An other Christian WordPress.com site – Een andere Christelijke WordPress.com site

In a discussion, which was not to be intended to bring the name up of an ex member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses from 20 October 1971 until 22 May 1980, we notice that the Organisation of the Jehovah Witnesses likes to do if nothing happened way back in the seventies.

For Raymond Victor Franz (May 8, 1922 – June 2, 2010) the seventies became exuberant very promising but also very disappointing. Being the son of a Bible Student he found an other way and joined the group in 1938 which was to become known as the Jehovah Witnesses. , He became a baptized member in 1939 after which he took more time to study the Bible and to grow in to the believes of the Jehovah Witnesses. To get more insight he went to the missionary school of Jehovah’s Witnesses, typically referred to simply as Gilead or Gilead School, founded in 1942by Nathan H. Knorr. After five months he graduated in 1944. Temporarily he served the organization as a traveling representative in the continental U.S. until receiving a missionary assignment to Puerto Rico in 1946. In 1959 he married his wife with whom he continued his missionary work in the Caribbean, traveling to the Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic, to evangelize for four more years before taking up work at Watch Tower headquarters inBrooklyn,the most populous of New York City‘s five boroughs.

Encouraged by his uncle Frederick W. Franz he put all his efforts to spread the news of the coming Kingdom and to help his brothers and sisters grow in the faith. Both Frederick and Ray joined forces to make a think-tank. Franz was encouraged to put his ideas in writing and got the opportunity to work in the organization’s writing department. He was assigned to collaboratively write Aid to Bible Understanding, the first religious encyclopedia published by Jehovah’s Witnesses in which he put a lot of energy.

English: crop of older photo ca 1981 of previo...

Ray Franz, early 1980s – English: crop of older photo ca 1981 of previous Jehovah’s Witnesses Governing Body members (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For him the climax of his career, if you may call it that, came on 20 October 1971 when he was appointed as a member of the Governing Body. But those 9 final years became a crucial period for the Bible Student. He had had so many dreams and wanted to do so much for the faith, but bit by bit his dreams felt into pieces. Illusions there met up with reality. He always had looked, like his father, for the truth. He thought he had found it in a very well structured organisation, while other members of his family had studied the Bible as individuals and not with such tight connections as he had. The freedom other family members had not being so organised, made him see that the organisation he was with used its structure to tighten rules and regulations and to be more a chain to the Bible Students.  He could see more and more limitations to brethren in the congregation. His eyes were surprised to find that at the top they were not afraid to be quite about certain things are to have no objections for a “little lie for the good”. He found deliberate, contrived and dishonest sayings and actions of which he could not agree with. Looking at all the going ons he began to realize how large a measure of what he had based his entire adult life. To him it came as a certain shock and first he wanted to disbelief.  Though there was no way around, he had to face the trap in which he was fallen and saw the myth — persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.

At first in unbelief, then doubts, he contacted more brothers and sisters to talk about his findings. This got him in the first problems, having people who he thought were his friends, taking distance or ignoring him. Other reacted strongly at him, trying to get him back on track at all costs. It became more difficult to talk about differences of opinion  with the Governing Body or with others in the community. More and more Ray and Cynthia seemed to become isolated and became very frustrated on their isolated island. The Governing Body’s dogmatism and overemphasis on traditional views rather than reliance on the Bible in reaching doctrinal decisions was a thorn in his flesh. He knew life is not a bed of roses, but the way of thinking and the direction the Watchtower Society took could not be liked any more by Ray and his wife. Ray Franz started also going back to the sources of his father and got back into contact with several Bible Students, not associated with the Jehovah Witnesses.  As such the association of Free Christians (Vrije Christenen) in Belgium also got in contact with his family. Out of those contacts Ray his writings and letters to the Board of Governors where also published, in English and Dutch, in Belgium. But all the letters he wrote to other members of the Governing Body seemed to no avail. He also understood now why previously there had been some very good forces gone away from the organisation. But he also understood the organisation had wrongly put out some very sincere Bible Students.

Utterly disappointed and frustrated he decided, late 1979, to leave the international headquarters. Being depressed, health reasons seemed logic and acceptable to give leave of absence. They moved to Alabama, where he took up laboring work on a property owned by a fellow Witness.

