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Noble Berean

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Everything posted by Noble Berean

  1. That’s a very extremist interpretation of Pauls message. The only Christian religions that practice shunning on former members are regarded by most as thought controlling cults.
  2. You’re being an apologist. It doesn’t matter if he didn’t technically lie (which I still believe he is doing). At best, it’s intentionally VERY misleading. Someone outside of the org will easily misunderstand this Bethelite lawyer’s comments to believe the org is more tolerant than it actually Is. It’s no different from the org saying similar things about disfellowshipped family in the JW.org FAQ section. They know what they’re doing. The org has a public and private voice and they’re very different. If the org has the truth, it should speak the truth instead of hiding behind legalese.
  3. On the contrary, the org should value the people who can respectfully discuss and critically examine doctrine like what is done here...Berean-like ones that test out the expressions they hear against the Bible. Instead, direction is not up for debate and people are told to even submit to “illogical” direction from the organization. So what the org will become is a bunch of yes-men who don’t know how to think for themselves.
  4. Yes that was just one part of it. There's an entire drive of information. Here you go:
      Hello guest!
  5. Your illustration would work if the changes through the years have been only greater refinement. The reality is that the organization has vacillated back-and-forth on its doctrines (organ transplants, the meaning of "superior authorities," and the understanding of fornication come to mind). This vacillation is a serious issue. Think of the people that died refusing organ transplants or the women that were falsely accused of "consenting" to rape due to their inability to yell out.
  6. (At this stage, haven't words like GB, organization, and Jehovah become conflated?) What you're saying here is very true, but does the history of the organization reflect that? The GB has already admitted to giving incorrect direction to its members. Throughout all of these changes, JWs have remained staunchly loyal to the GB in the old thinking and the new. The GB can hand-wave away their errant direction. I am sure they would say it's direction has never truly conflicted with God. But there aren't variations of the truth -- there is only right and wrong. If a change is made, then that means there was something false with the previous direction. You might see that as an overly critical mindset, but I am only scrutinizing the GB with the same level of scrutiny that they impose on all of us. Now, I know that there have been JWs that recognized an incorrect doctrine ahead of an "adjustment" by the GB. I say that with certainty, because I have hardcore JW family that experienced this personally. That is why Jackson's comment is highly disingenuous, because JWs have never had the right to act in harmony with their own views. Again, I'll direct you to the organization's comments: "At the same time, we recognize that our knowledge of God's purpose is not perfect; our understanding has undergone adjustments over the years. Loyal Christians are content to wait on Jehovah for all such refinements." (W04 Feb 15 p.17) "Some may feel that they can interpret the Bible on their own. However, Jesus has appointed the ‘faithful slave’ to be the only channel for dispensing spiritual food. Since 1919, the glorified Jesus Christ has been using that slave to help his followers understand God’s own Book and heed its directives. By obeying the instructions found in the Bible, we promote cleanness, peace, and unity in the congregation. Each one of us does well to ask himself, ‘Am I loyal to the channel that Jesus is using today?'" (Nov. 2016 WT) The WT makes it clear that it is not our place to form our own understanding of doctrine. Jackson's statement is illogical from a WT perspective -- that's not how the organization has ever functioned. Direction has always been revealed through the organization since it is "spirit directed" by God. If we have personal doubts, we are instructed to wait for the GB to make an adjustment. At no point do we act on our own understanding. This can never change, or the GB will lose its control over members. Control is of utmost concern to them - that is their chief priority.
  7. That is a good point Srecko. The audience at the ARC wasn't JWs (and any indoctrinated JW would've probably avoided viewing the ARC recording). That is why Geoffrey Jackson is able to make disingenuous comments like the one Anna brought up. They weren't meant for JW ears. Another that comes to mind is his remark that the GB claiming sole spokesperson status would be "presumptuous." He wouldn't dare say something like that to active members, because it would confuse and disturb them. No, the comments were meant for outsiders that are less familiar with the organization and less likely to question him. The ARC is not the only time representatives for the organization have taken advantage of the general public's ignorance of JW doctrine and culture. They bend the truth to make the organization seem more open and tolerant than it really is. Another example was when a JW Bethelite stated under oath in a Canadian court that disfellowshipping does not alter normal family relations. We know that to be a false statement, but the organization has no qualms with using shady legal language to muddy the waters. There is basically a public voice and a private voice. Very alarming when the organization promotes that it has "the truth," because there aren't different versions of the truth.
