The worldview of Jehovah's Witnesses revolves around Armageddon
The worldview of Jehovah’s Witnesses revolves around Armageddon

When I was a Jehovah’s Witness, I didn’t like to talk about Armageddon.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved to talk about the paradise. Who wouldn’t? I’d cheerfully tell anyone who asked, be they householder, interested person at the meetings, or curious workmate, about the awesome future that awaited. I’d talk about a world free from war, free from crime, full of incredible adventures that a peaceful, united human race would enjoy forever.

But when people asked how God would achieve this, I found myself getting a little vague and fuzzy about the details.

I mean, how do you say: “Well, first God needs to kill you and everyone you love, unless of course you fancy converting?” without making yourself look like a bit of a extremist loon?

I remember sitting in District Conventions, when the speaker would be holding forth with sound and fury on the subject of how God’s wrath would soon consume all those who failed to serve him. I would glance guiltily across at any “worldly” people who happened to be in the stadium, like the security guys, or the people working the concession stands. I’d feel like walking over to them and saying; “Don’t worry, he’s not talking about you, or your family or friends,” but I couldn’t, because he was.

I knew very well that unless they became Jehovah’s Witnesses, they were dead men and women walking.

Armageddon: An act of justice?

Let’s take a second to actually analyse the Watchtower’s teachings on Armageddon. It is presented by Watchtower as the war that Jehovah God will soon use to remove all of the Earth’s governments, and most of the Earth’s population, and install his own brand of rulership on the planet. He will fight it with his spiritual armies of angels, with his son Jesus leading the charge. He will have no need of human help, so Jehovah’s Witnesses will not be involved in any actual combat. Their role will simply be to stand and watch.

Who will survive? Well it depends who you ask. Or more correctly, it depends on who you are when you ask.

If you are a member of the public asking this question, you’ll probably get the answer: “That’s for God to decide. Only Jehovah can read a person’s heart. We don’t know who will survive and who won’t.” Take for example the FAQ on this subject from Watchtower’s official website JW. org. (Bold is mine.)

Many millions who lived in centuries past and who weren’t Jehovah’s Witnesses will have an opportunity for salvation. The Bible explains that in God’s promised new world, “there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Acts 24:15) Additionally, many now living may yet begin to serve God, and they too will gain salvation. In any case, it’s not our job to judge who will or won’t be saved. That assignment rests squarely in Jesus’ hands.

Well, that sounds okay on the surface. Maybe I can just live a good life, treat my neighbour well, and Jesus will read my heart, see that I’m basically a loving, kind man and I’ll be spared?

No. Because this isn’t the answer Watchtower gives behind the scenes to an indoctrinated Jehovah’s Witness. Here are some examples of what Watchtower has said about Armageddon in other publications, with even more examples available at jwfacts.com (Bold has been added)

Only Jehovah’s Witnesses, those of the anointed remnant and the “great crowd,” as a united organization under the protection of the Supreme Organizer, have any Scriptural hope of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil.” Watchtower 1989 Sep 1 p.19

“During the final period of the ancient world that perished in the Flood, Noah was a faithful preacher of righteousness. (2 Peter 2:5) In these last days of the present system of things, Jehovah’s people are making known Gods righteous standards and are declaring good news about the possibility of surviving into the new world. (2 Peter 3:9-13) Just as Noah and his God-fearing family were preserved in the ark, survival of individuals today depends on their faith and their loyal association with the earthly part of Jehovah’s universal organization.”  Watchtower 2006 May 15 p.22 “Are You Prepared for Survival?”

“Similarly, Jehovah is using only one organization today to accomplish his will. To receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise we must identify that organization and serve God as part of it.” Watchtower 1983 Feb 15 p.12

So it’s pretty definitive. While Watchtower tries to spin the doctrine to the general public that “all sorts of people might in theory survive Armageddon” the actual message in-house is that unless you are a practicing Jehovah’s Witness, you are toast.

Contemplate that for a while. Watchtower’s doctrine is that everyone who is not a Jehovah’s Witness will be killed, no matter how loving, how kind, how selfless they are in other areas of their life. They could have spent their life in Medicine Sans Frontiers, selflessly dedicating themselves to providing medical care to fellow human beings in some of the worst places on Earth, whereas a Jehovah’s Witness may have simply worked as an IT engineer in a comfortable office, and never really helped anyone much.

But come Armageddon, it would be the Jehovah’s Witness who would survive, and the selfless medic who would die screaming.

To summarise, the non-Witness population of the planet would undergo a systematic slaughter of every single man woman and child. There is a name for the systematic killing of a civilian population solely for the purpose of extermination.

Genocide.

The ethics of genocide

You don’t have to use your imagination to see what Armageddon would look like. Human history is replete with examples of genocide. To glimpse the future that a “loving” God will being, look to the concentration camps of World War II. Look to the mass graves and “ethnic cleansing” in the Balkans, or the hacking to death of vast scores of Tutsi and moderate Hutu by the Hutu majority in Rwanda.

Or look on the news reports right now at the work of ISIS in the Middle East, who are currently engaged in the wholesale slaughter of the Yazidi people.

Now, it goes without saying that 99% of Jehovah’s Witness are no doubt just as horrified as everyone else when they see the awful genocide that the so-called Islamic State are currently committing against the Yazidi population. The wholesale slaughter of men women and children, often in gruesome and sadistic ways, is an appalling crime that has brought universal condemnation from the international community and revulsion from anyone with even a halfway decent moral code.

Yet these men, women and children being slaughtered at the hands of ISIS, are the very same men, women and children who would be slaughtered at the hands of Jehovah if he brought Armageddon today, a slaughter the Jehovah’s Witnesses would be obligated to support and celebrate as a righteous act.

And it’s not like the slaughter would be any more humane; Watchtower does not teach that Jehovah will painlessly disintegrate his victims or cause them to simply fall asleep in quick, merciful death as would arguably be within his power to enact. No, Watchtower portrays this event as a violent holocaust, with people being crushed, burned and mutilated in a manner of which the sadists of ISIS would surely approve.

To prove this point, let’s take a look at some Watchower artwork depicting the event.

armageddon-1982-enjoy-life-p28

Ageddon Feature Image

WatchtowerArmageddon2003learnfromgreatteacher_p243

Watchtower Armageddon 1988revelation

WatchtowerArmageddon1997WT0901

This is just a small sample of art produced by Watchtower to demonstrate what they believe Armageddon will look like. A whirlwind of terror and grisly violent death unleashed against a powerless and unsuspecting civilian population.

If you’re still in any doubt, listen to Governing Body Member Tony Morris, one of Watchtower’s seven leading men, hold forth on how those God kills will burn and split open like hotdogs.

Even worse, according to Watchtower theology, those who die before Armageddon will almost certainly be resurrected into God’s New World in order to have a second chance, whereas those who die at his hands at Armageddon are eternally destroyed. Remember that Watchtower FAQ quoted earlier in the article?

Many millions who lived in centuries past and who weren’t Jehovah’s Witnesses will have an opportunity for salvation. The Bible explains that in God’s promised new world, “there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.

Why do I say “even worse?” Because this teaching creates an horrific moral loophole. If Witnesses take their theology to its logical conclusion, they should be celebrating the deaths of “worldly” people at the hands of killers like ISIS, for those “worldly” people at least have a chance of resurrection in the new world, whereas if they escape the ISIS sadists but then die at Armageddon, they are doomed forever. 

Again, to stress, 99% of Witnesses would be horrified if one of their number suggested this.

An elder who gave a talk from a Kingdom Hall platform stating that Christians should rejoice in the death of worldly people, and that groups like ISIS were doing the people they killed a favour by sending them en-mass to Paradise via the loophole of pre-armageddon death, would appall his audience, probably have his microphone muted, be hauled off the platform and into a back-room, be given a savage dressing down by the rest of the elders, and would probably not allowed to give another talk for a very long time.

Yet this theoretical Elder’s logic, whilst horrifying and unacceptable to most Witnesses, is a correct reading of the logical end consequence of Watchtower doctrine.

Genocide is always genocide

The more I came to realise what the Armageddon doctrine actually entailed, the more I came to fear there might be something horribly wrong with the Organisation I was supporting and the doctrine it promoted. Were such a violent act to be committed by a human organisation or movement, I would be revolted, and condemn it for the vile act of barbarism it was.

So how did it suddenly become acceptable if the very same people were slaughtered by a deity who claimed to be the very essence of love? Billions of defenceless men, women and children, all killed horribly because they were not convinced that a slightly obscure and insignificant religion that occasionally knocked on their door, or stood silently next to carts full of wafer-thin magazines, was actually the One True Faith?

Like many before me, I increasingly found my conscience could not support the teachings Watchtower promoted.

Like many before me, I came to properly research my beliefs, and thus realised that the teachings Watchtower promoted were often not even in harmony with the Bible.

And in time, like many before me, I left the Watchtower religion. In a way, Armageddon set me free.

Just not quite in the way Watchtower had intended.

 

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549 thoughts on “The Friday Column: Watchtower, genocide, and armageddon

  • January 26, 2016 at 12:54 pm
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    Hi W,S.
    The example you cite shows the twisted reasoning
    that often appears in the Bible. Thanks for your
    reply.

  • January 26, 2016 at 1:01 pm
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    I would not want to live forever with those people. I see no love and compassion, there fore, I want to be slaughtered with the masses.

    • January 26, 2016 at 1:44 pm
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      “They say there’s a Heaven for those who will wait. Some say it’s better, I say it ain’t. I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints. The sinners are much more fun…” – Bill Joel, ‘Only the Good Die Young’

      • January 27, 2016 at 10:45 am
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        Great tune A4. I especially like this part:
        “Well, they showed you a statue, told you to pray
        They built you a temple and locked you away
        Aw, but they never told you the price that you pay
        For things that you might have done
        Only the good die young”

        I think that describes a number of us born into the JW religion. Oh the squandered years of youth.

        WS

        • January 28, 2016 at 2:22 pm
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          I’ve always thought that song summed it all up pretty well!

      • July 22, 2016 at 7:26 am
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        I used to say….”I’d rather burn out than rust out.”…… I lived by that when I was 16-18 and no longer forced to attend meetings …Now that I’m a bucket of rust……..maybe I made the wrong choice for me. I agree with most of you here….The GB seems to have derailed the whole thing from what it was 60 years ago….United Nations, Jackson admitting under Sworn Oath to the ARC that the GB was NOT God’s Chosen Channel, stock Market investments in the World’s War Machines, renewed association with the United Nations again….Mr. Lett begging, guilting & beating up on the elderly asking them to sign over insurance policies and their homes….. and then along comes the Overlapping Generation Theory….. Who’s to say which way to go from there…… I’ve faded and feel a deep sense of loss. No other Religions seem to offer anything at all. I’m left believing/hoping that any religion where Men Rule….that’s not the place God is? I have to think that God is something completely different & much simpler than what I’ve been taught my whole life. Serving God shouldn’t be so hard and should never fill the members with guilt! Thanks All!

  • January 26, 2016 at 1:58 pm
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    I’m so grateful there were people like Jesus, Muhammad, & Moses. I mean, how else would we know to love each other, be decent, & get along, not to steal, murder, bear false witness, & respect our parents. I mean, before Jesus came along, wasn’t everyone getting up in the morning, going over to their neighbor’s house, stabbing him in the face, raping his wife, beating his children, kicking his dog, and stealing all his food? Before Moses came down from the mountain with the 10 Suggestions, wasn’t EVERYONE looting & pillaging, murdering, bearing false witness every chance they got, & totally disrespecting their parents?? & before Muhammad said anything about living in peace, we all know the World was in a constant, unrelenting state of universal warfare. LOL
    Do we really need some “great” prophet to “enlighten” us about basic, common sense, Dr. Seuss stuff that MOST people have practiced MOST of the time, since the beginning of CIVILIZATION???

    • January 26, 2016 at 5:56 pm
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      A4
      Along those lines check out this comedic yet pointed look at the 10 commandments: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CE8ooMBIyC8

      PS there is cursing in this video and some opinions the devout might consider sacrilege. View at your own risk.

      WS

      • January 26, 2016 at 7:46 pm
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        Hilarious! George Carlin rocks. Brilliant stuff – I always wondered how it was there were exactly 10. lol & I love the 1 he added: “Thy shall keep thine religion to thyself.”

        • January 26, 2016 at 7:53 pm
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          …Reminds me of comedian Dave Allen’s farewell words at the end of each show: “Good night, and may your god go with you.”

          • January 26, 2016 at 8:16 pm
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            Dave Allen – Religious Jokes

          • January 27, 2016 at 11:04 am
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            Awesome stuff. I have not seen Dave Allen since I was about 10 years old. Used to catch his show on PBS on Sunday nights.

            I recall him talking about how so many people loose their teeth in old age. Thus when they get to hell there is a weeping, wailing, and rubbing of gums.

