Thank you for your comment under my post "Jesus is Jehovah!: Contents." As I briefly responded, I am answering your
[Above (click to enlarge): Some of the "34 mint-condition properties in Brooklyn Heights and Dumbo that the Jehovah's Witnesses spent decades accumulating and now are considering selling as they ponder a headquarters move upstate" which "All told, the portfolio spans 3.2 million square feet-more than the entire Empire State Building-and is worth well over $1 billion." (Amanda Fung, "Hallelujah! Jehovah's Witnesses' land sell-off has Brooklyn dreaming big," Crain's New York Business.com, October 16, 2011). Not bad for a religion that boasts, "we don't pass around the money basket like everyone else" (see below)!]
comment in a (this) separate post. Your words are >bold to distinguish them from mine.
>Jesus said, "The Father is greater than I am."
This is an example of how Jehovah's Witnesses play `Bible ping-pong', that is, "pit one part of Scripture against another part to force the Bible to agree with their [the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society's] doctrine":
"In short, Jehovah's Witnesses pit one part of Scripture against another part to force the Bible to agree with their doctrine. This is one of the most frequent errors of Jehovah's Witness biblical interpretation. John 14:28 is said to rule out the possibility that John 1:1 makes Jesus God, regardless of the particular language used in John 1:1 (and indeed, without careful consideration of the precise language and context of John 14:28). In personal dialogue with Jehovah's Witnesses I have seen this error committed repeatedly. One rather naive Jehovah's Witness even presented me with a list of Scriptures `pro' and `con' on the Trinity, with texts such as John 1:1 listed as `pro' and John 14:28 listed as `con'!" (Bowman, R.M., Jr., 1991, "Understanding Jehovah's Witnesses: Why They Read the Bible the Way They Do," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, p.107. Emphasis original).
The correct approach is the Christian one, which is to accept what the Bible teaches, that is, both:
"A Summary of ... Theos, as a Christological Title In light of this overwhelming amount of evidence for Jesus' full, unabridged deity, it is not at all surprising, as noted, that upon occasion the New Testament writers actually refer to him as ... theos, the title normally reserved for the Father. For example, 1. Exactly one week after Jesus' resurrection, in the presence of the other ten disciples, Thomas worshiped him by his acclamation: `[You are] my Lord and my God' (John 20:28). 2. In his letter to the Romans Paul speaks of him as `over all, the ever-blessed God' (Rom. 9:5). 3. In his letter to Titus Paul speaks of Christ as `our great God and Savior' (Titus 2:13). 4. In his farewell address to the Ephesians elders at Miletus, Paul charged: `Be shepherds of the church of God which he bought with his own blood' (Acts 20:28). 5. In his second letter Peter refers to him as `our God and Savior Jesus Christ' (2 Pet. 1:1). 6. In the Letter to the Hebrews God himself is represented as referring to the Son as `God' (Heb. 1:8). 7. In the first verse of his Gospel John informs us: `In the beginning was the word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,' [Jn 1:1] and then he writes: `And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us' (John 1:24). 8. In John 1:18, the closing verse of his prologue, John writes: `No one has seen God at any time. But his only [Son, himself] God, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.' 9. In 1 John 5:20, John writes: `we are ... in his Son, Jesus Christ. This One is the true God and Eternal Life.' Thus the New Testament intends to teach that Jesus Christ is divine in the same sense that God the Father is divine." (Reymond, R., "A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith," , Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nashville TN, Second edition, 2002, p.311. Emphasis original);
2) Jesus' statement that, "the Father is greater than I":
"You heard me say to you, 'I am going away, and I will come to you.' If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I." (Jn 14:28).
