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Posts tagged ‘Bible Students’

General Convention for Bible Students

All over the world we can find many Bible Students who live in isolation.

At the University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown, PA from July 16-21, 2016 will take place a general meeting which shall be broadcast live via Adobe Connect so that wherever you live, being unable to travel you still can enjoy the fraternity its musings.
On the Program page you will find links to the MP3 audio files and Real Media audio/video files of each convention session (discourse, panel, vesper, etc.).  These files are to be uploaded by the webmaster at the conclusion of each convention day and will then be available for download.  If the file has not yet been uploaded to the program, clicking on the link will show an error page.

To get the recorded (or archived) Adobe Connect files of a convention session click on the “Adobe Downloads” menu tab.  This will direct you to another website and you must log-in to access and download the archived convention files.
To play the downloaded MP3 audio only or downloaded Real Media audio/media files, VLC Player is an excellent universal media player that will play nearly every video or audio file (MP3, WMA, WMV, MPEG, RealMedia, etc.). It can be downloaded here.

“I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come.” Haggai 2:7

On Saturday

discourses shall be held by: Br. Robert Gorecki, Br. Ken Fernets, Br. John Trzeciak, Br. Rick Suraci. Br. Jonathan Benson shall present a mini talk on 1 Peter 1:22, 23 “‘Phileo’ Love” and Br. Chris Kuenzli on “‘Agape’Love”.

As interesting talks we may note:

For Sunday:

Theme Discourse—Haggai 2:7 “The desire of all nations shall come” Br. David Stein
A Dialogue: – The Authenticity Of The Old Testament Br. O.B. Elbert & Br. Brad Sweeney
Discourse – 2 Corinthians 1:3,4 “The God of all comfort” Br. Aaron Kuehmichel

For Monday

there shall be a discussion: Taking Personal Responsibility & Accountability For Our Actions moderated by
Br. Stephen Jeuck Br. Bob Goodman Br. Tim Thomassen

On Tuesday

Br. George Balko shall bring a Baptismal Discourse

On Thursday it is perhaps time to reflect on what we can bring to this world

“That which every joint supplieth” Br. Dan Wesol, Br. Ray Charlton and Br. James Parkinson

°°°

Biblestudents web General convention 2016

General convention 2016 on WordPress

Belgian Bible Students review of 2015

2015 the year where terrorist acts demanded so much attention of people that some of them got over-frightened and even did not want to have refugees in their neighbourhood.

In the year that climate change at last got some more attention, every day hundreds of stories were produced on any given day and people before, between and after work are confronted with loads of messages, which because of the big amount do not move them so much any more.

There were some lunatics who took others with them into death, for own personal reasons, for revenge at the society or for religious reasons.

Two Airbus A319 of Germanwings at Stuttgart Ai...

Two Airbus A319 of Germanwings at Stuttgart Airport (STR) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There was the Germanwings plane crash – as it happened, Paris attacks which killed more than 120 people – as it happened, and as such Europe came at war with the known but also unknown enemy. Paris terror attacks: Hollande says Isis atrocity was ‘act of war’.

In the Time to consider how to care for our common home many people in 2015 also got lost. Lost at sea: the man who vanished for 14 months. It took a long time before more Europeans became moved by what was happening with those people who are looking for some safer place than Syria or Iraq. Shocking images of drowned Syrian boy show tragic plight of refugees.

For some the end of capitalism has begun. Others clearly see the signs we have be warned off by the very old words in the Book of books.
We too, prefer to listen to those words and let them guide us. We take them at heart and do know that we are going to come to face a hard time. Therefore it is so important that more Bible students and Bible scholars warn the people of what is going to happen. Therefore we also shall continue in 2016 to bring our messages.

We know that there has been a Christian group whose confident prediction of the end of the world proved wrong but we are convinced all the prophesies given in the Bible shall come true. We also know nobody knows the exact date, but we are warned that we can and should come to see the signs of it. And we have come in a time that we can no longer ignore the signs.

Our world may have been confronted with the neural network that throws up hallucinatory images; and the Taiwanese boy who punched a hole through a 350-year-old, $1.5m painting, we should know that all the material around us is not of such an importance but that we should aim at the spiritual and the more important value, the Way to God and the Way to enter the Kingdom of God.

This 323rd message on Bible Students, placed on January the 11th, 2016, after we got a total of 26 915 views since 2010 when we started on WordPress, looks back on 2015 and looks forward to 2016, the year we want to offer you more writings and more interesting thoughts.

We are thankful that You come along here and without your presence our work would not be of much use.

In 2015, the year of Rumours of problems in Roman Catholic Church, there were 93 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 321 posts, which were getting views from 128 countries. today we have already 322 postings and now you are reading our 323rd publication on this site, but do not forget you also may find writings by us on Stepping Toes were we talked a.o. about Roman, Aztec and other rites still influencing us today and on From Guestwriters, were we entered the abortion debate.

We try to reach as many people as possible and also try to bring some articles in the different main languages of our guest country Belgium, where German is also spoken and were the German article Der heilige Geist wird euch an alle Dinge erinnern got the most comments in 2015.

We sincerely hope we may find you under our readers again in 2016 and the following years and hope to bring more articles which can please you and be of interest for many.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,700 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Find additional reading

  1. State of Europe 2015 – Addressing Europe’s crises
  2. Asylum seekers crisis and Europe’s paralysis
  3. What we don’t say about the refugee crisis?
  4. Paris attacks darkening the world
  5. Brussels-born Salah Abdeslam key suspect Paris terrorist attacks
  6. Summary for the year 2015 #1 Threat and fear
  7. Summary for the year 2015 # 2 Strewn with corpses and refugees
  8. 2015 In the Picture
  9. 2015 Human rights
  10. 2015 Health and Welfare
  11. 2015 Ecology
  12. Massive police operation in northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis
  13. Refugee crisis, terrorist attacks and created fear
  14. French Muslims under attack
  15. Before you blame All Muslims for the terrorist attack in Paris
  16. Trump brand of migrant demonization #1
  17. Trump brand of migrant demonization #2
  18. Solidarité: The Paris Attack and the Refugee Crisis
  19. Children of Men
  20. How to make sustainable, green habits second nature
  21. Vatican against Opponents of immigration
  22. Greenpeace demands scale up of ecological farming
  23. Republican member of Congress from Arizona to boycott pope’s address over climate change
  24. Vatican meeting of mayors talking about global warming, human trafficking and modern-day slavery
  25. Paris World Summit of Conscience, International interfaith gathering #1
  26. Paris World Summit of Conscience, International interfaith gathering #2
  27. Paris World Summit of Conscience, International interfaith gathering #3
  28. 2015 Summit of Consciences for the Climate
  29. Senator Loren Legarda says climate change not impossible to address
  30. Shaped by years of unprecedented outreach and public engagement
  31. Building a low-carbon world: the sixth industrial revolution
  32. Natural capital in concept works. They know it, we know it, but how come it rarely translates at the coal-face of sustainable development?
  33. A Miracle of Unity at COP21
  34. Time to consider how to care for our common home
  35. Rumours of problems in Roman Catholic Church
  36. Bijbelvorsers Blogging annual report and 2015 in review

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Others looking back at 2015

  1. The Unified Field, Soul Partnership and More.
  2. Dear 2015
  3. Ode to 2015
  4. The last sunset
  5. 2015 (londondiaryblog)
  6. 2015 – year of continued subjugation of Indian males
  7. The 2015 change
  8. A New Year: 2015 In Review and Plans for 2016!
  9. A highlight of 2015
  10. Farewell 2015
  11. Flash backs [2015]
  12. My top stories of 2015
  13. Global Bubblegum Market 2015 Industry Insights, Study, Forecasts, Outlook, Development, Growth, Overview and Demands
  14. 2015 (damanizayas)
  15. Year in Review
  16. Sal Gomez Photography Video Slide Shows – A Year End Retrospective
  17. Goodbye 2015..
  18. My Achievements for 2015
  19. 2015 in Review: Original
  20. 5 Things I Take Away From 2015.
  21. Favorite-est things from #2015
  22. End of the Year Survey 2015!
  23. My Goodreads Year in Review
  24. The Annual End of Year Book Survey: 2015 Edition!
  25. The best books I read this year
  26. 2015: a year in review
  27. 2015 Favorites: Brushes!
  28. 2015 was great…
  29. 2015: A bad year of Tollywood
  30. 2015. (ichamber17)
  31. 2015 in review (thegatheringfire)
  32. As the Year 2015 Go
  33. Kaleidoscope of 2015
  34. 2015… (leahlorenesjourney)
  35. “New Year, New Me”
  36. Bye bye 2015 and welcome 2016
  37. A Thank You Note to 2015
  38. Thank you, 2015. Welcome, 2016
  39. 2015 In Review// Thanks
  40. Goodbye 2015
  41. 2015 in Blogging Annual Report (honeycrunch32)
  42. 2015 in Blogging Annual Report (nailsbyhoneycrunch321)
  43. FOOD for Life’s 2015 in review
  44. Nia 2015 – Beyond 21st Century Sharecropping
  45. Reflecting on 2015
  46. As 2015 fades into history, hello 2016
  47. 2016
  48. Looking Back…
  49. 2015: A Year in Songs & Haikus

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Charles Taze Russell and what he started

We would like to present some older articles published by us on the website of Bijbelvorsers Webs, the Association of Bible Scholars or Researchers an Association for Bible-study, and Biblestudents on March 4, 2011 at 5:41 am:

Charles Taze Russell and what he started.

