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Things That Drive You Crazy about the Faith—and How to View Them: Part 3

This will be a multi-part series. See Preface,  2nd Preface,  Part 1Part 2,

A second indication that the Witnesses are not unduly hobbled by the mindset of ‘knowing things by revelation’ is that they don’t do ‘personal revelation.’ Many religions do. Witnesses rely upon a received text. The trouble with receiving your truth through personal revelation, and then attempting to read it into a text where it is not explicitly stated, is that you eventually run into someone who has also received their truth through personal revelation, only the two revelations don’t match. How in the world are you ever going to reconcile them? Jehovah’s Witnesses avoid that problem. Early on they developed a method of letting the Bible interpret itself. On a given question, look up all scriptures with any bearing on the subject, then seek to reconcile them. It works, whereas myriad personal revelation tends to produce a hodgepodge of confusion.

The third qualifier is that knowing things by revelation is exactly what you want when it comes to the big picture. It doesn’t hobble you at all. It liberates you and it is why people become Witnesses in the first place. “Here is a curious thing.” Vermont Royster writes after reviewing the material progress of his 1960s day. “In the contemplation of man himself, of his dilemmas, of his place in the universe, we are little further along than when time began. We are still left with questions of who we are and why we are and where we are going.” Not all will care about those questions, contenting themselves with technology instead. But those who do know it will come from revelation. In the case of Jehovah’s Witnesses, that revelation is the Bible.

The problem arises when you rely on ‘knowledge by revelation’ not just for the big picture but also the small one. Do Jehovah’s Witnesses do that? If so, it is not so debilitating as it might first appear. The greater world, shunning knowledge through revelation for knowledge through observations and experimentation, Bacon’s kind of knowledge, comes to little resolution with the knowledge it collects. In 2018, the survey organization Pew Research reported that not only do most Americans not agree on answers to policy questions, but they also don’t agree on what the questions are. The majority of grown people are like sports fans. They cheer when their side scores and press their advantage. They wince when the other side scores and spin into damage control. But on no account do they examine the merits of the other side. They congeal at opposite poles and from those positions hurl abuse at each other on the internet 143A3728-459B-453A-8FA0-7666B185864B—be it regarding human politics, public policy, health concerns, philosophical leanings, or whatever else is contemporary controversy. One advantage to the Witness who closely follows current events is to see this trait of people and thereby not become unduly concerned should the tide of criticism turn against them. It’s just the way people are. Read social media, see them hurling barbs at each other, and you can better endure when they do it at you.

If ‘knowledge through revelation’ has applied to the small picture has a downside, one can conclude from the foregoing paragraph that it also has an upside. When critics leaned on one Witness, that his people ought to involve themselves more in public controversies, he said, “Why should we? We have solved most of the problems that you are yet grappling with. Why should we trade the superior for the inferior?” Instead, Witnesses proclaim what works for them to a world that accepts or rejects it. Most do the latter. In which case, why weigh in? Jehovah’s Witnesses have no idea how to fix the problems of a world that discards the instruction manual. If there is a downside to knowledge by revelation, it is outweighed by the upside.

To be continued

******  The bookstore

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Things That Drive You Crazy about the Faith—and How to View Them: Part 2

This will be a multi-part series. See Preface,  2nd Preface,  Part 1 

For most of human history it was, ‘if you want to figure out something, go to what has been revealed about it.’ That was Scripture—information given from on high, information revered because it “had stood the test of time.”

It was not only Scripture. When “science” emerged (at first called “natural history,”) it followed that same pattern of knowledge through revelation, knowledge that had been revealed, knowledge that had stood the test of time! 1AF982CE-2F33-4C59-BCFD-4CB7D4B289FEAristotle philosophied on how the world was three hundred years before Christ and his teachings were dogma for almost 2000 years. Euclid, Aristotle’s contemporary, derived rules of mathematics and nobody dared add to that structure for as many years.

The motive to think of and do things as they had always been done was overwhelming. Experiment with new growing methods in the days of subsistence farming and if you get it wrong you die! Who would take a chance on something so risky? Stick with ideas “that had stood the test of time.”

