JW Refutations of Criticism of Russell and Rutherford

by Duvduv 43 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Whynot

    Faith On The March and the Proclaimers book https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1101993012


    When I encountered criticism while preaching my response was always: The bible says that God's light will gradually get brighter and brighter. This means that there are beliefs that the Jehovah's Witnesses have abandoned and we make changes as necessary. We don't mind adapting whenever we see new truths. I also used Acts chapter 1 to show that even the disciples had incorrect ideas about God's kingdom.

    When facing criticism of 1914 I used to explain : Yes, we know that secular chronology does not coincide with ours but we feel that ours better fits with biblical chronology. Besides, secular chronology is not always accurate. (In reality the evidence against 1914 is very, very solid. We choose to stick to our teaching about it even though it's flawed).

    Another explanation I used to give: they were not perfect men. They made mistakes just like anyone else. And again I would show Acts chapter 1 to show that even the disciples had flawed ideas about the kingdom of God.

    So yeah, I was a very faithful Jehovah's Witness and eagerly defended the beliefs. There were plenty of things that led me to leave.

  • vienne

    Dear Duv,

    Not everything written about the two men is accurate. You may want to read Zoe Knox's Jehovah's Witnesses and the Secular World. Dr, Knox is generally a good researcher and and she's an academic, not an opposition writer. So she's fairly neutral.

    Chryssides' Jehovah's Witnesses: Continuity and Change is another book by an academic. It's not always accurate, but the errors are minor. Again, a neutral book, as far as any book can be neutral.

    Be aware that many things said about Rutherford simply are not true. There's a well-known photo of him and some of his friends drinking that is supposed to prove he's a drunk. The only problem is that they're drinking root beer, The glasses are root beer cups and the dispenser is a root beer dispenser. Be cautious and do not accept anything without convincing evidence. Convincing evidence is eye-witness, original documents. Not some claim made on the internet.

    Another Rutherford story is someone finding a bobby pin in his bed. They presumed it was proof he was a fornicator. Except ... he was losing his hair, and one of the contemporary remedies was something called Lucky Tiger. One rubbed it into his scalp and wore a skull cap secured with bobby pins. So there is no solid proof in that story. I'd be pleased to find solid proof, or a solid refutation. I have not found either. In my wordy way, I'm simply advising caution.

  • doubtfull1799

    There's so many bad things about Rutherford that have been confirmed by eye-witnesses and the societies own original documents that there is no need for those more out there speculative things anyway. The flawed character of the man is well documented without trying to add unsubstantiated stories about adultery etc....

  • doubtfull1799

    @vienne, very glad to hear how much research there is still to be published. Looking forward to it.

    I know there are internet sites that have pretty dramatic claims about Russells continuing business interests but they are very poor in terms of references or citations if at all. Is that something you will be touching on at all in the next volumes, or are you keeping things very much focused on the theological developments? I would love to know more about if it can be substantiated from reliable sources...

  • vienne

    We gave a survey of Russell's business interests in volume 1. We won't touch on that again in vol2. If we write the third book in this series, tentatively titled On the Cusp of Fame, they become an issue again. And we'll consider them in more detail then.

  • Duvduv

    I guess I am most interested in refutations by the JW of the allegations and accusations leveled against Russell and Rutherford during their tenures that present them as teaching crazy ideas, changing them, and leading to what opponents view as the cult nature of JW today. I watched a YouTube video of the history of the Bible Society- JW and that it is the orientation the video takes. Especially regarding dates for the end - 1874, 1914, 1975, and the presentation of a controlling mentality from the top, enduring over the years of Nathan Knorr, etc.

  • TD

    I'm lost.

    Stating that Russell engaged in an illicit relationship with Rose Ball is an accustion

    Stating that Russell was a Freemason is an accusation

    Stating that Russell deliberately defrauded people via sales of Miracle Wheat is an accusation

    Stating that Russell taught that the "time of the end" began in 1799; that Christ returned in 1874; that there would be a forty year harvest work culminating in the "end of all things" in 1914/1915 is a fact.

    I guess it might be difficult to separate the two in a YouTube video (?)

  • Vidiot
    "...We don't mind adapting whenever we see new truths..."

    Back then, maybe.

    These days, though?

    Particularly in the Information Age?

    When "pressured" by "Satan's World"?

    Not so much.

    In fact, I think they'd rather gargle with broken glass.

  • Duvduv

    How do JW respond to those accusations about Russell and Rutherford? Do they just dismiss them and say "it's all lies" or do they try to prove they weren't true? How did it apply also to Nathan Knorr and the false predictions and prophecies?

  • sir82

    How do JW respond to those accusations about Russell and Rutherford?

    99% - literally 99% - simply don't care at all. Of far far FAR greater importance are things like "where will we go to lunch after the Watchtower study is over?" and "Do I have enough vodka at home to get plastered tonight, or do I need to stop by the liquor store on the way home from the meeting?"

    JWs who care about history and/or the teachings of Russell & Rutherford have aged out - any who are left are in their 80s at least, and are marginalized in JW society.

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