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Apostles, Judas, GB, Raymond, Satan, Holy Spirit

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So there you had a member of the GB, who was supposed to be of the 'Faithful and discreet slave ' and he had opinions that should have been guided by God's Holy Spirit. 

And he had been involved in writing important books telling everyone about the JW Org.

Yet he gets kicked out by the other members of the GB for being an apostate. Because he spent time with a disassociated person.

Yes, what a 'wonderful' GB you have. What a wonderful Org you have. What a lot of hypocrites you follow. 

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On 12/7/2017 at 5:47 AM, JW Insider said:

That comes from R.Franz in CoC. But nothing in CoC has ever been rebutted, and I have spoken to one member of the Governing Body who said that just because everything he said in the book was true, it's still poison, because the intent is to expose weakness, while love covers a multitude of sins

So if Raymond was a proven liar, and his accounts were challenged within the organization members along with Fred Franz himself, we are to believe that the CoC book was never challenged because you say so? We are to trust your words and your words only?

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This proves the reach Satan has and the bad influence that affects the world. It would be like telling God it was his fault Adam and Eve became imperfect after being created perfect (sinless). So I don’t see where blaming an organization, a group, or society makes any sense. Where would free be, if implied after a single person’s decision was made that had a costly effect in our lives?

This would mean, an argument like this would be impossible to achieve if humanity thought the same. Can we then infer that generation X is to blame for our troubles today? Can we say, we share equal responsibility for every murder, assault, rape, etc. that is committed every second throughout the world? Why should those that abide by Gods and man’s laws need to accept the blame?

With that consent of thought, it would be the responsibility of each parent toward their OWN children. Understand what a child is into, whom they speak with, who they hang around with, at home and at church. So if we are to blame an organization for something, then make it equal across the board to blame everyone including members of that organization regardless if they themselves are critical of such organization enough to think their instructions don’t go far enough to please a few within the masses. Those critics would also bear the blame if we are to think without forethought.

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It is fact that God allowed Adam and Eve to become imperfect, and to continue living long enough to produce offspring which were also imperfect etc.. We know of course that God was facing the challenge from spirit beings, so it was not truly about us humans, but about God's right to rule.. 

As for blaming an Organisation for it's faults, of course we should. Hence I left JW Org. 

Sorry but i relate this once again to Germany and Hitler. Hitler could not have done it all on his own, hence i blame the German people. 

If members of an Organisation turn a blind eye to immoral things happening within, and if those members are too frightened to act against the 'bosses' or internal police, then yes I blame that whole Organisation. 

I blame the bosses and internal police for not running the Organisation properly and not policing it properly. And I blame the members for not speaking up, and / or leaving that organisation. 

You added the word society. Did you mean 'a society' as in a group that a person joins, or did you mean society that one is born into, a country of birth etc? 

An organisation is something you actually join deliberately. Hence many JW children, when they become of 'age', will leave the JW Org, which in fact they were never a part of, they were just children of parents that deliberately joined that organisation. The expression the Org uses is 'making the truth your own', before a youngster gets baptised. But many youngsters see the hypocrisy and lies in the JW Org and decide to be no part of it. 

It is fact that many youngsters state that being made to be 'part of the JW Org' actually ruined their young lives. They were not given choices, just ordered to do things by their parents. The GB made the rules, the Elders distributed these rules and policed the congregation, the parents followed the rules without question, and the children suffered for it all. 

So yes, blame the whole Organisation for its sins, if the sins are made known to everyone within.. Because an adult does not have to be a part of that Organisation and a child is not actually part of that Organisation. 

But I don't really know what your point was in relation to this topic

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6 hours ago, FelixCA said:

So if Raymond was a proven liar, and his accounts were challenged within the organization members along with Fred Franz himself, we are to believe that the CoC book was never challenged because you say so?

I should mention that these comments I had made were never made to defend R.Franz. In fact, as I recall, these comments were made under a different topic, and someone apparently moved them here because I happened to mention R.Franz in my response.

But back to your question that starts out with the words, "So if Raymond was a proven liar." I'm not sure what you are referring to. I've never heard anyone claim that R.Franz was a proven liar. If anyone ever said that, I'd be very interested in what they were referring to. It might be very useful to point to something inaccurate* in his book. I'm sure the average Witness who never knew him could easily get the idea he was "liar," but I have never heard anyone who knew him at Bethel ever say that anything in his book was inaccurate. Quite the opposite in fact.

[I found a couple inaccuracies, by the way, such as when in CoC, he mentioned that the Pope and bishops can speak as if they are "infallible" in the minds of Catholics. He should not have said "and bishops" unless he was referring only to previous "bishops of Rome," which are the popes.]

And by the way, R.Franz was an apostate. So if there was even one inaccuracy in any of his books, don't you think the Watchtower Society, or someone at least, should have pointed it out? What he exposed caused a lot of controversy. Pointing out even one inaccuracy would have helped quell the controversy and defend the Society.

But the problem, as best as I can see it, was not that he said anything untrue, but that his motive was to expose the human side of the organization and its decisions. It was to show how the Governing Body worked together at that time, and examples of how decisions and changes were made. And it showed its very human side, with its faults, mistakes, and interactions of personality. If you worked inside Bethel at that time and worked closely with several of the people he speaks about, you'd already know that his descriptions made perfect sense as they matched everything you could know about these persons. What none of us could know about, however, was what it was like inside any of those meetings of the Governing Body. And it turns out that it, if he is correct in his descriptions, then this is exactly what we would have expected anyway, knowing the personalities of these brothers as we saw and heard them acting and speaking on a daily basis. He speaks very kindly and respectfully of many of them. You can tell they were friends, just as you already knew if you were at Bethel at this time. But it becomes easy to understand how key decisions could be delayed or swayed by more outspoken and stronger personalities on the GB.

6 hours ago, FelixCA said:

and his accounts were challenged within the organization members along with Fred Franz himself

I don't know what you might mean here. No accounts were ever challenged, as far as I know. At least not by anyone who knew him. Especially not by Fred Franz, who knew him very well. If you have evidence to the contrary you should share it, especially because, as Witnesses, we don't want to be known for making false accusations.

6 hours ago, FelixCA said:

we are to believe that the CoC book was never challenged because you say so? We are to trust your words and your words only?

Not at all. I just share what I know and what I think. And you can share what you know and what you think. That's how we learn. That's how forums such as this work. I would never want someone to trust my words and my words only.

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 @JW Insider   Quote " And it showed its very human side, with its faults, mistakes, and interactions of personality. ... " 

Sorry but i laughed. Those seem to be very carefully chosen words of yours. 

Also, " how key decisions could be delayed or swayed by more outspoken and stronger personalities on the GB. " 

And you think that is guided by 'Holy Spirit' ? 

It seems to become even clearer here that this is just a group of men who have put themselves up on high, in place of Jesus christ, and make decisions that suit themselves only. 

And they used to have over 8 million adults obeying their every word. 

However i found it even funnier that Felix makes accusations against a man, accusations that he cannot prove. Showing that once a person is given a bad name by the JW Org, then others jump on that bandwagon to criticise even with no evidence of their own. 

It seems that not many JW's here actually follow scripture. 

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2 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

I blame the bosses and internal police for not running the Organisation properly and not policing it properly. And I blame the members for not speaking up, and / or leaving that organisation. 

Getting back to the topic. I think R.Franz is a curious case in point. I do blame him for some of the child abuse problems because I think he was the person who would have invoked the two-witness rule into judicial matters that are too difficult to figure out through external knowledge and common sense alone. He seemed to have been the one assigned to most of the congregational judicial issues related to immorality. Didn't mean it was his decision, but he was the one assigned to find scriptural defenses for the way the rest of the GB had voted to handle things. He should have had the wherewithal to either speak up or leave the organization. Yet he stayed, and remained an elder, a JW in good standing, even after he was asked to resign from the Governing Body.

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Is the C of C book easily available and do you think I would benefit by reading it ? 

Up date.  Have hopefully saved pdf of C of C so will read later, bit by bit of course. 

 I do blame him for some of the child abuse problems because I think he was the person who would have invoked the two-witness rule into judicial matters that are too difficult to figure out through external knowledge and common sense alone. 

Would this have been a general introduction of the 'Two Witness' rule, not just for the Child abuse cases ? 

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18 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

So there you had a member of the GB, who was supposed to be of the 'Faithful and discreet slave ' and he had opinions that should have been guided by God's Holy Spirit. 

What would you say to Jesus when he handpicked Judas Iscariot as one of his 12 Apostles?

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36 minutes ago, Anna said:

What would you say to Jesus when he handpicked Judas Iscariot as one of his 12 Apostles?

Are you saying you don’t know why Judas was handpicked?

 Simon Peter answered, “Lord, to whom will we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”

70 Jesus replied to them, “Didn’t I choose you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil.” 71 He was referring to Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son] one of the Twelve, because he was going to betray him.  John 6:68-71

 

While they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”

22 Deeply distressed, each one began to say to him, “Surely not I, Lord?”

23 He replied, “The one who dipped his hand with me in the bowl—he will betray me24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for him if he had not been born.”  Matt 26:21-24

 

His role was instrumental in fulfilling prophesy, and God who reads the heart thoroughly, could see clearly that Judas had already chosen his path, which was destruction. Are you equating this to the GB, or Raymond Franz as being “handpicked by Jesus” to do good, or evil?

We have full evidence that the disciples were inspired by Spirit. John 20:22;  Rom 8:5,9; 1 Cor 2:10  We don't have that evidence with the GB who must alter teachings continually.   We don't hear how the Spirit directs them, but that they are not "inspired"; so, instead, we hear how the GB put their heads together to come up with new decrees.  There is no comparison to the apostles.  Why make it?  

 

 

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3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

But back to your question that starts out with the words, "So if Raymond was a proven liar." I'm not sure what you are referring to. I've never heard anyone claim that R.Franz was a proven liar. If anyone ever said that, I'd be very interested in what they were referring to. It might be very useful to point to something inaccurate* in his book. I'm sure the average Witness who never knew him could easily get the idea he was "liar," but I have never heard anyone who knew him at Bethel ever say that anything in his book was inaccurate. Quite the opposite in fact.

[I found a couple inaccuracies, by the way, such as when in CoC, he mentioned that the Pope and bishops can speak as if they are "infallible" in the minds of Catholics. He should not have said "and bishops" unless he was referring only to previous "bishops of Rome," which are the popes.]

Apparently, you must not have known the Franz’s as well as you claim including other governing body members. However, having read Raymond books, I can unequivocally state I reject the claims about the organization. Therefore, your argument is incorrect. Here is a man that found confusion with cynicism. Who put him up to it?

One area which is true would be how the POPE saw itself. In the beginning, they saw themselves as equal to Christ, thus being incapable of doing wrong. This, of course, is ludicrous since no one made the pope perfect. It doesn’t take Raymond’s books to bring to light something that should be already known to Christians. Therefore, a poor example.

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16 hours ago, FelixCA said:

Apparently, you must not have known the Franz’s as well as you claim including other governing body members. However, having read Raymond books, I can unequivocally state I reject the claims about the organization.

So it appears that you don't have any evidence to give for your claim that the book was "challenged" by Fred Franz or others who knew him.

19 hours ago, JW Insider said:

If you have evidence to the contrary you should share it

You didn't even say what claims about the organization that you reject. You should at least be able to point to one inaccuracy. Or someone should.

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20 hours ago, JW Insider said:

But the problem, as best as I can see it, was not that he said anything untrue, but that his motive was

You made important point. If someone can not defeat your arguments or evidences then they questioning your motives. So pathetic!!! 

"Yes, it can be how this what he said was happened, but WHY HE said this? ... because HIS MOTIVES are bad". 

And WHO are you? to judge my motives ! :)))  

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I remember watching a very stupid 'horror' film about monsters in the mist. 

A man was in his car with his parents who were very old, in thick mist, and they could hear the monsters getting closer. 

The man had a gun with only two bullets in. He didn't want the monsters to get his parents so they decided the best plan was to use the two bullets to kill both his parents. They did this. And then the man was just sat there in the car with his dead parents, waiting for the monsters to get him. But all of a sudden the armed forces arrived with tanks and big guns, the mist started to clear, and the man was saved. However to others it would have looked like he had just murdered his parents. The film ended with the man stood by his car watching the armed forces attacking the monsters. 

I recall that because it helps me to realise that a person has to act on the situation / facts known, that they have at that particular time. A person's motives may be for the good, but to others it looks as if they are for the bad. 

It is therefore a wonderful thing that God, and Jesus Christ, can see all things and know all things. They know us better than we know ourselves. They judge us from a standpoint that we will never understand. Their ways are much higher than our ways. 

Raymond Franz, I would say it is not our place to judge him.

However I do think it is the place of JW's to judge the GB or GB decisions, because the GB run the JW Organisation. And i do think it is the right of JW's to judge the way the organisation is being run and the 'rules' it is run by. 

Therefore I think there should be more clarity, more openness, in the JW Org. So that members can make a fair judgement of whether they want to be part of such an organisation. 

I do think that in the first century, the running of the Christian 'organisation' was much simpler and more open.  

Acts 15 v 28 & 29

For the holy spirit and we ourselves have favored adding no further burden to you except these necessary things: 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!”

Those people hearing those word would have fully understood what they meant. It seems to be all that was needed at that time. 

So when some on here try to compare those days to now, in my opinion it is not possible to make a real comparison. 

Ex-JW's that have known and still remember problems from within the JW Org should of course whenever possible warn others of any dangers of being part of the JW Org. A good person would not want to send anyone into a cage of lions, even if those lions were purring like pleasant pussy cats. 

JW's still in the JW Org should also, and probably even more so, warn others of problems / dangers within the JW Org, but it is a danger for them to do so. 

I think that the more the JW Organisation pushes about Satan ruling the world, and that everyone outside the Org is part of the devil's world, then the more those that have information should push to show Satan's influence inside the JW Org. It's called balance, and honesty.

The Watchtower and the CCJW are not God. The GB are not God. The Elders are not God nor Jesus Christ.

So do not let anyone replace God or Jesus Christ with humans of any kind or status. 

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9 hours ago, JW Insider said:

So it appears that you don't have any evidence to give for your claim that the book was "challenged" by Fred Franz or others who knew him.

