Edited by - SolidSender on 10 August 2000 4:46:32
Edited by - SolidSender on 10 August 2000 4:46:32
While the Society does not insist that they are infallible or divinely inspired the reality is that a large number of Witnesses behave like they are. The expression "The Society says..." while discouraged for appearances sake, still is used as if to lend weight to a matter when an individual is enforcing a "rule" or looking for some authority to what he has to say.
And what does that have to do with the price of rice in China? We are talking about how the Society represents itself, not how others view it/them. As you know views range from the quite sensible to the bizarre almost without regard for the subject. I am glad, though, that you realize the Society does not insist that their/its biblical interpretations are infallible.
The Society also fails to put any disclaimer….
You will find a lot of explicit comments in the Society’s publications that admit as much as you did above.
People continue to be disfellowshipped for holding to a different viewpoint on certain matters which are not directly commented on by the scriptures.
I know of not one single case where a person was disfellowshipped over holding a divergent viewpoint, not even one. Yes, several persons have held divergent views and were disfellowshipped, but not because of holding such a view. They were disfellowshipped for the manner in which they shared that view; it sowed discord. That individual Witnesses hold divergent views is admitted by the Society. Must I continuously reproduce admissions that are there for all to see?
We both agree that the Society needs to make monumental changes.
…Jesus has patience with false prophets, we don't know for how long. It might be safe to assume his days are viewed like Jehovah views days, however. A year, a decade, a century, a millennium - it's Jesus' choice.
That is the point, we don’t know. All we know is that Jesus did allow some time, at least that is the record. If we then follow Jesus’ lead as recorded in the Bible then we must also not fall into the trap of immediately vilifying someone over an act of falsely prophesying. It could be that their hearts are genuine but that they just made a well-intentioned mistake. Also, the same point means that we must not vilify persons because they choose to believe that enough time has elapsed or not; that they go or stay, with Jehovah’s Witnesses that is. In cases where false prophecy is known to exist Jesus certainly will not condemn a person for want to allow some time or to cease close association. As long as both realize that Jesus allows some time for those sorts of things to work themselves out, then they can go on with spreading the good news with a clean conscience while Jesus works out anything that must be done so.
I believe my question stands. In view of the many false prophets, and not knowing how long Jesus will allow them time to turn around, how do we determine who to follow?
That is simple, besides not being unduly critical of those who may have misapplied yet genuine intentions, we go on doing our best to serve God through his son, Jesus. Neither expects more than our genuine love.
[url= http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/forum/thread.asp?id=527&page=2&site=3]Get a life.[/url]
As long as both realize that Jesus allows some time for those sorts of things to work themselves out, then they can go on with spreading the good news with a clean conscience while Jesus works out anything that must be done so.
No, I don't believe, at least in my case, I could "go on spreading the good news with a clean conscience. In my letter to the Society, I expressed the same sentiment.
Remember that scripture which spoke about freedom of speech? Unhindered? Well, I am consciencely hindered from encouraging anyone from studying with JWs. And, to my way of thinking, that goes hand-in-hand with "spreading the good news."
Perhaps that's one reason why I choose my name -
Friend:And what does that have to do with the price of rice in China? We are talking about how the Society represents itself, not how others view it/them. As you know views range from the quite sensible to the bizarre almost without regard for the subject. I am glad, though, that you realize the Society does not insist that their/its biblical interpretations are infallible.
Of course they insist infallibility, those little bitty disclaimers they use mean nothing in the context of everything else they publish .You dont need to blatantly state your divinely inspired to have people take on that belief.People take the view that they are unquestionable and divine because the WT so blatantly imply it with all the empty Rhetoric they use proclaiming everything as "TRUE TRUE TRUE TRUE" and all those nice pretty pictures etc ...WT literature is riddled with it....The average person is left in no doubt to claim, whether they decide to take the belief on or not.They hammer you over the head with "the Truth" and how great it is, leaving the individual to make the unambiguous conclusion that they are Almost Godly and infallible!.WT literature is a classic study in propaganda and deception.
What do you think of George Orwell friend BTW
P.S. Waiting, i enjoyed reading that cult link you put up...it was very interesting
P.S.S. Solid...You, Friend and one Desert Island....i can see real trouble mate he he!
