Wednesday, 8 December 2010


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Monday, 6 December 2010

The Ever Changing World of Jehovah's Witness Beliefs

This is interesting.

In the first column we have some doctrines as believed by Jehovah's Witnesses. In the second column we have the unique beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses regarding these doctrines during the 1914-1918 time period when, according to the unique beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses (as published by the Governing Body in the publications produced by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society) Jesus was inspecting "Christendom" preceding his selection of the Bible Students/Jehovah's Witnesses in 1919.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Is 1919 a Red Herring?

StandFirm is trying, via a typical Jehovah's Witness apologist's logical fallacy known as a straw man, to prove that Jehovah's Witnesses don't believe their policies are divinely inspired.

No. (1 Corinthians 1:10) Were the 1st century Christians known for dissenting from the Apostles, such as Paul? No! Those who dissented and continued in that course even after being corrected were kicked out.-1 Timothy 1:3; Titus 3:10, 11. [source]

Are you saying that the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses are directly inspired by God, per the Apostles?

If so, can we conclude that, per the question in this post, that yes, Jehovah's Witnesses polices are divinely inspired?

Thursday, 11 November 2010

StandFirm Proves that Jehovah's Witnesses "stand condemned"

I've pointed out that Jehovah's Witnesses preach a different gospel from that of the 1st century, and therefore stand condemned, per Galatians 1:8.

StandFirm has kindly affirmed my position:
What Galatians 1:8 and other such scriptures are speaking about is the overall message that someone might be preaching. If an individual's or group's overall message is different than the one the Christians of the 1st century preached, then they fall under that condemnation.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Do Jehovah's Witnesses Say Their Policies are Divinely Inspired?

StandFirm has issued the following challenge:
Apparently so, according to this comment:

"The other churches do not claim to be exclusively chosen by Jesus in 1919. Because your religion does make such a claim, every single piece of information, doctrine, policy etc etc published by the Watch Tower Society comes from God himself, according to your faith's beliefs."

I challenge the author of this to prove his assertion.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Can Someone Address This Discrepancy Please?

I'm going to keep this really simple so that the Governing Body apologists don't need to run down little rabbit holes of distraction.

Firstly, what the public sees:
For the protection of our children, a man known to have been a child molester does not qualify for a responsible position in the congregation. Moreover, he cannot be a pioneer or serve in any other special, full-time service.—Compare the principle at Exodus 21:28, 29. [emphasis mine]  - Watchtower, 1997. 1/1 p. 29 Let Us Abhor What Is Wicked 

StandFirm's Little Pejoratives

Dear StandFirm,

You need to be careful with the stones you're throwing at specific individuals.

First of all you've called Bill Bowen a liar.

Now you've called me a slanderer.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

What If a Person's Been Accused of Child Abuse and Then Moves Kingdom Hall?

What are the policies from the Watch Tower Society, under the leadership of the Governing Body, that the elders need to follow if a person has been accused of molesting a child, but the accused denies the allegation and there are no witnesses to the alleged abuse?

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

More Duplicity From the Watch Tower Society Regarding Child Abuse

Previous articles;
- The Watchtower and it's Duplicity Regarding the Abuse of Children

- Does the Watchtower Society Protect Pedophiles From the Authorities?

- Do Jehovah's Witnesses Think Molesting a Boy is a "Homosexual Sin"

The Watch Tower Society continues to speak out of both sides of its mouth regarding the subject of child abuse with Kingdom Halls around the world.

For example;
For the protection of our children, a man known to have been a child molester does not qualify for a responsible position in the congregation. Moreover, he cannot be a pioneer or serve in any other special, full-time service.—Compare the principle at Exodus 21:28, 29. [emphasis mine]  - Watchtower, 1997. 1/1 p. 29 Let Us Abhor What Is Wicked

Shepherding the Flock; Can You Say "High Control"?

I'll just let this letter from the Watch Tower Society to all elders in the congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses around the world speak for itself. I've highlighted in bold what I feel are the pertinent parts.

Do Jehovah's Witnesses Think Molesting a Boy is a "Homosexual Sin"

UPDATE - Please also read this new post regarding further Watch Tower duplicity revealed in the "Shepherd the Flock" "secret" elders' manual.

Jehovah's Witnesses show tremendous levels of cognitive dissonance when it comes to the proven subject of the systematic abuse of children within their organisation, the publishing corporation Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. This publishing corp. has for years vilified the Catholic Church's cover up of the sexual abuse of minors by priests, yet fails to adequately face up to the same abuse taking place within the Kingdom Halls of Jehovah's Witnesses around the planet.

Evidence of this cognitive dissonance can be see here and here. Rather than facing up to the destroyed lives of children at the hands of elders and other Jehovah's Witness men, men who were seemingly protected by a layer of secrecy and 'sealed envelopes' and phone calls to the Branch office rather than phone calls to the authorities, Jehovah's Witnesses like the one linked to above, focus in on technicalities. Rather than looking squarely at the Governing Body's claim that the "spiritual food" contained in the magazines and books printed by the publishing corporation is from God himself, which means that Jehovah God himself is behind the Watch Tower Society's duplicity regarding child abuse (according to Governing Body logic), a Witness will doggedly "strain out the gnat but gulp down the camel" to defend a group who say they speak for God, but do so without evidence.

Yet, disturbingly, Jehovah's Witnesses will turn a blind eye to that lack of evidence, while at the same time turning an eagle-eyed lawyerly frown towards any claim that their religious order, incorporated in the United States, has poor child protection policies; "where's the evidence?", they growl.

Sometimes in my opinion, however, they take their defence of the publishing company that dominates their lives too far. Such as in this response from StandFirm;
The lying Bowen's letter is saturated with falsehood. Many of these lies are documented at Thirdwitness' website.

Here's but one example:

"This policy was again stated to the public in The Watchtower 1995, 11/1 pages 28-29 in the Article, ”Comfort for Those With a Stricken Spirit”, under the heading, “What Can Elders Do?” it plainly states:...If two different persons recall abuse by one pedophile, how could he be viewed as “an innocent” man?"

