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ComfortMyPeople

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  1. Upvote
    ComfortMyPeople got a reaction from Thinking in Physical attendance at meetings/assemblies and "Zoom" attendance   
    My vision is that the G.B. Please note that the format that we have followed for decades is not the only one. I mean: since there were 3 big annual meetings in Israel, we had three big meetings -assemblies-.
    Kissing, hugging, touching, "sniffing" us is biblical and appropriate. But during the week the meeting ends late, the children have to go to school early, they have to have dinner ... Well, why not the meeting during the week for zoom, and the face-to-face weekend, at the k.h.?
    Large assemblies could be made voluntary. Brothers eager to meet others, to meet, to embrace, to take photos, to meet potential future spouses... These meetings could be prepared and voluntarily attended (as now international ones)
    But those of us who want to listen, learn, those of us who do not have much money, or many children, or sick family members, and who attend an assembly lasting several days involves a great effort and small returns (in terms of learning), because we could have those assemblies in the zoom format, for several weekends, like lately.
    It follows from the above that all assembly halls could be sold. Send home hundreds of brothers who are employed to support them. Save thousands of hours of volunteer work preparing assemblies worldwide, save money ...
    To keep it short: we would use the best of both worlds. Face-to-face + zoom.
    (Sometimes I ask Jehovah to "enlighten the C.G. on this - sure, but I suppose that many, many factors escape me ,,,)
  2. Upvote
    ComfortMyPeople got a reaction from Pudgy in Physical attendance at meetings/assemblies and "Zoom" attendance   
    ABOUT WHERE IT'S BEING HEARD...
    @JW Insider has referred some comments for others. I have other sources as well. A Bethelite with many years at the world headquarters tells me that when they meet by chance some members of the G.B. half jokingly, half seriously, they comment aloud things like "how well the zoom meetings work, how well everything is working" or the like. I know that these brothers want the G.B. keep thinking that there is a new approach to celebrate meetings, that they consider it.
    WEEKLY IN-HOUSE MEETINGS
    The face-to-face meetings, held in a physical location, I see as absolutely essential. There are emotional, delicate and uplifting conversations that I myself cannot have with some brothers because I cannot touch or see them up close (perhaps things from my Mediterranean culture). This is only one of the negative effects of not having face-to-face meetings, among many others that could be cited. Now, where in the Bible does it say that there are to be one, two, or three weekly meetings? Do biblical principles prevent some of these meetings from being in an online format?
    Real -positive- cases that are occurring due to the zoom meetings:
    A brother who comes home late from work, often missed the meeting or was late, because it is not enough for him to just get home, he has to fix himself, go back to the K.H., park the car ... Now He says he's arriving, puts on his tie, and you're done!
    Young couples with small children who used to return late from the meeting on weekdays. When he returned, it was his turn to feed the children and fix them for bed. Now he saves a lot of time.
    Brothers who at the time of the meeting have some discomfort or another and do not see themselves with the strength to go to the meeting. Being less expensive (even if they look bad for health they turn off the video) they don't miss the zoom meeting at home.
    Saving effort, time, money ... well, there would be more, but not to extend myself.
    THE ASSEMBLIES
    I think it is another anachronism: as Israel had three major annual conventions, so did we. As I have said before, many brothers attend the assembly and find out absolutely nothing: they take care of young children or relatives in poor health. They get up early every day to get ready and be at the assembly hall on time. They invest money in this process. Then you are asked to spend about 5 hours of attentive program, taking notes and everything.
    The benefits of zoom assemblies have been impressive. We can listen, repeat the videos, absorb the information much better, save effort, money.
    On the latter, thousands and thousands of brothers have invested hours of work for the preparations of the assemblies, or for the weekly care of the premises in the case of the assembly halls. Many of us have missed entire programs doing essential work for the operation of the program.
    And isn't it nice that we see thousands of brothers in a beautiful assembly hall? Yes of course! That is why I say that, following the format of international assemblies, these face-to-face assemblies should be scheduled each year. Families and siblings whose personal and financial circumstances allow them to attend in a given year would simply sign up to attend. The rest would see the assembly at home, or in kingdom halls, in short, in zoom format, like last year.
    THE PERSECUTION
    The JWs believe that we will soon face a worldwide violent persecution that will affect our meetings (as now in Russia, but all over the world). Therefore, the ideal would be to continue having experience in this type of online format.
    Well, I better not extend myself further. I don't know what you think. I'm sure that I left things in the pipeline, and I don't think I have the absolute truth, let me know!
     
  3. Upvote
    ComfortMyPeople reacted to Arauna in Physical attendance at meetings/assemblies and "Zoom" attendance   
    I am 68 years old.  I worked hard in my lifetime - so I now relax and do what I like - such as field service.
  4. Upvote
    ComfortMyPeople reacted to xero in Physical attendance at meetings/assemblies and "Zoom" attendance   
    We'll never stop needing to get together as far as I can see.
