Transcript of OnionUnlimited podcast episode 067
HELLO AND WELCOME TO EPISODE 67 OF ONIONUNLIMITED—THE PODCAST. I’m your host, Daniel Torridon. Okay, so there has been some excitement in the ex-JW Twitter community today regarding what one of the speakers at this year’s convention said on the subject of righteousness and specifically the anointed being “declared righteous for life”.
So, the awesome Jake Vaughn @altworldly did a superb live stream on the subject and I shall be referencing this in just a moment. One thing I would like to say at the outset is that I’m not criticising Jake or his guests. He always does a great job at highlighting the Watch Tower for the cult it is and I always enjoy his videos, but, and here’s the “but” (sorry Jake!) the idea of this being “new light” is—what can I say? I’m not sure it is new. In fact, I’m certain it’s not new. This is old light, just repackaged to a new audience, and it’s one of those [one of those] things—what did we use to call it?—a spiritual “gem” that not many Witnesses know about, so I can understand why some would think it is “new light”, but it’s not as I will try to explain.
So, Jake introduced the idea of the anointed being “declared righteous for life” at minute 59:00 of his live stream. There’ll be a link to Jake’s full live stream in the description of this video and podcast.
So, Jake said, and I quote, “I actually kind of think that there’s new light, a little bit, in this,” and then he played the convention video of David Schafer, governing body helper, saying the following:
“And all your people will be righteous. They will possess the land forever.” That’s a quote from Isaiah 60:21. Note he uses the term “righteous” there. Not “righteous for life”, just “righteous.” After reading down to verse 22 he continues, “Yes, prospective members of the great crowd have been declared righteous as friends of God as Abraham was. In Jehovah’s eyes, they are as it says in Revelation chapter 7 and verse 9 ‘dressed in white robes.’ Today they’re serving alongside God’s spirit anointed ones who are declared righteous for life.”
Okay, so a few things to pick up on here. Referring to those who will “possess the land forever”, the great crowd, these ones are said to be “declared righteous as friends of God” like Abraham, whereas the anointed, he says, are “declared righteous for life.” So a clear distinction is being made between those with an earthly hope being “declared righteous” and those of the anointed being “declared righteous for life”. So I can see why Jake and his guests and quite a few others on Twitter would think this was “new light”, but as I’m going to try to explain, it really isn’t. This has been around for quite some time but I think it’s probably just been buried for a while and David Schafer was just kind of resurrecting this idea for a new audience.
Jake went on to say in his live stream, “This was subtle, but what he said was, first of all, prospective members of the great crowd. Now that’s very clever because you are not a member of the great crowd. You are a prospective member because you could mess it up at any point. You could screw up, due to sin,” Jake said, “get disfellowshiped, and guess what? You’re no longer a member of the great crowd. Whereas anointed are declared righteous for life.”
Alicia—hello Alicia!—one of Jake’s guests, replied, “I’ve never heard that before,” and Jake agreed saying, “I’ve always heard the opposite, that you could lose your anointed calling.”
Then Jake’s other guest—Lil I think—said, “Yeah, that’s something I heard too, yeah. Your status in the great crowd was just the great crowd and it was rather obvious that, you know, if somebody gets disfellowshipped then, you know, they’re no longer in God’s favour—not that they’re supposed to be potential members of the great crowd, like we’re not even worthy of that! That’s just a whole new level!”
And Alicia concurred by saying, “That’s such a good point. I didn’t even pick up on… but… you’re right… that is what he meant… he did mean that everyone is just a prospective member. You’re never guaranteed.”
Okay, so let’s break this down. Yes, David Schafer, possibly the most boring speaker I have ever heard did, indeed, call those with the earthly hope “prospective members of the great crowd” and there’s nothing really new about this. For those with an earthly hope, Watch Tower has two terms: 1) “other sheep” and 2) “great crowd”. There is nothing particularly “prospective” about the first term. If your hope is earthly as opposed to heavenly you are, right now, one of the “other sheep”, on account of the fact you’re not one of the “little flock” with a heavenly hope—but what about the other term, “great crowd”?
