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JW Insider

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Everything posted by JW Insider

  1. Jehovah and Jesus can use and bless the efforts of any who have a zeal to do his will, even if not always according to accurate knowledge. If we can appreciate this, we can enjoy the blessings Jehovah offers to any who gather together in his name, who try to do what is right. And we need not get wrapped up in the idea that salvation is coming through the GB. We don't put our trust in earthling man, in whom no salvation belongs. But we can appreciate their work and efforts, even if mistaken on certain points. We want to give a double portion of "honor" to those who take the lead in teaching, and we appreciate the teaching: especially as you say, the foundation doctrines. So it's easy for some to begin to confuse or misuse what it meant by double honor.
  2. Yes. That is the point. And it was not just the statement about Covid19 that I was responding to in the speech, even though it was the only example I focused on. If an example of good guidance proves that Jehovah is with the GB, then someone could just as easily point out that examples of bad guidance must be proof that Jehovah is not with the GB. Most of us who have been Witnesses over a long period of time will recall how a continuing theme of our meetings, especially the book study, for years had always been about how examples of bad guidance in Christendom is proof that they are being guided only by Satan. This can result in the same hypocrisy. But worse, it can make brothers, like the speaker above, feel that he must try to hide negative information away from the average Witness who can't face anything negative. It has made brothers like him in responsible positions try to declare that false doctrines had a good purpose in the past to filter out those who were weak. (This has been done for several of the big falsehoods like 1925, superior authorities, 1975 expectations, etc.) If it ends up making us call what is good, bad, and what is bad, good, then we should point that out.
  3. Clearly that is why we choose to associate with our fellow brothers and sisters. I much more enjoyed the closer association in months and years gone by, but I think the present situation is working very well. We still have to get used to the technology, and being muted and unmuted. I like the fact that we start the meeting a half hour before, and some talking still goes on between individuals. Some use small chat groups, and some end up showing their baby pictures to the entire congregation. I see a lot of people actually getting to the meeting earlier, to the midweek especially, and really enjoying this type of association. But it's also novel, and the newness can wear off, too. In my thinking, the GB did a great job. This is exactly what I think we should do: give the GB credit where it is due, and yes, they really are cautious. I think they did the right thing under the circumstances, and they acknowledge that the conditions of Covid19 are not going to be equal everywhere, and that some flexibility in procedures will no doubt be seen over time -- but evidently always erring on the side of caution if there is a question. As far as detractors calling the GB wicked names, that is going to occur anyway. It's part of the territory here. But we shouldn't fear speaking our conscience just because someone else is going to misuse our words. It is our duty to be honest and unhypocritical. If we see someone using reasoning that would be considered specious from any other organization, then we would be hypocritical to say that such specious reasoning is good for us, but not anyone else.
  4. i just listened to the video that Witness spoke about: I fear I might have been wrong about the intended un-scary use of the Covid19 scenario. In the video Brother Glockentin says: "The good guidance from Jehovah's Organization during this pandemic is just another proof that Jehovah is with the Governing Body." I'm sure the GB themselves would be much more careful about their wording so that it doesn't come across as manipulative. He surely means well, but probably doesn't realize what we would think of any other organization for trying to create "proof" out of such types of reasoning. If there is more of this, then I might even have to rethink the intentional use of trial balloons.