            WS

  • January 26, 2016 at 2:28 pm
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    I’m thinking back to all the BS that was crammed down my throat by the Watchtower Brainwashing & Trickery Society, & starting to REALLY resent it. I mean, I don’t care if Jesus walked on water. Why do I need that information? Or that he was born in a manger? Who cares? What if there was a global deluge? I’ve been to the zoo. I watch National Geographic. I know the animals are still around. Why should I care how they survived? & I don’t give a flying rat’s a** about Moses, Abraham, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, or, yes, even Mephibosheth (that nutty guy). & why did they indoctrinate me on all the rituals & practices of some Bronze-age tribe of goat-herders??? Festival of Booths, Day of Atonement, Jubilee Year – WTF?????? WHO CARES??? What good is ANY of that to me? I’m actually trying to FORGET all of that useless BS – it’s just taking up space in my brain. What do I care if some dude got swallowed by a whale? If I want a whale story, I’ll read Moby Dick. I remember 1 study about the Israelite high priest wearing special (purple?) fringes on his cloak. SERIOUSLY??? I need to know this??? Am I supposed to care that for a couple days, Egypt was covered in frogs? BTW, who cleaned them up after they died? And so what if “the kingdom of the heavens is like a field ready for harvest”? Man Alive!!! I could go on & on & on, as u all well know. No offence to anyone, but this stuff is only fit for children’s stories, IF even. If my brain had a Delete button, I would wipe it all out right now. Vive la Resistance! Long live the 5th Column!

    • January 27, 2016 at 6:40 pm
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      Yep all that Hebrew scripture stuff that was hung on the cro…I mean steak…I mean stake!

      The point is Jesus was able to raise the dead. The mosaic law and everything that went along with it supposedly died with him. Yet Jesus seems intent on “inspiring” , oh excuse me, “directing” his brethren to keep resurrecting it in watchtower publications. You would think the JWs are more israelite than Christian.

      • January 27, 2016 at 8:23 pm
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        LOL
        Exactly! That’s what I think.
        — They keep resurrecting that @#$%^&* over & over & over. Just DIE already!!!

      • January 28, 2016 at 1:50 am
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        One of the things that never made sense to me is the jw concept of the raising of the dead…I couldnt get beyond the fact that it would basically be a clone of the person who has died…I looked at it every which way and upside down…but the fact is a clone of the person who has passed is what you are being offered…thus came my realisation that this is no rehearsal..this life is it… shame it took me so long to wake up.

        • January 28, 2016 at 11:24 am
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          Yes. In order for it to be anything other than cloning would require humans to have a soul (essence) that can be transferred into a new body. And we know the JWs are dead set against the teaching of humans having a soul.

          WS

  • January 26, 2016 at 3:01 pm
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    You may recall in the Old Testament God was not averse to wiping out men, women and children without mercy. If he deems it appropriate history shows that he will do it. Clearly there are times when God sees wholesale destruction as appropriate. Who are we to argue with God and say that he is not justified?

  • January 26, 2016 at 3:13 pm
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    According to the Old Testament God has destroyed people enmasse before, the flood, the Canaanites etc, who’s to say he won’t do it again? You, me?

    • January 26, 2016 at 5:51 pm
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      – Edit. Attacking the commenters on JW Survey, and not their argumentation, is a breech of guidelines. Post deleted.

      • January 27, 2016 at 12:49 am
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        – Deleted. Again, attacking the commenters and not their arguments breaks the guidelines. I’ve been very flexible in this thread but there are limits.

        • January 27, 2016 at 4:24 pm
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          There’s nothing wrong with that rule, in my opinion. I appreciate ur sense of humor, fortunately everyone here seems to have a pretty thick skin (gee, I wonder how that came about LOL). But don’t u think it’s a little rude to mock ur hosts?

    • January 26, 2016 at 8:38 pm
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      @ Scag
      RE “Who’s to say He won’t do it again?”
      — Who’s to say He WILL???

      • January 26, 2016 at 11:14 pm
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        My point is if God has demonstrated in the past that he is ready and willing to use enmasse destruction then only a fool would discount its use in the future. It is not only in the realms of possibility, but the bible teaches a coming great tribulation such as has never been seen before. Going off past history, God is not averse to using such methods. Anyone that professes a belief in the bible can’t discount the very clear language that refers to a future great tribulation that will involve the loss of many lives. If one says a God of love would never do this then one in effect is saying he or she understands things and sees things more clearly and impartially than God. What a conceited position!

        • January 27, 2016 at 3:14 am
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          @scag
          So essentially, you feel that the position as described in the article is correct? God is about to carry out an act that, should a human carry out it would be considered a terrible atrocity, and that’s perfectly okay?

          • January 27, 2016 at 3:45 am
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            Covert Fade,

            You may have missed my meaning. If one accepts that God is Almighty, all knowing, omnipotent, etc then he has the right to destroy whomever he wishes. And we may never fathom his reasons for doing so, since our thinking is very limited and moral compass generally defective. His ways are higher than our ways his thoughts higher than ours. We are not his intellectual equals. We can not see the whole picture nor do we fully understand his end game. How then can we state that anything he does is wrong? It is impossible for God to do the wrong thing. So the only conclusion can be that we simply can’t understand or refuse to understand his purpose. Our view is therefore, very limited, defective. He sees the whole picture and all the possible scenarios, this is beyond anyone of us. It’s a bit like comparing apples with pears. There is no comparison we cannot fully understand the mind of God. But we can be sure he doesn’t make mistakes or that he is unjustified to destroy those whom he deems necessary. Anything he does is for the best possible reason.

          • January 27, 2016 at 1:06 pm
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            A couple thoughts on this:
            First of all, according to scripture, we are created in God’s image. Most understand this to mean that we have the same capacities as God does for love, compassion, mercy, and a sense of justice. To indicate that man simply cannot comprehend the justice or lack thereof in some act seems to deny this fact. After all we are not like cattle who can be raised one day and then slaughtered and eaten on the next, indiscriminately. Rather, the scriptures teach us that human life is sacred and to be preserved.

            Secondly, it seems that God gets blamed (or is it more correct to say takes credit?) for more killing than he actually does. He is given direct credit for the flood, Soddom and Gomorah, the first born of Egypt, etc. But he is also credited for the destruction of Judah (both in 607/587 BCE and 70 CE) whereas the actual destruction occurs at the hands of foreign armies.

            Thirdly, have you ever noticed that God took less direct action as time went on. Most of the direct acts of execution happened very early in biblical history. After about 1000 BCE, more often than not God used others to execute his judgement. Even the JWs teach that the destruction of Babylon The Great (religion) will occur at the hands of the Wold Beast (the UN).

            WS

        • January 27, 2016 at 3:33 am
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          if so, why on earth should I feel drawn to a God like that? for fear? then I prefer to die

          • January 27, 2016 at 3:57 am
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            Don’t get me wrong. God is very merciful and very loving. But that is a separate issue. What I’m arguing here is that he is not averse to destroying any and all who don’t fall in line with his requirements. He’s done it before and he says he will do it again. Regardless whether one accepts the JW belief on this point or not the scriptures are clear. There is a day of reckoning awaiting all. Since the vast majority of mankind couldn’t care less about God, logically those that receive an adverse judgement are going to be very numerous. This is all inspite of whether one accepts the JW belief or not. To be fair most Christian regions believe that their particular interpretation of the scriptures is correct and everybody else is wrong. In this regard no religion is different to JWs.

  • January 26, 2016 at 7:30 pm
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    I try to respect people’s religious beliefs, but the more I think about it, the harder it gets. As for Satan worship, I would say the real Satanists are the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who ‘sacrifice’ their own children to “Yahweh” & their Organization.

    • January 27, 2016 at 1:11 pm
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      Does Satanism really exist in a pure sense? Most of the so-called satanic cults of the 70’s and 80’s were found to be nothing more than hype. People today who worship nature are loosely called satanists or witches or wican. Satanism seems to be nothing more than a label used by menbers of one religious sect to defame another.

      WS

      • January 27, 2016 at 4:07 pm
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        I would say most “Satanists” are merely ‘posers’, like those people who claim to be vampires or whatever. But I’m sure some exist. I heard 1 story about a satanic cult that targeted some guy. They killed his cat, & threatened to kill him. So he waited in his house every night with a shotgun. They finally came creeping through his back yard toward the door 1 nite. He blew them all away, was charged, & got off on Temporary Insanity. Happy Ending.

  • January 26, 2016 at 10:24 pm
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    The Bible is one of the most offensive books ever written. It is racist. It is sexist. It is replete with tales of violence, bloodshed, and genocide. If I wrote a book like that today, they would lock me up and throw away the key. Writing a book like that today would be considered a Hate Crime.

    • January 26, 2016 at 11:22 pm
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      This statement is born of pure and simple ignorance.

      And by the way you have it the wrong way around. In this twisted world we live, in a book about, sex, genicide, adultery, etc would probably be a best seller.

      • January 27, 2016 at 1:20 pm
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        @Scag
        It sounds like what I am hearing is “anyone who disagrees with me is ignorant.” A4 is entitled to his opinion of the scriptures even if you don’t agree.

        But I do agree that a book about sex, genocide, adultery, etc. would be a best seller. In fact I think this is reflected in the fact that there have been a number of motion pictures made about the bible.

        WS

        • January 27, 2016 at 4:32 pm
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          LOL Nice punch line.

      • January 27, 2016 at 4:51 pm
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        @ Scag

        Funny, I never mentioned sex or adultery, but thanx for rounding out my synopsis of the Bible for me.
        PS Not mocking u, just having a little fun. Frankly, as long as u’re not a JW Troll, I don’t begrudge u ur beliefs. & I agree, if God exists, He can destroy whomever He wants, for His own reasons. IF He’s done it B4, sure He can do it again. But neither u nor I can make any guarantee 1 way or the other. Don’t u agree that THAT would be a “conceited position” to take? I think some of the hostility u may be feeling from others comes from years & years of folks having these teachings crammed down their throats. We’re certainly not a bunch of pagan satanists or anything. lol If u r indeed a recovering or recovered JW, u surely understand. Some of the comments supporting the Armageddon doctrine r reminiscent of JW Doctrine, & speaking 4 myself, that just sets me off sometimes.

        • January 27, 2016 at 7:00 pm
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          Agreed, some of the comments made are fit for a watchtower article “certainly we would want to be found as busy as possible in harmony with Jehovahs organization before his great day”.
          You can’t be angry at people for having a cult flash back.

  • January 27, 2016 at 1:42 am
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    Judging by most of these comments about Armageddon and Watchtower’s bad influence regarding the Bible, I realise that their influence has darkened many hearts. They painted a picture of a cruel and heartless god by their insistence that everyone has to be a Jehovah’s Witness in order to be spared. It has had certain success in making Jehovah’s Witnesses to either feel superior or to hate God as the supreme executioner.

    I believe that this thinking is straight from Watchtower brainwashing. How could God possibly be like this when at John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Watchtower got Him wrong. God made us. This world is crap right now as it has been taken over. That’s pretty obvious. Why wouldn’t there be a plan to fix it? I guess you have to believe that the Creator knows what He is doing. If He says He’s going to fix it by means of what he wrote in The Revelation, then I believe Him. He’ll do it whether we like it or not through means of Jesus.

  • January 27, 2016 at 3:24 am
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    Moderators note –
    If you disagree with someone’s comments, address the points they make. Do not attack them as a person.

    This goes for all sides.

    • January 27, 2016 at 10:45 am
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      My categorical analysis of the spirit and environment here was not a personal attack. It was a statement of fact, and true. The atheists / deists here are never censored or accused of evangelizing. When they promote their ideas, the moderators look the other way. The moderators here are not impartial.

      Deleting my post proves my point and confirms my warning: Christians stay away from this place. It’s a cabal of atheism disguised as a JW support group. It’s a talking snake that will deceive you.

      • January 27, 2016 at 11:15 am
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        Simon, Atheists don’t evangelize. The only ones who evangelize are the ones who are the believers and can’t understand why atheists don’t believe.

        Atheists don’t have any opinion on whether or not God exists or not. They just don’t believe. That is all there is to it. If you can give unbelievers some concrete evidence in the existence of a God (whatever God it could be), then we’d believe. Nobody would be stupid enough to not believe something if it could be proved as a fact and nobody should be angry if a person is not convinced without any evidence. You should not resort to insults and false accusations against non-believers just because they don’t believe the same as you do.

        It is not a sin not to believe in something without any evidence but that is the way most people who belong to a religion are taught to believe.

        There are thousands of other religions, so don’t assume that without studying all of them that you just naturally fell into the “right” one because all those other religions are just as narrow minded as you are and unless you actually study each and every one of them, you don’t know for sure if they have the truth or not or if you do. Any religion that tells you that you are not allowed to study the other religions is a cult. That should be a red flag to anyone who actually wants to know the truth.

        If God really did exist and he was going to destroy all the people in the world who did not follow him, don’t you think that he’d have made his wishes known to all the world some how? If he would destroy all those who didn’t believe in Him without giving some kind of concrete evidence of his existence, then I have no respect for that kind of God.

        If I had a child and gave him over to somebody else to raise him and never talked to that child, how could I expect that child to “obey” me? As Witnesses, we were always told that the Bible was God’s instruction book to mankind but we were never given the reasons to prove that God “wrote” the Bible. We were just told that and we believed it.

