Filling Jerusalem With All Your Teaching

God is our refuge and strength, A help that is readily found in times of distress. That is why we will not fear, though the earth undergoes change, though the mountains topple into the depths of the sea, though its waters roar and foam over, though the mountains rock on account of its turbulence.” (Ps 46:1-3)

There is a sense—not just among  JWs—but among many, that things are coming together as though in a grand finale. “Doomscrolling” is the newly coined phrase; people scroll through social media to read item after item announcing their doom, be it extreme weather, economic chaos, pandemic, protests, or riot. Fixtures as rocklike and dependable as mountains, “topple into the depths of the sea”—the sea which is alway restless and so well typifies human instability. The very “earth undergoes change” as sturdy human governments reveal themselves fragile, and unhinged zealots yank them this way and that. “Future historians will be asked what quarter of 2020 do they specialize in,” is the new meme. Applied to any other year, it makes no sense. Applied to 2020, anyone can identify with it.

Add to this factors which JWs will especially appreciate, though they will not be lost on all others. What are the chances that the one worldwide religion that categorically rejects participation in war in any capacity for any reason will be declared “extremist?” Yet such is the case in Russia, and Witnesses will recall a multitude of verses to the effect that “if they have hated me [Jesus], they will hate you.” Two of the nine Sermon on the Mount beatitudes have to do with being persecuted for staying true to the cause.

At the same time, suddenly the preaching work cannot be done in any sort of normal way, and in lieu of this it was mentioned some might have the tendency to say “We’re done,” and wait to see how events unfold. I mean, can you really “fill Jerusalem with all your teaching” (Acts 5:28, cited in last week’s study—it’s a two part series) when you are reduced to letter-writing and phone calls? It is a bit of a high hurdle.

As to making phone calls, one local brother addressed “fears”—“It’s not so much the fear of doing it as it is the fear of being ineffective” that discourages him. Dampening my enthusiasm is my own self-awareness. Under no circumstances do I answer calls from unknown numbers—scammers will eat you alive if you do that. Callers can leave a message if it’s legitimate. 

Don’t most people do that? It has evolved over time. Mike used to devour Consumer Reports; consequently, he knew whatever product telemarketers were trying to sell better than they, and he would tear apart whatever crappy item they were hawking—his wife said it was a real hoot to watch him. And I have taken the tip before to witness to these characters—the phony Microsoft people with the Indian accents were stopped cold when I did that—but to me it involves using the truth as an offensive weapon. It’s not what I do. Naw—there’s just too many of them and people have things to do. Easier just to mute the phone.

Too, I’ll gear up to write a letter but then reflect that if I write a post instead I’ll reach dozens, ultimately hundreds—and I’ll get feedback too, which doesn’t happen much with individual letters. So I confess my participation in these two areas has been scant—not nonexistent, but scant. When we did door-to-door I focused on Sundays and evenings because that’s when the most people are home—not only home, but relaxed. Sigh—now we are “fishers of men” as before, but with a fishing line so long that you can barely see the fish.

So it’s my bad. I’ll have to get more in sync because I don’t like not being so, and even as we speak I am. Still, I was surprised that the move would be to replicate virtually the physical territory and car group experience—I mean, letter writing is not really a group activity. I even thought the virus might result in breaking away from “counting time” which works for keeping records but also triggers artificial situations.

I thought, for example, that starting with one’s own phone number, one might text each successive number. With the same area code, they’re not likely to be too far away, and since it is all virtual, who cares if they are? It seems you could more readily “fill Jerusalem with your teaching” that way. But it didn’t happen. Fairly soon came the word that bad results had come that way; some had received abusive or apostate replies. Well, “deal with it” I thought—that can happen anywhere. Still, I texted no more. It is a little dicey throwing out your phone number to all anyway.

But if you really want to “fill Jerusalem with your teaching”—isn’t “trending” the modern term for this? And where do things trend? Through phone calls and letters? Or isn’t it through social media? I wish we weren’t so averse to it. It’s not that someone can’t do it, but if you say that you do it is a little like butchering that trumpet burst and everyone in the orchestra stares at you aghast. So I don’t say it, at least not much. If I had my druthers, though, it would be considered a glass half-full, rather than a glass half-empty.

There is an art to it, but so is there is to everything. It’s not everything, but must it be nothing? You have to friend or follow those in the general community and not just the brothers if you don’t want to be preaching to the choir. And you have to engage with them on their topics, not just yours, not the Bible alone, or you drive most away. It’s pretty much like interacting in the physical neighborhood in which you live.

I like it when brothers are seamless on social media with their faith and their secular life, putting it out there for anyone to see how their latter is influenced by their former. Few do it. It’s almost as though friends have separate languages for believers and non-believers, belaboring only the most basic scriptures for the latter and thus stunting their own spiritual growth if they are not careful. 

Add it to the mix is what I would like to see, not replace the mix with it. The idea is to be well-rounded. Huge possibilities exist with  with regard to linking to items in JW.org. For the most part, we leave them untapped. 

Now, don’t misunderstand. Saying I would like to see something is not the same as saying: “This is what they should do,” just as as saying you would like an X-box is not the same as saying people should give you one. Some brother a while back advised Bethel that they should be stockpiling food, and Anthony Morris chuckled at the thought of such unsolicited guidance: “Imagine—a brother telling the Governing Body that they should be hoarding up supplies,” he mused wryly. I don’t want him saying: “Imagine—that yo-yo TrueTom saying the Governing Body should dispatch the friends to Facebook and Twitter!”

I get why we don’t. Isn’t the internet of the equivalent of the broad roads “trampled on by men?” Aren’t there even a lot of swine there, so that you think of the verse: “Do not give what is holy to dogs nor throw your pearls before swine, so that they may never trample them under their feet and turn around and rip you open?”  (Matthew 7:6) Let’s face it—I mean, no one will dispute this—there are plenty of swine on the internet. Many many times I have witnessed nasty battling of the trolls in areas of polarized opinion and I have said how nice it is that we stay out of public catfights—it lends our work a certain dignity. But that was before the pandemic.

