What the #@&! is Next?

A common theme of Witness opposers is that their former religion scared the socks off them. All this teaching about Armageddon—it was just too much, they say. Artwork of the final day caused them nightmares, they say—it should be outlawed. These ones have reassessed their former view that today’s world merits God’s disapproval, instead concluding that it is a nifty place to find fulfillment.

Typifying this view, one website of comparative religion accuses the Watchtower Society of “maintain[ing] a state of high anxiety in their membership by stressing the imminence of the end.” Witnesses would not have phrased things this way.  Instead, they would say that recognition of where we are in the stream of time goes a long way to allay anxiety. It’s as though these web writers think all is just peachy worldwide and everyone would know it were it not for JWs fouling the air with their “high anxiety.”

Well, two can play at that game. Take a look at Newsweek’s cover for March 28, 2011. Emblazoned over a backdrop of a crashing tidal wave was: “Tsunamis, Earthquakes, Nuclear Meltdowns, Revolutions, Economies on the Brink!” No anxiety here, is there? I tell you, for anyone with a memory, it’s absolutely amazing to see such despairing words on the cover of a national magazine. Surely Newsweek, representing the world’s collective wisdom, has some reassuring words for the children? Ah—yes, here it is, just below the list of calamities: They say: “What the #@%! is next?!”

And to think that my 7th grade social studies teacher had us all subscribe to Newsweek, on the premise that we would thereby become well-informed. Was I anticipating future covers of that magazine when I began my World News Oral Report with the words “What the #@%! is next?” and spent the rest of the semester writing “I will not swear” on the chalkboard? As adults of this system have failed the children in so many ways—in morals, in education, in personal and group and financial security—they now fail them even in reassuring rhetoric. “What the #@%! is next?” is the best they can manage. Why not further say: “We haven’t a clue, kids. We’ve loused things up in every way.”

For that matter, why not say “Jehovah’s Witnesses were right?” For Jehovah’s Witnesses have been saying for decades that the present system of things is doomed to extinction, to be replaced by God’s kingdom. Everyone else says or hopes that God will somehow bless the present hash of human governments, so as to collectively bring us all a happy future. Well who doesn’t want a happy future? But a happy future is not something humans can provide. It comes only under God’s kingdom. No human has the slightest role in bringing that kingdom about. God himself does that. But we can position ourselves to benefit from it. That is the long-standing message of Jehovah’s Witnesses, coupled with an invitation to study the Bible itself.

Hey, it’s not been as easy job. “What a bunch of alarmists! We’ve always had bad things happening!” I can hear the refrain now.  Naturally, the Bible reader thinks of 2 Peter 3:3,4: “First off, you need to know that in the last days, mockers are going to have a heyday. Reducing everything to the level of their puny feelings, they’ll mock, ‘So what’s happened to the promise of his Coming? Our ancestors are dead and buried, and everything’s going on just as it has from the first day of creation. Nothing’s changed.’” (the paraphrased Message translation; it may not be literal, but it sure is fresh)

Well, we sure haven’t always had magazine covers like this one of Newsweek’s! It’s as if the editors are collectively throwing up their hands and crying “Sheesh! Everything humans touch turns to s**t!” (Normally I would never use such unsavory words as “s**t,” but I am unwholesomely influenced by Newsweek’s #@%! It really is true that bad associations spoils useful habits.)

The only time I said: “What the #@%! is next?” was when I saw the price of the magazine. $5.95! Weren’t these things under a dollar when I was a kid? With more pages? And better written, not dumbed down like it is today? I know, I know, it’s unfair to be critical of a mass publication for “dumbing down.” The Watchtower is dumbed down, too. We all know it. As the world’s education system steadily deteriorates, so do collective reading skills. If you want to reach a broad audience, simple writing is the way you have to go, however painful it may be for those who cherish reading. But there’s hardly any need to rub it in: Note above the Newsweek banner is the byline for another story: “How Ignorant are You?” Am I being too sensitive when I read between the lines: “We’re not ignorant—you are!”?)

 

To be faithful to the Bible, you need to talk about things not so pleasant. You just do. And destruction of “the ungodly” is not so pleasant. Nobody says otherwise. The only caveat—and it’s a significant one—is that a person can be saved from it by adhering to divine direction. Isn’t that, when push comes to shove, a good thing?

