[Watchtower study for the week of August 4, 2014 – w14 6/15 p. 12]
This is one of those articles we look forward to because it gives us the opportunity to praise our grand creator in the big congregation. (Ps 35:18) (Feel free to share your thoughts on Jehovah’s love using the comments section.)
Unfortunately, the Organization cannot seem to leave it at that. The final paragraphs contain the usual application that call for us to show love by obeying and supporting the Organization.
How Can We Prove that We Love God?
Par. 17 – “Regularly attend Christian meetings, assemblies, and conventions.” There is no need to add the qualifier “JW” in front of “Christian meetings…” because we would simply not consider the Christian meetings, assemblies, and conventions of other Christian denominations. They would not qualify because they are not part of true Christianity as we are, because they teach falsehoods. Ah, but therein lies the rub for an increasing number of us. As the subheading asks, we are wondering if we can truly prove we love God if we attend JW gatherings where falsehoods are taught. These two parts from the Friday sessions of this year’s convention are but one case in point. (See “Sacred Secrets of the Kingdom Progressively Revealed” and “How Babylon the Great Has ‘Shut Up the Kingdom’”)
Par. 19 – “Show that you appreciate the congregation elders.” This is a valid way in which we can show appreciation for God’s loving provisions. However, we are not talking about true, loving shepherds here. We are talking about those who have been officially appointed by the branch office; and from September onward, by the Circuit Overseer. Some of these men are truly caring individuals who work tirelessly for others. However, it would be disingenuous to suggest that such ones make up a majority inside the congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Based on firsthand experience gained over a lifetime, it is safer to say that those who are truly loving shepherds worthy of our appreciation are in the minority. (This goes for the clergy of pretty much any Christian denomination you’d care to mention, by the way.)
Par. 20 – “…because you love God, you will make an effort to talk to others about him and to comment at the meetings.” Again, true. However, there are far more eloquent ways to prove our love for God then commenting at meetings. (James 1:27; Mt. 15:9; Joh 4:21-24) No mention of these is made in the article, yet commenting at the meetings merits special attention. It seems our priorities are skewed.
The brother conducting the WT study yesterday said that the only ones counted among those 7 million or so who God loves are those that turn in a Field Service Report. The implication——–no field sevice report-no love. Corporate reasoning at it’s best!
My question on one of the paragraphs in this study article was-Do some 7 million and something JW’s really love God? How do they know what the motives of the friends really are for serving Jehovah? When did love for God become a group thing?
Matthew 6-17,are you really willing to “listen,obey & be blessed….” by the G.B. members & let them do the thinking for you?I decided to think out of the box & made comments beyond the confines of the magazines,j.w. org & WTBTS publications – even drew(mentally) pictures & commented on these mental pictures & not the ones in the magazines.E.g. I commented that Bible plus secular education is better than just Bible or secular education.Well,they no longer allow me to comment at the meetings.I’m not a J.W. or an unbaptized publisher but have been associating & “learning” from them for many… Read more »
Hi Meleti, good morning dear brother. If not that confidential, how many are the average monthly viewers of this site, more or less? Thanks
The site is two years old. The number of views and visitors in 2012 was negligible. If we take the four-month period just ended (April-July) we have the following WordPress stats:
Average Monthly Views
2013 – 6129
2014 – 20042
Average Monthly Visitors
2013 – 913
2014 – 2899
2,899? wow! That’s brilliant 😉
Thanks for supplying the data. Maybe 90% of the avg monthly visitors are our fellow JW brothers or should we say now, JW.ORG preachers and promoters. 🙂
Matthew 7:16 What is your biblical definition of truth? Jesus did not fault the teachings of the seven stars/lampstands he wrote to, theirs was not a case of what is more right with the teaching than isn’t. Why? Because they did their best to retain a common foundation, the Christ. “For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”(1 Cor.3:11). I would be the loser if because of an individual (be it a person or an entity) I choose not to be a Christian. King Solomon and King Asa were leaders of… Read more »
As I have already stated…The conclusion I **personally** have reached is this: there is more that’s right and true with the congregation and its teaching—than is not. And by more I mean Abundantly More. Of course it’s not perfect, but I am totally convinced and committed to the belief that JW elders and JW congregations ARE God and Christ’s modern-day stars and lampstands (Revelation chapters 1—3). I am Totally Convinced of that and I believe JWs have the truth. The self-assured and illumined Moderator (he doesn’t need stars and lampstands any longer) also once believed JWs had the truth or… Read more »
