How so? If you happen to know these men personally, the ones that sit on the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses, then perhaps there is a legitimate reason for your disdain from them. For reasons unbeknownst to me, you don't much care for these men in the least, which is fine with me, but why should I care that you don't care for them much? Why aren't you man enough to take pencil or pen to paper and tell them what you think of them? Why would you be here telling me what you think about these men? I suppose I could contact these men and tell them that you don't like them very much, but I'm pretty sure that they would all of them think that I'd lost my senses passing on such tripe to them.
Never once did I indicate that I know these men personally.
Neither did I say that you knew the members of the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses personally. I'm not cognizant of there being a problem with the governing body, but this doesn't mean that you have one or more gripes against these men yourself. Let's say you had a problem with the decision-making of one of the supervisorial people still working at the place of employment at which you had formerly worked, which severing of your employer-employee relationship led to your currently unemployed there. My point is that for you to be telling any of your former coworkers your grievances about someone with whom you no longer work as if your relating these grievances to them would lead to these former coworkers of yours either becoming disenchanted or angry enough that they quit their jobs in protest over the things you will have persuaded them to believe that make this former supervisor incompetent to serve as a supervisor in your former place of employment could work, but I don't think your former coworkers would actually quit their jobs and join the ranks of unemployed over your gripes.
You come off as if you know the members of the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses personally, so that there are things in particular that, say, Theodore Jaracz, Stephen Lett or Gerrit Losch have said to you, thinks over which you have gripes, then why not take a pen and paper to one of them to let them know your feelings. Even if you should no longer be one of Jehovah's Witnesses and/or you don't know any one of them personally, I can imagine that they would give consideration to whatever you should say, and get a reply off to you, even if someone else should be asked to do so on their behalf, whereas a former supervisor of yours at the place where you no longer work would likely ignore such communication from you were you to put pen to paper and send your gripes about this supervisor to your former employer.
One does not have to know the President of the U.S. to determine whether or not he likes his leadership or the direction he is taking.
Wait a sec! Are you referring to the direction that the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses is taking those of us who are Jehovah's Witnesses? If anyone isn't one of Jehovah's Witnesses, then what business would the direction in which those who are actively Jehovah's Witnesses are being taken be to folks on the outside, those who are not non-Jehovah's Witnesses, those who are former Jehovah's Witnesses or those who are in the so-called "conscious class" in fade?
Unlike a US president, the governing body doesn't "govern" any nation of people with its own man-made laws and precepts, but it serves as a central body of elders to uses the Bible to provide oversight with respect to the worldwide preaching activity of Jehovah's Witnesses in searching out those that respond favorably to the good news and wish to enter into the blessings in store for those that survive the end of this system of things to become the nucleus of the new earth under God's heavenly kingdom by Jesus Christ.
As the Lord Jesus Christ is the head of the Christian congregation, you are mistaken to believe that you can check the hand of our king to tell him what things you don't like about his leadership over the remnant of his own congregation, especially considering the fact that all mature Christians recognize the fact that he appointed the faithful and discreet slave over all of his spiritual belongings in 1919 or whenever it was that he and his father, Jehovah, came to his temple to judge the work that his followers here on earth were doing at that time. Our growth demonstrates God's blessing is with the work that the slave has done since 1919, considering the Bible example of how Achan caused God's blessings to be hindered upon his people in Jericho, when he decided to steal from Jehovah. (Joshua 6:19; 7:1-26)
Of course, if you're not spiritually mature, then you won't be able to make the connection here in the amount in the book of Joshua with the blessings that Jehovah's Witnesses have had in connection with their spiritually activities since 1919, so I'm hoping that you are able to take my point that it doesn't much matter whether or not you personally approve of the work that Jehovah's Witnesses have been doing and are currently doing, or the work that the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses have done and are currently doing. We are seeking Jehovah's blessing on our efforts, even if whatever we are doing doesn't meet with your approval. We are working out our own salvation.
For reasons unbeknownst to you?
Yes, "for reasons unbeknownst to me, you don't seem to care much for the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses, and that's your right, but I don't care.
How about promulgating false prophecy?
"Promulgating" as in inventing prophecies that aren't really Bible prophecies? First of all, to promulgate is to make law, and Jehovah's Witnesses -- and by "Jehovah's Witnesses" here I mean to include the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses -- do not make law. Secondly, you speak here about false prophecy and yet (1) prophecy isn't the same as a commandment, but prophecies are predictions of future events and (2) as far as the prophecies that one reads in the Bible are concerned, they have all of them come true, so unless you happen to have an example of one of God's prophecies that should have already been fulfilled, but hasn't been fulfilment, then I'd say that what you have just asserted here is false.
How about adding to the bible?
What exactly have Jehovah's Witnesses, or what exactly has someone among the members of the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses, added to the Bible? I need you to provide an example of something contained in the Bible that has been added to it, an example of something that you have yourself discovered to have been a case where Jehovah's Witnesses have tampered with the Bible to make it say something that it doesn't say. Or, I will need you to provide an example of something that you yourself have discovered to have been a case where Jehovah's Witnesses have tampered with the Bible by omitting something from it that it should say, but doesn't.
When it comes to valueless words, elders too learn an important lesson. Whenever they are called upon to give counsel, they bear in mind their limitations and do not presume to offer counsel solely from their own personal store of knowledge. They should always point to what the Bible says. A sound rule is found in the words of the apostle Paul. "Do not go beyond the things that are written". Elders do not go beyond the things that are written in the bible. And by extension, they do not go beyond the bible-based counsel written in the publications of the faithful and discreet slave." (Apr 15, 2008 p7) The italicized portion of this text clearly shows that the FDS feels that they have the authority to "extend" the bible. They say that it is bible based but is it? Where does the bible say that buying a raffle ticket to help raise money for cancer is a form of greed? It doesn’t. The FDS made "extensions" to include that. Where does the bible say that a man should not have any "privileges" if he grows a beard? Where does the bible give the authority to disfellowship someone who refuses to curtail their association with a disfellowshipped person? The list of "extensions" is practically endless.
When I read your words here, I began to sigh over them, for in reading them, it became manifest to me that there are clearly a few basic principles that you do not now comprehend, even if you might have associated with Jehovah's Witnesses for 10, 20 or 30 years. I am made to wonder, for example, what part of "the holy spirit and we ourselves" at Acts 15:28 didn't you understand.
According to what we read at 1 Timothy 3:5, 12, those appointed as elders and ministerial servants in the congregation must be men that preside in a fine manner over his own households before consideration can be given to having them preside over God's congregation, and at 1 Timothy 3:15, specifically, "the congregation of the living God" is described by the apostle Paul as being "God's household." It is important to note that it is by means of the words of the apostle Paul in these two Bible passages that the holy spirit speaks to God's household.
In addition, Paul makes two other points, first, at 1 Timothy 5:14, that younger widows must manage their own households until they should marry, while, second, at 1 Timothy 5:8, he states that if anyone that ought to be providing for those who are "members of his household" does not do so, then he, or she, would be considered as having "disowned the faith." Likewise, it is through these two Bible passages as well that the holy spirit speaks to all Christians. This is God's arrangement of things.
I don't know who presides over your household, @outsmartthesystem, but, according to the Bible, the single parent ought to preside in single-parent households, and not the children, and in households where there are two parents, it is the man, whether he be believing or unbelieving, that ought to be the one presiding over it, not the believing or unbelieving woman. In God's household, it is the elders and ministerial servants, those men that are taking the lead in the congregation, that are the ones that ought to be presiding over the congregation, the ones that ought to be presiding over God's household. This is God's arrangement of things.
Since it is the holy spirit that tells us what God's arrangement is for Christians that are a part of God's household, those that are not among those that are to preside over the congregation ought to "be submissive" to the elders and ministerial servants that the holy spirit gives such authority, even if we should disagree with them. (Hebrews 13:17) These men will render an account for their decisions, good and bad, but for anyone to make their role one that involves a lot of sighing on their part, then this would be tantamount to taking a stand against God's arrangement, for the holy spirit also says, at Romans 13:1, 2, that "there is no authority except by God" and that anyone that "opposes the authority has taken a stand against the arrangement of God."
At John 21:15-17, Jesus three times underscored the importance of those appointed to shepherd the flock of God in their case, to feed the sheep, when he told the apostle Peter to "feed my lambs." Note that Jesus is referring to his disciples, not to those who have not yet become his followers, so it is with the flock of God -- Jesus' sheep -- those that comprise the Christian congregation that Jesus exhorted Peter, and by extension, exhorted those appointed to take the lead to "shepherd my little sheep" and to "feed my little sheep. the elders and ministerial disciples, to be about doing just this, to "shepherd the flock of God" that has been placed in their care. (1 Peter 5:2, 3)
You have here quoted from something you read in a Watchtower article, but I don't care to discuss what this Watchtower article says with you. It is evident from what you say here that you are of the belief that the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses, who merely represent the faithful and discreet slave, are, in fact, the faithful and discreet slave, and that your are also of the belief that our governing body believes it has authority to "'extend' the Bible."
By this, it seems to me that you are saying that you don't believe anyone has been granted by God the authority to go beyond what things the Bible explicitly condones when it comes to things like gambling or grooming, or when someone decides to not break off his or her association with someone that has been disfellowshipped. I would say though that you seem to be oblivious to the fact that Acts 15:28 doesn't just refer to what the holy spirit itself says, but also to what "we ourselves" might determine to be necessary safeguards for those having the responsibility to preside over God's household to implement with a view to protecting the flock of God that has been entrusted to their care.
