Banning Witnesses: Making a bad situation worse.
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Shunning.

The refusal of blood transfusions.

The deliberate refusal to report child abuse to the authorities.

These are probably the three most harmful practices that the Watchtower organisation is guilty of. The Unholy Trinity, if you will.

Granted, there are many more problems in Watchtower, but few are of quite the same magnitude. Telling people they can’t wear tight pants? Stupid but not something that warrants an FBI investigation. Not turning a known child abuser over to law enforcement as a matter of policy, however? That’s something the FBI should be very interested in.

These three things: shunning, blood, and child abuse, are the ones that most activists feel warrant a Governmental response due to the massive level of emotional and physical harm they can inflict, up to and including the loss of life.

I completely agree with them.

But should that legal response be a ban on the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses? Some would say so, and on the surface this might seem sensible. After all, things that are very harmful should automatically be illegal, right?

Well not always.

History has many examples of things that are harmful becoming even more so when placed under ban; take a look at Prohibition America. Or take another example: cheating on a spouse is clearly harmful, and unethical, but most people would not want the Government to imprison you for it, and would be terrified of a Government that wanted the power do so.

The most obvious answers to problems are not always the right ones, and the recent actions by the Russian Government, which looks set to ban the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, are sadly just going to make a bad situation worse.

Why do I say this? As someone who is very aware of the awful damage Watchtower’s teachings can inflict, and who agrees that something urgent needs to be done at the Governmental and legal level, why on earth would I oppose a ban?

For two reasons.

Firstly such a ban is deeply unethical, for reasons well articulated by JW Survey founder Lloyd Evans here,

Secondly it won’t work. In fact, it will actively make worse the very issues that cause most people to want the religion banned.

I recognise that some who read this article will not agree with me on this, and so I am going to present a detailed argument to showcase why I have arrived at this conclusion. It’s my hope that by the end I will have convinced you, or at the very least you will better understand my position and that this will enable discussion going forward.

Banning belief does not stop belief.

Jehovah’s Witnesses endured the living hell of the concentration camps rather than renounce their faith in Nazi Germany

Lets begin with the obvious. If Jehovah’s Witnesses are banned, they don’t suddenly stop being Jehovah’s Witnesses. This might seem like an obvious point to make but it rests at the very core of understanding why a ban will fail in the real world:

Just because people are no longer allowed to believe a thing does not mean that they will stop believing that thing.

History teaches us this time and time again. Indeed, one can look at the Witnesses themselves for proof. This group has been repeatedly subject to bans in the past, and continues to be banned in a number of countries today. Has this ban resulted in the cessation of Witness activity in these places?

Of course not.

Rather, we see that Witnesses still believe what they believe. Historically they have even chosen to undergo horrific abuse and persecution, up to and including torture and execution, rather than renounce their faith after a ban. And eventually, when the ban is lifted, the JW’s are still there and are often some of the most energised and faithful JW’s on the planet.

Thus all one has to show for the weeping mountain of human torment and blood soaked misery caused by a ban is the same JW organisation, right back where it was, often stronger and more faithful than before.

So that’s the first thing to understand. Enacting a ban is not a magic “make-cult-go-away” wand. Now that we’ve established this key point, lets move on the “Unholy Trinity” and I will lay out my case for why the ban won’t stop these things but will make them even worse.

Shunning: Why a ban will make it worse.

As we have discussed, banning a belief does not stop people believing it. Thus, Witnesses who believed in shunning before the ban will also believe in shunning after the ban. In fact, it will get worse.

Why?

Because now, for a JW, cutting off and avoiding those who leave the faith isn’t just a matter of their spiritual life and death. It’s a matter of their physical life and death as well, and the life and death of the fellow Witnesses around them.

Imagine that you are a JW, part of this forbidden group. Your congregation has gone to ground, your worship, your study, your preaching work is done in secret. If the details or even the existence of any of this got out, you risk arrest and imprisonment. Now, ask yourself:

If you were a JW, are you more likely or less likely to associate with those you consider hostile to your faith in this situation?

If you think your JW family is shunning you now, just wait until a ban hits and they vanish off the face of the Earth. Additionally, for the many faded ones who’ve struck a certain equilibrium with their JW family and still have a measure of contact, such a ban could result in even that limited contact being frozen and cut off as Witnesses begin to fear for their freedom and their lives, and become even more insular to protect their group.

Also: If you think a ban gives you some leverage to force your family to associate with you, you might want to think again. I mean, how exactly is this supposed to play out? You demand that your mother associate with you again, as her religion and its shunning policy are now illegal. She refuses as she still believes the shunning teaching, as history proves that she will.

So you call the police…and send her to prison? Or maybe get the police to force your mother at gunpoint to sit at a table with you and have a meal? I bet that’ll be a fun time.

See the problem here?

Lloyd Evans made this very point in his recent BBC interview: imprisonment is not a proportionate response to shunning.

Refusal of Blood Transfusions: Why a ban will make it worse.

Let’s be direct here: The blood teaching has cost lives across the decades and will continue to cost them for as long as non-blood alternatives remain second best in certain medical scenarios, or until Watchtower abandons its discredited blood policy, which ever comes first.

And a ban is just going to make that situation even worse.

How so?

Well, as we have said, people do not stop believing a thing just because it is banned. After a ban, Witness will still believe that it is far better to die than get a blood transfusion. After all, if you die you get resurrected in the blink of an eye to a wonderful paradise Earth full of your loved ones. If you take blood, no paradise for you (and possibly no friends or family in this old world either as the shunning takes affect.)

So how will this play out under ban? Well, JW’s now know that if they go to hospital and refuse blood, they have instantly identified themselves as part of a banned religion. Remember, membership of a banned religion is illegal. So what will happen is firstly that they will be probably be given blood against their will (governments that don’t respect freedom of religion usually also fail to respect a person’s rights to decide their own medical treatment) and then they risk being handed over to the police for interrogation and possibly prison.

If you are a JW who belives that death is the doorway to paradise, are you more or less likely to seek out medical help in this situation? 

After all, if you die, you get resurrected in the blink of an eye to a wonderful paradise Earth full of all your loved ones, free from this nightmare world that wants to imprison you alongside rapists and killers. Sadly, one can even imagine that ones might be pressured into this by the JW community, who fear that a hospitalised and interrogated JW might give up others in the congregation.

A ban isn’t going to save lives. It’s going to cost them. That’s before we even touch on the issue of JW’s who might die in police custody, or be beaten or stabbed to death in prison.

Not reporting Child Abuse: Why a ban will make it worse.

The findings of The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse make for gruesome reading. The Commission found that since the 1950’s Watchtower, as a matter of explicit policy, has not reported over 1006 child abusers in its congregations to the police.

Full details can be reviewed here but essentially the ARC found that Watchtower would take no internal action over an accusation of child abuse unless there were two witnesses to the abuse, and even if internal disciplinary action over the abuse did take place, the Watchtower organisation would not report the abuser to the police unless legally required to do so by law.

Sounds like a quick ban on the religion will sort this one out right?

Nope.

It will make it worse.

Firstly, as any former Jehovah’s Witness knows, and as was confirmed during the ARC hearings, Watchtower fosters in the Witness community a distrust of secular authorities. In fact, this was cited as one of the reasons as to why the Witnesses (in some cases even the victims themselves) seemed reluctant to involve law enforcement in the instances of child sex abuse. Keep in mind that the JW culture studied at the ARC existed in a liberal democracy where the police existed to protect and serve the public, and by extension the Witnesses.

Imagine what will happen when the police no longer protect and serve, but hunt and arrest JW’s as a matter of policy.

For Witnesses under a ban, the police and state become the enemy. They no longer protect and serve, they are no longer a safe haven. They arrest and imprison. Witnesses who are already wary of approaching the police will be even less inclined to do so. An abuse victim now knows that his or her going to the police might expose many Witnesses that they still love who were not part of the abuse. The victim themselves might still believe the religion is true, and not want to harm it by contacting authorities who are directly opposed.

How much better to not seek one’s own advantage but the advantage of others.

And how much better to wait on Jehovah and let him resolve matters.

Additionally consider the leverage that this gives a molester. The elders now know that if they take any action against him, his response could be to go right to the police, tell them that he has escaped the banned religious cult known as Jehovah’s Witnesses, but can give them the names and locations of many active members.

Do you think elders are more or less likely to take effective action against abusers in this situation, especially in situations where they have only one witnesses and an element of doubt in their mind? And are the elders more or less likely in this situation to apply pressure to the survivor to let them handle things in-house, and not bring in the jackbooted police-thugs of Satan’s world?

 Support solutions that work.

At the end of the day, the simple fact is that if you are concerned about the worst abusive practices of Watchtower, you will want solutions that effectively tackle them, not solutions that will make them worse.

Bans make these abuses worse.

There are solutions that can tackle these abuses effectively. Take for example the issue of Watchtower failing to report child abuse. Governments should introduce mandatory abuse reporting laws, and then criminally prosecute any elders who ignore those laws and those in the Watchtower hierarchy who instructed them to do so. This would either force Watchtower to report each accusation to the police, or if they refused would decimate Watchtower’s power structure and hold the Governing Body directly to account. It would also directly target those involved in covering up the abuse without needing to destroy the lives of the 90% of Witnesses who don’t even know the child abuse issue exists, let alone the details of the two witness rule.

Or take for example, the policy of shunning. We’ve discussed how one cannot “ban” shunning in any real sense, unless you want your relatives to eat with you at gunpoint, but Watchtower can certainly be stripped of any charitable status and tax breaks unless it agrees to renounce the policy. The resulting financial blow would be crippling to the organisation, pressuring them to either relax the shunning policy or to vastly hasten their own financial meltdown if they refuse.

Targeted solutions can make a genuine difference. Bans will just create even more misery.

I’ve not even touched here on the issue of how Watchtower membership numbers rot away in the free world but tend to hold steady under ban.

I’ve not even touched here on how bans make it far harder for JW’s to wake up and leave, or how they effectively trap the young born-in’s within the mental walls of a cult under siege, whilst doing very little to stop the organisation preying on the weak and vulnerable with covert informal witnessing.

And I’ve not even touched on how Governments that ban JW’s tend also to be the Governments that rack up human rights abuses on the rest of the population as well. The price of removing the human rights from one group is often watching those same rights get ripped away from everyone else.

In fact, I’d like to end on that point, with a poem written by German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller. It was written to reflect events that took place in Germany’s Third Reich, and highlights the dangers of passively accepting (or even welcoming) the persecution and abuse of groups other than your own by the Government.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

This poem is inscribed on the United States Holocaust Memorial in Washington.

I urge you to learn from history.

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Follow JW Survey on Twitter @jwsurveyorg

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647 Responses to Banning Witnesses: Making a bad situation worse.

  1. Ted says:

    Hi Mark, You raise a point well worth thinking about.
    Walking the party line, Follow the leader. It needs
    guarding against, otherwise it’s “Out of the pan and into
    the fire”, but I don’t think being in agreement is evidence
    of collusion.

    There seems to be some pretty strong characters who
    comment here and I think they would be out of it like a
    shot if there was any indication of it developing into a
    cult following. I think Cedars has said he doesn’t want
    to be regarded as a leader.

    As you see from the posts some are in favour of the ban
    and they make strong points that make you pause. But
    I decided against it, One of the reasons being I’ve got
    children still in, ( I refer to them as children though they
    are both in their early 60s ) I’m rambling again sorry!

    Any way I thought if my kids were in Russia, would I
    want to see them criminalised, jailed or even worse,
    a selfish reason maybe, but if I wouldn’t want my own
    to suffer how could I condone it for others.

    Best wishes to you Mark.

    • The Heretic says:

      on the other hand, if these 60 yo were drug dealers or thugs? it’s a tough dilemna.

      There’s an interview posted at Jw.org from “the President’s Council on Civil and Human Rights” which argues that JW’s were issued certificates of exception for political repression back in 1991. It argues that the current government seems to be receding on those concessions. This “council” is mostly regarded as consultative–decorative–and not functional in making advocacy. And, the appeal to be able to use these was rejected by Courts. Most likely because of violations of the Constitutional law enforcing that polemic speech, publications, advocacy and actions are unlawful.

      Since 1991, the world has changed in context of permissiveness and higher sensitivity around the world toward “political correctness,” bullying, and extreme, polarizing statements.

      This group is steeped in intolerance for differences of views. As early as the 1950’s, it stated regrets that it was held-back by the legal system from “stoning” apostates. Apostates. Adulterers, rebellious teens, gays, people obtaining certain medical treatments, people wearing synthetic fibers and mixed fibers, etc.

      We all sat here shaking our heads at the Sophia video bashing lesbian moms and gays–well, that’s cool, they’re immoral folks. We sat here laughing at a man linking “tight pants” to gays and bashing gays, and furthermore taking a sadistic delight in human skin being roasted. What a quirky old guy.

      Yeah, Marx, Lenin and Stalin were also quirky old guys.

      Banned or not, Watchtower will spin it to their beneift–“our poor bro & sis who persist in the face of persecution” or “J* has rescued us from the evil dictator”.

