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  1. 7 points
    Of course, there was that "God-damned" snake in the grass back in Eden. It was cursed to crawl on the ground and lick the dust with its [forked] tongue. Then there were those pigs that allowed themselves to be possessed by demons, and were driven to commit suicide. Certain animals might have listened to communication from God to be able to receive a name from Adam. The same could be said for the animals that listened to communication from God to get on Noah's ark. Or for ravens to find Elijah to bring him food. Or, perhaps even a big fish who nearly snacked on Jonah. And there's that special relationship between Jehovah and Leviathan and Behemoth. God gives animals "meat in due season" (food at the proper time): (Psalm 104:27) . . .All of them wait for you To give them their food in its season. And a donkey evidently saved a man's life by ascertaining an invisible angel. On a serious note, I think most people agree that many persons have an unbalanced view of pets. But it's also easy to get unbalanced in the direction of disdaining pets and animals. Remember that Jehovah himself rejoices at his works which obviously includes his many interactions with animals according to the context of Psalm 104. (Psalm 104:28-31) . . .What you give them, they gather. When you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things. 29 When you hide your face, they are disturbed. If you take away their spirit, they die and return to the dust. 30 If you send out your spirit, they are created, And you renew the surface of the ground. 31 The glory of Jehovah will last forever. Jehovah will rejoice in his works.
  2. 5 points
    JW Insider

    JW OPPOSERS GROUPS

    That's true, but it would not attract as much attention. Rutherford had been a political marketer before following Russell/WT/Bible Students. This is why he would ADV/ADV/ADV. And why gimmicks like putting David and Abraham on a property deed were important to him. This is why he used the title "Judge." But I think it was Covington who figured out that he could do much better in the courts if we agreed to be recognized as a religion. Religious rights were easier to fight for than unspecified rights or civil rights of a group who would otherwise be seen only as "peddlers." Tresspassing laws were decidedly against peddlers, but the United States was being recognized in the twentieth century as much more amenable to a variety of religions, and we weren't the only religion asking for (and getting) expanded rights.
  3. 4 points
    TrueTomHarley

    JW OPPOSERS GROUPS

    Nobody but nobody has “apostates” like Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is almost as though I am proud of them. Every NT writer wrote about opposition and apostasy. If it happened then, it should happen now. What if there was no opposition today? Wouldn’t you have to wonder why? Since Witnesses do not seek to evade taxes, they pay into social & police services to a greater proportion than most groups. Since they put into practice Bible principles that improve lives, they draw upon those services to a much lesser degree. They are honest. They don’t resort to violence, either, in contrast to the majority who will when the cause is deemed right. It should be taken as more evidence that what Witnesses have is the truth. It would not be so determinedly opposed were that not the case. The opposition to them is hugely disproportional to their “offenses.”
  4. 4 points
    This is a reference to a Caleb and Sophia video which would be seen as praiseworthy were it for any other cause. If Sophia had had an epiphany and donated her ice cream money to the ‘world hunger fund,’ or the ‘world peace fund,’ or the ‘save the planet fund’ or the ‘animal rescue fund’ or almost any charitable fund, the video would be lauded. It represents training a child that not everything is about her, and that used to be seen as a good thing. It is only because the malcontents here despise the Witness organization dedicated to the relief of ‘spiritual hunger’ that this video is so attacked. Were it for anything else, it would be lauded.
  5. 4 points
  6. 3 points
    So as I am sure there are plenty of you folks here that adhere and read the wt and "awake". Have any of you who have read these considered the wt Oct study edition this year? In particular this little quote: "KEEP TRYING TO MAKE DISCIPLES 14. According to Jesus’ instructions recorded at Matthew 28:19, 20, what do we try our best to do, and why? 14 Read Matthew 28:19, 20. As we conduct Bible studies, we have to try our best to “make disciples . . . , teaching them to observe all the things [Jesus has] commanded.” We need to help people understand how important it is for them to take their stand for Jehovah and his Kingdom. This means trying to motivate people to make the truth their own by applying what they learn, dedicating their life to Jehovah, and getting baptized. Only then will they survive Jehovah’s day.—1 Pet. 3:21." So one must be baptized as a jw in order to survive Jehovahs day (judgement day). That is basically what is being said. What about this statement by the wt? "Millions of others will have the opportunity of gaining everlasting life when they are resurrected. Jesus performed a resurrection when he visited the city of Nain. The only son of a widow had died, and Jesus, “moved with pity,” raised him to life again. (Luke 7:11-15) Also, the apostle Paul said: “I have hope toward God . . . that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.” So which is it? What is the point of surviving the judgement day if you can achieve the same thing after the 1000 years?
  7. 3 points
    JW Insider

    JW OPPOSERS GROUPS

    I know what you mean. Most of the time when a person puts up a post that goes to a different topic, it's not that serious and they don't intend to create an in-depth discussion of that new topic. But Anna quoted something from another website with enough material in it to make 100 posts the length of this one. For example, if I mention mad cow disease as an aside, I know that JTR, for example, just might be able to find a video about cows that are arming themselves with guns for some kind of revolution, or something. But I doubt that this means JTR wants to discuss either mad cow disease or the advisability of allowing four-legged creatures to have arms.
  8. 3 points
    Anna

