Jump to content

Leaderboard


Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/12/2019 in all areas

  1. 10 points
    I sincerely hope he doesn't change. I've enjoyed his brutal truth throughout the years. Courage is not something that needs changing. I hope you are ok @James Thomas Rook Jr.
  2. 7 points
    In good times, and bad times, in times easy and times hard, I have relied on the JW-Archive as a sounding board for many things, and appreciate the forbearance when I have ranted and raved about all sorts of things, even from the Librarian, who often deleted my posts, with cause. I have come to the conclusion that logic and reason is not the end-all that I had aspired to, and that all things being considered, it would have been better for me to be "Brother Watchtower", than the man I have become. I am 73 years old, and I probably do not have time to change .... realistically, but for 14 billion years I did not exist, and I don't remember it bothering me any. My Wife Susan, and my sons and daughter will fulfill whatever unfulfilled dreams I had, as the stars I could reach ... were just starfish on the beach. With whatever time I have left, it is going to be my life's challenge, so I bid each of you so long, and hope you stay closer to Jehovah than I did. ....and like Forest Gump said "... and that's all I am going to say about that." Goodby.
  3. 7 points
    Witnesses did not predict anything. The magazine highlighted what the experts said - their educated guess - and brought it to the attention of the readers of Awake magazine, like they do with many important and timely subjects. Get over it!
  4. 6 points
    In this world nothing is perfect because humans tend to overstep boundaries - even Moses did so. But if we are really prepared to give our life for another (spirit of christ), then reading our bible and sticking close to jehovah would be our main goal - and spreading the core teachings of the bible, such as the kingdom government. This saves lives. No other actions are worth a reward from jehovah more than these. To humbly serve others. Literal rebellion against any other human (turn the other cheek ), or earthly institution would not come up in our mind......BUT: this would not in any way mean that we tolerate any form of ' yeast'. Our conscience will help us to quickly quelch any form of wickedness or even speak up against evil, when needed, in a kind and loving way. This is possible within our small sphere of influence..... If this was the prevailing attitude (which is closer to perfection) in the entire organization, from top to bottom, everything would run better. But people are always overstepping boundaries due to imperfection. They go overboard or extend their influence. Because : if you read the quoted scriptures above (several people referred to scriptures) about humility, not being contentious, then a TRUE Christian with a genuine humble spirit will self-regulate. Granted, self-control regarding bad inclinations is the hardest part of being a Christian..... and to my thinking receives too little attention. We will do NOTHING out of egotism which can hurt our brothers or sisters and not overstep the invisible boundaries but stay in JEhovahs love. (The governing body and Feruli included). If everyone had this spirit not even elders would be necessary. But jehovah in his wisdom knew that we are dust and set a precedent in first century Jerusalem and also gave us elders and ministerial servants........ because we as humans need some form of facilitation. A world- wide organization needs some form of coordination and fiscal management as well as policy management. Neglect of management direction brought the tolerance of child molestation accusations. If they manage too much they are called dictators.... if they manage to little they are called incompetent and degenerate regarding morals.... the pharisees and self-appointed judges of our time are everywhere! Is it just a form of public rebellion? Or has he seen specific abuses of people by the GB? (Not mistakes, but abuses of trust which can be proved....) HERE IS MY OPINION: In my secular working life I have seen CEOs of global corporations move from one corporation to another. Many have good degrees and without a doubt walk around like gods ......with everyone in fear of them, pandering to them to obtain a favourable eye..... following every instruction to the letter...... or lose their jobs. When these CEOs have made many arbitrary decisions, which bring the company almost to ruin, they usually leave just in time so someone else can pick up the pieces. They do NOT navigate companies through hard financial times perfectly because their chrystal balls are usually defective. (I worked for the 4th largest logistics company in the world in 2008). Yet, these CEO's CVs read like a dream, they were CEOs of several companies, maybe a fortune 500 company, and are celebrated, get millions of dollars in bonuses, get astounding salaries, chauffeurs, trips with business air seats etc....... despite all the wrong decisions and attitudes. They are truly a mini-government, fat cats with perks that will make the Sun king blush. In contrast, simple men take a world-wide responsibility and in the process get a lot of respect (not worship). They have small personal perks which can never ever be measured up against a secular company. They cannot change jobs when they have messed up or made a mistake. THey are more accountable than CEOs because they have to fix up their own mistakes and face the music........and eager worldly criticism.... AND on top of that are accountable to Jehovah. Most people expect NO mistakes (always highlight even small mistakes) and they are always accused (by opposers) of setting themselves up as gods. People judge them so easily....... even though they are navigating us through highly critical financial times and even critical spiritual times. Did Jesus not predict that many would leave the faith and turn against brothers? I am sure there is more is to come..... when brazen opposers stand up in the congregation and betray brothers. I can only encourage brothers to not be 'swayed' by these winds that bring cross-winds and storms before the end... Steadily stay the course.... eyes humbly focussed on the promised target - everlasting life.
  5. 6 points
    I brought it up because it's one of several places where Furuli's book provides the exact type of anecdote I am familiar with. These types of interactions were evidently memorable and important to Furuli, too. But you might recall that among Witnesses it started with a basis in the Watch Tower publications. We have all the evidence that the initial speculation and the promotion of that speculation came directly from the publications and later from talking points from Circuit and District Servants (Overseers). Of course, the Watchtower had used the date 1975 to promote speculation about what might likely happen in the mid-1970's, not 1975 specifically. Individuals, especially Circuit and District Overseers, and evidently FWFranz himself, speculated that this meant 1975 itself was just about the last possible year for Armageddon. Franz' early articles made it clear that, at most, it could only be a matter of weeks or months, but NOT years after October 1975. In other words, F.W.Franz promoted speculation that this system could not go beyond October 1977 because then it really would be "YEARS" after 1975. Mostly circuit and district overseers, those who held themselves out to be very careful readers of what the Society was actually saying here, were pointing out to audiences that if you read very closely, and with discernment, you will see that this is what the Society wants us to realize: That it's VERY unlikely that this system would go even as far as past 1975, or even if it did, it would only be a matter of months past 1975, not years. Therefore, we were supposed to speculate that Armageddon would come in the mid-1970s, not 1975 specifically. But the term "1975" became the shorthand for "mid-1970s" and this speculation about the mid-70s naturally became focused on the specific year 1975. So much so that when 1975 ended, almost all the talk of the mid-1970s ended then, too. That initial speculation that was promoted at the summer conventions in 1966 was followed up with speakers assigned to promote more speculation at the Circuit Assemblies in 1967. Then the "months, not years" Watchtower came out in 1968, and it was the same Watchtower that indicated it was wrong to use Matthew 24:36 to balance the enthusiasm about 1975/mid-70s. In 1969, it was predicted that young ones should not plan to go to college, and especially not anything like a 4-year college degree because they would not likely finish that degree in this old system. And, of course, it was also predicted that no young ones would every grow old in this system. They definitely would not be able to start a career in this system. By 1973, the publications were praising those who were selling their houses to spend the remaining months in full-time service. There might have been a few cautionary statements at the beginning, but they died out quickly, and we were told not to "toy" with scriptures that made cautionary statements in 1968. . It was not until 1974 that some of those more cautionary statements came out. My father gave at least one of these Circuit Assembly talks every year from 1967 to about 1972. He used Matthew 24:36 as a cautionary statement, even though he was not supposed to do that, according to the 1968 "months, not years" Watchtower. By 1974 it was obvious that things were not really going as planned. (Inside Bethel, FWFranz was beginning to talk about 1974 as the likely year, even more likely than 1975) so when 1974 wasn't seeing things happening quickly even FWFranz himself began giving cautionary talks. An experiment that might tell you something of the timing of these cautionary talks is reflected, I think, in the number of times Matthew 24:42, 24:36 and Mark 13:32 was quoted in the Watchtower: “Keep on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming." 1964 ONCE 1965 through 1974: ZERO TIMES!!! 1975: TWICE 1976: ONCE 1977: ZERO 1978: ONCE 1979 - 1993 ZERO And how about the same for Matthew 24:36: (Matthew 24:36) (Mark 13:32) . . .“Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, . . . 1965: TWICE 1966: ZERO 1967: ONCE 1968: TWICE (but including the article against using it!) 1969 through 1973: ZERO TIMES!!! 1974: ONCE 1975: FOUR TIMES!! 1976: ZERO 1977: ZERO 1978: ZERO Such important scriptures nearly skipped from 1966 to 1974!!! Only brought up again in 1974 and 1975.
  6. 6 points
    A newspaper of Angola published praising Jehovah's Witnesses on prevention measures against coronavirus (Covid-19).. And the newspaper also announced that Jehovah's witnesses in all over the world have contributed a lot to the prevention of the coronavirus through its official website JW.org. And the newspaper also showed some links of how people can search on JW.org, and it also mentioned the journal! N-' 6, 2016 with the theme: "Win the war on diseases". Source: Angola newspaper 23/04/2020
  7. 6 points
    I think you have stated the question very well and have already implied the answers. Yes, some see it as a ritual. But it really is a ritual, just as baptism is a ritual that is not optional. Some religions also treat all wedding ceremonies and even funerals as rituals. Some have different or additional rites and rituals. For one who considers himself or herself anointed, it is like baptism: not an optional ritual. As you (and the WT said) the important thing is not to see the ritual as something more than it is. It is not a necessary part of salvation, but an opportunity for a personal and public expression of faith, just like baptism. Although it seems appropriate that members of the other sheep should joyfully celebrate such expressions of faith by the anointed, it is too solemn to be considered a celebration. It is often more solemn than some Witness funerals. There is such quiet and seriousness, that no one even seems to notice if someone, somewhere in the Hall, had partaken. Sometimes, I only notice whether all the glasses, initially filled to exactly the same height, come back to the front table with one of them having less wine in it. And then I wonder if there was a partaker, or if some sister got some wine accidentally spilled on her dress. For a time, the Watchtower made it clear that persons who were of the "other sheep" class, were not invited to the Memorial. Some time later, it was made clear that they would not partake of the emblems and they were invited to join. Sometimes (rarely) we hear the objection that the other sheep only attend in order to show that they are refusing to follow Jesus command to "Take, Eat!" and "Take. Drink!" Or even as if we are only there to physically reject the symbols of Jesus' ransom, I have answered that this is just as much a way for the other sheep to express their faith in an earthly paradise under the rule of Jesus and the 144,000 but separate from them. I have seen Memorials where the scene is "over-the-top" ritualistic when the emblems are offered and refused by the speaker. It can seem even more so where the speaker partakes, and it looks like the changing of the guard at Buckingham when a specially choreographed arrangement is made on the stage for up to 4 servers and the speaker to pass the emblems among themselves, with the speaker in the middle and a table off to each side.
  8. 6 points
      Hello guest!
    Rwanda’s descent into terror in April 1994 took an estimated one million lives in a mere 100 days. The Genocide against the Tutsi in this overwhelmingly Christian country was horrifying for its intimacy: Killers and victims were neighbors, friends, fellow churchgoers, workmates, even spouses. Murderers carried crude implements—machetes, hoes, nail-studded clubs—and lists of those doomed to die. Gatineau, Quebec—Tharcisse Seminega was marked for slaughter. With all escape routes seemingly cut off, he, his wife, and their five young children sat helplessly awaiting death. Seminega, a Tutsi and former Catholic seminarian, taught at the National University in Butare. Extremist Hutu faculty orchestrated the murder of Tutsi professors and students. But just minutes before a Hutu professor arrived with soldiers at Seminega’s house, Hutu friends helped the family flee. The new memoir No Greater Love—How My Family Survived the Genocide in Rwanda relates how, during the next 75 days, Seminega and his family evaded the machetes with the help of about 20 Hutu rescuers who took unthinkable risks to hide and sustain them. These rescuers knew that if the génocidaires caught them, they faced an agonizing death as traitors to the Hutu cause. Most of the rescuers belonged to the Jehovah’s Witness community, of which Seminega was a part. His wife, a former nun, feared to join him, knowing that the Witnesses had long been oppressed for refusing to take up weapons or participate in politics. Because of this apolitical teaching, writes genocide scholar Rhoda Howard-Hassmann, “Hutu Witnesses were impervious to calls for patriotic Hutu to take part in mass killings”; and yet “to do nothing was also against their Christian principles.” Professor Seminega says that his family’s rescuers and other Witnesses followed Jesus’ “new commandment”—To love one another just as he loved them, even to the death. They sheltered not only fellow believers but others who knew that Witnesses would not harm or betray them. Of 2,500 Witnesses in Rwanda in 1994, about 400 were murdered, Tutsi as well as Hutu who tried to rescue Tutsi or who refused to kill. After the genocide, researchers documented widespread complicity among church leaders and members. States one study: “All the churches active in Rwanda, with the exception of the Jehovah’s Witnesses” were involved in the genocide. Now, Professor Seminega speaks with classes via Skype about his family’s story. In paying tribute to his rescuers, Seminega says: “Their selfless acts move me every day to ask, how far will my love reach?”
  9. 6 points
    Confidentiality: "There are two views held by state courts regarding confidentiality as it pertains to clergy privilege. In two-thirds of the states, a communication is considered confidential if made privately and not intended for further disclosure except to other persons present for the purpose of the communication. In one-third of the states, privileged communication means a communication made in confidence only to the minister, with no third person present". Taken from:
      Hello guest!
  10. 6 points
    Yikes! $50 per minute to speak with a householder?! So says a gag sign posted on someone’s porch. “Doorknockers, please note. This householder charges $50 per minute to listen to any sales pitch, religious messages, or fundraising stories! Payment required in advance. By knocking on this door, you indicate that you are agreeing to these terms.” Video has captured a couple of visitors—our people, I think. The one on the sidewalk says: “What’s it say?” and the nearsighted woman squinting to read it responds with: “Let’s skip this one.” I’m done for if this catches on!...... Actually, as far as I am concerned, this sign represents a win-win. It does not make me mad. It is doing me a favor. If anyone doesn’t want to talk to me, then I don’t want to talk to them. There is a squirrelly assumption that underpins this meme: that Jehovah’s Witnesses are determined to talk to each householder no matter what,and are incredibly frustrated if stymied. It plays into the infantile view that they are “recruiting,” a view popularly spread by “anti-cultists” who obsess over all the ways that people can “manipulate” others. They abhor all forms of “brainwashing” except for the brainwashing that is theirs, as they safeguard mainstream values—values that have not worked out very well insofar as promoting overall peace and well-being. If the mainstream thinking contained answers to the vexing questions of life, people would’t have to worry for one second about “sects” and even “cults”—they would be rejected out of hand. So are Jehovah’s Witnesses “recruiting?” “I am going to ask you to convert,” I told a certain householder, “but it is not going to happen until the 100th call—and what are the chances It will go on for so long? In the meantime, it is just conversation.” To householders who state they have their own religion or spirituality and who decline conversation on that basis I say, “Well, I’m not going to ask you to change, and if I do, you can say No.” I mean, it is fine to decline conversation—more people do than do not—but just not on that basis. You might say it to an evangelical Christian—the sort that actually dofeature instant conversion of the “Come down and be saved!” variety. You might say it to a Moonie, because their people are known to disappear off the surface of the globe, only to reappear selling flowers in robes. But you ought not say it to one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, whose members live and work in the general community. No, the sign does me a favor. I have no problem with it. It might be different if they proliferated so that they became a commonplace gag sign, just a fad witticism inspired by late-night TV that didn’t necessarily mean anything. In that case, I might just walk away or I might playfully attempt to negotiate terms before deciding if I wanted to enter into such a “contract.” “Well, a guy has to serve the Lord,” I will say non-aggresively to some while trying to size them up. You’ve got to have a sense of humor. Like a No Soliciting sign, there are no legal consequences to blowing past it, [in the U.S.—it may be different elsewhere] and like a No Soliciting sign, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything. It might be put up by a previous owner, and the current one sees no reason to remove it. It might be put up by a family member that died. It might have been put up after those pushy people selling vacuum cleaners left. It might be put up in the heat of election campaign season. It might be put up to dissuade Jehovah’s Witnesses, but I do not assume that is the case. ”I saw your sign and was a little concerned that you might think it applies to me,” I sometimes say when one of them is staring me in the face. “It doesn’t—but you might think it does.” You can assess by the response if the householder had that intention or not, and if he did, I have no problem moving on from what would cause both of us stress. Don’t argue, “We’re not soliciting,” because it really doesn’t matter whether you are or not. What matters is what the householder thinks you are doing. Of course, you can tell him that what he thinks is wrong, but that is never a fine foundation for a visit, is it? I have said at times, when my attention is directed to such a sign, “Oh. Well....I’ll make sure not to do that, then,” either by soliciting money (which Witnesses never do) or soliciting opinions—drawing people out—which we do. Simply tell them stuff, don’t ask them a thing—that is enough to technically comply with such a sign. But the trick is not to argue over technicalities. The trick is to see if such and such a vague sign actually means anything to the householder and respect his wishes if it does. No, a No Soliciting sign means nothing legally, same as this new $50 per hour JW sign that some are giggling over means nothing. The only sign with legal consequences (in the US) is a No Trespassing sign, and even that only has legal consequences for individual dwellings—you can’t wall off an entire community with a No Trespassing sign. To be sure, some are trying to change that, but the idea of answering for large swaths of other people is repugnant to most and so the change may not readily happen. Let’s face, this sign is kind of crude, and not too many people are going to put one up. It is sort of like that sign in which you find yourself as though staring down the barrel of a gun that says, “Never mind the dog! Beware of the owner!” I don’t just jauntily breeze by that sign as though is was a Welcome mat. I tread a bit cautiously. If my companion was to turn around and leave, I wouldn’t blame him a bit. Still, you never know. I was leaving one such home—no one had answered—and as I was walking away, a pickup truck drove in with a gun rack in the back window. “Great!” I muttered to myself—“probably a real hothead here!” He turned out to be the nicest guy in the world—very respectful of our purpose and of the Bible. There was a lot of crime in the neighborhood and he had just “weaponed-up” for the protection of his family. These signs are not a red light—No Soliciting, Beware of Whatever—but they certainly are a yellow light. They are not a yellow light legally, but they are a yellow light in that they might reveal something of thehouseholders wishes, and I have no problem always complying with their wishes once I know what they are. As it is, Jehovah’s Witnesses have a method to keep note of those who have emphatically said that the don’t want JW calls ever. It is an imperfect system and I usually forget to consult it, but it works better than nothing. Ironically, it may all vanish one day if the current “data-keeping” laws gathering steam in Europe, spearheaded by the same people who see “manipulation” everywhere, spreads to the US. It will be illegal to keep track of who doesn’t want a call. As it is, one US brother I know reported on a trip to Europe and how the brothers there were wrestling with these new anti data-gathering laws that had never been intended (at least, by most) for them, but were being applied to them, with: “Good! They’ve just made your job easier! Preach to one and all and don’t worry about any “records”—keeping track of them is a pain in the neck!” What about a child answering the door? For me, that depends upon the age of the child. For a teen, sometimes I will go Bible-lite, such as commenting on what the words of the Lord’s Prayer literally mean, and I do not press any point. Or show a video geared to teens—I have never had a teen not pay rapt attention to the video, “Be Social-Network Smart.” With teens, I have sometimes told them that I really don’t know what to do with teens, because they are learning and gathering data, but they are also under their parent’s roof, with the latter guiding that process, and so they may or may not want them speaking to persons of different beliefs at the door, and ‘which is it with them’? Even that doesn’t guarantee anything. One parent that I finally encountered said, “I don’t appreciate you speaking to my children,”—I had done so twice and had shown a couple of videos. I responded that I had never been looking for the kids—I had been looking for her—and that when the teens had answered I had asked them whether their parents would want them speaking to a visitor about religion and they had said she would not care. “Kids will say anything!” she told me. So I explained that I would not call again (she said ‘thank you’), repeated that I had never been looking for them in the first place, and even was able to give a brief synopsis for why we call at all—she became pleasant. Another teen—I had just finished something brief and similar—he had been home alone. As I left, the mother drove up in the driveway. I told her who I was, that I had spent a few minutes speaking with her son, I had asked him a question and he had answered intelligently. “You should be proud of him,” I said as I took my leave. Cultures are different. I once handed a tract to a child with directions to give it to her parents, and upon leaving, my companion said that she would have witnessed to the child. My companion was newly arrived from South America where it is commonplace for parents to allow and even encourage children to talk religion to anyone calling about it. There are congregations there heavily populated by children with the full blessing of parents who do not attend themselves—respect for God runs deep in some lands and the assumption is that you cannot go wrong allowing your children to learn about the Bible. Though the following has nothing to do with the Bible, it has everything to do with that fact that cultures are different, and so when the Witness organization speaks in a way that is not really my cup of tea, I say, “It is probably one of those others cultures that they are taking into consideration.” There is a large community of deaf persons in Rochester NY. Accordingly, there are a number of Witnesses who make their living as translators. One of them told me of a certain deaf family of two adults and two children—all deaf—who are known not only locally but also nationally, and the following story is told nationally as a way of highlighting the challenges of catering to different cultures: A neighboring “hearing” girl would come over to play at the home of the deaf family. The two children were surprised that she didn’t seem able to sign very well at all, but they all managed to sign well enough to each other to get by. Then the two children went to the little girl’s home to play, where they saw the mother not signing at all! Her mouth kept moving, and the little girl seemed satisfied with that, but there was no signing. Upon returning home, they related their bewilderment to their parents and asked, “Are there other people like that?”
  11. 6 points
    JW Insider

