Jw's may not kill each other in war, but they do so in not accepting proper medical treatment. They kill children, and even their own family members that way!
Visit From Elders
Be assured I was not offended by your frank and forthright comments. I'm confident you are likewise not offended by ours. With regard to your feeling that the witnesses are the only religion that does not go to war, sorry, wrong again! There are several Christian and non-christian sects that are avowed pacifists who refuse military duty. Most are willing to serve in non-combatant status or have been given the freedom not to serve. The witnesses were so in-your-face about their stand that they ended up in federal court about it and to this day wear it as a badge as they take advantage of all the benefits of living in a country that has preserved its freedom and won the freedom for more non-countrymen than any other nation. No I'm not an America, love it or leave it flag waver, just one who realizes the hypocracy of the dubs in this issue.
I happen to belong to a faith that advocates against war as a solution to problems, but recognizes that governments have the obligation to protect its citizens and has an obligation not to allow a tyrant to run roughshoud over innocent people within or outside its borders. So the witnesses have been very successful in planting untruths in its followers who are unaware of much of what goes on in the world.
I wish you well in your dealings with them.
The Awake! article complimentary of the United Nations. Not sure if Quotes quotes it yet.
Oops. Posted on wrong thread.
Bummer about the unpleasant personal circumstances, Laurelin!
: Well, the two elders visited and I have to admit that it was nothing like I expected.
I'm glad that it turned out to be a fairly pleasant experience. Others have pointed out that this is more the exception than the rule.
: They sat down, and told me straight away that there was nothing I could say or ask that would hurt me. I asked them outright that was there anything I could say to them that would get me marked or disfellowshipped for being apostate and they replied no.
It's good that they put you at ease, but in the experience of most everyone on this board who has dealt with elders under similar circumstances, their statement was more a matter of their personalities than of Watchtower policy. Indeed, I myself several times experienced accusations of apostasy -- including by the Society itself -- merely because I asked a number of 'difficult' questions. You can easily find this out for yourself by enrolling yourself in a JW-only discussion board and posing the same questions to the board that you posed to these exceptional elders. However, I suspect that since the elders already knew you were going to bring up problem areas, they determined in advance to avoid alienating you by coming down hard just for asking the questions.
: Okay I thought... I bet you don't expect this lot though and I began. I started with the NGO business and worked through 1874, 1925, 1975 etc and they sat and listened to me. I mean they really listened, they even asked questions as one of the elders was aware of the NGO business but the other one wasn't.
It's good that they listened, but just as important, did they give you satisfying answers? Or was it the usual meaningless excuses?
: I expected a long lecture about not looking backwards, light getting brighter and just to rely on Jehovah but they didn't.
Frankly, I'm very surprised.
: One of them said that he was actually there when Bro ? (name escapes me) stood on the platform and asked "what's the time brothers?". He said everyone looked at their watches and he said "No, brothers, what's the time?" etc. They didn't deny anything.
These guys appear to be honest. A refreshing change!
: They even stated that there are some things in the watchtower which isn't always right
That, of course, is undeniable. The problem is that the Watchtower Society claims that everything it publishes is not the result of mere human interpretation, but is "spiritual food in due season" directly from Jehovah. So something is very wrong here. The fact that grossly wrong teachings have persisted for many decades is positive proof that the Governing Body and the supposed "anointed class" are not "God's channel of communication". But because they claim they are, what does that really make them?
: and one of them said that he hears some brothers say things from the platform and he shudders because it's just so off beam.
Sure, but that's just individuals. The important thing is not individuals, but the Watchtower organization itself in its claimed role of "channel of communication" and "faithful and discreet slave" and "God's prophet in these last days."
A group that claims to speak as God's prophet can't pick and choose when it's speaking (obviously through the printed page and the various means that the Society uses to communicate with the JW community) in God's name and when it isn't. It can't very well say at one time, "Ok guys. The following information is just our opinion" but at another time say, "Ok guys. This time what we're saying is really from God." It's all or nothing. Either they're God's collective prophet or they aren't. Remember what happened to various Old Testament prophets who claimed to speak for God but really didn't.
: I know that the society don't claim to be inspired or infalliable but I still expected everything to be right because they are god's organisation.
Actually they do claim to be inspired. They just don't call it that. I'll provide proof if you wish.
: I said how Jehovah never gave Moses a clouded law or a set of instructions that were vague and given to changing on a whim and one of them took me on a very intersting and (I admit sometimes confusing) trot through Galations and Psalms. He said that Paul was writting to them because they had asked the same thing. They wanted to keep to the law because it spelt out to them what they had to do and not to do. But that Jesus had done away with the Law and now brought in a Law of Freedom which required thinking, conscience and living by two laws. He said it gave the people more freedom and it meant they had to think about the way they served Jehovah rather than act like robots.
