How the WATCHTOWER has "borrowed" its NEW LIGHT....

by Terry 11 Replies latest jw friends

  • Terry

    In the 18th century a book appeared:

    A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God (1737), Jonathan Edwards This book detailed elements of the so-called GREAT AWAKENING. What was the Great Awakening?: The Great Awakening made religion intensely personal to the average person by fostering a deep sense of spiritual guilt and redemption, and by encouraging introspection and a commitment to a new standard of personal morality. African slaves dwelling in America were, at this time, converted to Christianity as a result. Jonathan Edwards, in the above book, used a phrase that would catch on: NEW LIGHT. Sudden "awakening" to god's purposes for action rather than mere passive acceptance. A little over a century later, lay Baptist WILLIAM MILLER created an avalanche of disturbance akin to the first Awakening. Miller used a home brewed chronology coupled with key cherry-picked scriptures to describe the immediate 2ND COMING OF CHRIST! Estimates of from 50,000 to a half million ordinary Christians accepted this spurious teaching and split from their own church to join the Adventists movement. A date was set: October 22, 1844. THE GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT: "Our fondest hopes and expectations were blasted, and such a spirit of weeping came over us as I never experienced before... We wept, and wept, till the day dawn." Hiram Edson. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Some people cannot accept that they are WRONG about anything they deeply believe in. What followed this Great Disappointment? Others stepped in to make new predications! Computations were changed. Charts were created as "proof" of this date and then that date. Always the result was the same; NOTHING HAPPENED! _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Gradually a new leader with a new idea found a new way to deal with all the false dates. It was a woman named Ellen G. White. She had been about 16 years old when Miller's 1844 date caused a sensation. Everybody around her was tremendously excited. The letdown afterward was almost too boring and commonplace to live with after such thrilling prospects as the 2nd Advent. The real problem was that using scriptures relied on human interpretations to set dates. Ellen White found an alternative solution that trumped this flawed methodology: she received DIRECT VISIONS from God! You can argue with a scripture but you can't argue with a vision. Isn't this how Saul became Paul, after all? Ellen G. White was, essentially, using mystical metaphysical "proof". GOD SPOKE DIRECTLY THROUGH HER. To argue with Ellen was to argue with God himself. How did she know? Well, she had been hit in the head by a rock and went into a coma some years previously. She had vivid dreams of going to heaven and speaking with God. What more proof do you need?

    1. Ellen G. White, A Sketch of the Christian Experience and Views of Ellen G. White (1851): While praying, the thick darkness that had enveloped me was scattered, a bright light, like a ball of fire, came towards me, and as it fell upon me, my strength was taken away. I seemed to be in the presence of Jesus and the angels. Again it was repeated, ‘Make known to others what I have revealed to you.
    Read the above....................................then, read below:
    Interesting to Jehovah's Witnesses would be the following, in view of all the above.

    1.Founder Pastor Charles T.Russell praised William Miller's efforts--not for accuracy--but, for making people AWARE of the 2nd Advent. 2.A leader of the Adventists, George Stoors, deeply influenced Pastor Russell to pursue Adventist studies and interest in chronology. 3.Pastor Russell's wife, Maria, adopted the same method of bypassing "interpretation" of scripture as Ellen G. White. Her view was that she and her husband, the Twain, were "faithful and wise servants" as spoken of in Matthew. In 1881, Russell had applied the scripture to the entire flock of god. After Maria convinced her husband, he eventually applied it to himself alone in private. 4.Current doctrine of the Governing Body as the only true "mouthpiece of god" by Jehovah's Witnesses stems from Ellen G. White through Maria. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ As various false statements were made in the long history of Second Adventists and Seventh Day Adventists repairs and revisions and flip flops inevitably became necessary. Rather than admit to "human error", the practice became that of using Jonathan Edward's terminology about NEW LIGHT. In Adventist writings, NEW LIGHT was "present Truth" which, being freshly minted from God, made "old light" no longer useful. As old light expired and former teachings became obsolete, new visions and pronouncements proved God was directly guiding their movement. Does any of this ring a bell with Jehovah's Witnesses? A quick comparison of what Adventists were teaching about christian doctrines might be of interest to Jehovah's Witnesses today who claim ONLY THEIR RELIGION is the bringer of Truth through the faithful and discreet slave in Brooklyn. 1. The Great Controversy: that mankind's sin and history is the result of an argument between God and Satan vying for supremacy. 2. Investigative Judgement: Christ, upon taking inspection of all churches selected one group to work with and through only. 3. Eschatology or End Times : Christ has returned and is judging while ruling in the midst of His enemies whom he will shortly destroy. 4. Remnant Church : Revelation 12:17 refers to them as the faithful "Remnant" of true believers who announce the end to others. 5. State of the Dead: The dead are unconscious until resurrection. No "soul" goes to hell or heaven. 6. Nature of God: Ellen G.White taught that God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus are three distinct individuals 7. Christ as Archangel : Michael the Archangel is one of many terms applied to the Son of God. 8. Holy Spirit : Early Adventists held the view that holy spirit was more of a power and influence than a "person". 9. Baptism : Full immersion only with knowledgeable informed consent. 10. Creationism : The literal interpretation of Genesis only. The earth is not billions of years old. Are these parallels of belief, terminology, doctrine and authority mere co-incidences or have Jehovah's Witnesses since their origin been secretly co-opting the beliefs of a Mystic Adventist Ellen G. White? If Jehovah selected the Adventist, why are JW's claiming to be THE ONE? If Jehovah selected the witnesses, why are so many of their ideas ALREADY in existence in the false denomination of Adventists? You decide and report your opinion.