    WT Society and Religious Education

    This could be true for some. No one was telling me I couldn't go to college, though. Their concern was that it would set a poor example to appoint an elder and then the congregation simultaneously found out I was going to college. But if a congregation needs elders, there is almost no difference in the amount and types of assignments given to ministerial servants. Even as an MS, I had been giving 5 different public talks (3 from the outlines), and was still being invited to give some of them in different congregations every few weeks. I believe I had either the 15 minute "Instruction Talk" or a 15 minute part on the Service Meeting about 3 times a month. And I was not told I had to pioneer, while attending college, but had offered this idea as a way to show that college was a not a full time priority in my life. No one held me to it anyway, as I only could manage pioneering for two more years. In my third year I was offered a great job and started it before graduation. But still, it's always good counsel to give to anyone who is thinking about college, that they think about their priorities before making a decision. I've given the same counsel to others, but I make sure they still know it's their own choice, and we wish them all the best outcomes. But then 30 years later, the issue comes up again with my own children. The need to step down as an elder if your kids go to college is not enforced consistently, at least in the United States. When children get large scholarships it can make it more sensible economically to go to a four year college, but it still gives the impression that you are putting economic and material interests ahead of the urgency necessary based on the shortness of the time to the end. The issue of setting a good example is not just for the congregation, but also the fact that you might not even have your own family in "subjection." Of course, kids go to college when they are 18, and I don't believe in "subjection" at this point in their lives. I believe in learning from my kids, and letting myself be subjected to hearing about what they are learning. I am not concerned too much about the Society's position on higher education. At this point, the economic benefits are too often a trap due to the high cost and doubtful employment outcomes. And although I'm sure I'd be welcomed to return as an elder, I am happy with all the things that can be done without the title. Also, you might know that I have a lot of difficulty navigating platform assignments that promote shunning, 1914, the sign, the generation, the "presence," and few other things on which we might well be right, but are too dogmatic about. I'm happy to wait until the pendulum swings in the direction of less dogma. Titles are not important.
  12. 6 points
    Anna

