Previous month:
April 2019
Next month:
June 2019

Skirmish #50017: “I see that you not supporting this [dumbing down] trend in Organization, but that is how it is

Srecko: “Simplified editions of text in WTJWORG publications is normal result and normal need, not just for poorly educated secular people, but because  WTJWORG advises only few years of standard, basic education for JW members as something that is ALL they need in this World without Future...I see that you not supporting this trend in Organization, but that is how it is”

 

And it is how it always has been. And it is how it must be.

The “uneducated and ordinary” governing men of Acts 4:13 always remained uneducated and ordinary. The “For you see his calling of you, brothers, that there are not many wise in a fleshly way” of 1 Corinthians 1:26 always remained the case. The “wise and intellectual ones” that do not think Jesus’ teaching worth their time never reconsider their view.

Those identifying themselves as Christian are often embarrassed over this, and seek to present it as a distressing circumstance that they grew out of—“Yes, we may have started out lowly, but look at how we have pulled ourselves up by our own bootstraps!” they say. They should not reason this way.

If the education of this world was worth the paper it was printed on, it would have been reflected in better conditions today. Surely today’s education model must take responsibility for the world is has collectively created. Very seldom are national leaders poorly educated. Typically they have gone to the finest universities.

Usually when something doesn’t work, it is discarded. In the case of “education,” however, the assumption is that more of it is needed—education is the way out, its advocates say. 

Generally speaking, those of the greater world are smarter than us. However, most of their schemes will come to nothing because they do not know how to get along; they do not know how to overcome greed; they do not know how to overcome class division or racial division. They sell what knowledge that they do have—you’d better have substantial funds on hand, or plan on going into deep debt—to benefit from their knowledge. One “educated” person in the Witness organization is worth 50 in the overall world because there are neither pay walls nor turf wars where they have come to call home. They discard the baggage of education that so plainly has not worked and cherry-pick the parts—subjects of pure practicality and applied science—that do work.

A main subtheme that lies just below the surface of those who look down upon Witnesses is the latter’s sense of superiority due to having “higher” education—elitism is as strong as any force, and as misplaced, as any of the other ones that divide people and keep them from reaching but a fraction of their potential.

***

Now when they saw the outspokenness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were astonished. And they began to realize that they had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13

For you see his calling of you, brothers, that there are not many wise in a fleshly way, not many powerful, not many of noble birth,  but God chose the foolish things of the world to put the wise men to shame; and God chose the weak things of the world to put the strong things to shame;”

“At that time Jesus said in response: “I publicly praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intellectual ones and have revealed them to young children.” Matthew 11:25

88647FBC-EB57-414F-A6F9-E732E4215DBE

photo:my desk to back right, by NJ tech teacher

 
 

 

 

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)

Skirmish # 338060: Why Can’t This Yo-Yo be Like Me?

I never comment on what the lawyers are up to because it is a tangled mess that they must operate in where justice does not necessarily prevail.

The courts, particularly the civil courts, are not so much a forum to establish truth as they are a forum to establish blame. There is some overlap here, but they are far from the same thing. 

In a real forum for establishing truth, you lay out each and every fact, in no particular order, without regard for whether it makes you look good or not. If you do that in the courtroom modeled on the adversarial system of justice, your adversary sifts through the facts, seizes the one most to his advantage and your detriment, and beats you over the head with it. 

Is it not so? Anybody who has ever watched a lawyer show on television knows it. Lawyers themselves know it. “Anyone who acts as his own lawyer in court has a fool for a client,” they say. Why would they say this were it not common knowledge that there are endless headgames and intrigues played out in the courtroom, and anyone who does not know how to play the game gets his head handed to him on a platter.

In many areas, a significant conflict of interest is enough for a person to be removed from the venue. In the field of lawyers, it is the name of the game.

I would prefer my case heard by a judicial committee any day. No, they are not perfect. It is just that they have a better track record than the alternative.