Here Bowen makes it seem as though if two separate people testify that someone abused them, their testimony will be ignored unless it is to the same act of abuse (which is of course impossible). That is a total lie. The 1995 Watchtower was talking about repressed memories (note how "remembers" is in quotes). The elders' manuals make clear that two witnesses to the same type of sin on differentoccasions is acceptable as a basis for judicial action. ("Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock" p. 111; "Shepherding the Flock of God" p. 71.)

As for the Thomas Gold case: Homosexual acts are simply sexual acts performed with a member of the same gender. Thomas Gold molested a boy, thus it was homosexuality; albeit worse than consensual sex. Put 2 and 2 together, note that the elders told him to go to the police. Clearly they saw it as more than just homosexuality, since homosexuality is not illegal.

The elders may have messed up in not ensuring that the abuse was reported. However, in so doing they went against organization policy. One also wonders why the victim or his family did not report, as it is really primarily their responsibility.

There is no systematic cover-up of child abuse in the organization. You knew this before your leaving the Witnesses. The elders are people too and so hate child abuse just as much as you and I. This letter to elders sums things up nicely.
My intention was to reply to StandFirm's comment within the comments of the blog post. However, it's my opinion that his mindset so clearly reflects the very worst of mental leaps a Jehovah's Witness will make to defend a handful of business-suited men in North America that it bears closer scrutiny.
The lying Bowen's letter is saturated with falsehood. Many of these lies are documented at Thirdwitness' website
But is Bill Bowen lying about the children who have been abused within the Watch Tower Society or about the elders who were instructed not to contact the authorities unless there are 2 witnesses to the abuse, yes or no?
Homosexual acts are simply sexual acts performed with a member of the same gender. Thomas Gold molested a boy, thus it was homosexuality; albeit worse than consensual sex. Put 2 and 2 together, note that the elders told him to go to the police. Clearly they saw it as more than just homosexuality, since homosexuality is not illegal. 
 Molesting a child is homosexuality because the child is a boy? Are you actually serious? "Albeit worse than consensual sex"? Are you actually serious?

"Put 2 and 2 together" and get what? The problem with StandFirm, and the men who make up the rules at the publishing corporation's headquarters in North America, is that they thing abusing children is just another sin, much like getting drunk or "copping a feel" of your girlfriend.

But perhaps the reason they are willing to belief such an absurdity is because the Watch Tower Society policy is to treat it as such;

  • sin has been committed
  • sin has been reported to the elders
  • does the sin have 2 witnesses to prove that it was committed
  • if no, dismiss report and warn the accuser of the sin to remain silent about it for fear of themselves committing the sin of gossip
  • if yes, hold judicial hearing whereby the accuser has to face the one whom they are accusing
It doesn't matter to this process if the "sin" is abusing children or getting drunk.

But abusing children isn't "just" a sin; it's a crime. And all crimes should be left to the authorities who are trained and qualified to investigate the crime. You let them decided whether there is a case to answer, not the "elders who are people too".

Let's face it, and I'm speaking from experience, Jehovah's Witness elders have little or no training on how to deal with the "big stuff". They're unpaid, volunteers and what little training they do get is all based around perpetuating the unsubstantiated premise that they're part of the true religion, chosen by Jesus in 1919 (although proving that date isn't actually possible).
 One also wonders why the victim or his family did not report, as it is really primarily their responsibility.
And now we get down to classic Watchtower apologist fare; apportion some sort of blame on the victim.

StandFirm, are you able to place yourself in the shoes of someone who has either been sexually abused within the Watch Tower Society, or has a child who has been abused? Can you put yourself in their shoes as they go to the elders and ask to speak to them about something, something they want to get off their chest? Can you try and imagine plucking up the courage to unburden yourself about the abuse that's happened to you or your child, doing so while you sit in a small room at the back of the Kingdom Hall, facing all of the elders in their business suits, with their large briefcases full of Watch Tower Society policy and dogma?

Can you imagine listening to the elders telling you that, because there's no witnesses to the abuse, they can't do anything about it? Can you picture yourself hearing the news that, because there's no witnesses to the abuse, you can't discuss the abuse with anyone? Can you feel your heart sinking as you know you'll need to carry the weight of what's happened on your own for fear of "bringing reproach on Jehovah's name" by taking the story of your abuse outside the walls of that small room at the back of the Kingdom Hall and going to the authorities? I mean, why would the authorities believe you when the most important thing in your life, the Watch Tower Society, has told you via it's representatives that they can't believe you because you don't have two witnesses?

Can you understand why, when you honestly evaluate the amount of power and dominance the elders have over your life or the lives of the people you love, that someone would choose not to go to the police?

You see, "one also wonders" about the people involved in this case;

  • who were the elders that told Thomas Gold to go to the police?
  • what were their opinions on Gold before the accusations were brought up?
  • did they have any intuitive misgivings about the man?
  • how did these elders feel when they told the victim and his family that there was nothing they could do about the abuse as they didn't have two witnesses?
  • did this make them feel uneasy, or where they happy that they were protecting the "name of the congregation"?
  • did they start treating Gold differently after that?
  • did they start keeping a close eye on him around children, their own children perhaps?
  • did they have a sealed envelop in the congregation's "permanent file" with Gold's name on it?
  • did they contact the British branch office with the allegation levelled against Gold?
  • if so, what was the response of the branch? Did it already have info on Gold, per Society policy?
  • did Gold remain in the congregation where the abuse occurred, or did he move on to pastures new?
  • if so, did the elders notify, even unofficially, the elders in the new congregation that there had been an accusation of abuse concerning Gold?
  • how do the elders feel now that Gold has been convicted and their congregation, and "Jehovah's name" is in the news?
  • how do the elders feel now that it looks like they 'covered up' his abuse by not going to the police about it themselves?
  • do they see that they are no better than the Catholic Church, long vilified by the Watch Tower Society, and its handling of abuse?
StandFirm, and other Jehovah's Witnesses reading this, what lengths will you go to to defend the Watch Tower Society, a publishing corporation that claims, without any corroborating evidence, to speak for God?

