Oatmeal and Amaretto: Tales of hypocrisy from the heart of Brooklyn Bethel
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Regular readers of this website will be familiar with former Jehovah’s Witness Howie Tran.

Tran served at Brooklyn Bethel for a number of years, eventually ascending to the role of helping aged Governing Body member Karl F. Klein to fulfil his duties before ultimately leaving both Bethel and the Witness religion behind him. He was recently interviewed by Trey Bundy of Reveal news as part of Bundy’s ongoing investigation in to Watchtowers child abuse scandal; and indeed we have Tran to thank for pointing out GB member Antony Morris to Bundy on the street, which resulted in the now infamous audio recording of Morris scurrying away from a reporter as fast as his anointed legs could carry him.

Now Howie Tran has given another interview to former Jehovah’s Witness and human rights activist Louise Goode on the long-running JW Podcast show. In this interview, Tran expands on some of the information he gave during Bundy’s report, and tells an incredible story of astonishing hypocrisy at the highest levels of Watchtower.

Under the influence of the “Holy Spirit.”

Photograph of 2nd Watchtower President Joseph Rutherford drinking with other Jehovah’s Witnesses

For example, it is well known that Watchtower publications condemn heavy drinking, to the point where a person can be disfellowshipped for habitual drunkenness. This standard of moderation in consuming alcohol is especially important for appointed men according to the Insight Book volume one page 656-657: 

Moderation and soundness of mind are therefore among the requirements for Christian overseers (1Ti 3:1-3; Tit 1:7); ministerial servants (1Ti 3:8); aged men and women (Tit 2:2, 3); young men and women (Tit 2:4-8); children (especially those of overseers).Tit 1:6.

The same publication also condemns those who would engage in official religious duties whilst under the influence of alcohol (bold is mine.)

As shown in the Law, it is not fitting to indulge in alcoholic beverages just before engaging in religious service. The priests of Israel were commanded that they must drink no wine or intoxicating liquor while engaging in their official duties, lest they should die.Le 10:8-11.

However, it has long been known that heavy drinking has historically played a signifiant part of life in certain areas of Bethel. Many stories from different sources  surround Watchtower’s second President Joseph Rutherford and his fondness for consuming signifiant amounts of alcohol, and many ex Witnesses (including myself) can relate accounts of heavy drinking taking place in the various Bethel buildings around the world.

Tran’s accounts however are shocking in that they relate not just to younger bethelites or those who could be considered “weak in the faith.” He alleges that heavy drinking and drunkeness were a regular problem amongst members of the Governing Body. He relates for example one astonishing account of how the breakfast routine of Governing Body member Karl Klein involved a jug of Amaretto being poured into a bowl of oatmeal. He also relates how another former GB member, Lyman Swingle, became such a foul mouthed, abusive drunk in his later years that ultimately no Bethelite could share a room with him, and that he had to be transferred to Bethel’s medical rooms for 24 hour observation until he died.

This is not all.

Tran relates that some members of the Governing Body would arrive to their official Wednesday meeting under the influence of alcohol; stating that one GB member would take a “shake” made of a few raw eggs and a lot of wine to the meeting. He also states that he sometimes heard loud arguments and the banging of fists on tables from these meetings, and attributes this behaviour in part to the consumption of alcohol.

To re-iterate; Watchtower’s own insight book states:

As shown in the Law, it is not fitting to indulge in alcoholic beverages just before engaging in religious service. The priests of Israel were commanded that they must drink no wine or intoxicating liquor while engaging in their official duties, lest they should die.Le 10:8-11.

One need not imagine how a rank and file Witness would be treated were they to arrive at a congregation meeting or to undertake official Watchtower business after a couple of drinks; shift chastisement, possible loss of privileges, and even disfellowshipping could follow if they were habitually drunk on (or off) Watchtower time. Yet according to Tran, for those taking the lead at the very top the rules did not apply.

Tran also relates how he would frequently be instructed to keep the hypocrisy and troublesome conduct of senior Watchtower officials to himself. For example, he relates how Governing Body member Jack Barr once instructed him to be like a “walking stick” whilst assisting GB member Karl Klein: a useful tool that would carry out its function, but that would “hear nothing and see nothing.”

There is actually a lot more that in the episode. Tran discusses in the podcast, everything from his experiences growing up gay in the religion, to the long road that eventually took him out of Bethel and the Watchtower religion altogether.

I strongly recommend listening to the full interview on JW Podcast, and also recommend listening to Howie Trans’ interview with Trey Bundy on the Reveal News Podcast if one has not already done so.

 

Follow me on twitter @covertfade

Listen to JW Podcast on podbean and on iTunes

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211 Responses to Oatmeal and Amaretto: Tales of hypocrisy from the heart of Brooklyn Bethel

  1. twistedsister69 says:

    Not trying to flood this thread with YouTube clips, but if you’ll indulge me one more time, here is what a Tony Morris Vietnam flashback incident might look like:

  2. Lauralou says:

    Here in lies the very root of the issue. Every single witness, from the governing-body down, is human. Instead of trying to promote themselves as ‘above-it-all’ and expecting everyone else to follow their lead they should, instead, honor our all to real human failings and offer help and support.
    Alcohol is a huge issue within the organization. From very early on I was allowed to drink and nobody questioned it because we were all drinking. Alcohol abuse has left such a long-lasting scar on my psyche that if my husband has more than 2 drinks I panic, and I haven’t lived with or dealt with an alcoholic in years. It was so much a part of my childhood that I doubt it’s effects will ever leave me. There was no help from the elders. My father was drunk every night as were my brothers, my ex, all of our friends. I just had to learn to live with it. Fortunately I was able to control it but so many I know couldn’t.
    I’m sorry to hear that alcohol is such a big problem in Bethel but I’m not surprised. It’s a weakness I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I hope these individuals are able to find peace and healing in their lives.

  3. outandabout says:

    Hi Ricardo, earlier on you asked me what you could possibly do to make a din. Senator Nick Xenophon is the man you should get in touch with. He understands cults, doesn’t like them and wants them gone.

  4. dee2 says:

    GB & the anointed karaoke:

    “In heaven there is no beer
    that’s why we have to drink it here”

    • dee2 says:

      ……….Cheers! (sound of glasses clinking )

    • Free Thinker says:

      I beg to differ – here is why:

      Mat 26,29; Mark 14,25: “But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

      Questions? Comments?

      • dee2 says:

        ………so there’s beer in heaven after all!

        • twistedsister69 says:

          The Seven Sky Monkeys are gonna love that! ……. Or does that fit into the “type / antitype” category? Awww, sorry Sky Monkeys. U’ll have to find some other way to float up to heaven. Try hanging on to Steve Lett as his eyebrow propellers fly him up there.

        • Free Thinker says:

          Yep. And I bet it’s the reeeeeeal good stuff up there, bec. when the Lord made wine from water, it was THE GOOD STUFF too – but that was on earth only. Imagine heavenly booze – it’s to die for. Yet another reason to get up there. Why is the number of “partakers” skyrocketing? BINGO: BEC. THEY ALL WANT TO GET TO THE BOOOOZE !!! So let us all all get the SPIRIT(s) and get inSPIRed, to get the “inner testimony” and glimpses of heavenly joys beyond measure. (Just for clarification: I am not & never was a guzzler, never had to attend AA-meetings; I am fine, but I NEVER would refuse a good drink. No Ma’m.)

          • Free Thinker says:

            Further proof: I still have my original liver, and it’s working fine, as far as I can tell.

  5. Sharon Christensen says:

    Twisted sis…you are havin far too much fun! I am sure you are someone whom I enjoyed many an hr of field service with! ;). My daughter just enlightened me as to something she read a while back….and something I think applies to many a good witness,..male and female…”Lady in the street”…”Beast at a buffet”! Spirits or not! :). Weddings, cong. get- to- gethers…at restaurants after conventions…etc…..

    • twistedsister69 says:

      ha ha ha It’s possible, though I was not quite as funny back then. Contrary to what many believe, I was not the Class Clown, nor the Teacher’s Pet. I did get good marks in school, but I worked for every damn one of them. In fact, I suffered from OCD, which made it pretty tough. OCD, no doubt, PARTIALLY (I’m not in the habit of blaming others for my problems – have totally grown out of that phase) due to the Nazi-like, “perfectionistic”, more like ANAL, oppressiveness of being a Jehovah’s Witness, especially at that age, and factoring in my own f***ed up family (JW AND non-JW). But not complaining. Really no point in blaming others or holding grudges. Let’s face it, in this life, EVERYONE suffers to some degree, and suffering builds character. My parents forced me to take piano lessons. I hated it. But today I’m glad they did. I still suck at piano, don’t even play anymore. But the training taught me discipline. I still have some of that ol’ OCD, but it’s a good thing too. Especially in certain professions, like surgeons or airline pilots. I mean, if you were getting an operation, would you want your surgeon to stroll in at the last minute, not “scrub up”, not have all his/her instruments properly laid out, etc? lol Or when flying, would you want your pilot to saunter over at the last minute (perhaps after just having had a coupla stiff drinks at the Airport Strip Club), kick the tires, jump in the cockpit, throw all the checklists out the window, and yell, “BLAST OFF!!!”? ha ha ha

      • twistedsister69 says:

        PS When I say there’s no point in blaming others, I mean in regards to the regular bullsh*t we all go through in life. I certainly was not talking about cases of outright abuse, sexual, physical, emotional, or otherwise. Obviously, in those cases, someone(s) is DEFINITELY to blame, and NEEDS to be BROUGHT TO JUSTICE / PUNISHED. This is also important in closure for the victim. Also, when these crimes are concealed, in ANY scenario, they become festering sores under the skin of society. Someone here recently posted the famous quote: All that is necessary for Evil to win, is for good men to do nothing.

