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  1. 7 points
    Witnesses did not predict anything. The magazine highlighted what the experts said - their educated guess - and brought it to the attention of the readers of Awake magazine, like they do with many important and timely subjects. Get over it!
  2. 7 points
    Here is the CBS JANUARY 6 - 12, 2020.docWeekly Material for January 6-12 and January 13 –19, 2020. TB MEETING WORKBOOK week of JANUARY 6 - 1 2 , 2020 text only.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of JANUARY 6 - 1 2 , 2020.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of JANUARY 6 - 1 2 , 2020.pdf Watchtower January 6-12, 2020.doc Watchtower January 6-12, 2020.pdf Additional Highlights -January 6-12, 2020.doc Additional Highlights -January 6-12, 2020.pdf CBS JANUARY 6 - 12, 2020.doc CBS JANUARY 6 - 12, 2020.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of JANUARY 6 - 1 2 , 2020 text only.doc CBS JANUARY 1 3 - 19 , 2020.doc Additional Highlights -January 13-19, 2020.pdf Additional Highlights -January 13-19, 2020.doc Watchtower January 13-19, 2020.pdf Watchtower January 13-19, 2020.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of JANUARY 13 –19, 2020.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of JANUARY 13 –19, 2020.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of JANUARY 13 –19, 2020,text only.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of JANUARY 13 –19, 2020,text only.doc CBS JANUARY 1 3 - 19 , 2020.pdf
  3. 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.
  4. 6 points
    Here is the Material for weeks of March 16-22 & March 23-29, 2020. TB MEETING WORKBOOK week of March 16-22, 2020.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of March 16-22, 2020.pdf Watchtower March 16-22, 2020.doc Watchtower March 16-22, 2020.pdf Additional Highlights -March 16-22, 2020.doc Additional Highlights -March 16-22, 2020.pdf CBS MARCH 16 - 2 2 , 2020.doc CBS MARCH 16 - 2 2 , 2020.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of March 16-22, 2020 text only.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of March 16-22, 2020 text only.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of March 23-29, 2020 text only.doc CBS MARCH 23 - 29, 2020.pdf CBS MARCH 23 - 29, 2020.doc Additional Highlights -March 23-29, 2020.pdf Additional Highlights -March 23-29, 2020.doc Watchtower March 23-29, 2020.pdf Watchtower March 23-29, 2020.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of March 23-29, 2020.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of March 23-29, 2020.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of March 23-29, 2020 text only.pdf
  5. 6 points
    Here is the weekly material for the weeks of March 2-8 & March 9-15, 2020. TB MEETING WORKBOOK week of March 2-8, 2020 text only.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of March 2-8, 2020.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of March 2-8, 2020.pdf Watchtower March 2-8, 2020.doc Watchtower March 2-8, 2020.pdf Additional Highlights - March 2-8.doc Additional Highlights - March 2-8.pdf CBS March 2-8, 2020.doc CBS March 2-8, 2020.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of March 2-8, 2020 text only.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of MARCH 9-15, 2020 text only.pdf CBS MARCH 9 - 15 , 2020.pdf CBS MARCH 9 - 15 , 2020.doc Additional Highlights -March 9-15.pdf Additional Highlights -March 9-15.doc Watchtower March 9-15, 2020.pdf Watchtower March 9-15, 2020.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of MARCH 9-15, 2020.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of MARCH 9-15, 2020.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of MARCH 9-15, 2020 text only.doc
  6. 6 points
      Hello guest!
    Rwanda’s descent into terror in April 1994 took an estimated one million lives in a mere 100 days. The Genocide against the Tutsi in this overwhelmingly Christian country was horrifying for its intimacy: Killers and victims were neighbors, friends, fellow churchgoers, workmates, even spouses. Murderers carried crude implements—machetes, hoes, nail-studded clubs—and lists of those doomed to die. Gatineau, Quebec—Tharcisse Seminega was marked for slaughter. With all escape routes seemingly cut off, he, his wife, and their five young children sat helplessly awaiting death. Seminega, a Tutsi and former Catholic seminarian, taught at the National University in Butare. Extremist Hutu faculty orchestrated the murder of Tutsi professors and students. But just minutes before a Hutu professor arrived with soldiers at Seminega’s house, Hutu friends helped the family flee. The new memoir No Greater Love—How My Family Survived the Genocide in Rwanda relates how, during the next 75 days, Seminega and his family evaded the machetes with the help of about 20 Hutu rescuers who took unthinkable risks to hide and sustain them. These rescuers knew that if the génocidaires caught them, they faced an agonizing death as traitors to the Hutu cause. Most of the rescuers belonged to the Jehovah’s Witness community, of which Seminega was a part. His wife, a former nun, feared to join him, knowing that the Witnesses had long been oppressed for refusing to take up weapons or participate in politics. Because of this apolitical teaching, writes genocide scholar Rhoda Howard-Hassmann, “Hutu Witnesses were impervious to calls for patriotic Hutu to take part in mass killings”; and yet “to do nothing was also against their Christian principles.” Professor Seminega says that his family’s rescuers and other Witnesses followed Jesus’ “new commandment”—To love one another just as he loved them, even to the death. They sheltered not only fellow believers but others who knew that Witnesses would not harm or betray them. Of 2,500 Witnesses in Rwanda in 1994, about 400 were murdered, Tutsi as well as Hutu who tried to rescue Tutsi or who refused to kill. After the genocide, researchers documented widespread complicity among church leaders and members. States one study: “All the churches active in Rwanda, with the exception of the Jehovah’s Witnesses” were involved in the genocide. Now, Professor Seminega speaks with classes via Skype about his family’s story. In paying tribute to his rescuers, Seminega says: “Their selfless acts move me every day to ask, how far will my love reach?”
  7. 6 points
    Confidentiality: "There are two views held by state courts regarding confidentiality as it pertains to clergy privilege. In two-thirds of the states, a communication is considered confidential if made privately and not intended for further disclosure except to other persons present for the purpose of the communication. In one-third of the states, privileged communication means a communication made in confidence only to the minister, with no third person present". Taken from:
      Hello guest!
  8. 6 points
    Here is the Material for weeks of December 23-29 , 2019 & December 30, 2019–January 5, 2020. TB MEETING WORKBOOK week of December 23-29 , 2019 text only.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of December 23-29 , 2019 text only.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of December 23-29 , 2019.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of December 23-29 , 2019.pdf Watchtower December 23-29, 2019.doc Watchtower December 23-29, 2019.pdf Additional Highlights - December 23-29, 2019.doc Additional Highlights - December 23-29, 2019.pdf CBS December 23-29, 2019.doc CBS December 23-29, 2019.pdf CBS December 30, 2019–January 5, 2020.pdf CBS December 30, 2019–January 5, 2020.doc Additional Highlights -December 30, 2019–January 5, 2020.pdf Additional Highlights -December 30, 2019–January 5, 2020.doc Watchtower December 30, 2019–January 5, 2020.pdf Watchtower December 30, 2019–January 5, 2020.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of December 30, 2019–January 5, 2020 , 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of December 30, 2019–January 5, 2020 , 2019.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of December 30, 2019–January 5, 2020 , 2019 text only.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of December 30, 2019–January 5, 2020 , 2019 text only.doc
  9. 6 points
    Yikes! $50 per minute to speak with a householder?! So says a gag sign posted on someone’s porch. “Doorknockers, please note. This householder charges $50 per minute to listen to any sales pitch, religious messages, or fundraising stories! Payment required in advance. By knocking on this door, you indicate that you are agreeing to these terms.” Video has captured a couple of visitors—our people, I think. The one on the sidewalk says: “What’s it say?” and the nearsighted woman squinting to read it responds with: “Let’s skip this one.” I’m done for if this catches on!...... Actually, as far as I am concerned, this sign represents a win-win. It does not make me mad. It is doing me a favor. If anyone doesn’t want to talk to me, then I don’t want to talk to them. There is a squirrelly assumption that underpins this meme: that Jehovah’s Witnesses are determined to talk to each householder no matter what,and are incredibly frustrated if stymied. It plays into the infantile view that they are “recruiting,” a view popularly spread by “anti-cultists” who obsess over all the ways that people can “manipulate” others. They abhor all forms of “brainwashing” except for the brainwashing that is theirs, as they safeguard mainstream values—values that have not worked out very well insofar as promoting overall peace and well-being. If the mainstream thinking contained answers to the vexing questions of life, people would’t have to worry for one second about “sects” and even “cults”—they would be rejected out of hand. So are Jehovah’s Witnesses “recruiting?” “I am going to ask you to convert,” I told a certain householder, “but it is not going to happen until the 100th call—and what are the chances It will go on for so long? In the meantime, it is just conversation.” To householders who state they have their own religion or spirituality and who decline conversation on that basis I say, “Well, I’m not going to ask you to change, and if I do, you can say No.” I mean, it is fine to decline conversation—more people do than do not—but just not on that basis. You might say it to an evangelical Christian—the sort that actually dofeature instant conversion of the “Come down and be saved!” variety. You might say it to a Moonie, because their people are known to disappear off the surface of the globe, only to reappear selling flowers in robes. But you ought not say it to one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, whose members live and work in the general community. No, the sign does me a favor. I have no problem with it. It might be different if they proliferated so that they became a commonplace gag sign, just a fad witticism inspired by late-night TV that didn’t necessarily mean anything. In that case, I might just walk away or I might playfully attempt to negotiate terms before deciding if I wanted to enter into such a “contract.” “Well, a guy has to serve the Lord,” I will say non-aggresively to some while trying to size them up. You’ve got to have a sense of humor. Like a No Soliciting sign, there are no legal consequences to blowing past it, [in the U.S.—it may be different elsewhere] and like a No Soliciting sign, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything. It might be put up by a previous owner, and the current one sees no reason to remove it. It might be put up by a family member that died. It might have been put up after those pushy people selling vacuum cleaners left. It might be put up in the heat of election campaign season. It might be put up to dissuade Jehovah’s Witnesses, but I do not assume that is the case. ”I saw your sign and was a little concerned that you might think it applies to me,” I sometimes say when one of them is staring me in the face. “It doesn’t—but you might think it does.” You can assess by the response if the householder had that intention or not, and if he did, I have no problem moving on from what would cause both of us stress. Don’t argue, “We’re not soliciting,” because it really doesn’t matter whether you are or not. What matters is what the householder thinks you are doing. Of course, you can tell him that what he thinks is wrong, but that is never a fine foundation for a visit, is it? I have said at times, when my attention is directed to such a sign, “Oh. Well....I’ll make sure not to do that, then,” either by soliciting money (which Witnesses never do) or soliciting opinions—drawing people out—which we do. Simply tell them stuff, don’t ask them a thing—that is enough to technically comply with such a sign. But the trick is not to argue over technicalities. The trick is to see if such and such a vague sign actually means anything to the householder and respect his wishes if it does. No, a No Soliciting sign means nothing legally, same as this new $50 per hour JW sign that some are giggling over means nothing. The only sign with legal consequences (in the US) is a No Trespassing sign, and even that only has legal consequences for individual dwellings—you can’t wall off an entire community with a No Trespassing sign. To be sure, some are trying to change that, but the idea of answering for large swaths of other people is repugnant to most and so the change may not readily happen. Let’s face, this sign is kind of crude, and not too many people are going to put one up. It is sort of like that sign in which you find yourself as though staring down the barrel of a gun that says, “Never mind the dog! Beware of the owner!” I don’t just jauntily breeze by that sign as though is was a Welcome mat. I tread a bit cautiously. If my companion was to turn around and leave, I wouldn’t blame him a bit. Still, you never know. I was leaving one such home—no one had answered—and as I was walking away, a pickup truck drove in with a gun rack in the back window. “Great!” I muttered to myself—“probably a real hothead here!” He turned out to be the nicest guy in the world—very respectful of our purpose and of the Bible. There was a lot of crime in the neighborhood and he had just “weaponed-up” for the protection of his family. These signs are not a red light—No Soliciting, Beware of Whatever—but they certainly are a yellow light. They are not a yellow light legally, but they are a yellow light in that they might reveal something of thehouseholders wishes, and I have no problem always complying with their wishes once I know what they are. As it is, Jehovah’s Witnesses have a method to keep note of those who have emphatically said that the don’t want JW calls ever. It is an imperfect system and I usually forget to consult it, but it works better than nothing. Ironically, it may all vanish one day if the current “data-keeping” laws gathering steam in Europe, spearheaded by the same people who see “manipulation” everywhere, spreads to the US. It will be illegal to keep track of who doesn’t want a call. As it is, one US brother I know reported on a trip to Europe and how the brothers there were wrestling with these new anti data-gathering laws that had never been intended (at least, by most) for them, but were being applied to them, with: “Good! They’ve just made your job easier! Preach to one and all and don’t worry about any “records”—keeping track of them is a pain in the neck!” What about a child answering the door? For me, that depends upon the age of the child. For a teen, sometimes I will go Bible-lite, such as commenting on what the words of the Lord’s Prayer literally mean, and I do not press any point. Or show a video geared to teens—I have never had a teen not pay rapt attention to the video, “Be Social-Network Smart.” With teens, I have sometimes told them that I really don’t know what to do with teens, because they are learning and gathering data, but they are also under their parent’s roof, with the latter guiding that process, and so they may or may not want them speaking to persons of different beliefs at the door, and ‘which is it with them’? Even that doesn’t guarantee anything. One parent that I finally encountered said, “I don’t appreciate you speaking to my children,”—I had done so twice and had shown a couple of videos. I responded that I had never been looking for the kids—I had been looking for her—and that when the teens had answered I had asked them whether their parents would want them speaking to a visitor about religion and they had said she would not care. “Kids will say anything!” she told me. So I explained that I would not call again (she said ‘thank you’), repeated that I had never been looking for them in the first place, and even was able to give a brief synopsis for why we call at all—she became pleasant. Another teen—I had just finished something brief and similar—he had been home alone. As I left, the mother drove up in the driveway. I told her who I was, that I had spent a few minutes speaking with her son, I had asked him a question and he had answered intelligently. “You should be proud of him,” I said as I took my leave. Cultures are different. I once handed a tract to a child with directions to give it to her parents, and upon leaving, my companion said that she would have witnessed to the child. My companion was newly arrived from South America where it is commonplace for parents to allow and even encourage children to talk religion to anyone calling about it. There are congregations there heavily populated by children with the full blessing of parents who do not attend themselves—respect for God runs deep in some lands and the assumption is that you cannot go wrong allowing your children to learn about the Bible. Though the following has nothing to do with the Bible, it has everything to do with that fact that cultures are different, and so when the Witness organization speaks in a way that is not really my cup of tea, I say, “It is probably one of those others cultures that they are taking into consideration.” There is a large community of deaf persons in Rochester NY. Accordingly, there are a number of Witnesses who make their living as translators. One of them told me of a certain deaf family of two adults and two children—all deaf—who are known not only locally but also nationally, and the following story is told nationally as a way of highlighting the challenges of catering to different cultures: A neighboring “hearing” girl would come over to play at the home of the deaf family. The two children were surprised that she didn’t seem able to sign very well at all, but they all managed to sign well enough to each other to get by. Then the two children went to the little girl’s home to play, where they saw the mother not signing at all! Her mouth kept moving, and the little girl seemed satisfied with that, but there was no signing. Upon returning home, they related their bewilderment to their parents and asked, “Are there other people like that?”
  10. 6 points
    JW Insider

