What did Charles Russell teach on judicial committees, and more!

by Seeker4 4 Replies latest jw friends

  • Seeker4

    A few quotes from the book:


    Image hosted by Photobucket.com


    QUESTION (1916)--1--Is it proper for the Elders to sit at a court of inquiry and cite any supposed to be walking in a disorderly manner to appear before then and explain their conduct? Or should the Lord's advice given in Mat. 18:15-18 be followed?

    ANSWER.--I agree with the suggestion of the question that it should be handled in harmony with the Lord's direction in the passage cited. The Lord's word does not authorize any court of the Elders, or anyone else, to become busybodies.

    This would be going back to the practices of the Dark Ages during the inquisition; and we would be showing the same spirit as did the inquisitors. The Lord has put the matter in a simple way and we could not improve upon it.

    The Bible says, "If thy Brother trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone; if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother." That should end the matter.

    However, should it not be successful, the Scriptures give the next step. We read: "But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word may be established." If the wrong-doer will give heed to the admonition of the two or three and stop his wrong-doing, that would end the matter. It would not be within our province to make any demand upon him or to endeavor to administer any kind of punishment upon him.

    We should remember the Word of the Lord, which says, "The Lord will judge His people." If he should need any punishment, we may trust the Lord to give it to him and not take the matter into our own hands. We should have confidence in the Lord. If we stop the wrong that is as far as we can go. But if the wrong-doer should persist in his wrong- doing and not repent, and if the matter be of sufficient importance, then we are to bring the matter to the attention of the Church for correction.--Mat. 18:15-18.

    We should not bring any small or trifling matter before the Church. It is my judgment that three-fourths of the things that are brought to my attention--matters of this kind--had better be dropped; and nothing at all be done with them. However, there might be an exception in case the matter had gone beyond the individual, and had somehow involved the whole congregation. In such event, it might be impossible to deal with the matter in an individual way. Then the Elders might constitute themselves into a Board or Committee, and get one of their number to look into the case and see if the wrong could not be stopped, or adjusted. When the matter gets beyond the individual, we have no advice beyond the Word of God. Let us be careful not to become like Babylon, and hold inquisition and mix ourselves up. The Word of God is our sufficiency, and we should follow it closely and thereby avoid confusion.

    MILITARY DUTY--Our Position With Respect to. QUESTION (1916)--1-- What position should we take in respect to military duty, and so forth?

    ANSWER.--Well, we have already answered that question that so far as we are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, in my judgment, we are not to have any liberty at all for military duty. We are to be loyal to the principles of peace, and not fight for any earthly government if we can get out of it, and I think we can get out of it. We would rather suffer some and not go into it.

    But suppose someone would ask as I was asked the other day, What position should we take in respect to our neighbors and friends? And we say, Do you think it is wrong to have military organizations? Now some of our friends answered, "We think it is wrong. There should not be any army or soldiers."

    My answer would be different. I think this old world needs to have armies, needs to have trained men. The world needs it for its own protection. And if I was governor of a State I would think it my duty to protect that State, to protect the law and everything pertaining to order. If it should be necessary to call on the State or Nation to rise up and put down wrong, I think it would be my duty to see it was done.

    I am not faulting any governor if he should do that same thing.

    I am not faulting any man who takes up his gun to defend the interests of his State. If he doesn't think the Nation is worth fighting for he should go to some other nation. And if he thinks it is as good as any other nation he should stay right there.

    As for instance, you and I in these United States think we are in as noble a nation as there is, that the principles of this government are the very best and very wisest. And we might say pretty nearly the same of our friends across the border in Canada, that their principles are good and are well intentioned in a general way at least.

    We are not therefore faulting people who wish to fight for their country. The difference between our position and theirs is this: We have ceased to be citizens of this country. We have joined another nation, and we are loyal to that new nation, and loyalty to the kingdom of God required that we take our stand upon this position in harmony with the commands of our King. We are aliens and strangers in this land and Canada, wherever we may be. But the world doesn't understand this. They say you were born right here. We say we have declared our intentions and joined a different country. So if a Canadian were in this country he would not be subject to draft as an American, and it should be sufficient to the courts of any country that if these individuals have given full allegiance to the heavenly country, that should be a sufficient answer to any government not to have them participate in war, and in some places this is being recognized.

    SALOON KEEPER--Re Business After Conversion. QUESTION (1909)--3--A saloon keeper coming into the Truth in a state where liquor selling is a legal business, would you consider his license, lease and stock, property that he might sell, or should he simply abandon the business?

    ANSWER.--I think he should follow his own conscience, but I think my conscience would not permit me to sell liquor for intoxicating purposes. As for the license, I do not suppose he could sell it for anything. I think I would destroy it. As for the place of business, I would not risk setting it on fire, but I think I would try to dispose of the house and throw away or destroy the liquor. I would not be a party in the liquor business or anything else that would injure my neighbor, but the party must use his own conscience and judgment.

    (All emphasis - italics and bold - added by S4) Too bad JWs moved away from Russell's often more examplary view. It was with Rutherford that the WTS leadership decided they had to start making all the decisions for each JW.


  • Mysterious

    I wonder what Russell would think of what the religion he started had become today. It seems like they have done nothing but got stricter and brought in more rules all the time. Some of the things my parents would get away with as teenagers would certainly bring the heavy end of the hammer down now. And those things are certainly no justification for similar acts in this day and age, it is unthinkable to them to even suggest that things are ok. For example my mother watched bewitched as a child. But when I was watching it when I was a teenager (old reruns on tv) she made me turn it off immediately and said she didnt like me watching that, though I know she never missed an episode.

  • jaffacake

    Great stuff Seeker. I have not heard of this book, where did it come from?

  • Seeker4


    I found it on a site that sells reprinted early Bible Students literature.

    Always interesting when the founder of a religion would be disfellowshipped by that same religion a few years later, if he continued to believe the religion's earliest teachings.


  • Ingenuous

    The book is available online here:


    Most of C. T. Russell's works - if not all of them - are available at the same site.

Share this