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  1. 4 points
    Wow! Is there something holding you back from saying what's really on your mind? My father and grandfather attended KM school in Pittsburgh back in the early 70's about a year apart from each other. So I would often hear them compare notes as to what Bro. Schroeder had said on a topic. Schroeder was still of the "Rutherford" school when it came to how the entire world was "inspired" of Satan, which influenced his speech about who would die at Armageddon and why we don't celebrate Christmas, Easter, etc. As part of their training, Brother Schroeder would give them questions that the "Press" might ask them, so elders could practice answers that were "cautious as serpents yet innocent as doves" so to speak. For example: Question: Do you think the Pope will be destroyed at Armageddon? This gets lots of snickers, and a few brothers willing to say, 'Of course he will be destroyed!.' So Brother Schroeder says that, well, we all know the answer, but what do we tell the Press? He recommended saying: Answer: "He'll get what he deserves!" This gets uproarious laughter, and must have been treated as if Jesus had just said "Pay back Caesar's things to Caesar." It becomes kind of a joke between my father and grandfather, so that they only needed to say: "He'll get what he deserves!" when hearing about other infamous happenings in the world (e.g., Watergate, Nixon Impeachment, US Supreme Court on Roe v. Wade, Spiro Agnew). I don't know whether Schroeder himself mentioned people with Christmas trees, but I remember being a bit taken aback that my father and grandfather even applied it for a while to people with Christmas trees, people singing Christmas carols on TV, etc., even though they started to say it in a kind of joking way, knowing that the phrase was getting old. When you mentioned that the Society knew that Christmas was wrong before 1900 but kept celebrating until the late 1920's it reminded me of this. Imagine if Armageddon had actually come in 1915, or 1918, or 1925, as they sometimes expected. In effect, my father and grandfather were saying that Rutherford and all the people in the entire Watch Tower Society would have been destroyed. I can imagine how we, as an organization, would have felt if we knew that certain people or groups who had already stopped celebrating Christmas were looking at the Watch Tower Society at the time and saying "They'll get what they deserve at Armageddon." When it comes to all this judgmental speech, here in this forum, I try to remember to test it by thinking what we would say if we were guests in a Mormon forum, or a Catholic forum. Would you, for example, go into a Mormon-centric forum right now and say that 15 million Mormons (LDS) are all inspired by Satan. (And yes they have had trouble with child sexual abuse and cover-ups.) And because a high percentage of Catholics support the Pope, would you go into a Catholic-centric forum and say that 1 billion Catholics are inspired by Satan. To me, it seems a bit over the top, even though you could probably find a near equivalent problem in the Mormon Church or the Catholic Church for every problem you see among Jehovah's Witnesses. I'm not one to tell you to stop saying whatever you want to say, as you probably feel like a good part of your life was wasted among Jehovah's Witnesses, and I'm sure this drives a lot of the "tone." I am reminded of the "tone" that Rutherford took against the clergy, especially the Catholic hierarchy, and he could rationalize that he was protecting the world from Catholicism -- just as you probably think you are trying to protect the world from Jehovah's Witnesses, or at least to protect a few other Jehovah's Witnesses from themselves.
  2. 4 points
    An example is this Satan's statement recorded here: "So he brought him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the inhabited earth in an instant of time.  Then the Devil said to him: “I will give you all this authority and their glory, because it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish." Luke 4:4-6
  3. 4 points
    Yes. Without some sort of governing arrangement—call it what you will—the Bible becomes a relic with the death of the apostles. Similar to how the constitution becomes a relic in the absence of a Supreme Court. I swear that there are some who would prefer it that way. That way they can personalize it any way they want. Don’t like this or that? Simply interpret it away—no harm done.
  4. 3 points
    @BillyTheKid46 Quote " I criticize those that think they have the right to criticize the Watchtower. " What is the Watchtower to you ? What exactly does that word Watchtower mean ? Who runs that Watchtower, who is in charge ? The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania is a non-stock, not-for-profit organization[4] headquartered in Warwick, New York. It is the main legal entity used worldwide by Jehovah's Witnesses to direct, administer and disseminate doctrines for the group and is often referred to by members of the denomination simply as "the Society". It is the parent organization of a number of Watch Tower subsidiaries, including the Watchtower Society of New York and International Bible Students Association.[5][6] The number of voting shareholders of the corporation is limited to between 300 and 500 "mature, active and faithful" male Jehovah's Witnesses.[7] About 5800 Jehovah's Witnesses provide voluntary unpaid labour, as members of a religious order, in three large Watch Tower Society facilities in New York;[8] nearly 15,000 other members of the order work at the Watch Tower Society's other facilities worldwide. Governing Body In 1976, direction of the Watch Tower Society and of the congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide came under the control of the Governing Body, reducing the power of the society's president. The society has described the change as "one of the most significant organizational readjustments in the modern-day history of Jehovah's Witnesses."[53] Following the death of Knorr in 1977, subsequent presidents of the Watch Tower Society have been Frederick W. Franz (June 1977 – December 1992); Milton G. Henschel (December 1992 – October 2000), Don A. Adams (October 2000 – 2014) and Robert Ciranko (incumbent).[50] Adams and Ciranko are considered "helpers" to the Governing Body, which retains authority over the corporations.[54] If this info is correct then the Watchtower is run by the Governing Body. So as bosses of the W/t they are responsible for lies, mistakes, failures, etc of the W/t, and the GB are responsible for lives, and deaths of many people. Your idea of using Watchtower as a cover up, does not work. The Watchtower is known as two things. 1. An Organisation / Society. 2. A magazine. Which ever you see it as it still has to be run by humans, and have leaders. Those leaders are the Governing Body. Therefore that GB are responsible for any good or bad that it produces.
  5. 3 points
    22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
  6. 3 points
    Now I was sad to see another of that generation pass away. She did however get to experience the birth pains of this world being from that generation. Gloria Vanderbilt. Too bad Anderson Cooper being gay doesn’t qualify him to see her in paradise if he doesn’t repent. But let’s stay focused on the subject. Don’t change it, just because your arguments are making no sense at all.
  7. 3 points
    Since that was not my intent but yours, its called twisting of other peoples words. The same disgusting tactic used by ?winsider and James. So, let's not pretend you didn't understand the intent. Stop embarrassing yourself. You are wrong now, in as much as you are wrong about the 8 million, that you couldn't justify with your own words.