    JW OPPOSERS GROUPS

    I believe this scholars analysis of the situation is more accurate than the ones opposers like to pontificate about. Spiritual Resistance of Christian Conviction in Nazi Germany: The Case of the Jehovah's Witnesses By Yonan, Gabriele Journal of Church and State, Spring 1999 ------------------------------------------------- JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES AS MODERN-DAY REPRESENTATIVES OF THE CHILIASTIC TRADITION The root of the Greek word chiliasmus is "chilioi," which means "a thousand," and which in Christian terminology refers to the thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ during the Millennium. Based on the Revelation of John in the Bible (20:1-10) and influenced by Jewish apocalyptic thinking, many early Christians adopted a premillennial paradigm, expecting that Jesus, immediately before the end of the world, would set up a thousand-year kingdom of peace and righteousness. It would be the re-creation of Paradise on earth through the restoration of nature to its earliest, pristine state. The characteristics of premillennial chiliastic thinking are: • the eschatological idea of a united world; • the present age seen as a time of trial and tribulation prior to the thousand-year reign; and, • egalitarianism, or equality, in the coming world society. According to this chiliastic perspective, following the re-establishment of the original condition there will no longer be any differences of rank or order. The new earthly paradise will be marked by the absence of war, enmity, strife, need, suffering, and sickness. For this condition to become a reality, there must first be a "clean slate," a tabula rasa, made possible by the final battle of Armageddon.(n1) The despised but steadfast ones will be God's chosen people--the pariahs emerging as the true elite. The chiliastic ideas of the early Christians were in harmony with the expectations of the Jews, according to whom the drama of salvation would have to be enacted on the world stage to be seen and experienced by all humans. In history there have been variations in the chiliastic expectations, but they primarily have appeared in times of oppression of Christian minorities. Similar phenomena are known from other religions, like the early Shia movement in Islam. The chiliastic utopias have for the most part disappeared under the influence of the enlightenment and secularism. But some of their elements can be found in the utopian socio-revolutionary movements and in various religious movements of the nineteenth century. North America and Britain saw new Christian groups emerge which focused on the apocalyptic parts of the Bible and formed new chiliastic movements. Among these were the Apostolic Catholics (Henry Drummond, 1786-1860, and Edward Irving, 1792-1834); the Adventists (William Miller, 1782-1849, and Ellen G. White 1827-1915); and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or Mormons (Joseph Smith, 18051844). One of the latest forming yet best known nineteenth-century chiliastic communities was the Earnest Bible Students, later to become known as the Jehovah's Witnesses, whose formation dates from the 1870s. Typical of the chiliastic expectations of Jehovah's Witnesses are a deterministic concept of history and a linear conception of time which will end with the destruction of the Antichrist and an apocalyptic victory highlighted by the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.(n2) WHO ARE THE JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES? Jehovah's Witnesses are an independent Christian denomination whose eschatological teaching points to the "Kingdom" of God. This kingdom is understood as God's government in heaven which, under the administration of Jesus Christ, will liberate mankind from all problems through his peaceful reign over the earth. This denomination can be described as chiliastic in that it is characterized by the expectation of Christ's thousand-year reign--his millennium. This Christian community, which began in America in the last third of the nineteenth century, sprang from the widespread belief in the closeness of Christ's return (parousia) and the establishment of a new Jerusalem. According to the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses, before the dawn of God's kingdom on earth the decisive battle of Armageddon will take place in which God himself will destroy the powers of wickedness. Around 1870, the American businessman Charles Taze, Russell (1852-1916) gathered around him a small group of people who were interested in studying the Bible. Under the name "Earnest Bible Students," they read the Bible with a special attention to its teaching about the last days. Beginning in 1879 the students published the magazine "Zion's Watch Tower" and only one year later the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society was established. Since 1909 this society has based its headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. In 1931 this group took the name "Jehovah's Witnesses." This use of the Hebrew name for God was based on the Old Testament passage found in Isaiah 43:10, 12. The name Jehovah appears about 7,000 times in the Hebrew books of the Bible in the form of the tetragram (meaning "four characters") JHVH. Jehovah's Witnesses see themselves as part of the biblical tradition of witnesses, especially that of the New Testament, and point to certain scriptures that exemplify the words of Jesus Christ to Pontius Pilate: "To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth" (John 18:37). In Germany the Jehovah's Witnesses have been active since 1896, and were known until 1931 as "Ernste Bibelforscher" (Earnest Bible Students). Their religion now numbers approximately 192,000 members in Germany in more than 2,000 local congregations. Worldwide there are now over five million members in virtually every country in the world. Their most important channel of communication is The Watchtower magazine with a printing of more than 22 million copies per issue. In 1996 their annual commemoration of the death of Jesus Christ was attended by more than 14 million people globally. RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION IN HISTORY If there was one Christian group which rejected the Hitler-led German National Socialist State without compromise, it was the Jehovah's Witnesses. With around 25,000 members in Germany in 1933, the Jehovah's Witnesses were banned in that year but approximately half of its membership continued their "preaching work" underground. Jehovah's Witnesses refused to say "Heil Hitler," refused to participate in the processions, refused to sing the national anthem and the Horst Wessel Lied, and above all refused military service, oath to the flag, and all activities connected with the military establishment. For this they were bitterly persecuted from the very beginning of the National Socialist regime. Approximately ten thousand Jehovah's Witnesses were incarcerated. This small Christian group attempted through large-scale leaflet campaigns in 1936 and 1937 to open the eyes of the German people to the criminal character of the Nazi state and thus defend their religious interests against the unjust regime. Their religious resistance resulted, however, in the deaths of 1,200 congregation members. The persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in the Third Reich belongs to the tradition of religious persecution in history. To that same tradition belong the early persecutions of Christians in the polytheistic Roman Empire and in Persia under the Sasanides who established Zoroastrianism as their state religion. Later came persecutions of Christians who were against the doctrines of the early councils of the imperial church (Arians, Nestorians, Monophysites). Later came the persecution of Jews in Europe in the late middle ages and their expulsion from Spain in the fifteenth century during the time of the Spanish Inquisition. Various sects of Christianity experienced persecution before and after the time of the German Reformation, including the Bogomiles, Waldensians, Albigensians, Baptists, Unitarians, Mennonites, Quakers, and Methodists. Many of these groups emigrated to the New World to obtain religious freedom beginning in the seventeenth century. RECAPITULATION: THE WITNESSES' RESISTANCE During the Nazi reign, Jehovah's Witnesses as a group were virtually unanimous in their resistance to Nazism. "Of the more than 20,000 Jehovah's Witnesses [in Germany] in the year 1933," noted one scholar, "almost one out of two was arrested. A total of 6,019 were put in prisons or concentration camps, and 8,917 cases of imprisonment were recorded. Two thousand men and women were put into concentration camps, 253 were sentenced to death, and 203 of these were actually executed."(n3) The exemplary position of Jehovah's Witnesses has been acknowledged and honored by important church representatives in Germany and other countries. Hanns Lilje, bishop of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church for the state of Hannover, wrote soon after the war in his book of memoirs that "no Christian group could anywhere near measure up to the number of blood witnesses of Jehovah's Witnesses."(n4) The Protestant theologian Kurt Hutten, who revitalized the "Apologetic Centre of the Protestant Church in Germany" under the new name "Evangelische Zentrale fur Weltanschauungsfragen" in Stuttgart, recorded the plight of Jehovah's Witnesses in Germany in his book Seher, Grubler, Enthusiasten: In the Nazi state Jehovah's Witnesses were already in 1933 banned and cruelly persecuted. In numerous court cases they were given heavy sentences. Thousands of them were in prison because they had continued their activity, had refused military service and for other reasons. Testimonies from former concentration camp prisoners confirm their uncompromising determination and courageous attitude; when given the tempting offer of freedom in exchange for a denial of their principles they refused and accepted all consequences. Around 1,000 were executed, and another 1,000 died in prisons or concentration camps; members of the Jehovah's Witnesses were sentenced to more than 20,000 years in prison.(n5) And in 1989 the Canadian jurist William Kaplan from the University of Ottawa offered this opinion: "The courage of the Jehovah's Witnesses, who endured repression and fought for what they believed, is a testament to the human spirit."(n6) FAILURE OF THE LARGER CHURCHES DURING THE NAZI REGIME Shortly after the end of the war the German Protestant Church made a public declaration, the so-called Nurnberger "Schuldbekenntnis" in 1945, of its failures during the period of National Socialism. This confession included the tacit acceptance and condonement of the persecutions, especially of the Jews, which resulted in the most massive genocide in history, and in the enormous destruction to which Hitler had subjected the world. These atrocities resulted in 45 million dead and utter devastation throughout Europe. Protestantism and Catholicism had accommodated the Nazi regime from two very different standpoints. Protestantism had influenced Germany principally through the imperial government and Bismarck's Prussia. Since the Weimar Republic had introduced a secularization process--the recognition of other denominations as equals and rejection of the concept of sects (1919)--it was met with disapproval by elements within the church. The Protestant church was hoping for a restoration of its own privileges through a new political and national power. Many Protestant clergymen saw in Hitler a "great man sent by God"--a man who would introduce the birth of a new Protestant Germany. The Catholic Church had suffered further losses of power in Germany after Bismarck's defeat of their political party, the Zentrum-spartei. For this reason the Catholic party supported the emergence of the Weimar Republic after the first World War. Before 1933 the Catholic Church had disapproved of the National Socialists. Catholics were forbidden to join the Nazi party, and the ideology based on the supremacy of the Aryan race was condemned by the church. But very soon after Hitler seized power on 30 January 1933, the church changed its course. On 24 March 1933, the Catholic bishops wrote an encyclical in which they encouraged all German Catholics to be loyal to all "proper authorities," fulfill their duties as citizens, and refrain from all illegal and seditious activity. German Catholics were now permitted to wear military uniforms while attending religious services. Church representatives celebrated this as "the time of fulfillment" and called for happy and wholehearted readiness in cooperation with the new totalitarian state. Soon after this, on 20 July 1933, Hitler's Reichsregierung and the Vatican concluded their concordat, an agreement of special protection which guaranteed the rights of the Catholic Church to operate its own schools, religious orders, and other institutions in Germany. In exchange for this the church was obliged to make its political party, das Zentrum, vote for the Special Powers Act of March 1933. On 28 March 1933, bishops of the Catholic Church openly spoke for Hitler and the leadership of his NSDAP party and encouraged "loyalty towards the rightful authority." After the conclusion of the concordat, the Catholic Cardinal von Faulhaber wrote to Hitler: "This handshake with the Papacy [is] a great deed of immeasurable blessing .... May God protect our Reichskanzler for our people"(n7) The Catholic Church believed it could secure its existence by setting up an arrangement with the new people in power. This was a mistake, since Hitler had no intention of keeping any agreements. What the German Protestant Church did was even worse. The church held its national synod on 27 September 1933, in which Rev. Ludwig Muller was appointed national bishop. His speech reflected his adoption of the totalitarian ideology of Hitler: [A]s he has done to every people, so the eternal God has also to our people given its own particular innate law. This has materialized in the Fuhrer Adolf Hitler .... This law speaks to us through the history of our people as it has grown from blood and ground .... From this fellowship of German Christians in the national socialist state of Adolf Hitler shall grow the German Christian National Church which will include the entire people. One people! One God! One Reich! One church!