If anyone desires to buy a raffle ticket, he is free to do so; if anyone desires to wear a beard, he is free to wear one. If anyone feels he must continue his association with a disfellowshipped person, that's ok; he is free to do this as well, but in his engaging in any such conduct when admonished not to do so, he is not submitting to God's arrangement, and this is the point. It doesn't matter that the proceeds from the raffle ticket sales will benefit cancer research when there will be no sickness or death under God's kingdom. At Luke 9:60, Jesus also admonished his followers to "let the dead bury their dead, but you go away and declare abroad the kingdom of God" since God's kingdom will eliminate cancer and all diseases that are the cause of death, pain and sorrow. (Revelation 21:3, 4)
I don't know if you already understood what it is Jesus was saying here, but if you want to contribute to cancer research, you are free to do so without your needing to accept some quid pro quo arrangement (like a raffle prize) if your motive is really just to make a donation to cancer research. You should not need the possibility that you might win a prize to be yours motivation to make such a donation; else, your motives would be suspect, which is why such admonition is given in the first place.
In countries where it is not uncommon for brothers to wear beards, they wear them, but in the US, it is uncommon for brothers to wear beards without raising additional doubts in the minds of the householder as to whether the person standing at their door is, in fact, one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Mormons, for example, might be more quickly dismissed from the doors of those upon whom they make visits were they to sport beards and wear tee-shirts and jeans instead of the white shirt and black pants that they do wear, but this really isn't about Mormons.
My point here is that the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses has decided that it will be our custom here in the US that the brothers will not wear beards, and Jehovah's Witnesses here in the US are submissive to God's arrangement in this regard. If someone that sports a beard should live in a country outside of the US, such individuals, upon visiting and/or speaking at a Kingdom Hall or at a district convention will not likely be required to remove their beards, except where it is known that someone donning a beard could be a cause of stumbling at a particular congregation.
I trust that you understand the point I've been making here, namely, that it doesn't matter whether you think the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses are guilt of promulgating a "list of 'extensions'" to the Bible, extensions for which there is no scriptural support. It's not just the Bible, it's not just the holy spirit, that leads us, but "we ourselves" that are taking the lead in God's household are free to employ our own spiritual judgment in order to protect the flock, even if you don't agree with and/or are not privy to knowing their reasons for giving such admonitions to the flock.
This is a group of men that say "We also have the faithful and discreet slave appointed by Jesus to provide spiritual "food at the proper time". Thus God is still speaking. But are we listening?" (7-15-98 WT p 12). Yet these same men also say "the brothers preparing these publications are no infallible. Their writings are not inspired as are those of Paul and the other Bible writers". (03-22-93 Awake p4). So which is it?
Your question here presupposes that the two things you mention here are mutually exclusive; that is to say, that it is not possible for the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses to represent the faithful and discreet slave and that it is also not possible that imperfect men can carry the water for Christ and yet the brothers responsible for preparing our many publications not be writing them under the inspiration of Jehovah God. Unfortunately, I don't believe these things to be mutually exclusive, so I'll let you figure out what it is you wanted to say but didn't, or let you shop the answer to your question with someone that thrives when someone asks them an imponderable like yours.
First of all….no, I never meant to indicate that it is impossible for the GB to represent the FDS.
And yet, you did suggest this very thing.
That being said….I do think that the whole idea of the term "slave" applying to a group of individuals in New York that "speak" for 143,993 others makes any sense. But that’s not part of the argument so I’ll leave it alone.
What? Yes, you should probably leave this "argument' (or whatever it is!) alone. What you said made no sense.
I don’t see what is so imponderable.
I though you just said that you thought you should leave this argument alone. Now with this comment you have just picked it up again. Ok. Let's go.
The Watchtower quote basically says that when the GB writes something it is just like God is speaking to us….hence…"are we listening". The Awake says "however…..we aren’t inspired". That doesn’t seem just a tad contradictory?
No, this doesn't sound even "just a tad" contradictory to me. Why would you be asking me such a question when you already know what my view is? Are you really talking to me now or to someone else?
Ultimately, their message is "we are not inspired, however you need to be listening and doing as we say". Remember….the WT article said "God is speaking to you through us (what we write)". The Awake said "but we’re not infallible".
You're repeating yourself here, and I don't want to hear you repeat the same things over and over again as if my response to your question might change.
So how can a humble person (or in this case group of people) say that unity and obedience to their teachings must be maintained when they themselves admit that their teachings may very well change due to their own infallibility?
I'm not going to even try to answer a ponderable. You are certainly free to ponder this question, but I have no interest in discussing this with you.
Are they or are they not the sole channel of communication from God to his earthly servants?
The governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses is not the sole channel of communication from God to his earthly servants. Rather, the composite anointed body of Christians is what constitutes God's sole channel of communication, to whom Jesus refers at Matthew 24:45 as the "faithful and discreet slave." BTW, the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society is merely the legal instrument used by Jehovah's Witnesses, but it is neither the faithful and discreet slave nor is this entity God's sole channel of communication.
"Christians who have truly received this anointing do not demand special attention. They do not believe that their being of the anointed gives them special insights beyond what even some experienced members of the great crowd may have" (June 15, 2009 WT) How can the composite anointed body of Christians help direct what God says to the rank and file witnesses when they don’t have special insights beyond what even some experienced members of the great crowd have?
Please don't quote anything from any of our publications when you don't understand what you will have read. I have no interest in explaining to you what it was you didn't understand, and, further, your quoting what you quoted here from a Watchtower article has nothing at all to do with your erroneous statement to the effect that the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses represents "the sole channel of communication from God to his earthly servants." "Special insights"?
Perhaps you believe differently….but that isn’t what is taught by your fearless leaders.
This is a strawman argument. You were not talking about the "special insights" that anyone might have, but had asked me whether or not it was true, according to Jehovah's Witnesses, that the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses is "the sole channel of communication from God to his earthly servants." Why don't you stop doing what you're trying to do. I know what your initial argument was, and it wasn't about anyone's "special insights."
The GB represents the 144,000 (as you alluded to in your second paragraph above) and all spiritual food comes through THEM .
Yes, this is true. So what bearing does this fact have with your initial point as to whether or not the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses is viewed by Jehovah's Witnesses as being "the sole channel of communication from God to his earthly servants"?
What's the difference between being directed by God's spirit and being inspired by God? Does being inspired mean that you are divinely guaranteed to pen the correct words....but being directed by Holy Spirit means you may or may not get it right?
This last question of yours is a compound question , so I'll answer your second question first before answering the first one:
Yes and yes. Maybe you will recall, and maybe not, that when the matter of whether Gentile Christians should be circumcised arose back in 49 AD, Jehovah progressively revealed to the early Christian congregation through His spirit that circumcision was not a requirement for Gentile Christians or anyone converting to Christianity. But it is noteworthy that it wasn't just the holy spirit that decided the matter: "The holy spirit and we ourselves have favored adding no further burden to you...." (Acts 15:28) Today, Jehovah's Witnesses submit to the leading of God's spirit when it comes to our prophetic interpretation of the Bible, but none of us speak by divine inspiration since those spiritual gifts ended when John, the last of the apostles, died. (1 Corinthians 13:8)
The purpose of Acts 15:28 is to show that the holy spirit directed them….and they agreed.
I disagree, but you are free to believe what you wish. Acts 15:28 says that "the holy spirit and we ourselves have favored adding no further burden to you...."
Holy spirit directed +they followed = no problems. Notice he didn’t say "the holy spirit urged this…but we elected to go another route". Plainly, the holy spirit directed and they followed.
So you feel the three words, "and we ourselves," are meaningless? Ok.
What of the GB today? If they are forced to change a teaching, or flip flop on a previous decision then that means one of two things according to your logic. 1) the holy spirit directed them to a wrong conclusion which we know isn’t possible or 2) they went against what the holy spirit was telling them.
I never said this and I don't see how you could conclude based on anything I said that what you say here reflected my thinking on the matter. The holy spirit did not direct the first century governing body to a wrong conclusion; it was God's holy spirit so such a conclusion would be absurd. The governing body took the facts involving the circumcision issue -- which is the issue that they were deciding -- into consideration and saw no reason to require Gentile Christians to be circumcised.
The holy spirit did not specifically say to the governing body that there was no need for the Gentiles to be circumcised, did it? What the holy spirit did say was that Cornelius could receive God's holy spirit and he wasn't circumcised and God's spirit was evident in the "signs and portents" that were in operation upon the nations, who were also not circumcised. (Acts 10:47, 48; 15:12) As the apostle James pointed out, the holy spirit itself had spoken through the prophet Amos at Amos 9:11, 12, which indicated that the Gentiles -- though uncircumcised -- would be called upon by God's name, so the governing body received direction from the holy spirit as well as took what things they saw occurring with respect to the Gentiles as evidence that they were acceptable as Christians without the need for them to be circumcised. The holy spirit provided direction, but the governing body decided the matter based on the evidence that Peter and Paul and Barnabas had reported. I don't know if you understand any of this, but there it is.
You also mention that none of us speak by divine inspiration.
I did, and...?
The April 15, 2011 WT (p4) asks the question to the reader, "How, then, do we react when we receive divine direction?" Guess what that article is about? The FDS. It is referring to information received through the slave .
So how does this particular Watchtower article make your case? Maybe I should ask, What is your case?