Can we also say you don’t have proof Fred Franz didn’t? Try not to overreach and backtrack on your earlier sentiment about knowing the GB when it’s obvious that’s an exaggeration.

I’m not mentally challenged spiritually to accept apostate literature that you seem to want to promote. Sorry.

A final reason, resulting from the previous two, is that of conscience. What do you do when you see mounting evidence that people are being hurt, deeply hurt, with no real justification? What obligation does any of us have—before God and toward fellow humans—when he sees that information is withheld from people to whom it could be of the most serious consequence? These were questions with which I struggled. What follows expands on these reasons.”

How convenient to all of a sudden develop a conscience to justify his own actions as a member of the 18 Governing Body. Not only is this untrue but disingenuous as to his motive.

Perhaps you fall for sob stories, but it takes time to know a person. This person angered over being overlooked for president is a classic case of narcissism.

If you’re a person that is looking for excuses to fade or leave, promote this book if you must, just keep the Watchtower and faithful followers of Christ out. Perhaps JW only would be more suitable to discuss this among yourselves since no one will be able to refute misguided understanding.

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On 1/21/2019 at 12:00 PM, Witness said:

Are you equating this to the GB, or Raymond Franz as being “handpicked by Jesus” to do good, or evil?

No actually, I was not equating it, or at least if it appeared so, I did not mean that. My point was that anyone can do good or evil, no matter what lofty position they have, and no matter who they are picked by. Jesus could have chosen a different path if he had wanted to, and of course the most infamous example is of Satan, who was originally a perfect angel. So my point was that we should not be surprised if someone we previously considered good turns bad. With regard to RF, that is of course a matter of opinion whether he was good or bad. I do not believe however that Judas was "destined" to be bad, as that would have deprived him of the freedom of choice that has been given to all intelligent creatures in heaven and on earth. 

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Poor Felix like a baby throwing his toys out of the pram again. 

Quote Felix "How convenient to all of a sudden develop a conscience to justify his own actions.. "

Um, one can only develop a conscience over time as one put things together. Things build up over time as one gathers information. So one's conscience builds with the more information one has on a subject.

But then it seems Felix has suddenly been given power from 'above' to judge Raymond Franz. 

Quote "I’m not mentally challenged spiritually .". That makes no sense at all. Spiritual things give wisdom from God.. Whereas we think mentally of our own choice. 

And this silly word 'apostate' is so misused now it really has no meaning at all. 

Remember, an apostate is someone that turns away from a former religion. They do not necessarily turn away from God or Jesus Christ. 

So it seems that Raymond Franz chose to serve God and not serve the GB or JW org. Hence the GB got annoyed with him. 

And once again we see typical GB / JW org attitude whereby Felix thinks he has the right to tell someone where to post his comments. 

As for faithful followers of Christ. A lot of them are already out, out of JW Org that is :) ....

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52 minutes ago, Anna said:

No actually, I was not equating it, or at least if it appeared so, I did not mean that. My point was that anyone can do good or evil, no matter what lofty position they have, and no matter who they are picked by. Jesus could have chosen a different path if he had wanted to, and of course the most infamous example is of Satan, who was originally a perfect angel. So my point was that we should not be surprised if someone we previously considered good turns bad. With regard to RF, that is of course a matter of opinion whether he was good or bad. I do not believe however that Judas was "destined" to be bad, as that would have deprived him of the freedom of choice that has been given to all intelligent creatures in heaven and on earth. 

Freedom of choice ? I mentioned in a topic that i started, about predestination, that a few people seem to have been chosen to do things before they were even born. Jacob being an example, chosen over his brother whilst still in the womb. 

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53 minutes ago, Anna said:

Jesus could have chosen a different path if he had wanted to, and of course the most infamous example is of Satan, who was originally a perfect angel. So my point was that we should not be surprised if someone we previously considered good turns bad.

 

54 minutes ago, Anna said:

I do not believe however that Judas was "destined" to be bad, as that would have deprived him of the freedom of choice that has been given to all intelligent creatures in heaven and on earth. 

This can bring us to interesting discussion with interesting people. 

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1 hour ago, FelixCA said:

Can we also say you don’t have proof Fred Franz didn’t?

That's true. I have no proof that Fred Franz didn't. But if Fred Franz really had challenged the book in any way, that surely would have been huge news. Some Witness somewhere would surely have made a note of it. Interesting, however, that some Witnesses have said that they first heard about certain controversial issues (re: WTS history) in this book by R.Franz, and believed that some of these things could not really be true. But then Frederick Franz gave a talk in 1985, about two years after the book CoC came out, and confirmed many of the same controversial issues out of his own mouth. You can hear it here:

    Hello guest!

It's a 1 hour and 33 minute talk, but you can find about 10 minutes of excerpts from it in shorter versions on YouTube. Obviously, Fred Franz didn't mention the book, but he surely had a chance to challenge something in it, and instead he either purposely or inadvertently expresses agreement with many details that some Witnesses had first seen in R.Franz book, and had found difficult to believe.

But the main point, of course, is that your "redirection" above sounds like evidence that you didn't have any specific examples after all. Until you offer any, I'll assume that you found no evidence of inaccurate details in the book.

1 hour ago, FelixCA said:

I’m not mentally challenged spiritually to accept apostate literature that you seem to want to promote.

I'm not trying to promote the book. I don't know his motives for writing it. I only know what he claimed, and those claims might be true, and they might be untrue. If his claimed reasons are true, then it is very understandable why he felt it necessary to write the book. If they are false, then we can probably impute all kinds of wrong reasons for him to write such a book.

1 hour ago, FelixCA said:

This person angered over being overlooked for president is a classic case of narcissism.

Maybe he was. I don't know of anyone who had evidence that he was being overlooked or if even if he was actually being considered the prime choice after Fred Franz. I was handling assignments for Brother Albert Schroeder at the time Schroeder was involved in a kind of campaign against R.Franz, and I did get a very strong sense that Brother Schroeder did not want to be overlooked for the office of President. So it is possible that R.Franz was like him, too. I only knew R.Franz through reputation and his 15 minute comments when it was his weekly rotation at "morning worship."

I can tell you that among many serious Bethelites, including many Bethel Elders in the late 1970's and up until 1980, there was a lot of talk that R.Franz would be the most likely candidate for next president after his uncle died. This was one of the reasons that news of his resignation from the Governing Body, and news of his leaving Bethel shocked so many brothers and sisters. There was even a lot of crying, and a line of people waiting at his door to say good-bye to him and his wife the day they left Bethel. But just because a person has a humble and loving reputation, you still don't know what is going on in their heart.

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@Anna  I quoted from FelixCA  " If you’re a person that is looking for excuses to fade or leave, promote this book if you must, just keep the Watchtower and faithful followers of Christ out. Perhaps JW only would be more suitable to discuss this among yourselves since no one will be able to refute misguided understanding." 

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40 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

expresses agreement with many details that some Witnesses had first seen in R.Franz book, and had found difficult to believe.

I can see that it would have been difficult to challenge some of these things, because by themselves, if stated completely factually, without any emotion whatsoever, they were unchallengeable. What was disputable though (in my opinion) was the tone and implication of the things that RF wrote, that could be, and were, misleading.  He was definitely not without bias, and I could point out a number of statements he made that were 'twisted'. (I would have to look for this again because I do not think I made a note of them, and if I did it was quite a long time ago, so I don't think I could find them that easily, but I do remember there was quite a number).

My point is; I think that if  Fred Franz would have made some effort in pointing out these obvious biases and subtle misrepresentations he would have had to do so by writing a book himself, as a kind of rebuttal, rather than talking about them. And you and I both know that this is not an option the GB consider.

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15 minutes ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

@Anna  I quoted from FelixCA  " If you’re a person that is looking for excuses to fade or leave, promote this book if you must, just keep the Watchtower and faithful followers of Christ out. Perhaps JW only would be more suitable to discuss this among yourselves since no one will be able to refute misguided understanding." 

Sure, but I was asking about YOUR definition

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20 minutes ago, Anna said:

What was disputable though (in my opinion) was the tone and implication of the things that RF wrote, that could be, and were, misleading.  He was definitely not without bias, and I could point out a number of statements he made that were 'twisted'.

This book became a long, ongoing conversation for a few years among my former roommates at Bethel and another Bethelite who was a groomsman at my wedding, and a friend who had remained in the Writing Department for 30 years after my last Bethel assignment. (In 4 years at Bethel, I had 5 different roommates, and four of them have talked to me about the book.) This doesn't prove anything, but a former roommate (Service/Correspondence), and the brother in Writing, have both confirmed that copies of R.Franz books were kept in the Writing Dept "special" library since the early 1980's.

Of course, he had bias. And I'm sure he would only choose or emphasize details that would lead one toward that same bias. We are all taught to do that, because there is nothing wrong with bias if it's a bias toward what's true. And, though I don't have proof yet, I also think he was wrong about a couple of things, too. But I tend to think he was factually accurate because I have found good corroboration for a couple of things I personally questioned. Also because it is much more important for someone in his position to pay more than the usual attention to all details claimed, for the same reasons that an outsider plaintiff must be extra careful in a "David v. Goliath" type of court case. One false claim and you get crushed.

If you can recall any of those items you thought "twisted" that could be very important to the current discussion.

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2 hours ago, Anna said:

So my point was that we should not be surprised if someone we previously considered good turns bad.

I do agree.

2 hours ago, Anna said:

I do not believe however that Judas was "destined" to be bad, as that would have deprived him of the freedom of choice that has been given to all intelligent creatures in heaven and on earth. 

 

We all have free will, anyone can and accept the cleansing Word of Christ…unless we have already chosen and ultimately “sealed” our heart to follow another path.   Jesus knew Judas’ hardened, unbending heart condition,  before he was chosen among the twelve.  Scriptures reveal this fact.  John  13:18 (Ps 41:9); John 8:31

None of the teachings by Christ absolved him of his sins.  John 12:4-6; 13:10,11

His prophetic role is verified in the Hebrew scriptures.  Acts 1:16-20; (Ps 69:25; 109:8)

Free will is expressed by our heart’s desire.  This man’s heart made the free choice to pursue evil before joining with Christ.

While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.  John 17:12

 “The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?
10 I, the Lord, search the heart,
I search (examine, investigate) the mind, (the most secret parts)
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings." 
Jer 17:9,10

God knows the end of all things from the beginning, including the sway of our heart.  Isa 46:10

 

 

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36 minutes ago, Anna said:

Sure, but I was asking about YOUR definition

Those seeking truth, not position or just friendship. People like myself, but better than me, that don't mind being shunned for truth. 

And it seems there are people on here looking for truth rather than looking for the easy way. 

The JW Org is the easy way now because there are so many JW's that a person can live their whole life in the Org. 

That is why so many are frightened of the Elders, and frightened to look for truth, because being in the Org has become a comfortable way of life in the Western world. To lose the Org for some people would be the worst thing that could ever happen to them. 

Hence many chose the GB and JW Org, over God and Jesus Christ. 

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23 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

If you can recall any of those items you thought "twisted" that could be very important to the current discussion.

Yes, I figured as much xD. I am back on my laptop, slowly recovering from my...whatever virus it was....but I also have a lot of work I have to catch up on so I can't fully concentrate on here. But of course time allowing I will search for it, if it means I have to read the book again! The problem also with any active Witness who would like to write some kind of rebuttal and put their name to it is practically impossible, for obvious reasons, therefore the book has remained largely unchallenged, I think. It definitely gives much impetus to those who are looking for an excuse to get out though.

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1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

That's true. I have no proof that Fred Franz didn't. But if Fred Franz really had challenged the book in any way, that surely would have been huge news. Some Witness somewhere would surely have made a note of it. Interesting, however, that some Witnesses have said that they first heard about certain controversial issues (re: WTS history) in this book by R.Franz, and believed that some of these things could not really be true. But then Frederick Franz gave a talk in 1985, about two years after the book CoC came out, and confirmed many of the same controversial issues out of his own mouth.

Wouldn’t that be the point for Raymond? Self-serving especially having to rely on people like Carl to make a comparison. Was this an ExJW’s dream come true? I would imagine there were more members at Bethel that would disagree with the interest of Raymond’s book, possed.

I have several Bethel members at my hall that didn’t find the appeal on how Raymond coined the phrase the truth. Therefore, I don’t see any benefit for true Christians, maybe someone that poison the well like butler but that’s just hurting him.

But just like anything, being critical of the Bible student era has always been an argument for those that apostasy. What other misbegotten did Raymond inherit by following others rather than trust in God what he accomplished for the Watchtower just to throw it away because of pride?

Everything that goes inside at Bethel is not always made public no matter how hard anyone thinks the GB is an open book. So, no, if someone would have been critical of Raymond, it wouldn’t be ritually exposed.

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2 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

It is understandable for me to see your disappoint about R.F. or similar characters inside JW. Yes, perhaps your view about him is correct. But for many of us is of less concern why he wrote a book about GB and WT. We can feel sorrow for him or we can say he is/was hypocrite. Nevertheless, information's we get from his inside insight about WT GB mechanism are more important then he alone. Because "The Truth" is in question, not he, not me, not you. 

what would be the difference from any other ExJW that writes a book with the same old storylines? I don't see how his book is more special than any other.

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2 hours ago, FelixCA said:

Wouldn’t that be the point for Raymond? Self-serving especially having to rely on people like Carl to make a comparison. Was this an ExJW’s dream come true?

I can't really tell what you are trying to say.

2 hours ago, FelixCA said:

I would imagine there were more members at Bethel that would disagree with the interest of Raymond’s book, possed.

I imagine that the vast majority of people at Bethel never read any of the books by R.Franz, at least not while at Bethel. But they certainly wanted to talk about it, and to talk about things they had heard from others about the book.

2 hours ago, FelixCA said:

I have several Bethel members at my hall that didn’t find the appeal on how Raymond coined the phrase the truth.

Don't know what you mean. Surely you don't think that R.Franz coined that phrase. And surely you don't think that R.Franz claimed to have coined that phrase.

2 hours ago, FelixCA said:

Therefore, I don’t see any benefit for true Christians, maybe someone that poison the well like butler but that’s just hurting him.

