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  1. I just figured it out. When I clicked on @Foreigner, there was no issue as his account was still there and I could click to his posts. But when I looked at the post where I had pointed out the spamming, which is the post of mine on August 31st that immediately follows the one below, I see that clicking on the @BillyTheKid46 link, I cannot from there link to any of his posts. In fact, I quote a post of his from 8/31 in one of my own, and his post from 8/31 is is missing. (This is one reason I hate that accounts get banned, censured, or even disciplined in such a way that any of their previous posts disappear. BTK had several posts that were very good, even several that I had upvoted, too.)
  2. TTH has said he has nothing to do with the running of this site. I have no proof, but I'm sure he's telling the truth. He doesn't know me, and I don't know him, and I don't know the Librarian or the admin either. What I know about them is only from what I see in the posts I get. I did get an invitation from a moderator 3 years ago inviting me to use some moderating powers to move posts to new topics, because there were a lot of topics that were started and several persons (with names like Allen Smith) were coming into these topics for no apparent reason other than to spew some vitriolic hatred, judge persons (not views) they disagreed with as apostate, Satanic and deserving of death. I gladly accepted the moderating powers to move unrelated posts to new topics. It keeps things neater, more organized, and allows for those other ideas to grow into topics of their own. I don't use any function that allows me to delete a post, but it's a function called "Split." For anyone's post, I have a little pulldown, called Options, and in there is a function called "Split." I can start a new "empty" topic first, give it a name, and then when I click on "Split," I enter the location of the new topic, and the post ends up on that page. I have no control over the order, so they just show up by date order, the same order they showed up on the original topic. It's a bit too much effort for the value gained, and I prefer personally to just let topics go all over the place "organically." My own posts (like this one) are off-topic about as often as anyone else's (or more) so it seems like trying to exert control on a topic that is unnecessary, even if it's easier to follow. I know that I didn't communicate with TTH or anyone else about removing anyone here. It wouldn't make any sense anyway because I'm always AGAINST removing people from any forum. No matter how badly they act, they will just continue to act that badly under another name if they are removed. We all saw that this was the case with Allen Smith, and some of his cursing and cyber-bullying became just as bad under his new names as it had been under his original name. I always spoke up for him, though, because a person can be "censured" by the others without removing his rights to speak up on the forum. Any of us can personally block someone we don't want to hear from. I don't know for sure, but I suspect I have been blocked by some who didn't want to hear what I had been saying. So I know this is probably not about any of the original "Allen Smith" monikers. I know that I did expose the vote-spamming of @BillyTheKid46 and @Foreigner, but I just now typed their names with an @ in front of them, and they both seem to exist. (I haven't seen tweets from either of them for a couple weeks, though). Perhaps pointing out their spamming with small screen-shot snippets has resulted in a punishment of some kind, but I do not expect their removal. Besides I only pointed out a very small percentage of their spamming, as it related to my own posts. Others here pointed out that they were doing the same to their posts, too. My own goal in pointing out their spamming was not to get either of them removed, and I hope they have not been removed. I also hate the fact that when someone is removed you can no longer see their posts, and you end up with conversations that no longer make any sense with half the conversation missing.
  3. It's really pretty easy to understand. If a person is considered a prophet, and he tells people that there is not just evidence, but incontrovertible proof that the resurrection of David and Abraham will begin in 1925, and it doesn't happen -- believe me -- a lot of people are going to turn their backs on him. Some might give him a year or two, just in case of a minor math error, but most people don't wait around after a prophet makes a fool of himself. There was another prophet like this named Nelson Barbour who prophesied that Jesus would return physically in 1873. He pumped up the readership of his Tract Society, but 1873 came and went, and he readjusted to 1874. Then 1874 came and went and the great majority of those subscribing to his tracts turned their backs on him. Probably about the same proportion of those who turned their back on Rutherford in just a few short years starting in 1925. Not so sure that's such a hard thing as you think. All you have to do is say that you believe something might happen a certain way, rather than making outlandish claims that you have incontrovertible proof, and that there is more evidence for 1925 than Noah had for believing what God told him about the upcoming Flood. Or that even though the chronology for 1914 was based on "God's dates" that couldn't be changed even by one year, that there was more evidence for 1925 then there was for 1914. If you don't print claims in the publications that you (and those who appear to agree with you) have the spirit of the Old Testament prophets you will find that very few people will come up with this idea on their own.
