among Jehovah's Witnesses, and I'm sure this drives a lot of the "tone." I am reminded of the "tone" that Rutherford took against the clergy, especially the Catholic hierarchy, and he could rationalize that he was protecting the world from Catholicism -- just as you probably think you are trying to protect the world from Jehovah's Witnesses, or at least to protect a few other Jehovah's Witnesses from themselves.
  10. 4 points
    An example is this Satan's statement recorded here: "So he brought him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the inhabited earth in an instant of time.  Then the Devil said to him: “I will give you all this authority and their glory, because it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish." Luke 4:4-6
  11. 4 points
    Yes. Without some sort of governing arrangement—call it what you will—the Bible becomes a relic with the death of the apostles. Similar to how the constitution becomes a relic in the absence of a Supreme Court. I swear that there are some who would prefer it that way. That way they can personalize it any way they want. Don’t like this or that? Simply interpret it away—no harm done.
  12. 4 points
    This is exactly how it was in the Jewish nation, per laws given to Moses, that serve as a last-ditch method of discipline. I had someone contact me via email, trying to get me going, saying he was one of them—physically in, but mentally out. And—here’s the kicker—he said that after he placed literature he would later return to warn the householder not to read it! Or if he did, not to act upon it. Now, just let me get a mental picture of how that might go down: Why did he place literature in the first place? He is “a member of a controlling cult that monitors everything he does, and so he has no choice!”—I guess he would have to say something like that. And they “control” him by threatening to take his family away if he doesn’t follow every “command” that they issue! It is too late for him, but not too late for you, Mr. Householder. Run and save yourself! Really? Could that truly be? Look, if you want to present the picture that opposers are batsh*t crazy, I can’t think of a better way to do it. On Christmas Eve, he goes to homes to sing Christmas carols. On every other night, he goes to sing Hotel California: ‘You can check in any time you like—but you can never leave!’ or House of the Rising Sun: ‘and it’s been the ruin of many a poor boy, and God, I know, I’m one’ or For What it’s Worth: ‘step out of line, the men come to take you away!’ Sheesh. People are crazy. Batsh*t crazy—pure and simple. He also said, (with a hee hee hee) that he was one of thousands! Could that be? Or is his army like that of Gideon, making such a god-awful racket that they seem far larger than they really are? Or is it just him? Or is it not even him—look, going door to door for even the right reason is a challenge—but to go twice to say that you want to take back what you said the first time because you are actually an undercover guerrilla fighter—when the householder wasn’t all that interested in the first place? What kind of a nutcase could pull that off? No matter. I don’t run away from these things. I run toward them. I think of the Philippians verse: “True, some are preaching the Christ through envy and rivalry, but others also through goodwill. The latter are publicizing the Christ out of love...but the former do it out of contentiousness, not with a pure motive, for they are supposing to stir up tribulation....What then? [Nothing,] except that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is being publicized, and in this I rejoice.” (1:15-18) The object is to get the good news out there, and these unhinged nutcases only help the cause. To be sure, it is a strange way to get it out there, but it does get it out there. The whole program is strange, as I told one fellow trying to run a garage sale that no one was showing up for. Appear out of nowhere as a complete stranger and say you want to talk about God? Christians are a theatrical spectacle in all the earth, says Paul. Tell me about it. Nor am I ashamed that there are so many “apostates.” I am proud of them. I consider them additional proof that what we have fulfills the Bible pattern. If we didn’t have any—that would be a test of my faith, for I would wonder why. There is no NT writer who does not deal with apostates. If they existed then, why would they not exist now? In fact, as we get closer to crunch time, you would expect them to be more numerous and virulent, and would wonder what was the problem if they were not. To be sure, many Witnesses run away from these things—it has been the pattern. The time may come when they will tackle them head-on. Opponents are having their day in the sun—beyond all question they have thrust awkward, even disagreeable, aspects of JWs front and center on the world stage. I take my hat off to them. Well done! That does not mean that I admire them. It is more like when the Jurassic Park security chief says of the pterodactyl circling round to pounce on him, ‘Good girl!’ Then he was eaten alive amidst bloodcurdling screaming. Will the beasts do the same this time? I think not. We are used to presenting the gem of the Christian way of life through it’s most appealing facet. Let us learn to present it through it’s least appealing one. It is the same gem. “The game is the same, it’s just up on another level.” That’s the song we should be singing—leave it to the lunatics to sing Hotel California! The trick is not to try to sanitize the present. It is to de-sanitize the past. It is to say of Peter, ‘He is the most prominent one, and yet he cowers like an adolescent—his action can be (probably was) painted as hypocrisy on steroids! Once the Jewish Christians show up, he avoids company of the Gentile ones? And he is given the keys to the kingdom? Yes. That is how it is. God uses people despite phenomenal weaknesses. Transport it to the present day. We have people who did not avoid the trap that everyone else has fallen into. They wished not to advertise their dirty laundry—and to carry on as though they had none. They did it for perfectly understandable reasons—for fear of tarnishing the Name that they tried to stand proclaim. But they did it. The fact that they alone sought to investigate an evil in order to mete out discipline and protect other congregations does not matter. They can ‘reform’ in the eyes of the reasonable world, and likely have done so even now, with various tweaks culminating in that May 2019 issue. But they will never ever reform enough in the eyes of their virulent detractors. At some point, perhaps they will take on detractors more openly—judiciously, and not so as to satisfy the detractors, which cannot be done, but to offer a defense of the Christian way to those whose ear the detractors have gained. This is what you want to be writing your books about, Greg Stafford, not arguing over the Trinity. In other words, the things that detractors paint as sordid are exactly the traps that well-intentioned and imperfect people who are ‘insular’ (no part of the world) could be expected to fall into. We’ll learn, where necessary, to present the truth through this facet so easily spun as a negative. It is the same with disfellowshipping, which opposers (many of them disfellowshipped themselves) have made into a monster issue, and in this age where ‘victimization’ is all the rage, have thrust it into the public eye. Keep it there where it belongs. Don’t try to skulk away from it. Jehovah’s Witnesses are a faith that adherents take seriously. If you don’t participate, even if you stop, that does not create ripples. If you turn 180 degrees and flame what your family holds most dear, that probably will. The scriptures “tell” congregation members what to do in that event. Leadership merely alerts to those scriptures & afterwards their job is done. It could be tweaked—has been already— but any competent leadership would know of the same verses & principles behind them. Most people will have little difficulty in accepting that if you persistently by word or deed refuse to conform to the standards of any group, you may find yourself out on your ear. The malcontents who carry on that ‘if it is not perfect, it is filthy’ would not have lasted two minutes in the first century. They would have honed in on the ill doings of those Revelation 2 and 3 congregations and started screaming back then just as they are screaming now. And if they would not have lasted two minutes during the early days of the Christian congregation, they would not have lasted two seconds in the early days of the Jewish nation. Yes, yes, there are some things that are not exactly the same. But the similarities far outnumber the differences.