I don't really see that J.Butler would be benefited from reading the book. I think he already has his mind completely made up about the usefulness of the Organization long before any talk of this book. But if a person can understand from a book such as this that the leadership of the Organization has a human side, and can figure out why Jehovah could still work with (and bless the efforts of) such humans to accomplish something good, I don't see how the book should necessarily hurt. I have a feeling he would read it just for "ammunition."

One benefit I see for true Christians, however, is that it should make us more humble, less presumptuous, and it helps us understand the difficult position of leadership of a the Organization when their is no direct inspiration, no signs, and no miracles. As more members of the Governing Body have explained, they see their role as trying to devote themselves to a study of the scriptures in order to guard the doctrine. They pray over the scriptures, and the best decisions, and best course to take, but there is no "magic wand." It's still a matter of trying to distinguish right from wrong by being spiritually minded persons who know that everything they decide should have a Biblical basis.

For the most part, this produces excellent results. But certain traditions and strongly entrenched things will not necessarily be improved if you only see yourselves as "guardians" of existing doctrine. But in spite of this, a lot of good changes have also taken place. I have not seen a year go by, when improvements were not made. (Especially since about 2000 when the role of the GB became more focused on doctrinal matters and less on legal and bureaucratic matters.)

2 hours ago, FelixCA said:

But just like anything, being critical of the Bible student era has always been an argument for those that apostasy.

And it's also quite possible to be critical of what we should be critical of, to learn from their mistakes. And it's also possible to be critical and come to a better appreciation of Jehovah's ways and his patience.

2 hours ago, FelixCA said:

What other misbegotten did Raymond inherit by following others rather than trust in God what he accomplished for the Watchtower just to throw it away because of pride?

Again, you make no sense. If this is another reference to Carl Olaf Jonsson per the argument that Allen Smith invariably brought up in this context, it is still a false argument. R.Franz discovered the problems with our chronology way back before 1969, while writing the Chronology entry in the Aid Book that came out in 1969. Jonsson had not even started his questioning of the chronology back then, had he? Brothers that I knew in Writing would not touch the Jonsson manuscript precisely because they already questioned the chronology and realized that they might get an assignment to rebut COJ if they took an interest. This is why it sat on a shelf, and was called the "hot potato" for at least a year, and no one dared touch it.

2 hours ago, FelixCA said:

Everything that goes inside at Bethel is not always made public no matter how hard anyone thinks the GB is an open book. So, no, if someone would have been critical of Raymond, it wouldn’t be ritually exposed.

Unfortunately, this is very true that much of what goes on in Bethel, especially within the GB, is not made public.

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1 hour ago, FelixCA said:

I don't see how his book is more special than any other.

Actually, you might have hit on the exact reason that many Witnesses have read it secretly when you said:

2 hours ago, FelixCA said:

Everything that goes inside at Bethel is not always made public no matter how hard anyone thinks the GB is an open book.

It's the fact that he purports to tell people what went on in the GB.

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3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Again, you make no sense. If this is another reference to Carl Olaf Jonsson per the argument that Allen Smith invariably brought up in this context, it is still a false argument. R.Franz discovered the problems with our chronology way back before 1969, while writing the Chronology entry in the Aid Book that came out in 1969. Jonsson had not even started his questioning of the chronology back then, had he? Brothers that I knew in Writing would not touch the Jonsson manuscript precisely because they already questioned the chronology and realized that they might get an assignment to rebut COJ if they took an interest. This is why it sat on a shelf, and was called the "hot potato" for at least a year, and no one dared touch it.

Oh! I think we can give Raymond credit for mentioning Carl in his book as though new light was thrust upon his eyes. Evil has the tendency to blind people to the truth. So, it’s not just a matter of mimicking what others had said before about 1914, 1925, 1975 etc. it’s laughable on how one belief was strong but when explained in such a disingenuous way, it became wrong.

That kind of nonsense belongs in an Ex-JW pile. But it’s true those books are for people with a weak heart and wish to follow in Raymond’s footsteps to become as confused as he ended up being.

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“Now when they heard these things, they acquiesced, and they glorified God, saying: “Well, then, God has granted repentance for the purpose of life to people of the nations also.”   (Acts 11:18)

“When he would not be dissuaded, we acquiesced with the words: “Let the will of Jehovah take place.”  (Acts 21:14)

Sometimes a guy just has to acquiesce. There’s not enough acquiescing goin on here.

When I wrote ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates’ I could have gone one of two ways: ‘apostates’ who remained believers and those who went atheistic. I went the latter - the only group I could get my head around. The former produces nothing more than ineffectual islands, so far as I can tell. 

It’s fine not to acquiesce if you want to give up on God. But you must if you don’t want to give up on him.

 

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There might have been one group that was missed. The presumption of an active member that acquiesce to the tune of false and misleading information. It’s always the quiet ones that are overlooked, even though they are the most dangerous when it comes to wisdom. James 1:26

I have looked for this Allen Smith that is being mentioned here. Once by Witness and once by JWinsider. Is this a punchline or an inside joke?

I guess when we go into Walmart, The manager gives us an account on their daily operation, and they mention what the corporate members are saying. This is indeed a new light, can we say it is with wisdom?

It is true that some Bethel members defy scripture with gossip, does this bring new light or just another way of saying it’s a personal opinion on how I see things. Exodus 23:1,  2 Corinthians 12:20

I think the irony here would be that some say it is important to understand Raymond’s thoughts about the goings-on inside Bethel, yet some here find it necessary to develop a JW only section to keep personal thoughts secret. This is indeed amazing how people think without discernment enough to say, what would be the difference? Ephesians 4:29

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On 1/22/2019 at 9:03 PM, FelixCA said:

Oh! I think we can give Raymond credit for mentioning Carl in his book as though new light was thrust upon his eyes.

I've been thinking about this claim for a while. I don't consider Carl Olof Jonsson nor Raymond Franz to be apostate. Not apostates from Christianity, nor apostates from Jehovah's Witnesses, nor apostates from the Watch Tower Society.

The reason is because they didn't "go out from among us." Both of them acquiesced for several years. Both of them were kicked out -- pushed out, instead of just leaving. They didn't go out on their own. And questioning certain doctrines does not constitute leaving the religion, according to directives given in our publications today. Besides most of the doctrines that were questioned have already now been shown to be incorrect anyway. The 2010 change to the generation doctrine was already an admission that 1914 was no longer tenable as the start of the generation that would see Armageddon within their lifespans. Back in 1980, Brother Schroeder himself had questioned this doctrine when he proposed that the Governing Body change that date for the beginning of the generation from 1914 to 1957. I don't think this makes Brother Schroeder an apostate, nor would it even if he had been disfellowshipped over that proposal.

So yes, I think R.Franz should get credit for mentioning Carl Jonsson. They both had studied the same material on chronology, and both of them had decided to go to the experts. But one of them (Jonsson) had decided to carefully question the Society first, and give them several opportunities to respond, and even several years to respond to specific points, before finally going public with the research he collected. So, even after becoming convinced in his own mind, he acquiesced to Witness protocol. Even though he did not originate much of this research, he made it accessible to many more Witnesses. It was very important research in my opinion, especially as it cleared up the problem that the Watch Tower Society was facing at the time. He basically found that the Biblical, scholarly, historical and archaeological evidence perfectly supported the Bible's accounts and resolved the chronology issues that the Watch Tower had been struggling with, changing, stretching, and fretting over for over 100 years. When a Christian Witness has a gift and talent for research, it is a fine thing to share it with others -- to bring one's gift upon the altar -- especially after Carl Jonsson had given the WTS the benefit of the doubt that they would handle things appropriately in time.

Almost exactly a year after Jonsson's manuscript got to Bethel, Brother Bert Schroeder traveled to WT Branches in Europe in 1978 with the idea of building a case against Carl Jonsson during a couple of these meetings. I traveled a good portion of this trip to about 10 of our European branches with Brother Schroeder and met up with him at several of the same cities he visited. But, after breaking schedule in Athens, I was not in Wiesbaden, Copenhagen or Oslo on the same days, and I knew almost nothing of any portion of Schroeder's meetings regarding Jonsson. It was a few months later that I was told that Jonsson's document had now been at Bethel for a year already, still spending almost all of that time on a shelf, untouched.

On 1/22/2019 at 9:03 PM, FelixCA said:

Evil has the tendency to blind people to the truth.

This is quite true, but just because the Society made many mistakes about "1914" and the "1914 generation" over the course of many years, it doesn't make them evil. The intention was probably very good on the part of almost all believers in the doctrine, in all its forms at least between 1879 and up until 2010. The idea that the Watchtower could make very specific claims about certain dates might have been based on haughtiness and presumptuousness, but there is no intention to be presumptuous or haughty. So I don't think even a falsehood need be labeled "evil" in any way. 

On 1/22/2019 at 9:03 PM, FelixCA said:

So, it’s not just a matter of mimicking what others had said before about 1914, 1925, 1975 etc. it’s laughable on how one belief was strong but when explained in such a disingenuous way, it became wrong.

Quite true. I'm guessing you are referring to C.Jonsson's book influencing R.Franz. I'm referring to the dozens of disingenuous ways that our chronology doctrine had been supported, although, fortunately, most of these ways of explaining it have now been dropped.

On 1/22/2019 at 9:03 PM, FelixCA said:

But it’s true those books are for people with a weak heart and wish to follow in Raymond’s footsteps to become as confused as he ended up being.

No one need follow in R.Franz' footsteps. It's true that many of the points he made will cause confusion to some. But they are already out there, and this is why they need to be explained and discussed honestly. If they are true, we should be prepared for how we deal with such truths. If they aren't true, we need to search out evidence to defend against those points. But, no matter what, they need not result in leaving the Witnesses or getting disfellowshipped. Because what happened to R.Franz has nothing to do with whether the points he makes in his book are accurate and true. His books can and will be misused. Just as encyclopedias, and websites, and Watchtowers are misused.

But if he said some things that are true, do they suddenly become untrue just because R.Franz was the one who pointed them out?

R.Franz pointed out that the generation doctrine was going to have to change again in the next few years. He turned out to be right. But do you say he was wrong just it because he said it in his book? R.Franz pointed out that it was the Watch Tower Society that put restrictions on our ministry in Mexico and not the Mexican government. It was the Watch Tower Society that later lifted those restrictions on our work when they determined that the circumstances were right. R.Franz pointed out that the situation with imprisonment of brothers in South Korea and other areas was about to change because it had already received enough votes to change. (But then Lloyd Barry reversed his vote, so that nothing changed.)  We know that it finally changed more recently, after a long delay. But do you doubt the accuracy of the R.Franz book? If so, on what basis, specifically. Just because it was R.Franz who pointed it out?

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5 hours ago, FelixCA said:

I guess when we go into Walmart, The manager gives us an account on their daily operation, and they mention what the corporate members are saying.

There was a meeting in Jerusalem once, and the Bible tells us in Acts 15 what the argument was on both sides of the issue. The Bible gives us the reason for the question, what they decided, and even some further commentary on who was involved in Galatians 1 and 2.

I think the Bible should be our model, rather than Walmart.

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5 hours ago, FelixCA said:

I think the irony here would be that some say it is important to understand Raymond’s thoughts about the goings-on inside Bethel, yet some here find it necessary to develop a JW only section to keep personal thoughts secret. This is indeed amazing how people think without discernment enough to say, what would be the difference? Ephesians 4:29

You make a good point. I hadn't realized at first that people outside the "club" can't even read the comments. I thought the purpose was just to avoid extraneous comments, but that anyone could still read it. If they thought what they read was important enough, they could just comment on them over here in this "public club."

I see you are right. When I log out, I get a "do not have permission" notice. I am happy to put all of my own comments from there out here but I doubt you would think they are worth much.

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Maybe what rankles is the title, Crisis of Conscience. Isn’t that a bit self-aggrandizing? Why not name it “Memo From One Whose Eyes Are Too Pure to Look Upon Trouble, Though it Apparently Doesn’t Bother My Colleages Any”?

Now, had he named it TrueRay vs the Stalwarts, it would be a different thing entirely 

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8 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Maybe what rankles is the title, Crisis of Conscience. Isn’t that a bit self-aggrandizing? Why not name it “Memo From One Whose Eyes Are Too Pure to Look Upon Trouble, Though it Apparently Doesn’t Bother My Colleages Any”?

Well-said. I see your point. It's also true that we only have his side of the story. And I know there was some concern among at least one of his peers to take care of some of the issues he exposed as soon as possible.

But these issues he brings up, along with a review of our own organizational history from WT publications, all support the idea that someone in his situation could easily have had a crisis of conscience. I think he should have had one. I thought it should have led to him resigning from the Governing Body before he was asked to resign, rather than just take a leave of absence from the Governing Body during this time of crisis.

His crisis seems to be initially about whether he should have continued to work for more scriptural policies from the inside, or whether he should stand up more strongly for his own beliefs, or whether he should acquiesce. For years, apparently, he always acquiesced. Within the Governing Body, he would vote against creating a new rule that married couples could be disfellowshipped for oral sex, for example. But then when overruled by at least two-thirds of the rest of the Governing Body, who got the assignment to write it up?

He would be the one asked to write up the Watchtower article to provide the scriptural defense of something he conscientiously believed was not scriptural. Kind of like your point (in TTvTA) about how people are taught to debate by being assigned either side of an argument.

Now as a member of the Governing Body, he could remain and fight for what he thought was the scriptural position: that there was no explicit Bible rule stating that married couples must be dragged through a judicial hearing if, for some reason, the couple admitted to a friend, for example, that they had engaged in oral sex of some kind.

At the same time, the Watchtower claimed that a man could have homosexual relations with another man or an animal, and it was not "fornication" and thus did not constitute grounds for a scriptural divorce. R.Franz still believed, as did his colleagues, that these forms of sex were wrong, and not to be engaged in, and that the person could be disfellowshipped. But for some reason he did not stand up for his conscience and take a stand against what was clearly an unscriptural case of using the supposed "letter of the law" to kill the "spirit of the law."

Of course, he reports that he did fight for the change, from the inside, and sometimes it would take months of collecting letters to the Service Department, and sometimes it would take years. And patience. But in large part, apparently, these areas of conscience were resolved and the rest of the Governing Body finally acquiesced. We have the Watchtower articles that provide evidence to fit his claims.

