Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Interestingly, paragraph 4 states the following:
"True, those who do not love Jehovah can also form rewarding friendships. But when individuals are drawn together by a mutual love for God, their friendship will be unshakable. If misunderstandings arise, true friends will treat each other in a way that pleases Jehovah. If opposers of God try to cause divisions, these enemies discover that friendships among true Christians are unbreakable. Throughout history, servants of Jehovah have proved their willingness to face death rather than betray one another."
To their credit, it is good to see that the Watchtower Society acknowledges that those who are not Jehovah’s Witnesses can “form rewarding friendships”. However, the above is implying if you are not one of Jehovah’s Witnesses your friendships are ‘shakable’. They out rightly state that friendships among those who have a mutual love for God, while the paragraph links “true Christians” and “servants of Jehovah” , in other words the Watchtower Society’s definition of Jehovah’s Witnesses, are unshakeable. According to the Watchtower, Jehovah’s Witnesses have friendships that are unshakable.
The word unshakable is defined as:
“Marked by firm determination or resolution; not shakable; "firm convictions"; "a firm mouth"; "steadfast resolve"; "a man of unbendable perseverance"; "unwavering loyalty". Not easily panicked or upset, steady, abiding, adamant, firm, fixed, impregnable, inflexible, unflappable, unsinkable, unwavering”.
To summarize, friendships formed by Jehovah’s Witnesses should last through anything. Contradictory to this idea, we see how quickly fleeing and conditional these so-called “unshakable” friendships are in paragraph 15 of the same article. There it states:
"What, though, if a friend inside the congregation decides to turn his or her back on Jehovah, perhaps needing to be disfellowshipped? Such a circumstance can be very distressing. Describing her reaction when a close friend stopped serving Jehovah, one sister said: "I felt as if something inside of me died. I thought my friend was firmly grounded in the truth, but she was not. I wondered if she had been serving Jehovah just to please her family. I then began to reassess my own motives. Was I serving Jehovah for the right reasons?" How did this sister cope? "l threw my burden on Jehovah," she says. "I am determined to show Jehovah that I love him for who he is, not just because he provides me with friends inside his organization.""
There is an old saying, ‘With friends like these, who needs enemies?’ The above paragraph epitomizes that statement. From the start, many Jehovah’s Witness friendships and overall relationships are conditioned and highly influenced, if not completely controlled by one’s loyalty to the Watchtower Society. As long as an individual follows the organization’s interpretations and directions including knocking on doors and attending the meetings, the friendship continues. However, the moment a person no longer supports the Watchtower Society, the friendship ends.
This type of conditional friendship is an excellent example of the conditional love found within the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Make no mistake about it, many family ties are handled in the same fashion. The teaching and belief of ‘unshakable’ friendships among Jehovah’s Witnesses is more a farce and façade. The truth among Jehovah’s Witnesses is you will find many conditional friendships with loyalty to the Watchtower Society as the determining factor.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Members who do not make up the 144,000 include faithful servants of God prior to Jesus Christ. All of those individuals will make up in part, those who will live forever upon the Earth according to the Watchtower Society doctrine. However, once again the Watchtower Society's own literature works against them as Enoch is one such individual who would fall into this category. Interestingly, the Watchtower, July 15, 2009 issue – which was studied in Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Halls on Sunday, September 27, 2009 -- Paragraph 5, page 20, makes the following statements:
“This enmity quickly became evident when Abel, a righteous man, was killed by his brother. Later, enmity was directed against Enoch, another faithful man who lived before the Flood. He prophesied that God would come with HIS holy myriads to execute judgment against the ungodly. (Jude 14, 15) This message was certainly not a popular one. People hated Enoch and evidently would have murdered him had Jehovah not cut his life short. What boldness Enoch displayed! - Gen 5:21-24.”
According to the Watchtower Society, Jehovah cut his life short – killed him – to avoid being murdered. This on the surface may appear to be wonderful to a Jehovah’s Witness as God took Enoch away from persecution and he will receive Everlasting Life on a Paradise Earth, according to their beliefs as established by the Watchtower Society.
The reality is that reasoning doesn’t make sense. It would be the same as saying, “People hated Enoch and evidently would have cut his life short had Jehovah not murdered him.” Or, it could also be worded as: “People hated Enoch and evidently would have murdered him had Jehovah not murdered him”.
Looking at the New World Translation, what the Bible verse actually states at Genesis 5:24, is the following:
"And E´noch kept walking with the [true] God. Then he was no more, for God took him."
All the Bible verse stipulates is that “God took him”. The Watchtower Society conjecturing as to why God performed such action is to take focus away from the real issue that statement poses. The verse does not indicate why or in what manner, but just that God took him. Other Bible translation such as the New International Version renders that verse as “God took [Enoch] away”. Nevertheless, let’s stick with the “God took him” statement.
Remember, Watchtower Society doctrine has Enoch living forever on the Earth and not in heaven. In Enoch's case, this means dying a physical death and being resurrected. This leaves quite a mess for the doctrine taught to Jehovah’s Witnesses in light of this Bible verse; especially, once you couple it with another Bible verse concerning Enoch. The Bible once again speaks of Enoch if you were to take a look in Hebrews 11: 5. There the Bible reads as follows as per the New World Translation:
"By faith E´noch was transferred so as not to see death, and he was nowhere to be found because God had transferred him; for before his transference he had the witness that he had pleased God well."
The Bible indicates Enoch did not see death, and he was nowhere to be found because God had transferred him. This phenomenon can easily be explained by most Christians as Enoch being swept up to heaven by God. Unfortunate for a Jehovah’s Witness, such an explanation is not possible as it goes against what their religion teaches as the truth.
The truth is the Bible provides a much more reasonable and sound basis for such statements to be made not to lean towards a physical death provided to Enoch by God so he may be resurrected to an everlasting life on Earth; rather, an eternal heavenly reward for his faithful service to God. The Bible plainly states Enoch did not see death. There is no resurrection from death to a so-called Paradise Earth in the future per Watchtower Society teachings; instead, he was transferred to the heavens without ever experiencing death.
Conclusively, this provides further proof and evidence of the Watchtower Society not interested in the real truth of the Bible. They’re only interested in having the members believe and support what they teach as ‘The Truth’.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
"In order to avoid misunderstandings, Jehovah’s Witnesses try to be careful about how they express themselves. Instead of saying, "the Society teaches," many Witnesses prefer to use such expressions as, "the Bible says" or, "I understand the Bible to teach." In this way they emphasize the personal decision that each Witness has made in accepting Bible teachings and also avoid giving the false impression that Witnesses are somehow bound to the dictates of some religious sect. "
Following such directions leave Jehovah’s Witnesses in a quandary for many areas of teaching and doctrine from the Watchtower Society cannot be found by just using the bible. Such problems include but are not exclusive to:
-You cannot open the Bible and show someone that Jesus came to the Temple in 1919 to inspect it.
-You cannot use the Bible to show which blood fractions are allowed, and which ones are not.
-You cannot show the correct meaning of generation using the Bible. According to the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses it has changed over the years. If you had gone to someone's house prior to 1995 and ‘showed’ them the meaning of the generation, you'd have to go back, read the same scriptures, and tell them now it means something different, then go again when the meaning changed again; each time ‘proving’ the meaning with the same Bible.
Furthermore, the logic of the Watchtower Society is so twisted. The above Watchtower quote is telling Jehovah’s Witnesses to tell other that they (The Watchtower Society) are not telling Jehovah’s Witnesses what to do. The control the religion tries to hide from its members and others is sickening. In effect, the Watchtower Society is saying, “Don’t pay attention to the man behind the curtain”!
The truth is Jehovah’s Witnesses are following what the Watchtower Society says and teaches. Their own literature testifies to this fact. This is proven with such articles as the January 1, 1996 Watchtower under the theme “Handling the Word of the Truth Aright”, on page 30 which dictates:
“Today, a “faithful and discreet slave” has been appointed to supply God’s servants with food at the proper time and to help them understand “the greatly diversified wisdom of God.” Jehovah, by his spirit, reveals deep Scriptural truths by means of this loyal slave, which faithfully publishes spiritual “food at the proper time.”
