Saturday, November 8, 2008

December 15th and January 15th Watchtowers: New Light?

Just read through the December 15 and January 15 Watchtowers.
Shockingly, there isn’t a single mention about glorifying the Faithful And Discreet Slave. In fact , “Jehovah’s channel” "organization and "Jehovah's organization" or any other similar expression isn’t referenced at all (other than a single scriptural reference in the review of revelation in the December 15th issue.)
The magazines talk a lot (and I mean a lot) about the ministry , but unusually refers to the ministry as not being more important than Christian “good works” e.g., visiting the sick etc. They use the illustration of the ministry and good works being like two wings of a bird, both of which are required. There is even a picture of a sister doing the ministry and then commiserating with another sister over an empty cot (miscarriage?)
There are also quite a few articles about Jesus, who usually doesn‘t get much of a mention. Also keep in mind that most weeks, the Ministry School next year has a talk about Jesus every week , from the “Learn from the Great Teacher” book.
Could the WTS be changing to become more mainstream - more emphasis on Jesus & Christian works? Hmmm - maybe more changes afoot at Brooklyn…

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

It really doesn't take a lot of research to establish that everything TJ has written here is complete nonsense.

First, look at the Watchtower Library CD ROM. Search for "faithful and discreet slave" or "faithful slave". You will see that about half of the Watchtower issues in 2007 had the expressions and half did not. The same was true twenty years previously in 1997. Nothing has changed. It isn't even remotely unusual if the phrase is not used in one or two issues.

A search for the expression "Jehovah's channel" and similar shows they are generally used only about once or twice a year ... so, again, nothing out of the ordinary there.

Nine issues of The Watchtower in 2007 did not contain the word "organization" in any context at all. This has not changed substantially over the years; for instance, only about half of the 2000 issues didn't use the word. So, again, there is really nothing untoward if the word doesn't happen to be used for an issue or two.

So the first part of TJ's observations is untrue. What about the rest?

Anonymous said...

Now, about Christian good works, such as visiting the sick etc. Yes, The Watchtower does place a lot of importance on these activities, as well it should. The meeting is supposed to "incite to love and fine works."

However, it's not as if 'The Watchtower' hasn't always featured helping and encouraging other members of the congregation. There are literally dozens of articles with that type of encouragement and practical help. All you need to do is open the Index to find them.

Particularly striking is this comment from the May 15, 1975 issue, which says more or less exactly the same as the 1/15/09 issue:

"The preaching of the good news is part of a larger activity that includes many fine works performed by Christians out of love for others. It would be a mistake to regard other fine works as of little consequence. While certain works may receive greater emphasis at times, in the overall view they are all equally important. Each fine work makes its own contribution to the strength, unity and productivity of the Christian congregation."

So, no change there. The Watchtower has always encouraged its readers to perform acts of kindness toward others.

Anonymous said...

Finally, the most astonishing assertion of all - that Jesus "doesn't get much of a mention" in The Watchtower.

The fact is that there are about 1560 references to "Jesus", "Christ" or combinations of these titles in the 2007 Watchtower issues - an average of 65 times per issue, or just over twice per page.

This includes such articles as "What Christ's Coming will Accomplish" (March 15), "Imitate the Great Disciple Maker" (15 November)as well as many others. True enough, Jesus is featured prominently in the 12/15 and 1/15 issues, unsurprisingly, since talks from the 2007 "Follow the Christ" convention are now being reprinted in article form in The Watchtower.

Yes, "Learn from the Great Teacher" is being considered at the Theocratic Ministry School, which will doubtless help all to know Jesus better and love him more. But again, this is nothing new. The book "The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived" was studied at Congregation Book Studies in 1992, 1996 and 1999. It was also used in the Theocratic Ministry School between 1991 and 1994. The older book "Listening to the Great Teacher" was also considered at the Theocratic Ministry School back in 1975.


Incidentally, it's instructive to compare the over 1500 references to Jesus in the 2007 Watchtower issues, with only 90 references to "organization", "channel", "faithful slave" or "faithful and discreet slave". - By my reckoning, that means that Jesus is mentioned 17 times more often than the organization.

Now, that's something that really should shock TJ and those who, like him, so badly misrepresent The Watchtower magazine.

Anonymous said...

Well, given all the recent changes - and mind you some of these were huge (elimination of the Book Study) - I can foresee many more changes.

It almost seems like the GB is monitoring the Internet to see what the complaints are and evaluate whether the complaints have any merit according to the Bible.

Why don't they just admit that we have been wrong about so many things and we are NOT the one and only true religion - just another religion.

Anonymous said...

I want to defend the idea that there is a change about the importance of preaching. We JWs have heard, maybe hundreds of times that preaching is the most important work. But this WT 15 of January 2009 clearly makes a new statement. You who do not yet believe, read the WT your self.
And about Jesus, you can call him Christ and and use other different titles, but why do the WT not use the most common title used by the apostles:the Lord? The WT 15 December 2008 have an article about 6 different titles aplied on Jesus. But the most important title "The Lord" is not given any importance.

I would like that the writers of WT started to use the title the Lord on Jesus. Because it is written in 1Corinthians 12:3 nobody can say: "Jesus is Lord!" except by holy spirit.

If you read the letters of the apostles you will see that they allmost allways use this title when they talk about Jesus.
You could in the same time see how many times they urge to preach and compare to how many times they urge to do fine works and you will see the difference.
It is like the "bad" former elder in the drama of this year convention said: It is better to help the poor, that preach now when it has allready been preached so much.

Anonymous said...

I want to defend the idea that there is a change about the importance of preaching. We JWs have heard, maybe hundreds of times that preaching is the most important work.