        I think it is hilarious that in the March 2016 study edition of the Watchtower on page 9 it says: “learning to use your “power of reason” early in life will prepare you to give reasonable answers to your peers when they raise such questions as: ‘How do you know for sure that there is a God? Why does a loving God permit evil? How can it be that God has always existed?’ When you are prepared, such questions will not weaken your faith but will spur you on to do additional personal study.”

        I think those questions are hilarious because there is not a person in the world who can prove that God has always existed and there is not a person in the world who can know for sure there is a God, let alone a child who has never been given the answers to those questions. Can you answer those questions? If so, you are a lot smarter than anybody that I know.

        The Society likes to ask questions like that to kids but can any of the adults answer those questions without using the Bible (circular reasoning)? Just because a book says that God made everything, doesn’t make it so and just believing it doesn’t make it so.

        • January 27, 2016 at 11:44 am
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          Atheists do evangelize: they preach the antithesis of God.

          In court you can be convicted of murder on the testimony of witnesses. No forensic evidence required. No dead body required. If people saw you do it, and testify, the jury WILL find you guilty.

          Their testimony IS evidence. Look up the definition of the word.

          People saw Moses part the Red Sea. But you don’t accept THAT evidence, because you don’t like it. Tough. That’s your problem.

          You and all other atheists will be destroyed by death, whether by old age or Armageddon. YOU CANNOT SOLVE THAT PROBLEM.

          Only God can. But you reject him. So die. Not my problem.

          • January 27, 2016 at 12:02 pm
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            What hope do the Muslim, Hindu, Shinto, Taoist, and many more other type of non-Christian believers have? They number into the billions. They are worshipping their particular deity as best they can, have they just lost the geographical lottery by being born in a non-Christian country?

          • January 27, 2016 at 12:18 pm
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            Simon, believers make the claim that there is a God and everyone owes their lives to Him but unbelievers don’t make any claims. They just say they don’t believe without any proof. Do you have proof? Why get so emotional that people don’t share your beliefs?

            Just because a book such as the Bible said stuff happened like the parting of the Red Sea, that is some extraordinary feat so there should be some extraordinary evidence of such a thing actually happening. Is there any evidence anywhere other than the Bible, that such a thing happened?

            If you accept the account about Moses parting of the Red Sea, then you should have an answer to the rest of the Law that God supposedly gave to the Israelites in the Wilderness.

            There are a lot of really disturbing things mentioned in the Law but most people only think of the ten commandments but there’s over six hundred laws in the Law and most people aren’t aware of all that other stuff that God supposedly told Moses to write down, like for instance that fathers could sell their girls into slavery for the rest of their lives.

            Also if a man owned a slave and the owner of the slave provided his slave with a wife, then the children and the wife belonged to the slave owner for the rest of her life and if she has any children, the children belonged to the slave owner for the rest of their lives.

            People think slaves could go free after a certain length of time but that only went for the original man slave. If he wanted to stay with his wife and children, then all that family belonged to the slave owner for the rest of their lives.

            An owner of a slave could beat his slave and if the slave died, all the owner had to do was pay back the original owner of the slave 30 silver pieces as the slave was that man’s “property”.

            Those laws were given to Israel by God according to the Bible and that shows what kind of God Jehovah is and I don’t respect that God but I don’t believe any of that stuff because there is no evidence that those people ever lived in that area.

          • January 27, 2016 at 12:24 pm
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            Even those people have heard about Moses parting the Red Sea. Whether they choose to investigate and believe is up to them. They can find a Christian mission somewhere. Especially nowadays with Internet access. Even in repressed Muslim countries.

            This is not WT talking. I don’t care what WT says. Contrary to the accusations of some, I was never indoctrinated by WT. I followed their teaching for a time, but when I realized they are not “the truth,” I left.

            Why are you worried about the general population anyway? Worry about your own A$$. If you care about them so much, become a Christian and go on secret missions to Muslim countries.

            Have a real adventure!

          • January 27, 2016 at 12:37 pm
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            OK Caroline, you changed words. You admit there’s evidence, but now you want PROOF.

            Sorry, you won’t get any miraculous proof. If you don’t believe Moses and Elijah, I can’t help you.

            Emotional? It’s sad to see people die. Even the wicked. But they deserve it, and besides preaching to them, there’s nothing more I can do about it.

          • January 27, 2016 at 1:28 pm
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            You say people “saw” Moses part the red sea. People also “saw” Mohammed ascend to heaven on a winged horse. Why do you not believe in that, given that the same amount of proof exits for both i.e both accounts were recorded in books that claim to be inspired of God, but have no other corroborated evidence?

          • January 27, 2016 at 2:13 pm
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            Who else besides Mohammed vouches his claim of heaven and horse? Sounds like impersonation of Elijah to me.

            As for corroboration of Moses, Jesus did that in the transfiguration.

            But why ask me? Are you not sure of your own belief?

          • January 27, 2016 at 5:56 pm
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            @ Simon

            U say u can be convicted in court on the testimony of witnesses. However, in court, written testimony is not accepted.

          • January 27, 2016 at 9:18 pm
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            Excuse me Simon, but no one has given testimony that Moses parted the Red Sea except Moses. Only Moses wrote about it. He claims that other people saw it, but where is the testimony of all these other witnesses recorded? Even the bible says by the mouth of two or three witnesses shall all matters be proven. But we really only have one witness to this alleged event.

            You accept that Moses parted the Red Sea based on faith not fact. That’s ok. But simply call it what it is: faith, not an assessment of facts.

            I also notice you have taken the liberty of condemning all the atheists to death. I think perhaps you might have missed this scriptural thought: Matthew 7:1-2 “Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged. For with the judgment you use, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

            WS

          • January 30, 2016 at 5:32 pm
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            I watched a TV programme recently, where they were trying to find proof of the destruction of the Egyptians at a ‘Red Sea’ crossing. Amazingly they discovered a number of what looked like chariot wheels on the sea bed.
            Spooky or proof??

          • January 31, 2016 at 6:27 am
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            @Bad Penny
            I was wondering if someone would bring up chariot wheels in the Red Sea. That myth has been floating around since I was young. When I eventually researched it, I found that it was really a baseless report. It’s been years now since I did the research, so I’d have to find the sources again. I’d encourage you to do the research on this claim and see what you find as to its validity.

            WS

        • January 27, 2016 at 11:52 pm
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          Wanderer, you did not see my previous links to Muslims and Jews who have been given visions by Jesus to become Christian. That is a fact. Maybe Simon is right.

        • January 28, 2016 at 2:41 pm
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          Caroline, you put into words exactly what I have been thinking for so long. Thank you. I asked my parents many times about Armageddon. It seemed very unjust, all things considered. They always gave me the lame answer that god is all knowing and we just can’t understand his reasoning, but, that is OKAY because he is so just. I just had to get out. I do not believe any of it any more. As you stated, no evidence for me= no respect for that kind of god.

      • January 27, 2016 at 1:20 pm
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        Simon, the reason your statements were deleted was because they were attacking the other commenters themselves, not the ideas that commenters were proposing. If the atheists here attack you, and not your ideas, they will be similarly warned and their comments deleted. Now I note that you are attacking the site itself. I encourage the genuine and robust debate of ideas, and you will find I have deleted none of your posts where you robustly attack ideas you disagree with, but you will find I have a very low tolerance of personal attacks on others. To prove good faith on my part, I am giving you a last warning and a detailed explanation. I hope you take it in the spirit it is intended.

        • January 27, 2016 at 1:52 pm
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          Winston said to me:

          “You seem to be dumbstruck”
          “I find your reasoning somewhat close-minded”

          Sounds personal to me, but you didn’t say a word about that. Not that I need your help, I can defend myself.

          My comment you deleted did not attack individuals. It described group attributes hostile to Christians.

          As for attacking the site, let’s call it what it really is. You may be more clever than Cedars by allowing some latitude for Christian expression here, but I expect you’ll follow his lead and shut down the discussion, by deleting posts and banning, when atheists can’t win the debate.

          • January 27, 2016 at 2:04 pm
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            Simon, even if I ban you, (which I am about a hair’s breadth away from due to your continued inability to distinguish between attacking ideas and attacking the people who hold them, and your instance in one post (not deleted) telling those people that they are going to die as a result of their lack of faith), I will not delete your posts where you expressed your argumentation on this particular subject. I am happy for those posts to remain, which should hint to you that I am not banning you because I fear your ideas. I feel that your posts gave a good account of your ideas and beliefs, the depth of reasoning that went into them, and the arguments that can be put forth to defend them. I would like as many people to read them as possible for that exact reason, so they will not be deleted.

            Last chance. No more attacks on people. No more telling them they are going to die. No more attacking this site. There will be no further warnings.

          • January 27, 2016 at 2:25 pm
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            Moderators note- post was removed due to violations of guidelines)

          • January 28, 2016 at 6:07 am
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            Simon, I’ve given multiple warnings on this, and tried to be exceptionally flexible given the subject under discussion, but you are clearly unable or unwilling to moderate your behaviour. So I’m blocking you. I would note two things, mostly for the benefit of others reading this site:
            1: Other people in this thread have been able to argue from a position of Christian faith and challenge the ideas of fellow commenters without attacking the commenters or the site team themselves, or overtly threatening other posters with death unless they convert. Hopefully this will illustrate the difference between debate and evangelism.

            2: I am happy for Simon’s posts to remain intact, to show that he was not banned because I feared his arguments. In fact, as I said, I encourage people to read his arguments in detail. I feel they stand well as an accurate representation of his position.

            3: My points apply to anyone arguing from any position of faith or lack of it.

            4: In future I will give fewer warnings and less explanation.

            Basically, don’t make me moderate. You wouldn’t like me when I moderate.

          • January 27, 2016 at 5:24 pm
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            @ Simon Kestral

            Dude, lighten up! U’re sounding more & more like a JW!! WTF??? U don’t have any authority whatsoever to pronounce death on people!!! I’m pissed off right now, NOT at U, but just recalling all that BS from the WT Brainwashing Society, which amounted to nothing more than THREATS!!! If u backed off a little from all the ‘fire & brimstone’ talk, u might avert some of the ‘antagonism’. We’re all adults who r entitled to our own choices. IF u happen to be right, so be it. It seems to me by what u said of ur association with the Borg, u really were not “in” long enough to understand how deeply the indoctrination goes. I, for 1, was raised in that Drivel-Factory, & the resentment runs deep. B4 u criticize the folks who run & visit this site, u should try to understand them a little better.

          • January 27, 2016 at 5:54 pm
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            I was in for a pretty long time. Maybe as long as you’ve been alive. 20+ years. I know what they teach, and how. But I didn’t have family in, and never delegated my thinking to the org. So I was not indoctrinated. But I understand how it affects people with family, and those born in.

            Death does threaten us all. Try to separate that fact from your anger towards WT. I have anger too. I wasted many good years believing their lies.

            But there is Christian life beyond WT. Don’t let anger blind you to it.

          • January 27, 2016 at 7:28 pm
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            @Simon Kestral

            “Death does threaten us all.”

            Based on this comment, I get the impression that you fear death?

          • January 27, 2016 at 9:55 pm
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            @Simon
            You say:”I was not indoctrinated”
            Your speech here on this site seems to indicate otherwise. It carries the same judgemental attitude and fear tactics used by the watchtower. But this type of rhetoric has no power here. Most, if not all, of us have woken up to these tactics and don’t succumb to such threats.

            You also seem to embrace the Watchtower’s propensity for taking quotes out of context. You argue that I attacked your person calling you close-minded. But let’s look at what I said in context: “Forgive me if I say that I find your reasoning somewhat close-minded and I hope to open your mind just a bit of i can.”

            In context, it is clear that I was expressing an opinion on your argumentation and I even prefaced it by asking for your pardon.

            I have tried to show respect to you and your opinions when replying to you, but you have not responded in kind. Instead you have threatened and condemned and really failed to demonstrate a Christlike attitude.

            I implore you to learn from the book you profess to endorse: Romans 12:17-18 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Try to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes. If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone.

            WS

          • January 28, 2016 at 4:22 pm
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            Hi Covert Fade,

            I understand you need to keep a handle on things, that’s fine, there’s no complaint there. But let’s not forget who unleashed the beast. It’s your article that has given rise to comment. If the discussion has progressed in directions that are not directly related to the topic so be it, that is the nature of the beast. A forum such as this has its very obvious draw backs. It is very limited. But I think to threaten blocking someone is beneath you and runs against the very principles this site is supposed to uphold. The discussion has to be fluid and organic, otherwise it will be a very sterile atmosphere. I’m sure you can understand that.

            True some do push the boundaries and that’s not right. Rules are there to be observed, but your power as a moderator can be seen as giving you an unfair advantage. Nobody likes the big brother approach.

            I know I’m probably risking being banned just for voicing my opinion. I hope that’s not the case, and that you will accept my observations in the spirit they are intended not to criticise but to ask that you allow continued latitude in discussion to the greatest possible extent. You are right in saying you have been very lenient thus far and I for one appreciate it very much as I’m sure we all do. That’s all I’m saying.

