Watchtower's plans to relocate the UK Bethel to Essex have received a mixed response
Watchtower’s plans to relocate the UK Bethel to Essex have received a mixed response

An Essex newspaper has reported that Jehovah’s Witnesses will likely be relocating their UK headquarters from Mill Hill, London to what is currently a “run-down car breakers yard” in Chelmsford.

The 50-acre site, currently known as “Temple Farm,” has been bought by Watchtower’s UK arm, the International Bible Students Association (IBSA), pending planning permission being accepted.

The proposed move has received a mixed response from locals, with councillor Roy Whitehead telling the Essex Chronicle that he would be “very sad” if it wasn’t welcomed. “We are looking at and confusing two different things,” he said. “It’s a business, a place for printing their literature, it’s not about people who don’t like them knocking on their doors.”

The councillor’s comments came in the wake of a poll, conducted by the same paper, which revealed that a third of readers objected to the plans. But it has since emerged that the discontent could run even deeper than first thought, since the dubious poll allowed the potential for Witness supporters to vote multiple times.

The Essex Chronicle’s coverage also reveals considerable confusion over what the proposed move will entail, with the editors clearly clueless as to what Jehovah’s Witnesses practice or believe.

Council leader Roy Whitehead has spoken out in defence of Watchtower's plans
Council leader Roy Whitehead has spoken out in defence of Watchtower’s plans

For example, the paper published the reflections of one reader who wrongly asserted: “These people ACTUALLY believe that planet earth is only around 6000 years old.” The owner of a local skip company was also quoted as saying: “It’s more jobs and from that point of view it does away with a site that is heavily contaminated with car battery and acid.”

Witnesses actually teach a version of Creationism in which the Earth is said to be much older than six thousand years. And how a religious organization that operates solely on a volunteer basis could be construed as bringing “more jobs” to the community will be a mystery to many.

Not helping matters is the Chronicle’s seeming willingness to capitulate to Watchtower’s PR machinery, with the publishing of a heavily biased and misleading article “Ten facts you may not know about Jehovah’s Witnesses as they come to Chelmsford.” Among other things, the article informed the paper’s readers that the bible “dictates” against blood transfusions and that “Kingdom Halls coordinate voluntary missionary projects in third world countries.”

Sub-standard journalism aside, what the good people of Chelmsford CAN look forward to is the following:

  • Increased door-knocking – Though the new headquarters will not be directly involved in evangelical work, it will be staffed by approximately 800 “bethelites” who will all be assigned to the local congregations – thus swelling the local population of Witnesses. And the more Witnesses there are per congregation, the more frequently the preaching territory will be worked. As one local elder commented, “there are 800 people coming – where are we going to put them! We already have about 100 per each of our Chelmsford congregations – it’s going to be good fun.” At least some of this “fun” will come at the expense of the Saturday mornings of local residents.
  • Increased visitors – There are currently 1,558 congregations in Britain, and you can be sure that most of these will want to arrange coach trips to the new facilities once these are finished. As Watchtower spokesman Paul Gillies remarked, “we do organise tours to show people around the locations. As a charity relying on donations, Jehovah’s Witnesses will come from all over Britain to see what their money is being spent on.” But, contrary to Gillies’ assertion that pilgrims will “stay in local hotels and spend locally,” locals should not bank on a tourism boom. Witnesses spurn the pursuit of money and further education in favor of “seeking first the kingdom.”
  • Immaculate buildings and landscaping – If approved, the new headquarters will be finished to a very high standard, and will certainly be an aesthetic improvement on the current rundown wasteland. That said, Watchtower is currently closing down and selling off branch properties at a rate never before seen, so there are no guarantees that the Britain Branch won’t one day experience the same fate. And as a registered charity the Witnesses will benefit from a number of tax breaks, including significantly reduced business rates.
  • Same cult, but based locally – Jehovah’s Witnesses are increasingly gaining a terrible reputation for their various unethical practices and teachings which include (1) shunning relatives who leave the organization, (2) abstinence from certain medical treatments involving blood, (3) mishandling of child abuse, (4) negligence regarding domestic abuse and (5) stigmatization of higher education for teenagers. If Watchtower’s plans succeed, Chelmsford will have the dubious privilege of becoming the UK hub for promoting and exporting the aforementioned.