Hi Matthew seVen-sixteen, You said: “I can glorify God and His Son much more by staying close to Christ’s modern-day stars and lampstands than by staying away from them.” The problem is (if you look at the true un-filtered history of the organization) the evidence does not support the claim that only Jehovah’s Witnesses are the modern-day stars and lampstands. Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that Jesus inspected all religions between 1914 and 1919. And that Jehovah’s Witnesses were selected as the one true religion. And that the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses were appointed as God’s channel of communication (the “faithful… Read more »
As I have already stated…The conclusion I *personally* have reached is this: there is more that’s right and true with the congregation and its teaching—than is not. And by more I mean Abundantly More. Of course it’s not perfect, but I am totally convinced and committed to the belief that JW elders and JW congregations ARE God and Christ’s modern-day stars and lampstands (Revelation chapters 1—3). I am Totally Convinced of that and I believe JWs have the truth. The self-assured and illumined Moderator (he doesn’t need stars and lampstands any longer) also once believed JWs had the truth or… Read more »
1 John 4:8 Whoever does not love has not come to know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7 Beloved ones, let us continue loving one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born from God and knows God. 1 John 4:16 And we have come to know and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in union with God and God remains in union with him. 1 John 4:20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and yet is hating his brother,… Read more »
Matt. 22:37 and 39: is it YOU SHALL, or YOU MUST or LOVE Jehovah / your Neighbour? I am asking as MUST sounds rather strong (my mother tongue is not English though), and it is a word the society likes to use. Shall sound softer and to me has more of a future act in it, as a result of something. I have also seen transations that start the command with the word LOVE which draws (to me) the focus to LOVE and not MUST. SHALL seems most used/ MUST in a few translations and oters have LOVE without SHALL… Read more »
I would personally go for “You shall love” translation. I think the word “shall” and not “must” was used in major bible versions, English Standard Version included. Love is never demanded under compulsion by Christ. Love is something expressed voluntarily, naturally. God knows that love springs from the heart. A person who does things to prove his love, in some respects, do not have a complete appreciation or understanding of love for God. A person who is forced to do something may go through the motions and even perfect the act yet if he did it w/out love, then everything… Read more »
Maybe the word MUST as Jesus used it, is more along the line of a requirement rather than a command. Sometimes at a fair, there will be signs posted showing that someone MUST be of a certain height in order to get onto a ride. Obviously in such instances it is used as a requirement and no as a command. You just can’t command someone to be of a particular height obviously. I am inclined to think this way because I just can’t see how someone could have genuine love for God and for his fellowman by virtue of having… Read more »
I personally am encouraged by the meetings at my own hall. I always come away from them refreshed, ready to face the unkind, satanic world again. At the meetings and at home, I choose to focus more on what’s right, positive and faith-strengthening. I’m reminded that in Revelation chapters 2 and 3, Jesus saw what was right and what wasn’t with each of the 7 congregations of his organization. Do you think, because of the negative aspects within the congregation today, Jesus would want us to stay or leave? Did he want the brothers to stay or leave the congregation… Read more »
Then what is the reason for going door to door to convert people from their Christian religions, as they may reason as you do about their particular denomination. Does this reasoning justify their actions when they refuse to talk to a Witness in the ministry? If so, then what purpose does pioneering serve? I guess my question is: what special status has been conferred upon the organization that allows it to apply a different standard to itself than the one it uses to judge other Christians?
im sorry I thought there was an error on my original post so I rewrote it. Is there a way to delete the first one? Sorry!
No problem. I restored the original and removed the other one. Let me know if I got it right. 🙂
You make an excellent point Saskawoo. I would very much like to read Matthew’s answer, for I feel as you do. If we are to tolerate errors in teaching regarding important issues such as the nature of our salvation because we feel there is a loving environment in the congregation we attend, then on what basis can we criticize a Catholic, Baptist, or Mormon for doing the same?
As I have already stated…The conclusion I personally have reached is this: there is more that’s right with the congregation—including its teaching—than is not. And by more I mean Abundantly More. Of course it’s not perfect, but I am totally convinced and committed to the belief that JW elders and JW congregations ARE God Christ’s modern-day stars and lampstands. I am Totally Convinced and believe JWs have the truth. [Got it now? :)] The learned and illuminated Moderator of this site also once believed that or subscribed to that notion — for more than 60 years, it would seem. Alas,… Read more »
Righty oh matthew 7.16
Fair enough you wont get disfellowshipped here for stating what you sincerely believe to be the truth .
