Watchtower “breakdown” on the Highway to Paradise
By Terry Walstrom
All of us at one time or another have owned an automobile that was a real lemon! While the car may have been shiny, stylish and totally cool-looking – the problem was it was a piece of crap.
Repair, after repair, after repair! A never-ending spiral of maintenance kept it in the shop more than it was on the road!
You may have really loved that car. In fact – it might well have been a classic – but was totally useless for basic transportation because IT COULD NOT GET YOU WHERE YOU WANTED TO GO!
And that, my friends, applies to the religion known as “Jehovah’s Witnesses!”
The engine which drives this “tour bus to a Heavenly Paradise” keeps breaking down, forcing the bus to the side of the road and making the passengers wait for repairs.
All the while, the tour guide and the bus company offer glowing reassurances that you are “IN GOOD HANDS” and the arrival will be well worth the trip!
How many times can a motor, transmission, tires, and the rest of the drive train be replaced before you reach the inescapable conclusion that YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO GET TO YOUR DESTINATION?
“Pastor” Charles Taze Russell used very specific language in his writings about the destination and arrival time for Armageddon and the beginning of the “1,000 year reign.” “God’s dates–not ours!” he assured the passengers in no uncertain terms. “1914 was the end!” – since Jesus had already arrived in 1874 and he was now ready to slay his enemies and reward his followers with a trip to Heavenly Paradise!
But the bus broke down during World War I. Repairs began – along with new assurances given.
The year 1914 was changed from being the “End” to the “Beginning of the End.” REPAIR ACCOMPLISHED! The passengers got back on the bus, the new motor started up, and off they went.
But in 1916 the bus driver died at the wheel – and another driver hijacked the bus!
The new driver, “Judge” J. F. Rutherford, convinced the passengers the destination was still the same and they were in good hands if they stayed on the bus while he took them for a ride. After all, they were told, “Pastor Russell was actually guiding the bus by remote control from heaven.” Plus the Great Pyramid gave factual assurance that the date of Christ’s return was correct.
But along the way the bus driver and his crew of mechanics were arrested and thrown in prison. They were tried and convicted in court under the Espionage Act. Everybody out of the bus! Time for repairs again!
The year 1918 brings news that the ancient Patriarchs will be resurrected by 1925!
Then in 1920 the government’s charges are dropped – and the bus gets back on the road. But 0ne out of every seven passengers has left the bus in disgust to find another means of transportation.
More repairs are made, new assurances given, and off the remaining passengers go. Except that along the way frequent stops are made so that the passengers can go door to door to try to sell householders on the idea of getting on the bus to replace the ones who left.
Then 1925 comes and goes – leading to another BREAKDOWN! (Where are the Patriarchs?) Everybody out of the bus!
The bus driver, Judge Joe Rutherford, admits he “made an ass” of himself. He also announces that he decided the “Great Pyramid is a load of crap” and that Satan thought it up in the first place. But, once again, new assurances are given and everybody gets back on the bus. (Well… not everybody…)
In 1932 the happy International Bible Student bus trip to Heavenly Paradise is renamed the “JEHOVAH’S WITNESS TOUR BUS.”
The driver pulls over to the side of the road and makes a startling announcement: “Not all passengers will arrive in Heavenly Paradise after all! Only a few – VERY few. Most of you will stay right here in an Earthly Paradise!” Then, once again, back on the road…
In 1933 the driver finally admits 1914 was NOT the date for Armageddon – just the, um, “New beginning date of Christ’s arrival. Forget what you were told by that other guy (Russell). JESUS DID NOT ARRIVE in 1874! This is an actually an IMPROVEMENT – not a contradiction!”
By 1935, all new passengers on the bus only get to go to Earth and not Heaven.
As they travel down the road, passengers are instructed NOT to observe any of the local customs such as saluting the flag, singing the National Anthem, or celebrating holidays like Christmas, Easter, or Thanksgiving. In short, they’re told to make themselves as obnoxious as possible and to tell those not on the bus that they are going to die!
Along the way passengers report dizziness, anxiety, confusion, and restlessness as changes, repairs, and side trips come and go with regularity.
Here are some examples of Watchtower teachings over the years:
Will the people of Sodom be resurrected?
- Yes: 1879-1951
- No: 1952-1964
- Yes: 1965-1988
- No: 1988
Identity of the “Superior authorities” of Romans 13:1?
- “Human Government”: 1879-1929
- “Jehovah and Jesus Christ”: 1929-1962
- “Human Government”: 1963-present
Identity of the “Faithful and Wise servant” of Matthew. 24?
- A class of people: 1879-1897
- An individual: 1897-1928
- A class of people: 1929-present
Who is Michael the Archangel?
- “Not Jesus”: 1879
- “Is the Pope”: 1917
- “Is Jesus”: 1920-Present
Should Jesus be “worshipped?
- Yes: 1879-1953
- No: 1954-present
What was Jesus referring to when he said “this is my body”?
- The church: 1953-1955
- His body of flesh: 1956-present
What was the date for the beginning of Christ’s “invisible” presence?
- “1874”: 1879-1929
- “1914”: 1929-present
Did Jesus die on a cross or a torture stake?
- Cross: 1879-1935
- Torture stake: 1936-present
Are Organ Transplants permissible for Jehovah’s Witnesses?
- No: “Cannibalism;” 1967 – 1979
- Yes: 1980- present
Celebrating Christmas and birthdays?
- Yes: 1879-1926
- No: 1927-present
Supporting War and Politics?
- Yes: 1879-1935
- No: 1936-present
The importance of the Great Pyramid in Egypt?
- “God’s Witness”: 1879 –1927
- “Satan’s Bible”: 1928– Present
Even today “The Road Trip” continues as passengers get off and on that same old bus – and the trip never ends.
One breakdown after another. One explanation making an old one redundant. Even the drivers are suspiciously corrupt. There is only one possible conclusion:
This bus is a LEMON and this trip is GOING NOWHERE BUT IN CIRCLES!
And yet – how many people do you know who are still on this same old bus – riding and hoping, riding and hoping, and riding and hoping?
Editor’s comment: Terry Walstrom is a frequent contributor to several Jehovah’s Witness discussion forums. He kindly permitted us to adapt and share this recent post that he submitted to Jehovahs-Witness.net [read original post].