***

I would prefer my case heard by a judicial committee any day. No, they are not perfect. It is just that they have a better track record than the alternative.

The only reason I did not "upvote" TTH's excellent post was this quoted line .... as my experiences and observations have been quite different.  Congregational trials disallow representation, recordings, witnesses to the proceedings,  or transcripts, and are held in secret, and the results often secret as well....I was the subject of a Congregational Committee Trial once, and the three judging me REFUSED TO TELL ME THEIR NAMES.

***

The only reason I did not “upvote” TTH’s excellent post was this quoted line

If I edit it out, can I count on your ‘like’? It is just a little blip tossed in at the end anyhow—hardly the main point. And I do like likes.

***

I was the subject of a Congregational Committee Trial once, and the three judging me REFUSED TO TELL ME THEIR NAMES.

Are you sure that you didn’t just leave your hearing aid home that day?

Look, in the entire big wide world of theocratic doings, I would never say that such and such could never happen. What I can say is that it is nothing of which I have ever heard. Even Mark O (who blocked me), who cries how people are after him, even “high-level” people, and who is victim prima dona in some circles, does not allege that anyone is unnamed:

In view of your astonishing disrespect and never-ending tirades, perhaps some extraordinary measures were resorted to, but even then, I can hardly imagine it. Why in the world would they withhold their names? It is not anything that we do. UNLESS, in view of your open enthusiasm for carrying weapons—extremely ususual for Jehovah’s Witnesses, even for hangers-on—they began to fear, rightly or wrongly, that they might be risking life and limb to be more candid. I mean, in the courts of law that you revere, steps can be taken to protect ones thought to be at risk from suspects supposed violent. Not so in the congregation, where they are unlikely to try to enlist a cop should they fear that someone might get ornery.

When I worked a part time job that attracted some oddball characters, and my immediate supervisor was fired (for explosively angry speech in front of all the customers), I later tried to get his job back for him—it was a crummy job and they used him shamelessly—‘the most selfish company in the world,’ one former manager told me, but it was all he had. Much as they liked me, they wouldn’t hear of it. They had locked down the HQ office for a week after firing him, fearing reprisals that never came. They were not necessarily overcautious to lock it down, either, for he did have a violent temper. He had legitimate things that could provoke it, but that does not mean that he didn’t have it.

It is just speculation on my part to apply parallel perceptions to you, but in view of your love of guns and the crass way you sometimes express that love, it is one way to explain something that is otherwise inexplicable.

If so (and if it is not this, it will be for some other good reason, because I have never heard of such a thing as unnamed judges, even though I have been around forever) it is rather like drawing a foul in basketball. Or it is like ones who carry on so outrageously that authorities finally deal with them with some harshness, after which they scream at how they—lovable, harmless they—have been viciously attacked for no reason at all.

I think of arrangements in the Mosaic Law of various penalities for various offenses—if you had done this, then you were to do that as a penalty and recompense. But if you blew off the whole arrangement as nothing and simply refused to comply, you were put to death. I can picture allies of the offending lout back then misrepresenting matters as though it were someone being put to death for a relatively minor offense, whereas it was really being put to death for contempt toward the arrangements that God had put into place through Moses.

Perhaps something akin to this was active in your case. I would not be surprised.

***
 
Okay, time’s up. I am not rescinding that part of how judicial committees are superior to the world’s system of justice, even if you give me 100 likes.

I mean, you must really really really give them a run for their money, if you are even the slightest bit there as you are here. Yes, maybe they should exert superhuman effort to discover that beneath your incendiary manner, there lies a loveable fuzz ball. However, I have exerted such effort and even i could not swear that it is the case.

I mean, with me........

”A better adjudicator.you never will find.

If I was a grumbler

who’d seen it all,

being hailed by opposers

both great and small,

would I start weeping like a cesspool overflowing?

or carry on as if my home were in a tree?