Hi Matthew I fully respect where you are coming from and I have the deepest love for you as a brother in Christ. Sites like these and the daughter discussion forums are meant for a platform for brothers and sisters who have come to a different understanding on certain topics. I don’t think anyone here, especially not Meleti or Apollos have elevated them above their brothers, in fact they are both still in the organization. You will find that many here (including me) still serve in the capacity of pioneers, elders, etc. Others chose a different path. At the basis,… Read more »
Several years ago, I visited a brother who had almost completely stopped coming to the meetings. He was suffering with severe depression. Some of those who would come and visit him suggested that if he came to more meetings, his depresion might cease or at least diminish. The doctrine of course was that, the ” meetings” is where Jehovah’s spirit is and by staying away, he was missing out on it.Needless to say, this teaching caused his depression to worsen. I developped the habit of dropping by a couple of times a week to see how he was doing and… Read more »
It is a topic worth being passionate about.
Problem is that the Organization has successfully painted in our minds the routine we ought to observe and that any deviation from it would make us feel guilty, unworthy, etc. This has serious psychological impact on every JW on the planet, particularly those who have not yet experienced the spiritual awakening. The Governing body has found a way to control our minds, making us believe that spiritual activities inside the Organization are everything to prove our love for God. But the Scriptures would tell otherwise. Time to shift to what the Bible really says, and not stick like a leech… Read more »
With regard to answering up at meetings – I used to feel this somewhat promoted a competitive spirit for many when commenting at meetings – especially with the clever answers, pioneering, aux pioneering, getting your children to answer up, placing more magazines and books etc. We were all encouraged to do this – it was evidence that you were making your advancement manifest?
By obeying those taking the lead among us, we show how much we appreciate these “gifts in men” and give evidence of our love for God and for Christ, the Head of the congregation
This should close the circle : obey. Obey the elders = CO = branch office = GB.
Jehovah has favored us with the priceless privilege of serving as his Witnesses
Serving the Father (and His Son??) Is open to everyone. It is not an opportunity for the selected few, which in that case would or could be.considered.a.priviledge. unfortunately such statements tend to generate a sense of superioriy among JWs when they compare themselves to non – JWs.
So true, menrov. This is evident by the overuse of “privilege” in JW-speak. “I was privileged to pioneer” or “I had the privilege of serving as an ministerial servant/elder/circuit overseer” or “My wife and I had the privilege of serving where the need is greater.”
Oh the so called privileges they drove me crazy with that concept .It got absolutely stupid in the end .everything became the greatest privilege one could have .Holding a microphone .? Elevated to supreme importance . It just opened the door for the critics to start .if everything wasnt quite right ..Even though its a volunteer service .the attitude was of no real appreciation .For its a privilege to do it a you owe us attitude .despite being a volunteer . It was just expected even demanded.its a shocking concept . And ive never really seen it anywhere else .Talk… Read more »
I guess it is a privilege to be able to express freely here 🙂
I am still reading the article. I can see the value of such an article…..for new comers. I mean, this is a study article, for JWs who had often years of study . The paragraphs 2-5 try to explain if one can love the God we do not see….why asking that? One should assume that a JW already knows that, hence he / she decided to get baptized.i guess this approach (providing milk as a study article) is one of the reasons why most JWs do not really grow in scriptiral knowledge. Only when they join a forum like this,… Read more »
Once your eyes are opened and you awake, it’s the beginning.
It’s the beginning of what Kat? Please elaborate, I will be listening intently. 🙂
Mailman the beginning of a journey of reading Gods word with an open mind without the WT influence on everything you read, and relying on Gods holy spirit rather that 7 men in bethel to tell YOU that you must believe everything they say to be acceptable to God.
Hi Kat, I am with you on the same page. I have started doing that since middle part of last year. It was enlightening. I felt the Spirit is more actively helping me. In the absence of fear of the Watchtower, I felt more inspired and delighted.
I guess it is next to impossible if not impossible at all for the WT writers not to integrate thoughts that will lift, flatter or honor the organization, the Faithful Slave or the Governing Body. Otherwise. it is not Watchtower anymore. I have begun to notice or my eyes have been opened to the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ is being bypassed by the Organization. Isn’t this implied usurpation?
