I was doing my daily Bible reading a few days ago and came to Luke chapter 12. I’ve read this passage many times before, but this time it was like someone had smacked me in the forehead.
“In the meantime, when a crowd of so many thousands had gathered together that they were stepping on one another, he started by saying first to his disciples: “Watch out for the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 But there is nothing carefully concealed that will not be revealed, and nothing secret that will not become known. 3 Therefore, whatever you say in the darkness will be heard in the light, and what you whisper in private rooms will be preached from the housetops.” (Lu 12:1-3)
Try to envision the scenario.
There are so many thousands gathered round that they are stepping on one another. Close to Jesus are his most intimate associates; his apostles and disciples. Soon he will be gone and these will take his place. Crowds will look to them for guidance. (Acts 2:41; 4:4) Jesus is well aware that this apostles have an improper desire for prominence.
Given this situation, with the crowd of eager followers pressing in on them, the first thing Jesus does is to tell his disciples to watch out for the sin of hypocrisy. Then he immediately adds to the warning the revelation that hypocrites do not stay hidden. Their secrets told in darkness are revealed in the light of day. Their private whisperings are to be shouted from the housetops. Indeed, his disciples will do much of the shouting. Nevertheless, there is a real danger that his own disciples will fall prey to this corrupting leaven and become hypocrites themselves.
In fact, that is precisely what happened.
Today, there are many men who portray themselves as holy and righteous. To maintain the hypocritical façade, these men must keep many things secret. But Jesus’ words cannot fail to come true. This brings to mind an inspired warning from the apostle Paul.
“Do not be misled: God is not one to be mocked. For whatever a person is sowing, this he will also reap;” (Ga 6:7)
An interesting choice of words, is it not? Why would what you plant metaphorically have anything to do with mocking God? Because, like the hypocrites who think they can hide their sin, men try to mock God by thinking they can conduct themselves improperly and not suffer the consequences. Essentially, they think they can plant weeds and reap wheat. But Jehovah God cannot be mocked. They will reap what they sow.
Today the things whispered in private rooms are being preached from the housetops. Our global housetop is the internet.
Hypocrisy and Disobedience
Brother Anthony Morris III recently spoke on the subject of Jehovah blessing obedience. The reverse is also true. Jehovah will not bless us if we are disobedient.
There is an important area in which we have acted both disobediently and hypocritically for many decades. We have been sowing a seed in secret believing it would never see the light of day. We reasoned we were sowing so as to harvest a crop of righteousness, but we are now reaping bitterness.
In what way have they been disobedient? The answer again comes from Luke chapter 12, but in a way that is easy to miss.
“Then someone in the crowd said to him: “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 He said to him: “Man, who appointed me judge or arbitrator between you two?”” (Lu 12:13, 14)
You may not see the connection right away. I’m quite sure I would not have, had it not been for news items that have been very much on my mind for the past few weeks.
Please bear with me as I try to explain this.
Handling the Question of Child Abuse in the Congregation
Child sexual abuse is a serious and pervasive problem in our society. Only God’s kingdom will totally eradicate this scourge which has been with us since virtually the start of human history. Of all the organizations and institutions on earth today, which ones come to mind most readily when child abuse is mentioned? How regrettable that it is often Christian religions which news broadcasts feature when reporting on this scandal. This is not to suggest that there are more child molesters in the Christian community than outside of it. No one is alleging that. The problem is that some of these institutions do not deal with the crime properly, thereby greatly exacerbating the damage it causes.
I do not think I would be stretching credulity to suggest that the first religious institution that comes to the mind of the public when this issue is mentioned is the Catholic Church. For many decades, pedophile priests have been protected and shielded, often shunted off to other parishes only to commit their crimes yet again. It seems that the church’s main goal has been to protect its name before the world community.
For some years now, another widely publicized Christian faith has also been making headlines worldwide in this same area and for similar reasons. The Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses has been forced unwillingly to share a bed with its historic rival over its mishandling of child abuse cases within its ranks.
