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Posts tagged ‘Robert Roberts’

Different approach in organisation of services #2

Time of the gentiles ending

After the Germans had invaded Belgium the faithful Bible students continued their preaching work. Even when they had to walk 99 kilometres from Liège to Charleroi along the railroad tracks, these humble coalminers were zealous to attend meetings.

The families Tilmant and Verdière continued to spread the Good News of the Kingdom.

Following Russell’s death, October 31st 1916, a seventh volume—entitled The Finished Mystery—was published in 1917 and advertised as his “posthumous work”. This seventh volume was a detailed interpretation of the book of Book of Revelation, but also included interpretations of Ezekiel and the Song of Solomon. An advertisement for the book in Zion’s Watch Tower called it “the true interpretation”, and had it promoted as being “of the Lord—prepared under his guidance.” Immediate controversy surrounded both its publication and content. It was soon established that it was largely written and compiled by two of Russell’s associates, Clayton J. Woodworth and George H. Fisher, and edited by Russell’s successor, Joseph Franklin Rutherford.

The position and air which Rutherford took was not appreciated by many. The Russellites accused him for betraying Russell. In Belgium as in other countries where the Present Truth was established, a few problems came to light, some people intended to divide.

In the course of events, for what concerns Jumet and the district of Charleroi, the Tilmant family and other people joined Rutherford who was elected president of the Watchtower Society. The strong personality of Rutherford like the one of Robert Roberts made people choosing for other lesser dictatorial figures. Several core doctrines of the Millennialist Restorationist Christian movement that emerged from the teachings and ministries of Dr. John Thomas and Charles Taze Russell, also known as Pastor Russell, got changed. Throughout the world thousands of members left congregations of Bible Students associated with the Watch Tower Society throughout the 1920s prompted in part by Rutherford’s failed predictions for the year 1925, increasing disillusionment with his on-going doctrinal and organizational changes, and his campaign for centralized control of the movement.

Followers in Belgium

Prolific writer and bible Student Paul Samuel Leo Johnson

Prolific writer and bible Student Paul Samuel Leo Johnson

The U.S.A. immigrant from Poland and a prominent Hebrew scholar, Paul Samuel Leo (formerly Levitsky) Johnson attracted many followers in Belgium and other places. In 1903 he had begun began fellowship with the Columbus Ecclesia of the Watch Tower Society and was appointed by Russell as a Pilgrim of the Bible Student movement in 1904. He eventually served as Russell’s personal secretary and in time became Russell’s most trusted friend and advisor. Though for him it became very difficult to cope with those Bible students who challenged the teachings of Pastor C.T. Russell on questions around his understanding of the new covenant and the ransom for all.

The illegal introduction of new by-laws for the Watch Tower Society gave the President Rutherford full control over the affairs of the Society. However, this was not Pastor Russell’s wish. In his last will and testament he had provided for a seven-man board of directors to succeed him. Four members of the Society’s Board of Directors, a majority of the Board, took strong exception to what they regarded as Rutherford’s high-handed behaviour and opposed him. Eventually tension between Rutherford and the directors grew and on July 17, 1917, Ruther­ford simply announced to the Bethel family in Brooklyn, New York, during meal time that he had replaced the four directors with his own appointees, using the legal jargon that the directors who had opposed him did not hold their positions legally under Pennsylvania law.
Ru­therford falsely claimed that the four directors and others with them were refusing to cooperate with the Society. Even today Jehovah’s Wit­nesses are told that the four directors who were expelled from the Watch Tower headquarters were wicked and self-serving.

Missionaries

Lots of serious Bible students like the Thomasites, Russellites and several associated members of the Bible Student Movement opposed the way Rutherford wanted to have the Bible Students moving. The four directors formed an institute to continue the work of Pastor Russell independent of the Society. Others would form corporations of their own. Some Bible Students followed the lead of their favourite elder or teacher. Still others, leery of organization and societies, stayed independent of all others.
Brother Paul Johnson gave his movement the name “Interior Missionary Laity Movement” (one of the unincorporated names used by Pastor Russell and the early IBSA).  From that group the Herald of Christ’s Kingdom Bible Students gave their ideas to some Belgians. Some joined Alexander F.L. Freitag, also known as Freytag, who at the end of 1917, still was responsible manager of the Watchtower edited in French in Switzerland. Freitag founded the group Angel of the Lord (inspired by a verse of the Apocalypse), Angel of Jehovah Bible and Tract Society, then Church of the Kingdom of God or the Philanthropic Assembly of the  “Friends of Man”. A small group was living in the area of Charleroi. Some of them have not followed the 3 movements and have formed an Association of Bible Students. The Young Men’s Mutual Bible Study Associations of brother Robert Ashcroft could attract others. The talks of Frank George Jannaway and his work to protect those who did not want to fight in the World War got probably also some attention, but the different groups were very small and as such came in the danger of oblivion.

Pearls not seen

In 1915 worldwide 50 million Tracts were distributed by the Bible Students.

Belgium got through a period that pearls were not seen.
“47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous” (Matthew 13:47-49 NIV)

During World War I there were two small groupsBible Researchers in the Netherlands, namely in Rotterdam and Amsterdam. In 1918 three trial issues of The Watchtower were issued, but there proved insufficient incentive to switch to regular edition.

20° century cries

Members of the Christadelphian Bible Mission (CBM)regularly came to the Low Countries (Holland, Belgium and North of France) or the Netherlands and some of them even found some base to stay in Holland where they started to from again some little groups of Bible Students.

Albert O. Hudson

Albert O. Hudson, founder of the Bible Fellowship Union

Bible Fellowship Union Web site in 2014 November The Bible Fellowship Union has published the ‘Bible Study Monthly’ and literature since 1945 continuing a magazine founded in 1924. Its objective is to promote Bible knowledge. - 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.

Bible Fellowship Union Web site in 2014 November The Bible Fellowship Union has published the ‘Bible Study Monthly’ and literature since 1945 continuing a magazine founded in 1924. Its objective is to promote Bible knowledge. – 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.

Also from Great-Britain, where the Bible Fellowship Union was formed, they began publishing The Bible Students Monthly in 1924, later renamed The Bible Study Monthly so as not to be mistaken with the new Watch Tower which previously published a paper by that name. Albert O. Hudson became the general director and served in that capacity until his death at age 101 in 2000. Today it is run by an editorial committee.

But they too had to face a split, with William Crawford, an original member of the British Board of Directors, founding the Old Paths Publications and produced the monthly journal Old Paths. Countless booklets, books, and tracts were produced.

At the time of the split in 1917, the Forest Gate Church was the second largest Bible Student group in England. F. G. Guard, father-in-law of William Crawford, led the class in ­divorcing themselves from the Society. In 1939 they started publishing The Forest Gate Church Bible Monthly, along with booklets and tracts. This group disbanded in 1979.

Facing an other war

The Thomasites found too many where gone to far away from Dr. John Thomas his ideas. They and Australian Biblestudents who also found the Birmingham Christadelphians and CBM were not any more real followers of John Thomas got in contact with some Belgian Biblestudents who wanted to stay as close as possible to the Biblical Truth.

Freitag, former Branch manager of the Swiss Watch Tower Society since 1898, claimed he was the legitimate successor of Charles Taze Russell and sent to the Bible Students The Message of Laodicea (Le Message de Laodicée) and published two journals, the monthly The Monitor of the Reign of Justice (Le Moniteur du Règne de Justice) and the weekly Newspaper for All (Le Journal pour tous).

Freitag’s movement was later continued under the leadership of Édouard Rufener, then Marie Roulin, then Mr. Kohli and the main headquarters became based in Cartigny, Switzerland.

When Freitag died in 1947, one of his followers, Bernard Sayerce (1912–1963), a Roman Catholic schoolteacher, claimed he was his successor. Almost all of the 900 French and Belgian assemblies joined this new group which had a peak of 9,700 members between 1958 and 1962. In 1963, Lydie Sartre (1898–1972), who was named the “Dear Mom”, then Joseph Neyrand (1927–1981) in 1971, replaced Sayerce as leaders of the movement, named “Amis sans frontières” (Friends without borders) in 1984 which is still active today.

The Association of Bible Students and the Association of Bible Researchers (Associatie of Vereniging van Bijbelonderzoekers) got alls sorts of people, from all sorts of denominations, who wanted seriously to investigate what was written in the Holy Scriptures and how we had to interpret it.

Throughout the world many small independent bible student groups got to see how several who first followed Rutherford, also became dissatisfied of the way things where going. As the years went by, more and more of the brethren seeing a change of direction and attitude within the Society soon departed and thus the big exodus started. By 1930 the majority of the brethren who worked closely with Pastor Russell had left the Society — many had been forced out. By this time, all of Pastor Russell’s writings were discarded in favour of the writings of Ruther­ford, writings that contradicted each other. By 1929 over a hundred changes in doctrines had been made; the Society no longer resembled that which was established by Pastor Russell and his early associates. The Society had a new look and a new attitude. No longer was it simply a publishing house for the dissemination of Bible literature. Now it was “God’s Theocratic Organization.” To disagree with it was tantamount to treason against God himself.

Shortly after founding the “Goshen Fellowship” after he was disfellowshipped by N.H. Knorr in 1951 Jesse Hemery died. Jesse Hemery was appointed overseer of the Watch Tower Society’s British Isles branch office by Russell in 1901, holding that post until 1946. In Belgium this group became known under this name but from the 1960-70ies also under the name “Zion’s Herald” after their publication (which started in 1965), which was for years published under directorship of Frank Lewis Brown.

Pamphlets published by opposing sides during t...

Pamphlets published by opposing sides during the dispute over Rutherford’s leadership, 1917. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although many of the original 19° century Bible Students have died, their grandchildren and faithful followers of the first hour group still carry on. Though even today there may be disputes between certain groups claiming that they and not the other one is following the original teaching of Dr. Thomas or Pastor Russell. The Christadelphians became the lesser group in the Bible Student Movement, whilst the International Bible Student Association (IBSA) may find it very difficult to have people to come to see that they are the true followers of Charles Taze Russell and not the Jehovah Witnesses who claim unjustified that Russell would have founded their organisation.

The Watchtower and Tract Society from Brooklyn has gone so far as to state that Bible Students no longer exist, that they have died out and none remain or they say they are the only bible Students.

Hopefully we can convince you that this is not the case and that all over the world several students of the Bible or Bible Students can be found who have nothing to do with Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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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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.

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

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

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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
  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.”

Andere aanpak in de organisatie van de diensten # 1

Gevestigd in een katholiek land

De Belgische Bijbel Studenten en de Belgische Vrije Christadelphians zijn beiden, zoals de katholieke kerk in België en de scholen, universiteiten en clubs begonnen met een nieuw jaar.