At first glance, Jehovah’s Witnesses are not unduly hobbled by this mindset of knowing things by revelation. They have at least three things going for them. One, they keep up with science, more or less. They’re not the ones who put dinosaurs on the Kentucky ark. They put them on the inside of their 1961 Bible cover, but they took them out in deference to science declaring that those monsters lived long before humans. 1961 might seem awfully late to still be putting dinosaurs on your inside Bible cover, but recall it took till 1987 for the evolutionists to arm twist the U. S. Supreme Court (Edwards v. Aguillard) that creation science is not science, and since that time the Witness organization has never said it was. Maybe they never said it at all, since “creation science” has political overtones and the Witnesses don’t do politics.

Instead, Witnesses have become accustomed to reading such things as “the Bible is not a book of science, but it is in harmony with true science.” Materialists will choke at this phrasing, for they assume that ALL science is true, and if it is not there is no other way to correct the problem than a further advance of science. But the Watchtower’s phrasing is in accord with the truth that not everything is examined physically; some things are examined spiritually, and when science encroaches on that field where it has but clumsy and inapplicable tools, it is apt to come up with something other than “true science.”

So if scientists have been convinced of evolution since the day Darwin stepped off the returning ship, the teaching was still controversial for the great unwashed up till at least 1987. Jehovah’s Witnesses by and large are from the great unwashed. Few are scientists. That being the case, it’s reasonably progressive of them to be interviewing Michael Behe in 1996, who believes in evolution in the main but insists it has limits—the “edge of evolution,” in his words. Micro-evolution is correct, he maintains. It is the bird beaks that Darwin wrote about, little different than animal husbandry that farmers have known of forever. But macro-evolution is unproven, Behe says, and abiogenesis much more so. In fact, Jehovah’s Witnesses will have little objection to Darwin. They wouldn’t have interviewed Behe if they hated his guts. When they do object to Darwin, it is because of correctly anticipating the tractor-trailer loads of dogma that atheists will drive through the door he leaves open.

Not everything dovetails. But by and large, the Witness organization takes the view, ‘let scientists be scientists and Bible students be Bible students.’ You don’t have to know everything this instant. It’s okay to put some things on the shelf pending further information. Is it true that we cannot hold ideas that don’t entirely square with one another simultaneously without our heads short circuiting?  One look at a Pharma ad suffices to show that cognitive dissonance is a concept vastly overrated—with narrator insisting that you must have the drug peddled and voiceover saying that it may kill you.

To be continued

******  The bookstore

 

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Tweeting the Meeting: Week of May 16, 2022

Human Rule—Weighed in the Balance, is the #publictalk title.

He reviews several forms of government: “anarchy, aristocrisy, communism, democracy plutocracy (gov’t by a Disney cartoon dog) [he says things like this] fascism, monarchy, totalitarianism, socialism, With some overlap

True some have worked very hard with limited positive results, ultimately unsuccessful, comes to Jer 10:23: “I well know, O Jehovah, that man’s way does not belong to him. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.”

Quotes, tendency not to solve problems but only to rearrange them, Oppressive government more to be feared to a tiger, Problems with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money, Tolstoy, others In its best state a necessary evil, in its worst, an intolerable one, Thomas Paine,

Speaker reads several quotes re gov’t from Tolstoy, Paine, Confucius, others. I like this beaut: “How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six different kinds of cheese?” DeGaule B06DA543-BAFE-402B-B449-B5EE071A82C4

Isaiah 40:15 a film of dust on the scales, a drip from a bucket. It can change overnight, as with Babylon under Belshazzar.

Propaganda: “They are, in fact, expressions inspired by demons and they perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the entire inhabited earth, to gather them together to the war of the great day of God the Almighty.”

Of the new system, “There are some that might want to cue that Beatles song—imagine,” the public speaker says. This guy is an incorrigible Beatles nut and forgets the line, “above us only sky,” “and no religion too.” Atheists take this song as an anthem.

 

“Do You See What Zechariah Saw?“ watchtower study,

Theme verse: ‘By my spirit,’ says Jehovah of armies.”​—ZECH. 4:6.

Said the WT conductor of the public talk: “You could have gone on for another half an hour, it would have been okay with me.”   No when they said that to Oscar Oxgoad, he did not go 1/2 hour into the conductor’s time on his next visit. Who told you that?

