Thursday, July 31, 2008
We would not refuse to treat one as a brother because he did not believe the Society is the Lord's channel. If others see it in a different way, that is their privilege. There should be full liberty of conscience. Nice, huh?
In the Christian congregation today, there is a similar need for organization. That is why a book study group has an overseer, a congregation has elders, a group of congregations has a circuit overseer, a group of circuits has a district overseer, and a country has a Country Committee or a Branch Committee. Because of this organization, each man acting as a shepherd is able to pay close attention to Jehovah's sheep assigned to his care. Such shepherds are accountable to Jehovah and to Christ. - Acts 20:28
This can only mean that the decision to drop the Book Study was made in such a hurry this spring that it was too late to change the comments in the new book about how vital the book study is. Plus, when they rid of the Circuit Overseers, by the time this book is actually studied (at the abbreviated Ministry School "Bible Study" presumably) some time next year, two key components of this 'vital organisation' will have already vanished -- the Book Study and Circuit Overseers. What are ordinary Witnesses to make of these slapdash, ill-thought-out changes? If the organization is so vital why are they dismantling it?
Does this apparent rush indicate that dropping the Book Study was indeed a hasty change made for legal reasons? Perhaps because of prosecutions against the Society for crimes committed at book study venues?
At least when they made the "generation" change in 1995 there seems to have been a run-up period of 6 months to a year where they did not reiterate the "old light" before introducing the new. With these structural changes it seems like they are being made on a whim, with no forward planning, and nobody warning the writing department about what is in the pipeline.
There is no grand strategy. I wonder if the Governing Body even knows what the hell they are doing.
Just had another thought. It's one thing to move the Book Study out of private homes, but what about the pillar of door to door witnessing, Saturday morning field service? If "liability" is the reason to move the Book Study out of homes, seems like that same "liability" would exist for meetings for service. So, maybe move Saturday meetings for service to the Kingdom Hall?
But some Kingdom Halls have 2, 3, maye even 5 congregations sharing the building. If you've got 500-600 publishers sharing one building, what happens when 250 of them show up at 9:30 Saturday morning, fighting over parking spots, exceeding the fire code's maximum building occupancy, etc.?
The GB mentioned absolutely nothing about how Saturday morning field service will be handled in their original letter. This is an indication that they haven't worked it out yet...another signal that they are just making this up as they go along.
I'll let you know if I hear anything definitive.
*** w86 7/1 26 Lining Up With Jehovah's Integrity Keepers ***The course of Christian integrity involves tests and sacrifices and for the same reason that it did for Christ-we have a common enemy, Satan.
It has always amused me to see how Watchtower literature completely contradicts itself over and over again. One wonders in vain about what kind of control they have in the writing department in Brooklyn. My guess is that they have so many people involved in the writing, and that these people have very little contact with each other. It also seems to me that these people are very lazy when it comes to check up on what they have said about the same subject earlier. Anyway, let us amuse ourselves with some more of the Watchtower contradictions. In 1995 the Watchtower printed an interesting article about placing blame:
*** w95 2/1 26 Whose Fault Is It? ***Thus the stage was set in the garden of Eden for humans’ refusing to accept responsibility for their own actions. Have you ever been guilty of this? When problems come up, do you quickly blame others? Or do you analyze the situation to see whose fault it really is? In daily life, it is so easy to fall into the trap of blaming others for our mistakes and to say, “It is not my fault!” Let us look at common situations and see what some people tend to do. More important, reflect on what you would do under the same circumstances.
Very well put, don’t you think? It is difficult to disagree with what the Watchtower says here. One can’t help but think about how Brooklyn always blame the rank and file Witnesses for their own prophetic blunders. The next statement is also very interesting:
*** w95 2/1 28-9 Whose Fault Is It? ***Such ones often live their lives recklessly, making financial and other decisions on the assumption that God will save them. If their imprudent actions result in some disaster, economic or otherwise, they blame the Devil. To do something rash without first ‘counting the cost’ and then to blame Satan for the failure, or worse yet, to expect Jehovah to intervene, would be not only presumptuous but also contrary to Scripture.—Luke 14:28, 29.
Look at the two last lines here, which I have outlined in bold. What is the standard policy line of the Watchtower representatives when confronted with evidence of the Watchtower Society very rash and utterly failed predictions? What is the standard line when confronted with evidence of serious abuse of power by their elders? Well, we all know, don’t we? “Jehovah will keep his organization clean”. “We just have to wait on Jehovah!” But here they tell us that to expect “Jehovah to intervene” to correct their failures, would be “presumptuous” and “contrary to Scripture.”
Let us take a look at the next statement from the Watchtower and then compare it to statements from other Watchtowers:
*** w95 2/1 29 Whose Fault Is It? ***Those with the propensity for blaming the Devil or God for their own questionable actions have much in common with followers of astrology, who merely substitute the stars for God or the Devil. Thoroughly convinced that almost everything that happens is beyond their control, they overlook the simple principle stated at Galatians 6:7: “Whatever a man is sowing, this he will also reap.”
Now look at what the Watchtower wants the faithful Jehovah's Witnesses to believe:
*** w95 1/1 9 Triumphing Over Satan and His Works ***18 Satan’s crafty “machinations” have recently appeared in yet another form. In some lands many adults have experienced invasive thoughts conveying the overwhelming impression that as children they were sadistically abused by satanic cults.
*** w95 1/1 9 Triumphing Over Satan and His Works ***20 At present a Christian can be certain that, in one way or another, Satan is behind these horrible thoughts. If some in the congregation suffer in this way, they are wise to see such frightening mental impressions as a direct attempt by Satan to upset their spiritual equilibrium.
Seems like the Watchtower has the same “propensity for blaming the Devil or God” for just about anything too.
*** g82 9/8 10 Moon's Unification Church-What Does It Believe? ***Who are the “Moonies”? Press reports about the Unification Church have tended to highlight charges of weekend brainwashing sessions and slave labor. The political and financial problems of the Church have also made headlines, especially since Sun Myung Moon, the Church’s founder, was convicted of tax fraud. Moon’s mass marriage of 2,075 couples also made headline news. But what do you know about the beliefs of the Unification Church? What is motivating the Church’s small army of apparently idealistic youths? Why are they willing to give up college and careers to follow Sun Myung Moon? What is he promising them?
Brooklyn shouldn’t have to go far to find out why the Moonies do slave labor, what motivates them, and why they are willing to give up college and careers to follow Moon. It is of course exactly the same motive that causes any Jehovah's Witness to give up college and career to follow the collective “Moon” in Brooklyn.
Just look at what these guys say about “college and career” in this next quote:
*** w69 3/15 171 What Influences Decisions in Your Life? ***12 The influence and spirit of this world is to get ahead, to make a name for oneself. Many schools now have student counselors who encourage one to pursue higher education after high school, to pursue a career with a future in this system of things. Do not be influenced by them. Do not let them “brainwash” you with the Devil’s propaganda to get ahead, to make something of yourself in this world. This world has very little time left! Any “future” this world offers is no future! Wisely, then, let God’s Word influence you in selecting a course that will result in your protection and blessing. Make pioneer service, the full-time ministry, with the possibility of Bethel or missionary service your goal. This is a life that offers an everlasting future!
