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January 2013 Watchtower - HAVE JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES GIVEN INCORRECT DATES FOR THE END?

    TheStumbler posted Wed, 31 Oct 2012 03:11:04 GMT(10/31/2012)

    Post 84 of 138
    Joined 12/19/2010

    I was just on the new JW.org site and I have to say, they've done a good job. It looks pretty sleek and is easy to navigate. The production values of their magazines (in particular the photos) seems to have improved since I last spent much time on the site.

    Any way, the January 2013 Watchtower caught my attention so I downloaded the .PDf.

    I saw this interesting admission underneath the first article 'The End of the World: Fear Fasination and Frustration'.

    This article is ostensibly aimed at the public reader but I think also it has a few comments aimed at members as well:

    The Bible likens the world’s destruction to the onset of labor—

    the mother’s pain is inevitable and comes suddenly. The

    time leading up to the end is also like a pregnancy, for an expectant

    mother is aware of ever-increasing signs of the coming

    birth. Her doctor might estimate the birth date; yet, even

    if the event should delay, she would still be sure that her baby

    will soon be born . Similarly, anymistaken expectations about

    the end do not alter the unmistakable features identifying

    these as “the last days.”—2 Timothy 3:1.

    Under the subheading 'Have Jehovah's Witnesses Given Incorrect Dates for the End' the Watchtower amits its 'expectations' have been in error (without saying directly)

    Jehovah’s Witnesses have had wrong expectations about when the end would come. Like Jesus’ first-century disciples, we have sometimes looked forward to the fulfilment of prophecy ahead of God’s timetable. (Luke 19:11; Acts 1:6; 2 Thessalonians 2:1, 2)

    We agree with the sentiment of longtime Witness A. H. Macmillan, who said: “I learned that we should admit our mistakes and continue searching God’s Word for more enlightenment.” Why, then, do we continue to highlight the nearness of the end? Because we take seriously Jesus’ words: “Keep looking, keep awake.” The alternative,

    to be found “sleeping” by Jesus, would prevent us from gaining his favor.

    (Mark 13:33, 36) Why? Consider this example: A lookout in a fire tower might

    see what he thinks is a wisp of smoke on the horizon and sound what proves to be a false alarm. Later, though, his alertness could save lives. Likewise, we have had some

    wrong expectations about the end. But we are more concerned with obeying Jesus and saving lives than with avoiding criticism. Jesus’ command to “give a thorough witness” compels us to warn others about the end.—Acts 10:42. We believe that even more

    important than focusing on when the end will come, we must be confident that it will

    come, and we must act accordingly. We take seriously the words of Habakkuk 2:3,

    which says: “Even if [the end] should delay [compared to what you thought], keep in expectation of it; for it will without fail come true. It will not be late.”

    The paragraph extols the virtues of admitting one's own mistakes but ommits the fact that Jehovah's Witnesses' 'expectations' were based on the words of the Watchtower organisation and its leadership which claims to be God's channel of communication.

    On a side note, I have been trying to research 'theocratic warfare'. I can't find any recent references to it in modern publications (not since the 1980s). Would your average rank and file witness be aware of theocratic warfare? Is it still taught?

    Thanks

    M OnTheWayOut posted Wed, 31 Oct 2012 03:20:36 GMT(10/31/2012)

    Post 16044 of 18136
    Joined 9/8/2006

    They make mistakes, they deny the mistakes. Later, admitting they make mistakes, they praise themselves for admitting it. Yet, they don't mention the mistakes again because that would make them look bad.

    jam posted Wed, 31 Oct 2012 03:32:07 GMT(10/31/2012)

    Post 1845 of 3614
    Joined 6/22/2005

    In my Guitar class today we were playing Away in a

    Manger. One of the members said, we are playing this

    song to slow, Jesus will be a full grown man by the time we

    are done. "Doctor might estimate the birth date, yet even if

    the event should delay,( ok within a few days) she would still

    be sure that her baby will soon be born". LOL

    TheStumbler posted Wed, 31 Oct 2012 03:40:11 GMT(10/31/2012)

    Post 85 of 138
    Joined 12/19/2010

    Maybe if the baby is 100 years over due then it's a phantom pregnancy?

    Pterist posted Wed, 31 Oct 2012 03:49:54 GMT(10/31/2012)

    Post 58 of 1392
    Joined 10/17/2012

    Pterist posted Wed, 31 Oct 2012 03:50:27 GMT(10/31/2012)

    Post 59 of 1392
    Joined 10/17/2012

    The Watchtower Theocratic War doctrine, which teaches that it is appropriate to withhold the truth from “people who are not entitled to it” if it will further the Watchtower’s interests (Reed, 1992; Reed, 1997, p. 129; see also Franz, 1971, pp. 1060-1061, and Raines, 1996c). In the Watchtower’s words, Witnesses are required to “use Theocratic War Strategy” against any and all persons who have a “wolf-like disposition,” defined as anyone who does not accept the Watchtower as God’s organization and the head of God’s people. All other religions are defined as evil and of Satan (Franz 1991;Watchtower May 1,1957, pp. 285-286 and p. 288 — this latter article was censored in new Watchtower reprints).

