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Posts posted by PeterR

  1. 20 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

    Oh, and those resources? I usually equate this with the properly motivated time and energy those who love Jehovah spend in His service. Which is why I included the Psalm 110 reference.


    Curiosity is getting the better of me so I'll follow this up.

    You wrote " And if they assist in helping others too to increase their effective directing of valuable resources to achieve  better results ... "

    I assumed that you were talking about printing publication simply because that's a line I've heard several times before. 

    Then after coming down hard on my assumption you wrote " Oh, and those resources? I usually equate this with the properly motivated time and energy those who love Jehovah spend in His service. Which is why I included the Psalm 110 reference."

    I'm prepared to accept that I have a really big blind spot here, but could you explain how making a declaration to the elders of the number of hours you put in last month helps "increase their effective directing of valuable resources".

    I'm genuinely interested.

  2. 5 minutes ago, Eoin Joyce said:

    I know you didn't think before you posted this. You must have measured to make the statement you did:

    This alone makes me a bit distrustful of the other statements you've made 

    I don't really understand your point here, but I doubt that your distrust started with what I last wrote. From our previous exchanges your distrust seems to be based upon anything I write that doesn't fit your world view. Scriptural reasoning doesn't seem to help.


    5 minutes ago, Eoin Joyce said:

    Seems you immediately equate this with literature??? I can see you really are a product of the system. It's a funny thing, like a world within a world. But people with your attitude only seem to reveal it outside the organisation. What kept it hidden?

    What else did you mean then? Rather than just pretend to be astounded by adding multiple questions marks, if you truly wanted to reason on the matter you could actually just clarify what you mean by "resources". My assumption of "literature" doesn't come from nowhere. This is actually a common argument that is given from higher up the chain as to why reports are required. If your point was a different one then all you have to do is clarify.

    Your concluding Ad Hominem attack is tasteless and baseless.




  3. On 7/22/2017 at 10:55 AM, Eoin Joyce said:

    People increasing their preaching by stopping reporting? Must be a bit difficult to measure unless they did very little before.

    There you go. To you it seems that if it isn't measurable it doesn't happen. If reporting hours is all you've ever known then I can see why you might not be able to get past that.

    Philip was known as "the evangelizer". Do you think for a moment it was because he accepted it as a title for doing in excess of x number of hours preaching per month? Or do you think that people simply knew him as a man who naturally preached the Gospel at every opportunity.

    The latter portion of Deut 6:7 is often tied to talking about your love for Jehovah to your kids. And given the opening that would obviously be true. But when I read it the passage says 1) inculcate your love for God in your children and 2) speak about them always - to anyone, always (including incidentally yourself in meditation).

    Mal 3:16 talks of those who would naturally talk about spiritual things and share faith as part of any conversation.

    I actually find it a little shocking that people would so clearly reveal that they don't feel any of this would be noticed by others unless a number of "service hours" was turned in every month.



    If someone wants to falsify reports to make a good impression....well ignore Ananias and Sapphira if you wish (Acts 5:1-11).

    Well yeah. I hadn't even considered that as part of this conversation. But if it even puts a some people under pressure some of the time, such that it could tempt them into any form of dishonesty, then there's another reason why Jesus might have warned against it.


    But if reporting is used a a tool to improve one's own preaching and teaching ministry, or as a spur to increase one's share in a unique and wonderful privilege, what's the problem?

    I can perfectly see the benefit of setting personal goals. That's not what's being discussed here. They can remain personal and there is no conflict with any scriptural injunction.



    And if they assist in helping others too to increase their effective directing of valuable resources to achieve  better results in that ministry with obvious benefits to those teaching and those being taught, what's the problem?

    I'm sorry but I don't buy that. I do have some specific experience into how this process works. Even before everything went electronic, planning for literature production was always done through the movement of literature inventory - and advance requests made for campaigns - at a congregation level. Collecting a report of member's individual hours of service performed in the previous month has no value in this regard.



    That's even before we start applying Proverbs 25:25.

    So what would we lose that would apply from that verse? We couldn't boast about total number of hours in any given country. Does anyone actually bring that out when reviewing the annual report anyway? We just wouldn't be able to boast about 1 billion hours (or whatever it is) globally.

    But isn't the real source of encouragement 1) overall growth and 2) personal experiences. Growth is pretty well measured by baptisms (minus deaths and disfellowshippings). This would be unaffected. The overall number of JWs in any given country and worldwide would still be available. I can see an argument for keeping a tally of studies too. That's encouraging. But that's not what we're talking about here which is individuals reporting how much time they spent publicly representing the organization.