Diagram Representing Organisational Structure ...

Diagram Representing Organisational Structure of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A committee of the Governing Body raised concerns over the spreading of “wrong teachings” emanating from headquarters staff and began questioning headquarters staff on their beliefs. The previous discussions and correspondence between brethren about faith-matters, beliefs and worship, came under fire. Because they could find that Ray Franz had contradicted certain Watch Tower doctrines they considered it necessary to tell Ray that he had been implicated as an apostate. His claims that he was not the only one who questioned certain teachings of the Watch Tower Society that may have constituted apostasy, was taken ill.

After a questioning for three hours about his Bible viewpoints and commitment to Watch Tower doctrines, Franz agreed to a request to resign from the Governing Body and headquarters staff, on 21 May 1980. The Governing Body investigation resulted in the disfellowshipping of several other headquarters staff.

When Franz continued to socialize and eat with his employer in Alabama, he was summoned to a judicial hearing on 25 November and disfellowshipped for disobeying the edict.

Treated very badly by the Watchtower power structure, he took on writing about the case, after a number of Watchtower articles criticised the motives, character and conduct of former Witnesses who conscientiously disagreed with the organization. Ray claimed that many Jehovah’s Witnesses who choose to leave because they cannot “honestly agree with all the organization’s teachings or policies” are subsequently disfellowshipped, or formally expelled, and shunned as “apostates”. He wrote that he hoped his book might prompt Witnesses to consider the conscientious stand of defectors with a more open mind. He hoped that a discussion of deliberations and decisions of the Governing Body during his term would illustrate fundamental problems and serious issues within the organization: “They demonstrate the extremes to which ‘loyalty to an organization’ can lead, how it is that basically kind, well-intentioned persons can be led to make decisions and take actions that are both unkind and unjust, even cruel.” {Franz, Raymond (2004). Crisis of Conscience. Atlanta, Georgia: Commentary Press. pp. 37–40. ISBN 0-914675-23-0.}

File:Franzcrisis.jpg

Illustration of book cover Crisis of Conscience (1983) American edition

His Crisis of Conscience (1983) got a sequel by In Search of Christian Freedom (1991).

Former Witness James Penton, who included the book in the bibliography of his 1985 history of the Witness movement, described the book as “remarkably informative” and “thoroughly documented” and noted it was “written more in a tone of sadness than of anger”. {Penton, M. James (1985). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. pp. 149, 401. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3.}

Frederick W. Franz was in 1992 found a fine example of faithfulness (Watchtower 1/1/92, Love for Jehovah Stimulates True Worship), “He served faithfully as a member of the Governing Body down till his death, on December 22, 1992, at the age of 99.” (Jehovah’s Witnesses, Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom; Jehovah’s Word Keeps Moving Speedily)

Upon the death of then president Nathan H. Knorr in 1977, he became the president of the Watch Tower Society. He served in that capacity until his death. In his lifetime, Brother Franz saw the number of Witnesses of Jehovah increase from a few thousand to some four and a half million. He enjoyed many privileges of service, including speaking at international conventions and visiting branches and missionary homes in many parts of the world. His life story appeared in the May 1, 1987, issue of The Watchtower. (Watchtower 3/15/93, Rewarded With “the Crown of Life)

When research was being done under the supervision of the Governing Body in preparation of the reference work Aid to Bible Understanding, attention was once more directed to the way in which the first-century Christian congregation was organized. A careful study was made of such Biblical terms as “older man,” “overseer,” and “minister.” Could the modern-day organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses conform more fully to the pattern that had been preserved in the Scriptures as a guide? (Jehovah’s Witnesses, Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom; Development of the Organization Structure)

Insight on the Scriptures includes much of what was formerly in the book Aid to Bible Understanding and a great deal more. In what respects is it different? Scores of sections have been revised and updated. There are also many new articles as well as added features in Insight on the Scriptures. (Watchtower 3/15/89, “Insight on the Scriptures”—A New Bible Encyclopedia)

Material from Aid to Bible Understanding seems to have found its way into Insight on the Scriptures, but no where anything is mentioned about one of the main inspiration persons behind the book: Ray Franz or Raymond Victor Franz. When we do mention the family Franz to Jehovah Witnesses they do not want to hear any bad word about the family Franz.

