Interesting Stuff

Chat about anything you like here that doesn't fit under Bible Doctrines. Keep the subjects clean and refreshing to all.
Forum rules
Matt 18:6; Eccl 7:9; 1 Pet 4:8 (If you're not sure what they say then please hover over them with your mouse or look them up in your own Bible before posting)
Message
Author
Get out of her
Posts: 888
Joined: 4 years ago

Re: Interesting Stuff

#271 Post by Get out of her » 1 month ago

Bobcat wrote:
Someone on Reddit posted a graphic that shows how life expectancy and child mortality (and a few other measures of progress) have changed from about the year 1900 until 2016. It can be seen here.

I think the purpose of the graphic was to show that modern times can not really be described as the worst of times. Or, alternatively, saying that 'recent times are the last days because we are living in the worst of times' is a false argument.

At any rate, make of it what you will. It is an interesting graphic.
In my case case whenever I see things like this I am reminded of scriptures like 1 Thessalonians 5:3:


"Whenever it is that they are saying Peace and security, then sudden destruction will be instantly upon them just as the pang of distress of a pregnant woman and they will by no means escape."



By cross referencing accounts like Jeremiah Chapter 8 we attain to a better understanding of what is actually being conveyed in such passages. (Jer 8:8-11) While the elites themselves are beginning to become "faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth" due to their "sins" that by this time have "amassed clear up to the heavens," they nevertheless desperately attempt to pacify the masses to help maintain as much control over them as possible. (Lu 21:25, 26) (Re 18:4, 5)

Agape love;
Sol

Bobcat
Posts: 3167
Joined: 6 years ago

Re: Interesting Stuff

#272 Post by Bobcat » 1 month ago

While the elites themselves are beginning to become "faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth

As for myself, I would hardy equate someone who has mastered the art of using MS Powerpoint with publicly available statistics as one of "the elites themselves."

Also, to me, your application of Lu 21:25, 26 is out of context. Luke places it after the start of the 1st century great tribulation upon the Jews and within "this generation" within which "all these things" would take place. (Lu 21:20, 32)

Having said that, I would agree that the poster of the graphic is not just disagreeing with the WT (it was from an exJW reddit forum), but that he is also attempting to compartmentalize the "day of the Lord" in his own mind as being nothing to worry about. In that sense I can see him doing what 1Th 5:3 is talking about. (See the ESV rendering of 1Th 5:3; See this post and the one immediately following for some discussion of 1Th 5:3. It is describing an attitude towards "the day of the Lord" which was already prevailing among mankind in Paul's day, and would continue to do so until "the day of the Lord" suddenly erupts. 1Th 5:3 is expressing something similar to Lu 17:26-30 and Mt 24:36-42.)

For me, the "last days" began with Jesus' first advent. (Heb 1:2 NET) Since that time "all mankind, everywhere" are being called upon to "repent" (Ac 17:30, 31; also see here), for the simple reason that God intends to "judge the inhabited earth in righteousness." And the guarantee that that will happen is the resurrection of Jesus, the one who will be used to judge the earth. So that there is no need for good or bad mortality statistics to confirm that we are in the last days. For me, improving mortality statistics and other such improvements have no bearing on whether we are in the last days. (See, for example, under "Trumpet 4" in this post.)


Bobcat

Get out of her
Posts: 888
Joined: 4 years ago

Re: Interesting Stuff

#273 Post by Get out of her » 1 month ago

Bobcat wrote:
As for myself, I would hardy equate someone who has mastered the art of using MS Powerpoint with publicly available statistics as one of "the elites themselves."
Thank you for sharing some thoughts on this Bobcat and I hope you don't mind some feedback on your comments. Please bear with me for a moment however while I endeavor to first make a point:

I personally to live in the state of Oregon in the U.S.A. which happens to be among the ones labeled as a "blue" state or otherwise among the ones allegedly with a more democratic leaning than a republican one. According to the publicly available reports or statistics, Joe Biden recently won the popular vote for president in this state. Strangely enough however throughout the entire presidential campaign I cannot recall witnessing even one person promoting, advocating or campaigning for this candidate in any manner whatsoever. Not ONE, and in fact if I ever even heard his name mentioned at all it was when someone was expressing shock and horror over the fact that he was even in the running. Bear in mind that this state was never in some form of Covid-19 lockdown with respect to traveling and we were always free to go wherever we wanted throughout the entire campaign. Moreover I observed no shortage of campaigning for OTHER presidential candidates, and particularly for the REPUBLICAN president Donald Trump oddly enough. Yet somehow we are all still expected to recognize all these officially stated statistics as gospel truth.