Why should haters own the internet? Take a stand and deal with them if they show up. Any troll is OCD and usually toxic. The greater world will counsel to avoid such persons, not just us. Ought we not be “always ready to make a defense before everyone who demands of you a reason for the hope you have, but doing so with a mild temper and deep respect?” (1 Peter 3:15) We run like scared rabbits from opposers. Dish them out an answer or two and block them should they get obnoxious. For the longest time I blocked no one by replying with a link to something I had written on whatever topic they were harping one, effectively answering their 30 words with my 1000–link to something on JW.org if you don’t have your own stuff, or even if you do. But one day they ganged up on me and I did end up blocking a few. Still, I am always surprised to find that I am blocked by opposers I have hardly interacted with—more of them block me than me them.

Ah, well. “The wise one is cautious and turns away from evil, but the stupid one is reckless and overconfident.”  (Proverbs 14:16) Maybe I’m just stupid—and impatient. I write this post within days of two heralded vaccine breakthroughs—Pfizer and Moderna each coming up with something 95% effective. If genuine, that’s huge—we are pestered to get annual flu shots that are never more than 50% effective, often much less. So there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Is it that of an oncoming train? Or is it genuine light during which we may brace ourselves for the next tunnel? Maybe we will be back door-to-door soon, or at least cart witnessing. And in the meantime, new skills have been developed. My wife has come to enjoy phone calls—she is quite good at it, and letter writing to professionals with the ‘What is God’s Kingdom?’ issue, such as is being done this month is a significant unified accomplishment. 

“This is the government that has health in it’s platform,” I wrote to one of them, “and not just health care.”

7E836A56-CE54-4A04-AC4A-EF72A087BE25

 

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 Who is Saved Come Armageddon?

Back in 1967, the year of the KM School for Elders held in Pittsburgh, were you to ask an elder “Will only JWs be saved at Armageddon?” he would most likely answer Yes, “but in a way that doesn’t make us look unreasonable.”

This is because Jehovah’s Witnesses are a “one true religion” faith. There are a lot of those around—not everyone maintains that “all roads lead to heaven”—and one firebrand of the Russian Orthodox Church—isn’t it Audrey Kuraev?—regrets that such a profession should be labeled extremist hate speech because there are factions in his Church that would like to say the same and now don’t dare. Extremist? If you say you are the one true Church and are wrong, just who is hurt? All that happens is you are left with egg on your face. And if you are right, you’ve provided a healthy heads-up.

Can it really be done—to answer yes “but in a way that doesn’t make us look unreasonable?” I am told (without evidence, as the phrase goes) that Jewish tradition holds as as the ark was lifting off the water and those treading it hollered, “Is it only you and your family that will be saved?” Noah was instructed to answer Yes, “but in a way that doesn’t make us look unreasonable.”

It is dicey topic, Armageddon is. It’s hard to put a smiley face on it, even if it does come with the caveat that “distress will not rise up a second time.” You should hear Vic Vomodog rail about how it means those of his old religion gleefully contemplate the slaughter of billions of human beings! Well—now that you put it that way...

But if you are a Bible believer, what are you going to do? There it is in numerous texts, not just in Revelation, but in such places as 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9, about how “you who suffer tribulation will be given relief along with us at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his powerful angels  in a flaming fire, as he brings vengeance on those who do not know God and those who do not obey the good news about our Lord Jesus.” It cannot be dismissed euphemistically as “tough love.”

Still, it is nowhere near as nasty as what churches have historically embraced down through the centuries—the doctrine of hellfire, which holds that for a few decades of wrongdoing a person will be punished forever! I’ll take a quick death at Armageddon any day over that gruesome fate. One knockout punch and you sleep forever.

Bart Ehrman, the Bible thumper who became the anti-Bible-thumper, but you can still see the Bible thumper in the anti-Bible thumper—comes from this “theology,” so that you can see why he might consider escaping it as having opened his eyes. If fact, in one of his lectures for the Great Courses (what were they thinking when they chose him?) he explains the really bizarre resurrection-of-the-dead notion that prevails among his former co-religionists—that the ungodly are raised so that God can rub their noses in the condemned course that they chose, after which they will be cast into hell forever and ever! How did it escape him (then or now) that “he who has died has been acquitted for their sin?” (Romans 6:7) God doesn’t do a “double jeopardy” on them. It is the course they choose upon their resurection that matters, not what they did in their prior life. Ronald Curzan of the JW organization explains it here:

As for Great Courses, they wouldn’t know a scripture if one bit them in the rear end. They just scan the roster of university professors, pick an esteemed one, and figure he must know what he is talking about. It is not their fault if it turns out that he doesn’t. Or rather, he does, but only according to the inadequate method of biblical examination he has chosen—that of historical scientific analysis. He is like a mechanic come to the job, his toolbox stuffed only with wrenches, when what is needed is a screwdriver. Rather than regret he doesn’t have the correct tools, he declares that if a wrench can’t fix it it is not a problem. To be sure, Great Courses somewhat redeems itself by selecting Luke Timothy Johnson for their series ‘The Story of the Bible,’ who examines it from a traditional approach and does not adopt the default position that it is human myth making.

The current answer to “Will only Jehovah’s Witnesses be saved?” is no longer ‘Yes—but to be explained so that it doesn’t make us look unreasonable.” It is “No,” followed by how to say such would be presumptuous, since only Jehovah can judge those who might be mentally disabled, children too young to make up their minds, etc. This is essentially the same answer, isn’t it, with caveats that can be greatly expanded. Last I heard, one out of everything three Americans are on some form of antidepressants or other psych medicine. Research has come to light that a child’s brain formation is incomplete even into their early 20’s. I remember how Ray Hartman the circuit overseer would come up on the platform with a stack of material to choose from, and toward the end of whatever talk he was giving he would comment on various items, seemingly choosing them as he went, and that this business of brain development into the 20’s was among them, or maybe he just told it to me in private, but it does come from him.

Well, the Witness organization can’t wiggle much, can it? What can it do but abide to the “one faith, one Lord, one baptism” of Ephesians 4:5? Don’t other faiths baptize? Yes, they do, but the ones who aren’t raising the ungodly dead just to say “Told ya so!” before tossing them into hellfire, Bart Ehrman’s former cohorts, are blasting infants with squirt guns these days on account of Covid-19. (as seen  on  India.com)9899BD98-22C2-4350-9685-8A990B4E5FC4

My daughter answers that question with: “Well—I’m not Jesus and I don’t know.” I suppose she picked up the spirit from me, but not the exact words. I recall saying in one talk: “Just how far removed can one be? A certain distance or not one millimeter?” adding that I did not know but I would operate myself according to the principle of James 4:17 that if one knew what was right and did not do it, it was a sin for him.