    A physical inspection of the sheep and how the sheep interact with each other in groups is essential to knowing if they are physically, spiritually and emotionally healthy.
    People can easily hide and even in meetings, but it's hard to hide in perpetuity if you're regular in meeting attendance IN PERSON.
     
  5. Downvote
    ComfortMyPeople got a reaction from Ray Devereaux in Physical attendance at meetings/assemblies and "Zoom" attendance   
    ABOUT WHERE IT'S BEING HEARD...
    @JW Insider has referred some comments for others. I have other sources as well. A Bethelite with many years at the world headquarters tells me that when they meet by chance some members of the G.B. half jokingly, half seriously, they comment aloud things like "how well the zoom meetings work, how well everything is working" or the like. I know that these brothers want the G.B. keep thinking that there is a new approach to celebrate meetings, that they consider it.
    WEEKLY IN-HOUSE MEETINGS
    The face-to-face meetings, held in a physical location, I see as absolutely essential. There are emotional, delicate and uplifting conversations that I myself cannot have with some brothers because I cannot touch or see them up close (perhaps things from my Mediterranean culture). This is only one of the negative effects of not having face-to-face meetings, among many others that could be cited. Now, where in the Bible does it say that there are to be one, two, or three weekly meetings? Do biblical principles prevent some of these meetings from being in an online format?
    Real -positive- cases that are occurring due to the zoom meetings:
    A brother who comes home late from work, often missed the meeting or was late, because it is not enough for him to just get home, he has to fix himself, go back to the K.H., park the car ... Now He says he's arriving, puts on his tie, and you're done!
    Young couples with small children who used to return late from the meeting on weekdays. When he returned, it was his turn to feed the children and fix them for bed. Now he saves a lot of time.
    Brothers who at the time of the meeting have some discomfort or another and do not see themselves with the strength to go to the meeting. Being less expensive (even if they look bad for health they turn off the video) they don't miss the zoom meeting at home.
    Saving effort, time, money ... well, there would be more, but not to extend myself.
    THE ASSEMBLIES
    I think it is another anachronism: as Israel had three major annual conventions, so did we. As I have said before, many brothers attend the assembly and find out absolutely nothing: they take care of young children or relatives in poor health. They get up early every day to get ready and be at the assembly hall on time. They invest money in this process. Then you are asked to spend about 5 hours of attentive program, taking notes and everything.
    The benefits of zoom assemblies have been impressive. We can listen, repeat the videos, absorb the information much better, save effort, money.
    On the latter, thousands and thousands of brothers have invested hours of work for the preparations of the assemblies, or for the weekly care of the premises in the case of the assembly halls. Many of us have missed entire programs doing essential work for the operation of the program.
    And isn't it nice that we see thousands of brothers in a beautiful assembly hall? Yes of course! That is why I say that, following the format of international assemblies, these face-to-face assemblies should be scheduled each year. Families and siblings whose personal and financial circumstances allow them to attend in a given year would simply sign up to attend. The rest would see the assembly at home, or in kingdom halls, in short, in zoom format, like last year.
    THE PERSECUTION
    The JWs believe that we will soon face a worldwide violent persecution that will affect our meetings (as now in Russia, but all over the world). Therefore, the ideal would be to continue having experience in this type of online format.
    Well, I better not extend myself further. I don't know what you think. I'm sure that I left things in the pipeline, and I don't think I have the absolute truth, let me know!
     
  6. Upvote
    ComfortMyPeople reacted to xero in Conscience individual and collective   
    It doesn't surprise me. I've been for years meditating on the kinds of personalities necessary to generate a new religious group vs those required to grow the religious group vs those who wish to maintain the status quo.
    I realize that I don't have the kind of personality which would gather a group for any purpose. I've always had the attitude of "Go about your affairs. Pursue your interests. The ones whom you run into along the way who are motivated will join in the manner of their choosing." - Clearly we wouldn't have the Bible or any religious organizations if everyone were like me.
    I used to irritate this one sister who was a control freak about everything. Our circuit overseer's wife (Bro Rainer) was talking with my wife and she (Bro Rainer's wife) mentioned this diet "blood type diet" by Dr. D'Adamo. Anyway we both sortof got into it for a while and of course since we're all about knowing about blood I did a bunch of research and found while researching that the Japanese and Korean cultures are really big on blood types and personalities associated with them. (In Korea they made a movie entitled "My Boyfriend is type B") and so a bunch of people began to get into it. She, of course because the word "blood" was in the name of the diet was highly suspicious of the whole thing even after she realized it wasn't about eating blood pudding or blood sausages.