+

Related articles

  • Ten Years Behind A Bible, My Life in the Jehovah’s Witnesses (personal) (everything2.com)
    Many people over the years have asked me whether I truly was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and some have even asked that I write about my adventures. First of all, yes, it is true. I was once a member of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I was “in the Truth” for about ten years. There’s a long story behind my joining, some of which I wrote about in Drop Kick Me Jesus, Through The Goalposts Of Life. If you want just the adventures, the fun stuff, skip to the Anecdotes section.
    +
    I had to show that my life was “in harmony with Jehovah God’s requirements”. This included being free from drugs and immorality and other sundry deviant practices. I was expected to participate in the “field ministry” – the door-to-door work for which Jevohah’s Witnesses are renowned the world over. I duly began my apprenticeship, and quickly learned that many of those tutoring me were not very bright, and lacked a really good foundation of Total Bible Knowledge. I persevered, and began to become quite adept in my doorstep presentation and discussion style.
    +
    I was also expected to meet the exacting standards of dress and grooming laid down by the Society.
    +
    Life as a JW is more than just knocking on doors, it’s about attending meetings.
    +
    I recognised that my freedom to be myself, my very personality were being stripped away. According to the Society, and their interpretation of Ephesians 4:23-24, I needed to “strip away the old personality…and put on the new…”. Somehow, I felt that compliance with a “Watchtower clone” was removing my freedoms. After all, we were living in a changing age, and a different culture from that which prevailed when the Society was forming. Why did I have to have my hair cut just so and not have the freedom to wear a beard without it having an impact on my congregation life?
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses (calltoprayerministries.wordpress.com)
    Jehovah’s Witnesses come up in conversation more times than one might think. I guess that it’s because there are many people who know JW’s and there don’t seem to be many obvious differences between their faith and ours. Many JW’s are nice people, talk about Jesus, share their faith, and care about their families… just like Christians. So what are the differences? Are they just a different kind of Christian?
  • What to Tell Jehovah’s Witnesses (asserttrue.blogspot.com)
    Will you please tell us the answers to all our questions and if you will say sorry to us at all for what you have done to us kids? Also, we would like to meet with all of you elders on the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses so you can say sorry to all of us children one at a time.
  • Attorney claims sexually abused children ignored by Jehovah’s Witness church (lampandherald.wordpress.com)

Comments on: "The blot not to be seen" (1)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Tag Cloud

sowers seed

be careful 'how you hear'

Next Comes Africa

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me - Psalm 139: 9,10

friarmusings

the musings of a Franciscan friar...

Equipping The Saints

And Jesus Came And Spoke To Them, Saying, "All Authority Has Been Given To Me In Heaven And Earth, Go Therefore And Make Disciples Of All The Nations, Baptizing Them In The Name Of The Father And Of The Son And Of The Holy Spirit, Teaching Them To Observe All Things That I Have Commanded You; And Lot I Am With You Always, Even To The End Of The Age." Amen (Mt 28:18-20)

THE ROCK OF ISRAEL CONGREGATION

Weekly Parsha From The Rabbi's Of Rock Of Israel Congregation In North Carolina

Minding The Truth

On God and the Christian Revelation

The Apologist

Faith Seeking Reason

biblicalexegete

A site for the study of the Biblical languages, exegesis, interpretation & application.

Upper Biblical Studies for All

Upper Biblical Criticism is to apply appropriate disciplines with systematic Study!

Pentesofia's Blog

Living Life Inspired by Jehovah

What does the bible teach

God's Kingdom Genesis 3:15

whatshotn

House of the Nazarene's Evangelism

lotharlorraine

4 out of 5 dentists recommend this WordPress.com site

How You Can Have a Happy Life

Bible Based teachings that can make you truly happy

Messianic613's Weblog

Torah Research Center

BLT

BLT -- Bible * Literature * Translation

Said to Myself

Some Irreverent, Relevant, and Revealing Torah

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 311 other followers

%d bloggers like this: