Thursday, September 18, 2008

Times article special!

Guess who made it on this recent Times article which was titled, "Apocalypse now? 30 days when the world didn't end?" You guessed it! Jehovah's Witnesses! Here's what the article has to say:

14: 1874 : Memorable for being the first of a long line of dates posited for the End of the World by the Jehovah's Witnesses.


15: 1881 : Another estimated apocalypse by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and also by pyramidologists who used the peculiar geometry of the Great Pyramid to extrapolate various world events using a form of numerology. The renowned 16th century seer Mother Shipton was also said to have predicted: “The world to an end shall come, in eighteen hundred and eighty one” That this verse was subsequently proven to be fraudulent did not deter the credulous few from engaging in the now fully-fledged custom known as millennial panic.


Looks like they missed some of the big ones like 1914 and 1925! Oh well. But on a serious note to any Jehovah's Witnesses reading this; why do you follow a false prophet who proclaims false prophecies time and time again? I mean, don't you find it interesting that "Jehovah's organization" made it on this list?

64 comments:

Voice of Reason said...

"1881 : Another estimated apocalypse by the Jehovah’s Witnesses,"

Except the Jehovah's Witnesses did not predict anything for that date. That is when the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society was incorporated.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that apparently people believe (mistakenly) that Jehovah's Witnesses predict the "end of the world" at man's hands, so that when the super-collider in the U.K. was linked to a possible world-wide destruction, somehow Jehovah's Witnesses pop up as doomsday sayers. It couldn't be further from the truth.

There may have been those who, in the past, predicted some kind of event in some certain year. Surely their anticipation for a change for the better on this earth could be some excuse for speculating on "the day or the hour". Jehovah's Witnesses do not predict dates. And Jehovah's Witnesses know and teach that Armageddon will be God's war, not man's.

So, the only thing interesting about Jehovah's Witnesses making it on the "list" is that the people who made up this list have it so wrong.

Mike-e said...

Anonymous, you made some very interesting admissions. First,

"people believe (mistakenly) that Jehovah's Witnesses predict the "end of the world" at man's hands"

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by this. Jehovah's Witnesses, who are men, have predicted the end. Of course they claim "its in God's hands." But thats precisely what false prophets do. They claim that the predictions are of God and not their own. And this is exactly what JW's have done with their failed prophecies.

Secondly,

"Jehovah's Witnesses do not predict dates"

Unless i'm misunderstanding you here, i'm surprised that a JW would make such a statement when most are well aware of their history. If JW's do not predict dates, then please explain the following to me:

"We see no reason for changing the figures--nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, God's dates, not ours. But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the times of trouble." (Watchtower, July 15, 1894, p. 226)

"Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostles in Hebrews chapter eleven, to the condition of human perfection." (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920, p. 89)

"However, the prophet who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded him to speak or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die. And in case you should say in your heart: 'How shall we know the word that Jehovah has not spoken?' When the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak. With presumptuousness the prophet spoke it. You must not get frightened at him." (Deuteronomy 18:20-22, NWT)

"Be on the watch for the false prophets that come to you in sheep's covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves." (Matthew 7:15, NWT)

Why should I not view the Watchtower as false prophets in light of the above statements?

Pam Tolliver said...

The Watchtower never ever said that their "predictions" were from God. Their first "prediction" was just an educated GUESS on Russell's part, as he hoped that Christ's co-rulers would go to heaven in 1914 with the end of the "Times of the Gentiles." He didn't say that God said this. The same in 1975, which I personally am familiar with. Nowhere did JWs say that God says this is the end. They didn't even say that THEY thought definitely that the system would end then! They said that "it is reasonable to think," or, "this COULD or MIGHT be the time," seeing that 6,000 years had elapsed since Adam's creation. So anyone who says the JWs are false prophets are talking through their hats.

Mike-e said...

Thanks for your comment, Pam. I would refer you to the comment above to show your statements to be incorrect. The WT makes statements, such as "These are God's dates, not ours," which are very different from simply making "guesses."

If you would like photocopies of these watchtower articles which clearly state that the WT dogmatically proclaimed specific dates for the end, please feel free to drop me a line at entrsnm3@aol.com and I would be happy to email them to you.

Voice of Reason said...

I don't find a problem with people looking to dates when there is a Biblical destination. Looking at a map and seeing that we are near the destination is a common thing. The problem is that they looked for landmarks that are not in the Bible specifically. But remember that the destination is still there.

Anonymous said...

What gets my goat is the amount of energy out there going into discrediting the JWs.

How did that bit in the bible go about "only one true path leading to eternal life" it also said something about the broad path being full while the narrow one is sparsely populated.

Oh and what was that about those on the true path being openly ridiculed and rejected by the greater society? Gee, it certainly does draw some parallels to the hard times endured by Jesus and His disciples. Oh, lest we forget, Yes, the disciples purpose was to go preaching the word of god... More similarities.

Who then is on that narrow path walking alongside the disciples?

Funny how when a Catholic priest molests a child the church remains untainted, yet all JWs best watch their step cause the world is eager to judge their entire religion on each member's comments. Imagine the churches out there were all judged by society by their congregation members. Let me think... Duh

Every web site out there bashing the JWs pushes me further in their direction. Such ignorance in the face of such blatancy! Blatant truth.

The truth is clear, if you want to see it you will. It depends on the true condition of your heart.

Mike-e said...

Voice of Reason, Deuteronomy 18:20-22 doesn't let false prophets off the hook simply because they provided "biblical support." But that seems to be what you are suggesting. Matthew 7:15 tells us to "beware" of these false prophets.

Anonymous, there is nothing you said in your emotional response that I can really respond to. You seem to have a lot of anger towards those who argue that the WT is a false prophet. The problem is, its your organization that is responsible for its false claims, not mine. And believe me, I argue against the Catholics as well, for I find that they are just as lost as the JW's. If i'm using some sort of double standard, please point it out. Otherwise, i'd appreciate it if you would leave a constructive comment with arguments that I can actually respond to.

btw, i'm not "bashing" JW's as people. I love them and want them to accept Christ. My problem is with their teaching. Interesting how JW's can "bash" my God by calling Him the "whore of Babylon" and yet when we argue against WT teaching, we are "bashing" them. Very telling indeed.

Voice of Reason said...

"Voice of Reason, Deuteronomy 18:20-22 doesn't let false prophets off the hook simply because they provided "biblical support." But that seems to be what you are suggesting. Matthew 7:15 tells us to "beware" of these false prophets."

Deut 18 was a prophesy leading to Christ. It stated that there would be a prophet like Moses from his brothers.

vs 15 says: "A prophet from your own midst, from your brothers, like me, is what Jehovah your God will raise up for you—to him YOU people should listen"

That leads to Christ.

vs 18 says "A prophet I shall raise up for them from the midst of their brothers, like you"

That leads to Christ.

Well, since Christ has come and gone, that prophesy is fullfilled and done. So those who use it against us, are just getting desperate.


"i'm not "bashing" JW's as people. I love them and want them to accept Christ."

We have accepted Christ. That is what it means to be Jehovah's Witneses.

Shawn said...

" Voice of Reason said...

Well, since Christ has come and gone, that prophesy is fullfilled [sic] and done. So those who use it against us, are just getting desperate."

Perfect! I'm glad you brought this subject up even though it doesn't apply. Deuteronomy 18:20-22 is not prophetic - it is instructions on how to test the validity of a prophesy. It is completely absurd to assert that because this test was directed at a particular prophesy that it no longer applies. Further, this scripture is just plain common sense... if someone claims to speak for God and whatever was said by this someone did not come true, then they have spoken presumptuously.

Now, let's talk about using prophesies that have already been fulfilled... like the prophesy of the gentile times. This prophesy was fulfilled when the temple was rebuilt, not in 1914. There is no reason whatsoever to think that there was some 'greater fulfillment' of this prophesy in our day. This concept of a second or greater fulfillment of a given prophesy is a Second Adventist notion from the 1800's, it has no basis in scripture. It is merely wishful thinking on the part of Russell and then the Watchtower Society.

Shawn said...

"Pam Tolliver said...
The same in 1975, which I personally am familiar with. Nowhere did JWs say that God says this is the end. They didn't even say that THEY thought definitely that the system would end then! They said that "it is reasonable to think," or, "this COULD or MIGHT be the time," seeing that 6,000 years had elapsed since Adam's creation."

Ummm... actually, they did say that they thought the system would end then.

Awake 5/22/69
"If you are a young person, you also need to face the fact that you will never grow old in this present system of things. Why not? Because all the evidence in fulfillment of Bible prophesy indicates that this corrupt system is due to end in a few years. Of the generation that observed the beginning of the "last days" in 1914, Jesus foretold: "This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur." -Matt. 24:34.
Therefore, as a young person, you will never fulfill any career that this system offers. If you are in high school and thinking about a college education, it means at least four, perhaps even six or eight more years to graduate into a specialized career. But where will this system of things be by that time? It will be well on the way toward its finish, if not actually gone!"


This quote leaves nothing to the imagination. The Watchtower Society was telling young people at the time that the end would probably come before they even finished college.

As far as the whole calculation of the end of the six-thousand years since the creation of Eve, I have to point out that there is absolutely nothing in the scriptures that tells us that that span of time should be significant. So it is not reasonable to think that the end of this system of things should occur at that time.


*** w68 8/15 p. 499 Why Are You Looking Forward to 1975? ***

ADAM CREATED AT CLOSE OF “SIXTH DAY”

30 Are we to assume from this study that the battle of Armageddon will be all over by the autumn of 1975, and the long-looked-for thousand-year reign of Christ will begin by then? Possibly, but we wait to see how closely the seventh thousand-year period of man’s existence coincides with the sabbathlike thousand-year reign of Christ. If these two periods run parallel with each other as to the calendar year, it will not be by mere chance or accident but will be according to Jehovah’s loving and timely purposes. Our chronology, however, which is reasonably accurate (but admittedly not infallible), at the best only points to the autumn of 1975 as the end of 6,000 years of man’s existence on earth. It does not necessarily mean that 1975 marks the end of the first 6,000 years of Jehovah’s seventh creative “day.” Why not? Because after his creation Adam lived some time during the “sixth day,” which unknown amount of time would need to be subtracted from Adam’s 930 years, to determine when the sixth seven-thousand-year period or “day” ended, and how long Adam lived into the “seventh day.” And yet the end of that sixth creative “day” could end within the same Gregorian calendar year of Adam’s creation. It may involve only a difference of weeks or months, not years.


So right after saying their calculations are not infallible, the Watchtower Society then confidently states that their calculations may only be off by weeks or months, not years!

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

1975! . . . AND FAR BEYOND!

34 Bible chronology is an interesting study by which historic events are placed in their order of occurrence along the stream of time. The Watch Tower Society over the years has endeavored to keep its associates abreast with the latest scholarship that proves consistent with historic and prophetic events recorded in the Scriptures. Major problems in sacred chronology have been straightened out either due to fulfillment of Bible prophecies or by reason of archaeological discoveries or because better Bible translations convey more clearly the records of the original languages. However, several knotty problems of chronology of a minor nature are not yet resolved. For example, at the time of the exodus from Egypt when Jehovah changed the beginning of the year from autumn time on the secular calendar to spring time on the sacred calendar, was there, in the Jewish calendar, a loss or a gain of six months?—Ex. 12:1, 2.

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.” (Matt. 24:36) To the contrary, it is a time when one should be keenly aware that the end of this system of things is rapidly coming to its violent end. Make no mistake, it is sufficient that the Father himself knows both the “day and hour”!


So I suppose 'toying with the words of Jesus' would mean what? ...heeding them?

It seems that your personal experience with '1975' is a little revisionist. The Watchtower Society did in fact tell people that 1975 was going to mark the end of this system of things. But lets suppose for a moment that the Watchtower Society didn't print the comments I quoted above. What if they did restrict themselves to speculative comments like "it is reasonable to think," or, "this COULD or MIGHT be the time," - What business is it of the Watchtower Society to toy with people's lives in such a way? If they are not certain of their 'chronology', why would they lead people to believe that the end was going to come in 1975? The answer is clear. The Watchtower Society uses these 'could be', 'might be' dates to fuel membership drives. Just as in 1914, 1915, 1918, 1925 - the years leading up to 1975 saw honest hearted JWs quit decent jobs, sell their homes and forgo college in order to enter the full-time preaching work... voluntary slave distributors for a publishing house.

Not only is the Watchtower society a false prophet... it's an organization so obsessed with its own recruiting and membership retention that it damages its members both materially and spiritually .

Voice of Reason said...

Shawn said:
"Perfect! I'm glad you brought this subject up even though it doesn't apply. Deuteronomy 18:20-22 is not prophetic - it is instructions on how to test the validity of a prophesy. "


vs 15"A prophet from your own midst, from your brothers, like me, is what Jehovah your God will raise up for you—to him YOU people should listen— "

That is prophetic.

vs 18 "A prophet I shall raise up for them from the midst of their brothers, like you; and I shall indeed put my words in his mouth, and he will certainly speak to them all that I shall command him"

That is prophetic.

20-22 is a test of that prophet.

But since we are not that prophet that Jehovah will raise up like Moses in that it was fulfilled in Jesus, it is done.

jwproclaimers said...

Shawn said;
""Pam Tolliver said...
The same in 1975, which I personally am familiar with. Nowhere did JWs say that God says this is the end. They didn't even say that THEY thought definitely that the system would end then! They said that "it is reasonable to think," or, "this COULD or MIGHT be the time," seeing that 6,000 years had elapsed since Adam's creation.""


Well, then Shawn quotes Watchtower publications. I don't think that Shawn has actually listened to Fred Franz or others give talks about 1975. That is more relevant than what was published.

Shawn said...

" Voice of Reason said...

20-22 is a test of that prophet.

But since we are not that prophet that Jehovah will raise up like Moses in that it was fulfilled in Jesus, it is done."

How it that not a test for any prophet? Isn't a basic requirement for a prophet to be able to issue prophesies? If someone who claims to be the mouthpiece of God makes a prediction and that prediction does not come true... then by definition that person or group does not have divine backing.

Mike-e said...

Shawn, what's even more telling about this fallacious reasoning is that even the Watchtower uses these texts to test whether a prophet is true or false.

Check out the May 15, 1930 Watchtower p. 154-156, where in the context of interpreting Deut. 18:20-22 they say, "The difference between a true and false prophet is that the one is speaking the word of the Lord and the other is speaking his own dreams and guesses...The true prophet of God today will be telling forth what the Bible teaches, and those things the Bible tells us are soon to come to pass. He will not be sounding forth man-made theories or guesses, either his own or those of others...their prophecies did not come true. Therefore they are false prophets; and the people should no longer trust them as safe guides."

If this isn't enough to prove that the WT is using a double standard, I don't know what would. Even if they didn't use Deut. 18:20-22, they are condemned by their own standards.

Shawn said...

jwproclaimers said...

Well, then Shawn quotes Watchtower publications. I don't think that Shawn has actually listened to Fred Franz or others give talks about 1975. That is more relevant than what was published."

Ah, there you are Mr. Steve Klemetti. Well, the Watchtower Society's record stands. They printed these false prophesies and now it has come back to haunt them. Really, it doesn't matter what your collection of recorded talks contains on your unauthorized JW web site. Besides, what would one expect someone who predicted the end of the world to say after that prediction turned out to be false? Of course they're going to say that they never made a prediction.

By the way, the Watchtower is the primary means through which the self-proclaimed 'faithful and discrete slave' provide spiritual food to the faithful. The governing body would not say that your audio collection is more relevant than their publications. In fact, as I've pointed out to you before... if they find you, you'll be disfellowshipped... that is, if you're not already out.

Shawn said...

Mike,
The Watchtower Society has never used voice of reason's [ahem] reasoning. This is an attempt to distract the real issue through semantic parsing of scripture.

Not only does the Watchtower society have a double-standard when it comes to the issue of false prophesy, they also have a double standard when it comes to independent or critical thinking.

*** w57 8/1 p. 469 par. 7 Will You Get to Live on Earth Forever? ***

7 Though not sought by crowds as Jesus was, his followers today are hard-pressed by modern living to find solitude for meditation. In many places in the world simplicity of living has been replaced by a life of complexity, with waking hours crammed with both important and trivial matters. Moreover, people today are developing an aversion to thinking. They fear being alone with their own thoughts. If other people are not around, they fill the void with television, movies, light reading matter, or if they go to the beach or park the portable radio goes too so they will not have to be with their own thoughts. Their thinking must be channeled for them, ready-made by propagandists. This suits Satan’s purpose. He deluges the mass mind with anything and everything but God’s truth. To keep minds from doing godly thinking Satan keeps them busy with thoughts that are either trivial or ungodly. It is tailor-made thinking, and the tailor of it is the Devil. Minds work, but in the way that a horse is led. Independent thinking is difficult, unpopular and even suspect. Thought conformity is the order of our day. To seek solitude for meditation is frowned upon as antisocial and neurotic.—Rev. 16:13, 14.


*** w06 7/15 p. 22 par. 14 Focus on the Goodness of Jehovah’s Organization ***

14 In modern times, a very small number among God’s people have become disgruntled with some aspect of Christian teaching and have murmured against the earthly part of Jehovah’s organization. Why does this happen? Such murmuring is often caused by a lack of understanding of God’s way of doing things. The Creator progressively reveals the truth to his people. Hence, our understanding of the Scriptures is bound to be refined from time to time. The vast majority of Jehovah’s people rejoice over such refinements. A few become “righteous overmuch” and resent the changes. (Ecclesiastes 7:16) Pride may play a role, and some fall into the trap of independent thinking. Whatever the reason, such murmuring is hazardous, since it can draw us back into the world and its ways.


So which is it? Should we fight for or against independent thinking?

Voice of Reason said...

Shawn said:
"How it that not a test for any prophet? Isn't a basic requirement for a prophet to be able to issue prophesies? If someone who claims to be the mouthpiece of God makes a prediction and that prediction does not come true... then by definition that person or group does not have divine backing."

We have not issued prophesies.
Or made predictions.

Voice of Reason said...

"May 15, 1930 Watchtower p. 154-156,"

What does that have to do with Jehovah's Witnesses?

Rutherford was the primary author and we don't follow him.

jwproclaimers said...

"Well, the Watchtower Society's record stands. They printed these false prophesies and now it has come back to haunt them. Really, it doesn't matter what your collection of recorded talks contains on your unauthorized JW web site."

Unauthorized? Is that how you get by it? You can criticize the magazines because you can but anything that you can't criticize you brush off as unauthorized. Well, there is no such thing as authorized or unauthorized.

" Besides, what would one expect someone who predicted the end of the world to say after that prediction turned out to be false? "

Well, since you have not listened, I will tell you. One I have was given in January 1975, and that was prior.


"By the way, the Watchtower is the primary means through which the self-proclaimed 'faithful and discrete slave' provide spiritual food to the faithful."

I don't agree. The conventions are.


" The governing body would not say that your audio collection is more relevant than their publications. In fact, as I've pointed out to you before... if they find you, you'll be disfellowshipped... that is, if you're not already out. "

You are wrong. The GB does not disfellowship other then the ones in their own congregation. That is why I ceased writing you in email, you are hopelessly narrow minded and bigoted.

Pam Tolliver said...

Shawn.....You said that "we" don't make predictions. Who is "we"?

Pam Tolliver said...

Shawn....You criticize JWs for discouraging independent thinking. You build this issue up into a mountain of negativity. For petessake.....that is the whole issue that started in the Garden, the very thing that caused the Fall of mankind! Adam wanted to be independent!! Do you get that? By definition, a worshipper of God will follow His direction. Not his own thinking. When we start deciding things on our own, we fall into Adam's realm, and who wants that? That is all the WT Society (ccjw) is trying to say. It doesn't want us to be robots! It just warns us about falling into the same trap that Adam accepted willingly.

Pam Tolliver said...

Shawn, what group are YOU with? It's interesting that (and this is my own research)(1) Pope Innocent III predicted that 1284 would be the year of Christ's 2nd coming, and (2) Charles Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, predicted that the world would end in 1794; then (3) his brother, John Wesley, predicted the end in the year 1836.

Why don't you criticize Catholics and Methodists for being false prophets? Why focus on Jehovah's Witnesses?

Pam Tolliver said...

