Jehovah’s Witnesses: Using This Blog

Jun 27, 2015 by

hqPerhaps this is your first time to view this blog and if so, welcome!

Perhaps you’ve been visiting the blog for years. If so, welcome back!

I want you all to know that I’ve slowed down a bit in my writing because of my work as well as the fact that I think I may have written about as much as I can write about the subject of Jehovah’s Witnesses without repeating myself. I used to write almost weekly, then monthly, but as the years have passed I’ve noticed that the “Aha!” moments have become fewer and farther between. Rest assured as I get new thoughts I will write them down and share them with you.

If you haven’t yet done so, please join the blog so that you can get every single post without missing any. There is no cost, no salesperson will call (that’s a joke) and your information will never be sold. We currently have over 17,000 people in our little community and the numbers are continuing to grow.

Let’s get some things out of the way up front so that we are all on the same page:

1. This isn’t a recruitment website to get errant Jehovah’s Witnesses to join any other religion or church. I’m not even interested in getting you to follow me or anyone else. (Except maybe following the blog!)

2. This isn’t a means to bash Jehovah’s Witnesses or to spread hatred or intolerance toward them. I believe they are, for the most part, good people who are simply misled.

3. This is a chronicle of my life and my observations in and out of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is a “marker”, if you will, of my own experience and a shared collection of knowledge and wisdom that I have gained as a result of having been in the group and having left it of my own free will.

4. I’m not here to convince you of anything other than your own God given right to determine what it is that you believe apart from anyone else’s influence including mine.

5. I really don’t care what you think of me. I’m not here to validate myself or my own experience. I’m here to help you work on yours by sharing mine.

6. This blog forces you think, question, and reexamine your stance on all things to do with being a Jehovah’s Witness. If you choose to join, leave, or stay in the organization that is your business. My goal is that you make any one of those decisions with both eyes open and all the facts in front of you.

7. I am a Christian and believe that the Bible is, for the most part, the inerrant word of God. I’m a skeptic when it comes to intolerant thinking, circular thinking, magical thinking, and all things hurtful and hateful. When I see people mistreated in the name of religion I don’t see the love of Christ. Instead I see men misusing religion, the scriptures, and matters of faith to achieve their own desire for power, money and control over others. In this, the Jehovah’s Witnesses are just one of many offenders.

8. I know that there are a lot of terribly unhappy current and former Jehovah’s Witnesses out there. I know that many of them are experiencing doubt, pain, sadness, and suffering as a direct result of what they’ve been taught as well as how they’ve been mistreated by those in the organization. My aim in this blog is to educate current and former JW’s as to what the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society teaches and has taught in the past. I compare that to what the scriptures really teach and I allow my readers to draw their own conclusions.

9. This blog is also for those considering studying with or becoming one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Life in the Jehovah’s Witnesses can look really attractive to the uninitiated. My posts and articles provide a stark, unflinching, and realistic look at what life inside the Jehovah’s Witnesses is like versus the elaborate facade that is presented at the door and during the weekly home Bible studies they conduct.

10. This blog is also for those who may have married or become emotionally involved with someone who is either in the Jehovah’s Witnesses now or has been in the past. This can be extremely challenging and there are many articles and posts on this blog dealing with that in detail.

11. There is no cost for joining or reading this blog. I will never ask you for money. I don’t need it or want it. I’m not starting a church or a movement. I’ll never sell your email or information. I’m merely telling my story, the story that I was never allowed to tell when I was in the organization. If my experience can help you to avoid or mitigate the impact of your involvement in or with Jehovah’s Witnesses then I will have accomplished my purpose.

12. There is no real order of posting other than chronologically. When I think of something that can possibly help visitors to this blog, I start writing and don’t stop until I’m finished. I then post it for the world to see. There are almost 1,000 posts and articles that I’ve written over the past several years. They deal with all aspects of life in the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

13. There is a search box at the top right. If you want to research a particular topic it will search every single post and find what you’re looking for. It will only pull so many posts and then at the bottom you’ll see a >> to the right of the page. That means that there are more posts to see.

14. I no longer do telephone consults or answer emails. I only work with posts to the blog. That way, the entire world gets to see what the issues are and they can learn from your experience. You can post anonymously. I find this to be helpful when readers are sharing a particularly difficult experience or situation.

I sincerely hope that you find this blog to be helpful, challenging, insightful, maddening at times, and a “kick to the side of the head” for many of you.

I want you to use it to challenge your own preconceptions and to help you to understand that you, and not some nebulous hierarchy of religious old men, are in charge of your life.

I want you to post questions, observations and even challenges to what has been written here. I welcome your criticism as well as the occasional “attaboy”.

Finally, I wish you peace and joy on your journey of self discovery.

thewatchtowerfiles

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46 Comments

  1. Mike

    Doug, I was just thinking about you yesterday, and about how I’ve missed your articles. It’s good to know that you’re well and presumably happy! I look forward to seeing your future articles….the wait is always worth it.
    Take care, my friend!