Monday, 25 October 2010

Does the Watchtower Society Protect Pedophiles From the Authorities?

Bill Bowen's letter of resignation as an elder and (as they were then known) Presiding Overseer;
25 Columbia Heights
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Dear Brothers,
I am writing to resign as an elder and Presiding Overseer effective the date of this letter. I bear no ill will or malice toward anyone in the congregation or the Body of Elders. In my twenty-plus years of special service I have enjoyed many privileges, of which there have been many fond memories. So, it is with sadness I must make the following statement: I simply cannot agree with an organizational policy that as an elder I am required to enforce. This policy, in my opinion, has harmed thousands, is leaving many unprotected, and provides refuge to outright criminals.
I am referring to Watchtower policy to keep information about pedophiles confidential. Pedophiles are protected by a code of silence and in many cases remain, Ministerial Servants, Elders, Pioneers, Circuit, District Overseers, members of the Bethel Family, etc., while their victims suffer in silence or face sanctions. This policy is unethical and immoral in my opinion.
As an elder, I am instructed (1994 Elder School) if it is one person’s word against another and not two witnesses to the wrong, no action would be taken and no authorities would be notified. The victim? Cautioned to keep silent or face discipline within the congregation that could go as far as being disfellowshipped for slander.
This policy was again stated to the public in The Watchtower 1995, 11/1 pages 28-29 in the Article, ”Comfort for Those With a Stricken Spirit”, under the heading, “What Can Elders Do?” it plainly states:
“If the accusation is denied, the elders should explain to the accuser that nothing more can be done in a judicial way. And the congregation will continue to view the one accused as an innocent person. The Bible says that there must be two or three witnesses before judicial action can be taken. (2Cor.13:1; 1 Tim. 5:19) Even if more than one person “remembers” abuse by the individual, the nature of these recalls is just too uncertain to base judicial decisions on them without other supporting evidence. This does not mean that such “memories” are viewed as false (or that they are viewed as true). But Bible principles must be followed in establishing a matter judicially.”
Does this offer comfort to those with a stricken spirit?
How often are there witnesses with “supporting evidence” to an act of child molestation?
If two different persons recall abuse by one pedophile, how could he be viewed as “an innocent” man?
How hard would it be for a person with the disposition to molest children to deny the act when accused?
The 3-14-97 Letter to Bodies of Elders, page 2, paragraph 5, states:

“It may be possible that some who were guilty of child molestation were or are now serving as elders, ministerial servants, or regular or special pioneers. Others may have been guilty of child molestation before they were baptized. The bodies of elders should not query individuals. However, the body of elders should discuss this matter and give the Society a report on anyone who is currently serving or who formerly served in a society-appointed position in your congregation who is known to have been guilty of child molestation in the past.” Paragraph 6 continues at the end: “this information is not to be made available to those not involved.”
The only way a person within the organization can be guilty of child molestation is by confession, conviction by a court of law, or by the mouth of two witnesses who were there for the same event. For the individual who meets this criteria, the above information states the “body of elders should not query individuals” and “this information is not to be made available to those not involved.” For those who do not meet the above criteria, as in the case of a victim who accuses a person of molesting them, the code of silence is even more strictly enforced. What about potential victims, parents of children who do not know of these accusations? They are left in the dark without any knowledge that their children could be exposed to an accused sex offender on a regular basis.
These directives make the Watchtower organization a pedophile paradise, where children can be freely molested, as long as there is not substantial evidence or two witnesses to the same event, pedophiles are protected by Watchtower policy which is enforced by the Body of Elders.
How often are there witnesses to an act of child molestation? How can there be evidence of molestation, when 90% of the time the crime is reported weeks or sometimes years later? How many pedophiles will tell the truth, knowing if they do they could go to jail?
Does the fact that the average pedophile will molest seventy children in his lifetime and is never convicted of a crime mean we should allow them anonymity within our organization?
Due to this organizational policy, we have become saturated with pedophiles holding positions from top to bottom within our organization, in my opinion. In my forty-plus years in the organization, I have yet to find one congregation that did not have serious problems with children being molested.
The most incriminating fact lay with it not even being a matter of record, as in many cases when it is one word against another, not one word is recorded within the congregation file. Watchtower policy gives no direction in this regard. When elders call or write the Service Department for home office direction on how to handle matters involving child molestation, they are instructed that they will have to make the decision locally as to whether it should be taken care of judicially. The Service Department in effect lets local elders make the decision and as a result, the locals will take the responsibility if anything goes wrong. Thus protecting the Watchtower legally. How often will local elders in effect, “take care of a fellow accused elder,” protecting him from a judicial meeting using technicalities as an excuse? But when it comes to the victims, they are discredited, humiliated, and told to be silent. There is a silence of the lambs, the little ones, who look to You and Bodies of Elders for protection, but instead are crushed and ostracized by an organizational policy when they needed help the most. The Watchtower is protected; the pedophile is protected, too bad for the silent lamb.
How bad is it? With this policy you will allow one out of three “witness children” to be molested in their lifetime, in my opinion. I can no longer serve as an elder in an arrangement that promotes unethical and immoral behavior toward children. I refuse to support a pedophile refuge mentality that is promoted among Body of Elders around the world. Criminals should be ousted, identified, and punished to protect the innocent and give closure to the victim.
Each day that passes, more children are being molested, and victims suffer as abused lambs with a shepherd who seems not to care. For myself, I feel I can trust no one within the Watchtower organization with my children. If my children were to accuse a pedophile of molestation, all he would have to do is deny it and as a father I would be silenced with the threat of disfellowshiping if I were to try to say something (slander of a perceived innocent man) in a way of warning to protect others who may be in harms way. I state for the third time, this is wrong it is unethical and immoral to not protect children.
It is my sincere hope that this letter will result in an adjustment to completely overhaul Watchtower policy to address this horrific stance of protecting pedophiles and exposing children to danger.


William H. Bowen

Why aren't more Jehovah's Witnesses upset and angry about the Watch Tower Society's policies regarding the abuse of children?
Perhaps they think this sort of thing is made up, that the elders aren't discouraged from alerting the authorities to accusations of molestation? Maybe they don't believe that a man (or woman) within the Society can be accused of molestation, but because there are no witnesses to the abuse/assault no action by the elders is taken, not even contacting the authorities so that they can do their job and investigate the allegations?

If that's the case, maybe this news story from the BBC will open your eyes;

A Jehovah's Witness who groomed and sexually abused a boy has been jailed for six years and eight months.
Thomas Gold, 45, of Alloa, Clackmannanshire, was sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh.
He previously admitted committing indecency at a house in Tullibody between November 1996, when the boy was seven years old, and November in 2003.
Unemployed Gold took the boy canvassing for the Jehovah's Witnesses and to the Kingdom Hall.
When he became a teenager, the victim told elders at his church about the abuse.
Advocate depute Alison Di Rollo said the church leaders told Gold his behaviour was wrong and warned that if it continued he would be "disfellowshipped", or expelled, because the church disapproved of homosexual behaviour.
They also tried to persuade Gold to go to the police.
'Systematically groomed'
The judge, Lord Bannatyne, said it was clear Gold's criminal conduct had "a considerable impact" on the victim.
He said that a background report on Gold had described him as having "systematically groomed" the youngster in order to sexually abuse him.
Defence solicitor advocate Brian Gilfedder said: "As far as the offence is concerned it is very difficult for me to stand here and say anything that could be described as mitigation.
"The accused is well aware and has been well aware that this was wrong. It is accepted by him that a sentence of imprisonment is inevitable."
Gold was placed on the sex offenders' register for the rest of his life and given a supervision for 40 months after his prison sentence.
"church leaders told Gold his behaviour was wrong and warned that if it continued he would be "disfellowshipped", or expelled, because the church disapproved of homosexual behaviour."

Since when is abusing a child "homosexual behaviour"? By all means "disapprove'' of "homosexual behaviour", but don't lump abusing a child in with it.

And elders? Man up. Rather than trying to persuade a man who's been accused (and I'm guessing admitted to) of abusing a child to go to the police do it yourself.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Evidence: Where Has the Post Gone?

Diligent JW apologist and defender, StandFirm, has been challenged to do the job the Governing Body should be doing, namely provide evidence that Jehovah's Witnesses alone are "the truth".

Optimistically, StandFirm had outlined the sort of case he was having to defend, this took the form of a blog post published on September 10th 2010. However, as of today (20th October) his blog hasn't been updated with any content. In fact, the only obvious activity on the blog is the deletion of said blog post.

However, here is a screengrab for posterity, along with a copy/paste of the text (hopefully this means that StandFirm is about to publish proof of the 1919 selection once and for all);

Appointment of the Faithful and Discreet Slave in 1919

As promised, here is a breakdown of the belief of Jehovah's Witnesses concerning their appointment over all of Christ's belongings in 1919. This post is not intended to discuss these points, but rather to outline the points that need to be proven to show that the Bible Students (Jehovah's Witnesses) were indeed appointed in this way in 1919.

1. That the faithful and discreet slave (Matthew 24:45-47) refers to a class of Christians.

2. That Jesus came in the sense in Matthew 24:46 in 1914.

3. That, if the first 2 points are true, that Jesus would actually have chosen the Bible Students.

4. That, if the first 3 points are true, that the historical evidence indicates that the prophecy of Malachi 3:1 began applying in 1918 and the Bible Students were chosen in 1919.

This is the outline used to arrive at that teaching. This post is not to discuss any of those points.

Incidentally, even if we were to imagine that the appointing over all Christ's belongings is future or does not apply, this still would have no bearing on whether or not the organization and Governing Body should have the same authority it had in the first century. It also has no bearing at all on other doctrines such as no Trinity, no immortality of the soul, and so on.

Further reading can be found in The Watchtower, March 1, 2004, pp. 13-18.

Evidence: How Long Have I Been Asking For It?

I've been asking Jehovah's Witness apologists (like Stand Firm* who at least started to man-up to the task on September 10th 2010 [update: as of 20th October 2010 StandFirm has removed the blog post I'm linking to]) to stump up with evidence that their religious order is the only true religion on the planet approved by Almighty God (after selection by Jesus Christ). I first made this request for evidence in May 2010.

Not one Jehovah's Witness has had the courage, confidence or facts to supply this evidence.

Why not?

* interestingly, Stand Firm, the only "active Jehovah's Witness" who has acknowledged my request for proof, makes the following claims on his blog;

Q: Who are you?
A: I go online as StandFirm. As far as a reader needs to know, I am one of Jehovah's Witnesses, and I enjoy defending my faith, especially against the claims of opposer. [emphasis added by me]

Surely providing evidence to back up the claims of Jehovah's Witnesses being "the truth" would be part of defending your faith in the Watch Tower Society.

He also says;
Q: Are you really one of Jehovah's Witnesses?
A: Yes! I am an active baptized publisher, and I have privileges in the congregation. Moreover, I wholeheartedly support the faithful and discreet slave as represented by the Governing Body, as well as what they teach, as it is firmly based on the Bible and on reason
[emphasis added by me]

Again, if the teachings of the Governing Body are based on reason, then is should be a straightforward exercise to provide an opposer - or an honest-hearted one - with evidence to prove that your religious order was chosen by Jesus in 1919, particularly if you whole-heartedly support the ones making the claim.

The reason cited by Stand Firm for starting his blog was that he'd seen some of the claims opposers like me have made about "the truth";
Q: How did you come to know these ideas?
A: I read them out of weakness and curiosity. As I examined ever further, however, I was surprised at how unconvincing opposers were. Thus, after reading defenses written by other Witnesses, I decided to write my own defense blog. [emphasis added by me]

However, when Stand Firm's feet are held to the fire, he is unable to provide evidence to overturn unconvincing opposers who claim that, actually, Jesus most certainly did not select Jehovah's Witnesses/Bible Students in 1918/1919. If what we claim is so unconvincing (i.e. that the Governing Body are deceitful manipulators of the truth and that Jehovah's Witnesses are not "in the truth") then it should be extremely easy to rebut.

I have to confess to admiring Stand Firm's efforts enormously. He's the only Jehovah's Witness apologist I've come across who is willing to debate the claims of the Governing Body/unique beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses without resorting to ad hominem attacks.

It is my sincere prayer right now that he goes onto see the truth about "the truth".

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Proof? It Shouldn't Be This Hard

The easiest task for any loyal Jehovah's Witness (JW apologist in question as removed their attempt to broach this subject) should be to provide proof that his religion is the only true one. Jehovah's Witnesses believe their religious order was chosen (JW apologist in question as removed their attempt to broach this subject), according to their unique interpretation of Malachi 3:1*, in the year 1919 by Jesus Christ himself.

Providing proof that this happened should be incredibly simple, straight-forward and second nature to all Jehovah's Witness.

Why am I still waiting for one shred, then?(JW apologist in question as removed their attempt to broach this subject)

* Jehovah's Witnesses start with the presupposition that Christ returned, invisibly, in 1914. From this presupposition comes the belief that Malachi 3:1 was fulfilled in 1918 when Christ returned to "his temple" and undertook an inspection of all Christians on earth at the time. His satisfaction with the Bible Students, a sect of the Adventists, led by C.T. Russell, himself a failed haberdasher, was such that he selected them to be God's only channel of communication on earth, the "faithful and discreet slave" "class".

This presupposition assumes the following unique teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses to be true;

  • Christ returned in 1914
  • based on that date, Christ inspected all of Christianity in 1918
  • Matthew 24:45-47 applies to a "class" of Christians
  • that "class" of Christians was found only within the membership of the Bible Student sect
Obviously, only Jehovah's Witnesses believe these things. They do so because they are taught them by the Governing Body, which itself claims to be the 'voice piece' of the above mentioned "faithful and discreet slave" "class". The reason Jehovah's Witnesses believe what the Governing Body teaches them (the afore mentioned unique beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses) is because they believe in the above 1919 selection of the Bible Students. And the reason they believe in the 1919 selection of the Bible Students is because of their unique beliefs, including Christ's return in 1914 and his subsequent inspection of Christianity in 1918. And the reason they believe that.... 

By now you can hopefully see the circular logic that keeps faithful Jehovah's Witnesses blind to the truth: there is no proof for any of this (JW apologist in question as removed their attempt to broach this subject).

Saturday, 16 October 2010

What is a Generation? Does the Dictionary Agree with the Watchtower

From the "Aid to Bible Understanding" volume, now replaced by the "Insight on the Scriptures" volumes.

Why, why, why have the Governing Body decided to change the definition of the word 'generation' that in Hebrew, Greek and English means "all of the people born and living at about the same time, regarded collectively"?

The only possible reasons are;
1. it suits their purposes*
2. they think Jehovah's Witnesses are stupid

* for those who don't understand the purpose of this post;
Consider, however, the definition the Governing Body give to the word "generation" in the April 15th 2010 Watchtower magazine;

How, then, are we to
understand Jesus’ words about “this generation”?
He evidently meant that the lives of the anointed
who were on hand when the sign began to become
evident in 1914 would overlap with the lives of other
anointed ones who would see the start of the great

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Would Jehovah's Witness Elders Protect a Murderer?

As professed "true Christians" one wonders how the Watch Tower Society instructs the "gifts in men", who oversee the "Christian" congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses around the world, when they discover a murderer is in their midst.

Will they advise the elders to report the matter to the authorities so that justice can be served? Perhaps this letter provides the answer.

Now, what if a Jehovah's Witness has confessed to molesting children? What would the elders do then? Any Jehovah's Witness apologist wish to take this one on?

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Paying For It; A Watchtower Double-Standard That Cost Lives

From Marvin Shilmer's blog;
The Watchtower organization teaches that Witnesses do not join political parties and do not accept military training.

In the 1960s and 1970s Witnesses could not walk around showing this:

But in the 1960s and 1970s Witnesses could walk around showing this:

This is one of the "biggies" in my opinion. Anyone who is interested in learning more, Google "Malawi Mexico double-standard". Be prepared to be appalled and disgusted at how Jehovah's Witnesses in Malawi were 'allowed' to suffer horribly by Governing Body decree versus how Jehovah's Witnesses in Mexico were 'allowed' to use a loop hole...

Monday, 23 August 2010

New Light or Old Light? The Generation

The Watch Tower publication "Insight on the Scriptures", dispensed as "spiritual food" by the "faithful slave" aka the Governing Body, provides Jehovah's Witnesses with truths about the Bible.

In volume one, under the heading "generation" the following definition is given;
"A Generation commonly refers to all persons who were born about the same time."

Since the publication of this tome, Jesus has "evidently" changed the meaning of "generation". So, should this entry in "Insight of the Scriptures" be rejected as "old light"? 

See also "Which Truth is "the Truth"? and Question for Jehovah's Witnesses: Do You Own a Dictionary?

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Did Jesus Really Die on a Cross?

From the website of Jehovah's Witnesses. Notice how two questions are asked;
  • did Jesus really die on a cross?
  • should Christians use the cross as an object of veneration?
Look at that picture. Imagine you're an "honest-hearted one" and you've visited the Watch Tower's website for more information. Your heart is breaking and you're burdened down with guilt about your sin and separation from your Father in heaven. The first thing you see on the website is a picture of the cross. But does the article address Christ's death to atone for your sins and the wonderful freedom he bought for you through his death, how his righteousness is imputed to you, making you right with God and giving you the rights of a child of the King?


The article is all about whether Jesus really died on the cross. Once again, the Watch Tower Society chooses to preach a different gospel and steers people away from Jesus and his crucifixion [1] [2] [3].

Why do the Governing Body object to the cross? They try to claim Jesus did not die on a cross, but rather an upright stake. They make the assertion that the cross is a pagan phallic symbol*, which it probably was at one point**. 

But does the cross being pagan and phallic mean that Jesus wasn't executed by the Romans on one? Let's imagine that history is as ambiguous as the Governing Body claim and that Jesus did not die on a cross. What would that prove?

Well, that leads us into the second question.

Should Christians use the cross as an object of veneration? Absolutely not. Flee from the use of idols, the Bible says. I've been attending churches for almost two years and I've never seen the cross venerated or idolised or used in worship. I've seen people get a bit emotional when they meditate on what happened on the cross, ie. Jesus dying in agony for our sins. But that doesn't equate to veneration.

The point is, the Governing Body loves to create these little straw men arguments; did Jesus really die on a cross? But what does it matter! They pour out gallons of ink to argue that he died on a stake, but completely miss the point; he died for our sins! The method of execution is secondary, why get so hung up on it (no pun intended)? Jesus could have been shot with a rifle. The same end purpose would have been achieved; his punishment for the forgiveness of our sins. I would love to see the Watchtower magazine spend as much time and effort on that topic as they do on trying to debunk the cross as Jesus' means of execution.

But then, Jehovah's Witnesses need reasons to prove to themselves that they are the true religion. 'Judge' Rutherford carefully created a siege mentality among the Witnesses, making them more and more 'different' from Christendom. After all, when Jesus allegedly chose the Watch Tower Society in 1919 they used the cross on the cover of their main Bible-teaching publication. He clearly didn't have problem with it 91 years ago. The cross is one way that JWs believe they are superior from Christians; they reject that Jesus died on a cross and reject veneration of the cross.

Just because, though, Catholics use the cross in worship does not mean that Christians do so. And it also doesn't mean that Christ didn't really die on one.

Jehovah's Witnesses, please start directing attention to Jesus Christ alone, and not your unique beliefs.

* what is an upright stake if not phallic? And as for pagan, research the sacrificial poles that the Ba'al worshippers used. Both pagan and phallic.

** the Watchtower's double-standard kicks in here; the cross was perhaps once viewed as pagan and phallic, but is that the case these days? What about wedding rings, pinatas, etc?

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Who Are You Saying Preaches a 'Different Gospel'?

"Let the honest-hearted person compare the kind of preaching of the gospel of the Kingdom done by the religious systems of Christendom during all the centuries with that done by Jehovah's Witnesses since the end of World War 1 in 1918. They are not one and the same kind. That of Jehovah's Witnesses is really the "gospel" or "good news," as of God's heavenly kingdom that was established by the enthronement of his Son Jesus Christ at the end of the Gentile Times in 1914."

Translation; Jehovah's Witnesses preach a different gospel than that preached - and believed - by Christians in the 1st Century.
Galatians 1: 6 I marvel that YOU are being so quickly removed from the One who called YOUwith Christ’s undeserved kindness over to another sort of good news. 7 But it is not another; only there are certain ones who are causing YOU trouble and wanting to pervert the good news about the Christ. 8 However, even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to YOU as good news something beyond what we declared to YOU as good news, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said above, I also now say again, Whoever it is that is declaring to YOU as good news something beyond what YOU accepted, let him be accursed.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Who Are You Calling a 'False Prophet'? Part 2

"Scriptures definitely fix the fact that there will be resurrection of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and other faithful ones of old, and that these will have the first favor, we may expect 1925 to witness the return of these faithful men of Israel from the condition of the dead..."

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Who Are You Calling a 'False Prophet'? Part 1

Click to enlarge

"True, there have been those in times past who predicted an "end to the world," even announcing a specific date...Yet nothing happened. The "end" did not come. They were guilty of false prophesying."

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Light Getting Brighter? Jehovah's Witnesses and the Worship of Jesus

StandFirm claims that Christianity has moved into darkness in the 2000 or so years since Christ's ascended to heaven. Christ himself claimed that he'd be with Christians until the end of the age and Revelation describes him as walking among the churches on earth, having all authority on heaven and on earth. You'd think Jesus would be able to prevent his people falling into spiritual darkness. However, StandFirm, as a Jehovah's Witness, adheres to the Watch Tower Society's view that apostasy spread like gangrene throughout Christianity from the death of the last Apostle until the late 1800s when young entrepreneur Charles T Russell started reading Adventist literature, and under the tutelage of Nathan Barbour, began printing the Watchtower magazine.

At this time, light began to shine again in Christianity, according to the Watch Tower Society's version of it's history, and God's approval settled on Russell, leading him to proclaim such "good news" as Christ's invisible return with Kingdom power in 1874 and Armageddon's outbreak in 1914 and that God is known as Jehovah. Russell formed the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society and throughout the years produced a number of articles that advocated the worship of Jesus Christ as Lord and King. For example;

    "Question. The fact that our Lord received worship is claimed by some to be an evidence that while on earth he was God the Father disguised in a body of flesh and not really a man. Was he really worshiped, or is the translation faulty? Answer. Yes, we believe our Lord Jesus while on earth was really worshiped, and properly so. … It was proper for our Lord to receive worship in view of his having been the only begotten of the Father and his agent in the creation of all things, including man." Zion's Watch Tower 1898 July 15 p.216 [emphasis, of course, added]
 And another;

    "It seems clear that His Divinity was retained in humanity because He repeatedly spoke of Himself as having come down from heaven, and because He, though passing through trial and sorrow as a man, was yet possessed of the authority and exercised the prerogatives of a God. He was the object of unreproved worship even when a babe, by the wise men who came to see the new-born King. Matt. 2:2-11. Even the angels delighted to do Him honor. "When He bringeth the first-begotten into the world, He saith, "And let all the angels of God worship Him." Heb. 1:6. He never reproved any one for acts of worship offered to Himself, but when Cornelius offered such service to Peter--the leading apostle-- "he took him up, saying, stand up; I myself also am a man." .... Had Christ not been more than a man the same reason would have prevented from receiving worship...." Zion's Watch Tower 1880 Oct pp.2,3 [emphasis, of course, added]
It's important for Jehovah's Witnesses and neutrals alike to note that such material was viewed as "spiritual food" at the "proper time" and contributed to the view among the Bible Students (as Jehovah's Witnesses were then known) that Russell was the "faithful and discreet slave" (Matt 24:45-47). We're led to believe that the content of the spiritual food produced by Russell in the pages of the Watchtower magazine, and other publications, was a contributing factor in Jesus Christ choosing the Watch Tower Society (or the "anointed" Witnesses who associate with this corporation) as the "faithful and discreet slave" class.

