Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Russell's Alleged "All or Nothing" Statements

The Internet is filled with misinformation, misquotes, quotes out of context, quotes twisted to mean other than what is intended, false accusations, insinuations, and outright falsehoods about Charles Taze Russell. One website that quotes various religious leaders under the heading: ALL OR NOTHING STATEMENTS (from those that have "the truth"). Some other sites have the same material: [1][2][3][4] It becomes clear from many of the quotes given that by saying "all or nothing" the editor of the page means that the one being quoted is supposedly claiming that he or she is to be considered the only channel being used by God to communicate with men; by saying "all or nothing", however, it further implies that one has to listen to Russell or receive nothing. Those who are actually acquainted with Russell's works know that he never made such claims.

Click Here to search Russell's writings for the expression "only channel."
CLICK HERE to see what Russell himself said about the "only authority" in the church.
We first present the caption above the quote:
Charles Taze Russell - Founder of Zion's Watchtower Tract Society (today known as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society or Jehovah's Witnesses)
As has been shown many times, Brother Russell was indeed the primary founder of Zion's Watch Tower, but he was never associated with the "Jehovah's Witnesses" organization, nor was he founder of a such an organization. Russell never believed in such an organization all the days of his life. After his death, however, Joseph Rutherford, through deception and legal trickery, did indeed gain control of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, and virtually destroyed it as Russell had created it to be, and then used his new WTS as a basis for forming a new organization, and his followers he later called "Jehovah's Witnesses".

After the above caption, we find the following quote from Brother Russell:
"I said that I had been in conference with the Great Master Workman, the Lord himself, and I have secret information through the Holy Spirit and guidance in respect to what the Bible says..."
This is what Brother Russell said as part of a convention discourse in 1913 with the title "The Temple of God".

This sermon may also be found in a book entitled Pastor's Russell's Convention Discourses, page 359. The words are indeed, his words, and he is not misquoted. However, he is quoted out of context, and what Russell stated is misused to make it appear that he was saying something he never intended. We have reproduced this entire sermon on this website so that all may see what Russell was saying in context: The Temple of God The words were said at a convention that was held in a building that belonged to the Freemasons, and  possibly some of the Freemasons may have been in the audience, but not very likely.

Russell's references to the Freemasons does not show that he had any "inside" knowledge of that organization, that was not commonly known otherwise. It was commonly known that the Masons do have their "secret" rituals, etc, that no one else is supposed to know. Let us quote some of what Russell said in context.
So I am glad to address delegates especially here from the Bay cities, and also including some thirty-five states represented in the excursion party. I am very glad to have this particular opportunity of saying a word about some of the things in which we agree with our Masonic friends, because we are speaking in a building dedicated to Masonry, and we also are Masons. I am a Free Mason. I am a free and accepted Mason, if I may carry the matter to its full length, because that is what our Masonic brethren like to tell us, that they are free and accepted Masons. That is their style of putting it. Now I am a free and accepted Mason. I trust we all are. But not just after the style of our Masonic brethren. We have no quarrel with them. I am not going to say a word against Free Masons. In fact, some of my very dear friends are Masons, and I can appreciate that there are certain very precious truths that are held in part by our Masonic friends. I have talked to them at times, and they have said, How do you know about all of these things? We thought nobody knew anything about these things except those who had access to our very highest logic. I said that I had been in conference with the Great Master Workman, the Lord himself, and I have secret information through the Holy Spirit and guidance in respect to what the Bible says, and that contains all the truth, I believe, on every subject. And so if we talk to our Masonic friends about the Temple and its meaning, and about being good Masons, and about the Great Pyramid, which is the very emblem they use, and what the Great Pyramid signifies, our Masonic friends are astonished. One who had been a Mason a long time recently bought a lot of books that had the Great Pyramid discussed, and sent them to I am sure a thousand Masons. He paid for them and sent them out at his own expense. He wanted the Masons to see something about the Great Pyramid. He knew they were greatly interested in that.
Those who know the Bible should know that there is nothing at all wrong in what Brother Russell said, nor was he claiming that he was a member of the Freemasons' organization. Every true Christian of any denomination or outside of all denominations can say the very same thing. In fact, if one claims to receive the secret things of the Bible from any other source than through Jesus, the holy spirit and the Bible, then such is actually not in accord with what Jesus and his apostles taught.* The quote given on the website, however, taken out of context, and placed in the context as it has been done on the website examined, makes it appear that Brother Russell was saying something other than what he intended. Seen in its proper perspective, we can see that there is nothing at all wrong with what Brother Russell stated, and indeed, this same statement could be said by any true Christian.
Russell, however, unlike Rutherford, never claimed to be a central authority for the Bible Students. He certainly never claimed that one had to accept what he believed and taught or else that they would be eternally destroyed in Armageddon. He believed that Armageddon was to chastise the people of the nations, not eternally destroy them.

What about the phrase "all or nothing"? Surely, we can say that Russell did believe "all" the truth revealed is given by the Lord through the holy spirit in the scriptures. Praise Jehovah! (Hallelujah!) ========== 
*See our study on "Understanding Kingdom Mysteries"

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