Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Apostles Made Mistakes

An additional line of reasoning by the Watchtower Society to justify their errors (and which it's members have learned to parrot) is to make a comparison to the Apostles and the mistakes that they made.
Reasoning from the Scriptures p.136 "Like the apostles of Jesus Christ, they have at times had some wrong expectations.-Luke 19:11; Acts 1:6".
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 be perfect. The issue is whether the Governing Body operates under guidance of Jehovah and His Holy Spirit as a collective group. 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?" The difference being that God's servants were directed by God, the Governing Body is not.
Pay Attention to Yourself and to All The Flock p.13 tells us;
"Today, Jehovah provides instruction by means of "the faithful steward." Why then is it that when the Watchtower Governing Body relies on Jehovah they have regularly been wrong? How can they pray for Jehovah's Holy Spirit on a decision or doctrine, publish it in the Watchtower, say it is to be accepted as the 'voice of God', and then later discard it as incorrect?
They are, in effect, saying that Jehovah is wrong. Jehovah made a mistake.
The Watchtower reliance on the 'new light' doctrine is no more than an excuse to justify inaccuracies. "New light" is an unhealthy concept that promotes blind, unquestioning devotion to an earthly Organization.
Watchtower changes include numerous false dates, changes of significant doctrine and the promotion of pagan symbols and teachings. Rules on shunning, medical advice and education have been adversely life changing, and have even lead to many deaths.
Deuteronomy 18:22 provides a foolproof way to determine if words being spoken have come from God; "the word [that] does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak".
Ongoing doctrinal meandering can not be justified as new light; rather it is proof that God does not direct the Watchtower Society. The Bible does not make room for error; falsehood does not originate from Jehovah.