    Anyway when I mentioned the blood type and personality thing it sortof tickled me that she was so irritated by the whole thing (she said "There are more than four types of people in the world!"), I paused and asked her what blood type she was and she "Replied A" and I said "Ohhhhh! That makes sense now." and she says "What do you mean?" and I say "Well as it turns out, people with blood type A are more likely to get stressed out over perceived ambiguity or perceived disorder because their brains produce more cortisol in response to stress and the way this is manifested when they try to reduce these levels is by trying to control their environment as well as the people around them.....pause...you see"
    That annoyed her even more.
    I'll bet Klein was blood type A for sure.
  7. Upvote
    ComfortMyPeople reacted to JW Insider in Conscience individual and collective   
    In the 1970's it was common for Bethelites to order Bible commentaries like Matthew Henry's and Barnes' Notes on the NT and various Bible translations. Later, they also allowed orders for Jay Green's Hebrew Interlinear and William Whiston's Josephus. Bethelites paid for them, but the price was fairly low because all requests were ordered through a one of Dean Songer's assistants.
    Then there was a meeting in 1979, and all such books became impossible to order, and anyone who already had them in their rooms (except for Bible translations) would be looked at suspiciously. In 1980, housekeepers would report to their overseers if these types of books were found, and many Bethelites who owned them would be questioned by an interrogation committee. Within a matter of months, they moved the entire Bethel Library out of reach of all Bethelites by moving the entire Writing Department --along with the library-- out of 124 CH and onto a locked floor down at 25 CH.
    Also, even before it moved, no Bethel tours allowed visitors to see the Bethel Library beyond a quick peek from the doorway to the "facing" shelves which were almost all WT material along with a couple sets of encyclopedias and dictionaries. All commentaries and books from other religions were were kept in the rows of shelves behind the first "facing" shelves, and could not be seen. Even the tours at Patterson in the 2000's only allowed a doorway glimpse of a small corner of the Library from the main hallway, about 40 feet from the nearest book.
    I remember once when Brother Klein railed against commentaries one morning at breakfast. And he was one of the GB members in the Writing Department. At another meeting he said that using them was "sucking at the teat of Christendom." Now, of course, there is a much more reasonable approach, and I think that most of the brothers are at least partially aware that this is where most of the information in the Insight book comes from. They might be less aware that this is also where we get many of the spiritual gems and treasures in the meeting workbooks, and of course the footnotes in the Study Bible, all those interesting comments about Hebrew and Greek words, etc.
  8. Upvote
    ComfortMyPeople reacted to Anna in Conscience individual and collective   
    I remember a while back, when I was "super holy" browsing a brother's library and noticing Bible literature that was not from our source. In my self righteous judgemental previous self I was shocked and almost stumbled. The said brother then proceeded to recommend some of those books saying how interesting they were especially if we are into deep research. I was beside myself with disgust and loathing, wondering how an elder could be saying this...and is he even an elder, probably more of a closet apostate.  Well that was then, and this is now. Looking back I see how immature I really was, thinking myself spiritually superior to someone else just because they read other things besides "our" things. It works the other way too, do we consider ourselves somehow more intelligent and superior to those who only read "our" literature? Everybody is at varying stages of spiritual maturity and it is ultimately between them and Jehovah what they chose to, or not to, research.
    The brother by the way is still our brother. His daughter sings some of our songs.
  9. Upvote
    ComfortMyPeople reacted to Anna in Conscience individual and collective   
    Yes. I think this is pretty much the reason some of us like to come here (and even more so the closed club where we can discuss deeper things without the distraction of opposers). If one has been in the truth for a long time, and has had much experience in the truth, then the basics just repeated over and over are not enough for some. There are always new things to learn! And sometimes these things can be a bit controversial and frowned upon by others, but I don't feel bad, in fact I feel positively enlightened 😀
  10. Upvote
    ComfortMyPeople reacted to xero in Conscience individual and collective   
    I see a problem in isolating ones thoughts from those around us, however. On the one hand we could be exploring areas which are faith-building to us, but not touched on in any depth by the society and there are some who have controlling personalities who view with a jaundiced eye this sort of thing.
    I remember years ago when I took the Bible tapes the society produced and with the aid of the Aid Book and the societies other materials, I spliced the recordings of all the synoptic gospels into one long, but completely chronological account. Then when I was running or driving about I'd listen to these.
    The brother who was my book study conductor at the time submitted that this "de-canonized the scriptures". I ignored him of course.
    But if no one knows what we're thinking and reading and we have no parity with others with whom we share common beliefs we could easily become lopsided. We are also engaging in a hierarchical judging of sorts w/regard to our brothers and sisters, rating some more highly than others because these share our viewpoints on these matters.
    Quite frankly I'm not sure there's a perfect solution to any of this. I know from experience that there are things I think about that others would  consider off, and even wrong, but I can't help thinking what I think when I think what I thing to be true. I can't "un-believe" or "un-think" or "un-see" things I've come to see. But because I don't feel comfortable in sharing does that say more about me or about them, or is this just the human condition that we'll always have to contend with on this side of armageddon? I don't know.
