Another update

Hello, all:

This is the first time I log on for what seems to be ages! I’ve received many comments on each and every post, which is good, but it also means that many of the blogs will be rewritten and updated to address further points that ex-Witnesses (that is, those whom have left the Christian Congregation) and critics alike allege. I’ll be taking my time on this as I’m in no rush; so you can expect sporadic updates here and there as time permits. I will give my best effort to make each and every post as exhaustive and comprehensive as possible, as I do not plan on rewriting every entry over and over again.

This blog started out with a purpose, namely, to refute Don Cameron’s misrepresentations and distortions of the history and teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society— The objective hasn’t changed.  Thus you the reader can expect a thorough and exhaustive refutation of his book, chapter by chapter and even sentence by sentence if need be.

One thing that needs to be remember is that this blog isn’t for those whom don’t want an answer for the allegations by critics and opposers such as Cameron and his acquaintances, but for those whose heart is right and may have struggled because of distortions such as can be read in Cameron’s book. No way in the world am I going to convince apostates that Cameron’s wrong for they have already decided in their heart that he is right and I and others whom set out to defend the Society against Cameron’s points is wrong.

The only way to ‘set the record straight’ is to look at the evidence objectively and see where it leads. Does it lead to the conclusion that Cameron adopts in his book? Or does it lead to a conclusion that Cameron’s book is completely bogus and should reserve no place in anyones theological library?

Published in: on June 30, 2010 at 8:18 pm  Comments (15)  

Revisions and Updates are Coming

Greetings to readers,

Just to keep you guys updated, I am letting you know Chapters 1-6 will be revised and expanded upon during the next few weeks. More thorough research has been done concerning the topics at hand and will therefore, result in revisions! I cannot say for certain nor promise that this will be done all at once because of obligations myself and others have. Only as time permits will the revisions take place. The overall feel and argumentation will not necessarily change, but of course, with all revisions, words/sentences are taken out and reworded or expanded upon and therefore, that is what you can expect! Also, many of the postings on this site, I myself did not publish. This blog is ran as a team, but as of late, I’ve been given the ‘OK’ to go ahead and take control of this blog. I want to say, specifically to Don Cameron, no I’m not ThirdWitness. If you wish to interact with him, I’m sure you can interact with him at topix at the Jehovah’s Witness board or any other way you know how. With all this being said, you can expect revisions to come soon.

Best Regards,
STRS

Published in: on February 4, 2010 at 11:46 am  Comments (3)  

Chapter 6: Who Is “God’s Organization”?–REVIEWED

A starting point in understanding this illusionary concept is to understand just who rather than what the expression “God’s organization” normally refers to in actual practice. (Pg 47)

And on Page 48:

But again, it is not an abstract “the organization” that decides what everyone else must believe. Prior to 1976 it was the president who made those decisions. Since 1976 a small governing body of men has made them. In actual practice then, the various terms used for “God’s organization” refer to these men who are hidden behind those terms.

The only illusionary concept presented in Cameron’s book thus far is his own “illusionary concept” of misconcepts and misunderstandings about the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Cameron states “the various terms used for ‘God’s organization’ refer to these men who are hidden behind those terms.” That is simply untrue and a blatant misrepresentation of Jehovah’s Witness beliefs. So, then, one may ask, “Who or what is God’s organization?” The answer is fairly simple. To begin with, an ‘organization’ is an organized body formed to carry out a specific goal.  In the context of Jehovah’s Witness teachings, “God’s organization” is an organized association of followers of Christ and Jah dedicated to do Jah’s will. Is this all “God’s organization” entails? The May 15, 1925, issue of The Watchtower said: “All holy angels are a part of God’s organization.” Additionally, it said: “At the head of God’s organization, possessing all power and authority, [is] the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Matthew 28:18) Hence, in its broadest sense, God’s organization is made up of all those in heaven and on earth who work together to do God’s will, not “a small governing body of men” as Cameron alleges and would have his readers believe.

On Page 48-9 Cameron writes:

Jehovah’s Witnesses are often reminded of the need to be loyal not only to God but also to “his organization.” For example, in the October 1, 2001 Watchtower they ask the question, “What does it mean to be LOYAL?” They answer, “Loyalty to God also includes loyalty to his organization.” Witnesses certainly want to be loyal to God. But they are often reminded that they cannot be loyal to God if they are disloyal to his organization.

The Watchtower Cameron quotes make mention of several things. For example, it stresses loyalty to the Bible, the brethren, family, friends, marriage mate and to God’s organization. It is important to remember that “God’s organization” is made up of all those who work together to do Jah’s will in heaven and on earth.

Cameron continues on page 49:

Today the only way they can be loyal to “God’s organization” is to be loyal to the men of the Governing Body.

This is simply another untrue statement by Cameron. To be “loyal” to “God’s organization” you must be loyal to the Bible, the brethren, and to Jah and Christ’s will. Cameron tries to twist the teaching of the “Faithful and Discreet Slave” and manipulate it to a point, where he can get his reader to fall into his scheme, that is, the idea that Jehovah’s Witnesses beliefs are in the hands of a select few. The truth is the belief system of Jehovah’s Witnesses is based on the Bible and not on a “small governing body of men.” In fact, Cameron proves this when he wrote in chapter 3 about the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses and how the teachings were not unique to them:

God’s name is not “God,” God is not a Trinity, Jesus is not God, the soul is not immortal, hell is not hot, the dead are not conscious, and the earth will not be destroyed. But there were others who taught these same things before and after 1919.

There is a contradiction on Cameron’s part. First he says the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses are not necessarily unique to them and that others believed the “same things before and after 1919.” Then in this chapter (chapter 6) he says Jehovah’s Witnesses believe what “a small governing body of men” tells them to believe. If before 1976 there wasn’t a governing body(according to Cameron) but yet there were other religions who believed the “same things” as Jehovah’s Witnesses, how can Cameron assert that Jehovah’s Witnesses only believe what “a small governing body of men” tell them when other religions have the “same” beliefs? There is no doubt other religions that had similar beliefs to Jehovah’s Witnesses “before and after 1919” arrived at their own conclusions independently from the Watchtower Society. But yet, when Jehovah’s Witnesses believe the “same things” Cameron says it is only because the governing body is telling them to believe them. In simple terms: other religions believe the “same things” as Jehovah’s Witnesses because of their study from the Bible. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe these “same things” it is only because the governing body tells them too. Does anybody else see the hypocrisy and double standard set by Cameron? Not only is there discrepancies in his logic but there is also inconsistencies in his application of the same logic. Nothing short of a double standard.

On page 50:

One of the things that convinces Jehovah’s Witnesses that religious groups like the Branch Davidians and The People’s Temple did not have God’s backing is because the men who were their leaders demanded unquestioning trust and submission to their directions. Witnesses have no difficulty seeing that fact. But they are unable to see that they are doing the very same thing when they give their unquestioning trust and submission to “God’s organization.”

As an ex-Jehovah’s Witness Cameron cannot truly say what “convinces Jehovah’s Witnesses that …the Branch Davidians and The People’s Temple did not have God’s backing.” I can assure you, it is not merely because “their leaders demanded unquestioning trust and submission to their directions.” Primarily, if their belief system wasn’t based on the Bible truths then it is obvious they didn’t have “God’s backing.” Secondly, they formed in the 1930’s and 50’s, meaning that they would have missed the ‘Parousia’ of Christ and therefore, couldn’t have even been inspected in 1918-9. They were not preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God and were not feeding Christ’s other sheep. These points brought up are just some of the Biblical requirements showing who would have “God’s backing” and approval.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are encouraged to “make sure of all things” and “hold fast to what is fine”, not merely to “give…unquestioning trust and submission.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21) Once again, Cameron tries to paint a false and misleading representation and image of Jehovah’s Witnesses to his readers, something that has become oh so common by now, and it’s barely the 6th chapter! End.

Published in: on January 18, 2010 at 1:47 pm  Comments (6)  

Chapter 5: The One Mistake All Jehovah’s Witnesses Have Made–REVIEWED

Cameron makes a bold and even outrageous comment when he states on page 44:

All those who are now Jehovah’s Witnesses have failed to carefully examine the Watchtower’s claim of being God’s “faithful and discreet slave organization” based upon what Russell & Rutherford had been teaching down till 1919 in fulfillment of Matthew 24:45-47. And all those who become Jehovah’s Witnesses in the future will make this same mistake.

Really? “All” Jehovah’s Witnesses “fail to carefully examine the Watchtower’s claim of being God’s ‘faithful and discreet slave organization’” based upon the teachings from the 1800’s to 1919? Did Cameron personally go around surveying all 7 million Jehovah’s Witnesses to verify his claim? I suppose myself and few others are the exception aren’t we? Cameron expects assertions like the one he just made to be taken as fact, however, this is no more than an assertion to try and mislead the reader.

Continuing on page 44 Cameron writes:

This is not just a little mistake. It’s a big mistake! For once people come to believe that Jesus made that Matthew 24:47 appointment in the spring of 1919, from that moment on they become captives of that belief—captives of the illusionary concept that all of God’s direction to mankind comes only through the Watchtower Society. It then dominates and controls the thinking of those who write the literature as well as the Witnesses who read it.

To begin with, there’s no “illusionary concept” of any type. This is what Cameron is trying to sell the reader, that there really is some sort of mystical concept that holds downs the thought process of all Jehovah’s Witnesses. Where’s the proof, the documentation? Why should we take his word for it when he’s already proven to be deceitful, misleading, and intellectually dishonest? Furthermore, Cameron links this “concept” with the idea that “all of God’s direction to mankind comes only through the Watchtower Society.” Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe this. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe “God’s direction to mankind comes” through the 66 books of the Bible. The Watchtower Society is responsible for the dispensing of proper food at the proper time under the “direction” of the Bible, which God has lovingly provided for mankind in general.

Cameron continues:

The Watchtower’s free Bible study program is set up in such a way that Bible students become convinced that it is God’s organization before they ever get to Matthew 24:45-47.

