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PeterR

Could Someone Be Disfellowshipped For Not Believing In The "Overlapping Generation" JW Doctrine AFTER Being Baptized?

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1 hour ago, Anna said:

I will ask an elder if one has to believe the "overlapping generation' in order to get baptized and I'll get back with you with what he says.

You would be asking the wrong question Anna.

You need to ask him whether someone could be disfellowshipped for NOT believing it after baptism.

If he says no, he is either misinformed, forgetful, or lying.

Now I grant you, not every elder will apply the letter of the law (although in a JC it's more likely because of the group dynamics). But that there are procedures in place to allow for DF'ing someone who refuses to believe in particular teachings is very real.

Let me ask you Anna - if I could prove beyond doubt that this was true would you accept it, or would you continue to make light of it?

If you are determined to see only what you want to see I have no agenda to change that. But I can assure you that I do not speak from a position of ignorance or partial information in this regard.

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Peter, it sounds as though you have the facts. Can you share those facts? While I think you are correct, I would like to know myself. This topic instantly brings me to Corporate America and the policy that if you want to remain, you will do and act as "we" say. Corporate America cares not if you believe in the direction or concept of the corporation, just that you obey and conform. That is a hard pill for some to swallow because it shows that the corporation doesn't care about the individual, only the bottom line. Also, in the corporate world there are instances where the policy is not intended to protect anything but the corporation and each employee knows that it is wrong, but what can they do if they are being paid handsomely? 

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I know for a fact, and from personal experience, that it is quite possible to hold differing views from many other Witnesses and continue to have privileges and NOT be disfellowshipped. Among certain bodies of elders one can even make a private request not to be given certain subject matter as assignments and, as long as this never interferes with congregation activities as a whole, this need not be a problem. But I also know that there are some elders and circuit overseers who are quick to create an ultimatum that might lead to disciplinary action. It's ironic that some of the most judgmental of these persons themselves also hold views that differ from the Society's view. (I saw this especially when I worked for Brother Schroeder.)

Everyone knows that all of us might hold certain minor variations in our personal beliefs about a verse or an idea here and there, and if we are not dogmatic and if it does not contradict a key teaching then we are "safe."  But it is easy to cause trouble with personal beliefs, and it's easy for people to get caught up in the idea that their personal beliefs make them somehow better or more spiritually mature than others. This was a rather obvious problem for a time at Bethel.

I didn't see it as openly when I was there, but I'm told that there was a practice that probably peaked in the early to mid 1970's and coincided with the hype about 1975 that ran from 1967 to 1974. The practice was for many "Bethel Elders" (especially those in authoritative positions) to talk about ideas they held that differed from the current Watchtower teachings. This was not considered a sign of disrespect, but a way to gain more respect, a way to position themselves as spiritually mature and studious. It was especially the more mature brothers who had responsibilities in the Service Dept, Correspondence, Writing, and similar work. It seemed like every "Table Head" could speak about some nuances of differences in belief that he held, and there was a kind of free-thinking openness that many brothers found refreshing. Younger Bethelites were able to have enlightening conversations among themselves about doctrinal possibilities based on sharing things they heard from table conversations.

The expansion of the Bethel family due to the increased inflow of Witnesses in the pre-1975 era might have had something to do with why this was cracked down upon. With the new Governing Body assignments that expanded beyond the Board of Directors, some of the brothers like Sydlik and Schroeder who were well known for this practice, began to be heard only in more hushed tones. Others followed suit, so that non-conformists seemed to censor themselves (I'm told). Of course, it's quite possible that other factors resulted in the self-censoring. Perhaps there was a fear that it could get out of control; perhaps it came from Knorr or Franz. All I know is that people still talked about the more open freedom that had been the norm in the years just before I got to Bethel, and various Bethelites would still identify who had said what about certain doctrines. The consistency among various Bethelites told me that most of it was probably true, and I was able to verify some of it with Dan Sydlik, Bert Schroeder, Fred Rusk, Sam Friend and others personally.

On the matter of the "overlapping generation" I would think it's simply a matter of attitude and "style." Disagreeing without being disagreeable.

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36 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

I know for a fact, and from personal experience, that it is quite possible to hold differing views from many other Witnesses and continue to have privileges and NOT be disfellowshipped. Among certain bodies of elders one can even make a private request not to be given certain subject matter as assignments and, as long as this never interferes with congregation activities as a whole, this need not be a problem. But I also know that there are some elders and circuit overseers who are quick to create an ultimatum that might lead to disciplinary action. It's ironic that some of the most judgmental of these persons themselves also hold views that differ from the Society's view. (I saw this especially when I worked for Brother Schroeder.)

I thought that all witnesses learn and believe the same thing and that this is a defining factor to prove that the wt is the truth? So you are saying that there IS division among jw's? 

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14 minutes ago, Shiwiii said:

I thought that all witnesses learn and believe the same thing and that this is a defining factor to prove that the wt is the truth? So you are saying that there IS division among jw's? 

Argument is not your forte @Shiwii. Try and speak straight. You might have more success.

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I hadn't realized that people could create new topics under your name without your say so. But this is the second one for me now.

So if anyone thinks I started this and haven't replied I can assure you I wasn't even aware that this topic existed until a couple of seconds ago.

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7 hours ago, Shiwiii said:

Peter, it sounds as though you have the facts. Can you share those facts? While I think you are correct, I would like to know myself. This topic instantly brings me to Corporate America and the policy that if you want to remain, you will do and act as "we" say. Corporate America cares not if you believe in the direction or concept of the corporation, just that you obey and conform. That is a hard pill for some to swallow because it shows that the corporation doesn't care about the individual, only the bottom line. Also, in the corporate world there are instances where the policy is not intended to protect anything but the corporation and each employee knows that it is wrong, but what can they do if they are being paid handsomely? 

In my opinion and experience there is an element of this going on. I don't believe it's motivated by corporate greed though. There are different motivators at work. If you want to start to understand what they are you can look at a local level and work up from there.

There are many good brothers and sisters who do good deeds for no personal advancement. This is true of many people outside of the organization also (it would be wrong/silly to suggest otherwise), but most of us are primarily focused on what happens inside. 

At the same time there is a hierarchy. Technically nobody is "greater", but it's implicitly acknowledged that some "privileges" are greater than others. (All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others. - Animal Farm)

In recent years the ones being promoted up that hierarchy tend to be younger than they were a decade or two ago. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with that, but most people who see what's going on from inside would say that loyalty is being valued over experience. If anyone cares to argue with that then please go ahead. Loyalty is a valuable quality when applied correctly and directed to the right party. Loyalty to Jehovah God and his Son is essential. But if the organization becomes interchangeably used with Jehovah, with no practical distinction then there is room for loyalty to become abused by those in authority.

When organization becomes the thing that must be preserved at all costs, and individuals are expendable, bad things happen. The word "organization" never occurs in God's Word, and Jesus always stressed the value of individuals. That's not to say that being organized is a bad thing, but not if "unity" and "organization" trump "love".

By all means I would prefer to support my point of view with specific examples. I could do that, but I won't in a public forum.

It should not be necessary though. Those in the hierarchy know the facts even though they may not care to confront them. And for sure if things are going without problem in your corner of the world then I am happy for you. The question is whether the system itself is geared to serve the needs of an organization when it comes to the crunch, or to help individuals.

Elders - what is the order of priority you have been given at school - 1) Jehovah's name, 2) the congregation, and 3) the individual.

Anyone care to argue?

In practice #1 & #2 actually becomes "the organization" and #3 remains as "the individual".

And the scriptural support for this is .... ? See the problem?

(I already know that certain people will not see a problem)

 

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By the way, even though I didn't raise this topic, the answer to the title question is ... YES

Will it happen? Not in the majority of cases. But the fact that it can and does happen should raise a red flag because some people are getting hurt.

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4 hours ago, PeterR said:

I hadn't realized that people could create new topics under your name without your say so. But this is the second one for me now.

So if anyone thinks I started this and haven't replied I can assure you I wasn't even aware that this topic existed until a couple of seconds ago.

@PeterR Moderators can.... and should only when there is clearly a major fork in the conversation.

 

Until one day when @admin decides to introduce threaded replies.

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6 hours ago, PeterR said:

I hadn't realized that people could create new topics under your name without your say so. But this is the second one for me now.

So if anyone thinks I started this and haven't replied I can assure you I wasn't even aware that this topic existed until a couple of seconds ago.

This happened to me a few times as well. The Librarian (or someone) seems to take the liberty to do this when they see fit. I wish they would ask first...

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7 hours ago, PeterR said:

By the way, even though I didn't raise this topic, the answer to the title question is ... YES

Will it happen? Not in the majority of cases. But the fact that it can and does happen should raise a red flag because some people are getting hurt.

That is far too simplistic. A disfellowshipping happens for several reasons and merely not believing something is not one of them.

So....I did ask the elder. Of course he did not give me a yes or a no answer immediately. He said it depends. But disfellowshipped directly and specifically for not believing the overlapping generation NO. Of course I already knew his answer because he has known about my feelings regarding this topic (overlapping generation) for a long time and I have as yet not been disfellowshipped and don't ever expect to be over this issue. It stands to reason. There is no scriptural basis to disfellowship someone for not believing something which is ambiguous, or not clearly set out in the scriptures, or is not a core teaching.  A case in point: The experience of Willi Diehl in last weeks WT study. He knew getting married was not un-scriptural, therefor he went ahead despite sanctions and despite some treating him as if he was disfellowshipped. But he was not disfellowshipped. Another situation; in the video at the convention last week, (Friday 4:15 - How you can by no means ever fail) the brother did not go along with the 1975 idea, because, in his own words "something just didn't seem right" he reminded himself that we cannot know since Jesus said no one knows, and that he was dedicated to Jehovah, and not to a date. Similarly, if someone does not go along with the overlapping generation idea, because they personally do not see sufficient scriptural evidence, then that is no grounds for disfellowshipping.

Back to the "it depends". If someone created enough fuss and caused divisions and unrest in the congregation because he insisted everyone came around to his view, then if that person continued despite nicely being asked to stop, then he could end up being disfellowshipped. Not for his belief, but for causing divisions. And disfellowshipping for that does have scriptural basis.

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1 hour ago, The Librarian said:

@Anna the key would be to stay on topic or start your own new topic. 

I only fork it off if it is completely astray from the topic theme.

Of course, that would be ideal, but as you see, it is kind of difficult to stay on topic, especially if it's not you who changes the topic in the first place....but yes, I understand.

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7 hours ago, The Librarian said:

@Anna the key would be to stay on topic or start your own new topic. 

I only fork it off if it is completely astray from the topic theme.

 

Yes, fair enough. I do understand the issue.