And quite rightly so, as this reflects numerous statements in the Bible such as "What I tell you in the darkness, say in the light; and what you hear whispered, preach from the housetops. " (Matthew 10:27) "Go … and make disciples." (Matthew 28:19) "He ordered us to preach to the people and to give a thorough witness" (Acts 10:42) "How will they hear without someone to preach." (Romans 10:14) "Woe is me if I did not declare the good news." (1 Corinthians 9:16)

I find it immensely reassuring that 'The Watchtower' continues to emphasize the importance of "bearing witness to the truth" – a work done by Christ and by all who imitate him. (John 18:37)

But this WT 15 of January 2009 clearly makes a new statement. You who do not yet believe, read the WT your self.

For those who haven't got the article in question, let me quote it:

"Which of these two Christian activities is more important? Asking a question like that is somewhat similar to asking about a bird, Which of his two wings is more important? The answer is obvious. A bird needs to use both wings in order to fly properly. Similarly, we need to share in both aspects of our service to God in order to be complete as Christians. Thus, instead of regarding our asignments to preach the good news and to build up fellow believers as unrelated, we view them just as the apostles Peter and Paul did - as responsibilities that complement each other."

Now this is not a new statement at all. Over 30 years ago, 'The Watchtower' (quoted in an earlier comment) said that "in the overall view they [fine works performed by Christians out of love for others] are all equally important" (Watchtower, 5/15/75) Other similar statements include: "As important as giving spiritually is, giving materially is certainly not to be neglected." (Watchtower, 6/15/99), "One couple who left behind many years of full-time service says: 'The way we view it, it is just as important for us now to care for our folks as it was for us to be in full-time service.'" (Watchtower, 6/1/87)
Nothing in the January 15th Watchtower implies that the preaching is less important. Pages 7 to 11 talk about nothing else but preaching. And on page 5 it says "Above all, love for God motivated Jesus to preach and to teach." Preaching has always been important. Other good works are always important.

And about Jesus, you can call him Christ and and use other different titles, but why do the WT not use the most common title used by the apostles:the Lord?

Actually, the title "the Lord" is not used as commonly as "Christ" in the epistles. (See below) But in any case, 'The Watchtower' does use the title. According to the CD-ROM, the title "the Lord" was used 46 times in 2007, an average of about twice per issue, mostly in reference to Jesus.

The WT 15 December 2008 have an article about 6 different titles aplied on Jesus. But the most important title "The Lord" is not given any importance.

Who says that it is the most important title? All Jesus' titles are important.

On other occasions, 'The Watchtower' has given considerable attention to the title. See, for example, "'Jesus Christ is Lord' – How and When?" in 'The Watchtower' of June 1, 1994.

I would like that the writers of WT started to use the title the Lord on Jesus.

They already do use it. (See above)

Because it is written in 1Corinthians 12:3 nobody can say: "Jesus is Lord!" except by holy spirit. If you read the letters of the apostles you will see that they allmost allways use this title when they talk about Jesus.

The NT letters use all three titles – Lord, Jesus, Christ – fairly frequently. It's not true that they "almost always" use the title 'Lord'. In the King James Version, the word "Lord" is used in the epistles 345 times, not always with reference to Christ. "Jesus" appears 276 times and "Christ" 469 times.

Jesus himself said: "Not everyone saying to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will." (Matthew 7:21) So, according to Jesus, you show you really believe that Jesus is Lord if you do his Father's will. God's will is "that all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth." (1 Timothy 2:4) So, it's surprising that you think that preaching should be emphasized less.

You could in the same time see how many times they urge to preach and compare to how many times they urge to do fine works and you will see the difference.

Preaching is a fine work. What could be finer than helping others to come to know Jehovah?

It is like the "bad" former elder in the drama of this year convention said: It is better to help the poor, that preach now when it has allready been preached so much.

I'd have to disagree. What 'The Watchtower' says is in full agreement with what the Bible says. Hebrews 13:15, 16 says: "Through him let us always offer to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips which make public declaration to his name. Moreover, do not forget the doing of good and the sharing of things with others, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased."

So, both preach and do good to others. Jesus did both. The apostles did both. Jehovah's Witnesses today do both. That is all 'The Watchtower' is saying and it is exactly what it has been saying for years.

Anonymous said...

So, both preach and do good to others. Jesus did both. The apostles did both. Jehovah's Witnesses today do both.


And other religions besides Jehovah's Witnesses do both. What is your point? It does not make J.W.'s a one true religion the Watchtower Society claims it is today.

Anonymous said...

And other religions besides Jehovah's Witnesses do both.

I didn't say that they didn't.

What is your point?

My point is to present facts establishing that:

(a) the encouragement to preach - based on the Bible's command - is just as strong as ever in 'The Watchtower'; there has been no 'change about the importance of preaching' as another poster suggested, and

(b) the encouragement in 'The Watchtower' to do other good works besides preaching and the statement that these works are just as important as preaching are nothing new but merely a re-statement of what has been said in previous issues of the magazine.

It does not make J.W.'s a one true religion the Watchtower Society claims it is today.

Not by itself it doesn't. But then that is a bit of a red herring, since I never said that it did. I simply presented facts demonstrating that the comments by TJ and the other posters are incorrect.

Bill said...

But then that is a bit of a red herring, since I never said that it did.

Good Point. Let's leave any rhetorical fallacy.

Edward Albright said...

FYI, in 2009 the Study Watchtowers are from the 2007 Follow the Christ District Convention. Thus your "new Light" is not new but 2 years old.

Anonymous said...

Do you see, the person who tries to convince that there is no change first says: the preaching work is the most important work but later quotes the WT wich says: you can not say wich activity is more important, to do fine works or to preach.

