Reviewing the August 2016 JW Broadcast

It’s been a while since my last podcast, mostly due to starting a new job as well as my involvement with my wife’s business.  In this episode, i’ll be reviewing the August 2016 JW Broadcast; in particular, the first 25 minutes or so as it relates to the Governing Body and how JW’s are required to be submissive and obedient to them in every way.

 

Click HERE to subscribe to the JW Review Podcast on iTunes

 

 

33 thoughts on “Reviewing the August 2016 JW Broadcast

  1. Juan Rivera (@_JuanJRivera) says:

    Mike,

    With all the respect I wonder if perhaps you are misunderstanding what Brother Curzan is trying to say. I think that you have to look at his comments and these matters from an inside point of view. The morning worship comment is an in-house discussion. If you don’t believe the Governing Body is the divinely authorized teaching authority appointed by Jehovah and assisted by the holy spirit, then I can see why you may have an answer-book view of the Governing body as if every formal teaching is equally central and lays the same claim on Jehovah’s witnesses. Some teachings are provisional; others deal with prophecy.

    I am sorry but I’ll say it again; I think you are equating inspiration, with the assistance of the holy spirit. The holy spirit works in and through the fallible Christian congregation not apart from it nor does it dispense the human factor. Just as in Acts 15, the Apostles and Elders gave these decrees as the teaching authority not because of inspiration but because of the guidance of the holy spirit.

    Also, in the approach you take in the presentation you are conflating the period of inquiry with the Christian’s life of faith. The person in the stage of inquiry (yourself) is not in the same epistemic situation as the Christian who believes they have found the Christian congregation that Christ founded (Jehovah’s Witnesses). It’s like trying to use Acts 17 passage [the Bereans, which were Jewish non-Christians] model of verifying Paul, as to how Christians should relate to the apostles or Jerusalem Council. Once the person knows that the person speaking is divinely authorized they come under their authority. We believe faith in Christ involves radical surrender to Christ, through radical surrender to those He has placed in authority in His Body, just as for the first generation of Christians listening to Christ involved listening to His Apostles. “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects Me; but he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.” (Luke 10:16)

    Brother Hayden C. Covington once said “we have always striven to see that we have the truth before we utter it. We go on the very best information we have but we cannot wait until we get perfect, because if we wait until we get perfect we would never be able to speak.

    If you believe Jehovah has appointed a teaching authority in the Congregation,assisted by the Holy spirit to guide and help her form her conscience. Than part of the role of the GB is to interpret the faith as a decisive force in real life and to apply it to new human situations as they arise. What does God want me to believe and what does God want me to do? How does God want me to live my life on earth that will be pleasing to him? The Governing body cannot allow themselves to be caught in the dilemma of either defining the issue or saying nothing at all. When there is confusion or doubt concerning matters as to what the Christian Congregation is going to believe or practice, it is up to the GB to provide the authoritative guidance that is needed at the time. Obviously they can only provide the answer which they are convinced is true, and they are obliged to make every effort to be sure that what they will say is true. But it will not always be possible to provide an answer that could not possibly be seen eventually to need correction.

    One question we may have to ask ourselves is if, Christ ever guaranteed to protect his Congregation from error in all practical problems of life. The teaching authority in the Christian Congregation is of divine origin and as such it has the assistance of the Holy Spirit. When there is an error from the GB it usually can be traced to a consideration of the evidence or investigation is insufficient which will hinder the assistance of the Holy Spirit. Remember the Holy Spirit works in and through the fallible Christian Congregation not apart from it nor does it dispense the human factor.

    If I thought that the Congregation were merely a man-made institution, then I would agree with you. Men are fallible, and it would be unjustified to assume, all other things being equal, that a man-made entity would be protected from being corrupted as a whole. But, the Congregation is a supernatural entity, because it is the Body of Christ, as I explained in my previous comment we are living at a time where Jehovah’s people as a whole cannot apostatize or be corrupted.

      1. Juan Rivera (@_JuanJRivera) says:

        Miken,
        I would also invite you to read over this discussion that covers the main point of contention about that appointment:

        Examining the JW teaching of the Faithful and Discreet Slave
        http://www.truetheology.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=829

        I am aware of the internal strife in that period of time and the presence of errors and disciplinary issues. Both are fully compatible with Jehovah’s Witnesses doctrines and ecclesiology. In addition, there have always been some unfaithful men among the Congregations, men who have committed shameful deeds, or watered down or perverted the faith, or led their flock into division. There have always been such men in the Congregation, and their sin has always been the cause of scandal. But the Governing body remains the divinely instituted authority to which all those who wish to follow Christ should submit, and to whose judgments their own private interpretation of Scripture should conform.

        The main point of the August broadcast addressed to witnesses was that we must NEVER place ourselves in the position of judge, jury and executioner in opposition to those taking the lead (Elders, Overseers, Branch Com-mites and the GB). All things must be done through legitimate, legal means, and in a spirit of love. Otherwise, Jehovah will judge us, and most severely. It is our duty, to tell our elders, overseers and the GB of our concerns or the error we see, and pray to God that they will follow the truth. But our recourse is limited to telling them about it. We cannot, however, be their judge, jury and executioner, otherwise we ourselves will be sinning. The Bible is adamant against vigilante Christians. Whether they decide it’s an error or not there is nothing we can do about it besides registering our complaint.

        To submit to the teaching of those taking the lead that Christ established in His Congregation, is to submit to Christ and Jehovah, not only when they are righteous, but even when members of that teaching authority are in a state of sin.And so it is with those that received their authority from the Apostles and we would argue equally with those that Jesus has appointed through his congregation. Christ preserves the Congregation even in spite of the failings of such men.

        I believe that it is clear biblically, historically and from our publications that there is an entirely legitimate place for honest objection and disagreement to be expressed. When properly understood, such expressions are at the service of the GB and the Congregation, they are not opposed to either. We will indeed pray and suffer, but in addition to these, we will also lift our voices up in the hope that our shepherds, present and future, will hear and respond. We can raise questions, we can suggest and propose alternatives, we can engage and pursue prudent inquiries, we can offer conclusions as tentative hypothesis, but ultimately they will be judged by the Governing Body. In the end we must be willing to submit our findings to their judgment.

        “Christ will never put us in a position where we are forced to choose between two sins, the sin of division on the one hand and the sin of error on the other hand, there’s always a righteous option, and that option is reform from within, even if that means suffering, and that has been one of the fundamental mistakes of some witnesses, choosing division and remaining separate from the Congregation, rather than to suffer and sacrifice if necessary. Maybe these brothers had legitimate concerns, or maybe there were elders and overseers that contributed culpably to their decision to separate or to make choices that led them to being disfellowshipped. (Perhaps some of their concerns have been validated by the GB today). But two wrongs don’t make a right, good intentions don’t make right actions. They chose not to submit to the Governing Body and rejected it and they were never justified in doing so. If they thought that the Governing body was in error in some respect, they should have remained in the congregation and work for reform, because it’s better to suffer if necessary for once efforts to aid the congregation than to cause a division from the congregation. Under no circumstances can we justifiably form or perpetuate a division from the congregation, precisely because two wrongs don’t make a right and for that reason separating from Christ’s Congregation because of the sins of its leaders is never justified. The right thing to do, in such a case, is to remain in the Congregation, praying for her, making reparations, and urging those in sin to repent, even if we are required to suffer for it. Better to suffer within the Congregation and not sin, than to create a division or lead others into a division by one’s own example”

        Obeying God rather than men is not a justification for rebellion against divinely established authority, it is rather a recognition that rebellion against God on the part of those who have been given such authority does not require those over whom they have been given authority to follow them in that rebellion, we must not follow rebellious leaders in their rebellion against God. We cannot justifiably rebel against the Lord’s anointed when he sins, except if he were to command the faithful to believe or do something that contradicted prior authoritative teachings, in which case witnesses must not follow him. The standard for obedience to God isn’t one’s own interpretation of Scripture, such that any brother taking the lead who doesn’t conform to one’s own interpretation of Scripture is by that very act in rebellion and therefore can rightfully be disregarded.

        Regards,

        Juan

      2. miken says:

        Juan,
        Clearly in the early church there was authority in the different constituent churches through the elder and deacon arrangement in each church. I would not dispute this. What I do dispute are two things. Firstly that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society was appointed in 1919 as God and Christ’s sole channel of communication which you assume and Cameron in his book proves to be untrue. Secondly the current governing body claim that their predecessors in 1919 were a group of divinely appointed men acting as the faithful and discreet slave of Matthew 24:45-47. The historical evidence does not support either claim. In 1919 apart from the Watchtower magazine the major so called ‘spiritual food’ being dispensed was the Finished Mystery book claimed to have come from Jesus Christ yet containing many predictions that never materialized. The main public lecture being given in 1919 was Millions Now Living Will Never Die in which it was predicted that the Kingdom of God would be established on earth from 1925 onwards. In 1920 a booklet of the same title was published and widely distributed. Again of course the 1925 prediction did not materialize. These failed predictions along with other things believed and practiced at the time are evidence that the Society was not appointed as God and Christ’s sole channel of communication in 1919.
        With regard to the current governing body claim that their predecessors in 1919 were a group of divinely appointed men acting as the faithful and discreet slave of Matthew 24:45-47 see

        The video touches on only a small amount of evidence showing that the Bible Students regarded Rutherford as the successor faithful and discreet slave to Russell and that he had control over all the so called spiritual food during his presidency and that he was regarded as God’s agency of communication.

        Regards
        Miken

        Miken

      3. Juan Rivera (@_JuanJRivera) says:

        Miken,

        The purpose of my comments under this thread are not to show that Jehovah’s Witnesses are the congregation that Christ founded…which I am assuming here. I understand that this is precisely what is in question between Christians and Jehovah’s Witnesses. The argument that I’m giving here in this post is to explain the August broadcast and Mike’s questions about our parallels, the fallibility of the Christian Congregation, submission and the obedience we should have towards those taking the lead. I will like to stay on-topic, and directly interact with Mike’s arguments in this podcast. So I’m assuming that for the sake of argument the reader is capable of seeing the appointment claim on its own terms.

        As for showing that the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s witnesses is the Congregation that Christ founded, If you wish to discuss that question there’s a previous podcast here:

        Who or What is God’s Channel of Communication?
        https://michaeljfelker.com/2016/07/24/who-or-what-is-gods-channel-of-communication/

        Also, I would encourage you to read the discussion in the link I provided. I believe your questions are answered there.The discussions are long, I understand, but I would encourage you to read them first:

        Examining the JW teaching of the Faithful and Discreet Slave
        http://www.truetheology.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=829

        Regards,

        Juan

  2. Juan Rivera (@_JuanJRivera) says:

    Mike,

    I don’t think we can equate what Br. Curzan said here with a parallel between Jehovah’s Witnesses and their relationship with the governing body. He said:
    …”That will test our loyalty to Jehovah and HIS organization.”
    He clearly said his organization. We believe Jehovah has one organization. Sometimes we focus on the heavenly(invisible) part, other times we talk about the earthly part. THE EARTHLY PART OF JEHOVAH’S ORGANIZATION INCLUDES: The Governing Body, Branch Committees, Traveling overseers, Bodies of elders, Congregations, Individual publishers.
    Why did the speaker not mention Jesus?
    It could be that the presentation was focusing on Jehovah’s organization. We clearly recognize his role and authority as you can see in this quote:
    Jesus is taking the lead in directing the earthly part of Jehovah’s organization to focus on preaching the good news, to care spiritually for those carrying out this work, and to promote the true worship of Jehovah. What confidence this gives us in Jehovah’s organization!—Matt. 24:45. W13 4/15 p. 27
    Jesus Christ is spoken of as the Head of “the congregation, which is his body.” He is overseeing the handing on of authority in His Congregation, and ensuring in each case that it is received by the man He has chosen.
    You asked: Where is the parallel?
    I encourage you to watch this morning worship segment by brother David Schafer (first 4 minutes) which answers a little more your parallel question in the first part of your video.
    “Today we are living in a time when Jehovah’s people as a whole can never be corrupted. . . .”
    https://tv.jw.org/#en/video/VODProgramsEvents/pub-jwbmw_201504_1_VIDEO
    Especially minute 3:39-51

    You said:
    “Did David always obey Saul? Did Jehovah expect David to always obeyed Saul? Not being obedient to Saul…. What did it mean to be loyal to Jehovah’s anointed in David’s case? …. Don’t overthrow or kill Jehovah’s anointed one. That’s what loyalty meant in that context. It didn’t mean David was to have absolute unquestionable obedience to Saul. Choosing not take over Saul’s throne. Where exactly is this parallel supposed to be?”

    If you watch the short segment in the link I provided above, I would claim we get a pretty good idea of what the brothers are referring to:
    Rebellion against a divinely ordained leader is not justified by that leader’s moral failings. This is why David refused to usurp the throne of Israel so long as Saul sat on it. And it is why he punished the man who killed Saul. (2 Sam 1)The teaching and juridical authority of these overseers is not lost when they sin.
    You mentioned several points and we can go into detail on all of those, but one that keeps coming up is the one about submission. I know you had several discussions with Rotherham about this topic, but let me share something from my friend Bryan Cross, that I think it can help you see why we believe your and many protestants concept of Submission is not submission at all. There is an old maxim that says:
    “When I submit (so long as I agree) (or only when I agree) the one to whom I submit is me,”

    To submit to others only when one agrees with them, is to submit to oneself. But submission to oneself is an oxymoron, because it is indistinguishable from not submitting at all, from doing whatever one wants. This so-called authority that has as its basis of authority that it agrees with me, is not an authentic authority. In other words, agreement with oneself cannot be the basis for authority over oneself. If,you believe that the rulings and decisions of Church authority are authoritative only when they agree with your interpretation of Scripture, then if these “Church authorities” actually had no authority at all, what would be different? How is their ‘authority,’ under such a condition anything more than a mere label or mere lip-service to the notion of authority… There is talk of ‘authority,’ but the behavior is such that if there were no authority at all, nothing would be any different in practice or appearance.

