A bumbling speaker gave our public talk today. It started off fairly well, with many mentions of Jesus. But the beatings began half way through the talk and he overused the word 'organization'. Did you know Jesus instituted the earthly organization when he selected his apostles? Anyway, I couldn't stay for the WT study, so I have no inane congregational comments to share.
Comments You Will Not Year at the 3-12-06 WT Study(Witness/Nations)
I agree, the whole article was just another carrot . So now it's just be greatful that you all have a chance to take part in the ministry .
This was a real nice touch here ---
Did the end then come? In a sense, yes. It came upon the Jewish system of things in the year 70 C.E. when Roman armies destroyed Jerusalem along with the temple.
I don't think that was the end that jesus was talking about much like the invisible end the WTBTS covered it's ass with when the world didn't literally end in 1914 .
I can say I do agree that just because somebody is martyred does not mean they worshiped in spirit and truth much like the recent assassination of a catholic bishop would not ensure him membership in the holy remnant in the kingdom. I think early christianity was fraught with fake representatives as much as todays churches and also was something jesus had alot to say about.
Blondie: You say: "Those of you who ever attended a congregation of JWs know the climate of fear and betrayal that exists." I spent 22 years as a JW in 4 congregations and never detected anything remotely resembling a climate of fear and betrayal. I often used to be chairman at the Sunday meeting, and found it difficult to get the brothers and sisters to take their seats, because of all the laughter and animated, good natured conversation that was going on. It was a joy to behold. Its hard to imagine anything further removed from a 'climate of fear and betrayal'.
"Total # Baprized World Wide: 247,631 Increase over last year: 81,675 Total New Appostates: 165,956"
Heroic assumptions ...
(1) No JW died during the year (statistically 0.8% or 48,000 would have died if JW demographics mirror the population at large).
(2) All who left became "apostates" - people leave (& return) for many reasons. Only a small percentage would describe themselves as "apostates" in that they disagree fundamentally with a point of principle or doctrine. Most would still describe themselves as witnesses - the numerous "I know it's the truth , but..."
(3) "I could not help noticing that the chart says they spent $104 million in caring for the special pioneers, travelling overseers and missionaries. They achieved an increase of just 81675 publishers. So each one cost them over a million dollars ! I wonder how the accountants in Brooklyn like that?"
The basis and premise is flawed , but hopefully the accountants would realise that each one cost over a thousand dollars , rather than a million! Not a bad return on investment.
I often travel on work related business to a small town where I used to work in an office & lost my job in very bitter circumstances. Everytime I go there , I drive past the office block hoping that it is all boarded up and has gone out of business. Sadly , the company seems to be progressing - last time I went , an extension was being built. Bit of a sickener - I can relate to how you guys must feel.....
scout575- I remember all the socializing before and even after the meetings. It was a bit like a cocktail party...for the most part, people wouldn't bring up anything negative for those few minutes. We mostly concentrated on light chit chat during that particular time together. From what I observed, I'd say that most everybody knew that you had to be careful what you said and who you said it to in the congregation.
I had sisters tell me things and then remind me that they don't confide in just anybody (or in other words, please don't tell anyone else or I might hear about it from the elders). One brother was constantly getting his wrists slapped by the elders and other MS's because he was just a bit too friendly with his "worldly" neighbors and foolishly made the mistake of saying so at the meetings. There was a Pioneer sis who had a beef with an elder's wife. She wouldn't let the matter (money involved) slide and said a few things to a few people...and got removed as a pioneer. There were superfine pioneer sisters who'd sweetly say hello to all, but would also be on the lookout to "adjust" their dear brothers and sisters who had made choices that they didn't agree with (ie...if a someone had gone back to school in order to get a better paying job. We had several that did this and you could count on Sister SuperDub to approach, wringing her hands and sighing softly, to counsel them about having such worldly goals ).
It was an atmosphere of discomfort at the very least. I certainly did not feel free to express my true thoughts to very many. Even someone you considered a very good friend could betray you, supposedly out of concern for your "sprituality".
dozy - I don't discount what you say about wishing bad things for an organization you've had rotten experiences with. But I think its more than just sour grapes for most of us here. This religion is a fraud, a very dangerous fraud, that sucks people dry, ruins lives, and even causes death with their lies.
luna2: Obviously I can't deny your own experiences as a JW, and if you say you felt uncomfortable then I believe you entirely. All I can say is that I did feel comfortable. You say that JWs ruin lives and suck people dry, again I can't deny your own experience, but I have to say that it didn't ruin my life or suck me dry at all. I walked away from Christianity last September with no complaints, and feeling very well emotionally. I suspect that the old adage applies that 'one man's meat is another man's poison'.