    Reed defines Theocratic War Strategy as “hiding truth from persons not entitled to it—i.e., lying to outsiders when deemed necessary” (Reed, 1995, p. 40). He adds the Watchtower defines lying as “...deceiving outsiders to advance the organization’s interests. Falsehoods presented to God’s enemies are not considered lies, due to the state of war existing between God’s forces (the JWs) and Satan’s (the rest of the world).” In the words of Kotwall (1997, pp. 1-2) the Watchtower’s teaching “to lie and deceive in the interest of their religion is Scripturally approved. They call such lying theocratic war strategy.”

    Wilson says:
    "Although a basic belief of Jehovah’s Witnesses is that liars will receive eternal death with no hope of a resurrection, exception is made when it comes to lying or pretending to be someone one is not if the purpose is for the good of the organization. An example of this sort of deception that I had personally experienced was the time a Witness friend invited me and several other Witnesses to her house when a Witness missionary was visiting her, as he was to give a slide presentation about his work in Israel … To protect the facility and the other Witnesses who were to live there, the Society instructed this missionary to pose as an eccentric millionaire who has a fetish about being clean, and to inform any inquirers that this was his own house that was being built. This story was fabricated to cover up the real purpose of the building—that of being a Watchtower factory having bedrooms with sinks in them to house the factory workers. This incident was another example of theocratic war strategy." (Wilson, 2002, p. 249)

    Jehovah’s Witnesses do not always lie outright, but they often lie according to the court’s definition—not telling “the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” which means the court requires the whole story, not half-truths or deception. The Watchtower claims to condemn lying, but only lying as they define it, namely “saying something false to a person who is entitled to know the truth and doing so with the intent to deceive or to injure him or another person” (Franz, Vol. 2, 1988, p. 244, emphasis mine). The purpose of the oath is to discourage evading the truth by being truthful only in a narrow way.

    Crisis of Conscience posted Wed, 31 Oct 2012 03:51:00 GMT(10/31/2012)

    Post 1024 of 940
    Joined 3/30/2010

    LOL @ TheStumbler Exactly!

    They love to use illustrations like this or even one such as the host waiting for the dinner guests to arrive.

    What they fail to interject is logic. How long should one wait after the perceived or obvious "delay"? At a certain point it only makes sense to give up.

    Jackholes.

    Pterist posted Wed, 31 Oct 2012 03:56:42 GMT(10/31/2012)

    Post 60 of 1392
    Joined 10/17/2012

    http://thejehovahswitnesses.org/theocratic-warfare-quotes.php

    Pterist posted Wed, 31 Oct 2012 04:04:04 GMT(10/31/2012)

    Post 61 of 1392
    Joined 10/17/2012

    Theocratic War Strategy
    OR
    Lying To The Public

    Friends, the information contained in this little tract will be somewhat alarming to many readers. It is presented in the prayerful hope that it will enlighten sincere Jehovah's Witnesses about the tactics of their Watchtower leaders.

    The Watchtower Society has a special policy towards outsiders. Those who question the Watchtower teachings are considered "opposers" and are treated in a special way. 1 The Society actually teaches Jehovah's Witnesses to coverup or lie about certain facts. They call this tactic -- Theocratic War Strategy. The Watchtower instructs Jehovah's Witnesses:

    "As a soldier of Christ he is in the theocratic warfare and he must exercise added caution when dealing with God's foes. Thus the Scriptures show that for the purpose of protecting the interest of God's cause, it is proper to hide the truth from God's enemies." 2

    When curious people examine the Watchtower's history, they find numerous facts that the present day Society tries to cover up. For instance, Watchtower leaders are very embarassed that the Society's founder, Charles Russell, was nearly worshipped by Watchtower followers for many years. Since the modern day Watchtower believes that Russell taught many falsedoctrines, they go to extremes to cover up his history.

    They deny that the Watchtower ever wrote a biography of Russell's life. In the Watchtower's hisotry book, Jehovah's Witnesses in the DIvine Purpose, page 63, we read this question:

    ...is it true that you have never published a biography of Pastor Russell?
    THAT'S RIGHT. Jehovah's Witnesses admire the qualities he possessed as a man,
    but were we to give the honor and credit to Pastor Russell, we would be saying that
    the works and success were his...