I for one do not have to speculate about what Moon and the collective Watchtower "Moon" is promising their faithful followers. I also know that they are all chasing the rainbow. None of them will ever experience the fulfillment of the sick fantasies of either Moon or the Watchtower Society.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
If you like to be able to do that, join Jehovah's Witnesses. Take a look at this sterling example:
*** km 11/90 6 Are You Ready to Face a Faith-Challenging Medical Situation? ***LOADED QUESTIONS TO WATCH OUT FOR
30 You should know that there are some questions that doctors and others pose that are not always asked with good motive. The one most frequently asked by doctors (and by some judges) is: “Would you rather die (let your child die) than accept a ‘lifesaving blood transfusion’?”31 If you say yes, that would be correct in a religious sense. But that reply is often misunderstood and at times even produces adverse court decisions. You must remember that you are not in the ministry in this situation. Rather, you are talking about needed medical treatment. Hence, you must adapt to your audience, medical or legal.—Ps. 39:1; Col. 4:5, 6.32
To a doctor, a judge, or a hospital administrator, “yes” can mean you want to be a martyr or want to sacrifice your child for your faith. Telling them about your strong faith in the resurrection in this situation will not usually help. They will brand you a religious fanatic, unable to make rational decisions when life is at stake. In the case of children, they will see you as a negligent parent who refuses so-called “lifesaving” medical treatment.
Notice the old “bad motive” cliché. Why not ask if the answer they suggest is the one that the Jehovah's Witness should give when a question is asked with a good motive? It is quite hilarious to see that the Watchtower Society admit that an HONEST answer from the Jehovah's Witness would reveal to the doctor or judge that the dub in reality is a “religious fanatic, unable to make rational decisions when life is at stake.”
Of course the Watchtower can’t have people going around admitting to what they really are, so then this little “tutorial” will be handy. If anyone should still actually believe the insane idea that the “blood resistance” among Jehovah's Witnesses is something every dub has come up with “personally” they need to read this particular Kingdom Ministry.
As we know it is in that very magazine Jehovah makes his “official notifications” to mankind. Since Jehovah apparently isn’t at all interested in reaching all of mankind he isn’t using TV or Radio. It is indeed a very puzzling thing about God, he holds all the secrets of life and he have information that is supposed to be vital to our “survival” but getting any of that “vital” information seems almost impossible.
“This Resolution was adopted by congregations of Jehovah’s witnesses throughout the earth. The announcement in the Watchtower magazine of October 15, 1932, at the end of 2,300 evenings and mornings was the official notification made by Jehovah through his visible channel of communication that his sanctuary of anointed “living stones” had been cleansed, vindicated and justified.” Watchtower, October 1. 1959, page 601-2.
It is here the Watchtower magazine comes in. As we all know it is impossible to make any sense of the total mess in the Bible so God created the Watchtower Society and started to print the Watchtower to help mankind:
*** w81 12/1 27 The Path of the Righteous Does Keep Getting Brighter ***But Jehovah God has also provided his visible organization, his “faithful and discreet slave,” made up of spirit-anointed ones, to help Christians in all nations to understand and apply properly the Bible in their lives. Unless we are in touch with this channel of communication that God is using, we will not progress along the road to life, no matter how much Bible reading we do.—Compare Acts 8:30-40.
Of course Jehovah had to “choose” an organization who use the least effective means possible to get his “vital” information out to mankind. As history show us this organization has made a complete pig’s breakfast of the whole thing. Modesty and humility seem to be in extremely short supply in Brooklyn when it comes to claims of authority:
*** w67 10/1 587 Finding Freedom with Jehovah's Visible Organization ***Thus the Bible is an organizational book and belongs to the Christian congregation as an organization, not to individuals, regardless of how sincerely they may believe that they can interpret the Bible. For this reason the Bible cannot be properly understood without Jehovah’s visible organization in mind.
Mankind is in a mess and only “Mother” can sort it all out:
*** w57 5/1 274 Show Respect for Jehovah's Organization ***The world is full of Bibles, which Book contains the commandments of God. Why, then, do the people not know which way to go? Because they do not also have the teaching or law of the mother, which is light. Jehovah God has provided his holy written Word for all mankind and it contains all the information that is needed for men in taking a course leading to life. But God has not arranged for that Word to speak independently or to shine forth life-giving truths by itself. His Word says: “Light is sown for the righteous.” (Ps. 97:11) It is through his organization that God provides this light that the proverb says is the teaching or law of the mother. If we are to walk in the light of truth we must recognize not only Jehovah God as our Father but his organization as our mother.So all of you slackers out there who never read the Watchtower, now you know what you have been missing.
*** km 4/83 3 Subscriptions-'Wisdom Calling Out'! ***2 How important is The Watchtower to your spiritual life? Is it vital? If so, you will read it regularly because, as stated in its purpose on page 2 of each issue, The Watchtower “adheres to the Bible as its authority.” And you would want others—your family, friends and neighbors—to read it regularly too. With the exception of the Bible, do you know of any other literature that supplies as much divine wisdom as does a year’s subscription to The Watchtower?
If God exist he must be deeply embarrassed to be associated with a rag that has published so much complete tripe and drivel in it’s short existence, but a usual God seem to be powerless in doing anything with all the superstitious crackpots claiming to be his only chosen “ground crew”.
*** km 4/83 3 Subscriptions-'Wisdom Calling Out'! ***3 Having a positive attitude toward The Watchtower entails maintaining a proper appreciation for its contents. Then, once we are convinced of its unique value, we will eagerly look forward to each issue, read it and not hesitate to offer it to others in our field service. What the book of Proverbs says about wisdom can help us estimate the value of this journal in comparison with other magazines:
*** km 4/81 1 Congregation Meetings-Part VI: Appreciating the "Watchtower" Study *** 2 Knowing that the “slave” class is Christ’s instrument for dealing with the congregation today should make our heart very receptive to what The Watchtower says. Also, knowing that The Watchtower endeavor to hold closely to the Scriptures builds confidence and makes us eager to examine each issue as we receive it.—Acts 17:11; see also 1964 Watchtower, page 574.
If there is one thing they hate in Brooklyn it is skeptics. A Jehovah's Witnesses should of course be extremely skeptic towards anything that does not come from the Watchtower Society but when it comes from them, forget all skepticism:
*** w81 2/15 18 Do We Need Help to Understand the Bible? ***A NOBLE-MINDED VIEW
How shall we view the spiritual food provided by this “faithful and discreet slave”? Should it be viewed critically—‘Oh, well, it might be true but then again it might not be and so we have to scrutinize it very critically’? Some apparently have felt that way about it. To support their way of thinking they have quoted Acts 17:11, which says of newly interested persons at Beroea: “Now the latter were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so.” But does this mean that those Beroeans were looking for flaws in the message they were hearing, or that their attitude was one of doubting? Does this set a precedent for regarding critically the publications brought forth by the “faithful and discreet slave,” with a view to finding fault? Not at all!
As you can see above Brooklyn are sick and tired of people who keep harping on the Beroan example. Of course the Beroans would never have doubted anything brought forth from Brooklyn! No one should be skeptical towards the Bible or the Watchtower literature. Without an ample supply of gullible superstitious people, where would organizations like the Watchtower Society and the Churches be?
*** w81 2/15 18-19 Do We Need Help to Understand the Bible? ***So those noble-minded Jews in Beroea searched the Scriptures daily to make certain that the references that Paul gave were really part of God’s Word. And with what mental attitude did they pursue their studies? With a skeptical attitude, trying to prove Paul wrong? No, they were altogether unlike Paul’s critics on Mars Hill, for we read that they heard Paul’s testimony with “the greatest eagerness of mind.”—Acts 17:11, 32.These Beroeans listened with a readiness, yes, an eagerness, to believe. Thus not only were they open-minded, but they were wanting to have this “good news” proved true. In fact, for a person to acquire faith he must have “the will to believe.” If he is determined not to believe, then no amount of evidence will convince him; for if a person looks for them he can always find excuses, plausible reasons for not accepting the accountability that belief will bring upon him.
Of course, what can be more “noble minded” than being “no minded”? If you are determined to believe then no amount of evidence to the contrary will convince you; for if a person looks for them he can always find excuses, plausible reasons for accepting or believe anything. That’s the kind of people all the religions are catering for. They do not want skeptic people:
*** w81 2/15 19 Do We Need Help to Understand the Bible? ***But nowhere do we read that those brothers first, in a skeptical frame of mind, checked the Scriptures to make certain that those letters had Scriptural backing, that the writers really knew what they were talking about.
We all understand that when someone talk about people raising from the dead, demons and spirits miracles and such, no one should be skeptic, such stories should of course be accepted as genuine truth on the spot, they are after all perfectly natural things to believe, right? The Watchtower Society has taken this one step further, they have made it real easy for you. If you accept that the Watchtower Society is God’s “Channel” and there is no need to be skeptical about that, you should just accept that, why? Because they say so of course, you dummy! The Bible is of course also true if anyone say so. After having accepted this as fact, you can lean back and just accept without any reservation whatsoever that is printed in the Watchtower magazine:
*** w81 2/15 19 Do We Need Help to Understand the Bible? ***OUR VIEW OF THE “SLAVE” We can benefit from this consideration. If we have once established what instrument God is using as his “slave” to dispense spiritual food to his people, surely Jehovah is not pleased if we receive that food as though it might contain something harmful. We should have confidence in the channel God is using. At the Brooklyn headquarters from which the Bible publications of Jehovah’s Witnesses emanate there are more mature Christian elders, both of the “remnant” and of the “other sheep,” than anywhere else upon earth.
Wow! Imagine that, in Brooklyn there are more gullible people per square mile than anywhere else on earth! No wonder the Watchtower is full of such profound drivel. But relax, you are in good hands, don’t think, just accept everything and above all distribute the Watchtower all over.
*** w81 12/1 27 The Path of the Righteous Does Keep Getting Brighter ***But Jehovah God has also provided his visible organization, his “faithful and discreet slave,” made up of spirit-anointed ones, to help Christians in all nations to understand and apply properly the Bible in their lives. Unless we are in touch with this channel of communication that God is using, we will not progress along the road to life, no matter how much Bible reading we do.—Compare Acts 8:30-40.
You can have complete confidence in whatever is published in the Watchtower literature. They alone know it all. Isn’t it wonderful?
w50 419."The thirty-six intervening years since 1914, instead of postponing Armageddon, have only made it nearer than most people think. Do not forget: "This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." (Matt. 24:34) Consequently, the important question is: What is the most profitable way in which to use the remaining time? If you are wise you will not dodge or side-step the answer. Eccl. 8:5."
Let us take a look at some really extensive dodging and sidestepping executed by real artists.Very central in this process is our old friend Brother Some. We can take a look at some of the dastardly deeds of the despicable character, Brother SOME, which no self-respecting Jehovah's Witness would be found dead in a ditch with.
Here is an example of what Brother SOME can do:
w80 10/15 3."What, then, is the "generation" that "will by no means pass away until all these things occur"? It does not refer to a period of time, which SOME have tried to interpret as 30, 40, 70 or even 120 years, but, rather, it refers to people, the people living at the "beginning of pangs of distress" for this condemned world system. It is the generation of people who saw the catastrophic events that broke forth in connection with World War I from 1914 onward."
As we can see this naughty Brother SOME have been speculating about how long the 1914 generation are. How terrible, no faithful JW in good standing would ever do that! And of course the Governing Body has NEVER done that. In this next quote where all faithful Witnesses can clearly see for themselves that there has never been any speculation whatsoever about the length of the generation. But if some evil apostate should claim that there is, it got to be Brother SOME. The question is why is this mysterious Brother SOME permitted to write for the Watchtower all the time?
w68 715 Besides, did not Jesus say that this generation will not pass away until all things are fulfilled? A generation, according to Psalm 90:10, is from seventy to eighty years. The generation that witnessed the end of the Gentile Times in 1914 does not have many more years left.-Luke 21:24, 32-36."
Wonder why the fact that the people who were old enough to understand what was happening in 1914, was approaching 70 years of age should have any significance? Could this be a speculation about the life span of a generation? Naah, of course not!
w69 395."Do you not recall that Jesus, in prophesying of this period of the last days which commenced in 1914, also said: "Truly I say to you, This generation will by no means pass away until all things occur"? (Luke 21:32) People who were only just old enough to understand what was happening to the world in 1914 are now approaching seventy years of age. Yes, the numbers of that generation are dwindling fast, but before they all pass away this system must meet its end in the war of Armageddon. Surely this highlights what a very short time now remains to return to Jehovah."
And this next quote? No speculations about the length of the generation here either, right?If you have no idea about how long a generation is, how can you say that the people belonging to it are "no longer young?" That it: "no longer has many years to run? That "many of its members have died?"
w67 5/1 262 "Where Are We According to God's Timetable? According to Bible chronology, we are already over fifty-two years into the wicked system of things’ “time of the end.” That time began in the autumn of 1914 C.E., at the termination of the “appointed times of the nations,” and it is already far advanced. Jesus said that “this generation” that saw the beginning of this time period in 1914 would also see its end. The generation that was old enough to view those events with understanding in 1914 is no longer young. It no longer has many years to run. Already many of its members have died. But Jesus showed that there would still be members of “this generation” alive at the time of the passing away of this wicked system of things in both heaven and earth."
Again, how could the Watchtower know that the generation was near to "passing away" if they didn't have a clue to how long a generation was? Could it be that this obvious self confidence was due to the fact that in was only 1 year left to Armageddon in 1975?
*** w74 6/15 359 The Horsemen of the Apocalypse-Their Effect on Our Lives ***Jesus stated, as recorded at Matthew 24:34: “Truly I say to you that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.” The generation that saw the beginning of “these things” in 1914 is now well up in years and, in fact, is near to ‘passing away.’ Therefore, the time must be close for the “great tribulation” and the ‘day of wrath’ of God and Jesus Christ.
Of course after 1975, it became imperative to assure the "faithful" that the generation which "many of its members have died" in 1967, and which was near to "passing away" in 1974, was alive and well. So now it was time for the Watchtower to "resurrect" this almost perished generation again
w84 5/15 5."There are still many millions of that generation alive. Some of them "will by no means pass away until all things occur."-Luke 21:32."
Here in the next quotes we can also notice the naughty Brother SOME in action, speculating about the length of the generation again. Shame on Brother SOME. It is stated that babies born in 1914 couldn't logically be counted into the generation. Very true, but desperation and dishonesty can defy any logic, so when the circumstances demanded it, logic can be booted out the door:
w78 10/1 31 "Questions from Readers Thus, when it comes to the application in our time, the “generation” logically would not apply to babies born during World War I. It applies to Christ’s followers and others who were able to observe that war and the other things that have occurred in fulfillment of Jesus’ composite “sign.” Some of such persons “will by no means pass away until” all of what Christ prophesied occurs, including the end of the present wicked system. Jesus did not encourage his followers to try to calculate the exact length of this “generation.” (Ps. 90:10) Instead of trying to figure how many more years, at the maximum, there may be until the end, Christians should remember Jesus’ warning: “Keep on the watch . . . because at an hour that you do not think to be it, the Son of man is coming.”—Matt. 24:42-44.
"w84 5/15 5."If Jesus used "generation" in that sense and we apply it to 1914, then the babies of that generation are now 70 years old or older. And others alive in 1914 are in there 80's or 90's, a few even having reached a hundred."
Obviously the passing of time renders Jesus logic when he didn't include the babies born in 33 C.E and 1914, null and void. Why? Because, when the word of the Bible doesn't fit the GB's purpose it is of no use. So now in order to squeeze the generation for all its worth the people who was born in 1914 can be included in the generation. Conveniently forgotten is the reasoning from 1978, which sounded like this:
w78 10/1 31 Questions from Readers Also, it is evident that by the word “generation” Jesus did not mean just the Jewish children born in 33 C.E. Luke relates that after being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom was coming, Jesus told his disciples: “[The Son of man] must undergo many sufferings and be rejected by this generation.” (Luke 17:20-25) That rejection certainly was not by newborn babies. Likewise, the way things worked out shows that the “generation” he spoke of in Matthew 24:34 included his listeners and others who could discern the fulfillment of his words from 33 C.E. onward until Jerusalem’s destruction."
