Current view of Russell's writing?
For those who don't know me, I am not knowledgeable about JW, but have been invovled with someone who is. Can someone here who knows please tell me what JWs currently believe about these passages. I'm just wondering how they rationalize the current state of JW/WT vis-a-vis the following
C. T. Russell was against organizing his own religion, or at least he said so (see The Watchtower, 1895 p.216; also 1894 p.384 & 1893 p.266). He also noted
"The endeavor to compel all men to think alike on all subjects, culminated in the great apostasy and the development of the great papal system, and thereby the gospel, the one faith that Paul and the other apostles set forth, was lost - buried under the mass of uninspired decrees of popes and councils. The unity of the early church, based upon the simple gospel and bound only by love, gave place to the bondage of the church of Rome...Each new reform movement (like Protestantism) has made the failure of attempting to make a creed just large enough for its prime movers." --WT, Sep. 1893, p. 1572
On why organizations don't work -
"...we have pointed out continually the tendency of Christian people toward union, showing, too, that such a union is predicted in scripture; but that its results, while designed to be good, will really be bad; and this because it will be a mechanical union instead of a heart unity."--WT, Mar 1893, p. 1504
JWs are taught that CTRussell started what are now called Jehovah's Witnesses, that he was the person who laid the groundwork for the modern organization, and that the teachings or 'light' of the organization's beliefs and practices have progressed and gotten brighter from his time.
There is not a strong connection made to him, the focus these days is on the Leadership or Governing Body.
JWs believe that TRUTH™ is transient and maleable. From the earliest days, publications of the Watch Tower have used phrases like "past truth," Present truth," and "future truth.
If Chuck Russell were to pop out of the ground right now he would be sent to a JW re-education center right after they washed the stink off him.
Just kidding -- there are no JW re-education centers. Chuck would be disfellowshipped by the corporation that he started, because most of the things he taught are no longer "true."
So if you like your truth as fresh and piping hot as your daily bread, stick with the dubTower.
The first part of the quote is exactly the reason I was turned off by the RC church in which I was raised. I mean, there not only do you receive the gospel through human priests, not only do you confess your 'sins to human priests, but up until the middle of the 20th century the Bible was 'taught' in a Sunday mass chanted in Latin ... you know, for extra clarity and understanding.
When I was tiny my mother took me to church in a small RC monestary where the "mass" was said all in Latin and there were nuns behind iron prison bars. No kidding. Maybe that's one reason I am such a shining example of mental health.
Russell wasn't fond of Catholic church, after all the fall of pope in 1798 (capture by the French) had a great significants to Russell. 1799 turned to be the start of the last days and beginning of the end which was to culminate in 1914 with Russell and Co. going to heaven while the earth was to be judged. Today very little is known about Russell by JWs other than that he was the first president of the wtsand that he foretold the the gentile time would end in 1914. Today's dubs don't have a clue about any of Russell's reasonings, none of his caclulations that he used to come up with his bogus dates. Basically JWs don't know anything about Russell, ask a dub what he knows about Russell and they will tell you nothing much really.
My Veiw a Russell is: he was every bit a wack job as the rest of the men who latter took his place, his wackiness was different than his successors but he was wacky and full of himself just like the rest.
RC bashing was a national JW past-time for years.........I heard tons of it in the mid to late 70s, even recently the WTS pointed fingers at 'clergy' but used a RC pic in comments about child abuse (yet the WTS is still behind the RCC in the way they still hide pedophiles)
Basically there is little of Russell's original teachings left to the JWs only the belief in a resurrection during the millennial reign (though the WTS varies as to length of life during), literal 144,000, dispensational premillenialism (though it isn't quite the same as Russell), Arianism, no immortality of soul, and no hellfire.
Russell basically borrowed a little here and a little there from various beliefs from his time in history and glued them all together using pyramidology (ditched by Rutherford in 1928)
Rutherford hijacked the group after Russell died and after about a decade started ditching many of Russell's beliefs........basically he is our version of the Mormon's Brigham Young. From Rutherford we get two classes of Xians (seems like the current leadership is heading toward 3), Jesus being the Archangel Michael, 1914 and 1918 (though not firmly set in chronology until Franz' book in 1943), 'field sevice'......and many more that will probably be jettisoned in the coming years.
Rutherford rallied especially hard against the RCC with the slogan 'Religion is a Racket and a Snare'......only to have his underling Fred Franz decide the JWs were in fact a religion in 1950 and the issue was all about 'pure religion'.......
--Funny thing about most human organizations. They all eventually turn into the very thing that they hate.
The quotes you've produced are from a time in JW (Actually Bible Student) history when they were a very tiny, new religion whose legitimacy was being questioned by older established religions.
Over 100 years later they have millions of members in hundreds of lands. They have a hierarchy of authority very similar in structure to the Catholic Church. They have their own creeds that aren't found in the Bible (e.g. The proscription on transfusion medicine, Frowning on men growing beards, etc.) They believe unity must be maintained at all costs and will excommunicate (Disfellowship) members who disagree on the tiniest doctrinal details. They believe organizational affliation is necessary for salvation (i.e. All non-JW's will die at Armageddon)
They have become the very thing that they condemned 100 years ago. JW's no longer accept those quotes. They will tell you that Russell was correct on many things, but he didn't fully understand everything. They will tell you that the "Light has gotten brighter" since Russell's day.
Most JWs know very little about CTRs writings and most know nothing about his obsession with pyramidology.
His movement was called 'Bible Students' and that group is still alive - something JWs don't connect with in their minds.
As others have said, if CTR were to be resurrected today, he would be disfellowshipped for his beliefs as they are no in line with current 'truth'.
CTR has nothing to do with Jehovah's Witnesses. The WT flat-out lies about what he taught and this is a proveable fact.