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Where is Eliot Spitzer When You Need Him?

They cheered on the stock exchange floor the day Eliot Spitzer went down. The past year has been dismal for stocks, but prices soared on that day! The Sheriff of Wall Street was dead! In fact, he was better than dead…..he was disgraced.

Regular folk heehawed and ridiculed. Under pressure, I reluctantly agreed to close out my Eliot Spitzer category (but reneged), yet even then  I stated:

“As NYS Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer took a lot of bad people out of circulation, including some high finance types usually thought untouchable. That should not be taken away from him. New Yorkers can be grateful. Advocates for market fairness say he’s done more to clean up Wall Street than anyone else in decades.”

Eliot’s undoing was sexual misconduct, but it now appears that the financial world could have used 1000 more Spitzers, as opposed to dumping the one they had. Even if every one of them cheated on their spouses. Look, he wasn’t put there to teach Sunday school. His mission was to kick butts.

It now is clear that there were many whose butts needed kicking. More butts than even a thousand Spitzers could have managed, even if he knew which ones to kick and which ones to leave alone (an unclear assumption). As this post is being written, Henry PaulsonBlog_pictures, former Goldman Sachs CEO and now Treasury Secretary, is telling Congress that all the financial world’s wheeling and dealing has gone bust and that (without penalizing the ones who ran it aground!) the taxpayer has to bail them out. It’s a massive bailout he wants, to the tune of $10,000 per American household! On top of debt the public has already assumed from Fannie, Freddie and AIG. Congressmen are taking turns to vent, the way they do, but in the end, we all know the deal will pass, or some close modification, because the apparent alternative is another Great Depression. Once again, the Economist nailed it. Their latest issue’s cover is a portrait of Paulson pointing, just like on those Uncle Sam recruitment posters, saying “I Want Your Money.”

Seeing it all play out in Congress, it’s hard not to think of that description from Micah 7:3.

the ruler demands gifts,
the judge accepts bribes,
the powerful dictate what they desire—
they all conspire together.
         RVS

Or, as the English Standard Version puts it….

the prince and the judge ask for a bribe
and the great man utters the evil desires of his soul
thus they weave it together.
   

The great men, through their greed, have broken the system and look to the public purse to get them funded again. Up to the final months executives were distributing billions in bonuses among themselves, exorbitant rewards for failure! The prince and the judge aren’t happy about it, of course, but they’ve long played ball. They’ve made laws allowing the mess to mushroom. They’ve formed regulatory bodies that have watched it all develop. Some have taken huge lobbyist payments from the great men….can it be said they are they “bought and paid for?“ As Micah says, they all weave it together. (ESV)  Or, as rendered in the Revised Standard Version, they conspire together.

A co-worker of mine spotted two huckster scruffy-type guys on the internet (did he really call them “douchebags?”) who would buy up mortgages and immediately flip them to large institutions. Anything they bought they could sell….no questions asked. So much money was to be made through commissions and inventive accounting that underwriting standards sank lower and lower, and in the end vanished completely. Like a bartender pushing drinks on drunk patrons, the industry pushed mortgages on people who clearly couldn‘t afford them, people who counted solely on the prayer that their property would increase in value. Meanwhile, these two guys blew every dime they made….sometimes $100K in a week!….on penthouses, women, cars and so forth.

Mortgages they, and thousands like them, traded were massed into huge collateralized debt obligations and peddled to financial institutions the world over. The promised cash flows showed up as assets, masking the shaky debts they really were, on accounting books. Sounder debts were steadily watered down with junk until, in time, nobody knew what they were buying, but the commissions and paper profits were so lucrative that they kept buying anyway. Leveraging made it all the more dicey.

It all worked until it didn’t. Word flashed about that folks were defaulting, property values were falling…..and….who could have foreseen?…those debt obligations might not be worth a fraction of what they were sold for. It’s not as though the free market had ever determined their value…..they’d all been priced rather arbitrarily. Suddenly nobody wanted these CDOs anymore. The hucksters were stuck with a million in mortgages they could neither sell nor service. They panicked and bolted their doors.

No doubt, that’s just a small (and oversimplified) chunk of a mountain of mayhem.