Here are some quotes that explain how Jesus can both be God (i.e. share God the Father's God-nature), and yet the Father was greater than Jesus:
"How can the Father be greater if Jesus is equal to God? The answer is that, as a man, Jesus subordinated himself to the Father and accepted limitations inherent with humanity":
"The second supposed counter-example is found in John 14:28, where Jesus said, `My Father is greater than I' How can the Father be greater if Jesus is equal to God? The answer is that, as a man, Jesus subordinated himself to the Father and accepted limitations inherent with humanity. So, as man the Father was greater. Further, in the economy of salvation, the Father holds a higher office than does the Son. Jesus proceeded from the Father as a prophet who brought God's words and a high priest who interceded for his people. In nature of being as God, Jesus and the Father are equals (John 1:1; 8:58; 10:30). An earthly father is equally human with his son, but holds a higher office. So the Father and Son in the Trinity are equal in essence but different in function. In like manner, we speak of the president of a nation as being greater in dignity of office, but not in character." (Geisler, N.L., 1999, "Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics," Baker Books: Grand Rapids MI, pp.130-131. Emphasis original)."... then Christ could speak of the Father as being `greater than I.' The Son had even become `lower than the angels,' in order to act as the Savior of mankind (Heb. 2:9)":
"John 14:28 `... If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I' (KJV). This is a favorite verse for Jehovah's Witnesses arguing against the deity of Christ. They begin by quoting from the Athanasian Creed: `And in this Trinity none is afore, or after an other; none is greater, or less than another. But the whole three persons are co-eternal, and coequal.' Then they will read Jesus' words about the Father being greater than the Son, rather than `equal,' as that creed says. Don't let JW's lure you into this trap. Remind them that Jesus was speaking at a time when he had done as stated at Philippians 2:6-7: `Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men' (KJV). Naturally, then, Christ could speak of the Father as being `greater than I.' The Son had even become `lower than the angels,' in order to act as the Savior of mankind (Heb. 2:9)." (Reed, D.A., 1986, "Jehovah's Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Thirty-first printing, 2006, pp.79-80).
"When Jesus said, `My Father is greater than I,' [Jn 14:28] `He spoke the truth; for in the form of a servant (Phil 2:7) and as a man, the Son was subject to the Father willingly; but upon His resurrection and in the radiance of His glory (vv. 9-11*), He showed forth His deity when He declared, `All authority is surrendered to me in heaven and in earth' (Mt 28:18) ... [and] that `all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father' (Jn 5:23, KJV)." (Martin, W.R. & Klann, N., 1953, "Jehovah of the Watchtower," Bethany House Publishers: Bloomington MN, Reprinted, 1974, pp.44-45. *Typo corrected).
"Christ ... was `positionally inferior' to His Father ... However, in essence and in glory the Son is equal with the Father":
"The Father greater Christ said, `I go unto the Father, for my Father is greater than I' (John 14:28). Christ here is speaking as a man. We must remember that in the Incarnation our Lord voluntarily limited Himself. While upon earth the Saviour's attributes of Deity were held in abeyance; namely, His omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence. The miracles which Christ performed were done through the power of the Holy Spirit. Christ performed His mighty works not as God (which He ever remained) but as man. Even though the attributes of Deity were not fully used by Christ during His earthly ministry, He was still God manifest in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16). When the Son of God was upon earth, the Father was indeed greater than the Son. However, it is equally as true that when God's Son walked this fallen world, He was even less than Himself! This truth is made abundantly clear when we recall that Christ `took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, HE HUMBLED HIMSELF, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross' (Phil. 2:7). It would be sheer arrogance for a mere creature to say, `THE ETERNAL FATHER IS GREATER THAN I AM.' In what way was the Father greater than the Son? And we might also ask, `In what way was the Son of God even less than Himself?' Christ here is certainly not comparing His own human nature with the Divine nature of the Father. The context clearly reveals that Christ is speaking words of comfort to His disciples. What Christ is comparing here is His present earthly condition with the celestial glory which would soon be His once again [Jn 17:5]. In other words, Christ is saying here that His glorification and return to the Father would enable Him to bestow greater blessing and greater power unto His disciples. `Greater works than these shall he (the believer) do; because I go unto my Father' (John 14:12). Christ said unto His disciples: `If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father; for my Father is greater than I' It is thus clear that while Christ was on earth as a humble servant, He was `positionally inferior' to His Father and for this reason could say: `My father is greater than I' However, in essence and in glory the Son is equal with the Father." (Thomas, F.W., 1972, "Masters of Deception: A Christian Analysis of the Anti-Biblical Teaching of the Jehovah's Witnesses," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Third printing, 1973, pp.16-17. Emphasis original).