          • January 28, 2016 at 4:32 pm
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            You won’t be banned for voicing your opinion, I was very specific as to the reasons why a ban was enforced on another commenter – in his comments he was directly informing other commenters that they would die if they did not convert to his religion. He also began to issue personal attacks on members of the JW Survey team, and other commenters. Even under the flexibility I was allowing due to the nature of the article under discussion, I deemed that to be unacceptable. He was warned. He ignored the warning. He was warned again. He ignored the warning. Thus he was banned.

        • January 28, 2016 at 2:29 pm
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          Well at least Simon gave Covert a chance to spread his new moderator wings. More moderating has been done in the last several days than I’ve seen my whole time visiting this site! Might they be the same person?

          • January 28, 2016 at 4:37 pm
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            Hi Covert Fade,

            You make a fair point. I accept it unreservedly. And thank you for not taking my comments personally. They were not intended to be personal and you understood that, so thanks again.

  • January 27, 2016 at 3:29 am
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    thanks anonymous for posting Dave Allen hilarious always my fav!

  • January 27, 2016 at 3:36 am
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    @Scag and Simon. Can you show us any evidence that there is a God and if so, which God is the real one that created everything in the universe or is a “belief” in God that is real to you so that we should fear Armageddon?

    Many years ago, I had on my television set in the morning and a religious show was coming on and it said at the beginning of the show that they were going to “prove” that God is a trinity so I had to watch it. At that time, I was still quite strong in the belief in the “truth” and the Bible and God. I watched the whole show and at the very end the guy said “that is why we “believe” that God is a trinity.

    That show was a real eye-opener for me. From then on, when I’d meet somebody at the door and the topic of the trinity came up, I’d say “You believe God is a trinity and I believe that God is not a trinity but neither of us can prove it, until we get to heaven and face God face to face and then we can see whether or not he is a trinity or not, right?” They’d always agree.

    The point of the story is that a belief is not a fact. We can’t prove a belief but we can prove facts. If you can prove that God is real, I will believe it. That is what an atheist is. You “believe” in God and I don’t “believe” in God.

    You can’t say that a person who doesn’t believe in something without proof is arrogant because he doesn’t believe in something without any proof. We aren’t saying we think we are smarter than God.

    We are just saying that without any real proof, we can’t be scared of Him. Could you say we are arrogant because we don’t believe in the Loch Ness Monster without any real proof? People who believe in God (any God) fear the unknown.

    I can’t fear an unknown and I can’t fear Him or It just because you fear Him or It.

    That doesn’t make me arrogant. You are the one who is arrogant because you think that just because you have a fear of your God, that I also have to be in fear of Him.

    I don’t judge you because of my beliefs and you don’t have any right to judge me because of your beliefs. If that is how you think, then who is the arrogant one?

    If you can prove that the Bible is from a perfect God and that all the supposed miracles happened in the Bible, besides what the Bible says happened (circular reasoning), then I’d also believe in those miracles.

    The onus is on you if you are going to say that we deserve destruction by your God if we don’t “believe” in Him without any evidence that he is real.

    According to the Bible, anybody who doesn’t “believe” in that God of the Bible deserves destruction. There are billions of people in this world who do believe in a God but not your God of the Bible.

    Why do you think Christians are the only ones who have the only “right” God and the only right book? Every person who belongs to a certain religion, “believe” they are worshipping the only “right” God. You are no different than all those other people. That is narrow-minded thinking, straight out of Watchtower speak.

    • January 27, 2016 at 4:12 am
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      It’s a little like the French philosopher Pascal said. There are 3 possibilities. 1) If God exists and we don’t believe in him, we stand to lose everything. 2) If we live our lives as if there is a God, and it turns out there isn’t, what have we lost? Nothing we will have lived a good life anyway. 3) If God does exist and we have done our best to live in harmony with his requirements we have everything to gain. So if one was a betting person the smart bet would be to believe in God, you lose absolutely nothing by doing so. On the other hand if there is a God and you don’t acknowledge him you stand to lose.

      I’m not saying one should serve God simply because it is a safe bet. No, that wouldn’t be right. One should serve God because he believes that is the right thing to do. Pascal was trying to illustrate a point, not believing in God is a like a risky bet, one nobody needs to take.

      • January 27, 2016 at 5:32 pm
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        Well put.

      • January 28, 2016 at 3:19 pm
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        @Scag,
        What god? Which god? One should serve god because it is the right thing to do? I see little to prove that living / obeying / b elieving in some god makes one especially better than a secular person.

      • January 29, 2016 at 3:34 am
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        I will add one more result to item 2; we waste our time and resources in service to the wrong deity or no god exists at all. Under those circumstances this is the only life we have and such belief amounts to a waste of our time.

    • January 27, 2016 at 10:04 pm
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      @Caroline
      Perfectly logical reasoning.
      WS

    • January 28, 2016 at 3:15 pm
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      @ Caroline,
      Thank you again for a perfectly sound argument.

  • January 27, 2016 at 4:59 am
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    It’s simple. God is love. But love does not preclude the implementation of discipline, correction and punishment. In fact, it could be successfully argued that true love goes hand in hand with discipline, correction, and punishment. What loving human parent can truly love his or her children without firm and sometimes unpleasant discipline. Certainly God is no different. How can anyone say God is unfair if he gives everyone an opportunity, free will, warnings etc? He grants a lot of latitude. It is us who fail to avail ourselves of the opportunity. Likewise how could any parent be critised for disciplining a child that rejects direction, and loving encouragement to pursue proper standards? Clearly, it is our perspective that is defective, not God’s.

    • January 27, 2016 at 6:34 am
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      Scag, again I ask you which God are you talking about? There’s an awful lot of Gods who are being worshiped all over the world today and all those people worshiping those gods think they are worshiping the one and only true God. How can you prove that your God of the Bible is the true and only God? All those religions have their own idea of what is moral and what isn’t.

      If you go by the Bible, you believe it’s perfectly okay to kill animals for food but another religion who doesn’t believe in the Bible, feels it’s wrong to kill animals to eat them for food. Who is right or wrong?

      Maybe if you can’t prove that the Bible is really from God, then you are killing animals and could be really making the real God mad at you and you are deserving of death for that. Have you ever thought about that? The Bible does say that God is mindful of even a sparrow that dies. How would you feel if you had to kill the animals that you eat?

      Pascal’s wager doesn’t mean a thing to me. Why am I supposed to be subject to your idea of who and what God is? Why am I supposed to live in fear of your God if you can’t show any real evidence of his existence?

      Do you believe in a literal hell fire or do you just believe that when a person dies, they just die? I believe that if I die, then I die. If God is going to bring some kind of eternal torture or Armageddon to me for not believing in Him without any evidence of his existence, then what kind of God would that be?

      I believe in being a good person and I don’t need the Bible to teach me how to be a good person. It was born in me to be a good person.

      If I were to go by the God of the Hebrew Scriptures, I would think it’s perfectly okay to “own” people, just because they happened to be born to the wrong person at the wrong time. You have to remember that all the laws in the “Law” given to Moses came from God and in those laws, it was fine to sell your own children to be slaves and anybody who collected wood on the wrong day deserved to be stoned to death and if you were the daughter of a priest and were caught in prostitution, you deserved to be burned to death but the man who committed the prostitution with that girl, nothing happened to and if you said something to your parents that they didn’t like, they were to kill that child by stoning them to death. I could go on. If that is what will convince you about the character of the God of the Hebrew Scriptures, say the word and I will elaborate.

      • January 27, 2016 at 2:31 pm
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        Everything God does has a purpose. While we have the capacity to display God’s qualities, love, mercy etc, our imperfection is an impediment to our being able to do so fully or correctly. Humans in general have a twisted view of what is moral and what isn’t. Just watch the news each night and you’ll. hear and see things that make your hair curl. Some of the things people do are beyond belief.

        To illustrate this I would only need to mention one type of person whose behaviour is disgusting to God and which the bible condemns in the strongest possible way. I’ll leave it to your imagination, I won’t mention it specifically because it will unleash a tirade. But such people have managed to convince the world at large that their proclivity is natural, normal and healthy. This demonstrates the low moral standard that man has fallen to. And all of this with billions earth wide believing in a God of one kind or another. Imagine if 100% of people didn’t believe in God there would be no moral constraints whatsoever, it would be a free for all. If we accept that God made us then he has the right to dictate how we behave. He has the right to allow or permit certain things. Under what circumstances could the created ever say to the creator, I know better than you!

      • January 27, 2016 at 3:20 pm
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        The way you paint the picture the only alternative would be, turn a blind eye to everything. Let everyone do what he likes. A moral and ethical free for all. No law and order.

        Using your own reasoning. Just because God has taken what appears to some to be extreme or harsh measures doesn’t make them so. It is not proof in itself that God is unjust. He looks at everything from the view point of a creator. We look at everything from the view point of the puny created being. There is no comparison.

        As for your invitation to prove God exists, that would be a fruitless excercise on my part. For two reasons, 1) your mind is made up. Nothing I say or anyone else says can change your view. So why would I try? 2) this forum doesn’t allow deep theological discussion. I could even add a third reason. When discussing such controversial subjects one must divorce themselves from emotion and look at things objectively. I detect in your comments, responses driven by emotion. Now I would not argue that some emotion is not necessary, but it needs to be kept in check. It clouds the issue. A proper view of justice can be easily distorted by an impassioned appeal to emotion. This is where God has a clear advantage over us. We can’t see passed our own beliefs and prejudices. He sees the whole picture.

        I will say it again just to be clear, if only to forestall an impending objection, I am not saying emotion is wrong. It has its place. Humans cannot excercise true justice unless some emotion is employed. But when justice is ruled by emotion, then we have a problem. And many of the comments here suggest that people’s first consideration is not what is right but the emotion of the situation.

        If have misunderstood you I apologise unreservedly, here and now. That applies to one and all.

        • January 27, 2016 at 4:16 pm
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          Scag, my mind isn’t made up at all. If you can show me some evidence in an almighty God, I will believe it. I am not stupid or emotional.

          When we were Witnesses, we were always told that Jehovah God was present at all times and He saw everything we did and we were led to believe that and the idea that He was watching everything we did, was to keep us being good, or “God fearing” individuals.

          Most people in general also believe that there is a God that is omnipresent and from everlasting to everlasting and they also believe that they are to obey their particular God and if they don’t they will also be punished somehow. They were all taught to obey their God from their religious leaders and if they don’t obey their God, then God was going to punish them too, either with an eternity in hell fire or Armageddon.

          Religions work great for controlling people. Religious leaders use that fear of God (any god) to fleece their flocks of money. It isn’t so much about them being good people. It’s about the fear of God and religious leaders use that fear to control the masses.

          That fear starts when kids are too young to question it so they grow up believing it and if a person or a kid speaks up and wants some evidence, they are attacked as evil and wanting to sin without any control over themselves. But all they want is some evidence so they can believe without being gullible.

          Would you pay money on a car if all you had was an owner’s manual? Wouldn’t you want to see the car first and even drive it, especially if you had to put money down on it first? Only an idiot would put money down on a car without actually seeing it and driving it first. But that is the case with God. People are expected to follow that God and do what that God says, without any evidence of that God.

          We were told by Watchtower that we all “need” spirituality in our lives and we believed that and that without the Bible’s standards, that people would be wicked. We were all told that we all deserved to die because we were born sinful.Babies are not born sinful. Some people become wicked but no baby is born wicked.

          We were led to believe that we deserve death because Adam and Eve sinned but Jesus bought back our chance of being perfect because he “died” for us, right? Most people who believe in Christ (not just JW’s) believe the same thing.

          In all countries of the world, there are tons of laws that people have come up with to make our lives work smoothly. People can do that without the use of the Bible or invoking God. All they have to do is use common sense. Humans have the ability to get along with each other without the belief that there is an invisible God watching what they do, like not stealing or killing each other.

          The Bible is not a book of morals. If anything, it is filled with the most disgusting set of morals ever written down.

          It is not a “good” book. There are so many stories in the Bible that are not fit to tell to kids. If you can’t tell those stories to kids, then it’s not fit to read. If it were from a perfect God, then the advice would be perfect and the advice is so far from perfect, that it’s laughable.

          I am not advertising for people to be atheist. I am asking them to read their Bibles and pay attention to what it “really” says and not what they “think” it says about their God.

          • January 27, 2016 at 5:08 pm
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            Caroline you assume that anyone reading the Bible carefully, must conclude that God is illogical, and therefore impossible, as you have. I read the whole Bible, and paid attention to what it really says. We both know what it SAYS. We disagree about what it MEANS.

            People did bad things in the Bible. But god didn’t make them do it.

            Do you hate men? That would explain a lot. Your comment history indicates that you dislike authority in the hands of men.

            I don’t hate women. I love women. In the next world, more than one wife would be good. Or one wife and some concubines. Or maybe just concubines and no wife. Whatever. Not too many though. I don’t want to end up like Solomon.

            But if Jesus does not approve, maybe I can get by with just one.

          • January 27, 2016 at 7:00 pm
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            Hi Caroline,

            If you say your mind isn’t made up, I take you at your word.