      The fear is that a ban will drive abused individuals from seeking remedy, but another viewpoint is empowering abused individuals because now have a powerful tool to leverage against abusers and those who would hide them–association with an unlawful group.

  2. Edo says:

    This is not about this article but I have a question about the memorial which is tonight, and I’m hoping in some suggestions.
    I still have no idea whether I should go or not. I don’t want to, as it really doesn’t make any sense to me, but have no idea how it will affect my fade.
    I live in a different country than my family and my country of origin. Still, JWs here know me and invited me to go as I’m inactive (since when I moved 5 years ago and before that too). To cut the talk short, I said I’d go. I said so to my family too when asked, as you know it is something you can’t miss for believing JWs.
    I usually go when I’m back for the Easter break to please my family but this year I’m not going back, which makes things slightly different.
    Lying sucks but, on the other hand, being honest will upset my parents, which are also not so young anymore.
    Question is ‘May not going affect my fade or have any consequences’?

    Thank you!

    • Jado says:

      Why not go and enjoy seeing how humans through ages have been fascinated by snakes?

      It is interesting to witness how “Nehushtan” was a powerful god: http://www.rhedesium.com/uploads/1/1/7/6/11764372/6158165_orig.jpg

      See how the Serpent is “type” and Jesus “anti-type”!
      There is no limit in studying, you can learn the truth everywhere. In a toilet or a Kingdom Hall, there is always something you can learn.

    • Edo says:

      I’ll have some wine at home I guess

    • Tara. says:

      My daughter is being coerced into going tonight by ‘friends’. She told me if she doesn’t go she will loose friends… I find that a sad reflection on why so many are going… so they won’t loose friends. I would say stay home and drink wine and know many of us are with you, probably doing the same thing 🙂 On the other hand if you feel the need to go is pulling you, then go and zone out. It’s an hour of love bombing, mind numbing boredom but you can look forward to wine when you get home… or maybe one before hand 😉

      • Edo says:

        Thank you Tara!
        That’s what I did After 37 years of attendance, even when I was in different countries for a short period a time I found the way of going. Much easier when nobody has ever seen you nor invited, you can cut it short and sneak out more easily than if they know you or invited!
        I checked the stats of attendants. They’re increasing but it’s only the average increase of the worldwide population(1.1/1.2%) They’re not decreasing.. which may mean the most are coerced into going.
        It’s a bit coward, I know, but I don’t think I’ll tell my family.
        For the local JWs, let’s see what happens. Never had a shepherding call (Not sure if unattended visits when I’m given the magazines count ), I hope it won’t start now!!!

      • Tara. says:

        I never went. Did I feel the slightest bit of remorse? Nope.

        • Edo says:

          For what concerns me, I don’t have remorse or guilt. It’s only to protect my parents and to avoid sterile discussions.

          • Tara. says:

            My daughter ended up not going. This morning she was bombarded with text message from ‘we missed you last night’ to her name being typed in capitals and emoji angry faces. Yeesh…

    • messenger says:

      Edo

      First remember most JWs sincerely believe WT’s doctrine. As true believers they consider you spiritually weak as a fader. They look at you more in a pitiful position than a threat, unless they believe you turned to apostate teachings against JW doctrine. And even then unless you mix with JWs they’ll likely do nothing to you.

      Your not going to meetings, including the memorial should be considered by most of them as a sign of your weakness. The elders may view it differently if anything you’ve done causes them to look at you with suspicion. Even if that’s the case, if you’re fading many servants will choose not to get involved in your life. Most will leave you alone. They are mainly concerned if you associate with JWs.

      Jackson at the ARC was not really deceptive when he spoke on this issue. Can they disfellowship a fader? Yes. But they probably won’t unless he/she associates with JWs while breaking WT rules, or speaks against WT.

      For personal reasons I didn’t go this year or last year.

  3. Jado says:

    Russia must prepare for a long war against stupidity. Look what news we have from JWs Publications:

    “Even as Egypt excelled in animal worship in ancient times, so India does in modern times. There, until the new Indian government put a bounty on monkey heads, monkeys were eating $2 million worth of foodstuffs a day as well as destroying enormous amounts of grain annually. People starved, but not the monkeys, nor the peacocks, for they also were sacred. Snakes keep taking a toll of 50,000 lives annually because they are considered sacred.” (See w55 9/1 p. 517)!

    “People starved, but not the monkeys, nor the peacocks, for they also were sacred”. The same applies to the 175,000 Russians. They will starve when “other monkeys”, sorry, “Other Sheep”, enjoy their donations.

  4. JWIntellect says:

    Excellent points!

  5. Ted says:

    Messenger, Just backing up a bit, you challenged Dee2
    to tell us which side she would have been on if she had
    been present at the crucifixion.

    I put the same challenge to you. I don’t think for a minute
    you’d be encouraging the Roman soldiers on, but if if you tried
    to prevent the execution. Let’s say by getting the crowd on
    your side, then you’d be working against your own salvation.
    No ransom for sin and death.

    Let’s pretend you were there and God had given you one
    of his revelations, inside knowledge so to speak about
    the the reason for this barbaric spectacle. I suggest the best
    you could do would be to passively observe and hope the
    soldiers completed their task.

    • outandabout says:

      I received the same question, Ted, and all I can say is that normally I’d stick up for the underdog, but as you intimated, the crucifixion of Jesus had already been set since the beginning of time, so I guess if I were there, some sort of supernatural disconnection of my conscience would occur and I’d blindly go along with the spectacle.
      Evidence of this sort of disconnection of conscience occurs in my JW family every single time I see them….. never in 40yrs has there been a flicker of concern over my imminent murder, apart from trying to convert me. Anybody who understands cult indoctrination methods knows that through a series of techniques the potential victim is unaware of, they are steadily disconnected from their conscience in order to accept anything and everything the cult desires them to, even, apparently, the unjust murder of their own family.

      • dee2 says:

        Sobering thoughts Ted.

        Christians act as though the death of Jesus was a miscarriage of justice without stopping to think of the implications if Jesus was not crucified:

        If Jesus was not put to death was there any other mechanism by which God would or could forgive individual humans for their sins and grant them salvation?

        Wasn’t it God who NEEDED the blood of Jesus spilled as this was the ONLY mechanism by which he would or could forgive individual humans for their sins and grant them salvation?

        Further, according the the Bible, Jesus was a perfect man so it was not possible for him to die a natural death since perfect humans live forever. And if Jesus couldn’t die a natural death then Christians couldn’t receive forgiveness of their sins and salvation. So Jesus’ being put to death was the best thing that could ever happen to Christianity otherwise Christianity would have no meaning. Christians should forever be thankful to the Romans for killing Jesus so that their religion could have meaning.

        It is nonsensical to say that Jesus’ death was miscarriage of justice when one reads what the Bible states about his death:

        Jesus’ death was the eternal plan of god, it was necessary, Jesus was meant to suffer and die, his death was the best thing that could happen otherwise Christian would not receive forgiveness of their sins and salvation.

    • messenger says:

      In all honesty Ted I can’t say what I’d do. But I know if I was one of Christ’s supporters I would be on his side, and not yelling for his death. I know I would not have done that even if I didn’t follow him and didn’t follow him.

    • dee2 says:

      Messenger doesn’t seem to realize that if everyone were to take his stance and not kill Jesus, then he would have no forgiveness of sins and no salvation.

      No dead Jesus = No forgiveness of sins & No salvation

      • messenger says:

        Dee,

        That is not what I said. I said I didn’t know what I would have done in the circumstance Ted presented. Remember Peter cut off the ear of the chief priest’s attendant, fighting to stop Christ’s arrest. In that situation I honesty could not say what I would have done. I surely would not have been yelling crucify him.

        Second point, have you now come to the conclusion that faith in Jesus is necessary for your salvation? Your comment above claims that position. Is it now yours, since you wrote that? Your previous comments deny it.

        Remember the estoppel legal principle which was one of the reasons the JW legal team received a defeat ruling in their last child abuse case. Arguing in favor of two opposing sides to an issue is not convincing.

        So what is your position now? If you’ve changed it and accept that trusting in Christ’s ransom and believing that he is your savior will lead you to life, then all the better for you. Maybe you’re on your way to life.

      • Frederick says:

        Dee, Jesus never actually existed so no need to even argue the ridiculous thought of a ransom sacrifice for humanity. Human sacrifice and animal sacrifice are barbaric practices that were promoted by humans that had no idea how the natural world actually worked.

        • dee2 says:

          Frederick,

          It is indeed barbaric that the God who commands believers to forgive their brother seventy 
          times seven times (Matthew 18:21-2), could only be satisfied by a blood sacrifice because he demanded it as payment before he grants pardon.

          How ironic it is that God who they claimed endorsed the genocide of the Canaanites and others living in the “promised land” for practicing human sacrifice, sacrificed his own son (Deuteronomy 7:1-2, Deuteronomy 12: 29 – 31, Deuteronomy 18:9-12, Deuteronomy 20:16 – 17, Leviticus 18:21, 24-27).

          If sacrificing children was so deplorable that it justified, ” killing everything that breathes ” then why did God also sacrifice his son?
          ___

          I think the jury is still out on the matter of Jesus’ existence:

          Paul’s writings mentions nothing about Jesus’ earthly existence (except for one controversial scripture).

          On the other hand, what is known of the Jewish Christians (the original Christians) seems to suggest that the guy had a human existence:
          They believed that Jesus was fully man, was the latest and greatest of the Jewish prophets, was not a God, and was not conceived in a virginal conception. Being a fully human prophet, Jesus would have sinned, and thus not been completely “good”, Mark 10:18-25 – this is one of the verses used by the Jewish Christians – the original Christians.

          • Frederick says:

            Dee, the first half of your response is completely reasonable and I would agree. With regard to Jesus earthly existence, the earliest writings of Jesus were late first century and there are no eye witness writings of his existence. There is no record of Jesus in first century Roman or Jewish historians at that time, with the exception of one obscure mention by Josephus where he wrote the name christos, which is widely believed to have been added by someone else in the second century. In my opinion Jesus is the culmination of all the other religious teachings of a savior messiah that was born of a virgin. The astrotheological overtones are deafening. Ultimately everyone needs to ask themselves, is it likely there was a man born of a virgin that had a pre-human existence, raised people from the dead, was resurrected and then ascended to heaven? Without overwhelming evidence supporting these claims I am unable to believe they are true. But everyone has the freedom to believe what they choose. I find the whole topic extremely fascinating however.

        • Caroline says:

          Frederick, there probably was a man called Jesus but there is absolutely no outside writings of his miracles or his rising from the dead just as you said and Watchtower is absolutely lying when they say the gospels are from men who were eye witness accounts.

          Reading the gospels side by side, there are 4 separate accounts very different from each other with numerous contradictions so Jesus is obviously a legend, at least in some Bible scholar’s opinions.

          The whole Christian religion would not exist if Jesus did not actually rise from the dead and ascend to heaven in a human body as the Bible says about him but Watchtower lies about and denies what the Bible says in the gospels that Jesus insisted he was not a spirit after he supposedly rose from the dead. Watchtower insists that because the Bible says in another place that flesh and blood cannot inherit heaven so then Jesus must have been lying when he said he was not a spirit after his resurrection, that is if you buy Watchtower’s Bible.

          If Jesus went to heaven in a human body, then he’d have to eat food etc. wouldn’t he so it would make more sense that Jesus became a spirit being after his resurrection. All it says to me is that the Bible is full of obvious contradictions which Watchtower says no, there are no contradictions.

          • dee2 says:

            Caroline,

            Don’t know if you are aware of the book:

            THE JESUS PUZZLE
            by Earl Doherty

            http://www.jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/jhcjp.htm

            It makes interesting reading.

            Among other things:
            It attempts to examine the documentary evidence for the origin of Christianity only to discover that this “is an exceedingly difficult task, a puzzle whose solution has proven stubbornly, perplexingly, maddeningly elusive.”

            It discusses the extensive silence on the human Jesus found in the canonical epistles – it documents 200 missing references to the Gospel Jesus in the New Testament Epistles.

            It concludes that the historical Jesus was a construction by the Gospel writers.

            Quoting:
            “If Christianity is to be regarded as a single movement, then it is a wildly schizophrenic one. The variety and scale of response to one man defies explanation. The “cultic” expression, epitomized by Paul, apparently abandoned all interest in the earthly life and identity of Jesus and turned him into a cosmic Christ who created the world and redeemed it by his death and resurrection.

            Individual communities like those responsible for the Q document and the Gospel of Thomas, ignored that death and resurrection and present a teaching Jesus, a preacher of the coming Kingdom of God. In what is probably the earliest stratum of material in the Gospel of John, Jesus is a type of “descending-ascending” redeemer from heaven who saves by being God’s revealer (though he reveals nothing about him except that Jesus is his Son and representative); later, John equates Jesus with the Greek Logos.

