“Be on guard against those who speculate!” – Watchtower ramps up the paranoia
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The latest Watchtower warns Witnesses to "be on guard" against the enemy within

The latest Watchtower warns Witnesses to “be on guard” against the enemy within

Only a month after urging Witnesses to “close ranks against Satan,” Watchtower is ramping up the paranoia still further with its new December 15th Study Edition (available for download on this link).

This time round Witnesses are being told to avoid close association with any who indulge in “personal speculations and critical conversations.” Such ones are to be considered as “false apostles” (a kind of milder version of apostates), who attend meetings but nevertheless “speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves.”

Witnesses are also warned against “time wasting pursuits” such as “keeping in contact through social networks, reading and answering electronic messages, avidly pursuing hobbies, or constantly keeping abreast of sports events.”

And in an echo of the “close ranks” mentality set forth in the November issue, Witnesses are instructed to ignore any negative reports from journalists. “Misleading statements and outright lies about Jehovah’s servants are sometimes featured in the media,” rants the Watchtower, citing no examples. “Newspaper headlines, television documentaries, and Internet Web pages are used to propagate untruths. As a result, some people become disturbed, gullibly believing such lies.”

Backs against the wall?

When reading the first study article of the December 15 magazine, I can’t help but behold an organization that is lashing out like a caged animal. Any organization that wants to be taken seriously by outsiders would not say “the media is lying, you should ignore them,” but would rather demonstrate HOW they are lying, and give evidence of such. The fact that no evidence is given, with no examples cited, suggests to any thinking person that, in fact, the media reports are likely accurate – and Watchtower simply doesn’t want people to read them.

If the media is truly under Satan's control, then Watchtower should be having nothing to do with it.

If the media is truly under Satan’s control, then Watchtower should be having nothing to do with it.

It has long been a paradox that Watchtower both admits to using the media “when necessary to convey an accurate picture of our beliefs” (Bearing Witness book, page 110), while at the same time lampooning it as an instrument of Satan. If the media is truly “influenced by the Devil” (as this latest article suggests), then how is Watchtower able to “use” it at all? You can’t have it both ways. If the media is truly under Satan’s control, then Watchtower shouldn’t even be trying to use it. – 2 Cor 6:14-17

With no real explanation or clarification, Witnesses are merely left with instructions to listen to the media when it has nice things to say about the organization (such as when reporting on Conventions), but ignore any negative news reports because these must automatically be lies and deception. Does this approach raise red flags with anyone other than me?

In emphasizing its anti-media message, Watchtower has even “recycled” the exact same image that was used in the now-infamous July 15 2011 “mentally diseased” magazine, which seemingly portrays a Witness couple being startled by an apostate being interviewed on television…

apostate-picturesThe enemy within

Arguably the most vociferous attacks in this issue are reserved for the new enemy within that has been identified for us by the Governing Body. No, we are not talking about so-called “mentally diseased” apostates. Referring to the early Christians, Watchtower warns: “Admittedly, Christians would face dangers other than those from apostates and their teachings.”

Witnesses are now to view even their brothers as "false apostles" to be avoided if these ones doubt or speculate

Witnesses are now to view even their brothers as “false apostles” to be avoided if these ones doubt or speculate

The words of 2 Thessalonians 3:6,10 are then wheeled out to argue that Witnesses should “withdraw from every brother walking disorderly” by limiting association with perceived “false apostles.” These are not apostates, but are seen as “veering toward apostasy.” “Yes, close association with such individuals back then [in the First Century] was especially dangerous and was to be avoided – and that is also true today.”

And so a whole new level of paranoia is now being encouraged. The walls of the Kingdom Hall are no longer a boundary between God’s people and Satan’s influence. “Trust no one” should be the new motto for Witnesses. The enemy could be the brother sitting next to you. “If ever someone attending our congregation meetings would try to entice us into discussions of personal speculations or critical conversations, we should definitely be on guard.”