  6. Ted says:

    Several have given testimony that they witnessed heavy
    drinking at bethel, including one man who was personal
    carer ( the walking stick) for an ageing gb member
    K, Klein. He testifies that he was instructed to pour a 48
    to 56 proof liqueur, amaretto, onto the breakfast cereal
    of that particular important person, who insisted on a
    liberal measure.

    Are we to conclude , as some seem to do. That because
    these witnesses no longer believe in that religion, that
    they are lying to us, and to themselves. if anyone doubts
    their testimony, let them produce evidence that they are
    unreliable witnesses.

    I know that in that certain religion. That the testimony of
    several members to a similar type of offence would lend
    weight to any accusation made against another member.

    It would be foolish, narrow minded and completely wrong
    to believe that only people of a certain religion, can be
    relied on to tell the truth.

    • Free Thinker says:

      Heavvvvy drinking – heavvvvnnnny drinking – heavvvvennnnllly drinking -uh, now I get it: HEAVENLY DRINKING. If Canaan is the land flowing with milk & honey, heaven must be the realm flowing with beer & wine.

  7. twistedsister69 says:

    At the risk of getting political again, I’ve just been watching the news, and it amazes me how, with all these destructive cults (and religions) around, now that the Trumpet is Pres, folks are emboldened to specifically target & attack that ONE and ONLY – LOL – Evil Religion, with vandalism and shootings at mosques. Great job, stupid Rednecks! Thanx for ur service. I feel safer already. We can all breathe a sigh of relief. The struggle is finally over! 😀

    • twistedsister69 says:

      …Watchtower must love terrorists. That handful of global criminals accomplishes so much in taking a lot of the attention away from the WTBTS and other cults!!!

      • twistedsister69 says:

        I know this is kind of off-topic, but I think it’s important for people to realize, because, as I said, all this islamophobia is distracting everyone from real, pressing issues, like cultism and the abuses that come with it. For anyone who is not (at least, consciously) aware of this, islam is not some far-flung, alien, “freak” religion that deserves “special” attention. Just like jews and christians, MUSLIMS WORSHIP YAHWEH. That’s right, YAHWEH. Think about it. You probably already knew it. Of course, they call him “allah”, which simply means “god” in Arabic, related to the Hebrew “elohim”. Fact is, muslims believe adam, abraham, and moses were prophets. They even consider jesus to be a prophet, just not the “messiah” or son of yahweh. Their muhammad is simply presumed to be the last prophet. So they indeed also worship the god of abraham, moses, and jesus – that crazy nut we all know & love as “Yahweh”! So all this hubbub about the “Big Bad” muzzies only serves as a distraction from issues that are really tearing at the fabric of our society, such as cultism, pedophilia, drugs, corruption, and of course, the ECONOMY!!! I keep saying the biggest threat to our society is our society. Fact is, islam has earned no more or no less contempt than judaism or christianity. They’re all equally awful. YUCK.

    • Winston Smith says:

      In the United States there have been a number of anti mosque activities and these have been highlighted by the ACLU here: https://www.aclu.org/map/nationwide-anti-mosque-activity

      Interestingly all of the events reported predate Trump’s presidency. In fact, most occurred during Barack Hussein Obama’s tenure. I think the issue with Muslim hatred long predates Trump. Most likely, it dates back to a little event known here in the States as 9/11. And throughout history there have always been ignorant morons who hate groups that are different than they are.

      Trump is trying to stem the tide of illegal immigrants that are entering the country as well as potentially harmful individuals from lands known to harbor terrorists (the list he is working off of was compiled by Obama). The fact that some dumba$$ morons are using this as an excuse for violence against other citizens and legal residents is deplorable.

      WS

  8. GEM says:

    Can anybody remember the large picture of the Governing Body, over the main reception stairwell in Mill Hill (London Branch)? As a teenager I always thought it was odd, having one of their number puffing happily on a pipe…why on earth did they not take it down and moth ball it?

    Then when I was plunged into personal conflict over the Alcoholism of a respected couple, when I was there in my twenties…. I began to see a very sharp contrast between the conduct and standards between “Us” and “Them”. It took almost 4 years of doubt to finally pluck up the courage and vote with my feet, and a little while after that to walk away entirely. Double standards and Elitism, crushed me.

    • messenger says:

      It’s possible that in their minds the picture represents how far they’ve grown spiritually, so they may have thought leaving it up was a plus. In a similar way every now and then they let us know Rutherford and his group celebrated Christmas.

      But for most of us here, and some others it, does cause us to think. If these are biblically based salvation issues then logically those previous JWs shouldn’t receive a resurrection, but if smoking, celebrating Christmas, etc. are not Bible based salvation issues, then why do they kick people out of their church for doing those things?

  9. twistedsister69 says:

    The Holy Joe’s from each of the Big 3 religions will tell you that “God is a mystery”. Well, maybe that’s the way He likes it.

    • dee2 says:

      “God is a mystery” yet people were able to write books about him (Bible, Torah, Koran, Bhagavad Gita etc).

      I guess they have the mystery all figured out.

      It is interesting that the religions associated with these various Holy Books, originated in a definite area and in a definite time period.

      Would any God or Gods who desired to reveal themselves to humanity do this? Would this God or Gods provide a revelation to only one culture, at one time, in one place? Would a rational deity create a religion with only a single point of origin?

      Or is it that the fact that all religions originated in one specific culture, at one specific time and place, this points strongly to their being the product of that culture, time and place – and not the product of divine revelation?

      • messenger says:

        You might have a point , though not likely because your argument leaves out and contradicts another important point which nullifies your whole argument. People all over the Earth in our day, as well as before, claim God has revealed himself to them. Your acceptance of their claims is irrelevant to your argument. Neither do you accept those claims of the people who wrote the books you refer to, but even if you did accept those writings as true, a claim is a claim, that fact doesn’t change depending on who makes it-on whether its written down or not. Just as it has occurred in the past when those books were written similar claims have been made by men and women that God has revealed himself to them, even today that’s happening. It’s always happened.

        • dee2 says:

          [“……..Just as it has occurred in the past when those books were written similar claims have been made by men and women that God has revealed himself to them…..”]

          – This would therefore mean that ALL revealed religions and their revealed holy books are true.

          The Quran & Islam,
          the Bhagavad Gita & Hinduism
          the Torah & Judaism,
          the Bible & Christianity etc etc

          are ALL true despite the fact that they all make differing and mutually exclusive claims concerning the nature of God, the path to salvation, the description of the afterlife etc etc

          If this is the case, then what is the supposed advantage of Christianity? What necessity was there for Christ to have suffered at all?

          Surely, if all of these revealed religions are true then the death of Jesus Christ and belief in him are not necessary since any revealed religion will suffice.
          ____

          – Charles Taze Russell whose Bible studies formed the foundation of the Watchtower claimed that God had revealed himself to him.

          At a sermon delivered by Russell in 1913, in San Francisco at a convention of Bible Students, Russell stated:

          “I said that I had been in conference with the Great Master Workman, the Lord himself, and I have secret information through the Holy Spirit and guidance in respect to what the Bible says, and that contains all the truth, I believe, on every subject.”

          http://ctr-rlbible.com/?p=233

          Yet Russell’s end of the world predictions did not come true. According to Russell’s chronology:

          1799 – Last days began
          1874 – Start of Jesus’ invisible presence
          1878 – Jesus became king in heaven
          1914 – End of the world

          Yet the world has not ended the last time I checked.

          • messenger says:

            I see no correlation between the two things: 1)people claiming that God revealed himself to them & (2)the complete number of so called religious books and religions being TRUE.
            Sorry I don’t understand your point.
            Interesting quote from Mr. Russell though. Of course we all know his claims were false, but thanks for sharing his quote.

          • dee2 says:

            Charles Taze Russell was strongly convinced that God was revealing things to him yet his end of the world predictions were wrong.

            So how does a person know when God is revealing things to them so that they will be able to put forth correct doctrines?

            Does God make it unequivocally and explicitly clear to the person that it is he who is revealing things to the person or is it that the person has to guess and try to figure out whether or not God is revealing things to them?

          • messenger says:

            @dee2
            The Bible says there would be many false prophets. I think the consensus among thinkers here which I agree with believe Russell fit that description. But I don’t know if Russell actually claimed God contacted him, because his words are ambiguous, and those could have any number of meanings. What does ‘God revealed it to me’ mean, or ‘I had a conference with God’ mean. To me those are statements made by someone that probably wants to appear special and knowledgeable.

            Bible accounts that describe when God contacted people don’t use that type of language, instead those accounts usually include some supernatural component which would be the case if their claims are true. My guess is that God never revealed anything to Russell. Russell became convinced of some speculative Bible interpretations he learned from other people. He gained fame publishing those false interpretations, and he began to speculate himself, becoming more famous and powerful, just like the Pharisees and other false prophets.

            Speculation is dangerous; that’s why I don’t do it. The scriptures leading to salvation are simple and clear. There is no need to speculate on the meaning of those scriptures or to speculate on other scriptures that person does not understand.