Probably a lot of brothers take solace that, as Jehovah spared Nineveh at the last minute with: “Wow—look how stupid there are! They don’t know their right from their left!” he will somehow cut many some slack in ways we can’t foresee. (Jonah 4:11) But the Watchtower can hardly say this, for that would be clearly speculative. What can they say other than “One faith, One Lord, One baptism?” So that is what they say, in the main.

I don’t lose sleep over it. It is enough for me to be occupied with holding up my end. I don’t concern myself with God holding up his. What happens happens—and of course, I will adjust to it. As Anthony Morris said when he was trying to sell a house—it was critically important for him to quickly have the cash for some reason I forget—and the deal came at virtually the last second, and he related how he would look up in prayer and say “Um—it’s getting a little tight here,” but then qualify his duress with “He’s God—He can do what he wants.” 

The spirit of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah is upon me, because Jehovah anointed me to declare good news to the meek. He sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the wide opening of the eyes to the prisoners, to proclaim the year of Jehovah’s goodwill and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn...  (Isaiah 61:1-3)

 

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)

Uniting the Four Fundamental Prophesies of Nature—Fulfilled with the Demise of Trump. (a Parody)

Q: Dear TrueTom: Do you have any new prophesies so that we can be ready for the Big Day?

A: Yes. Trump’s defeat has allowed me to discern the Mother of All Prophesies.

We have already established that 2020 is the year to end all years. The line “Future historians will be asked what quarter of 2020 do they specialize in” says it all, as does the coining of the phrase ‘doomscrolling’ during the year. What a villainous time!

But recentlyI have read several instances of: “Finally! Something good about 2020!”

The occasion, of course, is the election’s (presumed) outcome. They are partying in the streets over this. Church bells have rung in Paris—it is not just a U.S. phenomenon, but worldwide. Euphoria prevails for the first time in ages, at least among the victors—the losers are muttering.

Now, what prophesy forecasts an enthusiastic announcement of great news that breaks a long spell of calamity—and yet we know that beneath the veneer of optimism nothing has really changed? Bingo! It is the cry of peace and security.

Whenever it is that they are saying, “Peace and security!” then sudden destruction is to be instantly on them, just like birth pains on a pregnant woman, and they will by no means escape.” (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

To be sure, they are not saying those exact words just yet—but how far behind can they be? I’d give it till tomorrow, and then, the end being “instantly” upon them—figure Friday at the latest for the grand finale. Be sure to have your bags packed.

It is a stupendous breakthrough of prophesy that I (blush) have come up with all by myself, and I have applied for copyright. I am in no danger of the Jehovah’s Witness organization trying to steal this one from me—they don’t go in for thinking that prophesies are fulfilled in a single person. They know it is the play we are watching, not the actors in the play. Sometimes an actor ducks out, takes ill, or even dies. It makes no difference to the outcome of the play—they just stick in another actor who has all the lines memorized down pat. No, JW HQ will not contest me for this one, but you never know about the scrappy upstart prophets; we prophets are a very competitive bunch. The guy who made much of Ronald Wilson Reagan (3 names of 6 letters each—666!) will be a particularly sore sport over this I fear.

True, I have already established my supremacy over them with my explanation of how to pinpoint the year of the world’s end. Since no one knows the day or the hour, simply extend that to the year—since ‘day and hour’ is overly picayune—and then rule out any year that some yo-yo has claimed to be it. There’s only two of three left unclaimed, so one of them has to be the end year.

Still, to really put this prophesy out of reach of my jealous competition, let us not rest on the ‘peace and security’ announcement alone, impressive though that is. Let us seek to unify the four fundamental prophesies of nature into one grand prophesy. To do this, we must tie in minutia such as the 1260 days of the Book of Daniel. This should not be overly difficult. Simply count back 1260 to discover whatever outrageous thing the POTUS said that day and assign historical significance to it.

What of the 3 kings that are humiliated at Daniel 7:24? Don’t make me laugh. It’s a piece of cake, the only slight complication being that there may be more than three that vie for position. For my money, Merkel, Macron, and Trudeau are the three kings Trump insulted most spectacularly.

However, a prophet must be neither know-it-all nor dogmatic. As long as I get top honors for calling this, I am willing to entertain other suggestions for the humiliated kings. Wanna put Xi in there? Fox from Mexico?  Who can forget Rocketman? The ballots are not all counted yet and Merkel, Macron, and Trudeau may be supplanted before the day is done.

And what exactly are my credentials as a prophet? What evidence do I advance to validate my position? I’m glad you asked. When I was changing congregations, moving to one far away, the local brothers threw a party for me. They surprised me with a cake on which frosting was written Jesus’ timeless words: “A prophet is not without honor except in his home territory and in his own house.” (Matthew 13:57)

Did your brothers ever bake a cake for you?

9F79ACCA-8409-48B6-BCCE-4C7F852008AEPhoto: Susan Mohr

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)

Doomscrolling Through 2020 and Getting Out of the World

Here and there, blips appear to let us know where we are in the stream of time. The brand-new term “doomscrolling” is an example. It doesn’t need to be defined, does it? It is an update of just a few years back when reading the Drudge Report was likened to reading the Book of Revelation.

Too, there is the clever line of how future historians will be queried as to what quarter of 2020 did they specialize in. Distinct, groundbreaking, and disastrous events fill each quarter. It is hard to escape the feeling that something is being kicked into high gear.

Quarter 1: Pandemic appears out of nowhere and spreads throughout the globe within weeks. Society goes into lockdown. Financial markets plunge. Massive unemployment begins.

Quarter 2: People get fed up with lockdown—“lockdown fatigue.” Churches defy them. College students and the young in general defy them. Police shootings prompt yet other crowds to defy them. Hopes for vanquishing the virus disappear.

Quarter 3: Protests escalate to riots. Pro and anti Trump people fight each other in the streets—some are killed. Huge property damage ensures. Record-setting fires burn throughout western states, destroying whole towns, and the smoke dims Eastern skies. GOP and Democrats punt on helping unemployed as they did in the first quarter, opting blame each other instead for the suffering that results.

