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JW Insider

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  1. JW Insider

    Open Club, Private Club, JW club

    Not much of a difference from 1874 to 1878, though, was it? The recent Watchtower stated: *** ws14 1/15 p. 30 par. 15 “Let Your Kingdom Come”—But When? *** When Jesus mentioned “this generation,” we understand that he was speaking about two groups of anointed Christians. The first group was present in 1914 and understood that Christ began ruling as King in that year. But when Bro Rutherford gave his famous 'Advertise, Advertise, Advertise' talk at Cedar Point, Ohio in 1922 (nearly a decade after 1914) he said this: “Do you believe it? Do you believe that the King of glory is present, and has been since 1874? Do you believe that during that time he has conducted his harvest work? Do you believe that he has had during that time a faithful and wise servant through whom he directed his work and the feeding of the household of faith? Do you believe that the Lord is now in his temple, judging the nations of earth? Do you believe that the King of glory has begun his reign? . . . Behold, the King reigns! You are his publicity agents. Therefore advertise, advertise, advertise, the King and his kingdom.” – Watchtower, November 1, 1922, p. 337. There was not yet an official change that Jesus had become king in 1914, nor that Jesus presence had begun in 1914. The presence was clearly still dated to 1874. The beginning of his kingship was still dated to 1878, and this was still being published in service campaigns at least until 1933. Finished Mystery, published in 1917, and sold until 1933, put it like this:
  2. JW Insider

    Open Club, Private Club, JW club

    I really miss AllenSmith34. For reasons I've explained before, there should be no such thing as "permanent" disfellowshipping on a forum such as this one. The rebuke of the majority should be sufficient. I miss the comments that he often put a lot of thought into, and that honestly revealed what he was thinking. One thing I don't miss about him was his constant habit of taking serious posts and tacking a "HaHa" emoticon on them. It seemed like a lazy person's mischievous way of showing derision and scorn, and trying to stir up contention instead of taking time to explain his view in a mature manner. Many days AllenSmith would produce more "HaHa" responses than actual posts. (Proverbs 22:10) . . .Drive away the scornful man, And contention will disappear; Disputes and insults will cease. Fortunately, we don't have as much of that any more. Oh...wait, sorry...what's this:
  3. JW Insider

    Open Club, Private Club, JW club

    In the past, God let people know what he is doing and when. Jesus said that this time would be different. He said we would be warned about WHAT he was doing, but not WHEN. *** w03 1/1 p. 18 par. 2 “Keep on the Watch”! *** On this account you too prove yourselves ready, because at an hour that you do not think to be it, the Son of man is coming.” (Matthew 24:42-44) A thief does not announce in advance when he is coming. One person cannot produce a teaching that gets advertised to the entire world. Even if the rocks had to cry out, it would not have been just one rock. An organization provides the efficiency to get a message out in such a way that it is generally appealing, or understood. The members of the organization are willing to explain it if it is not understood. We all stand on our own in the end. The organization is a tool or means to declare that message in an efficient and consistent manner, to help people understand it and therefore accept or reject it. (Romans 10:14-18) 14 However, how will they call on him if they have not put faith in him? How, in turn, will they put faith in him about whom they have not heard? How, in turn, will they hear without someone to preach? 15 How, in turn, will they preach unless they have been sent out? Just as it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who declare good news of good things!” . . . Why, in fact, “into all the earth their sound went out, and to the ends of the inhabited earth their message.” I think Paul speaks in general terms here that the message has gone out through God's actions toward Israel, and God's obvious backing of the early Christians, so that Gamaliel would say: (Acts 5:38, 39) . . .For if this scheme or this work is from men, it will be overthrown; 39 but if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them. Otherwise, you may even be found fighters against God himself.” Like you, and like Brother Jackson of the GB, I would also not be so presumptuous as to claim that God is using only one group of 8 men as his mouthpiece or channel. But you'll notice that the important thing is not the so-called "inspiration" or "perfection" of those who preach. It's the message. What would those rocks be saying if they were needed to cry out, instead of Christians?
  4. JW Insider

    Open Club, Private Club, JW club

    That's the same kind of mistake I was referring to above. We can't base our beliefs about the timing of Armageddon on anything we think might have to happen first here on earth. Jesus wove the first century parousia on Jerusalem right into the parousia on the entire earth using the word immediately to tie the two together. (Matthew 24:29-31) 29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in grief, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with a great trumpet sound, and they will gather his chosen ones together from the four winds, from one extremity of the heavens to their other extremity. It was in Peter that we have the explanation that "immediately" could easily be 1,000 years or more, because: (2 Peter 3:4-9) . . .“Where is this promised presence of his? . . . 8 However, do not let this escape your notice, beloved ones, that one day is with Jehovah as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. 9 Jehovah is not slow concerning his promise. . .
  5. JW Insider