The passing of time seems to bring forever-new insight and understanding to the Governing Body. Take a look at the next quote, now the “generation of 1914” obviously could include those born that year.
g88 4/8 14 "The Last Days-What's Next? Likewise today, most of the generation of 1914 has passed away. However, there are still millions on earth who were born in that year or prior to it. And although their numbers are dwindling, Jesus’ words will come true, “this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened."
In the next quote we can see the last desperate attempt to squeeze the 1914 generation dry. It was in August, the last month in the "service year" where everybody is driven out to get up the average number of publishers in the World report.
g94 11/8 10 "The Real Significance of 1914 This time of the end is, however, to be a relatively short period—stretching over one generation. (Luke 21:31, 32) The fact that we are now 80 years beyond 1914 indicates that we can soon expect the deliverance that God’s Kingdom will bring. This means that we will see “the lowliest one of mankind”— Jesus Christ — take complete control of “the kingdom of mankind” and bring about a peaceful and just new world. — Daniel 4:17.
The rest we know. Again we got the lame excuses, the song and dance about eagerness to see the end. Instead of using the infamous Brother SOME, they conjure up the even more elusive mystical entity: "Jehovah's People". I have 26 pages of strong worded quotes from the Watchtower and other Society literature, assuring us that the Bible, Jehovah and Jesus has guaranteed and promised that Armageddon would come before the 1914 generation perished.
w85 5/1 7. "We also know that the 1914 generation is well into the evening of its existence, thus allowing only little time for this prophecy yet to be fulfilled. But we also know-for this we have Jesus' own promise-that "this generation will by no means pass away until all these things happen."-Revelation 17:11; Mark 13:30.
Many of us, including me, were disfellowshipped because we called this bluff years ago. I still haven't received any apologies for having been branded evil, apostate, etc, because of telling them the truth. If there is one thing the Governing Body isn’t concerned with, it is truth.
w95 11/1 17."Eager to see the end of this evil system, Jehovah’s people have at times speculated about the time when the “great tribulation” would break out, even tying this to calculations of what is the lifetime of a generation since 1914. However, we “bring a heart of wisdom in,” not by speculating about how many years or days make up a generation, but by thinking about how we “count our days” in bringing joyful praise to Jehovah. (Psalm 90:12) Rather than provide a rule for measuring time, the term “generation” as used by Jesus refers principally to contemporary people of a certain historical period, with their identifying characteristics."
We have got a clear demonstration of how much Jehovah's and Jesus promises are worth, when announced by the Watchtower Society. Many of us remember what happened to the Creators promise in the Awake! Masterhead.
g94 11/8 10.The Real Significance of 1914 As indicated on page 4, “this magazine builds confidence in the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure new world before the generation that saw the events of 1914 passes away.” No doubt many of our readers find that statement surprising."
Sure. Some might find it even more surprising that the Creator suddenly changed his promise in 1995, when the 1914 generation finally was allowed to die. Or has it?
For some reason the Watchtower finds it important to tell us that 83 years have passed since 1914. So what does that matter? Why bring that up now? What is so significant with the fact that it is 83 years since 1914? Is it Brother SOME who raises his ugly head again, or is it just the mystical and elusive "Jehovah's people" who are too eager again?
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Many conscientious ones among Jehovah's people today have wondered if Christians should own cats in view of their sodid past and many health risks. What may be acceptable to one person may, although unintentionally, stumble another. This can become a life-or-death issue since to stumble a brother that Christ died for is tantamount to "putting a millstone around the neck and being thrown into the sea." Clearly our eternal salvation is involved.
First let us consider what most scholars agree is the original Koine Greek for the English word "cat". Felos Domesticus meaning literally "a contemporary housecat with all of its beastly identifying characteristics and behavior." A faithful servant of Jehovah would quickly notice that the nature of a cat is "beastly". The bible makes clear reference to this condition when describing parts of Satan's organizations past and present. For instance the fearsome "beasts" as described in Daniel or the "scarlet colored wild beast" in Revelation. The demons entered the swine when rebuked by Jesus showing the potential harm and demon control that a Christian may potentially expose themselves and others too. Lest we forget the condition of God's enemy when being humbled by Jehovah, Nebuchadnessor. Is it by accident that the Bible describes his experience as a "beast" of the field? Hardly!
Clearly the Bible by using this kind of Original Greek shows beyond a doubt that the basic nature of cats is evil or "beastlike". This is condition is reflected in the "Original Serpent", the "Great Dragon" Satan the devil!
There are numerous reasons why a loyal dedicated servant of God should use their Bible-trained conscience to arrive at a proper understanding of why cats are not for Christians.
Consider the following facts.
It was a common practice in ancient Egypt to worship or idolize cats as "gods". As Christians we are to "guard ourselves from idols" and "worship no other gods". Such feline influence could lead to idolatry and thereby "grieve Jehovah's Spirit" with tragic consequences. May we never take for granted Jehovah's wise council!
The Bible does not say that cats were not present at Herod's birthday party when John the Baptizer was beheaded. History shows that cats were most likely present at this tragic party that Jehovah did not approve of. Clearly then, as loyal Christians, why would we even want to associate with animals that are without a doubt of such bad influence, remembering that "bad associations spoil useful habits"? To invite cats in our house is to toy with disaster. Can one deny that the chance exists that the same grave consequences could visit your home that fell upon John the Baptiser? Clearly, God disapproved of this "birthday" party. Should we not then disapprove of cats the way God does? Surely!
Throughout history, particularly in the middle ages and reaching its climax in the Salem Which trials of the 1600's, cats were recognized as carriers if not direct incarnates of demons. Since cats were associated with the devil, could we as faithful and dedicated servants of God therefore associate ourselves with a "living symbol" of satanic incarnation? How would this reflect on Gods name and his earthly organization? Would we want to be associated with a symbol of Satan, the "god of this system of things"?
Nowhere in the Bible are any type of cats spoken of in favorable terms. In fact was it not lions of the first century who the Devil used to devour faithful Christians? Jehovah Himself "Stopped up the mouths of the lions" in Daniel's day. True, the small housecats of today are not lions, but being of the same cursed animal family used by Gods enemies on numerous occasions throughout history, would it be wise or appropriate to own one? In addition, by owing any type of cat (feline), would we not give an appearance of condoning their evil deeds throughout recorded Bible and secular history? The Bible makes clear that God's people are "no part of this world" and that we are "not to share in the sins of others."
The scriptures clearly indicate that neither Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, faithful Job, the Apostles or Jesus himself owned a cat. Should we simply assume that this is a mere coincidence? Surely not! This was most likely because they didn't want to be like the Pagan contemporaries of their day who showed no regard for how God feels about owning a cat. In harmony with the pattern set by the faithful prophets and peoples of old, surely it would not be fitting for a Christian today to own a cat.
Finally, cats are unclean animals. Recently the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that "Cats…can shed Salmonella in their feces, which can spread the bacterial infection to humans…" Salmonella (salmonella typhimurium) creates a condition of "week-long diarrhea…abdominal cramps… and in some instances, hospitalization." Would we be showing the proper respect to our life, Creator and to our "neighbor" by exposing ourselves and others to this potentially deadly disease?
Additionally, cats practice many unclean habits not fitting a Christian: Coughing up furballs, licking inappropriate body areas, urination on the floor, eating dead animals often with their blood, sexual misconduct without the benefit of marriage, abuse of catnip an intoxicating herb, and stealing food from the table, just to name a few. What sort of example does this give our young ones endeavoring to serve Jehovah? The Bible clearly shows that "neither fornicators….nor thieves will…inherit the Kingdom." In addition, the Apostle Paul admonishes us to "quit mixing in company" with such unclean ones. Although Paul was speaking primarily about Christians who fell into sin, there is no reason to conclude that this Inspired Biblical principle can not be applied to association with cats. Uncleanness in any form is condemned by Jehovah and the fact that the Apostle Paul made no distinction when it came to associating with housecats proves beyond a doubt that loyal Christians must avoid all association with all sources of uncleanness which would logically include animals that harbor such practices.