The reason David Schafer refers to the great crowd’s status as “prospective” is that technically, the “great crowd” are those that “come out of the great tribulation” (Revelation 7:9, 14) and of course, that hasn’t happened yet. So “other sheep” is an expression that applies now, whereas technically speaking “great crowd” is a future group. You could be one of the “other sheep” now, but through unfaithfulness, you could fail to make it through the great tribulation. So, if we’re being precise, we never actually made it into the “great crowd” group. This is why David Schafer says “prospective members of the great crowd”. He’s basically just being technical. Having said that, Jehovah’s Witnesses and even The Watchtower, often use the expression “great crowd” to refer to “other sheep” living now. Everyone knows who they mean—those with an earthly hope—but it is just that, only a hope. It’s not guaranteed yet.
The Watchtower April 15th, 1995 p. 31 carried a Question[s] From Readers article on this distinction between present-day and past-day “other sheep” and the future “great crowd”. The question was, “Technically speaking, is there a difference between the Biblical terms ‘other sheep’ and ‘great crowd’?” The answer: “Yes, though we should not be unduly sensitive about word usage or be upset if someone uses the terms interchangeably.” It continues, “After speaking about sheep such as his apostles whom he would call to life in heaven, Jesus added in John 10 verse 16: ‘I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; those also I must bring.’”
The article continues: “Jehovah’s Witnesses have long recognized that in this verse Jesus was speaking of people having the prospect of life on earth. Many faithful ones in pre-Christian times, such as Abraham [he was mentioned earlier], Sarah, Noah, and Malachi, had such prospects. So we can rightly include them as part of the ‘other sheep’ of John 10:16… We also know that since the general call of the heavenly class ended [in 1935—that’s “old light” by the way], millions have become true Christians. These too are rightly termed ‘other sheep,’ since they are not part of the ‘little flock.’ Rather, the other sheep today look forward to living right on into an earthly paradise. Now, what can be said about the identity of the ‘great crowd’ mentioned at Revelation 7:9? Well, look at Revelation 7 verse 13 and the question, ‘Who are they and where did they come from?’ We find the answer at Revelation 7:14: ‘These are the ones that come out of the great tribulation.’ So the ‘great crowd’ is composed of those who come out of, or survive, the great tribulation. Understandably, though, for these to survive the approaching great tribulation, they must earlier have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb, becoming true worshipers. Hence, though Revelation 7:9 is describing this crowd after the tribulation, we may apply the term ‘great crowd’ to all with earthly hopes who are rendering Jehovah sacred service now, just before the great tribulation breaks out…”
Very long-winded article this! It concludes: “In summary, we might remember ‘other sheep’ as the broader term, encompassing all of God’s servants having the hope of living forever on earth. It includes the more limited category of sheeplike ones today who are being gathered as a ‘great crowd’ with the hope of living right through the impending great tribulation. Most of those loyal Christians alive today are of the ‘other sheep,’ and they are [or technically will be] part of the ‘great crowd’ as well. It is worth repeating that, fine as it is to be clear on these specifics, there is no need for any Christian to be overly word conscious—what might be called word critical. Paul warned about some who were ‘puffed up with pride’ and involved in ‘debates about words…’ If we personally recognize certain distinctions between terms, fine. Yet, we need not, either outwardly or inwardly, be critical of another who may not use Biblical terms quite as precisely.”
Phew! So that was The Watchtower April 15th, 1995 p. 31 telling us that technically speaking the “great crowd” are those that survive the great tribulation. So David Schafer was just being technical when he referred to those with an earthly hope being “prospective members of the great crowd”. It’s nothing new. It’s always been that way, certainly since 1995 when that Watchtower was published.
Okay, so let’s return to Jake’s live stream. Shifting to those with a heavenly hope now, Jake said, “I’ve always heard the opposite, that you could lose your anointed calling.” Then a bit later Lil said, “Isn’t this like what they normally do before they will release, like… new light? Like, they will casually throw some stuff in different talks to make sure this is, like, stuff people are kind of prepped for already, and then they will give an official announcement about it. So it kind of makes me wonder if this will be something that gets touched on at this year’s annual meeting.”
Jake then dropped in with, “And now it’s you’re anointed for life,” and Lil concurred saying, “They have an angle. I know they do. I just don’t know where it’s going.”
Okay. Where do I start unpacking this? Yes, David Schafer is definitely slipping in one of those aforementioned “spiritual gems” here. Let’s just recap what he said: “… prospective members of the great crowd have been declared righteous as friends of God as Abraham was… Today they’re serving alongside God’s spirit anointed ones who are declared righteous for life”—with the emphasis on “for life”.
So, two groups of people with, seemingly, two “levels” of assigned righteousness. The “great crowd”—or prospective members of the great crowd if I want to “debate about words” are, what was it?—”righteous as friends of God” and the “anointed” who are “declared righteous for life.” Now, I agree, on face value, it looks like David Schafer has just made a shocking “new light” statement about the anointed, that they are “righteous for life” meaning… what exactly? What does “for life” mean? To any normal person if you have something “for life” it usually means “forever”, so I can see why some in the ex-JW community are thinking this is “new light”, and maybe even some Witnesses that listened to that talk were thinking, “This is new light.”
In the past, we’ve been reminded that even the “status” of being anointed is only provisional. Even the Bible states this in Revelation 17:14—the anointed who get to fight with Jesus at Armageddon are referred to as having not just been “called and chosen” but also as having remained “faithful.”
The Watchtower January 2016 p. 19 raised the question: “Does the Christian who receives this token [of being spirit anointed] have a guaranteed future in heaven?”—and the answer? “No. That person is sure of his invitation.” Being anointed is just an invitation. “But whether he finally receives his reward in heaven or not,” the article continues, “depends on his proving faithful to his calling. Peter explained it this way: ‘Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and choosing sure for yourselves, for if you keep on doing these things, you will by no means ever fail. In fact, in this way you will be richly granted entrance into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.’”—that from 2 Peter 1:10, 11. The Watchtower January 2016 continues, “Each anointed Christian must, therefore, struggle to remain faithful. If he does not, his heavenly calling, or invitation, will be of no value to him.”
There we go. So anointed ones, according to Watch Tower theology, are no more guaranteed their future hope than the “prospective members of the great crowd”. So, what’s this idea David Schafer is introducing of being “declared righteous for life”—for life? Is this new? What’s that all about? Is he saying the idea of one’s anointing being only an “invitation” has now been revoked? Are the anointed now guaranteed life? Is that what he’s saying? No, and I can’t express this enough. David Schafer is not giving us any “new light” on the subject.
“Being declared righteous for life” is actually a Bible term applied to anointed Christians. It can be found in Romans 5:18. This verse links the “one act of justification”, that is Jesus’ ransom sacrifice, to “men of all sorts… being declared righteous for life.” There it is in scripture—”righteous for life”. This is not a David Schafer special. This is something that’s always been in the Scriptures. Interestingly, it says, “men of all sorts”. The King James translation reads “all men”, but Watch Tower calls on verse 17 which refers to those who “rule as kings”. So they apply this term—“righteous for life”—to just the anointed, not the great crowd. I get it, Romans chapters 5 through 8 are very clearly talking about anointed Christians with a heavenly hope. Are there any different type of Christians?
There’s no mention of any “other sheep” or “great crowd” in this section of Romans, or people with earthly hopes. Nevertheless, Romans 5:1, does refer to the anointed using just the term “declared righteous” without the suffix “for life” that later appears in verse 18. So Watch Tower really hones in on that expression “for life” in verse 18. The “great crowd”, or technically the “other sheep”, who hope to be members of the great crowd are “declared righteous as God’s friends”, while the anointed are not only “declared righteous” but “declared righteous for life.” What’s going on? Why the differences in the phrases? What does it all mean?
Well, the clue is in what David Schafer said about the righteousness of the prospective members of the great crowd. Remember, he said they are “declared righteous as friends of God” like Abraham. The key to understanding this is in the word “friends”. The anointed are “born again of the spirit”. They are “spirit-begotten” with Jehovah as their “father”. They are referred to as God’s “sons” even now while humans on earth, but those of the “other sheep” aren’t viewed like this. They are not “sons of God”, they are “friends of God”, like Abraham. This, of course, is being pulled from James 2:23 which reads, “[Abraham] came to be called Jehovah’s friend”, but not “son” notice. No, “sonship” is for those with a heavenly hope on account of them symbolically “dying” to their present earthly life and being “born again of the spirit.” Sonship—sonship—is a requirement for the anointed, but not for the great crowd, at least not just yet. Bear with me as I try to explain.
If this sounds complicated, just take this much on board—the idea of the anointed being “declared righteous for life” is a) not new and b) not what it sounds like. It doesn’t mean one of the anointed can’t sin and it certainly doesn’t mean they can’t lose their anointing. Watch Tower has always acknowledged this as a possibility and they still do. “For life” isn’t what it sounds like. To fully understand Jehovah’s Witnesses’ take on this it would be helpful to read The Watchtower December 1st, 1985 pp. 8-11 , an article entitled Declared Righteous “for Life” with the theme scripture being Romans 5:18 which reads: “Through one act of justification the result… is a declaring of them [the anointed] righteous for life.”