Yes here in this world where we are still dealing with the fallout of a "ruler" who was identified by Jehovah as even the "father of the lie," there is seemingly no end to the publicly available information on basically ANY issue or topic. (Joh 8:44 12:31) The question I would pose here would be—should we suddenly begin recognizing something as factual because it at some point was posted up as official "statistics" now readily available for everyone to see? Is it suddenly true because we found it on Wikipedia or Snopes, or heard it announced on the news? Even if there actually is a measure of truth to even MANY of these things, as the old saying goes—"the most powerful and effective lies are the ones that contain the most truth."

However what makes these particular statistics you are referring to all the more suspect to me would be the timing in which they are being pointed out to us. Even aside from the ever increasing level of violence and wars, pestilences, famines and earthquakes that the earth has been experiencing on a global scale for over a century already, now we are dealing also with lockdowns and mass protests and riots that are forcing countless millions across the globe out of their employment and into a state of poverty or even outright starvation in which they could no longer purchase daily essentials even if they were still available to them. What possible motivation could ANYONE have in expecting me to be pacified or even patronized because they came across some alleged official statistics that currently point to a lower mortality rate than at some point in the past?

Particularly in view of scriptures like Jeremiah 8:11 and 1 Thessalonians 5:3, even if this person does not happen to be among the elites of this world I would nonetheless be compelled to question the statistics themselves and who it was exactly that put them up to shoving them in our face. Personally If I am going to take comfort over any of this it will be that from the "GOD of all comfort" and the manner in which HE puts all this in perspective for us. (2 Cor 1:3) (Lu 21:28)
Also, to me, your application of Lu 21:25, 26 is out of context. Luke places it after the start of the 1st century great tribulation upon the Jews and within "this generation" within which "all these things" would take place. (Lu 21:20, 32)
First of all I hope you can understand how this statement would seem contradictory to me based on some things you propose shortly afterwards. But when considering it simply as it stands I would say the following:

There is absolutely every reason both scripturally and historically to recognize that just as had ALWAYS been the case when Jehovah's nation violates his holy covenant, ultimately Jehovah's judgments for this involve exactly what was stated in accounts like Matthew 13:39, namely "…A conclusion of A system of things." In fact while I am clearly no advocate of the Watchtower organization, a consideration of the original koine Greek writings of the New Testament will reveal that their NWT is perhaps the ONLY Bible that contains an accurate translation of this particular scripture.

However when it comes to the case of the FOURTH "generation" there in the first century that was experiencing this foretold cycle of "seven strikings" or "chastisings" for this very same apostasy or spiritual "harlotry," there is at least one or two things that we might want to take special note of. (Le 26:18, 24) Compare (Mt 26:31)

One of them is that while historians all seem to agree that this first century "Jewish" system of things came to a complete end in 74 CE at the fortress of Masada, we find ones like the Apostle John foretelling or prophesying this very same cycle of events over two decades later throughout the book of Revelation. Another would be this:

Jesus himself at some point referred to a "great tribulation" or conclusion of a system of things that NOT ONLY could be recognized as unfolding at a level that the earth had never yet seen and would never experience again, but would also culminate in a "bowl of God's anger" that could be compared to the Great flood of Noah's day. (Mt 24:21, 22, 37) (Re 15:7)

Now since the world of mankind had obviously already experienced this global deluge mentioned here in Matthew even WELL BEFORE the first century, are we grasping the fact that these words of Jesus would point to a "tribulation" that is even much GREATER than the one that reached its climax between 70-74 CE? With that in mind, could we rightly claim that the events associated with the generation of the first century and its "conclusion of a system of things" could truly be recognized as a COMPLETE or even FINAL fulfillment of this "end times" prophecy?
Having said that, I would agree that the poster of the graphic is not just disagreeing with the WT (it was from an exJW reddit forum), but that he is also attempting to compartmentalize the "day of the Lord" in his own mind as being nothing to worry about. In that sense I can see him doing what 1Th 5:3 is talking about. (See the ESV rendering of 1Th 5:3; See this post and the one immediately following for some discussion of 1Th 5:3. It is describing an attitude towards "the day of the Lord" which was already prevailing among mankind in Paul's day, and would continue to do so until "the day of the Lord" suddenly erupts. 1Th 5:3 is expressing something similar to Lu 17:26-30 and Mt 24:36-42.)

