: The point from Luke 21:8 is well taken.
It's not just well taken -- it's definitive.
Just suppose you were a Christian but not a JW and you knew exactly what Luke 21:8 says. Suppose some supposed Christian came along and told you, "Hey! I know the year when the end is coming, because I've carefully examined the Bible and God is using me to tell this to the world." Isn't it beyond obvious that you'd peg this guy as a nutjob? And as one who clearly violates the spirit, not only of Luke 21:8, but of Matthew 24:36 ("Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father"), Matthew 24:42-44 ("Keep on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know one thing, that if the householder had known in what watch the thief was coming, he would have kept awake and not allowed his house to be broken into. On this account you too prove yourselves ready, because at an hour that you do not think to be it, the Son of man is coming"), and Mark 13:32-37 ("Concerning that day or the hour nobody knows, neither the angels in heaven nor the Son, but the Father. Keep looking, keep awake, for you do not know when the appointed time is. It is like a man traveling abroad that left his house and gave the authority to his slaves, to each one his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to keep on the watch. Therefore keep on the watch, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether late in the day or at midnight or at cockcrowing or early in the morning; in order that when he arrives suddenly, he does not find you sleeping. But what I say to you I say to all, Keep on the watch.")? If you'd peg this guy as a nutjob, then why not the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, and all those who knowingly support it, given that these men have violated the spirit of these scriptures since before the founding of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania?
Now just suppose that you come to a point where Jesus confronts you and says, "Hey, Zarco. How come you ignored what I said in Luke 21:8?" How would you answer? Do you really think that Jesus would accept excuses? By "excuses" I mean all of the usual bullpucky that a lot of JW apologists might spew forth today, but that you and I know is just bullpucky. I can see that you're honest enough to see what I'm getting at.
I know that I'm being hard on you here, but it's not just on you. I'm being hard on all those who claim to put faith in the Bible and Jesus Christ, yet violate extremely clear proscriptions on what they should proclaim about the time of "the end".
: It is probably one of the most embarrasing scriptures given the organizations history of predicting the end date several times. I have not studied the scripture in depth - I will.
Good. But don't rely on WTS publications, because the only thing you're going find of substance will be what I mentioned to you about some comments in a 1964 Watchtower. Why do you think the Society has avoided commenting on this scripture? I'm convinced that it's because every one of their writers who has carefully considered it immediately figures out that it's not a subject they want to tackle, since the words are clearly condemnatory of Watchtower practice for some 130 years.
: Another poster uses the phase "cognitive dissonance" - it seems to apply to me.
I agree. Perhaps a clearer term would be, "Knowing how to do what is right but not doing it because of other considerations." I'm fully aware how painful this can be, because I was in this situation for many years. Over a period of time, you gradually become more and more aware that you can't stand the crap, the lies, the subterfuge, the pretending.
: The conflict of thoughts / actions is ongoing but the tension is not unbearable.
Much like that elder I mentioned earlier. Some years ago, I respected this elder because of his desire to help other JWs. While I still understand this, I've come to realize that in the long run, it probably would have been better for him to have quit the JWs (for the 2nd time) and not given in to his wife's emotional blackmail (which worked 35 years ago) for the 2nd time, but quit, and clearly stated to other JWs the reason he was quitting.
You must realize that the Governing Body, in its almost infinite hubris, listens to very little but the statistics on how the JW organization is doing in terms of numbers. If the numbers appear to be going up a bit, then that's proof of God's blessing. If the numbers go down, it's the opposite, and only then do these charlatans act.
: The tension is lessened by doing what I can within the confines of the Org.
The elder I mentioned sometimes said the same thing, that he was interested in keeping "the wolves" at bay. He was proud, like you, that he not once participated in a disfellowshipping.
: Even though I was raised in the truth, I have mentally fought the teaching that the end is just around the corner by making most all of my decisions based on the long range view, in other words that I am going to live for 70 or 80 years so I better plan for it. When I talk to others about decision making I encourage them to do the same.
: I suspect that someday I will resolve the tention by refusing to believe the WT teaching that the end is near, but I am not there yet.
Why not? All the evidence is there for the grasping.
: To all the posters new and old - I have been afraid to ever post here and it took months of lurking and a timely subject by S4
Join the great crowd.
: - but the responses to this topic have been stimulating. We are all biased but to hear different views and fears/doubts clearly explained is a treasure. This interchange is exactly what should take place inside any healthy relationship. Really happy that I joined and posted.
Precisely what most of us ex-JW critics want practicing JWs to realize! The fact that such interchanges are impossible within the JW organization (except by clandestine means) is proof that this organization has nothing to do with God. See my above post to confusa for a few quotations that prove my point.