Quarter 4: The election. Never has been seen such incivility of opponents. Trump’s enemies warn he will not leave if he loses—he will have to be dragged out of the White House! Hillary tells Democrats to, under no circumstances, concede a loss come Election Day! Social unrest simmers. As much as a Covid 19 vaccine is heralded, only about 1/3 of population say they will take it. Have we seen the fallout of 2020 yet, or have we just seen the tip of the iceberg?

Who can say what the facts of Covid 19 are? They are spun every which way by experts of every stripe pushing their choice agendas — and which one is true is up in the air. Who can say what the science is or what we should do about it? My primary care doctor, during a recent physical, told me that the state “never should have shut down” and in so doing, “they didn’t follow the science.” Find one expert who says the science points this way, and with just a little bit of searching, you can find an equally credible expert who says it points the other way. 

Will masks save us? Will a vaccine be our deliverance? I have no clue. I don’t even like to slobber over “science” much anyway. It is the mantra for those intent on ruling the earth without God—they have no need for faith, what they idolize is science! Yet, the first thing “science” will do, if you give it center stage, is declare the fundamental underpinnings of Christianity, to say nothing of the Genesis account, to be hogwash.

I lay low because I’ve been asked to by the brotherhood. It is no more complicated than that. They’ve asked everyone to shift as much to the distancing model as possible, allowing that different ones will face different realities, so that it cannot be ‘one size fits all.’ Still, the entire Bell curve shifts in a direction thought safer. We’re not asked to distance on account of “science,” but because of love of neighbor and obedience to secular authorities. After all, if it turns out that social distancing unnecessary, but your neighbor is still scared senseless as you approach him, then how does that work out with witnessing being a fine deed? Laying low is hard on the young people, but for myself, releasing my inner hermit has the effect of simplifying my life. With half the things I once did now off the table, I savor more the first half.

Who can say that there will not be additional benefits in withdrawing from regular contact at a time when the world is, even by it’s own standards, losing its mind? Half the people are ready to jump down the throats of the other half these days. Humanity’s undoing is that there is no clearing-house trusted information source on anything. It is as Pew uncovered about politics—not only do people not agree on how to act in light of the facts, but they don’t agree on what the facts are. They do all they can to demonize those on the other side.

Here we are in 2020 and people seriously discuss the possibility of civil war in the United States, as they are fighting it out right now in several cities! In the United States! The last time there was talk of civil war in the United States was during the Civil War!

One begins to envision fulfillment of those verses that ‘each one’s hand will be against their companion’—just as a few years back it was observed that maybe the obsession with uber-violent entertainment was preparing people’s hearts for that eventuality—stoking up in them an affinity for gore. It might be well to take a back seat as that gets underway.

In that day confusion from Jehovah will be widespread among them; and each one ... hand will come against the hand of his companion.” (Zechariah 14:13) And God, in the dark time “will incite Egyptians against Egyptians, and they will fight one another, each against his brother and his neighbor.” (Isaiah 19:2) “Egyptian” as used here is code for the greater world—just as Revelation 11:8 cites Egypt as the place where the Lord was impaled. You know and I know he wasn’t really impaled there—it’s “code”—it’s “in a spiritual sense.”

It seems like not a bad time to “get out of the world” so as not to be caught in the crossfire. “In my letter I wrote you to stop keeping company with sexually immoral people, not meaning entirely with the sexually immoral people of this world or the greedy people or extortioners or idolaters. Otherwise, you would actually have to get out of the world.” Paul writes at 1 Corinthians 5:10, and he has to clarify just who he is speaking about, since it obviously is not possible to “get out of the world.”

Today it is! If you follow government advisories and go just a tiny nudge further, you all but have! And nobody saw it coming. Nobody foresaw a pandemic, and in case anyone did, no one foresaw how it would give an unexpected opportunity to get out of the world. One begins to wonder if it is not providential.

Here is someone just spotted on social media and he posts a picture of 2020 as though it were a children’s slide—and the slide he pictures is a cheese-grater at the bottom that the kid is about to slide into. The sick so-and-so! Still, everyone takes his point. Nobody says: “Nothing to see here, people. Move along, now. Why, from the days of our forefathers, all things continue exactly as from creation’s beginning.”

It is a good time to get to the bottom of Luke 21:26 and 31. People may “become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth,” but if you’ve prepped for it in a good way, “when you see these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near.” The call is still ongoing to benefit from the turnover.

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

The Last of the Last Days—Over the Top?

We are now in the last of the last days?

My wiseacre answer would be that I’m not doing nothing until we reach the last of the last of the last days. Why inconvenience myself unnecessarily? It’s the same as when over the years the pioneer hour requirement is progressively lowered, then such a thing as ‘auxiliary pioneering’ is concocted, then the hour requirement for them is over time lowered, then it is even devised how to lower it still more during months of special activity. “I’m holding out for 15,” I tell people when I’m feeling punchy. And I have both pioneered and auxiliary pioneered, and I have auxiliary pioneered in all its varieties. (When it was a new concept, I recall someone telling another that they could always ‘artillery pioneer.’)

But why be that way—a wiseacre? I forgive it all. It may sound a little clunky, but I forgive it. I even recommend it—or at least acquiesce to it.

Soon we’ll be away from here—step on the gas and wipe that tear away!” That’s what the Witness organization does. They step on the gas. They don’t sit in stuffy boardrooms discussing schematics of the car. The hop in the driver’s seat and drive that sucker! It is not an armchair activity for them. It is a participation sport, and they are not afraid to push pedal to the medal.

It is a little like Carl Jung after the Holocaust, his values shaken to the core, because he had lived during its horror and had read a lot about it, and so he completely misses the meaning of Job as he takes shots at God in ‘Answer to Job.’ Jehovah’s Witnesses, on the other hand, didn’t just observe it. They didn’t just read up on it. They endured it. They lived through it. They were sent to the camps well before the far more numerous Jews, and their integrity saw them though. 

So it is that the Witness organization today consists of doers to match their prowess as thinkers, maybe even outrunning it at times, convinced the latter will catch up. Do they counsel obedience for others? They are that way themselves. They obey first, then they think it through more thoroughly afterwards. Should this result in a clunky expression from time to time, so be it. They are not afraid to go all-in, and I so prefer them to the bland people of this system who cannot do anything without hedging. 