            But you must admit your comments are very negative to toward God and the bible. Usually if someone is searching and hasn’t yet committed themselves to one side or the other the rhetoric isn’t quite so one sided. You paint a very black picture of the bible as a book. Not withstanding the fact that billions of people say they draw great comfort and strength from it. If it is the black book you say it is, why is it people have willing laid down their lives for it and suffered torturous deaths etc? No, I’m sorry, history clearly proves billions hold the bible in the highest regard.
            The problem therefore is not the bible, it is the way people interpret it. Many religions abuse their authority that is beyond dispute. If people or organisations are unable or unwilling to apply bible principles correctly, that is no reflection on the book or its author. We shouldn’t confuse the issues.

          • January 27, 2016 at 7:12 pm
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            Hi Caroline,

            You say the bible contains the most disgusting morals ever written down. If you can’t go along with the way JWs interpret the bible that’s fine. My question is why throw out the baby with the bath water? Just because JWs got it wrong, or other religions for that matter, doesn’t negate the value of the bible or the existence of God.

            It’s a bit like saying, I had a bad religious experience, therefore, there can’t be a God. These are two separate issues. One doesn’t necessarily follow the other.

          • January 27, 2016 at 8:16 pm
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            @Scag

            It’s not just atheists, there are also Christians who believe that the bible is NOT the inspired, inerrant word of god – for example, when I was in high school, my Biology teacher who was a nun stated that Catholics believe some of the accounts in the Bible to be fables and legends and stories about events that did not actually occur.

            Although these Christians view the bible as not inspired, not inerrant, they see the value of Christianity as teaching mankind the importance of spirituality which makes for good human relations. Such Christians also see the value in other religions for the same reason – religion teaches mankind the importance of spirituality which makes for good human relations.

          • January 28, 2016 at 6:41 am
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            Hi caroline Ive got an take to one of your points you make. you said “would you pay money on a car if all you had was the manual wouldn’t you want to see the car and drive it first especially if you had to put the money down first only an idiot would put down money first without seeing it and actually driving it. All absolutely correct and wise comments. In uk we have a scheme for disabled people so they give up their government allowance and sort of have a car for free. Great scheme lots of choice. Ive done this scheme for years same car manufacturer after a test drive. This time round I ordered a car that hasn’t been built and I didn’t have a test drive. this was for two reasons.The car is so new they didn’t have one in the showroom and I could not be bothered because there is a “get out clause” the reason why i’m saying this is because my actions is exactly Jw reasoning. They have such smooth brains from years and years of washing they sign up for the next new light treat without even taking it for a test drive. It seems crazy when you use your point as above but it is what people do. they get comfortable and lazy minded and don’t reason wether there is a god or how unreasonable it is to kill everyone because they cannot think of better alternative. Armageddon and the killing machine that turns it is a get out clause, lazy world view because no one has to befriend all these sinners and unfortunates or attempt to help them just leave it up to the killing machine to make it all go away. (hope you didn’t mind me using your quote) cheers ruthlee

    • January 27, 2016 at 10:14 pm
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      I’m sorry Scag, but I don’t see a correlation between loving parental correction and raining down horrible death and destruction on 8 billion people simply because they failed to pray to the correct invisible person.

      On Pascal’s philosophy, is it necessary to believe in God in order to live a decent, moral life? What if you live a good, clean life, but in your heart you actually still doubt the existence of God. Do you get the reward or the malediction for that?

      WS

      • January 27, 2016 at 10:55 pm
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        Why such concern over 8 billion people you don’t even know. I’m concerned about ones I do know. All those people you don’t know, let God worry about them and stop fretting about it. He is the one who knows.

        • January 28, 2016 at 11:37 am
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          “God loved the world so much…” That would be all 8-billion of them by today’s standards, right? And are we not supposed to become imitators of God?

          WS

      • January 28, 2016 at 4:12 am
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        Hi WS,

        Would you agree that some people are so bad that they cannot be redeemed? Those who reject God outright are among their number. I don’t say this, not even religions say this, the bible does. If we accept the bible as God’s word there is no escaping that it preaches doom and gloom for all those that fail to recognise him. With God there is only life or death. There is no other option. So if one is not for God then by default he is against him. Again I am not saying this. That is what the bible teaches regardless of which Christian religion you belong to most have a similar belief in this regard, righteous people live while the iniquitous die. It is common to most Christian religions because there is no escaping that is what the bible says. The only people who have a problem with this notion are those who don’t believe in God, because if he exists and they don’t believe in him it’s check mate. Believers know they have nothing to fear if they act out of a pure motive and display the right attitude. Even the most zealous believer will make mistakes but that doesn’t mean he can’t gain God’s approval.

    • January 28, 2016 at 1:37 pm
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      But we have sheep and goats to give as sacrifices to please that mysterious for you are referring to. No dout you are created in his/her/its image and regrets to have created you (Genesis 6:6)!

      It is high time you regreted to have created such a god with which you justify the unjustifiable. I can’t recall in the Bible where he punished Israel with Snake bites after he/she/it had killed the first born of Egypt…

      • January 28, 2016 at 2:03 pm
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        Hakizimana, that account is in Numbers chapter 21 where in verse 6 the Bible says that Jehovah sent poisonous serpents to kill the Israelites because they complained and then in verse 8, Moses was told to make a copper idol of a snake and put it on a pole so that the people would look at the snake on the pole and then live.

        So, first Jehovah sends poisonous snakes to kill the Israelites and then he had Moses make an idol for them to look at so they lived.

        The Israelites worshipped that pole for centuries and then in 2 Kings 18:4, Hezekiah comes along and takes the pole down. The Bible doesn’t say why he took it down though and then in John 3:14, the Bible says that “just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of man must be lifted up.”

        Interesting, huh?

  • January 27, 2016 at 8:01 am
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    If termites are turning your house into sawdust, no one would have second thoughts in exterminating them – even if they were sentient (maybe they are).

    If a higher form of life created us, maybe that is all we are to it. So we cannot judge based on our own morality.

    • January 27, 2016 at 2:11 pm
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      This is my point in a nutshell. Who are we the termite to say to our create what you do is wrong?

      • January 27, 2016 at 10:18 pm
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        Except that is this case the termites were supposedly created by the home owner in the owner’s image and endowed with free will. A poor anology in my opinion. We are not taking about mindless insects, but rather the supposed pinacle of God’s earthly creation.

        WS

        • January 27, 2016 at 11:07 pm
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          You’ve missed the point. Termites only in the sense that we are puny and insignificant when measured against God.

          We were all given free will. It is not a reflection on God if we miss use it. Nobody puts up with a bad tenant. Why should God. You wouldn’t.

  • January 27, 2016 at 10:56 am
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    @ Scag
    Your idea of loving discipline is extreme and unacceptable
    to a rational mind.- Sending armed soldiers to put spears
    through the bellies of pregnant women, and to dash infants
    to pieces. I just can’t make the connection.

    Radicalisation, religious indoctrination is at the root of your
    thinking , under its influence, irrational thought and often
    mindless cruelty follow. History proves it.

    Some think they’re doing Gods will by throwing people from
    high buildings, beheadings, and public stoning.

    Cruelty cannot be dismissed or rationalised by saying God
    thinks on a higher level or the end justifies the means.

    Scag if you have children I’m sure your practice of loving
    discipline is much more reasonable and benign than that
    of your chosen God. Move on from Bronze Age mentality.

    • January 27, 2016 at 2:41 pm
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      It is not me that promotes the mass killing of anybody. The bible says that God has done so and will do so again with good reason. It’s pointless saying We disagree with this or that. If there is a God and the bible is inspired then the record clearly shows you and I cannot stop God from doing what he regards as necessary including killing. We must remember God does not kill for the sake of it. He only does so when moral imperatives are involved. And it is not upto us to say what those moral imperatives should be. Therefore, the word genocide gives the wrong impression when applied to God. The more correct term is execution of justice. Not justice as we see it, which in reality is flawed, but justice as he sees it.

      • January 27, 2016 at 10:32 pm
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        This is exactly the reason why, although I accept the existence of God, I reject the idea of any specific holy book or prophet being totally from God.

        “It is from the Bible that man has learned cruelty, rapine, and murder; for the belief of a cruel God makes a cruel man.” Thomas Paine

        WS

        • January 27, 2016 at 11:10 pm
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          Why do you believe Thomas Paine was real? Why not Moses? Moses is more famous than Thomas Paine. You can’t personally verify the existence of either one. You rely on the written testimony of historians in either case.

          In Thomas Paine’s day, people were still riding horses and camels, just like Moses. What’s so great about Thomas Paine.

          • January 28, 2016 at 6:29 am
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            Red hering argumentation (something the watchtower is well known for). There was never any question raised as to whether Moses was a real person or whether Thomas Paine was real person. The question was as to whether there was any corroborative evidence that Moses parted the Red Sea. And that in turn, based on the reasoning that because the Bible says Moses parted the Red Sea, we can thus believe that God will destroy all non-believers (which is in fact circular reasoning).

            WS

  • January 27, 2016 at 11:04 am
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    Cedar, I think we need a proper forum!

    • January 27, 2016 at 5:47 pm
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      LOL
      I feel like I’m at a tennis match, watching the ball go back & forth. We may have exhausted this topic. It’s been a great ride, though!!

      • January 27, 2016 at 10:33 pm
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        2 more days until the next “Friday Column”

      • January 27, 2016 at 11:16 pm
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        No, I think we got a bar brawl going here.
        LOL

      • January 28, 2016 at 2:47 am
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        ………and proves to me exactly why I dont believe any more… those who do seem so judgmental and cruel… like the god they worship.

  • January 27, 2016 at 12:27 pm
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    @enuffsenuff

    Thanks for your comment regarding the Great Tribulation.
    Please note that I am not endorsing the Great Tribulation (GT) as a future event; I am simply stating what the WT teaches regarding this doctrine – as I recall, the WT teaches that the GT is yet future and coincides with the reign of the beast and its image as per Revelation 13. I should have stated this in my previous comment (I’ve now done so).

    • January 28, 2016 at 4:38 pm
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      Dee2 thank you for your kind and thoughtful reply. I made no assumptions about your personal take on this subject, only that you mentioned it and that was a good chance for me to say what I have noticed regarding the wording of Math24. I do appreciate the fact that you contribute to this site in the manner that was intended, that is, looking at what the WTS has done and teaches. Unfortunately it has slipped into almost forgetting that, and attacking God and the Bible. Psalm 2:4 makes the comment that Jehovah laughs at what amounts to a grasshopper trying to stop a locomotive. Everyone draws their own conclusions. Just back to Math24 for a moment, there is too much focus on Mathews wording and the parallel accounts of Mark and Luke should be taken into consideration as they don’t describe the GT quite like Math does. Secondly there is a parallel account at Dan 12:1 where he is told that he should “bind” up the words for some future date and the words he uses is a “TIME of great distress” not caused by Jehovah, but by humans themselves. But life goes on, and marriages and births continue despite the troubles, sound familiar? I was looking at the news today and there is a new virus spreading extremely rapidly into the US from Brazil and the whole of the America’s, and onwards overseas, abnormal weather patterns causing massive destruction, some suggesting caused by chem trails being used by Govts to “control” the weather. The 60’s song by Barry MacGuire comes to mind, “we’re on the eve of destruction”. Finally a note to thank Covert Fade for reigning in some intense comments. Take care Dee2. cheers E.

  • January 27, 2016 at 1:08 pm
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    You are so right.I rember all those talks and the pictures.All we can do is hope that the poor jws sitting in kingdom halls can read these coments.thanks

  • January 27, 2016 at 6:10 pm
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    Here’s what I have to say about the debate you guys are having. God and Satan are in a pissing contest and humankind gets annoyed because they get caught in the cross fire. I feel the two deserve a spanking. Now, because I don’t like spankings. I say the two need to be separated because they’re being naughty, bad boys. I feel like I want to kick God in the butt because he should know better. He’s our father. Sense when does a father allow himself to get into a pissing contest with his child ‘creation’ only a bad, bad father does that. So God needs to take parenting classes. I say treat Satan and God like a seperation. God should have sent Satan away to another planet. Sense God is boss. Everyone ends up not knowing what to do with all of God’s consequenses. They end up with more consequenses than they know what to do with.

    • January 27, 2016 at 7:58 pm
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      Well put.
      Let God & Satan (if they exist) duke it out amongst themselves. If God wants to destroy the wicked, that’s perfectly fine by me. Just skip all the drama please.

      • January 27, 2016 at 8:03 pm
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        U say potato
        I say potAHto
        Let’s call the whole thing off
        U say tomato
        I say tomAHto
        Let’s call the whole thing off
        U say Jehovah
        I say JeWHOvah???
        Let’s call the whole thing off.

      • January 28, 2016 at 8:15 am
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        Even if I AM killed at “Armageddon”, I still say Just skip all the drama please. In the words of Clint Eastwood in Heartbreak Ridge, “You can kick me, you can beat me, you can kill me, just don’t BORE me.”

  • January 27, 2016 at 6:11 pm
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    RE The idea that religious “morality” keeps us all civilized:
    1st of all, religion has been responsible for at least as much bloodshed (& thievery) as anything else.
    U can have Mobsters murdering & stealing & selling drugs all week, then go to church on Sunday & be in perfectly good standing (as long as they put some of their ill-gotten $$$ in the collection plate!!!).
    2nd of all, the #1 thing preventing murder is the law against murder.

