What did Raymond Franz believe after his exit?

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    Botzwana posted Sat, 07 Apr 2012 04:52:00 GMT(4/7/2012)

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    Did he start believing in the Trinity and Hellfire? I have not read In Search of Christian Freedom yet as I do not have a copy of it. Does he touch on this in that book?

    rory-ks posted Sat, 07 Apr 2012 06:09:00 GMT(4/7/2012)

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    Joined 2/29/2012

    He does touch on it in his book. There is an "Afterword" that goes into what his position is now. He also wrote some essays which you can find over at Commentary Press - Essays. You can also pick up a copy of In Search of Christian Freedom as a *.pdf. It's a great read. One thing he says is:

    In summary, then, even as I am convinced that the one true re-
    ligion is Christianity itself, not some religious system claiming to
    represent and exemplify it, I also believe that the truth is found in
    the Scriptures, not in any particular set of interpretations that men have
    developed or may yet develop. That truth is not only in the words
    themselves but also in the revelation they bring to us of God and of
    his Son. We will almost inevitably differ in our understanding on some
    points but, if governed by God’s spirit, should have no great difficulty
    in agreeing on those teachings clearly and plainly stated.

    Actually, the trinity is an interesting subject. It could be argued that Jehovah's Witnesses believe in the trinity. The trinity is just man's clumsy way of trying to explain that in order to experience the fullness of God, one needs the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is impossible to explain the holy spirit without mentioning God. They are inseparable - one and the same, even. Christ is Jehovah's means of salvation. Don't even bother thinking about salvation if you don't accept the Christ, the Son of God. So, there you have it: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - the three necessary in the one faith.

    If a JW was on a doorstep and received that as an answer when he asked, "I find not everybody means the same thing when they say 'trinity'. What do you think it means?" he would be forced to acceed that he, too, believed in the trinity.

    I'm pretty sure Raymond Franz didn't go on to believe in hellfire. He always comes across as a level-headed and sensible fellow.

    soft+gentle posted Sat, 07 Apr 2012 08:04:00 GMT(4/7/2012)

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    Joined 7/8/2011

    I have read IN search of Chrisitan Freedom but don't have it to hand. Ray did believe in the trinity and was open to discussion about it with other trinitarians if I remember correctly.

    this is an excellent way of putting it rory-ks - the fullness of God. I like the expression fullness and what it evokes

    Actually, the trinity is an interesting subject. It could be argued that Jehovah's Witnesses believe in the trinity. The trinity is just man's clumsy way of trying to explain that in order to experience the fullness of God, one needs the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is impossible to explain the holy spirit without mentioning God. They are inseparable - one and the same, even. Christ is Jehovah's means of salvation. Don't even bother thinking about salvation if you don't accept the Christ, the Son of God. So, there you have it: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - the three necessary in the one faith.

    Indded the JW hieararchy don't like fullness of any kind and stamp it out wherever they see it. this is the reason they miss the fullness of Christ. I'm so glad you took the steps you did to get out.

    edt: Jw thinking is very much a product of the enlightenment and the emphasis on TRUTH as a system of belief. this to me is opposed to the fullness that Christ intuited and taught and that is eternal

    irondork posted Sat, 07 Apr 2012 09:35:00 GMT(4/7/2012)

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    Joined 11/3/2010

    Actually, soft+gentle, I specifically remember Franz stating in Christian Freedom that he did not believe in the trinity and that the dogmatic "believe in it or burn" approach to the doctrine that many trinitarians have is one of the things he finds distasteful about it. (Not his exact words) My copy of the book is out on loan right now or I would find the quote for you.

    What I took from the Afterword of Christian Freedom is that Franz never tried to lay out a set of doctrines for people to follow. He did mention a few items that were contained in his own belief system but for the most part, he encouraged people to study and be led by holy spirit. He emphasised personal responsibility for OUR OWN relationship with god, not one that has been assigned to us by other men.

