A Point Djeggnog Missed...

by Cameron_Don 21 Replies latest jw friends

  • No Room For George
    No Room For George

    guess it just boggles the mind. I mean, does he just cut and paste, because he must have the hands of a Terminator unit to be able to type that much everytime he types something!

    He's got a Speak & Type program, so he doesn't have to type anything.

  • djeggnog

    This is a repost of my previous post, which contained a few typos in it, as well as a few additional remarks that were not a part of my original dictation (where indicated in red).

    @Cameron_Don wrote:

    I would recommend "Captives of a Concept." It focuses on the organization's most important teaching - "the Society is God's organization" - which is based on their interpretation of the most important Scripture in their theology - [Matthew 24:45-47]

    @djeggnog wrote:

    I don't agree [with this notion of yours] that Matthew 24:45-47 ... [is as you claim] "the most important Scripture in Watchtower theology because its claim that it is 'the only true religion' is based upon the way they interpret this passage." Who exactly is the "it" to which you refer that claims to be "the only true religion"? You cannot possibly be saying that the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society claims to be "the only true religion"? I don't believe so.

    This is how the exchange began, responding to what I thought to have been the shameless plug of your book, Captives of a Concept (Anatomy of an Illusion), which is a restatement of Ray Franz' book Crisis of Conscience; I have read both books and if you plagiarized my work, as you did Franz', you would be defending yourself against a lawsuit. This premise of yours about Matthew 24:45-47 being an "important Scripture" to Jehovah's Witnesses is ridiculous. This is an important passage, but the one at Acts 20:29, 30, that warns how 'oppressive wolves would enter and not treat the flock with tenderness, and would rise and speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves' [I believe] to be an equally important scriptural passage as well.

    Instead of responding to what I said in the thread in which from you quoted me, you start a new thread and write:

    A while back Djeggnog said to me...

    "Evidently you want the readers of your book to believe what Jehovah's Witnesses believe[d] (down till 1919) to be a matter of embracing the beliefs of these dead men (Russell and Rutherford). But Jehovah's Witnesses embrace[d] the teachings of Jesus Christ, our living Lord."

    No, I didn't. What you quoted in this new thread didn't go far enough, what you quoted didn't provide the true context of what I said to you in response to what you had written as "advice" to the OP in that other thread (@Tuber), who [had sought] advice on how he might "protect" his stepmother and his two half-siblings from [what he thinks to be the deleterious aspects of] their religion, [such as, for example, our willingness to adhere to God's command to abstain from blood which causes his no little distress], which was, I thought, to be a shameless plug of your book, an advertisement to buy a book that could provide him arguments that might undermine his stepmother's religious beliefs, right?

    @djeggnog as dishonestly EDITED by @Cameron_Don

    "Evidently you want the readers of your book to believe what Jehovah's Witnesses believe[d] (down till 1919) to be a matter of embracing the beliefs of these dead men (Russell and Rutherford). But Jehovah's Witnesses embrace[d] the teachings of Jesus Christ, our living Lord."

    @djeggnog UNEDITED

    In your book, you describe yourself as having been one of Jehovah's Witnesses, someone that formerly served as an elder, so I have to believe that you cannot really be saying that you believe the publishing corporation that is staffed by Jehovah's Witnesses claims to be a religion, a religious body of any sort, which is pretty much what you are saying, even if it wasn't your intention to do so, with this reference to "Watchtower theology." So who is the "it"? I'm just guessing here, but I believe by "it" you were referring to Jehovah's Witnesses as a religious body that claims the form of worship that it advocates as a Christian group to be "the only true religion," for no one that has ever been one of Jehovah's Witnesses would claim that they were members of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, unless they were staffed and housed there, right?

    Personally, were I attempting to complete a form regarding my religious affiliation, such as at a hospital, I would check the box next to the designation, "Jehovah's Witnesses." I wouldn't expect there would be a box next to "Watchtower," or "Watchtower Bible & Tract Society," as if it were contemplated by the form maker that either of these would designate someone's religious affiliation. You having formerly been one of Jehovah's Witnesses might be acquainted with the phrase "Watchtower people," but I'm sure you also know that "Watchtower people" was a euphemism for "Jehovah's Witnesses."