  5. No. That would actually be cynical. I was only saying that the idea I mentioned would sound cynical. Instead, I was proposing that someone wrote the original with no intent of implying anything ominous or "cult-ish." The GB would have checked it and it would have sounded perfectly innocuous, because they were also on the same innocent "wavelength" as the original writer. Then as some others read it "in print" months later, they might have noticed the negative connotation and pointed it out. So the GB had a choice to clarify, or even admit it implied an unintended overstatement. As it was in a November 15th issue, it would be studied in the following year, and would have already made the bound volume by then, so that it was too late to edit it out. Later, in the February 2017 Watchtower, perhaps they thought that the statement was mitigated by admitting there that the GB is neither inspired nor infallible, and saying that may make mistakes not only in doctrine but in directions given. But someone might have pointed out that this could sound even worse, admitting that we must be ready to obey fallible, mistaken direction. So, since they probably originally intended things that would be understood better at the time when such issues came up, then the matter would best be cleared up when that type of issue might soon come up. I thought that the type of direction might come up with some of the brothers suffering persecution in Russia. As a made up example, perhaps some Russian brothers might be asked to stay and keep a low profile, while others might be asked take flight to Finland and Norway. "Why go there, so far away, when it's easier for us to just move to Crimea?" some Witnesses might ask. But the direction given might have been based on data that the central HQ of the WTS receives from many sources, perhaps even secret sources, not just the local information that Russian brothers might have had before some of their communications with WTS HQ broke down. Anyway, the Covid19 case helped show that the original statement could easily refer to important, but potentially mundane directions, and didn't have anything to do with ominous or scary blind obedience. It was still a "weak" example as Anna pointed out, too. But it does help to defuse the overreach, so the GB were happy to use it.
  6. So much can go wrong with trying to read too much into the numbers. Even if there is a database of 12,000 or more pedophiles, this does not mean that all of them were found to be actively committing crimes in the congregation. A big reason for such a database is clearly to keep a lookout for danger even if the person had been convicted or suspected long before becoming a Witness. Some were probably cases of incest, and crimes of opportunity, where the children are no longer in direct danger after they leave the household. (And this is another reason why the WTS would want to protect the privacy of such a database.) Many of the persons involved are likely dead by now. Remember that the brother who estimated this percentage was giving a rough estimate, not of how many are currently in the congregations, but the number that a typical congregation might "have had." If it was 1% over a period of a couple decades, then I would suspect it's more reasonable to conclude that there was another 1% or so who got away with it. But even here, we are talking about a period of decades, not a current number. Recently, closer attention to the subject has helped to drive down the opportunities. It has helped parents stay more alert and better equipped to protect their children. I think you remember that years ago, on this forum, I complained that the WTS had not yet done nearly enough to change the process and the basic direction of the way such crimes were treated. In the last year, I have explained that I agree with the current direction. I have seen important changes to these processes, and important changes to the basic direction of the judicial focus. (There is no longer an implied element of protecting the reputation of the congregation, and the focus has shifted almost completely to the protection of children, and recognizing that the shame is on the perpetrator and no one else.) I am satisfied that the WTS did about as much as it was possible to do for now, and that most of the current issues are carry-overs from prior to these last changes.
  7. I know this is just your opinion, but the numbers don't bear this out. In mathematical terms 1 percent is 1 out of 100, so that .0001 percent, literally means that only one out every million JWs are pedophiles. In other words, there are only 8 pedophiles in the entire world who are JWs. Since 1950, there have been on the order of 100,000 JWs in Australia (there are over 60,000 today). During that time, there were over 1,000 perpetrators who were considered by the congregations to be pedophiles, persons who had committed sex crimes against children. 1,000 out of 100,000 (1 out of 100). That's actually 1 percent, not .0001 percent. And since most cases are never caught and most pedophiles attack more than one child, the effect of the crimes probably affect an even higher percentage of Witness children. Even back in the early 1990's a brother in Writing who had worked in the Service Department for several years estimated (to me) that every congregation of 100 people has had at least one. (That's also 1%.)
  8. Impressive. 2,550+ subscribers on a very new channel. I like your introductory video, too.
  9. Thanks for sharing that story. You relate all this as it happened to you, and not a story from someone else. It's a very intriguing story and it would be nice to get some further details, picture of that Bible, etc. I found a reference to a man's death at the East London (SA) zoo here: Man mauled to death by lions at East London zoo By Siya Miti - 28 April 2015 Also, in addition to the reference above you gave to Andrew Jack in Latvia, there is also a reference to his time in South Africa that covers the years when he evidently studied with you. *** yb07 pp. 84-85 South Africa *** In 1935, Andrew Jack, a qualified printer, was sent to help with the printing work at the Cape Town branch. He was Scottish, of slim build, with a ready smile. Previously he had enjoyed full-time service in the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. After arriving in South Africa, Andrew obtained more printing equipment, and before long the one-man printery was operating at full speed. The first automatic printing press, a Frontex, was installed in 1937. For over 40 years, it turned out millions of handbills and forms as well as magazines in Afrikaans. Andrew served at the South Africa Bethel for the rest of his life. Even when well on in years, he set a fine example for the Bethel family, regularly having a full share in the field ministry. A faithful anointed brother, Andrew finished his earthly course in 1984 at the age of 89, after 58 years of dedicated service. At your advanced age, I'm sure you have a lot of memories going back many years, and the fact that you shared some of this is much appreciated.