Edited by - Zep on 10 July 2000 1:57:53
Edited by - Zep on 10 July 2000 7:31:58
I agree that the Society allows us to hold a different view, but when one cannot share and discuss new or different ideas/thoughts freely, and when one must walk as a lawyer on certain subjects, of what benefit is it to allow divergent thought when it cannot be acted upon or shared?
Here is an example. Suppose in January of this year you needed a prohibited blood fraction for your survival and you felt you could take it in good conscience. If you were unrepentent you would have been disfellowshipped (at least in many congregations) for breaking God's law on blood.
Suppose now that same fraction is now permitted in the June 15 QFR article. Of what benefit was freedom of thought in January when you could be dead by June by not having the freedom to act upon your conscience?
This example is simply to show that one does not necessarily have to spread a divergent thought, but in some cases, merely acting upon it in a life-or-death situation (and failing to repent for having done so) could lead to disfellowshipping.
Well, I am conscientiously hindered from encouraging anyone from studying with JWs. And, to my way of thinking, that goes hand-in-hand with "spreading the good news."
According to the Bible Jesus expects that we should love God and neighbor. Spreading the good news is a manifestation of both and can be as simple as encouraging persons to read the Bible. Whether we encourage that anyone study with Jehovah’s Witnesses up to our own conscience. Certainly the Society has problems, some of which are major. Nevertheless, depending upon our individual experience with them/it we may or may not see redeeming features that make association acceptable and maybe fine. You seem like a good person and one with experience in life. I am sure you will work through whatever hindrances are presently before you. As you have already done, just remember to keep on giving yourself plenty of time to make considered and conscientious choices.
Of course they insist infallibility, those little bitty disclaimers they use mean nothing in the context of everything else they publish .You don’t need to blatantly state your divinely inspired to have people take on that belief. People take the view that they are unquestionable and divine because the WT so blatantly imply it with all the empty Rhetoric they use proclaiming everything as "TRUE TRUE TRUE TRUE" and all those nice pretty pictures etc ...WT literature is riddled with it.... The average person is left in no doubt to claim, whether they decide to take the belief on or not. They hammer you over the head with "the Truth" and how great it is, leaving the individual to make the unambiguous conclusion that they are Almost Godly and infallible!. WT literature is a classic study in propaganda and deception.
Actually those “disclaimers”—as you call them—are not so itty-bitty. Many of them are quite candid. Otherwise the Society’s publications are laced with the notion that though its representations are felt to be accurate they may in fact not be so accurate.
Otherwise your argument above is based upon the manner in which people react to what they read. People’s perceptions vary to such an extent that forming a conclusion based upon that is unreliable. In fact, if we followed that argument to its end then we would have to yield that the Society’s disposition is fine just the way it is because so far the majority of those who have associated themselves with it as publishers have remained with it. I feel—and think I can successfully evidence—that the Society’s present disposition is not entirely fine and therefore do not accept the end result of your argument.
You also thread into your argument that the Society is somehow deceiving people with propaganda. While that is always a fine thing to warn people about it is nevertheless a bad basis for an argument because it becomes circular. Basically that argument boils down to, “I believe the stuff they say is deceptive so it must be deceptive”, which is quite circular. One problem with your claim of deception is people have different levels of comprehension. Additionally, some people may have made choices differently than you because they were more informed. For those and other reasons evidencing the conclusion of deception based upon Orwellian propaganda becomes precarious at best.
As for Orwell, I think he was a fine writer. Some of his works provide stern warnings to be on guard against beguiling ideas, systems or people. As I said before, that is always a fine thing to warn people against. Along those lines what he was really trying to convey is that people should think. Only when we hand over our thinking processes to another human does beguiling words or actions jeopardize us.
I hold that the Society’s tolerance for divergent thought is less than adequate but more than often represented or understood. On that subject my only intent is to evidence more precisely the true level tolerance. For all I know some may feel that level of tolerance is just fine. Others will decide as I have, that is not adequate. The key is presenting things as they actually are rather than embellishing them, whether that embellishment stems from our own prejudices, lack of information, or lack of critical or logical thinking. Afterward persons can better decide their own course because they have better information.