(n8) The expulsion of Protestant Christians of "foreign blood" (Christianized Jews) and the removal of "all un-German elements from church service and confession" stimulated the development of a church movement called "Deutsche Christen" (German Christians), which included approximately 600,000 members of the German Protestant Church and was widely supported. The Deutsche Christen, which had been active since the autumn of 1932 under the leadership of National Socialist clergymen, won 70 percent of the vote in the church elections of July 1933. When it became clear that even the concordat of the German Catholic Church did not engender the desired protection in the totalitarian Nazi state, a new papal encyclical in 1937 "with burning grief" ("Mit brennender Sorge") gave this admonition to the announced special courts of justice: With burning grief and growing concern we have observed for some time the sufferings of the church and the growing trials of the men and women in this land and people who have stayed loyal to her in both mind and deed. Those who separate the race, the people, the state, the formal government, the persons in power or other fundamental elements of human society-elements which rightfully claim an important and honourable position within the earthly arrangement-from the realm of such earthly values and elevate them to the highest norm of all, including religious values in worshiplike adoration, he or she distorts and falsifies the God-given and God-commanded arrangement of things.(n9) There are two places in which this encyclical criticizes the Nazi racist ideology. This is not, however, directed against the antisemitic campaigns and persecution of the Jews, but rather against the superiority of the Germanic race, which was not in harmony with the Christian understanding of the Holy Scriptures, especially the Old Testament. While the Jews or other victims were still not mentioned, the pope now criticized the Nazi racist ideology. The encyclical was read in all Catholic churches but it stimulated very little response among the German Catholic bishops. Only two bishops, Konrad Graf Preysing in Berlin and Clemens August Graf von Galen in Munster, called, in vain, for a more decisive church policy. THE CONFESSIONAL CHURCH--RESISTANCE FOR ITS OWN PURPOSES The "Bekennende Kirche" or Confessional Church, as an opposition movement within the German Protestant Church, issued a statement in May 1934 which served as a protest against state interference in the religious life of the nation: The decline of the confession and thus of the Protestant Church of Germany both in faith and unity must be resisted. The Confessional Synod will resist the attempts to bring about the unity of the German Protestant Church through false teaching and the use of force or unclean methods. The unity of the Protestant Church of Germany can only come about through the word of God in faith by holy spirit. We reject the false teaching that the State, over and above its proper mission, should be the only and total arranger of human life and thus also fulfill the role of the Church.(n10) On 20 October 1934, the Barmen Declaration was followed by the Dahlem Confessional Synod. There texts make it clear that their concern was first of all the dispute concerning the "Reichskirche," the unity of the church and the purity of its teaching. Here is found not a single word about the antisemitic attacks against Jews, the oppression of Jehovah's Witnesses, communists, socialists, or other persecuted groups, thousands of whom were already confined to prisons and concentration camps, and not a word about how many Jews were forcibly emigrated. A critical resistance was discovered only in a few courageous individuals of the church who could not count on support from their church leaders. A minority criticized the unification of the twenty-eight independent Protestant state churches in 1934 to make one "Reichskirche" under one "Reichsbischof." A small group, principally the members of the second preliminary leadership of the Confessional Church, ventured to go beyond this internal church dispute. The protest from within the Confessional Church should not be ignored but regarded objectively. Research into the resistance of the Confessional Church has demonstrated its diversity and uniqueness in resisting Nazism with both attitude and action.(n11) Those Protestant groups that belonged to the Confessional Church in 1935 contributed many sermons from the pulpit against the "race and people ideology," but the faithful were mainly admonished to obedience toward the secular authority. Only in a paper written by the "radical wing" of the Confessional Church, which was not endorsed by the Confessional Church as a whole, was there a condemnation of antisemitism, Gestapo actions, and the existence of concentration camps. There were protests against German neo-paganism and the ideology of a national religion, specifically the deification of Hitler. For this reason five hundred clergymen spent brief terms in prison. The scholar of antisemitism, Wolfgang Benz, provided the following opinion in his study Resistance Under National Socialism: "Neither when the Nuremberg laws in September 1935 deprived the German Jews of their civil rights, nor at the November pogrom in 1938 (Crystal Night, the 9th of November) did the churches as public institutions protest unitedly and forcefully.(n12) Altogether, during the entire time of the Nazi regime, only around 900 Protestant Christians (clergy as well as laity) were arrested and sentenced because of faith-based resistance. They spent time in prison and concentration camps, and twelve persons were executed for religious reasons. Prominent in this small group of Protestant Christians was the still active minister and theologian Martin Niemoller (1892-1984), a leading member of the Confessional Church. In the autumn of 1933, when the so-called "Aryan Paragraph" was introduced in the churches, he founded the "Pfarrernotbund," an organization to assist fellow clergymen, that came to the aid of 6,000 ministers that year. In 1937 he was sent to a concentration camp where he remained until the end of the Nazi regime. This was where he witnessed the resiliency the of Jehovah's Witnesses. He reminisced in his book written shortly after the war's end: We Christians of today are put to shame by a so-called sect like the Bible Students (Jehovah's Witnesses), who by the hundreds and thousands have gone into concentration camps and died because they refused to serve in war and declined to fire on human beings. In this as in many other matters, it should now be clear that exactly we, the Church and Christians, today are called to penance and repentance if we would continue to preach God's word and represent his cause!(n13) The great majority of Evangelical Christians supported the national socialist movement in Germany. Political and religious resistance groups like communists, socialists, Pfarrernotbund, and the Confessional Church were first of all fighting for their own interests, their own existence, and their own bid for power. The ultimate conclusion to be drawn is the one which Wolfgang Benz states in his paper "Widerstand," or Resistance: Resistance in the political sense, with the intention of overthrowing the National Socialist regime, was never given by the Confessional Church as a whole. It was fighting first for the integrity of its own organizational structure, and then for the independence of its church teaching, according to which the Christian commandments could never be subjected to National Socialist ideology.(n14) THE WITNESSES' RELIGIOUS RESISTANCE INTERPRETED AND EVALUATED A religious interpretational model can be found in the eschatological beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses. They saw Hitler's Reich as the demonic advancement of Satan and his army. Their resistance was a part of Jehovah's battle with Satan, and they viewed themselves as Jehovah's apostles, witnesses, and disciples. God had given them the mission to resist the Nazis. Already the apocalypse (the Revelation of John) had predicted the battle against wickedness, and now they saw, in the war against the War against Nazism, the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. They did not see the persecution against them as divine justice, but as the final battle of Armageddon before the heralded thousand-year reign. It was a battle of the righteous against the Antichrist and against "his" proclaimed thousand-year reign of darkness. Another trial from Satan for these biblically-fundamentalist Witnesses was the offer of signing a declaration which required them to deny their faith in return for freedom from the concentration camps. Such an offer must have seemed to the Witnesses like Satan's temptation of Jesus in the New Testament, where Satan requires: "If you recognize me and reject Jehovah, you will be able to live in the earthly world, otherwise you will remain in my power."(n15) In contrast to the Jews, who were God's chosen people by virtue of the old covenant, the Jehovah's Witnesses saw themselves as chosen because they had accepted the true faith by an act of their own choice, which served as ground for the new covenant. In this view of "chosenness" we see the difference between the Jehovah's Witnesses' interpretation of the persecution against them and the Jewish view of the Holocaust as a trial impossible to understand and an inescapable punishment from God. The Witnesses' assessment of Hitler's mad ambition is stated eloquently by Franz Zurcher, a leading Jehovah's Witness in Switzerland who published a documentation about Nazi Germany in 1938: These ungodly elements (the Hitler dictatorship) who have rejected Christ and the Bible, now also turn against Catholicism and Protestantism, because they now feel strong enough. He who fails to see the obvious course of fascism in the world history, does not recognize the spirit of Rome or Berlin, namely the gigantic crusade against the Bible and against Christianity which dictators will continue to perpetrate down to the very end. All the written publications by these self-appointed crusaders against Jews and Christians are dedicated to struggle. Its aim is to glorify violence, to justify terror against peaceful justice, and to condone brutal persecution against Christians.(n16) This terror meant for Jehovah's Witnesses the very beginning of the end. From the hoarse voices of those cruel "Ubermenschen" we perceive the cries of the powers of darkness, of the unclean spirits which according to the Book of Revelation would tear the nations away from God and Christ and down into the dark valley of Armageddon ....(n17) J. F. Rutherford, the American president of the Watch Tower Society, on 9 February 1934 wrote a letter to Reichskanzler Adolf Hitler which opened with these words: Mr. Chancellor, This letter is both a friendly notification and a warning about things that will be of the utmost importance for your well-being. You will find that it is in your own interest to read this letter carefully. During the last ten years the leaders and the people of Germany have got to know through wide distribution of literature that God's Kingdom has come and that his King Christ Jesus will establish righteous government for the earth to the blessing of its peoples. The warning goes out that all those who stand up against God and his Kingdom will be destroyed by the Lord in Armageddon. Your government has disregarded this warning.(n18) This letter is a key document because it outlines the program and the later actions of Jehovah's Witnesses in the Third Reich. The German leadership of the Watch Tower Society knew about the letter but not the general membership. The repeated mention of the coming battle of the end, a major tenet of the teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses, made clear to all Witnesses what to expect. As a message directly addressed to Hitler it is also made clear that he could be seen as the central figure, the Antichrist of the Apocalypse. In contrast to the Jews, the Jehovah's Witnesses saw a meaning in their persecution, their suffering, and their active but non-violent religious battle. Their faith had survived the Nazi rulership with perfect moral integrity. The German Witness Franz Kusserow (1882-1950), who had been imprisoned by the National Socialists for seven years and four months and was liberated only in 1945, wrote shortly after the end of the war to the Nazi judge at the family court which had deprived him of custody of three of his children: Thus two religious and ideological creeds were facing each other: On one side the National Socialist idea built on imperfect laws made by imperfect people; on the other side the faith of people who were loyally dedicated to God on the basis of the perfect laws of God. Which faith or ideology would win the final victory? Well, National Socialism is already in ruins. Those who spoke for it in bombastic and glorious terms are now branded as cowards and criminals. They were the lawmakers who stamped the study of the Holy Scriptures as a crime and put faithful men of God into prison and concentration camps only because they were thinking and acting in obedience to the guidelines of God. Which faith will win? The answer of the Holy Scriptures is: "The faith that has conquered the world."