WT Study: Do You View Human Weakness as Jehovah Does?

– posted by meleti
After reading the article, a more accurate title might be “Do You View Human Weakness Within The Organization as Jehovah Does?” The simple fact of the matter is that we have a double standard between those inside and those outside the Organization.
If we were to extend the fine counsel of this article a little further, would we run into resistance from the publishers? Would our view of human weakness cease to coincide with Jehovah’s?
For example, paragraph 9 says: “When a motorcyclist injured in a traffic mishap arrives at the emergency ward, do those on the medical team try to determine whether he caused the accident? No, they immediately provide the needed medical assistance. Similarly, if a fellow believer has been weakened by personal problems, our priority should be to provide spiritual assistance.”
Yes, but what if the weakened one is disfellowshipped? What if, like so many, he or she desisted from the conduct that resulted in the disfellowshipping and has been faithful attending meetings awaiting reinstatement. Now his or her personal situation has resulted in depression, or health issues, or financial difficulties. Do we still view weakness as Jehovah does in these circumstances? Most definitely not!
We are directed to read 1 Thessalonians 5:14 as part of the consideration of paragraph 9, but if we read just one verse more we find that this counsel of Paul is not limited to the congregation.

“. . .always pursue what is good toward one another and to all others.” (1Th 5:15)

Paragraph 10 continues in the same vein, giving the example of “a single mother regularly coming to meetings with her child or children.” But if the single mother is disfellowshipped because of her sin, yet still regularly attends meetings, are we still as “impressed by her faith and determination”? We should be all the more impressed as doing so while being treated as a pariah requires even more faith and determination, does it not? Yet will cannot offer even a single word of encouragement for fear of the elders, who have not yet ruled officially that the mother is truly repentant. We must wait on their “okay” before we can view the weak as Jehovah does.

Adjust Your View to Jehovah’s View

Under this subtitle, we are encouraged to make adjustments individually to line up with Jehovah’s view. Deplorably, we are not willing to make these adjustments as an Organization. The example of Jehovah’s treatment of Aaron during the Golden Calf fiasco is given to show how merciful and understanding of human weakness our God is. When Aaron and Miriam began to criticize Moses for marrying a foreigner, Miriam was struck with leprosy but mindful of human weakness and her repentant state, Jehovah restored her health in just seven days.
If a congregation member were to engage in similar activity, criticizing the Governing Body or the local elders, and was disfellowshipped for it (not quite the same as being struck by leprosy, but we make do) would a repentant attitude result in a reinstatement inside of seven days?
This has never been our attitude since the institution of our modern organizational arrangement of disfellowshipping. [i]

“Hence, it is recommended that the disfellowshipping action remain in effect at least one year…. Privileges open to those who have been disfellowshipped but are now on probation are unlimited opportunities in the field ministry, student talks in the ministry school, minor service meeting parts, commenting at meetings and reading of paragraph summaries. This probationary period will generally be one year.” (Kingdom Service Questions, 1961 by WB&TS, p. 33, par. 1)

Implementation of a minimum time period for disfellowshipped ones has no scriptural foundation whatsoever. This indicates that our main purpose is punishment in line with the reasoning most modern jurisprudence follows when determining a minimum sentence for crimes against the state. Repentance ceases to be a factor once the individual is disfellowshipped. For those who would argue that this requirement has been dropped and that now a disfellowshipped person can be reinstated in less than a year, they have but to try to do so to learn that there continues to exist a de facto one-year standard period. Any reinstatement in less than a year—particularly for an act equivalent to Miriam’s against Moses—will be questioned by the C.O. at the very least, and most likely in writing by the Service Desk. Thus, through gentle coercion, the one-year time period remains in place.
In judicial matters, we most definitely need to adjust our view to Jehovah’s. This also applies to how we support the family members of a disfellowshipped person. The standard course of action is one of benign neglect. We don’t know what to do, so we do nothing; leaving little ones without needed spiritual and emotional support during their tribulation—a time when they are most vulnerable. We are afraid that if we drop by we might come face to face with the disfellowshipped one and then what do we do. How awkward! So better to do nothing and pretend all is well. Is this how Jehovah views and reacts to weakness? He never leaves place for Satan, but our twisted judicial process all too often does just that. (Eph 4:27)
Before writing articles like this, we really should put our own house in order first. Jesus’ words ring strong and true:

“Hypocrite! First extract the rafter from your own eye, and then you will see clearly how to extract the straw from your brother’s eye.” (Mt 7:5)

[i] For an extensive treatise on the unscriptural nature of our modern implementation of disfellowshipping and how far we have deviated from the Scriptural requirement, see the posts under the category, Judicial Matters.