"Who is this prophet? ... This "prophet" was not one man, but was a body of men and women. It was the small group of footstep followers of Jesus Christ, known at that time as International Bible Students. Today they are known as Jehovah's Christian witnesses. ... Of course, it is easy to say that this group acts as a "prophet" of God. It is another thing to prove it. The only way that this can be done is to review the record.… Thus this group of anointed followers of Jesus Christ, doing a work in Christendom paralleling Ezekiel's work among the Jews, were manifestly the modern-day Ezekiel, the "prophet" commissioned by Jehovah to declare the good news of God's Messianic kingdom and to give warning to Christendom." Watchtower 1972 Apr 1 pp.197-199. Yet according to you, "none of us speak by divine inspiration".
Yes, what's interesting about this article you quoted here from this Watchtower article is that it doesn't say that Jehovah's Witnesses are divinely inspired spokespeople for God, that what things they speak have their origin in divine inspiration. Why do you even bring this up? What point did you hope to prove by quoting what you did from this article? Did you expect me to disagree with what it says?
Tell me, how many of Jehovah’s prophets in the bible spoke without Divine inspiration?
None of Jehovah's prophets spoke apart from being divinely inspired to do so.
I shouldn’t get ahead of myself….but I assume you will say none.
You assume correctly; my answer to your question is "none."
Yet this modern day "prophet" does speak without Divine inspiration?
Yes, Jehovah's Witnesses today are all of them "prophets" in the sense that they speak to others about the future. Just as God used the prophets of God to tell others what his will for them was, likewise Jehovah's Witnesses today are being used as God's prophets today to make known his will for mankind and his purposes for the future. Yes, these prophets of old were able to predict the future, which modern-day prophets cannot, but the fact that Jehovah's Witnesses do not make predictions doesn't mean that Jehovah's Witnesses aren't prophets.
What gives them the right to do so? It is interesting to note that this 1972 Watchtower contradicts what 1 Cor 13:8 says about future prophets. Unless of course that scripture applies to everyone BUT the FDS.
I see no contradiction. Where is this contradiction in the 1972 Watchtower article? One of the things to which this article to which you refer speaks is to the prophetic ministry of Jehovah's Witnesses to the "rebellious house" of Christendom, to whom they even now speak, and regardless of whether they hear or they refrain." (Ezekiel 2:6, 7) What is your point?
Since Jehovah's Witnesses put their faith in God's word, God's spirit may lead us to the realization that we may have gotten something wrong, that we may have drawn a wrong conclusion about something we may have understood differently in the past. Over the years, such progressive changes have occurred many tines as our understanding of the Bible increases, so over the years there have been many adjustments in our understanding, and these adjustments are published as soon as practicable in our literature, and at our Kingdom Halls, circuit and district assemblies.
But because Jehovah's Witnesses continue to be led by holy spirit, only qualified men are appointed to serve as overseers based on the standard provided in God's word, so in this way they are appointed by holy spirit according to the scriptural requirements set forth at 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9, and by the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses through the recommendations made by spiritually "certified men ... full of spirit and wisdom." (Acts 6:3)
As to your first question, the Bible was inspired by God, for the men that contributed to its pages were all "borne along by holy spirit" (2 Peter 1:21), but being directed by God's spirit requires one to submit to what things the holy spirit directs, that is to say, we are doing our best to adhere and subject ourselves to the spiritual guidance that Jehovah provides in the Bible. (Galatians 5:16, 18)
Your example of Acts 15:28 kills your argument. It says "The holy spirit AND WE OURSELVES".
What bearing does what I stated here as to how "Jehovah's Witnesses continue to be led by holy spirit" have to do with Acts 15:28? Why are you backtracking to discuss something other than what it is I had said? I don't get it, but ok.
This indicates they were directed by holy spirit and they listened and followed. And by doing that…..they got it right.
You are free to believe that what Acts 15:28 says means what you believe it to mean. I don't agree with you, but I have told you how I understand this verse.
They didn’t have to change a previous decree or flip flop a decision. They got it right by listening to and doing what the holy spirit directed. When the FDS flip flops….why didn’t they listen to the holy spirit in the first place like the apostles did in Acts 15:28?
You are harping upon an earlier argument that you made, but I don't know why you are doing this since you are not going to teach me what Acts 15:28 means and you are not going to be able to persuade me, convince me, change my mind by telling me how the faithful and discreet slave "flip flops," especially when you keep getting loss here, as you were talking about the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses, and now you have expanded "your argument" regarding Acts 15:28 to mean the anointed remnant that comprise the faithful and discreet slave. I cannot follow you, I don't understand where you want to go with this, but I do know that I'm not going to allow you to take me to Silly Street, ok?
Only qualified men are appointed to serve as overseers? So my brother in law (who was appointed to serve as an elder as he was in the midst of reading "The Gentile Times Reconsidered") was appointed by the holy spirit?
The answer to your question is, of course, if your brother-in-law was appointed to serve as an elder -- even if he had already read Jonsson's book, "The Gentile Times Reconsidered," in its entirety -- he would have been appointed by holy spirit. What it is clear to me that you fail to realize is that those who are appointed to serve as elders in the congregation are appointed based upon the guidelines provided in the Bible at 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9, and by the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses based on the recommendations of the local body of elders. These scriptural requirements were written by the apostle Paul as he was "borne along by holy spirit" to write them. (2 Peter 1:21) If your b-i-l continues to serve as such, it will be because the local body of elders believe the continues to meet the scriptural requirements of an elder. However, if he should be deleted from serving as such, this would mean that the holy spirit will have removed this privilege of service from him if it came to be observed by the local body of elders that he no longer meets the scriptural requirements that an elder must meet in order to serve as an elder in the Christian congregation. Maybe you won't understand this and that's fine. I'm only telling you here what it means in the Bible to spiritually mature men and woman when it speaks of "the holy spirit" appointing someone as an overseer "to shepherd the congregation of God." (Acts 20:28)
How about an elder from my congregation that was appointed as he was having an affair? Remember….only qualified men are appointed.
I believe I've sufficiently responded to the "restatement" of your question as it related to your b-i-l. There is no distinction to be made between the appointment of an elder that qualifies to serve as such in the congregation whose conduct is not exemplary and who has maybe escaped the notice of the local body of elders' scrutiny, and the appointment of an elders that meets the scriptural requirements to serve as such while at the same time having an affair. If the affair should end, good, but whether it does or it doesn't, the same holy spirit that appoints one to serve as an elder is the same holy spirit that will remove one from such an appointment, for "God is not one to be mocked," even though some may do so. (Galatians 6:7)
And if you don't get it right, can you really say you were directed by the Holy Spirit in the first place?
Yes, for while God's word is infallible and Jehovah never gets it wrong, we ourselves sometimes do not get it right, but this in no way means that we are not directed by God's holy spirit. When we get something wrong, this simply means that we are not infallible -- which we already knew -- and that we need to make an adjustment in our viewpoint so that our view is in harmony with what we have since come to appreciate the Bible teaches in that regard.
Are you saying that when God’s spirit directs and the FDS gets it wrong anyways……it was because they either ignored the holy spirit or misinterpreted what it was telling them?
Maybe both are true, that what the holy spirit was directing was either ignored or didn't register with God's people at the time. Whatever.
You would never admit that they ignore holy spirit so we won’t even consider that argument.
Why wouldn't I? You only just asked me this very question, and I just answered it. Why did you say this?
Therefore…..it must mean that they misinterpret.
Yes, we don't always get it wrong. It happens that at times we get it wrong.
OK. Then 1) they are not equipped to be in the position they are in. If they can’t follow the holy spirit’s direction then why are they leading others?
Why are Jehovah's Witnesses not equipped to do the work that we do? Why isn't the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses equipped to do the work that it does? We do follow the direction of God's holy spirit as best we can, but, again, as I've said before, we are not inerrant.
And 2) if they admittedly can’t follow the direction then how can they demand obedience to something they know may or may not be true?
Neither Jehovah's Witnesses nor the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses demands obedience. This is something that you believe to be true, but it is not true.
Regardless, the GB does claim that all edicts are coming from God.
I don't think this is so. The governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses alone doesn't make such statements. It is Jehovah's Witnesses themselves, with the assent of our governing body, the central body of elders that is taking the lead in ensuring that the good news is being preached throughout the earth for a witness[,] that submits to the instruction provided in God's word.
"It is vital that we appreciate this fact and respond to the directions of the "slave" as we would to the voice of God, because it is His provision." (June 15, 1957 WT p 370). Again, just use logic. When is that last time you heard from the stage or read in an article that the FDS thinks the rank and file witnesses should listen to and obey some of their directives? That some of their publications are from God? That some of their decisions were made with God’s direction?
Did you notice the context of this 1957 Watchtower article from you which quoted? Was the statement that you quoted from it saying that our publications are from God? No. Was this statement that you quoted from it saying that we must explicit obey the faith and discreet slave? No. What is "this fact" that ought to make us appreciate and respond to the direction given by the faithful and discreet slave as we would responding "to the voice of God"? Notice clearly that this opening words of the sentence you quoted -- "It is vital that we appreciate this fact... -- refers to the fact that God himself has directed "the members in the body, each one of them" -- the faithful and discreet slave -- and set them in the congregation "just as he pleased." (1 Corinthians 12:18).
"How then do we react when we receive divine direction?" (04-15-2011 WT p4) What is the definition of divine? It is "proceeding from God". So these men claim not to be infallible....yet still claim that the directives issued are divine.
