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Showing content with the highest reputation on 04/05/2020 in Posts

  1. 5 points
    I think you have stated the question very well and have already implied the answers. Yes, some see it as a ritual. But it really is a ritual, just as baptism is a ritual that is not optional. Some religions also treat all wedding ceremonies and even funerals as rituals. Some have different or additional rites and rituals. For one who considers himself or herself anointed, it is like baptism: not an optional ritual. As you (and the WT said) the important thing is not to see the ritual as something more than it is. It is not a necessary part of salvation, but an opportunity for a personal and public expression of faith, just like baptism. Although it seems appropriate that members of the other sheep should joyfully celebrate such expressions of faith by the anointed, it is too solemn to be considered a celebration. It is often more solemn than some Witness funerals. There is such quiet and seriousness, that no one even seems to notice if someone, somewhere in the Hall, had partaken. Sometimes, I only notice whether all the glasses, initially filled to exactly the same height, come back to the front table with one of them having less wine in it. And then I wonder if there was a partaker, or if some sister got some wine accidentally spilled on her dress. For a time, the Watchtower made it clear that persons who were of the "other sheep" class, were not invited to the Memorial. Some time later, it was made clear that they would not partake of the emblems and they were invited to join. Sometimes (rarely) we hear the objection that the other sheep only attend in order to show that they are refusing to follow Jesus command to "Take, Eat!" and "Take. Drink!" Or even as if we are only there to physically reject the symbols of Jesus' ransom, I have answered that this is just as much a way for the other sheep to express their faith in an earthly paradise under the rule of Jesus and the 144,000 but separate from them. I have seen Memorials where the scene is "over-the-top" ritualistic when the emblems are offered and refused by the speaker. It can seem even more so where the speaker partakes, and it looks like the changing of the guard at Buckingham when a specially choreographed arrangement is made on the stage for up to 4 servers and the speaker to pass the emblems among themselves, with the speaker in the middle and a table off to each side.
  2. 4 points
    I had no doubts that we wouldn't be one of those who defied the authorities in this case. Defying the authorities because they forbid us to preach and meet because they don't agree with us is scriptural. But this of course is not the current situation, and we obey the superior authorities because they have ours and everyone else's health and best interests at heart. I wonder if any of us ever foresaw that there would be a valid reason to stop gathering together, lol. It also made me think that zoom and similar conference meetings may be used during the GT, and that those examples of meeting in the woods/attic/basement might be moot.... But I know there are ways in which such conference meetings can be potentially hijacked....so maybe it could be the woods after all...
  3. 3 points
    I have noticed many friends seem to be stressing about the acquisition of the memorial symbols during the coronavirus lockdown. There have been quite a few discussions on social media and in person. These discussions were mainly regarding the necessity for memorial symbols if such became troublesome to purchase and if no one in the household was a partaker. The elders sent out information, one of which was the 85 WT 2/1/ p. 31 "question from readers" (
      Hello guest!
    )which says in part: "On occasion, raging storms or floods have prevented a congregation, or some of its members, from meeting together as planned. In rare cases, martial law has been in effect with armed soldiers barring citizens from being out-of-doors after sunset. Other Christians have not been able to be at the congregation’s celebration because of being hospitalized or seriously ill. What can be done in such instances? While it is fitting for the whole congregation to unite for this important event, circumstances such as noted above may make that impossible. When extreme weather, a natural disaster, or the like, absolutely prevents a family or a portion of a congregation from meeting with the congregation, the isolated ones can meet and discuss Scriptural accounts such as found in Luke 22:7-23, 28-30 and; 1 Corinthians 11:20-31, as well as discussing the meaning of the occasion. Similarly, if an enforced curfew makes it impossible for a congregation to gather on the appropriate night, meeting in Congregation Book Study groups or neighborhood groups might be the best alternative, the sum of those in attendance serving as the congregation’s attendance report. A brief talk may even be given if a capable, dedicated brother is in the group. There need not be concern that no suitable emblems are available as long as no one in this emergency situation previously partook of the bread and the wine as an anointed Christian". It made me think about the whole topic a little bit more. To observe the memorial was a command by Jesus for the anointed, and as far as I am aware, there is nothing in the Bible commanding the great crowd to observe it, even as spectators. However, at the beginning, before the great crowd was identified, all were partakers. After that, the emblems kept being passed, and those who were anointed partook, and those who were not obviously didn't. Fast forward to today, in a congregation setting, even if we "know" that currently no one partakes, that can change. So while all the anointed are not sealed yet, we cannot assume, and stop passing along the emblems on the account that we think no one is anointed in our congregation. No one is asked beforehand if they are going to partake, that only becomes evident when the emblems reach them, and they eat the bread and drink the wine. That way, no one is put on the spot. Of course, on top of that, since we are one flock, and we support the anointed in everything, we observe the memorial with them, as spectators, and also to show appreciation for what Jesus did for us. But, under lockdown circumstances if we know for sure no one is going to partake in our family, then there is really no need for the emblems. That's how I see it anyway. But some prefer to have the emblems to help them visualize things better. Although we are supposed to be walking by faith, not by sight...