Voor de katholieke kerk en voor ons is er de belofte naar het jonge meisje Mirjam (Maria/Maria), om in herinnering te nemen. De haar gedane belofte was zeer speciaal omdat zij de mensheid naar het begin van een nieuw tijdperk, de tijd van het heil zou brengen. Zoals de Rooms Katholieke Kerk advent houdt kunnen wij ook een vorm van advent houden. Wij, in tegenstelling met onze broeders en zusters van het Centraal Fellowship of Centraal Broederschap, zoals de Christelijke Bijbel Missie of Christadelphian Bible  Mission (CBM) en Christadelphian Isolation League (CIL) Christadelphians, beginnen onze leesplan met de Blijde Boodschap en het begin van het Nieuwe Testament niet op 1 januari, maar reeds nu. De leden van de Belgische Vrije Christadelphians in hun ecclesiae volgen het Bijbel Plan van de Lezingen door Robert Roberts samengesteld en starten pas op 1 januari met Genesis 1 & 2 plus Mattheus 1 & 2.

Omdat er zo veel katholieken in dit land wonen willen wij laten zien wat hun lezingen, hun religieuze jaar lezingen naar voor brengen en wat de Bijbel werkelijk zegt. Want elk jaar kiezen zij een ander Evangelie auteur als hun belangrijkste schrijver die zij zullen volgen, en daar willen wij op inspelen en Bijbelstudie rond voeren. Die geschriften die zij onder ogen zien en bepaalde onderwerpen die zij dan aanspreken willen wij ook in de spotlights zetten. Het is een kwestie van toenadering tot hen en om beter op de bal te kunnen spelen omtrent hun lezingen en hun tradities.

Verschillende tradities

Over die tradities, kunnen de Bijbel Studenten en diverse Amended Christadelphians een ander gevoel hebben, omdat sommige Central Christadelphians nog steeds deelnemen aan heidense christelijke feesten en zo nog steeds Kerstmis vieren. Voor ons is de echte geboorte van Christus, op 17 oktober 4 vGT een andere goede reden om te starten in september / oktober met het nieuwe kerkelijk jaar’. Maar we moeten ons onthouden van heidense gebaseerde feestdagen, zoals Kerstmis en het katholieke en sommige protestanten hun Pasen. Ware Christenen horen Jezus laatste avondmaal te vieren. Het belangrijkste feest van het jaar is dan ook voor ons en de Vrije Christadelphians in België de herdenkingsdag geïnstalleerd door Jezus Christus, voordat hij ging sterven, op de 14e Nisan.

Net als de Belgische katholieken kunnen we ontdekken dat er een tijd van verwachting is in de herfst, een voorbereidingstijd om de ontvangst van het Goede Nieuws van degene die ons het Koninkrijk van God bracht, te vieren. Vorig jaar hebben we zo gekeken naar het evangelie van Lukas en dit jaar zullen we daarom eens een kijkje nemen op het 1e boek van het Nieuwe Testament, het evangelie van Mattheüs. Er zijn meer toespelingen op het Oude Testament in dit evangelie dan in de andere. Het werd duidelijk geschreven voor joodse christenen met als doel te bewijzen dat Jezus de Messias was die voorspeld was in het Oude Testament. Daarom is het ook een zeer goed boek om een introductie te geven aan hen die Jezus niet kennen of aan degenen die een verkeerd beeld van deze Nazarener man hebben .
Dit jaar hebben de Vrije Christadelphians in België, net als wij, een vreselijke jaar achter de rug maar tonen zij hun goede geest om weer op te staan en om vooruit te gaan door de branding. De ecclesia BrusselLeuven vond het ook verstandig om een idee te geven aan de buitenwereld hoe de Christadelphian beweging ontstond en hoe het zich ontwikkeld heeft. In het evangelie van Mattheüs is geschreven hoe de Heer Jezus zelf het werk van de Oogst van de Evangelie Tijd aankondigde.
“Laat beide samen opgroeien tot aan de oogst, dan zal ik, wanneer het oogsttijd is, tegen de maaiers zeggen: ‘Wied eerst het onkruid, bind het in bundels bij elkaar en verbrand het. Breng dan het graan bijeen in mijn schuur.’ ”’” (Mattheüs 13:30 NBV)

Het zaaien van de zaden in de 19 ° eeuw

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.

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), Vlaamse jezuïet uit Aalst die vooral bekend staat om zijn sociaal-politieke betrokkenheid nadat hij lid van de diocesane clerus was. Hij schiep de daensistische beweging waaruit in 1893 de Christene Volkspartij ontstond, geïnspireerd door Leo XIII zijn encycliek Rerum Novarum.

Broeder John Thomas probeerde in de 19 ° eeuw de zaden te zaaien die noodzakelijk waren om tot de verspreiding van het geloof in de beloofde Messias te komen. Hij vond veel luisterende oren. Een van hen was broeder Charles Taze Russell, die in 1891 Antwerpen en Brussel  bezocht en op dat moment een fris nieuwe land vond dat leek te worstelen met het Geloof volgens het Evangelie. De rooms-katholieke kerk was een zeer sterk bastion met haar hand in het politieke systeem en in het bevorderen van de rijken in plaats van het helpen van de armen, priester Adolf en zijn broer Pieter Daens, of Pie Donsj voor die van Aalst, een uitzondering.

Broeder Charles ontmoette er een christendom dat onwetend was van de Bijbelse waarheid. De angst voor de geestelijkheid en van het vuur van de hel, de leer die geen basis in de Schrift heeft, hield de mensen uit de buurt van het openen van de Bijbel. Maar de katholieke kerk had er zorg voor gedragen dat de mensen er niet zouden toe komen om de waarheid te zien, door hen te verbieden om de Bijbel te lezen. Mis werd opgedragen in het Latijn en de lezingen als zodanig, in die taal, zeiden niet zozeer veel voor de mensen, die niet genoeg hadden gestudeerd om Latijn en Grieks te leren kennen en/of te spreken.