Again, I must ask you: Why do you believe the divine direction we receive from Jehovah through his word, the Bible -- these directives to which you refer -- and our claim that not one of Jehovah's Witnesses is infallible are mutually exclusive? They aren't mutually exclusive at all.
Read that 4-15-11 article I mentioned. The question in quotations above was referring to information provided by the FDS….not information from the Bible. The comparison in that article was the FDS to Moses (both supposedly being directed by God). The FDS does indeed claim that the information they are "feeding the sheep" with is coming from a Divine origin. Simply put, coming from God means divine.
I agree with you; what you just said is "simply put." You didn't understand what you read in this article since you read our publications through a prism that informs you as to what the things you read in them means. There are many folks that read our literature through such a prism.
Therefore if the directives coming from the FDS got their origin with God then yes…..they are Divine directives. "All who want to understand the Bible should appreciate that the "greatly diversified wisdom of God" can become known only through Jehovah’s channel of communication, the faithful and discreet slave." (Oct 1, 1994 WT p 8).
What does that magazine quote tell us? If we want to learn what the bible teaches our only hope is through the only channel of communication to God……the FDS. So when the FDS receives information, it is coming from the holy spirit, no?
No. The faithful and discreet slave do not receive information by means of holy spirit. In the 19th century, in the 20th century and even in our 21st century, this has never been the case. Wherever it is you heard such a thing, this idea is not so. The faithful and discreet slave is being directed or led by holy spirit, but it doesn't receive a thing by way of the many spiritual gifts that the early Christian congregation received before those gifts passed away. (1 Corinthians 13:8)
And if the holy spirit is God’s active force then he has to direct and send forth that active force, no?
Yes, this is true.
Therefore any time the FDS is "helped" to a decision by the holy spirit…..by God’s direction…or whatever you want to call it….. then ultimately it began with God.
Yes, the help that the faithful and discreet slave receives, that all Jehovah's Witnesses receive for that matter, ultimately begin with God, whose holy spirit is responsible for all of the things we read in the Bible today.
It is divine.
What is divine? The decisions that the faithful and discreet slave make are not divine. I don't know what you mean.
You cannot claim that the FDS is directed by holy spirit, yet those directives somehow are not Divine.
There are no divine directives that are given to the faithful and discreet slave. I really don't know what you're talking about or where you're headed, but it's clear to me that you do not understand Scripture.
Does the holy spirit somehow, on its own accord, direct the FDS to write and teach the things they do without consulting Jehovah?
The faithful and discreet slave, as well as the entire household of faith, doesn't consult Jehovah, except by prayer. You seem to have in mind a seance, where someone representing the faithful and discreet slave approaches Jehovah apart from prayer, say using Urim and Thummin, to receive God's holy spirit. You have IMO an unbalanced idea that doesn't fit what things the Bible teaches though, since beyond "yeses" and nos," Jehovah has moved way beyond the need for high priests and such, since Jesus has been appointed God's High Priest on our behalf. What you are saying here sounds ridiculous to me.
Dude. You can't have it both ways. Either you are or you are not directed by God.
This is not what you just said here. We can have it both ways and we do: Jehovah's Witnesses are directed by God by means of his holy spirit, period.
Again, who puts forth that holy spirit? Does Jehovah have any control over it or does it act on its own accord? If it is controlled by Jehovah then any decision the FDS comes to by way of it is indeed Divine.
No, it isn't; you are mistaken in what you are saying here. In fact, you don't make sense.
So then….when "they get it wrong", did they ignore the direction by God or did they just not understand it.
Maybe both of the things you mention here is true.
I don’t know of any biblical examples of ones being directed by God but getting it wrong because they didn’t understand.
What about Jonah, or don't you recognize him as being one of Jehovah's servant, Jehovah's prophet? Would you say that Jonah wasn't directed by God or that he didn't get it wrong because he fully understood the reason God has sent him to warn the Ninevites?
In the past….nobody misunderstood the direction the holy spirit was giving…..but you seem to think it’s ok for the FDS to do so.
Ok; it you say so.
You’ve been incredibly evasive. To be sure…..in this spot, please give your definition for directed by God’s spirit:
Being directed by holy spirit means for one to be in harmony with it. What being directed by holy spirit or being led by it doesn't mean is that Jehovah gets it wrong. Jehovah doesn't zap anyone with a measure of his holy spirit, but it isn't Jehovah that "gets it wrong," but we ourselves that are seek guidance from his word, the Bible.
Jehovah's Witnesses are led by what things we read in the Bible and by what things we discern from the things we read in it, so that while we might get it wrong at times, we are willing to adjust our viewpoint when it becomes necessary to do so, such as when we realize that our understanding of something that the holy spirit says in God's word turns out to be mistaken. God's holy spirit speaks through His inspired word and it is often in hindsight that Jehovah's Witnesses come to the realization that we have come to a wrong understanding of what the holy spirit says, a wrong understanding of what the Bible is saying to us, and so, whenever we should err, we will make whatever adjustments are necessary since, as Jehovah's Witnesses, we endeavor to teach things that are in harmony with what the holy spirit actually does say and not with what he may have thought the holy spirit was saying.
Now in this spot, please give your definition for inspired by God:
The Bible is inspired by God, that is to say, the Bible was inspired by God's holy spirit.
If you have not already done so, please list and explain the contrasts between the two:
I do not intend to do so. If I were to do so, I would be as goofy as you are to be asking me to explain the contrast between what it means to be directed by holy spirit and for the Bible to be inspired of God, or "inspired by God,"
If they are directed by God, they have no excuse for false prophecies and flip flops of teachings....unless.....God directed them to write/teach such a falsehood.
What "false prophecies" do you mean? Jehovah's Witnesses have neither taught nor published any false prophecies. If you don't mind, please name one of these false prophecies that we have taught or published. Please don't be vague or ambiguous, but be specific.
There are oodles of them. I’ll start by giving you two. 1) "October, 1914 will witness the full end of Babylon, "as a great millstone cast into the sea" utterly destroyed as a system". (June 15, 1911 WT p 190). It is common knowledge that Russell and the Bible Students expected the end to come in 1914. It is now 2011 and "Babylon" still exists. It was a prediction that did not come true…..otherwise known as a false prophecy.
I disagree. Babylon fell in the year 1919, which was about the time when seven representatives of the Society, including Joseph Rutherford, were finally released on bond from incarceration from a penitentiary in which they had been housed for some nine months in Atlanta, Georgia. God's people were finally extricated from the grip of Babylon the Great when it suffered its fall from God's grace in 1919. Although Babylon the Great has fallen, evidently without your realizing what this actually meant, this was neither a prediction or a false prophecy.
2) "If you are a young person, you also need to face the fact that you will never grow old in this present system of things. Why not? Because all the evidence in fulfillment of Bible prophecy indicates that this corrupt system is due to end in a few years. Of the generation that observed the beginning of the "last days" in 1914, Jesus foretold: "This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur." (May 22, 1969 Awake p15). If you were 10 years old when this was printed you are now 52. If you were 20 you are now 62. Let me guess….52 or 62 isn’t really "old", right? And this system ending in a "few years"? That didn’t happen either. Unless it is reasonable to believe that 42 years is "a few". There are dozens of others. The FDS has a 100% failure rate with predictions.
This was not a prediction. Jehovah's Witnesses have never published any particular year for when the end of this system of things -- Armageddon -- would arrive. The expectation of some that this system of things could come to its end after 6,000 years of human history -- and 1975 would mark 6,000 years of human history since Adam -- to be followed by the millennial reign of Christ Jesus was flawed for two (2) reasons that were ignored by those that wanted to believe the hype:
(1) Jesus clearly stated at Matthew 24:36 that "concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father," and (2) assuming a 7,000-year creative day, this 6,000-year period would have come to an end, not after Adam's creation, but after Eve's creation, and we have no idea when this 6,000 years will lapse from Eve's creation forward since the sixth creative day -- again, assuming a 7,000-year creative day -- would end only after Eve's creation. I asked you to "please name one of these false prophecies that we have taught or published," and you are 0 and 2. If you have none, that's ok; they aren't any.
Would God direct them to mislead 7,000,000 people?
This [allegation of yours] suggests that Jehovah's Witnesses are guilty of misleading 7 million people in some way, which is not true. Again, if you don't mind, I'd like you to provide one example of our having misled anyone, let alone 7 million people, and with specificity, please.
Again, I’ll give you 2.
The end was originally supposed to have come in 1914. 1975. Within the lifetime of the generation that saw the events of 1914. The "men of old" were supposed to have been resurrected in 1925. Nothing happened. And this isn’t misleading?
No, I don't recall any such prophecies being taught by Jehovah's Witnesses, and you are here repeating yourself as to what you provide as one "example" of our having misled 7 million people, your reference to 1975. While Rutherford and others had speculated back that the beginning of the antitypical jubilee would occur in 1925, which jubilee corresponded to Jesus' 1,000-year reign, but this wasn't a prediction, nor a case of misleading 7 million people (or whatever number of Witnesses there were back in 1925). What was hoped in the lead up to 1925 was merely an expectation that was unrealized. Can you do any better than this? Frankly, speaking for myself, I do not believe that I have not been misled by anyone.
Yes we have biblical examples of imperfect men in the lead, such as the Bible writers. But let me ask you a question. How many of the bible writers got it wrong when they penned the scriptures?
None, for each of the 40 Bible writers wee borne along by holy spirit.
Did Paul have to go back 10 years later and change what Luke wrote because of increased light?
No. Luke wrote as he was borne along by holy spirit.