    Open Club, Private Club, JW club

    Perhaps, but it's not obvious yet to me. You haven't been clear about what "it" is that active JWs understand, and do not minimize or dismiss. Perhaps there are, and perhaps the current understanding of what 1914 represented is 100 percent correct. But the Watchtower does not speak of a first group of the this generation who merely "have understood what 1914 represents and what has always represented" does it? No, the Watchtower speaks of those who understood the sign that they were seeing in 1914, at the time they were seeing it. *** ws14 1/15 p. 30 par. 15 “Let Your Kingdom Come”—But When? *** When Jesus mentioned “this generation,” we understand that he was speaking about two groups of anointed Christians. The first group was present in 1914 and understood that Christ began ruling as King in that year. Those who made up this group were not only alive in 1914, but they had also been anointed by holy spirit in or before that year. This doesn't fit the current Watchtower explanation that they had it wrong at the time. They didn't even teach that this supposed sign in 1914 meant that Jesus had begun his presence. (His presence had begun in 1874, and this was still the official teaching until 1943/1944. No one we know recognized this in 1914.) So it would be difficult to claim that anyone saw the sign and understood it in 1914, unless you happen to know of someone who understood it that way. Fred Franz admits that he misunderstood it until 1943, and he is used as a primary example of a person in the first group.
  6. JW Insider

    Open Club, Private Club, JW club

    For what it's worth, I noticed that you did bring up several other issues besides child abuse. Child sexual abuse (CSA) seemed to be the issue that remains most unresolved for you, and it spilled over into discussions of elders, GB, the congregation fear of elders, two-witness rule inconsistency, clergy privilege, etc. To be fair these other topics were often already related to the CSA issue. Jehovah can use any of us, and any government, ruler or organization to accomplish his will. He can use our mistakes to accomplish his will, and he can use our feeble and foibled attempts to minister to him, too, of course. I think Jehovah continues to cleanse "JW Org" every time we show humility as an organization and show ourselves malleable to his will. (Like the potter's vessel illustration from @Bible Speaks you commented on.) You made a comment under that topic to the effect that Jehovah does not "mold" us to his will through congregation elders. This made no sense to me, because the utilization of congregation elders is very much a part of Jehovah's will as we can see in the Biblical direction given to congregations. Of course, if there are specific things elders do, you could address those things, but the generalization is not scriptural. On the issue of Armageddon, there is a range of belief among Witnesses, so I assume you mean the standard idea that Jehovah destroys all the wicked, especially the wicked organizations, and only Jehovah's people survive. That range of belief might include questions about who really get counted as "wicked," who really get counted as Jehovah's people, or whether a large number of JWs actually do not survive, too. What happens with children and those who remain innocent by lack of hearing, or inability to comprehend? What happens with those who would gladly have joined us, but who were stumbled at haughty elders, or false prophecies, or issues of child abuse that seemed to them to be the fault of an organization, rather than just the perpetrators? Also on the issue of Armageddon, you know that while it might not be dangerous to think that it might be a long way off, it is dangerous to live our lives according to the idea that it might be a long way off. The point is to keep it close in mind because it could come at any time, without further warning. We are warned that it will arrive, but we have absolutely no warning as to the times and seasons. This makes me wonder about what several members have done on this forum by speculating about what things are "obviously" going to happen in the near future that will prove this or that scripture to have been accomplished. I think this is also a mistake, because even if we think a certain action on the part of a government, a person, the UN, or anything else must happen first to fulfill some Bible prophecy before the end, then I think we have failed to understand that Armageddon can actually arrive 5 minutes after you fall asleep tonight. And it must be just as wrong to speculate that it must happen before the deaths of the entire second group of anointed who overlapped with an earlier group of anointed who would later admit that they misunderstood what they saw happening in 1914. This is just as un-Biblical and therefore un-Christian because it claims we know something about the times and seasons with respect to the time of the end. An organization is not a person with motives you can judge. Yes, many JWs are blind to the faults of the Organization. But you should know members of the "Private" club for JWs as opposed to the "Public" club for JWs (now called "Open") is just as apt to discuss faults of the Organization as it is in the Open Club. As TTH pointed out, it has actually become easier to discuss these criticisms without people changing the subject at will, or asking people to defend their choices on some barely related topic.
  7. JW Insider