De Bijbel vertalingen in het Nederlands, Frans of Duits werden verboden en stonden op de zwarte lijst van de toegestane boeken.

Waalse kruidenier en mijnbouw

Omdat er zo veel Frans werd gesproken in dat kleine land dat Russell bezocht, vond hij het een goed idee om een bescheiden Zwitserse bosbouw werknemer genaamd Adolphe Weber het goede nieuws van grote vreugdete laten verkondigen in de Franstalige landen van Europa. Adolphe Weber begon de vertaling in het Frans van boeken van de tegenwoordige waarheid” en publiceerde advertenties in de Zwitserse, Franse en Belgische dagbladen die verwijzen naar het eerste deel van de “Studies in de Schrift” (Studies in the Scriptures) en een aantal boekjes.

Location in the municipality of Charleroi

Jumet is een gedeelte van de Belgische stad Charleroi in de Waalse regio in de provincie Henegouwen. Het was een gemeente op haar eigen voor de fusie van de gemeenten in 1977.

In 1901, antwoordde een kruidenier met de naam JeanBaptiste Tilmant (vader) die werkzaam was in Jumet-Gohissart, gelegen in de buurt van Charleroi, een van deze advertenties en vroeg om wat literatuur. Als gevolg hiervan begonnen een kleine groep bijbel studenten vergaderingen in zijn huis te houden in 1902 en gebruikten zij materiaal van Russell.
Aangespoord door zijn verlangen om meer over de waarheid te kennen,
schreef Jean-Baptiste Tilmant aan de Zwitserse broeder om meer informatie te ontvangen. Als een antwoord op zijn vraagkwam Broeder Weber naar Charleroi tijdens zijn zendingsreis, om het geloof van deze kleine groep te versterken.

Gemeenten in de steenkoolmijnstreek Borinage, Henegouwen

In 1903 werd het tijdschrift “Vuurtoren van Zion Tower” Lighthouse of Zion Towervoor de eerste keer gepubliceerd in het Frans . Het licht van de waarheid begon zo helder te schijnen in deze mijnstreek. (Borinage)
Inderdaad, elke zondag ochtend,
gingen een kleine groep studenten van de Bijbel zoals ze  op dat moment werden genoemd, in de velden” om de zaden van waarheid met dit acht pagina’s periodiek te zaaien; ze wachtten bijvoorbeeld bij de uitgang van de kerken d mensen op om ze over de waarheid toe te spreken. Dat is hoe de eerste twee edities van Zion‘s Watch Tower” grotendeels werden verspreid.

Grensgebieden

De kleine groep van Jumet Gohissart overschreed de grenzen van hun grondgebied van het zuiden in het Franse deel van het land om zo ook in Noord Frankrijk maar ook naar het Noorden toe in het Vlaamse landsgedeelte mensen aan te spreken en tot de waarheid te brengen.

In de augustus maand van 1904, tien jaar voordat de Eerste Wereldoorlog uitbrak, gingen deze dappere boodschappers van het Goede Nieuws naar Denain in Frankrijk, om boekjes aan te bieden aan mensen die uit een Baptisten tempel kwamen. In België en Frankrijk waren de niettrinitarische Baptisten meestal niet openlijk bekend, vanwege de vrees voor vervolging.

De resultaten van hun activiteiten was dat na twee jaar later, een congregatie in de buurt van Denain in Haveluy begon .
Jean Baptiste Tilmant en zijn vrienden bleven de Bijbelse waarheid moedig prediken en andere groepen bleken tot deze grote groei toe te treden. Een reeks boeken werd opgeslagen enten huize van de broer van Tilmant in Jumet Gohisart werden vergaderingen gehouden en in 1906
werd een bijbel studenten gemeenschap opgericht in Denain.

De Vuurtoren” van augustus 1904, pagina 64, vermeldt voor het eerst de naam en de boeken van Dawn”; (It has to be Volume I of the Studies in the Scriptures) (Het moet zijn, deel I van de Schriftstudies ); abonnementen op “Lighthouse”of de Vuurtoren” en aanvraag voor gratis boekjes en papieren.

In 1906 zouden de folders weet je dat?” En het “Loon van de zondetwee andere boekjes en Volume 1 worden uitgegeven in het Nederlands en geleverd worden in Brussel.In 1908 publiceerde Heinrich Brinkhoff de eerste editie van The Watchtower in het Nederlands: De Wachttoren.

Parels gooien voor de varkens

Rond 1910 ging François Caré die de waarheid in Frankrijk had leren kennen naar Luik naar een protestantse vriend Edouard Verdière. Hij kon het niet helpen met hem te spreken over de waarheid. Hij wilde hem helpen bij het verlaten van de valse religie. Zijn vriend was zo tegengesteld aan de boodschap van de broeder dat die zijn geduld verloor en op het einde zei:“Ik wil niet langer met u in discussie gaan, ik wil geen parels gooien naar varkens

Na deze woorden ging hij naar bed, maar die woorden bleven hem de hele nacht achtervolgen. De volgende ochtend, vroeg hij broeder Caré om hem te vertellen wat hij bedoelde. Hij vertelde hem dat hij niet langer over de waarheid zou  spreken tot hem, omdat hij de parels” niet kon waarderen die hij hem aan het aanbieden was. Na deze uitleg, werd zijn vriend meer verzoenend zodat na zijn terugkeer naar Frankrijk broer Caré hem regelmatig tijdschriften begon op te sturen. Hij zond ook een paar volumes Schriftstudies op. Het duurde niet lang voordat Edouard Verdière de Waarheid aanvaarde en zelfs in het openbaar begon te spreken. In een andere wijk van België begon het licht ook te breken door de duisternis.