            One reason most Bible speculators do it is to gain followers, according to Christ’s words. Russell was wrong, so was Rutherford who admitted he “made an ass of himself,” after his words, and his false predictions failed.

            I’ve got to go and I haven’t had time to read much of your response….But I think I can address a bit of what I did read. People know if God has contacted them because that type of contact is supernatural. Its never ‘I had a conference with God’ stuff that a person could have done through prayer, or meditating on scripture, and thereby reaching new conclusions. If God really spoke to Russell then why didn’t he tell us? I believe I read he never made that claim.

            Second point is about your Matt 25 sheep/goat parable.. I didn’t read your response, but hardly anyone interprets it the way you do. As a matter of fact you’re the first person I’ve ever met that does, and as you stated in your other comment you are aware how Christians interpret that, all accept that belief in Jesus as savior is necessary for salvation.

            Also, you’ve read quite a bit of my writing in these blogs already; I’m surprised you believe I still accept WT teachings as true. If I did there is no way I would make the comments about them that I have on this blog. So, know that you know I don’t accept those then I’m sure you understand that what the WT teaches is irrelevant to any meaningful Bible based conversation which deals with true Bible interpretation and meaning. On some things WT is correct, on some things incorrect. But as the saying goes even a broken clock tells time accurately twice a day….Will read your answer later because I still want to see why you stated the Sheep/ Goats parable mean that believing in Christ is not necessary for salvation but only helping other people is. And naturally other scriptures do effect that parables meaning. A parable is an illustrative story to make a point, that’s all it is. Every truth about each of its components is not in the story. Applying other scriptures to understand truths about some of its components is not special to that one parable. The idea is applicable to many Bible parables..

          • dee2 says:

            [“People know if God has contacted them because that type of contact is supernatural. Its never ‘I had a conference with God’ stuff that a person could have done through prayer, or meditating on scripture, and thereby reaching new conclusions.”]

            What makes the contact supernatural? What exactly do you mean by this? What features, characteristics makes the person know precisely, explicitly, unequivocally, beyond the shadow of a doubt that the contact is supernatural?

            If “Its never ‘I had a conference with God’ stuff that a person could have done through prayer, or meditating on scripture, and thereby reaching new conclusions”

            – then how does God reveal himself to persons then?
            I thought that was the point of prayer? Why bother to pray then if you are not going to have a 2-way conversation with God?
            You talk to God but God doesn’t talk back to you? Is that what prayer is?

            – then why does the Bible provide examples of persons who were contacted by God WHILE THEY WERE PRAYING? For example:

            Acts 22:17-21:
            “It happened when I returned to Jerusalem and WAS PRAYING at the temple, I FELL INTO A TRANCE AND SAW THE LORD SPEAKING TO ME. ‘Quick!’ he said.‘Leave Jerusalem immediately, because the people here will not accept your testimony about me.’
            “‘Lord,’ I replied, ‘these people know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison and beat those who believe in you. And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’ “THEN THE LORD SAID TO ME, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’ ”

            Acts 10:9-23:
            “On the next day, as they were on their way and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour TO PRAY. But he became hungry and was desiring to eat; but while they were making preparations, HE FELL INTO A TRANCE; and he saw the sky opened up, and an object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground, and there were in it all kinds of four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the air. A VOICE CAME TO HIM, “Get up, Peter, kill and eat!” But Peter said, “By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean.” AGAIN A VOICE CAME TO HIM A SECOND TIME, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.” THIS HAPPENED THREE TIMES, and immediately the object was taken up into the sky. Now while Peter was greatly perplexed in mind as to what the VISION which he had seen might be, behold, the men who had been sent by Cornelius, having asked directions for Simon’s house, appeared at the gate; and calling out, they were asking whether Simon, who was also called Peter, was staying there. While Peter was reflecting on the VISION, THE SPIRIT SAID TO HIM, “Behold, three men are looking for you. “But get up, go downstairs and accompany them without misgivings, for I have sent them Myself.” Peter went down to the men and said, “Behold, I am the one you are looking for; what is the reason for which you have come?” They said, “Cornelius, a centurion, a righteous and God-fearing man well spoken of by the entire nation of the Jews, WAS DIVINELY DIRECTED BY A HOLY ANGEL to send for you to come to his house and hear a message from you.” So he invited them in and gave them lodging. And on the next day he got up and went away with them, and some of the brethren from Joppa accompanied him.

            Acts 11:4-18:
            “But Peter began speaking and proceeded to explain to them in orderly sequence, saying, “I WAS IN THE CITY OF JOPPA PRAYING; AND IN A TRANCE I SAW A VISION, an object coming down like a great sheet lowered by four corners from the sky; and it came right down to me, and when I had fixed my gaze on it and was observing it I saw the four-footed animals of the earth and the wild beasts and the crawling creatures and the birds of the air.
            “I ALSO HEARD A VOICE SAYING to me, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’ “But I said, ‘By no means, Lord, for nothing unholy or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ “BUT A VOICE FROM HEAVEN ANSWERED A SECOND TIME, ‘What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.’ “THIS HAPPENED THREE TIMES, and everything was drawn back up into the sky. “And behold, at that moment three men appeared at the house in which we were staying, having been sent to me from Caesarea. “THE SPIRIT TOLD ME TO go with them without misgivings These six brethren also went with me and we entered the man’s house. “And he reported to us how he HAD SEEN THE ANGEL STANDING IN HIS HOUSE, AND SAYING, ‘Send to Joppa and have Simon, who is also called Peter, brought here; and he will speak words to you by which you will be saved, you and all your household.’ “And as I began to speak, THE HOLY SPIRIT FELL UPON THEM JUST AS HE DID UPON US AT THE BEGINNING. “And I REMEMBERED THE WORD OF THE LORD, HOW HE USED TO SAY, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ “Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”

          • dee2 says:

            [” If God really spoke to Russell then why didn’t he tell us?”]

            He did.

            See
            http://ctr-rlbible.com/?p=233

            which presents Russell’s full discourse at a convention of Bible Students in 1913, in San Francisco in which he PUBLICLY stated the following:

            “I said that I had been in conference with the Great Master Workman, the Lord himself, and I have secret information through the Holy Spirit and guidance in respect to what the Bible says, and that contains all the truth, I believe, on every subject.”

        • dee2 says:

          It is no surprise that humanity has splintered into so many different religions and sects, each of which holds differing and incompatible views regarding the wishes of God.

          This would not happen if God did in fact reveal himself to people. Is God telling Judaism and Islam one thing and Christianity another?

          If God does in fact appear to believers would he not tell them what he really wants so as to prevent all the religious confusion and discord so pervasive among humanity?

          If God does in fact reveal himself to persons and speaks to them directly then he would appear to his faithful, who have a relationship with him, and explain where they are misinterpreting his wishes in order to prevent religious schisms and division.

          Alternatively, an opportunity to contact God directly and ascertain what his wishes actually are would doubtless prevent religious disputes once and for all.

          There is obviously a lack of clear divine communication and guidance that we are told was once so frequent (as recorded in the OT for example).

          An obvious manifestation of God would prevent the religious confusion so prevalent among humanity from happening in the first place.

          Not only would this achieve God’s goal of having people worship him as he directs, it would also do an enormous amount of incidental good in preventing the religious strife and violence so pervasive among humanity.

          God’s revealing himself would prevent the widespread disagreement among believers regarding his nature and what he desires from humanity.

          Religions/Holy Books are just a product of the time and culture in which the book was written and in which the religion originated rather than a product of divine revelation.

          • messenger says:

            Dee2
            Look up three types of scriptures and you may understand why, from a Biblical perspective, God did not contact people in the way you believe he should have.
            1.Type one- Those that show people who want to follow God. ..Here’s one to start, Christ said, “If anyone wants (desires) to follow me let him..”
            2 Type two-Those that speak of people hardening their hearts or God hardening their hearts toward God. This type speak of people who do not wish to follow him, and if they keep that disposition up finally God confirms their feelings and decision. Christ spoke of the unforgiveable sin. This is it.
            3Type three-look up some Bible miracles, and note the people who observed them. Note their attitudes toward God before and after they observed miracles.

          • Caroline says:

            messenger, you told dee2 to look up 3 types of scriptural proofs from the Bible but you didn’t put in any scriptures to back up your claim. What are those scriptures that you told dee2 to look up.

          • Caroline says:

            messenger, I am beginning to doubt whether or not you are a real Witness now because of your comment about the 3rd type.

            We as Witnesses were always taught that it wasn’t the faith of the one who received the miracle but it was the faith of the apostle is whether or not the person received the miracle.

            Just how old are you and how long have you been in the “truth”?

          • messenger says:

            @Caroline,
            You are certainly funny Caroline. If you no longer accept many WT teachings then why should you care what WT taught you when you did BELIEVE IT? Today, is your life strictly governed by WT? If not why do you expect mine to be?

            Why are WT’s thoughts important unless those thoughts are true?

            Yes, I have been found out, but please don’t tell. I don’t believe in all WT doctrine, not even a lot of it.

            As far as my comments to dee2 and your inquiries about those.
            1) I suggested she look the scriptures up because if she’s interested she will, if she’s not she won’t.