Para 2 Got that foundation in quick, just one year

Para 3: They told King Artaxerxes that, among other things, the Jews were planning to rebel against him. (Ezra 4:11-16) The king believed their lies and ordered a ban on the temple construction. (Ezra 4:17-23) came to a halt.

Ha! The conductor called on another sis with the name of my wife. He knows better. My wife is sitting next to me. I turned around to look. The other sis changed her hair and masked up does indeed look like my wife (but I know the difference)

Para 4: “He raised up a fearless prophet named Zechariah and gave him a series of eight thrilling visions, which he was to share with the Jews for their encouragement. Those reassuring visions helped them to see that they had nothing to fear from their opposers and urged them to press ahead with Jehovah’s work.”

Para 4: The enemies told lies which the king believed and the latter banned the Jews. Exactly parallels to that of the spiritual Jews today

“When i saw that image, I see maple syrup and I couldn’t get pancakes out of my head,” one bro says of Para 6—inexhaustible oil filling the lamp stands

Para 7: “In the second year of his reign, he discovered that the ban on the temple construction was illegal. Darius then gave royal approval to complete the work. (Ezra 6:1-3) That news alone was enough to surprise everyone​—but there was more. The king ordered the surrounding peoples to stop interfering in the rebuilding work and to provide funds and supplies to support it!” (Ezra 6:7-12)

Para 7 “And his house will be turned into a public latrine”, one sis quotes the verse. I hate it when that happens…Ezra 6:11…”I have also issued an order that if anyone violates this decree, a timber will be pulled out of his house and he will be lifted up and fastened to it, and his house will be turned into a public latrine for this offense.

Para 9: little one will become 1000. Choose your endpoints just right and that has more than come true. But in the last few dacades, no. So some like the Jews of old weeping at the rebuilt temple for they remember the old. …explosion of interest after 1991, those under persecution in Russia arn’t going away. ALl reports are that they are holding firm, perhaps another explosion of interest should the persecution let up.

Para 12:    Eccles 7:10 Do not say, “Why were the former days better than these?” for it is not out of wisdom that you ask this. It is a meme of old codgers doing this. Who would have thought the Bible says it is a snare?

Para 13: “started to rebuild the house of God.” (Ezra 5:1, 2) That decision may have seemed ill-advised to some Jews. The work of temple building could not be hidden from the enemy, who would use every means available to make trouble.”

Para 16 Yeah, I love the pandemic example given. You can almost feel a little silly masked up in the Hall because they’re not masked anywhere else. They are optional…but we have a way of leaning into people. Ah well, the bros set at the outset that they’d be a a bit more cautious than the general world. This too will pass.

 

 

 

 

Opening prayer of the #midweekmeeting included mention of helping bros withstand in Russia, Ukraine, or anywhere else where “trouble is framed by decree.”

 

Gems: “Abner grew very angry over the words of Ishbosheth and said: ‘Am I a dog’s head from Judah? Until this very day, I have shown loyal love toward the house of your father Saul and to his brothers and his friends, and I have not betrayed you into the hand of David; yet today you call me to account for an error concerning a woman [Saul’s concubine, Rizpah]. (2 Samuel 3:8)…

 

This becomes more understandable with the explanatory comment that having relations with the king’s concubines, even a deceased king, was tantamount to treason. [Insight; Ishbosheth]

 

 

 

SOME PEOPLE SAY: “There’s only one God, so it doesn’t matter what you call him.”

 

“So what do you think about THAT?” says the 8-year old, giving her first talk 4. “Next question is…” and she adds some of her own.

 

 

“ Take care not to be scared out of your wits,” says another translation of Matt 24:6. GB Update.

 

High brow professor type says since Jews find pronouncing aloud God’s name offensive, he thinks its very disrespectful for others to say it. Well, who are you going to kiss up to, humans or God? Many scriptures make it inescapable that God wants his name made known.

 

And even Jews, though they don’t say the name, never removed it from translations. Churches come along and do just that.—KJB takes 7000 occasions of the name and reduces it to 4.

 

She didn’t even know his name, but she knew he couldn’t be so mushy as not to have an identity, in praying and searching for “the true god”

 

“Those who hate expect the worst. but those who love never lose hope.”

 

 

“Today I am weak, although anointed as king, and these men, the sons of Ze·ruʹiah, are too brutal for me. May Jehovah repay the evildoer according to his own evil.”

