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1975 was in the past. Are we HONEST about it TODAY?

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22 hours ago, Anna said:

There was so much insinuation that went unchecked, that it was no wonder 1975 became a fact, instead of what it was said to be, a maybe.

Russell himself said he was ashamed of Second Adventism with all its false predictions. He was embarrassed by the Adventists yet he took little else from them besides their chronology. From the start, he was drawn to their chronology system. He often claimed that he was not so interested in the chronology but focused on Christian character instead, yet he made belief in the updated Second Adventist chronology the single criteria that separated the Foolish Virgins from the Wise Virgins.

Here's an example of the kind of dishonesty I refer to that always seems to accompany the topic of chronology in every religion that focuses on it. It goes all the way back to the first few months of Watch Tower publications:

Here are some statements from the January 1881 Watch Tower magazine:

  • This is a question doubtless that many ask themselves, viz: "How soon will our change come?" This change many of us have looked forward to for years, and we yet with much pleasure, think of the time when we shall be gathered unto Jesus and see Him as he is. In the article concerning our change, in December paper, we expressed the opinion that it was nearer than many supposed, and while we would not attempt to prove our change at any particular time, yet we propose looking at some of the evidences which seem to show the translation or change from the natural to the spiritual condition, due this side or by the fall of our year 1881. The evidence that our change will be by that time, increases since we have seen that the change to spiritual bodies is not the marriage. While we thought the marriage to be the change, and knowing there was three and a half years of special favor to the Nominal Church (now left desolate) from 1878, we could not expect any translation this side of 1881, or during this three and a half years. But since we recognize that going into the marriage is not only being made ready (by recognizing His presence) for the change, but also, that going in includes the change itself, then the evidences that we go in (or will be changed) inside of the time mentioned are strong, and commend themselves to all interested as worthy of investigation. Aside from any direct proof that our change is near, the fact that the manner of the change can now be understood, is evidence that we are near the time of the change, for truth is "meat in due season," and understood only as due. It will be remembered that after the spring of 1878, (when we understand Jesus was due as King) that the subject of holiness or the wedding garment, was very much agitated. And aside from the parallel to the end of the Jewish age, and favor at that time being shown to the Jewish nation, which implied the presence of the King, the consideration of the wedding garment, was also proof of the correctness of the application, for "the King had come in to see the guests," [
      Hello guest!
    ] and hence all were interested in knowing how they stood before Him. Now as the inspection of guests is the last thing prior to our change, which precedes the marriage and we are all now considering the change. It would seem that the time for it, is nigh.
  • We shall now present what we adduce from the types and prophetic points as seeming to indicate the translation of the saints and closing of the door to the high calling by 1881. . . . [skipping a large portion on these evidences, some of which were considered "proofs" of 1874 that evidenced the correctness of 1881.] If this be a correct application (and it seems harmonious) and the time of building is seven years, then we would expect our change by or before the fall of 1881, as from 1874 to then would be the time given for building. . . .  by coming into a knowledge of the Bridegroom's presence, etc., during the seven years harvest [from 1874 to 1881] . . . and as the seven years are about complete, that we will soon follow by being changed. 
      Hello guest!
     and the parallelism of the Jewish and Gospel ages, seem to teach that the wise of the virgins "who are alive and remain" must all come in, to a knowledge of the bridegroom's presence, by the fall of 1881, when the door—opportunity to become a member of the bride—will close.
  • . . . We suggest as quite possible, that the change may come to some prepared before that time.
  • . . .  "Yet seven days [years] and I will cause it to rain upon the earth," should be significant, because we have expected trouble, in a special sense, about 1881, and, according to the type, we must enter in by that time. . . . We used to think it would be in the midst of a great trouble that we would be changed, but now we do not. . . .  If the three years mentioned in connection with Aaron has any bearing, then it would teach our change as coming this side of 1881, as three years from 1878 would bring us inside of that time. . . .  We now have taken prophetic measurements and allegories together, [R182 : page 5] five different points seeming to teach the resurrection of the dead in Christ and change of the living between the fall of 1874 and 1881. Two or more witnesses are enough to prove any case, as a rule, and certainly God has given us abundant evidence. We are also glad to notice that all these things only corroborate previous truths, thus proving to a certainty each application as correct and causing the old jewels to shine brighter. The five lines of argument briefly stated are these:
  • 1st. The days of Daniel ending in 1874, at which time the resurrection commenced, and since which, the dead have been going in to the marriage.
  • 2d. The end of the seven years from that time, as marked by the parallel, of the end of the "seventy weeks" in the Jewish age ending in our year 1881, at which time we all should be in and the door closed, being the end of time of special favor to the nominal church before commencement of trouble which follows our change.

