THE LEAD BALLOON: PAROUSIA
“Up, up and away in my beautiful. . .balloon,” is the lyric of a popular song from the 60’s; lifting us into the sky away from cares and woe.
What creates the lift? Nothing but hot air beneath a large Nylon bag.
For dramatic purposes, let’s change one little thing by making the balloon
LEAD instead of Nylon.
Still a beautiful balloon but unable to “Up, up and away”!
All the hot air in the world wouldn’t lift off the ground.
What a crazy analogy!
Or - is it?
IT’S ALL G(R)EEK TO ME
Jehovah’s Witnesses, run into a lot of G(r)eek words in the Watchtower printed materials.
The New Testament is called Christian Greek Scriptures in Watchtower Society-speak. Jehovah’s Witnesses pretend to understand.
It sounds so smart to know the “true” meaning of Greek words.
For Watchtower leaders what lifts their understanding of Greek is a balloon (is a Lead Balloon) for them to lift “Up,up and away.”
They BELIEVE in their lead balloon because they are:
Amateur “scholars” who monkey with Greek
Let’s jump into our mental Time Machine and travel way back over 100 years as the founder of the Watchtower Magazine, Pastor Russell, tinkered with the exact meaning of Greek words pertaining to the RETURN of CHRIST.
**Spoiler Alert**There’s going to be a lot of hot air and no lift.
Pastor C.T. Russell mimicked his hero: William Miller.
Who was Miller?
An unschooled, self-taught Baptist, William Miller (1782-1849), preached that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ would occur some time between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844.
As many as one hundred thousand people were persuaded to believe his predictions
Which proved FALSE. This has been called THE GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT.
2. An admiring successor Millerite, Nelson H. Barbour, monkeyed with the date for Christ’s Second Coming and taught 1873, not 1844. Barbour published his version of predictions which also failed.
3. B. W. Keith, a reader of Barbour, wrote a kind of apology or solution to this apparent “failure” of chronology which centered on a Greek word in the New Testament, Keith looked at Benjamin Wilson’s The Emphatic Diaglott, and Keith noticed a marginal alternative translation of Parousia, the Greek word normally translated ‘coming,’ The alternate meaning was: (drum roll please….‘presence.’
4. Charles Taze Russell paid for Barbour to come down from New York and during the subsequent conversation Russell became convinced Christ had indeed returned “invisibly” in 1874 because of this Parousia explanation. Enthusiastically, Russell started The WatchTower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. Not “coming” but Presence.
THE LEAD BALLOON: PAROUSIA
IF you can understand it - and want to believe it - take a ride in the balloon!
WHAT THE HELL IS AN OUSIA? (oo-see'-ah)
Ousia is not a machine gun!
Ousia is Greek and its origins are rooted in Greek Philosophy.
Pagan Greek philosophy.
(I can imagine how excited you are to learn more. Let’s continue…)
Greek philosophers Socrates, Plato and Aristotle concerned themselves with nature (substance) as opposed to mere appearance (essence) in regard to Truth, Reality, existence.
Paul was from Tarsus. Tarsus was distinguished for its culture of Greek literature and philosophy.
“Was any of this important to Christianity?”
Yes. Christianity split into two pieces over it.
( 30 Christian councils met in an effort to rid Christianity of Pagan Greek Philosophy and its insidious influences. Forbidding definitions containing ousia was considered the correct approach.)
Christianity divided into two parts.
1. Roman Catholic Church in the Western part of the Empire
2. Eastern Greek Orthodox branch
Why? They couldn’t agree on (homo-ousious) the nature and reality of Jesus!
That damned Greek ousious!!
THE NITTY GRITTY (i.e. “Where the rubber meets the road:)
Let’s take a closer look at ousia.
To think about something we need to distinguish what it is.
What is the nature of -- a dog?
My dog, Pepita in particular as a specific dog apart from all others in the category of DOG.
4th Century B.C.E. Aristotle would say Pepito is the (hypostasis) substance and the categories are the (ousia) essence.
4th Century C.E. Christianity argued homo-ousios : is Jesus a. Man b. God c. Man/God
19th Century C.E. Pastor Russell would argue about parousia in the same way.
The Nature of Christ’s return specifically: he can be present without being visible.
One might say, “Grampa is here with us today in spirit.”
This is how Pastor Russell explained the Return of Jesus and why He couldn’t BE SEEN WITH THE NAKED EYE. If Jesus returned in the flesh, there would be hypostasis.
“I’ll be back!” (the Terminator)
Did Cyborg from the future mean “I’ll be back” literally or figuratively?
Does it matter?
Well - Duh!
Pastor Russell and Nelson Barbour were not qualified as Philosophers, or even Christian ministers. They were qualified as crackpots.
“Where is the evidence, we can’t see Jesus?”
“Aw, don’t worry about that--he meant parousia-essence and not hypostasis-substance.”
THIS IS THEIR LEAD BALLOON
To get their crank teaching off the ground a bit of Greek razzle-dazzle pumped hot air into their rhetoric.
Parousia is a kited check with no funds in the bank to back it up.
Parousia is an excuse to explain failed predictions for the second coming of Christ.
Here is a True or False test of sanity: Do you believe a guarantee of something invisible?
Here is the Watchtower / Governing Body official proof of insanity.
Pastor Russell demonstrated an idiot belief in these Ironclad (lead) Balloon teachings:
The Last Days began 1799
Jesus Parousia started 1874
Jesus started ruling in heaven in 1878
The Gentile Times would end in 1914
Judge.Rutherford was “assured” of the return of ancient worthies resurrection in 1925.
He tested credulity with assurances and when nothing happened, insanity replaced Faith.
"In the year 1943 the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society published the book "The Truth Shall Make You Free." This moved forward the end of six thousand years of man's existence into the decade of the 1970's. Naturally this did away with the year 1874 C.E. as the date of return of the Lord Jesus Christ and the beginning of his invisible presence or parousia. Page 324 of the above book positively says: "The King's presence or parousia began in 1914."" God's Kingdom on a Thousand Years Has Approached p.209
The core beliefs of JW’s have been tested again and again with persuasive guarantees and reassurances. Big colorful assurances like Bright Balloons made of lead.
WatchTower had no clue as to the distinction between OUSIA and HYPOSTASIS and that ignorance has cost them and their followers suffering and embarrassments!
Many have died, become disillusioned, lost their faith, and turned to atheism and have been targeted as enemy apostates.
The sole duty of Jehovah’s Witnesses has been (over 100 years) to hand out invitations to the next Balloon Ride to unsuspecting passengers.
Lawsuits are piling up over injuries sustained.
You see, lead is not only too heavy to lift off -- it is poisonous as well.