Wondering how Rutherford's faction was more successful in terms of growth and public awareness. Through a strange coincidence, I met someone raised as a Dawn Bible Student. I had no idea until then that Bible Students still existed. Do they believe in blood doctrine, shunning, mind control? Armageddon?
Do Present Day Bible Students Go Door-to-Door?
I could be wrong, but I don't think they require members to go door-to-door. There was a local break-off that formed from my old KH that supposedly formed a Bible Students group. I was told that was one of the things that made them different from JWs. But then, it could be that these were just rumors.
Most of the Bible student groups have websites (before WTS did). Some congregations have websites. These groups are not coordinated under a head organization but can cooperate together to set up conventions, exchange speakers. I have seen them talk to people online, arrange in person meetings. They also use radio and think some have tv shows.
Do Bible Students preach/witness? And if so, how?
BIble Students, individually and congregationally, have the liberty to witness in whatever fashion is suitable to them. We realise that their are many different avenue to witness, thus what may suit one class or individual, may not suit another. Thus we leave it to each consecrated member and class to determine what best suits their environment. That said, let it be known that we take advantage of every avenue open to us, this would include going door to door, tracting in the neighborhood, public showings, advertisments in newspaper, magazines and billboards, county fairbooths, etc.
How many Bible Students are there?
Since Bible Students do not take roll-call, that is a difficult question to answer. Bible Students can be seen in all four corners of the earth, some are isolated, and others have abundant association.
Since the congregations are autonomous, are all Bible Students in agreement, doctrinally?Just how closely are the Bible Students in harmony? Do you still hold to the doctrinal teachings as espoused by Charles Taze Russell?
To say that all Bible Students think alike would be to undermine the freedom in Christ we share. Most Bible Students accept the teachings of Scriptures as set forth in the Studies in the Scriptures as being doctrinally sound and supported by God's Word. However since Pastor Russell never claimed infallibility, it is safe to say that some of his thoughts are opened to interpretation. However, these interpretations, do not take away from The Divine Plan of the Ages, as espoused by Pastor Russell.
It is safe to say there are those, individually and as publishing houses who have taken liberty with the Plan of Salvation as espoused by Pastor Russell.
I have attended some churches, found this one enjoyable, friendly.
For the short time I was with the Christian Millennial Fellowship (1st break-away Bible Student group) we met in homes and had annual conventions and advertised in local area newspapers to let people know we existed.
Wow. I certainly wish that my family had not backed Rutherford. Some did walk away and brothers and sisters never spoke with each other again. I have no clue for the reasons. It was one of those items you know not to ask about. Never mind- my gm's favorite saying.
So Rutherford is the genius behind the Witnesses. The connection to Russell seems tenuous. There is a funny story about the split. The family business was running funeral homes. Imagine how "a snare and a racket" pickets helped business. All the Bible Students relatives prospered, ran for governor, etc. The Rutherford group lived in poverty. The Internet is incredible.
Most Bible Students today have no direct connection or even secondary to the jws. You have have to go back to a great grandparent. Otherwise they are mostly 3 generations away from the WTS and even no contact with the jw era. Some ex-jws leave and find a Bible Student group, but their beliefs while having 5 to 10 basic ones can vary a great deal. Some strictly adhere to Russell's Studies in the Scriptures and others are on the other side of the equation. Never ever suggest that they left the jws. Bible Students are the originals and jws are the ones that left. I was surpriised to find a viable group in my area since the WTS always says they have died out....the internet comes to the rescue again to deal with WT-JW lies.
The only Bible Students that I have known spent their own time and money creating TV spots for cable access in which the Chart of the Ages is explained.
Further, they spend time and personal money on reprinting copies of Studies in the Scriptures which they distribute to anybody who demonstrates interest.
There is no "hands on" direction for preaching other than what they personally feel moved to do.
I was impressed with them as people of faith who do not waver or indulge in hostility, confrontation or condemnations.
Where I was put off was by the ridiculous nature of Russell's core "discoveries" of dispensations, Pyramid secrets, End Times speculations and such.
In other words, these are lovely people who completely WASTE THEIR TIME, LIFE, RESCOURCES and emotional capital on a dream world!
Just another variant on Comic Book Nerds, if you ask me.