    My name is Cynthia Becker

    I'm finding a lot of the poetry here: The last link is this: http://ww.delightfulpoetry.com/introduction-4.html (which resolves with www or the "ww" as the subdomain.) There are many poems from both Cynthia Becker and Grace Straley. For example: http://www.delightfulpoetry.com/broken_reed.html The other links in the list might be resolved through the "waybackmachine" or "web archive." For example: Life Everlasing is Promised from the above list is not available: http://www.poetsbranch.com/PPT/LifeEverlasting/LifeEverlasting.html But an earlier version of it is available here: http://web.archive.org/web/20160327223513/http://www.poetsbranch.com/PPT/LifeEverlasting/LifeEverlasting.html Didn't test any others.
  8. I should add that some scientists who study these things agree that the time when dinosaurs and other contemporary animals and plants were on earth was a time when the atmosphere was very thick and heavy, atmospheric pressure at the earth's surface was much higher than now, and water vapor must have filled the air so that the sun's energy was fairly equally diffused, and those "thermals" that large birds seem to "float" on would have been a constant phenomenon. Some interesting thoughts on the pterosaurs and their ability to fly are found here: http://theconversation.com/pterosaurs-should-have-been-too-big-to-fly-so-how-did-they-manage-it-60892 But pressure alone would not explain it, because continuous flight without flapping is really a matter of the difference in pressure above and below the wing, creating lower pressure above the wing; it's therefore not a factor enhanced by higher pressure above the wing. And the entire book of several chapters, found here, provides some very interesting reading as an attempt to bring in a lot of available evidence on the topic. https://dinosaurtheory.com/big_dinosaur.html The book is well done from a didactic point of view, and the link above is only to chapter 2: The Paradox of Large Dinosaurs and Flying Pterosaurs. Chapter 3 is called, The Science of Flight and the Paradox of Flying Pterosaurs. The book should be read at least through Chapter 7, but the book gets uncomfortably "evolutionary" after that until the end at chapter 11. The last chapter (11) is about the age of fossils, however, tying back to the subject.
  9. Actually there are fossils in the remotest parts of the earth that are now totally uninhabitable areas. To be clearer, I should have said that the idea that the earth was a temperate, tropical climate just before the time of the Flood is also unprovable. It very well may have been temperate and tropical for many thousands of years, or even for many millions of years. However, without accepting the methods of dating the various eras and eons on earth, we can't tell if this state of climate was true in all parts of the earth at the same time. We can only theorize. And it might be a very good theory. When Genesis describes Adam and Eve leaving the Garden of Eden, it describes an immediate time of hardship in planting and cultivation, trying to eke out produce amidst thorns and thistles. This is not the state of affairs usually associated with a temperate and tropical climate and it was likely meant for a time more than 1500 years before the time of Noah. (Genesis 3:17-19) 17 And to Adam he said: “Because you listened to your wife’s voice and ate from the tree concerning which I gave you this command, ‘You must not eat from it,’ cursed is the ground on your account. In pain you will eat its produce all the days of your life. 18 It will grow thorns and thistles for you, and you must eat the vegetation of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return.” It's a very common claim that has been theorized by fundamentalist authors for many years. And it might be true, but is still only a theory. I would love to be able to communicate with your brother, but no paper can "prove" anything about radiation levels before and after the Flood. Nor can anyone determine a specific reason for the sudden 90% drop in human lifespans. That's interesting, but it's still not possible to use the word "prove" even when matching a formula to the Biblical time period. It's a kind of holy grail for scientists. When working from one set of "true" non-quantum assumptions you can get one good answer, and when you work from a set of "true" quantum assumptions you get another good, sensible answer. The problem is that those answers are several orders of magnitude apart from each other. Other methods of mixing the math from the small scale energies of the electro-magnetic world and trying to map them to the large scale energies from the the gravitational space-time world will devolve into string theories. Not just one string theory, but several different string theories, some of which result in a "necessary" postulation of several simultaneous universes. So there really is no string theory, or at least it has gotten nowhere. My son graduated from Harvard with a degree in theoretical physics (also music) and we have discussions about this quite often, and of course it's over my head. But he claims that many scientists have tried it, even attempting to use the ideas to "prove for God" as the source of the dynamic energies that would explain dark matter, and poorly understood energies -- even gravity itself. You'll notice that the WTS does not teach us that this condition lasted until the Flood, implying that it is likely it was a condition limited to the context (day 3) in the creation account summary of Genesis 2. *** it-2 p. 728 Rain *** At an early point in the history of the preparation of the earth, “God had not made it rain upon the earth,” but “a mist would go up from the earth and it watered the entire surface of the ground.” The time referred to is evidently early on the third creative “day,” before vegetation appeared I'm sure you are aware, as you have already mentioned several of these points, but for those who don't know that these same theories have been common in Christendom for many years, one need only look at various commentaries of Genesis. Here's some excerpts from one example, which will take up the rest of the post: https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_685.cfm . . . Water Vapor Canopy . . . Astronomer Donald B. DeYoung lists the arguments in favor of a water vapor canopy. . . .
  10. To me, you do not give the impression of being careless at all. I get the impression you have not only been careful but very thorough in looking for evidence defending creation. And not just from a single source but clearly by being selective among some of the best ideas from many sources, which also means rejecting bad ideas. I think this is great! What I did hope to convey was the difficulty we have in simply re-interpreting every bit of existing evidence into a simple version of creation. All of us tend to do this because most of us want simple answers. A good scientist should look at ALL the evidence related to her or his branch of science and continue to readjust an overarching theory that fits every bit of it, including all the anomalies. We can't really make a good counter-claim in defense of our own position until we have done the same. As TTH above has said: More importantly, we can't "judge" the conclusions of individual scientists, if they are based on a cache of thousands of pieces of evidence that we have not ourselves been able to explain. As TTH aleady added: Creationists have unprovable theories, too. We often invoke the problems of the unknown antediluvian atmosphere to counter evidence from Carbon 14 that appears to measure things fairly well back to 50,000 years. But our counter theory is not proved at all. It's just our own conjecture (actually the conjecture of previous fundamentalists). That the air pressure was different during a time of pterodactyls is also an unprovable theory. That the entire earth was a temperate, tropical climate is also unprovable. We do have a small piece of evidence in favor of our theory in the Bible, but there are no details provided in the Bible, so some Witnesses and a lot of Fundamentalists simply impose a lot of conjecture upon the "water canopy" theory. In fact, the water canopy theory is very weak. From the standpoint of physics, the claims made for it are not even possible. So we are really invoking a kind of "miracle" that held a theorized "band" of water in the sky. Even the evidence from the Bible on the "water canopy" is not definitive. For one thing, you can see from the footnotes in the NWT that the word translated heavens is actually the same word for "sky." Genesis 1:1 is really saying: "In the beginning God created the sky and the earth." And this word for "expanse" in Genesis 1:7 is apparently just a reference to the visible sky that holds the rain clouds above us. We can't really say for sure that this separation of the waters and the waters is any more than just the fact that Jehovah made it possible for water to be both on the surface of the earth and also high above our heads in the form of water vapor in the form of clouds. A reason for saying this is that Proverbs apparently replaces the idea of this water separation, merely with the word for "clouds" when referring to the major milestones of the earth's creation: (Proverbs 8:28) . . .When he established the clouds above, When he founded the fountains of the deep, And rather than support the theory that this separation of the waters disappeared at the time of the Flood, Psalms says it's still there: (Psalm 148:3-7) . . .Praise him, sun and moon. Praise him, all shining stars. 4 Praise him, O highest heavens And waters above the heavens. 5 Let them praise the name of Jehovah, For he commanded, and they were created. 6 He keeps them established forever and ever; He has issued a decree that will not pass away. 7 Praise Jehovah from the earth, You great sea creatures and all deep waters, In fact, just like Proverbs referring to these waters as clouds, Psalms (see also Job) also credits these waters from above as the "rain" that continued to make things grow during the days of the Psalmist: (Psalm 104:12-14) . . .Above them roost the birds of the sky [heaven]; They sing among the thick foliage. 13 He is watering the mountains from his upper rooms. With the fruitage of your works the earth is satisfied. 14 He is making grass grow for the cattle And vegetation for mankind’s use, To grow food from the land. (Job 38:36, 37) 36 Who put wisdom within the clouds Or gave understanding to the sky [heaven] phenomenon? 37 Who is wise enough to count the clouds, Or who can tip over the water jars of heaven? (Psalm 147:8) . . .The One who covers the heavens with clouds, The One providing rain for the earth, The One making grass sprout on the mountains. In fact, based on similar texts and language used in other near eastern ancient documents the idea of this sky/expanse was the vault or dome that held the clouds above, and allowed the stars to shine through at night. Amos, too, shows it had not disappeared, and that it included the process by which sea water was turned into rain water. (Amos 9:6) . . .‘The one who builds his stairs in the heavens And establishes his [dome, vault] over the earth; The one who summons the waters of the sea, To pour them out on the surface of the earth —Jehovah is his name.’
  11. I agree that it should not bother us that dinosaurs may have had hollow bones like birds and may have had feathers, and may have even been beautifully colorful. But it can be misleading to claim that the bone structure of dinosaurs falls into two categories: birds and reptiles. Dinosaurs themselves are categorized into "bird" and "non-bird" dinosaurs, but not their bone structures. In fact, the bone structures of the most reptilian theropods have three birdlike toes/claws and hollow bones, and many of them show evidence of feathers, even though they did not fly. The Tyrannasaurus Rex was a theropod. Wikipedia shows the following theropod, stating that it has three toes and hollow bones: And here is the Anchiornis, also a theropod, with the skeletal structure of other theropods, but with feathers: Here is the approximate bone structure of the Anchiornis. It could not fly, just as many species of birds cannot fly. Of course, even if this idea of feathers on dinosaurs doesn't bother us, it sure bothered researchers at Bethel. This is because claims were made that created a kind of logic trap. If you look up feathers and dinosaurs in the Watchtower Library you will find this one reference: *** g 7/07 p. 24 Feathers—A Marvel of Design *** FORGED “EVIDENCE” Some fossil “evidence” that was once loudly hailed as proof that birds evolved from other creatures has since been shown to have been forged. In 1999, for instance, National Geographic magazine featured an article about a fossil of a feathered creature with a tail like a dinosaur’s. The magazine declared the creature to be “a true missing link in the complex chain that connects dinosaurs to birds.” The fossil, however, turned out to be a forgery, a composite of the fossils of two different animals. In fact, no such “missing link” has ever been found. Clearly, the Awake! wasn't ready for a feathered dinosaur. (The forgery was created in China, where true feathered dinosaur fossils would soon be discovered and studied. It was unveiled by National Geographic in October/November 1999, and NG announced the investigation into the probability that it was a forgery about 4 months later, and took until October 2000, a year later, to publish the results of the investigation, with an apology.) The same article also said: Feathers give no indication that they ever needed improvement. In fact, the “earliest known fossil feather is so modern-looking as to be indistinguishable from the feathers of birds flying today.” Yet, evolutionary theory teaches that feathers must be the result of gradual, cumulative change in earlier skin outgrowths. Moreover, “feathers could not have evolved without some plausible adaptive value in all of the intermediate steps,” says the Manual. Further, if feathers developed progressively over a long period of time, the fossil record should contain intermediate forms. But none have ever been found, only traces of fully formed feathers. “Unfortunately for evolutionary theory, feathers are very complicated,” states the Manual. The perfection of feathers is just one problem for evolutionists, for practically every part of a bird is designed for flight. For instance, a bird has light, hollow bones . . . The fossil feather is from archaeopteryx, an extinct creature sometimes presented as a “missing link” in the line of descent to modern birds. Most paleontologists, however, no longer consider it an ancestor of modern birds. Of course, contrary to the above claim, most paleontologists do consider the "bird-dinosaurs" to be an ancestor of modern birds. Those necessarily lighter, hollow bones have also been verified throughout many dinosaur species, and now even the evidence of only partially formed feathers has been seen, which the Awake! magazine had called "intermediate forms" and suggested that such a find, if it ever happened, would indicate evidence of evolutionary theory. It would have been better to just accept that there might be hundreds of new discoveries indicating a variety of life created for purposes we cannot yet understand.
  12. JW Insider