C. T.Russell was born in 1852 (the second of five children) in Allegheny,Pennsylvania in the US. He grew up in faith with his father, got to know the Presbyterian and the Congregational Church. He investigated the philosophies of the Far East – Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism but soon concluded that these philosophies were empty, and his quest for spiritual satisfaction and peace remained unfulfilled.

Christians worldwide were for the first time ever considering the prophetic chronology of the Bible, concluding that Christ was going to return on dates calculated anywhere from 1862 through 1881 (with greater focus on the year 1868). From 1868 to 1875 a lot of Christians all over the world had come in great expectation for the return of Christ, believing that the 6,000 years from the creation of Adam were complete, and the seventh and final millennium began. Lots of preachers,determined to find the truth, went around the world to proclaim the end times.

George Storrs (1796–1879) one of the leaders of the Second Advent movement and affiliated with William Miller and Joshua V. Himes. He began publication of his magazine The Bible Examiner in 1843 and continued it until 1879 with a few breaks - George Storrs (1796-1879) een van de leiders van de Tweede Advent beweging en aangesloten bij William Miller en Joshua V. Himes. Hij begon met de publicatie van zijn tijdschrift The Bible Examiner in 1843 en bleef het tot 1879 met een paar pauzes publiceren

George Storrs (1796–1879) one of the leaders of the Second Advent movement and affiliated with William Miller and Joshua V. Himes. He began publication of his magazine The Bible Examiner in 1843 and continued it until 1879 with a few breaks – George Storrs (1796-1879) een van de leiders van de Tweede Advent beweging en aangesloten bij William Miller en Joshua V. Himes. Hij begon met de publicatie van zijn tijdschrift The Bible Examiner in 1843 en bleef het tot 1879 met een paar pauzes publiceren

George Stetson (1814–1879) Millerite who also wrote for George Storrs’ magazine The Herald of Life and the Coming Kingdom, and for other magazines such as The World's Crisis - George Stetson (1814–1879) Millerite die ook schreef voor George Storrs’ magazine The Herald of Life en the Coming Kingdom, en voor andere bijbelstudenten tijdschriften zoals The World's Crisis

George Stetson (1814–1879) Millerite who also wrote for George Storrs’ magazine The Herald of Life and the Coming Kingdom, and for other magazines such as The World’s Crisis – George Stetson (1814–1879) Millerite die ook schreef voor George Storrs’ magazine The Herald of Life en the Coming Kingdom, en voor andere bijbelstudenten tijdschriften zoals The World’s Crisis

Soon C.T. Russell began also to see that he was living somewhere near the close of the Gospel age, “and near the time when the Lord had declared that the wise,watching ones of his children should come to a clear knowledge of his plan.” From the years 1870 through 1875 Charles, his father Joseph, his sister Margaret, along with several other interested friends and associates, and a few other truth-seekers in Pittsburgh and Allegheny formed a class for Bible study with the well studied Millerite pastors George Storrs, and George Stetson. These studies were purposely detailed and analytical with the goal of examining every ‘jot and tittle’ of Christian doctrine, creeds and traditions in order to determine their accuracy, or to see if they were nothing but “the traditions of men”. Slowly, and step by step, they were able to separate which doctrines were Bible-based from those that were error, or mere tradition. Such detailed studies and questions of faith were common to numerous Protestant groups in the United States at this time in American history.

Charles had a time of constant growth in grace and knowledge and love of God and his Word. During this time of his Bible study, the Russells were also influenced by Adventists such as Jonas Wendell, Nelson Barbour, the Christadelphians and the Lutheran minister Joseph Seiss. In the history of Bible Students we cannot escape to see several names coming up in different denominations of today. In the nineteenth century there was a big cross-pollination. Some of Russell’s beliefs can be traced back to the very beginning of the Second Advent movement started by William Miller.

William Miller (1782-1849), American clergyman, founded a movement which involved thousands in eagerly awaiting the Second Coming of Christ. - William Miller (1782-1849), Amerikaanse dominee, stichtte een beweging die duizenden reikhalzend deden uitkijken naar de wederkomst van Christus.

William Miller (1782-1849), American clergyman, founded a movement which involved thousands in eagerly awaiting the Second Coming of Christ. – William Miller (1782-1849), Amerikaanse dominee, stichtte een beweging die duizenden reikhalzend deden uitkijken naar de wederkomst van Christus.

Because of their intensive study of the Bible, the Russell family (Charles, Margaret, and Joseph) concluded that they had finally gained a new and clearer understanding of what a Christian is called to do in laying down their earthly life in sacrifice and service to God. All three renewed their consecration (vow of dedication) and decided to be re-baptized in 1874.

In 1876 Russell sold his father’s men’s clothing tailoring store named “The Old QuakerShop” located on Federal Street in downtown Pittsburgh and used this money to use it for preaching and publication purposes.

Russell was impressed with Nelson Barbour’s “invisible presence” views on Christ’s coming and he accepted much of his chronological views. Barbour and Russell soon became partners in publishing Herald of the Morning, Pastor Russell becoming an assistant editor of the Adventist magazine.

C.T.Russell became also the co-publisher of the book, Three Worlds and The Harvest of This World (Also called, Three Worlds: Or Plan of Redemption) (1877). A doctrinal dispute between Russell and Barbour over the atonement, and that the Rapture of the saints would occur in April 1878, resulted in Russell ending his partnership with Barbour and publishing his own magazine the Zion’s Watch Tower magazine, starting in 1879. When Russell left, he took many of Barbour’s readers with him, including J.H. Paton, the Herald magazine’s other assistant editor. He continued with Barbour’s chronology of 1874 being the date of Christ’s invisible return, 1799 as the start of the time of the end and 1914 as the “end of the Gentile Times”.

In 1908 the name of their magazine was changed to The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence.

Russell married Maria (pronounced ‘moriah’) Frances Ackley (1850-1938 ) on March 13,1879, after merely a few months’ acquaintance. The marriage was based on a mutually agreed celibate partnership established for preaching the gospel. In 1897 they separated following disagreements over the propriety of her role in the management of Zion’s Watch Tower magazine.

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.

Charles devoted nearly a tenth of his fortune in publishing and distributing his first major publication, entitled “Food for Thinking Christians” in 1881. In that same year he also wrote and distributed, “Tabernacle and its Teachings”, and “Tabernacle Shadows of the Better Sacrifices”. In “Food for Thinking Christians”, Russell’s zeal to throw light upon the creedal errors motivated him to tear into the error without first showing that the Bible was indeed true, and that there was truth to be found therein. This approach shivered many men well and did the rear.

Russell wanted to outline the entire Bible and God’s plan for humanity, completely free of the Roman creeds and “traditions of men” in a seven-volume set. The first volume was originally entitled “The Plan of the Ages”, later renamed “The Divine Plan of the Ages”.

The”Divine Plan of the Ages” took the opposite approach of “Food for Thinking Christians” and first showed the beauty and harmony of the Bible before attacking the creedal errors. This approach was accepted as a refreshing answer to people’s search for truth so evident from the end of the 19th century onward.

The remaining volumes of the series, originally named “Millennial Dawn” but renamed in 1904 to “Studies in the Scriptures”, are:

 

The Time is at Hand (1889)

Thy Kingdom Come (1891)

The Day of Vengeance/The Battle of Armageddon (1897)

The Atonement Between God and Men (1899)

The New Creation (1904)

 

The delayed publishing of the seventh volume eventually became a source of great anticipation and mystery among Bible Students. Following Russell’s death in 1916, a seventh volume entitled The Finished Mystery, was published in 1917 and advertised as his “posthumous work”. True to Russell’s plan, this seventh volume was a detailed interpretation of the book of Revelation, but had included interpretations of Ezekiel, and the Song of Solomon. Immediate controversy surrounded both its publishing, and contents. In a short time it was established that it was actually written and compiled by two of Russell’s former associates, Clayton J. Woodworth and George H. Fisher, and edited by Joseph Franklin Rutherford. [i]

By 1903, newspapers began printing sermons written by Pastor Russell. The success of this got perhaps in his head. Though a lot of criticism came up he became more in the picture and got more followers.