Did Nehemiah [misinterpret] the [blueprints] and have to start over during the rebuilding of Jerusalem?
You just asked this question when you asked how many of the Bible writers -- Nehemiah being one of the 40 men that contributed to the Bible in use today -- got it wrong when they penned the scriptures, and my answer is the same, none.
If the Holy spirit in the past guided imperfect humans to follow Jehovah's direction perfectly and guided imperfect humans to pen his words perfectly.....and that same Holy Spirit is operational today.... then those directions should similarly be perfect.
The holy spirit that provided perfect guidance to imperfect humans in the past is the same holy spirit that provides perfect guidance to imperfect humans today.
Not the men....but the directions.
I believe I understood you the first time.
Simply put....if the Holy Spirit is directing you....you don't get it wrong. If you get it wrong....then it wasn't directing you, was it?
If this is what you believe to be true, then you are mistaken, because even though Jehovah's Witnesses are directed by holy spirit, we have at times 'gotten it wrong.' The fact that we have 'gotten in wrong' in the past does not mean that we were not being directed by holy spirit. However, if you are persuaded to a different opinion in this regard, that's your choice, but one thing has nothing to do with the other, except in your own mind. This question of yours is loaded as it assumes facts that are not in evidence. What is your proof that if Jehovah's Witnesses were being led by holy spirit that we shouldn't be getting anything wrong?
Personally, I believe that if holy spirit directs you, then it directs you to the correct conclusion.
Ok, but like I already told you, this would just be your opinion of what it means to be led by holy spirit. You have your own definition of what this means, so it doesn't make any difference what the true definition is.
God didn’t send his holy spirit forth to a young David, who then put on full battle gear to go meet with Goliath……only to realize that he interpreted the direction of the holy spirit incorrectly….so then corrected himself by taking off all the armor, grabbed a sling shot and headed out for the battle field.
The fact that you have here referred to David and Goliath makes clear that you do not know, and don't care to know, what it means to be led or directed by holy spirit.
The bible is full of examples of those who were directed by God’s holy spirit….and got it right.
How exactly do you see the account of David and Goliath one about being led by holy spirit now? Was it the Law of Moses direct David to meet Goliath in battle or was it something else? Review this account again and let me know what you find out, ok?
Now then….is there a scripture that says that when God’s spirit directs you are bound to get it right?
I don't believe your question makes sense, except according to your own understanding, so, as phrased, I cannot answer your question.
Not that I know of. But if that is the case….then the governing body does not have the right to insist to the rank and file witnesses that they must believe a certain teaching in order to remain in good standing. I will get into this in more detail below.
You say here that the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses require rank-and-file Witnesses to believe its teachings if they are to remain in good standing, but you don't provide a single teaching that rank-and-file Witnesses are required to believe or else. I suppose this is because you don't know a single teaching where this is so.
If these men have, do and will be wrong in their predictions and teachings then they have absolutely no right to demand unquestioning loyalty and unity and do not have God's authority to strictly enforce obedience to their ever changing doctrinal interpretations.
What are these "predictions" to which you refer? What "predictions" have Jehovah's Witnesses made? Jehovah's Witnesses have taught things in the past that we have since come to realize were erroneous and we have made necessary adjustments to our teaching, as appropriate. Contrary to what you have stated here, Jehovah's Witnesses do not demand anyone to give them unquestioning loyalty and unity, so it's clear to me that you made this up since you cannot prove this statement to be true. You are mistaken when you suggest that we believe we have been given the authority by God to strictly enforce obedience to ever changing doctrinal interpretations. Morever, Jehovah's Witnesses do possess the God-given authority to strictly enforce obedience to his righteous principles as set forth in the Bible, even if you should not think we do.
You need to look up your own true religious history as an organization. I’ve already given a few examples. But I can see that you've already handed over your mind to be programmed by the GB. I’m sure you are quite satisfied with the sugar coated "candid history" that the Proclaimers book paints. What if another religion were to have "predicted" that Armageddon would be here "before the generation that saw the events of 1914 unfold passes away"? The prediction fails when the 70 to 80 years that makes up a biblical generation came and went. (i.e. 1994) And then that religion reactively…not proactively (because 80 years has already passed) changes the definition of what a "generation" means. (i.e. 1995) I think that you and any reasonable person would say that the prediction failed, and they are false prophets.
Why do you insist on dropping references to books (like the Proclaimers book) that you do not understand as if you understand what's in them? I don't care to hear your gripes about not understanding that whatever a "generation" turns out to mean isn't at all relevant to our putting faith in the ransom of Christ Jesus, since whatever a "generation" does mean isn't a requirement to gain life. At Mark 16:16, Jesus stated that "he that believes and is baptized will be saved."
I asked you to provide the predictions that Jehovah's Witnesses have made, and you instead refer to Jesus' words at Matthew 24:34, and no one cares what you might think the meaning of the words "this generation" at Matthew 24:34 ought to be. (At least I do know that I don't care what you think these two words mean.) It really won't matter to you what you understood these words to mean should God's judgment actually come against you.
You probably haven't given any thought to this scenario, but you really should, for there are folks planning to retire ten years from now, but whose health will prevent them from reaching retirement age. There are other folks that consider themselves to be Christians with as many Bible-related questions that you have that do not believe Armageddon is coming (because they don't want to believe that Armageddon is coming!) for whom there will be funeral services before Armageddon arrives.
Again, the change in "definition" for "generation" was made after 80 years came and went. It was made out of necessity. The change in definition does not take away from the fact that what was taught up until the time of that change was indeed false.
Between February 18, 1930, and August 23, 2006, school teachers worldwide were teaching that Pluto was the ninth planet in our solar system. Would you say that this a case of false teaching on the part of these teachers during this period in view of what occurred some 76 years on August 23, 2006, when the IAU (International Astronomical Union) vote in the Prague stripped Pluto of its status as a planet? If not, then would you say that after August 23, 2006, that Pluto should still be regarded as a planet? If so, how can you expect these teachers to know before August 23, 2006, that Pluto wasn't a planet?
The point I'm making here (in the event you just don't get it) is that Jehovah's Witnesses cannot possibly know in advance things that they do not know, and even though we may have speculated as to the meaning of "this generation" at Matthew 24:34, so what? Now we know what "this generation" does not mean, but this does not mean, and should not mean, that we ignore these words and stop trying to figure out what Jesus had in mind when he used these words.
Not many Jehovah's Witnesses today are aware that we had speculated almost 60 years before this Watchtower article appeared in 2010 that Jesus may have been referring to his anointed followers as contemporaries of the sign, whose lives may overlap during the generation of the sign that began in 1914. With this understanding, there is no reason that anyone should be attempting to force two, three or even four generations into becoming a single generation since Jesus specifically spoke of "this generation," which is only one generation, the one that began in 1914 and ends with the great tribulation.
Those of Jesus' spiritual "brothers" that were alive contemporaneous with the "sign" that were born or became manifest in 1914 would correspond to those that became contemporaries of Joseph at his birth, these contemporaries including not only Joseph's 11 brothers, but to Joseph's two sons that were alive when Joseph died, they being "all that generation" (Exodus 1:6). Thus, these contemporaries of Joseph's generation would correspond in a similar fashion to Jesus' anointed brothers, who from 1914 until now were all contemporaries of the sign as all of them could bear witness to the composite sign that became manifest in 1914.
This is what our latest understanding of Jesus' words at Matthew 24:34 is today. You don't have to agree with us; Christendom doesn't agree with us either and could hardly care what it is we think Jesus' words to mean. If you are not one of Jehovah's Witnesses, when why should you care what we think Jesus' words to mean, @outsmartthesystem?
It was a prediction that did not come true.
You can call it what you want. You can say that you’ve "made adjustments". You can call it a "past truth". You can call what you are teaching now a "present truth". The fact of the matter is that if what you are teaching today is not the same 20 years from now….then what you are teaching now isn’t the truth.
I agree with you: If anything that we are teaching today turns out to not be the same thing that we teach 20 years from now, then what we are teaching right now cannot be the truth, but we know this. For many years, there were teachers that taught kids in school that Pluto was a planet, and after 76 years of teaching that Pluto was a planet, it turned out that Pluto was not a planet, so what these teachers had taught for 76 years wasn't the truth, even though every one of them believed Pluto to have been the ninth planet in our solar system.
Just as these teachers got over it, likewise, when Jehovah's Witnesses learn that something that they are teaching today is in error, you can be sure that 20 years from now, they will have made an adjustment in not teaching that error since we have no problem admitting when we are wrong. We got over the fact that we understood "this generation" to mean one thing in 1995, and something else in 2008 when an adjustment was made in our understanding, and then again in 2010 when another adjustment was made.
It was discerned in 2010 that the anointed would be contemporaries of the generation whose lives would overlap the lives of those that would see the beginning of the composite sign and those that would see the end, including the great tribulation. We got over it, and those that didn't get it, either didn't or didn't care. For the most part, it is only those that are former Jehovah's Witnesses for whom this change in 2010 is such a problem, but these folks are as silly to be concerned about what we do as you would be if you were to be concerned about what a Girl's Scout troop in your city to which you never belonged is doing to up the sale of cookies. It's none of your business what we teach in this regard, and you really should take the position of the Catholics and the Baptists and the Lutherans and don't pay Jehovah's Witnesses any mind.
You’re right. Jehovah’s Witnesses (the rank and file) don’t demand anything. It is your fearless leaders. "We need to obey the faithful and discreet slave to have Jehovah’s approval". (Jul 15, 2011 WT p24)
No, what is the context of this quote? Please answer and do not take this comment out of context.
