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  1. 7 points
    Of course, there was that "God-damned" snake in the grass back in Eden. It was cursed to crawl on the ground and lick the dust with its [forked] tongue. Then there were those pigs that allowed themselves to be possessed by demons, and were driven to commit suicide. Certain animals might have listened to communication from God to be able to receive a name from Adam. The same could be said for the animals that listened to communication from God to get on Noah's ark. Or for ravens to find Elijah to bring him food. Or, perhaps even a big fish who nearly snacked on Jonah. And there's that special relationship between Jehovah and Leviathan and Behemoth. God gives animals "meat in due season" (food at the proper time): (Psalm 104:27) . . .All of them wait for you To give them their food in its season. And a donkey evidently saved a man's life by ascertaining an invisible angel. On a serious note, I think most people agree that many persons have an unbalanced view of pets. But it's also easy to get unbalanced in the direction of disdaining pets and animals. Remember that Jehovah himself rejoices at his works which obviously includes his many interactions with animals according to the context of Psalm 104. (Psalm 104:28-31) . . .What you give them, they gather. When you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things. 29 When you hide your face, they are disturbed. If you take away their spirit, they die and return to the dust. 30 If you send out your spirit, they are created, And you renew the surface of the ground. 31 The glory of Jehovah will last forever. Jehovah will rejoice in his works.
  2. 7 points
    Here is the weekly material for the next 2 weeks July 8-14 and July 15-21, 2019. TB MEETING WORKBOOK week of July 8-14 , 2019 text only.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of July 8-14 , 2019 text only.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of July 8-14 , 2019.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of July 8-14 , 2019.pdf Watchtower July 8-14, 2019.doc Watchtower July 8-14, 2019.pdf Additional Highlights - July 8-14, 2019.doc Additional Highlights - July 8-14, 2019.pdf CBS July 8-14, 2019.doc CBS July 8-14, 2019.pdf CBS July 15-21, 2019.pdf CBS July 15-21, 2019.doc Additional Highlights -July 15-21.pdf Additional Highlights -July 15-21.doc Watchtower July 15-21, 2019.pdf Watchtower July 15-21, 2019.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week ofJuly 15-21, 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week ofJuly 15-21, 2019.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week ofJuly 15-21, 2019 text only.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week ofJuly 15-21, 2019 text only.doc
  3. 6 points
    Here is the Weekly Material for August 19-25 and August 26–September 1, 2019. TB Watchtower August 19-25, 2019.pdf Watchtower August 19-25, 2019.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of August 19-25 , 2019 text only.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of August 19-25 , 2019.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of August 19-25 , 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of August 19-25 , 2019 text only.doc CBS August 19-25, 2019.pdf CBS August 19-25, 2019.doc Additional Highlights -August 19-25, 2019.doc Additional Highlights -August 19-25, 2019.pdf Additional Highlights -December 31, 2018–January 6, 2019.doc Additional Highlights -August 26–September 1, 2019.pdf CBS August 26–September 1, 2019.pdf CBS August 26–September 1, 2019.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of August 26–September 1 , 2019.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of August 26–September 1 , 2019 text only.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of August 26–September 1 , 2019 text only.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of August 26–September 1 , 2019.pdf Watchtower August 26, 2019–September 1, 2019.doc Watchtower August 26, 2019–September 1, 2019.pdf
  4. 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.
  5. 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)
  6. 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.
  7. 6 points

    UN Compact 2018

    Interesting article and video..... On 11 December most countries will sign the UN Compact in Morocco. It is part of the "Agenda 21" plan for the 21 st century started in 1992. Read up about Agenda 21, agenda 2030 and about this Compact for Migration which will criminalize anyone saying anything against the UN plan. Those countries who signed are obliged to assist migrants financially and basically all people have a right to migrate....(no more borders). About 20 nations are now fighting it and will be forced by fines for not complying. It is part of the UN plan for one world government... Is this real? Or a conspiracy.... ? Watch this little video and give comments of the implications. I have the original documents and on this Youtube link you can also download the UN document "agenda 21". NGOs have already been receiving funds to implement it for the past 20 years and both republican and democratic governments has been changing laws to implement is..... It has been going on under our noses and the general public does not know. My interest in this is the fulfillment of prophecy which indicates the UN or coalition of governments to rule for short period of time before Armageddon. There are huge implications to this .... but first watch this little video to begin the discussion.... here is the link.....
  8. 6 points
    Recently (like this last week), I was attending to our JW publication cart at our local library. We (the sister with me) were approached by a guy dressed like a country music wannabe with cowboy hat and a plaid shirt with the arms torn off. His arms were flaying around as he talked about a Youtube vid about our "black dude" leader saying we need to cast our children out of our homes if they aren't following JW rules. The sister and I were perplexed since we didn't know what he was talking about and tried to reason with him. Now I know what got him fired up. The recording of Bro Herd is very hard to decipher what he is saying but I know from previous broadcasts he and Bro Morris can express their personal opinion like its scripture. They mean well but I feel they go too far sometimes. Casting out demons is totally different than dealing with a disfellowshipped child. The demons had been in Jehovah's presence as fully functioning perfect beings. They chose a course of rebellion with full knowledge and understanding not subjected to the influence of Adamic sin. A imperfect child does make their own choices but who knows what influences those choices. Being an imperfect human gets complicated. Every country on earth that I can think of has a prison system to protect their good citizens from the bad. As with Russia we can see that system has a hidden agenda to do just the opposite. As humans in or out of the Truth, we can have a hidden agenda and I suspect the BoE is not exempt if they are not careful. I pray for Jehovah to repair any damage done and to cause corrections to be made.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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."
  12. 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. :))
  13. 5 points

    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.”
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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)
  18. 5 points
    Where did Adam get his?
  19. 5 points
    That's why he's called God's son God completed the rest of the DNA for him
  20. 5 points
    It is understandable for me to see your disappoint about R.F. or similar characters inside JW. Yes, perhaps your view about him is correct. But for many of us is of less concern why he wrote a book about GB and WT. We can feel sorrow for him or we can say he is/was hypocrite. Nevertheless, information's we get from his inside insight about WT GB mechanism are more important then he alone. Because "The Truth" is in question, not he, not me, not you. He was the one who has must struggle with HIS conscience why he stay inside and support all wrongs he knew about, despite knowledge he had. He was the one who has been responsible for covering this too long and so on. I do not care, in final stage of matter, what was his motive. Only important thing for me is; Is it that or this, what he said, true?