While on the one hand claiming no special “authority,” Russell clearly desired to be the “servant” in the estimation of the “household of faith.” The danger became that he started claiming to be the “mouthpiece” of God. While others before him paved the way in giving the “midnight cry,” such as Miller and Barbour, Russell believed he was finally chosen as the one in restoring true Biblical teaching. While saying everyone needed to decide for himself, etc., Russell clearly wanted everyone to”study” the Bible solely from his writings.

Frederick William Franz (1893–1992) member of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses and served as president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, the legal entity used to direct the work of Jehovah's Witnesses. - Frederick William Franz (1893-1992) lid van het Regerend Lichaam van Jehovah's Getuigen en diende als president van het Wachttorengenootschap the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, de juridische entiteit gebruikt om het werk van Jehovah's Getuigen te leiden.

Frederick William Franz (1893–1992) member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses and served as president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, the legal entity used to direct the work of Jehovah’s Witnesses. – Frederick William Franz (1893-1992) lid van het Regerend Lichaam van Jehovah’s Getuigen en diende als president van het Wachttorengenootschap the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, de juridische entiteit gebruikt om het werk van Jehovah’s Getuigen te leiden.

After Russell’s dead it became even worse. A leadership crisis arose surrounding the new president of the Society, Joseph Rutherford, resulting in a movement-wide schism. As many as three-quarters of the approximately 50,000 Bible Students who had been associating in 1917 had left by 1931, resulting in the formation of several groups that retained variations on the name Bible Students. The idea of the truthful slave was interpolated to the Watchtower Tract Society. Rutherford and Fred Franz (Frederick William Franz) their followers who maintained fellowship with the Watch Tower Society adopted the name Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1931. They accept that the Society is provided with the only truthful slave and is the only one which has received the light from God and can show the light and right way to enter the Kingdom of God. JW‘s believe the Bible Students are still stuck on the “old light” of “Pastor” Russell and thus haven’t kept up with the latest “light” or “present truth.” Thus JW’s are no longer “Russellites” or followers of Russell as detractors have called them and they used to proudly call themselves. [ii] Russell is no longer viewed by the Watchtower Society as the “faithful and wise servant” alone serving the “meat in due season” or proper explanation of the Scriptures as they taught until 1927. [iii] They have gone back to the original view that the “servant” is a class of people, the 144,000, of which Russell was only one. The truth is still being progressively revealed to the modern “remnant” of the 144,000 who are currently leading the corporation Russell founded according the Jehovah Witnesses. Russell is viewed by JW’s today as the founder of their movement who helped revive the truth and separated them from Babylon the Great, but who taught many things that are no longer the “truth’ as the “light has grown brighter” since his day. JW’s therefore do not and are not encouraged to read Russell’s material at all, except the brief quotations provided by the Society’s writers in their current publications.

The Society of the Watchtower stopped publishing Russell his Studies in the Scriptures in 1928. Many Bible Students believe for the most part that the Society has become apostate as it no longer believes in many of Russell’s teachings as exposed in his Studies. As Russell warned about those who would do such a thing, the Society has gone into spiritual darkness, according to those other Bible Students. JW’s are viewed by many Bible Students as part of the Whore of Babylon and tell JW’s to “get out of her my people.”

Although the JW testify to be bible the only real research workers of truth, we fortunately can determine that there are, though be it in comparison with the traditional religions, not so many, still several people who were faithful to study the Book of books wanting to examine the Holy Scriptures and to investigate how they can be most faithful to this Word of God.

Those who severed ties with the Society formed their own groups including the Pastoral Bible Institute in 1918 (publishing The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom), the Layman’s Home Missionary Movement in 1919, and the Dawn Bible Students Association in 1929.

Moreover the former not associated Bible researchers remain still active in their Bible study and the proclamation of the Word of God.

*

Notes:

[i] http://www.pastor-russell.com/misc/bio.html

[ii] Walter Martin and Norman Klan, Jehovahof the Watchtower (Minneapolis, MN.: Bethany House Publishers), 1953, 1974,p. 41; The Golden Age, March 17, 1920, pp. 409-414.

[iii] J. F. Rutherford, The Harp ofGod (Brooklyn, NY: Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society), 1921, pp. 237,239.

Dutch speaking readers at that time could find this text in Dutch on the Space of the Belgian bible Students but by the disappearance of Windows Live Spaces the article also disappeared

Nederlandstaligelezerskonden dit artikel in het Nederlands vinden op de Space van Bijbelstudenten uit België maar door het wegvallen van Windows Live Spaces hebben wij dat artikel verloren : Charles Taze Russell, een bal die veel aan het rollen bracht.

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Find also:

  1. Different approach in organisation of services #1
  2. Different approach in organisation of services #2
  3. Different approach in organisation of services #3
  4. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  5. Commitment to Christian unity
  6. Parts of the body of Christ
  7. Dissolution of Bijbelvorsers (Bible scholars), Association for Bible study

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  • The Mustard Seed by The Church of Christ, Sangotedo (slideshare.net)
    In the Bible, the mustard seed is used by Jesus in the parable of the Mustard Seed as a model for the kingdom of God which initially starts small but grows to be the biggest of all garden plants…
  • Bible Verse of the Day – Colossians 3:16 (worldeventsandthebible.com)
    Let the Word of Christ dwell in your heart. Think about that for a moment. When Christ’s Word truly dwells in our heart it makes us a better person. It allows us to see the love Christ has for us and this enables and encourages us to share His Letter with the world. This my friends is our mission in this life. To follow after our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and share His most precious Word with those who will give an ear.
  • November 17, 2014 – agreement (cohdailyprayer2014.wordpress.com)
    The leader relies on the mutual agreement we all have with God. He or she does not create faith or supply spiritual motivation. Christians live together in love and truth by their mutual agreement as people who are gifted with the Spirit of God. Our agreement holds us together. Agreement is a description of an action, not just a name for a document. Our ongoing, mutual dialogue in Christ forms and shapes our mutual understanding and direction. That agreement is a key factor in how much difference we make.
  • Bride of Christ (zestwriter.wordpress.com)
    John saw her / Descending from heaven / Her latter glory / Called her New Jerusalem / Such a beautiful story / What a beautiful bride / The bride of Christ
  • No separation! Romans 8:38-39 (wordsnmotion.wordpress.com)
    For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Moving Through Time: Timeline of Religion (pcr.wpengine.com)
  • In 1845-1870 AD, E.G. White established the 7th Day Adventists, a Protestant Christian denomination that believes in observing Saturday as the original seventh day of the Judeo-Christian week. In addition, 7th Day Adventists believe in the imminent second coming of the Jesus Christ. This movement was influenced and grew out of the Millerite movement in the United States during the 19th century.
  • In 1848 AD, Kate and Margaret Fox founded Spiritualism, a belief system that postulates the belief in spirits of the dead who have an inclination in communicating with the living through a divination system known as mediumship.
  • In 1870 AD, Charles Taze Russel founded the Jehovah Witnesses, a Christian denomination distinct from mainstream Christianity. The Jehovah’s Witnesses base their beliefs on their own biblical interpretations and even transcribed their own version of the Holy Bible. They believe that Armageddon and the establishment of New Jerusalem is imminent.
  • In 1875 AD, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and Henry Olcott founded the Theosophical Society, a research and publishing institute dedicated to sharing esoteric doctrine of many spiritual traditions around the world. H.P. Blavatsky’s extensive research led to the publishing of the “magnum opus, The Secret Doctrine,” a comprehensive synthesis of ancient knowledge. The Theosophical Society aimed to form a brotherhood that did not discriminate against race, creed, sex, caste, or color.
  • In 1879 AD, Mary Baker Eddy formed a cult sect known as Christian Science (PDF), a religious practice derived from revelations given to Mary Baker Eddy and from the Bible itself. Its core texts are the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, also known as the “Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures.” Christian Science asserts that humanity and the universe coincide together as a whole in their truest essence, whereas evil and fallacies are illusory aspects of the material plane.
  • Between 1889 to 1924 AD, Myrtle Fillmore founded the Unity School of Christianity, a religious group that believes that all people are created with sacred worth. The Unity School of Christianity shares a universal love for all people, regardless of race, sex, color, ethnicity, creed, gender, political ideology, or disability.
  • In 1902 AD, Rudolf Steiner founded the Anthroposophical Society, a religious organization that postulates that an individual can comprehend an objective spiritual world through direct experience and inner development.
  • In 1906 AD, the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World is one of the longest, and oldest Oneness Pentecostal organizations in operation today. It currently has a membership of one and a half million members in the United States alone. Pentecostal doctrine believes in the trinity; however, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one God. In addition, Pentecostal attendees manifest the gifts of the spirit, especially the laying of hands and speaking in tongues.

Andere aanpak in de organisatie van de diensten # 2

De eindigende tijd van de heidenen

Nadat de Duitsers België waren binnengevallen bleven de gelovige Bijbel studenten hun prediking voort zetten. Zelfs wanneer ze 99 kilometer langs de spoorlijn moesten lopen van Luik naar Charleroi, waren deze Waalse nederige mijnwerkers ijverig om vergaderingen bij te wonen.

De families Tilmant en Verdière bleven het Goede Nieuws van het Koninkrijk verspreiden.

Na de dood van Charles Taze Russell, op 31 oktober 1916, werd een zevende-volume getiteld “The Finished Mystery” gepubliceerd in 1917 en aangeprezen als zijn ‘postume werk “. Dit zevende volume was een gedetailleerde interpretatie van het boek Openbaring van Johannes, maar ook interpretaties van Ezechiël en het Hooglied van Salomon. Een reclame voor het boek in Zion’s Watch Tower noemde het “de ware interpretatie”, en promote het als “van de Heer – voorbereid onder zijn leiding.” Onmiddellijke controverse omgaven zowel haar bekendmaking en inhoud. Het werd al snel vastgesteld dat het grotendeels geschreven en samengesteld was door twee van Russell’s vennoten, Clayton J. Woodworth en George H. Fisher, en bewerkt werd door Russell’s opvolger, Joseph Franklin Rutherford.

De positie en de houding die Rutherford aannam werd door velen niet gewaardeerd. De Russellieten beschuldigde hem voor het verraden van Russell. In België als in andere landen waar de tegenwoordige waarheid werd opgericht, kwamen een paar problemen aan het licht, sommige mensen hadden de intentie om te verdelen.

In de loop van de gebeurtenissen, voor wat betreft Jumet en de wijk van Charleroi, sloten de familie Tilmant en andere mensen zich aan bij de groepering van Rutherford, die werd verkozen tot president van het Wachttorengenootschap. De sterke persoonlijkheid van Rutherford zoals die van Robert Roberts maakte dat mensen kozen voor andere, minder dictatoriale figuren. Een aantal essentiële leerstellingen van de millenniumgeneratie restauratieve christelijke beweging die zijn voortgekomen uit de leringen en de ministeries van Dr. John Thomas en Charles Taze Russell, ook wel bekend als Pastor Russell, werden veranderd. Over de hele wereld vertrokken duizenden leden congregaties van Bible Students of Bijbelonderzoekers in verband met de Watch Tower Society gedurende de jaren 1920 mede ingegeven door Rutherford‘s mislukte voorspellingen voor het jaar 1925, het verhogen van ontgoocheling met zijn voortdurende doctrinaire en organisatorische veranderingen, en zijn campagne voor gecentraliseerde controle van de beweging.

Volgers in België

Prolific writer and bible Student Paul Samuel Leo Johnson

Prolific writer and bible Student Paul Samuel Leo Johnson

De VS immigrant uit Polen en een prominente Hebreeuwse geleerde, Paul Samuel Leo (voorheen Levitsky) Johnson trok vele volgelingen aan in België en andere plaatsen. In 1903 had hij gemeenschap begonnen met de Columbus Ecclesia van de Watch Tower Society en werd benoemd door Russell als een pelgrim van de Bijbelstudenten (of Bijbelonderzoekers) in 1904. Hij diende uiteindelijk als persoonlijke secretaris en in de tijd werd hij de meest vertrouwde vriend en adviseur van Russell. Maar voor hem werd het heel moeilijk om om te gaan met die Bijbel studenten die de leer van Pastor C.T. Russell uitdaagden en bevroegen, vooral rond zijn begrip van het nieuwe verbond en de losprijs voor allen.

De illegale introductie van nieuwe statuten voor de Watch Tower Society gaf de president Rutherford volledige controle over de zaken van de Gemeenschap. Dit was echter niet Pastor Russell‘s wens. In zijn testament had hij een zevenman’s raad van bestuur voorzien om hem op te volgen. Vier leden van de Raad van Bestuur van de Vereniging van Bestuur, een meerderheid van de raad, nam sterk bezwaar tegen wat zij beschouwden als Rutherford‘s verwerpelijk eigenhandig gedrag en verzetten zich tegen hem. Uiteindelijk bracht die groeiende spanning tussen Rutherford en de bestuurders er toe dat op 17 juli 1917, Rutherford gewoon tijdens de maaltijd, deBethel familie’ in Brooklyn, New York, aankondigde dat hij de vier bestuurders had vervangen met zijn eigen aangestelden. Dit deed hij met behulp van het juridische jargon dat de bestuurders die tegen hem waren, wettelijk hun posities niet konden houden onder de wet van Pennsylvania.
Rutherford
beweerde ten onrechte dat de vier directeuren en anderen met hen, weigerden samen te werken met de Society. Zelfs vandaag wordt er door de Jehovah’s Getuigen verteld dat de vier bestuurders die werden verdreven uit het Watch Tower hoofdkwartier  boos waren en zich zelf dienden.

Missionarissen

IBSA's "Missions Investigation Committee&...

IBSA’s “Missions Investigation Committee” in 1912 Gen. Hall is omcirkeld, Charles Taze Russell is gezeten (Foto credit: Wikipedia)

Veel ernstige Bijbelonderzoekers, zoals de Thomasiten, Russellieten en verschillende geassocieerde leden van de Bijbelonderzoekers verzette zich tegen de manier waarop Rutherford de Bijbel Studenten wilde bewegen. De vier directeuren vormden een instituut om het werk van Pastor Russell onafhankelijk van de Society voort te blijven zetten. Anderen gingen op hun beurt ook over om kleine eigen gemeenschappen te vormen of om andere corporaties op hun eigen op te richten. Sommige Bijbel studenten volgden het voorbeeld van hun favoriete ouderling of leraar. Weer anderen, enige organisatie en samenlevingen wantrouwend, bleven onafhankelijk van alle anderen.

Broeder Paul Johnson gaf zijn beweging de naam “Interior Missionary Laity Movement”, duidelijk verwijzend naar het niet clerus gebonden kader van de vereniging waar leken de dienst uit maakten en niet onder zulk een gradatie vielen als bij de clerus. De gekozen naam voor de beweging was één van de niet opgenomen namen die werden gebruikt door Pastor Russell en de vroege Internationale Bijbel Studentent Associatie (IBSA) of de International Bible Students Association (IBSA) (Niet te verwarren met de latere organisatie uit Engeland met dezelfde naam, maar die wel de Jehovah’s Getuigen groepeert.). Uit die Russell ISBA groep ontstond de Heraut van het Koninkrijk van Christus Bijbel Studenten of the Herald of Christ’s Kingdom Bible Students welke hun ideeën aan een aantal Belgen gaven.
Sommigen traden Alexander F.L. Freitag tegemoet, ook wel bekend als Freytag, die aan het eind van 1917 nog verantwoordelijk manager was van de Wachttoren. Werkzaam in het Frans in Zwitserland richtte Freitag de groep Engel van de Heer  op (geïnspireerd door een vers van de Apocalyps), Engel van Jehovah Bijbel en Tract Society, dan Kerk van het Koninkrijk van God of de Filantropische Vergadering van de Vrienden van de Mens” of “les Amis de l’homme”. Een kleine groep leefde in het gebied van Charleroi. Sommigen van hen hebben de 3 bewegingen niet gevolgd  en hebben een “Association of Bible Students”, “Association des Etudiants de la Bible” of “Vereniging van Bijbelonderzoekers” gevormd. The Young Men’s Mutual Bible Study Associations of de “les associations Mutuels Bible Étude de la Jeune homme” of de “Onderlinge Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie voor jonge mannenvan broeder Robert Ashcroft kon anderen aan te trekken. De gesprekken van Frank George Jannaway en zijn beschermings werk voor degenen die niet wilden gaan vechten in de Eerste Wereldoorlog kreeg waarschijnlijk ook enige aandacht, maar de verschillende groepen waren erg klein en als zodanig kwam de hele Bijbelstudentenvereniging in België in de gevarenzone van de vergetelheid.

Niet opgemerkte parels

In 1915 werden wereldwijd door de bijbelstudenten  50 millioen Tractaten verspreid.

België kreeg een periode waar de Parels niet werden gezien. Men zag dat het koninkrijk België in de steek gelaten werd, maar toch bleven er Bijbelgetrouwen in hun kleine hoekje naarstig verder werken om Gods Woord beter te begrijpen.

“47 Het is met het koninkrijk van de hemel ook als met een sleepnet dat in een meer werd geworpen en waarmee allerlei soorten vis werden gevangen. 48 Toen het net vol was, trok men het op de oever en ging men zitten om de goede vis in kuipen te doen; de slechte vis werd weggegooid. 49 Zo zal het gaan bij de voltooiing van deze wereld: de engelen zullen erop uittrekken en de kwaadwilligen van de rechtvaardigen scheiden,” (Mattheüs 13:47-49 NBV)

Tijdens de Eerste Wereldoorlog waren er twee kleine groepen Bijbel Onderzoekers in Nederland actief, namelijk in Rotterdam en Amsterdam. Zij probeerden ook Nederlandstalige publicaties op de markt te brengen. In 1918 werden drie proef nummers van The Watchtower  of “De Wachttoren” uitgegeven. Erg genoeg bleek er onvoldoende animo voor zulk een lectuur, om over te schakelen naar een normale regelmatige editie.

20 ° eeuw kreten

Leden van de Christadelphian Bijbel Mission (CBM) kwamen later regelmatig naar de Lage Landen (Nederland, België en Noord-Frankrijk) of de Nederlanden en een aantal van hen vond zelfs een basis voor een verblijf in Nederland waar ze begonnen om opnieuw een aantal kleine groepen van Bijbel studenten bijeen te krijgen of te stimuleren om regelmatig samen te komen.

Albert O. Hudson

Albert O. Hudson, founder of the Bible Fellowship Union – Stichter van de Bible Fellowship Union

Bible Fellowship Union Web site in 2014 November - Bible Fellowship Union Web site in november 2014

Bible Fellowship Union Web site in november 2014 – De Bijbel Fellowship Unie heeft sinds 1945 de ‘Bible Monthly’ en andere literatuur gepubliceerd in voortzetting van een tijdschrift opgericht in 1924, met als doel de Bijbel kennis te bevorderen.

Ook uit GrootBrittannië, waar de Bible Fellowship Union of Bijbel Broederschapsunie werd opgericht, begonnen ze in 1924 met het publiceren van The Bible Students Monthly een maandelijks Bijbel Studentenblad dat later omgedoopt werd tot The Bible Study om zo niet te verwarren met de nieuwe Watch Tower die eerder ook een paper publiceerde met die naam. Albert O. Hudson werd de algemeen directeur en diende in die hoedanigheid tot aan zijn dood op de leeftijd van 101 jaar in 2000. Vandaag de dag wordt het gerund door een redactiecommissie van de Bible Fellowship Union.

Maar ook zij moesten een splitsing onder ogen zien, met William Crawford, een origineel lid van de Britse Raad van Bestuur, die over ging op de oprichting van de Old Paths Publications (Oude Paden Publicaties) en de maandelijkse tijdschrift Old Paths (Oude Paden) produceerde . Talloze boekjes, boeken en traktaten werden geproduceerd.

Op het moment van de splitsing in 1917, was de Forest Gate Kerk de tweede grootste Bijbel Studenten groep in Engeland. F.G. Guard, schoonvader van William Crawford, leidde de klasse op om zich te scheiden van de Society. In 1939 begonnen ze The Forest Gate Church Bible Monthly te publiceren samen met boekjes en traktaten. Deze groep werd ontbonden in 1979.

Geconfronteerd met een andere oorlog

De Thomasites of Thomasiten vonden dat veel van de Bible Students veel te ver afgeweken waren van de originele leer van Dr. John Thomas en zijn eerste medestudenten hun ideeën. Zij en de Australische Bijbelstudenten die ook vonden dat de Birmingham Christadelphians en CBM niet meer echte volgelingen waren van John Thomas kregen contact met enkele Belgische Bijbelstudenten die zo dicht mogelijk bij de Bijbelse waarheid wilden blijven.

Freitag, voormalig Branch manager van de Zwitserse Watch Tower Society sinds 1898, beweerde dat hij de rechtmatige opvolger van Charles Taze Russell was, verzond naar de Bijbel Studenten De boodschap van Laodicea (Le Message de Laodicée) en publiceerde twee tijdschriften, de maandelijkse Le Moniteur du Règne de Justice (De Monitor van het Rijk van Justitie) en de wekelijkse krant voor iedereen: Le Journal pour tous.

Freitag‘s beweging werd later voortgezet onder leiding van Édouard Rufener, dan Marie Roulin, toen de heer Kohli en kreeg haar hoofdkwartier gevestigd in Cartigny, Zwitserland.

Toen Freitag overleed in 1947, beweerde een van zijn volgelingen, Bernard Sayerce (1912-1963), een rooms-katholieke schoolmeester, dat hij zijn opvolger was. Bijna alle van de 900 Franse en Belgische assemblees traden toe tot deze nieuwe groep, die een piek van 9.700 leden had tussen 1958 en 1962. In 1963 kreeg men Lydie Sartre (1898-1972), die werd uitgeroepen tot de Beste moeder“, dan Joseph Neyrand (1927 -1981) in 1971, die Sayerce vervingen als leiders van de beweging, genaamd Amis sans frontières(Vrienden zonder grenzen) in 1984, die vandaag nog steeds actief is.

De Association of Bible Students of Vereniging van Bijbelstudenten en de Association of Bible Researchers of Vereniging van Bijbel Onderzoekers (Associatie of Vereniging van Bijbelonderzoekers) kreeg allerlei soorten mensen, uit allerlei denominaties, die serieus wilden onderzoeken wat in de Heilige Schrift staat geschreven en hoe we deze moeten interpreteren.

Over de hele wereld zijn er vele kleine onafhankelijke groepjes die de Bijbel trachten te bestuderen. Zij kregen te zien hoe doorheen de jaren de verschillende groepen die voorafgaandelijk Rutherford volgenden ook ontevreden werden over de manier waarop de dingen verder gingen. Naarmate de jaren vorderden, werden wijzigingen aangebracht die sommigen tegen de borst stootten of waarbij nieuwe leerstellingen werden opgenomen en diegenen die anders dachten werden verstoten. Eveneens brachten sommigen ideeën aan waar het Wachttoren Genootschap niet mee akkoord gingen en daarom die persoon uitsloten terwijl enkele jaren zij zelf die leerstelling als een nieuw licht presenteerden, maar de vroeger uitgeslotene niet terug in de rangen namen. Meer en meer van de broeders, die eerst Rutherford en zijn Getuigen van Jehovah gevolgd waren, zagen een verandering van richting en houding binnen de Society, waardoor zij snel besloten te vertrekken en dus begon “de grote uittocht”. In 1930 had de meerderheid van de broeders die nauw samenwerkte met Pastor Russell de Vereniging verlaten velen werden gedwongen om er uit te treden. Tegen die tijd werden al Pastor Russell‘s geschriften in het voordeel van de geschriften van Rutherford veranderd en geschriften die elkaar tegengespraken weggegooid. In 1929 waren meer dan honderd veranderingen in leerstellingen gemaakt; de samenleving leek niet meer op diegene die werd opgericht door Pastor Russell en zijn vroege metgezellen. De Vereniging had een nieuwe look en een nieuwe houding. Niet langer was het gewoon een uitgeverij voor de verspreiding van de Bijbelse literatuur. Nu was het Gods theocratische organisatie.” Om het niet eens met haar was gelijk aan verraad tegen God zelf.

Kort na de oprichting van de Goshen Fellowshipnadat hij werd uitgesloten door NH Knorr in 1951 overleed Jesse Hemery. Jesse Hemery werd door Russell in 1901 benoemd tot opzichter van de Watch Tower Society’s British Isles branch office, het Wachttoren filiaal voor de Britse Eilanden, en beheerde die post tot 1946. In België werd deze groep  bekend onder deze naam, maar van de 1960-70ies ook onder de naam Zion’s Heraldna hun publicatie (die begon in 1965), die jarenlang werd gepubliceerd onder leiding van Frank Lewis Brown.

Dr. John Thomas (1805–1871) founder of the Christadelphian movement, a Restorationist religion with doctrines similar in part to some 16th-century Antitrinitarian Rationalist Socinians and the 16th-century Swiss-German pacifist Anabaptists. - Dr. John Thomas (1805-1871) grondlegger van de Christadelphian beweging, een herstellers van religie groepering met doctrines vergelijkbaar voor een deel met een aantal 16e-eeuwse Antitrinitarische Rationalistische Socinianen en de 16e-eeuwse Duits-Zwitserse pacifistische wederdopers of Anabaptisten.

Dr. John Thomas (1805-1871) grondlegger van de Christadelphian beweging, een herstellers van religie groepering met doctrines vergelijkbaar voor een deel met een aantal 16e-eeuwse Antitrinitarische Rationalistische Socinianen en de 16e-eeuwse Duits-Zwitserse pacifistische wederdopers of Anabaptisten.