Okay, so this article poses a question concerning God’s anointed “sons” while on earth. It says: “The question thus arises as to how the holy and righteous God Jehovah could have dealings with unrighteous sinners [referring there to the anointed as unrighteous sinners]. How could he [God], while remaining faithful to his exalted standards of righteousness, choose from among sinners those who are to share in the righteous governmental ‘new heavens’ and accept as his friends those who will be a part of the righteous ‘new earth”?” See the two groups there again—the “new heavens” (the anointed) and the “new earth” (the great crowd, other sheep)?—and the question, “How [can a] holy and righteous God Jehovah… have dealings with unrighteous sinners”, anointed or otherwise?
The answer is in the next subheading entitled, A Merciful Credit Arrangement. Okay, remember the expressions applied to the two groups—those with an earthly hope aren’t “righteous”—it doesn’t say they’re righteous. It merely says that they are “declared righteous” at this time, and likewise, those with a heavenly hope aren’t actually “righteous for life”, they are simply “declared righteous for life”. Essentially, righteousness, or righteousness for life, is credited to—what did it say?—“unrighteous sinners”. Why? In order for God who is “holy and righteous” to be able to have “dealings” with us without compromising his “exalted standards of righteousness.” If all that sounds very legalistic, you’re not wrong. Watch Tower has always made a big deal about the legal, transactional way that God goes about his dealings with unrighteous humans.
The article continues: “How could Jehovah provide relief for fallen mankind without compromising his own standards of righteousness?” Then, under a new heading, Counted Righteous—How and Why? it makes these observations: “… for what impelling reason do Christians who are ‘called to be holy ones’ [that is, anointed] need to be declared righteous? This is where the second aspect of justification comes into account, namely, God’s declaring a person worthy of life as His perfect human son. Due to the role they are called upon to play in the righteous ‘new heavens,’ the 144,000 must renounce and sacrifice forever any hope of life everlasting on earth… In this sense they die a sacrificial death. They ‘submit themselves to a death like Christ’s.’”—with a citation to Philippians 3:8-11.
Okay, so lets unravel this. The anointed are, legally speaking according to Scripture, considered “dead”. I made an entire podcast about this symbolic “death”—I think it was episode 66 entitled The Serpent Awakens— based on Romans 6:2-7 about how an anointed Christian is “baptised into Christ’s death”. I’ll leave a link in the description if you want to check one that out.
The Watchtower article continues: “Now, in line with the principle set forth in the Mosaic Law, any sacrifice presented to Jehovah must be without defect… The 144,000 ‘holy ones’ are spoken of as ‘righteous ones who have been made perfect.” That’s from Hebrews 12:23. Note that point—the anointed, even while on earth as actual unrighteous sinners, as we established before, they are considered to not only be “righteous” on account of God crediting them with righteousness but also, notice, “perfect”. This is while still being alive on earth as unrighteous sinners. They are credited with righteousness for life and perfection even before gaining actual perfection.
My grandad, Robert, was anointed. He made the mistake of quoting Hebrews 12:23 to members of his congregation in the 1950s. Basically, he told everyone he was “perfect” already without clarifying that this was only an accredited perfection for the sole express purpose of God having dealings with him as an unrighteous sinner. Needless to say, that did not go down well in his congregation and he made a lot of enemies!
Carrying on, The Watchtower says: “While still living in the flesh, these ‘righteous ones’ [in inverted commas because they’re not really righteous, these ‘righteous ones’] undergo a symbolic death. The apostle Paul explains: ‘Seeing that we died with reference to sin, how shall we keep on living any longer in it? Or do you not know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we were buried with him through our baptism into his death, in order that, just as Christ was raised up from the dead through the glory of the Father, we also should likewise walk in a newness of life… because we know that our old personality was impaled with him, that our sinful body might be made inactive, that we should no longer go on being slaves to sin… [and here’s the clincher] For he who has died has been acquitted from his sin.’” That’s from Romans 6:2-7.