    WT Society and Religious Education

    This could be true for some. No one was telling me I couldn't go to college, though. Their concern was that it would set a poor example to appoint an elder and then the congregation simultaneously found out I was going to college. But if a congregation needs elders, there is almost no difference in the amount and types of assignments given to ministerial servants. Even as an MS, I had been giving 5 different public talks (3 from the outlines), and was still being invited to give some of them in different congregations every few weeks. I believe I had either the 15 minute "Instruction Talk" or a 15 minute part on the Service Meeting about 3 times a month. And I was not told I had to pioneer, while attending college, but had offered this idea as a way to show that college was a not a full time priority in my life. No one held me to it anyway, as I only could manage pioneering for two more years. In my third year I was offered a great job and started it before graduation. But still, it's always good counsel to give to anyone who is thinking about college, that they think about their priorities before making a decision. I've given the same counsel to others, but I make sure they still know it's their own choice, and we wish them all the best outcomes. But then 30 years later, the issue comes up again with my own children. The need to step down as an elder if your kids go to college is not enforced consistently, at least in the United States. When children get large scholarships it can make it more sensible economically to go to a four year college, but it still gives the impression that you are putting economic and material interests ahead of the urgency necessary based on the shortness of the time to the end. The issue of setting a good example is not just for the congregation, but also the fact that you might not even have your own family in "subjection." Of course, kids go to college when they are 18, and I don't believe in "subjection" at this point in their lives. I believe in learning from my kids, and letting myself be subjected to hearing about what they are learning. I am not concerned too much about the Society's position on higher education. At this point, the economic benefits are too often a trap due to the high cost and doubtful employment outcomes. And although I'm sure I'd be welcomed to return as an elder, I am happy with all the things that can be done without the title. Also, you might know that I have a lot of difficulty navigating platform assignments that promote shunning, 1914, the sign, the generation, the "presence," and few other things on which we might well be right, but are too dogmatic about. I'm happy to wait until the pendulum swings in the direction of less dogma. Titles are not important.
  11. 6 points
    Anna

