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Defending Jehovah's Witnesses

tstor
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8/5/2015 10:14:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I have seen a lot of unwarranted hate for JWs. Whether it be citing Watchtower publications without any full understanding of the article or just resorting to name calling, particularly the name "cult". So here is what I will do. I will take some of the arguments I have heard here on this forum (and in other places) directly against JWs and address them right here, right now. That way when anyone pulls up these terrible arguments, you can call them out for just how ignorant they really are, enjoy.

Let's start by examining what the Watchtower has said about themselves in context:
"We have not the gift of prophecy." - January 1883, page 425.
"Nor would we have our writings reverenced or regarded as infallible." - December 15, 1896, page 306.
"[the fact that some have Jehovah's spirit] does not mean those now serving as Jehovah's witnesses are inspired. It does not mean that the writings in this magazine, The Watchtower, are inspired and infallible and without mistakes." - May 15, 1947, page 157.
"The Watchtower does not claim to be inspired in its utterances, nor is it dogmatic." - August 15, 1950, page 263.
"The brothers preparing these publications are not infallible. Their writings are not inspired as are those of Paul and the other Bible writers. (2 Tim. 3:16) And so, at times, it has been necessary, as understanding became clearer, to correct views. (Prov. 4:18)" - February 15, 1981, page 19.

So we know what the Watchtower has claimed, but what about CT Russell?:

"We neither urge nor insist upon our views as infallible, nor do we smite or abuse those who disagree; but regard as `brethren' all sanctified believers in the precious blood.
On the contrary, it is those who differ who smite us and speak evil of us .... They are our critics who always claim the infallibility. We go humbly onward following the Apostle's example and words, `We believe and therefore speak,' whether others hear or forbear to hear. Is not this in accord with the Spirit of Christ? ...." -October 1, 1907 WT

So since both the Watchtower and CT Russell have both always claimed to never be infallible or inspired prophets, what basis do the arguments that they are false prophets have?

Argument #1
"This was the test - the coming down of fire; and the fulfillment exactly on time has proved that Pastor Russell was one of God's great reformers and prophets." Watchtower 1919 Oct 1 p.297

Argument #2
"Those who do not read can hear, for God has on earth today a prophetlike organization, just as he did in the days of the early Christian congregation." Watchtower 1964 Oct 1 p.601

Argument #3
"" the truths I present, as God's mouthpiece"" Zion's Watch Tower 1906 Jul 15 p.230

Argument #4
There are two 1972 WT articles that are labeled:
"They Shall Know That a Prophet Was Among Them"
"IDENTIFYING THE 'PROPHET'"
I would like to add that in the April 1, 1972 article that is cited above, it actually says this in that very article:
"No, `The Watchtower' is NO INSPIRED PROPHET, but it follows and explains a Book of prophecy ...." Which Book? The Sacred Bible of the Holy Scriptures, written by inspiration in the name of the creator of heaven and earth, the only living and true God."

These arguments are convincing when they remain out of context, but fail to stand up as they seem when put back in context where they rightfully belong. I am aware that there are other WT quotes often used, but they all are answered when I break down these four, as all the quotes are strikingly similar. So let's put them in context:
We know that the WT has never claimed to be an inspired prophet or infallible. So what do they mean by prophet? Or by the term "mouthpiece"? Well, the Watchtower answered those questions itself:
"Jehovah's people today .... are having a share in the fulfillment of the prophecy, `your sons and your daughters will certainly prophesy.' (Joel 2:28) Not that these prophesy in the sense of foretelling events under inspiration, but rather in that they are making public proclamation of the inspired dreams and visions long ago recorded. They prophesy in the sense of being God's spokesmen. That this is one of the meanings of `prophesy' is apparent from the fact that Jehovah God appointed Aaron to be prophet to his brother Moses. Aaron did not foretell things to Moses, but he served as Moses' spokesman or mouthpiece - Ex. 7:1. - p. 32. (Compare WT, Oct. 1, 1961, p. 593.)" - Jan. 1, 1971 Watchtower

You will often notice that the Watchtower uses quotation marks around the word "prophet". We all should know that when a word is inclosed in quotation marks, it implies a different meaning. Take into consideration that very same April 1, 1972 article:
"He had a "prophet" to warn them. This "prophet" was not one man, but was a body of men and women.... Today they are known as Jehovah's Christian witnesses." - p. 197.

I believe that anyone who is going to be intellectually honest can see that the arguments commonly used to accuse JWs as "false prophets" are completely baseless.

Now to answer the common question, are JWs a cult?
Rather than giving you an answer, I will simply present the information about JWs and then you come to your own conclusion. But first, let's define a religious cult:
- of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.
-a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.

History of Bible Students Movement:
https://en.wikipedia.org...
History of JWs:
https://en.wikipedia.org...

"of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object"
Jehovah's Witnesses, just like any other Christian, worship the Father described in the Bible. They worship nothing else. In fact, they are so devoted to this idea that they even refuse to pledge allegiance to any country.

"a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister"
They may seem rather small when compared to something like the Roman Catholic Church, which has roughly 1.2 billion members. However, they are rather large when compared to groups that we have identified as cults. Consider:
Branch Davidians: 82-90 members
Church of the Last Testament: 4,000 members
To put that in comparison, there are roughly 8 million Jehovah's Witnesses scattered throughout 239 countries. Unlike the two cults mentioned, JWs, like any other Christian group, are not centralized into one area or compound.

Do JWs have strange or sinister beliefs? I suppose that is up to anyone to decide. I would argue that their beliefs/practices are no more strange or sinister than that of Catholics (transubstantiation), some protestants (snake handling; speaking in tongues), Mormons (temple garments; tokens), Eastern Orthodox (exorcism), etc. I would go more in dept about these beliefs, but I am running out of room.

