Russell, Rutherford and the Governing Body


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On October 31 1916, Charles Taze Russell died. Russell had founded a religious sect known as the International Bible Students, which would later become known as the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Like the followers of many other charismatic leaders, Russell’s followers experienced a traumatic time upon and after his death. In fact, sects often disappear altogether when their founders die. As we know, this sect not only survived the ordeal following its founder’s death, it thrived and grew. At the time of Russell’s death, it had about 10,000 followers. Today the movement has about 6 million active and zealous members worldwide. The person who laid the foundation for this impressive growth was Russell’s successor, Joseph Franklin Rutherford. He became the 2nd President of the Watch Tower Society (hereafter: WTS) in 1917, and shortly thereafter he was the supreme leader of the movement. At Russell’s death, it is no exaggeration to say that the sect was focused primarily on his person. It took determined effort from Rutherford and many confrontations to secure the loyalty of the community. When Rutherford died in 1942, the organization had no problematic successor problem. The members of the sect had at that time loyalty more towards the whole organization than a single individual. The major objective of this thesis is to investigate some factors in Rutherford’s presidency that caused this change. A religious community founded primarily on loyalty to a single individual will naturally experience a crisis when this individual passes away. A religion that exists for a long time does so because its followers have loyalty towards the movement itself. Since religions are often founded by charismatic religious leaders –and Russell surely was one of them — what we can call the ‘successor problem’ may well be a general one. This thesis will describe the specific solution that Rutherford’s presidency proved to become.

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27 Responses to Russell, Rutherford and the Governing Body

  1. Ted R (Bible Student) says:

    The Presidency of Nathan Knorr and Fred Franz by James Penton

    Another great discourse by historian James Penton. This one deals with the presidency of Nathan Knorr and Fred Franz. In the last part of this interview he discusses the period between 1970 and 1975. I remember that time period well because I was baptized in 1970. Meetings we less controlled by the organization in many ways and much more interesting. The internal ministry was beginning to be put forth and a little more lenient attitude toward disfellowshipped individuals was promoted. I met Nathan Knorr personally. He visited Wadsworth Ohio and our congregation had a get together after he gave his talk.
    James, in this video, gives a very accurate account of that time period leading up to 1975 and the presidency of Knorr and Franz.

  2. Ted R (Bible Student) says:

    A great video of the history of the organization.

  3. Ted R (Bible Student) says:

    Another thing I found interesting is that he is a strict Russellite yet he has been shunned by some Bible Student factions.

  4. Ted R (Bible Student) says:

    he has been reinstated to the Christian Questions website as a misunderstanding. I know the brothers who have Christian Questions as well and I was not posting this against them. It was the reactions and shunning he was getting from the other Bible Students that I found interesting.

  5. Ted R (Bible Student) says:

    The video I just posted is mind blowing! I disagree with his following of Russell but the way he is being treated reminds me of the JW’s so much! He is being shunned for believing Russell???

    • jacqueline says:

      TedR, thanks for sharing, I know all of the players personally that he is mentioning except I don’t know members of the Johnson group personally.

      I like the Christian Questions people as friends and they aren’t so radical, but lean directly toward the Bible. They try to appeal to persons that don’t know a lot about the Bible. They are doing an excellent job. They were my support while I toured for many years. I could never tell from listening to them that they were with Russell at all. I found out many years later when I met them.
      Nice people and the narrator and his family has survived some family stuff and leans heavily on God’s word for support.

      The chaos of that movement and the worship of personalities is over the top. They have a lot of top men of power but no order or structure.
      It is so much fighting, disagreement and confusion because as you may have noticed as you listened, None of them base anything on Jesus! Except a few who stick with the Bible more. The LA group to me are reaching to come out of darkness. Others in San Diego try to bring harmony but it was too much for me.

      I wish them well as they journey out of the darkness of following one man.

      They either worship Russell as this poster does or some of their other strong personalities. They hold strongly to present truths as they call it and traditions of their ancestors.

      Like all the different offshoots of Charles Taze Russell, there is great confusion, bickering,hostility and they argue loudly and are unkind to each other if there is disagreement.