The Society's View Of Material It Publishes

A major point I have trouble with is the Society's attitude about material it publishes and the way it expects Jehovah's Witnesses to view that material. That brings us to the topic of "adjustments in understanding," if you will. On one hand, the Society often writes articles from the point of view that it expects Witnesses to accept the material as if it came directly from God. For example, the United in Worship book asks several questions:
Do we truly appreciate how Jehovah is directing his visible organization?
When we appreciatively accept the spiritual provisions that come through the 'slave' class and its Governing body, for whom are we showing respect? But what if we were to speak disparagingly of these?
Then the reader is referred to Luke 10:16, which says:
He that listens to you listens to me [too]. Moreover, he that disregards me disregards [also] him that sent me forth.
Although it is not directly stated, the implication is that an appreciative Witness will accept whatever spiritual provisions the Society makes as if those provisions came directly from God.
Another example showing the Society's expectations in this regard is found in some Watchtower main study articles "Loyally Submitting to Theocratic Order" and "Each One in His Place." One paragraph says of the "faithful slave": Their duties include receiving and passing on to all of Jehovah's earthly servants spiritual food at the proper time.Another paragraph says:How vital it is for everyone in God's family to submit loyally to the teachings and arrangements of the Great Theocrat, Jehovah, and his King-Son, Christ Jesus, as transmitted through the 'faithful slave' on earth!
A third paragraph says: Jehovah has provided a goodly quantity of aids to Bible understanding in the form of publications....
Another Watchtower article said: "One body" is the Christian congregation, of which Jesus is the "head.".... The individual anointed members of this united congregation would all receive the same spiritual food. To that end, their "master" appointed a collective "faithful steward" class, the body of anointed Christians on the earth since Pentecost 33 C.E. Since the "master" found the remaining ones of this body faithfully and discreetly giving out "food supplies" when he arrived for inspection in 1919, he appointed them "over all his belongings.".... The facts show that since 1919 this "steward" has faithfully cared for these "belongings."
To reinforce statements like these, articles often include warning examples of those who failed to submit to "theocratic order," such as the rebellion against Moses by Korah or by Miriam and Aaron.
The Society clearly wants its members to believe that it is actually inspired by God, claims to the contrary notwithstanding. According to Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, "inspire" means to "influence, move, or guide by divine or supernatural inspiration; to exert an animating, enlivening, or exalting influence on; to spur on, impel, motivate." The above quotations from Watchtower publications make it abundantly clear that the Society feels that its activities fit this definition, although it reserves the word "inspired" for the Bible alone. The Insight book, Vol. 1, says on page 1204:
The men used to write the Scriptures therefore cooperated with the operation of Jehovah's holy spirit. They were willing and submissive to God's guidance..., eager to know God's will and leading....
In many cases they had certain goals in mind or were responding to an evident need..., and God directed them so that what they wrote coincided with and fulfilled his purpose.... As spiritual men, their hearts and minds were attuned to God's will, they 'had the mind of Christ' and so were not setting down mere human wisdom nor a "vision of their own heart," as false prophets did [italics added].
Note how closely this description fits the way the translators of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures described their work, in the foreword to the 1961 edition:
The translators who have a fear and love of the divine Author of the Holy Scriptures feel especially a responsibility toward Him to transmit his thoughts and declarations as accurately as possible.... It was with such a sense of solemn responsibility that the committee of dedicated men have produced the New World Translation.... In releasing it for publication we do so with a deep sense of gratitude to the Divine Author of the Holy Scriptures, who has thus privileged us and in whose spirit we have trusted to co-operate with us in this worthy work.
On the other hand, the Society sometimes expresses a point of view in its publications in which it freely admits that it is not infallible, that the writers are not inspired, and that its views on certain matters change from time to time.Through a process of searching the scriptures, a clearer understanding is reached on certain matters, and adjustments are made. This searching process is illustrated in the article "The Path of the Righteous Does Keep Getting Brighter," which compares the searching to the tacking of a sailboat and to the progress of scientific truth.
I do not see how the two points of view can be reconciled. One viewpoint says essentially that as the "faithful slave" searches the scriptures, its understanding increases, and this increased understanding is communicated to readers of Watchtower publications. The other viewpoint says that the increased understanding comes from Jehovah through the channel of the "slave" and is in effect blaming Jehovah for the consequence of that change. On the one hand readers are asked to make allowances for mistakes or misunderstandings in print, but on the other hand they are asked to view what they are reading as coming directly from Jehovah, unaltered by the channel. On the one hand, readers are exhorted to believe that there is a "body of truth" to which "adjustments have been made,"16 that the adjustment process shows how Jehovah's Witnesses are "lining up with 'Jehovah's mind' as now revealed."17 On the other hand, this body of truth is said to be adjusted by Jehovah himself, that this body of truth even constitutes "Present Truth."
I think the first viewpoint must be correct. The Society does its best to interpret the scriptures correctly but sometimes is in error. But if that is the case, then the Society cannot make statements such as quoted in footnotes 2, 3 and 4 above, and still expect to remain credible.
One argument that attempts to justify such statements says essentially, "to the extent that the Society's publications conform to God's Word, it can be said that the 'faithful slave' is transmitting Jehovah's thoughts to his people." But this argument requires someone to decide the degree of conformance. Who is to decide? The only reasonable choices are either the reader or Jehovah. If the reader is to decide, the argument is meaningless because it can be restated thus: "to the extent the reader decides the Society's publications conform to God's Word,...." But if Jehovah is to decide, then the issue is still undecided from any reader's point of view, since Jehovah does not tell readers of his decisions. Saying that Jehovah will make his decision known at some future time does nothing for the present question.
Another argument the Society uses to show it is "God's channel of communication" goes something like this: "The way Jehovah God has prospered the activities carried on under [the faithful and discreet slave's] direction can leave no doubt in the minds of dedicated Christians as to Jehovah God's approval being upon it." Well, even if those who direct the activities of Jehovah's Witnesses are indeed "the faithful slave" and they have Jehovah's approval, that approval still does not warrant the conclusion that Jehovah makes adjustments to the body of knowledge the Society has called "Present Truth." God's approval on an arrangement is no evidence that he directs it, in light of Romans 13:1, 2 which says regarding the present arrangement for ruling mankind:
"the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God. Therefore he who opposes the authority has taken a stand against the arrangement of God...."
Let me point out some examples of what I've been saying. Back in the spring of 1971 I was quite surprised when I read the Watchtower articles about the heart, which contained statements such as:
Where and what is your heart? You may say, What heart are you talking about? You know you have a heart in your chest, one that is pumping blood.... But do you have another "heart" in your head, a "figurative heart"? Is it part of your brain....? No! The brain, in which the mind resides, is one thing and the heart in our thorax, with its power of motivation, is another thing.... The Bible does not speak of a symbolic or spiritual heart in contradistinction to the fleshly or literal heart, just as it does not speak of a symbolic mind, and thus we do not want to make the mistake of viewing the literal heart as merely a fleshly pump as does orthodox physiology today. Most psychiatrists and psychologists.... [look] upon the word "heart" merely as a figure of speech....
I was even more surprised when these ideas were presented in a drama at the "Divine Name" district assembly the following summer, and illustrated by giant, glowing, talking models of a heart and brain. Did Jehovah direct these articles to be written and did he direct the assembly dramas to be staged? Did Jehovah then change his mind and make a complete turnabout on this question in 1984 and direct that the following statements be written?
What are we to understand, then, by the word "heart"?.... What an amazing number of different functions and capabilities are ascribed to the heart! Do all of these reside in the literal heart? That could hardly be so.... in nearly a thousand other references to "heart" in the Bible, "heart" is obviously used in a figurative sense.... obviously, a distinction must be drawn between the heart organ and the figurative heart.
This information is not new. Not one thing was stated in the 1984 article that was not known in 1971. Obviously some strong minded individual, who appears to have written numerous other articles (I recognize the writing style), managed to convince enough other people of his ideas on the heart that he got his ideas into print.
As another example of the Society's changing its collective mind, when the elder arrangement was first discussed in 1971, the Society stated that the chairmanship of the early Christians' body of elders "likely rotated". The entire arrangement was implied to be "God's doing." But as the years passed, the Society found that, on the whole, things worked better when elders maintained their positions for more than one year. So the rotation arrangement was officially cancelled as of 1983. Again I ask, did Jehovah learn from experience and then make this "adjustment to the body of truth" -- or was it the Society?
In the November 15, 1967 Watchtower the Society declared its opposition to organ transplants. The section "Questions from Readers" posed the question of how Jehovah's Witnesses were to view transplants, and the Society gave its official answer:
Is there any Scriptural objection to donating one's body for use in medical research or to accepting organs for transplant from such a source?....
Humans were allowed by God to eat animal flesh and to sustain their human lives by taking the lives of animals, though they were not permitted to eat blood. Did this include eating human flesh, sustaining one's life by means of the body or part of the body of another human, alive or dead? No! That would be cannibalism, a practice abhorrent to all civilized people.... To show disrespect for the sanctity of human life would make one liable to have his own life taken....
.... Those who submit to such [transplant] operations are thus living off the flesh of another human. That is cannibalistic.... It is not our place to decide whether such operations are advisable or warranted from a scientific or medical standpoint. It would be well, though, for Christians faced with a decision in this regard to consider the indication as to God's viewpoint presented in the Scriptures....
It should be evident from this discussion that Christians who have been enlightened by God's Word do not need to make these decisions simply on the basis of personal whim or emotion. They can consider the divine principles recorded in the Scriptures and use these in making personal decisions as they look to God for direction, trusting him and putting their confidence in the future that he has in store for those who love him.
The Society proceeded "to decide whether such operations are advisable or warranted from a scientific or medical standpoint" in a rather shrill series of articles in the June 8, 1968 Awake!, using almost the entire magazine to consider such topics as health, misuse of humans for medical experiments, doctors and their view of organ transplants, experimenting with transplants, and the problems of heart transplants. The bottom line for Jehovah's Witnesses was presented on page 21, under the sub-heading, "The Scriptural Aspect," which presented no scriptures. This was:
Not to be overlooked are the religious, the Scriptural issues involved. There are those, such as the Christian witnesses of Jehovah, who consider all transplants between humans as cannibalism; and is not the utilizing of the flesh of another human for one's own life cannibalistic?
There the official view remained until the March 15, 1980 Watchtower considered the question of congregational action towards someone who accepted an organ transplant. Here are some excerpts:
.... It may be argued.... that organ transplants are different from cannibalism since the "donor" is not killed to supply food.... Clearly, personal views and conscientious feelings vary on this issue of transplantation.... While the Bible specifically forbids consuming blood, there is no Biblical command pointedly forbidding the taking in of other human tissue. For this reason, each individual faced with making a decision on this matter should carefully and prayerfully weigh matters and then decide conscientiously what he or she could or could not do before God. It is a matter for personal decision.... The congregation judicial committee would not take disciplinary action if someone accepted an organ transplant.
The June 22, 1982 Awake! reiterated this position, stating:
The Witnesses do not feel that the Bible comments directly on organ transplants; hence, decisions regarding cornea, kidney, or other tissue transplants must be made by the individual Witness.
This is quite a flip-flop, going from the view that organ transplants are cannibalism and akin to murder, to it being a personal decision. Where is the guiding hand of God in all this?
I think that from these examples, and from many other instances where "adjustments to understanding" have been made, the only conclusion is that Jehovah does not directly cause any particular statements to be written in Watchtower publications nor does he cause any particular actions, such as the presentation of Bible dramas at assemblies, to be taken. He does not directly adjust "Present Truth." and it is sacriledge to suggest that he does.
The publications do occasionally admit of this conclusion, but they also exhort the reader to ignore it. The Society strongly discourages readers from questioning or critically viewing the "spiritual food provided by the faithful slave."
We should have confidence in the channel God is using.
It is as if the Society expects all Witnesses to simply accept the most recently published ideas on any matter as Present Truth, and unquestioningly, unthinkingly, discard anything not in line with it.
The very expressions "Present Truth" and "present body of truth" ought to be abhorrent to a lover of truth. They are oxymorons -- contradictions in terms. Truth does not change and does not depend on time -- only understanding changes. But the Society so strongly wants its readers to believe what it says that it seems to have no qualms about using such abhorrent terms to try to convince them that it is "God's channel of communication." I can only imagine the reply I would have received from the Society had I immediately written in response to the 1971 Watchtower article about the heart, saying exactly the same thing as the 1984 article did. I can especially imagine what would have happened if I had told anyone in the congregation what I thought. And from the 1984 article I can only conclude that the Society is not particularly interested in having its readers know it has changed its mind. There is not a word mentioned that this was a change of understanding with respect to the ideas presented in the 1971 article. Nor does the 1980 Watchtower article on transplants mention a word about the earlier views. In fact the 1930-1985 Watchtower Publications Index does not even list the 1967 Watchtower article. This is, in effect, changing history to suit current priorities. How many were injured or disfellowshipped because of following the "leading of men?"
I certainly accept that, to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses, one must conform to certain standards, but the Society is demanding too much when it requires someone to view its ideas in the same manner as Israelites were required to view Moses' directions. After all, who in the Governing Body or the "faithful slave" speaks to Jehovah "face to face"? The Governing Body claims that it as a body was commissioned by God, and that its members are "appointed by holy spirit." But when it comes right down to it, the members of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses can only trace their appointment back to Charles Russell in the late 1800s, and no amount of logical squirming can get away from this. The article "A Governing Body as Different from a Legal Corporation," under the sub-title "How the Governing Body Came to Exist," manages to avoid being specific about its theme and the point I just raised, no less than ten times, by using terms such as "evidently," "patently," "according to the facts available," "facts speak louder than words," "the facts speak for themselves," "holy spirit must have been operative," "there came on the scene," and "a governing body made its appearance." Nowhere in all this dissembling does the article show why things are evident, refer the reader to what facts it is talking about, or say anything that it could possibly be pinned down on. It is a masterful work of subterfuge, and the best example I have ever seen illustrating how to use the passive voice to avoid hard explanations. The article certainly does not answer the question as to how the very first appointments to responsibility were made in the late 1800s. It simply states that certain things are so, and implies that all loyal Witnesses of Jehovah must accept these things because they come from On High.
All these words about remaining loyal, not questioning, appreciatively accepting spiritual provisions, and the like have a negative effect: it is nearly impossible to discuss a point of difficulty with most Jehovah's Witnesses, because the moment a Witness suspects that someone is not toeing the party line he becomes defensive, angry and closed-minded. This includes elders and circuit overseers, but is especially true of run-of-the-mill Witnesses. I have personally experienced this many times. The net effect is that it is nearly impossible to have a reasoned discussion with a Witness on any subject which he suspects might not conform completely to the "body of present truth." Very, very sad.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Watchtower's Un-Biblical and Contradictory View of Salvation