    Chariklo posted Sat, 07 Apr 2012 11:34:00 GMT(4/7/2012)

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    Joined 5/9/2011
    Actually, the trinity is an interesting subject. It could be argued that Jehovah's Witnesses believe in the trinity. The trinity is just man's clumsy way of trying to explain that in order to experience the fullness of God, one needs the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is impossible to explain the holy spirit without mentioning God. They are inseparable - one and the same, even. Christ is Jehovah's means of salvation. Don't even bother thinking about salvation if you don't accept the Christ, the Son of God. So, there you have it: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - the three necessary in the one faith.
    If a JW was on a doorstep and received that as an answer when he asked, "I find not everybody means the same thing when they say 'trinity'. What do you think it means?" he would be forced to acceed that he, too, believed in the trinity.

    This is exceptionally interesting. It comes very close to my own view.

    I write from a background of a long life of belief in the Trinity, including theological study and training, and then coming to Jehovah's Witnesses, getting very near to baptism, and subsequently distancing myself from the Witnesses.

    As I studied the Bible Teach book with Witnesses, impelled by a wish to understand why they believe what they do...you might call it insatiable curiosity likeKipling's Elephant's Child...I struggled very hard with their non-belief in the Trinity. I knew the Trinity as One God but three Persons, united in their hypostatic union by love, beyond which I understood there to be Mystery beyond our human understanding. I instinctively felt that the WT's presentation of Trinitarian belief as a regression to or reflection of ancient three-person Gods was a gross over-simplification, a caricature. However, over time, and particularly after reading some accounts of Catholic priests who had become Witnesses, I came to think that the JW interpretation was not in fact very far from the truth, and that it was something I could accept without altering my understanding of God too much.

    I rather think that I still think much the same, namely, that both understandings of God are necessarily limited by the fact that the Divine Being is very much other than us, the Creator of the Universe being all-powerful and Almighty and so beyond our comprehension; yet this is a being who is our personal and collective Father in Heaven, to whom every small thing, even each one of us, even a hair on our head, even a sparrow, matters. The Son is the son of that great being, but also of him. One of the wisest JW's whom I have met, and someone whom I hold in considerable regard, discussed with me at length and in depth some time ago the difference between a son who is begotten and/or created. He asked me to consider the difference between begetting and creating, and the close link between the two. I am probably still contemplating that. And the Holy Spirt, or, as JW's more often say "holy spirit" or "God's spiirit" as the third person of the Trinity is so hard to visulaise and understand by the human mind as a person that to understand the spirit more as God's active force is not in any way counter-intuitive.

    So, I came to a point where I could accept the JW interpretation of these deep truths, without in any way, really, altering my own understanding of God, whose name I had known for a very long time to be Jehovah.

    I have far more difficullty now in accepting Almighty God, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-wise and the ultimate Love, as a being who would wipe away most people at Armageddon, or even as one who would send a flood to obliterate everything he had made except those beings in an ark. It just doesn't add up.

    I also have difficulty in accepting that any one group of people on earth, or even any one religion, possess the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about God, but that's really another subject.

    What I wanted to do here was express my surprised pleasure at reading Rory's words on the trinitarian (or not) understanding of God, the closest to my own that I have yet encountered among JW's.

    It's a breath of fresh air.

    mP posted Sat, 07 Apr 2012 11:39:00 GMT(4/7/2012)

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    After all the lies and fabrications of all xian religions, why would anyone believe. Ray saw the WTS lie and change the Bible themselves, didnt it occur to him that others in the past did the very same thing ? What kind of great God cannot even protect his own word from being masterbated upon and changed for evil.?

    M james_woods posted Sat, 07 Apr 2012 11:48:00 GMT(4/7/2012)

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    I had a conversation with Ed Dunlap about this before he died.

    I think Ed and Ray Franz pretty much believed the same thing on the subject of the Trinity.

    While Ed did not like the word "trinity" he definately believed in the divinity of Christ. His favorite way of expressing it was to say that everything we know about Jehovah comes because we know Jesus. Ed believed that Jesus was actually God in the form of a human.