            2)I didn’t state where the miracle came from in the third type of scriptures to look up, whether performed by an apostle or someone else. And miracles were not just associated with the apostles-look it up if you wish. But since you brought the point up, they all come from God or one of his invisible reps with the power to pull them off, not from humans. Humans are just the center pieces associate with them-except for Christ of course, he had the power to pull them off.

            What I suggested dee2 do is note the attitudes of people that observed miracles. She will see that in the Bible stories observing miracles did not always cause people to believe in God. Didn’t they kill Christ and many of the apostles? And who performed the most miracles?

            I might be an imposter,but even if that is true, does that change the meanings of words?

          • messenger says:

            Don’t know if you were taught what you stated Caroline because I’ve been around a long time and have never seen or heard that before. But whoever told you that was quite ignorant of Bible teachings…Check out some of the times Christ cured people and observe his comments to them. Since those comments contradict your claim I don’t believe you can find your claim in writings by WT. Watchtower is not that sloppy. The things they teach that are incorrect or either opinions or difficult to prove wrong when they assert them. Your claim is toooo easy to prove incorrect. “YOUR faith has made you well.”

      • messenger says:

        I have not read much of the Koran, so I can’t comment on it. But as far as the Bible and Torah are concerned, the reason those were written in that geographical area is that they pointed to a Messiah and savior that would come out of that area, and come from a nationality of people who lived there. It would make no sense for those books to have been written anywhere else. You can’t deny that despite the location of their origin the message of the Bible and the other books has circled and saturated the globe. Also, if the claim that one savior of the world is true, then being a single individual he would come from ONE place.

        • dee2 says:

          [“But as far as the Bible and Torah are concerned, the reason those were written in that geographical area is that they pointed to a Messiah and savior that would come out of that area, and come from a nationality of people who lived there. It would make no sense for those books to have been written anywhere else.”]

          Which is exactly my point.

          Similarly it would have made no sense for the:
          – Qur’an to have been written anywhere else and Islam to have been started anywhere else.
          – Torah to have been written anywhere else and Judaism to have been started anywhere else.
          – Bhagavad Gita to have been written anywhere else and Hinduism to have been started anywhere else etc etc

          Any deity who desired to be believed in would reveal itself to EVERYONE, not just to a specific person, culture, race or nation.

          It can hardly be a coincidence that every religion which claims God has a chosen people was founded by those who claimed they were the chosen people.

          Any god who founded a religion would probably provide its initial revelation to multiple peoples – preferably scattered throughout time and space, to ensure as wide a distribution of followers as possible.

          It would be extraordinary for people from across the globe and throughout history who had NO CONTACT with each other to independently invent the exact same religion, without a god giving them all the same information through revelation.

          It only makes sense that, if God wanted to send a message to us, he would reveal it to ALL of us. It defies all logic and common sense that the ruler of the universe, an entity so immense and powerful as to be beyond human comprehension, an all-knowing consciousness as vast as the cosmos, a being in whose sight the Earth is an infinitesimal blue and green dust speck, a single glimmer in a galaxy of a hundred billion stars and a universe of a hundred billion galaxies, and we merely microscopic atoms of life crawling across the face of that speck

          – it makes no sense whatsoever that such a being would choose an even tinier portion of this unimaginably tiny and fragile dot to be its chosen messengers, elevated above all the rest of the bacteria in whose midst they swim. It makes no sense that the all-powerful sight which takes in the entire universe in a glance would stop at the color of a person’s skin, culture, language, national origin, race, ethnicity, and so on.

          The idea that such a being would descend on this tiny planet, mostly watching silently but occasionally doling out miracles at random to a privileged few, is ludicrous.

          According to Christianity, some people, such as Jesus’ apostles, were eyewitnesses to his life, his miracles, and his resurrection from the dead. Skeptics such as Doubting Thomas were able to assuage their doubts by examining Jesus’ empty tomb and touching his resurrected body. But modern skeptics do not have access to this evidence.

          No one alive today witnessed any of Jesus’ miracles, including the resurrection; even if they actually happened, the only evidence we now possess of them is a book, a copy of copies translated from an ancient language that contradicts itself in many places, that claims to contain the accounts of eyewitnesses.

          And while, according to the Bible, Jesus did perform miracles, they were almost always small and local in extent – healing the sick and the blind, turning water into wine, revivifying a dead man – miracles that, however impressive they were to those who witnessed them, would easily have been overlooked by people in the next town over.

          Even if Jesus’ life happened exactly as the Bible describes it, the Bible itself is the only witness to that fact, and our historical knowledge is so murky and the evidence so scanty that some people have argued that Jesus never existed at all. But while people currently living must muddle through this tortuous mess if they are to arrive at the correct conclusion for salvation, that same conclusion was effortless for Jesus’ contemporaries, those who were witnesses to his life and his ministry.

          This cannot be considered fair. Why should God pick a small number of people and overwhelm them with so much first-hand evidence that their coming to the correct conclusion is virtually assured, while all the rest of us are forced to subsist on scraps of handed-down hearsay? Is salvation like winning the lottery – a matter of luck? How can God be a god of justice if he gives some people a much better chance than others?

          The answer is: he cannot. If God’s system of salvation is to be considered fair, then it must be a level playing field, giving everyone the same chance and the same evidence on which to base a decision. Plainly, in this case it is not.

          We could have found ourselves living in a world with only one religion, spread throughout the globe, with prophets from among every people. We could have found that, when we first contacted isolated native tribes, their religion was identical to one that already existed rather than being entirely their own.

          We could have found religions that bore no resemblance to the culture of their time and place of origin, in possession of advanced scientific knowledge or advanced ethical principles totally unlike what was commonly believed at the time. These are reasonable things to expect if there really was a god genuinely interested in revealing itself to humanity and being worshipped.

          • messenger says:

            Ok I did a quick read (skim) on much of what you said, but not all, so let me address just one point you brought up.

            As I previously stated it is claimed in the scriptures and by individuals down till our day, including myself, that the Bible’s god does and has contacted individual people throughout human history. The fact that you don’t believe those claims does not in any way enforce your argument. And I don’t see any credence in a belief God must contact everyone, or do it in the ways you suggest to prove he exists to people he wants to prove his existence to. The one part of your argument I agree with is that his way does not prove that to all people, but there is a purpose behind what he does according to scripture.

            As you have in the past again you assume and then present the argument that if God exists then he would have to do things a certain way, a way that you think would not only be the most logical, but also the only way(s) it could and should be done. To assume that about anyone, God included, is illogical. And I can’t see that claim backing up any sound argument, regardless of what the argument is.

            When we discussed free will, this is how I define it..the ability to think and act independently of other persons, in other words simply to choose and then act. God has free will, so who can say what he does, why he does it, or how he does it, unless he tells them, or someone views his actions. And whose going to make him do anything their way if he choose to act in another way. That’s why your argument is illogical.

          • dee2 says:

            Why would God allow some traditions to dominate in some areas and others to become dominant elsewhere, putting those people who are born into times and places ruled by false religions at an enormous disadvantage for finding him?

          • messenger says:

            I read just a bit of your response once again, though not all. You make a lot of assumptions about God, but you also make assumptions about my comments. You add meanings to things I say that are not there. I never said I sanctioned other religions or believed they were true. What I said is that the Bible claims and people have claimed throughout history that they have been contacted by God.

            Also, you ask me for reasons why God does things the way he does. Some of those reasons are defined in the Bible, the ones that are not are left to speculation, yet as I already stated, I feel speculation is the big mistake you make.

            But since you ask I’ll answer according to my belief. I’ve already stated I believe God sees the future. And don’t ask me how that’s possible because I would like to know that answer myself. But that ability would give any intelligent being a remarkable advantage in planning and carrying out their purpose. For instance, God using that can look at the future of other individuals, whether they do, will, will stop, or never will follow him. Even if I could do that it would be a huge advantage in arranging my life…and the Bible claims God to have superior intelligence, so put those two things together and common sense would suggest he would not make decisions like us but in a better way. According to Bible stories and its teachings God appears to be designing a universe of intelligent free-willed creatures through an elimination process. Sorting out the ones that will from the ones that will not work along with his plans. It appears he’s not just using foreknowledge in doing that, but other abilities also.

            I built and ran a company for many years where I employed people to do jobs I wanted them to. And no it wasn’t a window washing or janitorial company like many put down on this site. My company was very successful, the largest of its kind. Once I had a new employee, a harsh pioneer sister. She broke one of my tools which she used to do her work. I gave her a temporary replacement and ordered another tool for her that was going to take a few days to get. I told her when it would come in. Her reply was to tell me I better have it by then. So, I called her to the side and told her if she ever told me I BETTER do anything there again I’d fire her. I fired her latter on because of getting several complaints about her from my customers and loosing one because of her rudeness.

            So while you think God is not fair because he does not do things your way, he might be doing things his way to sort out the people that will work with him in his way from people that won’t.

          • messenger says:

            Bible says those that you feel never had a chance to know God, because they were at a disadvantage only knowing false gods will get a chance in the future to know him.

          • messenger says:

            The successful spread of Islam/Koran; Christianity/Bible; Buddhism, Hinduism and their writings refutes your argument that any god, if existent, could only successfully spread his message and have followers worldwide if their message was given to everyone on Earth at the same time. I never claimed I believed in all those teachings. Nevertheless none of those teachings needed to be shared with everyone on Earth at a simultaneous time to be effective. They have all circled the globe.