    It does feel a bit like sneaking around though. I've found myself even annoyed at times when listening to some brothers insert their own opinions which are simply one of many ways of applying a given scripture as if there was only one right way during meetings and madly scribbling my annoyances in detail in my personal notes (good thing no one has found them - instead it may simply be that others would see Bro X furiously taking notes and imagining these were notes of approval, when at times it's just the opposite, especially if it's when there's some idolatrous worship being given of organizations or men in certain positions as I've never held anyone in high regard as I know Jehovah could "raise up children to Abraham" from the dust of the ground and as Jesus said "no one is good, but God" so any hint of creature worship gets me pissed off. )
  11. Upvote
    ComfortMyPeople reacted to JW Insider in The sealing of the 144,000 is at hand...   
    Another problem, of course, is trying to make a temporary loss of a vicious, pagan, gentile throne somehow be fulfilled as the temporary loss of a Davidic Messianic non-Gentile throne, so that the restoration of wicked Nebuchadnezzar to his pagan throne pictured the return of Jesus to sit on his Messianic throne. Nelson Barbour and Charles Russell and George Storrs, and others, probably didn't realize the depth of sacrilege in this idea.
    Imagine if Jesus had started out a parable like this:
    The kingdom of heavens is to be likened to a vicious, pagan, haughty king who killed Jewish people by the tens of thousands with the sword, took many as captives, starved the Jewish people to the point that they ended up eating one another, and burned down the Temple of Jehovah, and then ended the reign of Jewish royalty in the following manner:
    (2 Kings 25:6, 7) . . .Then they seized the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Ribʹlah, and they passed sentence on him. 7 They slaughtered Zed·e·kiʹah’s sons before his eyes; then Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar blinded Zed·e·kiʹah’s eyes, bound him with copper fetters, and brought him to Babylon.
    But then this wicked, haughty pagan king was himself humiliated by being forced to eat like a beast for 7 years so that he finally had to admit that Jehovah is the true God who is the one with final control over the rulers of mankind.
    Is that really like the Son of Man? Is that really to be likened to the Kingdom of Heaven?
  12. Upvote
    ComfortMyPeople reacted to JW Insider in The sealing of the 144,000 is at hand...   
    Yes, sort of. Nothing wrong in taking it that way. But, in actuality the Hebrew word we translate "weeks" is just the equivalent of "sevens." Here are some web examples, and there are dozens more:
    Learn about the history of this passage commonly known as
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. In Daniel 9:24,Gabriel specified the time period for the fulfillment of the prophecy as “seventy weeks” or more literally
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. (šābuʿîm šibʿīm). According to Young, "Most expositors find here a week of 7 years duration, a total of 490 years."27 Support for weeks of literal years includes the following. (1) Daniel's Jewish audience was acquainted with both weeks of days and years. The latter concluded with the sabbatical year that allowed the land to rest (cf. Lev.25:1–7).28 Of the two, only weeks of years is a valid option in this context.29 Technically, "sevens" could refer to 7 days, 7 years, even 7 weeks. It could be any period of sevens. The The "Festival of Sevens" which we translate as the "Festival of Weeks" could be seen as a Festival celebrating the Seven Sevens that totaled 49 days (Seven * Seven). This was the Seven Sevens of Harvest, or week of sevens, or seven of weeks. It's all the same. Note that from the Hebrew, Deuteronomy 16:9,10 could also be translated:
    (Deuteronomy 16:9, 10) . . .“You should count off seven [sevens]. You should begin counting off seven [sevens] from the time you first put the sickle to the standing grain. 10 Then you are to celebrate the Festival of [Sevens]. . .
    Note, too:
    *** it-1 p. 1041 Harvest ***
    Evidently with reference to the seven weeks of harvesting between the Festival of Unfermented Cakes and the Festival of Pentecost, Jeremiah describes Jehovah as “the One who guards even the prescribed weeks [sevens] of the harvest for us,” . . . —Jer 5:24; compare Am 4:7.
    The 49 days, plus Nisan 15, made a total of 50 days, and so the Festival of "Sevens" was therefore translated with the word, "Pentecost" which means "Fiftieth [day]" in the Christian Greek scriptures. 
    But Daniel's term 70 "Sevens", already referred to 70 Weeks of Years in this case. There is no need to translate as if it must have meant 70 seven-day weeks -- and then with an additional need to apply a day-for-a-year formula to turn the days of those seventy sevens from 490 days to 490 years. They were already weeks of years, already 490 years without any formula. They is no need to first reference 490 days.
    (Of course, there is another problem with the original premise in that historically, there is no evidence that the "word went out" in 455 BCE. That date was produced only by working backwards from 36 CE, since 455 BCE plus 490 years brings you to 36 CE. There is really no evidence for 455 BCE. But that's a completely different issue.)
    So we don't need a day-for-a-year formula in Daniel, and we don't need to think that prophecies with a stated fulfillment need to have two fulfillments.