"Thus, the Athanasian Creed states that Christ is `equal to the Father as touching his Godhead and inferior to the Father as touching his manhood'":
"Finally, something needs to be said about the question of the submission of the Son to the Father. No trinitarian questions that when Christ was on earth he lived in submission to God the Father. The Father in heaven was exalted while the Son was humble; the Father was greater than Christ (John 14:28). Christ's human nature was not itself divine; the manhood of Christ was created, and therefore Christ as man had to honor the Father as his God. Thus, the Athanasian Creed states that Christ is `equal to the Father as touching his Godhead and inferior to the Father as touching his manhood.' There is no question from a trinitarian perspective that, as man, Christ was in submission to the Father." (Bowman, R.M., Jr., 1989, "Why You Should Believe in the Trinity: An Answer to Jehovah's Witnesses," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Third printing, 1990, pp.14-15).
"Jesus specifically said, `The Father is greater [Gk. meizon] than I' not, `The Father is better [Gk kreitton] than I'. The word `greater' is used to point to the Father's greater position (in heaven), not a greater nature":
"John 14:28-'The Father Is Greater than I' .... The Watchtower Society concludes from this that because Jehovah is the `greater' of the two, Jesus cannot be God Almighty. The fact that Jesus is lesser than Jehovah proves that He cannot be God in the same sense that Jehovah is. ... It is critical to recognize that in John 14:28, Jesus is not speaking about His nature or His essential being (Christ had earlier said, `I and the Father are one' in this regard [John 10:30]), but rather about His lowly position in the incarnation. ... Now, it is important that you emphasize the distinction between the Greek words for greater (meizon) and better (kreitton). Jesus specifically said, `The Father is greater than I' not, `The Father is better than I'. The word `greater' is used to point to the Father's greater position (in heaven), not a greater nature. Had the word `better' been used, however, this would indicate that the Father has a better nature than Jesus. This distinction is made clear in Hebrews 1:4, where `better' is used in regard to Jesus' superiority over the angels. The word `better' in this verse indicates that Jesus is not just higher than the angels positionally; rather, He is higher than the angels in His very nature. Jesus is different (better) in kind and in nature from the angels. This distinction between `greater' and `better' can be illustrated in the president of the United States. The president is in a higher position than the rest of us. Therefore, the president is greater (meizon) than the rest of us. However, he is still just a human being-and thus he is not better (kreitton) than the rest of us. Notice that Jesus never used the word `better' regarding His relationship with the Father, for He is not inferior or lower in nature than the Father. Rather, Jesus used a word ('greater') that points to the Father being higher in position only. During the time of the incarnation, Jesus functioned in the world of humanity, and this necessitated Jesus being lower than the Father positionally." (Rhodes, R., 1993, "Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah's Witnesses", Harvest House: Eugene OR, Reprinted, 2006, pp.146-147. Emphasis original).
"In fact, rightly understood this is a claim of the highest import ... No mere man or angelic being could ever say `God is greater than I'":
"John 14:28. `My Father is greater than I'. This can refer only to the self-imposed limitations of the Son in His incarnation. He has already claimed equality with God (John 5:18), and oneness with Him (John 10:30), but He was not only true God, He was now also true man. In fact, rightly understood this is a claim of the highest import, for only things of the same order of magnitude can be compared. No mere man or angelic being could ever say `God is greater than I', for created and uncreated are of different orders." (Bruce, F.F. & Martin, W.J., 1964, "The Deity of Christ," North of England Evangelical Trust: Manchester UK, p.22. Emphasis original).
>Jehovah God is our almighty God, and Jesus Christ is his son.
First, Jesus is Jehovah, come in the flesh:
"The New Testament writers, convinced that Jesus Christ was God, saw no conflict in ascribing to Jesus Old Testament passages that referred to YHWH (Jehovah)":
"The New Testament writers, convinced that Jesus Christ was God, saw no conflict in ascribing to Jesus Old Testament passages that referred to YHWH (Jehovah). Beginning his Gospel, Mark quoted Isaiah's reference to God: `A voice is calling, `Clear the way for the LORD [Yahweh] in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God' (Isaiah 40:3). Mark interpreted that passage as having its fulfillment in John the Baptist's preparing the way for Jesus (Mark 1:24; compare John 1:23). Paul quoted Joel 2:32, `And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD [Yahweh] will be delivered [saved].' Paul applied that quote to Jesus, writing about Him and saying, `for `Whoever will call upon the name of the LORD will be saved' ` (Romans 10:13). Peter quoted the same verse from Joel. `Every one who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved' (Acts 2:21). Then when the people asked what they had to do to be saved, Peter told them, `Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ ...' (Acts 2:38). Having just stated that calling upon the name of the Lord (Yahweh) was a prerequisite for salvation, Peter tells them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Had Peter not considered Christ God, one would have expected him to tell them to be baptized in the name of Yahweh, which would have been consistent with Jewish practice and belief." (McDowell, J. & Larson, B., "Jesus: A Biblical Defense of his Deity," Here's Life Publishers: San Bernardino CA, 1975, pp.23-24. Emphasis original).
"The New Testament writers show no hesitancy in applying to Christ Old Testament descriptions and privileges that are reserved specifically for Yahweh":
"Old Testament Yahweh Passages Applied to Jesus The New Testament writers show no hesitancy in applying to Christ Old Testament descriptions and privileges that are reserved specifically for Yahweh. For instance, (1) Moses' description of Yahweh as "King of kings" (Deut. 10:17) John applies to Christ (Rev. 17:14; 19:16); (2) the author of Hebrews applies the entirety of Psalm 102:25-27 to him (1:10-12); (3) Proverbs 18:10 provides the background for Peter's assertion in Acts 4:12; (4) Joel's summons to trust in Yahweh (2:32) Paul employs to summon men to faith in Christ (Rom. 10:13); (5) when Isaiah looked upon Yahweh (Isa. 6:1-3), according to John he was beholding the glory of the preincarnate Son of God (John 12:40-41); (6) Isaiah's call to sanctify Yahweh in the heart (8:12-13) Peter applies directly to Christ-he is the one who is to be sanctified as Lord in the heart (1 Pet. 3:14-15); (7) Isaiah's representation of Yahweh as a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall (8:14) Paul applies to Christ (Rom. 9:32-33); (8) Yahweh, whose coming would be preceded by Yahweh's forerunner (Isa. 40:3; Mal. 3:1; 4:5), is equated with Christ (Matt. 3:3; 11:10; Mark 1:2-3; Luke 1:16-17; 3:4; John 1:23); (9) Jesus himself employs Yahweh's words in Isaiah 43:10 and 45:22 to summon men to be his witnesses and to rest in him (Acts 1:8; Matt. 11:28); (10) Isaiah's description of Yahweh as "the first and the last" (44:6) John employs to describe the glorified Christ (Rev. 2:8; 22:12-13); (11) Yahweh, `before whom every knee shall bow and by whom every mouth shall swear (Isa. 45:23), Paul identifies as Christ (Rom. 14:10; Phil. 2:10); and (12) Yahweh, the pierced One upon whom men would look and mourn (Zech. 12:10), John tells us is the Christ (John 19:37)." (Reymond, 2002, pp.311-312. Emphasis original).
Second, Jesus is "almighty God" in that, following His return back to His former place in Heaven, the Father has given Him all power over all things (my emphasis below):
Mt 28:18. And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Eph 1:20-21. that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
Jn 13:3. Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God,
1Cor 15:27. For "God has put all things in subjection under his feet."
Jesus is even called "the Lord God ... who is to come, the Almighty":
Rev 1:7-8. "Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen. "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
The Father was not "pierced" and it is Jesus "who is to come" not the Father. Also, "the Alpha and the Omega" is "the Almighty" but Jesus is "the Alpha and the Omega":
Rev 22:12-13. "Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."
Third, that "Jesus Christ is his [God's] son" means that Jesus shares God the Father's God-nature, just as a human son shares his father's human-nature.
Even the Watchtower's New World Translation correctly translates the first-century Jewish leaders' understanding that Jesus "calling God his own Father" meant that He was "making himself equal to God":
Jn 5:18 NWT. On this account, indeed, the Jews began seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath but he was also calling God his own Father, making himself equal to God.
>J.W'S don't spin the Bible for enhanced eye candy like all the others do,
That "J.W'S ... spin the Bible" to make it conform to Watchtower doctrine was tacitly admitted by the Watchtower itself in its warning that if JWs "read the Bible exclusively" then they will come to believe what Christianity teaches:
"From time to time, there have arisen from among the ranks of Jehovah's people those who ... say that it is sufficient to read the Bible exclusively, either alone or in small groups at home. But, strangely, through such 'Bible reading,' they have reverted right back to the apostate doctrines that commentaries by Christendom's clergy were teaching 100 years ago ..." ("Serving Jehovah `Shoulder to Shoulder'," Watchtower, Aug 15, 1981, pp.28-29, p.29).
>we simply practice our faith according to the true & pure form of Christianity.
If that were the case then you would be called Jesus' witnesses, which is what even the NWT admits Jesus commanded His followers to be:
"You will be witnesses of me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the most distant parts of the earth." (Acts 1:8 NWT).
And if JWism was "the true & pure form of Christianity," the Watchtower Society would not have stated that JWs are "a people, not for the name of Jesus":
"By means of his written Word upon which the light of fulfilled prophecy was shining Jehovah led the remnant to appreciate more the importance and preciousness of his name. They came to appreciate that they were a people, not for the name of Jesus, but for the name of Jehovah ..." ("Of Which God Are You a Witness?" The Watchtower, February 15, 1964, pp.104-111, p.109).
Nor would the Society have reduced in its songbook the number of songs praising Jesus from its 1905 edition where there were "twice as many songs praising Jesus as ... songs praising Jehovah" down to its 1984 songbook, where "Jehovah is honored by four times as many songs as is Jesus":
"In the songbook produced by Jehovah's people in 1905, there were twice as many songs praising Jesus as there were songs praising Jehovah God. In their 1928 songbook, the number of songs extolling Jesus was about the same as the number extolling Jehovah. But in the latest songbook of 1984 [Sing Praises to Jehovah], Jehovah is honored by four times as many songs as is Jesus." (WB&TS, 1988, "Revelation: Its Grand Climax At Hand!," Watchtower Bible & Tract Society: Brooklyn NY, p.36).
And in fact this is overstating it. I have read through that 1984 JW songbook, and there are no songs in it praising Jesus! So according to the Watchtower's own New World Translation, by failing to "honor the Son just as they honor the Father," the Watchtower "does not honor the Father who sent him":
Jn 5:23 NWT. "in order that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He that does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him."
So JWism is not even Christianity, let alone being "the true & pure form of Christianity"!
>Also, we don't pass around the money basket like everyone else.
First, there is nothing wrong with Christian churches in their services passing around a "money basket" to enable those who want to to contribute to the Lord's work. The New Testament records the Apostle Paul directing the churches he founded regarding "the collection for the saints" that "On the first day of every week [Sunday], each of you is to put something aside and store it up":
1Cor 16:1-2. Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.
This became the pattern of Christian giving in the Early Church. Second-century Christian apologist "Justin Martyr indicates (in his Apology, 1. 67-68) that in his time (c. A.D. 150) offerings were brought to the church on Sundays":
"[1Cor ] 16:1 Now about Again an answer to one of the questions of the Corinthians (cf. 7:1; 8:1; 12:1). God's people. His people at Jerusalem (cf. v. 3; Ro 15:26). Galatian churches. The fact that the Galatian and Macedonian churches (2Co 8:1; 9:1-4) are involved, along with the Corinthians, indicates that the collection of this offering was quite widespread. The Jerusalem saints may have become poverty-stricken because of the famine recorded in Ac 11:28 (c. A.D. 44 or 46), or because of the persecution of Jerusalem Christians (cf. Ac 8:1). 16:2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside. Every Sunday each person was to bring what he had set aside for the Lord's work-an amount proportionate to his income. Since it was to be brought on Sunday, the new day for worship (cf. Ac 20:7; Rev 1:10), probably it was collected at the worship service, not at home. Justin Martyr indicates (in his Apology, 1. 67-68) that in his time (c. A.D. 150) offerings were brought to the church on Sundays." (Barker, K., et al., eds., 1985, "The NIV Study Bible," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, p.1758).
To the same church in Corinth, Paul laid down some principles of ongoing Christian giving in a church context, including it should be "a willing gift, not as an exaction" (or as the KJV put it "give; not grudgingly, or of necessity") "for God loves a cheerful giver":
2Cor 9:5-7. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for the gift you have promised, so that it may be ready as a willing gift, not as an exaction. The point is this:whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Second, see above Crain's New York Business.com article that the Watchtower's Brooklyn buildings alone are "worth well over $1 billion." Clearly they were paid for by the forced `donations' and `slave labour' of millions of individual JWs.