    Ecclesiastes 1:9

    New International Version (NIV)

    9 What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.

    If Truth is factual wouldn't it be MORE light rather than NEW light?

  • sd-7

    Certainly the WT seems to boast about its beliefs as if it received them directly from above rather than directly from Adventists. They are very fond of asking the ordinary JWs "Who taught you the truth?", yet they themselves had to learn it from others and even sometimes from reading Christendom's literature/commentaries.

    Of course, to paraphrase the Reasoning book out of context, what JWs teach is not new. It's just sad that they feel people actually owe them something on account of their teachings. That in itself further highlights how the GB puts itself in place of God--by expecting gratitude and loyalty that should not be given to any human for being a so-called steward of God's things.


  • bennyk
    If Truth is factual wouldn't it be MORE light rather than NEW light?

    If we were following a man undoubtedly it would be different with us; undoubtedly one human idea would contradict another and that which was light one or two or six years ago would be regarded as darkness now: But with God there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning, and so it is with truth; any knowledge or light coming from God must be like its author. A new view of truth never can contradict a former truth. "New light" never extinguishes older "light," but adds to it. If you were lighting up a building containing seven gas jets you would not extinguish one every time you lighted another, but would add one light to another and they would be in harmony and thus give increase of light: So is it with the light of truth; the true increase is by adding to, not by substituting one for another.

    (Zion's Watch Tower February 1881 WTR p. 188)

  • Watkins

    Terry, my opinion is that you're spot-on. I guess Russell wasn't the only one smitten with Miller's penchant for "apocalytic prophecies" ---

    [Fred Franz] "was the Millerite connection in our age". ~Barbara Anderson


  • sosoconfused

    Terry, your writings cause me to:

    1. Get very angry because as I read them I realize more and freaking more how screwed up the borg is, it's not special in any valuable way and that I was dupped for so long.

    2. I then get happy because reading this information helps make my decision that much easier and fulfilling

  • SAHS


    “ A date was set: October 22, 1844. THE GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT: "Our fondest hopes and expectations were blasted, and such a spirit of weeping came over us as I never experienced before...”

    I believe that the above example typifies the phenomena of “new light” among charismatic religious groups. As they say, “necessity is the mother of invention,” and if when things go awry in terms of so-called predictions, then it must be either say the heck with it entirely or back to the old drawing board. And, of course, the old drawing boards have certainly been busy at the Watchtower!

  • EdenOne

    Very interesting synopsis, as usual, Terry.



  • Finkelstein

    You could say the Heads of the WTS. were men were trying to sell a grand illusionary vision of something great for humanity

    the return of Christ and the return to a earthly paradise.

    Since that was always the core doctrine of this organization, it always had real marketing potential for a publishing house to

    endeavor with.

    Unfortunately to this day people as in the past are blinded by this new light , so much so that they're unaware that nothing has

    happened as this new light proclaimed or professed.

    Bullshit sells , good bullshit sells even better.

  • sd-7

    As I think of it, it reminds me of Leon Festinger's book 'When Prophecy Fails'. He talks about Millerites too, and the cognitive dissonance resulting from failed predictions, which then leads them to engage in some activity (such as proselytizing) to reduce the dissonance. The rationale is, if I can get a lot of other people to believe in my faith, I can feel better about the facts not really being on my side.


  • Terry

    In my view, each person on this planet has a different psychology and emotional investment in the future.

    Practical people make arrangements to have insurance, life savings, good education, secure property and a plan for retirement.

    Superstitious people turn to "beliefs". They pursue mystical ideas that excite them.

    Religious people grab ahold of fascinating scenarios for the END of the world.

    The quality of life each of these people experiences from adulthood to death serves as a kind of verifying or disconfirming STANDARD by which

    we can determine if any of this is GOOD for them or a rea drag.

    Are Jehovah's Witnesses happy, more happy, less happy than anybody else? You'd have to ask each one.

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