    Ed was rather contemptuous of the Watchtower SWociety for diminishing the position of Jesus Christ in theology. In particular, for making themselves "Jesus Jr." as being the faithful and discreet slave (GB).

    M james_woods posted Sat, 07 Apr 2012 11:51:00 GMT(4/7/2012)

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    BTW - it is my opinion that neither the Dunlap brothers nor Ray Franz ever believed in the notion of "hellfire".

    soft+gentle posted Sat, 07 Apr 2012 13:36:00 GMT(4/7/2012)

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    heye thanks for correcting me Rory. you are right. Franz believed in the divinity of christ and had many discussions with a trinitarian member of his group. He was open to mixing in company with trinitarians. I somehow conflated the two because I read the book a long time ago. And for me personally whether or not a person believes or doesn't believe in the trinity is immaterial. the thing that I like about leavers is when they engage with the fullness of all that they were denied through totalising belief systems.

    WTWizard posted Sat, 07 Apr 2012 13:48:00 GMT(4/7/2012)

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    I believe that he became a Christian, exactly as the Bible described. That is what he tried to do with the witlesses--bring it into compliance with the Bible.

    M glenster posted Sat, 07 Apr 2012 17:35:00 GMT(4/7/2012)

    Post 1743 of 2810
    Joined 1/26/2007

    The odd thing to me is how people read sincerity back into who he was before
    he sold books (his honesty was compromised over the other leaders not conceding
    to Jonsson's research about 587/6 BC, etc., so he left.) Maybe it's been so
    long since I read his books I'm forgetting a few things about him, but not about
    the leadership generally. I admit it's been years since I read his books, so
    maybe someone could help me with that:

    He was a member of the writing/research staff (Capo) for about 5-6 yrs. ('65-
    '71) then a Governing Body member (Don) for 8-9 yrs. ('71-'80). They never had
    a 14-15 year sincere period, or even a one year sincere period.
    http://glenster1.webs.com/gtjbrooklyn1acont.htm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtYjdEwa8GA

    Whatever Ray believed about Jesus, JWs leaders have always mischaracterized
    what mainstream stances were in comparison--they believe in three gods, that
    Jesus was his own father, Tertullian was an Arian (in so many words), and so
    forth regarding many individual verses. I always thought it was weird that Ray
    didn't cover that in his exposes. I figured he may not have wanted to alienate
    his marketing group, which would probably include many JWS/ex-JWs.

    My research tells me the JWs leaders have not only always been guys who lied
    about a dozen or so rules to seem elitist and sell literature--at least since
    WWI they haven't cared if people got beat up or murdered over it, and at least
    since the 1960's they haven't cared if adults and their little kids died at
    hospitals over it (like Harry Lime in "The Third Man"), which was the case
    during Ray's 14-15 or so years at the top. There are organized crime leaders
    who would consider that low.
    http://glenster1.webs.com/gtjbrooklynindex.htm
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBNlL23sUGI

    My GTA/Mafia-related research tells me that the leaders of an organized crime
    group may have discussions during the day about what lies to tell, but at the
    end of the day they have to all agree on what lies to tell to get away with it.
    If one refuses to play along, the other leaders, understandably, get nervous.
    https://sites.google.com/site/glenstersite/

    The other leaders saw Ray wasn't going to play ball about the prediction
    racket (586/7 BC, etc.) so they had to play J. Edgar Hoover to get rid of him.
    Ray wasn't a guy who could lie so a kid could die at a hospital but would get
    indignant over a relatively clerical concern (586/7 BC) and leave--they had to
    go to inordinate lengths have him dragged out leaving fingernail grooves in the
    linoleum.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COINTELPRO

    He still didn't want to be seen as betraying commitment to the leadership--he
    kept paying tributes to the Don at the collection box of a Kingdom Hall for
    about a year and a half (May '80-Dec. '81), seemingly hoping it was a dark cloud
    that would blow over and they'd reconsider. So the leaders had to make up rules
    to get him out of there so he wouldn't be seen as having their as approval in
    spreading bad words about the Don and Bosses (be a grass) to the punks at the
    lower end of the scale.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supergrass_%28informer%29

    Finally, he made lemonade out of lemons and did what he knew how to do best
    about it--sell literature (a much better lifestyle than being punished for
    helping with murders and infanticide).