Now: see if you can spot the spurious words I’ve cleverly inserted in the following passage: Revelation 6:12-17 (Message Translation, again) in which John prophesies

“…a bone-jarring earthquake, sun turned black as ink, moon all bloody, stars falling out of the sky like figs shaken from a tree in a high wind, sky snapped shut like a book, islands and mountains sliding this way and that. And then pandemonium, everyone and his dog running for cover—kings, princes, generals, rich and strong, along with every commoner, slave or free. They hid in mountain caves and rocky dens, calling out to mountains and rocks, “What the #@%! is next?”

There. Did you spot it? What they actually cry is “Refuge! Hide us from the One Seated on the Throne and the wrath of the Lamb! The great Day of their wrath has come—who can stand it.” But I try to keep up with contemporary jargon.

Or, what about the words of Jesus:

“The time is coming when they’ll say, ‘Lucky the women who never conceived! Lucky the wombs that never gave birth! Lucky the breasts that never gave milk!’ Then they’ll start calling to the mountains, “What the #@%! is next?”  Luke 23:29-30

Nope. What they actually call to the mountains is “Fall down on us! Cover us up!”

Witnesses take a lot of flak for adhering to the Bible’s teaching of Armageddon, great tribulation, destruction of the wicked, paradise earth under Kingdom reign, and so forth. Jehovah’s Witnesses are a serious religion that doesn’t hedge its bets. They are not all over the board. They unabashedly hold to key Bible tenets, no matter if those find scorn elsewhere. For, to be sure, if one doesn’t think that God will call “the ungodly” to account, if one doesn’t think that God will one day intervene dramatically in world events, then Jehovah’s Witnesses and all that they represent are ridiculous, a perfect target for derision. It all depends upon where one is coming from.

Pertaining to Armageddon, can one be some distance from theocratic provisions or not one inch? Dunno. Witness HQ clearly weighs in on the side of caution. Why not stay in a known place of safety and take part in a work in which it is good to take part in any event, simply on the basis of Revelation 4:11? “You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created.” God created all things. The massive experiment of human self-rule is turning out exactly as he said it would. He deserves our service. (April 2011)

From the book TrueTom vs the Apostates!

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Nautical Bookends of Our Age

Sometimes the spirit of an entire age is captured in a single event. Even better, sometimes the spirit of an entire age is bookended by two separate events, one defining the “before,” the other the “after.” Whenever this happens, it is a fine thing. It saves a lot of work. You don’t have to read up on the entire age. Just get your head around the two bookend events and you’re home free. Like Morgan Freeman said to Miss Daisy, “We don’t have to worry about what’s in the middle?” No. We don’t.

We have exactly this situation today with regard to the Costa Concordia, that luxury cruise liner that capsized January [2012] off the Italian coast. It’s a nautical bookend. It’s complement, the Titanic, also capsized, almost exactly a century ago, in 1912. The age thus bookended is the “last days” that Jehovah’s Witnesses proclaim. Current view traces it to 1914, and it is near completion, since we are “right around the corner” from the end of this system of things—a most elusive corner indeed. One remembers that year was the year of World War I, and it marks the first time that the entire world went to war concurrently. It is seen as setting off with a bang the events described in Luke 21:10, events that have cascaded to our day.

 If ever there were contrasting events to illustrate the fulfillment of 2 Timothy 3:1-5, they are to be found in these behemoth boats. Those verses read: “But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, self-assuming, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, betrayers, headstrong, puffed up [with pride], lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, having a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power; and from these turn away.”

In other words, the verses point to a general deterioration of human character. People have “gotten worse” during the last days. As Pop, who is not a Witness and has little use for them, readily asserts: the world is going “to hell in a handbasket.” But this is not necessarily easy to prove to one who thinks otherwise. It is subjective. If you show the verses to someone who doesn’t agree that they apply more today than at other times, there is not much you can do about it. To some extent, it depends upon where you look. If you think in terms of technology, for instance, the notion of things worsening is patently untrue. One is reminded of that line from the 1968 book The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life: “True, there has been progress in a materialistic way. But is it really progress when men send rockets to the moon, and yet cannot live together in peace on earth?” Some people think it is.