          • messenger says:

            @dee2
            The way God was/is revealed to mankind makes sense when people consider that accepting and believing in God is a matter of choice, using a person’s free will, which you claimed doesn’t exist in a previous discussion.

            Three facts prove it makes sense, and your use of adjectives in describing the universe really has no bearing on the logic or lack of logic in your argument. These facts prove God’s way to reveal himself makes sense:
            1) God being an independent thinker decides and chooses how he does things. He is not forced to operate in the way you feel he should, or according to your sense of what is fair.
            2)Since Christ’s death his message has resulted in billions of people who either presently do or have followed him. WT’s claim that they are not accepted by Christ as his TRUE followers really doesn’t support your side of the argument. Again your argument is that it makes no sense that God would reveal himself to humanity as the Bible claims he has. But I repeat, the result of the BIBLE’S MESSAGE….BILLIONS OF FOLLOWERS.
            3)Stories in the scriptures prove, if you accept them, that many people who saw miracles still did not follow God. Therefore, revealing himself in the way you think would ‘HAVE to happen’ might not produce the result you feel it would. Remember God wants eternal followers not temporary ones that saw a miracle and chose to follow him because of that. That’s not why people follow him.

            And let me add one more thought, because it bears on your argument. Your argument claims God does not exist because his existence would only makes sense if he would have revealed himself to all people at a single time, or at least to different groups in various parts of the Earth at the same time. The fact is he has revealed himself to individuals around the globe, just not at the same time. But even had he done what you want, if God had done that in the distant past you would still be arguing the same thing you are today, which is ‘why doesn’t he show himself to ALL of us, if he exists, because when he does not it’s not fair,’ but you might add,’ because those ancient people saw the proof, but I only heard about it.’ A very similar argument to the one you are making. The argument you are making would still apply to that situation…not everyone would see or hear the proof.

          • Winston Smith says:

            To put my two cents into what appears to be a long debate:
            It is pointless to attempt to debate through some logical discourse whether God does or doesn’t exist. Belief in God is a choice. Faith, according to scripture is not based on factual data, but rather on that which is unseen (see Hebrews 11:1,2).

            I personally choose to believe in a divine purpose and origin to the universe. And I think that nearly all religious paths are attempts to align oneself with that purpose. Some are better than others, and some may work well for some individuals but not for others. The journey it what is really important. Finding meaning for yourself in the universe whether through alignment with some holy book, some following, or simply the wonders of the cosmos is what is important. As long as our journey starts and ends with the maxim Primum non nocere (do no harm).

            I have probably quoted this at some previous point, but I think these lyrics are profound and worth quoting again:
            “You can choose a ready guide
            In some celestial voice
            If you choose not to decide
            You still have made a choice
            You can choose from phantom fears
            And kindness that can kill
            I will choose a path that’s clear
            I will choose free will”

            WS

          • dee2 says:

            Messenger

            [ “…….using a person’s free will, which you claimed doesn’t exist in a previous discussion……” ]

            Please indicate the discussion in which I stated this. Apparently you misunderstood my previous statements as I have never stated that free will does not exist. What I have stated is that divine intervention negates free will. The idea that God is intricately involved in daily affairs, manipulating events in the universe negates free will.

            [ “……..people consider that accepting and believing in God is a matter of choice, using a person’s free will…….” ]

            When people are exercising their free will to choose a religion, what is the basis for their choice of religion?

            Did they choose their religion because of:

            – their geographical location?
            – their culture?
            – what they heard from others?
            – what they heard directly and explicitly from GOD HIMSELF?

            Does GOD HIMSELF directly, explicitly and unequivocally let people know what the right religion is so that they will know what God’s religion of choice is when exercising their free will to choose a religion?

            OR is the basis for a person’s choice of religion based solely on the geographical region or culture in which they live or what they hear from others but NOT what they hear directly and explicitly from God himself?

            People may have free will to choose their religion, but before choosing, do they actually hear directly and explicitly from GOD HIMSELF which religion is the right religion? Or do they have to figure this out all by themselves?

            If God does in fact actually speak to people, does he tell everyone the same thing regarding which religion is the right religion?

            Perhaps you should do a survey to find all of this out.

          • dee2 says:

            Messenger,

            [ “…….He is not forced to operate in the way you feel he should, or according to your sense of what is fair.” ]

            Now I fully understand why God didn’t also reveal himself to the Canaanites just as he did to Moses in the burning bush so that the genocide of the Canaanites could have been avoided.

            God could have invited the native Palestinians into his covenant, given them the same laws he had given the Israelites, and established an egalitarian society where people of all races could live together in harmony. Instead, he ordered his people to invade and slaughter the natives, killing them to the last man, woman and child, specifically instructing them to show no mercy to anyone under any circumstances.

            What followed was a series of terrible, bloody battles in which tens of thousands of people died violently. Finally, God pronounced his campaign of genocide a success (Joshua 11:15).

            Amazing sense of fairness God has! No need to invite Israelite and non-Israelite alike into the same covenant and establish an egalitarian society where people of all races could live together in harmony. Just reveal yourself to one race only and then massacre the rest.

            Surely, if God does have a chosen people (as many believers do), why then would he himself never ever tell anybody else about it but they themselves?

            Surely it would be to the advantage of his chosen if God made it plain to all other races, cultures etc just who the good guys were?

          • dee2 says:

            Messenger,

            Here is the likely reaction if God had really revealed his will regarding the chosen to everyone back in the day:

            Imagine Moses coming down from the mountain following his first conversation with God:

            Moses: “O Israel, I have received the word of God, and the Chosen People have been revealed unto me!”

            The People: “Tell us what God has decreed in His wisdom!”

            Moses: “Erm, well, actually…”

            The People: “Go on…”

            Moses: ” …it’s the Philistines. I know, I know, but God is what He is, and He says the Philistines are his chosen people. What can you do?”

            The People: “So what does this mean for us?”

            Moses: “Ah. Thought you’d ask that one. Since we are not God’s chosen, and in fact rank rather far down His divine scale, it means that we have to give all our land and possessions over to the Philistines, even unto our women, yea, even unto our goats, and we must devote our lives to the glory of God and His chosen people, basically by becoming their slaves through all eternity. So says the Lord.”

            The People: “Sod that, we’re converting to Egyptian Polytheism! ”

            The absurdity of this scenario is obvious and common sense alone would indicate that a religion based on such a message which was revealed by God to everyone, will not get very far.

            But that in itself is, of course, instructive on the nature of religion – if God does have a chosen people (as many believers do), why then would he himself never ever tell anybody else about it but they themselves?

            Surely it would be to the advantage of his chosen if God made it plain to all other races, cultures etc just who the good guys were?

            Yet this has never happened.

          • dee2 says:

            Messenger,

            [ “…….He is not forced to operate in the way you feel he should, or according to your sense of what is fair.” ]

            There are consequences for choosing the wrong religion.

            You, for example, insist that salvation is not possible if persons do not believe in Jesus Christ.

            Failure to pick the correct religion merits being destroyed/an eternity of torture but the reward for picking the right one is an eternity of bliss and happiness.

            Does GOD HIMSELF directly, explicitly and unequivocally makes people know what the right religion is so that they can avoid the consequences for choosing the wrong religion?

            OR is it the persons themselves who have to sort through the morass of religious confusion and hopefully come to the correct choice?

            How is it fair to ask, to demand, that we ourselves sort through the morass of religious confusion and hopefully come to the correct choice when the diversity of beliefs, creeds and practices to choose from is truly enormous?

            It is the individual who has to sort through the morass of religions and determine which one is true – God does not tell anyone what His choice of religion is – you have to figure that out for yourself.

          • dee2 says:

            Messenger,

            [ ….”Since Christ’s death his message has resulted in billions of people who either presently do or have followed him”….. ]

            – Are you saying that Christianity is the only true religion? If so, why is this so? Aren’t there sincere Jews, Muslims, Zoroastrians, Baha’i s, Buddhists, Hindus etc who believe that their religion is the one true religion as well? Why would they be wrong and Christianity right?

            – There are billions of persons who do not follow Jesus. Why? Of the millions of persons born each year, a portion will never become followers of Jesus because of their culture and geographical location and of course there are those who follow no religion at all.

            – Further, if it be true that no one can be saved except through belief in Christ, then it may be fairly asked: what became of the numberless human beings who died prior to his birth? And, further, what will be the fate of those who are now living who have not heard, and probably never will hear, of the mission of Jesus?

            If Christianity is the correct religion, then generation after generation – dozens of indigenous cultures, thousands of tribes, millions and millions of people – in North, Central and South America, in Europe, in Africa, in Asia, in Australia and Indonesia – all lived and died in total, tragic ignorance of the one true god, without ever being given a chance to know the love of Jesus or hear about the sacrifice he made.

            This holds true both for those people who lived before Jesus as well as those who lived during or after his time but before missionaries arrived there. They were never told about the Bible, never got to witness or benefit from any miracles, and never even had one single prophet raised up from among their number. Why did God neglect these people?

            More importantly, what is the fate of those who never heard? Did they all go to Hell when they died, simply because God chose not to tell them the way to salvation? Or did they somehow get to Heaven without the redemptive powers of Jesus? And if so, if this is possible, then what was the point of sending Jesus at all?

