Thursday, April 26, 2012

Can the Watchtower Organuzation Be Reformed

1. Teaching that true Christianity is an organization instead of a way of life

2. Claiming salvation is dependent upon belonging to the JW denomination

3. Claiming that the organization speaks for and is controlled by Jehovah, thereby equating the organization with God himself

4. Centralizing authority in an organization instead of letting Christ be the head of each Christian

5. Claiming that the “faithful and discreet slave” is the “anointed class” rather than each individual Christian who shows himself or herself to be responsible and obedient to Christ

6. Teaching that the early Christians were led by a governing body

7. Teaching that Jesus appointed the “anointed remnant” as his true church in 1919

8. Viewing the so-called “anointed” class (actually, the governing body) as God’s channel and prophet

9. Placing WT literature above the Bible

10. Frequently taking Bible texts out of context in order to build support for the organization’s man-made teachings and procedures

11. Teaching that Jesus returned in 1914 and is “invisibly present” since then

12. Teaching that Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 BCE when no historical records confirm this and the actual date is believed by nearly all historians to be 587 BCE

13. Falsifying the fact that Charles Russell predicted for 1914 the end of the world, not Christ’s return

14. Lying about a so-called “increase” in earthquakes, warfare, famines, persecution, etc., since 1914

15. Contradictorily condemning military organizations and frowning upon JWs who choose alternative service in lieu of military service while the headquarters organization at the same time owns stock in a military product organization (REGI)

16. Taking a conflicting stand with regard to the United Nations, claiming that it is the “wild beast” of Revelation that leads all nations in a fight against God and Christ at Armageddon, but signing on as an NGO member and publishing articles that present the UN in a favorable light

17. Teaching that it’s wrong to celebrate birthdays and all holidays

18. Teaching that Abraham and the faithful men and women of old are not among the holy ones who will rule with Christ in his Kingdom

19. Interpreting Jewish restoration prophecies as fulfilled in “the anointed remnant”

20. Teaching that the Scriptures are directly addressed only to “the remnant of anointed ones”

21. Teaching that only the “anointed” must be born again

22. Teaching that the “great crowd” are not begotten or anointed by the Holy Spirit

23. Teaching that the “great crowd” are God’s grandchildren and not his sons and daughters

24. Teaching that the “great crowd” are not members of the bride of Christ

25. Teaching that Jesus is not the mediator between God and the “great crowd” of Revelation chapter 7

26. Teaching that the resurrection of the “anointed” precedes the resurrection of the “other sheep” and that it has already begun

27. Teaching that only “anointed” JWs will receive immortality in the resurrection

28. Inviting only the “anointed” to partake at the memorial 29. Claiming that spiritual food comes from the “anointed” class whereas nearly all the writers of WT publications are members of the “other sheep” class

30. Creating a climate of fear by authoritarianism

31. Controlling what individual JWs may read of Bible-related publications that are not produced by the WT Society 32.

Arrogantly pretending that the JW organization maintains higher standards than any other religion and proclaiming publicly that all other churches are members of Babylon the Great

33. Forbidding attendance and participation at other churches

34. Class distinctions such as “governing body,” “anointed remnant” and “great crowd of other sheep”

35. Class distinctions such as publishers, auxiliary pioneers, regular pioneers, special pioneers, circuit overseers, district overseers, Bethelites, Governing Body, etc.

36. Prohibiting women from serving in any meaningful role in the congregation while expecting them to do the bulk of the work in “field service”

37. Constantly prodding the membership by means of literature, meetings and conventions to do ever more and more in the service of the organization, promoting an atmosphere where many feel their best is never good enough

38. Setting dates for Armageddon and thereby urging the membership to abandon normal living, this often resulting in the ruination of health and family life, as well as creating employment and financial hardships

39. Teachings that lead the members to believe righteousness and salvation can be earned by devoted and loyal support of the organization’s slavish programs

40. Keeping meeting attendance and field service records as a gauge of an individual’s spirituality

41. Organizationally requiring no blood transfusions instead of letting it be a matter of conscience, thereby cruelly informing all members that they will be shunned by the organization if they accept a transfusion that might restore health following a life-threatening accident or illness