  10. Got it. So it was this part below: If you recall from the Covid video during the meeting, there was especially one sister mentioned who had thought that there was no need for caution because the virus had barely touched their country yet. That person came to realize the wisdom of the GB counsel to be cautious because the virus soon hit their country, too. So what I said above was a reflection of your own statement that a person would have to be living in a cave to think that there was no need for caution with the virus spreading all around the world. And to get that particular experience on JW Broadcasting I joked that they might have to search around the world for such a person so that they could relate this modern-day parable of the uncautious sister. Obviously, that sister was not really living in a cave; lots of people question the need for so much caution. So my last paragraph just tries to highlight the irony of claiming that such a person must be living in a cave, when it's even possible that this sister has the Internet and might even find herself being talked about right here in this very forum. Caves and Internets don't usually go together. Thus, the reference to how badly I had just contradicted myself. (This was said in response to the fact that you said the GB had effectively contradicted themselves.)
  11. *** w13 11/15 p. 20 par. 17 Seven Shepherds, Eight Dukes—What They Mean for Us Today *** At that time, the life-saving direction that we receive from Jehovah’s organization may not appear practical from a human standpoint. All of us must be ready to obey any instructions we may receive, whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not. (4) Now is the time for any who may be putting their trust in secular education, material things, or human institutions to adjust their thinking. *** ws13 11/15 p. 20 par. 17 Seven Shepherds, Eight Dukes—What They Mean for Us Today *** At that time, the direction that you receive from Jehovah’s organization may seem strange or unusual. But all of us must be ready to obey any instructions we may receive, whether we agree with them or not This statement has been mocked by those who think it sounds cult-like. Like, 'drink this spiked kool-aid even if you don't agree.' To avoid additional embarrassment from detractors, the GB have likely been looking for a some practical example that makes sense even to the detractors. So they would have been hoping for something to come up that could be used to explain this statement in a more natural, easy-to-understand context, that didn't sound scary from a "cultish" perspective. So, it was serendipitous that someone had said that preparing for Covid in their country made no sense to them until it spiked just a few weeks later. Then they understood that the GB direction saved lives.
  12. This will sound a bit cynical, but I assumed that the GB have been on a constant lookout for a really good practical example to make that old quote from the 11.15.2013 Watchtower seem less "scary" to outsiders. They latched onto this one and hoped it would make sense to enough people, and then they searched high and low for a Witness or two who had been "living in a cave." And I hope that their cave does not get the Internet, because I'd hate to have just insulted someone who is also on this forum. (See how easy it is to contradict oneself?)
