How many of these books have your read?
COC. The only one. Kate xx
I've read pretty much all of them. Some are fair, balanced and more importantly, accurate. Some are not even close. (IMO) David A Reed goes way overboard in his criticism and I don't agree with Ron Rhodes at all.
Hmph, propaganda, vicious rumors and dangerous lies.
Give me an example (?)
Who knows? Maybe we'll agree
I've posted my history so many times before I am tired of doing it. For the benefit of any new readers, a brief description. I always loved school and education. For some reaon, I read many grades above my age level. It caused boredom. My teachers encouraged me to attend an elite college. I was scared but off I went to Columbia. The WT never made sense to me. Destruction and suffering seemed demonic, not Godly, to me. While I was at Columbia, I saw that the university offered a history course on the New Testament. I thought secular schools did not study such matters. Anyway, I was told it was not a religious course but a history course. The reading list was about thirty books. Our primary source was the New Testament.
I had to view the NT as I would any academic subject. So for the first time in my entire life, I read the Bible in consecutive verses, one chapter after another. The lectures provided the literary, social, and economic background of the first century. Of course, I knew the WT was a joke. Yet I kept having epiphanies. The distortions and lies concerning Bible content blew my mind. I would read and reread the text. The Witnesses were flat wrong. Because we never approached the Bible as a source but jumped around in WT literature, I never noticed how incredibly wrong they were. My poor family kept receiving emergency telephone calls from the library as I quoted the actual text. How could we never see it before?
My professor was Elaine Pagels. Columbia is part of a religious center. Union Theological Seminary is next door. Through class, I met profesors who actually translated and indeed opened the Dead Sea Scrolls. Modern theologians, such as Dietrich Bonhoffer and Paul Tillich, had once been part of the community of people asking questions. We were taught that questions were more important than answers. As I researched my term papers, I saw that the WT had no academic grounding - none. It was heady. I could use my mind. My world expanded.
Someday I watched Regis Philbin's local TV show in New York, WT dissidents appeared. I believe it had to do with the failure of 1975 and Ray Franz. For old times sake, I ordered the books. My mom was living with me. Her family had been very active since Russell's days. My father and uncles all served prison time and worked for decades at Bethel. Bethel was once small and intimate. My mom had to have carefully alloted reading spells. I had no background as to Franz. My mom went gaga with recognition. She exclaimed oh, X. Oh, y. Putting down the book, she would tell me int confirmed her feelings. The statements were factual. Of course, most of it was character analysis of Bethel figures. She wept that some old friends were ejected on the street. Other times she would say, X, always was a bastard. Let me tell you what is not in the book. My mom does not lie. We both felt tremendous validation. There was also a sadness that the WT evolved the way it did. She felt there once a few good people but they were hounded by Rutherford.
I don't believe the books would convince me without my mom's input. We stayed up late into the night reading. Nothing was news. Yet the mere act that a GB members and the nephew of Freddie Franz would reveal this information made us feel not so alone. The books travelled to famiy members near and far.
Of course, I became a lawyer so I am now obsessed with textual accuracy. Details are important. Rationality is essential. I found a wonderful community of brilliant and committed Christians in which I flourished. Whenever I had a chance, I read more. I met Madeleine L'Engle by accident. Reading her works and C.S. Lewis' writings. My confirmation sponsor said that God wanted our intellects, our musical abilities, whatever talents we had and more. A partner at the law firm told me he was interested in my passions and beliefs. He did not hire a robotic thinking machine. Everything that caused me trouble with the Witnesses became an asset in the real world. I swooned away that anyone would care what I thought. Feminism played a role. There were many Jewish students so I asked questions about Judaism. Another area of Witness outrageous lies.
I am no longer JW little girl afraid of my own shadow. There is no fear that I am too bright and Jehovah will punish me. B/c I will punish the demonic God that is Jehovah. He rejects females. Fine. I utterly repudiate Jehovah. One of my areas of study was understanding Paul from his genuine letters. Grace is crucial. The folly of the cross is important. Jesus is God. So I believe. The Witnesses have no business calling themselves Christian. They are ancient Israelites. Jews no longer worship Jehovah. Jesus did not worship Jehovah.
If I did not have to earn money, I would just take seminary classes or history of NT classes all the time.
Crisis of Conscience and Gentile Times Reconsidered. Read half of In Search of Christian Freedom, but never finished it.
Crisis of Conscience The Gentile Times Reconsidered and In Search Of Christian Freedom as well as One Other I cant remember the Name of ?
I am surprise that more people did not read the Ray Franz books. When they were published, I knew the basics of modern NT scholarship. The Ray Franz books provided insider details. My life was simply placed on hold until both us finished reading them and discussed how we felt.
Looking back, I now realize that my parents might have been dissidents if there were better communication methods available. Some former Bethel friend of my father had a JW crisis and travelled all the way from CA. My parents had to pay the taxi fare and feed him. He said something that only my parents would understand. I was rushed upstairs to my room. There was intense conversation all night.
Also, my father would roam conventions looking for his factory buddies rather than listening to boring lectures. We heard rumors that so and so had left My parents would set off to see if the dissident happened to be on the convention grounds.
The Internet made all of this so easy. I wish my parents had shared their doubts. Perhaps I was too young to understand their doctrinal objections. The WT was true in their view. Bethel was corrupt beyond all belief. When I was about four, my mother told me I could marry anyone I loved - with the exception of a Bethelite.
Ray Franz paid his dues as a honest Witness. Sadly, he saw the price ordinary Witnesses pay. He became a towering figure to me. There was no rancor or bitterness in his books. His mission was not to condemn. He was elegant