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JW Insider

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  1. So, I've been mostly away from my computer for a few days, and it looks like this entire forum has been mashed up into a single thread/topic. I know that I was given the ability to move posts around to new threads, and I probably should have started to do that many days ago. (When I began I realized it was too late.) But I also understand the simplicity (and short-term efficiency) of putting everything in the thread that people are actively participating in. In the longer-term, it's less efficient for those who need to go back and try to respond to things. Since I think I'm getting in here at the tail end, I hoped to summarize a bit, and had hoped that Anna, Tom, Arauna, any "Allen Smith" alternative would have tired out AlanF so I could pretend to have delivered a final knock-out punch. But it keeps going and going with no end in sight. And there is no single topic on which one could hope to offer a "summary defense." TTH, in spite of letting his tomfoolery characters get out of hand, has used them to point out so many of the areas where AlanF shows unnecessary antagonism, lack of empathy, and a lack of humor. He has also pointed out that AlanF's super-hypercritical view of JW leadership is also hypocritical in that an atheist should have no reason to pick on the spiritual and doctrinal beliefs of just one particular religion among hundreds. I like that Anna has picked up on some flaws in AlanF's reasoning. I think AlanF still argues against JW leadership from the FWF-era, especially the 1950's through the 1980's, when Anna and others have picked up on positive signs of transition, away from much of the dogmatism of that era. Slowly, I see some of the old arguments disintegrating, especially in moving a few of the events, once applied to 1918, 1919 and 1914, now being more correctly applied to the 1st century or the future judgment. I like that Arauna has included some excellent points on intelligent design, some of which AlanF doesn't care to counter, but resorts to the trusty old ad hominem instead, either against Arauna or her sources. Personally, I wish I could say more on the evolution/creation debate, but I've never tackled the relevant literature, and I can tell that even our own Writing Department has made enough mistakes in misquoting the relevant scientists that they aren't ready to fully tackle this topic either. However, I have a deep love for the Bible as God's Word, and the amazing consistency of the Bible books from first to last, and I have to wonder at the amazingly wide distribution of this particular book to every corner of the world. It's awe-inspiring. Because of this, I'll take "Pascal's wager," that even if we are of all men most to be pitied (if our faith is misplaced) we really have nothing to lose and much to gain if our faith puts us on God's side. Besides, in the meantime, the true measure of Christianity is the activity that makes the world a better place and also makes us better individuals. We might even be better "neighbors" on random Internet forums, than those who reject Christian principles altogether.
  2. I don't believe I was ever told. Or if I was told, it wasn't his name I remembered. You are referring to Harry Peloyan, a Harvard Graduate. He was given a lot of the scientific and creation items to work on and became the Awake! editor, also handling most "science" related articles himself. Since the original Evolution book was last revised in 1967 and the original Truth book in 1968, I would have serious doubts that he did them both.
  3. I don't have any way of telling. As of about the last four or five years, the last of the writers I might have generally recognized are failing in health and getting very few, if any, new assignments. (Aulicino, Smalley, Wischuk). I noticed that in the preceding paragraph there is a point about "greenhouses" that appears incomplete. This is sometimes a hint that it was edited down from a talk that had once expanded on the greenhouse illustration. Perhaps someone remembers who gave such a talk? *** w19 September p. 23 pars. 10-11 “Come to Me, . . . and I Will Refresh You” *** 10 Jesus created a peaceful, inviting environment for his fellow workers, and he enjoyed training them. (Luke 10:1, 19-21) He encouraged his disciples to ask questions, and he wanted to hear their opinions. (Matt. 16:13-16) Much like plants in a greenhouse, the disciples flourished. They absorbed the lessons that Jesus taught and produced fruit in the form of good works. 11 Do you have a position of authority? If so, ask yourself: ‘What kind of environment do I create at work or at home? Do I promote peace? Do I encourage others to ask questions? And am I willing to hear their opinions?’ Never would we want to be like the Pharisees, who resented those who questioned them and persecuted those who expressed an opinion contrary to their own.—Mark 3:1-6; John 9:29-34. There is no specific reason to reference greenhouses as they are not mentioned in the Bible. There is just as much reason to say above "Much like plants in a fertile, well-watered field, the disciples flourished." The reason to mention a greenhouse is to speak about a closed environment "independent of external circumstances" and independent of "world" conditions. That is not done above, but was the previous use in a 1997 Watchtower: *** w97 1/1 p. 4 Why Should We All Praise God? *** It can be cultivated independent of external circumstances, just as plants can grow in a greenhouse whatever the weather is like outside.” In general, the proofreaders would never question something like this. It's the type of thing that an editorial committee (and/or GB) might question. But only if they were thinking in the mindset of how it might be used against them. When editors are reading it as counsel only for others and not for themselves, it's easy to say things that might sound hypocritical or self-incriminating. Of course, I prefer the idea that Brother Splane, for example, is using an opportunity to create a more open Society. Perhaps opening up a question or suggestion box on JW.ORG. Perhaps allowing suggestions to be upvoted and downvoted by millions of JWs. 😀 Splane, of course, was the one to make the biggest use of Luke 10 to highlight Jesus' methods of teaching in his Annual Meeting talk in 2014, and this is echoed in paragraph 10.