  8. 3 points
    Here is the material for weeks of June 10-16 and June 17-23, 2019. TB Watchtower June 10-16, 2019.doc Watchtower June 10-16, 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 10-16 , 2019.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 10-16 , 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 10-16 , 2019 text only.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 10-16 , 2019 text only.pdf CBS June 10-16, 2019.doc CBS June 10-16, 2019.pdf Additional Highlights -June 10-16, 2019.doc Additional Highlights -June 10-16, 2019.pdf Watchtower June 17-23, 2019.doc Watchtower June 17-23, 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 17-23, 2019.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 17-23, 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 17-23, 2019 text only.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 17-23, 2019 text only.pdf CBS June 17-23, 2019.doc CBS June 17-23, 2019.pdf Additional Highlights -June 17-23, 2019.doc Additional Highlights -June 17-23, 2019.pdf
  9. 3 points
    In a scholarly world. There are many levels of understanding. There is no one set of rule. However, scripture does contain certain rules. This is why Jesus never became a formal rabbi with scholarly works. He didn’t need to, just like we don’t need to. Here is but a taste of the many variations. So on and so on! However, if you want to pick up the challenge of scholarly works, it will take you decades to understand something that should come natural to a true believer of Christ and God.
  10. 3 points
    I now here you were applying it. I threw myself into the lake of fire for a reason. Witnesses worldwide will need to adapt to the inevitable. There will be no safe place to call our own and a safe house of God. Faith will be the only thing left that all of us will have to comfort each other. Exact knowledge by remembering God's inspired words will once again become the oral word without the use of a Bible. If, anything we should learn from the Nazis era of imprisonment. Those brothers maintained their loyalty without a physical bible to, sometimes the very end. Therefore, let this be a test of your strength as a witness. I can handle the mockery in the same way it's given.
  11. 3 points
    Check and see what comments I have made regarding ill-advised behaviour and statements of others in the past. The offensive behaviour individuals display toward each other on forum space is for themselves to sort out generally. The parameters and guidelines are there for all to apply. Moderators can be appealed to by protagonists if they so wish, and of course moderators can intervene as they see fit. However, slanderous and offensive statements made about millions of decent people worldwide exceed the boundaries of acceptable use of this forum, be it open or closed, that is if those guidelines listed above are still in force. If they are not, then let those who made them rescind them. They have already been set.
  12. 3 points
    He is from "everlasting to everlasting" which can only happen in a universe that has no beginning, and where time happens all at once. Well I presume God created time as we know it. It is only 'as we know it' because 'man' has divided it and subdivided it, but before man started measuring it, it was happening. It's quite strange to think that before time, before Earth etc, there was God, the Word, the Angels living in another dimension.
  13. 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.
  14. 3 points
    Whenever a new version of Scripture appears that is colloquialized, paraphrased, or just plain dumbed down, the refrain is heard: “If it gets modern people to read God’s Word, it is worth it.” How far you want to take this trend is anyone’s guess. Suffice it to say that the Sinaiticus Sheepngoats pushes the boundaries as they have never been pushed before. It is an incredible find from the dry desert where it has been preserved for thousands of years. (though there are a few critics at the Whitepebble Institute who claim it has only been around two weeks and was discovered in the glove box of Harley’s car) And yet—and yet—though it takes outrageous liberties and outright manufactures a few things, it does serve to convey the basic idea of the entire Book of Galatians. Is it right to spoil the book for everyone else in the course of getting a good grasp of it yourself? Your guess is as good as mine. Anyway, here is the text of the Sinaiticus Sheepngoats edition of Galatians: Chapter 1 Dear Galatians: Hi. Remember me? It’s Paul. How are you? (1:1-5) The reason I say ‘remember me’ is because I’m not sure that you do! I can’t believe how quickly you are screwing up! Is that chair I used to sit in even cold yet? What is this about louts trying to change the whole narrative? They’re not allowed to do that! Look, even angels are not allowed to do that! (6-9) You remember what a jerk I was. Nobody made more trouble for you than me. But after God let me hear about it right there on the Damascus road and that other fellow was sent so that I could see again, I went off to Arabia for three years to think about it. (13-17) Then I came back to Jerusalem and stayed with Peter for a couple of weeks. But no one else—wait, I did see James, but none of the others. Then I went off again. What! You think I am fibbing? For years and years, had you asked those apostles about me, they would have said, “I dunno. Your guess is as good as mine. He used to be the nastiest fellow. Now it looks as though he is on our side. Cool! We’ll take it!” (18-24) Chapter 2 About 14 years later I figured that maybe I had better give those guys a call. I had Barnabas with me by then, and Titus—fine fellows. I met with them privately, of course, just in case I was not doing something—um, kosher. “You okay with this?” I said to them. “You’re not going to make Titus do that Jewish thing, are you? I don’t see any need for it.” They didn’t either! (2:1-3) It probably wouldn’t even have come up were it not for those pinheaded louts trying to drag us down, wanting us to everything Jewish that we don’t have to do anymore. We blew right past them, and it was for your sake just as much as for ours. (4-5) Okay, so I consulted with these ones—I mean, I guess they are important. I wondered if they might try to rein me in, but no!—they said, “Whatever you are doing, keep on doing it. We’ll stick with preaching to Jews, but you—I mean, Peter unlocked that door for the nations, so go for it! Just don’t ignore the poor.” Sure, I can do that. (6-10) But then Peter came calling later on and suddenly he himself goes all Jewish on me. Oh, sure, he pals around with these new Gentile Christians easy enough, but when his buddies show up, he acts like he doesn’t know them. I said, “I don’t believe it! Here you are living the free life, telling others to be like that, and then the narrow-minded fuddy duddies show up and you get all scaredy cat? (11-14) Yeah, well he’s a good sort, but he goes a little weak at the knees sometimes. You don’t have to do any of that Jewish stuff! What do you think the Lord is for? (15-21) Chapter 3 What on earth is wrong with you? How can you be so dumb? You break free but then turn around and go back because you forgot your leg irons? Are you kidding me? (3:1-5) Don’t pull this Abraham stuff on me. Wait, no. If you want to talk Abraham, let’s talk Abraham. You think he earned anything? No! He “put faith in Jehovah, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” THAT’S what you want to take away from Abraham—his faith, and how he pointed the way for other people to have faith. Not the later Law—that Law did nothing but show you up for the basket cases that you were! Did you manage to keep it? No! All you did was screw up. That’s why when Christ comes along, you are supposed to say, “Exactly what we need! Thank you, thank you, thank you. (6-11) You don’t go back to the Law again—what’s wrong with you? The Law has nothing to do with faith. Christ pulled us out of that—THAT’S what Abraham was pointing to, and you want to dive back in again? (12-14) Okay, now look—let’s take this real slow. Take notes if it will help. So Abraham gets a promise that means the Christ will come through his lineup, but how does the Law figure in? It comes 430 years later. Does it change his promise? I don’t think so. (15-18) Why the Law? It’s because you guys kept messing up, that’s why. And it was supposed to dawn on you that you DID keep messing up and that you’re never (and yes—me, too) going to come out like the champion of Jeopardy. You weren’t supposed to think that dotting all the ‘I’s and crossing all the ‘T’s would get you there—besides, you missed lots of them. (19-22) Yes, it gave you something to do and kept you off the streets. But now that the real thing has arrived, you can set down your slates. Class is over. You can join in with that promise to Abraham. (23-29) Chapter 4 It took a long time for you to get to where you are. A lot of work went into it. Don’t mess it up. (4:1-8) You had real freedom. I mean, real freedom in Christ. And now you want to become law nerds again and focus on dotting ‘I’s and crossing ‘T’s? Really? What! Do I have a death wish or something? What am I doing this for? (9-11) Remember the good times we used to have? Remember how you used to loan me your specs? You didn’t then stick out your foot to trip me up. What’s gotten into you? (12-16) Do you think that these pinheaded louts are your friends? They just want to be your bosses. “Meet the new boss—same as the old boss.” (17-20) Go back to Abraham, you law nerds, and take a point. Two women, remember? One a concubine, one a wife. Hagar gave birth first because Sarah thought she was too old to have a child. No mystery about how Hagar conceived. You see it all the time on TV. But Sarah! THAT’S where God’s promise came in, and she didn’t even believe herself it could happen until it did! The two women stand for two groups of people. Hagar, the one of ordinary birth, is mother to the ones of Law (that you want go back to!) Sarah, the one of the promise, is mother to the ones putting their faith in Christ. (21-28) The Hagar kid made trouble for the Sarah kid back then. It’s the same today with these pinheaded louts trying to force their Law on you. But what does the verse say? “Take this Law and shove it! I ain’t workin here no more!” Keep it that way! (29-31) Chapter 5 You are free from slavery. Don’t go back to it. Or if you do, you’d better not miss a single one of those ‘I’s or ‘T’s. (5:1-6) You were doing so well. Who tripped you up? Who made you think you need circumcision? It ain’t me, babe. Those Jews would give me a free pass if they thought I was turning Christianity into just one of their outposts. “Just you wait, enry iggins”—they’ll get theirs. (7-11) In fact, I have half a mind to come and kick them in the nuts so hard that they won’t qualify to serve in the temple that they want to drag you into! (12) No, brothers, don’t go there. Just don’t. You don’t need their picayune Law. It all boils down to love anyway—that is the greatest part of it—so if you get you head around that, you’ll do just fine. You start nitpicking at each other over every pissy little thing and you’ll tear each other apart! (13-18) Don’t do bad things. Do good things. What do you mean, ‘What bad things?’ “No back-biting, no ass-grabbing, you know exactly what I mean!” [thank you, Randy Neuman] It shouldn’t be hard, if you really are following the Christ. Do the best you can, and don’t go thinking that you are better than the other guy. (19-26) Chapter 6 Okay, let’s wrap this up. Don’t be babies—man up, but pull each other out of the crud when you have to (be sure you don’t fall in yourself). (6:1-5) Don’t try to Play around with God. You can’t. Keep on keeping on—it will all pay off. Lend a hand where needed. (6-10) See the large letters I make, all by myself with my own hand? Why? Because I am blind as a bat—that’s why. I dunno—it comes and goes. That’s why I insulted that pompous character before I knew he was the high priest. I asked God to take it away, but he said, “Nah, it keeps you humble.” And it has. It’s not an altogether bad thing to have a thorn in the flesh. (11) Now, remember—they are pinheaded louts trying to lay their Law on you. And why? They’re just chicken themselves—like Peter might have been, but he saw where he was heading and corrected himself. They don’t want to stand out among their cronies, and they want to find strength in numbers by having you do what they do—it will hide their cowardice. What! You think they do the Law themselves? No way! They just want to do some back-stabbing and ass-grabbing themselves and then throw in a gerbil or something for sacrifice to make it all good again. Come on! Please—you are too smart not to see through them. (12-16) I’ve suffered for carrying the good news of the Christ. So have you. Don’t turn back to be a law nerd again. Press on ahead. God will back you. So will Christ. (17-18) *** What a bunch of idiots there at the Whitepebble Institute—tossing this amazing new manuscript in the dumpster! The place has gone right downhill ever since the director, Wayne Whitepebble, took a course on critical thinking and tried to kiss up to the evolutionists by adding an ancient skull to his library alongside the globe and old maps because he heard that is what smart people do but then it turned out that his ancient skull was actually missing evidence in the Mugsy McDougal ax murder case and he got into serious hot water with the authorities. Plainly, this new find belongs in the Bible canon.
  15. 3 points
    Genetics works EXACTLY the same way for all living things. The wider and deeper the gene pool, the better the quality of ALL DNA based life forms. What CTR said is certainly politically incorrect by today's Snowflake Standards, but I, after carefully reading these words, would have to totally agree with them, as being incontrovertibly true. My first wife and her sister and a brother were born with Cystic Fibrosis, a truly awful death guaranteed, where every day, you die a little bit at a time, until you can no longer breathe, and after years of painful torment, are released , usually with a heart attack from the struggle, before age 30. I have my own set of problems, but she died in 1982. ( ...LOoooong story ...). We decided to NOT have children. Too high of a risk to future generations. Genetically, with my "problems". I was of inferior genetic stock, and she was of inferior genetic stock, Like soup stock, you get out of it what you out into it, and neither one of us wanted those genes continued. I am ONLY talking about genetics ... not intrinsic value, here. By the way ... this disease, Cystic Fibrosis is EXCLUSIVE to marshmallow white Caucasians. So I thought about this a great deal, and learned basic genetics, as all I knew was from reading Robert A. Heinlein books, such as "Methuselah's Children", and "Time Enough for Love" .... and went searching for a woman that had a little bit of EVERYTHING in her genetic makeup. I found one in Peru ..... Caucasian, Spanish, Peruvian Indian, Negro, etc. It worked EXACTLY as I anticipated, and my three children are POWERHOUSES, any way you want to measure it. Also as an added plus!, they have a "built in", year around permanent tan, that I have tried to get, but with fading results. I suspect they are embarrassed to be seen with me, as I cannot compete. Genetics works EXACTLY the same way for horses, mosquitoes, vegetables, fruits, dogs and cats .... AND HUMANS. It is ARROGANCE to think that past genetic "encounters" do not affect peoples, nations, and races in a progressive manner with multiplying effects. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? IT MEANS OVER TIME, IT'S CUMULATIVE ....sigh ..... if only the stupid would JUST be smart enough to not breed. Jehovah gave a LOT of attention and instruction to the Jews ... even ordered them to go far afield to Assemblies of HIS people (not any others),, where presumably young men and women would meet others from a widely diverse gene pool. If you have the opportunity to swim in the gene pool .... you get better results if you do not swim in the shallow end ... or more to the point ... your PARENTS did not.
  16. 3 points
    Inside WTJWRG Institution one thing is of crucial importance. Who are those people who have authorization to govern, rule, lead this organization and people who are members/believers? Who are those people who represent JHVH and Jesus and their Will? In this WT article authors tried to explain history of this.
      Hello guest!