      You would think they would now try Christ Jesus, as following men has created total chaos among them.
      I have seen tears in the eyes of some Russelites if you say one word against him. All the classes around me are Russelites.

      And yes, like the witnesses they do disfellowship and shun as well, among groups of Russelites as well as Dawn and the others, as far as I learned.

      Glad I got out of that before it did my brain or mind harm. It was an unbelievable experience. But a learning lesson to just stick with small group study directly out of the Bible.

      Thanks for posting that gem, TedR.

  6. Ted R (Bible Student) says:

    Have you seen this? VERY INTERESTING!!!

    • jacqueline says:

      TedR, I wanted to add that as I was shunned by my family ( everything is okay now, praise goes to God) I was touring with entertainers, etc in an RV. Some of the truckers would listen to Christian Questions because of its straight forward content with scriptures to support. It wasn’t dogmatic and easy to digest.

      I didn’t know who the people were but the sidekick, Johnathan cracked us up, and we liked him.

      In my darkest hours on the road trying to escape the persecution I received from the congregation I was in, this program showed me I could get to God without being in a kingdom Hall. Because I traveled and spoke out in 2004 when we studied the Isaiah book, one elder tortured me verbally Everytime I came off the road and attended. I told him I saw that Israel was the true Jehovah’s Witnesses and not us. I discussed openly that this is the real Jews in Isaiah. He informed me to shut up and follow the slave, the governing body, just as this guy is saying.

      I informed him I would never attend book study any more as this disturbed me that they said God changed His mind and went back on His promise to Abraham!

      Then while out for 12 weeks or so I found Christian Questions and it changed my life! These were nice people for me. I have met and associated with every one of them. I recognized the voice of the narrator at a convention and was shocked. Rick and Jonathan!

      So you see, another side to the story for me. Rick’ Christian questions helps a lot more people than he realizes.
      The brothers that say ” Present Truths” are Hardline Bible Students, Russellites.
      My fight with admin of the fojw site was something out of a horror movie. Russellites are hardcore worshippers of Russell and the studies in the scriptures.
      I threw all of mine in the garbage because it was agenda based on just the few Bible Students ruling in heaven with Christ over everybody else.

      It was not a Christ based religion to me but a man, books based experience.

      But isn’t it great that God and Jesus got this. Yahweh has the plan already laid out!

      I have been on a journey thru everything Russell, Rutherford and the “Jehovah Witnesses” now I can move up to the Bible being sure Russell’s teachings are just that, Russell’s teachings but not God, Yahweh, or Jesus.

      I have learned to accept shunning as a catalyst to get even closer to God in prayer, when the governing body call for their shunning campaigns every couple of months. I call them terror campaigns for children to torture their elderly parents and parents to attempt to destroy their children and others within the witness organization to berate any that have left.

      It strengthens you and makes you tough! Lol

    • jacqueline says:

      TedR, this post has caused phone conversations but I wanted to perhaps clarify.
      The maker of that video has a website and it appears channels on YouTube. So why would he go on Christian Questions website to complain about the fact they choose to deal with just the Bible. They own and pay for that site. He has many avenues to lodge his complaint on sites he pays for or own.
      I think they were right to remove his comment. Persons that go to conventions and harass participants inside by verbally trying to intimidate should be escorted out as the Witnesses do by police for one person, that is very bold and threatening.
      I have come up against one on this site and a few more Russelites and they feel strongly about Russell and you have to get away from them.
      So is it shunning if you protect yourself and property? I don’t think that is the shunning done by Witnesses, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventist etc.

      This man has a website where he can complain about Christian Questions or any like us that refuse to worship Russell.
      Christian Questions js a Bible based platform, not a cult based one.
      He knows they appeal to the masses on simple concise answers to Bible Questions. Travelers follow them.
      We have had to ban one Bible student poster from this website and Fojw had to ban the same person, plus Facebook and other websites.
      But this isn’t shunning, it is protection of your mental and emotional health from cult minded people in my opinion.
      So for those that called me, shunning and protecting yourself and property are different.
      I am with Christian Questions on this.