  4. The focus on only supporting future wars to be led by Christ Jesus directly, has promoted the idea that we really are expected to be pacifists. Also the idea that we focus ONLY on spiritual warfare leads to the same conclusion. As late as 2003, a convention talk mentioned this: *** w03 1/15 p. 26 “Zealous Kingdom Proclaimers” Joyfully Assemble *** The second speaker in this symposium addressed questions relating to neutrality. Early Christians were not pacifists, but they recognized that their prime allegiance was to God. Likewise today, Jehovah’s Witnesses hold firmly to the principle: “You are no part of the world.” (John 15:19) Since tests of our neutrality can arise quickly, families ought to make time to review the Bible’s guidelines on this subject. Generally, however, the impression is given that we are very much like pacifists but don't want the label because it's often associated with protestors and radicals. However, the farther back one searches in the publications, the more we see that the discussion could include acceptable self-defense. *** w64 8/15 p. 484 Those Who Pursue Peace *** Actually, Jehovah’s witnesses are not in “rebellion” against the activities of any government, but they do maintain uncompromising neutrality as to the world’s political and military affairs, as they follow the Scriptural injunction to ‘seek peace and pursue it.’ They are not pacifists. They do not oppose any government’s program of military conscription or demonstrate against it, but they submit themselves to God’s arrangement of things. *** w55 8/1 p. 478 Questions From Readers *** However, this refusal to pay back insult for insult does not mean Christians are to be pacifists or that they must never resort to self-defense.
  5. Witnesses have never actually taught pacifism. So using violence in our own self-defense or in the defense of our loved ones is not forbidden. But taking sides in a nationalistic war is surely being a part of the world, and its desires. Christianity is based on the premise that very few will actually try to be true to all the loving principles highlighted in the Bible. Christianity finally fulfills the most important parts of the Law, including "you must not kill." But since true Christians are in a minority, there will always be plenty of less faithful Christians (and others) to fight these wars. Let's say that India wants to go to war with Australia. True Christians, I expect, would hardly be a factor. India's military would lose no more than 1 percent of their potential defense to true Christians, and Australia would lose no more than 1 percent. This is absolutely no factor at all in the outcome of the war. (Which would no doubt become a proxy war for the largest superpowers who will ally themselves with each side anyway.)
  6. No. I voluntarily stepped down years ago primarily over the college issue (going to and sending my children to college). It's not mandatory to step down, by the way. Although some congregations might see it this way. I'm fine how things are. (I spend time on sites like this and I have trouble with a couple of doctrines.) I don't think any current elder would be on a site like this and admit their specific issues with any doctrines. I have no idea who the administrators or moderators or Librarian is. Within weeks of starting at Brooklyn Bethel in 1976 I was assigned to the Art Department. I was really only an average artist (good at landscapes, lousy at portraits). I had lots of small projects, but only a couple of the big ones. So I always volunteered for any research assignments, which I really loved. (e.g., What did an anvil look like in the first century? What armor and weapons would a Philistine have? What did a rich man's house look like? What did a poor man's house look like?" What did a 1st century fishing boat look like?) This soon turned into a couple of requests from ONE member of the GB who asked me if I would look up information for some of his projects. This turned into a lot of research projects. I continued working for him until 1982. But anyone, could be assigned to work directly with members of the GB. Bethel assignments seemed a lot more random than most people realize. You don't have to be qualified to get a good assignment, and people who were very qualified for a specific assignment often got something completely different. Bethel leadership was actually quite proud of this method of assignment and Sydlik often made the point to new personnel that a brilliant scientist might be assigned to clean toilets. It was a method of teaching humility. (In reality I never saw anything like that, although menial assignments would be given to some as punishment/humiliation. There were only a couple of these punishments going on while I was there. Seemed to be pretty rare.)
  7. I think it's a bit strong to claim you can prove someone's motive. There might be "evidence," but "proof"? I doubt it! Many changes made have been entirely at odds with decades of WT doctrine, and this has more often than not been a good thing, both on doctrinal issues and in practices and procedures. There is a bit less focus on chronology, much less focus on classes and types and antitypes, and I think that some of this interpretation of the GB's motive comes from the fact that they are true believers in the end-time scenario they have been recently depicting. Therefore they can become a bit paternalistic and protective, which comes across as "list and obey." I don't think it's quite as "ulterior" as you keep saying.
  8. CC, I understand how you think it "protects" the Governing Body's reputation if you don't allow any discussion of their past errors from before 1931, or even 1933, or even 1943, or even from before 1950. You stretch the truth here, but I understand your motive of trying to protect their reputation. But you are really trying to protect them in such a way that we get a completely different view of them than truth, history, and reality offers us. I've always thought that cover-ups of any kind are dishonest, even if the motive seems praiseworthy. In fact, the history of the Governing Body as the Faithful Slave, according to our CURRENT view, now goes back to 1919. They removed Russell from his membership in the exclusive committee, so I'll agree that discussing Russell's failings is not so relevant, even if it is important to show how easy it is for men to follow men. The last thing I'll say on that score (about Russell) is that the Watchtower NOW says that about 5,000 International Bible Students were active in 1914, and about 4,000 were active in 1919. In late 1916, it was admitted that THOUSANDS of Bible Students considered him to be, as a single individual, the entire "Faithful and Discreet Slave." This included Joseph Rutherford himself, and according to A H MacMillan, all the rest of the 'governing body' of that time, too. Rutherford even complained that Russell was being WORSHIPED, even though he was just another human, another creature. The Faith on the March book, Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose book, and the Proclaimers book admits that there was a CULT of WORSHIP around Russell. It's true that love does not keep account of the injury. But trying to cover up their past errors is therefore not an act of love. Love believes ALL things that are true, it does not hide the truth. Love shines through even when it "bears" and "endures" all these true things. Perhaps it's easy to forget the final part of this passage: (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) 4 Love . . . does not brag, does not get puffed up, 5 . . . does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury. 6 It does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Notice, that this point is made even clearer in 2 Corinthians: (2 Corinthians 6:6-8) . . .by love free from hypocrisy, 7 by truthful speech, by God’s power; through the weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left, 8 through glory and dishonor, through bad report and good report.. . .
  9. Perhaps I was projecting so much from my own past experience that I didn't notice. There had been a time when I missed the nightly broadcast news and so just caught the monologue of Jon Stewart on Comedy Central. Then I realized that it was a whole lot funnier, but not much better than if Rachel Maddow had gone the extra inch to turn her show into stand-up comedy. If you could stand her style of extra long setups before each punch line, then she already was doing a comedy show.
  10. Two things wrong with that: 1. In English, all those people in the past who worship Jehovah, were not Jehovah's Witnesses; they were Jehovah's witnesses. Note the smaller "w." *** w58 4/15 p. 230 par. 11 A New Song for All Men of Good Will *** God’s first prophecy through a man came through Enoch, the seventh man in line from Adam. Enoch was a man of faith in Jehovah God and so became Jehovah’s witness. There is some ambiguity in such statements made before the 1970's, where the upper-case W wasn't used, even when referring to the modern-day religion of Jehovah's witnesses, except in quotes from others, or in titles, where such words are often capitalzed. Although it was funny looking at the bound volumes of court cases in the Writing Dept library where the titles embossed onto the books included the term "J.w.'s" not "J.W.'s" 2. The actual statements will sometimes make claims that "Jehovah's Witnesses" (uppercase "W") taught a certain thing before, during, or shortly after 1914 that they didn't teach. For example, more than 70 years before 1991, they were still teaching that Jesus had become king in 1878, not 1914. Two things wrong with that: Just above this quote from you I took my own post and started highlighting at the "WT" in "WT have logic how" and continued selecting the text down to the word "that." When the "Quote Selection" option showed up, I clicked it and got the quote within a quote above. Of course, if the quoted portion takes up more than about 4 or 5 lines, the quoted portion will include a "Read More" option. Most of yours do that anyway.
