An excuse for crying wolf from the Jehovah’s Witnesses

From Watchtower January 2013:

HAVE JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES GIVEN INCORRECT DATES FOR THE END?
Jehovah’s Witnesses have had wrong expectations about when the end would come. Like Jesus’ first-century disciples, we have sometimes looked forward to the fulfillment of prophecy ahead of God’s timetable. (Luke 19:11; Acts 1:6; 2 Thessalonians 2:1, 2) We agree with the sentiment of longtime Witness A. H. Macmillan, who said: “I learned that we should admit our mistakes and continue searching God’s Word for more enlightenment.”

Why, then, do we continue to highlight the nearness of the end? Because we take seriously Jesus’ words: “Keep looking, keep awake.” The alternative, to be found “sleeping” by Jesus, would prevent us from gaining his favor. (Mark 13:33, 36) Why?

Consider this example: A lookout in a fire tower might see what he thinks is a wisp of smoke on the horizon and sound what proves to be a false alarm. Later, though, his alertness could save lives.

Likewise, we have had some wrong expectations about the end. But we are more concerned with obeying Jesus and saving lives than with avoiding criticism. Jesus’ command to “give a thorough witness” compels us to warn others about the end.—Acts 10:42.

We believe that even more important than focusing on when the end will come, we must be confident that it will come, and we must act accordingly. We take seriously the words of Habakkuk 2:3, which says: “Even if [the end] should delay [compared to what you thought], keep in expectation of it; for it will without fail come true. It will not be late.”

Analogies can be used so wrongly. Someone that keeps giving false alarms begins to lack credibility that they know what they are doing. Also, that their future alarms will not be heeded. One reason that two thirds of people brought up in the Jehovah’s Witnesses leave according to Pew.

If you sincerely believe you are the truth, and your past predictions have led to the “falling away” from the truth for many, you may want to give a sincere apology and ask for public forgiveness of Jehovah and humanity you have condemned to supposed destruction come Armageddon.

This is not just about accepting criticism. The organisation encouraged people not to marry, or have children with Armageddon so near. That the only thing that mattered was service to Jehovah as directed by the Society, so careers, education and dreams were of secondary importance to complete devotion.

Hopefully, people will see such leadership as cult behaviour.

See previous blog for history of predictions by the Society which never came to pass.

Thanks to William E Enoch Sr for mentioning the publication and Godfrey Freeman for the link.

Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog

Follow @JPSargeant78

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4 Comments

Filed under Jehovah's Witnesses

4 responses to “An excuse for crying wolf from the Jehovah’s Witnesses

  1. Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society is a publishing giant disguised as a religion. Jehovah’s Witnesses are simply Followers of the WTS. These are two distinct groups. The WTS is using JWs to ply their publishing business and in face, the WTS refers to JWs as Publishers. The time is coming when Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world will wake up to the WTS’ heaping blame upon them for its own failed predictions as well as many other disresptful things like shunning and enduring ever-changing teachings and policies. Even the Bible is silent on many WTS policies.

  2. Jehovah Witnesses are a spin-off of the second Adventist which all came from the Millerite movement.American war of 1812 army captain William Miller is ground zero for Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    Yes,the “great disappointment” of Oct 22 1844 has never died out… it lives on in the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    The central CORE doctrine of the Watchtower,yes the reason the Watchtower came into existence was to declare Jesus second coming in 1914.When the prophecy (derived from William Miller of 1844) failed they said that he came “invisibly”.

    Danny Haszard Bangor Maine

  3. Thanks for that info! I’d long been wondering how the JWs (my old cult) were going about explaining the ongoing non-arrival of their Armageddon. Looking at the article you quote, I give them credit for that bit of “We get it wrong sometimes” (though a more honest “We have no idea what we’re talking about” would be nicer. : ).

    For the interested, I have my own short take on the JWs and the world’s stubborn refusal to accommodate them by ending:

    http://www.defaithed.com/2011/04/religions-neverending-story

    Anyway, looking forward to more of your work!

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