 

How come this tree that needs trimming is leaning into the wind, now away as you would expect. ‘Leaning into the light,’ the tree surgeon said. Okay, got it. Light trumps wind. A good analogy for withstanding persecution?

 

Often I would say of the LDC bro in our congregation, “yeah—don’t kid yourselves. Pete’s gonna make us all live in dormitories.”

 

At a small Pa town, we stood on the corner as a dozen woman bikers rumbled by at the intersection. ‘Sorry to interfere with your crossing,’ one in the lead said. Bikers who apologize! ‘It’s because they’re women,’ my wife said.

 

Everyone else at least a little disturbed. Either myriad conspiracy thermoses are waiting to be verified ar the crème of the crop of human wisdom produces a system that instantly frays under stress.

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Things That Drive You Crazy About the Faith—and How to View Them: Part 1

This will be a multi-part series. See Preface  2nd Preface.

Six times the Great Courses professor (Alan Charles Kors) spoke about “ideas which had stood the test of time.” It took every one of those times for the words to sink in. It wasn’t just my obtuseness. The concept is hard to get your head around. But once you do, all is a breeze, like when you learned to ride a bike.

Francis Bacon is #90 in the book by Michael Hart, The 100, a book that ranks the 100 most influential persons in history. Plato is #40. Many times I’ve written how his famous ‘philosopher-kings’ method of good government almost exactly parallels the governing body structure of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Even allowing for how my perennial return visit Bernard Strawman (who continues to make fine progress!) calls our guys ‘janitor-plumbers,’ not ‘philosopher kings,’ the parallels are striking.

Now, with Francis Bacon—what great deed did he do to be rated 90th most important person who ever lived? He advanced what is known as “the empirical method of inquiry.” Hart explains: “To understand the world one must first observe it, first collect the facts, then draw conclusions from these facts by means of inductive reasoning.”

You’re kidding me! That’s it?! If you want to figure out something, you should look at it first?! He’s ranked #90 in the whole world for that big duh?! C’mon! Who doesn’t do that?! 2866AF9F-884A-43C8-BCB6-0F7C1190AC59

For most of human history, people did not. For most of human history it was, ‘if you want to figure out something, go to what has been revealed about it.’ That was Scripture—information given from on high, information revered because it “had stood the test of time.”

To be continued:

******  The bookstore

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Things That Drive You Crazy About the Faith—and How to View Them: 2nd Preface

This will be a multi-part series. See Preface.

On all the important questions topics Jehovah’s Witnesses are spot on. In these present days, when atheists are perfectly content with a few decades of life followed by eternal non-existence, even holding fast to God is a significant win. But besides holding to God, they get it straight on who he is. They carted off that trinity doctrine that paints him unknowable 100 years ago, about the same time they discarded the hellfire doctrine that paints him cruel, someone you would not want to know. Within his lifetime people called C.T. Russell “the man who turned the hose on hell and put out the fire.”

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Not to mention how they explain why God permits evil and suffering, and tell what he’s going to do about it. They preach the good news of the kingdom. They tell about the resurrection. They heed what God says on how to live, and to the extent they do, their “peace is just like a river.” And their “righteousness?” Tell me about it. (Isaiah 48:18) Like the circuit overseer said, we are all “one big, happy, united, somewhat dysfunctional family.” All is bliss.

And yet—and yet—there are a hundred aggravations. Basking in the big picture, you won’t notice them at first. But in time, they can be like that pebble in your shoe, driving you nuts with every step.

What is it with these aggravations? Some are because Witnesses hang out closely even with those with whom they don’t mesh. They don’t take the easy way out and put distance between themselves like Lot and Abraham. Some are because, should a respected Witnesses do dirt, it can seriously stumble a person because the congregation is the one place he/she didn’t expect to find any.

Yes! That’s the answer. Surely that accounts for it. Just smother your plate with agape love and you’re home free! And yet—and yet—there is one indefinable something . . . There is one—how can we define it? We can’t—it’s indefinable, unless, unless . . . what is it that’s so hard to put a finger on? I thunk and thunk and thunk about it and finally came up with the answer. Not me, really, but the Great Courses professors—college professors, every one of them. And I didn’t have to go to college to hear them. I found them free in the library and listen to them an hour each day walking the dog—which unfortunately died not long ago, but he lived to a ripe old dog age of 14, so I’m grateful for the time my wife and I had with him.