For me, the "last days" began with Jesus' first advent. (Heb 1:2 NET) Since that time "all mankind, everywhere" are being called upon to "repent" (Ac 17:30, 31; also see here), for the simple reason that God intends to "judge the inhabited earth in righteousness." And the guarantee that that will happen is the resurrection of Jesus, the one who will be used to judge the earth. So that there is no need for good or bad mortality statistics to confirm that we are in the last days. For me, improving mortality statistics and other such improvements have no bearing on whether we are in the last days. (See, for example, under "Trumpet 4" in this post.)
I'm not trying to attack you or even ANYONE here, but don't you see how this position of yours would seem as somewhat confused to me? For one thing, if we are to understand that the "day of the Lord" or "last days" should be recognized as ONE big contiguous event that would begin in the first century and stretch over two or three millenniums and then finally at some point suddenly "erupt" upon the earth, then how could ANYTHING I stated be recognized as "out of context"? But what makes this seem even more contradictory is that you had already insisted these prophesies experienced their fulfillment in the first century and that it was for this reason I was taking things out of context.

Perhaps I am misunderstanding what you are trying to say here. I'm hoping you might better explain your views here and more importantly produce more scriptural support for whatever they might actually be.

Agape love;
Sol

Bobcat
Posts: 3167
Joined: 6 years ago

Re: Interesting Stuff - Apologies Within WT Land

#274 Post by Bobcat » 1 month ago

A poster on Reddit made an interesting post about apologies within the WT organization. I thought his comments were worth copying and posting here. The comments might make one's experience within the WT more understandable:

One of the many things that makes it difficult to live as a Jehovah's Witness is the lack of apologies within the brotherhood as well as from brother to brother and sister to sister. For the most part there is a total absence of apologies within Jehovah Witnesses.

Corporations apologize all the time. Ten years ago the CEO of Toyota got up before hundreds of media members and apologized for several decisions the company had made. He gave statements such as : "I can’t begin to express my remorse”, “extremely regrettable” , and "very sorry". The astounding thing is that he was only CEO for a few months yet took accountability for the actions of his corporation.

Why do corporations often issue apologies yet Watchtower has never issued a single apology or admitted fault in their nearly 140 years of existence?

If Watchtower would admit fault or apologize it would most likely be in the Kingdom Ministry. In fact the word apology or apologize has only appeared a total of five times within the nearly 50 year history of the Kingdom Ministry . Not once was it in used in context for a decision that Watchtower had made.

The culture of never admitting fault trickles down to the local elder body. I'd like to share with you a couple personal experiences.

Recently our local body of elders voted on and agreed to cancel a meeting on due to Coronavirus. Our congregation consists mainly of older ones who are susceptible to the virus and we thought it would be a good idea to cancel the meeting as to not place them in a position to decide whether to attend. The older generation is very trusting of the org and if there's a meeting they will be there. Our body is educated and had the street smarts to cancel knowing it was the direction it was headed.

The next day our idiot COBE decides to let the Circuit Overseer know that we cancelled the meeting thinking he'd receive some accolades. There was no reason to do this but elders make up reasons to call up the CO regularly since they think it makes them seem important. Well the CO blew a gasket. Absolutely flipped out. Asked the COBE if this was his decision alone or the elder body. He said the next visit he will discuss with us as a body if we are still qualified to serve as elders. Under no circumstance should we cancel ANY meeting due to a virus outbreak he told us.

Now mind you there is no procedure for cancelling local meetings. We cancel meetings for weather often and its never an issue. In fact deciding to cancel for Coronavirus was as easy as a decision we ever made. For some reason the CO decided to make an issue of this.

Within a week we received a letter from the US Branch stating that going forward all meetings are cancelled in the foreseeable future. Mind you things move very slowly in Bethel (it took years for the GB to change their stance on alternative military service) and chances are this was determined days before the letter was released. When our body made the decision to cancel it was already determined in Bethel to cancel all meetings.

Did we ever hear an apology from the CO? Did the Circuit Overseer admit he was wrong for threatening to remove us? Not once or did he even mention of it. In fact he's acted like that conversation never happened. Yet initially he demanded we apologize to him for our decision to cancel the meeting. There's a certain theme here and I'll come back around to it.