    “Let’s say, for example, that my pastor makes a decision that congregational Bible study will be on Tuesday nights, and I submit to his decision rather than try to get the Bible study to be held on Thursday nights instead, but the primary reason I have chosen him for my pastor, and why he remains my pastor, is that his interpretation of Scripture comes closest to my own. Then I say, “See, I’m submitting to him even when I disagree, therefore, I’m not in a “when I submit only when I agree …” situation, and therefore he can be (and is) an actual, though fallible authority.” Clearly in such a case the authority problem remains. Submitting regarding what night of the week to hold Bible study does not change the fact that the one to whom I am submitting has been designated and identified as an authority, and continues to retain that ‘authority,’ ultimately on the basis of his agreement with my own interpretation of Scripture, even though on matters I consider subordinate I submit to his judgment. The authority he has (functionally), in such a case, is a derivative authority from me. So long as he continues to conform to my interpretation on all the things I think are important, I’ll ‘submit’ to him in matters I consider unimportant. And this ‘subordinate submission’ makes the illusion of authority more difficult to perceive. But so long as the person I refer to as my authority is picked out as ‘authoritative’ on the basis of his agreement with myself, and retains his ‘authority’ on the basis of his agreement with myself, then even if I submit to him in subordinate matters where I do not agree, I am still in a condition in which I am the authority, because in such a case his ‘authority’ is derived from me, from my selecting and retaining him as my ‘authority’ on the basis of his agreement with me, and is contingent upon his conforming to my opinion in areas I deem important.
    In short, the problem of illusory authority arises when a person is picked out and retained as ‘authoritative’ on the basis of his agreement with oneself. That problem is not resolved by acts of submission to that person in matters one judges to be subordinate, because the person is still picked out and retained as ‘authoritative’ on the basis of his agreement with oneself.”– Bryan Cross
    Best Regards, Juan

    1. michaeljfelker says:

      Hi Juan-

      Thank you for your comments and the lengths you went to try and clarify the JW position. I’m honestly at a loss as to where to start, but don’t have the time at the moment anyway. Let me sit on this for a bit and see if maybe I can figure out what your primary thesis is or one major point to tackle.

    2. Eastwardtohelel says:

      I couldn’t respond to the other argument, but this post is just as good to bring up a point that I believe is really at the crux of the matter. I personally do not believe Michael or miken have an issue with submitting to any organization that is under Jehovah’s direction. I know there is a subtle difference between is it scriptural to do so and the claim that the GB is the only organization under Jehovah’s direction. But that indeed is the very issue at hand. Trust me Juan, we Christians get that JW’s are not perfect and we don’t expect you to be. We ALL are flawed and will mess up. And you are right as well that even those under Jehovah’s direction or his appointed ones will still mess up as well, again nothing controversial there either. The issue that we Christians have is there is a flip flop in how you guys present and defend the claim. For example, you quote a JW publication as so,

      Jesus is taking the lead in directing the earthly part of Jehovah’s organization to focus on preaching the good news, to care spiritually for those carrying out this work, and to promote the true worship of Jehovah. What confidence this gives us in Jehovah’s organization!—Matt. 24:45. W13 4/15 p. 27

      On the surface there is nothing I disagree with here, and I will again reiterate the point that we can still be under the guidance of Jehovah but still mess up sometimes. It happens. This system of things has not been brought to an end and we have not been brought back to a perfect state. Here is my issue, and I believe it is with many Christians even though they may not be able to articulate it. You say that Jesus is directly guiding his organization to TEACH the Gospel. What happens when the information and teachings you are guided to are outright lies or false data? What happens when said organization constantly disseminates false information. Again it’s not fallible men that we are pointing out Juan, but your source and guidance is coming from Christ himself. Brother there should be NO issues when Christ is guiding you. And just so I make my point clear, I am not just talking about some of the common mistakes in the publications that Christians point out, but some other disturbing things I have come across myself. The issue Juan is your religion and the those governing it demand a great amount of loyalty and trust, but cannot demonstrate a reason specific to the GB that they are justified in claiming this authority. Again, it’s not that we can’t make mistakes, but you are the ones who come to my door with information to tell me that I am wrong. When I check your reference that you guys actually cite, it is indeed you guys that are quite often wrong. If I question it, your response is something to the effect of you don’t agree with me or I am just mistaken or GB has researched it and we just have to believe what we have been taught. If the GB is found out to have made a mistake, it doesn’t matter because we know we are still Jehovah’s organization. Its dizzying to try and work through that kind of logic. How did you ever get to truth in the first place?

      And Juan, I am not a typical Christian my friend. There are things that I stand in agreement with Jehovah’s Witnesses and there are others that I do not. So I am not just condemning JW’s solely because I’ve been told to by my religion, far from it.

      Simply I ask, why is it you claim Jehovah is directly leading you through Jesus, but there are so so many problems with what you teach AND your organization. (and by problems I say that broadly, false data, lies, unscriptural teachings) How can you expect me to drink from the water you give when it is constantly poisoned? How is Jehovah apart of that? And remember while you are right we can fall but still be a part of Jehovah’s organization, many of your publications point out how wicked and evil Christians are as PROOF they are not lead by Jehovah. Some of these claims are true ( or at least in a sense depending on context), but many of them Juan are not. They are very false. I ask why does your religion get the pass but Christians do not? Can JW stand up to the same scrutiny and if not what does that say about you?

      1. Juan Rivera (@_JuanJRivera) says:

        Eastwardtohelel,

        You said:
        “The issue that we Christians have is there is a flip flop in how you guys present and defend the claim.”

        Fair enough, let’s work this out and get into the details.

        “You say that Jesus is directly guiding his organization to TEACH the Gospel. What happens when the information and teachings you are guided to are outright lies or false data? What happens when said organization constantly disseminates false information. Again it’s not fallible men that we are pointing out Juan, but your source and guidance is coming from Christ himself.”

        Let’s test that claim. If you think that one of our doctrines contradicts not merely your interpretation of Scripture, but Scripture itself, which doctrine does this, and which verse or verses of Scripture does this doctrine contradict. What I can tell you is that Jehovah’s witnesses affirm the truth of every verse in Scripture, the point of our disagreement really is not the truth of any verse of Scripture, but the interpretation of these verses.

        “I am not just talking about some of the common mistakes in the publications that Christians point out, but some other disturbing things I have come across myself.”

        What are these errors? You are asserting that there are errors but that is not sufficient. Let’s take the discussion to a deeper level.

        “The issue Juan is your religion and the those governing it demand a great amount of loyalty and trust, but cannot demonstrate a reason specific to the GB that they are justified in claiming this authority.”

        Edward what do you say if we stay on topic here and discuss your statement in this threat:
        https://michaeljfelker.com/2016/07/14/what-is-the-governing-body/

        “Simply I ask, why is it you claim Jehovah is directly leading you through Jesus, but there are so so many problems with what you teach AND your organization. (and by problems I say that broadly, false data, lies, unscriptural teachings) How can you expect me to drink from the water you give when it is constantly poisoned? How is Jehovah apart of that? And remember while you are right we can fall but still be a part of Jehovah’s organization, many of your publications point out how wicked and evil Christians are as PROOF they are not lead by Jehovah. Some of these claims are true ( or at least in a sense depending on context), but many of them Juan are not. They are very false. I ask why does your religion get the pass but Christians do not? Can JW stand up to the same scrutiny and if not what does that say about you?”

        Eastwardtohelel,

        Assertions are a dime a dozen. I could assert the opposite and is not helpful, please give specific examples.Let’s focus on one thing at a time, and begin with only one of those points of disagreements, and then enter into dialogue about that particular disagreement.

        In regards to how our:

        “publications point out how wicked and evil Christians are as PROOF they are not lead by Jehovah”

        I think you have misunderstood what we’ve meant when we have examined Jesus words found in Matthew 7:17. When we examine particular denominations in history and how we know their fruit, we look at those Christians who have adhered to their denominations teachings and follow it devoutly, not on those that reject their own denominations teachings or are far from it.

        “why does your religion get the pass but Christians do not?”

        I think you are suggesting here that the GB has not been self-consistent. I think they have, and the only reason why we believe other denominations or religions are not the true Christian Congregation is because we believe they were never founded as the Christian Congregation by Jesus.

