Have any of you tried....

by carla 9 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • carla

    Have any of you tried 'witnessing' to your loved ones about the whole 1914 thing? Using the wt literature from 1876 up to 1919 when Jesus supposedly chose Russell as the fds? Yes, I'm using the Capitves of Concept book. Just wondering if any success? How could they see the early literature and still believe that the wt is the fds? And will they just try to use 'new light' as an excuse for not believing anything that was taught then? But, then they didn't teach the 1914 until 1945. Why would Jesus allow them to teach the wrong date for 67 years?

    I asked him once what will happen to jw's who died believing all these other things when they are brought back to live after the big A? He said they will be given a chance to believe what is currently taught. good grief!

    thanks for any suggestions,


  • googlemagoogle

    how could they see the early literature and still believe that the wt is the fds?

    it's called "cognitive dissonance".

    i "witnessed" to my family using a very simple approach. the revelation/climax book has a grey box somewhere in it with russel's picture. there it says, russel calculated the date 1914 from 606 (! not 607!), by also including the (nonexisting) year zero.

    additionally every JW knows, russel said harmageddon would come in 1914.

    so i told them, first of all he calculated using wrong dates (and pyramids, btw) and then the event he prophetized did not come.

    what i got? some void looks, some "don't you believe in the FDS???", some "aha, interesting". you can't imagine how fast they can forget all i told them again. at least my brother is intelligent enough to grasp it.

  • PaulJ

    Im thinking about doing so but im not sure how to approach the subject.

  • TheListener

    I think it's possible but would suggest highlighting what the society says happened now versus what they said would happen then. Confusing enough?

    show them what the quotes actually said in the old magazines, like "1874 Christ enthroned; God's dates, not man's; 1914 is the end not the beginning" things like that. Then show them more current literature where they state how the bible students preached 1914 more than 20 years before it happened. Yeah, but preached it would be the end not the beginning.

    Also, perhaps show them the articles that discuss Russell being the faithful and wise servant, and that questioning him is tantatmount to questioning God; then show them how the society says the FDS is a group (class) and that they associated themselves with the society from the beginning. I believe there is also an article that says russell never said he was the FDS - wrong!

    The dishonesty of the society may get more mileage than the "the teachings are bogus because they've changed" argument.

  • garybuss

    Hi carla,
    I don't remember your situation. If you have a spouse who is a believing Witness there were some things that worked for me. I'm a firm believer that it's rare for a Witness to quit their religion due to being exposed to error taught by the Society. That's a sucker fight. I'm also of the opinion that it's counterproductive to debate a Witness about anything Bible, anything Witness related, and anything super-natural.
    Here a couple of my ideas that have worked.
    1. Believing Witnesses hold out the hope in their minds that you will "see the light" and join them and become a Witness too. I needed to take that hope away from them in a way they KNOW for sure it ain't happenin. I became visible, vocal, and threatening to the other Witness members by calling on THEM. I went public with an ad in the local daily paper. I eventually made the front page of the paper talking about Witness shunning and blood medical treatment.
    2. Make a life not related to Witnessism. I joined a club and became active with it. I'd invite my wife to go with me and if she had a meeting . . . I'd go have fun without her. Sometimes I'd take small trips without her. I made sure there was always a conflict on meeting nights and I always had FUN on meeting nights and I always invited her. If she didn't come with me, I'd be late getting home.
    3. Get into counseling with a family therapist. Negotiate for the spouse's time there. Don't make "the" religion the topic, make the time away from the family the topic. In the context of discussing abandoning the family, the issue of "right religion" isn't important or even an issue. Witnessism, it's required devotion, the time away from spouse it requires, and the expense to the family are issues. Treat Witnessism as an extramarital affair. Call it "the affair" in counseling. Bring it to the level it is.

  • carla

    Thanks Gary, some good ideas. You were one of the first people I ever talked to about jw's! You even talked to my husband for quite some time on the phone. Don't remember just how I got your number, must have been on some site.

    I do deliver some antiwitnessing materials and to date have hit 200 homes. Will get back to that soon. At the moment though nobody knows I do that.