    Of course being a Christian involves more than our reaching out with the kingdom message in this critical time, but I don't see any contradiction in measuring and publicising the results of our engagement in that work in fulfillment of Ps.110:3 and Matt.24:14. I fact (for me), in these last days of counterfeit Christianity, it sits quite well with James' words at James 2:18: "Show me your faith without the works, I and I will show you my faith by my works."

    Well the fulfillment of the Psalm and the verse in Matthew will be evident regardless. As far as the James scripture I don't see the relevance unless you're somehow reading into it that faith and works would only be evident through numbers.


  4. 3 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

    You would start a revolution over this? For what reason? Is it not merely to undermine the work the Governing Body takes the lead in?


    No, it was intended as a thought experiment only for people to reflect on. I can see why it might have come across another way and I apologize for that.

    People should indeed do just as their conscience dictates.

  5. To Anna & others who are suggesting that submitting a report of hours is at least one way to measure spiritual heath ...

    Here's another method. Stop reporting hours and stop accepting titles for your works, and then see what you are motivated to do. That would arguably be a truer test of spiritual health.

    I have personally seen this go both ways. I've seen people who stop reporting, and end up increasing their Christian activity, including preaching and general Christian acts of kindness. And others who stop reporting and well ... just stop.

    This argument that metrics help everyone know where they are on the spiritual map is quite misguided IMO. Think about anyone you know in the congregation. Would you really know less about their spiritual condition if you didn't know how a precise number of "field service hours" they were doing?

  6. 27 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

    As I'm sure you already know, there are literally hundreds of other verses in support of this same idea.

    I do. And thanks for your comments JWI. Sometimes it's easy to feel you're going nuts when you are reading clear admonitions in the Bible, and you've got so many people implying that we're just exempt from certain passages without ever explaining why.

  7. 28 minutes ago, Anna said:

    My mother in law, who is living with us, daily takes her blood pressure, glucose reading and weight and records it in a chart, so that when the doc checks on her once a month, she knows exactly where she is and can adjust any medicine acordingly. She just increased her insulin by one point and said that she wished other patients kept such a meticulous chart as it would not only make her job easier, but would ensure better care for the patient. 


    Sure. If you think true Christianity is measured like blood pressure then I have no wish to argue with you. I believe JW's are fairly unique among Christian denominations in this regard. Perhaps Jesus' direction in Matt 6:3 doesn't actually apply to us, and perhaps also the Bible just omitted the need to measure people by "hours of work" by accident.

    If you truly believe that then I don't wish to dispute with you. Some people are suggesting that it's the right way to handle things, and I'm simply pointing out the mindset and counter-productive fruits that can result by being constantly oriented in this way.

    Personally I don't feel that any scriptural instruction is for no reason, but I appreciate that others rationalize differently.

  8. 2 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

    It's not that your point is invalid, but to obsess over it too much is to show yourself as anal as the ones you gripe about.

    Who obsesses more - the one who finally comprehends Jesus' words not to "let your left hand know what your right hand is doing" (Matt 6:3), or the one who chases people for their reports, tabulates them, send them off to HQ, reviews them with the body, and brings them out whenever a decision has to be made?

  9. I also am not the best at taking spontaneous visits.

    The thing is, in 2017, in a car group of 4 people there will usually be 4 charged cellphones. When I visit that sister and she says she misses seeing people at the hall because she couldn't get there and nobody's dropped in for the last couple of weeks, do you think it's a fair excuse to drive by with the mindset that you're out to finish your time, probably spend 20-30 mins in a coffee shop somewhere along the way, and never reach for your cellphone when you were passing that sister's house just to see if she'd like a drop-in?

    I grant you, not everyone is like this at all. But keeping those metrics up sure does have an effect on some people's behavior. If you want to deny it's true then be my guest. I appreciate not everyone wants to hear this. Either you know and acknowledge what I'm talking about, or you don't.


  10. I'd certainly recognize that what is being discussed varies quite a bit from congregation to congregation. Some elder bodies are more "rules and metrics" oriented than others.

    In fact observing the differences between those if you've moved around a bit helps you to see which approach actually does the most practical good.

    By the way I'm not criticizing someone who makes a note of someone who's missing from the hall with the intent to kindly check-up if they're okay. It's the idea of measuring someone's spiritual worth by numbers on a record card that creates a whole different paradigm to first century Christianity.

  11. There you have it then. People who don't hand in 10 hours on a report probably wouldn't visit the sick and the elderly. The correlation is obvious. Except in the real world it's not like that. I've personally seen pioneers talk about "Sister so-and-so who we haven't seen", and then drive straight pass their house in order to make sure they get their "time in".

    The doctor analogy is poor in this case.

    Did Jesus "go in blind"? No.

    Did Jesus use metrics? No

    Did Jesus get to know people personally? Yes

    And before you pull the "but Jesus can read hearts" line, yes he can. But that doesn't mean that we would be unable to know people personally without metrics. In fact often times people in the congregation will know a lot more about a person's spirituality than the elders if the elders are looking at record cards and others are giving personal attention.

  12. 59 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

    Would you be upset if a doctor considered a person's 'metrics' before 'dealing with him?'


    You do give me a wry smile TH.

    If the congregation average hours is 10hrs then >10hrs = spiritually okay, <10hrs = something wrong

    (Gal 6:4 anyone?)

    And those 10hrs can be standing by a cart smiling, but they can't be visiting the sick, helping the elderly, etc.

    Where are these metrics found in God's Word? Can you not just know a brother/sister well enough to know how they are truly doing spiritually? Or is that a part of the problem - more time spent gathering metrics than getting to know people?


  13. The elder body I served with also seemed to need a check list. Not just of people mind you, but a check list of how those people ranked spiritually based on metrics like meeting attendance, hours in FS, etc. Then the people on the check list would be dealt with according to their spiritual ranking.

    Yeah JTR, maybe it's not rocket science, but some people make it more like a science than a humanity.

  14. 9 minutes ago, bruceq said:

    Interesting never thought about doing google search on what people are searching for. I wonder what web site comes up first if you search not just "Last Days" but for "Prophecy", Armageddon", "God's Kingdom" and of course "Ransom Sacrifice"? Then after that search under :"God's Name", "Who go to heaven", "What happens when you die", "Why does God allow suffering" and so forth...I wonder which web site comes up first, second and so forth? B| Matt. 24:14

    Just as I say, the JW tech team has done some excellent SEO work on this. Or you might attribute the SEO to a higher power. I don't know.

    However, it's also irrelevant to what was actually being talked about as I explained.

  15. On 6/25/2017 at 8:06 PM, Eoin Joyce said:

    Not at all. I just find it curious how widespread these views are. I used to think (back in the day of course), they were just the province of people who had been Jehovah's Witnesses .


    My experience has been that people who reach these conclusions are simply people who read the Bible without preconception.

    Nobody personally told me to read Matt 24 differently to how I'd always been taught it my whole life. As I both studied deeply (often as preparation to give talks), and listened to others giving the standard JW explanations,  I found questions emerging over certain timing issues involving "presence/parousia", "coming", and "generation". Pieces were starting not to fit too well. I prayed and read and prayed and read. Then the passage became much more clear. I compared other Bible translations and the Interlinear, and could see why confusion had arisen and the doctrines had become tangled. I'm not going to repeat everything JWinsider wrote about the passage here, but those were all conclusions I reached simply from reading the Bible carefully.

    All of this was before the days of Google by the way. None of my initial research involved any material outside of the Bible itself, and a more thorough examination of what the publications were saying.

    Then much later on (several years) I started coming across people who had gone through a similar process and reached the same conclusions. It was a strong indicator to me that there was substance to what I had learned.

    Even later it was possible to start pulling more information from the Internet, and now things were really starting to make complete sense. I'm not saying that all questions were answered, but just that the scriptures were now harmonizing in a way that they never had before.

    Since that time the GB has made substantial changes to official understanding of the passage. Some things like the meaning of "coming" brought that understanding in line with what I had learned. Other adjustments raised more questions than they answered.



    Why? When do you think this takes place?

    At the start of the "last days" which according to God's Word began in the 1st century. (Acts 2:17; 2 Tim 3). Just as there was a "pre-flood era" (of which we know relatively little), and a "post-flood-era" (during which Jehovah had a special relationship with the Hebrew nation), there is a "Christian era" which began in the first century. Since this is the last era before the millennial reign of Christ it can aptly be termed the "last days".

    (I take it both of us believe that the term "days" in this context is talking about many years and not just a few days.)


  16. 4 hours ago, ARchiv@L said:

    even if we [jws] / (or some people say that we) do not fully understand "this generation", 
    1. the truth is / the prophecies show that we are living in the LAST Days... 
    2. this does not mean that the END is not coming!

    I'm not aware of one comment on here that disputes either point.

    The difference is that some people here castigate others for not accepting specific human calculated dates as part of Jehovah's timeline, whereas others accept the idea that it's proven folly to ignore Jesus' words about this subject.


  17. 4 hours ago, ARchiv@L said:

    I think JWs ONLY are interested in 1. reading and 2. explaning / trying to explain the words of the Bible.
    if not so, WHY everyone else, when taking about "the last days" ...  always refering to the JWs ?!
    I would like to think so. 