    Why this article is interesting (again) in connection to topic? Here is some quotes from pages of this article: CAN YOU EXPLAIN? In the first century and today, how have those taking the lead among God’s people been . . . empowered by holy spirit? assisted by angels? guided by God’s Word? .... Jesus had given his followers a commission: “You will be witnesses of me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the most distant part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) How could they possibly complete that assignment? True, Jesus had assured them that they would soon receive holy spirit. (Acts 1:5) Still, an international preaching campaign required direction and organization. To direct and organize his people in ancient times, Jehovah used visible representatives. Famous paragraph 12: The Governing Body is neither inspired nor infallible. As we can see from box in WT magazine under question Can you explain? author AVOID to use direct word "Inspired" and instead this explicit sort of spirit manifestation as it is commonly viewed while reading Bible (for example, to write holy scriptures, to tell something as prophecy or command from God, to heal the sick....etc) author put word - empowered by HS. And now author give factual example from 1 century: Holy spirit was poured out on all anointed Christians, but it specifically enabled the apostles and other elders in Jerusalem to fulfill their role as overseers. For example, in 49 C.E., holy spirit guided the governing body to make a decision regarding the issue of circumcision. Author highlights 2 things. First is ROLE of OVERSEEING. And second is about MAKING DECISIONS. In contrast or continuation to this 1 century example, author of article later emphasized this: In 1919, three years after Brother Russell’s death, Jesus appointed “the faithful and discreet slave.” For what purpose? To give his domestics “food at the proper time.” (Matt. 24:45)...... Evidence of holy spirit. The holy spirit has helped the Governing Body to grasp Scriptural truths not previously understood. For example, reflect on the list of beliefs clarified that was referred to in the preceding paragraph. Surely, no human deserves credit for discovering and explaining these “deep things of God”! (Read 1 Corinthians 2:10.) Here we have just statements of author who firmly say that FDS aka GB been appointed by Jesus in 1919. But another thing is something what call on more alarm. As Evidence of holy spirit is, situation when this Body grasp something as Truth under holy spirit helping or empowering. In this explanation one thing is very questionable and somehow danger. In period from 1919 (we shall not talking about 1 century GB or about Angel Assistance today) this entity who "share" food under title: Bible Truth, with supposed help of holy spirit, in fact they had spread "Fake Truths", they later changed into "Real Truths". Some doctrines they produced in few steps as yes-no-yes ... truths. Here we comes to possible conclusion how reason for that errors, according to this article, was not in Human Representatives of Jesus here on Earth. No, reason and cause for that is in holy spirit who has "empowered" them in that confusing way and direction. Because other two elements in this equation (assisted by angels + guided by God’s Word) was not been sufficient and powerful enough to correct wrong direction made by empowering influence of holy spirit. :)))) Here we see how "blame" for errors and imperfect food can be found in the same reasons why food can be good and eatable too, after some period of time (in refrigerator :))), of course. The way how this article try to prove the credibility of GB for task of sharing the food, becomes nonsensical. But, pay attention to this: empowered = having the official authority or freedom to do something
      Hello guest!
    having the knowledge, confidence, means, or ability to do things or make decisions for oneself
      Hello guest!
    Here we see how this definition changed our view on issue and article. Why they used word EMPOWERED in connection to spiritual food? In fact, according to Dictionaries, WT magazine talk about Power of GB Over People. Here it is not ISSUE about Food Quality, Truth or Lie, Perfection or Imperfection. IT IS ALL ABOUT CONTROL.
  17. 3 points
    First of all, I should repeat that I have deep respect for the elders who call themselves the "Governing Body" because they have taken the lead in speaking and teaching. They are worthy of "double honor" for their hard work and the heavy responsibility they have taken upon themselves. Granted that this does not excuse them from false teachings and doing nothing about traditional false teachings from the past. Nor does it excuse them for not doing enough to expose the potential gravity and extent of child sexual abuse and child physical abuse. I'm not trying to divert this topic to the specifics of any other issues of doctrines and procedures. I know you'll disagree, but this is just to explain my own view. It's just that I wanted you to know that I think these particular elders, who call themselves a Governing Body, have put themselves in a unique and valuable position for the overall benefit of congregations worldwide. They have years of experience studying, speaking, and teaching on Bible topics. They are in a position to discuss certain difficult doctrinal issues with others who have years of experience studying the Bible. The size of this group of elders focusing on the study of the Bible for teaching purposes is kept manageable for purposes of efficient discussion and decision making (8 or so persons). There is always a ready "crew" of persons who can help handle related issues of logistics or issues of lesser importance. There is always a ready "crew" of persons who can help research issues, handle their incoming and outgoing communications, translation printing, etc. They are in a position to hear questions and concerns about current doctrines and procedures that could potentially come from all over the world. They have years of experience working with various congregations. They have years of experience traveling to congregations in various places in the world to be aware of various customs and practices that differ from their own. They have a mindset that makes them want to imitate the serious responsibility that the early Christian apostles had when they devote themselves to prayer and teaching. They have the ability to respond to questions and issues very quickly and consistently in a way that the entire world of congregations can benefit from. Of course, this is fraught with all kinds of dangers and potential abuse. Or a small mistake can quickly turn into a large one. Things that are legal and expected in one country might get the congregations in trouble in another country, for example. There are other things, of course, but these ones are important to me. Surely you would think that in any church or congregation there might be a need for organization and leadership. Agreeing on meeting times, topics to speak about, topics for Bible study, activities, care for the building, what to do with contributions, and even issues of who might join the church, who might need to be dismissed from the church, who might need counsel or adjustment, who might have special needs the church can take care of, etc., etc. Most people would have no problem with this on a local church-by-church basis. But here we have tens of thousands of these congregations all around the world, and all of them are happy to teach exactly the same message. A group of elders who are deemed capable of handling this bigger responsibility is, in essence, no different than the local congregations. It's just that some of their functions will necessarily carry even greater responsibility. This might be true. But it can also just be a logistical problem. Remember how Moses handled the millions in a single "congregation" that began draining his time and energy. He ended up appointing a "hierarchy of command" similar to any large army or large business corporation, so that concerns could be handled more efficiently. Also, on a personal level, while at Bethel I sat at meetings with as many as 5 GB members at the same congregation meeting. While visiting Warwick several months ago, I sat in a meeting with 2 members of the GB and 3 GB "Helpers" (and the wife of a deceased GB member, Sydlik). I could have gone up to any one of them after the meeting to ask questions. In fact, I did. I asked Brother Morris, "How are you?" Anyway, in my opinion, the Governing Body provides a practical committee of elders handling issues that elders should handle. The difference being that they handle issues that come in from the worldwide congregation. As long as all the persons who listen to them are willing to question and critique the doctrines and processes, as all Christians have a duty to do, then there is nothing wrong with having a "Governing Body." (You might know that we are not the only religion that happens to call such a committee of "church decision-makers" a "Governing Body.") That might not be the best phrase, but it's clear that the congregations generally agree that it's appropriate to have such a group. I personally don't agree that any such group should make a claim that they are THE faithful and discreet slave prophesied to come into existence at a proper time beginning in 1919. It's indiscreet and unfaithful to the teachings of the scriptures to accept them in that specific capacity. I'm sure they are making a mistake in that regard, but again, this is just my own opinion. It doesn't stop me from accepting and respecting 98.6 percent of what is published by them.
