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TrueTomHarley last won the day on September 15

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  1. They were mountains in my back yard. I was always tripping over them, I had to weed whack around the base, the local teenagers would congregate on the dark side to smoke pot, and they were a general eyesore. I prayed and prayed that they be moved. I don’t care where you put them, I said, I just want them gone. Next day I looked out the window and they were nowhere to be seen.
  2. These are things I know nothing about. I wouldn’t even be able to list a gnostic faith if asked. What Mediterranean rooted faith are we referring to? Christianity? That’s what I’m talkin about. How anyone can swallow that stuff I’ll never know.
  3. They’re not gnostic. They have no special secret source of knowledge. However, the Bible itself speaks to them in a way in does not speak to most. That’s not gnostic, but it leans a little that way.
  4. Aren’t I hearing the song from her: ”Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again too few to mention. My foes, theirs I accrue, for which I want your full attention.” ?
  5. “So the slaves of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not just cover your home with fine paint? How, then, does there come to be anti-JW graffiti all over it? He said to them, ‘An enemy, those pestilential apostates, did this. The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go out and scrub it off? He said, ‘No, for fear that while scrubbing it off, you may ruin the paint job. Let them both remain for a time—I’ll put up with the eyesore for now—until that time when the Grand Redecorator comes along to bundle those guys up in groups of fifty and send them all to the WeepnNash hoosegow.
  6. “As chairman of the resurrection Welcome Wagon, it is my honor to welcome you back from the dead. We have it set up so the guy who is resurrected, after a brief orientation, gets to chair the committee to greet the next group. I’m King David. You may have read of me when……um…….(gulp)……oh, hello Uriah. It’s good to see you.”
  7. “spraying anti-JW graffiti on whatever surface they can find.” Paid up your membership fee for an entire year with that one, you did.
  8. And to think when I was assigned the thread—it wasn’t my idea—entitled ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates,’ which went on to inspire a book of the same name, I had JTR and Witness, along with Top Cat O’Malihan, on the same side! I misjudged JTR back then, and I apologize for it, but he was behaving outrageously at the time. Now he has moderated enough for even a clod like me to see the distinction. The final transgression that earned me my Scarlet Letter A was when I suggested that my three ‘apostates,’ though seemingly on the same page, doubtless would not be able to stand each other in person. At some length, I detailed the reasons why. That’s what did it. Admin made the Librarian (that old hen) take the entire thread down and yell at me! I wrote TrueTom vs the Apostates! to assist anyone who has been stumbled at charges apostates make and thereafter no one is able to help them because they don’t know what is there themselves. It’s for them. Nobody else is allowed to read it. Look, don’t try to bluff me on this. I’ll know. It is available as an ebook and also in Amazon print. Easily found online.
  9. So then what you are saying is that it is your purpose in life to piss on something without offering anything better—to take away but not give. Isn’t that sort of a pathetic occupation for a grown man?
  10. Of course. “You can’t always get what you want,” as someone recently drummed to. Nobody gets everything his way. There are things about the earthly organization that are not as I would prefer. But the choice is not now, nor has ever been, between the people who are tacking this way and that and the people who are sailing straight and true without deviation. The choice is between the people who are tacking this way and that and the people who have sailed off the edge of the earth. The key tenets: no immortal soul, no trinity, use God’s name, kingdom a real government, everlasting life on earth, why God permits evil, exactly how the ransom works, what happens to the dead, preserved nowhere except in the realm where the GB presides—that has to make an impression with anyone in whom love of truth resides. I’m struck with how when people leave Jehovah’s organized worship, they never ever mention these tenets again. The very factors that drew them into the faith are now dismissed as though of no importance. It certainly is true of detractors here who would draw people away. The blemishes of humans taking the lead are drawn out, exaggerated, or even make up, as though they did not all have their counterparts among the first century apostles and presbyrs. Press the detractors for where they would have you go instead and they clam up. They have nothing to offer. In the case of those who still believe in God, it is back to the land of churches, where in time, the bland junk food will reassert itself: All roads lead to heaven, God works in mysterious ;ways, Death of a child is because God needs another flower in heaven. How is that not like the dog returning to his own vomit? in the case of those who have gone the atheist route, it is like a market crash where millions are transformed into hundreds. “Ah, well, they were only paper gains anyway,” says the spiritual dullard giving up on everlasting life to go celebrate the hundreds he still has left. It is no good harping on the blemishes of others, real, imagined, or enhanced. The enemy in the West wants exactly what the enemy in the East wants—to separate Witnesses from their organization, with the confidence that they can be more easily assimilated that way. The only difference between them is the difference between the good cop who would coo at you and the bad cop who would beat you. They want the same. Should you acknowledge the blemishes of fellow believers it nonetheless does not change the overall picture. It fits right in with how things were in the first century, where they also had blemishes. It’s how imperfect people are. Pray to God that he fix your personal woes and beefs and he will respond that he has underlings who can handle the job. It is enough that he will listen to you and provide nourishment night and day. Complain to him that the underlings are imperfect and he will observe that you are no great shakes yourself—you will just have to learn to make do.
  11. Bolding WT publications such as this one, do you imagine you have uncovered some dark mystical “gnostic” secret? Or is this not the way knowledge of anything is acquired? If you want to be an electrician, isn’t the best way to put yourself in close association with someone who has already grasped the material? Knowledge in the case of this Watchtower quote is not the hidden knowledge of the Gnostics. It is Bible knowledge, available to all. All that is needed is a guide. And it apparently works. The Bible tenets that describe Jehovah’s Witnesses and Jehovah’s Witnesses alone are found nowhere except where the GB is taking the lead. That there is no immortal soul, no trinity, use God’s name, kingdom a real government, everlasting life on earth, why God permits evil, exactly how the ransom works, what happens to the dead, and so forth. Few Christian denominations teach even one of these. No one teaches all of them. Only where the GB is present does it happen. In that sense, though G Jackson was ridiculed for it, he is exactly right. They serve as “guardians of doctrine.” Where they are not present, doctrine is scattered to the four winds.. Nor do they “decide what knowledge is” in the sense you imply—simply making things up as though from a secret “gnostic” source. In all cases it is from the Bible. They point people to it—no more—after which it is clear the Bible itself does the instructing. As in the following case: “Philip ran alongside and heard him reading aloud Isaiah the prophet, and he said: “Do you actually know what you are reading?” He said: “Really, how could I ever do so, unless someone guided me?” And he entreated Philip to get on and sit down with him.” (Acts 8:31-32) There is nothing mystical about the know in this verse. It’s not gnostic. It is just plain and simple knowledge of the scriptures. The eunuch just needed someone with a key to unlock it.
  12. This Bro Kaplan makes a pretty good spokesman: "We are not afraid to be different, but we are not out to provoke. Those who know us, including serious institutions in democracies, know that we are not a group of crazies with apocalyptic visions.” I like, too, how he points to the irony of in every land, Witnesses are derided on the basis of being anti-Christian, but in Israel on the basis that they are Christian. Jews know what it is to be persecuted and they do not confuse it with people deciding not to hang out with you.
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