(n19) THE DECLARATION OF 25 JUNE 1933: A TEXTUAL ANALYSIS Only a few months after Hitler seized power, the activities of Jehovah's Witnesses were banned in the various states of the Reich (e.g., Bavaria and Saxonia) on the basis of the Order of 28 February 1933, for "the prevention of Communistic acts of violence dangerous to the State" and for "the restoration of public security and order." Between 24 April and 29 April, the Watchtower printery in Magdeburg (Prussia) was seized by German Police and the SA. The seizure ended temporarily, but by the end of June the premises were again shut down--this time permanently. A few weeks later, twenty-five truckloads of Bibles and Bible literature from the Watchtower were publicly burned by the National Socialists. As the situation for Jehovah's Witnesses clearly continued to darken (on 24 June 1933, Prussia also issued a ban on their activities), the Watch Tower Society decided, together with its German branch office, to hold a large convention in Berlin-Wilmersdorf. The seven thousand delegates present adopted a Declaration which spoke out against the false charges of seditious activity and emphasized the political neutrality of Jehovah's Witnesses. This resolution was addressed to Reichskanzler Adolf Hitler in the form of a petition, an appeal. The churches in Germany today claim that this Declaration represented an attempt on the part of Jehovah's Witnesses to curry the favor of Hitler and his Nazi state, and that it included anti-Jewish statements. They claim that it was only after the failure of this attempt that Jehovah's Witnesses resisted the Nazi regime. The charges climaxed in the accusation that the American Watch Tower Office and its president, J. F. Rutherford, had knowingly sacrificed the German Jehovah's Witnesses and pushed them onto a road that would inevitably lead to martyrdom. A textual analysis of the actual document indicates that these accusations are erroneous. The passages quoted from the Declaration create the impression that it was primarily a justification, an overture toward the Nazi system, and that it was influenced by anti-Jewish attitudes. This, however, is a falsification of the facts. From a secular point of view, the document was a "sermon" directed to the addressee, Reichskanzler Hitler himself. It was a clear dissociation from the powers of this world but it took for granted that surely even Hitler had good intentions, that even he must have wanted to do good. But it also proclaimed that if this should prove not to be so, then the Reichskanzler and Fuhrer of the German people belonged to the kingdom of Satan. Hitler would then become an enemy of Jehovah and his Witnesses. These straightforward statements left the Reichskanzler with only two possible conclusions: either the Declaration was the product of the collective imaginations of some crazed religious group or, it was, in its mad boldness, a declaration of war from a David against a Goliath. While the powerful Roman Catholic Church had entered into a gentleman's agreement with the dictator in the form of the concordat, here a small Christian faction was blowing the trumpet of Jericho and demanding, in sermon-style and in all earnestness, that Hitler should subject himself completely to the will of Jehovah. In turn the church promised that it would then maintain its neutrality, as it did in all other states. And although Hitler was still addressed in politely neutral terms, this small group did not hesitate to call its business partner, the Roman Catholic Church, a tool of "the great enemy Satan." The Witnesses repudiated the charges that they were supported by Jews or Bolsheviks--accusations of "Satan's tool" were whispered into the Reichskanzler's ears by the "official" churches. And certainly, the established churches had long been pushing for an official ban on this "sectarian" but above all zealous Christian denomination. Under the Weimar Republic such attempts had dissipated. Because Jehovah's Witnesses advocate only one government, that of God's Kingdom, some have viewed them as subversive. But nothing could be further from the truth. In imitation of Jesus' apostles, "they are no part of the world" (John 17:16). They are politically neutral. Because of their loyalty to God, they obey the laws of their respective human governments. Indeed, they are exemplary in their "subjection to the superior authorities" (Romans 13:1). Never have they advocated rebellion against any human government! There is, however, a line that cannot be crossed under any circumstances. It is the line between the duty of Jehovah's Witnesses to man and their duty to God. They seek to render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar but to God what belongs to God (Matthew 22:21). The passages from the Declaration which the churches today single out for quotation cannot rightfully be termed antisemitic or anti-Jewish; rather, they are anti-American or perhaps even anti-world. The polemic against the Anglo-American world power with its big business enterprises built up by "commercial" Jews must be seen in its entire context, and, in judging the German version of the Declaration it must be kept in mind that it is a translation from the American original. Jehovah's Witnesses were not prepared to subject themselves to any earthly rulership. They maintained "strict neutrality." This position certainly leaves no room for "currying the favor" of Hitler. Notice, too, that the Declaration does not address him as "Fuhrer" and does not conclude with the words "Heil Hitler," as was the case during that time on most documents from churches to state authorities. A summary of the Declaration of 25 June 1933 demonstrates the following self-evident principles: 1. A refutation of the charges that the Witnesses were financed by Jews or communists; 2. The declaration of their absolute neutrality in politics, that their activity was solely religious; 3. The opposition to the (Catholic) Church, which is seen as a political institution; and, 4. A proclamation of being true followers of Jesus Christ and disciples of him. Each argument was supported by quotations from the Bible as the only authority and guide for the action of Jehovah's Witnesses. It is also interesting to note the emphatic statement from Jehovah's Witnesses that they "have no criticism of any honest religious teacher"; what they criticize is the "wrongful religious influence in the political affairs of the nation." It cannot even be said that they criticized the teachings of other churches: "We [the Jehovah's Witnesses] do not object to or try to hinder anyone's teaching or believing what he desires." The anticlerical views of Jehovah's Witnesses were, however, quite clear. They explicitly mentioned the Catholic Church and the Jesuits as their enemies. Almost naively they advertised that their "American brethren have greatly assisted in (their) work in Germany," but that the secularization of the churches in America was unjustifiable. And if it seems that their view of the League of Nations was shared with Hitler, it was not because they agreed with Hitler but due to their own religious view of the world. According to a former Nazi official, the fact that the Witnesses included end-of-the-world prophecies in their Declaration as a central teaching at a time when Hitler endeavored to build his own millennium must have seemed, in his eyes, to be nothing less than an invitation to fight. The absence of influence by the antisemitic vocabulary of the time is seen from the Declaration's free and unabashed use of Old Testament quotations that include the name of "Zion." The Declaration climaxed in the statement that since Jehovah's Witnesses have put themselves on God's side, all who fight against them are bound to lose: "But as for us, we will serve Jehovah forever." If Hitler ever read this Declaration personally, the result must certainly have been one of his historical fits of rage. According to the Witnesses, one particular story has it that upon reading the Declaration Hitler exclaimed: "This brood must be exterminated from Germany."(n20) When the entire text of the Declaration of 25 June 1933 and the letter to Hitler are seen today in the context of the history of Jehovah's Witnesses during the period of National Socialism in Germany and the history of their religious resistance and their stand during the Holocaust, then the text does not present itself as an "antisemitic statement" or an attempt at "currying the favor" of Hitler. These accusations, stemming from present-day church circles, are deliberate manipulations and falsifications of history, seemingly motivated by guilt over the churches' own involvement or lack or involvement in the persecutions. At the time of the 1933 convention and even later, governments, statesmen, and diplomats from all countries were freely negotiating with Hitler and showing him their respect and reverence. Even in 1936, as thousands had already been put into concentration camps (with Jehovah's Witnesses among the very first), the international Olympic games were held under the emblem of the Swastika. It is possible to see the Declaration as absurd or ridiculous from a secular point of view in its completely unrealistic judgment of the political situation. This seems to be the case with those critics from church circles who seek to find strategic failings in the resistance of the Witnesses in the fact that the Watchtower Society was under American leadership. This is an entirely secular evaluation that shows more about the churches and their own internal makeup than it contributes to the search for truth. The official churches were, and are, so firmly integrated into the political and social establishment of the state that they are themselves an integral part of the secular world. As religious institutions in the time of the Nazi reign, they were unfit to follow the commands of the Bible in a literal way or to motivate a majority of their members to do so. Only a few individuals from the two large churches, acting independently, were exceptions to the generally collaborative or indifferent church membership. CONCLUSION The worldview of the Jehovah's Witnesses did not conform to the logic of the "rational human mind"--if it did, the obvious conclusion would have been that one cannot resist Hitler's dictatorship and that a non-violent resistance on the part of a small religious group would lead to its elimination. It was the "logic of absolute faith" of a biblical-fundamentalist Christian group that made possible this resistance based on faith. It is amazing that the churches, of all groups, today are forcing a religious community to come forward and justify the resistance it made in those times, when irrefutable evidence proves that this religious group demonstrated unique steadfastness and had to make extraordinary sacrifices. The resistance of Jehovah's Witnesses proved two things: first, that the size of the religious group resisting the Nazis had nothing to do with outcomes; and second, that a pacifist resistance in the form of refusal to cooperate was possible--and that the price for this was often one's own life. These are the answers to give to those later generations who ask: "Why did you not do anything?" As publications of the recent past demonstrate, the research into these forgotten victims of Nazi persecution has only just begun. To the established Protestant and Catholic churches of Germany, this means a renewed challenge, not only to deal with their own past failings, but to reconcile these failings with their claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. One things stands out clearly from the moving eyewitness accounts in the video documentation program "Jehovah's Witnesses Stand Firm Against Nazi Assault" (1996): there were no directions from the Central Office of the Watch Tower Society. The directions all came from the Holy Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments. Jehovah's Witnesses can rightfully claim to have resisted the "wicked." In a literal sense they have fulfilled their own claim of being true followers of Jesus Christ, while the two large churches in Germany, as they openly admit, failed terribly. Six decades later it is now time to show them respect in the name of Christianity. Without the example of this steadfast Christian group under the oppression of the National Socialist dictatorship, we would--after Auschwitz and the Holocaust--have to doubt whether it is at all possible to fulfill the Christian teachings of Jesus.
      Hello guest!
  9. 3 points
    Some other pictures make this clearer: The language is "Hebrew" and the writing is still using the"Paleo-Hebrew" letters that are associated with Phoenician and "pre-Hebrew" Mycenaean alphabets. Hebrew could have been much older as a spoken language, but in written form, Hebrew characters developed from earlier Mycenaean/Phoenician alphabets. In 10th century (BC) documents this is the alphabet still used, and over time the Hebrew characters began dropping some of these close association with Mycenaean. It might make one wonder what the alphabet on the stones of the 10 commandments looked like, perhaps half-a-millennium earlier. Also note that many of the actual items harvested (grapes, wheat, olives) are never actually mentioned, only assumed. The way this actually shortens the verses makes me think (maybe) that this might have been lyrics to a song. It's also interesting that the plural word for month is apparently used as a "dual." You get 12 months total, only if the word "months" must always mean TWO months. [Although consider the Hebrew leap year, of 13 months] Also of interest is that the Bible usually uses the word CHODESH for month, and the word used here is YERAHH (YERACH). An interesting development in the different uses is found here. But the Biblical plural for YERACH is YERACHIM. The plural (likley limited to dual) in the calendar is YRCHW (unknown pronunciation).
  10. 3 points
    Anna