Would I run off at the mouth, not knowing where I’m going?

WELL, WHY CAN’T THIS YO-YO

be like ME?”  (*sung to the tune of “Why Can’t a Woman be More Like a Man?’)

5D9995C8-B5CD-4663-8598-EDB0469888CA

photo: American Gladiator SVU, by numberstumper

 

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)

A Brand New Category: Skirmishes - Just Like in the New Testament

If we accept that the Bible is God’s prime method of communication to humans (which I do), sooner or later we are struck by the fact that very little of it is lecture. In contrast, if you went to college, almost all of it is lecture. What to make of this?

Much of the New Testament, not only is not lecture, but is ostensibly not even written for us. It largely consists of letters written to other parties, from which we glean things about God, his thinking, and his dealings. What to make of this, too?

When I mentioned this before and how it had influenced me, Purple tried to bait me, asking whether I considered myself inspired like the apostle Paul (who wrote the majority of the letters). The answer is no. However, I am inspired by his example. If it is good enough for him (and for God, apparently, because it is included in the Bible canon) why should it not be good enough for me? It inspired in my blog an entirely new category: Skirmishes.

They are not all from this board. Some are from boards that are private. When they are, I do not reveal anything specific of the writer, but only my reaction to it. J will pop a vein over this, but in all cases they merely come from people who do not want to have their 15 minutes of fame before the whole wide world. In no cases are they “the smoking gun.” Just because something is not public does not mean that it is the “smoking gun” whose revelation will blow the cover off the conspiracy.

He should consider a Hercule Poirot observation from one of the Christie novels—that in the course of a murder investigation, everyone gets cagey and evasive. The initial conclusion is that they all are somehow complicit, if not guilty of the crime investigated, but really it is because they do not want to explain other things that they were doing that have nothing to do with the crime but they had no intention of going public with—things that they imagined (usually correctly) were none of anyone’s business.

DF4639A9-36C0-4329-AC16-B425665FF110

photo by elana lu 

 

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)

Q: But be serious on this one. Surely the Stock Exchange is still gambling ?

Q: But be serious on this one. Surely the Stock Exchange is still gambling ?

Attend any business school or talk to any banker or businessman. Go to any retirement seminar. Talk to any financial advisor. Contact the Human Resources department of your employer.

See if the stock market is considered gambling.

***

Q: You are talking from a 'worldly viewpoint', I was meaning from a more scriptural / moral viewpoint of honesty, hard work and conscience.

It certainly can be indulged in as though gambling, but so can most things. Start a business, for example, and you are “gambling” with many unknowns. Far “safer” to walk into the factory and ask for a job. You are “gambling” every time you get behind the wheel of a car.

But the basic idea of “investing” in the stock market is not gambling at all. Buying a stock is buying a very very tiny piece of a company. You benefit the company by supplying it with the funds it needs to expand. In turn, you are (a very tiny) part owner of that company, to thrive if it thrives.

How “moral” it is is anyone’s guess. It depends upon where you are & what companies you invest in. In the case of huge companies, it becomes the case of the tail (the stockholders) wagging the dog (the company).

If you, for example, own John’s Bomb Company,  then you are content to wait for customers. When you get an order for a bomb, you go into the workshop to make one.

But when you are a gigantic weapons company with many stockholders to “feed,” you have to keep feeding them. You cannot just wait for bomb orders to roll in—what if there is a period of peace?  If you don’t make and sell a lot of bombs, then you don’t make money for your stockholders, and they go somewhere else where they can make money, taking their dough with them.

So there is an irresistible temptation to make your market. That’s why the armaments companies have a huge presence in government circles as lobbyists. It is not merely to say, ‘Hey, if you need bombs, we are better than that other company.’ More significantly, it is to say, ‘The world is a very dangerous place, with many many enemies that must be kept in check. You cannot have too many bombs on hand, and as it turns out, we make them.’

