Well, one third of the convention is over, I had no choice but to attend due to my current situation.
The talks were worse than last year, and as usual if you have seen the program you will not find Jesus in ANY of the talk titles - in fact, the only time Jesus is mentioned is during a prayer or in connection with the ministry.
When you become aware of how sidelined Jesus is, you can't help but notice that Jehovah's Witnesses are a modern version of the Old Testament religion - it's all about control, be attentive, obey the "faithful and discreet slave" etc etc, in stark contrast to belief and salvation through Jesus.
Only the talks with midly interesting material or that had ridiculous phrases used by the speaker are shown here.
9:50 Be Attentive To Jehovah's Promises Of Deliverance
Would you believe that this 20 minute talk was solely about being attentive to the program? Literally, there were 4 steps given to be attentive to Jehovah's provisions.
Step 1: EACH day, prepare your heart for the program.
Get enough rest and sleep and a good meal.
Focus on the program.
Fix the theme of the day in your mind.
Build anticipation for the talks.
Did you enjoy the musical preludes? (Yes, I'm serious)
What about your singing? Be attentive to the lyrics, think about their meaning.
Listen closely to the prayers.
Step 2: Keep your eyes on the platform, avoid being distracted.
Step 3: Keep in mind what is being said. Offer up to Jehovah a prayer for you to have inner peace so you can concentrate on the program.
Step 4: Make a checklist of points that touched you personally.
Also announced was that "the faithful and discreet slave have good reason for us to review the convention program."
All this, and the program hasn't even officially started yet. The speaker highlighted various talks over the three days - At 2:15pm on Saturday, the talk "Maintain a Scriptual View of Health Care" is a MANUSCRIPT talk - I have no idea what it could be about though. Seems that on Saturday morning, they are reusing the illustration of "the Birdcatcher" again.
10:20 Practice the Things that You Learned
Interview with several people, many youth among them about how last year's District Convention changed one aspect of their lives. One young brother who was studying music decided that after listening to the 2005 Drama: "Pursue Goals That Honor God", he would give up his studies and start pioneering.
Throughout the day, there were many references as to how Jehovah "has already delivered his people." - this consists largely of peace of mind or being set free from Babylonish thinking - not the sort of deliverance as was seen at the Red Sea in the time of Moses.
So brothers and sisters, Jehovah has already delivered you? What are you complaining about? Get out and preach.
11:40 Keynote Address: Jehovah's Provisions for Our Everlasting Deliverance
The usual spiel about what Jehovah has done for us: bible based publications, elders (gifts in men) and that the counsel from the "faithful and discreet slave" is comparable to "waters of life" mentioned in Revelation.
After the song, the brother who dismissed us for lunch did a short infomercial on the musical preludes, stating that a new soundtrack had been made - same old melodies though. I don't get it with the preludes, every cinema and theater has some musical prelude, they don't go on and on about it.
2:15 Cherish Your Place In The Congregation
Have we found our place in Jehovah's arrangement, the congregation? Likened meetings and assemblies of ancient nation of Israel to meetings of Jehovah's Witnesses. Christ is the head and he has appointed the faithful and discreet slave, we should obey them in all things.
2:35 Jehovah Tenderly Cares For Older Ones
What a laugh I got out of this one - it seems the only possible way Jehovah can "tenderly care for older ones" is by giving them spiritual food and helping them get lifts to the Kingdom Hall. Speaker neglected to mention the Bethel administration kicking out the old timers because they're to expensive to keep.
Jehovah won't remove our physical complaints blah blah blah - of what good is it to get someone to the meeting and out on service when they're riddled with cancer?
Interview with several old timers who listed their complaints and then claimed Jehovah had delivered them.
3:45 Symposium: Jehovah - Provider Of Escape
The speaker mentioned that the "inner rooms" referred to by Ezekiel (I think) could very well refer to Kingdom Halls and we should run to them when Armaggedon breaks out.
4:45 No Opposing Weapon or Tongue Will Succeed - Given by Brother Max Larson of Brooklyn Bethel
Oh, and by the way, he's been in Bethel for 60 years - creature worship me thinks by the way they advertised this fact
Bro. Larson droned on about opposers and bans etc - never mentioned apostates though for some reason, or even half truths. Talked about Rutherford's time as a jail bird and even Malawi, where the brothers were beaten. Does he realize that he was probably instrumental in this?
GOD'S PEOPLE ARE UNDER ATTACK! (Quick everyone, get to the air-raid shelters)
Satan is angry that millions of sheep are accepting Jehovah God - adversary, roaring lion etc etc.
Framing trouble by decree - could the average brother explain what was just said?
Gorss misrepresentations, smear campaign, slander (I think we do quite a good job actually)
Accusations that Jehovah's Witnesses have got around tax laws (anyone think of Jimmy Swaggert?
The governing body represent the anointed (do they even know the anointed by name? You would think that if you were anointed and going to serve Jah in heaven with the governing body, they might at least know your name.)
Satan is attacking the remnant and the great crowd.
Bro. Larson has a way of raising his voice towards the end of a sentence.
Saturday's notes will follow tomorrow.