[skipping more, etc. etc. etc.]

There are some cautionary statements built into the article, and statements that this is not proof, just evidence. But note what is done with the evidence. Intelligently-minded people know what this evidence means. And spiritually-minded people know that the faithful and wise servant is providing "food at the proper time" [meat in due season] and that this is the proper time for wise virgins to distinguish themselves from foolish virgins. Also, all this evidence is only evidence on its own, but as it adds up, it becomes "proof" to those who appreciate that God is giving us this evidence in abundance, and that even two of these five lines of evidence should therefore constitute enough to "prove any case" as a rule.

Here are some statements from the May 1881 Watch Tower magazine, p.224, on the same topic, now that the time for hesitation was due:

  • The WATCH TOWER never claimed that the body of Christ will be changed to spiritual beings during this year. There is such a change due sometime. We have not attempted to say when, but have repeatedly said that it could not take place before the fall of 1881.

This was a true statement. The Watch Tower had not claimed that the body of Christ will be changed in 1881, only that the evidence about 1881 should be seen as proof by intelligent and spiritually minded persons who have a true faith and appreciation for God's truths. From this point forward, after failure was obvious, it would be easy to cherry-pick quotes that showed that no one had specifically said it would happen by the fall of 1881  -- even though it was supposed to obvious that for some it would likely happen even before the fall of 1881. But even this is just technicalities and semantics. It's true that they hadn't said it would definitely happen.

Still, there is dishonesty in the attempt to sweep all the embarrassment away. It's in the phrase: "We have not attempted to say when . . ." Is this a true statement? Was there really no attempt to say when the change would take place? That previous article on the topic of when, in January 1881 --only four months earlier--  might as well have been called "When Will the Change Take Place?" It was nothing if not an attempt to say when!

The claim might be technically true. But is it honest?

 

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2 hours ago, JW Insider said:

It's in the phrase: "We have not attempted to say when . . ." Is this a true statement? Was there really no attempt to say when the change would take place? That previous article on the topic of when, in January 1881 --only four months earlier--  might as well have been called "When Will the Change Take Place?" It was nothing if not an attempt to say when!

Of course there was an attempt to say when, quite clearly xD.  It must be rather a predicament for those who make claims, or "attempts", that are forever immortalized in print! I believe Russell was being honest at the time of his attempts, and truly believed what he was saying, otherwise he would have not published it. The fact that he tried to get around it the way he did after his words failed highlights typical human weakness. True, one should expect better from someone who claims to be a messenger, and faithful and wise servant of God, but it wouldn't be the first time human failings manifested themselves in those of whom we would least expect it. That is exactly why, and I know you are on the same page with me on this, we should be cautious about claims and "attempts" made by anyone, even, (or should  I say especially?) those at the top.  I know, many would disagree and pretty much believe what the Slave says, to the letter. There is another website, run by Witnesses, that is strongly monitored for any negativity against the slave.  The other day in FS a sister who I admire and who has her head screwed on right, made a surprising comment. She said that if the Slave told her to do anything she would do it. I am assuming she didn't mean jump off a bridge, because she is not that kind of a person, and has her own views on a few things. So I am assuming she meant "within reason" . But anyone hearing her, who doesn't really know her, could have got the wrong impression.

It is a big dilemma to say the least when we know the Slave has erred in the past and can err in the future (by their own admission) and yet we are still supposed to be obedient to it (now, and in the future when we receive "lifesaving instructions that may not make sense from a human stand point"). I was discussing this with my step dad (elder) and he admitted it was a difficult situation. He said we just have to trust Jehovah. Also, and I've mentioned this on another occasion, we will obey God as ruler rather than man, which means when obedience to man would result in disobedience to God, then we don't go there. This applies to any man. Br. Jackson insinuated this also in his ARC hearing.

 

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2 minutes ago, Anna said:

The other day in FS a sister who I admire and who has her head screwed on right, made a surprising comment. She said that if the Slave told her to do anything she would do it.

To most it just means that we have faith in the Slave that they will not ask us to do anything unreasonable, even though they have asked us to obey in the future even if it does seem unreasonable. I don't think they will ask us to do anything more unreasonable than some of the unreasonable requests on blood doctrine inconsistencies, organ transplants, divorce for "spiritual" adultery (but not for areas of immorality they have not yet defined under the scope of porneia), etc.

They will, evidently, ask us to believe things that are unreasonable or even patently untrue. Men in leadership positions can't usually go more than a few weeks without needing someone to believe something that isn't reasonable or true. That's also the nature of human leadership. That seems to get worse with committees as often as it gets better.

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1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

they have asked us to obey in the future even if it does seem unreasonable

Some probably thought these instructions were unreasonable (at the time):  

 “So Jesus said to them: “Most truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in yourselves." John 6:53

Or this: "After these things the Lord designated seventy others and sent them forth by twos in advance of him into every city and place to which he himself was going to come." Luke 10:1.

Or even this :"Let the man on the housetop not come down to take the goods out of his house; and let the man in the field not return to the house to pick up his outer garment." Matt.24:17-18.

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4 hours ago, Gone Away said:

Isn't all of this just a person (s) stating what they believe at the time of writing? Why all the hot air regarding honesty?

I guess it depends on how seriously we consider "honesty" and "truth" to be in our teaching:

  • (1 Timothy 4:15, 16) 15 Ponder over these things; be absorbed in them, so that your advancement may be plainly seen by all people. 16 Pay constant attention to yourself and to your teaching. Persevere in these things, for by doing this you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.
  • (Philippians 4:-8) .5 Let your reasonableness become known to all men. The Lord is near. . . . 8 Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are of serious concern, . . . continue considering these things.
  • (Proverbs 14:25) . . .A true witness saves lives,. . .

  • (2 Timothy 2:18) 18 These very [men] have deviated from the truth, . . .  and they are subverting the faith of some.

  • (James 3:1-5) 3 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive heavier judgment. . . . . 5 So, too, the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it makes great brags. See how small a fire it takes to set a great forest ablaze!

  • (John 4:22-24) . . .. 23 Nevertheless, the hour is coming, and it is now, when the true worshippers will worship the Father with spirit and truth, for indeed, the Father is looking for ones like these to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit, and those worshipping him must worship with spirit and truth.”

    (John 14:15-17) . . .. 16 And I will ask the Father and he will give you another helper to be with you forever, 17 the spirit of the truth, which the world cannot receive, because it neither sees it nor knows it. You know it, because it remains with you and is in you.

    (Psalm 40:10, 11) . . .I do not hide your loyal love and your truth in the great congregation.” 11 O Jehovah, do not withhold your mercy from me. May your loyal love and your truth constantly safeguard me.

    (Psalm 51:6)  6 Look! You find pleasure in truth in the inner person; Teach my innermost self true wisdom.