Nor am I not going to be forewarned by it. I’m not about to let my ‘sophistication’ cause me to miss out. They deal with and want to counter the opposite view: “Why, from the days of our forefathers, all things are continuing as at Creation’s beginning!” People are rocked by unheard of calamities today—and yet in no time at all they have adapted to them and accepted whatever is the latest outrage as ‘just one [more] of those things.‘ The urge to spiritual sleep is strong. One week it is some new obscenity that rocks people back on their heels. The next week, it is “Que sera, sera. What ever will be, will be.”

Maybe the best indication the Witness organization is on to something is the line I’ve seen on social media, and the avalanche of ‘likes’ it invariably attracts: “In the future, historians will be asked what quarter of 2020 do they specialize in.”

 

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)

Minneapolis Burns—How to Stop the Violence

I proposed (facetiously) in ‘No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash’ that there be ‘A Shooting Channel.’ Put all shootings on ‘The Shooting Channel’—white on black, white on white, black on white, black on black. Ban shootings on all other channels. Let viewers decide for themselves which ones are horrible and which ones are yawners. Otherwise, the media comes along later and starts a race war.

Beyond question, the current happening is horrible. Still, when it is shown 20 times a day—how can that not be seen as deliberately stoking rage that will result in cascading calamity to totally innocent persons. The tiny Minneapolis businesses burned out in the days following were predominantly minority-owned. I think it is not such a foolish statement to say that those who would stoke this rage are “the enemy of the American people,” extreme that the statement may at first glance appear. The wide-spread rage in Charlotte a few years ago was inflamed by reports of a white police officer shooting a black suspect, Lamont Scott. When it turned out that the cop was, not white, but black, this correction was barely noted—even though its absence ensured widespread violence.

It is an article of faith among the reformers of this system of things that “sunlight is the best disinfectant,” and that “When you shine the spotlight of journalism on this or that evil, the cockroaches disappear.” They may disappear, but that does not mean that they die. They just go elsewhere, and one is faced with the scriptural truth of Ecclesiastes 1:15: “That which is crooked cannot be made straight.“ ‘God’s kingdom come‘ such as Jehovah’s Witnesses proclaim is up to the task, but as for human efforts? The track record is not promising. More often than not, they take a horrible event and make it worse.

Along comes the #CultExpert to lambaste expressed determination to stop the spreading violence as “inciting violence” itself. Is it?

Violence is not a solution!” he said. “Powerful forces from outside the U.S. and from within are deliberately stoking conflict and division. @realDonaldTrump needs to be flagged by Twitter when he advocates violence. FB should change policies ASAP to protect our democracy.

What the POTUS had said that Twitter flagged was: “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” 

Said I to the Cult Expert: “I grant that he could choose his words more carefully—he is very much of a barroom brawler—but when cities are burning and when the small businesses of mostly minority persons are being destroyed, is it realLy “advocating violence” when he says as POTUS he means to restore order? I don’t understand this at all.”

Throughout history, there is scarcely an example of putting down riots with “love,” and the (black) mayor of Atlanta implored people to “go home”—they were “dishonoring the memory of George Floyd. Maybe Jesus could quell one with loving persuasion, but the CultExpert all but gags at his mention. He is a left-wing loon, methinks, and it damages his credibility. This personally works out well for me, because he calls Jehovah’s Witnesses a cult—along with a few score, if not hundreds, of other groups. He shoots his credibility with regard to them all, I think, and in some ways it is a shame, because some of them really do seem “out there.” But it is for them to defend themselves—it is not for me to investigate and do it for them. I might come to the conclusion that it is a lost cause. I only know about us.

But when you expand your definition of “cult” to include half of the country, as he does, it is a pretty good indication that you have drunk too much of the Kool-Aid yourself.

However, back to his tweet. Included in it was: “Powerful forces from outside the U.S. and from within are deliberately stoking conflict and division.” He seems to have got that right. Tweeted Sheryl Atkinson on May 30th: Minnesota officials: "Every person arrested last night was from out of state." Locals: "We don't know these folks." Exactly. But the two disagree on who those “powerful forces” are who are “deliberately stoking conflict.” Steve thinks it included those who want to put out the fires.

5D77FB3E-917F-44AA-B790-F63888D9204D

photo from: BusinessInsider.com

Shortly after my post, I was called out on it by one of my own people: “He’s advocating shooting the looters brother. That’s murder.”

When this happens from someone you have regard for—and since she is a spiritual sister, I do—you do not go for the jugular such as is the pattern on social media. You strive to see the other point of view:

“Would the one murdered agree that those looting and burning are his ‘brothers’ honoring his name? I’m not so sure. But these are incendiary times. Other views exist. I said what I said but I would not pursue it online any further. Man doesn’t have the answers and anything done is shooting himself in the foot one way or the other. If people see if differently, I have no problem with that. They may be right. Thanks for your message.”

She: “I hesitated to reply. Didn’t want to publicly. If the police or civilians shoot looters for looting...we’ll that’s murder. The President advocated this on Twitter. There are people who would take this tweet as permission to shoot on sight. Dangerous to say the least. Anyway....I don’t get involved with politics, but pay attention to what is going on. Don’t agree with Hassan often, but he’s right about twitter flagging Trump. IMO.“

Okay. I did say that he might have chosen his words more carefully. Still, it did not occur to me that the tweet might be taken as an invitation to vigilante justice. Maybe it should have. Maybe if I had my sister’s formative background—whatever that might be—it would have.

Jehovah’s Witnesses do this all the time with each other—take a preliminary position and them immediately walk it back when it finds opposition. The reason they can do this so readily is that they realize that this life is not the “real life” of 1 Timothy 6:19. Don’t take it into the Kingdom Hall. Ideally, don’t form views in the first place—“must.stay.neutral” tweeted another brother, implying it would not be a piece of cake for him—but if you are a flesh-and-blood person who takes in information, that is much easier said than done. For that reason, there are many brothers who do not take in information, and I do not criticize them for that. It is far easier to stay neutral that way, though it does compromise your ability to relate in the ministry. It is another reason that I do not append a link to the JW website on any of my social media profiles, something many brothers seem to feel almost obligatory to do. Everyone has his own way of looking at things and even his own quirks—if you link to the website it suggests you got it from them.