The fact is that, according to the Bible itself, the Jews were very much required to think about the way they served Jehovah. The Christian notion is simply an extension of that, with a good deal more exercise of conscience.
But this really doesn't address the basic issue that you brought up. Did they actually address it? Or did you come away confused about what they said, and unable to come up with a clear answer?
: I also asked about everyone dying that wasn't a baptised witness or their children and they both said that they didn't believe that.
Good for them! But they disagree with the authoritative doctrine taught by "the faithful slave".
: One of them quoted the scripture that states "A great crowd of people no man will be able to number" and said that if it were just witnesses then it would be a number easily counted. I said how I find it hard to accept that a person who has spent their entire lives helping other people (eg Red Cross workers in other countries) and sees things that make them doubt God exsists or cares would be killed at Armeggedon just because they failed to listen to the Witnesses.
: And he agreed and said that Jehovah knows everyone's heart and will judge on that alone.
A lot of JWs don't go along with the Society on this. But they know not to talk about it, except with people like you. Let them get up on the platform and say it, and they won't be elders for long.
: I replied that the brother at our group study the other week stated catagorically that everyone who has been witnesssed to and rejects it will die. He replied that he has seen nothing in the watchtower to back that up and more importantly he has seen nothing in the bible to back that up.
Perhaps he honestly thinks he never saw anything like that in Watchtower publications (actually, he did; he just doesn't remember it), but it certainly is there. For example, the September 1, 1989 Watchtower, in the article "Remaining Organized for Survival Into the Millennium" (p. 19) stated:
Only Jehovah?s Witnesses, those of the anointed remnant and the "great crowd," as a united organization under the protection of the Supreme Organizer, have any Scriptural hope of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil. . . For survival into the Millennium under the Greater Noah, Jesus Christ, they have to remain organized with the anointed remnant, "the chosen ones" on account of whom the days of the "great tribulation" will be cut short.
I can provide other quotations that say pretty much the same thing.
This brings up another point: if the Watchtower is wrong on this issue of salvation, then it's yet another area in which the Governing Body is teaching unscriptural things, which is more proof that it doesn't speak in God's name as it claims it does.
: Which leaves me floundering a little and quite a bit angry at the brothers who jump on the platform and state things they can't prove.
Except for obvious minor errors, elders who do that consistently get removed because sooner or later they come to the attention of the Circuit Overseer, who recommends removal for not going according to the Society. So those who get up there and preach that only JWs have any hope of salvation are teaching exactly what the Society wants them to. That's the whole purpose of their "preaching work" -- conversion to the JW religion.
: I'm still dangling at the cross roads. I want so very much to believe it and I can't get around the two main things that they have going for them. Love (yeah I know sometimes it just doesn't show itself, but when push comes to shove they do pull together, which you don't see in any other religion on such an organised scale.) and the preaching work.
I'm sorry, but I simply don't see the sort of "love" in the JW organization that they claim. I was raised in the religion (I'm 52 now) and the two sides of my family have been part of it since the 20's and 30's, so I know how the organization works. As long as you remain an apparently loyal JW, "love" is shown to you by the JW community. But if you quit, most of the time you're shunned to a lesser or greater extent. For example, my wife, also raised as a JW, is shunned by her older sister and younger brother (who recently became a CO) simply because she quit nearly 20 years ago. She's not disfellowshipped and didn't disassociate herself. The two siblings take the Society's teachings at face value and use them as the basis for this shunning. My point is: love that's conditional upon one's remaining a member of a religious community is not true love. It's fake.
: Others do preach but not on the scale or with the intensity (and I have to admit, success) the witnesses have.
Not so. Christian Fundamentalists of various sorts are having much success worldwide. The best example I know of is the loose group called Pentecostals. There were only a handful around 1900, but today there are roughly 250 million worldwide. If that's not success in "preaching", then I don't know what is. Go to any Christian bookstore and look at the wide variety of literature they have for sale. Mostly it's Fundamentalists who buy the stuff. It may not have the huge printing quantities that JW literature has, but remember that the great majority of JW literature ends up in the garbage. Furthermore, statistics indicate that well over 3,000 hours of reported preaching work are necessary for each new person baptized as a JW. If you account for the fact that at least half the baptisms are of JW kids, then it's obvious how inefficient and ineffective the JW preaching work really is.
And of course, there's the problem of what the JWs are preaching. The main message is: "Convert to the JW religion before Armageddon comes Real Soon Now. We know that it's real close because of our Bible chronology and because we see lots of signs of the end." But their so-called "Bible chronology" is dead wrong, and so are their claims about increasing earthquakes, famine, pestilence, war, crime, violence and so forth. On top of that is the claim that people must convert to the JWs to be saved. So they're really preaching a false message. Of what value is that?