  13. 4 points
    100% true. Somehow though I think that the idea of unquestioned obedience to a group of uninspired men exists in the minds of some Witnesses, but not all. I had a conversation along similar lines with Witnesses on another website, and when I pointed out that Br. Jackson of the GB himself indicated that we should not have unquestioning obedience to them, and I even quoted Br. Jackson to support what I said, I got thrown out of the forum. I paraphrase Br. Jackson here as I am on another computer and do not have access to the transcript where he made that quote. Basically, the gist of what he said was that "if the GB said something that was out of line with the scriptures, then all other JWs who have the Bible, would see that it was wrong direction". In other words, if others recognized from the Bible that certain direction was wrong, they would not follow it, no matter who it came from. So really, that kind of solves the problem. Someone has to take the lead, and if we use the Bible as a measuring stick, and see that that person, or body of persons are going against the scriptures, then it would be wrong of us to obey them in that particular instance as we must obey God as ruler, rather than men.
  14. 4 points
    How many times have some of us cut off a bruised section of, let’s say an apple, and still enjoyed eating the rest? We know that normally a small bruise doesn’t affect the taste of the apple. The other day, I had one apple left of any fruit available; one which was clean of bruises, but was just beginning to rot. I knew this, but felt I could cut off the soft brown blemish and eat the rest, just as I had done with a bruise. Upon cutting, I could see the rot had traveled into the core, but I diligently scored out the discolored tissue with the hope of enjoying what remained. The first bite told the story of bitter rottenness. The unpleasant taste had traveled well through the apple; and yet, I made sure I ate as much as I normally would, all the while questioning why I pushed myself to eat such a terrible tasting piece of fruit. Well, I’ll not be doing that again…ever. When an apple begins to rot, fungus has made its way into the flesh through a puncture in the skin. It can happen from contaminated water during the harvesting process; and it is true that “one bad apple spoils the whole bunch”, through the off-gassing of the hormone “ethylene”. An apple infested with fungal mold will spread and contaminate other fruit, looking for another host to grow on; and it successfully accomplishes rotting the whole bunch, all while taking place in the dark. To ripen, an apple needs the light from the sun; to rot and decay – disease and darkness. It seems appropriate that trees are expressed in the Bible as the source of pure teachings, although there are those who are considered bearers of rotten fruit. It is by their “fruit” that we recognize true or false prophets, or true or false teachers. So, it is the anointed who are these trees outlined in the scriptures. Ps 1:1-3 Whatever their heart contains will be the nature of the “fruit” they produce and supply to their hearers. Luke 6:43-45 Matt 12:33-37 - Either make the tree good and its fruit will be good, or make the tree bad and its fruit will be bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. 34 Brood of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil? For the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart. 35 A good person produces good things from his storeroom of good, and an evil person produces evil things from his storeroom of evil. 36 I tell you that on the day of judgment people will have to account for every worthless word they speak. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matt 7:15-20 - “Be on your guard against false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. 16 You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles?17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So you’ll recognize them by their fruit. Pearl Doxsey: “Trees are only a symbol which represents, teachers. If there were no symbolic "trees", there would be no witnesses of God, nor offering of spiritual food (knowledge). Each tree decides what kind of teacher they will be, and what sort of "fruit" they will produce and offer others to "eat". God equips them with wisdom so that they can enjoy the happiness of giving the knowledge of life. But God does not force them to produce what He wishes. Their mouth will produce fruit according to the abundance of their own heart. (Luke 6:45; Matt 12:33-37; 7:20; Heb 13:15; John 1:1,4;8:12;12:46;Prov 11:30;10:11;3:13,18; Eph 5:8-12) The Bible reveals that Satan's mouth, also bears "fruit"/teachings (Rev 16:13;12:15; Col2:8; 2 Cor 11:3; 1 Tim 6:20,21; Gen 3:4,5; Rev 2:24; James 3:15) Just as Jesus is "the way" and his teachings are the road to life; Satan's deceptions are the road which leads to destruction (2 Thess 2:9,10; Matt 7:13; Rev 12:9). All of Satan's teachings/"fruit" are lies, darkness, error/sin, and they lead to death John 8:44; Heb 2:14; James 1:15. To take in such teachings is to be deceived. Eve herself obtained this falsely-called knowledge (Gen 3:13; 1 Tim 6:20; James 3:15) which resulted in her death (Rom 5:12; Gen 2:17). (From “Two Trees”, 4womaninthewilderness) Dear JWs, the phrase, “new light” which is assigned to new Watchtower teachings, is a twist of scripture to hide the rotten blemishes on the “fruit” your “trees” have produced for over a century. (to get a more comprehensive understanding of Prov 4:18 , read Prov 4:10-19) The “new” apple looks perfect at first glance, until you take the time to examine it thoroughly and find the beginning evidence of decay. You have a choice not to eat rotten “fruit; in fact, Jesus expects you to examine all teachings by anointed ones. It is only men who expect you to gratefully accept their time-tested rotten offerings. 2 Cor 11:19,20; Rev 13:11,14-17 From what many of us have experienced, we realize the majority of Watchtower’s teachings are rotten to the “core” of its existence. If you have not done so, I hope you search for the list of failed dates of Armageddon’s arrival, which affected other time-table dates and doctrine associated with them, such as the meaning of “this generation”. 1 John 4:1 Can you imagine Jesus offering “fruit” with any source of disease or blemish to his listeners, while he was on the earth? James 3:17 He told his disciples: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—FRUIT THAT WILL LAST—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” John 15:16 Would this be possible without the light of life from the Son? John 1:1,4;8:12 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light— 9 for the fruit of the light consists of all goodness, righteousness, and truth - 10 testing what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what is done by them in secret. Eph 5:8-12 JWs, would you say your leaders’ “fruit” concerning the many historical changes to “this generation” ripened in the light of Christ, or did each new version emerge from the same diseased bunch, harboring mold in some dark WT cellar? It is a fact that many fruitless, worthless teachings have been tossed out by the organization. Titus 1:15,16 Will there be more? The Bible states “Wormwood’s” waters contaminate true teachings and mislead many with a corrupted form of “nourishing food”. Heb 12:15; Rev 8:10,11;16:13 Please, put the pieces together; through my own experience, I perceived that what they offer you as “good fruit” is already riddled with disease, spawned in the dark recesses of evil men’s hearts. Isa 28:14,15,7,8; Eph 2:1-3 1 Tim 6:20,21: “Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding irreverent and empty speech and contradictions from what is falsely called knowledge. 21 By professing it, some people have departed from the faith.” 2 Thess 2:9,10: “The coming of the lawless one is based on Satan’s working, with all kinds of false miracles, signs, and wonders,10 and with every wicked deception among those who are perishing. They perish because they did not accept the love of the truth and so be saved.” Consider Pearl Doxsey’s article – “Wormwood/The False Prophet/Armageddon”, 4womaninthewilderness
  15. 4 points
    The WT's statements about the GB are a logical fallacy. That is why you are having difficult harmonizing your beliefs. "The Governing Body is neither inspired nor infallible. Therefore, it can err in doctrinal matters or in organizational direction. In fact, the Watch Tower Publications Index includes the heading “Beliefs Clarified,” which lists adjustments in our Scriptural understanding since 1870. Of course, Jesus did not tell us that his faithful slave would produce perfect spiritual food." Watchtower 2017 Feb p.26 "Since Jehovah God and Jesus Christ completely trust the faithful and discreet slave, should we not do the same?" Watchtower 2009 2/15 p. 24-28 It's the textbook example of cognitive dissonance: believing in contradictory ideas at the cost of one's mental state. There is a reason why JWs struggle in the organization. They are being given mixed signals under their leadership. JWs are expected to be understanding of the GB's mistakes while also fully compliant to their direction. Imagine having a spouse that demands total obedience but also expects love and understanding when wrong. People would call that an unhealthy relationship with one partner holding all the power. One wonders why Jehovah God appointed fallible, uninspired men over his people when he was perfectly capable of accurately conveying his truths to the writers of the Bible? There is no scriptural precedent for the idea of unquestioned obedience to a group of uninspired men. There is no scriptural precedent to putting obedience to men above scriptural truth. Complete trust in someone or some group requires strong support. Trust in the GB can't come from its history of unwavering doctrine, because the GB acknowledges it has made errors in doctrine and changes have been made. Trust also can't come from the GB's prophet status, because the GB acknowledges it is not inspired by God. So, what does the WT offer as support for complete trust in the GB? The preaching work: "...the faithful and discreet slave has been able to accomplish in giving a worldwide witness about Jehovah God, his Son, and the Kingdom. Jehovah’s worshippers are actively proclaiming the Kingdom message in over 230 lands and island groups." 2009 2/15 p. 24-28 The growth in members: "...In the last 15 years, the number of congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide has grown from some 70,000 to over 100,000—an increase of over 40 percent. And what about the new disciples added? Nearly 4.5 million disciples were baptized in the last 15 years—an average of more than 800 a day." 2009 2/15 p. 24-28 This 'support' is brought into question when it is pointed out that other Christian denominations engage in forms of preaching work all around the world. For many years, the JW organization did have tremendous growth, but that growth has slowed in recent years and is even in decline in some countries. The fastest growing Christian denominations in America are Catholics and Evangelicals. (The fastest growing religion in the world is Islam.) So, this support is weak at best, and it doesn't change the logical paradox the GB expects all JWs to accept.
  16. 4 points
    I wonder why the Anointed of God, although self admittedly NOT inspired of God, the ones supplying "food at the proper time", etc., seem to be completely devoid of common sense of any kind, on any subject. They have been struggling with the CSA problem for YEARS now, and are seemingly no closer to a solution than they were five years ago. IT'S NOT THAT HARD !!!!! This is NOT Quantum Chromodynamics!
  17. 4 points
    Just a side observation, a little off topic, but I am sorry to say, I felt the same way. Like you though, I don't think Br. Jackson is haughty, and probably neither are the others, but it seems that Br. Jackson was looking down on counsel assisting as someone who was completely incompetent and ignorant of the scriptures and had no idea where to find any of the Bible books. I understand why most of us believe "worldly" people lack knowledge in that department, because most probably do, but I could see it really started to get on Stewart's nerves when Br. Jackson kept repeatedly "guiding" him to find the books. In a few instances I felt like those two were like two roosters in a ring.
  18. 4 points
    I replied her Mark zuckerburg might be listening us. She laughed. We laughed Alexa laughed Siri laughed.
  19. 4 points
    Re making interest by way of bank or stock market: (Matthew 25:24-27) 24 “Finally the slave who had received the one talent came forward and said: ‘Master, I knew you to be a demanding man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you did not winnow. 25 So I grew afraid and went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 In reply his master said to him: ‘Wicked and sluggish slave, you knew, did you, that I reaped where I did not sow and gathered where I did not winnow? 27 Well, then, you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my coming I would have received it back with interest. Jesus acknowledged the bankers' work (and the methods they use to get interest). If the bankers gamble with your money (in the stock market - every single bank [international development bank and commercial bank] has a department that invests in stocks) and make interest you don't usually complain and ask how the interest was made and wherein they invested your money. You put out your hand and take the interest. It is like what Paul said: (1 Corinthians 10:25, 26)" 25 Eat whatever is sold in a meat market, making no inquiry because of your conscience, 26 for “to Jehovah belong the earth and everything in it.”
  20. 4 points
    Outta Here

    REPROOF FROM THE PLATFORM

    The only two things we can safely say about "this generation" (the contentious one) is that: 1. It will pass. 2. At a day and hour which no man knows.