  4. I suppose I could tie it back to the original post about a French-speaking Baptist Church. Most of these are about the wording used when we try to imply that: for decades in advance the Bible Students predicted that 1914 would see a time of trouble associated with the end of the Gentile Times, Christ's presence, Christ's enthronement, and the casting of Satan out of heaven. The problem is that the English wording has (usually) become very careful to only IMPLY that the Watch Tower publications and Bible Students had, for decades, predicted Christ's presence, a time of great trouble, Satan's ousting, and Christ's enthronement. In reality, all that was predicted decades in advance for 1914, was "the end of the Gentile Times" which, of course, meant some things that are completely different from what we now apply it to. It's easy for someone who knows English well, to create an implication of the above (to mislead) without actually stating something that's untrue. I have found some translations where the translator didn't catch the subtlety, and just assumed that the Watchtower really did predict these things. I guess it would be very difficult for Brother Jackson (Translation Dept) to call up these other translators and have to admit that they need to create a subtly misleading wording that does the same thing in Greek, for example, that it does in English. I'm sure it happens in many other languages where the translator isn't in on the "game." But I am hesitant to start a repeat on a 1914 / Gentile Times topic.
  5. Reminds me a bit of when the Watch Tower publications declared Rutherford to be permeated with the real Biblical and prophetic spirit, while proposing that a British politician of the time was also like a prophet because he was declaring some of the same rhetoric that Rutherford was declaring. At the time, Rutherford was still trying to overcome the problem that 1914 had failed to be the fulfillment of that time of trouble, and he was pushing for the new idea that 1925 would resolve that problem by being a new time of trouble, and even the time for the physical resurrection of Old Testament faithful men of old to the Millennial age on earth. The Watchtower liked this "prophet" because he said that 1924 was to become even worse than 1914. By 1939 to 1944 it could be said that the true climax of these prophecies about 1924 had come true. Prophet Ramsay MacDonald and Prophet David Lloyd George hadn't predicted a resurrection, though.
  6. I'll be happy to discuss it. The first thing I find about a 1946 prediction is on this site:
      Hello guest!
    George Orwell made this incredible political prediction in 1946 "The man was an actual prophet" . . . Deacon unearthed this passage, written back in 1946 by George Orwell, taken from one of his columns in Tribune magazine (which were collected in Seeing Things As They Are earlier this year) which eerily seems to describe exactly what is currently happening. Then I found the actual thing Deacon said, here:
      Hello guest!
    where he quotes from another book he (Deacon) had been reading, and it was noteworthy for how well it matched all the arguments of the EU referendum campaign for "Brexit": “The fact is that there is strong popular feeling in this country against foreign immigration,” wrote Orwell. “It arises partly from simple xenophobia, partly from fear of undercutting in wages, but above all from the out-of-date notion that Britain is overpopulated and that more population means more unemployment.” The most necessary step is... to raise the general level of public understanding: above all, to drive home the fact, which has never been properly grasped, that British prosperity depends largely on factors outside BritainGeorge Orwell, November 1946 On the contrary, argued Orwell, more immigration was needed, to compensate for “the ageing of the population” and Britain’s “frighteningly low” birth-rate. Unfortunately, he said, efforts to encourage European immigration had been “met by ignorant hostility, because the public has not been told the relevant facts”. Above all, he concluded, the government must “drive home the fact, which has never been properly grasped, that British prosperity depends largely on factors outside Britain”. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Of course, Orwell was not actually a prophet, otherwise he would have foreseen that attempts to “drive home this fact” would be successfully dismissed as “talking Britain down”. Were he here today, Orwell himself would be cast as a sneering metropolitan liberal elitist, out of touch with the legitimate concerns of ordinary hard-working families. Still: pretty remarkable. That article was written 70 years ago, and yet – excluding its references to the Second World War – it could easily have been written in 2016. Orwell effectively foresaw the arguments of the EU referendum campaign, decades before the EU even existed. Oh – and he also noted that there was no popular support in Britain for admitting refugees, because the public believed they were only economic migrants. Curiously, even the part where Deacon dismisses Orwell as "not a prophet" because he didn't correctly foresee the "driving home" of counterarguments, well, this could be dismissed now that this "drive" has also become a public part of the Brexit debate. After all, the article above was written in 2016, and here we are 3 years later when the debate has gotten even stickier. @divergenceKO, Was that the topic you were referring to? If so, I think it makes Orwell very observant, but not really a prophet. Reminds me a bit of when the Watch Tower publications declared Rutherford to be prophet in 1924, while proposing that a British politician of the time was also a prophet because he was declaring some of the same rhetoric that Rutherford was declaring.