For the longest time, Russia (or the Soviet Union) has been identified as the king of the north, who puts his trusts in fortresses. It is he who hosts public parades of weapons rolling through the streets—boasting in military might.  Still, right now, the U.S. is bombing more countries than he.

This is but the most blatant example. Parallels can be found in most industries—energy, food, chemical, pharmaceutical, banking, for instance. They can’t just wait around for people to order their product. They must, in order to “feed” the stockholders, go out and make markets, and expand ones already made.

It is entirely separate from “gambling,” and might be seen as the bigger evil. After all, if you have some money, you are “gambling” far more by sticking it under your mattress. You are gambling that there is no fire or thief. And if you put your money in the bank, you know very well that they are not just sitting on it. They are putting it in the stock market in hopes of making a profit. Or they are loaning it out to other people, who may not pay it back. How’s that for gambling (with your funds)? 

***

PurpleStar: Should/could this sort of worldly basic idea be possible to find in this spiritual advice: "Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves." 

If yes, perhaps Jesus was not only spiritual Teacher but also successful Wall Street Investment Advisor?

Well.....if you insist upon going there, then you must also include Pharoah’s daughter, who went down to the Nile bank and withdrew a small prophet.

77000DB4-4376-43A3-80A2-5C9FDEC25745

photo by RosieTulips

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)

Skirmish #885531 “If You Are Going to Engage With Opposers on Social Media....”

Don't get me wrong. I'm not judging. God does that to all of us. What I do is give an honest observation (assessment) on the behavior of others.

You don’t even know that the people you are arguing with are sane. You don’t even know for sure that they are people. Maybe they are bots like those the Russians supposedly employed on social media, so as to get people enraged at each other and then they could say “See how much better our form of government is? We don’t have these kinds of lunatics running around in the wild.”

If you are going to engage with opposers on social media, there are a few points to keep in mind.

1.) you probably shouldn’t. It is not for nothing that the Witness organization is guided by Matthew 11: 19, effectively “they take shots at you no matter what you do so pay them no mind—just put the pedal to the metal.

Continue reading "Skirmish #885531 “If You Are Going to Engage With Opposers on Social Media....”" »

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)

At the Erie Canal Museum - Syracuse NY

I had known that Erie Blvd east and west, stretching as though the wide brim of a top hat over downtown Syracuse to the south, had been named after the old Erie Canal. What I did not know was that it WAS the old Erie Canal - filled in and paved over.

Then:

43B776C6-5E40-4CA4-8792-1E47F4E3D402

Now:

A9D23ACD-41F8-4F6D-B44D-220230D81E4F

The men of New York State wanted to put interstate 690 directly over Erie Boulevard, formerly the Erie Canal. The women of the City of Syracuse wouldn’t let them do it and today the the elevated highway runs parallel and just north of the old canal.

1032958B-1C0C-4D9C-B88C-3B40F701F742

We had seen this before. The leading men of Savannah, Georgia, were perfectly willing to demolish 200-year old buildings for the sake of parking garages—if it interferes with making a buck, what good is it? It was the leading women—often their wives—who banded together into historical societies to thwart them. They wield tremendous power today and you cannot make an unapproved interior change on your own home if it has been designated an historical landmark. Trim one of the ancient oak trees on your own property in Charleston, the guide told us, and it will cost you a ten thousand dollar fine.

The Erie Canal Museum would be a go-to destination even without the many touches that make it a truly special visit in an overall compact package—the museum is not large. Take the elevator to the 2nd floor and it is as though entering a canal boat.

CC1109BF-167D-4297-A4F0-0667AEC665DA

Descend the stairs and the mural on your right is the descending elevations the canal traverses from Buffalo to Albany.