Archived Comments

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  • Comment by imacountrygirl2 on 2014-08-23 22:05:23

    "we have a double standard between those inside and those outside the Organization"
    Amen to that. I might add that there exists a double standard between those who are on the inside, as some are looked up to and some are looked down on within the organization. The same rules don't apply to everyone, as in "do as I say to do, but I am free to do as I want to do". "We can make 'em and we can break 'em....rules that is", so doith the Governing Body.
    I don't mean to be disrespectful, I just find it easier to use humor when talking about the (B)org-anization. Oops, I did it again.
    The alternative is to cry.

  • Comment by yobec on 2014-08-23 22:50:59

    Wouldn't it have been refreshing to read:
    Can anyone view weaknesses as Jehovah does?
    No. Because he himself tells us that we are incapable of doing so. He clearly tells us in his word the bible that" I am not like YOU people, You judge by what appears to the eyes but I Jehovah, sees what the heart is".

  • Comment by Someone on 2014-08-24 12:36:01

    I thought it was a beautiful article. Only you would make it into so something negative. You keep adding "What if what if." Many witnesses will help others. You try to speak for all JWs because of the imperfection of men.

    • Reply by JimmyG on 2014-08-24 17:14:39

      To 'Someone'. This WT article was acknowledged as being 'fine counsel'. In my opinion, this article endeavours to look beyond the constrictions of the WT's walls in applying the counsel. That doesn't make it 'negative'- that word is overused by many JWs, particularly when they believe their beloved GB is being questioned
      Yes, many JWs will help others, but so do many non JWs, so what is your point here?

      • Reply by on 2014-08-24 18:07:12

        How he makes everything into an anti GB. Like if the article says something like "We must love everyone even non-JWs" Meletivivlon will twist it into something like "What they really mean is we must love everyone as a potential member". I think meletivivlon has 100 problems and 99 are in his head. We can say "Love Jesus" and he will say "They mean love the organization". He's always reading things into an article that is not there.

        • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-08-24 18:12:46

          Perhaps rather than make judgment generalizations, you could cite one or two specific instances. After all, if what you say is true, how can I benefit if I don't have specifics.

      • Reply by Someone on 2014-08-24 18:15:50

        No. He makes everything negative in that he twist their words. For example the WT could say "Love everyone even non JWs" and Meletivivlon will change it to say " What they really mean is love everyone as a potential member". He always taking something good the WT says and Turing into an "AGENDA" that they have. He tried to say that when the WT says that only Jesus can judge who will be saved into "Well the 1961 WT says" as if things don't change. Here's a scenario of what goes in in these articles he types. Say a doctor says "We have found the cure for AIDS." And someone stands up and says "no you didn't because you stated in the 1979 medical journal that it would never be found". Like I said things change. He stated in the very first sentence of this article something that isn't there. He stated in the beginning of this article "After reading the article, a more accurate title might be “Do You View Human Weakness Within The Organization as Jehovah Does?” The simple fact of the matter is that we have a double standard between those inside and those outside the Organization." I never got this impression from anything in this article.

    • Reply by on 2014-08-25 22:01:48

      To Someone. Welcome .
      You say . For example the WT could say “Love everyone even non JWs” and Meletivivlon will change it to say ” What they really mean is love everyone as a potential member”. He always taking something good the WT says and Turing into an “AGENDA” that they have - Many Jw have own opinion on how to treat worldy people that may differ from the Wt official line but what you've described in your comment is in fact what Wt teaches. Wt teach not to make friends outside of the Org , discourage any unnecessary association with worldy people ( even own family ) no matter how good they are, no after school activities and no sport with worldly kids, list could go on and on. Unless that person want to convert and become Jw we better keep distance from them. If you've been around Jw for some time you know that, don't you ? And yes you are right many witnesess help others, but how often are we encouraged to help others ( non Jw) in Wt magazine ?

    • Reply by anderestimme on 2014-08-28 17:17:29

      Your point about over-emphasizing the negative is well taken. Many of us struggle for balance on that issue, especially as we come to realize that the organization, as wonderful as it is in some ways, has fallen into some of the very same errors it has condemned other religions for. It is disappointing and upsetting, and the way so many of our brothers seem to be in 'la la land' about it only makes us want to scream the louder. It's no surprise that we can get a bit negative.
      To be sure, the epistles and the messages to the seven congregations in Revelation contain a fair amount of 'negativity'. Bible writers under inspiration, and Jesus himself, pointed out problems that needed to be fixed while balancing their criticism with praise when merited. Those not under inspiration can only try to imitate their balance. Further affecting our viewpoint is the biblical command to 'test inspired expressions', which necessarily requires the application of critical thought. The results can be uncomfortable.
      A big part of the problem is the organization's claim to divine appointment and favor, with the resultant claim to authority over you and me. Were it not for that lofty claim, no one would be particularly concerned if they got some things wrong. But 'more is expected of them' precisely because of this claim, which means their actions and words will come under greater scrutiny.
      Finally, our tolerance for 'negativity' varies depending on our circumstances at any given moment. I think you will find that the article "Bringing Many to Righteousness", which attempts to take a more positive tack, will be more to your liking.