So the huge bankers (HB&B….Huge Bank and Broker, Bill Cara calls them) fell over the precipice and look to the general public to pull them out. World finances go down the tubes if the answer is “no.” As I write this, it’s by no means clear how this will all play out. There’s hope the bailout will stem the blood flow, but is it perhaps the first of many? And the long-range implications for the taxpayer and generations to come are not pleasant to contemplate.

Where is Eliot Spitzer when you need him? It would have been good to have him around, if only for the sake of the fireworks. But in the end, would even 10,000 Spitzers have turned the tide? In this system “that which is crooked cannot be made straight.“ Greed almost always wins out, spoiling humankind’s better accomplishments. Not too long ago I was speaking with one of those optimistic atheists, the youthful type who imagine human science and wisdom will solve all problems. He gushed “things have, by nearly every measure, gotten better as time progresses.” I replied that I could think of some measures by which they have not.

Watching televised hearings these past few days, I’ve just thought of another. This week has not been kind to those who put their trust in human efforts.

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Tom Irregardless and Me             No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Something like Mr. Spock in the Air

When Stalin and successors ruled Russia, there was strict media censorship. You didn’t speak against the state. Nowadays there is no state censorship, yet the media kowtows as though there was. The censorship is self-imposed. “There is no person who tells [me] what you can and what you can’t do.“ says journalist Nikolai Svanidze, recently quoted in the Economist. “It is in the air."

Lot’s of things are “in the air.” In fact, that expression and concept is found here:

Furthermore, [it is] you [God made alive] though you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you at one time walked according to the system of things of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit that now operates in the sons of disobedience.    Eph 2:1-2

The “air” of Ephesians has unfavorable connotations, much like the “air” in Russia. In both settings it represents an oppressive mindset. It also has “authority;" it is so pervasive that it molds people’s thinking without their being aware of it.

For example, a contempt of authority is these days “in the air.” National leaders, teachers, and police officers who once enjoyed an almost automatic authority, now find themselves challenged at every turn….not just challenged when they do wrong, but challenged regardless of what they do.

Is scientific, critical thinking…as the be-all and end-all…. also “in the air” today? I think so. An intense distrust of any input that can’t be quantified, analyzed and proven. If it in any way smacks of emotion, it is something to suppress, almost something to be ashamed of. But if we can put it in measurable terms…..ahhh, now we’re talking! Carl Jung dealt with ostensibly scientific matters of the human psyche. Yet instead of "abstract scientific terminology," he declared that  he prefered dramatic, mythological terminology. It is more expressive, and besides, the former “is wont to toy with the notion that its theoretic formulations may one fine day be resolved into algebraic equations.”

Though it masquerades as the pinnacle of wisdom today, “critical thinking” is in reality a most shallow way of thinking. It is content to merely describe “magical” things, and yet imagines that by so doing it has arrived at understanding what these things are.

Here’s an example I've found on the internet of someone who thinks this way: a fellow named Ragoth:

I love music, and I play blues and jazz (as well as rock and metal). It's incredibly moving, often with very abstract themes. I also enjoy the feeling of love. However, I will readily admit that music is really just patterns of compressed air interacting with the ear and auditory networks of the brain. Likewise, love is a complex cascade of chemical signals carried out in the brain that affects the rest of the body. Does this take away from the "magic" of either of these? Not at all, as far as I'm concerned. In fact, to me, it's all the more wonderful to know that these are the kinds of things that molecules, in the right kind of order, can do.

Sheesh! That’s what music is? That’s what love is? Or has he not rather merely described some of its physical effects? The truly intriguing question of their nature….their “magic” as he puts it, he tosses aside as if it were the husk of the corn. Now, that would be fine if he realized he was doing it, but he appears to realize nothing of the sort. In describing physical effects, he carries on as if he’s solved two of life’s greatest mysteries.

I even hesitate to mention Ragoth by name (but I’ve overcome that hesitation) because it's hardly just him. Such thinking is increasing becoming the norm among today’s “critical, scientific thinkers.” It’s “in the air,” so to speak. People pick it up.

Here's one from Moristotle:

As I was publishing Tuesday's post, I felt vaguely uncomfortable that the photographs I was including were not of Monet's (or any other human being's) art, but of "Nature's art." I remembered that when I looked out a window in one of the galleries and spied the pond, I felt more drawn to it than to any of the man-made objects inside. And I supposed that individuals all over the world, of whatever religion (or irreligion) probably respond more reliably to the beauty of a lily pond than they do to any man-made work of art. Respond to Nature, that is.