Meanwhile, from another quarter entirely, Mr. Admin noted that “the 17-year-old who took the video of George Floyd being suffocated and killed by police on Monday...[who] took the video as proof of police brutality and the pain felt by thousands of people around the country...has been receiving numerous questions about why she didn't fight off police for the duration of the 10 minute video depicting police kneeing Floyd in the neck. In her response, she says that she was scared as a 17-year-old to attempt to fight off any cops or help Floyd.”

Me: “That strikes me as not a bad answer from a 17 year old. Everyone has a smart phone these days and it is in the culture that if you see something you record it. It is the fellow cops who saw fit to not interfere that you have to wonder about.“

 

 

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)

Woodstock and the Pandemic—Were We Crazy Then or Are We Crazy Now?

If you are a baby-boomer and you come across an article about Woodstock, you drop everything and you devour it. You swoon and sigh about the ‘summer of love.’ You lament that life somehow veered off that wonderful path—so full of promise. This is all very frustrating to me because I don’t think it is that way at all, but it is what it is. The tea kettle will boil dry and the metal turn white-hot while you are transported back to the day.

The water was long-gone, but my tea kettle had only reached red-hot when I came across a remarkable fact about Woodstock, from an article in the New York Post. It was held in the midst of a pandemic!—during the in-between lull, the type we are said to be in now with COVID19. The first wave had died down, and the second was yet to come. Before it was all over, H3N2, the ‘Hong Kong flu’ would take 100,000 lives in the United States and from one to four million worldwide. Yet the Woodstock show went on. It is described by an attendee who spent 4 days covered with mud and dreamed most of all of taking a hot shower.

The article is entitled, “Why American life went on as normal during the killer pandemic of 1969.” The New York Times described that illness as “one of the worst in the nation’s history.” So it was not a nothing-burger. From the article:

“Both [COVID19 and H3N2] viruses spread quickly and cause upper respiratory symptoms including fever, cough and shortness of breath. They infect mostly adults over 65 or those with underlying medical conditions....During both pandemics, horror stories abounded — from the bodies stored in refrigerated trucks in New York last month to corpses stored in subway tunnels in Germany during the H3N2 outbreak. Those who had H3N2 and survived describe a health battle that sounds eerily similar to COVID. “The coughing and difficulty breathing were the worst but it was the lethargy that kept me in bed,” said one person who survived it.

A few schools shut down for lack of teachers, but otherwise—“It was like the pandemic hadn’t even happened if you look for it in history books,” [one person recalls]. “I am still shocked at how differently people addressed — or maybe even ignored it — in 1968 compared to 2020.” The virus rarely made front page news then, whereas all other news has been suspended today for coverage of COVID 19.

Now, what are we to make of this? Were we crazy then, or are we crazy now? Did we drive the economy over a cliff for nothing? Or should we have driven it over a cliff back then?

“Fact-checking” is in vogue today. USAToday did that and pronounced the story true:

“The Woodstock festival of 1969 did occur amid a global pandemic and no stay at home orders were enforced. However, (1) the concept of social distancing was not yet accepted practice among public health experts and (2) the 1968 flu pandemic was not as deadly as other diseases. (3) Lawmakers also did not face serious public pressure to slow the virus, as (4) the nation's attention was focussed elsewhere. We rate this claim TRUE because it is supported by our research.” [inserted numerals mine]

It is possible to surmise that human wisdom today has enforced a cure that is far worse than the disease. Item 2 remains to be seen—thus far, COVID has claimed about 300,000 lives, and H3N2 up to 4 million—but it is not over yet and measures taken have undoubtedly reduced the spread. Items 1 and 3 might  turn out to be ludicrous examples of ‘human wisdom’ gone awry, inept as it is unyielding, and item 4 might have been a good thing—a circumstance that ensured worldwide economic depression did not occur in 1969 but had to wait until our time. Remember, economic depression is a serious matter in the Western world, but it mows them down like grass in the developing world.

The COVID disease is bad, but is the cure worse? Either scenario fits in with the Jehovah’s Witness narrative, but the second fits even better. Is COVID the deadliest plague since the Spanish flu of 100 years ago? Well, that certainly fits in with Luke 21:10-11, doesn’t it?

“Then he said to them: ‘Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in one place after another food shortages and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and from heaven great signs.’” Got it. The nations battle mightily and with all the tools of science, but even so they cannot halt the great woe. The scenario  ‘works’—in fits in with the end-time prophesy.

But the second scenario ‘works’ to a far greater degree: The nations guided by their human wisdom and veneration of ‘science’ might have taken a bad situation and made it twenty times worse, crashing down the facade of competent self-rule upon their heads. At least Sampson knew what he was doing—he wanted the grand house to crash upon him.

What is the play that we are watching today? What is the reason that God did not destroy the rebels of Eden? Every Witness of Jehovah knows it—He allowed them time to make good on their claim that independence from Him would turn out well. It is like the JW organization’s video of the snotty kid who insists he has a better way. The teacher hands him the chalk. The more spectacularly that kid fails, the more convincing the answer to his taunt. Thus it is that when Jehovah declares an end to the grand experiment of human self-rule, he need not indulge the next rebel who knows it all. “Distress will not rise up a second time,” the verse says.

As for Jehovah’s people, they are “those making use of the world [but] not using it to the full; for the scene of this world is changing.” They go light on what the world offers. They have simplified their lives. If some offerings are taken off the table, well—they can adapt because they never put their trust there to begin with. But those of the greater world are beside themselves as they see everything they have worked for and trusted in being stripped away. They are not “all in this together” because it affects some greatly and others hardly at all.

Much boils down to trust in leaders and there is little of it in the greater world. There is the expression ‘Never waste a crisis’ It is the suspicion that various parties are trying to bring in permanent societal changes under the guise of fighting a temporary woe that gets people riled. What amazes me is how people ‘are not open to any agreement,’ as the verse says, and the damage done by COVID may be done not so much by the virus itself but by the furor it unleashes as to how best deal with it.

 

3369866E-C39D-4CE4-A6C5-21A06E9DF7FC

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 Judgment Message—What’s With That?