4348D973-BD95-4C86-8577-45B209E303FF

F991CF98-D02F-4538-A3E7-B975B0677509

Navigating a mini-maze of interpretive posters lining the walls, one comes at last—if you’ve taken the time to read them as you should—to the original weighlock building—where canal boats were weighed and tolls were accessed. Tolls were an integral part of how the canal was to be financed. They were discontinued in 1883 when they had served their purpose and there were railroads to compete with. This stands in contrast to the New York State Thruway, which was also to be funded only temporarily by tolls. However, the time for the tolls to be phased out came and went—the State decided that they liked the idea of tolls—and the oldsters who remember how it was supposed to be have just about died out.

7683C380-D403-411E-9E8A-355887C00080

The weighlock building is circa 1850 and it is the only remaining one in New York State. Enter through a side opening, leave through the canal-side door and lo! there is a full-scale boat to climb aboard and into. As you do you find yourself immersed in the chatter and sounds of the times and I had to remind myself that it wasn’t real—it was broadcast from some unknown source but there was no way—or desire—to track it down—better not to resist and just immerse oneself in the air of the time.

Here is the view from the stern. They don’t let you climb the stairs, though passengers on the actual boats could.

160D88D9-2D57-4900-AE68-C926B1874F9D

Some vessels were even dedicated to passengers:


8FA29D1D-F04E-4296-BAE4-F09FAA9F0D71

Here is a view from the bow:

7F8A8031-39D6-4ACB-AAF4-18AF22F43673

As long as you didn’t get in the crew’s way, you could fish or do any other thing atop deck.

Since the proposed Erie Canal would open the infant United States to westward expansion, and that could have been seen from the start, it is surprising that Thomas Jefferson did not get behind it, even though the idea intrigued him. It would be built (and funded) by New Yorkers. Maybe the project was seen as too audacious. Such a feat had never been attempted—not even close. Mockers called the underway project “[Governor DeWitt] Clinton’s ditch.” Some had thought it impossible to complete within their lifetimes, but it took only seven years—and the labor of thousands of workers.

The engineers rounded up for the project had no experience in such an undertaking—they had only done a bit of surveying—and they figured out things as they went. Aqueducts were built to carry the the canal over marshes, such as in the Montezuma swamps, where workers toiled in two-foot deep water, and over the Genesee River. To traverse low-lying areas like the Irondequoit Valley, raised embankments were created for the canal to flow between. “What they did not understand, they conquered by diligent study unfettered zeal, and sound common sense,” wrote the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1890. Benjamin Wright and James Geddes were two of the lead engineers and there is a major thoroughfare though Syracuse named after Geddes. As for Wright, the name is too common to tell what is named after him. More likely any such street would be for those two who invented the airplane.

25F45141-6D7C-4650-94BD-036BA5AD4AD0

 

52255790-5674-44C3-BBFD-0B1BB2E7F5EB

22D42F12-1C2A-460F-9C72-C79A425C8B47

The first segment of the canal, from Rome to Utica, opened in 1819, which must have somewhat silenced the doubters. The canal when completed was an immediate success. Within ten years it was widened, which threatened structures that had been built to close to it. Much later, it was expanded again into the Barge Canal. Spur canals connected the main one to nearby lakes—in order of length, the Champlain Canal, the Oswego Canal, and the Seneca-Cayuga Canal.

“Surely the waters of this canal must be the most fertilizing of all fluids, for it causes towns—with their masses of brick and stone, ...with their churches and theaters, their business and hubbub, their luxury and refinement, their gay dames [No, not that kind of gay] and polished gents, to spring up, till in time, the wondrous steam may flow between two continuous lines of buildings, through one thronged street, from Buffalo to Albany,” wrote Nathanial Hawthorne in 1835. However he must have been unusually chipper that day—his completed vision would take awhile—for the next year he bemoaned “the dismal swamps and unimpressive scenery that could be found between the Great Lakes and the sea coast.” (1836)

Mules were the method of moving freight during the 1800s. They were intelligent and more sure-footed than horses. Accordingly, the 2nd floor of the canal museum features a poster exhibit on mules, their habits and history. Canallers —that’s what those who made their living in that transport mode were called, and they developed a separate culture often looked down upon by the communities they serviced—grew very fond of their mules.