It is interesting that the Society should single out speculation as something we should be on guard against. For example, family worship sessions are prescribed in paragraph 15 of the first study article as being a “safeguard” against “speculation and doubts.” In fact, the word “speculation” appears five times throughout this new magazine. It is clearly a word Witnesses are to loath and distrust.

The irony, of course, is that the Governing Body has free rein to engage in their own speculation, such as with the recent “new light” about the faithful and discreet slave, which requires logic-defying mental gymnastics to even begin to comprehend. But if speculation is attempted on a personal basis outside that group of men, this marks one out as a “false apostle” who should be avoided as someone who is on the slippery slope to apostasy.

“Avoid time wasting pursuits!”

But it isn’t just those who indulge in speculation who are to be avoided. Paragraph 11 in the first study article uses Paul’s words in Hebrews 2:1 about those who might “drift away.” Such drifting away is identified in paragraph 12 as being linked to “time wasting pursuits.” As previously stated, any use of social media, electronic messaging, avid pursuit of hobbies or even being well-versed in the latest sporting developments could mark one out as being such a “drifter.” The result of any of these vices is said to be a loss of spirituality. “Heartfelt prayer, study of God’s Word, meeting attendance and preaching the good news might suffer,” the magazine warns.

Hobbies are a waste of time that can mark you out as "drifting" spiritually

Hobbies are a waste of time that can mark you out as “drifting” spiritually

How are we to avoid such a fate? “One thing that we definitely need to do is remain aware of the time we are living in and the potential effect of association with those who refuse to acknowledge that these are the ‘last days,'” urges the writer in paragraph 13. In other words, if someone doesn’t personally believe that Armageddon is imminent, or engages in certain activities that the Society deems to be “time wasting pursuits,” they should be marked as bad associates and shunned for all social activities.

Again, it’s difficult to comprehend of any thinking person reading this material without seeing warning signs. And I can only sympathize with all those Witnesses who will now feel compelled to close their Facebook accounts or sell their fishing and golf gear simply because they don’t want to be branded a “drifter.”

“Are you making enough sacrifices?”

Also worthy of mention is the second study article in the December 15 issue, with its “no pain, no gain” approach to requesting contributions – even from brothers in poor countries. The article begins by boasting in paragraph 2 of how “as a result of our efforts and Jehovah’s blessing, the preaching work is accelerating, and many continue to stream to ‘the mountain of the house of Jehovah.'”

It is unclear precisely how it could be said that “many continue to stream” to the organization given that there was only a 1.9% increase in publishers last year. Nor can I quite fathom how “the preaching work is accelerating” given that the growth was 2.4% in 2011, 2.5% in 2010 and 3.2% the year before. Watchtower must be using a different definition of the word “accelerate” than the one I am familiar with.

This and other arguments are used as a basis to urge Witnesses to donate to the cause. In paragraph 6 they are reminded of the Jewish system of sacrifices in the Hebrew Scriptures, and how these involved animal offerings even from those who were destitute. The reminder is given that such sacrifices needed to be without blemish, taken from the very finest that a person could offer. This reasoning is used to support the idea that contributions should not be made out of one’s surplus, but should be budgeted by each individual in advance.

“The apostle Paul provided a principle to follow when considering donations. (Read 1 Corinthians 16:1,2) Under inspiration, he encouraged his brothers in Corinth not to wait until the end of the week to see what was left over but, rather, to set aside funds at the start of the week in harmony with what they could do. As in the first century, brothers and sisters in our time plan ahead to respond generously according to their circumstances. (Luke 21:1-4; Acts 4:32-35) Jehovah treasures such a giving spirit.” – w13 11/15 (bold is mine)

The message is clear. Don’t send us what is left over in your funds at the end of each month. Budget in advance, and let your day-to-day expenses and unforeseen costs come second to supporting the preaching work.

Even those in poor countries are being called upon to make sacrifices for Watchtower's financial benefit

Even those in poor countries are being called upon to make sacrifices for Watchtower’s financial benefit

It is especially disturbing to see the way this idea is propounded even for those living in poor countries. Granted, a cautionary note is sounded in paragraph 16: “The giving of our time and resources should not cause us to neglect the spirituality or physical welfare of our family.”

Even so, in a world of such economic uncertainty where a mere stock market fluctuation or company liquidation can leave a family penniless, it is gravely irresponsible to be asking even those in poor countries to be setting aside their resources for Watchtower in advance.

For example, paragraph 15 tells of brothers in “one very poor country in Africa” who “mark off a small section of their garden and use the funds from the sale of the produce to support the Kingdom work.”

You have to wonder whether these brothers, who doubtless live in day-to-day conditions of abject poverty, would so readily give away their food and livelihood to support Watchtower if they only knew that the Society pocketed $375 million in just one recent real estate transaction, as part of a larger scheme that is raking in over a billion dollars to the organization.

I personally consider it immoral to allow people in such a bleak and precarious predicament to sacrifice their food while raking in such gargantuan sums of money in property transactions without telling them of the figures involved. Watchtower should be sending them money – not the other way round.

The paranoid generation

But it is arguably the blatant paranoia that is encouraged in this new magazine that is of most serious concern to thinking Witnesses, not to mention those with loved ones under Watchtower’s control and influence.

Only a few weeks ago Witnesses were being ordered to “close ranks” and obey all instructions from the Society “whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not.” Now they are being conditioned to scrutinize even their fellow brothers who attend the meetings, and effectively shun such ones if they say anything deemed negative or speculative.

This “trust no one” obsession with the enemy within, not to mention the reminders to ignore any negative reports in the media, only serves as further evidence of Watchtower’s alarming slide into radicalization.

On the one hand, it is nice to think that magazines such as this might put out red flags for those who are starting to awaken. Even so, this magazine can just as easily strengthen Watchtower’s mental grip on countless loyal Witnesses, who now have even more reason to fear and distrust those who are trying to liberate them from indoctrination – even from inside the congregation.

 

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80 Responses to “Be on guard against those who speculate!” – Watchtower ramps up the paranoia

  1. Jamie Clark says:

    Thank you so much Cedars. I see you certainly are using your inspired gift by this website, of teaching and reprof.

    It is odd these WT articles take about a year to write from conception to printing. When these articles are discussed in the JWorg halls it will be January and Febuary 2014 . . . . about the time of the 2014 assemblies, and toward October 2014. And, of course, more exposure of the child abuse law suits.

    This is yet another call to get out from a daughter of Babylon. The bit of truth JWorg has been over shadowed by doctrine and forms of mind control (conforming to the GBorg).

    I much appreciate your website Cedars.

    Jamie

  2. Iown Mylife says:

    I’ve been in the KH when the talk was quite stern and forceful about how much Jehovah hates violent sports. Amen and out the door like a stampede of mooses – there was a BIG game on that Sunday! Does the GB really want to get rid of all the people who are sports fanatics? WOW that will be a huge reduction of the membership.

  3. A Fire Inside says:

    Desperate times call for desperate measures – do you like football? NOT ALLOWED! ~ need a vacation? NOT ALLOWED! Want to watch TV? NOT ALLOWED! Do you feel the need to keep your family fed and with shelter? NOT ALLOWED! Why? Because WE say so!

    I hope that these past few articles wake people up already. Thank you so much for all your hard work Cedars, much appreciated!

    A.F.I.

  4. Faithful Witness says:

    Something that has been bothering me more and more lately, is the swiftness with which they will turn against their brothers that they supposedly love. These are Jehovah’s chosen people… Yet they are so unkind to each other!

  5. John says:

    I wonder when and IF JW.org will start using tracking cookies to track where their members go online after visiting their website?

    Better yet they should build one of the toolbars that adds advertising to their browser, to help generate revenue for the WT!

  6. Hakizimana Jean de Dieu says:

    @Anonymous… How can a “heavenly calling” be a “mistake”? This a questions I have been asked myself since I read that article. I believe all is “MYTH”, a kind of Mental disturbances we cannot easily understand. By the way, how does the GB set criteria to find out those who “assume mistakenly that they have the heavenly calling”. (w11 8/15 p. 22)? HOW DOES IT IDENTIFY THOSE FACTORS MISLEADING THEM?

    Last week in the study article from the famous “New Light Magazine”, the Watchtower Study Edition of July 2013, we can read “In late 1914, some Bible Students were disheartened because they had not gone to heaven” (http://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/w20130715/jesus-parable-wheat-and-weeds/ paragraph 8)!

    They were “assuming mistakenly that they had the heavenly calling”! The MISTAKE GOES ON and ON!!!

  7. whatevs says:

    I remember a sister once saying that she hesitated to take the time to paint her garage rather than go out in service, because we were living “in the time of the harvest” and you didn’t paint the barn when the crops needed harvesting.

    That was 1987.

    Yeah, so shameful to occasionally rest and relax and watch the game or have a hobby. I don’t even bother to brush my teeth anymore, since the new system will be here tomorrow.

  8. tr says:

    Its really sad that this website is making people independent of each other,in spite of what is going on today, people will try to speculate about when will Jehovah bring an end to this wicked system of thing. who is fulfilling today Mathew 24 :14? Could it be individuals who think independently or the different religions institutions who are political involve for God and Country when war is invoke in times of crisis or terror?

  9. tr says:

    Are we to conclude now that all religions are false and that we had known and read from the bible about the new system is false and the preaching work is to be fulfill some day by an individual or groups who might probably think they are been directed by God’s holy spirit? are we also going to conclude that the world in which we reside is a happy utopia? are people today happy with the condition of poverty,injustice, greed that prevails in the world?

  10. KtotheRAD "Konrad" aka Kurt Hennig says:

    “Are we to conclude now that all religions are false and that we had known and read from the bible about the new system is false and the preaching work is to be fulfill some day by an individual or groups who might probably think they are been directed by God’s holy spirit?”

    I personally can for sure tell you about all of the crimes and abuse that I have witnessed and endured during my time and contact with Jehovah’s Witnesses! The other aspects of your speculation…What is truth, who has it or if it is exclusively in the hands of man or any particular group of people at all and what is the future…I have no interest to comment on! Nor does it necessarily require commenting on…those things in my opinion are not in my or the realm of man!

  11. TR says:

    The other aspects of your speculation…What is truth, who has it or if it is exclusively in the hands of man or any particular group of people at all and what is the future…I have no interest to comment on! Nor does it necessarily require commenting on…those things in my opinion are not in my or the realm of man! –that is a Vague answer—So how can one guide oneself, after leaving behind bible teachings?does one revert back to being once the former empty shell we once were and go back and enjoy what the world has to offer no restrictions out there,everything goes? so you tell people how an entity such as the WT has so many faults.Sure I have seen in you tube the interview by William heard spokesman for the GB. being interview by a reporter where he is been ask the question, If they are guided by holly spirit and he said NO. if only they could be more truthful with the answer when they address it in their magazines,where they said they are not guided by it. Also the pedophilia cases which they could had dealt with a long time ago but did not.,How sad. I also had seen people in the organization that act that way, callous,ignorant without any regard for others,but I also know that many do not apply bible standards in their daily life nor put the new personality. yet they still cling to the old former selves before they became witnesses. No I am not close minded but I am also not stupid or naive. My conclusion is that if God used the early Christians Called the way(yet the bible does not hide the faults of early Christians when we read,we see the good and the bad and the ugly as they went through different situations in life) then God must be using an organized people to accomplish his work today. Personally(politicians) and I daily see people who are selfish,irrational,conceited,and right down hateful who think they are a gift to society and everyone else is a zero to the left. is the world in which we leave such a happy place? NO. Like the Romans used to said:let us eat and drink for tomorrow with are to die. In which sadly this world finds itself ,in this condition today.

  12. TR says:

    Sorry for the error, I apologize: if only they could be more truthful with the answer when they address it in their magazines,where they said they are not guided by it (Instead they said they are guided by holly spirit).

  13. KtotheRAD "Konrad" aka Kurt Hennig says:

    “So how can one guide oneself, after leaving behind bible teachings?”

    You presume much!