  11. Political talk rarely gets anywhere here, and that's understandable. But I just wanted to say that it bothers me that people still think that "news" from Saturday Night Live or Steven Colbert is any better than cable or network news. It's entertaining and funny, but it's still fed from the same commercial news sources. I've come to learn that even the so-called PBS, NPR non-commercial news sources are also strongly influenced by the same sources that are so easily influenced by the standard sources that push the "State" agenda, through Military Intelligence sources, State Department, Administration, and whichever side of the partisan line the collators and editors work from. A case in point is the contradictory stance that news organizations take from administration to administration on Russia, Ukraine, Venezuela, Hong Kong, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, China, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Chile, Ecuador, etc. These shows are a lot of fun, and they are especially fun when they represent the side the audience is already agrees with (usually progressive left), but the underlying "foundations" show that they just are just as duped as any cable TV network.
  12. Right. Don't ever make a mistake like this: *** w09 3/15 p. 16 par. 4 “Be Vigilant” *** Since 1925, Jehovah’s Witnesses have recognized that World War I and the events that followed amount to sure evidence that Christ’s presence in heavenly Kingdom power began in 1914. *** w01 11/1 p. 25 “Religious Tolerance Day” *** Jehovah’s Witnesses have used various methods to spread the good news. For example, in 1914—during the era of silent movies—the Witnesses were showing the “Photo-Drama of Creation,” a motion picture and slide presentation that included synchronized sound. *** w98 9/15 p. 32 The War That Destroyed the 19th Century *** For over 120 years, Jehovah’s Witnesses have pointed to 1914 as the end of what Jesus called “the appointed times of the nations.” *** w93 5/1 p. 12 par. 7 Shedding Light on Christ’s Presence *** True to the prophecy, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the modern light bearers, have suffered persecution for the past eight decades. *** w91 4/1 p. 7 Is It Later Than You Think? *** Since 1914, however, Jehovah’s Witnesses have done that, in spite of the persecution Jesus foretold—government bans, mob violence, imprisonments, torture, and many deaths. In 1919 there were 4,000 of Jehovah’s Witnesses preaching this good news. [8 decades from 1993 reaches back to the decade from 1910 to 1920] *** w91 4/1 p. 5 Is It Later Than You Think? *** In 1914, World War I started. Jehovah’s Witnesses of that decade were immediately on the alert. *** w91 4/15 p. 6 When Will Lasting Peace Really Come? *** For more than 70 years, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been proclaiming around the world the good news that Jesus Christ began to rule in God’s Kingdom in heaven in the year 1914. And speaking of poor history, this last quote is saying that Jehovah's Witnesses began proclaiming this date for Jesus' rule as early as 1921 or before. The idea is that it was being taught in 1919, but this was not a clear teaching until about 1925.
  13. I certainly do not think you need to say it, or act like him, or act different from him. For me, it's helpful to try to remember the things that were his greatest concerns, in case you are him. When TTH said you had been DF'd by the elders, I hadn't remembered anything like that about you here, and just thought we shouldn't be quick to judge. If you are JB, I'm glad you're back. There is probably some kind of catharsis that people can get out of these forums. Or perhaps its a way to clear our own thought and logic processes by putting ideas out here for people to respond to. If a persons wants to be here, then they are finding something useful here. I'm all for temporary cool-down periods if things get heaterd, but I don't like the idea that a person gets "banned for life." Especially not people who are looking for a way to find association again with people that once shared a faith or ideology. It doesn't matter if they are critical, as far as I am concerned. I like a challenge.
  14. I can't find a trace of it. Figured out from Ann's and JTR that it was something he said, but I really thought he would last this time.
  15. I think a lot of people suspected that pretty quickly, especially as their top 3 issues appear to be the same, and as time goes on, even their pet peeves match up. I don't know for sure that JB was "DF'd" from the site, but it's the impression I got because there was some kind of warning, and then he was gone. At this point if they are the same, I don't think it matters in the slightest. But the reason I jump in on this topic is because I don't want anyone to be confused with my use of the term DF. According to JB, he was treated as if DF'd in his congregation, even though he was not officially DF'd by a committee of elders. Not all of the reasons for this treatment were clear. Now that you have suspected that 4Jah2me was DF'd, I just figured that the JB story ought to be a reminder that it's always possible 4Jah2me was never DF'd either.