    Suicide. God's view. Organisation's view

    No new light, just the elder's opinion, and not a very good one at that. It still stands that Jehovah will be the judge as he knows the reasons and circumstance.
  12. 6 points
    Next week DV I will know, and will tell you. Maybe this time your children will learn something that will show them the need to visit more often and to process information so they practice godly devotion more fully which includes checking on your parents. (mentioned somewhere in 1 Timothy.) Work in progress.
  13. 6 points
    Law of diminishing returns is also a fundamental principle in Economics, not only Engineering. And you talking money already. But remember you go to meeting every week and you don't necessarily learn anything new, it costs clothes, gas, tyres, road tax, etc. The Convention is just a bigger meeting. You don't complain for regular meeting, so why complain for a more exciting, bigger meeting, even if you are eating ordinary spiritual food served in prettier plates or settings. Where did you meet your wife? Put yourself in the place of those who are new to the spiritual food, are now meeting other Witnesses/Christians or are even looking for mates, all these are normal things Jesus mentioned in Matthew 24. But he said some would take no note of the spiritual things until they are swept away. So what can you/I do to show more appreciation for what may begin to look ordinary? Form a longing for the ordinary food (milk) - it is necessary to grow from infancy to maturity both literally and spiritually; it will help you to grow to salvation. You know a year in advance and you prepare with anticipation. When it comes you show appreciation. I already have three sets of clothes put out and a bag packed. My convention is next week. I got my lapel card today. (1 Peter 2:2) "As newborn infants, form a longing for the unadulterated milk of the word, so that by means of it you may grow to salvation," Even if we really knew everything that we need to know, we are all works in progress, we need to work on what we know. There is always room for improvement in putting on the complete suit of armour and the new personality; in setting spiritual goals. (Ephesians 4:23, 24) And you should continue to be made new in your dominant mental attitude, 24 and should put on the new personality that was created according to God’s will in true righteousness and loyalty. Always remember that the Israelites complained about the manna, then God send the bird with lots of flesh and while they were still eating they were punished. (Someone can enlarge on the reasons why he gave them meat and then punished them.) (Numbers 11:31-34) 31 Then a wind from Jehovah sprang up and began driving quail from the sea and causing them to fall around the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and a day’s journey on the other side, all around the camp, and they were about two cubits deep on the ground. 32 So all that day and all night and all the next day, the people stayed up and gathered the quail. No one gathered less than ten hoʹmers, and they kept spreading them all around the camp for themselves. 33 But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it could be chewed, Jehovah’s anger blazed against the people, and Jehovah began striking the people with a very great slaughter. 34 So they gave that place the name Kibʹroth-hat·taʹa·vah, because there they buried the people who showed selfish craving. Let's appreciate the spiritual manna. Fancy a dish prepared by God himself and people were complaining about it! If we were starving and someone gave us plain rice and water, it would help us to survive, though it might not satisfy us completely. While we are excited about new information, we still need the milk of the word as it would help us to live to salvation. It would help us renew our goals, remind us of what we already know, and keep us on the path to salvation as the apostle Peter said. We need manna and milk to live, grow and mature. People would be there who are at different stages of Christian development; some still need milk, some would be there who need solid food, some would be there who need the deeper things of God to satisfy them, but we all need spiritual food. "Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need". Matt 5:3. If and when we get into the Kingdom of God, we will be learning about love forever, as there will always be Jehovah, Jesus, and people to love. Love (Agape) never fails. (1 Cor 13:8)
  14. 6 points
    Whenever a new version of Scripture appears that is colloquialized, paraphrased, or just plain dumbed down, the refrain is heard: “If it gets modern people to read God’s Word, it is worth it.” How far you want to take this trend is anyone’s guess. Suffice it to say that the Sinaiticus Sheepngoats pushes the boundaries as they have never been pushed before. It is an incredible find from the dry desert where it has been preserved for thousands of years. (though there are a few critics at the Whitepebble Institute who claim it has only been around two weeks and was discovered in the glove box of Harley’s car) And yet—and yet—though it takes outrageous liberties and outright manufactures a few things, it does serve to convey the basic idea of the entire Book of Galatians. Is it right to spoil the book for everyone else in the course of getting a good grasp of it yourself? Your guess is as good as mine. Anyway, here is the text of the Sinaiticus Sheepngoats edition of Galatians: Chapter 1 Dear Galatians: Hi. Remember me? It’s Paul. How are you? (1:1-5) The reason I say ‘remember me’ is because I’m not sure that you do! I can’t believe how quickly you are screwing up! Is that chair I used to sit in even cold yet? What is this about louts trying to change the whole narrative? They’re not allowed to do that! Look, even angels are not allowed to do that! (6-9) You remember what a jerk I was. Nobody made more trouble for you than me. But after God let me hear about it right there on the Damascus road and that other fellow was sent so that I could see again, I went off to Arabia for three years to think about it. (13-17) Then I came back to Jerusalem and stayed with Peter for a couple of weeks. But no one else—wait, I did see James, but none of the others. Then I went off again. What! You think I am fibbing? For years and years, had you asked those apostles about me, they would have said, “I dunno. Your guess is as good as mine. He used to be the nastiest fellow. Now it looks as though he is on our side. Cool! We’ll take it!” (18-24) Chapter 2 About 14 years later I figured that maybe I had better give those guys a call. I had Barnabas with me by then, and Titus—fine fellows. I met with them privately, of course, just in case I was not doing something—um, kosher. “You okay with this?” I said to them. “You’re not going to make Titus do that Jewish thing, are you? I don’t see any need for it.” They didn’t either! (2:1-3) It probably wouldn’t even have come up were it not for those pinheaded louts trying to drag us down, wanting us to everything Jewish that we don’t have to do anymore. We blew right past them, and it was for your sake just as much as for ours. (4-5) Okay, so I consulted with these ones—I mean, I guess they are important. I wondered if they might try to rein me in, but no!—they said, “Whatever you are doing, keep on doing it. We’ll stick with preaching to Jews, but you—I mean, Peter unlocked that door for the nations, so go for it! Just don’t ignore the poor.” Sure, I can do that. (6-10) But then Peter came calling later on and suddenly he himself goes all Jewish on me. Oh, sure, he pals around with these new Gentile Christians easy enough, but when his buddies show up, he acts like he doesn’t know them. I said, “I don’t believe it! Here you are living the free life, telling others to be like that, and then the narrow-minded fuddy duddies show up and you get all scaredy cat? (11-14) Yeah, well he’s a good sort, but he goes a little weak at the knees sometimes. You don’t have to do any of that Jewish stuff! What do you think the Lord is for? (15-21) Chapter 3 What on earth is wrong with you? How can you be so dumb? You break free but then turn around and go back because you forgot your leg irons? Are you kidding me? (3:1-5) Don’t pull this Abraham stuff on me. Wait, no. If you want to talk Abraham, let’s talk Abraham. You think he earned anything? No! He “put faith in Jehovah, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” THAT’S what you want to take away from Abraham—his faith, and how he pointed the way for other people to have faith. Not the later Law—that Law did nothing but show you up for the basket cases that you were! Did you manage to keep it? No! All you did was screw up. That’s why when Christ comes along, you are supposed to say, “Exactly what we need! Thank you, thank you, thank you. (6-11) You don’t go back to the Law again—what’s wrong with you? The Law has nothing to do with faith. Christ pulled us out of that—THAT’S what Abraham was pointing to, and you want to dive back in again? (12-14) Okay, now look—let’s take this real slow. Take notes if it will help. So Abraham gets a promise that means the Christ will come through his lineup, but how does the Law figure in? It comes 430 years later. Does it change his promise? I don’t think so. (15-18) Why the Law? It’s because you guys kept messing up, that’s why. And it was supposed to dawn on you that you DID keep messing up and that you’re never (and yes—me, too) going to come out like the champion of Jeopardy. You weren’t supposed to think that dotting all the ‘I’s and crossing all the ‘T’s would get you there—besides, you missed lots of them. (19-22) Yes, it gave you something to do and kept you off the streets. But now that the real thing has arrived, you can set down your slates. Class is over. You can join in with that promise to Abraham. (23-29) Chapter 4 It took a long time for you to get to where you are. A lot of work went into it. Don’t mess it up. (4:1-8) You had real freedom. I mean, real freedom in Christ. And now you want to become law nerds again and focus on dotting ‘I’s and crossing ‘T’s? Really? What! Do I have a death wish or something? What am I doing this for? (9-11) Remember the good times we used to have? Remember how you used to loan me your specs? You didn’t then stick out your foot to trip me up. What’s gotten into you? (12-16) Do you think that these pinheaded louts are your friends? They just want to be your bosses. “Meet the new boss—same as the old boss.” (17-20) Go back to Abraham, you law nerds, and take a point. Two women, remember? One a concubine, one a wife. Hagar gave birth first because Sarah thought she was too old to have a child. No mystery about how Hagar conceived. You see it all the time on TV. But Sarah! THAT’S where God’s promise came in, and she didn’t even believe herself it could happen until it did! The two women stand for two groups of people. Hagar, the one of ordinary birth, is mother to the ones of Law (that you want go back to!) Sarah, the one of the promise, is mother to the ones putting their faith in Christ. (21-28) The Hagar kid made trouble for the Sarah kid back then. It’s the same today with these pinheaded louts trying to force their Law on you. But what does the verse say? “Take this Law and shove it! I ain’t workin here no more!” Keep it that way! (29-31) Chapter 5 You are free from slavery. Don’t go back to it. Or if you do, you’d better not miss a single one of those ‘I’s or ‘T’s. (5:1-6) You were doing so well. Who tripped you up? Who made you think you need circumcision? It ain’t me, babe. Those Jews would give me a free pass if they thought I was turning Christianity into just one of their outposts. “Just you wait, enry iggins”—they’ll get theirs. (7-11) In fact, I have half a mind to come and kick them in the nuts so hard that they won’t qualify to serve in the temple that they want to drag you into! (12) No, brothers, don’t go there. Just don’t. You don’t need their picayune Law. It all boils down to love anyway—that is the greatest part of it—so if you get you head around that, you’ll do just fine. You start nitpicking at each other over every pissy little thing and you’ll tear each other apart! (13-18) Don’t do bad things. Do good things. What do you mean, ‘What bad things?’ “No back-biting, no ass-grabbing, you know exactly what I mean!” [thank you, Randy Neuman] It shouldn’t be hard, if you really are following the Christ. Do the best you can, and don’t go thinking that you are better than the other guy. (19-26) Chapter 6 Okay, let’s wrap this up. Don’t be babies—man up, but pull each other out of the crud when you have to (be sure you don’t fall in yourself). (6:1-5) Don’t try to Play around with God. You can’t. Keep on keeping on—it will all pay off. Lend a hand where needed. (6-10) See the large letters I make, all by myself with my own hand? Why? Because I am blind as a bat—that’s why. I dunno—it comes and goes. That’s why I insulted that pompous character before I knew he was the high priest. I asked God to take it away, but he said, “Nah, it keeps you humble.” And it has. It’s not an altogether bad thing to have a thorn in the flesh. (11) Now, remember—they are pinheaded louts trying to lay their Law on you. And why? They’re just chicken themselves—like Peter might have been, but he saw where he was heading and corrected himself. They don’t want to stand out among their cronies, and they want to find strength in numbers by having you do what they do—it will hide their cowardice. What! You think they do the Law themselves? No way! They just want to do some back-stabbing and ass-grabbing themselves and then throw in a gerbil or something for sacrifice to make it all good again. Come on! Please—you are too smart not to see through them. (12-16) I’ve suffered for carrying the good news of the Christ. So have you. Don’t turn back to be a law nerd again. Press on ahead. God will back you. So will Christ. (17-18) *** What a bunch of idiots there at the Whitepebble Institute—tossing this amazing new manuscript in the dumpster! The place has gone right downhill ever since the director, Wayne Whitepebble, took a course on critical thinking and tried to kiss up to the evolutionists by adding an ancient skull to his library alongside the globe and old maps because he heard that is what smart people do but then it turned out that his ancient skull was actually missing evidence in the Mugsy McDougal ax murder case and he got into serious hot water with the authorities. Plainly, this new find belongs in the Bible canon.
  15. 5 points
    Here is the Weekly Material for February 17-23 and February 24–March 1 , 2020 MEETING WORKBOOK week of February 17-23, 2020 text only.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of February 17-23, 2020.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of February 17-23, 2020.pdf Watchtower February 17-23, 2020.pdf Watchtower February 17-23, 2020.doc Additional Highlights -February 17-23, 2020.doc Additional Highlights -February 17-23, 2020.pdf CBS FEBRUARY 17- 23, 2020.doc CBS FEBRUARY 17- 23, 2020.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of February 17-23, 2020 text only.doc CBS FEBRUARY 24–MARCH 1, 2020.pdf CBS FEBRUARY 24–MARCH 1, 2020.doc Additional Highlights -February 24–March 1, 2020.pdf Additional Highlights -February 24–March 1, 2020.doc Watchtower February 24, 2020–March 1, 2020.pdf Watchtower February 24, 2020–March 1, 2020.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of February 24–March 1 , 2020.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of February 24–March 1 , 2020.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of February 24–March 1 , 2020 text only.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of February 24–March 1 , 2020 text only.doc
  16. 5 points
    Using the quotes extracted from Eusebius and Epaphanius in a Wiki article
      Hello guest!
    It might be interesting to note that the impetus to leave Jerusalem and go to Pella was not specifically credited to Jesus' prophecy in Matthew/Mark/Luke, but to an angel, or a specific oracle/revelation/prophecy given just before the war. This would put it on par with the prophecy of Agabus (Acts 11:27, 28) . . .In those days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them named Agʹa·bus stood up and foretold through the spirit that a great famine was about to come on the entire inhabited earth, which, in fact, did take place in the time of Claudius. This is a curious report then by Eusebius, that he doesn't tie it to Matthew 24, or Luke 21, for example. (Epiphanius may have "corrected" this nearly 100 years after Eusebius, when he credited the flight to Jesus warning about the city being surrounded.) The idea that the command only went to those in the city who were worthy, might also imply that there were reports that some [less worthy] Christians had died in Jerusalem's destruction. Epaphanius had referenced Jesus' prophecy in his book Panarion, but in "Weights and Measures" he pretty much agreed with Eusebius:
  17. 5 points
    Unfortunately, this has been going on even from the time that the scriptures were written, or at least from very shortly after the NT was completed. This means that even the very idea that there had been an escape to Pella might just be from persons with their own agenda. The best evidence that comes down to us is from Eusebius of Caesarea and Epiphanius of Salamis. Eusebius wrote his "Ecclesiastical History" (Church History) between about 300 and 325. Epiphanius would have written "Panarion" around 375. We don't know what, if anything, was written on this topic between 70 CE and 300 CE. So this might be a little like someone just now trying to make a story about what direction we believe small bands of native Americans (Indians) ran to in 1775 in upstate NY when Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold were capturing the guns at the British Fort Ticonderoga (which would just precede a siege of Boston and the building of a fortification of stakes around parts of that city). The "American Indians" were not a big part of that story, so there is very little written down about what they did. If someone came up with a new story about it 200 to 250 years later, we might not put much trust in it. But, then again, we might assume that there were some verbal or even written records that could be gathered up from various families in the area, and that there was some truth to such a story. We have some evidence that the apostles generally stayed in Jerusalem, per Jesus' instructions just after he was resurrected. In Galatians (and corroborated in Corinthians) Paul mentions a period of 14 years after his conversion when he finally goes to Jerusalem to meet with the apostles. If Paul converted before 36, then this refers to a time prior to 50 CE., when at least some apostles were still there. Peter and John are mentioned specifically, and James who was also mentioned had not been considered an apostle. Acts also does not mention any additional apostles (except Peter and James) still alive or around at this time. If there had been an instruction to all the apostles to stay in Jerusalem, for the purpose of forming an apostolic group to study the scriptures and devote themselves to prayer, then it may have already accomplished its purpose and broken up before 50 CE. We hear of the "The Twelve" in Acts 6, still in Jerusalem, when they send out Stephen and Philip, for example. (Still prior to Paul's conversion.) By chapter 8 of Acts we hear about the group of "apostles in Jerusalem," and how both Peter and John had been sent to Samaria (and we know from Galatians that Peter had gone as far as Antioch). But by chapter 11 of Acts we only hear of some older men in Jerusalem and only one apostle there, Peter. By the time we reach 11:29 we only hear about the effect of the famine on "the brothers living in Judea." This matches about the same timing as Paul spoke of in Galatians and elsewhere when Paul brought collections back to the brothers in Jerusalem "keeping the poor in mind." Then in the next verses of Acts (Acts 12:1-3) we see that Herod has just put the Apostle James (brother of John) to death (not the same James of "James, Peter, and John" in Galatians) and goes after Peter. After the destruction, we see John the apostle up around the isle of Patmos, but this could have been an exile from anywhere, not necessarily Jerusalem. So, we really don't know how long the apostles stayed together in Jerusalem, or whether Herod broke that up even prior to the work of Paul and Barnabas, that brought them to Jerusalem (Acts 15). No Bible writer mentions Pella. I don't think there is anyone we know about who mentioned anything about a flight to Pella until 200 years later. There are plenty of letters and stories and other Christian writings between 70 and 300, but no evidence about Pella. Still, we have the history (through Josephus) of the attack on Jerusalem, and the fact that the Romans started to attack in 66 and then decided to withdraw and not come back until they were ready to wage the war from start to finish in 70. Perhaps no Christians left in 66, although this seems like the time that would fit best. It's possible that most Christians had already left during Herod's persecution. It's possible that most Christians left just as the final approach was being made in 70 around the time of the Passover. The most "ideal" story says that Christians recognized Jesus warning when Jerusalem was approached in 66, and that they then left and stayed away for about a 3-and-a-half year period until Jerusalem was destroyed with its Temple in 70. But we have no evidence from Josephus or anyone else about that. It might also be wishful thinking to believe that no Christians were killed during the destruction of Jerusalem, as Epiphanius claimed 300 years later. As to the idea that John was the only apostle alive after 70, there is an interesting passage in John that seems to refer to his age and the timing of the parousia. (John 21:20-24) . . .Peter turned around and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, . . . 21 So when he caught sight of him, Peter said to Jesus: “Lord, what about this man?” 22 Jesus said to him: “If it is my will for him to remain until I come, of what concern is that to you? You continue following me.” 23 So the saying went out among the brothers that this disciple would not die. However, Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but he said: “If it is my will for him to remain until I come, of what concern is that to you?” 24 This is the disciple who gives this witness about these things and who wrote these things, and we know that his witness is true. I like your questions and there is much more to say about them, but I'll stop for now.
  18. 5 points
    Found on Facebook.
  19. 5 points
    The Librarian

