I have no idea any longer if you are really in need of the help that has here been offered because of what I mentioned in my post under your "similar experience" thread. Stephen's remark about inconsistency in posts jogged my memory.
Nonetheless, in the hope that this may help others who are lurking, if not you yourself, I have a few more things to say:
"Debating" here does not bring me any personal glory. (Although I don't feel we've actually had a debate.) In fact, it seems to have brought me reproach, in your eyes. Hence your directing us to
Matthew 12:31-37 which reads in part:
"'On this account I say to YOU, Every sort of sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the spirit will not be forgiven. For example, whoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the holy spirit, it will not be forgiven him, no, not in this system of things nor in that to come."
Obviously, you feel that I have sinned against/grieved Jehovah's holy spirit. I wish you would specifically state how? And that you would kindly establish your credentials as my judge?
The scripture continues:
"'Either YOU people make the tree fine and its fruit fine or make the tree rotten and its fruit rotten; for by its fruit the tree is known.'"
I have been saddened to realized that contrary to what I previously believed, the fruit of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society has NOT been "fine". The Society at the top is deceitful and unfeeling, neither of which things Christ demonstrated that his followers should be. Christ had pity. Christ did not lie because there was no sin in him. The WTBTS and its policies towards erring ones are callous. The way the WTBTS revises its history is deceitful. Is the Society grieving the holy spirit? I cannot judge. That will be left for Jesus to do. I only know that it grieved me, personally, and several others whom I know personally, as well as the many on this discussion board whom I do not know but who have reported suffering tremendous harm, both physically and psychologically.
Yes, "'every unprofitable saying that men speak, they will render an account concerning it on Judgment Day; for by your words you will be declared righteous, and by your words you will be condemned."
Many of the Watch Tower "flip-flops" alluded to above will likely bring condemnation on the Society as a whole. Because, just as the Pharisees to whom these words were addressed were blind guides leading the blind, so the WTBTS is bloodguilty for being guides that make extra-Biblical burdens for its adherents leading to physical death AND spiritual death of many who just cannot cope with the load imposed and so lose faith. Much is at stake here, as you know, Chris.
Next, you refer us to Matthew 24:42-44 which admonishes Christ's followers to be on the alert that the Lord's day is imminent.
I have confidence that Jehovah and Christ Jesus love me, that God's grace and Jesus' ransom sacrifice have covered over my sins, and that because of our relationship, I will be able to stand. Boastfulness?
I hope you do not perceive it that way. Rather, I humbly appreciate the extent of God's mercy.
Next is a reference to Matthew 24:48-51, where the indirect name calling continues:
"'But if ever that evil slave should say in his heart, "My master is delaying," and should start to beat his fellow slaves and should eat and drink with the confirmed drunkards, the master of that slave will come on a day that he does not expect and in an hour that he does not know, and will punish him with the greatest severity and will assign him his part with the hypocrites. There is where [his] weeping and the gnashing of [his] teeth will be."
See my statements above. Also, I have a long reputation among those who know me of NOT being a hypocrite. From an early age.
When I was 14 I would not make my confirmation because, after study and prayer, I came to the conclusion that I disbelieved the Trinity. I went to my pastor for his insight. He could not explain it to my satisfaction. I said to him, "Well, I don't think I should go up on the altar and be confirmed when I don't really believe ALL of this." Why? Because I didn't want to be a hypocrite. The pastor agreed and suggested I not make my confirmation at that time.
I spent years searching various Judeo-Christian sects for the "truth."
I thought I found it when I realized that the Witnesses also disbelieved the Trinity and when they taught me so much from the Bible.
However, the condescending attitude from the platform and the magazine regarding other religions always troubled me. And, casting a critical eye on my own organization, I found it had plenty of rafters to remove before pronouncing on the splinters elsewhere!
What was the result? I recently -- a month ago yesterday -- disassociated myself from the congregation. Why? Because I no longer wanted to be a hypocrite. I didn't think it wise to be counted among those who proclaimed themselves God's only true organization when, it was clear to me, we weren't. (Luke 9:49-50)
1 Peter 2:19-20:
"For if someone, because of conscience toward God, bears up under grievous things and suffers unjustly, this is an agreeable thing. For what merit is there in it if, when you are sinning and being slapped, you endure it? But if, when you are doing good, and you suffer, you endure it, this is a thing agreeable with God."
It seems to me that it is far more difficult "because of conscience toward God" to be called an apostate and shunned and to bear up under it than to equate the WTBTS as God and refuse to question it, thus remaining snugly inside with your delusions that you are being loyal to JEHOVAH.
I consider what I am attempting to do here as "doing good" for which you would have me suffer from your hurtful citations, Chris, but I will happily endure in order to be agreeable to my loving God, Jehovah.
"In fact, to this [course] you were called, because even Christ suffered for you, leaving you a model for you to follow his steps closely. He committed no sin, nor was deception found in his mouth. When he was being reviled, he did not go reviling in return. When he was suffering, he did not go threatening, but kept on committing himself to the one who judges righteously."
Stephen made an EXCELLENT point when he said that during the 1700 years from the apostles to CT Russell "apostasy did not set in. What set in were people that just like today, here and now, [were] willing to fight against anything organized in GOD'S name that is unfair and ungodly."