To bring the good news about the Kingdom to people is important. But what to do if a city or a house do not want to hear?
Jesus Christ our Lord said: Shake of the dust and leave them. He also said not to throw your perls before swine.
What to do if you have preached in every city around you and there is no interest? Then you calm down with door to door witnessing. Instead do good works. As there are not much scriptures in the letters to the congregations urging to preach, the "society" have tried to change the meaning of fine works, they say it is aplied on preaching. And Hebrews 13:15, here also the "society" have tried to change the meaning of the word "public declaration to his name" that it means preaching. But that's not the real case. I have the Kingdom Interlinear Translation and it says "confessing to the name of him". There is a big difference between confessing Jesus and preaching about the Kingdom. Is it not?
But I am happy that you are interested in spiritual matters. So continue with it, and I would suggest you to do what our Lord Jesus Christ said: You must pray then this way...This prayer is like a foundation to our faith. The last petition is also very nessecary: But deliver us from the wicked one. I believe many JW:s do not ask this and therefor their minds become easy prey to the wicked one.
But other things the "society" do to much, like the jews who exaggerated the sabbath.
I'm just trying to help you not to distort the Scriptures and help you spiritually.

Anonymous said...

Do you see, the person who tries to convince that there is no change first says: the preaching work is the most important work but later quotes the WT wich says: you can not say wich activity is more important, to do fine works or to preach.

But you still haven't explained how it can be a new point if it was in 'The Watchtower' of 1975 - quoted in an earlier comment - that says expressly that preaching and other good works are "equally important". What about the other Watchtowers in 1987 and 1999 that are quoted? I'm sure they aren't the only ones either.

Yes, Jehovah's Witness publications frequently refer to the preaching as "the most important work", but the point that is being made is that they aren't opposing or competing responsibilities; they complement each other.

Anonymous said...

To bring the good news about the Kingdom to people is important. But what to do if a city or a house do not want to hear?
Jesus Christ our Lord said: Shake of the dust and leave them. He also said not to throw your perls before swine.


If some people in a city don't want to hear, that doesn't mean that there aren't others who do want to hear.

One member of a family will say 'no', but another will say 'yes'.

People who say 'no' sometimes change their minds. Most of us said no numerous times before we accepted the truth.

New people are being born and growing up all the time. They need a chance to hear the truth too.

For all the above reasons, we can not stop preaching.

What to do if you have preached in every city around you and there is no interest? Then you calm down with door to door witnessing. Instead do good works.

I'm sorry but I really object to what you are saying. First of all, Jesus is the one who told us to preach. We will stop when he tells us to, not when you tell us to.

Secondly, when you say "instead do good works," you are implying that preaching is not a good work. That is teaching false doctrine. The good news is "God's power for salvation" (Romans 1:16)

Thirdly, how could you possibly know that in an entire city there was no interest? And how likely would that be? People move in and out all the time.

Finally, Jesus said that wisdom is proved righteous by its works. The preaching work has helped millions of people to come to know the truth. It clearly has Jehovah's blessing. So, why on earth should we stop it or even "calm it down"?

Anonymous said...

As there are not much scriptures in the letters to the congregations urging to preach, the "society" have tried to change the meaning of fine works, they say it is aplied on preaching.

Again, you appear to be suggesting that preaching is not a fine work. But what could possibly be finer than that involved in helping people to come to know their Creator?

Does it really matter where in the Bible the references to preaching are? Aren't the words of the Lord enough? Didn't he say 'go and make disciples' (Matthew 28:19)?

It's true that confession has a number of meanings, but one of them is a public avowal of religious beliefs. When Paul referred to 'public declaration' or 'confession' in Romans 10:10, he followed it up straight away with a reference to the preaching work, asking "how will they hear without someone to preach?" (Verse 14) I think it's clear that Paul wanted the Romans to obey Christ's command to "preach the good news of the Kingdom."

In 1 Corinthians 9:16, Paul explained his attitude to preaching: "Woe is me if I do not declare the good news." He went on to say in 1 Cor. 11:1, become imitators of me.

Peter, too, reminded Christians of the need to 'declare abroad God's excellencies.' - 1 Peter 2:9.

Jehovah's will is clear to anyone who wants to see it. Jesus, Paul and Peter all said that Christians should preach the good news. To say that the Bible doesn't say it often enough is poor reasoning.

Voice of Reason said...

"What about the other Watchtowers in 1987 and 1999 that are quoted? "

Why base anything on the Watchtower?

why not do all you can in everything that you can?

rondes shadow said...

Ronde

you certainly try to be all men to all people dont you?

Your SUCH an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Ronde wrote: "Why base anything on the Watchtower?"

You'll make a fine Apostate, some day!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at the top of the list stated: "It really doesn't take a lot of research to establish that everything TJ has written here is complete nonsense."

Ya, child abuse accuring in congregations of JW's and not being acknowledged by the GB to the congregations is really nonsense. Goodness, wake up JW's. This pedophilia issue is REALLY big.

Take the time to read www.silentlambs.org and you will see that attempts at changing policy from the inside failed because the GB's authority felt threatened. They should have been thinking more of the protection of children than themselves. What a shame! Now, THAT is nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and Ronde is too!

bill said...

Indeed preaching is important. The facts are Jehovah's Witnesses are not the only ones who preach

Voice of Reason said...

"Ya, child abuse accuring in congregations of JW's and not being acknowledged by the GB to the congregations is really nonsense."

Yes, it is nonsense. It has never occurred in the congregations I have been in. So it is nonsense.

" Goodness, wake up JW's. This pedophilia issue is REALLY big."

