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TrueTomHarley last won the day on June 18

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  1. PSomH is the only person I have ever met, I think in my entire life, who regards ‘writer’ as a pejorative.
  2. The description of messenger that I like, which far overshadows all these nit-picky points you raise, is that of the messenger that prepares the way. “Look! I am sending my messenger, and he must clear up a way before me. And suddenly there will come to His temple the [true] Lord, whom YOU people are seeking, and the messenger of the covenant.” (Malachi 3:1) The idea is picked up again at Matthew at 3:3, and even harmonized with Isaiah: “This, in fact, is the one spoken of through Isaiah the prophet in these words: “Listen! Someone is crying out in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of Jehovah, YOU people! Make his roads straight.’” The first thing you must do to “clear out the way” for any building project is to cart out the trash. Accordingly, Jehovah’s organization carted out significant trash in those early years corresponding to Russell, trash for instance having to do with no trinity, and no immortal soul that might burn in hell. The first makes God unknowable, and the second makes him cruel, someone you would not want to know. You can’t do any building until that stuff is gone. For the most part, faiths outside of JWs retain and showcase this trash to this day. Russell and friends missed a few things, though, and the trash they missed would be carted out to the curb later, things having to do with God’s name being THE most identifying feature, with the unsavory origin of certain holidays, with reverence for the cross, and so forth. These are the thing that anyone which the slightest spiritual vision focuses on. They don’t just keep on dinging on points that seemed unclear or were even misidentified as the lens was being focused. To they extent they do this, they include themselves as those who paid insufficient attention and came to wrong conclusions. It is not the “us against them” scenario that you wish it to be. The whole focus is wrong here, and it smacks of PTonH, who maintains that since we don’t know everything, it is wrong to do anything until Santa comes along and explains every little detail. Better to be patiently sitting on your rear end. “Faith without works is dead,” James says, and is it just me who reads into his demeanor and constantly badgering of the doers a veneration of dead faith? Your remarks smack of the “leadership by apology” style that becomes all the rage today. Indeed, sometimes apologies are in order, but anyone who follows modern secular events cannot help but note that an apology is never accepted. Instead, the solution invariably proposed is “Off with his head!” Isn’t that’s why nobody knows anything today? At the first misstep, people are sent out to pasture, leaving only the inexperienced dolts to run the show. I’m reminded of the line in “Cool Hand Luke” in which George Kennedy marvels that Luke just kept coming and coming when he had nothing!” It worked for a while, but eventually George paid a heavy price for following someone who kept coming when he had nothing. So it is with Srecko and Witness and PSomH. They “keep coming” so as to tear down, but they have nothing in replacement, and in the case of those who (like Srecko?) are humanists, they celebrate having nothing as a great victory. Nobody would say that Witnesses have everything, but they have far from nothing. While there have admittedly been some back-eddies, even backtracking, even times when staying the course and/or following counsel has worked against the immediate interests of some, it messes with only the “glass is half empty” people. For those who can adopt the far more healthier “glass is half full” outlook on life, the path forward is with a spiritual vision that enables one to derive meaning and even strength out of the current events that make persons in general go weak at the knees. If you go like Demas, though, who abandoned Paul because “he loved the present system of things,” then spiritual things themselves become trash, and Demas over time does nothing but bellyache about a group, his former allies, that, inexplicably to him, keeps holding fast to what is fine. He keeps trying to tell them it is not fine, and mutters about “brainwashing” when they pay him insufficient heed.
  3. After all, on a recent visit covered in TI&Me, while the whole car group waited hours in the driveway, Mr. Strawman told me that he might someday come to a meeting! See? He is progressing. The circuit overseer was wrong! He also said something about climate change in hell, but I didn’t understand what he meant by that.