    Can we trust carbon 14 dating?

    Not that libraries or science-related databases will always be perfect, but "research" is so different now from when I was in school or getting research assignments at Bethel. Today, interest in a topic starts with a link that is usually purposely worded to attract attention by being provocative. Even major newspapers now use "click-bait" to get someone to read an article about a scientific report or discovery. A serious report about the effects of various carbohydrates on various types of cancer would get a title like: "New Report Shows Sugar Causes Brain Cancer." Maybe it does, but things like this happen even if that idea was never in the report at all. And then it will get repeated in other newspaper and television reports and YouTube channels and long advertisements on websites that purport to be from a respected doctor. Almost no one will actually read the report, sometimes not even other scientists who will also need to make "educated guesses" and assumptions, because they would get nowhere these days if they had to read every word on every subject that came before them. Getting to the truth of the matter in research is sometimes harder now than it was back in the days when research required a lot more legwork.
  13. Good catch! I noticed that too, but did not want to start a 607 discussion. The Watchtower has accepted C-14 to get within about 100 years for some manuscripts, including the DSS, and to defend a more Biblical date for Hezekiah's tunnel, and also accept the limits of C-14 dating only for things in the last few thousands of years, etc. But it is rarely accepted as the only piece of evidence on which to draw a conclusion: *** w13 2/1 p. 14 What Is the “Gospel of Judas”? *** Carbon-14 dating authenticated the codex as likely coming from the third or the fourth century C.E. However, the scholars surmised that the Coptic text of the “Gospel of Judas” had been translated from its original Greek at a much earlier period. What was that original period and setting in which the “Gospel of Judas” was composed? *** w59 4/15 p. 243 Christianity’s Origin and the Dead Sea Scrolls *** Not without good reason these scrolls have been described as the “greatest manuscript discovery of modern times.” They have been definitely dated as of the second century B.C. by experts in the fields of archaeology, paleography (the science of deciphering ancient writing) and the carbon-14 process. Previously the oldest-known Hebrew witness to God’s Word had been the Nash papyrus . . . . *** w09 5/1 p. 27 Did You Know? *** Dr. Amos Frumkin of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem says: “The carbon-14 tests we carried out on organic material within the plaster of the Siloam Tunnel, and uranium-thorium dating of stalactites found in the tunnel, date it conclusively to Hezekiah’s era.” An article in the scientific journal Nature adds: “The three independent lines of evidence—radiometric dating, palaeography and the historical record—all converge on about 700 BC, rendering the Siloam Tunnel the best-dated Iron-Age biblical structure thus far known.” *** w97 6/15 p. 10 Jerusalem in Bible Times—What Does Archaeology Reveal? *** Did they exist in David’s time? Was this the water tunnel used by Joab? Dan Gill answers: “To test whether Warren’s Shaft was in fact a natural sinkhole, we analyzed a fragment of calcareous crust from its irregular walls for carbon-14. It contained none, indicating that the crust is more than 40,000 years old: This provides unequivocal evidence that the shaft could not have been dug by man.” The WTS general position on carbon dating is still described here: *** g86 9/22 p. 21 The Radiocarbon Clock *** The Radiocarbon Clock There was also a discussion started here: Can we trust carbon 14 dating?
  14. Not at all. Respecting the teaching of older men in the congregation is a longstanding theme in the Christian Scriptures. (1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13) . . .Now we request you, brothers, to show respect for those who are working hard among you and presiding over you in the Lord and admonishing you; 13 and to give them extraordinary consideration in love because of their work.. . . (3 John 9, 10) 9 I wrote something to the congregation, but Di·otʹre·phes, who likes to have the first place among them, does not accept anything from us with respect. 10 That is why if I come, I will call attention to the works he is doing in spreading malicious talk about us.. . . (1 Timothy 5:17) 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. Honor is not worship. (Romans 12:10) 10 In brotherly love have tender affection for one another. In showing honor to one another, take the lead. (1 Peter 2:17) 17 Honor men of all sorts, have love for the whole association of brothers, be in fear of God, honor the king. (1 Peter 3:7) . . .Assign them honor as to a weaker vessel, the feminine one, since they are also heirs with you of the undeserved favor of life, . . . (1 Timothy 5:3) . . .Give consideration to [Greek, "honor"] widows who are truly widows. This idea of "double honor" is scriptural and has nothing to do with worship. Sure! If we think he is "presiding in a fine way" or presiding over us "in the Lord." (For me, he is not, although I respect the fact that he appears to be presiding in some ways that are better than previous Popes.) There is nothing wrong with showing respect toward the Pope. He is one of those "men of all sorts." It's not worship. But again we consider the type of honor we show based on how their faith has turned out (Heb 11), whether they are related to us in the faith, whether their position makes them a "superior authority." (For many years, historically, Christians in certain countries would have had to consider the Pope a kind of "king." Note the end of 1 Peter 2:17, above.) This is not true. We can choose the ideas that encourage us and build us up, and keep talking about these. No one forces us to accept what our conscience won't allow. If we focus on what we agree with, the rest of the congregation is built up. We need not focus on those ideas we don't agree with. Personally, I think it's important to communicate our questions and concerns about questionable teachings, too. But this is not up-building in the congregational setting. It's not the purpose of the meetings. (Philippians 4:8, 9) 8 Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are of serious concern, whatever things are righteous, whatever things are chaste, whatever things are lovable, whatever things are well-spoken-of, whatever things are virtuous, and whatever things are praiseworthy, continue considering these things. 9 The things that you learned as well as accepted and heard and saw in connection with me, practice these, and the God of peace will be with you. (Hebrews 10:23-25) . . .. 24 And let us consider one another so as to incite to love and fine works, 25 not forsaking our meeting together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, and all the more so as you see the day drawing near. I believe there is a time and place for everything, and even a time to tear down, rather than build up. A time to speak and a time keep silent: (Ecclesiastes 3:1-7) 3 For everything there is an appointed time, . . . a time to plant and a time to uproot what was planted; 3 . . . a time to break down and a time to build; . . . 5 a time to throw stones away and a time to bring stones together; . . . 6 a time to seek and a time to give up as lost; a time to keep and a time to throw away; 7 a time to rip apart and a time to sew together; a time to keep quiet and a time to speak; (Matthew 9:16, 17) 16 Nobody sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old outer garment, for the new piece pulls away from the garment and the tear becomes worse. 17 Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins. If they do, then the wineskins burst and the wine spills out and the wineskins are ruined. But people put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” I've used this particular forum as a place, outside the congregation, for the time and place to speak up about things I have sought, and things I have given up on. It's a place to discuss whether certain deeply entrenched things should be thrown out, preserved, or whether they should just be patched up. (Edited to add: If JW.ORG had a place for comments it would be a mess, but I look forward to a time when this is possible in some way. In the meantime, I'll try to refine and question my own beliefs here or another place where I might find persons willing to discuss questionable issues.)
  15. JW Insider