Still, the best chance we have of illustrating 2 Timothy 3:1-5 lies in contrasting similar events occurring in different time frames—events such as ship sinkings. Consider: After the Titanic struck an iceberg back in 1912, the captain expedited rescue efforts, then went down with his ship. After the Costa Concordia struck a rock in modern 2012, the captain, seen beforehand fraternizing with women in the bar, was among the first to jump ship. Titanic’s crew, in 1912, urgently worked to shepherd passengers to lifeboats. Concordia’s crew, in 2012, told them to go back to their rooms...surely this crisis would pass. With the 1912 Titanic, it was “women and children first.” With the 2012 Concordia it was “every person for himself,” said one of the survivors.

In short, all that was noble and self-sacrificing is replaced today with all that is cowardly and self-serving. That is the relevance of 2 Timothy 3:1-5. Tell that to those fatheads who cannot see any change in people. Even the big liners themselves seem to fulfill 2 Timothy 3:1-5. Titanic, in 1912, went down majestically, gracefully, symmetrically. Concordia, in 2012, rolled over on its side like a huge fat pig and just lay there lolling in the sun, like our overstuffed cat does in hopes someone will scratch its belly. People of the last days can’t even sink a ship properly.

 

Okay, okay, so it doesn’t prove anything, comparing the two sunken ships. It is pure symbolism. I understand that. But as symbolism goes, it doesn’t get any better. I don’t issue many prophesies, being a modest guy, but I’m comfortable with this one: James Cameron will never make a film entitled Concordia. Nor will I quickly modify my answer to some smart-aleck who challenged me: “Why do you have to think that things are getting worse? What does that view do for you?”

It helps me to explain why the Doomsday Clock is set at four minutes to midnight and not 10:30 AM. (January 2012)

From the book TrueTom vs the Apostates!

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You Got a Timetable on That?

Years after he went apostate on us, Vic Vomidog would walk into the hospital transfusion room, roll up his sleeve and say “Fill er up!” just to show Jehovah’s Witnesses what he thought of them. He authored a book—I still it see sometimes on the Internet: “Forty Years Down the Toilet - My Wasted Life with Jehovah’s Witnesses.” Online he’s been known to log into forums as Tom Puppydogs, so you have to watch out! More recently, he’s somehow got his paws on a treasure trove of mundane Watchtower correspondence and he publishes each item separately as though each were a more damning indictment than the one preceding. I mean, if Jehovah’s Witnesses pay their utility bill, he publishes the receipt as proof that they trust in man for power, not God. What is it with this guy?

So I contacted him. It was probably not a good idea—they always say we ought not do it—but we used to work closely together at one time, and I just felt I should attempt to talk sense into him. What about the nearness of the end? I asked him. “You got a timetable on that?” he shot back.

No. I don’t. Isn’t that really what’s at the crux of everything?

We don’t get a timetable. Jesus said: “keep on the watch” and “at an hour that you do not think to be it the Son of Man is coming.” Each time we’ve tried to force specificity on a prophesy we’ve been burned. And, no, it isn’t frequent. It’s happened just once in anyone’s lifetime (unless you are really really old). Everyone gets one free pass for a missed end-date. It’s in the rules.

It is enough for Jehovah’s Witnesses. We are convinced this system is a failure and slated for replacement by God’s kingdom. Our hearts are in that new system. We proclaim it. We even refer to it as the “real life,” applying the words of Timothy. But if your heart is with this system, all the work and practices and beliefs of those whose heart is with the one to come seem extreme, unnecessary, or even deleterious. It all depends upon where your focus is. Live a good life now, even try to reform this world, or adhere to what JWs believe is the Bible’s hope—a coming new system.