        Let me know if this helped, regards

        Juan Rivera

      2. Eastwardtohelel says:

        Absolutely, at least how you broke it down. Before we continue I want to ask you a question to see if you agree with me on something. Just to lay a little ground work. I believe there are only two ways we can find truth in this world. The first is by direct revelation from God. Be that by a prophet, God talking directly to a person or people, visions, or something of this nature. Second is through personal research or study. Yes God can indirectly guide you through providence, prayer, meditation, ect, but you get the point. He doesn’t have to be guiding you in scholarly endeavors, but can be indirectly involved if he so chooses.
        Would you agree with this. Not looking to break this down theologically just a simple belief in how we can come to truth in this world. Direct revelation from God and personally study. Would you agree with this.

  3. Juan Rivera (@_JuanJRivera) says:

    Eastwardtohelel,

    I would say no.

    There is a third and correct way we can also come to know the truth, and that is through those appointed by Jesus as the teaching authority in the Congregation. Jehovah’s witnesses will affirm that the authority of the GB is not based on a questionable interpretation of scripture. Rather it was received directly from Christ himself and can be seen in scripture, but is not based in scripture.

    http://www.truetheology.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=621

    We have a duty to learn Scripture. But we have no duty to interpret Scripture apart from the guidance of the Christian Congregation. Our duty in interpreting and understanding Scripture is to approach it with a recognition that Christ is giving us scripture, not so that we can do our own thing, but so that we can participate in something His Body is already doing.

    “Thus the Bible is an organizational book and belongs to the Christian congregation as an organization, not to individuals, regardless of how sincerely they may believe that they can interpret the Bible. For this reason the Bible cannot be properly understood without Jehovah’s visible organization in mind.”—The Watchtower, October 1, 1967, p. 587

    We learn and study scripture informed by the guidance of his congregation. Just as Philip the evangelizer and the eunuch, we have to find those who have the authority to speak for the Congregation. In the book of Acts and throughout the New testament we see how this interpretative authority is plainly being set up by the apostles to cruise right out of the apostolic period and into history. The Apostles authorize several men (Timothy, Titus, Paul, Barnabas, Philip) to teach and govern the congregation, entrusting to them the scriptures (1 Timothy 1:3, 1 Timothy 5:20, 6:2, Acts 20:28; Acts 20:31), and to do the same to those after them (2 Tim 2:2; Titus 1:5) (Titus 2:15) Hebrews 13:17

    Regards,

    Juan Rivera

  4. Juan Rivera (@_JuanJRivera) says:

    Eastwardtohelel,

    I’m sorry, but due to some personal circumstances that limit my time and to focus in my ministry closer to home, I will have to pull back from this discussion at the moment.

    There are several Jehovah’s witnesses here (like Rotherham) and elsewhere who are informed and can perhaps help you with some of the concerns you and other Christians have about us.

    I hope that you keep sharing the urgency to seek out the truth and the unity of all Christians. Maybe someday we can consider together the points that separate us one by one even if it takes years to figure out where and why we disagree.

    Thank you for your time and willingness to dialogue.

    Best Regards,

    Juan Rivera

    1. Eastwardtohelel says:

      Absolutely, and thanks for your time. No worries Juan, you have been very quick to respond and thanks for what you have done so far. I am very very interested in your response about how we come to the truth and why your view wouldn’t fall into one of the two categories above. Very interesting point of view my friend. So what I will do is I will post my response to the original question about my concerns and I will let the readers know up front that a lack of response from you is not due to “stumping the opponent” so to speak but due to prior commitments and current issue requiring you attention. I will try and contact Rotherham for his input or another Brother of the congregation to weigh in my concerns and continue from there. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Take care and hope to hear from you soon.

    1. Eastwardtohelel says:

      Thanks much, glad you stopped by. Been busy and didn’t get to reach out to you. I will try and respond later tonight when I am at work depending on call frequency. I have looked it over before but I will take another look to see if there is anything that might help.
      Thanks again and look forward to hearing your input.

  5. Eastwardtohelel says:

    So I have read and reread the second link and I have debated how I wanted to tackle this. I do not want to end up with the same response you gave Michael. I do understand the whole concept of making mistakes and still being led by Jehovah. The question I have is when Michael plays the video and the speaker is pushing loyalty to the organization and that you are the only organization on Earth led by Him. How am I supposed to do that if Jehovah has no control of what happens to his message after he reveals it to you? What happens when I look up the citations the GB uses to prove a point(and some of these are not peripheral doctrines) and I find that the GB is out right lying or what is being said is not what the sources says? Its one thing to make mistakes but it is another when you are not trust worthy or scholarly accurate. Where does this break down begin? And as you pointed out that even the Israelites messed up but still remained under God’s control or authority, how do I know that you are in fact the one with this authority. I’ll even go so far as to point out King Saul, and David subjecting to him because it was Gods place to deal with him, not David. But how did Jehovah keep control over scripture. Wouldn’t it stand to reason that possibly scripture was corrupted through the fallibility of man? How did Jehovah prevent this. Lets even go a step farther and say he was basically controlling the quill or mouth directly, which is not the case, but lets say he did. How did Jehovah prevent the transmission of his message through scripture through the ages(and by that I just referring to the Old Testament)from being corrupted by scribes? I’ll stop he before writing to much. This should be a good starting point to see where you stand on this so I can more accurately address my concerns with your beliefs. Sense I have leveled accusations here please feel free to ask me to clarify or specifically state what I am talking about. I am being general just to start a base to work with but will always state specifics when dealing with this kind of stuff.

    This is a admin note for everyone reading. I am having some issues with my touch pad and turning it off. While I am writing my computer or touch pad will erase parts of what I wrote. Even when I proof read and go back and do changes, sometimes it will erase other parts of a sentence while I am correcting. It is becoming very frustrating, so please help me identify where there are mistakes. If something does not make sense, then it is probably this problem. Bear with me until I can fix this. I do not want to present something I don not believe. Plus I do not like to look like a babbling idiot lol. Thanks much to everyone reading.
    R/S

  6. rotherham2 says:

    Hello eastward,
    You said:
    So I have read and reread the second link and I have debated how I wanted to tackle this. I do not want to end up with the same response you gave Michael. I do understand the whole concept of making mistakes and still being led by Jehovah. The question I have is when Michael plays the video and the speaker is pushing loyalty to the organization and that you are the only organization on Earth led by Him. How am I supposed to do that if Jehovah has no control of what happens to his message after he reveals it to you?
    #############################
    God’s spirit can recall things to our mind that we have taken in when the time is right. That coupled with the idea that he can cause to ask the right questions in our mind to arrive at better conclusions than formerly entertained is likely how non-inspired direction works. If you were a spokeman for God in today’s world that is likely how it would work for you as well, with anyone, otherwise you are promoting direct inspiration. How could you not be? Yes, we definitely believe that when it comes to religious organizations in the world today, we are the only organization being prodded by God’s spirit in this fashion and as long as we remain true to his word, to logic and to recorded history, in other words, things we know to be true, we will continue in that growth toward the full-grown stature spoken of in Ephesians 4:11-17.

    So it is not the case that God has no control at all over the leadings that he has given us. Why don’t you give me a working model as to how non-inspired spirit direction is supposed to work and we can compare notes. In reality, by questioning the method, are you not in turn promoting direct inspiration as the only way for God to reach us?
    ##################################

    You said:
    What happens when I look up the citations the GB uses to prove a point(and some of these are not peripheral doctrines) and I find that the GB is out right lying or what is being said is not what the sources says? Its one thing to make mistakes but it is another when you are not trust worthy or scholarly accurate.

