Yet Another Generation: What Have JW's EVER Got Right? (a Public Service Announcement)

by AllTimeJeff 35 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • AllTimeJeff

    In the April 15, 2010 WT, the new Governing Body of JW's have once again changed their ever problematic teaching regarding the "generation" that saw the sign Jesus spoke of MT: 24:32-34. (note, all references to "generation" in this article are in reference to this passage in Mt 24)

    The reason that this shows why the Governing Body is a fraud is very simple. This teaching, so weird and unique to JW's, is the one carrot they hold out to the flock saying, "We got at least one prophecy right."

    That prophecy is their now proven wrong teaching that 1914 marked the time that Jesus came (invisibly of course) to rule in the heavens. JW's claim that they taught 1914 all along. If you read their early WT's when CT Russell was leading this group, you will find that the date changed often, starting with saying 1874 was relevant. In fact, in 1914, they were all expecting to be raptured to heaven.

    Thats right, JW's in 1914 weren't predicting anything invisible. They were predicting that they, as the elect, would be raptured as Jesus destroyed everything else in 1914.

    Later, after picking another wrong year again (1925, where JW's taught that Abraham, Noah, Moses, David, and others would be resurrected) they later in the 1920's said that 1914 was back to being THE year, everything just happened invisibly.

    You see, if JW's were ever to admit that they got 1914 wrong, thats it for them. They still need to protect that date. And protect it they have.

    In 1954, JW's began teaching that the "generation" that saw 1914 would be around to see Armageddon.

    Then, in 1967, JW's began putting an inordinate amount of importance to 1975, claiming that 1975 was the end of 6,000 years of human existence and that Armageddon could possibly come. Later on, we learned that 1975 was significant for being the year Microsoft was created by Bill Gates, Jimmy Hoffa went missing, never to return, and Saturday Night Live aired its first show.

    But they still held on to the generation teaching from 1954. Until 1995.

    In 1995, the GB, seeing everyone die off from the generation that could have potentially seen 1914, now said that anyone who saw the events since 1914 would qualify as the generation Jesus referred to in Mt 24. That meant that if you were born since 1914, you were part of that generation.

    Until 2010. Here is the latest, though not greatest, from the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses: (from the April 15 2010 WT)

    13 Third, holy spirit is at work in bringing Bible
    truths to light. (Prov. 4:18) This magazine has
    long been used by "the faithful and discreet slave"
    as the primary channel for dispensing increased
    light. (Matt. 24:45) For example, consider our understanding
    of those who make up "this generation"
    mentioned by Jesus. (Read Matthew 24:32-
    34.) To what generation did Jesus refer? The article
    "Christ's Presence-What Does It Mean to You?"
    explained that Jesus was referring, not to the wicked,
    but to his disciples, who were soon to be anointed
    with holy spirit. Jesus' anointed followers, both
    in the first century and in our day, would be the ones
    who would not only see the sign but also discern its
    meaning-that Jesus "is near at the doors."

    14 What does this explanation mean to us? Although
    we cannot measure the exact length of "this
    generation," we do well to keep in mind several
    things about the word "generation": It usually refers
    to people of varying ages whose lives overlap during
    a particular time period; it is not excessively long;
    and it has an end. (Ex. 1:6) How, then, are we to
    understand Jesus' words about "this generation"?
    He evidently meant that the lives of the anointed
    who were on hand when the sign began to become
    evident in 1914 would overlap with the lives of other
    anointed ones who would see the start of the great
    tribulation. That generation had a beginning, and it
    surely will have an end. The fulfillment of the various
    features of the sign clearly indicate that the tribulation
    must be near. By maintaining your sense of
    urgency and keeping on the watch, you show that
    you are keeping up with advancing light and following
    the leadings of holy spirit.-Mark 13:37.

    Notice the tie in to 1914. They have to keep their flock focused that they got the date of 1914 right.

    It has been 96 years since 1914. JW's have changed their teachings on dates so many times, they lose credibility. What is the point of all this?

    JW's explain all of their behavior, all of their decisions, even and esp the weird ones, as legitimate because all power was given to them by Jesus in 1919, after Jesus inspected all Christian religions in 1914.

    But the fact is this; JW's have yet to get any of their dates right. Their continued insistence that 1914 matters, close to 100 years after, must now be regarded as a desperate attempt to keep their power looking legitimate.

    I realize most people who aren't JW's correctly view JW's as quacks for all of the above. It's just common sense. If you are a true prophet, get something right. If you are wrong, claiming that "new light" exists every 20 years or so for the convenience of the Governing Body only makes you look more guilty of what you really are, being a false prophet.