  21. 3 points
    There is a part of me that would like to see the end of counting time altogether. It leads to too many odd situations of doing or not doing something for the sake of accumulating hours or.keeping time going. At present, if I auxiliary pioneer, at the end of the month I write ‘50.’ (Or ‘30’ as the case may be) If I feel bad about it afterwards, I don’t do it again. With a million people in the Branch, if you flat-out lied, it would make no statistical difference. There is nothing sinister about counting time, and the people who carry on as though there is are just being childish, imo. Few bits of counsel are heard more frequently than the counsel not to boast over ‘accomplishments.’ But as a practical matter, even though it exists so as to get an overall picture of what is happening in the ministry, it has its drawbacks.
  22. 3 points
    Since that was not my intent but yours, its called twisting of other peoples words. The same disgusting tactic used by ?winsider and James. So, let's not pretend you didn't understand the intent. Stop embarrassing yourself. You are wrong now, in as much as you are wrong about the 8 million, that you couldn't justify with your own words.
  23. 3 points
    Encourage is intended to be a broad term. But it is not separate from "Religious Matters." We humans often tend to be foolish and think that turning doctrines into some philosophical/exegetical exercise is somehow more important to Jehovah than justice, mercy, love, humility, etc. The specifics of certain complex teachings or prophetic interpretations are far down on the list of what is important. For the most part those things are not even "religious." As James said: "True religion means looking after orphans and widows in their troubles, and not being like the rest of the world." (James 1:27 - paraphrase) (1 Corinthians 12:29-13:9) . . .Not all are apostles, are they? Not all are prophets, are they? Not all are teachers, are they? Not all perform powerful works, do they? 30 Not all have gifts of healings, do they? Not all speak in tongues, do they? Not all are interpreters, are they? 31 But keep striving for the greater gifts. And yet I will show you a surpassing way. 13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels but do not have love, I have become a clanging gong or a clashing cymbal. 2 And if I have the gift of prophecy and understand all the sacred secrets and all knowledge, and if I have all the faith so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my belongings to feed others, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I do not benefit at all. 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous. It does not brag, does not get puffed up, 5 does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury. 6 It does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 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.
  24. 3 points
    I now here you were applying it. I threw myself into the lake of fire for a reason. Witnesses worldwide will need to adapt to the inevitable. There will be no safe place to call our own and a safe house of God. Faith will be the only thing left that all of us will have to comfort each other. Exact knowledge by remembering God's inspired words will once again become the oral word without the use of a Bible. If, anything we should learn from the Nazis era of imprisonment. Those brothers maintained their loyalty without a physical bible to, sometimes the very end. Therefore, let this be a test of your strength as a witness. I can handle the mockery in the same way it's given.
  25. 3 points
    Check and see what comments I have made regarding ill-advised behaviour and statements of others in the past. The offensive behaviour individuals display toward each other on forum space is for themselves to sort out generally. The parameters and guidelines are there for all to apply. Moderators can be appealed to by protagonists if they so wish, and of course moderators can intervene as they see fit. However, slanderous and offensive statements made about millions of decent people worldwide exceed the boundaries of acceptable use of this forum, be it open or closed, that is if those guidelines listed above are still in force. If they are not, then let those who made them rescind them. They have already been set.
  26. 3 points
    Genetics works EXACTLY the same way for all living things. The wider and deeper the gene pool, the better the quality of ALL DNA based life forms. What CTR said is certainly politically incorrect by today's Snowflake Standards, but I, after carefully reading these words, would have to totally agree with them, as being incontrovertibly true. My first wife and her sister and a brother were born with Cystic Fibrosis, a truly awful death guaranteed, where every day, you die a little bit at a time, until you can no longer breathe, and after years of painful torment, are released , usually with a heart attack from the struggle, before age 30. I have my own set of problems, but she died in 1982. ( ...LOoooong story ...). We decided to NOT have children. Too high of a risk to future generations. Genetically, with my "problems". I was of inferior genetic stock, and she was of inferior genetic stock, Like soup stock, you get out of it what you out into it, and neither one of us wanted those genes continued. I am ONLY talking about genetics ... not intrinsic value, here. By the way ... this disease, Cystic Fibrosis is EXCLUSIVE to marshmallow white Caucasians. So I thought about this a great deal, and learned basic genetics, as all I knew was from reading Robert A. Heinlein books, such as "Methuselah's Children", and "Time Enough for Love" .... and went searching for a woman that had a little bit of EVERYTHING in her genetic makeup. I found one in Peru ..... Caucasian, Spanish, Peruvian Indian, Negro, etc. It worked EXACTLY as I anticipated, and my three children are POWERHOUSES, any way you want to measure it. Also as an added plus!, they have a "built in", year around permanent tan, that I have tried to get, but with fading results. I suspect they are embarrassed to be seen with me, as I cannot compete. Genetics works EXACTLY the same way for horses, mosquitoes, vegetables, fruits, dogs and cats .... AND HUMANS. It is ARROGANCE to think that past genetic "encounters" do not affect peoples, nations, and races in a progressive manner with multiplying effects. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? IT MEANS OVER TIME, IT'S CUMULATIVE ....sigh ..... if only the stupid would JUST be smart enough to not breed. Jehovah gave a LOT of attention and instruction to the Jews ... even ordered them to go far afield to Assemblies of HIS people (not any others),, where presumably young men and women would meet others from a widely diverse gene pool. If you have the opportunity to swim in the gene pool .... you get better results if you do not swim in the shallow end ... or more to the point ... your PARENTS did not.
  27. 3 points
    Inside WTJWRG Institution one thing is of crucial importance. Who are those people who have authorization to govern, rule, lead this organization and people who are members/believers? Who are those people who represent JHVH and Jesus and their Will? In this WT article authors tried to explain history of this.
      Hello guest!
