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TrueTomHarley

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TrueTomHarley last won the day on October 16

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  1. I don't need your approval 🙂 “Bless you, my daughter.” Lord, spare us from condescending people.
  2. After you have done all these things, say, “We are good-for-nothing doormats. What we have done is what we ought to have done.” I love the (actual) expression. When you do as you should, you don’t go strutting around with chest puffed out. You downplay your own role. It is somewhat like the verse used in last week’s Watchtower study: “by God’s undeserved kindness I am what I am. And his undeserved kindness to me was not in vain, but I labored more than all of them; yet it was not I, but the undeserved kindness of God that is with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10) It is the same, really, as Jesus’s saying. The gift is not his, but God’s. Still, he will not waste it, but will put it to good use. Afterwards he will say, “I am a good-for-nothing slave. What I have done is only what I ought to have done.” It is hyperbole. The Master doesn’t really consider us “good-for-nothing.” Jesus used hyperbole all the time. It was one of the tools in his teaching toolbox. It has the added advantage that those of common sense and humility instantly get the point, and those without those fine qualities do not—they are more inclined to harp on the Lord thinking his people “good-for-nothing” and how that violates their human rights. Sometimes I even think Trump’s tweets, with their numerous spelling errors, may—probably inadvertently, be taking a page from this playbook. Maybe they are just his form of “hyperbole.” When he tweets that North Korea has launched all its nuclear missels, people of common sense will run for the hills. People without that quality will run to their keyboards to point out that the idiot can’t even spell the word right.
  3. Forgive me, but I cannot read this expression “apostasy spectrum” without thinking of the newfound “autism spectrum” that is all the rage today, as moderns try to come to grips with the fact that, for whatever reason, autism is off the charts today, and so they try to normalize it. In both cases—apostasy spectrum and autism spectrum—is not the emphasis on what is actually the least helpful? Is not the emphasis on symptoms, whereas it would be both more useful and revealing were it on causes? With autism, there is vehement disagreement as to causes. Some suggested causes are thought absolutely taboo to the established world view, and so it is symptoms that dominate the discussion. Symptoms are easier than causes to get one’s head around. You can argue till the cows come home about causes, but symptoms are straightforward. Easier to talk about symptoms, therefore, even if less valuable. So we can talk about the “apostasy spectrum,” and it is all very nice—I do appreciate the insight and work that has gone into writing of it, but it is more helpful to speak of the causes—for there is where one might do something so as to not fall victim to incessant and even bitter complaining. Most discussions on this forum about congregation discipline consider it from the standpoint of human rights. As such, I will concede that some of them make valid points. But they will never make too much headway with the GB, I think, because the latter are primarily concerned with, as Tom Henry puts it, “God’s rights.” That expression is a little off-base because he is God—his rights are anything he wants them to be, It is better to speak of “God’s requirements,” the way Witness publications do. God’s requirements are that there should be a people for his name that is absolutely separate from the world—“no part of the world.” This concern of his almost never factors in to discussions here—almost always it is “human rights,” and the unspoken assumption is that if human rights are cared for, God’s rights will be. It is a humanist view that prevails, divorced from spiritual concerns. In fact, observing God’s requirements will ultimately work out best for even “human rights” but we do not necessarily recognize that because we are short-sighted. We want what we want now. We are like kids in the car incessantly whining, “Are we there yet?” and at last father whirls around and says, “If you kids don’t stop crying back there, I’m going to stop this car and give you something to cry about!” No, I think there will be little fundamental change on disfellowshipping because the GB dares not neglect “God’s right’s” to a people for his name separated from the world. Disfellowshipping is the wall to keep alien views out. That is not to say it will not be tweaked, and it is being tweaked. The word itself is not used in congregation announcements for many years. Associating with a disfellowshipped family member, while it may trigger counsel and may exclude one from being viewed as “exemplary” and thus ineligible for congregation office, will not bring the same sanctions as associating with a non-family disfellowshipped person. The situation of those baptized when young is handled by simply cutting them a bit more slack when they err. Human rights will never be the driving factor in the Witness organization. God’s requirements will be the focus. The whole concept of human rights is a bit pretentious anyway. For someone to be said to have “rights,” ought you not be able to DO something about it if those rights are violated? Yet, violated “rights” are the norm in today’s world. Even “holding people accountable” and making them “take responsibility” do little to close the gap. They are more media talking points than there are substantial reality. They are too feeble to get all hopped up about. And yet when we focus on disfellowshipping HERE, we are primarily obsessed with “human rights.”
  4. I am not sure do they want to "Rule"...... or just to be in Paradise with him. :)) According to the Book, those who go there are to “rule.” with your blood you bought people for God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kings over the earth.” (Revelation 5:10) It is a meaningful verse to me. It shows the purpose of the heavenly hope. It shows the silliness of all persons thinking they are going there. Well—maybe they just want the perks, not unlike the hordes in government today.
  5. You call yourself astute? If you would use the head God gave you and focus, you would note that one GB member is eating a lot to be big as an elephant, one is stretching his neck like a giraffe, another growing stripes like a zebra, yet another shrieks like a macaw, and so forth. Look, everyone knows this. Why do you come to the table so ill-equipped in knowledge? ”My, what wolflike teeth you have, grandma” ”All the better to control you with, my dear.”
  6. There should be Kingdom Halls on every street corner, like gas stations, only more so.
  7. Doesn’t this correspond with the end of the stable job? When one can be downsized or “rightsized” at the drop of a pin, and thereafter find that the next job necessitates a move, a non-movable house becomes a hassle.
  8. There are actually two men whose name is a type of tree. Both are pseudonyms, the specific trees are different, and one was chosen as a tribute for the other. I think the two have been confused with one another here. Tree 1 has the hatred for the elders, but not to my knowledge, any unpleasant family history. Tree 2, the one named in honor of Tree 1, is the one with the dysfunctional family history. I don’t quite remember the specifics, but I don’t think it was anything wildly shocking—perhaps an authoritarian father on his wife’s side, or step father—something like that. Tree 1 is the one who banned me from his website. Never from Twitter, where I did answer him a few times, and he was without exception (once he discovered that his initial hope that I was about to jump ship was wrong) insulting, taunting, and ridiculing. Tree 2 blocked me from the moment I first responded—not disrespectfully (though also not half-heartedly)—to his article that was published in a major magazine. References to both are in “TrueTom vs the Apostates!” Tree 1:
      Hello guest!
    Tree 2:
      Hello guest!
    I have a different type of a tree in my front yard—a ginkgo tree. It is one of the few (perhaps only) deciduous trees that come in male and female variety. The male tree is fine. The female stinks in the fall. “The sarcotesta [fallen ginko tree fruit] has a strong smell that most people find unpleasant.” - Wikipedia We call ours a ****ball tree. People think that is crude, but then they stop by for a whiff and wonder what took us so long to name it. Otherwise, it’s an outwardly beautiful tree. Why it is MY tree and not one of THEIRS I’ll never know.
  9. When I first experienced this, it was at a Regional Convention. It made a huge impact. Looking down at the songbook, you see only the songbook. Looking at the monitor—in this case it was the overhead scoreboard—you also see thousands of fellow Christians singing along with you. It adds a strengthening uniting feature.
  10. no mention of dedicating oneself to an organization either. I believe it goes without saying. “And let us consider one another so as to incite to love and fine works, not forsaking our meeting together, as some have the custom.” However, I have come around to seeing your point. I will tell Bethel to award diplomas to elders upon being appointed. They obviously are the ones qualified to do it. Not only do they specialize in advanced and applied Bible study for 150 years, but they have the added qualification of showing that they can DO something with it, something that is often lacking in more traditional schools of higher learning. What is a diploma? Essentially, is it anything more than a paper testifying that you have successfully answered someone’s 80 questions? So why should you ask the questions? What in the world do you have to offer? No. They qualify to ask the questions. And award the diplomas, should they ever choose to.