Therefore, why does Jehovah's Witnesses not say, "the faithful and discreet slave" teaches and instructs us? According to the above Watchtower, that is where each individual is supposed to get their understanding from. The Watchtower Society has made it clear in their publications that individuals do not come to correct conclusions or accurate spiritual knowledge from their own study apart from the ‘spiritual food’ provided by the faithful and discreet slave class.
However, saying "the faithful and discreet slave class teaches" would sound even more cultish than saying "the Society teaches". Ultimately, the end result is the Watchtower Society trying to disguise and hide the true teachers of Jehovah’s Witnesses and who the members are really being led to follow.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Paragraphs 3 through 5 make the following statements:
"...We need to examine our response to the direction we receive from the slave class. Over the years, for example, we have received pointed direction on dress and grooming, entertainment, and improper use of the internet. Do we carefully heed this good counsel so that we are spiritually protected?..."
"Some might reason that areas such as entertainment and dress and grooming are personal matters. For the dedicated Christian who cherishes his place in the congregation, though, personal preferences should not be the sole determining factor when making decisions..."
"The spirit that now operates in the "sons of disobedience" is so widespread that it is like the air we breathe. That spirit can cause us to think that we do not need guidance from Jehovah's organization... We need to guard against developing a spirit of independence. By word or action, may we never challenge the channel of communication that Jehovah is using today. On the contrary, we should cherish our privilege to cooperate with the slave class. And should we not strive to be obedient and submissive to those taking the lead in our local congregations?"
Taking the above article and couple it with the admonishing and teaching Jehovah’s Witnesses receive that such counsel and direction is to be applied directly to them personally, the real information being fed and ultimately embedded in the minds and hearts of a Jehovah’s Witness makes it all too clear the level of control the organization applies over its members.
Let’s remove the third party terminology being used by the Watchtower Society and rewrite to the first party and the message with its level of control is crystal clear:
"...You need to examine your response to the direction you receive from us. Over the years, for example, you have received pointed direction on dress and grooming, entertainment, and improper use of the internet. Do you carefully heed (our) good counsel so that you are spiritually protected?"
"Some might reason that areas such as entertainment and dress and grooming are personal matters. For you, though, personal preferences should not be the sole determining factor when making decisions..."
"The spirit that now operates in the "sons of disobedience" is so widespread that it is like the air we breathe. That spirit can cause you to think that you do not need guidance from us...You need to guard against developing a spirit of independence (from us). By word or action, may you never challenge us, (as we are) the channel of communication that Jehovah is using today. On the contrary, you should cherish your privilege to cooperate with us. And should you not strive to be obedient and submissive to those taking the lead in your local congregations?"
The above is really what is being inculcated into Jehovah's Witnesses. The original writings are control enough in and of itself; however, the true meaning of the information behind dispensed articles such as the aforementioned Watchtower shows the true nature of its writers and leaders along with their intentions and the effects it would have on Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Much of this may be hard for a Jehovah's Witness to accept or believe. Nonetheless, go back and review other articles concerning guidance, direction, or admonishment, from the pages of the Watchtower and try the same technique. Remove the third person writing and replace with the first, and expose for yourself the true nature of the religion called Jehovah's Witnesses.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Let’s take one example: The Watchtower from October 15, 2009 on page 15, under the subheading ‘Friendship with Christ Today’ states the following in paragraph 14:
"How, then can we be friends of Christ? One way is to obey the direction provided by the faithful and discreet slave class, which consists of Jesus' spirit-anointed brothers still alive on earth."
The “faithful and discreet slave class” as mentioned above, consists for Jehovah’s Witnesses of several men who reside in Brooklyn, NY who supposedly look over and approve all literature or ‘spiritual food’ provided to Jehovah’s Witnesses. They set doctrines such as not allowing the transfusion of whole blood, blood fractions are a conscience matter, no celebrating of holidays or birthdays and the shunning of former Jehovah’s Witnesses besides many other regulations and teachings.
It is sickening to think that one’s friendship with Jesus is conditioned with obedience to these men. The article does not stop there though. Continuing further in paragraph 17, this statement is made for Jehovah’s Witnesses to believe as truth:
"A second way that those of the other sheep class can help Christ's brothers is by financially supporting the preaching work."
While Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s Witnesses will not ‘pass around plates’ so to speak, there are ‘contribution boxes’ found throughout their places of worship. While such monetary contribution may appear on the surface to be voluntary, what is being taught is if you want to be a friend of Jesus you will financially support the preaching work. The Watchtower Society has been masters over many years of causing Jehovah’s Witnesses to ‘read between the lines’ of the indoctrinating messages they dispense in their literature such as the Watchtower. This is just another example of one of them.
If the high level control has not enforced itself enough with this study article for Jehovah’s Witnesses, the next paragraph drives the obedience and support of the Watchtower Society organization home once more. Paragraph 18 brings the following admonition and instructions:
"A third way that all of us prove that we are friends of Christ is by cooperating with the direction provided by congregation elders."
"When we overlook the faults of the elders and joyfully follow their directions, we prove our love for Christ."
As if obedience to the men in Brooklyn, NY were not enough along with the financial support of the organization’s preaching work of distributing their literature and asking for money in order to solidify friendship with Jesus, Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught that cooperating with the Elders including overlooking their faults and following their directions is what proves your love for Him.
To be friends of Jesus Christ and to prove your love for Him, requires your obedience and support of the Watchtower Society. How convenient for the organization and how terribly controlling for its members.
How much so it contradicts the Bible which clearly states Jesus’ words regarding love and friendship. Even in the Watchtower Society’s version of the Bible, The New World Translation states in John 15: 13-15:
“No one has love greater than this, that someone should surrender his soul in behalf of his friends. YOU are my friends if YOU do what I am commanding YOU. I no longer call YOU slaves, because a slave does not know what his master does. But I have called YOU friends, because all the things I have heard from my Father I have made known to YOU.”
Jesus never mentioned obedience to an organization as being a stipulation on whether or not he would be friends with an individual. Never was there any hint of financially support a 19th century started publishing company in order to show love or have His friendship either. Furthermore, the notion of going along and joyfully following the directions of elders in the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses in order to prove one’s love for Jesus is so far gone from anything that Christ taught.
It is clearly evident that while the Watchtower Society may print articles respecting ‘Friendship with Jesus’, what their real motive reveals is a controlling, manipulative message of obedience and support of their organization.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
“As ministers of the good news, we are known publicly as Jehovah's Witnesses. Our voluntary participation in the field service is motivated by love of God and neighbor. It is not carried on at the insistence of any man or organization but is according to our God-given commission to preach the "good news" and make disciples. (Matt. 24:14; 28:19, 20) Therefore, publishers do well to avoid representing themselves as agents or representatives of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., or any other corporation used by "the faithful and discreet slave" to advance Kingdom interests.-Matt. 24:45-47.
In case of an accident or an emergency or if problems are encountered while working trailer parks, apartments, or certain other territory, publishers may need some form of personal identification beyond giving their name along with a brief Scriptural explanation of the nature of our religious work. If questioned, or when asked for credentials, baptized publishers may use the identification card (S-65) signed by the presiding overseer, which shows one is preaching the good news of the Kingdom in association with the local congregation named on the card.
A supply of identification cards (S-65), which may be issued to baptized publishers when there is a need, will be included with the annual shipment of congregation forms. If any publishers use a personal name card in connection with their field service activities, they should not print thereon that they are representatives of the Watchtower Society.”
The reality of taking such a position is Jehovah’s Witnesses are to use the magazines and other publications of the Watchtower Society organization; they are to advance their understanding and teachings of matters as presented in the Watchtower Society’s publications and talks; they are to preach to others the interpretation and message as presented in the Watchtower Society organization’s publications; but despite all of this, they are suppose to avoid mentioning the organization when questioned or describing the source of their activities.
This is further suspect, when throughout the organization's history they have stated that Jehovah’s Witnesses indeed, represent the organization. For instance, the Watchtower, January 15, 1950 issue on page 30 regarding United States District Assemblies of 1949 states:
"Each of the Witnesses believes himself or herself to be personally a witness in truth to God. They look to see the world regenerated. There must be no bar against a personal relationship with their God. In convention they seemed to have been led by representatives of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. They were told to put on their armor of God and go forth and preach the gospel as Jesus and His disciples did. They accept this command."