Further reading…

104 thoughts on “Proposed new UK Chelmsford bethel receives mixed response

  • February 19, 2014 at 10:12 am

    so glad to be out
    It is sad that you seem to prefer sarcasm instead of grown up debate on issues that perplex genuinely sincere people.Look forward to more thought provoking comments in the future.

  • February 19, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Free thinker,
    Noddy is about the level of the debate, if you think some entity is about to destroy people. The bible is just one book of many, written to educate an illiterate mass of people and to control a society, that needed structure. If you choose to follow it, then, feel free, but you may have to change your name to blind thinker.
    Thoughtful debate can only be achieved if someone is willing to develop their thinking. Scriptural discussion is circular. If the intention is to have a biblical discussion (quoting scripture) with an atheist, then its a bit of a waste of time. At least Noddy did not shun his friends, which to me is one up on Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    • February 19, 2014 at 11:01 am

      In the comments following some of the Essex Chronicle articles are remarks by JWs who imagine that, Kingdom Hall style, a battery of apocalyptic Bible quotes is a substitute for an answer. They also imagine that their little Adventist spinoff sect is no part of Christendom. It is all redolent, bar afew TRUTH tweaks, of all the cruel bullshit that overshadowed my early years after my mad mother took us kids along to the Kingdom Hall.

  • February 19, 2014 at 11:15 am

    I guess Bettine got her hours in for the month, either that or she has listened to the videos and is now taking her former friends to task, for the deceit and hoax, that has been perpetuated upon her.

  • February 24, 2014 at 10:01 am

    So glad to be out
    From your response can I assume that you are an atheist? If so then your contribution on a bible based question would be limited at best. However it seems from the tone of your responses on this site that you are quite an embittered individual who seems to derive pleasure from making very personal comments about people you know nothing about.Trying to establish some common ground would be so much better in the promotion of a healthy opinion and a productive debate.Keep it positive please.

    • February 24, 2014 at 10:27 am

      I must disagree with you. Why an atheist’s contribution to a Bible based discussion wouldn’t be productive ? Quite a lot of atheists were born in a religion and they made an explicit choice to become atheists. Aren’t you interested in knowing what their reasons were ? And although I believe in God, and I do believe there is a message in the Bible, it’s also true that some aspects So Glad is saying are true as well.

    • February 24, 2014 at 10:30 am

      What an utterly weird thing to say. The Bible has had a huge influence on human civilisation, so whatever our views on it we are all entitled to express our view on it. We may or may not be a believer in any of the Bible Gods – the tribal war God of the early OT, the Trinitarian or Unitarian Gospel God or the sword waving Jesus of Revelation. Sharing Freethinker’s notions (whatever they might be) on the Bible God, should not be an essential prior condition to admission to a discussion. As to attitudes to Bettine; she, like all believing JWs contributing to ex JW threads, discovered that she could make absolutely no case for the truth of JW TRUTH, could answer no questions effectively and left in a huff. JWdom, by definition, admits of no discussion. It is a top down dictatorship, so a cynical dismissal of someone from that environment attempting and failing to contribute, is perfectly in order.

  • February 24, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Hi free thinker,
    My comments are not personal. I am an adult and do not have to be told how or what my opinion, views, thoughts, beliefs or actions should be. That kind of view and attempt at control is a JW mindset.
    I am not embittered at all. Accusations are another JW tool, that they use when they cannot dictate how another person should think. I understand common ground – I also understand manipulation, accusation and the stupidity of the blind JW mindset. This is often done by using the term “healthy”, in other words anything anyone else thinks or states is then to be deemed as “unhealthy”. I am allowed to point out the ghosts of the JW mindset and will continue to do so. I have no desire to accuse you or manipulate you, by the use of such a term – you are free to believe and think what you like – just as I am.

  • February 24, 2014 at 11:02 am

    @ Free Thinker

    I am an atheist by choice. I am certain I have read the Bible and studied its history more than you. If you had studied it, you would at least be agnostic. It is the superficial look at it and the twisting of it that leads to belief. I spent over 40 years the prisoner of those who constantly turned literal words into figurative, saying…… when the Bible says….. it actually means ….. If you believe that God cannot express himself without the aid of a human then God must ride a short bus.

    Oh yeah, the Christian apologist always say that God speaks in riddles to hide it from the wise an intellectual. LOL that is hilarious, that means to understand it you must make yourself not wise and have no intellect, which is exactly what is required of the Watchtower.

  • February 28, 2014 at 7:35 am

    So glad / tiger
    The words apologist, mindset and manipulation are not part of my vocabulary.I would never think myself intelligent enough to want to influence anyone to ignore there own power of reason. However it does seem such a shame that a debate is not possible without the judging of someones character or opinions and the definite feeling that some of your words are prompted by personal pain. In my humble opinion this seems to cloud your ability to express your point of view in a balanced, rational way.Some of the expressions on this site are very refreshing and enlightening and certainly add to our freedom to make informed choices.John Cedars has definitely enabled all kinds of people from many backgrounds and persuasions to be able to express themselves openly.Truly giving a voice to the majority.So lets keep these debates open, free but most of all constructive.

  • February 28, 2014 at 8:16 am

    I think I have now finally made my last comment at the foot of the Essex Chronicle article. A couple of real JW apologists did join in for a bit. They genuinely believe they are on a compassionate mission to save us poor Satanic types from annihilation. They failed, of course, to answer any questions or to defend their indefensible cult. I could hear, in their comments, the echoes from my childhood days in an Essex Kingdom Hall. As well as JWs there were also a couple of crazy oddities whose makeup and motives I simply cannot make out. Anyway, for those with time on their hands, here’s the thread:

  • February 28, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Hi freethinker,
    Not sure why you are still insisting that anyone that has a different opinion to you is not being constructive. I think its bizarre that you cannot see that you are using the usual JW technique of appearing to sound objective with such comments
    “In my humble opinion this seems to cloud your ability to express your point of view in a balanced, rational way”. whilst at the same time being judgemental whilst suggesting that you want a non judgemental debate. So using your same argument – Candace Conti should not have a view on Jehovah Witness child abusers or would you say perhaps Jesus should not have had a view on money lenders in the temple – just in case his experience had clouded his ability to express his point of view in a balanced, rational way. Again, I hope one day soon you will wake up and see the manipulation techniques you have been trained to use and apply them to what you have been taught and challenge your teachers.

  • March 1, 2014 at 1:33 am

    I second “Rowland” and “so glad to be out”

  • March 3, 2014 at 7:02 am

    Rowland/Tiger/So glad
    Why oh why do you spend so much time and mental energy attacking peoples comments instead of trying to engage in a more positive way. Your defence setting seems to be set to strong assertions that anyone who tries to present an alternative view has had there views manipulated by some mind controlling group of people. I have no doubt that you will respond with some more psycho babble in your attempt to dismiss this response in your usual way. Go on surprise me with some none personalised response. Otherwise Peace be with you.

  • March 3, 2014 at 7:37 am

    Well, free thinker, how do you define ‘engaging in a positive way’ with Jehovah’s Witnesses?

    They are conditioned to imagine that all that emanates from their bosses is divinely issued and incontrovertible TRUTH. The JW outfit thus sets itself up for being undermined. It has, thus far, presented itself to the wider public, including the leader of Chelmsford City Council, as an earnest group of religious enthusiasts who are nothing more than a little odd or irritating.

    The wider public needs to be made aware of the damage done by this outfit. That, surely, is positive engagement. The public’s eyes, and eventually, the eyes of the JWs, need to be opened to the multiple horrors left in JWdom’s wake.

    They have all been highlighted on this blog as well as by AAWA, Silent Lambs, Six Screens and JW Facts, amongst others, but still, judging by the comments of the leader of Chelmsford City, there is much work to be done.

    The shunning, the deaths through the ban on blood transfusion , the wasted lives through the frowning on higher education, the nightmares induced by the Armageddon nonsense, the sheltering of paedophiles will continue until JWdom is utterly transformed or goes into liquidation.

    I assume, FreeThinker, that you are not a supporter of JW abuses. Please describe a ‘positive’ and ‘engaging’ method for combating and eliminating them.

  • March 3, 2014 at 7:38 am


    I think calling someone “embittered” is a personal comment!

    Your comments on atheists is bogus. We can read the bible just as well as you. Most of us were raised in the JWs, and therefore have just as much authority to quote and comment on the bible.

    I agree that we can be robust, but you must remember that many of us have suffered at the hands of this religion.

    I would like the 20 years back that I gave to the WTBTS. I would be far further ahead in my career and not have treated many people so badly. I can’t get those years back, but I can help others realise their error.

    Peace be with you (I won’t charge you a fee for your use of my closing comment!!)


  • March 3, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Why do you think you have a monopoly on positive debate?
    for example your statement is both an accusation and a manipulation. “instead of trying to engage in a more positive way”.
    Why do you think accusing other people is positive debate?
    Here is another example “I have no doubt that you will respond with some more psycho babble”
    An abusive accusation – used to manipulate.
    So who is not engaging in positive debate?
    I do not wish you peace – I hope for something more for you – enlightenment.

  • March 3, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    To all the good people trying to reason with ‘freethinker’

    Freethinker may well be in fact a free thinker, however free thinker is a poor listener and unwilling to consider anyone else’s valid viewpoint. The key word in freethinker’s vocabulary is debate. So many people will debate what is proven without a valid viewpoint. You all have marvelously expressed your positions and viewpoints for which there is not debate. I applaud you.


    Forest Gump said it best, stupid is as stupid does.

  • March 4, 2014 at 7:10 am

    I now rest my case. You cannot help but insult people who are only trying to keep the discussion positive.You seem to be preoccupied with manipulation. Your means of doing this seems to be verbal bullying with a hint of gang mentality thrown in. I feel sorry for you reaching this stage in your lives when you seem to be missing out on so many good things.Sorry Excelsior need to use your phrase again.
    Peace be with you.
    PS Rowland I dont support anyones abuses especially your written attempts to belittle people.

    • March 4, 2014 at 8:16 am

      If, Freethinker, you had ever made a case, you might have something to take a rest from.

      All we have had from you is abusive comments and a refusal to acknowledge, never mind justify, the ghastly facts about the JW outfit laid before you.

      It is a common fact when in a cult, to view any questioning or criticism as persecution.

      Best wishes –

  • March 4, 2014 at 7:32 am

    I do not yet see what you have suggested to debate? You now throw more abuse and accusation. I can assure you the last thing I would do is bully anyone. I just do not have a clue as to what you want to discuss. You talk about being positive – but about what? My life has been rich since I left the JW cult. It was not before. Many of my family are still stuck and shun – that is not being negative that is a fact. Why do you visit this site and accuse people? Just wondering, not bullying, just asking.

  • March 4, 2014 at 7:45 am


    Do you have doubts and feel guilty about it ? Sorry to be direct, but it’s just my impression that you come on the site and you don’t like what you read.

    And I think you also know well that it’s not their fault.

  • March 4, 2014 at 7:47 am

    “their fault”, I mean, people who make comments here.

  • March 4, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Its not a question as to whether or not I like what I read its the way in which some who contribute seem to attack disrespectfully the opinions of others. The tone is to aggressive to make anyone JWs included rethink there views and consider information given on very important issues. There needs to be more bridge building and more common ground in order to help someone at least begin to question long held views.Cedars approach is to present the known facts and leave us to decide what to do with them, express a view, add to the information or do nothing.It doesnt seem to be a vehicle for readers to vent there anger on other peoples view. To me it seems to be missing the point of enabling readers to make on informed choice on some very valid questions that are being posed here. Transparency that seems to be denied rank and file JWs at least is being presented here and any that are reading these posts can attempt to make an examination for themselves.It was never my intention to make abusive comments to anyones point of view and for that I apologise, but hey nobodys perfect

    • March 4, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      Free thinker, I think it’s still possible to engage in very constructive discussions. I also think that quite a lot of views expressed are very strong feelings. However, I’m more than certain many have been badly hurt, as we’ve been able to read about many very bad life experiences. In that sense, I think such strong reactions are quite understandable. There are some particular issues that are very sensitive for me too and I’d probably react the same way if the subject was being discussed.