  7. jacqueline says:

    For my friend that wanted links to the articles, which are pretty accurate, here they are. The organization is set up more like the organization Russell had begun before his death as these links show. Enjoy and love you.

  8. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    My take on the vow:
    If a person wants to recite the Vow is a personal decision. It can serve as a reminder of some things that we as Christians should follow. If it helps a person in his quest to serve our Lord that’s a good thing. If a person is whole hearted in taking the vow and truly means it that’s a good thing. If, however is reciting the Vow in a ritualistic manner then it can become meaningless. For example, here in the United States the Pledge of Allegiance is recited at many events. It has lost its meaning to many. It becomes something they do, not something they truly mean. Can anyone honestly say that they truly believe in the words of the Vow today? If they do, that’s wonderful.
    How many people today can honestly say for example that they are never alone in a closed room with a member of the opposite sex?
    “I further vow, that with the exceptions below, I will at all times and in all places, conduct myself toward those of the opposite sex in private exactly as I would do with them in public — in the presence of a congregation of the Lord’s people.
    And, so far as reasonably possible, I will avoid being in the same room with any of the opposite sex alone, unless the door to the room stand wide open.”
    I am not denigrating Brother Russell in any way! Whether or not certain allegations are true or not to me is meaningless. But I personally will not put ANY man or his teachings above Scripture, which is what I see among many Bible Students. As a Free Bible Student, I agree with Brother Carnegie. We must put Scripture first! Anything beyond plain Scripture is subject to interpretation. We must be careful never to add to or subtract from Scripture. When we put Brother Russells or anyone else’s works on par with the Scriptures we are on a dangerous path. We are not to be followers of man! The Bible is very clear on that! We, as Bible Students, must prove ALL things to ourselves. We make sure of all things. We must make Gods truth our own! We should never blindly follow any man or organization! That is why I left Jehovah’s Witnesses after 50 years! Their insistence on following the Governing Body as the Faithful Servant stems from their roots in the Bible Student movement. While Pastor Russell himself never openly claimed to be the Faithful Servant or the Laodocean Messenger, many Bible Students elevated him to that status and follow his words as they would Christ and the apostles and Bible writers.
    As I said, I highly respect Brother Russell for his research, just as I do many others who study Gods word. But I will not blindly follow him or anyone else.
    I really think we are on the same page in this regard. As far as the Vow and Morning resolve, that is a personal decision. I see nothing there that would contradict Gods Word and it can serve as a daily reminder to renew our dedication to serving our Lord. We just have to be careful we don’t lose the meaning of those words in our hearts.

  9. A. Couceiro says:

    Hi, Jacqueline! I personally like the vow and the morning resolve, although I see them more like a “commitment” than a “vow” per se. To me they are a nice reminder of my responsibilities before God. It helps focus my mind on pure things as soon as I wake up. I just don’t agree to make them mandatory, or when people think that you live a less saintly life if you do not make them in the morning. By the way, and as you probably know, I am not a “Russellite”. We call ourselves “Berean Bible Students” precisely because we do not follow Russell to the letter. To the benefit of the ex-JW and non-BS friends, here are “The Vow” and “The Morning Resolve”:

    A Vow Unto the Lord

    Our Father which art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. May Thy rule come into my heart more and more, and Thy will be done in my mortal body. Relying on the assistance of Thy promised grace to help in every time of need, through Jesus Christ our Lord, I register this Vow.

    Daily will I remember at the Throne of Heavenly Grace the general interests of the harvest work, and particularly the share which I myself am privileged to enjoy in that work, and the dear co-laborers everywhere.

    I vow to still more carefully, if possible, scrutinize my thoughts and words and doings, to the intent that I may be the better enabled to serve Thee, and Thy dear flock.

    I vow to Thee that I will be on the alert to resist everything akin to Spiritism and Occultism, and, remembering that there are but the two masters, I shall resist these snares in all reasonable ways as being of the adversary.