Has Cameron ever thought the student becomes convinced Jehovah’s Witnesses are God’s people because of the truths they teach from the Bible, not because of the interpretation of Matthew 24:45-47? I honestly don’t see how that comment by Cameron helps his argument one bit. In fact, I think it weakens it because he admits the student comes to the conclusion that the Society is God’s people based on the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses. In my opinion, that’s an honor and a privilege to be recognized as God’s people based of the teachings taught by Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Page 45 Cameron states:

Before considering their offer of a free Bible study one should ask for a history study first in order to find out if this is in fact the organization that Jesus appointed to teach the Bible to the rest of mankind.

One would think since Cameron was once a Jehovah’s Witness, he would know the purpose of why Jehovah’s Witnesses go door to door. In case he doesn’t, I’ll remind him. It is to preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God, not to teach a history lesson of the beginnings of the Society. How would a “history study” help a student learn the truths about Christ and Jah? However, an honest “history study” would no doubt help the student realize Jehovah’s Witnesses are “in fact the organization that Jesus appointed” to carry out the Good News of the Kingdom of God.

Page 46 Cameron writes:

It doesn’t register with Jehovah’s Witnesses that if the Society could pass a “food-at-the-proper-time” examination by Jesus Christ today, it means that they would have failed the same exam in 1919 because so much of what they had been teaching then was not what they are teaching now.

Now it has become blatantly obvious Cameron makes the same wrong conclusion over and over and over. He assumes the Society had to have everything correct at the appointment of 1919. Where does the Bible ever suggest Christ’s temple would have to be flawless at the appointment? It doesn’t. This is an added qualification that Cameron and his followers make. As already stated in previous entries, the Bible speaks of a very vital and important prophecy, that is, the refinement. We can be glad that some of the teachings the Society had taught then, are no longer taught now. This is evidence Christ is truly refining his temple as the Bible had prophesied in the Hebrew and Christian Greek Scriptures. Whenever Cameron points out a teaching that was incorrect, we can be thankful we’re being refined. Thanks for reminding us, Don.

On the same page he writes:

Even if the Society understands everything correctly today, it is too late. The time to pass an examination is when it is given, not years or decades after it is over. And according to the way they interpret Matthew 24:45-47, Jesus’ examination was over in the spring of 1919.

The faithful and discreet slave received its appointment in the first century and has existed down through the great apostasy. Whether they passed in 1919 is not crucial in the minds of many Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the presentations as to whether they passed this expectation or not, is based on the individual’s own level of expectation(in Cameron’s case nobody could pass the examination because he demands perfection and flawlessness). If Don and others feel the Society didn’t pass the inspection then that is pure speculation on their part.  All the Scriptures imply is that the Faithful and Discreet Slave would be discreet and “faithful in many things”. Past that, any criteria Don thinks Jesus was looking for is his own guess and his own expectations, not Jesus’.

But once again, we see a complete negligence of the Biblical Refinement. Did Don purposely ignore this prophecy, or did he genuinely have no clue about it? Either way, it doesn’t look good for him and his followers.

Published in: on January 17, 2010 at 12:09 am  Comments (5)  

Chapter 4: Matthew 24:47 – Most Important Event In Watchtower History–REVIEWED

Cameron writes on page 41:

Franz said that in order to receive the appointment mentioned in Matthew 24:47 they “had” to have been providing (1) the correct Bible teachings (2) at the proper time. And according to the June 1, 2001 Watchtower, their teachings must also have been (3) only what God had revealed in his Word, and (4) that they had rejected all teachings that were based on human wisdom or tradition. But as the following chart shows, they didn’t meet any of their standards relative to any of the teachings considered in this study…

Now let’s review the four points he brings up. First point is:

they “had” to have been providing (1) the correct Bible teachings

From 1879-1919 the Society was teaching correct Bible teachings. They were teaching against the trinity, against a literal place of hellfire, against the immortality of the human soul, against a paid clergy class, against the superstition of not using the Divine name, against Jesus being a God-Man, etc. To anyone who is honest with themselves, it is evident, they were teaching “correct Bible teachings.” It is a completely different thing for opposers to admit that. If they do concede to this point, then this lends doubt and uncertainty to the whole premise of Cameron’s book. An overly used tactic Cameron engages in his book is the repeated emphasis of the Society’s misinterpretations and inaccuracies. He never acknowledges all of the CORRECT teachings the society was teaching during those years. Why does he leave that out of his book? Maybe he can answer that for us. Now the argument can be made that the Society was not teaching “all things” correct. This is true, and as already addressed in prior entries, the Bible answers this objection satisfactorily with the “refinement” prophecy.

The second point:

(2) at the proper time.

The Society was teaching “correct Biblical teachings” at the “proper time.” Why was it the proper time? It was the proper time because from late 1800’s to 1919(the years inspected according to Cameron), Christendom as a whole was teaching fundamental lies about the core teachings of the Bible. For example, they would teaching God was triune composed of three divine eternal persons, which is found nowhere in Scripture. They were teaching this triune God would torture sinners in hellfire, something opposed to the God of love. They were teaching the soul was immortal, incapable of dying. This teaching clearly opposed to Biblical truth. They encouraged young men to participate in the “Great War” even if it involved the killing of their fellow man, this being anything but one of the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ. They had taken God’s Holy name out of the Scriptures and gave no importance to it whatsoever. In contrast, the Bible Students lead by Charles Taze Russell were teaching against all these lies of Christendom. So, yes, it was most definitely the “proper time”!

Third point:

And according to the June 1, 2001 Watchtower, their teachings must also have been (3) only what God had revealed in his Word,

By this statement Cameron is misleading his readers. First let us look at the fuller quotation:

They base their teachings on the Bible. Jesus said: “What I teach is not mine, but belongs to him that sent me. If anyone desires to do His will, he will know concerning the teaching whether it is from God or I speak of my own originality.” And also: “He that is from God listens to the sayings of God.” (John 7:16, 17; 8:47) Logically, to enjoy God’s backing, one must teach only what God reveals in his Word and reject teachings based on human wisdom or tradition.—Isaiah 29:13; Matthew 15:3-9; Colossians 2:8.

What Cameron implies with his statement is very misleading. He seems to suggest the Society must have had everything correct and hence, “their teachings must also have been only what God had revealed in his Word.” Once again, Cameron assumes when Christ chose his temple that his temple would need to have everything correct from the outset and wouldn’t have any inaccuracies. He ignores and even throws out the prophecy of the refinement in his assumptions. Malachi 3 and Daniel 12, among other scriptures, literally refute his argument. Why didn’t he address this Bible Prophecy?

Fourth point:

and (4) that they had rejected all teachings that were based on human wisdom or tradition.

Now we can see a vital error by Cameron. From his erroneous assumption on point three, he makes another conclusion on point four based on a prior inaccurate assumption. In fact, this is a common trend in his book and if not careful, one may be quick to fall into his schemes. In other words, this point is also answered by the prophecy of the Refinement. Later on in the same chapter, Cameron states what the Society said about Pastor Russell on page 621 of Proclaimers:

It certainly could not be expected that God would use C. T. Russell if he did not loyally adhere to God’s Word

Cameron argues since Russell’s theology had certain inaccuracies, that he “did not loyally adhere to God’s Word.” It seems Cameron demands perfection from Brother Russell, which is in reality, an unattainable feat. I suppose Cameron holds people to a higher standard than Jah and Christ do? Does that make Cameron more righteous and just, and therefore superior to Jah and Christ? Certainly not. It is certainly very loving and caring that Christ and Jah were not demanding perfection from the Society as Cameron does, we can be thankful that Christ and Jehovah look at hearts, not brains. As Psalms 7:9 says:”And may you [God] establish the righteous one; And God as righteous is testing out heart and kidneys.” Even King David prayed that God read his heart and refine it. (Psalms 26:2) And as Jeremiah said: “Jehovah of armies is judging with righteousness; he is examining the kidneys and the heart.” (Jeremiah 11:20) Jehovah confirmed this in Jeremiah 17:10-“I, Jehovah, am searching the heart, examining the kidneys, even to give to each one according to his ways, according to the fruitage of his dealings.” Similarly, Jesus says in Revelation 2:23-“all the congregations will know that I am he who searches the kidneys and hearts, and I will give to YOU individually according to YOUR deeds.” Jesus even condemned ones for not expressing “justice and mercy and faithfulness”-conditions of the heart. (Mt 23:23) So when Jesus appointed the “faithful and discreet slave” (Mt 24:45-7) “over all his belongings”, he was not primarily looking at the brain. Rather, he was “examining the kidneys and the heart”. The ones that proved faithful to him he could use, for these demonstrated that they were *teachable and leadable*. That’s why “the path of the righteous ones is like the bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established” (Pr 4:18).They demonstrate that their heart is in a teachable condition so they can learn greater light from the Bible.

Chapter 4 was a short chapter and thus a short entry. End.

Published in: on January 16, 2010 at 11:01 pm  Comments (11)  

The Truth About the Mexican Military and Jehovah’s Witnesses

1.0 INTRODUCTION

We all know the story that Ray Franz tells and how Don Cameron and friends merely echo the story without ever taking time to even research it for themselves. Whatever anyone says negative about Jehovah’s Witnesses is always accepted by these apostapposers without question. Facts? Research? No way. Lets take the story and run with it. Lets throw out any and everything we hear and see what sticks. Truth is of no importance, only discrediting JWs is important.

Of course, they have as usual done this with the Mexico military identification card and JWs. Franz says it, and apostates everywhere like Don Cameron repeats it in their books or on their websites or on discussion boards never bothering to research anything about it. Well a little research reveals the truth that they have omitted.

Proof of what I write here is taken from many sites including these:

http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/research/ndp/ref/index_e.htm?docid=109&cid=0&sec=CH02

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_of_Mexico

http://www.wri-irg.org/co/rtba/mexico.htm

http://nationalserviceact.org/20.html

http://www.answers.com/topic/military-service

I will put quotes from these sites in quotation marks.

1.0 REGISTRATION AND CONSCRIPTION

When a young Mexican approaches the age of 18 he must go register for conscription into the Mexican army. It is like registering for the draft in the U.S. This is the law. If he fails to do so, he breaks the law.

“Mexico’s Military Service Law states that all Mexican men should register for military service in the year in which they turn 18 years of age, and begin their one year of active military service, if applicable,”

“Penalties: Draft evasion and desertion are punishable under the Code of Military Justice.”