    I would spend much time on yourself and deprogramming yourself from the Watchtower conditioned view of life and others which in itself will take a measure of time…the first thing for me was learning how to talk to and treat others which was 180o opposite of what the Society’s and congregational perspective is! That starts with getting a solid and realistic perspective of that organization and what it really is in God’s eyes and man’s…knowing that I don’t have to account to men ever again but God for my conduct changed EVERYTHING for me! Now I live clean and according to Bible standards as I did before but for all of the right reasons and because I am conscience driven…I recommend that you look to JWfacts.com and JWleaks.org and continue to look over this site further to get a better understanding of things…

    • TR says:

      I would spend much time on yourself and deprogramming–Deprogramming for what? I entered with an open mind i will leave with the same mind? I have always doubted to certain teachings the society always taught.

  14. 70wksofyrs says:

    TR- welcome to this site. It is lovely to see new ones making comments and expressing themselves freely.

    You certainly can’t do that among the brothers and sisters in the congregation.

    Cedars writes his articles in a way that gives a different perspective than we get in the KH.

    Please continue to comment freely on this site. I look forward to them

    70wks………

  15. Cedars says:

    Hi TR, welcome to JWsurvey! Your thoughts and opinions really do mean something here, which is more than can be said for JW.org, or even your local congregation – where I’m sure they wouldn’t appreciate you criticizing the organization’s stance on pedophilia, or describing your fellow Witnesses as “callous, ignorant without any regard for others.” But here, you are free to say that.

    I can tell from some of your comments that you are conflicted, and perhaps harbor doubts yourself. I think many of your issues will fall into perspective the more you learn about the Watchtower, it’s history, and how it misleads people.

    For example, you say…

    “who is fulfilling today Mathew 24 :14?”

    If you take the verse literally, nobody – certainly not Jehovah’s Witnesses. Jesus said “this good news of the kingdom will be preached in ALL the inhabited earth for a witness to ALL the nations.” Today there are at least three nations with no Witnesses at all – namely Somalia, Afghanistan, and North Korea. The 30 “other lands” described in the year report actually encompasses a third of the world’s population in mostly arab and communist countries, for which the Witness-to-population ration is 1:70,000. The ratio for Bangladesh (8th most populous country in the world) is approximately 1:800,000. Does that strike you as a fulfilment of Jesus’ words? I would say it’s barely scratching the surface, and that if Armageddon came tomorrow, billions would die who have never even heard of JWs.

    You also ask…

    “So how can one guide oneself, after leaving behind bible teachings?does one revert back to being once the former empty shell we once were and go back and enjoy what the world has to offer no restrictions out there,everything goes?”

    Far from being “empty shells,” there are millions, if not billions, of good, honest people in the outside world who live their lives with morals and principles without the need to be controlled by a man-made pseudo-Christian organization. Our surveys on this website show that those who leave the Witnesses end up with a variety of religious views, whether these are Christian, Agnostic, Atheist, or even non-Christian religious. Despite these variations, our surveys show that the vast majority of those who leave the Witnesses are happier for it, and would not recommend others to join.

    I hope I’ve answered at least some of your questions. I would encourage you to have a browse around the website and perhaps click on some of the links that interest you on our “Links” page. I am confident the answers you are looking for are out there. You just need to look for them, and nobody can do that for you.

  16. Faithful Witness says:

    TR: Your comments and thoughts are welcome here. It is nice to see new people adding their thoughts to the discussion and examination of what goes on behind the curtain of the Watchtower Society. I’m thankful to Cedars for providing this forum for people who are seeking the truth. It’s truly sad and disheartening to see such a powerful organization ignore the feelings and questions of thousands, if not millions, of souls they keep under their control.

    Keep searching and questioning! You are right to use your God-given brain, and to ask questions. The Bible was not written to confuse you. I myself have only begun to look directly at the Watchtower and its actions and teachings. I’ve come to realize that the society is being controlled and directed not by the Holy Spirit, as they claim, but by the great deceiver.

    The evidence is mounting against them, and they are beginning to lash out like a trapped beast. I pray for my family that is still trapped under the spell of the society. Praise be to God, for rescuing another innocent one! Keep searching, TR!