  21. 5 points
    Just a little more longwinded opinion here. I think his tone and most of his words were intended to portray himself as someone who recognizes that there were and are human rights issues to take care of now and to avoid in the future. He also is is to be seen as a source of wise advice, giving the impression that if he had just known some of these issues in advance that he would have known better ways to handle these things. But he also recognizes that some issues are too complex to make snap decisions about on the spot. He gives the impression that he is generally knowledgeable, perhaps had an idea about some of these issues, but was really just now learning the specifics, either on the spot or from reading the papers provided in preparation for the meeting. Otherwise he would be portraying himself and therefore the Russian nation as knowingly culpable in any of the errors that had been made in the name of the state. That's the big difference in using the term to mean "prosecute" vs "persecute." If he had intentionally used the term to mean "persecute" this would have been very much at odds with that tenor -- it admits national culpability -- and that he KNOWS there is national culpability. That's why it is very different from "prosecute" which admits only procedural error at most, e.g., too strict a definition being put on the word "extremist," and therefore something that could potentially be redressed merely through a change or adjustment in judicial procedure, if deemed necessary. To me, his words indicate that he would not be averse to a positive change in the procedure against "extremist" groups, especially when these are generally seen as "Christian" groups. It seems he would be more forgiving of first time offenses of trying to proselytize. I don't get the impression that he, on his own, will want to make a big deal of what happened with the Witnesses. But he will no doubt be informed again of the JW status and will be more knowledgeable each time he is re-informed, and this could easily lead to a situation very soon where he asks for a change to the procedure against JWs. The JWs may have to "compromise" in the sense of being more of an autonomous religious group in Russia that doesn't give the impression that it merely takes all marching orders from outside of Russia (New York). To work well in Russia, the state wants to know that tens of thousands of people are not going to suddenly begin carrying "Religion is a Snare and a Racket" signs in the streets, or drink Kool-Aid, or collect money for a corporation in Wallkill, New York where instruction will trickle down through other branches to update rules about where new Halls will be built, what to do about national anthems, military service, blood transfusion policy, or look to an internal judicial system that could be seen as competing with or overriding that of the state. When he is advised again about the JWs, he will be concerned about how it looks to his own nation, outside international organizations, how it reflects on himself, and therefore, if making a change is useful or worth the effort. I don't get the impression he is anxious to make a big deal about it. I see it very possible that his own advisors on these issues could talk him out of doing something, even if he thinks it is advisable. I see right now as a good time for the WTS HQ to help orchestrate the leverage of human rights organizations. Getting 8 million people to write the same set of letters is not as impressive to him as it seems to us, because it only proves that the very thing he doesn't want in a Russian religion, exists to the nth degree in our religion: that everyone follows orders from the same HQ outside of Russia.
  22. 5 points
    In Russian "преследовать" can be translated as "prosecute" or "persecute". Maybe it is better to ask the president what did he mean by saying this :D
  23. 5 points
    . “When you give … do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” (Matthew 6:3) Matthew 6:1 (BBE) Take care not to do your good works before men, to be seen by them Matthew 6:4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Personaly i think IF you seeking for blessings its bettet to do hours with out telling anyone.
  24. 5 points
    JW Insider

    In Defense of Shunning

    From what I can gather here about you, I think that most of the 130 do not believe you are evil, and probably do not wish to treat you badly, but as you say, they THINK they are following the rules. Also, they will not merely treat you this way just because they feel you were concerned about the "child abuse" issue. If you have told the whole story then it is pretty clear that you are treated as someone who has formally disassociated, and we are told to treat that person the exact same way as someone who was disfellowshipped. (I think that is an abuse of power by the way on the part of the WTS policy.) It's probable that someone has added a few other "details" for the ears of the congregation, real or imagined. The more likely concern is that you have somehow become a spiritual danger because you are actively seeking out false information from apostates to spread it among the congregation in order to sow divisions and contentions. Many in the congregation must believe that your current motive is to promote such apostasy, even if you are personally still "salvagable." They are told that to treat you like this is a way to save you. I personally would not follow the rules in this regard when it is a person I have known and if I feel that my continued association is more likely to be scriptural than unscriptural. There have been two persons where my opinion of them and my association with them didn't change a bit after they were disfellowshipped. One stayed out and one came back. I don't advertise this to the rest of the congregation, for fear of stumbling others, and for my own fear of the same kind of unscriptural disciplinary treatment that others have been subjected to. But there is also a certain kind of friendship we build up with others that goes beyond rules and regulations. We show a certain type of loyalty (loyal love) to the other person, and they to us. In the Bible, if David had become a murderer and an adulterer, Jonathan would have still loyally stuck by him. "There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother." (Prov 18:24) I have seen several friendships like this, and would hope that no human rules would ever get in the way. I had a roommate at Bethel who joked that his friend who had recently been invited to Bethel, was like this. He claimed that even if he murdered someone, that this friend would never change. I thought about that and decided that he should move out and room with this arriving friend. If we truly have love, even for our enemies, we should have no problem dealing with tax collectors and sinners. How much more should we show love to someone who is in dire straits for a reason we already understand and one we can help them understand. This does not mean that I would go out of my way to seek out such a person, unless I was sure I could help them feel better with some encouragement. Often they truly put themselves in a situation where the best thing they to do is to find their way back into the organization and I will often encourage that. But I would never encourage family members to disfellowship themselves from that disfellowshipped person. It has been rare, but as I said, I have had a couple of occasions to "break the rule" in this regard. I like a lot of what the GB and the JW org are doing, and I love many of my fellow associates in the congregation. But, YES, I really mean it. Speaking out is what I am doing right now. I often speak out against unscriptural policies, or discuss them here to help make sure whether my own reasoning is wrong. I don't have to speak out in front of my local congregation, nor do I cause divisions. I speak out on this forum, and I will sometimes speak frankly and honestly with people who approach me in person. I also send a couple letters a year to the GB and JW org. For the past few years, these have been anonymous. I have used this site to try to formulate the scriptural reasoning behind these letters. I have already spoken out against abuse and bad policy in this regard for about seven years now -- not just on forums but in person. This is why I cannot completely understand the treatment you are getting. At several opportunities over the last 30 years, I have spoken out against a policy of tolerating spousal physical abuse against wives, because my own sister had an experience like this with the usual requested cover-up from authorities and hospital personnel. I have even turned in a young 20 year old brother who showed serious problems in this regard at gatherings. He is not quite a person of full mental capacity, but this won't matter to an abused sister who would feel traumatized if he takes these types of actions any further. And it's quite possible he already poses a criminal danger when not in public. There should be heightened awareness of these problems to protect all potential victims, and where necessary, secular authorities and law enforcement need to be involved.
  25. 5 points
    I understand your points and you have expressed them very well. I will address each point you raised separately, but first I just want to mention a few general things which have perhaps shaped the perception of people like you and me. I grew up in the "truth" in the early 80's when the GB was mostly an anonymous mystery, at least to many who were living outside of America. The "truths" people like me assimilated during those years were turned into dogmatic doctrines by people like me. We always talked starting a phrase with "we KNOW....." as if we could never make a mistake. We had a general attitude of superiority. WE had the truth and therefor WE were somehow better than other people. WE had an answer for "everything". And then came the age of the internet. It was a kind of "Internet enlightenment". It had been around for a while before that, but soon everybody had access to it, and was using it. Information that the ordinary person wouldn't have had before, became available to them at the touch of a button. There were things that were "discovered" by the ordinary brother and sister that were there all along, but that were only known by more prominent brothers and sisters, which included those involved with Bethel, but also ordinary brothers and sisters which happened to live closer to the "source" . But now the ordinary brother came to know things that at times "shocked" him, because in their little personal world they had built a picture, but that picture wasn't always correct. As I mentioned, dogmatic opinions on various subjects were formed, which actually were not intended to be understood that way. Here is an example of what I mean; I am sure you know of instances yourself, where a elder giving a talk would expound on something he felt strongly about. A kind of "pet" subject of his. Most of the time the audience would take what he said as gospel truth, and talk about it like it was fact and part and parcel of "official" teachings. But all it actually was, was the brothers opinion. This happened many times in the days of only a brief outline of a talk, giving the speaker much freedom to practically say anything he wanted. A classic and famous example is that of Charles Sinutko giving the talk about 1975. He wasn't just an elder, but a district overseer, and he gave that misleading talk in front of an audience of thousands. Similar talks were given around the world no doubt. I was too young at the time but @Outta Here remembers such talks, and also the almost "fanatical" approach of some in the congregations. Was this all the GB's doing? It wasn't, but it shows the freedom that existed with regard to expressing ones opinion in an "official" setting, by means of talks etc. As you probably know, now there are strict outlines for talks. Not only that, but elders are instructed to Only give the Bible's advice when serving in a shepherding or judicial capacity, and never give their personal opinions. I am sure this new approach became a necessity because of the damage personal opinions had caused in the past. One I want to focus on specifically is the handling of child abuse. The congregation was well equipped to prevent child abuse on the surface. But it was all contingent on members actually reading and applying what was in the publications that discussed those issues. The JW congregation has always been very strict on upholding moral standards. In comparison, the rest of the world was in a moral decline (think "free love" that started in the 60's) and with it no doubt came problems associated with loose morals. Secular authorities were ill equipped to handle accusations of rape and child sexual abuse, as you yourself can testify. In this environment Elders were trying to handle something that was disgusting and shocking and should have never occurred in the Christian congregation in the first place! Some Elders got confused and misapplied WT 1973/11/15 "question from readers" regarding the application of 1 Cor 6:1-7, and the interpretation of 1Timothy 5:19. Many Elders were stuck between a rock and a hard place with regard to reporting to the police because of the way the police handled (or not handled) these cases, and because many victims and their families did not want to report to the police. It was almost like an attitude of: "this is our private problem, and we will handle it as our private problem". Finally today, secular authorities are educated and equipped enough to address these issues properly, and I would say we are at the pinnacle of "enlightenment" with regard to CSA, at least in the western world. Victims are at last able to come forward and be heard. Abusers are being tried and punished. This has also spilled into historic sexual abuse of women as in the #metoo brigade. BUT despite all this, CSA and the abuse of women is as rampant as ever unfortunately.... You have a good heart John and I feel you have unnecessarily thrown the baby out with the bathwater. But I do want to address those issues individually that you mentioned, but I will have to do that tomorrow now as I am running out of time and have to go and cook dinner....