Notice that it is stated that young men ‘begin their one year of active military service, IF APPLICABLE’. This is because it is NOT APPLICABLE to most of these young men because the majority are not drafted for military service. There are about 1 million young men who are obligated to register each year. A ball is drawn to determine which ones will be drafted or conscripted into the military. “Although registration for national military service is universal for men, most men are not actually conscripted.” Only about 40,000 are drafted or conscripted and must complete military training on the weekends for one year. Then they are discharged and given their “marching papers” or National military Identification Card putting them in the first reserve.

“When a man has completed his term of duty as placed or on availability, a special page called the “discharge form” (hoja de liberación) is attached to his military identity card, which is then given back to him.”

2.0 EXEMPTION

What you might not know that apostates and opposers have conveniently left out is that about 96 percent of those registering are not conscripted or drafted into the army but still receive their ‘marching papers’. Most get a black ball which exempts them from military duty and they are given their ‘marching papers’ or military identification card putting them in the ‘first reserve’. This is called ‘serving on availability’ and requires no military training.

“Those who obtain a black ball in the draw shall fulfil their military service through availability, without having to present themselves physically for service.”

They are put in the same ‘first reserve’ that all Mexican men who register are placed in whether they perform active military duty or are exempt from active military duty. And what apostates do not tell you is that there are other ways to gain exemption then just getting a black ball. For example, if a person lives more than 20 killometers from the training facility he can apply for exemption and will likely receive it. He will be given his marching papers without performing military training.

“Those who live in a community classified as “remote” (lejana) are excluded from the lottery and serve on availability “

“Exemption is possible for medical reasons, for those living abroad and for those living more than 20 kilometers from the training centre boundaries.”

3.0 FIRST RESERVE

Exactly what does it mean to be in the ‘first reserve’? Does it mean a person is part of the Mexican army? That is what opposers would have you believe. But if that is the case then how can it be explained that the Mexico military is made up of only “200,000 active, and over 400,000 reservist” when 1 million register each year and are placed in the ‘first reserve’ after one year. There should actually be millions of young men who are Mexican army reservists. And yet, that is not the case. Why?

It is because those who are placed in the first reserve (which is all the Mexican young men whether exempt or conscripted for one year) are not in the military. They are in the ‘first reserve’ because they are in line to be the first ones conscripted in the army should the army be mobilized or go to war.

It is only those “Candidates who elect to stay in the military upon completion of their service obligation form the professional ranks of the Mexican Armed Forces.” It is no different from receiving a draft card in the U.S in the 1960s and early 1970s. All persons registering for the draft in the U.S. received such a card and were classified by the government.

4.0 THE NUMBER OF CONSCRIPTED JWS

The claim is made that so many Mexican brothers have paid a bribe to have an officer say that they performed military training and thus get their ‘marching papers’ and are thereby placed in the army. As we see from the above truths presented this is not the case since many brothers get legally exempted from military training. Consider the figures:

Approximately 1 in 200 people in Mexico are now witnesses. Of course it was a smaller ratio in the 1960s and 1970s but lets take the modern figures. If 1 million Mexicans register each year approximately 5000 would be JWs. But 96 percent would receive a black ball if they actually went thru with taking a chance on the drafting lottery system. This means there would only be about 200 JWs who were actually conscripted or drafted and were obligated to receive military training. They would then have a decision to make.

But consider that these figures are extremely high. In 1970 the ratio of JW to population in Mexico was about 1 in 1500. Since the population of Mexico was about half what it is now, this means that approximately 500,000 men would be required to register. Of these only 333 would be JWs. Since only about 4 percent of those registering are actually conscripted or drafted this mean that only about 13 JWs would be conscripted into the army, if they did not get exemption for various other reasons.

So as you see it is by no means as opposers like Ray Franz indicates. At most, it would be only a hand full of JWs each year who would be subject to active military training. In this Franz has made a glaring mistake. Franz states: “Publishers who wish to obtain a ‘cartilla’ go to one of the Draft Boards, to register to receive immediately their ‘cartilla’ but of course this is not complete, that is, it is not legalized. Then in order to legalize it they go to someone they know with influence or directly to an official. For this they have to pay a certain amount of money (according to what may be asked). In this way the publishers obtain their ‘cartilla’ or the majority of them that have it.”

No, the majority of JWs do not get the ‘cartilla’ or ‘marching papers’ or National military id card by ‘bribing’ officials. By far, the majority of JWs automatically receive the card by being exempt from active military duty. In fact, over 90 percent of Mexicans receive their card in this manner whether JWs or not.

5.0 THE MORDIDAS

If a JW is conscripted/drafted they have a decision to make if they want to continue to obey God rather than men. Either they would have to refuse to show up for the training which would be illegal. “All Mexican federal, state and municipal government employees are obliged to ensure that citizens with whom they have professional dealings have executed their military obligations, and in the event that they have not, must direct them to the relevant authorities…All persons who know about any violation of the Military Service Law are obliged to inform the authorities of the violation, or face up to 15 days’ detention.”

Or they could pay a mordidas and have an officer stamp their card showing that they had fulfilled the military training. Of course, technically speaking this would also be illegal even though paying a mordidas is a way of life in Mexico and an acceptable custom among the people there. Which should they do? Obviously they would have to decide themselves which avenue of ‘illegality’ they would opt for in order to be obeying God as ruler rather than man and not serve on active duty in the military. That is what the WTS stated in those letters if indeed they are not fakes.

If they chose to pay a mordidas would they be paying to become a part of the army as opposers would have you believe? NO, it is quite to the contrary. They are paying to be ‘discharged’ from active duty.

“When a man has completed his term of duty as placed (conscripted) or on availability, a special page called the “discharge form” (hoja de liberación) is attached to his military identity card, which is then given back to him”

6.0 LIES AND EXAGGERATIONS

What I find so amazing and incredibly hard to believe is that Franz, after looking into the matter in such detail, is so unaware that the ‘cartilla’ is in most cases obtained by being exempt from military duty rather than receiving military training or paying a mordidas to have their card stamped by an official. In fact, I would wonder how any single JW would ever be conscripted into the army since it is so simple to obtain legal exemption or at least deferment for a number of years without even going thru the lottery system at all.

It is also hard to believe that the Mexican branch when writing of elders or overseers having the card, did not explain that the card is automatically given even to those who are exempted from military service and that those elders or overseers may have received their card in that manner rather than ‘bribiing’ an official. In fact, it is most likely that those who have the card did indeed receive it as a result of their legally registering as required by law and being legally exempted from military duty. Of course, many others may have received the card even before becoming JWs and may have actually went thru the military training. Neither the Mexican branch nor theWT headquarters, according to Franz, even thinks about this at all, never bothering to even mention the possibility. There is indeed something fishy here.

One web site ran by opposers makes the claim: “In Mexico, men who underwent military training for one year were eligible to obtain a Military Service Card (“Identity Cartilla for Military Service”).

As we see this site is perpetrating half truths, following the example of Ray Franz which is no doubt where their information originates. It is not just those who undergo military training that are ‘eligible’ to receive their ‘cartilla’. Even those exempt from military training receive it. In fact, every young Mexican man receives it whether by training militarily or by receiving an exemption from such training. But appostaposers want you to think that a young JW man goes out of his way in order to be eligible to get the ‘cartilla’, then bribes an official in order to get the benefits of the cartilla.

As usual, apostates have tried to hide the truth and have made great exaggerations in hopes of discrediting JWs. Truth once again takes a back seat to their agenda. This time, it appears to be one of the most hallowed leaders and heroes of apostates who is attempting to mislead, that being Raymond Franz.

Cameron quoted Franz book saying:“Almost any person, under any pretext, can avoid military service and pay an official to note down supposed attendance for the weekly instruction,(giving appearance of regular attendance)….”

The truth is that almost any person, not under pretext, can avoid military service without paying an official to get exemption from military training by drawing a black ball or by getting exemption due to reasons such as medical or living too far away. Persons can also get deferrment for 5 year periods because of being in school or supporting a family and other reasons.

Cameron writes that the Feb 4, 1960 letter (he dates it 1969) from the Mexico branch states:

“But here a brother who probably is a servant or circuit servant has his marching card which he uses now and then in such legal transactions but he has not marched.”

This is a very strange statement. Does the Mexican branch not know whether this brother is a circuit servant or servant in congregation or not? Is the branch aware that he could have obtained the card by legal exemption from the military service rather than ‘bribing’ an official? Is the branch aware that perhaps he could have obtained his card before he was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses? They do not appear to be aware of these facts, along with being unaware of his position in the organization.

Cameron says the letter in Franz’s book states: “It is and has been the custom among the brothers to pay this sum of money and secure their marching cards and many of them are now serving as circuit servants and congregation servants.”

Again, does the branch not realize that the card can be obtained without bribery and without the military training merely by getting exempt from military service? And that it could have been obtained before the brother was a JW? Is the branch calling this a ‘custom among the brothers’ when in 1960, statistically speaking, less than 10 brothers would have been drafted for the military training each year during that decade.

Cameron quotes from Franz’s book the Sept 5, 1969 letter written to the Mexico branch from the WTS as follows:

Dear Brothers,

We have your letter of August 27 in which you ask a question about brothers who had registered in Mexico and are now in the first reserve.

The letter that you quoted on February 4, 1960 covers the whole matter.

Interesting that the Aug 27, 1969 letter from the Mexican branch did not quote the Feb 4, 1960 letter because that was the letter that they themselves wrote according to Franz or Cameron and that letter contained no policy but rather only their question. It would have been the June 2, 1960 letter from the WTS to the Mexico branch, not the Feb 4, 1960 letter that the Mexico branch quoted from.

You see according to Cameron quoting Franz it goes like this:

Feb 4, 1960: Branch writes WTS with question.

June 2, 1960: WTS answers.

Aug 27, 1969: Branch writes again to WTS.

Sept 5, 1969: WT answers and refers to wrong letter dated Feb 4, 1960. The branch really quoted the June 2, 1960 letter.

WT mistake or Ray Franz/Don Cameron mistake?

Diogenes Wrote:

What some are calling a bribe is not really considered a bribe (mordida) in Mexico. It is just the way of doing business.