    I don't know if you would self-identify by checking the box next to "Christian," if such a box existed on such a form, or if would check the box next to "Jehovah's Witnesses" and write in "ex," or if you would just check the box next to "Atheist," but once one has made the decision to leave the light to become swallowed up by the darkness of a world that God has commanded to repent by obediently following the lead of the man that he appointed as Lord and Christ, it wouldn't make much difference what box one has checked, right?

    It might be argued that the most important Scripture, not "in Watchtower theology," but according to my reading of the Bible is found at Romans 10:6-10, which scriptural passage speaks of the "'word' of faith" that Jehovah's Witnesses preach every day, which you should have been preaching, but clearly you weren't motivated from the heart to exercise faith for righteousness, so your public declaration, which may have been heard by some, was void as far as your salvation was concerned. I'm sure right now, were you to read Romans 10:6, 7, that you would have no clue as to what the apostle was there referring. Most active Jehovah's Witnesses couldn't explain using their own words the point that Paul makes at Romans 10:6, 7, which are preliminary to what he says in the entire passage at Romans 10:6-10, but at least they are still actively associated with Jehovah's Witnesses and so will eventually come to understand this passage fully.

    Be that as it may, they do acknowledge Jesus, not as some dead guy that said some nice things, but as their personal Lord, and they are the ones that make public declaration of their faith in Jesus as their living Lord, who God raised up from the dead as a guarantee that the day appointed for this man -- this living Lord -- to judge the inhabited earth in righteousness has indeed been set by God. In fact, Jehovah's Witnesses are the only ones today that are out there explaining to people that the "appointed times and the set limits" to which the Bible speaks that were established by Jehovah for the dwelling of men were made by decree in order that mankind might not only seek God, but find him, that is to say, that they might find what God's will is for them, that they might repent of their present life course as humans alienated from God and turn around, by making their minds over through Christ so that they might become reconciled to God. (Acts 17:24-31)

    Your comments to @Tuber here in plugging your book is shameless as if your words in that book to the effect that your former religion is based on Matthew 24:45-47 have any more weight than your words here on JWN to this effect are ridiculous. In chapter 2 of Captives of a Concept, which is four pages in length, you provide as an important note to the reader "[f]or the purpose of this study," on page 18, that "it is only necessary to understand their interpretation of this passage of Scripture—not to agree or disagree with it." You then go on to write that "[w]hether it is Biblically correct doesn’t matter. The only concern here is if it is historically correct," as you then go on to give us your review of God’s Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached, a 416-page book encapsulated in four pages of your book to help folks to understand our interpretation of Matthew 24:45-47. Right.

    What you wrote seemed to me to be a dissent to what you read in chapter 17 of the God’s Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached book, entitled "The 'Slave' Who Lived to See the 'Sign,'" as to an event that Jehovah's Witnesses spiritually discern occurred in the spring of 1919, but contrary to what you ascribe to Frederick Franz, the then president of the Society and the uncle of Raymond Franz' (how sweet!), this chapter wasn't just the belief of the Society's president, but represented the belief of Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide, and none of Jehovah's Witnesses believe what you describe in your book as having occurred in 1919 to be "The Most Important Event in Watchtower History," and we still don't!

    You view the truth as being a Russell vs. Rutherford vs. Knorr vs. Franz kind of thing, a trivial dispute, but the truth is a Jesus kind of thing. Evidently you want the readers of your book, like @Tuber here, to believe what Jehovah's Witnesses believe and teach to be a matter of we embracing the beliefs of these dead men, but Jehovah's Witnesses embrace the teachings of Jesus Christ, our living Lord, no matter what you believe and teach.

    You sound to me like Ray Franz so I consider you to be one of his disciples (and there are many of Franz' disciples here on JWN), a disgruntled bitter man that cannot accept the fact that God had set an appointed time when those that have not become reconciled to him will perish from the face of the earth. If you cannot repent, if you are unable to change your current course in opposition to God's will, then you already know what the future holds for you, and that's too bad for you. You cannot undo the work of God; your book may the excuse for which some were looking to leave our ranks.

    Your book targets weak-minded individuals and those that are spiritually immature, and you may, in fact, be successful in drawing these disciples of Jesus to yourself. Good for you, but you have to also know they will die along with you. The truth, @Cameron_Don, is that those obedient to God's will are those that will survive Armageddon and become the nucleus of the new earth; those disobedient to God have already been condemned and will not be saved. It's that simple.

    Not only didn't you bother to respond to any of my questions that pertained to what you stated in your book regarding Matthew 24:45-47 (which makes sense in view of the fact that you're fundamentally clueless about what the Bible teaches!), but in this thread you decide to try a bit of deflection, seeing that you know you cannot possibly defend what you said in Chapter 2 of your book [to someone that knows what Matthew 24:45-47 means]. I am neither weak-minded nor spiritually immature, and because you have to know that you cannot successfully convince a mature Bible student using the void arguments in your book, I do know why you decided on deflection, I do know why you decided to change the conversation from discussing your material in Chapter 2 to discuss your material in Chapter 3, "48 Teachings Jesus Examined."

    "Captives of a Concept" presents 48 examples where Jehovah's Witnesses (Bible Students) did in fact embrace the beliefs of the now dead men Russell and Rutherford. None of the teachings mentioned in the book were "the teachings of Jesus Christ" as evidenced by they fact that Jehovah's Witnesses no longer teach any of them.

    For whatever reason Djeggnog seems to have missed that important point in the book.

    I didn't miss any important points in your Chapter 3 material; that 19-page chapter that begins on page 22, which immediately follows the four-page Chapter 2 that begins on page 18, is based on a false premise as to what Pastor Russell then and what even Jehovah's Witnesses today mean by Christ's invisible presence. When Jehovah's Witnesses today are asked when Jesus' invisible presence occurred, they would say, "In 1914." Why wouldn't they give the year 1874, which is the year [that] Pastor Russell and Nelson Barbour, in 1876, had calculated Jesus' presence to have begun? Because since 1943, Jehovah's Witnesses came to appreciate that the year 1914 marked not only the end of the Gentile Times, but also the beginning of Christ's invisible presence, whereas Russell and Barbour had thought a 40-year period would precede Jesus' second coming at the end of the Gentile Times.

    You began Chapter 3 by stating how Barbour had convinced Russell that Christ's invisible presence had begun in 1874 to lay the foundation for your statement that "neither President Russell nor President Rutherford ever knew" that Christ's invisible presence had begun in 1914. This is such a dumb thing for you to have written that only those unfamiliar with Bible chronology -- the spiritual immature and weak-minded individuals -- might be gullible enough to swallow such stupidity. [Let me repeat that: This was a stupid statement for you to have made in you book.]

    You also made reference to Rutherford for some reason, although you were discussing what Russell didn't know in 1876, but [then] it became clear to me that, in a footnote, [that] you were launching a conspiracy involving Rutherford, a man that died in 1942, regarding an event that occurred in 1943, a year after Rutherford's death! You wrote that the book, Jehovah’s Witnesses—Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom, explains (in a footnote) that "a clearer understanding of Biblical chronology" regarding Jesus' invisible presence "was published in 1943" and with [this] you hoped to established the lie that something conspiratorial had been hatched under Nathan Knorr, Rutherford's successor, to revise the history of Jehovah's Witnesses regarding what Russell and Rutherford understood to have been the year when Christ's invisible presence began.

    Russell did not have the current view of Jehovah's Witnesses that Jesus' invisible presence had began in 1914; clearly, he thought his invisible presence had occurred in 1874, but, in 1914, Russell's believed Jesus' second coming had begun, that Jesus had assumed rulership in the heavenly kingdom and was invisibly present with kingdom power. Put another way, Russell believed that Jesus' invisible presence had begun in 1874, some 40 years earlier than it had actually occurred, but he also believed that when the Gentile Times were fulfilled in 1914, that Jesus would be then be invisibly present wielding kingdom power.

    In this chapter of your book, you make it appear as if the Watchtower Society in 1943 had sought to plant the notion in the minds of Jehovah's Witnesses that Russell had taught that the invisible presence of Jesus had occurred in 1914, but, of course, this is not what Russell believed in 1876 nor did the Society ever engage in such subterfuge.