    THE DEVIL’S BEST TOOL

    It was announced that the Devil was going out of business and that he would offer all his tools for sale to whom ever would pay the price. On the night of the sale, they were all attractively displayed and marked with a price, even so, they were a bad looking lot: Malice, Hatred, Envy, Deceit, Jealousy and Sensuality and all the other implements of evil were spread out. Apart from the rest, lay a harmless looking wedge shaped tool. Much worn and priced higher than any of the others. Someone asked the Devil, "What is that?" That is "DISCOURAGEMENT", THE DEVIL REPLIED! "But why do you have it priced so high?", the prospective purchaser inquired. BECAUSE SAID THE DEVIL; " It is more useful to me than any of the others. I can pry open and get inside a man's soul with it. I can do this when I can not get near him with any of the other tools I possess.. Once I get inside his mind with discouragement, I can use him in whatever way suits me best. The reason this tool is so worn, is that I can use it with nearly everyone. So, very few know that it belongs to me! It hardly needs to be added, that the Devil's price was so high for discouragement that it was never sold. He still owns it and uses it today! - contributed by email - Many thanks Jenni
  20. 5 points
    Anna

    1914

    Yes, and that according to Bible chronology, the FDS was appointed in 1919. So if 1914 was questioned, when were the FDS appointed? It would remove that whole aspect of what we have been taught, including the brothers being in prison. I agree though that in reality it shouldn't change much about the authority of those taking the lead, because the scriptures say to be obedient to them. And I agree with the sister, I thought it was nothing new either (regarding the FDS only being the GB). But still, everyone is aware that Jesus was supposed to have appointed a specific group to provide spiritual food. If 1914 was removed, that small specific group would be dispersed and would include anyone who was feeding others spiritually, as you have suggested. All this would remove the thought that the GB are the only channel God is using, although G.Jackson admitted that it would be presumptuous to think that they were the only chanel. However I don't think he, or any of the others have put this in writing in any of our publications though. So unless someone has read Jackson's ARC deposition, they will be under the impression that the FDS, therefore the GB are the ONLY chanel God is using, and therefore to question anything they say is tantamount to going against God himself. A few know this is not true, and the GB themselves think it's not true, but most r&f believe it. (As you know, this was the reason why I got kicked out of one forum*. And this is also why it appears that we "worship" the GB, because anything and everything they say is gold and must not be questioned, even if it could be wrong....because they are not infallible and can err...). *Questioning God is allowed, but questioning the GB is not! How strange is that?
  21. 5 points
    Outta Here