Their idiosyncrasies were noted: “A mule will labor ten years, willingly and patiently for you, for the privilege of kicking you once,” said William Faulkner.

And also their value: During the Civil War, the Confederate Army captured a U. S. Army general, along with 40 mules. President Abraham Lincoln, who almost lost the Civil War for want of a competent general, reportedly said: “I am sorry to lose those mules” when he was told of the loss.

Though Pete Seeger and others sung it “fifteen miles on the Erie Canal” (leading to the misconception that that is as far as a mule went on any given shift) the song was actually “fifteen years on the Erie Canal.” The songster had been on the job for only 15 years and was looking at his way of life being phased out by the Barge Canal, which would be open to new-fangled motorized traffic. It is yet another of the things that I learned at the Erie Canal Museum.

Outside the museum is a statue of a tow path mule and driver—who was often a teenaged boy—before the elevated superhighway that the women shoved to the north so it wouldn’t obliterate the canal site.

5453C513-4A32-452F-BDC6-534AAD3CEAF2

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)

“I Saw Tears Well up in the Eyes of One Elder”

That sentence from yesterday’s Watchtower study called to mind an experience:

From paragraph 17: “A brother recalls appreciatively: ‘I saw tears well up in the eyes of one elder as he contemplated my situation. That image will always remain in my mind.’”

I was sure that the kid at the tire repair show had lost my specialty tool when I had my tires switched. The dopey mounted snowtires (that somebody talked me into buying) require a unique socket—it is not standard and it is not metric. I have two of them so it is not that big of a deal, but when it was not in its designated place after I picked up the car from the shop (it could only be there and nowhere else because I always put it there) I drove back to the shop and let them hear about it at the front counter. “He’s got it in his toolbox, somewhere,” I said, “just absentminded, not theft—he is just careless. Make him check for it.”

When I returned home I found the socket.

I know how companies bully their employees. I figured they must have leaned into him pretty heavily. I drove back to apologize—not to the front counter, but to him personally. Nah—they said it wasn’t necessary. I said it was. No, it was nothing, they said, don’t worry about it. Look, I know that “the customer is always right,” I responded—he probably was made to feel some heat. They said no—not a problem. (what’s the big deal? They just didn’t want to pull him out of the shop and interrupt his work flow.)

Did I tell you that when I get something in my head I am not easily put off? I said that I could probably just walk right in there and say it quick—which bay is he in, anyway? and made for the door. When they saw that I would not be dissuaded—what were they going to do? toss me out on my ear with a showroom full of customers looking on? they fetched him for me.

He looked defensive, as though I was going to yell at him. Instead, I apologized. I said that I was sure that he had lost the tool, but when I got home I found it. Very likely someone had made him sweat about it. He was a Spanish speaking kid and he looked like someone who doesn’t get apologized to that often.

A little to my embarrassment, I felt some tears welling up, just like the elder in the paragraph. I mean, several were looking on. I probably made a fool of myself. And maybe it was completely unnecessary. Maybe they had all had a good laugh over the jerk who griped over his “lost” tool. Dunno.

But it didn’t matter. It is not a bad thing to show empathy. The elder in that Watchtower paragraph not only benefited the congregation member by tears welling up—unless I am very mistaken, he benefited himself as well.

B7C04C87-156D-484D-B27D-DD9C6D75C0C5

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)

Skirmish #282244 - “I would like to get on the phone with Bro. Anthony Morris III (AKA "Tight Pants Tony")...”

AKA "Tight Pants Tony"

You bring this up so frequently (and HOW old are you?) that I have become curious over something:

Please post a full-length photo of yourself.

If, as I suspect, it shows you wearing spray-on pants, that will explain a lot.

(He did post one—of himself back in the day leaning on a fancy car. He was rather dapper back then. Whatever happened? No tight pants, however.)