    Why this article is interesting (again) in connection to topic? Here is some quotes from pages of this article: CAN YOU EXPLAIN? In the first century and today, how have those taking the lead among God’s people been . . . empowered by holy spirit? assisted by angels? guided by God’s Word? .... Jesus had given his followers a commission: “You will be witnesses of me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the most distant part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) How could they possibly complete that assignment? True, Jesus had assured them that they would soon receive holy spirit. (Acts 1:5) Still, an international preaching campaign required direction and organization. To direct and organize his people in ancient times, Jehovah used visible representatives. Famous paragraph 12: The Governing Body is neither inspired nor infallible. As we can see from box in WT magazine under question Can you explain? author AVOID to use direct word "Inspired" and instead this explicit sort of spirit manifestation as it is commonly viewed while reading Bible (for example, to write holy scriptures, to tell something as prophecy or command from God, to heal the sick....etc) author put word - empowered by HS. And now author give factual example from 1 century: Holy spirit was poured out on all anointed Christians, but it specifically enabled the apostles and other elders in Jerusalem to fulfill their role as overseers. For example, in 49 C.E., holy spirit guided the governing body to make a decision regarding the issue of circumcision. Author highlights 2 things. First is ROLE of OVERSEEING. And second is about MAKING DECISIONS. In contrast or continuation to this 1 century example, author of article later emphasized this: In 1919, three years after Brother Russell’s death, Jesus appointed “the faithful and discreet slave.” For what purpose? To give his domestics “food at the proper time.” (Matt. 24:45)...... Evidence of holy spirit. The holy spirit has helped the Governing Body to grasp Scriptural truths not previously understood. For example, reflect on the list of beliefs clarified that was referred to in the preceding paragraph. Surely, no human deserves credit for discovering and explaining these “deep things of God”! (Read 1 Corinthians 2:10.) Here we have just statements of author who firmly say that FDS aka GB been appointed by Jesus in 1919. But another thing is something what call on more alarm. As Evidence of holy spirit is, situation when this Body grasp something as Truth under holy spirit helping or empowering. In this explanation one thing is very questionable and somehow danger. In period from 1919 (we shall not talking about 1 century GB or about Angel Assistance today) this entity who "share" food under title: Bible Truth, with supposed help of holy spirit, in fact they had spread "Fake Truths", they later changed into "Real Truths". Some doctrines they produced in few steps as yes-no-yes ... truths. Here we comes to possible conclusion how reason for that errors, according to this article, was not in Human Representatives of Jesus here on Earth. No, reason and cause for that is in holy spirit who has "empowered" them in that confusing way and direction. Because other two elements in this equation (assisted by angels + guided by God’s Word) was not been sufficient and powerful enough to correct wrong direction made by empowering influence of holy spirit. :)))) Here we see how "blame" for errors and imperfect food can be found in the same reasons why food can be good and eatable too, after some period of time (in refrigerator :))), of course. The way how this article try to prove the credibility of GB for task of sharing the food, becomes nonsensical. But, pay attention to this: empowered = having the official authority or freedom to do something
      Hello guest!
    having the knowledge, confidence, means, or ability to do things or make decisions for oneself
      Hello guest!
    Here we see how this definition changed our view on issue and article. Why they used word EMPOWERED in connection to spiritual food? In fact, according to Dictionaries, WT magazine talk about Power of GB Over People. Here it is not ISSUE about Food Quality, Truth or Lie, Perfection or Imperfection. IT IS ALL ABOUT CONTROL.
  28. 3 points
    First of all, I should repeat that I have deep respect for the elders who call themselves the "Governing Body" because they have taken the lead in speaking and teaching. They are worthy of "double honor" for their hard work and the heavy responsibility they have taken upon themselves. Granted that this does not excuse them from false teachings and doing nothing about traditional false teachings from the past. Nor does it excuse them for not doing enough to expose the potential gravity and extent of child sexual abuse and child physical abuse. I'm not trying to divert this topic to the specifics of any other issues of doctrines and procedures. I know you'll disagree, but this is just to explain my own view. It's just that I wanted you to know that I think these particular elders, who call themselves a Governing Body, have put themselves in a unique and valuable position for the overall benefit of congregations worldwide. They have years of experience studying, speaking, and teaching on Bible topics. They are in a position to discuss certain difficult doctrinal issues with others who have years of experience studying the Bible. The size of this group of elders focusing on the study of the Bible for teaching purposes is kept manageable for purposes of efficient discussion and decision making (8 or so persons). There is always a ready "crew" of persons who can help handle related issues of logistics or issues of lesser importance. There is always a ready "crew" of persons who can help research issues, handle their incoming and outgoing communications, translation printing, etc. They are in a position to hear questions and concerns about current doctrines and procedures that could potentially come from all over the world. They have years of experience working with various congregations. They have years of experience traveling to congregations in various places in the world to be aware of various customs and practices that differ from their own. They have a mindset that makes them want to imitate the serious responsibility that the early Christian apostles had when they devote themselves to prayer and teaching. They have the ability to respond to questions and issues very quickly and consistently in a way that the entire world of congregations can benefit from. Of course, this is fraught with all kinds of dangers and potential abuse. Or a small mistake can quickly turn into a large one. Things that are legal and expected in one country might get the congregations in trouble in another country, for example. There are other things, of course, but these ones are important to me. Surely you would think that in any church or congregation there might be a need for organization and leadership. Agreeing on meeting times, topics to speak about, topics for Bible study, activities, care for the building, what to do with contributions, and even issues of who might join the church, who might need to be dismissed from the church, who might need counsel or adjustment, who might have special needs the church can take care of, etc., etc. Most people would have no problem with this on a local church-by-church basis. But here we have tens of thousands of these congregations all around the world, and all of them are happy to teach exactly the same message. A group of elders who are deemed capable of handling this bigger responsibility is, in essence, no different than the local congregations. It's just that some of their functions will necessarily carry even greater responsibility. This might be true. But it can also just be a logistical problem. Remember how Moses handled the millions in a single "congregation" that began draining his time and energy. He ended up appointing a "hierarchy of command" similar to any large army or large business corporation, so that concerns could be handled more efficiently. Also, on a personal level, while at Bethel I sat at meetings with as many as 5 GB members at the same congregation meeting. While visiting Warwick several months ago, I sat in a meeting with 2 members of the GB and 3 GB "Helpers" (and the wife of a deceased GB member, Sydlik). I could have gone up to any one of them after the meeting to ask questions. In fact, I did. I asked Brother Morris, "How are you?" Anyway, in my opinion, the Governing Body provides a practical committee of elders handling issues that elders should handle. The difference being that they handle issues that come in from the worldwide congregation. As long as all the persons who listen to them are willing to question and critique the doctrines and processes, as all Christians have a duty to do, then there is nothing wrong with having a "Governing Body." (You might know that we are not the only religion that happens to call such a committee of "church decision-makers" a "Governing Body.") That might not be the best phrase, but it's clear that the congregations generally agree that it's appropriate to have such a group. I personally don't agree that any such group should make a claim that they are THE faithful and discreet slave prophesied to come into existence at a proper time beginning in 1919. It's indiscreet and unfaithful to the teachings of the scriptures to accept them in that specific capacity. I'm sure they are making a mistake in that regard, but again, this is just my own opinion. It doesn't stop me from accepting and respecting 98.6 percent of what is published by them.