As for your example, some things are worth dying for and some not. Who can or should best decide when that choice has been made properly? Would you want someone else making that choice for you? Is one person’s understanding of preaching as Jesus did worth dying for? Those questions are really what your scenario boils down to. Because you or I might choose differently than someone else, that does not make that other person necessarily wrong. They may have a little different standard of morality or sensitivity related to their conscience. Again, the main thing is educating people with the most accurate information available. Afterward, for the most part what they choose to do should rightly be left up to them.
Thats a pretty good response Friend.
On that subject my only intent is to evidence more precisely the true level tolerance.
I think though you will have a tough time finding exactly what this level of tolerance is, because as we know such a level varies from congregation to congregation, branch to branch etc. It also can vary from year to year and subject to subject. This can be very confusing for the average person.
For all I know some may feel that level of tolerance is just fine.
Some people felt all sort of things (end coming in 1975 etc) but it doesn't make them right. Usually such ones have incomplete or erronious information, or haven't given much thought to the subject or have not been in a situation that such intollerance affects them.
As for your example, some things are worth dying for and some not. Who can or should best decide when that choice has been made properly? Would you want someone else making that choice for you?
I agree people should be free to die for what they believe in. Some will conscientiously refuse permitted blood fractions and that is their right to do so.
But people have the right also to live for what they believe in, and to make choices based on complete facts, not half-facts and an incomplete picture. People deserve full access to information without reprocussion so they can make an informed personal conscience decision on matters not specifically commented on in scripture.
Edited by - Pathofthorns on 10 July 2000 11:7:14
I'm at work now - and a typical Mon. morn.
Just wanted to add that this is a very interesting discussion -from all participants.
But people have the right also to live for what they believe in, and to make choices based on complete facts, not half-facts and an incomplete picture. People deserve full access to information without repercussion so they can make an informed personal conscience decision on matters not specifically commented on in scripture.
Yes, and those are rights that each should exercise. Typically it is by neglecting to exercise those privileges that people find themselves in ideologically less than desirable circumstances. This is one area where I hold a very different view from the Society when it comes to youths being baptized. The problem with baptizing people too young is that they have not yet developed the ability to utilize their right to choose. Too often young people default to the views of others, whether that is their inexperienced or incompetent peers, parents or someone else. Those who influence such a person are accountable. The problem with the Society has to do with whether they provide adequate training to ensure that youths are exercising their own informed choice.
Sometimes people conclude that the Society tries to hide its past, what you might call the complete picture. With a degree of humor I will most often see those same persons use the Society’s own publications to demonstrate the supposed hiding of information. What they don’t get is that the very fact that the Society publishes that stuff is also evidence contrary to their claim. In fact the Society’s decision in recent years to put many years of their publications onto a searchable CD does much to counter claims that the Society wants that its past be hidden.
The Society probably has no rival when it comes to the sheer number of published pieces of literature. The fact that the Society is such a prolific publisher actually evidences that they want their views known to as many as can read or hear them. For that and other reasons I cannot conclude that the Society wants to hide its history or real views.
Do you know of a hidden agenda held by the Society? If so I’d like to hear it along with evidence of it.
I don't believe there is any hidden agenda by the Society. Actually, I really don't know what or who the "Society" is or who or what is really running the show these days or where they are going.
While there is much published literature making brief, usually out of context mention of what was stated or done in times past, one usually gets quite a different picture when he visits older pulications, many which are not on the CD library, and many which simply aren't available to most Witnesses.
At the very least it is very safe to say that most Witnesses are quite unfamiliar with the particulars of their history, many even denying certain things having happened or being said. If I began distributing copies of what was stated by the Society 50-100 years ago, in many minds I'd be labelled an apostate for distributing such "truths". Why is our history not included in the study one undergoes before he is baptized?
At any rate, the half-facts I was mentioning were not really concerning our history anyway. As you have mentioned in the past, there is much more to be said in determining the merrits of the 587 date for Jerusalem's destruction. There is much more that can be presented to the brothers and sisters regarding alternative ways the blood doctrine could be viewed in light of the Bible.
We know that the full, or at least a larger picture exist. We know that counter-arguments from "non-approved" sources exist. However we have been taught to view such things as "spiritual pornography", being fully confident that the Society has a department researching everything for us, so there is no need to question what is printed in a Watchtower.