  18. 2 points
    By the way, Billy, are you and Foreigner the same person ? I notice he or she never makes any comments, and downvotes everything everybody else says, EXCEPT YOU, You get an upvote! ....sort of like getting a Telly Award and not having to pay $85 for it. This will be a good test of your basic integrity, as there are several people here ( not me ) who can determine from your Internet Cyber trail exactly where both logins are coming from, and even your operating system and Browser. They ALREADY have all that information. You going to weasel out of this honest, straightforward, and pertinent question .... ..... or reply with an honest YES or NO answer?
  19. 2 points
    There's a level. That's why I use Watchtower instead of the Org. I don't insult God to cause him grief that he has great feeling for. That's the difference between honoring the name of God, and dishonoring the name of God in an argument. This forum is built on an insult. I just try very hard not to get sucked in to cause more grief that he already is enduring. You might not care about God's feelings but I do. So, lets just leave it at that! Ephesians 4:30 A directive from Christ, that opposer's don't seem to care or take into consideration. That's why the latter comment of yours serves as a purpose to dwell in the light not in darkness. You keep applying scripture in the dark. That's why let me know when Jesus "wasn't" criticized, and when the apostles "didn't" err in front of Jesus. You probably didn't get it the first time. I criticize those that think they have the right to criticize the Watchtower. If you do that in a daily basis, then why should I be any different.
  20. 2 points
    When, did the Watchtower specifically state Armageddon would accrue on those years? Now I've read Anna's and ?Winsider's false claims. Are you willing to support their false view? I would have agreed with TOM until he decided to "endorse" and uneducated view of flip-flop view from opposers, that he himself has done in many accusations, just doesn't seem to contrast his argument.
  21. 2 points
    No! I understand, you are desperately trying to capitalize on a selected phrase, and beat it to death like your clumsy attempt was for my avatar. A piranha has to eat. Just know it doesn’t work with me, and you're beating that bush relentlessly without intellectual insight is just more proof neanderthals couldn't have lived with dinosaurs. Much less think of forming script. It might work with dense people like James and John, just not with me. 🤗
  22. 2 points
    For example: Virtually unique to Jehovah’s Witnesses is the idea that when the person dies, the soul dies, for the two terms are synonymous. The dead are non-existent, pending future resurrection. Failing to recognize this leads to teachings that God ‘takes’ people, even children, for his ‘heavenly garden.’ It is a non-comforting slander against Him that may have tripped up even Darwin. Imagine how history might have played out differently had he been exposed to religious truth and not error.
      Hello guest!
  23. 2 points
    ....and anytime there is NEW LIGHT, it shows the GB DID NOT UNDERSTAND SCRIPTURE. ..... except in Billy-Think ... where you can have it BOTH ways at the same time. ... and a MILLION weasel words will not change that.
  24. 2 points
    For who? This all conversation is about GB statement; We are not inspired, Our study on Bible is not inspired, Our articles are not inspired. We can err. Than ... How they could/will be leaded, guided, learned by God and/or by his Spirit if even little piece, little measure of spirit through Inspiration was not/are not "shadow" them? If they not receiving Inspiration from God...All their hard spiritual work is of human source, and result of human inspiration. Or we can go to use this logic. If 20%, 10% or 5% of teachings in WTJWORG is indisputable truth, reason for that is because holy spirit revealed that truth to this human. Revelation comes through Inspiration, i guess. Or, somebody can give other perspective?! If 80%, 90% or 95% of teachings in WTJWORG is harmful chatter, reason for that is .....:)))) we all know the answer, or at least can give a assumption. :))
  25. 2 points
    Yes, well, there is a difference with what you consider selective to a universal truth. My intent with witness was with the ignorance of Bible knowledge. However, come to think of it, it can also apply to you and ?winsider. The selection to distort someone else’s intent was therefore given by you and John about a group NOT mentioned by any universal standard. That’s the opinion of James, John, Anna, Comfortmypeople aka Anna, ?winsider, Srecko, witness and soon to be Tom’s, not mine. Therefore, heed your own words, and stop embarrassing yourself with this attempt to clean up your mess. Romans 10:14-21 New International Version (NIV) 14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” 16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. 18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” 19 Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, “I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.” 20 And Isaiah boldly says, “I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.” 21 But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”
  26. 2 points
    It's quite clear from your words that they are INTENDED to apply only to your agenda. If all four legged animals are horses ... then a cow must, by your logic, be a vegetable. Your Billy-think is fully evidenced by calling JW Insider "?winsider", and thinking his screen name is an affront against God. Using that same logic, Jehovah's last name is .ORG.
  27. 2 points
    I just used your own words Billy. I haven't twisted them, just quoted them. They are your own words Billy. Not understanding scripture is no excuse before God
  28. 2 points
    justice, mercy, love, humility, etc. This beautiful things you mentioned ... for sure are something that is effect, output (or in Bible terminology Fruit of Spirit) of Inspiration made by Spirit on Human. And also it is something that can Inspire people around you or around somebody who shine with this beautiful wealth/richness. And as i mentioned before, we can look, I am looking, on this in two way. One is: Divine Inspiration in Direct way and in Real time moment made by Power Above. Another is: Divine Inspiration that already Existing in us, in our blood in our cells, from long time ago and waiting for our permission, our will, the right moment of our readiness in our deep soul, to be expressed and to be seen on day light.
  29. 2 points
    Encourage is intended to be a broad term. But it is not separate from "Religious Matters." We humans often tend to be foolish and think that turning doctrines into some philosophical/exegetical exercise is somehow more important to Jehovah than justice, mercy, love, humility, etc. The specifics of certain complex teachings or prophetic interpretations are far down on the list of what is important. For the most part those things are not even "religious." As James said: "True religion means looking after orphans and widows in their troubles, and not being like the rest of the world." (James 1:27 - paraphrase) (1 Corinthians 12:29-13:9) . . .Not all are apostles, are they? Not all are prophets, are they? Not all are teachers, are they? Not all perform powerful works, do they? 30 Not all have gifts of healings, do they? Not all speak in tongues, do they? Not all are interpreters, are they? 31 But keep striving for the greater gifts. And yet I will show you a surpassing way. 13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels but do not have love, I have become a clanging gong or a clashing cymbal. 2 And if I have the gift of prophecy and understand all the sacred secrets and all knowledge, and if I have all the faith so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my belongings to feed others, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I do not benefit at all. 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous. It does not brag, does not get puffed up, 5 does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury. 6 It does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails. But if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away with; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away with.