Van het katholicisme tot het protestantisme tot het komen in de Waarheid

Een rozenkrans of paternoster is een gebedssnoer in gebruik in de Katholieke Kerk. Rozenkrans is ook de naam voor het ‘rozenkransgebed’.

In de kolenmijn waar hij werkte had Edouard Verdière een collega, genaamd Léonard Smets die  op zoek was naar de waarheid. Hij was een oprecht katholiek die ijverig de religieuze diensten met zijn familie bijwoonde. Hij gebruikte een rozenkrans om te bidden met. Deze man van Vlaamse afkomst leefde in Heure-le Romain in de buurt van Vivegnis (Luik).
In 1900 had een protestant hem een Bijbel aangeb
oden en gezegd:

“Ik heb het Boek van God”.
File:Collegiale-Thann-p1010106.jpg

Traditionele biechtstoel in Saint-Thiébaut Kerk, Thann, Frankrijk

Een andere dag, in de biechtstoel, bekende Léonard Smets aan de priester dat hij de Heilige Schrift aan het lezen was . De priester zei dat als hij nog absolutie wilde te ontvangen voor zijn zonden hij zijn Bijbel moest terug geven. Vanaf die dag ging Léonard geen diensten van de Katholieke Kerk meer bij wonen. Hij dacht,

“Als ze oprecht zijn, zullen ze mij tegemoet komen, omdat ze de verloren schapen terug moeten komen zoeken en vangen “.

Echter, kwam de priester hem nooit opzoeken. Léonard Smets begon naar de protestantse tempel te gaan.

Zelfs op zijn werkplek, in de koolmijn, las Smets het Nieuwe Testament. Op een dag merkte Vedière dat op. Hij was nieuwsgierig om te weten welk zijn religie was. Hij begon een protestants lied te zingen.
“Ik was protestant”, antwoordde broeder Verdière, “maar ik heb iets beters voor je.” Hij bood hem een exemplaar van de Wachttoren van Sionen getuigde met al zijn kracht van de waarheid. Het gebeurde in 1912. Léonard Smets hield deze waarheid niet voor zichzelf; hij deelde het met een Vlaamse collega, met name Jozef Poelmans, vader van zeven kinderen. Hij werd gedesillusioneerd door de leer van het katholicisme en koos het protestantisme. Maar toen hij het tijdschrift las dat Smets hem gaf, herkende hij het accent van de waarheid.
Later stelden de drie mijnwerkers Verdière, Smets en Poelmans vragen aan de protestantse predikant van Herstal (Luik) over de leer van de onsterfelijkheid, drie-eenheid en de Hel. In plaats van hen te helpen, was de voorganger erg boos en gooide ze buiten. Ze beseften dat hij niet beter was dan de katholieke priester, dus besloten ze elkaar verder te ontmoeten en om de Schrift met de hulp van de boeken die ze ontvingen van Frankrijk te bestuderen.

In 1908
werden in België 5000 wachttorens” verspreid.
In 1911 kon Broeder Russell alleen voor een paar minuten stoppen in Luik waar geliefde broeders Pétré en enkele anderen zaten te wachten om hem te begroeten op de trein: zuster Miss Peerkings (een Engels zus die in Luik woonde, waar ze over de Waarheid geleerd had) diende als een vertaler . Met dezelfde trein kwam broeder Russell aan in Charleroi waar hij in de avond de weg verder nam naar Denain.
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), 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.

In 1912 waren er zeven gemeenten: HaineSaintPaul, FlémalleHaute, Engis, Amay, Ampsin, Luik en JumetGohissart. Elk van deze groepen organiseerde maandelijkse bijeenkomsten en verwelkomden Broeder Weber van het Zwitserse bureau voor periodieke bezoeken.
Met Pinksteren op 26 juni en 27 1912 vond hun eerste algemene vergadering plaats in Jumet Gohissart.
Broeder Rutherford was in Jumet op maandag 22 september voor een besloten bijeenkomst.

De groep groeide ook sterk in het meest noordelijke deel van Frankrijk en in 1913 woonden meer dan 1.000 mensen een lezing door Joseph Franklin Rutherford bij toen hij een bezoek bracht aan Denain. Op 31 augustus 1913 bezochten 70 Belgische supporters een conferentie in Parijs, waar Russell aanwezig was.