For further reading about JWs, you can visit their website here:
www.jw.org
www.wol.jw.org (Watchtower Online Library)

If you want to read about the explanations and answers to other arguments against JWs about various topics, you can read here:
http://defendingjehovahswitnesses.blogspot.com...

For more information on "scare quotes", read here:
https://en.wikipedia.org...

I hope in all honesty that anyone reading this post learned something and has a blessed day.
"The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks, and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide." (John Steinbeck; Tortilla Flat, 1935)
sheskew
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8/5/2015 10:52:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
My personal experience of Jehovah's Witnesses, both those I have known socially and those who come to my door with pamphlets in hand, is that they are sincere, good, people who are trying their best to live good lives and do good in the world.

That doesn't mean that they are well-led by their church.

A few years ago, a plumber named Bob and another gentleman came to my door, dressed in suits and armed with a series of Watchtower pamphlets. I wasn't really familiar with JW at the time, so they gave me their pamphlets and I invited Bob and his wife to come have dinner with me on the following week so we could talk about it. In the meantime I read the pamphlets. I found two very striking claims in the first couple pages: that the fulfillment of the prophecy of the eternal destruction of Babylon was evidence of the Bible's inerrancy and divine inspiration, and that (among other things) Witnesses are spirit-filled so that they never commit murder, which is proof their their faith is the correct one. There was even a picture of an empty, severe-looking desert landscape with a caption claiming it was a photo of the ruins of Babylon.

It took me about 15 minutes of Google searching to determine that the Babylon is currently populated, including some vacation photos from some guy who had been there, a blog by some museum curator complaining that American troops camped there during the second Iraq war had destroyed ancient artifacts, and some satellite photos on Google Earth showing cars and trucks parked here and there.

It took less than two minutes to find news articles from around the world describing murders committed by members of JW churches.

When Bob and his wife came by, I asked them about this stuff. The poor guy was flabbergasted; he didn't know what to think. His wife actually refused to look at the pictures on my computer screen, and stayed away from the computer as if she feared it might imperil her soul to get too close to it.

Bob told me that I should judge a tree by its fruit, and that I would know whether a particular faith was true by judging if its words and deeds showed that it was operating in the truth. But his church failed that very test.
RuvDraba
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8/5/2015 11:33:09 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Tstor, I realise that some comments in other threads have hurt you, and I'm sorry that they have. While I have taken pains to be careful in my language, I'm aware that some of the comments that hurt you may have been mine.

You have a right of reply (which you have exercised previously too), but unfortunately I believe you lack the critical thought on this subject to be credible in your responses. I have come to that view not simply because of the faith you identify with, but because of the way I perceive you selling ideas while avoiding accountability for the ideas you're selling. For example, you could have acknowledged but defended the many times the JW hierarchy and congregations have exercised control over its members as moral and necessary, yet you outright glossed them instead, and then couldn't admit that you'd done so. [http://www.debate.org...]

I've had close friends raised in the JW faith, and there are other JW members on DDO, and I see this as a common trait.

That trait, and how it is promoted within the JW community -- the emphasis on 'best foot forward' proselytisation at the cost of truth, critical reflection and public accountability -- has much to do with why the JW faith is viewed as a cult while many other (sometimes equally-zealous) faiths are not.

Not knowing you well, I cannot tell whether you never learned to think critically about your faith, whether you were so pressured and scared that you abandoned critical thought, or whether you only feel comfortable being honest and critical with other members of your congregation.

But in my view, if you cannot accept and engage in critical thought in a discussion like this then you aren't really debating; you're just cynically promoting. And without question, you are a member of a faith that:

a) does not teach critical thought;
b) frequently discourages critical thought while enforcing compliance and submission; and
c) actively discourages close association with people of other views -- a key to developing robust critical thought and a more comprehensive understanding of the world.

So however you came to forsake critical thought, I attribute it at least in part to the ideology, attitudes and promotional strategies of your faith.

This is why, as previously, I have posted a dissenting position, while declining to argue with you about it.
DanneJeRusse
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8/5/2015 11:44:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Tsor, in one of my last encounters with a JW who came to my door, I was presented with a pamphlet titled in big bold letters, "The Seven Lies of Christianity". While I read through it, I asked some questions regarding the alleged lies and received what I expected to hear, that the JW organization were using yellow political tactics, putting down the other guys in order to make them look good. I simply told the JW that if they wanted to sell their religion to me, they should at the very least sell me their religions benefits rather than ripping apart another religion.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
tstor
Posts: 1,467
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8/6/2015 12:25:27 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/5/2015 10:52:34 PM, sheskew wrote:
While I am not saying that the publication you mentioned does not exist, you didn't ever mention the date that it was published, which would be at the top right of the magazine. Providing the date of the magazine would verify the contents that are in it. However, whether the magazine is real or not, one of the two claims is realistic. The claim that Babylon now being uninhabited today confirms Biblical prophesy is pretty much universal among all Christians. They do not really claim that people don't live in that land, but rather that Babylon has ceased to exist as a people, as a nation, and as an empire.

The second claim was that JWs can't commit murder. While it seems unreasonable, I never pass anything off without researching it first. Through several different searches on both anti and pro JW sites I could find nothing about it.
"The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks, and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide." (John Steinbeck; Tortilla Flat, 1935)
tstor
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8/6/2015 12:48:10 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/5/2015 11:33:09 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
Tstor, I realise that some comments in other threads have hurt you, and I'm sorry that they have. While I have taken pains to be careful in my language, I'm aware that some of the comments that hurt you may have been mine.
I am not really hurt, but I find it rather ignorant to make wild assertions about JWs that are unwarranted. If you had criticized something like the recent sex abuse scandal I would not complain. In fact, someone recently put a thread about it on this forum and I did not have any complaints. However, claiming that JWs are a "cult" or "false prophets" is simply not intellectually honest.