  30. 2 points
    Isn't this a contradiction of your own words, since your assumption is that 8 million people, referring to all within the organization. So which is it? The sense in sensibility or a contradiction of ones own words. The same antithetical confusion displayed by a former Bethel member. Say something good, then hit them with a factual lie? 😉 But, continue, keep explaining your wisdom. Maybe witness can IM you to an apostate site that person endorses as a conflicted anointed person that makes no sense too even God. 😁
  31. 2 points
    Explain, how God has exalted YOU to a position of great responsibility, that YOU will ultimately be judged by God more severely for leading people astray, by making your own definitive claim of superiority and righteousness over everyone else on this forum...that God Himself has not granted YOU by your own actions and behavior. Please. Enlighten me on this marvel. You can live with Watchtower's sins. Many of us cannot. Don’t envy the evil or desire to be with them, for their hearts plan violence, and their words stir up trouble. Prov 24:1
  32. 2 points
    I agree (somewhat). I have no interest whatsoever in attacking people I will never meet, and soon, like all of us ... toooooo soon we will all be dead, and the words we type will evaporate forever. However, when I get hit on the shoulder and a grenade falls into my lap (figuratively speaking), I pick it up and toss it back where it came from. Most of the time the "sender" forgot to pull the pin, but I consider the evil intent, so I pull the pin, and send it back. The amount of lies told about me, and things I have been accused of need to be addressed, AND ANY LIAR AND SLANDERER THOROUGHLY EXPOSED ... which I have done. Common, ordinary self defense. It's an exceptional person who can be hit on the head with a hammer, and reply "OH RANDOM FLUCTUATIONS IN THE SPACETIME CONTINUUM !". However, it does not bother me in the least, as the corrosive interactions merely strip away the veneer of fantasy we all tend to accumulate. Now THAT'S entertainment! Too many rules, and it gets as dull as a cardboard knife.
  33. 2 points
    The short answer, Neither! You are looking at the condition by human emotion not through ecclesiastical insight! What is the greater part of, eschatology. No one needs to prove which church holds the greater good by first Christian standards. By and large, the percentage of the overall good is sought after. The first Christian congregations were far from being perfect. The original Israelite's were far from being perfect. But, God gave his approval with confidence to whom? There needs to be a righteous balance. Human condition cannot be at the forefront since we are all imperfect. You are showing God, you don't have confidence in him to make judgment calls on earth. Do you really want to exercise your freewill that way?
  34. 2 points
    Forgive him for he knows not what he does! 🤗 Far be it that an author would have to think for himself. 😀
  35. 2 points
      Hello guest!
    Is Christendom the Antitypical Jerusalem? In the past, our literature has referred to Christendom as the antitype of apostate Jerusalem. The conditions in unfaithful Jerusalem—including idolatry and widespread corruption—certainly remind us of what is happening in Christendom. However, in recent years our publications, including the one you are now reading, have not taken the type-antitype approach to prophecy except where the Bible provides a clear basis for doing so. Is there a solid Scriptural basis for referring to Christendom as the antitypical Jerusalem? No. Consider the following: Jerusalem was at one time a center of pure worship; later, its inhabitants turned apostate. By contrast, Christendom has never practiced pure worship. Right from its inception in the fourth century C.E., Christendom has always taught false doctrine. In addition, after Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians, Jehovah restored the city to his favor and it again became the center of true worship. Christendom, on the other hand, has never had God’s favor, and once it is destroyed during the great tribulation, it will never rise again. In view of the foregoing, what may we conclude? When we examine Bible prophecies that were fulfilled on unfaithful Jerusalem, we may say, ‘This or that reminds us of what we see in Christendom today.’ But there appears to be no Scriptural basis for referring to Christendom as the antitypical Jerusalem. First, perhaps is about Lexicon, Vocabulary in JW Culture. When JW Church and members talking about "Christendom" they refer firstly or mostly to Roman Catholic Church and all Churches and Denominations that believe In Jesus Christ...but in wrong, false and idolatrous way. But JW consider themselves to be Christians too, but not part of "Christendom" (by this they quote can be consider as Christendom. "....we are Christians who do our best to follow the example set by Jesus Christ and to live by his teachings." -
      Hello guest!
    Why this linguistic distinction is so important to JW? To be, sometimes, called with name "Christians" but want to run miles away from word "Christendom"? Christendom -
      Hello guest!
    noun - English Language Learners Definition of Christendom : people who are Christians : the part of the world where most people are Christians But another thing is of bigger importance. Do you remember how many articles and books and magazines taught you all, over such long period of decades, on so many meetings and congregations baked up with so many Bible verses and Study paragraphs about who is Jerusalem and who is Christendom and all that stuff??!! And now they figured up, they rowed deep, Under Spirit Motivation and Guidance, to tell you how Now there is No Single One Solid Scriptural Basis to believe in that teaching, doctrine, dogma! Do You really believe how Church Leaders and Guardians of Doctrine in WTJWORG know what they are talking about , as those who watch for your souls?!
  36. 2 points
    Come on! You can do better than that! When I say it, it means behind the keyboard and in real life. I won’t tell you my stories, but when it comes to leading a sheltered life like many ex-witnesses suggest with brainwashing, they would be completely “wrong” with me and the life I have lead. South Korean, Russian, nor Venezuelan witnesses could be in my level. This is why, if you’re going to say 8 million are in league with the devil for following god’s words through the Watchtower? Then you have to believe there are over 8 billion in the same league. That includes us all here. Fair enough on the assumption? Just don’t include the animal kingdom, and ancient aliens.
  37. 2 points
    It is very significant that numbers 6 and 66 are numbers in relation to Bible. Because Bible said how 6, 66 and 666 are numbers in context to something evil, something that is in opposition to God. Who inspired or what inspired people who put 66 letters, books as parts of Bible? The Catholic Bible has 73 Books. (7 more than the Protestant Bible) The Protestant Bible has 66 Books. GB decide to accept Protestant Bible. Were GB inspired, sorry, i mean - were GB guided by spirit in this decision?
  38. 2 points
    Sad to say, I agree with you here. @Outta Here just, like Anna, JWinsider, TOM have the ability to intellectually criticize the Watchtower all they want in private in the JW only forum without any offensive subject matter unless they allow James in on it. 😉
  39. 2 points
    The point to look at is the percentage of the Unchurch versus the traditional church that will be superseded by 2020. The Unchurch is not atheism more so than rejecting traditional religion. A danger with that, Gay rights are included. The fast growing opposition to traditional church doctrine. Even in Russia, legislation is going on, on how to deal with YOGA as a pathway to homosexuality. Another scathing rebuke by the Orthodox Church against the LGBT community in Russia, through the government. Therefore, the support of traditional religion through Bible Principles is no longer in good standing for that type of Christian. While traditional churches voice greater concern for these people that reject in principle scripture as a dead and archaic mythology, it emboldens the devil to enter into the hearts of the conflicted much as the innocence of EVE. From that point on, it will all go downhill fast, until the traditional church begins a stringent prosecution from the masses? Trump is actually helping the cause of the Unchurch. When he wins re-election, he will have sunken the US to a point of no return. More power to him. Therefore, when did the distress of birth pangs begin Matthew 24:8, and what interesting event will be in 202* What I find interesting, is the testimony of members from other religions. I Am a Church Member 2013 Michael and his wife had noticed some changes in the demeanor of Liam in their Bible study group. “Lana and I have decided to leave the church.” The pause seemed to last minutes. Neither of the men seemed to know who should speak next. Michael took the initiative and spoke softly and deliberately. “You want to tell me about it?” Michael inquired. He honestly didn’t know if Liam wanted to say anymore about it. His friend seemed resolute. Nevertheless, Liam began to explain his feelings and decision. “Lana and I went to the church to learn deep truths about the Bible,” Liam offered. “But Pastor Robert is just not feeding us… “But, honestly, Michael, our church is full of hypocrites. Did you hear Jim at the kids’ basketball game? He embarrassed me the way he was screaming at the refs. What kind of testimony is that for a Christian? And of course, everyone knows about Neal. He was supposedly this pillar of the church, and we find out he’s been cheating on his wife for over a year. What kind of church is this with these kinds of people?” Page 24-25 I also finished reading yet another ex-witness book published this year. I wish these people would find something new instead of the same old thing. Shunning, Disfellowship, 1914, Blah! Blah! Blah!
