Elder father sent me an email about Feb 2012 WT - my resposne

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    TheStumbler posted Wed, 04 Jan 2012 13:00:00 GMT(1/4/2012)

    Post 35 of 192
    Joined 12/19/2010

    I'm not sure if any of you will remember but I posted on here six months ago about a correspondence I was having with my dad, an elder, about who would die in Armageddon. I was asking some tough questions about children being killed in Armageddon and I could tell he uncomfortable with the answers he was giving.

    I drafted an email in resposne to his email but in the end I decided not to send it in the interest of maintaining friendly relations.

    Last week, out of the blue, my dad sent an email link to the February 2012 Watchtower article about Armageddon and said it would answer some of my questions.

    Here is my response which is a critique of the Feb 2012 WT article and some of the broader ethics concerning 'Armageddon'. Like before, I'd appreciate any feedback and constructive criticism

    maninthemiddle posted Wed, 04 Jan 2012 13:11:00 GMT(1/4/2012)

    Post 573 of 838
    Joined 10/5/2009

    Looks like something is missing, I would like to read it, please try it agiain.

    TheStumbler posted Wed, 04 Jan 2012 13:25:00 GMT(1/4/2012)

    Post 36 of 192
    Joined 12/19/2010

    Thanks for providing the link, I read through the article with interest.

    My questions were; who will die at Armageddon, will this include children and if so why would a loving God kill innocent children.

    Regarding who will die at Armageddon, the Feb 2012 Watchtower article states that at least millions will die:

    ‘The prophecy in Revelation speaks of a time in the near future when Satan and the demons will motivate human governments to assemble their armies, thus issuing a defiant challenge to God’s interests. The attack will result in the death of millions of people when God defeats the invaders.—Revelation 19:11-18. (Watchtower February 2012)

    The article also states that Armageddon will savemillions of lives:

    ‘The war of Armageddon results in the saving of millions of lives. In fact, it is a prelude to a period of peace on earth.—Revelation

    21:3, 4.’ (Watchtower February 2012)

    There are over 7 billion people on this planet so saying that millions will die and millions will survive says very little – it could mean that 7 billion people will die or that 7 billion will survive.

    So, the Feb 2012 article does not definitively state how many will survive or be killed in Armageddon but does hint at who might survive or die:

    ‘In fact, God’s Word long foretold that Jehovah will destroy the wicked. (Proverbs

    2:21, 22; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9)’ (Watchtower February 2012)

    God will defend good people from those who would crush them (Watchtower February 2012)

    These are weasel words because ‘wicked’ and ‘good’ are subjective and open to interpretation. Take me for example, Am I good or wicked? I would say I am mostly good but some evangelical Christians or Islamists would probably describe me as thoroughly wicked.

    I think the Watchtower is guilty here of speaking out of both sides of its mouth because it using language that has a double meaning – one meaning to the public and another to Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    For example, under the heading ‘What lasting effect will this confrontation have’ the February 2012 Watchtower states that a ‘great crowd’ will survive the Armageddon:

    The book of Revelation talks about an unnumbered “great crowd” who will survive this conflict. (Revelation 7:9, 14) Under God’s guidance, these will help to restore the earth to the Paradise conditions that Jehovah originally purposed. (Watchtower February 2012)

    To most public readers of the February 2012 Watchtower, ‘unnumbered great crowd’ is vague and non-specific but implies many people, perhaps most people, however to Jehovah’s Witnesses it has quite a different meaning:

    ‘There would be "a great crowd" out of all nations who would not experience death but would have the prospect of living forever on earth. Are you among them?...The great crowd support the small number of those with heavenly hopes, who take the lead in the preaching work. Those of the great crowd are pictured as being marked for survival. (Ezekiel 9:4-6) "The mark" is the evidence that they are dedicated to Jehovah, baptized as disciples of Jesus, and involved in cultivating a Christlike personality’ (Worship the Only True God (2002) p.124)

    Only those ‘marked’ for salvation will survive into Jehovah’s new system. (Ezek. 9:2-6) (KM 10/87 p. 8 par. 7 Help Others to Dedication and Baptism)

    The Watchtower clearly identifies its members of the ‘Great Crowd’ since it teaches that it has ‘The Truth’ and that all other religions are false.