This commentary sort of explains it:

http://www.cjjohns.com/lawpowerandjustice/commentaries/mordida.html

also this blog:

http://businesssob.blogspot.com/2007/03/corruption-bribes-mordidas-tips-doing.html

“Want your tourist card stamped? You pay the mordida. Want the dates on your tourist card extended? You pay the mordida. Want your car registered? You pay the mordida.

And, there’s no point in protesting it. The question is not whether you’ll pay. The question is how much.”

Here are the facts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_of_Mexico

“According to the CIA World Fact book, Mexico’s available military manpower is 20,000,000 (males age 18-49, 2005 est.), with 19,058,337 males fit for military service, and 1,063,233 males annually reaching military service age. …Currently, Mexico’s armed forces number some 620,400, including the reserves.”

Clearly the Mexico Military Reserve is vastly different from the ‘first reserve’ since there is only about 400,000 in the Military Reserve but 20 million who are fit for military service with the ‘cartilla’ id card.

People with the id card are not in the Mexican Military Reserve.

One opposer wrote:

But again, the issue that us ‘bad guys’ see is not whether or not the brothers obtained the “cartilla” illegally but rather that the Society’s President told them that was OK with God’s organization (and therefore with God) if they obtained it illegally.

They had no choice in doing something illegal if they were going to continue to serve God. The fact is that they would either have to disobey God and obey the government by serving or obey God and do something illegal according to the government. Either they would have had to refuse to report for active duty or pay a mordidas and be ‘discharged’ by the Mexican official in charge. The WTS could not make that decision for them as to which illegal activity they would engage in to obey God as ruler rather than men and rightfully so.

The actual facts seem to be at odds with what Franz has published in his book.

I suppose we must conclude either one of the two:

1. The Mexican branch was ill informed about the laws of Mexico and how the ‘cartilla’ is obtained.

Or perhaps

2. Ray Franz embellished.

We must also conclude either one of the two:

1. The WTS and branch made mistakes in the writing of their letters (The WTS even referred to the wrong letter).

Or perhaps

2. Ray Franz embellished.

Also consider this: There were 500,000 Mexican men reaching the age of 18 in 1970. There is no possible way that each man could have been conscripted or drafted into the army. The Mexican army did not have enough personnel to train 500,000 men in 1970. By far, the majority were exempted from active military duty. The exemption clause was in effect since the Mexican military laws were established in 1942.

Suggestion for those who believe everything apostates tell them:

Do some research and quit accepting what anyone says who merely wishes to discredit JWs. Do some thinking and quit letting apostates think for you. Get a mind of your own use a little honesty in your reasoning.

One opposer wrote:

“Refuse to serve in the Mexican Army Reserve even if it meant going to jail. In this way they would not have to do anything illegal.”

Wrong. The reason they go to jail is because they are doing something illegal. Refusing to serve was one of the choices I gave when I said not show up for military duty.

A person has two choices, both of which are illegal.

1. Not show up for military duty (which could lead to jail time.)

2. Pay mordidas to an officer who has the authoritiy to discharge you from the military.

The WTS left it up to each person’s own conscience which ‘illegal’ act they would engage in. How could they make such a decision for them?

One opposer wrote:

“You made it appear that the Mexican government was pretty aggressive in inforcing its policy that practically forced the Witnesses to have to cheat and lie in order to avoid the wrath of the authorities. But that Branch Office document paints quite a different picture…

“Although the laws on military service are very specific, generally they are not enforced strictly. If a publisher, upon arriving at military age, does not present himself voluntarily before a draft board, they do not call him to do so.” “

I did not say one way or another how much the law was enforced. But it is really immaterial. Whether it is strictly enforced or not, it is still illegal according to Mexican law. and isn’t that the point trying to be made by opposers.

If that reasoning is going to be used by opposers then we can also use the same reasoning for paying a mordidas since this is the way business is conducted in Mexico, and since paying a mordidas is an accepted custom and such ‘illegal’ activity is not punished by the law. Even more so then, a mordidas could be paid with no repercussions.

If an official with authority to discharge you from the army said he would discharge you for 100 pesos wouldn’t you do it? Then throw in the fact that paying a mordidas is an acceptable way to conduct business in Mexico.

The bottom line is that the WTS had no right to decide if brothers should engage in the ‘illegal’ act of paying a mordidas (which is viewed as an acceptable way to conduct business in Mexico) or the illegal act of dodging the draft to evade military service. Any brother drafted had to do one or the other or else serve in the military and disobey God.

Gareth Wrote:

The point of principle is that one must obey God rather than men.

So when the men’s law requires that you disobey God then you must break the men’s law right?

Now in MEXICO there is a CHOICE as to how one will break the men’s law in order to obey God.

The principle is NOT to deliberately hurt yourself as much as possible to make a point that you are obeying God. It is merely to obey God.

Take Malawi for instance. Do they have an option as to how they obey God and avoid joining the party?

No. They have NO OPTIONS.

What about other conscription countries? Do they have an option as to how they can obey God and avoid serving in the Army? Maybe the ONLY way to obey God is to break the law by non attendance rather than payment.

But I seems from the information so far that the principle to avoid serving in the military or a political party is being upheld in every case.

However on an individual basis SOME people are lucky enough to have a CHOICE as to how they follow the principle in obedience to God. Others do not.

Ray Franz MUST have known this.

That makes him a liar.

It would be inhuman to force Mexicans to suffer simply because Malawians are suffering. So clearly the GB has lovingly done its best for everyone respecting their individual circumstances.

Kudos for 3W for exposing the hypocrisy.

Gareth Continued:

The bottom line is that a JW would HAVE to break the law to avoid serving in the Army. They had one of two ways to do it. Refuse to turn up, or pay a bribe. Both illegal.

All the GB did was leavi it up to the individual to decide how he would break man’s law to uphold God’s law.

Respecting documents we have no idea how many OTHER documents there might exists between the GB and Mexico branch. Also we do not know what information individuals might have presented verbally over the phone or upon returning from Mexico to the GB.

Nor do we know to what extent the GB examined Mexican Law for themselves respecting the situation.

Franz’ letters could just be a tiny part of the WHOLE story.

Like I said right at the beginning, we only had Ray Franz’ side. Not the whole story.

Now, thanks to 3W we have rather more information. But still not the WHOLE story.

However it seems pretty clear that the situation is NOTHING like the dishonest presentation it has thus far received.

Desert Butler Wrote:

It by no means looks likely that everyone with a Cartilla is counted as an army reserve by the military. That would mean there would be 1,000,000 Mexican reserves. We know that is not true.

Also Mexican law suggests that those on the reserve list are NOT considered part of the Army unless they are called up (mobilised).

Also consider the situation of someone who leaves the professional army. They remain in the reserves for a number of years after they leave (in the UK). But these people are STILL able to become JWs. They are civilians despite being listed as military reserves.

Those in Mexico also are considered civilians, not soldiers.

The fact is they simply appear on a military list. They are not part of an army unit. They are not IN a Reserve Army because there is no such battalion.

Actually there would be 20 million in the Mexican Army Reserve since there are 1 million each year registering for the draft. This is according to Wikipedia quoting another reliable source. But he Mexican Army Reserve reports that there are only about 400,000. What happened to the other 19,600,000 reservists? Why are they not counted as being in the army reserve?

In 1970 the ratio of JW to population in Mexico was about 1 in 1500. Since the population of Mexico was about half what it is now, this means that approximately 500,000 men would be required to register. Of these only 333 would be JWs. Since only about 4 percent of those registering are actually conscripted or drafted this mean that only about 13 JWs would be conscripted into the army, if they did not get exemption for various other reasons.

That was in 1970. In about 1960 there would have only been about 5. And it would have slowly increased thru the decade until 1970, reaching around 13 at the turn of the decade (statistically speaking). So thru all the 60s there may have been 70 publishers that were drafted and thats if none of them applied for exemption for various reasons. The figure would actually be even lower.

So as you see it is by no means as opposers like Ray Franz indicates. At most, it would be only a hand full of JWs each year who would be subject to active military training. In this Franz has made a glaring mistake.

Franz says that the Mexico branch said: “Publishers who wish to obtain a ‘cartilla’ go to one of the Draft Boards, to register to receive immediately their ‘cartilla’ but of course this is not complete, that is, it is not legalized. Then in order to legalize it they go to someone they know with influence or directly to an official. For this they have to pay a certain amount of money (according to what may be asked). In this way the publishers obtain their ‘cartilla’ or the majority of them that have it.”

No, the majority of JWs do not get the ‘cartilla’ or ‘marching papers’ or National military id card by ‘bribing’ officials. By far, the majority of JWs automatically receive the card by being exempt from active military duty. In fact, over 90 percent of Mexicans receive their card in this manner whether JWs or not.

An opposer wrote:

“Where did you get your statistics? How many Witnesses were reported in the 1960 Yearbook of JWs? How many were males and of military age? According to the Proclaimers book, page 470 there were some 80,481 Witnesses in Mexico by 1975. It would seem to me that a considerable number of these would have been male and of military age rather than the few that you allege.”

In 1960 there were about 20,000 publishers in Mexico. Statistically speaking under 200 would have been around 18 years old. Since only about 4 percent of those 18 year olds in Mexico are conscripted that would mean that about 8 JWs would have been conscripted and that’s if they did not get exemption by other means such living too far from the training center.

I arrive at this figure because presently Mexico’s population is over 100 million and only 1 million are 18 years old. Thats a little less than 1 percent. 1 percent of 20,000 is 200.

Here is something else to think about.

The military draft laws were instituted in 1942. The first letter from the Mexican branch is dated 1960. That is 18 years later. So the first young men who came up for drafting in 1942, would at the time of the letter in 1960, have been only 36 years old.

According to Franz’s photocopy the 1960 letter states: “It is and has been the custom among the brothers to pay this sum of money and secure their marching cards and many of them are now serving as circuit servants and congregation servants.”

My question: How many 36 year old circuit overseers have you ever known?

And did you know that there were less than 1000 publishers in Mexico in 1942? That would mean about ten 18 year olds statistically speaking. And there is a good chance that none would have been drafted. In 1950 there were about 8000 publishers. That would mean 80 that were 18 years old. And that would mean about 3 drafted if we just go by statistics.

The chances are very good that no JW, who was over 30 years old in 1960, was even conscripted or drafted for military training when he was 18 years old and a JW at that age if these figures are correct.