So, there was a time when Jehovah's Witnesses worshipped Jesus Christ, just as was the case in the 1st Century, as borne out by the inspired text of the New Testament (Matt 2:11, Matt 14:33, John 9:38).

Through time, the Witnesses adopted a legal charter that outlined the purpose of their organisation. The charter was updated in the 1940s and referenced again in the 1970s before being amended in 1999.

Included in this charter is the following;

To quote;
...and for public Christian worship of Almighty God and Christ Jesus...
Part of the darkness that StandFirm attests Christians have fallen into is the belief that Jesus should be worshipped. To quote;

StandFirm said...

Mark Hunter,
If the first-century Christians did not believe something then we should not believe it either on the basis of Acts 20:30, 1 Timothy 4:1, Matthew 13:24-30, etc.
I submit that what you've fallen for is not new light but actually old darkness. 

So, according to StandFirm, he believes that worshipping Jesus is tantamount to going after the teachings of demons. In other words, to worship Jesus Christ is actually twisted and demonic. Of course, he fails to provide scriptural direction that Acts 20:30, for example, pertains to worshipping Jesus.

But that isn't the point. The point is, the founder of the Watch Tower Society believed that Jesus is to be worshipped. For the first 70 or 80 years of its existence the Society taught, was indeed set up to promote, the worship of Jesus Christ. In fact, the publication "Reasoning from the Sciptures" states on page 214, subheading;
"Does the fact that worship is given to Jesus prove that he is God?"

This is puzzling. The "Reasoning" book is current Witness literature and should be considered "new" or "current light", and it states that it's a fact that Jesus is given worship. Is this Watch Tower publication advocating the twisted teachings of demons?

But none of this is really the point. The issue is the idea of the light getting brighter. StandFirm contests that to believe something other than the 1st Century Christians is to be in darkness. What's interesting about this is that the 1st Century Christians worshipped Jesus. Charles T Russell said we should worship Jesus. The legal charter of the Watch Tower Society said we should worship Jesus. The "Reasoning" book says it's a fact that Jesus is worshipped.

StandFirm contests we shouldn't believe things that weren't believed by the 1st C Christians. He includes the worship of Jesus with this, even though he doesn't have a scriptural leg to stand on. But his principle can, and should, be applied to the following;

  • Christ's invisible return in 1914
  • the appointment of the Watch Tower Society/anointed within that group as the "faithful and discreet slave" class in 1919
  • the necessity of that organisation to mankind's salvation
So, who really is in the spiritual dark? Those who worship Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour or those who trust in the son of earthling man to whom no salvation belongs?

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Where's Jesus This Month?

I've previously pondered on the Jehovah's Witness practise of preaching a different gospel.
The September 'Kingdom Ministry' once again emphasises this.

  • misguide religious zeal
  • suffering in silence
  • prayer
  • marital betrayal
No Jesus as crucified Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

Why not?

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Are Jehovah's Witnesses the New Irish?

"Fear has a great hold on the Witnesses. Witnesses are afraid of what their neighbors, their friends, relatives and Watchtower Society leaders might think if they were even so much as to read the Bible on their own. For over a century the Watchtower Society leaders have dominated their lives, told them what they can read, what they should believe and do. To ask a sound religious question is a demonstration of lack of faith in God and the organization, according to the Watchtower Society leaders. As a result, Jehovah's Witnesses do very little independent thinking. They are victims of the Watchtower Society leaders and fear; but freedom is in sight."
Read the full article, including Watchtower publication quotations and decide for yourself whether the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, under the uninspired, error-prone direction of the self-appointed Governing Body use fear to control Jehovah's Witnesses.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Do the Anointed Have "Special Insights?"