So there’s this idea of an anointed person by virtue of their rebirth—their being “born again”—there’s this idea that anointed persons, even while alive on earth, are baptised into a kind of death, the death of Jesus. That symbolic “death” is what Romans 6:7 refers to when it says, “For he who has died has been acquitted from his sin.” A bit later in Romans 6 it says that “the wages sin pays is death” and that verse is often inaccurately applied to the idea that ones that die—literally die—are acquitted from their sins and therefore deserve a resurrection into paradise. In context, Romans 6 is not talking about earthly hopes or paradise or dying literally. It’s talking about a symbolic death that anointed Christians undergo into Christ in order that they’re no longer viewed by God as imperfect humans. God can actually view them as his born again sons, perfect spirit sons even while they’re still entrapped in this earthly, fleshly, sinful body.
The Watchtower continues: “During their human life, the 144,000 ‘holy ones,’ of whom only a small remnant remain on earth in this time of the end, [although it seems like there’s more being added to that number by the day—these ‘holy ones’, it says] ‘die with reference to sin,’” and then it says, “After their symbolic death [symbolic death—so while still alive], those ‘called to be holy ones’ are raised up to ‘a newness of life.’” Then it says: “Having declared them righteous, Jehovah is in a position to beget them by his spirit to be his spiritual ‘children.’ They are ‘born again’ and adopted as ‘God’s sons.’” [A] couple of quotes there from John 3:3 and Romans 8:9-16.
Commenting on anointed ones still being sinful, however, while alive in the flesh, The Watchtower continues: “While yet on earth, these anointed Christians, although declared righteous [or even righteous for life], still have to fight their sinful tendencies… They need Christ’s blood to cleanse them from their daily sins of imperfection… When they remain faithful until the end of their earthly lives, they literally die and are resurrected ‘to an incorruptible and undefiled and unfading inheritance’ as part of the righteous ‘new heavens.’”
So, Watch Tower has always taught the anointed are “declared righteous for life” as opposed to the great crowd being merely “declared righteous”. “Righteous for life” is an expression that appears in Scripture. It just means the anointed are credited with not only righteousness, like the other sheep are, but also sinlessness, perfection—even now—on account of their ‘death into Christ’. So their righteousness is “for life”. It pertains to life and it just means that God can have dealings with them now without compromising his legal standards, I guess, of holiness and justice.
So David Scafer isn’t dispensing “new light”. There’s no big overturn in Watch Tower thinking here. They’re not saying that anointed ones are guaranteed anything, or that the likes of Raymond Franz who they disfellowshipped for apostasy was anointed “for life”. There’s no discrepancy there. The phrase “for life” doesn’t mean forever. It means, I suppose you could say, “for the purpose[s] of life”—life in heaven, in the future, if they are faithful to their calling and choosing as anointed ones. That’s all it means.
Now, there’s been some discussion on Twitter about this. Mighty Mouse @JillianLeeAdams, Jillian—hello!—you commented: “Cant be – i knew a ‘replacement’ annointed for one who had sinned. Where does that leave her? Plus thats akin to infallibility and not free will”. Exactly, Jillian! Watch Tower has always taught that those “declared righteous for life” can sin the unforgivable sin, sin against the spirit, and be replaced by another anointed one. For a long time any new, young anointed ones were viewed as replacements for older anointed ones who had fallen into apostasy.
This idea was changed in a 2007 Question[s] From Readers which asked: “When does the calling of Christians to a heavenly hope cease?” This is where the governing body introduced—and that was “new light”—that the heavenly calling was still ongoing, not that it had ended in 1935 as had been previously thought and, of course, this opened the way for younger anointed ones to join the governing body without being thought of as mentally ill or even apostate as I was when I started partaking at the age of 34.
Also on Twitter, The Falling Tower @exjwteeno commented: “Interesting. When I heard that, I didn’t interpret that to mean ‘for life’ as in a status that can’t be taken away prior to resurrection.”
“For life” doesn’t mean it can’t be taken away. “For life” doesn’t mean “for life” as in “forever”. Watch Tower has a whole different understanding of words!
Jonty R @9ebf3ebb238f41f on Twitter says, “Isn’t that once saved, always saved?” Yes, I suppose it would be if it were true, but Watch Tower isn’t going over to an OSAS model anytime soon I don’t think.
And regarding Ray Franz, Raymond Franz, one-time member of the governing body and anointed, Lois MacNeill @lololololois—good Twitter name!—observed: “My guess is they would say [Ray Franz] was mentally ill and not truly anointed.” That’s one option I suppose. Personally, I think they will have opted for the idea that he was anointed, but he became unfaithful so that God had no choice but to remove his anointing and give it to someone else. Lovely man, Raymond Franz. Fantastic book, Crisis of Conscience and In Search of Christian Freedom which was the sequel.