This might sound self-aggrandizing for R.Franz, but it makes perfect sense considering the persons who made up the Governing Body.

Working as an artist for most of my 4 years at Bethel, I knew who was writing which articles and books. In fact, the initials of the writer and an additional series of initials of those who had seen and approved the article were always at the top of the first typewritten page. This also helped proofreaders and artists know who their department head might talk to if there was a question.

Listening to the Governing Body members rotate through their 15 minute talks every day, sometimes rambling unprepared, and sometimes well organized, it was easy to tell who deferred to whom, and which members were interested in Bible topics and which were interested in organizational rules, and rarely did the twain meet.

Between that experience of hearing them speak daily and knowing which Watchtower articles a GB member had written lets me know that everything R.Franz says in the book makes perfect sense with respect to those who spoke up and what they probably would have said during GB meetings. I should also add that I could sometimes hear L.Swingle and F.Rusk (non-GB) speaking to other writers from their offices. (Most GB members never wrote a Watchtower article, and most had almost nothing to do with Writing of any kind.) It also makes sense why, by way of explanation, R.Franz goes into the history of the creation of the Governing Body from the time it began in the early 70's.

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8 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Maybe what rankles is the title, Crisis of Conscience. Isn’t that a bit self-aggrandizing? Why not name it “Memo From One Whose Eyes Are Too Pure to Look Upon Trouble, Though it Apparently Doesn’t Bother My Colleages Any”?

Now, had he named it TrueRay vs the Stalwarts, it would be a different thing entirely 

Jealous ? Is his book getting more attention than yours ? :) 

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Quote " Within the Governing Body, he would vote against creating a new rule that married couples could be disfellowshipped for oral sex, for example. " 

Quote "The Watchtower claimed that a man could have homosexual relations with another man or an animal, and it was not "fornication" and thus did not constitute grounds for a scriptural divorce.. "

Oh dear it's gets funnier every day. I'm sorry but I'm sat here laughing.

It really does make the GB look like a group of perverts. 

@JW Insider   So can you please tell me the GB / JW Org views /rules on these two matter now ? 

If I had been asked about what my wife and I did in our sexual activities, I would have told the Elders it's none of their business. It is between Jesus Christ (who has been given the right to judge) and my wife and I. 

The threefold cord, does not include the GB or the Elders. 

Sorry I've just got to add a comment from my wife here, after I talked to her about all this, She said about the GB

" They're not the Messiah, they're very naughty boys " (A line from a film you may know) 

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1 hour ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

It really does make the GB look like a group of perverts. 

@JW Insider   So can you please tell me the GB / JW Org views /rules on these two matter now ?

I don't think it makes the GB look like perverts. But it does support the claim that R.Franz made in his book, that there was too much concern over legalistic rules without as much concern about the overall "spirit" of Christianity.

First of all, the idea that consenting oral sex within marriage is a disfellowshipping offense comes from the Watchtower, 12/1/1972 p. 735, 2/15/1976 p.122, 11/15/1974 p.704. The idea that homosexuality and bestiality on the part of a spouse in marriage will not qualify a marriage mate for a scriptural divorce comes from the Watchtower,  1/1/1972 p. 32.

In both cases it was due to a definition that F.Franz gave to the Greek word "porneia." Since at least the time of Rutherford's death, Fred Franz was always considered the only one who could come up with a change in scriptural doctrine, or "new truth" as we called it. Creating the Governing Body in about 1971 didn't change this. In fact, when a few people started speaking up with questions about doctrine, the GB was expanded with a lot more " F.Franz loyalists" who would never dare vote against F.Franz. For a while Schroeder was about the only one who would dare to test this deference to F.Franz and try promoting new scriptural teachings on his own by putting them in assembly talks or Gilead lectures. But he got shot down on anything major. Many of his ideas really were crazy, but he had one major good idea that finally got approved, about a decade after he died. It was not an idea that could have been changed during F.Franz lifetime. (Brother Splane admits that Schroeder had been a source of the idea in one of the JW Broadcasts. I'll explain elsewhere.)

At any rate, these practices are considered wrong and one still could be disfellowshipped for oral sex within marriage, but it will be a much more rare occurrence, because elders are instructed not to go out of their way to investigate allegations or follow up even on confessions, except to give counsel. If the person had a title (elder, ms, pioneer) they would likely lose the title for a time, and only be disfellowshipped if they said they would defy the counsel and continue the practice. Also, bestiality and homosexuality are now included in the definition of the Greek word porneia and can now constitute scriptural grounds for divorce and remarriage. (A couple could always separate, although it was optional, but now they can remarry after a scriptural divorce.)

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Well, then it appears that you hold the same misguided understanding on what the definition of apostate means.

Studying the same material with a blind eye doesn’t constitute good results. That just means there are witnesses willing and able to accept obscured thoughts by questionable people that were not qualified to make certain determinations with their own personal opinion.

The devil here indeed works in mysteries ways. It’s good you follow the same thought as True Tom.

To make false claims is to make an argument meaningless. especially when it comes to 1914, etc. Therefore, thanks for crediting misguided people for an opinionated argument. Have you ever thought of writing your own book about accepting apostasy?

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6 hours ago, JW Insider said:

 It's also true that we only have his side of the story. 

You seem to correctly anticipate that I have still not read his book. Though I read all the time, I have read very little of this sort of material, which might seem surprising since I have written four books in support of Witnesses and their organization  I could spin this as being  'obedient,' I guess, and it is that in part. But in greater part it is that I look at such material almost as red herrings that distract. Everyone has a history. Everyone has had experiences. Everyone has acted or not acted upon them. It's not people that count, ultimately, but God, and having been around long enough, you can pick up on and originate words that adhere to the 'pattern of healthful teachings' that Paul spoke about. The doings of others just distract, as they pursue their own service and relationship to God. As long as you do not become obstinate with regard to the earthly organization, you do fine (usually). If you do not, you take your licks, dust yourself off, pay whatever price you must, and get back into the mix. Maybe that will be your fate someday. Maybe (gasp!) it will be mine. But I think not in either case. If it should prove to be, the 'damage' is repairable.

Almost everything on every thread here (at least the ones I frequent) are advancing or defending against an attempt to undermine the earthly organization. The appeal of undermining it is irresistible. That way, if you don't like something, you simply 'interpret it away' and there is no one to call you on it. No harm done.

6 hours ago, JW Insider said:

But these issues he brings up, along with a review of our own organizational history from WT publications, all support the idea that someone in his situation could easily have had a crisis of conscience. I think he should have had one. I thought it should have led to him resigning from the Governing Body before he was asked to resign, rather than just take a leave of absence from the Governing Body during this time of crisis.

For once I will do a Butler and say that I am looking at things that are too great for me. What is the interplay of the divine/human interface? It's not anything that I am willing to say "this is" and "this isn't." Become minute enough and one might say that there is no interplay at all - that it is all but human politics, but then how does one account for the truly monumental building work that JWs have accomplished in worldwide support of the good news, a coordinated 'shout of praise' that nobody else manages to get off the launching pad? No, I think "too great for me" is where I will hold.

'Acquiescing' appears to be where it is at. For many decades now the emphasis has been on elder bodies reaching unanimous agreement, an almost impossible feat for humans to manage, and then, the 'losing' side to refrain from criticizing the 'winners,' with unity being the important consideration. It wasn't something that I was much good at, and if some 'blockheaded' brother won the day, I was hard-pressed to not carry on about it afterwards. Still,  I managed to do it to a reasonable degree. 

6 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

Jealous ? Is his book getting more attention than yours ? :) 

Furious. The little creep.

I don't have it in for him for writing his book, nor even his title. After a lifetime at Bethel, leaving with but a suitcase, what else is he going to do? I am even reasonably charitable towards a former Witness turned movie-maker that I write about in my book. He must be given credit, if only begrudgingly, for redefining the game. It is still winnable--how can it not be with Jehovah?--but it may call for a new approach in dealing with the malcontents.

 

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@TrueTomHarley  Quote " Almost everything on every thread here (at least the ones I frequent) are advancing or defending against an attempt to undermine the earthly organization. The appeal of undermining it is irresistible. "

Sorry to hear you have such a pessimistic view of debate. 

How about considering that some of us are actually looking for truth. God's truth, not GB / JW org truth. 

And again some of us are giving a warning about certain things within the JW Org that may be a danger to others.

 

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 @JW Insider  Quote " Fred Franz was always considered the only one who could come up with a change in scriptural doctrine, or "new truth" as we called it. Creating the Governing Body in about 1971 didn't change this. In fact, when a few people started speaking up with questions about doctrine, the GB was expanded with a lot more " F.Franz loyalists" "

Is this the truth or just your opinion ?  If it is truth then it is a big worry. 

So who rules the GB now then ? 

Each thing i read makes the JW Org seem worse and worse, hence i ask if this information above definitely true or just opinion ? 

Reminds me of when ONE Elder threatened to disfellowship me for slander. He thought he had that authority. :) 

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44 minutes ago, FelixCA said:

It’s good you follow the same thought as True Tom.

I hope some of our thoughts are the same, but it doesn't matter. Each one stands on his own before the judgment seat of God. I appreciate especially his last thoughts about the topic, just above. I'm not trying to win any converts to my own conscience, though. And I think he (TTH) has made it clear that he disagrees with much of what I say. I think it's fine to disagree. We should be able to hash out our own concerns and issues on a forum such as this, without being disagreeable in person with brothers and sisters who have not subscribed to a discussion of issues as we have here. Hopefully, we can learn from our experiences, and learn from each other. Many things in this life won't matter in the long run.

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6 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

Quote "The Watchtower claimed that a man could have homosexual relations with another man or an animal, and it was not "fornication" and thus did not constitute grounds for a scriptural divorce.. "

This actually this isn't as crazy as it sounds. The reasoning was based on (if I remember correctly) that in order for fornication (which was the only grounds for divorce, according to what Jesus said) to occur, the partner had to "become one" with another person, and that could only happen if the other person was of the opposite sex. That is Biblical.  In Jehovah's eyes you cannot become one with anyone but the opposite sex, and you cannot become one with another creature either for that matter.  The problem was, that the word 'fornication' was understood to be the same as 'adultery'. However, fornication (porneia) is different. It covers any kind of sexual relations whether with a human or animal. It should have been clear from the start because the scripture in Matthew doesn't say "whoever divorces his wife, except on the ground of 'adultery', and marries another commits adultery." It says on the ground of 'fornication'.

But we were not the only ones who understood it this way:

    Hello guest!

 

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1 hour ago, FelixCA said:

Well, then it appears that you hold the same misguided understanding on what the definition of apostate means.

Have you read the book?

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3 minutes ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

Is this the truth or just your opinion ?  If it is truth then it is a big worry. 

Everything on a forum is partially opinion. But this is based primarily on the opinion of a person who spent 10 years in the Service Dept and nearly 30 years in the Writing Department. It was also the opinion of one of my roommates even after he became an elder and left Bethel. And it is my opinion, of course. I'm sure that many others who were at Bethel during these same years would agree.

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1 hour ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

Each thing i read makes the JW Org seem worse and worse

I think that this is entirely the wrongheaded approach, to look at the shortcomings, real or imagined, of those taking the lead. Instead, you should look at what they alone have managed to accomplish.

The best man at my wedding was a man 15 years my senior, crude in some respects, but he taught me how to look over a used car before purchase so as not to get fleeced. He was a lifelong mechanic with an uncanny instinct for instant diagnosis.

He told me about a time when the book & computer, but not common-sense, young mechanics were unsuccessfully trying to fix a car. They had reached an impasse. All the diagnostics they ran confirmed that there was nothing wrong with the car. “There must be SOMETHING wrong with it,” Bud said, “since it doesn’t run.” He found the problem promptly & and it was some quirky thing not mentioned in any book.

With the GB, the situation is just the opposite. You can scrutinize them for all the dumb things that you think they are doing, the things that you have proclaimed “a big worry.” Or you can look at 

1 hour ago, TrueTomHarley said:

the truly monumental building work that JWs have accomplished in worldwide support of the good news, a coordinated 'shout of praise' that nobody else manages to get off the launching pad?

and say “They must be doing SOMETHING right, since it DOES run.” Whatever is or is not “wrong” with them, if history is any guide, they or theirs will fix. It will not be “debate” with someone who has demonstrated only a mastery of the “harangue” that will do the trick.

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2 hours ago, Anna said:

This actually this isn't as crazy as it sounds. The reasoning was based on (if I remember correctly) that in order for fornication (which was the only grounds for divorce, according to what Jesus said) to occur, the partner had to "become one" with another person, and that could only happen if the other person was of the opposite sex. That is Biblical.  In Jehovah's eyes you cannot become one with anyone but the opposite sex, and you cannot become one with another creature either for that matter.  The problem was, that the word 'fornication' was understood to be the same as 'adultery'. However, fornication (porneia) is different. It covers any kind of sexual relations whether with a human or animal. It should have been clear from the start because the scripture in Matthew doesn't say "whoever divorces his wife, except on the ground of 'adultery', and marries another commits adultery." It says on the ground of 'fornication'.

But we were not the only ones who understood it this way:

    Hello guest!

 

So, the thoughts of men. Or it seems the thoughts of one man. 

To be sure God had no part in such reasoning. 

It seems homosexuality and probably sex with animals was enough for God to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, but not enough for divorce it seems :( 

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Here is my few cents on the Crisis of Conscience. (It’s been a few years since I have last read it though). This book must be unique to any other ex-Witness publication (I have no desire to read any others) just by virtue of the fact that the author was in a truly unique position to be able to write about something that none of the others could.