This might seem very odd at first glance when you consider that there are 1.2 billion Catholics in the world against a scant 8 million Jehovah’s Witnesses. There are many other Christian denominations with a far larger membership base. These would surely have a proportionately larger number of child abusers than do Jehovah’s Witnesses. So why are other religions not mentioned alongside Catholics. For instance, during recent hearings by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Australia, the two religions that received the greatest attention were Catholics and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Given that there are 150 times more Catholics in the world than Jehovah’s Witnesses, either Jehovah’s Witnesses are 150 times more likely to commit child abuse, or there is some other factor at work here.
Most Jehovah’s Witnesses will see this focus as evidence of persecution by Satan’s world. We reason that Satan doesn’t hate other Christian religions because they are on his side. They are all part of false religion, Babylon the Great. Only Jehovah’s Witnesses are the one true religion and so Satan hates us and brings persecution upon us in the form of trumped up accusations by apostates falsely alleging we have protected child molesters and mishandled their cases.
A convenient self-deception this, for it overlooks one very important fact: For Catholics, the child abuse scandal is pretty much restricted to its clergy. It is not that members of the laity – all 1.2 billion of them – are free of this grave perversion. Rather, it is that the Catholic Church has no judicial system for dealing with such ones. If a Catholic is accused of child abuse, he is not brought before a committee of priests and judged as to whether or not he can remain in the Catholic Church. It is up to the civil authorities to deal with such criminals. It is only when a clergyman is involved that historically the Church has gone out of its way to conceal the problem from the authorities.
However, when looking at the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses we find that sins of all members, not just the elders, are dealt with internally. If a man is accused of child abuse, the police are not called in. Instead he meets with a committee of three elders who determine whether or not he is guilty. If they find him guilty, they next must determine if he is repentant. If a man is both guilty and unrepentant, he is disfellowshipped from the Christian congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. However, unless there are specific laws to the contrary, the elders do not report these crimes to the civil authorities. In fact, these trials are held in secret and even the members of the congregation are not told there is a child molester in their midst.
This explains why Catholics and Jehovah’s Witnesses are such strange bedfellows. It’s simple math.
Instead of 1.2 billion against 8 million, we have 400,000 priests against 8 million Jehovah’s Witnesses. Assuming that there are just as many potential child abusers among Catholics as there are among Jehovah’s Witnesses, this means that the Organization has had to deal with 20 times more cases of child abuse than has the Catholic Church. (This helps explain why our own records reveal an astonishing 1,006 cases of child abuse in the Organization in a 60-year history of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia, though we number only 68,000 there.)[A]
Assume, only for the sake of argument, that the Catholic Church has mishandled all of its cases of child abuse among the priesthood. Now, let say that Jehovah’s Witnesses have mishandled only 5% of their cases. This would put us on par with the Catholic Church in terms of number of cases. However, the Catholic Church is far more than 150 times richer than the Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Besides having 150 times more contributors, it has been squirreling away money and hard assets for something like 15 centuries. (The artwork in the Vatican alone is worth many billions.) Nevertheless, the many cases of child abuse the Church has fought or quietly settled over the past 50 years has put a serious strain on Catholic coffers. Now imagine a potentially equal number of cases coming against a religious organization the size of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and you can see the potential scope of this problem.[B]
Disobeying the Lord does not Bring Blessings
What does any of this have to do with the words of Christ as recorded in Luke chapter 12? Let’s begin with Luke 12:14. In answer to the man’s request for Jesus to adjudicate his affairs, our Lord said: “Man, who appointed me judge or arbitrator between you two?”
Jesus Christ was about to be appointed judge of the world. Yet as a man, he refused to arbitrate the affairs of others. There we have Jesus, surrounded by thousands of people all looking to him for guidance, refusing to act as judge in a civil case. What message was he sending to this followers? If no one had appointed him to judge simple civil matters, would he presume to judge even more serious criminal ones? And if Jesus wouldn’t, should we? Who are we to assume a mantle that our Lord rejected?
Those who would argue for a judiciary in the Christian congregation might refer to Jesus’ words at Matthew 18:15-17 as support. Let us consider that, but before we start, please bear in mind two facts: 1) Jesus never contradicted himself and 2) we must let the Bible say what it means, not put words in its mouth.
