C T Russell's involvement with the Freemasons re-evaluated

by Finkelstein 35 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Finkelstein
    Finkelstein

    Doing some research on the person who got Russell started into this return of Christ dispensational era theology, namely Nelson Barbour who himself acquired it from Millerites in the area, I don't see anywhere Barbour preaching Pyramidology.

    I don't see anywhere of him either using the Knights Templar symbol or the Cross and Crown symbol either.

  • Finkelstein
    Finkelstein

    So where do you think Russell picked up the symbol of the Knights Templar Russell was notably apposed to Catholicism ? He was more engaged into Adventist theology which is a sect drawn out Protestantism ?

    You cant dismiss the fact that some of the theology entwined into Freemasonry has Egyptian mysticism ie the Pyramid, the Egyptian Obelisk ets.

    The reason why their is an image of a pyramid with a seeing eye on American dollar bill or the reason why there is a Egyptian Obelisk in Washington DC, is because of the early founders of this country were Freemasons.

  • TD
    TD

    So where do you think Russell picked up the symbol of the Knights Templar Russell was notably apposed to Catholicism ?

    Do we know for sure that it is a Knights Templar symbol, or is it just very similar to them?

    Personally, I think Russell, the Bible Students and the JW's in general have had a very casual attitude about borrowing other people's ideas and illustrations rather than coming up with their own.

    What was Russell's intent with the symbol? Even if he did borrow it from the fraternal order, was he using it as they intended it (i.e. A reference to the order) or was he using it to his own ends? -Possibly as a reference to Ephesians 6? I don't actually know, but I think you would have to before you could really justify a conclusion (?)

  • Finkelstein
    Finkelstein

    I think Russell used it to simply symbolize his own intent of protecting the faith of Christianity.

    There is a pertaining unique difference with the Knight Templars within Freemasonry itself ......

    The Knights Templar is an international philanthropic chivalric order affiliated with Freemasonry. Unlike the initial degrees conferred in a Masonic Lodge, which only require a belief in a Supreme Being regardless of religious affiliation, the Knights Templar is one of several additional Masonic Orders in which membership is open only to Freemasons who profess a belief in the Christian religion. One of the obligations entrants to the Order are required to declare is to protect and defend the Christian Faith.

    It easy to see that Russell propagated ideas that he himself took great interest in, the proclaiming of Christ's return by making calculations derived from the bible as well Pyramidology. Consumed himself right until his death.

    The connecting issues make for a conclusion on its own, such as Russell's often use of Masonic Halls to give public talks, to the use of the Knights Templar and Cross and Crown on Zion's Watchtower.

    Russell did acquire ideologies from various sources that is clear, it would be intellectually dishonest though to say that his association with Freemasonry had absolutely no appealing influence..

  • TD
    TD

    There is a pertaining unique difference with the Knight Templars within Freemasonry itself ......

    Yes! There are Lodges back East that are almost entirely Jewish. The required belief in a Supreme Being is not that much different than the belief in organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous and is not specific to any particular faith.

    Russell did however seem to be very sympathetic to Zionism, so who knows?

    As a teenager, I attended JW meetings for seven months in an IOOF hall. --Attended circuit assemblies in rented tobacco barns, high schools, ancillary buildings at state fair grounds and even National Guard buildings. JW's have a long, long history of renting anything they could find because of the "Witness" it would allegedly provide.

    My hesitation on this thread is not so much about Russell and Freemasons as it is to the fact that this idea is often used as a stepping stone to other theories, including but not limited to the alleged occult roots of the JW faith or the idea that the world is run by a consortium of European royal families, rich bankers and other power brokers going all the way back to the Middle Ages. (Like in the television series, Grimm that my daughters are currently hooked on..)

  • Finkelstein
    Finkelstein

    My hesitation on this thread is not so much about Russell and Freemasons as it is to the fact that this idea is often used as a stepping stone to other theories, including but not limited to the alleged occult roots of the JW faith or the idea that the world is run by a consortium of European royal families, rich bankers and other power brokers going all the way back to the Middle Ages. (Like in the television series, Grimm that my daughters are currently hooked on..)

    Totally agree TD, some people tend to go way over board on their speculative theories.

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