  16. Then you said: Unless I'm missing something, this includes contradictory logic. You said that if the WTS stopped DFing for apostasy the numbers would go down. But then your "evidence" is that the numbers go down when there is resentment when they continue to show authoritarianism by DFing for apostasy. Perhaps you've spent many years on forums where such persons tell their stories, and the cumulative effect makes you think this is very common. Pew Research provides some indication to me that most JWs who no longer believe strongly enough in the value of the Watchtower organization simply drift away. Most are not disfellowshipped at all. Even those who would have been disfellowshipped have apparently (mostly) realized that one need only drift away. Ones that want to make a statement may write a letter or make a scene somewhere (such as an online site or at a Kingdom Hall or Convention). These would be a small minority. Technically if one isn't out to make a scene it's probably easy enough to answer the elders questions honestly and not be in any trouble. If I were asked "Do you believe that Jehovah is using the Faithful and Discreet Slave?" The answer would be an easy and straightforward "Yes!" Technically the same goes for the Governing Body, just as Jehovah is able to use any group of elders, or publishers for that matter. Wherever 2 or 3 are gathered in Jesus' name, there he is in their midst. And of course anyone who has doubts about a doctrine should be able to humbly admit that it is a matter of not being able to understand the current doctrine in question, but make it clear that you don't want to make an issue or cause contention inside the congregation. I'm guessing that a humble attitude would solve 90 percent of these problems that might otherwise lead to DFing. For me, the acceptable replacement is a humble admission that after getting things wrong over and over again on chronology, that we simply follow Jesus' advice to give up on chronology. At least the kind of chronology that is used to try to predict the time period for the generation that will see the end-times scenario. I agree that there should be a way to provide constructive criticism that isn't immediately seen as a kind of "running ahead" of the organization. Of course, if you look at all the ideas people get, you can understand that the Governing Body are afraid of the chaos it could unleash if everybody started writing about their own opinions. There are a few who have dropped by this forum with ideas that would make everyone cringe as they go off the deep end of mysticism, gnosticism, chronology, numerology, etc. I hate to admit that I had absolutely no idea who Jay Hess was until I just now looked him up. I probably saw the name before, but I typically tune out those who spend so much time on Trinity, worship vs obeisance, etc. Disagree. We were talking about DFing for various forms of disagreement that the Society has traditionally treated as apostasy. I believe the Bible supports some of this DFing, as you seem to admit, too. We would also be individually responsible for our own "marking" and choice of "fellowshipping" avoiding "bad associations" even among those who call themselves a brother. But we don't IGNORE most forms of bad conduct. The elders are to watch over the flock, and give good counsel when they learn of bad forms of conduct. We shouldn't make up rules about six months of shunning, or one year of shunning. And no one should enforce shunning for another person. You make a good point that the right way to train a good conscience is to be allowed the responsibility of using that individual conscience -- but this does not mean that strong counsel and guidance should not be in order for those whose spirituality is drifting due to their conduct or their associations.
  17. No. I have sent in a couple questions about parousia/synteleia and a question about other interpretations of Matthew 24, but never about Luke's version.