  29. 3 points
    When @JW Insider reveals a matter that would otherwise remain confidential, do you rush straight to your keyboard and tell your 900 friends? And when you do, do you spin it as I have seen you spin it so many times before? He makes clear that he regards as a rare occurrence whatever he reveals, and you spin it as though it is business as usual among Jehovah’s Witnesses? On your Facebook page, do you also post the background that you have bravely posted here, background that accounts for your extreme sensitivity on the subject: It doesn’t disqualify you from speaking. A victim statement is these days considered an essential part—even the highlight—of any trial. Did you make it when the opportunity was ripe? Did your testimony send school and/or government perpetrators to jail? I hope you had that opportunity and I hope you came to enjoy some sense of justice because of it. I also hope it is the case that you were not denied that opportunity/justice somehow, and so you are taking it out on people that have nothing whatsoever to do with your tragic past. At any rate, it is a serious question. Just as a professional can be expected to display their credentials, do you display your ‘credentials’ that give you a special sensitivity to the crime? Do you also make clear that your hair-trigger sensitivity on this issue has nothing to do with Jehovah’s Witnesses?
  30. 3 points
    @BillyTheKid46 Quote " The irony, you attack the GB when your heart in no better than the soulless being you present, not just here but elsewhere. " The difference being that i don't pretend to know the truth, and i don't want power over others. I don't make rules for others to follow. I do not mislead anyone as I do not try to 'take the lead' in any way. I do not pretend that i am the 'Faithful and discreet slave' of God through Christ. And I'm not frightened to admit that i have no love or trust in anyone. But then i don't hide pedophiles either, and I don't tell people how tight or loose their clothes should be. I don't make up rules about who can speak to who. I don't write magazines that tell deliberate lies about what God requires of us. I don't make up rules about the use of blood and then change those rules at a later date. I am only responsible for me. Your GB has made itself responsible for millions of people, but they have no proof that the responsibility is guided by God or Christ. Your GB has no love of people, only love of power over people. Your GB does not care about the victims of Child Sexual Abuse, they only care about 'their' money being spent in compensation. Your GB is prepared to sacrifice innocent lives to cover up the wickedness of the W/t and the JW Org. Your GB 'cleans the outside of the dish or bowl, but leaves the inside full of disgusting things'. And you Billy just worship your GB so much that you are completely blind to it all.
  31. 3 points
    @JOHN BUTLER, for all his nuttiness, is not a warlike person and does not follow war commentaries. If he did, he might point to the widely held British view that, with good guys and bad guys apparent from Day 1, the Americans hid their bodies and blood, cowered behind their fire and steel, allowed the Brits to be slaughtered wholesale, and only then, when they saw that it would not be enough, did they deign to lift a finger. In both wars, supplying armaments to the Brits, though being too chicken to do anything more, they eventually drew attacks from the enemy determined to stop the flow, and only then did they reluctantly conclude that they could no longer let Britain do all the bloodletting. If you are going to go Captain America on all of us here, you should at least modify your chest-thumping with these observations.
  32. 3 points
    I agree completely. But he asked. (And he asked nicely, and I think he was really interested.)
  33. 3 points
    This is apocryphal but I think true, since there are not many degrees of separation: Many years ago waiting for the pioneer meeting to get underway, some of us young pioneers started commenting on nightmare scenarios—like witnessing to super-patriot John Wayne. He probably would sic his Rottweilers on us! The circuit overseer interjected that it was not so. In a circuit he had once served, a brother had called upon John Wayne, who could not have been more kind or more respectful, even saying that he knew that what they had was true, but that he would never be able to live up to it. Now (and this is my speculation years later) where could he have gotten such a good impression of Jehovah’s Witnesses? ”I played in a movie called Ring of Fear …..This was where I got the Jag. The guy wrote and directed the picture had problems, but John Wayne who produced it, never gave up on his friends. Duke was having a bad time, going through a divorce, and they needed to fix the script. So they're thinking who could do it, and someone says, Spillane's a writer, he could do it. Now I'm playing ME in the picture, for pete's sake. They called me up in Newburgh on Wednesday, I'm already back home across the country, and said come back and fix it. So I took my Wagner records, flew West, and worked Friday, Saturday, Sunday. They set me up in a beautiful hotel suite, and I worked. …..And they wanta pay me for the script but I won't take nothing for that, it was a favour. But Duke says, 'he was looking at those Jags in the lot next to the Cock and Bull'. One night, I'm back in Newburgh, it's snowing, and out in front of my house is this beautiful Jag with a red ribbon around it, and a note that says 'Thanks, Duke'.” - Mickey Spillane
  34. 3 points
    JWI is very close to losing possession of his own thread, with a dozen different yo-yos taking it in a dozen different directions. I am ashamed of us all. Usually it does not take almost 5 pages for us to knock him off the roller derby track and into the stands.