    I further vow, that with the exceptions below, I will at all times and in all places, conduct myself toward those of the opposite sex in private exactly as I would do with them in public — in the presence of a congregation of the Lord’s people.

    And, so far as reasonably possible, I will avoid being in the same room with any of the opposite sex alone, unless the door to the room stand wide open.

    Exceptions in the case of Brethren — wife, children, mother and natural sisters: in the case of Sisters — husband, children, father and natural brothers.


    My Morning Resolve

    My Earliest Thought I Desire Shall Be: “What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord [for grace to help]. I will pay my vows unto the Most High.” — Psalm 116:12-14

    Remembering the Divine call, “Gather My saints together unto Me; those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice” (Psalm 50:5), I resolve that by the Lord’s assisting grace I will today, as a saint of God, fulfil my vows, continuing the work of sacrificing the flesh and its interests, that I may attain to the Heavenly inheritance in joint-heirship with my redeemer.

    I will strive to be simple and sincere toward all.

    I will seek not to please and honor self, but the Lord.

    I will be careful to honor the Lord with my lips, that my words may be unctuous and blessed to all.

    I will seek to be faithful to the Lord, the Truth, the brethren and all with whom I have to do, not only in great matters, but also in the little things of life.

    Trusting myself to Divine care and the Providential overruling of all my interests for my highest welfare, I will seek not only to be pure in heart, but to repel all anxiety, all discontent, all discouragement.

    I will neither murmur nor repine at what the Lord’s providence may permit, because

    “Faith can firmly trust Him, Come what may.”

    • jacqueline says:

      A Couceiro, hello and welcome! Thank you so much for posting that so our friends visiting the site could read what the vow and resolve says.
      Friends on here may have questions or start a discussion on them.

      I know you are not a follower of man or Russellite and I wish I could read Spanish fluently. I miss some of my dear friends that I met for but a season.
      Both inside the Bible Students and the Jehovah Witnesses there are Christians and in all the Christian world.

      During my journey I have let myself break free and listen to other voices and views on the Bible not just my last 70 years of only Russell’s view.
      All of our lives are unique but 99% of ex Jehovah Witnesses journey is almost the same. That is how it is when only one thought is allowed.
      This site is uniquely designed to let Friends address that issue. We are overjoyed when every discussion we see Holy Spirit working to help us understand and see words we have not noticed in the Bible.

      I really appreciate your putting the material here.
      How is it going with your personal family and the friends in Christ?

      I see your photos on Facebook but I don’t go on Facebook often anymore.
      Give my love to all.

    • jacqueline says:

      A. Couceiro, also I maybe will open the discussion on why I would never repeat the Resolve and the Vow.

      Although this is not a prayer, so Jesus words on not repeating the same thing over and over does not strictly apply here. However to me it has merit, that for over 100 years the words conceived from one man or a few is considered before a Church meeting rather than direct scriptures from the mouth of our God, directly from the Bible.

      My problem with excusing myself from the Vow by arriving after it has been said is it seems to me a man, Russell, not admitting his improper conduct with females and haughtily whipping up this Vow.
      That’s his solution but I will not be a party in this with him or his followers. This Vow and Resolve to me seemed that they take presidency over the word of God, every meeting is too much ritual for my taste.

      I was informed that Russell’s writings were on par with the Bible as explaining it completely and the watchtower quotes on this site contains one expression indicating that one would go into darkness if they stopped using the Studies in the Scriptures etc. I will put the link when I get to a computer later today. I am outdoors now on a phone.

      I was informed that my not accepting Russell as the Angel of the Laodicean Church would not result in disfellowshipping only because Chicago Bible Students don’t have it but, I was informed of other possible repercussions. Please be advised the conversations were followed up with at least two emails after very heated and forceful informing me.

      I also heard from some other still Bible Students that they were informed of almost word for word as me.

      Now as I have stated, the Bible Students are just like Jehovah Witnesses because they both are from Russell’s model.

      One difference I see however is the Bible Students can castigate Jehovah Witnesses in their talks and on the so called friends of Jehovah’s Witnesses website and in their talks, but skin gets so thin if someone says something about their beloved god Russell.