  17. Xalpheric says:

    You ain’t a kiddin! I’ve noticed my own father becoming quite radical in his behavior since the conventions. I worry for him and my entire extended JW family. 🙁

  18. Anonymous says:

    Or, natural selection process, evolved brain.

  19. Anonymous says:

    When I was a Merchant Marine, we pulled into a harbor of doubt, it tooks weeks to clean that stuff off the decks! Weeks–

  20. budgetchic says:

    I agree, they got a lot of nerve asking for donations when they sold off properties for millions of dollars (some of which they obtained illegally and by force). Where is that money at and why are you asking me for more? It’s the donations that help to purchase those properties, they have profitted from those real estate deals and that money is sitting in their war chest, making the bellies of the governing body fat, paying off child abuse victims, legal fee, etc.- but where it ain’t going is to the poor brothers and sisters, who haven’t seen a dime of that money to help themselves or their families. If their electric bill is about to be cut off or they need help with their gas bill, rent, they got to go to local churches and non-profit community organizations to get help. Now that’s a doggone shame! I wish I would give them a quarter!

  21. KtotheRAD "Konrad" aka Kurt Hennig says:

    Far from being “empty shells,” ~ True that! I was never more empty than when I was being victimized, a constant and perpetual crime victim as well as emotionally raped and abused as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses!

    • JDub says:

      @tr “Empty Shells” like Gloria Naylor who was a Witness, then left? and became “novelist and educator”? Just one of many examples. Without preaching what you should or should not do at this point, I think it is safe to say that you’re torn between the investment of time and resources devoted to the Witnesses and nagging inner thoughts [I won’t call it ‘doubts’]. Maybe you were raised JW and thought you had extensively examined your religion and made an informed choice. One physical exam is not the end of health maintenance, so likewise, ongoing exams of religious choice leads to great spiritual health. What was not available years ago in medicine now leads to recovery and restorative procedures, and what was not available information years ago, is now available in libraries, Amazon.com and the internet. Weigh the statements and find the sources in context for where the Wt quotes previous authors and literature and compare to those who have dissenting opinions.

      I would also strongly suggest finding the secular sources for Wt history and its heritage from William Miller to George Storrs, aside from the published glossy editions from HQ.

  22. Aman Ofgod says:

    Brother Cedars,
    Do you really think Jesus told the other disciples to be cautious about Thomas because he doubtful or is speculative? watchtower you are done.

  23. 70wksofyrs says:

    That is a great point AManOfGod. Thomas was a fine disciple!!!

  24. TR says:

    I am sorry to hear that.Don’t get me wrong but yes their are many in the congregation who are not putting on the new personality according to God’s will.(colossians 3:9,10) for what ever reason they doing it,but at the same time their are many sincere witnesses in the organization with whom I know and still cling to Jesus teaching but not the GB.

  25. KtotheRAD "Konrad" aka Kurt Hennig says:

    TR says:

    September 20, 2013 at 8:01 am

    “I would spend much time on yourself and deprogramming–Deprogramming for what? I entered with an open mind i will leave with the same mind? I have always doubted to certain teachings the society always taught”

    Well no doubt about that but your specific behavior (questions) and lingering confusion centered around that organization being the presumed exclusive source of things…lost direction and assumptions with respect to others appear to say quite another thing about how you have been influenced in ways that you aren’t even aware of or how deeply nor will you be for some time yet… It’s classic and to be expected, perfectly normal when exiting that particular organization so don’t be offended as most of us experienced those very same things and that’s why I recommend that research is the most valuable asset for you and time to reflect on things…

    • JBob says:

      Well, the Church did exclude the Gospel of Thomas from the canon… Which raises another interesting speculation, is it possible to derive another “interpretation” from a book that your arch-rival (if not authored) edited and sanctioned the chapters/books? (that is, the Roman Universal (Catholic) Church fathers and their immediate predecessors chose what would be included or not and the way it was phrased from the original manuscripts). Would we debate with Mark Twain on how to interpret Tom Sawyer, or Harriet Beecher Stowe on the interpretation of Uncle Tom’s Cabin?