    Russell and Barbour published the book, Three Worlds, and the Harvest of This World, in 1877, which indicated that the Gentile Times would come to an end in 1914, preceded by a 40-year period to open a 3-1/2 year harvest, which would began in 1874. Their understanding of Bible chronology at the time was that 1872 marked 6,000 years of man's existence on earth, and Christ's invisible presence would begin at the start of the great antitypical Jubilee in October 1874, the beginning of the "seventh millennium."

    However, Russell's chronology had been off by about 100 years, due to his belief that Acts 13:20, as rendered in the King James Version, was wrong due to a "transcription error" at 1 Kings 6:1, namely, that this verse should have been rendered "in the five hundred and eightieth year" instead of "in the four hundred and eightieth year." As a result of his believing 1 Kings 6:1 should have read '580th year' instead of '480th year,' Russell's calculations were off by 100 years so that he [wrongly] concluded that man's creation in Eden was 4128 BC and "sin's entrance" in 4126 BC. The suggestion in your book that something sinister had taken place in 1943 was a lie, and, what is more, you know this to have been a lie.

    By the 1943 release of the book, The Truth Shall Make You Free, the Society had sought to correct the misunderstanding that had existed since Russell's time as to Bible chronology, which misunderstanding had led to Russell and Barbour having wrongly concluded that Jesus' invisible presence had occurred in 1874, by doing away with the additional 100 years that it had erroneously included in its calculations, and recalculating man's creation as having taken place in 4026 BC, thus determining the beginning of Christ's presence as [having] occurred in 1914 and the beginning of "seventh millennium" in 1975.

    You can get away with lying to the unwary and the gullible, but I am neither. Yet, in this message you write that your book presents 48 examples where the Bible Students had embraced teachings that were not "'the teachings of Jesus Christ' as evidenced by they fact that Jehovah's Witnesses no longer teach any of them"??? Now hold on there, "pardner"! I assume you've read your own book, @Cameron_Don. This is not the point that you were making in Chapter 3 of your book. Your point is that the most important teaching of Jehovah's Witnesses -- and I'm quoting you here -- is that "the Society is God's organization," and you say this teaching of Jehovah's Witnesses is based upon the way we interpret Matthew 24:45-47 -- and I'm quoting you here again -- which is "the most important Scripture in their theology." Really???

    I thought it a bit odd that [after] I had read your Chapter 2, which ostensibly was about Matthew 24:45-47, to discover when reading your Chapter 3] that you were again discussing Matthew 24:45-47. What was odder still was the fact you didn't even make an attempt to provide anything new that would establish this premise of yours. And yet on page 22 of your book you had the [unmitigated effrontery] to write: "Even if Witnesses are able to notice what this footnote is saying, they are unable to get the sense of what it means." And even though you [referenced] both the The Truth Shall Make You Free and God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years in [your] footnote 38 (at the bottom of page 22), I have difficulty understanding how you [could have thought] you could get away with quoting just a portion of the sentence from Page 209 of the God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years book, which book you yourself cited, stating that this book "did away with the year 1874 C.E. as the date of return of the Lord Jesus Christ...," and refers to [the] changing of "the date of Christ's return from 1874 to 1914," without an ellipsis, when the very sentence from which you had quoted had stated how the God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years book "did away with the year 1874 C.E. as the date of return of the Lord Jesus Christ and the beginning of his invisible presence or parousia?

    What's the deal, man? You have to know that most Jehovah's Witnesses today that have PCs or Windows Mobile-powered, QNX-powered Blackberry or iOS (iPhone, iTouch, iPad) devices have access to the Watchtower Library cdrom, [on which the]God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years[book] is included, right?

    You were talking about Christ's invisible presence, were you not? That being the case, why would you have made reference to 1914 as being the year of Jesus' "return" or "second coming" without pointing out that 1914 is also the year that Jehovah's Witnesses now believe to be [...] the beginning of Jesus' invisible presence? If you worked for me [at a newspaper], I would fire you at once for attempting to mislead [my readers] into believing something that isn't even true. It takes a certain kind of person that would quote from a source and deliberately leave out something [from the quote itself that would be] inconvenient to the point you sought to make with a view to misleading folks. The word that I think to be appropriate to call such a person is "dishonest."

