Here's a few little gems from the latest Watchtower.
5 Many today think that to be truly free, they must be able to do anything and everything they want to do, regardless of the consequences.
This statement is just ridiculous, any normal functioning individual understands the necessity for restrictions, for their own protection and justice as well as for others. It's a very childish statement with no substantiation and written only to create a perception in JW minds of how worldly people are selfish to the point of being reckless and unrestrained.
They liken Adam and Eve's sinning which resulted in disaster as being like a pilot not following their designated flight path and make this comment
However, if the pilot chose to disregard that guidance and fly any route he desired, the result could be disastrous.
This is a very bad analogy because when Adam and Eve sinned, they had already been forewarned of their disaster to follow. This is unlike the pilot who's outcome is unknown, it could be perfectly safe or very dangerous. There are also times when he must make his own decisions for the safety of him and the passengers and has been trained for such instances.
Their simpler writing is proving to show their ineptitude in making logical remarks as shown in the following
Not only can sin lead us to doing what is bad but it can also prevent us from doing what we know is right or from living up to what we know we are capable of.What they are saying is that sin leads to sin. Sin cannot lead us into doing what is bad because by sinning we are already doing what is bad.
When we realize the true value of a costly gift, we are moved to show our gratitude to the giver.
I guess the comment like the one above demonstrates the outlook that Bethelites, including the Governing Body, cultivate when living under a vow of poverty. This sounds materialistic but isn't always true, even a inexpensive gift can bring a lot of joy.
Some of my most treasured gifts are inexpensive things that my children have given to us. One of them is a painting that our son brought home from school one day with a look of disappointment as he gave it to us. He has some wonderful talents but creativity is not one of them and we thought his effort was exceptional under these circumstances and we still proudly display his work, 13 years later.
A number of years ago, after the financial collapse, the Australian Government gave all families a once off lump sum payment of $1,000 per child, to spend any way they liked. Many of us were not grateful for this gift but annoyed at the irresponsibility of the Government. Expensive gifts are not always wanted or cherished.
Clever advertisers often feature attractive people deceptively promoting as must-haves many things we really do not need. How easy it is to fall prey to these ploys and to misuse our freedom!
More and more, it's obvious that the organization is using the same ploy by selecting attractive people to put in their publications and on their video's.
According to them, we are misusing our freedom by buying things we don't need because we have been sucked in by attractive people advertising goods. We are all just terrible people, I feel so guilty that I'm thinking I should return my electric kettle and start using our log fire to heat our water. It may take longer but I'll be putting my freedom to good use.
They've managed to manipulate the whole discussion about the Biblical idea of freedom (being freedom from sin) into some sort of idea about personal behavior.
Higher education is again brought up in a negative light and is compared against just basic education. They quote 1 Cor 10:23 which says
All things are lawful [or, “permissible,” ftn.], but not all things are advantageous. All things are lawful, but not all things build up.”
Their conclusion is that even though one's conscience may permit higher education, it is not always advantages or up-building. It is extra ordinary to see a group of people being told that having anything above a basic knowledge should be viewed negatively. Why even draw a line between basic education and higher education? The same reasoning that they use could be applied for learning anything beyond a Year 9 level, or less.
Since the main topic of the articles is freedom it is of no surprise to see it being twisted by examining the following question
‘Can I use my freedom to give greater support to the Kingdom work?’
The moral of their story is that you have freedom from Jehovah for your sins but we want to take your other freedoms away by having you work for us.
The next article is about newly appointed men and the problem they may face with feeling inadequate. They use the Timothy, a companion of the Apostle Paul as encouragement but rather than basing their example on facts they make a number of assumptions -
Timothy was probably in his late teens or early 20’s when the apostle Paul invited him to become his traveling companion. At first, being young, Timothy may have lacked self-confidence and may have hesitated to act in his newly assigned role.
They use an example to tell the appointed Brother that he should be more concerned about the needs of the Bro's and Sis's rather than administrative things.
Avoid being like the proverbial bus driver who is more concerned with arriving on time at every bus stop than with picking up passengers
Who comes up with these ideas? It's of the utmost importance that the bus driver sticks to his designated time tables, both for the expectations of those waiting and for the smooth operation of the bus drivers working to their time tables. It would cause chaos to put individual passengers ahead of a well planned schedule. Naturally, a little flexibility is sometimes called for.
Here's another example of their simplified writing. I'm not a good writer myself but I'm not writing articles for over 8 million people to read or having my work proof read by dozens of people.
Will you keep making spiritual progress? Make it your aim to learn from Timothy. Then you too will be a blessing to God’s people.
Shouldn't it read "Then you too will CONTINUE to be a blessing to God's people. The article is being addressed to newly appointed men, it suggests that they have received their appointment but are not yet a blessing to God. It's easy to think it's on purpose because no JW, regardless of their position can ever do enough to gain approval.
The next article is about encouragement and mentions the governing body of the first century by making this claim
When Philip the evangelizer preached about Christ to the Samaritans, he received the full backing of those on the governing body. They sent two of their number, Peter and John, to pray for the new believers to receive holy spirit. (Acts 8:5, 14-17
One method of encouragement is mentioned and that is to write a short note of appreciation and gratitude to CO's, Bethelites, elders, missionaries and pioneers. It may be that there is a big problem with showing appreciation as they advise that even a 'warm smile when greeting someone' would be an easy way to show encouragement. Surely these things come from the heart, rather than micromanaging ways in which this should be done, but no mention is made about this. Rather a fake, physical display is all that is required.
Other suggestions for encouragement include words of comfort, reading from the Watchtower or JW org and singing a song together. I must have missed it but I saw no suggestion about reading from the Bible.
Another article focuses on children setting goals, to pioneer or work at Bethel. It mentions a few examples and includes children as young as 10. They make this lie
But youths who today keep focused on theocratic goals will well into adulthood be deeply satisfied with the choices they made.
This may be the case for some but making a blanket claim like this is dishonest.
The QFR is interesting and should be in a thread of its own.