    Suicide. God's view. Organisation's view

    No new light, just the elder's opinion, and not a very good one at that. It still stands that Jehovah will be the judge as he knows the reasons and circumstance.
  13. 5 points
    Here us the meeting material for weeks of Workbook for July 20-26 and July 27–August 2, 2020. TB CBS July 20-26 , 2020.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of July 20-26, 2020.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of July 20-26, 2020.pdf Watchtower July 20-26, 2020.doc Watchtower July 20-26, 2020.pdf Additional Highlights - July 20-26, 2020.doc Additional Highlights - July 20-26, 2020.pdf CBS July 20-26 , 2020.doc CBS July 27–August 2 , 2020.doc Additional Highlights -July 27–August 2, 2020.pdf Additional Highlights -July 27–August 2, 2020.doc Watchtower July 27, 2020–August 2, 2020.pdf Watchtower July 27, 2020–August 2, 2020.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of July 27–August 2.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of July 27–August 2.doc CBS July 27–August 2 , 2020.pdf
  14. 5 points
    I don’t even pretend to know how this works. I know what is the place of safety. I know what is my obligation to publicize it. Everything else involves matters “too great for me.” Can you be some distance from the place of safety or not on millimeter? Dunno. “Is it only Jehovah’s Witnesses who will be saved?” someone asked my daughter, a need-greater. “Well—I’m not Jesus, and I don’t know,” she replied. What of the verse that you will by no means complete the circuit of Israel before the son of man arrives? How does that factor in? Will Jehovah pull some last minute trick like he did with Jonah? It is enough to know that he can read hearts. I’ll just do an Abraham and say, “is not the God of the entire earth going to do what is right?” After Armageddon, (let us assume that I find myself on the other side of it) I will look around, see who I see, and say, “I guess that is what’s right.” All we can do is what we can do. Between house-to-house, carts, internet, and just plain zeal, what we have done is a lot. Is the kingdom the burning issue in everyone’s mind that they consciously approve or reject, as much of our material would suggest? Or is it that people are consumed with the day-to-day and “take no note” of what is happening around them, as also much of our material would suggest? What is the interplay between the two? The issue is do people prefer government by God or government by men. The GB would be negligent to not continually stress the place of safety and call attention to verses that indicate you’d better be there. They would be negligent to not urge those there to prioritize their lives so as to join Christ in saying “Come,” They have not been negligent. Imitate them, says 2 Thess 3:7-9. Imitate their faith, says Heb 13:17, a faith that has manifested itself as deeds, because faith without works is dead. That is enough for me to go on. You don’t have to know every little thing. Not a sparrow falls to the ground unseen by the Father. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t fall. How many will fall, and why, and how many will stand?
  15. 5 points
    @Witness referenced a recent Watchtower article from 2013 that shows that the word "shunning" is interchangeable with "disfellowshipping." It was also in the same 2013 Watchtower where an article was referenced on jw.org: *** w13 8/1 p. 2 Table of Contents *** READ MORE ONLINE | www.jw.org FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES—Do You Shun Former Members of Your Religion? (Look under ABOUT US > FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS) The Frequently Asked Questions section is still there, but that particular article has been removed. You have to go to the Wayback Machine (internet.archive.org) and look for the article that was picked up 62 times between August 30, 2012 and February 6, 2019. (There have been 16,777 captures from the jw.org website on the Wayback Machine from 2012, and the most recent was today). The article in question says: Do You Shun Former Members of Your Religion? ... We do not automatically disfellowship someone who commits a serious sin. If, however, a baptized Witness makes a practice of breaking the Bible’s moral code and does not repent, he or she will be shunned or disfellowshipped. And we can go back to the 1970's up through 2016 (and website up to 2019) to see that the word "shun" was commonly used as part of our vocabulary for how we should shun disfellowshipped persons. The 1988 case has been mentioned above as it was reported in the 1988 Watchtower. The shunning article was removed from the website in February 2019 about 15 months after the Canadian case in 2017. Just before the Canadian court presentation in 2017, the October 2017 Wathtower said this: *** w17 October p. 16 par. 19 The Truth Brings, “Not Peace, But a Sword” *** For example, Jehovah instructs us to “stop keeping company” with unrepentant wrongdoers. (1 Cor. 5:11-13) Despite our pain of heart, we must avoid normal contact with a disfellowshipped family member by telephone, text messages, letters, e-mails, or social media. This is exactly at odds with Gnam's claim that normal family life goes on. 2017 *** lvs chap. 3 p. 40 par. 19 Choose Friends Who Love God *** He may choose to leave the congregation himself, or he may have to be disfellowshipped. If this happens, the Bible clearly says that we should “stop keeping company” with him. (Read 1 Corinthians 5:11-13; 2 John 9-11) This can be very difficult if he is a friend of ours or a member of our family. But in a situation like this, our loyalty to Jehovah must be stronger than our loyalty to anyone else.—See Endnote 8. 2019 *** od p. 200 Part 2: Christian Living *** 17. If an announcement is made that someone is no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, how should we treat him? • “Stop keeping company with anyone called a brother who is sexually immoral or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a man.”—1 Cor. 5:11. • “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your homes or say a greeting to him.”—2 John 10. 2016 It was in the 2016 Assembly where the following part of the program even included a dramatic example of how family members don't allow family life to go on normally: But the actual word "shun" disappeared from the website in 2019 (so far).
  16. 5 points
    It's not that God is giving separate and advanced knowledge about covid to the GB. The GB collect information from worldly experts just like anyone else can. But the difference is that many people do not consider the Bible's wisdom in their lives. All that the GB are doing is applying scriptures a.k.a wisdom from God. For example, Br. Morris quoted Proverbs 14:16 "The wise one is cautious and turns away from evil,But the stupid one is reckless* and overconfident." and applied it to covid 19 in that recklessness and overconfidence have literally cost people their lives. Then he quoted Ecclesiastes 7:12 "For wisdom is a protection just as money is a protection, but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves the life of its owner." He said our aim is to make wise balanced decisions that protect lives. The next scripture was Proverbs 22:3 "The shrewd one sees the danger and conceals himself,But the inexperienced keep right on going and suffer the consequences" to which he said that we should not develop a casual attitude. So all he did was apply these scriptures to the present covid situation and encouraged everyone else to do the same. He urged that we must not have a casual attitude. He said this because many people are relaxing in their caution, including probably the brothers and sisters. All that the GB are doing is reminding people that covid is NOT over. We hear the same from worldly media. We also know that countries which have relaxed their restrictions are facing a covid come back. Countries are relaxing restrictions so that people can get back to work. It is vital for the economy. But as Br. Morris said, we care about life more than money. So it's no so much that God is giving separate info to GB, anyone has access to the Bible, the same info, but it's more like the GB are paying attention to it and applying it, and urging us to do the same because many in the world are not. Here is the video:
      Hello guest!
  17. 5 points
    Yes. That is the point. And it was not just the statement about Covid19 that I was responding to in the speech, even though it was the only example I focused on. If an example of good guidance proves that Jehovah is with the GB, then someone could just as easily point out that examples of bad guidance must be proof that Jehovah is not with the GB. Most of us who have been Witnesses over a long period of time will recall how a continuing theme of our meetings, especially the book study, for years had always been about how examples of bad guidance in Christendom is proof that they are being guided only by Satan. This can result in the same hypocrisy. But worse, it can make brothers, like the speaker above, feel that he must try to hide negative information away from the average Witness who can't face anything negative. It has made brothers like him in responsible positions try to declare that false doctrines had a good purpose in the past to filter out those who were weak. (This has been done for several of the big falsehoods like 1925, superior authorities, 1975 expectations, etc.) If it ends up making us call what is good, bad, and what is bad, good, then we should point that out.
  18. 5 points
    These days a lot of people who do not have the time, money or wherewithal to become scholars, scientists, journalists, or specialists will still tend to find some vicarious thrill in presenting themselves as "scholars" because they love the actual scholarship of another person. Similarly, some consider themselves vicarious "journalists" (or at least "specialists") on many topics because they have found journalists, or more often "journalistic entertainers," who support their ideologies. (In the USA, this would include persons like Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, Sean Hannity, Anderson Cooper, Alex Jones, Chris Cuomo, etc.) The "vicarious thrill" happens especially when a well-known professional scholar, scientist, politician, journalist or entertainer agrees with our own personal ideology or beliefs. The thrill is slightly higher when it's an unexpected source, as when a climate scientist admits a failure in the climate beliefs of the opposing ideology. Or when a respected academic source, or even "fundamentalist Christian" scholar admits that the Trinity was not a first century Christian belief. Over the past few years @scholar JW and "Allen Smith"/"Billy The Kid" aka @César Chávez have praised Rolf Furuli to such an extent that I was not the only one who wondered if both "scholar" and "Cesar" were not also enjoying a kind of vicarious thrill of being able to call their own ideological position "scholarly" because an actual academic scholar like Furuli gave them that foundation. And it no doubt appealed to the Watch Tower Society to find a person like Furuli for the same reasons and present his unique take on one of the neo-Babylonian astronomical tablets. And I would have to admit that for me personally I have sometimes been thrilled to discover that many archaeologists have uncovered items of interest to Bible believers that help indicate the historical accuracy of the Bible in the face of nay-sayers. And when it was first pointed out to me why the doctrine of the "1914 generation" was not supported Biblically, I was thrilled to discover that two members of the GB would admit right in front of me that they also didn't fully support it, and that at least 3 additional GB members had said similar things in writing or told to persons I trusted about that topic. And when it turns out that a Greg Stafford, or a Gerard Gertoux, also agrees in many ways about the 1914 doctrine, it could be seen as adding "authority" to my own beliefs. So, I am definitely not immune to the "argument from authority" which can often turn out to be a logical fallacy. But what happens when Gerard Gertoux is rejected as a scholar due to a position on 1914, or a person like Greg Stafford defends JWs very well for years, but then leaves or rejects the Witnesses altogether? In the past few years, both "scholar JW" and "Cesar" have been asked what they would do if Furuli stopped believing as he did. Neither answered that question. But both of them, on this forum, seem to have been as supportive as possible of Furuli, up to a point. I don't think "scholar JW" will come back now that he has been asked this question directly, this time by Ann O'Maly. "Cesar" has been slowly weakening in his supportive position, as I'm sure he is discovering that some of the words he thought were being misrepresented were actually a very good representation of Furuli's actual words. Fortunately, for "scholar" and "Cesar," Furuli has not yet changed his position on 1914, and "scholar JW" immediately found that fact to be advantageous - because Furuli is finally (suddenly) an independent scholar. "Cesar" also still uses vague language to protect and defend Furuli. I believe it's because Furuli's scholarship on 1914 must be protected from his new theological reputation. As expected, this is not so different from what is done especially by ex-JWs and perhaps even some JWs for R.Franz and C.O.Jonsson for those who agree with their takes on theology or chronology, respectively. Some persons tend to want to overly protect the reputations of those men when it shouldn't matter in the long run. I think that some persons get overly involved in trying to make them out to be great Christians, when they never knew them, and only see through their own eyes "vicariously" through the books those men authored. This becomes more interesting with Furuli because 1914 is so tied up with the belief in the FDS who were recently identified with the GB (such as it was) back during that same 1914 time period. I don't expect Furuli to weaken any time soon on the 1914 doctrine because he invested his entire reputation on 1914 and scholarship, and it is his own reputation he is apparently trying to salvage among his fellow brothers and sisters. He wants it to be clear that he has never left the religion and that if he is kicked out it was only because some imperfect but sincere men did not like an important anomaly in his theology. The "optics" of that perspective might even save him from being officially kicked out in any formal or public way. But Furuli is rejecting what has seemed to become the most re-emphaisized "touchstone" of the modern theological themes in the Watch Tower publications: that of obedience to the FDS. It's an old theme but necessarily returning because it's now so much more tangible. Previously, the "obedience" to the FDS was a spiritual obedience through appreciation of an entire spiritual "process" that was intangible. The FDS was a world-wide living remnant of the 144,000 who were somehow (spiritually) supporting a small group of representatives of themselves through the largely unknown (and idealized) teaching and writing and decision-making processes at the Watch Tower's headquarters in NY. The "obedience" of the 144,000 to a core group of anointed, centered around NY Bethel, became a model that the rest of us appreciated, largely for the intangible spiritual factors. (It was even suggested that members of the 144,000 who had died, were still communicating with this small group of representatives of the FDS.) But then it became more tangible when it was adjusted so that this appointed slave became "8 men" that you could watch and judge for yourselves on your "TV" or internet screens. You can watch them make mistakes right in front of you. You can watch them say questionable things and realize more easily than ever that they themselves are struggling with some issues (finances, legal challenges, "overlapping" generation, changing doctrines). This begins to take away the once intangible spiritual sheen, even though most of what they say is still very much appreciated and there is no need to question it.
