I SAT THROUGH TODAYS WT STUDY WITH A CHEEZER! !
Wizard, I bet your silver will come in handy someday. Recessions are inevitable. You will be in better shape than the rest of us next time around.
WTWizard - "What's wrong with 'We made some serious mistakes regarding prophesy and doctrine, and we are now attempting to find and fix whatever errors we still have'?"
The WTS simply cannot do that; it would too deeply undermine their claim of being God's Earthly Organization.
And if their claim of being God's Earthly Organization were delegitimized, what incentive would there be for their members to stay affiliated?
I personally believe the whole concept of some all-powerful Sky Daddy and the organized religions required to worship him "properly" is a giant festering pus-filled sore on the face of humanity.
That said, I don't really have a problem with the Society (or any religious group) changing their interpretation of various passages and prophecies, as long as they clearly announce that it is a change. I could actually respect a group that frankly admitted they were wrong before and explained why they believe they have it right now. You can always chalk it up to "further research and reflection" or more related information coming to light.
The real problem, as I see it, is the required acceptance of whatever the Truth© is today. You might call it the Truth de jour. Faithful JW's are not only required to accept every new teaching or interpretation that comes along, they are also required to fully embrace it, believe it is the true interpretation, and teach it to others. That inevitably leads to the situation where "what was apostasy yesterday is required today, and what is required today might be apostasy tomorrow." Sometimes it even goes back and forth.
How many people have died or were prepared to die for a belief that has now changed? Think organ transplants and the use of blood "fractions." How many young men went to prison rather than "compromise" with the military authorities and voluntarily accept civilian service in lieu of being drafted when later that very "compromise" was encouraged and commended as "staying faithful"?
Doctrines and organizational policies will always be subject to change and reinterpretation to suit the needs of the organization, often driven more by political, legal, or financial considerations than anything "spiritual." The real shame is that individuals must continually change their own viewpoints to match whatever the latest "light" from New York is, regardless of how ludicrous or contradictory to former teachings it may be.
"Current Truth©" is a moving target, but the penalty for failure to keep in step is the dreaded branding as an apostate. Fear, social coercion, and emotional blackmail are effective tools for keeping the masses in line.
The masthead on The Watchtower should just say something like:
“Do not adjust your set. We’re currently experiencing technical difficulties. We’re working on whatever damage control we can come up with now. Please don’t leave us. (And don’t forget to donate!)”
The color scheme on the front cover should incorporate a colorful test pattern, and maybe a cartoon icon of a circus clown.
“under the radar”: “That said, I don't really have a problem with the Society (or any religious group) changing their interpretation of various passages and prophecies, as long as they clearly announce that it is a change. I could actually respect a group that frankly admitted they were wrong before and explained why they believe they have it right now. You can always chalk it up to "further research and reflection" or more related information coming to light.”
I can maybe understand having to smooth over some small details of semantics on trivial matters, but when it comes to changing the very end from 1914 to 1915 and then back to 1914 but as the beginning of the Lord’s Day; then deliberately setting up significant dates supposedly of Armageddon, especially 1925 and 1975; then changing the whole structure and meaning of Jesus’ end-time parables, such as the separating of the sheep and goats, and the wise and foolish virgins; and then, more of late, changing the very identity of the faithful and discreet slave itself and its fundamental role in the kingdom arrangement, . . . . well, that’s a bit much, . . . . especially for a small handful of men claiming to actually be God’s one-and-only representative mouthpiece in all the whole world, solely led by God’s holy spirit! Ya, I would say that is a bit much indeed.