That meme floating about the internet that brothers will latch on to in a heartbeat—is it true?

A brother named Hermann who is a bus driver in Central Berlin overheard two passengers talking: "This virus is just the beginning. Something big is going to happen, something extremely worrying. The proof is right in front of us. There are no more Jehovah's Witnesses around. They are usually everywhere, at the train station, walking around, at every public place with their carts and magazines. And now, nothing. Mark my words, something big is coming." 

It’s not impossible that it really happened that way. The Jehovah’s Witness public ministry has been uninterrupted since its inception, so for it to be interrupted now—well, I can easily see how some might latch onto that as significant. On the other hand, our brothers are ever wont to dress up a story to add a pious twist to it. Perhaps what was said was: “Thank God those pain-in-the-neck Witnesses aren’t around anymore!” Time will tell.

At any rate, the JW organization puts forth no effort to make hay out of the pandemic. There is no effort to say: “Here it comes—it’s the Big One! We told you so!” No. Not a bit of it. (probably confounding the anti-cultists) Instead, its lead post is about how to cope with isolation and loneliness, with so many practical links as to win praise from mental health people—for it is mental health that is under assault today.

I don’t know about you, but it suggests for me some things about the ‘judgment message.‘ If you were going to launch an unprovoked ‘judgment message.’ wouldn’t now be a good time to do it, with a pandemic that nobody’s seen the like of for 100 years, that appears out of nowhere, that upends life worldwide, and that may crash the entire worldwide financial system—that greatest of all mountains that nonetheless has thus far proven as resilient as paper mache. Yet there is nothing but helpful pointers on coping with isolation, along with making use of the time to improve (or even begin) one’s spirituality.

The Regional Convention of 2016 made mention of a ‘judgment message.’ In one of the videos, we learned of how so-and-so gave out when he was too chicken to take part in that work. Maybe I hadn’t been paying attention, but for me it was the first specific reference in a long while—maybe ever. And—C’mon! face it—it’s hard to envision it per se. “Nyah Nyah—told ya so!”—no, I cannot picture it:

Good morning, sir. My companion and I have just stopped by to deliver a message of judgement. Brother Silhouette, would you read Revelation 23:5?”

“Yes....um, that’s Revelation 23:5: ‘Your goose is cooked.’”

“Thank you, Brother Silhouette. Now—would you like that goose well-done, medium, or rare?”

No, it just cannot be. There is reference in Revelation to hard-hitting judgements from God. And there is reference to the message that is good news to believers—that same message triggers hostility in non-believers because they take it as judgment. Paul speaks in 2 Corinthians 2:15 of those, himself included, who preach the good news: “For to God we are a sweet fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the latter ones an odor of death leading to death, to the former ones a fragrance of life leading to life.” When malcontents went bonkers over the Governing Body’s first update of the pandemic, given in the person of Brother Lett—“How could they object to that?”—I had thought, it is not because they had read judgment into it?—even though that was not the intent of the message.

Maybe the ‘judgment message’ is something like that—reading judgment from the message that is good news for everyone else. But in view of the Regional video that seems to ramp it up a bit, combined with decidedly not going there in times of global plague, economic chaos, and governments hamstrung over how to cope—a scenario presents itself that what judgment message there is will be akin to the Witness organization’s telegram to Hitler: “Your ill- treatment of Jehovah’s witnesses shocks all good people of earth and dishonors God’s name. Refrain from further persecuting Jehovah’s witnesses; otherwise God will destroy you and your national party.”

 Maybe it will be something like that. It is a possibility that presupposes an attack upon those keeping faith, but then the Bible foretells just that scenario.

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)

Trump, Covid, JW HQ, and ‘Rex’s Gas n Go’

In any crisis situation it is tremendously socially destructive to continually take shots at whoever is taking the lead. Regardless of who is is, where he came from, or how he came to be—there he is and you’re stuck with him. You cannot make things better but you sure can make them worse. Anyone socially responsible will point to the reassuring fact that the Pres generally allows his advisors to talk him out of rash statements. Though, sometimes he fires them. Just ask Rex Tillerson, once CEO of Exxon, now proprietor of ’Rex’s Gas n Go,’ unable to reclaim his top spot since board members were unfavorably influenced by the President‘s tweet that he was ‘dumb as a rock’ and ‘lazy.’
 
Without a fuss, simply in order to keep things moving, The POTUS signed off on legislation that would ensure that the family business doesn’t get a dime. Since the hospitality industry in general IS eligible for help, it seems to me no more than a matter of spite, but he yielded to it on account of the emergency.
 
Trying to shift blame, the mayor of New Orleans say she would have shut down festivities had only Trump warned her. I’m not so sure. Isn’t she one of those who, when he says anything else, claims he is full of you-know-what? Probably she’s just  trying to cover her own rear end—the oldest trick in the book. No, really—the oldest—since Adam’s response to being called for eating from the tree was “the woman you gave me, she gave me the fruit and I ate.” With the only other two living beings against him—three if you count the devil—what chance had a good ol’ boy like he?
 
Meanwhile, Jehovah’s Witnesses just play along. It makes things so much easier. Direction from HQ (in the United States) is that there be no meetings of more than ten persons, less if local officials decree it, but not more if they do not. Additionally, a letter a read, leaving matters to family heads since every circumstance is different, urged members to take most seriously all government suggestions on social distancing—and if one is in a high-risk group, seriously consider the recommendation to stay in place, not venturing outside at all till this blows over. The two Bible verses to serve as theme texts were ‘love you neighbor as yourself’ and ‘show obedience to the superior authorities.’
 
Will it? Probably. At the liquor store—no, not for my daily run, but looking for Memorial wine—I observed of ‘crazy times that no one saw coming’ that it is ‘almost biblical.’ But the young clerk allowed that to be probably an overstatement and I didn’t press he point—he may be right. But it also is not exactly ‘one of those things,’ since no one in 100 years has seen anything like it.
 
Outside among those who you think you be the most responsible, bickering is the order of the day. Look, it is one thing not to board the lifeboat because you think the ship is not going down. It is another to think that it possibly is, but it is STILL more important to apportion blame first.
 