42. Allowing their own infants and children to die instead of allowing doctors to give them necessary blood transfusions

43. Teaching that the “congregation” of Matthew 18:17 is the body of elders

44. Holding heresy trials and disciplinary hearings in secrecy from the rest of the congregation

45. Withholding information that would be helpful to persons who have been accused of wrongdoing

46. Conducting heresy trials of members who have doubts or who think differently upon the Scriptures

47. Defining apostasy as against the organization instead of against God

48. Being quick to disfellowship instead of making efforts to restore persons who have done something wrong

49. Unnecessarily and abusively shunning members even for minor infractions such as smoking or not complying with the whimsical directives of elders, thereby causing personal and family turmoil that often results in immense guilt, shame, fear, depression, bitterness, hatred, murder and suicide

50. Prohibiting fellowship with disassociated persons who show no inclination toward causing dissension

51. Showing favoritism by advising innocent victims to “leave it to Jehovah” instead of the elders taking decisive action to deal with some members who have been accused of harmful wrongdoing.

52. Ignoring or minimizing clear evidence of child molestation and other abuses simply because only one witness is available to testify against the member accused of such serious wrongdoing

53. Covering over and hiding damaging facts about the JW organization

54. In many cases, neglecting the care of their own sick and elderly members who no longer have the strength and energy to attend all the meetings and to be regular in “field service” as they did for most of their lives

55. Blatantly lying to the public by declaring to news media that members may leave the organization at any time, of their own free will and without any repercussions from the organization

Observations From "Cedar" On Another Website

Hi everyone I've just finished an article for Randy over on, which I've submitted to him for review. Hopefully it should be online soon, so please keep checking! The article discusses the fact that the Watch Tower Society is ALREADY in decline, and suggests the year 2005 as the turning point. I'll briefly explain why... Each year when the worldwide reports come out, we are anxious to see whether there is any significant dip in publisher growth. As we all know, growth continues albeit at an extremely low rate. The growth percentage has hovered between 2 and 3% over the past six years, and has been on an overall downwards trend since the 80s. Most of the growth is driven by expansion in developing countries, which in turn is funded by publishers in wealthier lands where the growth is slower. This model is unsustainable in the longterm, and the effects are already being felt. It occurs to me that, in looking for a sign of the decline of the Society, we are looking in the wrong place. After all, the Watchtower Society is first-and-foremost a religiously-oriented publishing corporation, and always has been. Logically then, a good guage of how well it is doing can be seen in its printed output - which given the gradual increase in publishers and the supposed nearness of Armageddon should be increasing accordingly, right? Well, that's not what we see. Think about the actual number of printed pages per set of magazines, per month. At the start of 2005 we had 128 pages each per set of magazines, comprising... Watchtower, dated 1st (32 pages) Watchtower, dated 15th (32 pages) Awake, dated 8th (32 pages) Awake, dated 22nd (32 pages) By late 2005, this had fallen (for all magazines dated 2006) to 96 pages, comprising... Public Edition Watchtower, dated 1st (32 pages) Study Edition Watchtower, dated 15th (32 pages) Awake (32 pages) Later this year, the number will have plummeted to 64 pages, comprising... Public Edition Watchtower, dated 1st (16 pages) Study Edition Watchtower, dated 15th (32 pages) Awake (16 pages) Ignoring the marginal increase in printing demand through publisher growth, that's essentially a halving of monthly magazine printing commitments in only 7 years! ...and at a time when we should be needing MORE spiritual food, not less. I explain everything in more detail in the article, but I firmly believe the reduction in magazine printing commitments is telling. Added to the branch closures (Ireland, New Zealand..), the sale of Assembly Halls, the parceling off of Brooklyn real estate, the introduction of credit card facilities at assembly halls, and the attempts to leverage ownership of local kingdom halls - I believe all the evidence is there that the Society is already in decline, and is desperately slashing operational commitments and overheads wherever it can. The clever part is, nobody saw it - including me! Cedars

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Jehovah's Witness are Really "Watchtowerites." by Matt Slick

Jehovah's Witnesses faithfully go door-to-door preaching the "Kingdom of God" that is taught them via the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. They are usually quite polite and sincere in their efforts of communicating "Jehovah's Good News." As always, they carry with them several books and magazines, some of which are the New World Translation (their Bible, which has been altered in many places), the Awake Magazine, and, of course, the ubiquitous Watchtower Magazine.

The Jehovah's Witnesses receive their direction from The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society headquartered in Brooklyn, New York. This organization claims to be the channel of communication from God to his people, that it represents Jesus on earth, and that you cannot find Scriptural guidance outside of it as an organization. Consider the following quotes:

"It should be expected that the Lord would have a means of communication to his people on the earth, and he has clearly shown that the magazine called The Watchtower is used for that purpose."1 Make haste to identify the visible theocratic organization of God that represents his king, Jesus Christ. It is essential for life. Doing so, be complete in accepting its every aspect."2 "We all need help to understand the Bible, and we cannot find the Scriptural guidance we need outside the 'faithful and discreet slave' organization."3

Obviously, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society assumes a great deal, including being God's "visible theocratic organization" and the 'faithful and discreet slave" teaching true Christian doctrine. The only problem is that the Watchtower brand of doctrine is not biblical doctrine. It is heavily filtered doctrine through Watchtower interpretations combined with selective questions and scripture quotes.

Of course, the Jehovah's Witnesses will strongly disagree with this statement. They say that they read and study their Bibles and only use the Watchtower literature as a guide to understanding God's word. But it is this very admission which condemns them because their doctrines are not found in the Bible. The proof is found, believe it or not, in the Watchtower's own writings. Consider this quote from The Watchtower magazine, August 15, 1981 that says:

"From time to time, there have arisen from among the ranks of Jehovah's people those, who, like the original Satan, have adopted an independent, faultfinding attitude...They say that it is sufficient to read the Bible exclusively, either alone or in small groups at home. But, strangely, through such 'Bible reading,' they have reverted right back to the apostate doctrines that commentaries by Christendom's clergy were teaching 100 years ago..."4

Did you get that? If you read the Bible by itself, you will become a Trinitarian because that is exactly what the Watchtower is referring to here when it says "apostate doctrines." In other words, if you read the Bible alone, you will not arrive at Watchtower doctrines. This is an amazing admission by the Watchtower organization. It is clear, Jehovah's Witnesses do not get their teachings from the Bible, but from the Watchtower literature.

Jehovah's Witnesses are Really Watchtowerites The average Kingdom Hall (Jehovah's Witness church) has "Book" studies several times a week. It is in these meetings that the Jehovah's Witness gets new Watchtower publications, studies with the help of the Watchtower aids, and discusses doctrines in 'Bible studies." This is how they are indoctrinated. Whether or not a Jehovah's Witness likes or dislikes what is being taught is not the issue. Rather, the Jehovah's Witness is supposed to accept and believe what is taught via the Watchtower Literature and is discouraged from independent thinking. Another quote:

"We should eat and digest and assimilate what is set before us, without shying away from parts of the food because it may not suit the fancy of our mental taste...We should meekly go along with the Lord's theocratic organization and wait for further clarification.'"5

This quote clearly shows that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is the Jehovah's Witness' teacher and those who follow its teachings are Watchtowerites. That is, they are students of the Watchtower which is why, basically, all Jehovah's Witnesses all believe the very same thing. Of course, they will say that this is unity and not confusion as is found in Christendom's denominations. But precise unity in beliefs among a people is a sign not of freedom, but of control.

Within Christianity's denominations are the core beliefs that unite Christians all over the world. We are allowed differences of opinions on non-essential doctrines (Rom. 14:1-7). Not so with the Jehovah's Witnesses. They are all taught the same doctrine from the same publications. They each give identical Watchtower responses to questions and challenges, and all present the identical claims of "The Kingdom of God," "the Errors of the Trinity," the "Coming Armageddon," etc. Essentially, if you've spoken to one Jehovah's Witness, you've spoken to them all.

If you want to learn what the average Jehovah's Witnesses believes, you don't read the Bible, you read the Watchtower Magazine. This is because the Watchtower is the source of their theological beliefs, not the Bible. If you want to quickly learn what the Watchtower teaches, spend an hour with any Jehovah's Witness. The Jehovah's Witness is, quite plainly, a Watchtowerite.