  18. Good, because I know we've had that discussion before. Russell and his associates thought of this as a very powerful and important doctrine that gets partially repeated about a hundred times. Also, partly because they had not moved very far from the Trinity doctrine yet, they put a lot of emphasis on the idea that Jesus was a God (their capitalization, not mine) and that this doctrine put them on the divine plane as Gods. The Watchtower spoke of the 144,000 as "God manifest in the flesh." Based on the way Russell understood the Scriptures he has used, this teaching actually makes some sense. But I know of no other religions groups who were teaching that not only represented the Christ, but who would go so far as to claim that Jesus alone was not the Christ, but that the Christ included his Bride members, the 144,000. The Christ would therefore include Russell himself, while on earth in the flesh, as long as he remained faithful. When the world sees you it sees a member of The Christ, not in glory, but in the flesh. R455 Now we appear like men, and as men all die, even as others; but in the resurrection we will rise in our true character as Gods—partakers of the Divine nature (R473) Our high calling is so great, so much above the comprehension of men, that they think we are guilty of blasphemy when we speak of being "new creatures"—"partakers of the divine nature." When we claim, on the scriptural warrant, that we are begotten to a divine nature and that Jehovah is thus our father, it is claiming that we are divine beings—hence all such are Gods. . . . Thus there is a family of Gods, Jehovah being our father, and all his sons on the divine plane, being brethren and joint-heirs: Jesus being the chief or first-born. [R474] The Prophet like unto Moses, the great Law-giver, the great King, the great Mediator, will be the foretold "Seed of Abraham," in whom all the families of the earth shall be blessed. . . consists of our Lord Jesus, as the Head, the chief, and all of his faithful elect Church as members . . . [R2859] I never mentioned or implied any kind of guarantee, because I never had that impression myself. So sorry if anyone got that impression. Russell taught that he and others like him were "perfect" and "justified" as long as they were faithful, but that no one had a guarantee. They all had to endure to the end. As you point out, in some quotes you provided, this was part of his "faithful and wise servant" doctrine: that although it was a single individual, that God would replace that individual if he proved unfaithful. I think you are still missing something here. I am not concerned at all with the any kind of "guarantee." That's something you added to this conversation. But it does seem you are trying to imply that Russell didn't even consider himself to be "that faithful and wise servant." We know that would be a false impression. Just because he didn't publicly claim the title, doesn't mean he didn't make it clear that he was that individual. When he explained that it must be one human individual (at a time) and not a class, he added the idea that people might think him immodest for pointing this out, but he couldn't go against the obvious meaning of the Scriptures. If he didn't think it was himself, then why would he have though modesty should be a factor. He published letters that referred to himself as the "faithful and wise servant" often just called "that Servant." He was introduced at conventions with the title, and accepted the title without trying to correct anyone. And then the Watchtower printed the fact that during his life he had "privately admitted" to being that faithful and wise servant. The Watchtower admits that THOUSANDS of persons got this impression. This information comes straight out of the Watch Tower magazine and publications. Straight from Russell's pen. And straight out of the Biography of Charles Taze Russell published by the Watch Tower Society under Rutherford. It also comes straight out of the speech that Rutherford gave at Russell's funeral. It would be very strange to claim that anything Russell or the Watchtower said before 1931 belongs to "Freedom Bible Students" or "Associated Bible Students." All JWs who have read the "Proclaimers" book are not going to be fooled by such a claim.
  19. You must be reading something into this that isn't there. The quote I think you were trying to remember is probably this: *** w17 February p. 26 par. 12 Who Is Leading God’s People Today? *** The Governing Body is neither inspired nor infallible. Therefore, it can err in doctrinal matters or in organizational direction. . . .Of course, Jesus did not tell us that his faithful slave would produce perfect spiritual food.
  20. You haven't yet addressed the main question which I repeated for you, so I'm guessing that you ARE already aware that Russell taught that those of the "high calling" were included in "The CHRIST." I have no idea what it means to be "missing the 'hope' part of my understanding." Are you saying that Russell said things which were not in line with who Russell really was? Did he only hope to be the faithful and wise servant, when he claimed to be the faithful and wise servant? Did he only hope to be God's mouthpiece when he said he WAS God's mouthpiece? If not, please explain. I don't want to twist your words.
  21. When AlanF distorts Watchtower history, I'll call him out on it. But you have said that I did not read Russell's book correctly. You pointed out how, but you were wrong about it. Russell did believe he was of the High Calling and therefore found it appropriate to refer to those with him sharers in "our High Calling," an expression he used dozens of times. He even explained how, while faithful, he was "perfect" and acceptable and justified in this calling: Therefore because God has a "better thing" for us—our high calling to joint-heirship with Jesus Christ our Lord,. . . . so when we come to realize that we are justified we esteem it a privilege to "present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, our reasonable service." It is acceptable because it is holy; it is holy because it is justified; it is justified because Christ died. To your second question I reply: It certainly is true, as you say, that none but perfect beings can keep God's perfect law, and I will go further and add that none but perfect beings are acceptable with God. But as we have just proved we are perfect beings, being justified by Christ Jesus and therefore are acceptable with God by Jesus Christ. [R193] But although you incorrectly addressed a minor point, I notice you avoided the actual point that I made, that Russell, for example, thought it was proper for those of the High Calling to be referred to as "The CHRIST" ("The Savior" "The Mediator" etc.)
