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If the organization did not actually prophesy the end in 1925 and 1975, then how come so many Witnesses left the faith immediately afterwards?

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Jesus.defender -
James Thomas Rook Jr. -

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I was unaware that I was supposed to reform the afflicted and those that have already sealed their fate. Those people are beyond help now. They should live their lives to the fullest since they won’t have anything else to look forward to.

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6 hours ago, Anna said:

And I think this could be because it was all termed so ambiguously, that there was room for interpretation.

I think that deep-down most of us probably know that the ambiguity is on purpose. And we wish it were not so. We have all seen how carefully worded the Watchtower presents certain episodes from our history. The purpose of that careful wording is often so that we cannot be technically charged with lying, but it allows the average reader to believe something that would seem significant and make the Organization appear in a better light. This affects the wording of experiences in the Yearbook, from the platform, the habit of discouraging abuse victims from going to the police or reporting abuse to hospitals and doctors. But it especially affects every book we have ever published about our own history, and the way almost every mistaken or false teaching in our history has been turned into a time for an adjustment, further refinement, a clearer understanding, or increased light.

And it also affects the way an "apology" is worded in the "official" Watchtower publications that speak about our own history. Here, for example, is how the Proclaimers book presents the entire 1975 episode of "Watch Tower history," with the portion in red being the official, candid admission of the culpability of the Watch Tower Society:

*** jv chap. 8 p. 104 Declaring the Good News Without Letup (1942-1975) ***

  • “Say, What Does This 1975 Mean?”
  • . . .The book Life Everlasting—In Freedom of the Sons of God, released at a series of district conventions held in 1966, pointed to 1975. Right at the convention, as the brothers examined the contents, the new book triggered much discussion about 1975.
  • At the convention held in Baltimore, Maryland, F. W. Franz gave the concluding talk. He began by saying: “Just before I got on the platform a young man came to me and said, ‘Say, what does this 1975 mean?’” Brother Franz then referred to the many questions that had arisen as to whether the material in the new book meant that by 1975 Armageddon would be finished, and Satan would be bound. He stated, in essence: ‘It could. But we are not saying. All things are possible with God. But we are not saying. And don’t any of you be specific in saying anything that is going to happen between now and 1975. But the big point of it all is this, dear friends: Time is short. Time is running out, no question about that.’
  • In the years following 1966, many of Jehovah’s Witnesses acted in harmony with the spirit of that counsel. However, other statements were published on this subject, and some were likely more definite than advisable. This was acknowledged in The Watchtower of March 15, 1980 (page 17). But Jehovah’s Witnesses were also cautioned to concentrate mainly on doing Jehovah’s will and not to be swept up by dates and expectations of an early salvation.

Notice the first two paragraphs are just an anecdote and a bit of a speech from way back in 1966 when this idea about 1975 was first being "trial-ballooned." The idea had been brought up in the 1950's when it was tempered with the idea that no one really knew whether it was months or if it was years between the creation of Adam and the creation of Eve. That was still the doctrinal position in 1966 and 1967. But that doctrinal position changed in 1968. Only after truly understanding that change should we go back and re-read the "apology." For now, just notice that the writing changes to "passive voice" and that "Jehovah's Witnesses" are treated as the object of counsel and statements and caution against dates and expectation of early salvation [which had elsewhere been called selfish].

Passive voice, of course, is often the recourse of children who can't say, for example, that they broke a glass by knocking it off the kitchen counter. Instead, many children prefer to say something more like, "I was in the kitchen and the glass fell off the counter."

At least it candidly admits that some of those statements were "too definite" and some were "more definite than advisable," right? No! It's made to give that appearance to someone who might be looking for such an admission. But its also made to not truly admit wrong. It only goes so far as to admit that "some statements were likely more definite than advisable." It's trying to play with the differences between possibilities and probabilities again, which ironically was considered the core problem of the 1975 issue. The only other place where this 1975 issue is raised again in Proclaimers also toys with the same kind of language:

*** jv chap. 9 pp. 110-111 Jehovah’s Word Keeps Moving Speedily (1976-1992) ***

  • At times, specific needs of Jehovah’s people have been addressed by means of timely counsel in the pages of The Watchtower. For example, the worldwide report of the activity of Jehovah’s Witnesses for 1977/78 reflected a decrease in the number sharing in the preaching work. Was the decrease at least partly due to disappointed expectations concerning 1975? Perhaps. But there were other influencing factors. What could be done?
  • The Governing Body took steps to strengthen the conviction among Jehovah’s Witnesses that there was a need to continue zealously proclaiming the Kingdom from house to house. . . . These and other articles reaffirmed that house-to-house preaching has a solid Scriptural basis and urged zealous and whole-souled participation in this important activity.

Again, the Watchtower and the Governing Body took steps to give timely counsel addressing decreased activity among Jehovah's Witnesses. Does it admit that expectations surrounding 1975 could be to blame? Not exactly. Only "Perhaps." Also notice that a direct statement is avoided by turning it into a question. It's a well-known rhetorical technique that is often used by politicians to minimize blame. [For example: "Did this administration make some mistakes? Maybe. But look at the mess the previous administration had left us with."] Questions are useful to more carefully shift blame without a direct statement, just as it was used earlier in the book to imply the unwarranted excitement or even selfishness of Bible Students who believed Russell's statements, rather than admitting what Russell had actually written:

*** jv chap. 6 p. 62 A Time of Testing (1914-1918) ***

  • Disappointed expectations as to the return of the Lord Jesus had in the 19th century caused many followers of William Miller and various Adventist groups to lose faith. But what about the Bible Students associated with Russell? Had some been attracted by the thought of their own early salvation rather than love for God and a strong desire to do his will?


So, back to the change that happened in 1968. Previous to that year, saying that 1975 was the end of six thousand years of man's creation since Adam was not so meaningful as to a specific time expectation, even though the "Life Everlasting" book clearly intended to build excitement about the closeness of the end. Not until the time period between Adam and Eve could be reduced from years to less than one year. This was the first significant point that caused careful, prayerful readers of the Watchtower, such as District and Circuit Overseers to say "Can't you see what the Society is trying to tell you?" "Stay alive 'til '75!" etc.

*** w68 5/1 pp. 271-272 Making Wise Use of the Remaining Time ***

  • 4 According to reliable Bible chronology Adam was created in the year 4026 B.C.E., likely in the autumn of the year, at the end of the sixth day of creation. . . . Adam would realize this lonely condition very quickly, perhaps in just a few days or a few weeks. . . . The basic animal kinds could have been relatively quickly named, . . . perhaps only a few hundred basic kinds. Thus, Adam’s naming of the animals and his realizing that he needed a counterpart would have occupied only a brief time after his creation. Since it was also Jehovah’s purpose for man to multiply and fill the earth, it is logical that he would create Eve soon after Adam, perhaps just a few weeks or months later in the same year, 4026 B.C.E. After her creation, God’s rest day, the seventh period, immediately followed.
  • 5 Therefore, God’s seventh day and the time man has been on earth apparently run parallel. To calculate where man is in the stream of time relative to God’s seventh day of 7,000 years, we need to determine how long a time has elapsed from the year of Adam and Eve’s creation in 4026 B.C.E. . . . . From the autumn of 4026 B.C.E. to the autumn of 1967. Thus, eight years remain to account for a full 6,000 years of the seventh day. Eight years from the autumn of 1967 would bring us to the autumn of 1975, fully 6,000 years into God’s seventh day, his rest day. . . . Hence, when Christians note from God’s timetable the approaching end of 6,000 years of human history, it fills them with anticipation. Particularly is this true because the great sign of the “last days” has been in the course of fulfillment since the beginning of the “time of the end” in 1914. And, as Jesus said, “this generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.” (Matt. 24:34) Some of the generation that discerned the beginning of the time of the end in 1914 will still be alive on earth to witness the end of this present wicked system of things at the battle of Armageddon.