The July 22, 1984 Awake! article, ‘I Started Out A Warbird But Ended Up A Dove’, states on page 22:
"The year 1969 found our son married and my mother well taken care of. Mary Ann and I widened out in our ministry. We became traveling representatives of the Watchtower Society. I started out in my first assignment as circuit overseer-North Dakota Circuit Number One. My brother and his wife, Robert and Lee, entered the circuit work too."
Perhaps, this “avoid representing themselves as agents or representatives” of the organization is new light. After all, both of the above quotes are taking from writings prior to the February 1989 Kingdom Ministry.
That is far from the case as The Watchtower Society has also stated the following in their publications…
Watchtower, December 1, 2005, page 25, paragraph 10, ‘People "out of All the Languages" Hear the Good News’:
"Indeed, Jesus' command to "make disciples of people of all the nations" is being carried out! (Matthew 28:19) Eagerly embracing that commission, Jehovah's Witnesses are active in 235 lands, distributing literature in more than 400 languages. While Jehovah's organization provides the material needed to reach the people, the individual Kingdom publisher must take the initiative to convey the Bible's message to "people of all sorts" in the language they can best understand. (John 1:7) This united effort enables millions of people of various language groups to benefit from the good news"
Watchtower, March 1, 2006, page 16, ‘Knowing What Is Right and Doing It’:
"In 1959, Jehovah's organization instituted the Kingdom Ministry School. This worldwide training program helped circuit overseers, special pioneers, missionaries, and congregation elders to carry out their Scriptural responsibilities more effectively."
Watchtower, July 1, 2006, page 17, ‘They Delight to Do God's Will’:
"Chris and Leslie, a couple assigned to serve as missionaries in Bolivia, put it this way: "Since we have disowned ourselves, we want to make ourselves available to do anything in association with Jehovah's organization." (Mark 8:34) Jason and Chere, assigned to Albania, add: "Every assignment that we have received from Jehovah's organization has had its challenges."
Watchtower, November 15, 2006, page 11, ‘A School Whose Graduates Benefit People Worldwide’:
"In a number of cases, Witnesses who asked for time away from work were told that they would have no employment upon their return. They chose to receive training from Jehovah's organization, even though it meant losing their jobs..."
Watchtower, April 1, 2007, page 16, ‘The Disciple-Making Work Has Shaped My Life’:
"Then, unexpectedly, welcome provisions came from Jehovah's organization. Since September 2001, Our Kingdom Ministry has provided suggestions for presenting the magazines in addition to ideas for offering books and brochures to people of diverse religious persuasions."
Watchtower, September 15, 2007, page 19, ‘Jonathan-"It Was With God That He Worked"’:
"You may need courage to undertake some privilege of service within Jehovah's organization, such as expanding your ministry, accepting new privileges, or moving to serve where the need for Kingdom proclaimers is greater."
The Watchtower Society has learned to apply “Jehovah’s” before “organization” as an appeal to authority and to further indoctrinate the notion of what they claim and state is the will and purpose of God. Indeed the phrase, “Jehovah’s organization” has a much greater impact on a Jehovah’s Witness, rather than just stating “organization” or the “Watchtower Society”.
Make no mistake about it. Jehovah’s Witnesses represent the Watchtower Society organization. When they are knocking on doors and placing literature from the Watchtower Society organization, they are doing so in part, as instructed by that organization and that organization’s interpretation and instruction from their version of the Bible. The Watchtower Society keeps Jehovah’s Witnesses in a constant treadmill of activities in support of their organization.
The reason the Watchtower Society does not want Jehovah’s Witnesses to mention the organization when questioned is due to the legal ramifications. The Watchtower Society organization wields its power and control over its members yet does not want to be held accountable or responsible for the consequences and horrific impact some of its suggestions, teachings, and doctrine can and does have on its members.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
It is an interesting discussion point, and it begs the question of whether preaching 'house to house' is a commandment from Jesus which leads to being a mark for a so-called true religion.
The literal phrase ‘house to house’ in the Watchtower Society’s published Bible, “The New World Translation” can be found three times in the Christian Greek section of the scriptures. The first two times we will discuss, support their doctrine concerning preaching ‘house to house’:
Acts 20:20 - "While I did not hold back from telling YOU any of the things that were profitable nor from teaching YOU publicly and from house to house."
Acts 5:42 - "And every day in the temple and from house to house they continued without letup teaching and declaring the good news about the Christ, Jesus."
In both of those scriptures, the words in the original Greek are “kata oikos” in which the Watchtower Society decided 'house to house' was the best interpretation to present. However, this phrase is better translated as ‘according to house’ as opposed to ‘house to house’. The Reference Bible of The New World Translation used by Jehovah’s Witnesses agrees with this, as the footnote of Acts 5:42 states:
[Literally] “according to house”.
Some other bible translations have also mistranslated the expression as 'house to house'. That is why it is key and vital to go back to the original Greek writings when there is conflict or doubt. A proper translation for 'house to house' would be the Greek phrase “oikia eis oikia”. To say the very least, the notion that 'kata oikos' refers to a literal 'house to house' ministry by the apostle Paul is disputable at best.
Interestingly, the phrase “oikia eis oikia” does appear in the original Greek manuscripts, but in another place. Here is also the third place we will look for the phrase ‘house to house’ in The New World Translation.
Luke 10:7 “So stay in that house, eating and drinking the things they provide, for the worker is worthy of his wages. Do not be transferring from house to house.”
This is Jesus speaking. While Paul's admonition in the Bible book of Acts is disputable to say the least, Jesus' command regarding the ministry is not to move from ‘house to house’. Other translations also show this to be Jesus’ command:
New International Version (NIV): "Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house."
American Standard Version (ASV): "And in that same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house."
New King James Version (NKJV): "And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house."
Young's Literal Translation (YLT): "And in that house remain, eating and drinking the things they have, for worthy [is] the workman of his hire; go not from house to house,"
English Standard Version (ESV): "And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house."
Additional scriptures that Jehovah’s Witnesses may fall back on (Such as Matthew 24:14 or Matthew 28:19, 20) concern preaching, but no-where are there any indication that it must be done 'house to house'.
Furthermore, when we look at other scriptures, it can provide valuable insight concerning what to be on the watch for during the “last days”. A scripture passage which many Jehovah’s Witnesses are familiar with and may at times focus on is from 2 Timothy 3: 1-5. Some may even be able to quote it verbatim.
Let’s though, take a look at the next verse. Let’s focus on 2 Timothy 3:6:
“For from these arise those men who slyly work their way into households and lead as their captives weak women loaded down with sins, led by various desires,”
The Bible is warning against people who "Slyly work their way into households". Could not this possibly be a warning about those who are coming to your home and trying to convince you that they have “the truth”? Young’s Literal Translation phrases it this way:
"[F]or of these there are those coming into the houses and leading captive the silly women, laden with sins, led away with desires manifold,"
The New International Version puts it ever so clearly:
“They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires,"
When pondering the above, do not forget that the Watchtower Society used Johannes Greber’s translation as justification for their actions when it came to the omitting or adding of words to the New World Translation for decades, this is despite the fact that they knew he was into occult practices.
Most importantly, research; while Jesus did make mention of preaching, the notion of it comprising of a ‘house to house’ activity (Which is the majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses preaching) is not present in the scriptures. When you read Luke chapter 10 in its entirety, Jesus provides directions to his disciples, breaking them into groups, they were to stay in the house which had received the message favorably and not go from ‘house to house’. Verse 7 of chapter 10 shows that succinctly, and first century Christians handled their ministry in that manner. They did not preach from ‘house to house’ in the manner Jehovah's Witnesses do today.