          • dee2 says:

            Messenger,

            [ “….many people who saw miracles still did not follow God”]

            What proof do you have that the miracles recorded in the Bible actually occurred?
            (Hint: you cannot use the Bible to prove the Bible)

            [ “Your argument claims God does not exist” ]

            Where in my arguments did I claim this? Please, show me.

            My argument was not about God’s existence but about whether or not he directly, explicitly and unequivocally speaks to persons.

            God’s existence and whether or not he speaks to persons are two separate/distinct issues. God could exist but his existence does not imply that he speaks to humans. This is in fact what deists believe – perhaps you have never heard about deists.

            My argument was that there is obviously a lack of clear divine communication and guidance:

            If God speaks directly to people wouldn’t he tell everyone the same thing regarding his choice of religion?

            Why tell the Jews, Muslims, Zoroastrians, Baha’i s, Buddhists, Hindus etc one thing and the Christians another?

            [ “But even had he done what you want, if God had done that in the distant past you would still be arguing the same thing you are today, which is ‘why doesn’t he show himself to ALL of us,…….” ]

            Isn’t there the opportunity to contact God directly and ascertain what his wishes actually are? Isn’t that the purpose of prayer? Wouldn’t prayer be an opportunity for God to tell everyone what his religion of choice is?

            Do not Muslims, Jews, Hindus Zoroastrians, Bahai’s, Christians etc all pray to God? Is God telling the Christians one thing and the non-Christians another?

            A part from prayer, I have heard persons say that God told them so and so or his Holy Spirit revealed so and so to them, or God put a thought into their mind etc. So it seems to me that there are lots of opportunity for God to communicate his religion of choice to persons.

            If God himself does directly communicate with persons via prayer or other means, wouldn’t he tell everyone, Christian and non-Christian, the same thing regarding his choice of religion/ which religion is the right religion?

        • dee2 says:

          [“You can’t deny that despite the location of their origin the message of the Bible and ***the other books*** has circled and saturated the globe.”]

          I find it interesting that a Christian sanctions non-Christian Holy Books and non-Christian religions.

          As I asked above: If ALL of these religions and holy books are true despite the fact that they all make differing and mutually exclusive claims concerning the nature of God, the path to salvation, the description of the afterlife etc etc,
          then what is the supposed advantage of Christianity? What necessity was there for Christ to have suffered at all?

          Surely, if all of these revealed religions are true then the death of Jesus Christ and belief in him are not necessary since any revealed religion will suffice.

          Your liberal view of non-Christian religions and their holy books stands in stark contrast to some sects of Protestant Christians who believe that the only people who will get into Heaven are those who repent and accept Jesus Christ into their hearts as their personal savior, specifically acknowledging his deity and rejecting all other religions. Without exception, these Christians say, anyone who does not do this is damned.

          As I stated above, if God did not stop at the color of a person’s skin, culture, language, national origin, race, ethnicity etc but instead revealed himself to EVERYONE, we would not have this diversity of conflicting Christian and non-Christian religions.

          We could have found ourselves living in a world with only ONE religion, spread throughout the globe, with prophets from among every people. We could have found that, when we first contacted isolated native tribes, their religion was identical to one that already existed rather than being entirely their own.

          We could have found religions that bore no resemblance to the culture of their time and place of origin, in possession of advanced scientific knowledge or advanced ethical principles totally unlike what was commonly believed at the time. These are reasonable things to expect if there really was a god genuinely interested in revealing itself to humanity and being worshipped.

          ___

          [“Also, if the claim that one savior of the world is true, then being a single individual he would come from ONE place.”]

          But this does not prevent God from revealing himself to EVERYONE as I stated above.

          • messenger says:

            Excuse me dee2

            Yesterday I just wrote to you on another thread, and gave you an apology for asking if you like to argue, because of your claim that Mat 25 the sheep and goats parable teaches that people don’t need to believe in Christ to be saved. My assumption was you knew that thought was a Bible teaching. I left some info with that apology showing that the other Bible teachings refute your claim, even though the parable by itself does not bring that point out.

            So, I’m wondering did you get that material, and is that why above this comment you wrote ,”Protestant Christians who believe that the only people who will get into Heaven are those who repent and accept Jesus Christ into their hearts as their personal savior, specifically acknowledging his deity and rejecting all other religions.”

            Because if you didn’t learn that from the info I left, or at least from your research of the subject since then, if you already knew that, then did you also know the Bible teaches all saved people must believe in Christ? If you knew that before I showed you then why would you argue that the sheep and goats parable does not teach that point? I could tell from your writings that you’re intelligent enough to know that the aforementioned teaching reasonably would not have to be included in every single Bible parable to be a valid Bible teaching. So, why did you make the claim it is not in the parable at Matt 25 sheep/goats, and that people only had to offer assistance to others to be saved?

          • dee2 says:

            The parable of the sheep and goats in Matthew 25 explains itself. It doesn’t require another scripture to explain it.

            If you do not allow the parable of the sheep and goats in Matthew 25 to explain itself but instead resort to adding further meaning to it by explaining it with other scriptures, then you are in fact siding with the GB by insisting that only refugees who are JWs, and by extension believers, should be helped.

            What about the refugees who are not JWs or who are not believers?
            Shouldn’t they be helped too?

            Your explanation shows that the Bible is contradictory. It says one thing in one place and then a different thing in another place.

          • messenger says:

            dee2,
            Not only do I believe that the MESSAGE of the parable of the SHEEP & GOATS needs to be understood while also considering the meaning of additional Bible scriptures, but it also has been written that ALL protestant Christians believe that same thing, in another comment written by who? You!!!! Therefore, your claim that I must accept a WT interpretation makes no sense.

            Your arguments which contradict previous positions you’ve taken become quite illogical, and very unconvincing. Could it be true that you always knew that the BIBLE teaches it’s necessary to believe in Jesus to be saved, because you wrote the belief is shared by all protestants? Were searching for any argument to make a point YOU believe in, trying to use a Bible parable to support your belief, while knowing the book does not teach your statements about the sheep/goats? Disingenuous arguments will hardly win any person who does not already share your viewpoints. A poor tactic to use when trying to convince JWs of the truth about their religion.

          • dee2 says:

            Dearest Messenger,

            Please show me EXACTLY where in the parable of the sheep & the goats of Matthew 25 Jesus EXPLICITLY stated that:

            – the sheep who inherit the kingdom
            – the needy who are cared for by the sheep

            need to/must believe in Jesus in order to be saved/inherit the kingdom.

          • messenger says:

            dee2
            The point is not does that parable make your claim, the point is does the Bible make that claim. If you know it doesn’t, then it would be best to state you know it doesn’t, especially when you are using the parable to argue against that primary doctrine.

            But actually your parable does not have to contain that primary Bible doctrine (belief in Christ) for it to harmonize with the Bible. Christ always taught the necessity of valuing others. Believing in Christ includes that.

          • messenger says:

            I meant you were using your claim to argue against another primary doctrine-faith in Christ is necessary for salvation.

          • dee2 says:

            Messenger,

            [ “I meant you were using your claim to argue against another primary doctrine-faith in Christ is necessary for salvation.” ]

            Is it my claim or the claim of the parable of the sheep and goats in Matthew 25?

            Matthew 25:34-45 is perhaps the most difficult to harmonize with a faith-based salvation belief system because it is so clear and explicit.

            The literal, straight-forward interpretation of this passage reveals that salvation is by works, not faith.

            According to the parable, the population of “all nations,” that is the entire human race – Christians and non-Christians – will be gathered before Jesus when he comes to render final judgement. It describes the exact criteria which Matthew believed will be used at the Final Judgment when Jesus separates all the people of the world into two groups: those who will enter heaven and those who will spend eternity in hell.

            Salvation is solely based upon a persons acts of charity to others; it is in no way dependent upon what the individual believes about Jesus’ status, or what God – if any – the person worships. So, Matthew 25 implies that Agnostics, Atheists, Baha’is, Buddhists, Christians, Deists, Hindus, Muslims, Satanists, Wiccans, and others will attain Heaven after death if they are kind to others by observing their faith’s Ethic of Reciprocity – the Golden Rule.

            The literal, straight-forward interpretation of this passage reveals that salvation is by works, not faith. This is a profound thought, which leads directly to religious inclusivism and pluralism.

            This conflicts with the teachings of many religions that only their followers will attain Heaven. Also, fundamentalist and other evangelical Christians generally teach that salvation is by faith, not works.

            [ “But actually your parable does not have to contain that primary Bible doctrine………”]

            …….YOUR??? parable………mind you offend Jesus by attributing his parable to someone else…….the last time I checked Jesus still has the copyright.

            So you have admitted that the parable of the sheep and goats in Matthew 25 teaches that repentance, belief in Jesus or the act of baptism are irrelevant. Only actions and attitudes matter.

            This scripture is not the only scripture which states this. Here are some other scriptures which teach that repentance, belief in Jesus or the act of baptism are irrelevant. Only actions and attitudes matter:

          • dee2 says:

            Messenger,

            Mark 10:18-25:

            (This passage appears, with a few differences in Matthew 19:16-23 and Luke 18:18-24).

            “And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.”

            And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!”

            Jesus taught that personal salvation is by works only: Jesus first lists five of theTen Commandments as instructions that must be followed in order to gain salvation. These are all related to works that one must do or avoid. Using the Protestant/Eastern Orthodox sequence of Exodus 20:

            Exodus 20:12: 7th commandment: Do not commit adultery.

            Exodus 20:13: 6th commandment: Do not kill.

