Is changing the "truth" / presenting "new light" really so bad?

by Zana 39 Replies latest jw friends

  • Ucantnome

    I saw some of my cousins recently at a BBQ. When we were all kids my parents witnessed to them and their parents. Telling them of 1975 and the generation that will not pass away and how we would never grow old. Now a lot of my aunts/uncles are dead and our grandparents are gone. As I was leaving one them asked about our lives as witnesses.

    I'm sure had I told them about the overlapping generation I would have got a big laugh.

  • konceptual99

    A law may be changed due to it being unjust, inappropriate or relevant to contemporary situations.

    When laws are enacted they reflect the moral and social perceptions of the law makers. They are not considered "truth" nor are they considered unchangable. Some laws are enacted without the overwhelming support of the people and in most countries people are free to protest and lobby for change.

    For example, homosexuality was illegal in the UK for many years until the moral and social conscience of the majority of society incited change. We currently have laws banning the use of certain drugs yet the debate goes on about if these laws should be changed to better tackle the social issues caused through abuse. One could never say never to change to these laws even if you think they are the best way forward right now.

    The WTS has not used the term "new light" for ages. They recognise it's link to u-turns and flip-flopping doctrine. They use terms like "increasing light" and "clarification" to imply progression and evolution rather than complete change. They try to deflect through semantics the fact that a "clarified" understanding can be the polar opposite of the previous belief yet they both count as the "truth" in their own times.

    You cannot criticise a current teaching of the WTS. You cannot lobby for change. You cannot show any dissent. You cannot enforce change. You cannot survey or poll the membership to gauge opinion. It's even pretty hard to criticise a previous teaching since that is an implied dig at the GB for only trying to do their best at the time. Embarrassing details are brushed under the carpet, simply ignored and never referred to. Doctrine changes are never because something was unjust, inappropriate or irrelevant.

    You can trace most "increasing light" and "clarifications" down to one of the following:

    - saving the org money

    - making the org money

    - minimising legal exposure

    - controlling the membership

    - covering up prophetic failures

    The comparison with law making is not even close.

  • zophar

    You both make excellent arguments, perhaps you should join the Legislature or Parliament!

    I understand the Mormon Church believes the US Constitution is a document inspired by God. Others however might view it as a wise document capable of changing interpretation with time and circumstance. In that way, a living document. The Bible makes the claim that it too is a living document.

    Heb 4:12 "For the word of God is alive and exerts power"

    So, like the constitution, does that mean that changing times might call for changing understandings. The problem is that the GB feel they are the only ones that can read the Bible's pulse. So you get the terrible situations as discussed by notsurewheretogo above. That position causes pain, depression, anger and even death.

    The change in accepting blood fractions, alternative military service and the change in laws regulating marital sexual relations cost people their association with friends, divorce and even death because of adjusted views!

    Perhaps, if JW's had stayed Bible Students instead of claiming to be arbiters of truth they would experience more peace and less depression and anger in the ranks.

  • LoveUniHateExams

    What's the difference between the GB changing bible interpretations compared to parliaments all over the world changing laws? - in addition to Viv's excellent point, the following:

    The UK elected government has Her Majesty's Opposition. This questions the government, holds it accountable.

    The GB has no such constraints.

  • cofty

    Is changing the "truth" / presenting "new light" really so bad?


  • TheWonderofYou

    Changing the truth ? If you speak a true statement than thats truth, If you speak a false statement than its not truth, but an error, a lie or a mistake. You can change a mistake, correct the mistake to speak then the truth, but you are not changing the truth but changing the mistake, you are making conformity between the reality and your former false statement.

    It turns around conformity to reality, facts and circumstance, purpose, sense as well as to conformity to own awareness experience and conviction = truthfulness.

    But there are other meanings of truth in a certain , the conformity towards a matter, a person or a term.

    Whether someting is true depends of the value system that is used like in formal semantics, maths...

  • Vidiot

    konceptual99 - "You can trace most 'increasing light' and "clarifications' down to one of the following:

    - saving the org money

    - making the org money

    - minimising legal exposure

    - controlling the membership

    - covering up prophetic failures."


    If you didn't know better, you'd think it was some kind of hustle or dodge...


  • Simon

    It wouldn't be ... except they hound, harass and harm anyone who doesn't accept one of their teachings as truth or if they keep accepting it as the truth after it's been replaced with something else.

    How come they are never the ones at fault for peddling their made up interpretations?

  • notsurewheretogo

    I'll go even further.

    This "old light" "new light" shite really grates on me.

    If "new light" comes out and replaces "old light" who got the "old light" wrong?

    Does Jehovah, with his magical Holy Spirit, inspire the GB as they come to decisions on doctrines?

    If He does then Jehovah is the author of the wrong doctrine, thus a God of falsehood.

    Or is it a case of the GB are students of the bible, and they issue a doctrine they believe to be correct and then Jehovah corrects the doctrine if it is wrong?

    If THAT is the case then how do JW's know and trust what is the current teaching is the correct one? What if life doctrines are involved like blood and they are currently wrong? How can the GB demand 100% obedience IF the above is the way it works.

    To a JW it can only be one of the two situations above...either God is the author of every doctrine coming from the GB and he is getting it wrong (so who wants to follow a God like that) OR it is the GB getting it wrong and Jehovah corrects them but then you simply can never ever trust that any doctrine is right.

    Either way, you wouldn't be a either follow a dick of a god or you are following men.

    PS.. the two situations are the only explanation to a JW as to why old light is wrong. We know very well there are other reasons like its all bollocks but I am on a JW level of thinking to highlight the point.

  • LoveUniHateExams

    How come they are never the ones at fault for peddling their made up interpretations? - quite right.

    Also, perhaps it depends on what 'truth' we're talking about.

    What about those JWs who died because they were faithful to the GB and declined blood fractions before that was made a conscience matter?

    What about JW deaths due to obeying the organ transplant ban? Had they lived today and had that problem, they'd be alive.

    The above and similar examples are really - REALLY - bad.

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