I've read postings on the site about how people felt that they always had to do more, more, more as a JW, that nothing they did was ever good enough, that they felt that they could never please god. Again this wasn't my experience. I used to feel that doing all I reasonably could as a Christian WAS good enough, I thought that god WAS pleased with me, after all the Scripture does say that: "Wisdom from above is REASONABLE." ( James 3:17 ). Had I have gone beyong the point of doing all I reasonably could for god, THEN I would have had something to worry about because I would have been going against god's will as stated at James 3:17.
I'm now agnostic, and view the Bible as the work of man, but Iook back on my time as a JW with huge fondness. I have endless happy memories to reflect back on. Of course, things didn't always run smoothly for me ( thats life ) but, on the whole it was a very positive and happy life, and thats why I find the predominantly negative view of JWs on this site so baffling.
scout...I'm glad your experiences with JWs were happy ones. Perhaps its that you have an exceptionally positive attitude. That's a lovely way to be.
I do wonder if being a single sister (low rank in the JW heirarchy) had anything to do with my feeling oppressed and pushed around? Who knows.
Luna2: Thanks for your lovely reply. Even when I was Witness I'd heard about some brothers 'throwing their weight around' and I didn't disbelieve it. The New Testament contains examples of things going badly wrong within the first century congregation ( Gal 5:15, 1 Cor 3:3, James 2:1-4 ) and so I knew that the same thing was likely to occur in the modern day too.
You mention the role of women within the Chrtistian congregation, and I must say that the Bible's assigning of a secondary role to women within the congregation ( 1 Tim 2:11,12 ) was one of the many things that contributed to my abandoning Christianity. It was blatantly obvious to me that many sisters were more gifted teachers than many of the brothers, and yet the Bible prohibits them from becoming teachers within the congregation.
The Bible is clearly a product of its time, and whilst it contains much that is good and inspiring, it also contains alot that is unnecessarily limiting and harsh. Its a shame that Christians feel compelled to apply the Bible even in areas where it does more harm than good.
Thanks for the hard work, Blondie!
Regarding paragraph 13:
Only two sentences before where they begin quoting, the 1928 WT includes a statement regarding the time of the end beginning in 1799. I find this rather at variance with a statement in the 22.01.73 Awake! (p.8): "Based on what [Jesus] said, along with the words of Daniel and John, Jehovah's witnesses pointed to 1914, decades in advance*, as marking the start of 'the conclusion of the system of things.' " This is clearly untrue. And then the footnote: "see, for example, the Bible Examiner, vol. XXI, No. 1 (Whole No. 313), October 1876, pages 27, 28." (Also, the Bible Examiner article says nothing of the sort: rather it promises the restoration of natural Israel by 1914 and the pre-1914 rapture of the Church.)
It is also interesting that the quotation as rendered in the 2006 WT includes a bit of editorial work: the word [purpose] replaces "plan of the ages", which had been a reference to the teachings found in the "Studies in the Scriptures" series, which books (in their post-1914 editions) were still considered authoritative -- even including series VII: "The Finished Mystery". As virtually all those teachings unique to the Bible Students of that era have since been rejected by the WatchTower Society, it is more than a little misleading to have employed the quoted material from 1928 as having reference to the current activities of the Jehovah's Witnesses.
Apparently, the WTS does not find it necessary that the "Truth" be true.
That is so true bennyk . How can they continue to state that they had it right when it's obvious it was wrong? We should be in the millenial reign right now if they had it right . 1914 was supposed to be the great fear inspiring day of God Almighty where all man made rulership is wiped off of planet earth and jesus rules exclusively , there was no mention of invisibility prior to 1914 . The only evidence they have to conclude that 1914 is of any signifigance is the 7 times of Daniel 4 dogma which does not even match the archaelogical evidence . Then you have to swallow the 360 days are a prophetic year dogma on top of it . ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH