|English: George Storrs, former preacher, writer, editor, publisher (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
From the years 1870 through 1875 Charles Taze Russell, his father Joseph, his sister Margaret, along with several other interested friends and associates, such as the well studied Millerite pastors George Storrs, and George Stetson, were actively engaged in careful, analytical Bible Study.
|Charles Taze Russell (1852–1916). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Russell started his own periodical entitled "Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence" with the issue July, 1879.
In 1881 "Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society" was founded with the purpose of disseminating tracts, papers, doctrinal treatises and Bibles, and was officially chartered in 1884.
The different small groups in the 19th century who were looking for the Biblical truth brought forth many sorts of Bible students groups and organisations. Several of those seriously interested Bible Students began rediscovering long-lost Bible truths.
After the death of Ch.T. Russell in1916 an immense and messy struggle for control of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society began at the Brooklyn "headquarters". Joseph Rutherford, the Society's lawyer, on a technicality that would have equally applied to him, summarily dismissed four influential members of the Board of Directors, and then literally tossed their belongings out onto the street. Pastor Russell's "Last Will and Testament" was both ignored and violated. Through legal and personal manipulations, Rutherford essentially appointed himself the second president of the Society, and within a period of only ten years turned the course of the Society around in a completely different direction, having discarded many of Russell's views, to the chagrin of tens of thousands of members.
|English: Picture of Joseph F. Rutherford from the 1911 Bible Students Convention Souvenir Booklet. At the time this picture was taken, Rutherford was serving as chief legal counsel for Pastor Charles Taze Russell. Rutherford became President of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in 1917 and later renamed the movement Jehovah's Witnesses. Rutherford died in 1942. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
In 1931 the Bible Students got some schisms because there where some disputes about the way Rutherford was going. The name Jehovah’s Witnesses was adopted by one of the split groups with the most of money. With their publications they managed to get even more income and financial grounds to build a whole empire.
Through the years those who did not want to agree with change in the teachings or new ideas of the Governing Body where cast out and had to find other ways to keep active in their faith. Shamefully lots of ex-Jehovah Witnesses where so disgusted by the Brooklyn Society they totally lost interest in the Faith and became atheist or a fighter against the non-trinitarians. Many ex-Jehovah Witnesses found themselves without family, but often also without believers around them who wanted to share the same love for God. A big problem that so many also got totally stuck in their thinking which was brought on by the organisation that all others in the world had the wrong believes and should be avoided. So many do not dare to make contact with other faith groups and often have no idea that there are many other non-trinitarian Bible Students.
The Jehovah Witnesses grew every year and became a very strong organisation.
Last year a second JW Survey showed again very revealing figures:
The results are available for download in PDF format on this link. They show that the overwhelming majority of 1,488 voters who participated disapprove with some or all of the Society's teachings and practices. Some of the more shocking statistics are as follows:
- Only 5% of active Witness voters agreed with ALL Watchtower beliefs and practices
- 70% of inactive voters stopped attending meetings because they no longer believe that Jehovah's Witnesses are the true religion
- 61% of unbaptized voters believe Jehovah's Witnesses are a cult
- 31% of anointed voters do not believe 144,000 is a literal number
- 65% of active Witness voters believe some apostates may have legitimate concerns
- 31% of serving elder voters consider themselves to be "secret apostates"
- 60% of former Witness "apostate" voters have nothing against Jehovah's Witnesses but would like to see the Watch Tower Society dissolved
- 49% of active Witness voters would either openly or secretly accept a blood transfusion
- 60% of active Witness voters object to all forms of shunning
- Three quarters of former Witness voters say they are being shunned by JW family members
- 84% of inactive Witness voters would leave the organization if shunning were abolished
- Three quarters of all inactive Witness voters experience "pre-emptive shunning" even though they are not disfellowshipped
- Half of all serving elder voters feel elders are motivated by a desire for prominence and an ambition to succeed
- More than 80% of active Witness voters DON'T believe elders are appointed by Holy Spirit
- 58% of serving elder voters regret a decision they have reached on a judicial committee
- Two thirds of active Witness voters don't believe Jehovah's Witnesses represent God's spirit-directed organization
- 81% of all voters have known or heard of a Jehovah's Witness committing or attempting suicide
- 60% of inactive voters experienced marital or family problems through their decision to become inactive
|The Watchtower, Jehovah's Witnesses National HQ (Photo credit: ad454)|
Whether the Governing Body acknowledges these hundreds of people or not, the JW Survey group will continue to run the survey and gather the opinions of the "silent majority."
The 2013 Global Survey is now online!
In case you are a Jehovah Witness or are interested in their activities, or want to have your say, we would encourage you to react and why not to one-and-all to take part by clicking on this link to get started.
If you are unfamiliar with how the survey works, please take your time to familiarize yourself with the instructions before proceeding - and be sure to read the questions carefully before casting your vote!
As to the results of last year's survey, these will still get posted to Brooklyn even if they go straight in the Bethel mailroom's bin. Why? Because when the media eventually takes an interest in the efforts of the JW Survey Group (which we believe they will) they want to be able to tell them that they have mailed their surveys to the Governing Body each and every year, and they never replied. Of course, they would rather the Governing body DID reply - but this is out of their hands. And even if the JW Survey can't force the Governing Body to take an interest in the opinions of hundreds of current and former Witnesses, they can still produce their UPS tickets as proof that they tried!
For all those who love Jehovah it might also be an important step, because all God's lovers should become untied at the end. And more Jehovah Witnesses and ex-Witnesses should get to learn that there is more than only the Jehovah Witness movement. They and other Christians shall have to get to know that there are more non-trintiarian Christians than only the Jehovah Witness, who do witness for Jehovah. In some countries there are even groups who call themselves Jehovah People and as such could perhaps be better positioned to say that they are the people of God because they really bear the name of being the people of Jehovah.
But also other movements like the Nazarene Friends, Ex-Jehovah Witnesses, church of God, Church of Abrahamic Faith, Christadelphians, they all go for Jehovah and do their best to get to know the Only One God and to serve Him at their best.
In the world Christians who have their heart on the right place should dare to come out and say their ideas, willing to give signs to others so that they can correct or change direction.
For ex-Jehovah Witnesses and for those who have doubts about certain writings of the organisation it might seem as though there is little point in voting if the Governing Body isn't listening, but we honestly don't see things that way. The more the Governing Body ignores the many pleas for mercy and reasonableness, the more they prove themselves to be entirely unfit for the role they have assumed on the behalf of so many Jehovah Witnesses. So, with that in mind, please continue to add your voices to the project of the JW Survey Group - and spread the word among your friends too! Let the silent majority speak loud and clear...
|English: Personal bible study Português: Estudo pessoal da bíblia Italiano: Lo studio personale della bibbia Deutsch: Persönliches Bibelstudium (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
For those interested to learn more about Jehovah and other faith-groups or churches which want to honour the Only One God, we do advise to have a look at other websites, like for example:
The Christadelphians or to get to know better the Christadelphian People What Christadelphians believe or look at the world wide community of Christadelphia with Christadelphia Worldwide communities or ecclesiae
- Charles Taze Russel Official Website
- Unitarian Church of God
- Friends of the Nazarene
- Restoration Fellowship
- Bible Student Websites
- Associated Bible Students of Central Ohio - Official Website
- Dawn Bible Students Association
- Bijbelvorsers Webs
- Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher
- Broeders in Christus
- Belgian Christadelphian Ecclesia