    They claim that they are the "true" religion. That all other religions offend god and will be destroyed by Jehovah. That god has given signs of the future destruction of mankind, thanks to clues such as what "the generation" means.

    As the leaders of the true religion, they feel that all of the above gives them the right to make rules such as not taking blood transfusions, making various prohibitions on the sex lives of married couples, for the strong discouragement of seeking higher education via college.

    And all of this was done with a sense of urgency, because Armageddon was just around the corner. They knew this because of the generation teaching.

    And they got it wrong again. And now, they threaten the lifetimes of more Jehovah's Witnesses by insisting that this time, they got it right. More lives hijacked by a cult looking for head nodders to every twist and turn they offer as prophetic dogma.

    I don't see any truth here, do you?

  • leavingwt

    What Have JW's EVER Got Right?

    "Religion is a snare and a racket."

  • neverendingjourney
    What Have JW's EVER Got Right?

    I remember a story in the Proclaimers book of how Nathan Knorr gave a talk sometime in the 1940s predicting that the League of Nations would rise again in a new form per the book of Revelation (this was before the UN was formed post WWII). At the time, it seemed to me to be additional proof that JWs had divine backing.

    I don't know if the story is true, exaggerated, or just plain false, but it's the only "correct" prediction that comes to mind. Of course, JWs fail to mention that a few years before this talk Rutherford was predicting that Great Britain and the US would lose WWII and come under the rule of Fascism. Rutherford went so far as to recommend celibacy for young JWs because only "months" remained before the tribulation. I learned this post-fade from reading Crisis of Conscience.

    Edited to Add: The name of the talk was "Peace--Can it Last?" delivered in 1942.

    Edited Further to Add: I found a great discussion of this talk and related prediction here

  • minimus

    Everytime they say they have "The Truth", you can't help but laugh.

    "Present truth" is the term they should go back to. It's honestly accurate (for them).

  • JeffT

    My wife and I became witnesses in the run up to 1975 (we met after we joined up). We stopped going to meetings in 1988 and DA'd in 1989. For me, the issue was prophecy. It had become apparent that the central foundation of JW theology (the end was coming and they had been selected by God to save His people) was false. Events since then have made this even more apparent. I don't know how any of the long time JW's we knew are still in. When I heard about the change in 1995 (via Randy Waters newsletter) I expected a large number of them to just get up and walk out. It didn't happen. This time I'm expecting nothing, I can imagine them telling each other how deep this new information is.

    But I wonder, do they lie awake at night wondering if they've wasted their lives? It's sad.

  • shopaholic

    But I wonder, do they lie awake at night wondering if they've wasted their lives?

    Yes, they do. I did for years, even while "serving" abroad. And I've heard plenty of JWs mention how they have to press ahead despite their doubts.

    Here's my advanced light: They will clarify the generation again within the next year. It will have something to do with lifespan in biblical times vs modern times. That will buy them yet an additional 100 years.

  • mouthy


  • Farkel


    :I remember a story in the Proclaimers book of how Nathan Knorr gave a talk sometime in the 1940s predicting that the League of Nations would rise again in a new form per the book of Revelation (this was before the UN was formed post WWII). At the time, it seemed to me to be additional proof that JWs had divine backing.

    Except for one small problem. Soon after the outbreak of WWII in late 1941, the United States had already announced plans to form a League of Nations-type organization after the war. Knorr already knew such a thing was being planned when he made his announcement.


    :I don't see any truth here, do you?

    Yes. There is one immutable truth with the WTS. They do have a perfect 100% track record on prophecy: 100% of their prophecies over their 130 years of existence have failed.


  • yknot

    Desperation is never pretty......

    For those still 'in' who want to be able to 'laugh it off' and be dismissive around your less-uber JWs in order to rouse their thinking abilities regarding this noo-lite, my I suggest the following WT quote

    *** w50 8/15 p. 263 Name and Purpose of The Watchtower ***
    However, The Watchtower does not claim to be inspired in its utterances, nor is it dogmatic.

    While the quote flys in the face of the Flock Book it is nonetheless a qualifying comment because the R&F aren't entitled to read the Flock Book.

    I prophesize that I am going to have a very bad theological week (damn I wish the CO was visiting!)

  • restrangled

    Jeff, the more I read about this, the angrier I feel about their convoluted explanation of a generation. "A generation" is singular not plural. I refer to myself as a 3rd generation JW, 3 distinct generations. Our lives overlap but it is not one generation.

    Christ didn't say "These Generations"

    Just my 2 cents.


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