  7. For anyone who didn't understand the joke, the excerpt I put in the original post was actually taken from a 1987 Watchtower. It's from an article written by Brother Fred Franz, giving a part of his own life experience: *** w87 5/1 p. 24 Looking Back Over 93 Years of Living *** One Saturday night in the spring of 1913, Albert had gone to bed early in the dormitory of the YMCA, where he was living while working in Chicago. Later, his roommate burst into the room to explain a difficulty. He was invited that night to the home of a Mr. and Mrs. Hindman, and their daughter Nora was to have a girlfriend there at the house. Two girls would be too much for Albert’s roommate to handle by himself. With alacrity, Albert rose to the occasion. During the course of the evening, Albert’s roommate was getting along quite famously with the two young ladies. But Mr. and Mrs. Hindman concentrated on Albert . . . I often heard Brother Franz speak to the Bethel family for up to half-an-hour at a time, over a period of several years in the late 1970's and early 1980's. He often seemed pleased with himself that he could get away with sometimes coarse talk and even "suggestive" language, that no one else would ever even attempt in front of an audience.
  8. Yes. That works for many Witnesses. I personally don't think it's honest to simply redefine all types of changes as "refinements." But I'm more concerned with the fact that it can reflect a lack of humility that expects us to merely accept false doctrines as doctrines that simply needed refinement. The teaching might be a complete turnaround or rejection of a former teaching, or it might just be a minor adjustment, but even in the latter case it does not mean that the previous teaching is still true. For example, there was a change that happened in 1943 that changed the time for Christ's presence from 1874 to 1914. In the long run that is just a minor adjustment of 40 years. But it doesn't mean that 1874 is still a true doctrine. 536 BCE for the destruction of Babylon was changed to 539 BCE, even a smaller change, but this doesn't mean that 536 BCE is still a true teaching. Yes it's a type of "refinement," but a "refinement" that must still admit that the previous teaching is false. For example, the Watch Tower publications once taught, under Russell, that the "superior authorities" were not the secular authorities, but were God and Christ. Then, in Rutherford's time, the WT changed the view to just the opposite. Then, in Knorr's/Franz' time, the WT changed the view to the opposite again, so that it was right back to what Russell had taught. The Watchtower treated this as an adjustment, a refinement, and even claimed that there were advantages to having been wrong (without using the word "wrong" of course). This is clearly a matter of just not wanting to admit that a false doctrine was ever "false." Haughty people don't like admitting they are wrong, so this gives the impression of haughtiness. So was Naboth a prophetic type of Jesus or the anointed? Is it the case that this is true, and that the only reason we don't teach it that way is because it's too complicated to tell the whole truth? If it's still true, then someone should say that it's still true and we won't hold back from telling you "all the truth"? Of course, if it's actually a change in "understanding" then we are admitting that the former understanding is wrong, therefore it is no longer true. As you tacitly admitted, as Witnesses, we can never admit to having had a false doctrine. So we use different words. False doctrines must be re-worded as "refinements" "improvements" "clarifications" etc. We see this type of explanation in the very articles that explained the changes to "types" and "antitypes" which had no Biblical basis to be treated as prophecies. The article appeared not to admit that these had ever been wrong. Only that the: "faithful and discreet slave" was becoming steadily more discreet. discretion was leading to "greater caution" these older explanation were unduly difficult to grasp the details can be hard to remember and apply the former explanation tended to obscure more important moral lessons None of those points actually admits that the former explanations were wrong, only that we were now being more careful, more cautious, more discreet, more simple and clear. Watch very carefully how this was done: *** w15 3/15 pp. 9-10 pars. 10-11 “This Is the Way You Approved” *** As we might expect, over the years Jehovah has helped “the faithful and discreet slave” to become steadily more discreet. Discretion has led to greater caution when it comes to calling a Bible account a prophetic drama unless there is a clear Scriptural basis for doing so. Additionally, it has been found that some of the older explanations about types and antitypes are unduly difficult for many to grasp. The details of such teachings—who pictures whom and why—can be hard to keep straight, to remember, and to apply. Of even greater concern, though, is that the moral and practical lessons of the Bible accounts under examination may be obscured or lost in all the scrutiny of possible antitypical fulfillments. Thus, we find that our literature today focuses more on the simple, practical lessons about faith, endurance, godly devotion, and other vital qualities that we learn about from Bible accounts. 11 How, then, do we now understand the account about Naboth? In much clearer, simpler terms. That righteous man died, not because he was a prophetic type of Jesus or of the anointed, but because he was an integrity keeper. Notice how even the idea that we no longer understand it the same way is worded in such a way as to be very ambiguous about whether the previous understanding was actually wrong. This is one of dozens of such ambiguous wordings, and I can show you cases where this exact kind of wording apparently "fooled" the translator into creating inconsistent (less ambiguous) results in Simplified English, French, German and Greek. And I'm sure there are several other examples I don't even know about.
  9. Teacher: Please define "abominable." Student: A-bomb-in-a-bull is a tear-a-bull way to make hamburger.
  10. For me, this was a matter of prayerfully considering and meditating on the full meaning of the 2014 talk by Brother Splane when he admitted that many teachings were all being dropped at once because they were based on an old extra-Biblical tradition of creating types and antitypes when there was no specific scriptural basis for doing so. This actually turned out to refer to literally over ONE HUNDRED teachings that we were now admitting had no scriptural basis. All at once, we were DROPPING at least ONE HUNDRED TWENTY teachings. Then there were 80 more of these types of teachings, which were reviewed in a 1981 Watchtower *** w81 3/1 p. 27 Do You Appreciate the “Faithful and Discreet Slave”? *** OVERWHELMING CREDENTIALS The “faithful and discreet slave” has abundant credentials. Following is a partial list of Scriptural and prophetic designations applying to or being represented in the remnant of Jesus Christ’s anointed followers since the notable year 1919: (1) Noah’s wife, Gen. 7:7; (2) angels sent to Lot, Gen. 19:15; (3) Rebekah, Gen. 24:64; (4) Joseph and Benjamin, Gen. 45:14; (5) gleanings left behind, Lev. 19:9; (6) two spies to Rahab, Josh. 2:4; (7) Barak, Judg. 4:14; (8) Jephthah, Judg. 11:34; (9) Naomi and Ruth, Ruth 2:2; (10) David’s Israelite warriors, 2 Sam. 18:1; (11) Jehu, 2 Ki. 10:11, 15; (12) Mordecai and Esther, Esther 4:13; (13) Job, Job 42:10, 13; (14) King’s daughter, Ps. 45:13; (15) men of loving-kindness, Ps. 50:5; (16) intimate group, Ps. 89:7; (17) Shear-jashub, Isa. 7:3; (18) light of the nations, Isa. 60:3; (19) big trees of righteousness, Isa. 61:3; (20) ministers of our God, Isa. 61:6; (21) cluster preserved, Isa. 65:8; (22) servants called by another name, Isa. 65:15; (23) men trembling at God’s word, Isa. 66:5; (24) new nation born, Isa. 66:8; (25) Jeremiah, Jer. 1:10; (26) Jehovah’s people in the new covenant, Jer. 31:33; (27) enduring watchman, Ezek. 3:16-27; (28) man in linen, Ezek. 9:2; (29) cleansed people, Ezek. 36:29-32; (30) dwellers in center of earth, Ezek. 38:12; (31) the host of heaven, Dan. 8:10; (32) sanctuary restored (cleansed), Dan. 8:14; (33) they that are wise, Dan. 11:33; (34) the happy one who is keeping in expectation, Dan. 12:12; (35) all flesh receiving the spirit, Joel 2:28; (36) Jonah, Jon. 3:1-3; (37) apple of Jehovah’s eye, Zech. 2:8; (38) liberated remnant, Zech. 2:7; (39) a Jew, Zech. 8:23; (40) sons of Levi, Mal. 3:3; (41) wheat, Matt. 13:25; (42) sons of the kingdom, Matt. 13:38; (43) workers for the vineyard, Matt. 20:1; (44) those invited to marriage feast, Matt. 22:3-14; (45) chosen ones, Matt. 24:22; (46) eagles, Matt. 24:28; (47) faithful and discreet slave, Matt. 24:45; (48) discreet virgins, Matt. 25:2; (49) brothers of the king, Matt. 25:40; (50) little flock of sheep, Luke 12:32; (51) beggar Lazarus, Luke 