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Wordt vervolgt: Andere aanpak in de organisatie van de diensten # 2

Engelse versie / English version: Different approach in organisation of services #1

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Lees verder meer:

  1. Bedenkingen: Gods eigen Volk
  2. De Bijbel als Gids
  3. Vele kerken
  4. Volharding en Bijbelstudenten + Volharding en Bijbelstudenten
  5. Doelstelling van Bijbelstudenten
  6. Over de Belgische Bijbelstudenten
  7. Wat de Belgische Bijbelstudenten geloven
  8. Bijbelonderzoekers niet steeds Getuigen van Jehovah
  9. Wie kan zich beroepen op C.T. Russell
  10. Bijbelonderzoekers en Russelism
  11. Christadelphians openen Tweede Ontmoetingsplaats in België
  12. Seizoen 2013-2014

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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
  • Cleric urges Christians to emulate Jesus Christ (dailyindependentnig.com)
    A Christian cleric, the Rev. Fr. Joseph Nwanua, on Sunday urged Christians to be Christ-like both in words and in deeds.The cleric said this during a sermon at Saints Joachim and Anne Catholic Church, Ijegun, a Lagos suburb, in commemoration of this year’s “All Souls Day’’.
  • Catholic Priest: Pastors Who Collect Tithes are Thieves (nigerianbulletin.com)
    Speaking in a homily during the dedication of little Obinna Duruiheoma, son of Damian Duruiheoma, the Imo State correspondent of The UNION newspapers, at St. Joseph The Worker Catholic Church, Nekede Mechanic Village, Owerri the Imo State capital, Onyeka, who is the parish priest of the church, said tithing was no longer obtainable because, according to him, Jesus Christ never spoke of it all his life time on earth.
  • God’s Power (franciscanflowers.wordpress.com)
    With Your power flowing through me, / I am more spontaneous and free. / With Your power flowing through me, / I am more in harmony with life.
  • 37 “Theses” Nailed to the Front Door of the First Baptist, Evangelical, Protestant Church (blackchristiannews.com)
    Out of love and concern for the body of Christ (the true church of the Lord Jesus Christ), we are compelled to warn that Russell Moore (who represents the Southern Baptist Convention), Rick Warren (a prominent pastor in the Southern Baptist Convention), and other Baptists, Evangelicals, and Protestants should not endanger their hard-won good name by joining up with the Pope and the Catholic Church or seek to ally with them or engage them on any matter especially on the matter of homosexuality since they have the worst reputation in this area compared to other church groups. If they do so, they are treading on dangerous ground and they will regret such a decision in time to come. The best way we can love and try to help the Catholic Church is to witness to them, remain independent of them, keep our prophetic voice, and be free to rebuke them when they say and do things that are contrary to the Holy Scriptures and that mislead people to Hell.
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    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.”
  • My Apology to Catholics (histruthwillsetyoufree.wordpress.com)
    About five years ago I wrote a post about my dad’s experience when he decided to join the Catholic Church of my stepmother. He first had to sign some Catholic documents resulting in the annulment of his marriage to my mom. From what I heard, the church had to erase the sin of his divorce before they would accept him into the church.
  • Vatican lifts ban on married priests for Eastern Catholic churches in U.S., Canada, Australia… (catholicculture.org)
    The tradition and discipline of the Eastern churches allows for the ordination of married men to the priesthood. (Bishops must be unmarried, however, and once ordained, a priest cannot marry.) The Vatican has repeatedly approved this tradition, while insisting on the 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 that the 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 form a 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.
  • Group’s plans alarm residents (stuff.co.nz)
    Residents on a rural road near Porirua fear a religious group that offers courses in sex addiction and whose founder publishes books about preparing for the Apocalypse is setting up in their neighbourhood.But Selwyn Stevens, founder and president of Jubilee Resources International, says neighbours have nothing to fear from his plans for the site.

Watchtowers’s new face

From September the 1st 2012 the Jehovah’s Witnesses their official website  came into the new world.

Three in one plus …

The Governing Body takes the lead in directing the work of Jehovah’s Witnesses

Three websites managed by Jehovah’s Witnesses were consolidated into just one official website, www.jw.org. The updated website promises to have concise answers to Bible questions and offers information about the societies preaching work, along with facts about their branch offices, Kingdom Halls, and conventions in the section about Jehovah’s Witnesses.

For those looking for reports on topics and events affecting Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide, they should be albe to find the right answer in the news section. There are also features for families, teens, and children. As with the old website Our website  audio and digital editions of many of their publications are provided.

By revamping JW.org the mighty organisation tries to get more people at a single point of contact, so that they have a better picture about whom, where people are seeking to access Jehovah’s Witnesses online.

The website looks fresh and inviting and they also thought of the non hearing. Those with hearing difficulties can go to the section Watch Sign-Language Videos and study the Bible using sign-language videos.

There are still other websites from the Jehovah Witnesses which have a very official look but claim  not to be affiliated (??) with the Pensylvanian office: “JWnews, JW news and Jwitness.wordpress.com are not affiliated with the official watchtower, jw-media or the jw.org sites.”  Who is than in charge? They write: “The content we link to on The JWnews is generated by members of the public. The views expressed are those of the public and unless specifically stated are not those of The JWnews. Appearance within this website does not constitute endorsement.”

Major shake-up of the organization

Could it be that in the near future we may look forward to a new major shake-up of the organization like in 1975, when the duties of the President of the Watch Tower Society became dispersed and delegated to the various committees, who were (and still are) directly answerable to the Governing Body. Some Jehovah Witnesses say that they can openly talk about differences of interpretation of Bible verses. They say they can discuss the Watchtower writings at the Kingdomhall study sessions.

Watchtower publications give conflicting impressions about whom is leading the organisation.

In the book Bearing Thorough Witness(also quoted from above) the following assertion is made on page 110:

“The Governing Body relies on God’s holy spirit for direction. Its members do not regard themselves as the leaders of Jehovah’s people.”

This was reiterated on page 23 of a recently released 2012 brochure entitled Who Are Doing Jehovah’s Will Today? where it says:

“The Governing Body looks to the Universal Sovereign, Jehovah, and to the Head of the congregation, Jesus, for guidance. (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:23) Its members do not regard themselves as the leaders of God’s people. They, along with all anointed Christians, ‘keep following the Lamb [Jesus] no matter where he goes.’”

