Saturday, January 2, 2010

Our New Song Book: Sing To Jehovah

A trip down 'song book' memory lane...
(don't forget to bring the new song book tomorrow)... or forget your congregation's meeting time switch. Ours is at 1:00PM this year, which is good for a confirmed sleepy-head like myself. =)

Praising Jehovah in Song
(pages 240 & 241 of JW Proclaimers)

Song books (1879 - 1925)

Song books (1928 - 1984)

And now we've moved on to our 'Sing To Jehovah' songbook for 2010.
the link to download the music and new songs w. vocal renditions.

*One of the things I really appreciate is how Jehovah keeps us moving forward and progressing in deeper spiritual understanding, instead of allowing his people to get stuck in a complacent spiritual rut. -Which tends to happen when people get too comfortable with 'routine' and don't wanna make changes, even when necessary, on account of 'tradition' or habit. (btw, I just uploaded a new audio from the convention: "Dont Look at the Things Behind" which relates to this) I haven't had a chance to look through the new song book 'thoroughly' to check out the adjustments made, but that's one of the reasons for the changes and song replacements. If anyone asks about it, the JW Proclaimers book had a good explanation on this topic (when it comes to making progressive changes in general ) on pgs 121 & 132.

Letting the Light Shine
Jesus instructed his disciples to share with others the light of divine truth that they had received from him. “You are the light of the world,” he said. “Let your light shine before men.” (Matthew 5:14-16; Acts 13:47) Charles Taze Russell and his associates recognized that they had an obligation to do that. Did they believe that they had all the answers, the full light of truth? To that question Brother Russell pointedly answered: “Certainly not; nor will we have until the ‘perfect day.’” (Proverbs 4:18, KJ) Frequently they referred to their Scriptural beliefs as “present truth”—not with any idea that truth itself changes but rather with the thought that their understanding of it was progressive.

These earnest students of the Bible did not shy away from the idea that there is such a thing as truth in matters of religion. They recognized Jehovah as “the God of truth” and the Bible as his Word of truth. (Psalm 31:5; Joshua 21:45; John 17:17) They realized that there was still much that they did not know, but they did not hold back from stating with conviction what they had learned from the Bible. And when traditional religious doctrines and practices contradicted what they found to be clearly stated in God’s inspired Word, then, in imitation of Jesus Christ, they exposed the falsehood...

Progressive, Not Creed-Bound
Clear understanding of God’s Word did not come all at once. In many cases the Bible Students grasped one detail of the pattern of truth but did not yet see the complete picture. Nevertheless, they were willing to learn. They were not creed-bound; they were progressive. What they learned they shared. They did not take credit for the things they taught; they sought to be “taught by Jehovah.” (John 6:45) And they came to appreciate that Jehovah makes possible the understanding of the details of his purpose in his own time and in his own way.—Daniel 12:9; compare John 16:12, 13.
Learning new things requires adjustments in viewpoint. If mistakes are going to be admitted and beneficial changes made, humility is needed. This quality and its fruits are desirable to Jehovah, and such a course strongly appeals to lovers of truth. (Zephaniah 3:12) But it is ridiculed by those who glory in creeds that have remained unchanged for many centuries, though these were formulated by imperfect men.

(graph on pg 242)

The details are hard to see (unless you click for a closeup), but this graph covers the Memorial attendance of both active JW's and attenders from 1935-1992. But after posting the stats from 2009 the other day, just look at the growth compared with how tiny we were back in 1935!
The number of active JW's and Memorial attenders combined was under 75,000 people in 1938. And the Memorial attendance for 2009 (which isn't shown on the graph here) was over 18 million! ...up from over a 11 million attenders back in 1992. Now that's progress! =)