    Michel

  2. Sam

    After several years of voluntary separation from the Watchtower Society this was the first post-witness blog I came across which was not filled with the hatred and negativity that overwhelmed my already overloaded emotions. It embraced the idea of continuing a spiritual lifestyle outside of “the truth” — a terrifying and hope filled thought for me at that time.

    THAT is what this blog does. It takes a former “goodie-good” elder’s kid who removed herself from the congregation to be with one man — an unbeliving husband whose morals and ethics far outweigh even her own — and gives her a reason to rebuild herself when she has been told she isn’t even worth a silent hug from her former family.

    I’m still working on it, but I wouldn’t have even tried to wrap mu head around my own spirituality without your musings, Doug. Thanks.

  3. Rita

    My question to you Doug – What part of the Bible is not the inerrant word of God?

  4. Now that made me smile.

    Thank you Sam!

    Doug

  5. Graham

    Doug; you write with such clarity & insight, thank you & i do understand how you can reach a point where you have said all you can on the subject & leave the conversation thinking you could have had a better conversation with a brick wall, but all that is needed is the opportunity to plant a seed & leave it to prayer.

  6. Thank you Graham!

    Doug

  7. There are certain things that the apostle Paul said that I find to be inaccurate, bigoted and distasteful to my own sensibilities.

    For example:

    1 Corinthians 14:34:

    34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.

    35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

    Many of the things that certain Christians take as commands are merely Paul’s exhortations based not upon direct inspiration but upon his own wisdom and the tremendous Jewish influence and intolerance of the period.

    Parts of the Old Testament clearly contradict each other as well.

    I take this all with a grain of salt and have determined that I shall judge everything I read in the Bible through the words and actions of Christ Himself. He is the true measure, at least in my mind, of what can be directly attributed to God. (Colossians 1:15 and 1 Corinthians 13:10)

    Doug

  8. zeb

    Thanks always for your insights and care Doug.

    There is a Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse currently underway in Sydney Australia.
    The jw come up for scrutiny in July.
    If you, reading this have any experience in this terrible matter contact the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (google) have courage!

  9. Kimberly

    Hi doug! I’m so glad I found this blog! It is such interesting and thought provoking material! While reading in the comments I was reminded of something that I had learned a few years ago and thought I would share. You mentioned Pauls statement from Corinthians and this is something that I too had questions about. Here is what I learned when I inquired:
    1Cor. 14: 34-36 is believed by many scholars to actually not be the writing of Paul. First of all, it does not follow with his writing in 11:5, where he implies that women could actually hold some sort of position within the church. It takes a bit of reading into, but is not argued by scholars. Even stronger evidence for this to be the case is that 14: 34-36 very closely resembles the writings in 1Tim. 2:9-15, where the author (especially in 11 & 12) clearly points out that women are to be silent and hold no positions of authority within the church. This is significant because it is widely accepted in scholarly circles that Paul did not write the books of Tim., but that an anonymous leader of the early church did. It is assumed that the author did so because of the power that Paul’s name held, and who would argue with PAUL, right? It was common practice in ancient times to do this very thing, write under someone’s name. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John come to mind. So, I agree with your comment about some of Paul’s writing, and in some cases I think there is a good answer for why he sounds the way he does. It has been a while since I covered this material, and I hope I haven’t gotten anything confused. If I have and you can correct me please do so!

    Kimberly :-)

  10. Kimberly, it makes perfect sense.

    A lot of what is supposedly written by Paul is advice. For example the use of wine for an upset stomach and the exhortation “good health to you”. Christ never gave medical advice but apparently Paul did. I think Jewish thinking either crept into Paul’s message or it was forced into his writing after his death. The dietary restrictions were completely off base i.e. food sacrificed to idols. He clearly contradicts himself regarding the eating of food in temples. Again, we don’t know whether that is Paul or an impostor inserting opinion but we do know clearly that it is contradictory.

    I think that a dogmatic view of the scriptures being all inclusive and infallible is the wrong way to approach Christianity. Remember that a group of men, a council, much like the group of men that run the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society decided what would be in the Bible and what wouldn’t.

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to consider that perhaps, just like everything else in our culture, the Bible is imperfect? That it is the result of a perfect message from a perfect God to imperfect man who did his best to describe the message while writing it down?

    While I do consider 99% of the Bible to be the inspired word of God, the fact is that there are some scriptures that simply aren’t applicable in today’s world and if taken literally could be downright harmful and heinous. We see the effects of radical interpretation in Islam as well as in certain Christian fundamentalist religions.

    I believe that common sense, and moderation rule the day and should temper any interpretation of scripture. In the end, it is up to the individual Christian as to how he or she should treat a particular passage in scripture.

    Great comment!

    Doug

  11. PJ

    -Hello Doug, I just want to say thanks a bunch for sharing your experience as one of JWs. I was raised in the organization from birth, and left as a teen. For all of you that are considering joining as members, please do take the time prior to research the history of this organization, or should I say corporation. This is one of the largest money making organizations using the “Faith” based illusion to recruit and further fund their hierarchy. Millions of children have lost their most valuable and precious years in this religion. We were only encouraged to learn things that would help us in the ministry, AKA sales. The many talents of these children are wasted; kids are pushed to spend as much time in the field as possible and discouraged from taking time to develop intellectually, artistically, athletically, and most important spiritually. This has had a significantly negative impact on our lives. Many of us are living in poverty due to a lack of education. This organization is totally fear based! You can feel the fear and anxiety in all levels of the organization. They could not keep members if they were not afraid to leave. Most are in fear of losing their relashionships with their closest family and friends through the practice of disfellowshipping. Their are many witnesses that are depressed and discouraged from seeking professional help. Many of my former associates are torn! They go back and forth with the religion because they are unhappy in it, but were never taught how to live constructively without it. To explain further, they live double lives in secret because the JWs doctrine is excessively restrictive, then they get snitched on, disfellowshipped and leave. They do not have a clue how to live healthy lives without the strict system, so they live recklessly. Then this makes them believe that the JWs can help end their sorrows, and they keep going back. It is so sad to witness this. I myself have been blessed to be an individual that will always question what I was told, and research any answers. I also have no concern about trying to please fake friends; if you don’t like me move on and God bless. Others are not so lucky. This religion IS ALL ABOUT PROFIT!! Don’t be fooled by the fact that they don’t send down the tithes bowl. Think about it closely, this religion does not pay anybody for their positions. They do No community service or outreach to the general public of non witnesses. So all the cash is kept in house. But for who?? Not You! Not the average minions ohh noooo! Do your research please! If you have ever been to an assembly then surely you remember the speaker before the intermission encouraging the attendees to give more by stating that they have not met there budget for this years expenses. There is an expected dollar sign for each head and all your elders know this. Go ahead and ask, they will look at you as if they just saw a ghost. I apologize for being so long winded. Bottom line is, please do not fear research. The more you know about all things the better off you will be. Do not allow the fear mongering witnesses to steer you away from the truth. Do not allow your children to be subjected to these misleading teachings, it will do much more harm than you can even imagine and I believe it is total neglect of a child’s overall education. They always say, “Let the truth be your own.” I love this statement even though they don’t follow it. You can have spiritual well being without the JWs. Seek The Truth!
    Peace and blessings

  12. zeb

    I entered the ‘truth’ as an adult. long story as is always.
    The above commentary is entirely true.
    Watching the elders on the stand at the Australian Royal Commission and how they fumbled and bumbled their way through was to be expected but tragic.
    They found out that quoting the ‘party-line’ to questions was not anywhere near enough.

    That the watchtower failed to send a member of the ‘governing body’ to Australia to answer question is itself an indictment of their fear of being questioned.

    Their local lawyers attempted to get the one member of the governing body visiting Australia for family reasons from appearing on the stand.. ask why?

    and consider this, the bible refers to the governments of the world being there to keep order so by not informing on child abusers and wife bashers to the Police then the watchtower is running in opposition to the spirit of the scriptures. So they are working in opposition to what God has set in place.

  13. Thanks PJ!

    Doug

  14. They don’t send high ranking people to these things because they can stand back and say “We didn’t authorize him to say what he said on the stand. He doesn’t speak for the organization.”

    Great points Zeb!

    Doug

  15. zeb

    From the Royal Commission..
    today.

    Public hearing into the Jehovah’s Witnesses to recommence

    The Royal Commission’s public hearing into the Jehovah’s Witnesses will recommence in Sydney on Friday 14 August 2015 at 11:00am.

    It is anticipated that the hearing will hear from one witness, Mr Geoffrey Jackson, a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    The scope and purpose of the public hearing is to inquire into:
    The experience of survivors of child sexual abuse within the Jehovah’s Witnesses Church in Australia
    The responses of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Church and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd to allegations, reports or complaints of child sexual abuse within the Church.
    The systems, policies and procedures in place within the Jehovah’s Witnesses Church and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd for raising and responding to allegations of or concerns about child sexual abuse within the Church.
    The systems, policies and procedures in place within the Jehovah’s Witnesses Church and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd to prevent child sexual abuse within the Church.
    Any related matters.

    Date: Friday 14 August 2015
    Hearing times: 11:00am start
    Location: Hearing room 1, Level 17, Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney

    The public hearing will be streamed live to the public on the Royal Commission’s website http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au

  16. Ami greenidge

    I believe paul was inspired by holy spirit to write regardin the role of women in day to day running of congregation, to keep silent. However, as holy spirit also directed women were also at times used as prophets and teachers which they would have done with head covering on. Christ only appointed men of 12 apostles.