: There is also Satan. I don't doubt his existance and it stands to reason that if the society is God's Organisation then he's going to do all he can to get people away from it.
That's a mighty big "if", and its validity rests on things such as we talked about above.
: And something else they pointed out to me: Imperfection. It's unreasonable to expect the society won't suffer from imperfection and louse up big time too.
Of course. But imperfect men who are humble -- and remember that the Bible says that God hates haughtiness -- will not hesitate to admit when they're wrong. Probably even more importantly, they won't make dogmatic statements about things they know are mere speculation. Nor will they punish people who publicly disagree with their speculations. Nor will they do everything they can to influence their followers to treat them as if inspired when they know darn well they aren't. The leaders of the JWs have failed miserably on these counts for the entire history of the Watchtower organization.
: I did some research on the CDROM and I found a few quotes where they actually admitted they held responsibilty for 1975 so it's not like they deny culparability. (yb80 pg31)
Yes, as other posters have pointed out by quoting the appropriate literature, at that time they did admit to having some responsibility. But when you read exactly what they said, it wasn't exactly a clean admission. They only admitted to some responsibility, whereas those of us who were influenced by them in the late 60's and early 70's know very well that the Society was entirely responsible, both through printed material and through its agents such as Circuit and District Overseers. And yes, even most Governing Body members. Remember that it was actually Fred Franz, remembered by many as the Society's "head theologian", who spearheaded the push to put 1975 to the fore in order to generate enthusiasm and an increase in the number of JWs.
And if some JWs claim that the Society never actually said, "1975 will be it!", I'll show you proof from their own publications that that's almost exactly what they said, although not quite that directly.
: They don't seem to deny anything ( having said that a lot of stuff is just not mentioned, such as the star of Alcyone, Russells pyramid etc).
Oh, they still deny it. Get on any JW-only discussion board and bring up the subject of 1975. If they let you stay on, you'll get the standard reply: "That was just a few people who went far beyond what the Society said. The Society never encouraged belief in 1975."
These days the Society has gotten completely away from admitting any responsibility for the disappointment the Governing Body caused over 1975. For example, we have the following statements from The Watchtower:
*** w95 11/1 pp. 16-17 A Time to Keep Awake ***
"Keep on the Watch"!
5 After prophesying events leading up to a time of "great tribulation," Jesus added: "Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father." (Matthew 24:3-36; Mark 13:3-32) We do not need to know the exact timing of events. Rather, our focus must be on being watchful, cultivating strong faith, and keeping busy in Jehovah?s service-not on calculating a date. Jesus concluded his great prophecy by saying: "Keep looking, keep awake, for you do not know when the appointed time is. . . . Keep on the watch . . . What I say to you I say to all, Keep on the watch." (Mark 13:33-37) Danger lurks in the shadows of today?s world. We must keep awake!-Romans 13:11-13.
6 Not only must we pay attention to the inspired prophecies concerning these final days of a wicked system but we must anchor our faith primarily on the precious sacrifice of Christ Jesus and God?s marvelous promises based thereon. (Hebrews 6:17-19; 9:14; 1 Peter 1:18, 19; 2 Peter 1:16-19) Eager to see the end of this evil system, Jehovah?s people have at times speculated about the time when the "great tribulation" would break out, even tying this to calculations of what is the lifetime of a generation since 1914. However, we "bring a heart of wisdom in," not by speculating about how many years or days make up a generation, but by thinking about how we "count our days" in bringing joyful praise to Jehovah.
Just who was it among "Jehovah's people" who initiated speculation "about the time when the 'great tribulation' would break out, even tying this to calculations of what is the lifetime of a generation since 1914"? Wasn't it the Governing Body itself? So according to these statements, the Governing Body failed to "bring a heart of wisdom in," not only with regard to 1975, but with regard to the number of years in "the generation of 1914" and with regard to many other things about "the time of the end" as they call our day. Who would want to put trust in such men? Can such men really make up a "faithful and discreet slave"?
A bit more on the Society's continuing dishonesty about its past chronological and other failures: The Proclaimers book soft pedals most of the false predictions, couching what Watchtower leaders did and said in fuzzy terms that don't clearly show how dogmatic they really were. For example, J. F. Rutherford kicked off the "Millions Now Living Will Never Die" campaign in 1918. This gradually evolved to incorporate a definite prediction that "the ancient worthies" such as Abraham and David would be resurrected in 1925. The basic idea was that "the end" would come in 1925 and that's why the "millions" then living would never die. Note how the Proclaimers book (p. 135) describes this and other dogmatic claims set forth by Watchtower leaders as "God's truth":
As the years passed and they examined and reexamined the Scriptures, their faith in the prophecies remained strong, and they did not hold back from stating what they expected to occur. With varying degrees of success, they endeavored to avoid being dogmatic about details not directly stated in the Scriptures.