Just as a suggestion, I don't know whether it's possible just to embed a moderation note at the start of the first forked post with a standard line to say "This topic was split from another topic and was not started or given a title by this member." But maybe with better wording than mine.

No problem if not. It's just an idea.

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6 hours ago, Anna said:

So....I did ask the elder. ... He said it depends.

Indeed, and I think I've acknowledged that.

 

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But disfellowshipped directly and specifically for not believing the overlapping generation NO.

OK. But now he's saying how he would apply the letter of the law, rather than what's possible according to the laws and guidelines.

I could give you references to the ks book, letters to BoE and CO's, notes/recordings from elder school, all of which you could take back to your elder and ask him about.

I won't do it of course. I do not have any motivation to convince you that would prompt me to cross that line. And I suspect even if you saw the material with your own eyes you would simply say it was all hypothetical. But that would be to miss the point that measures are in place to enforce belief in this, or any other doctrine, if in someone's opinion the circumstances warrant it.

 

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Of course I already knew his answer because he has known about my feelings regarding this topic (overlapping generation) for a long time and I have as yet not been disfellowshipped and don't ever expect to be over this issue.

And I know plenty of other people who are known to have quietly voiced that they don't accept the teaching, and they remain in good standing. I also know others who have paid a price for voicing a difference. As your elder says "it depends". Now he probably means it depends on what other factors there are in the case of the person, but it also depends on the elders themselves. Especially if a particular type of CO gets involved they have the latitude to DF someone for not believing in any unique teaching of JWs.  

 

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It stands to reason. There is no scriptural basis to disfellowship someone for not believing something which is ambiguous, or not clearly set out in the scriptures, or is not a core teaching. 

I agree that there is no scriptural basis for it.

 

Quote

A case in point: The experience of Willi Diehl in last weeks WT study. He knew getting married was not un-scriptural, therefor he went ahead despite sanctions and despite some treating him as if he was disfellowshipped. But he was not disfellowshipped. Another situation; in the video at the convention last week, (Friday 4:15 - How you can by no means ever fail) the brother did not go along with the 1975 idea, because, in his own words "something just didn't seem right" he reminded himself that we cannot know since Jesus said no one knows, and that he was dedicated to Jehovah, and not to a date.

Please don't get me started on this or the librarian will fork me off into another new topic. I'll just say in passing though that they are effectively putting up someone as a good example because he was ignoring what was in Watchtower print at the time in favor of what he understood from the Bible. When someone does that today guess what s/he gets labelled as.

Before you say it wasn't in print, have you never seen the quote "Now is not the time to be toying with Jesus' words about the day or the hour ..."?

 

Quote

Similarly, if someone does not go along with the overlapping generation idea, because they personally do not see sufficient scriptural evidence, then that is no grounds for disfellowshipping.

Back to the "it depends". If someone created enough fuss and caused divisions and unrest in the congregation because he insisted everyone came around to his view, then if that person continued despite nicely being asked to stop, then he could end up being disfellowshipped. Not for his belief, but for causing divisions. And disfellowshipping for that does have scriptural basis.

 

There is a lot of truth to that. But what you may not be factoring in is that it takes two to tango. The "unrest" that results can very much depend on the listener rather than the speaker. You may have one congregation which is laid back enough to see this for what it is, and do nothing. But you may have another with some highly strung people who react very quickly to hearing anything that doesn't sound 100% "loyal" to them. And thus the wheels can be put in motion for some serious damage.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, PeterR said:

I'll just say in passing though that they are effectively putting up someone as a good example because he was ignoring what was in Watchtower print at the time in favor of what he understood from the Bible.

This is absolutely incorrect. He was ignoring prevailing opinion at the time. His quote specifically states it was not the organization's view at the time. (hence, not in Watchtower print) I didn't drill down any further, seeing no need to challenge every word from trustworthy persons. But frankly, I thought is was their view at the time, with regard to Bethel service.

If you want special privileges anywhere, you may have to conform to some rules. These are not binding for Christians in general, but only for those who wish to officially represent JWs, as elders and MS's do. With Bethel service, I believe it is more a matter of conforming to family headship, Bethel often being called 'the Bethel family.' Among actual families, one family head decrees this or that rule for family members, another does not, or has different ones.

Nobody has to serve in Bethel. Nobody has to pioneer. Nobody has to serve as an elder or MS. But if you do, there may be additional requirements beyond that which apply to Christians generally. It is that way with representing anyone anywhere.

 

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4 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

This is absolutely incorrect. He was ignoring prevailing opinion at the time. His quote specifically states it was not the organization's view at the time. (hence, not in Watchtower print) I didn't drill down any further, seeing no need to challenge every word from trustworthy persons. But frankly, I thought is was their view at the time, with regard to Bethel service. 

 

 

Okay Tom. Let's test that.

At the end of 1968 this brother would have been studying the following Watchtower in the congregation:

*** w68 8/15 p. 494 Why Are You Looking Forward to 1975? ***
 

I encourage you to examine it for yourself as if you were this brother at that time, and then see if you can sustain your response. There are too many highlights to choose from, but the one I was referring to in particular was this one:

 

*** w68 8/15 pp. 500-501 par. 35 Why Are You Looking Forward to 1975? ***
This is not the time to be toying with the words of Jesus that “concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matt. 24:36) To the contrary, it is a time when one should be keenly aware that the end of this system of things is rapidly coming to its violent end.

 

The entire article was 37 paragraphs of building anticipation for 1975.

Please bear in mind that this was not "an opinion piece". This was a study article which all were expected to learn from and apply. So to say in this assembly video that this brother felt forewarned by what he had learned at the meetings is .... ?

Ah, now you may get picky and say that this was a few years before 1975 and maybe the fervor in print had cooled off by then. In that case please show me the mitigating texts that this brother was supposed to have drawn from. In fact the KM was praising those who sold houses and left jobs right up to the year itself. And this brother says "some even went so far as to sell homes and give up jobs ...". Hmmmm.

I know an elder who cuts out significant soundbites from study articles and sticks it on his wall as a reminder of "current truth". They will stay there for as long as it takes unless that truth is changed. So if this brother in the video had treated the Watchtower as seriously (and most did), then he would not have been "ignoring prevailing opinion at the time" as you suggest, but rather he would have been ignoring food from the FDS.

If you don't care to look up the article and other relevant material in print at the time then I would be happy to supply more quotations. But I imagine that will suffice to at least have you reconsider your assertion that what I wrote "is absolutely incorrect".

 

 

 

 

 

 

I personally

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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19 hours ago, JW Insider said:

I believe that, as Christians, it's our responsibility to question all things, but doctrines need not be the highest priority to Christians. They can't be ignored, but Christians should be more conscientiously concerned with moral standards, serving the needs of others and showing love for God and neighbor and allowing those priorities to motivate all of their life and conduct. Doctrines will find their place as time permits.

I'm sorry but I just cannot accept this part of your post in all honesty. In an essence you're saying "just go along and be a good person, nevermind if the foundation of your beliefs are all outta whack, it'll work itself out." 

The doctrines of a belief is the foundations of that said belief. You even eluded to this in a different post. 

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7 minutes ago, Shiwiii said:

I'm sorry but I just cannot accept this part of your post in all honesty. In an essence you're saying "just go along and be a good person, nevermind if the foundation of your beliefs are all outta whack, it'll work itself out." 

The doctrines of a belief is the foundations of that said belief. You even eluded to this in a different post. 

I think you have the essence pretty much correct. What sort of persons we ought to be is a much higher priority than our exact doctrinal beliefs. Witnesses believe this even if most of us don't say it out loud because we know that even the Watch Tower Society under Russell and Rutherford and Knorr and Franz had hundreds of doctrines wrong, but we don't judge them as having been judged harshly by Jehovah. We also believe that billions who have lived and died in the past in every religion on earth will be resurrected to an opportunity to live forever. But we know that Jehovah considers only two teachings to be of the highest priority: love of God and love of neighbor. He is not concerned with specific works, or works at all. Jehovah is concerned with our motivation, and if our motivation is love of God and love of neighbor, then proper "works" will follow naturally. 

Here's how good doctrine ("healthful teaching") will follow. Our love of God makes us want to know more about him. We would expect him to have made himself known without excess difficulty. As Paul says in Romans:

(Romans 10:6-8) 6 But the righteousness resulting from faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ that is, to bring Christ down, 7 or, ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ that is, to bring Christ up from the dead.” 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your own mouth and in your own heart”; that is, “the word” of faith, which we are preaching.

So the "word" is near to us. If we listen closely with a desire to know God better, we will hear it being preached, we will find Bibles and books that comment on the Bible. Our desire to know God better will ultimately lead to an attraction to the teachings that make the most sense overall, those that let us know what God's will is, those that let us know the "mind of Christ." Sufficient accuracy of doctrine will follow from our love of God. In trying to imitate our God, we will be motivated to do good for others.

Thus spreads Christianity!

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55 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

Witnesses believe this even if most of us don't say it out loud because we know that even the Watch Tower Society under Russell and Rutherford and Knorr and Franz had hundreds of doctrines wrong, but we don't judge them as having been judged harshly by Jehovah.

We both know of the changes in doctrine that the wt has made through out the years, so we don't need to rehash those but rather reflect on the attitude and demand for conformity at those times. Here is where I see this as a problem, and maybe other's will not, the requirement to obey the gb or whomever was in charge at the time of said changes in doctrine. what comes to mind here is the exact scripture that bruceq quoted:

23 hours ago, bruceq said:

"If any man teaches another doctrine and does not agree with the wholesome  instruction,  which is from our Lord Jesus Christ, nor with the teaching that is in harmony with godly devotion,  

    Hello guest!
 he is puffed up with pride and does not understand anything.  He is obsessed  with arguments and debates about words.  These things give rise to envy, strife, slander,  wicked suspicions, 
    Hello guest!
 constant disputes about minor matters by men who are corrupted in mind  and deprived of the truth." 1 Tim 6:3-5.

So you have admitted that the wt has changed doctrine, but you do not judge them or see them as been judged, but here in 1 Tim we see that the word of God has spoken about such matters in the context of what we are talking about. What I do not grasp is how anyone can align themselves to a group or group of men who's foundation is based upon incorrect teachings of doctrine. Its like saying that the Baha’i faith, if they are good people then the foundation of their beliefs will come around. Is Mormons are just good people, then after a while their doctrines will just fall into place? Catholics too? See my point.

 

 

56 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

But we know that Jehovah considers only two teachings to be of the highest priority: love of God and love of neighbor. He is not concerned with specific works, or works at all. Jehovah is concerned with our motivation, and if our motivation is love of God and love of neighbor, then proper "works" will follow naturally. 