  4. Maybe they’ll change it. Or maybe we’ll learn to deal with the whole thing as a metaphor. (though I don’t see how) Meanwhile, if someone starts giving me a hard time over this in the ministry, I tell them its okay to treat it as a metaphor, and on that basis, see what can they draw from it. A certain type of person almost takes that as a compliment—that you are not rubbing their nose in ‘Adam & Eve’ but you are deeming them smart enough that they can figure out a metaphor. I even briefly won over my return visit Bernard Strawman, whom everyone but me thinks is a waste of time, on this point. I used to call people like this ones who suffer from “We are wise and learned adults, far too clever to be sold Adam and Eve. What’s next—Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck?” syndrome. But now I drop the derisiveness, which does little good anyhow, and just invite them to treat it as a metaphor. After all, science is pretty universal that Adam & Eve is for dumbbells, and we are all taught that science is the be-all and end-all. Training like that doesn’t turn around on a dime. Sometimes when they see how well the metaphor works out they forget all about “science” and they put their “cognitive dissonance” on the shelf as something to work out later. You don’t have to know everything. It’s the antithesis of humility to think that you do—or can. I’’m convinced the phrase “cognitive dissonance” is an appeal to our pride and overall dumbs us down. It is an idea worthy of a pamphlet, but not the volumes dedicated to it. People can’t simultaneously hold two conflicting ideas as true at the same time? Of course they can. A little humility solves the problem, a willingness to put this or that on the shelf pending more information, which may or may not come, but in the meantime, you can’t rush it. You can’t just check yourself at the door because of a few facts that don’t line up. I note how often in mathematics, proofs will commence with assuming this or that point is true, and then seeing where that assumption leads. They don’t just stop dead in their tracks because they don’t know up front whether something is true or not When I first came across Jehovah’s Witnesses, I was astounded that here were people who actually believed in Adam and Eve. They didn’t look stupid, or if so in no greater proportion than anyone else, yet all my life I had heard that only the reddest of the rednecks believed in Adam and Eve. I couldn’t figure it out. I decided to shelve it for future resolution. I still don’t know how certain things will align. But the answer to the ‘problem of evil,’—why a loving God would permit it, the answer to the reason for and origin of death, the coherent answer to the question of how Christ’s death could benefit us—all these things were so overwhelming, that I decided to give “science” the back seat, not the front seat it usually demands. Without Jesus as the “first Adam,” a perfect man who by holding the course, repurchased us from that first perfect man who sinned and sold us out, the question of ‘Why Jesus died from us’ devolves into a mushy and intellectually unsatisfying “because he loved us.” To be sure, the head is not everything, but neither is it nothing. There is some sort of chromosomal evidence that goes back about 6K years. I think @Araunaposted of it not too long ago. I haven’t looked at it closely. Maybe that represents the reconciliation of timelines that otherwise don’t reconcile. It is roundly shouted down by majority scientists today. But we ought to know by now that being shouted down by the majority means nothing. Doesn’t this entire thread establish that? Or what of @JW Insider, who takes a line contrary to almost everyone else (and i think he’s wrong on the point) and declares bad reports of the CCP overblown? Here he is shouted down, but perhaps elsewhere he is paraded around as a visionary. Anything can be spun any way, by people who may or not be disingenuous. The majority team gets the ball and then tilts the field so steeply as to tumble the minority team right off it.
  5. It is amazing to me how you can put such contradictory statements back to back and not see how they obliterate one another. Obviously, Anna’s “truthful” comment is just something she “thinks” she knows, maybe true, maybe false. The only test for something to be true from your point of view is that you agree with it.
  6. “Consider the future!” said the pre-Joker to the police informant as he plugged him from afar with a bullet in a movie you surely didn’t see but you absolutely know that Pudgy the Dog did. Aside from that—that really is a pretty good analysis you did above. Is that what we call ‘Reasoning from the Scriptures?’
  7. Many generations later, once the ravages of sin had thoroughly worked themselves into the chromosomes, yes.
  8. In the US, Covid 19 deaths have topped 600K. I’ve come to believe that the majority were preventable but for the prevailing meme that it was untreatable, that one with a positive case should sit at home, take fluids and bed rest, and only if it got really bad, go to the hospital—by which time is was often too late. The last physical I had I asked my doctor if were to come down with Covid, would he be able to treat it? Of course i can, he said, almost surprised at the question. He went on to relate a few drugs he has used to treat patients—he has done many—and they are some of the same drugs condemned in ‘high places’ as ineffective or even dangerous. You have mentioned some of them. We use them all the time, he says. They work fine in combination. He’s an older man and thus not so likely to be intimidated as is a younger doctor just starting out, beholden to many and intent upon paying off medical school debts. There was a time I used to dismiss all talk of ‘conspiracy theories’—not on the grounds that people were not evil enough—they can easily be that—but on the basis that they were not smart enough, that there were too many stories that must be corroborated for a theory to hold up and it would be too easy for others to punch holes in it. It’s a bit like how Abraham Lincoln once said that he was not smart enough to lie, meaning that once he did, he would have to adjust every subsequent statement to harmonize with that first lie, and he would surely trip himself up in the intent. But now I see that concern is not the operative one. You simply can repeat anything loudly and repeatedly, drown out the competition, or even pull the plug on them, and eventually people believe whatever they’re told. It doesn’t matter if people punch holes in it. You simply shout them down and call them quacks.