Fred Franz must have thought this to be his most brilliant epiphany. He now knew something that even the angels could not have known: that Adam and Eve were both created in the same year, 4026. [This can be the only reason the angels had no idea when the end would come.]

A slightly more honest review of the history could easily have summarized the range of statements, with something like: "Were some statements made that were more definite than advisable? Yes. But there were cautionary statements, too, and many Witnesses understood the importance of those cautionary statements in harmony with Jesus' words that the times and seasons are not in our jurisdiction."

Notice instead that another version of the failed "Millions Now Living" campaign was started with that last quoted sentence about how some people old enough to discern something in 1914 would still be alive. This new "Some Now Living Will Still Be Alive at Armageddon" campaign has also now failed to come true if we assume, as we did once, that a person needed to be about 15 to discern the sign in 1914. (1899 to 2019 is 120 years.)

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Okie Dokie, comfortmypeople. You would think, the tall tale JWI told was horrendously wrong. If everyone that opposes disingenuous claims here is called Allan? Then I’m Allan, even though the correct spelling for him is Allen.

Before you say, wrong I’m Anna, Got it. According to outsiders, and some here, the Watchtower predicts Armageddon every year in Rosh Hashanah that started yesterday evening. So, 1874, 1878, 1881, 1883, 1890, 1891, 1892, 1899, 1901, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1915,1916,1917, 1918, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1923, 1925, 1926, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, etc. are relevant to the opposition.

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1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

"Were some statements made that were more definite than advisable? Yes. But there were cautionary statements, too, and many Witnesses understood the importance of those cautionary statements in harmony with Jesus' words that the times and seasons are not in our jurisdiction."

This is perfectly reasonable, but still a bit whitey-washy. I would be more inclined to something like: 

"Were some statements made that were more definite than advisable? Yes. And indeed, there were some influential ones who made firm assertions based on pure conjecture. This even led some to take rather rash life course decisions that they later regretted. But there were cautionary statements too. Many Witnesses, who understood the importance of those cautionary statements in harmony with Jesus' words that the times and seasons are not in our jurisdiction, were able to take a more rational and measured approach to life in the face of the frothy enthusiasm generated by end-time speculators"

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16 hours ago, ComfortMyPeople said:

The same pride I observe in myself, and many others overseeing the flock. The difference lies in that I harm to my family, perhaps to my own congregation, but the brothers on charge of the worldwide instruction harm the entire brotherhood.

Regarding this harm, presently, the most dangerous doctrinal matter affecting, not our ideas, but the real life of sincere Christians around the world is the deals with disfellowshipped persons, more precisely family members.

This is a horrible misinterpretation of the Bible teaching in 1 Cor 5. I literally cry many times observing families broken, many times with life wounds.

....  "bad ideas" (false theologies) have consequences in the real world.

Just as "Spacetime" is only one thing ... not space, and time (all time is local to the space that influences it), you cannot separate bad theology ( misrepresenting the will of God ) from resultant bad consequences.

The song we sang this weekend:

"Listen, Obey and be blessed,

When you hear God's will expressed ..."

... presumes that what we are hearing is ACTUALLY God's will and not self-serving irresponsible  cruelty, mislabeled and disguised as kindness.

Unfortunately, there is no one to fire those responsible.

....... perhaps Jehovah will hear our prayers of grief and anguish over the things we have seen, and have to to endure from the Shepherds we have now, who fleece us ....  and for fear of being eaten by them ... they force us to cruelly  eat our Brothers,  our Sisters, and our families.


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15 minutes ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

...is that a puzzle, Grey Reformer?

If you cannot put something in your own words, perhaps if you actually said it out loud, you would realize how goofy the premise is.




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