Here are some of our favorites. In other words: People of the "world", look at your religion with a magnifying glass...but you JW's, OBEY and do not question anything given to you by the FDS! Unreal...
August 1, 2001 Watchtower 2001 -- Make Your Advancement Manifest -- First, since "oneness" is to be observed, a mature Christian must be in unity and full harmony with fellow believers as far as faith and knowledge are concerned. He does not advocate or insist on personal opinions or harbor private ideas when it comes to Bible understanding. Rather, he has complete confidence in the truth as it is revealed by Jehovah God through his Son, Jesus Christ, and "the faithful and discreet slave." By regularly taking in the spiritual food provided "at the proper time" -- through Christian publications, meetings, assemblies, and conventions -- we can be sure that we maintain "oneness" with fellow Christians in faith and knowledge. -- Matthew 24:45.
June 22, 2000 Awake! -- The Manipulation of Information -- "By clever and persevering use of propaganda even heaven can be represented as hell to the people, and conversely the most wretched life as paradise."ADOLF HITLER, MEIN KAMPF.the flow of persuasive messages has dramatically accelerated.Many respond to this pressure by absorbing messages more quickly and accepting them without questioning or analyzing them. The cunning propagandist loves such shortcutsespecially those that short-circuit rational thought. Propaganda encourages this by agitating the emotions, by exploiting insecurities, by capitalizing on the ambiguity of language, and by bending rules of logic. As history bears out, such tactics can prove all too effective.From ancient times, men have used every available medium to spread ideologies or enhance fame and power.Certainly, the handiest trick of the propagandist is the use of outright lies.Another very successful tactic of propaganda is generalization. Generalizations tend to obscure important facts about the real issues in question, and they are frequently used to demean entire groups of people.Some people insult those who disagree with them by questioning character or motives instead of focusing on the facts. Name-calling slaps a negative, easy-to-remember label onto a person, a group, or an idea. The name-caller hopes that the label will stick. If people reject the person or the idea on the basis of the negative label instead of weighing the evidence for themselves, the name-caller's strategy has worked.Even though feelings might be irrelevant when it comes to factual claims or the logic of an argument, they play a crucial role in persuasion. Emotional appeals are fabricated by practiced publicists, who play on feelings as skillfully as a virtuoso plays the piano.Hatred is a strong emotion exploited by propagandists. Loaded language is particularly effective in triggering it. There seems to be a nearly endless supply of nasty words that promote and exploit hatred toward particular racial, ethnic, or religious groups. Some propagandists play on pride. Often we can spot appeals to pride by looking for such key phrases as: "Any intelligent person knows that . . ." or, "A person with your education can't help but see that . . ." A reverse appeal to pride plays on our fear of seeming stupid.But do most people carefully analyze the real issues involved in the crisis or conflict? Or do they just accept what they are told? In writing about World War I, Winston Churchill observed: "Only a signal is needed to transform these multitudes of peaceful peasants and workmen into the mighty hosts which will tear each other to pieces." He further observed that when told what to do, most people responded unthinkingly.Love of parents can also be exploited.So the sly art of propaganda can paralyze thought, prevent clear thinking and discernment, and condition individuals to act en masse.
June 22, 2000 Awake! -- Do Not Be a Victim of Propaganda! -- "A fool will believe anything."PROVERBS 14:15, TODAY'S ENGLISH VERSION. There is a differencea big differencebetween education and propaganda. Education shows you how to think. Propaganda tells you what to think. Good educators present all sides of an issue and encourage discussion. Propagandists relentlessly force you to hear their view and discourage discussion. Often their real motives are not apparent. They sift the facts, exploiting the useful ones and concealing the others. They also distort and twist facts, specializing in lies and half-truths. Your emotions, not your logical thinking abilities, are their target. The propagandist makes sure that his message appears to be the right and moral one and that it gives you a sense of importance and belonging if you follow it. You are one of the smart ones, you are not alone, you are comfortable and secureso they say. How can you protect yourself from the types of people that the Bible calls "profitless talkers" and "deceivers of the mind"? (Titus 1:10) Once you are familiar with some of their tricks, you are in a better position to evaluate any message or information that comes your way.Solomon, a king and educator in ancient times, warned: "Anyone inexperienced puts faith in every word, but the shrewd one considers his steps." (Proverbs 14:15) So we need to be selective. We need to scrutinize whatever is presented to us, deciding what to accept and what to reject.[Picture] Discernment enables you to discard irrelevant or misleading information..Using discernment, we will be able to recognize those who are merely using "smooth talk and complimentary speech" in order to "seduce the hearts of guileless ones." (Romans 16:18) Discernment enables you to discard irrelevant information or misleading facts and distinguish the substance of a matter. But how can you discern when something is misleading?