 If I was going to read only one book on Jehovah’s Witnesses (besides our publications of course) it would be this one. I say this with a bit of a heavy heart, because this book has been the cause of a multitude ‘falling away’. Perhaps I should rephrase that, it has given the impetus to those who were already on a wavering course for one reason or another. It’s difficult for me to explain this well, but I think those who have seen the ‘Truth’  transform lives for the better, and have experienced and seen this within themselves as well, and have experienced the liberation from Christendom’s false teachings (and other religions) and have seen the puzzle pieces of pure teachings of the Bible become a clear picture, and those who’s faith is grounded  in Jehovah and not mere man, for those people I do not think that reading this book poses a danger to that faith at all.  Perhaps not even a danger to the relative faith in the Governing Body for that matter. And it shouldn’t.  It’s not that kind of a book. It’s not some kind of ‘expose’ on par with Leah Remini’s whistle-blowing on her former faith. It will surprise some, especially those who have had unrealistic opinions of the Governing Body.  But for those who have had more of a pragmatic and scriptural (!) approach, they will find that the element of surprise is not that great, and that in fact they begin to understand some of the things they have wondered about in the past. They will understand the human struggle and imperfections about those whom it has been said that they were the ‘mouthpiece’ of God (Russell etc.). They will understand better  the dilemmas regarding end time calculations. They will also find that naturally the book is written with bias (as JW Insider pointed out), but if one can overlook  RF’s obvious (and expected) emotional involvement in places, and just concentrate on the facts presented, then one can glean quite a good picture of behind the scenes of the Organization. (I still have to find the places where I thought RF was being unfair and less than honest, but I need time for that. One area where I remember RF was being unfair was in his descriptions of potentially life changing decisions being made in an arbitrarily frivolous manner, devoid of scriptural basis. He seems to omit crucial information and detail where discussion of scriptures and their application must have occurred, and he only talks about HIS input where he used scripture. I find that hard to believe since absolutely any idea put forward in WT publications have always provided an array of scriptural reasons to go with it,  even if sometimes wrongly applied. On the other hand he is tries to be fair by admitting that problems were rarely just over looked or ignored. I suppose it was easy for RF to point out failings that became obvious in hindsight.)

All in all the book shouldn’t undermine ones belief; in that if you are going to be part of a faith based organization, then Jehovah’s Witnesses are the only way to go. I think the scripture here could be loosely applied, (although in this case it obviously applied to Jesus, and I am here not trying to compare the GB with Jesus) “.....whom shall we go away to? You have sayings of everlasting life” . The disciples had just learned something ‘shocking’ and many left and did not wait for the resolution of the matter, despite the fact that Jesus demonstrated that he had the sayings of everlasting life.  In the same way, if you have recognized the ‘sayings’ of Jehovah’s Witnesses as something valuable, then it would be a shame if you let the various failings of mere humans cloud that overall picture.

The shortest way to describe the book? It’s like drawing back the curtain on the old man in the Wizard of OZ.

P.S When reading the book one has to bear in mind that here RF is writing about what was the current GB of his time, and that not one of those people make up the GB today. Also, it is the opinion of quite a few, including mine, that if RF hadn’t been made to resign from the GB he would have served on it until his death.

 

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1 hour ago, TrueTomHarley said:

I think that this is entirely the wrongheaded approach, to look at the shortcomings, real or imagined, of those taking the lead. Instead, you should look at what they alone have managed to accomplish.

The best man at my wedding was a man 15 years my senior, crude in some respects, but he taught me how to look over a used car before purchase so as not to get fleeced. He was a lifelong mechanic with an uncanny instinct for instant diagnosis.

He told me about a time when the book & computer, but not common-sense, young mechanics were unsuccessfully trying to fix a car. They had reached an impasse. All the diagnostics they ran confirmed that there was nothing wrong with the car. “There must be SOMETHING wrong with it,” Bud said, “since it doesn’t run.” He found the problem promptly & and it was some quirky thing not mentioned in any book.

With the GB, the situation is just the opposite. You can scrutinize them for all the dumb things that you think they are doing, the things that you have proclaimed “a big worry.” Or you can look at 

and say “They must be doing SOMETHING right, since it DOES run.” Whatever is or is not “wrong” with them, if history is any guide, they or theirs will fix. It will not be “debate” with someone who has demonstrated only a mastery of the “harangue” that will do the trick.

I think you would willingly follow the GB over a cliff if you were told to. You'd think it was God's will. :( 

It's not dumb things the GB do, it's deliberate things it seems. 

If a religion does a hundred things they are bound to get a few of them right.

More people are turning to Islam but it doesn't make it right does it ? Lots of religions are 'still running', like an old car.

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@Anna  Quote "those who have seen the ‘Truth’  transform lives for the better..."  Misuse of the word Truth. Truth is from God through Jesus Christ, NOT through the GB of JW Org. 

" and have experienced the liberation from Christendom’s false teachings (and other religions) and have seen the puzzle pieces of pure teachings of the Bible become a clear picture, .. "

You jest of course ? When teachings /doctrines change constantly. Twisting the meanings of scripture. Are you sooo blind. ? 

" and those who’s faith is grounded  in Jehovah and not mere man, "  It gets funnier. 

It seems to have been proved that no one should disagree with the GB now, and at that time one member of it . . 

@JW Insider " Fred Franz was always considered the only one who could come up with a change in scriptural doctrine, or "new truth" as we called it. Creating the Governing Body in about 1971 didn't change this. In fact, when a few people started speaking up with questions about doctrine, the GB was expanded with a lot more " F.Franz loyalists" who would never dare vote against F.Franz "

" faith in the Governing Body "  Your words Anna. 

And then you dare to compare the GB with Jesus. "..whom shall we go away to? You have sayings of everlasting life” "

I know the GB think they are equal or even above Jesus but .... 

JESUS PROVED WHO HE WAS.  It was so clear to those alive there at that time. 

Why do you try to compare those times with now ?  There is no comparison on some things. 

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31 minutes ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

I think you would willingly follow the GB over a cliff if you were told to. You'd think it was God's will. :( 

I think you have totally misread TTH

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10 minutes ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

Quote "those who have seen the ‘Truth’  transform lives for the better..."  Misuse of the word Truth. Truth is from God through Jesus Christ, NOT through the GB of JW Org. 

That is why I spelled Truth with a capital letter and in  quotation marks. I am talking about what most Witnesses understand to be the tenets,  based on the Bible, that Jehovah's Witnesses live by.

13 minutes ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

"and have experienced the liberation from Christendom’s false teachings (and other religions) and have seen the puzzle pieces of pure teachings of the Bible become a clear picture, .. "

You jest of course ? When teachings /doctrines change constantly. Twisting the meanings of scripture. Are you sooo blind. ? 

What attracted you to what Jehovah's Witnesses taught'? Why did you become one of Jehovah's Witnesses? Surely there must have been something that you recognized as valuable?

17 minutes ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

"and those who’s faith is grounded  in Jehovah and not mere man, "  It gets funnier. 

I am sorry you had put your faith only in man. It's not funny at all, it's sad.

19 minutes ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

" faith in the Governing Body "  Your words Anna. 

If you are implying that this is wrong, then you have misunderstood the meaning of faith in this case. All of us need to have some faith in fellow human beings, some more than others, and in different circumstances of course. I am sure you have faith in your wife, in your children and others? Faith in this case is synonymous with trust, belief, confidence, reliance. The difference is that faith in God is always completely justified, because He can never fail us, everyone else can.

30 minutes ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

And then you dare to compare the GB with Jesus. "..whom shall we go away to? You have sayings of everlasting life” "

 

You must have posted this after I went back and clarified that I was not trying to compare the GB with Jesus. The thought did cross my mind that someone might think that this is what I was saying. I was trying to compare the situation. Did you know that a very large majority who leave Jehovah's Witnesses sooner or later become Atheists? They realise that there really is 'no other religion to go away to'.

35 minutes ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

I know the GB think they are equal or even above Jesus but .... 

Then you know more than anyone else xD

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4 hours ago, Anna said:

Have you read the book?

Both! I have read other apostate books as well. I only see meaningless understandings just like any other ex-JW book out there. There's nothing original that the world doesn't already know. Canon fodder for people like butler. 😁

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6 minutes ago, FelixCA said:

I only see meaningless understandings just like any other ex-JW book out there. There's nothing original that the world doesn't already know.

What do you mean by meaningless understandings? And what do you mean by "what the world doesn't already know? Please explain a little. Perhaps give examples of the 'meaningless understandings' you have in mind. And what is the 'knowledge' you are talking about that the world ready knows?

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@Anna You asked. What attracted you to what Jehovah's Witnesses taught'? Why did you become one of Jehovah's Witnesses? Surely there must have been something that you recognized as valuable?

I was fresh out of a horrible children's home (details I've written about before) and my brother helped me a lot. He and his wife were JW's and i sort of thought they are leading a good life and they are good to me. I tended to believe everything my brother told me about any subject. He's my older brother by 8 years, and I thought he had more experience of life than me so I trusted him to teach me the right things. He's now an Elder in a congregation in our hometown... And the people on 'ground level' were good and friendly. BUT that just makes it like a social club. I fell for it all. I did as I was told and didn't ask questions. It all seems to make sense. 

THEN, as time went on, the GB/JW Org changed the meaning of scriptures, changed teachings/doctrine, and well you know why I left. And the more I'm reading on here, the worse the Org seems to be. ... 

The  Org uses the word 'Truth' as a trick word. They are saying being in the JW org is being in the Truth. Hence any thing outside is all lies. It's done to kind of frighten people, that if a person looks outside all they will find is lies. But that is the lie. 

I think it's funny that JW's pretend they don't put their faith in men. Whereas it can easily be seen that JW's are told to believe what the GB tells them. JW's do not question the GB's words, hence why wrongdoing has been going on for so long in the JW Org. Proof from past Watchtowers shows that the Org presents itself as God's only organisation, and the GB as God's only spokesperson, and again the Org as the only means of salvation. And JW's do not question that.  

Quote "I am sure you have faith in your wife, in your children and others? "

You are totally wrong. I have faith in no human, and trust no human.. I'm married to my third wife, the previous two committed adultery. My childhood completely ruined my life. And no I'm not blaming, I'm stating fact. The emotional damage 'killed' me. I'm a shell. But you and others will never understand, only God and Jesus Christ can understand, and I will be judged by them.  

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48 minutes ago, Anna said:

What do you mean by meaningless understandings? And what do you mean by "what the world doesn't already know? Please explain a little. Perhaps give examples of the 'meaningless understandings' you have in mind. And what is the 'knowledge' you are talking about that the world ready knows?

What is the Ex-JW and opposers perception about 607BC, 537BC 1874, 1878, 1914, 1917, 1919, 1925, 1969, 1975 etc.? This is a common theme for ex-JW's books. Nothing original.

If people never understood the significance of these dates, yet are willing to break ranks because of a misguided understanding, what would be the message for loyal witnesses, and what would it be called aside from meaningless.

What does the power of Satan have to do about seeking truth? It becomes a personal opinion about something they believed was understood like Raymond, and then the facts weren’t. Don’t you think Raymond put too much faith on research gathered, rather trust in God the vast research done by the organization reached a different conclusion? How can anyone prove it one way or another? Yet, Raymond and people like Raymond came to an absolute decision, they are correct. By who's standards are they correct?

So, excuse me, I rather trust in God and Bible understanding rather than men trying very hard to prove the organization wrong.

When the same distorted information is circulated, what is the benefit? When the same topics are offered in a closed setting just because some don’t appreciate a response that refutes such claims, what is the difference with what the GB is being accused of?

At some point, this rhetoric needs to make sense? Not just become a selling point for the other side.

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26 minutes ago, FelixCA said:

What is the Ex-JW and opposers perception about 607BC, 537BC 1874, 1878, 1914, 1917, 1919, 1925, 1969, 1975 etc.? This is a common theme for ex-JW's books. Nothing original.

It is evident in Raymond's case, that he only wrote what the Societies' understanding of those dates were at the time. He added nothing of his own understanding or interpretation to these dates. He quotes nobody else but the Societies' literature concerning these dates. It had nothing to do with anyone else's perception but only of the perception of those who mentioned these dates in the first place ( Barbour, Russell, Rutherford, Franz...)

These dates are only a common theme for ex-JW books because most of them derived this information from Raymond's books

35 minutes ago, FelixCA said:

If people never understood the significance of these dates, yet are willing to break ranks because of a misguided understanding, what would be the message for loyal witnesses, and what would it be called aside from meaningless.

I think they understood these dates, but most of these dates failed in their expectations and had to be revised, several times. I think it is up to each individual person to asses whether this is meaningless for them or not.

40 minutes ago, FelixCA said:

It becomes a personal opinion about something they believed was understood like Raymond, and then the facts weren’t.

I am not sure what you mean by this. But assuming I understand what you mean then again, I don't think this is a matter of personal opinion if you quote (in context) the other party. I think it became quite clear how certain things were supposed to be understood. Many times it was crystal clear.

44 minutes ago, FelixCA said:

Don’t you think Raymond put too much faith on research gathered, rather trust in God the vast research done by the organization reached a different conclusion?

I am assuming you mean that Raymond put too much faith in his own research of the society? If that's what you mean then it doesn't make any difference whether Raymond put faith in his research or not because research, or the evidence provided, should be able to stand on it's own, and it should be up to each individual to decide how much faith they will put in the evidence shown. It's what we do with our Bible studies, we show them evidence, and on the basis of that evidence the student decides whether they will accept it or not, or reach a different conclusion. It doesn't matter how much faith in that evidence we have ourselves.

If you mean that Raymond did separate parallel research on the same subject as the organization, then I do not see that in his first book (I didn't read his second book). From what I've seen, Raymond merely reports on beliefs already held, and how those beliefs had to change due to inaccuracies. I do not see him espousing his own ideas.

55 minutes ago, FelixCA said:

Yet, Raymond and people like Raymond came to an absolute decision, they are correct. By who's standards are they correct?

Well he 'only' quoted the organizations own literature and or/letters from branch offices.  So you decide by whose standards are they correct.

59 minutes ago, FelixCA said:

So, excuse me, I rather trust in God and Bible understanding rather than men trying very hard to prove the organization wrong.

I don't think that this late in the stream of time it is difficult at all for anyone to see that the organization has had wrong expectations and understanding. Time itself has has proved this. No one has to try very hard at all.

    Hello guest!

    Hello guest!

What Raymond does focus on though is how some of these misunderstandings have had detrimental results in the lives of some friends.

1 hour ago, FelixCA said:

When the same distorted information is circulated, what is the benefit?

Distorted information has no benefit of course. Did you have something in mind in Raymond's book that would be considered distorted information? There are some things I remember that I did not agree on, but it has been a while since I read the book and I cannot remember what they were. Perhaps you can be quicker in giving an example.