Six times the Great Courses professor (Alan Charles Kors) spoke about “ideas which had stood the test of time.” It took every one of those times for the words to sink in. It wasn’t just my obtuseness. The concept is hard to get your head around. But once you do, all is a breeze, like when you learned to ride a bike.

To be continued:

******  The bookstore

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Things That Drive You Crazy About the Faith—and How to View Them: Preface

Great scriptures and reasoning to some one who is anti witness,” she told me. “I did write up some things and then I thought….oh blow it…I’ll back him up…all the way!!!”

Make no mistake. It is a concious choice. I could easily attach a “But what about such and such…” addendum to some paragraph in nearly every Watchtower if I wanted to. Some nettlesome point will stick in my craw, but then I will ask myself should I obsess over it? Wouldn’t that be like the pundit who reads that North Korea has launched all its nuclear missills? D00D607B-D550-4B2B-88ED-210705B7C079 People with sense will run for the hills. He runs to his keyboard to point out that the idiot can’t even spell the word right. Isn’t that called ‘losing sight of the big picture?’ Why would anyone want to do that? (Photo: Janes.com)

The fact is (so says me, so take it for what it’s worth) that Jehovah’s Witnesses have it right in all the important things, but there’s a lot of minor aggravations. What to make of these? Is it because we’re all jammed together in close proximity whereas in the greater world you just put distance between those with whom who don’t readily mesh? Partly. I’ve heard two circuit overseers describe us in the past few years as “one large, united, happy, somewhat dysfunctional family,” a phrase I suspect is not in the outline.

Too, I’ve heard tell from young ones who’ve flown the coop that they don’t miss the “drama.” Yes, just pulling the Abraham/Lot stunt goes a long way in alleviating tension: “So Abram said to Lot: ‘Please, there should be no quarreling between me and you …  separate from me. If you go to the left, then I will go to the right; but if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.’” (Genesis 13: 8-9) We don’t do that. We stick together and with mixed success try to apply Bible counsel to lessen “drama.’

But if scrunching up is hard on us, what is to be said of the world in general? That’s why I gave Vomodog the answer I did when he tried to undermine 2 Timothy 3:1-5. “Humanity is no better or worse than in past centuries,” said he. “The scenography has changed and other global changes have taken place, but the nature of man is constant.”

“It hardly matters, does it?” I told him. “You can fart all you want and as along as there is plenty of space between you and your neighbor, there are no real consequences. But when population, technology, and competition for resources brings people shoulder to shoulder, your unpleasant ways provoke strong reaction.” We’re cramped and it’s inconvenient. They’re cramped and it brings chaos to entire planet. But if you’re just one person, you can sort of just live in your own bubble and ignore all that, at least most times you can ignore it, at least you can until you can’t.

These days I’m like Richard Kimble replying to Sam Gerard. “That’s right—I’m not trying to solve puzzles here,” Sam says. Richard replies that he is “and I just found a big piece.” Same here. I knew those Great Courses lectures would do more than prepare me to hold my own should that obnoxious know-it-all Alan F ever show his nasty persona here again. He was getting seriously up there in years and it could be he has died, but I think not because the birds in heaven have not all broken out in song. When he does die no doubt his headstone will call the cemetery caretaker an ignoramus for supposing the surrounding flowers and trees were created by God

Those Great Courses lectures produced something valuable in their own right. And totally unanticipated. No way did I see it coming. And helpful? Tell me about it. More helpful than even the brother who had the odd mannerism of ending sentences with, ‘It’s helpful to know that, don’t you think?’ I mean, he was a wonderful brother, he really was, I went to visit him when he was ill, but that mannerism wore. One time he announced the date of the upcoming circuit assembly, adding, ‘It’s helpful to know that, don’t you think?’ I had to admit that it was.

What I found through the Great Courses professors is even more helpful. It will better enable me to weather all the minor aggravations of earthly organization, because they all boil down to the same thing. And that same thing, while it can be trying, is anything but a dealbreaker.

To be continued…

******  The bookstore

 

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Tweeting the Meeting: Week of May 9, 2022

There’s new mount for gadgets at the Kingdom Hall, to keep track of Zoom participants I think, and it looks like the side view mirror on a car.