[Picture] Test whatever you are reading or watching, to see if it is truthful.Put information to the test: "Beloved ones," said John, a first-century Christian teacher, "do not believe every inspired expression, but test the inspired expressions." (1 John 4:1) Some people today are like sponges; they soak up whatever they come across. It is all too easy to absorb whatever is around us. But it is far better for each individual personally to choose what he will feed his mind.No matter what you are reading or watching or listening to, test to see whether it has propagandistic overtones or is truthful. Moreover, if we want to be fair-minded, we must be willing to subject our own opinions to continual testing as we take in new information.As we have seen, there are many today who would like to 'delude us with persuasive arguments.' (Colossians 2:4) Therefore, when we are presented with persuasive arguments, we should ask questions. First, examine whether there is bias. What is the motive for the message? If the message is rife with name-calling and loaded words, why is that? Loaded language aside, what are the merits of the message itself? Also, if possible, try to check the track record of those speaking. Are they known to speak the truth? If "authorities" are used, who or what are they? Why should you regard this personor organization or publicationas having expert knowledge or trustworthy information on the subject in question? If you sense some appeal to emotions, ask yourself, 'When viewed dispassionately, what are the merits of the message?' Do not just follow the crowd: If you realize that what everybody thinks is not necessarily correct, you can find the strength to think differently.
June 8, 1994 Awake! p.20-21 -- Does the Bible Discourage Freedom of Thought? -- The Bible's ViewpointActually, incidents of book burning-a universal symbol of the suppression of freedom of thought and speech-have occurred in many countries and in many centuries. Often, it has been instigated by religious leaders who feared the effect that freedom of thought would have on the common man. No wonder that many today assume that the Bible mandates rigid restrictions against open intellectual inquiry. 'Love Jehovah With Your Whole Mind'The Bible does not discourage the use of the mind. In fact, Jesus encouraged each of us to 'love Jehovah with our whole mind.' (Mark 12:30)Paul entreated all Christians to render their service to God with their "power of reason." (Romans 12:1) He encouraged the Thessalonians not to let misleading 'inspired expressions shake them from their reason.' (2 Thessalonians 2:2)The Bible encourages the use of one's mental faculties to the full but not without all restraint. However, the burden of responsibility for keeping our thinking in harmony with that of Jehovah is placed on the individual Christian, not the congregation.The Bible encourages each Christian to set as a goal the bringing of "every thought into captivity to make it obedient to the Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5) This is achieved, not through restrictions placed by religious leaders, but through an individual's exercise of self-control and through his love for and understanding of Jehovah and His principles.
April 1, 1991 Watchtower p.17 -- Mankind's Search for God -- The book then raises the logical question. "Is it reasonable to assume that the religion imposed at one's birth is necessarily the whole truth?" Thus, every person is encouraged to examine other religions with an open mind. As is stated on page 10: "Understanding one another's viewpoint can lead to more meaningful communication and conversation between people of different faiths." It continues: "True, people may strongly disagree about their religious beliefs, but there is no basis for hating a person just because he or she holds a different viewpoint."-Matthew 5:43, 44.
March 22, 1987 Awake! p.8-9 -- Are You Open-Minded Toward God? -- DO YOU love God? Do you want to know him better? The way to do so was shown 19 centuries ago. The apostle Paul preached to a mixed crowd of Jews and Greeks in a Jewish synagogue in Thessalonica. Some Jews and some Greeks were convinced and changed their religion, but many of the Jews, full of resentment, enlisted the help of a gang from the market place, stirred up a crowd, and soon had the whole city in an uproar. Under cover of darkness, Paul escaped the mob and moved on to Beroea and soon was in the synagogue preaching to both Jews and Greeks. Here the Jews were more open-minded than those in Thessalonika, and they welcomed the word very readily; every day they studied the scriptures to check whether it was true. Many Jews became believers, and so did many Greek women from the upper classes and a number of the men.Acts 17:1-12. The Jews in Thessalonica clung to their centuries-old religion with its oral traditions that made void Gods Word. (Matthew 15:1-9) How different were those of Beroeathey listened with open minds, checked the Scriptures to see whether Pauls words were true, and changed their religion.
April 1, 1986 Watchtower p.31 -- Questions From Readers -- Obviously, a basis for approved fellowship with Jehovahs Witnesses cannot rest merely on a belief in God, in the Bible, in Jesus Christ, and so forth.Approved association with Jehovah's Witnesses requires accepting the entire range of the true teachings of the Bible, including those Scriptural beliefs that are unique to Jehovah's Witnesses.