    2019 Annual Meeting wishes

    Thank you for your expressions. I wanted to respond a little sooner than this but I ran out of time. Here are my thoughts on some of the things you mention. Just my two cents 😀. I used to think the same way, but just because it says update, doesn't mean the actual content is changed (like different wording of a scripture for example) but it is more to do with technical updates to make things compatible with constant changes and updates in the way various operating systems work, similar to windows system, Firefox etc. It is normal for any websites to do that. If there are any doctrinal or organizational changes, then we are usually made aware of them in a WT study. That would be a cool thing for those who like to dig deep.I noticed sometimes there are references to further reading, but not often. I don't know, but perhaps because everything is being simplified, sort of like we've already researched all the subjects, so no need to keep bringing it up, time to move on kind of thing. The publications with all those references are still available for anyone to read and research though. I understand some of the things you are saying regarding this subject. I especially agree with your last two points. I suppose striving for hours is an incentive some people need. It would be great if the friends would put in pioneer hours without actually pioneering. But we mustn't forget that if a publisher signs up to be a pioneer, then they know what they are doing, they know they are committing themselves to a certain promise. The problem is why are they doing it. Is it because they need an incentive, or is it because they like the title? If I am not mistaken, there is no specific regulation which says you can't do those things you have described. For example when going door to door in a remote village in one Easter European country, the brothers do not wear a tie because the locals would get confused and suspicious, and not be open to discussions. It is always a good idea to adapt our preaching according to local circumstances. We should never be stuck on just one way. With the counting...I read somewhere that JWs keep the best and most reliable records. If there is any kind of worldly survey carried out, for example with regard to the numbers (members) of a particular religion, they always seem to trust the JW numbers the most. Haha, that would be funny. I don't think that will ever happen because it's too judgmental. But I understand your point! I think it's obvious that the reaction to a new Bible would be very positive. Therefor I don't think this was so much a request for information, but a confirmation of a "work well done". However the questions you propose, are on a different level and would require an awful lot of work sifting through the submissions. But I agree. I think JW Insider mentioned something about a "suggestion box" option on our website. Or even a "ask questions" box. I think both would be a very good idea. At the moment as you say, it is left up to the CO's to give some kind of report. But the thing is, many friends do not like to bring an issue up which they think might be viewed controversial or even rebellious. I know I don't. But if these comments could be made anonymously on the website, then I am sure the organization would get a much better idea of the state of the congregations and friends. The problem is some kind of mechanism would have to be put into effect that prevented just ANYONE from commenting. That way people who were merely trouble makers (opposers etc.) wouldn't clog up the whole site, or give the wrong impression that the friends were having these problems, whereas it would really be ex- witnesses. To be honest we don't have that problem in my congregation. There are many excellent auxiliary answers given. I suppose it depends on the congregation. Although we are all united, each congregation has its unique style/character. That's why you get some people "shopping" for a congregation they like, if they are not happy in the one they are at. I agree completely! I always go to sleep when they do that. I don't see the point. I think that this is already going on to a certain point isn't it? Also I know that things have been simplified where there are no longer room cleaners, each person must clean their own room for example. I think something like that exists in the USA.
      Hello guest!
    But I don't think it is organized by the society. Yes. Don't you just love it when an older single brother with no children tries to give you counsel about yours? Oh yes, the notorious beard issue! 🐵 A few weeks ago, in my mum's congregation, a young ministerial servant decided to grow a beard. My mum told me that the elders told him that if he wants to keep on carrying the mikes he will have to shave the beard off. This is in a country where beards are socially acceptable, and in some congregations there are elders with beards. Not many, but I know one personally. I told my mum that usually it is up to the body of elders to decide because they should know the territory well and know whether it would offend an outsider or not. She then told me that 1. my dad (an elder) wasn't told about it, and 2. there is absolutely no aversion to beards by the public as many people wear one. I asked her if this young brother was a "rebellious" type. She said not at all. Logically, he must have been qualified in order to become a min. servant. So as you can see, there is already a problem because certain elders have taken it upon themselves to decide on the matter without consulting the whole body. Who knows, these elders may not like beards, so it becomes personal, rather than theocratic. They have the Co's visit right now, so she told me she would let me know what happens. The other thing is, which I find odd, is that apparently if he shaves it off, they won't address the issue (!) I feel like telling the brother, don't shave it off, because this issue needs to be handled properly first. And once it's handled properly, and they still ask him to shave it off, then that is a different matter. As regards the photos, yes, I agree, on the one hand we are told in the WT that beards are ok in some cultures, but then on the other hand shaving a beard off is used as an example of spiritual progress. It confuses people. (P.S. Quite a large number of elders I know grow a beard while on vacation, and don't mind posting pictures on Instagram or FB, so they are not hiding it, but then once they go back to the meeting they shave it off). I will comment on the doctrinal part next time. (when I have more time).
  11. 3 points
    TrueTomHarley