Mike Felker has asked whether the Governing Body consistently teach that the "anointed" do not have any special insights. This is the magazine article that has puzzled him.
Watchtower, May 1, 2007
Questions from Readers
When does the calling of Christians to a heavenly hope cease?
The Bible does not reveal a precise answer to that question. We do know that the anointing of Jesus’ disciples with a view to their heavenly inheritance began in 33 C.E. (Acts 2:1-4) We also know that after the death of the apostles, genuine anointed Christian “wheat” came to “grow together” with counterfeit Christians, “weeds.” (Matthew 13:24-30) Then, starting in the late 1800’s, anointed Christians were again prominently active. In 1919 “the harvest of the earth,” including the gathering of the final ones of the anointed began to be reaped. – Revelation 14: 15, 16.
From the late 1800’s until 1931, the main thrust of the preaching work was the gathering of the remaining members of the body of Christ. In 1931 the Bible Students took the Bible-based name Jehovah’s Witnesses, and in the November 15, 1933, issue of the Watchtower, the thought was expressed that this unique name was the “denarius” referred to in Jesus’ parable recorded at Matthew 20:1-16. The 12 hours mentioned in the parable were thought to correspond to the 12 years from 1919 to 1931. For many years after that, it was believed that the call to the heavenly Kingdom had ended in 1931 and that those called to be joint heirs with Christ in 1930 and 1931 were “the last” called. (Matthew 20:6-8) However, in 1966 an adjusted understanding of that parable was presented, and it became clear that it had nothing to do with the end of the calling of the anointed.
In 1935 the “great crowd” of Revelation 7:9-15 was understood to be made up of “other sheep,” Christians with an earthly hope, who would appear on the world scene in “the last days” and who as a group would survive Armageddon. (John 10:16; 2 Timothy 3:1; Revelation 21:3, 4) After that year, the thrust of the disciple-making work turned to the gathering of the great crowd. Hence, especially after 1966 it was believed that the heavenly calling ceased in 1935. This seemed to be confirmed when almost all who were baptized after 1935 felt that they had the earthly hope. Thereafter, any called to the heavenly hope were believed to be replacements for anointed Christians who had proved unfaithful.
Without a doubt, if one of the anointed unrepentantly falls away, Jehovah does call another individual to take his place. (Romans 11:17-22) However, the number of genuine anointed ones who have become unfaithful is likely not large. On the other hand, as time has gone by, some Christians baptized after 1935 have had witness borne to them that they have the heavenly hope. (Romans 8:16, 17) Thus, it appears that we cannot set a specific date for when the calling of Christians to the heavenly hope ends.
How should a person be viewed who has determined in his heart that he is now anointed and begins to partake of the emblems at the Memorial? He should not be judged. The matter is between him and Jehovah. (Romans 14:12) However, genuine anointed Christians do not demand special attention. They do not believe that their being of the anointed gives them special “insights,” beyond what even some of experienced members of the great crowd may have. They do not believe that they necessarily have more holy spirit than their companions of the other sheep have; nor do they expect special treatment or claim that their partaking of the emblems places them above the appointed elders in the congregation. They humbly remember that some anointed men in the first century did not qualify to serve as elders or ministerial servants. (1 Timothy 3:1-10, 12, 13; Titus 1:5-9; James 3:1) Some anointed Christians were spiritually weak. (1 Thessalonians 5:14) And sisters, although anointed, did not teach in the congregation. – 1 Timothy 2:11, 12.
Hence, anointed Christians along with their other sheep companions strive to stay spiritually strong, cultivating the fruitage of the spirit and working for the peace of the congregation. All Christians, whether anointed or of the other sheep, work hard at preaching the good news and making disciples under the direction of the Governing Body. Anointed Christians are content to do this for as long as it is God’s will that they remain on earth as Jehovah’s servants.
Text copyright Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society

Of course, this is a flip-flop. See the following quotations, with added emphasis;

*** w05 1/15 p. 15 par. 21 Christ—The Focus of Prophecy ***Only his faithful anointed disciples would discern his royal presence. In the next article, we will see how that insight would have a profound effect on them, culminating in the gathering of millions who would become Jesus’ earthly subjects

*** ip-2 chap. 15 p. 228 par. 23 The Barren Woman Rejoices ***23 Verse 13 of Isaiah chapter 54 provides the key—all will be “taught by Jehovah.” Jesus himself applied the words of this verse to his anointed followers. (John 6:45) The prophet Daniel foretold that during this “time of the end,” 
the anointed would be blessed with an abundance of true knowledge and spiritual insight. (Daniel 12:3, 4) Such insight has enabled them to spearhead the greatest educational campaign in history, spreading divine teaching in all the earth. (Matthew 24:14) At the same time, such insight has helped them to see the difference between true religion and false. Isaiah 54:12 mentions “boundaries of delightsome stones.” Since 1919, Jehovah has given the anointed an ever clearer understanding of the boundaries—the lines of spiritual demarcation—setting them apart from false religion and ungodly elements of the world. (Ezekiel 44:23; John 17:14; James 1:27) They are thus set apart as God’s own people.

*** w00 5/15 p. 11 par. 6 Pay Attention to God’s Prophetic Word for Our Day ***6 In this time of the end, many faithful Christians have ‘roved about’ in the pages of God’s Word, the Bible. The result? With Jehovah’s blessing on their efforts, true knowledge has become abundant. For instance, 
anointed Witnesses of Jehovah have been blessed with insight, enabling them to understand that Jesus Christ became heavenly King in the year 1914.

*** km 3/00 p. 8 par. 4 Studying Daniel’s Prophecy ***4 Prepare well for the study each week, and enjoy participating in it. 
Appreciate your privilege of associating with Jehovah’s visible organization and benefiting from the insight and understanding provided by his faithful anointed ones.

*** dp chap. 17 p. 292 par. 11 Identifying True Worshipers in the Time of the End ***: “The ones having insight will shine like the brightness of the expanse; and those who are bringing the many to righteousness, like the stars to time indefinite, even forever.” Who are “the ones having insight” today? Again, the evidence points to the same “holy ones of the Supreme One.” After all, who but the faithful anointed remnant had the insight to discern that Michael, the Great Prince, began standing as King in 1914?

*** dp chap. 18 p. 309 par. 7 Jehovah Promises Daniel a Wonderful Reward ***In our own day, 
the anointed have been blessed with spiritual insight, shining as beacons of truth in this bedarkened world.

*** w98 2/15 p. 19 par. 7 Glorious Freedom Soon for the Children of God ***Meanwhile, God granted his anointed servants, born-again Christians, 
noteworthy insight.

*** w87 7/1 p. 23 par. 10 Divine Blessings for “the Ones Having Insight” *** “
The ones having insight” are clearly the faithful remaining members of the anointed Christian congregation, who are ‘filled with accurate knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual comprehension.

*** w81 3/1 p. 26 Do You Appreciate the “Faithful and Discreet Slave”? ***This indicates that the congregation of Christ’s anointed disciples, those having insight, would be watching for the Master’s return and be found faithfully providing spiritual food at the proper time when he returned.

*** w70 11/15 p. 690 par. 22 The Need to Know What We Worship ***
The anointed remnant of “people who are knowing their God” have been the ones that have prevailed, and this due to having insight.

*** w60 2/1 p. 90 par. 37 Part 31—“Your Will Be Done on Earth” ***They act with insight and keep walking in their integrity or blamelessness toward God. Realizing their being anointed with Jehovah’s spirit to preach, they do preach, that they may “impart understanding to many.”

Question - why have the Governing Body decided, as of 2007, that actually, no the anointed do not have any special insights?

(hat-tip Governing Body Letters)