    For that matter, what then is the second fulfillment of the 490-years prophecy? Was there some fulfillment of a 490-days prophecies we never learned about?
  13. Thanks
    ComfortMyPeople reacted to JW Insider in Conscience individual and collective   
    There is something rather distasteful when one tries to apply the expression about Jehovah allowing an "operation of error" being allowed for anyone's benefit.
    (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12) . . .But the lawless one’s presence is according to the operation of Satan with every powerful work and lying signs and portents 10 and with every unrighteous deception for those who are perishing, as a retribution because they did not accept the love of the truth that they might be saved. 11 So that is why God lets an operation of error go to them, that they may get to believing the lie, 12 in order that they all may be judged because they did not believe the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness.
    (James 1:13-15) . . .let no one say: “I am being tried by God.” For with evil things God cannot be tried, nor does he himself try anyone. 14 But each one is tried by being drawn out and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then the desire, when it has become fertile, gives birth to sin; in turn sin, when it has been carried out, brings forth death.
    I know that sincere Watchtower writers have written that it was a good thing that the Watchtower made the past mistake about Romans 13. Because it supposedly made us less respectful of secular authorities at a time when we needed to be less respectful, or it made it easier for us to stand up to draft issues, or something like that. And, of course, similar rationales were claimed for the failures of 1914, 1918, 1925 and have been tried for the 1975 issues, too: that it was a test and a filter, etc. We can probably expect similar things to be said about the overlapping groups in "this generation," too, if time allows.
    That's clearly correct. When I was first introduced to the problems of our chronology, this is one of the first things impressed upon me by a member of the GB and by a couple members of the Writing Dept. Daniel Sydlik was the most outspoken about the need to just scrap everything about our chronology to start from scratch. But he also spoke to me about how the tongue is a fire and it can set a whole woodland on fire. Although I couldn't verify it until months later, a couple of brothers in the Writing Department told me that Sydlik wasn't the only member of the GB who felt this way. But at the time, I thought the chronology was so important that I asked how they could stay if they believed the chronology was wrong. Later when I looked at the Bible evidence myself, my question changed to: "Well, why don't they just make the change?" Of course, the answer was that proposing such a change could get you DF'd. But they also said that because many Witnesses think of the chronology as a "core" doctrine, as a foundation, that it's too big of a change. One brother always said that if you pull this out from under them, they don't have enough to fall back upon. They assumed that by continuing to write articles that tried to build faith in other core teachings, that they could do much more good inside the organization than outside. So they were careful to keep relatively quiet unless asked directly.
    In the congregation, I try to take that same counsel to heart. We can always do more good from inside than from outside, even if we never talk about these specific doctrines at all. But for the sake of my own conscience, I think it's good to try to prepare ourselves for a significant change when more people realize that the chronology is not something we will always be able to fall back on. So I think it's also a good idea to bring it up now and then, but not in a way that makes waves.
    My guess is that this is true. Ones who leave and don't come back seem quite likely to lose spirituality, although I'd also guess that any exceptions are likely not the ones who try to make their voice shout back to us. (Witness thinks that most all the good/true anointed must come through the WTS organization as their test.)
    A bit disturbing, again, in the face of scripture:
    (Romans 8:14, 15) 14 For all who are led by God’s spirit are indeed God’s sons. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery causing fear again. . .
  14. Upvote
    ComfortMyPeople reacted to JW Insider in The sealing of the 144,000 is at hand...   
    Obviously, Jesus could not use discernment therefore when it came to understanding the book of Daniel. [sarcasm] I guess that's because the last days hadn't begun. That understanding of Daniel could only be understood, I suppose, after 1914 when the Last Days were supposedly upon us. But wait! It was understood exactly this way by Nelson Barbour in 1872 and seen as a possibility by "Reverend" Elliott even in 1844. That must be because the "Last Days" for Barbour and Russell started in 1799.
    1914 was NOT embedded in the book of Daniel. Daniel says nothing about the Gentile Times. Therefore, Daniel never says anything about "7 times of the Gentiles."  Daniel never even alludes to a day for a year. The closest that Daniel comes to doing so is when Daniel changes 70 years to 490 years by making 1 year become 7 years (a week of years), which is the same as "1 day = 7 days." But Daniel would have been using 365.25 day years there according to the Watchtower, where these 70 years (*7=490 years) run from 455 BCE to 36 CE.
    But even though Daniel never tries to put a "timing" on the "times of the Gentiles" another apocalypse does put a timing on the times of the Gentiles. That's Revelation 11:2,3
    (Luke 21:24) . . .the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled.
    (Revelation 11:2, 3) . . .the nations, and they will trample the holy city underfoot for 42 months. 3 I will cause my two witnesses to prophesy for 1,260 days dressed in sackcloth.”