Our people tend to regard apostates as “the bogeyman,” and I sometimes wish it wasn’t that way. It lends them an undeserved air of mystery. They’re not mysterious at all. Their actions are very understandable. Everything lies in that verse about the slave who, discouraged that the master keeps delaying, begins beating his fellow slaves. That verse never used to make much sense to me, but as I’ve seen the drama enacted in recent times, it now hangs together quite well: “But if ever that evil slave should say in his heart, ‘My master is delaying,’ and should start to beat his fellow slaves and should eat and drink with the confirmed drunkards...”  (Matthew 24:48-49)

It is in the midst of parables and prophesies (Matt 24 & 25) concerned solely with Christ’s parousia (“presence,” often mistranslated “return”) Once the slave gets fed up about the master’s “delay,” he jumps ship, and then he has a lot of time to account for—years, even decades, proclaiming a message he no longer believes—wasted years, as he now sees them. What better way to account for it than to say he was misled, lied to, brainwashed? In effect, he “beats” his fellow slaves, the ones who continue to stay the course.

To avoid even the chance of being caught up in this outcome, ending up like Vic, why not hedge one’s bets a little? Why not hold back? That way, should one go sour on the whole Christianity thing one day, it won’t be so hard to reintegrate into the world, since one never really left it in the first place. In short, why not learn, as is all the rage today, to “have your religion but keep it in its place” (which, of course, means last place)?  Wouldn’t that be the practical course?

Yes, it would appear to, except that makes one lukewarm, and Jesus doesn’t like for his followers to be lukewarm. To that Laodicean congregation: “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or else hot. So, because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:15)

You might even liken the apostates to bad Baruchs. You remember Baruch, serving by Jeremiah’s side for decades, leading up to Jerusalem’s overthrow by Nebuchadnezzar. He got tired of it at one point, though, and the 45th chapter of Jeremiah is written for him: “This is what Jehovah the God of Israel has said concerning you, O Baruch, you have said: “Woe, now, to me, for Jehovah has added grief to my pain! I have grown weary because of my sighing, and no resting-place have I found.” “This is what you should say to him, ‘This is what Jehovah has said: “Look! What I have built up I am tearing down, and what I have planted I am uprooting, even all the land itself. But as for you, you keep seeking great things for yourself. Do not keep on seeking. For here I am bringing in a calamity upon all flesh,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘and I will give you your soul as a spoil in all the places to which you may go.’”  (Jeremiah 45:2-5)

And Baruch proceeded to say: “You got a timetable on that?”

Oh, alright, alright—he didn’t say it! I just threw it in. Apparently, he responded well to the council, for his name is mentioned later as one of the faithful ones. Would that the same could be said for his counterparts today. (July 2011)

From the book TrueTom vs the Apostates!

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Are There Any So Intolerant as the Anti-Cultists?

Few are unaware that the Bible climax depicts the epic battle between good and evil, even if they know it in but inkling form. It is the subject of the final Book of Revelation. Foreglimmers of it appear in several other places.

The contest, to zero in, involves the choice between human rulership and divine rulership of the planet. The former is expressed in the present reality of two hundred eternally squabbling nations. The latter is expressed in the ‘Lord’s prayer,’ as God’s kingdom, which, when it “comes,” results in God’s “will be[ing] done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Human rulership of the earth has not been such a stellar success that those who point to God’s government as the one true hope should be run off the road.

As with the Don McLean song, “the marching band refuses to yield.” Though it involves no human agency, God’s kingdom forcibly is to replace human rulership. It does not wait for “the broken-hearted people living in the world to agree,” for they never will. Daniel 2:44 says it succinctly: “The God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite.”

This can be dicey to express in literature. Still, it has been expressed as long as there have been persons longing to see a final end of evil. One recent offering is from the book Pure Worship of Jehovah Restored at Last, produced by Jehovah’s Witnesses. The writing gets downright heavy toward the end. For example:

“During the war of Armageddon, Jehovah will execute people, not in a cold, clinical manner, but in a “great rage.” (Read Ezekiel 38:18.) He will direct the explosive force of his anger, not against one army or one nation, but against countless individuals living across the globe. On that day, those slain by Jehovah “will be from one end of the earth clear to the other end of the earth.”​—Jer. 25:29, 33.”

The Bible verses cited are, from Ezekiel:

On that day, the day when Gog invades the land of Israel,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, ‘my great rage will flare up. In my zeal, in the fire of my fury, I will speak…all humans on the surface of the earth will tremble, and the mountains will be thrown down, and the cliffs will fall, and every wall will collapse to the ground.’ “‘I will call for a sword against him on all my mountains,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. ‘Every man’s sword will be against his own brother. I will bring my judgment against him…”

and from Jeremiah:

“‘You will not go unpunished, for I am calling for a sword against all the inhabitants of the earth,’ declares Jehovah of armies. …“‘And those slain by Jehovah in that day will be from one end of the earth clear to the other end of the earth. They will not be mourned, nor will they be gathered up or buried. They will become like manure on the surface of the ground.’

That’s not very pleasant, is it? Let no one accuse the Bible writers of beating around the bush.

Is it too much? Should the Bible be banned, as it is clearly the fiery source material for such paragraphs as in the Watchtower publication? Ought one side in this epic struggle be allowed a preemptive strike so that the view of the other side be muzzled? Is it the sign of a “cult” not to interpret such passages away?

Should the view that God might be displeased, even outraged, at the present state of the planet be outlawed? Should the only view allowable be that he cheerleads for the present world, having his feelings hurt with each new atrocity, to be sure, but quickly rebounding with the chipper hope that if his creatures but elect the right set of leaders, all will be well? Should only that neutered view of God be allowed to stand, and any view that God might actually do something about the state of the world be consigned to the state of fanaticism, even if ones reprioritize their lives based upon such views?

Taking their place among the most intolerant people on the planet are the “anti-cultists.” Religion they will allow so long as it does not forget that its place is to reinforce the status quo. ‘If religion helps you to be kinder and gentler, so be it,’ they seem to say, ‘but don’t go rocking the boat. Human leadership is where it’s at—if your god can come on board with that, he’s welcome, but only if. There may daily be discouraging checks, but they are not checkmates, and don’t go bringing any nutty religion into it saying that final checkmate looms ahead.’

What’s it to them, anyway? If the verses are to become reality, then Jehovah’s Witnesses offer a fine head’s up and an opportunity to sidestep the trouble. If they are not to become reality, then there is no harm done other than egg on the faces of those announcing it. Jehovah’s Witnesses will take that chance. The Bible is still the most widely distributed book on earth, by a huge margin. Not all will consign it to the dumpster when they hear of such fiery passages. Some will be more like the Hebrew king Josiah of long ago:

“As soon as [Josiah] heard the words of the book of the Law, he ripped his garments apart. Then the king gave this order…. “Go, inquire of Jehovah in my behalf, in behalf of the people, and in behalf of all Judah concerning the words of this book that has been found; for Jehovah’s rage that has been set ablaze against us is great, because our forefathers did not obey the words of this book by observing all that is written concerning us.”

It will ever be the minority view. But only the anti-cultists seek to banish it, so as to keep everyone on the same page of human rulership. For Jehovah’s Witnesses, who unapologetically choose God’s rulership over human rulership, “the wicked” will primarily be those who clearly see both sides and decisively choose human rulership—abysmal track record and all. It will not be those with only a hazy concept of one or both. It will be those who know what they are choosing.

End-of-admoria-2156752_960_720

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Climate Change and Global Warming: To Be or Not to Be?

The former local weatherman, Kevin Williams, tweets a photo of all his weather chums at a restaurant. "Aha!" I said. "I KNEW it. It IS a cabal! There IS collusion!" He liked that.

Now, I happen to know that Kevin Williams thinks global warming is a hoax. It is no secret. He is very open about it. He follows and sometimes retweets content of the man-on-a-mission climate change denier JWspry. (NOT, so far as I know, any connection to the JW of Jehovah's Witnesses) So I tweeted: "Are they across the board on global warming or on the same page, one way or another?"

No answer.

So I tweeted: "Ahh. Avoiding the answer to that question is the key to continued cohesion. Probably as it should be. Not everything has to be a fight."

He liked that one.

Untitled

Of course. You can't fight all the time. People believe what they believe, according to how they interpret the facts. Or more likely, they believe what they believe, and then spin the available facts to give themselves intellectual cover. We are not nearly so unemotional as the champions of critical thought would have us believe. We are dominated by emotion forged in experience and we thereafter consult our brains to make it fly logically.