Hoewel veel van de oorspronkelijke 19° eeuwse Bijbel Studenten zijn gestorven, kan men nu nog volgelingen aantreffen die voortgaan in de gedachtegang van de vorsers van het ‘eerste uur’.  Hun kleinkinderen en trouwe volgelingen van hen die de eerste groepjes oprichtten gaan nog steeds door. Hoewel zelfs vandaag de dag kunnen er geschillen blijven bestaan tussen bepaalde groepen door te beweren dat zij en niet de andere vasthouden aan de oorspronkelijke leer van Dr. Thomas of Pastor Russell. De Christadelphians werden de mindere groep in de Bijbelonderzoekers, terwijl de International Bible Student Association (IBSA) het erg moeilijk kan vinden om mensen te laten inzien dat zij de ware volgelingen van Charles Taze Russell zijn en niet de Jehovah Getuigen die ongerechtvaardigd beweren dat Russell hun organisatie zou hebben opgericht.

The Watchtower and Tract Society from Brooklyn of het Wachttoren en Traktaatgenootschap uit Brooklyn gaat zelfs zo ver om te stellen dat de Bijbel Studenten niet meer bestaan, dat ze zijn uitgestorven en niemand overblijft of ze zeggen dat ze de enige bijbel studenten zijn

Hopelijk kunnen wij u er van overtuigen dat dit niet zo is en dat er over de gehele wereld nog verscheidene Bijbelstudenten of Bible Students zijn die niets met de Getuigen van Jehovah te maken hebben.

The American Association of followers of Charles Taze Russell his teachings: the International Bible Students Association (IBSA), not to be confused with the English IBSA of the Jehovah's Witnesses - De Amerikaanse Vereniging van de volgelingen van Charles Taze Russell zijn leer: de International Bible Students Association (IBSA), niet te verwarren met het Engelse IBSA van de Jehovah's Getuigen

The American Association of followers of Charles Taze Russell his teachings: the International Bible Students Association (IBSA), not to be confused with the English IBSA of the Jehovah’s Witnesses – De Amerikaanse Vereniging van de volgelingen van Charles Taze Russell zijn leer: de International Bible Students Association (IBSA), niet te verwarren met het Engelse IBSA van de Jehovah’s Getuigen

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Vorige aflevering: Andere aanpak in de organisatie van de diensten # 1

Volgende: Andere aanpak in de organisatie van de diensten # 3

Engelse versie / English version: Different approach in organisation of services #2

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Please do find out more about the Christadelphians:

  1. Not all christians are followers of a Greco-Roman culture
  2. Two new encyclopaedic articles
  3. Who are the Christadelphians
  4. What are Brothers in Christ
  5. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  6. Christadelphian people
  7. Christadelphians or Messianic Christians or Messianic Jews
  8. About the Belgian Free Christadelphians
  9. What Christadelphians teach
  10. Small churches of the few Christadelphians
  11. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  12. 19° Century London Christadelphians
  13. Breathing and growing with no heir
  14. Commitment to Christian unity
  15.  Parts of the body of Christ
  16. What part of the Body am I?
  17. The Church, Body of Christ and remnant Israel synonymous
  18. United people under Christ
  19. Fellowship
  20. The Ecclesia
  21. The Ecclesia in the churchsystem
  22. The ecclesia or Christadelphian church
  23. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  24. Our ecclesia or Christadelphian-church
  25. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  26. An ecclesia in your neighbourhood
  27. Communion and day of worship
  28. Christadelphians today
  29. Small churches of the few Christadelphians
  30. Who Celebrates Easter as Religious Holiday
  31. Eostre, Easter, White god, chocolate eggs, Easter bunnies and metaphorical resurrection
  32. Harvest in Belgium

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  • Rose Guide To End-Times Prophecy – Timothy Paul Jones (2011) (baldreformer.wordpress.com)
    Rose-Guide to End-Times Prophecy by Timothy Paul Jones is a terrific overview of eschatology designed for beginning Bible students.  The author provides a fairly comprehensive look at the four major eschatological views – Amillennialism, Postmillennialism, Dispensational Premillennialism, and Historical Premillennialism.
  • Bible Students Are Getting Threatened with Deportation. So How Fair Is Obama’s Immigration Policy? (ijreview.com)
    Ohio’s Marietta Bible College doesn’t get much press. Their website is modest, and their goals are straightforward: they prepare international students from third world countries for work in churches or Christian schools in their homelands. The school is a ministry of Marietta Bible Center Church.
  • High-school Students Told They Could No Longer Pray During School Free Time (lightfromtheright.com)
    Windebank enlisted the help of the ADF which wrote a letter to the school’s administration, including the assistant principal and his boss, stating that such a policy was on its face and invalid and needed to be changed to allow Windebank and his friends to continue doing what they had been doing without trouble for the last three years.Instead of acquiescing and mending their ways and changing the policy, the school instead pushed back. They stated, through the school’s attorney “that because of the separation of church and state and because they regarded the Seminar period as instructional time, they were banning students’ discussion of issues of the day from a religious perspective during the open time of Seminar period.”

    So Seminar time wasn’t open time after all but fell under the aegis and control of the administration to determine what constituted proper activities and behavior. A spokesman for the school district, Nanette Anderson, confirmed,

    Students were told that, according to state law and district policy, they could meet [only] during non-instructional time [now defined as] before or after school.

  • Atonement and the race been bought (bijbelvorser.wordpress.com)
    In the previous articles we have seen how important it is to belong to a community which is under Christ, who was “raised again for our justification” (Romans 4: 25).
  • Confessions of a Jehovah’s Witness (heraldsun.com.au)
    As someone who spent too long inside this stifling, doom-obsessed religion, I can tell you the answer lies in two powerful forces that control the lives of each of the world’s eight million Jehovah’s Witnesses: a conviction that God will soon destroy “wicked mankind” on a global and bloody scale, (sparing, naturally, just them) and also the unquestioning acceptance of the religion’s New York leadership.

    Those leaders require that all Witnesses, from children to the frail aged, devote their lives to proselytising in the hope of gathering millions more into their fold before the divine hammer blow of Armageddon.

  • Confessions of a Jehovah’s Witness (adelaidenow.com.au)
    But the command is not only to “preach” (usually a forlorn offer of a magazine or leaflet); they must also hand in monthly reports detailing the hours they spent “in the field” and how many calls they made.

    The message at their meetings is relentless and laden with guilt and fear: keep on preaching or you, too, will die at Armageddon.

    Since the 1920s — when hard-headed Watch Tower Society president Joseph F. Rutherford whipped a once quaint Adventist religion into a regimented, tightly disciplined publishing and recruiting organisation — the church’s belief has always been that the best way to keep members from straying is to keep them busy.

Different approach in organisation of services #1

Based in a Catholic country

The Belgian Bible Students and the Belgian Free Christadelphians both started a new year like the Catholic Church in Belgium and the schools, universities and clubs started a new year.

For the Catholic Church and for us there is the promise to the young girl Miriam (Mary/Maria) which let us look at the beginning of a new era, the time of salvation at hand. We, in contrast with our brethren and sisters from the Central Fellowship, like the CBM and CIL Christadelphians, start already now with reading about the Glad Tidings and the beginnings of the New Testament. The members of the Belgian Free Christadelphians in their ecclesiae follow the Bible Reading Plan by Robert Roberts and start only on the 1st of January with Genesis 1 & 2 plus Matthew 1 & 2.

Because there are so many Catholics in this country we like to show them from their readings, their religious year readings, what the Bible really says. Because every year they choose an other Gospel author as their main writer which they will follow, we also do take that writer his writings to put in the spotlight. It is a matter of coming closer to them and to have a better play on the ball with their readings and their traditions.

Different traditions

About those traditions, the Bible Students and several Amended Christadelphians may have a different feeling, because some Central Christadelphians join the pagan Christian festival and celebrate Christmas and Boxing Day. For us the real birth of Christ,on the 17th of October 4BCE is an other good reason to start in September/October with the new ‘church year’. But we do have to abstain from the pagan based holidays, like Christmas and the Catholic and some Protestants their Easter. The Easter we do have to celebrate and which the Free Christadelphians in Belgium also keep to is the remembrance day installed by Jesus Christ before he was going to die, on the 14th of Nisan.
Like the Belgian Catholics we may find that there is a time of advent in the Autumn, a preparation time to receive and celebrate the Good News of the one who brought us the Kingdom of God. Last year we looked at Luke and this year we shall therefore have a closer look to the Book of Matthew, the 1st book of the New Testament. There are more allusions to the Old Testament in this Gospel than in the others. It was clearly written for Jewish Christians, the purpose being to prove that Jesus was the Messiah foretold in the Old Testament and therefore it is also a very good book to introduce to those who do not know Jesus or to those who have a wrong view of this Nazarene man.

This year the Free Christadelphians in Belgium, like us, looked back at the awful year they had, and showed their good spirit to stand up again and to go forwards through the breakers which dash against our coast. The ecclesia Brussel-Leuven also found it wise to give an idea how the Christadelphian movement came into being and how it developed.