You have a right of reply (which you have exercised previously too), but unfortunately I believe you lack the critical thought on this subject to be credible in your responses. I have come to that view not simply because of the faith you identify with, but because of the way I perceive you selling ideas while avoiding accountability for the ideas you're selling. For example, you could have acknowledged but defended the many times the JW hierarchy and congregations have exercised control over its members as moral and necessary, yet you outright glossed them instead, and then couldn't admit that you'd done so. [http://www.debate.org...]
How does my faith have any effect on critically examining JWs? If I was a JW, I might could see your point. However, I am not one. As for your claim that I glossed over your previous claims, I did not. I answered them in the best way I could with the information you gave. You made rather vague claims such as saying that they control "education". In what way? In what aspects?

I've had close friends raised in the JW faith, and there are other JW members on DDO, and I see this as a common trait.
I was not raised a JW, nor am I one now. My parents are ex-Witnesses and my extended family are almost all JWs. I have been to the Kingdom Hall a total of three times in my life.

That trait, and how it is promoted within the JW community -- the emphasis on 'best foot forward' proselytisation at the cost of truth, critical reflection and public accountability -- has much to do with why the JW faith is viewed as a cult while many other (sometimes equally-zealous) faiths are not.
Could you be more specific? In what ways are JWs sacrificing "truth", "critical reflection", and "public accountability"?

Not knowing you well, I cannot tell whether you never learned to think critically about your faith, whether you were so pressured and scared that you abandoned critical thought, or whether you only feel comfortable being honest and critical with other members of your congregation.
What kind of baseless claim is this? You were just being apologetic about thinking you hurt me before, which you didn't, but now you are outright trying to insult me. I won't have any part of it. After I reply to this post I will most definitely not try to speak with you on anything else, even if you are directing something towards me.

I will give you my background. I was raised in what I call a secular home. My parents were ex-Witnesses and rather "burnt out" on religion after that experience. I never owned a Bible or went to church growing up. In fact, I identified myself as an atheist from birth to age fifteen. At age fifteen I began studying Hinduism through the Bhagavad Gita and other Vedic scriptures. After that I studied Islam through the Qur'an, Sahih al-Bukhari, and Nahjul Balagha. While I was still studying Islam I began my studies on Christianity. My main source was through Dr. Gerald Mann who was a Baptist from Texas. I now, at age seventeen, identify as a Christian. I still have a lot to learn and a lot to experience, but to say that I cannot think critically is baseless and an insult. As well, it indicates your true character and I do not wish to associate with people who have a character like that.

But in my view, if you cannot accept and engage in critical thought in a discussion like this then you aren't really debating; you're just cynically promoting. And without question, you are a member of a faith that:

a) does not teach critical thought;
b) frequently discourages critical thought while enforcing compliance and submission; and
c) actively discourages close association with people of other views -- a key to developing robust critical thought and a more comprehensive understanding of the world.
I am not a member of any particular faith. I am rather non-denominational as I study a lot from inter-denomational sources. So what you are saying about me is simply false. I have provided excellent responses to your claims. In fact, right now rather than addressing what I said in the initial post, you ignore it and attack my character.

I hope you have a blessed day.
"The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks, and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide." (John Steinbeck; Tortilla Flat, 1935)
tstor
Posts: 1,467
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8/6/2015 12:51:08 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/5/2015 11:44:35 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
Tsor, in one of my last encounters with a JW who came to my door, I was presented with a pamphlet titled in big bold letters, "The Seven Lies of Christianity". While I read through it, I asked some questions regarding the alleged lies and received what I expected to hear, that the JW organization were using yellow political tactics, putting down the other guys in order to make them look good. I simply told the JW that if they wanted to sell their religion to me, they should at the very least sell me their religions benefits rather than ripping apart another religion.
I cannot really comment on how particular people witness as I have only met two people witnessing in my life. It was an older couple that simply asked a few questions and gave me a Watchtower magazine. They never tried to come into the house, attack other faiths, or even preach. They never even came back. I am sure that there are people who suck at witnessing and others who are amazing at it. Similar to Mormons I would assume.
"The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks, and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide." (John Steinbeck; Tortilla Flat, 1935)
RuvDraba
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8/6/2015 2:01:14 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 12:48:10 AM, tstor wrote:
At 8/5/2015 11:33:09 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
If you had criticized something like the recent sex abuse scandal I would not complain. However, claiming that JWs are a "cult" or "false prophets" is simply not intellectually honest.

I haven't said that the JWs are a cult; only that all theologies can evidence cult-like behaviour at times, that the JWs often exercise a high level of control over congregants, that they are official and ideological opponents of critical thought and aggressive proselytes, and that this may be why they are sometimes described as a cult while other faiths are not.

I have never said anything about false prophets. That's not language I normally use.

You have a right of reply (which you have exercised previously too), but unfortunately I believe you lack the critical thought on this subject to be credible in your responses. I have come to that view not simply because of the faith you identify with, but because of the way I perceive you selling ideas while avoiding accountability for the ideas you're selling. For example, you could have acknowledged but defended the many times the JW hierarchy and congregations have exercised control over its members as moral and necessary, yet you outright glossed them instead, and then couldn't admit that you'd done so. [http://www.debate.org...]
How does my faith have any effect on critically examining JWs?
My apologies for misunderstanding and misrepresenting your faith-position, Tstor. I'm sincerely sorry about that. I should have written 'the church you are acting as apologist for.'