A huge factor as to why Jehovah’s Witnesses are preaching ‘house to house’ is because the Watchtower Society tells them that’s what they need to do. It is a part of the Watchtower Society’s teaching of one working towards or earning their salvation. Jesus never instructed such a thing and even the version of the Bible Jehovah’s Witnesses are instructed to primarily use, The New World Translation, bears witness to the fact…
Do not be transferring from house to house.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Their burying of dead ones is based on the Watchtower Society's interpretation of the scripture found in Ezekiel 39:14-16. From The New World Translation, it reads as follows:
"‘And there will be men for continual [employment] whom they will divide off, passing along through the land, burying, with those passing through, those left remaining on the surface of the earth, in order to cleanse it. To the end of seven months they will keep making search. And those passing through must pass along through the land, and should one actually see the bone of a man he must also build beside it a marker, until those who do the burying will have buried it in the Valley of Gog’s Crowd. And the name of [the] city will also be Ha·mo´nah. And they will have to cleanse the land.’"
As the Watchtower Society often does, instead of just applying the passage in the context and times of which it had occurred or was written for, they claim there is a future, or sometimes referred to as a greater fulfillment of scripture. Again, this is according to the Watchtower Society's interpretation. It has resulted in the following spiritual food for Jehovah's Witnesses...
The Watchtower, August 1, 1956, page 465, paragraph 17, from the article entitled, Jehovah’s Message Against Gog of Magog, states:
"With such a glorious feast of victory concluded, only the bones, bones from one end of the earth to the other, will be left for burial. What a task that will be for the survivors, to cleanse the earth of every remaining evidence of Gog’s forces! Even with the work well organized it will take seven months, Jehovah says, just to bury the bones. Scouting corps will be sent out on a full-time basis to search the land thoroughly and, when bones are found, markers will be set up for those with the spades and shovels who follow. (Ezek. 39:14, 15) Those privileged to share in that cleanup work will not view it as a revolting and disgusting assignment but will rejoice to be alive when Gog’s long and oppressive rule has come to an end and when the wicked are no more. Survivors of Armageddon will be happy and will greatly rejoice to have a share in preparing the earth for a global paradise of beauty and perfection under the reign of the King Christ Jesus. But first, before that happy day, this message against Gog must be delivered in its completeness."
What a task, indeed! Just think all those neighbors and family members who refuse to believe the Watchtower Society's interpretation of matters as overseen and directed by a few men in Brooklyn calling themselves the Governing Body will need to be buried - Perhaps by your own hand if you're one of Jehovah's Witnesses; all those elderly ones and all those children. And they will not find this revolting or disgusting, but Jehovah's Witnesses will rejoice.
But this good news that Jehovah's Witnesses have did not stop in 1956, as a one time teaching. Perhaps, the light had brightened. Jehovah's Witnesses really won't have to clean up the dead, including those whom they loved and known for so many years, right?
According to the Watchtower August 1, 1961 page 469, paragraph 17, from the article entitled, Enlarging Your Privileges of Service, Jehovah's Witnesses are informed:
"After God’s execution of judgment upon the wicked in his war of Armageddon, the earthly subjects of the King will have before them a world-wide cleanup program that will eclipse anything this globe has ever seen. Countless numbers of human dead will have to be buried. (Ezek. 39:11-16)"
Evidently, the future world-wide cleanup program of dead loved ones is still in effect. Jehovah's Witnesses should get a good look at those not Jehovah's Witnesses around them, as the majority of them will possibly be buried by their hands. Not to fret over it though, after all according to the Watchtower Society, it is a way in which one can enlarge their 'privilege of service'. And what a fine privilege this will be. According to surveys taken by such organizations as the Pew, upwards of over 60% of Jehovah's Witness children leave the religion. In knowing that information, it surely leads to a fine privilege for Jehovah's Witness parents to look forward too.
More good news, such spiritual truths did not end in 1961 either. In the Watchtower Society publication published in 1971, The Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah - How?, chapter 20, Land of Magog No More to Threaten Mankind, pages 374-375, paragraph 15, states:
"The "new earth" of human society under Jehovah’s Messianic kingdom of the heavens in the hands of "David my servant" must be perfectly clean of all traces of Gog’s crowd. To make a vivid picture of this, the "utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah" goes on to say respecting the survivors of Gog’s attack: "And there will be men for continual employment whom they will divide off, passing along through the land, burying, with those passing through, those left remaining on the surface of the earth, in order to cleanse it. To the end of seven months they will keep making search. And those passing through must pass along through the land, and should one actually see the bone of a man he must also build beside it a marker, until those who do the burying will have buried it in the Valley of Gog’s Crowd. And the name of the city will also be Hamonah. And they will have to cleanse the land."—Ezekiel 39:14-16."
So here we have a somewhat brighter or clarifying light helping Jehovah's Witnesses to appreciate that in order for human society to be "perfectly clean" this burying of dead ones is necessary. Is it not comforting to know, that Jehovah's Witnesses possibly burying their family and others they may care so much about is needed for them to obtain perfect cleanliness?
Jehovah's Witnesses are taught not to speculate on matters, but let's ponder this for a moment:
- Who receives the blessing of burying the remains of babies and toddlers?
- Does each Jehovah's Witness head have the honor and privilege of burying their dead family members?
- Will Elders or/and Ministerial Servants have to bury those in the congregation who didn't quite make it pass Armageddon?
- Does a son receive the privilege of burying their father, and fathers the privilege of burying their son? Perhaps even mothers and daughters can be involved in this wonderful and joyous work.
What a privilege to be known and taught as Jehovah's Witnesses!
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Directing our attention to paragraph 10 it states the following:
"Today, we as true Christians must be careful not to become contaminated by false worship. (1 Corinthians 10:21) Caution is essential in this regard, for the influence of false religion is pervasive. In many lands, various traditions, activities, and rituals are connected with false religious teachings, such as the notion that something inside us survives death. (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6, 10) True Christians avoid customs involving false religious beliefs. We will not allow pressure from others to cause us to compromise the Bible's standards of clean worship.-Acts 5:29."
Are Jehovah's Witnesses truly fed the above concepts consistently by the Governing Body through the various pages of the Watchtower Society's publications? Do they truly practice the above sentiments?
Take the Watchtower Society's teaching on Piñatas, per September 22, 2003, Awake!, page 24, 'The Piñata - An Ancient Tradition':
"We found that for many people in Mexico, the piñata has lost its religious significance and is considered by most to be just harmless fun...A main concern is, not what the practice meant hundreds of years ago, but how it is viewed today in your area. Understandably, opinions may vary from one place to another. Hence, it is wise to avoid turning such matters into big issues."
Meanwhile, the origin of the Piñata and the history behind it shows usage attached to celebrating the coming of Spring and part of the Posada in the Catholic culture. Furthermore, it symbolizes sins and the breaking of the Piñata equates to the destroying of sins, while the flowing candy and treats from the broken Piñata symbolizes the forgiveness of sins and the releasing of blessings.
The Watchtower Society makes the point in the study lesson of the sited paragraph 10 that "...rituals are connected with false religious teachings, such as the notion that something inside us survives death."
How quickly they must have forgotten what they were just teaching at the Book Study not too long ago…
According to Revelation – Its Grand Climax At Hand! - Both the original 1988 and 2006 revision - on page 125 it states:
“It is fitting, then, that one of the 24 elders representing anointed ones already in heaven, should stir John's thinking...(Revelation 7:13, 14a) Yes, that elder could locate the answer and give it to John. This suggests that resurrected ones of the 24-elders group may be involved in the communicating of divine truths today.”
The Watchtower Society believes and teaches that dead anointed members [Those of which according to Watchtower Society doctrine are of a literal 144,000 individuals] have involvement in communicating divine truths to living Jehovah’s Witnesses.
What further things have Jehovah's Witnesses been taught? Looking up information in the Watchtower Society's 'Watchtower Library CD-ROM', the Watchtower, January 15, 1972 on page 64 makes the following statement concerning wedding rings:
"Of course, a wedding ring is by no means a Christian requirement. One Christian might decide not to wear a wedding ring, because of conscience, personal taste, cost, local custom, or some other reason. Yet another Christian might decide to indicate his married status by means of a wedding ring. Hence, in the final analysis the decision is a personal one, to be made in accord with the conscientious views one holds."
That is an odd stance to take from an organization that is supposed to be representing God's “clean” servants. Wearing a wedding ring is a conscience choice. However, like the Piñata, if one was to perform some research they would find pagan and false religious origins attached to it. In fact, the whole wedding ceremony which is practiced by Jehovah's Witnesses, including the wedding party, dressing up, and many other activities also are of pagan and false religious origins. Why is it okay for Jehovah's Witnesses to practice these things? Undoubtedly, it is given the same 'pass' approval decided by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses for Piñatas.