    ########################
    Although some mistakes can be honestly made, what examples do you have to show that this is a practice of being scholarly inaccurate. I would have to see them to respond adequately. My gut feeling is that you are mistaken in your evaluations.
    #########################
    Where does this break down begin? And as you pointed out that even the Israelites messed up but still remained under God’s control or authority, how do I know that you are in fact the one with this authority. I’ll even go so far as to point out King Saul, and David subjecting to him because it was Gods place to deal with him, not David. But how did Jehovah keep control over scripture. Wouldn’t it stand to reason that possibly scripture was corrupted through the fallibility of man? How did Jehovah prevent this. Lets even go a step farther and say he was basically controlling the quill or mouth directly, which is not the case, but lets say he did. How did Jehovah prevent the transmission of his message through scripture through the ages(and by that I just referring to the Old Testament)from being corrupted by scribes? I’ll stop he before writing to much. This should be a good starting point to see where you stand on this so I can more accurately address my concerns with your beliefs. Sense I have leveled accusations here please feel free to ask me to clarify or specifically state what I am talking about. I am being general just to start a base to work with but will always state specifics when dealing with this kind of stuff.

    ################################
    God can work with honest-hearted copyists much the same way as I have explained before when directing men in an uninspired fashion. Through the comparison of manuscripts from different centuries, we, as are most religious scholars, convinced that God’s word has been preservesd accurately with very few errors or discrepancies, and yes there are likley some errors that have survived that will still need corrected in the future, but we have never found where these errors have affected, in any significant way, the foundational teachings of the Bible, and that is where it should all begin when determnining who is adequately being directed by God. Do they have the foundational, elementary teachings intact or are they significantly corrupted? We certainly believe that we do have the elementary teachings intact, and as I said, that is where it should begin. The scriptures initially identify the church through absolute teachings and statements contained within the Bible. Once identified, obeyance and submission is called for to those who are taking the lead. It becomes a matter of trust based upon the accuracy of elementary teachings.

    As I have mentioned to Mike and others, if one can not overturn those teachings which we view as elementary, based upon Hebrews 6, there really isn’t much chance of getting us to abandon our faith by pointing out things that have changed when we already know that they are subject to change, such as the understanding of prophecy or other ambiguities contained in scripture. However, the clear, absolutely stated, elementary teachings do not change, or if they do at all, it would only be in the most peripheral manner. Corewise, they are solid in scripture.

    Regards
    Rotherham

    1. Eastwardtohelel says:

      So I will start off in saying I am in total agreement with you in being led by the spirit or directly by Yahweh himself which puts you into the realm or being a prophet. These are the only two. I do not question the method at all, not in the least bit, again I am in agreement with you on this. And to take it a step further, if Jehovah’s Witnesses IS the only true organization that Yahweh is directing, I have no issue at all with the loyalty and obedience you command. My reasoning for this is quite simple using logic which I believe you will agree. If Yahweh says something or commands something, then I do it. Simply put no arguments from me.
      What I do question or inquire is WHAT method the GB are using when setting doctrine. Direct revelation or is He guiding you indirectly through the spirit? I think this is what most Christians are getting at even though they might not be able to articulate it. I also totally agree with you on the transference of scripture although I have an interesting question. If the early church was not considered the governing body or under direction from Yahweh, how was he guiding the scribes? It seems that you are not willing to view the early church as authoritative in any way. Many early churches fathers are dismissed by JW literature as not being led by the spirit and the doctrines and beliefs they discuss are not authoritative. How then are the scribes? How was God leading them but no one else, just an interesting question, but we will hold that one for later?
      Before we get into specifics, I am not just up and asking you to leave simply because I find mistakes. One cannot just dump the baby out with the bath water so to speak. When we find errors or supposed errors, one must go back and retrace his/her steps and take another look at the whole problem and see where it leads before changing a belief. But out of curiosity Rotherham, what would it take to change a doctrine as a whole with JW? What would it take to change YOUR belief? What standard would be sufficient for you? Just asking nothing more nothing less.

      Let us get into some examples, which I do not believe I am mistaken about.
      First example is a case for dishonesty in a WatchTower publication. In a booklet that is used by Pioneers called Mankind’s search for God, the major world religions are described in somewhat of a chronological order. When Christianity is brought up, the first thing we see is the publication switch from describing the religion to attacking Christianity. They start off by claiming Christians today are sexually immoral. I find this to be a very big claim. Where is the data to support this I wonder? Then claim a scholar supports this. They quote,
      “ The standards of Christianity were different from the permissive mores of today is attested to Professor Elaine Pagels in her book Adam, Eve, and the Serpent wherein she states: “Many Christians of the first four centuries took pride in their sexual restraint; they eschewed polygamy and often divorce as well, which Jewish tradition allowed; and they repudiated extramarital sexual practices commonly accepted among their pagan contemporaries, practices including prostitution and homosexuality.””(Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society[WTBTS] 235-36).
      After which they ask is it fair to assume does Christianity hold the truth because of this? So the WatchTower sets a standard of morality to see if someone holds truth. I found it very interesting that they would quote from Dr. Pagels, so I read the book. The quote in question comes from the FORWARD and it Pagels does not claim this. She claims the EXACT opposite, that todays Christians (and this is a secular definition that would include Jehovah’s Witnesses) get their sexual practices from those of the mentioned of the 1st and 4th centuries. Dr. Pagels book is solely about how modern western societies view on sexuality comes from early Christianity and how we are shocked by todays secular changes on these views. Nothing more nothing less.
      Rotherham, where to begin. So much is wrong here. First the WatchTower is bearing false witness by accusing Christianity as a whole of being sexually immoral and setting a standard to tell people that Christians cannot hold truth because of it. The WatchTower words, not mine. A standard that Jehovah’s Witnesses cannot uphold as well. Second is that the WatchTower quotes a scholarly source incorrectly, and very badly I might add, in an attempt to back up their claim. This is intellectual dishonesty Rotherham. The WatchTower didn’t even read the book.

      So here is the problem, how can I trust you when dishonesty is a policy to spread your message. Even it was an honest mistake, this makes matters just as bad. Is this the level or scholarly research I am expected to get from you guys? How can I take anything you say, teach or print when you cannot even read a few sentences correctly and pull out the context from it? I mean it looks pretty bad Rotherham and it would be one thing if this was an isolated incident. This happens all the time where you guys will quote scholars or material incorrectly or present information in such a way as to prove what you guys are changing is in fact the correct understanding.

      I’ll stop here and let you respond then we will tackle some other cases and how they relate to doctrine.

  7. rotherham2 says:

    Hello Eastward,

    One question before responding. Could you please document eh Watchtower quote that you presented? I can not determine from what you presented where the quote actually came from in the WT.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

  8. rotherham2 says:

    Hello Eastward,

    I found some time. My comments are between the ################ marks.

    You said:
    What I do question or inquire is WHAT method the GB are using when setting doctrine. Direct revelation or is He guiding you indirectly through the spirit? I think this is what most Christians are getting at even though they might not be able to articulate it.

    ############################
    It could be considered a combination of both. Scripture, as far as it is rendered accurately, is certainly as good as direct revelation. Any doctrine that can be determined beyond a shadow of a doubt, using absolute statements within, is as good as direct revelation. However, again, that is not the same as being inspired to write something down, as if the words are breathed by God himself, it simply means that we can use the scriptures, in many instances, as unmistakable in what it teaches. Some examples would be that the Father alone is uncreated and Almighty, the soul is not inherently immortal, and yes, even the existence of an ecclesial authority within Christianity.
    Anything else that is not abdolutely and clearly taught, such as much of prophecy and parable, is understood in the prodding fashion that I described. That is why dismantling the those teachings which we regard as fiundational is the only thing that ever cause to abandon our faith. As I mentioned, if we adhere to things that are scripturally harmonious, logical and historically accurate, that is the best we can do until full understanding arrives.
    #############################

    I also totally agree with you on the transference of scripture although I have an interesting question. If the early church was not considered the governing body or under direction from Yahweh, how was he guiding the scribes?