It is even as the Bible says with spiritual things. "Prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God," says Romans 12:2. "Taste and see that Jehovah is good," says Psalm 34:8. What if someone tastes and sees that he is bad? Other than to advise he check his taste buds, there is little you can do about it. So don't get into judging. Present your version of truth as persuasively as you can and leave it at that. God knows whether he is a Trinity or not. He also knows whether he exists or not. Let him sort it out.

I asked Kevin (or was it JWspry?) about a previous post I wrote of how there was now 'Weather on Steroids.' He said it all depends upon what is reported. If you eagerly report all record highs and ignore all record lows, it does create that impression. Reporting means a lot. As Florence was churning over the Atlantic to deluge the Carolinas, everyone warned how it was especially fearsome because it was gathering strength over exceptionally warm waters made so by climate change. In fact, they were exceptionally cool waters and the surprise was that it became such a monster despite that.

Every time we hear, "it was the hottest summer since the year such and such," that means it was hotter in that year, and if anything, we are witness to global cooling, with lower highs. The stranded polar bear photo has admittedly been misrepresented, Al Gore's 'Inconvenient Truth' book has been lambasted for mishandling data to paint dire scenarios which have not panned out. To the extent emotion is the true driver in human affairs, Upton Sinclair's quote is the one to watch: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it." Big money is involved, either way, in climate change.

Me, I don't go there. It's not my cause. If humans are not ruining the earth in a Revelation 11:18 scenario via global warming, it is not as though they are too responsible to ever ruin the earth; it is that their combined activity is not powerful enough to do it. They are ruining it in plenty of other ways. To the extent 'ruining the earth' reflects the ruining the earth scenario of Genesis 6, it is not environmental factors at all being spoken of, but violence. Do we live in a violent world today? Tell me about it.

 

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No Need to Read Anything Into this Post. Good Luck if You Do. It is Just Me Playing

Call me Ishmael. For many years I sailed onboard the Pequod with the crazed Captain Rookoo in his maniacal search for Moby Geddon.

"Captain, whale sighting dead ahead!" seawoman Anna shouted out. "Maybe you're wrong!" Rookoo muttered and shoved her so violently that she toppled overboard, petticoats all aflutter.

"Captain Rookoo," seaman Gabworthy stated. "My calculations indicate a 78% probability of the while whale's proximity within 23 cubits. Of course, accuracy is necessary, but if you triumverate the trifecta intersect, the conclusion is justified. Look, if you will, at page 673 of 'Nautical Nocturnal Habits of Northern Hemisphere Mammals' that I brought from my private library, which along with others, explains why the entire ship lists six degrees. It clearly indicates (see chart) that...."

"Gag this fellow, and get him out of my sight!" roared Rookoo.

Moby Geddon breached and the consequent splash soaked every square inch of the vessel. "Captain!" seaman Dorsal shouted, "I sense the whale is near!" "Liar!" Rookoo shouted. "Throw him in irons below!"

"I'll handle that gladly sir, hehehehe." seaman Sreck responded.

Moby Geddon breached again and this time its tail caught the stern of the Pequod and spun it like a pinwheel. "Captain!" seaman Whitepebble cried, "Surely the whale is near!"

"Throw him to the sharks for calling me Shirly!" Rookoo bellowed. "I'll have respect here, do you hear?!"

"Now hear this, you scurvy dogs! I have a great job offer in Port Pogo, the best I've ever had, and I mean to get there straightaway. Don't cross me, or I'll have you walk the plank like I did seaman French and Kiss long ago!"


~~~***~~~



Perched high up in the mainsail crowsnest of the good ship PequodRedux, crewman Jack gazed at the horizon.

”Look sharp, up there,” First Mate Rookoo bellowed, “but not too sharp! I’m enjoying the best meal I ever had down here in the Pogo galley. Don’t screw it up!”

“Belay that order!” Captain Dorsal roared. “Keep on the watch up there! The dreaded pirate ship TerribleA is in these waters, trying to catch us with our pants down!”

”Yeah, whatever,” crewman Jack replied, as he removed his pants on account of the blistering heat. “This ‘keep on the watch’ stuff can be overdone. I’ll spot the TerribleA when its bow crashes through the deck and pinches my toes!”