      I think that many are – quite rightly – exasperated by some people who speak in favor of the organization, and would just try antagonize a discussion and refuse to bring in adequate arguments for the sake of interesting debate. I must admit, many people in the congregations didn’t seem very open to discussions and debating neither, so this is quite a bitter point too.This has been so common that I think it erodes any respect people might have for a pro-Organization comment.

      For sure, it’s a sensitive area to enter and often it may be like walking on eggshells. But I end up convinced that there are grounds for the situation to be like this. Still, contrary comments will be welcome (I did try a few), but for sure, will be put to test. This is quite unlike the for instance, for which I first looked for, naively, a section to leave comments directly.

      No one really knows the backgrounds of people who comment here, and who they are, so only the subject matter counts. In addition, written communication is always quite hard to manage. Still, it can be very interesting having debates about the organization or the Bible in general, and in my opinion, more the opinions diverge, richer the discussion becomes.

  • March 4, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Thank you for the apology. I also apologise if there was a misunderstanding. I still have no idea what you want to debate. Have you read the comments of the JW defenders that come on here? Quite often they quote their masters and claim people (other than themselves and their fellow JW’s) will soon die in the most awful way. The favourite method of death is birds pecking out eyes and eating a person’s body. How do you make common ground with such ridiculous ideas? This is a cult mindset that kicks in and whenever the belief system is challenged, rationality goes out the window. What often breaks this cycle is the preponderance of information and education. So read on and when there is a subject for debate then I am sure plenty of people will be happy to debate and provide evidence of the misinformation that the WTBTS has dished out.

  • March 5, 2014 at 7:51 am

    so glad/JB
    I think the point I am trying to make is that if you want someone who has deeply held beliefs to consider another viewpoint or even further information dont do it by attacking, sometimes disrespectfully someones belief, establish common ground then use reasoning.Since coming to this site it has been one of the attractions to consider the information that John Cedars has presented because he does just that, present information.Sometimes when policies or seeming hypocrisy are evident he will express a strength of feeling (shunning,child abuse, Tony Morris III is this number significant?)If you are going to win over current JW believers then it is important to encourage debate (yes there’s that word again)rather than provoke with insults or sarcasm.I now seem to be repeating myself so will sign off hoping that this helps you to understand where I am coming from.

  • March 5, 2014 at 8:04 am

    All you have done is repeat your view – repetition is not debate. You have not answered my question nor have you challenged any of the evidence Cedars has outlined. Have you have another agenda, that is not one that is looking for “common ground” or one that is looking for an evidential debate?

  • March 5, 2014 at 9:39 am

    So glad
    Why do you continually use confrontation? Your approach is exactly what puts thinking people off from having any kind of interaction.I can’t make myself any clearer as to the point I am trying to make. Hopefully others will understand. In the meantime let’s just agree to disagree.

    • March 5, 2014 at 10:29 am

      free thinker – I defended your apology before, and now I find you accusing “so glad” of being confrontational simply for respectfully pursuing a few unanswered questions.

      Everyone is welcome to their opinion on this site, but if you are going to start mudslinging simply because you can’t take the heat, the obvious path to take would be for you to get out of the oven.

      I am not telling you to stop posting. I am simply telling you that if you refuse to answer questions that are prompted by your comments, rather than accusing people of being overly confrontational the best thing to do would be to avoid getting yourself involved in debates in the first place.

  • March 5, 2014 at 10:00 am


    Your comment I respect as it is your website. I expect no less from you, you are a good man and have proven your reasonableness. I respect your decision, while I still disagree with Free thinker, I will choose not to reply to him any further, so as to honor your wishes. Thanks for the opportunity to post.

    • March 5, 2014 at 10:30 am

      No problem Tiger, thanks for your understanding.

  • March 5, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Freethinker recommended the following as conditions for a civilised discussion: ‘establish common ground then use reasoning’ .