  17. Tina Carr

    I grew up in the “truth” until I was a teen, my parents divorced and my mom was dis-fellowshipped. Imagine my horror as a 12-13 year old kid sitting there watching my mother try to repent of something she had done in the back of the congregation and no one would speak to her, not even her family. It was then that I realized there was something tragically wrong with what the ‘truth’ was teaching. My mother tried, to no avail, to atone for her ‘sin’. Ended up divorced and I NEVER stepped foot back into the cult that is the Witness’s congregation. My grandparents are still very active in the ‘truth’ as are two of my dad’s five brothers and sisters. My dad however and one sister and one brother are all dis-fellowshipped. I watch how hard it is for my 87 year old grandmother to not be able to speak to 3 of her children. But I find myself also disgusted at my grandparents for allowing a so called religion to dictate to them their life! I have a hard time swallowing my disgust for how our conversations always end with, “I wish you would come back to the truth.’ A resounding NO is the answer for that. Growing up as a witness had to have been one of the worst parts of my life!!!! It’s a big lie and being an adult I can truly see what brain washing they lay out for people!!! It’s disgusting!! I’m glad to see some people write about it and let others know that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be!!! Keep talking!! If you save one child from a lifetime of HELL at the hands of this cult you’re doing a good job!!!

  18. Thanks Tina! That is exactly my goal. I didn’t want anyone else to needlessly be subjected to the same hell that I was for twenty-three years.

    I’ve been privileged to help entire families leave the organization so I am truly validated by your truthful words.

    Thanks for sharing and caring enough to post.

    Doug

  19. zeb

    On the news this am from NY is another jw arrested for lewd acts with children. There is his Bethel ID card with photo for all the world to see.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=25zfUmgFDUU
    This is starting to look bigger than just individuals as the NY police attest.

  20. Heffalumpy

    Hello, am back after a lo while
    I was visiting family abroad and went to a meeti with them two weeks ago. Anyway…I was reading rough the

  21. Heffalumpy

    I meant to say back after a LONG while. Apologies for tablet autocorrect*

    I was reading through the current watchtower, an article titled ‘Maintain your loyalty to God’s Kingdom’ and there was a bit that said Jehovah and Jesus do not think that one race, nationality or language is better than another. Servants of Jehovah’s are neutral and do not get involved in issues which divide people…

    Erm, hello??? why would they publish these words, when as an organisation/cult, they believe and teach that they are the only ones going to heaven and do not attend other Houses of God because they believe theirs is the one and only. I found it contradictory…

  22. zeb

    JW Governing Body claims to be the “Faithful Slave”

    GJackson
    Did you know how (in sworn testimony during the recent Australian Royal Commission hearing) Governing Body member Geoffrey Jackson responded to the question, “Do you see yourselves as Jehovah’s spokespeople on earth?”

    Jackson replied, “That, I think, would seem to be quite presumptuous to say that we are the ‘only spokesperson’ that God is using.”

    Really? Was he being truthful and honest when he replied that way?

    Did you know in the February 15, 1918 Watchtower magazine it is recorded,

    . . .we believe it a safe rule to follow Brother Russell’s interpretation, for the reason that he is the servant of the church, . . . and therefore we should expect the Lord to teach us through him.

    Then in the October 1, 1994 Watchtower expanded this concept to another level,

    All who want to understand the Bible should appreciate that the ‘greatly diversified wisdom of God’ can become known only through Jehovah’s channel of communication, the ‘faithful and discreet slave.’

    Three years later in the January 1, 1997 Watchtower Jehovah’s Witnesses leaders stated,

    Jehovah has commissioned the . . . slave class to provide spiritual ‘food at the proper time.’

    The November, 15, 2009 Watchtower provided this admonition:

    We need to guard against developing a spirit of independence. By word or action, may we never challenge the channel of communication that Jehovah is using today.

    Did you know that Geoffrey Jackson went on to say, “…going back to Matthew 24, clearly, Jesus said that in the last days – and Jehovah’s Witnesses believe these are the ‘last days’ – there would be a ‘slave’, a group of persons who would have responsibility to care for the spiritual food. So in that respect, we view ourselves as trying to fulfill that role.”?

    GB-2013

    Jackson may believe he personally is a part of that “slave,” but common sense tells us that believing something is “true” does not necessarily make it so – because no one can create “truth;” no one can change reality. Beliefs should be based on reason, evidence and undeniable content – not rooted in personal viewpoint or unsupportable claims.

    Who, then, is the faithful and discreet slave? In keeping with Jesus’ pattern of feeding many through the hands of a few, that slave is made up of a small group of anointed brothers who are directly involved in preparing and dispensing spiritual food during Christ’s presence. Throughout the last days, the anointed brothers who make up the faithful slave have served together at headquarters. In recent decades, that slave has been closely identified with the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses.Note, however, that the word “slave” in Jesus’ illustration is singular, indicating that this is a composite slave. The decisions of the Governing Body are thus made collectively. (July 2013 Watchtower – Study Edition

    This from jehovahswitness.com and quoting the Royal Commission in Australia on Child abuse

  23. It is the job of the representatives of the Watchtower to portray themselves as innocents when called to testify. Therefore they will say virtually anything to appear as a harmless, innocuous, if odd, group of people who merely wish to be left in peace to pursue their devotion to God.