    I do agree it is like an affair. He is unable to see the comparison, of course. However, I do notice he seems to have a problem with being away from the family so much. He tries to 'make up' for it. Which is odd because his view with kids used to be that you cannot 'plan' quality time as it sometimes is not quality at all. You know how you plan some nice event but that day the kids are fighting or cranky? It just doesn't turn out to be some lovely family day you had planned.



  • garybuss

    Hi Carla, You wrote: You even talked to my husband for quite some time on the phone.
    Now I remember. That was a long time ago. You've had a long challenge haven't you? Sorry I forgot. In all our lives we have to weigh what we gamble with that which we can afford to loose. The hostages are the people financially dependant on the Jehovah's Witness. They are really hostages. They and all the children.
    I actually enjoy debate and so does my wife, so I kept that up for too long with my wife. It accomplished nothing but entertain me and often piss her off. Not the best thing for a peaceful relaxing home life.
    My best wishes Carla, I hope it all works out in a good way for you.

  • Hellrider


    there it says, russel calculated the date 1914 from 606 (! not 607!), by also including the (nonexisting) year zero.

    Hm, I think you might confuse Russel with Rutherford here. Russels teachings were even more obscure and insane than this one. Russel taught that there would be 3 1/2 times (from Daniel) from one of the events in church history, 539 ad (!), until the return of Christ in 1874 (his invisible presence/parousia). Initially he believed that this would be when Armageddon would come, after it didn`t, he changed it to "invisible presence". Then he added 40 years (as in 40 years in the desert...ha ha) and arrived at the year 1914, which was to be the year of Armageddon. Russel believed until the day he died (he died in 1916) that the war that was going on in Europe actually was Armageddon. As for the 539 ad-date that Russel emphasised, I`m not sure what the heck he meant was so significant by that date. The only thing that happened that year was a war between the Bysantine empire and the persians. Compared to other events in church history, 539 ad wasn`t that eventful. But I guess Russel just "wanted it (Armageddon) to happen soon", so he chose that date. Only at around the year 1914, did they come up with the (close to) current doctrine, counting 2520 years from 606 bc (then), now 607 bc. So the fun part of this, is that the year 1914 was not a year they initially came up with, based on the current doctrine! It was based on something completely different! Few JWs knows this.

    Later on, the JWs kept the 1914-date, as a "significant date", because of the World War that broke out that year, but they just changed it to being the date of the invisible return of Christ.

    1874 "Bible prophecy shows that the Lord was due to appear for the second time in the year 1874. Fulfilled prophecy shows beyond a doubt that he did appear in 1874. Fulfilled prophecy is otherwise designated the physical facts; and these facts are indisputable." {ZWT Nov 1 1922 333}

    1874 "Applying the same rule then, of a day for a year, 1335 days after 539 A.D. brings us to 1874 A.D. at which time, according to Biblical chronology, the Lord's second presence was due." {CREA 298} [the day for a year basis is a technique used in Astrology known as Progressions]

    1874 "We have no doubt whatever in regard to the chronology relating to the dates of 1874 .." {WT May 15 1922 150}

    1874 "The most important thing to which all the prophecies point and for which the apostles looked forward has been the second coming of the Lord. It is described by the Prophet as a blessed time. Daniel then says: 'Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.' (Daniel 12:12). The watchers here, without question are those who were instructed by the Lord to watch for his return. This date, therefore, when understood, would certainly fix the time when the Lord is due at his second appearing. Applying the same rule, then, of a day for a year, 1335 days after 539 A.D. brings us to A.D. 1874, at which time, according to Biblical chronology, the Lord's second presence is due. If this calculation is correct, from that time forward we ought to be able to find some evidences marking the Lord's presence." {THOG 229-30}

    1914 "In this chapter we present the Bible evidence proving that the full end of the times of the gentiles, i.e., the full end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in A.D. 1914; and that the date will be the farthest limit of the rule of imperfect men. And be it observed, that if this is shown to be a fact firmly established by the Scriptures, it will prove; Firstly, that at that date the Kingdom of God, for which our Lord taught us to pray, saying, Thy Kingdom come, will obtain full, universal control, and that it will then be set up, or firmly established, in the earth, on the ruins of present institutions.. It will prove that he whose right it is to thus take the dominion, will then be present as earth's new Ruler; and not only so, but it will prove that he will be present for a considerable period before that date .. It will prove that some time before the end of A.D. 1914 the last member of the divinely recognized church of Christ, the 'royal priesthood' 'the body of Christ,' will be glorified with the Head .. It will prove that from that time forward Jerusalem shall no longer be trodden down of the Gentiles, but shall arise from the dust of divine disfavor, to honor .. It will prove that by that date, or sooner, .. the full number from among the Gentiles, who are to be members of the body or bride of Christ, would be fully selected .. It will prove that the great 'time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation,' will reach its final culmination, and end, at that date .. The condition of things spoken of in symbolic language as raging waves of the sea, melting earth, falling mountains, and burning heavens, will then have passed away .. It will prove that before that date, God's kingdom, organized in power, will be in the earth, and will have smitten and crushed the Gentile image .." {TIAH 76-8}

    1914 "It is on the basis of such and so many correspondencies - in accordance with the soundest laws known to science- that we affirm that, Scripturally, scientifically, and historically, present-truth chronology is correct beyond a doubt. Its reliability has been abundantly confirmed by the dates and events of .. 1914 .. Present-truth chronology is a secure basis on which the consecrated child of God may endeavor to search out things to come." {WT Jun 15 1922 187}

    1914 "Ever since the 1870's, Bible Students had been serving with a date in mind - first 1914, then 1925. Now they realized that they must serve for as long as Jehovah wishes." {WT Nov 1 1993 12}

    1914 "Studying God's Word, we have measured the 2520 years, the seven symbolic times, from that year 606 B.C. and have found that it reached down to October, 1914, as nearly as we were able to reckon. We did not say positively that this would be the year." {WT Nov 1 1914 325} [However, Jerusalem, according to Bible chronology, fell in 587-6 B.C. and not 607-6 B.C. Compton's Encyclopedia of History: "David, king of the Israelites, captured Jerusalem from the Jebusites in about 1000 BC. King Solomon, his son, extended the city and built the great temple that stood until 586 BC when it was destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon. In the 50 years of their Babylonian captivity .." Columbia Concise Encyclopedia: "Babylonian captivity in the history of Israel, the period from the fall of Jerusalem (586 B.C.) to the reconstruction in Palestine of a new Jewish state (after 538 B.C.). Following the capture of the city by the Babylonians, thousands of JEWS were deported to Mesopotamia. In 538 B.C. the Persian King CYRUS THE GREAT decreed the restoration of worship at Jerusalem."]

    1914 "We see no reason for changing the figures - nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, God's dates, not ours. But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble." {WT Jul 15 1894 266 repr 1677}

    1914 "We did not say positively that this would be the year." {WT Nov 1 1914 repr 5565} [Failed Prophecy..]

    1914 "Even if the time of our change should not come within ten years, what more should we ask? Are we not a blessed, happy people? Is not our God faithful? If anyone knows anything better, let him take it. If any of you ever find anything better, we hope you will tell us." {WT Dec 15 1914 376}

  • GetBusyLiving

    Hey Carla, I've tried reasoning with dubs before. It's good to get the seed of doubt planted but don't get your hopes up. Unless they already have doubts or want to leave, it seems like doctrinal shit generally just doesnt mean much to them. They love the concept of "New Light".. and the idea that no matter what, the Watchtower has "the truth" and will lead them into paradise. Thinking is hard work and dubs find it easier to just go with what they perceive to be working. Good luck with your hubby.


  • googlemagoogle

    Hm, I think you might confuse Russel with Rutherford here.

    no no, i don't confuse them. the good thing about the 606+0 approach is, that you can show it from their own recent literature. if i take out my studies in the scriptures, i can surprise some by showing them the pyramid stuff, but others get suspicious. so it's easier to take the revelation-book approach.

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