  26. TR says:

    who is fulfilling today Mathew 24 :14?”

    If you take the verse literally, nobody – certainly not Jehovah’s Witnesses. Jesus said “this good news of the kingdom will be preached in ALL the inhabited earth for a witness to ALL the nations.” Today there are at least three nations with no Witnesses at all – namely Somalia, Afghanistan, and North Korea. The 30 “other lands” described in the year report actually encompasses a third of the world’s population in mostly Arab and communist countries, for which the Witness-to-population ration is 1:70,000. The ratio for Bangladesh (8th most populous country in the world) is approximately 1:800,000. Does that strike you as a fulfillment of Jesus’ words? I would say it’s barely scratching the surface, and that if Armageddon came tomorrow, billions would die who have never even heard of JWs. —Does it really need to be so for there are inhabitants of those nations scattered over different countries today? are we to conclude that the apostle Paul who made 3 missionary trips, that did not include Ethiopia,and where no apostles there to preach in the nation, where been excluded from the good news? NO. An Ethiopian from that nation was in Jerusalem to worship (acts 8:26-40) Now,was the literal presence of the apostles require in that Nation? I have personally talked to two brothers from Iran. I asked them if they learned “the Truth” in Iran and they replied “No” They said that they would have been killed for learning the “Truth” and that they lived in Germany where they learned about Jehovah and the Bible. So here is an example of those who may reside in a country where Christianity is not accepted or under ban but when they left their country they learned the “truth” I also know for fact that there are Catholics in Iraq. I know this because my wife works in a school and their is a student from Iraq who is Catholic. My wife told the student that that was eye-opening because she didn’t realize that other religions were allowed in Iraq besides Muslims. There could very well be Jehovah’s Witnesses in that country but it is not yet being reported like when the Berlin wall separated East and West Germany. When the wall came down then it was discovered that Jehovah’s Witnesses were indeed in that part of the country but they were not included in the reports from the Society because they were banned. So it may well be that there are Witnesses in these countries but they are not being reported on because they are banned. It remains to be seen just what will be revealed in these countries just like in Germany.

    I personally don’t believe that billions of people are honest. Not in this world today! There are way too many schemes, scams, and downright dishonesty that I wouldn’t even give the benefit of the doubt that billions in people are honest but that’s just me. It reminds me of the scripture where in Genesis 18:23-32 where Jehovah said about Sodom and Gomorrah that he was going to destroy it and Abraham asked Jehovah would he really sweep away the righteous with the unrighteous? The conclusion was that they couldn’t even find 10 righteous people at that time. In today’s world I highly doubt that there are billions of honest upright people.

    • Rowland Nelken says:

      The idea that the writings of a few apocalyptic prophets in the Levant about 2000 years ago has any relevance or interest beyond the historical is, frankly, absurd. I realise that much of human civilisation, particularly in Christendom, made its advances under the all encompassing umbrella of the church. Monks contributed a great deal to agriculture, bee keeping and brewing. The churches sponsored some magnificent architecture and music. This, of course, only happened after the early centuries of apocalyptic disappointment.

      To read the gospels and epistles, it seems that many of the very first Christians believed that Judgement, Rapture, Armageddon or whatever were imminent, and nothing, not even marriage was worth wasting time on. It took Augustine of Hippo to declare that the Kingdom of God was the Church here on earth. But, for all that the Biblical prophecies were quite clearly unfulfilled, the status of the Bible meant that all this End of Days stuff could not be completely ignored.

      Even St. Augustine, in his ‘City of God’ gave a date, 1658, as the year for the End. This was 7000 years since the creation. This was the year that entranced Christopher Columbus. He was convinced he was bringing the word of the lord to the distant Isles just as Isaiah had predicted. That Isaiah might not have known of Cuba’s existence was inconceivable. His words were in that inerrant Bible so he must have known whereof he wrote.