  26. 5 points
    I think you might be confusing "evidence" and "proof." Rutherford, in more than one article, showed he knew the difference. He knew that evidence was not proof. But he was anxious to use this idea of the ability to draw stronger and stronger conclusions if a "second witness" and "third witness" to his idea were available. The Biblical idea of requiring a second witness, and the idea that a three-fold cord cannot be broken were utilized to make evidence seem like the equivalent of proof. Of course, most of these multiple evidences had actually been bent a bit to support each other. Today, it's easy to go back and see "confirmation bias" in his sloppy reasoning. But he had another means of covering over the weaknesses of his evidence which had probably helped him to convince himself that he was right. And it would definitely draw over many of the persons who had remained hold-outs on the basis of unconvincing evidence. This was the fact that his "cause" (conclusion) was considered righteous and he had therefore associated his conclusion with faith. He was able to use "faith" in God's promises as the final glue to hold his weak "cord(s)" together, and hide its flaws, even from himself. This worked for Bible Students who followed him after Russell because they were anxious to believe that these men and their "Society" represented "the Lord." Rutherford had already been accepting of the idea that he had been made the equivalent of the "Lord." This is the easiest explanation to me as to why so many people would merely accept the flimsy evidence without questioning. You don't question the Lord! Some later examples might show you what I mean. *** w74 11/1 p. 651 How Would You Treat an Ambassador? *** The question is, How does the individual treat a visible representative of Christ who has clearly shown that he truly represents Christ? *** w55 6/1 p. 333 Part 11—Restoration of Theocratic Organization *** [quoting from 1938] . . . the following was the resolution suggested to and adopted by all congregations who desired to be welded together under the Society’s theocratic leadership: “We, the company of God’s people taken out for his name, and now at ___________, recognize that God’s government is a pure theocracy and that Christ Jesus is at the temple and in full charge and control of the visible organization of Jehovah, as well as the invisible, and that ‘THE SOCIETY’ is the visible representative of the Lord on earth, and we therefore request ‘The Society’ to organize this company for service and to appoint the various servants thereof, so that all of us may work together in peace, righteousness, harmony and complete unity. We attach hereto a list of names of persons in this company that to us appear more fully mature and who therefore appear to be best suited to fill the respective positions designated for service.” Hints of the impact of this idea are found in the kind of reasoning we still use today, even when something turns out to be wrong. For example. The idea was that the Lord [Jehovah] came to his temple in 33 CE, through Jesus and his message. Then the Lord came to his temple again in 1918. *** w55 11/15 pp. 692-693 par. 15 “Jehovah Is in His Holy Temple” *** Since the preparatory messenger had come, it was therefore in Jesus’ day that the Lord Jehovah was to come suddenly to the temple . . . He [Jesus] came as the visible representative of the Lord Jehovah, and by putting his spirit on Jesus Jehovah was with him in coming to that temple at Jerusalem in 33 (A.D.). . . . Has the Lord Jehovah now come to his spiritual temple with his Angel of the covenant? Christendom says No! . . . Down here Jesus came and began the cleansing in the spring of 1918 three and a half years after the birth of God’s kingdom in 1914 and the heavenly enthronement of Jesus Christ as reigning King then. Let Christendom deny that 1918 is the date of the Lord Jehovah’s sudden coming to his spiritual temple as the God of judgment, accompanied by his Angel of the covenant Jesus Christ. . . . Jehovah caused to be preached from 1918 onward the startling public message “Millions Now Living Will Never Die,” and in 1923 he provided the interpretation of “the parable of the sheep and the goats.” The foundation of this idea is good: that Jesus would inspect his congregation and act according to good judgment, and that his true followers would be tested and disciplined in order to meet the challenges of the last days. But notice how the idea that the Society is the representative of the Lord becomes a reason not to question even the specific dates assigned to such a doctrine, which would otherwise be a healthful teaching. Wicked, unfaithful Christendom denies the 1918 date and therefore they come under the judgment of Jehovah. It was Jehovah who caused the preaching of what we now know to be a false prophecy. So how could anyone have questioned a false prophecy or false doctrine under this kind of bullying pressure and name-calling? As it turns out, of course, just a couple of years ago the Society finally dropped the idea that Jesus had come to his temple for a specific judgment in 1918. For that matter, the interpretation that Jehovah provided for the "the sheep and the goats" has also changed. There seems to have been an abuse of authority here that could be tied to the idea of "beating one's fellow slaves" as @Anna mentioned recently. I think we have become much more sophisticated in our wording and presentation of this same idea, but the same idea has not changed much. Here are just a few small examples of how much "less sophisticated" it was in Rutherford's time. Those Bible Students who publicly disagreed with Rutherford were branded "the evil slave" class. Yet, we today also find ourselves disagreeing with Rutherford on the pages of the same Watchtower. In Rutherford's day they published a book in 1917 that claimed that Russell was "Christ's representative in the world, the sole steward of the 'meat in due season.'" They kept selling that book until the early 1930's until "remaining stocks" were depleted. When Bible Students and even the newly named, "Jehovah's witnesses" asked if they should really be spreading false information among the unsuspecting public, Rutherford got angry, and the Bulletin (later, Our Kingdom Ministry) threatened the publishers by saying that if they went against Rutherford they were going against the Lord. But even less controversial issues were common. When the goals and quotas of special pioneers, regular pioneers and publishers were set, it was stated that these quotas were 'what the Lord wants.' Basically, if the Lord says pioneers need to get 100 hours a month, then, Who are we to go against the Lord? Even if we have become more sophisticated in our methods of producing this kind of theocratic world view, I see a danger in this. I think you can see it too.