    JW OPPOSERS GROUPS

    Give them permanent “W”s
  12. 3 points
    Melinda Mills

    JW OPPOSERS GROUPS

    I would say it another way: False religion is a snare and a racket. Not hard to correct. Abel had a religion and all of God's servants since. Definition of religion: Concise Oxford Dictionary: belief in, worship of, or obedience to a supernatural power or powers considered to be divine or to have control of human destiny; 2 any formal or institutionalized expression of such belief, e.g. the Christian religion. ...5. something of overwhelming importance to a person.
  13. 3 points
    I think that one is excellent too. It follows the same general format of showing how the Bible answers the Big Question of how problems on earth will be solved through God's Kingdom. The angle of Truth and Trust in the Bible is the theme. Again, there is nothing stated in this magazine that should produce any unresolved questions. I believe even JTR would have to rate it somewhere near 100 percent useful, rather than his oft-repeated 15/85 rating. I'm going to try not to get drawn into a 1914 discussion, at least not on this particular thread/topic. But I do understand what you are saying. I'm not sure how far back you are going, because even up to as recently as 2014, there were plenty of references that could have meant what you refer to. The Isaiah 44/45 (Babylon-Cyrus) prophecy comes across as the most amazing prophecy to outsiders. It's simple, and it's used, of course, in the self-run free study on the JW.ORG website. The only persons for whom it would not work so well are those who believe that "Isaiah II" were chapters tacked onto the original book of Isaiah after the Babylonian exile. If you listen closely to the Faith In Action -"Out of Darkness" Part 1 video, I think it's clear that Daniel's "prediction" of 1914 is a better example for "insiders." An outsider would have too many unresolved questions: Most outsiders aren't into this idea that the Bible pinpoints dates for end-times prophecies. They would wonder why wicked Nebuchadnezzar's rulership pictures Jesus' Messianic rulership. They would wonder why we give it an additional application when the scripture itself explicitly says the application is to Nebuchadnezzar, and says nothing about an assumed second application. And they would wonder how we got 1914 from 7 times anyway. It doesn't even say 7 times are 7 years (that takes another scripture from a completely different context). And if it did mean 7 times were 7 years here, it doesn't say that those years were actually 360-day years, which also comes from its use in a different context. And if it did mean that 7 times were 360-day years, it doesn't say that those 7 times 360 have to each be multiplied again by 365.25. That's because the day-for-a-year idea also comes from a different context. And if they looked into it more deeply, they might wonder why we were forced to use a mix of secular dates for some events and pseudo-secular dates for some other events. Some of the dates we accept are the same as the secular dates, and some are 20 years different from the secular dates, but this time in the same context. They might wonder why a Bible prophecy would even rely on secular dates in the first place since the Bible itself never uses a secular date like 539 BCE, 607 BCE, 587 BCE, 33 CE, etc. They might wonder why we inconsistently claim that these "seven times" must be multiplied by 360, then multiplied again by 365.25 days each, when we claim that all uses of the term "three and a half times" in the Bible (Daniel & Revelation) should NEVER be multiplied again by 365.25, but only multiplied by 360. And even then, we allow for round-off in the use of "three and a half times." And if they looked into Babylonian and Jewish calendar systems a bit closer, they might notice that there was no such thing as a period of 7 years that did not contain at least two (sometimes three) intercalary months so that the number of days in ALL 7 year periods would always be closer to 2,568 days, not 2,520. Some of these questions would likely remain unresolved to an outsider, no matter how well we tried to explain them. They work for most those of us on the inside, because we generally trust that all those questions were probably resolved by persons who have a lot more holy spirit available to them than we do. So we just accept that we don't have to ask such questions. Besides, when I mentioned the "Out of Darkness" video, I am primarily referring to the very fact that this prophecy is used as one that is supposed to prove that Jehovah was using Russell (not Daniel). At the 44:20 mark in that video, we hear Brother Gerrit Lösch say: ". . . it enhanced their trust that Jehovah was using Brother Russell and his friends to explain truth to others." At the 44:30 mark in the video, we hear Brother Anthony Morris say: ". . . it's still significant that they could pinpoint that year. That's phenomenal!" This is hardly about the original prophecy anymore. In effect, this 1914 prophecy is therefore our own "internal" evidence (bragging rights) that there was an element of true inspiration from Jehovah to those who were supposedly "wise" enough to pinpoint that year by jumping through mental hoops that Daniel would have never dreamed of.
  14. 3 points
    On the contrary, the org should value the people who can respectfully discuss and critically examine doctrine like what is done here...Berean-like ones that test out the expressions they hear against the Bible. Instead, direction is not up for debate and people are told to even submit to “illogical” direction from the organization. So what the org will become is a bunch of yes-men who don’t know how to think for themselves.
  15. 3 points
    You have deflected to the Boy Scouts. In your mind, you are desperately trying to preserve a corrupt leadership/organization that claims to represent the Almighty God. Is it not more important to preserve our relationship with God, rather than with men who fail deliberately and repeatedly, to protect their "sheep"? I am more "vested" in the prophetic outcome of this organization, of which this matter only contributes to. When it is in your power, don’t withhold good from the one it belongs to. 28 Don’t say to your neighbor, “Go away! Come back later. I’ll give it tomorrow”—when it is there with you. 29 Don’t plan any harm against your neighbor, for he trusts you and lives near you. 30 Don’t accuse anyone without cause, when he has done you no harm. 31 Don’t envy a violent man or choose any of his ways; 32 for the devious are detestable to the Lord, but He is a friend to the upright. 33 The Lord’s curse is on the household of the wicked, but He blesses the home of the righteous; 34 He mocks those who mock, but gives grace to the humble. 35 The wise will inherit honor, but He holds up fools to dishonor. Prov 3:27-35
  16. 3 points
    He stands in opposition and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he sits down in the temple of God, publicly showing himself to be a god. This has to be the GB of JW Org. They have exalted themselves above every other human on this earth. Above all of the true Anointed. Even to a point above Jesus Christ.
  17. 3 points
    Concerning "Animals being given undo importance" .... We are very fragile, big ugly bags of mostly water and require a LOT of things :of the world to stay alive, and healthy, and emotionally stable. I have 16 pet chickens ( two died of heat exhaustion, from being run around the yard by my dogs, after flying out of their temporary enclosure, and I buried them this morning in the yard with little plastic pipe "tombstones" which I melted into the side with a soldering iron their names and date of death, which was yesterday). And yet ... when I die, I do not care if I am just left where I fall, or someone puts my remains in a dumpster. And yet ... today at Golden Corral, my wife and I ate fried chicken, and I pondered "Am I a hypocrite, for loving both live chickens ... and those crispy fried??" I looked at myself in the mirror, and noticed my eyes are in front (predator), and the chickens' eyes are on the side of their heads (prey), and decided that that is the natural order of things, and I should just get used to it, without recriminations. Besides .... "Love Never Fails" .... and when I die, I will probably be too tough to eat, and with the fried chicken .... it's no one we know.
  18. 3 points
    (Anna just reminded me that I promised to post what I heard.) This is what I understood the speaker to say: Don't elevate animals to status of man. Man was made in God's image and has the ability to love, appreciate wisdom, reasoning, music and poetry and worship. Animals can't do that. The speaker also cited the Leona Hemsley and what she left in her will for her dog (and to have him buried beside her). He said to show love to our great God, Jehovah. Jehovah will provide for us as he provides for the birds who are assured of confident eating ( Matt 6:26).
  19. 3 points
    You are world class! I performed for the adults in the little piano school I go to, but you performed for the world! It pleased me mightily! The teacher is a young woman about 30, but she is professionally trained and has the insight of a 60 year old. She was helping us to get over our fear of performing. That was my second performance. The first one was at a nice new school on a new piano. It was held in February. Audience of about 200. I played Hungarian Rhapsody Theme. Yesterday was just an end of term performance so we could help our peers get over performance fears. I played Black Forest Polka and a piece I used to play when I was eleven in key of G. They were astounded I could still remember it although I never had the book with it. It was owned by the teacher. She would let me play from that book for a change. "If you don't recognize the tune, it never made the cut for Kingdom Songs." Too funny! I enjoyed it so much that although I know the piece, I can't write the name of it. Sounds like Bach. My preferred kind of music is classical, so you did well. Hi JWI, Funny but I am still playing Kingdom Songs from the big brown 1984 book. (And my copy still looks new) They are about seven songs in there that I used to play well (13, 14,15 , 17 and 201) and I have just continued where I left off. In the new book I am working on No 43 - A Prayer of Thanks and 115 Gratitude for Divine Patience which I also used to play before. I pick the ones where the music is simpler. I rather play in C than with four flats or sharps. The best one is 15 Life without End - At Last! No. 15 in the old book in the key of C. In the new book it is in Aflat major I think with four flats. I sometimes turn the function key from piano to Pipe (Church) Organ and pretend to be an organist. Some brothers are prejudiced to the organ, so I play it for myself. These new electric pianos can sound like almost any instrument by just the touch of a switch. Love of music is God-given and he is not against music, but everything must be put in its place. I decided to continue my music as it is said to help the brain. If you don't use it you lose it. Music helps us to use a part of the brain that is not frequently used. It also helps to build a high level of discipline, listening ability, appreciation, tolerance and other good qualities. Look up the benefits. They have also come across quite a few Alzheimers persons who can still play although they are not very functional otherwise. So that says something. It helps one also to be able to enjoy oneself when alone. So don't put the harmonica back into the case, do a little practise every day. Hope to post something if I get it recorded. Like you and Anna, I like Bible study, language, fine art and music. If they put me in prison rest assured I will sing not Dee Dum Bum Bum , but "Firm and Determined in this Time of the End... from "Forward You Witnesses!" 29 in 1984 book. Was singing it since the 1950s, so don't think that is coming out of my brain now. I will simply read and sing the new words but the old words are etched there for good. (Let Rook know)
  20. 3 points
    As far as I know, there are strict outlines that are closely adhered to, and from my experience of conventions, the same talks by different brothers sound pretty much alike. Not word for word of course, otherwise it wouldn't be an outline but a script. But the likely hood of them sounding completely different is unlikely. That is not to say some elder couldn't slip in his own ideas, something he maybe feels passionately about. Especially at a KH. This happens very rarely now though, and especially not at conventions. I remember one elder years ago, had something against Teenage Ninja Turtles, and counseled parents in his talk about how it was not appropriate for a Christian to allow their children to play with those toys. You know that was NOT in the outline. Nevertheless, there were parents that made their kids throw away all their treasured Ninja Turtles.... talk about imposing your own conscience on others! This is one reason why the outlines now have become very specific, and have to be strictly followed, so that this kind of thing does not happen.
  21. 3 points
    other than those things that TTH enumerated about you...I think you're OK
  22. 3 points
    He does. That’s half the problem. Working up a better answer. Time is a little tight now.
  23. 3 points
    Sorry to disappoint. I usually give up on explaining things concisely at about the time I notice that I am already up to 20 paragraphs. But I meant that there have already been several pages of explanations in this thread and others, going right back to your original question. The very fact that the GB produces contradictory statements about themselves, which are not based on scripture, that was what made me say that the GB cannot be the same as the FDS. A GB that declares itself to be the FDS is already "publishing a flawed argument" "skating close to the edge" and "in no man's land" if I may borrow some verbiage from Outta Here. This goes back to a WT quote that Noble Berean provided, back on page 5 or so: "[A mature christian] does not advocate or insist on personal opinions or harbor private ideas when it comes to Bible understanding. Rather, he has complete confidence in the truth as it is revealed by Jehovah God through his Son, Jesus Christ, and "the faithful and discreet slave." (w01 8/1 p.14)   And a similar one here: *** w04 10/1 p. 7 “The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth”—How? *** One who is meek humbly accepts God’s standards in all aspects of his personal life; he does not insist on going by his own views or by other people’s opinions. He is also teachable, willing to be taught by Jehovah. The psalmist David wrote: “[Jehovah] will cause the meek ones to walk in his judicial decision, and he will teach the meek ones his way.”—Psalm 25:9; Proverbs 3:5, 6. We now see that it has been admitted that the GB have sometimes been advocating or insisting on their own views. Several of these views have been "false" as they have now admitted. It is clear that in some cases these have merely been based on other people's opinions, often their own predecessors on the GB. They have sometimes forgotten to be meek. Although they admit that some of the teachings and direction has been incorrect, they have sometimes forgotten the meekness and humility that should come from these experiences and continue to insist that others should have "complete confidence in the truth as it is revealed by . . . the faithful and discreet slave." Well that is the same as saying that we should have complete confidence in views and opinions that are prone to error, potentially false and uninspired, just because they have been mixed in with truths revealed from Jehovah through his Son, Jesus Christ. But with true humility, faithfulness and discretion it doesn't have to be this way. The GB, as overseers (elders), are reaching out for an oversight position over the extended worldwide congregations, and are therefore reaching out for a fine work. It is a very valuable and useful office of oversight. And through it they can preside over various questions and concerns, while considering input and issues from all over the world. But in any position of privilege or heavy responsibility there is a danger that Jesus clearly warned about. If we take Jesus' words seriously, we will be on the watch for the very examples that Jesus warned about. We know that the GB consider themselves to be in a position much like that of the original 12 apostles, or that of the "NT" Bible writers, and the Bible tells us what such positions can lead to: the desire for control, power, prominence, leadership, and even obedience. (Matthew 19:27-20:27) . . .Then Peter said in reply: “Look! We have left all things and followed you; what, then, will there be for us?” . . .[Jesus answered] you who have followed me will sit on 12 thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit everlasting life. 30 “But many who are first will be last and the last first. . . .‘These last men put in one hour’s work; still you made them equal to us who bore the burden of the day and the burning heat!’ 13 But he said in reply to one of them, ‘Fellow, I do you no wrong. You agreed with me for a de·narʹi·us, did you not? 14 Take what is yours and go. I want to give to this last one the same as to you. . . . Or is your eye envious because I am good?’ 16 In this way, the last ones will be first, and the first ones last.” . . . 20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebʹe·dee approached him with her sons, . . . . “Give the word that these two sons of mine may sit down, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your Kingdom.” . . . 23 He said to them: “You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit down at my right hand and at my left is not mine to give, but it belongs to those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” 24 When the ten others heard about it, they became indignant at the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to him and said: “You know that the rulers of the nations lord it over them and the great men wield authority over them. 26 This must not be the way among you; but whoever wants to become great among you must be your minister, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. I think there is a tendency for all of us to want to read into the first century congregation a kind of human authority structure among the apostles and older men of Jerusalem that just wasn't there. The apostles remaining in Jerusalem prior to the writing of the "NT" has allready served its purpose, and is not intended as an ongoing model of apostolic succession in the last days. Because we are only human, we think that the hierarchical system under Moses, and therefore the "seat of Moses" was intended to continue into Christian times. We are therefore anxious to see any criticizers as "Korah vs Moses." We don't have the faith that true Christianity can thrive without a group of men wielding authority. (Just as Israel didn't think they could compete with nations around them without a king.) We tend not to see this wielding of authority as a problem, because MOST of what the GB relays and publishes is perfectly acceptable. But this lax attitude toward what Jesus warned us about can result in a very dangerous situation for Christians. We do not mature as we should to stand on our own, because it's so much easier to just accept humans as leaders, and accept them as vicars of Christ. Paul pointed out the folly of this very attitude toward other humans who think they should be more than what even the "apostles" were, and who want to be more than just faithful and discreet "stewards." They will tend to go beyond the things written; to want honor, and to judge, and to govern. (1 Corinthians 4:2-10) 2 In this regard, what is expected of stewards is that they be found faithful. 3 Now to me it is of very little importance to be examined by you or by a human tribunal. In fact, I do not even examine myself. 4 For I am not conscious of anything against myself. But by this I am not proved righteous; the one who examines me is Jehovah. 5 Therefore, do not judge anything before the due time, until the Lord comes. He will bring the secret things of darkness to light and make known the intentions of the hearts, and then each one will receive his praise from God. 6 Now, brothers, these things I have applied to myself and A·polʹlos for your good, that through us you may learn the rule: “Do not go beyond the things that are written,” so that you may not be puffed up with pride, favoring one against the other. 7 For who makes you different from another? Indeed, what do you have that you did not receive? If, in fact, you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not receive it? 8 Are you already satisfied? Are you already rich? Have you begun ruling as kings without us? I really wish that you had begun ruling as kings, so that we also might rule with you as kings. 9 For it seems to me that God has put us the apostles last on exhibition as men condemned to death, because we have become a theatrical spectacle to the world, and to angels and to men. 10 We are fools because of Christ, but you are discreet in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are held in honor, but we in dishonor. These men wanted to be "guardians" when Paul indicated that the entire worldwide congregation were their/our guardians: (1 Corinthians 4:15) . . .For though you may have 10,000 guardians in Christ. . . (Romans 14:12) . . .So, then, each of us will render an account for himself to God. (Romans 14:4) 4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for Jehovah can make him stand. (Galatians 6:4, 5) 4 But let each one examine his own actions, and then he will have cause for rejoicing in regard to himself alone, and not in comparison with the other person. 5 For each one will carry his own load.
  24. 3 points
    I understand the point you are making ... and it is a good extrapolation ... except a "soul" is someone ( OR SOME LIVING CREATURE ...) who breathes atmospheric oxygen mix. The reason we do NOT have to bleed fish (often caught in nets by the thousands ...) is that they ARE not souls. They do not live and breathe air. I eat clam chowder at least four times a week. How would you bleed a clam? They are CHANGED in the twinkling of an eye ... to another life form ... not extracted. Uh... people, not clams.
  25. 3 points
    Certainly there is free will ... all you can manage in whatever its is that is your hearts desire .... for good .... for evil ... or for misadventure. I used to jump out of perfectly good aircraft, KNOWING in less that two minutes I could be dead .... but I did it anyway. EVERYONE has freedom of will .... if they can manage it. NOBODY has freedom of consequences, unless it is pure, dumb luck.
  26. 3 points
    what I meant is that I don’t plan to pursue it. However, JWI himself responded, so I will. He has extraordinary powers granted him by the Librarian (that old hen). He can divide into a separate thread if he wants to. One college kid asked, when I proposed coming back, “To what end?” It was a question I’d not been asked before. I explained that in my ideal scenario I would return 100 times and engage in 100 different conversations and on the 101st I would ask him if he wanted to be a Jehovah’s Witness like me and at that time he should say ‘No.’ I even asked him to rehearse. “Let me show you how it would work. I am going to ask you to become a Witness like me and I want you to say “No.” Would you do that? He agreed. “Would you like to become a Witness?” I asked. “No,” he said. “You see? Nothing to worry about. It’s just conversation. You’ll learn your way around the Bible in the meantime. The moment you tire of it, just let me know. No one is easier to get rid of than Tommy.” The anticult people try to spin our calls as “recruiting.” That’s why the outrage some have over the recent letter expressing condolences over someone’s loss. If they just took it at face value, they’d be okay with it. We should not let those scoundrels define the game. Are we “recruiting?” I suppose so, but in the most non-threatening way possible, so that only by really stretching the point could we be said to be doing it. And it is not an immediate goal—telling the good news of the kingdom is. College is far more indoctrinating than anything having to do with Jehovah’s Witnesses. The typical student is separated 24/7 from his or her previous stabilizing routine and people—a classic tool of brainwashing. (I didn’t actually go through the rehearsal with him. Our best lines always occur to us too late. But that does not mean that I won’t do it when the situation is right.)
  27. 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.
  28. 3 points
  29. 3 points
    Anna