😀 I like how our website puts it: "The purpose of the Lord’s Evening Meal is to remember Jesus, showing our gratitude for his sacrifice in our behalf. (Matthew 20:28; 1 Corinthians 11:24) The observance is not a sacrament, or a religious practice that imparts merit such as grace or the forgiveness of sins. * The Bible teaches that our sins can be forgiven, not by a religious rite, but only through faith in Jesus".—Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:1, 2.
      Hello guest!
    Unfortunately, it seems like some are viewing the memorial as some kind of religious ritual, and are even going to pass the emblems among themselves as if touching them somehow makes all the difference....Because I come from a Catholic family, I find this kind of reasoning a little disappointing... Also, I don't know if anyone has listened to the memorial talk, the brother says that Jehovah's Witnesses would risk their lives to be at the memorial. In view of all the above, isn't that statement a little far fetched? Any thoughts?
  4. 3 points
    Most of these churches that defy government quarantine restrictions do so because they see the government being opportunistic—‘never let a crisis go to waste.’ They are intensely political on the right, celebrate the Bill of Rights, and they fear that government surveillance, monitoring, restrictions will not revert to normal after the crisis has passed. To them, the crisis is the wedge to introduce permanent restriction of freedom. Some see it as a deliberate move to so decimate capitalism that all that will be left is for socialism to take the helm. A fringe of these people even think the ‘crisis’ is manufactured for exactly that purpose—to extend control and restrictive means of government over all persons. And don’t get them going about Bill Gates! None of this is so absurd to be dismissed out of hand. See how popular Bernie Sanders is, or even Elizabeth Warren. The trouble with conspiracy theories is that once a few of them turn out to be true it becomes so much easier to swallow anything coming down the pipe. I am glad that we really don’t have to worry about it. We never put our trust in human institutions, so if it turns out that there are machinations amongst them, it does not unsettle us to the degree that it unsettles people who do put full trust in human self-rule. Nor do we look to human institutions for ‘staying power.’ If they don’t go down this way, they will go down that way. All we have to do is stay loyal to God, no matter what, and let the chips fall where they may. When push comes to shove, this life is not the ‘real’ life of 1 Timothy 6:19.
  5. 2 points
    Those bunker videos were hypothetical....... but we do not know what lies in future.......this type of lockdown may become a regular feature of life with people standing in line for food. We now have curfew at night, which makes sense, because there has been some looting at night due to people not having money to buy food. Supply chains are severely disrupted and many small businesses 'killed'. So curfews could become a regular occurrence when there is shortage of food. : 6 I heard what sounded like a voice in the midst of the four living creatures say: “A quart of wheat for a de·narʹi·us and three quarts of barley for a de·narʹi·us; and do not harm the olive oil and the wine.”
  6. 2 points
    Another thought you bring up is this next idea: I'm sure the thought has occurred to some that we Witnesses have always expected an opportunity to arise when religions are "banned" or effectively put under pressure not to meet. The idea is that we Witnesses would never give in, but would risk our lives to continue on as always no matter what the authorities threatened. In the past, I have stated here that it seems quite unlikely that this scenario (up to that point at least) would really allow the Witnesses to stand very far apart from other religions, because I would expect that dozens of other religions have an apocalyptic view of themselves and are awaiting the same thing. Some of these non-JW groups actually expect this action to come from the UN, too. Also, we strongly expect that our meetings under ban would be "underground" or based on much smaller groupings, and effectively invisible to authorities. And now, with Covid-19, we see a glimpse of how many other religions react to governmental bans and restrictions on meetings. Many have defied the orders of local authorities under threat of having their doors closed and large fines imposed. Mayors are being accused of being too harsh on these restrictions because such sanctions could end up keeping the doors closed on some churches and synagogues even after the crisis is over. Yet some of these religions appear to believe that God will protect them.
  7. 2 points
    Hmmm. Do you refuse to say Hades or Tartarus as used in the Bible? What about the pagan source of the word "Amen" or even the English word "holy?"
  8. 2 points
    Sometimes, I think we go overboard in insinuating the worst for words that have lost their original meaning in modern parlance and that have become just an expression for which there doesn't seem to be a better alternative. Years ago, (maybe even for some today) it was considered bad form to use the word "fortune" or "luck" - insinuating if we used those words we were invoking or crediting the "god of luck." Which to most people would seem absurd, but not to all - "unfortunately." I was reminded of how many people were on that bandwagon (along with other so-called deep insights people had dug up) when in our weekly Bible reading, I came across Genesis 30:11: "Then Leah said: "With good fortune!" So she name him Gad." Other translations use the word "luck." Was Leah a false worshipper who believed in the god of luck? Was she being disloyal, meriting capital punishment for worshipping/invoking false deities? Or could it be that sometimes a word-is a word-is a word. And everyone knows how it is used without reading all kinds of nefarious connotations to a word that simply doesn't have a better alternative? Nowadays, to most people it means that something happens by chance as in "time and unforeseen circumstance" - (which would be an unwieldy mouthful to use casually). Sometimes we just need to lighten up.