    I don't think this is objectively true at all.

    Do a Google search on "the last days" or "the last days bible" (adding "Bible" focuses a bit better on what we're talking about).

    Admittedly the JW team has done some good SEO work to get their own page near the top - but that is JW's talking about their own beliefs. It's not the "everyone else" you refer to.

    Many people are talking about the last days, and in the first few pages of search results I couldn't find one non-JW source that was making reference to JW belief.

    You can see from the results that lots of Christian groups in general are talking about the last days, and most of them believe that we are in them.

    If you're convinced that when the average person hears "the last days" they automatically think of JWs and no other Christian denomination, how would you support that? I honestly think it's an impression given to JWs by JWs, and not an objective reality.

    That's not to say that JWs aren't doing a decent job of talking about it. I'm just trying to put some perspective on it.

  18. 3 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

    This the other topic bit. I just answered the question "what is it that you feel Jesus gained in the 20th century that he didn't already have?"

    Alright. So then if that's the totality of it your answer seems to be that he threw down Satan sometime around 1914. That would seem to square with the Appendix B1 of the revised NWT where this is the limit of the claim.

    When the rNWT was released I was surprised that it made no mention of Jesus becoming king in 1914 when giving the timeline of "The Message of the Bible". I was long taught to believe that a 1914 enthronement was one of the most important events in history. But both you and the writing committee seem to be implying that a rethink may be called for in that department. And if so, I welcome it.



    Strange question that. But in case you are asking it genuinely, Yes.

    And my clergyman acquaintance has shared a few of his insights on Scripture with me, as he has a respect for God's Word too. That's why we continue to have a constructive dialogue.

    Yes, it was a genuine question. Maybe I misunderstood you, but it really sounded to me like you were downplaying JWInsider's explanation because it was shared with a Baptist minister.

    Now that I reread your post I admit that I was reading that into it, and you weren't explicitly saying that. So I apologize if I misunderstood.

    Personally, if I see a clear pattern in scripture through personal study, and then I come across other Christians who have independently reached similar conclusions through personal study, I tend to take note. I believe most JWs would dismiss a source like your return visit on the basis that it's "us" with truth, and "them" who need to be taught.

    So the point that I was making is that our literature calls on "them" for support when it seems to fit. If you've already appreciated that it's a potential two-way street with your return visit then good for you. Iron may indeed sharpen iron.

    Then again "You've got your faith, I've got mine. I'm outa here!" didn't quite sound like you were ready for an interchange.



  19. 15 minutes ago, Eoin Joyce said:


    Sure. So Satan is cast down. Again our difference is probably only over timing, although your minimalist answer means I'm only making an educated guess.

    I presume you believe that Satan was cast down AFTER WW1 started, and yet I'm guessing you use Rev 12:12 to support the idea that earthquakes, disease and war increased significantly as a result of his casting down after a particular date in the 20th century which falls after the Great War started..

    Is that correct? If so how do you support your understanding of the timing?



  20. 11 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

    You know something @JWInsider? Your arguments here  have great similarity to the views of one of my return visits,

    Perhaps someone is trying to tell you something Eoin.

    Someone has shown you how all the scriptures fit together harmoniously. You appear to reject it only because it doesn't fit with your preconceptions, and because you don't like the source.

    It's worth noting that those who accept a clear reading of these scriptures believe just like you do that Jesus has received his Kingship and authority, and are awaiting his return to fully exercise that authority. The only thing we differ on as far as that's concerned is when he received the authority. But the Bible is pretty clear on that.

    In the light of Matt 28:18 and related scriptures, what is it that you feel Jesus gained in the 20th century that he didn't already have?

    We'll leave that as a rhetorical question since it sends this conversation off-topic.



  21. 9 hours ago, Anna said:

    I brought up the convention video. I also brought up the "marriage" issue from last weeks  WT study. Two different things. Now unless @TrueTomHarleyhas been to the convention, he might not know what the video was even about.

    Yep. You may be right about that Anna. He may not know what anything is about, but I still don't see why he could not have just explained that he lost the plot, and we could move on.  He has plenty of time for personal jibes and speculation about me, but apparently no time to quickly review a discussion and admit he was wrong. And why on earth does he quote me on threads and then refer to me in the third person as if he's playing to an audience? Things are obviously not quite right. I could speculate about that, but I won't.

    My point on the video remains unaddressed then. I understand it's a slight side-topic at this point, but it's certainly pertinent to the question of what we are being expected to believe, and what the consequences might be for doing so or not doing so.

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