A visible organization is out of harmony with God's divine plan. {WT 12/1/1894, p.1743}
"Beware of organization .. it is wholly unnecessary." {WT Sep 15 1895 1866}
A Christian must always be part of Jehovah's visible organization. {WT 1/1/1960, p.19}
1969 "We need to examine, not only what we personally believe, but also what is taught by any religious organization with which wemay be associated. Are its teachings in full harmony with God's Word, or are they based on the traditions of men? If we are loversof the truth, there is nothing to fear from such an examination." {TLEL 13, WT Mar 15 1969 166}
"Any person who wants to survive into God's righteous new order urgently needs to come into a right relationship with [Jehovah's]earthly organization now.. come to Jehovah's organization for salvation .." {WT Nov 15 1981 16-7/21}[compare with "For the same reasons that Jesus did not organize congregations while present with his disciples in the Jewish harvest, we do not consider expedient or necessary organizations even simple and unsectarian as those established by the apostles." {Watchtower Reprints Oct1883 536}]
"Can it be stated flatly that only baptized Witnesses of Jehovah will survive Armageddon? Yes, with a few exceptions. WT1/15/1971, p.63
{And what are these few exceptions?}
[Of those living at the time of Armageddon, only Jehovah's Witnesses will be saved] {WT Feb 15 1979 30}
1979 "PUT FAITH in a VICTORIOUS ORGANIZATION" {WT Mar 1 1979 1} [were the victories all invisible, like theParousia, Angelic communication, End of time of the Gentiles, Christ's rule, etc.? Also compare with "For the same reasons that Jesus did not organize congregations while present with his disciples in the Jewish harvest, we do not consider expedient ornecessary organizations even simple and unsectarian as those established by the apostles." {WR Oct 1883 536}]
"identifying themselves with Jehovah's organization is essential to their salvation." {KMIN Nov 1990 1}
"We cannot take part in any modern version of idolatry - be it worshipful gestures toward an image or symbol or the imputing of salvation to a person or an organization." {WT Nov 1 1990 26} [The name of one of the centres for Jeroboam to worship goldencalves was "Bethel" (1 Kings 12:28-33)]
"If we hope to win eventual salvation, we must submit to a test of endurance as part of the necessary preperation for salvation." WT11/1/1991, p.9
"But if we were to draw away from Jehovah's organization, there would be no place else to go for salvation and true joy."WT 9/15/1993, p. 22 {What happened to God's son Jesus?}
"Jehovah's organization as directed by his 'faithful and discreet slave' class should influence our every decision also. How may we avail ourselves of this good influence? By doing personal research in the Bible publications of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society on whatever subject our decision concerns. This always proves to be a real aid in making clear to us the Bible principles involved and their application to our lives." {WT Oct 15 1998}
"The Bible is organization-minded and it cannot be fully understood without our having the theocratic organization in mind." WT9/1/1954, p. 549 {In other words, you are to stupid to understand the Bible with the help of God and the Holy Spirit, so you better listen to the WTorganization for accurate Bible interpretation}
"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." {WT May 11957 274} [Independent Bible reading is dangerous.. to the Society]
And what if the decisions the so called Faithful and Discreet slave class make are not in accord with God's plan? How many times has the Society needed to revise teachings with "New Light" ? New light never contradicts old light, but adds to it. WT 2/1881, p. 188 John 5:39-40 "You are searching the scriptures, because you think that by means of them you will have everlasting life; and these are the very ones that bear witness about me." 40 And yet you do not want to come to me that you may have life. {NWT}
Acts 4:12. "Neither is there salvation in any other for there is none other name under heaven given among men. whereby we must be saved."
Acts 16:31. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.'
John 5:24, "He that heareth my Word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."
John 3:16-"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, buthave eternal life."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Does The Governing Body Have Blood On Its Hands

French philosopher Blaise Pascal once noted, "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction."

A case study for this statement can clearly be evidenced by the Governing Body Of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The Governing Body present themselves as ‘lovers of Truth and righteousness’ who are the only persons on this planet who speak for God. This doctrine is at the very core of the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses. One either accepts that Christ is exclusively using the ‘Faithful Slave’ ( in actuality the Governing Body ) or one should not even refer to themselves as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses .
Apparently God informs the Governing Body exclusively what the inhabitants of this planet need in the way of spiritual direction, and he does this a little at a time primarily through a magazine that they publish bi-monthly.
The Watchtower, with its cheerful covers in full color is regularly providing lovers of truth and righteousness with their spiritual "measure of food supplies at the proper time." The problem with an outsider looking at these claims, is that it then becomes difficult to identify who to accuse of the genocide perpetrated on the basis of this belief - a group of men whose ever shifting policies result in the injury and death of hundreds of innocent people, or the God who they claim instructed them to tinker with these important doctrines.
The Governing Body seem quite content to blame God for these deaths, but their collective consciences seem unable to grasp the realties of what has really happened here, that is - that they have consistently enforced policies that have killed people and then absolve their own part in these deaths, by passing on the blame to God for instructing them to do it. The specter of Nuremberg rises to haunt them.
The Governing Body have played Russian Roulette with lives and then passed the responsibility for their failures onto a God, who if the Bible is to be believed, despises their very existence for the way that they have treated the ‘lowly ones’.
For example:
Death by ‘Shifting Policy’. The reality is that many hundreds of people have died or been seriously injured needlessly due entirely to their lack of understanding of the very Book of which they claim to have sole representation. The shifting Factor VIII policy, the shifting organ transplant policy, the ‘adjustment’ in neutrality issues, and now the shot-in-the dark attempts at understanding what constitutes so-called ‘major’ and ‘minor’ blood fractions, have stripped families of their loved ones. Like the incompetent British Generals at the Battle Of Passiondale’ in WWI, they have described their victims are heroes, and while these fallen innocents lie forgotten in shady corners of their theological graveyards or washed down the lonely gutters of the passing decades, it is their offspring, not the self-styled 'Glorious Ones’, who learn to live with their grief.
I well remember the unfortunate Jehovah's Witness whom I met in a non-US country, imprisoned for years for refusing his daughter a blood transfusion. His life became a long litany of homosexual rape and brutality. He now exists a broken man. His ordeal may never have had to be endured, given the recent shifts is what was once considered an immovable scriptural edict.
Many have lost their lives or spent years behind bars for a refusing to engage in non-combatant activities offered to them by their Government rather than enter the military services. Again shifting policy at the hands of God / GB has changed that scenario, so now persons can avoid being sent to jail and exercise their conscience over non-combatant duties. Yet innocent blood has already been spilt and somebody is responsible.
Another example :
Death by Disfellowshipping - Let me offer the GB a challenge, especially given that they herald themselves self-confessed ‘lovers of Truth’?. Why not publish in the Yearbook for 2003, the statistical figures for those who have killed themselves due to having been disfellowshipped. A disciplinary procedure that is so open to interpretation that each decade the WTS changes its policy on how to treat such persons. They have used as an offensive weapon the most natural right that belongs to people, that of the expecting the love and loyalty of a family.
Many years ago I fished out of the river the body of a kind-hearted JW who had been disfellowshipped for smoking. He struggled with this addiction, and was also one of the most gentle people that I have met. He could not bear to live with his ‘failures’ and the prospects of being shunned by those whom he had come to respect. He left behind a wife and two small children. Did the GB offer to feed this fatherless family, or clothe them? Hardly. When in a hardly controlled anger I spoke with a Branch Overseer in the land I was serving in about the matter, the best he could offer, was ‘Step, these things happen’. Think about the implications of this statement. ‘These things happen……My question is, ’ How often?
Had this poor man committed this ‘sin’ prior to the change of policy towards smokers in 1972, when smoking was still a matter of conscience and not a dictate, he would not have been ‘shunned’. He is one of hundreds whose lives have been bought to an early end by their attachment to flawed theological policies. The GB well knows that my figure of ‘hundreds’ of suicides over the past few decades is a conservative one.
A more subtle, but equally dangerous reaction to WTS thinking is :
Death by Non-Life. Mircea Eliade once stated. "A person who steals the vision of another has murdered his soul". These dramatic words capture, I believe, the essence of one of the WTS most collectively damaging concepts. In order to separate its adherents from the rest of humanity and subsequently control their lives, the WTS has with determination and singularity of purpose, severed individuals from the creative urges that are so important to mankind and his progress. Potential Doctors, researchers, ecologists, artists, poets, musicians, intellectuals have been stirred into the melting pot of WTS life in an attempt to stifle the unique voice that cries out within each of our hearts.
In doing this, the WTS approach a Hitlerian mentality in trying to extinguish all those within its system, those it sorely needs to survive, who have any ability to think for themselves and work by initiative and creativity, rather than edict and fear. Hitler in killing the Jews, also killed the heart and brain of Germany, exactly what it needed to survive.
Any loyal Jehovah’s Witness who strays onto this Board and reads this message would need to determine in the own hearts where the blame for these deaths lies, somebody has caused them. The GB claim that each JW makes their own decisions, based on the individual ‘Bible trained’ conscience. This is scurrilous nonsense crafted to allow them to appease the brothers and the authorities. People have been coerced into making decisions that have endangered the safety of themselves and their families and in many cases resulted in death.
As for me, as far as I am concerned, any person who behaved in such an irresponsible and precarious fashion, killing people by policy changes voted around polished corporate tables, is in my opinion worthless as a human being. Any man who did so should be languishing in jail with any other common criminal.
The Watchtower draws attention to Jesus Christ’s view of the Pharisees by making the following comment:
Jesus viewed most Pharisees as self-seeking, merciless money lovers who oozed hypocrisy. (Matthew, chapter 23) They accepted the entire Hebrew Scriptures in the light of their own explanations but attached equal or greater weight to their oral traditions. They said that their traditions were "a fence around the Law." Far from being a fence, however, their traditions invalidated the Word of God and perplexed the public .Part of a ‘perplexed public’ is now asking you whether you are willing to accept that by inciting people to die for your cause, you are in fact guilty of exactly the same attitude you decry in others, and in fact are equally as guilty of the murder of the innocents, as they are.