“Moreover, if your brother commits a sin, go and reveal his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two more, so that on the testimony of two or three witnesses every matter may be established. 17 If he does not listen to them, speak to the congregation. If he does not listen even to the congregation, let him be to you just as a man of the nations and as a tax collector.” (Mt 18:15-17)
The parties directly involved are to resolve the matter themselves, or failing that, to use witnesses—not judges—in step two of the process. What about step three? Does the final step say anything about involving the elders? Does it even imply a three-man committee meeting in a secret setting from which observers are excluded?[C] No! What it says is to “speak to the congregation.”
When Paul and Barnabas brought a serious matter that was disrupting the congregation in Antioch to Jerusalem, it was not considered by committee nor in private session. They were received by the “congregation and the apostles and the older men.” (Acts 15:4) The disputing was conducted before the congregation. “At that the entire multitude became silent…” (Acts 15:12) “Then the apostles and the older men together with the whole congregation…” resolved on how to respond. (Acts 15:22)
The Holy Spirit operated through the entire Jerusalem congregation, not just the apostles. If the 12 apostles were not a governing body making decisions for the entire brotherhood, if the entire congregation was involved, then why today have we abandoned that Scriptural model and put all the authority for the worldwide congregation in the hands of just seven individuals?
This is not to suggest that Matthew 18:15-17 authorizes the congregation as a whole or in part to handle crimes like rape, murder and child abuse. Jesus is referring to sins of a civil nature. This lines up with what Paul said at 1 Corinthians 6:1-8.[D]
The Bible clearly explains that criminal cases are, by divine decree, the jurisdiction of worldly governmental authorities. (Romans 13:1-7)
The disobedience of the Organization in circumventing God’s divinely appointed minister (Ro 13:4) by presuming to handle crimes of sexual perversion against innocent children internally, and by frustrating the police from performing their duties to protect the civilian population, has resulted not in God’s blessing, but in reaping a bitter harvest of what they have sown for many decades. (Ro 13:2)
By appointing elders to sit in judgment in civil and criminal cases, the Governing Body has imposed a burden on these men that Jesus himself was not willing to assume. (Luke 12:14) Most of these men are ill-suited for such weighty matters. To commission janitors, window washers, fishermen, plumbers, and the like to deal with criminal activity for which they lack both the experience and training is to set them up for failure. This is not a loving provision and clearly not one which Jesus imposed on his servants.
Paul considered himself as a father to those whom he’d brought up in the truth of God’s word. (1Co 4:14, 15) He used this metaphor, not to supplant the role of Jehovah as the heavenly Father, but rather to express the type and extent of his love for those he called his children, though they were in actuality his brothers and sisters.
We all know that a father or mother will willingly give their life for their children. The Governing Body has expressed fatherly love for these little ones in the publications, on the broadcast site, and most recently by GB member, Geoffrey Jackson, before the Royal Commission in Australia.
Hypocrisy is exposed when deeds do not match words.
The first impulse of a loving father would be to comfort his daughter while imagining just how badly he was going to hurt the abuser. He would take charge, understanding his daughter was too weak and broken emotionally to do this herself, nor would he want her to. He would want to be “streams of water in a waterless land” and a massive crag to provide her with shade. (Isaiah 32:2) What kind of father would inform his wounded daughter that “she has the right to go to the police herself.” What man would say that in doing so she might bring reproach on the family?
Time and again our deeds have shown that our love is for the Organization. Like the Catholic Church, we too wish to protect our religion. But our heavenly Father is not interested in our Organization, but in his little ones. That is why Jesus told us that to stumble a little one is to have tied a chain around one’s own neck, a chain attached to a millstone which God will throw in the sea. (Mt 18:6)
Our sin is the sin of the Catholic Church which in turn is the sin of the Pharisees. It is the sin of hypocrisy. Instead of openly acknowledging cases of gross sin in our ranks, we have hidden this dirty laundry for more than half a century, hoping that our self-image as the only truly righteous people on earth might not be tarnished. However, all that we have “carefully concealed” is being revealed. Our secrets are becoming known. What we said in the darkness is now seeing the light of day, and what we ‘whispered in private rooms is being preached from the internet housetops.’