I agree to an extent here, yes these are qualities in which God has instructed us to be. It should be second nature within our character as we serve Him through serving others. 

 

59 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

So the "word" is near to us. If we listen closely with a desire to know God better, we will hear it being preached, we will find Bibles and books that comment on the Bible. Our desire to know God better will ultimately lead to an attraction to the teachings that make the most sense overall, those that let us know what God's will is, those that let us know the "mind of Christ."

yes, I agree.

 

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4 hours ago, PeterR said:

At the end of 1968 this brother would have been studying the following Watchtower in the congregation:

This has nothing to do with anything. For all I know, he wasn't even alive at the end of 1968. His experience is about keeping his head in view of totally unrelated happenings probably 20 years previous.

It has nothing to do with material in print even, least of all, prophetic doctrine. You are flailing more with each word you write. Stop doing that.

Look, you don't like the Jehovah's Witness organization. Got it.

Not to mention that you will soon offend the orderly senses of the anal @The Librarian, bringing up a topic brand new. Please don't cry again if you find yourself again at the head of a thread you did not start.

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3 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

This has nothing to do with anything. For all I know, he wasn't even alive at the end of 1968. His experience is about keeping his head in view of totally unrelated happenings probably 20 years previous.

It has nothing to do with material in print even, least of all, prophetic doctrine. You are flailing more with each word you write. Stop doing that.

Look, you don't like the Jehovah's Witness organization. Got it.

I openly admit that I have no idea what you are now saying, nor why you are saying it.

I'm not sure you do either.

TrueTomHarley - do you value honesty at all? Is there a basis for a conversation here, or when confronted with reality is pulling a pin on a confusion grenade the only option for you? If so I have to say that it was pretty effective.

In the meanwhile if anyone else has followed the exchange, and would like to make a reasoned comment on the matter, then I'd love to inhale a small whiff of sanity.

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3 hours ago, Shiwiii said:

We both know of the changes in doctrine that the wt has made through out the years, so we don't need to rehash those but rather reflect on the attitude and demand for conformity at those times. Here is where I see this as a problem, and maybe other's will not, the requirement to obey the gb or whomever was in charge at the time of said changes in doctrine. what comes to mind here is the exact scripture that bruceq quoted:

So you have admitted that the wt has changed doctrine, but you do not judge them or see them as been judged, but here in 1 Tim we see that the word of God has spoken about such matters in the context of what we are talking about. What I do not grasp is how anyone can align themselves to a group or group of men who's foundation is based upon incorrect teachings of doctrine. Its like saying that the Baha’i faith, if they are good people then the foundation of their beliefs will come around. Is Mormons are just good people, then after a while their doctrines will just fall into place? Catholics too? See my point.

 

 

I agree to an extent here, yes these are qualities in which God has instructed us to be. It should be second nature within our character as we serve Him through serving others. 

 

yes, I agree.

 

Fortunately since we are all imperfect the criteria for identifying true religion is  "Love one another" not a belief in any particular doctrine's substance [such as the meaning of generation] since they can be in many cases subject to change. Jn. 13:35. And since nearly all religions kill each other when a country goes to war that would identify the ones who do not as standing out by that mark. Of course there are other identifying marks but that one [love]  is also involved in all the rest as a DNA of evidence for the true faith. In my opinion Jehovah's Witnesses is that faith.

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2 minutes ago, Shiwiii said:

What I do not grasp is how anyone can align themselves to a group or group of men who's foundation is based upon incorrect teachings of doctrine. Its like saying that the Baha’i faith, if they are good people then the foundation of their beliefs will come around. Is Mormons are just good people, then after a while their doctrines will just fall into place? Catholics too? See my point.

I don't align myself to a group of men. I seek a valid Christian brotherhood. I can't speak for why others choose the faiths they choose. But I can share my faith. If it is attractive to them, they will seek to learn more. Many people, especially Catholics from your examples, are Catholics because that's how they were raised. But Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses remind them through the process of going out publicly from door to door that there are other options out there, should they seek a change. Some find that attraction through better doctrine, and some through finding a loving Christian brotherhood that excels their current experience.

I personally think that JWs are doing the better job in setting the example of managing a worldwide public ministry. But, as you probably know, I would also welcome an adjustment to three or four non-major doctrines. I don't consider them major, although since one of them is our set of chronology doctrines, some JWs might. Even though I don't think they are critical, Jehovah knows that people will always be curious to see if there is some bit of calculating, in-depth research that might reveal the secrets of the ages. But I also know that Witnesses are not "stuck" on these doctrines. We've made terrible, stupid mistakes, and even promoted some false prophecies over these doctrines in the past, but as soon as they are proved false, they are dismissed. In general our belief in a "revealed" end-times chronology is intended to bolster activity and urgency and watchfulness. Perhaps it works for some people. I think it's the wrong motivation, but I don't know that any other motivation would work better for most of us. 

Also, I'm not one of those Witnesses who judges the members of others religions as deserving of death at Armageddon. I fully expect that it's more likely that all "religion" as organizations will break down during the Great Tribulation. But the ways in which an organization would remain united under such conditions will favor those individuals who came out of organizations that prepared and anticipated the troubles in some way.

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In regards to chronology even Russell said very early on that "there is always some possibility of mistakes" so it is a fluid subject based upon what you have to work with. For example is the date 1925 calculation was actually based on a "poor translation from the KJV" of Ushers Chronology that made the date wrong but they didn't figure that out until 1943 [which helped develop the early mss  for NWT] when archaeological discoveries helped formulate a more accurate chronology regarding times around the exile period. The point was they were trying to keep people's sense of urgency that Christendom long lost just as the Generation thing does today. Hard to "keep on the watch" if you think the end is not anytime close.

Sorry for going a bit off topic

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JWinsider - I wish it were possible to upvote your comments more than just the once. Several things you have written in this and related threads recently are very encouraging because they square directly with scripture and reason. You probably are aware that many students of the Bible have reached identical (or very similar) conclusions based on an unhindered reading of God's Word.

Thank you.

 

13 minutes ago, bruceq said:

Fortunately since we are all imperfect the criteria for identifying true religion is  "Love one another" not a belief in any particular doctrine's substance [such as the meaning of generation] since they can be in many cases subject to change. Jn. 13:35. And since nearly all religions kill each other when a country goes to war that would identify the ones who do not as standing out by that mark. Of course there are other identifying marks but that one is also involved in all the rest as a DNA of evidence for the true faith. In my opinion.

 

Bruceq - for sure it's an identifier, just as Jesus said it would be. He didn't actually say that it would identify a religion. He said it would identify people as Christians.

Does that dilute Christianity, or negate the need for Christian association and activity? Not at all.

But perhaps it should make us think about when the wheat and weeds are actually bundled according to Jesus' parables.

 

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I hope I don't get in trouble for this off topic remark but...back in WW 2 fighter pilots use to bring balls of aluminum foil with them. When they went into the enemy territory they would throw them out of the cockpit window. The reason for this was to mask the identity of his plane since the radar at that time could not tell the difference between a plane a flock of birds or aluminum foil. Therefore by illustration Satan has thrown out thousands of religions calling themselves "Christian" and yet only a handful of other sects of other religions. So Satan knows the true religion is one of Christianity's faiths since he is trying to hide it like a needle in a haystack. There are over 2,000 sects of Christianity but how many different Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists are there?   Something to think about.B|

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12 minutes ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

The rules were changed when Bro. Nathan H. Knoor decided to get married.

THEN the arbitrary tyranny stopped.

While you were scrapping, I acknowledged that:

https://www.theworldnewsmedia.org/forums/topic/39002-the-judge-of-the-entire-earth-will-always-do-what-is-right/

I managed to do it without slandering a good man as a tyrant.

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Slander is only slander if it is NOT true, and the person being excoriated is still alive.

Slander DAMAGES someone.   You cannot slander  or libel a dead person ... it is IMPOSSIBLE to hurt them.. They are dead.

and the perfect defense against a charge of being a slanderer is if what you said is TRUE.

The fact that the rules were changed for the President of the WTB&TS, and others were treated like disfellowshipped ones, there is a word for that.

TYRANNY.

Petty tyranny, to be sure ... not like being put in front of a wall blindfolded and shot ... but tyranny nonetheless.

At has ALWAYS been true among supposed equals everywhere .... "Everyone is Equal, but some are more equal than others.".

PubSpeak notwithstanding.

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11 hours ago, PeterR said:

 

Okay Tom. Let's test that.

At the end of 1968 this brother would have been studying the following Watchtower in the congregation:

*** w68 8/15 p. 494 Why Are You Looking Forward to 1975? ***
 

I encourage you to examine it for yourself as if you were this brother at that time, and then see if you can sustain your response. There are too many highlights to choose from, but the one I was referring to in particular was this one:

 

*** w68 8/15 pp. 500-501 par. 35 Why Are You Looking Forward to 1975? ***
This is not the time to be toying with the words of Jesus that “concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matt. 24:36) To the contrary, it is a time when one should be keenly aware that the end of this system of things is rapidly coming to its violent end.

 

The entire article was 37 paragraphs of building anticipation for 1975.

Please bear in mind that this was not "an opinion piece". This was a study article which all were expected to learn from and apply. So to say in this assembly video that this brother felt forewarned by what he had learned at the meetings is .... ?

Ah, now you may get picky and say that this was a few years before 1975 and maybe the fervor in print had cooled off by then. In that case please show me the mitigating texts that this brother was supposed to have drawn from. In fact the KM was praising those who sold houses and left jobs right up to the year itself. And this brother says "some even went so far as to sell homes and give up jobs ...". Hmmmm.

I know an elder who cuts out significant soundbites from study articles and sticks it on his wall as a reminder of "current truth". They will stay there for as long as it takes unless that truth is changed. So if this brother in the video had treated the Watchtower as seriously (and most did), then he would not have been "ignoring prevailing opinion at the time" as you suggest, but rather he would have been ignoring food from the FDS.

If you don't care to look up the article and other relevant material in print at the time then I would be happy to supply more quotations. But I imagine that will suffice to at least have you reconsider your assertion that what I wrote "is absolutely incorrect".

 

 

 

 

 

 

I personally

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think @TrueTomHarleywas talking about the brother who wanted to get married, in last weeks WT study, not about the 1975 brother in the video at the convention. If I'm not mistaken...

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5 hours ago, Anna said:

I think @TrueTomHarleywas talking about the brother who wanted to get married, in last weeks WT study, not about the 1975 brother in the video at the convention. If I'm not mistaken...

If that's true he abruptly changed the subject, as you can see by following the thread.

He certainly seemed to understand that I was talking about the convention video in my first comment about it.

