Good advert for DC's book IMO. Hopefully it will get some JW's to read it.
Site To Refute Franz And Cameron
Oh good grief!
The level of research and honesty this individual has devoted to his refutation comes through on the very first page. He states:
"He [Cameron] argues since the Society believed Jesus had been enthroned in 1874, therefore, in 1914 they couldn’t have been on the watch for Jesus and his Kingdom. Is this true? The following quote from the March 1880 Watchtower proves otherwise:
The Times of the Gentiles” extend to 1914, and the heavenly kingdom will not have full sway till then
First of all, this quote is taken from an article, "One Body One Spirit One Hope" written by J. H. Paton for the March 1880 issue of Zion's Watch Tower. The complete quote in context reads:
""The Times of the Gentiles" extend to 1914, and the heavenly kingdom will not have full sway till then, but as a "Stone" the kingdom of God is set up "in the days of these (ten gentile) kings," and by consuming them it becomes a universal kingdom - a "great mountain and fills the whole Earth." Dan ii 35-44"
In context, this was a discussion about the degree to which the "Saints" would participate in the coming conquest of the Earth. Full sway" did not mean either the commencement of the Parousia, the beginning of God's kingdom or the enthronement of God's King. Russell dated these events to 1874 - 1878. Neither did it mean that the Kingdom would be fully set up in heaven as Jehovah's Witnesses have understood the concept since 1925. In context, "Full sway" was an explicit reference to the point in time when the stone in Nebuchadnezzar's dream crushes the statue. It therefore meant complete control over the Earth and this is exactly the same point in time that Jehovah's Witnesses imagine themselves to be at today.
If, as the author of the website implies, expectation of a future establishment of God's Kingdom on Earth is all that is important and dates and details of various invisible heavenly events leading up to it are not, (Since the Bible Students prior to 1914 and Jehovah's Witnesses today cannot both be correct on these dates.) then a number of other religious groups have also been "On the watch."
However, if as official JW literature states, expectation of and recognition of the Parousia and the heavenly establishment of God's kingdom is important, then Cameron's objection stands because the quote from the 1880 Watch Tower is not directly relavant. In JW theology, there is a big difference between the heavenly and the Earthly establishment of God's kingdom.
A second issue here is accuracy. You can see that the author of this website has quoted a sentence only partially, presented it as a stand-alone construction, and failed to indicate the omission with ellipses. That is not considered to be a terribly honest quoting practice even when it is not done for the purpose of obscuring an important distinction in your opponent's argument.
I've just left a comment about ch.3. Whether it will appear or not ... we'll see.
STRS (Settingtherecordstraight) sets up a straw man by contending Jehovah's Witnesses (he means the Bible Students, of course) "were on the watch for Christ and his Kingdom in 1914." However, Cameron's statement was specifically, "Since they believed that Jesus had RETURNED in 1874 it means that they were not watching for his RETURN in 1914" (emphasis mine). Jesus' 'return' was equated with an invisible Parousia. While the Bible Students were eagerly anticipating Christ and his Kingdom to visibly wipe out all Gentile kingdoms in 1914, they were NOT on the watch for Jesus' 'return' because he had already 'returned' and was present from 1874. Cameron's statement, therefore, is correct.
Moreover, if the Bible Students were watching for Christ and his Kingdom to crush the earthly kingdoms out of existence in 1914 (or thereabouts), any role the 'faithful slave' would have in feeding its fellow 'anointed' domestics would naturally come to an end since they'd all be together in that heavenly Kingdom!
Regarding STRS's exclamation,
"What!? Where in that quotation does it say that the Society was TEACHING that Russell was "the faithful and discreet slave"? Sure, from 1897 to 1927, Bible Students "generally" held that Russell was the 'faithful servant' but does this mean they were actively teaching that or does it mean they were actively preaching that? No."
On p. 27, note 47, Cameron referred to the May 1, 1922 WT. Here is a fuller quote from p. 132 of the article:
"Jesus clearly indicated that during his second presence he would have among his church a faithful and wise servant, through whom he would give to the household of faith meat in due season. The evidence is overwhelming concerning the Lord's second presence, the time of the harvest, and that the office of 'that servant' has been filled by Brother Russell. This is not man-worship by any means. It matters not who Charles T. Russell was - whether he was a doctor, a hod-carrier or a seller of shirts. St. Peter was a fisherman: St. Paul was a lawyer. But these matters are immaterial. Above all, these men were the chosen vessels of the Lord. Regardless of his earthly vocation, above all, Brother Russell was the Lord's servant. Then to repudiate him and his work is equivalent to a repudiation of the Lord, upon the principle heretofore announced."