            Exodus 20:15: 8th commandment: Do not steal.

            Exodus 20:16: 9th commandment: Do not bear false witness.

            Exodus 20:12: 5th commandment: Honor one’s parents.

            It is notable that Jesus does not list any of the first four commandments as being necessary for salvation. These are related to one’s relationship with Yahweh:

            To worship no other God than Yahweh.

            To not make images and bow before them.

            To not take the name of Yahweh in vain.

            To keep Saturday, the Sabbath day, holy.

            The implication appears to be that one’s beliefs about, and responses to, God are not important to one’s salvation. Only one’s works – particularly those activities involving other people – that are important.

            Jesus also does not include the 10th commandment as needed for salvation. It states that one is not to covet any of one’s neighbor’ possessions: their house, wife, male slave, female slave, animals, etc.

          • dee2 says:

            Messenger,

            Mark 10:18-25 CONT’D:

            Jesus adds three additional requirements for salvation. Again, all are “works:”

            “Defraud not.” Jesus adds this requirement between his reference to the 9th and 5thcommandment. He may have considered it to be a type of corollary or a commentary on the 9th commandment. Defrauding someone might be considered a type of false witness. On the other hand, some commentators somehow believe that defrauding others is equivalent to coveting other’s possessions; they suggest that this is a reference to the 10th commandment.

            “Sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor.” This appears to mean that one is to convert any assets not absolutely needed to maintain a simple standard of life, and give the proceeds to those in need. However, some suggest that the sentence should not be interpreted literally; it really means that one should value God more than one’s riches.

            “Come, take up the cross, and follow me” This apparently means to become a member of Jesus’ inner circle, accept a life of simplicity and poverty, and travel the countryside with Jesus and his disciples. This option does not appear to be applicable to people alive in the 21st century, unless it is interpreted symbolically.

            According to these statements attributed to Jesus, salvation is by doing good works:

            Dispose of your assets and give everything that you can to the poor.

            Honor your parents.

            One must also avoid certain evil activities:

            Adultery
            Killing
            Stealing
            Bearing false witness
            Defrauding others

            Religious duties have little or no impact on one’s salvation. It does not matter whether one:

            Worships Yahweh, or another God, or a Goddess, or perhaps no God at all.

            Creates statues and other images and bowing down in front of them.

            Takes the name of Yahweh in vain.

            Does not keep Saturday, the Sabbath day, holy.

            Jesus taught that salvation is purely a matter of the balance between ones good and bad works. A person’s beliefs and practices concerning God do not matter. Thus, followers of any religion – or none – have an opportunity to go to Heaven/be saved. The only criteria for salvation are the acts that one performs which involve other persons – particularly one’s parents, the disadvantaged etc.

            Revelation 20:11-12 supports the concept of all people being judged according to their works, as recorded in books in Heaven:

            “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.”

          • dee2 says:

            Messenger,

            Many passages in James also supports salvation through works. Centuries later, Martin Luther demoted the book to a mere appendix at the end of the Christian Scriptures, because of its emphasis on works.

            Consider James 1:27:

            “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

            There is also James 2:14-24:

            “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?”

            “If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?”

            “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”……..

            “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?”

            “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.”

            “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.”

            Many additional verses in the Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke reinforce the concept of salvation by good works only:

            Luke 10:25-27:
            This passage gives Jesus’ precise response to a lawyer who asked what one must do to inherit eternal life; i.e. to attain salvation and spend eternity in heaven. Jesus had him recite “The Law” from the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) which requires a person to:Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, strength and mind. This is a slight misquotation from Deuteronomy 6:5:
            “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” (NKJ)Love their neighbor as they love themselves.

            This is derived from Leviticus 19:18: “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself…” (NKJ)

            The lawyer then asked the obvious question: who is my neighbor? The Leviticus passage implied that one’s neighbors are restricted to one’s own nation or tribe. Jesus disagreed with the passage in Deuteronomy, and responded with the well-known Parable of the Good Samaritan, which indicates that all humans are one’s neighbors.

            The parable describes a man who had been attacked by robbers and left half dead. Two Jewish religious leaders come upon the man: a priest and a Levite. The Jewish law forbids holy men from touching a dead person; it would be an act of ritual impurity, a serious defilement.

            They walk on the other side of the road to avoid any contact with the victim. A Samaritan comes by, bandages the man’s wounds and helps him to a place where he can recover. The Jews of the day despised the Samaritans, regarding them as semi-pagan, inferior and persons of little worth.

            Jesus told the lawyer to be more like the Samaritan than like the Levite and Priest. That is, to make compassion for others the highest priority in life, and to downgrade religious rules and regulations to a lower level of importance.

            Jesus makes clear in this passage that one attains eternal life in heaven by loving God and loving all humans, particularly the poor, needy and broken.

          • dee2 says:

            Messenger,

            Matthew 5:10: “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” The Amplified Bible defines “righteousness” as being and doing right.

            Matthew 5:20: “…unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven”.
            The Rheims New Testament translates the Greek as”unless your justice abound more…”.

            Matthew 7:12: “…do onto others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” One might assume that by following this “Golden rule”, one meets all of the requirements of the Hebrew scriptures, and thus might be saved.

            Matthew 16:27: “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.” (NKJ)

            Matthew 19:16-17 “Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, ‘Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?’…Jesus replied…If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”

            Jesus then repeated 5 as being of particular importance (Commandments 5 to 9 Jews, Muslims, Zoroastrians, Baha’i s, Buddhists, Hindus etc from Exodus 20:12-16) and added a new commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself” 4 of the 6 involve actions to avoid; the remaining two list who one is to love.

            Jesus then goes further and urges the man to sell his possessions, and give the money to the poor, so that he would have “treasure in heaven.”

            Matthew 24:45-51: In this passage, Jesus tells a parable about an evil overseer who beats his fellow slaves. His master comes back at an unexpected time and “and shall cut him asunder, and appoint his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.” (ASV)

            This implies that when Christ returns, individuals who treat others with consideration will be rewarded (presumably with access to the Kingdom of God).

            An evil person who treats others poorly or is a drunk will be punished (presumably by denying them access).

            Mark 9:42-48: Jesus recommends that if one’s hand or foot or eye cause them to commit a sinful act, then they should cut off the offending member. Verse 47 says:”…It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell…”

            Mark 10:17-25: This is essentially identical to Luke 18, which is described below.

            Mark 12:32-34: A man said that to love God and one’s neighbor is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices. Jesus replied in Verse 34 “…You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

            This implies that if one loves God and humanity, then they are close to salvation.

            Luke 7:44-50: Jesus described to Simon Peter how a woman who had lived a sinful life had treated him with loving care. She washed his feet with her tears, and wiped them with her hair; she continually kissed his feet and she anointed them with oil.

            Jesus said in verse 47-48: “Wherefore I say unto thee, her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much; but to whom little is forgiven, (the same) loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.”

            The implication is that because of her kind acts, her sins are forgiven; she will attain the Kingdom of God. But then an obvious addition was made to the story in Luke 7:50: “And he said unto the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.”

            This verse appears to be an afterthought, added after the original gospel was written. It contradicts the previous verses that based her treatment on her kind acts, not her faith. Perhaps the intent was to bring the story into line with the developing Christian theology, which had begun to emphasize faith over works.

          • dee2 says:

            Messenger,

            Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” . The Amplified Bible defines “poor in spirit” as being humble and rating themselves as insignificant.

            Luke 13:27 “Away from me, all youevildoers” The Amplified Bible renders this word as wrongdoers. The verse describes how people will be turned away from the Kingdom of God, because of their evil behavior and wrongdoing.

            Luke 18:18-22 This is similar to Matthew 19, except that the advice to sell everything and give the proceeds to the poor is not an optional add-on but a requirement.

            Luke 19:8-9: “And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord, Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor, and if I havewrongfully exacted aught of any man, I restore fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, To-day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham.”(ASV)

            Zacchaeus cares about others, giving half of his possession to the poor. And he is honest: if he shortchanges anyone, he returns the shortage four times over. Jesus indicates that because of these two acts of kindness and generosity, he has been saved.

            Matthew 19:27-30: Peter had said that he and the rest of the disciples had left everything to follow Jesus. He asked what would happen to them. Jesus replied that his followers would sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Verse 29 continues:

            “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” (Some ancient manuscripts of Luke said “everyone who has left…mother or wife”).

            Mark 10:28-30: This is similar to Matthew 19:27-30; Luke 9:59-62: “Then He said to another, ‘Follow Me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, let me first go and bury my father.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.’ And another also said, ‘Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.'” (NKJ)

            Jesus seems to be implying that to attain the kingdom of God, one is expected to drop everything and follow Jesus. This was so important that a person should violate a Jewish laws by not giving priority to burying their father.

        • dee2 says:

          [“You can’t deny that despite the location of their origin the message of the Bible and THE OTHER BOOKS has circled and saturated the globe.”]

          I find it interesting that a Christian sanctions non-Christian Holy Books and non-Christian religions.

          As I asked above: If ALL of these religions and holy books are true despite the fact that they all make differing and mutually exclusive claims concerning the nature of God, the path to salvation, the description of the afterlife etc etc,
          then what is the supposed advantage of Christianity? What necessity was there for Christ to have suffered at all?

          Surely, if all of these revealed religions are true then the death of Jesus Christ and belief in him are not necessary since any revealed religion will suffice.

          Your liberal view of non-Christian religions and their holy books stands in stark contrast to some sects of Protestant Christians who believe that the only people who will get into Heaven are those who repent and accept Jesus Christ into their hearts as their personal savior, specifically acknowledging his deity and rejecting all other religions. Without exception, these Christians say, anyone who does not do this is damned.

          As I stated above, if God did not stop at the color of a person’s skin, culture, language, national origin, race, ethnicity etc but instead revealed himself to EVERYONE, we would not have this diversity of conflicting Christian and non-Christian religions.

          We could have found ourselves living in a world with only ONE religion, spread throughout the globe, with prophets from among every people. We could have found that, when we first contacted isolated native tribes, their religion was identical to one that already existed rather than being entirely their own.

          We could have found religions that bore no resemblance to the culture of their time and place of origin, in possession of advanced scientific knowledge or advanced ethical principles totally unlike what was commonly believed at the time. These are reasonable things to expect if there really was a god genuinely interested in revealing itself to humanity and being worshipped.

        • dee2 says:

          [“Also, if the claim that one savior of the world is true, then being a single individual he would come from ONE place.”]

          But this does not prevent God from revealing himself to EVERYONE as I stated above.

      • dee2 says:

        It is no surprise that humanity has splintered into so many different religions and sects, each of which holds differing and incompatible views regarding the wishes of God.

        This would not happen if God did in fact reveal himself to people. Is God telling Christianity one thing and the non-Christian religions another?

        If God does in fact appear to believers would he not tell them what he really wants so as to prevent all the religious confusion and discord so pervasive among humanity?

        If God does in fact reveal himself to persons and speaks to them directly then he would appear to his faithful, who have a relationship with him, and explain where they are misinterpreting his wishes in order to prevent religious schisms and division.

        Alternatively, an opportunity to contact God directly and ascertain what his wishes actually are would doubtless prevent religious disputes once and for all.

        There is obviously a lack of clear divine communication and guidance that we are told was once so frequent (as recorded in the OT for example).

        An obvious manifestation of God would prevent the religious confusion so prevalent among humanity from happening in the first place.

        Not only would this achieve God’s goal of having people worship him as he directs, it would also do an enormous amount of incidental good in preventing the religious strife and violence so pervasive among humanity.

        God’s revealing himself would prevent the widespread disagreement among believers regarding his nature and what he desires from humanity.

        Religions/Holy Books are just a product of the time and culture in which the book was written and in which the religion originated rather than a product of divine revelation.

      • dee2 says:

        Charles Taze Russell was strongly convinced that God was revealing things to him yet his end of the world predictions were wrong.

        So how does a person know when God is revealing things to them so that they will be able to put forth correct doctrines?

        Does God make it unequivocally and explicitly clear to the person that it is he who is revealing things to the person or is it that the person has to guess and try to figure out whether or not God is revealing things to them?

  10. Ted says:

    Twisted sister69, “Muslims worship Yahweh” , there’s no
    doubt about it. — From the Quran, Al-Baqra 2 verse 133.

    Jacob asks his sons, who they will worship after his death,
    they replied. “We will worship the God of your fathers,
    Abraham and Isaac.”

    The origin of the genocidal philosophy is clear. That of course
    applies only to the extremists, fundamentalists, and not all
    Muslims. It also has application to “Christian”/Yahweh/ Jehovah
    Doomsday cults. Excuse digressing from current topic, will
    understand if its withheld.

    • dee2 says:

      “………the origin of the genocidal philosophy is clear.”

      Some say the Koran is just a recycled version of the Bible and Torah.

  11. Ted says:

    Or were you witnesses when death approached Jacob, when he said to his sons, “What will you worship after me?” They said, “We will worship your God and the God of your fathers, Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac – one God. And we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.”

    Quran, Al-Baqra 2 verse 133.

  12. John Oakfield says:

    What I particularly like about this website is the intellectual honesty of the authors and moderators, in contrast for example with the Mail Online who carefully filter unfavorable comments from the system. Well this article is another beauty! I suppose a JW would say there was a certain class of men who accused Jesus of being a drunkard and a glutton, and what may the GB expect. A slave is not greater than his master after all they would likely say. That will no doubt be the silly reply from JW apologists (everything they say is silly of course). The really aggressive ones will probably ask for evidence of the drunkard claims too such is their obsessive nature. Keep up the excellent journalistic work. I understand the site master has written an extremely long book about his experiences while entrapped within the organisation. With credentials such as that, his integrity is undoubtedly beyond question and anyone who does question it is obviously a hater.

    • Big B says:

      @ John Oakfield;

      “The really aggressive ones will probably ask for evidence of the drunkard claims too such is their obsessive nature”.

      That is the nature of J.W. apologists; they excuse any and all ‘abnormal’ behavior of their ‘society’ (read:cult) and their leadership that directs its agenda. They question any criticism with a jaundiced eye and question where or who writing or is saying the criticism. If it does not come from the Watchtower or its publications (cleaned-up history) then it is naturally suspect.

      Enjoyed reading your enlightened comments John.

      • messenger says:

        Big B,
        I looked up the source that listed WT’s political involvement. Here it is.
        Go to JWfacts-click on the scandals tab, then click on the political involvement tab.
        Best wishes!

  13. twistedsister69 says:

    Sun Tzu – Art of War: All warfare is based on deception.
    The WT ……. Well, actually, they’re pretty good at that one.

  14. twistedsister69 says:

    Just a fun little anecdote. I once knew a “Bethelite” couple. The guy was a pleasant enough fellow, a deluded elder. But his wife was an arrogant b*tch. She thought she was Queen Sh*t just because she cleaned the toilets at bethel or whatever. Yeah Mon, some of that in there is ANOINTED s***! Nothing inflates the ol’ ego like the privilege of cleaning up “anointed” s***! So, hey, I guess she really WAS Queen Sh*t.

  15. messenger says:

    Could it be that as a spirit Anthony Morris III ruling over and judging people in the future really means they’re in HELL!!!

    • Bad Penny says:

      Wherever the ‘firewater’ is flowing it seems ….
      With the seven amigos ruling over anywhere it would be hell!! Let’s hope that is their inheritance SOON!

  16. Sardec says:

    And my husband thinks having 1/2 a beer while listening in to the meeting from home is wrong.

  17. dee2 says:

    Messenger,

    [ “…….using a person’s free will, which you claimed doesn’t exist in a previous discussion……” ]

    Please indicate the discussion in which I stated this. Apparently you misunderstood my previous statements as I have never stated that free will does not exist. What I have stated is that divine intervention negates free will. The idea that God is intricately involved in daily affairs, manipulating events in the universe negates free will.

    [ “……..people consider that accepting and believing in God is a matter of choice, using a person’s free will…….” ]

    When people are exercising their free will to choose a religion, what is the basis for their choice of religion?

    Did they choose their religion because of:

    – their geographical location?
    – their culture?
    – what they heard from others?
    – what they heard directly and explicitly from GOD HIMSELF?

    Does GOD HIMSELF directly, explicitly and unequivocally let people know what the right religion is so that they will know what God’s religion of choice is when exercising their free will to choose a religion?

    Do people have this information directly from GOD HIMSELF when exercising their free will to choose a religion?

    OR is the basis for a person’s choice of religion based solely on the geographical region or culture in which they live or what they hear from others but NOT what they hear directly and explicitly from God himself?

    People may have free will to choose their religion, but before choosing, do they actually hear directly and explicitly from GOD HIMSELF which religion is the right religion? Or do they have to figure this out all by themselves?

    If God does in fact actually speak to people, does he tell everyone the same thing regarding which religion is the right religion?

    Perhaps you should do a survey to find all of this out.

  18. Fooledmeonce says:

    Amaretto and oatmeal?! Not only is that ‘sinfully’ expensive, it sounds downright nasty! Why waste good liquor on top of oatmeal, unless Karl Klein thought it was some kind of weird youth-serum.
    Wine and eggs sounds equally disgusting and wasteful. Who was paying for all of this booze??? Oh yeah, we were.
    If only we knew how nuts those old GB idiots were, we would never have been involved in that cult.
    By the way, did anyone notice the catchy logos for all of the new conventions? The JWs must’ve paid some big money to advertising agencies for those ideas!

  19. Art Fern says:

    ….requirements for Christian Overseers……young men and women (Tit 2:4-8); children (especially those of overseers).—Tit 1:6.

    Did the last 5 words hit you as they did me? Blindly and hypocritically the WT has made their mark on superficial image obsession. Children should make good choices, ESPECIALLY children of overseers and by extension children of Elders. If you’re not “good” you can at least look good when you are around the other children and the JW spy system of members, spouses squealing on each other. Why is it more important for these children more than the run-of-the-mill children of the unwashed? Because these are not typical kids, they are walking advertisements for the wonderful life, best, happiest kids on earth. The other kids kind of hide in the woodwork, but these kids are our shining example of Jehovah’s blessings, the life of a JW really working.

  20. Greg says:

    I really wish Howie Tran would publish a book. I’m still in the organization and wish not to be identified.

  21. Noah Man says:

    World rulers are becoming fearful of what the Watch Tower are preaching about this WORLD, which is being offered to their subjects? A thing that God or Jesus did not offering .
    While the bible clearly preaches that this world will pass away, they are preaching the opposite which
    Is a treat to the world rulers?

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