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  16. I know this was to Srecko, but I was thinking the same thing. It's nice to have a unified message. And to answer the next part of your points, I think that this particular forum provides a answer, of sorts, to see the expected results of such an experiment. It could be chaos, but need not be. All of us can have our own opinions as long as we respect the doctrines promoted by the the Governing Body. The Governing Body would be respected for the number of years they have spent in Bible study and teaching and therefore "worthy of double honor." There are many ways to manage both personal opinions and respect the currently accepted doctrines held by the majority. One way is for all of us to try to remember to always make sure people know we are expressing our own personal opinion even if we personally have absolutely no doubt about the correctness of that opinion. Many people have already come on this forum in the last few years, presenting themselves as JWs, and all the while making sure predictions about end-time events they expected in the next few months. All of them will surely be just as wrong as everyone else has been for these last 2,000 years. And if we are just exploring an opinion we should be clear that we are anxious for others to share any clarifying, supporting, or non-supporting evidence to add to the discussion. The Governing Body should also be willing to express any current doctrine in terms of its probability according to the best evidence they have accepted, and if they are rejecting more evidence than they accept, they should explain their reasons for rejecting the majority of the known evidence. The Governing Body has already done this on several minor teachings, and I always find it refreshing. In other words, every single doctrine we have, need not be expressed as an unchangeable dogma. Everything can be expressed as a current belief based on the evidence we currently accept. There would NEVER be an embarrassment over the past, and the new level of open-mindedness would result in more input from persons who run across new evidence all over the world.
  17. JW Insider