Do you know any 30 year old circuit overseers?

Can anyone show where I am wrong?

FH Chandler Wrote:

They didn’t need the authorization of the President of the WTS to break a law that ran contrary to the “holy” scriptures.

The “god” of the bible already gave them that authority.

It was also “illegal” for people under Nebuchadnezzar’s regime to not engage in idol worship. Would you have condemned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego as well?

Mexico wasn’t a state that recognized “conscientious objectors.” That makes it very hard for those who have a legitimate reason to not take part in dictatorial compulsory military service to avoid it WITHOUT breaking the law.

You seem to have a problem with these actions because they were “illegal.”

Ok, fine.

As a “christian” you should be well aware of the fact that the bible, although telling “christians” to be in subjection to the “superior” authorities, does not make that command absolute- you know full well that “god” only expects “christians” to be in subjection where Caesar’s law doesn’t conflict with “god’s.”

Opposer wrote:

“But what if some elders, circuit and district overseers and Bethelites in the UK bribed government officials to have them falsify a document that said they had successfully completed a year of basic training and were then enrolled in the UK Army Reserve?

Is there a difference?”

First off, this has never been proven since the card can easily be obtained by exemption which would include over 90 percent of those holding the card and actually doing the training before becoming a JW. So just because a brother has the card does not mean he engaged in illegal activity.

Can Cameron or Franz actually show us one single CO or DO who obtained the card by bribery? Even the ‘letter’ from the Mexican branch said ‘probably’.

2ndly, if they did give a mordidas to get ‘discharged’ from military duty then that was the illegal means they chose to keep from serving in the army, since they had to choose one illegal means or another in order to obey God rather than men. Cameron and Franz wants you to believe that they paid a mordidas to get into the army. It would have been just the opposite as the facts show. It was to be discharged from the army. The WTS had no right in telling the brothers which ‘illegal’ means they would choose in order to keep from serving in the military.

An opposer wrote:

“This was done with the blessing of the branch and of headquarters.”

Yet another misleading statement. The WTS did not ‘bless’ this action in the letters that Franz shows. They merely left it up to the conscience of each one to decide what ‘illegal’ action he would take to avoid military duty.

The Sept 5, 1969 letter that Franz shows says:

“The Society has always said that people should comply with the law and if this individual has done what you have described in your letter land it does not hurt his conscience then we leave the matter just as it is. There is no reason for us to decide another man’s conscience, nor to get into an argument or controversy over the matter. If the individuals are not compromising in the sense of taking up arms, and what they are doing continues to allow them to beat their swords into pruning shears, then the decision rests with them.”

Christian freedom, isn’t that what opposers claim JWs do not have? Then they argue the exact opposite when the situation calls for it. Opposers argue out of both sides of their mouth. It’s just like Opposer’s seat of the pants anti-JW theology. Whatever JWs say or do, take the opposite view and develop your own seat of the pants theology based on that.

An opposer wrote:

“Yet the brothers in Malawi had to suffer the consequences of not being able to carry a similar card, which was required for everybody.”

In other words buying a card with Hitler’s picture on it, and wearing that card on the front of your shirt saying a person belongs to the ruthless murdering Nazi party which is basically the same as belonging to the Malawi Congress party is just like a card saying you have complied with the law of the land and have been discharged from military duty? That is what the Malawi card essentially consisted of.

The problem is that it was not the Feb 4, 1960 letter that the Mexico branch quoted. It was the June 2, 1960 letter that they quoted. Look at it again.

In the June 2 1960 letter the WTS wrote:

June 2, 1960

TO: Mexico Branch Office

(Page Two)

“As to those who are relieved of military training by a money transaction with the officials who are involved therewith, this is on a par with what is done in other Latin American countries where brothers have paid for their relief through some military official in order to retain their freedom for theocratic activities.

…..

“Should a military emergency arise and confront these brothers with their marching card it would oblige them to make a decision by which they could not extricate themselves by a money payment and their mettle would be tested and they would have to demonstrate outright where they stand and prove that they are in favor of Christian neutrality in a determinative test.

Then the Mexico branch quotes that June 2, 1960 letter in their Aug 27, 1969 letter.

In the Aug 27 1969 letter the Mexico branch wrote:

August 27, 1969

TO: President Knorr

…Does this change the policy set out in your letter of June 2, 1960 page two which answered our letter mentioned above. Your letter said this:

‘As to those who are relieved of military training by a money transaction with the officials who are involved therewith, this is on a par with what is done in other Latin American countries where brothers have paid for their relief through some military official in order to retain their freedom for theocratic activities.

…..

‘Should a military emergency arise and confront these brothers with their marching card it would oblige them to make a decision by which they could not extricate themselves by a money payment and their mettle would be tested and they would have to demonstrate outright where they stand and prove that they are in favor of Christian neutrality in a determinative test.’

The September 5, 1969 letter from the WTS then answers and refers to the Mexico branch’s quoting of the Feb 4, 1960 letter. But the Mexico branch never quoted the Feb 4, 1960 letter. They quoted the June 2, 1960 letter because that was the letter that set forth the policy.

In the Sept 5 1969 letter the WTS wrote:

September 5, 1969

TO: Mexico Branch Office

Dear Brothers,

“We have your letter of August 27 in which you ask a question about brothers who had registered in Mexico and are now ion the first reserve.

“The letter that you quoted on February 4, 1960 covers the whole matter.”

But it was not the Feb 4, 1960 letter that was quoted by the Mexico branch that covered the whole matter. It was the June 2, 1960 letter.

Whoever wrote, copied, fabricated, or doctored the letter made a mistake.

It is a definite fact that the letters that Franz publishes in his book contains a noticeable mistake, a mistake that one person like myself easily picked up on.

Was it a mistake by the WTS or was the letter doctored or fabricated and the doctorer or fabricator made a mistake?

One opposer points out that the WTS could have made a mistake just as he did. But consider: The WTS is not one person. Articles and letters are not written by one person and then published. There are those who read and reread and proof read and proof read again what is written to make sure there are no mistakes. Thats why mistakes in the grammar of WT articles are very rare.

And yet, when ONE man writes, fabricates, or doctors a letter he might easily make a mistake since there is not a staff there to examine, read, reread, proof read, proof read again and again what he has written. Can you imagine a whole staff of proof readers missing the mistake? I didn’t miss it and I am not a whole staff of proof readers. I’m one person.

STRS didn’t write this post, but I agree with it 100% and am willing to defend all the points made in this post.

Published in: on January 12, 2010 at 10:03 pm  Comments (3)  

Chapter 3: 48 Teachings Jesus Examined—REVIEWED

In Chapter 3 of his book Cameron starts out by ‘examining’ 48 teachings Jesus himself would have examined when he came to inspect his temple, that is, his true followers. This, according to Cameron, will ultimately prove if Jesus chose the Society as his “faithful slave” or not. Though remember, 1919 is not when the “faithful slave” is appointed, but rather is the year when the slave would have been appointed over all the Master’s belongings. Now that we’ve got that cleared up, let us begin to analyze his “48 teachings Jesus examined.”

On page 23 Cameron writes:

Today they teach that he returned to begin his Second Coming in 1914.

They believe 1914 marks Jesus’ invisible presence, not his Second Coming. The Second Coming consists of the presence, and then the Return. Cameron fails to make this vital and important distinction in his book. Why? Because if he were to present Jehovah’s Witness teachings as they teach and not as Cameron portrays them, then he’d be exposed for the liar that he is.

On page 24 Cameron writes the following:

It also means that if Jesus did return in 1914, neither President Russell nor President Rutherford ever knew it. It is possible that there is not a single Jehovah’s Witness who realizes this. What are the chances that God would select such prominent men for his sole “channel of communication” but then never communicate to them when His Son had returned?

Actually President Russell and Rutherford both believed that Christ would return in 1914, consider the following quotations:

Feb 15, 1915 WT: “We believe that the Times of the Gentiles ended just on time, as shown in Volume II. of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES….We believe that the time for the setting up of the Kingdom was on September 21, 1914.”

Published in 1921, HARP OF GOD, PAGE 243:

“The period of the Gentiles is 2,520 years and ended in the autumn of 1914….At that time he must become active: “The Lord [Jehovah] shall send [forth] the rod [sceptre of authority] of thy strength out of Zion [saying]: Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.” (Psalm 110:2) Jesus himself testified that the end of the Gentile times would mark the time for him to begin the exercise of his regal authority. Then the nations would become angry and a great world war would follow.— Revelation 11:17,18; Matthew 24: 7,8.”

Also in the same book on page 244:

“The Gentile times ended in the autumn of 1914. The evidence is quite conclusive that here the Lord Jesus Christ, in obedience to God’s command, stood up and began to exercise his power. (Daniel 12:1; Psalm 110:1,2; Revelation 11:17,18; Matthew 24:7)”

Clearly, then, both Russell and Rutherford acknowledged Christ’s return in 1914. It sure seems that for someone who supposedly studied the history of the society, doesn’t really know much about it. Either Cameron purposely lied about Russell and Rutherford not knowing the 1914 date, or Cameron is ignorant of the very facts he has claimed to have studied in depth. Either way it doesn’t look good for him.

Cameron’s strongest argument with regards to the 1st teaching Jesus would have examined is as follows on page 24:

Since they believed that Jesus had returned in 1874 it means that they were not watching for his return in1914. And yet in Luke’s parallel account (12:37) Jesus said that they would be “happy” only if ‘on arriving (he) found them watching for his return.’ But he would not have found them watching in 1914 because they believed he had already arrived forty years earlier.

He argues since the Society believed 1874 marked Jesus’ invisible presence, therefore, in 1914 they could not have been on the watch for Jesus and his Kingdom. Is this true? The following quote from the March 1880 Watchtower proves otherwise:

“The Times of the Gentiles” extend to 1914, and the heavenly kingdom will not have full sway till then

Other quotations you may consider are the following:

Bible Students Monthly (Volume VI, No. 1, published early in 1914):“If we have the correct date and chronology, Gentile Times will end this year —1914. What of it? We do not surely know. Our expectation is that the active rule of Messiah will begin about the time of the ending of the lease of power to the Gentiles.”

and:

October 15, 1913, Watch Tower: “According to the best chronological reckoning of which we are capable, it is approximately that time—whether it be October, 1914, or later. Without dogmatizing, we are looking for certain events 1) The termination of the Gentile Times—Gentile supremacy in the world—and (2) For the inauguration of Messiah’s Kingdom in the world.”

From the quotations above one can easily see the Bible Students, later known as Jehovah’s Witnesses, were on the watch for the Master’s return in 1914. Sure, they were anticipating Armageddon; however, they proved to be alert. “Alert for what?” one may ask. Alert for the Master’s return in 1914. The reason for their being alert is irrelevant because remember the question: Were Bible Students alert, or on the watch for the Master’s return in 1914? Yes they were. The presence is something that Cameron horridly misrepresents. He portrays Jesus’ “presence” as if it were a past event and  therefore, the Bible Students missed it. However, Christ’s presence extents all the way down till present day. Indeed, Christ’s presence is not a “past event” or something that has “already happened”, his presence is something that is current. Now this leads to an interesting question: How is it that the Bible Students missed his presence? Maybe Cameron can answer that for us, considering that his presence is still active present day. Jehovah’s Witnesses acknowledge 1874 is the year Bible Students believed was when Christ’s parousia began. 1878 they believe is when Christ began to set up the Kingdom. And 1914 he would return in complete Kingdom power. Those were the beliefs before 1914 and immediately after 1914. But Cameron’s contention is Bible Students missed him in 1914 because they thought his parousia began in 1874. Did they? According to the quotes presented, and the extensive documentation of the Society’s publications, no, they didn’t.

On page 26 Cameron writes:

Today the Governing Body teaches that Charles Taze Russell (by himself alone) never was “the faithful and discreet slave” of Matthew 24:45. But the Proclaimers book points out that there was a critical period of time in the Society’s history when they taught that he was.

Here’s a misrepresentation of Pastor Russell’s teachings. Pastor Russell never taught nor wrote that he himself filled the office of being “the faithful and discreet slave.” It was Russell himself who taught he was not the “faithful and discreet slave”, notice his writings in the 1880 Watchtower:

“We believe that every member of this body of Christ is engaged in the blessed work, either directly or indirectly, of giving meat in due season to the household of faith.‘Who then is that faithful and wise servant whom his Lord hath made ruler over his household, ‘to give them meat in due season? Is it not that ‘little flock’ of consecrated servants who are faithfully carrying out their consecration vows—the body of Christ and is not the whole body individually and collectively, giving the meat in due [s]eason to the household of faith—the great company of believers? Blessed is that servant (the whole body of Christ) whom his Lord when he has come (Gr. elthon) shall find so doing.‘Verily, I say unto you, that he shall make him ruler over all his goods.’”

From this quote we can clearly see that Charles Taze Russell did not teach he was the ‘faithful slave’ and in fact, never did. It is true that some Bible Students believed Russell was the ‘faithful slave’, however was the Society teaching this in their magazines? Cameron thinks so. He quotes the Proclaimers book on page143 where it states:

Over a decade later, however, Brother Russell’s wife publicly expressed the idea that Russell himself was the faithful and wise servant. The view that she voiced concerning the identity of the ‘faithful servant’ came to be generally held by the Bible Students for some 30 years. Brother Russell did not reject their view, but he personally avoided making such an application of the text, emphasizing his opposition to the idea of a clergy class commissioned to teach God’s Word in contrast to a lay class that was not thus commissioned. The understanding expressed by Brother Russell in 1881 that the faithful and wise servant was in reality a collective servant, made up of all the members of the spirit-anointed body of Christ on earth, was reaffirmed in The Watch Tower of February 15, 1927

Then based on this quotation Cameron comes to the following conclusion on page 27:

What this is saying is very important. It is saying that from about 1897 to February 1927 (30 years) the Society was teaching that Russell was “the faithful and discreet slave” and therefore that the Society was not that slave.

What!? Where in that quotation does it say that the Society was TEACHING that Russell was “the faithful and discreet slave”? Sure, from 1897 to 1927, Bible Students “generally” held that Russell was the ‘faithful servant’ but does this mean they were actively teaching that or does it mean they were actively preaching that? What Cameron does is add his own twist to what the Proclaimers book is actually saying. Nowhere in that quote does it say the Society actively taught and preached that Russell was the ‘faithful servant.’ Cameron’s claim is the Watchtower Society cannot be the “faithful and discreet slave class” because they had taught Russell was the ‘faithful servant.’ It is clear Cameron’s conclusion is erroneous in comparison to what Russell actually taught, and his faulty logic into reading something into the quotation of the Proclaimers book makes one question his honesty.

More about this can be read in the Proclaimers book on page 626:

Many who were sifted out at that time clung to the view that a single individual, Charles Taze Russell, was the “faithful and wise servant” foretold by Jesus at Matthew 24:45-47 (KJ), which servant would distribute spiritual food to the household of faith. Particularly following his death, The Watch Tower itself set forth this view for a number of years. In view of the prominent role that Brother Russell had played, it appeared to the Bible Students of that time that this was the case. He did not personally promote the idea, but he did acknowledge the apparent reasonableness of the arguments of those who favored it. He also emphasized, however, that whoever the Lord might use in such a role must be humble as well as zealous to bring glory to the Master, and that if the one chosen by the Lord failed, he would be replaced by another. However, as the light of truth progressively shone even more brightly after Brother Russell’s death, and as the preaching that Jesus had foretold became even more extensive, it became evident that the “faithful and wise servant”(KJ), or “faithful and discreet slave”(NW), had not passed off the scene when Brother Russell died. In 1881, Brother Russell himself had expressed the view that that “servant” was made up of the entire body of faithful spirit-anointed Christians. He saw it as being a collective servant, a class of persons who were united in doing God’s will.(Compare Isaiah 43:10.) This understanding was reaffirmed by the Bible Students in 1927. Jehovah’s Witnesses today recognize the Watchtower magazine and kindred publications to be the ones used by the faithful and discreet slave to dispense spiritual food. They do not claim that this slave class is infallible, but they do view it as the one channel that the Lord is using during the last days of this system of things.

Cameron’s ‘examined teachings’ 4 through 48 can be explained fairly easily. Many of them have to do with wrong expectations and inaccuracies Bible Students had within their teachings. Should it be expected that God’s Organization or Congregation have everything correct from their appointment over all the Master’s belongings? The Bible in Daniel 12:10 states:

“Many will cleanse themselves and whiten themselves and will be refined. And the wicked ones will certainly act wickedly, and no wicked ones at all will understand; but the ones having insight will understand.”

Indeed, Daniel 12 speaks of a refinement of God’s people. On the same theme Malachi 3:2-3 adds:

“But who will be putting up with the day of his coming, and who will be the one standing when he appears? For he will be like the fire of a refiner and like the lye of laundrymen. 3 And he must sit as a refiner and cleanser of silver and must cleanse the sons of Le´vi; and he must clarify them like gold and like silver, and they will certainly become to Jehovah people presenting a gift offering in righteousness.”

The Following is a quote from 3W: As we see the claim is often made by opposers like Don Cameron that Jehovah’s Witnesses cannot be Jehovah’s organization directed by His holy spirit and His son because they have in the past made interpretations, pointed to certain dates, and taught teachings that were proven to be wrong or were later corrected. But we know Jehovah’s and Jesus’ spirit is never wrong. Then how can it be that Jehovah’s Witnesses are directed by Jehovah and Jesus?’Impossible!’ opposers say. But would anybody make the same argument about the seven congregations that John wrote letters to in the book of Revelation? Take a look at all their problems stated in the letters:

Nevertheless, I hold [this] against you, that you have left the love you had at first (Rev 2:4)

“‘Nevertheless, I have a few things against you, that you have there those holding fast the teaching of Ba′laam, who went teaching Ba′lak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit fornication. 15 So you, also, have those holding fast the teaching of the sect of Nic·o·la′us likewise (Rev 2:14)

“‘Nevertheless, I do hold [this] against you, that you tolerate that woman Jez′e·bel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and misleads my slaves to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed to idols. (Rev 2:20)

You can keep reading further into Chapter 2 and 3 and see all the grave errors those Congregations had.

Can’t you just see Don Cameron standing there in the first century among the seven golden lampstands saying of the Christian congregation: “WRONG spiritual food at the WRONG time” thus they cannot be God’s people. And even as Don Cameron is speaking what happens?

Revelation 1:12 “… saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands someone like a son of man,…20 As for the sacred secret of the seven stars that you saw upon my right hand, and [of] the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars mean [the] angels of the seven congregations, and the seven lampstands mean seven congregations.”

And then Don Cameron says: Jesus how can you be here walking among these people that have these wrong teachings of Nicholaus and Jezebel and Balaam?

According to the prophecy in Malachi, when Jesus examined the temple he would find the temple class needed to be refined and cleansed. Why would God’s people need to be refined and cleansed? Surely God’s organization would already be teaching all truths when Jesus arrived for inspection? While this may be how some reason, that reasoning is not in harmony with the Bible. When Jesus arrived for inspection he found plenty of flaws in his temple and thus, the need for refining. For proof of this consider the book of Revelation where John is transferred into the ‘Lord’s day’(Rev 1:10) and it is during the Lord’s Day when he describes the condition of the congregations in the seven letters. As the letters show, there was need for changes in the congregation of Christ. Time and again he tells them changes are needed and such changes need to be made before destruction comes, i.e. Armageddon. One example of this is Rev 3:3, “Certainly unless you wake up, I shall come as a thief, and you will not know at all at what hour I shall come upon you.”

So you see to believe that God’s chosen ones would have all things right when Christ inspected the spiritual temple is incorrect. The Bible clearly shows that he would have a congregation of people and that congregation or organization of people would go through a needed refining and cleansing during the Lord’s day. Just because Don Cameron thinks that God’s people should have all teachings correct from the get go doesn’t make it so. Cameron’s argument is not with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe that God’s people would have all things correct when Jesus returned to his temple. So if he wants to argue with JWs about how we had some inaccurate teachings that we have had to change, you’ll get no argument. We all agree.