No, it is not. But if it is, it is not the GB's fault, it is your fault for being the molester.

Shawn said...

There's a lot of comments about the fact that the preaching work was a command from Jesus and that's true. However, Jesus didn't command His followers to preach just anything. In fact He warned his followers that people would preach falsehoods about Him.

Matthew 24:23-28

23 “Then if anyone says to YOU, ‘Look! Here is the Christ,’ or, ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will give great signs and wonders so as to mislead, if possible, even the chosen ones. 25 Look! I have forewarned YOU. 26 Therefore, if people say to YOU, ‘Look! He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; ‘Look! He is in the inner chambers,’ do not believe it. 27 For just as the lightning comes out of eastern parts and shines over to western parts, so the presence of the Son of man will be. 28 Wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.

Jesus Himself states in this verse that if anyone tells you that He has returned but can't be seen, that person (or 'class' as the case may be ) is a false prophet. Jesus in not in the wilderness, He's not in the inner chambers, and He hasn't returned invisibly to guide the Watchtower Society. Jesus warned His followers not to believe those who said that He has returned invisibly, yet that's exactly what the Watchtower Society has been doing for over a century. First they claimed that Jesus returned invisibly in 1874 and that He would end all human governments in 1914.

Here's a quote from the book Three Worlds:

The seventy years captivity ended in the first year of Cyrus, which was B. C. 536. They therefore commenced seventy years before, or B. C. 606. Hence, it was in B. C. 606, that God’s kingdom ended, the diadem was removed, and all the earth given up to the Gentiles. 2520 years from B. C. 606, will end in A. D. 1914, or forty years from 1874; and this forty years upon which we have now entered is to be such “a time of trouble as never was since there was a nation.” And during this forty years, the kingdom of God is to be set up, (but not in the flesh, “the natural first and afterwards the spiritual),” the Jews are to be restored, the Gentile kingdoms broken in pieces “like a potter’s vessel,” and the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ, and the judgment age introduced.

Then, when nothing happened in 1914, the Watchtower Society claimed that Jesus actually returned invisibly in that year.

Another point that Jesus made was recorded in Matthew 24:36

36 “Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father.

Yet, that is exactly what the Watchtower Society has done. In fact, the Watchtower Society told its members to ignore this scripture in the article...

*** w68 8/15 pp. 500-501 par. 35 Why Are You Looking Forward to 1975? ***

35 One thing is absolutely certain, Bible chronology reinforced with fulfilled Bible prophecy shows that six thousand years of man’s existence will soon be up, yes, within this generation! (Matt. 24:34) This is, therefore, no time to be indifferent and complacent. This is not the time to be toying with the words of Jesus that “concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father.

It doesn't matter how much time Jehovah's Witnesses spend in the preaching work if what they are preaching actually contradicts what Jesus taught His followers.

Voice of Reason said...

Bill, JWs are the only ones that preach.

And you have no facts otherwise.

bill said...

Voice of Reason said...Bill, JWs are the only ones that preach. And you have no facts otherwise.


That is a lie and quite silly. Of course other religions preach. Just because they do not do so according to the way the Watchtower Society instructs according to their interpretation of the scriptures does not exclude it from the facts - Only from your mind.

Voice of Reason said...

Bill,

It is not about the Watchtower Society. The WTS's work just makes things easier. That is why other religions fail at preaching.

Shawn said...

Voice of Reason said...

Bill, JWs are the only ones that preach.

And you have no facts otherwise.
====================================

Hey, you're missing opportunities to get involved in the preaching work! The Mormons are looking for help preaching.

http://www.lds.org/csm/fulltime/0,18443,,00.html

bill said...

Voice of Reason said...It is not about the Watchtower Society. The WTS's work just makes things easier. That is why other religions fail at preaching.


You are a confused individual, aren't you? First you state JW are the only ones who preach, now you change it to other religions fail at preaching.

Voice of Reason neither you nor the Watchtower Society sets the bar on who is successful or not. Your opinion is no better than another's opinion.

If you believe the WTS makes things easier on people, that's your opinion as well. Others believe the WTS is ultimately a cult.

Voice of Reason said...

Shawn, Mormons are not preaching, they are campaigning for Prop 8

Voice of Reason said...

Bill, My opinion is better than yours.

That is because I am the voice of reason.

Better Than Voice of Reason said...

Voice of Reason said...
Bill, My opinion is better than yours.
That is because I am the voice of reason.



Jehovah's Witnesses are a cult and
my opinion is better than yours because I am better than the voice of reason.

IAAA said...

He, he.

It's true, the WTS is being SELF-DESTROYED. Amen

Sheeplike said...

The fact is that only Mormons peach on any real earth wide scale. I've only had them come to my home twice in 25 years. They are great examples of behaviour, but they do not preach the Kingdom message.

Only Jehovah's Witnesses actually preach the Good news on a world wide scale. This is all volunteer work.

All Christians should talk about the hope.

Shawn said...

Sheeplike said...

The fact is that only Mormons peach on any real earth wide scale. I've only had them come to my home twice in 25 years. They are great examples of behaviour, but they do not preach the Kingdom message.

Only Jehovah's Witnesses actually preach the Good news on a world wide scale. This is all volunteer work.

All Christians should talk about the hope.

==================================

Like I said earlier. If what you're preaching is not what Jesus taught, then it's a waste of time.

Voice of Reason said...

But JWs do preach what Jesus taught.

The good news of the kingdom, with Jesus as king.

Anonymous said...

JWs do not preach the 'Good News of the Kingdom'. They SAY they do, but in reality, they dont. Hardly anyone knows what the JWs preach. They only know they dont celebrate birthdays Xmas or take blood. Thats it.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Ronde wrote: "But JWs do preach what Jesus taught"

If a JW met Jesus on the street, the JW would try to convert Jesus.