    REPROOF FROM THE PLATFORM

    I'm just trying to be fair, and I believe the truth is the truth and a lie is a lie no matter who says it.
  30. 3 points
    Someone has to take out the trash.
  31. 3 points
    LOL. I'm always happy to address a challenge. In this case you have claimed that I stole unauthorized material, perhaps hoping to use it against the Watchtower, somehow. I did not steal anything. And I'm not sure what would make certain material "unauthorized." I suppose you could argue that only material that was published in our publications was authorized. But does that mean that everything else that any Bethelite saved or collected must be destroyed? Really? Also, this first letter I shared actually went out to a sister and was therefore "published" (with only minor alterations) and the material was reused for future letters on the topic. I have three letters from Governing Body members that were written to me personally. Should I destroy them? One was a letter of recommendation to help me get a secular job after I left Bethel. Do you really think we should be ashamed of or hide anything that goes on behind the scenes at Bethel? You think that we shouldn't talk about any of these things, or that we shouldn't share anything that was written? You appear to be afraid that this material I saved could be used against the Watchtower, somehow. Anything that I kept, I saved out of a spirit of appreciation for the experience I had at Bethel, which was a wonderful experience. I wanted to remember it and I kept things that would help me remember it. If I had wanted to find a way to use them against the Watchtower, I don't think I would have waited about 40 years to share them. I admit that I have also shared experiences from Bethel that we could (and should) learn from. Even a negative experience could be profitable to others. I find that most people hold back on this count because they think that certain types of negative experiences cannot be profitable to anyone. This flies in face of scripture. Did Paul hold back from telling the Galatians and Corinthians about negative experiences? Did Jesus hold back? Did not Paul say we should be imitators of Paul himself? (Acts 20:20) while I did not hold back from telling you any of the things that were profitable . . . (1 Corinthians 10:6-12) . . .Now these things became examples for us, in order for us not to desire injurious things, as they desired them. 7 Neither become idolaters, as some of them did; just as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink. Then they got up to have a good time.” 8 Neither let us practice sexual immorality, as some of them committed sexual immorality, . . . 11 Now these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for a warning to us upon whom the ends of the systems of things have come. 12 So let the one who thinks he is standing beware that he does not fall. (1 Corinthians 4:14-5:6) 14 I am writing these things, not to put you to shame, but to admonish you as my beloved children. . . . 16 I urge you, therefore, become imitators of me. . . . 18 Some are puffed up with pride,. . . 5 Actually sexual immorality is reported among you, and such immorality as is not even found among the nations. . . 6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven ferments the whole batch of dough? Neither Jesus nor Paul held back from sharing things that were profitable, both old and new. (Matthew 13:51, 52) . . .” 52 Then he said to them: “That being the case, every public instructor who is taught about the Kingdom of the heavens is like a man, the master of the house, who brings out of his treasure store things both new and old.” (Mark 4:22) . . .For there is nothing hidden that will not be exposed; nothing is carefully concealed that will not come out in the open.
  32. 3 points
    Maybe this picture is Photoshop Propaganda from those who prefer Electronic Money aka Bitcoin :))))))
  33. 3 points
    The Librarian

    The Scorpion and The Frog

    "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots ? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil " Jeremiah 13:23 You've no doubt read the old fable about the scorpion and the frog. It illustrates how man's nature is much more devious and controlling than is his logic. The fable says how,... " One day a scorpion arrived at the bank of a river he wanted to cross, but there was no bridge. He asked a frog that was sitting nearby if he would take him across the river on his back. The frog refused and said,... " I will not, because you will sting me " The scorpion replied,..." It would be foolish for me to sting you because then we would both drown " The frog saw the logic in the scorpion's words, and agreed to carry the scorpion across. But when they were halfway across the river the scorpion stung the frog. The stunned frog asked,..." Why did you sting me, now we will both die ! " The scorpion replied,... " Because I'm a scorpion … and that's what scorpions do " Sad to say some people today are more concerned about being " politically correct " than they are about being " Biblically correct ",... They change the name of sins to justify people's sinful behavior. They do this because they are more concerned about the approval of man than they are about the approval of Jehovah God. To Jehovah God, sin—all sin—is sin by whatever name we call it, and all sin is ultimately self-destructive regardless of how we seek to justify it. Furthermore, God's Word reminds us that no matter how good, how noble, how educated, how refined, or how sophisticated we may be, we are all sinners. Romans 3:23 Like the leopard that cannot change its spots neither can we change our nature. We are not sinners because we sin, but rather, we sin because we are sinners. That's our nature and that's why we need Jehovah God's salvation to save us from the eternal consequences of our sin—which is eternal separation from Jehovah God for all eternity.
  34. 3 points
    The Librarian

    THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY

    Its not a head full of knowledge and answers, but a heart full of love that moves us to live up to our dedication to Jehovah. One should engage the brain before releasing the mouth to speak. Never ! never! put a question mark where Jehovah has put a period. When experiencing trials remember Jehovah did not remove the Red Sea, he made the way out for the Israelites to cross it. The test of our faith is our eagerness to proclaim the good news. Jehovah will supply, but we must apply. Be not like the rooster who thought the sun rose 'to hear him crow' We dare not violate the law of love any more than we can defy the law of gravity It is not our position but our disposition that makes us happy. A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it. If there were not so many of me , I would know myself better The emphasis Jesus placed on a Christian's loving his neighbour helps one to avoid the danger that every time a person thinks he will be thinking of himself Some people insist that they do not tell lies, yet they scheme to present the truth in such a way that no one recognizes it. Deliverance into God's new order will mean living in perfect health and happiness in a delightful garden-like earth, under one government earth wide What should not be heard by little ears should not be said by big mouths Hearing truth and not accepting it does not change truth into error. The learning and knowledge that we have is at most but little compared with that of which we are ignorant. In the book "The Nations Shall Know that I am Jehovah"- How ?, one of the many reasons given for Jehovah's wrath against Christendom is: "Jehovah hates being treated by religious hypocrites like a God who can be fooled." The scriptures are a storehouse of happiness that enriches the mind and heart. So read it everyday for the sheer pleasure of it. Sin is not in things but in the wrong use of things. Jehovah listens to our hearts rather than our lips. The best human relations can be obtained if we live by the advice we give to others.
  35. 3 points
    The only way to learn the truth about whether "global warming" is real ... and whether it is a naturally occurring phenomena that mankind can do NOTHING about, or is caused by human interaction with the environment, which may or may not be able to be stopped or reversed, is to YOU PERSONALLY educate yourself with the math, physics, chemistry, meteorology, and ocean sciences, and orbital mechanics, etc., ..... to be able to tell the difference between hoax, fraud, fake science, and religious hysteria and hallucination that this issue has become. And then sit down and draw sketches, accumulate data ... possibly completely wear out a scientific pocket calculator .... or two, and then correlate what you PERSONALLY know with astronomy, and other related sciences ... comparing the physics of other planets' atmospheric meteorology to see if conclusions by others make sense, or have any validity whatsoever. If you are not willing to YOU PERSONALLY do this ... and take a decade, or 20 years, or the rest of your life ... then your opinions will be based on FAITH .... NOT SCIENCE. FAITH in the opinions and conclusions of others .... the new global religion of "Man Caused Climate Change". Faith in the opinions and conclusions of others, where you have not PERSONALLY proved it yourself, is not TRUTH. Seek ONLY THE TRUTH. In science, and in religion, and in all things. However, although you will fail to get the correct answers ...... intellectual integrity can also be accomplished by not caring, to the point you do not believe anybody, about anything. ... and is a LOT less work.
  36. 3 points
    Anna