I wish the postings were numbered, but anyway, I don't agree at all with Shawn's post of 9-22 at 10:02 A.M.

He quotes publications that say exactly what I said they did--that POSSIBLY the end would come in 1975, and such things as IT'S REASONABLE TO THINK, and it MAY happen. But then Shawn says that the WT is terrible for "playing with peoples' lives"! What is a "watchman" for but to warn the people? That is just what JWs are doing, and when they see the signs of the end getting nearer, they're going to say something, or they'll be bloodguilty, according to what I read myself in Ezekiel!

They didn't say THIS IS THE YEAR. They just said, in effect, "heads up"! It's not too far away.

Pam Tolliver said...

Shawn, you're wrong about there not being greater fulfilments of prophecy. Take for example the prophecy in Joel:28-32. When was that to have a fulfilment? Was it somewhere around 600 B.C. when Babylon would destroy Jerusalem? Yet Peter applied it to the new Christian Church on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:16-21). And I wonder--could there be even a THIRD fulfilment? "The great and notable 'day of the Lord'" hasn't come yet, has it? That usually refers to Armageddon in the Scriptures. I think you're wrong about there being no evidence in Scripture to back the view that there are minor and major fulfilments.

Shawn said...

" Pam Tolliver said...

Shawn....You criticize JWs for discouraging independent thinking. You build this issue up into a mountain of negativity. For petessake.....that is the whole issue that started in the Garden, the very thing that caused the Fall of mankind! Adam wanted to be independent!! Do you get that? By definition, a worshipper of God will follow His direction. Not his own thinking. When we start deciding things on our own, we fall into Adam's realm, and who wants that? That is all the WT Society (ccjw) is trying to say. It doesn't want us to be robots! It just warns us about falling into the same trap that Adam accepted willingly."


That's my point. In one article the Watchtower says we should think independently and in another it says it's a trap... which is it?

Adam rebelled against God. The Watchtower Society has proven it is not 'the mouthpiece of God' through its presumptuous and repeated false predictions for the end of this system. Disagreeing with the Watchtower Society's scriptural doctrine is not the same as rebelling against God... it's merely exposing them for who they are.


" Pam Tolliver said...

Shawn, what group are YOU with? It's interesting that (and this is my own research)(1) Pope Innocent III predicted that 1284 would be the year of Christ's 2nd coming, and (2) Charles Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, predicted that the world would end in 1794; then (3) his brother, John Wesley, predicted the end in the year 1836.

Why don't you criticize Catholics and Methodists for being false prophets? Why focus on Jehovah's Witnesses?"


I'll absolutely go on record stating that anyone who has made a prediction for the timing of Armageddon is a false prophet. The Bible does not contain a secret code for determining the end, period. The problem I have with the Watchtower Society is that they have made this false prediction over and over as a means to control their adherents.


" Pam Tolliver said...

I wish the postings were numbered, but anyway, I don't agree at all with Shawn's post of 9-22 at 10:02 A.M.

He quotes publications that say exactly what I said they did--that POSSIBLY the end would come in 1975, and such things as IT'S REASONABLE TO THINK, and it MAY happen. But then Shawn says that the WT is terrible for "playing with peoples' lives"! What is a "watchman" for but to warn the people? That is just what JWs are doing, and when they see the signs of the end getting nearer, they're going to say something, or they'll be bloodguilty, according to what I read myself in Ezekiel!

They didn't say THIS IS THE YEAR. They just said, in effect, "heads up"! It's not too far away."


Again, that's the point! They keep saying 'It's not too far away' over and over again. What kind of watchman keeps waking the camp up over and over when there is absolutely nothing there? The Watchtower Society isn't the watchman, it's the boy who cried wolf.

As I pointed out even if the Watchtower Society didn't print the quotes I gave ( which they did, look it up ), it isn't reasonable to think that the end is near based on a six thousand year span of time because it's completely baseless in the scriptures. The same goes for the extended fulfillment of the gentile times. That prophesy has already been fulfilled - it's not going to be fulfilled again. The whole concept of 'greater fulfillment' is completely un-scriptural. This whole concept is just taking advantage of human nature. People tend to think that the time they live in is somehow special. The Watchtower Society takes advantage of this by telling people they are special and live in a special time... a time which they might receive direct judgment from God if they don't hand out enough of the Watchtower and Awake magazines.

Pam, it's not true. You are not going to be murdered by Jehovah along with 99.9% of the human race if you reject the doctrine of the Watchtower Society.

" Pam Tolliver said...

Shawn, you're wrong about there not being greater fulfilments[sic] of prophecy. Take for example the prophecy in Joel:28-32. When was that to have a fulfilment[sic]? Was it somewhere around 600 B.C. when Babylon would destroy Jerusalem? Yet Peter applied it to the new Christian Church on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:16-21). And I wonder--could there be even a THIRD fulfilment[sic]? "The great and notable 'day of the Lord'" hasn't come yet, has it? That usually refers to Armageddon in the Scriptures. I think you're wrong about there being no evidence in Scripture to back the view that there are minor and major fulfilments [sic].


It turns out that even the Watchtower said that the prophesy in Joel was fulfilled only once.


*** w02 8/1 p. 15 par. 4 Stirred by “the Magnificent Things of God” ***

4 Having received the holy spirit, the disciples in Jerusalem lost no time in sharing the good news of salvation with others, beginning with the crowd who had gathered that morning. Their preaching fulfilled a remarkable prophecy, recorded eight centuries earlier by Joel, the son of Pethuel: “I shall pour out my spirit on every sort of flesh, and your sons and your daughters will certainly prophesy. As for your old men, dreams they will dream. As for your young men, visions they will see. And even on the menservants and on the maidservants in those days I shall pour out my spirit . . . before the coming of the great and fear-inspiring day of Jehovah.”—Joel 1:1; 2:28, 29, 31; Acts 2:17, 18, 20.


The paragraph doesn't say that this was a greater fulfillment, it just says that it was predicted 8 centuries earlier.

But even if it were a greater fulfillment, it actually happened as opposed to the 'greater fulfillment' claimed by the Watchtower Society, that did not come to pass. Going further, the prophesy in Joel was very specific, stating that "I shall pour out my spirit on every sort of flesh, and your sons and your daughters will certainly prophesy. As for your old men, dreams they will dream. As for your young men, visions they will see. And even on the menservants and on the maidservants in those days I shall pour out my spirit ". This very specific thing happened at Pentecost 33CE. On the other hand, the Watchtower Society extrapolated what would happen in 1914. The original prophesy was very specific about what would happen during and after the Babylonian captivity of the Jews... and this very specific series of events came to pass. there is absolutely no reason to believe that the gentile times somehow applies to our day.

This concept of modern-day fulfillment of prophesies that have already been fulfilled is not unique to JWs. The 1800's had an explosion of individuals and groups that tried to recycle old prophesies and pin them to dates in their time. Interestingly, these greater fulfillments tend to produce dates that are relatively close to when they are discovered. I've yet to read a prediction where the reader is encouraged to live as they have been because 'the end' is in the distant future. No, these predictions serve a very specific purpose... to convince the reader 'buy now' or miss out forever.

Consider the source of this information too.

Russell wrote in "Studies in the Scriptures vol III"

"313
STUDY X
THE TESTIMONY OF GOD’S STONE WITNESS AND
PROPHET, THE GREAT PYRAMID IN EGYPT
The Pyramid Refutes Atheism, Infidelity and all Evolution Theories, and
Verifies both the Plan of the Bible and Its Appointed Times and Seasons.
“In that day shall there be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt and a pillar at the border thereof to the
Lord. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt.” Isa. 19:19,20
THE ancients recounted seven wonders of the world, and at the very head of the list named
the Great Pyramid of Gizeh. It is situated in Egypt, not far from the present city of Cairo.
No other building in the world equals it in size. One of the leading granite men of this
country, who made a personal inspection of the Great Pyramid, says: “There are blocks of stone
in the Pyramid which weigh three or four times as much as one of the obelisks. I saw a stone whose estimated weight was 880 tons. There are stones in it thirty feet in length which fit
so closely together that you may run a penknife over the surface without discovering the breaks
between them. They are not laid with mortar, either. There is now no machinery so perfect that it
will make two surfaces thirty feet in length which will meet together as these wonderful stones in
the Great Pyramid meet.” It covers an area of about thirteen acres. It is 486 feet high and 764
feet broad at its base. It is estimated that the Great Pyramid weighs six million tons, and that to
remove it would require six thousand steam engines, each drawing one thousand tons. In fact, the
wealth of Egypt is not sufficient to pay laborers to demolish it. From these facts it is evident that,
whoever was its great designer, he intended that it should be an enduring monument.
Viewed from whatever standpoint we please, the Great Pyramid is certainly the most remarkable
building in the world; but in the light of an investigation which has been in progress for the past
thirty-two years, it acquires new interest to every Christian advanced in the study of God’s
Word; for it seems in a remarkable manner to teach, in harmony with all the prophets, an outline
of the plan of God, past, present and future.
It should be remembered that, aside from the Great Pyramid here referred to, there are others,
some of stone and some of brick; but all of them are mere attempts to copy it, and are in every
way inferior—in size, accuracy and internal arrangement. And it has also been demonstrated
that, unlike the Great Pyramid, they contain no symbolic features, but were evidently designed
and used as sepulchers for the royal families of Egypt.
The Great Pyramid, however, proves to be a storehouse of important truth—scientific, historic
and prophetic—and its testimony is found to be in perfect accord with the Bible. expressing the prominent features of its truths in beautiful and fitting symbols. It is by no means
an addition to the written revelation: that revelation is complete and perfect, and needs no
addition. But it is a strong corroborative witness to God’s plan; and few students can carefully
examine it, marking the harmony of its testimony with that of the written Word, without feeling
impressed that its construction was planned and directed by the same divine wisdom, and that it
is the pillar of witness referred to by the prophet in the above quotation.
If it was built under God’s direction, to be one of his witnesses to men, we might reasonably
expect some allusion to it in the written Word of God. And yet, since it was evidently a part of
God’s purpose to keep secret, until the Time of the End, features of the plan of which it gives
testimony, we should expect that any reference to it in the Scriptures would be, as it is, somewhat
under cover—to be recognized only when due to be understood.
Isaiah, as above quoted, testifies of an altar and pillar in the land of Egypt, which “shall be for a
sign and for a witness unto the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt.” And the context shows that it
shall be a witness in the day when the great Savior and Deliverer shall come to break the chains
of oppression and to set at liberty Sin’s captives—of which things our Lord preached at his first
advent. (Luke 4:18) The scope of this prophecy is but dimly seen, however, until Egypt is
recognized as a symbol or type of the world of mankind, full of vain philosophies, which only
darken their understandings, but ignorant of the true light. As Israel typified the world which shall
be delivered from the bondage of Sin by the great antitype of Moses, and whose sin-offering has
been given by the antitype of Aaron, so Egypt represents the empire of Sin, the dominion of
death (Heb. 2:14), which for so long has held in chains of slavery many who will be glad to go forth to serve the Lord under the leadership of one like unto but greater
than Moses. Acts 3:22,23
...

HOW THE INTERNAL CONSTRUCTION OF THE GREAT PYRAMID
OUTLINES THE PLAN OF REDEMPTION
But while the outward testimony of this great structure is thus complete, and in accord with
God’s written revelation, its inner construction is even more wonderful. While its outward form
illustrates the completed results of God’s Plan of Redemption,* the inner construction marks and
illustrates every prominent feature of that plan as it has developed from age to age, down to its
glorious and complete consummation. Here the stones upon the various levels or planes represent
the perfection of all who, under Christ Jesus our Head, shall become conformed to God’s perfect
will, as we have already seen from Scripture testimony. Some will be perfected on the human plane
and some on the spiritual and divine planes or natures. Thus the floor of the “King’s Chamber” is
described as being on the fiftieth course of masonry, that of the “Queen’s Chamber” on the
twenty-fifth course, and the lower end of the “First Ascending Passage,” if extended by the
“Plug,” as will presently be shown, would reach down to the basal line of the Pyramid. Thus from
its base-line upward the Great Pyramid seems to stand as an emblem of God’s plan of salvation,
or lifting up out of sin and death, provided for all mankind. The base-line thus corresponds with
the date of the confirmation of God’s promise to typical Israel—the beginning of the uplifting or
saving process.
A careful study of the accompanying diagram, showing the interior arrangement of this
wonderful structure, is suggested. The Great Pyramid has but one proper “Entrance Passage.”
This passage is regular, but low and slanting, and leads down to a little room or “Subterranean
Chamber,” cut in the rock. This room is of peculiar construction, the ceiling being well finished,
while the sides are only commenced and the bottom is rough and unfinished. This to some minds
has suggested the thought, “bottomless pit,” which term is used in the Scriptures to represent
disaster, oblivion and extinction. This “Entrance Passage” fitly represents the present downward
course of mankind toward destruction; while the “Subterranean Chamber,” by its peculiar
construction, illustrates the great trouble, disaster, destruction, the “wages of sin,” to which the
downward course leads.
The “First Ascending Passage” is of about the same size as the “Entrance Passage,” from which
it branches off. It is small, low and difficult of ascent, but opens at its upper end into a large,
elegant hallway, called the “Grand Gallery,” the ceiling of which is at seven times the height of the passages leading to it. The low
“Ascending Passage” is supposed to represent the Law dispensation, and Israel as a nation, from
the going out of Egypt. There they left the nations of the world and their downward course, to be
God’s holy nation and under his law—proposing thenceforth to walk an upward and more
difficult path than that of the heathen world, viz., to keep the Law. The “Grand Gallery” is
understood to represent the period of the Gospel call—still upward and difficult, but not
hampered as that behind it. The loftiness and greater width of this passageway well represent the
grander hopes and greater liberties of the Christian dispensation.

...

The measuring of this period and determining when the pit of trouble shall be reached are
easy enough if we have a definite date—a point in the Pyramid from which to start. We have this
date-mark in the junction of the “First Ascending Passage” with the “Grand Gallery.” That point
marks the birth of our Lord Jesus, as the “Well,” 33 inches farther on, indicates his death. So,
then, if we measure backward down the “First Ascending Passage” to its junction with the
“Entrance Passage,” we shall have a fixed date to mark upon the downward passage. This
measure is 1542 inches, and indicates the year B.C. 1542, as the date at that point. Then
measuring down the “Entrance Passage” from that point, to find the distance to the entrance of
the “Pit,” representing the great trouble and destruction with which this age is to close, when evil
will be overthrown from power, we find it to be 3457 inches, symbolizing 3457 years from the
above date, B.C. 1542. This calculation shows A.D. 1915 as marking the beginning of the period
of trouble; for 1542 years B.C. plus 1915 years A.D. equals 3457 years. Thus the Pyramid
witnesses that the close of 1914 will be the beginning of the time of trouble such as was not since
there was a nation—no, nor ever shall be afterward. And thus it will be noted that this “Witness”
fully corroborates the Bible testimony on this subject, as shown by the “Parallel Dispensations”
in Scripture Studies, Vol. II, Chap. VII.
Nor should any doubt the fact that the forty years of “harvest” began in the fall of 1874 because
the trouble has not yet reached so portentous and unendurable a stage; and because, in some
respects, the “harvest” period since that date has been one of great advancement in knowledge.
Remember, too, that the Great Pyramid figures and illustrations including the diagram of the
“Pit” were drafted by Prof. Smyth without any reference to this application."


That's not the whole of it either. he goes on and on about this pyramid. Notice that for the length in inches of the various passages to point to 1914 as the end of this system, it would mean that the length on an inch was divinely inspired!

Could this actually be written by 'God's mouthpiece'? I question the sanity of a writer who links the architecture of an incredibly pagan ancient superpower to the second fulfillment of a prophesy. This was written by a man who would use anything at all to 'prove' his claim that his calculations, distilled from arbitrary spans of time, pointed to the date of Armageddon.

In the end, both Russell and the Great Pyramid were wrong about 1914 ( just don't tell all of the slave who died building "God's Stone Witness" ). Instead of learning their lesson about predicting dates, the Watchtower Society boldly went on to predict that the faithful men of old would be resurrected in 1925 and that the end would come in the mid-seventies. There is simply no excuse for such wild claims coming from those who claim to be the 'faithful and discreet slave'.

Voice of Reason said...

Pam said:
"That is all the WT Society (ccjw) is trying to say. It doesn't want us to be robots! It just warns us about falling into the same trap that Adam accepted willingly. "

Exactly. It is a matter of "We will reap what we sow." So they want to help us not sow bad things and to sow good things.

Shawn said...

Voice of reason and Pam,

I just want to point out that one does not need to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses to 'sow good things'. There are lots of people sowing the seeds of kindness and compassion who aren't handing out the Watchtower and Awake! Magazines... while at the same time not recruiting people into a controlling, invasive organization. Jesus' followers are recognized by their fruits, not the organization they're baptized into.

Pam Tolliver said...

Shawn, I don't know where you get your idea that the CCJW (Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses) is controlling and invasive. I have not experienced anything like that. I am grateful for their tending of the flock, like a loving shepherd.

Tell me, who do you think that the faithful and wise servant is of Matt.24:45?

Pam Tolliver said...

Shawn, you betray a mean spiritedness by putting down an organization that has no such motives as you ascribe to them. You say they keep saying that such-and-such date will be the end, to keep everybody in line. LOL! I don't believe that. Firstly, they haven't said the end was definitely here, other than what Charles Russell said in his early writings about 1914. The next date, 1975, was, as I've already said, not broadcast as a definite. It was a "perhaps" or "reasonable to expect" type of thing. That's "over and over again"?

And you didn't answer my question about Catholics and Methodists.

Shawn said...

" Pam Tolliver said...

Shawn, you betray a mean spiritedness by putting down an organization that has no such motives as you ascribe to them. You say they keep saying that such-and-such date will be the end, to keep everybody in line. LOL! I don't believe that. Firstly, they haven't said the end was definitely here, other than what Charles Russell said in his early writings about 1914. The next date, 1975, was, as I've already said, not broadcast as a definite. It was a "perhaps" or "reasonable to expect" type of thing. That's "over and over again"?

And you didn't answer my question about Catholics and Methodists. "

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

First, I did answer your question about Catholics and Methodists. I said: "I'll absolutely go on record stating that anyone who has made a prediction for the timing of Armageddon is a false prophet. The Bible does not contain a secret code for determining the end, period."

This thread however is not about Catholics or Methodists is it? No, it's about the failed prophesy of the Watchtower Society.

Russell's predictions about 1914 were not restricted to his 'early writings', They continued right up until 1914.

From the brochure

What Say
the Scriptures
About
Our Lord’s Return
his
Parousia, Apokalupsis
and Epiphania
“What I say unto you I say unto all—Watch!”
Mark 13:37.
INTERNATIONAL
BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION
BROOKLYN ,N. Y., U.S.A.
1914
Now note the time correspondencies. The Jewish age, from the death of Jacob to the death of
Christ, was 1845 years long—to the beginning of our Lord’s ministry 1841½ years long. Notice
how the Gospel age corresponds to this. The Gospel age did not begin with our Lord’s birth it
began after our Lord’s death and resurrection, when he commissioned his disciples to “preach
the Gospel to every creature.” (Our Lord’s previous work during the three and a half years of his
ministry was the offering of the Kingdom to the fleshly house, to test them, and to prove that
they were unready to receive the true Kingdom.) Applying the foregoing measurements of the
Jewish age to the Gospel age, beginning it at the time of our Lord’s death and resurrection and
the Pentecostal blessing, in the Spring A. D. 33, we find that the period of 1841½ years from the
death of our Lord’s ministry, would measure from the Spring of A.D. 33 to the Autumn of 1874; and the 1845 years of the Jewish age, from the death of Jacob to the rejection
of fleshly Israel, applied here, measuring from the Spring of A.D. 33, would reach to the Spring of
1878; and the 1881½ years from the death of Jacob to the full destruction of Israel’s polity in
A.D. 70, finds it correspondence in this Gospel age by measuring 1881½ years from the Spring of
A.D. 33, which would bring us exactly to (Autumn) 1914 A.D.—the very year and time shown us
by Daniel’s prophecy to be the full end and limit of the “Gentile times.” Can this be accidental?
Nay; it is design. What stronger testimony could be asked by the eye and ear of faith. Surely,
anything plainer or clearer would be sight and leave no room for faith.