  35. 3 points
    People are supposed to accept the narrative of a disgruntled former Bethel member. Where in scripture does it state to listen to those that follow in the path of the wicked Proverbs 4:14? Better yet, treat their personal thoughts as though it is the truth. Maybe RF was a champion to you as a scoffer, he misleads many people, and shouldn’t be forgotten, the day he tainted the Watchtower with blasphemy. There are more stories of Bethel members turned apostate than there is of GB’s going rogue. Has it happened? It has, Raymond Franz is a perfect example of how Satan touched his heart. In the end, it was a bad experience, but he didn’t want further interviews by fool hearted apostates and journalist. Too bad, that was never printed for scoffers to understand the damage. That’s why it’s just HEARSAY! You are only playing to certain people here that have the same obscured grievance as you, and these up voters are no better than the apostasy that is brewing as indicated by prophecy. For that, I am grateful to see signs of fulfillment by these inner opposers and fake members. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 Here I will agree with “witness” in the sense that a person should be concentrating on people here and not the Watchtower GB. If this person would focus correctly, sense could be made as to the obstruction of God’s word here. However, the door is wide open. Anytime someone feels the need to leave the Watchtower, don’t let the door catch your backside on the way out.
  36. 3 points
    I’m just sitting here minding my own business, thinking up new insults for The Librarian and our “house” discreet slave, JTR.
  37. 3 points
    Perhaps it is your mother you are smelling you despicable person. Insult my mother again, I dare you. You overgrown, Shrek First, it was JWinsider, and now you. You people are definitely low lives.
  38. 3 points
    It does NOT get any simpler than this: If the Elders learn of something that is a criminal act involving Child Sexual Abuse ... ALWAYS report it to the Civil Authorities. ONE SENTENCE! Problem solved.... globally, and 100%. See, that was not so hard. .... ALL ELSE IS THE PURVEY OF WEASELS.
  39. 3 points
    Wish it were that simple. This is only ONE of the reasons to be insular. Another reason to be insular is to hide the fact that you are just like the world in some areas and still hope that people will think of you as no part of the world. In other words, it's to hide your dirty laundry. (Romans 13:11-14) . . .. 12 The night is well along; the day has drawn near. Let us therefore throw off the works belonging to darkness and let us put on the weapons of the light. 13 Let us walk decently as in the daytime, not in wild parties and drunkenness, not in immoral intercourse and brazen conduct, not in strife and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not be planning ahead for the desires of the flesh. I think it's helpful to always remember that we are talking about crimes: crimes that can be akin to rape and murder and torture and kidnapping and terror. Granted there are some aspects of child sexual abuse that don't appear to sound like crimes. Some persons get caught during the times when they are only "grooming" children for more serious abuse. (Romans 13:14 "planning ahead for the desires of the flesh.") A recent court case includes an elder who was able to convince the other elders that it was "accidental touching" before being caught in several other cases at various stages of abuse. I remember when Brother J.R.Brown did an interview and kept focusing on false accusations, accidents, and "lesser" areas of child sexual abuse, such as an 18 year old committing fornication a 16 year old. I didn't see the old 20-20 interview about CSA and still haven't. But I remember listening to J.R.Brown's comments and immediately thinking that he must know that this is a common way to shift attention away from the serious crimes of CSA, which often includes rape/violence. I believe now that the WTS had already paid out millions of dollars even back then, but this is not something that Brother Brown could admit. He made it seem like we didn't really have a problem. I think this kind of hiding, or keeping people in the dark on a matter, could have been very dangerous in that the problem was not dealt with openly. Hinting that matters of "sexual abuse" are associated with apostate lies is another way to keep people in the dark. (Granted that Lett's quote was technically accurate, but it served the same purpose because he was not willing to admit the extent of the problem.) Brother Jackson at least admitted that these cases of real CSA were not associated with apostate lies. He admitted that it is a real problem in our community, just as it is in the world at large. That was an excellent "change" in the way we began to address the issue. I think it has led to the current shift away from trying to save the reputation of the organization, and make sure that the blame goes to the perpetrator. Again, I think that even when a person comes to the elders with a case they would like spiritual guidance on, but don't wish to have the case go to the police or other authorities, I think that a desire for privacy should not always be a valid concern. Many types of CSA rise to the level of overriding the legal requirements. Abusers repeatedly are caught repeating the crime with another person. I think there should be times when the elders tell a parent: "We understand that you want to avoid publicity, embarrassment, and reproach that this would bring on your family and the organization. This family head and 'breadwinner' may even lose his job and no longer be able to easily care for the rest of his family financially. And you may even have the law on your side when it comes to keeping such a terrible thing hidden. But, as for us, we must do all we can to protect the innocent, not the guilty. It is our Christian obligation to protect the innocent, look after orphans and widows in their tribulation, and therefore if necessary, to err on the side of mercy and love for the innocent. If we must make a judgment, we should err on the side of those who are often trampled by the world's justice: the children. It's what we are willing to do for the "least of these" that is deemed as if doing the same for Christ himself. (Proverbs 11:21) . . .Be assured of this: An evil person will not go unpunished, But the children of the righteous will escape. (Isaiah 10:1, 2) . . .Woe to those who enact harmful regulations, Who constantly draft oppressive decrees, 2 To deny the legal claim of the poor, To deprive the lowly among my people of justice, Making widows their spoil And fatherless children their plunder! (Matthew 7:11) 11 Therefore, if you, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will your Father who is in the heavens give good things to those asking him! (Matthew 18:2-5) . . .So calling a young child to him, he stood him in their midst 3 and said: “Truly I say to you, unless you turn around and become as young children, you will by no means enter into the Kingdom of the heavens. 4 Therefore, whoever will humble himself like this young child is the one who is the greatest in the Kingdom of the heavens; 5 and whoever receives one such young child on the basis of my name receives me also.
  40. 3 points
    BillyTheKid46

    REPROOF FROM THE PLATFORM

    There you go. Out of your own mouth has the truth been given testimony. Now apply it to your way of excuses and justifications. Just maybe you will learn what it is to have a better understanding of what human behavior is. Don't ever use me as an example again.
  41. 3 points
    BillyTheKid46

    REPROOF FROM THE PLATFORM

    Tell what I'll do, since you are re-posting. I'll re-post all your comments here, especially the threating ones, on my FACEBOOK PAGE to see what kind of reaction it will get.
  42. 3 points
    Because it creates a whole different set of problems when, at the computer monitor, you throw vegetables !
  43. 3 points
    BillyTheKid46

    REPROOF FROM THE PLATFORM

    Truth hurts doesn't it James. Don't worry Johns words and actions are not the only ones considered for exposer. You can downvote this one to hypocritic! Or is it just too much for you to expose your kind.