Another story. I was conducting the Watchtower and would always apologize at the end for those who hands I missed. If you ever conduct you'll always hear about someone's hand who you missed during the study. I'd proactively issue an apology since I did feel bad about not getting everyone who wanted to comment. There are always a few hands that you wish you got and people do take it personally you didn't call on them. I would literally say: "I am sorry for any hands I may have missed and will do my best to get you next week".

Well one week we were hosting the District and Circuit Overseer for a special week of activity. I was conducting the Watchtower as usual. Give my usual spiel at the end about missing hands and how I'll try and get them next study. After the meeting the District Overseer approaches me and says he wants to give me something to think about. What he said to me really gave me insight into why Watchtower never apologies.

He told me that as men who are responsible for leading the flock we never should show weakness or doubt our abilities. The brothers and sisters look to us as spiritual men who they should approach under any circumstance. When we admit fault and apologize it may give reason for that trust in us for spiritual guidance to lessen. By me apologizing for missing hands it may give reason for the brothers and sisters to look at me as someone who's judgment and ability to lead is impaired. Never should we show any weakness or second guess any decision we make he said. If we do make any incorrect decisions Jehovah will correct it in due time.

All this over after apologizing for not calling on a couple people during the Watchtower.

But this really made me think. Apologies only go one way within Watchtower: bottom-up.

Do publishers apologize for not turning in the service time? Yes they do. If an elder asks for your time slip and you already turned it in, does he apologize for asking again? Most likely not. The culture within Watchtower is to only apologize to those who are in a higher appointed capacity. Never the reverse.

Ministerial Servants apologize to the elders. Elders apologize to the Circuit Overseer. The Circuit Overseer apologizes to the Branch. But who does the Governing Body apologize to? No one. They are the very top and don't feel a requirement to apologize to those that are 'under' them. This has been the culture for well over a hundred years and will never change. It's why we never see any apologies or admission of incorrect decisions. I truly believe that the Governing Body knows the fallout from the Anthony Morris zone visit from 2014 yet we'll never hear anything resembling an apology for hurting so many feelings. Even a joke making light of the situation would be a start.

However there are those who do apologize. And that's why it is so refreshing when it happens within the organization. Almost surprising. Every time I'd apologize for missing hands I would always get a comment or two thanking me for saying that. The odd thing is - it was always ones who's hands I did not miss. They just always appreciated seeing an apology even if it wasn't meant for them. It was heartbreaking seeing how happy people were to see an apology of any sort. They just weren't used to it.

Apologizing has two main aspects: expressing regret and accepting responsibility. Has the Governing Body or Watchtower ever expressed regret or accepted responsibility for a poor decision they made? Not once. The thousands that died in Malawi? The light keeps getting brighter. Blood fractions and the thousands that died since they weren't allowed to take them at the time? The light keeps getting brighter. It's always always always deflecting blame and never accepting responsibility. We're not talking about inconveniences there, we are talking about decisions that have caused the deaths of tens of thousands. That Watchtower or the Governing Body has never once expressed regret or even sadness for these thousands of deaths says all you need to know about the religion. How they've handled the child sexual abuse troubles has been even worse. Watchtower did not just ignore it, they expressed anger and attacked those that had been abused.

In 2008 the Pope made the following statement regarding the child sex abuse issues within the Catholic Church:
Here I would like to pause to acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy and religious in this country. I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured and I assure them that, as their pastor, I too share in their suffering. ... Victims should receive compassion and care, and those responsible for these evils must be brought to justice. These misdeeds, which constitute so grave a betrayal of trust, deserve unequivocal condemnation. I ask all of you to support and assist your bishops, and to work together with them in combating this evil. It is an urgent priority to promote a safer and more wholesome environment, especially for young people.

In 2015 Governing Body member Stephen Lett commented on the child sexual abuse problem within Jehovah's Witnesses:
“Another way we can contribute to the oneness: rejecting false stories that are designed to separate us from Jehovah’s organization. As an example, think about the apostate-driven lies and dishonesties that Jehovah’s organization is permissive toward pedophiles. I mean, that is ridiculous, isn’t it! If anybody takes action against someone who would threaten our young ones, and takes action to protect our young ones, it is Jehovah’s organization. We reject outright such lies.”

Stephen Lett's response perfectly encapsulated Watchtower's culture of apology - there is no culture of apology.