      I don’t bother them, they can worship whomever they want. It is one of their own that tries to make this site about Russell.
      There is an entire website to push Russell yet the Apologist for the Bible Students, refuses to be convicted and use that huge site as I was informed is to strictly promote Russell.

      I have no connections to the Bible Student association. I do however have reference to Charles Taze Russell however as he is the creator of the doctrines followed by Jehovah witnesses and I was one all my life.

      The Bible Students are claiming exclusiveness of them as the link to Russell. History is being rewritten but sorry, I say we who know the true history are still alive. They should wait until we all die out before rewiring this history.

      Now I have said a lot. Earlier I hadn’t had my coffee, but hopefully this will explain my reason for not accepting this daily repeating of a dead man’s craftiness.

      Now this is not speaking for anyone else. This is my take on the Vow and Resolve now that I have read the entire thing. Also the are perhaps many religions with rituals, and I don’t go out looking for them to speak against it, nor would I expect an apologist from their religion to be persistent in trying to get me to join in. This is not you but apologists for the Bible Student movement that can’t seem to find peace within, to worship God without having others follow and confirm their personally held convictions. Again thanks Andre for posting the words to the Vow and the Resolve.

      Matt. 24:4-5: “See to it that no one deceive you.” Eph. 5:6: 2Cor.11:3

  10. jacqueline says:

    I think I have had enough for tonight I am going to check out the news then grab Netflix and look at this documentary to see if I can glean anything from it. Goodnight all.

    NetFlix The Family.

  11. Christopher Johns says:

    My moms good. She’s a hot mess but good. 🙂 I don’t know why they do the vow. I can’t stand at every convention opening and closing with prayer, vow, and morning resolve, vote to send love. On online conventions I don’t tune in until 15 mins after it starts. If you notice I don’t do them during the conventions. I for one hate repetition and the vow is for someone else not mine. For example “I will avoid being in the same room with any of the opposite sex alone, unless the door to the room stand wide open.” Why would I ever say that. Opposite sex doesn’t interest me. It’s not for me. I don’t do the vow or morning resolve when they ask at conventions. I usually interject when someone says “well I looked at Brother Russell’s comments.” I said one time “Russell doesn’t know everything.” And “things change.”
    You mentioned one time that the Bible students always have another explanation. I see that sometimes too. Like it seems to me that the scriptures show that Jesus was raised in the same body he died in. Because in the OT it was blood made the atonement not flesh. So he can have the same body without voiding the ransom. But I also see what they are saying in that “the bread I give for the world is my flesh.” That’s why Jesus said flesh and blood can’t inherit the kingdom then said “a spirit has not flesh and BONES as you see me have.” They will say “his appearing through a wall shows that he was a spirit.” But I mean he walked on water so I don’t think laws of
    Physics applies to him on either side of the veil. I understand all of the arguments for and against the trinity. I used to battle with it with other people. But why does it seem that 99% of bible reading Christians believe in the trinity while we have books explaining that it doesn’t exist? I’m
    Not saying I believe in it but it’s something to consider.

    • jacqueline says:

      Christopher, tell her I said hello. It is so refreshing to see you have not settled in and is still using your brain to question and not accept “Long-Held Beliefs”. I heard the cry at a couple of conventions to not allow the questioning of these old beliefs.
      Daniel was told 12:4 “But you, Daniel, keep this prophecy a secret; seal up the book until the time of the end, when many will rush here and there, and knowledge will increase.” In other words, we would have more to help us understand and we should use it including our brains and not listen to those that say 1 man or 9 men words only. The source of both is Russell

      Ephesians 3:17-19 sort of addresses what you are saying about Jesus have way more to him than just being an even match to Adam. This scripture shows us there are 4 dimensions mentioned here. For Jesus to walk on water might demonstrate that there are other dimensions that we are not aware of how to use them.

      17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

      Matt. 17:20 might be a hint that a perfect man could actually move huge rocks, stone henge, and other huge Rock formations movement may have been a lost art. But we can’t really read with Holy Spirit igniting your brain if you have to stay within the bounds of a deceased person from another couple of centuries ago. Not saying what this is saying but at least I can look intently at the word of God now. And glad to see you are doing it as well Christopher.