    In reviewing your book, @Cameron_Don, it's clear to me that it targets weak-minded individuals as well as those that are spiritually immature, and I'm not here to tear your book to shreds (which I am quite able to do!) or to make you feel bad, but I think it's sad that there are those that were formerly Jehovah's Witnesses out there [and] that [you] seek to draw sincere lovers of God away from serving God, but the Bible [warns] that people like yourself -- apostates -- would seek to destroy and dash to pieces the hopes of those desirous of everlasting life by making them feel disillusioned about the truth that they have come to learn from their having studied the Bible with Jehovah's Witnesses.

    At 1 Corinthians 12:3, Paul makes the point that only those that speak by God's spirit can say, "Jesus is Lord!" You were baptized as a disciple of Jesus Christ, you are my spiritual brother, you, like me, were taught by Jehovah, and, like me, you have studied the Bible, are able to speak the pure language and have come to an accurate of truth, which means that you are privileged to be able to speak by God's spirit and you can rightly confess that "Jesus is Lord!" You know that Jehovah God did indeed raise from the dead the man we came to know, from having studied the Scriptures, both as Jesus Christ, and as God's only-begotten Son, so that we know him no more according to the flesh, but as an immortal, spirit being and a living Lord, who has been appointed by God judge this entire world of ours in righteousness on a set day. (Romans 6:9; 2 Corinthians 5:16; Acts 17:31)

    This living Lord gave his life as a ransom in order that everyone that confesses him as their personal Lord, which means that we give due recognition of the fact that apart from one's acknowledgment of the value that Jesus' human life has to pardon our sins, apart from acknowledgment of God's provision for forgiveness of sins through the application of the merit of the ransom to those of us exercising faith in this ransom, that we could not be saved from God's wrath nor can we even hope to receive a future resurrection should death claim us as one of its victims before that set day for judgment arrives.

    The reason Jehovah's Witnesses are able to confess that "Jesus is Lord!" is because Bible students like Russell and his associates -- they even called themselves "Bible Students" -- had endeavored to understand the Bible, and they were able through their diligent study of it to comprehend many spiritual truths that over hundreds of years were unknown until God's spirit, which began to operate mightily on these Bible Students, began to reveal the meaning of these Bible truths that had heretofore been unknown to anyone. How it was that Russell came to meet Nelson Barbour, George Storrs, George Stetson and Jonas Wendell, how he came upon the writings of Henry Grew, was no doubt due to the way in which the holy spirit operated upon all of these men so that Russell and his associates came to progressively understand many of the things that Jehovah's Witnesses are now preaching today.

    A little history for the lurkers here: Charles Russell (1852-1916) had once been associated with Congregational Church; Jonas Wendell (1815-1873) had been associated with the Second Adventist Church; Nelson H. Barbour (1824-1906) had been associated with the Millerites Adventists; George Stetson (1814-1879) had been associated with the Advent Christian Church; Henry Grew (1781-1862) had been associated with the Orthodox Church; and George Storrs (1796-1879) had been associated with the Methodist Church; and yet all of these men spoke by means of God's spirit as it operated upon each one of them in providing spiritual insight to the household of faith from their study of the Bible.

    Russell and his associates realized that these Bible truths that they had learned belonged to all men -- to the household of faith -- and through his efforts that began in the late 1800s in championing Bible truth, he got some things right and some things wrong, and when WWI ended on November 11, 1918, his successor, Rutherford, as well as seven of this associates, still found themselves in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary, where on July 4, 1918, they had been serving the 20-year sentences that had been imposed on each of them upon their conviction on espionage and sedition charges on June 21, 1918.

    On March 21, 1919, Rutherford as well as his seven associates that been incarcerated with him were granted an appeal of their convictions by the US Supreme Court, and on March 25, 1919, Rutherford and his associates were released from the federal penitentiary and headed back to Brooklyn, NY, by train, where the following day, on March 26, 1919, that were released on $10,000 bond each, pending appeal. On April 14, 1919, their appeal was heard in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, and on May 14, 1919, they were exonerated on the espionage and sedition charges, and their convictions reversed.