We are reaping what we have sown, and the reproach we were hoping to avoid has been magnified 100-fold by our failed hypocrisy.
[A] Even more shocking is that not a single one of these cases was reported to the authorities by the Australia branch nor by the local elders involved.
[B] We may just be seeing the effects of this in a recent announcement made to the worldwide bethel community. The Organization is cutting back on support service staff like cleaners and laundry staff. All construction of RTOs and branches is being reconsidered with most being halted. The flagship at Warwick will likely continue however. The reason given is ostensibly to free up more workers for the preaching work. That has a hollow ring to it. After all, cutting back on 140 regional translation offices doesn’t seem to benefit the worldwide preaching effort.
[C] In judicial cases, the Shepherd the Flock of God manual for elders directs that “observers should not be present for moral support.” – ks p. 90, par. 3
[D] Some will point to 1 Corinthians 5:1-5 for support of the judicial arrangement as practiced by Jehovah’s Witnesses. However, there are no details whatsoever in that passage that support the judicial procedures in practice today. In fact, no mention is made of the older men making the decision for the congregation. To the contrary, in his second letter to the Corinthians Paul states, “This rebuke given by the majority is sufficient for such a man…” This indicates that it was to the congregation both letters were directed, and that it was the congregation members who individually made the determination to disassociate themselves from the man. No judgment was involved, for the man’s sins were public knowledge as was his lack of repentance. All that remained was for each individual to determine whether or not to associate with this brother. It seemed that the majority applied Paul counsel.
Bringing this forward to our day, if a brother were arrested and tried for child abuse, this would be public knowledge and each member the congregation could determine whether or not to associate with such a man. This arrangement is far healthier than the secretive one in place within the congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world to this day.
“Today the things whispered in private rooms are being preached from the housetops. Our global housetop is the internet.”
“Our sin is the sin of the Catholic Church which in turn is the sin of the Pharisees. It is the sin of hypocrisy.”
At Matthew 24:48-51 Jesus warned of the Evil slave. I have been wondering why vs 51 says that the evil slave will be assigned ‘his place with the hypocrites’.
Thanks, I now have the answer.
Thank you Meleti for the excellent research and sound reasoning. I concur completely with your view. 1984, I concur with your thoughts as well. Decades ago, policy was created without the benefit of consulting with professionals that would have surely guided the organization in such a way as to avoid such serious liability. Instead of spending a few dollars (protecting the organization’s assets) by consulting with legal specialists “outside the box”, our leadership arrogantly pressed forward at under the counsel of a very ineffectual legal staff, inept and unskilled in trial law. The GB was convinced that all the wins… Read more »
Thanks again Meleti. The reality is the WS thought the end would come and all of this would go away, never to see the light of day, but they are reaping what they sow now whether they like it or not. And that smacks of a human organisation. An organisation being led by holy spirit would be exemplary – ahead of it’s time rather than reactionary. Now they are lagging behind on so many fronts – playing catch-up and addressing things with the benefit of hindsight rather than foresight. One of the things that gives the bible the hallmark of… Read more »
Indeed it does, 1984.
Thank you Meliti for another great article. What I found interesting is the ratio of JWs to Catholics on child abuse cases. I also appreciated the point you brought out from the scriptures how the early Christians handled matters. I detest the hypocrisy of the Organization but what’s even worse is their unwillingness to change current policies on reporting child abuse cases. Mr. Jackson (just can’t call him a brother, sorry) seemed to suggest for the courts to decide whether it should be mandatory to report such cases. How in good conscience can these men who are supposed to be… Read more »
In the 2012 Candace Conti vs. WTS childhood abuse trial, the court initially ordered the WTS to pay $20 million. Appeals reduced it to $10 million, then $2 million, then an undisclosed settlement. That will put a dent in your budget.
Likewise, the 2014 Jose Lopez case, WTS ordered to pay $13.5 million, part of that just for refusing to cooperate with the court! It may still be under appeal?
The negligence brought to light from these 2 cases is disturbing.