    • January 27, 2016 at 7:49 pm
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      Oh, nevermind. Looks like it’s back. My Bad. Enjoy.

      • January 27, 2016 at 7:52 pm
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        …or not
        Maybe it’s just my Computing Device, or the same virus that stole the Imogees. lol
        Naughty JW hackers perhaps? Tisk tisk. Shame.

  • January 27, 2016 at 7:09 pm
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    @anonymous4 says:

    “in court, written testimony is not accepted”

    Living witnesses are preferred, but if unavailable, the court takes what it can get. Wills, depositions, etc.

    Are you going to law school? I hear the society is looking for good lawyers.

    • January 27, 2016 at 7:25 pm
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      LOL
      Believe me, I have no interest in being a lawyer, ESPECIALLY for those scumbags!!!

  • January 27, 2016 at 8:00 pm
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    @Simon Kestral

    “Death does threaten us all.”

    Based on this comment, I get the impression that you fear death?

    • January 27, 2016 at 8:07 pm
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      “Fear causes hesitation. Hesitation will cause your worst fears to come true.”

    • January 27, 2016 at 9:05 pm
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      Fear is not my basis for faith in God. Atheists think Christians cope with fear by holding false hope in an imaginary God.

      Nope. That’s not why God is real to me. The world is filled with wickedness and evil, but creation itself, the earth, sun, moon, and stars, are beautiful. Too wondrous to result from stochastic processes.

      • January 27, 2016 at 10:09 pm
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        Amen

      • January 27, 2016 at 10:14 pm
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        @Simon Kestral

        “The world is filled with wickedness and evil”. If I understand the comments which you have been making, god is going to destroy wicked and evil persons as well as persons who do not worship the Christian god?

        • January 27, 2016 at 10:40 pm
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          Wicked and evil, I think so. Those not worshipping, God is their judge. It’s up to him.

  • January 27, 2016 at 9:21 pm
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    @Scag

    It’s not just atheists, there are also Christians who believe that the bible is NOT the inspired, inerrant word of god – for example, when I was in high school, my Biology teacher who was a nun stated that Catholics believe some of the accounts in the Bible to be fables and legends and stories about events that did not actually occur.

    Although these Christians view the bible as not inspired, not inerrant, they see the value of Christianity as teaching mankind the importance of spirituality which makes for good human relations. Such Christians also see the value in other religions for the same reason – religion teaches mankind the importance of spirituality which makes for good human relations.

    • January 27, 2016 at 10:07 pm
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      My point is that billions of people draw comfort and strength from the bible. If it’s not inspired it is one hell of a powerful book! People have been willing to burned alive just to possess one. All problems arise not from the bible itself but from the wrong interpretation of what it says. Whether some don’t view the bible as inspired is not really the point. Nobody can deny that no other book has moved people like the bible. No other book exerts the power on people’s lives that the bible has consistently done. If it was compiled by humans alone, then goodness me, these men were geniuses. And that’s putting it mildly. The bible writers were effectively the most influential men that have ever lived. They were able to achieve what nobody else has, on a scale nobody else has. To say that 40 men spread over centuries could achieve all this beggars belief. To say that a super human mind orchestrated the whole thing is the more reasonable approach.

    • January 27, 2016 at 10:13 pm
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      Paul once offered advice and said he thought he had God’s spirit. “He thought” doesn’t mean he did. It’s like the account when Peter asked about John’s future. Even Jesus close associates sometimes expanded his words beyond their actual meaning.

      But taken as a whole, the Bible has ample truth to provide a solid foundation for faith in God.

      Religion, on the other hand, is a mixed bag. It’s done some good, and some bad. But I don’t blame God for human abuse of free will.

    • January 27, 2016 at 10:36 pm
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      I read many textbooks. And many textbooks I read contain minor errors. If I rejected all books containing minor errors, I would miss a great deal of valuable knowledge.

      So being a person who likes to get their money’s worth, I continue reading despite a few errors. And by the end, I’m rich.

    • January 27, 2016 at 10:40 pm
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      @dee2
      I could get onboard with that. Seems quite reasonable and logical. There are some parts of the Bible that are beautifully written and paint a truly loving creator. And the teachings in the Sermon on the Mount are better than gold.

      WS

      • January 27, 2016 at 10:47 pm
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        I suppose cherry picking the Bible is better than not reading it at all. Gotta start somewhere.

  • January 27, 2016 at 10:10 pm
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    The more i here the more delusion i see, sad old people hanging on to a promise, the Bible says many different things about salvation, nothing like what the WT teach, & you know after Armageddon, we are going to be made perfect over the 1000 years, perfect brain, higher intellect etc, then after that they teach that many people will walk away & another destruction, genocide, to many holes for reasonable people to believe.

    • January 28, 2016 at 8:27 am
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      LOL
      Jehovah’s Witnesses do not use their brains NOW. What are they going to do with “perfect brains”???
      LOL again -Good one!

  • January 28, 2016 at 2:42 am
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    @ Simon: I did ask a few days ago which I would like someone to answer.

    I have read the whole of Matthew 24 so many times. I cannot see the justification to transpose the predictions beyond its original fulfilment in 66AD and 70AD.

    Some did pick up on the lack of Authority to do so…but why do JW (and other) Apologists take the message out of time and context, and apply it to Our times?

    I am scratching my head trying to put my question in simple terms here…..

    • January 28, 2016 at 5:21 am
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      Maybe you need to read Matt 24 again. Much of what is described there never happened in 70 A.D. Take a look at verses 29 onward. There are celestial phenomena spoken of there that clearly did not happen in the first century. Verse 21 onward refers to a tribulation so great that there is nothing like it before or after. Nobody could seriously suggest that what befell Jerusalem was bigger than the flood of Noah’s day or the impending Armageddon of revelation. What happened to the Jews in AD 70 was a local event with no global repercussions. It only effected a few million people at most. Jesus said in verse 34 that the generation he was talking about would not pass away until all the things he had foretold would take place. If the Jews were the generation Jesus referred to, then they perished before the celestial phenomena mentioned in verse 29 onward to place. Jesus clearly said the generation would not pass away until these things had occurred.

      • January 28, 2016 at 8:31 am
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        So which generation is he talking about? Why is everything in the bible so cryptic?

        • January 28, 2016 at 2:37 pm
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          This refersto a future generation. In the same context Jesus speaks of returning along with his angels to gather his chosen ones. Clearly this did not happen in AD 70. If he returned in AD 70 to gather his chosen ones that would mean the resurrection took place then. Because the bible is clear in Thessalonians that when Christ comes he gathers all the dead and the living together, simultaneously.

      • January 28, 2016 at 9:02 am
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        @Scag
        How do you know what that celestial phenomena is supposed to be? How can you be sure it didn’t happen then. When Jesus said “this generation” it was while he was speaking with four of his disciples and they would have understood he meant them. To try to split Jesus words into different time periods is to call him a liar. Plain and simple. Besides look up the word “this” in the dictionary. Its definition clearly would identify Jesus disciples as the ones he was referring to or has the GB gotten permission to alter definitions? Luke said “these are the days for meting out justice that all the things written may be fulfilled” Luke 21:22. My understanding is that the destruction is of the wicked, not the unrighteous. Wicked and unrighteous are not the same. Also refer to the Feb 15, 2008 study Watchtower page 23, par. 11 which states “the apostles would no doubt have understood that they and their fellow disciples were to be part of the “generation” that would not pass away “until all these things would occur”. Of course the GB manage to put their modern day application to it. You can’t have it both ways. Besides to accept Jesus words in Matthew 24, is to conclude there probably aren’t any anointed since the first century. This is not mine to judge but I find that to be the logical conclusion. For a time I struggled with with these various teachings but decided I would trust Jesus words over those of men. It’s much less confusing.

        Regards

        • January 28, 2016 at 9:09 am
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          Side point, according to the insight book, “entire inhabited earth” was a reference to the Roman empire. You’ll find several Bible accounts that support that I.e. the call for all to register, which led Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, the prophet Agabus predicting a famine which took place in 44 ce, and even the Apostle Paul who preached to all creation. All of this makes for very interesting research.

          Regards

          • January 28, 2016 at 11:35 am
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            @ eyes opened: Thank you. Exactly the point. Anything beyond a fulfilment in the first century, is pure speculation and the generation referred to those who heard his words.

            WT was born of divination and numerology… masonic through and through!

          • January 28, 2016 at 2:57 pm
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            Matt 24:21 clearly states that the tribulation Jesus spoke of was bigger than anything previous, that includes the flood and would be on a scale never to be seen again. Nobody can argue that what happened in Jerusalem was bigger than the flood or bigger than the impending great tribulation of Revalation. This tribulation will not only eclipse the borders of the Roman Empire it will encompass the globe and it will be the final event of its type. The language is clear and specific.

          • January 28, 2016 at 3:44 pm
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            I don’t know. Something like over a million Jews died in the destruction by the Romans. How many people were possibly alive to be killed at the flood? I am guessing less than a million (which is one reason to consider that the flood was not global; the lack of geological evidence is another). So perhaps the great tribulation of 70 surpassed the flood in the amount of human life lost.

            WS

          • January 28, 2016 at 3:53 pm
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            Hi WS

            Pardon me for saying but that’s an awful lot of guess work on your part. Let’s suppose for arguments sake you are right about the scale of the flood, AD 70 will still pale into insignificance when compared with the coming great tribulation. The scale of that will undeniably be globle.

  • January 28, 2016 at 3:51 am
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    @Simon and Scag. I have read your comments to me and about me and have come to the conclusion that you are Pickled Brain reincarnated into two people and you resort to sly insults because you have met your match and can’t win intellectually but just in case I am wrong about that, I have some comments to you about your replies to my comments.

    You said “why throw out the baby with the bath water? Just because the JWs got it wrong, or other religions for that matter, doesn’t negate the value of the bible or the existence of God.”

    My answer to that is that the Watchtower organization “cleans” up the Bible to make it more palatable to gullible people like for instance the case of Jephthah burning his daughter as a sacrifice to Jehovah if Jephthah won a battle.

    The real story is that Jephthah did kill his daughter and burned her as a sacrifice to his god Jehovah but any Witness will tell you that Jehovah God doesn’t accept human sacrifices in the Bible because the Watchtower rewrote that part of the Bible and the Witnesses don’t question their Bible.

    That is why the Watchtower came up with it’s own Bible. Any scripture that they could change to make it more palatable, they did.

    They had carte blanche when making up their own interpretation because Witnesses are forbidden to question it on being threatened with expulsion and shunning so they all blindly accept it as a “real” Bible.

    There are many instances of this kind of misinterpretations in the New World Translation. If Witnesses read other Bibles, they’d have a fuller understanding what their “good” book really says about the God of the Bible and if they paid any attention to what it really says, they might not like that God so much, that is if it wasn’t a work of fiction, which I think it is.

    So, you got it all wrong. I think the Watchtower prints a much better picture of God, then any “real” Bible does. It was the Watchtower’s rendition of God, is what made me believe in that God for fifty years.

    You said my comments are “very negative toward God and the bible.” You are right that my comments are negative but my comments are negative towards the God of the Bible. It isn’t about God because I have not been shown any evidence in a God. It’s the God of the Bible that I have a problem with, if I believed the God of the Bible really did all the terrible things that the Bible says He did then I would not have a good opinion of that God.

    You said: “The problem therefore is not the bible, it is the way people interpret it. Many religions abuse their authority that is beyond dispute. If people or organisations are unable or unwilling to apply bible principles correctly, that is no reflection on the book or it’s author.”

    My problem with that comment from you is that it’s a good thing that people and organizations don’t apply Bible principles because if they did, we’d be killing our kids for talking back to us and we’d still be owning slaves and we’d be killing anybody who didn’t follow our religious beliefs and we’d be killing people for picking up sticks on the wrong day of the week. Get the picture?

    You said: “We disagree about what it (Bible) MEANS.”

    My problem with that comment is that we do need to pay attention to what it says and we shouldn’t have to figure out what it means.

    What you are saying with this comment is that no matter what it says, we have to figure out what it really means. Does that make any sense to a thinking person? When we have laws, we have to follow the law or we get arrested. We can’t get off by saying that a particular law didn’t really mean what it said.

    The comment about me disliking male authority and how you’d like a bunch of concubines tells me that you don’t like women who disagree with you and so you insult them.

    • January 28, 2016 at 3:12 pm
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      @Caroline

      Very interesting point about Jephthah’s daughter. According to the “Works of Josephus”, she was indeed a burnt offering. I was obviously troubled by this but I did more research and discovered some interesting tidbits. Jehovah had already promised Jephthah the victory. But Jephthah moved ahead without consulting the high priest and decided to make what is called a rash vow. Jephthah was known for hanging out with good for nothing men and human sacrifice was not a foreign idea to them. Jehovah did indeed give Jephthah the victory as he had promised but it would be a mistake to think that Jehovah approved of his child’s sacrifice. Jehovah never required it. And I suspect he found it as repulsive as we do. Jephthah is listed in Hebrews as a man of faith, I would assume it was because he trusted Jehovah would give him victory but certainly not because of his rash vow and then acting on it.