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2 minutes ago, Anna said:

It is evident in Raymond's case, that he only wrote what the Societies' understanding of those dates were at the time. He added nothing of his own understanding or interpretation to these dates. He quotes nobody else but the Societies' literature concerning these dates. It had nothing to do with anyone else's perception but only of the perception of those who mentioned these dates in the first place ( Barbour, Russell, Rutherford, Franz...)

These dates are only a common theme for ex-JW books because most of them derived this information from Raymond's books

I will disagree with this assessment. misinterpreting articles and Watchtower lead information does not the truth make

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If we use that standard, it would be, we couldn’t trust our own heart. It would amount to the same thing if we use men literally rather than men lead by the Holy Spirit. Matthew 15:19

The figure of speech would suggest people weren’t trusting the apostles as ordinary men but rather as messengers of God. How else can we see the power of the Holy Spirit? Raymond fell for the deception.

The Vatican fought holy wars. Their preachers still go into combat as a show of faith that God is on their side. Can we trust people that should understand not to shed blood? 1 Chronicles 28:3, Hebrews 12:4

These people profess to have the Holy Spirit guided by God. What say you about ACTIONS?

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35 minutes ago, Anna said:

I don't think that this late in the stream of time it is difficult at all for anyone to see that the organization has had wrong expectations and understanding. Time itself has has proved this. No one has to try very hard at all.

The argument offered would lead us to what? In ancient times, I can offer many examples where the faithful people of God failed. What is the point, if we don’t allow God to make the necessary corrections rather than rely upon our own heart to make them?

It seems there is an understanding of not willing to allow God, lead his people to the promise land and wish to intervene whenever convenient. Exodus 14:11, Deuteronomy 8:2

Door to Door

If the question were put to the headquarters organization of the Watch Tower Society whether each member (if physically able) must do house-to-house witnessing to be a true Witness, in fact to be a true Christian, the answer would probably be that this is not an absolute requirement. (Actually, it would be extremely difficult to get a clear, straightforward answer on such a question; the headquarters organization is remarkably reticent about expressing itself in writing on sensitive issues and, even when given, answers are often couched in ambiguous terms, or evasive and roundabout reasoning.) We have already seen, however, that responsible men in the organization acknowledge that there is serious reason to question whether in reality the Witness community as a whole engages in this activity simply out of a heartfelt desire to do it, as something freely motivated, done without any sense of compulsion.”

To read an error of attempting to argue against the door to door witnessing when scripture clearly states how Jesus would send the apostles are one of a thousand (exaggeration) ways; maybe not Raymond misinterpreted scripture to win the minds and hearts of troubled people. Therefore, his research was NOT incumbent on Bible truth. James 5:16-20

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5 hours ago, FelixCA said:

Both! I have read other apostate books as well. I only see meaningless understandings just like any other ex-JW book out there. There's nothing original that the world doesn't already know. Canon fodder for people like butler. 😁

I remember the last time I confronted an apostate (who said he was a a Christian) and spoke of God, he said he'd kill me even though he was twice my age, even dared me to go to his town and that I'd be praying to wishing God was here in person when he is done with me. It didn't faze me that much because I was right about what I said because he was saying untrue things about God and about Moses and the Israelites. He was angry because he was corrected on the Old Testament. Even before that some of these apostates attacked the hall I was at, and caused someone who is connected to a sister to go to war against the apostates.

Always another day in the office it seems.

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2 hours ago, Equivocation said:

I remember the last time I confronted an apostate (who said he was a a Christian) and spoke of God, he said he'd kill me even though he was twice my age, even dared me to go to his town and that I'd be praying to wishing God was here in person when he is done with me. It didn't faze me that much because I was right about what I said because he was saying untrue things about God and about Moses and the Israelites. He was angry because he was corrected on the Old Testament. Even before that some of these apostates attacked the hall I was at, and caused someone who is connected to a sister to go to war against the apostates.

I’m sorry to read about this personal experience. A dangerous one indeed. That just shows not all witnesses live a sheltered life like outsiders think they do. Confused witnesses are free to leave the organization whenever they want, and not be stocked like they do with Scientology. Just like it is anyone’s free will, NOT to associate with anybody that doesn’t share the SAME values of being Christ true followers with Christian ethics and faith. Example, If my brother became a drug addict, why would I want to associate with him? I would want him to repent and clean himself up. Raymond thought shunning a derogatory remark was unloving. How could he account for millions of outsiders that do the same?

Raymond Franz lost the mission as a disciple in favor of friendship and wanting personal power. A few examples on how perception, of some, can become clouded by following the same pattern of insincere ideals. They call it, “in search for the truth by understanding facts.” The problem there, the more facts are gathered the more confused the original research becomes. I wonder, what will Raymond say when he is judged by Christ. Not about himself, but when asked, did your book prevent anyone from knowing the gospel of Christ? Or interfered enough to prevent a soul from knowing the one true God according to my instructions left in the inspired books that became known as the Holy Bible. 2 Peter 2:20-22

Unfortunately, this is what happens when people confuse the administrative roles of the GB with doctoral understanding.

Stay safe my brother. Always remember with situations such as these, which I know only too well, Matthew 10:28.

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10 hours ago, Equivocation said:

I remember the last time I confronted an apostate (who said he was a a Christian) and spoke of God, he said he'd kill me even though he was twice my age, even dared me to go to his town and that I'd be praying to wishing God was here in person when he is done with me. It didn't faze me that much because I was right about what I said because he was saying untrue things about God and about Moses and the Israelites. He was angry because he was corrected on the Old Testament. Even before that some of these apostates attacked the hall I was at, and caused someone who is connected to a sister to go to war against the apostates.

Always another day in the office it seems.

Well you would probably call me an apostate, but I'm only apostate to the JW Org. And yes I still believe in God and Jesus Christ. 

But you seem to want to jump on the JW bandwagon about apostates, so be it. 

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17 hours ago, FelixCA said:

The argument offered would lead us to what? In ancient times, I can offer many examples where the faithful people of God failed. What is the point, if we don’t allow God to make the necessary corrections rather than rely upon our own heart to make them?

I think his point was, (if he was being genuine) that it wasn't about the failing necessarily, but about how it affected the lives of others (in a bad way) who were completely reliant, and were told to be reliant, on that information, and on those giving that information. 

 

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18 hours ago, FelixCA said:

Door to Door

If the question were put to the headquarters organization of the Watch Tower Society whether each member (if physically able) must do house-to-house witnessing to be a true Witness, in fact to be a true Christian, the answer would probably be that this is not an absolute requirement. (Actually, it would be extremely difficult to get a clear, straightforward answer on such a question; the headquarters organization is remarkably reticent about expressing itself in writing on sensitive issues and, even when given, answers are often couched in ambiguous terms, or evasive and roundabout reasoning.) We have already seen, however, that responsible men in the organization acknowledge that there is serious reason to question whether in reality the Witness community as a whole engages in this activity simply out of a heartfelt desire to do it, as something freely motivated, done without any sense of compulsion.”

To read an error of attempting to argue against the door to door witnessing when scripture clearly states how Jesus would send the apostles are one of a thousand (exaggeration) ways; maybe not Raymond misinterpreted scripture to win the minds and hearts of troubled people. Therefore, his research was NOT incumbent on Bible truth. James 5:16-20

I am not sure what your argument is here. I believe the scriptures are clear on proselytizing. Wasn't Raymond questioning the motivation/desire, or rather the lack of  motivation/desire on the part of the Witness community? I guess I will have to read the whole chapter to get the context...

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25 minutes ago, Anna said:

I think his point was, (if he was being genuine) that it wasn't about the failing necessarily, but about how it affected the lives of others (in a bad way) who were completely reliant, and were told to be reliant, on that information, and on those giving that information.

This would be a good view if it was given as a good cause. Unfortunately, Raymond actions became centered in not being genuine but self-serving.

People at Bethel can say whatever they wish as an opinion, but Raymond’s actions spoke for themselves. Sincerity was not an option for him. Blind rage was.

That type of action affected others to promote apostate understandings, not biblical ones. Those that accepted his kind of methodology did so with a willful mind to accept what men claimed as fact, rather than be reliant on the fact that we are guided by God’s Holy Spirit. That makes a world of difference in Bible understanding.

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5 hours ago, FelixCA said:
5 hours ago, Anna said:

I think his point was, (if he was being genuine) that it wasn't about the failing necessarily, but about how it affected the lives of others (in a bad way) who were completely reliant, and were told to be reliant, on that information, and on those giving that information.

This would be a good view if it was given as a good cause. Unfortunately, Raymond actions became centered in not being genuine but self-serving.

People at Bethel can say whatever they wish as an opinion, but Raymond’s actions spoke for themselves. Sincerity was not an option for him. Blind rage was.

Well here we are discussing the man and his motive. We cannot see into his heart. But the principle stays the same. Whether given in a 'good cause' or 'bad cause'. Whether he was genuinely concerned about the lives of others or not,  those lives were still affected.  There were many others whose lives were affected positively. Talking to brothers and sisters we see that most are grateful for having learned the Truth. It improved their life on many levels and gave their life meaning. Those are the positive things we want to focus on. But it doesn't negate those whose life was affected negatively, and the sad part is, quite unnecessarily at times. We don't want to have the attitude of some kind of collateral damage, that that's OK.

5 hours ago, FelixCA said:

That type of action affected others to promote apostate understandings, not biblical ones. Those that accepted his kind of methodology did so with a willful mind to accept what men claimed as fact, rather than be reliant on the fact that we are guided by God’s Holy Spirit. That makes a world of difference in Bible understanding.

Not sure what you mean. Do you mean those in leadership positions claiming something as a fact? And that we should accept this because they are guided by God's holy spirit?

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29 minutes ago, Anna said:

Well here we are discussing the man and his motive. We cannot see into his heart. But the principle stays the same. Whether given in a 'good cause' or 'bad cause'. Whether he was genuinely concerned about the lives of others or not,  those lives were still affected.  There were many others whose lives were affected positively. Talking to brothers and sisters we see that most are grateful for having learned the Truth. It improved their life on many levels and gave their life meaning. Those are the positive things we want to focus on. But it doesn't negate those whose life was affected negatively, and the sad part is, quite unnecessarily at times. We don't want to have the attitude of some kind of collateral damage, that it's OK.

While we don’t know anyone’s heart aside from God himself, Raymond’s actions spoke volumes. It did have a negative impact on Bethel. Only those that revered Raymond thought it was an injustice. Those that learned in a positive way strengthened their faith to understand God was not willing to allow a self-severing person to push the Watchtower backward rather than advance spiritually. What would be his motive now?

I believe JWinsider mentioned there were some at Bethel that saw him as the next “President” of the Watchtower. The unanimous decision to have a governing body was not to overburden only a single individual and it was paramount to develop a body rather than a board. However, Raymond liked the idea of the originator of the Bible Students, Russell. But, if you understand Russell’s ACTIONS, he preferred not to be looked like a leader, rather than a follower of Christ alongside everyone else.

Therefore, Raymond’s Actions were to regress the Watchtower and it had a negative impact. The only good takeaway that can be seen now for true Christians, learn from Raymond’s mistakes. A person that had a positive high responsibility and through it all away for loyalty to a man, and personal desires. All of which goes against, Bible principle.

34 minutes ago, Anna said:

Not sure what you mean. Do you mean those in leadership positions claiming something as a fact? And that we should accept this because they are guided by God's holy spirit?

Understandable. It does get confusing when we try to put our thoughts into print. It gets misunderstood more often than any of us want to admit. Even professional authors are scrutinized for their works. Can the GB claim something factual, YES!, they rely on scripture to make it a fact from a man's point of view. Did Raymond subvert and distort Bible facts to promote his own agenda, YES! therefore, the motive of Raymond would go against God's Holy Spirit, and that's a fact.

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23 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

I tended to believe everything my brother told me about any subject. He's my older brother by 8 years, and I thought he had more experience of life than me so I trusted him to teach me the right things. 

23 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

You are totally wrong. I have faith in no human, and trust no human

I am assuming you no longer have faith your brother, but you still do have faith and trust in so many people. You have faith in the milkman that he will bring your milk everyday, (do they still do that?) you have faith in medical staff that they will administer treatment for your benefit, you have faith in the pilot that he will get you to your destination, you have faith in the police force, that they will  help people. Whether that faith is justified or not doesn't matter. The fact is us humans have a need to rely on other humans and put faith in them otherwise it would be impossible to live a normal life. 

23 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

And the people on 'ground level' were good and friendly. BUT that just makes it like a social club. I fell for it all. I did as I was told and didn't ask questions. It all seems to make sense. 

THEN, as time went on, the GB/JW Org changed the meaning of scriptures, changed teachings/doctrine,  ...... 

Maybe that was a mistake, that you didn't ask any questions, but evidently you didn't feel you needed to, if everything made sense....

With the Org changing the meaning of scripture, and teachings, I am assuming you preferred the previous ones better? Or is it because you think there should never be any change?

23 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

think it's funny that JW's pretend they don't put their faith in men. Whereas it can easily be seen that JW's are told to believe what the GB tells them. JW's do not question the GB's words, hence why wrongdoing has been going on for so long in the JW Org. 

From the examples I wrote about above it's unrealistic to think that JWs pretend they don't put their faith in men. I know in this case you mean the men on the GB. But that really is no different than putting faith in anyone else who is doing a particular job, whether it be the milkman, doctor, pilot or policeman. Yes, Witnesses do put faith in the GB, it is logical they do so and there is scripturally absolutely nothing wrong with that, as long as they keep in mind that if there is ever a conflict between what man says, and what God says, then what God says must always take precedent of course. You know the scripture (Acts 5:29). 

With regard to the wrongdoing you mention, I am assuming you mean the mishandling of Child abuse cases? Or were you thinking of some other specific wrongdoing?

23 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

Proof from past Watchtowers shows that the Org presents itself as God's only organisation, and the GB as God's only spokesperson, and again the Org as the only means of salvation. And JW's do not question that.  