JW apologists amuse me.

Anonymous said...

I am 35, my Mother was single in the Truth and the elders stopped by the house twice in my entire life. I was sick for over three years the elders stopped by once. However, there were other strickingly good things amoung the friends that helped encourage me. However, my concern is that we have become so consumed with the preaching work that the internal ministry is going to the side. The main criteria for a Brother to be used, and I ahve been used in various capacities, is being visible out in service attending meetings and fullfilling assignments. There are of course more but that is basically it. What about does this brother help the poor in the congregation. Does he mow the lawn of the elderly sister who is a Widow. Does he actively persue studies with the young ones in the Hall who need spiritual guidance. In my years as a Witness in good standing this area is seriously lacking and has been a stumbling block or me personally off and on over the years. I have tried to not be a hypocrit about it. However, I must say the other 95 percent of the gripes online with regard to JWs is either smoke and mirrors, unfounded or a bunch of people just whinging. The points I mentioned though are of great concern to me

Shawn said...

But JWs do preach what Jesus taught.

The good news of the kingdom, with Jesus as king.
====================================

Sure, but if you also say you know when Jesus will end this system (1914, 1915, 1918, 1925, 1975, 1994, before 2000, 2034) you've gone directly against Jesus' words at Matthew 24:36. If you tell people that Jesus has returned invisibly, you've become a false prophet according to Matthew 24:23-28. Since these things are taught by JWs (I'm sure you say you don't VoR, but no one believes you're actually one of Jehovah's Witnesses), their preaching is invalid.

Shawn said...

Anonymous said:

...However, I must say the other 95 percent of the gripes online with regard to JWs is either smoke and mirrors, unfounded or a bunch of people just whinging. The points I mentioned though are of great concern to me.

=====================================

First of all, just because an issue isn't important to you doesn't make it 'whinging'. Secondly, if you think 5% of the issues here are legitimate, maybe you should take a closer look at what the Watchtower Society has done to its members in the past and what it is doing to them now and compare them against the Bible.

kimmy jo said...

"Anonymous said...
Fisting and God's Will..."
****

This one must be working in the Watchtower writing dept. with the ability to write and use scripture like that!

Edward Albright said...

"However, my concern is that we have become so consumed with the preaching work that the internal ministry is going to the side. The main criteria for a Brother to be used, and I ahve been used in various capacities, is being visible out in service attending meetings and fullfilling assignments."

Question:

What are you doing about it or are you just relying on the elders?


"Does he mow the lawn of the elderly sister who is a Widow. Does he actively persue studies with the young ones in the Hall who need spiritual guidance. In my years as a Witness in good standing this area is seriously lacking and has been a stumbling block or me personally off and on over the years"

Again, what are you doing about it?

Are you going to the elderly and helping them, helping the widows and ophans?

Some make statements about the JW religion in that it does not have these 'charities' but the fact is that each individual can do those things personally rather than deferring to something established. That is what Christianity is about. It is not about giving to a soup kitchen, but about going to your cupboard and making soup and bringing it to those in need.

So read your own question and apply it to yourself.

And yes, the majority of complaints against JWs are just whining. It seems that is what this blog is about.

Admin Staff said...

I think what appears to be happening here, is a differentiation of "organizational" traits and expressions, and whether or not the WTBTS is indeed the chosen vessel of God in these days.

Factual examination of the History, the Biblical explanations, the methodology of the Organization and comparison with Biblical identification of an approved individual or organization, soon shows a disparity in linking the two. Further examination will show that including truthful statements in a dialogue of lies does not make "the Truth".

A hard critical examination of the WTBTS emphasis on the preaching work, and comparison with Bibles actual teachings and commandments and timelines, would indicate a self serving, self preserving Bible books selling campaign. Without the book sales, the WTBTS is just another poor religion claiming divine selection.
Ask yourself, would Jesus have surrounded himself with a corporation? Would he have started a printing company? Would he have several hundred sub corporations to escape lawsuits and taxation liability?
The WTBTS is a business. It makes one billion plus a year in direct relationship to book sales and JW membership donations. It makes double that with Corporation investments and property ownership.
If we go into the history of the WTBTS, we see lies, treachery, thieving, immorality and deception. Nothing to recommend them as chosen by God.
The judgement on the WTBTS will be heavy because of using Gods name to do their business in.

Voice of Reason said...

"whether or not the WTBTS is indeed the chosen vessel of God in these days."

Question:

Why does it matter?

Why can't people be Jehovah's Witnesses by learning and following the Bible without worrying about the WTBTS? That is what I do and I do just fine at that.

Admin Staff said...

Blogger Voice of Reason said...

"whether or not the WTBTS is indeed the chosen vessel of God in these days."

Question:

Why does it matter?

Why can't people be Jehovah's Witnesses by learning and following the Bible without worrying about the WTBTS? That is what I do and I do just fine at that.

No you dont. The path you follow is the one dictated to you by the WTBTS. Somewhere along the line you have stopped thinking for yourself and BELIEVE the interpretations and arrogations of the WTBTS in assigning them the power to direct your thinking.
You have abdicated the right to be a witness of Jehovah.

It really doesnt matter to me. But it DOES matter to you and Jehovah.

Shawn said...

Voice of Reason said:

"whether or not the WTBTS is indeed the chosen vessel of God in these days."

Question:

Why does it matter?

Why can't people be Jehovah's Witnesses by learning and following the Bible without worrying about the WTBTS? That is what I do and I do just fine at that.
===================================

That is a couple of excellent questions! Why does it matter? It shouldn't, but the Watchtower Society stresses their publications as a necessary part of Christian life.