    So, the February 2012 Watchtower is trying to appear moderate to members of the public by saying that only ‘wicked people’ will die in Armageddon. Most members of the public would consider ‘wicked people’ to be rapists and murderers but how does the Watchtower define ‘wicked’ people?

    Evidently, the Watchtower views all those not associated with Jehovah’s Witnesses as wicked because in other Watchtower literature it quite clearly states that only Jehovah’s Witnesses will survive Armageddon:

    "Only Jehovah's Witnesses, those of the anointed remnant and the "great crowd," as a united organization under the protection of the Supreme Organizer, have any Scriptural hope of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil." ( Watchtower 1989 Sep. 1 p.19) "Similarly, Jehovah is using only one organization today to accomplish his will. To receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradisewe must identify that organization and serve God as part of it." ( Watchtower 1983 Feb. 15 p.12) "Is it presumptuous of Jehovah's Witnesses to point out that they alone have God's backing? Actually, no more so than when the Israelites in Egypt claimed to have God's backing in spite of the Egyptians' belief, or when the first-century Christians claimed to have God's backing to the exclusion of Jewish religionists." ( Watchtower 2001 June 1 p.16)

    This appears to be current teaching as of 2006:

    "During the final period of the ancient world that perished in the Flood, Noah was a faithful preacher of righteousness. (2 Peter 2:5) In these last days of the present system of things, Jehovah’s people are making known God’s righteous standards and are declaring good news about the possibility of surviving into the new world. (2 Peter 3:9-13) Just as Noah and his God-fearing family were preserved in the ark, survival of individuals today depends on their faith and their loyal association with the earthly part of Jehovah’s universal organization." ( Watchtower 2006 May 15 p.22 "Are You Prepared for Survival?" Paragraph 8)

    I know you disagreed with me when I made this claim in my email last year:

    The Watchtower teaching on this seems fairly unequivocal to me, only Jehovah’s witnesses will survive Armageddon and even the babies of worldly people will perish. Your understanding is different to mine on this matter

    (my words in itallics, your words in bold)

    But the Watchtower literature speaks for itself. Is your understanding of the Bible different than that of the Watchtower?

    So, this leads onto my original question, if only Jehovah’s Witnesses will be saved, how many will be killed?

    There are over 7 billion people in the world and only approximately 7 million Jehovah’s Witnesses. Jehovah’s Witness make up only 0.001% of the global population and so, according to watchtower teaching, 99.999% of the population, some 7 billion people, will be killed in Armageddon.

    I previously asked you if the children of the ‘wicked’ will also be killed in Amrageddon and you could not give me a straight answer at the time.

    The February 2012 Watchtower article you sent me does not address this question however previous publications have:

    What will happen to young children at Armageddon? The Bible does not directly answer that question, and we are not the judges. However, the Bible does show that God views the young children of true Christians as "holy." (1 Cor. 7:14) It also reveals that in times past when God destroyed the wicked he likewise destroyed their little ones." ( Reasoning from the Scriptures pp.47-48)

    According to a Unicef report in 2005, there are approximately 2.2 billion children in the world so Armageddon will likely involve the slaughter of approximately 2.2 billion children.

    Previously you agreed, in principle, that punishing children for their parent’s wrongdoings is wrong:

    “If you were found guilty of murder by secular authorities would it be morally justified that not only were you imprisoned for the offence but your children as well? No To extend this analogy further; imagine you lived in a state which exercised capital punishment. Would it be morally justified that, if convicted of murder, your children (even if infants) were executed right before you? No What if the crime punishable by death was not just murder but failing to be a member of a particular group or organisation that most people did not realise they were supposed to a member of”

    (my words in itallics, your words in bold)

    Leaving God and the Bible aside for a moment, can you honestly justify the killing children for their parent’s wrong doings in any way?

    If not, How do you reconcile your own sense of morality with Jehovah’s past and promised future actions? Either you believe it is morally justified to kill children for their parent’s wrongdoings or you believe Jehovah was wrong to murder infants during the flood and will be wrong when he kills billions of children in Armageddon.

    Also, going back to my email last year (sorry, I know it is months ago now) I believe you misread one of my comments:

    Your justification falls short. I agree that parents are responsible for their children but I do not believe children are responsible for their parents and so your analogy fails. I disagree. If you are referring to conduct, then parents are responsible for their children as children and young adults.

    (my words in itallics, your words in bold -this was in response to you explanation that innocent children should be killed in Armageddon because their parents are sinners and parents are responsible for their children)

    I agreed that parents were responsible for their children. My point was that children are not responsible for their parents. This is why your justification for the murder of children is wrong - children have no control over who their parents happen to be or what religion they are born into. It is therefore perverse to punish them for circumstances of which they have no say over.

    The February 2012 Watchtower article attempts to answer some of these ethical questions:

    Why would God, whom the Bible describes as “merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in loving-kindness,” cause the death of so many humans? (Nehemiah 9:17) To understand God’s actions, we need to answer three questions: (1) Who starts the war? (2) Why does God become involved? (3) What lasting effect will this confrontation have on the earth and its inhabitants? (Watchtower February 2012)

    To question (1), the Watchtower states that ‘Armageddon is not an act of aggression by God. Instead God will defend good people from those who would crush them’. ‘Good people’ refers to, of course, Jehovah’s Witnesses. So Watchtower’s answer to the question why would God kill so many people is that he will kill most people but he will defend one small group – not much consolation to those killed.

    To question (2), Watchtower states that God will become involved and kill billions of people because he promi sed he would and so if he fails to do so he will be made a liar.

    ‘If God did not step in to save his people, they would be wiped out. Therefore, Jehovah

    God’s name, or reputation, will be at stake. If the aggressors managed to do away with His people, it would make Jehovah appear to be unloving, unjust, or helpless’ (Watchtower February 2012)

    So, billions will die for the sake of God’s pride and keeping up appearances. Bizarrely, the Watchtower doesn’t consider that God killing billions of innocent children would also make him appear to be unloving or unjust.

    To question (3), Watchtower essentially argues that the murder of billions of children is justified because the survivors will live on a paradise earth.

    None of these questions, to my mind, justify the murder of billions. It is for this reason that even if you could convince me intellectually about ‘The Truth’ I would never accept it on a moral level.

    Any God that demands worship and serfdom is unworthy of worship and any God that would threaten my family with death because of my personal beliefs is a tyrant.

    TheStumbler posted Wed, 04 Jan 2012 13:26:00 GMT(1/4/2012)

    Post 37 of 192
    Joined 12/19/2010

    yeah, sorry, interenet dropped out before. Sorry, I jsut realised how long that post was :(

    well done to anyone with the patience to read all of it - maybe I shold have broken it up a bit more.

    Towards the end it may get a little difficult to follow as it refers to our previous correspondence about 6 months ago.

    GromitSK posted Wed, 04 Jan 2012 13:31:00 GMT(1/4/2012)

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    Joined 3/28/2009

    Good summary.

    truth_b_known posted Wed, 04 Jan 2012 14:13:00 GMT(1/4/2012)

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    Joined 11/2/2011

    Jehovah destroyed the entire surface of the earth with a great flood and only spared the lives of 8 humans...allegedly. Why not destroy billions of "wicked" people, including their babies, to settle a bet with an angel? He did it once. Anything done once is possible to repeat. That is if it ever really happened.

    truth_b_known posted Wed, 04 Jan 2012 14:15:00 GMT(1/4/2012)

    Post 145 of 368
    Joined 11/2/2011

    On a side note:

    Jehovah, god of Abraham and Isaac, pledged to rid the earth of wickedness.

    Thor, god of thunder, pledged to rid the earth of frost giants.

    When was the last time you saw a frost giant?

    M Wasanelder Once posted Wed, 04 Jan 2012 14:16:00 GMT(1/4/2012)

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    Joined 6/23/2005

    This is a keeper, thanks.

    punkofnice posted Wed, 04 Jan 2012 14:39:00 GMT(1/4/2012)

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    Joined 1/6/2011

    That is very well put together.

    If it were me I wouldn't bother sending it. I'd just say 'thanks' and leave it at that. But that's just me.

    If you think this'd help Dad wake up from the watchtower business then go for it.

    tornapart posted Wed, 04 Jan 2012 14:53:00 GMT(1/4/2012)

    Post 18 of 1847
    Joined 12/17/2011

    I think your dad doesn't believe that God will destroy innocent babies, or 7,000,000 people. Many JWs find this hard to digest.

    As for God having done it in the past. On the occasion of the flood he used a natural disaster but offered protection for anyone who wanted it in the ark. He had to destroy that world at the time because of the violent and cruel halfbreed giants and their demon fathers. As for another natural disaster he brought about that rained fire and sulfur on the cities of Sodom and Gomorah, he promised Abraham that even if there were only 10 good people he would not bring it about. Any innnocent children that die as a result of natural disasters brought about either by God himself or not, will have a resurrection. After all God himself says he doesn't desire any to be destroyed. What God says and what the WT says are two different things.

    truth_b_known posted Wed, 04 Jan 2012 15:19:00 GMT(1/4/2012)

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    Joined 11/2/2011

    "As for God having done it in the past. On the occasion of the flood he used a natural disaster but offered protection for anyone who wanted it in the ark. He had to destroy that world at the time because of the violent and cruel halfbreed giants and their demon fathers." - tornapart

    Why not just kill the half-breed giants?

    Why use a flood? The Bible records that one angel killed an entire army in their sleep.

    Jesus also said that the last days would be just like the days of Noah.

    In addition, the modern day Noah's Ark is the Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses.

    GromitSK posted Wed, 04 Jan 2012 15:22:00 GMT(1/4/2012)

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    <Sorry double posted>

    M Jim_TX posted Wed, 04 Jan 2012 15:44:00 GMT(1/4/2012)

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    Joined 5/12/2002
    He had to destroy that world at the time because of the violent and cruel halfbreed giants and their demon fathers.

    Well, he must not have done a good job... maybe some of those 'giants' held their breath or knew how to swim (or the flood is a myth), cause David had to kill Goliath later... and there were other giants roaming around, too (a race of giants).

    Anyway... good summary 'the stumbler'. I hope that your dad actually reads your response and thinks about it.

    Regards,

    Jim TX

    wannabefree posted Wed, 04 Jan 2012 16:30:00 GMT(1/4/2012)

    Post 1739 of 2821
    Joined 4/5/2010

    Nicely said.

    I think most JW's avoid the thought of what they are really saying will happen at Armageddon.

    When I discuss this subject with my wife, she resorts to "Jehovah will read their hearts and do what is right" ... showing them in black and white that that isn't what the Organization truly teaches causes conflict in the mind for sure.

    Bella15 posted Wed, 04 Jan 2012 16:57:00 GMT(1/4/2012)

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    Joined 6/8/2011

    @TheStumbler ... Epic reply!

    The mess the Watchtower is in due to going beyond what it is written in the bible AND not having the Spirit of understanding prophecy is COMICAL to this point ... it is not worth a second of our time anymore ...

    ziddina posted Wed, 04 Jan 2012 17:27:00 GMT(1/4/2012)

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    I'd say send it...

    Although that recent Watchtower article dances around the issue [typical avoidance behavior ], your use of past Watchtower literature on the subject demonstrates the ugly reality of the biblical 'cleansing' that "Jehovah" will supposedly visit upon humanity....

    I don't know whether your father will allow himself to see that, however.

    Best results to you, and hoping that your father does awaken....

    Zid

    TheStumbler posted Wed, 04 Jan 2012 19:07:00 GMT(1/4/2012)

    Post 38 of 192
    Joined 12/19/2010

    @tornapart

    I definitely agree, he does not consider the implications of his own belief system and I don't think he is a bad person. He has said before that children will die in Armageddon because parents are responsible for their children and I could he was uncomfortable with what he was saying.

    When we had this conversation last year he kept falling back on 'Jehovah will read people's hearts' so when I asked the follow question 'so you don't need to be a Jehovah's witness to be saved' he would not committ to an answer. He alternated between each answer 'God will read hearts' 'only JWs will be saved'.

    I think even the most die hard JWs must be aware of the cognitive dissonence these questions raise

    M NomadSoul posted Wed, 04 Jan 2012 19:09:00 GMT(1/4/2012)

    Post 1277 of 1661
    Joined 2/7/2005

    That was a good answer. Thanks for posting.

    Hope your dad awakens from this cult.

    Violia posted Wed, 04 Jan 2012 19:10:00 GMT(1/4/2012)

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    for whatever reason I do not see the link in the OP. odd.

    TheStumbler posted Wed, 04 Jan 2012 19:13:00 GMT(1/4/2012)

    Post 39 of 192
    Joined 12/19/2010

    @punkofnice,

    why do you suggest that I don't send it? Just curious.

    I don't expect it alone will wake him but you never know, it might plant a seed and make him realise the reality of what he really believes.

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