March 15, 1986 Watchtower p.19 -- Allow No Place for the Devil! (see entire article)
June 15, 1985 Watchtower p.12 -- Digging Deeper Into God's Word -- Digging DeeperProverbs 2:4, 5 states: If as for hid treasures you keep searching for it, you will find the very knowledge of God. The context of that passage speaks of the need to seek out Jehovahs sayings, commandments, wisdom, discernment, and understanding. Searching for treasures requires effort and perseverance. It calls for much digging. It is not different when searching for the very knowledge of God, for discernment, and for understanding. This also requires much digging, or penetrating below the surface. Do not feel that it is sufficient to skim over the surface of Gods Word.This involves looking up the scriptures cited. It means reading the footnotes in Watchtower articles, some of which refer the reader to an older publication that provides a fuller explanation of a certain passage or prophecy. It requires digging deeper, putting forth effort to locate that older publication and then studying the pages referred to.
November 22, 1984 Awake! p.3-4 -- An Open or a Closed Mind-Which Do You Have? -- What Is an Open Mind?An open mind is free from the fetters of prejudice, which by one dictionary is defined as follows: "A judgment or opinion, favorable or unfavorable, formed beforehand or without due examination; a mental decision based on other grounds than reason or justice; especially, a premature or adversely biased opinion." A necessary part of life is that we make decisions and reach judgments. But decisions made "without due examination" or judgments reached "on other grounds than reason or justice" are evidences of a closed mind. Having an open mind, on the other hand, means to be receptive to new information and ideas. It means being willing to examine and to evaluate information without a biased attitude. By retaining what is worthwhile and rejecting what is worthless, we can reach definite conclusions on a solid basis and still leave our minds open to further revision should additional information become available at a future time. He who feels he has learned it all can be sure that this attitude will prevent him from ever learning more. Why People Have Closed MindsA closed mind may indicate lack of knowledge. We may know so little about a subject, or have information so distorted or incomplete, that the facts necessary to reach proper conclusions are missing.
November 22, 1984 Awake! p.4-7 -- Six Benefits From an Open Mind -- Remember when you were a child? How exciting life was! How thrilling to explore everything new that came along. You wereas most children normally areopen-minded, receptive to new impressions. You did not know what prejudice meant. But have you retained this open-minded attitude toward new things? Or have you become like the foreign traveler who complains that he cant find the food he is accustomed to eating at home?And how do you feel about foreign customs? They may be somewhat strange viewed from your standpoint. But strange does not mean inferior. It is a closed mind that insists that our way of doing things is better. An open mind helps us maintain a cheerful attitude. A closed mind is poisoned by prejudice and hate. It is unloving and therefore detrimental to health.A closed mind brings mental growth to a standstill. This is dangerous because a closed mind is incapable of correcting improper or wrong ideas and views. An open mind, on the other hand, leads to maturity and greater mental balance. It helps us broaden the foundation upon which to base our views and make our decisions. Thus, the greater likelihood we have of making correct ones.To solve problems successfully we need to be willing to accept wise counsel. Proverbs 15:22 says: There is a frustrating of plans where there is no confidential talk, but in the multitude of counselors there is accomplishment. An open mind helps us to accept the counsel of those around us, people with whom we work, live and associate. This leads to accomplishment and success.Yes, we can benefit greatly by not closing our minds to the thoughts and conduct of others.Did you ever jump to conclusions that later proved to be incorrect? How embarrassing. But even worse, how painful if this caused a severe strain on your marriage or on a treasured friendship. An open mind would have prevented you from making up your mind about the matter until all the evidence was in. This, in turn, would have prevented you from speaking too soon. The Bibles sage observation about this at Proverbs 18:13 is: When anyone is replying to a matter before he hears it, that is foolishness on his part and a humiliation. It is truly difficult to have a fine relationship with narrow-minded people who see everything only from their perspective, not allowing for differences of opinion, taste and preference. And what is more narrow-minded than a closed mind? Of course, an open mind should not be so open or broad that it loses sight of moral principles and adopts the view that anything goes. But by open-mindedly trying to understand a person, we are not condoning his wrong actions. We are simply trying to determine why he thinks or acts as he does.