He is drawn to nature. Aren’t we all, just like at the Plantation Gardens? Yet he’s “vaguely uncomfortable” about it. He fights it, as if it is something to be ashamed of, since he can’t scientifically account for it. (though they try to account for it…..via the ridiculous field of evolutionary psychologyin which every quirk of human nature is attributed to our ancient struggle for survival.)

In so many ways we sense intelligence behind physics, behind life, behind our environment, but critical thinking has us reject what we sense, at least until it can be confirmed by science….which it can’t be…..science has its limits.

Physicist Heinrich Hertz observed regarding the-then recent mathematics describing electromagnetism: "One cannot escape the feeling that these equations have an existence and an intelligence of their own, that they are wiser than we are, wiser even than their discoverers, that we get more out of them than was originally put into them." [italics mine] Little did he reckon on the determination of today’s critical thinkers, the ones who consider Mr. Spock Spocktheir role model. They have indeed learned to “escape the feeling,” or at least not to let interfere with life in any significant way.

The aforementioned Carl Jung observed that belief in God or gods was near universal. He didn’t pass judgment upon this, but instead recognized it as a basic need of humanity. To ignore or contradict it in one‘s practice, he maintained, would be irresponsible psychotherapy. The next time I need my head examined, that’s the kind of guy I’ll seek out, rather than some modern-day critical type who declares: “first think we have to do is get rid of this nutcake religion!”

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Tom Irregardless and Me     No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

The Prophets of Deuteronomy

Prophets are a tricky bunch. You never quite know what they'll do. They are not guys like us that leave home at 8 and return at 5. They're more....um....eclectic.

There are ten instances of the word “prophet” in the book of Deuteronomy, mainly clustered in two places. Best we take a look at them.

Deuteronomy chapter 13

In case a prophet or a dreamer of a dream arises in your midst and does give you a sign or a portent, and the sign or the portent does come true of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us walk after other gods, whom you have not known, and let us serve them,’ you must not listen to the words of that prophet or to the dreamer of that dream, because Jehovah your God is testing you to know whether you are loving Jehovah your God with all your heart and all your soul. After Jehovah your God you should walk, and him you should fear, and his commandments you should keep, and to his voice you should listen, and him you should serve, and to him you should cling. And that prophet or that dreamer of the dream should be put to death, because he has spoken of revolt against Jehovah your God, who has brought you out of the land of Egypt….vs. 1-5

Now, It’s been a long time since we came out of the land of Egypt. Nonetheless, what are we to make of this passage? The message gives cause for distrust: “Let us walk after other gods, whom you have not known.” Yet the sign “does come true.” It almost doesn’t seem fair, does it? Why can’t the sign fizzle? Instead, it comes true, and “Jehovah your God is testing you.” [!]

Might the peace and security proclamation of 1 Thessalonians qualify as a Deuteronomy “testing” sign that “does come true,” yet invites us to “walk after other gods?” Every Witness of Jehovah knows this passage:

For you yourselves know quite well that Jehovah’s day is coming exactly as a thief in the night. Whenever it is that they are saying: “Peace and security!” then sudden destruction is to be instantly upon them just as the pang of distress upon a pregnant woman; and they will by no means escape. 1 Thes 5:2-3

Over the years, there’s been a JW culture of peeking behind this or that headline to see if “peace and security” is brewing or even if it's hinted at. It won’t be real peace and security, we all understand, but some unexpected development will apparently resemble it closely enough so that most persons will swoon in ecstasy over what human governments have accomplished. It is not what it appears to be, however. Rather, it’s the last dancer to leave the floor, after which “sudden destruction” is “instantly upon them.” Small wonder the scripture fuels speculation!

But if the majority hoohaw, hi-five, and celebrate, Jehovah’s people see it as a sign that “comes true” yet points to “other gods:” those of human rulership, in exact contradiction to what the Bible says everywhere else about manmade governments. To use the quaint wording of Deuteronomy, God is “testing” us and we try to keep alert so as not to be thrown off track.