"Avoid questioning the counsel provided by God’s visible organization"(Jan 15, 1983 WT p22)
Who is God's visible organization? Is God's visible organization limited to the faithful and discreet slave or to whom is this quote referring exactly?
As rank and file witnesses….we are not to question teachings. We are to obey.
This is a mantra, but no matter how many times you utter it, this is not going to make it true.
According to them, if we do not obey them, we will not have Jehovah’s approval….meaning our eternal salvation hinges on it….and we cannot hope to understand the bible.
Where in the Bible did you ever read such a thing? This is not something that Jehovah's Witnesses teach, but I suppose you read something in the Bible that led to such a conclusion.
The FDS has stated clearly in the past (see Apr 15, 1988 WT) that you do not have to be ACTIVELY spreading ideas that are not in tune with FDS teaching in order to be considered apostate. You simply have to BELIEVE differently.
You have again referred to one of our publications, a 1988 Watchtower, but in the article entitled "Discipline That Can Yield Peaceable Fruit," there is no mention of the things you have mentioned here, so my question to you is why do you intentionally and knowingly claim to be quoting from the April 15, 1988 Watchtower when you are not quoted from the April 15, 1988 Watchtower?
So….overall…we are told to obey. We are told not to question.
Again, repeating the same thing you just said is not the same as proving that what you said is true (and what you say isn't true).
And anyone that so much as believes anything other than exactly what they teach is subject to DF’ing and a lifetime of shunning from their former "friends" and immediate family. But other than that….no demands.
Assertions aren't good enough; prove this.
I never said that Jehovah’s Witnesses think they’ve been given the authority by God to enforce strict obedience to ever changing doctrinal interpretations. I said the GB has.
And I've rejected this as being a false statement on your part. Can you prove that any member of the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses thinks that he has been given "authority by God to enforce strict obedience to ever changing doctrinal interpretations"? You can make whatever assertions you want to make, but if you cannot prove what it is you are asserting, then I can only regard this as being your opinion, and you're entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.
And I am most certainly NOT mistaken when I say that they’ve given themselves the authority to strictly enforce obedience to their ever changing doctrinal interpretations.
But you are very mistaken, even if you should believe that you aren't mistaken.
If you think I am mistaken, then why don’t you try teaching others both in the ministry and at the KH that the "superior authorities" are Jehovah and Jesus again. See what happens. You’ll either fall back into line and do/teach what they tell you to…or you’ll be DF’d. That, my friend is a strict enforcement of obedience to a changing doctrinal interpretation.
No, the "superior authorities" to which the apostle Paul refers at Romans 13:1 aren't Jehovah and Jesus at all, even thought this was what Jehovah's Witnesses had understood the "superior authorities" to be between 1929 and 1962, but in the Watchtower dated November 1, 1962, November 15, 1962, and December 1, 1962, a careful analysis for made so that we came to understand that the "superior authorities" are the secular rulers, the political rulers of this world, who "stand placed in their relative positions by God." Jehovah's Witnesses would not be found teaching error, for if anyone should be found deliberately teaching error to anyone, this can lead to expulsion from God's organization for apostasy, since the holy spirit urges that all Christians "speak in agreement." (1 Corinthians 1:10)
Summing it up....we have men that claim they are speaking for God.....yet when things go wrong they say they aren't perfect and it is unreasonable to expect perfection.
I can agree that Jehovah's Witnesses are God's mouthpiece today, that we do speak for God. (2 Corinthians 5:20) I can also agree that when we get something wrong, this is because we are imperfect. (Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8) Lastly, I agree with you that it would be unreasonable for anyone to expect perfection from an imperfect creature.
Yet they also say in as many words, "if you want to avoid eternal destruction....you need to QUIT believing THIS....and START believing THIS.....because the teaching has changed."
This statement of yours is loaded in that it assumes facts that are not in evidence. When ever have Jehovah's Witnesses told anyone to quit believing something and to start believing something else for any reason?
With as much respect as I can muster up here…are you out of your mind?
I don't care if you respect me or not, but, no, I happen to be of sound mind.
This is not a matter of rank and file witnesses telling "worldly" ones what they can and cannot believe. This is a matter of the governing body telling rank and file witnesses what they can and cannot believe.
I don't understand your point about rank-and-file Witnesses telling non-Witnesses what they can or cannot believe, and how this is a matter of the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses telling rank-and-file Witnesses what they can and cannot believe. No one can tell anyone else what to believe. You are mistaken.
Again, try telling others at your KH that you believe something OTHER than what the FDS teaches.
Why would I tell someone -- anyone -- that I believe something that I don't believe? I don't believe in gay marriage, so should I tell someone that does that I do believe in gay marriage? I won't do that just as I wouldn't expect someone that believes in gay marriage to say because I don't believe in gay marriage, that it would be morally wrong for same-sex couples to be permitted to marry. Do you see my point or don't you? I'm an adult and I'm in the habit of telling someone lies just to please someone else. If you should do this, fine, but that would make you a liar, even a hypocrite, but I won't do this.
For instance if you were still going around telling others that the ones that saw the events of 1914 unfold positively will not die before the end comes, you’d be reprimanded pretty quickly. And why? Because the boys in Brooklyn changed the teaching and you are expected to accept it and not ask questions.
I don't recall Jehovah's Witnesses being taught that those that saw the events of 1914 unfold would not die before the end comes, but what I do recall is that it is possible that those that saw the events of 1914 unfold would not die before the end comes. This is what was in print and this is what I believed. One other thing I believed that many of the rank-and-file Witnesses did not: That when Jesus stated at Mark 13:32 that "concerning that day or the hour nobody knows, neither the angels in heaven nor the Son, but the Father." I am not someone that does what you do by quoting from our publications to prove that we used to teach something. I would rather use the Bible to show others what the Bible teaches and nothing more. Our literature is just an aid to Bible study, but is not a replacement for the Bible. Morever, what you are saying here is silly.
And if you didn’t stop promulgating the old belief, you would be DF’d. As a Jehovah’s Witness, you are NOT allowed to have a different belief than the next JW.
You must be a fool to think that I would teach something that Jehovah's Witnesses do not teach when I am one of Jehovah's Witnesses, for unlike Christendom's churches, Jehovah's Witnesses teach the same things.
The point being….the FDS changed the meaning of the "generation" teaching. And using the above mentioned sources (i.e. obey the slave and do not question them) as guidance, IF you want to be "approved" by Jehovah, then you will unhesitatingly stop using the old belief and immediately adopt the new meaning. Your failure to follow the new edict from the governing body can and will result in your expulsion. Now, are you telling me that the GB doesn’t tell you what you can and cannot believe?
I am telling you that you are not and never have been one of Jehovah's Witnesses, even though you may have thought you were. Speaking in the manner in which you have spoken here, it is clear to me that you are not one of Jehovah's Witnesses, so my responses here to your questions and statements have mainly been for the sake of those lurking this thread that might have some of the same questions that they have always wanted to ask that you have asked me here. I've already told you that the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses doesn't tell anyone what to believe and what not to believe, but I cannot be concerned if you do not wish to believe me, and I fully expect you to trample upon all that I have said here like a dog or a pig. (Matthew 7:6)
Again...imperfect men...claiming to be speaking from God.....but only until the proverbial **** hits the fan and then demanding unquestioning loyalty to doctrines that can change at any time.
Jehovah's Witnesses do claim to speak for God and we have never taken some other position in this regard whenever it is some "proverbial ****" hits the fan," whatever this "proverbial ****" happens to be. Furthermore, Jehovah's Witnesses have never demanded unquestioning loyalty to doctrines by anyone. You make this same statement above, but you made this up since you cannot prove this statement of yours to be true.
OK. Let me get this straight. JW’s do speak for God yet somehow, as you put it, "none of us speak by divine inspiration?"
So that means you are speaking for him but without His approval.?
No, but I do realize that any statement I make here could be a candidate for your putting a spin on it, a spin that I would not at all be surprised to find that you have twisted into a statement that I would never make if this should be something that you wanted to do. What I said was that Jehovah's Witnesses do speak for God for 'it is as if God were making entreaty to folks through us.' (2 Corinthians 5:20) Personally, as one of Jehovah's Witnesses, I have no need to recommend myself as being one of God's ministers. (2 Corinthians 3:1-3) In fact, none of God's servants here on earth have any such need.
And yes, the GB has indeed taken "some other position in this regard". The GB has and will made doctrinal changes. And as a rank and file witness, you are obligated to roll with those changes if you want to remain a witness.
What "other position"? Jehovah's Witnesses are God's spokesmen. Since this is a matter of faith, xsomeone lacking faith would not be expected to believe many of the things that the Bible states, such as at 2 Corinthians 5:20, which scripture I quoted earlier. I believe that Jehovah is God, whereas there are some professed Christians that believe that Jesus is God. When such Christians join our ranks, they come to learn many things that the Bible teaches that contradicts their belief system, because their faith wasn't based on Bible truth. Before anyone can become one of Jehovah's Witnesses, they must become acquainted with the "primary doctrine about the Christ" (Hebrews 6:1, 2), and over time they will come to learn the body of truth that Jehovah's Witnesses teach.