      Regards

      • January 29, 2016 at 5:08 am
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        @eyes opened, Jephthah killed his daughter as a burnt sacrifice to Jehovah but the Society wants Witnesses to think that he did not kill his daughter by the way they rewrote the New World Translation.

        If you were to ask any Witness, they will say that Jephthah did not kill his daughter and that is deceitful of the Watchtower to “rewrite” the Bible like they did. Witnesses would have a different view of their God if the Society had written the Bible the way it really reads and the Governing Body knows this full well but most Witnesses believe that their beloved Governing Body would never lie to them but even the Bible says that nobody is to either add to the Bible or take away from the Bible but the Society has no respect for what the Bible says in that regard.

        Josephus was not a contemporary of Jephthah so what ever Josephus had to say about the account is immaterial. It’s what the Bible really says, is what we have to go by and there is nothing in the Bible that indicates that Jehovah did not accept Jephthah’s sacrifice and the fact that the Israelites would remember Jephthah’s daughter, says that Jephthah did a good thing, not a bad thing in that he fulfilled his vow to God.

        There is nothing in the Bible that says that Jephthah was a bad person for killing his daughter. That is all we have to go by, is what is written in the Bible, not what Josephus had to say about what he thought about it.

        If the Jews were not in the habit of offering up their children as burnt sacrifices, then why in the world would the idea even come into Jephthah’s head?

        If anybody today killed their child as a sacrifice to God, that person would be put into either prison or a mental institution for the rest of their lives because a “normal” person realizes that God would not ask them to kill their child to burn him or her and offer it to God and yet the thought never occurred to either Abraham or Jephthah that it wasn’t a normal thing to do to offer up their child to God as a burnt sacrifice so it’s clear that was something that those people did in those days to appease their Gods and the Bible is clear that the Israelites did offer up their children to Jehovah as burnt sacrifices.

        If I heard somebody telling me that I needed to kill my child, I’d say to that person “get away from me” but Abraham didn’t waste a moment in going ahead with God’s request so it’s obvious that it was something that those people were used to doing.

        If Abraham really didn’t believe that he was really “killing” his son, then it wouldn’t have been a real test that Jehovah was imposing on Abraham, would it have been?

        Also in the book of Genesis, Judah was going to have his daughter-in-law burned, when he thought that she had committed adultery even though Jehovah killed both her first husband and the 2nd man who was supposed to give the first husband a child by Judah’s daughter-in-law. There is nothing in the Bible that indicates that Judah was a bad person for wanting his daughter-in-law burned so it was a normal thing to burn people in those days people who they thought had done something wrong and they didn’t even have the law covenant at that time and Judah is proudly spoken of as an ancestor of Jesus.

        When I tell my husband about all the accounts in the Bible about how Jehovah said that any daughter of a priest was caught in prostitution was to be burned, he made the comment that the person was first killed and then burned, as if that makes it less bad but how did they kill those people? By stoning them to death? Which is worse, being stoned to death or being burned?

        • January 30, 2016 at 6:02 am
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          I want to add to my last comment about Jephthah killing his daughter and offering her up as a burnt sacrifice to Jehovah.

          In the April 2016 Watchtower study edition under the article “Being Faithful Leads to God’s Approval”, it starts out by talking about Jephthah and his daughter and what a good thing it was that he and his daughter did:

          (paragraph 1) “Relieved to see her father returning safely from battle, the young woman races to greet him and rejoices over his astounding victory. Instead of joining her in song and dance, he rips apart his battle-stained garments and cries out: “Oh no, my daughter! You have broken my heart.” Then he utters the words that change her life forever, shattering her dreams and hopes of a normal life. Yet, without hesitation, she makes a beautiful reply, encouraging her father to follow through on what he promised Jehovah. Her words reveal her great faith. She trusts that whatever Jehovah asks is best for her. (Judg. 11:23-37) Her father’s heart swells with pride because he knows that his daughter’s willingness to support his decision brings Jehovah’s smile of approval. (paragraph 2) Jephthah and his God-fearing daughter put their trust and confidence in Jehovah’s way of doing things, even when it was hard to do so. They were convinced that gaining God’s approval was worth any sacrifice.”

          The Watchtower Society is here saying that Jephthah was a good example and so was his daughter because they followed through with their promises and it also shows that the Jehovah blessed Jephthah with the winning of the battle because they used these words: “Jephthah and his God-fearing daughter put their trust and confidence in Jehovah’s way of doing things, even when it was hard to do so. They were convinced that gaining God’s approval was worth any sacrifice.”

          Can you imagine that??? If Witnesses knew that the real “sacrifice” was the death of his one and only daughter was that she would be killed and burned to death to Jehovah, they would know what kind of God they REALLY WORSHIP???

          Is it any wonder that if the Society wanted to keep it’s people from realizing just what kind of God they worship, that they would have to REWRITE THE BIBLE????

          What is almost funny is that the Society put in that paragraph: “Then he utters the words that change her life forever, shattering her dreams and hopes of a normal life.”

          If she was so “happy” about following through on what her father had promised to Jehovah, why would it be so sad that her life be changed forever with her dreams and hopes of a normal life being shattered forever????

          Why would her father be so unhappy about what he had promised Jehovah that he was ripping his garments apart and his heart being broken?

          If serving at the temple for the rest of her life was to be so wonderful (serving God at his temple with the priests), why would she have been so unhappy about that?

          It’s like saying that if a child were to go to Bethel to serve Jehovah for the rest of their lives and couldn’t ever had children, that that would be a horrible thing to impose on a child.

  • January 28, 2016 at 4:49 am
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    The point is, it is not genocide when God does it. It is divine retribution. Who has the right to criticise God? Only those who have no fear of God would dare to challenge his sovereign right to do whatever he likes. To say that the Grand Creator himself is acting unjustly by destroying those he created is an untenable position. One can jump up and down and protest all day long but in the end you’re just digging your own grave. God is not bound by our warped idea of what constitutes injustice or cruelty. Almighty means just that, almighty. No man can even look upon God and live. And yet some have the audacity to question his actions. That’s either very gutsy or very stupid or both. It’s like ants complaining that humans continually step on them indiscriminately. Such a complaint would not resonate in the slightest. The whole notion of questioning the actions of an Almighty God is self contradictory.

    • January 28, 2016 at 5:39 am
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      Scag, again I ask you, what God are you referring to? Is it the God of the Bible? How can you prove that the Bible (any Bible interpretation) is from God?

      How can a person believe it, if you can’t prove it to be from the God who made you and me and all the earth and everything on it and the universe since there are no original manuscripts to compare our Bibles to? If the Bible was from a perfect God, then it would be perfect and all the “advice” and “laws” in it would be perfect and should stand the test of time and be upheld today as it was when it was written.

    • January 28, 2016 at 1:25 pm
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      I seem to recall that at one point in a bible story God was dead set on wiping all the Israelites off the surface of the ground. But then Moses objected to this and apparently reasoned with God about it. Did God condemn and execute Moses in his blazing anger for questioning his divine authority? Not according to the scriptures. Instead, God conceded Moses’ point and apparently changed his mind about executing Israel. Apparently Moses had the right to criticize God.

      There is nothing wrong with questioning the rightness of an action by an authority figure. It is even expected of us, being created in God’s image and having a God-given sense of justice.

      “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

      WS

      • January 28, 2016 at 1:48 pm
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        Winston, I am not sure that Jehovah didn’t have Moses killed because he took credit for producing water without giving the credit to Jehovah, according to Deuteronomy 34:4, 7:

        “After that Moses the servant of Jehovah died there in the land of Moab at the order of Jehovah….(7) And Moses was a hundred and twenty years old at his death. His eye had not grown dim, and his vital strength had not fled.”

        When the Bible says “at the order of Jehovah”, that implies that he was killed on purpose and that he didn’t die a natural death.

        • January 28, 2016 at 2:27 pm
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          Interesting. Sounds like he was divinely executed for the heinous crime of forgetting to say “Thank you”.

  • January 28, 2016 at 6:24 am
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    Moderators note:

    This has been for the most part a good discussion, with many commenters making their points and having chance to defend them over the past seven days. I feel it is thus time to move on.

    From this point onwards please consider the normal site rules back in force. Posts that do not comply will be deleted without explanation.

    Thank you to everyone who contributed.

    • January 30, 2016 at 6:17 pm
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      Definitely time to move on – this discussion has certainly been a ‘baptism of fire’ for you dear Covert Fade. I hope you can continue with your articles without too much more aggro from certain sources.

  • January 28, 2016 at 6:58 am
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    Interesting debate. As expected only the God lot can
    find justification for mass killing.

    @Scag, “No man can even look upon God and live”.
    You say.
    Well that depends on which verses you read and what
    point you want to make. Ex, 33:11. Moses spoke to God
    face to face as one man speaks to another.

    No time or inclination to list the hundred or more other
    contradictions in “Gods Word”. I know when I’m pushing
    water uphill.

    • January 28, 2016 at 3:06 pm
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      Exodus 33:20, is a simple statement. No interpretation required. No one can see God and live. So all reference to people seeing God must be understood metaphorically. They see god’s glory, his power in action etc. in this way they are said to see God. Even Moses who came closer than anyone to seeing God had to be shielded and protected from God’s brilliance and power. Just read your bible it’s all there. But in the strict sense the scriptures are clear no one can see God.

  • January 28, 2016 at 8:53 am
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    @ Caroline

    Holy Mother of Jehovah! I never knew that about the Jephthah story! We were all taught that she simply spent the rest of her life in service at the temple or whatever, & had to keep her virginity.(FYI the NWT uses the word “banished”.) I never knew the Watchtower Brainwashing & Trickery Society actually ALTERED the BIBLE!!! Makes me wonder, if them, then WHO ELSE??? Thank you for that info – The Truth about the “Truth”!!!

    • January 28, 2016 at 8:58 am
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      To specify, the NWT does have the J-man promising to “Jehovah” the burnt sacrifice thing, then he later says “banished”, with no explanation for the change. Interesting how they just slipped it in there. Sort of like a snake…

      • January 28, 2016 at 9:55 am
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        I was so shocked ’cause I remember the Watchtower Snakes going on & on about how carefully & meticulously the Bible has been translated & rewritten over the millennia, scribes counting every word & so on. Yeah right. What a load of poodle piss.

      • January 28, 2016 at 3:15 pm
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        This is a totally false statement. The older edition and the current edition of the NWT both use the term burnt offering. Judges 11:31. I can’t find any reference to banishment. The NWT simply says he carried out his vow. V. 39. The implication is clear he sacrificed his daughter. There is no ambiguity. We really need to get our facts right.

        • January 28, 2016 at 5:08 pm
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          I learned this story from My Book of Bible Stories, which I had nearly memorized as a child. There it said that Jephthah’s daughter went to serve at the tabernacle and the women of the land would go and visit her each year and encourage her. That appears to be the Watchtower’s official teaching. Perhaps that is where the confusion comes from.

          WS

        • January 28, 2016 at 6:45 pm
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          Yes, Scag, we need to get our facts right. This is right out of the new Grey Translation at Judges 11:30,31:

          “Then Jephthah made a vow to Jehovah and said: “If you give the Ammonites into my hand, then whoever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites will become Jehovah’s and I will offer that one up as a burnt offering.”

          This is where the Watchtower “cleans” up that account about Jephthah and wants the Witnesses to think that Jehovah doesn’t accept human sacrifice by rewriting verse 40 by saying:

          “From year to year, the young women of Israel would go to give commendation to the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in the year.”

          What most other translations render verse 40 is that the Israelite girls went to remember the daughter of Jephthah as like what the Bible in Living English says from 1972 as printed by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society:

          “made a vow to do, when she had not known man. And it became a usage in Israel that year by year the Israelite girls should go to celebrate the memory of the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite, four days in a year.”

          You see Jephthah killed his daughter and burned her up as a sacrifice to Jehovah and Jehovah accepted that sacrifice.

          You see, when a religion depends on the Bible to sell that religion, it might not sit well when people read that Bible and realize that the God of the Hebrew Scriptures accepted human sacrifices so you can understand why the ones who are trying to “sell” that religion would print up their own “version” of the Bible and rewrite that God by misinterpreting scriptures, just as Watchtower has done in the case of Jephthah.

          When those of us come on here to tell what the Bible really says, it’s insulting and condescending to say that the comments are attacking God.

          We are only telling you what your Bible says and you should decide whether or not to have faith in that God. If you believe in the Bible, then you probably also believe in Armageddon.

          I for one, didn’t want to have blind faith. I had the hope of seeing my dead loved ones come back to life in the “New World” and that was also devastating to me when I lost my faith in God, the Bible and the Watchtower Society because I know that I probably won’t see my loved ones again and it kills me, to think about it.

          What it taught me though, was that instead of waiting for an afterlife or the “new world” to see my dead loved ones, I should live my life now and make the most of it now, while I am still around and love those around me as if this life is all there is and not to wait until the “new world” where I “might” see them in the resurrection.

          Also, I am not in fear of Armageddon anymore and I don’t fear the Watchtower anymore and I no longer feel guilty about not serving the Watchtower.