Inconsistent teachings including wishy-washy stances on activities and items that clearly originate from pagan and so-called false religious beliefs and practices is intertwined with what is taught to and practiced by Jehovah's Witnesses. This is inclusive of the notion that dead Jehovah's Witnesses are providing instruction and direction to current living members. How are Jehovah's Witnesses truly "clean" as they fail the same standards they set for everyone else?
The conclusion of the matter is Jehovah's Witnesses are given a perceived 'cleanliness' focused on certain things while overlooking other areas; all based on the publications of the Watchtower Society, decided upon by a few men who call themselves the Governing Body.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
“I am the Al´pha and the O·me´ga,” says Jehovah God, “the One who is and who was and who is coming, the Almighty.”
In any other Bible Translation, Revelation 1:8 is referring to Jesus. Other Bible translations simply render the verse as follows:
New International Version - "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."
New American Standard Bible - "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
English Standard Version - "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
New King James Version - “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, ”says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Young's Literal Translation - `I am the Alpha and the Omega, beginning and end, saith the Lord, who is, and who was, and who is coming -- the Almighty.'
Remember though, according to the Watchtower Society’s translation of the scripture, it inserts the name Jehovah into the verse. Despite the fact that the Tetragrammaton does not appear in any of the Bible scrolls for this Bible verse. Nonetheless, for argument sake, let’s stick with the notion that the Watchtower Society is right respecting Jehovah and not Jesus being spoken of in Revelation 1:8.
Then, turn to Revelation chapter 22. If you read the entire chapter it is speaking about Jesus – the one who is coming quickly. Even if you read Revelation 22 from the New World Translation, it plainly shows that Jesus is the one being referred to and he is the Alpha and the Omega as stated in Revelation 22:13. To show such is not being taken out of context we will site from verse 10 onward of chapter 22:
"10 He also tells me: “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, for the appointed time is near. 11 He that is doing unrighteousness, let him do unrighteousness still; and let the filthy one be made filthy still; but let the righteous one do righteousness still, and let the holy one be made holy still.
12 “‘Look! I am coming quickly, and the reward I give is with me, to render to each one as his work is. 13 I am the Al´pha and the O·me´ga, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. 14 Happy are those who wash their robes, that the authority [to go] to the trees of life may be theirs and that they may gain entrance into the city by its gates. 15 Outside are the dogs and those who practice spiritism and the fornicators and the murderers and the idolaters and everyone liking and carrying on a lie.’
16 “‘I, Jesus, sent my angel to bear witness to YOU people of these things for the congregations. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright morning star.’”
17 And the spirit and the bride keep on saying: “Come!” And let anyone hearing say: “Come!” And let anyone thirsting come; let anyone that wishes take life’s water free.
18 “I am bearing witness to everyone that hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone makes an addition to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this scroll; 19 and if anyone takes anything away from the words of the scroll of this prophecy, God will take his portion away from the trees of life and out of the holy city, things which are written about in this scroll.
20 “He that bears witness of these things says, ‘Yes; I am coming quickly.’”
“Amen! Come, Lord Jesus.”
21 [May] the undeserved kindness of the Lord Jesus Christ [be] with the holy ones."
By its very definition only God can be the Alpha and the Omega (‘The First and the Last’ of everything).
So which is it? If you believe most other translations of Revelation 1:8 including: The New International Version, The New King James Version, The English Standard Version, New American Standard, Young’s Literal Translation, etc., Jesus is the Alpha and Omega at both Revelation 1:8 and Revelation 22:13.
Again, the Alpha and the Omega by its very definition (‘The First and The Last’ of everything) can only be God. That of course would be a huge problem for Jehovah’s Witnesses as they are taught Jesus is not God according to their Organization's Governing Body.
If you believe, the New World Translation of the Scriptures as published by the Watchtower Society, then at Revelation 1:8, Jehovah is the Alpha and the Omega, and at Revelation 22:13, Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega. How can that be so? How can both Jehovah and Jesus be the Alpha and the Omega?
Is not it interesting too that the Bible ends speaking of Jesus Christ and not Jehovah?
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Teaching/Beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses parallel Christadelphians in many areas. This is inclusive of but not limited to:
-State that their beliefs are based wholly on the Bible.
-They believe that God is the creator of all things and the father of true believers, that he is a separate being from his son, Jesus Christ.
-Jesus is the promised Messiah, in whom the prophecies and promises of the Old Testament find their fulfillment.
-After death, believers are in a state of non-existence, knowing nothing until the Resurrection.
-Reject a number of doctrines held by many other Christians, notably the immortality of the soul, trinitarianism, the baptism of infants, and the personhood of the Holy Spirit.
-Hell is understood to refer to death and the grave, rather than being a place of eternal torment.
-Organized into local congregations.
-Women are typically not eligible to teach.
-Refuse to participate in any military because they are conscientious objectors.
-A strong emphasis on personal Bible reading and study.
Those are just some of the similarities. Any credit for the above given to Jehovah's Witnesses can equally be given to Christadelphians.
Teaching/Beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses parallel House of Yahweh as well:
-Membership of all races from nations all over the globe welcoming all "who will repent of sin and follow Yahweh's Law."
-Claims to be associated with no other faith and indeed asserts that other faiths, especially Christianity, are corrupt and false.
-Believes it is the one true faith, as revealed by the Creator from the beginning, and reestablished again in what they believe are the prophesied end times.
-Christmas, Easter, and birthdays are not celebrated.
-Once a year on the evening before Passover, members hold a solemn observance Memorial, referring to the Last Supper of Jesus Christ.
-Yahweh is the only one who deserves worship or adoration, and is the sovereign and only creator and ruler of the universe.
-Yahshua Messiah gave all glory, honor and obedience to Yahweh who is not a trinity, but one individual being with no equal or partners.
-They publish an edition of the Bible, which removes any and all words or concepts which are thought to be pagan corruptions.
Again, these are just some of the similarities. Any credit for the above given to Jehovah's Witnesses can equally be given to House of Yahweh. Further, arguably 'Yahweh' is closer to the pronunciation of the Father's name than 'Jehovah'.
The reality is there are hundreds of areas to measure upon, and two extremes for each area. The Jehovah's Witnesses have been taught to take preaching to one extreme (imagining it is the most important of God's commandments), but then love (which actually is the most important) they can take to the opposite extreme (Love is disposable). For example, see where the love goes once an individual disassociates themselves from the organization or is disfellowshipped, despite the reason(s).
Since the individuals running the Watchtower Society are imperfect, their teachings are imperfect; they are therefore really no different from anyone else's imperfect teachings. Would God smite one religion because they only got it 85% "correct", and another got it 87% "correct"? Does the religion which has 75% of the teachings "right" have God's favor over the one with only 50% "right"? No God would be so shallow or stupid.
Truth is Jehovah's Witnesses are deep into Restorationism similar to their Seventh-day Adventists roots. Restorationism applies to the Restoration Movement and numerous other movements that originated in the United States and grew in the early and mid 19th century. It refers to the belief held by various religious movements that pristine or original Christianity should be restored, while usually claiming to be the source of that restoration. This is also seen in the religions mentioned earlier as well as Latter Day Saints (Mormons).
Jehovah's Witnesses are also into Millenarianism; which is the belief by a religious, social, or political group or movement in a coming major transformation of society, after which all things will be changed in a positive direction. While it is true there are groups involved in Millenarianism since centuries ago, dozens of books promoting Millenarianism were published in the first three decades of the 19th century, and many new Millenarian societies were formed since then. A short list of millenarian groups besides Jehovah’s Witnesses includes:
-Aum Supreme Truth
-Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University
-The Living Church of God
-The Lord's Resistance Army
Jehovah's Witnesses are not unique with their teachings and beliefs. There are hundreds of thousands of faiths and beliefs in the world. Jehovah's Witnesses are just another one of them with a proven history of inaccurate teachings, flip-flopping of doctrine, and false prophesy. How can they be the 'true religion' or sole communication of truth God is using today?