Yes, I don't think anyone is denying that the Org. presents itself as God's only orgnisation. Most Jehovah's Witnesses believe that. With the GB being the only spokesperson for God, then that is disputable and would be presumptuous in the words of G. Jackson. Every time  a brother or sister speaks about the promises in the Bible, they are being a spokesperson for God. The Org. being the only means of salvation can be a tricky one. Of course it is Jehovah who is going to save, and every Witness believes that. The concept 'means' or 'by means of' can apply to the fact that the requirements for salvation as stated in the Bible have been proclaimed by that Organisation. If the stones were to cry out instead ( Luke 19:40) then it would be by means of the stones :)

Don't forget about this scripture: "For everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.”However, how will they call on him if they have not put faith in him? How, in turn, will they put faith in him about whom they have not heard? How, in turn, will they hear without someone to preach?  How, in turn, will they preach unless they have been sent out? Just as it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who declare good news of good things!” (Romans 10:13-15)

 

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On 1/24/2019 at 6:51 PM, JOHN BUTLER said:

I think it's funny that JW's pretend they don't put their faith in men.

It's true that most JWs put faith in the GB and in the assembly speakers and in their elders and even put faith in each other to some extent. Taking R.Franz just a bit out of context, he praises the Witnesses for how they have responded in difficult situations, and which often means putting faith (trust) in one another.

Many religious affiliations could benefit from the example of
Jehovah’s Witnesses in the area of racial integration, in their deemphasizing
of class distinctions, their comparatively strong sense
of commitment and obligation toward anyone, though otherwise
a complete stranger to them, who is a member in good standing in
the organization. Perhaps some of the most appealing—and dramatic—
features in their history are those occasions when they have
been faced with crisis situations, in times of intense persecution
or natural disasters or war, when many of them have shown a will-
ingness to risk their own safety, possessions or even their own lives
in the interest, in one way or another, of fellow members. The accounts
of the experiences of Witnesses during the Nazi regime in
Germany, during the Duvalier premiership of Quebec, or during
the period of mob violence in the United States in the 1940s, make
absorbing reading. The sincerity of those who demonstrated a courageous
and selfless concern for others rightly goes unquestioned,
and I find their example both encouraging and laudable.  -- R.Franz, "Christian Freedom" p.600

Of course, this comes from a person, R.Franz, who would never have been allowed back into the Organization even if he wanted to. Yet after giving it several years of thought, he still recognized areas where JWs excel. Elsewhere in the same book, he still recognized the value of core doctrines he learned through Jehovah's Witnesses.

I am not one to claim that only JWs are good, or only JWs have the truth about many things. In fact, I have no doubt that we are absolutely wrong about certain things, but I consider them minor compared to more important things. But I do find that JWs have the best overall set of beliefs (for me) because I am a core anti-war, anti-Trinity, anti-Hellfire Christian. I could also list a lot of other things about Christian morality and cleanliness, and Christian activities including public preaching and proselytizing, and emphasis on a God who will accomplish his purpose toward the earth, etc., etc. All these things make the JW faith attractive and comfortable. Imperfect, with a lot of things wrong, but I still don't know of a religion with more "truth." I also think it does an excellent job attempting to put the first-century principles of Christianity into the twenty-first century -- and all over the world at that.

I appreciate how this particular combination of beliefs sets us apart from the rest, almost by definition, and by doing so enhances the cohesiveness of our Christian brotherhood. We are therefore going to stand out as different from other denominations, a good thing, in my opinion. We take upon ourselves a "teaching" ministry. If you ever again want to be part of a "teaching" ministry, and you think that this is an important ministry for the times we live in, then I think there is every good reason to consider JWs again. I'm sure Jehovah looks with favor upon Christians and would-be Christians who take up some kind of charitable ministry, too, or any ministry where their goal is to help fellow humans in response what God has done for them, even if it's just what they perceive that God has done for them.

Jehovah looks at motivations of the heart and our responses that are based on love for Him and love for neighbor. This is the great teaching of Jesus, and it matches the goal that the Mosaic Law could have transitioned a nation to do. And now, we can be a part of that nation. I don't believe that nation must be an organization, per se, even if it was a kind of organization under Israel and the Law. I think it's individuals. But under normal circumstances it will be individuals that join together under the same tenets of faith. And not all those individuals have to be JWs as far as I can see. But JWs set forth an attractive combination of teachings that do a great job reflecting the truth about Jehovah.

I can't tell you that you will be very comfortable as a JW again, but it is good and healthy to try to trust people. And I know that it's always more difficult for people who have been through what you have. Even if JWs are just kind of a social club for now. You did say that you sometimes talked to other JWs about issues related to the organization. I think the organization needs more people who are willing to talk to others honestly about issues. And you will always have the balance of having seen right through those times when fellow JWs are too hooked on following men. It's also true that you might get pushed out again. But in the meantime, you will have given it a try, not just walking away. And you might find some comfort in associating again with your brother, the Elder, and explaining things to him. No doubt he is a true believer and was never trying to trick you.

Summarizing, (I have to throw in that word to encourage myself to stop blabbing on and on) I know that you are referring to how some Witnesses will replace faith that should be in Jehovah and and letting faith in the GB supersede this. I admit that this happens. But it's easy to make this claim without understanding that all faith in Jehovah's ability to teach us will involve being taught by others. Jehovah does not teach us by putting complete understanding in our mind. The Bible tells us to expect teaching to come through others, and to hold fast to the teaching as handed down. We probably could get the basic things on our own, but we wouldn't have the encouragement that comes from a group of persons: some who will need our help and some who will be there to help us.

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6 hours ago, FelixCA said:

While we don’t know anyone’s heart aside from God himself, Raymond’s actions spoke volumes. It did have a negative impact on Bethel. Only those that revered Raymond thought it was an injustice.

I believe that R.Franz got a few things wrong. His facts were correct, but one can always come to a wrong conclusion based on true facts. But that still doesn't mean that we can judge his heart, of course. A person who disagrees with certain things but doesn't leave his faith over them is not included in the definition of an apostate. And besides, the things he thought we had wrong as an organization included issues he had every right, and even an assigned duty to consider, when he was a member of the Governing Body.

  • So he thought we had the generation definition wrong and it would have to be changed within just a few years. It was.
  • He thought the Watchtower Society should not be repressing the work of Jehovah's Witnesses in Mexico. They stopped.
  • He thought that it seemed Scriptural that homosexual or bestial relations should dissolve a marriage. This was changed.
  • He thought that the Governing Body should complete the change on avoiding the military through alternative service. They did.
  • Although he said there was nothing Scripturally wrong with door-to-door ministry, he thought the Society should also consider other methods of distributing its literature and not focus so much on hours and placements in just one form of ministry. Now it has (website, carts).

Granted, he also thought that based on past historical experience, we should stop setting any kind of date or even a date range as a time limit for Armageddon to occur. This hasn't completely stopped per the new generation doctrine, but since 2010, time-setting is much more nebulous than it has ever been in the past. He also thought that the Greek Scriptures should not be so strictly applied only to the anointed who claim a heavenly hope. In recent years, the GB have come to see this issue in the same way, and specifically stated updates in our new understanding in those very terms used by R.Franz.

For me, even if he was wrong on some matters, it shows the truth of the Bible verse:

  • (1 Corinthians 11:19) 19 For there will certainly also be sects among you, so that those of you who are approved may also become evident.

It's not a matter of R.Franz being right or wrong in a few things, or being wrong in more things than he was right about, or even if he was right about most things. But he was definitely right about some of the issues he brought up, or the Governing Body would not have changed over time toward his way of thinking.

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Interesting, is this the kind of methodology Raymond found himself in support of? How can “faith” be expressed when the Holy Spirit is generally misunderstood. For that, we would need to understand what “gifts” of the Holy Spirit are. Does everyone receive the same gifts? Acts 2:17

Do these gifts unravel to be interpreted by man’s own thoughts? Or are they an expression of guidance by Gods Holy Spirit, that man must follow. If these gifts were all equal? These types of arguments would be none existent.

In Daniel God gave every knowledge to certain young men. Did he give that gift to a synagogue? The High Priest, the prevailing Jewish governing body?

The apostles received certain gifts that weren’t given to faithful Christians. There is no need for a true Christian to supersede any ideology that goes beyond not understanding how the Holy Spirit works within the body of Christ. Matthew 1:20-23

I’m afraid Raymond didn’t understand this, once he fell from the grace of God. Can anyone truly say, who has an angel looking over them? 2 Timothy 2:2, 2 Timothy 1:5, 2 Timothy 3:15  

True Christian follow and have faith on? To the meek, it’s always been Jehovah with the GB being exemplary men (teachers) to give us spiritual food at the proper time. That’s the ideology since 1931. Revelation 2:7

 No one that I know of reveres the GB, in a negative way as in bow down to them but show genuine respect of brotherly love for them being responsible and accountable to God if they personally lead God’s children astray. Another area where Raymond failed. Matthew 18:6

1 Corinthians 12 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

Gifts of the Holy Spirit

 

12 Brothers and sisters, I want you to know about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. 2 You know that at one time you were unbelievers. You were somehow drawn away to worship statues of gods that couldn’t even speak. 3 So I want you to know that no one who is speaking with the help of God’s Spirit says, “May Jesus be cursed.” And without the help of the Holy Spirit no one can say, “Jesus is Lord.”

 

4 There are different kinds of gifts. But they are all given to believers by the same Spirit. 5 There are different ways to serve. But they all come from the same Lord. 6 There are different ways the Spirit works. But the same God is working in all these ways and in all people.

 

7 The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all. 8 To some people the Spirit gives a message of wisdom. To others the same Spirit gives a message of knowledge. 9 To others the same Spirit gives faith. To others that one Spirit gives gifts of healing. 10 To others he gives the power to do miracles. To others he gives the ability to prophesy. To others he gives the ability to tell the spirits apart. To others he gives the ability to speak in different kinds of languages they had not known before. And to still others he gives the ability to explain what was said in those languages. 11 All the gifts are produced by one and the same Spirit. He gives gifts to each person, just as he decides.

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2 hours ago, JW Insider said:

It's not a matter of R.Franz being right or wrong in a few things, or being wrong in more things than he was right about, or even if he was right about most things. But he was definitely right about some of the issues he brought up, or the Governing Body would not have changed over time toward his way of thinking.

Are we talking about the same Raymond Franz?

Where in the Watchtower literature does it state,

1.      607BC is not a relevant date, but instead, it’s 587BC. Where in the Watchtower literature does it state,

2.      Russell prophesied about the end of the world in 1914AD.

3.       Where in the Watchtower literature does it state unequivocally the world would end in 1975? The same propositions that Ex-JW’s and opposers alike hold against the organization. What good did it do Raymond to acknowledge those misguided ideals because a treatise was presented to the Watchtower and the Watchtower literature was misrepresented?

4.       Where does it state in scripture that rebuke (reproved) Luke 17:3, and staying away (Disfellowship) from an unrepentant person is not Biblical? 1 Corinthians 5

Yet Raymond deemed it a misuse. Why, because his good friend was disfellowshipped. He placed his personal feeling above God’s commandment to show repentance. Acts 3:19

5.       Centralized authority. Raymond found it a need to criticize the Governing Body,  board ship. Does he not relate that such a group would amount to the same body Jesus was dealing with? Where in scripture does it state to defy all authorities based solely on Christ teachings? Another example of a false narrative. He was disappointed to have been passed on as an authority figure himself. If it was up to him, he would have reinstated the Watchtower presidency. One authority figure. That says more about personal gain than Bible understanding. What he failed to acknowledge was, when there were presidents running the Watchtower, that president had assigned board committees.

I could go on and on, it doesn’t interest me to argue a failed man’s idea of criticizing in effect scripture to promote his personal agenda.

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Before there’s an ideological misunderstanding, I view the stewardship of 1914 as the faithful and wise servant and 1931 as the faithful and discreet slave. They both have the same context, but I like to keep them separate. That’s my opinion and rendering from a theological perspective. I’m not adding or removing anything from scripture. It is meant to keep past and present understanding of scripture interpretation honest by groups that held the Watchtower as their publishing base headquarters.

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7 hours ago, FelixCA said:

Interesting, is this the kind of methodology Raymond found himself in support of?

The entire post of yours that begins with the words I just re-quoted could be taken as a defense of some of the positions taken by R.Franz. I'm sure you didn't mean it that way, but several of the examples show that you agree with him.

The problem with this post is that the parts that are the most clear produce contradictions within your own post. Yes, the Bible says that the gifts are distributed throughout the entire congregation, the entire body of individuals, not just a special group of prophets, or a special group of teachers, or a special group of evangelizers. Then you mention that holy spirit was given to certain young individuals in the book of Daniel and not to the whole congregation (synagogue). Then you said that the apostles were given certain gifts that weren't given to others in the congregation. This is interesting. Can you name one of those gifts? I can't find any, nor do I believe this is a Biblical teaching.

7 hours ago, FelixCA said:

The apostles received certain gifts that weren’t given to faithful Christians. There is no need for a true Christian to supersede any ideology that goes beyond not understanding how the Holy Spirit works within the body of Christ. Matthew 1:20-23    I’m afraid Raymond didn’t understand this . . .

I'm afraid you don't either. You can't blame someone for misunderstanding a false statement and your misuse of Scripture.

It looks like your main point of difference is that you are saying that R.Franz could not express a proper "faith" if he doesn't realize that "holy spirit" only works through a certain approved group of men. And it was not specifically the "approved group of men," but in a practical way holy spirit was supposed to work by moving at least two-thirds of this approved group of men to agree on an issue. Therefore the holy spirit worked by motivating a 66.666 percent majority or greater to agree on a vote.

Of course, R.Franz no doubt watched dozens of times when this group would have reached that 66.666 percent majority, except that persons who had expressed to him that they believed their vote should go a certain way, would vote a different way if F.Franz had his up before their own, and they would merely follow his vote. R.Franz says a sizable percentage of the Governing Body would almost ALWAYS vote however F.Franz voted. A couple of these votes were most interesting in that they got the 66.666 percent majority to make the change saying that "alternative service" was now a matter of the individual's conscience, which would have changed the situation in South Korea and many other countries, but Brother Barry changed his vote back when he realized that just one vote had brought them over the 66.666 percent needed, and his vote had been different from that of F.Franz. 