  9. Is it like when I was walking my pet pig, and someone said, “Hey, where’d you get the pig?” and the pig answered, “Oh, i found him at the marketplace?” Come, come, is not the answer to some of this to be found in long lifetimes and Genesis 5:4? “And the days of Adam after his fathering Seth came to be eight hundred years. Meanwhile he became father to sons and daughters.” Frowned upon today, of course, and with good reason. Can you not see the reason why in some of the neighbors up in your neck of the woods? But back in the day of being just one generation from perfection…
  10. “911–what is your emergency?” “WHAT IS MY EMERGENCY? What isn’t? The world is going to hell in a hand basket, my loved ones have died, the neighbors who torment me have not, I don’t know why God permits constant suffering, I feel so much pressure and I don’t know how much longer I can hang on! Please, please, help me. Can’t you do something?” “No, little dog, I can’t. I do have a manual in front of me, but no one here has a clue how to read it. You’ll just have to suck it up. When my boss gets in, Mr. Trueanointed, he’ll have an answer for you, but I have no idea where he is. We’ve been paging him for years.”
  11. No one has commented on the new ranking system here yet. Software imposed, I think, I am racking up so many honors as to make anyone’s head spin. Within just a few days time, I went from apprentice to innovator to a few other things. They come as quickly as a rabbit makes bunnies. Soon it will be a Vadaresque “the pupil has become the master,” and I will command anyone saying dumb things to choke himself with his own hand. Nobody better mess with me, that’s all I can say, with all the badges I am being awarded. It’s the first thing I do upon arising—check to see if I have any more. On this forum only, I am clearly conquering and completing my conquest. Alas, I see PSomH also shares my rank—okay, quality of comment carries no weight—and JWI even has a medal I don’t have. But Pudgy and most others are only clappers. Long ago and to my surprise, I surpassed curmudgeonly JTR, the ol pork chop. Much to my surprise, I looked at the stats, and saw that my comments had surpassed his. “What’s wrong, big boy, cat got your tongue?” I said. He was so demoralized that he presently left off commenting. “Patiently sitting on my hands,” even “patiently waiting for the True Anointed,” does not convey the image of vigorous activity. It smacks far more of “giving up.” Yes. Tell James he’s full of hot air when he says “faith without works is dead.” What was he smoking?
  12. They did predict that the little one would become a thousand. And he did.
  13. Let’s start with the very first thing you said in your prior comment, in answer to the remark that the Bible was written for humans. Well, in that case, dig a hole in your back yard and tuck the Bible into it. Leave cookies and milk out for when the True Anointed comes down the chimney, and an open mic so he can tell us who’s been naughty and who’s been nice..