            In the Epistle to the Hebrews, Jesus is the heavenly High Priest who offers his sacrifice in a heavenly sanctuary, an expression of Alexandrian-style Platonism. In the Didache, Jesus is reduced to a non-suffering intermediary servant/child of God. He is presumed to lie behind the Wisdom-Word-Son mysticism of the Odes of Solomon. In the diverse strands of Gnosticism, Jesus (or Christ) is a mythical part of the heavenly pleroma of Godhead, sometimes a revealer akin to John’s, sometimes surfacing under other names like Derdekeas or the Third Illuminator.

            How many other forms of “Jesus” did not survive in extant documents is impossible to tell, though Paul in his letters hints at divergent groups and apostles all over the place, who “preach another Jesus” so different from his own that he can lay curses upon them and accuse them of being agents of Satan.

            All this fragmentation of an historical man, the breakup of Jesus into a multitude of component parts, is an unprecedented phenomenon, and not only does no document exist which embodies such a process or even gives a clue as to why it took place, each of these component parts seems blissfully unaware of the others.”

          • Caroline says:

            Dee2, I haven’t heard of that book but I am taking a college course about the Christian Greek Scriptures at our local college and I learned more about the Bible in 6 hours in those classes along with history books and Bart Ehrman’s books than I did with the whole 50 years that I was going to the meetings at the Kingdom Hall and I have probably a library of 30 feet long of Watchtower publications and I can testify that each and every one of Jehovah’s Witnesses are completely ignorant about the very book that they think that they are the only ones in the world who really know the truth about God and the Bible.

          • dee2 says:

            Good for you Caroline! I see you are on your way to becoming a Bible scholar 🙂

            There is indeed a whole world of scholarly work by Bible historians and others unknown to the WT & JWs.

            Bart Ehrman is one of the better known New Testament scholars. In addition to his various publications (some available online for free) & articles there are YouTube videos with some of his presentations and debates.

            He also has a blog which provides his insights and opinions on important issues related to the New Testament and early Christianity:
            http://ehrmanblog.org

            Earl Doherty’s THE JESUS PUZZLE: Did Christianity Begin with a Mythical Christ? is definitely a must read:

            http://www.jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/home.htm (SEE: “Puzzle In A Nutshell”)

            Also by Earl Doherty:
            – CHALLENGING THE VERDICT: A Cross-Examination of Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ

            – JESUS: NEITHER GOD NOR MAN

          • dee2 says:

            Caroline,

            Richard Carrier is also a must read. Check out his YouTube videos:
            – Did Jesus Exist?
            – Acts As Historical Fiction
            – Rapture Day (End of the World Failed Christian Prophecies)
            etc.

            Richard Carrier’s personal website:
            http://www.richardcarrier.info/

            Articles written by Richard Carrier can also be found at:
            https://infidels.org/library/

            There is also the Jesus Seminar (Google this).

            You may also want to take a look at the work of Bishop John Shelby Spong and other progressive/liberal Christians regarding their views on the historical Jesus and the authenticity of the Bible.

          • dee2 says:

            Caroline,

            You may also find the open/online courses on the Old & New Testaments which are offered by Yale University to be of interest:

            INTRODUCTION TO THE OLD TESTAMENT (HEBREW BIBLE):

            http://oyc.yale.edu/religious-studies/rlst-145

            https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLh9mgdi4rNeyuvTEbD-Ei0JdMUujXfyWi

          • dee2 says:

            Caroline,

            Yale University course cont’d:

            INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT HISTORY AND LITERATURE:

            –  http://oyc.yale.edu/religious-studies/rlst-152#overview

            –   https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL279CFA55C51E75E0

            Knock yourself out!

          • dee2 says:

            Frederick,

            I have been wondering how come no one else a part from his disciples say Jesus ascending into heaven after his resurrection?

            Apparently people weren’t in the habit of looking up back in the day?

          • dee2 says:

            Caroline,

            I also found this guy’s presentation:

            “The Puzzling Figure of Jesus – Man, Myth, Messiah”:
            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ai_Sp7SjmrY

            and blog:
            https://gilgamesh42.wordpress.com

            to be of interest.

            Knock yourself out!

      • Jado says:

        You are wrong when saying “No dead Jesus = No forgiveness of sins & No salvation”! Anything could replace Jesus especially a “Snake” as seen here: http://www.rhedesium.com/uploads/1/1/7/6/11764372/6158165_orig.jpg

        “No Nehushtan = No forgiveness of sins & No salvation”!!!

  6. messenger says:

    @dee2

    What do the words “gospel” and “grace” refer to in the synoptic gospels? And why are those writings named “gospel”? Matthew and John were with Jesus, unlike Paul, who it is claimed deified Jesus, influencing the church to accept his, after the writings of Matthew, Mark, and Luke wrote those synoptic gospels.

    • messenger says:

      accept his view

    • dee2 says:

      Messenger,

      The only response I have for you at this point is that your foregoing responses have certainly proven my “ridiculously long comments” true as your reactions have confirmed the findings of the various clinicians:

      “the conviction produced in those who experience these events is unshakable…….they may believe they were visited by God or in God’s presence, or that they have been “chosen”. ”

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/essays/a-ghost-in-the-machine/#part3

      So I do not expect you to react differently as per your foregoing responses, however, if I were you, I would not allow the need for a sign of special favour from God to prevent me from visiting the doctor to see if there is anything I need to be concerned about after experiencing symptoms consistent with temporal lobe epilepsy.

      Again, as I stated before, if indeed it was God who gave you those dreams, then why didn’t he also explain the meaning of the dreams to you? Why did you have to guess/figure out what the dreams meant, make up/invent/create/read into the events your own meaning/interpretation?

      Founders of religions such as Ellen G. White (Seventh-Day-Adventists), Joseph Smith (Mormons), Charles Taze Russell (JWs) all claimed to have received revelations/communications from God yet it is puzzling that their religions believe different things. Why isn’t God telling everyone the same thing?

      • dee2 says:

        Regards & good health to you!

        • messenger says:

          Dee 2′

          Thank you for the short comment this time. But that’s the only thing I can thank you for. Am I communicating with the Devil incarnate or what? Rather than discuss reality, you’re interested in my personal life.

          Nevertheless your ranting identifies you as the deceptive weasel you are.
          If anyone wants to know who we’re dealing with here just read her post that are above this one. In it she claims Salvation comes because of Christ, in her recent and past rants she argues against it. Sorry dee2, I literally have no more time for you. I’ll disregard you future rants, as I’ve been communicating with one deceptive character. Done with you at this point dee2. You correct the grammar, its not worth my time.

          messenger

          • outandabout says:

            I don’t wish to take sides, messenger, but I could clearly see that when Dee wrote ‘no dead Jesus = no forgiveness, etc, she wasn’t implying that that was his/ her belief.

    • Caroline says:

      messenger, you should do some research into the Bible because none of the synoptic writers knew Jesus and Paul’s writings came first before the synoptics and then John came last and his book is 90% not in the synoptics and completely different than the synoptics.

      The Greek Scriptures were not put together in the order of when they were written and there were many so-called holy writings that were not included in the text of the 66 accepted writings that have only been discovered in the last 150 years and some even in the last century.

      Watchtower wants Witnesses to think they are the most knowledgeable Bible scholars but they are only following Russell and Rutherford and those two men were stupid in comparison to the many hundreds of Bible scholars before and after them who actually spent their entire lives tearing the manuscripts apart and studying them along with other writings of the time, the dead sea scrolls and history books.

      • dee2 says:

        Caroline,

        Just to add:
        The 66 accepted writings are only in the case of the Protestant Bible as there is no universally accepted Bible Canon:

        Roman Catholics claim that the Bible contains 73 canonical (authentic) books, while most Protestants accept only 66 because they reject the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical books.

        The Orthodox Christians accept 76 books.

        The Ethiopian church, which traces its roots to the fourth-century church, claims a Canon of some 81 books.

        Each denomination claims its Bible is the true word of God.

      • dee2 says:

        Caroline,

        Just to add,
        The 66 accepted writings are only in the case of the Protestant Bible as there is no universally accepted Bible Canon:

        Roman Catholics claim that the Bible contains 73 canonical (authentic) books, while most Protestants accept only 66 because they reject the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical books.

        The Orthodox Christians accept 76 books.

        The Ethiopian church, which traces its roots to the fourth-century church, claims a Canon of some 81 books.

        Each denomination claims its Bible is the true word of God.

      • dee2 says:

        Caroline,

        Just to add:
        The 66 accepted writings are only in the case of the Protestant Bible as there is no universally accepted Bible Canon:

        Roman Catholics claim that the Bible contains 73 canonical (authentic) books, while most Protestants accept only 66 because they reject the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical books.

        The Orthodox Christians accept 76 books.

        The Ethiopian church, which traces its roots to the fourth-century church, claims a Canon of some 81 books.

        Each denomination claims its Bible is the true word of God.

      • messenger says:

        Thanks Caroline. I’ll look into. I know WT is way off on a lot of its beliefs. I believe they started teaching apostate deviations from the Bible. I agree with that. Your conclusion that the Bible is inaccurate I don’t agree with. I’ll look at what you suggest. But there’s so much crap flying around, that’s what I believe is untrue. If critics can prove their claim why don’t they? Any one can have an opinion, but opinions are not proof. I see opinions for example in the case of dee2 to rationalize reasons for occurrences she does not believe. I only see opinion there. If your scholars take the same approach I see no need in spending time on their research.

        • Winston Smith says:

          Messenger,
          “you’re going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.” – Obi Wan Kenobi, Return of the Jedi

          But joking aside, in any scholarly work some of the scholar’s opinions will carry through, even with best efforts to be objective. That’s why peer review is something very necessary in any research. I try to find as many studies or papers on a topic as I can and only draw conclusions after considering all angles. In my field of science, if it is possible to repeat the experiment suggested by the researcher, all the better. Unfortunately, not as feasible with ancient writings.

          But all told everything we accept as true, the scientific laws we live by, are really just opinions we accept. Similar to my discussion with Ricardo about Newtonian mechanics versus quantum physics; the great thing about science is that we keep getting better models and better approximations. But they are still just approximations. I think it holds true for any type of research we engage in. The most important tool in research is an open mind. We may find we were completely wrong about something we were previous certain of, if we can be honest with ourselves.

          WS

          • messenger says:

            @WS

            Why would anyone here who has done their research not give a pointed presentation of that research on this site? For instance, some here claim Revelation was written before the Bible claims it was. If there is any evidence of that, I’m sure it should is possible to present it in short form. Some here claim Bible prophesies were written in scripture after the they occurred, or that Bible books were written by authors different than those listed in the Bible. How did the Bible get here? They never state what research their opinions are based on. Why?

            My guess is, but its only a guess, that these ones are forming their beliefs only on suppositions of others.
            If I have solid evidence to make a point I present it. I’m not interested in researching suppositions. Like I previously wrote, I see most guesses being wrong 5 days out of most weeks. I’ve no time to look into opinions. But if someone here can prove those type of claims, lets see it, on this site. So far, no one has attempted to prove such claims. Instead they get defensive with counter challenges to prove oppositions to their positions. Again, that makes me all the more not want to look into their claims, because it suggests those opinions are not based on facts, but guesses.

  7. Caroline says:

    Yesterday two of the elders from my old congregation came by to “encourage” me and see if I needed any help since my husband died etc. and to encourage me to come to the Memorial last night and I practically begged them to call me in to disfellowship me on the grounds of apostasy and they just refuse to do it. I told them the same as the other elder I talked to in the grocery store a week ago that I would use only the Bible.

    I know it’s two-fold that they won’t call me in for apostasy. They don’t want to do it to me because they love me too much and because they are afraid of what I will tell them.

    It is just so frustrating.

    • GEM says:

      Please forgive my frankness Caroline but if you are truly interested only in the Truth as it is presented in the Bible, why should you fear talking about it? How can you possibly be disfellowshipped for backing up your conclusions with Scripture? I don’t get it. Be bold and confident.

      For me, having left in the early ’80s…it is an entirely different religion…many of the doctrines presented as “Truth” then, have changed radically or been completely replaced. For me, THEY are the Apostates. If they do not claim to be inspired, who gave them the authority to change the Baptism vows, for just one example!

      Best wishes GEM

      • Caroline says:

        Gem, when the one elder called in the morning, I assumed it was a follow up with the conversation I had with the other elder at the grocery store the week before and he said no and then when the two other elders did come yesterday, I had 2 separate tape recorders going so I could bring up Bible scriptures to show them that Jehovah and Moloch are actually the same god as what I had told the first elder at the store the week before but they said they were not aware of the first conversation.

        They were here about a half hour making small talk and then they were getting up to go and I figured if I was going to get across my point about using only the Bible to prove that Jehovah and Moloch was the same god that I had to jump on it before they left and they could not get out of the house fast enough with hugs etc. but they were gone so fast and all I could get out was that I wanted them to call me in to have me explain what I believed now and they were not going to listen to anything like that that I wanted to say.

        I even said to them that I knew they didn’t want to disfellowship me and they agreed and that is why they won’t listen to me when I try and bring it up.

        Believe me, I wanted to them to agree to a meeting at the Kingdom Hall but they just won’t do it and all I can say is they are “afraid” I might tell them something from the Bible that they don’t want to hear.

        They want to remain in their bubbles and think I am crazy but maybe Jehovah won’t kill me at Armageddon if I am considered insane.That is the only thing I can think of. I was so disappointed.

        I wanted to show them the scriptures that prove Jehovah and Moloch is the same god. I have a print out and it’s about 30 pages long and it’s just nothing but Bible scriptures with no commentary from me at all.

        The Bible says it all. It’s as plain as the nose on my face and they could not have defended what I had printed out and it was nothing but the New World Translation that I had printed out from their online library.

        • messenger says:

          Post your list of scriptures if you believe those prove your point. The scrips you referred to me refute that point. when taken in context. I noted that in verses right above some of your references the truth came out. Those additional scrips actually claim Jews turned away from Jehovah to another God. So, I suggest you show your scrips in context. Anyone interested can look that up, but still it is deceptive not to show context. Why not post below Whip Its request. Check context first please.

      • Caroline says:

        Gem, my reply is being flagged but believe me all I wanted to use is the Bible but as soon as I tried to bring it up, they were gone in a flash but with hugs etc. and I don’t think they could disfellowship me if all I use is the Bible. That is why I think they are too afraid to call me in, even when I asked them to do it.

        • messenger says:

          On the net there are videos of ex JWs who were disfellowshipped because they said they would accept the Bible over WT teachings. One such video is a televised interview of a family. The older woman in it claimed to be anointed. According to her she was asked which she would accept if she though there was conflict the Bible or WT. She said the Bible, and claimed she was disfellowshipped for that.

    • Big B says:

      @ Caroline,

      Jesus, Caroline;

      Surely you are not that desperate for attention, are you, that you purposely invite trouble for yourself?
      Why are you ‘frustrated’, didn’t our last conversation help you any? Obviously not.

      Now Caroline, right now this very minute make an appointment with a mental health professional and get the counseling you need to get through this before something awful happens that you and your friends here will regret.

      Big B

      • Caroline says:

        @Big B. I am fine but thanks for worrying about me. I should be happy that my old congregation don’t want to disfellowship me. If I could just move away from here, that is what I’d like to do but I have a daughter in the area that depends on me when she needs help. Otherwise I’d move to where I have family.

        There is nothing that a therapist can help me with and besides I don’t want to spend the money for that. Please don’t worry about me and yes, I want so much for the life of me, to have somebody or anybody from my old “friends” that I can get out of the cult and be a real “family” to me here and help them to start living a real life and not the stifling life that they are all having to go through now.

        It isn’t a matter of wanting attention. I don’t like attention. I am very content not to have any attention.

        I know that we all here know what we are all going through when it comes to trying to “help” those that we still love who are still being controlled by Watchtower and we can’t talk to them.

        We all are suffering in the same way and I don’t believe that going to a therapist will help any of us. Those therapists won’t understand. When we try and tell our families (who aren’t Witnesses) what we have been put through, even they don’t understand what we are going through mentally because people in general see such a quiet and nice bunch of people that they think Witnesses are.

        It is hitting our heads against a brick wall to try and get anybody who is not an exJW to understand what those of us who have woken up to know what we are going through but there are a lot of us. We are not the only ones as Leah Remini has so beautifully demonstrated with her series exposing Scientology.

        I would say that even those people who agreed to a Bible study and never went all the way to baptism were being loved bombed and shunned just like we who have faded. Even those Bible studies are love bombed and then abandoned as “friends” and made to feel bad about themselves because even they will run into the Witnesses who studied with them.

        I can’t imagine how much pain and suffering this religion has caused in this world. It staggers the mind.

        • outandabout says:

          Hi Caroline….do the authorities in your region supply a counselling service for people on low or no income? Why don’t you find out and give it a try. You’ll be surprised.

        • Big B says:

          @ Caroline;

          You must realize these three things;
          1. the elders will NEVER give you a forum to express your new found ‘truths’ and will shut you down even in a star chamber setting;
          2. nobody will believe or listen to you as they (sheeple) are fully indoctrinated and will judge you as mentally ill, emotionally compromised, menopausal, delusional or worse demonized;
          3. shunning you will be emphasized even more emphatically as you will be considered a faith busting apostate, a spiritual leper to avoid at all costs.

          Thus your frustration; its fighting a cult and its a battle of wills and beliefs which a single individual cannot win, period.

          “There is nothing that a therapist can help me with and besides I don’t want to spend the money for that”.

          Caroline, you are wrong on both counts. A therapist can help with ‘grief counselling’ and getting free from the results of cult indoctrination.
          Talking about your feelings and beliefs and frustrations, then getting professional feedback is helpful. Sometimes communities have services like these for free or little costs. However, if you don’t check these options out you really don’t know.

          “I want so much for the life of me, to have somebody or anybody from my old “friends” that I can get out of the cult and be a real “family” to me here and help them to start living a real life and not the stifling life that they are all having to go through now”.

          A nice thought; but again, quite impossible. Did we not talk earlier about the definition of insanity? It is doing the same things over and over and over again expecting a different result.
          Example: You confront elders and they walk away, you get frustrated because they won’t listen to you. Again the same thing happens at your house, at the store, etc.

          You are beating your head on a brick wall expecting to gain entrance but ending up with a headache. The damn door of ingress/egress to reasoning with the indoctrinated ‘sheeple’ does not exist, until they (the sheeple) decide to build one.

          As one of our commentators recently said, “When the student is READY to learn the teacher will appear.” Obviously the ‘sheeple’ you want to help are NOT ready to be helped and will never listen to you, period. Which is again, the reason for your undeserved self-frustration and agony. This obsession is becoming a chasing of the ‘great white whale’ for you as in Moby Dick who destroys its hunter Captain Ahab (spoiler alert).

          Again, my advice to you is this; to get help now or risk a possible nervous breakdown. That would be a win for Watchtower 1/Caroline 0.

          Good Luck and Good Health to you.
          Big B

          • Shibboleth says:

            Big B
            I agree. Professional therapists who can work with the emotional issues coming up will work wonders. They don’t need to know the inner workings of the org to work with the emotional crisis. And we cannot help others if we don’t help ourselves first. There is a reason the airline stewards demonstrate how to apply the oxygen mask when the pressure in the cabin drops. But they emphasize YOU must put the mask on first, BEFORE you can help the person beside you. If Caroline gets help first, then she will have enough clarity to help others. Otherwise she may do more harm than good.
            Just my two cents for now.
            Shalom

    • messenger says:

      Caroline,

      I read your opening post, glanced at a spec of Big B’s response, and also the first sentence of Gem’s response. I side with Big B in encouraging you not to talk to the elders. that would accomplish nothing, except possibly leading to your disfellowshipping and estrangement from your daughter. As Big B said, more grief. I see no plus for you from that approach. As Big B said it doesn’t matter what you show them. If they agree against WT doctrine they can be disfellowshipped, so no way will they agree with you.

      Big B suggested a therapist. You might consider that and relaxing as much as possible. Reading and commenting on this site creates a degree of tension. Maybe a break from it might help. I wish you the best Caroline, and I don’t see that happening if you battle the elders.

      messenger

    • Shibboleth says:

      @Caroline,
      The question that comes to my mind after reading your entry is:
      Why are you taunting the elders and pushing them into a corner and challenging them to disfellowship you? You say you are begging them to disfellowship you. That to me doesn’t even sound reasonable. Why pick a fight, or try to get the last word in, or rub their noses in your research? If you are so adamant of not wanting to be in the religion, why not just walk away? Unless of course you have to prove something to yourself. That’s why Big B’s suggestion sounds reasonable, there’s no need to go out fighting, kicking and screaming, really. The best way to leave is not as a fractured soul, but as someone whose future was determined by you, not anyone else. Don’t give your power away, don’t be a victim, be a survivor.
      May you have peace and clarity in your journey.
      Shalom

      • Caroline says:

        Thank you Shibboleth. I want to be like what you are describing. Maybe some day I will be at that point where I just don’t care anymore but I love most all those people so much at my hall and all the other Witnesses who I have loved all those years. I wished I hated them but most of them (not all) are lovely people and I will bet you that they are also suffering from depression just as I was all those years but you are all right. They have got to be in a place where they are open to seeing it’s a dangerous cult before they can wake up.

        The only solution that I see if for something really awful happening where the Society is fully exposed for all the world to see where everyone is forced to wake up at the same time and the Society goes bankrupt and out of business for good.

        We need another Ray Franz.

        • Shibboleth says:

          Caroline,
          It’s not about not caring anymore, it’s about realizing the flower is dead and not continuing to water it. You need not hate those people you grew to love in the org, but come to the realization that it is more painful to stay than it is to leave. Take care of yourself, right now you are the most important person at the moment. And remember, “this too shall pass”.

          • Caroline says:

            Thank you Shibboleth for your kind words. Just maybe I might look into a free therapist if I can find one here but I have only gone to a therapist once in my life and that was about 50 years ago but that one visit really did help me when I was about to have a nervous breakdown.

            Coming here and commenting to me is like going to a therapist and it’s free. All the things I wished I could be saying to the elders, I can express here.

            I hope I am not hurting anybody but I always back up what I am saying with scriptures so you know it is not my words.

  8. Doc Obvious says:

    I went to the memorial last night. The talk was 90% on other items instead of Jesus Christ. Other items included Watchtower’s ban, people’s diseases, Adam and Eve, and the sorry state of earth’s affairs. It included the anointed’s token talk on who partakes of the bread and wine. Lastly, a commercial at the end on learning more.

    Yesterday, the focus should be on Jesus Christ and last night it was not. Only 10%. Sad.

    • GEM says:

      I went last night, out of respect for my former Brothers and Sisters and Solidarity in the face of possible imminent ban in Russia and beyond.

      It was the other way round where I attended; 90% about what Jesus did for us and 10% commercials.

      In fact the Speaker opened with an illustration of Fire Flies lighting up, each one a congregation all 120,000 of them as the Earth turned. He mentioned the time zone in align with us here in the UK and with Solidarity he praised the efforts of everyone for attending. Alluding to the former USSR, he said that come what may, effort would be made to attend…whatever the circumstance.

      I don’t think the attendance was too grand, as this particular congregation had hired a hall in a small village about 6 miles from me in the Cotswolds. There seems to be a general feeling of lethargy when I speak to our ex Comrades.

      Nothing like a good dose of Persecution to get the Adrenaline up though. An adverse outcome given by the Russian Courts….will probably give the WT a lift.

    • Big B says:

      @ Doc Obvious;

      Yep; same old, same old. Which is why my family and I don’t go.

      As was said on an earlier post, “like being invited to dinner; blessing said, the food comes around and nobody eats and the drink comes around and nobody drinks. The dishes are removed and you are invited next year for the same meal with the same ritual of non-eating or drinking”.

      We do our own ‘Passover/Memorial” dinner in the comfort of my home with immediate family of three.
      Lamb steaks, turnip greens, matzos, eggs, olives and Passover wine. Same dinner for over 25 years. The matzos and another glass of wine is passed around after we finish the lamb, etc. and we partake. No boring talks, songs or other nonsense. Just association with family just like any other day, any other dinner. Remembering the original Passover and the institution of the Memorial.

  9. Whip It says:

    I noted that the numbers are way done at the memorial, the speaker said nothing to prove that only the anointed should take the emblems, i read John 6 during the talk, over & over again, also can someone give me the scriptures that prove the Jehovah & Molech are the same thing

    • messenger says:

      I’ve seen nothing to prove only contacted ones should partake, for this reason. The scriptures state, “God’s spirit bears witness with our spirit,” but that may not necessarily mean all Christians are actually contacted. I don’t believe it does.

      If you read the scriptures that speak of partaking, and excuse me for not looking them up, I’m lazy, then you’ll note some of those srips state that partaking is necessary to have any part with Christ. Just look those up, and if you don’t see it I’ll look them up for you. Just ask.

      The idea Jehovah is Moloch is refuted in the scrips that are directly above the ones someone used to claim he was. If I remember correctly I referred that person to Leviticus chapter 18 and some other book, possible Duet, chpt 18. In those books and every other Bible comment about the Jews sacrificing their children in fire Jehovah is said to have allowed that Jewish practice of idolatry worship to another God.

      So folks, what are you teaching, and why are you teaching that? Blame everything on God. Is that your excuse? That excuse won’t help you in this world or the next. Grow up and take responsibility for your own actions, and expect other grown adults to do likewise. Isn’t an opposing view to that at least somewhat infantile? Careful how God views that view. He might not like it.

      Ok teachers and so called teachers here. These are some things I’ve learned from teaching which includes classroom management. Not bragging WS, nothing to brag about in that position. There are three distinct responses I’ve seen play out over and over again, and over again-literally thousands of times when I confront someone who is doing something wrong according to societal norms and expectations of behavior, whether it be lying, or any other type of wrong. Here are those responses, and how they correlate to individuals’ behaviors after their response.