“If our spirit is open to his and not clouded by bias, pride, nor fear, he will reveal himself to each of us.”(From updated profile)
I whole heartedly agree. Thanks for the time and effort on the site.
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life… (John 3:16) That’s the greatest act of love, I have come to know. Also for the acts of love in helping me to grow in my personal relationship with him and his son (John 17:3). My new found knowledge has added to this relationship in no small measure. He loved me first, no doubt, but how do I show my appreciation? It is my constant prayer even for all on this… Read more »
“He loved me first, no doubt, but how do I show my appreciation? It is my constant prayer even for all on this forum and the sister site, that this awakening process would even make us better Christian in holiness and godliness(2 Peter 3;11)”
For personal reasons, I am very passionate about this subject. I believe that when you teach people that they have to prove to God that they love him, you also inadvertently teach them that God will only love them back in return, once he is convinced that he is loved. As I mentioned in my earlier post, that notion is in exact opposition of what is found in the scriptures. God loved us first before we ever even could conceive of the depth of his love for us and that realization of his immense love for us, makes us love… Read more »
Good example Yobec, thank You.
yobec, I found this comment so encouraging that I took the time to correct the few spelling mistakes. 🙂 I didn’t want anything to detract from your excellent reasoning. Thank you.
Feel free to do so at anytime.English is ot my native tongue. Also , thank you for this site.I feel like I belong here.
Your comment touched me yobec. You are spot on with this . If only I had realized this years ago…..
You would have if the illustration had appeared in the Watchtower. However, it is doubtfull that it ever will. It would not serve their agenda. Their ageda is for us to wonder if we are ever doing enough.
I really enjoyed the illustration. Thanks Yobec.
Hi Yobec, good morning. What a touching illustration. I guess God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ have LOVE far greater than what our minds can fathom.
You are right. Remember the scripture that says ” He is greater than our hearts” ?
We have to be careful not to let the pendulum swing too much in the other direction either. While God loves the world, and loves us, there is a part of his love that is conditioned on our love as well. The one end of the pendulum is people who get hounded by legalists to do XXX just to get God’s love. That is not a scriptural thought. God loved us first. On the other hand, there are many biblical expressions, even from our Lord Jesus who for instance in Revelation admonishes the church to RETURN to the love they… Read more »
You are absolutely right. The scriptures agree with you that we must “remain in his love”This however is not determined by the amount of spiritual activities we involve ouselves in. It is interesting to note that wen Jesus accuses the congregation of having left the love that they had, he first acknowledges all of their labor.
“Balance is the key.”
How true that is, InNeedOfGrace. I have found time and again that the course of moderation–the line between the two extremes–is the best. Only in the “fruits of the spirit” is there no limit, no restriction. (Gal. 5:22, 23)
The works are putting on of the new personality (person), (Ephes 4:24)the fruitage of the spirit. Gal 5 :22 in comparison to the works of the flesh. It is Jehovah that draws us to his Son. Jesus said “No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:44). It is how we treat one another one another regardless of religion or nationality. The good Samaritan is a fine example of this love that Jesus showed is the works required, love is the key and… Read more »
Since when do we have to prove to God we love him? The scriptures tell us that Jehovah searches the entire earth to see whose HEART is complete towards him.Yes, he searches the heart and not the performances. For centuries, self serving religious leaders have used this ” prove to God that you love him ” doctrine so as to get their flocks to do as they would tell them to. The love that we have for God and his son is simply a hearfelt response in appreciating that “He has first loved us” . Then, the works automatically follow… Read more »
I think if anyone really wants to know what it means to love god we can do no better than look into the 1st letter of john . 1 john 5 v 3 we observe his commandments but they are nor a burden and we can why at 1 john 3 v 23 this is the commandment that we have faith in the name of his son and be loving one another PLAIN AND SIMPLE .why does the watchtower make it burdensome by adding lots of other things ..???????? Kev
They remind me of another group known for adding burdensome and unnecessary weight to their converts.
When I used to conduct WT studies, I always studied them from from back to front. Somehow my brain kept telling me to determine first the objective before getting into the subject. That way, I used to focus on the paragraphs that seemed most stimulating spiritually…. those paragraphs that we sometimes missed because we simply weren’t paying attention or made us consider our Biblical stand more carefully. I always remember one writer who said, “The Bible was written to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” I still have the odd sister or brother come up to me and ask… Read more »