The third in a series of articles commenting on an article from the August 2009 issue of the Awake! magazine that raises 6 points where they say that the churches have deviated from the Bible and where harm has been the result.
In the third and fourth points that were presented, the writers of the Awake! article bring up the subject of finances and the clergy.
In their sixth and final point, the writers of the Awake! article tell us, “6. When the laity are Biblically uniformed, they can be easily be misled by clerics. Indeed, history contains may examples of such abuses.”
To whom do Jehovah’s Witnesses owe their primary loyalty?
Jehovah”s Witnesses – a religion or a cultural organization?
A JW posted on AOL> Maybe because they didnt kill each other in the war of hatred ( ww1 ) millions of Gods trinity believing young men on both sides slaughtering one another on the orders of men in hatred. While the trinity believing clergymen blessed the guns and bombs for the quick destruction of their own brothers in Christ on the other side. Listen to Jesus rev 3:12 My reply> The Witnesses were not as neutral during those years as you might think. When there was some criticism leveled against them in Brooklyn regarding war bonds, an article was published in the May 15, 1918 Watchtower that said the following on page 152 (page 6257 in the reprints):
“The International Bible Students’ Association is composed of Christians. Every Christian gladly obeys the law. The United States has always stood for religious liberty and freedom of speech. Every Christian appreciates the privilege of living in such a country and gladly meets his obligations in the payment of taxes. When the Government asks to borrow his money and gives its promise to pay in the nature of a bond, if he can do so he should buy the bond. “The Association has no power to direct members thereof with reference to buying Liberty Bonds. It certainly will not and has not advised any one to refuse to buy bonds. That is an individual matter which each person must determine for himself according to his ability. The Association believes in supporting the Government in every way it can and each one should do so according to his ability and his conscience.’
The Watchtower also encouraged participation in the National Day of Humiliation, Prayer and Fasting that was held on May 30, 1918. The June 1, 1918 Watchtower contained an announcement that read:
“In accordance with the resolution of Congress of April 2nd, and with the proclamation of the President of the United States of May 11, it is suggested that the Lord’s people everywhere make May 30th a day of prayer and supplication.”
The end of that announcement is as follows:
“Let there be praise and thankgiving to God for the promised glorious outcome of the war, the breaking of the shackles of autocracy, the freeing of the captives (Isaiah 61:1) and the making of the world save for the common people – blessing all assured by the Word of God to the people of this country and of the whole world of mankind.”
There was also a group that broke away from the Watchtower during those years called the Standfasters. The issue over which they parted company with the Watchtower? It was the WTS LACK of neutrality. You can read more about them at Loyalty & the WTS Their lack of neutrality was one of the reasons that the WTS says it was in “Babylonish captivity” during those years. Their book “Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Divine Purpose” made the following statement on page 91: “With considerable misunderstanding they had accepted earthly political governments as the ‘superior authorities’ that God had ordained at Romans 13:1; and as a result the Witnesses had been held in fear of man, particularly the civil rulers.” Of course, since then they have re-adopted the view that the superior authorities of Romans 13:1 are the earthly governments. As usual, the WTS was not as squeaky clean in their past as they would have us believe these days.
