Crisis of Conscience presents the story of a struggle to prevent the erosion of a God-given freedom of conscience and the ensuing dilemma of choosing between loyalty to God and loyalty to one’s religion.
Former member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Raymond Franz delivers a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the Watch Tower Society. In response to extraordinary events, Franz tells a unique account of the decision-making sessions of this religion’s inner council and the powerful, sometimes dramatic, impact their decisions have on Jehovah’s Witnesses. Crisis of Conscience offers a penetrating view of the supreme council of this organization, the Governing Body and their life altering power over human lives.
While the events of Raymond Franz’s departure from the Governing Body occurred in 1980, the organizational foundation and structure remains the same today, making this account relevant to a whole new generation.
Content: Raymond Franz, formerly a Governing Body member of Jehovah’s Witnesses, shares an account that reveals the inner workings and the decision-making processes of that Body, offering a penetrating view of the life altering power they have over human lives. The final nine of his sixty years as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses were spent on this central executive council. Those years led to his crisis of conscience, which is the theme of this book.
Based on the entire manuscript of Franz’s 2008 printing of Crisis of Conscience, this fifth edition 2018, also includes:
- Foreword by David Henke, author of Spiritual Abuse Recovery Workbook, and founder of Watchmen Fellowship, Inc. — David Henke is a Christian apologist that specializes in the field of Jehovah's Witnesses, issues of mind control, spiritual abuse, and legalism. In addition to the above workbook, Henke has authored evangelistic and educational tracts, and articles.
- Excerpts from Franz’s In Search of Christian Freedom — Crisis of Conscience references 30 pages from In Search of Christian Freedom in the footnotes; for the convenience of the reader, these pages have been added to Appendix B.
- Where is the “Great Crowd” Serving God? by Jon A. Mitchell, a former secretary to the Governing Body — As a secretary to the Governing Body, and member of the Service Department, Mitchell observed events during and immediately after Raymond Franz’ resignation from the Governing Body and numerous people were moved, demoted or disfellowshipped. As a result Jon Mitchell authored a booklet called Where is The “Great Crowd” Serving God? This is an account of Jon’s observations and his personal research from 1980 to 1981 while serving at Brooklyn Bethel. This booklet has been included in its entirety in Appendix C.
- Epilogue, The Copyright Owner’s Story by Deborah Dykstra — Former regular pioneer and temporary special pioneer, Deborah Dykstra tells her journey of discovering that Jehovah’s Witnesses were not the sound foundation that she thought they were, realizing instead that it is Jesus Christ himself that is the real “truth” and foundation to life as a Christian. Thereafter, she shares how she embarked on a 25 year friendship with Raymond and Cynthia Franz along with anecdotal stories about the Franz’ lives.
Raymond Franz died in 2010, however in this re-publishing of Crisis of Conscience based on it’s very last printing in 2008, the authors story, heart and expressions of his love for God and his fellow man remain with us.
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About the Author
Graduating from Gilead missionary school of Jehovah's Witnesses in 1944, Franz served in Puerto Rico, the British Virgin Islands, and the Dominican Republic until he was reassigned to Brooklyn headquarters in 1965. Thereafter as part of the headquarters staff, he worked in the writing department. By 1971 he was invited to become a Governing Body member, serving as such until resigning in 1980.
Franz shares an account that reveals the inner workings and the decision-making processes of the Governing Body. The final nine of his sixty years as one of Jehovah's Witnesses were spent on this central executive council. Those years led to his crisis of conscience, which is the theme of this book.
David Henke, the author of the Foreword of Crisis of Conscience, fifth edition 2018, founded Watchman Fellowship in 1979. Previously he had been an educator and chose to pursue full time ministry, as a Christian apologist.
David shaped the missionary philosophy and methodology of Watchman Fellowship through its first sixteen years as its President. He now guides and oversees it as the Board Chairman. He and his wife Carole also operate Watchman Fellowship's Georgia Office.
David has a heart for those who continue to suffer from the effects of being in bondage to false spiritual systems. Through teaching and counseling, individuals and groups, he expresses that "heart." He specializes in the field of Jehovah's Witnesses, issues of mind control, spiritual abuse, and legalism. Henke has authored evangelistic and educational tracts, and articles, as well as the Spiritual Abuse Recovery Workbook.
Deborah Dykstra embraced the beliefs published by the Watch Tower Society in her teenage years, being baptized as one of Jehovah's Witnesses in 1969, at 17 years old.
In her early twenties she became a regular pioneer and then a temporary special pioneer. Throughout life's problems and challenges she felt that the teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses were her firm foundation in life, believing they had the "truth," which she embraced with all her heart.
In the Epilogue of this edition of Crisis of Conscience, Deborah Dykstra tells her journey of how she discovered that Jehovah's Witnesses were not the sound foundation that she thought they were, realizing instead that it is Jesus Christ himself that is the real "truth" and foundation to life as a Christian. Thereafter, she shares how she embarked on a 25 year friendship with Raymond and Cynthia Franz along with anecdotal stories about the Franz' lives.
Table of Contents
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Price of Conscience
- Credentials and Cause
- Governing Body
- Internal Upheaval and Restructure
- Tradition and Legalism
- Double Standards
- Predictions and Presumption
- Justification and Intimidation
- 1975: ‘The Appropriate Time for God to Act’
- 1914 and “This Generation”
- Point of Decision
Appendix A: Chapter References
Appendix B: Excerpts from In Search of Christian Freedom
Appendix C: Where is The “Great Crowd” Serving God?
Epilogue: The Copyright Owner’s Story