    If they had not been exonerated, as some say, then Rutherford, for example, who was admitted to the bar of the state of Missouri on May 5, 1892, would not have been able to practice law after his release from incarceration. In fact, from 1939 until the year of his death (in 1942), Rutherford was one of the attorneys that appealed some 14 cases to the US Supreme Court, presenting oral argument himself in the Minersville School District v. Gobitis appeal in 1940.

    Keep in mind that these men were Bible students, not criminals, but despite the persecution they had endured, they became even more determined than ever in 1919 to extricate themselves from the bloodguilt it shared as a part of Babylon the Great during WWI by separating themselves from the world and its conflicts with a view to preaching "the 'word' of faith" to anyone that would listen. (Romans 10:8) As we came to appreciate in hindsight, Jehovah's Witnesses discerned that 1919 had been a pivotal year for God's people, for it was in this year that a new spiritual nation came to be born and the restoration of true worship began. (Isaiah 66:8) Jesus' spiritual brothers, "the faithful and discreet slave," then came to realize their increased responsibilities toward their "domestics." (Matthew 24:21, 45-47)

    We believe that in 1918, some 3-1/2 years after Jesus' invisible presence began in 1914, that the foretold judgment of the house of God has been underway, in which Jesus has been inspecting his spiritual brothers, settling accounts with them, as he will continue to do until they have all of them been sealed permanently. (Malachi 3:1; 1 Peter 4:17; Matthew 25:19; Revelation 7:3) IOW, not only does Jesus' presence continue today, but his judgment also continues until the sealing is done.

    But just as in those early days of God's people, it is just as true today that God's people, now joined by a "great crowd" of "other sheep," aren't perfect; this mean I'm not perfect, the elders appointed to serve in the various congregations around the world aren't perfect, you were an elder once, @Cameron_Don, and it ought to be clear to you now that you aren't perfect, but we are all of us learning through our study of God's word how to get along with others despite our imperfections. We call what things we know about the Bible "present truth," for a reason; we may realize down the line that we have something wrong and need to humbly make adjustments in our viewpoints.

    We cannot dogmatically insist on being right when our humility keeps informing us, so to speak, of our need to remain humble, which requires that we must be willing to make adjustments. We may not ever get everything right on this side of Armageddon, but we can certainly try to get what we can right, can't we? Being imperfect, none of us are inerrant, no one today is being zapped by holy spirit. We are being guided by what we discern God's word to say, and in this way we are all of us being guided by holy spirit. In fact, it is by means of God's spirit that I say these things to you today, @Cameron_Don. You book is a lousy one, in my opinion, but that's only because you take on the persona of an attack dog, attacking the imperfections of men now dead that have devoted their lives to studying God's word and are responsible for our having obtained a more accurate knowledge of the Bible than others that have study the Bible. Salvation isn't about these men you attack in your book, nor is it about me or you. Salvation is about taking in knowledge of Jehovah God and Jesus Christ, repenting from the wayward course taken by the world, believing on the name of Jesus Christ as Lord, or, put another way, believing on his ransom, and making public declaration of one's faith in it by getting baptized. (Mark 16:16; John 17:3; Acts 16:30-33)

    Today we are learning how to forgive those that might have hurt our feelings due to clashing personalities or maybe because they are guilty of doing something that they need to confess, but are taking out their anxieties on their own families and/or on the flock of God as elders. It may be that we just have yet to learn of the problem that has caused some of the friends to become stumbled and to leave our ranks over the very imperfections that they are supposed to be learning how to forgive. (Revelation 7:9, 14, 15; John 10:16)

    Like I said above, only those that speak by God's spirit can say, "Jesus is Lord!" You were privileged to be able to speak by God's spirit and make such a confession of Jesus as your personal Lord, but either you won't or you can't. (Hebrews 6:4-6) It is my hope is that it's the latter and that you are able to return to Jehovah before it is too late, for if you have esteemed the blood of Jesus as being no different than that of an ordinary human being, if you consider Jesus' blood as being of no greater value than your own blood, then you not only have "outraged the spirit of undeserved kindness with contempt," but you have to know that there exists no longer a sacrifice for your sin. (Hebrews 10:26-31)


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