  14. They come from two different places. Ehrman, the conservative evangelical tradition—I call him the “Bible-thumper who became the anti-Bible-thumper, but you can still see the Bible thumper in the anti-Bible-thumper.” That is, he was a fanatic dogmatist one way, and now he is a fanatic dogmatist the other way. LTJ (yes, I do tend to change Timothy to Thomas—my bad) is of a more moderate background and so his deviation from what we would recognize as Bible truth is more moderate. Plus, he at heart has much more respect for spirituality than Ehrman seems to. That doesn’t mean Ehrman is “bad” (though as a teacher of religion it does), it is just that his idea of good comes from the world of science. I am very glad I have followed the lectures of these two fellows. I plan to do it more. They add much for background. And yet I am even gladder that I came into contact with JWs first, and thereby learned Bible truth. An illustration I give a lot is how “once you’ve assembled the jigsaw puzzle and have reproduced the mountain vista that is on the cover of the box, you are immune to the critic who says you put it together wrong. You are especially immune if that critic’s own puzzle lies unassembled, still in the box, on his closet shelf.” So here are two learned and intelligent persons building from a foundation incomplete, faulty, and in some particulars ridiculous. It affects what they come up with. Also affecting the outcome is the tools they have to work with, namely the scientific critical approach. Ehrman completely buys into this method and uses it exclusively. Johnson pushes back at it to some degree, but he can only push so far because it is fundamental to the academic world he makes his home. Push too hard and they will toss him out. But it also doesn’t occur to him to push too hard, for he himself is molded by his surroundings. He pushes some, and that is why you (and I) prefer him, but only so much. Thus arises the “academic view” already mentioned, that the resurrection teaching comes about as “damage control” after Christ’s death, as though Jesus himself never would have dreamed of such a thing. But also there is the scientific evolutionary view that holds that things evolve, that they should evolve, and that any attempt to re-establish primitive Christianity is well—to make oneself primitive. I was very slow to glean just how the “educated” of view of eligion eviscerates biblical truth. I was not raised in the truth, as you were. I came across it during my senior year in college. And I simply took as axiomatic that the goal of all Christian was to follow the Bible. Where people were not, it was because they carried different interpretations of the Bible, I thought, but it was still the Bible that held sway. I didn’t realize until fairly recently that the interpretation they hold the most dear is the one in which the Bible itself becomes not too significant; it becomes a stepping stone to “higher” degrees of spirituality. It was fine for its time, but its time has passed. It can’t be taken too seriously in our modern times, and the interpretation modernists most favor is to interpret it away. Cite a passage here or there as evidence of wisdom that may still hold true in some respects, or is timeless in some aspects, even though it is contaminated by antiquated thinking and morals inappropriate for our modern age—and then spout off in which enlightened people have come to think. In short, the dominant evolutionary thinking is in the driver’s seat. Everything else evolves, and in so doing, improves. Religious “truth” should, too. To set it in stone as inviolate is to offend the god of evolution. Any suggestion that the spread of Christianity is more than a purely human activity is rejected by these men, Ehrman more so than Johnson, but Johnson is not immune to the environment in which he resides. People disagree, bicker, stab each other in the back, compete, get their stories all balled up. That is how it is today with anyone they have ever come into contact with, so they assume it the universal pattern that must always hold, in all times, in all places. Having never seen true unity, they assume it impossible. Anything like “men spoke from God as they were borne along by holy spirit” they regard as just so much blather. Human politics is all that they can envision. They both view it a HUGE problem that decades elapse between Jesus’ death and the first Christian writings, and they are sure that all the “stories” change substantially in that time. To them, it is a matter of which ones survive, and the Bible represents a snapshot in time in which none of them clearly did—they can all be seen battling it out with each other. Witnesses make every attempt to harmonize the writings. It is what you are doing right now with verses with regards Christ’s reign. The scientific critical approach would not stand for this. It will allocate those verses to as many different persons, representing as many different factions, as possible, and then pit what we see today as an ongoing "survival of the fittest" contest between different "theologies" existing even then. If there are two, people, there are two "theologies," as far as BE and LTJ are concerned. The notion of true unity is foreign to them.. Now, of course all of these human factors do play a part in the development of Christianity. In fact, they carry the day eventually, after “he is right now acting as a restraint” passes away [my citation, not theirs]. Even among the genuine wheat back then they operate, but BE and LTJ seem incapable of imagining anything but these scenarios emerging victorious , and, as stated, the notion of “holding fast to what his fine” over time would be regarded as quaint but unattainable at best, and backward and antievolutionary at worst. You can’t fix the world if you don’t expand from your base. The value of Christianity to them lies in its possible ability (for especially Johnson) to fix the world. Therefore, the antiquated first-century notion, something to move on from, is the notion of being separate from the world. Neither professor has much concept of this, though for different reasons. Johnson, especially, regards Christianity as spreading throughout and saving the world. “No part of the world,” for him, appears to be as you might incubate an infant, necessary for its time, but as soon as that infant becomes a man, he sheds that incubation and fixes the world. “Eschatological” beliefs, that is anything dealing with the “end times,” is not the prime development that either wishes to focus on. Where they do, it is to downplay it, if not mock it. They are tenets of “infant” Christianity, a bit embarrassing for today. Here is something I wrote of these two guys from before. I appreciate the opportunity to expand upon it:
      Hello guest!
  15. No, I plead ignorance. Your remark posted as I was writing mine. I hadn’t seen it. You know I wouldn’t dare cross you.
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