    It's easy to see that the appointed times are given as 42 months, or 1,260 days (which is 3.5 times). You'll notice that the NWT references this verse in Luke back to Daniel 4 in the cross-references even though Daniel 4 never alludes to Jerusalem, or the nations, or trampling. But the NWT will not dare to cross-reference this verse to or from this verse in Revelation, a verse that definitely does allude to it:
    -------------
    BTW, if anyone wants to see a technical mistake/change/anomaly in the Watchtower CD, search on the word Jerusalem and notice that it comes up 4 times in Revelation. But one of those verses never uses the word Jerusalem. It highlights the word "Zion" in Revelation 14:1. If you search every instance of Jerusalem you will not only get Jerusalem, but also every instance of Zion and Salem, too. (Zion in Mt 21:5; Jn 12:15; Rm 9:33; 11:26; Hb 12:22 1Pt 2:6; Rv 14:1 and Salem in Hebrews 7:1,2). Unfortunately, you can't search on just Salem or Zion without all 1,400 instances of Jerusalem coming up.
  15. Upvote
    ComfortMyPeople reacted to TrueTomHarley in Conscience individual and collective   
    As usual, you have it backwards, in your cloying acceptance of how the world categorizes things. 
    Physicians were not necessarily bright. A few years ago the Wt publication stopped using the phrase Luke, “the respected physician” upon realizing that they weren’t. Often they were freed slaves with no particular training at all. A contemporary news item of the time refers to one man who used to be an undertaker, was now a physician, “and does the same for his new clients as he used to do for his old.” (not the exact quote)
    Tax collectors were glorified thugs who simply beat money out of people.
    Fishermen, on the other hand, ran a business, which easily might call for more intelligence than the other two examples.
    In this case the mentally ill might be those who carry on and on about the True Anointed soon to manifest itself out of nowhere, a phrase the Bible itself never uses, much less Capitalizes. (Rise, for I too am a man)
  16. Like
    ComfortMyPeople got a reaction from Melinda Mills in Physical attendance at meetings/assemblies and "Zoom" attendance   
    ABOUT WHERE IT'S BEING HEARD...
    @JW Insider has referred some comments for others. I have other sources as well. A Bethelite with many years at the world headquarters tells me that when they meet by chance some members of the G.B. half jokingly, half seriously, they comment aloud things like "how well the zoom meetings work, how well everything is working" or the like. I know that these brothers want the G.B. keep thinking that there is a new approach to celebrate meetings, that they consider it.
    WEEKLY IN-HOUSE MEETINGS
    The face-to-face meetings, held in a physical location, I see as absolutely essential. There are emotional, delicate and uplifting conversations that I myself cannot have with some brothers because I cannot touch or see them up close (perhaps things from my Mediterranean culture). This is only one of the negative effects of not having face-to-face meetings, among many others that could be cited. Now, where in the Bible does it say that there are to be one, two, or three weekly meetings? Do biblical principles prevent some of these meetings from being in an online format?
    Real -positive- cases that are occurring due to the zoom meetings:
    A brother who comes home late from work, often missed the meeting or was late, because it is not enough for him to just get home, he has to fix himself, go back to the K.H., park the car ... Now He says he's arriving, puts on his tie, and you're done!
    Young couples with small children who used to return late from the meeting on weekdays. When he returned, it was his turn to feed the children and fix them for bed. Now he saves a lot of time.
    Brothers who at the time of the meeting have some discomfort or another and do not see themselves with the strength to go to the meeting. Being less expensive (even if they look bad for health they turn off the video) they don't miss the zoom meeting at home.
    Saving effort, time, money ... well, there would be more, but not to extend myself.
    THE ASSEMBLIES
    I think it is another anachronism: as Israel had three major annual conventions, so did we. As I have said before, many brothers attend the assembly and find out absolutely nothing: they take care of young children or relatives in poor health. They get up early every day to get ready and be at the assembly hall on time. They invest money in this process. Then you are asked to spend about 5 hours of attentive program, taking notes and everything.
    The benefits of zoom assemblies have been impressive. We can listen, repeat the videos, absorb the information much better, save effort, money.
    On the latter, thousands and thousands of brothers have invested hours of work for the preparations of the assemblies, or for the weekly care of the premises in the case of the assembly halls. Many of us have missed entire programs doing essential work for the operation of the program.
    And isn't it nice that we see thousands of brothers in a beautiful assembly hall? Yes of course! That is why I say that, following the format of international assemblies, these face-to-face assemblies should be scheduled each year. Families and siblings whose personal and financial circumstances allow them to attend in a given year would simply sign up to attend. The rest would see the assembly at home, or in kingdom halls, in short, in zoom format, like last year.
    THE PERSECUTION
    The JWs believe that we will soon face a worldwide violent persecution that will affect our meetings (as now in Russia, but all over the world). Therefore, the ideal would be to continue having experience in this type of online format.
    Well, I better not extend myself further. I don't know what you think. I'm sure that I left things in the pipeline, and I don't think I have the absolute truth, let me know!