In the Gospel of Matthew is written how the Lord Jesus himself announced the work of Harvest of the Gospel Age.

“Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”” (Matthew 13:30 NIV)

Adolf Daens, Flemish Jesuit priest from Aalst who is especially known for his socio-political involvement after he joined the diocesan clergy. He created the Daensist movement from which originated in 1893 the Christene Volkspartij inspired by Leo XIII's encyclical Rerum Novarum.

Adolf Daens (1839–1907) Flemish priest from Aalst. Daens was a Jesuit from 1859 to 1871 but is especially known for his socio-political involvement after he joined the diocesan clergy. He created the Daensist movement from which originated in 1893 the Christene Volkspartij inspired by Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum. The Christene Volkspartij forced the radicalisation and democratisation of the Catholic party.

Sowing the seeds in the 19° century

Dr. John Thomas (1805–1871) founder of the Christadelphian movement, a Restorationist religion with doctrines similar in part to some 16th-century Antitrinitarian Rationalist Socinians and the 16th-century Swiss-German pacifist Anabaptists. - Dr. John Thomas (1805-1871) grondlegger van de Christadelphian beweging, een herstellers van religie groepering met doctrines vergelijkbaar voor een deel met een aantal 16e-eeuwse Antitrinitarische Rationalistische Socinianen en de 16e-eeuwse Duits-Zwitserse pacifistische wederdopers of Anabaptisten.

Dr. John Thomas (1805–1871) founder of the Christadelphian movement, a Restorationist religion with doctrines similar in part to some 16th-century Antitrinitarian Rationalist Socinians and the 16th-century Swiss-German pacifist Anabaptists.

Brother John Thomas in the 19° century tried to sow the seeds. He found many listening ears. One of them was Brother Charles Taze Russell who visited Antwerp and Brussels in 1891. Already at that time the fresh new country seemed to struggle with the Gospel Faith. The Roman Catholic Church was a very strong bastion with her hand in the political system and favouring the rich instead of helping the poor, priest Adolf and his brother Pieter Daens, or Pie Donsj for those from Aalst, an exception.

Brother Charles met there a Christendom that was ignorant of biblical truth. The fear of the clergy and of the fire of hell, doctrine that has no foundation in the Scripture, kept people away from opening the Bible.  But the Catholic Church had taken care that the people would not come to see the truth, by forbidding them to read the Bible. Mass was done in Latin and the readings as such, in that language, did not say so much to the people, who had not studied enough to get to know Latin and Greek.

The Bible translations in Dutch, French or German were forbidden and blacklisted.

Walloon grocery and mining

Because there was so much French spoken Russell did find it a good idea to have a modest Swiss forestry worker named Adolphe Weber to proclaim “the good news of great joy” in the French speaking countries of Europe. Adolphe Weber began the translation in French of books of the “present truth” and published in Swiss, French and Belgian daily newspapers advertisements referring to the first volume of the studies in the Scriptures and some booklets.

Location in the municipality of Charleroi

Jumet is a section of the Belgian town of Charleroi within the Walloon region in the province of Hainaut. It was a commune of its own before the merger of the communes in 1977. – Location in the municipality of Charleroi

In 1901, a grocer named Jean-Baptiste Tilmant (father) working in Jumet-Gohissart, city located near Charleroi, answered one of these advertisements and asked for some literature. As a result, a small group of bible students started meetings at his house in 1902 and used material from Russell.

Urged by his desire to know more about the truth, Jean-Baptiste Tilmant wrote to the Swiss brother asking to receive more information. As an answer to his demand, Brother Weber came to Charleroi during his missionary tour, to strengthen the faith of this small group.
In 1903, the periodical “lighthouse of Zion Tower” was published in French for the first time. The light of truth began to
shine so brightly in this mining area. Indeed, each Sunday morning, a small group of Biblestudentsastheywerecalledat the time, were going “in the fields” to sow the seeds of truth contained in this eight pages periodical; they waited for instance at the exit of churches. That is how the two first editions of “Zion’s Watch Tower” were largely distributed.

Borderareas

The Borinage is an area in the Walloon province of Hainaut in Belgium

The small group of Jumet Gohissart pushed away the limits of its territory to the south in the French part of the country. Some time later, the truth of God’s Kingdom also expended among the Flemish population.

In the month of august 1904, ten years before the First World War, these brave messengers of the Good News went to Denain in France, to offer booklets to people getting out from a Baptist temple. In Belgium and France the non-trinitarian Baptists mostly were not openly known, because of the fear of persecution.
The results of their activity was that two years later, a congregation started near Denain in Haveluy.
Jean Baptiste Tilmant and his friends continued to bravely preach the biblical truth and other groups appeared to face this big growth, a deposit of books was opened at brother’s Tilmant house in Jumet Gohisart and in 1906 a bible student community was founded in Denain.
The “Lighthouse” of August 1904, page 64, mentions for the first time the name and books from “Dawn”; (It has to be Volume I of the Studies in the Scriptures); subscriptions to the “Lighthouse” and request for free booklets and papers.
In 1906 the leaflets “Do you Know?” and the “Wage of sin” two other booklets and Volume 1 were to be published in Dutch and delivered in Brussels.
In 1908 Heinrich Brinkhoff published the first edition of The Watchtower in Dutch: De Wachttoren

Throwing pearls to pigs

Around 1910, François Caré who had known the truth in France went to Liège to a protestant friend named Edouard Verdière. He could not help it speaking with him about the truth. He wanted to help him leaving the false religion. His friend was so opposed to the message of brother Caré that at the end he finished by telling him
“ I don’t want to argue with you any longer , I don’t want to throw pearls to pigs “
After these words, he went to bed , these words bothered Mr Verdière all night long. The next morning, he asked brother Caré to tell him what he meant. He told him that he will no longer speak about the truth to him because he did not appreciate the “pearls” he was offering him. After this explanation, his friend became more conciliating so that after his return to France brother Caré started to send him regularly periodicals. He also dispatched a few volumes of Studies in the Scriptures. It did not last long before Edouard Verdière accepted the Truth and even began to speak in public. In another district of Belgium, light began to break through the darkness.

From Catholicism to Protestantism to coming in the Truth

The Rosary (from Latin rosarium, meaning “Crown of Roses” or “garland of roses” , in its most commonly known format as the Dominican rosary, is a form of prayer used especially in the Catholic Church or a string of prayer beads used to count the component prayers

In the coalmine where he worked, Edouard Verdière had a colleague named Léonard Smets searching the truth. He was a sincere catholic; he diligently attended religious services with his family. He used to pray with a rosary. This man from Flemish origin lived in Heure-le Romain near Vivegnis (Liège). In 1900, a protestant offered him a Bible saying, “I have the Book of God”. Another day, at the confessional, Léonard Smets confessed to the priest that he was reading the Holy Scriptures. The priest said that if he still wanted to receive absolution for his sins he had to give back his Bible. From that day on, Léonard did not attend the service any-more. He thought,

“If they are sincere, they will come to meet me, because they have to come and catch back the lost sheep”.
However, the priest never came to see him. Léonard Smets began to attend the protestant temple.
File:Collegiale-Thann-p1010106.jpg

A confessional is a small, enclosed booth used for the Sacrament of Penance, often called confession, or Reconciliation. It is the usual venue for the sacrament in the Roman Catholic Church. – Traditional confessional in Saint-Thiébaut Church, Thann, France

Even on his working place, in the coalmine, Smets was reading the New Testament. One day, Vedière noticed it. He was curious to know which his religion was; he began to sing a protestant hymn. “I was protestant”, answered brother Verdière “but I have something better for you.” He offered him a copy of the “watchtower of Zion” and witnessed with all his strength of the truth. It happened in 1912. Léonard Smets did not keep this truth for himself; he shared it with a Flemish colleague named Joseph Poelmans, father of seven children. He was disillusioned by the teachings of  Catholicism and chose Protestantism. However when he read the periodical that Smets gave him, he recognised the accent of truth.

Later, the three coalminers Verdière, Smets and Poelmans questioned the protestant minister of religion of Herstal (Liège) about the doctrine of immortality, trinity and Hell. Instead of helping them, the pastor was very angry and threw them out. They realised he was not better than the catholic priest, so they decided to meet and to study the Scripture with the help of the books they received from France.
In 1908 5000 “watch Towers” were distributed in Belgium.
In 1911 Brother Russell could only stop for a few minutes in Liège where dear brethren Pétré and some others were waiting to greet him on the train: sister Miss Peerkings (an English sister living in Liège where she learned about the Truth) served as an translator. With the same train, Brother Russell arrived in Charleroi where he took the road to arrive in Denain in the evening.
Joseph Franklin Rutherford (1869–1942), also known as "Judge" Rutherford, president of the incorporated Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, who played a primary role in the organization and doctrinal development of Jehovah's Witnesses. - Joseph Franklin Rutherford (1869-1942), ook wel bekend als "Rechter" Rutherford, voorzitter van het Wachttorengenootschap, die een primaire rol in de organisatie en leerstellige ontwikkeling van Jehovah's Getuigen had.