Think about that last sentence carefully. Can you imagine that an honest organization would describe ridiculously dogmatic false predictions made in Jehovah's name in that manner? I certainly can't.
And that's precisely why I and many other people have quit the JW organization: it's led by a bunch of dishonest men who are so arrogant that they claim to speak for God and punish you if you call them on it.
AlanF coulnd't have said it any better...........
a lot of elders are kept in the shadows about a lot of the Society's mishaps. some of the elders really don't have any other place to go..... and some other elders are there because they feel that there's people that need hlep.
Where I feel the JW's are unique is that they will not go to war against each other or indeed anyone else. You'll get a catholic killing a catholic and there are some horrendous things done in Ethnic Cleansing' where one religion tries to stamp out another but you never get one JW try to kill another
What are you talking about, they kill each other all the time, daily, it's estimated that 3 people per day die because of the JW's blood policy, yet in ancient israel, if you ate blood under dire circumstances, to save life, there was no punishment, and if you were punished, it was'nt stoning, which the dubs compare to df'ing, you were sent out of camp to take a bath, just like if you touched a dead guy, or had your period. The dubs let people die due to an outdated city health reg, which is all most of the levitical laws are.
Lot's of people will say, "everyone makes mistakes, we're imperfect". Well, rarely do mistakes cause death and trauma on a daily basis, due to thaer constantly changing positions on blood, vaccinations, and transplants. Or malawi/mexico, tons of people were tortured and died. Or how about covering up child molestation and allowing these monsters to keep preying on children?
Screw them, they are of their father the devil. It reminds me of the old pictures in the books of people sacrificing their children to moloch. It's exactly the same, they let their children die and be abused for the prestige of their God, much as the ancients sacrificed their children for prestige oftheir god.
I feel there are negatives and positives about every organization. I think ultimately you have to look at the reason behind why are you still going to the meetings and continuing to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Write them down...see what outweighs what. Also, if you still believe in the bible USE IT see how things are supported by the organization using the bible and see if it's a valid organization. I think if you allow what other people have done...or said how the elders treat and blame the ENTIRE organization on it. It isn't fair. A lot of people on this board (and I don't mean to offend with this) but they have been mistreated in one way or another. So here what may seem the norm may not be the norm. I feel for everyone that has had a negative situation with WTS. but the truth is there isn't going to be one place or another organization that is going to be all good or all bad. I know I'm rambling...but do research and then sit back and simply do what is best for you.
What are you talking about, they kill each other all the time, daily, it's estimated that 3 people per day die because of the JW's blood policy
There are so many blood alternatives that I wish people would stop using blood altogether. It really is frightening to know that you could get someone's contaminated blood. My aunt who is a nurse and NOT a J-dub and never has been will not take blood. I don't know if her feelings would change if it came down to it. But that is how she feels currently. What everyone is failing to realize that we all have choices and no matter what we all have to accept the consequences of these choices the people that died due to not having a blood transfusion died because they chose to not have the transfusion so it's not something that we can blame the WTS about.
I'd say check out how they've changed their translation of the bible. The "Gods Name" brochure says that they think its OK for them to put Jehovahs name into the bible where they see fit even if there are no manuscripts in existence which show it. This means that despite there being no manuscripts in existence of the New Testament in greek which show the name Jehovah, they still put it in. They say that they do it because it is quoting from the Hebrew - this isn't a valid argument because it is entirely possible that Christian writers intended to use Lord or Christ in certain verses and not "Jehovah".
This means that they've changed many New Testament verses by inserting Jehovah with absolutely no backing to do so. Also at Colossians 3 they've altered the scripture to say "other" when talking about Jesus because it fits their doctrine, even though there is no word "other" in the original greek.
There are many examples of this, proving that rather than promote the truth about the scriptures, they'd rather change the scriptures to suit themselves. This is disgusting IMO. If you could prove that would you be JW?
Yeah, it never ceases to amaze me how many Witnesses realize that the Organization screws up all the time, but they never say or do anything about it. My whole thing is, if they KNOW something is WRONG and they do nothing about it, how christian is that? What about those who suffer because of standing up for something they were told was right, but then new light comes and these bro and sisters find out it wasn't really necessary for them to take that stand. There are Brothers, even some in Bethel, that knew these brothers and sisters were standing up for something unnecessary but because a committee couldn't see it, it wasn't changed and these poor brothers and sisters suffered. Just something to think about. We obviously know the date thing is screwed up, 1914, 1975, etc. but if we go on ignoring that fact and let others blindly believe, what good are we doing? How is teaching something we don't believe in being a loving christian?