Are we not grateful for Gods viewpoint on such matters? True worshipers follow closely Gods mandates on cleanness to their eternal benefit! Sister Catless tells us that since getting rid of her cat, she has not had to be preoccupied with cleaning the litterbox or the burden of purchasing cat food. This has allowed her to spend more time to go pioneering and finds that it is now easier to meet her allotted hours in field service.
Brother Dognow puts it this way, "I'm so grateful that God's organization is kept clean! It has freed me from the burden of owning a cat and all the pitfalls that go with it. I hope all the brothers will realize how the Devil subtly uses cats to corrupt and distract us from the preaching work." (Matt. 24:14)
What fine examples of faithfulness! As loyal followers of Jehovah's thinking on this matter, we can rejoice in the fact that in the new system, the "Lion will lie down with the lamb". Yes, when Satan is finely abyssed the "beastly" nature of felines will be gone! But until that soon approaching time, God will reward all of our efforts to maintain integrity by loyally submitting to the leading of his spirit through the "Faithful and discreet slave".
ARE CATS FOR CHRISTIANS?
(Completely fiction, but shows how anything can be manipulated into WTBTS reasoning)
This Clearly Shows . . .
Obviously . . .
The Bible plainly says . . . (Even if the Bible plainly says something, the Watchtower is expert in twisting that scripture to mean something else.)
Logically . . . (I love this one. It means that "we are guessing here". We're probably wrong, but for now we'll take a chance.")
Has clearly shown . . .
Justifiably . . .
We have clearly seen . . .
Surly this is reasonable . . .
The evidence shows . . .
We might reasonable assume. . . (This is another good one. Reasonable to whom?)
The evidence should be clear . . .
Most/Many Scholars . . . (What scholars? Name them. Who are these scholars. I am beginning to think that it is a family named "Scholars.")
Reasonably, then . . .
Surely then . . .
Thus the facts make clear . . . (The Watchtower made up the facts.)
Truly . . .
What must one do . . .
Isn't it reasonable to conclude... (We don't really know, we're guessing.)
Thus, we can see
A mature christian...... (Who doesn't want to be a mature christian. After this phrase we are all apt to agree with what is being said.)
Please click on letter to enlarge it.
Click on the letter to enlarge it.
Because changes and failures are immediately dismissed in the mind of a Jehovah's Witness by the thought stopping concept:
"The Bible tells us the light would get brighter".
The main justification from the Watchtower for changed doctrine is Proverbs 4:18:
"But the path of the righteous ones is like the bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established." To interpret "light" as referring to Watchtower "doctrinal" understanding is simply justification for prior error.
The context of Proverbs chapter 4 is a comparison of behaviour between good and bad people, not the revealing of doctrinal truth through an organization. The surrounding verses say, "the wicked …do not sleep unless they do badness. … The way of the wicked ones is like the gloom; they have not known at what they keep stumbling… listen to the discipline of a father … keep my commandments … safeguard your heart." For thousands of years people have understood this scripture to be discussing behaviour. This scripture has nothing to do with doctrinal change. NOTHING!
Also, the concept of light becoming brighter implies that previous doctrine was correct, but incomplete. The Watchtower Society has promoted many significant doctrines that were later discarded as incorrect. Others have changed back and forth, even reverting to their original position, in each case contradicting a former truth.
An other line of reasoning by the Watchtower Society to justify their errors is to make a comparison to the Apostles and the mistakes that they made.
"Like the apostles of Jesus Christ, they have at times had some wrong expectations." Reasoning from the Scriptures p.136
This addresses an issue quite different to the one at hand. No one questions that individual Jehovah's Witnesses or even individual members of the Governing Body have to have perfect understanding. The issue is whether the Governing Body operates under guidance of Holy Spirit as a collective group, after prayer.
Does Jehovah direct what appears in the Watchtower journals? Rather than suggesting that Apostles made mistakes ask "What percentage of the Apostles writings in the Bible are wrong?" Zero percent. "What percentage of Watchtower statements has been wrong?" A lot of them. The difference being, the Apostles were directed by God, the Governing Body is not.
Another justification has been used several times after Watchtower prophecies went unfulfilled. The Watch Tower 1916 February 1 said about the incorrect understanding of 1914:
"We inferred from this that the Church's 'change' would take place on or before that date. But God did not tell us that it would be so. He permitted us to draw that inference; and we believe that it has proven to be a necessary test upon God's dear saints everywhere." What sort of group would accuse God of allowing them to promote falsehood as a test of his followers? If false teachings are a test from God, how do we differentiate between one Church and the other?
Additional Watchtower justification for incorrect interpretations is to attribute them to eagerness. They say that people that criticise this righteous eagerness are negatively trying to divert people from the importance of the times.
"It is easy for the established churches of Christendom and other people to criticize Jehovah's Witnesses because their publications have, at times, stated that certain things could take place on certain dates. …Have they not, rather, encouraged spiritual sluggishness by considering expectation of "the end" to be "meaningless" or "an insignificant myth"? Have apostates … promoted Christian alertness? Have they not, rather, induced spiritual sleepiness?" Watchtower 1984 December 1 p.18 "Jehovah's Witnesses, in their eagerness for Jesus' second coming, have suggested dates that turned out to be incorrect." Awake! 1993 March 22 p.4
In application to itself the Watchtower insinuates that alertness is more important to truthfulness. In application to other religions sincerity is not enough, teaching untruths makes their followers unacceptable to God.
To be eager does not justify being totally wrong. Many religions are eager, without relying on false predictions to motivate their members. Making mistakes in God's name has not promoted long term eagerness; it has resulted in followers losing their faith in the Organization.
"However, the prophet who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded him to speak or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die. And in case you should say in your heart: "How shall we know the word that Jehovah has not spoken?" when the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak. With presumptuousness the prophet spoke it."
Watchtower changes include numerous false dates, significant doctrine and the promotion of pagan symbols and teachings. Rules on shunning, medical advice and education have been adversely life changing, even life threatening.
Falsehood does not originate from Jehovah. Doctrinal meandering cannot be justified as new light; rather it is proof that God does not direct the Watchtower Society.
Monday, July 28, 2008
The brothers in Malawi were not treated so well. They were forbidden to purchase the cards and so suffered mightily at the hands of the enemy.
February 10, 1986, Monday, PM cycle HEADLINE:
Local Church Wins Fight With National Office
DATELINE: BONHAM, Texas
Members of a Jehovah's Witness congregation have declared victory in their legal fight with the denomination's national organization over ownership of a local church.
Justice of the Peace Don Jones ruled that leaders of the national group, the Watchtower Society, unlawfully changed locks andtook over the church.
The denomination, known for its door-to-door evangelism, has filed an an appeal of the ruling. The dispute centered on ownership of the Kingdom Hall and began last summer when Ralph Deal sent 14 letters to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in New York asking for answers to particular theological questions.
Deal testified that when he persisted with his questions, the Watchtower Society sent a committee to Bonham on July 14 to choose new officers for the church. The group changed locks on the church after the new officers were chosen.
Deal, along with Tony Jones, Wesley Ruddell and Tommy Johnson, were notified by letter that they had been "disfellowshipped"_ or dismissed for disciplinary reasons _ from the church. They filed suit to retain possession of Kingdom Hall.
The title to the property is filed with the county under "Trustees of the Bonham Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses."
After Friday's ruling, lawyer David Mercot, representing the local church, said he thinks other individuals and congregations dissatisfied with the Watchtower Society will be encouraged to stand up.