I'm afraid that I cannot retract my comments about critical thought, though; it's tied to your arguments, not any imputation about a particular faith.

After I reply to this post I will most definitely not try to speak with you on anything else, even if you are directing something towards me.
Understandable. I wouldn't either.

I hope you have a blessed day.
I'm sorry but I have no idea what that means.
sheskew
Posts: 117
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8/6/2015 2:25:41 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 12:25:27 AM, tstor wrote:
At 8/5/2015 10:52:34 PM, sheskew wrote:
While I am not saying that the publication you mentioned does not exist, you didn't ever mention the date that it was published, which would be at the top right of the magazine. Providing the date of the magazine would verify the contents that are in it.

I no longer have the magazine, but reviewing some email correspondence I had with Bob, I noted at the time that the copyright date on the pamphlet was 2005. He shared it with me in 2012. Maybe that is helpful to you; it's all I have.

The claim that Babylon now being uninhabited today confirms Biblical prophesy is pretty much universal among all Christians. They do not really claim that people don't live in that land, but rather that Babylon has ceased to exist as a people, as a nation, and as an empire.

"Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms, the pride and glory of the Babylonians, will be overthrown by God like Sodom and Gomorrah. She will never be inhabited or lived in through all generations; there no nomads will pitch their tends, there no shepherds will rest their flocks."
-- Isaiah 13:19-20

Babylon is currently inhabited. It has a park and a hotel. Saddam Hussein used to have a summer palace there. American soldiers pitched their tents there in 2004, when the place was used as an encampment for the better part of a year. Now, you may interpret the prophecy as a metaphor, but Bob and his wife and the Watchtower pamphlet all assured me it was literally true. Indeed, Isaiah seems quite literal. Further, it seems to me that reducing the prophetic claim to "Babylon shall some day cease to exist as a nation" downgrades it from prophecy to a mere pithy observation: all countries eventually fail, all cities crumble, and we don't need to invoke divine intervention to understand why none of the city-states of 3,000 years ago are still around today.

Please understand, I'm not trying to criticize you for defending the JW faith. But if you've set yourself the task of defending the Watchtower's integrity and honesty, I think you've got your work cut out for you.
tstor
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8/6/2015 3:27:17 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 2:25:41 AM, sheskew wrote:

I no longer have the magazine, but reviewing some email correspondence I had with Bob, I noted at the time that the copyright date on the pamphlet was 2005. He shared it with me in 2012. Maybe that is helpful to you; it's all I have.
I can't say I have really found anything about it, but I do not doubt that it exists.

"Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms, the pride and glory of the Babylonians, will be overthrown by God like Sodom and Gomorrah. She will never be inhabited or lived in through all generations; there no nomads will pitch their tends, there no shepherds will rest their flocks."
-- Isaiah 13:19-20

Babylon is currently inhabited. It has a park and a hotel. Saddam Hussein used to have a summer palace there. American soldiers pitched their tents there in 2004, when the place was used as an encampment for the better part of a year. Now, you may interpret the prophecy as a metaphor, but Bob and his wife and the Watchtower pamphlet all assured me it was literally true. Indeed, Isaiah seems quite literal. Further, it seems to me that reducing the prophetic claim to "Babylon shall some day cease to exist as a nation" downgrades it from prophecy to a mere pithy observation: all countries eventually fail, all cities crumble, and we don't need to invoke divine intervention to understand why none of the city-states of 3,000 years ago are still around today.
I was reading on it here:
https://en.wikipedia.org...
As well, I tried my best to find anything on the JW website on the topic, but failed to see anything in depth. From what I gather Christians seem to fall into two camps:
1) It is close enough to uninhabited that the prophecy is fulfilled.
2) The prophecy is almost fulfilled, but no quite.

Please understand, I'm not trying to criticize you for defending the JW faith. But if you've set yourself the task of defending the Watchtower's integrity and honesty, I think you've got your work cut out for you.
Well, if I believed everything in the WT I would probably be a Witness. I think what they teach is honest and good work, but that does not mean it is all correct. I disagree with JWs on several topics.
"The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks, and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide." (John Steinbeck; Tortilla Flat, 1935)
sheskew
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8/6/2015 5:20:03 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 3:27:17 AM, tstor wrote:
As well, I tried my best to find anything on the JW website on the topic, but failed to see anything in depth. From what I gather Christians seem to fall into two camps:
1) It is close enough to uninhabited that the prophecy is fulfilled.
2) The prophecy is almost fulfilled, but no quite.

I agree that one could charitably describe the prophecy as "not yet complete". Indeed, since the prophecy specified no timeline it WILL inevitably be fulfilled some day, even if takes centuries or millennia for the region to get irradiated in a future nuclear war or rolled into the nearest mountain range by continental drift. But if it takes something like that, I wouldn't exactly leap to divine intervention as the cause.
tstor
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8/6/2015 5:23:11 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 5:20:03 AM, sheskew wrote:

I agree that one could charitably describe the prophecy as "not yet complete". Indeed, since the prophecy specified no timeline it WILL inevitably be fulfilled some day, even if takes centuries or millennia for the region to get irradiated in a future nuclear war or rolled into the nearest mountain range by continental drift. But if it takes something like that, I wouldn't exactly leap to divine intervention as the cause.
Well, neither would I. Though I doubt that anyone really hinges their faith on that prophecy.
"The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks, and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide." (John Steinbeck; Tortilla Flat, 1935)
sheskew
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8/6/2015 5:33:59 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At the time, I was very concerned about the Bible's claim to be inerrant and infallible. It seemed to me that if any part of the Bible wasn't true, that all of its claims had to meet a much higher burden of proof.

That was 2012; I knew very little about the book at that point. I've since spent a lot of time with it, and have come to see that one minor prophecy is indeed the least of its troubles.

I do agree, though, that much of the hate directed at the Watchtower is really just Christian hype. It's easy to see why -- Witnesses are poaching their believers. Religions all compete for the minds of the same people, and very few religions play nice with one another in that competition.
Geogeer
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8/6/2015 5:59:27 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/5/2015 10:14:57 PM, tstor wrote:
I have seen a lot of unwarranted hate for JWs.

I don't hate JWs. I have one guy who comes to my house regularly and I have invited him in for tea numerous times and we have a very good discussion each time. I believe him to be decent and sincere (if wrong). So please don't take anything I say as a personal attack, but rather as theological critique.

Let's start by examining what the Watchtower has said about themselves in context:
"We have not the gift of prophecy." - January 1883, page 425.

Then why have they predicted the end of the world as an organization?

"Nor would we have our writings reverenced or regarded as infallible." - December 15, 1896, page 306.

If you cannot guarantee infallibility why should I listen to anything you say? You come to give the truth, but cannot actually tell me it is the truth.

But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you.

"[the fact that some have Jehovah's spirit] does not mean those now serving as Jehovah's witnesses are inspired. It does not mean that the writings in this magazine, The Watchtower, are inspired and infallible and without mistakes." - May 15, 1947, page 157.

Once again why should I follow one thing you say if they are not inspired by God? Should I avoid blood transfusions if you cannot infallibly guarantee that they are immoral?

"The Watchtower does not claim to be inspired in its utterances, nor is it dogmatic." - August 15, 1950, page 263.

Same thing again.

"The brothers preparing these publications are not infallible. Their writings are not inspired as are those of Paul and the other Bible writers. (2 Tim. 3:16) And so, at times, it has been necessary, as understanding became clearer, to correct views. (Prov. 4:18)" - February 15, 1981, page 19.

You cannot guarantee to me that your corrected views are any more valid than your previous views.

So we know what the Watchtower has claimed, but what about CT Russell?:

"We neither urge nor insist upon our views as infallible, nor do we smite or abuse those who disagree; but regard as `brethren' all sanctified believers in the precious blood.
On the contrary, it is those who differ who smite us and speak evil of us .... They are our critics who always claim the infallibility. We go humbly onward following the Apostle's example and words, `We believe and therefore speak,' whether others hear or forbear to hear. Is not this in accord with the Spirit of Christ? ...." -October 1, 1907 WT

Jesus said that he was the Truth, and he said that he'd be with us to the end of the age.

I could go on, but you get the point.
tstor
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8/6/2015 6:11:15 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 5:59:27 AM, Geogeer wrote:
I guess I should have been more clear, I am not a JW myself.

Let's start by examining what the Watchtower has said about themselves in context:
"We have not the gift of prophecy." - January 1883, page 425.

Then why have they predicted the end of the world as an organization?
They use their own interpretations from the Bible to get this information. If it is wrong, then it is wrong. I partially quoted this article before, but I will show the whole thing because I believe it addresses your question:

"A dear Brother inquires, Can we feel absolutely sure that the Chronology set forth in the Dawn-Studies is correct? - That the harvest began in 1874 and will end in A.D. 1914....?"
"We answer," Russell continues, "as we have frequently done before in the Dawns and Towers and orally and by letter, that we have never claimed that they were knowledge, nor based upon indisputable evidence, facts, knowledge; our claim has always been that they are based on faith. We have set forth the evidence as plainly as possible and stated the conclusions of faith we draw from them....
"Many have examined these evidences and have accepted them; others equally bright do not endorse them....
"We neither urge nor insist upon our views as infallible, nor do we smite or abuse those who disagree; but regard as `brethren' all sanctified believers in the precious blood.
"On the contrary, it is those who differ who smite us and speak evil of us .... They are our critics who always claim the infallibility. We go humbly onward following the Apostle's example and words, `We believe and therefore speak,' whether others hear or forbear to hear. Is not this in accord with the Spirit of Christ? ....
"But some of those who come to a trifling point on which they disagree seem to imagine that the entire harvest work must be overthrown, or at least stopped, until they get their little jot or tittle satisfactorily adjusted." ....
"If, therefore, dearly beloved, it should turn that our chronology is all wrong, we may conclude that with it we have had much advantage every way. If the attainment of our glorious hopes and present joys in the Lord should cost us such disappointment as our friends fear, we should rejoice and count it cheap!" - October 1, 1907 WT

"Nor would we have our writings reverenced or regarded as infallible." - December 15, 1896, page 306.

If you cannot guarantee infallibility why should I listen to anything you say? You come to give the truth, but cannot actually tell me it is the truth.
They simply are interpreting what the Bible says. If the Bible is infallible, then anyone can gather good information from it. People may get different interpretations from that information though.
You can also consider this quote from a WT magazine:
"Jehovah's people today .... are having a share in the fulfillment of the prophecy, `your sons and your daughters will certainly prophesy.' (Joel 2:28) Not that these prophesy in the sense of foretelling events under inspiration, but rather in that they are making public proclamation of the inspired dreams and visions long ago recorded. They prophesy in the sense of being God's spokesmen. That this is one of the meanings of `prophesy' is apparent from the fact that Jehovah God appointed Aaron to be prophet to his brother Moses. Aaron did not foretell things to Moses, but he served as Moses' spokesman or mouthpiece - Ex. 7:1. - p. 32. (Compare WT, Oct. 1, 1961, p. 593.)" - Jan. 1, 1971 Watchtower
"The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks, and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide." (John Steinbeck; Tortilla Flat, 1935)
bulproof
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8/6/2015 6:42:26 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 6:11:15 AM, tstor wrote:
At 8/6/2015 5:59:27 AM, Geogeer wrote:
I guess I should have been more clear, I am not a JW myself.

Let's start by examining what the Watchtower has said about themselves in context:
"We have not the gift of prophecy." - January 1883, page 425.

Then why have they predicted the end of the world as an organization?
They use their own interpretations from the Bible to get this information. If it is wrong, then it is wrong. I partially quoted this article before, but I will show the whole thing because I believe it addresses your question:

"A dear Brother inquires, Can we feel absolutely sure that the Chronology set forth in the Dawn-Studies is correct? - That the harvest began in 1874 and will end in A.D. 1914....?"
"We answer," Russell continues, "as we have frequently done before in the Dawns and Towers and orally and by letter, that we have never claimed that they were knowledge, nor based upon indisputable evidence, facts, knowledge; our claim has always been that they are based on faith. We have set forth the evidence as plainly as possible and stated the conclusions of faith we draw from them....
"Many have examined these evidences and have accepted them; others equally bright do not endorse them....
"We neither urge nor insist upon our views as infallible, nor do we smite or abuse those who disagree; but regard as `brethren' all sanctified believers in the precious blood.
"On the contrary, it is those who differ who smite us and speak evil of us .... They are our critics who always claim the infallibility. We go humbly onward following the Apostle's example and words, `We believe and therefore speak,' whether others hear or forbear to hear. Is not this in accord with the Spirit of Christ? ....
"But some of those who come to a trifling point on which they disagree seem to imagine that the entire harvest work must be overthrown, or at least stopped, until they get their little jot or tittle satisfactorily adjusted." ....
"If, therefore, dearly beloved, it should turn that our chronology is all wrong, we may conclude that with it we have had much advantage every way. If the attainment of our glorious hopes and present joys in the Lord should cost us such disappointment as our friends fear, we should rejoice and count it cheap!" - October 1, 1907 WT

"Nor would we have our writings reverenced or regarded as infallible." - December 15, 1896, page 306.

If you cannot guarantee infallibility why should I listen to anything you say? You come to give the truth, but cannot actually tell me it is the truth.
They simply are interpreting what the Bible says. If the Bible is infallible, then anyone can gather good information from it. People may get different interpretations from that information though.
You can also consider this quote from a WT magazine:
"Jehovah's people today .... are having a share in the fulfillment of the prophecy, `your sons and your daughters will certainly prophesy.' (Joel 2:28) Not that these prophesy in the sense of foretelling events under inspiration, but rather in that they are making public proclamation of the inspired dreams and visions long ago recorded. They prophesy in the sense of being God's spokesmen. That this is one of the meanings of `prophesy' is apparent from the fact that Jehovah God appointed Aaron to be prophet to his brother Moses. Aaron did not foretell things to Moses, but he served as Moses' spokesman or mouthpiece - Ex. 7:1. - p. 32. (Compare WT, Oct. 1, 1961, p. 593.)" - Jan. 1, 1971 Watchtower

Never very truthful are they, even from the very beginning.
1888 "In this chapter we present the Bible evidence proving that the full end of the times of the gentiles, i.e., the full end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in A.D. 1914; and that the date will be the farthest limit of the rule of imperfect men. And be it observed, that if this is shown to be a fact firmly established by the Scriptures, it will prove; Firstly, that at that date the Kingdom of God, for which our Lord taught us to pray, saying, Thy Kingdom come, will obtain full, universal control, and that it will then be set up, or firmly established, in the earth, on the ruins of present institutions." (The Time Is At Hand, 1888, p. 76, 77)
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
tstor
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8/6/2015 6:49:30 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 6:42:26 AM, bulproof wrote:

Never very truthful are they, even from the very beginning.
1888 "In this chapter we present the Bible evidence proving that the full end of the times of the gentiles, i.e., the full end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in A.D. 1914; and that the date will be the farthest limit of the rule of imperfect men. And be it observed, that if this is shown to be a fact firmly established by the Scriptures, it will prove; Firstly, that at that date the Kingdom of God, for which our Lord taught us to pray, saying, Thy Kingdom come, will obtain full, universal control, and that it will then be set up, or firmly established, in the earth, on the ruins of present institutions." (The Time Is At Hand, 1888, p. 76, 77)
I have yet to purposely lie and you have yet to catch me in a lie despite your best efforts. The quote you have used (good book by the way, I own all six volumes and you can order them from a website I have listed on my profile) does not contradict what I have said. CT Russell use Biblical evidence to prove his theory. It turned out to be wrong, oh well, you win some you lose some. Since he claimed to be fallible and non-inspired, it makes sense for him to be wrong. I really don't understand how you can't grasp this basic concept. Oh well.
"The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks, and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide." (John Steinbeck; Tortilla Flat, 1935)
Geogeer
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8/6/2015 7:00:48 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 6:11:15 AM, tstor wrote:
At 8/6/2015 5:59:27 AM, Geogeer wrote:
I guess I should have been more clear, I am not a JW myself.

Let's start by examining what the Watchtower has said about themselves in context:
"We have not the gift of prophecy." - January 1883, page 425.