Deuteronomy Chapter 18:

However, the prophet who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded him to speak or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die. And in case you should say in your heart: “How shall we know the word that Jehovah has not spoken?” when the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak. With presumptuousness the prophet spoke it. You must not get frightened at him.    vs 20-22

At first glance, this passage may seem worrisome for Jehovah’s Witnesses. Have they not expected the end of this system to come in 1975? And before that in 1914? Um….does that make them false prophets who should (gulp)....die? Some on the internet act as though they'd be glad to pull the switch. You have to be careful, however, because soreheads pad the numbers. I've seen the charge made on the web, for instance, that Jehovah’s Witnesses predicted 1994 as an “end date.” It’s news to me. I was in the thick of things all those years, and never heard of it. I suppose someone somewhere must have thought it, unless it’s totally made up, but it sure never came to my attention, and it certainly was never in print.

There’s a difference between originating a false prophesy and misinterpreting an existing one. Jim Jones and that guy in Waco originated false prophesies.....God revealed stuff to them, they said. But what JWs have done is more akin to misreading a map. They haven't made up prophesies; they've misinterpreted existing ones. The 1975 and before that, the 1914, dates are presented in Watchtower publications with elaborate (though incorrect) scriptural reasoning. Especially in the case of 1914, it still remains a date of some significance, but it wasn’t…um…the end of this system. So….uh….yeah, it does leave egg on your face. You do sort of regret it afterwards, yet in view of what the scriptures say about “keeping on the watch,” perhaps it’s understandable:

It's pretty much like the sprinter at the Olympics who “jumps the gun.” You don’t want to do it routinely, of course, but nobody holds it against the fellow who does it once or twice. They’re human, we all say. In fact, you even wonder about the racer who never does it. Is he really keeping “on the watch?”

Keep looking, keep awake, for you do not know when the appointed time is. It is like a man traveling abroad that left his house and gave the authority to his slaves, to each one his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to keep on the watch. Therefore keep on the watch, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether late in the day or at midnight or at cockcrowing or early in the morning; in order that when he arrives suddenly, he does not find you sleeping. But what I say to you I say to all, Keep on the watch.”    Mark 13:33-37
………………………………..................

It was a District Convention in the summer of 1975. In New York City. Wasn’t it at some racetrack? This was back when (unlike today) the sound quality was seldom very good and you really had to listen sharp. Nixon had just resigned over Watergate, and Ford had stepped in to replace him. Watergate had been traumatic, and so Ford wanted to reassure the country. Was it his inaugural address where he said  “peace and security” would prevail from this point on?! It was huge headlines that morning in the New York Daily News. The convention speaker, working a theme about the urgency of the times (remember, this was 1975) held up the paper and bellowed: “Have you seen today’s headline?!”

It was irresistible. I would have done it, too. Though I do remember thinking “uh oh” at the time. So maybe I wouldn’t have. At any rate, I’m sure he’s kicked himself since.

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

It Doesn't Make You Want to Run Out and Hold Up a Banner for Atheism

Well well well. Look what we find in the Rolling Stone. (9/4/08)

Here is singer/songwriter Randy Newman in interview. His just released album is Harps and Angels. Um, isn’t that religious, Rolling Stone wants to know. Had you been sick when you wrote it? No, he just likes that kind of imagery, he replies. Besides, “sometimes you do think, ‘Jeez, it’d be great if there were an  afterlife.’ Especially if  you’re sixty something, like I am…..I mean, it doesn’t make you want to run out and hold up a banner for atheism.”

No it doesn't. Precisely. This is an example of why you should always read the Rolling Stone. Now I will go out and buy all of Mr. Newman’s records.

His remarks are timely, too. Because I’ve been lately swapping emails with this young (relative to Mr. Newman and I) atheist covering all the usual ground. Conceding that the odds against life originating spontaneously are so astronomical that you might almost wipe the notion off the court based on probability, he nonetheless observes….

“for a long time now there have been and indeed there still are, many intelligent minds at work on the problem. Over time and slowly but surely, they're working out how it all really happened and how it all really works. The key here is to have an open mind but who knows, if you can just find a little more funding, then one day someone might just find the answer…”

Doesn’t one have to ask why? I mean, what’s in it for them other than discovering that they’ll soon be dead? Now, if it was circumventing the (much more likely) odds of choosing the winning lottery numbers…..well, I can understand why clever minds might want to work hard on that problem. [though they don’t…..everyone knows that probability is pretty insurmountable] But the prize for defeating the staggering odds against a random origin of life is certain knowledge of a death sentence. Why, at age 60, would one eagerly pursue that line of thought?

