Greg Stafford's New Book Has Shipped

by AlanF 50 Replies latest jw friends

  • ros

    Yes, Hess came to a BRCI immediately after his DFing and was still in shock and disbelief. His relationship with his wife and family was immediately being torn apart because of it.

    Re: Greg, what if he does NOT get DF'd? I'm thinking what that might signal. Later. ;-)

    "A religion that teaches lies cannot be true"--The Watchtower, 12/1/91 pg. 7

  • AlanF

    Ros wrote:

    : Re: Greg, what if he does NOT get DF'd? I'm thinking what that might signal. Later. ;-)

    An interesting possibility that I hadn't considered. Given Stafford's extensive discussion of such issues, if the Society DF'd him it would prove his point. So we may see some political maneuvering by the Society. As you suggested in private email, if this happened it might signal a change in the DF'ing policy without the Society having to admit that its critics have been right all along.

    This brings to mind another situation. Several months ago Randy Watters and Kent Steinhaug published a bunch of correspondence on the blood issue between an elder named Jensen and the Society, where Jensen pretty clearly disagreed with the Society's blood policy. Does anyone know if Jensen was disfellowshipped for having his private views publicly exposed? Usually if the divergent views of a JW become known to the JW community, they're immediately brought before a committee, even if the person had no intention of not keeping them private. And knowing how fanatically anal the Society can be, it wouldn't surprise me if they went after Jensen and accused him of any number of nefarious activities.


  • hillary_step

    Hi Alan,

    I understand that Jensen was not disfellowshipped, and that the WTS accepts that the 'leaks' over his correspondence with them was not caused by him, and this is entirely possible.

    One thing is certain, the WTS is leaking like a sieve at the moment, in fact perhaps new light might be shed shortly regarding the 'Faithful and Discreet Sieve'

    Best to you - HS

  • Moxy

    does stafford say anything about his motives in producing a book that is more critical of the WT than previous books? either in the foreward like penton or on channel c where he sometimes posts?


  • AlanF

    Yes, Moxy, Stafford does say some things. They're not terribly explicit, but are clear implicitly. I'll type in a bit of the preface so you can get the flavor.

    After talking about a book project he shelved for the time being, Stafford writes (pp. ix-xiii):

    I was forced to take notice of more pressing concerns, concerns that threaten to destroy much good that has come out of the ministerial activities of Jehovah's Witnesses over the past century or more. These concerns are the kind that threaten family, friends, even life itself. With that in mind, I set aside my work on John 8:58 and prepared myself for a new undertaking.

    The result of that undertaking is this book. The concerns that motivated its creation are concerns over the treatment of people in the Jehovah's Witnesses' organization. No, it is not the treatment at the hands of some oppressive government. It is not even the treatment by various hostile or otherwise opposing religious groups. The treatment that is of concern to many Witnesses is that which comes from the leadership of this fine organization. By this I certainly do not mean to call to account all of the persons in positions of responsibility in the Watchtower organization. I am not even concerned about the majority of those who `take the lead' among Jehovah's Witnesses (Hebrews 13:7, 17). But those responsible for conscious-binding [sic] policy are presently in a position that is doing great harm to many in the organization and by their action or inaction they could do significant damage to the faith of many who look to them for guidance and direction in their Christian ministry.

    The Watchtower Society has many positive teachings and policies, several of which receive due attention in the pages that follow. But the structure of the organization is such that it has created an environment where error is not only tolerated, but in some cases it seems to be knowingly advanced at the expense of others. This is not only unacceptable in and of itself, but such actions or policies threaten to destroy or negatively affect all of the positive teachings that one might point to in defense of Jehovah's Witnesses. As difficult as it can sometimes be, Christians must do their best to deny the advancement of error and preserve truth. To accomplish this, we must give serious attention to what Christian leaders teach and we must be in a position to do something about it if the need arises. Part of the concern involving the structure of the Watchtower Society is that few are really in a position to do something about errors or problems that exist. There is a reason for this:

    Watchtower publications have, since the first issue of what was once called Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence, advanced various interpretations of Bible chronology. Most of these interpretations have come and gone, but they are usually always replaced with some other, and today the Witnesses hold to a variety of chronological interpretations. Several of these provide the basis for a small portion of Jehovah's Witnesses to exercise authority over other members of the organization. This authority manifests itself in various organization procedures, policies, and teachings. The chronology gives rise to the authority and the authority gives rise to the doctrines, policies and procedures. This is why we have Three Dissertations, to explore each of these three aspects of the Watchtower Society. (Of course, the chronology is enforced as a doctrine by means of the authority derived from it, and so we actually have a situation where, absent the authority, the chronology many not exist in the first place, hence, disallowing the use of authority to establish any kind of interpreted chronology...

    ... No one human alive today is given authority by the Scriptures to require that others accept all of the different teachings of an organization in order to be considered a true Christian. A person's belief in the importance of God's name should not be affected by whether they accept or reject the Watchtower's doctrine concerning 1914 CE. And no Christian should feel they have to abandon faith in God and in the Bible simply because there may be a question about the Watchtower's blood policy. Yet, many Witnesses who doubt the correctness of certain Watchtower interpretations have subsequently lost their faith in clear Bible teachings, including God's name and identity. Or if they have not lost their faith then they may have lost their zeal in proclaiming what the Bible does clearly teach, because their faith in God and in his Word is so closely aligned with a belief in God's use of the Watchtower Society to dispense "food at the proper time" (Matthew 24:45-47).

    When such doubts manifest themselves in one area of a person's faith, they can spread and infect all aspects of that faith. Since there is no outlet in the Watchtower organization to discuss doubts or express differences of opinion over what the Watchtower has deemed to be a sure biblical understanding, then any person who finds him- or herself in such a position is likely to either leave the organization in search of another or gradually disconnect from the organization's activities. This precarious position is partly due to the fact that Bible teachings which exist independently of the Watchtower are directly connected with acceptance of the "faithful and disreet slave" among Jehovah's Witnesses. So, if a Witness loses confidence in the "faithful slave" then his or her faith in basic Bible teachings may waver or falter altogether.

    Stafford is not yet ready to admit that the Witnesses really have only one basic doctrine -- that of the "faithful slave" -- and that to the average JW, everything else is of little importance because it can be changed on the whim of the "faithful slave". I hope that what he experiences in the coming months will shock him into this realization. If the unlikely occurs and he manages to avoid being shunned by the JW community, it will mark a sea change in the way the Society deals with divergent views, especially because Stafford is directly questioning the authority of "that slave".


  • Moxy

    thanks for transcribing that alan. and thanks greg for publishing your rational assessments. im reminded of pentons description of the few JWs apologists who try and publish.


  • plmkrzy

    Thanks Alan for the Link.

    No matter how thin you slice it there are always two sides
  • Simon

    Thanks for the links and background info AlanF - sound like an interesting read.

  • crownboy

    AlanF said:

    Penton developed misgivings over a long period of time, and if I remember right, it was the flack that the Society gave him over his "JWs in Canada" book that pushed him far into the camp of critics.

    Why did the Society give Penton flack over a book that was pro-JW? I've never read it, but in Apocalypse Delayed Penton said it was a very pro- JW book. Did he have a couple of negative things in there?

    Go therefore and baptize the people in the name of the father and of the son... what the hell, we just need to bring up the yearbook numbers!

  • ISP

    Thanks AF.

    I guess Greg won't makes so much money this time 'round!!!! Apologetic books are highly valued by the WTS/dubs...they are also rare!!!


Share this