French attack on "Crisis of Conscience"

by Motema Bolingo 2 Replies latest jw friends

  • Motema Bolingo
    Motema Bolingo

    A French JW tries to disparage "Crisis of Conscience" (French translation)

    Raymond Franz is giving some comments on my website

    Text in French and English


  • candidlynuts

    copied from page 2 of the above link. btt this topic up because your other topic has been replied to and others mentioned they hadnt seen your original post.. thanks for posting it.. i look forward to hearing any updates.

    Comments of Raymond FRANZ
    Original text

    The claim made as to ?contradiction? seems to be an example of the type of flawed argumentation known as ?Fallacy of accent?. The book Attacking Faulty Reasoning by T. Edward Damer of Emory & Henry College describes this fallacy as consisting of:

    ?placing improper or unusual emphasis upon a word, phrase, or particular aspect of an issue or claim. It is sometimes committed by lifting portions of a quotation out of context in a way that conveys a meaning not intended by the person quoted.
    ?Entire statements or even paragraphs can be wrongly accented by being taken out of a larger context.?
    The first portion quoted quotes my statement as to the Governing Body?s ?resistance to any Scriptural correction either as to doctrinal beliefs or its methods of dealing with those who looked to it for guidance.? This is said to be contradicted by the later reference to ?the fluctuating nature of the organization?s teachings.?

    The first quotation speaks of ?resistance to any Scriptural correction. ? It does not say that the Governing Body never made changes. The book cites numerous cases of changes made and it shows that these changes basically resulted from the obvious failure of the organization?s previous interpretations and claims as, for example, its teaching that 1914 would be ?the farthest limit of the rule of imperfect men.? and that at that date ?the Kingdom of God . . . will then be ?set up,? or firmly established, in the earth, on the ruins of the present institutions.? (The 1889 Watch Tower book The Times Is at Hand , pages 76, 77) That ?with the end of A.D. 1914, what God calls Babylon, and what men call Christendom, will have passed away, as already shown from prophecy.? (The 1891 Watch Tower book Thy Kingdom Come, page 153.

    Since 1914 did not bring the things predicted the organization was forced to change its teaching.

    The issue of the subsequent teachings concerning 1914 existent during my time on the Governing Body resulted in extended discussion as the Scriptural validity of tying Jesus? words about ?this generation? (Matthew 24:34) to that date of 1914. Over the years, a series of differing definitions were given as to what ?this generation? meant, changes made only because the passage of time made the previous definition obsolete, untenable. It was clearly force of circumstance?rather than the correcting effect of Scripture?which produced this fluctuating teaching. In 1979 the Governing Body was presented with Scriptural evidence that showed there was no basis for tying Jesus? words to some date.

    The teaching was :

    ?Our generation is the generation that will see the start and finish of all these things, including Armageddon.?? The Watchtower magazine of June 1, 1951, page 335.
    ?The actual meaning of these words is, beyond question that which taken a ?generation? in the ordinary sense, as at Mark 8;12 and Acts 13:36, or for those who are living at the given period.? - The Watchtower magazine of July 1, 1951, page 404.
    ?This therefore means that from 1914 a generation shall not pass till all is fulfilled, and amidst a time of great trouble.? ? The Watchtower magazine of July 1, 1951, page 404.
    The Scriptural evidence presented in the 1979 meetings of the Governing Body concerning this issue met with strong resistance and the traditional interpretation was adamantly sustained.

    Then 16 years later, in the November 1, 1995 Watchtower, the decades-old definition of ?this generation? was dropped and the phrase was disconnected from the date of 1914, and given a new definition. Once again, it seems evident that it was not the correcting effect of Scripture?since the Scriptural evidence was there all the time and had been firmly resisted in the 1979 meetings?but that it was instead the passage of time and the growing remoteness of the date of 1914 which brought about this major change in interpretation.

    Similarly as to policy. In the 1978 the organization?s policy against acceptance of ?alternative [or substitute] service? in place of military service was discussed in a number of Governing Body meetings, portraying it as an unchristian ?compromise.? The policy resulted in thousands of Witnesses being subjected to imprisonment in many countries. (Amnesty International reported that in France, in 1988 ?more than 500 conscientious objectors to military service, the vast majority of them Jehovah?s Witnesses, were imprisoned during the year.?) In 1978 Scriptural evidence had been presented, not only by myself but also in letters by several Branch committee representatives, that the policy was without Scriptural basis. That evidence was resisted.

    Then two decades later, in the May 1, 1996 Watchtower, this policy position was reversed, and the acceptance of such alternative service was recognized as a matter of individual conscience. There was absolutely no Scriptural evidence in that Watchtower that had not already been presented (and resisted) nearly 20 years earlier in the Governing Body meetings. What prompted the change? The evidence is that it owed to the organization?s growing difficulties in maintaining a favorable relationship with the governments of various countries, in Europe and elsewhere.

    The reader is invited to consider more complete information by reading the book "Crisis of Conscience". Additional chapters of the French translation are available on this website, ie chapters 5, 10, and 13, and also the Appendix section relating to chapter 5.

    You are also invited to go to the Commentary Press web site.

    Raymond Franz
    November 2004

  • lawrence

    May God bless Raymond for his courage. Few men stand up as this man did, and accepted my call once, many years ago. May God rain fire on Crooklyn. Come Lord Jesus!

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