    1914

    Quite so. And the understanding we have now, as proclaimed by the GB of Jehovah's Witnesses and supported by their application of Scripture, would appear to me to bear this out. The various perspectives of those contributing to the discussion on this matter really would not exist at all if it were not for these proclamations at this time. The historical "curios" of understanding that have led people who have stuck with the organisation to this point of time are in the public domain, as are similar "artifacts" of all areas of human endeavour. Whether revered as trailblazing milestones in the search for truth, or ridiculed as crank-minded curios for the amusement of cynics, the body of historical thinking on the part of Jehovah's Witnesses serves really only one purpose. The 1st Century view of the apostle Paul on the effect of various expressions of opinion on Christianty is as valid today as it was at the the time it was written: "With what result? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is being proclaimed, and I rejoice over this. In fact, I will also keep on rejoicing," Phillippians 1:18
  22. 5 points
    No surprise there! What I do NOT understand is the logic of the men who hate JWs. They try to prove that we are impure and allow homeosexuality (when we clearly do not) and in the next breath critisize us when we shun unrepentant homxosexuals and fornicators in cases where we DO have sufficient evidence.. They neglect to remember that experts find it hard to gather evidence. We are too harsh for our detractors when we shun when we have sufficient evidence and too compassionate when we do not have enough proof. We are too compassionate when someone has confessed (the law protects lawyers and spiritual leaders from disclosure of confessions - especially if this can be used against them in court - and the government has not removed this law but wants JWs to act against the law of the land. The police must do their own investigation and come up with the evidence or the congress must change the law...... but I doubt this will ever happen because many high officials are child molesters) ) and JWs are too compassionate to allow people off the street to attend our meetings not knowing if they have been molesters. So the best is to do the best possible we can do and leave the rest to Jehovah. Our detractors are angry because we DO follow the bible and its principles and the majority DO try to live clean lives ..... they hate it because they want to feel more pure while not caring for bible principals at all or still adhering to impure teachings such as trinity, immortality of the soul etc. That is a blanket statement and that usually is an indication of bitterness and resentment.......
  23. 5 points
    Good point Srecko. I don't think it's entirely fair to blame the GB for creating a "certain" environment inside congregations though. In fact, (we know everything passes through the GB's hands for approval, if they haven't written it themselves) the above expressions must be what the GB agree with. Time and again I see that it is not the questions that are asked, or even expressing an opinion contrary to their own, but it's the way this is done and what is the the purpose for doing it. Most elders are willing to hear an opinion, and do not resent those who express an opinion contrary to their own. I know that from personal experience. However, if the motive is to exult your own ideas, to force people to listen to them over and over again, and to try and make people see it your way, then that is stirring up contentions and is eroding peace in the congregation. And those who erode peace, will eventually find themselves kicked out sooner or later. Just to illustrate; I told a few elders, in no uncertain terms, that I cannot agree with the "overlapping generation" idea, and I left it at that. No one has ever come after me, or tried to convince me otherwise, and we all remain good friends. Now you know what would happen if I started to aggressively push my opinion on every single person I came into contact with. In another instance; I rattled one sister's cage (it means irritated her) during a discussion in the car during field service (in the US a car load of friends go out). We were all talking about animals being friends in the paradise. I voiced my opinion that I believe there will still be the same food chain as there is now, with carnivores consuming the herbivores. I explained why I think that, but this one sister was adamant that lions will eat grass and will be buddies with the sheep. But we didn't argue who is right and who is wrong. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, as long as you are not trying to beat the other person over the head with it. So I think it is assumed that 'questioning and expressing an opinion' will be done in a civil way, to which those in a position of authority should have no trouble listening.
  24. 5 points
    First of all, before I begin answering, I wanted to say that I have long expected that any JWs who go online to defend their views publicly will see more and more of what is beginning to happen here. The specific challenges coming from you (@4Jah2me), @Witness and @Srecko Sostar (and a few others) have lately seemed like a stronger "anti-JW onslaught" than this forum has seen before. Personally, I think it's a good thing that more and more JWs are prepared for just this type of barrage. At the moment they are all coming apparently from ex-JWs that we would call "apostates." But the Internet easily allows anyone to become capable of bringing these exact same challenges to us. So they are not specifically "apostate" challenges. Of course, I've brought up some of these same challenges myself, because I think we all need to think about them before we answer with our typical, traditional responses. I believe that we need some doctrinal adjustments, and therefore, I'm not exactly defending the GB position against your challenges. I like it that @TrueTomHarley is standing in for me, but he is probably also concerned that, on my own, I'll end up throwing the GB under the bus. I'm not talking about some of the minor throw-away complaints (like 'Bible Studies are really just Book Studies' and we're trying to replace the Bible with these books, etc.). The GB challenge is probably the most difficult to address in a way that can rationalize some recent inconsistent statements, the play between spirit-directed and inspired, modern "apostolic" precedent, the GB's request to be trusted while admitting that some of the teachings and processes are bound to be mistaken now and then. And we have the challenge of when and whether conscience comes into play, whether legalism has gone too far, and truly difficult doctrines to defend such as overlapping groups within "this generation" and overlapping blood components with blood fractions, etc. Yes. The GB dictate to the congregations and, unless the dictate is seen as unconscionable or unscriptural, the members of the congregations are expected to obey. Naturally, this can go too far, but the reason for this should be easy to understand. For the following situation, for now, you might just want to insert your own view of what a proper Christian is, if you completely reject the possibility that a JW can be a true Christian: Hypothetically, a Christian may find himself/herself in a place with no fellow Christians to associate with, and all efforts to make disciples might fall on unproductive soil. But let's say that a Christian in this situation is happy and zealous for what he has learned from the Scriptures, has followed Jesus' command to make disciples so that others will know what Jesus taught, and is successful in converting 40 persons to Christianity and they all, because of their Bible reading, want to establish a community congregation to try to follow closely their view of the 1st century congregations as closely as possible. As everyone has unique abilities, and was converted at various times, the congregation will naturally have members of various levels of experience, and they likely want an orderly process for meeting and teaching and participating in the activities that they agree are important and consistent with their beliefs. Not everyone will want the same meeting times, not everyone will be teaching from the platform, or leading or suggesting the activities. There will be compromises as to meeting times, topics discussed, the depth or simplicity of those topics, how much to spend on activities, building maintenance, color of carpets, etc. Most will appreciate that those who qualify as "elders" Biblically, will also be capable of making those decisions in a way that benefits the majority in the congregation, even though it's not perfect, and no decision will be right for all members. Some of the decisions will be compromises, some will be about process, and very mundane things. But some will be about teachings, and it's likely that new things will be learned, and questions will be asked that make persons rethink something that might have been taught a different way than before. I hope you can see that, even with JWs out of the picture, you could probably accept this entire situation as a possible, and even normal, Christian congregation. So now we take it a step further: The excitement and joy in this congregation of 40 soon becomes 80 and 160 as more and more share in Jesus' command to make disciples. They are now spread over 100's of miles, and need 4 congregations. This turns to 400 miles and 20 congregations. We would expect that some of the qualified elders would be chosen and invited to give talks and instruction in some of the other congregations? News of congregation events and experiences in one congregation might want to be shared to build up those in another congregation? Perhaps a newsletter is in order that's shared among all 20 congregations? Perhaps even some of the more successful methods of making disciples could be shared? And these 20 congregations might find it nice to have a chance to gather together will all 20 congregations of those related to them in the faith on special occasions. It will soon be useful, perhaps necessary, to have certain members of these congregations specifically involved in (assigned to) tasks related to coordination, writing, topics for sermons, administration duties, and some assurances that their doctrines are being "double-checked" against the Bible so that one congregation is not teaching something that another congregation would find unbiblical or even offensive. The doctrine checking would no doubt go to those elders most experienced at teaching and preaching and who had experience visiting multiple congregations. I believe that most of these ideas would not be offensive to you, when you think of how naturally they occur in various denominations all around the world. With JWs, a large body of doctrine has been built up, and remodeled, over the last 135 years or so. Those elders who act as elders of multiple congregations instead of just one local congregation will see themselves as the "guardians of doctrine." (The term, as used by Brother Jackson, sounds too much like a protector of traditional doctrines, but I think he truly meant it as guarding the doctrines so that they remain consistent with the Biblical "constitution" even when amendments are necessary.) What I'm saying is that it is quite natural that we have a GB function. And I don't think it starts with how much they think of themselves, but the very high regard they have for the unique value of the doctrines in their care that makes them accept that they are handling a very special function. So they have looked for a Biblical way to highlight that value and ended up creating a doctrine (in 2012) about the GB being the same as the FDS, not even including the "Helpers." It's based on the one parable that highlights the way spiritual food is distributed to the entire congregation. (It appears they also considered using the parable of the loaves and fishes, but this one has too many participants in the distribution.) To me this is a doctrine that will likely need to be adjusted back to what it was from about 1928 to 2011, where the few in charge of writing and publishing doctrines only spoke of themselves as "representing" the rest of the FDS. Their function would be the same, however, with or without their current explanation of the FDS parable. But that doctrine itself has caused some problems in that it tends to highlight the importance of 8 persons when the entire focus should be on the overall value of the unique set of doctrines. I don't think any of us should have a problem, however, with the idea that a small group of elders who are seen as "faithful and discreet slaves" would perform many of the same functions as the Governing Body are now forming. They are elders, and they deserve respect. Most JWs think the GB are the equivalent of the FDS, so this is not a problem anyway. But I'm sure there are many who have already put this idea to the test, and it makes sense to them. Many others have put this idea to the test and they realize, as I said above, that it could be a doctrinal mistake, but would have no great effect one way or another if the doctrine were changes. (In fact, I have found long-time Witnesses who thought this had been the doctrine for nearly 50 years, since the GB arrangement.) Also, those of us who have remained JWs, even after questioning that particular doctrine, do so because we believe the majority of the basic doctrines being "distributed" are correct, otherwise there are other denominations to look into. My own criteria, based on the Bible, immediately knocks out just about all the other denominational options at a glance. I don't see the same huge difference. Paul spoke of the removal of the gifts of inspiration. So even if they were inspired, we should not expect inspiration to take the same form today. Also, the GB model themselves, not directly on the apostles, but on the Council of elders at Jerusalem, which was best known for correcting a big mistake that came right out of their own congregation, from under their noses, which Peter and James (not an apostle) had even hypocritically participated in. Also, even the apostles were not "inspired" at all times. No one goes to the door with the overlapping generations message. Our message is that the time for this wicked system is short, and that the Kingdom offers the perfect solution, so lift your heads up and rejoice, and if you really want to do some good, join us in spreading that same message to others. Haven't seen that invoked for a while. It gets drummed up by exJWs from some old 1950s Watchtower. It's been used again since 2000, but it's in the context of preparation for persecution as a possible way to be "cautious as serpents yet innocent as doves." The basic idea is not to give more information than a person is entitled to, especially so as not to put our brothers and sisters unnecessarily in harm's way. Yes. I know the quote, and I've heard others like it. It's an imperfect statement made by an imperfect man. But the motivation from context is the idea (perhaps patronizing) that most of us are like children who need a lot of reassurance. A parent wants a child to show trust even though the parent knows that he or she will make mistakes. But because the motive of most parents is loving, those mistakes will rarely outweigh the value of a child's trust in the parent. A good shepherd will show love to the flock under their care as if they are like his "children." I'm not offended because I think the phrase was properly motivated.
  25. 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.
  26. 5 points
    Outta Here

