"Since Brother Russell did not join any existing organization, he must not have thought that Jehovah had an existing organization on earth or that there was an existing Governing Body to whose authority he must submit. Who are we to question Brother Russell?"
How would you answer? Part 1
For part 2, God also loves variety, which can be seen throughout creation.
I would not talk long unless the person was really listening. I would preface any discussion with, "Do you really want to know (about my doubts)? If the answer is "no", do yourself and them a favor and talk about the weather.
If the answer is "yes", they have opened a cognitive doorway that you can walk through.
All great answers and advise. I agree with you guys that getting into discussions is largely ineffective. However, there are discussions that CAN BE effective, when the person has come to you with the right motives. They are repeating the same programmed responses, but they may not have control over that.
That being said, I don't discuss doctrine with the indoctrinated. But this is more of a kind of "conversation stopper" topic. It isn't really doctrine or dogman. Its almost philosophical. This is the kind of question I can dig, and lead. Thats why I'm reaching out to you all. Plus, just as a resource for others. We all see the people that come here and have diareah of the mouth. They simply can't stop talking about what they now feel. For better or worse, why not at least give them direction to say things that make sense instead of not having their thoughts together.
I know if I have my thoughts together, its easier for me to not step ona land mine and retain control of my mouth and the conversation.
So far this is the redux I am getting.
-If order/organization was Gods way in relation to human beings, what about the time period from the1st to the 20th centuries?
-Wheat and weeds would grow together, with Jesus being the only one able to tell them apart. While a parable, it suggest God ALLOWS a certain amount of disorder.
-Faithful men of old were dealt with in a unique way, not through an "order". The third rail to avoid is not to get into a conversation about the supposed GB of the first century. Boeans considered "noble-minded" for testing the things written. (side note: I brought this up to a particular pharisaical CO, and he said "ah yes, but they did it with eagerness of mind.....they went into it wanting to believe". Can you believe that?)
-If this is Gods organization, they are doing an effective poor job at their entrusted work.
Just a thought of my own. The system of Kings in Isreal could hardly be considered Jehovahs arrangement. He didn't even want to have kings for them, they decided they wanted it and he let them hang themselves essentially.
2) (related to 1) Jehovah is a God of order, .......according to Genesis 1:1 the earth had no order or form just darkness, untill his Spirit went to work. So the Holy Spirit creates order out of chaos.
1) But Jehovah has always had an organization... Yes, allways, actually from eternity before time, his Holy Spirit and his personified Word and Wisdom the source of life, light and truth..... It's a kingdom of love and a dynamic dance.....He still uses this system today.
The people that you're having these conversations with are spies. Make no mistake, they will rat you out, should they feel the pain of their guilty conscience. These friends are all conditional. I was ratted out by my best friend, after he specifically told me he wouldn't say a word.
There are two ways to deal with this:
1), Answer their questions as been presented here and "lets chips fall where they may" BUT be aware of the consequences as LWT sats above.
2) If you are not ready to deal with the consquences yet, fall back on that standard, ""hmmmm, you mayhave a point, I really need to ponder these questions, they are causing me to reflect deeply on this, thank you my bothers and sisters".
It will buy you sometime BUT you will have to eventually come to grips with the consequences.
One I've used with hubby when he's said about 'God's always had an organisation'... besides the point about the times he hasn't had one the only time he has had one was the Israelite nation and the 1stC christians. The Israelite nation went bad very quickly resulting in God having it destroyed not once but twice. During Jesus time he condemned the religious leaders (as the prophets had before him). Then 1stC christianity quickly turned into the Catholic church. This has worked quite effectively (and he's an elder).
Thanks everyone. All good thoughts. Hey Leaving WT, thanks for sharing what happen with your friend. it helps me understand the very cautionary tone you always have. i think its a good thing, and it constantly reminds me not to be as trusting as my nature would compell me to be naturally.
I have a few good reasons for continuing the conversation up to this point, plus I just think an archive f some of the best responses to these conversation stoppers, can only serve the general good.
It can be easy to have a conversation with someone when you "have something" on them too......know what I mean?
the wheat are many stalks bearing fruit, only the weeds are even less organized.
You can often draw parallels to other churches. E.g. their excuses for the failings of the WT heirarchy are often not unique to them, so if you have heard your Dub bashing another church for using the kind of logic that he is now using to defend his leaders, ask how what he just said is different? ... Are double standards OK? Ask questions rather than making statements or expressing your own opinion.
Close all the gates before you let the lions in. If you know their canned responces to a question, ask questions that get them to close all their usual escape routes before you ask the question.