So. You don’t wear tight suit pants yourself. You probably agree with everyone else that they look ridiculous. You also probably agree that they are ‘manipulative’ — they are the product of a highly sexualized fashion industry that seeks always to highlight sensuality. When these ones turn their attention to children, they put them in clothes that suggest they are hookers. Mothers—and I do not mean just Christian mothers, I mean just protective ones—have to buy boy’s gym shorts for their daughters so as to make them not a target for pedophiles.

And yet you giggle on like a adolescent about “tight pants Tony.” What’s with that?

9A24B1B5-D5F6-462B-A85C-27089336DFE3

photo: Blue Jeans - Emanuelle Tortora

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)

Skirmish #970621 - Vastly Simplified Tracts

Don't underestimate the power of a tract to spark a fire in an honest heart that cannot be put out .

I don’t like the present series of tracts, but that does not mean that they are no good. I am very far from being typical. Nobody on this forum that claims to be a Witness is typical. I’m just carrying on some because I would love to see the ministry more fruitful that what it seems to me to be.

I and many others here write more in a day that most people write in a month. So I can hardly expect the tracts to cater to me. The last CO cited figures from somewhere that the average youngster today spends 7 minutes with print (as opposed to 10 hours or so on some form of screen time) Going simple is obviously the way to go. The fact that I do not like it does not mean that it is not just the ticket for reaching the majority. Education is usually a last-place priority in today’s world. 1/6 of the world’s population cannot read. Most people barely know that these persons exist, and count them as nothing. Watchtower produces simplified versions of material already written simple so as to reach them. 

I defend the use of (vastly) simplified writing, even as I do not personally like it. “They can learn to read a few grade levels beneath them, if they are not too full of themselves,” is a line I put somewhere. I’ve learned to work around what is unpalatable to me, telling the high-brow people to consider this or that bit of writing as an outline, nothing more. Or telling them to not worry about whether A given account in the Bible is literal, but instead to take it as a metaphor and see if they can discern the underlying meaning of it. Mathematicians do something similar all the time: assume that such and such a condition is true just to see where that assumption leads them. If it proves fruitful, then they come back and reconsider any initial objection to it.

Just after 911, when people were unusually subdued, I grabbed that tract ‘Who Really Rules the World’ and had several good discussions with it. I’ve always liked Luke 4 for its clear explanation of Jesus declining Satan’s offer of gov’t control but acquiescing that it lay in his power to make the offer. Yes. There is a place for tracts.

Everyone here beefs about everything under the sun, so I have joined in on what is our main mission—the ministry.  I probably shouldn’t. It really is true that ‘bad association spoils useful habits.’ I’ll put it all on this thread and then do my best to zip it. The Bible is not a template for democracy, with every Tom Dick and Harry telling HQ how things  ought to be.

 

I don’t like the present series of tracts, but that does not mean that they are no good. I am very far from being typical.

This is my own personal bellyaching thread, after which I will get back to my normal supportive self, with only occasional caveats.

What nettles me about the tracts, and many other things, is how we go on and on and on about what a blessing from on high they all are, as though THIS Item is the magic bullet that will turn the preaching work on its head, exactly what is needed at this particular time— and doubtless it will completely energize the work and swarms will thereby be attracted to the truth.

I wish we wouldn’t do that. I wish we would just say “Here’s a new tool. We worked hard on it. Give it a try and see how it works.” I even think that our failure to do it that way is where a lot of the underlying conception that the JW organization is “smug” comes from.

***

However, said Oscar: 

Where I live, official stats reckon that 75% of under 30s have no religious thought at any time. I would concur from experience that this a likely proportion, and many 30-50 year olds are not far behind.