 

WatchtowerStudy: Continue Putting On “the New Personality” After Baptism.   theme scripture: “Clothe yourselves with the new personality.”​—COL. 3:10.

Para 1: one sis comments on neuroplasticity and calls it “science catching up tot the Bible.” in this instance, physical changes in the brain, corresponding to molding our brain with thoughts….. “To be that type of person, we need to control our thinking. Why? Because our personality is largely shaped by our thoughts,” says WT.

Para 2: pull out the weeds & they come back, pull them out again—part of stripping off the old personality. As for putting on the new, the landscape person said letting the grass grow long is in itself good weed control, since it crowds them out from getting light.

Para 9: reminds me of the householder who kept saying I had no need to call since he loved Jesus. Several times repeated. Then whirled around to his wife, who’d been nagging at him to get away from the door, “Will you shut up!?” he yelled, and then resumed telling me about his love for Jesus. …20If anyone says, “I love God,” and yet is hating his brother, he is a liar. For the one who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.

Para 12: when a Phoenician woman begged him to heal her child, he declined her request at first, but when she showed great faith, he kindly healed her child.   A lot of times when you push the rules you risk an explosion.

 

 The ones who objected to David’s ‘all will share’ plan were described as ‘bad and worthless.’ Be tightfisted toward your bros and sis you could go down in history that way. (1 Samuel 30:22) #midweekmeeting

Equalizing across borders, within the same border. Goal of same reward for unequal contributions. Parallel situation of 1 Samuel 30:22-24, objected to by “bad and worthless” men. (David had some bad and worthless men!) Who would like to go down in history as a bad and worthless man?

Sell an underperforming Hall in the West and fund the building of 50 in developing lands where they are badly needed. A longer drive twice a week so that 50X friends overseas have a place to meet? Who would object to that?…1/3

The “bad and worthless” men objected when David proposed a similar scheme for equalizing: “However, every bad and worthless man among those who had gone with David said: “Since they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we recovered …2/3

except that each one may take his wife and his sons and go away.”  But David said: “You must not do this, my brothers, with what Jehovah has given us. He protected us and gave into our hand the marauder band that came against us. “…3/3

okay okay sometimes not ‘underperforming.’ Sometimes just consolidation. When we built the Halls, the plan was to fill them to the rafters. 

Yikes. When it happens to the churches, it’s because they’re going under. When it happens to us, it’s because of wise stewardship. ‘Yeah, I see you closed that Hall on route 300’ one fellow ribbed me at the coffee shop. ‘It’s on account of our great growth,’ I told him.

 

And gas prices rose . David was very distressed, because the men were talking of stoning him, for all the men had become very bitter over their KH sold to build 50 in developing lands, making them drive further…1/2

But David strengthened himself by Jehovah his God. (1 Samuel 30: 5-6) #freewheelingversion. 2/2

 

Job 26: 7He stretches out the northern sky over empty space, Suspending the earth upon nothing;

Job 26:27He draws up the drops of water; They condense into rain from his mist;28Then the clouds pour it down; They shower down upon mankind.

Despite its location Babylon became a pile of stones and remains that way.   (Will rise again?). Saddam bragged he was going to rebuild it.

 

“Why do you Witnesses always have to think the world is getting worse? What does that belief do for you?”     “It helps me to explain why the Doomsday clock is set at 90 seconds to midnight and not 10:30,” a bro replied.

 

Nobody else knew it. If you want rain, you had to dance to the rain god

 

However, every bad and worthless man among those who had gone with David said: “Since they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we recovered except that each one may take his wife and his sons and go away.”  23 But David said: “You must not do this, my brothers, with what Jehovah has given us. He protected us and gave into our hand the marauder band that came against us.  24 Who would agree with you on this? The share of the one who went down into the battle will be the same as the share of the one who sat by the baggage. All will have a share.  1 Samuel 30:22-24.     Sometimes you have to reign in your bad and worthless men.

How come this tree that needs trimming leans into the wind, not away as you would expect? ‘It’s leaning into the light,’ the tree surgeon said. Got it. Light trumps wind. (a good metaphor for withstanding persecution?)

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******  The bookstore

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Just Who Will be Saved?