Now that I think of it, it is also very strange, and no, I am not coming out as a true prophet over it, that 100 years exactly separate the capsizing of the two oceanliners so symbolic of their respective ages, AND almost 100 years exactly separate the two latest significant plagues in modern times: the Spanish flu in 1918, and the ‘Chinese’ virus in 2020.
 
JWs have a mindset that enables them to adjust and cope. If the Covid is the Spanish flu updated, well—then an easy explanation present itself. But if it is not—if it is triggering a huge overreaction as some maintain, and the edifice of human financial world should crash—well, how telling that something seemingly so mighty should prove so fragile. Everybody throws in their two cents and you have to ignore the meddlers because there is never an end to them. Otherwise, shelter in place to the degree possible, which is almost 100% for me. An overreaction? Maybe, but if so it is just one more nail in the coffin of those who think human governments have the wisdom to rule
 
A00F7C79-504D-423C-ADE5-CF651803369C
 
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)

They Didn’t Sensationalize this Virus Even a Little Bit, Much Less Use it to Scare People

There are faithful sisters (and brothers, too) who must cope with opposed, sometimes even apostate, mates. One of those mates posted:

“I told my wife that maybe there will never again be meetings as before. I hope the JWs will wake up and start to examine the scriptures seriously and search what all this could lead to.”

In fact, it looks like meetings are pretty much going on with barely a hiccup. They have simply switched to conference-call software, with telephone tie-in for any not up to speed on this. Rather than take his self-predicted five years—he has styled himself as sort of a prophet, unusual for today’s ‘apostates, who mostly go atheist—to make himself even more insightful and pure than he already is, maybe he should repent if possible and try to get into that new format with his wife rather than being a drag that she must contend with.

Our congregation will start with the conference calls at this mid-week meeting, Zoom in our case. (We will meet in Zoom Rooms—who would have thunk it?) Over the weekend we streamed it from apparently one of the Bethels. I could not help but think how the contents would have been disappointing to any ‘anti-cultist’ because there was not a bit of alarmism and everyone treated the virus threat as just one more run-of-the-mill challenge to adapt to. Referred to several times in comments, it wasn’t even called the ‘Chinese virus.’ They didn’t get into any squabbles as to whether they should be able to describe it that way or not—since it gets some all incensed, they avoided the term, and just said virus or Covid 19 or Corona or whatever. It is so much like this world to ‘taunt’ the other side, deliberately getting them going usually for the sake of put down, if not ridicule, but they didn’t stoop to that for a moment. It almost made me ashamed that I do stoop to it (but probably not ashamed enough to stop), though I am trying to restrain myself, not always easily.

They didn’t sensationalize this virus even a little bit, much less use it to ‘scare’ people. It easily could be used that way. They didn’t. Not even a hint of it. So I will—just in a speculative bent, you understand, no more.

For the longest time we have said our preaching will end someday. What if this turns out to be it? It’s not impossible, though no one suggests it. I expect this to blow over and normal preaching and activities will resume, but there is no reason to accept that as a foregone conclusion. What if the world leaders who just assume you can shut down the entire world economy and start it up again are wrong, and instead another worldwide Great Depression ensues? Then deaths then will dwarf anything that the virus itself brings on, including many a suicide. Will people endure it as resolutely as they did 90 years ago? I wouldn’t hold my breath, not with the belligerence and non-cooperation that defines the overall culture today. And wouldn’t that be a decisive verdict to the facades men have erected? The worldwide financial bedrock system, that everyone depends upon and have taken for granted will endure no matter what—dissolving so easily in the face of what might well be an overreaction to a virus only two or three times more nasty than the regular flu—bad, to be sure, but not nearly as bad as the devastation triggered in the all-out war to contain it, a war that leaders can only hope will be won but do not know. As that mighty structure crumbles, who knows what efforts nations may resort to in their desire to shore it up?

Then all these ones on the outside lambasting the Witness organization every time one of them so much as farts may begin to feel less comfortable. For the Witness brotherhood appears to be holding up pretty well, and it is holding up well independent of material assets. If worse comes to worse, you can run the whole program from a server in Brother Lett’s dorm room. It might even be that conditions could devolve to Acts 2 mode, in which Christians are physically caring for the needs of others. If you have kept yourself plugged into the brotherhood that, with all its flaws, is one run on love, you will be able to weather whatever shaking of the world is going on. Those who were there but have deliberately put themselves outside it and are united in nothing other than finding fault—of them I am not so sure.

A speaker quoted from Numbers 12 recently. “Face to face I speak with [Moses], and not in riddles. Why then, did you not fear to speak against him?” Yes, I know, I know—those taking the lead today are not Moses, but I am not so unfearful to declare they are not filling exactly the modern role that he did the ancient. Yes, they are not Moses, but then Moses was not Moses in the eyes of his critics. What were they murmuring about? His Hittite wives. He really did have Hittite wives. It was not an invalid complaint. God accepted him anyway and struck down those who would rise up against him.

I can easily extrapolate, based on the snarling hate expressed by some for the theocratic organization, and current events showing that opposition shifting into high gear, most notably in Russia—I can envision that attack on the city ‘existing without bars’ and ‘the city that seems open to plunder’—I can easily envision it—not as a slam-dunk gonna-happen-now, but certainly as a possibility. Will religions in general hold onto their own as JWs hold on to theirs? Time will time, but I’m dubious. How many will so easily switch to new methods of keeping in touch? How many are so organized into not just congregations, but groups within congregations, so that no one other than those who willfully keep their distance is overlooked?

Revelation presents scenarios of people ‘warring against God’ and one can’t help but wonder: ‘Who would be stupid enough to do that?’ Now some scenarios emerge. ‘Do not meddle with these men so that you may not be found actually fighters against God,’ Gamaliel said. It was enough to dissuade the Sanhedrin. ‘Forget that!’ enemies say today as they go in for what they imagine is the kill.

The view of the humanists is that human solutions must prevail, and they are livid that any would look to another source. They are livid that any would put their trust in anything else. They attack and put the most ridiculous interpretation on Letts’ words about what doesn’t bother him at all, because they can’t stand what he looks to for salvation. To one of these characters ranting about how Lett uses calamity to ‘exploit’ members with fear so as to keep them in line, I said that ‘the entire premise of the faith is that we are living in the last days of this system of things in which difficult times will prevail. To point to evidence of that does not frighten them; it strengthens them—it validates their faith.’

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)