    JW OPPOSERS GROUPS

    As vitriolic as the spiteful crticisms of apostate opposers are, there is a remarkable tide of recognition of the integrity of Jehovah's Witnesses, even among those who do not share our beliefs. Speaking of the voluntary stand of Jehovah's Witnesses against the oppressive demands of the Nazi and Fascist regimes in Germany and Italy this observation was recently made: "We owe it also to their sacrifice that there was the powerful push in civil society that gave birth to the European project and also the European Court of Human Rights" Guido Raimondi. President of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) 1 November 2015 – 5 May 2019 The views of other non-Witness dignitaries can be seen here.
  27. 5 points
    Any data that an organization keeps with respect to a policy or prior practice is always considered fair game in a lawsuit, because these lawsuits seek to find out whether the prior practice matched the stated "public policy." The claim, if one goes after an organization for damages, is that the practice has been different from the policy. For example, a particular city or jurisdiction claims that their policy is to always change the lead (Pb) pipes in all areas where the levels of lead reach a certain threshold, and they have kept data on all lead level complaints, and data on every area where they have changed pipes (or fought against changing the pipes). If the city is proud of their record, and wants to prove that their stated policy was honest, they would be happy to have this record made available to the courts. And even if the courts say that they only need it to determine the probability of organizational wrongdoing in one particular case, there is a chance that this document/database will be leaked, or that the knowledge of such a document/database will cause it to be requested for multiple future cases, for as long as it is still viable to sue the water district or organization. If the water district has done a commendable job, they might even be happy that the document/database gets leaked. They might even leak it themselves. Of course, no organization is perfect, and there will always be items in such a database that make organizations concerned, or even ashamed. The fact that over a thousand cases of abuse in the Australian Branch were NEVER reported to authorities, and that not even one was reported, produced powerful circumstantial evidence that there may have been pressure from somewhere to keep such crimes unreported. It may have shown that almost any excuse will be grasped at to keep such crimes unreported, even in areas where reporting is not only ethical, but mandatory. The Australian database was therefore very important to show a pattern, in the event that a new case would claim that such a pattern actually existed. The other concern, of course, is that, if the database cannot be redacted, that some well-known names of brothers at the highest levels of responsibility in the organization could be revealed, bringing shame on the organization, and the families of those brothers. The Australian database had two names, I'm told, that went to the very top of the Branch in Australia (still living), and one name that went to the very top of the US Branch (a person no longer alive who was moved around after accusations surfaced). If this is true, it would give a whole new dimension to why it is suspected that the US Branch will never release the US database.
  28. 5 points
    This is pretty sad. I think a lot of it had to do with the more Anglocentric makeup of the GB in past years. The motive of giving the appearance of unity is not a bad one. Our styles of dress reflect our unity of worship. It's nice to be able to drive through a neighborhood or even visit another city and recognize Witnesses from quite a distance away. But now, there is more concern for writing counsel that advises an entire world of customs. There is a need to generalize the counsel since every country gets the same counsel. A lot of people think that Rutherford started the no-beard policy as a control measure to make sure that the Russellite cult was weeded out from among the Bible Students. My great grandfather was among the Chicago Bible Students who had many beard-growers because they thought so highly of Russell, who wore a beard. He was well-known in Russell's circle of associates, but would not have "advanced" under Rutherford if he did not cut his beard.
  29. 5 points
    To me, 1 Tim 6:20 seems more related to the so-called knowledge that comes from inside the congregation, because this would be consistent with the prior context of 1 Timothy. The idea of falsely called wisdom from the outside is referred to especially in the first three chapters of 1 Corinthians, which @Outta Here referred to. Not that the idea is wrong, but bringing up 1 Tim 6:20 in the context of something that the JW Organization should be particularly good at seems wrong to me. That's because I believe it refers to something that SHOULD be a pet peeve of every Witness about a particular habit of the Watchtower writers that continues to get us in trouble. We very often, historically, have made claims about certain interpretations of the scriptures that are completely unnecessary, and which turn out to be things that we end up dropping when the contradictions to actual events or other scriptures become too untenable to stretch belief any further. I could relist every single teaching which has had to be updated to make this point. But each of those interpretations was treated as knowledge when it was taught. Even though they turned out to be false, and required updating. Just because we like to avoid the word false, and call it "refinements" or "increasing light" changes nothing about the falsehood of the previously called knowledge. But spiritual food does not have a shelf life. Those false teachings were never spiritual food to begin with. There has NEVER been a reason to turn a specific interpretation into "knowledge."
  30. 5 points
    I will start with this WT Society quote from
      Hello guest!
    : Tell him to stop and listen to the bird singing. Then ask him, "Who created the birds and taught them to sing?" God did this. God created heaven and earth and all living beings!He gives life. Here we see how publication speaking about one special ability, among many others, ability to learn. So, by this quote we see how animals have ability to learn, and that, in a direct way, personally from God! :)) Yes, this WT Society book is for children, but as simplified edition it could be for adults too. :)) Let's go to article named: “His Invisible Qualities Are Clearly Seen” Paul said, "[God] invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and deity, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, because they are distinguished by what is created, so that these people have no excuses" ( Romans 1:20 ). If we look closely at these words, we will be convinced that the Creator is like an artist who signed his masterpiece. - source:
      Hello guest!
    It is also interesting that in same Creative Day, God has made land animals and humans - together. For First Humans God was not given one Special Day and Separate Day for creating this The Crown of His Creation - humans. No, He made them in the same day. Are Humans the Only Bearers of God’s Image? Humans are not made with some special materials, but also from dust as animals. Also, Genesis not telling us about how in Paradise existed predators and prays. But how all living as Equal Creatures, with no Mastering from first Human above any of animal. They all had equal position in Paradise. To live and be happy. Only after the Flood we see how God speaking about huge change - Permission to kill animals for food: Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. Mastering over them in: The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. But something is also very interesting: And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being. Lifeblood of animals and of humans are on same Level before God! And next thing is interesting: “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. Why would God made covenant with Animals as the same with Human. Why if Animals have no Qualities that God gave, supposedly, only to Human? Why, if Animals have no brain, conscious, heart, ability as Humans? Humans are Unique in Degree but Not Kind. The capability differences between humans and other creatures seem finally to amount to differences of degree and not kind. The differences among creatures pertain to complexity. There are good reasons to believe humans share basic attributes with other creatures. - source:
      Hello guest!
    Obviously, we have a lot to learn about Animals as creatures made by God Himself. :))
  31. 5 points
    TrueTomHarley

    who is referred to here?

    Moreover, if they really wanted to pump everyone into fever pitch, as John charges they do, they would not have let 1Thess 5:2-3 go unmentioned during last week’s assigned Bible reading—the verse about “whenever they are crying ‘peace and security.’ They would have hyped it to the heavens. Instead, they let it pass unnoticed. I think they are sailing a “steady as she goes” course among treacherous waters, doing their best not to overhype nor underhype. I just don’t like to second-guess their every move. Everyone knows what a pain a back-seat driver is. I don’t want to be one. Does John want to go back to what he once was doing, reasoning that it is enough to know that the end is “out there somewhere?” This course I believe we are “not allowed” to take—not by the GB, but by Jesus, if we would prove ourselves faithful to him. Does John point to things he thinks the GB does wrong? (Does he ever!) I note how Miriam and Aaron began to speak against Moses on account of his Cushite wife—and how Jehovah really, really didn’t like that, and He let them hear about it. This was so even though Moses actually did have a Cushite wife. As much as it is good to roam history in the spirit of “he who does not know history is doomed to repeat it,” it is probably one of those things we are just going to have to accept that we do from time to time. The presumed motivation for so searching past publications is so that we do not yet again emerge with egg on our face when something doesn’t turn out as anticipated. I think it is fair to assume that we may—for the alternative is to forget all about “keeping on the watch”—the opposite shoal, which is even more dangerous than the one we are trying to navigate. To the extent that the intent is to appear “respectable” by never again having to backtrack on prior expectations, I think the intent is misguided, though certainly understandable. Paul was described as a “pest” who was leading a “sect.” Witnesses today can expect no more. Christians then were considered the “offscouring” of the earth. Witnesses today can expect no more. What we have on this site is multiple players trying to make the case that the doers are doing it wrong—overlooking the fact that in most cases they themselves are doing nothing. Witnesses just have to accept that it will be that way. Malcontents and renegades will pick up the same refrain as you-know-who, the one who “accuses our brothers day and night before our God.”
  32. 5 points
    My wife, Susan, sent me a link to this from the downstairs computer, of a woman reunited with her dog who somehow got into a shelter. If you want to distill three days of words, words, and more words, into one photograph ..... look at this one.
  33. 5 points
    Years ago an introductory convention talk featured Matthew 13:52 “...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.” It wouldn’t all be new. It would be also plenty of the old. At seventy years of age, most of it will be old. It will be reminders and exhortations, encouragement and the relating of experiences. It will be new ways of looking at old things—the gem turned so that it is examined through a new facet. Since you are so very much out of harmony with the ones putting on the program, you will kick back at most of it. I mean, you are not exactly easy to satisfy.
  34. 5 points
    I don't know if this is really new, but I learned it's very important to love, and show love to one another because we as heck are going to need it in the future. And I'm talking about true love, the principled kind, not the sentimental kind.
  35. 5 points
    @BillyTheKid46, You seem to spend an inordinate amount of energy trying to provoke persons into fighting with you. It is as though you have a NEED to fight. I have seen this from you (and yours) for quite a while now. In a recent thread about Brother Morris visiting a liquor store, I agreed with you completely that the post was irrelevant and irreverent and it tried to make something scandalous out of a potentially innocent activity without 100 percent proof. (And I thought your pun was good, too. See page 4 of that topic.) You and Melinda Mills spoke about the Venezuelan economic issues under Maduro. You helped to clarify the picture that Melinda posted, the one with worthless money in the gutter, when you provided a link to the explanatory SNOPES article. I mentioned that I appreciated that same SNOPES link you provided because it gave details about how and when those pictures came about, and I quoted verbatim from your link. Then you inexplicably decided to reject the explanation from your own link, and claim that I was somehow attacking the vision that your mother had told you about in the 1960's. What made this so odd was that I had already agreed that the picture was related to that same expectation. My own mother referenced that point from Ezekiel 7:19, as did Melinda's. You said: BTK: "What was fasinating to me, My mother pointed it out to me in the '60s as a devout JW that would happen, and it sure the hell did. There is no photoshop on that. It's not a tale." To which I responded, that in spite of the propaganda use that was presented in SNOPES that, Yes. . . : JWI: "It was still related to Maduro, and is still related to money becoming worthless. It is still supportive of the idea that people will be throwing their money (even their gold) in the streets, because money is of no value as a savior in the day of Jehovah's fury. It shows how bad things can get." To which you responded: BTK: "I understand you are trying desperately to delegitimize my mother’s vision. Do that with your own mother, lay off mine." I didn't bother to respond, after which you added: BTK: "Its unfortunate someone like JWinsider decided to insult and denigrate a relative, and James thinking it’s funny to do just that, makes them the biggest AH’s in this forum." I'm sure that a few people didn't realize that you had made up the whole thing about someone "denigrating a relative" just to provoke a fight in the same way worldly people do when they hurl insults about each other's mother, and call each other "AH," which has been used as an abbreviation for a**hole. When you provoke and the other party doesn't respond in kind, I'm sure it can be frustrating. But please don't bring these same worldly attitudes and posturings into every topic. You end up discrediting yourself instead of your target. "A slave of the Lord does not need to fight." (2 Tim 2:24)
  36. 4 points
    Here is the material for March 30-April 5 and the Watchtower for the April 6, 2020. TB MEETING WORKBOOK week of March 30–April 5 , 2020 text only.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of March 30–April 5 , 2020.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of March 30–April 5 , 2020.pdf Watchtower March 30, 2020–April 5, 2020.doc Watchtower March 30, 2020–April 5, 2020.pdf Watchtower par. 8, 14 March 30, 2020–April 5, 2020.doc Watchtower par. 8, 14 March 30, 2020–April 5, 2020.pdf Additional Highlights -March 30–April 5, 2020.doc Additional Highlights -March 30–April 5, 2020.pdf CBS MARCH 30–APRIL 5 , 2020.doc CBS MARCH 30–APRIL 5 , 2020.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of March 30–April 5 , 2020 text only.doc Watchtower April 6-12, 2020.doc Watchtower April 6-12, 2020.pdf
  37. 4 points
    Anna

