For one, unlike those religions that shed innocent blood while commiting gross sin, the Witnesses that sold their houses etc. did not sin, and neither did it cause death or harm to those around them. The Witnesses are the only ones that suffered for their incorrect expectations. It's not like they went on a Holy Crusade or became suicide bombers, particpated in two world wars and hundreds or thousands of wars since then. Sure, they have their faults, but let's compare apples to apples and not apples to watermelons.
That presumes that all
other religions have blood on their hands or are demonstrably worse. There are a number of Christian denominations, including several who are offshoots of the Bible Students group begun by Russell, whose teachings are similar to the Jehovah's Witnesses. And there are many religions that are just as, if not more, anti-war. Without investigating those, you cannot be sure that one of them is not the true religion. If you only compare them to the low-hanging fruit, you'll never know if you've actually found the true religion.
Some things we consider child abuse is entirely legal in other countries. Reporting abuse to these authorities would be of no benefit and may actually do more harm than good. Not only that but in the case of molestation I can definately understand why a family, apart from religion, would want to keep matters private. So if there is no law that forbids it then they are well within their rights to keep it private, especially considering the morality of some countries. You should not judge what you have no knowledge to judge.
The NBC report indicated that there are states in the USA which do not require notification of the authorities when there are accusations of child molestation. The lack of action in cases in the USA
where the organization should have acted is what the story was about.
I don't know how many cases there were or how many children were involved. I said eleven elders had been sued. That was as of 2007. Also site you linked site is, unsirprisingly, full of inaccuracies as most opposers web sites are. You should at least get your information from a neutral source. Here are the facts.
By settling cases instead of going to court, the organization can silence accusers and protect itself from bad publicity. This allows them to boast that they have only been sued a paltry number of times in their history, but it's very misleading. How meaningful is the "eleven suits in 100 years" claim, when they settled 16 cases in one year alone? By the way, check the sources for that "neutral" wikipedia article-- nearly all of them are from WT sites and publications. Who do you think wrote and maintains the wikipedia entries on Jehovah's Witnesses?
I'd be very interested in hearing about the inaccuracies on the jwfacts site. The man who maintains it is just an email away, and has been willing to discuss his information and even make corrections in the past. I am sure that he would be willing to either defend his content or amend it as necessary. I would expect that you can demonstrate how the site is "full of inaccuracies
," especially after admonishing me that I "should not judge what (I) have no knowledge to judge.
Based upon incorrect information you got from an opposers site, you have drawn the wrong conclusions and you are trying to convince me to accept them. What does the Bible say about gathering teachers around yourself to have your ears tickled? Do you fulfill this scripture? Do you realize you are everything they say an apostate is? And what they say is directly derived from the Bible. ".....that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delays his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellow servants..." (Mt 24:49,50) Now that I have "tested all things" I can definately see they are right when they speak of the dangers of associating with apostates.
They post transcripts of the court cases on the jwfacts site, while also linking to another site with more information and court transcripts. The WT organization understandably works to protect itself from libel or slander, and if these sites were simply printing falsehoods it would not take much to get them removed. They have taken action against a number of even smaller sites when they posted private documents online. I think it's fair to expect more than a rejection on grounds that the sites are opposed to the WT organization. Usually, the only way to get information on such organizations is from those opposed to it, and that opposition itself should not be used to wave them off.
No, you are trying to elevate them to a position they do not hold.
They are the organizational leadership, a position that they have claimed and which is central to the Jehovah's Witness belief structure. Again, I would point you to their many, many claims over the years of being god's appointed "faithful and discreet slave
" and the only conduit through which god's knowledge flows to his true followers. That they claim the position of leadership and intermediaries between god and the faithful may make it harder to justify your point of view, but that is their claim
. I would be surprised to find any active JW who felt differently about the Governing Body in their role as faithful and discreet slave (ie, leadership).