  • Comment by anderestimme on 2014-08-24 14:40:46

    There are, as far as I can tell, three types of weak members of the congregation:
    1. Those who are weak physically, but strong spiritually
    2. Those who are momentarily weakened by circumstances
    3. Those who are weak spiritually and thus prone to poor judgment and bad decisions.
    It wasn't always clear to which kind of weak member the article was referring. Since it was talking about members of the congregation, those outside are outside the scope of the article.
    What I find problematic is that there are definite perks for the (supposedly) strong members of the congregation, such as pioneers and, especially, pioneer elders. How is that 'viewing human weakness as Jehovah does'? How is that 'surrounding with greater honor the weaker parts', as Paul puts it?

  • Comment by SilverTop on 2014-08-24 15:57:10

    Yet another example of how the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society goes beyond the things written. It is heartbreaking that so many have been driven to dispair and quite a few to suicide by the disfellowshipping standards and subsequent harshness of the elders, CO's and GB rulings.

    • Reply by Someone on 2014-08-24 19:13:10

      Did you read the article? Or just read what he has said about it. It's a truly inspiring article.

      • Reply by JimmyG on 2014-08-24 20:07:02

        'Someone'- from your comments, you appear to be an active JW. None of us know how long you have been a JW. You appear to take this article, which does contain fine counsel in itself, in isolation. As 'Christian' says below, he has been reading WT doublespeak (a word used in George Orwell's fine novel '1984') for over 30 years. I have too. Over such a long period of time, if you really allow yourself to think, you realise that there is a hidden agenda behind much of what is written in WT literature.
        Can I suggest that you read the Gospels with an open mind, as if you were reading them for the first time. This is called exegesis. Your perspective and understanding of Christ's teachings will alter drastically.

        • Reply by Someone on 2014-08-24 20:18:12

          I do read them. I have question of my own from reading them. Like for example there is the anointed and then the great crowd. The publications say we are of the feat crowd. However, what if I die tonight and the end comes in 30 years. Am I part of the great crowd. No. For the bible says that ten great crowd are those coming out of the great tribulation. I do read the bible. It seems to me like Russell's two heavenly classes and the ancient worthies and the others on earth make more sense.

        • Reply by GodsWordIsTruth on 2014-08-25 10:15:24

          What scriptures in the gospels is the "great crowd" talked about ?

  • Comment by Christian on 2014-08-24 17:12:47

    When politicians make statements we learn to read between the lines. And even if we can't read them we know there is usually more involved behind the scenes.
    After reading WTS double speak for over 30 years I have come to realize that their agenda is to ALWAYS cast themselves in the best possible light.
    In a very real sense the GB have become 'infallible' in their own eyes.
    The mere hint that they could actually have spoken an untruth or mislead anyone is an anathema to them.
    So to with articles like this, and their misleading statements on who will survive Armageddon.
    The tone of these articles is couched in language that makes them appear benevolent and understanding, and more importantly, that they are reflecting the standards of Jehovah.
    As always, they reinforce their presumption to be appointed by God, to speak for God and be God's authority on Earth today.
    If Jesus appears to be delaying his arrival since "1914" then that is not their fault....is it?

  • Comment by JimmyG on 2014-08-24 20:47:46

    To 'Someone'. Please advise what your last comment has to do with reading the Gospels?

    • Reply by Someone on 2014-08-24 21:19:30

      I read the bible by itself. That's one things that impressed me about the JWs is everything they say is backed up by the bible. For example John 17:3 has Jesus calling the father THE ONLY TRUE GOD. Then comes Christendom with the attack that we'll he speaks as man here and god here. Um no! Jesus wouldn't tell us something that's only true for 33 years and then nothing. The WT didn't tell me that. The bible did

      • Reply by InNeedOfGrace on 2014-08-25 03:07:49

        I dont think or hope no1 here wants to suggest you dont read your bible. Firstoff, I want to welcome you to our discussions. I think you will find that we hear your opinions here, and we appriciate your feedback.
        Personally, I have come to know Meleti as a brother through this place, as it has given me a place to talk freely about my personal study without the negative nature like other websites.
        That being said, I am happy that on his blog he makes people alert of the nuances of the articles. You see, there are a million beautiful things the magazines write. These things come out of the bible. If you could take that and apply as you saw it, this would be of great help. However, many of these articles have to be seen within a framework.
        Take this ex. The whole article talks about how God doesnt view members as weak. They might SEEM weak to us. Beautiful! But the paragraphs at the end close w the idea that we can help others become spiritually stronger and its linked to meeting attendance and pioneering. So we close w the idea again that those are benchmarks of true spirituality.
        In all honesty, its clear that spirituality for most is measured in grooming, meeting att3ndance and service. This article while beautiful, wont do anything to make most change their viewpoint on who is weak and who is strong.