     
  17. Upvote
    ComfortMyPeople got a reaction from Anna in Physical attendance at meetings/assemblies and "Zoom" attendance   
    My vision is that the G.B. Please note that the format that we have followed for decades is not the only one. I mean: since there were 3 big annual meetings in Israel, we had three big meetings -assemblies-.
    Kissing, hugging, touching, "sniffing" us is biblical and appropriate. But during the week the meeting ends late, the children have to go to school early, they have to have dinner ... Well, why not the meeting during the week for zoom, and the face-to-face weekend, at the k.h.?
    Large assemblies could be made voluntary. Brothers eager to meet others, to meet, to embrace, to take photos, to meet potential future spouses... These meetings could be prepared and voluntarily attended (as now international ones)
    But those of us who want to listen, learn, those of us who do not have much money, or many children, or sick family members, and who attend an assembly lasting several days involves a great effort and small returns (in terms of learning), because we could have those assemblies in the zoom format, for several weekends, like lately.
    It follows from the above that all assembly halls could be sold. Send home hundreds of brothers who are employed to support them. Save thousands of hours of volunteer work preparing assemblies worldwide, save money ...
    To keep it short: we would use the best of both worlds. Face-to-face + zoom.
    (Sometimes I ask Jehovah to "enlighten the C.G. on this - sure, but I suppose that many, many factors escape me ,,,)
  18. Like
    ComfortMyPeople got a reaction from Melinda Mills in Physical attendance at meetings/assemblies and "Zoom" attendance   
    My vision is that the G.B. Please note that the format that we have followed for decades is not the only one. I mean: since there were 3 big annual meetings in Israel, we had three big meetings -assemblies-.
    Kissing, hugging, touching, "sniffing" us is biblical and appropriate. But during the week the meeting ends late, the children have to go to school early, they have to have dinner ... Well, why not the meeting during the week for zoom, and the face-to-face weekend, at the k.h.?
    Large assemblies could be made voluntary. Brothers eager to meet others, to meet, to embrace, to take photos, to meet potential future spouses... These meetings could be prepared and voluntarily attended (as now international ones)
    But those of us who want to listen, learn, those of us who do not have much money, or many children, or sick family members, and who attend an assembly lasting several days involves a great effort and small returns (in terms of learning), because we could have those assemblies in the zoom format, for several weekends, like lately.
    It follows from the above that all assembly halls could be sold. Send home hundreds of brothers who are employed to support them. Save thousands of hours of volunteer work preparing assemblies worldwide, save money ...
    To keep it short: we would use the best of both worlds. Face-to-face + zoom.
    (Sometimes I ask Jehovah to "enlighten the C.G. on this - sure, but I suppose that many, many factors escape me ,,,)
  19. Upvote
    ComfortMyPeople got a reaction from JW Insider in Physical attendance at meetings/assemblies and "Zoom" attendance   
    My vision is that the G.B. Please note that the format that we have followed for decades is not the only one. I mean: since there were 3 big annual meetings in Israel, we had three big meetings -assemblies-.
    Kissing, hugging, touching, "sniffing" us is biblical and appropriate. But during the week the meeting ends late, the children have to go to school early, they have to have dinner ... Well, why not the meeting during the week for zoom, and the face-to-face weekend, at the k.h.?
    Large assemblies could be made voluntary. Brothers eager to meet others, to meet, to embrace, to take photos, to meet potential future spouses... These meetings could be prepared and voluntarily attended (as now international ones)
    But those of us who want to listen, learn, those of us who do not have much money, or many children, or sick family members, and who attend an assembly lasting several days involves a great effort and small returns (in terms of learning), because we could have those assemblies in the zoom format, for several weekends, like lately.
    It follows from the above that all assembly halls could be sold. Send home hundreds of brothers who are employed to support them. Save thousands of hours of volunteer work preparing assemblies worldwide, save money ...
    To keep it short: we would use the best of both worlds. Face-to-face + zoom.
    (Sometimes I ask Jehovah to "enlighten the C.G. on this - sure, but I suppose that many, many factors escape me ,,,)
  20. Upvote
    ComfortMyPeople reacted to JW Insider in Physical attendance at meetings/assemblies and "Zoom" attendance   
    As an aside, here, I keep hearing more talk that the WTS is transitioning to no more KH at all, just assembly halls and larger conventions perhaps. It's not just us, but churches, too, have spoken about the success they have had with Zoom in terms of attendance. I fear that it would be a losing decision about the KH's if this rumor is true, but attendance numbers on Zoom have normalized and even risen for some churches.
    For us, I fear that less physical gathering would result in more drifting, too much video content, less local participation and enthusiasm. Even --dare I say it?-- more marriages to unbelieving mates!
  21. Haha
    ComfortMyPeople reacted to TrueTomHarley in Conscience individual and collective   
    This final sentence should have ended with a question mark but did not. 
    I’m stumbled.