    Warning To Europe From India

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  18. True. I apologize to @The Librarian. I know that he or she had just broken off this particular topic to a new thread which is a bit of a hassle in itself. I pushed the envelope a bit, but mostly to just highlight how the Librarian was correct. Completely new topics can be frustrating. But to the small group participating in this topic, I think it was understandable that Watchtower doctrine of the seven thousand year day would come into this. That would inevitably lead to why there are changes to our doctrines. That would inevitably lead to a discussion of the spiritual guidance of the GB (because it was already a concurrent discussion among a couple of the participants, here). On a serious note, I think it would be better to just say that there is a discussion about the GB that includes the topic of spirit direction already in progress, so that this part of the topic can be continued over there.
  19. I made tacos last night. I ate 4. My wife ate 4 (usually eats 2), and my sons came over and ate about 8 between them. I make tacos once every two weeks. Soft corn tortillas are very inexpensive, but I also buy a small box of the crispy "Ortega" hard shells. I find that shopping for the ingredients is simple, because I just imagine a taco and the order in which I always put the items on it. Problem is that the store is set up in such a way that I have to buy the ingredients all out of order. I buy a head of lettuce, a small bag of limes, 2 tomatoes, 1 onion, 1 jalapeno pepper, 1 bunch of cilantro, hard tortillas, salsa, hamburger, cheddar cheese, sour cream, soft tortillas. (Other spices and hot sauce etc are already in the house.) In my youth, I used to fry the soft tortillas in corn oil, but now, I have evolved. I just put a cookie pan in the oven and put a layer of soft tortillas on the bottom and then stand up the hard tortillas on top of them, and another flat layer of soft tortillas on top of the hard ones. This way the crispy ones will bake but will be protected from getting too brown on the portion that is nearest the electric elements of the oven. I can start shopping at 5pm and be completely done chopping the ingredients, cooking the hamburger, and baking the tortillas to serve tacos by 5:55. I find that the leftover lettuce, cilantro, and salsa doesn't stay fresh enough for two weeks so I use it for salads and spaghetti sauce within the next week. Also, if there are any tortillas, cheese, onions, tomatoes, jalapeno, etc., left over I just sprinkle it all onto flat tortillas and bake them into "chips" for dessert, which can last through the next day. Sunday morning I make scrambled eggs. But mostly, I like tacos. I'm kind of set in my ways. Like an old fossil.
  20. Of course, per the title of this thread, it is THE subject. I hoped we could get into it a bit more here. You made some interesting points and it shows you have really looked into the topic. I don't know enough about the topic yet to know what the evolutionist's counter-arguments would be. It's something I just don't try to get into with others, at least in person. Having the topic here might encourage those like you to keep contributing some good information. From what I can tell, since the 1980's, the Society has COMPLETELY dropped the 7,000 year day idea, and they have said nothing against the possibility that some of these "days" could be millions of years long. So there is even the possibility that some fossils could be 541 million years old. I didn't pay much attention to the previous thread from which this one broke off, but I see that you are using C14 evidence to date ALL fossils on the order of thousands instead of millions of years. Without looking, of course, I'm sure there is a counter-argument among scientists, and I'd be interested in looking it up to see which argument has the best evidence behind it.
  21. We all have the choices of many possible religions to follow. Or we can follow our own understanding which can be very dangerous. Wisdom is best found in a multitude of counselors. This organization has not changed all its teachings. But if it had, I can't see how that matters so much unless they are currently lying about all the changes. Still, even if all the teachings have changed over time, this could even be a good sign that a filtering and refining work is going on. Ultimately, with all the choices, I would still look for a religion that attempts to preach the good news. The content of that preaching might change . . . I would expect it to. But I would still look for a successful worldwide implementation of a preaching work based on the words of Matthew 24:14. I would also look for a religion that stays out of nationalistic conflicts both internal and external. There are very few religions that promote neutrality and are all conscientious objectors to violence and killing for nationalistic purposes. My own understanding of God and his purpose would make me look for a religion that opposes the Trinity doctrine and opposes the doctrine of Hellfire and eternal torment.
  22. I think that the exception has been pretty consistent. It has always been with respect to the primary goal of finding more ways to spread the Kingdom message more efficiently. (Philippians 1:4-7) . . ., 5 because of the contribution you have made to the good news from the first day until this moment. 6 For I am confident of this very thing, that the one who started a good work in you will bring it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 7 It is only right for me to think this regarding all of you, since I have you in my heart, you who are sharers with me in the undeserved kindness both in my prison bonds and in the defending and legally establishing of the good news. (1 Timothy 2:1-4) 2 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made concerning all sorts of men, 2 concerning kings and all those who are in high positions, so that we may go on leading a calm and quiet life with complete godly devotion and seriousness. 3 This is fine and acceptable in the sight of our Savior, God, 4 whose will is that all sorts of people should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth. JW attorneys have not worked with the goal of fixing this world through better laws and more inclusive civil rights, but I see no reason why this would be condemned. Cases have been argued right up to the supreme court of the United States and in high courts elsewhere with the goal of legally establishing the preaching work. (See especially Covington, Moyle and some more recent cases.) So while it's true that Jesus did not push for social reform directly, he was concerned about protecting as many as possible from the situation that was about to come upon the lost house of Israel. Paul, however, used political leverage to help establish the preaching of God's Kingdom.