On a trip to my local old bookstore, I came across a set of Bible story books with illustrations that looked very much like what I have seen in Watchtower Society publications for the past several years. A friend had told me about these books and gave me some references to some pictures that appear to have been plagiarized. …
In recent years, the “faithful slave” has encouraged Jehovah’s Witnesses to present their beliefs as though the Witness came to these beliefs as a result of their private study of the Bible. Here is an example
Here is a classic piece of Watchtower quoting. It is from the 5/15/83 Watchtower article “Earthquakes-A Sign of the End?” For years the Watchtower Society has tried to prove that part of the fulfillment of the ‘sign’ of the end of this system given by Jesus in Matthew, chapter 23 is an increased occurance of earthquakes. Since the Watchtower now teaches that the ‘time of the end’ began in 1914, it has tried to show increased frequency and strength of earthquakes. On page 6 the Watchtower says:
Some seismologists believe that the earth is now in an active earthquake period. For example, Professor Keiiti Aki of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology speaks of “the apparent surge in intensity and frequency of major earthquakes during the last one hundred years,” though stating that the period from 1500 through 1700 was as active. In the Italian journal Il Piccolo, of October 8, 1978, Geo Malagoli observed: “Our generation lives in a dangerous period of high seismic activity, as statistics show. In fact, during a period of 1,059 years (from 856 to 1914) reliable sources list only 24 major earthquakes causing 1,973,000 deaths. However, [in] recent disasters, we find that 1,600,000 persons have died in only 63 years, as a result of 43 earthquakes which occurred from 1915 to 1978. This dramatic increase further goes to emphasize another accepted fact-our generation is an unfortunate one in many ways.”
First of all, let’s look at the Watchtower’s quoting Keiiti Aki. The Watchtower says Aki ” speaks of ‘the apparent surge in intensity and frequency of major earthquakes during the last one hundred years,’ though stating that the period from 1500 through 1700 was as active.” This is a quote from a letter from Aki to the Watchtower Society dated 30 September, 1982. Here is the entire text of the letter:
This is in response to your inquiry about earthquakes [EC:ESH September 24, 1982]. The apparent surge in intensity and frequency of major earthquakes during the last one hundred years is, in all probability, due to the improved recording of earthquakes and the increased vulnerability of human society to earthquake damage. The main reason is the well established plate tectonics which indicates a very steady fault motion over the past many millions of years. A measure of earthquake strength more objective than casualty is the Richter scale. It is in general difficult to assign the Richter scale to earthquakes more than 100 years ago. An attempt, however, has been made in China, where historical records are kept in better shape than in other regions. Enclosed figures shows the Richter scale (M) of earthquakes in China during the periond of about 2000 years. The past 100 years are certainly active, but there have been periods as active as that, for example, from 1500 to 1700.
In a letter to Wolfgang Hebst and Carl Olof Jonsson dated 5 September 1985, Aki says the following (body of letter quoted in its entirety):
Thank you for your inquiry re my statement in Jehovah’s Witnesses. I feel strongly that the seismicity has been stationary for thousands of years. I was trying to convince Jehovah’s Witnesses about the stationarity of seismicity using the data obtained in China for the period of 1500 to 1700, but they put only weak emphasis on the published statement. Excellent geological evidence for the stationarity has been obtained by Prof. Kerry Sieh of Caltech, for the San Andreas fault.
So the Watchtower quoted Aki out of context in order to support a position exactly opposite to Aki’s. Copies of Professor Aki’s letters can be found in Appendix A of “The Sign of the Last Days – When?” by Carl Olof Jonsson and Wolfgang Herbst. Now, on to the Watchtower’s quote from the Italian magazine “Il Piccolo” of October 8, 1978. Again, here is how the Watchtower quotes Geo Malagoli of “Il Piccolo.”
“Our generation lives in a dangerous period of high seismic activity, as statistics show. In fact, during a period of 1,059 years (from 856 to 1914) reliable sources list only 24 major earthquakes causing 1,973,000 deaths. However, [in] recent disasters, we find that 1,600,000 persons have died in only 63 years, as a result of 43 earthquakes which occurred from 1915 to 1978. This dramatic increase further goes to emphasize another accepted fact-our generation is an unfortunate one in many ways.”
Now, take a look at an excerpt from the 2/22/1977 issue of Awake!
Interestingly, for a period of 1,059 years (856 to 1914 C.E.), reliable sources list only 24 major earthquakes, with 1,972,952 fatalities. But compare that with the accompanying partial list citing 43 instances of earthquakes, in which 1,579,209 persons died during just the 62 years from 1915 to 1976 C.E.
The 5/15/83 Watchtower is quoting the 10/8/78 Il Piccolo which is quoting the 2/22/77 Awake!