Also on Twitter, My Info—I think this is @ianohlander—hello Ian!—says, “This isnt new.” Exactly. “The anointed are declared righteous for life as Sons.” That’s it! The great cloud—great cloud?—great crowd! “are declared righteous as FRIENDS,” and then he references that Watchtower 1985 December 1st. He signs it off “one flock, my ass.” Very good Ian, that’s exactly it!
So essentially, what Watch Tower is saying is the anointed need to be “declared righteous for life”, righteous to a special degree, a superlative degree, to be a spirit-begotten “son of God”, but this level of righteousness is not needed for the great crowd, at least not at this time. That’s what Watch Tower teaches.
It is effectively this idea of two groups again. It’s the anointed that God is dealing with now, not the other sheep—they just support the anointed. The anointed are the prospective heavenly government, the brothers of Christ. They are the ones that are accredited with this high level of righteousness now based on their symbolic “death into Christ” and “death toward sin”, while absolute righteousness—total, real sinlessness, perfection—only comes at their actual death and resurrection to heaven. Meanwhile, the poor great crowd have to wait for 1000 years before being “declared righteous for life” as God’s “children”. Remember Romans 8:19-21 which we used to read a lot when we were Witnesses? It said: “For the creation [those with an earthly hope] is waiting with eager expectation for the revealing of the sons of God [the anointed]… that the creation itself will also be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God”. So that, according to Watch Tower, occurs at the end of the 1000 year reign of Christ.
So, yes, no new light there I’m afraid.
Now, while discussing the subject of anointed ones becoming unfaithful and losing their “status”, if you can call it that, I have a very interesting letter I want to share with you. This is a reply to some questions my dad asked Watch Tower in 1966:
So, yeah, this discussion, on Jake’s YouTube live stream and also on Twitter —it’s [it’s] just reminded me that there are so many levels of understanding among Witnesses and ex-Witnesses. Some things which appear to be “new light” are actually not new at all. If you’re an old codger like me who’s been around for God knows how many years in the organisation, these are ideas that have been around for a long time and sometimes they just fall out of general usage. In recent years a lot of the teachings about being anointed and how it works, they all but disappeared, but now the governing body—who claim to be anointed—are front and centre. Now we get to hear things that can sometimes seem a bit odd, things like governing body members speaking of Jesus as their “big brother” or governing body helpers talking about being “righteous for life”, but it’s really nothing unusual. These are all things I spoke about for years, certainly as an anointed Jehovah’s Witness. I would [I would] often get ones come up to me and pick me up for speaking something strange, but then I’d flip to a Watchtower article, usually quite an old one, and say, “Look, that’s [that’s] what we believe!” It’s funny, the [the] Watch Tower beliefs are so complicated, and they change so often, a lot of the time Witnesses don’t actually know anymore what’s current light, new light, or old light. Such is Truth, I guess!
Anyway, if you’re wondering where I stand on the whole anointed thing now. Yes, I did identify as anointed in 2004 at the age of 34 which was quite young at the time, and it was prior to the Watchtower changing the idea about 1935 so I got quite a lot of stick for that in 2004. Well, [I got] I ended up getting disfellowshipped as an apostate. Nevertheless, I partook of the emblems from 2004 all the way up to 2020 despite being disfellowshipped for 3 years [from 2006 to 2009] and I was fully subscribed to being “born again”—a spirit-begotten “son of God”. I tried to fit in with the Witness version [of] being “anointed”, but I actually found I had more in common with actual “born again” Christians than Witnesses, which was always a problem, and of course, I was disfellowshipped again in 2019 after succumbing to sin, let’s just put it that way! I still feel I had a “spiritual awakening” in 2004, I can’t deny that, but these days I don’t tend to limit that to a purely Christian experience. I still respect Jesus as a spiritual master, but I [I] don’t class myself as just “Christian” anymore. My spiritual outlook is a lot [a lot] wider.
Anyway, I [I] hope that’s has been of some use to you. Thank you for dropping by. If you’ve got any questions for me, particularly on the subject of being anointed as a Jehovah’s Witness, feel free to leave comments, leave questions, on my Twitter feed either @ihavemanylayers (that’s my personal one) or @OnionUnlimited, and don’t forget to subscribe to OnionUnlimited if you’d like to hear more podcasts and live streams like this one. Thanks again everybody. Bye for now!