      #1. Some people say they are sorry, and that they will not do it again. A small percentage of the people I teach respond this way. No elder I confronted ever responded this way. Probably about 50% of these people do the exact same offense again.

      #2 Group two.These people deny doing the wrong, and or make excuses that have not merit (like others do it too). These people always are repeat offenders. Are there is such a high percentage of repeat offenders I might as well claim it is 100%.

      #3 This group might also deny and make excuses, but they take things a step further. They blame me for anything they can think of, almost always something not even related to what I caught them doing. People in this group are always repeat offenders and usually excessive repeat offenders.

      Those observations might be used by you when reading responses on this site. Especially when God is being blamed because someone else was unjust. My observations inform me that this is the disposition of repeat offenders of various types of injustice. I guess these people must have things their way, or they are just corrupt, because the things they do don’t work for societies betterment.

      • messenger says:

        Are=OR

      • Caroline says:

        messenger, Joshua 24:2 says that Abraham and his family were serving other “gods” on the other side of the river and that explains why in the account of Judah and Tamar that Judah went to what he thought was a “temple” prostitute. The temple had not been set up yet and notice that Judah wanted Tamar “burned”.

        Jehovah asked Abraham to “burn” his son as a sacrifice to him and Ezekiel 20:26, Jehovah says that he asked the Israelites to offer up their children as burnt sacrifices to him. The Bible is pretty clear.
        It even says that Jehovah creates evil (Isa. 45:7) and Jephthah did offer to burn up his daughter to Jehovah if Jehovah would help Jephthah kill thousands and thousands of people and Jephthah did kill and burn up his daughter as a burnt sacrifice to Jehovah and Jehovah accepted that sacrifice.

        The Watchtower organization rewrote that part of the Bible to make you think that your god did not accept Jephthah’s sacrifice but that is not what the Bible “really” says and that is the god that you worship (Acts 7:43) and that god is Moloch.

        I don’t blame any god for bad things because I don’t even believe in that god but I do blame you for worshipping a god like that because if you make excuses for that god and that is why I feel you have no moral compass.

        I have pages and pages of scriptures that describe Jehovah as a volcano god. Jehovah is even described as a consuming fire (Deut. 4:24; Hebrews 12:29). The law given to Moses calls for the sacrificing of their firstborn sons and anything sacrificed to Jehovah was to be killed. It’s in the law covenant over and over again. Do you want me to start listing all those scriptures again?

        You haven’t won any “debates” here. All you do is say that it ain’t so. That is not winning any debates.

        • messenger says:

          Let’s first address obvious facts. I’ve only had a couple debates with you atheists, and your reasoning was clearly faulty. So faulty that the discussions were almost a waste of time. These are the two I remember, but there may in fact be more, because discussing faulty reasoning is not my chief aim in life.

          Debate one: against dee2’s long rants that the Bible teaches believing and following Christ is not necessary for salvation. That thought is so ridiculous I really should not have addressed it. In the midst of her arguments she even offered that all protestant churches believe and teach salvation comes through belief in Christ and because of his sacrificial death. I’ve got no more time for such irrational discussions Caroline. I gave dee2 the benefit of a doubt, thinking she might be mentally impaired or possibly had very low intelligence. Her rants seemed to suggest that possibility.

          Now if you believe it was possible for her presentation to win any debater I can’t help you. The thought is ridiculous. Her claim was not her opinion, it was what the Bible teaches. Sounds demonic, if not deluded to me. A possible reason for me to cut communications with her in addition to it being a waste of time.

          Debate #2: Mr. outandabouts huffy claim that believers in God are deluded. That was his presentation. I didn’t need to prove God exist to win. How could he prove his assertion? And if not, state that as an opinion; or he is deluded in believing it to be factual. Getting rather huffy he claimed to bring it on as if he could prove such an assertion. Later he admitted he could not prove it factual, with his admission he could not prove God’s nonexistence. End of debate. Win two. Of course all he had to say was it was his opinion, or an exaggeration of what he truly believes. But, like I suspected his ego is too big to say that. Therefore I’ll claim that win. Neither were important to me, but it’s also not important that I refrain from letting these two know their reasoning is faulty.

          I don’t comment here to win debates. I comment to post refutes to some of the garbage going down here. And that’s not all coming from current JW’s.

          I understand you accept some Bible interpretations from folks who speak against the god of the Bible. That’s your choice. Choose what you want, no one is stopping you. But the ideas you are presenting are just interpretations. Let me remind you, you could be wrong. Jesus accepted the Hebrew scrips. If you believe in him that should be enough for you. If you don’t believe in Christ that’s your choice. No one will make or wants to make you.

          I’ll just address two of your points for the sake of time. Who cares what Abraham did or his family? Why do you care? He’s not God. For the general population Abram served us only where he served God’s purpose. How does what he or his family did on their own have any effect on us?

          Ezekiel Chp 20 King James.
          vs24″ Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my Sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers idols.
          vs 25 Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live; (right here is a reference placed to Romans 1:24 and 2 Thes 2:11)”
          Romans 1:24 King James reads
          “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lust of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies before themselves:”

          2 Thes 2:10-12 King James reads:
          “10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (11) And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: (12) that they might be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

          Those references were not in or from WT’s Bible Caroline, but the King James.

          ” There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or daughter to pass through the fire” Duet 18:10 King James (part of Mosaic Law)

          Caroline why didn’t you share Lev 18 that clearly gets right to the point? Why?

          “And you must not allow the devoting of any of your offspring to Molech. You must not profane the name of your God that way. I am Jehovah.” Lev 18:21 NWT

          “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the Lord.” Lev 19:21 King James

          The King James supports the position of WT’s Bible. God only gave the Jews up to follow their disgusting desires. Jehovah was not Molech. No need posting your other scrips Caroline. Lev 18 is extremely clear.

          • messenger says:

            last King James reference above is from Lev 18:21 not Lev 19:21

          • Caroline says:

            messenger those scriptures that I quoted there were cut and pasted from the jwlibrary.org. Also, I know of the scriptures where the Bible says that it never came into Jehovah’s heart to have their sons and daughters walk through the fire to Moloch. Scholars think that the prophets saw what was in the Torah and put that in the Bible because they realized it was terrible for the Israelites to burn their children to their god Jehovah in the fire and changed the name of Jehovah to Moloch. If you look at Acts 7:43 it is pretty clear that those Jews did offer their children up to Jehovah in the fire for 40 years during the trek in the wilderness and also Stephen said “tent” of Moloch.

            Their is only a small fragment of the ancient Hebrew scriptures where they see the tetragrammaton and there are no writings of the Greek Scriptures until the 4th century and then there are thousands upon thousands of Greek Scripture texts and that is because Constatine made Christianity the law of the Roman Empire and they had monks writing down the Bible that he commanded to be the “accepted” Scriptures or orthodox scriptures and that explains why all of a sudden there are all those so-called inspired manuscripts.

            Watchtower would have you believe that somehow Constatine was being used by Jehovah to make sure that what we have today was straight from Jehovah himself but that could not be further from the truth.

            Why would Jehovah use Constatine when he was a horrible person who killed his own wife and children? The Catholic church has sainted him and so has Watchtower.

            Watchtower wants to keep you in the dark about how we got the Bible. Nobody would possibly believe that the Bible is inspired if you look up the history of how we got it. It even says that in the forward to the Kingdom Interlinear which is printed by the Society.

            It admits in there that only the original manuscripts were inspired and there are no original manuscripts so therefore there are no inspired Bibles today so all we can do is to take the Bible at face value.

            I would never sacrifice my child to death for lack of blood over something that I could never prove was from God. Would you? If so, then I have no respect for you.

        • messenger says:

          You blame me Caroline for pointing out you or some buddy of yours has faulty reasoning. Oh let me see the reason for your stated blame, because I support the Bibles god I am immoral.

          You fit into my definition of group #3. I get blamed for pointing out your faulty reasoning, but not on point that I reason wrong, but that I am immoral. Yes, as I said that’s a typical reaction. Nevertheless it phases me not. In other words your blame is useless to me.

          • Caroline says:

            messenger I forgot about the scripture from the law that if a priest’s daughter was caught prostituting herself that she was to be burned (Lev. 21:9). What about Numbers chapter 31 where 32 virgin girls were to be given to Jehovah?

            Messenger I feel that the way to bring down the Watchtower is to cut off the head of it’s snake which to me is to expose the real nature of the god that they decided to name itself after.

            Most people who became atheists was because they actually started to pay attention to what they were reading when they read the Bible. That is not to say that they know how we got here.

            Even if I don’t believe in the god of the Bible, I am not saying how we got here. I am saying I don’t know how we got here but I would never make excuses for the god of the Bible and say that I’d offer worship to that god once I realized just how awful that god is described in the Bible.

            I am not saying you have no morals but people make that accusation for those of us who don’t worship the god of the Hebrew scriptures.

            I believe the Bible is describing two different gods, one in the Hebrew Scriptures and one of the Greek Scriptures. If Jesus is actually the representation of the Jehovah God, then I wouldn’t care for Jesus either but that is not the god that I see in the Greek Scriptures.

            What you need to do is do some research on how we got the Bible and you will see that it’s not inspired by any perfect god but made in man’s image.

            People like and admire tough guys and that is the description of the Hebrew god and that is the god that Rutherford admired.

            The god of the Greek Scriptures (Jesus) is a moral and wimpy god. That is why the Jews won’t accept the Jesus god. They wanted a Jehovah kind of god who was a tough guy.

    • Winston Smith says:

      To your point Whip It: John 6:53-54 “So Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves. Anyone who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day,””

      Since eternal life (and resurrection) is what the JWs seem to fixate on, it seems out of place to refuse the emblems that represent that which was stated to be a requirement for realization of this hope.

      WS

  10. Caroline says:

    @Big B, outandabout and messenger, thank you so much for trying to help me to not have a nervous breakdown over my situation. I know you are all right and there is no hope for any of those people to listen to me and come to the same conclusion as I have and I also know it is impossible for me to talk any sense into the elders. I know that and really I don’t need the help of a therapist but thank you so much for the suggestion.

    When I really needed the help of a therapist was last year when my husband died. That was a very difficult year for me but I am much better now than last year.

    The funny thing is that even with my losing all my so-called friends at the Kingdom Hall, I would rather be where I am right now than being locked into that religion where I was so depressed each and every day of my life. I am so not depressed anymore like I was when I was going to meetings and service. It was like that dark ugly cloud that was hanging over my head every day is gone.

    I would rather live without any of those “friends” than to lower myself into going back too to be in the group. I feel so sorry for them. That is why it’s so frustrating but then you all know exactly what I mean.

    People are so fortunate when they can move away but at least I can hop in my car and drive to where my family lives where I get support and comfort and commenting on here helps me a lot because it helps me realize that I am among others who are going through the same thing I am going through and it helps me feel not so alone.

    Thank you all for your concern but I am okay. I wished I could be the counselor and the comforter to those who are suffering like I am. I want to be the counselor. Does that make any sense?

    • outandabout says:

      It does make sense to me, Caroline, but like Big B said, there is no door into the indoctrinated mind because a door just does not exist. You’re wasting your time there. This cult will self destruct eventually, so take heart. In the meantime, best you look after good old number one.

  11. Whip It says:

    Caroline, we have suffered the loss of 3 parents so far over the last 4 years, time does heal, & yes this site is great to be able to chat, Messenger also thanks for your reply, i think as time goes on more & more people will wake up, we have already seen the Borg morph into something far different from the 80’s, so who knows, i don’t wish death on anyone, but i am watching & waiting to see a number here go, evil men & women

    • Caroline says:

      2

      Whip It, I feel so bad for you with the loss of 3 of your parents in such a short amount of time. My thoughts are with you. I agree that the borg is way different than when I came in in the 1960’s too. Now it seems like a charasmatic religion like what we were taught was disgusting in God’s sight. It’s like killing a frog with warm water that gets warmer and warmer until it kills the frog and the frog never realized what was happening to it until it was too late to jump out of the water.

  12. dee2 says:

    Messenger,

    The Bible is ambiguous concerning salvation. It contains many conflicting passages that imply that:

    – Salvation is by faith only, or

    – Salvation is by works and faith, or

    – Salvation is by works only, or

    – Salvation is by faith motivated by love.

    Christian Scriptures teach a number of conflicting methods by which one can be saved:

    Jesus, as reported in the synoptic Gospels, gave two main paths to salvation:

    – One can be saved by performing good works, as in the “sheep and goats” description of the final judgment in Matthew 25.

    – You can be saved by adopting a simple life of poverty and following Jesus’ example.

    The synoptic gospels appear to make provision for a path by which Christians or NON-Christians can be saved. They must follow a lifetime of service to humanity.

    The synoptic Gospels teach that salvation is achieved by doing good works: helping the poor, visiting people in jail, supporting the ill, giving up ones possessions and following Jesus, etc.

    The author(s) of the Gospel of John said that one must believe that Jesus is the Son of God in order to be saved.

    Paul teaches that only those who believe in Jesus’ death and resurrection will be saved.

    Other passages seem to require that the Christian must be baptized in order to be saved.