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13 hours ago, PeterR said:

You probably are aware that many students of the Bible have reached identical (or very similar) conclusions based on an unhindered reading of God's Word.

Yes. Just about everything I've presented here about Matthew 24 (Mark 13 and Luke 21) actually came from various brothers in the Writing Department at Brooklyn Bethel between 1976 and 1982. On my own, I would not have thought about accepting the word of a Bible commentary. At least 4, probably 5, members of the Governing Body held similar views, doubting or rejecting 1914, and at least one more, including a member of the Governing Body that I worked with, held a different view of the "generation." One of his ideas was rejected outright ("the 1957 generation"), and one was finally accepted several years after he began promoting it (the generation of the anointed).  I know that a lot of people think of these variations in belief as a wicked form of apostasy, but that's primarily because of a current hierarchical system that isn't transparent about their own discussions and beliefs.

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Not one witness in 200 understands ( and I just made up that statistic ...) that the way "new truth" is determined is that it is proposed by someone, and VOTED ON ... and there has to be a 66.66% majority to apostasize from the "Old Truth", or come up with a "new" idea.

In 1957, when Sputnik was circling the Earth ... it was proposed that this be viewed as one of the "signs in the heavens", but it did not get enough votes to become "new light".

YOU CANNOT VOTE ON TRUTH!

Something is either true ... or it's NOT!

I remember pieces of a movie I saw on TV many years ago ... I think the movie's setting years were somewhere around the 1300's ... Omar Sherif playing somebody was being asked if there REALLY was such a thing as witches.

He replied "I hope so ... because we burn at the stake about 16,000 a year, in Germany alone." (paraphrased 50 year old memory fragment).

I understand the relationship between these two apparently disjointed ideas ... I hope you do also.

When people start "making up" theology from NOTHING ... they also start collecting firewood for those who will not, and cannot believe it.

.

 

.

 

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4 hours ago, PeterR said:

If that's true he abruptly changed the subject, as you can see by following the thread.

He certainly seemed to understand that I was talking about the convention video in my first comment about it.

Can this not be taken as 'imputing motive?' almost an ad hominem attack?

Alas, perhaps we were speaking past each other. If the thread is long, I skim before posting, and barely touch ground on certain posts, as you would if walking through a cow pasture. Apparently, I missed the change of topic. Sorry.

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9 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Apparently, I missed the change of topic. Sorry.

You brought up the convention video. I made that clear that I was commenting on that by writing "Before you say it wasn't in print, have you never seen the quote 'Now is not the time to be toying with Jesus' words about the day or the hour ...'? "

You replied "This is absolutely incorrect. He was ignoring prevailing opinion at the time." and wrote that it was "not in Watchtower print"

I demonstrated that it very much was in WT print - even in an extensive and detailed congregation study article. So if this brother bucked the trend and is now being publicly praised for doing so, he is being praised for thinking outside of what the WT study was teaching in the congregations. This is apparently praiseworthy in hindsight, and yet to do the same today will have you labelled as apostate.

No need to respond, since I'm aware that there isn't any defense for this convention video. We'll just put it down to "alternative facts".

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2 minutes ago, PeterR said:

We'll just put it down to "alternative facts".

KellyAnne explained what she meant by that expression. The media went apoplectic when she seemingly applied it to photos that plainly showed whose inauguration crowd was greater...I swear, he does it just to bait them.

The 'alternative facts' that she was referring to are the facts she feels they should have been reporting but were not because they were consumed with back-biting and trivia. Lest there be any doubt that this was her meaning, her Twitter banner for a time showed her peering over Trump's shoulder as he signed important looking documents. Photoshopped in was the dialogue box: "I'm 50. He's 45."

It is the same here. Grousers that complain would do better to consider the 'alternative facts:' ...how, for example, a person has opportunity to live forever on a paradise earth, and that being the case, is it really the best use of their time to piss it all away over relatively minor things?

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10 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Grousers that complain would do better to consider the 'alternative facts:' ...how, for example, a person has opportunity to live forever on a paradise earth, and that being the case, is it really the best use of their time to piss it all away over relatively minor things?

"Relatively minor" to those who live in a bubble of alternative facts.

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1 hour ago, PeterR said:
1 hour ago, PeterR said:

"Relatively minor" to those who live in a bubble of alternative facts.

 

Since the only alternative  facts I mentioned were the prospect of living forever on a paradise earth, is that, too, a misguided 'bubble' for you? If so, you would have saved everyone's time by cutting right to the chase.

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3 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Since the only alternative  facts I mentioned were the prospect of living forever on a paradise earth, is that, too, a misguided 'bubble' for you? If so, you would have saved everyone's time by cutting right to the chase.

You're saying that "living forever on a paradise earth" constitutes alternate facts? How bizarre.

As anyone else can see I was referencing your ongoing litany of alternative facts, rather than your last post. But for you to label your own belief in paradise that way is curious.

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13 hours ago, PeterR said:

 

You brought up the convention video.

No need to respond, since I'm aware that there isn't any defense for this convention video. We'll just put it down to "alternative facts".

I brought up the convention video. I also brought up the "marriage" issue from last weeks  WT study. Two different things. Now unless @TrueTomHarleyhas been to the convention, he might not know what the video was even about.

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9 hours ago, Anna said:

I brought up the convention video. I also brought up the "marriage" issue from last weeks  WT study. Two different things. Now unless @TrueTomHarleyhas been to the convention, he might not know what the video was even about.

Yep. You may be right about that Anna. He may not know what anything is about, but I still don't see why he could not have just explained that he lost the plot, and we could move on.  He has plenty of time for personal jibes and speculation about me, but apparently no time to quickly review a discussion and admit he was wrong. And why on earth does he quote me on threads and then refer to me in the third person as if he's playing to an audience? Things are obviously not quite right. I could speculate about that, but I won't.

My point on the video remains unaddressed then. I understand it's a slight side-topic at this point, but it's certainly pertinent to the question of what we are being expected to believe, and what the consequences might be for doing so or not doing so.

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19 hours ago, PeterR said:

You may be right about that Anna. He may not know what anything is about, but I still don't see why he could not have just explained that he lost the plot, and we could move on.  He has plenty of time for personal jibes and speculation about me, but apparently no time to quickly review a discussion and admit he was wrong.

In effect, is he not saying: "Why does TrueTom not apologize to me? Why does he not scroll back through the pages to uncover the stupid, self-absorbed blunder I have made in assuming that since I have seen the video, everyone has seen it, even though most opportunities to see it lie still in the future - further complicated by my insistence that he brought it up in the first place? Why did he roll his eyes and dismiss ME as a loon instead of patiently trying to uncover where I had gone off the rails?" He is touchy about his feelings.

He is not unlike @James Thomas Rook Jr., who, when you call him on anything, screams that you know NOTHING about him, how he has seen the BLOOD,  the SWEAT, the TEARS, has stared into the VERY ABYSS, has DANCED WITH THE DEVIL IN THE PALE MOONLIGHT, and so forth. The reason I know nothing about such things is that he has never said them. All he does is spray tommygun accusations like a terrorist does bullets, never doubting that his EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCE and UNIQUE INSIGHT justifies his outrageous actions.

None are unjustified attacks on anyone's character or motive, least of all, his countless slams of the GB. No. They are all FULLY JUSTIFIED!!! Why? Because HE HAS MADE THEM!!!

Far from criticizing his style and format, I admire it greatly, and emulate it whenever I can.

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On 6/20/2017 at 4:12 PM, JW Insider said:

Everyone knows that all of us might hold certain minor variations in our personal beliefs about a verse or an idea here and there, and if we are not dogmatic and if it does not contradict a key teaching then we are "safe."  But it is easy to cause trouble with personal beliefs, and it's easy for people to get caught up in the idea that their personal beliefs make them somehow better or more spiritually mature than others. This was a rather obvious problem for a time at Bethel.

 

Agree with above. Holding a personal belief is different from causing divisions.  How did we get to the stage where Christians would get into trouble for believing something different which is not an essential Christian teaching.  Is overlapping generation in the Bible?

"Acts 15: 28  For the holy spirit and we ourselves have favored adding no further burden to you except these necessary things: 29 to keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from what is strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you carefully keep yourselves from these things, you will prosper. Good health to you!” "

We don't wish to add further burdens to others. If we have personal thoughts on matters - that is freedom of thought and conscience. We don't have to share them and cause divisions.  But we are free to hold them. That's God given.

The days of Inquisition passed  a few hundred years ago.  Are we forgetting history? Why are we attracting trouble by asking persons what we can or cannot personally believe?

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On 8/31/2017 at 2:33 PM, Alessandro Corona said:

yes you would. I am basically an apostate to them because I don't believe it. 

So why didn't you just get on board and swallow it down while nodding your head? I mean I've heard that the gb mostly right, so shouldn't that be enough to turn your head and look the other way when you know they are teaching wrongs? 

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1 hour ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Leave him alone!!! He may be an apostate, but he's a NICE apostate - um - I guess. What has he been saying lately?

TTH, did you not read the latest on how to treat apostate ones? LOL 

You might want to take a refresher course, there is no NICE apostates.........Just ask Ray Franz......oh wait, you can't. You can see how he was treated though. He was a very nice man

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On 9/6/2017 at 4:04 PM, Shiwiii said:

So why didn't you just get on board and swallow it down while nodding your head? I mean I've heard that the gb mostly right, so shouldn't that be enough to turn your head and look the other way when you know they are teaching wrongs? 

No, as a Christian I have an obligation to warn everyone when they are being misled. Even if it means losing my friends, their blood isn't on my hands,  I warned them all as much as I could. 

Paul said the same regarding a group of people he was preaching to. 

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19 hours ago, Alessandro Corona said:

No, as a Christian I have an obligation to warn everyone when they are being misled. Even if it means losing my friends, their blood isn't on my hands,  I warned them all as much as I could. 

Paul said the same regarding a group of people he was preaching to. 

I completely agree

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17 minutes ago, Shiwiii said:

I have an obligation to warn everyone when they are being misled. Even if it means losing my friends, their blood isn't on my hands,  I warned them all as much as I could.

It's a bit much to suggest that God offs people over the details of modern doctrine. My God does not do so, assuming one does not attempt to grab the wheel from the driver.

And please don't say he does, or if you do say it, say it on the proper thread. It is territory well-covered lately.

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4 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

It's a bit much to suggest that God offs people over the details of modern doctrine. My God does not do so, assuming one does not attempt to grab the wheel from the driver.

And please don't say he does, or if you do say it, say it on the proper thread. It is territory well-covered lately.