  27. 5 points
    False. Everyone should deny falsehoods. I agree that former Witnesses can be dishonest. I wouldn't judge them as the least honest people alive. I have seen evidence of some dishonesty among some, but don't think any human even has a way to know if they are more or less honest than current Witnesses. My guess is that they would be about the same, on average -- less honest on some topics and more honest on some topics, depending on whether they are trying to promote or protect a specific ideology. I don't defend the views of ex-Witnesses except where the evidence happens to coincide with their views, in which case we don't have much choice if we are honest. I'm opposed to dishonesty so I try not to deny evidence. If some of that evidence is found in their distorted publications, we should still be willing to look at the same evidence, even while identifying how they have distorted the use or conclusions made from it. This does NOT mean we will agree with their views, especially if they are distorting the evidence. Furthermore, we don't even need to look at their views to make a judgment on the accuracy and relevance of the evidence they present. By "evidence" here, I'm referring specifically to quotations from Watch Tower publications. After checking a few hundred of these quotations found on many different sites, I get the impression that ex-Witnesses are even more careful than Witnesses when it comes to accuracy of the actual quotes. I've also seen some misquotes and misuse of context, mistakes, and outright dishonesty from some ex-Witnesses, too. But for the most part I think they realize that their argument is immediately lost, if a Witness were to find an inaccurate quote.
  28. 5 points
    They stumbled ... or were they tripped? (Mark 9:42) . . .But whoever stumbles one of these little ones who have faith, it would be better for him if a millstone that is turned by a donkey were put around his neck and he were pitched into the sea. . . I can not but agree with a lot of the exposed by some of you. The steward (slave) class, I think, represents any brother with authority over others in the congregation (in the house). Par excellence the brothers on charge over the worldwide work fits more than any other to the meaning of the slave parable. Presently, we’ve reduced the meaning of the Jesus’s illustration to a mere warning, a remote possibility: the slave NEVER become bad. I understand it’s difficult to admit, as difficult as it was for the apostles to recognize that, in spite of being warned by Jesus, they would betray and abandon him. “We… do that! Never! Similarly, the Bible, everywhere, warn us the God’s people, overall, globally, will face a bad condition in precisely the last days: Between others: · The foolish virgins · The slave with one talent · The man not wearing a marriage garment (Mt 22) · The slave hiding the mina (Lk 19) · The love of the greater number will grow cold (Mt 24:12) · Critical times (in the congregation, please note the context: 2:20; 3:6) And more precisely SOME of the brothers on charge · Some of those having insight (Da 11:35) · The evil slave · The steward Now, concerning this thread we have the situation about the 1975 issue. Was it a mere doctrinal point, without relevance? · 1976 service year publishers: 2.138 million · 1978 service year publishers: 2.086 million Thousands of little ones stumbling Has been shown in this thread some “sincere” recognition of guilt or responsibility from the responsible brothers. But, sincerely, these sounds to me as the Aaron’s answer: · Ex 32:22, 24: “You well know that the people are inclined to do evil… Then I threw it into the fire and out came this calf.” It was the people’s fault, not mine. The calf arose by itself from the fire, I just had nothing to do! The same pride I observe in myself, and many others overseeing the flock. The difference lies in that I harm to my family, perhaps to my own congregation, but the brothers on charge of the worldwide instruction harm the entire brotherhood. Regarding this harm, presently, the most dangerous doctrinal matter affecting, not our ideas, but the real life of sincere Christians around the world is the deals with disfellowshipped persons, more precisely family members. This is a horrible misinterpretation of the Bible teaching in 1 Cor 5. I literally cry many times observing families broken, many times with life wounds. Perhaps another day I will write more about this, so don’t extend now. And, regarding the part of the parable saying starting “to eat and drink and get drunk,” (Lk 12;45) I also wish to point out some ideas in another post. Am I worried? Yes, certainly, but confident that as Jehovah in all times disciplined and cleaned His servants so will do if He see it necessary (yes, I see it necessary)
  29. 5 points
    Don't mind the upvote. I was very keen for the end to come in 1975 after learning the truth in 1971. My first shepherding call was from a brother who explained at length why he had cancelled all his insurances. But this view only lasted for a few months because, (as I've previously stated), I was put wise by a very influential and respected brother who said he was not part of the 1975 club, as no man could possibly know the day or hour. Because this individual had made quite an impression on me in many other spiritual matters, I felt his reasoning to be pretty sound at the time, because I could never get my head around the date oriented mentality. It always made me feel uneasy, like something that you thought you ought to believe because of the sparkly eyed assertions, but that just didn't have any substance. Now of course, I know better. But there was no shortage of those who wanted to believe it although the platform promotion was consderably less intense where I was than in the USA. I can understand the "once bitten, twice shy" view of some skeptical ones today. And it's the same with the nodding, knowing heads today. They still make me feel uneasy. I just find the whole topic embarrassing. The best advice I ever got on this whole area was something an old missionary brother used he say to me in his heavy Scottish accent "Your Armageddon came the day you dedicated your life to Jehovah, laddie. You can't take it back you know." or something like that. Scripturally, 2Tim.4:2 seems most relevant here regardless of which area of the ministry it applies to: "preach the word, be at it urgently in favorable season, in troublesome season" and also Gal.6:10: "Really, then, as long as we have time favorable for it, let us work what is good toward all,"
  30. 5 points
    I am beginning to believe that ALL the Scriptures in the Bible, talking about how the "love of the greater number will cool off", and in the end times, a wide range of cruelties will be abundant, that it is talking about what is going on INSIDE the "Truth" ... not the world. We have been thoroughly trained, year after year after year ... to be able to turn family love and affection on and off ....on and off ..... on and off, with the "light switch" of disfellowshipping. We deeply love our families ... unless they get disfellowshipped ... then they are invisible, and in effect cease to exist. If they are reinstated, we are taught to flip the switch and turn those affections back on ... at least in theory. It is insane in theory .... and insane in actual practice. This is cruel, mean, extreme, despicable, hateful, and hypocritical .... and does not lend itself to sane thinking. These policies over time can erode and destroy a civilization, theocratic or secular. Even the Russkies understand that!
  31. 4 points
    Truth means "the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." Not whitewashed, partial truth, and not just the "spin" that tickles our ears. That's everyone's own business whether they would rather know the whole truth, or ignore the truth, or assume that others can and should prioritize for them what they need to know as "the truth." But, for me, I think we would be hypocrites to sing songs like we just did this last week. (Make the Truth Your Own), the comments on Colossians 2:8, etc., etc. Most of our meetings contain small reminders that we need to "love" truth. It shouldn't matter where it takes us. Actually, it should matter. And it should matter, even more, that some people don't want us to go where it takes us. It's difficult for most of us to admit that the "Watchtower religion" has been a cult in the past. (In the more pejorative sense of the word.) The Watchtower publicly admits that this is true, claiming that many of the Bible Students were cult worshipers of Charles Taze Russell. We know that Rutherford said he determined to rid the Watchtower of the personality cult that worshiped Russell. He called this "creature worship" because they were worshiping a man. But we also know that, for many years, Rutherford himself was part of the same cult, and even bragged in 1916 that Russell's enemies would soon have to come and "worship at his feet." But, in general, I think Rutherford finally did a pretty good job replacing the cult members with persons who were looking for practical Bible truth, and not just for a man to do their thinking for them. But many persons, even Watchtower writers, have confused God and the earthly organization. And, this idea might surprise many, but I think that F.W.Franz gave evidence that he remained as a "cult" member until he died. He loved being seen as the the primary Rabbi --The ORACLE, they called him-- and it went to his head as he tried for his entire career to revive interest in dates, chronology, numerology, Jubilees, new truths (prophetic interpretations), parallel dispensations, the pre-eminence of the truly anointed, etc. I think his influence created cult members out of several ordinary Witnesses. I believe that my great-grandfather (from even before F.Franz was at Bethel) was a "cult" member in the organization until the 1960's when he died, even though my other relatives were (and are) regular JWs, and not cult members. I'm pretty sure that C.Woodworth was a cult member until the 1950's when he died. I know that when they searched out documentation and photos for the Proclaimer's book, they were astounded at the "cult" material still available in Witnesses' archives, including F.Franz himself. And many Witnesses, today, are tempted to look at 8 men exactly the way that Bible Students looked at Russell. The way we defend or dismiss the material from our past history can be an indicator as to whether we too have succumbed to cult thinking. Even the way we defend current material that came out of long-standing traditions of the past can also be an indicator. I can talk to Mormons and Seventh Day Adventists for hours and recognize almost immediately which ones are in a "cult" and which ones aren't by the manner in which they defend Ellen G White or Joseph Smith when glaring problems are pointed out. (Job 31:26-28) 26 If I saw the sun shining Or the moon moving in its splendor; 27 And my heart was secretly enticed, And my mouth kissed my hand in worship of them; 28 Then that would be an error deserving punishment by the judges, For I would have denied the true God above.