    Meetings canceled in Sweden

    Ummmm.......no. The congregations are only following the recommendations or orders from secular authorities who have good reasons for giving these orders for the health and safety of its citizens. I can't understand why anyone would think that JWs are somehow going to think it does not apply to them?? As soon as the authorities say it's ok to gather again, we will resume the meetings. It's not rocket science....
  38. 4 points
    The problem with suggesting that the "elders are under Jesus' full control, power and direction," is that people can get a skewed idea. Imperfect, uninspired men can become "masters of our faith" rather than "good-for-nothing slaves that are doing what they should." Of course, we respect the "arrangement" God has in place for pure worship and give "double honour" to those taking the lead. But that is a far cry from handing all of our personal thinking, choices and decisions over to imperfect men, thinking they are "fully controlled" by Jesus and anything but is being disobedient to him. Jesus and Jehovah have provided direction in his Word as guidelines for how the congregation should be run. But sometimes men in authority go "beyond what is written" and we should use our "clear thinking faculties" to be able to discern the difference. The fact is, that if one is too lazy to study and read God's Word or are gullible, you can start acting like you are in a cult - even when you are not. Child molesters (yes some have been "elders") get away with their actions for decades - not because Jesus is controlling them to do that, but because children are confused or awed by the authority they have. Even otherwise, at times, men in authority in the organization have assumed too much authority and used that authority in a way they are not authorized scripturally to do. People need to know the difference. "Whole-souled devotion" to Jehovah does not mean whole-souled devotion to imperfect men - even when we respect what authority they have as part of Jehovah's arrangement and offer scriptural obedience. Why? One reason is that some of these men are not who they appear to be (whether they be "wolves in sheep's clothing," "wicked men and imposters," "rocks hidden below the surface..." There is no level of authority within the organization where such men have not been found.) Should we be obedient to them? We need to know the difference when such men (i.e.. apostates or immoral men) direct things not in harmony with Jesus' direction as recorded in the Bible. Also, that way we won't be stumbled when Jesus apparently gets dates and teachings wrong and has to back-track on what he directed/controlled before. No, the reality is that we still have to use our brains.
  39. 4 points
    The old method of handling this was to use the expression "present truth." Many adventists including Seventh Day still use the expression. It's based on a mistranslation of 2 Peter 1:12 where the KJV said: Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. The tendency among 19th century Adventists was to see a "chronology" element or "time" element in the English expression that did not exist in the original Greek. Therefore, the idea was that: even when in the midst of learning or teaching falsehood, it was still "present truth" at the time, and what is now "present truth" could turn out to be false in the future, but it will always have been "present truth" because it's always the best we had at the time. From the Greek, this is better translated as "the truth that is present in you" (American Standard and NWT). A similar rush to see a time element in the English translation was done by Barbour and Russell and others who had been associated with Adventists. Here's an example from Leviticus: (Leviticus 26:28) 28 I will intensify my opposition to you, and I myself will have to chastise you seven times for your sins. This was originally the primary source for Russell's 7 times = 2,520 years, and the 7 times of Nebuchadnezzar's dream about his own insanity was only a secondary source. But we have since learned that Leviticus here didn't refer to chronological "times" but the sense was "7 times as much" as in "I will hit you twice as hard, or three times as hard, or seven times as hard." This was already in the context, but chronologists and numerologists rarely notice the context until they have already formed a time related doctrine. (Leviticus 26:18-21) . . .“‘If even this does not make you listen to me, I will have to chastise you seven times as much for your sins. . . . 21 “‘But if you keep walking in opposition to me and refuse to listen to me, I will then have to strike you seven times as much, according to your sins. Now that we have noticed this, we have been stuck with using Nebuchadnezzar as if his wicked Gentile kingdom somehow represented Christ's Messianic non-Gentile kingdom. (Another contradiction between 1914 and the Bible.) We still tend to make a "chronology word" out of things having to do with time when we translate the Greek word for time as "appointed time" instead of what might better be translated as "opportune time." Note that it's the exact same word "time" in these two verses: (Ephesians 5:16) 16 buying out the opportune time for yourselves, because the days are wicked. (Luke 21:24) . . .and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled. Neither the word opportune nor appointed is found in the Greek, only the word time. But the more typical meaning is "opportunity" as in: Will you find the opportunity to do this? Will you find the time to do this? Not: Will you find the appointed day and hour to do this? We have added a more specific chronological sense that usually isn't necessary in the Greek.
  40. 4 points
    Dear @Arauna , nothing in my comments are written because of hate. Just try to openly discussing about religious practice and reasons for such beliefs and practice.
  41. 4 points
    No. You are preoccupied with this, and @4Jah2me lives and breathes it. But anyone else takes into account that there is no sizable organization on earth where CSA is not an issue, and no one that is not being sued—and in most cases, it is the leaders who are the abusers, something very rare with JWs, whose leaders are just accused of not reporting. Don’t misunderstand. I would rather that even that were not so, but it is considerably less serious than the leaders being the abusers. Most people can get their heads around that, out of 8 million people, not every single one will be blameless—especially since CSA is the scourge of the planet. Most people can also get their heads around clergy/penitent confidentiality, even if it is being legally reinterpreted, same as they have understood doctor/patient and lawyer/client privilege. I say the following only because I am addressing you, JTR, and I know your political leaning: Most ordinary Americans cannot quite get their heads around quid-pro-quo and if you explain it to them they are not quite sure why it is the huge deal Trump’s opponents make it out to be. We’ll see how it turns out. It may be something to the Witness organization’s lasting shame. Or perhaps a sense of proportion will, in time, assert itself. I do sometimes wish that there was a little more PR pushback from them. At present there is only a “we abhor child sexual abuse.” True enough, but in the face of court actions and vehement accusers, reporters go to where they can get a story. They can get one from accusers, but nothing specific from the defense, so they naturally gorge themselves on what the accusers have to say. That’s what reporters do. There is a limit to how much you can malign people. The decency of Jehovah’s Witnesses is well-attested. They are not flower-selling robe dressers but they are neighbors and coworkers. True, they eat Bible sandwiches, but they are honest, industrious, law-abiding, and harmless. Usually when there are laudable people, it is understood to be because of their leaders, not despite them. You hang out here too much, JTR, with people who are obsessed over this, in some cases people who are fervently hoping for an outcome detrimental to JWs. “Can’t see the forest for the trees” is the pit some fall into. Again, because of your political leanings—it is like media whipping people into a frenzy over Trump day after day, praying that every tiny development proves to be the torpedo that sinks him. From the moment of his election this has been the case—even from before his election. Close one Mueller investigation with not much to show for it, and immediately open another. At least half the country concludes that it is his enemies grasping at straws.
  42. 4 points
    In addition, anointed Christians do not view themselves as being part of an elite club. They do not seek out others who claim to have the same calling, hoping to bond with them or endeavoring to form private groups for Bible study. (Gal. 1:15-17) Such efforts would cause divisions within the congregation and work against the holy spirit, which promotes peace and unity. wt 1/2016, "We Want to Go With You". It would be important and interesting to see what are examples that WT Society GB and elders saw as danger for Corporation and as braking Bible Principles. We all are aware how people doing this sort of "separation" inside same structure. "Birds of feather flock together". It is visible to many how JW people contribute in various measures to this same. Bethel workers are one "social class", also pioneers understanding each other more than some other level of brotherhood can do that. Brothers who are wealthier or have more education find more friends inside such people and making that sort of "social group". Poor brothers understand each other more, much better than someone who has plenty of money can have that compassion to them. All such gathering can be seen as gathering based on some reasons that is not "Biblical", but it is not so simple or good to make automatic conclusion or judgement. If anointed individuals understand each other more better and in special way, it is normal to see them want to spend more time been together. Do you want to spend more of your time with people who understand you and your inner life or you want to be with those people who can't do that?? We all can be seen as "elite" in own eyes, or in eyes of other. Warning about private groups for study Bible is based on need to control everyone, not just appointed.
  43. 4 points
    Do some of your guys spend your life on the web, going from blog to blog / forum to forum ? How many JW / Ex JW 'sites' are there ? I'd rather go for a long walk in the countryside and see what God has created, myself, but each to their own
  44. 4 points
    There are actually two men whose name is a type of tree. Both are pseudonyms, the specific trees are different, and one was chosen as a tribute for the other. I think the two have been confused with one another here. Tree 1 has the hatred for the elders, but not to my knowledge, any unpleasant family history. Tree 2, the one named in honor of Tree 1, is the one with the dysfunctional family history. I don’t quite remember the specifics, but I don’t think it was anything wildly shocking—perhaps an authoritarian father on his wife’s side, or step father—something like that. Tree 1 is the one who banned me from his website. Never from Twitter, where I did answer him a few times, and he was without exception (once he discovered that his initial hope that I was about to jump ship was wrong) insulting, taunting, and ridiculing. Tree 2 blocked me from the moment I first responded—not disrespectfully (though also not half-heartedly)—to his article that was published in a major magazine. References to both are in “TrueTom vs the Apostates!” Tree 1:
      Hello guest!
    Tree 2:
      Hello guest!
    I have a different type of a tree in my front yard—a ginkgo tree. It is one of the few (perhaps only) deciduous trees that come in male and female variety. The male tree is fine. The female stinks in the fall. “The sarcotesta [fallen ginko tree fruit] has a strong smell that most people find unpleasant.” - Wikipedia We call ours a ****ball tree. People think that is crude, but then they stop by for a whiff and wonder what took us so long to name it. Otherwise, it’s an outwardly beautiful tree. Why it is MY tree and not one of THEIRS I’ll never know.
  45. 4 points
    Arauna