I think you may have read into what Alessandro posted. I don't see where Alessandro said God would off them because of modern doctrines. What I saw and agree with is the responsibility of a Christian to warn/discuss issues with those around them who may have been mislead. If those folks are so narrow minded to not listen and see things from a different perspective, mind you no one said accept the opposing position, then we have done what we are supposed to do. For someone to adopt an opposing position, one must first accept discussion. 

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On 6/21/2017 at 15:19, TrueTomHarley said:

This is absolutely incorrect

"If you are a young person, you also need to face the fact that you will never grow old in this present system of things.... all evidence in fulfillment of Bible prophecy indicates that this corrupt system is due to end in a few years... as a young person you will never fulfill any career that this system offers.

If you are in high school and thinking about a college education, it means at least four, perhaps even six or eight more years to graduate into a specialized career. But where will this system of things be by that time? It will be well on the way toward its finish, if not actually gone"!

Awake! issue of May 22, 1969 on page 15, published by WT

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"Could Someone Be Disfellowshipped For Not Believing In...?"

My answer on this will be in indirect way. And that would give you new perspective on WT mentality. Elders are nothing else but product of Corporation. And they, in general, acting in that manner. 

This topic, the question is certainly interesting. I will tell you personally experience with two elders. After they told me how they not believes in anything that WT teaches,  I have asked both of them, the same questions. And I got the same answers. 

My first question was: If they does not believe everything from the  WT publications, how is possible that they, from the podium, teaching others what they personally does not believe?Second question was: Do you have a peaceful conscience, because you are telling others how they need to believe  that what you, in fact, not believes?

They answered me; " I say that's so in the literature (that is stated in magazine, study article) and I'm not talking about my personal beliefs."

My final question was;  Why don't you act like JW kids at school, on biology class, when it comes to evolution theory and the emergence of life. JW children say, give answer in class to all students and professors ; "School book say that human came in life by evolution. But i don't believe in that. I believe how god created humans."  Why you not doing the same as that brave JW children? To say from podium, or while sitting in auditorium giving comment; "WT  book, magazine, publication say this/that.. but i don't believe in such teaching, i believe ...?" 

After that they stayed silence. 

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      Their actions are codified as follows:
      *** w81 9/15 p. 30 par. 23 If a Relative Is Disfellowshiped . . . ***
      "There is no point in looking for some rule as to family members being at gatherings where a disfellowshiped relative might be present. This would be something for those concerned to resolve, in keeping with Paul’s counsel. (1 Cor. 5:11) And yet it should be appreciated that if a disfellowshiped person is going to be at a gathering to which nonrelative Witnesses are invited, that may well affect what others do. For example, a Christian couple might be getting married at a Kingdom Hall. If a disfellowshiped relative comes to the Kingdom Hall for the wedding, obviously he could not be in the bridal party there or “give away” the bride. What, though, if there is a wedding feast or reception? This can be a happy social occasion, as it was in Cana when Jesus attended. (John 2:1, 2) But will the disfellowshiped relative be allowed to come or even be invited? If he was going to attend, many Christians, relatives or not, might conclude that they should not be there, to eat and associate with him, in view of Paul’s directions at 1 Corinthians 5:11."
      No rule given LOL, gotta love Watchtwer's constant plausible deniability wording.
    • By Jack Ryan
      A Norwegian JW woman, who was sexually abused, was disfellowshipped for fornication. The woman first appealed inside the organization - without success. Feeling injustice, she then decided to sue Jehovah's Witnesses. The court decided last month that the disfellowshipping was against the Norwegian law and must be canceled. The court also ordered the local Jehovah's Witness organization to pay 100 000 NOK to the woman.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. is the story, in a Norwegian newspaper.
    • By JOHN BUTLER
      I do find it kinda' funny that JW's love to talk about billions of people being removed / destroyed / killed / murdered at Armageddon. Billions of people.
      And for what ? Well JW's say it's for not serving God. But they will also say it's for not being a baptised JW. 
      Well we do know for sure that God either deliberately had, or deliberately allowed, the destruction of Jerusalem in circa 70 C E, and for what ? 
      Well the Bible shows us it was for not serving God properly, and for killing God's son. 
      BUT when I suggest that the Governing Body should be removed or destroyed, oh dear, the JW's they get really upset ya know. 
      Governing Body = 8 men.   Jerusalem = how many, men, women and children, thousands of them. 
      But oh dear, now it would be murder. So what was it back then ?  Your see JW's live in a dream world, wrapped up in cotton wool, they just cannot face the real world.
      The Governing Body do not serve God properly. That is clearly visible to anyone that honestly wants to see it. 
      The Governing Body are destroying JW Org, and if JW Org is God's true Organisation then the GB are deliberately working against God and against God's intentions. 
      Humans that deliberately work against God and cause problems for God do not last long on this Earth. 
      The Bible shows much proof of this, such as those that opposed Moses. 
      I am expecting the GB to be removed, one way or another. But only if God really wants to use the JW Org / Watchtower soc for His own purposes. 
      If God does not want to use those Orgs then it would seem sensible for God to set up a new Org for His purposes. 
      The only problem with the GB being 'removed' is that JW's will call it a 'sign of the times' and 'persecution', but if God causes the removal then I'm sure He will put them straight. 
      Those people that say that the GB cannot be removed / destroyed, are those people that worship the GB. And those people that worship the GB may probably need removing too. 
      The world is wicked, it belongs to Satan. The Earth is wonderful and it belongs to Almighty God.
      For God to save this Earth and for Him to save a few humans too, drastic things have to take place. Drastic things have to take place.
       
    • By Albert Michelson
      What is the good news?
       
      The Bible is clear that even if someone had been clearly selected by god if they deviate from the truth they are to be rejected. 
       
      Galatians 1:8-9 However, even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to YOU as good news something beyond what we declared to YOU as good news, let him be accursed.  9 As we have said above, I also now say again, Whoever it is that is declaring to YOU as good news something beyond what YOU accepted, let him be accursed.
       
      This holds even more weight for ones like the GB who are not clearly selected and who's claim to authority rests solely on a demonstrably false interpretation of scripture.
      The organization claims that the 1914 teaching is necessary for salvation and even goes as far as to claim that the 1914 teaching is the good news spoken of in the Bible.
      *** w67 12/15 pp. 753-754 pars. 3-4 What Now Distinguishes the Good News to Be Preached ***
      "What a joy-inspiring addition or enlargement to the good news now to be preached! Now has come the victorious kingdom of our God together with the authority of his Christ, his Messiah! As for Satan the Devil and his demons, they have only a short period of time until they are bound and imprisoned in the abyss after the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Armageddon. All this additional wonderful information has been true since the end of the “appointed times of the nations” in 1914, and particularly since World War I closed in the year 1918. Not before the “appointed times of the nations” ended in the fall of 1914 could the good news be preached of the newborn, established heavenly kingdom of God and of his Messiah. This, then, must be the good news that Jesus Christ in his prophecy said had to be preached first in all the nations. (Mark 13:10) This generation of human society that has seen and experienced the world events since the Gentile Times closed in 1914—this is the “generation” that will not pass away until all the things foretold have happened, including the preaching of the good news first in all nations.
      4 Jesus’ prophecy in Mark 13:10, “Also, in all the nations the good news has to be preached first,” has not been undergoing fulfillment during the past nineteen centuries. It is only since the second decade of our twentieth century that this prophecy has been undergoing fulfillment. This began to be realized by the International Bible Students Association and the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society since the end of the second decade of our century. In the magazine issue of July 1, 1920, of The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence the article was published entitled “Gospel of the Kingdom” and based on the theme text, “‘And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.’—Matthew 24:14.”
       It is for this reason that the organization is chained to the 1914 teaching. As the scripture I quoted above demonstrates the Bible says that one who teaches a good news that is false is cursed. If the organization admits that the 1914 and 1919 teachings are false they will have to admit that not only were they not selected as gods channel but that they have been teaching a false good news for the majority of their existence. It is for that reason that they disfellowship and shun people who cannot conscientiously remain in the faith. It's easier to just eliminate the opposition then to actually address the real issues with your theology. 
      *** w86 4/1 pp. 30-31 Questions From Readers ***
      Why have Jehovah’s Witnesses disfellowshipped (excommunicated) for apostasy some who still profess belief in God, the Bible, and Jesus Christ?
       
      "Approved association with Jehovah’s Witnesses requires accepting the entire range of the true teachings of the Bible, including those Scriptural beliefs that are unique to Jehovah’s Witnesses. What do such beliefs include?
       
      That the great issue before humankind is the rightfulness of Jehovah’s sovereignty, which is why he has allowed wickedness so long. (Ezekiel 25:17) That Jesus Christ had a prehuman existence and is subordinate to his heavenly Father. (John 14:28) That there is a “faithful and discreet slave” upon earth today ‘entrusted with all of Jesus’ earthly interests,’ which slave is associated with the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (Matthew 24:45-47) That 1914 marked the end of the Gentile Times and the establishment of the Kingdom of God in the heavens, as well as the time for Christ’s foretold presence. (Luke 21:7-24; Revelation 11:15–12:10) That only 144,000 Christians will receive the heavenly reward. (Revelation 14:1, 3) That Armageddon, referring to the battle of the great day of God the Almighty, is near. (Revelation 16:14, 16; 19:11-21) That it will be followed by Christ’s Millennial Reign, which will restore an earth-wide paradise. That the first to enjoy it will be the present “great crowd” of Jesus’ “other sheep.”—John 10:16; Revelation 7:9-17; 21:3, 4."
       