    However sincere he was about his religious beliefs from then on, the way
    followers read that back into his previous period reminds me a little of Holly's
    initial idealism about Lime in "The Third Man."

    A comparison to the fans of Albert Speer may seem too extreme, so I'll make
    the disclaimer that I'm just seeing similarities to certain things. He was
    Hitler's architect who was captured after WWII but wasn't executed like other
    higher-ups because he said he had no idea Hitler (of "Mein Kampf," '30's laws to
    ruin the live of Jews, the Holocaust) was going to use his buildings for the
    Holocaust. After he was released from prison, it was controversial--some be-
    lieved him, some didn't, but he sold a lot of books. Fans read his apparent
    current sincerity back through the whole thing, as though he was someone who
    would have reformed Hitler at any chance he had to do it, while many found that
    hard to believe.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Speer#Legacy_and_controversy

    I vaguely remember Franz writing that he was ashamed of his previous efforts,
    and I can find that easier to believe. I hope I don't butt heads with anyone
    in giving play to these thoughts--again, I might not be remembering some things
    others may remember.

    John_Mann posted Sat, 07 Apr 2012 18:07:00 GMT(4/7/2012)

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    Joined 1/2/2011

    He could be a kind of atheist, b/c he discussed a lot of logical fallacies in a way to analize religions and doctrines. That method it's not used by christian theists b/c the very christianism don't stand through logical thinking. If you use the fallacy check method, even Jesus and Jehovah words fall into logical absurd.

    F blondie posted Sat, 07 Apr 2012 18:23:00 GMT(4/7/2012)

    Post 33565 of 37603
    Joined 5/28/2001

    My question, does believing Christ is divine always mean believing that he is God, or in the trinity? Peter tells other Christians that they could participate in the divine nature (underline mine) but not meaning they would be God or part of a trinity. Thus Ray could believe in Jesus having a divine nature just as Peter said Jesus' followers could aspire to and be consistent in not believing in the trinity.

    2 Peter 1:4

    New International Version (NIV)

    4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

    2 Peter 1:4

    King James Version (KJV)

    4Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

    F mouthy posted Sat, 07 Apr 2012 18:40:00 GMT(4/7/2012)

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    Joined 11/22/2001

    I spoke with Ray & met him,ate with him & Cynthia. I believe in the Trinity, he did not believe it as I did,
    ( that we are made in the image of GOD) >BODY! Soul! & Spirit! but he was happy for me & said he thought
    my way of expressing it was interesting.He was the most HUMBLIEST man I ever knew in my 84+ years.
    I loved him dearly as I do Cynthia....

    M glenster posted Sat, 07 Apr 2012 21:13:00 GMT(4/7/2012)

    Post 1744 of 2810
    Joined 1/26/2007

    Typo correction: "WWI" should be "WWII."

    binadub posted Sun, 08 Apr 2012 00:00:00 GMT(4/8/2012)

    Post 148 of 381
    Joined 11/10/2001

    I knew Ray and Cynthia personally and had numerous communications via letter and phone with the Dunlaps. I stayed with Ray and Cynthia for some weeks and worked with Ray to finish preparation of In Search of Christian Freedom for printing in 1990-1991. Through personal friendship and BRCI we had many mutual friends, including Jon Mitchell who wrote Where Is the “Great Crowd” Serving God?, which there is a synopsis on my xjw.com Web site. I met Mouthy for the first time at Ray’s home after a BRCI conference many years ago. I used to visit the Franzes at least once a year, and have shared in their home Bible gatherings.