    "STANDING WHERE IT DOES NOT BELONG"

    Who told you this? But one thing doesn't seem believable, and that is actually replacing a jw.org flag. I cannot imagine there was a jw.org flag in the window. In fact why would the Chilean brothers have a flag, its usually just a plaque outside the KH.
  37. 3 points
    Well I got an answer from the brother with connections to Chile and elsewhere in South America, but it's very hard to believe. The answer is so odd that I hate to offer it yet as an explanation. So I also called about 12 different KH numbers, including an Assembly Hall number and the main number for Chile on JW.ORG (which matches the number on the "infamous" letterhead). I recorded the messages I got on each number. Some rang 'forever' and some had "no service" messages, and two had recorded messages after which I could have left a call-back number, but didn't. I am still going to have to call again next week, to attempt further verification. The friend I met with definitely knows about the Internet "hoopla." The son-in-law who was a Circuit Overseer there has come back to the USA more than once with his wife (my friend's daughter) due to a medical condition treated here. They have gone back, but each time to a different assignment, sometimes in different countries of South America. So I couldn't get an exact response about "a firsthand" experience with the topic in Chile since 2014. Neither of his daughters (or sons-in-law) are currently in Chile. So here was the answer that still needs more verification (mostly because I find it hard to believe). He stated it very matter-of-factly, and didn't seem to see a problem with it at all. Circuit Overseers are evidently told to strongly encourage the display of the flag on specific mandatory days ONLY in those areas where there have been past legal issues in the area regarding enforcement. Enforcement is not uniform, even though it applies to all buildings. Other circuit overseers have been told to strongly discourage the display of the flag on the premises of a KH, with certain exceptions regarding property ownership by individuals volunteering a property's free use as a KH. I asked about why he thought an inconsistent policy would be encouraged. His answer to that question was what really seemed more disconcerting: "Because if some congregations do and some don't, the government will see that this is a matter of conscience, and will realize that they [local JWs] aren't being ordered to handle the matter one way or another [based on a directive] from the [Watch Tower] Society." I didn't have the heart to point out that this is a strange way to prove that something is really a matter of conscience.
  38. 3 points
    And Abʹsa·lom would say to him: “See, your matters are good and straight; but there is no one from the king giving you a hearing.” And Abʹsa·lom would go on to say: “O that I were appointed judge in the land, that to me every man might come that happens to have a legal case or judgment! Then I should certainly do justice to him.”
  39. 3 points
    @The Witness / Pearl Doxsey - Why don't you just create your own club on here and preach your own version of Christianity? I get that you are relating many items back to JW's but you could do better in your own club rather than challenging every JW on here. 'You get more flies with honey" sort of thing....?
  40. 2 points
  41. 2 points
  42. 2 points
    Since Jehovah's Witnesses seem to have made it a recurring event to attend the human rights conferences of the OCSE, I checked the OCSE website if they did so again this year. I found something else that I haven't heard of before: The European Association of Jehovah's Witnesses, Religious Freedom Subcommittee Based in UK and/or Belgium this Jehovah's Witnesses' committee submits statements and document to the OCSE, the UN, and others.The submissions are all about protecting the human rights, freedom of religion, and assets of Jehovah's Witnesses. It is unclear whether any official representation of Jehovah's Witnesses actually attended in person some of the meetings and conferences for which submissions or statements were submitted. They have done so in the past for OCSE conferences. A few of the documents submitted by Religious Freedom Subcommittee of The European Association of Jehovah's Witnesses: Submission to the Comittee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (20-11-2017)
      Hello guest!
    Statement for the OSCE Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting 1-2 April 2019, Vienna
      Hello guest!
      Hello guest!
    Submission to the UN Human Rights Committee (02-06-2019)
      Hello guest!
    Contribution to the Report of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (05-07-2018)
      Hello guest!
    Submission to the UN Human Rights Committee CCPR (29-04-2018)
      Hello guest!
    Contribution for the 33rd session (6-17 May 2019) of the UPR Democratic Republic of Congo
      Hello guest!
    What is the UPR? For the record: I do not deny Jehovah's Witnesses the right to stand up for their interests, and demand from governments and international organizations that human rights are protected. But it's odd that they are so fiercely opposed to political involvement, yet petition governments and ministers on regular basis. It's very odd that Jehovah's Witnesses petition the United Nations to protect their religious freedoms, and at the same time they believe the UN to be the very entity that will attack all religions.
  43. 2 points
    There are two parts to a Corporate Baptism: 1.) Dedication and public declaration of agreement of being adopted by Jehovah God, and Christ Jesus, and 2.) An oath of fealty and subservience to the Corporation's ( The "Organization" ) policies and procedures. I suspect the Watchtower Lawyers, which now dictate the nuances of our "Corporate Theology", will have to work a LOT of overtime, when this issue hits the courtroom, as respects to Corporate baptized minors, below the age of 18, when challenged on that point alone. UNless legally emancipated, they do NOT have the right to make contracts, except for food, clothing, shelter, and suchlike absolute essentials .... and CERTAINLY (to be tested in court ...) not contested fealty to a Corporation, the contract being entered into before the age of majority. I do NOT agree with JW.ORG, becoming JW.BORG .... but the Watchtower Lawyers and accountants are now running the show, and there is NOTHING... NOTHING, anybody on Earth can do about it. The Governing Body CANNOT be fired by anyone on Earth. ...and they know it!
  44. 2 points
    With Anna's help I believe you are now aware that John Redwood wrote this. He is the same man who, with his wife, told their story in the Atlantic.
      Hello guest!
  45. 2 points
    @BillyTheKid46 Exactly. Regarding what took place, the MSM has been concealing a bit of information regarding Epstein. No mention of the Sweet Heart Deal and how that turned out, let alone the fact the involvement of others. Money talks, and always will, and the money is unclean, and the money Epstein has accumulated is a mystery, but we do have an idea. But sadly, this man, who has thrown teenage girls into sexual immorality, even using said girls to recruit more because it is said he cannot get enough, will be shielded by the powers that be.
  46. 2 points
    But then again, what are pets, but entertainment for humans? I once talked with a man who hated all pets, because they served no function. I pointed out that mine were entertainers. Sometimes,....late at night ... when the house gets quiet and my five dogs and 18 chickens are sleeping, I pause for a moment and wonder ... WHAT DID YOU LEARN THAT WAS NEW AT THE 2019 "LOVE NEVER FAILS" REGIONAL CONVENTION ? ... then I might have a glass of milk, have a few cookies, and go to bed.
  47. 2 points
    Here is a picture of it:
  48. 2 points
    The Librarian

    Cherokee Legend

    Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth's rite of Passage? His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night, he is a MAN. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own. The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man! Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm. We, too, are never alone. Even when we don't know it, Jehovah, God is watching over us, Sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him. If you liked this story, pass it on. If not, you took off your blindfold before dawn. Moral of the story: Just because you can't see God, doesn't mean He is not there. "For we walk by faith, not by sight."
  49. 2 points
    The Librarian

    How To Build a House...

    A house of "Confidence" that is... What is the first thing on a house that gets destroyed in a storm? The roof. Now let's build our house, a house of Confidence, the foundation is the Christ. What are the four walls? 1st wall is Prayer. 2nd wall is Personal Study. 3rd wall is Daily Bible Reading. 4th wall is Field Service. Now let's put on the roof. The roof is our Meeting Attendance. Now that we've built our house of Confidence, here comes the storms, storms of persecution as varied as can be. Unfortunately, the first thing to go during these storms is our meeting attendance, then once that roof is gone, then one by one our "walls" start collapsing around us, and eventually our foundation, Christ is no longer a solid basis for our house of "Confidence." How did this all happen, by not protecting our roof, our Meeting Attendance. Guard it! Cherish it! Do not neglect it!
  50. 2 points
    I agree, so far, with everything else in that last post except this claim that there is nothing we can do but watch. I think that, as Witnesses, we should have faith that these problems will be completely resolved by the end of the thousand year reign. I don't think it is the responsibility of Witnesses to be climate activists, but we should be aware of the science and do our best to understand it ourselves, or find trustworthy sources to inform us on the topic. I'm sure you feel this is what you have done. It is difficult to be fully informed on our own, and this is true of most subjects. Fortunately, my son graduated with his degree in physics and he teaches physics and math. He also stays in contact with classmates (former roommates) who have already gone on to work in areas of physics that have a bearing on the topic. I still need to do a lot more work on the claims about water vapor being the only greenhouse gas that has any significance. From what I have seen so far, this has been a common claim of those who deny the consensus of climate scientists. However . . . Water vapor is a completely different kind of greenhouse gas that doesn't trap heat in the same way as methane and CO2. Besides, even though it does trap heat to some extent, it also releases it, cools it, dissipates it, and because clouds are white, it even manages to reflect a lot of solar heat back out away from the earth. There may be a lot of water vapor, but within our current atmosphere, it has surprisingly little effect on the question of why we are seeing a rise global warming and the melting of polar ice. (Except to the extent that water vapor protects us from runaway effects of those greenhouse gases that are much more efficient at trapping heat.) But I also see another point worth mentioning, I think. Climate science consensus deniers (yes, it's a prejudicial term, but you know what I mean) they have written as if this is something that climate scientists have ignored, as if it's something brand new to them that they have never factored in. I found that implication (or explicit claim in one case) to be totally without basis. So far I haven't seen any treatments of climate change by "consensus" climate scientists who have in any way ignored the actual "numbers" and effects of water vapor. But I will admit to needing a bit more of my own research on this topic.




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