      This is supposedly a list of the fundamental doctrines of Jehovah's Witnesses that all are required to believe. You will in most cases be disfellowshiped for not believing in one or more of them. Unfortunately the truth is most of them are false.
    • By JW Insider
      Even before C.T.Russell was born, commentaries on Bible prophecy included  dozens of potential dates. Nearly 200 years ago, a couple of them even included 1914 as potentially significant time period. The "1914 presence" doctrine, however, is only about 75 years old.
      All the ideas behind the Watch Tower's version of the 1914 doctrine have already been discussed for decades now, and all of them, so far, have been shown to be problematic from a Scriptural point of view. Since the time that the doctrine generally took its current shape in 1943, the meanings and applications of various portions of Matthew 24 and 25 have already been changed, and the timing of various prophesied events and illustrations have changed. Most recently, the meaning and identification of the "faithful and discreet slave" has changed. And the definition of "generation" has changed about half-a-dozen times. This doesn't mean that the current understandings are impossible, of course, only that it has become less likely from the point of view of reason and reasonableness.
      Besides, for most of the years of teaching this doctrine, we have had the flexibility of extending the "1914 generation" from a possible 40 years, up to 70, then 75, then 80 years. And this has been applied to teenagers who saw 1914, 10-year-olds who saw 1914, then even newborns who saw 1914. With every one of these options already tried and stretched to their limits, we finally were forced to convert the meaning of generation from its most common meanings and give it a new "strained" meaning that has no other Biblical parallel. (See Exodus 1:6; Matthew 1:17; 16:4; 23:36; Luke 11:50)
      But that flexibility is still seen as the last reason for hope that the Watch Tower Society might have still been correct in hanging on to 1914. Since the Bible says that a lifespan is 70 or 80 years and 1914 + 80 = 1994, the "generation" doctrine in its original form (1943) could remain stable until about 1994. Of course, a lifespan could technically reach to 120 years or more, and Gen 6:3 even gives vague support to the idea that the "1914 generation" could last 120 years, until 2034.
      The current alternative solution is to make the generation out of the length of two lifespans, which technically could be double 120 years, or nearly 240 years from 1914. That would have had the potential to reach to the year 2154 (1914+240) except for the caveat that it can, by its new definition, only refer to anointed persons who discerned the sign in 1914 and whose lives overlapped (technically, by as little as one second) with the lifespan of another anointed person representing the second group. If persons from each group don't really discern their own "anointing" until age 20, for example, this would effectively remove 40 years from the overall maximum. 1914+120-20+120-20 = 2114. We could also assume a possible lifespan of more than 120 years, but otherwise, the new two-lifespan generation could potentially make the generation last 200 years. This "technical maximum" is not promoted currently, because for now we look at examples like Fred Franz who was part of that original generation already anointed and who saw the sign, and the typical example of an anointed brother who was apparently "anointed" prior to Franz' death in 1992 would be someone like Governing Body member, Brother Sanderson, who was born in 1965, baptized in 1975, and was already a "special pioneer" in 1991. His is currently 52.
      However, the generation problem is just one more problem now which we can add onto the list of all the other points that make up the 1914 doctrine. Here are several points related to 1914 that appear problematic from a Scriptural point of view:
      All evidence shows the 1914 date is wrong when trying to base it on the destruction of Jerusalem. (Daniel 1:1; 2 Chron 36:1-22; Jer 25:8-12; Zech 1:12, 7:4; Ezra 3:10-13) Paul said that Jesus sat at God's right hand in the first century and that he already began ruling as king at that time. (1 Cor 15:25) Jesus said not to be fooled by the idea that wars and rumors of wars would be the start of a "sign" (Matt 24:4,5) Jesus said that the "parousia" would be as visible as lightning (Matt 24:27). He spoke against people who might say he had returned but was currently not visible. (Matt 24:23-26) Jesus said that his "parousia" would come as a surprise to the faithful, not that they would discern the time of the parousia decades in advance. (Matt 24:36-42) Jesus said that the kingdom would not be indicated by "signs" (Luke 17:20, almost any translation except NWT in this case) The "synteleia" (end of all things together) refers to a concluding event, not an extended period of time (Matt 28:20) Jesus was already called ruler, King and even "King of Kings" in the first century. (1 Tim 6:15, Heb 7:2,17; Rev 1:5; 17:14) Wicked, beastly King Nebuchadnezzar's insanity and humiliation does not represent Jesus as the "lowliest one of mankind." (Heb 1:5,6; 2:10,11; Daniel 4:23-25; cf. Heb 2:7; 1 Pet 3:17,18) The demise of a Gentile kingdom cannot rightly represent the time of the rise of the Gentile kingdoms (Daniel 4:26,27) The Gentile kings did not meet their demise in 1914. (Rev 2:25,26) The time assigned to the Gentile Times that Jesus spoke about in Luke 21:24 is already given as 3.5 times, not 7 times (Revelation 11:2,3) The Devil was already brought down from "heaven" in the first century. (1 John 2:14,15; 1 Pet 5:8; Luke 10:18; Heb 2:14) The Bible says that the "last days" began in the first century. (Acts 2:14-20; 2 Tim 3:1-17; 1 Peter 3:3-5; Heb 1:2, almost any translation except NWT in this case.)
    • By Jack Ryan
      If the love you have for your children is predicated on their beliefs, you don't love your children you love YOUR beliefs
    • By Jack Ryan
      In previous decades, when someone was disfellowshipped, they were told their time would be 6 months. Now it’s a full year?
      Why did that change from 6 mo to a year? and are they getting more ppl to come back with the increased time? With the less members staying in the org, you would think they want to lower the “jail time “
      Also are there any other religions that gives you months or years of time out, if you commit a sin, even if you actually want to come back?
      Also any former elders here? Why is there a standard set time for everyone? And why can they reject someone’s letter who wants to come back? Don’t they need more members ?
    • By Jack Ryan
      Jehovah's Witness Organization Redefines Shunning to Falsely.mp4
      Every JW visiting this page should MORALLY comment below and publicly state that this JW Lawyer is LYING through his teeth to the Canadian Supreme Court.
      If you don't, YOU participate in this gross sin. Because you ALL KNOW this is a false statement.
      Remember as well that this JW Lawyer is also an Officer of the Court.
      What the courts do not know is that JW's consider outright lying in court a part of "theocratic warfare" just like Muslims do. So it is a virtue to them.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. SMH.
      Can you spell P-E-R-J-U-R-Y?
    • By JW Insider
      There are evidently FOUR basic problems in the latest explanation of the "GENERATION" teaching. Of course, this is the teaching based on Jesus' words in Matthew 24:34 where he says that "This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur." The latest update to the explanation is that Jesus was referring to two groups of anointed persons: the first group who could discern the meaning of the sign they witnessed in 1914, and a second group of anointed persons, whose lives overlapped with that first group.
      #1. It creates a set time limit for Armageddon to occur. #2. It is based on the idea that the date 1914 was predicted in the Bible. #3. It is based on a false definition of the word "generation." #4. It is based on a false premise about a supposed belief in 1914 that didn't even exist in 1914. If we're serious about:
      paying constant attention to ourselves and our teaching, (1 Tim 4:16) handling the word of God aright, having nothing to be ashamed of, (2 Tim 2:15) not paying attention to false stories, (1 Tim 1:4-7) making sure of all things, (1 Thess 5:21) knowing that teachers will receive heavier judgment, etc., (James 3:1) then we would not be very good Christians if any of us taught something that we were not sure about.
      On this forum, participants have already dealt extensively with #1 and #2 above, but there has not yet been a thorough discussion and focus on points #3 and #4.
    • By Jack Ryan
      "Sunday, December 30
      Asa’s heart was complete with Jehovah all his life.—1 Ki. 15:14.
      Each of us can examine his heart to see if it is fully devoted to God. Ask yourself, ‘Am I determined to please Jehovah, to defend true worship, and to protect his people from any corrupting influence?’ For example, what if someone close to you has to be disfellowshipped? Would you take decisive action by ceasing to associate with that person? What would your heart move you to do? Like Asa, you can show that you have a complete heart by fully relying on God when you are faced with opposition, even some that may seem insurmountable. You may be teased or ridiculed at school for taking a stand as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Or colleagues at work may taunt you for taking days off for spiritual activities or for not often working overtime. In such situations, pray to God, just as Asa did. (2 Chron. 14:11) Remain firm for what you know is right and wise. Remember that God strengthened and helped Asa, and He will strengthen you.
      w17.03 3:6-8 "

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    • By Jack Ryan
      This was a case where in June 1987, the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld the Witnesses' right to shun those who fail to live by the group's standards and doctrines, upholding the ruling of a lower court.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Has there been any cases after this, where DF cases went to court? Have there been cases in other countries were DF decisions were challenged and reversed?
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      Here in the United States we have Cable TV with such things as "History Channel", "Discovery Channel", "Scifi Channel", and "A&E" the "Arts and Entertainment Channel".  Apparently around November 13 of this year they had a famous (?) TV star, Leah Remini,  who had been a Scientologist since she was eight years old turn Apostate, and she has done at least two TV seasons exposing the ills of the Church of Scientology", do an Expose' of Jehovah's Witnesses.
      I do not watch TV as a rule, and missed it, and I spent a few days looking for it and trying to download a copy.  It was not on YouTube, but I did find it under "Aftermath Jehovah's Witnesses" on the Russian equivalent of YouTube, "Rutube.ru". It would not download with my usual download software, so I had to find a free screen capture software, which took about four hours to get the settings just right, and I was able to download the two hour program from my monitor, as it was playing.
      Therefore, I watched the TV program three times, as I experimented with the settings to get a good screen copy to my hard drive..
      I could see both sides of the program viewpoints presented, and did not find us to be misrepresented in any way whatsoever ... but if there was EVER a clear example of the Law of Unintended Consequences, the horror the Governing Body has caused in disfellowshipping the way that it is currently done ... by ripping families apart, and creating  irreparable damage that can never be corrected with reinstatement, was chilling, and puts us in the same class as Scientologists ... which completely disregarding the horror and hardsip, and cruelty without any mercy whatsoever it creates locally, shames Jehovah's Name and Reputation over the whole planet.
      I don't believe there is anything a local Jehovah's Witness could do ... rob a bank ... have a harem ... have sex with horses ... etc., ad nauseum ... that would besmirch Jehovah's name and reputation globally as much as our current blatantly cruel public policies of destroying whole families for the sins of one person.
      I am very glad to have the education I have to know that the TRUTH is still the truth .... even though the 85% drivel has rotted and fermented into rotten sewage.
      Most JWs do NOT have this educational advantage ... so their lives are permanently destroyed.
      I don't expect much from people, and almost NOTHING from groups of people .... so for me, like getting one of those great salads at the Olive Garden Restaurant, and finding a big chunk of solid sewage in it ... I hold my nose, and eat around it.
      This TV Special is global news .... what could I possibly say to the average person that would clear the Name of God, that the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, NOT THE TELEVISION PROGRAM, has corrupted by its Pharisaic policies that have real world consequences?
      The exact same thing happened in ancient Israel, and a system that God blessed and supported for a thousand years and more was abandoned by God.
      The exact same thing.
       
       
       
       
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      CAN A PERSON ... OR SHOULD A PERSON . BE DISFELLOWSHIPPED IN ABSTENSIA?
      Here is the situation .....  a person REPORTED to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses is accused, and NOT convicted ( ... because he is a fugitive from Justice ...) .....

      Apparently he was at one time in a "Position Of Authority", which possibly alludes to his being an  "Elder", and he may have relocated to another State or even another Country. Possibly using an alias.
      The  various Congregation Elders cannot find him, the Society cannot find him, and the U.S. Marshal's Service cannot find him.
      Not having any indication to the contrary ... at least from the information given in the pseudo-Wanted Poster shown above, he is possibly still officially one of Jehovah's Witnesses.
      Whether he is or not, his bad example raises an interesting  aspect of trying to figure out how the disfellowshipping "system" protocol actually works.
      Can any of the Congregations  he went to disfellowship him without his being present  to answer charges ?
      ... and SHOULD he be?
       