  44. 3 points
    This is the only full length photo of me I could find, but it was taken about 1968, when I had more hair. Of course, that was 50 years ago, but you can see the resemblance .... *coff* ....sigh ... I sure miss that car ....
  45. 3 points
    TrueTomHarley

    NEW TV-JW.ORG FEATURED PROGRAMMING!

    You bring this up so frequently (and HOW old are you?) that I have become curious over something: Please post a full-length photo of yourself. If, as I suspect, it shows you wearing spray-on pants, that will explain a lot.
  46. 3 points
  47. 3 points
    JW Insider

    REPROOF FROM THE PLATFORM

    That's true. You can. That's the nature of social media. You could tell the truth, and no one needs to believe you. I could tell the truth, and no one needs to believe me. Someone could just as easily make something up and no one needs to believe them. Hypothetical example that would probably never happen: I could claim that Charles Taze Russell was the first Vice President of the Watch Tower Society (which he was, and this is something I'm sure you already know) and you could get angry and claim that he was never the first Vice President, only the first President. If people believed you, I'd have less credibility. If people believed me, you'd have less credibility. But even if no one believed me now, someday they might buy a book by B. Schulz, for example, and see that a seemingly unbiased source agreed with me. You might then remember how angry you were, and begin to re-evaluate other things I claimed. But I might never know that a small trivial item like that might have made you positively re-evaluate some less trivial things that you once fought against. This is why, I have no problem bringing up lesser known items that you treat as merely conjecture at the moment. Perhaps one day you will run across one of Covington's relatives, or a former Bethelite who knows more about it. Or perhaps it will be for another reason altogether, perhaps when/if the Society changes its stance on a certain doctrine or two. And perhaps none of these things will ever happen, and you will be suspicious of me for the rest of your life. It's not a problem as long as my own conscience is clear, between me and Jehovah. As you already admitted, nothing is "proven." How, for example, do you know that he was DF'd for excessive drinking? Did you see this, or did someone claim it, and it made sense to you? Did you know for a fact that he was officially reinstated? Perhaps you heard his funeral talk. Was something said about his "drinking" in that talk? The funeral talk (1978) mentions that he was now considered one of the anointed, which surprised many at the time. Do we take Brother Colin Quackenbush's word for it? What if Brother Quackenbush thought he needed to say this to protect the reputation of the newly defined "governing body" since it had long been associated with "the board of directors." The GB was already claiming that it was "representing" the entire 10,000 or so members of the "faithful and discreet slave" as they were still defined in 1978. Could Quackenbush have been trying to gain some extra credit for himself as a good friend of Covington, as if the one who had talked him out of doing something rash and stupid? I didn't know that a "tell-all" piece had been referenced on Wikipedia or anywhere else. Also, I'm not worried about how I'm quoted elsewhere. I'm still semi-anonymous, so what does it matter? I've been asked several times if people can quote me on their sites. I always say yes, and that they don't even have to credit me. But I have also found things I've written used in ways I didn't like, so that last part might have been a mistake. Always feel free to correct any mistakes. According to A. H. MacMillan, and as substantiated by others, this was only to happen in the event of C.T. Russell's death. True. And not just from the "corporation" through its bylaws. There were organizational "harvest siftings" and the equivalent of both organizational and congregational "excommunications" well before the 1947 Awake! that condemned excommunication as a pagan practice. (Look at Olin Moyle's disfellowshipping, for example.) The only thing that changed in the early 1950s was that there were now consistent organizational procedures for both congregational and organizational disfellowshippings. Consistency can result in better justice, so this should not be a completely unwelcome development. I gave him no input about apostates, and I don't know what recanting of his you are talking about. As I recall, I only skimmed some of what he had already written the way a proofreader or copy-editor might read it. I found a few minor errors like typos, mostly, and made a few suggestions about using statistics in such a way that they would NOT be vulnerable to attack by apostates. Of course, just as you said at the beginning, that you could say a million things, but without proof, it's all just conjecture.
  48. 3 points
    From an Engineer's or Detective's viewpoint, that is a VERY easy question to answer. Just look at the TRACK RECORD of those who claim they have insight on the divine secrets, and tabulate how may times they have been right ... and how many times they have been wrong. I does NOT get any simpler than THAT.
  49. 3 points
    And I thought it was an Eden Iguana!
      Hello guest!
  50. 3 points
    I suppose most of us feel that we want to make some sort of impression when we witness to people. I don't mean "impress" in the sense of "bigging ourselves up" (although, sadly, maybe some seek to do this), more in the sense that we want them to take note of what we are sharing with them. We do actually care about the people we talk to and the fact that the way of life we recommend will bring them immediate benefits, let alone the promises for the future. I currently study with a former heroin user. They are almost clear of drug dependency now, on a managed program, and this will be completed by the end of summer. This is completely due to motivation from Jehovah, provided through the Bible Study program, and in the year's duration of the study there have been no relapses to the amazement of support workers. Tobacco, cannabis, and other substance abuse have also been left behind. To see the tangible benefits enjoyed by this person physically, mentally, and spiritually as they get their life back is a real joy. So it does not matter what method or media is used to bring a person into contact with Jehovah and the healing power of his spirit as expressed through his living word. (Heb.4:12). "True worshippers will worship the Father with spirit and truth". Remember, "the Father is looking for such like ones to worship him".John 4:24. Don't underestimate the power of a tract to spark a fire in an honest heart that cannot be put out . (Compare James 3:5: "See how small a fire it takes to set a great forest ablaze"). My first encounter with Jehovah's Witnesses was by means of a tract that got into my house. It escaped my mother's predatory Roman Catholic surveilance of all things sans Imprimatur and fell into my curious hands. The information it presented piqued my curiosity for the next 12 years until I finally sourced a contact with those who had produced it. Oh yes, it may fall into the category of literature that now embarasses the likes of John Butler, but for me it was the key to a better life with immediate benefits, and a future hope. Here is an extract from the tract. What intrigued me most was who on earth were these sheep that Jesus died for, and what was the creature in the tree with Adam and Eve? From the day I got that tract, I registered every media mention (and otherwise) of Jehovah's Witnesses, but I never met one until finally I sought them out over 12 years later. I was 8 years old when I got that first tract.




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