~~~***~~~



“Aye, look ye sharp up there, Jack, for the approaching ship TerribleA! She’s out there! Oh yes, she’s out there!” ordered Captain Dorsal.

“But I forgot what I was supposed to do,” whined Jack.

”Very well, me lad. I’ll send Second Mate Gabworthy up there to give you some pointers about what to look out for.”

“NO! NOT HIM! I REMEMBER HOW TO DO IT. I WAS JUST FUNNING. I DIDN’T MEAN...” screamed Jack in a panic.

But it was too late. Second Mate Gabworthy joined him aloft, with his reassuring manner, he having sailed in the old days with Captain French and Captain Mustard. Aye, Gabworthy was his usual pithy self when he put his arm around the inexperienced sailor, and gave him some reminders, which ran pages and pages and pages.

Whale

 

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Who We Are, Why We Are, and Where are We Going

I used to love it when Watchtower publications would run that Vermont Royster quote. After remarking on how far we have come science-wise, he added: “Yet here is a curious thing. 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.”

It is pretty obvious why Jehovah’s Witnesses would love those words; they make clear that a shallow world of materialism will not do. You can even think those words every time a Kate Spade or Anthony Bourdain takes his life. Or anyone else. Suicide is all the rage today. People decide that ‘Hotel World’ has not that much to offer, and they line up at the counter to check out.

Isn't it a little missing the point when people look for the one factor, maybe social media, that is tipping people over the edge? Or suggest that it is all a matter of better mental health care? 

“For over half a century, as a journalist, author, and teacher, Vermont Royster illuminated the political and economic life of our times. His common sense exploded the pretensions of "expert opinion," and his compelling eloquence warned of the evils of society loosed from its moorings in faith,” read the citation when he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1986.

There are few things I enjoy more than exploding the pretensions of "expert opinions."

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)

Beasts, Kings, and Armies Up to No Good

Does anyone think that when Revelation 19:19 takes place -

"And I saw the wild beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the one seated on the horse and against his army."

people online will say it may just be that God is using or allowing people of 'the world' to punish or straighten out his people of this day.

It is a notion I hear from time to time from malcontents.

Does anyone really think the wild beast and the kings of the earth and their armies will say as they gallop: "We hate God! There will be none of HIM around here"?

I think they will not. They will say:

"We LOVE God. And even where we don't, we love people's right to worship if that is what they want. It's just that these JWs are doing it wrong and must be stopped."

If JWs are not the godly people who are "everywhere spoken against" (Acts 28) and who suffer people "lyingly saying every sort of wicked thing against them," (Matthew 5) and of you Jesus said "if they have persecuted me they will persecute you," (John 15) who would they say is?

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photo: Caton Woodville

 
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)

Put All Men on Leashes - #metoo

The #metoo will not end until - I mean, is it only me that sees those news shows with new age men on the end of leashes the women hold? 'Girliemen' I think Schwartzenegger called them.
 
When you come right down to it, isn't God the ultimate problem for making men and woman attractive to each other in the first place? What on earth was he thinking?
 
They behave at the Kingdom Hall. They hear about it if they do not. That will have to be enough for now. Good luck to the world enforcing its new rules, while overall continuing to hype sex at every opportunity.
 
Leash men
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)

Just Lacking a Few Duck Stragglers

A speaker at the 1974 District Convention in NYC held up the Daily News. Ford had just replaced Nixon and he wanted to psyche everyone up. Huge headlines read: 'Peace and Security!' "Have you seen today's headlines?" he cried.

It was irresistible. I would have done it, too.

One day will be THE day but it is hard to know up front which one it will be. It does add weight, however, that this world gets more unhinged with each and every passing day. Ducks were lined up back then, but only six or seven. Today the lineup is 195. Still waiting for a straggler or two.

How long does the experiment in human rule continue, before it is amply demonstrated a total failure in need of God's kingdom to strike the feet of iron and clay?

Will terrorists one day walk the streets like the cop used to walk his beat?

Will it come about that it is just as likely to see a pregnant man as a pregnant woman?

Will the species threaten to die out, because sex with AI robots so out-appeals the real thing?

Or will these scenes not need to play out? 8394384671_e2dd96f4b9_b

 

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)