David Splane not only believes in Eternal Torment, he practices it.
In our 2010 DVD, Jehovah's Witnesses Faith In Action, Part 1: Out of Darkness , Br. Splane said this starting at 14:16, "He (Russell) could never reconcile the teaching of eternal torment with the description of the Bible of a loving God. As he examined the creeds of the great churches when he saw that they taught that the wicked are tormented eternally, why, he just could not accept that." A few seconds later John Wischuk said this, "And Russell knew that the Bible said as it does at 1John 4:8, 'God is love". How could a God of love do this?"
The truth of the matter is that the whole Governing Body teaches and practices Eternal Torment. The eternal torment of permanent separation from the congregation, family and friends. The eternal torment of disfellowshipping that insists and requires all to shun even to the point of not eating with a shunned individual. The Apostle Paul's words are often quoted by Br. Splane, and other Governing Body members, in support of this practice that he himself believes is good:
"In my letter I wrote YOU to quit mixing in company with fornicators, not [meaning] entirely with the fornicators of this world or the greedy persons and extortioners or idolaters. Otherwise, YOU would actually have to get out of the world. But now I am writing YOU to quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother that is a fornicator or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a man. For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Do YOU not judge those inside, while God judges those outside? “Remove the wicked [man] from among yourselves.”
Br. Splane applies this scripture across the board, the old Governing Body even extended it for at one time disassociated friends were not shunned but that changed. This is Torment and for those who remain outside of the congregation it is Eternal Torment. But this practice is not truly supported in the Christian Greek Scriptures. The present Governing Body is following in the footsteps of the old and dead Body of brothers who thanks to Jehovah has passed on.
Above I have underlined the words, "called a brother" in Paul's admonition. It is very evident from scripture that Paul's words cannot be applied across the board! Jesus "ate" with sinners. These sinners were not gentiles outside of the Jewish faith but rather were Jewish brothers and sisters who were skinned and tossed about. I reference the following:
" Later, while he was reclining at the table in the house, look! many tax collectors and sinners came and began reclining with Jesus and his disciples. But on seeing this the Pharisees began to say to his disciples: “Why is it that YOUR teacher eats with tax collectors and sinners?” Hearing [them], he said: “Persons in health do not need a physician, but the ailing do. Go, then, and learn what this means, ‘I want mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came to call, not righteous people, but sinners.”
" Now all the tax collectors and the sinners kept drawing near to him to hear him. Consequently both the Pharisees and the scribes kept muttering, saying: “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then he spoke this illustration to them, saying: “What man of YOU with a hundred sheep, on losing one of them, will not leave the ninety-nine behind in the wilderness and go for the lost one until he finds it? And when he has found it he puts it upon his shoulders and rejoices. And when he gets home he calls his friends and his neighbors together, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost.’ I tell YOU that thus there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner that repents than over ninety-nine righteous ones who have no need of repentance."
Jesus did not refuse to eat with Jewish sinners and tax collectors, his religious brothers and sisters. Love heals, no man can be healed if he is not loved, loved as a brother or sister. And surely, the first act of love is to give a greeting, the second is to share a meal and to help where help is needed. But our brothers and sisters are barred from showing love across the board no matter the circumstances.
When two courses of action are found in the Greek Scriptures the decision of which to practice should be left to the consciences of the friends.
We, Jehovah's Witnesses, do not believe in hell, eternal torment. We do not believe hellfire as taught by many Christian churches exists. It is not real, it is non-existent. Which brings us to a paradox. If hellfire does not exist it has harmed no man or woman. But not eating with a brother or sister does harm and not greeting our brother or sister harms, and not to speak to a disfellowshipped son or daughter for years causes great harm. It murders the heart and soul.
If Jehovah's name has been trampled by a false doctrine that has harmed no one how much more has his name been trampled by a doctrine that has harmed many! To quote Br. Wischuk, "How could a God of love do this?"
By Damn The Watchtower and all hypocrites within it.