November 22, 1984 Awake! p.8-10 -- An Open Mind Wins God's Approval -- THE importance of having an open mind so as to win Gods approval is shown in the words recorded at Ephesians 5:10, 17. There we read: Keep
sure of what is acceptable to the Lord. On this account cease becoming unreasonable, but go
perceiving what the will of Jehovah is. But is it not a fact that many people have closed minds when it comes to religion? Even some religious people have closed minds. They are interested only in their religion, showing no willingness to as much as listen to the views of others. And even though they may not have chosen their religion but simply have inherited it from their parents, still they feel that their religion must be right.What makes a religion right is its total adherence to Gods Word. Whether our religion meets this criterion or not can only be determined by open-mindedly comparing it with the Bible. Certainly such an important matter as our worship of God should not be determined for us by the coincidence of where we were born. After all, the child born to Catholic parents has had no more control over this fact than the child born to Muslim parents controls that. Avoid Religious PrejudiceWhy, some people have even been known to doubt the truthfulness of a message simply on the basis of where the message bearer came from. Take, for example, an event from the first century C.E. John 1:45, 46 tells us: Philip found Nathanael and said to him: We have found the one of whom Moses, in the Law, and the Prophets wrote, Jesus, the son of Joseph, from Nazareth. But Nathanael said to him: Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Philip said to him: Come and see. Philip was clearly admonishing Nathanael to keep an open mind.How to Find Religious TruthAn open mind is willing to do what 1 John 4:1 recommends. It says: Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired expression, but test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God, because many false prophets have gone forth into the world.Be Sound in MindThe apostle Peters admonition be sound in mind includes, of necessity, having an open mind, for only an open mind can reach sound conclusions and make sound judgments. Some of the inhabitants of Beroea had such an open mind, because of them we read that they received the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so.1 Peter 4:7; Acts 17:11.An open mind, free of prejudice, will enable us to go on carefully examining the Scriptures daily and then to act upon what we learn.Yes, having an open mind will pay in many ways. Using it to help us find the true religion will enrich our present life, improve our spiritual health and assist us in solving lifes problems. [Picture on page 9] Do you reject a message because of preconceived ideas? Or do you investigate?
January 15, 1983 Watchtower p.22 -- Exposing the Devil's Subtle Designs -- Avoid Independent ThinkingFrom the very outset of his rebellion Satan called into question Gods way of doing things. He promoted independent thinking.How is such independent thinking manifested? A common way is by questioning the counsel that is provided by Gods visible organization.
January 15, 1983 Watchtower p.27 -- Armed for the Fight Against Wicked Spirits -- Fight Against Independent ThinkingYet there are some who point out that the organization has had to make adjustments before, and so they argue: This shows that we have to make up our own mind on what to believe. This is independent thinking. Why is it so dangerous? Such thinking is an evidence of pride.
February 15, 1981 Watchtower p.19 -- Do We Need Help to Understand the Bible? -- OUR VIEW OF THE SLAVEWe can benefit from this consideration. If we have once established what instrument God is using as his slave to dispense spiritual food to his people, surely Jehovah is not pleased if we receive that food as though it might contain something harmful. We should have confidence in the channel God is using.No question about it. We all need help to understand the Bible, and we cannot find the Scriptural guidance we need outside the faithful and discreet slave organization.
Is This Life All There Is? (1974) p.46 -- What Is This Thing Called "Soul"? -- It is obvious that the true God, who is himself the God of truth and who hates lies, will not look with favor on persons who cling to organizations that teach falsehood. (Psalm 31:5; Proverbs 6:16-19; Revelation 21:8) And, really, would you want to be even associated with a religion that had not been honest with you?
January 15, 1974 Watchtower p.35 -- Can You Be True to God, Yet Hide the Facts? -- When persons are in great danger from a source that they do not suspect or are being misled by those they consider their friends, is it an unkindness to warn them? They may prefer not to believe the warning. They may even resent it. But does that free one from the moral responsibility to give that warning?
October 22, 1973 Awake! p. 6 -- Examine the Evidence -- Reasonable persons agree that the only fair method is to examine the evidence on both sides, both for and against a disputed theory. That is how one arrives at the truth.
April 15, 1971 Watchtower p.230 -- The Bible-the Creator's Guide for Man -- Only the Bible provides the guidance that he needs.Is it not obvious why this Book of books should be mankind's primary textbook for study? Christians, above all, are keenly concerned about investigating this Book that is authored by the One to whom God's Son said: "Your word is truth." (John 17:17)
April 15, 1970 Watchtower p.246 -- Questions That People Ask About Jehovah's Witnesses -- How many are aware that adhering to false religion can mean their eternal destruction?... Are true Christians going to stand by quietly and say nothing about such gross misrepresentations? Hardly!
