Tag Archives: Stephen Lett

More Evidence for 1914 Kingdom than for Gravity, Electricity, Wind — says JW Governing Body

The source of this video is Stephen Lett, a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, at the “Seek First God’s Kingdom” International Convention for 2014.  A better version of the video is found here: I made a poor copy of it above just in case it gets removed from YouTube.

He says:

God’s Kingdom has been ruling in heaven as we’ve discussed during this convention for a hundred years, and it has produced tremendous effects — tremendous results. In fact, there is more evidence confirming the existence of the Kingdom than the evidence that would convince us that there’s gravity, electricity, wind.

I couldn’t just let that “blow over.” [wind] It was “shocking.” [electricity] I had to let it “sink in.” [gravity] All jokes, aside, though…

The first thing this reminded me of, was the fact that Rutherford blatantly overused claims about facts, proof and evidence (apparently as a reminder that he had a legal background). Rutherford loved to include the word “facts” in things like “Face the Facts” “Declaration of Facts” etc.  Rutherford would say things like, “the physical facts” “the Scriptures and facts” “indisputable facts” “beyond a doubt” and “distinctly indicated” even when he was not just wrong but indisputably wrong:

“The indisputable facts, therefore, show that the “time of the end” began in 1799; that the Lord’s second presence began in 1874.” — Watchtower 1922 Mar 1 p. 7.

 “The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the Scriptures than 1914.” — The Watchtower, September 1, 1922, p. 262.

“Bible prophecy shows that the Lord was due to appear for the second time in the year 1874. Fulfilled prophecy shows beyond a doubt that he did appear in 1874. Fulfilled prophecy is otherwise designated the physical facts; and these facts are indisputable.Watchtower November 1,  1922, p. 333.

Note the underlined portion: “Fulfilled prophecy” as previously interpreted and as understood by Rutherford, was the same thing as “physical facts” that are indisputable and “beyond a doubt.”

There can be no doubt that Dagon the visible god of the ancient Philistines foreshadowed the Roman Catholic Hierarchy, of which the pope is chief. The Scriptural and the historical evidence fully agree upon this point. …This further supports the conclusion that the Philistines foreshadowed the Roman Catholic Hierarchy. — Riches, 1936, p. 241.

 “The Scriptures and the facts show that the work which the man Elijah the prophet did foreshadows a work done by the faithful servant class under Christ Jesus, and which work ended in A.D. 1918… Jehu came into contact with the prophet Elijah and lived for more than 28 years of the period of the prophet Elisha….Jehovah, during the Elijah period that is from 1878 to 1918, began to prepare a people …brought over into the Elisha period, which began in A.D. 1919. — Riches, 1936, p. 66

So it wasn’t just hyperbole with Rutherford. He defined his accepted understanding of fulfilled prophecy as the same thing as “physical facts” that are indisputable. In effect, if Rutherford believed it, this was the same as “evidence,” and you didn’t dare dispute it. The last quote above from the book “Riches” repeated an idea that Rutherford had been trying to convey in several different ways since Russell died. Russell’s time had been seen as a “Day of Preparation” that was supposed to have prepared the “faithful” to remain loyal to Rutherford’s ideas, just as they had previously remained faithful to Russell’ teachings. Russell was seen as “that faithful and wise servant” of Matthew 24 who had been serving “meat in due season” (“food at the proper time”).

We could go on an on with examples like this from Rutherford.

And what about Lett? It might not be fair to attack the specifics of an unfortunate choice of hyperbole. Apparently, however, it wasn’t really intended as merely hyperbole in Lett’s case, either. He is quite serious in the video. He clearly picked “gravity, electricity and wind” because they are supposedly invisible, just like the invisible kingdom of Christ that started in 1914. There is a strange logic among certain types of non-scientists that invisible things are not real. That it somehow takes “faith” to believe in things invisible to the naked eye. Galileo had a similar problem. Religionists have been heard to speak as if these things are unreal, miraculous or in some sense, “magical.”

It’s hard to know exactly what he meant that evidence was. Possibly he’s so impressed with the growth of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but this is on par with the growth of Mormons (LDS) and Seventh Day Adventists who have similar beginnings. But growth means Jehovah’s blessing (as long it is the growth of Jehovah’s Witnesses). It is likely some combination of a strong belief in the growth of JWs  combined with his own belief that so many other things he believes in makes him feel that the Watch Tower Society and Jehovah’s Witnesses are right.  Therefore all of it combines in his mind to become evidence. If he feels they are right about everything else, then they must be right about this theory about the Kingdom, too.

Similar to Rutherford, if Lett merely believes the interpretation of 1914 to be fulfilled prophecy, then Lett sees it in the same light as indisputable evidence.

But the real problem is that even if it was hyperbole, we couldn’t excuse it. That’s because the purpose of his speech is to imply that there is at least some evidence somewhere for an invisible kingdom that has been ruling for 100 years.  As it turns out, there isn’t any. Every bit of the evidence for 1914 has been shown to be false, mistaken, and in some cases, made up dishonestly.

So the question for Stephen Lett is not, “Where is this evidence that is supposedly greater than the evidence that would make us believe in gravity, electricity or wind?” No, the real question is:

WHERE IS THERE ANY EVIDENCE AT ALL FOR 1914?

 

We could easily expose the inadequacy of any portion of that evidence. And if you look through the site, you’ll see that this has already been done by many others.