"For 40 years or more, the Watchtower Society acted like the local congregations were their pawns while in public denying any hierarchy," Mercot said.
The suit was filed because the local members were "rousted" from the church, Ruddell said. "We were intimidated to do exactly asthey said."
Jehovah's Witnesses was founded by Charles T. Russell in 1884. The denomination is distinguished by its belief that only 144,000 people will go to heaven.
Critics say defections from the denomination began after the world failed to end in 1975 as leaders had predicted. Other dates cited by church leaders included 1914, 1920, 1925 and 1938.
Official spokesmen for the denomination have declined to answer questions about the case.
The first thing that amazed me was finding out that while he was president of the Society, and probably even before, he never went out in service. His often quoted words, Advertise! Advertise! Advertise, seemed rather hollow.
The other blow was finding out more about his prophecies concerning 1925 and how he reacted after they failed to materialize.
His overbearing demeanor and dictator-like attitude jumps at you from every picture I have seen.
He was the one that adopted the name Jehovah’s Witnesses in contradiction to Russell’s wish that the “brethren” should not strive to get a name other than being “Christians”.
He is the one that formulated the concept of “Jehovah’s Organization”. Again, this was opposite to Russell’s wishes.
He initiated the monthly time and publication placements requirements for publishers and pioneers, saying that these were directives from Jesus Christ himself. (Jesus Christ spoke to him personally and told him to do these things.)
Worst of all, all these hours spent and publications placed were promoting false prophecies, predictions, assumptions, man-made guesses, and other embarrassing material that Society would not even dare reproduce. All the efforts, resources, legal skirmishes, broken families, and ultimately entire lives had been for naught. How can one justify Jehovah’s or Jesus’ hands in this?
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Judge Rutherford did a hostile takeover of the International Bible Students assets after Russell's death. Then he vilified them and rewrote the History of the Watchtower Socirty. A few years later he changed the name of his group to Jehovahs Wtinesses to further separate them from the Russell's group of Bible Students. That is why the new name was given. Rutherford wanted to make sure that his group was not mistaken for the Bible Students, which was Russell's group. The only link between the two groups was the assets; buildings and printing equipment and such that Rutherford took. Rutherford was an evil ambitious man but all his dupes were his personal slaves.
Try and convince Jehovah's Witnesses of these facts. Show them the proof from their own writings and they still won't believe it. And when they finally do accept the fact that Rutherford ursurped the authority of the directors in his hostile takeover, they simply say "It was Jehovah's will." And they proceed to cite scriptures to prove that Jehovah uses illegal means to accomplish his work.
On the other hand, the Bible Students have the same attitude ... they simply say "it was the Lord's will, no sense crying over spilt milk, we have work to do." Both groups are absolutely pathetic.
If Rutherford had no position in the Watchtower Society how did he get on the Board so quickly?He got on the board the same way many do in this world. It's who you know! Rutherford was an opportunist. And he made a name for himself travelling and debating. He also had friends in high places, namely VanAmburgh and MacMillan. These two no doubt pulled some strings to get Rutherford on board. After all, they could agree, he was a Lawyer, he knew business. he is well liked and respected and knows the truth. He would be an asset to the organization.
So he got on this little committee that was simply going to get thing organizaed for the elections in January 1917.
For those who wonder why Russell included Rutherford in his Will, well he didn't. Booze Rutherford got his name put on the Will after Brother Russell died. Brother Russell, while not faultless, knew that Rutherford was a pain in the ass he was NOT the type of person he wanted left in charge. And sure enough, once Rutherford illegally restled control away from those who Brother Russell wanted to run the show, things started changing. A good example is both men's view towards Jews: Russell was sympathetic towards them, Rutherford, while initially carrying on this belief, eventually revealed his true colours and was very anti-Semetic.
I vaguely recall reading somewhere else that Beth Sarim was built to get Rutherford out of office as no one could stand him at Bethel. While alot of Brother Russell's ideas were far-fetched, he was alot more laid back than the fanatical nazi-like regieme that Rutherford created.
Further, under Russell the president was just a figure, the power was in the hands of the board of directors, so it didn't matter what the president did or said. If the directors did not approve it, it would not be done.
You know the rest of the story. When it came time for the election of the officers, Rutherford was elected as president, only he added a little by-law which gave all power to the president. Now the Society and all its assests were in his hands and the directors were powerless. Before the directors could have these by-laws rescinded, the Judge tied things up and dismissed any and all who would challenge him. By then the majority of the Bible Students basically told the judge, you can have it, we don't need it, and moved on. Thus, Jehovah's Witnesses were born. Their leader was a fake, a liar and a scondrel. Is it any wonder that they all their doctrines are ridiculous and all of their predictions fall flat?
To get the full story of the Rutherford takeover and it's consequences, see this website. The book is called HARVEST SIFTINGS.
HARVEST SIFTINGS was written by Joseph Franklin Rutherford in 1917. This book was authored by J.F. Rutherford during the period of factional infighting following Russell’s death. Opposed by a majority of the Society’s board of directors, Rutherford spared no weapon in his struggle for control of the organization. As a lawyer he skillfully unseated the directors Russell had appointed for life, and as a communicator he destroyed them in the eyes of his readers. This is a fascinating piece of Watchtower history.
2. They borrow the money from the Society which they actually contributed.
3. The Society charges them interest on the money. (I think that they changed this recently, however, they make so many changes it's difficult to remeber them all.)
4. When the loan is paid off, The Society owns the building.
5. They have the nerve to criticize the crooked TV Evangelists?
The Watchtower Society maintains control of the property. Whether or not it's deeded locally or to a local non-profit group, if anything happens The Watchtower Society can take the property and do what it wants with it.
It's a nice little real estate scam. And perfectly legal.
So long as a congregation remains solvent it has use of the Kingdom Hall. But should a congregation dissolve then the WTS has instructed that congregations take measures today to ensure that the Kingdom Hall property assets go to The Watchtower Society.
Under the subheading ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION, in a directive dated March 1, 2000 the WTS writes:
Please note that the following two paragraphs are to be included in your charter or articles of incorporation (this may require an amendment to your existing charter or articles of incorporation):
Upon the winding up and dissolution of this Corporation, after paying or adequately providing for debts and obligations of the Corporation, the remaining assets shall be distributed to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc?.
Each year since the March 1, 2000 directive was issued COs have been instructed to inquire that the indicated provision has been amended into the congregations charter or articles of incorporation, whichever is applicable.
So everytime you contribute money to the Watchtower Society, money that you worked long and hard to earn, just remember that The Watchtower Society is mega rich with real estate.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Please click on Yearbook page to enlarge it.
That one is particularly disturbing because in the Oct 8 1977 AWAKE! they mocked Catholics by saying, "Even up to a hundred years ago the Catholic Church held the view that blacks were cursed by God."
And then again in Feb 8 1982 AWAKE! they said, "Have the churches of Christendom always treated everyone on the same basis? ... For centuries the Catholic Church taught that Negroes were a cursed race."
LESS THAN a hundred years ago they were teaching the same thing! The Catholics got rid of that teaching before the WT did but they use it show that the Catholics must not be the "true religion" ... oh, the hypocrisy.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
See: February 15, 1919 Watchtower:
"We cannot but admire the high principles embodied in the proposed League of Nations, formulated undoubtedly by those who have no knowledge of the great plan of God. This fact makes all the more wonderful the ideals which they express. For instance, it has been made plain by President Wilson and the advocates of his ideas that the proposed League of Nations is more than merely a league to enforce peace. They would not have us consider it to exclusively from the standpoint of politics or of military relations. It should be considered as fully from the economic and social points of view. The President's idea seems to be that the League of Nations which he proposes would stand for world service rather than mere world regulation in the military sense, and that the very smallest of nations shall be participants in its every arrangement. In other words, his idea undoubtedly is that the league shall not be established merely for the purpose of promoting peace by threat or coercion; but that its purpose, when put into operation, will be to make all nations of earth one great family, working together for the common benefit in all the avenues of national life. Truly this is idealistic, and approximates in a small way that which God has foretold that he will bring about after this great time of trouble." Watch Tower February 15, 1919 p.51(reprints page 6389).
Are the Watchtower leaders being completely honest about 1919 ?
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Further Evidence that Jesus Christ Inspected The Watchtower and Found That They Alone Were The Only Ones Transmitting God's Truth Here On The Planet
Watch Tower 1904 February 15 pp.52-53 “Can the Ethiopian change his skin?”
“What the Ethiopian cannot do for himself God could readily do for him. The difference between the races of men and the differences between their languages have long been arguments against the solidarity of the human family. The doctrine of restitution has also raised the question. How could all men be brought to perfection and which color of skin was the original? The answer is now provided. God can change the Ethiopian's skin in his own due time. Prof. H. A. Edwards, Supt. of Schools in Slater, Mo., has written for the public press an elaborate description of how Julius Jackson, of New Frankfurt, Mo., a negro boy of nine years, began to grow white in September, 1901, and is now fully nine-tenths white. He assures us that this is no whitish skin disease; but that the new white skin is as healthy as that of any white boy, and that the changed boy has never been sick and never has taken medicines.”
Watchtower July 15 1902 The Negro Not A Beast pp. 215-216. “While it is true that the white race exhibits some qualities of superiority over any other, we are to remember that there are wide differences in the same Caucasian (Semitic and Aryan) family; and also we should remember that some of the qualities which have given this branch of the human family its preeminence in the world are not such as can be pointed to as in all respects admirable….The secret of the greater intelligence and aptitude of the Caucasian undoubtedly in great measure is to be attributed to the commingling of blood amongst its various branches; and this was evidently forced in large measure by circumstances under divine control.”
Thus Jesus Christ himself (who also happens to be white) appointed this white supremacist organization in 1919 over all his belongings (including some, in Russel's opinion, inferior negroes).
Before Sam Herd, no African American has served on the GB... I guess it took about 100 years for the Governing Body to realize that African Americans really are equal to whites...Yes, I realize that this was the general attitude toward minorities back then. However, that begs the question as to why God's Chosen Ones didn't have a different attitude than that of "Christendom". Had Charles Russell made a comment about "how there is neither Jew nor Greek" (or in the modern sense, 'their is neither black nor white'), amongst the brethren, then that would have been something to look back on with pride. It wouldn't have been a popular statement to make, but hey-----the founder of Christianity made all kinds of unpopular statements.
Monday, July 21, 2008
The Neutrality issue was one of the major issues that young brothers in many places in the world are facing. Some of them died for that issue, some spend many years in prisons, and as a result they have a criminal record that is marked for being in prison.
In my country many brothers went to prison from 2-4 years, but the most outrageous thing that the Watchtower did, it was to hide behind 18 year old kids. Yeah the cowards running Watchtower, they didn't have the balls to stand next to us, and I will explain why:
When it was time for joining the Army, and since Army service is done by all males, the Watchtower was telling us the exact words to say to the officials:
"I'm a Jehovahs Witness, and my conscious does not allow me to join any military forces and this is my PERSONAL decision."
I recall in a meeting we had for this matter the Circuit Overseer told us clearly:"Never say that the Watchtower tells you not to join the Army. No matter what, YOU SHOULD NEVER mention Watchtower to the officials, or that you will get disfellowshiped if you join Army Forces, or the Watchtower is telling you NOT to join the Army. You will say it is your PERSONAL DECISION and keep the Organization out from any discussion."
So the question that arrises here is:"If it is a matter of conscious why would we get disfellowshiped if we did join the Army? And since when, in a matter of conscious. would a Christian would face judical commitee and gets disfellowshiped?
But as usual Watchtower has a different agenda for the outside world and other for the rank and file. Then the Goverment came with a new proposal:
Since you don't join the Army then you can join other services like Hospital, Fire Department, Forest Department, Resque, and you will do your service, your obligation to your country there. Some of us were happy with this new arrangement, since the Watchtower did accepted that arrangement in other European Countries. But the Watchtower had a different oppinion in our case. The answer was NO....and they said that we go to the other services IF the court send us there as a penalty. WE WILL NOT ACCEPT ALTERNATIVE SERVICE...
So 15 years went by, and the Watchtower finally accepted the Alternative Service. So again the "Holy Spirit" was late to act, and change its mind. No need to say that many of us suffered from this, since we couldn't go on with our lifes and jobs, since it was a pending issue. But again the Watchtower was using us in the most horrible way. Plus we had to pay the lawyer that the Org chose for us, everytime we appeared in Court. And the guy really charged a lot!!!
But there was another issue regarding Neutrality. The Goverment has a special tax for defence. It is only a small rate but still it is a tax for buying Arms. When we asked the Society if we should pay that tax, the answer was yes. We must give to the Ceasar what belongs to the Ceasar. But we ask again, is it correct to pay that tax since it is going for military purposes. The answer was that Ceasar desides what to do with the money, therefore there is nothing wrong to pay that tax.
What was the real reason behind this? Since the Branch of the Watchtower had to pay taxes (for buying and selling land) it would have created a problem with the Goverment, plus it would have a nagative effect to all of the Witnesses since in my country defense is a very sensitive issue.So it would have cost them a lot, so they chose to pay the tax.
But what would have happened if we were not in Europe by in an African country? Good question, and I really don't feel to think about it. In my mind comes the tragic events that took place for our Brothers in Malawi....
The Governing Body are a banch of cowards, and all they care about is how to use poor people in order to have control over human life. They have no conscious at all, and they have sacrificed hunderds of thousands of people in the Altar of their Organization. Many times I wonder about the punishment that Jesus holds for them. But I guess the only panishment we can give to the Watchtower it is to show to future victims, and even those are inside how EVIL organization the Watchtower really is.
There is no "neutrality" issue, there's a "rebellion" issue. It's laughable to say the Watch Tower Corporation, doing business as Jehovah's Witnesses, is politically indifferent. They are a political organization by nature. Saying they are "neutral" are weasel words. They're sure as heck not neutral in the Supreme Courts. Add up the Watch Tower lies: We are neutral, we are not dogmatic, we are not controlling. The Witness political group is called "The Theocracy". Theocracy describes a political concept. There's Democracy, Communism, and Theocracy. Their name defines them as a political action group. Why do they deny that which they fought to establish?