  32. 4 points
    Hmmm. You probably found some good counsel for me on that one. The beauty of some of these places really was impressive to me, especially the Huntington Library (Gardens). And so was the wedding, with "bowers of flowers" and other decorations everywhere. Also, I was not just "secretly" impressed either, as I gladly admitted it out loud. And, of course, I am also secretly impressed that all this "free vacation" for a week, cost me no more than the plane flight, as everything else was paid for -- through no merit of my own. (I paid for the plane ticket because my wife and I were coming out here anyway for an "anniversary trip" -- which mostly means that I am out here installing an automatic "lift" in the back of my parents' car so that my mother doesn't have to push my father's electric wheelchair/scooter up an aluminum ramp at a too steep an angle anymore. [She's afraid to just put it in gear and let it drive up the ramp by itself.] My father usually uses a walker, but for assemblies and other places with a lot of walking, he uses the scooter.)
  33. 4 points
    No problem Srecko. As long as you know your stupider than me and uneducated about scripture just as much as most people here, We understand each other. 😏
  34. 4 points
    Wow! Is there something holding you back from saying what's really on your mind? My father and grandfather attended KM school in Pittsburgh back in the early 70's about a year apart from each other. So I would often hear them compare notes as to what Bro. Schroeder had said on a topic. Schroeder was still of the "Rutherford" school when it came to how the entire world was "inspired" of Satan, which influenced his speech about who would die at Armageddon and why we don't celebrate Christmas, Easter, etc. As part of their training, Brother Schroeder would give them questions that the "Press" might ask them, so elders could practice answers that were "cautious as serpents yet innocent as doves" so to speak. For example: Question: Do you think the Pope will be destroyed at Armageddon? This gets lots of snickers, and a few brothers willing to say, 'Of course he will be destroyed!.' So Brother Schroeder says that, well, we all know the answer, but what do we tell the Press? He recommended saying: Answer: "He'll get what he deserves!" This gets uproarious laughter, and must have been treated as if Jesus had just said "Pay back Caesar's things to Caesar." It becomes kind of a joke between my father and grandfather, so that they only needed to say: "He'll get what he deserves!" when hearing about other infamous happenings in the world (e.g., Watergate, Nixon Impeachment, US Supreme Court on Roe v. Wade, Spiro Agnew). I don't know whether Schroeder himself mentioned people with Christmas trees, but I remember being a bit taken aback that my father and grandfather even applied it for a while to people with Christmas trees, people singing Christmas carols on TV, etc., even though they started to say it in a kind of joking way, knowing that the phrase was getting old. When you mentioned that the Society knew that Christmas was wrong before 1900 but kept celebrating until the late 1920's it reminded me of this. Imagine if Armageddon had actually come in 1915, or 1918, or 1925, as they sometimes expected. In effect, my father and grandfather were saying that Rutherford and all the people in the entire Watch Tower Society would have been destroyed. I can imagine how we, as an organization, would have felt if we knew that certain people or groups who had already stopped celebrating Christmas were looking at the Watch Tower Society at the time and saying "They'll get what they deserve at Armageddon." When it comes to all this judgmental speech, here in this forum, I try to remember to test it by thinking what we would say if we were guests in a Mormon forum, or a Catholic forum. Would you, for example, go into a Mormon-centric forum right now and say that 15 million Mormons (LDS) are all inspired by Satan. (And yes they have had trouble with child sexual abuse and cover-ups.) And because a high percentage of Catholics support the Pope, would you go into a Catholic-centric forum and say that 1 billion Catholics are inspired by Satan. To me, it seems a bit over the top, even though you could probably find a near equivalent problem in the Mormon Church or the Catholic Church for every problem you see among Jehovah's Witnesses. I'm not one to tell you to stop saying whatever you want to say, as you probably feel like a good part of your life was wasted among Jehovah's Witnesses, and I'm sure this drives a lot of the "tone." I am reminded of the "tone" that Rutherford took against the clergy, especially the Catholic hierarchy, and he could rationalize that he was protecting the world from Catholicism -- just as you probably think you are trying to protect the world from Jehovah's Witnesses, or at least to protect a few other Jehovah's Witnesses from themselves.
  35. 4 points
    The WT's statements about the GB are a logical fallacy. That is why you are having difficult harmonizing your beliefs. "The Governing Body is neither inspired nor infallible. Therefore, it can err in doctrinal matters or in organizational direction. In fact, the Watch Tower Publications Index includes the heading “Beliefs Clarified,” which lists adjustments in our Scriptural understanding since 1870. Of course, Jesus did not tell us that his faithful slave would produce perfect spiritual food." Watchtower 2017 Feb p.26 "Since Jehovah God and Jesus Christ completely trust the faithful and discreet slave, should we not do the same?" Watchtower 2009 2/15 p. 24-28 It's the textbook example of cognitive dissonance: believing in contradictory ideas at the cost of one's mental state. There is a reason why JWs struggle in the organization. They are being given mixed signals under their leadership. JWs are expected to be understanding of the GB's mistakes while also fully compliant to their direction. Imagine having a spouse that demands total obedience but also expects love and understanding when wrong. People would call that an unhealthy relationship with one partner holding all the power. One wonders why Jehovah God appointed fallible, uninspired men over his people when he was perfectly capable of accurately conveying his truths to the writers of the Bible? There is no scriptural precedent for the idea of unquestioned obedience to a group of uninspired men. There is no scriptural precedent to putting obedience to men above scriptural truth. Complete trust in someone or some group requires strong support. Trust in the GB can't come from its history of unwavering doctrine, because the GB acknowledges it has made errors in doctrine and changes have been made. Trust also can't come from the GB's prophet status, because the GB acknowledges it is not inspired by God. So, what does the WT offer as support for complete trust in the GB? The preaching work: "...the faithful and discreet slave has been able to accomplish in giving a worldwide witness about Jehovah God, his Son, and the Kingdom. Jehovah’s worshippers are actively proclaiming the Kingdom message in over 230 lands and island groups." 2009 2/15 p. 24-28 The growth in members: "...In the last 15 years, the number of congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide has grown from some 70,000 to over 100,000—an increase of over 40 percent. And what about the new disciples added? Nearly 4.5 million disciples were baptized in the last 15 years—an average of more than 800 a day." 2009 2/15 p. 24-28 This 'support' is brought into question when it is pointed out that other Christian denominations engage in forms of preaching work all around the world. For many years, the JW organization did have tremendous growth, but that growth has slowed in recent years and is even in decline in some countries. The fastest growing Christian denominations in America are Catholics and Evangelicals. (The fastest growing religion in the world is Islam.) So, this support is weak at best, and it doesn't change the logical paradox the GB expects all JWs to accept.