    Passages scattered throughout the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) say that a person is saved, and her/his sins forgiven, through baptism. This caused great fear among the early Christians because there was no clear indication on how one could be forgiven for sins committed after baptism, except via martyrdom. This may be one reason why so many Christians willingly embraced martyrdom in the early church, and why Constantine delayed his baptism until he was on his deathbed.

    Christians have not been able to assess the will of God through prayer. So Christians may be stuck with uncertainty about the most important aspect of their lives!

    As a result of this ambiguity, all of the tens of thousands of Christian denominations, sects, faith groups etc., teachings regarding the criteria by which a person will be saved differ greatly.

  13. dee2 says:

    Messenger,

    Salvation is by works only:

    The following are passages on this SINGLE CRITERION used to judge people’s eternal destination – whether it be Heaven or Hell:

    Matthew 25:32-46: The “sheep and goats parable.” It appears to refer to the Final Judgment when people from all over the world will be gathered before Jesus. That would also involve people of all religious faiths, and none.

    The sole criterion that is used to separate those who will attain Heaven from those who will be sent to Hell is whether they helped other people in need. That is, a person’s salvation is based solely on their good deeds while they were alive on earth.

    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.

  14. dee2 says:

    Messenger,

    Salvation is by works only – cont’d:

    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.

    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.

  15. dee2 says:

    Messenger,

    Salvation is by works only – cont’d:

    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.

    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.

    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)

  16. dee2 says:

    Messenger,

    Salvation is by works only – cont’d:

    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 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.

  17. dee2 says:

    Messenger,

    Salvation by works only – cont’d:

    John 5:28-29: This passage quotes a statement by Jesus in which he refers to a coming time. This passage implies that when a person dies, they are buried and have little or no awareness. But when Jesus calls them, they wake up and emerge from the grave to be judged.

    This passage clearly specifies who will be sent to Heaven and who to Hell. Note that people will be judged solely on the basis of their good and bad deeds while they were on Earth. That is, one’s beliefs about God, Jesus, his resurrection, his humanity and the rest of the universe are ignored.

    Thus, persons of all religious faiths, and none, will have an equal chance with Christians on attaining heaven. It all depends on the presence and absence of good works in their life.

    Interestingly, every person does good and bad deeds while alive on earth, and the passage does not explain the rating system used to evaluate these deeds so that a person can know in advance what their eventual destination will be.

    Revelation 20:11-15 refers in two places to how everyone is judged according to their works – their deeds performed while alive on Earth. It 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.”

    “Behold, I come quickly and my reward is with me, to render to each man according to his works” (Revelation 22:12).

    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.”

  18. dee2 says:

    Messenger,

    As I stated above, Christianity isn’t sure about the criteria for salvation because the scriptures are ambiguous about this criteria. There is no certainty of a person’s fate because of this ambiguity and so Christian denominations teach diverse beliefs about salvation.

    However, regarding the belief that Jesus’ death is what makes salvation and forgiveness of sins possible for believers:

    You stated:

    [“I wonder which part of the crowd you’d be in if present during Christ’s crucifixion. Which side dee2? You can openly tell us.”]

    And so Ted asked you:

    [ ” tell us which side you would have been on if you had been present at the crucifixion.

    I put the same challenge to you. I don’t think for a minute
    you’d be encouraging the Roman soldiers on, but if if you tried
    to prevent the execution. Let’s say by getting the crowd on
    your side, then you’d be working against your own salvation.
    No ransom for sin and death.

    Let’s pretend you were there and God had given you one
    of his revelations, inside knowledge so to speak about
    the the reason for this barbaric spectacle. I suggest the best
    you could do would be to passively observe and hope the
    soldiers completed their task.” ]

    I agreed with Ted and made the point that when you & others accuse persons of being Christ killers you are actually shooting yourself in the foot and working against your salvation because if Jesus were not put to death, according to the Bible, there was NO OTHER mechanism by which God would or could forgive individual humans for their sins and grant them salvation.

    God NEEDED the blood of Jesus spilled as this was the ONLY mechanism by which he would or could forgive individual humans for their sins and grant them salvation.

    So it is nonsensical to accuse persons of being Christ killers when in fact it was God who needed Jesus dead because, ironically, God is not able to forgive anyone, hence the need for vicarious redemption through a sacrificial host.

    Being all-powerful, God could just have said: “Without the drinking of apple juice, there can be no forgiveness or salvation”.

    God could just have forgiven mankind and everything would be good but instead he needed to send Jesus to die on the cross, to pay a blood sacrifice to redeem mankind.

    This is a plan of exaction and vengeance. According to the story, God demands and receives payment before he grants pardon.

  19. dee2 says:

    Messenger,

    You still have not addressed the following:

    1.) If indeed it was God who gave you those dreams, then why didn’t he also explain the meaning of the dreams to you?

    Why was it you who had to guess/figure out what the dreams meant, make up/invent/create/read into the events your own meaning/interpretation?

    2.) It is also very puzzling that God communicates with you yet:

    Why hasn’t God appeared to the 40,000 Christian denominations and given all of them the same interpretation of the Bible so that they are all in agreement?

    Aren’t they all equally trying to assess the will of God through prayer asking him for guidance, wisdom and understanding?

    3.) Founders of religions such as Ellen G. White (Seventh-Day-Adventists), Joseph Smith (Mormons), Charles Taze Russell (JWs) all claimed to have received revelations/communications from God yet it is puzzling that their religions believe different things. Why didn’t God tell everyone the same thing?

    4.) For that matter, why hasn’t God appeared to the all of the various religions in the world, explain where they are misinterpreting his wishes, tells them what he really wants, what he really desires from humanity in order to end religious schism, division, confusion and discord?

    5) According to the WT ​February 2017 par.12, p.26 – “The Governing Body (GB) is neither inspired nor infallible.”

    The GB has admitted that God/the Holy Spirit does not speak to /communicate with them. Yet God communicates with you?

    So God contacts/communicates with you but he does not contact/communicate with the GB?

    Why would God contact/communicate with you but not the GB? Isn’t the GB equally seeking God’s will and praying to him for guidance, wisdom and understanding, so why isn’t God answering/speaking with/communicating with/contacting them just as he contacts you?

    6.) There are stories of devout Christians and others who have murdered their children and others because they strongly believed that God spoke to them and wanted them to do it.

    If God really does communicate with persons and only tells them to do good things, then why weren’t these people able to make this distinction? Why wasn’t it possible for these persons to distinguish between when God was communicating with them and when God wasn’t communicating with them?

    (GOOGLE, for example,
    the cases of Andrea Yates and Deanna Laney who murdered their children)

    7.) Nebuchadnezzar had what was allegedly an inspired dream about a tree that was so tall that it could be seen “from the ends of the earth” (Daniel 4:7-8, 11).
    Only on a flat earth would this be possible because no matter how tall a tree would be, people on the other side of a spherical earth could not see it.

    Why did God give Nebuchadnezzar an inspired dream that wrongly conveyed a flat-earth concept? I thought God knew that the earth was spherical?

  20. outandabout says:

    Dee……are you putting too much energy into this? Just a thought.

    • dee2 says:

      Just setting the record straight given Messenger’s ad hominem attacks directed at me:

      – “deceptive weasel”

      – “Devil incarnate”

      – “deceptive character”

      – “mentally impaired”

      – “or possibly had very low intelligence”

      – “demonic, if not deluded”

      Apparently Messenger is not aware that ad hominem attacks are not allowed on this site.

      My first reaction was to ignore the ad hominem attacks and not respond further, because no matter how much Messenger attacks, no matter how much he rants and raves there is no Paradise earth to come or second coming of Jesus.

      • outandabout says:

        But I would be honored to receive those attacks, Dee, ha ha. But really, is this in keeping with the spirit of this forum? I know I’m guilty of poking the borax now and again, but that’s just my personality and I never mean any harm. I do have a strong sense of justice though and sometimes it’s hard to keep quiet. I also like to get a rise out of people, that’s why I go against the grain with my stand for a ban in Russia and I know that whatever I say on the issue won’t make one iota of difference to the outcome anyway. I can play most things both ways. I understand human nature and like to laugh at our foibles, including my own. So what say you do the same and just let messenger have his way because at the end of the day, does it matter? Your choice though. Cheers.

        • dee2 says:

          Outandabout,

          I’ve allowed Messenger to have his way on previous occasions – he arrogantly concluded that my choosing not to debate meant he won the debate. I allowed him this ego boost and did not respond further, because at the end of the day, there is no Paradise earth to come or second coming of Jesus.

          But this time he went too far. He overstepped the line. He violated the site rules – ad hominem attacks are not allowed.

  21. Ricardo says:

    It must have been great to be a pioneer in the 50’s and 60’s when it all made sense. When loads and loads of people were becoming witnesses, just like we were told that the righteous would come streaming into the organization. The Catholic church was still strong and people would discuss the Bible at the door. The preaching work was urgent because the generation (whether 40 years or 80 years) was coming to an end and the sheep and goats needed to be separated. And the anointed were old and experienced and had a fire in their belly.

    Now there is no urgency to the preaching work. Who goes out on a Sunday? Hardly anybody is responding anyway. The sheep and goats don’t get separated until who knows when, the overlapping generation runs out in over 50 years’ time, when none of us will be here. The Catholic Church has a child abuse problem and so have we. And the other sheep are now bringing in the anointed, who are not only increasing in number but also decreasing in age.

    I asked a 30-year-old anointed brother whether he thought Abel could have married his aunty. He said yes, why not. I then asked him who Abel’s parents were. He said he didn’t need to know who Abel’s parents were, that it is unnecessary to know this to answer the question. And this guy is going to be our king?

    I know that knowledge of Adam and Eve is not necessary for salvation, that most important is faith in Jesus, and neither am I trying to insult the young anointed guy personally. I use that conversation as an example of the caliber of anointed ones today. Can you imagine an anointed one in the 1960’s not knowing who Abel’s parents were. We are seeing a poor quality of elders, of anointed and of Governing Body members.

    Yes, how different it has all turned out to be. It is as if we are lacking direction. But just wait. The new system will make everything right.

    • Big B says:

      @ Ricardo;

      Yes, I remember during the summer break from school ‘Vacation pioneering’ (75 hours per month instead of the usual 100 for regular Pioneers) was almost expected. After all, since the 1966 Watchtower explained that ‘the end’ would happen in the ‘mid 70’s’ there was definitely an urgency to the work. A real separation work and warning work to be sure.

      Saturday and Sunday field ministry was the norm in our house. Rain or shine, my Dad called those who didn’t go out in inclement weather “fair weather Witnesses”. As the presiding overseer he really took the lead in this unfortunately however, his zeal cost him his life dying in 2000 of a heart attack while leading the congregation book study.

      Everything you mentioned, Ricardo is true. There is no zeal, and no urgency. The die-hard Rutherfordites are long gone and few are those that recall Nathan Knorr and Fred Franz. Those few Witnesses that remembering seeing and listening to them are my age and older (65+).

      Like all Adventist groups, from the Millerites of the 1840’s until the start-up of Jehovah’s Witnesses, their claims have proven to be a disappointment. Why? All Adventists have a common thread, namely; this movement needs to have someone (Jesus) or some event (Messianic Kingdom, Armageddon, Paradise Earth) to wait on (come).

      Try as they might, they cannot make anything happen or spin events to show that “we are nearer to Armageddon than ever before”, “Armageddon is just around the corner”, “It’s a commin’, it won’t be late”. They can’t prove that their 1914 time-line is correct nor the 607 BCE destruction of Solomon’s temple or an ‘invisible presence of Christ’.

      So, here we sit, 42 years after 1975 when Armageddon was sure arrive. Some even speculated that the 20th century would not pass by without the coming of the dreaded Armageddon event. And now we’re on our way to 2018 with no end in sight. Thus the apathy, and faith zapping of the poor ‘sheeple’. It’s similar to waiting at a non-enclosed bus stop in the pouring rain for a bus however, the bus driver hasn’t gotten out of bed.
      Time to stop waiting for the bus that never comes and walk to your destination (or get a cab). Otherwise, all you’re managing to do is to get soaking wet (disappointed), missing your destination (your life), and catching pneumonia (death from old age) for nothing but a hope (Armageddon/new system/dancing panda paradise).

      Anyway Ricardo and to all who post here, a free steak dinner and a carafe of wine, to anyone who would like to take bets that Armageddon will come with the 2000 anniversary of Christ’s death and resurrection in 2033 (Armageddon must come before Feb 12, 2034 my 82 birthday so I’ve added some more incentive to the odds). Personally, I’m betting that it will not come by then although I won’t be surprised if Watchtower and its inherent’s say ‘it will’ just not in print, (another year followed by the next year, next decade, next century, etc). 🙂

      However, if I’m still around and not kickin’ up the daisy’s maybe we can all go out and have dinner in the ‘system’ we’re in now. I’ll drink to that! 🙂

      • messenger says:

        The apostles (more than one) wrote they were presently in the last days. Evidently they believed the last days started from Christ’s death, or the outpouring of holy spirit. They also believed some large Christian apostasy would arrive on Earth’s scene after their (apostles) lives ended. That shows their claim of being in the last days did not mean they believed Christ’s return was eminent. It meant the opposite, that they expected to die before Christ returned. But they were still in the last days, according to their writing.

        Also, it’s not clear that apostles believed there would be a sign denoting Christ’s imminent return. The same conditions Paul wrote marking the last days (which he claimed to live in) to Timothy, he (Paul) wrote in the book of Romans as already existing when he wrote that letter to Roman Christians.

        There are several logical ways Mat 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 (the passages that people claim speak of a last days sign) can be interpreted. Plus in many parables Christ admonished his followers always to be ready expecting his return. Following that instruction, why would they need a sign? It seems a sign would defeat the purpose of his “returning as a thief in the night.” A thief doesn’t broadcast his actions his advance.

        The point I make is that there is no information I find in the Bible that clearly gives any indication when Christ will return. Christ said nobody but his father knows that. See Luke 21:8.

        • Big B says:

          @ messenger;

          Exactly so. “Christ said nobody but his father knows that. See Luke 21:8”.

          He also said at Matt. 24:
          “42 Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day on which your Lord will come.
          43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known in which watch of the night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.…”

          Just as you pointed out, a neighborhood thief does not announce his intended victim or schedule his ‘visit’ in advance thus the need for diligence and a keeping on the watch/guard.

          That being said, a cool head should prevail when world events head south thus jumping to conclusions. This ability to remain calm with so called development of ‘end time signs’, has definitely not been one of Watchtowers or Jehovah’s Witnesses best attributes. Thus the false, mistaken prophecies of the end. Just a lot of guessing not really holy spirit inspired.

          When my parents were first studying the thought in everyone’s mind was the nearness of the end. WW2 just finished with atomic annihilation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and reappearance of the ‘scarlet colored wild beast’ poising as the U.N. which would remain a ‘short time’ before being destroyed. Rev. 17:8-10

          Well that ‘short time’ is now in its 72 year of activity with the Charter of the United Nations signed on 26 June 1945, in San Francisco, at the conclusion of the United Nations Conference on International Organization, and came into force on 24 October 1945.

          So I say to all, take a deep breath, remain calm and just live your life as a Christian should. How? By following the teachings of the Christ; taking care of your responsibilities and ‘just keep on the watch’. Because really that’s all the power and control you have. Power of your own thoughts and actions or reactions.

  22. Mark.S says:

    And here I thought we were all talking about the ban.Silly me,must be in the wrong place.

  23. Ted says:

    Dee2, When you line up those acerbic insults made against
    you, it suggests that you had “Rattled the cage” of our usually
    unflappable, phlegmatic and respectful friend, Messenger.
    in a debate, discussion ( whatever). Personal insults are the
    weakest form of response to reasoned argument.

    On reflection Messenger maybe regrets his unkind words
    to you, and I’m sure you can find it in your heart to forgive
    him. After all he is on our side ( I think ) in exposing the
    falsity and many damaging aspects of the WT cult.

  24. Ricardo says:

    @dee2, outandabout and Ted,
    I think you guys have discussed this to its entirety. You remind of hyperactive kids kept inside on a rainy day. You have so much energy but nowhere to let it out except on this post.

    I think we all need to go and run around the block, expend those frustrations some way and wait for the next subject to appear. Let’s hope it’s a really good one so we can channel our frustrations for the betterment of this world.

    Either that or someone quickly change subject.

    • dee2 says:

      Ricardo,

      It would be good if you could also remind Messenger about the forum rules: respectful debate sans ad hominem attacks.

    • messenger says:

      Ricardo

      Maybe on some future post I’ll mention these two outstanding debate wins, and let them start all over again. With enough rhetoric it might be possible to wobble the world.

      messenger

      • dee2 says:

        No apology from Messenger about his ad hominem attacks just insistence that he has won debates……..not sure if Messenger regrets his unkind words.

        • Caroline says:

          dee2, I don’t remember even one scripture from messenger to prove even one of his points that he was trying to prove. He just keeps saying he has won all his debates.

          Me thinks messenger needs to get a Bible concordance (the Society no longer prints though). It might help him help find all those elusive scriptures that he thinks are in the Bible but he also needs to read the King James Bible alongside the New World Translation because the King James Bible is so different than the New World Translation.

          He will see a different god in the New World Translation than the King James Bible but I have a feeling that no matter what we tell him, he refuses to break into his Bible to see what it is trying to tell him by actually reading it for himself because he wants to believe what he wants to believe, no matter what.

    • Shibboleth says:

      I second that motion

    • outandabout says:

      Okay then Ricardo, I’ll change the subject.
      Messenger…what’s your take on Ricardo’s astute observation that Witnesses are taught to be good Witnesses, but lousy Christians?

      • messenger says:

        All JWs are expected to and do spread judgmental messages against all Christians, outside their group. Christ said Christians acceptable and unacceptable to him will worship together until he returns. He also commanded that his followers were not to judge other Christians. They are not to assume the position Christ has in judging them.

        Most Christian organizations judge some Christian groups this way. WT and individual JWs judge every group not theirs that way. In that sense JWs are taught to be bad Christians. Although not all JWs are equally complicit.

        Also, JW elders and gb members enforce a lot of unchristian rules on WT members.
        Christ advised Jews to do as they (Pharisees) say, but not as they do. So Christ said it was okay to observe rules imposed on members of their religion that were unbiblical, but it was not okay to enforce those rules on others. The Pharisees had a lot of control over the synagogues in Christ’s day. They had authority where Jews worshiped like elders do today at Kingdom Halls. Their power came from overseeing synagogues, and some of them were on the Sanhedrin, which was like a gb back then.

        • outandabout says:

          Ok, good on you messenger. You passed that test.
          Now… if you would please indulge me further, do you view the WT as a high control religious cult?

          • messenger says:

            I addressed that point in the last paragraph above. The WT organization paints the Pharisee group as inherently evil people. But what they were was a group of people like WT. However, the scriptures show Pharisee power for effecting Jews wasn’t as great as WT’s power for effecting JWs, because Pharisees worshipped along with other sects, where WT doesn’t. It oversees one sect (JW).

            Pharisees enforced their rules on others by voicing character judgments on fellow Jews, marginalizing them, and at times taking judicial action against them, like they did with Christ. WT is in a much stronger position to do all those things, because there are no members of other sects that WT needs to support its actions. Elders are all JWs. The GB members are all JWs. One sect.

            WT paints Pharisees as a high control group. But I’ve read or orally heard from others that don’t have that opinion of Pharisees. But I think, yes, WT is what it claims the Pharisees were.

            I’ve said that since the beginning, since first posting here. WT’s unbiblical rules alone make it that. Who gave WT authority to make those rules but WT. They ordained themselves rulers. WT as an organization sits as a king and god in Christ’s kingdom, inside the minds of JWs. For that reason JWs cannot leave WT. And its that reason even many that have left keep referring to what WT says. I’m sure you’ve noticed that from a lot of comments on this site. Many here strongly associate WT teaching with Bible teaching, while we never see them associating Catholic teaching that way, for instance. That demonstrates the power and control WT has.

            Personally I look at WT as being full of crap, whether in ignorance or willfully. I believe Christians exist inside their org, because being a Christian is not determined by following or not following all their rules. I’ve come to know there are Christians inside a lot of religions that claim Christianity.

  25. Bad Penny says:

    Back to the subject in hand …. I do think that banning JWs in Russia will just add to JWs persecution complex and make their resolve even firmer.
    However, I believe Mr. Putin has far greater troubles on his mind than a collection of misguided Bible bashers! I think this decision will be left on the sidelines for a while.

  26. Ted says:

    Ricardo, G,day to ya. It’s not only you Aussie guys who are
    laid back. I rarely get frustrated, in fact I’m so easy going
    the guys at work wanted me to take the bosses job,
    No worries mate.

    • outandabout says:

      Right with ya, Ted, in fact one time I got so laid back, I feel off my chair……or was that JJ Cale?

    • Ricardo says:

      @Ted,
      You guys are a laugh a minute. What next, you’ll be shouting me a stubby? Anyway, avagooweekend. Hope ya chooks don’t turn into emus and knock your dunny down.

  27. Ted says:

    Bad Penny, You could be right. On the other hand no
    politician likes to see their plans scuppered. Will the
    judiciary have the courage to go against a hard man
    like Putin. Trumps had some setbacks, but Russia ain’t
    America.

  28. Ted says:

    Banning publicises the thing banned, creates interest in it,
    gives it more importance than previously and often has the
    opposite effect than the intended one.– >

    CV has already mentioned prohibition introduced to improve
    Americas morals. But crime rocketed it was like a permanent
    birthday present to men like Al Capone. Things got so bad,
    that even temperance societies campaigned for the act to be
    repealed.

    There’s no need to draw parallels to a ban on JWs, Lloyd
    has already done that in the excellent video “The day after
    the Ban”. I’ll just leave it to you to figure out the Capone
    characters.

  29. 1914 ha ha ha says:

    john cedders youre a bellend, are you now on the wbts payroll, youre the only one standing up for this evil cult. Take away there charity statas then see how much they care about there freedom of speech ✌

    • Ricardo says:

      @1914,
      What a jolly chap you are!

      Have you bothered to read any of the discussions? It seems you have posted here simply to get a reaction, and have not made any points at all except to criticize John Cedars, and you didn’t even do that very well.

      Your effort makes you look foolish.

  30. 1914 ha ha ha says:

    Ever been raped by an elder in the kingdom toilets, only to be told by youre mum & elder dad that someone who was an elder would never do that. PS it wasnt my dad, but the baµ¶#$£d is stll giving talks. OH im jolly.

    • Ricardo says:

      @1914,
      Well, that’s a point. There is some progress there. Not much elaboration as to why you would support a ban, or if you have taken this to the police, though. No doubt a ban would give you some satisfaction, but in the long run it only strengthens the witnesses, don’t you think? Is not the current situation, where there is beginning to be more exposure of the witnesses, and where we see a lot of decent folk leaving the group in disgust, a better scenario?

    • Caroline says:

      1914, I was beaten in the head and stomach with my husband’s fist (6′ 1″ 100 pounds bigger than me) when I was 8 months pregnant by my elder husband and when I finally called another elder about what did every time he couldn’t find something or whatever other excuse he had for what he did the elder said “it’s because of being under so pressure from being an elder but his beating started as soon as we got married. He left me for dead when my kidneys stopped working for 3 days and I was so sick I could not get out of bed and we did not have a phone and he refused to take me to the hospital. He threatened to kill me more than once. He did the most horrific porn you can imagine on the internet over and over again and when I could finally prove what he was doing, he was publicly reproved at the age of 67.

      My life as a JW was horrific. I could write a very long book about my abuse if you wanted to be depressed by it. I stayed in my marriage because my husband’s good point far outweighed his bad points. He was generous and hard working. He went to work in a factory for 40 years and he hated having to drive the 50 miles every day but he did it. He was not a good dad to our 3 kids but he loved them so much. He had a terrible father and did the best he could do with the personality he had.

      He suffered through cancer, gout, heart disease and died last year. There were many times that I wanted him to die but now that he is gone (he suffered terribly the last year of his life), I’d give anything to have him back so I could tell him how much I appreciated all the good things he did.

      My point is that I am being shunned by my congregation right now because the elders gave a marking talk on me right after they came over and I unloaded on them every thing that I could think of about all the lies from Watchtower etc. so I know how much we all hate the Watchtower religion, but when I think of all the brothers and sisters that I have known over the last 50 years, I would have to say that about half of them are the sweetest, nicest people anybody could ever know and I don’t think any of those people would want to see me suffer in any way. I know that an awful lot of them are suffering because they think that if I don’t “return” to Jehovah, that I will be killed at Armageddon.

      I was brainwashed for 50 years to believe Armageddon was happening at any moment and that Jehovah was directing Watchtower and it took me many months of intense research into the real history of the Bible before I finally woke up and was not afraid of Armageddon any more.

      I don’t blame those Witnesses in Russia for what I have had to endure since I became a Witness. I blame Watchtower.

      It is hard for me to even sleep at night over how Lloyd Evans is being attacked from every corner simply because he was the first one out there to express his views about the bad things that could happen if Witnesses were banned again in Russia.

      It reminds me of how birds will attack another bird who is losing feathers. It is animalistic and cruel and then when he is attacked from every corner and he fights back, those people attack him for fighting back.

      This is no longer about Witnesses being banned in Russia because they will be banned anyway and being banned won’t stop them, just as it has never stopped them in the past.

      This is about attacking Lloyd Evans. I have always been for the underdog (the one being attacked from every corner) and that is my position now.

      Lloyd Evans had every right to express why he thought that with so many ex Witnesses spewing hateful youtube videos about how much they hate Witnesses in general for their shunning and for that reason they want Russian Witnesses to suffer.

      Lloyd Evans is right. All those hateful Youtube videos will only make all “worldly” people who see them to side on the side of the “underdogs” who they will see as those poor, wonderful, law-abiding Witnesses in Russia.

      People in the world and a lot of Witnesses even don’t see our organization as “extreme” because when they think of extreme, they think of ISIS, not JW’s. They will never understand what we have had to suffer through. The only ones who know what we have had to suffer through are those of us who are survivors.

      Videos from ex JW’s who are spewing hate towards Russian Witnesses are causing way more harm than any good they think they are accomplishing.

  31. Jr says:

    The ban is not to help JW’s wake up or get out but to protect the public at large. JW’ have all the information online to wake up and no one can open their eyes but themselves certainly not a ban. The ban will also hurt the organization financially and maybe they will change their policies because of the financial toll it would take. If the ban can prevent even one person from joining the cult and save their life because of blood transfusions or keeps a family from breaking up it is worth it.

    • Ricardo says:

      @Jr,
      Yes, it’s easy to see the two sides of the argument, and think which has the better effect. I would love to hear from someone who has been in a banned situation to ask what they think.

      When the witnesses were under ban previously in the USSR the ban was only effective in slowing the rate of progress, not in eradicating the group by any means. Once the ban was lifted the group grew in huge leaps and bounds. The ban tends to make the witnesses more determined and stronger in their conviction. It’s not going to stop new ones joining.

      • Jr says:

        The group only grew because they just started reporting their numbers again. A ban will be effective in stopping their growth and bring public awareness to what they are doing. It will stop witnesses from preaching due to fear of being exposed. A ban will save people’s lives, people who are not in now but who may contemplate joining. People are dying from their blood teaching, families are being ripped apart, even those families where the entire family doesn’t join the worldly family will be deprived of their JW members association. A ban will be effective maybe not to what you want to do in waking JW’s up but it will save lives and families. For those reasons it is worth it.

      • Jr says:

        The group only grew because they just started reporting their numbers again. A ban will be effective in stopping their growth and bring public awareness to what they are doing. It will stop witnesses from preaching due to fear of being exposed. A ban will save people’s lives, people who are not in now but who may contemplate joining.

  32. messenger says:

    To All JWs,

    Turn in all child molesters, rapists, and wife beaters to the police if you are a victim, or even if you know of an incident of abuse. Turn abusers in when the first incident occurs, and after every repeated incident.

    Do not wait for elders or anyone except civil law enforcement to address those types of crimes. If you were molested as a child report it to law enforcement now. Stop waiting around like powerless victims. Part of your power comes from civil authorities, read Romans. Use that means. God claims to have provided them for that purpose.

    Make yourself a mandatory reporter by holding yourself accountable to report violence. Do something about it. Report it.

    To a degree JW elders are a boys club. Don’t rely on them to help you with anything. Elders may give minor assistance in some things, like arranging temporary food deliveries if you get sick. But they are essentially almost powerless. There’s not much they can do to help you with anything. The appearance of power, is not power; its just a show. Don’t depend on them to get anything done. It won’t happen. Except for kicking people out of their church elders’ authority is an illusion. Never count on it. It doesn’t exist. They can kick people out, and they arrange affairs at the Hall, that’s about all the authority they have. Since they have no authority to do anything else, they claim, “Wait of Jehovah.” You don’t have to wait. Report crimes to police.

    • Tara. says:

      Well said Messenger. If you are here because you are or were a victim of WT abuse stopping it begins now. Walk into that Police station and stop another crime being committed and covered up.

    • Big B says:

      @ Messenger:

      Bravo! I agree with your summation 100%!

      Elders are not prepared, educated, or trained to do any investigations into any abuse of any kind. They are gutless, clueless wonders. Even if there was an elder sympathetic to a victim or heard of an abuse he would not report it to the authorities but he would call the ‘Service Department’ at H.Q. first. Unless he did not care about his elder-ship which all of them do.

      The elders, even consciousness ones, are stymied by the rules and regulations of the WBTS. Most of the circus monkeys do the bidding of their masters at H.Q. The C.O. is nothing more than a traveling company man sent out to ‘encourage’ (read: arm twisting) more field service time from the publishers, otherwise he will remove so called lackadaisical elders and appoint real ‘go-getters’ (read:more pliable elders) that will tow the company line.

      Can anyone tell me of any religious organization that requires its members to do the following:
      turn in time on a time sheet for no enumeration, shun family members, friends or others if they leave the church,
      decide what or what cannot be used in your own/family medical procedures,
      whether one can hold public office,
      whether one should vote,
      whether one should salute the flag or sing the national anthem,
      join the military or take optional service,
      have or use firearms on their job,
      what kind of employment you can have,
      decide how much education you can obtain,
      who you can marry,
      where you can get married,
      who is in your wedding party,
      and what kind of sex two consenting adults can have in the privacy of their own home?

      Yet, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society does all of these things and a whole lot more, mostly unscriptural or twisted interpretation at best. What’s truly incredible is Jehovah’s Witnesses (sheeple) allow this to happen! However, they will swear on a stack of Bibles that their religious interpretation is the correct one and they are not in a ‘cult’?! This Adventism gone rogue is the epitome of a cult.

      For example: Ask yourselves ‘sheeple’ do you tremble coming here for fear of someone ratting you out and reporting to the elders of your non- sanctioned visits to an apostate web site? If you are afraid it won’t be the apostates who will report you (rat you out) but your own ‘loving brothers and sisters’ who will gladly/willingly do so. Now, do you think you’re not in a cult? Its just like an Orwellian 1984 distopia, isn’t it? Lets sing another song about ‘big brother’ oh, I mean the ‘faithful and discreet slave’.

      Who else today fits the description of the Evil Slave class but Jehovah’s Witnesses and the septuagenarians that make up the ‘faithful and discreet slave. Nobody I can think of. (Scientology isn’t Biblical based so I don’t count those weirdo’s.)

      • outandabout says:

        You really earned your keep with that one, Big B. So next time a JW asks a skeptic “who else is doing blah blah blah”, we now have a ‘who else’ list of our own.

  33. Ted says:

    Off topic but a shame to let the moment pass. The WT has always
    focussed on one generation that would still be alive when this
    system ended. That was the generation who witnessed the events
    of 1914, some they said could be as young as 15 years old at the
    time. That would make such ones 117 at this point in time.

    BBC News report today 15th of April, the death of the worlds oldest
    person, Italian lady, Emma Morano, Aged 117 born 29th Nov, 1899.

    So I guess dear old Emma has well and truly stuffed that particular
    Piece of WT wisdom. RIP dear Lady.

  34. Eyes opened says:

    Thought I would share my understanding of salvation…we don’t earn it, it’s a gift according to the undeserved kindness of God. Works are a means of supporting our declared faith. Romans 6:23 says in part…the gift God gives is everlasting life by Christ Jesus our lord. Faith and works do matter since that gives evidence of the type of person we are but they don’t earn us salvation.

    Regards

    • outandabout says:

      Thanks, Eyes Opened. I thought I might temper that with the thoughts of a couple of others, if that’s ok.
      “Every Man is guilty of the good he did not do” – Voltaire.
      or..
      “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same god who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” – Galileo – the guy the church locked up to stop them from being exposed before they had time to rearrange the truth, but they forgot to cut down that tree which could be seen from all corners of the Earth and which can still be read as truth today.

    • messenger says:

      eyes wide open

      You provided a good summation of a simple concept. Real faith naturally leads to works. If I trust I will get paid next month, though I haven’t received the money, I’ll work today in expectation of it. Whether our works are for a prize, a valued relationship, or a principle, the concept is the same. Faith in a relationship or principle also produces certain works. Good summation eyes wide open.

    • messenger says:

      @ Eyes opened

      Sorry for spelling your name incorrectly. If any written document makes multiple claims relating to the same issue, then all claims pertaining to it are true. All those claims do not have to be stated in every part of the document, for each of those to be valid. Thus the scriptures can talk about faith in Christ and works as being part of a Christian’s life leading to an approved standing with God. Faith or belief is what causes works. It is proof we are on God’s side when that belief is in Christ. Yet salvation is a gift, God’s grace, because our beliefs which influence works including lifestyle, love, and other reactions still cannot earn us everlasting life.

      As an analogy, what did we do to earn this life? Nothing. So why should anyone assume they could earn a life extension (everlastingly)? God gives life where and when he chooses to, and for his reasons who he chooses to. It’s called grace, especially when given to sinners, because then it is considered undeserved in a special way (because sin leads to death-per the Bible scriptures).

      A simple diagram used in education shows the same concept:

      Thoughts (beliefs) lead to attitudes (feelings) lead to actions (works).

    • Big B says:

      Eyes opened;

      Well said, “it’s a gift according to the undeserved kindness of God. Works are a means of supporting our declared faith”.

      Unfortunately, what the Watchtower has done and continues to do, with a lot of chutzpah, is stand between their adherents and the free gift that is the “undeserved kindness of God” and defined that the “works to be supporting faith” is working for them (Watchtower) pro bono by going from door to door.

      Not working in a clothing drive, offering counsel for drug/alcohol addition, marriage counseling or slinging hash at a relief kitchen. Nope, none of that nonsense; “people will think we’re a bunch of charity workers”.

      Again, many thanks to J.F. Rutherford for his wise, spirit inspired (Jim Beam) understanding of the Scriptures. “Advertise, advertise, advertise the King and His Kingdom”; an activity he had absolutely no part in doing, although he had no problem sending others out into the field.

  35. Eyes opened says:

    This article is well written. I agree a ban would probably make things worse. Its not hard to see why the JW’s would be viewed as extremists. To a political leader being told his government and all others will be destroyed, that would be viewed as extremist. To let a child die for want of a blood transfusion to most would be extremist. To shun beloved family and friends over differing views on religion is considered extremist. Most families have members of varying religions and they manage to maintain close family relations, oh but wait they’re “worldly”. Is there any doubt why the child abuse policies and procedures are considered extremist? It’s no wonder the Russian government or any government for that matter would have the view that this is a religion with not only extreme but harmful views, policies and procedures. Is it really any wonder those in authority are taking a long hard look at this religion?

    Regards

  36. Hardy says:

    Baptists and Mormons are also being targeted in Russia. They are fighting for everyone’s right of freedom of religion. JWs aren’t the only ones being targeted. Banning the religion is wrong, it’s a cracked religion but two wrongs don’t make a right. I feel there’s four different issues here. Freedom of religion, shunning, blood transfusions and child molestation. In free countries everyone has freedom of religion. We need to Live with that. Blood transfusions and child molestation need to be taken care of legally by professionals who want to be involved. Shunning is harder to deal with because it gets complicated. Not everyone shuns the same way. Some are worse about it than others. Freedom of religion is a need and it always has been. Did you know fifty years after emperor Constantine died a group of people would meet in a wooded area to worship the goddess Diana. A priestess and a priest would take a giant cauldron of Chicken soup for the people to enjoy and they would dance, get drunk and have an orgie. The church priests hung them for being witches and warlocks. The fight for the freedom of religion is still going on.

  37. Mark.S says:

    After watching Lloyd Evans latest video with the jw team and especially listening to Steven Hassan,I must admit I have gone from pro ban to sitting on the fence and I think this is where I will be staying.I think a lot of people are swayed because it’s Russian rule on the table and with there usual forceful dictatorship.
    Anyway I see the good valid points from both sides,who knows 100% what would happen if it was a a full United worldwide ban.
    Also I don’t understand why Lloyd has went into a debate like human rights so deep.The whole point of his activism was to help mainly ex jws and ones who are affected by the cult.I think he’s been sucked in by the aggressive activists( nutters) and found that he had to stand his ground.I have great respect for Lloyd,the amount of work he has done with his team has been incredible but because of the topic going so far into the human rights mode,I feel all the good work has been stuck.I hope Lloyd puts the topic to an end soon,most people are set in their views about it.I think things will be what they will be.Please move on Lloyd to what you were doing before.

  38. Chris I says:

    Just want to thank JW Survey for taking this rational stance on the Russia ban. Glad that this site continues to be a welcoming place for questioning JW’s. Great advice from Lloyd’s video to transcend bitterness and resentment and build bridges others can use to escape.

    Keep up the good work!

  39. Winston Smith says:

    I am currently reading Fade from the Truth by Alan Miller. I thought this statement he makes was fitting considering the JW claim to be fighting for human rights in Russia:

    “I was so impressed that WatchTower had fought so hard for our right to free speech that I forgot how they sneakily took away our freedom of thought.”

    WS

    • Eyes opened says:

      WS, that certainly sums it up.

      Regards

      • Big B says:

        @ Winston Smith and Eyes opened;

        How ironic, those that want freedom for themselves deny it to others.

        Which is why you don’t find the ‘Questions from Readers’ in the Watchtower anymore. You certainly can’t find any place to post comments or questions on JW.org either, I bet.

        A lot of J.W.’s post here because at least they can be given a hearing and we can help those wanting that help which is more than they will get from their ‘organization’.

        Truly, a sad, sorry state of affairs. Sleep on ‘Sheeple’; sleep on.

  40. OntarioNB says:

    This has been such an interesting column,with so much useful information posted ,for me.Now,I’m waiting for a chance to use it.Thank you so much everyone.