      • Reply by kev c on 2014-08-25 04:02:35

        Thanks for your comments someone .Its good to listen to an alternative point of view . Tell you what though how many people would allow someone to come on to their website and openly criticize their views and publish it for all to read .Could you imagine Doing that in the congregation if you didnt agree with some point in the watchtower . Try it and see what happens . We have a good idea where your coming from though and how your thinking most of us have been associated with the witnesses for many many years . Thanks again for your input keep asking and keep thinking and seeking for the real truth kev

      • Reply by menrov on 2014-08-25 06:05:57

        Everyone is entitled.to his opinion. But at the same time probably good not generalize. Yes, the organisation does publish good things through the WT as well. But also orther Christians or Christian organisations do sometimes. Yes, various denominations have different views regarding the deity of Jesus and His relation with His Father. But not all hence it is incorrect to use the term Christendom like they are all the same. They are not. The organisation seems correct with its stand on the Hell doctrine. But at the same time the organisation applies a more or less same die or live policy (join and survive armageddon or die) . The point is that the organisation has scripturally correct teaching and at the same time a couple that are definitely not. But that is true for other denominations as well.of which many that do not claim to be appointed by Jehovah. If one is honest to himself, would you accept all these changed doctrines and doctrines with poor biblical support fromanother organisation? Is it that most JWs just swalow it because of this claim? I am happy you are here to freely express you belief and views. Welcome.

  • Comment by imacountrygirl2 on 2014-08-24 21:41:43

    JimmyG, I believe Someone was merely expressing that while he may be an active Jehovah's Witness, though he did not admit that, he still has questions about the anointed and the great crowd. And he has legitimate concerns. So, it really had no connection to this article by Meleti.
    But I believe he is sincerely saying he has some concerns.
    Someone, you deserve an answer to your questions. I will do some research and give you a link where a discussion of that very subject just took place. It may be tomorrow before I can look. Meantime, you could take a look at the Discussion Board link at the top of this page and pay a visit there and read through some of the topics discussed there.

    • Reply by JimmyG on 2014-08-25 07:24:36

      There are a number of articles on this website that 'Someone' can read in regard to the anointed and the great crowd.
      'Someone' said this- "That’s one things that impressed me about the JWs is everything they say is backed up by the bible." Sadly this is not the case on many biblical subjects, Hence the existence of this and other websites.

  • Comment by Jannai40 on 2014-08-25 04:01:34

    To be fair, we all know that the Organisation of Jehovah's Witnesses has helped many people, but eventually some discover the other side to it - and it's not very pleasant, and this is where the confusion comes in. Something that I am learning now is that we have to give people time in order for them to be able to sort all this out in their minds because it is not an easy process and can be very painful for them.

  • Comment by kev c on 2014-08-26 11:38:53

    Ive just read this watchtower article and i have to agree with someone i think it is a beautiful study .why dont they have studies like that every week .they are sorely needed The only problem ive got is that for the most part from what ive experienced theres very few among the brothers that are actually like that . They are the most judgemental people i know . The so called weak in our congregation were just cast aside as bad associates . Even people with serious illnesses like cancer . PLEASE PLEASE lets have more studies like this one . Kev

    • Reply by kev c on 2014-08-27 15:13:19

      Just like i said to illustrate a point my son just a few hours ago spoke to a brother in the street whom he hasnt seen for about 3 years .this brother used to be at our alot . We fed him put him up for the night helped with his problems .many times over the years .The conversation started okay but as soon as he realised that my lad was disfellowshipped he rudely just turned his back on him and walked of refusing to even respond to his kind words . That just a few hours ago . And hes not the only one theres others who weve fed put up for the night even for months on end without even asking for a penny .who now because they have been told to are just as rude . What an awful witness . Sorry for you brothers still there but it has to be said . They disgust me these people and im never going back there to be treated like a piece of rubbish again . Kev

      • Reply by Jannai40 on 2014-08-28 16:09:46

        kev c, It must have been very hurtful when your son was treated in this way and I can imagine how I would have felt if that had happened to my son. For the majority of JWs though, when they treat DF brothers and sisters in this way, they really do not realise what they are doing and the hurt they are causing - we have to remember that they are being "controlled" and for that reason they are to be pitied. Your comments are always very interesting by the way.

        • Reply by kev c on 2014-08-29 03:55:44

          Thanks jannai your right what you say .they are being controlled .and it is pitiful .Its just i gave so much as an elder and a shepherd for a long time .i find their attitude toward us painful .I hope people dont think im just bitter and trying to pull the religion down .its so difficult to be positive when i have had so many negative experiences .Sorry ... im also enjoying your comments thanks alot for helping me to see a more balanced viewpoint kev

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