  36. 4 points
    Re making interest by way of bank or stock market: (Matthew 25:24-27) 24 “Finally the slave who had received the one talent came forward and said: ‘Master, I knew you to be a demanding man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you did not winnow. 25 So I grew afraid and went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 In reply his master said to him: ‘Wicked and sluggish slave, you knew, did you, that I reaped where I did not sow and gathered where I did not winnow? 27 Well, then, you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my coming I would have received it back with interest. Jesus acknowledged the bankers' work (and the methods they use to get interest). If the bankers gamble with your money (in the stock market - every single bank [international development bank and commercial bank] has a department that invests in stocks) and make interest you don't usually complain and ask how the interest was made and wherein they invested your money. You put out your hand and take the interest. It is like what Paul said: (1 Corinthians 10:25, 26)" 25 Eat whatever is sold in a meat market, making no inquiry because of your conscience, 26 for “to Jehovah belong the earth and everything in it.”
  37. 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!
  38. 4 points
    And please don't forget to say thank you to Darjling when you download a copy. Agape!
  39. 4 points
    I haven’t actually made any comment about this. However, since I am being drawn into it anyway, let me clarify this nonsense once and for all. This photo is not from Venezuela at all, but it is in one of the southern US states & is in fact a falled bank heist on the part of @Top Cat O'Malighan. His getaway car was hit broadside by @Vic Vomidog, flying at an unusual rate of speed because some Bethel hotshot and been spied with a can of beer, a special meeting of the Apostate Society had been called so as to see how to spin it, he was the Keynote speaker, and he was running late.
  40. 4 points
    It’s not so much that you should be. It’s that he shouldn’t have been. It is anything goes here. That’s just the way it is. The one-sided action favors the perception that The Librarian, that old hen, is in bed with apostates. ( Yeccchhhh)
  41. 4 points
    Of course, I don't really believe this in the slightest. But I thought I would put it out here just to raise some interest in the actual meaning of Gog and Magog. I looked on Google and could not find any places where anyone had made the connection yet between GOOGLE and GOG. This surprised me, because in Hebrew the verse at Ezekiel 38:2 actually says the following in the Masoretic text: See it here:
      Hello guest!
    בֶּן־אָדָם שִׂים פָּנֶיךָ אֶל־גֹּוג אֶרֶץ הַמָּגֹוג נְשִׂיא רֹאשׁ מֶשֶׁךְ וְתֻבָל וְהִנָּבֵא עָלָֽיו׃ אֶל־גֹּוג means when transliterated EL-GOG. But the O between the two G's is actually a 'vav' which when used as a vowel (as it is here) is not just used for O, but also for U, pronounced OO. Therefore: אֶל־גֹּוג can also be transliterated as EL-GOOG. Transliterated left to right as it appears on paper, this is אֶל־גֹּוג or GOOG-LE. Quite a coincidence for a word that has a curious prophetic meaning in Scripture, and a word that is so ubiquitous on the Internet that it transcends translation. It is a trademark, a mark of that wild, beastly thing we call the Internet. Of course, that particular "wild beast" connection has already been done:
  42. 4 points
    JW Insider

    In Defense of Shunning

    Expelling is Biblical. That's true. But what is the method and are Christians under some kind of rule of law that needs to be applied uniformly in all situations? What if it was a principle that is good, but the way it was executed even in Bible times turns out not to have been a Christian method. For example, the Bible allows for a husband to disfellowship his wife. (The Bible never allows for a wife to disfellowship (divorce) a husband, by the way.) But are we under Mosaic rules for divorce just because it is Biblical? In fact, Jesus said that even though it was Biblical, it wasn't what Jehovah really wanted. (Matthew 19:7, 8 ) 7 They said to him: “Why, then, did Moses direct giving a certificate of dismissal and divorcing her?” 8 He said to them: “Out of regard for your hard-heartedness, Moses made the concession to you of divorcing your wives, but that has not been the case from the beginning. Jesus doesn't say Moses wasn't inspired when he made the Biblical concession for divorce as one of the laws in the "perfect" Law covenant. But Jesus rejects this particular "jot and tittle" of the Law as a mere concession for human hard-heartedness, especially because it was being misused in practice. "Hard-heartedness" is a form of having "no natural affection." (See my earlier post on this topic.) There is an even more obvious case where the Governing Body now rejects something that is definitely Biblical. In the Bible, it's OK to "beat" your children, physically. When asked about this, GB member Geoffrey Jackson, in front of the Australian Royal Commission, said that the GB now believe that the "rod" of correction is not a physical rod, but that it is the "virtual" rod of righteous corrective discipline. Of course, what do we then do with the Mosaic Law that says that if you beat your slave to death that there is no punishment as long as it takes the slave a day or two to die? (There is a punishment if the slave dies within in a shorter time period.) (Exodus 21:20, 21) . . .“If a man strikes his slave man or his slave girl with a stick and that one dies by his hand, that one must be avenged. 21 However, if he survives for one or two days, he is not to be avenged, because he is someone bought with his owner’s money. The way in which the point was made in front of the ARC was for the GB member to avoid this Scripture: (Proverbs 23:13, 14) 13 Do not hold back discipline from the mere boy. In case you beat him with the rod, he will not die. 14 With the rod you yourself should beat him, that you may deliver his very soul from Sheʹol itself. Instead, he used another verse, from the previous chapter, which was more ambiguous: (Proverbs 22:15) 15 Foolishness is tied up with the heart of a boy; the rod of discipline is what will remove it far from him. Of course, all of these verses use the same Hebrew word for "rod/stick" and the same Hebrew word for "beat/smite/strike." Same word for "rod" or "stick" is used here too: (Proverbs 26:3) 3 A whip is for the horse, a bridle is for the ass, and the rod is for the back of stupid people. I'm not in favor of the physical beating of children. There are times when the principle is correct, but the methods used were "hard-hearted." The Governing Body says we have updated our understanding to that of the world here, and I think everyone knows that Brother Jackson is not so stupid as to think that the Bible was not really referring to physical beatings with these Hebrew expressions. It's time we progressed in our understanding of what it means to disfellowship, too. You've argued that other religions see familial DFing, for example, as Biblical. But so what? In other religions they might still beat their children, beat their wives and servants, promote racism, divorce on any ground, and promote a lack natural affection, too.
  43. 4 points
    I think that hits the point exactly. The elders, especially during previous years, were directly taught at KM school (Elder Training) that the first time that there is suspicion of two persons of the opposite sex spending hours of time alone together, that there should be some kind of very strong counsel and even sanction due to the appearance alone, even if the elders were convinced that they were innocent of loose conduct. It was the same at Bethel, because there was a rule against being alone with a sister in your room unless the door was open, this meant that as soon as the door was closed, there should be strong counsel and even sanction. I knew that the rule was often broken, and I think that very few would turn someone else in, yet multiple infractions of the rule could mean dismissal. If a couple of the opposite sex ever were seen to have contrived to be alone together, it was simply assumed that they went too far in their conduct with one another. The elder training gave examples of appropriate questions to ask, even if it was not overnight, and these questions assumed the worst, and would try to draw out a confession of "loose conduct." There would be a probation or loss of privileges of some kind, even if both vehemently denied any misconduct. If the time spent together appeared contrived, and was overnight, especially if reported by a third party who saw a car parked overnight in front of the other person's house, then the assumption was always that fornication had occurred and that any denial means the two are lying. The types of questions to be asked gave away the assumption of immorality and dishonesty. If they had previously been counseled, this could immediately escalate to disfellowshipping. Having been raised in the truth, and having gone to school in Missouri, I didn't realize until I went to college that many of our assumptions were similar to many of the fundamentalists around us. It wasn't just JWs but most old-time religionists, assuming that leaving two persons of the opposite sex alone together was always an instant recipe for fornication and/or adultery. If you listened to radio preachers you'd hear the same assumptions. Witnesses were also assuming that there was nothing else that young people could possibly be interested in. It wasn't until after Bethel when I went to college that I realized that many persons were immoral, but also that many had morals likely superior to ours. And most surprisingly that many persons of the opposite sex actually lived together as roommates and still didn't ever worry about the topic of sex/fornication ever coming up. Now, I have seen statistics that show that teenage pregnancies were always much higher in the "Bible Belt." Perhaps part of the problem was in the assumption that young people have nothing better to do.
  44. 4 points
    The Librarian

    Chess and Jehovah's Witnesses

    On The Morals of Chess by Benjamin Franklin The game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement. Several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired or strengthened by it, so as to become habits, ready on all occasions. 1. Foresight, which looks a little into futurity, and considers the consequences that may attend an action; for it is continually occuring to the player, 'If I move this piece, what will be the advantages or disadvantages of my new situation? What use can my adversary make of it to annoy me? What other moves can I make to support it, and to defend myself from his attacks? 2. Circumspection, which surveys the whole chessboard, or scene of action; the relations of the several pieces and situations, the dangers they are respectively exposed to, the several possibilities of their aiding each other, the probabilities that the adversary may make this or that move, and attack this or the other piece, and what different means can be used to avoid his stroke, or turn its consequences against him. 3. Caution, not to make our moves too hastily. This habit is best acquired, by observing strictly the laws of the game; such as, If you touch a piece, you must move it somewhere; if you set it down, you must let it stand. And it is therefore best that these rules should be observed, as the game becomes thereby more the image of human life, and particularly of war . . . And lastly, we learn by Chess the habit of not being discouraged by present appearances in the state of our affairs, the habit of hoping for a favourable change, and that of persevering in the search of resources. The game is so full of events, there is such a variety of turns in it, the fortune of it is so subject to sudden vicissitudes, and one so frequently, after long contemplation, discovers the means of extricating one's self from a supposed insurmountable difficulty, that one is encouraged to continue the contest to the last, in hopes of victory from our own skill, or at least of getting a stalemate from the negligence of our adversary . . . If your adversary is long in playing, you ought not to hurry him, or express any uneasiness at his delay. You should not sing, nor whistle, nor look at your watch, not take up a book to read, nor make a tapping with your feet on the floor, or with your fingers on the table, nor do anything that may disturb his attention. For all these things displease; and they do not show your skill in playing, but your craftiness or your rudeness. You ought not to endeavour to amuse and deceive your adversary, by pretending to have made bad moves, and saying that you have now lost the game, in order to make him secure and careless, and inattentive to your schemes: for this is fraud and deceit, not skill in the game. You must not, when you have gained a victory, use any triumphing or insulting expression, nor show too much pleasure; but endeavour to console your adversary, and make him less dissatisfied with himself, by every kind of civil expression that may be used with truth, such as 'you understand the game better than I, but you are a little inattentive;' or, 'you play too fast;' or, 'you had the best of the game, but something happened to divert your thoughts, and that turned it in my favour.' If you are a spectator while others play, observe the most perfect silence. For, if you give advice, you offend both parties, him against whom you give it, because it may cause the loss of his game, him in whose favour you give it, because, though it be good, and he follows it, he loses the pleasure he might have had, if you had permitted him to think until it had occurred to himself. Even after a move or moves, you must not, by replacing the pieces, show how they might have been placed better; for that displeases, and may occasion disputes and doubts about their true situation. All talking to the players lessens or diverts their attention, and is therefore unpleasing. Lastly, if the game is not to be played rigorously, according to the rules above mentioned, then moderate your desire of victory over your adversary, and be pleased with one over yourself. Snatch not eagerly at every advantage offered by his unskilfulness or inattention; but point out to him kindly, that by such a move he places or leaves a piece in danger and unsupported; that by another he will put his king in a perilous situation, etc. By this generous civility (so opposite to the unfairness above forbidden) you may, indeed, happen to lose the game to your opponent; but you will win what is better, his esteem, his respect, and his affection, together with the silent approbation and goodwill of impartial spectators.
  45. 4 points
    Item about child sexual abuse within community of Jehovah's Witnesses, RTL Nieuws (Netherlands), October 6th, 2018 English subtitles included
  46. 4 points
    It's all about credibility. How well do you trust a prognosticator who has a 100 plus year completely unblemished record ...of being always WRONG?    AAAAaaaand .... here are some answers!
  47. 4 points
    Your answer: I certainly don't claim to understand everything about Russell's ideology. I'm actually not even insisting that he erred in judgment. He may very well be right when he claimed that the great crowd of Revelation 7:14 will be in heaven. Our own current teaching on that particular verse could change. Of course, this would not change the Scriptural fact that a great crowd of people would survive the great tribulation and live on earth. And it would not change the fact that Russell also knew --from places outside this particular verse-- that there would be a great crowd of people on earth, which you and I already accept. But it makes no sense for you to complain about a claim that Russell might have erred if you also admit that there was a time when he didn't have all the facts and would only eventually receive God's guidance in certain matters. I'm sure that you yourself would also admit that he might have erred in judgment before having all the facts. But you haven't been clear if this means that his "initial" judgment was wrong and he eventually came around to seeing that the "great crowd" would NOT be in heaven, or if he never believed what he said, and/or meant something different all along. Neither choice would explain why Rutherford also believed the "great crowd" would be in heaven . This was something Rutherford believed up until at least 1933, and probably up until closer to 1935. I'd be happy to change my opinion about what Russell said, if you could show the evidence that he meant something else, or didn't mean what he said, or changed his opinion on this matter over time. That's not just for you, but for anyone who can show any evidence. Based on years of interaction, I have a feeling that you dig in your heels and insist on making claims without evidence because you seem anxious to prove your own superior knowledge about Russell and the Bible Students. On certain points, I think you have provided valuable references and resources. On this point however, it's not just Russell's own words you are up against, but you are also opposing the more current understanding of the Watchtower when the beliefs of Russell and the Bible Students are reviewed: *** w64 12/1 p. 724 Out of the Tombs to a “Resurrection of Life” *** For many years Christian Bible students understood the “resurrection of life” to include (1) the church or congregation of the 144,000 joint heirs of Christ, and (2) an unnumbered “great company” of spiritual Christians not included in the 144,000 but serving under them in heaven I think you've seen evidence that the Watchtower is correct here, and that your claim is incorrect. Bible Students held this belief from as far back as the 1880 Watchtower, and put it in print as recently as 1933. I didn't double-check the Watchtowers of this period, but I see it in Vindication (1932) and Preparation (1933). (When the Jonadab class was still considered separate from the "great multitude.") It's possible that it was even repeated up until the doctrine was changed in 1935. Here's a mention of that in 2003 and elsewhere: *** w03 2/15 p. 19 par. 9 What Does the Lord’s Evening Meal Mean to You? *** But on May 31, 1935, in a discourse given at a convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Washington, D.C., U.S.A., it was Scripturally explained that the “great crowd” (“great multitude,” King James Version) refers to the “other sheep” who live during the time of the end. (John 10:16) After that convention, some who had previously partaken of the Memorial emblems stopped partaking because they realized that their hope was earthly, not heavenly. *** w98 2/15 p. 20 par. 8 Glorious Freedom Soon for the Children of God *** In 1935 the “great multitude,” or “great crowd”—formerly thought to be a secondary spiritual class that would be “companions” of the bride of Christ in heaven *** w95 2/1 p. 13 par. 16 A Great Crowd of True Worshipers—From Where Have They Come? *** For a time Jehovah’s servants believed that the great multitude (or, great crowd) of Revelation 7:9, 10 . . . Because the Bible says that they are “standing before the throne,” it was thought that they would be in heaven, not on thrones, ruling as joint heirs with Christ, but in a secondary place in front of the throne. They were viewed as less faithful Christians, ones who did not show a spirit of true self-sacrifice. In 1935 that view was corrected. You said that following a quote from Volume 2 of "SiS" The Time is at Hand. Unfortunately, that quote and that book also does not support your opposition to Russell's clear statements, and your opposition to the Watchtower's more recent statements quoted above. That book was written when Watch Tower publications were still consistent that both the 144,000 and the "great multitude" would go to heaven. After this you quoted quite a few things from Volume 3 of "SiS" Thy Kingdom Come, especially the portions about the wheat and tares. If you read more of Russell's words on the subject you will see that the portion you quoted was not relevant to his understanding of Revelation 7:9-17. Russell did have a confused belief about the tares, but this was necessary because if you read the contemporary Watch Tower articles on the subject you will see that he actually did tie the tares to other Christian groups and religions of Christendom, and he therefore had to try to remove the idea that being "burnt in the fire" referred to their destruction. After all these "burnt" ones were still going to heaven in Russell's view. Watch carefully how Russell managed this amazing feat, in the same book you quoted, Thy Kingdom Come: Is not this a most remarkable agreement between this stone "Witness" and the Bible? The dates, October, 1874, and October, 1881, are exact, while the date 1910, though not furnished in the Scriptures, seems more than a reasonable one for some important event in the Church's experience and final testing, while A.D. 1914 is apparently well-defined as its close, after which the world's greatest trouble is due, in which some of the "great multitude" may have a share. And in this connection let us remember that this date limit--A.D. 1914--may not only witness the completion of the selection and trial and glorification of the entire body of Christ, but it may also witness the purifying of some of that larger company of consecrated believers who, through fear and faint-heartedness, failed to render acceptable sacrifices to God, and who therefore became more or less contaminated with the world's ideas and ways. Some of these, before the end of this period, may come up out of the great tribulation. Many such are now being closely bound in with the various bundles of tares for the burning; and not until the fiery trouble of the latter end of the harvest period shall burn the binding cords of Babylon's bondage shall these be able to make their escape--"saved so as by fire." They must see the utter wreck of Great Babylon and receive some measure of her plagues. The four years from 1910 to the end of 1914, indicated thus in the Great Pyramid, will doubtless be a time of "fiery trial" upon the Church . . . What Russell did here, of course, was to replace the fiery destruction of the tares (weeds) with the idea that these actually represented the place from which the "great multitude" would be saved from. The "fire" became a time of "fiery trial" with a purifying effect. It becomes 4 years of a great tribulation (from about 1910 to 1914) that would come on the Church. The "great multitude" would be saved out of this "great tribulation." This fire would evidently also burn some of the tares, but notice how he turns the focus of that fire to purification and salvation: "burn the binding cords of Babylon's bondage" and being "saved so as by fire" and "the purifying of some of that larger company." This particular sleight-of-hand interpretation was soon dropped from Russell's teachings, and the tares began to refer only to those fit for destruction, while the less worthy "great multitude" continued to be seen as having a heavenly destination. (See the full article from the February 1916 Watch Tower, for example, quoted in a previous post.) Understanding who Russell referred to doesn't have to fail modern readers. There are people who can even read Shakespeare, or the KJV of the 17th century and understand it. Reading Russell's English is relatively straightforward compared to older English. I hate to have to point it out again, but I get the feeling you are doing something that you have become infamous for doing in the past. Your name has become almost synonymous with opposing some small bit of truth that shouldn't even matter that much in the long run. And then when you are shown that you are opposing the evidence, and even opposing the Watchtower in this case, you dig in your heels and start going on about things that were not really related to the question. And another favorite tactic, apparently, is to copy quotes from somewhere that might seem relevant and might make some people believe that you found "evidence" you were right. Perhaps it even convinces some people. But it's very difficult for me to see how you can look at evidence of something and just oppose it or deny it without responding to the evidence and without giving any counter-evidence.
  48. 4 points
    So was that it? The "WILL" became a "MAY"?
  49. 4 points
    Gone Away: I very much appreciate your perspective, and wish I could be so cavalier ... but faith in Jehovah God and his Christ is much to be desired ... and faith in men who are duplicitous and dishonest continually for a half century and more is idolatry.
  50. 4 points
    Yes. That's the point. Things like this can literally happen, and have literally happened in the past right up to the point of the miraculous divine intervention. In the past such things have happened even to peaceful secular groups who are perceived as being a threat to totalitarian and imperial states. Even if NOT exactly like what will happen during the great tribulation and Armageddon, it still creates a picture of the divine intervention that can be seen in a symbolic way that all Christians should experience when facing death for a righteous cause. Stephen's faith, for example, may have allowed him to see such a vision of divine intervention just prior to being stoned to death. Long prior to Armageddon, in the first three centuries of Christianity, perhaps hundreds of thousands faced death in such a manner in arenas, by mobs, by trial and execution, on stakes and crosses, by wild beasts, by fire, etc. Those true Christians in the past can still experience what is perhaps similar imagery in their very next conscious moments after their death, at the time of their resurrection. This imagery in the video should help produce a reason to feel the same courage in a potentially near future time when that same imagery may happen literally just prior to divine intervention. So all this part of the video, and even the video itself is well done and should have a good effect on our courage. But you hit upon a major theme of the video, even if it was not very overt. It's also about being obedient to men. This could end up making people associate salvation with obedience to humans. I'm sure that @Witness might have mentioned this before somewhere else, but the very article quoted above by "Witness" about Gog and Magog is the article that you quoted from earlier in this topic: *** ws13 11/15 p. 20 pars. 16-17 Seven Shepherds, Eight Dukes—What They Mean for Us Today *** [Simplified Watchtower] The Bible says that this army is made up of “seven shepherds” and “eight dukes,” or princes. (Micah 5:5) Who are they? They are the congregation elders. (1 Peter 5:2) Today, Jehovah is using many faithful elders to shepherd and to strengthen his people for the future attack of “the Assyrian.” (See footnote.) . . . (3) At that time, the direction that you receive from Jehovah’s organization may seem strange or unusual. But all of us must be ready to obey any instructions we may receive, whether we agree with them or not, because obeying these instructions will save our lives. *** w13 11/15 p. 20 par. 17 Seven Shepherds, Eight Dukes—What They Mean for Us Today *** (3) At that time, the life-saving direction that we receive from Jehovah’s organization may not appear practical from a human standpoint. All of us must be ready to obey any instructions we may receive, whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not. It's just my personal opinion, of course, but this is where I see a danger. We are telling people who expect to be surrounded by doubt and fear [the first words of the song in the video] to remember that for salvation they must be ready to obey instructions they hear through the elders that might sound strange and not make any sense "from a human standpoint." In other words, we are to accept and obey the instructions from humans as if they are from something greater than just a human standpoint. Notice that the simplified Watchtower version comes out and just plainly states that our salvation depends upon obeying strange and unusual direction from elders through the organization: salvation by obedience to men. Did we forget? (Psalm 146:3) 3 Do not put YOUR trust in nobles, Nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs [who cannot bring salvation, NWT Revised]. Calling them nobles, princes, or dukes, doesn't make a difference; they are still sons of earthling man, humans. The idea above subverts the scripture.

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