    ################################
    There were likely many who were sincere and honest hearted that he could lead. The earlier the copyist or commentator the more likely the accuracy, as the apostasy took many years to fully set in. Also, we have no issue with church fathers who adhered to the absolute teachings of the scriptures. When they would deviate we would have to hold them suspect. Still most were probably honest-hearted, but misled by prominent pagan philosophies of the times in which they lived. If they deviate from scripture then we would not follow their course. The scriptures are the standard for everything.
    ##################################

    It seems that you are not willing to view the early church as authoritative in any way. Many early churches fathers are dismissed by JW literature as not being led by the spirit and the doctrines and beliefs they discuss are not authoritative. How then are the scribes? How was God leading them but no one else, just an interesting question, but we will hold that one for later?

    #####################################
    As long as the church father adhered to the absolute teachings of the scriptures we have no problem, but the church fathers were a mixed bag, often contradicting each other. When they teach things clearly contradictory to scripture we must reject those things. When they teach in harmony with the scriptures we can agree. The thing to remember is that Jesus and the NT writers assured Christians that there would be great apostasy set in after the Apostles passed off the earthly scene. Any writings during this dark, sleepy period must be held under scrutiny due to that apostasy. Whereas God could certainly continue to prod those who were strictly adhering to scripture, even during those dark times, much of what was being written and taught was contradictory to the foundational teachings and certainly not from God.
    ########################################

    Before we get into specifics, I am not just up and asking you to leave simply because I find mistakes. One cannot just dump the baby out with the bath water so to speak. When we find errors or supposed errors, one must go back and retrace his/her steps and take another look at the whole problem and see where it leads before changing a belief. But out of curiosity Rotherham, what would it take to change a doctrine as a whole with JW? What would it take to change YOUR belief? What standard would be sufficient for you? Just asking nothing more nothing less.

    ######################################
    If a doctrine was clearly in contradiction from absolute Biblical statements, that would certainly change my mind. Also, if any teaching or understanding of prophecy would deny logic or known and true history, that would also cause me to rethink where I am. I’ve not seen that. I’ve seen a lot of opinion, but not solid facts.
    #####################################

    Let us get into some examples, which I do not believe I am mistaken about.
    First example is a case for dishonesty in a WatchTower publication. In a booklet that is used by Pioneers called Mankind’s search for God, the major world religions are described in somewhat of a chronological order. When Christianity is brought up, the first thing we see is the publication switch from describing the religion to attacking Christianity. They start off by claiming Christians today are sexually immoral. I find this to be a very big claim. Where is the data to support this I wonder? Then claim a scholar supports this. They quote,
    “ The standards of Christianity were different from the permissive mores of today is attested to Professor Elaine Pagels in her book Adam, Eve, and the Serpent wherein she states: “Many Christians of the first four centuries took pride in their sexual restraint; they eschewed polygamy and often divorce as well, which Jewish tradition allowed; and they repudiated extramarital sexual practices commonly accepted among their pagan contemporaries, practices including prostitution and homosexuality.””(Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society[WTBTS] 235-36).
    After which they ask is it fair to assume does Christianity hold the truth because of this? So the WatchTower sets a standard of morality to see if someone holds truth. I found it very interesting that they would quote from Dr. Pagels, so I read the book. The quote in question comes from the FORWARD and it Pagels does not claim this. She claims the EXACT opposite, that todays Christians (and this is a secular definition that would include Jehovah’s Witnesses) get their sexual practices from those of the mentioned of the 1st and 4th centuries. Dr. Pagels book is solely about how modern western societies view on sexuality comes from early Christianity and how we are shocked by todays secular changes on these views. Nothing more nothing less.
    Rotherham, where to begin. So much is wrong here. First the WatchTower is bearing false witness by accusing Christianity as a whole of being sexually immoral and setting a standard to tell people that Christians cannot hold truth because of it. The WatchTower words, not mine. A standard that Jehovah’s Witnesses cannot uphold as well. Second is that the WatchTower quotes a scholarly source incorrectly, and very badly I might add, in an attempt to back up their claim. This is intellectual dishonesty Rotherham. The WatchTower didn’t even read the book.

    ########################################
    I think you misunderstand from the start the reason for the quote. The quote was given to show what the standards of morality were in the first four centuries, nothing more. Clearly, that is all it was intended to prove since there is obviously no contrast with today’s Christianity even presented in the quote.

    So to understand the intent of the introductory statement to this quote is of importance. It said, as you noted, “That the standards of Christianity were different from the permissive mores of today is attested to Professor Elaine Pagels…”
    The quote was intended to show the morality of the first four centuries, they were not intended to show a contrast with today. The contrast with today is attested to in what was written in paragraph one, not Pagel’s words.

    I guess I am surprised almost beyond beleif that you do not think that Christendom is permeated with sexual immorality. Many churches today allow divorce and remarraige on almost any ground, and although they say it is wrong, they mostly just wink at fornication and certainly do not follow through on expelling known practicing adulterers and fornicators, and even many churches and religious organizations are attempting to make homosexuality a minor offense to God or no offense at all. I guess I am surprised that you would need documentation for this. Many of those that I contact and study with in my ministry readily admit that sexual immoral behavior is out of control among the churches of today.

    So sorry, I don’t see this is a valid of example of purposeful dishonesty and misquoting, in fact, the purpose for which it was quoted looks exactly right.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

    1. Eastwardtohelel says:

      Clearly you misunderstand me Rotherham. The quote states that Christians today get our standards from those set by the Christians of the 1st and 4th century, and Pagels would include Jehovah’s Witnesses in that bag as well. It is a secular or broad definition of the use of the word Christianity. The issue is the WT says Pagels says the opposite, but maybe I am confused so let us see.

      The WT states in Mankind’s Search for God, “That the standards of Christianity were different from the permissive mores of today is attested to Professor Elaine Pagels in her book Adam, Eve, and the Serpent…”(WTBTS 235)

      This is wrong. It is either poor research and context comprehension or flat out dishonesty used to discredit Christians of ALL creeds. I am saying nothing of the claim. Just the facts used to support it. Dr. Pagels said the opposite of what you claimed she said. Explain that without sidetracking.

      Second the fact that you yourself call all Christians sexually immoral is just wrong and wrong again. But go ahead and bring your documentation. I’ll show documentation from secular unbiased sources that prove Jehovah’s Witnesses are no different than any other religious or secular group when it comes to divorce and infidelity. But lets not stop there since you want to set a standard of documentation, how about legal documentation from governments AROUND THE WORLD showing that Jehovah’s Witnesses have an epidemic of child molestation and the Governing Body has actively covered up for these perverts and criminals. It is not a slanderous false attack Rotherham, it’s documentation as well as your own policies from your own GB stating such. The fact you want to call Christians or Christendom sexually immoral and state you have documentation to prove such just makes me want to vomit. Many of those I witness to say the exact same thing about whats going on in Kingdom Halls. Its laughable im listening to you defend an organization that thinks that kicking child molesters out of a congregation is all that needs to be done. And by the way since you love documentation, it is documented that for decades many of these perverts were not disfellowshiped and were covered for by the GB. Again documented. And lawyers representing Jehovah’s Witnesses used state religious law to keep from having to. Again documented. So I guess if I molest a child or a Catholic priest molest a child we deserve to go to prison and all the punishment that comes along, not if you are a JW though, you just disfellowshiped (although proven in the majority of cases discovered that is not what happens) and allowed to come back after some time that they can prove that they are repentant. And lets not get into the two witness rule, a disgusting twisting of scripture to hide pedophiles, because we all know child molesters wait for witnesses to be around to do their evil. Your apostate religion makes me sick Rotherham.