Because we humans have an innate curiosity. We want to find how things are. We like to know how stuff works, or some such reply…I can hear the atheists now. But I’m not so sure. If you’re going to live forever you want to discover the truth of all things. But if you’ve only got twenty more years? When my car was brand new, I carefully attended to all dings and scratches. I maintained it well. But as it got older, I began to say “I can live with that” for more and more problems. I mean, what’s the point of pouring in expensive maintenance when it’s all going to be scrap in a few years anyway? Is it really any different with us, if we’re going to be scrap in a few years? As Randy Newman said, being 60 doesn’t make you want to run out and hold up a banner for atheism.”

It’s probably the same principle that would operate in concentrated form if you were to learn you had terminal cancer. It’s the rare person who wouldn’t quickly reassess goals. Innate curiosity for how stuff works would promptly give way to more immediate concerns on what makes life meaningful.

Look, regarding atheism, if you believe it you believe it. But I can’s see why anyone would celebrate it. It’s a great tragedy if true. Early atheists like H. G. Wellsreadily conceded this. Yet the current atheists …..you know, guys like Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens…..carry on as if a few decades and then gone forever is a great triumph for humanity, a true liberation of the human spirit. Today’s new atheistic thinking….this life is all there is. It must be what is behind this ridiculous “he (or she) is 80 years young” description we hear all the time. For crying out loud, If they are 80 years young, then why are they dead in the next year or two?

As a fallback position…..well, maybe then I can see it. Having lost faith in God and his purpose, well….at least revel in what years remain. But it’s sort of like the fellow who loses his millions in the stock market. Oblivious, he shrugs it off in a day or so and celebrates the ten dollars he still has left.

No question about it; faith is a casualty of the last days, at least among the world at large. Does it not make you think on Jesus’ question?

Nevertheless, when the Son of man arrives, will he really find the faith on the earth?         Luke 18:8

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[EDIT:   sigh....updates here and here .]

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Tom Irregardless and Me     No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Beijing and Real World Unity

As the $40 billion dollar Beijing Olympics romped through closing ceremonies, NBC commentator Cris Collinsworth gushed with emotion. Two weeks of persons from all corners of the earth mingling, smiling, and learning about each other’s cultures! No battling, save only that of sports, and that done amidst mutual respect and good will. Maybe….maybe….I mean, it’s probably pie-in-the-sky, he conceded, but maybe…..if they could do it for two weeks, then what about three weeks? And then  what about a month? And then a year? And….oh, utopian dream come true!….why should the party ever stop? Can’t we all just get along?

Of course, kids can also behave pretty well for the two weeks prior to Santa's Christmas arrival, or at least, I was generally able to manage it. It is pie-in-the-sky Cris…..but then, he knows it…..everyone was moneyed and pampered and well-fed for those two weeks. Stress-free, really. And weren’t they all pretty upper crust? Excepting perhaps the poor relations of some of the athletes, and these must have seemed to be in material fairyland for those 17 days.

Still, a glimpse of unity is real impressive, even if it’s temporary, even if it’s artificial. It speaks to a yearning deep within most of us. Is not the world breaking into more and more independent factions, all of whom resist cooperation with anybody else? So every once in a while there will be some circumstance to evoke a contrasting taste of unity (sometimes the circumstances are those of tragedy) and people like Cris wax poetic. It always makes me scratch my head because seven million Jehovah’s Witnesses enjoy such unity daily, as a matter of course. In all circumstances, our people of all races, nationalities, socioeconomic classes, and educational levels mingle freely and without strife. Wars, riots, and social upheavals do nothing to mar the peace. We tell people of this unity…doubtless we’ve told Cris…but by and large they want no part of it. Peace and unity….yeah, that’s great, it’s what they want….but not at the price of adopting a screwy religion like Jehovah’s Witnesses!