Cameron’s argument is with Bible prophecy not with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Apostates and critics of Jehovah’s Witnesses, like Don Cameron, may feel inclined to make a long list of teachings that Jehovah’s Witnesses have been wrong about or changed but what exactly have they really proven by doing this? They have proven that the Bible is being fulfilled and that Jehovah’s Witnesses are being refined and cleansed just as prophesied. And they have proven that Jesus really must be walking in the midst of Jehovah’s Witnesses because of the many changes made that have brought them more in harmony with the teachings of Jesus. And they have proven that God’s holy spirit really is directing his organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses because they have continuously discarded Babylon’s teachings and practices as directed by God’s spirit. This is what we should expect from God’s organization since it was prophesied that God’s congregation would indeed have problems and flaws that would need correcting and that his organization would humbly submit to the necessary refining and cleansing. In essence, all the reasoning by critics of Jehovah’s Witnesses having things wrong in the past are made invalid since the Bible clearly prophesied that when Jesus arrived and inspected his temple he would then refine and cleanse them because they needed to be refined and cleansed due to mistakes and wrong teachings. The seven letters to God’s congregations in the Lord’s Day shows there would be problems that would need correcting. So digging up wrong statements by the Watchtower fifty or a hundred years ago in hopes of discrediting Jehovah’s Witnesses is really just a waste of time since the Bible prophecies are what count, not any human reasoning. Such reasoning by enemies of Jehovah’s Witnesses is unscriptural. There is therefore no need to respond to past inaccurate teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses that are pointed out that have been corrected as part of the refining work done by Jesus to his organization. Every time we see a list of the past inaccurate teachings of JWs, we can be happy that Jehovah has seen to it that those teachings and practices have been discarded and that Jehovah does indeed have an organization on earth that he is directing and refining and cleansing. Thank you all for the reminder.

Published in: on January 5, 2010 at 12:54 pm  Comments (19)  

Chapter 2: Matthew 24:45-47- The Most Important Scripture In Watchtower Theology—Reviewed & Revised (4/9/10)

Chapter 2 in Cameron’s book deals with “the most important Scripture in Watchtower theology”, which he concludes is Matthew 24:45-47. Even after reading his book, I still don’t know how he comes to this conclusion. As I alluded to earlier in the previous blog regarding chapter 1, Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t have a “most important Scripture” because they believe as 2 Timothy 3:16 states: “All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness.”

Cameron writes on page 18:

For the purpose of this study it is only necessary to understand their interpretation of this passage of Scripture—not to agree or disagree with it. Whether it is Biblically correct doesn’t matter. The only concern here is if it is historically correct.

From this point forward, Cameron will try to disprove the Society’s interpretation of Matthew 24:45-47 by comparing it to the historical facts. Though, later we will see how consistent and honest Cameron truly is about these “facts.”

On pages 18-19 Cameron writes:

Their teaching is that Jesus returned in 1914 to begin his Second Coming or “invisible presence” in fulfillment of Matthew 24:3. Then in 1918 he began to make an examination of all the religions claiming to represent him to see if any of them had been faithfully and discreetly providing true teachings of the Bible (spiritual food) at the proper time during his absence. They say that the only religion he found doing so was the Watchtower Society and therefore Jesus appointed them over all his earthly interests or “belongings” in the spring of 1919.

I would agree this is a fair representation of Jehovah’s Witness believe except for he forgot to mention exactly what happened in 1914, and why Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that, but aside from this, fair enough representation. I’ll just add that he didn’t chose “them” over his belongings, but he chose a group of Christians whom were dispensing food at the proper time. I guess my complaint is the ambiguity of the phrase “appointed them.” He seems to define “them” as “the Watchtower Society.” If that is so, I’d disagree with his assertion. This will be a point I further develop in other entries.

Cameron on page 19 writes:

Notice that the only reason Jesus would have made the above appointment is if he had found them providing ‘spiritual food at the proper time.’ Their God’s Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached book explains this very critical point under the heading “Time of Inspection by the Slave’s Master.”

God’s Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached chapter 17 on pages 350-351 paragraph 40 it reads:

The serving of food, the right sort of food, at the proper time was the issue. It had to be according to this that a decision must be rendered by the returned master. Well, then, what about that body of Christians internationally hated and persecuted? (Matthew 24:9) Down to 1919 C.E. they had endeavored to give “food at the proper time” to the “household of faith” or the “domestics” of the heavenly Master. They did this despite interference by persecutors and the warring nations. Not only was the regularity in serving the spiritual food a problem, but the quality of the food itself was to be considered. In this respect the body of hated, persecuted Christians, who always sought to be faithful slaves of Jesus Christ, met the test. During the years of the world conflict they had not joined Christendom or pagandom in preaching the war propaganda submitted by the political governments. They persisted in preaching the Bible message for the time and in advocating a Christian adherence to Bible principles for everybody.

Cameron misrepresents what Jehovah Witnesses believe pertaining to this quote, when he wrote on page 19:

Jehovah’s Witnesses know that this “food” and “feeding” refers to the teachings that come from the Watchtower Society.

The “food” refers to true biblical teachings that would come from the Bible through Christ’s faithful and discreet slave. Cameron makes it seem as if these teachings are from the “Watchtower Society” itself, and not from the Bible.

On the same page Cameron continues:

And so Jesus would make his decision in 1919 based upon what they had been teaching “down till 1919.”

It is important to define what is meant by “down till 1919.” The publication, to be honest, is a bit ambiguous. So, then, I offer an interpretation of what this phrase means and the time it covers: 1914 to 1919. Here’s why I come to this conclusion: On page 350 paragraph 40 the article plants a question, namely, “well, then, what about that body of Christians internationally hated and persecuted?” The key word, in my opinion, is “internationally.” That is, when was the “body of Christians internationally hated and persecuted”? At what other time was the “body of Christ internationally hated and persecuted”? I would say since 1914 when World War I broke out. I come to this conclusion based on what paragraph 36 says:

World War conditions and restrictions made it very difficult for the “faithful and discreet slave” class to continue on giving to the “domestics” of the heavenly Master “their food at the proper time.” The situation worsened for them until finally many of the domestics were in prison or military encampments and officials of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society and members of the editorial staff of The Watch Tower were imprisoned in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary, under heavy sentences, in the summer of 1918 C.E.

So the context of the paragraphs after and preceding the statement “down till 1919” would, in my opinion, point or narrow down this phrase to mean between the years 1914 and 1919. This is the most plausible interpretation of the ambiguous statement “down till 1919.” Also if we keep in mind that Christ’s PAROUSIA began in 1914 we can see why this would be a plausible starting point of the inspection.  Moreover, if we go back to paragraph 40 we notice that the first sentence talks about the ‘return of the master’ thus, in my opinion, again points to 1914 as the starting point of the inspection. After all, it would only make sense that he inspects his household when he returns from his “traveling abroad” (Mark 13:34) would it not? How could he inspect his “household” before he arrives?

Page 20:

This then is the very precise way they interpret and apply Matthew 24:45-47. This is the only official basis for their claim to being God’s “faithful and discreet slave organization” and “the only true religion” today.

Not at all. Based on true Biblical teachings and the feeding of the domestics is how one could claim to be faithful and discreet slave.

On page 20 Cameron writes:

If Jesus acknowledged the Society as his “faithful and discreet slave organization” and therefore appointed them “over all his earthly interests” in 1919 then there is at least a chance that they are still God’s organization today. But if he didn’t make that appointment in 1919 then there is no chance no matter what they are teaching today.

Cameron argues that if the Society wasn’t appointed as “God’s organization” in 1919 then it can’t be God’s organization present day. First, it is important to understand what occurred in 1919. In 1919, the Society was not chosen as the “faithful and discreet slave” class, but rather was “appointed over all his [Jesus] belongings” (Matthew 24:45-47). You see, the “faithful and discreet slave” class was appointed at the Pentecost in 33 C.E., not in 1919 as Cameron may have implied. The 1919 appointment would come if the already appointed slave had proven to be faithful in feeding the Master’s “domestics” (Matthew 24:45). For argument’s sake though, let us assume the 1919 appointment never happened. Where does this leave Jehovah’s Witnesses? This leaves Jehovah’s Witnesses in relatively the same position they are in now. If the 1919 appointment is yet future, the “faithful and discreet slave” is still responsible for providing “food at the proper time” (Matthew 24:45). So it is untrue and misleading for Cameron to have stated “there is no chance no matter what they are teaching today” that the Society cannot be God’s organization if the 1919 appointment has not yet happened. This is an important and vital aspect for all readers to understand. The “appointment over all [Jesus’] belongings” does not make or break what the Society stands for and teaches. Even if the anointed class has not been ‘appointed over all Jesus’ belongings’, as Cameron suggests, this does not change the fact that the Faithful and Discreet Slave class is still responsible for the feeding of Christ’s “domestics.” Many of Cameron’s arguments are based on his own misconceptions of this teaching, so it is extremely important that honest hearted ones keep this significant point in mind.

On Page 21 Don writes:

Although the Society no longer publishes any of the literature that they say Jesus examined in 1918-1919, they have made such an examination possible today with the publication of the organization’s history in their book JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom.

Now this, in my opinion, is interesting. I didn’t know Jehovah’s Witnesses claimed ‘Jesus examined the literature the Society published in 1918-9.’ Where have Jehovah’s Witnesses or Bible Students ever suggested Jesus sat down and read Studies in the Scriptures or a Watchtower magazine during the inspection? Don’s a funny guy.

On page 21 Cameron says:

According to Matthew 7:2 Jesus would have judged the Society’s teachings from 1876 to 1919 using those same standards.

I’m interested in knowing where Cameron gets the dates 1876 to 1919? I agree with 1919, but not 1876. Why would he inspect what the Society was teaching in the late 19th century? Wouldn’t the Master inspect the “food” the “slave” was dispensing to the “domestics” when he “arrived”, namely, in the year 1914? Let’s get one thing clear as well. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is not synonymous with the faithful and discreet slave class. Two separate entities in my opinion. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is a legal corporation used to legally establish the Good News of the Kingdom of God; the faithful and discreet slave class is the group of people that Jesus, the master, would leave in charge of dispensing food to his domestics. In other words, the “slave” uses the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society to accomplish its duties. But as can be seen, two separate, distinct entities.

