1914 is the Key !
Do you really believe that the rank and file are in the religion because of the 1914 date? The 1914 date is simply another 'truth' susceptible to 'new light'.
I think the major reason that most JWs had (ie in the past) a vested interest in 1914 date was because it anchored the 'generation' that would see the end times. This link has been broken... this didn't cause a major walk out or revolution.
Personally I do not believe altering or gradually reducing the importance of the 1914 date will make much difference. Some will see it as a relief I'm sure; Borg HQ have not produce any accurate prophetic dates so far.
In fact I would go as far as to say dropping this last date discovered by biblical numerology will actually free the religion. (Not long after I expect you would see Watchtowers released criticising religions for relying on such superstitious nonsense.)
Ultimately, only time will tell.
"..the..1914 date was because it anchored the 'generation' that would see the end times. This link has been broken..." Mash:
almost but then, 1914 with the overlapping group, projects wt to ~ 2075. (anointed wheezers). so: remember the last exchange in the bible. Rev 22: 20, "..Come quickly Lord.." coming quickly, soon, for ~2000 years.
Sorry I was using the word 'generation' in the traditional sense. What I meant was there was a generation of witnesses that did truly have a vested interest in the 1914 date. "Millions now living will never die" was their great hope. This is the broken link to which I was referring.
Does the Bible " say" what it means ?
Does the Bible " mean" what it says.?
Their are just so many scriptures that are open to interpretation by "scholars " and is the reason we have something like 30-40,000 different Christian sects in the world today most of which claim to be the "true" religion.
Jehovahs Witnesses were not the only ones who thought God turned his attention to act out his plan in the late 1800`s .and none have ever been validated by God.
their date setting so called prophecies are most easy to debunk, it is really that simple, even someone who has never been a jw could debunk them with just a few hours of research, mentioning the Babylonian way of record keeping where a single visit to the British Museum can prove this, yes you may end up in an argument going around in circles but I've found in recent years they simply do not have the tools to back it up and they admit defeat and change the subject! there is not one single shred of biblical evidence to support it,the 1914 date is so utter ridiculous it is laughable that they still cling to it but they have to otherwise their whole house of cards will fall down. I remember having a debate with my own mum some years back about it including the "generation" that would not pass away etc and this was even before the "overlapping" doctrine was introduced, she was so vehemently angry with me she asked me to leave her house and never come back, how stupid and foolish was she?
I don't think many of today's JW's think about the 1914 stuff, or ever have, and nor would they be able to explain it.
But the claim is made time and time again by the JW literature that Jesus began to reign in Heaven in 1914. It says that in the WT I referred to.
So, if the GB cannot prove this to be true, then why should anyone respect their authority,or their opinions, and why should anyone believe a paradise earth some time soon is a possibility ?
1914 is the Key, but the lock is jammed on most JW's minds.
I simply cannot agree. The 1914 date is already almost impossible to defend. I expect the more intelligent JWs already understand this.
The mental gymnastics the GB and JW 'rank and file' can resolve is simply more powerful than the 1914 date. Is the date important? Yes, of course. Can this date be adjusted? Yes, of course. Can the date become part of cloudy old light? Yes, of course.
Do most of the rank and file care if the date was 1914, 1919 or 19xx? Not really I would guess. Remember the GB will be praised (by themselves and rank and file) for continuing to shine 'new light' and provide 'food and the proper time'.
As I have previously mentioned, personally I believed that changing the 'generation' teaching would have a massive impact... effectively they betrayed beliefs and trust of "millions now living", that was a real betrayal. What was the impact?....
The GB could easily leave the 1914 date 'as is'... and just let the importance fade. Alternatively they could alter the date as an academic or spiritual exercise. But, just remember, JWs should not be arrogant and step ahead of the organisation, it is always best to 'wait on Jehovah'.
I do agree MASH with what you say about how it is, and your guesses as to the future moves are probably spot on, what I am hoping though is that myself, and others, may be able to engage individual JW's in a conversation that makes them confront the reality, which is :
No 1914 = no 1919 = no appointment of JW's/GB.
For me I could say something like " If you can prove to my satisfaction that Jesus began to reign in 1914 I will return to the fold". During the process of trying to do so, you never know, the JW may have a light bulb moment.
The beauty of using 1914 is that we don't have to delve and find what disturbs the person about the Borg, if anything, all JW's by default subscribe to the 1914 doctrine.
I would love that to work. I wish anyone the best of luck attempting it. However, I do not think there are many examples on this board of JWs being directly 'reasoned' or 'argued' out by an external influence. In my experience presenting a challenge to an indoctrinated person is nearly always viewed as a 'test of faith' an opportunity show off their spiritual qualities.
Obviously you might have results with someone experiencing doubts or someone already looking to leave. IMHO for someone to help a JW out of the Borg involves creating space between the follower and the organisation.
I expect many have researched this personally and discovered the 1914 date issue and I believe that is different. If a member is looking for inconsistencies in the faith, they are probably already drifting away.
So I suppose my concern would be, at worst, attempts to argue doctrinal matters could potentially strengthen the faith of some. Of course... you can lead a horse to water...
Anyway, if you do get the chance to discuss this with a JW let us know what happens!