Then why have they predicted the end of the world as an organization?
They use their own interpretations from the Bible to get this information. If it is wrong, then it is wrong. I partially quoted this article before, but I will show the whole thing because I believe it addresses your question:

"A dear Brother inquires, Can we feel absolutely sure that the Chronology set forth in the Dawn-Studies is correct? - That the harvest began in 1874 and will end in A.D. 1914....?"
"We answer," Russell continues, "as we have frequently done before in the Dawns and Towers and orally and by letter, that we have never claimed that they were knowledge, nor based upon indisputable evidence, facts, knowledge; our claim has always been that they are based on faith. We have set forth the evidence as plainly as possible and stated the conclusions of faith we draw from them....
"Many have examined these evidences and have accepted them; others equally bright do not endorse them....
"We neither urge nor insist upon our views as infallible, nor do we smite or abuse those who disagree; but regard as `brethren' all sanctified believers in the precious blood.
"On the contrary, it is those who differ who smite us and speak evil of us .... They are our critics who always claim the infallibility. We go humbly onward following the Apostle's example and words, `We believe and therefore speak,' whether others hear or forbear to hear. Is not this in accord with the Spirit of Christ? ....
"But some of those who come to a trifling point on which they disagree seem to imagine that the entire harvest work must be overthrown, or at least stopped, until they get their little jot or tittle satisfactorily adjusted." ....
"If, therefore, dearly beloved, it should turn that our chronology is all wrong, we may conclude that with it we have had much advantage every way. If the attainment of our glorious hopes and present joys in the Lord should cost us such disappointment as our friends fear, we should rejoice and count it cheap!" - October 1, 1907 WT

"Nor would we have our writings reverenced or regarded as infallible." - December 15, 1896, page 306.

If you cannot guarantee infallibility why should I listen to anything you say? You come to give the truth, but cannot actually tell me it is the truth.
They simply are interpreting what the Bible says. If the Bible is infallible, then anyone can gather good information from it. People may get different interpretations from that information though.

St. Peter wrote - "Understanding this first, that no prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation."

So once again I ask, given this admonishment, in the very book you hold infallible, why should I listen to a JW interpretation of what scripture says?

As Shakespeare wrote: The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.

Who is the guarantor that the Bible is infallible? For the Bible to be infallible, someone must infallibly proclaim it to be so. Shouldn't I listen to that person instead of the person who says they cannot make infallible statements?

You can also consider this quote from a WT magazine:
"Jehovah's people today .... are having a share in the fulfillment of the prophecy, `your sons and your daughters will certainly prophesy.' (Joel 2:28) Not that these prophesy in the sense of foretelling events under inspiration, but rather in that they are making public proclamation of the inspired dreams and visions long ago recorded. They prophesy in the sense of being God's spokesmen. That this is one of the meanings of `prophesy' is apparent from the fact that Jehovah God appointed Aaron to be prophet to his brother Moses. Aaron did not foretell things to Moses, but he served as Moses' spokesman or mouthpiece - Ex. 7:1. - p. 32. (Compare WT, Oct. 1, 1961, p. 593.)" - Jan. 1, 1971 Watchtower

This is a way of claiming prophetic status, while denying it at the same time.
bulproof
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8/6/2015 7:04:51 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 6:49:30 AM, tstor wrote:
At 8/6/2015 6:42:26 AM, bulproof wrote:

Never very truthful are they, even from the very beginning.
1888 "In this chapter we present the Bible evidence proving that the full end of the times of the gentiles, i.e., the full end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in A.D. 1914; and that the date will be the farthest limit of the rule of imperfect men. And be it observed, that if this is shown to be a fact firmly established by the Scriptures, it will prove; Firstly, that at that date the Kingdom of God, for which our Lord taught us to pray, saying, Thy Kingdom come, will obtain full, universal control, and that it will then be set up, or firmly established, in the earth, on the ruins of present institutions." (The Time Is At Hand, 1888, p. 76, 77)
I have yet to purposely lie and you have yet to catch me in a lie despite your best efforts. The quote you have used (good book by the way, I own all six volumes and you can order them from a website I have listed on my profile) does not contradict what I have said. CT Russell use Biblical evidence to prove his theory. It turned out to be wrong, oh well, you win some you lose some. Since he claimed to be fallible and non-inspired, it makes sense for him to be wrong. I really don't understand how you can't grasp this basic concept. Oh well.

Nothing they publish are the words of men.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
tstor
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8/6/2015 7:07:11 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 7:04:51 AM, bulproof wrote:

Nothing they publish are the words of men.
Wow, you must really hold them on a high pedestal.
"The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks, and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide." (John Steinbeck; Tortilla Flat, 1935)
tstor
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8/6/2015 7:08:07 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 7:00:48 AM, Geogeer wrote:

St. Peter wrote - "Understanding this first, that no prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation."

So once again I ask, given this admonishment, in the very book you hold infallible, why should I listen to a JW interpretation of what scripture says?
I am not saying that you should. I am saying that they are not infallible, which you seem to agree with.

This is a way of claiming prophetic status, while denying it at the same time.
Not at all really. Are you familiar with the JW belief of the faithful and discreet slave? I believe that it really ties in with that:
http://www.jw.org...
"The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks, and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide." (John Steinbeck; Tortilla Flat, 1935)
Composer
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8/6/2015 8:20:25 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 7:04:51 AM, bulproof wrote:

Nothing they publish are the words of men.

At 8/6/2015 7:07:11 AM, tstor wrote:
Wow, you must really hold them on a high pedestal.
Nope!

It was just another lie they told and got caught out!

***The Watchtower is not the instrument of any man or any set of men, nor is it published according to the whims of men. No man's opinion is expressed in The Watchtower. (The Watchtower 1931 November 1 p.327)
graceofgod
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8/6/2015 8:53:17 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
it falls at the first hurdle, claiming they said they do not have prophecy, they have claimed at least 5 times God told them the date of the end of the world....
bulproof
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8/6/2015 9:59:54 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 7:07:11 AM, tstor wrote:
At 8/6/2015 7:04:51 AM, bulproof wrote:

Nothing they publish are the words of men.
Wow, you must really hold them on a high pedestal.