No where in this explanation of chronology is a disclaimer or 'reasonable to expect' or 'perhaps'. What we do read on the eve of failure for the Watchtower Society is "Nay; it is design. What stronger testimony could be asked by the eye and ear of faith. Surely, anything plainer or clearer would be sight and leave no room for faith."

So there's your first date. It's common for JWs to not know just how often the Watchtower Society has made false predictions.

***1915***
When nothing happened in 1914, the end was shifted a year into 1915.

WT April 15, 1914
The Scriptures indi-
cate that this time of trouble will be upon us in 1915, an
will be gradually approaching in the meantime.


I love this notice in the March 1, 1915 Watchtower:

We call attention to a few slight changes which have been
made in four pages of Vol. II. and six pages of Vol. IIl.,
"STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES." These are all trivial and do
not alter the real sense and lesson, but conform to the facts
as we have them today. The pages containing these correc-
tions are as follows:
Vol. II., page 77. line 1, "will be the farthest limit," reads will
see the disintegration."
Vol. II., page 77, line 6, "will obtain full universal control,"
reads "will begin to assume con.
trol.’ ’
Vol. II., page 77, linesl6,17, "end of A. D. 1914," reads "end
of the overthrow."
Vol. II., page 81, line 9, "can date only from A. D. 1914," reads
"could not precede A. D. 1915."
VoI. II., page 170, line 16, "at that time they will all be over-
turned.’ ’*
Vol. II., page 221, line 25, "full favor until A. D. 1914," reads
"full favor until after 1915."
Vol. III., page 94, line 29, "in this end or harvest," reads "at the
end of this harvest."
Vol. III., page 126, line 12, "at A. D. 1914," reads "after 1914."
Vol. III., page 133, line 21, "ere the harvest is fully ended."
Vol. III., page 228, line 11, "some time before 1914," reads "very
soon after 1914."
Vol III., page 228, line 15, "just how long before," reads "just
how long after."
Vol. III., page 362, line 11, "some time before" reads "some time
near.’ ’
Vo1.111., page 364, line 14, "must not only witness," reads "may
not only witness."
Unless we find the chronology in Vols. II. and Ill. to be
wrong, we must believe that it will be practically the same
chronology as will be used throughout the Millennial age.


So the year shifted from 1914 to 'very soon after 1914'.


***1918***

WT Oct 1, 1917
Immediately following the announcement in Rev. 14:13,
"Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth,"
we read (Verse 14) "and behold a white cloud, and upon
the cloud I saw one sitting like unto the Son of Man, having
on his head a golden crown and in his hand a sharp sickle."
Thus is described the second presence of our Lord as the
great Chief Reaper, at the beginning of the harvest in 1878.
The 15th verse of that same chapter refers to the Great Pyra-
mid, the measurements of which confirm the Bible teaching
that 1878 marked the beginning of the harvest of the Gospel
age. The parallel, therefore, would establish definitely that
the harvest would close forty years thereafter; to wit, in the
spring of A. D. 1918. If this be true, and the evidence is
very conclusive that it is true, then we have only a few months
in which to labor before the great night settles down when no
man can work.


So now they have 'very conclusive' evidence that the end will happen in 1918 along with more support from the great pyramid.

From "Studies in the Scriptures Vol. 7"
PASTOR RUSSELL DEAD, BUT SPEAKING AGAIN
24:25, 26. Also, thou son of man, shall it not be in the day when I take from them their
strength, the joy of their glory, the desire of their eyes, and that whereupon they set their
minds, their sons and their daughters. That he that escapeth in that day shall come unto thee,
to cause thee to hear it with thine ears?— Also, in the year 1918, when God destroys the churches
wholesale and the church members by millions, it shall be that any that escape shall come to the works of Pastor
Russell to learn the meaning of the downfall of “Christianity.”


So there's your 'exact date', 1918. And just in case we wonder whether this chronology could be faulty, we read:

WT July 15, 1922
...internal connections of the dates inpart a much greater
strength than can be found in other chronologies. Some
of them are of so remarkable a character us clearly to
indicate that this chronology is not of man, but of God.
Being of divine origin and divinely corroborated,
present-truth chronology stands in a class by itself,
absolutely and unqualifiedly correct.


Wow! The Watchtower Society is pretty sure about these dates.


***1925***
Now 1925 is the year.

From "The way to Paradise" 1925
We should,
therefore, expect shortly after 1925 to see the
awakening of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham,
Isaac, Jacob, Melchisedec, Job, Moses, Samuel,
David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, John
the Baptist, and others mentioned in the elev-
enth chapter of Hebrews.
These will form a nucleus of the new kingdom
on earth. One of the first things necessary will
be to put Jerusalem in condition to be the cap-
ital of the world.



WT Nov 1, 1922...
Question: Are the dates 1874 and 1925 beginnings of the
two times of restitution?
Answer: Yes; that may be regarded as a proper thought
---one the beginning of restoration of the great truths long
hid from observation; the other the beginning of the anti-
typical jubilee for the restoration of that which man lost,
namely, life, liberty and happiness.

...

It follows,
then, that the year 1925 will mark the beginning of the res-
toration of all things lost by Adam’s disobedience.


I've already covered 1975 and I've omitted the wording in the '80s and '90s about the generation that will not pass away before the end comes. That was equivalent to predicting a date as the generation that saw 1914 were dropping dead. Eventually, the Watchtower Society had to change the interpretation of the word 'generation' in order to not look like, well, false prophets... but the effect was the same as in earlier predictions. Rank and file JWs were led to believe that the end was 'just around the corner', just like Russell's followers thought in the 1800's and just before 1914, 1915, 1918... just like Rutherford's followers thought in the years before 1925... just like JWs thought in the years leading up to 1975.

These are just a few quotes from the Watchtower Society's publications. They're not hard to find and there are lots of them. So yes, the Watchtower Society has made predictions over and over... and yes, they have named specific dates for the end of this system.

Really Pam, how many times will you let the Watchtower Society lie to you before you've had enough?

Voice of Reason said...

Pam said to shawn:"Why don't you criticize Catholics and Methodists for being false prophets? Why focus on Jehovah's Witnesses? "

Because he is one of those disgruntled exJWs who thinks that he is better than everyone else because he thinks that he has some special knowledge about how the WTS had made mistakes and that those mistakes mean something.

The blogger said"why do you follow a false prophet who proclaims false prophecies time and time again? I mean, don't you find it interesting that "Jehovah's organization" made it on this list?"

They both need to understand that Jehovah's Witnesses do not follow people. Because certain individuals who wrote for the magazine, the Watchtower, and other books does not mean that Jehovah's Organization made the list. But still, it is not a bad thing to look to the end. It is a bad thing not to look to the end.

Voice of Reason said...

Pam,
"I wish the postings were numbered, but anyway, I don't agree at all with Shawn's post of 9-22 at 10:02 A.M."

Well, I don't agree with any of Shawn's postings.

"He quotes publications that say exactly what I said they did--that POSSIBLY the end would come in 1975, and such things as IT'S REASONABLE TO THINK, and it MAY happen."

They misread and misquote.

" But then Shawn says that the WT is terrible for "playing with peoples' lives"! What is a "watchman" for but to warn the people? That is just what JWs are doing, and when they see the signs of the end getting nearer, they're going to say something, or they'll be bloodguilty, according to what I read myself in Ezekiel!"

So we are helping people and they don't appreciate it. Since there is nothing bad about what we are doing, it does not make sense.

Voice of Reason said...

"Adam rebelled against God. The Watchtower Society has proven it is not 'the mouthpiece of God' through its presumptuous and repeated false predictions for the end of this system. Disagreeing with the Watchtower Society's scriptural doctrine is not the same as rebelling against God... it's merely exposing them for who they are."

And is that a reason to be anti-JW?
I say not.

None of what Shawn wrote above give any reason to be contraJW.

True, disagreeing with the Watchtower is not the same as rebelling against God. But disagreeing with Jehovah's Witnesses is.

Voice of Reason said...

"I just want to point out that one does not need to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses to 'sow good things'. "

No, but it helps if one can call that person a brother or sister, and not because of race.

"There are lots of people sowing the seeds of kindness and compassion who aren't handing out the Watchtower and Awake! Magazines... while at the same time not recruiting people into a controlling, invasive organization."

Yeah, like me. I do not hand out Watchtower or Awakes, and I do not recruit people into a controlling and invasive religion. I help people see that Jehovah's Witnesses have the true religion because we are a worldwide brotherhood and the good things we sow, mean something, because it is inline with God's will.

" Jesus' followers are recognized by their fruits, not the organization they're baptized into. "

The fruits that they are recognized by is what they have produced and one such is their studying and associating, etc. And their generally being nice, rather than being against the congregation.

Voice of Reason said...

Pam, thank you for being wise and not fooled by their meanness.

"Tell me, who do you think that the faithful and wise servant is of Matt.24:45? "

I believe it is the entire feeding program, the structure that exists in teaching the entire worldwide congregation.

Voice of Reason said...

Shawn said:
"No, it's about the failed prophesy of the Watchtower Society.
Russell's predictions about 1914 were not restricted to his 'early writings', They continued right up until 1914."

Ok, but what does that have to do with Jehovah's Witnesses today?

Because the same magazine name is used and the same printing company, where do you get the idea that everyone and everything said since, is wrong?

Shawn said...

"Pam Tolliver said...

Shawn, I don't know where you get your idea that the CCJW (Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses) is controlling and invasive. I have not experienced anything like that. I am grateful for their tending of the flock, like a loving shepherd.

Tell me, who do you think that the faithful and wise servant is of Matt.24:45?"

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

Here's a clip from the site howcultswork.com. Notice how many of the techniques used by the Watchtower Society are used by cults... and it is the Watchtower Society, not the 'CCJW' that sets these policies in place.

Not everything applies to the Watchtower Society, but most of it does.

Exclusivism
A normal religious organization would not have any trouble with you moving to another similar organization as long as you stayed in that same religion. Because it is the belief system that matters, not membership in an organization. For example if you were a Christian then you could move from one church to another and still be a Christian.

However cult leaders will tell you can only be "saved" (or can only be successful) in their organization alone. No other organization has the truth, all others miss the mark. So it is not the belief system that decides your future, but it the belief system AND your membership with that particular group.


The cult leaders need to make you believe that there is no where else you can go and still be saved, and if you ever leave the "one true church" then you are going to hell. This is a fear based control mechanism designed to keep you in the cult. It also gives the cult leaders tremendous power over you. If you really believe that leaving the group equals leaving God (or means you are leaving your only chance to succeed in life), then you will obey the cult leaders even when you disagree with them instead of risking being kicked out of the group. Exclusivism is used as a threat, it controls your behavior through fear.


Be very suspicious of any group that claims to be better than all the others. A religious group may say that other groups following the same religion are OK, but they are the ones who have a better grasp of the truth and they are superior to the rest. This is often just a subtle version of exclusivism.


This is one of the practices that cults are often very deceptive about. For example, first off they may give you the impression that they think you are a true Christian, Buddhist or Muslim and it's not until later that their true position is revealed.


The Watchtower society claims to be 'God's sole mouthpiece' repeatedly in it's publications.

*** w67 10/1 p. 590 par. 19 Finding Freedom with Jehovah’s Visible Organization ***

19 Evidences are now conclusive that Jesus Christ was enthroned in heaven in 1914 C.E. and that he accompanied Jehovah to his temple in 1918 C.E., when judgment began with the house of God. (1 Pet. 4:17) After cleansing those belonging to this house who were alive on earth, Jehovah poured out his spirit upon them and assigned them the responsibility of serving as his sole visible channel, through whom alone spiritual instruction was to come. Those who recognize Jehovah’s visible theocratic organization, therefore, must recognize and accept this appointment of the “faithful and discreet slave” and be submissive to it.
***

Speaking of being submissive to the "faithful and discreet slave", we have the next technique...


Fear & Intimidation
Cult leadership is feared. To disagree with leadership is the same as disagreeing with God. The cult leaders will claim to have direct authority from God to control almost all aspects of your life. If the cult is not a religious group then questioning the leaders or program will still be seen as a sign of rebellion and stupidity.

Guilt, Character Assassination and Breaking Sessions. Guilt will be used to control you. Maybe the reason you're not making money is because you're not "with the programme". Maybe the reason you're not able to convert new recruits is because "your heart is prideful and full of sin". It could never be that the programme isn't working, or those new recruits have valid reasons for not joining. It's always your fault, you are always wrong, and so you must try harder! You will also be made to feel very guilty for disobeying any of the cult's written or unwritten rules.

Character Assassination is used to help create the guilt in you. Character Assassination is a type of false reasoning used by people and groups who have no real arguments. The technical name for Character Assassination is "The Ad hominem Fallacy". This is how it works. Imagine if you will a conversation between two men, Ford and Arthur…

"One plus one equals three", says Ford.
"No I don't think so. You see when I have one thing, and I have another thing, then I have two things not three", replies Arthur.
"I see your point, but what you must realize is that one plus one when calculated in relation to this complex number domain, which I just invented, and then squared by the sum of the ninth tangent in the sequence of the Fibonacci series results in three!", stated Ford triumphantly.

Ok, Ford is wrong, but that is not the point. The point is that Ford tried to answer Arthur's reasoning with more reasoning of his own. This is the healthy way people and groups debate subjects. Now lets see what would have happened if Ford had used Character Assassination…

"Arthur I have been a mathematician longer than you. How dare you disagree with me! You are obviously a very smug and prideful person. I think you are disagreeing with me because you are jealous of me, and to be honest with you Arthur your rebellion has really hurt me and a lot of other people too", stated Ford his face intimidatingly close to Arthur's.

You see Ford didn't answer Arthur's argument, instead he attacked his character. If you are not aware of how Character Assassination works then it is a powerful way to exert control over you.


Breaking sessions are when one, two or more cult members and leaders attack the character of another person, sometimes for hours on end. Some cults will not stop these sessions until their victim is crying uncontrollably.


If that last paragraph doesn't describe a judicial committee, then nothing does. No honest JW could say that they wouldn't be afraid to be called before a judicial committee. They go on for hours and the person under trial is asked extremely personal and intimate details. It very often ends in uncontrollable sobbing for the victim of this unscriptural practice.

Here's a quote from the Watchtower equating the governing body to the divine...

*** w07 4/1 p. 24 pars. 12-13 Loyal to Christ and His Faithful Slave ***

12 A fundamental reason for showing proper respect for the faithful slave class is that by so doing, we are in fact showing respect for the Master, Jesus Christ. Paul wrote of the anointed ones: “He that was called when a freeman is a slave of Christ. You were bought with a price.” (1 Corinthians 7:22, 23; Ephesians 6:6) Therefore, when we loyally submit to the direction of the faithful slave and its Governing Body, we are submitting to Christ, the slave’s Master. Our showing due respect for the instrument Christ is using to manage his earthly belongings is one way in which we “openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”—Philippians 2:11.

13 Another Scriptural reason for showing respect for the faithful slave is that anointed Christians on earth are figuratively spoken of as a “temple” that Jehovah inhabits “by spirit.” As such, they are “holy.” (1 Corinthians 3:16, 17; Ephesians 2:19-22) It is to this holy temple class that Jesus has entrusted his earthly belongings, which means that certain rights and responsibilities within the Christian congregation belong exclusively to this collective slave. For this reason, all in the congregation view it as their sacred duty to follow and uphold the direction coming from the faithful slave and its Governing Body. Indeed, the “other sheep” count it a real privilege to assist the slave class in caring for the Master’s interests.—John 10:16.
****

To disagree with the Watchtower Society is the same as disagreeing with God.

What about character assassination, does the Watchtower Society engage in that?

*** w84 5/1 p. 31 Questions From Readers ***

Questions From Readers

▪ Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses decline to exchange their Bible study aids for the religious literature of people they meet?

Jehovah’s Witnesses carry on their public ministry in obedience to divine instructions. Jesus said that during this “conclusion of the system of things,” the “good news of the kingdom [must] be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:3, 14) So Witnesses do not go to people’s doors searching for truth or enlightenment. Rather, they already have devoted countless hours learning the truth from God’s Word and, having taken in the “good news,” they are obediently going forth to share it.

Many people who believe that ‘there is good in all religions’ might consider it narrow-minded to think otherwise. (Contrast Jesus’ view expressed at Matthew 7:13, 14, 21-23.) The Greek philosophers in ancient Athens encouraged such an “open-minded” attitude and enjoyed “telling something or listening to something new.” (Acts 17:18-21) But when the apostle Paul appeared before them, it was not to swap philosophies or ideas. He used the occasion to present what he knew to be the truth, whether he was considered narrow-minded or not. While some of those Athenians mocked him, a number responded and became believers.—Acts 17:32-34; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.

Paul obviously was aware of some Greek teachings, and he used such knowledge to give a most effective witness. (Acts 17:28) Similarly, Jehovah’s Witnesses are not ignorant of others’ beliefs. They have gained considerable basic knowledge of the doctrinal beliefs of religions common in their area. Consideration to such teachings has been given in the book What Has Religion Done for Mankind? as well as numerous articles in The Watchtower and Awake! Such information on various religions is presented in the context of its contrast with accurate Biblical teachings.

God’s Word warns Christians that “Satan himself keeps transforming himself into an angel of light. It is therefore nothing great if his ministers also keep transforming themselves into ministers of righteousness. But their end shall be according to their works.” (2 Corinthians 11:14, 15) Satan so successfully appeared as “an angel of light” that he was able to deceive even a perfect human, Eve. (1 Timothy 2:14) So it would be foolhardy, as well as a waste of valuable time, for Jehovah’s Witnesses to accept and expose themselves to false religious literature that is designed to deceive. They have no intention of falling into the sad course of the Jews, whom Paul said “exchanged the truth of God for the lie.”—Romans 1:25, NW; Revised Standard Version.

Furthermore, some of the religious literature that people may urge Jehovah’s Witnesses to read is written by, or contains the thoughts of, individuals who have apostatized. True Christians are commanded to shun such apostates. (2 John 9-11; Titus 3:10, 11) Appropriately, then, The Watchtower of June 15, 1983, counseled:

“In the first century, Hymenaeus and Philetus turned apostate and tried to subvert the faith of others. God’s standard was: ‘Shun such empty speeches that violate what is holy.’ (2 Timothy 2:16-19) Christians holding to that standard would not have been interested in listening to apostates, nor in obtaining any poisonous writings that these might distribute ‘for the sake of dishonest gain.’ Why finance their wickedness by buying their literature? (Titus 1:11) As loyal Christians let us hold to God’s standards, feeding our minds on what is true and righteous, and holding appreciatively and loyally to the channel from which we first learned Bible truth.—Compare 1 Timothy 4:16.”—Page 15.

Hence, it is out of wisdom and respect for God’s counsel that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not make a practice of exchanging valuable Bible study aids containing Scriptural truth for religious literature that disseminates error or apostate views.
***

Notice how any other line of thinking is 'apostate', 'designed to deceive' and 'disseminates error'.




Love Bombing & Relationship Control
Cults know that if they can control your relationships then they can control you. Whether we like it or not we are all profoundly affected by those around us. When you first go to a cult they will practice "love bombing", where they arrange instant friends for you. It will seem wonderful, how could such a loving group be wrong! But you soon learn that if you ever disagree with them, or ever leave the cult then you will lose all your new "friends". This unspoken threat influences your actions in the cult. Things that normally would have made you complain will pass by silently because you don't want to be ostracized. Like in an unhealthy relationship love is turned on and off to control.

Cults also try to cut you off from your friends and family because they hate others being able to influence you. A mind control cult will seek to manoeuvre your life so as to maximize your contact with cult members and minimize your contact with people outside the group, especially those who oppose your involvement.


In line with this section on cults we have this article from the Watchtower designed to 'help' people stay away from their own family...

*** w06 9/1 pp. 17-21 When a Loved One Leaves Jehovah ***

When a Loved One Leaves Jehovah

MARK and Louise are Jehovah’s Witnesses. With love and care, they taught the Scriptures to their children, as the Bible exhorts Christian parents to do. (Proverbs 22:6; 2 Timothy 3:15) Sadly, not all of their children continued to serve Jehovah upon becoming young adults. “My heart aches for the children who strayed,” says Louise. “How can I pretend that it doesn’t hurt desperately from day to day? When others speak of their sons, my throat tightens up and I have to hold back tears.”

Yes, when a person chooses to leave Jehovah and the way of life set out in the Scriptures, faithful family members typically experience deep anguish. “I love my sister very much,” says Irene. “I would do anything to see her come back to Jehovah!” Maria, whose brother turned his back on Jehovah to pursue a course of immoral conduct, says: “This has been hard for me to bear because in every other respect, he has been a wonderful brother to me. I especially miss him at large family gatherings.”

Why Is It So Hard?

Why does the spiritual loss of a child or other loved one cause such deep distress to Christian relatives? Because they know that the Scriptures promise eternal life on a paradise earth for those who remain loyal to Jehovah. (Psalm 37:29; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:3-5) They look forward to sharing these blessings with their mates, children, parents, siblings, and grandchildren. How it pains them to think that their loved ones who have stopped serving Jehovah may miss out! Even with regard to their present life, Christians appreciate that Jehovah’s laws and principles are for their benefit. Christians are therefore heartbroken to see their loved ones sow in such a way as to ensure a bitter harvest.—Isaiah 48:17, 18; Galatians 6:7, 8.

It may be difficult for some who have never experienced such a loss to appreciate just how devastating it can be. Virtually every aspect of life is affected. “It has become harder and harder to sit at Christian meetings and see parents laughing and talking with their children,” says Louise. “Any happy event is overshadowed by emptiness because of the ones missing.” One Christian elder recalls the four years during which his wife’s daughter cut off association with them. He says: “Often, even the ‘good times’ were difficult. If I gave my wife a gift or took her somewhere nice for a weekend, she would break down crying, remembering that her daughter did not share our happiness.”

Are such Christians overreacting? Not necessarily. In fact, they may to some extent be reflecting the qualities of Jehovah, in whose image man was made. (Genesis 1:26, 27) What does this mean? Well, how did Jehovah feel when his people Israel rebelled against him? From Psalm 78:38-41, we learn that Jehovah was hurt and pained. Yet, he patiently warned and disciplined them, forgiving them time and again upon their demonstrating repentance. Obviously, Jehovah feels a personal attachment to his creatures, ‘the work of his hands,’ and does not easily give up on them. (Job 14:15; Jonah 4:10, 11) He implanted in humans the capacity for having similar loyal attachments, and the bond between family members can be especially strong. So it is not surprising that humans would grieve over the spiritual loss of a beloved relative.

Indeed, the spiritual loss of a loved one is among the most difficult of trials that come upon true worshippers. (Acts 14:22) Jesus said that accepting his message would cause division in some families. (Matthew 10:34-38) This is not because the Bible message of itself causes family division. Rather, unbelieving or unfaithful family members cause a rift by rejecting, abandoning, or even opposing the way of Christianity. We can be thankful, however, that Jehovah does not leave his faithful ones without a means of coping with the trials that beset them. If you are presently sorrowing over the spiritual loss of a loved one, what Bible principles can help you endure the grief and find a measure of joy and contentment?

Coping

“By building up yourselves . . . , keep yourselves in God’s love.” (Jude 20, 21) Depending on your particular circumstances, it may be that there is nothing you can do at this time to help a family member who has stopped serving Jehovah. Nevertheless, you can and should build up yourself as well as any remaining faithful family members. Veronica, who saw two of her three sons leave the truth, says: “My husband and I were reminded that if we remain in a strong spiritual state, we will be in the best condition to welcome back our sons when they come to their senses. Where would the prodigal son have been if his father had not been in a condition to receive him back?”

To keep yourself in a strong condition, be absorbed in spiritual activities. This would include maintaining a schedule for deep Bible study and attending Christian meetings. Make yourself available to help others in the congregation to the extent that your circumstances allow. True, initially you may find such activities difficult. Veronica recalls: “My first instinct was to isolate myself like a wounded animal. But my husband insisted on our keeping a good spiritual routine. He made sure that we went to the meetings. When it was time to attend a convention, I needed a lot of courage to go and face people. Yet, the program drew us closer to Jehovah. Our son who had remained faithful was particularly built up by that convention.”

Maria, mentioned earlier, finds it especially helpful to stay busy in the field ministry and is presently helping four persons to learn about the Bible. Similarly, Laura says: “Although I still cry daily, I thank Jehovah that even if I have not had the success that some parents have had in raising children, I do have the Bible’s perfect message, which is able to help families in these last days.” Ken and Eleanor, whose adult children left the congregation, arranged their circumstances to move to an area where there is a greater need for Kingdom publishers and to pursue the full-time ministry. This has helped them keep matters in perspective and avoid being swallowed up by sorrow.

Do not give up hope. Love “hopes all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:7) Ken, mentioned above, says: “When our children left the way of the truth, I thought that it was like their death. But after my sister died, my view changed. I am grateful that my children are not literally dead and that Jehovah continues to leave the way open for them to return to him.” Indeed, experience has shown that many who have left the truth eventually do return.—Luke 15:11-24.

Resist self-blame. Parents especially may tend to look back and regret that they did not handle certain situations differently. However, the main thought conveyed at Ezekiel 18:20 is that Jehovah holds the sinner, not his parents, responsible for his wrong choice. Interestingly, while the book of Proverbs makes many comments about the parents’ obligation to bring up their children in the right way, it contains over four times as much counsel for young ones to listen to and obey their parents. Yes, children have the responsibility to respond to the Bible-based training of their imperfect parents. You likely handled matters as well as you could at the time. Still, even if you feel that you made certain mistakes and that these were indeed your fault, that does not necessarily mean that your mistakes caused your loved one to leave the truth. At any rate, there is nothing to be gained by indulging in “if onlys.” Learn from your mistakes, determine not to repeat them, and pray to Jehovah for forgiveness. (Psalm 103:8-14; Isaiah 55:7) Then look to the future, not the past.

Be patient with others. It may be hard for some to know just how to encourage or comfort you, especially if they have never had a similar experience. Besides, people differ as to what they consider encouraging and comforting. So if some say things that upset you, apply the apostle Paul’s counsel found at Colossians 3:13: “Continue putting up with one another and forgiving one another freely if anyone has a cause for complaint against another.”

Respect Jehovah’s arrangement for discipline. If your relative has received discipline from the congregation, remember that this is part of Jehovah’s arrangement and is in the best interests of all, including the wrongdoer. (Hebrews 12:11) Therefore, resist any inclination to find fault with the elders who were involved or the decisions they made. Remember, the best results come from doing things Jehovah’s way, whereas opposing Jehovah’s arrangements can only result in added distress.

After Israel’s deliverance from Egypt, Moses regularly served as judge. (Exodus 18:13-16) Since a judgment in favor of one individual would probably have been against another, it is not hard to imagine that some were disappointed by Moses’ decisions. Finding fault with Moses’ judgments perhaps contributed to some instances of rebellion against his leadership. However, Jehovah was using Moses to lead His people, and He punished, not Moses, but the rebels and their families who supported them. (Numbers 16:31-35) We can learn from this by striving to respect and cooperate with decisions made by those with theocratic authority today.

In this regard, Delores recalls how difficult it was for her to maintain a balanced view when her daughter was disciplined by the congregation. “What helped me,” she says, “was to read over and over again articles dealing with the reasonableness of Jehovah’s arrangements. I made a special notebook of points from talks and articles that would help me to bear up and carry on.” This leads to another important means of coping.

Express your feelings. You may find it helpful to confide in one or two understanding friends who have your trust. In doing so, select friends who will help you to maintain a positive attitude. It will certainly be most effective to “pour out your heart” in prayer to Jehovah. (Psalm 62:7, 8) Why? Because he fully understands the depth of what you are feeling. For example, you may feel that it is unfair that you should have to experience such emotional anguish. After all, you did not leave Jehovah. Commit your feelings to Jehovah, and ask him to help you view the situation in a less painful way.—Psalm 37:5.

With the passing of time, you will likely be better able to manage your feelings. Meanwhile, do not give up in your efforts to be pleasing to your heavenly Father, and never feel that these are in vain. (Galatians 6:9) Remember, if we were to leave Jehovah, we would still have problems. On the other hand, by remaining loyal to him, we have his help with the trials we face. Be assured, then, that Jehovah appreciates the magnitude of your situation and will continue to give you needed strength at the right time.—2 Corinthians 4:7; Philippians 4:13; Hebrews 4:16.

[Footnotes]

Some names have been changed.

Regarding praying in behalf of a disfellowshipped relative, see The Watchtower, December 1, 2001, pages 30-1.

[Box on page 19]

How to Cope

◆ “By building up yourselves . . . , keep yourselves in God’s love.”—Jude 20, 21.

◆ Do not give up hope.—1 Corinthians 13:7.

◆ Resist self-blame.—Ezekiel 18:20.

◆ Be patient with others.—Colossians 3:13.

◆ Respect Jehovah’s arrangement for discipline.—Hebrews 12:11.

◆ Express your feelings.—Psalm 62:7, 8.

[Box/Picture on page 21]

Have You Left Jehovah?

If so, whatever the reason, your relationship with Jehovah and your eternal prospects are at risk. Perhaps you intend to return to Jehovah. Are you vigorously pursuing this now? Or are you putting it off until “the right time”? Remember, the storm clouds of Armageddon are swiftly approaching. Moreover, life in this system is short and uncertain. You cannot know if you will even be alive tomorrow. (Psalm 102:3; James 4:13, 14) One man who was diagnosed with a terminal illness said: “This illness caught me serving Jehovah full-time, with no skeletons in my closet. And that’s a good feeling to have right now.” Imagine, though, how he would have felt if his illness had caught him saying, “Someday, I will return to Jehovah!” If you have left Jehovah, now is the best time to return.

[Pictures on page 18]

Being absorbed in spiritual activities can help you keep the right perspective
***

This type of relationship control is horribly damaging to families involved and entirely unnecessary. Simply rejecting the doctrines of the Watchtower Society means that a person will have to also give up their JW friends and family.



Information Control
Those who control the information control the person. In a mind control cult any information from outside the cult is considered evil, especially if it is opposing the cult. Members are told not to read it or believe it. Only information supplied by the cult is true. One cult labels any information against it as "persecution" or "spiritual pornography", another cult calls it "apostate literature" and will expel you from the group if you are caught with it. Cults train their members to instantly destroy any critical information given to them, and to not even entertain the thought that the information could be true.


Common sense tells us that a person who does not consider all information may make an unbalanced decision. Filtering the information available or trying to discredit it not on the basis of how true it is, but rather on the basis of how it supports the party line, is a common control method used throughout history.


The Watchtower Society is very vocal about information control...

*** w97 4/15 p. 30 Do You Eat Well Spiritually? ***

Spiritual Contamination

Besides the threat of spiritual starvation, there is another danger we need to be aware of—the type of food that we eat may itself be contaminated. Taking in teachings infected by dangerous demonic ideas can poison us just as easily as can eating physical food that has been tainted with germs or toxins. (Colossians 2:8) It is not always easy to spot poisonous food. “Food,” says one authority, “may sometimes appear quite wholesome and yet harbour pathogenic bacteria.” So we do well to examine the source of our figurative food, bearing in mind that some literature, such as apostate writings, may be infected by the introduction of unscriptural teachings and philosophies. Some food manufacturers even use misleading labeling to deceive their customers as to the contents of their product. We certainly can expect Satan, the great deceiver, to do the same. Make sure, therefore, that you get such figurative food from a reliable source, so that you stay “healthy in the faith.”—Titus 1:9, 13.
***

*** w94 7/1 p. 12 par. 12 At Which Table Are You Feeding? ***

12 Yes, apostates publish literature that resorts to distortions, half-truths, and outright falsehood. They even picket Witness conventions, trying to trap the unwary. 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) What would you expect from the table of demons? 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.
***

Not all criticism is bad... especially when the organization being criticized has so much to hide. The Watchtower Society has no problem criticizing others as 'false prophets' or 'false religion' but when someone criticizes them they claim 'persecution'.

The Watchtower Society also consistently vilifies the internet...

*** km 1/03 p. 1 par. 3 Living Up to Our Dedication ***

3 As in the case of Jesus, we must “oppose the Devil.” (Jas. 4:7) Satan tempted Jesus following His baptism, and he similarly targets dedicated servants of Jehovah today. (Luke 4:1-13) Being surrounded by Satan’s world, we must exercise self-discipline, avoiding anything that could contaminate our mind or corrupt our heart. (Prov. 4:23; Matt. 5:29, 30) Christians are admonished that they “cannot be partaking of ‘the table of Jehovah’ and the table of demons.” (1 Cor. 10:21) This requires that we guard against unwholesome entertainment, bad associations, and dangers on the Internet. It also calls for our shunning apostate material. Being alert to these and other tactics of Satan will help us to live up to our dedication.
***

*** km 7/07 p. 3 Question Box ***

It is easy for a person whom we meet over the Internet to be deceptive about his identity, his spirituality, or his motives. (Ps. 26:4) An individual claiming to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses may actually be an unbeliever, a disfellowshipped person, or even an active apostate. (Gal. 2:4) Reportedly, many pedophiles use such Web sites to find their victims.
***

*** w06 1/1 p. 27 par. 10 Seeking Righteousness Will Protect Us ***

10 Moreover, propaganda promoting immorality seems to be everywhere. Movies and television programs suggest that it is perfectly acceptable for young people to have sex before marriage. Homosexual relationships are depicted as normal. And many shows depict increasingly graphic sex. Pictures of graphic sex are also easily accessible on the Internet. For instance, a newspaper columnist reported that his seven-year-old son came home from school and excitedly told his father that a school friend had come across an Internet site showing naked women performing sex acts. The father was horrified, but how many children have come across such sites without telling their parents? In addition, how many parents know the contents of the video games their children play? Many popular games feature disgusting immorality, as well as demonism and violence.
***

*** w06 1/15 p. 23 par. 13 Do Not Allow Place for the Devil ***

13 Because of listening to the Devil and not rejecting his lies, the first human pair apostatized. So, then, should we listen to apostates, read their literature, or examine their Web sites on the Internet? If we love God and the truth, we will not do so. We should not allow apostates into our homes or even greet them, for such actions would make us ‘sharers in their wicked works.’ (2 John 9-11) May we never succumb to the Devil’s wiles by abandoning the Christian “path of truth” to follow false teachers who seek to “introduce ruinous ideologies” and try to ‘exploit us with well-turned phrases.’—2 Peter 2:1-3, Byington.
***

I'll stop quoting here, but you get the idea. The warnings go beyond the reasonable warning for parents and link the internet with apostates and demons.


Reporting Structure
In a mind control cult like in Nazi Germany or Communist Russia you must be careful of what you say and do; "The walls have ears". Everyone is encouraged to watch out for "struggling" brothers and sisters and report what they see to leadership. Often information given in deepest confidence is automatically reported to leadership. Cult leaders will then use this information to convince their members that they have a supernatural link, the trusting member does not suspect the very natural mechanism behind the supernatural revelations they are given.

People in a mind control cult will also hide their true thoughts and feelings, and instead wear a mask which presents them as a perfect cult member. This mask is a defense against being reported to leadership and being punished for not measuring up (cult members never feel like they measure up to the cult's ideals, and yet often believe the other members around them do, when in reality the others feel the same as them). Hence cult members are trained not only to deceive outsiders, but also to deceive their fellow cult members. Rarely can close friendships form in cults, and if they do the cult's leaders may see them as a threat and move those people away from each other. Nothing is allowed that can be more powerful than the cult members' allegiance to the group and it's leaders.


Here again from the Watchtower...

*** w97 8/15 p. 27 Why Report What Is Bad? ***

In our day too, Jehovah’s servants can become involved in serious wrongdoing, even those who have been faithful for many years. Recognizing that the elders can assist, most take the initiative to approach them for help. (James 5:13-16) But sometimes a wrongdoer may try to cover up his sin, as did King David. What should we do if we come to know about serious wrongdoing in the congregation?

Whose Responsibility Is It?

When elders learn about serious wrongdoing, they approach the individual involved to give needed help and correction. It is the elders’ responsibility to judge such ones inside the Christian congregation. Keeping a close watch on its spiritual condition, they assist and admonish anyone who is taking an unwise or wrong step.—1 Corinthians 5:12, 13; 2 Timothy 4:2; 1 Peter 5:1, 2.

But what if you are not an elder and you come to know about some serious wrongdoing on the part of another Christian? Guidelines are found in the Law that Jehovah gave to the nation of Israel. The Law stated that if a person was a witness to apostate acts, sedition, murder, or certain other serious crimes, it was his responsibility to report it and to testify to what he knew. Leviticus 5:1 states: “Now in case a soul sins in that he has heard public cursing and he is a witness or he has seen it or has come to know of it, if he does not report it, then he must answer for his error.”—Compare Deuteronomy 13:6-8; Esther 6:2; Proverbs 29:24.

Though not under the Mosaic Law, Christians today can be guided by the principles behind it. (Psalm 19:7, 8)
***

So JWs are under obligation to report 'wrongdoing' to the leadership.


Time Control
Mind control cults keep their members so busy with meetings and activities that they become too busy and too tired to think about their involvement.

Time control also helps the cult keep their members immersed in the manufactured cult environment.

And time control helps keep cult members away from friends and family.


Notice this from one of the articles above which gave advice to JWs on how to avoid members of their own family who don't agree with the Watchtower Society's doctrine... "Maria, mentioned earlier, finds it especially helpful to stay busy in the field ministry"




Recruiting Techniques
They tell you that they are not a cult.
This is a preemptive strike against the warnings from friends and family members which they know will come. In fact some cults go as far to tell you that Satan will try and dissuade you by sending family members and friends to tell you it is a cult. When this tactic is used then often a warped form of logic occurs in the recruits' mind, the "agents of Satan" do come and tell them that it is a cult. So since the group predicted that would happen, the group therefore must true! Basically if any group tells you that they are not a cult, or that some people call them a cult, then for goodness sake find out why!


Here's an example of the Watchtower instructing JWs on how not to sound like they are in a cult...

*** w02 8/15 p. 18 par. 10 “Follow Me Continually” ***

For example, if someone wants to know why you do not take part in some unscriptural custom or practice, do not be satisfied with saying, “It’s against my religion.” Such an answer may suggest that you let others make your decisions for you and that you must therefore be a member of a cult.
***

*** w01 2/15 p. 20 Seek Jehovah Before the Day of His Anger ***

God’s Enemies—Take Note!

11 While we await the day of Jehovah’s anger upon this wicked system, we “meet with various trials.” (James 1:2) In a number of lands claiming to value freedom of worship, manipulative clergymen have used their influence with the secular authorities in order to bring vicious persecution upon God’s people. Unscrupulous men slander Jehovah’s Witnesses, branding them “a dangerous cult.” God is aware of their actions—and these will not go unpunished
***

Hmm... a little touchy are we?

*** w01 10/15 p. 14 par. 10 Who Will Separate Us From God’s Love? ***

Some opposers have spread slanderous lies in the media, even falsely accusing Jehovah’s Witnesses of being a dangerous cult.
***

*** w99 12/1 p. 9 par. 1 “Glad Tidings” From the Apocalypse ***

CONTRARY to the accusations against them, Jehovah’s Witnesses are not an “apocalyptic sect” or a “doomsday cult.”
***

*** w97 6/1 p. 6 Secrecy in the Name of the Lord ***

If it ever crossed your mind that Jehovah’s Witnesses might be a secret cult or sect, that was likely because you knew too little about them.
***

...or maybe you knew too much about them.

In any event, the Watchtower Society spends quite a bit of space telling people how they are not a cult and it is a good idea to investigate exactly why people are accusing the Watchtower Society of running a cult.

Key Warning Signs
* People always seeming constantly happy and enthusiastic. Especially if you discover that they have been told to act that way for the potential new recruits.
* Instant friends.
* If you are told who you can or cannot talk to or associate with.
* Say they are the only true group, or the best so why go anywhere else.
* Experiential rather than logical.
* Some cults travel door to door during times when women are home alone. They, and this is rather sexist, think that women are easier to recruit and once they have the woman then it will be easier to snare the husband or partner.



Find Out More
The Internet should be your first stop if the group you are interested in or involved with has an international scope. Most of the larger cults will be mentioned by counter-cult organizations like Cultwatch, and commonly many ex-members will have posted their cult involvement stories on the net.