  22. Upvote
    ComfortMyPeople reacted to JW Insider in Conscience individual and collective   
    I liked your KH building experience. We've all had that experience when we would have made different decisions if we were in charge, and then we are glad we weren't.
    But I can't seem to fit your musing on conscience into what I thought was the most common use of the term "conscience" in the Bible. Of course, it might be right anyway, depending on what you mean by consequences. For example:
    Let's say that you would love the experience of eating roast beef a couple times a week, but depending on your location (and your time in history) the only viable source is the meat shop just outside the local pagan temple where they sacrifice animals and then sell the meat. In this case, the consequence of eating meat is something you would want to experience, but perhaps you'd rather not experience the consequence of spiritual brothers and sisters who react to your attitude by:
    their own revulsion that you would dare be associated with idolatry. talking behind your back and gossiping that you are not a serious Christian because you would dare go against the counsel of the Jerusalem body of elders who declared that you should not eat meat that had been sacrificed to an idol. their being shaken in their faith or even stumbled that you would do this openly in front of them and even defend it as no big deal (because idols are no big deal). Or perhaps you are not truly convinced in your own mind that eating meat sacrificed to an idol is OK. Therefore you think it might be a sin, and are therefore going to suffer the future consequences of judgment against yourself for continuing in sin.
    This is probably the way most Witnesses look at blood-sourced medical therapies. Most Witnesses will accept the full range of "allowed" blood products (smaller fractions) that the WTS has identified as OK "if your conscience allows it." What the WTS has currently identified as "not allowed" (whole and larger fractions) are not considered to be a matter of conscience. They are simply not allowed without the potential consequences of disfellowshipping.
    But as regards the "conscience" matter of those allowable fractions, the Witness wants the consequences of the therapeutic medical advantages including longer and healthier physical life in this system. You will not be gossiped about behind your back nor will brothers and sisters be shaken in their faith by your decision to take these blood products, because there is trust in the WTS decision that you have made a decision that properly falls under the range of decisions that are allowed by your own conscience. One could argue that this really has nothing to do with conscience, and comments from HLC elders (including one of my cousins) would appear to bear this out.
    There have been several comments in this thread where the subtext, at least, shows that we might be confusing conscience at times with guilt or "reasonable" choices regarding sin, or just "reasonable" choices regarding not wishing to offend people.
    It occurs to me that the apostle Paul would rather eat vegetables (instead of meat) in front of brothers who might be offended/stumbled. Yet he was willing to write a letter that publicly declared that it was OK to eat meat sacrificed to an idol. Which is worse, eating in front of one who might be stumbled, or writing a letter that offends 10,000 brothers who might be stumbled at hearing your flippant attitude about meat sacrificed to idols.
  23. Upvote
    ComfortMyPeople reacted to TrueTomHarley in Conscience individual and collective   
    Long ago I was on a committee to explore building a new Kingdom Hall. A brother as you describe, also on the committee, carried on and on about how we would put a baby changing table in the men’s room! Why should it be just sisters who have to change the infant? Times were changing! Equal work for all! And it was not just work, it was part of the privilege of rearing children—spread the joys and the drudgery evenly! It shouldn’t only be the sisters who have to.....” He discussed brands, the fold=down type, which were sormewhat new at the time. On and on he went, so enthusiastic.
    For crying out loud, we hadn’t even located land yet!
  24. Upvote
    ComfortMyPeople reacted to xero in Conscience individual and collective   
    Musing - Conscience only seems troubled by the acceptance or rejection of thoughts or ideas which have consequences to us which we'd rather not experience.
    Neither here nor there, but for some reason this popped into my mind. Back when we were building our hall, a certain  brother who was slated to be our PO was a bit hyperactive and impatient as we were waiting for the concrete trucks to arrive for our parking lot. Now it would have been normal to construct the forms and tie the steel as these arrived, but noooo brother hyperactive-impatient came up with an idea to create the forms w/the steel already tied!
    I immediately thought this to be a really bad idea, a bad idea that I assessed to be a function of his unwarranted enthusiasm and exuberance. I said "So this is the first brilliant idea you decided to run with as new PO?...Mkay..."
    I thought it was a really dumb idea, but as it turns out, I was wrong. It sped the whole thing up. Nevermind this brother wasn't some professional steel-tier.
    So maybe we imagine bad consequences at times flowing from going along w/something we think is wrong or stupid, but then we find out it's our imagination that's wrong.
  25. Upvote
    ComfortMyPeople reacted to Arauna in 4500 year old y chromosome molecular clock   
    Thank you.  I referred to this kind of study when speaking to AlanF on this forum and he continuously called me an idiot. There have been other studies as well which prove that the number of mutations at the steady level of degeneration of DNA - the math of it - implies that if mankind were as old as they say we are (billion years)....... the number of DNA mutations (because they are overwhelmingly negative and not positive) would have seen the extinction of humankind a long time ago.
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