Update on Ray, I think this needs a new thread

by coffee_black 63 Replies latest jw friends

  • PSacramento

    From Ray's last email to me, something that shows how much he valued that individual realtionship with Christ:

    Re: Where people manifest and express the wisdom from above that is ‘pure, peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits and free from partiality or hypocrisy,’ then peace results. The history of the religions that have sprung from Christianity is, by contrast, distressingly one of “conflicts and disputes,” some of them raging for centuries and settled only by the heavy hand of authority, expressed through powerful religious councils, and with even these followed by subsequent disputes that have resulted in fragmentation into scores of denominations. (James 3:13-18; 4:1) Many former Witnesses do not realize that they are practicing on a small or individual scale the same unwise course practiced on a larger scale for centuries with very unhealthful results.

    It reminds me of a statement found in the book The Myth of Certainty, in which university professor Daniel Taylor writes:

    The primary goal of all institutions and subcultures is self-preservation. Preserving the faith is central to God’s plan for human history; preserving particular religious institutions is not. Do not expect those who run the institutions to be sensitive to the difference. God needs no particular person, church, denomination, creed or organization to accomplish his purpose. He will make use of those, in all their diversity, who are ready to be used, but will leave to themselves those who labor for their own ends.

    Nonetheless, questioning the institutions is synonymous, for many,with attacking God—something not long to be tolerated. Supposedly they are protecting God . . . Actually, they are protecting themselves, their view of the world, and their sense of security. The religious institution has given them meaning, a sense of purpose, and, in some cases, careers. Anyone perceived as a threat to these things is a threat indeed.

    This threat is often met, or suppressed even before it arises, with power. . . . Institutions express their power most clearly by enunciating, interpreting and enforcing the rules of the subculture.

    Having seen the truth of this in the Witness religion and its organization and creed, we should not nearsightedly fail to realize how equally true it is in the larger religious field.

    Best wishes,


  • Tea drinker
    Tea drinker

    Oh, such sad news. Somehow I thought this day would never come.

    Thank you Ray for your work and for waking me up. My prayers are with Cynthia and your family.

    Rest in peace.

  • Invetigator74

    Rest in Peace Ray!!!

  • BabaYaga
  • knows better
    knows better

    opened my eyes to this cult for sure. RIP condolences to friends and family. it took a strong nam to do what he did. i admire that. i respect that.

  • littlebird

    My condolences to Cynthia, I appreciate the sacrifices you & Ray made, so the rest of us could have our eyes opened.

    Rest in peace, Ray.

  • slimboyfat

    I wrote a short explanation of why I feel Ramond Franz's life was important so that I can share it on another forum that is not Watchtower related. Before I post it I would appreciate any feedback as to whether I get the tone and the main issues right, as well as any factual errors:

    Few here have probably heard of him, but a brave man died today. Raymond Franz was the only member of Jehovah's Witnesses' governing body ever to leave the organisation over issues of conscience. He spent most of his life in the service of the Watchtower organisation, as a missionary in foreign lands, and as a writer of Watchtower publications. However when he was recalled to the world headquarters in Brooklyn, New York to serve on the governing body from 1971 he discovered things that disturbed him. There was a power struggle going on at the heart of the religion, involving his uncle Frederick Franz, who played a key role in the organisation for most of the twentieth century. While the governing body was trying to wrestle power from the president of the Watchtower Society, articles in the Watchtower magazine were becoming stricter on medical issues, sexual practices, obedience to secular governments, and other issues, and Raymond Franz was alarmed by the disregard being displayed by the leadership for ordinary members who were putting their marriages, medical treatment, and even their lives on the line. As a firm Bible believer he was also concerned that the focus of the religion was on works and obedience rather than grace and Christian charity. Rumours began to circulate that Raymond Franz was having doubts about key Jehovah's Witness doctrines. Nervous that a small group of reformers were intent on taking control of the organisation, other members of the governing body moved quickly against Raymond Franz. While he was away giving talks in another part of the country various friends at the Watchtower headquarters were interviewed to determine whether Raymond Franz had been promoting disloyalty. On his return he was confronted with evidence of his ‘apostasy’ and he and his wife were asked to leave the headquarters in 1980. Concerned that Raymond Franz may attempt to spread opposition to the leadership in his new home of Alabama, the governing body tightened its rules on what grounds it could exclude members, and he was disfellowshipped, or excommunicated, the following year. Having lost most of their friends of many decades, and without children or other family (having followed the organisation's instruction not to have children because Armageddon was said to be close at hand) Raymond and his wife Cynthia found themselves unexpectedly alienated in old age with little means of support. However they had a few close friends who also left the organisation and they encouraged each other. Raymond Franz went on to write two very popular books (Crisis of Conscience and In Search of Christian Freedom) explaining in great detail, and with reference to internal documents and many individual cases, the issues of conscience that prompted his break with the religious organisation he spent most of his life supporting. Those who have read his books are consistently struck by the lack of any bitterness as he relates his story, which explains the powerful effect his writing continues to have on many thousands worldwide.

  • LatinxJW

    My deepest condolences to the Franz family.

  • eddie c
    eddie c

    A very sad day. Not much more to say. Ray was a Gentleman who spoke the truth and helped so many to be set free.

  • effe

    This man "stood for something"... May he rest in peace...

    Ezra (effe)

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