      Matt. 17:20“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible. ”

      Christopher people get so caught up into putting themselves in heaven of “making their calling and election sure” for how they feel it should be done (Religion and doctrines, Creeds) that they lose the fear of God. The vow scares me to death to poke in HIS face, like see I won’t even be in an enclosed room with a woman. It was not God that came after Russell, it was his wife and the court systems and Rose Ball’s confession and him saying he is like a “butterfly that goes from flower” to flower” so why you stick the “shoot” under God’s nose?. The Fear of Jehovah is being dumbed down. No wonder he said about the Laodicean Church, “16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (Rev. 3:14-22)

      Jeremiah 4:22-27 referring to Israel being foolish but verse 23-26 shows we better fear God!
      22 “For my people are foolish;
      they know me not;
      they are stupid children;
      they have no understanding.
      They are ‘wise’—in doing evil!
      But how to do good they know not.”

      23 I looked on the earth, and behold, it was without form and void;
      and to the heavens, and they had no light.
      24 I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were quaking,
      and all the hills moved to and fro.
      25 I looked, and behold, there was no man,
      and all the birds of the air had fled.
      26 I looked, and behold, the fruitful land was a desert,
      and all its cities were laid in ruins
      before the Lord, before his fierce anger.

      27 For thus says the Lord, “The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end.

  12. Chris Johns says:

    Are you referring to the Vow and that it was written because of the accusations of the extra marital affair? Yeah I know. I mean even the prophets in the Bible didn’t have a great track record. Samson and David and Moses. Even as prophets they did bad things. Not that I’m calling Russell a prophet but if even they did things wrongly why not an ordinary man. Even if he did the worst thing the Divine Plan doesn’t hang on him. The LDS church if they found out that he was false then their whole religion fails. If Russell was a false teacher it wouldn’t matter because I believe about 90% of what he said is from the Bible. I don’t deal much in chronology.

    • jacqueline says:

      Hi Chris, I mean why do the Bible Students say the vow? The reason I ask is when I first heard a brother say it I thought he was humble to openly confess that he had a problem with morality. Then I heard it again, it was only on my third time did I realize it was a repetitious “chant” and I began to always came in after it was said when attending conventions and 4th Sunday. I am not referring to Russell and his marital affairs, I was wondering if you knew why it is done today by Bible Students. I never asked I just felt uncomfortable so I entered afterward.
      The Watchtower society in the 1960s did have articles dealing with vowing and not paying and taking another person vow on yourself as being very serious. That is why I refrained from being present when it was presented as much as possible.
      As far as Russell’s teachings, I didn’t really deal with any error whether perceived or real with the Witnesses. I don’t deal in doctrines, I deal with the Bible and form my thoughts on what the Spirit guides me to believe.
      I have left off association with Both on the issue of worship of their leader or governingbody, not their doctrine. I was presented in writing in two emails that acceptance of Russell as the seventh messenger was a requirement. So I in freedom of religion disconnected myself.
      I don’t find the emails intrusive, I just can’t answer them and really see no need to as I didn’t know the Bible students existed.

      I just thought as a Bible Student that maybe you had found out why they do that at every meeting. Take Care of yourself, Your friend Jacqueline

      BTW: How is your Mom doing?

  13. Christopher Johns says:

    Russell wasn’t a prophet. Unitarians also don’t believe Jesus preexisted and have many other beliefs I don’t agree with. So he had trouble in his marriage. He wasn’t perfect. The creature worship that followed was not of his own beliefs. That’s what they did after he died. I believe most of what is taught by the Bible students. If it was just me and the Bible I’d think there was a trinity based on John 1:1, 8:58 Hebrews 1:8. I’d think there was a hellfire based on Rev where it said “and those whose names aren’t found in the book of life were cast into the lake of fire and will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” I’d never have believed in the restoration of Israel. I’d be in some church thinking Hod was going to kill off everyone that didn’t believe. When I was in the JWs I prayed for God to show me the truth and that’s when the first volumes came into my hands. The big difference between Russell and say Joseph Smith of the LDS church is my beliefs don’t hang on Russell. No matter how much bad Russell did the divine plan doesn’t fall or rest on him. In the LDS religion if Smith was false then the Book of Mormon, temple sealings, priesthood and church all falls apart. The Divine Plan doesn’t rest on Russell. The christadelphians believe much of what we do. But I disagree with than that Satan doesn’t exist or that no one goes to heaven or Jesus didn’t preexist. I believe what the volumes say. I don’t agree with all of the dates and chronology but the divine plan to me is the truth. Many in my ecclesia have had similar issues with the brethren as you have. They don’t let it bother them. They say God called them not man. We see it as a test that in dealing with the brethren. I don’t care what they about me or what they do. They didn’t call me and unless they get the cops I won’t leave a meeting or convention. S

    • jacqueline says:

      Good for you Christopher, I am glad to see you are happy with your class. In fact, a word that was used as a description of persons in your class insulted any decent 21st-century person. So again that is why I went to the source to see how all these people are still in the 17th-18th century. My personal conclusion was they keep reading and going over the same things without changing a word because they believe and Russell accepted that he was ye, olde slave.
      Theology of the Bible is getting clearer every day so I don’t really argue that I can believe what the Holy Spirit helps me see. But I can’t sit and participate in the worship of Russell or the governing body.

      So at least we could discuss this here without repercussions of being disfellowshipped. Also, your class perhaps is one of those that don’t worship Russell and an exception to the rule within the Bible students. You gave a great explanation of your personal convictions. We do have a personal responsibility to God, thank you for allowing a straight forward discussion.

      So Christopher someone today asked me what is the “Vow unto the Lord” that is said at every meeting and convention?
      I think it would be best for a Bible Student to answer that and maybe print the words. I have an idea but a Bible Student might know for sure. Would you be comfortable doing that?

  14. jacqueline says:

    Our Masonic friends have it down very fine. I do not know where they got it so well. I have often wondered where they found out so many of the secrets of our High and Accepted Order of Masonry.
    Read more at:

  15. Christopher Johns says:

    I generally don’t blame Russell for what the followers do. I don’t think he ever called for the worship of him. After reading the Laymen’s stuff they basically worship him. A brother said Russell sits at Christ’s right hand. Um no. We don’t agree with everything Russell wrote but without him and just reading the Bible I would not even know of the earthly paradise, I would think Jesus is God because of the trinitarian bibles and even believe in hellfire. I thank God for the volumes. But I’m also not a Russellite. I don’t believe everything he wrote. As much as I disagree with the JWs they at least knew Russell was wrong on things and even changed things. Some for the good and some not. Even the LHMM won’t change anything and will just try to stay within the confines of what’s Russell wrote. I usually ask people like that “If Russell has died in 1906 then we would still believe that we are under the New Covenant. So if he was alive today wouldn’t he make adjustments on what we teach today?”

    • jacqueline says:

      Hi Christopher and thanks for commenting. I do try to go to the source, for instance of how Bible Students could entertain some of their odd thoughts about race since it went across ecclesia, not just one or two. This explained it, They are captives and keep feeding their minds on this stuff: I am not the only ones that have been insulted by them but they are still within the movement so I won’t speak of their experiences. A Chicago class elder gave a biased talk directed to me because of a Facebook discussion where my relatives accused his wife of being a racist from what she was saying. Since it came from the platform it means the elder body feels the way he did. I never attended another 4th Sunday to be attacked for what a relative said.