No that is their claim as you have been shown at least ten times.
Why do you consider them liars?
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
tstor
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8/6/2015 5:16:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 8:53:17 AM, graceofgod wrote:
it falls at the first hurdle, claiming they said they do not have prophecy, they have claimed at least 5 times God told them the date of the end of the world....
You are speaking too vaguely. "God told them". In what way? In the way that I showed you they claim to communicate? Or do you have some other knowledge on the topic that you have not let on?

As for the quote I used that you mentioned, it was in 1883. JWs did not exist until about 1930. So wording of the publications could have changed after 1930, especially as they evolved into an organized religion rather than a religious revival movement.
"The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks, and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide." (John Steinbeck; Tortilla Flat, 1935)
tstor
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8/6/2015 5:19:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 9:59:54 AM, bulproof wrote:

No that is their claim as you have been shown at least ten times.
Ah, so rather than quoting it you make it into your own words? Genius.

Why do you consider them liars?
Why do I consider them liars? Well, I disagree with some of their interpretations, but I would not call them liars. Why do you think I consider them liars? Unless you are saying that in light of the quote you referred to. I hope you aren't referring to that as I already addressed it in the initial post.
"The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks, and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide." (John Steinbeck; Tortilla Flat, 1935)
graceofgod
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8/6/2015 6:26:22 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 5:16:41 PM, tstor wrote:
At 8/6/2015 8:53:17 AM, graceofgod wrote:
it falls at the first hurdle, claiming they said they do not have prophecy, they have claimed at least 5 times God told them the date of the end of the world....
You are speaking too vaguely. "God told them". In what way? In the way that I showed you they claim to communicate? Or do you have some other knowledge on the topic that you have not let on?

As for the quote I used that you mentioned, it was in 1883. JWs did not exist until about 1930. So wording of the publications could have changed after 1930, especially as they evolved into an organized religion rather than a religious revival movement.

so god did not tell the jw leaders that the end of the world was coming at the dates the jw's gave, did they get the dates based on scripture??

so either your leaders got the scriptures wrong, your leaders lied or God lied to your leaders..
tstor
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8/6/2015 6:35:17 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 6:26:22 PM, graceofgod wrote:

so god did not tell the jw leaders that the end of the world was coming at the dates the jw's gave, did they get the dates based on scripture??
Well, I can't say I am too familiar with the dates that Russell came up with. Though the current 1914 date is based off of scripture. As well, I will repeat the quote from the WT:
"Jehovah's people today .... are having a share in the fulfillment of the prophecy, `your sons and your daughters will certainly prophesy.' (Joel 2:28) Not that these prophesy in the sense of foretelling events under inspiration, but rather in that they are making public proclamation of the inspired dreams and visions long ago recorded. They prophesy in the sense of being God's spokesmen. That this is one of the meanings of `prophesy' is apparent from the fact that Jehovah God appointed Aaron to be prophet to his brother Moses. Aaron did not foretell things to Moses, but he served as Moses' spokesman or mouthpiece - Ex. 7:1. - p. 32. (Compare WT, Oct. 1, 1961, p. 593.)" - Jan. 1, 1971 Watchtower

so either your leaders got the scriptures wrong, your leaders lied or God lied to your leaders..
My leaders? I am not a JW, so how are they my leaders? The JWs simply got the prediction wrong. If I told you the car is blue, but it turned out to be purple, would you accuse me of lying even if I genuinely thought it was blue? No, it was just an honest mistake, I was sincere when I told you it was blue. Similarly, JWs give their honest interpretation of the scriptures, if it turns out wrong it was not because they were trying to deceive.
"The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks, and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide." (John Steinbeck; Tortilla Flat, 1935)
graceofgod
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8/6/2015 8:26:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 6:35:17 PM, tstor wrote:
At 8/6/2015 6:26:22 PM, graceofgod wrote:

so god did not tell the jw leaders that the end of the world was coming at the dates the jw's gave, did they get the dates based on scripture??
Well, I can't say I am too familiar with the dates that Russell came up with. Though the current 1914 date is based off of scripture. As well, I will repeat the quote from the WT:
"Jehovah's people today .... are having a share in the fulfillment of the prophecy, `your sons and your daughters will certainly prophesy.' (Joel 2:28) Not that these prophesy in the sense of foretelling events under inspiration, but rather in that they are making public proclamation of the inspired dreams and visions long ago recorded. They prophesy in the sense of being God's spokesmen. That this is one of the meanings of `prophesy' is apparent from the fact that Jehovah God appointed Aaron to be prophet to his brother Moses. Aaron did not foretell things to Moses, but he served as Moses' spokesman or mouthpiece - Ex. 7:1. - p. 32. (Compare WT, Oct. 1, 1961, p. 593.)" - Jan. 1, 1971 Watchtower

so either your leaders got the scriptures wrong, your leaders lied or God lied to your leaders..
My leaders? I am not a JW, so how are they my leaders? The JWs simply got the prediction wrong. If I told you the car is blue, but it turned out to be purple, would you accuse me of lying even if I genuinely thought it was blue? No, it was just an honest mistake, I was sincere when I told you it was blue. Similarly, JWs give their honest interpretation of the scriptures, if it turns out wrong it was not because they were trying to deceive.

1914 how is that based on scripture...??

don't you think when you speak for God you need to be sure, was it an honest mistake or a way of getting members for the organisation..
tstor
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8/6/2015 8:28:56 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 8:26:28 PM, graceofgod wrote:

1914 how is that based on scripture...??
You can read about it here if you want:
http://www.jw.org...

don't you think when you speak for God you need to be sure, was it an honest mistake or a way of getting members for the organisation..
I am not sure what you mean.
"The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks, and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide." (John Steinbeck; Tortilla Flat, 1935)