All Jehovah's Witnesses are obliged to conform their lives with Bible principles and to live by means of the truth if they want to remain in good standing in our midst; this applies equally to unbaptized person that might attend meetings with us from time to time and those with whom we are studying the Bible. Like I told you in my previous message, Jehovah's Witnesses do not demand, and have never demanded, unquestioning loyalty to doctrines by anyone. One must only prove their loyalty to God as a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The GB has put in writing that they are to be obeyed and not to be questioned.
Where exactly has the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses put anything in writing? There are times when letters go out to the congregations that are signed off by the governing body, but since the Watchtower, for example, isn't the same as a letter that goes out to a congregation, I need you to provide an example of any edict that our governing body has ever made "in writing" demanding obedience and daring its orders to be questioned by anyone. I'm telling you now that I believe this to be a lie, but I feel you should be given the benefit of the doubt anyway, which is why I'm asking you to provide an example of such an edict to which all Jehovah's Witnesses are obliged to obey.
Yet they also write things like "The Governing Body consists of a group of anointed Christian men. These preside over the worldwide activities of Jehovah's Witnesses. They are not inspired by God and hence are not infallible." (JW – Unitedly Doing Gods Will p26). So the governing body makes all these doctrinal changes throughout the years…..and the rank and file witness is obligated to follow along without questioning God’s mouthpiece.
You've repeated yourself now. I'd like you to provide an example of an occasion when the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses issued an edict to all congregations regarding a matter in which all Jehovah's Witnesses in these congregations were obliged to obey without any question or dissent.
Yet they fall back on this provisional infallibility when predictions go wrong.
What went wrong and how? What predictions did the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses make that "went wrong"? What predictions did Jehovah's Witnesses make that "went wrong"?
Speaking of the 1975 debacle, here is one quote from the March 15, 1980 WT....
I know exactly what was printed in the Watchtower, and what you quoted in your post wasn't a prediction and neither was it an admission that some prediction that was made had gone wrong. You have here quoted something from one of our publications that doesn't say more than that it was regrettable that certain ones had taken a wrong view as to what would occur in the year 1975, but this "wrong view" wasn't the result of any 1975 debacle brought by the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses or Jehovah's Witnesses generally.
Ultimately, the GB does indeed demand unity and loyalty to the organization amongst rank and file witnesses without questioning any teaching.
Again, you make this statement, except it isn't true and I need you to do more than assert this nonsense. I am requested you to provide proof that the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses demands unity and loyalty to God's organization without question. I know that you cannot prove such a thing, but I've left the proverbial door open so that you may provide such proof, if you are able to do so.
Yet, when things go wrong such as what you just read above….they say "sorry, we admitted we’re imperfect already"….or in this case…they throw the blame back on the rank and file witness for "his own understanding" failing him.
I didn't read anything above, because you didn't provide anything in your message to the effect that Jehovah's Witnesses or the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses have ever made predictions that had gone wrong, and no blame has ever been cast on the rank-and-file Witness either for their taking a wrong view in understanding something that they had read, or thought that they had read, in our literature. If you can provide prove that what you say here is true, that would be great.
So here is the basic message from the boys in Brooklyn. "Yes we may have been wrong. Oops…I mean greater light has been shed on this subject. As such we are changing the meaning and we now believe THIS instead. BUT, we are still God’s only mouthpiece and he is still directing our organization, so all you 7+ million witnesses out there need to begin believing the new, changed meaning. This edict will remain in force until the new, current meaning also becomes outdated. Then it too will be replaced by a newer interpretation that, yes, as a Jehovah’s Witness, you will be obligated to follow without question.
There are no edicts, only the truth, even if you should believe otherwise. I feel that I've been saying the same things again and again here is because you have repeatedly said the same things here over and over again.
But just as a side note…..we have never falsely prophesied, nor have we ever taught falsehoods. We just simply change our teachings when the light gets brighter to adapt to that new light. Anything we used to teach that is now obsolete is again…not a falsehood….but a "past truth"….since…you know….we have, and only teach "the truth."
What you say here is essentially correct. What we may think to be the truth today could prove to be inaccurate tomorrow, prompting that an adjustment be made in our teaching. Anything else would be a case of semantics. Jehovah's Witnesses will not knowingly teach anything that is false.
Seriously think about the deception and cunning word play the organization uses.
What "deception" and "cunning"?
Oh….let’s pretend that you sell widgets for a living. And you tell all your customers that their widgets will last for 10 years. But after 7 years….no one’s widgets work anymore so you are now standing before a judge on charges of false advertisement. The judge looks at you and asks "did you tell these people their widgets would last 10 years?" You answer "Yes, Sir". He responds with, "and that promise proved to be false, didn’t it?" Certainly at that point it would be reasonable to tell the judge, "actually it is a past truth, therefore I should not be held liable," right?
No, in this scenario, you would have to tell the judge that the "10 years" was an estimate, that turned out to be erroneous. Jehovah's Witnesses, however, do not engage in false advertising, so this analogy of yours isn't applicable to anything of which Jehovah's Witnesses or the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses are guilty. We don't make predictions, period. BTW, since Bible truth is progressive, our understanding of it is going to be progressive, gradual.
Again I will ask…….how can the governing body, when they admit that teachings can and have needed to be changed, still demand strict adherence to their teachings from the rank and file witness?
How does the governing body "demand strict adherence to their teachings" from the rank-and-file Witness? I'd like to see an answer from you to this question.
Again...imperfect men...claiming to be speaking from God.....but only until the proverbial **** hits the fan and then demanding unquestioning loyalty to doctrines that can change at any time.
Jehovah's Witnesses do claim to speak for God and we have never taken some other position in this regard whenever it is some "proverbial ****" hits the fan," whatever this "proverbial ****" happens to be. Furthermore, Jehovah's Witnesses have never demanded unquestioning loyalty to doctrines by anyone. You make this same statement above, but you made this up since you cannot prove this statement of yours to be true.
That doesn't sound cult like?
Does what sound cultlike? Many of the people here on JWN are members of a cult, followers of Ray Franz, since these folks to whom I refer all seem to have read one or both of Franz' books, and subscribe to many of the things that Franz believed, just as one might expect any follower of a cult to do. Many of these folks tend to believe many of the same things and will often speak in agreement, with the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses being their principal foe-in-chief as they put on a pretense (some of them) of being Jehovah's Witnesses when these Franzite cult members are really counterfeit Christians.
Does what sound cult like? How about telling the individual witnesses that to have God’s approval they must obey your edicts even though you have been and will be wrong?
There is no requirement on the part of any of Jehovah's Witnesses to believe anyone's "edicts" in order for the individual Witness to gain God's approval. Where are you getting this nonsense?
How about telling individual witnesses that they cannot understand the bible without you?
This is a true statement; without help from someone knowledgeable about the Bible, no one can hope to understand the Bible's message on their own. The only reason that you and I are able to discuss what things the Bible teaches is because you have yourself been subjected to much spiritual instruction regarding the meaning of many Bible prophecies and many doctrinal matters during your stint as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. If, for example, I should mention "the ransom," you will probably have an idea as to what it is I am referring. If, as another example, I should mention the year 607 BC, you would immediately know that I was referring to the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. Folks that are not Jehovah's Witnesses would be hard-pressed to understand what you and I would understand at the mention of many of the things that Jehovah's Witnesses study and teach.
How about telling individual witnesses that believing something other than what we teach is punishable by excommunication and a subsequent shunning by all other witnesses?
I don't know who the "we" is, but if any of Jehovah's Witnesses should be telling individual Witnesses that believing something other than what we teach is punishable by disfellowshipping, let alone their putting their faith in something other than what we teach that is punishable by shunning, this would be a lie. Jehovah's Witnesses do not punish anyone by excommunication, and I have no idea from where this idea of yours comes. Disfellowshipping, excommunication, is meted out to those who have committed a sin, but in whom repentance in lacking. That you think of disfellowshipping as a punishment pretty much sums up for me what you know on this subject, so I'll just move on to the next part of your message since you clearly do not know what you are talking about.
How about telling individual witnesses that they should avoid critical thinking in regard to the organization?
Please elaborate on what you mean here.
How about telling individual witnesses that they should avoid independent thinking?
It is true that individual Witnesses ought to avoid independent thinking since such often will be in conflict with the Bible and with the teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses.
You need to review what characteristics truly describe a cult. I will post a separate thread discussing mind control and propaganda as used by cults. The June 22, 2000 Awake and its self condemnation will be the focal point.
I don't care to read a book report based on any of your publications. I'd rather talk to you about these things since I don't much care to discuss with you what you may have concluded after reading any of your literature.
Let’s see…did Ray Franz start his own religion? No. Did Ray tell people to follow him if they want to be approved by God? No. Did he tell people they needed him to interpret the bible for them? No. Nobody follows Ray any more than they do any other intelligent source. I’ve read both of his books. Very insightful. Very meaningful….but in no way did he tell others what to believe. He encourages people to examine the scriptures deeply without a pre-determined mind set. I sometimes follow the advice of Steve Forbes and Warren Buffet as well. That doesn’t make them cult leaders nor does it make me a cult follower. They are just smart men with good advice and experiences to give. Kind of like Ray.
In one of Ray Franz' books, In Search of Christian Freedom, which book you claim to have read -- "I've read both of his books," you wrote -- he attacks the very governing body on which he had formerly sat for its claim to be representatives of God's organization. Franz quotes from various issues of the Watchtower from as far back as during the Russell era, thinking that by his using them he was
He also is stupid enough to believe that by his quoting the words of a former circuit overseer, a man named Ron Frye that had been one of Jehovah's Witnesses for 33 years before becoming an apostate, that you, the reader of his book would have to give Frye's words the weight they deserve, that you would be convinced by the things he said that what Franz was saying were also true, that if Frye's words were credible, then it stands to reason that Franz' words were also credible. What kind of strawman is this? How stupid does one have to be to be persuaded by such "logic"?