A commenter to that article answers your boast above that the "Jehovah's Witness religion makes a big deal about it not 'taking collection plates' at assemblies or Kingdom Hall meetings":
"This Jehovah's Witness religion makes a big deal about it not 'taking collection plates' at assemblies or Kingdom Hall meetings. Yet they encourage brainwashed elderly people to leave their estates to its financial holdings and they `guilt goad guilt trip' everyone who is a member to do everything for the corporation for free. A collection plate is nickles and dimes compared to the charitable giving article they publish in the Watchtower suggesting that members donate their estate, jewelry, stocks and investments to the corporation. See the Watchtower of November 2007 and it will show that this is true. Go to a JW convention and see they have `contribution' boxes at every egress.Why settle for some meager chump change in a plate when you can go after the big bucks of an estate? What a religious racket!"
The reference above to "the Watchtower of November 2007" presumably includes the following from that issue, which outlines "Ways ... to give contributions" to the Watchtower Society, including "amount[s] ... place[d] in the contribution boxes," "donations of money sent directly to Watch Tower," "Jewelry or other valuables," the WB&TS "named as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or a retirement/pension plan," "Bank accounts ... made payable on death to" the WB&TS, donations to the WB&TS of " Stocks and bonds," "Salable real estate," "A gift annuity" and "Property or money ... bequeathed to" the WB&TS:
"WAYS IN WHICH SOME CHOOSE TO GIVE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE WORLDWIDE WORK Many set aside, or budget, an amount that they place in the contribution boxes labeled `Contributions for the Worldwide Work-Matthew 24:14.' Each month, congregations forward these amounts to the office of Jehovah's Witnesses that serves their respective countries. Voluntary donations of money may also be sent directly to Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Attention Treasurer's Office, 25 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, New York 11201-2483, or to the branch office of Jehovah's Witnesses that serves your country. Checks sent to the above address should be made payable to `Watch Tower.' Jewelry or other valuables may be donated as well. A brief letter stating that such items are an outright gift should accompany these contributions. CONDITIONAL-DONATION TRUST ARRANGEMENT Money may be placed in trust with Watch Tower for use worldwide. However, upon request the funds will be returned. For more information, please contact the Treasurer's Office at the address noted above. CHARITABLE PLANNING In addition to outright gifts of money, there are other methods of giving to benefit Kingdom service worldwide. These include: Insurance: Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania may be named as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or a retirement/pension plan. Bank Accounts: Bank accounts, certificates of deposit, or individual retirement accounts may be placed in trust for or made payable on death to Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, in accord with local bank requirements. Stocks and Bonds: Stocks and bonds may be donated to Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania as an outright gift. Real Estate: Salable real estate may be donated either by making an outright gift or, in the case of residential property, by reserving a life estate to the donor, who can continue to live therein during his or her lifetime. Contact the branch office in your country before deeding any real estate. Gift Annuity: A gift annuity is an arrangement whereby one transfers money or securities to a designated corporation that is used by Jehovah's Witnesses. In exchange, the donor, or someone designated by the donor, receives a specified annuity payment every year for life. The donor receives an income-tax deduction for the year in which the gift annuity is established. Wills and Trusts: Property or money may be bequeathed to Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania by means of a legally executed will, or Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania may be named as beneficiary of a trust agreement. A trust benefiting a religious organization may provide certain tax advantages." ("The Silver Is Mine, and the Gold Is Mine," The Watchtower, November 1, 2007, pp. 20-21. Emphasis original).
What HYPOCRISY ! The Watchtower Society (and JWs like you) criticise Christian churches for their Biblical financing of their Lord's work by taking up a freewill offering during the Sunday church service. Yet the Society has its "contribution boxes" which amounts to the same thing (I have even been in a Christian church which uses the same method in lieu of a collection). But in addition to its multi-million dollar book-publishing business using `slave labour', the Watchtower Society has many other ways (see above) of sucking money out of its impoverished and enslaved members, which has enabled it to build its multi-billion-dollar empire!