    This is a good example of the Watchtower's own use of Theocratic War Strategy, not only on the public, but also on Jehovah's Witnesses themselves. When we check the record we find that the Watchtower DID publish the Biography of Pastor Russell in five successive years, 1923 through 1927! 3

    Russell Biography

    Thus we find the Watchtower practiing it's belief that it is proper to deceive people. But, they say this really isn't lying. WHy? Because the Watchtower Soceity has a different definition of "lying" than most of us. In their book, Aid to Bible Understanding, under the word "Lie," we read:

    "Lying generally involves saying something false to person who is entitled to know the truth..."

    Of course, it is the Watchtower leaders that decide who deserves to know the truth!
    DO YOU DESERVE TO KNOW THE TRUTH?

    ________________________________________
    1 Qualified to be ministers (1967 edition), p. 197.
    2 Watchtower, June 1, 1960, p. 352.
    3 The Divine Plan of the Ages, Studies in the Scriptures,
    Vol. 1, 1925-1927 editions, pp. 1-30

    Witness Inc.

    Home | Missions | Ordering Materials | Answering Jehovah's Witnesses | Watchtower News | JW Communication | Contact Us

    http://www.witnessinc.com/theocratic_war.html

    TheStumbler posted Wed, 31 Oct 2012 04:06:07 GMT(10/31/2012)

    Post 86 of 138
    Joined 12/19/2010

    Thanks for the info. Is Theocratic warfare in common practice amongst JWs today? Most of the references seem old.

    I was told by a JW recently that JWs never lie even white lies to protect another person's feelings. I have feeling this itself is a lie in light of theocratic warfare - I wish I had the wit to make that comment at the time.

    M BluesBrother posted Wed, 31 Oct 2012 20:22:50 GMT(10/31/2012)

    Post 7481 of 8382
    Joined 10/29/2001

    The Stumbler beat me to this post, since I was gobsmacked when I read this article yesterday.....I have tried to remain objective in my critique:

    "Jehovah’s Witnesses have had wrong expectations about when the end would come. Like Jesus’ first-century disciples, we have sometimes looked forward to the fulfillment of prophecy ahead of God’s timetable. (Luke 19:11; Acts 1:6; 2 Thessalonians 2:1, 2)"

    2 Thess 2:1-2 is cited in support of their argument. This reads "2 However, brothers, respecting the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we request of YOU 2 not to be quickly shaken from YOUR reason nor to be excited either through an inspired expression or through a verbal message or through a letter as though from us, to the effect that the day of Jehovah is here".

    That describes the Apostle Paul counselling erring ones the congregation who had unfounded expectations that the day was upon them back then. So with whom are the WTS likening themselves? The mature "spirit directed" counsel of Paul, or the excited wrong-thinkers who had got it wrong? Who would you like to follow?

    "Consider this example: A lookout in a fire tower might see what he thinks is a wisp of smoke on the horizon and sound what proves to be a false alarm. Later, though, his alertness could save lives."

    But if he continually and regularly "cries wolf" and gives false alarms the lookout would be dismissed as incompetant .

    "We believe that even more important than focusing on when the end will come, we must be confident that it will come, and we must act accordingly. We take seriously the words of Habakkuk 2:3, which says: “Even if [the end] should delay [compared to what you thought], keep in expectation of it; for it will without fail come true. It will not be late.”

    So they are no longer focussed on when the end will come? That is fine, I will remember that when the urgency of the times is stressed to me. Incidentally, where do the words in brackets come from in that scripture they quote? Not from Habakkuk that is for sure !

    cantleave posted Wed, 31 Oct 2012 20:27:23 GMT(10/31/2012)

    Post 9518 of 13051
    Joined 6/25/2009

    A 100 year gestation period is a new one me.

    Ultimate Axiom posted Wed, 31 Oct 2012 20:42:23 GMT(10/31/2012)

    Post 38 of 178
    Joined 5/12/2012

    I love the way the mistakes are always made by "Jehovah's Witnesses" or "Jehovah's people", I have never yet seen the Watchtower itself admit, "brothers, we made the mistake!".

    M bennyk posted Wed, 31 Oct 2012 20:46:22 GMT(10/31/2012)

    Post 603 of 652
    Joined 2/15/2005

    (recycled old post [19.10.2012]):

    [A]ny mistaken expectations about the end do not alter the unmistakable features identifying these as “the last days.”—2 Timothy 3:1. (The Watchtower, 01.01.2013, p.7)

    Alrighty, then. Russell's 37 year prophecy regarding the End coming in 1914 did not alter the unmistakable (and indisputable) features identifying those as part of "the last days" (which [according to the Watch Tower Society] ran from A.D. 1799 - 1914).