      To wrap it up, I am not a typical Christian and I do promote truth. Ask Michael Felker this and he will attest to it. He ask me a question about JW’s to which I stood up for you guys and showed him why it was a false internet rumor that circulates about JW. I only want to deal in honesty my friend.

      But hear I am pouring my heart and time out to you and prove that you guys do in fact use sources incorrectly and your response is to go on the attack on Christendom and not even address the original problem. But lets not stop there, you know why I know you guys do not even read the material you quote. In Dr. Pagels book, she talks about how those early Christians taught and believed in extreme forms of sexual restraint such as celibacy or that even sex within the confines for marriage was a sin. But since you believe that those 1st and 4th century Christians had it right maybe I should go home and tell my wife we can no longer have sex. Matter of fact, all you married JW are living in sin too I suppose. This is why you guys are so dangerous. You don’t even read what you quote.

      I am the one who is truly surprised that such a talented man such as yourself can so blindly overlook my original question and go the route that you did. You guys are all the same. You act humble and say you are human and willing to admit when you make a mistake but that is just lip service. When I showed you, your response was to say Christians are sexually immoral.

      Rotherham, show your documentation and quote your scripture I could careless. I have no further questions or examples to give, what is the point? I no intention of engaging you any further.

      For all of you reading this I ask you to get the WatchTower publication Mankind’s Search for God and read the quote as well as what comes before it and after. See the context. Then read the quote from Dr. Pagels book “Adam, Eve, and the Serpent”. The quote is found in the forward of the book should only take a few minutes to see. Then you judge for yourself for all those who question the WatchTower and their honesty. Also read the book and see if the early Christian beliefs on sex by the 1st and 4th century Christians is how Father Yahweh intended you to treat sex. Read scripture and test me.

      But lets take it a step farther

  9. rotherham2 says:

    Hello Eastward,

    It’s too bad that you have decided not to continue. I had hopes of a fruitful discussion. I still think you are mistaken about a number of things which I will point out in my next response. I find it odd that you start out saying that I clearly misunderstand you and then proceed to degrade me as if it was intentional. I find that odd. If I have misunderstood you I am sure with some patience and respect toward each other we will figure it out. But if you choose not to continue, that is your choice.

    Take care,
    Rotherham

  10. rotherham2 says:

    Hello Eastward,
    My responses are between the #############s.

    You said:
    Clearly you misunderstand me Rotherham. The quote states that Christians today get our standards from those set by the Christians of the 1st and 4th century, and Pagels would include Jehovah’s Witnesses in that bag as well. It is a secular or broad definition of the use of the word Christianity. The issue is the WT says Pagels says the opposite, but maybe I am confused so let us see.

    ##########################################
    Surely you should see that there is often a difference between standards that are set and the way those standards are actully adhered to, right? Although the standards might be the same between the 1st through the 4th century with today, “on the books”, what is happening in practice is not matching with the standards. Like I said before, even though many give lip service to the standards, many religious groups do nothing to enforce such standards, and that was my point. For one thing, I think it would be obvious to most that there has been a degradation of the standards when it comes to the practice of homosexuality and its acceptance within many religious groups.

    You will note that we did not say that Pagel said the standards of Christianity were different than the STANDARDS of today. WE said that the standards were different than the PERMISSIVE MORES of today. That is an important difference that you overlooked. Mores are the customs, norms, and behaviors that are acceptable to a society or social group. And the MORES today among many of those who claim to be Christian are certainly PERMISSIVE.

    So yes, the standards attested to by Pagel in her book, are different than the PERMISSIVE MORES of today and I certainly do not think there should be a problem for anyone to see that as true. As I have mentioned, there is only one Biblical standard for divorce with freedom to remarry, and that is on the grounds of adultery. But today that is entirely different in practice. Churches may give lip service to the standard but most do nothing to enforce it. The same is true of pre-marital sex. Although they state that it is wrong, the practice among those who claim to be Christian is widespread. Also, adultery is taught to be wrong, but many churches do very little to violaters. And although most churches admit that homosexuality is wrong, there is a growing movement among those who claim to be Christian to have the practice acceptable.

    So once again, the standards are DIFFERENT than the PERMISSIVE MORES of today. I have no problem agreeing with Pagel that the standards of Christian morality were set in the first four centuries and that today we have much the same standards, at least in PRINT. The problem is that the sexual practices among many do NOT match the standards. I never said that ALL Christians are immoral. That is nothing more than a misquote on your own behalf.
    ########################################

    The WT states in Mankind’s Search for God, “That the standards of Christianity were different from the permissive mores of today is attested to Professor Elaine Pagels in her book Adam, Eve, and the Serpent…”(WTBTS 235)
    This is wrong. It is either poor research and context comprehension or flat out dishonesty used to discredit Christians of ALL creeds. I am saying nothing of the claim. Just the facts used to support it. Dr. Pagels said the opposite of what you claimed she said. Explain that without sidetracking.

    #########################################
    I believe I have explained that above.
    #########################################

    Second the fact that you yourself call all Christians sexually immoral is just wrong and wrong again.

    #######################################
    Never did I claim that ALL Christians are immoral and nor did the literature. This is a misquote.
    ######################################

    But go ahead and bring your documentation. I’ll show documentation from secular unbiased sources that prove Jehovah’s Witnesses are no different than any other religious or secular group when it comes to divorce and infidelity.

    ##############################################
    The divorce rate among Jehovah’s Witnesses is far less than the rest of the world including many religious organizations within Christendom. You would have to provide documentation to state otherwise.
    #############################################

    But lets not stop there since you want to set a standard of documentation, how about legal documentation from governments AROUND THE WORLD showing that Jehovah’s Witnesses have an epidemic of child molestation and the Governing Body has actively covered up for these perverts and criminals. It is not a slanderous false attack Rotherham, it’s documentation as well as your own policies from your own GB stating such.

    #############################################
    This is incorrect on many counts. Even if there have been cases of child molestation it is certainly not an epidemic. It is a rare thing to happen, and the organization has never actively covered these things over. If that were true there would be many cases won against the organization in this regard which has not happened. Individual elders or bodies of elders have been sued and lost but not the organization that I am aware of. I am willing to defend each policy that they abide by if you so choose to discuss it. I think you are mistaken in your evaluations.
    ###########################################

    The fact you want to call Christians or Christendom sexually immoral and state you have documentation to prove such just makes me want to vomit.

    ###########################################
    I never stated that I had documentation. Another misquote. However all one has to do is investigate a little bit for themselves. It is well known by many that many church members engage in premarital sex, they live together before marriage, are in common law marriages, practice adultery, and even homosexuality. Though sometimes preached against immorality has often been widely tolerated. It is not uncommon to hear of Protestant pastors married and unmarried sleeping with members of their church. When church members (clergy and laity) are permitted to remain in good standing within their churches practicing these and other wrongs, it is evidence that there is somethong wrong with that religion. These are not examples of the conduct of people in a righteous standing before God.