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Genesis 39:4-5 says that "Joseph found favor in his lord's sight and was pleasing to him, and he appointed him over his house, and all that he had he gave into Joseph's hand. And it happened that after he appointed him over his house, and over all that was his, the Lord blessed the house of the Egyptian." Does that sound familiar in any way? The statement bears close resemblance with the Parable of the Faithful and Wise Servant (Luke 12:42-46) which begins with the question, "Who then is the faithful and wise servant whom the lord appointed over his house to give them rations of food at the appointed time?" The resemblance in wording is especially close when we examine the original Greek:
Luke 12:42 katestesen ... epi tes oiketeias autou "appointed over his house"LXX Gen. 39:4 katestesen auton epi tou oikou autou "appointed him over his house"
Genesis 39:4-5 is in fact the ONLY PLACE in the LXX where kathistemi is followed by epi + oik-. The closest other parallels are also from the story of Joseph (cf. Genesis 41:33, 40-43; 45:8; Psalm 105:21). Furthermore, the phrase became almost a stereotyped feature of the story of Joseph, related like a refrain in retellings of the story:
"The king ... appointed him lord over his house (katestesen auton kurion tou oikou autou)." (Psalm 105:21; LXX)
"Potiphar ... appointed (ashemo) Joseph over all of his house (diba kwellu betu)." (Jubilees 39:3)
"Joseph ... received authority over (epi) his fellow-servants and the charge of the whole household....[Potiphar] appointed (kathistato) him steward of his household (tes oikias)." (Philo, Joseph, 37-38)
"This chief officer of Pharaoh entrusted to me his household (ton oikon autou)." (Testament of Joseph 2:1)
"Potiphar ... committed the charge of his household (ton oikon) into his hands." (Josephus, Antiquities 2.39)
"Pharaoh ... appointed (katestesen) him ruler over Egypt and over all his household (eph' holon ton oikon autou)." (Acts 7:9-10)
"Pharaoh ... appointed (katestesen) me chief over (epi) the whole land of Egypt." (Joseph and Asenath 20:9)
Clearly Joseph was well remembered as the servant who had been appointed over the entire house of first Potiphar and then Pharaoh. What about the rest of Luke 12:42? There are four key words: "the lord" (ho kurios), "wise" (phronimos), "servant" (doulos), and "ration of grain" (to sitometrion) usually mistranslated as "food". Each of these terms has its counterpart in the traditions about Joseph. He is appointed by Potiphar, his "lord" (kurios, Genesis 39:3-4). He is especially "wise", as Genesis 41:33, 39 (LXX) applies phronimos to him, and in Psalm 105:21-22 (LXX) we read that Joseph taught wisdom (sophisai) to the elders of Eygpt. Joseph's wisdom was proverbial. Josephus (Antiquities 2.9 applies no fewer than six different synonyms (sophia, sunesis, dexiotes, phronesis, phronema, and logismos) to him, and Artapanus (fr. 2), Philo (Joseph, 117), Acts 7:10, Targum Onq. Genesis 37:3 all describe him as wise as well. Joseph is also his lord's "servant" (pais, Genesis 39:17, 19; 41:12), who had been sold into slavery. Although the LXX uses pais of Joseph, Philo and the Testament of Joseph use doulos to refer to him repeatedly (cf. Testament of Joseph 1:5, 11:2-3, 13:6-8, 15:2; Philo, Joseph 37, 47, 51, 66). And it is Joseph who supplies the rations of grain to Egypt during a time of famine after waiting through seven years of plenty (Genesis 41:53-57), clearly at the proper "appointed time".
Regarding this last point though the phrase to sitometrion "ration of grain" does not occur in the LXX, sitos "grain" is one of the key words in the story of Joseph, and the related verb sitometreo "deal out rations of grain" occurs only twice in the LXX -- and both with Joseph as the subject (Genesis 47:12, 14). Artapanus claimed that it was Joseph who discovered food rationing (metra; cf. fr. 2), and Luke's dounai/didonai + to sitometrion "give out rations of grain" recalls expressions throughout the Joseph literature that relate Joseph's deeds:
"your gift of grain (sitodosias)." (Genesis 42:19; cf. 42:33)
"Joseph ... ordered his steward to give them their measures of grain (siton ... dounai memetremenon).... Joseph still gave them grain (siton ... didontos)." (Josephus, Antiquities 2.189)
"He is giving grain (sitodotei) to the whole land....I too will go to my grain giving (sitodosian) and will give grain (doso siton)." (Joseph and Asenath 4:8; 26:3)
The parable in Luke 12:42-46 does not only share vocabulary with the story of Joseph. The situation of the faithful and wise servant is also similar to that of Joseph, not only in the theme of a servant becoming an overseer, but also in the motif of the lord being absent and delayed. According to Genesis 39:16, the lord's wife kept Joseph's garment "until his lord came (heos elthen ho kurios) home." This parallels Luke 12:43 which says: "Blessed is that slave who is doing so when his lord comes (elthon ho kurios autou)", and depicts the slave as present in the lord's home when the lord was absent. Jewish tradition explained that the lord was absent because everyone else had gone to a public festival (cf. Josephus, Ant. 2.45; b. Sotah 36b). Potiphar came home and found his slave not doing what he was supposed to be doing, and his wife told him: "This Hebrew was brought to us to berate us! He came in here to rape me, but I screamed" (Genesis 39:14). This recalls the faithless slave in the parable that figures that his lord "will be a long time in coming, and begins to beat the slaves, both men and women" (Luke 12:45). Luke 12:46-47 next mentions the lord's reaction: whipping the errant slave with "many lashes" and sending him "to the same fate as the unfaithful." This recalls the anger of Potiphar who then "took him and put him in prison" (Genesis 39:20). According to the Testament of Joseph (2:3; 13:9; 14:1-2), Joseph was "beaten" (tupto) -- the exact same verb used in Luke 12:45 to refer to the drunken servant beating the other slaves. An even closer parallel to the text of Luke can be found in the Testament of Joseph:
"If my lord was absent (apedemei), I drank no wine; for three-day periods I would take no food but give it to the poor and the ill. I would awaken early and pray to the Lord, weeping over the Egyptian women of Memphis because she annoyed me exceedingly and relentlessly." (Testament of Joseph 3:5-6)
Here what Joseph says is the exact opposite of the evil slave's actions: "If that slave says in his heart, 'My lord is delaying,' and begins to beat the slaves, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk," and presumably fail to distribute the food rations he was appointed to do (Luke 12:45). In this text, Joseph declares himself to be faithful to his lord's wishes and presupposes that he sometimes carried out his lord's duties while his lord was away. This is precisely the situation in Luke 12:42-46, where we find the phrase elthon ho kurios which corresponds to the elthen ho kurios of Genesis 39:16 (LXX).
If there is any doubt regarding the dependence of Luke 12:42-46 upon the Joseph traditions, it is dismissed by Luke 12:44. Here we read of the lord's returning and finding his servant doing well. Jesus declares: "I tell you that he will appoint him over all his possessions." This is a variation of the original declaration, "Who then is the faithful and wise servant whom the lord appointed over his household to give them food rations on time?' We find exactly the same pattern in Genesis 39. After we twice read that the master appointed Joseph over his "house" (39:4-5a), the text continues: "The blessing of the Lord was upon all that he owned, in house or field." The blessing itself recalls Luke 12:43 which says "Blessed is that slave whom his lord finds doing so when he comes", but the LXX rendering of "all that he owned" (Heb. kl-'shr ysh-lw) lines up neatly with the Lukan text:
Luke 12:44 epi pasin tois huparkhousin autou LXX Gen. 39:5b en pasin tois huparkhousin autou
The phrase pasin tois huparkhousin occurs only one other place in the LXX, Judith 8:10, which unlike Luke 12:44 and Genesis 39:5 is not prefaced by a preposition, not followed by a masculine pronoun, and not preceded by the occurrences of kathistemi. The narrative in Judith 8 also bore little resemblance with the parable, unlike the story about Joseph and Potiphar's wife, and Joseph's exaltation under Pharaoh.
Thus we find that the Christian readers of Luke (and its Q predecessor), as followers of a "lord" promising to return, should find in Joseph a role model, particularly as one who was rewarded by Potiphar and later by Pharaoh for his faithful service. Interestingly, Acts 7:9-14 (also written by Luke) relates the story of Joseph and his exaltation as a theme of divine justice and vindication. The eschatological focus in the parable (e.g. referring to an end-time coming of the Lord) is also paralleled by Jewish tradition which focuses on Joseph's actions as prefiguring the Day of Judgment (cf. Jubilees 39:6; Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, Gen. 39:10; b. Yoma 35b). The Christian reader of Luke 12:42-46 would also think that the servant who says, "My lord is delayed," and then begins to beat others and eat and drink is the antithesis of the good and faithful Joseph; while the faithless servant eats and drinks and gets drunk, the extrabiblical traditions about Joseph go beyond Genesis in telling us that he fasted and refused to drink wine when his lord was away. Philo (Joseph, 45) also has Joseph telling Potiphar's wife that he will not be a "drunkard" (methuo). So it seems pretty clear that the "faithful and wise servant" in Luke intended to evoke the story of Joseph and his positive moral example.