  22. Of course he mentioned how the 144,000 are part of the kings and priests going to heaven. And of course he knew of the possibility that he might personally not be "guaranteed" to be remain among that number. But he never said anything about NOT being a part of that number while he was writing articles, sermons, books, etc. In fact, the Watchtower's own BIOGRAPHY of Russell said that he privately admitted to being the "faithful and wise servant." Even more, Russell said: but since the servant mentioned is to dispense food to the other members of the body, his fellow-servants, the term seems to be limited to some particular individual (R3355) Who do you think this particular individual was supposed to be referring to? This servant, if found faithful, would be intrusted more and more with the distribution of every feature of Present Truth as represented in the parable, by his being given the dispensing of the food in due season to the household. (R3356) Can you think what person for as long he was being found faithful, considered himself to be dispensing every feature of Present Truth to the household of faith? . . . the Lord at the time indicated would specially use one member of his Church as the channel or instrument through which he would send the appropriate messages, spiritual nourishment appropriate at that time; because at various times in the past the Lord has used individuals in such a manner. For instance, Peter used the "keys" of the Kingdom of heaven at Pentecost . . . . (R3356) Who might Russell think it is? Hmmm. We don't have to worry about it, he tells us directly: No, the truths I present, as God's mouthpiece, were not revealed in visions or dreams, nor by God's audible voice, nor all at once, but gradually, especially since 1870, and particularly since 1880. Neither is this clear unfolding of truth due to any human ingenuity or acuteness of perception, but to the simple fact that God's due time has come; and if I did not speak, and no other agent could be found, the very stones would cry out. (R3821) Of course, I think you knew this already.
  23. Feel free. I can't really stay on today anyway. I might keep the computer open and access from a remote desktop on my phone, but I won't really be putting enough effort into answering. If you do feel like taking on AlanF's argumentation, have him sign a waiver that he'll read your whole answer before responding to it. Ithinks sometimes he just assumes what you must have said even if you didn't say it. Hold his feet (if you dare) to the fire, if you will. (Especially if your own itchy feet are contagious.)
  24. I should add that the meaning of 'persons who say "I am he" ' is probably best spelled out in Matthew's version: (Matthew 24:23-28) . . .“Then if anyone says to YOU, ‘Look! Here is the Christ,’ or, ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will give great signs and wonders so as to mislead, if possible, even the chosen ones. 25 Look! I have forewarned YOU. 26 Therefore, if people say to YOU, ‘Look! He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; ‘Look! He is in the inner chambers,’ do not believe it. 27 For just as the lightning comes out of eastern parts and shines over to western parts, so the presence of the Son of man will be. 28 Wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together. It is ironic that Russell put out a book called "The Time is at Hand" AND simultaneously taught that the solution to the "great mystery" doctrine was that those who were of the higher calling, including Russell himself, could rightly speak of themselves as "the Christ." The Christ was not just Jesus, but the full 144,001. Therefore, it was even possible for those who considered themselves of the 144,000, the Bride, the Higher Calling, to refer to themselves as: "the Christ" "the Saviour" "the prophet greater than Moses" "eternal Father" "the Mediator" FWF was said to have often hinted in the 1940's and 1950's that this doctrine was still in effect. It was one of the reasons that "great crowd" were not invited to the Memorial for several years. But in the 1960's the Watchtower clarified that the expression "The Christ" could not refer to the rest of the 144,000. Even after that point however, books written by FWFranz, including "Then is Finished the Mystery of God" used the expression 144,001, which had evidently been a reference to the older version of this doctrine. *** w63 9/1 p. 539 Names for Christ and His Congregation *** “THE CHRIST” We come now to a consideration of those terms or titles that apply or are used to refer to Jesus Christ apart from his body members. . . . But what about the expressions “the Christ” and “Christ”? Does the use of the article with “Christ” designate something different from when no article is used? Might it be that, whereas the term “Christ” refers to Jesus Christ alone, the term “the Christ” could also include the 144,000 members of his body? Do the Scriptures support this thought or distinction? No, they do not. . . . In fact, the expression “the Christ” of itself at no time includes the members of Christ’s body. So the title “Christ,” with or without the definite article, refers to Jesus Christ, the article serving to draw attention to or to emphasize his office as the Messiah. And of course there was no little disruption when FWFranz yelled at all of us one morning at Bethel breakfast because a few (somewhere?) had been balking at a recent article that said Jesus was not the Mediator of the great crowd. The much earlier view that had not been repeated in many years was that the 144,001 WERE the Mediator.

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