Joseph Franklin Rutherford (1869–1942), also known as “Judge” Rutherford, president of the incorporated Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, who played a primary role in the organization and doctrinal development of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

In 1912, there were seven municipalities: Haine-Saint-Paul, Flémalle-Haute, Engis, Amay, Ampsin, Liège and JumetGohissart. Each of these groups was organizing monthly meetings and was welcoming Brother Weber from the Swiss office for periodical visits.

At Pentecost on June 26th and 27th 1912 there was a a general meeting or their first general assembly in Jumet Gohissart.

Brother Rutherford was in Jumet on Monday 22nd September for a private meeting.

The group also grew strongly in the most northern part of France and in 1913 more than 1,000 people attended a lecture by Joseph Franklin Rutherford when he visited Denain. On August 31, 1913 70 Belgian supporters visited a conference in Paris where Russell was present.

+

To be continued: Different approach in organisation of services #2

Dutch version / Nederlandse versie: Andere aanpak in de organisatie van de diensten # 1

++

Please do find out more about the Christadelphians:

  1. Not all christians are followers of a Greco-Roman culture
  2. Two new encyclopaedic articles
  3. Who are the Christadelphians
  4. What are Brothers in Christ
  5. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  6. Christadelphian people
  7. Christadelphians or Messianic Christians or Messianic Jews
  8. About the Belgian Free Christadelphians
  9. What Christadelphians teach
  10. Small churches of the few Christadelphians
  11. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  12. 19° Century London Christadelphians
  13. Breathing and growing with no heir
  14. Commitment to Christian unity
  15.  Parts of the body of Christ
  16. What part of the Body am I?
  17. The Church, Body of Christ and remnant Israel synonymous
  18. United people under Christ
  19. Fellowship
  20. The Ecclesia
  21. The Ecclesia in the churchsystem
  22. The ecclesia or Christadelphian church
  23. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  24. Our ecclesia or Christadelphian-church
  25. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  26. An ecclesia in your neighbourhood
  27. Communion and day of worship
  28. Christadelphians today
  29. Small churches of the few Christadelphians
  30. Who Celebrates Easter as Religious Holiday
  31. Eostre, Easter, White god, chocolate eggs, Easter bunnies and metaphorical resurrection
  32. Harvest in Belgium
  33. Biblestudents & T.C.Russell
  34. About the Belgian Biblestudents
  35. What the Belgian Biblestudents believe
  • 37 “Theses” Nailed to the Front Door of the First Baptist, Evangelical, Protestant Church (blackchristiannews.com)
    Some may think that it is prestigiousto be invited to meet with the Pope and to go and actually meet with the Pope. But it is not. In fact, it is foolishness and dangerous. And it flies in the face of what we have learned from church history about the thousands of people whose bloodwas shed because they opposed false Catholic teachings. We believe that this is a Satanic attempt to soften up the true church of Christ so that the Pope can, in the future, gain influence over Baptists, Evangelicals, and Protestants, and get them toparticipate in doing things that are contrary to Christ and the Bible.Many scholars believe that the “Great Whore” of Revelation is the Catholic Church situated in Vatican City in Rome. According to Christian apologist Dave Hunt, “There is only one city on the earth which, in both historical and contemporary perspectives, passes every test John gives, including its identification as Mystery Babylon. That city is Rome, and more specifically, Vatican City…The first thing we are told about the woman is that she is a ‘whore’… Against only one other city in history could a charge of fornication be leveled. That city is Rome, and more specifically Vatican City.”
  • Event Transcript: Religion in Latin America (pewforum.org)
    Latin America is home to more than 425 million Catholics – nearly 40% of the world’s total Catholic population – and the Roman Catholic Church now has a Latin American pope for the first time in its history. Yet identification with Catholicism has declined throughout the region, according to a major new Pew Research Center survey that examines religious affiliations, beliefs and practices in 18 Latin American countries and one U.S. territory (Puerto Rico).Historical data suggest that for most of the 20th century, from 1900 through the 1960s, at least 90% of Latin America’s population was Catholic. Today, the Pew Research survey shows, 69% of adults across the region identify as Catholic. In nearly every country surveyed, the Catholic Church has experienced net losses from religious switching, as many Latin Americans have joined evangelical Protestant churches or rejected organized religion altogether.
  • Vatican lifts ban on married priests for Eastern Catholic churches in U.S., Canada, Australia… (catholicculture.org)
    The Vatican has lifted a longstandingbanonthe ordination of married men to the priesthood in the Eastern Catholic churches.The tradition and discipline of the Eastern churches allowsforthe ordination of married men to the priesthood. (Bishopsmust be unmarried, however, and once ordained, a priest cannot marry.) The Vatican has repeatedly approved this tradition, while insistingonthe importance of priestly celibacy in the Latin rite.However, in the late 19th century, with the arrival of many Byzantine Catholic immigrants in Canada, Latin-rite prelates complained thatthe presence of married Catholic priests could create a “grave scandal.” The Vatican eventually ruled that the Eastern churches could not ordain married men in the countries where their communities forma minority of the Catholic population. The rule has historically applied primarily to Canada, the US, and Australia.With a decree approved by Pope Francis, and signed on June 14 by Cardinal Leonard Sandri, the Congregation for the Eastern Churches has now rescinded that ban. Catholic bishops of the Eastern churches serving in eparchies (dioceses) in the West are explicitly authorized to ordain married men.
  • Catholic ‘cannibalism’ (cruxnow.com)
    One evening a couple of years ago, I saw a bloodstained Eucharistic host.It was displayed in a home in Worcester, Massachusetts, about a five-minute drive down the street from my house. The host was the sixth Eucharistic phenomena associated with the late Audrey Santo — a young woman who was left mute and motionless after an accident in 1987.Up until her death in 2007, “Little Audrey,” as she was called, became the focal point for intense devotion as a “victim soul” who offered up her own sufferings for the salvation of others. Her case also attracted intense criticism, particularly given the claims about supernatural happenings in her presence.
  • Priests as Husbands and Fathers? (nytimes.com)
    This week, Pope Francis announced plans to visit the United States in 2015. The trip will be watched for signs of how U.S. bishops are adapting to the shift in tone coming from the Vatican. Not only has Pope Francis called for an open discussion on the Catholic Church’s views on gays and divorce, he’s also talked about priestly celibacy — a policy that a growing number of Catholics are pushing to change. If clerical marriage became more common, how would the Catholic Church change?
  • Victims of historic child sex abuse speak out, after Catholic Church refuses to accept “liability” for the crimes of their priests (secularnewsdaily.com)
    The Catholic Church is refusing to accept “liability” for long-term sex abuse that went on at the Mirfield Junior Seminary, despite paying out £120,000 to eleven victims of child sex abuse.
  • Cleric urges girls, women to shun abortion (dailypost.ng)
    Olanrewaju, who is also a former Parish Priest of Saints Joachim and Anne Catholic Church,Ijegun, Lagos, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).He spoke at the end of a rally on `’Walk for Life” organised by the churchtosensitise public on the dangers of abortion to human life.Olanrewaju said: “abortion, in any form, is an irreparable harm done to the innocent.“Any female, who procures a completed abortion, incurs excommunication by the commission of the offence as provided by Canon Law of the Catholic Church.

    “Human life must be respected and recognised by the civil society and the state from the moment of conception as an embryo until death, “ he told NAN.

    The cleric also urged relevant authorities to provide appropriate sanctions for “every deliberate termination of human life”.

  • Florida High School Implements ShoreTel Mobility on iPads (shoretel.com)
    Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy High is a Roman Catholic college preparatory school of the Archdiocese of Miami, Florida. Located in nearby Southwest Ranches, with a student enrollment over 1,500, the high school is among the top private schools in the U.S. On the cutting edge of technology, McCarthy High School has a one-to-one iPad program to enhance the student learning environment.  Within the school’s progressive tech-savvy learning environment has been the ability to quickly reach teachers, anywhere anytime. Classrooms were not equipped with desk phones and the estimates to install them and wire the buildings were cost prohibitive. Also, the existing phone system and infrastructure were due for upgrades.
  • The Third Way ~ curated by Tom Cutts (UTS’83) (utsalumni.org)

    The Third Way: Homosexuality and the Catholic Church. A 40-minute documentary film focusing on the Catholic Church’s teachings regarding Homosexuality.

    “Original Sin for all of us, for every human being on this planet, has disoriented our desires. We often find ourselves hungry for things that do not satisfy the ache.”

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