    Like the Dunlaps, Carl Olof Jonsson, Jon Mitchell, Penton, Ron Frye and numerous other associated former JWs, Ray did not believe in the orthodox Trinity doctrine, but did believe in the divinity of Christ. The main distinction is that the Trinitarian doctrine teaches that Christ has always co-equally existed with the Father, and that the holy Spirit has also as a personage. We nonTrinitarian exJWs generally share the view that Christ was the beginning of creation and did have a beginning when he was begotten by the Father. We tend to agree with the WT concept that the holy Spirit is not a spirit person but a godly force. Generally I think it is viewed (as I do) that Christ was deified after his sojourn on Earth, when he was seated at his Father’s right hand (symbolically speaking). Here are some of the scriptures for this view (some words capitalized by me for emphasis):

    "When Jesus had finished saying these things, he looked upward to heaven and said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, so that your Son may glorify you, just as you have given him authority over all humanity, so that he may give eternal life to everyone you have given him. Now this is eternal life—that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you SENT. I glorified you on earth by completing the work YOU GAVE ME to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me at your side with the glory I had with you before the world was created."—Jn.17:1-5

    “God PUT this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has PUT all things under his feet and has MADE him the head over all things for the church, …”—Eph.1:20-22

    "Therefore God also highly exalted him and GAVE him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."—Phil.2:9-11

    "Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son whom he APPOINTED HEIR of all things, through whom he also created the worlds."—Heb.1:1-2

    “. . . he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having BECOME as much superior to angels as the name he INHERITED is more excellent than theirs." –Heb.1:3-4

    From this it might be concluded that the Father made Christ our Lord and God after he conquered Satan for us on Earth. He was thereby APPOINTED our God and mediator to His Father with the name he INHERITED. God made his name above all others. Yet, according to 1Cor.15, he will hand it all back to the Father after death is destroyed (Rev.20)

    The illustration I generally use is to compare it to the British Royalty. There is one monarch and one throne. Queen Elizabeth is the monarch. But she could give that position to her son, the “prince,” and he would become the monarch to whom all honor and glory of the monarchy are rendered. He would have inherited it (kingdom heir). Yet she would still be Queen Elizabeth (by title) and would still be the son’s superior as his mother.

    That’s our general view. But as others here noted, Ray was not adamant on doctrine and many of his friends were either Trinitarian or neutral about it in attending churches that teach Trinity. Ray, like most of us exJWs, did not believe in the orthodox definition of “hell” as being everlasting torture. Ray and others remained pretty much in agreement with what the WT taught regarding hell and soul, which teachings were not, and are not, unique to Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    ~Binadub (aka Ros)

    F mouthy posted Sun, 08 Apr 2012 00:24:00 GMT(4/8/2012)

    Post 15517 of 15719
    Joined 11/22/2001

    Ros ...I sat here wondering who is this??? That met me at Ray's ??? LOL If your the Ros I am thinking off GREAT to e you again

    binadub posted Sun, 08 Apr 2012 00:48:00 GMT(4/8/2012)

    Post 149 of 381
    Joined 11/10/2001

    Mouthy: That would be me.

    Some years ago I had two log-ins here, and they would only allow me to keep one, so I chose 'binadub'.

    I've met Blondie a couple of times, too. Saw she met with you and Frank Toth a few days ago. He and I have had quite a few e-mail exchanges recently.

    Spoke with Jim and Marilyn this morning.

    Hope all is going very well with you. Hope to see you again one of these days.

    ~Binadub (aka Ros)

    F blondie posted Sun, 08 Apr 2012 00:51:00 GMT(4/8/2012)

    Post 33571 of 37603
    Joined 5/28/2001

    binadub, sorry, I missed the part where it was a few years ago, it would be nice if we could get back there this year. Hope things are well with you.

    F mouthy posted Sun, 08 Apr 2012 00:52:00 GMT(4/8/2012)

    Post 15518 of 15719
    Joined 11/22/2001

    No I didnt met with blondie & Frank Toth a few days ago that was years ago,,,
    So glad to know who you are now YepI missed ya...

    Hope your well to love!!! http://exjw.weebly.com

    Mouthy/Granny /Grace

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