    And even if there are examples of such within the Jehovah’s Witnesses, you know very well that we do not tolerate or just give tacet disapproval of such, we take action to correct the matter or they are disfellowshipped if not repentant. That is a far cry from what goes on in most churches today, regardless of what they say the STANDARDS are.
    #################################################

    Many of those I witness to say the exact same thing about whats going on in Kingdom Halls. Its laughable im listening to you defend an organization that thinks that kicking child molesters out of a congregation is all that needs to be done. And by the way since you love documentation, it is documented that for decades many of these perverts were not disfellowshiped and were covered for by the GB. Again documented. And lawyers representing Jehovah’s Witnesses used state religious law to keep from having to. Again documented. So I guess if I molest a child or a Catholic priest molest a child we deserve to go to prison and all the punishment that comes along, not if you are a JW though, you just disfellowshiped (although proven in the majority of cases discovered that is not what happens) and allowed to come back after some time that they can prove that they are repentant. And lets not get into the two witness rule, a disgusting twisting of scripture to hide pedophiles, because we all know child molesters wait for witnesses to be around to do their evil. Your apostate religion makes me sick Rotherham.

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
    Again, you are mistaken. We are under obligation to inform the authorities of the incident according to state laws. In those states where such is not required those involved are encouraged to take whatever action they deem necessary. That is the organizational policy. It is only when certain elders have not followed through that things have broken down.

    If one is truly repentant, they can be spared disfellowshipping. However, they are under severe restrictions and that does not mean that they wont go to prison or receive whatever punishment the law deems necessary. It is a consequence of their actions.

    Also, disfellowshipping is not a permanent arrangement. Your repentance, once sufficiently protrayed, can allow you to be reinstated to the congregation. But again, this has nothing to do with what happens legally and we do not shield anyone from the law.

    The two witness rule is scriptural and cannot be overturned but many people misunderstand what can serve as a second witness. Strong circumstantial evidence can serve as a second witness to convict. For instance, if the molester claimed it didn’t happen and there is only one witness, strong circumstantial evidence, such as DNA proof or even a child having unusual carnal knowledge of the act can cause the individual to be convicted. It doesn’t necessitate an actual other person to accuse. Plus, two accusals of the same kind of activity, even if the events are unrelated, is the same as two witnesses.
    ########################################
    To wrap it up, I am not a typical Christian and I do promote truth. Ask Michael Felker this and he will attest to it. He ask me a question about JW’s to which I stood up for you guys and showed him why it was a false internet rumor that circulates about JW. I only want to deal in honesty my friend.
    But hear I am pouring my heart and time out to you and prove that you guys do in fact use sources incorrectly and your response is to go on the attack on Christendom and not even address the original problem. But lets not stop there, you know why I know you guys do not even read the material you quote. In Dr. Pagels book, she talks about how those early Christians taught and believed in extreme forms of sexual restraint such as celibacy or that even sex within the confines for marriage was a sin. But since you believe that those 1st and 4th century Christians had it right maybe I should go home and tell my wife we can no longer have sex. Matter of fact, all you married JW are living in sin too I suppose. This is why you guys are so dangerous. You don’t even read what you quote.\

    ###################################
    Since I don’t have the book you have to provide me with a reference and I would have to try an acquire a copy. From my perusal of the book, and I admit it was a superficial examination via Amazon, I thought the severe sexual restraints were not imposed as standards until after the 4th century. If I am wrong about that please provide the documentation.

    But keep in ind, we derive OUR standars of morality from the Bible, not from the first four centuries and what they DEEMED as moral, regardless of what Pagel said, we would not be included in that estimation.

    Plus, if what you are saying is true, there seems to be a contradiction. If the standards in the first four centuries were extreme such as celibacy, are you saying that is the standard for today as well according to Pagel? I’m a little confused by that. If it’s not a standard today then how can it be a standard in the first four centuries and yet the standards are supposed to be same? This line of argumntation by you is a bit confusing. Maybe you could straighten that out.
    #####################################
    I am the one who is truly surprised that such a talented man such as yourself can so blindly overlook my original question and go the route that you did. You guys are all the same. You act humble and say you are human and willing to admit when you make a mistake but that is just lip service. When I showed you, your response was to say Christians are sexually immoral.
    Rotherham, show your documentation and quote your scripture I could careless. I have no further questions or examples to give, what is the point? I no intention of engaging you any further.
    For all of you reading this I ask you to get the WatchTower publication Mankind’s Search for God and read the quote as well as what comes before it and after. See the context. Then read the quote from Dr. Pagels book “Adam, Eve, and the Serpent”. The quote is found in the forward of the book should only take a few minutes to see. Then you judge for yourself for all those who question the WatchTower and their honesty. Also read the book and see if the early Christian beliefs on sex by the 1st and 4th century Christians is how Father Yahweh intended you to treat sex. Read scripture and test me.
    ###########################################
    I hope you reconsider, there is much to discuss and potentially much good to accomplish.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

  11. Eastwardtohelel says:

    Honestly I do not, but I did engage first so i think it is only fair to keep a dialog. Upon initially scanning over your response I see a flaw I committed in expressing my thoughts. I try and shorten these post due to readers attention span and in doing so maybe left out some pertinent info that would help you understand why I come to my conclusion. So here is what I will do I am going to, I will write post all of the relevant material and detail it exactly how I see it. This will be pertaining to the two books in question. It will take me a couple of days seeing this is midterms and I have about 4 exam and a paper to do. I am going to plan on having it ready the mid of next week. I might work on a short response to a few of the issues you brought up before then, but the main body of text will be next week.

    I will respond shortly to your last thoughts in your response probably today to clear something up for you as you have asked.

    Keep all in mind for all reading, to keep this relevant, that this is a reason why I question, the Watch Tower Bible Tract Society. This is relating to the original post started by Michael discussing a JW broadcast and questioning the authority asked there. I do not want this to be thread of simple accusations, but in context to why I question. Once done here we can move on to others.

  12. rotherham2 says:

    One request, well maybe two.

    Please do not make the responses too long. They use their usefulness because readers usually don’t read them.

    Also, maybe we can take a couple things at a time instead of numerous topics at once.

    Thanks,
    Rotherham

  13. Eastwardtohelel says:

    Ok, so I am back after I wrapped up college and some other nagging issues. Thanks and sorry Rotherham2, Michael, and anyone else that was following this. Rotherham I will try and keep the responses short so we can make better progress and have better focus. To start off I will individually post the first three paragraphs of the Christianity section and break it down shotgun style so to speak and go from there. I believe by tackling it one paragraph at a time, I believe Mr. Rotherham you will see why I view it the way I do. The key, I believe, to make my point is in the footnotes of the publication in question, Mankind’s search for God.

    Paragraph 1, Chapter 10, Mankind’s Search for God:
    “The history of Christendom, *with its wars, inquisitions, crusades, and religious hypocrisy, has not helped the cause of Christianity. Devout Muslims and others point to the moral corruption and decadence of the Western, “Christian” world as a bais for rejecting Christianity. Indeed, the so-called Christian nations have lost their moral rudder and have suffered shipwreck on the rocks of faithlessness, greed, and self-indulgence.

    *By “Christendom” we refer to the realm of sectarian activity dominated by religions that claim to be Christian. “Christianity” refers to the original form of worship and access to God taught by Jesus Christ.”

    So here is the first paragraph. While I would LOVE to debate some of the assertions here we will let it stand for now simply for what it says. Paragraph 1 simply states that Christendom has lost its morality with a few examples to support it.

    Mr. Rotherham, if you could review the above paragraph and my two sentence synopsis and see if you agree.

    Again, thanks for everyone following and sorry for my absence.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s