16:20; (52) sheep in “this fold,” John 10:1-16; (53) branches of the vine, John 15:4; (54) royal palace of David, Acts 15:16; (55) heirs with Christ, Rom. 8:17; (56) the remnant, Rom. 11:5; (57) branches in the olive tree, Rom. 11:24; (58) holy ones or saints, 1 Cor. 6:2; Rev. 16:6; (59) temple, 1 Cor. 6:19; (60) new creation, 2 Cor. 5:17; (61) ambassadors for Christ, 2 Cor. 5:20; (62) congregation of God, Gal. 1:13; (63) part of Abraham’s seed, Gal. 3:29; (64) Israel of God, Gal. 6:16; (65) body of Christ, Eph. 1:22, 23; (66) soldiers of Christ Jesus, 2 Tim. 2:3; (67) house under Christ, Heb. 3:6; (68) holy priesthood, 1 Pet. 2:5; (69) holy nation, 1 Pet. 2:9; (70) association of brothers, 1 Pet. 2:17; (71) seven congregations, Rev. 1:20; (72) twenty-four persons of advanced age, Rev. 4:4; (73) spiritual Israel, Rev. 7:4; (74) locusts, Rev. 9:3; (75) two witnesses, Rev. 11:3; (76) two olive trees, Rev. 11:4; (77) seed of the woman, Rev. 12:17; (78) New Jerusalem, Rev. 21:2; (79) the bride of Christ, Rev. 22:17; 19:7; (80) Jehovah’s witnesses, Isa. 43:10. I knew that we had spent hundreds of hours studying these in Congregation Book Studies from the time I can remember my very first Tuesday night meetings. Then, at Bethel, in 1980, I became a study partner with a Gilead student who lived next door to me on the third floor of the 107 building. My own set of Gilead Notes (I have 2 full sets) contained MONTHS worth of study of these specific kinds of teachings, and some students fretted that they could not keep track of them all. But what caught my attention in Brother Splane's talk is that they were being compared to the Pyramid doctrines under Russell and Rutherford. Brother Splane admitted that Brother Bert Schroeder (died 2006) had already come up with this change and had provided the current definition now being published in the 2015 Watchtower. *** w15 3/15 p. 9 par. 7 “This Is the Way You Approved” *** In times past, it was more common for our literature to take what might be called a type-antitype approach to Scriptural accounts. The Bible narrative was considered the type, and any prophetic fulfillment of the story was the antitype. *** w15 3/15 p. 18 par. 3 Questions From Readers *** If such interpretations seem far-fetched, you can understand the dilemma. Humans cannot know which Bible accounts are shadows of things to come and which are not. The clearest course is this: Where the Scriptures teach that an individual, an event, or an object is typical of something else, we accept it as such. Otherwise, we ought to be reluctant to assign an antitypical application to a certain person or account if there is no specific Scriptural basis for doing so. The questionableness of such doctrines had already been discussed in a Watchtower from back in 1972, where even though it came very close to admitting just how questionable such teachings were, the decision was made to keep teaching them. *** w72 8/15 pp. 502-503 God Readjusts the Thinking of His People *** Another thing that has given rise to questions is the use by Jehovah’s witnesses of parallels or prophetic types, applying these to circumstances and to groups or classes of people today. Many people who read the Bible view its accounts all as simply history, but when they begin to study with Jehovah’s witnesses a readjustment of viewpoint takes place as they see that there is more to the accounts than history. For example,. . . .[long example skipped] The question that is sometimes asked is, Did Jehovah stage that ‘dramatic’ event, so that we would have a warning now? Well, would he cause such bad things to happen? Would he maneuver them himself? No. The real answer was obvious, but before that article was complete, the writers had found some twisted reasoning to be able to keep these dozens and dozens of false teachings that we had come to accept from old traditions. Brother Splane gave the example of the brother(s) who really loved the Pyramid doctrines and how they had to have the humility to suddenly change their viewpoint when Rutherford dropped it. (Rutherford said these teachings were ultimately from Satan.) It almost sounded as if Brother Splane was saying that these "antitype" doctrines could not be changed until certain people who still loved them had dropped off the scene. When he mentioned that this "new" way of looking at it had already been stated so well many years earlier by Brother Schroeder, this was another hint that this change had been in the works for quite a while.
  11. I never said they received the same, less, or more. Jesus said, about Jehovah: (John 3:34) . . .He does not give the spirit [by measure]. Also, I think we cal all learn a lot about the spirit from these words: (Romans 8:26, 27) 26 In like manner, the spirit also joins in with help for our weakness; for the problem is that we do not know what we should pray for as we need to, but the spirit itself pleads for us with unuttered groanings. 27 But the one who searches the hearts knows what the meaning of the spirit is, because it is pleading in harmony with God for the holy ones. (1 Corinthians 2:10-13) 10 For it is to us God has revealed them through his spirit, for the spirit searches into all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knows the things of a man except the man’s spirit within him? So, too, no one has come to know the things of God except the spirit of God. 12 Now we received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit that is from God, so that we might know the things that have been kindly given us by God. 13 These things we also speak, not with words taught by human wisdom, but with those taught by the spirit, as we explain spiritual matters with spiritual words. I wouldn't suggest that. *** w11 12/15 p. 25 par. 12 Guided by God’s Spirit in the First Century and Today *** “Now there are varieties of gifts, but there is the same spirit; and there are varieties of ministries, and yet there is the same Lord; and there are varieties of operations, and yet it is the same God who performs all the operations in all persons.” (1 Cor. 12:4-6, 11) Yes, holy spirit can operate in different ways on different servants of God for a purpose. Indeed, the holy spirit is available both to Christ’s “little flock” and to his “other sheep.” *** w09 6/15 pp. 23-24 par. 15 The Faithful Steward and Its Governing Body *** However, Christians who have truly received this anointing do not demand special attention. They do not believe that their being of the anointed gives them special insights beyond what even some experienced members of the “great crowd” may have. (Rev. 7:9) They do not believe that they necessarily have more holy spirit than their companions of the “other sheep” have. (John 10:16) They do not expect special treatment; nor do they claim that their partaking of the emblems places them above the appointed elders in the congregation. Of course, that last Watchtower article was written just a year or so before the Governing Body did begin to ask for special attention, but the points made are still true. It would be difficult to be a woman and also be a man, and the husband of one wife. (And, of course, those with two wives could not be elders!) (1 Timothy 3:1, 2) . . .This statement is trustworthy: If a man is reaching out to be an overseer, he is desirous of a fine work. 2 The overseer should therefore be irreprehensible, a husband of one wife . . . As pointed out in a previous post, this "obedience" is really about imitating those who take the initiative as examples to follow. Translating it as leaders appears to be improper, and in conflict with Jesus and Paul's other words about Leaders. In fact the NWT shows how this phrase can actually be translated as "those taking the initiative" (Romans 12:10) . . . In showing honor to one another, take the lead* [*take the initiative]. *** nwt Romans 12:10 *** Or “initiative.” In other words, one of the ways we can recognize the true types of persons (especially elders/shepherds) whom we should be following (imitating) would be if those persons are taking the lead in showing honor to persons like Sean Migos. As individuals, members of the Governing Body should not have any trouble showing honor to persons like you. Yes. No. As I said, it's a very good thing to have a committee of elders who are capable of handling issues for the congregations on a world-wide basis, whom we can respect. We live at a time when communications are such that this can work better than ever in the past. I believe that various issues that come up with respect to unity and disunity in the congregations SHOULD be addressed by such a committee. I think you know that the only time for concern is when this group of persons might take upon themselves the authority to create new doctrines/practices based on supposition and conjecture. There is nothing wrong with supposition and conjecture, and we should expect some of this, but it should never be accepted as anything more than supposition and conjecture. (And the Governing Body has admitted that much of what we have been taught has been conjecture.) There is a loving way to present different conjectural ideas, and there is a way that "beats their fellow slaves." One could say, that this certain verse might mean this, and it might mean that so that they explain why they prefer (for certain explained reasons) to believe that it means this. That's fine because it doesn't get in the way of the leadership of Christ Jesus. But if that slave should say, we believe it means this, and if you believe it means something else then you should be kicked out of the congregation, then I think we know when a line has been crossed. It does not have to be the duty of a "Governing Body" to create conjectural teachings. In fact, per Galatians, if conjectural teachings exert an influence that is different from the good news taught in the Scriptures, then we should treat those particular conjectural teachings as "accursed." So if we have the idea that any man or group of men (elders, committees of elders, or "governors") are to be so respected and honored that we could never imagine treating their conjectural doctrines as "accursed" then we have too high an opinion of those we are following. They might even be correct about everything at the moment. (And as you know, I don't think they are correct on at least two teachings, but that's my own opinion and conscience.) But all of us can at least check if our view about them is proper and scriptural, if we can at least imagine a scenario where we would not only question every doctrine, but even potentially realize that a directly or indirectly promoted teaching could be "accursed." Exactly!
  12. I think you are exactly right. This is why I said the following: That was based on Hebrews 13, of course, and also: (1 Tim. 5:17) Let the elders who preside in a fine way be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard in speaking and teaching. As Christians, we should question every one of our teachings, to make sure it is brought into obedience with Christ's teachings. We should never shirk our responsibility to "make sure of all things," "prove to yourselves," "test the inspired utterances," "pay close attention to your teaching," "see whether these things were so," etc., etc. And since the Governing Body have become the most public of our elder committees, and have taken on a greater responsibility, it is vital that we question them just as we should question a local body of elders. More will be asked of those to whom more has been given. Teachers will receive heavier judgment. We don't just want to have our ears tickled. In the NWT, the paragraph that starts out with 1 Tim 5:17, quoted above, ends with this phrase, after a discussion about reproving elders before all onlookers: (1 Timothy 5:21) 21 I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus and the chosen angels to observe these instructions without any prejudice or partiality. Remember that there was a group of men in the first century that, due to a set of circumstances, were being seen as a kind of "governing body" that was at least indirectly exerting an strong influence on the doctrines of distant congregations. Galatia was very far from Jerusalem; it was about as far from Antioch, as Antioch was from Jerusalem. So Paul wrote to Galatia about those men who were at least indirectly creating such an influence on them, and he said: (Galatians 1:7-3:1) 7 Not that there is another good news; but there are certain ones who are causing you trouble and wanting to distort the good news about the Christ. . . . Is it, in fact, men I am now trying to persuade or God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still pleasing men, I would not be Christ’s slave. . . . 15 But when God, who separated me . . . so that I might declare the good news about him to the nations, I did not immediately consult with any human; 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before I was, but I went to Arabia, and then I returned to Damascus. 18 Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to visit Ceʹphas, and I stayed with him for 15 days. 19 But I did not see any of the other apostles, only James the brother of the Lord. . . . . 2 Then after 14 years I again went up to Jerusalem with Barʹna·bas, also taking Titus along with me. 2 I went up as a result of a revelation, and I presented to them the good news that I am preaching among the nations. This was done privately, however, before the men who were highly regarded, to make sure that I was not running or had not run in vain. 3 Nevertheless, not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, although he was a Greek. 4 But that matter came up because of the false brothers brought in quietly, who slipped in to spy on the freedom we enjoy in union with Christ Jesus, so that they might completely enslave us; 5 we did not yield in submission to them, no, not for a moment, so that the truth of the good news might continue with you. 6 But regarding those who seemed to be important—whatever they were makes no difference to me, for God does not go by a man’s outward appearance—those highly regarded men imparted nothing new to me. 7 On the contrary, . . . .9 and when they recognized the undeserved kindness that was given me, James and Ceʹphas and John, the ones who seemed to be pillars, gave Barʹna·bas and me the right hand of fellowship, so that we should go to the nations but they to those who are circumcised. . . . 