On page 77 of Franz' book, In Search of Christian Freedom, appears this quote from Frye: "The organization always comes first." What then follows this statement of Frye's is the following: "In the Watchtower of March 1, 1979, the article "Faith in Jehovah's Victorious Organization" the expression "theocratic organization" appears fifteen times in just the first eleven paragraphs. 4 " This footnote 4 states that "the term 'Theocratic organization' has been used since the December 1, 1939 Watchtower in particular." So I suppose that when you read this, @outsmartthesystem, you were convinced by what you read that this was proof that "the organization always comes first," right?
Tell me this: Why does Franz, who claim to be quoting Frye, alter his quote by adding the words, "that associated with," which words change the thrust of what Frys was saying to make them agree with what Franz was ostensibly quoting Frye to say? Since you have read Franz' book, In Search of Christian Freedom, then let's see if you can discern what Franz has done by adding the three words that appear in bold below:
"This kind of mesmerizing repetition is constantly used by the Society to condition Jehovah's Witnesses to think that it is wrong for them to question anything the Society ever published as truth. In contradiction to this attitude toward the organization, Russell and his early associates were actually anti-earthly organization....
"And, in connection with the subject at hand, it is abundantly clear that Russell did not believe that God had on earth at that time an '1800-year-old faithful and discreet slave organization'—God's earthly channel of communication. He did not find it nor did it find him. He and his associates had no fellowship with any existing organization....
"But today, a hundred years later, the descendants of the Bible Students of Russell’s movement argue the other way around, that it is necessary to be looking to a visible, earthly organization, namely, [that associated with] the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. That was not the position in the beginning....
"Russell for the most part is unknown to modern day Witnesses. His writings are not recommended reading nor are his many books any longer published by the very publishing house he established and endowed with his own money.
"Yet here was a man whom, Jehovah’s Witnesses still argue, God used to revive the great teachings of Jesus and his apostles. Why don't they study his books today in the congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses, even from a historical standpoint? Because much of it, if not most of it, would be considered heresy today."
Let's see if you were able to figure this out what Franz does to Frye's quote? Frye says that "the Russell movement" argues the necessity of look to the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. Did you get that? Ok, but did you get the connection that Franz doesn't want you to make, namely, that the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society is God's "visible, earthly organization"? If you didn't, that was probably due to the insertion of the words "that associated with" into Frye's quote, which isn't what Frye wrote at all, but what Franz would have had Frye write.
BTW, I have been here quoting all of this from Chapter 4 entitled "The Recurring Pattern," in which chapter Franz argues that God has no visible earthly organization, which is just one of the statements that makes Franz outstandingly an apostate, but Frye is attack is against the "Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society"; he does not attack himself nor does he attack anyone that may have been "associated with" the Society.
But Franz extends Frye's criticism to all Jehovah's Witnesses, something that Frye does not do, as he includes Frye's ridiculous opinion as to our reason for not studying any of Russell's books today (because the some of the contents of Russell's books "would be considered heresy today"). Jehovah's Witnesses do not study any of the books published during the Rutherford era or the Knorr era either, but our reason for not doing so is sound: We are interested in glorifying Jehovah God by the things we publish about the good news than in glorifying the writings of men, especially when we know that some of what was published in these books is no longer in line with Bible truth.
On page 95 of In Search of Christian Freedom, Ray Franz sets up his anti-disfellowshipping argument by alleging that it became incumbent for Watch Tower officials Fred Franz, Hayden Covington and Grant Suiter, to impose disfellowshipping as a sanction against Jehovah's Witnesses because in order to win a 1954 case that Covington was defending on behalf of Jehovah's Witnesses in Scotland that involved a presiding overseer named Walsh, who sought to obtain exemption from military service for reason of his being an ordained minister as such exemption was provided by the British Selective Service.
After Franz was disfellowshipped, he became anti-disfellowshipping. Franz goes on to make the false claim that Jehovah's Witnesses had argued in the Walsh case that we abided by a creed that was not unlike that to which other established Christian churches adhered, so that we were just as qualified to receive the same classification as had the clergy of other Christian denominations been qualified to receive:
"Watch Tower magazines of earlier times ... claimed that Jehovah's Witnesses were very different from the established religions of Christendom which had their authority structures and their official creeds. Now the Watch Tower officials tried to demonstrate that Jehovah's Witnesses as a religion were essentially very similar, that they in effect had a creed to which all must adhere, and that therefore whatever classification the clergy of the established churches qualified for, the presiding overseers of Jehovah’s Witness qualified for as well. That appears to be a major reason why the Watch Tower spokesmen, Franz, Covington and Suiter, were so positive, even adamant, that the obligation rested on all members of the organization to accept and conform to ALL teachings of the organization, on pain of expulsion for disobedience—even though these persons might rightly believe that some of the teachings were contrary to Scripture. For the legal benefits sought, it seems that they needed—or believed that they needed—to establish that type of creedal authority over members in order for Walsh to be classified as an "ordained" minister of a recognized, bona fide, established religion. 21 [Italics in text]
"Neither in Russell’s time nor even during Rutherford’s time (during whose presidencies the specific false predictions mentioned had been taught), had there been the practice of disfellowshiping persons who conscientiously objected to certain teachings. In Russell’s time there were subtle criticisms or insinuations of a lack of faith for those expressing doubt or disagreement; in Rutherford’s time such ones might come in for demotion of position, even verbal castigation, but actual excommunication used as a coercive instrument to enforce uniformity was rare. The three Society representatives evidently felt it justifiable, however, to say what they did in order to attain the end they were seeking.
Notice that one of the words that Franz emphasizes using italics is the word "creeds." This footnote 21 states that "The court decision did accord the Witness religion recognition as an 'established' religion, but it ruled against granting Walsh recognition as an 'ordained minister.'" Again, not only was this is a false claim, but as his own footnote admits, that were no connection between the claim that Jehovah's Witnesses adhere to a religious creed and Walsh's having obtained recognition by the court in Scotland of his having been an "ordained minister." Again, my question is, how stupid does one have to be to be persuaded by such a logical fallacy? Franz makes a statement that is based on his own conclusions, which he advances to explain his lie about the creeds to which all Jehovah's Witnesses adhere, and he expects the reader to believe this nonsense.
Also, on pages 123 and 124 appear the following: "So, as I stated in Crisis of Conscience, my belief is that the fundamental evil lies in the concept of divinely ordained exclusive authority vested in the Watch Tower organization, along with the view that only by the exercise of such authority can unity, order and productivity be achieved. If not all, then certainly some of the men of the Governing Body have been victimized by that concept, entrapped by its appeal to fleshly thinking." It is as if Franz has forgotten, and wants the reader to ignore, the fact that he himself was a member of the "evil" governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses entrapped by an appeal to fleshly thinking. I cannot ignore what Franz was and what he became, and IMO you shouldn't either.
These are but two examples, but I note that you have here described what things you've read in Franz' two books this way: "Very insightful. Very meaningful….but in no way did he tell others what to believe." How naive are you? Franz' books are neither insightful nor meaningful. Clearly, Franz' two books were written with only one audience in mind: Those who are presently associating with Jehovah's Witnesses. They weren't written for Catholics or Baptists or Adventists of any stripe. They were written for people like you whose faith was already weak in the first place and who were looking for an excuse on which to base their decision to leave the ranks of Jehovah's Witnesses. It is for this very reason that our publications discourage Jehovah's Witnesses from reading apostate literature, for such preys on those lacking the mental acuity to be able to discern that which is deceptive and designed to destroy whatever faith one might have had.
You asked me if Ray Franz started his own religion? Yes, he did. In his book, what he teaches is not in accord with healthful doctrine; he teaches another Christ, not the one that he had formerly claimed to follow and represent as one of Jehovah's Witnesses when he used to sit as a member of the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses. The principles of his religious viewpoints are not God-centered ones, not in accord with Bible principles, but contrary to what things the Bible teaches.
You asked me if Ray Franz told people to follow him if they want to be approved by God? Yes, he did want people to follow his lead, and he knew that his way was not the way that had been approved by God, so when he advanced his apostate viewpoints, he did so deliberately, knowing full well what he was doing. Lastly, you asked me if Ray Franz would tell people of their need to have him interpret the Bible for them. Yes, he certainly did this, too, for he includes quotes from the Bible and interprets them according to his own viewpoint.
Again, he wrote his two books for the express purpose of turning folks away from Jehovah, in order to persuade those who are currently associating with Jehovah's Witnesses into believing that they have been deceived so that they might save themselves and their family from the falsehoods taught by Jehovah's Witnesses. Anyone that obeys Ray Franz in this has become a follower of Ray Franz, a Franzite, for many of Franz' followers have read his books and quote from them as if Franz actually articulated Bible truths in them.
The only thing the people on this forum "tend to speak in agreement about" is that the governing body is the self-appointed mouthpiece of a destructive cult. Aside from that, the beliefs are quite varied.
This is not true. Many of the folks here on JWN tend to speak in agreement with respect to the teachings of Ray Franz; many of the folks here on JWN sound like a disciple of Franz, just like you do.
That sounds like God's smooth, flowing direction?
Huh? If you don't mind, please rephrase your question.
You didn't rephrase your question. What were you saying here exactly?