  23. But they weren't were they? Paul admitted failings. Peter admitted failings. Paul chastised Peter, James and John. All of them had wrong ideas. We can think that they got all they needed at Pentecost to make them "perfect." But these failings lasted well beyond Pentecost. So we are forced to take a reasonable approach to what it means to be "perfect." There are scriptural principles which probably explain this saying of Jesus perfectly well in the context of the Christian congregation. For now, I think you will at least agree that the apostles were not perfect. Yet we can still imitate them in ways defined by scripture. And the early teaching was that the great crowd were also anointed. Lately there have been articles that teach that many scriptures which were only recently applied just to the anointed, can now also be applied to the great crowd who have an earthly hope. To the extent that they have exalted themselves, they are wrong. To the extent that they have tried their best be servants (a faithful slave class) they have perhaps seemed exalted, too. I don't think this is the criteria by which we accept or reject the doctrines they promote.
  24. I don't think the GB praise themselves as much as is implied here. They have recognized that they have an awesome responsibility caring for the flock. And if they are true believers that the blessings bestowed upon this organization truly come from Jehovah, then this recognition of the seriousness of the responsibility of trying to lead such an organization is a given. They see themselves trying to organize the worldwide work, coordinate the distribution of Bible-based publications, make decisions about serious issues affecting the ministry. One of the obvious issues is legally establishing the preaching work in an effective manner under the current laws of many countries. When those laws are not in our favor they have pushed to have them changed or clarified such that religious and civil rights are protected. This has helped others, too. There are even cases where those laws are so much against our preaching activities that the GB have devised ways to try to circumvent those laws because we honestly feel they conflict with God's law to preach the good news of the Kingdom. This has sometimes been effective and sometimes not and sometimes we just can't know whether it is or it isn't. It should be seen that the position of a Governing Body is a natural outgrowth of such a work and such an organization. It makes sense that the Lutheran Church, the Methodist, the Baptists, etc., all have similar groups that act as leaders of their activities. When the GB look back for Biblical precedents, they see the apostles, but do not wish to claim "apostolic succession." So they look for another Biblical precedent, and find one that seems appropriate. Jesus once told about how, in the time of the end that his servants could be likened to a household where the Master had gone for some time, and his return was delayed. It would be easy to imagine the chaos that could overrun a household of servants in such a situation. It would be easy to imagine how some would invariably act faithfully, and some would act unfaithfully. How do employees act when the boss has been away for some time and no one knows if he is returning tomorrow, next week, or next year! Jesus said that that he would be able to identify who was really a faithful and wise servant, and who was an unfaithful and unwise servant. This would be by the way they acted during the time that the Master was gone. This illustration seems appropriate because it had traditionally been referenced as far back as Nelson Barbour to hint that he might be that faithful and wise servant. Russell used the same verse to indicate that he himself was that "faithful and wise servant." Personally I don't think it's about any particular leaders at all, it's just a parable showing how easy it would be --due to the apparent delay of Christ's parousia-- to act unfaithfully and unwisely if we aren't putting the interests of the "household of faith" first. It's an illustration that spends a lot more time on the ways that this "servant" might be shown to be UNFAITHFUL rather than focusing on how faithful a particular slave might be. It's about one of the difficulties in remaining faithful, as we walk by faith not by sight, putting faith in the one who is unseen. This fits Jesus words in related parables: (Luke 18:7-14) . . .Certainly, then, will not God cause justice to be done for his chosen ones who cry out to him day and night, while he is patient toward them? 8 I tell you, he will cause justice to be done to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man arrives, will he really find this faith on the earth?” 9 He also told this illustration to some who trusted in their own righteousness and who considered others as nothing: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, the one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and began to pray these things to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like everyone else—extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give the tenth of all things I acquire.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing at a distance, was not willing even to raise his eyes heavenward but kept beating his chest, saying, ‘O God, be gracious to me, a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his home and was proved more righteous than that Pharisee. Because everyone who exalts himself will be humiliated, but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” The irony of course is that the Bible says not to be wise in your own eyes. To most Witnesses if anyone disagrees with the GB on any particular topic, they are accused of becoming "wise in their own eyes." So the fact that the GB are considered "wise" is used as a kind of weapon to "beat" their fellow slaves. It's true that a lot of so called "wisdom" that people put forward about their own view of the Bible and critiques of various doctrines are clearly so far off that it really ought to be brought under some kind of arrangement to produce unity and agreement in our speech and doctrine. And it might seem that the only way to speak in unity about doctrine is to accept some person or small group as the doctrinal authority. For about 100 years in our organization this was always pretty much one person at a time: CTRussell, JFRutherford, FWFranz. So again, it makes sense that a specific person or small group who agree on what is right is the easiest and most logical fallback position - from a human standpoint at least. Some of what you said is specific and is based on discussions of specific scriptural points. These points are good and should be discussed. But part of this argument seems based on the supposed absurdity idea of a group of imperfect persons, making doctrinal mistakes, could still provide doctrinal and other types of organizational leadership. I accept that you have pointed out some claims that should not have been made from a scriptural point of view. These should be taken seriously. But I also think that it is natural and expected that a "governing body" of this sort exists, imperfections and all, and is used for a particular purpose that is very close to the current purpose.
  25. I don't know the answer sorry. (maybe FB,Twitter, etc?) Perhaps the "admin" or "The Librarian" would know what counts as a share.

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