11 However, when Ceʹphas came to Antioch, I resisted him face-to-face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 12 For before certain men from James arrived, . . . 13 The rest of the Jews also joined him in putting on this pretense, so that even Barʹna·bas was led along with them in their pretense. 14 But when I saw that they were not walking in step with the truth of the good news, . . . . 3 O senseless Ga·laʹtians! Who has brought you under this evil influence. . . ? So when Paul told Timothy not to show any partiality when it came to reproving elders before all onlookers, we see that Paul had already "walked the walk." If we are to be imitators of Paul's example, then we should be willing to look closely at all the doctrines and influences that we are taught, no matter who they come from. Even if from those who seem to be important, even if from the very pillars of the congregation, even if from James, Peter or John, or men sent from them. Would we be willing to resist such ones face to face? Or would we yield in submission because they were highly regarded? Fortunately, of course, that matter in Jerusalem was cleared up with the help of the holy spirit. Fortunately for us, most matters of this magnitude have already been cleared up, too, and we have no problem always giving the benefit of the doubt to those who want us to submit to their lead. This probably causes no problems at all for 99 percent of us. But we should still learn from the apostle Paul's words, that our teachings should not come from men, and that we should always be ready to resist any teachings that still need to be brought into harmony with the good news, no matter from whom or where we learned them. We should be happy to have a committee of elders who are willing to take on the necessary responsibilities for the world-wide congregations. We should respect them, honor them, and follow their lead. However, the teaching that claims that the Governing Body is equal to the Faithful and Discreet Slave of Mt 24 is one of those teachings that we should question, specifically for the Biblical reasons that Jesus and Paul gave us. Also because it directly contradicts other Watchtower teachings from the March 15 2015 Watchtower. Also, it gives the impression that there are specific humans that we should always identify as Leaders, (even "Governors") instead of looking IMPARTIALLY to each particular example of conduct and faith, to contemplate how it turns out. It gives us the impression that, for doctrinal matters, a certain group of men should always have the FINAL say, and can therefore override the Christian-trained conscience of individuals, who will stand or fall before the judgment seat as individuals. As true and discreet slaves, we will each take the initiative (take the lead, see footnote on) in carrying each other's burdens. None of us, no matter how much we think of ourselves, will believe that more honor goes to us than we should give to others. This is what true obedience means: (Galatians 6:2-5) . . .Go on carrying the burdens of one another, and in this way you will fulfill the law of the Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he is deceiving himself. 4 But let each one examine his own actions, and then he will have cause for rejoicing in regard to himself alone, and not in comparison with the other person. 5 For each one will carry his own load. (Romans 12:9-16) 9 Let your love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is wicked; cling to what is good. 10 In brotherly love have tender affection for one another. In showing honor to one another, take the lead.[fn, initiative] 11 Be industrious, not lazy. Be aglow with the spirit. Slave for Jehovah. 12 Rejoice in the hope. Endure under tribulation. Persevere in prayer. 13 Share with the holy ones according to their needs. Follow the course of hospitality. 14 Keep on blessing those who persecute; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. 16 Have the same attitude toward others as toward yourselves; do not set your mind on lofty things, but be led along with the lowly things. Do not become wise in your own eyes.
  13. Here's what I've got so far as an introduction: One Saturday night in the spring . . . . Albert had gone to bed early in the dormitory of the YMCA, where he was living while working in Chicago. Later, his roommate burst into the room to explain a difficulty. He was invited that night to the home of a Mr. and Mrs. Hindman, and their daughter Nora was to have a girlfriend there at the house. Two girls would be too much for Albert’s roommate to handle by himself. With alacrity, Albert rose to the occasion. During the course of the evening, Albert’s roommate was getting along quite famously with the two young ladies. But Mr. and Mrs. Hindman concentrated on Albert . . .

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