Noah, A Preacher of Righteousness

As a basis for the preaching work of the Jehovah's Witnesses, they cite the preaching work of Noah prior to the flood. The Watchtower likens it to witnesses today preaching before Armageddon.
The Bible calls Noah a preacher of righteousness. However, it gives no indication that he undertook a global campaign to warn people of a coming flood of which they 'took no note'.
In Genesis chap 6, God gave Noah very detailed instructions about building the ark. In 6:18 and 7:1 he gave specific instructions about who to take into the ark. No instructions were given to Noah about warning anyone that they too should get on board with him.
The judging had already been done and Noah was chosen to be saved because he was a righteous man. Hebrews 11:7 shows that Noah built the ark 'for the saving of his household'--not anyone else.
So while Noah was a 'preacher of righteousness' this may refer to his preaching righteousness before the matter of the flood ever came up. This may have contributed to his being chosen to be saved.
Is it even practical that Noah could have set out on a global mission to get people into the ark? He needed to use his time to build it.
Since the size of the ark had already been determined , it seems unlikely that God intended for other people to join Noah. MATTHEW 24:39
Matthew 24:39------ and they took no note until the flood came and swept them all away. . New World Translation.
Almost any Bible you pick up indicates that people were not expecting the flood, not that were ignoring noah's warning.
It is notewothy that the Kingdom Interlinear Bible published by Jehovah's Witnesses renders the Greek "not they knew" but the English "they took no note". Is there not a difference in not knowing something and taking no note of something you know?
Other Bibles say: were unaware--knew not--did not understand--knew nothing about what was happening--didn't know anything was happening--knew nothing about what would happen--didn't realize what was going to happen--did not know--they knew nothing
This fits in perfectly with the context and the point Jesus was making. His point was that his return would come as a surprise; not announced beforehand. This becomes apparent by considering Luke's account. Luke 17:28 says "likewise" and compares the days of Noah with the days of Lot sudden unexpected destruction as they were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting and building. There is no indication of a warning work before the destruction of Sodom.
Jesus said in vs 30 :"The same way it will be on that day when the Son of man is to be revealed"
Notice Kingdom song # 215
1. When Jehovah decreed that a deluge
Should destroy wicked men long ago,
Then to Noah he gave a commission:
‘Build an ark! Preach the word! Let men know!’
Now, did Noah reject that assignment,
Since he never had built arks before?
No, but he made good use of God’s mercy,
And he built and he preached more and more.

Where in the Bible do we find this commission? Or that he 'preached more and more'?
There is nothing in the old testament to suggest he did any preaching at all, but there is a verse in the new testament that calls him a "preacher of righteousness". Based on that one description, the Watchtower has created a whole story about Noah the Preacher.
I don't have any references at hand, but I recall a thread where this "preacher of righteousness" scripture was shown to be a mistranslation. It doesn't actually convey the idea of Noah preaching at all. So the whole idea of preach-before-destroy dissolves. Anybody have a reference to that handy?
This whole Noah was a preacher of the last days things is simply not supported by the Bible.
2 Peter 2:5 - calls Noah a preacher of righteousness. How did he preach?
Hebrews 11:7 tells us that by his faith he condemned an ancient world. There you have it. He made known his faith in God by following instructions. Not by going to his neighbors homes and trying to convince them to join him.
Matt. 24:36-42 - 36 “Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. 38 For as they were in those days before the flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark; 39 and they took no note until the flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken along and the other be abandoned; 41 two women will be grinding at the hand mill: one will be taken along and the other be abandoned. 42 Keep on the watch, therefore, because YOU do not know on what day YOUR Lord is coming.

Are Christians Scriptually Obligated To Preach From Door To Door?

Jehovah's Witnesses have long taught that one of the identifying marks of true worship is the proclaiming of the kingdom message by door to door witnessing. This makes them different from all other religions, and is something they are famous for. They are very proud of this preaching work and always loudly proclaim "we are the only ones doing the preaching work."
The Watchtower call this a PRINCIPAL ACTIVITY. They use scriptures such as Acts 20:20 and Acts 5:42 to back this up.
Acts 5:42 And every day in the temple and from house to house they continued without letup teaching and declaring the good news about the Christ, Jesus"
Acts 20:20: "While I did not hold back from telling you any of the things that were profitable nor from telling you publicly and from house to house"
The Greek expression kat oikous literally means "according to houses" and not house-to-house. The American Standard Version of the scriptures renders Acts 5:42 "And every day, in the temple and at home they ceased not to teach and to preach Jesus as the Christ".
This scripture shows that the apostles taught, not only in the temple, but also in private homes where small groups could congregate.
The private home was the home base or central location of where 1st century Christians has their meetings. They always met in private chambers, upper rooms etc (Luke 22:8-13; Acts 1:13-15). Group meetings for Christians could also be arranged in public facilities such as schools, auditoriums (Acts 19:9,10)
The fact Paul said in Acts 20:20 'I have taught you publicly AND from house-to-house' shows there were two different ministries. One public, that is among the people in marketplaces, the temple, and other places people congregated, and one was private, in the homes of the friends where personal attention could be given.
If this greek expression (kat oikous) was taken the way the Watchtower says, then the 'house-to-house' ministry would ALSO be PUBLIC. There would have been no need for Paul to say "Publicly" and "house to house", since both would have been public.
Quite simply, this ministry was one that Paul conducted in "private homes". Simple! Think about it.
Acts 2:46 "and day after day they were in constant attendance at the temple with one accord, and they took their meals in private homes* and partook of food with great rejoicing and sincerity of heart"* Greek kat oikou
New World Translation Reference Bible footnote says, this can also be rendered "house-to-house".
What modern translator would render the above as "house-to-house", as does the King James Version? It just doesnt make sense. They wouldnt be going around from house-to-house to get their meals, surely not!
The greek rendering for kat oikous should be the same in all three verses.
The WTS chose to use the correct and most reasonable rendering of this Greek expression in Acts 2:46 of the New World Translation, they DID NOT however, choose to render it the same way in Acts 5:42 or Acts 20:20. WHY? Simple... their doctrine of preaching from house-to-house would not stand! People would see the scriptures they use to back this up actually refer to personal instruction being done in private homes!
But, what about Matthew 10:12,13 and Luke 15:5,6?
Did Jesus not specificially outline the procedure in engaging house-to-house ministry? Was he not establishing the rules of conduct when one recieves a negative response in his door-to-door service? The answer is NO!
Verse 11 of Matthew chapter 10:"Into whatever city or village you enter, search out who in it is deserving, and STAY THERE until you leave"
Now if we took this scripture literally as specific instructions pertaining to the door-to-door ministry, that would mean that when the disciples found ONLY ONE 'deserving person' in their so-called house-to-house ministry, they would CEASE in this work since they were told to "stay there until you leave". How ridiculous! See also Luke 9:4
Luke 10:7 reads: "So stay in that house, eating and drinking the thing they provide, for the worker is worthy of his wages. DO NOT BE TRANSFERRING FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE"
The thought being, not to search out throughout the village or city for the best possible accomodations, just accept whatever Jehovah provides. This makes more sense does it not?
Obviously, Jesus was giving them instructions in establishing a HOME BASE for launching their ministry in that particular town. This would thus provide them with a place to confidentially give personal instruction to those who would listen - yes in the privacy and relaxed atmosphere of a home belonging to a "friend of peace" (Luke 10:6). However, if by chance in "searching out" the town or village, they encountered an unappreciative person, or even an inhospitable village or city, Jesus said to "shake the dust off your feet for a witness against them" - Luke 9:5; 10:8-13
Therefore this particular form of proselytizing does not serve in any way, shape or form as being a distinctive, identifying mark of true religion today. Regretably, it only serves to highlight the weighty burden placed upon the enslaved Jehovah's Witnesses to a lifetime career of book and magazine selling and for the sole enrichment of the WTS. - Matthew 23:4, Ezekiel 34:27; 2 Corinthians 2:17
At Acts 5:42 and 20:20 the NWT renders the Greek phrase as "from house to house". If you have a 'Kingdom Interlinear Translation', compare the rendering of the same Greek phrase at Acts 2:46 as "in private homes". If you have a copy of the large edition NWT look also at the footnote for Acts 20:20. The footnote for Acts 5:42 would seem to give weight to the phrase "from house to house". One thing is clear, the apostles and early Christians visited people in their private homes. That they engaged in door to door activity as done by JW's today is not clear. Of the 150 separate incidents of witnessing recorded in the Gospel accounts and Acts only 34 include any reference to house or home. Of these, 21 refer to homes where Jesus or the Apostles lodged or were invited to have a meal, 7 refer to lodging or a place for gathering such as congregations in homes, and 2 relate to Jesus sending healed persons to their homes. The other 4 are texts the Society uses to establish precendent for door to door activity.Other uses of the Greek phrase are:Romans 16:51 Corinthians 16:19Colossians 4:15Philemon vs 2