I realize that. But time has shown that other prophecies had to also be fulfilled that were not fulfilled yet. All the while the "signs" become more evident. But the "signs" are not the prophecies I refer too. I refer to Revelation. The four horsemen cause the "signs" that Jesus gave. The four horsemen are at the very beginning of the prophecy. World War I was the beginning of those signs. It was not just any war. It was World War, or the Great War as it's called. The Great Sword given the the horsman is a fitting symbol of that World War and the next one that soon followed. It is also a fitting symbol for the great weapons we have today. The worldwide epidemics that occured at the same time are also well fitted for the symbolism of the other horseman. But when the horsemen ride the end does not come yet. Those are the "beginning of pains" of distress. That marks the beginning of the Last Days, but not the beginning of the Great Tribulation nor Armageddon. Prophecy must be fulfilled first.
Revelation is a deranged mess that can be interpreted many ways to predict many things. It's been used to predict "the end times" for centuries. In the centuries before World War I, there were many wars which were more encompassing and more destructive. Considering population differences in the years from 1200-1900, some of the wars in that time span dwarf WW1 in terms of casualties. World War I is notable for the same reason that current "conditions" are-- technology has advanced to allow us to be more aware of what is happening. Same with crime and earthquakes and disease and starvation.
Ironically, one of the technological fields that helped bring home the horror of war was the improvement of battlefield medicine, which helped to spearhead the development of better treatment of wounds and illnesses, which have made life significantly better for us in the 20th and 21st centuries.
I don't know how familiar you are with Bible prophecy. Do you know who the Witnesses identify Babylon the Great to be, and also the seven headed beast?
Yes. I'm not sure what point you're getting at, though.
There are a couple things I would like to mention that I think I have discerned from our conversation that I would like to share in a heartfelt way. You seem to have two complaints. One is that some of the WT leaders have made some mistakes. The other is that our Lord is taking a long time. I can't help but imagine these are underlying issues about why you left Jehovah's people.
Actually, my faith died away not because of the Jehovah's Witnesses, but because the Bible itself failed to convince me of god's existence. I held on as long as I did because I found that the WT organization's explanations were generally pretty sensible, at least for as long as I could accept the flaws and problems with the book itself. When I came to terms with my non-belief, I knew almost nothing of the WT organization's history outside of the sanitized version that they offer to the membership.
I only started reading "opposer" literature and sites long after I'd made my break with the organization. Finding out what had really gone on came as an eye-opener, but even at first I took the view that they were good, sincere men who were not intentionally misleading their followers. Further reading showed that this was not true, and sullied the organization in my eyes. Even today, I feel more sadness than anger. There are a lot of terrific people languishing in that faith today.
I don't think god is taking too long. I think he isn't there. I think that we read signs where they do not exist, because the idea of being in that end time, of seeing the fulfillment of prophecy and the coming of god to cleanse the Earth is intoxicating. I often remarked how wonderful it was to live in such times, potential eyewitnesses to the day when Jehovah, God of Armies, would vindicate His hallowed name! But I know now that it will never happen.
On the first part, I think you put, or want to put, too much faith in man who is fallible. But look at what the Bible says. "For what if some were without faith? shall their want of faith make of none effect the faithfulness of God? God forbid: yea, let God be found true, but every man a liar..." (Rom 3:3,4) And again, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". If I make a mistake or sin then it's largely no big deal to anyone but me. But if an organization makes a mistake it's a big deal, and rightly so. However that doesn't prevent an organization from making some mistakes, and remember we are still comparing apples to watermelons here. Actually let's call it a gnat and a camel. They didn't mistakenly say, it's okay to murder.
Oh, I don't put much faith in man, at least not in that sense. But there's no alternative. Look, I've been on your end of it. I spent 30-some odd years studying and learning and preaching and praying. I would treat the me you see now pretty much as you would, an opposer out to tear me down. So I understand. I'm free of that mindset, and I can look at the organization without the blinders I used to wear. And what I see is what I have described for you here.