  8. Hi Anna! Sorry for the delay in response. I am a little bit confused what you mean about complete obedience being in the minds of only some Witnesses. The Governing Body spells it out in their literature. Here are some notable examples: Since Jehovah God and Jesus Christ completely trust the faithful and discreet slave, should we not do the same? (w09 2/15 pp. 24-28) "We need to obey the faithful and discreet slave to have Jehovah’s approval." (w11 7/15 p.24 Simplified English Edition) "[A mature christian] does not advocate or insist on personal opinions or harbor private ideas when it comes to Bible understanding. Rather, he has complete confidence in the truth as it is revealed by Jehovah God through his Son, Jesus Christ, and "the faithful and discreet slave." (w01 8/1 p.14) I am not sure how much clearer they can be about their attitude. They expect complete trust and obedience in their direction. For Br. Jackson to suggest that JWs would see wrong direction and not follow it is disingenuous. The truth is that adherents have continued to obey the GB throughout its self-admitted history of erring direction. JWs are literally told that their personal views are valueless next to the direction of the organization: "He [a mature Christian] does not advocate or insist on personal opinions or harbor private ideas when it comes to Bible understanding." (Watchtower 2001 Aug 1 p.14) So, under what circumstances would JWs suddenly become aware that their personal ideas on the Bible have weight? Members are primed to put loyalty to leadership and the group ahead of their personal faith.
  9. The WT's statements about the GB are a logical fallacy. That is why you are having difficult harmonizing your beliefs. "The Governing Body is neither inspired nor infallible. Therefore, it can err in doctrinal matters or in organizational direction. In fact, the Watch Tower Publications Index includes the heading “Beliefs Clarified,” which lists adjustments in our Scriptural understanding since 1870. Of course, Jesus did not tell us that his faithful slave would produce perfect spiritual food." Watchtower 2017 Feb p.26 "Since Jehovah God and Jesus Christ completely trust the faithful and discreet slave, should we not do the same?" Watchtower 2009 2/15 p. 24-28 It's the textbook example of cognitive dissonance: believing in contradictory ideas at the cost of one's mental state. There is a reason why JWs struggle in the organization. They are being given mixed signals under their leadership. JWs are expected to be understanding of the GB's mistakes while also fully compliant to their direction. Imagine having a spouse that demands total obedience but also expects love and understanding when wrong. People would call that an unhealthy relationship with one partner holding all the power. One wonders why Jehovah God appointed fallible, uninspired men over his people when he was perfectly capable of accurately conveying his truths to the writers of the Bible? There is no scriptural precedent for the idea of unquestioned obedience to a group of uninspired men. There is no scriptural precedent to putting obedience to men above scriptural truth. Complete trust in someone or some group requires strong support. Trust in the GB can't come from its history of unwavering doctrine, because the GB acknowledges it has made errors in doctrine and changes have been made. Trust also can't come from the GB's prophet status, because the GB acknowledges it is not inspired by God. So, what does the WT offer as support for complete trust in the GB? The preaching work: "...the faithful and discreet slave has been able to accomplish in giving a worldwide witness about Jehovah God, his Son, and the Kingdom. Jehovah’s worshippers are actively proclaiming the Kingdom message in over 230 lands and island groups." 2009 2/15 p. 24-28 The growth in members: "...In the last 15 years, the number of congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide has grown from some 70,000 to over 100,000—an increase of over 40 percent. And what about the new disciples added? Nearly 4.5 million disciples were baptized in the last 15 years—an average of more than 800 a day." 2009 2/15 p. 24-28 This 'support' is brought into question when it is pointed out that other Christian denominations engage in forms of preaching work all around the world. For many years, the JW organization did have tremendous growth, but that growth has slowed in recent years and is even in decline in some countries. The fastest growing Christian denominations in America are Catholics and Evangelicals. (The fastest growing religion in the world is Islam.) So, this support is weak at best, and it doesn't change the logical paradox the GB expects all JWs to accept.