But it only seems screwy because JWs have renounced attitudes that make unity impossible and embraced those that facilitate it. This the general world has failed to do. Alas, it is not just a few teeny tiny tweaks that need be made so as to achieve unity. No, but a massive overhaul of thinking and behaving is required, and Jehovah’s Witnesses have done that. But that revised viewpoint makes us seem very strange to general society and not especially palatable. Nonetheless, surely it is beliefs that will get to the crux of why people can or cannot get along, and what institution in life is credited with molding a person’s beliefs? Where does morality come from? Surely it’s not found in higher education. If we’re SOBs, going to college usually just makes us smart SOBs, but it’s through spiritual growth that a person’s conduct can change for the better.

The peace and unity typifying Jehovah’s Witnesses is so well attested that even detractors….we have quite a few of them…..don’t deny it. Instead, they sometimes attribute it to (gasp!) LANDRU.

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Captain James T. Kirk and the Star Trek boys came across the Landru clanwhen they were way, way out there, on the very fringe of the galaxy. (Was it only me who was disappointed that, no matter how far they traveled, whatever aliens they found looked just like us, save for raised eyebrows, different skin color, pointy ears, peculiar dress and grooming, etc? Where are the evolutionists when you need them?)  This was a nauseating race of folk with syrupy smiles who carried on trancelike and greeted each other with slogans like May you have peace…Joy to you, friend, and…Landru gives blessings, and so forth. Tranquility prevailed, but none of them could really think for themselves. Kirk couldn’t stand them, but then he found out why they were the way they were. Boss man Landru had brainwashed them and stolen their souls! He’d come across them when their world was about to self-destruct and given them peace though mind-control! Now….all was joy!  And Landru wasn’t even a person, but a machine (that should please the evolutionists) which the aging Landru had designed (that should displease them) to carry on after he died. And above all things, you were not  to step out of line. If you did, why….there were enforcers to zap you into oblivion. The Enterprise crew was so distressed at this society that they violated their Prime Directive [Mind Your Own Business] to short circuit the computer and free the people. Having done so, they cruised on, leaving the citizens raping and pillaging like in the good old days.

Mind controlled zombies! Just like under Landru! That’s why Jehovah’s Witnesses are so peaceful, charge guys like Tom Barfendogsand Tom Sowmire! But their unity is really not so weird or hard to understand. It just seems that way because that quality is unheard of in today’s world.

Jehovah’s Witnesses share a common vision and purpose. Moreover, they defer to God Jehovah as their lawgiver. That’s really all there is to it. They’ve voluntarily made the choice, and so encounter a Christian formula for achieving practical unity. They find the Bible’s way of life to be not oppressive, but rather like a highway with guardrails. Nobody gripes about the guardrails in real traffic….they serve a purpose. Everyone knows that. Moreover, they neither infringe meaningfully on your freedom nor stifle your personality. On the contrary, they help you become all you can be. Just like in chess. Once you decide to abide by the rules you can do amazing things on the board, but you can’t do any of them until you follow how the game is played.

One of the public talk outlines currently in circulation spends considerable time contrasting unified and uniform. They’re not the same. Human organizations tend to squeeze persons into common molds, stifling individuality, often literally slipping them into uniforms. But unity based upon observing Bible standards is different. The apostle Paul likened it to the human body:

For the body, indeed, is not one member, but many. If the foot should say: “Because I am not a hand, I am no part of the body,” it is not for this reason no part of the body. And if the ear should say: “Because I am not an eye, I am no part of the body,” it is not for this reason no part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the [sense of] hearing be? If it were all hearing, where would the smelling be? But now God has set the members in the body, each one of them, just as he pleased. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now they are many members, yet one body.             1 Cor 12:14-20

Note that the eye, ear, hand, foot, and so forth cooperate seamlessly and yet do so without sacrificing any individuality or uniqueness. They don’t all become the same. Rather, they each bring their own contributions, for the benefit of the entire body. It’s much the same with Jehovah’s Witnesses. They are fully individuals, with unique likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, assets and liabilities. You will like some of them; others may not be your cup of tea, just like anywhere else. In cooperating towards a common theme, they lose none of what makes them unique, but they carry on free from the endless divisiveness that characterizes the world today. It’s a very appealing aspect of JW society which newcomers tend to recognize quickly. Not like Landru at all!

There! Another ill report disposed of! And now….

May…you…have….peace …friend.    Joy….blessings….and tranquility!

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Tom Irregardless and Me     No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)