*** w07 1/15 p. 32 A Centenarian With a Purpose in Life ***

Regularly reading the Bible and Bible-based publications and not forsaking Christian meetings can help us live a full and purposeful life regardless of our age.
***

*** w07 3/15 p. 30 par. 16 Demons—How Can We Resist Them? ***

Our faith will be strong if we study the Bible and Bible-based publications
***

*** w07 4/1 p. 22 par. 5 Loyal to Christ and His Faithful Slave ***

“On arriving” to inspect the “slave” in 1918, Christ found a spirit-anointed remnant of faithful disciples who since 1879 had been using this journal and other Bible-based publications to provide spiritual “food at the proper time.”
***

*** w07 5/1 p. 23 par. 18 Do Not Put Apart What God Has Yoked Together ***

When problems arise, research what the Bible says about Jehovah’s thinking on matters, using Bible-based publications.
***

*** w07 12/15 p. 27 Highlights From the Book of Malachi ***

Those who are given the privilege of teaching in the congregation should make sure that what they teach is in harmony with God’s Word, the Holy Scriptures, and with Bible-based publications of “the faithful steward.”
***

*** w07 11/15 pp. 24-25 par. 17 Cultivate Qualities That Can Help You Make Disciples ***

We may enjoy explaining the Bible so much that we have to exercise self-control in order to let the student express himself or explain a matter being considered during a home Bible study. Naturally, we should not overwhelm people with questions. Instead, with tact, good illustrations, and thoughtful questions, we can help them to appreciate the Scriptural points presented in our Bible-based publications.
***

*** w06 4/15 p. 7 Keys to Communicating With Your Mate ***

Read together the related articles from the publications of Jehovah’s Witnesses. You may be surprised at how much you and your mate can benefit from the Bible-based information, which has helped many sincere Christians.
***

*** w05 4/1 p. 26 Making Jehovah Your God ***

As with Abraham, our faith must be established on a solid foundation. That can best be done by regular study of the Bible and Bible-based publications.
***

Did Abraham have a subscription to the Watchtower?

*** w05 6/15 p. 27 par. 18 Young People, Praise Jehovah! ***

Do you at times find it hard to start conversations in school about your faith? You are not alone in feeling that way. However, you can make it more likely that others will ask you about your faith. For example, if it is legal and permissible to do so, why not bring Bible-based publications with you and read them during lunchtime or other periods when it is allowable to do so?
***

Why not just bring your Bible?

*** w05 11/1 p. 24 par. 13 Will You Walk With God? ***

If you faithfully read the Bible and Bible-based publications and attend the programs of instruction sponsored by the anointed today, then you are being trained to walk with God.
***

*** w04 2/15 p. 19 par. 14 Guard Against Deception ***

Regularly feed on the Bible and Bible-based publications. (Psalm 1:2) Doing so will help you to keep your thoughts, attitudes, and feelings in harmony with godly principles.
***

*** w04 4/1 p. 21 Are You Focusing on the Reward? ***

Regular reading of the Bible and study of Bible-based publications help us to keep our minds centered on spiritual matters.
***

*** w04 10/15 p. 11 par. 14 Paradise—For You? ***

Additionally, the Bible-based publications of the faithful and discreet slave class provide spiritual food in the spiritual paradise.
***

*** w04 12/15 p. 21 par. 18 Do You Accept Jehovah’s Help? ***

Diligent and careful research is often needed in order to find Scriptural counsel that addresses our specific needs. We have many Bible-based publications to help us in our search.
***

*** w03 12/15 p. 22 par. 11 Prove Yourself Ready for Jehovah’s Day ***

Yes, what a stimulant to our spiritual wakefulness is diligent personal study of the Scriptures using Bible-based publications provided by “the faithful and discreet slave”! (Matthew 24:45-47) For personal study to produce benefits, however, it must be progressive and consistent. (Hebrews 5:14–6:3) We must take in solid spiritual food regularly. Finding time for it in this day and age may be a challenge. (Ephesians 5:15, 16) Still, reading the Bible and Scriptural publications only when it may be convenient is not enough. Regular personal study is essential if we are to stay “healthy in the faith” and keep awake.—Titus 1:13.
***

So what if one of Jehovah's Witnesses wanted to focus on the Bible and not be concerned with all of those Bible-based publications? Would that be okay?

*** km 9/07 p. 3 Question Box ***

Does “the faithful and discreet slave” endorse independent groups of Witnesses who meet together to engage in Scriptural research or debate?—Matt. 24:45, 47.

No, it does not.
***

So even though focusing on the Bible alone should be essential for Christians, the Watchtower Society does not endorse such a stance. Why is that? It's because when people focus on the Bible alone and not their 'Bible-based publications', the Watchtower Society looses control over their members. If individual Jehovah's Witnesses focused on the Bible, they would realize that declaring the good news has nothing to do with handing out magazines and creating a reporting structure to keep members in line with what the Watchtower Society wants them to do.

Voice of Reason said...

"No you dont. The path you follow is the one dictated to you by the WTBTS. Somewhere along the line you have stopped thinking for yourself and BELIEVE the interpretations and arrogations of the WTBTS in assigning them the power to direct your thinking.
You have abdicated the right to be a witness of Jehovah."


I would seriously advise you to speak for yourself!!!!!!

DO NOT SPEAK FOR ME!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Ronde wrote: [insert babble here]

Wake up and smell your cult, dude.

If you want to be an independent person, with thoughts of your own, you must leave the JWs.

In the meantime, ALL of us ex-JW can speak for you, because we know exactly what you believe.

Anonymous said...