  9. 1 point
    Trying to make a case where there is none. Mischief by conjecture....
  10. 1 point
    No- we think on those symbols and the life it presents for us. By the death of christ we receive opportunity to life everlasting - we think about the last hours of christ, his suffering and loyalty to jehovah. We do not believe as the Catholics do in transsubstatiation - that the wine supernaturally turns into real blood. So we do not find it gory....... The Israelites left slavery and were set free on passover when the passover lamb was slaughtered and blood put on doors. We were set free from everlasting death when Jesus (the passover lamb) was slaughtered.
  11. 1 point
    some suggestion: Sunday = not working day Monday = preparation for work day Tuesday = light work day Wednesday = work break day Thursday = task finishing day Friday = Celebrating the upcoming weekend day Saturday = Celebration break day .... about names for months go to Croatian calendar, normal meanings :))
      Hello guest!
  12. 1 point
    I don't know about everybody else ... especially after viewing the "bunker videos", where everybody is huddled together in someone's basement, just waiting for nondescript uniformed SWAT teams to break in, with automatic weapons ... but if it comes to that, I plan to stay at home, and be as "normal" as possible, if for no other reason than to discourage an officer who drools, has an eye twitch, and a can of gasoline.
  13. 1 point
    I think everyone was sent the same email 👍
  14. 1 point
    But in many languages even calling God, "God" is using a hybrid name developed by men. For example, the word for "God" in Spanish is Dios, which comes from Zeus. In Greek the word was Theos. dZeu-pater (God the Father) is also pronounced Jupiter. The word "holy" or "heile" in German is a not-so-thinly-veiled connection to the Sun's rays. The word Hades was the name of the Greek god of the underworld. Tartarus was a place in Greek mythology where the mythological giants were imprisoned. There are even several common Greek words that Paul used where the etymology traces directly back to the practices known from particular pagan cities. I think that a lot of people who won't use a pronunciation like "Jehovah" have no problem with people who used it outside the Watchtower publications, especially as it was used prior to say 1900. But we also have a lot of evidence that God's people pronounced the name Yaho in the century(ies) just leading up to Christianity, and therefore many likely used such a pronunciation in Jesus' day. This is probably different from its pronunciation 600 years earlier. But pronouncing the English transliterations of the Hebrew letters is also a human convention developed by man. I think it's the same principle we have to deal with in all language. Language changes over time and pronunciations will sometimes end up overlapping with mundane or pagan words, and sometimes mundane or pagan concepts will overlap with sacred words. Just my opinion, too, of course.
  15. 1 point
    Rutherford thought it was stupid. (I think Clayton Woodworth produced this while Rutherford was busy with some Flag Salute cases.)
  16. 1 point
    Thanks @JW Insider here is a snapshot of that calendar. Love the names of the months. I wonder why this never took hold?
  17. 1 point
    1935 Golden Age, and 1935 Yearbook.
      Hello guest!
    See especially page 381. The foundation for it gets wild in the preceding pages, but the math is generally correct.
  18. 1 point
    Then why do we end up with hotspots like N. Italy or Madrid where so many people get really sick and die? Surely it should be "everywhere" (approx) if that's the case. Maybe people in hotspots suffer from a higher viral load which might increase the severity of the symptoms?
  19. 1 point
    To make visualization of that easier ... Imagine yourself sitting on a front porch, and you notice a lost earthworm wiggling it's way across the concrete (or wood, as the case may be ...). Now .... imagine taking the edge of a tin can lid, and cutting it into three equal parts, so it may have friends. See?
  20. 1 point
    Nice photo. I think it would be a good idea to have an album of her contributions. Despite this is a virtual network, bonds of affection and sometimes hate 🤭 are formed...it is good to have nice memories of someone or their work
  21. 1 point
    The Librarian

    Random photo from the UK

    Not sure... I think so.... because it is one of Money Penny's old photo she would share from the UK.
  22. 1 point
    The Librarian


  23. 0 points
  24. 0 points
    Blasphemy is a death offence. It is happening daily in Pakistan. If they do not like your face or want your possessions or daughter, they accuse you of having said something against Allah or quran Pakistan is a terrible place. When Pakistanis come to western countries they do not show this extremistic face but in Pakistan - this is the rule of sharia law. In Islam it is also a death offence to preach another God. This is why one is not allowed to take in a bible to these countries where Islam is the state religion. Saudi Arabia and Iran comes to mind. The state randomly checks citizen's cell phones when they come back from foreign trips - just like in China.
  25. -1 points
    To each his own. But, I'm not referring to days of the week or months. I'm talking about the Almighty God, YHVH. There's quite a big difference, wouldn't you say? I have no intention of mocking Him, by using a hybrid name developed by men.

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