  19. 5 points
    This could be an important key, or clue, as to why Furuli has gone this far. If he has become a policy "wonk," perhaps with a serious health problem, and lives in an online bubble, then his world might not be as safe for him as in a congregation of persons who will help keep you "grounded." House-to-house work will do the same as TTH already pointed out. But it's possible Furuli has bcome someone who lives for his reputation, and that reputation is all online these days. This is not the guess I would have made as to what triggered him to take it this far. But it might still be related. I would certainly like to have this cleared up myself if I were to begin trying to brainstorm ideas (or is it gossip?) about why he took the "book" step. He has quite possibly had troubles in the past with HQ, and if COJ is to be believed, others have been "stumbled" out of the organization over his attitude and tactics. But he is a more complex person than I imagined. Gossip exists that he was to be removed as an elder about two decades ago, but that the local body of elders in his congregation somehow out-voted the Circuit Overseer sent to handle the matter. That comes from a 12-year-old post on a site that I rarely visit except by Google-directed accidents. What makes it seem real, however, is that even 12 years ago, he was already taking the same stand against the "GB" on a couple of issues: # 1. Education. Furuli says: Do take education! # 2. Governing Body. Furuli says: GB is not spirit directed.(GB dont claim to be, but a lot of JW belive they are and enligthening the dubs are controversial.) # 3. Service. (Society says, do take part in all kinds of service like door to door, street work and bla bla.) Furuli says: You don't have do do everything. Do the kind of service that makes you comfortable. I don't know anything about who I was just quoting from that site. But to see that all this was documented 12 years ago says something about a longer struggle than I had imagined. I see the points numbered 1 and 2 even more deeply ingrained now, and point 3 hinted at, too. I went into some depth on the attitude of Fred Franz in earlier posts because it's part of my theory. I think Furuli is stuck on the man, (as both a gentleman and a scholar) and the whole Franz era, with all its types and antitypes, and chronologies, etc. I'm sure you are seeing that in the book, too. I think Furuli actually sees himself as capable of stepping into Franz' shoes and even improving the types and antitypes from that idealized era. Reading the book reminded me of the Annual Meeting talk by Brother Splane in October 2014. In that talk, Splane went on about a certain brother (A. Smith) who just loved the pyramidology theories. But when Rutherford dropped them as Satanic, Smith obediently dropped it too. But then Splane went on to talk about how wonderful and exciting the "types and antitypes" have appealed to certain ones, and how he hoped that these persons, too, will be able to gladly drop them. It made me think that Furuli had already been in correspondence about a couple of the old Franz-esque types and antitypes that had already been dismissed or greatly de-emphasized from "types" to "reminders" especially since 2010. Furuli would have had even more interest in giving feedback to the WTS over the 2013 release of the "Simplified" NWT, which he "trashes" in his book.
  20. 5 points
    I know this wasn't directed directly at me, but I am just as likely to ridicule the chart as several others around here. The reason is reason: (Philippians 4:5) 5 Let your reasonableness become known to all men.. . . (2 Thessalonians 2:1, 2) . . .However, brothers, concerning the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you 2 not to be quickly shaken from your reason nor to be alarmed either by an inspired statement or by a spoken message or by a letter appearing to be from us, to the effect that the day of Jehovah is here. (James 1:22) . . .However, become doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves with false reasoning. . . (Romans 12:1) . . .Therefore, I appeal to you by the compassions of God, brothers, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, a sacred service with your power of reason. (James 3:17) 17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, reasonable, . . . This reminds me of the time when Rutherford began teaching about "Armageddon" in 1925 (and the start of the resurrection of the ancient worthies like Abraham and David). He said it was not just a possibility or probability, but the practical equivalent of a certainty. This teaching was Rutherford's most famous prophetic interpretation from the moment that he was supposed to have embodied the "faithful slave" and the "Governing Body" starting in 1919. The 1919 prophetic message "Millions Now Living Will Never Die" was a message about how people would stop dying in 1925. Should anyone have said anything to Rutherford about how unreasonable this idea was? Should anyone have said anything to anyone else who was teaching this? Rutherford was saying that his hearers and readers could be more certain of 1925 than Noah could have been certain about an imminent Flood. He said 1925 was more of a certainty than 1914 had been. (Which year had also been displayed in famous charts and chart-dependent presentations.) I think you are implying that out of respect for Rutherford (and the "faithful slave" and the "Governing Body") that no one should have pointed out that this was unreasonable. Something similar might go for the idea that the Governing Body said that there should be no divorce allowed for a sister in the congregation when her husband was found to be committing adultery with another man. In the latter case, I'm pretty sure that the rule was changed only when enough people were bold enough to make fun of it. If no one had spoken up, we might still be stuck with this unreasonable teaching. You point out that it now seems reasonable that the end might come about based upon the travails that the world is going through at this time. That might seem reasonable to a lot of people. Yet, even if it happens to be correct that we are currently listening to the world's "death rattle," it still does not follow that an unreasonable chart had anything to do with it. If the end comes tonight and someone later discovers that a man in, say, Northern Queensland had been holding up a sign to that effect in a cow pasture, we could not reasonably connect the man's sign to the end-times event.
  21. 5 points
    Most of these churches that defy government quarantine restrictions do so because they see the government being opportunistic—‘never let a crisis go to waste.’ They are intensely political on the right, celebrate the Bill of Rights, and they fear that government surveillance, monitoring, restrictions will not revert to normal after the crisis has passed. To them, the crisis is the wedge to introduce permanent restriction of freedom. Some see it as a deliberate move to so decimate capitalism that all that will be left is for socialism to take the helm. A fringe of these people even think the ‘crisis’ is manufactured for exactly that purpose—to extend control and restrictive means of government over all persons. And don’t get them going about Bill Gates! None of this is so absurd to be dismissed out of hand. See how popular Bernie Sanders is, or even Elizabeth Warren. The trouble with conspiracy theories is that once a few of them turn out to be true it becomes so much easier to swallow anything coming down the pipe. I am glad that we really don’t have to worry about it. We never put our trust in human institutions, so if it turns out that there are machinations amongst them, it does not unsettle us to the degree that it unsettles people who do put full trust in human self-rule. Nor do we look to human institutions for ‘staying power.’ If they don’t go down this way, they will go down that way. All we have to do is stay loyal to God, no matter what, and let the chips fall where they may. When push comes to shove, this life is not the ‘real’ life of 1 Timothy 6:19.
  22. 5 points
    Using the quotes extracted from Eusebius and Epaphanius in a Wiki article
      Hello guest!
    It might be interesting to note that the impetus to leave Jerusalem and go to Pella was not specifically credited to Jesus' prophecy in Matthew/Mark/Luke, but to an angel, or a specific oracle/revelation/prophecy given just before the war. This would put it on par with the prophecy of Agabus (Acts 11:27, 28) . . .In those days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them named Agʹa·bus stood up and foretold through the spirit that a great famine was about to come on the entire inhabited earth, which, in fact, did take place in the time of Claudius. This is a curious report then by Eusebius, that he doesn't tie it to Matthew 24, or Luke 21, for example. (Epiphanius may have "corrected" this nearly 100 years after Eusebius, when he credited the flight to Jesus warning about the city being surrounded.) The idea that the command only went to those in the city who were worthy, might also imply that there were reports that some [less worthy] Christians had died in Jerusalem's destruction. Epaphanius had referenced Jesus' prophecy in his book Panarion, but in "Weights and Measures" he pretty much agreed with Eusebius:
  23. 5 points
    Unfortunately, this has been going on even from the time that the scriptures were written, or at least from very shortly after the NT was completed. This means that even the very idea that there had been an escape to Pella might just be from persons with their own agenda. The best evidence that comes down to us is from Eusebius of Caesarea and Epiphanius of Salamis. Eusebius wrote his "Ecclesiastical History" (Church History) between about 300 and 325. Epiphanius would have written "Panarion" around 375. We don't know what, if anything, was written on this topic between 70 CE and 300 CE. So this might be a little like someone just now trying to make a story about what direction we believe small bands of native Americans (Indians) ran to in 1775 in upstate NY when Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold were capturing the guns at the British Fort Ticonderoga (which would just precede a siege of Boston and the building of a fortification of stakes around parts of that city). The "American Indians" were not a big part of that story, so there is very little written down about what they did. If someone came up with a new story about it 200 to 250 years later, we might not put much trust in it. But, then again, we might assume that there were some verbal or even written records that could be gathered up from various families in the area, and that there was some truth to such a story. We have some evidence that the apostles generally stayed in Jerusalem, per Jesus' instructions just after he was resurrected. In Galatians (and corroborated in Corinthians) Paul mentions a period of 14 years after his conversion when he finally goes to Jerusalem to meet with the apostles. If Paul converted before 36, then this refers to a time prior to 50 CE., when at least some apostles were still there. Peter and John are mentioned specifically, and James who was also mentioned had not been considered an apostle. Acts also does not mention any additional apostles (except Peter and James) still alive or around at this time. If there had been an instruction to all the apostles to stay in Jerusalem, for the purpose of forming an apostolic group to study the scriptures and devote themselves to prayer, then it may have already accomplished its purpose and broken up before 50 CE. We hear of the "The Twelve" in Acts 6, still in Jerusalem, when they send out Stephen and Philip, for example. (Still prior to Paul's conversion.) By chapter 8 of Acts we hear about the group of "apostles in Jerusalem," and how both Peter and John had been sent to Samaria (and we know from Galatians that Peter had gone as far as Antioch). But by chapter 11 of Acts we only hear of some older men in Jerusalem and only one apostle there, Peter. By the time we reach 11:29 we only hear about the effect of the famine on "the brothers living in Judea." This matches about the same timing as Paul spoke of in Galatians and elsewhere when Paul brought collections back to the brothers in Jerusalem "keeping the poor in mind." Then in the next verses of Acts (Acts 12:1-3) we see that Herod has just put the Apostle James (brother of John) to death (not the same James of "James, Peter, and John" in Galatians) and goes after Peter. After the destruction, we see John the apostle up around the isle of Patmos, but this could have been an exile from anywhere, not necessarily Jerusalem. So, we really don't know how long the apostles stayed together in Jerusalem, or whether Herod broke that up even prior to the work of Paul and Barnabas, that brought them to Jerusalem (Acts 15). No Bible writer mentions Pella. I don't think there is anyone we know about who mentioned anything about a flight to Pella until 200 years later. There are plenty of letters and stories and other Christian writings between 70 and 300, but no evidence about Pella. Still, we have the history (through Josephus) of the attack on Jerusalem, and the fact that the Romans started to attack in 66 and then decided to withdraw and not come back until they were ready to wage the war from start to finish in 70. Perhaps no Christians left in 66, although this seems like the time that would fit best. It's possible that most Christians had already left during Herod's persecution. It's possible that most Christians left just as the final approach was being made in 70 around the time of the Passover. The most "ideal" story says that Christians recognized Jesus warning when Jerusalem was approached in 66, and that they then left and stayed away for about a 3-and-a-half year period until Jerusalem was destroyed with its Temple in 70. But we have no evidence from Josephus or anyone else about that. It might also be wishful thinking to believe that no Christians were killed during the destruction of Jerusalem, as Epiphanius claimed 300 years later. As to the idea that John was the only apostle alive after 70, there is an interesting passage in John that seems to refer to his age and the timing of the parousia. (John 21:20-24) . . .Peter turned around and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, . . . 21 So when he caught sight of him, Peter said to Jesus: “Lord, what about this man?” 22 Jesus said to him: “If it is my will for him to remain until I come, of what concern is that to you? You continue following me.” 23 So the saying went out among the brothers that this disciple would not die. However, Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but he said: “If it is my will for him to remain until I come, of what concern is that to you?” 24 This is the disciple who gives this witness about these things and who wrote these things, and we know that his witness is true. I like your questions and there is much more to say about them, but I'll stop for now.
  24. 5 points
    Found on Facebook.
  25. 5 points
    The Librarian