When it comes to who will be saved, the Christian organization is not authorized to go beyond what the scripture plainly says: 

Baptism, which corresponds to this, is also now saving you…” (1 Peter 3:21)

If those of the Governing Body have any private thoughts on this, those they must keep to themselves. Of course, baptism assumes doing it the biblical way, not the sprinkled baptism of infants, not the baptism to the hellfire/trinity God. 

The governing brothers choose not to speculate on this matter. They choose to be bounded by 1 Peter 3:21. Others, who do not have a worldwide association of brothers to coach, are freer to speculate. When a loved one of mine was asked specifically whether this one or that one will be saved, she replied that she was not Jesus and didn’t know.

The organization does the best it can. Not all scriptures dovetail. It remains to be seen how certain things will work out. “You will by no means complete the circuit of the cities of Israel until the Son of man arrives.” (Matt 10:23) throws a monkey wrench into worldwide coverage. This verse has been cited to show not every person will be adequately reached, maybe not at all, so the question arises just what is God going to do about that come Armageddon? From what I can recall, they only gingerly touch that one. (They have said in the past that the mentally incompetent should get a free pass, so maybe everyone reading this along with myself are okay.)

At any rate, the Watchtower statement to carry the day is easily found on the website. To the question, “Do Jehovah’s Witnesses feel they are the only ones who will be saved?” included in the answer is: “In any case, it’s not our job to judge who will or won’t be saved. That assignment rests squarely in Jesus’ hands.” If they have seemed to judge in the past, it’s because they don’t feel free to blow away1 Peter 3:21 as though it were nothing.

https://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/who-saved/

Then, too, from the Insight book (under the topic Destruction) comes this beaut, that indicates we don’t even know ones destroyed by Jehovah suffer eternal destruction: 

The Bible indicates that not all destruction is eternal. This is demonstrated by the fact that the Hebrew word ʼavad·dohnʹ(destruction) is used twice to parallel “Sheol.” (Job 26:6; Pr 15:11) ….When speaking of the destruction of the rebels Dathan and Abiram, Moses wrote that they went down “alive into Sheol.” (Nu 16:31, 33) Since Sheol in the Bible denotes the common grave of mankind from which there will be a resurrection, it is evident that not all destruction—not even all destruction at the hand of God—is necessarily eternal.

So even Patiently Sitting on his Hands, that piece of work, who thinks he will not survive Armageddon and assumes that gives him the stature to advise others….well, maybe he is right and he won’t survive and still I’ll see that dodo on the other side someday, in which case I’ll take back the bad things I’ve said about him and maybe he’ll do the same with me.

******  The bookstore

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Tweeting the Meeting: May 2, 2022

#watchtowerstudy today is entitled, You Can “Strip Off the Old Personality.” Theme verse: “Strip off the old personality with its practices.”​—COL. 3:9.

Para 4, “We dress up in clean clothes “and then we stop at McDonalds and get ourselves all dirty again,’ says one sis speaking of struggles to be “without spot, and maybe giving away more than she realizes. #watchtowerstudy

Para 5, It didn’t happen in our congregation: “I just explained the rainbow flag attached to paragraph 5 to my mum. Everybody! come and see this woman exclaiming loud in the hall”…1/2   I barely noticed it. Figured it was some national flag. I mean, it was pretty small and in the background. You could have fit 100 of them in that huge liquor bottle up front….2/2

Para 6: “It pains him to see us hurt ourselves and others.” Like watching a creature harm itself trying to get out of a trap? 57F4B6CE-8EA0-43C4-BFB4-67D679F448B5

Para 7: In the quest for “independence”— the king can always persuade his people that they are the victims, that they are the good guys, be they in America, Russia, or China? And there these folks think they are “independent?”

Para 9: Exit the parking garage at night, see that sign, “Are your lights on?” No they’re not! says the dodo, who keeps on driving. Just like looking in the mirror and not acting on the mess revealed. Who would do such a thing?

Para 17, Bible with her. started to make serious changes. “Some of my vices were easy for me to give up,” Nabiha says. “But quitting smoking was another story. ….one bro speaks of a coworker who threw his pipe down the embankment—-“but he watched where it landed.”