Do I believe that Jehovah's Witnesses preach a different gospel that the one that Jesus said to preach? Yes I do.
The basic message of the Witnesses is "put faith in our Governing Body as Jehovah's spokesman". This message is based on their demonstrably false "Bible chronology" which has Christ returning invisibly to the earth in 1914, being put on an invisible throne then, and appointing Rutherford and his cronies "over all his earthly belongings" in 1919. Since there is no evidence for the latter, and a great deal of evidence that disproves their claim that their leaders comprise a divinely appointed "faithful slave", their basic message is false.
Therefore the preaching that Jehovah's Witnesses do is worse than valueless -- it is anti-christian.

Can A Child Molester Hold A Position of Authority In The Congregation?

w97 1/1 29 Let Us Abhor What Is Wicked
Depending on the law of the land where he lives, the molester may well have to serve a prison term or face other sanctions from the State. The congregation will not protect him from this. Moreover, the man has revealed a serious weakness that henceforth will have to be taken into account. If he seems to be repentant, he will be encouraged to make spiritual progress, share in the field service, even have parts in the Theocratic Ministry School and nonteaching parts in the Service Meeting. This does not mean, though, that he will qualify to serve in a position of responsibility in the congregation. What are the Scriptural reasons for this?For one thing, an elder must be “self-controlled.” (Titus 1:8) True, none of us have perfect self-control. (Romans 7:21-25) But a dedicated adult Christian who falls into the sin of child sexual abuse reveals an unnatural fleshly weakness. Experience has shown that such an adult may well molest other children. True, not every child molester repeats the sin, but many do. And the congregation cannot read hearts to tell who is and who is not liable to molest children again. (Jeremiah 17:9) Hence, Paul’s counsel to Timothy applies with special force in the case of baptized adults who have molested children: “Never lay your hands hastily upon any man; neither be a sharer in the sins of others.” (1 Timothy 5:22) For the protection of our children, a man known to have been a child molester does not qualify for a responsible position in the congregation. Moreover, he cannot be a pioneer or serve in any other special, full-time service.—Compare the principle at Exodus 21:28, 29.

Dear Brothers: We have given consideration to your letter dated xxxxxx xx,xxxx, regarding Brother xxxx. Enclosed you will find an S-52 form showing the deletion of Brother xxxxxx as an elder. For good reason, the January 1,1997, issue of The Watchtower, page 29, states: "A dedicated adult Christian who falls into the sin of child sexual abuse reveals an unnatural fleshly weakness. Experience has shown that such an adult may well molest other children. True, not every child molester repeats the sin, but many do. And the congregation cannot read hearts to tell who is and who is not liable to molest children again. (Jeremiah 17:9) Hence, Paul's counsel to Timothy applies with special force in the case of baptized adults who have molested children. 'Never lay your hands hastily upon any man; neither be a sharer in the sins of others. , (I Timothy 5:22) For the protection of our children, a man known to have been a child molester does not qualify for a responsible position in the congregation."
Therefore, in the best interest the congregation and its members, neither the local congregation nor the Society should be viewed as delegating authority or position to one who is a known child molester.
Now that we have given careful and prayerful consideration to all the factors in the case of Brother xxxxx xxxxx, we believe that what is stated in the foregoing applies to him. Hence, you should not extend to him any specific responsibility that could be construed as an assigned duty, even though some assignments might be considered minor. He should not be used to handle accounts, literature, magazines, subscriptions, or territories. Nor would he be used as an attendant, microphone handler, to operate sound equipment, to represent the congregation in prayer, or to present "Announcements" on the Service Meeting. He would not be used as the reader at the Congregation Book Study or Watchtower Study, nor to conduct a meeting for field service. It would be advisable not to have a book study in his home. And, he would not qualify to auxiliary or regular pioneer. Whereas he could volunteer to assist with general care of the Kingdom Hall where he attends meetings, he could not be approved to work on other Kingdom Halls or Assembly Halls. He may give student talks on the Theocratic Ministry School and share in non-teaching parts on the Service Meeting, provided that his doing so will not be offensive to those in the congregation who know of his past wrongdoing.
Please be reminded of the following direction that appears in the Society's March 14, 1997, confidential letter to all bodies of elders regarding known child molesters: "Individuals who have manifested a weakness in this regard should be sensitive to their need not to be alone with children. They should refrain from holding children or displaying other forms of affection for them. It would be appropriate for elders to give kindly cautions to any who are doing things that may be a temptation or a cause for concern to others in the congregation." (1 Corinthians 10:12,32) This would include not allowing children (other than his own) to spend the night in his home, not working in field service with a child, not cultivating friendships with children, and the like.
After a number of additional years have gone by, you may wonder whether certain privileges can be extended to this brother. If he has continued to build a commendable record, if there are no complaints either by his victim(s) or by relatives, and if the body of elders concludes that no one would find fault with his being given extra privileges of a minor nature in the congregation, you may write the Society and make known your observations and recommendations, indicating how you feel he can be used in the congregation. Explain clearly what the current feeling is toward him on the part of the one(s) he wronged and by relatives, and how the congregation views him now. Direction from the Society should be obtained before certain privileges are extended to him. Along with this letter we send you our warm Christian love. Your brothers, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society Of New York, Inc.

Joseph Franklin Rutherford and The FBI

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Did The Watchtower Lie As To Whom Will Be Saved At Armageddon?

And while now the witness yet includes the invitation to come to Jehovah's organization for salvation...
-Watchtower 1981 November 15 p.21 'Stay Awake and Keep Your Senses'

Jehovah God has also provided his visible organization, his "faithful and discreet slave," made up of spirit-anointed ones ... 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.
-Watchtower 1981 December 1 p.27 The Path of the Righteous Does Keep Getting Brighter

A third requirement is that we be associated with God's channel, his organization. ... Jehovah is using only one organization today to accomplish his will.
To receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise we must identify that organization and serve God as part of it.
-Watchtower 1983 February 15 p.12 You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth-But How?

Only Jehovah's Witnesses, those of the annointed remnant and the "great crowd," as a united organization under the protection of the Supreme Organizer, have any Scriptural hope of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil."
-The Watchtower, September 1, 1989, p.19 paragraph 7.

Do not conclude that there are different roads, or ways, that you can follow to gain life in God's new system. There is only one. There was just one ark that survived the Flood, not a number of boats. And there will be only one organization--God's visible organization -- that will survive the fast-approaching "great tribulation." It is simply not true that all religions lead to the same goal...
You must be part of Jehovah's organization, doing God's will, in order to receive his blessing of everlasting life...
-You Can live Forever (1982, 1990) p.255

identifying themselves with Jehovah’s organization is essential to their salvation."
-Our Kingdom Ministry, 11/1990, p. 1

"No other organization on earth enjoys an intimate relationship with the Creator. ...Clearly, those who desire to serve God can only turn to the one organization that enjoys Jehovah’s spirit and blessing. ... No other organization on earth enjoys God’s special care and protection."
-The Watchtower, 11/1/1991, pp. 30-31

"But if we were to draw away from Jehovah’s organization, there would be
no place else to go for salvation and true joy."
-The Watchtower, September 15, 1993, p. 22

"The speaker concluded: ‘Let all zealously continue to
support the faithful and discreet slave. It is only by doing this that someday very soon all sheeplike ones will be able to hear the happy words: "Come, you who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom..."’"
-The Watchtower, January 15, 1993, p. 18

"Rather than expect miracles in the form of divine intervention of some sort, Jehovah’s Witnesses realize that protection is to be found in their worldwide Christian brotherhood."
-The Watchtower, December 1, 1993, p. 13

Isn't the answer to this question Yes?
Also, the article says that humans should not be judging each other.
Obviously, when writing this article they must have forgotten about Judicial Meetings.
(I'm just saying)

Is The Watchtower Lying About Its Shunning Policy?

If you read through some of the recent comments, you will see that a poster named "TOM" called me a lot of horrible names (I forgive you Tom) and said that I spewed hate and venom. He also said that my posts contained unsubstantiated comments.
Well, Tom, this post is for you. I really thought that I was providing evidence for my comments. but maybe Tom is right. Anyway, from now on I am going to try and do better and really prove my points with a reference that Tom can respect.
Tom, when you read this, let me know how I'm doing.
Note: Disfellowshipping does not sever family ties.
Those who simply cease to be involved in the faith are not shunned.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Bitter Fruitage Of Ignorance

Depression and mental illness is widespread in the congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses.
I can't tell you how many Witnesses I know that are on anti-depressants. Spme of them are even receiving shock treatments. It is little wonder if you are programmed to believe that 99.9% of the human race (non-Witnesses) are doomed to be slaughtered at Armageddon. Your wife, husband. children and other relatives, whom you love, are all doomed unless they become Witnesses.
At meetings, you will be frequently told by circuit overseers and others that you must do more - that what you offer is not enough. You are told that the world is an evil, demonic place soon to be horribly destroyed. You are warned about persecution coming. You are told to cut off contact with disfellowshipped relatives as fully as possible. You are told that other people are "worldly" and bad associations.
In order to preserve the shallow and childlike existence of the witnesses, certain reactions are predictable. Witnesses are instructed not to read certain material, or think 'independently' or even to cite scholarly works in talks (elders were warned about doing this at Elders School a few years ago. Now, of course, the talk is all written out for you so you only have to repeat what is written.)
Does any of this sound like it would create depression or mental illness in a person who believes it?
The state of today's witnesses came about through the conditioning of several generations of Witnesses that passed ignorance onto their children as the world quickly grew more complex around them.
I find it ironic that they put forth so much effort these days to be accepted and appear normal. And yet, the rate of progress the world moves at has left them so far behind they continue to appear more and more fanatical.

What is the result of keeping the witnesses in a cage, unable to associate with people outside of their religion, unable to read a range of literature, grieving over the son, daughter, wife and husband that you can no longer show your love for because they are disfellowshipped or disassociated:
Bad marriages - based on utterly unrealistic hopes.

Ever hear of 'green card' marriages in the 'truth'? Grab a nice Eastern European sister, marry her and find out she won't live with you or have sex. (sorry sucker)
Murder and suicide - Witnesses who can't take it anymore, aren't good enough, aren't zealous enough. Murder of kids because otherwise they'll die forever at Armageddon.
Bizarre ailments - Witnesses who were born into "the truth" are allergic to everything. There are self mutilationproblems, multiple personalities, anorexia, bulimia. Perhaps the'truth' doesn't directly but this is happening to people who have been witnesses all their life.

Pedophiles, Sexual Perverts - Of course, these have always been a part of the Watchtower, we are only just now hearing about them because the information was kept under wraps.
Frauds and scams - being victimized by con artists with get rich quick schemes
Look at some of the comments on this very blog. Witnesses who follow the Watchtower no matter what happens. People who let the organization do their thinking for them. People who let the organization interpret their Bible for them, in spite of the fact that they change that interpretation all the time.
Now I will make a prediction:
Keep checking the internet and news sources about the Watchtower Society. I predict you're going to hear more and more horror stories of confused, deranged Witnesses doing unthinkable things.
They have to because in their insular, deceived world there's NO WAY OUT and, no matter how many predictions they make that fail or how many times their doctrines change, or how the brothers are treated, it does not matter, because the ORGANIZATION can never be wrong!

Food On The Table of Demons

The following exceprts are from a fairly recent WT article [The Watchtower, July 1, 1994, pp. 11-13] shows the absolute desperation the Watchtower society is facing regarding the worldwide flood of exposure of its lies, false prophecies and inhuman dictatorial treatment of its members:
Beware of the Poisonous Food on the Table of Demons
Comment: can you believe this title?
Geeesh! The Watchtower loves to call names, doesn't it?
"Food on the table of demons is poisonous. Consider, for example, the food dispensed by the evil slave class and the apostates. It does not nourish or build up; it is not wholesome. It cannot be, for the apostates have stopped feeding at Jehovah's table."
Comment: first sentence: demonic food is poisonous.
Second sentence: the "evil slave and apostates" are demonic. No proof. No evidence. Just assertion presented as fact. Well, this is usual for the Watchtower.
"As a result, whatever they had developed of the new personality is gone."
Translation: "as a result, whatever braindead robotics they used to perform as Watchtower slaves is gone and we're going to punish them for it."
"What motivates them is, not holy spirit, but vitriolic bitterness. They are obsessed with only one aim -- beating their former fellow slaves, as Jesus foretold. -- Matthew 24:48, 49."

Comment: Nah, we don't want to beat our former fellow slaves. The Watchtower society has a fabulous infrastructure designed for just that purpose. We couldn't top their time-tested tecniques if we tried.
"Yes, apostates publish literature that resorts to distortions, half-truths, and outright falsehood."

Comment: of course the WTS won't give any examples of this assertion. Moreover we've given ABUNDANT examples of the Watchtower's distortions, half-truths and outright falsehoods. It is sad that many JWs accept this kind of slanderous trash at face-value and are not even allowed to see if it is true or not. A sincere Jehovah's Witness has to ask himself, "if this is so true, then why can't I verify these statements for myself without being excommunicated?"
"They even picket Witness conventions, trying to trap the unwary."
Comment: this one really got to me!
Did the writer forget that for over a dozen years, Da Judge used to routinely order Jehovah's Witnesses by the hundreds and even thousands to swarm all over the neighborhood churches wearing sandwich cards which said "Religion is a Snare and a Racket", and to harass the peaceful church-goers with their unwanted tracts and message? This is a form of false argument called Special Pleading.
"Hence, it would be a dangerous thing to allow our curiosity to move us to feed on such writings or to listen to their abusive speech! While we might not think it a risk for us personally, the hazard remains.
Why? For one thing, some of the apostate literature presents falsehoods by means of "smooth talk" and "counterfeit words." (Romans 16:17, 18; 2 Peter 2:3)
Abusive speech? Are they serious? It's ok for the Watchtower to call all other religions "whores" and "spiritual fornicators", but should someone dare say they have evidence that the Watchtower is not what it claims to be, that is "abusive speech"? Hypocirites!
"What would you expect from the table of demons?"
Once again, the Watchtower has equated apostates, many of which merely present their evidence from the Watchtower literature itself as feeding others "from the table of demons." Only an idiot could not see that this type of "evidence" insults the common sense of any average person.
"And while the apostates may also present certain facts, these are usually taken out of context with the goal of drawing others away from the table of Jehovah. All their writings simply criticize and tear down! Nothing is upbuilding."
Notice that NO examples are given of what is "usually" taken out of context?
To the Watchtower, "upbuilding" means "don't examine, and don't criticize anything we say and do, even if it is true."
"Jesus said: "By their fruits you will recognize them." (Matthew 7:16) What, now, are the fruits of the apostates and their publications? Four things mark their propaganda. (1) Cleverness. Ephesians 4:14 says that they are "cunning in contriving error." (2) Prideful intelligence. (3) Lack of love. (4) Dishonesty in various forms. These are the very ingredients of the food that is on the table of demons, all of which is designed to undermine the faith of Jehovah's people."
Uh, hello? Do these 4 things remind you of any organization OTHER than the so-called "apostates"?
Heh, heh. Could someone please explain to me what "prideful intelligence" means? It sounds to me that it means something like "use your brains but only to the extent that they will help you to conform to our rules. Otherwise, shut your brains off 'cause we will tell you what to think."
"As loyal servants of Jehovah, why would we even want to peek at the propaganda put out by these rejecters of Jehovah's table who now verbally beat those who are helping us take in "healthful words"? -- 2 Timothy 1:13."
Why? Because there is a lot of TRUTH in that so-called "propadanda", that's why. THAT is the reason the Watchtower is so desperately and strongly "encouraging" you not to look at that information.
If there was nothing for them to fear, they would not even care what its members looked at or read.

This Is Just Sad

One of the main concerns of Jehovah's Witnesses Is Being Loyal To The Organization.
The binding, restricting effect that this concern for organizational submission can have on person's minds was illustrated to me by an experience related by Robert Lang, then the assistant Bethel Home Overseer at the international headquarters. He had been transferred to a different congregation in the New York city area and he said that at one of the first meetings he attended there the elders approached him for advice.
It seems that a young woman, the sister of one of the ministerial servants, was disfellowshiped and was still attending meetings. She had a small baby and brought it with her to the Kingdom Hall in a baby carriage. The Hall itself was on the second story of a building and the stairs were long and steep. The young woman would back up the stairs, pulling the baby carriage - with the baby in it - up the stairs as she went. The question the elders asked was whether it would be proper for the disfellowshiped woman's brother to assist her in getting up the stairs! Some thought so, others said, no, being disfellowshiped she should be considered as if she were not even there.
To his credit, Lang said, "I don't know what the rule is on this, I only know one thing: if I'm around when she starts pulling that carriage up the stairs, I'm going to help her! When I think of what could happen if she were to stumble and lose control of the carriage ....'
The most frightening thing about this is that adult men did not feel they could be guided by their own hearts and minds in a circumstance so obviously calling for human kindness. The pressing concern for them was - not the danger to the infant's life - but WHAT THE ORGANIZATION POLICY ALLOWED in such cases They gave evidence of having become emasculated men in matters of ethics, of right and wrong.
Robert Lang was for him "the kind of person he was, not because of the organization, but in spite of the organization."
IN SEARCH OF CHRISTIAN FREEDOM, Ray Franz, pp. 404, 405.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Watchtower and Charles Russell On The Subject of Organization

Watchtower 1946 Nov 1 page 330, Article Let God Prove to be True
The divisive force among the Catholic and Protestant religionists of Christendom is the religious traditions which they follow. The truth of the Bible is a unifying power. After Christ Jesus prayed: "Sanctify them through thy Word: thy Word is truth" he immediately prayed that all his believers, those then following him and those yet due to believe, should be united in one, just as he and His heavenly Father are one (John 17:17-23)
How is disunity over each one?s individual interpretation of the Holy Scriptures now overcome or avoided? Is it because they are united around a visible human organization or around a visible human leader? The answer is No. It is because they recognize Jehovah God and Christ Jesus as The Higher Powers to whom every Christian soul must be subject for conscience? sake (Romans 13:1)
Hence Jehovah?s Witnesses do not claim to be what the religious Hierarchy claims their religious organization to be, namely, the one holding the magisterium or teaching office and hence the Divinely appointed Custodian and Interpreter of the Bible.
The written Word of God does not therefore need the addition of traditions which are the private interpretations of man and of religious organisations. It is not on our own authority that we say the Bible is sufficient without such. The inspired Apostle, Paul, writes his faithful and fellow worker Timothy to that effect saying: "from thy infancy thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which can instruct thee to salvation, by the faith which is in Jesus Christ. All Scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice, that the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work. (2 Tim 3:15-17)
Had the oral traditions of religious men been necessary to complement the Canon of the Bible, Paul would not have said that the inspired Holy Scriptures were profitable to the point of making the men of God perfect in faith and devotion to God. It would have been inadequate and would have left the man of God unperfected.
Watchtower 1881 by the President C T Russell
..their organization was of Spirit; their law for the government of each was love, and all as a whole were put under obedience to ?the law of the Spirit? as it was expressed in the life, actions and words of their Lord. is clearly seen that these present day churches?interpret and enforce the traditions of the elders which make void the Word of God. These take the place of the true Head of the Church ? Jesus and the true teacher and guide to all truth, the Holy Spirit. Hear the prophet Isaiah express it (chap 9:15)
This brings us to our second preposition, viz that all Christians should be joined to this organisation? But says one; Must I not join some organisation on earth, assent to some creed and have my name written on earth? No. Remember that Jesus is your pattern and teacher, and neither in his words or acts will you find any authority for binding yourselves with creeds or traditions of the elders, which all tend to make the word of God of none effect (Mark 7:13) and bring you under a bondage that will hinder your growth in grace and knowledge, and against which Paul warned you to stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made you free, and be not entangled with the yoke of bondage (Gal 5:1}
Watchtower 1882 April, Questions & Answers
We are strictly unsectarian?(read 1 Cor 3:1-4) we have no creed (fence) to bind us together or keep others out of our company. The Bible is our only Standard, and its teachings our only creed. We are in fellowship with all Christians in whom we can recognise the Spirit of Christ, and especially with those who recognise the Bible as the only Standard. We do not require therefore that all should see just as we do in order to be called Christians, realising that growth and knowledge is a gradual process; nor do we see reason to expect that any but the Watchmen of Zion will ?see eye to eye (Isa 52:8) until that which is perfect is come.
If all Christians were to thus free themselves from prescribed creeds, and study the Word of God without denominational bias, truth and knowledge and real Christian fellowship and unity would result. The Spirit of the Head would pervade the unfettered members of the Body and sectarian pride would vanish.

Watchtower 1884 February
We belong to no earthly organization.
we adhere only to that heavenly organization whose names are written in heave? (Heb 12:23 Luke 10:20)
What think you?...suppose all man made creeds and forms and names were laid aside, or that all Christians met in the One name of Christ, and in earnest simplicity, studied HIS words under the direction of God's Spirit and the explanations furnished in the Apostles writings, would there be long and serious differences, even of opinion?... And so, by whatsoever names men may call us, it matters not to us; we acknowledge none other name than the only name given under heaven and among me Jesus Christ. We call ourselves simply CHRISTIANS and we raise no fence to separate from us any who believe in the foundation stone of our building mentioned by Paul: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and those for whom this is not broad enough have no right to the name Christian.
WT 1895 15 September article "How to Conduct Group Meetings"
Beware of organisation. It is wholly unnecessary
. The Bible rules will be the only rules you will need. Do not seek to bind others consciences and do not permit others to bind yours. Believe and obey so far as you can understand God's word today, and so continue growing in grace and knowledge and love day by day.
Unfortunately, it seems to me that because of the nature of man, nearly all Christian religions who may start with the best motives, very quickly move away from the true message of the Gospel. Sadly,the Watchtower has become what it set up to oppose. It has its own disguised clergy and toned down inquisition etc. It is the master of disguise.

God Is Love

The Bible says that God is love, as Jesus commanded in Matthew 5:44-45:
"But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous;"
(These are beautiful heartwarming words from the Bible, right?)
Rather than loving their enemies, Jehovah's Witnesses are given a lesson in hate in the publication Life Everlasting in the Freedom of the Sons of God that:
"Haters of God and His people... are to be hated... We must hate in the truest sense, which is to regard with extreme and active aversion, to consider as loathsome, odious, filthy to detest. surely any haters of God are not fit to live on this beautiful earth... We must have a proper perspective of these enemies... We cannot love those hateful enemies, for they are fit only for destruction... We pray with intensity... and plead that Jehovah's anger be made manifest... Oh, Jehovah God of Hosts... be not merciful to any wicked transgressors... consume them in wrath, consume them that they shall be no more."
Can you just feel the love coming from Jehovah's people? Jimminy!!
Remember that these "Haters of God and his people" are simply those that do not believe that the Watchtower is God's organization.

New York Times Article Regarding Miracle Wheat

Click on article to enlarge it.
...and Jesus Went Into The Temple Of God, And Cast Out All Them That Sold And Bought In The Temple- Matthew 21:12

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Watchtower Blatantly Lies To It's Members

Previous to a major policy change in 1990, Watchtower literature was distributed at what was termed a "specified contribution" price for each item. Witness canvassers (called "publishers") bought their literature supplies from the congregation and then resold these from door-to-door. All monies were then remitted to the Society's headquarters in Brooklyn, New York.
The new policy announced in 1990 detailed a complete donation basis for literature. It was now to be supplied without charge to congregations, but contribution boxes are placed by the counter for donations from the publishers, supposedly to cover the cost of printing and distribution. In the field, donations for the items are solicited, but are supposedly not necessary in order to obtain books and magazines. Such donations received from the public are then to be brought back to the Kingdom Hall and sent to the Society.
What was the motivation for these changes
The Society's answer was that less paperwork would be needed and the literature could be more easily distributed. "By adopting a method of literature distribution based completely on donation, Jehovah's people are able to greatly simplify our Bible education work and separate ourselves from those who commercialize religion." (Letter from the Watch Tower Society to all U.S. congregations dated February 21, 1990.)
This is a blatant lie! The real truth is:
In the SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, October Tenth, 1988, Case No. 88-1374, filed on June 22, 1988, Clerk Joseph F. Spanol, Jr.
On that date and file number, The Attoreny James M. McCabe,and Donald T. Ridley, 25 Colombia Heights, Brooklyn, NY 11251 (718)606-4993, Attorneys for Amicus Curiae, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. filed a "Friends of the Court" brief on the behalf of the famous preacher, Jimmy Swaggart and his Ministries.
Why would the Watchtower Society, direct channel for Jehovah's holy spirt, which also godly hates Babylon the Great, which also Christiandom is the largest part, go into the Supreme Court of the United States and file a legal brief to help Jimmy Swaggart's ministries in his trial which was Case No. 88-1374: Jimmy Swaggart Ministries, Appelant vs. BOARD OF EQUALIZATION OF CALIFORNIA, Appeller?
Early 1980 State of California informs Jimmy Swaggart Ministries that tax is due for religious books and tapes sold in the state since 1974. Swaggart eventually pays the tax--$183,000.00--but sues for a refund. The case begins moving toward the U.S. Supreme Court.
February, 1989 U.S. Supreme Court rules it is illegal for Texas (and 14 other states) to exempt religious books from sales tax. Some states had been taxing religious books all along.
Summer, 1989 WT Society gives away "free" books released at U.S. conventions. Witnesses are instructed to place donations in contribution boxes to cover the cost.
June 22, 1989 Watchtower Society, files amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief with U.S. Supreme Court in Jimmy Swaggart case. Others filing similar briefs include National Council of Churches and Society for Krishna Consciousness.
January 17, 1990 U.S. Supreme Court rules against Jimmy Swaggart Ministries, declaring that the sales tax must be paid.
February 9, 1990 WT Society writes letter to congregations announcing that literature will no longer be sold at Kingdom Hall and no price will be set in door-to-door distribution.
February 25, 1990 February 9th letter from Society is read at Sunday meetings of Jehovah's Witnesses across the United States.
March 1, 1990 New policy of distributing literature without naming a price goes into effect.
The March 15, 1990, WATCHTOWER magazine and March 22nd AWAKE!--printed earlier--still say "25 cents (U.S.) a copy" and "$5.00 (U.S.) per year." The April 1, 1990, Watchtower no longer carries a price.
March 11, 1990 Announcement is made at Kingdom Halls in the U.S. that food will be available at no cost, on a freewill donation basis, at JW conventions.
The Watchtowr Bible and Tract Society simply did not want to pay the tax on goods sold.
"the Scriptures justify the 'war strategy' of hiding true facts from the enemy."--THE WATCHTOWER May 15, 1960, page 295

Did The Watchtower Commit Perjury?

Watchtower Commits Perjury?
False application filed with the EUROPEAN COMMISSION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

The Watchtower Society had perjured itself before the European Commission on Human Rights. This is a commission that operates under the authority of the World Court, and to which the Watchtower Society submitted a false and misleading application regarding objections to legal recognition that had been raised by the government of Bulgaria.
By reading the court's ruling on the application filed by the Watchtower Society, it will be readily apparent to anyone familiar with Jehovah's Witnesses that Watchtower officials have grossly misrepresented crucial facts concerning Jehovah's Witnesses and the blood doctrine. Here is one key paragraph regarding children and the blood issue:
As regards the alleged involvement of children the applicant association [The Watchtower Society] submits that children cannot become members of the association but only participate, together with their parents, in the religious activities of the community. In respect of the refusal of blood transfusion, the applicant association submits that there are no religious sanctions for a Jehovah's Witness who chooses to accept blood transfusion and that, therefore, the fact that the religious doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses is against blood transfusion cannot amount to a threat to "public health".
The truth is that many children are baptized as jehovah's Witnesses and become members of the association before reaching the age of ten.
As for a Witness who accepts one of the banned blood products, or a whole blood transfusion, the Watchtower's position has been quite clear for four decades:
"...the receiver of a blood transfusion must be cut off from God's people by excommunication or disfellowshiping....if in the future he persists in accepting blood transfusions or in donating blood toward the carrying out of this medical practice upon others, he shows that he has really not repented, but is deliberately opposed to God's requirements. As a rebellious opposer and unfaithful example to fellow members of the Christian congregation he must be cut off therefrom by disfellowshiping. - The Watchtower 01/15/1961 pp. 63, 64
(Maybe these people just did not deserve to know the truth? Perhaps this is just part of a Star Wars episode?)
Here is a hard copy of the decision on the admissibility of the application in our files should this information be unavailable online in the future. You can view the scanned documents here.
John 8:44 *** YOU are from YOUR father the Devil, and YOU wish to do the desires of YOUR father. That one was a manslayer when he began, and he did not stand fast in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks according to his own disposition, because he is a liar and the father of [the lie].
James 3:14-15 *** not be bragging and lying against the truth.
Colossians 3:9 *** Do not be lying to one another...
1 John 2:21 *** lie originates with the truth.
Revelation 21:27 *** But anything not sacred and anyone that carries on a disgusting thing and a lie will in no way enter into it; only those written in the Lamb’s scroll of life [will].

Theocratic War Strategy: Teaching Your Child To Lie In Child Custody Cases

This booklet is designed to help you and your attorney prepare for the difficulties Christian parents often face in child custody disputes. In the eyes of the law, the overriding concern in every custody suit is the welfare and best interests of the child. In deciding which parent will better provide for a child's best interests, courts will examine all aspects of the child's physical, emotional, and spiritual welfare in either household. Thus your religious practices and teachings as one of Jehovah's Witnesses will probably be a subject of inquiry by your former spouse and the court.
Opposers often focus attention on refusal to consent to blood transfusions, holidays and birthday celebrations, arguing that Witness children are deprived of a "normal" upbringing.
There is no need to hide or distort your religious beliefs and practices in the face of such criticism. (They say it, but do they mean it?) When giving an answer, always try to focus on the positive aspects of your religious beliefs, showing how they have benefited you and your family. (Isa. 48:17) Be sure to answer questions regarding such subjects in a way that is both understandable and reasonable, accurately presenting the wholesomeness of the Christian home. --1 Pet. 3:15.
This booklet will also help you prepare for psychological examinations that frequently are required as part of a child custody determination. Having some idea of the type of questions a psychologist may ask should help you handle the examination naturally and without undue anxiety.
Disputes over child custody can be an ordeal for Christian parents. But with preparation and reliance on Jehovah, you need not be without hope, knowing that in the end Jehovah will set all matters straight.--Ps. 43:1; 1 Pet. 3:12.
4. Show that you have a balanced view and that the truth has helped you to maintain such a view. Do not present yourself or the truth as rigid or obsessive. (At this point it is probably best not to tell them that you are a full time pioneer). Rather, show the evaluator that you are a reasonable person by showing your flexibility and responding in an open and nondefensive manner. For example, questions about religious practices such as not celebrating holidays will be a part of the psychological examination. The mental health professional will be interested in determining how you, as a good parent, handle this practice with your child. He will want to know whether or not you are sensitive to the fact that your child may feel unusual, left out, or alienated by what may be a recent change in your religion.
You will want to take the initiative by showing that you have a close and a loving bond with your child, that you understand your child's honest reactions to your religious practices, that you have helped your child to develop a sense of security about the practice of his religion, and that he is not merely parroting the expressions that you have provided for him. If your child is to be tested, you should also try to prepare him or her to face the experience with an open and positive attitude.
Many try to portray the beliefs and practices of Jehovah's Witnesses as dogmatic and restrictive. (Gee, I wonder why?) When answering questions about your religious beliefs and practices, emphasize the fact that you have formed your beliefs and adopted your practices after much study and reflection your religion is not simply a matter of rules which have been imposed by the elders. (Where would they get that from?) You want to emphasize the fact that you are a thinking, well-balanced, and reasonable individual who is competent to act as a parent. Avoid any response which gives the impression that you are unwilling or unable to provide for your child's best interests because of your religious beliefs.
[Note: The court generally wants to determine if something else will precede the child's best interests in terms of mental and physical health. Will necessary medical attention be withheld in emergencies? Will the child be raised with dogmatic and narrow views of other human beings and their religions and customs? Will the children grow up to fear invisible "spirits" and beleive that they somehow influence their lives daily, causing them to act abnormal or antisocial? Will the child view the people of his religious beliefs as the only ones who ultimately have the right to live and enjoy life? As you can see their pre-planned "responses" actually play down and even fully deny their dogmatism as expounded in their own literature.]
Have you been exposed to different religious views since youth? How has this affected you?
Learned to be tolerant and appreciate divergence of opinions; while personally choosing teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses (Can you believe this, a child has to testify that he has personally make the decision to become a witness), have learned to respect others' right of choice.
How has your association with Jehovah's Witnesses affected your life?
Comment on positive value of truth; have a purpose in life; take interest in other people; good morals; obey the law, etc.
Do you go from house-to-house? Describe your reaction.
Educational value of social contact; learn how to meet people, strike up a conversation and reason on a variety of topics. At an early date learned about the many different views people have. Meeting people at doors overcame shyness and lack of confidence. Ease of clearing with people is valuable now in business as well as religious and social activities.
Is it not depressing when you are rejected at a door?
No. We have something good to share with those who want to listen. Each individual has the right to his opinion. If rejected we can leave and find someone who does want to talk a few doors away.
Are not three religious meetings a week boring?
No. Meetings are interesting. Participate in Theocratic Ministry School and learn how to talk to people. Associate with other young people at meetings. Make social and recreational arrangements.
What do you do for recreation, social activities, family activities?
Describe a balanced range of activity. (Sports, playdate with friends, parties, etc).