    THE ''Time of the End," a period of one hundred and fifteen (115) years,
    from A. D. I 7 9 9 to A. D. 1914, is particularly marked in the Scriptures.
    (Thy Kingdom Come, p. 23)

    THE careful student will have observed that the period
    designated "The Time of the End " is very appropriately
    named, since not only does the Gospel age close in it,
    but in it, also, all prophecies relating to the close of this age
    terminate, reaching their fulfilments. The same class of
    readers will have noticed, too, the special importance of
    the last 40 of those 115 years (1874-1914), called "The
    End" or "Harvest." (Thy Kingdom Come, p. 121)

    Could someone please ask the Writing Department to do some thinking before printing?!?!

    M Terry posted Wed, 31 Oct 2012 20:48:27 GMT(10/31/2012)

    Post 13338 of 15966
    Joined 6/19/2004

    Where an "admission" of guilt falls short is when it is self-serving rather than humble.

    Changing the reality of a context is dishonest. A confession of error that is wrapped up in a false context is damning and not exculpatory.

    Look at the False Analogy used in the Watchtower Article (above).

    Who is the authority if not the Doctor? Right?

    In the analogy of a pregnant woman and her Doctor it is the estimate/guess which comes from the physician, right?

    Here is the problem. Jehovah's Witnesses are usurping the authority of "the Doctor". They speak FOR Him.

    When the Watchtower prints words saying "God's dates--not ours" they pretend they have been TOLD. The reality is that it is THEY who are doing the TELLING.

    See what damage that does to the analogy? Jehovah directs His organization or else He Doesn't. No two ways about it.

    There are only two possibilities.

    1.Jehovah is guessing and getting it wrong when He informs the Governing Body.

    or

    2.The Governing Body is guessing and pretending/lying about obtaining their dates/guesses from Jehovah.

    Which is it? Obviously the error of wrong dates cannot be attributed to Jehovah.

    But, twisted as it is, this is exactly what the Watchtower is trying to communicate!

    Alluding to the Authority figure (Doctor) implies Jehovah without coming out and saying it.

    They are having it BOTH WAYS!!

    Further, an example is given of the Apostles eagerly anticipating that Jesus would return in Kingdom power IN THEIR LIFETIME----as an indication

    they too were WRONG.

    Sly foxes they are!

    The Apostles were not setting specific dates in writing and saying "God's dates--not ours"---were they? NO!

    The Apostles were acting according to what THEY CLAIMED was understanding given by holy spirit.

    Does it not occur to anybody that the Apostles could have been just as delusional as the Watchtower organization?

    Anybody and everybody who thinks something is going to happen "soon" and it doesn't happen IS DELUSIONAL not matter how sweet, kind and faithful they are.

    But, to continue setting dates over and over and over indicates something more than "eagerness". It indicates a strong core of HUBRIS!

    DATA-DOG posted Wed, 31 Oct 2012 20:52:53 GMT(10/31/2012)

    Post 584 of 5594
    Joined 6/21/2012

    What it the guy watching for a fire appoints himself Mayor of the town? Since he cried wolf year after year, a good hearted member of the town brings it to his attention. He then executes the one bringing his mistakes to light. THAT IS MORE LIKE THE GB. We are infallible, the Bible is God's word but you cannot understand it without the Watchtower which is God's thoughts. You must believe us when we cry wolf or face the consequences. Remember the Walsh trial.

    braincleaned posted Wed, 31 Oct 2012 20:54:49 GMT(10/31/2012)

    Post 283 of 1104
    Joined 7/6/2011

    I've heard the pregnant mom example a million times. Truth is, sometimes the mom is just fat.

    braincleaned posted Wed, 31 Oct 2012 20:59:10 GMT(10/31/2012)

    Post 284 of 1104
    Joined 7/6/2011

    I also note that in their show of humble admittance having gotten dates wrong, they avoid bringing up Deuteronomy 18: 20-22...

    M bennyk posted Wed, 31 Oct 2012 21:46:41 GMT(10/31/2012)

    Post 605 of 652
    Joined 2/15/2005
    Why, then, do we continue to highlight the nearness of the end? Because we take seriously Jesus’ words: “Keep looking, keep awake.” The alternative, to be found “sleeping” by Jesus, would prevent us from gaining his favor. (The Watchtower, 01.01.2012, p.8)

    Jesus said: "Keep looking, keep awake." He did not say: 'Continue prophesying falsely' as though that were the only alternative to "sleeping"(!)

    Furthermore, because of their erroneous beliefs, in 1914 the affiliates of the Watch Tower Society were the only Body of believers who did not "keep looking" for the Parousia to begin. (They believed it had already begun in 1874).

    irondork posted Wed, 31 Oct 2012 21:57:47 GMT(10/31/2012)

    Post 649 of 1161
    Joined 11/3/2010

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