Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Watchtower Symbols Similar to Freemasons

A video has been posted, which, although directed towards the Jehovah's Witnesses, contains may insinuations concerning Charles Taze Russell. I give my responses below to that video: I will first state that I am not with the JWs, nor do I support that organization. Being a Bible Student, however, I do have an interest in how Brother Russell is depicted, and I am thus presenting my own responses to statments and scenes presented in the video.

The picture displayed is NOT actually Charles Taze Russell's "pyramid", but rather it is the drawing of J. A. Bohnet which he presented to Joseph Rutherford a few years after Russell died. It was claimed that Brother Russell had authorized the construction of this pyramid in the lots owned by the Watch Tower Society in the United Rosemont Cemetery. However, in all the writings of Brother Russell, I have found no such authorization, nor has any such authorization by Russell ever been produced.

At any rate, the pyramid that was constructed in the Rosemont Cemetery is actually that of Joseph Rutherford, since he is the one who authorized that it be built. The pyramid monument is a replica of the God's witness in Egypt, generally referred to as the "Great Pyramid", and was built to honor that "witness" in Egypt. Spaces were left for many names to be inscribed on that monument; few were inscribed, however, since a very few years later Rutherford rejected the Great Pyramid as being God's witness in Egypt.

Nevertheless, the fact that the Knights Templar used any "symbols" similar to that which Russell used does not mean that Russell used such symbolism to represent anything related to the Knights Templar or the Masons. Brother Russell used symbolism to represent many various scriptural truths, not to give support to the Knight Templar or the Freemasons. The Knights Templar claim to be Christian, and thus much of their symbolism also reflects Biblical symbolism.

Some years ago, I went into a Christian book store, and saw that they were selling a cross and crown pin very similar to that used by Brother Russell and the Bible Students. Various cross and crown symbolism has been used by almost all the major denominations of Christendom. Brother Russell's usage of a cross and crown is based on the Bible, not the Freemasons. I do not know of any time that Brother Russell used the "exact same symbol" as shown of a Knights Templar pin (1:25).

Again, Brother Russell used a similar "lamp" (1:42) to represent the lamp of Psalm 119:105. His symbol, although similar, was not exactly the same as that of the Knights Templar. Brother Russell's usage of such a symbol is based on the Bible, not the Freemasons.

Likewise, Russell's Watch Tower symbolism is based on the Bible, not the Freemasons, and his usage of the "armor of God" symbolism is based on the Bible, not the Freemasons or anyone else who may have used any similar illustration.

While I am not with the JWs (nor was Charles Taze Russell), in all fairness, to my understanding, the JWs purchased the Stanley Theatre which already had the symbolism in it before they purchased it. Of course, symbolism can mean different things to different people; such symbolism, of itself, is not necessarily "pagan"; otherwise one would have to claim the Bible itself is "pagan", nor does usage of any symbol, of itself, represent "idol worship".

It would be silly to think that any and every floor that is checkered in design must be a "Masonic symbol."

Since the symbolism of Jehovah's eye is used in the Bible, then if one is to find fault with the usage of such, and if one is consistent, one should fault the Bible for using such symbolism. -- Psalm 33:18; see also Deuteronomy 11:12; 2 Chronicles 7:16; 16:9; Psalms 11:4; 32:8; 34:15; 94:9; Proverbs 5:21; 15:3; 22:12; Ezekiel 7:4,9; Amos 9:8; Zechariah 2:8.

There is nothing at all wrong with Jehovah's "witness" in Egypt (Isaiah 19:19,20), known generally as the "Great Pyramid", nor is there anything wrong of providing an illustration of the pyramid passages and one's beliefs concerning what they symbolize, in agreement with the Bible.

A picture is presented of Paul preaching to the Athenians (9:13) and the focus is placed on an "owl" in that picture. I do not know who drew the picture, but Brother Russell stated that the pictures came from many different sources. Nevertheless, the picture of an "owl" is not out of place in Athens, as this was a common symbol used especially throughout the city of Athens to represent the goddess Athena. Whoever drew the picture probably had this in mind, as related to the worship of many idol gods. -- Acts 17:16,22,23.

Most of the above I have discussed in more detail with documentation on my website:
http://ctr-rlbible.com/

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