Episode 196 – So much news

Live recording of Episode 200 coming on May 20 at 3:00 PM MDT

NEWS

An AZ rep’s secular invocation was followed up by a prayer
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2017/04/19/an-az-state-rep-gave-a-godless-invocation-so-her-colleague-said-a-christian-prayer-to-correct-her/

San Antonio mayor blames homelessness on broken godless people
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2017/04/24/san-antonio-mayor-issues-non-apology-after-blaming-poverty-on-broken-people-who-arent-christian/

Federal Judge Smacks down Trump’s attack on ‘sanctuary cities’
https://thinkprogress.org/jeff-sessions-amateurish-unconstitutional-assault-on-immigrants-dd6ab8a1671e

Trump’s cabinet has a Bible study with an extreme dominionist pastor
http://www.rawstory.com/2017/04/trump-cabinet-has-bible-study-meetings-with-pastor-who-wants-disciples-of-christ-to-take-over-the-government/

The religious right is hoping SCOTUS will gut church state separation
http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/religious-right-rallying-for-supreme-court-to-weaken-church-state-separation-with-gorsuchs-help/

Baby Names
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/25/world/asia/china-xinjiang-ban-muslim-names-muhammad-jihad.html

Russia has banned Jehovah’s Witnesses
http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/russia-bans-jehovahs-witnesses-after-religious-right-hailed-putin-as-christian-hero/

The Chechen president has vowed to eliminate gay men within a month
http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/chechnya-president-vows-eliminate-gay-men-may/

Homeless trans woman refused meal at Christian soup kitchen
https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2017/04/transgender-woman-ejected-church-soup-kitchen-wearing-dress/

Former priest extradited from Guatemala, charged with sexual assault of child
http://www.newsday.com/long-island/crime/cops-priest-arrested-at-jfk-charged-with-sexual-assault-1.13516380

Saudi Arabia elected to UN women’s rights commission
https://www.unwatch.org/no-joke-u-n-elects-saudi-arabia-womens-rights-commission/

Jordan has removed the marriage rape loophole
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/39692020

Malaria vaccine to start pilot next year
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/39666132

No, it’s not a waterfall of gawd’s blood
http://www.rawstory.com/2017/04/glacier-feeds-blood-colored-waterfall-in-antarctica/

FEEDBACK

Revan via email

Hello Dustin, Lauren, and Wesley,

First off, congrats to Dustin and Lauren!

I just finished listening to your last podcast “Jehovah’s Kingdom” and I wanted to fill in some gaps for you. First off all you did a great job explaining what “we” believe. Oh, I guess I should mention that I was a jw for thirty years. I am a second generation and I am a born-in, what we in the ex-jw community refer to those of us whose parents were jws when we were born and that is the only thing we knew. I am an atheist now but for simplicities sake I will simply refer to what the jws believe and what watchtower teaches as “we believe”.

We would never use the phrase “Jehovah’s (JH) Kingdom”. It is God’s Kingdom. We believe that while it is ultimately JH’s kingdom he is not the king but instead has entrusted his son Jesus as the king of the kingdom. Jesus took kingdom power in Oct 1914 after which he cleansed the heavens and expelled Satan and all of the demons to the earth where they are currently confined until the end of Armageddon. When Jesus took kingdom power that began a short time period called “The Last Days” which is a short time period between 1914 and the beginning of the Great Tribulation. We came to the date 1914 because of the prophecy in Daniel speaking of the 70 weeks of years. In it Daniel has a vision of a great tree that is cut down but then the stump is banded to prevent it from growing for 70 weeks of years. We believe the great tree is the line of kingship from King David and it was cut down when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem in 607 BCE (side note, the 1914 doctrine is the single most important doctrine in JW theology and they insist that Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 BCE and not 586/7 BCE because if that were the case this prophecy would not work and the 1914 date would be wrong). The band was taken off of the symbolic tree when Jesus came to kingdom power in 1914. To calculate this we use the Biblical rule of “a day for a year” and thus multiply 1 year at 360 days (using the Jewish solar calendar of 360 days and not a lunar calendar of 365 but I have no idea if that is true) thus getting you to 490 years after the prophecy to Jesus execution (from their they take it and make is 2,000 some odd years but I don’t remember how that calculation is made) and it takes you to 1914.

C.T. Russell did in fact believe that Armageddon would take place in 1914 and that would end the gentile times. He believed that Jesus came to kingdom power in 1874 and he was not the only one to believe this. He was a close associate of Nelson Barbour, a name you might know, who was a Seventh Day Adventist preacher. At the time, as I understand it, the Adventists also believed that Jesus had come invisibly in 1874 because they were off shoots of the Millerite’s and after the great disappointment had to save face and teach that Jesus did not come physically yet but did come invisibly. C.T. Russell and Barbour started the magazine Zion’s Watchtower in the 1870s and founded the International Bible Students association and the Watchtower and Bible Tract Society of Pennsylvania. The IBS would later be renamed by WT president and successor “Judge” Joseph Rutherford (he was never a judge) in 1932. Eventually Russell and Barbour parted ways in the 1880s over doctrinal disagreements. While Russell was never a SAD he did create the church as strongly influencing him and his theology. Russell had begun his 1914 prophecy in the 1870s.