  11. Where are we going with this? Are we back to “all roads lead to heaven?” Or “it doesn’t matter what you believe as long a you are sincere?” Maybe people believe this. Witnesses don’t. Where would you send them to secure a diploma? “Are we starting to recommend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some men, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, inscribed on our hearts and known and being read by all mankind.” 2 Corinthians 3:2 There you go. The proof is in the doing. Just like when “Phillip attached himself to the chariot.” What were his credentials? That Phillip attached himself to the chariot. The proof lay in the doing. The eunuch did not even ask to see his diploma. The man was a Jewish proselyte. What had he been doing to while away the time while traveling? Reading aloud the prophet Isaiah. It’s what he did for fun. Thus, there is every reason to suppose that he was thoroughly familiar with the Jewish framework and needed clarification on just one key point, the one he asked about. Once he had that missing piece supplied and sounded down, he was good to go. That is why his baptism could take place so quickly, in the course of his journey. Rarely is this the case today. Far more common is that people have no pre-knowledge whatsoever about the Bible. Often they have been taught some unbiblical doctrines that thoroughly confound understanding of the Word. This all takes time to straighten out. JWs are not a “come down and be saved” faith. An understanding of the Bible does not come instantaneously. Go find a “come down and be saved” faith if you want one. There are enough of them out there. In the meantime, “attaching oneself to the chariot” is something that very few do other than Jehovah’s Witnesses. That is the proof of their serving God: that they serve him. It has nothing to do with a diploma. If others also claim to be true followers of Christ, let God figure it out. I don’t have to. It is enough for me to follow through on what I have convinced myself is right. As it turns out, there are millions who feel exactly the same why. That is why we clump together. Coming back to how elders are appointed, Jehovah’s Witnesses again adhere to the biblical pattern. Elders are appointed by traveling representatives. It was true then. It is true now. ”There they strengthened the disciples, encouraging them to remain in the faith and saying: “We must enter into the Kingdom of God through many tribulations. Moreover, they appointed elders for them in each congregation, offering prayer with fasting, and they entrusted them to Jehovah (Acts 14:22-23) “I left you in Crete so that you would correct the things that were defective and make appointments of elders in city after city, as I instructed you: (Titus 1:5) No mention is made of a diploma.
  12. Can you really destroy an inability? And if you could, wouldn’t that be a good thing?
  13. I am reminded of LeRoy Green—he would have said something like this. Leroy Green, who in the mixed congregation would drawl on without the slightest self-consciousness about “working for the white man” down in Mississippi. LeRoy Green, who retired from the railroads after 30 years with an intact pension. LeRoy Green, who in his 80s, was sought after by the younger brothers so they could jam with him. LeRoy Green, who, as I learned from relatives at his funeral, turned down an offer to tour with B.B.King, out of concern for his family and spirituality. LeRoy Green, with the most deep and infectious “hee-hee-hee” laugh you have ever heard, who I tried to line up to one day give my own funeral talk. It would have been one not to miss. I would have raised myself up from the dead to hear it: “Hee hee hee. Yeesss, that Tom Harley, he was a good ol boy. But he’s deeead now—D-E-A-D!” Unfortunately, LeRoy Green died first. He would have been one to say—I think I do recall him saying it—that keeping up with theocratic publications was the equivalent of a 4-year college education.
  14. Fine. Give me your address and any persons who want to be baptized yet refuse to provide any evidence that they know what they are doing I will send to you. You can baptize them in your tub and they can help you scour the funnies for items to post. Let them all be islands unto themselves if they like. No one will interfere with that decision. Even the 80 questions is not enough in our congregation. We make people punch in at meetings. It cuts down on stragglers.

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