  13. Most likely from this or a similar repetition of it: *** nwtsty Matthew Study Notes—Chapter 10 *** Iscariot: Possibly meaning “Man From Kerioth.” Judas’ father, Simon, is also called “Iscariot.” (Joh 6:71) This term has commonly been understood to indicate that Simon and Judas were from the Judean town of Kerioth-hezron. (Jos 15:25) If this is so, Judas was the only Judean among the 12 apostles, the rest being Galileans. That city is also called Hazor but notice from jw.org: Kerioth-hezron KERIOTH-HEZRON (Keʹri·oth-hezʹron) [Towns of Hezron]. Another name for Hazor (No. 3), a town of Judah that has tentatively been identified with Khirbet el-Qaryatein (Tel Qeriyyot), about 20 km (12 mi) S of Hebron.—Jos 15:25. And this map, not from jw.org: So he probably only commuted to a small town community college in Hebron. 😉
  14. I'm sure TTH will speak for himself, but you probably know that it is difficult to make a clear point without sounding self-righteous. It's difficult to call oneself JW Insider, or my intended name 'Bible's Advocate,' or nearly anything without sounding self-righteous to someone. ("Meekest man on the face of the earth"?) When we have an opinion, it's nearly impossible to remember to put the "IMO" caveat after every sentence, so you just stop doing that and state your position. I'm sure we end up sounding overly confident and self-righteous as a consequence. (1 Peter 4:11) 11 If anyone speaks, let him do so as speaking pronouncements from God;. . . But many of us have probably learned a lot and changed opinions over time here, too. I know I have. And I've seen evidence from several others, including TTH. Let's just hope that those opinions have changed in the right direction. I agree. And I had high hopes for the book providing some value to the GB, if it was in a completely different spirit from his previous books. At this point in the book I saw a bit of love coming through. But when it reverted to a bit of braggadocio I couldn't help but see it as a continuation of his former persona. At any rate, you are right that none of us can judge correctly, and none of us can see his motives in total. I do agree that what he did might very well have been an act of self-sacrifice in bringing his gifts to the table. I saw it as a mix of good and bad motives, probably because I was unable to give him a clean slate. I'd be happy to rethink my position and concerns about him, and assume that he did not intend to convey some of the characteristics I thought I saw in him. I promise to re-read and give him every benefit of the doubt, and see what I can make of it.
  15. You must be confusing Akeldama with Acedemia. I see no evidence that Judas was from Jerusalem.
  16. I see what you are saying, but this is like comparing pumpkins and slippers (Thanks to Arauna for the expression, possibly inspired from Cinderella). You are doing quite the opposite of what it appears that Furuli has been doing. I agree that the narcissism label is fraught with problems. But it is not evidenced in people who admit that they will likely agree with someone on things and disagree on other things and simply not understand one way or another on other things. This is already good evidence that you are NOT a narcissist. I don't think Furuli is a narcissist simply for writing a book that trashes the current accepted view of the GB. As you probably know, I agree with much of what he says about that same subject. Just as I agree with what Fred Franz said about the subject from a scriptural perspective. And I have long presented my view that the "faithful slave" is a lesson for all of us, not a lesson about a clergy of appointed slaves to serve spiritual food for the good for nothing slave laity. The idea of narcissism comes from the scholastic dishonesty he has engaged in. And, believe it or not, from my own perspective, I'm giving him a generous rationale for his scholastic dishonesty. If it is based on the inability to see where he has ever been wrong, then this is an explanation for why he cannot deal with evidence that shows he is wrong. A person can engage in scholastic dishonesty without being purposely dishonest in the sense of being devious. A narcissist will create such an extreme bias to protect their own ideology that it produces a mental block against rational handling of counter-arguments and counter-evidence. Extreme bias can make one engage in dishonesty without making them a purposeful liar. On the topic of 607, this really has nothing to do with whether the date is right, or whether Furuli or anyone else has the doctrine right or wrong. It's simply about his many cases of obvious scholastic dishonesty. Even if he was absolutely right about 607 he still handled the evidence dishonestly. I agree that it's quite possible I'm wrong. But if it has no overriding mental basis, I'd be inclined to see his past actions as absolute, purposeful, devious dishonesty just to keep his reputation intact. I have to admit that I think he has at times, engaged in this type of dishonesty, too. One time, on a very academic Biblical language forum he said something that was proven to be absolutely false, and he couldn't deny it. He couldn't admit he was wrong, so he claimed that what he wrote had started out as a purposeful presentation of the wrong side, that he had sent without the correction. To me, that was either a mental inability to admit being wrong, or it was purposeful "devious" dishonesty. And, as you say, he may be right on many of the points made in this latest book, but many of them continue in this consistent pattern of having promoted a certain ideology, from somewhere around the 1970s, for example, but with the inability to admit that anything that changed after that point had ever have been wrong in the first place. I'd like to think that this latest book is a complete turning over of a new e-leaf, and I could dismiss the past foibles. Yet, he still wants the creative days to add up to 49,000 years.
  17. I say a bunch of disconnected things in a manner that is truly convoluted and forgettable, and then you come up with a really succinct way of condensing it into imagery that is also memorable. You must be a writer. And then, generously, you seem to give me credit for the memorable version. Thanks.