I would still like an explanation from Don on why would Jesus inspect the years before his PAROUSIA? Isn’t it more logical that Jesus would inspect the teachings from his PAROUSIA to the year they “met the test”, namely, 1919? Because remember, Jesus didn’t appoint the Watchtower Society with his belongings. He appointed his belongings to the faithful and discreet slave. So, in essence, it wouldn’t truly matter what the Society taught from its foundation but would matter in terms of the inspection from Christ’s PAROUSIA onward. Until I’m provided any evidence to the contrary, this is my official position.

Published in: on January 3, 2010 at 8:25 pm  Comments (4)  

Chapter 1: The Concept–Reviewed & Revised (4/9/10)

Don Cameron in his book, Captives of a concept, in chapter 1 page 11 goes on to compare Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society to David Koresh and his followers and Jim Jones and his followers. I believe Cameron does this purposefully to convey negative emotions and connotations when one thinks about the group known as Jehovah’s Witnesses. What other purpose would this comparison serve? This is also, by the way, a fallacy known as a “fallacious comparison.” Sneaky trick isn’t it? But anybody who is honest with themselves can easily see the problem. There is no comparison. This doesn’t need to be further explained or defined; it’s obvious. A simple look at the history of the Society and of Koresh and Jones proves any and all comparisons invalid.

On a footnote on page 11 Cameron states:

The Society promotes the belief that whatever they say, it is as if God is the One who is speaking. For example, the February 1, 1967 Watchtower says, “What (the Witnesses) are telling people is what God in his Word says; he is the one talking…. So too, God uses men to speak to those within the congregation of believers…When they give counsel…it is God who is speaking by means of them.”

Let’s see if what Cameron is saying is true. Let’s investigate if the February 1st, 1967 issue of the Watchtower is really giving an “example” for what Cameron claims the Society says, namely, “whatever they say, it is as if God is the One who is speaking.”

Quote:

Of course, not everyone listens to God by reading the Bible. But this does not muzzle God. No, because he sends his Christian witnesses to the homes of the people, to tell them about his kingdom, even as Jesus Christ foretold for our day: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations.” (Matt. 24:14) This is being done in 199 lands and principal island groups. What they are telling people is what God in his Word says; he is the one talking.

So we learn that if the quote is read in context it is saying that God talks to people by means of those who preach ‘God’s Word,’ not that “whatever” “the Society promotes” “is as God is the One who is speaking.”  Great way to rip that quote out of context and misrepresent what the article actually says, Don. Let’s continue examining this footnote. He further cites the same Watchtower, but here’s what the quote says in context:

Quote:

So, too, God uses men to speak to those within the congregation of believers. For example, when overseers in the Christian congregation counsel their fellow believers, who really is speaking? Well, who designated them as overseers? It is God’s Word that set out the qualifications. If they are serving because they meet those qualifications, they are designated by God. When they give counsel in harmony with the Scriptures, it is God who is speaking by means of them.—1 Tim. 3:1-7.

Why does the article say that it is “God who is speaking by means of” men who “speak to those within the congregation of believers”? It even gives an example to clarify for us. Because these “men” meet the qualification laid out in God’s Word, the Bible in 1Timothy 3:1-7. Nothing more, nothing less and nothing to do with “the Society promot[ing]” “whatever they say” is true. But now the question remains: How do we know God “speaks” through those whom preach God’s Word? The article makes this very plain and very clear:

Quote:

They stick to God’s Word the Bible and faithfully teach what it says… they live in harmony with it… [And as] Jesus said… “they are no part of the world,” steering clear of involvement in its social and political strife… they produce the fruits of God’s spirit in their lives… they [are] readily identifiable as distinct from all others because they love one another as Jesus said would be true of those who really are in union with him and God his Father.

With this we have demonstrated that Don Cameron misapplied and misrepresented the original intent and meaning of the 1967 February 1st Watchtower.

On Page 12 Cameron continues:

One of the things that makes the Watchtower’s organizational concept so powerful is that nobody notices that it is “in fact, the dominant, controlling force” in their decision-making process.

Well, “nobody notices” because this simply isn’t true. Anyone making a decision does so with their own freedom of choice. However, it must be said and emphasized that they do try to make their decision harmonious with Bible principles and in agreement with their scripture-trained conscience, especially if it a big decision such as marriage , a new job, etc. but this is true of any Christian, not just Jehovah’s Witnesses. Notice, though, how Cameron merely asserts something as if it were true and doesn’t actually prove what he is asserting to be true. He doesn’t prove that there’s some “organization concept so powerful” that is ‘controlling their decisions.’ This is what is called a Bare Assertion Fallacy. This is defined as a fallacy in formal logic where a premise in an argument is assumed to be true merely because it says that it is true. Pay careful attention to this fallacy because it occurs and reoccurs too often in his book.

On Page 13 Cameron writes:

And in case anyone does think they notice something wrong, they are warned that they must never try to do anything about it but simply wait for God to do something about it because, after all, ‘It is his organization’

Then he goes on to quote the May 1st 1957 Watchtower as if it proves his point of Witnesses being instructed to “never try to do anything” with regards to disagreements. What he actually does is quote only part of the Watchtower issue and not the entire paragraph and in fact, leaves out the part that does refute his claim. Pretty dishonest tactic in my opinion, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he genuinely didn’t mean to misquote the magazine even though earlier he misapplied and misrepresented the 1967 Watchtower. The May 1st 1957 Watchtower actually says the following:

If we have become thoroughly convinced that this is Jehovah’s organization, that he is guiding and directing his people, then we shall not be unsettled by anything that happens. If something comes up that we do not understand we will wait patiently until it is made thoroughly clear to us. If we feel sure something is wrong we will ‘keep the commandment’ of our Father and take whatever theocratic steps are open to us and then wait on Jehovah

Clearly, then, we can see that the Watchtower article does say we can “take whatever theocratic steps are open to us” which conveniently, is a part of the article that Cameron left out. Would not an objective researcher take into consideration the full article and its context or would the researcher merely look for what may look good and run with it? I’ll let the reader answer that.

On page 14 Cameron goes on to say:

Belief in this concept has given the men of the Governing Body tremendous control over the thinking of the rest of Jehovah’s Witnesses. To question them, to doubt them, to disagree with them becomes the same as questioning, doubting and disagreeing with God himself!

This is simply not true. If the Governing Body says something that is in complete harmony with the Scriptures and we do question that, then in fact, it is questioning God because this counsel is Biblical. This is an obvious point, in my opinion. I don’t think anyone would dispute that. However, if we do find something that perhaps doesn’t fit with the Scriptures as harmonious as we’d like it to, then we can do as the May 1st 1957 Watchtower said, namely, we can “take whatever theocratic steps are open for us.” But of course, Cameron doesn’t mention this. Throughout his book Cameron tries to paint an image of Jehovah’s Witness that is severely misleading. He seems to suggest that Jehovah’s Witnesses simply accept the teachings of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses without first confirming it to be true. In fact, the Society encourages its members to confirm these teachings by means of studying the Bible. For instance consider the following quote from the May 15th 1996 page 18:

Yes, every Christian who has the complete Bible in his language should read it from Genesis to Revelation. And our objective in reading the Bible and Christian publications should be to increase our comprehension of the great body of Scriptural truth that God has made available through the ‘faithful slave.

In the November 1st 1991 Watchtower on page 21, the Society encourages Jehovah’s Witnesses to “confirm the teachings”:

At Acts chapter 17, verse 11, people are called “noble-minded” because they were “carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so,” things taught by the apostle Paul. They were encouraged to use the Scriptures to confirm the teachings even of an apostle. You should do the same.

Many other articles and publications could be quoted to further back up my position, of course, but I think these 2 quotes are sufficient in expressing my point. Cameron’s assertions and misquotes can severely lead the reader to come to a conclusion that is in error. Jehovah’s Witnesses aren’t expected to simply accept any and all teachings just because they’re told so, but rather they are expected to “confirm the teachings” just as the Bible teaches and like the Society encourages.

Page 15 Cameron writes:

Witnesses don’t notice how often they accept what comes from the Society simply because they believe it is God’s organization rather than because they can prove it to themselves from the Bible

Give us an example Don. This is the sort of trickery I’m referring too. Cameron provides absolutely no examples or evidences for his assertions, but merely states his contentions as if they were factual. This is, again, a Bare Assertion Fallacy.

He continues on page 15:

Of all the things that can be known about this religion, there is only one thing that needs to be know

Let me state what he means and says by means of a chart in his book. He is suggesting that theology and all things involved with it don’t really matter; this is what can be known but isn’t necessary to know according to him. Cameron insists what is necessary to know is if the Society is God’s organization. However, this is an error. Off this error is where Cameron bases the next 130 page of his book. The way you know if a religion is true or not is if you can prove its theology from the Bible! When Cameron says that it doesn’t really matter what they teach about the Bible, what he is really doing is changing how to identify whether if what a religion teaches is true or not! This is such a subtle move that even looks harmless, but this is a very clever play with words. I would argue the other way around, I would say that you need to know theology first before you can determine if an organization is “God’s organization” or not. This, of course, is based on a premise that God wouldn’t “back up” a group whose teachings are completely unharmonious with the Bible. Seems logically enough to me. Why does Cameron disagree though?

Cameron writes on page 17:

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the Watchtower Society received that appointment in the spring of 1919 in fulfillment of the most important Scripture in Watchtower theology—Matthew 24:45-47.

This is another deliberate attempt by Cameron, which in my opinion, is to deceive his readers. This is most definitely not the most important Scripture and in fact, I don’t even know if there is a so called “most important Scripture” because Jehovah’s Witnesses believe “All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).

However, if you want to talk in terms of most important teaching, then I’d have to say the most important teaching in Jehovah’s Witness theology is the belief in God and who he is. Take for instance this quote from the November 1st 1991 Watchtower on page 23:

Ask yourself: Why would the Bible only “imply” its most important teaching—who God is? The Bible is clear on other basic teachings; why not on this, the most important one?

Cameron, instead of attacking the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses, goes on to attack the Watchtower Bible and Track Society in hopes of somehow discrediting what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe. However, Cameron needs to be corrected. Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society was “appointed” as God’s organization in 1919.  This will be a point I further develop in later blogs.

Published in: on January 3, 2010 at 1:41 pm  Comments (27)