Many of the larger cults hate the net since it allows their members access to information they deem subversive or evil. A good place to start is www.CULTWATCH.com, there we have cult information and links to other counter-cult groups. Also go to the search engines and type in keywords associated with the group, like the name of the group, the leaders or founders name, the titles of books they use and any peculiar words that the group uses. If the group is new or too small to have been exposed on the net then read stories of other people who were in mind control cults. The patterns may seem familiar to you. If you are still unsure then email us your story at cultwatch@cultwatch.com, we will let you know of any thoughts we have.


Other ways…
Old publications by the group. Often the older cults have predicted the end of the world or changed their beliefs significantly, hence their older publications become a danger to them. For some of the older cults people have produced books of photo copies of these changes.

Pam, I would ask you, how can you think that the faithful and wise servant of Matt.24:45 is the Watchtower Society given this correlation between cult control techniques and their doctrine?

Voice of Reason said...

Shawn said:
"Here's a clip from the site howcultswork.com. Notice how many of the techniques used by the Watchtower Society are used by cults... and it is the Watchtower Society, not the 'CCJW' that sets these policies in place."

Notice how shawn, the person who promotes independent thinking, can not make an independent thought. So he copies 90k of message from another site?

Voice of Reason said...

What does the blog owner think of people taking a 90k message from another site and cross posting as a comment in reply?

I thought the comments were about the articles posted, not for personal agenda.

Shawn said...

" Voice of Reason said...

Shawn said:
"No, it's about the failed prophesy of the Watchtower Society.
Russell's predictions about 1914 were not restricted to his 'early writings', They continued right up until 1914."

Ok, but what does that have to do with Jehovah's Witnesses today?

Because the same magazine name is used and the same printing company, where do you get the idea that everyone and everything said since, is wrong?"
=================================

First of all, I'm going to call you on your straw-man argument. I never said that "everyone and everything said since, is wrong". There are somethings that the Watchtower prints that are in line with Christianity. However, extracting dates for the end of this system from the Bible is not in line with the Bible in general or the words of Jesus himself who stated bluntly that no one knows the day or the hour. The Watchtower Society's cult-like control techniques are also inconsistent with the teachings of Christ.


Additionally, the Watchtower Society hasn't stopped setting dates. They just are more subtle now. They kept claiming that the generation that witnessed the events of 1914 would not die before the end came... that is, until that claim became too absurd to stick to.

Just another arbitrary calculation that proved to be nothing more than a false prophesy.

More recently, the year 2034 has been hinted at. Noah preached 120 years until the time of the flood, which was the time of the end to Noah and his generation. The December 15, 2003 Watchtower article is paralleling Noah's day to our present day. The Society is adding a 120 years to the 1914 date to come up with the hinted date of 2034.

Words such as "Similar, Similarly, Similarity, Similarities, Parallel, Corresponds, Characteristic, Compare, Arklike and more are all through the article to back up their subtle and hinted claims.

Page 15, Paragraph 6
"In Noah's day, Jehovah declared: 'My spirit shall not act toward man indefinitely in that he is also flesh. Accordingly his days shall amount to a hundred and twenty years.' (Genesis 6:3) The issuance of this divine decree in 2490 B.C.E. marked the beginning of the end for that ungodly world. Just think what that meant for those then living! Only 120 years more and Jehovah would bring 'the deluge of waters upon the earth to bring to ruin all flesh in which the force of life is active from under the heavens.' - Genesis 6:17"

Page 15, Paragraph 7
"Noah received the warning of the upcoming catastrophe decades in advance and he wisely used the time to prepare for survival.' After being given divine warning of things not yet beheld,' says the apostle Paul, '[Noah] showed godly fear and constructed an ark for the saving of his household.' (Hebrews 11:7) What about us? Some 90 years have passed since the last days of this system of things began in 1914. We are certainly in 'the time of the end.' (Daniel 12:4) How should we respond to warnings we have been given? 'He that does the will of God remains forever,' states the Bible. (1 John 2:17) Now is therefore the time to do Jehovah's will with a keen sense of urgency."

Page 15, Paragraph 9
"Jehovah has kept these warnings in front of his people by means of timely reminders through the spiritual food provided by 'the faithful and discreet slave'"....


So it's not merely some trick used in the past, it's a trick that the Watchtower Society is using right now. Additionally, the Watchtower Society does not consider itself to be just some printing facility. It considers itself the means Jehovah uses to keep "these warnings in front of his people by means of timely reminders through the spiritual food provided by 'the faithful and discreet slave'".

I've addressed this issue of the Watchtower being a printing house only many times here and on other blogs as you know VoR. Continuing to make this claim only gives me opportunity to quote the Watchtower as saying that they are 'God's sole channel of communication' and 'God's mouthpiece'. Do you really think you're fooling anyone with this line of 'reasoning'?

Shawn said...

"Blogger Voice of Reason said...

Notice how shawn [sic], the person who promotes independent thinking, can not make an independent thought. So he copies 90k of message from another site?"

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

It's clear that you don't understand how independent thinking works, so I'll explain it to you.

When faced with a decision, an independent thinker gets as much information about the subject from as many different sources as possible. An independent thinker looks into both the source of the information as well as the veracity of each claim. After an independent thinker has considered the raw information, he or she can express their view using the results of that research.

It's unclear whether you actually read my post or just counted bytes, but if you go back and read it, you'll notice that I not only quoted howcultswork.com, but also the relevant Watchtower Society publications to show the reader that there is in fact cult-like control measures built into the doctrine of the Watchtower Society.

See how that works, VoR? Actual reasoning requires that a person address arguments and offer arguments of their own, backed up by references and facts in order to come to a conclusion.

=================================
" Voice of Reason said...

What does the blog owner think of people taking a 90k message from another site and cross posting as a comment in reply?

I thought the comments were about the articles posted, not for personal agenda."
=================================

Since Mike, the blog owner needs to approve each comment, I can only assume that he thought my comment was relevant to the discussion.

Secondly, do you mean to imply that you do not have your own agenda when making comments here? Certainly you do!... and that's fine. However, you seem to have gotten knocked off track there, since your last two comments were pure ad hominem (personal attack) arguments. I suppose you don't have too many alternative options, since my arguments come from the very organization you're trying to defend. The real question is... will you continue to defend an organization that has been so dishonest to its members over the years? Will you continue to support an organization that abuses its members through cult-like control techniques?

You know... you don't have to take the bad with the good. You can be a true Christian without bending to the will of the Watchtower Society. The first century Christians certainly didn't need the Watchtower Society, or any organization for that matter, in order to be Christians. You don't need the Watchtower Society either. Don't let a group of men in New York be a master over your faith. Before you claim that they aren't masters over your faith, keep in mind that according to the Watchtower Society, if you are in a disfellowshipped state when Armageddon occurs, you'll be destroyed along with the other 'pagans'. Who decides whether you get to stay in the organization or get DF'd? A group of men at the headquarters of the Watchtower Society. Since they hold the power of life and death over you, how can they not be your master?

Voice of Reason said...

Shawn said:
"So it's not merely some trick used in the past, it's a trick that the Watchtower Society is using right now. "

If there were a Watchtower Society...

We have 5 meetings, and 2 of those is material from the WTS. The public talks are outlines that the local brothers prepare. The Theocratic ministry school is local also and that is setup by the teaching committee.
The service meeting is by the service committee and the Branch.

"Additionally, the Watchtower Society does not consider itself to be just some printing facility. "

Does it matter what it thinks?

"It considers itself the means Jehovah uses to keep "these warnings in front of his people by means of timely reminders through the spiritual food provided by 'the faithful and discreet slave'"."

You have the cart before the horse. The FDS considers itself the means Jehovah used by reminders distributed from the CCJW using the facilities of the WTS.

"I've addressed this issue of the Watchtower being a printing house only many times here and on other blogs as you know VoR. Continuing to make this claim only gives me opportunity to quote the Watchtower as saying that they are 'God's sole channel of communication' and 'God's mouthpiece'. Do you really think you're fooling anyone with this line of 'reasoning'? "

But they don't say that the WTS is the sole channel. They say that Jehovah's organization is.

Jehovah's Organization can exist without the watchtower Society.

Voice of Reason said...

Shawn said:
"See how that works, VoR? Actual reasoning requires that a person address arguments and offer arguments of their own, backed up by references and facts in order to come to a conclusion."

No, actual independent thinking and reasoning says: "I don't give a rat's ass about what either or any of those sources say because they just focus on the human concepts."

Here is how it works. I use the Bible and reality and I see that the Bible fits with reality by presenting the solutions to the reality. I see many groups wanting solutions but only one looking to the Bible based solution to the reality. The human factor does not factor in there at all.

"Secondly, do you mean to imply that you do not have your own agenda when making comments here? Certainly you do!."

Yes, it is to set matters straight as people who are especially anti-Witnesses who mislead many.

"You can be a true Christian without bending to the will of the Watchtower Society."

But people have the choice to do so and the ones who do so should be respected for that.

" The first century Christians certainly didn't need the Watchtower Society, or any organization for that matter, in order to be Christians."

Actually they did. And when they stopped respecting that organization, then that is when trouble started and the wolves came in and the false teachers and then the apostacy started.

" You don't need the Watchtower Society either. Don't let a group of men in New York be a master over your faith."

Have I ever gave an indication that they are? I don't think so.
The only indication that I gave is that I am against this anti-WTS crusade.

" Before you claim that they aren't masters over your faith, keep in mind that according to the Watchtower Society, if you are in a disfellowshipped state when Armageddon occurs, you'll be destroyed along with the other 'pagans'. "

Well, bye bye Shawn.



"Who decides whether you get to stay in the organization or get DF'd? A group of men at the headquarters of the Watchtower Society. Since they hold the power of life and death over you, how can they not be your master? "

No, you decide since you are the ones not living with the Bible's direction and not following it in your heart. Afterall, you are the one that will be surprise in the end times because you don't even believe it.

Mike-e said...

Wow! Lots and lots to be responded to here! I think Shawn is doing a great job responding to most of this, so i'll let him continue to do so. There were a couple of things that were directly addressed to me that i'll go ahead and respond to.

What does the blog owner think of people taking a 90k message from another site and cross posting as a comment in reply?

I don't mind, as long as its not spam or scrolling. VOR, if you would like to post lengthy articles to prove your point, the floor is yours. I pretty much have a no rules policy as long as there's no harsh profanity or spam. In other words, i'm all about free speech and letting people speak their minds.

Pam, thank you for being wise and not fooled by their meanness.

Seriously? Who is being "mean?" And since when did disagreeing with someone become mean? If me or Shawn said something inappropriate or out of line, then please show us. I make every attempt to address you all with the utmost respect and i'm sure Shawn tries to do the same.

The blogger said"why do you follow a false prophet who proclaims false prophecies time and time again? I mean, don't you find it interesting that "Jehovah's organization" made it on this list?"

They both need to understand that Jehovah's Witnesses do not follow people. Because certain individuals who wrote for the magazine, the Watchtower, and other books does not mean that Jehovah's Organization made the list. But still, it is not a bad thing to look to the end. It is a bad thing not to look to the end.


Jehovah's Witnesses do not follow people?

"We all need help to understand the Bible, and we cannot find the Scriptural guidance we need outside the 'faithful and discreet slave' organization." (WT, Feb. 15, 1981 p19)

"They must submit to Jehovah God as the Universal Sovereign and they ought to give full cooperation to those whom he has put in positions of responsibility." (Qualified to Be Ministers, 1967, p380)

Pam Tolliver said...

Sorry, Shawn, I said I didn't see the WTS (CCJW) the way you do, and I still don't. It's comical, actually, what you wrote about how cults work, and saying the WTS is like that. In 35 years I've never been told to "put on" a happy attitude to impress new ones. I never had "instant friends" and I've never been told to be one. I was never discouraged from being with my relatives and I have never been told who I can talk to and who I can't (with the exception of DF'd people). You talk about a judicial committee like it was the KGB. I've been before a judicial committee. I was DF'd, after 2 or 3 discussions, whereby I was not grilled mercilessly and made to feel like a piece of scum. They were quite kind & asked only questions that would help them to understand what had happened. One of the committee members called me and begged me to reconsider my decision to not give up my fornicating with a man. They did everything they could to help me. My decision to leave JWs was the saddest thing I ever did. I was eaten up by the cat, when I "flew out of the cage." For 5 years.

No, JWs are not a cult. I compare the CCJW with a loving Shepherd.

Youo still didn't say who YOU think the Faithful & wise servant" is.

Shawn said...

" Pam Tolliver said...

Sorry, Shawn, I said I didn't see the WTS (CCJW) the way you do, and I still don't. It's comical, actually, what you wrote about how cults work, and saying the WTS is like that. In 35 years I've never been told to "put on" a happy attitude to impress new ones. I never had "instant friends" and I've never been told to be one. I was never discouraged from being with my relatives and I have never been told who I can talk to and who I can't (with the exception of DF'd people). You talk about a judicial committee like it was the KGB. I've been before a judicial committee. I was DF'd, after 2 or 3 discussions, whereby I was not grilled mercilessly and made to feel like a piece of scum. They were quite kind & asked only questions that would help them to understand what had happened. One of the committee members called me and begged me to reconsider my decision to not give up my fornicating with a man. They did everything they could to help me. My decision to leave JWs was the saddest thing I ever did. I was eaten up by the cat, when I "flew out of the cage." For 5 years.

No, JWs are not a cult. I compare the CCJW with a loving Shepherd.

Youo still didn't say who YOU think the Faithful & wise servant" is."

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

I think this is an important issue to address because the Watchtower Society is good at training JWs to say how they are not a cult.

Pam, actually you have been told to impress new ones

*** km 4/86 p. 1 “Work What Is Good Toward All” ***

“Work What Is Good Toward All”

1 We rejoice to see so many new ones flocking into the congregation. (Isa. 60:8) One thing that attracts them to the truth is the love that is evident among Jehovah’s people. (John 13:34, 35) Were not many of us deeply impressed by the warmth and friendliness we experienced the very first time we entered the Kingdom Hall? Having personally experienced God’s love that flows through Jesus Christ and the Christian congregation, we are moved to “work what is good toward all” by assisting and encouraging others.—Gal. 6:10.

HELP OTHERS PROGRESS

2 When we see someone at the meeting for the first time, do we endeavor to get acquainted? We should not feel that only the elders and ministerial servants have this responsibility. It is our personal obligation as well. (Rom. 15:7; compare Galatians 5:14 and James 2:8.) When many in the congregation welcome the new ones, they are impressed with the true Christian love demonstrated. God’s Word speaks very highly of showing love toward strangers. (See Matthew 25:35b and 1 Timothy 5:10.) Such warmth and friendliness encourage a steady influx of sheeplike ones into the congregation.—See Isaiah 60:5, 11.
***

*** w03 7/1 p. 7 How to Develop Genuine Love ***

Such love is especially appreciated by those who may have been “skinned and thrown about” in the loveless world around us. (Matthew 9:36) Experience has shown that loving relationships in adulthood can overcome many of the bad effects of a childhood deprived of love. How important, therefore, that all dedicated Christians extend a truly heartfelt welcome to new ones who come into their midst!
***

*** w03 6/15 p. 21 par. 14 Look for the Good in All ***

14 Welcoming all who attend Christian meetings gives evidence of our largeheartedness. When we take the initiative to speak to new ones who visit the Kingdom Hall, any initial nervousness and self-consciousness on their part may well disappear. Indeed, some who attend a Christian meeting for the very first time remark: “Everyone was so friendly. It seemed as though everyone knew me already. I felt at home.”
***

This is love-bombing in action. What is so bad about being friendly? Well, in it self, nothing. It's the other control mechanisms in place that turn this friendliness into manipulation.

First, a good JW will not have any friends who are not also JWs.

*** w06 3/15 p. 23 par. 9 “Each One Will Carry His Own Load” ***

9 What about having close association with those who may be morally clean but who lack faith in the true God? The Scriptures tell us: “The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” (1 John 5:19) We come to discern that bad associations are not limited to permissive or morally debased people. Hence, we are wise to cultivate close friendships only with those who love Jehovah.
***

We're not talking about avoiding association with the unsavory elements of society here. The Watchtower is telling its members that anyone who is not a member of the organization is not an acceptable friend. (So they are telling you who you can be friends with)

Now you might say 'What's wrong with limiting yourself to like-minded association?' Well, nothing in and of itself. Here's where the techniques of love-bombing and relationship control get ugly. When you do something that the leadership disagrees with, they can take away your whole social network, leaving that person in a void. Those who refuse to talk to a disfellowshipped person are also being conditioned to accept the control of the Watchtower Society.

*** w96 3/15 pp. 16-19 Meeting the Challenge of Loyalty ***

Loyalty to Jehovah’s Organization

9 We now come to the matter of being loyal to Jehovah’s visible organization. Certainly, we owe loyalty to it, including “the faithful and discreet slave,” through which the Christian congregation is fed spiritually. (Matthew 24:45-47) Suppose that something appears in Watch Tower publications that we do not understand or agree with at the moment. What will we do? Take offense and leave the organization? That is what some did when The Watch Tower, many years ago, applied the new covenant to the Millennium. Others took offense at what The Watchtower once said on the issue of neutrality. If those who stumbled over these matters had been loyal to the organization and to their brothers, they would have waited on Jehovah to clarify these matters, which he did in his due time. Thus, loyalty includes waiting patiently until further understanding is published by the faithful and discreet slave.

10 Loyalty to Jehovah’s visible organization also means having nothing to do with apostates. Loyal Christians will not be curious about what such people have to say. True, those being used by Jehovah God to direct his work on earth are not perfect. But what does God’s Word tell us to do? Leave God’s organization? No. Brotherly affection should keep us loyal to it, and we should continue to “love one another intensely from the heart.”—1 Peter 1:22.

Loyalty to Loyal Elders

11 When something is said or done in the congregation that we have difficulty understanding, loyalty will keep us from judging motives and will help us to take the position that perhaps it is a matter of judgment. Is it not far better to dwell on the good qualities of the appointed elders and other fellow believers rather than on their shortcomings? Yes, we want to guard against all such negative thinking, for it is related to being disloyal! Loyalty will also help us to obey Paul’s directive “to speak injuriously of no one.”—Titus 3:1, 2.

12 Loyalty presents particular challenges to elders. One of these challenges is the matter of confidentiality. A member of a congregation may confide in an elder. Loyalty to that one will keep the elder from violating the principle of confidentiality. He will heed the counsel at Proverbs 25:9: “Do not reveal the confidential talk of another.” That means not even to his own wife!

13 Elders also have other tests of loyalty to meet. Will they be men pleasers, or will they courageously and mildly assist those who need correction, even if they are blood relatives or close friends? Loyalty to Jehovah’s organization will cause those of us who are elders to try to help any who need spiritual assistance. (Galatians 6:1, 2) Though we will be kind, loyalty will make us candid with our fellow elder, just as Paul spoke to the apostle Peter candidly. (Galatians 2:11-14) On the other hand, overseers want to be careful, lest by acting unwisely or showing partiality or in some other way abusing their authority, they make it difficult for those in their charge to be loyal to God’s organization.—Philippians 4:5.

14 There are other aspects to the matter of meeting the challenge of loyalty to the congregation and its elders. If there are somewhat troubled conditions in the congregation, this gives us opportunity to display loyalty to Jehovah and to those representing him. (See The Watchtower, June 15, 1987, pages 15-17.) When there has been a disfellowshipping, loyalty requires that we back up the elders, not trying to second-guess whether there were sufficient reasons for the action taken.
***

*** w85 7/15 p. 18 par. 12 ‘Run in Such a Way That You May Attain the Prize’ ***

12 Misdirected loyalties could, therefore, hinder you in your race for life. Jesus told his disciples: “He that has greater affection for father or mother than for me is not worthy of me; and he that has greater affection for son or daughter than for me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:37; Luke 14:26) But what if a loved one left the truth or was disfellowshipped? Would you go along with the worldly notion that “blood is thicker than water” and follow that relative into destruction?
***

So it's all of these techniques working together that make up the control mechanism. Whether you choose to look at the whole picture or not does not affect the reality that the Watchtower Society has put this control policy in place.

Next, I want to address your statement I was eaten up by the cat, when I "flew out of the cage.". This is a common analogy in the JW circles. The concept that the 'cage' members are in is somehow a protection.