From the above two quotes (both from fairly recent publications) it would be relatively straightforward to conclude that Governing Body members are not to be considered as the leaders of Jehovah’s Witnesses. However, things become confusing when we read the many quotes similar to those below where the Governing Body is said to “take the lead” in the organization. {The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses – Explained, JW Survey}

“The faithful and discreet slave today is represented by the Governing Body, who take the lead and coordinate the Kingdom-preaching work throughout the earth.” (w09 2/15 p.28 par.17)

 “The Head, Jesus Christ, supplies the body members with what is needed for good cooperation, coordination, and spiritual nourishment. (Eph. 4:15, 16; Col. 2:19) In such respects, the Governing Body is organized to take the lead as Jehovah directs them by holy spirit.” (w08 5/15 p.29)

“Today, we can observe those making up the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, other anointed overseers, and men of the “great crowd” who take the lead among us.” (w89 9/15 p.21)

“Local elders and members of the Governing Body take the lead among us; hence, we should respect them and pray that God grant them the wisdom needed to govern the congregation.” (w89 12/15 p.21 par.5)

“So we can observe the faithful men today who take the lead among us, particularly those of the governing body of the ‘faithful and discreet slave’.” (w69 6/15 p.367 par.3)

There is also the following quote where Jehovah’s Witnesses are admonished using the bible to show obedience to the Governing Body:

“Though members of the Governing Body are slaves of Jehovah and of Christ, as are their fellow Christians, the Bible instructs us: ‘Be obedient to those who are taking the lead among you and be submissive, for they are keeping watch over your souls as those who will render an account; that they may do this with joy and not with sighing, for this would be damaging to you.’—Hebrews 13:17.” (w98 3/15 p21)

It is difficult to imagine how a group of men who “take the lead” among and “govern” God’s organization, and who should be obeyed by Jehovah’s Witnesses, should not therefore be considered as their “leaders”. However, this is precisely how the Governing Body wishes us to think of them. On the one hand, it appears they seek to be viewed as humble fellow worshippers – but on the other hand they ask Jehovah’s Witnesses to view them as “those who are taking the lead”, and obey their direction accordingly.

The ones saved

Surprisingly they now say that they shall not be the only ones being save. They suddenly seem to agree that many millions who lived in centuries past and who weren’t Jehovah’s Witnesses will have an opportunity for salvation. As we do believe, they agree now that the Bible explains that in God’s promised new world, “there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Acts 24:15) Additionally, many now living may yet begin to serve God, and they too will gain salvation. In any case, at last they got to understand that it’s not our job to judge who will or won’t be saved. That assignment rests squarely in Jesus’ hands. (John 5:22, 27.)

When we look at those in charge we do see we individuals who profess to have Jesus as their leader and role model,but they still think they are the chosen to be the only guides to bring people to the Truth. As Governing Body members their thoughts and reflections should be consequent and according the teaching of Christ plus in accordance with the Law of God. They consider themselves as the most perfectly people to understand what God is willing from humanity. they also should be aware of their function and its responsibility, certainly when they tell the world that it are they who are the representatives of the Slave Class, or God’s earthly organization.

Still the same organisation

Knowing that Christ’s apostles were never sheepish about having their personalities and foibles exposed in the early Christian writings,those people should not mind that they are exposed to the world and that a clear picture of them is given to those who are interested. But for years the organisation has been a closed mysterious organisation, where outsiders, not to speak of insiders never could get a clear picture of the working of this powerful organisation. It is this mysteriousness that also made people believe that it is a cult in stead of an other denomination. Certainly with all the stories, true and invented, going around and several ex-Jehovah Witnesses taking revenge on the organisation in which they felt trapped for so many years. Angrinessand frustration have proven the best grounds for lies and for counter-attacks.

World headquarters of the Watch Tower Bible & ...

World headquarters of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Biblestudent Movement background

An other problem, certainly for other Biblestudents, like us, is that they presented the founders of the Biblestudent Movement as their founders and depicted us as schism groups of Christendom. They still consider being the first seed of what began at the end of the 19th century. At that time, a small group of Bible students who lived near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the United States, began a systematic analysis of the Bible. They compared the doctrines taught by the churches with what the Bible really teaches.

In the northern part of America there where several people, like the English doctor John Thomas (1805 – 1871) who had some strange experiences when leaving the old world. Their experiences changed their way of life totally and they took to the Holy Scriptures to find more about life, the reason why we live and what is going to happen with us when we die. All over the country, in small communities the searchers started to find other interested people and started meeting at different private locations. More and more groups of sincere Bible students could be found and Charles Taze Russell came also in contact with dr. Thomas and other pupils of him, called the Thomasites at that time.

In the time of the growing Millerite or Adventist movement Thomas and Russell tried to order the many ideas presented by the different preachers of those new movements. Thomas did not claim to be any kind of prophet, or in any way inspired, and found that every individual should take up his own responsibility to come to the Truth. For him it was clear there had not to be any pope, cardinal or some higher person to be in charge of an organisation to be called church, because we had the most high priest, Jesus Christ.

Thomas his work was continued by Robert Roberts (April 18, 1839 – September 23, 1898) and became a prolific author and the editor of The Christadelphian Magazine from 1864–1898.