    THE DEVIL’S BEST TOOL

    It was announced that the Devil was going out of business and that he would offer all his tools for sale to whom ever would pay the price. On the night of the sale, they were all attractively displayed and marked with a price, even so, they were a bad looking lot: Malice, Hatred, Envy, Deceit, Jealousy and Sensuality and all the other implements of evil were spread out. Apart from the rest, lay a harmless looking wedge shaped tool. Much worn and priced higher than any of the others. Someone asked the Devil, "What is that?" That is "DISCOURAGEMENT", THE DEVIL REPLIED! "But why do you have it priced so high?", the prospective purchaser inquired. BECAUSE SAID THE DEVIL; " It is more useful to me than any of the others. I can pry open and get inside a man's soul with it. I can do this when I can not get near him with any of the other tools I possess.. Once I get inside his mind with discouragement, I can use him in whatever way suits me best. The reason this tool is so worn, is that I can use it with nearly everyone. So, very few know that it belongs to me! It hardly needs to be added, that the Devil's price was so high for discouragement that it was never sold. He still owns it and uses it today! - contributed by email - Many thanks Jenni
  26. 5 points
    Anna

    1914

    Yes, and that according to Bible chronology, the FDS was appointed in 1919. So if 1914 was questioned, when were the FDS appointed? It would remove that whole aspect of what we have been taught, including the brothers being in prison. I agree though that in reality it shouldn't change much about the authority of those taking the lead, because the scriptures say to be obedient to them. And I agree with the sister, I thought it was nothing new either (regarding the FDS only being the GB). But still, everyone is aware that Jesus was supposed to have appointed a specific group to provide spiritual food. If 1914 was removed, that small specific group would be dispersed and would include anyone who was feeding others spiritually, as you have suggested. All this would remove the thought that the GB are the only channel God is using, although G.Jackson admitted that it would be presumptuous to think that they were the only chanel. However I don't think he, or any of the others have put this in writing in any of our publications though. So unless someone has read Jackson's ARC deposition, they will be under the impression that the FDS, therefore the GB are the ONLY chanel God is using, and therefore to question anything they say is tantamount to going against God himself. A few know this is not true, and the GB themselves think it's not true, but most r&f believe it. (As you know, this was the reason why I got kicked out of one forum*. And this is also why it appears that we "worship" the GB, because anything and everything they say is gold and must not be questioned, even if it could be wrong....because they are not infallible and can err...). *Questioning God is allowed, but questioning the GB is not! How strange is that?
  27. 5 points
    Outta Here

    1914

    Quite so. And the understanding we have now, as proclaimed by the GB of Jehovah's Witnesses and supported by their application of Scripture, would appear to me to bear this out. The various perspectives of those contributing to the discussion on this matter really would not exist at all if it were not for these proclamations at this time. The historical "curios" of understanding that have led people who have stuck with the organisation to this point of time are in the public domain, as are similar "artifacts" of all areas of human endeavour. Whether revered as trailblazing milestones in the search for truth, or ridiculed as crank-minded curios for the amusement of cynics, the body of historical thinking on the part of Jehovah's Witnesses serves really only one purpose. The 1st Century view of the apostle Paul on the effect of various expressions of opinion on Christianty is as valid today as it was at the the time it was written: "With what result? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is being proclaimed, and I rejoice over this. In fact, I will also keep on rejoicing," Phillippians 1:18
  28. 5 points
    No surprise there! What I do NOT understand is the logic of the men who hate JWs. They try to prove that we are impure and allow homeosexuality (when we clearly do not) and in the next breath critisize us when we shun unrepentant homxosexuals and fornicators in cases where we DO have sufficient evidence.. They neglect to remember that experts find it hard to gather evidence. We are too harsh for our detractors when we shun when we have sufficient evidence and too compassionate when we do not have enough proof. We are too compassionate when someone has confessed (the law protects lawyers and spiritual leaders from disclosure of confessions - especially if this can be used against them in court - and the government has not removed this law but wants JWs to act against the law of the land. The police must do their own investigation and come up with the evidence or the congress must change the law...... but I doubt this will ever happen because many high officials are child molesters) ) and JWs are too compassionate to allow people off the street to attend our meetings not knowing if they have been molesters. So the best is to do the best possible we can do and leave the rest to Jehovah. Our detractors are angry because we DO follow the bible and its principles and the majority DO try to live clean lives ..... they hate it because they want to feel more pure while not caring for bible principals at all or still adhering to impure teachings such as trinity, immortality of the soul etc. That is a blanket statement and that usually is an indication of bitterness and resentment.......
  29. 5 points
    Good point Srecko. I don't think it's entirely fair to blame the GB for creating a "certain" environment inside congregations though. In fact, (we know everything passes through the GB's hands for approval, if they haven't written it themselves) the above expressions must be what the GB agree with. Time and again I see that it is not the questions that are asked, or even expressing an opinion contrary to their own, but it's the way this is done and what is the the purpose for doing it. Most elders are willing to hear an opinion, and do not resent those who express an opinion contrary to their own. I know that from personal experience. However, if the motive is to exult your own ideas, to force people to listen to them over and over again, and to try and make people see it your way, then that is stirring up contentions and is eroding peace in the congregation. And those who erode peace, will eventually find themselves kicked out sooner or later. Just to illustrate; I told a few elders, in no uncertain terms, that I cannot agree with the "overlapping generation" idea, and I left it at that. No one has ever come after me, or tried to convince me otherwise, and we all remain good friends. Now you know what would happen if I started to aggressively push my opinion on every single person I came into contact with. In another instance; I rattled one sister's cage (it means irritated her) during a discussion in the car during field service (in the US a car load of friends go out). We were all talking about animals being friends in the paradise. I voiced my opinion that I believe there will still be the same food chain as there is now, with carnivores consuming the herbivores. I explained why I think that, but this one sister was adamant that lions will eat grass and will be buddies with the sheep. But we didn't argue who is right and who is wrong. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, as long as you are not trying to beat the other person over the head with it. So I think it is assumed that 'questioning and expressing an opinion' will be done in a civil way, to which those in a position of authority should have no trouble listening.
  30. 5 points
    First of all, before I begin answering, I wanted to say that I have long expected that any JWs who go online to defend their views publicly will see more and more of what is beginning to happen here. The specific challenges coming from you (@4Jah2me), @Witness and @Srecko Sostar (and a few others) have lately seemed like a stronger "anti-JW onslaught" than this forum has seen before. Personally, I think it's a good thing that more and more JWs are prepared for just this type of barrage. At the moment they are all coming apparently from ex-JWs that we would call "apostates." But the Internet easily allows anyone to become capable of bringing these exact same challenges to us. So they are not specifically "apostate" challenges. Of course, I've brought up some of these same challenges myself, because I think we all need to think about them before we answer with our typical, traditional responses. I believe that we need some doctrinal adjustments, and therefore, I'm not exactly defending the GB position against your challenges. I like it that @TrueTomHarley is standing in for me, but he is probably also concerned that, on my own, I'll end up throwing the GB under the bus. I'm not talking about some of the minor throw-away complaints (like 'Bible Studies are really just Book Studies' and we're trying to replace the Bible with these books, etc.). The GB challenge is probably the most difficult to address in a way that can rationalize some recent inconsistent statements, the play between spirit-directed and inspired, modern "apostolic" precedent, the GB's request to be trusted while admitting that some of the teachings and processes are bound to be mistaken now and then. And we have the challenge of when and whether conscience comes into play, whether legalism has gone too far, and truly difficult doctrines to defend such as overlapping groups within "this generation" and overlapping blood components with blood fractions, etc. Yes. The GB dictate to the congregations and, unless the dictate is seen as unconscionable or unscriptural, the members of the congregations are expected to obey. Naturally, this can go too far, but the reason for this should be easy to understand. For the following situation, for now, you might just want to insert your own view of what a proper Christian is, if you completely reject the possibility that a JW can be a true Christian: Hypothetically, a Christian may find himself/herself in a place with no fellow Christians to associate with, and all efforts to make disciples might fall on unproductive soil. But let's say that a Christian in this situation is happy and zealous for what he has learned from the Scriptures, has followed Jesus' command to make disciples so that others will know what Jesus taught, and is successful in converting 40 persons to Christianity and they all, because of their Bible reading, want to establish a community congregation to try to follow closely their view of the 1st century congregations as closely as possible. As everyone has unique abilities, and was converted at various times, the congregation will naturally have members of various levels of experience, and they likely want an orderly process for meeting and teaching and participating in the activities that they agree are important and consistent with their beliefs. Not everyone will want the same meeting times, not everyone will be teaching from the platform, or leading or suggesting the activities. There will be compromises as to meeting times, topics discussed, the depth or simplicity of those topics, how much to spend on activities, building maintenance, color of carpets, etc. Most will appreciate that those who qualify as "elders" Biblically, will also be capable of making those decisions in a way that benefits the majority in the congregation, even though it's not perfect, and no decision will be right for all members. Some of the decisions will be compromises, some will be about process, and very mundane things. But some will be about teachings, and it's likely that new things will be learned, and questions will be asked that make persons rethink something that might have been taught a different way than before. I hope you can see that, even with JWs out of the picture, you could probably accept this entire situation as a possible, and even normal, Christian congregation. So now we take it a step further: The excitement and joy in this congregation of 40 soon becomes 80 and 160 as more and more share in Jesus' command to make disciples. They are now spread over 100's of miles, and need 4 congregations. This turns to 400 miles and 20 congregations. We would expect that some of the qualified elders would be chosen and invited to give talks and instruction in some of the other congregations? News of congregation events and experiences in one congregation might want to be shared to build up those in another congregation? Perhaps a newsletter is in order that's shared among all 20 congregations? Perhaps even some of the more successful methods of making disciples could be shared? And these 20 congregations might find it nice to have a chance to gather together will all 20 congregations of those related to them in the faith on special occasions. It will soon be useful, perhaps necessary, to have certain members of these congregations specifically involved in (assigned to) tasks related to coordination, writing, topics for sermons, administration duties, and some assurances that their doctrines are being "double-checked" against the Bible so that one congregation is not teaching something that another congregation would find unbiblical or even offensive. The doctrine checking would no doubt go to those elders most experienced at teaching and preaching and who had experience visiting multiple congregations. I believe that most of these ideas would not be offensive to you, when you think of how naturally they occur in various denominations all around the world. With JWs, a large body of doctrine has been built up, and remodeled, over the last 135 years or so. Those elders who act as elders of multiple congregations instead of just one local congregation will see themselves as the "guardians of doctrine." (The term, as used by Brother Jackson, sounds too much like a protector of traditional doctrines, but I think he truly meant it as guarding the doctrines so that they remain consistent with the Biblical "constitution" even when amendments are necessary.) What I'm saying is that it is quite natural that we have a GB function. And I don't think it starts with how much they think of themselves, but the very high regard they have for the unique value of the doctrines in their care that makes them accept that they are handling a very special function. So they have looked for a Biblical way to highlight that value and ended up creating a doctrine (in 2012) about the GB being the same as the FDS, not even including the "Helpers." It's based on the one parable that highlights the way spiritual food is distributed to the entire congregation. (It appears they also considered using the parable of the loaves and fishes, but this one has too many participants in the distribution.) To me this is a doctrine that will likely need to be adjusted back to what it was from about 1928 to 2011, where the few in charge of writing and publishing doctrines only spoke of themselves as "representing" the rest of the FDS. Their function would be the same, however, with or without their current explanation of the FDS parable. But that doctrine itself has caused some problems in that it tends to highlight the importance of 8 persons when the entire focus should be on the overall value of the unique set of doctrines. I don't think any of us should have a problem, however, with the idea that a small group of elders who are seen as "faithful and discreet slaves" would perform many of the same functions as the Governing Body are now forming. They are elders, and they deserve respect. Most JWs think the GB are the equivalent of the FDS, so this is not a problem anyway. But I'm sure there are many who have already put this idea to the test, and it makes sense to them. Many others have put this idea to the test and they realize, as I said above, that it could be a doctrinal mistake, but would have no great effect one way or another if the doctrine were changes. (In fact, I have found long-time Witnesses who thought this had been the doctrine for nearly 50 years, since the GB arrangement.) Also, those of us who have remained JWs, even after questioning that particular doctrine, do so because we believe the majority of the basic doctrines being "distributed" are correct, otherwise there are other denominations to look into. My own criteria, based on the Bible, immediately knocks out just about all the other denominational options at a glance. I don't see the same huge difference. Paul spoke of the removal of the gifts of inspiration. So even if they were inspired, we should not expect inspiration to take the same form today. Also, the GB model themselves, not directly on the apostles, but on the Council of elders at Jerusalem, which was best known for correcting a big mistake that came right out of their own congregation, from under their noses, which Peter and James (not an apostle) had even hypocritically participated in. Also, even the apostles were not "inspired" at all times. No one goes to the door with the overlapping generations message. Our message is that the time for this wicked system is short, and that the Kingdom offers the perfect solution, so lift your heads up and rejoice, and if you really want to do some good, join us in spreading that same message to others. Haven't seen that invoked for a while. It gets drummed up by exJWs from some old 1950s Watchtower. It's been used again since 2000, but it's in the context of preparation for persecution as a possible way to be "cautious as serpents yet innocent as doves." The basic idea is not to give more information than a person is entitled to, especially so as not to put our brothers and sisters unnecessarily in harm's way. Yes. I know the quote, and I've heard others like it. It's an imperfect statement made by an imperfect man. But the motivation from context is the idea (perhaps patronizing) that most of us are like children who need a lot of reassurance. A parent wants a child to show trust even though the parent knows that he or she will make mistakes. But because the motive of most parents is loving, those mistakes will rarely outweigh the value of a child's trust in the parent. A good shepherd will show love to the flock under their care as if they are like his "children." I'm not offended because I think the phrase was properly motivated.
  31. 5 points
    JW Insider

    JW OPPOSERS GROUPS

    That's true, but it would not attract as much attention. Rutherford had been a political marketer before following Russell/WT/Bible Students. This is why he would ADV/ADV/ADV. And why gimmicks like putting David and Abraham on a property deed were important to him. This is why he used the title "Judge." But I think it was Covington who figured out that he could do much better in the courts if we agreed to be recognized as a religion. Religious rights were easier to fight for than unspecified rights or civil rights of a group who would otherwise be seen only as "peddlers." Tresspassing laws were decidedly against peddlers, but the United States was being recognized in the twentieth century as much more amenable to a variety of religions, and we weren't the only religion asking for (and getting) expanded rights.
  32. 5 points
    Outta Here

    JW OPPOSERS GROUPS

    As vitriolic as the spiteful crticisms of apostate opposers are, there is a remarkable tide of recognition of the integrity of Jehovah's Witnesses, even among those who do not share our beliefs. Speaking of the voluntary stand of Jehovah's Witnesses against the oppressive demands of the Nazi and Fascist regimes in Germany and Italy this observation was recently made: "We owe it also to their sacrifice that there was the powerful push in civil society that gave birth to the European project and also the European Court of Human Rights" Guido Raimondi. President of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) 1 November 2015 – 5 May 2019 The views of other non-Witness dignitaries can be seen here.
  33. 4 points
    No. Sorry. I just highlighted some words of yours to get your attention. It does sort of look that I am attributing them to Glock, doesn’t it? Do you mean they feared that if they left, Jehovah’s Witnesses would kill them? When Fauci says people may die if they do not wear a mask, do people take it that he means to kill them himself? When the fire department says you may die if you don’t change the batteries of your smoke detector, does it mean they are going to do the deed themselves. Of course not on all three. The game is too stupid to play. Such opposers are just upset that faith has power—they wish it were gutted. Of course, the Witnesses say that departing from Jehovah’s organized way exposes one to eventual death. A very good tell that such might be true is that whenever ones do it, in no time at all they come to think the Name itself is a hill of beans, and that it hardly matters if it is used or not.
  34. 4 points
    No. That would actually be cynical. I was only saying that the idea I mentioned would sound cynical. Instead, I was proposing that someone wrote the original with no intent of implying anything ominous or "cult-ish." The GB would have checked it and it would have sounded perfectly innocuous, because they were also on the same innocent "wavelength" as the original writer. Then as some others read it "in print" months later, they might have noticed the negative connotation and pointed it out. So the GB had a choice to clarify, or even admit it implied an unintended overstatement. As it was in a November 15th issue, it would be studied in the following year, and would have already made the bound volume by then, so that it was too late to edit it out. Later, in the February 2017 Watchtower, perhaps they thought that the statement was mitigated by admitting there that the GB is neither inspired nor infallible, and saying that may make mistakes not only in doctrine but in directions given. But someone might have pointed out that this could sound even worse, admitting that we must be ready to obey fallible, mistaken direction. So, since they probably originally intended things that would be understood better at the time when such issues came up, then the matter would best be cleared up when that type of issue might soon come up. I thought that the type of direction might come up with some of the brothers suffering persecution in Russia. As a made up example, perhaps some Russian brothers might be asked to stay and keep a low profile, while others might be asked take flight to Finland and Norway. "Why go there, so far away, when it's easier for us to just move to Crimea?" some Witnesses might ask. But the direction given might have been based on data that the central HQ of the WTS receives from many sources, perhaps even secret sources, not just the local information that Russian brothers might have had before some of their communications with WTS HQ broke down. Anyway, the Covid19 case helped show that the original statement could easily refer to important, but potentially mundane directions, and didn't have anything to do with ominous or scary blind obedience. It was still a "weak" example as Anna pointed out, too. But it does help to defuse the overreach, so the GB were happy to use it.
  35. 4 points
    I am not sure, but do you mean that God communicates with us through the GB? If you do, then I do not agree. I do not think the GB are like Moses, or any prophet who Jehovah used in the past to communicate with his people the Israelites. Jesus did away with all that, he is the only high priest, and we have the holy spirit to help us. This goes for both the annointed and the great crowd. Not much difference in my opinion. Now do I agree there has to be organizational leadership, yes. I also think there has to be someone who makes sure the Bible is followed and upheld. So the GB calling themselves "guardians of the doctrine" as per Br. Jackson is ok too. Also the "spiritual feeding" is understandable as well, as long as it's not made up food and is always based on the Bible. But as for communication, well doesn't Jehovah communicate with us through his written word? I know whenever this is discussed "Bible publications" are brought up, which is also ok, but those publications are not rocket science. You could write them. Would it then mean that God was communicating through you? Not unless you wrote something which was an interpretation of a scripture. And we know what happens with that, some were wrongly interpreted. That's hardly Jehovah passing on information. Sorry if this sounds like a rant. I finally convinced my hubby that the GB are like the rest of us, except somebody has to take the lead....and the great thing is actually, GB agree with me 😁
  36. 4 points
    4Jah2me

    THE CHOSEN

      Hello guest!
    I don't watch television and I'm quite choosy as to films that I will watch, but when it comes to the 'Life of Christ Jesus' I am quite keen to watch films and programmes of interest. I have just finished watching Series One of ' The Chosen'. It is about the Life of Jesus from before He made Himself know to the 'public at large'. Of course it uses a lot of 'artistic licence' and lots of things in it are not facts, but I find it helpful to see the type of lifestyle the Jews lived and to see Jesus and His followers as real people. I don't know if your 'Leaders' will tell you not to watch it, but i found it relaxing and a pleasure to watch. I particularly liked Nicodemus and his meeting with Jesus, the questions asked and answered. I don't think any of you would find it offensive but of course you will note many faults in it, as i did. However, in my opinion it is far better to watch this than watch most other films of our time.
  37. 4 points
    Just in case anyone wasn't aware, a few of JTR's recent posts had moved in this same direction, and I thought I'd share the entire song from which JTR referenced a couple of the lyrics. It struck me as too sad to respond immediately. Although I would not think it enough to draw any conclusions: "Seasons In The Sun" (originally by Jacques Brel) Terry Jacks (performer) Goodbye to you my trusted friend We've known each other since we were nine or ten Together we've climbed hills and trees Learned of love and ABCs Skinned our hearts and skinned our knees Goodbye my friend, it's hard to die When all the birds are singing in the sky Now that the spring is in the air Pretty girls are everywhere Think of me and I'll be there We had joy, we had fun We had seasons in the sun But the hills that we climbed Were just seasons out of time Goodbye papa, please pray for me I was the black sheep of the family You tried to teach me right from wrong Too much wine and too much song Wonder how I got along Goodbye papa, it's hard to die When all the birds are singing in the sky Now that the spring is in the air Little children everywhere When you see them, I'll be there We had joy, we had fun We had seasons in the sun But the wine and the song Like the seasons, have all gone We had joy, we had fun We had seasons in the sun But the wine and the song Like the seasons, have all gone Goodbye Michelle, my little one You gave me love and helped me find the sun And every time that I was down You would always come around And get my feet back on the ground Goodbye Michelle, it's hard to die When all the birds are singing in the sky Now that the spring is in the air With the flowers everywhere I wish that we could both be there We had joy, we had fun We had seasons in the sun But the stars we could reach Were just starfish on the beach We had joy, we had fun We had seasons in the sun But the stars we could reach Were just starfish on the beach We had joy, we had fun We had seasons in the sun But the wine and the song Like the seasons, have all gone All our lives we had fun We had seasons in the sun But the hills that we climbed Were just seasons out of time We had joy, we had fun We had seasons in the sun
  38. 4 points
    JW Insider

    Joseph the Dreamer

    Every now and then someone says something that says, in effect, "Ah! He understands me!" Then my next breath is breathlessly and frantically worried, "Uh-Oh! He understands me!!!" It happened once, a couple years ago, on this forum when someone named, let's say, "Joyce" presented a supportive point that favored my own take on 607 BCE. His point was (and is) thoroughty devastating to the 607 theory from a very simple Biblical persepective. I worried instantly that he might start seriously considering more about these forum discussions and actually change his mind on the topic. I worried about what that could mean to his respectability in his congregation if he were vocal about it. And what about a wife and kids? Or perhaps an elderly brother who depends on his generosity to get by? What if discovering that one doctrine is wrong could avalanche into a "faith disaster" where related dominoes fell? What if someone has a rug pulled out from under them with nothing to fall back upon? For two years, I consciously avoided repeating that particular argument that "Joyce" had himself presented, even though I always thought it was one of the most important points. I didn't want to be seen as going after a particular individual, manipulating a "chink" in the armor. Yet, I gladly went on to discuss other points. It happened more recently, a few weeks ago, when someone named, let's say, "Anna" asked if I thought the GB had it wrong on the "cry of peace and security." Then she went on about how she agreed that the Bible context does not support the explanation we get from the GB. That scared me again, immediately, and I almost said it as a response to her. But it would not have been understood as a serious concern in a context where I was still expressing the same opinion on that topic. It would have seemed disingenuous, or manipulating. Still, I worry about where a discussion with her husband might end up. What about her children? What about her reputation in the congregation? Where I have a difference with the view expressed in the WT, I always hope I have made clear that these are not things to just bring up openly in the congregation setting. For those who don't wish to deal with such topics, I am happy to be counted among those who are seen as "crazy" or "haughty" or even "apostate" because that makes it easier to dismiss for those who wish to dismiss. Of course, others will recognize a point, here and there, as something worthy of a discussion, or pushback, or counter-argument. I look forward to that type of response. Also, I know that a few others have been watching this forum. Not persons from Bethel(s) as far as I know. But I get contacted now and then about whether someone can quote or use what I've said here on someone's website, with or without attribution. My answer is always, go ahead! For the same reasons I just gave above, I don't care how or where or why a person would want to repeat anything from here. But I have no concern about controlling how anything is used by others. Perhaps others here get similar requests. I should also add that I don't consider anything said here as "enlightenment" to be recognized. I treat this forum more the way I would want people to treat a comments section over at jw.org, if they had one.
  39. 4 points
    People should be defended wherever possible. The motives can be quite pure and still mistakes are made. In fact, I would say that there are specific good motives that make certain kinds of mistakes even more likely. I'm pretty sure that's why we have extra warnings in the Bible about not being misled when it comes to speculation about the end-time events. Paul said not to be quickly shaken from your reason nor to be alarmed either by an inspired statement or by a spoken message or by a letter appearing to be from us. Obviously, the end-time events get us all excited, and these are the most likely times and events that persons would be speculating upon.
  40. 4 points
    Anna