19 We live in dangerous times. Satan would certainly have destroyed all of us were it not for Jehovah’s loving protection. To avoid being trapped by “the birdcatcher,” therefore, we must remain in the figurative place of protection, “dwelling in the secret place of the Most High,” procuring “lodging under the very shadow of the Almighty One.”—Psalm 91:1.

20 May we always view Jehovah’s reminders and directions as protective, never as restrictive. Together we face a predator who has superhuman intelligence. Without Jehovah’s loving help, no one will escape being trapped. (Psalm 124:7, 8) So let us pray that Jehovah will deliver us from the traps of “the birdcatcher”!—Matthew 6:13.
***

The Watchtower Society constantly reminds its members that the world outside is constantly trying to 'get them'. There are lots of stories like Pam's where 'leaving the truth' is equated to an unhealthy lifestyle.

*** w97 3/15 p. 26 Should Your Child Go to a Boarding School? ***

The experience of Clement is typical. He relates: “Before going away to boarding school, I had a love for the truth and went out in field service with the brothers. I particularly enjoyed participating in our family Bible study and the Congregation Book Study. However, once I went into boarding school at the age of 14, I left the truth completely. Throughout the five years I spent in boarding school, I never attended meetings. As a result of bad company, I got involved with drugs, smoking, and heavy drinking.”
***

*** w89 12/1 pp. 12-13 par. 11 Why We Need Accurate Knowledge ***

11 We can illustrate this by the real-life case of a young man who, when he was about 14 years of age and already a baptized Christian, had his love of the truth tested. Like many young people, he loved sports, especially soccer. But there was a problem. His school played soccer the same night that the congregation had its meetings. His spirituality was not strong enough for him properly to evaluate the superficial value of soccer as compared to the lasting value of attending Christian meetings with his widowed mother and his younger brother and sister. So he ceased to act according to accurate knowledge and decided to drop out of the truth. Eventually, he was disfellowshipped. Later, he went on to do military service, where he got involved with drugs.
***

Naturally, you don't read about the people who rejected the doctrines of the Watchtower Society who led perfectly moral, ethical lives. Nope, just one story after another about how leaving 'the truth' means drug addiction and unwanted pregnancy.

It's not leaving the Watchtower Society that causes someone to 'get eaten by that cat', it's making poor life decisions.

Moving on to your next question about the faithful and discreet slave. This is another case of the Watchtower Society claiming a prophesy where there is none. Matt 24:45 is an illustration pure and simple. Jesus is simply making the point that he expects his followers to continue to be faithful to Him while he is away. Jesus is not saying "someday in the 1800s a group of Bible students will be my faithful and discreet slave". No, he expected all of his followers to continue what He started.

Shawn said...

" Voice of Reason said...

No, actual independent thinking and reasoning says: "I don't give a rat's ass about what either or any of those sources say because they just focus on the human concepts."

Here is how it works. I use the Bible and reality and I see that the Bible fits with reality by presenting the solutions to the reality. I see many groups wanting solutions but only one looking to the Bible based solution to the reality. The human factor does not factor in there at all."

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

First of all, not all human concepts are invalid. Mathematics is a human concept that has helped humans a great deal. Medicine is another human concept that has been very beneficial.

A human concept that is very damaging to people is cult control and manipulation. Cults do exist and people have studied how they work. If the Watchtower Society is not running a cult, why are they using so many cult control techniques? Really, you should care about what the sources I've referenced have to say, because it materially affects your life. Simply dismissing the arguments does not prove them false. There has to be a reason why they are not true. Really, I don't expect you to change your mind based on what I've said. I'm much more interested in making sure that anyone looking into becoming one of Jehovah's Witnesses has all of the facts. A debate is not for the people in the debate, but the audience.

Secondly, your statement that "Bible fits with reality by presenting the solutions to the reality" is telling. Reality isn't a problem that needs to be solved and living in the Watchtower Society's altered reality doesn't change actual reality.

The statement "I see many groups wanting solutions but only one looking to the Bible based solution to the reality" is categorically false. There are many groups that use the Bible as their guide to living. The Watchtower Society wants you to think that they are the only ones who look to the Bible ( and successfully in your case, I might add) because they use the control technique of exclusivism to keep members.


Unfortunately, you are not using the Bible alone, you're using Watchtower publications, human concepts, to interpret the scriptures.

If you subscribe to the belief that year 1914 was the year Jesus began ruling invisibly, then you are subscribing to a human concept because it's not in the Bible.

If you believe that someone who smokes a cigar should be removed from the congregation, then you relying on the Watchtower Society's human concept that such an act makes someone a non-Christian... because it's not in the Bible.

If you believe that a group of men who run the Watchtower Society are the faithful and discreet slave in Jesus' illustration, then you've bought into the human concept that Russell thought up... because it's not in the Bible.

If you believe that the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 BCE, then you are relying on what the Watchtower Society has told you to believe... because it's not in the Bible or the archeological record.

If you believe that you must be part of an organization to be a Christian, then you believe what the Watchtower Society is telling you... because it's not in the Bible.

Shawn said...

" Voice of Reason said...

If there were a Watchtower Society...

We have 5 meetings, and 2 of those is material from the WTS. The public talks are outlines that the local brothers prepare. The Theocratic ministry school is local also and that is setup by the teaching committee.
The service meeting is by the service committee and the Branch."

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

Ummm... the definitely is a Watchtower Society.

The outlines for the public talks are written by the Watchtower Society. The men giving those talks build their part around those outlines. For key parts of conventions, the Watchtower Society actually writes the talk word for word.

The theocratic ministry school was created by the Watchtower Society and students prepare their parts based on the theocratic ministry school schedule... published by the Watchtower Society. The only thing the local brothers do is to assign parts to specific members of the congregation.

The service meeting is based on the "Our Kingdom Ministry"... published monthly by... the Watchtower Society.

The format and content for all five meetings is dictated by the Watchtower Society.


Who are you trying to kid? Either you actually don't know how the congregation runs or you're an outright liar.

Shawn said...

" Voice of Reason said...

You have the cart before the horse. The FDS considers itself the means Jehovah used by reminders distributed from the CCJW using the facilities of the WTS."

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

First of all, this comment isn't even in English. I suspect that it is because you're trying so hard to mince words that this comment ended up not saying anything.

The faithful and discreet slave is responsible for providing spiritual food at the proper time, not the 'CCJW'.

*** 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.” He acknowledged them as his collective instrument, or “slave,” and in 1919 entrusted them with the management of all his earthly belongings.

8 The slave’s responsibilities include the supervision of the material facilities used by Christ’s followers to carry out their Christian activities, such as the world headquarters and branch offices of Jehovah’s Witnesses, as well as their places of worship—Kingdom Halls and Assembly Halls—throughout the world. More important, the slave also oversees spiritually upbuilding programs of Bible study at weekly meetings and periodic assemblies and conventions. At these gatherings, information on the fulfillment of Bible prophecies is dispensed, and timely direction on how to apply Bible principles in daily life is given.

11 As in early Christian times, a small group of spirit-anointed overseers make up the Governing Body of Christ’s followers on earth today. By means of his “right hand” of applied power, Christ, the Head of the congregation, directs these faithful men as they supervise the Kingdom work. (Revelation 1:16, 20) In his life story, Albert Schroeder, a longtime member of the Governing Body who recently finished his earthly course, wrote: “The Governing Body meets every Wednesday, opening the meeting with prayer and asking for the direction of Jehovah’s spirit. A real effort is made to see that every matter that is handled and every decision that is made is in harmony with God’s Word the Bible.” We can have confidence in such faithful anointed Christians. Regarding them in particular, we should heed the apostle Paul’s injunction: “Be obedient to those who are taking the lead among you and be submissive, for they are keeping watch over your souls.”—Hebrews 13:17.

12 A fundamental reason for showing proper respect for the faithful slave class is that by so doing, we are in fact showing respect for the Master, Jesus Christ. Paul wrote of the anointed ones: “He that was called when a freeman is a slave of Christ. You were bought with a price.” (1 Corinthians 7:22, 23; Ephesians 6:6) Therefore, when we loyally submit to the direction of the faithful slave and its Governing Body, we are submitting to Christ, the slave’s Master. Our showing due respect for the instrument Christ is using to manage his earthly belongings is one way in which we “openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”—Philippians 2:11.

13 Another Scriptural reason for showing respect for the faithful slave is that anointed Christians on earth are figuratively spoken of as a “temple” that Jehovah inhabits “by spirit.” As such, they are “holy.” (1 Corinthians 3:16, 17; Ephesians 2:19-22) It is to this holy temple class that Jesus has entrusted his earthly belongings, which means that certain rights and responsibilities within the Christian congregation belong exclusively to this collective slave. For this reason, all in the congregation view it as their sacred duty to follow and uphold the direction coming from the faithful slave and its Governing Body. Indeed, the “other sheep” count it a real privilege to assist the slave class in caring for the Master’s interests.—John 10:16.

14 The humble submission of the other sheep to the anointed members of spiritual Israel was foretold in the prophecy of Isaiah: “This is what Jehovah has said: ‘The unpaid laborers of Egypt and the merchants of Ethiopia and the Sabeans, tall men, will themselves come over even to you, and yours they will become. Behind you they will walk; in fetters they will come over, and to you they will bow down. To you they will pray, saying, “Indeed God is in union with you, and there is no one else; there is no other God.”’” (Isaiah 45:14) Symbolically, the other sheep today walk behind the anointed slave class and its Governing Body, following their leadership. As “unpaid laborers,” the other sheep willingly expend their physical strength and their resources in support of the worldwide preaching work that Christ assigned to his anointed followers on earth.—Acts 1:8; Revelation 12:17.

15 The other sheep are happy and grateful to serve Jehovah under the oversight of the slave class and its Governing Body. They recognize the anointed as members of “the Israel of God.” (Galatians 6:16) As figurative “strangers” and “foreigners” associated with spiritual Israel, they joyfully serve as “farmers” and “vinedressers” under the direction of the anointed, the “priests of Jehovah” and ‘ministers of God.’ (Isaiah 61:5, 6) They zealously share in preaching this good news of the Kingdom and in making disciples of people of all the nations. They give wholehearted assistance to the slave class in shepherding and nurturing newly found sheeplike ones.

16 The other sheep recognize that they have greatly benefited from the diligent efforts of the faithful slave in supplying them with timely spiritual food. They humbly acknowledge that were it not for the faithful and discreet slave, they would know little or nothing of precious Bible truths, such as Jehovah’s sovereignty, the sanctification of his name, the Kingdom, the new heavens and new earth, the soul, the condition of the dead, and the true identity of Jehovah, his Son, and the holy spirit. Out of sheer gratitude and loyalty, the other sheep lovingly support Christ’s anointed “brothers” on the earth during this time of the end.—Matthew 25:40.
***

So you can go on and on talking about legal entities, but unfortunately for your argument, this is not a courtroom. The faithful and discreet slave class are responsible for every major aspect of the organization and preaching work and you just read it from the Watchtower. According to this article, if you don't respect this "small group of spirit-anointed overseers" authority, you are disrespecting Christ himself.

So I do not have 'the cart before the horse' here. In the future, you may want to check the publications of the organization you're attempting to defend before making these kinds of claims.

Why are you trying to hide this fact? Could it be because you realize that if someone were to realize that the governing body puts itself on par with Christ Himself, they would realize just how out of line with the scriptures they are?

I notice that you don't even try to counter my arguments with references. You just make up Watchtower Society policy out of thin air to support your claims... and each time you do, I direct you to the Watchtower publications that spell out the actual policies.

I'll say it again - Our conversation has given me a great framework for getting the message out about how manipulative and controlling the Watchtower Society is. I'm truly grateful for your persistence.

Voice of Reason said...

Shawn said:
"The faithful and discreet slave is responsible for providing spiritual food at the proper time, not the 'CCJW'."

Not so. I have never seen a publication with the byline of FDS.

The KMs say CCJW.

"The faithful and discreet slave class are responsible for every major aspect of the organization and preaching work and you just read it from the Watchtower. According to this article, if you don't respect this "small group of spirit-anointed overseers" authority, you are disrespecting Christ himself."

According to the article, which you don't believe...

But the fact is that the only ones of the FDS left are the nine on the governing body. Thus the definition is only a text book one.

That is not the practical definition.

"In the future, you may want to check the publications of the organization you're attempting to defend before making these kinds of claims."

The beliefs are Jehovah's Witnesses and the reality is not based on publications.

"I notice that you don't even try to counter my arguments with references."

Because Jehovah's Witnesses are not based on what the Watchtower publications say.

"Our conversation has given me a great framework for getting the message out about how manipulative and controlling the Watchtower Society is"

Yes, you are the one controlled by them, not me.

Voice of Reason said...

Shawn said;
"The service meeting is based on the "Our Kingdom Ministry"... published monthly by... the Watchtower Society."

Nope. Read the copyright. It says that it is published by the CCJW and the president is Chuck Woody not Max Larson or Don Adams.

"The format and content for all five meetings is dictated by the Watchtower Society."

Nope, it is by the committes of the governing body, which are not part of the WTS.

"The theocratic ministry school was created by the Watchtower Society and students prepare their parts based on the theocratic ministry school schedule... published by the Watchtower Society."

No, it was created by Nathan Knorr and the schedules are published in the KM which is by the CCJW, not the WTS.

"For key parts of conventions, the Watchtower Society actually writes the talk word for word."

No, the conventions used to say produced by the Watchtower Society, now they say arranged by the Governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses, which is not part of the Watchtower Society.

You need to read better.

Shawn said...

"Voice of Reason said... Not so. I have never seen a publication with the byline of FDS."

You don't need a 'byline' (whatever that means) The Watchtower that I quoted earlier comes right out and says that the FDS uses the publications to provide spiritual food.


"But the fact is that the only ones of the FDS left are the nine on the governing body. Thus the definition is only a text book one."

Someone hasn't been doing their reading again. Here's how the Watchtower Society has been dealing with the fact that the 'anointed' Christians are dropping dead....


*** w92 4/15 p. 31 Announcement ***

As explained in this issue of The Watchtower, there is a group serving with spiritual Israel today that is comparable to the Nethinim and the sons of the servants of Solomon who returned from Babylonian exile with the Jewish remnant; those non-Israelites even outnumbered the returning Levites. (Ezra 2:40-58; 8:15-20) “Given ones” from among today’s great crowd are mature Christian men who have had considerable experience as a result of caring for oversight in branches, in the traveling work, and among the 66,000 congregations now established throughout the earth.

Recently, Kingdom Ministry Schools were held worldwide for the instruction of overseers and their assisting ministerial servants. In the United States alone, 59,420 overseers attended. These “older men” were thus equipped to fulfill their responsibilities more effectively.—1 Peter 5:1-3; compare Ephesians 4:8, 11.

At the Brooklyn headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses, some “given ones” have served for a great many years. These include mature overseers from the great crowd who have gained a wealth of ability and experience. Thus, the Governing Body has selected a few of such overseers to assist in the meetings of the Governing Body’s committees. These are not necessarily the men with the longest record of service. Rather, they are mature, experienced men with qualifications that fit them for giving assistance in particular fields. Their being assigned to work with a committee does not give them a special status. As Jesus said concerning his disciples, “all you are brothers.” (Matthew 23:8) However, much will be entrusted to these men, and consequently “much will be demanded” of them.—Luke 12:48.
***

So, the 'given ones' will be carrying the torch when the last of the 144,000 dies.

"Voice of Reason said... The beliefs are Jehovah's Witnesses and the reality is not based on publications."

Actually, they are. In fact, you sir are promoting a sect according to the manual for elders.

Pay Attention... to the flock pg 94
"Persons who deliberately spread (stubbornly hold to and
speak about) teachings contrary to Bible truth as taught
by Jehovah's Witnesses are apostates ."

Let's apply some reasoning from your own faithful and discreet slave.

1) The faithful and discreet slave is the hand of Christ. Not respecting their leadership is the same as not respecting Christ.

*** w07 4/1 p. 24 par. 12 Loyal to Christ and His Faithful Slave ***

A fundamental reason for showing proper respect for the faithful slave class is that by so doing, we are in fact showing respect for the Master, Jesus Christ.
***

2) This faithful and discreet slave uses the Watchtower publications to provide spiritual food.

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

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.”
***

So for you to claim that the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses do not come from Watchtower publications directly contradicts what the faithful and discreet slave class has written. Transitively, you are contradicting Christ himself by making your claim, which makes you an apostate. Well, misguided as you are, you're in the right place brother.

"Voice of Reason said... Yes, you are the one controlled by them, not me."

I'll agree that you are not loyally submitting to 'Jehovah's organization'...

*** w96 3/15 p. 17 par. 10 Meeting the Challenge of Loyalty ***

Loyalty to Jehovah’s visible organization also means having nothing to do with apostates. Loyal Christians will not be curious about what such people have to say.
***

Keep it up. You're on your way to freedom from the Watchtower Society.

As for your rant about who holds copyrights to what publications, you and I and everyone reading can see through your argument. No one here believes that there are all of these independent entities doing their own thing and just happen to agree with each other. No, sweeping aside the web of legal entities there is a group of men who are running a cult through all of these corporations.

Shawn said...

*Blog Ad Warning*
FYI, in case anyone is interested in learning more about the deception of the Watchtower Society, I've started my own blog on the subject.

http://wtsdissident.blogspot.com/

Mike-e said...

Shawn, I think you raised a good point about VoR; he's on his way to freedom!

I have a feeling that his elders would have a few problems if they:

1) Learned that he was on the internet talking to apostates

2) Making the following statements:

"The beliefs are Jehovah's Witnesses and the reality is not based on publications."

"Jehovah's Witnesses are not based on what the Watchtower publications say."


VoR, you are so close. Release yourself from this organization and experience true freedom. No longer will you have to keep interactions like this a secret. No one will be telling you how to dress, how to cut your hair, who you can or can't talk to, etc. Keep doing what you're doing. Independent thinking outside the FDS is the first step towards freedom. Its closer than you think.

Voice of Reason said...

Mike:
"shawn, I think you raised a good point about VoR; he's on his way to freedom!:"

I already have freedom as One of Jehovah's Witnesses.

"I have a feeling that his elders would have a few problems if they:
1) Learned that he was on the internet talking to apostates"

They already know that. But there are not apostates here, just confused people who worship the Watchtower.

"2) Making the following statements:
"The beliefs are Jehovah's Witnesses and the reality is not based on publications."

We do not follow the publications, we follow what works.

"Jehovah's Witnesses are not based on what the Watchtower publications say."

We are based on God's word. Well, that is a publication.


"VoR, you are so close. Release yourself from this organization and experience true freedom."

I have true freedom and that is in the organization. I am not a slave to it like you and shawn are.

Shawn said...

Voice of Reason said...

I already have freedom as One of Jehovah's Witnesses.

...

We do not follow the publications, we follow what works.

...

We are based on God's word. Well, that is a publication.

...

I have true freedom and that is in the organization. I am not a slave to it like you and shawn are."

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

Far from 'true freedom', what you actually have is called Cognitive Dissonance: Cognitive dissonance is a psychological phenomenon first identified by Leon Festinger. It occurs when there is a discrepancy between what a person believes, knows and values, and persuasive information that calls these into question. The discrepancy causes psychological discomfort, and the mind adjusts to reduce the discrepancy. In ethics, cognitive dissonance is important in its ability to alter values, such as when an admired celebrity embraces behavior that his or her admirers deplore. Their dissonance will often result in changing their attitudes toward the behavior. Dissonance also leads to rationalizations of unethical conduct, as when the appeal and potential benefits of a large amount of money makes unethical actions to acquire it seem less objectionable than if they were applied to smaller amounts.

You have a few instances of cognitive dissonance.

The first is the difference between your beliefs as one of Jehovah's Witnesses and the past and present false prophesies issued by the organization that your are baptized into.

The second is your attempt to distance yourself from the cult-like policies of the Watchtower Society by rationalizing that the publications are the product of a printing house or some other legal entity and not what Jehovah's Witnesses 'really' believe. Your comments about 'the reality' and 'we follow what works' are vague at best and highlight the discomfort you are experiencing and that you are still trying to find an explanation that fits.

Really, this discomfort is the first step toward escape from the mental bondage you're in. For some, it takes a long time to let go of the moths, years or decades of the irrecoverable time and resources that have been spent supporting and defending 'the organization'.