Russell, Rutherford and Knorr were the last presidents of the Watch Tower Society to hold any real power

Charles Taze Russell got also more followers and began in July 1879 publishing a monthly religious journal, Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. In 1881 he co-founded Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society, a non-stock, not-for-profit organization, and in 1884 the corporation was officially registered, with Russell as president. In 1914 it was Charles Taze Russell who founded in London, England, a corporation of the Bible Students, under the name International Bible Students Association. Some Jehovah’s Witnesses publications cite this corporation as publisher or co-publisher.

Russell and the other Bible Students, as the groups of such Good News bringing teachers where called, was to promote the teachings of Jesus Christ and to follow the practices of the first-century Christian congregation. Since Jesus is the Founder of Christianity, according to Thomas and Russell it is him who should have the honour to be called the founder of our church or organization. (Colossians 1:18-20)

Follow or quit

The legal counsellor and autocrat Joseph Franklin Rutherford more and more took power of the Watchtower group of Biblestudents and made many other sincere Biblestudents leave his growing organisation which became a dictatorial organisation, where every body had to follow the board of directors. With the years less of argument was accepted and all those who objected were summoned to leave.

It is that closed organisation which has tried unbending to dominate a movement which they called the only serious Biblestudents. They obstinately presented to the public that Russell was their founder and that all other denominations where false teachers.

By featuring so prominently on the Society’s DVDs, Governing Body members give themselves “undue attention and honor”

We doubt that the Watch Tower Society and the many congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide would be able to get loose again from the control of the Governing Body. We also have the impression they do not openly say what they really think or how they would like their followers to think. Sometimes we get the impression they talk to what people would like to hear, so that once they get more interested they can be brought into the organisation by the duos who give the house to house studies.

Distorted talk

The matter of the saving is one which we could look into further. Do they still not strongly believe that those who are looking for Jehovah now, should become Jehovah Witnesses before Armageddon. When Armageddon strikes, Jehovah’s Witnesses do feel that they are the only ones who will be saved. The answer to one of the  “Frequently Asked Questions”, “Do You Feel That You Are The Only People Who Will Be Saved?”, is therefore both self-contradictory and misleading.

The new website of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania may be looking more openly and inviting but once again it has been covered with many blurs of double talk, incompleteness, inflected and twisted half truths.

Task for the Bible-student movement

They continue undaunted to present themselves as the spokesman of the Biblestudents and the shame of it is that more Bible students withdraw in their own little cocoon and not associate with other Bible-students to form a bigger block to come out to the world as presenters of the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God. The last few years we also noticed that less Biblestudents organisations were willing to come onto the internet or to propagate the gospel and to spread newsletters or (free) magazines to the general public.

If all those individual Bible students and Bible researchers stay on their own and are not willing to co-operate with other Biblestudents than we shall see  a decreasing group of the Bible Student Movement.

+

Please do find additional reading:

Jehovah’s Witnesses—Who Are We?

Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Feel That They Are the Only People Who Will Be Saved?

The new JW.org – Watchtower’s attempt to tame the internet

The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses – Explained + inclusive: Has anyone ever left the Governing Body?

Getting To Know Our Governing Body

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  • Jehovah’s Witnesses offer 3 day convention (jwitness.wordpress.com)
    The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ convention, “Safeguard Your Heart!” will run Friday through Sunday at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihu‘e.
  • Should Jehovah’s Witnesses be feared? (lampandherald.wordpress.com)
    Many people who have become aware of the child sex abuse scandals that have plagued the Witnesses’ movement have become highly suspicious of their activities. Some watch groups have warned residents that if they have children at their homes, to keep an eye on them at all times when Witnesses stop by their door. Some residents have feared Witnesses coming to their property due to the Watchtower Society’s alleged policy of protecting pedophiles.
  • 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. But first, the background.
    +
    Life as a JW is more than just knocking on doors, it’s about attending meetings. There are five of them (or were, maybe things have changed in the past twenty years). Firstly, there are two back-to-back meetings, usually on a Sunday. One is a public talk, given by an appointed and approved member of the congregation (although visiting elders often give this talk). The talk must be based on an approved outline, and audience members are encouraged to look up any Bible references. This is followed by the study of an article in a Watchtower magazine. Someone is appointed to read each paragraph, and an elder asks questions printed as footnotes. Audience members then answer the question. rinse repeat. Again, subtle brainwashing – over time, verbalising the approved answers has each individual “make the Truth their own”.
    +
    There are two other big congregation meetings, both connected with the “field ministry”, the Theocratic Ministry School and the Service Meeting. The School is (or used to be) a series of lessons taken from a Watchtower Society book (available online here) – any approved member can be enrolled in the school, and there are assignments designed to help people become better teachers. Each week there are assigned Bible readings and associated topics, and a five-minute presentation is expected from each student. The Service Meeting is an elder-led series of announcements and demonstrations, again related to door-to-door work.
    +

    Finally, there is the Congregation Book Study, which carries out a Watchtower-study style of “discussion” using material published by the Watchtower Society; this takes place in smaller, home-based groups of between ten and twenty souls.

    Add up the time of the meetings (five hours) and the time needed to prepare (usually another five at least, if one is doing it right),and that’s quite a sizable chunk of time, a big investment for anyone. The idea is to get the Society’s ideas deeply inculcated into newcomers, such that the teachings take, at least on an intellectual level. Call it brainwashing if you will, but it’s pretty effective, especially given the demographics of the members.

     

  • Attorney claims sexually abused children ignored by Jehovah’s Witness church (lampandherald.wordpress.com)
    In a recent Facebook post, attorney Steven Unthank acknowledged the courage and sacrifices made by children of a congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Victoria, Australia where Unthank said that the children suffered sexual abuse at the hands of fellow church members.

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