There has been a problem with CSA. Even Watchtower admits this in a way obtuse way. Within the last two years every CO Visit and KM School with the elders has asked the following question: If someone approaches you with allegations of child sexual abuse, what should you tell the accuser? Answer: They have every right to approach the local authorities with such allegations. The problem exists and Watchtower knows it which is why elder's are continually being asked this question over and over the last couple years.

Yet have we ever seen any sort of public apology from the Governing Body? Have they ever expressed regret? Have they ever admitted responsibility? No. Instead they've actually attacked those who have been abused and accused them of lies. Not only does this not let them heal it makes their suffering exponentially worse.

I found this quote to be very fitting:
“Apologizing does not always mean you’re wrong and the other person is right. It just means you value your relationship more than your ego.”
That right there says how the Governing Body and Watchtower feels about the brothers and sisters within the organization.

Bobcat

apollos0fAlexandria
Posts: 3331
Joined: 6 years ago

Re: Interesting Stuff

#275 Post by apollos0fAlexandria » 1 month ago

Hi Bobcat - that assessment was very astute I think. A single apology could earn them so much credit from many people, but you can sense how painful it would be for them to cross that line. This month in JW broadcasting they again double down on their scare tactics - especially relating to the minds of children. They want parents to adopt their values in how much to scare kids, rather than ever listening to the long-term psychological effects that they might inflict on younger minds.

Of course they'd argue that sensitivities come second when it's life or death at stake. That may be true to some degree, but makes it more important for people to know that what they're scaring their kids with is genuine truth, and not manipulative doctrine.

Bobcat
Posts: 3167
Joined: 6 years ago

Re: Interesting Stuff - Apologies Within WT Land

#276 Post by Bobcat » 1 month ago

As an addendum to this topic of WT never apologizing, Eric (Meleti, on the BP site) posted an audio recording of two elders meeting with a brother, supposedly to 'encourage' him. If you are interested in hearing it, it can be found here.

Just as a side point, I've concluded that my response to the 'Do you believe the GB is the F&DS/God's Channel/et al' question is an unapologetic, "What does Matthew 7:1 say?' and nothing else. Repeated as often as necessary. (Or Romans 14:4 might be used for variety. Both verses leave any (good or bad) judgement of the GB in God's/Jesus' hands. Romans 14:10-12 is also a good alternative response. But don't read it or quote it or explain it for them. Let the Pharisees themselves do that.)


Bobcat

Get out of her
Posts: 888
Joined: 4 years ago

Re: Interesting Stuff

#277 Post by Get out of her » 1 month ago

I truly believe that the Governing Body knows the fallout from the Anthony Morris zone visit from 2014 yet we'll never hear anything resembling an apology for hurting so many feelings. Even a joke making light of the situation would be a start.
I was just curious if someone could tell me a little more about what actually occurred here with this 2014 zone visit. I personally had reached the point where I stopped attending meetings for two years or so around 2011 and 2012. Someone informed me later of some things the GB had announced from the platform at that event that would have prevented me from ever attending a meeting again. I tried briefly to reactivate myself sometime in 2013 and it was actually some comments from Anthony Morris from the platform that got the ball rolling on my decision to leave the organization permanently. Now I'm wondering if I have my time frames a bit mixed up and we are actually talking about the same occasion.

Sol

Get out of her
Posts: 888
Joined: 4 years ago

Re: Interesting Stuff

#278 Post by Get out of her » 1 month ago

ooops I forgot to point out that the announcements I had missed were at an "annual meeting" sometime around 2011 or 2012. I was obviously in attendance for the occasion when Anthony Morris made a total fool of himself. (as far as I'm concerned anyway)

Sol

Bobcat
Posts: 3167
Joined: 6 years ago

Re: Interesting Stuff

#279 Post by Bobcat » 1 month ago

If anyone knows and wouldn't mind filling me in, what transpired at the AMIII Zone Visit? Curious minds want to know.


Bobcat

Bobcat
Posts: 3167
Joined: 6 years ago

Re: Interesting Stuff - WT Data 1973-2020

#280 Post by Bobcat » 1 month ago

Someone on Reddit posted a compilation of WT annual reports from 1973 to 2020. It can be seen here in JPG format.

The numbers show a significant drop in Memorial attendance for 2019-2020. But I think much of that can be attributed to problems/lockdowns with Covid. OTOH, Memorial partakers continue to rise.


Bobcat

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests