Thursday, August 17, 2017

Was Charles Taze Russell Really a Freemason (Video Response)

A video that been presented, which may have been produced by a member (or members) of the Jehovah's Witnesses sect, entitled, "Was Charles Taze Russell 'really' a Freemason?" At any rate, what is presented in the video is more or less favorable towards Brother Russell. The video does show that Russell was not a member of the Freemasons. His life works overwhelming show that he was not in favor of such goals often being attributed the "Illuminati". It is indeed non-sensical to think that Russell spent all those years from approximately 1870 to 1916 promoting a message that is contrary to what many are attributing to Russell.

However, the video presents Brother Russell as the "founder of the Christian denomination of Jehovah's Witnesses." The fact is that Russell was a non-sectarian who did not believe in creating a sect or denomination, nor in creating an authoritarian organization, and definitely not a religious organization such as the "Jehovah's Witnesses". Russell preached against such sectarian authoritarianism throughout the years of his ministry. He also preached against the kind of "Armageddon" message that is preached by that organization. In effect, the scriptural glad tidings of great joy that will be for all the people that was the center of Russell's ministry, is almost the very opposite of the  JWs' "Good News" of great woe that will be for most people that they (and their children) will be eternally destroyed in Armageddon if they do not join the JW organization.

The video states that Russell had an interest in "pyramidology." As far as we can determine, Brother Russell himself never used the word "pyramidology"; of itself it simply means "pyramid study" or "study of a pyramid". This word could certainly be applied to Russell's study of God's Witness in Egypt. The word is often, however, associated with many forms of spiritistic and occult practices often attributed to being related to use of pyramids that Russell did not believe in. Russell's Biblical study of God's Witness in Egypt had nothing at all to do with spiritism, nor did it have anything to do what is commonly called occultism, astrology, pyramid power, etc. Russell's interest was in the Biblical study of God's Witness in Egypt; such study has been referred to as "pyamidology", but that term can be misleading, since many people may associate the term with things that Russell did not believe in. Russell had no general interest in "pyramids" (plural), however. His interest was in one pyramid, the one which bears overwhelming evidence as being God's witness in Egypt. The only interest he appeared to have in other pyramids was to show the difference between them and the one often referred to as "The Great Pyramid."

Rutherford evidently found that the abundance of evidence regarding God's Witness in Egypt would not fit his "organization" goals, so he claimed that all this "evidence" was put there by Satan in order deceive. This claim, in effect, would mean that Satan had knowledge of the Bible before the Bible was written. Rutherford did not actually address the evidence, but rather he disregarded it. Many Bible Students, such as Morton Edgar, have refuted Rutherford's claims.

Russell actually disclaimed being a member of any of man's secret organizations, and he preached against the goals of those organizations. He did, using Masonic terminology, make an analogy so as to speak of being a freemason for Christ.

Russell evidently was under the false impression that all Masons professed to be Christian, and thus he spoke of them in the sense that he spoke of Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc., that is as "friends" and "brethren."

The video mentions the claim may be many that Brother Russell used "Masonic symbols." The Biblical images Russell used were not "Masonic symbols", although some Masons may have made use of similar Biblical imagery. Cross and Crown symbolism has been used by almost all the major denominations of Christendom, without any thought of it having anything at all to do with the Masons' organization. No shape, of itself, is pagan, or idolatrous, although many things in God's creation may be perverted for idolatrous heathen occult practices, etc.

The "TAU" is used throughout the Hebrew in the Old Testament and also in the Greek of the New Testament. Rutherford's call for an alleged non-spirit begotten class of Jehonadabs, did not fit the imagery of the cross and crown, and thus Rutherford made use works by some earlier authors and used his self-proclaimed organizational authority to dissuade further use of the cross and crown symbolism, so as to focus on building an organization with what could be considered, in effect, a ruling class, such as Paul preached against in 1 Corinthians 4:8.

Russell is definitely not buried under any pyramid at all, nor is the pyramid that Bohnet designed and Rutherford authorized to be built on the WTS lot in the Rosemont Cemetery a "Masonic" pyramid. Rutherford, however, authorized Bohnet to build that pyramid replica of God's Witness in Egypt, not in the middle of the Rosemont Cemetery, but in the middle of the lot then owned by the WTS in that cemetery. There are those that claim that Russell's last will and testament stated that he wished for such a monument to be built. This is false, however, but it is true that there is no record in any of Russell's known writings that mentions the building of such a pyramid structure on the WTS lot in the Rosemont Cemetery.

The picture  presented in the video of Russell's gravestone is of that which was apparently replaced several years after his death. Russell himself never claimed to be "the Laodicean Messenger.".