    How can this be done with a Jehovah’s Witness? Two defining features of Jehovah’s Witnesses are:

    1. The Bible is God’s Word and contains absolute incontrovertible Truth.

    2. The Governing Body are God’s exclusive representative and their pronouncements on any matter, including Biblical interpretation, are likewise incontrovertible.

    We are asked by Freethinker to use reasoning when faced with someone who is conditioned to believe, without question, the above two statements.

    Not only are those statements (or articles of faith) utterly unreasonable. They are also internally contradictory. Gov. Bod. issued TRUTHS change, with ‘new light’ or whatever. An acknowledgement that discovering TRUTH is a work in progress, (the principle underlying ‘new light’) is utterly incompatible with assigning the TRUTH label to every pronouncement.

    Quite apart from the overwhelming evidence that the Bible is a fallible and man made book, even if one accepts it as God’s incontrovertible word, there are many instances anyway, where Bible Truths contradict JW Gov. Bod. Truths. The Bible refers to Hellfire as a reality; JWs deny its existence. That is just a start.

    So; how to proceed? With some JWs, facing them with the bald, cruel and ridiculous reality of their beliefs may be effective. Hence I remind them that they look forward to the day that God will execute all c. 7 billion of us who do not conform, in thought and deed, to the letter of every pronouncement issued by 8 old men in New York.

    Re. the 8 old Gov. Bod. men I ask them for evidence to back up the claim that these guys are genuinely the ‘Faithful and Discreet Slave’ and thus God’s exclusive earthly rep. There is clearly no evidence anywhere, not even an excuse for such in the tortuous and mangled prose of JW archives. This request of mine usually results in the severing of any communications. I presume the JW confronted with this unanswerable, but fundamental question, has scurried back to the Kingdom Hall for comfort. Hopefully, the thought that he or she may be in hock to a phoney outfit may continue to nag their conscience.

    A longer ‘common ground’ and ‘reason’ route is the universal wish for a better world. JWdom’s Armageddon stuff is based on mounting doom and gloom. Whatever the degenerate features of ‘the world’ presented, most can be refuted by facts.

    In the miserable outlook of JWs, not only are natural disasters multiplying, but drug taking, hedonism, selfishness and moral decay are everywhere, and curable only by a mighty Armageddon purge. There are plenty of facts available to diss this nonsense.

    I have written at length simply to show how dealing with someone who has been conditioned to believe the utterly unreasonable, whose notions are so at variance with most civilised norms, the establishment of ‘common ground’ and the ‘use of reason’, though fine in principle, are not easy when faced with someone who is a victim of cult mind control.

    Any more suggestions out there?

  • March 5, 2014 at 10:20 am


    Great Answer Rowland. That was well crafted and easy to understand, thank you.

  • March 5, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    A recent Watchtower asked, ‘Are you keeping up with our present understanding of the bible?’. Or words to that effect.

    If the WT leaders admit to only having a ‘present understanding of the bible’, how is it reasonable for them to demand that their ‘understanding’ be regarded as ‘incontrovertible truth’? The use of the word ‘present’ intimates that it is subject to possible change. As we know from their history, this is what happens on a regular basis- as an example, the Feb 2014 WT contains yet another ‘present understanding’ of the term ‘generation’.

  • March 5, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Freethinker, I would like you to know that I don’t have anything negative against you as a person, and I don’t mean to be aggressive by this reply, but I still have to, be honest and mention this :

    I have the impression that the discussion turns into circles and also, I think you approached people in a way that you wouldn’t like to be approached in the first place. I’m only saying what I see, and if I didn’t mention this it would be quite dishonest of me.

    I don’t see debates like soccer games, where there have to be a winning side or even a draw …

    Or maybe it can be compared to a soccer game after all, if one side would say “I can beat you, you’re a bad team” and the other say OK, let’s play – but the ball is nowhere to be found.

    Please don’t consider strong opinions here as something bad, the very reasons behind these are, in my opinion, valid reasons and everyone reacts in a way depending their characters and their experiences. If you post a comment on a thread, I guess it’s to exchange opinions, and in a way, connect with them. Please allow me to say that, I’m not sure if that’s the best way, if the discussion can’t get out of a circle.

  • March 5, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Freethinker, I would like you to know that I don’t have anything negative against you as a person, and I don’t mean to be aggressive by this reply, but I still have to, be honest and mention this :

    I have the impression that the discussion turns into circles and also, I think you approached people in a way that you wouldn’t like to be approached in the first place. I’m only saying what I see, and if I didn’t mention this it would be quite dishonest of me.

    I don’t see debates like soccer games, where there have to be a winning side or even a draw …

    Or maybe it can be compared to a soccer game after all, if one side would say “I can beat you, you’re a bad team” and the other say OK, let’s play – but the ball is nowhere to be found.

    Please don’t consider strong opinions here as something bad, the very reasons behind these are, in my opinion, valid reasons and everyone reacts in a way depending their characters and their experiences. If you post a comment on a thread, I guess it’s to exchange opinions, and in a way, connect with them. Please allow me to say that, I’m not sure if that’s the best way, if the discussion can’t get out of a circle.

  • March 5, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Well said Rowland, just that some points you mentioned (Bible being God’s incontrovertible Truth, Armagueddon, etc) are not specific to JW beliefs, but partly, other religions too.

    A common ground doesn’t seem to be a feasible pre-requisit for a discussion upon the fundamentals where the opinions may be so far apart, but providing proofs for your points 1 and 2 would be the heart of the discussion actually.

  • March 11, 2014 at 8:21 am

    A JW defender, after a a lapse of some weeks, a guy labelled ‘Riku-Gatu’ has popped up in the Essex Chronicle coming out with the usual stuff in defence of the JWs.

    As well as the nonsense about JWs being in the vanguard of the drive for blood transfusion free surgery he states, re. pedophile protection, that the 2 witness rule has been binned. Is this true?

    He also claims, despite the Theocratic Ministry School flavour of his posts, that he is not a JW, but a natural defender of the despised underdog!

  • March 20, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    Dear FREETHINKER. I hope you are still reading this thread. I had said all I wanted to say, so I had announced that I was leaving it before your message was posted. I hope you didn’t assume that I ignored your question. I just didn’t see it.

    Your question was: “I wonder if I could respectfully ask for views on two verses of Proverbs that has always intrigued me when it comes to the effectiveness of preaching and reaching the hearts of people so that they can truly see the big picture and Gods purpose for us. Proverbs 24:11,12.”

    I will answer as well as possible, but will keep it as short as I can, because I should be in bed now (!!).

    1. We all die the death that Adam brought on all his descendants, but the scripture says “God does not want anyone to die” He therefore offered his willing son, Jesus, to take onto himself the penalty of death. We now can look forward to a resurrection, either to heaven to be part of the heavenly kingdom under Christ that will rule over the people on earth, or to the earth itself to enjoy making it into a paradise again without the influence of Satan. The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Hebrew Christians explained this and how the law of Moses foreshadowed the Ransom sacrifice.
    2. What about those who lived and died before Jesus’ was born? They will be included in the resurrection of both the just and the unjust.
    Also, there will also be a resurrection of those who did vile things. Jehovah is a God of perfect justice. Therefore, everyone is given a chance, sooner or later to come to know Jehovah and His son (Habbakuk 2:14). What they do with that knowledge is up to them.
    3. Jehovah, by means of his Spirit, has been taking out the ‘desirable ones of the nations’ because he is not willing for anyone to be destroyed. But the scripture says in part, at Romans 10:9-15 “how will they put faith in him of whom they have not heard? How, in turn, will they preach unless they have been sent forth?” Also Jesus, in detailing the signs that would portend the end of this system of things on earth that will be, according to Daniel 2:44, replaced by the rule of Jesus Christ, said that this good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth (Matthew 24:14).

    Because that has to happen before the ‘end’ comes, anyone who comes to know the God of the bible who has faith in His promises has the privilege of spreading the good news to as many people as possible, where ever they might live. Jehovah’s Witnesses are doing just that throughout the world.

    We are all, as Proverbs 24:11 reads “staggering to the slaughter” since death is the punishment for Adam’s disobedience. But from the first, a prophecy was given to mankind at Genesis 3:15 that gave mankind hope.

    Job mentioned the hope of a resurrection during his sufferings: “O that in Sheol (the grave) you would conceal me,that you would keep me secret until your anger turns back, that you would set a time for me and remember me.”
    Since the hope we have is that we might have everlasting life through Jesus, we need not say “Look we did not know of this” Jehovah impels those with good hearts to share the good news of God’s kingdom so that all will come to know about Jesus and the way to everlasting life while there is time. Jesus likened this period to before the deluge, before the flood came. Noah “preacher of righteousness” (2Peter 2:5) was preaching to the people who were at that time ruining the earth (see also Revelation 11:18). They had a chance to help to build the ark and to be kept safe through the flood waters. The choice was there’s, as it is with people today. They chose not to listen. (Matthew 24:36-39)
    4. The ‘sword of the spirit’ is God’s word (Ephesians 6:17) Jesus set the precedent in his preaching by using the prophecies in his teachings. Also when he opposed the devil while in the wilderness for 40 days
    (Matthew chapter 4)

    That is why we not only learn about Jehovah from the scriptures but we also witness from house to house by using scripture. We aren’t expected to place any faith in anything unless we have seen it in God’s word.

    Dear Freethinker, I hope you will see this. I have to go. Goodnight all!

    • March 23, 2014 at 5:32 am

      Bettine – the Bible is a man made and fallible collection of writings, much of it primitive and barbaric. This is hardly surprising considering its provenance.

      The JW bosses’ ever changing interpretations of the Bible have resulted in a series of duff prophecies, countless split families through shunning, deaths through refusal of blood, stunted lives through the sneering at education, protection of pedophiles and Armageddon nightmares.

      Your TMS style strings of Bible quotes, to back up whatever nonsense your bosses happen to be spouting just now, bring back awful memories from childhood when I, as a believing, Kingdom Hall attending and door knocking JW, was taken in by all that cruel and negative nonsense.

  • March 23, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to die; save them as they stagger to their death.
    Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.” For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew.
    He will repay all people as their actions deserve.
    (Prov. 24:11,12)

    One more time JW’s and Christendom in general abuse of the writ. Nowhere mentions preaching work by the WT or anything similar. But like so many conveniently quoted scriptures the WT applies it to “saving Lives” and the guilt for those that won’t preach their false prophecies.

    Bettine and others blinded by false interpretations. I ain’t going to make a list of the many wrong predictions uttered by the WT. Just one, on the failed date 1914 the whole kingdom is in shambles. I let Carl Sagan described better:

    “The fact that religions can be so shamelessly dishonest, so contemptuous of the intelligence of their adherents, and still flourish does not speak very well for the tough- mindedness of the believers. But it does indicate, if a demonstration was needed, that near the core of the religious experience is something remarkably resistant to rational inquiry”.
    [Carl Sagan, Broca’s Brain]

  • March 23, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Please can you tell me where in the bible it says that:
    if an elder sexually abuses a child and the sin/crime took place three years before it was found out/admitted, the elder does not need to be removed and the matter does not need to be reported to the police?
    This is just one of the many occasions where your doctrine bears no relationship to the bible and human decency.

  • March 23, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    How nice that we can have an open discussion with Bettine. Even if it is failed. Bettine at least makes an effort to show concern for everyone, without the predisposed bias of the Watchtower regarding communicating with non believers who formerly were believers. Bettine, I commend you for your sincerity and willingness to express your faith to “anyone who demands a reason from you”

    As for everyone else, enjoy the reasoning and reading your comments, this is my Sunday Newspaper that I enjoy reading.

  • October 16, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    I have around 10 different versions of the Bible, including the Witness’ New World Translation; the Witness’ Bible refers to Jesus at John 1:1 as ‘a god’.
    All the other versions (without exception) address Jesus (the Word) not as ‘a god’, but God himself.
    This dilemma caused me to stop attending the Kingdom Hall.
    If this mistranslation is deliberate to fit in with the Witness’ rejection of the trinity, then I have to reject the New World Translation as intellectually dishonest…

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