I believe Barbara Anderson said that at one point when she was in Bethel, Karl Adams sent her on a research quest to locate any groups within this 1800-or-so year period which met the following criteria: (1) were Arians (non-Trinitarian); (2) believed in soul sleep; (3) believed in a future earthly realm of the kingdom (4) rejected Hellfire... don't recall whether he was looking for groups or individuals giving also prominence to Gods' name as YAHWEH or Jehovah. Interesting, the great scientific genius Isaak Newton met many, if not most of these criteria.
Captives of a Concept
Basically, the WTS never directly names an individual or organization from 100 to 1879 A.D., only that one must have existed. And most jws would not even question this.
Most JW teachers that I knew believed that there were non-catholic "true congregations" all the way from 100 A.D., but that their identity had been "lost history" because they were suppressed or killed out by false christians.
It is pretty obvious that if they actually identified one or more of these pockets of true worship, they would also have to establish their own lineage to them. And the only legitimate lineage they have is to the Millerites.
Pretty convenient that American freedom of religion came along when it did - just in time to allow Russell to get started.
Room215, that's interesting what you said about what Barbara Anderson was sent to do. I need to look for that, would you happen to have a link by chance? Thanks.
I would expect the Watchtower to have a very clear chain that would link them to Jesus. If they can't produce such chain, WOW.
Even worse, if Barbara Anderson was indeed asked to "FIND" that connection, then the sad and inevitable conclusion is that they came up with the theory first and only later did they SORT OF found a way to justify it, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND, which would be the logical thing to happen for God's Organization, right? The connection between one group of Christians and the Watchtower should be clear. People practicing the Watchtower beliefs should have always existed. The Coptic Christians, for example, can make such a claim in Ethiopia. The Catholic Church can. A Baptist friend of mine told me much of their teachings comes straight from John the Baptist (or Baptizer, I don't know).
As I was typing this, I remembered something and checked my copy of "In Search of Christian Freedom". Ray Franz had pointed this out, too, under the title "A Chain of Invisible Links". Page 129 (my copy, at least).
At the end of your post your original you asked…
"So, again, according to the Watchtower, how is Jesus supposed to have manifested his believing that what was then the Watchtower was "the faithful and discreet slave"?
Could you rephrase that for me? I don’t seem to be able to understand your question the way it is asked above.
The firsit line of my above post should read, "At the end of your original post you asked…"
Sorry about that.
Stupid typing mistake, Mr. Cameron. My question should have read "So then, according to the Watchtower, how is Jesus supposed to have manifested his belief that the Watchtower was "the Faithful and Discreet Slave?"
What I want to know is how they claim Jesus let them know who he had chosen. Muhammad said he knew through the angel Gabriel. The Catholic Church claims it was Jesus himself who issued the "Tu es Petrus". The Jews claim that Moses met with YHWH and got the tables from YHWH himself. The Mormons say Joseph Smith received the golden tables from I don't remember who, but the claim is that there is a direct connection, not the "chain of invisible links" Ray Franz mentioned. Even the Aztecs claimed Quetzalcoatl had lived among them. But apparently the Watchtower can't make such a claim.
I would picture Jesus telling them something like "Hey, Russell: you're Da Man". If their knowing comes from a very scholarly and elaborate "analysis" of many Bible books and theologies that "evidently" point to Russell being the FDS, then that is the same as me believing that I am the Son of Man, on the basis of .... (add whatever you want here). My opinion only.
By the way, great book. I wish I had had it some months ago. I was not too convinced at first that simply proving that the WT is not God's organization would be enough. But it is. I haver never been a witness, but it felt like a blindfold came off.
Oh, and, by the way, if Karl Adams really made such a request, then the man was fully aware it was all a big, bloody lie. I would be very interested in confirming whether this actually happened.
I know that at Bethel, it was often stated in Writing that the fact that Judge Rutherford and his cohorts were released from prison, and then were able to reorganise the preaching work was a direct fulfillment of the prophecy of the 2 witnesses resurrection in Revelation. It was said that this was the proof that Jesus had chosen them - the fulfillment of that specific prophecy.
Paula, they said that at Bethel. Apparently they never said that around the world. If they saw it as confirmation, why not say it to everyone?
This idea of the "Faithful and discreet slave" leads to conclusions that a religious person might not want to reach.
If you are religious, then you believe that Jesus left this world and left his apostles behind to do the work. Jesus left no Bible; the New Testament / Greek Bible / whatever you call it was written later, and the claim is that those books are inspired by God, as opposed to others that didn't make it into the Bible because they are said not to have been inspired. All right. And then, God leaves some tips, in the form of a complex chronology, that only a group of Americans were able to decipher many centuries later. God then comes after several decades, to see whether someone has actually been paying attention, he is supposed to find a group that does, is said to have approved them, but no special appointment seems to have been made. What's more, unlike what happened after Jesus' death, Jesus comes back but he does not appear to anyone; he comes invisibly. Therefore, no one claims to have seen him, or put his hand into the wound, or whatever. Like Saint Thomas, only without proofs. A modern-day Thomas would have been left in unbelief.
I don't believe it would be an exaggeration to say that God sort of left some tips and neglected his creatures. Then he came back, expecting to find someone who has stuck to what he is supposed to have taught, in a very cryptic way. And he will save those who "get it", but will destroy those who don't. How good would such a God be? Is this the procedure that a God who sent his son to save you would use? Why not make it explicit the first time, as explicit as the "Tu es Petrus"?
And, if Russell was the one who deciphered the key that was hidden in the Bible, how can the WT claim that Jehovah's witness of yesterday did exist and practice what the WT preaches TODAY? They didn't know the doctrine, for starters.