  40. 2 points
    By the way James, before you get your "I have stricken" this part of my statement since it was considered offensive by @Outta Here because of my comment. The intent was behavior. Therefore, I will revise it to " little school girl" 😉 (JAMES) that needs to reject scripture at every turn" to once again signal what I'm choking on again, I'm referring to NOT accepting Biblical interpretation about bad association that you reject, and apostasy that you accept by your friends here that are in need of, serious intervention.
  41. 2 points
    What does this comment have to do with Charles Taze Russell, when it is written in scripture? The word inspired is being incorrectly used. Inspiration comes from the Holy Spirit. That in effect brings people into action. Jesus motivation was to inspire people to once again follow in the path of God, as the ancients did. Therefore, his inspiration was a positive course of action. Can people be inspired to do the devils work? Certainly! You only need to see the comments here, and the distortions of scripture to see the negative course of action.
      Hello guest!
      Hello guest!
      Hello guest!
    The Canon of Scripture by F. F. Bruce 1988 The earliest Christians did not trouble themselves about criteria of canonicity; they would not have readily understood the expression. They accepted the Old Testament scriptures as they had received them: the authority of those scriptures was sufficiently ratified by the teaching and example of the Lord and his apostles. The teaching and example of the Lord and his apostles. The teaching and example of the Lord and his apostles, whether conveyed by word of mouth or in writing, had axiomatic authority for them. Page 576 That Christendom has accepted as a “core” doctrine. Therefore, what does this have to do with the Watchtower? Are you suggesting the Watchtower is misappropriating a core doctrine written in scripture? 2 Timothy 3:16-17 New King James Version (NKJV) 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for [a]instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 New English Translation (NET Bible) 16 Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Amplified Bible (AMP) 16 All Scripture is God-breathed [given by divine inspiration] and is profitable for instruction, for conviction [of sin], for correction [of error and restoration to obedience], for training in righteousness [learning to live in conformity to God’s will, both publicly and privately—behaving honorably with personal integrity and moral courage]; 17 so that the [a]man of God may be complete and proficient, outfitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work. If the word “inspiration” is going to be argued as a subjective word, then the term CANON would need to be considered. It would also conclude those in objection to this are clearly undermining God and his inspired words. Meaning, God has no right and legitimacy to his CANON, the Bible. Where does that put a Christian before God? This is a plain dissension to Bible understanding. Just like James said. If the devil tells you the truth, as the father of all lies John 8:44, it is up to a true Christian to accept or reject what will clearly be a divine distortion of truth as it was with EVE.
  42. 2 points
    I am just doing this from memory, but if memory serves ... Satan was cast down to the VICINITY of the Earth. Jehovah does not live in this Universe, current best guess being about 30 billion light years in diameter, and expanding. Simply put ... Jehovah lives in a non-"arrow of time" Universe on the "other side" of the Big Bang. He is from "everlasting to everlasting" which can only happen in a universe that has no beginning, and where time happens all at once. That means that "Earth" is to be thought of as "dirt", or physical things, as found on a Periodic Table, not the planet. EVERYTHING you see in the night sky, and everything that can be seen, is "Earth", where we do or someday MIGHT live. Jehovah lives in "Heaven", which has a completely different set of physics. Time operates completely different on the other side of the "Big Bang". OTHERWISE ... Jehovah had a beginning. A good thought experiment is this: If mankind had bases on Jupiter's moons, or had mining operations in the Asteroid Belt ... would they be out of Satan's sphere of influence? Obviously not ... and mankind has already been to the Moon, many times, and we have about 9 robots running around on Mars. Notice I base these arguments on reason and logic, and solid reality .... in order not to get into a "dueling banjos/dueling scriptures" scenario where a rebuttal would tour the Multiverses, but not address what is actually being said, here by me.
  43. 2 points
    JW Insider

    Isn't this an idol?

    I get it. To be born again, you first have to dye. Of course, being born again is being born (one time) PLUS being born (a second time), or "BORN + BORN," not to be born SQUARED, which is "BORN x BORN." Then again, I think Jesus said the sons of darkness are better at math than the sons of light. Or something like that.
  44. 2 points
    More importantly, what actually does the word "brazen" mean? It is a translation of the Greek word "ἀσέλγεια - aslegia" which literally appears to mean: in-continent. (ἀ-σέλγεια) Various English definitions are submitted "unbridled lust, excess, licentiousness, lasciviousness, wantonness, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence" The word "brazen" has been dictionary defined as: "bold, shameless, as bold as brass, brazen-faced, forward, presumptuous, brash, immodest, unashamed, unabashed, unembarrassed, unblushing; defiant, impudent, insolent, impertinent, cheeky, pert; barefaced, blatant, flagrant, undisguised” The Cambridge Dictionary describes the American usage of the word “brazen” as an adjective, used: “(of something bad) done without trying to hide it:” So it is a word referring mainly to the attitude of someone engaging in serious wrong conduct , frequently, but not exclusively, in the context of improper sexual behaviour. In Watchtower publications “brazen” has been defined as being: “From the Greek a·selʹgei·a, a phrase pertaining to acts that are serious violations of God’s laws and that reflect a brazen or boldly contemptuous attitude; a spirit that betrays disrespect or even contempt for authority, laws, and standards. The expression does not refer to wrong conduct of a minor nature.—Ga 5:19; 2Pe 2:7.” Is there really a problem in understanding how the word "brazen" should be understood in the context of human behaviour?
  45. 2 points
    I agree 100 percent with everything you said up to this point, and then, of course, I paused a bit at this statement. I expect that it should apply to me as well as others. This was a powerful bit of counsel, and I'm re-evaluating my own position on what Paul is saying in Galatians and the letters to the Corinthians. The details of that re-evaluation will be based on the specifics in Anna's posts, which I'll get to as time permits. I'd like to respond to this, but it's probably too soon, as I might end up taking back my current understanding. In that event, I apologize in advance, to any who were (or would be) unduly influenced by my own opinions and understandings. Of course, I would still like to say a little about what I think you are saying here. I don't think Paul had disdain for those taking the lead. He had a disdain, or worse (condemnation and "curses") for anyone who interfered with persons who had accepted the "good news." (Matthew 18:5-6, Jesus expressed a "millstone curse" for the same reason.) But this was not a general or continued "disdain" that held a grudge or couldn't forgive when he looked at the overall picture. I assume that Paul did not continue to consider Peter or James as stumbling blocks to the ministry after things began cleared up during the transitional time between Acts 15 and Acts 21. (Jesus didn't permanently call Peter, Satan, when he was a stumbling block.) I assume Paul is speaking to the Galatians this way, because the Acts 15 meeting had already happened and yet the Galatians evidently still BELIEVE (for some reason) that there was authority (from somewhere) for demanding adherence to Jewish law that somehow overrode the message that Paul had already taught them. Paul gives the Galatians an earlier example of this same problem on the same issue (where circumcision was the central issue, but by extension it must have also meant adherence to Jewish law and practice. See Galatians 5:2,3). In this earlier example the problem was focused, he says, on certain men from James, who caused Peter be afraid of the circumcised class, and who influenced Peter and Barnabas, so that Paul called them out on their hypocrisy. Paul told Peter face to face that he "stood condemned." (see NWT footnote or Greek Interlinear.) This appears to follow up on Paul's earlier words that anyone who declares as good news something beyond which they had accepted should stand "accursed." (Galatians 2:11, 12) 11 However, when Ceʹphas came to Antioch, I resisted him face-to-face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men from James arrived, he used to eat with people of the nations; but when they arrived, he stopped doing this and separated himself, fearing those of the circumcised class. (NWT, with footnotes inserted in red.) (1 Corinthians 16:22) 22 If anyone has no affection for the Lord, let him be accursed.. . . (Galatians 1:8, 9) . . .However, even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to you as good news something beyond the good news we declared to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, I now say again, Whoever is declaring to you as good news something beyond what you accepted, let him be accursed. But this, as I said, was not a general disdain for those taking the lead. It was a temporary critique of a problem initiated either by James, if he gave them instructions, or by these certain men from James on their own. Still, it was not a simple matter that Peter was just more comfortable around his own people, and his old habits. Paul says Peter was afraid of these men from James (who were of the circumcised class). Even of those whom Paul considered to have been made into stumbling blocks to his ministry, he did not blame the persons themselves for that. He counseled the persons who gave too much attention to personalities, personalities such as himself, Apollos or Peter. But he still accepted these "leading men" were ministers through whom the Corinthians had become believers. (1 Corinthians 1:11, 12) 11 For some from the house of Chloʹe have informed me regarding you, my brothers, that there are dissensions among you. 12 What I mean is this, that each one of you says: “I belong to Paul,” “But I to A·polʹlos,” “But I to Ceʹphas,” “But I to Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:3-6) 3 for you are still fleshly. Since there are jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly and are you not walking as men do? 4 For when one says, “I belong to Paul,” but another says, “I to A·polʹlos,” are you not acting like mere men? 5 What, then, is A·polʹlos? Yes, what is Paul? Ministers through whom you became believers, just as the Lord granted each one. 6 I planted, A·polʹlos watered, but God kept making it grow, (1 Corinthians 3:20-4:3) 20 And again: “Jehovah knows that the reasonings of the wise men are futile.” 21 So let no one boast in men; for all things belong to you, 22 whether Paul or A·polʹlos or Ceʹphas or the world or life or death or things now here or things to come, all things belong to you; 23 in turn you belong to Christ; Christ, in turn, belongs to God. 4 A man should regard us as attendants of Christ and stewards of God’s sacred secrets. 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. . . . I included all three passages for another reason. It could very well be that it's a product of a "fleshly" mind that might tend to undervalue or even disdain the leadership of those in responsible positions. Some disdain authority for their own iconoclastic reasons or for unknown or illogical reasons. But Paul showed above that it was the "fleshly" mind that gave too much regard to leadership positions. In fact, Paul shows that these leadership positions are unimportant. Those who think that such men are capable of making a human tribunal of some kind of important authority are mistaken. After all, all things already belong to the members of the Christian congregation. It's not a matter of these members reporting to Apollos or Peter or Paul. It's just as appropriate to say that Peter should report to the members of the congregation. Paul is surely saying that there should be no central authority other than Christ who belongs to God. It seems that Paul's point here is that it is the danger of the fleshly mind to look to specific people in the congregations as some kind of authority. But all of us should be servants to one another instead, he says.
  46. 2 points
    I think he means by taking a ‘wait and see’ attitude, rather than diving in and correcting matters. It does not sound as though they didn’t know just what to correct. They didn’t go in lockstep back then, is my take, and Paul was confident enough in that to operate freely without ‘checking in’ for authorization. But neither do they go in lockstep today, despite obvious greater organization—which is entirely consistent with the greater field (and harvest) that is being cultivated. Many arrangements originate outside of Bethel, which is initially very hesitant, even suspect of them, until they see how it works out, after which it gets behind and magnifies them. Witnessing methods, construction techniques, internet utilization, for example.
  47. 2 points
    The "highly regarded" bit is the "double honor" bit of 1Tim.5:7, and with that goes the "heavier judgement" bit of James 3:1. Unfortunately, despite Jehovah and Jesus being the ones with whom those with responsibilty have an accounting, humans with their fleshly tendencies also tend to hold ones they view as prominent to account. From selfies to scandal to assassination (both literal and figurative), humans bathe in the imagined reflected glory of others.Today's obsession with "celebrity" is nothing new. Paul's self-imposed absence from prominence for 14 years is just a reflection of his modesty. His unique experience in his encounter with Jesus, almost on a par with the Transfiguration witnessed by Peter, James, and John, was no basis for him seeking prominence in the eyes of others. His seeming disdain for those taking the lead is only spun that way by fleshly minds. Paul's recounting of his early years experiences is his way of dealing with the unwarranted attention so typical of humans. He is always at pains to explain the undeserved nature of his privilege of service. (Eph.3:8). I cannot imagine he would ever engender a shred of disrespect for Christ's arrangement of matters in the congregation. Any extrapolation on the Ist Century account of Paul's dealings with the GB of the time must fall within that parameter.
  48. 2 points
    That was the point behind the humor. In other words, good one!
  49. 2 points
    Melinda Mills

    JW Literature Cart Attack in France

    People not writing these days, only taking pictures. It's happening on all forums. You can say what you want about a picture - accuracy doesn't seem to be important anymore. The person who took the picture most like knows about the circumstances and is the one to say what happened. Only recently pictures in the study journal are described. Before that people were commenting and saying anything. You could see and read anything into the picture, with several differing viewpoints commented upon. The originator is now saying what the picture is about, as it ought to have been from the beginning.
  50. 2 points
    Josue2 You are obviously trying to share information which may be valuable. How about I make a deal with you .... you write in English, and I will not reply in Klingon? Otherwise, your efforts are completely wasted on anyone who does not speak French. I spit and yell in Klingon. ..... both at the same time!

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