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.

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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.

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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.

 


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

 


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."


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

 

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.
 
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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

 


Is Not the Election a Godsend for Witnessing?

“Bob Corker...couldn’t get elected dog catcher in Tennessee, [and] is now fighting Tax Cuts,” Trump tweeted today. Corker shot back with the charge he has made before - that the White House is a day care center in need of better supervision.

Even the circuit overseer last week spoke of what to do if someone tries to draw you into a fight over 'that crazy Trump' - whether he thought Trump was crazy or was just quoting others is unclear. For the most part, our people know nothing of politics and when they weigh in at all, it is to say: "he's bombastic, and I try to be polite."

As far as I am concerned the election is a godsend - and it has nothing to do with Trump himself, but with the catfights it ignites among persons once thought reasonable. It used to be that if you quoted 2 Timothy 3:1-5 about people being 'fierce and unreasonable and not open to any agreement' and your householder did not agree that the verse applied now more than at any other time, there was not much you could do about it.

There still isn't, however the spectacle of supposedly smart people screaming at each other day in and day out makes it less likely they will deny it. Animal-1299573_960_720


Hit Me and You Die!

The shrewd student of God's word is not easily deceived by signs of the 'last days.' When someone points to shooting gallery terrorist attacks or imminent World War III, he smiles and moves on. He does not seize upon such low-hanging fruit. It is eye candy, which the evil one dangles before him so to watch him jump. It is an intended sucker punch, and he declines to insert his face in the path of the blow.

Instead, he follows the subtle pulse of day-to-day reality, and here he finds the proof - 1000 times - in doings so subtle that they miss entirely the attention of the average donkey. He recognizes, for example, that in the pond of urine he spies under every urinal lies sure proof of the decline of humanity.

In my entire life, I may have spilled two or three drops of urine. The principles of peeing have been understood from the days of righteous Lot. It is not rocket science - or if it is the propulsion theories behind it have long been mastered.

Another sign of the last days can be discerned driving the very highways and byways of the mighty country. One's eye casually drifts over to the guardrails, with the warm and fuzzy knowledge that if you should veer off the road, these mother hens of engineering with ever so gently nudge you back on the road to life, What a shock to discover a railing whose end might as well contain the words: 'Hit me and you die!" Image (1)

Dozens of highly educated engineers have okayed this latest advance in human protection. Scores of adminisrators after them. Experts in the field of public safety have said by the dozens: "I certainly see no problem with this design.' Hundreds of people have installed them and if they gave any feedback - they probably did - their higher-ups rejected it all because it came from untrained ignoramuses.

Third and the most telling sign of the last days being imminent is uncovered in the trade publications that monitor real estate and use of office space. In a tiny note on page 337 at the bottom right corner is a notation from the Office of the Devil that he has run out of special places in hell.


Rocketman

Imagine - calling the other guy Rocketman at the U.N. and getting the whole world to join in the refrain. How can you not give a thumbs-up when a guy does that? And then some kid comes along and photoshops an Elton John concert playing that very song, replacing John's head with Kim's, and inserts the huge video screen backdrop of North Korean rockets wheeling about, the shrill newscaster shrieking, the troops goosestepping - how do you expect any guy with a sense of humor to hold it together? It is as Paul said - the world is a theater.

The only thing that might check your hilarity briefly is the unpleasant thought that a misstep, for starters,  will result in half the planet up in smoke. But that is small potatoes.

Is it reckless? Tillerson certainly seems the more stable of the two, doesn't he? Unless they are both playing good cop/bad cop. And, to be fair, while everyone hopes for diplomacy, the diplomacy that has led straight up to the present situation and will presumably lead up to one where North Korean missiles are parked on your toes, should at least be mentioned as having worked out not that splendidly. Isn't there a Neville someone-or-other who favored negotiations back during another evil time? Or do I misunderstand even that? The trouble with history is that whenever you think you have something figured out, along comes someone from a different perspective to upend all your notions.

Meanwhile, it was Putin - mean, nasty, Chief Officer of Evil, His Wickedness, 'murderer and a thug' Putin - all that remains in the West is to photoshop him with Devil's horns, grinning ear-to-ear at his laptop as he hacks US elections - who supplied a key bit of understanding when he visited China. Sanctions will never work on North Korea, he said - Kim will see every single one of his people starved to death before he will give up on his nukes. Why? Because he knows about Libya and Iraq. Though Saddam swore up and down he had no weapons of mass destruction - which turned out to be exactly correct - that did not stop his enemies from taking him out and killing a family member or two in the process.

Look, he is not my friend - Putin. I mean, he hasn't exactly been nice to my people, Jehovah's Witnesses, lately, has he? But give credit where credit is due. He nailed it. Tellingly, when CNBC or someone covered that Chinese meeting - if Putin so much as tied his shoe there, they reported it - they covered every detail EXCEPT his statement about Saddam, thus allowing perception to stand in the US that Kim is completely unhinged - a perception he does nothing to clear up by his own pontifications - listening to him is not exactly like listening to John Tesh, is it?

Jehovah's Witnesses are neutral in the world's affairs for noble reasons - it is not God's idea for the world to be carved up into scores of squabbling factions ever playing 'King-of-the-Mountain" and he will soon act to  bring about his own kingdom replacement. However, another reason to be neutral - albeit a less noble one - is that it is almost impossible to get the truth on anything - you are forever acting in the dark - for every outlet spins 'truth' their own way according to their own agenda. Even Western media condemnation about calling Kim Rocketman must be weighed against their approval of calling Putin a murderer and a thug, a Senator's description that they picked up on and used freely. Is it wise to taunt him like that? Whenever in my house-to-house ministry I spot a murderer and a thug, I cross over to the other side of the street. Rocketman