Friday, April 9, 2010

Restatement of the Rules

Almost everyone who leaves a comment here has been thoughtful and kind. Yet, there are a few who do not seem to understand things I've clearly stated before.

1. I am not interested theological debate. This is a history blog. It exists to promote a clearly stated, accurate history of the early years of Zion's Watch Tower.

2. I do not take phone calls. Yes, my phone number is easy to find. Past association with you does not open an exception. I'm sick, not just a little, but really ill. Phone calls of any sort are stressful DO NOT CALL MY HOUSE.

3. Some significant research material has come to me through the mail as the kind gift of interested parties. Rachael and I truly appreciate this. Do NOT use this as an occasion to send your tracts, invitations to your net-radio show, or any other bits of propaganda. I already know what you think. I have seen much of this material already. Most of it is boring, poorly produced, inaccurate, illogical and forthrightly stupid. A case in point is a circular letter sent to me recently. It is authored by a man in Oregon who objects to Witness shunning practice. The letter has logic faults and tells more by what is omitted than what is included. I've heard and read all the arguments. I'm not interested in receiving any of this material. So thank-you to those who have fostered our research. But to those who merely wish to propagandize, this is a polite "go away."

4. We do not have any sort of anti-Watchtower ax to grind. This is history, not polemic. So don't expect us to join your crusade.

Listen, everyone, when I say I'm sick and don't want to handle side issues, I'm telling you the blunt truth. Let's be kind here. Also, do not call my house expecting me to put you in touch with Rachael de Vienne. To answer a recent question (via phone, of course), no, she isn't my daughter. I have two lovely daughters. Neither of them writes. The one that shares Rachael's first name is sixteen in a few weeks. Sorry, but no. And no, I won't give you her address. She has a family and life of her own. If she wanted you to have her address, it would be on her blog.

2 comments:

Chris G. said...

Hello Bruce,
I wanted to let you know I respect your decision here and effort to neutralize the apparent negativity in which some attempt to push your way. Having severe health challenges alone can cause distress as you mention and we all should respect your "historian" stand taken here. You've never said you'll accept challenges to debate on religious issues and never presented yourself in any other way than a serious researcher of honest history. Sorry to say, but many opposers of the JW faith are hungry to find a beacon to attack, especially when the beacon is identified in any way, shape or form. Since the WTB&TS and it's articles are anonymous this is largely impossible for them, however, when one publishes something, pro or neutral they tend to become a target I suppose. M.J. Penton and G. Stafford were ones who crumbled under the pressure getting caught up in "foolish questionings...and fights over the Law"-titus 4:9. Your attempts to deflect this will probably need to be repeated as opposers will not give up easily. I wish you the best in your efforts to fight the discouragement that this may cause. Agape, Chris

B. W. Schulz said...

Chris,

Thanks for your thougtful comments. I do not find it discouraging, only irritating and inconsiderate.

The person who promted this was once one of my best friends. (you'd know his name) Every so often he makes an attept to suck his former associates into the same mire into which he's fallen. He has no positive message, only a negative one.

I do not wish to debate his issues. I am more familiar than most with the circumstances of his 'apostacy.' I was there to see both sides and see outcomes for all parties. He wasn't the innocent he presents himself to be. There were no innocents among the parties to that controversy.

The decision to disfellowship him was exactly right. After three and a half decades, he still can't leave it alone. Every two or three years he either mails something, calls on the phone, or approaches through third parties. He wanted me as a partisan then, and apparently still wants that. No.

I do not feel inclinded to debate theology. Most debates are between people with fixed ideas. The issues are seldom new. Usually all issues have already been clearly stated, and usually they've been better stated than they would be in a debate.

The anti-Watchtower issues usually raised are insipid, poorly stated, mis-stated, or just wrong. There ARE issues in our history, but the real issues are seldom at raised.

Most anti-Watchtower material derives from an attempt to paint someone else black to make the author look less culpible. Most of it comes from pouting children who did not like living by rules, hated that they were enforced, and can't get over it.

IF one is going to oppose, do it reasonably, accurately, and with reproduceable research. Throwing a temper tantrum isn't effective.

I don't think I've seen anything printed after 1920 that comes close. Everything produced in the last sixty years seems to be "weeping and gnashing of their teeth" without a convincing factual presentation.

One person who touches on my own experience wrote a book, revised once in the mid 1970's. He presented his decision to leave as a sudden revelation of truth and acceptance of Christ. He left because he was caught in wrong doing. He and his wife visited churches and lectured (for a fee. His book quotes from one of the publications, putting a period in mid-sentence and changing the meaning of the paragraph in question. This is typical of opposition approach. It may "convince" someone already convinced at heart, but it is dishonest and unconvincing to anyone with half a mind.