Jerusalem, seiged in 587.

http://tinyurl.com/5evx2v

Freedomfromthejw said...

they are losing it!!
I give them 5 years tops

Anonymous said...

Oh my dear Ronde...

You have attempted on more that one occasion to make it sound like JW's don't typically care about the WTS/GB/F&DS and their publications.

It's little wonder why you would do this. They have been wrong on so many things and their own publications hold the proof of this statement (and this web-blog and many Internet sites contain the plethora of errors ... www.sixscreensofthewatchtower.com).

What you don't understand is that you can't stay a JW and pretend that JW's ONLY concern themselves with private Bible reading. By attempting to convince readers of this blog otherwise, is a flat out lie and you know it!

You will not last (even as a psuedo JW) because you have already left the religion to some degree. It's only a matter of time before you fully realize that you've been defending a false Christian religion.

Voice of Reason said...

You know Ronde, I think there might be some truth to this. Why do you pretend to be a bonified JW?

Anonymous said...

I want to thank GBL for posting these thoughts because the WTS is so secretive of anything negative/deceitful occuring in their own religion (UN involvement, pedophilia cover-up, etc.)

Anonymous said...

For those interested in learning about these things, check out:

www.silentlambs.org
www.jwfacts.com
www.sixscreensofthewatchtower.com
www.freemings.org

Ronde said...

That last web-site should read:

www.freeminds.org

p.s. It's so refreshing reading the real truth behind my religion... thanks to all for your helpful direction. And, thanks to you Voice of Reason for bringing me to my senses. You really are the Voice of Reason.

Voice of Reason said...

"Jerusalem, seiged in 587."

Yeah , so?

Sheeplike said...

May 15, 1975 Watchtower reads:
"The preaching of the good news is part of a larger activity that includes many fine works performed by Christians out of love for others. It would be a mistake to regard other fine works as of little consequence. While certain works may receive greater emphasis at times, in the overall view they are all equally important. Each fine work makes its own contribution to the strength, unity and productivity of the Christian congregation."

The brothers and sisters have been, and are being encouraged, to be balanced. Christianity is a way of LIFE.

Anonymous said...

Brother Edward A.,

What are you doing about it or are you just relying on the elders?

First, Shouldnt the question be what are WE doing about it? Secondly, if I reply what I have done it will seem as if I am gloating or putting on aires. However, since I am put to task I will answer.

I have spent time with some Brothers in Sisters in Rest homes only to find them gone the next morning. Passed away.

I have three times allowed for the friend to live in my home to get back on there feet, twice with no rent.

I have pioneered in poor health, asking younger brothers to come with me on a regular basis.

I have in fact mowed the Widows and elderly ones long lawn

The issue is everynight and in every meeting we are literally hounded either explicitly or implicitely about our numbers and the accounting of those numbers in the door to door work. Am I saying we should stop the preaching work? By no means!!!!! I am however saying that because of the emphasis in our turning in time many of US, off and on including me, have become mechanical in our service to Jehovah. While the Widow and fatherless boys are being forgotten, what about the type or "form of worship that is undefiled"

(Jas 1:27) . . .The form of worship that is clean and undefiled from the standpoint of our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation, and to keep oneself without spot from the world.. . .

Perhaps we should have another metric detailing our internal ministry. I mean to say our ministry within the Congregation and not just leaving it to the Elder body. Maybe by training the Congregation how to do this in an organized way with proper training it could help US in the effective preaching of the Good News? This theoretical program may in the help others along the goal to be more self-sufficient either materially or spiritually.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

"Does he mow the lawn of the elderly sister who is a Widow. Does he actively persue studies with the young ones in the Hall who need spiritual guidance. In my years as a Witness in good standing this area is seriously lacking and has been a stumbling block or me personally off and on over the years"

Again, what are you doing about it?

I have had several studies with younger ones in the Hall, specifically because I know what they are going through. Brother, what concerns me is the frequency and intensity of this problem that it is not being addressed. If an article is on it or a talk it seems almost if it is a form of tokenism and only supplementary or secondary to the preaching work. I would say that it is just as important.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Are you going to the elderly and helping them, helping the widows and ophans?

See above responsed with regard to this question.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
Some make statements about the JW religion in that it does not have these 'charities' but the fact is that each individual can do those things personally rather than deferring to something established. That is what Christianity is about. It is not about giving to a soup kitchen, but about going to your cupboard and making soup and bringing it to those in need.

So read your own question and apply it to yourself.
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@


The very reason I have posted this is because in fact I have applied it to myself. the real question is have WE applied it to OURSELVES. This issue while beginning with the individual is an issue of US as a Brotherhood. I feel this is one of the greatest areas of improvement for us and that the type of needed action is somethine organized from our dear Brothers in New York/New Jersey. I would assert that we would help many of our young ones not fall into the world as is happening lately.

Lastly, I have been replied to by well-meaning Brothers and Sisters such as yourself and I think, frankly, it is a cop out and shifts focus away from the the only true and real management: those who are taking the lead in terms of congregational and organizational responsibility. More encouragement in this area would make for less elders meetings late at night in the long run, in my opinion.

As far as soup kitchens I would agree that primarily most of these things should be done on a personal basis a face to face approach. However, can WE honestly look at OURSELVES and say that WE are doing this satisfactorly before Jehovah? Can WE honestly say the congregation is admonished and trained adequately to fully accomplish our ministry internal to the Congreation. I hesitate to answer. I would also agree that primarily the First Century Congregation was for the organizing of the Preaching work to those not within the congregation, but how can you accomplish that preaching work if WE dont even watch out effectively for those who are spiritually ailing around us. Can WE truly love others through the preaching work, if WE do not fully love OURSELVES, especially those who are undergoing persecution and trials alone?