    Memorial 2020 during covid-19 lockdown

    I have noticed many friends seem to be stressing about the acquisition of the memorial symbols during the coronavirus lockdown. There have been quite a few discussions on social media and in person. These discussions were mainly regarding the necessity for memorial symbols if such became troublesome to purchase and if no one in the household was a partaker. The elders sent out information, one of which was the 85 WT 2/1/ p. 31 "question from readers" (
      Hello guest!
    )which says in part: "On occasion, raging storms or floods have prevented a congregation, or some of its members, from meeting together as planned. In rare cases, martial law has been in effect with armed soldiers barring citizens from being out-of-doors after sunset. Other Christians have not been able to be at the congregation’s celebration because of being hospitalized or seriously ill. What can be done in such instances? While it is fitting for the whole congregation to unite for this important event, circumstances such as noted above may make that impossible. When extreme weather, a natural disaster, or the like, absolutely prevents a family or a portion of a congregation from meeting with the congregation, the isolated ones can meet and discuss Scriptural accounts such as found in Luke 22:7-23, 28-30 and; 1 Corinthians 11:20-31, as well as discussing the meaning of the occasion. Similarly, if an enforced curfew makes it impossible for a congregation to gather on the appropriate night, meeting in Congregation Book Study groups or neighborhood groups might be the best alternative, the sum of those in attendance serving as the congregation’s attendance report. A brief talk may even be given if a capable, dedicated brother is in the group. There need not be concern that no suitable emblems are available as long as no one in this emergency situation previously partook of the bread and the wine as an anointed Christian". It made me think about the whole topic a little bit more. To observe the memorial was a command by Jesus for the anointed, and as far as I am aware, there is nothing in the Bible commanding the great crowd to observe it, even as spectators. However, at the beginning, before the great crowd was identified, all were partakers. After that, the emblems kept being passed, and those who were anointed partook, and those who were not obviously didn't. Fast forward to today, in a congregation setting, even if we "know" that currently no one partakes, that can change. So while all the anointed are not sealed yet, we cannot assume, and stop passing along the emblems on the account that we think no one is anointed in our congregation. No one is asked beforehand if they are going to partake, that only becomes evident when the emblems reach them, and they eat the bread and drink the wine. That way, no one is put on the spot. Of course, on top of that, since we are one flock, and we support the anointed in everything, we observe the memorial with them, as spectators, and also to show appreciation for what Jesus did for us. But, under lockdown circumstances if we know for sure no one is going to partake in our family, then there is really no need for the emblems. That's how I see it anyway. But some prefer to have the emblems to help them visualize things better. Although we are supposed to be walking by faith, not by sight...😀 I like how our website puts it: "The purpose of the Lord’s Evening Meal is to remember Jesus, showing our gratitude for his sacrifice in our behalf. (Matthew 20:28; 1 Corinthians 11:24) The observance is not a sacrament, or a religious practice that imparts merit such as grace or the forgiveness of sins. * The Bible teaches that our sins can be forgiven, not by a religious rite, but only through faith in Jesus".—Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:1, 2.
      Hello guest!
    Unfortunately, it seems like some are viewing the memorial as some kind of religious ritual, and are even going to pass the emblems among themselves as if touching them somehow makes all the difference....Because I come from a Catholic family, I find this kind of reasoning a little disappointing... Also, I don't know if anyone has listened to the memorial talk, the brother says that Jehovah's Witnesses would risk their lives to be at the memorial. In view of all the above, isn't that statement a little far fetched? Any thoughts?
  41. 4 points
    It would be unfair to paint with too wide a brush to basically say "everyone" is "always" this or that. Many/most brothers who serve as elders are loving shepherds who just want to do what is right. Who love Jehovah, love their families and love their brothers and sisters - regardless of whether you share their beliefs or not. But as has always been true, (whether in the times of the patriarchs, Israelites under Law and even the Christian congregation), there have been men who were "bad actors" who were anything but loving. Who grasped at positions of authority for totally the wrong reasons. Do we have men like that today? Although an "inconvenient truth," It shouldn't surprise us that yes, we do. In fact, doesn't the Jehovah clearly warn us against such ones in his word? Also, while recognizing my limited perspective geographically, I will grant you that from my "neck of the woods," there does in fact appear to be a concerted attack against anointed Christians from "wicked men and imposters" from within the organization. I personally know quite a few anointed Christians very well as close friends even serving with them and their greatest tests have come from within. I've seen it. Too often in fact to be a coincidence and not for doing bad, but exposing badness of other "shepherds." It's not that they were disliked - in fact most loved and respected them for the good lead they set spiritually - but I can only describe what I have personally seen as a murderous hatred. Well beyond what I would consider normal. Too clever, too orchestrated, too many outright lies and deception levelled against them to be coincidental. It seems more like a "machination" because of that. I'm not writing this to provide more "ammo" to opposers since as I had stated, I don't know if this goes any farther than my geographical area and it certainly does not characterize the vast majority of shepherds I know, nor does it necessarily describe the experience of anointed Christians elsewhere - but it's there. Yet, all of those are still serving with Jehovah's organization faithfully as pillars in the congregation despite Satan's evil efforts from men within. (Except for the anointed brother who died while disfellowshipped for years. He was posthumously reinstated when it was found that 3 "shepherds"/elders lyingly framed him in order to get him disfellowshipped. They in turn were disfellowshipped themselves when found out). There's a saying in my country: "Don't expect justice from Bethel." I would have to agree with that from what I have seen in my country. But I have also seen many good things. The bad shepherds you referred to in Jeremiah most certainly CAN at times describe men from within. But to my mind more appropriately describe those in Christendom as it's history shows. Of course, I can't mention sensitive stuff I know about to the average rank and file JW - it's too far beyond their scope of experience. But while I disagree with your broad application and decidedly negative only viewpoint, I also know things happen that shouldn't happen.
  42. 4 points
    If I was to describe myself, it would be in words very similar. A story, with opening background: I have always been ‘out there’ in appearance (for a brother), at times downright shaggy, with hair falling over my ears, and I don’t fuss much with combing it, usually not at all. I don’t fully trust anyone who has not a hair out of place. I don’t like cuff-links either, though I will concede that some will wear them and figure that they are like the fine seamless garment Jesus wore. Nobody would rebuke the Lord with: “Why don’t you wear a regular garment from the Goodwill so no one thinks you are putting on airs.” They would not say that, so cuff links get a free pass, too, but I would never wear the stupid things. Amazingly, I have never been counseled on general shagginess, despite all the carrying on about ‘dress that befits a minister of GodI’—which rubs me the wrong way when it is overdone. I’ve had speaking assignments at the District Convention, now called Regionals. I can only surmise that my personality otherwise offsets a moderately (at times) unorthodox appearance. In my 50’s, after my eldering days, I got into the habit of moussing my hair when it got long, running my fingers through it once so it stayed off my forehead, and I would go about my day with it spiked up, flopping over any way it liked as gravity took over. If I see a young woman with green hair, I won’t harrumph as many of our people would—I’ll say, “Huh! You know, I kind of like that.” These days I am less that way and I now say to the barber: “Look, so long as you are not thinking “US Marine,” cut it as short as you like—even if you get it too short, I will not complain—it grows back.* That way I don’t have to horse with it for a while. Brother Lloyd of the US Branch gave the talk at our Assembly Hall. He is an old-timer who has been around forever. The place was packed out. For reasons I don’t remember, my wife and I arrived late and we were shoehorned into the only two seats available—directly in front of him. His talk was hard-hitting, the type you used to hear from old-timers and the type that you will not hear today—‘if you do not make time for Jehovah, maybe he will not make time for you’ was the tone some of it took. Now, I am not one of those brothers who has to track down the speaker so as to shake his hand. If I don’t speak with him at all, that is perfectly fine by me. I have stated here that I would love to have a Governing Body member stay at my house so I could ignore him (which would probably make me popular in his eyes). “There’s your room. Come down and hang out if you like, but don’t feel you have to—I know that you have things to do, if only unwinding free of persons who you have to talk to,” is what I would say to him. So after the closing prayer I turn around with my spiked hair and find myself face to face with him—the crowds have not closed in yet. I exchange a few pleasantries—nice of him to make the sacrifice to travel, and so forth, and he says, almost with a twinkle, “I wasn’t too hard on you brothers, was I?” “Well,” I said, “we’ll adjust.” ......*With regard to not complaining about a bad haircut, I remember reading a book by Peter Lynch, the Fidelity fund manager known for investing in what he liked. He bought a ton on Dunkin Donut stock and it went to the moon—his interest first piqued because he loved their coffee. He also bought Supercuts. True to method, he went there first to get a haircut. He thought he looked a little funny as he left, but he allowed that it might simply be due to some new style that he was unaware of. The horrified look on the faces of his wife and daughters convinced him that it was not. The CEO, when he related the experience to him, observed cheerfully that hair grows back at 6 inches per....some quantity of time that I forget. Lynch is the same fund manager who once observed of General Motors: “The nicest thing I can say about it is that it is a terrible company.” I never forgot that line. PS: the good guys have all migrated for now to Anna’s new thread on the closed site. You’re welcome to join them. Leave 4Jah, Srecko, and Witness here to talk among themselves. They’ll soon discover that they can’t stand one another.
  43. 4 points
    Very simply put, for Jehovah's witnesses 'good news' is about the everlasting life on earth in a coming paradise. That is the first thing Jehovah's witnesses tell people while preaching. And then secondly that Jesus will rule the earth under 1000 years. That is also what Jehovah's witnesses usually think of very much and they wait eagerly for Armageddon and wish that this would come as soon as possible. I know that, I used to think like that, just waiting for those blessings to come. But I had for a long time not fully understood nor appreciated what the 'good news', the gospel is about. Based on one scripture Matthew 24:14 it seemed to be only about God's kingdom, a new government for the earth from God. That is the impression you easily get if you only read Matthew 24:14. But to really understand what is God's kingdom we have to almost equate that with Jesus. That is evident from for example the following scriptures: Jesus said referring to himself in Luke 17:21 For look! the Kingdom of God is in your midst.” Mark 9:1 Furthermore, he said to them: “Truly I say to you that there are some of those standing here who will not taste death at all until first they see the Kingdom of God already having come in power.”+ 2 Six days later Jesus took Peter and James and John along and led them up into a lofty mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; And apostle Paul declared the Good news about God's kingdom like this on one occasion Acts 17:30,31.”True, God has overlooked the times of such ignorance; but now he is declaring to all people everywhere that they should repent. Because he has set a day on which he purposes to judge the inhabited earth in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and he has provided a guarantee to all men by resurrecting him from the dead.” And the following scriptures give more evidence about the fact that the 'good news' that would be preached to the most distant part of the earth would be very much about Jesus personally, that he died as a sacrifice for people's sins and that people could now be forgiven their sins and get the gift of eternal life from God and that Jesus was resurrected and would come back to judge the wicked and be king over the whole earth. So here is a compilation of scriptures that tell how much the preaching message was about Jesus. Acts 1:8 "But you will receive power when the holy spirit comes upon you, and you will be witnesses of me in Jerusalem, in all Ju·deʹa and Sa·marʹi·a, and to the most distant part* of the earth.” Mark 1:1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus Christ, the Son of God: 2 Cor 1;19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you through us 2 Thess 1:8 the good news about our Lord Jesus. 