Thursday, June 11, 2009
"We found that for many people in Mexico, the piñata has lost its religious significance and is considered by most to be just harmless fun...A main concern is, not what the practice meant hundreds of years ago, but how it is viewed today in your area. Understandably, opinions may vary from one place to another. Hence, it is wise to avoid turning such matters into big issues."
The Watchtower Society picks and chooses what lost its "religious significance" and is harmless as opposed to other things which may have less than favorable origins which are off limits for Jehovah's Witnesses.
Keeping in mind the Piñata reasoning above, notice how a contradicting viewpoint is stated here in the publication known to Jehovah's Witnesses as the Bible Teach book, in chapter 16, 'Take Your Stand For True Worship', paragraph 12 on page 159:
"Some agree that such holidays as Christmas have pagan origins but still feel that it is not wrong to celebrate them. After all, most people are not thinking about false worship when they observe holidays. These occasions also give families opportunities to draw close together...Maybe you feel that the origins of holidays have little to do with how they are celebrated today. Do origins really matter? Yes! To illustrate: Suppose you saw a piece of candy lying in the gutter. Would you pick up that candy and eat it? Of course not! That candy is unclean. Like that candy, holidays may seem sweet, but they have been picked up from unclean places. To take a stand for true worship, we need to have a viewpoint like that of the prophet Isaiah, who told true worshipers: “Touch nothing unclean.” —Isaiah 52:11."
The Governing Body spreads their hypocritical and contradictory stances through the various pages of Watchtower Society publications. Unfortunately, many Jehovah's Witnesses don't see it. However, let's make it crystal clear with a little research on Piñatas:
History of Piñatas...The origin of the Piñata is Chinese not Hispanic. It was used to celebrate the coming of spring. As a result of Marco Polo's adventures into China, he introduced this Chinese custom which was adopted by the Spanish as well as by the French and Italians. The Spanish brought this custom to the new world when they conquered Mexico. The Piñata became part of the Posada in the Catholic culture.
Symbols...The original & traditional Piñata has seven points symbolizing the seven deadly sins: envy, sloth, gluttony, greed, lust, anger/wrath, and pride. The ten pointed Piñata symbolizes the sins that come from breaking the Ten Commandments. The stick which is used to break the Piñata represents and symbolizes love. It is suppose to destroy the sins by hitting and breaking the Piñata into pieces. The candies and treats that come pouring out from the broken Piñata symbolize the forgiveness of sins and a new beginning. In the Mexican Catholic celebration of Christmas, the Piñata is traditionally shaped like a seven-pointed star which represents the devil and the seven deadly sins, while the contents are the goods or blessings he is withholding. Striking the devil with faith, symbolized by being blindfolded, releases the blessings.
Do your own research on Piñatas and find the above to be true.
How does the Watchtower Society justify their view towards Piñatas using such statements as...
"...considered by most to be just harmless fun."
"A main concern is, not what the practice meant hundreds of years ago, but how it is viewed today in your area."
"...it is wise to avoid turning such matters into big issues."
...while taking such a hard-line stand against holidays, birthdays, flags, and other things and celebrations which are not viewed the same way they were years ago and is just harmless fun?
The logic and reasoning the Watchtower Society uses makes no sense whatsoever. If you are not taking a stand against Piñatas, why take a hard-line stance against other things with religious and pagan origins? Piñatas are steeped with both pagan and religious ties. Why and how is Piñatas harmless fun but things such as Easter Eggs, Christmas Trees and New Year's celebrations are unacceptable for Jehovah's Witnesses?
Investigate, question, and think of the contradictions and hypocrisy taught to and by Jehovah's Witnesses.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
The Watchtower, November 15, 1952, page 703, Questions from Readers:
"In the case of where a father or mother or son or daughter is disfellowshipped [disassociated], how should such person be treated by members of the family in their family relationship?
We are not living today among theocratic nations where such members of our fleshly family relationship could be exterminated for apostasy from God and his theocratic organization, as was possible and was ordered in the nation of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai and in the land of Palestine. . . Being limited by the laws of the worldly nation in which we live and also by the laws of God through Jesus Christ, we can take action against apostates only to a certain extent, that is, consistent with both sets of laws. The law of the land and God’s law through Christ forbid us to kill apostates, even though they be members of our own flesh-and-blood family relationship. However, God’s law requires us to recognize their being disfellowshipped from his congregation."
The message to Jehovah's Witnesses above is a family member should be killed as they were exterminated (Stoned to death) for apostasy among "theocratic nations". The only things stopping them are the law of the land and God's law through Christ. Basically, too bad such laws are in place or else we would stone our apostate fleshly family members to death!
The Watchtower, July 15, 1961, page 420:
"Jesus encouraged his followers to love their enemies, but God's Word also says to "hate what is bad." When a person persists in a way of badness after knowing what is right, when the bad becomes so ingrained that it is an inseparable part of his make-up, then in order to hate what is bad a Christian must hate the person with whom the badness is inseparably linked."
The Watchtower Society's message is clear. Despite Jesus' teaching to love your enemy, the principle to hate what is bad must be followed to a superlative degree. It is not just to hate what a person has done, but to hate the person.
Our Kingdom Ministry, August 2002, Page 4, paragraph 12:
"Benefits of Being Loyal to Jehovah: Cooperating with the Scriptural arrangement to disfellowship and shun unrepentant wrongdoers is beneficial."
As time has progressed and the Watchtower Society is being exposed for its destructive cult-like doctrines such as those regarding treatment of ex-members, notions of killing apostates and hating people have taken a slightly softer tone. In more recent years, they don't make such brazen statements as exterminate, kill, and hate. Rather, the article quoted above uses the key-phrase "shun unrepentant wrongdoers". Note too, just before such a statement is made, the phrase "Being Loyal to Jehovah" is stated. By doing so, the intent is to equate loyalty to Jehovah to shunning those who are ex-members.
Keep Yourselves In God's Love (2008), Appendix, How To Treat A Disfellowshipped Person:
"Is strict avoidance really necessary? Yes...Loyal Christian family members do not look for excuses to have dealings with a disfellowshipped relative not living at home...Bible principles on this subject apply equally to those who disassociate themselves from the congregation."
If there is still any confusion on the matter, one of the Watchtower Society's more recent publications once again emphasizes their feelings. However, again over the course of time, people continue to educate themselves and many know that shunning is used in cults and high-level control groups. The Watchtower Society avoids using the word "shun". Nonetheless, their counsel and directions are to do just that to those who defy them.
Shun? Hate? Kill? The ideas and notions from the Watchtower Society through their twisted interpretation of scripture and warped viewpoint is so far from the teachings of Jesus Christ as found in the Bible. For the organization to indoctrinate their members in such a way is in part what brings people to see Jehovah's Witnesses as a dangerous and destructive cult.
Friday, May 22, 2009
"How we respond to the Bible's direction on this matter can reveal the depth of our love for God and of our loyalty to his arrangement...We do not have spiritual or social fellowship with disfellowshipped ones...A Simple 'Hello' to someone can be the first step that develops into a conversation and maybe even a friendship...Is strict avoidance really necessary? Yes...Although there might be a need for limited contact on some rare occasion to care for a necessary family matter, any such contact should be kept to a minimum."
Additionally, the '[Footnote]' section states the following:
"Bible principles on this subject apply equally to those who disassociate themselves from the congregation."
The Watchtower Society's Governing Body is instructing Jehovah's Witnesses to shun individuals. Indeed, one should not even say 'Hello' to a disfellowshipped or disassociated person. Strict avoidance is necessary according to the Watchtower Society. The Governing Body is manipulating the thinking and actions of Jehovah's Witnesses respecting people who are their friends and family members but no longer an active Jehovah's Witness. Through their interpretation of scriptures, the Watchtower Society is directing Jehovah's Witnesses that following such admonition measures their love and loyalty to God.
However, such directions are hypocritical and the Governing Body is imposing a double standard. The reason for this is clearly evident when one reads the July 2009 Awake! article "The Bible's Viewpoint - Is It Wrong to Change Your Religion?” The following statements are made:
"The Bible assures us that God wants us to "really find him". Since our Creator wants us to search for truth, it cannot be wrong to act on the evidence we find - even if that means changing our religion...God allows each person the freedom to choose how he or she will respond. No one should be forced to worship in a way that he finds unacceptable or be made to choose between his beliefs and his family."
The Awake! article stresses that one should not feel forced to worship in a way that is unacceptable to them. A person who disassociates themselves from Jehovah's Witnesses has found that religion's way of worship unacceptable. Nonetheless, by the Watchtower Society's teachings as found in their publications such as Keep Yourselves In God's Love, family and friends are torn apart if not completely destroyed when one no longer chooses to be a part of the Watchtower Society's organization.
The Governing Body's hypocritical double standard on this matter is sickening. In effect the message is everyone has the God given freedom and right to change religion without the consequence of choosing between belief and those dear to them, except if you are a Jehovah's Witness. You leave the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses then you lose your family and friends who are Jehovah's Witnesses by being shunned.
As a Jehovah's Witness, the instructions and admonition you receive is your loyalty and love for the Watchtower Society organization equates to your loyalty and love for God. That is twisted and very cultish.
Friday, May 1, 2009
It is a conscience choice according to the November 15, 1950, issue of the Watchtower, on pages 445 and 446 in the article ‘Subjection to the Higher Powers’:
"Likewise where Caesar makes it compulsory for citizens to vote. After they have registered and when election day comes, they can go to the polls and enter the voting booths. It is here that they are called upon to mark the ballot or write in what they stand for. The voters do what they will with their ballots. So here in the presence of God is where his witnesses must act in harmony with his commandments and in accordance with their faith. It is not our responsibility to instruct them what to do with the ballot. They must act in accord with their conscience as enlightened by the study of God's Word."
23 years later and the Watchtower Society is providing this information to Jehovah's Witnesses:
The Watchtower, October 15, 1973, on page 627 in the article entitled: ‘Why People of All Kinds Are Becoming Jehovah's Witnesses’ it states:
"“You gave me the right answer to the first question,” said the man, “but you probably won’t answer the next one right. I am looking for a religion which has absolutely nothing to do with politics. Do you have anything to do with politics?” Informed that Jehovah’s Witnesses keep separate from all politics, not even voting, the man was indeed surprised. Eventually a Bible study was started with him and his wife. Now both of them are baptized witnesses of Jehovah."
The Watchtower, December 15, 1973, page 741 in the article ‘Earth’s Rulers for a Thousand Years’ states:
"They do not have the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand. That is, they do not have the identification as slaves of the state and do not lend an active hand in carrying on its worldly activities, often beastly. They do not run for political offices, or vote for political candidates."
For a Jehovah's Witness the above direction was to be applied to their life personally. Voting is clearly not allowed per the Watchtower Society if you were one of Jehovah's Witnesses at this time. Furthermore, this stance continued to be sustained even 13 years later:
The Watchtower, September 1, 1986 issue, page 21:
"They do not seek or offer compromises…To serve in the army, to vote, or to give the Hitler salute would have meant a recognition of the claims of this world as dominant over the claims of God."
To go against the directions of the Watchtower Society, the consequences would have been devastating. For the Elder's manual, Pay Attention To Yourselves and to All the Flock regarding the revision being used at that time (Copyright 1981) stipulates the following on page 149 under point '(4) Neutrality':
"Jehovah's Witnesses are neutral with regard to political and military affairs of the nations. They do not interfere with what others do as to voting in political offices, running for or campaigning for political offices, joining the military, etc. Since true dedicated Christians are "no part of the world," if one pursues a course in violation of his Christian neutrality, he disassociates himself from the neutral Christian congregation...treated as one disfellowshipped.”
Thereby, if a Jehovah's Witness was to vote when the Watchtower Society stated it was not allowed, it would be seen as an act of disassociating oneself and they would be treated as one disfellowshipped.
But wait, another 13 years later after the 1986 Watchtower article, new light shines forth from the Watchtower Society.
The Watchtower, November 1, 1999, ‘Questions for Readers’, on pages 28 and 29:
"How do Jehovah's Witnesses view voting?...there appears to be no principle against the practice of voting itself...As to whether they will personally vote for someone running in an election, each one of Jehovah’s Witnesses makes a decision based on his Bible-trained conscience and an understanding of his responsibility to God and to State...If someone decides to go to the polling booth that is his decision. What he does in the polling booth is between him and his Creator...There may be people who are stumbled when they observe that during an election in their country, some Witnesses of Jehovah go to the polling booth and others do not...in matters of individual conscience such as this, each Christian has to make his own decision before Jehovah God."
Their stance has gone full circle. They are back to their doctrinal position from 1950.
If you ask many Jehovah's Witnesses today, they may still believe that voting is absolutely wrong according to God and the Bible and they do not have a conscience choice in the matter. Indeed, they may believe that 'true Christians’ do not vote. After all, the Watchtower Society taught Jehovah's Witnesses for years that was the case. Nonetheless, the Watchtower Society has proven once again another doctrinal teaching in which they flip-flop on:
1950 - Conscience choice
1973 - Do not vote
1986 - Do not vote
1999 - Conscience choice
Furthermore, we should not forgot all the Jehovah's Witnesses who either lost their life in such places as Cameroon, Africa during the 1970's and 80's or were beaten, tortured, imprisoned, and starved for following what they believed is God's direction and stance regarding voting.
Does this type of doctrinal position read as coming from an organization exclusively chosen and directed by God? Would anyone want to be led by such an organization? These questions are important to ponder, especially in light of the fact that the bloodguilt and misdirection of the Watchtower Society is undeniable.
What Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught regarding a matter as being “the truth”, as in the area of voting can change to become something different and yet change again to a former belief. Not only do the consequences affect an individual’s freedom, following the Watchtower Society’s teaching can cost you your well-being if not your life.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Here are some of the main points taken directly from the Watchtower Society's outline for that Public Talk.
From the section entitled, 'Inspecting the Fruitage of Religious Beliefs' it makes the statement:
"We must examine religion by its fruitage; if a religion allows or promotes practices that the Bible condemns, is it measuring up to God’s standards?"
The Bible condemns adding to the Word of God. This is emphasized in such scriptural passages as: Deuteronomy 4:2, Deuteronomy 12:32, Proverbs 30:5-6 and Revelation 22:18-19.
What does the Watchtower Society allow and promote?
The December 15, 2008 Watchtower on page 28 states:
“Our coming to know “the truth” – the entire body of Christian teachings that has become part of the Bible – and adhering to it are essential for salvation.”
Yes, "the truth" (Which is the interpretation and beliefs as taught by the Watchtower Society) has become part of the Bible according to the Watchtower magazine which is promoted and reviewed by the Governing Body, serving as spiritual food for Jehovah's Witnesses.
Another statement we will examine is from the section, 'Practice Religion That Is True From God's Standpoint' which is taken from the same outline. It states:
"True religion encourages everyone to examine the Scriptures and prove to themselves the perfect will of God (Ro 12:2)"
While it may seem at times, even often the Watchtower Society encourages Bible Reading (Especially with their New World Translation of the Scriptures), what also do they tell Jehovah's Witnesses?
From Our Kingdom Ministry, September 2007, page 3, Question Box:
"Does the "faithful and discreet slave" endorse independent groups of Witnesses who meet together to engage in Scriptural research or debate?
No, it does not."
Indeed, the Watchtower Society does not want Jehovah's Witnesses doing Scriptural research on their own. What the organization is really doing is encouraging examining the scriptures with the influence, meetings and publications of the Watchtower Society.
And why would that be the case?
According to the Watchtower, August 15, 1981 issue, page 29, paragraph 14:
"They say that it is sufficient to read the Bible exclusively, either alone or in small groups at home. But, strangely, through such ‘Bible reading,' they have reverted right back to the apostate doctrines that commentaries by Christendom's clergy were teaching 100 years ago..."
Does it not make sense that if Jehovah's Witnesses are a "true religion", reading the Bible would bring you to the conclusion of Jehovah's Witnesses doctrine as set by the Watchtower Society and not the doctrines typically found in as the Watchtower Society likes to call it, Christendom? The Watchtower Society in no uncertain terms states that if you read the Bible either alone or in small groups exclusively, it brings you to the teachings and doctrines of Christendom.
Finally, as the last statement made in the talk outline stresses:
"Examine the evidence for yourself..."