However, the questions that our tracts provide a spritual answer to, they have all the time. It is just that they do not look to a God to provide answers to them. I think the tracts provide a very useful function in that they offer a route rather than an argument. When presented with our alternative view on things, if a person is delivering the message, then the receiver has to capitulate. That is not always a pleasant experience, especially for younger persons who may suffer from a measure of insecurity. The tracts offer the same solutions as we do when witnessing, but without comment or valuation on an erroneous view. The experience is private and much less painful. Then when one of us arrives with the question " Have You Ever Wondered? then the householder may well have done so at some time even if they can't remember the tract that triggered the thought.

They work, as my own experience confirms. We don't have to like them, but we cannot deny their effectiveness. Let's face it, medicine doesn't have to taste good in order to do it's job. Wisdom is proved righteous by it's works, not it's appearance.

33F16FAA-49C2-4EDB-AC27-E49A76B0E7AF

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)

Skirmish #345174 - The Non-Belligerent Passenger

TTH's main problems seem to be that he does basically worship the GB / JW Org / Watchtower, and therefore will not have anything bad said against those things, even if the criticism is constructive and true. 

This is so silly. It is so infantile. 

Every project needs leadership. Once you grant persons that leadership, you refrain from undercutting them at every step. Why in the world should that be so hard to understand?

You don’t set 15 rows back and swipe at the bus driver, “you missed that turn, you could have avoided that pothole, you hit the brakes too hard, why didn’t you know there was a roadblock ahead? Why didn’t you know that jerk was going to cut you off?”  You know that the roads are poorly maintained, that the route is unfamiliar, and that the weather is terrible.”

There are any number of things I am not crazy about with regard to the theocratic organization. If you read with any sort of critical skills you would know that. That does not mean if when I appear on a forum where the majority seek its destruction and level one attack on it after another, I will say “you know, you’ve raise a good point there.”

1372BC88-98B0-4B66-B0CD-CDD17DDAC4BA
 photo: Chip In - Allison Siegel

***

So Tom, did you grant the GB leadership ?

Yes. When I signed on many years ago. They didn’t sneak up out of nowhere. Their role was known to me and everyone else from Day 1.

            My personal opinion is that the GB are not that 'Jew' .  So i haven't 'granted those              persons that leadership'. 

That is why you are not a Witness. Everything is exactly as it should be. Given how you feel, you have done exactly as you should. 

             Maybe you should consider what exactly a person is taught when they start having a 'Bible study' with JW's.

Yes. Every Witness takes about a year to do that, studying and trying things on for size. Throughout, they are in their familiar home environment and routine. Perhaps 5% of their time is spent in unfamiliar surroundings. 

College is far more “manipulative” than anything with a Witness connection. Students are typically separated 24/7 from their former stabilizing routine, environment, and family—a classic tool of those who would brainwash. Plus, if you study with Jehovah’s Witnesses, you know full well that you are going off the grid—the very opposite of what brainwashers do. Going to college, on the other hand, is no more controversial than seeking good healthcare.

 

Many of the books that have been used as study books are now long gone and would cause embarrassment to 'modern day' JW's. The GB hide this by saying they have 'new light'.  

You keep playing this as though it were your trump card, the coup de grace—as though it was something meant to be hidden. They are very open about it. They have called it “tacking.” As you say, they have called it “new light.” Don’t you think that means there used to be “old light?”

            So whereas you may like to say I have mental illness and am infantile

Not usually. Maybe never. I said that your last bit of reasoning was infantile. I said that because it was. I didn’t say you were. 

Similarly, I did not say that you were mentally ill. I have said that any mental health professional would say that the type of thinking that you were displaying at the moment (most typically “all or nothing” thinking) is unhealthy. That is not the same thing.

You also have to realize that I do not regard mentally ill as a pejorative label, and more than I would regard diabetic as one.

 

Will you ever say on here, “you know, you’ve raise a good point there.”

Not everything that you say is silly. I have acknowledged that some points you have raised are valid.  Not always to your face, because you are such a pit bull. But I have put them in other writings.

 

 

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)