      Of course, the Bible writers were no better at futurology than a fairground palmist. That has not stopped a procession of individuals and groups declaring that they know the end is nigh, and even that the Bible writers had cast them in a starring role when they wrote their End of Days scripts. JWs are nothing more than yet another little bunch of deluded bibliolaters.

  27. Cedars says:

    TR – “I personally don’t believe that billions of people are honest. Not in this world today!… In today’s world I highly doubt that there are billions of honest upright people.”

    You do realise that there are over 7 billion people on the planet? For you to suggest that there isn’t at least a third of these who are good, honest people – or that more than five billion people are worthy of being killed by God as dishonest or wicked – suggests to me that you are still gripped by the influence of Watchtower propaganda.

    Your insinuation that it doesn’t matter that there are no Witnesses in 3 countries (and pitifully few throughout the muslim/communist world) for Matt 24:14 to be fulfilled also suggests to me that you have some way left to go on your journey back from indoctrination.

    And you don’t need to reproduce my entire comment when replying – please save some space on the page by just quoting the sentence you take particular issue with. Thanks.

    • JBob says:

      @TR Hate to burst your bubble, but centuries before Russell met Storrs, and even 2,000 years prior, the Catholic monks, priests and missionaries beat a path through the jungles and setup various missions around the world, even as far as Japan, Russia and Africa. In America and Britain, the Second Great Awakening of the 1800’s spawned so many major denominations that are global in scope, today. And, as JW’s emerged from the Third Great Awakening, a game of catchup ensued.

      Another contradiction as I view it, the Matthew 7:13-14 issue is stuck in JW’s throats as they wrap themselves in it to flaunt their tiny footprint, but yet eagerly point to their growth rate and numbers as proof of “blessing”. Seems at odds, to me.

  28. george says:

    TR, last time I checked the bible says that Christ died for everyone. How can the genocide of billions of people not elicit an emotional response from you?

    I urge you to really think about that. Billions of people-each unique and amazing. Each one created, in your view, by a God that created the Universe.

    If killing lots of people would solve our problems, then we can save God some work. People are already very good at killing people. Those deaths have not solved the world’s problems. Neither would an apocalyptic destruction of billions of people.

    No, the real trick is to inspire people to get along. To realise that we are all the same. That we all are important.

    If God exists, then that is what he needs to do. Find a way so that we all can live in peace and harmony.

    I wish you well in your emergence

  29. Conan says:

    Beautiful words

  30. Love of Jesus says:

    Real Christian churches do serve their members and non-members. The Watch tower organization is a business and is looking out for it’s bottom line profit. If a member does not produce (such as: not going out in “service” promoting it’s magazine or giving “donations”) they get fired!! (It’s called: disfellowshipping). They further torment them by teaching them a lesson with the punishment of promoting shunning and taking everything they ever cared about away from them. Watchtower disfellowship for the many reasons such as; questioning the magazine’s self proclaimed authority — to not cutting your hair according to the protocol of the publishing company. They do all this proclaiming that they have authority of the most high GOD! Now, do you really think the MOST HIGH GOD cares if you don’t cut your hair short enough or your not clean shaven enough?! I know that Business Corporations care.. The TRUTH is plain as day as to what the Watch tower organization really is. A GREEDY, ABUSIVE MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR MAGAZINE CORPORATION THAT IS AN ABOMINATION TO THE LORD!!!

  31. Julia Orwell says:

    You’re on fire, Cedars! Thanks for such a great analysis.

  32. Julia Orwell says:

    And why would God give us these abilities if he didn’t want us to use them? The Watchtower advocates a bare, grey existence where all one thinks about is witnessing, meetings and reading the publications. No art, music, writing, inquiry, sports, community or family ties: a world devoid of thought and therefore the colour of life. If indeed we are the product of a God, surely he would not have given us the ability to think unless he wanted us to think.

    I think if there is a god, it would be an insult to it not to use what it has given us.

  33. Mrs_Sixx says:

    Aren’t you going against what they have told you to do? You should not be here. Your arrogance is astounding.

  34. lasertest says:

    It’s impressive that you are getting ideas from this post as well as from our discussion made at this place.

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