  10. Disfellowshipped individuals are far from just ignored at the meetings. What do you mean family ties still remain? Disfellowshipped children are to be shunned in every sense of the word. They are treated like they are dead already. What difference does it make whether they are young or old or living at home vs. living somewhere else? You shouldn't shut off your love for your child just because they're not living the same life as you. "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." Watchtower 2017 Oct p.16
  11. Are we talking about the JW shunning that I am familiar with? If so, a JW parent will completely cut an exJW child off. Nothing more than well-being checkups. You know the gravity of that--it's not a minor thing. Christians shouldn't return evil for evil, but they also shouldn't reward bad behavior. There has to be a balance. And shunning of children goes beyond what can be tolerated--it is an immoral practice. A grandparent has no rights to see their grandchildren; it's actually a privilege and a blessing to be a part of their lives. It makes absolutely no sense for a person to reward their shunners with that opportunity.
  12. It's only a matter of time now before the media begins to publicly scrutinize the org's child abuse policies.
  13. Sounds fair to me, but JWs will usually shun the grandchildren too. Even though they're innocents in the situation. I knew this woman who seemed liked the sweetest older lady, but she flat out told me she will have nothing to do with her worldly grandkids.
  14. How many suppositions are made in the WT quote? The org states that they 1. have special anointed ones with access to exclusive info from heaven 2. this info is specifically being imparted by heavenly anointed ones 3. this connection has led to correctly identifying the great crowd. We're just supposed to "take it at their word" in 3 different ways. That's a lot of faith with no evidence to back it up. How can we know their info is correct?
  15. This reasoning just hurts to read. Are we supposed to just take their word for it that they have the "correct identity" of the great crowd? Isn't it odd that only an exclusive group have access to this divine insight? Where's the proof?
  16. Why are you separating law from spiritual matters? The GB claims to take the lead over the ENTIRE organization--not just the spiritual. The "buck stops" at the GB. They've claimed that responsibility, and they have to accept accountability. The child abuse legal troubles are due to policies that the GB gave a stamp of approval on. The GB may delegate responsibilities to helpers such as lawyers, but all entities within the organization must report to the GB and get their stamp of approval. Very little is getting past the eyes of the GB. Elders act based on the GB-stamped direction they receive from Bethel. It's set up to be that way, because the GB want maximum control over the group as the self professed "faithful slave." To suggest that the GB was somehow disconnected and not responsible for ineffective abuse policies is ridiculous. The org is controlled from the GB down. Elders have been sending files of alleged pedophiles for years to the branch. This has been a long, ongoing issue.