  18. Don't know who has had the midweek meeting yet. But the CBS this week is chapter 120 of Jesus - The Way, The Truth, The Life. The comments showed that so many were taking to heart that all of Jesus' disciples are the branches, and all should bear fruit, and this fruit is especially shown by following the commandments, and the greatest of these commandments is "love one another." Everyone was perfectly in sync with how this can and should apply to themselves. To me, this is part of the great progress we have made in applying the lessons from Jesus' teachings to everyone. And then, at the last paragraph, a very knowledgeable older brother, makes a long comment that showed how an older WT said that bearing much fruit can apply to the effort in the ministry, not the success rate of making disciples. That was OK, I guess, but then he added that another older WT from 2002 says 'but of course the branches represent only the 144,000.' It made me wonder whether some of that enthusiasm the whole congregation seemed to share in those previous answers might have been dampened just a bit by this idea that it doesn't really apply to most of us after all. Earlier in the meeting, of course, there was the Covid19 announcement that implied the GB were in no hurry to open things back up. (There is a separate rumor that the current plan includes extending Zoom*style meetings all the way into 2022 in many countries, and seeing whether this might even be a preferable way to go forward in some countries.) During that part, the idea was repeated a couple of times that the GB ["slave"] had given instructions to be obeyed even though they didn't make sense from a human perspective at the time. The chairman commented after the video that instructions about Covid were the equivalent of spiritual food because it's about being cautious and saving lives, and that the video had included a couple of lessons from Proverbs and a lesson about following the secular "superior authorities" too, based on Romans 13. I don't see anything wrong the instructions, but it made me think about the fine line between spiritual food and just good advice, and how closely this "spiritual" admonishment was the exact same thing as the "secular" advice we are simultaneously getting from governmental agencies. In a kind of "worst case" scenario, I wondered if a brother in Chile might have read a directive from the WTS that said they needed to put up the national flag of Chile on the KH property because of Romans 13, and then thanked the GB for the "spiritual food."
  19. Surely, by now, others have come into contact with brothers from Chile and have been able to confirm or deny what I was told about it. I spoke with a brother who had been there, and had relatives there. I also made lot of phone calls to various congregations (and got no response). I believe the photos are genuine. I believe that the letter content is genuine, although it still bothers me that the words SERVICE DEPARTMENT are in English. I have not been able to find another example of a letter like this. The English contents of the letter are evidently copied exactly from directives on the topic written by brothers at NY HQ. There is absolutely nothing here inconsistent with what Bethel HQ would say about the topic. The inconsistent application of governmental requirements in Chile was also explained to me in a way that makes sense (even if I personally disagree with it). But I agree with the contents of the letter itself. And I think you are right, SM, that conforming to the governmental requirements about the use of a Chilean flag does not reflect idolatry by the Witnesses there. I doubt they even think about it as anything more than an annoyance to have to put up a national flag now and then. No one is idolizing it. No one is saluting it. In the United States, Witnesses often stand for a flag salute, and just refrain from putting their hand over their heart and repeating some words that people quote mindlessly. The idol itself is meaningless. To me it's a far cry from even "a pinch of incense" at an idol.
  20. I know very well that he did this on his own. I did not link him with others, although I see that he has linked himself with others. Why did you think otherwise? If you would like to defend him, then you should do that. I try to defend his evidence where he is right, and criticize it where it is wrong. I think his writing has now provided further, consistent evidence that reflects on him personally. Also, in the way he decided to defend himself, he went to great lengths to find evidence against the current structure of the GB, and he has apparently relied on the Gilead graduation speech by Fred Franz and the books of Raymond Franz to do this. I have never said that either of these men were were wrong in their scriptural evaluation of the role of the GB. Raymond Franz said he agreed with the scriptural reasons that Fred Franz had given for avoiding the creation of a GB. But I think R.Franz was inconsistent in his reasoning on this topic, too. But so was Fred Franz. Furuli follows an inconsistent mix that includes inconsistent reasoning from both of them. If you don't think so, don't just claim it's wrong because of how easy it is impute bad motives to others. Base your argument on evidence from Furuli's writings or what you know about him. I already provided evidence from his own writing, and am willing to provide even more. "What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." When it comes to evidence that he tried to help the Org move forward, I think he might have ended up with a few good ideas that could be useful. He can point out problems, yet his own solutions are weak (imo). Still, most of his life has also been spent trying to defend the Org in a way that would keep it from moving forward. He wrote a book on Bible translation that praised the old NWT but with points that could be used to fight against the revised NWT. In his book he brings up some of these same points to denigrate the revised NWT. He also spent a lot of time looking for ways to defend a couple of dates that the Watchtower has long made use of to tie Watchtower doctrines to a chronological tradition tied to the Second Adventists of the 1800's. In his book he is still tied to these old traditions. So I don't see him as very progressive or forward-moving. If you do think this is progressive, please give evidence.
  21. I have been very consistent over the years in "putting the man down," especially over the "scholastic dishonesty" in two of his previous books. And I'm not a scholar. Yet his glaring problems have been obvious even to me. Persons who are much better at evaluating Furuli's writing on questionable topics have shown just how obvious these problems were. If you had read a few more of my posts, you would know that I am constantly concerned about the CCJW, WT. (1 Corinthians 12:24-26) . . .Nevertheless, God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that had a lack, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but its members should have mutual concern for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all the other members suffer with it; or if a member is glorified, all the other members rejoice with it. I have never claimed that the CCJW is the equivalent of the entire Christian congregation or "the body," but I believe that, in principle, we should all try to identify a group of Christians to associate with who at least fit our "ideal" of what the first-century Christian congregation should look like in twenty-first century circumstances. You constantly deride that choice for anyone who would stick up for the CCJW, but you have never specifically offered a better choice. There is a time to tear down, and a time to build up per the book of Ecclesiastes. For me that means there should be a balance between what we criticize and what we commend. Among the brothers and sisters we should spend our time building up (Heb 10:24-25), and I think we should choose carefully those avenues through which we offer criticism. And we should be happy to accept public criticism of our public criticism. I have to assume that you have found Christian association for upbuilding and encouragement outside of this forum, if I were to judge from the amount of time you spend on negative, critical topics inside this forum.
  22. I believe that when a person reads Furuli carefully they will see evidence for such traits of narcissism. And as long as I am saying this, I think that what came through in the subtext of his books also appealed to persons having similar traits. The persons who had been Furuli's most vocal defenders in the past, like a person named "scholar JW" is an example who has shown the same extreme indifference to the "counsel of evidence." Any correction provided by evidence was always thrown back as if the reputation of the sources of correction needed to be trashed and dishonored for daring to correct them. Examples of this type of reaction to counsel and evidence abound in discussion forums, too. And any and all of us can fall into that trap of pride: (But keep an eye on yourself, for fear you too may be tempted.) Furuli, for example, didn't like the fact that all the hundreds of Neo-Babylonian scholars, 100 percent of them, told him that he was wrong to believe that Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 BCE. So he focused on one piece of evidence that clearly shows the 607 date is wrong. And what does he resort to? He trashed the scholars, he trashed the museum curators. He accused them of fraud, even accused unspecified persons of sanding down evidence of the original cuneiform and replacing it with markings that makes it fit their own scheme. (He doesn't bother to point out that this is only one of thousands of pieces of evidence that supports a 587/6 BCE date and that there is still absolutely zero evidence going against that accepted date, Biblical or secular.) Now moving forward to the present, there is evidence that Furuli was being told he was wrong about "higher education" and that he was wrong to want to stick with "Fred Franz" interpretations when the rest of the GB had already moved on from that. He would have seen the example of "A. Smith" that Brother Splane spoke about at the 2014 Annual Meeting as "counsel" against his own view that hadn't changed. He clearly compared himself to Fred Franz, and wanted to continue that role. If he was a narcissist, then he would have seen the need to trash and dishonor these counselors. And he did! He needed to project back onto them, some of the same traits that he should be able to see in himself, but can't. Especially in the case where he knows he is about to be "proven" wrong to the worldwide congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, he would be forced to trash those who had decided he was wrong. Narcissists simply cannot accept counsel or evidence that says they are wrong. I could be wrong, but that's how I currently see it.

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