    For Jackson to say: “That, I think, would seem to be quite presumptuous to say that we are the ‘only spokesperson’ that God is using.” is disingenuous as best. Most of us who have been in the group would regard that as an outright lie and a blatant attempt to deceive the court. Did you notice the way he said it though? Most assuredly the GB’s legal team fed him this line and the reason being is simply this: He prefaced his statement with “…I think…” and then followed up with an often used word in court cases “seem” thus shielding the GB from being held accountable for his words. If this were called out as perjury, then the “seven old men” would say: “Well he was speaking for himself. He wasn’t speaking for us.”

    Remember the words of the serpent in the Garden of Eden?

    “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”” Genesis 3:1

    Satan himself couldn’t deceive any better than these seven old men.

    Doug

  24. Welcome back Heff! I think I speak for most of us when I say: “We all hate autocorrect!”

    You have to look behind the words at the reasons for them. What are they trying to accomplish in saying these things? I believe their main focus is to soften up other countries who have been difficult to penetrate with their message because of governmental safeguards against fringe religions. Perhaps they are trying to get into predominately Islamic areas. Perhaps they are attempting to latch onto the “politically correct” focus of the United States in embracing Islam.

    Whatever the reason(s), be assured that they have them and their words are there to exploit whatever advantage they can secure in using them.

    Doug

  25. Anonymous

    Why is there always talk on sites such as this about the wealth of the wbts? Who is personally getting rich from the sale (donations) of religious literature? Do the members of the governing body all have Swiss bank accounts? I actually don’t have a problem with the society having money. I wish that they would be forced to share all financial information to the members however. I’d be interested in knowing how much is spent on legal fees and expenses given the lawsuits and issues that pop up.

  26. zeb

    I have explained along with many others they tell me to the Royal Commission here in Australia that the WTS will use terminology to side step questions and avoid outright answering questions. That, what are norms in polite society are to be taken advantage of and used to deflect any criticism of the wts.
    Take for instance the crackpot and satanic (“Satan is the father of the lie”-Jesus) belief system of “theocratic warfare”.
    To those who don’t know means the use of deception and lies and LIES to do the above. The ARC was made well aware of this by many callers I was told.
    I wait with interest the final ARC report that will have recommendations to the Federal Government as to what to do in the various cases and overall. But friends be well assured of this; the wts will scream “persecution” from the rooftops if they are required to pay out compensation to the victims of its child abuse policies and practises and they will beg the last pensioners cheque and the last little a child’s bit of pocket money first.
    I have a growing fear that they will attempt to include all jw in some international situation whereby the governments of the world sick of dealing with these “mosquitos in the bedroom” will act to take houses, homes and property of all the ‘normal’ jw as due leaving tens of thousands of folk homeless to be victims of street gangs in many countries.
    Sleeping rough on the streets? In the cold weather the life expectancy will be less than two weeks as pneumonia occurs. But as the previous writer has said where will the gb be by then?

  27. Those are excellent questions Anonymous! Until the government forces the Watchtower to release their financials we shall all continue to be in the dark.

    Doug

  28. Please keep us informed Zeb!

    I seriously doubt any democratic government will target individual JW’s and instead will go after the corporation for damages.

    Doug

  29. zeb

    “The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse” was hearing from Jehovahs witnesses under study number 29. This information is available on the ARC website go to google.
    The ARC has now moved onto other schools and groups so involved.
    The full transcripts’ of who said what are available on the site. Also on google others have collated the appearances of wt people and the wt ‘expert’ Dr.Monica Applewhite for all to see.
    regards

  30. Lebo

    Hi Doug

    Your blogs are liberating to say the least. I have always felt unease about the JW organization. I personally found the organization to be more law oriented than spiritual oriented. I found the members to be very judgemental. The Bible says Jesus is the way not JW organization is to the way. At first though, I would feel like the worst sinner on earth for the leaving the organization – and that in its own is sign of a cult.

    Truth is God loves us all and it his mercy and not his law that we will be judged upon. God is love and that’s all the is it. I’m done being oppressed.

    Lebo
    South Africa

  31. John

    Hello Doug,

    Thank you for this site. I have just started dialogue with a JW workmate, so no doubt I will use some of the information from here.
    Please allow me to respond to some of your earlier comments, (in Christian love of course!)
    Firstly, ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:’ not ‘some scripture’. Often we have to take the bitter with the sweet. Therefore, scripture is not 99% correct but 100% correct.
    Just because particular scripture may seem unpalatable, it is still ‘God breathed’ and I find with these it is a good idea to thoroughly research them eg 1 Corinthians 14.(see http://www.thingstocome.org/silence.htm )

    You mention contradictions in scripture, I have not yet found one contradiction. There are what appear at first glance to be contradictory verses, but after careful research are not. Again, careful research is required.

    I have found that the biggest cause of ‘scriptural difficulty’ results from replacement theology. An example is where JWs claim to be the 144,000, in spite of the Lord twice stating”..I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan…”

    Also, spiritualising verses that are clearly literal is another trap that many Christians (as well as sects) fall into.

    Please take these comments in the manner intended, and keep up the good work.

    John

    Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

  32. Hi John.

    Thanks for the kind words.

    I didn’t take exception to your critique and so I’ll ask the same of you.

    Here is a small group of contradictions. There are a lot more but this should make my point:

    Bible Contradictions

  33. Anonymous

    Hi Doug,
    1: 300 with the spear, but 800 all together.
    2: Faith, but faith without works is dead faith – “22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?”
    3: The Hebrew word used for “only” is yachiyd, which means “unique” or “only begotten” (special). So the Hebrew clarifies that Isaac is indeed the special, unique, only begotten son of Abraham. Isaac was the son of promise.
    4: Two different people with the same name.
    5: In 1 Kings 15 Abijam’s mother is called “Maacha”, which means “suppression”; in 2 Chronicles however, she is called “Michaiah”, which means “Who is like Jehovah?”. Michaiah is the name which is used for her as the queen mother, Maacha is the name which is used in connection with her idolatry
    6: Hebrew terms like “daughter” and “mother” do not necessarily refer to first-generation descendants and can mean “granddaughter” or “grandmother” respectively. So there is no contradiction. Abiham’s (Abijam) mother was Maacah (Micaiah). She was the female offspring of Abishalom (as in 1 Kings) and Gibeah (as in 2 Chronicles).

    I could probably go on, I hope these will be a start for you to research.

    It is important to be able to trust the scriptures as God’s written word, otherwise it is very easy to fall into the same trap that the JWs have, and that is to make it mean something different than what it really says.
    Also, with questions like “How should adulterers be punished?” Christ is showing that forgiveness is more important than punishment, and you should also read the rest of the scriptures relating to both extracts of scripture, such as who and how many witnessed the adultery, and where is the other guilty party?

    Do you want me to answer all of the questions you asked? If so, I would be pleased to, as ‘contradictions – so called’ really make me study the scriptures in a deeper way.

    Yours in Christ,

    John

  34. John,

    When you have to make the puzzle fit your preconceived notions you can hammer it into place and call it good. The JW’s are masters at this.

    Me? I am more of a skeptic. If it helps you sleep at night to justify these errors using circular logic then go for it.

    Me? I readily admit that there are errors and inconsistencies in the Bible and I’m okay with that. I’m still a believer and I’m still a Christian.

    One more for you:

    2 Samuel 24:1 / 1 Chronicles 21:1

    So who was it that caused David to take a census? Was it God or Satan?

    Yeah I’ve seen the arguments posed by various apologists attempting to explain this glaring error and they don’t make any sense to me.

    Doug

  35. John

    Hi Doug,

    Good question. Personally I believe God has complete foreknowledge (omniscience) and will allow an act of Satan to achieve a desired outcome. God is not the author of evil.

    Christians often make the mistake of assuming God is limited to human action and emotion. This of course can not be correct, as then He wouldn’t be God.

    Please see an explanation which I believe answers your question at this link – https://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=6&article=784

    Let us agree to disagree regarding the subject of biblical contradictions, I am sure when we see Jesus face to face all will be revealed!

    Till next time,

    John

  36. Die Infidel! (I’M KIDDING!)

    That’s the real test of Christians in my mind John: Being able to disagree and not condemn each other to eternal damnation. This is so far from what we were taught in the JW’s!

    Love you brother! Keep the faith and please continue to post as you have time. Your input is invaluable to this blog!

    Doug

  37. Mike Hewitt

    Interesting to read the comment about the Society being the Faithful Servant. Russell taught that the Servant was a class until 1896, at which time he began to change the class idea to an individual. This teaching remained until Rutherford changed the teaching back to a class in 1927 so that he could begin to inject his own ideas. The Society today insists that Russell and the Society have always maintained that the Servant was a class, but history shows that they have made a full circle on this critical area of spiritual authority. At first the Servant was a class, then it became an individual, and then under Rutherford it became a class again. The Society even denys publishing a biography of Russell, because to have done so would be giving credit to a man and that it would promote creature worship. However, on page 7 of the biography first published in the December 1916 W.T., as well as certain editions of Studies in the Scriptures beginning in 1924, Russell admits that he was that Servant. The Society promoted the teaching that Russell was that Servant for over 10 years after Russell’s death.

  38. Very informative post Mike!

    Thanks for weighing in.

    Doug

  39. Mike Hewitt

    Doug, do you have a good collection of W.T. material?

  40. Not really. At least not any actual books or magazines anymore.

    Anything you need for documentation is available on the web. One really good resource is http://www.archive.org.

    Another is http://www.a2z.org/wtarchive/archive.htm

    Doug

  41. Anonymous

    My experience with JW encompasses 40 years of my life. Although not a JW…my mother’s 2 brothers were/are. My mom and sister are not. Of the 2 brothers. ..the kids of one are all out. The other brothers kids are mostly in. Of the cousins who are or were in…there’s been so much upheaval in their lives. My one cousin charged her ex husband w rape and he was convicted. She was disfellowshipped following the subsequent divorce. He was not. The other brother’s eldest son was shot in the head as a small child and was denied a blood transfusion but bc he was separated from his wife, my mom helped to locate her and signed for blood and thus was considered the black sheep for years. When my mom who obviously was against the blood issue ended up in a life threatening situation, my JW grandparents called the hospital and instructed them not to give her blood. I went down to the hospital and sorted it. That took nerve to interfere like that when my mom was never a JW a day in her life. Even tho I studied world religions and made it clear I did not hold their JW beliefs, I repeatedly had to deal w ppl who knew my name coming to my home to tell me “the truth”. I was very respectful but after a few times i had to just tell them point blank never to come back to my home. My cousins in the truth have called children’s aid on each other and snitched on each other and ruined relationships and lives. When a cousin left, JWs moved in right next door and reported everything to her dad who was an elder. My grandmother attended my wedding but refused to be seated at the front of the church bc I was wearing the unclean thing (i got some backhanded explanation it was my wedding dress). This was offensive and hurtful. At a JW wedding, a family member bought an alcoholic drink from a BAR. No one said drinks weren’t permitted and they had alcohol in the hall. He was shamed in front of everyone even tho behind closed doors, most of the JWs drank a little…some a lot. My cousin was upset but couldnt speak out against the elder who took great pleasure in it. A bunch of family incl myself walked out on my cousins wedding. No one spoke for 2 years following tgat incident. I wasn’t permitted to speak at my grandfather’s funeral. My uncle who ran it then used the funeral to attack the beliefs of ppl not in “the truth”. Disgusting. And anytime I’ve tried to have an open dialogue w active family members they’re very arrogant and won’t accept a single valid point, everyone is absolutely wrong on all counts…except them..they know everything. My father is a strong man. When it appeared the JWs were actively trying to get my mom to join he told her straight that if she wanted to join she cud but he wud get a divorce and fight for us kids. My mom reiterated it wasn’t wut she wanted so my dad called my grandparents and said call off the hounds or it will get ugly. They finally stopped coming around at all. I love my family. At least mine have spoken to us. I presume because we were never in it so we were never disfellowshipped or left it. But there’s so much trauma that’s gone on. My uncle who was an alcoholic wasn’t helped when he went to the elders about it…they threw him out which was his final straw that broke him. They only want you if you’re undamaged. But THEY damage you. They only want ppl who are submissive and won’t cause any drama or ask any questions. I just want ppl to know its a cult. You can’t leave. If you do, you cannot speak to family still inside and they can’t talk to you. That’s a cult! There’s always drama in these ppls lives. Look for it. It’s not normal. And it’s all fear based control. Please don’t get involved. RUN don’t walk. If you fall in love w a JW, or who has JW family, make it clear up front how you feel as my dad did and be certain they have truly left or are not interested and make it clear the relationship will end if they pull a 180 on you. And never ever allow a home visit or meeting or anything w anyone in the cult. But be very cautious bc years can go by and then suddenly they come back around and try to trigger you to go back. Your safest bet is just don’t get involved. I’m not even a JW and these ppl have impacted my life. I can only imagine my poor cousins who left and the ones who are still in it. God bless.

  42. Anonymous

    Dear Brother Doug, knowing that you had been with JW for more than 23 years, I have a question. Do you know that JW believe that Bible is written for 144,000 and not meant for the rest so call great crowd? To the great crowd, bible written only beneficial to them by extension though the word extension no way to be found in the bible?

  43. They teach that the Bible was written for everyone. However, they teach that only the “spirit anointed” members of the 144,000 spoken of in Revelation are actually Christ’s brothers and sisters, worthy to interpret the scriptures for themselves or the rest of us. In reality, they only allow certain members of this “elite class” to do that. Fred Franz was the primary source for Jehovah’s opinion and all things “spiritual” during his time as president of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society. The Watchtower teaches that these “anointed” ones are the only servants of Jehovah actually in a covenant relationship with Christ, being purchased by His blood. The rest, the “great crowd” class, are said to only be saved inasmuch as they have “grabbed hold of the skirt of the Jew”, i.e. cooperated and followed very closely the direction of this “elite” class.

    This is what they teach.

    Doug

  44. To All whom it may concern. A NEW ”1914” dilemma,
    The 1,914 years (after Christ) must be transposed from the Jewish (360 day) to the Gregorian (365.2425 day) calendar. Jehovah’s Witnesses (the early Bible Students) did not take this into account in their ”607 BC – 1914 AD” calculations. (Approx) 28 years difference! Considering this, 1886 AD would have been the date the Kingdom was set up, not 1914. We can use this information to destroy the foundational 1914 dogma, and hopefully ”awaken” some members.

    1914 – Recognizing the ”The elephant in the room”. 

    The problem with the date ”1914 AD” lays with the two calendars that are involved – Jewish and Gregorian. 

    The JW ”prophecy” of the ”7 TIMES”, which equals 2520 days/years, minus 607 (the years before Christ) leaves 1,913 years ”after Christ”. (The ”year ONE” –  BC / AD problem will be taken into account later.)

    BUT…Those 1913 years must be counted as Jewish years of 360 days each – they do NOT suddenly become Gregorian years of 365.2425 days.

    Those 1,913 Jewish years (after Christ) have to be transposed from Jewish years into Gregorian years, do they not? 

    The way to do that, would be to multiply 1,913(the number of Jewish years since Christ) times 360 days, to get the total number of days in that time period.

    And then divide that number by 365.2425 (the Gregorian number of days in a year) to arrive at the number of years it represents in our calendar. (The number 365.2425 takes care of the Leap years.)

    Therefore, 1,913 Jewish years, times 360 (Jewish days in a year) equal 688,680 Jewish days. Now, divide that number by 365.2425 to transpose it into our calendar. It comes to the year 1885 AD.

    The ”year ONE” –  BC / AD problem still has to be taken into account. Jehovah’s Witnesses added one year, so the number of years becomes 1886 AD.

    1886 AD should have been claimed as the ”YEAR THE MESSIANIC KINGDOM  WAS  SET  UP” —- not 1914.

    This is the “elephant in the room”- something too ”big” to be seen. We were all focused on the 607 BC – 587 BC problem, and couldn’t see this one. If we can reach people (flood the internet) with this information, we will help many in JW.org to leave. 

    If the year, ”1914” goes, many of their (present-day) dates go with it. They fall down like dominoes. 

    PLEASE HELP. If we blitz the internet, we can cause a furor. JW.org will have a hard time doing damage control. Some JW’s will see the titles, automatically understand the problem with 1914, question it, and RUN WITH IT.

    We can – blitz the Internet: JW’s who are ”asking questions” and ”searching the internet” will see it. They can “carefully” introduce the subject to their friends and family. Maybe we can help pull friends and family out of the Organization. Here are things we can do:
    YOU TUBERS, make your own video. Put the information under the video for people to copy and paste, or use links; leaving the comment section open to get reactions. 
     In addition, writing something across the Picture will bring added attention.
    Copy and paste this information (or write in your own words) and put it in the comment section of all (recent) videos that you have made. Perhaps suggest that it does not get buried by other comments. People can use the REPLY button to leave comments.
    For those who don’t make videos, copy and paste this information in the comment section on sites that talk about this issue, etc. 
    Put a copy of this on your X JW Internet sites. 
    Go on other Internet X JW sites and contact them, so they can participate.
    Put this on JW.org sites in their comment sections.
    Use Links, Share, Email, Face book, Twitter, etc.
    Put on X JW forums, etc. 
    Make new Internet sites (for JW’s who type ”1914” in their Browser).
    Make stand-alone PAGES on your blogs.
    Phone the Society and ask questions – think of the hub-bub that would cause. The front desk would be buzzing.
    Make a video of your phone call to JW.org.
    For those of you who speak different languages, ADVERTISE, ADVERTISE, ADVERTISE. 

    Some title ideas for videos: 
     1914  – Jewish-Gregorian Calendars 
     1914 – Hebrew-Gregorian Calendars
     1914 – difference in Calendars not taken into account
     Calendar differences not taken into account! 1914
    ”1,914” Jewish years, not Gregorian years  – 27 years difference
     NEW, NEW information on 1914 – the calendars
     Major Question for JW’s concerning 1914 – the calendars
    1914 now under question – the calendars
    Serious question concerning 1914, JW’s
    A Major problem with 1914 – the calendars
    JW.org and 1914 – the calendars
    1914 – the wrong date – the difference in the calendars.
     What about 1914??? 
    Doubts about 1914? – the Jewish – Gregorian calendars
    1914-1886 Which is right?
    1914 deception 
    What? 1886 AD? NOT 1914??? 
    1914 in Question. What about the rest?
    etc., etc., etc.

  45. Anonymity

    I have faded the past few years. Sick of all the doctrinal changes and child abuse allegations/two witnesses rule, their belonging to the UN previously. Now I’m ready to move on. I want to know what others believe will happen when Jesus returns. I don’t want to make another mistake when it comes to finding a place of worship.

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