Speaking of JW “budgets”, I found quite by accident a PDF from the WT in Sweden. They are suing the government of Sweden for religious discrimination, because – get this – the government gives monetary grants to OTHER religions but not to the WT. The WT wants to receive money from the secular authorities of this world, because everyone else does, so why not them? I am trying to think of an expression that fits. Something like, awesome, jaw-dropping, stunning, you’ve go to be kidding me, etc. If you read it, I am sure you will supply your own colorful… Read more »
Interesting. Here’s the link for those interested in learning more.
Thanks for sharing. I read this on page 4 paragraph 17: Jehovah’s Witnesses who are members of the religious order known as the Worldwide Order of Special Full-Time Servants of Jehovah’s Witnesses (“the Order”) lead a consecrated life of worship and devotion. On a daily basis they participate in community prayers, community meals, labour and work, private prayer and meditation, and the study of the Bible. They do not carry on any activities for monetary compensation. They care for the spiritual needs of the congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses throughout the country (Sweden). What are COMMUNITY PRAYERS? All these persons work… Read more »
Haven’t most of them moved to Denmark, when they closed the Headquarters in Sweden and Norway? As far as i know , there is only a few, if any? now left here in Norway and the Bethel estate outside Oslo was for sale, ev sold now….
Again if all this stuff is true about the stopping of buildings and layoffs ( and I hear and seen from multiple sources it sure looks like it) it is very ironic that the watchtower is about buildings and Assembly being built, Woops I guess that New Light might be Old Light Fast. And when I go to tbr kingdom hall I will love to.see all the people give answers and say man they will be shocked in a few weeks…..And hopefully start to question and wonder what the heck is the Big O doing with the money. Proverbs 4:18… Read more »
As always, I enjoy your articles. Thanks for all the research and effort put into them.
Just a side note the sentence that begins with “They were received by the “congregation and the apostles and the older men.” (Acts 15:2) ” I believe you meant to quote Acts 15:4 rather than verse 2
Good catch. Thanks. I’ll correct that now.
Again, if the news is true about the cutbacks and stopping all the supposed building. Then the Organization has been in a big lie. Again you might say Buster you have gone too far. No not really far enough, I re-watched the May broadcast over 25 times, so what is up with this More money going out then coming in. And all these Rto’s being build, and over 16,000 buildings/kingdom halls needed, and yeah Mr. Lett said well we gave you New Bibles ( woo hoo) well it been nearly 30 years since the last Revision of the Bible. I… Read more »
Just curious, Buster, why did you watch it over 25 times?
Well I might have when overboard on that, I rewatched it a lot because I was doing some research that I did on discuss the truth website. And I was rewatching it ( all the broadcast many times) but for this one I had to get every second if it doent, I can quote much of it from memory, remember my friend we must Obey….Just Kidding 🙂
I had tears in my eyes after reading this post. My last elders school was in 2005 at the Moe Kingdom Hall in Victoria.When the part came up about handling child abuse I couldn’t understand why there was so much resistance to involve the police or any proffesional in that field, I knew then and there that the policy’s where faulty but because of indoctrination couldn’t articulate why. I brought it up during the lunch break only to find others equally confused as myself,now the fruit is borne of those blunders and Ime one of the ones that supported it,… Read more »
When we leave the organization in response to Jesus’ call to “get out” it is true fulfillment of Isa 2:2,3, not the counterfeit call declared by the Watchtower – “It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he… Read more »
A day later and I see the spelling and grammar errors. My apologies.
If we are going to quote Isaiah 2:2,3, then we must include verse 4. Isaiah 2:2,3,4 “It will come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s Temple will be established as the highest mountain and will be exalted above the hills and all nations will stream towards it. And many peoples will say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, and He will teach us His ways and we will walk in His paths’; for from Zion instruction will go forth, and the… Read more »
Hi Skye, Have you ever thought that there is the possibility of Christ’s Kingdom being established in the first century? “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Matt 26:64 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Matt 28:18 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 1 Cor 15:25 The… Read more »
Peely, My previous comment still stands. My interest is in the Bible as I am sure it is for you too. However, unlike you, I have absolutely no interest in the website you post, and for that reason I see no point in continuing this discussion with you at this time; but I thank you for your reply. No doubt we will speak again. I wish you well, my friend. Skye.