The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life 1968 p.13 -- Why It Is Wise to Examine Your Religion -- Since we do not want our worship to be in vain, it is important for each one of us to examine his religion. We need to examine, not only what we personally believe, but also what is taught by any religious organization with which we may be associated. Are its teachings in full harmony with Gods Word, or are they based on the traditions of men? If we are lovers of the truth, there is nothing to fear from such an examination. It should be the sincere desire of every one of us to learn what Gods will is for us, and then to do it.John 8:32.
June 1, 1967 Watchtower p.338 -- Move Ahead with Jehovah's Organization -- Obedience the Basic FactorIs there a secret formula for moving ahead with the organization? No. But there is a basic thing we must have.It can be expressed in one word: OBEDIENCE.Effort With Positive Attitude NeccessaryOf course, effort is needed. There are four things we must do to perfect obedience that will move us ahead: (1) Study of Gods Word; (2) zeal and effort in applying the things learned to our life and ministry; (3) continually seeking and following the lead of Jehovahs holy spirit; (4) receiving help from other brothers in the organization. There are no shortcuts. How will we put these four things into effect? First, study: We may think of study as hard work, as involving heavy research. But in Jehovahs organization it is not necessary to spend a lot of time and energy in research, for there are brothers in the organization who are assigned to do that very thing, to help you who do not have so much time for this, these preparing the good material in The
Watchtower and other publications of the Society. But you do not study enough? Take this suggestion: Often the very best and most beneficial studying you do is that done when you read a new Watchtower or Awake! or a new book with the joy of getting the new truths and a fresh view.
March 1, 1966 Watchtower p.132 -- Should Falsehood and Corruption Be Exposed? -- People feel that it may not be the best policy to deceive and be untruthful, but to make known deception and uncover falsehood is regarded as being even worse. To do so often opens one to greater censure than is received by the person who commits the wrong.Jesus never hesitated to speak the truth, even though he was killed at the instigation of the angered religious leaders for doing so.Therefore, how will you respond when pointed statements are made about false religious teachings and corrupt practices? Will you immediately condemn the person or organization making the expos? Do you feel it is all right to teach lies and misrepresent Gods Word, but wrong to expose the error? Contrary to what some may think, it is not unkind and unloving to lay bare falsehood and corruption.Therefore, it is right and proper to speak out strongly against falsehood and corruption. A person or organization that, in imitation of Jesus Christ, has the courage to do so deserves attention and respect.
March 1, 1965 Watchtower p.151 -- Basis for Reliance on Prophecy -- The best method of proof is to put a prophecy to the test of time and circumstances. The Bible invites such a test. (1 John 4:1; Isa. 45:11) To conduct such an examination, we must have a standard, a set of requirements. The Bible itself establishes the rules for testing a prophecy, at Deuteronomy 18:20-22 and Deuteronomy 13:1-3: (1) It must be spoken in Jehovahs name and at his command; (2) it must come to pass; (3) it must be in harmony with Gods commandments and thus promote right worship.
November 15, 1963 Watchtower p.688 -- Execution of Divine Judgment upon False Religion -- It is not a form of religious persecution for anyone to say and to show that another religion is false. It is not religious persecution for an informed person to expose publicly a certain religion as being false, thus allowing persons to see the difference between false religion and true religion.
May 1, 1957 Watchtower p.284 -- Trust Your Proved, Faithful Brothers -- We will realize that Jehovah knows what is going on in his organization, and if he is willing to permit it, who are we to insist it should be different?
May 15, 1957 Watchtower p.313-315 -- Appreciating Basic Christian Publications -- Remember, the spiritual man examines [searches] indeed all things, and should know even the deep things of God. There is so much richness in Gods Word, and so many things of value, that it is impossible for all of these things to be repeated every few months. Yet more than half of Jehovahs witnesses today were not witnesses as recently as 1949! And a million more people are reading this magazine now than were reading it in May, 1955, just twenty-four months ago! How can all these people get the things they have missed? Only by studying earlier publications and digging back through previous issues of The
Watchtower kept in the library at your local Kingdom Hall. There is much in the way of spiritual riches and aids toward mature knowledge in these earlier publications, and their study is most certainly worth your time.
Qualified To Be Ministers 1955 p.156 -- If we have love for Jehovah and for the organization of his people we shall not be suspicious, but shall, as the Bible says, 'believe all things,' all the things that The Watchtower brings out...
August 15, 1950 Watchtower p. 263 -- Name and Purpose of The Watchtower -- The
Watchtower does not claim to be inspired in its utterances, nor is it dogmatic. It invites careful and critical examination of its contents in the light of the Scriptures.