letter of disassociation published in the WT in the early 1900s

by warmthofthesun 11 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • warmthofthesun

    Can anyone lead me to a suggested letter of disassociation from all denominations published in the WT in the early 1900s. I saw it posted here once and I cant seem to find it anywhere.

    Any help would be great.


  • greendawn

    Welcome to the forum warmthofthesun, I have in mind the letter of complaint by Moyle written to Rutherford around 1939:


    Apart from this there was another letter around 1917 complaining of Rutherford's dictatorial takeover of the org but I haven't got a link for that.

  • warmthofthesun

    Hi greendawn,

    THanks for the swift reply. ACTUALLY what I am looking for was a letter ( I think written by Russell). It was a suggested letter that Bible Students could send to whatever denomination they previously belonged to. It essentially stated that they did not want to be associated with an "organization" but would rather only be known as Christians. Ring a bell?


  • greendawn

    I haven't heard of such a letter until now, but it is ironic that JWs (Bible students) became just that, a very hierarchical organisation with a very centralised power structure.

  • Leolaia

    Here's one but it's not the "official" letter of withdrawal:

    DEAR SIR:--I hereby respectfully resign the office of Presbyter.

    It is proper for me to give some reason for this course, which, at the end of long years of service, is adopted deliberately and in the fear of God. I must now, however, confine myself to a few points. In what I have to say at this time I desire to speak with entire plainness, as well as with kindness and respect; while, to avoid any possible misapprehension, I would add that I do not resign on account of any personal grievance.

    I cannot reconcile my convictions with the present condition of the Episcopal Church, which, contrary to its own principles, has been drawn into the adoption of a policy of toleration toward a school of theology and Biblical criticism which in my judgment is hostile to revealed truth.

    Further permit me to say respectfully that I do not find that you have been 'ready with all faithful diligence to banish and drive away from the church all erroneous and strange doctrines contrary to God's Word;' while much less have you seemed inclined 'both privately and openly to call upon and encourage others to do the same.'

    On the contrary, I think the testimony proves that you have discouraged and baffled men inclined to take such action. I do not, however, undertake to impugn your motives or charge upon you the 'lamentable ignorance' and deliberate 'malice' which some time since in the public press you attributed to men by no means your inferiors either in learning or charity. I desire, nevertheless, to indicate that, as I view the subject, whatever may have been your own views, you have acted with and defended those who have struck at the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament as the plenarily inspired and infallible Word of God.

    (published in 15 December 1899 Zion's Watch Tower, p. 276)

  • jgnat

    warmthofthesun, I know of the letter you are talking about. It was an open letter to the churches warning them of their apostacy and the urgent need for them to repent of their ways (and join the Watchtower of course). Oddly, religionists did not take Rutherford (?) up on the offer.

  • Leolaia

    Here's one:

    (From the 15 April 1908 Watch Tower, p. 127)

    As you did not join the minister or Session merely, but the congregation and the entire denomination, your dissolution of your membership should, if possible, be as public as was your joining. And, in reply to many inquiries, we suggest below a general outline for a letter of withdrawal which such as desire are at liberty to copy and use. If possible, it should be read aloud at some general congregational meeting, at which general speaking, remarks, etc., are in order-- such as a prayer-meeting. After being read, it should be handed to the leader of the meeting as the representative of the congregation and officers. If by reason of sickness or from any other cause this course be not possible, we advise that a copy of the letter be sent to each member of the congregation, that there be no room for misunderstanding or misrepresentation. We will gladly supply copies of this letter printed in typewriter type, together with envelopes, and tracts to accompany same--free, upon being advised of the number necessary.


    Dear Brethren and Sisters,

    Members and Officers of the __________ Church. The Lord has of late been teaching me some wonderful things out of his Word, whereof I am glad. The Bible has become a new book to me, so widely have the eyes of my understanding been opened. God is now my Father, Christ my Redeemer, and all believers my brethren, in a sense never before appreciated.

    I would not have you understand that I saw a vision or had a special revelation; I merely have God's Word, "written aforetime for our learning;" but God has recently made it clearer to my understanding, through some of his servants. Nor do those servants claim special inspirations or revelations, but merely that God's due time has now come to unseal and make known his glorious plan, wisely kept secret in the past, as the Scriptures themselves declare.--`Dan. 12:9`.

    Of these blessed things I might mention a few, very briefly: I find that the Scriptures do not teach the eternal torment of all except the saints. I find that the full penalty of willful sin against clear knowledge will, in the language of the Apostle, be "everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord." But, still better, if possible, I find that, while so many of our race (indeed by far the majority) have died in total or partial ignorance of God and his offer of life everlasting through Christ, God has graciously provided that during the Millennial Age all such of the families of the earth shall be blessed with the needed knowledge, and granted opportunity for obedience unto eternal life. And, further, I find its teaching to be, that we, the Gospel Church, as joint-heirs with Christ our Lord, are to be God's agents in bestowing that great Millennial blessing. And, finally, it appears that this time of blessing for which God's people have so long prayed, saying, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven," is very near at hand, and even now wheat and tares are being separated, and soon a great time of trouble will overthrow existing institutions and usher in Christ's Kingdom of peace and equity.

    I shall be glad to furnish the Scriptural evidences of these things to any who may desire to search the Word, and to prove whether these things be so.

    But now, dear friends, comes an unpleasant duty. I find that many of these gems of truth are in direct conflict with our views as held and taught and confessed in our denominational literature; and hence, in honesty to you and myself, I must withdraw from membership with you in this church. To remain would be to misrepresent your views, and to have you misrepresent my views--the doctrine of the eternal torment of nine-tenths of our race being now in my judgment horrible--indeed a blasphemy against the God of love, whose Word, when understood, teaches quite the contrary.

    For nearly...years I have tried faithfully to keep my engagements with you as a fellow-member of this church, and have learned to love some of you very dearly--some for social qualities and some for saintliness --Christlikeness. It is, therefore, with pain that I announce to you my withdrawal, and I owe you this explanation. Let me assure you that it is not because my love is less than formerly, for, by God's grace, I believe it is expanding toward him and his, and, sympathetically, toward all our race. This action, therefore, is not to be understood as a withdrawal from the Church of Christ, whose names are written in heaven, but merely a withdrawal from the....Church, whose names are written on earth. I withdraw in order that I may be more free in my conscience, toward God and men, and that I may most fully fellowship all who are heartily the Lord's people--not only such in this congregation and denomination, but in all others as well. I ask no letter of dismission, for I could not hope to be better suited elsewhere. So far as I am concerned, I wish to remove every barrier between myself and fellow-pilgrims. So then, to all of you who are in Christ Jesus--members of his Body--I still am a fellow-member, a branch in the true Vine (Christ), whom nothing can separate from the love of God in Christ, my Lord.--`John 15:5`; `Rom. 8:38,39`.

  • warmthofthesun

    Thanks a bunch Leolaia, that is exactly what I was looking for.

  • Invetigator74

    For those who have access to the WT Reprints, that letter can be found in Volume 2 pages 1578 and 1579

  • stillajwexelder

    welcome to the forum warmthofthesun

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