At the October 11, 1978, meeting, of thirteen members present, nine
voted in favor of changing the traditional policy so that the decision
to accept or reject alternative service would be left to the conscience
of the individual; four did not vote for this. The result? Since there were
then sixteen members in the Body (though not all were present) and since
nine was not two-thirds of sixteen, no change was made.
On October 18 there was discussion on the subject but no vote
taken. On November 15, all sixteen members were present and eleven
voted for changing the policy so that the Witness who conscientiously
felt he could accept such service would not be automatically categorized
as unfaithful to God and disassociated from the congregation.
This was a two-thirds majority. Was the change made?
No, for after a brief intermission, Governing Body member
Lloyd Barry, who had voted with the majority in favor of a change,
announced that he had changed his mind and would vote for continuance
of the traditional policy. That destroyed the two-thirds
majority. A subsequent vote taken, with fifteen members present,
showed nine favoring a change, five against and one abstention.14
Six sessions of the Governing Body had discussed the issue and,
when votes were taken, in every case a majority of the Governing
Body members had favored removal of the existing policy. The one
vote with the two-thirds majority lasted less than one hour and the
policy remained in force. As a result Witness men were still expected
to risk imprisonment rather than accept alternative service—even
though, as the letters coming in from the survey showed, they might
conscientiously feel such acceptance was proper in God’s sight.

So they had the two-thirds majority, and even without it, they had an actual majority voting for the change during six sessions where the vote was always more than 50 percent. More importantly, (to me) it was clear from the letters they were receiving from all over the world that several of the persons in prison were not there for their own conscience, but were asked to falsely claim that it was their own conscience, even though it was really based on a vote of the Governing Body not reaching two-thirds.

If you believe that the current view of the Governing Body is correct, then you are indicating that the CORRECT view was not voted in until 1996. Which means that many brothers were being encouraged to be dishonest about their conscience, and go to prison unnecessarily for an extra 16 years.

Of course, you could argue that it was Jehovah's holy spirit that allowed for an extra 16 years of holding on to an incorrect doctrine, and which led to brothers being asked to go against their own conscience. (Ask @Srecko Sostar what this means if you don't know.) That is the same as saying that Jehovah didn't want things set right on this matter during that period, or withheld his Spirit.

7 hours ago, FelixCA said:

No one that I know of reveres the GB, in a negative way as in bow down to them but show genuine respect of brotherly love for them being responsible and accountable to God if they personally lead God’s children astray.

I doubt that anyone claims that people actually bow down to the GB. I think your statement is generally accurate. And I don't think as John Butler has said, that the GB themselves think they are higher than Jesus Christ, nor do they act that way. They are really a lot like us in that they believe that, up to a point, they should respect the GB, too. But there really is a point when we could end up deferring to them too much, and forgetting that they admit that they sometimes make wrong decisions organizationally and sometimes teach us false doctrines. You seem to take the individual's Christian trained conscience out of the equation.

I think the Governing Body has made a lot of wonderful decisions, and the quality of the "spiritual food" distributed is very good. But this doesn't mean that their own past mistakes should not be learned from. This doesn't mean we should stop thinking using our powers of reason. It doesn't mean that we personally should stop trying to distinguish right from wrong. We should not stop testing every utterance to see if these things are so. We need to make the "truth" our own.

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7 hours ago, FelixCA said:

Are we talking about the same Raymond Franz?      Where in the Watchtower literature does it state,

From here you go on to indicate that there were differences between the opinions and beliefs of R.Franz and what is found in Watchtower literature. 

But I get the feeling, now, that you probably did not read his books, or did not remember what you read. Either that, or you found it necessary for some unstated purpose to skew the opinions and beliefs of R.Franz into something he did not say. For example:

7 hours ago, FelixCA said:

607BC is not a relevant date, but instead, it’s 587BC. Where in the Watchtower literature does it state,

He claims that 607 is a hugely relevant date to the Governing Body and to the Watchtower writers. And although he never mentions the date 587 or 586 in either book, I agree that his first book points to the fact that all the evidence he could find supports a date "twenty years later" than 607. His point here is that even though he found no evidence, he acquiesced.

We found absolutely nothing in support of 607 B.C.E. All
historians pointed to a date twenty years later.
Before preparing the Aid material on “Archaeology”
I had not realized that the number of
baked-clay cuneiform tablets found in the
Mesopotamian area and dating back to the
time of ancient Babylon numbered into the
tens of thousands. In all of these there was
nothing to indicate that the period of the
Neo-Babylonian Empire (in which period
Nebuchadnezzar’s reign figured) was of the
necessary length to fit our 607 B.C.E. date
for the destruction of Jerusalem. Everything
pointed to a period twenty years shorter than our published chronology
claimed.
Though I found this disquieting, I wanted to believe that our
chronology was right in spite of all the contrary evidence, that such
evidence was somehow in error. Thus, in preparing the material for
the Aid book, much of the time and space was spent in trying to
weaken the credibility of the archeological and historical evidence
that would make erroneous our 607 B.C. E. date and give a different
starting point for our calculations and therefore an ending date
different from 1914.
Charles Ploeger and I made a trip to Brown University in Providence,
Rhode Island, to interview Professor Abraham Sachs, a
specialist in ancient cuneiform texts, particularly those containing
astronomical data. We wanted to see if we could obtain any
information that would indicate any flaw or weakness whatsoever
in the astronomical data presented in many of the texts, data that
indicated our 607 B.C.E. date was incorrect. In the end, it became
evident that it would have taken a virtual conspiracy on the part of
the ancient scribes—with no conceivable motive for doing so—to
misrepresent the facts if, indeed, our figure was to be the right one.
Again, like an attorney faced with evidence he cannot overcome, my
effort was to discredit or weaken confidence in the witnesses from
ancient times who presented such evidence, the evidence of historical
texts relating to the Neo-Babylonian Empire. In themselves,
the arguments I presented were honest ones, but I know that their
intent was to uphold a date for which there was no historical support.
So, despite our heightened appreciation of certain principles, the
Aid book nonetheless contained many examples of our efforts to be
loyal to the Society’s teachings. In many respects, what we learned
through our experience did more for us than it did for the publication.

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8 hours ago, FelixCA said:

Where in the Watchtower literature does it state,  . . . 

2.      Russell prophesied about the end of the world in 1914AD.

You misrepresent R.Franz by implying that he made a claim that Russell prophesied about the end of the world in 1914AD.

R.Franz never made such a claim about Russell.

Perhaps you were thinking of J.F.Rutherford's talk 3.3 years after October 1914:

  • Back in January of 1918, in the very throes of World War I, the American president, Woodrow Wilson, proposed the League of Nations. The very next month Jehovah’s witnesses, as represented by the president of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, began preaching the startling message, “The World Has Ended—Millions Now Living May Never Die.”  --
      Hello guest!

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8 hours ago, FelixCA said:

Where in the Watchtower literature does it state, . . .

3.       Where in the Watchtower literature does it state unequivocally the world would end in 1975?

You should have already bee aware that R.Franz never made any such claim like this either.

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8 hours ago, FelixCA said:

Where in the Watchtower literature does it state, 

4.       Where does it state in scripture that rebuke (reproved) Luke 17:3, and staying away (Disfellowship) from an unrepentant person is not Biblical? 1 Corinthians 5

The person he associated with was not disfellowshipped. Many persons in his congregation still associated with the same man, because he was related to them, and was in a position to help them out financially, running a business that had hired them. Besides 1 Corinthians 5 says the following:

  • (1 Corinthians 5:9-11) . . .In my letter I wrote you to stop keeping company with sexually immoral people, 10 not meaning entirely with the sexually immoral people of this world or the greedy people or extortioners or idolaters. Otherwise, you would actually have to get out of the world. 11 But now I am writing you to stop keeping company with anyone called a brother who is sexually immoral or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a man.

Which one of these labels do you attach to this former member of the local congregation who was not even disfellowshipped? Was he greedy? Sexually immoral? An idolater? An extortioner? A reviler? A drunkard? Also, even if he was such a person --and I think you probably know he wasn't-- what did Paul mean when he said that we don't stop keeping company entirely with such people. Obviously, for purposes of employment, living in the world, we might need to associate with a person who is any one of these types.

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@TrueTomHarley I just looked up in Google "Who died first Cynthia Franz or Raymond Franz?", and it only returns the date of the death of Raymond Franz and says he is survived by his wife. No death date given, but I thought I read somewhere that she also died:

  • Family-Placed Death Notice FRANZ, Raymond RAYMOND V. FRANZ On June 2nd, Raymond V. Franz (88) passed away peacefully due to the effects of a fall and subsequent brain hemorrhage suffered on May 30, 2010. Ray is survived by his wife, Cynthia. A minister, missionary and Biblical scholar for...

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@Anna Quote "but you still do have faith and trust in so many people." ...............  WRONG.

No we don't have milk persons (PC) delivering milk. I don't 'fly' anywhere. I have no faith or trust in medical staff, hence I had to be in excessive pain before the ambulance came and took me in to hospital with pneumonia, and I ask to leave hospital asap after treatment. Was only in three days, then recovered at home. I have no faith or trust in the Police force, none at all. But it is all there in its place, and God's word tells us that these things stand in place with His permission and to serve His cause at this time. 

On this latter issue, the Police. When I was being abused in the Children's home my feelings were that i could not report it to anyone as they 'were all in it together'. Children's home / Local Council - Government / Local Council - Police / Local Council-Children's Department Social Services.... There was no one left to report it to................... Even a few years ago when I finally got some of my personal documents regarding my time in 'care', most of it was 'redacted' / Blacked out. One page completely black. So where is any reason to trust ? 

You are probably right on one thing. It is no longer possible to lead anormal life.............  As for my brother, I sort of feel sorry for him. He has 'given' his life to JW org. If he lost it, it would finish him. He no longer contacts me. I can understand why, but you are right I no longer trust him...

Quote " With the Org changing the meaning of scripture, and teachings, I am assuming you preferred the previous ones better? Or is it because you think there should never be any change? "

The Creative Days being 7,000 years long, and us being in the 'Rest Day' of 6,000 years , then 1,000 years of Christ's rule. It made sense that all the days were 7,000 years long. God being a god of order not disorder............   But other changes are constantly being discussed on here, such as the F&DS once being the whole 'body' of the Anointed, but now only 8 men............ The teaching about 'this generation' .... the teaching about 'the superior authorities'.............. You don't have to look far to find them do you ? 

Quote But that really is no different than putting faith in anyone else who is doing a particular job,   " 

Sorry you are totally out of line here.. You are talking about 8 men that dictate to over 8 million people, by pretending that those 8 men are the 'Faithful and Discreet slave'. Those 8 men misuse that title, which they have given themselves, to promote their thinking NOT God's thinking. 

As for the 'wrongdoings', they mount up to the heavens it seems. Giving themselves that title which means they put themselves above other Anointed...... Luke 14 v 11  answers that one............ Deliberately misusing scripture to rule over others.   Reasons for disfellowshipping/shuning, is another.... The Child Abuse situation, and on this one, if only i could find the video, I'm sure a member of the GB said it was 'all lies and just apostates causing trouble'...... 

Quote " Every time a brother or sister speaks about the promises in the Bible, they are being a spokesperson for God.. " 

Wrong...Most times a' brother or sister' speaks, they are being a spokesperson for the GB or JW Org.  They go out with 'literature' more often than they go out with GOD'S word. There is such a big difference. JW's are taught what to say. Please remember I went to the Ministry School meetings / Work book meetings. It is all written in there. What to say, what to offer. It's JW literature, not God's message through Christ.... 

Your last paragraph is of course right.... But that is because you give a direct scripture. 

How wonderful it would be if the GB and it's writing department, and all the other 'people/men' in positions of 'power'  within JW Org / Watchtower, would stick completely to scripture. And only to write the things which they have 100% proof of.  They wouldn't write much of course :) 

Have a great day Anna. 

 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, FelixCA said:

Are we talking about the same Raymond Franz?  Where in the Watchtower literature does it state, . . .

5.       Centralized authority. Raymond found it a need to criticize the Governing Body,  board ship.

Again, you must be talking about a different Raymond Franz as you put it. Raymond Franz found a need to criticize the Governing Body, that's true. Perhaps he should not have. But the reason this makes people angry is not because it isn't true, but because it erases a fantasy many Witnesses have about them. Also, he decided to do this only after being slandered and spoken of abusively. Are you saying he should not have followed the counsel of 1 Pet 3:15?

  • (1 Peter 3:14, 15) 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are happy. However, do not fear what they fear, nor be disturbed. 15 But sanctify the Christ as Lord in your hearts, always ready to make a defense before everyone who demands of you a reason for the hope you have, but doing so with a mild temper and deep respect.
11 hours ago, FelixCA said:

Does he not relate that such a group would amount to the same body Jesus was dealing with? Where in scripture does it state to defy all authorities based solely on Christ teachings?

Also you should remember that at the time there was no teaching that this group of men, the GB, amounted to the same body Jesus was dealing with. They only claimed to represent the rest of the remnant of the 144,000 which was, according to the teaching at the time, the same body Jesus was dealing with.

And naturally, R.Franz never defied all authorities based solely on Christ's teaching. You might mean here that he thought one should defy authority when it conflicted with Christ's teaching, but we already know what he should have done in those cases. He spent most of his life acquiescing to the same authority the rest of us have recognized. When that became impossible to continue doing, according to his conscience, he wrote a book to explain why. I think the book was written in the spirit of 1 Peter 3:15.

11 hours ago, FelixCA said:

Another example of a false narrative. He was disappointed to have been passed on as an authority figure himself. If it was up to him, he would have reinstated the Watchtower presidency. One authority figure.

No he didn't. It was exactly the opposite. This is a point that no one could miss if they read either of his books. I'm not sure how you could possibly have missed it accidentally.

It was Frederick Franz who wanted it reinstated without any interference from a Governing Body. In fact, you can still listen to Fred Franz talk from 1975 where F.Franz sarcastically rails against the idea of a Governing Body, and goes to great lengths to prove that a Governing Body is not even scriptural. In that talk he repeatedly emphasizes that it was only one authority figure who made the decisions of the Watch Tower Society.

11 hours ago, FelixCA said:

That says more about personal gain than Bible understanding. What he failed to acknowledge was, when there were presidents running the Watchtower, that president had assigned board committees. 

You are speaking against Fred Franz, not Raymond Franz.

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