The key thing for you to keep in mind is that you really have the power to break the effects of these control techniques. One powerful way make the transition easier is to acknowledge the facts.

* Recognize that the organization under all of its various names has made predictions that have not happened.

* Really examine this organization's policies and procedures and hold them up against those of other cults.

* Think about how a person or organization that really had divine backing would only make predictions that actually came true.

* Recognize that an organization that operates under Holy Spirit does not need draconian policies of disfellowshipping or require that other members report 'serious wrongdoing'.

* Understand that, given the lack of evidence for divine backing, you will not receive direct judgment from God by freeing yourself from this organization.

* Know that there are people out there who have successfully made this transition. People who did not end up drug addicts or prostitutes. People who have fulfilling, purposeful lives. People who are ethical in their dealings with others. People who will support you through this.

Really, I would encourage any Jehovah's Witnesses who are going through this difficult process to contact me. I'm more than happy to help.


Here's a more detailed description from changingminds.org



Cognitive Dissonance

Description

This is the feeling of uncomfortable tension which comes from holding two conflicting thoughts in the mind at the same time.

Dissonance increases with:

* The importance of the subject to us.
* How strongly the dissonant thoughts conflict.
* Our inability to rationalize and explain away the conflict.

Dissonance is often strong when we believe something about ourselves and then do something against that belief. If I believe I am good but do something bad, then the discomfort I feel as a result is cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive dissonance is a very powerful motivator which will often lead us to change one or other of the conflicting belief or action. The discomfort often feels like a tension between the two opposing thoughts. To release the tension we can take one of three actions:

* Change our behavior.
* Justify our behavior by changing the conflicting cognition.
* Justify our behavior by adding new cognitions.

Dissonance is most powerful when it is about our self-image. Feelings of foolishness, immorality and so on (including internal projections during decision-making) are dissonance in action.

If an action has been completed and cannot be undone, then the after-the-fact dissonance compels us to change our beliefs. If beliefs are moved, then the dissonance appears during decision-making, forcing us to take actions we would not have taken before.

Cognitive dissonance appears in virtually all evaluations and decisions and is the central mechanism by which we experience new differences in the world. When we see other people behave differently to our images of them, when we hold any conflicting thoughts, we experience dissonance.

Dissonance increases with the importance and impact of the decision, along with the difficulty of reversing it. Discomfort about making the wrong choice of car is bigger than when choosing a lamp.

Research

Festinger first developed this theory in the 1950s to explain how members of a cult who were persuaded by their leader, a certain Mrs Keech, that the earth was going to be destroyed on 21st December and that they alone were going to be rescued by aliens, actually increased their commitment to the cult when this did not happen (Festinger himself had infiltrated the cult, and would have been very surprised to meet little green men). The dissonance of the thought of being so stupid was so great that instead they revised their beliefs to meet with obvious facts: that the aliens had, through their concern for the cult, saved the world instead.

In a more mundane experiment, Festinger and Carlsmith got students to lie about a boring task. Those who were paid $1 felt uncomfortable lying.

Example

Smokers find all kinds of reasons to explain away their unhealthy habit. The alternative is to feel a great deal of dissonance.

Pam Tolliver said...

voice of reason.....would you mind emailing me, please? I went to your blog but couldn't see how to post a comment.

pjt1030@comcast.net

jimfisher007 said...

if you are Reformed Baptist or Methodist, or Catholic or Presbyterian, or Lutherian or Quaker, or Seventh Day Adventists, Bahai, Latter-Day Saints, Mennonites, Moravians, Christian Science, Episcopal, Muslims, Jew, Shintos, Hindi, or Buddist or Jehovah's Witness....All think that they are the true religion and all of them are consisdered organizations because if they were not then they would fall apart.

If they didn't, then why follow any faith that is out there. I know the Bible says:"one Faith, One Lord, One Baptism.

Baptist don't believe everything that a Presbyterian believes. If they did then they wouldn't have seperate organizations. Both are trying to teach the truth of the Bible and rely on God for His Spirit to direct them or neither of them have.

According to the Bible, In the Last Days, True worship would be re-established.

Our Everlasting Salvation is at stake here!

A recent tabulation concluded that there are 10 main religions and some 10,000 sects. Of these, some 6,000 exist in Africa, 1,200 in the United States, and hundreds in other lands.

Many factors have contributed to the development of new religious groups. Some have said that the various religions all represent different ways of presenting religious truth. But a comparison of their teachings and practices with the Bible indicates, rather, that the diversity of religions is because people have become followers of men instead of listening to God. It is noteworthy that, to a large extent, teachings they hold in common, but that differ from the Bible, originated in ancient Babylon.

Who is the instigator of such religious confusion? The Bible identifies Satan the Devil as “the god of this system of things.” (2 Cor. 4:4) It warns us that “the things which the nations sacrifice they sacrifice to demons, and not to God.” (1 Cor. 10:20) How vitally important, then, to make sure that we really are worshiping the true God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and that our worship is pleasing to him!

Most religious organizations have produced bad fruitage. It is not the fact that groups are organized that is bad. But many have promoted forms of worship that are based on false teachings and are largely ritualistic instead of providing genuine spiritual guidance; they have been misused to control the lives of people for selfish objectives; they have been overly concerned with money collections and ornate houses of worship instead of spiritual values; their members are often hypocritical. Obviously no one who loves righteousness would want to belong to such an organization. But true religion is a refreshing contrast to all of that. Nevertheless, to fulfill the Bible’s requirements, it must be organized.

Is loving one’s fellowman what really counts?

There is no doubt about it, such love is important. (Rom. 13:8-10) But being a Christian involves more than simply being kind to our neighbor. Jesus said that his true disciples would be outstandingly identified by their love for one another, for fellow believers. (John 13:35) The importance of that is emphasized repeatedly in the Bible. (Gal. 6:10; 1 Pet. 4:8; 1 John 3:14, 16, 17) However, Jesus showed that even more important is our love for God himself, which is shown by our obedience to his commandments. (Matt. 22:35-38; 1 John 5:3) To demonstrate such love, we need to study and apply God’s Word and assemble with fellow servants of God for worship.

Is having a personal relationship with God the really important thing?

It certainly is important. Merely attending religious services in a formalistic way cannot take the place of it. But we need to be careful. Why? In the first century, there were people who thought they had a good relationship with God but whom Jesus showed to be badly mistaken. (John 8:41-44) The apostle Paul wrote about some who evidently were zealous about their faith and obviously thought they had a good relationship with God but who did not understand what was really required in order to have God’s approval.—Rom. 10:2-4.

Could we have a good personal relationship with God if we treated as of little importance his commandments? One of these is that we regularly assemble with fellow believers.—Heb. 10:24, 25.

If we personally read the Bible, is that sufficient?

It is true that many people can learn a great deal by reading the Bible personally. If their motive is to learn the truth about God and his purposes, what they are doing is highly commendable. (Acts 17:11) But, being honest with ourselves, are we truly going to grasp the full significance of it all without help? The Bible tells about a man who held a prominent position but who was humble enough to acknowledge his need for help in understanding Bible prophecy. That help was provided by a member of the Christian congregation.—Acts 8:26-38; compare other references to Philip in Acts 6:1-6; 8:5-17.

Of course, if a person reads the Bible but does not apply it in his life, it does him little good. If he believes it and acts on it, he will associate with God’s servants in regular congregation meetings. (Heb. 10:24, 25) He will also join with them in sharing the “good news” with other people.—1 Cor. 9:16; Mark 13:10; Matt. 28:19, 20.

How can a person know which religion is right? Draw Straws?
Everyone of us have to make our own choice.

Jim

Pam Tolliver said...

Excellent post, Jim. Very well said.

Shawn said...

" jimfisher007 said...

if you are Reformed Baptist or Methodist, or Catholic or Presbyterian, or Lutherian or Quaker, or Seventh Day Adventists, Bahai, Latter-Day Saints, Mennonites, Moravians, Christian Science, Episcopal, Muslims, Jew, Shintos, Hindi, or Buddist or Jehovah's Witness....All think that they are the true religion and all of them are consisdered organizations because if they were not then they would fall apart."

Two fallacies here. First, not all of these faiths believe that they alone have 'the true religion'. For instance, there are many different kinds of Judaism, but only the most extreme sects claim that the others are 'false'. Buddhists call this concept that people have of 'the true religion' dualism. Dualism sets up a we vs they situation which is a form of attachment and attachment is the ultimate cause of suffering. The second fallacy is that an organization for a religion to aviod 'falling apart'. Buddhists, Shintos and Hindus have existed far longer than Christianity without some organization behind them.

It's not surprising that you hold these two views because the Watchtower Society wants you to think that there is one true religion and they have it. They want you to believe it's a we vs. they scenario, but it isn't.

"jimfisher007 said... According to the Bible, In the Last Days, True worship would be re-established.

Our Everlasting Salvation is at stake here!"

No, according to the Watchtower Society 'true worship' would be re-established. To back that claim up, they say that the prophesy of the gentile times applies to them. That prophesy was fulfilled when the temple was rebuilt in Jerusalem, not when C.T. Russell started using pyramids to back his claim that the world would end in 1914.

The next Watchtower Society scare tactic is that "Our Everlasting Salvation is at stake here!" This is an extreme form of Pascal's wager which says even though the existence of God cannot be determined through reason, a person should "wager" as though God exists, because so living has potentially everything to gain, and certainly nothing to lose. In this case, the Watchtower Society wants you to think Armageddon is very close and that only JWs will survive. This threat falls apart when one learns the truth about the long list of failed prophesies and cult-like control techniques.


" jimfisher007 said...
Most religious organizations have produced bad fruitage. It is not the fact that groups are organized that is bad. But many have promoted forms of worship that are based on false teachings and are largely ritualistic instead of providing genuine spiritual guidance; they have been misused to control the lives of people for selfish objectives;"

What would constitute 'bad fruitage'? Would predicting that this system would end in 1914, then 1915, then 1925, then 1975, then 'before the generation that saw 1914', etc count as bad fruitage since none of those dates were true?

False teachings... like the teaching that Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 BCE when it wasn't?


'Genuine spiritual guidance'... like...

The immediate future is certain to be filled with climactic events, for this old system is nearing its complete end. Within a few years at most the final parts of Bible prophecy relative to these "last days" will undergo fulfillment, resulting in the liberation of surviving mankind into Christ's glorious 1,000-year reign. What difficult days, but, at the same time, what grand days are just ahead!
Watchtower 5/1/68 pg.272

Of all the pre 1975 quotes this is probably the most popular, notice what is encouraged in the Kingdom Ministry a year prior to 1975 (monthly internal JW newsletter)

Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in this old system in the pioneer service. Certainly this is a fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world's end.—1 John 2:17
Kingdom Ministry May 1974 pg.3

Let us now examine what was said after the prophecy about 1975 failed. Right after they were praised for selling their homes to pioneer (full time preaching) Note what the Watchtower said of those who followed that encouragement.

It may be that some who have been serving God have planned their lives according to a mistaken view of just what was to happen on a certain date or in a certain year. They may have, for this reason, put off or neglected things that they otherwise would have cared for. But they have missed the point of the Bible's warnings concerning the end of this system of things, thinking that Bible chronology reveals the specific date.
Watchtower 7/15/76 pg.440

Did Jesus mean that we should adjust our financial and secular affairs so that our resources would just carry us to a certain date that we might think marks the end? If our house is suffering serious deterioration, should we let it go, on the assumption that we would need it only a few months longer? Or, if someone in the family possibly needs special medical care, should we say, 'Well, we'll put it off because the time is so near for this system of things to go'? This is not the kind of thinking that Jesus advised.
Watchtower 7/15/76 pg.440

But it is not advisable for us to set our sights on a certain date, neglecting everyday things we would ordinarily care for as Christians, such as things that we and our families really need. We may be forgetting that, when the "day" comes, it will not change the principle that Christians must at all times take care of all their responsibilities. If anyone has been disappointed through not following this line of thought, he should now concentrate on adjusting his viewpoint, seeing that it was not the word of God that failed or deceived him and brought disappointment, but that his own understanding was based on wrong premises.
Watchtower 7/15/76 pg.441

The Watchtower here is actually blaming it's readers for believing what it wrote! How in the world could anyone consider this to be genuine spiritual guidance? "Obviously no one who loves righteousness would want to belong to such an organization."


" jimfisher007 said...
How can a person know which religion is right? Draw Straws?
Everyone of us have to make our own choice."

In this case, I think a more important question to ask is; How can a person know which religion is wrong? Given the false prophesies and untruths that the Watchtower Society has been promoting for over a century, no reasonable person could conclude that they have divine backing.

jimfisher007 said...

Read this, if you dare:

*** g95 6/22 pp. 8-9 Can You Trust God’s Promises? ***

Prior to the latter part of the year 1914, many Christians expected Christ to return at that time and to take them away to heaven. Thus, in a discourse given on September 30, 1914, A. H. Macmillan, a Bible Student, stated: “This is probably the last public address I shall ever deliver because we shall be going home [to heaven] soon.” Clearly, Macmillan was mistaken, but that was not the only unfulfilled expectation he or his fellow Bible Students had.

Bible Students, known since 1931 as Jehovah’s Witnesses, also expected that the year 1925 would see the fulfillment of marvelous Bible prophecies. They surmised that at that time the earthly resurrection would begin, bringing back faithful men of old, such as Abraham, David, and Daniel. More recently, many Witnesses conjectured that events associated with the beginning of Christ’s Millennial Reign might start to take place in 1975. Their anticipation was based on the understanding that the seventh millennium of human history would begin then.

These erroneous views did not mean that God’s promises were wrong, that he had made a mistake. By no means! The mistakes or misconceptions, as in the case of first-century Christians, were due to a failure to heed Jesus’ caution, ‘You do not know the time.’ The wrong conclusions were due, not to malice or to unfaithfulness to Christ, but to a fervent desire to realize the fulfillment of God’s promises in their own time.

Consequently, A. H. Macmillan explained later: “I learned that we should admit our mistakes and continue searching God’s Word for more enlightenment. No matter what adjustments we would have to make from time to time in our views, that would not change the gracious provision of the ransom and God’s promise of eternal life.”

Indeed, God’s promises can be trusted! It is humans who are prone to error. Therefore, true Christians will maintain a waiting attitude in obedience to Jesus’ command. They will keep awake and ready for Christ’s inevitable coming as God’s Executioner. They will not allow false predictions to dull their senses and cause them to ignore the true warning of the world’s end."
*** w93 11/1 pp. 10-12 pars. 15-21 Daniel’s Prophetic Days and Our Faith ***

15 The angel said to Daniel: “From the time that the constant feature [“the continual sacrifice,” footnote] has been removed and there has been a placing of the disgusting thing that is causing desolation, there will be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.” (Daniel 12:11) Under the Mosaic Law, “the continual sacrifice” was burned on the altar at the temple in Jerusalem. Christians do not offer burnt sacrifices, but they do offer a spiritual continual sacrifice. Paul referred to this when he said: “Let us always offer to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips which make public declaration to his name.” (Hebrews 13:15; compare Hosea 14:2.) This continual sacrifice was taken away in June 1918. What, then, was “the disgusting thing”—the second feature to look for? It was the League of Nations, promoted by the victorious powers at the end of World War I. It was disgusting because the leaders of Christendom put it in the place of God’s Kingdom, representing the League as man’s only hope for peace. The League was proposed in January 1919. If we count 1,290 days (three years, seven months) from that time, we arrive at September 1922.

16 What happened then? Well, the Bible Students were now refreshed, free from Babylon the Great, and ready to go on the offensive. (Revelation 18:4) At a convention held in September 1922 at Cedar Point, Ohio, U.S.A., they began fearlessly to declare God’s judgments on Christendom. (Revelation 8:7-12) The stings of the locusts really began to hurt! What was more, the second woe of Revelation began. A mass of Christian cavalry—composed initially of the anointed remnant and later swelled by the great crowd—surged through the earth. (Revelation 7:9; 9:13-19) Yes, the end of the 1,290 days brought joy to God’s people. But more was in store.

The 1,335 Days

17 Daniel 12:12 says: “Happy is the one who is keeping in expectation and who arrives at the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days!” These 1,335 days, or three years, eight and a half months, evidently began at the end of the previous period. Counting from September 1922, this brings us to the late spring (Northern Hemisphere) of 1926. What happened during those 1,335 days?

18 Despite the landmark nature of events in 1922, evidently some still looked longingly to the past. The Studies in the Scriptures, authored by C. T. Russell, were still basic study material. Further, the widely circulated booklet Millions Now Living Will Never Die presented the view that in 1925, God’s purposes regarding the restoring of the earth to Paradise and the resurrecting of the faithful ones of old would begin to be fulfilled. The endurance of the anointed seemed to be nearly completed. Nevertheless, some associated with the Bible Students did not feel impelled to share the good news with others.

19 As the 1,335 days progressed, all of this changed. To strengthen the brothers, regular group studies of The Watch Tower were organized. Field service was stressed. Beginning in May 1923, everyone was invited to share in field service on the first Tuesday of every month, and time was set aside during the midweek congregation meeting to encourage them in this work. In August 1923, at an assembly in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., it was shown that Jesus’ parable of the sheep and the goats would be fulfilled before the Millennial Reign. (Matthew 25:31-40) The year 1924 saw the inauguration of radio station WBBR, which was used to broadcast the good news over the airwaves. The article “Birth of the Nation” in the March 1, 1925, issue of The Watch Tower gave an adjusted understanding of Revelation chapter 12. Finally, faithful Christians could properly understand the tumultuous events of 1914-19.

20 The year 1925 came to its conclusion, but the end was not yet! Ever since the 1870’s, Bible Students had been serving with a date in mind—first 1914, then 1925. Now, they realized that they must serve for as long as Jehovah wishes. The January 1, 1926, issue of The Watch Tower carried the landmark article “Who Will Honor Jehovah?” highlighting as never before the importance of God’s name. And finally, in May 1926 at the London, England, convention, a resolution was adopted entitled “A Testimony to the Rulers of the World.” This forthrightly proclaimed the truth about God’s Kingdom and the coming destruction of Satan’s world. At the same convention, the hard-hitting book Deliverance was released, becoming the first of a series to replace Studies in the Scriptures. God’s people were now looking forward, not backward. The 1,335 days were concluded.

21 Some were unwilling to adjust to these developments, but those who endured were truly happy. Moreover, as we look back on the fulfillment of these prophetic time periods, we too are happy because our confidence is strengthened that the small body of anointed Christians who lived through those times really is the faithful and discreet slave. In the years since then, Jehovah’s organization has expanded enormously, but the faithful and discreet slave is still at its center, guiding it. How thrilling, then, to know that for the anointed and the other sheep, still more happiness is in store! This will be seen as we consider another of Daniel’s prophecies."

*** jv chap. 28 pp. 633-635 Testing and Sifting From Within ***

Following 1925, meeting attendance dropped dramatically in some congregations in France and Switzerland. Again, in 1975, there was disappointment when expectations regarding the start of the Millennium failed to materialize. As a result, some withdrew from the organization. Others, because they sought to subvert the faith of associates, were disfellowshipped. No doubt, disappointment over the date was a factor, but in some instances the roots went deeper. Some individuals also argued against the need to participate in the house-to-house ministry. Certain ones did not simply choose to go their own way; they became aggressive in opposing the organization with which they had been associated, and they made use of the public press and television to air their views. Nevertheless, the number who defected was relatively small.

Although these tests resulted in a sifting and some blew away like chaff when wheat is winnowed, others remained firm. Why? Regarding his own experience and that of others in 1925, Jules Feller explained: “Those who had set their confidence in Jehovah remained steadfast and continued their preaching activity.” They recognized that a mistake had been made but that in no respect had God’s Word failed, and therefore there was no reason either to let their own hope grow dim or to slow down in the work of pointing people to God’s Kingdom as mankind’s only hope.

Some expectations had not been fulfilled, but that did not mean that Bible chronology was of no value. The prophecy recorded by Daniel regarding the appearance of the Messiah 69 weeks of years after “the going forth of the word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem” was fulfilled right on time, in 29 C.E. "

*** g93 3/22 pp. 3-4 Why So Many False Alarms? ***

Why So Many False Alarms?

The World’s End—How Near?

THE story is told of a boy who watched the sheep of the villagers. To stir up a bit of excitement, one day he cried out, “Wolf! Wolf!” when there was no wolf. The villagers rushed out with clubs to drive off the wolf, only to find that there was none. It was such great fun that later on the boy repeated his cry. Again the villagers rushed out with their clubs, only to discover that it was another false alarm. After that a wolf did come, and the boy sounded the warning, “Wolf! Wolf!” but the villagers dismissed his cry as another false alarm. They had been fooled too often.

So it has become with those who proclaim the end of the world. Down through the centuries since Jesus’ day, so many unfulfilled predictions have been made that many no longer take them seriously.

Gregory I, pope from 590 to 604 C.E., in a letter to a European monarch, said: “We also wish Your Majesty to know, as we have learned from the words of Almighty God in Holy Scriptures, that the end of the present world is already near and that the unending Kingdom of the Saints is approaching.”

In the 16th century, Martin Luther, progenitor of the Lutheran Church, predicted that the end was imminent. According to one authority, he stated: “For my part, I am sure that the day of judgment is just around the corner.”

Concerning one of the first Baptist groups, it is reported: “The Anabaptists of the early Sixteenth Century believed that the Millennium would occur in 1533.”

“Edwin Sandys (1519-1588), Archbishop of York and Primate of England . . . says, . . . ‘Let us be assured that this coming of the Lord is near.’”

William Miller, generally credited with founding the Adventist Church, is quoted as saying: “I am fully convinced that sometime between March 21, 1843, and March 21, 1844, according to the Jewish mode of computation of time, Christ will come.”

Does the failure of such predictions to come true convict as false prophets those who made them, within the meaning of Deuteronomy 18:20-22? That text reads: “The prophet who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded him to speak or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die. And in case you should say in your heart: ‘How shall we know the word that Jehovah has not spoken?’ when the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak.”

There are some who make spectacular predictions of the world’s end to grab attention and a following, but others are sincerely convinced that their proclamations are true. They are voicing expectations based on their own interpretation of some scripture text or physical event. They do not claim that their predictions are direct revelations from Jehovah and that in this sense they are prophesying in Jehovah’s name. Hence, in such cases, when their words do not come true, they should not be viewed as false prophets such as those warned against at Deuteronomy 18:20-22. In their human fallibility, they misinterpreted matters.

Undeterred by previous failures, some seem to have been spurred on by the approach of the year 2000 and have made further predictions of the end of the world. The Wall Street Journal of December 5, 1989, published an article entitled “Millennium Fever: Prophets Proliferate, the End Is Near.” With the year 2000 approaching, various evangelicals are predicting that Jesus is coming and that the 1990’s will be “a time of troubles that has not been seen before.” At the time of this writing, the latest occurrence was in the Republic of Korea, where the Mission for the Coming Days predicted that on October 28, 1992, at midnight, Christ would come and take believers to heaven. Several other doomsday groups made similar predictions.

The flood of false alarms is unfortunate. They are like the wolf-wolf cries of the shepherd boy—people soon dismiss them, and when the true warning comes, it too is ignored.

But why has there been such a tendency through the centuries and down to our day for false alarms to be sounded, as Jesus said they would be? (Matthew 24:23-26) Jesus, after telling his followers about different events that would mark his return, said to them, as we read at Matthew 24:36-42: “Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father. For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. . . . Keep on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.”

They were told not only to be on the watch and to be prepared but also to watch with eagerness. Romans 8:19 says: “For the eager expectation of the creation is waiting for the revealing of the sons of God.” Human nature is such that when we fervently hope and yearn for something and wait in eager expectation of it, a powerful temptation arises within us to see it at the door even when the evidence is insufficient. In our eagerness false alarms may be sounded.

What, then, will distinguish the true warning from the false ones? For the answer, please see the following article.

[Footnotes]

Jehovah’s Witnesses, in their eagerness for Jesus’ second coming, have suggested dates that turned out to be incorrect. Because of this, some have called them false prophets. Never in these instances, however, did they presume to originate predictions ‘in the name of Jehovah.’ Never did they say, ‘These are the words of Jehovah.’ The Watchtower, the official journal of Jehovah’s Witnesses, has said: “We have not the gift of prophecy.” (January 1883, page 425) “Nor would we have our writings reverenced or regarded as infallible.” (December 15, 1896, page 306) The Watchtower has also said that the fact that some have Jehovah’s spirit “does not mean those now serving as Jehovah’s witnesses are inspired. It does not mean that the writings in this magazine The Watchtower are inspired and infallible and without mistakes.” (May 15, 1947, page 157) “The Watchtower does not claim to be inspired in its utterances, nor is it dogmatic.” (August 15, 1950, page 263) “The brothers preparing these publications are not infallible. Their writings are not inspired as are those of Paul and the other Bible writers. (2 Tim. 3:16) And so, at times, it has been necessary, as understanding became clearer, to correct views. (Prov. 4:18)”—February 15, 1981, page 19."

*** rs p. 136 - p. 137 False Prophets ***

Have not Jehovah’s Witnesses made errors in their teachings?

Jehovah’s Witnesses do not claim to be inspired prophets. They have made mistakes. Like the apostles of Jesus Christ, they have at times had some wrong expectations.—Luke 19:11; Acts 1:6.

The Scriptures provide time elements related to Christ’s presence, and Jehovah’s Witnesses have studied these with keen interest. (Luke 21:24; Dan. 4:10-17) Jesus also described a many-featured sign that would tie in with the fulfillment of time prophecies to identify the generation that would live to see the end of Satan’s wicked system of things. (Luke 21:7-36) Jehovah’s Witnesses have pointed to evidence in fulfillment of this sign. It is true that the Witnesses have made mistakes in their understanding of what would occur at the end of certain time periods, but they have not made the mistake of losing faith or ceasing to be watchful as to fulfillment of Jehovah’s purposes. They have continued to keep to the fore in their thinking the counsel given by Jesus: “Keep on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.”—Matt. 24:42.

Matters on which corrections of viewpoint have been needed have been relatively minor when compared with the vital Bible truths that they have discerned and publicized. Among these are the following: Jehovah is the only true God. Jesus Christ is not part of a Trinitarian godhead but is the only-begotten Son of God. Redemption from sin is possible only through faith in Christ’s ransom sacrifice. The holy spirit is not a person but is Jehovah’s active force, and its fruitage must be evident in the lives of true worshipers. The human soul is not immortal, as the ancient pagans claimed; it dies, and the hope for future life is in the resurrection. God’s permission of wickedness has been because of the issue of universal sovereignty. God’s Kingdom is the only hope for mankind. Since 1914 we have been living in the last days of the global wicked system of things. Only 144,000 faithful Christians will be kings and priests with Christ in heaven, whereas the rest of obedient mankind will receive eternal life on a paradise earth.

Another factor to consider regarding the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses is this: Have these truly uplifted people morally? Are those who adhere to these teachings outstanding in their communities because of their honesty? Is their family life beneficially influenced by applying these teachings? Jesus said that his disciples would be readily identified because of having love among themselves. (John 13:35) Is this quality outstanding among Jehovah’s Witnesses? We let the facts speak for themselves."

*** w86 3/15 pp. 15-20 Allow No Place for the Devil! ***

Allow No Place for the Devil!

“Let the sun not set with you in a provoked state, neither allow place for the Devil.”—EPHESIANS 4:26, 27.

A VICIOUS wild beast is on the prowl. He has an insatiable desire to devour Christians. Peter warns: “Keep your senses, be watchful. Your adversary, the Devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour someone. But take your stand against him, solid in the faith . . . But, after you have suffered a little while, the God of all undeserved kindness . . . will make you firm, he will make you strong.”—1 Peter 5:8-10.

2 We can be sure that the Devil and his agents, both demon and human, stand ready to exploit any gnawing doubt, any serious flaw of personality, any negligence on our part to keep spiritually strong in the faith. But Jehovah’s Word assures us that the Devil will not devour us if we take a firm stand against him. (James 4:7) For instance, no one falls victim to apostasy because it just could not be avoided. No one is predestined to abandon the faith. Motives of the heart are involved. True, John said that some “went out from us, but they were not of our sort.” (1 John 2:19) But this happened because they either chose apostasy or came into Jehovah’s organization with a bad motive at the start. Judas Iscariot had a good heart when called as one of Jesus’ 12 apostles, but the Devil worked on Judas’ weakness of greed. Even before the night of Jesus’ betrayal, “the Devil [had] already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray him.”—John 13:2.

3 A person goes bad because he lets his own selfish reasoning, his own ambitions and desires, his chosen associates and surroundings, mold his thinking and determine the direction of his will. Paul spoke of some who were ‘once enlightened, had tasted the heavenly free gift, but had fallen away.’ (Hebrews 6:4-6) If we are not continually on guard, the Devil can by his sly propaganda make our hearts receptive to apostate thinking. But how does the Devil, in effect, set a person up as a likely casualty, a victim of apostasy?

4 Common attitudes that Satan looks for are bitterness, resentment, and faultfinding. Such feelings can grow so strong that there is very little room left for love and appreciation. Perhaps some unresolved problem festers, causing a person to feel angry and justified in staying away from vital Christian meetings. By remaining provoked for an extended period of time, he ‘allows place for the Devil.’ (Ephesians 4:27) The disturbed individual sees only his brother’s human weaknesses, rather than forgiving him “seventy-seven times,” and he fails to use the trying circumstances as opportunities to be perfecting Christian qualities. (Matthew 18:22) While in this state of mind, if someone comes along and suggests that Jehovah’s organization is oppressive or restrictive, or even wrong in certain vital teachings, the embittered Christian’s heart may be receptive to such unfounded claims. How necessary it is, then, to avoid letting bitterness and resentment build up! Do not let the sun set on your anger. Instead, let love have its full expression in your life.

5 What other conditions of heart and mind is the Devil looking for? Well, there are pride, a feeling of self-importance, resentment at not getting the prominence one feels one should have. These are all pitfalls used by the Devil. (Romans 12:3) If you are counseled or even reproved for some wrong practice or attitude, this, too, may prove to be an ideal time for the Devil to prompt you to ask yourself if you are in the right organization. So keep humble. Be content to conduct yourself as “a lesser one.” Do not let pride or a feeling of self-importance ever cause you to totter from standing solidly in the faith.—Luke 9:48; 1 Peter 5:9.

6 Impatience is another thing looked for by the Devil. We may sometimes feel that changes should be made; we want quick action, immediate answers. ‘This problem must be cleared up now, or I quit. I’ve got to have the answer to this question right now, or I’m not going any further. Armageddon and the new system have been “right around the corner” for years now. I’m tired of waiting.’ Be assured that the Devil is ready to sow seeds of doubt and revolt in such fields of impatience. Endurance and faith are needed.—Hebrews 10:36, 39.

7 James said: “Let endurance have its work complete, that you may be complete and sound in all respects, not lacking in anything. So, if any one of you is lacking in wisdom, let him keep on asking God, for he gives generously to all and without reproaching; and it will be given him. But let him keep on asking in faith, not doubting at all, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven by the wind and blown about. In fact, let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from Jehovah; he is an indecisive man, unsteady in all his ways.” (James 1:4-8) Do not let the Devil make you a candidate for apostasy because you have become demandingly impatient, doubtful about the promises of God! Be patient, be thankful. Wait upon Jehovah.—Psalm 42:5.

8 What else does the Devil use in trying to turn us away? Has he not always tried to stir up rebellion, to cause Jehovah’s servants to become critical of those taking the lead? ‘The elders just do not understand. They are too critical, too demanding,’ some may say. A person may go further and claim that the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses or other responsible brothers interfere with freedom of conscience and the individual’s “right” to interpret the Scriptures. But remember Joseph’s humble words: “Do not interpretations belong to God?” (Genesis 40:8) And did not Jesus foretell that in these final days an organization of anointed ones, “the faithful and discreet slave,” would be entrusted with providing spiritual food at the proper time? (Matthew 24:45-47) Beware of those who try to put forward their own contrary opinions. Also beware of those who want to throw off all restraints or who promise freedom, claiming that Jehovah’s Witnesses are slaves! Peter said of false teachers: “While they are promising them freedom, they themselves are existing as slaves of corruption. For whoever is overcome by another is enslaved by this one.”—2 Peter 2:1, 19.

9 What is often the motive of those who criticize the Society or those taking the lead? Is it not often that some application of Scripture affects them personally? Rather than conform to sound doctrine and direction, they want the organization to change. Let us illustrate this with a few examples:

10 A brother insists on some extreme clothing or grooming style. The elders feel that he is not a good example and do not extend to him certain privileges, such as appearing on the platform to give instruction. He becomes resentful, claiming that others are trying to take away his Christian freedom. But what is behind such reasoning? Is it not usually pride, an independent attitude, or a rather childish desire to have one’s own way? While this seemingly is a small thing, a person reasoning in that way could “allow place for the Devil.” But love and humility will cause us to dress and groom ourselves in a modest, acceptable way. We should want to do all things for the advancement of the good news and not to be pleasing ourselves.—Romans 15:1, 2; 1 Corinthians 10:23, 24.

11 Let us take another example. Occasionally you may hear someone question whether the Scriptural prohibition against eating blood really applies to transfusions. But what is behind that reasoning? Is it fear—fear of possibly losing one’s present life or the life of a loved one? Is hope in the resurrection fading? Faithful Christians do not compromise on God’s law or look for ways to water it down. Abstaining from blood to nourish the body is just as necessary as abstaining from fornication and idolatry, all condemned in the same spirit-directed decree of the apostles and older men at Jerusalem.—Acts 15:19, 20, 28, 29.

12 Some who have a critical attitude claim that Jehovah’s organization is too strict about cutting off social contacts with disfellowshipped persons. (2 John 10, 11) But why do such critics feel that way? Do they have a close family tie or mistaken loyalty to a friend that they are putting ahead of loyalty to Jehovah and his standards and requirements? Consider, too, that continuing to accord social fellowship to an expelled person, even one as close as a relative, may lead the erring one to conclude that his course is not so serious, and this to his further harm. However, withholding such association may create in him a craving for what he has lost and a desire to regain it. Jehovah’s way is always best, and it is for our own protection.—Proverbs 3:5.

13 Still another person may incorrectly claim that the Scriptures do not support public preaching from house to house. But is this because he already dislikes this important work and is looking for an excuse to abstain? Love of God and neighbor should motivate us to see the urgency of this lifesaving work. Again, endurance is needed. The apostle Paul spoke of his own endurance in ‘thoroughly bearing witness to Jews and Greeks’ as he taught publicly and from house to house. (Acts 20:18-21) Rather than complain, should we not loyally follow his fine example? Look at the thousands who have been gathered into the “one flock” because of Jehovah’s blessing upon the house-to-house work! (John 10:16) And do not forget the fine benefits we receive in training and discipline, in strengthening our faith, by going from door to door so as to reach people with the good news.—Compare Acts 5:42; 1 Timothy 4:16.

14 Finally, we might consider what the Society has published in the past on chronology. Some opposers claim that Jehovah’s Witnesses are false prophets. These opponents say that dates have been set, but nothing has happened. Again we ask, What is the motive of these critics? Are they encouraging wakefulness on the part of God’s people, or are they, rather, trying to justify themselves for falling back into sleepy inactivity? (1 Thessalonians 5:4-9) More importantly, what will you do if you hear such criticism? If a person is questioning whether we are living in “the last days” of this system, or perhaps is entertaining ideas that God is so merciful that he surely will not cause the death of so many millions of people during the “great tribulation,” then this individual already has prepared his heart to listen to such criticisms.—2 Timothy 3:1; Matthew 24:21.

15 Yes, Jehovah’s people have had to revise expectations from time to time. Because of our eagerness, we have hoped for the new system earlier than Jehovah’s timetable has called for it. But we display our faith in God’s Word and its sure promises by declaring its message to others. Moreover, the need to revise our understanding somewhat does not make us false prophets or change the fact that we are living in “the last days,” soon to experience the “great tribulation” that will pave the way for the earthly Paradise. How foolish to take the view that expectations needing some adjustment should call into question the whole body of truth! The evidence is clear that Jehovah has used and is continuing to use his one organization, with “the faithful and discreet slave” taking the lead. Hence, we feel like Peter, who said: “Lord, whom shall we go away to? You have sayings of everlasting life.”—John 6:68.

16 Only in the spiritual paradise, among Jehovah’s Witnesses, can we find the self-sacrificing love Jesus said would identify his true disciples. (John 13:34, 35) By their bad fruits, false prophets are exposed for what they really are. But Jesus indicated that the good trees would be identified by their fine fruits. (Matthew 7:15-20) And what fine fruitage we have in the spiritual paradise! Amazing increases are taking place in practically every country. Over 3,000,000 happy subjects of God’s Kingdom around the globe are living proof that Jehovah has a people on the earth.

17 Because they are taught by God, Jehovah’s Witnesses really produce the fruits of Christianity in their lives. (Isaiah 54:13) Only Jehovah’s people have completely broken free from Babylonish superstitions. Only they have an organization that completely abides by what God’s Word has to say on sexual immorality, abortions, drunkenness, stealing, idolatry, racial prejudice, and other worldly pursuits and practices. And they alone are the ones obeying the command to preach the good news of Jehovah’s Kingdom. (Matthew 24:14) God’s own Word unquestionably points to Jehovah’s Witnesses as the one organized people that have his blessing!

18 Yes, to all who are faithfully and loyally enduring in the Christian way, we are sure that Jehovah’s truth is still beautiful, satisfying—even more so than when they first heard it. Therefore, resolve in your heart that you will never even touch the poison that apostates want you to sip. Heed the wise but firm commands of Jehovah to avoid completely those who would deceive you, mislead you, turn you aside into the ways of death. If we love Jehovah with our whole heart, soul, and mind, while loving our neighbor as we love ourselves, we will leave no room for penetration by apostate thinking. (Matthew 22:37-39) We will not “allow place for the Devil” and will have no desire to look elsewhere. We will not ‘be quickly shaken from our reason’ by some counterfeit teaching.—2 Thessalonians 2:1, 2.

19 Let us always appreciate our privilege of being in Jehovah’s spiritual paradise, where we are enjoying so many rich blessings. We know who are holding faithfully to the sayings of everlasting life. So maintain close association with them, knowing that they are our genuine, loyal brothers and sisters in the faith. May we continue to have the same joy and satisfaction that we had when we first learned the truth, with the assurance of the grand prize of everlasting life in Jehovah’s new system of things. As Paul so aptly said: “Let no man deprive you of the prize”!—Colossians 2:18."

Jim

Shawn said...

"Clearly, Macmillan was mistaken, but that was not the only unfulfilled expectation he or his fellow Bible Students had."

And who set those expectations? The Watchtower Society.

"Jehovah’s Witnesses, also expected that the year 1925 would see the fulfillment of marvelous Bible prophecies. "

Why did Jehovah's Witnesses think the year 1925 would see the fulfillment of marvelous Bible prophecies?... because the Watchtower Society told them it would.

"many Witnesses conjectured that events associated with the beginning of Christ’s Millennial Reign might start to take place in 1975. Their anticipation was based on the understanding that the seventh millennium of human history would begin then."

Where did 'many Witnesses' get the 'understanding' about 1975? The Watchtower Society printed the chronology.

"Read this, if you dare"

Give me a break. This is just another instance of the Watchtower Society blaming Jehovah's Witnesses for believing what they printed. When what they printed turned out to be just another false prophesy, they try to cover their tracks by saying things like "Clearly, Macmillan was mistaken", "Jehovah’s Witnesses, also expected', and "many Witnesses conjectured" as if these rouge individuals were making their own predictions outside of what the Watchtower Society printed.

So instead of your quotes from the Watchtower refuting the arguments against the society, they have become the cherry on top! A fluorescent example of adding insult to injury. First the Watchtower Society leads JWs to believe that the end is going to arrive by some date real soon in order to get them out knocking on doors, then when the date has come and gone they print articles about how 'mistaken' the 'expectations' of 'many Witnesses' were.

This is not the work of 'God's sole channel' of communication, but of charlatans.

Voice of Reason said...

"Why did Jehovah's Witnesses think the year 1925 would see the fulfillment of marvelous Bible prophecies?... because the Watchtower Society told them it would."

So what if Rutherford wrote that in a book or a magazine? It has nothing to do with the Jehovah's Witnesses today.

But since you can't get beyond the watchtower Society and find them to be an easy target rather than focusing on Christianity itself, the only fraud here is you.