If a person is stating something that's untrue, then, yes, it's true that they might just be stating a falsehood that they believe to be true. But in that case what is the reason for the lack of care, the lack of attempted verification, the reason for the willingness to believe something false when it often would have been no trouble at all to make a true statement in its place. Is there a motive that tends to make someone blame others when they themselves are to blame? Is there a motive for a string of repeated falsehoods, even when the person believed each falsehood to be true at the time. Should we learn from our mistakes? Is it worse if the promoter of their own private interpretations of scripture is forced to defend against clear scriptural counsel in order to continue promoting a private interpretation of scripture.

If this type of dishonesty keeps happening, even though it requires kicking against the goads, then there is likely a problem worth looking into.

 

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17 hours ago, JW Insider said:

I guess it depends on how seriously we consider "honesty" and "truth" to be in our teaching:

I agree this should be a prime concern, "we wish to conduct ourselves honestly in all things" Heb 13:11

Of course hindsight is a great instructor, and a good principle is that found in 1Corinthians 13:7 "love believes all things"

So, as long as we keep in mind Jehovah's role in all these matters: "all things are naked and openly exposed to the eyes of the one to whom we must give an account." Heb.4:13.

This will save us becoming "overly righteous" regarding the mistakes of others.

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On 9/3/2018 at 8:17 AM, JW Insider said:

But when we try to convince people today about what was really said back then, what is our purpose in only selectively choosing things that were said and printed in Watchtower publications? Is it possible to be dishonest by what we omit when we defend this topic?

Then what's your point about taking the wrong approach to a topic that you know to be false. Former witnesses distort the facts, as it's done here. So, what's the difference if you call yourself a witness and it amounts to the same distortion.

Who is being dishonest here?

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4 minutes ago, Grey Reformer said:

Then what's your point about taking the wrong approach to a topic that you know to be false. Former witnesses distort the facts, as it's done here. So, what's the difference if you call yourself a witness and it amounts to the same distortion.

I don't want to state anything that is not true. Yes, I've seen former Witnesses distort the facts about 1975. I've heard claims that the Watch Tower publications actually predicted that Armageddon would be here by 1975. The people who claim that are not being honest. That was never said in the WTS publications. A couple years ago, on this forum (or jw-archive.org) I even pointed out that someone had tampered with a recording of Fred Franz to make it look like some things were said in a way that they were never said. That showed the depths of dishonesty that people will sink to. And there are very many more subtle ways that people show their lack of honesty, sometimes from opposers and sometimes from defenders.

Therefore, if any of us want to be able to honestly defend against these accusations, we should know exactly what's true and what isn't. We shouldn't just deny, deny, deny. But we should also be aware of what was said, and not just accept things out of context. We should get a full and comprehensive historical view of the issue so that we are not guilty of cherry-picking various quotes and examples and anecdotes out of context.

So if you believe I have distorted anything about the issue, please bring up the specific example and your evidence. We've seen so many examples of persons on all sides of this issue, who just like to state things without evidence, but this just means they are promoting distortion themselves.

1 hour ago, Grey Reformer said:

Who is being dishonest here?

Anyone who makes claims that are not backed up by evidence might just be showing a lack of care about truth and honesty. That's not necessarily dishonesty, and it might just be based on strong opinions or personal experiences, or believing what one thinks one must believe to keep small pieces of their world view (belief structures) from collapsing. But people who make claims that are contradicted by evidence and who cannot or will not try to present relevant evidence to support their claims, well, unfortunately, those people really are being dishonest, even if their motive is to hang on to an ideology or belief structure they know to be important.

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43 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

Therefore, if any of us want to be able to honestly defend against these accusations, we should know exactly what's true and what isn't. We shouldn't just deny, deny, deny.

Indeed. Who's denying that former witnesses are the least honest people alive? My question is, why then defend their views with your own opposition and with the same distorted publicans they use here by so many of you. So, no one should deny, deny, deny the falsehoods anyone says about the Watchtower and 1975.

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