    JW OPPOSERS GROUPS

    It is the bad schooling and the way they are taught to reason. UNESCO has given guidelines for about 30 years for schools and universities. This is why there currently are so many useless generic degrees at universities and such unscientific studies in gender studies etc.... all pushed by UN to forward their Agenda 21 goals. (I worked for an umbrella organization which restructured 15 technical universities to comply with UN regulations in Africa..... 24 years ago.... They ruined a perfectly good system while chancellors and vice-chancellors accepted all new guidelines - because the "holy" UN was giving instructions.) Most of the problems in society today can be traced back to the post modern progressive thinking in education for the past 30 years.
  46. 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.”
  47. 4 points
    I guess the first point I could address is how someone with serious unresolved questions and concerns about a couple of our teachings could still participate in promoting our publications and our meetings to interested persons. Won't those persons be faced with unresolved questions too? This gets to the claim by some that 85 percent of what we present is not worth it, and 15 percent is worth it, but that 15 percent is valuable enough to ignore the 85 percent. If those were the real numbers then making a convert would be very hard to justify. And in any case we would always have to spend a lot of time telling our Bible students that there are a lot of things we don't understand ourselves. But the numbers aren't that bad, because we really don't spend the amount of time on the areas where more people have unresolved questions. For example, let's just look at the two magazines that were common to many of the carts today. One is the Watchtower No.3 2019, and the other is the Awake! No.2 2019. The Awake! has the cover is "Six Lessons Children Need to Learn." There are short articles on Self-Control, Humility, Resilience, Responsibility, Adult Guidance, and the Need for Moral Values. I am critical of a lot of things, but I found every single word to be well written and useful. It makes a nicely presented way to discuss such important topics with children. Or it just makes it simple to keep a prioritized list of ideas in a parent's mind to remember as they come up. And all of it leads to the fact that Bible principles are the foundation of these lessons, even if might seem at first like mundane lessons about the amount of time spent on entertainment media. So on to the Watchtower. The basic questions that religion should answer are the same questions that people ask all over the world. They are the questions that don't really overlap with science, and although they might overlap a bit with "philosophy" it's really the place of true religion to show why the Bible's view gives the best and most satisfying answers. These are the questions of "What is the meaning of life?" "Is God to blame for suffering?" "What happens when we die?" Those are the same questions called "Life's Big Questions" on the back of the Awake! So the Watchtower starts out with an article on "The Sad Reality of Death." Nothing questionable or inappropriate here. Science is mentioned as a possible source of answers, here, and in the next article "The Search For Long Life." The idea is clear and obvious, that "We are Designed to Live" just as the next article shows. Again, I see nothing that any naysayer, except atheists, might find wrong or questionable. In fact, up to this point, atheists might still be following along, too. After all, it does not overwhelm with scriptures, but uses them in unobtrusive ways. Now the question of "Why Do We Grow Old And Die" gets into the Biblical aspects, on page 8 of 15. It's all clearly the correct Biblical answer, however. Granted, some religious and science-oriented religious persons can take Adam & Eve as allegorical in some way, which is common. But even so, the rest of the Bible clearly uses the exact example as the explanation about death on earth. And therefore page 10 begins discussing the hope, when death is conquered. There is a very clear explanation of the Ransom here. Using Scriptures throughout this article. There is a paragraph or two on "When" but it is not done with the idea that "we know something about the date that no one else knows." Someone might wonder why it only mentions "millions" being resurrected, but this isn't said in such a way that we are telling people that it won't be billions, or thousands; it's just presented as a way of stating a happy hope in the resurrection. It mentions the "last days" but exactly the way the scriptures use the expression. In detailing "How Can You Have More Than This Life?" on page 12, the appeal is to those who want to see a better earth, and who would like to live forever under much better conditions. It's an invitation to learn more. And the next article shows how the road to that better life will produce side effects of contentment, more satisfying priorities, better marriages, and even better health (overall) in this life. I find BOTH of these entire magazines to be 100 percent valuable, well written, and they touch on no unresolved or unresolvable questions. And we all know that some of our talks and other publications cover this same material exactly as these articles do, sometimes with more examples, more verses, more detail -- but the same ideas. We are offering exactly what people should be looking for, satisfactory answers to important questions. When an interested person gets to all the meetings, they will soon discover that time is spent on the meaning of Ezekiel, for example, the history of the organization, and a lot of emphasis on urgency in preaching on account of the times we're living in, and the overall timing of Jehovah's purpose. Some of this material will likely result in questions that they will find ways to resolve, or else just accept and wait for a resolution in time. But it's not the gist of our preaching and disciple-making. I think most people who come into the organization will remember the Big Questions, and that those were the primary reasons they joined with us. Those questions are answered in a more appealing and satisfying way than other religions are answering them. And we back up our answers with the Bible. Our teachings regarding war, neutrality, Trinity, hellfire, paradise earth, the challenge to Jehovah's sovereignty, etc., will make even more sense to interested persons when they remember that the first attraction was to the way the Bible answered those big questions. Those were the questions that build a primary foundation around the teaching of God's Purpose, Eternal Life, the Ransom, the Resurrection, etc. So even if chronology and some of the specific prophetic interpretations can result in unresolved questions, for now, it's not like this needs to be such a big part of Witness thinking. We can participate in every major aspect of our worship with joy and without being overly concerned with these unresolved questions. And when they finally are resolved, I'm sure we'll see them as relatively unimportant compared to the big things.
  48. 4 points
    Since I am a self-proclaimed Barbarian, Billy, I can only assume you are trying to flatter me for some romantic reason. It will NOT work!
  49. 4 points
    This is apocryphal but I think true, since there are not many degrees of separation: Many years ago waiting for the pioneer meeting to get underway, some of us young pioneers started commenting on nightmare scenarios—like witnessing to super-patriot John Wayne. He probably would sic his Rottweilers on us! The circuit overseer interjected that it was not so. In a circuit he had once served, a brother had called upon John Wayne, who could not have been more kind or more respectful, even saying that he knew that what they had was true, but that he would never be able to live up to it. Now (and this is my speculation years later) where could he have gotten such a good impression of Jehovah’s Witnesses? ”I played in a movie called Ring of Fear …..This was where I got the Jag. The guy wrote and directed the picture had problems, but John Wayne who produced it, never gave up on his friends. Duke was having a bad time, going through a divorce, and they needed to fix the script. So they're thinking who could do it, and someone says, Spillane's a writer, he could do it. Now I'm playing ME in the picture, for pete's sake. They called me up in Newburgh on Wednesday, I'm already back home across the country, and said come back and fix it. So I took my Wagner records, flew West, and worked Friday, Saturday, Sunday. They set me up in a beautiful hotel suite, and I worked. …..And they wanta pay me for the script but I won't take nothing for that, it was a favour. But Duke says, 'he was looking at those Jags in the lot next to the Cock and Bull'. One night, I'm back in Newburgh, it's snowing, and out in front of my house is this beautiful Jag with a red ribbon around it, and a note that says 'Thanks, Duke'.” - Mickey Spillane
  50. 4 points
    I could be in serious trouble. They just finished remodeling the Kingdom Hall, and there are two quarter walls, one left of stage and one right. Gulp. Will the brother start entering and exiting the platform via those quarter walls, just like I saw them do in the other congregation?
      Hello guest!
    The circuit overseer was visiting, so I started pumping him on it. “‘Don’t let the brothers walk behind the quarter wall to go on-stage,” I told him. I was not too insistent, one mustn’t overdo it on these things. I mean, I don’t want to be the brother who meets him in the parking lot to tell him that all the brothers are no good, and they aren’t loving at all, and they are deadwood in the ministry, and come to think of it, they don’t even like God, and so he, the circuit overseer, has a lot of work to do here, and he says “Yeah, I think I’ve found the problem already.” I did about as much as I could. He seemed to be sympathetic. “Yeah, I know,” he said. “You see them, then you don’t as they walk behind the wall, and then you do as they emerge from the other side—it IS a little funny.” So I gave it a good try. But he was just biding his time to get away from me. He is not going to do anything at all, I don’t think, other than tell the brothers to go on the platform when it is their turn to speak. What does he care how they do it? It doesn’t bother HIM any one way of the other. It’s ME it’s driving nuts, and then he will say “Well, you were mostly there already.” I have always tried to stack the deck. Those elders way back in the day would have a meeting coming up and I would pump various ones separately over multitude of picayune things, so that one of them said at their meeting (as I was told later) “Wait a minute. Who’s running this congregation? You, me, or Tom Harley?” But lo! A miracle has occurred. Never never never NEVER did I think I would EVER agree with @Jack Ryan. But I do on something. Jack Ryan! who if a Bethel brother so much as farts, he starts a derogatory thread on it. Jack Ryan! who has been known to start as many as a dozen critical threads in a single day. Jack Ryan! who I think regards himself as some sort of a secret agent/freedom fighter. What is it with this character? Yet, I saw, yes—I witnessed it while visiting another congregation, brothers clapping after each and every exchange that took place up front, whether li8ve or on video, just the way Jack was complaining about. Suddenly he becomes as a prophet from on high. That too, drove me nuts!—all that clapping. You don’t clap over every single skit of one sister offering a tract to another, who, of course accepts it a just little too eagerly, it seems to me, from what I recall in the actual ministry. You clap spontaneously when something really knocks your socks off. You clap when a child or even anyone gives his or her first talk on the school. You clap when the spirit genuinely moves you, for anything. You clap after the public talk, even giving the speaker the benefit of the doubt if it wasn’t that—um—good. But you don’t clap for every minor exchange of trivial words! It only cheapens the times that there really is something to clap for. I know where this comes from, just like I know where walking behind the quarter walls came from. Some pious brother doubtless wanted to “show appreciation” for everything under the sun and so started up the habit, thinking he was setting a ‘good example’ and that others would follow, and those others, not wanting to seem unappreciative, did follow, even some half-heartedly. However, it is possible that it is not the pious brother at all who is responsible, but rather the one who is too swayed by the new-agey mantra that you have to lavish praise on children non-stop just for showing up, for the sake of building self-esteem, and so they clap if a brother so much as clears his throat. I mean, don’t go pinning this one on “theocracy,” Jack—it could just as well be that trendy “world” that you are so enamored with. This will not the easiest habit to break. I mean, you can hardly sit there and scowl, so as to provide the counter-example. The best strategy is just to contain it, as you might strive to do with a measles outbreak. Don’t send speakers to that congregation for awhile, until the illness passes. I doubt I can even enlist the circuit overseer in any serious capacity on this one. He will probably just roll his eyes when I meet him about it in the parking lot. C’mon, DO IT RIGHT, BROTHERS!




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