Please do so. The "true religion" standard the Watchtower Society sets for others, it cannot even meet itself. Make sure too when examining the evidence you don’t miss the false prophesying, false interpretation of prophesy, and the flip-flopping of doctrine by the Watchtower Society presented as “the truth” to Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Is this true? Has society and people in general as well as world conditions been increasing worse since 1914? Does 1914 and onward prove to be the worst time in human history?
For someone unfamiliar with history, it may appear to be the case. However, let's take one slice of history – The 14th Century -- to see how bad things could be today.
The Black Death (aka Black Plague) struck the world earlier in the 14th century. That one plague alone wiped out between 40-50 percent of the entire population of Europe. For something even just equivalent to strike today, the death toll in Europe would be somewhere between 300-350 million deaths from one disease.
Some years during the 14th century were worse than others. For instance, England had a population of five or six million in 1348. Within a year Black Death killed half of them. Could you imagine in a year, Europe losing half of its population to disease?
Parents would abandon their children once they were ill and showing what was called "God's Tokens" which were red rings on the skin where the blood vessels were leaking into tissue. Imagine parents by the dozen, even hundreds abandoning and leaving their children. If the equivalent was to occur today, it would mean hundreds to thousands upon thousands of parents abandoning their sick children. Again, it wouldn't make these times worse just equal to the 14th century.
Furthermore, during the 14th century if disease didn't strike you, dying on the battlefield could be a likely result for you. The most infamous of these battles was the Hundred Years War; a war which spanned decade, upon decade, upon decade, and still continued, living up to the title it earned. More people died as a proportion of the population as a result of that war than during World War I and World War II.
In other words, the numbers of deaths reported in WW I & WW II are staggering, but compared to how many people were alive on the Earth during that time, it pales in comparison to the number of deaths due to war during the 14th century relative to the amount of people alive on the Earth then.
The 14th century was a time of turmoil, loss of confidence and an overall feeling of helplessness as the everyday person felt for the most part that God had abandoned them. There was also deep economic and social unrest. Additionally, environmentally there were drastic and perceived devastating changes. For example, during this time period in 1303, 1306 and 1307, Alpine glaciers advanced and Norse settlements were cut off, while grain cultivation ceased in Iceland.
Much more can be stated about the 14th century but we will stop here. Physically, morally, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, economically and socially, the majority of people were in a dire, desperate and sad state. In fact, many call that century the worst century of human history.
Such devastation and conditions either does not exist or it does somewhat, but not affecting proportionally the amount of people and land it did back then. Our 'modern era' has not experienced anything equivalent to it.
We hear things, see things and experience things due to personal circumstance and all the technology and information available today. It's not worse, but may at times seem that way in part as a result of our limited life experience as well as other factors such as there are many more people on the planet (Both "good" and "bad") and we have communication and information on a scale unlike any other in history.
Could you imagine half of your neighbors or even a third of your neighbors dying in a year? How about a war lasting a hundred years affecting the lives of hundreds of millions of people? What about social unrest and bleak economic conditions where the majority of people were suffering? Even if it did happen, it would only equal the devastation experience during the 14th Century.
Some people may feel and believe times are truly worse than when they were younger; for them individually, perhaps. Then again, as one gets older the carefree and freedom of youth leaves. Nostalgia may set in longing for a time in their personal life that was simpler and easier - Perhaps even healthier and happier. Their outlook on the world or people in general may become hard, cold or even pessimistic. One needs to look at the larger picture and overall scope of society to understand.
We're constantly learning as humans - still growing and understanding.
Are there changes in lifestyle in our modern era, including areas where doors and windows need to be locked which was not needed decades ago? Yes; it is the result of there being many more "bad" people in those areas today, but proportionately there are many more good individuals as well, when seen from a global perspective. Good people trying to do the right thing. We learn and grow as individuals and as groups of people.
As for the morality of people, for those under the impression that today’s society is the worst in human history, the Bible itself shows differently. Accounts of murder, incest, rape, killing innocent children, slavery, bestiality, and other horrendous acts and lifestyles are clearly stated; especially in the Bible books which are better known as the Old Testament or Hebrew Scriptures, which are documented as events taking place thousands of years ago.
Here is one of the many examples that can be found - Judges 19: 16-29:
“Eventually, look! an old man coming in from his work in the field at evening, and the man was from the mountainous region of E´phra·im, and he was residing for a time in Gib´e·ah; but the men of the place were Ben´ja·mites. When he raised his eyes he got to see the man, the traveler, in the public square of the city. So the old man said: “Where are you going, and where do you come from?” In turn he said to him: “We are passing along from Beth´le·hem in Judah to the remotest parts of the mountainous region of E´phra·im. That is where I am from, but I went to Beth´le·hem in Judah; and it is to my own house that I am going, and there is nobody taking me on into the house. And there are both straw and fodder for our he-asses, and there are both bread and wine for me and your slave girl and for the attendant with your servant. There is no lack of a single thing.” However, the old man said: “May you have peace! Just let any lack of yours be upon me. Only do not stay overnight in the public square.” With that he brought him into his house and threw mash to the he-asses. Then they washed their feet and began to eat and drink.
While they were making their hearts feel good, look! the men of the city, mere good-for-nothing men, surrounded the house, shoving one another against the door; and they kept saying to the old man, the owner of the house: “Bring out the man that came into your house, that we may have intercourse with him.” At that the owner of the house went on out to them and said to them: “No, my brothers, do not do anything wrong, please, since this man has come into my house. Do not commit this disgraceful folly. Here are my virgin daughter and his concubine. Let me bring them out, please, and YOU rape them and do to them what is good in YOUR eyes. But to this man YOU must not do this disgraceful, foolish thing.”
And the men did not want to listen to him. Hence the man took hold of his concubine and brought her forth to them outside; and they began to have intercourse with her, and kept on abusing her all night long until the morning, after which they sent her off at the ascending of the dawn. Then the woman came as it was turning to morning, and fell down at the entrance of the man’s house where her master was,—until daylight. Later her master rose up in the morning and opened the doors of the house and went out to get on his way, and, look! the woman, his concubine, fallen at the entrance of the house with her hands upon the threshold! So he said to her: “Rise up, and let us go.” But there was no one answering. At that the man took her upon the ass and rose up and went to his place. Then he entered his house and took the slaughtering knife and laid hold of his concubine and cut her up according to her bones into twelve pieces and sent her into every territory of Israel.”
The above highlights the morality issue as well as provides the reader a large dose of sex and violence in very graphic terms.
Other scriptures and topics to examine are inclusive of but not exclusive to: Father-daughter incest (Genesis 19: 30-38), burning sacrifice of babies (Jeremiah 7:31), murder of family members (Genesis 4: 3-16), obtaining slaves including children (Leviticus 25:44-46), sex slavery (Exodus 21: 7-11).
There are many, many examples of things the world today sees as horrendous and would be unacceptable by the majority, but was seen as fine, acceptable, and even commonplace respecting morality thousands of years ago. As well as morality issues which some perceive as relatively recent events or changes in some, perhaps even many people they encounter and know about, but actually took place as significantly or to an even greater extent hundreds to thousands of years ago.
Really examine the quality of life today. The luxuries many people share were not even fathomable years ago. Times have not become worse, but better. We are more educated and a more tolerant society than times before. Equality and human rights are put to the forefront in many cases, and while some countries may be worse than others regarding these areas, globally, society has become better not worse.
So where does this grim look on 1914 and onward begin? We won't go into the pyramids, mathematics hopscotch and doctrines the Watchtower Society promoted or promotes at this time. What we will do is encourage the taking in of information, including understanding Dispensationalism. Jehovah's Witnesses are clearly a group engrossed in Dispensationalist theology thanks to the teachings and doctrine of the Watchtower Society.
Nonetheless, perhaps your honest evaluation of human history leads you to believe we are living in the worst of times. We are all entitled to our own opinions on the matter. More importantly, knowledge is truly power; do not be ignorant or just follow the ideas, beliefs and teachings of men because they claim something is the reality or “truth” when evidence points to the contrary. Learn about history, science, and perhaps even psychology. Know people and life better and know yourself better. It could be the best of times for you right now.