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      DO  WE STILL  DISFELLOWSHIP  THE  MENTALLY  ILL ?
      I was a teenager in the 60's,  and I had a good friend that on Scout camping trips I introduced to the Truth, and I was there in NYC at Yankee Stadium when he was baptized as one of Jehovah's Witness. He was a true "straight arrow", and pioneered, always dressed immaculately, and eventually over the years became an Elder.
      One night, at an Elder's Meeting, he announced to the other Elders that he was Jesus Christ, and that his mother was the virgin Mary, and of course he was disfellowshipped.
      He spent several years in private mental institutions until his insurance money ran out, then in a State institution for several years.
      He called me up, and told me the story, and I told him I was the Great Turtleman, and every November, before I hibernated, I rose from the swamp and gave toys to all the good little boys and girls.  I was just pulling his leg, but he was dead serious.
      Later, he was in England, while his wife was trying without success to get him to take his medications, and fell over a balcony at Heathrow Airport and got killed.
      DO  WE STILL  DISFELLOWSHIP  THE  MENTALLY  ILL ?
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      from 2016 the year that they started the return to Jehovah brochure.
    • By Jack Ryan
      a heartbreaking video has emerged online showing how far reaching and deeply ingrained this shunning policy is; a video showing JehovahÂ’s Witnesses clapping in applause as a little girl announces she is shunning her own sister.
      Little Melody, and the sister she doesnÂ’t have.
      The incident appears to take place at one of this years Watchtower conventions. The video was posted on youtube by the girls parents, apprently eager to share with the world how they had trained one of their children to pretend her sister didnÂ’t exist purely on the basis of religious dogma.
      The video was comment-protected once viewers began expressing concern and displeasure at what they saw, but at the time of writing the video itself is still live and can be viewed below on the family’s youtube page. (EDIT 11/09/2017 – The video has been removed, but we have linked to an alternate site which has a copy)

      t shows a little girl called Melody. She is ten years old, and was apparently baptised when she was 9. This means that Melody is now committed to the religion for life, and will be shunned if she ever leaves, or “unrepentantly” breaks any of its vast array of detailed rules.
      During the interview, Melody explains that she has a sister who was “disfellowshipped,” which is the Witness term for one who is excommunicated; someone who was thrown out of the faith rather than leaving of their own accord. We are not told the reason for the disfellowshipping, but one can be subjected to it for a wide range of reasons such as pre-marital sex, celebrating Christmas or birthdays, voting, taking a blood transfusion, joining the military, or simply questioning any of the doctrines of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      Melody states that her sister was trying to contact her, and asking her to stay in contact despite Watchtower decreeing that she be shunned. Remember, MelodyÂ’s sister has probably lost all her family and friends at this point; everyone she ever knew and loved.
      Melody admits that she misses and loves her sister, but states that she was afraid that if she didnÂ’t cut her sister off completely, she might be tempted to keep some form of relationship going. Thus, she has decided to shun her completely, as Watchtower demands. She claims that this was to protect her relationship with Jehovah.
      The audience of JehovahÂ’s Witnesses watching this announcement applaud.

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    • By Jack Ryan
      This comes from the final talk at the Birmingham, AL Convention. Herd talks kind of low and there is some background noise, so here is a transcript starting at about 1:25.
      I thought this was interesting because it doesn't appear to be in the talk outline. Admittedly, I just skimmed through the outline quickly, so it might be in there. Either way, there is something twisted about comparing the shunning of children to casting out demons from heaven.
      Edit: For those wondering, this talk is from August 5. The part before when the transcript starts is Herd talking about King Asa removing his grandmother from her position.
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      The Supreme Court of Canada Thursday heard arguments in a fight over a church’s “shunning” practice, and said it would release a ruling later, but the congregation involved and several other groups argued that the justices had no right to even take part in the fight.
      The fight is between Randy Wall, a real estate agent, and the Highwood congregation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization in Calgary.
      Wall was expelled from the congregation for getting drunk and not be properly repentant, court records said. He pursued a church appeals process, unsuccessfully, then went to court because he said the church’s “shunning,” that is, practice of not associating with him in any way, hurt his business.
      He explained his two occasions of drunkenness related to “the previous expulsion by the congregation of his 15-year-old daughter.”
      A lower court opinion explained, “Even though the daughter was a dependent child living at home, it was a mandatory church edict that the entire family shun aspects of their relationship with her. The respondent said the edicts of the church pressured the family to evict their daughter from the family home. This led to … much distress in the family.”
      The “much distress” eventually resulted in his drunkenness, Wall said.
      See the WND Superstore’s collection of Bibles, including the stunning 1599 Geneva Bible.
      Wall submitted to the court arguments that about half his client base, members of various Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations, then refused to conduct business with him. He alleged the “disfellowship had an economic impact on the respondent.”
      During high court arguments Thursday, the congregation asked the justices to say that congregations are immune to such claims in the judicial system.
      The lower courts had ruled that the courts could play a role in determining if, and when, such circumstances rise to the level of violating civil rights or injuring a “disfellowshipped” party.
      The rulings from the Court of Queen’s Bench and the Alberta Court of Appeals said Wall’s case was subject to secular court jurisdiction.
      A multitude of religious and political organizations joined with the congregation in arguing that the Canada’s courts should not be involved.
      The Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms said in a filing, “The wish or desire of one person to associate with an unwilling person (or an unwilling group) is not a legal right of any kind. For a court, or the government, to support such a ‘right’ violates the right of self-determination of the unwilling parties.”
      Previous case law has confirmed the ability of religious or private voluntary groups to govern themselves and dictate who can be a member.
      But previously rulings also reveal there is room for the court system to intervene when the question is one of property or civil rights.
      The Association for Reformed Political Action, described the case as having “profound implications for the separation of church and state.”
      Its position is that the court should keep hands off the argument.
      “Secular judges have no authority and no expertise to review a church membership decision,” said a statement from Andre Schutten, a spokesman for the group. “Church discipline is a spiritual matter falling within spiritual jurisdiction, not a legal matter falling within the courts’ civil jurisdiction. The courts should not interfere.”
      John Sikkema, staff lawyer for ARPA, said, “The issue in this appeal is jurisdiction. A state actor, including a court, must never go beyond its jurisdiction. The Supreme Court must consider what kind of authority the courts can or cannot legitimately claim. We argue that the civil government and churches each have limited and distinct spheres of authority. This basic distinction between civil and spiritual jurisdiction is a source of freedom and religious pluralism and a guard against civic totalism.”
      He continued, “Should the judiciary have the authority to decide who gets to become or remain a church member? Does the judiciary have the authority to decide who does or does not get to participate in the sacraments? Church discipline is a spiritual matter falling within spiritual jurisdiction, not a legal matter falling within the courts’ civil jurisdiction. The courts should not interfere. Here we need separation of church and state.”
      The Alberta Court of Appeal, however, suggested the fight was about more than ecclesiastical rules.
      “Because Jehovah’s Witnesses shun disfellowshipped members, his wife, other children and other Jehovah’s Witnesses were compelled to shun him,” that lower court decision said. “The respondent asked the appeal committee to consider the mental and emotional distress he and his family were under as a result of his duaghter’s disfellowship.”
      The church committee concluded he was “not sufficiently repentant.”
      The ruling said “the only basis for establishing jurisdiction over a decision of the church is when the complaint involves property and civil rights,” and that is what Wall alleged.
      “Accordingly, a court has jurisdiction to review the decision of a religious organization when a breach of the rules of natural justice is alleged.”
       
       
    • By The Librarian
      OTTAWA -- The Supreme Court of Canada says a Jehovah's Witness who was expelled from his Calgary congregation cannot take his case to a judge.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , the high court says the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench has no jurisdiction to review the congregation's decision to shun Randy Wall over alleged drunkenness and verbal abuse. Several religious organizations took an active interest in the case, given questions about the degree to which the courts can review such decisions by faith-based bodies.
      Wall, an independent realtor, was summoned in 2014 to appear before the judicial committee of the Highwood Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, a four-person panel of elders.
      He admitted to two episodes of drunkenness and, on one of those occasions, verbally abusing his wife -- wrongdoing he attributed to family stress over the earlier expulsion of his 15-year old daughter from the congregation.
      The judicial committee told Wall that he, too, would be expelled because he was not sufficiently repentant.

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    • By Jack Ryan
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Updated 6:11 p.m. ET Feb. 16, 2018 Keego Harbor Â— A quiet residential street became a horrific crime scene Friday with news that four people — a couple and their adult children — died in what police are describing as a triple murder-suicide.

      By late afternoon, some yellow police crime scene tape remained around the two-story wood frame bungalow in the 2300 block of Cass Lake Road where police were sent about 8:10 a.m. on a welfare check after a relative became worried about the family, Keego Harbor Police Chief John Fitzgerald said.
      One of four bodies is removed from the home of the 2300 block of Cass Lake Road. (Photo: Clarence Tabb Jr., The Detroit News)
      “A relative had concerns and asked us to look into it,” said Fitzgerald. “It’s tragic and our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”
      Inside the house officers found four bodies who neighbors identified as Daniel Stuart, 47, his wife, Lauren, 45, and their children, Bethany, 24, and Steven, 27.
      Fitzgerald said the “perpetrator” was among the dead but would not provide details other than to stress “we think we know what happened here and there is no danger to neighbors.”
      Fitzgerald said police have recovered what is believed to be the murder weapon but would not elaborate. He said all the deaths remain under investigation.
      Keego Harbor Police Chief John Fitzgerald briefs the media on the murder-suicide. (Photo: Clarence Tabb Jr., The Detroit News)
      Neighbors John and Jackie Tristani said they awoke Friday to learn police were outside the victimsÂ’ home.
      “My son said police were repeatedly calling out ‘Lauren, come outside,’ " said John Tristani. “When she didn’t respond they (police) went inside. A few minutes later, they came back outside, shaking their heads.”
      Tristani said he had been watching television late Thursday night and never heard anything from the Stuarts' home.
      Sources close to the investigation said the family pet, a dog, was also slain by the killer. Investigators also found a note which may help explain what led up to the deaths. They would not discuss its contents.
      The deaths puzzle the Tristanis, who knew Lauren Stuart as a “hard-working” neighbor who could often be seen working in her yard and remodeled the house largely on her own.
      “She would often come over and borrow tools – a saw, a pickaxe – whatever,” said Tristani. “She was always doing something.”
      The Tristanis said in one of their first meetings with Lauren Stuart a few years ago she attempted to “recruit” them into the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      “I said we were Catholics and weren’t interested,” he said. “She accepted the answer and it was the end of that.”
      Lauren Stuart worked at an area gym, he said, and her husband was involved in some form of medical business in the Ann Arbor area.
      Darlene and Dennis Buck, who live a block away on Cass Lake Road, said they were enroute home from a trip to northern Michigan when they learned of the murder-suicide.
      “We have lived here since ’74 and nothing like this has ever happened in our neighborhood — not even close,” said Darlene Buck.
      Jackie Tristani said she found it all “scary” – not just the deaths but that something might have been going on in a neighbor’s home without her knowledge. She had tried to get Bethany a job at her workplace and her son knew both Bethany and Steven. There was never any mention or indication of trouble inside the home, she said.
      “I would hope that if there was a problem inside there someone would have reached out, we would have tried to help,” she said, her voice quaking. “Maybe we could have done something.
      “But you never really know everything there is about your neighbors, do you?”