1 Thess 3:2 and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s minister* in the good news about the Christ Eph 3:8 so that I should declare to the nations the good news about the unfathomable riches of the Christ Col 4:3 3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open a door for the word so that we can declare the sacred secret about the Christ, for which I am in prison bonds, 1 Cor 1:23 but we preach Christ executed on the stake, to the Jews a cause for stumbling but to the nations foolishness. 1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all*—this is what is to be witnessed to in its own due time. 7 For the purpose of this witness I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—a teacher of nations in the matter of faith and truth. Phil 1:15,16 True, some are preaching the Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter are proclaiming the Christ out of love, for they know that I have been appointed to defend the good news; 2 Cor 4:4,5 the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God,...For we are preaching, not about ourselves, but about Jesus Christ as Lord 2 Cor 5:18,19 But all things are from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of the reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was by means of Christ reconciling a world to himself, not counting their offenses against them, and he entrusted to us the message of the reconciliation. 2 Cor 10:14 Really, we are not overextending ourselves as if we did not reach you, for we were the first to reach as far as you with the good news about the Christ. 1 Cor 9:12 but we are enduring all things so that we might not in any way hinder the good news about the Christ Rom 1:1 Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus and called to be an apostle, set apart for God’s good news, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son…9 For God, to whom I render sacred service with my spirit in connection with the good news about his Son, Rom 15:19 I have thoroughly preached the good news about the Christ. Rom 16:25 Now to Him who can make you firm according to the good news I declare and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the sacred secret that has been kept in silence for long-lasting times 26 but has now been made manifest* and has been made known through the prophetic Scriptures among all the nations according to the command of the everlasting God to promote obedience by faith; Acts 5:42 And every day in the temple and from house to house they continued without letup teaching and declaring the good news about the Christ, Jesus. Acts 11:20 and began talking to the Greek-speaking people, declaring the good news of the Lord Jesus. Revelation 19:10 ….. I am only a fellow slave of you and of your brothers who have the work of witnessing concerning Jesus. Worship God! For the witness concerning Jesus is what inspires prophecy.” Revelation 12:17 ...who observe the commandments of God and have the work of bearing witness concerning Jesus. Revelation 20:4 Yes, I saw the souls* of those executed* for the witness they gave about Jesus and for speaking about God,
  44. 4 points
    I agree with you. The problem with this date is that no one can actually prove that it is wrong, but it can't be proved that it is right either. Jesus' enthronement was "conveniently" invisible, so we can claim he was enthroned in1914, in correlation with WW1, because that is when he was supposed to have thrown Satan down to the earth. The truth is, I feel its a little bit like a fortuneteller predicting someones future. You can always find something applicable, and it makes it look like the fortuneteller has got it right..... Exactly
  45. 4 points
    You seem to be indicating that I don’t think there are “true”, authentic anointed in the organization. Have I ever said that, or have I repeatedly drawn attention to their existence among JWs? Unless….you are referring only to the GB as “true” anointed and disregard all other anointed, which wouldn’t surprise me. I do believe the GB were anointed, but they have lost any Holy Spirit they had once received. THEY now direct their false priesthood to carry out “covert extremism” to shun those who will not accept their tainted version of “truth”. As my comment brought out, it is they who should be shunned. It is very sad that you joke about God’s word and the man who spoke them.
  46. 4 points
    Never would we want to be like the Pharisees, who resented those who questioned them and persecuted those who expressed an opinion contrary to their own.—Mark 3:1-6; John 9:29-34. - Watchtower September 2019
  47. 4 points
    It's quite possible you are right about the current eight old men who may have never personally touched a child (in an abusive way). It's my impression that they are also quite innocent of any such issues. But I don't think you can ever say that anyone in such a position as in the GB cannot comprehend such wickedness in others. They have dealt with a lot in their lives and they have been forced to deal with the topic even if they didn't want to. And not to deal in gossip, but I can speak almost positively about the following situation, at least I can speak for the trustworthiness of the brothers who gave me the information. What I heard about several years ago from a friend in Writing, were things I talked about before the ARC, and they came up again from another brother after I discussed the ongoing ARC with him. It actually started with two members of the Governing Body, who seemed not to want to speak to each other. Both became GB members in 1974 and this issue was visible during the time I worked around them. One had previously been assigned to a leading position for the Branch in Australia and the other had previously been assigned to work in Japan. The brother assigned to Australia was recalled suddenly and demoted to become a Circuit Overseer in the Midwest in the United States. After many years of rebuilding his reputation, through Circuit then District work, he finally was asked to join the Governing Body in New York. The explanation I was given was that the demotion was punishment for being involved in accusations of child sexual abuse. (I never knew if the accusations had been in Australia, the USA, or both, but a later separate rumor had tied him to a case in the United States through a Witness doctor.) At any rate, by 1974, this issue was considered to have been from long enough in his past for his appointment to the GB. By 1991 one of the GB members was heading the Writing Dept, and the once-accused GB member was heading the Service Dept. You probably already know that the October 8 1991 Awake! had an article on Child Sexual Abuse that included "worldly" therapy as a possible solution for some victims, and this head of the Service Dept hated the article. (For that matter it's probably true that most members of the Governing Body apparently thought that worldly psychotherapy was little more than something worldly or even satanic.) But by now, there were Witness psychotherapists and psychiatrists, and they appreciated the article. Mostly the article was appreciated by CSA victims, and tons of letters of appreciation came in. For an April 1992 follow up, the head of Writing decided to print some excerpts from some of those letters of appreciation and the head of Service actually "stopped the presses" to have the article replaced while the head of Writing was out of the country. The head of Service didn't get his way; presses started up again, and you can read the article in the April 8 1992 Awake!. But, as head of the Service Department, he sent out several of the most well known Circuit and District Overseers on a campaign in 1992 to speak with abuse victims to let them know they should never reveal anything about their abusers and their abuse, or they could be disfellowshipped. One of those men in the intimidation campaign is now on the Governing Body. You can take these are merely unsubstantiated rumors, and I admit that I have no evidence to substantiate them. I can only speak to the honesty and track record of the brothers who told me about them.
  48. 4 points
    There's trust as in the type of trust you have in a trusted friend, and blind trust in someone who turned out not to be what you thought they were. I don't think of the organization as the religion we trust in. True religion is helping people who we can best help - materially, spiritually, emotionally -- with the proper unselfish, loving motivation, and therefore without spot from this world. An organization, i.e., a publishing house, researchers, coordinators, a legal department, etc., are just tools that a group of sincere Christians might be expected to utilize for a more efficient method of getting the word out in the midst of a complex world. It's not something to trust blindly as if it is Christianity, or even as if it represents true Christianity. (These are my opinions, of course.) I think that a lot of persons get baptized as Witnesses with a kind of naive view that the organization is more than it really is. This might even be true of new GB members who are asked to join that particular committee of elders. Perhaps they are surprised at the difference between reality and expectation. But I think they are better prepared, since they have already worked at various levels of the organization. I didn't mean to call myself JW Insider here. I intended to use "The Bible's Advocate" but when I joined someone was making a claim that was easily clarified by someone who had worked directly with members of the GB before. I had worked with members of the GB from 1976 to 1982. I worked directly for a member of the GB from about 1979 to 1982. I planned to tell some of the stories from that period, and therefore called myself "JW Insider" and allowed it to stick, in spite of some unintended implications. But I mention this because if a person can work with (and around) some of these same persons for a few years, then they are already prepared for an experience that is quite different from the expectation of the average Witness. They have seen them in a bad mood, they have seen them curse and yell, they have seen them make mistakes, they have seen their prejudices, seen them connive, possibly even be dishonest. I have seen all these things among a couple of them, but I'm obviously talking about exceptions to their usual conduct and demeanor. And for MOST of the members that I knew, I never saw any of these things, they always came across as perfect "saints." But I would not have been surprised to learn of a different side, because of what I had seen in a very few others, even if I only saw it rarely. I also had an advantage of an uncle who was a circuit overseer, and a grandmother and grandfather who seemed to know all the "big shots" from headquarters. (My great grandfather was a Chicago Bible Student who traveled with Russell and spoke at conventions with him.) But most of these relatives were apt to say things like, "Jehovah puts half of us here to test the other half," when referring to some of these same persons. Before going to Bethel, I heard a Circuit Overseer evoke laughter from another by asking, "Can you imagine how the Apostle Paul would have blown up if anyone told him he had to keep all these numbers [records] on everyone?" So, I probably come at some of these human imperfections from a different perspective than most. I'm hardly surprised at anything. My grandparents who knew Rutherford thought he was sleazy. My table head at Bethel had a personal "hatred" of him. But Russell himself was apparently dishonest, too, sometimes. Both Russell and Rutherford weren't defined by these errors, because their greater goal was to spread the word about the Kingdom hope amidst expectations of the imminent end. And now, we've gotten rid of most of that chronology rhetoric and spend more time highlighting the positive, life-changing aspects of the message. And I see a great value, like a pearl, in the overall set of teachings we stand for. And I do tend to fall back on how the Israelites had asked for a king and got a range of kings, from evil to good, but none perfect, of course. I am out for the rest of the day without much access, so I won't spend much time revisiting issues already covered. And I know the answers won't be satisfactory anyway. I should also say that I hope you don't lose your spirituality. Many exJWs do. Also, I wouldn't make too much of the fact that I used the word "apostate" when referring to the challenges you offer. I don't think of you as apostate as long as you are in a stage, as you describe, of anger and confusion. That could be understandable. I would hope you could see that there is a beautiful baby in that bathwater before you throw it all out.
  49. 4 points
    I am sorry, you misunderstood what I meant. I understand your concern about what the GB think, as they are supposed to be providing food at the proper time, and we are supposed to trust that this food is faultless. But sometimes it isn't. We know that although doing their best, the GB can still make mistakes. In that case, what is ultimately more important than what the GB says or thinks, is what Jehovah says and thinks. This is what I had in mind. By reading several related scriptures it becomes evident that the answer to your concern is that we have to leave it in Jehovahs hands, fully trusting that he is the reader of hearts and is perfectly just and loving, and would NEVER destroy anyone unjustly, even if in our opinion they did the most horrible things. So within this framework, it really doesn't matter what the GB think. Again I apologize, I really did not mean it to sound unloving, just factual. So when you mention that we have to be in line with the orgs. thoughts, yes, but first and foremost we have to be in line with Jehovah's thoughts.
  50. 4 points
    Arauna

    JW OPPOSERS GROUPS

    It is the bad schooling and the way they are taught to reason. UNESCO has given guidelines for about 30 years for schools and universities. This is why there currently are so many useless generic degrees at universities and such unscientific studies in gender studies etc.... all pushed by UN to forward their Agenda 21 goals. (I worked for an umbrella organization which restructured 15 technical universities to comply with UN regulations in Africa..... 24 years ago.... They ruined a perfectly good system while chancellors and vice-chancellors accepted all new guidelines - because the "holy" UN was giving instructions.) Most of the problems in society today can be traced back to the post modern progressive thinking in education for the past 30 years.




×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Service Confirmation Terms of Use Privacy Policy Guidelines We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.