  17. Child molestation occurs in many large organizations--religious, governmental, and academic--that in itself is not a red flag. When it continues unabated, that's when there's a problem. It is clear that the JW organization has an ongoing problem with child abuse. When confronted on this issue, the org had the opportunity to make positive reforms and reevaluate its policies. Instead, the org staunchly defended the policies that have created the problems in the first place. They've used the two-witness Bible principle as a crutch for their inaction through the years--a fact they're very proud of in the JW Broadcast. There is this smugness among the JW leadership, as if Jehovah God approves of elder inaction that gives predators a free pass to continue preying on children. The ego and lack of accountability by those taking the lead is alarming. I'm not sure how they reconcile all this exposure with their own conscience. In situations like this, where proactive action is vital, there is actually a laissez-faire attitude by the org. Why? It is the moral obligation of the elders to protect the flock: not only the victim but other potential victims. This is not like other sins--this is predatory and hurts others. To drag your feet isn't an option. The secular authorities can be an important resource to elders in investigating and uncovering abuse (a capability that the elders lack), but the org emphasizes an avoidance of police involvement as much as possible. Why is this? Why the mistrust of authorities? This is something JWs must ponder. Where are the org's priorities? Saving face or protecting their own? The org has made itself a martyr to worldly entities that dare question their abuse policies. Their policies have created actual victims to abuse, but the org has twisted it to make itself the victim! And that's the way "in" JWs perceive these inquiries--as attacks by Satan. Has the Watchtower "addressed" this issue to its adherents as another board member suggested? No. It continues to proport itself as a spiritual paradise and ethically superior to any other organization on earth. These inquiries like the ARC are nothing of substance--nothing more than Satan's attacks on the true religion. So information is being heavily distorted by the org to its adherents--another alarming reality. Because child molestation is a huge problem in the org, and its policies play a part in it. But JWs are ignorant to this and are consequently put in a dangerous position. It is our responsibility to seek the TRUTH...if it wasn't for independent research I wouldn't have know about the ARC or Candace Conti or any of the lawsuits. We can't accept the distorted reality the org is selling.
  18. Saving face or the trauma of an investigation is really no excuse not to report. It's not just about punishment. By identifying sexual predators, law enforcement can remove the offender from society or monitor his whereabouts. If a child molester isn't reported to police, he can go and do the same evil to another innocent child. In fact, evading punishment can embolden a sexual predator. It's disturbing that predators were able to hop from congregation to congregation leaving a trail of abuse. JWs look to the elders for direction--we know many JWs that await their permission for the most mundane things. But their example shows a resistance to reporting abuse unless the legal system forces their hand. So what does that communicate to these ones? Don't get the police involved. That's read between the lines. Why resist the authorities that have the means to uncover evidence of wrongdoing? The elders cannot get a warrant to search a person's property--their investigations are reliant on willing testimony. Even with evidence, they can't make an arrest. It seems odd to resist a resource that could potentially expose a predator and keep the congregation clean. TBH I think the org decided many years ago to not get involved in child abuse and to put the burden on the family. How often can it be said that a family's choice has authority in this org? This was likely to cover their butts from legal accountability. This means the elders have limited capacity to protect the flock. It's unfortunate that this lawyer attitude has permeated the org. At some point, the org is a beast that behaves with its own self-interests and not the individuals that make up it. The org uses human law more and more to justify it's behavior.
  19. Honestly, if we start reasoning that God created pre-Adam humans, wouldn't it make more sense to throw out the whole book as inspired by God? Because at that point we have strayed so far from the Bible's narrative.
  20. Let's not do whataboutism. The organization has frequently used the pedophile cover ups in the catholic church and secular institutions to support their moral superiority and divine backing. So should we now accept that this organization is no better than them? Isn't the whole point that our org is BETTER than these other religions/organizations because we are a spiritual paradise? I understand that child abuse is a problem that cannot be stamped and is present in all large organizations. BUT the organization has done itself no favors by doubling down on their messed up policies which have allowed abuse to continue in congregations. And they have been completely zip-lipped with their own members--refusing to be transparent about this ongoing problem. JWs are owed transparency on this matter. It's the least they could do.
  21. This has no place in controversial posts. This is the reality of the organization. 1000s of unreported sex case allegations.
  22. @Shiwiii it disrupts the idea that the organization is a "spiritual paradise" or an oasis of purity in an evil world. Adherents can't realize that the organization has filth in it just like many other organized religions, because it would destroy the notion that the WT is superior as the "true religion". In fact, today the CO at my kingdom hall referenced child molestation as a way to verify that a religion DOES NOT have God's backing! JWs 100% deserve transparency on this matter, but they've gotten the opposite. The way this has been handled proves that men are calling the shots here and not God. Only an imperfect human would think they could "contain the stink." Maybe they can prevent JWs from seeing the ugly truth, but they cannot conceal it from Jehovah God.
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