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    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      If a Brother or Sister in good standing in the Congregation goes into the hospital, and agrees to a whole blood transfusion, and dies anyway, can they be disfellowshipped post mortem, and what about the funeral arrangements?  ( I have heard of this being done, but never explained....)
      Can they have a funeral at the Kingdom Hall?
      Let's say a Brother or Sister in good standing in the Congregation  goes berserk, and commits some crime, and either dies by misadventure, or gets shot by police ....
      Can they have a funeral at the Kingdom Hall?
      Considering such questions is like a submarine on the surface, at night, in the fog .... firing torpedoes randomly into the darkness, to see what lights up.
      .... sometimes survival depends on having the right answer about "What is out there?".
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      Which Pill Would We Take ..... The Red Pill? .... or the Blue Pill?
      In the political world, more and more people are rejecting "Fake News" as provided by CNN (Clinton News Network), ABC (All 'bout Clinton) and NBC (Nothin' but Clinton), etc., and are seeking the truth about what they are being told ..... wherever it may be found.
      Today John Stossel had an article about this on Foxnews which is incredibly important ... not only for the political ramifications ... but every manner of philosophical thought ....  and our very view of how the Universe works, and what "makes it tick".
      If you have seen the movie "The Matrix" .... a MUST SEE movie .... you already know the common expression "Red Pill? Blue Pill?".
      If you don't ... YOU SHOULD. 
      The concept behind the expression is incredibly important ... as to whether we live in and artificial fantasy construct world ... or a world of what is actually REAL.
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      Oh ... and if you have not seen it .... get a copy of the movie, so you will actually get a "feel" for the depth of the now commonly understood  idiomatic expression.
      (For those in Rio Linda, that has nothing to do with sex, it has to do with basic understanding .....)
      Grok?
       
       
       
       
       
    • By Γιαννης Διαμαντιδης
      Hi I would like to disassociate my self from Jehovah witnesses but I would like also my brothers and sisters to know the reason why. Is it scriptural to hide this information from the congregation? I am certain that some sisters who dislike me will find opportunity to gossip with lies behind my back and my ex brothers will see me like a monster when in reality I make one step closer to my creator by establishing a new and direct connection to him like he wants ... without human mediators.
    • By Witness
      “JehovahÂ’s Witness kids grow up knowing that if they ever mess up, their parents will leave them — and thatÂ’s scary,” Sawyer, now 38, said in a recent interview from her home in Pascagoula, Miss. “The shunning is supposed to make us miss them so much that weÂ’ll come back. Â… It didnÂ’t work.”
      Sawyer and many others like her are now denouncing the church's shunning practices in the wake of a recent murder-suicide in Keego Harbor that killed a family of four ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses who were ostracized after leaving the faith. The deaths sparked outrage among scores of ex-JWs nationwide who took to Facebook, online forums, blogs and YouTube, arguing the tragedy highlights a pervasive yet rarely-publicized problem within the church: Shunning is pushing the most vulnerable people over the edge, they say, and tearing families apart.
      In the Michigan case, a distraught mother shot and killed her husband, her two grown children and herself in their Keego Harbor home, shocking the small and quiet Oakland County community.
      The shooter was Lauren Stuart, a part-time model and personal trainer who struggled with depression and spent much of her time working on her house, her friends say. She and her husband, Daniel Stuart, 47, left the JW faith more than a decade ago over doctrinal and social issues. Among them was their desire to send their kids to college, which many ex-JWs say is frowned upon by the church and viewed as spiritually dangerous.
      “University and college campuses are notorious for bad behavior — drug and alcohol abuse, immorality, cheating, hazing, and the list goes on,” a 2005 article in the Watchtower, the church's official publication, stated.
      But the Stuarts sent both their kids to college: Steven, 27, excelled in computers, just like his father, who was a data solutions architect for the University of Michigan Medical School. Bethany, 24, thrived in art and graphic design.  After the parents left the faith, the Stuarts were ostracized by the Kingdom Hall — the churches where Jehovah's Witnesses worship — community in Union Lake and their families, friends said.
      Lauren Stuart, whose mother died of cancer when she was 12, struggled with mental illness that went untreated; isolation and fears that the end was near, said friends and officials familiar with the case. One friend who requested anonymity said she believes the killing was the result of depression, not religion.
      "This is a tragedy that has to do with a disease. Depression is so prevalent, and when it goes untreated this is what happens," the friend said. "She needed medical help."
      Longtime family friend Joyce Taylor believes depression, shunning and religion-based doomsday fears all played a role. She said that about six weeks before the killings, Lauren started getting religiously preoccupied and telling her "'It's the end times, I know it is.'"

      Weeks later, Taylor saw her friend again. Lauren had a vacant look in her eyes. She was emotionally distressed.
      A week later, with her home decorated for Valentine's Day, Lauren Stuart killed her family. She left behind a suicide note.
      "She said in the suicide note that she felt that by killing them it was the only way to save them," recalled Taylor, who said police let her read the letter. "She said she's sorry that she has to do this, but it was the only way to save them all." 
      Taylor, a former Jehovah's Witness herself who left the faith in 1986, explained: "Jehovah's Witnesses believe that if you die on this side of Armageddon, you'll be resurrected in paradise."
      In Lauren Stuart's case, Taylor believes her friend never deprogrammed after leaving the church — a state she describes as  "physically out, but mentally in." She believes that Lauren's indoctrinated doomsday fears never left her, and that the shunning helped push her over the edge.
      Had she not been excommunicated by her tight-knit community that was once her entire support system — left with no one to share her fears with — Lauren Stuart may not have done what she did, Taylor believes.
      "People do things when they are desperate," Taylor said. "And that was an extreme, desperate act."
      Shunning "can lead to great trauma among people because the Jehovah's Witnesses are a very tight-knit community," said Mathew Schmalz, a religious studies associate professor at the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.
      "If you're separated out, you're really left to your own devices in ways that are very challenging and very painful," Schmalz said. "Once you leave a group that's been your whole life — letting that go is a kind of death."
      Police have not yet disclosed details about the death of the Stuart family besides calling it a murder-suicide.
      The tragedy has emboldened many once-quiet ex-JWs to speak up. Many say they suffered quietly on their own for years until they discovered an online community full of isolated, ostracized people like themselves — people who had lost someone to suicide or attempted suicide themselves because their families, friends and church community had written them off for making mistakes, for being human. 
      The church calls it being "disfellowshipped." Members can return if they repent, change the behavior and prove themselves worthy of being reinstated. But unless or until that happens, members are encouraged to avoid the sinners, especially those who leave the faith.
      Mothers go years, even decades, without talking to their children. Siblings write off siblings. Friends shun friends.
      An estimated 70,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses are disfellowshipped every year — roughly 1% of the church’s total population, according to data published by the Watchtower. Their names are published at local Kingdom Halls. Of those, two-thirds never return.
      Within a faith representing 8.4 million people worldwide, however, many members believe the religion is pure, good and loving. Those who are speaking against it, current members argue, are disgruntled and angry people who have an ax to grind because they were disfellowshipped. Or, they are lost souls who have misinterpreted the meaning and love behind the faith. Members say they believe the shunning accusations are exaggerated and that the suicides are often more about mental illness than ostracism.
      The departed disagree.  
      In the world of ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses, they maintain, the shunned are considered dead to their families, just like the suicide victims. 
      These are their stories:
      ‘A dangerous cult’
      It was a difficult conversation to wrap her 8-year-old brain around.
      “‘You know your sister was being bad, right?’“ Sawyer recalled her mother telling her after her sister's suicide.
      “ ‘And what she did was stupid, right?’ … To take your own life is very wrong,' " the mother continued.
      “I didn’t understand what was going on … and I said, ‘Oh. OK,,’ “ recalled Sawyer. “In my 8-year-old brain I was thinking, ‘When I mess up, my mom’s going to hate me.’ "
      And so began her painful journey with the Jehovah’s Witness faith, the religion she was born into and grew up in in Pascagoula, Miss., where her fears of abandonment took hold at the age of 8. 
      Sawyer believes the shunning drove her sister to suicide. After the church disfellowshipped her for getting engaged to a non-JW, the fiancé left her sister, who was thrown into depression. Her sister tried turning to her mother for consolation, but her mom would read scripture and tell her, "until you start acting right, you’re going to have these bad things happen to you.“
      Bad things happened to Sawyer, too. At 30, she sought a divorce from her husband because he was abusive and cheating on her, she said. But the church elders and family pressured her to save her marriage.
      “I showed them the holes in my walls,” Sawyer said, referring to the damage her ex-husband did to the home during fights. “They told me to pray more … and sent me back home to him.”
      Sawyer took up smoking to handle the stress, which got her disfellowshipped because smoking is not allowed. She also went through with the divorce. She ended up losing her home to foreclosure and turned to her mother for help as she had two children to raise.

        Her mother took her in temporarily, but when the church elders found out, they threatened to disfellowship Sawyer’s mother — who let the grandkids stay, but not the daughter. 
      Sawyer ended up homeless for six months, living out of her car in a community college parking lot. She landed on her feet with the help of a student loan. She got an apartment, a job as a hospice nurse and her children — now 10 and 18 — back. She found herself, but lost her family along the way.
      Her mother doesnÂ’t speak to her; she said she canÂ’t recall the last time they spoke.
      Her sister in Alabama hasnÂ’t spoken to her since Sawyer got divorced in 2010.
      “She was on my porch, with my parents … My sister looked at me and said, ‘You’re abandoning me just like Donna did’ And left. And that's the last thing she ever said to me."
      Sawyer has kept silent about her pain for decades.
      “This is a dangerous cult,” she said of her former religion. “It’s important for people to realize —  this is serious.” 
      Read the rest of the story here:

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