QUOTING BROTHER RUSSELL OUT OF CONTEXT

Br. Robert Seklemian

Here is a classic illustration of how Brother Russell may be quoted out of context and made to appear to teach something he really did not. In R4437 he wrote:

"Those who cannot receive this interpretation are entirely welcome to have as their own any better interpretation, or none at all, as they see fit. Indeed, we might remark that this is true of all that we write. Hence, should any cease to see eye to eye with us, they have full right to their own opinion, without any need for a quarrel with us. If they find new and better light, our sentiment towards them is, God bless you. We are glad if you have something that will do you more good than that which we present."

The above might be cited as proof that Brother Russell advocated complete liberty for each one to attach whatever interpretation he likes to the Scriptures, even to the extent of abandoning the Volumes and discovering for himself "new and better light." But now let us read what immediately follows, showing that Brother Russell really meant exactly the opposite; that the Truth which the Lord revealed to the Church through him is not subject to change; and that he did not think any improvement could be made upon it:

"1f we thought that there were anything better, we, too, would want it. But, on the contrary, we are fully content with the leadings and blessings, the enlightenments, the spiritual food and refreshments which our present Lord has spread before us as his family. It is so satisfactory a portion that we could not think of looking for anything more or different. For long years we hungered and thirsted and searched and finally, when we found the satisfactory portion, we knew it. It satisfied our longings as nothing else could do. The time we have to spare from the eating of such food and the dispensing of it to others we have full use for in giving thanks to the Father of Light, who has brought us out of darkness into his marvelous light, wherein we greatly rejoice."

(Item #65)