Another instance from earlier in the same year, March 1, 1922 WT, 'Who Is Wise?' p.73-4:
"The indisputable facts, therefore, show that the "time of the end" began in 1799; that the Lord's second presence began in 1874; that the harvest followed thereafter and greater light has come upon the Word of God. In this connection, then, let us note the words of Jesus: "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season ? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing." (Matthew 24: 45, 46) It must be conceded, then, that at the end ot the world, at the "time of the end", during the presence of the Lord, during the harvest, he would have in the earth a servant who would be faithful and wise. The physical facts show that Brother Russell met every one of these requirements. This prophetic utterance, then, has been fulfilled. Therefore fulfilled prophecy, or physical facts, and the circumstantial evidence are conclusive proofs that Brother Russell filled the office of that faithful and wise servant. He applied his heart unto wisdom."
It is evident that the Society was indeed officially teaching and forcefully promoting the idea that Russell WAS "the faithful servant" - the evidence was overwhelming, the proofs conclusive in the Society's view. Again, Cameron is quite in order to point out this glaring credibility gap where Jesus had spiritually inspected, chosen and appointed a 'faithful slave class' over all his belongings in 1919, and yet for years afterward this spirit-appointed and directed class was oblivious to it, teaching that a single individual had already fulfilled the role!
As Cameron also brings out on p.28, this discrepancy matters. Jesus' parable says that the slave would be rewarded for being faithful, discreet and dispensing 'proper and timely spiritual food' (see the Knowledge book, p. 161). If they couldn't discern and dispense 'proper and timely spiritual food' even about their own divinely and spiritually given appointment, surely that calls into serious question about their claims to the 1919 appointment in the first place!
Hmm. An edited version has appeared. http://settingtherecordstraight.wordpress.com/2010/01/05/chapter-3-48-teachings-jesus-examined-reviewed/#respond
There used to be a more extensive site with a similar name that dealt mainly with 1914 chronology.
and to think..................
At one time I believed all that CLAPTRAP!!
Ha, Ha, Ha
The author has responded to an edited version of my reply. Either he's rusty on JW history and doctrine or he's trying to redefine BS/JW terminology to allow for the BS's anticipation of Christ's return in 1914.
In case anyone's interested and in case parts of my latest reply get cut again ...
"I agree the Bible Students believed his invisible presence was in 1874, but does this mean they weren't expecting him to return in 1914?"
Emphatically yes! They were NOT expecting Jesus to return in 1914.
The September 15, 1922 WT, p.278 states:
"No one can properly understand the work of God at this present time who does not realize that since 1874, the time of the Lord's return in power, there has been a complete change in God's operations."
And as the Proclaimers book points out on p.631,
"Calculations based on this cycle of years led to the conclusion that perhaps a greater Jubilee for all the earth had begun in the autumn of 1874, that evidently the Lord had returned in that year and was invisibly present, and that "the times of restitution of all things" had arrived.-Acts 3:19-21, KJ."
The quotations you asked me to consider do not deal with the Bible Students' understanding of Jesus' return and subsequent presence but with Jesus' crushing all worldly governments and inaugurating the Millennium of Peace. JW doctrine allows for many 'arrivals' or 'comings' which include the events of the great tribulation and Armageddon, but only ONE 'return' and 'parousia'! Because the Bible Students still taught that Jesus had returned and was present from 1874 many years after 1914 came and went, it cannot be claimed they were expecting any return of Jesus prior to 1914.
There are some historical errors in Cameron's book and some teachings of the Bible Students that he doesn't quite grasp but overall its a thorough study. The JW apologist echoes the oft repeated phrase 'JWs as Bible Students were then called' and is one of the biggest misleading ideas about these groups and their history. Bible Students and JWs are night and day apart in their approach to Scripture just like a Pentecostal and a Presbyterian are.
I left a comment on sidewiki