          What it also did to me, was make me sad that I wasted all those years of my life serving the Watchtower Society, going to meetings that were so boring to me and going in service which I hated doing and going to assemblies which I dreaded and raising my kids to be harmed emotionally by the demands and the guilt over never being able to do enough and always the constant fear of Armageddon. I don’t want another person to have wasted their life like so many of us have done and we can’t get our lives back. If you are young, learn from our experience. Don’t waste another day serving the men of the Watchtower. Be free of it.

          I am sorry if pointing out what the Bible really says, hurts people’s faith, but if you don’t know what the Bible really says, then that faith is not founded on evidence or facts and is imaginary.

          • January 29, 2016 at 4:31 am
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            There is no need to apologise, Caroline. I would invite you to read the society’s explanation about jepthah in the insight volume. The explanation is really quite reasonable and is backed up by other respected bible commentators. The point is his daughter thought more of the fact that she would never marry and have children than she did about dying. She wasn’t lamenting death but her virginity. This would indicate she did not die. Also the account clearly states that God’s spirit was already operating on jepthah when he made the vow. So it was not a mistake or an impulsive action on his part to the contrary it was a considered action. You’re right one needs to read the text in context and understand what it says. Another factor is that jepthah was aware of the mosaic law and the prohibition on murder and human sacrifice. It is unlikely that he would ask God to grant him victory and then violate a basic law. Just read the society’s explanation on this, it is quite reasonable when you consider all the factors involved.

          • January 29, 2016 at 5:01 am
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            It’s amazing isn’t it. Jepthah’s daughter doesn’t lament dying. If she was going to die burned by fire her last worry would have been her virginity. Instead death was not her consideration at all. The account clearly states her virginty was her primary concern. She would never have children.

            Just remember there is always more than one way to easily and effectively explain just about anything. You are very sure of your facts but they can be so easily explained away, and not with fanciful far fetched notions but with reasonable, logical conclusions.

            Jepthah could not enjoy God’s blessing if he knowingly violated a basic law. So if God granted him victory, the only basis, I repeat the only basis would be that he didn’t do anything to jeopardise God’s approval. Logically, if human sacrifice is something God detests, how could he support someone who professes to serve him and then does something detestable? The answer is simple. He didn’t.

            The thought of God using and tolerating a judge that breaks the law in the foulest possible way by sacrificing his daughter is ludicrous. The more you play it over in your mind the more evident how self contradictory and ridiculous the whole proposition is. Sorry but you’ll have to do better than this.

          • January 29, 2016 at 5:21 am
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            Scag, I always went by the Society’s explanation too but they rewrote the Bible to make it look like Jephthah did not kill his daughter but served at the temple for the rest of her life but that is not what the Bible says.

            The Bible says that Jephthah fulfilled his vow and that’s all there is to it.

            The fact that his daughter never had relations with a man is totally immaterial but that is what the Society would want you to think was the point of the story.

            People would think twice about Jehovah if they believed that Jephthah actually killed his daughter, wouldn’t they?

            Even your comment says that if that is what really happened and Jehovah accepted that sacrifice, that you would not care about that God anymore, doesn’t it?

            If Jehovah didn’t want Jephthah to kill his daughter, then Jehovah could have stopped Jephthah just as he stopped Abraham, right?

          • January 29, 2016 at 5:57 am
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            Many respected bible commentators accept the idea that jepthah did not sacrifice his daughter. There is too much against such an implausible conclusion. One needs to have a good grasp of the many principles involved and a sound knowledge of what the bible says elsewhere to draw the right conclusions. This account can’t be taken in isolation because doing so would require rejecting immutable related principles that are expounded throughout the bible. Your understanding of the events is inconsistent with the rest of the bible. It would require rejecting clear principles expressed elsewhere in the scriptures. One knows if a particular interpretation or understanding is correct if it harmonises with the rest of the bible. Reading the events as you say does not harmonise with the rest of the bible.

          • January 29, 2016 at 6:20 am
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            Scag, which respected Bible commentators are you referring to? It doesn’t matter what they “think” what really happened because they think that’s not like the God that they want to believe in. What we have to go by is what the Bible says, not what others think it really “meant”.

            Just because you don’t like the way the Bible reads, doesn’t make it okay to rewrite it to say what you think it meant. That goes against what Revelation says.

        • January 30, 2016 at 11:28 am
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          Scag, as Winston points out in the book of Bible stories and all their publications, the Society made up a fictional ending to the Jephthah story and say that she went to serve at the temple for the rest of her life instead of being killed and burned.

          Scag, you are right in that Jephthah killed his daughter and burned her as a sacrifice to Jehovah but the Watchtower had to make up lies about how the story really went to keep it’s members in the dark about their god Jehovah.

          In the April 2016 Watchtower study edition, the first article talks about Jephthah and what a good example he and his daughter were.

          It goes on and on about what a good person Jephthah was and his daughter but if somebody raises their hand at the Watchtower study when they go over that article and that person should read about how the women of the land went to the temple to “remember” the daughter of Jephthah because she was burned to death from another Bible translation, that person would be called into the back room and probably expelled for apostasy.

          That is one of the reasons we were told in 2013 when we got that new Bible that that is the only Bible we are to use when we are answering at meetings.

          The Society has it’s own doctrines and nobody can disagree with those doctrines even if what the Society says is their own rendition of a Bible.

  • January 28, 2016 at 9:08 am
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    @ Simon

    I totally appreciate your reasons for believing in God. But wouldn’t u agree that an awful lot of people believe out of fear? – Probably more out of fear of MAN than fear of God!
    I mean, u have Muslims concentrated in certain areas, Christians concentrated in certain areas, & how many Buddhists live in Israel? lol People in general are simply terrified of going against the grain.

  • January 28, 2016 at 9:12 am
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    Nothing against Jews, but I’m not Jewish, so why would I serve Jewhovah?

  • January 28, 2016 at 9:28 am
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    If there is gonna b an Armageddon, u gotta know Jehovah’s Witnesses will be the 1st to go. They constantly misrepresent the Creator, they say the bible is from Him & then alter it to suit themselves, they LIE, LIE, LIE, they protect & shelter & apologize for the lowest kind of criminals, sometimes LITERALLY hiding them from the police, they offer up their own children in ‘sacrifice’ to their cult gods, like Satanists, their love turns on a dime to hate as soon as someone is found not toeing the Party line, they claim to be “no part of this world”, then join the United Nations after condemning others for leading a double life, they claim Charity status & protection but never do anything for anyone but themselves, they proclaim how much they have done for religious freedom yet persecute their own family members & others among them who do not toe the Party line, etc, etc, etc. Man, if I was God, & I was gonna go all Armageddon, I would zap them 1st.

    • January 30, 2016 at 6:27 pm
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      Please, it should be TOW the party line not TOE. Just a small point, but it keeps coming up occasionally.

      • January 30, 2016 at 11:39 pm
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        That’s a negative.
        It’s “toe”, as in, Line ur toes along a seam or line, sailor. Likely originated in the Navy, though all services practice it. That’s how troops learn to line up in formation perfectly straight.

  • January 28, 2016 at 10:04 am
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    We’ll be fighting in the streets
    With our children at our feet
    And the morals that they worship will be gone
    And the men who spurred us on
    Sit in judgement of all wrong
    They decide and the shotgun sings the song

    I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
    Take a bow for the new revolution
    Smile and grin at the change all around
    Pick up my guitar and play
    Just like yesterday
    Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
    We don’t get fooled again…….

  • January 28, 2016 at 10:41 am
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    Funny how the Watchtower Snakes use the concept of conscience to coerce their members. Like, “Train your conscience in this way or that way”, which basically is Newspeak for “Program your brain to do what we tell you”.
    …or else, u’re a bad person, we won’t talk to u anymore, & u’ll die at Armageddon…

  • January 28, 2016 at 10:45 am
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    Fantastic article. When I think about all of the children that are mentally abused by the fear tactics used by this cult, I get sick. Tony’s human hot dog talk is the most evil thing I’ve ever heard. What a sadistic animal he is. Why is this abuse legal?

    • January 28, 2016 at 2:05 pm
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      “Why is this abuse legal?”
      SUPERAWESOME EXCELLENT QUESTION – & 1 a lot of folks have been asking for a long, long time!!!
      Remember, though, 1 reason is that the Watchtower Snakes have 1 face for their members, & another for the public!!!

  • January 28, 2016 at 10:58 am
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    One of the commenters raised the following question: What’s So Great About Thomas Paine?
    Without getting sucked into a complete tangent from the primary discussion, I wanted to provide some level of background for why I frequently quote his works. I don’t think the original commenter really cares about the answer to this question, as it seemed like a source of distractionary argumentation. I apologize for the length of this comment, it is as short as I could make it in order to do it justice. I have several links to my source information, so I hope this is not too much. CF, is this is too long or seems to be too off topic, feel free to delete it and I won’t be offended – WS.

    Thomas Paine was an English-American political activist, philosopher, political theorist, and revolutionary. Considered one of the founding fathers of the United States he wrote two pamphlets that inspired the Colonists to declare independence from Britain in 1776. He was also active in the French Revolution, during which he authored the “Rights of Man.” In his pamphlet “The Age of Reason” he advocated deism, promoted reason and free thought, and argued against institutionalized religion in general (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Paine).

    Paine’s theories and proposals found their basis in “The Enlightenment,” a philosophical era that “dominated the world of ideas in Europe in the 18th century. The principal goals of Enlightenment thinkers were liberty, progress, reason, tolerance, fraternity, and ending the abuses of the church and state.” The Enlightenment era was closely connected to the scientific revolution. Other major figures of the Enlightenment included: “Cesare Beccaria, Voltaire, Denis Diderot, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, David Hume, Adam Smith, and Immanuel Kant” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment).

    Paine suffered much criticism for his writing of “The Age of Reason.” So much so, that his close friend and contemporary, Thomas Jefferson, convinced him to delay the release of his third part of the pamphlet for 5 years. Jefferson, himself a Deist, feared “unpleasant and even violent reprisals” associated with Paine’s work. The basic thesis of Paine’s pamphlet can be gleaned from the opening of part I:

    ““ I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life.

    I believe in the equality of man; and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavouring to make our fellow-creatures happy.

    But, lest it should be supposed that I believe many other things in addition to these, I shall, in the progress of this work, declare the things I do not believe, and my reasons for not believing them.

    I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.

    All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

    I do not mean by this declaration to condemn those who believe otherwise; they have the same right to their belief as I have to mine. But it is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.””
    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Age_of_Reason)

    Deism is a “theological/philosophical position that combines the rejection of revelation and authority as a source of religious knowledge with the conclusion that reason and observation of the natural world are sufficient to determine the existence of a single creator of the universe” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deism). Thomas Paine considered himself a Deist, as did his aforementioned contemporary Thomas Jefferson. Some other well-known historical figures who identified with this philosophy include: Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Adam Smith, Benjamin Franklin, Ethan Allen, George Washington, Mark Twain, Matthew Tindal, Max Planck, Neil Armstrong, Paul Davies, Robert Hooke, Thomas Edison, and Voltaire. See full listing at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_deists.

    • January 28, 2016 at 2:00 pm
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      WOW. Powerful stuff. It’s great to see people can say so much without taking up volumes & volumes & volumes.

  • January 28, 2016 at 11:35 am
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    It would be nice to get a little confirmation of what of 10, 000 sects of Christidom is right, or whatever else is right…I mean , sure the miracle of the floating axe head was cool since it was borrowed, staffs turning to snakes, memorable , water into wine (don’t want to rain on a parade ) nice wedding present, frying a tree (talk about the original weed killer) overnight, bottomless flour jars, relocating city gates, out of season lighting and thunder storms, hailstones, frogs…ect…maybe we could get something like this today…perhaps the parting of Hudson River, or miraculous light/cloud over warwick day and night..but, it seems were left to make decisions based on our power of reason. …which leaves alot of questions? ???

    • January 28, 2016 at 2:11 pm
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      “Maybe we could get something like this today”
      LOL
      Good luck with that. No, all miracles happened in the distant PAST. When, oddly enuff, there were no cell phones, cameras, videocams, recording devices of any kind. Convenient.

      • January 28, 2016 at 2:14 pm
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        …unless u consider a typhoon that dumps a load of sand in front of a kingdom hall, a miracle…lmfao

        • January 28, 2016 at 2:53 pm
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          I thought it was getting a state of the art television studio, is a modern day miracle. Or winning a lawsuit against a child molestation victim.

          • January 28, 2016 at 4:04 pm
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            Yeah, that’s what they’re praying for. I don’t think God is listening.

    • January 28, 2016 at 9:40 pm
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      One of my favorite episodes!

      • January 29, 2016 at 9:47 pm
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        Gotta love the Multiverse!

  • January 28, 2016 at 4:39 pm
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    So, if someone dies of a heart attack 1 minute B4 Armageddon, they get resurrected. If they live 1 more minute & get “removed”, they’re finished. What if they live to Armageddon, & have a heart attack seeing Jesus riding down out of heaven on a flaming horse, with a sword sticking out of his mouth? Does that count as final judgment, or does that person get resurrected ’cause they died of natural causes? I need a break. Switching to youtube for another episode of Ultimate Force.

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