      It is not true to say Russell is the originator of nontrinitarian fight and beliefs. Look up who died fighting it and got the law changed so you weren’t burned at the stake. UNITARIANS!
      Russell was a great editor and had the printing press and the means to publish his combined knowledge from other Christians.
      To WORSHIP THIS MAN as the Seventh Messenger of Revelation and THE FAITHFUL SLAVE, No! I will not do it! Helet them call him Ye old slave and hold him up as a god!
      “Russell referred quite openly to the assistance in Bible study he had received from others…. C. T. Russell used the Watch Tower and other publications to uphold Bible truths and to refute false religious teachings and human philosophies that contradicted the Bible. He did not, however, claim to discover new truths…..What about other Bible doctrines that were discussed in the Watch Tower and other publications? Did Russell take full credit for uncovering these gems of truth? Explained Russell: “We found that for centuries various sects and parties had split up the Bible doctrines amongst them, blending them with more or less of human speculation and error . . . Then how did Russell perceive the role that he and his associates played in publishing Scriptural truth? He explained: “Our work . . . has been to bring together these long scattered fragments of truth and present them to the Lord’s people—not as new, not as our own, but as the Lord’s. . . . We must disclaim any credit even for the finding and rearrangement of the jewels of truth.” He further stated: “The work in which the Lord has been pleased to use our humble talents has been less a work of origination than of reconstruction, adjustment, harmonization.”
      Jehovah’s Witnesses—Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom, Watch Tower, p. 45, 48, 49.

      Charles Taze Russell left a legacy of prophetic speculation, pseudoreligious theology, and pseudoscientific, pseudomedical quackery that persists in the present-day Watch Tower organization with continued change and adaptation (a hallmark of Watch Tower policy). His life was plagued by lawsuits, controversy, a disintigrated marriage, and the failure of all his prophecies. In his lifetime he played many roles, some of which were ascribed to him by his followers – businessman, orator, writer, teacher, Bible exegete, scholar, historian, medical advisor, and, above all, prophet of God.
      Leonard & Marjorie Chretien (1988), Witnesses of Jehovah: A Shocking Exposé of What Jehovah’s Witnesses Really Believe, Harvest House Publishers, p. 38.

      Christopher this is an informational website to just write the truth and help those coming out to see how this craziness started so they can somehow get back on a spiritual footing to go to God thru Christ and not a man.
      You were a witness briefly and are not aware that Witnesses know a lot about Russell. You are reading the biased version put out by the Bible Students. This man is dead and what others say is just as valid as the Bible Students say.
      You say the Laymen worship Russell. From that “Vow unto the Lord” utterance to their unnatural reverence to Russell I concluded the Bible Student association worship, Charles Taze Russell. Now does this mean every man woman and child within it? No, for they are just like their counterparts, the Witnesses, they keep it in for fear of shunning.
      BTW: You are not privy to the personal emails sent by an elder representing the Bible students that proves I have the right thoughts. Some others on here were actually within earshot and connected to phone conversations where it was felt only I was being threatened with “We don’t disfellowship like the witnesses but”.
      In fact, I was likened to Onesimus the runaway slave on several occasions, although brothers tried to deal with it and ask that reference not be used! But reading and regurgitating this stuff causes problems. The Bible is enough.

      Slave bible
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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      The title page of an excerpted bible printed for reading to slaves, London 1807. Passages such as the Book of Exodus are removed.
      A slave bible is a bible specifically edited to serve for enslaved Christians. They were produced in England in the early 19th century for use in the British West Indies, when they were colonies of the British Empire. Such bibles had all “references to freedom and escape from slavery” excised, while passages encouraging obedience and submission were emphasized.[1]

      The Museum of the Bible, during a 2018 exhibition called “The Slave Bible: Let the Story Be Told”, exhibited an example from 1807, called Parts of the Holy Bible, selected for the use of the Negro Slaves, in the British West-India Islands. British missionaries used that bible in the education and conversion of the enslaved population. The editors removed 90 percent of the Old Testament and half of the New Testament. Among the excluded passages are Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus”, which was thought to possibly incite rebellion. Passages like Ephesians 6:5, “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ,” were kept.[2] This bible was one of three copies of this version, and is owned by Fisk University. It was printed by Law and Gilbert of London, for the Society for the Conversion of Negro Slaves.[3]

  16. Warren says:

    This is a youtube channel that examines some of the issues that caused many witnesses harm and distress. #131 and #432.

    Scroll down to the bottom of the page column 1 to click on this video.

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