When the end did not come in 1914 Russell redid his prophecy and claimed it would come in 1915. When that happened he moved it back to 1914 and changed it to Christ’s invisible return. He died Oct 31, 1916 but that didn’t stop WT from issues prophecies as to when the end would come. “Judge” Joseph Rutherford took over the WT and made a prediction of 1925. That didn’t happen. During WWII jws believed they were in the Great Tribulation and the war would end with Armageddon beginning. That didn’t happen. Then in the 1960s they started the belief that Armageddon would come in 1975 because we believe in a literal Adam and Eve 6,000 ago and 1975 would have been Adam’s 6000th birthday. That was the last time WT has ever placed a definitive date on when Armageddon would come. They lost thirty percent of their members during 1976-1980. After that it was known that the end would come before the end of the millennium but no date was assigned. One reason we thought this was that Jesus told his followers once that those “the generation standing here today will by no means pass away before the end of all of these things” (that is a paraphrase). We interpret that generation to be the generation of 1914, or those of the spirit anointed (the 144,000 people who have the heavenly hope) alive in 1914 to see events as the gentile times ended. In 1980 there was a Watchtower magazine published with a cover of several people still alive then who were also alive in 1914. It was emphatically stated that the end would come before all of these people died. The last person on that cover died in 2007. In 2010 the Governing Body (currently seven men at the top who run everything though in 2010 there were ten or eleven) realized people were starting to talk how the end didn’t come and everyone from that 1914 generation were dead. They solved this by instituing the “overlapping generations” doctrine which means anyone who is of the anointed but after the 1914 generation but these two groups overlapped are the generation that be no means will pass away. They bought themselves another thirty years before they will have to come up with something else.

Good explanation of Babylon the Great, except we don’t get onto the Vatican being in charge of the UN. We will point out how the Vatican and many other nations support the UN and therefore they are like harlots who sell the Truth out for power and wealth in this world. The Vatican is a NGO member of the UN and so was Wt from 1992-2001. After Armageddon we do not believe that it will be instantly transformed into a paradise. Those who survive, obviously only TRUE Christians i.e. us, will begin to turn the earth into a paradise. The resurrection will take place “according to their kind, the righteous first and the unrighteous second”. We believe that means the faithful JWs will be resurrected first starting with those who died most recently going back a generation a time so that when the resurrected one wakes up his or her family members will be there to great them. This will then progressively go back a generation at a time (yes there were faithful True Christians at any given time from the time the apostles died out until CT Russell came on the scene and they will be resurrected at this point). Then it will be the faithful Israelites going back a generation at a time all the back until Abel, the first righteous man, is resurrected. Then it starts over with the unrighteous starting with the most recent generation and s, progressively going back in time until everyone is resurrected, with few executions such as Judas, the religious leaders in the Sandhedrian who orchestrated Jesus’ execution, certain certain Israelite kings who practiced paganish, The Pharaoh, Nimrod, Cain, and Adam and Eve. Also everyone who died in the flood and at Sodom and Gomorrah. It will take the entire 1000 years for people to slowly move towards becoming physically and spiritually perfect. This is why JH can’t speak to us directly anymore because He is holy and we are sinners. After the 1000 year reign we will once again be able to have a direct two way conversation with JH, or at least men can because JH never talked to Eve. Icky women.

The lions and giraffes will start living together immediately after Armageddon because the animals will all at that moment become vegetarians and will no longer be violent.

As JWs we pride ourselves on having a concise message because we are “speaking the pure language”. The only time we are allowed to change doctrine is if the Governing Body discovers “New Light”, which is something that we love to learn. That means if the GB decides that what is current doctrine does not fit any more we receive “new light” and like the Borg we assimilate the new information. Previous beliefs are referred to as “old light” and it doesn’t matter anymore. An example it the generation of 1914 that will by no means pass away but that is old light. The new light is the overlapping generations doctrine.

A side note, yesterday April 20, 2017 the supreme court of Russia declared JWs an extremist group and has banned them. Individuals are not allowed to have jw literature and can be fined. From what I understand the government is not cracking down as hard on individuals as they are the organization itself. All bank accounts and properties have bee seized. They are also having trials for the Mormons and Pentecostals for being extremist. I don’t know the details on those but I will prophecy that they will also be banned. The reasons for JW being banned are:

1.) Culture of child rape within the organization and elders and even higher covering it up and not reporting to the authorities.
2.) Refusal of accepting blood transfusion, specifically refusing to allow children to have blood transfusions
3.) The shunning policy. If you are disfellowshipped or if you disassociate yourself we will not speak to you ever again. It is a for of love to help you realize you need to come back to JH and we have to keep the congregation clean spiritually. Due to this policy there are many documented accounts of people being driven to suicide because their entire social and familial structure is gone over night.

If you would like to know more about JW please feel free to ask. I have done a couple of podcast interviews. One on Atheist Avengers episode 32 and Everyone’s Agnostic episode 105 both under the pseudonym Revan. Also, the website http://jwfacts.com is excellent and has direct source materials from things the WT has printed over the last century and a half.

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