And yes, the majority of complaints against JWs are just whining. It seems that is what this blog is about.

I dont want to add any undo fuel to the fire of some of those on here who want a platform either to either slam our wonderful Brothers taking the lead or to Jehovah Himself.

If you would like to talk about this more in private, as it I think it would be wiser.

Feel free to email me.

Agape, Your Brother

theostudygroup@hotmail.com

Edward Albright said...

"what the Watchtower Society has done to its members in the past and what it is doing to them now and compare them against the Bible. "

Records show that the Watchtower Society of Pennsylvania has only 500 members that meet at the annual meeting. What have they done to them? What are they doing to them now? I don't think that the bible has any mention of corporations and their shareholding members to compare.

I don't get your point.

Shawn said...

Edward Albright said:

"what the Watchtower Society has done to its members in the past and what it is doing to them now and compare them against the Bible. "

Records show that the Watchtower Society of Pennsylvania has only 500 members that meet at the annual meeting. What have they done to them? What are they doing to them now? I don't think that the bible has any mention of corporations and their shareholding members to compare.

I don't get your point.
===================================

Ah yes, the disingenuous claim that the Watchtower Society is merely some legal entity. Here's what the Watchtower Society has to say about your assertion...

*** w98 3/15 pp. 18-19 par. 3 Living Up to Christian Dedication in Freedom ***

3 Someone may argue that the way the Witnesses speak about the Watch Tower Society—or more often just “the Society”—indicates that they view it as more than a legal instrument. Do they not consider it to be the final authority on matters of worship? The book Jehovah’s Witnesses—Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom clarifies this point by explaining: “When The Watchtower [June 1, 1938] referred to ‘The Society,’ this meant, not a mere legal instrumentality, but the body of anointed Christians that had formed that legal entity and used it.” The expression therefore stood for “the faithful and discreet slave.” (Matthew 24:45) It is in this sense that the Witnesses generally used the term “the Society.” Of course, the legal corporation and “the faithful and discreet slave” are not interchangeable terms. Directors of the Watch Tower Society are elected, whereas Witnesses who make up ‘the faithful slave’ are anointed by Jehovah’s holy spirit.
***

It is in this sense that I use the term 'Watchtower Society'. Nice try dodging the issue though.

Edward Albright said...

Shawn,you responded by quoting something from the past 1998, which refers to a book written in the past 1993, referring to something written in 1938.

The final result being:
"the body of anointed Christians that had formed that legal entity and used it."

I believe this is called the Faithful and discreet slave. Didn't the anointed ones at that time form that legal entity and use it?

Shawn said...

Edward Albright said:

Shawn,you responded by quoting something from the past 1998, which refers to a book written in the past 1993, referring to something written in 1938.

The final result being:
"the body of anointed Christians that had formed that legal entity and used it."

I believe this is called the Faithful and discreet slave. Didn't the anointed ones at that time form that legal entity and use it?
==================================

What's your point? Your comment does not contradict what I said about the correct understanding of the use of the term "Watchtower Society"

“When The Watchtower [June 1, 1938] referred to ‘The Society,’ this meant, not a mere legal instrumentality, but the body of anointed Christians that had formed that legal entity and used it.”

Jehovah's Witnesses do not use the terms "Watchtower Society" or "The Society" to mean just some legal entity. Those terms are used as a moniker for "the body of anointed Christians that had formed that legal entity and used it."

Look, it's not like you're the first JW apologist I've run across who tried to weasel out of addressing a serious issue by trying to throw up some smoke screen about how the Watchtower Society is merely a 'legal entity' or 'a publishing house'. The technique is at best sophomoric and at worst, blatantly deceitful and cowardly.

You're not fooling anyone here. Anyone who has ever been associated with Jehovah's Witnesses knows exactly what I mean when I use the term.

When I suggested that people should take a look at "what the Watchtower Society has done to its members in the past and what it is doing to them now and compare them against the Bible", I was suggesting that they investigate the deceit and false prophecies along with the use of cult control techniques and compare them with actual Christian teachings from the Bible itself as opposed to the 'Bible-based publications' that the Watchtower Society uses to promote its unchristian policies.

Anonymous said...

WANT TO KNOW THE TRUE NATURE OF THE MODERATOR AND ALL THESE SITES.....JUST GO TO THE COMMENTS ON CONTRIBUTIONS AND SEE WHAT THE SERVANT OF SATAN ALLOWS TO BE PUBLISHED.

trebor said...

Anonymous said...
WANT TO KNOW THE TRUE NATURE OF THE MODERATOR AND ALL THESE SITES.....JUST GO TO THE COMMENTS ON CONTRIBUTIONS AND SEE WHAT THE SERVANT OF SATAN ALLOWS TO BE PUBLISHED.


The true nature of the moderator has not a thing to do with whether both what is published on the blog page or the comments that follow is true or not.

Calling the contributors "the servant of satan" just causes a smoke screen and ignores the facts pointed out regarding the problems within The Watchtower Society.

Anonymous said...

Besides, it's well known that Ronde (who appears as many aliases on this web-blog) would stoop so low as to do anything (like posting disgusting topics) just to sabotage the integrity of anything that GBL posts.

Look Ronde, we are on to you... why can't you get that? You are disturbed and need professional help... when are you going to get the help you need? I say that with honest concern for you.

SLE said...

Anonymous wrote Take the time to read www.silentlambs.org and you will see that attempts at changing policy from the inside failed because the GB's authority felt threatened.

I visited www.silentlambs.org and found that it was full of lies. I'm chronicling them on silentlambsexposed.blogspot.com