 

“Then “Samuel” said to Saul: “Why have you disturbed me by having me brought up?” (1 Samuel 28:15)    ‘I thought I told you to buzz off’ is what he would have said were it actually possible to bring him back. If he wouldn’t speak with him while living…. #midweekmeeting

“I was so looking forward to taking my mask off and I totally forgot,” said the masked Gems conductor at end of questions after he totally forgot.

Then there’s that duo of younger and older elder, both good speakers, but both love to be teased, and so I rise to the occasion.    “Gary has struck down his thousands, And Greg his tens of thousands’?”(1 Samuel 29:5) I mean, no matter what opening songs they select, the chairman substitutes ‘We Need to Have Endurance’

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Pet Peeves, Faith, Anxiety, and Good ol Bible Reading

On pet peeves: Here’s one: those talks that end, “so may we never fall into the trap of Elijah, who….” (Substitute Peter, Moses, Paul&Barnabas, any of the good guys—it all works out the same.) What! Are you kidding me? We’re going to outdo Elijah? If he fell for it, we will fall for it too. At best we will be guided by their course in seeing how they recovered from it.’

On anxiety and faith: Anxiety has caused problems in the past. At the moment it is at bay, but don’t ever think one immune. Is faith, like anxiety, part of the variation of people? Some are anxious by nature. Some have never been anxious a day in their lives. Faith may be like that. It builds more easily is some than others. 

For what it’s worth, I’ve benefited much by making relevant that supposedly irrelevant ancient model of humans tugged at by, in clockwise order, air, water, earth, and fire, for a 360 degree spectrum circle of human qualities. Heady people are overly given to “air.” Their heads are “in the clouds,” At it’s most severe, their feet begin to lose touch with the “earth,” and they are given to anxiety and various forms of mental distress. 

“Earth” people, on the other hand, are rock-solid dependable, Here are they people who typify Solomon’s remarks, people who eat, drink, sleep, and see good for all their hard work under the sun. Here is the person who goes on and one about the delicious meal they’ve just eaten. They’re not particularly speculative nor brilliant, not overly given to deep thought, but they are solidly competent and not easily derailed by anxiety. 

38AEAA0B-DB05-4E84-A5BB-092E7025A24AFire and Water are at opposite poles, too. Water completely envelopes any situation. Here is the person people love to confide in because he or she can see both sides of any issue, get their heads around it, and are not given to condemn. From this direction the ‘peacemakers’ are most likely to be found. Of course, from ‘fire’ comes the hotheads, the ones most given to ‘shoot first and ask questions later.’ There’s a place for them. Ask Phinehas.

There are all these types in Jehovah’s organization since that is the fabric of humanity. I like how they bind together as a brotherhood where they love, cooperate with, and compensate for one another. The too-frequent pattern in the greater world is for these extremes to congeal at opposite poles and from there scream at each other. 

On Bible reading: By far, just plain Bible reading works for me. And it works for the organization too. As much as they carry on about the wholesome spiritual food they supply, they also make clear that daily Bible reading comes first.

The digital age has changed many habits. When that Watchtower used to come in the mail I would set aside time to read it cover to cover in one sitting. I didn’t even take the shortcut recommended jokingly by one brother regarding the Letters from Readers, who said he would read the question then skip down to the last line to see whether he could do it or not.

I lost touch of that routine when the magazines went virtual. I tend to focus on talks now, those presented online, and I take “stream of consciousness” notes in order to pay attention. If I don’t my mind wanders. I typically don’t read the Watchtower articles until shortly before we study them, and some articles it may be many months before I get to. Some, no doubt, I never see at all. It doesn’t help that as my appetite for reading detailed material grows, our articles get simpler and simpler.

Just plain Bible reading works as a first go-to, there absorbing directly from Jehovah’s written word what best builds faith in ways we may not be able to even put our finger on. Once you have the pattern of healthful teachings  you can extrapolate into what is written in the Bible that the organization hasn’t commented on, or hasn’t commented on much. Sometimes I am surprised at the “gems” they choose to highlight, gems that seem to be simply Bible trivia and not especially geared for building faith. Too, I would give a lot to hear, “Man, that weird!” over some conduct of the prophets rather than continually euphemizing it into “their expression and manner [that] doubtless reflected intensity and feeling that were truly extraordinary.” 

***The bookstore

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)