Yes, well presented, Meleti, what an object lesson in hypocrisy, Jesus said his kingdom was no part of this world? I guess that would by this exposure will no doubt be a warning to sincere Christians, just as the nation of Israel ‘ that their house was abandoned by God’ why would it be any different today!! Thanks brother, appreciate the article.
Can I reveal a few spoilers about the annual meeting?
Go for it.
There is no more Theocratic Ministry School. It will be one be called “Christian Life and Ministry” The Public Edition of the Watchtower is now going to be Bi-Monthly. (Every two months)And there’s a new “Organized to do Jehovah’s Will”. There is a Simplified edition of the Bible Teach book. And there is a new study edition of the NWT. And more branch closings.
Also they are cutting the cooking and laundry positions in bethel. Bethelites will have to make their own meals and do their own laundry.
Also some of these wil be said at the meeting and the letter the next day.
Is it cooking or cleaning that is being cut? I can see bethelites doing their own cleaning, but most don’t have full kitchens for preparing all their own meals. Additionally, that would mean eliminating breakfast which includes morning worship.
It certainly promises to be a most interesting annual meeting this year.
Excellent reasoning brother, i would like to clarify one point, as an Australian resident i have been very aware of the Royal Commission into child sex abuse. Your comment: – “the two religions that received the greatest attention were Catholics and Jehovah’s Witnesses.” – is not entirely accurate as the Royal Commission was set up to examine child sex abuse across a broad organisational spectrum, the commission is investigating all organisations in Australia that have had contact with children. At the present time the commission is looking at two separate private schools accused of covering up child sexual abuse and… Read more »
I am well aware that other organizations, secular institutions, and even other religions have been investigated. That is why I was careful to choose the wording I did.
Your words are as quoted, so my point being the Catholics and JWs didn’t receive the “greatest attention” by the Commission. With due respect that’s the point I’m clarifying.
>>But please be aware the Royal Commission here in Australia has not payed special attention to the Catholic Church and Jehovah’s Witnesses above any other organisation accused of child sex abuse. I see your concern, and to alleviate it, I assure you that I wasn’t suggesting that the royal commission was paying undue attention or singling out Catholics and Jehovah’s Witnesses. I understand that their scope is very broad, encompassing potentially any Australian institution. Perhaps there are secular and educational organizations that have a worse record than either Catholics or Jehovah’s Witnesses. I simply don’t know. However, to the best… Read more »
No they were not at first. But they were in the end Meleti. That was the incredible thing that happened as the days rolled by.
What creates the most challenging of all problems, as stated by the Royal Commission, is that they have such a system set up, a system that they will not budge from. That is the two witness rule, the lack of a female mentor in the Judicial Hearings, and the patriarchal approach of the GB concerning how much a woman is allowed to assist. A woman my question and gather evidence with the victim. She is not, absolutely not, allowed to decide whether a sin or crime has been committed. This has made the RC deem that the problems within this… Read more »
Hamilton, do you know when the Commissions judgement will be made? I assume the hearing is over
Hi Junia, the commission started in January 2013 by opened its doors so to speak by inviting submissions by anyone who was sexually assaulted, particularly those who suffered abuse while in the duty of care on an organisation. These could be submitted in writing, electronically or even verbally, depending on what the victim felt most comfortable with. As far as I’m aware the commission has not set an end date as it will work through each and every testimony until their work is complete. This is why the governor general of Australia appointed 6 commissioner’s to handle the huge work… Read more »
As always, it is important to keep in mind what the Bible actually says. I cannot recall any specific scripture that literally says, “Jehovah blesses obedience.” Meleti, if you know of such a passage, it would be helpful it if you could cite that for us. Certainly, the sentiment SEEMS reasonable, but simply being reasonable alone is not enough to presume that it’s something that God wishes us to believe. It is much like the saying, “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” The Bible doesn’t say that, and as desirable as it for people to be clean, there is no scriptural… Read more »
>> Meleti, if you know of such a passage, it would be helpful it if you could cite that for us. I would do so if that were a point I was trying to make, but it is not. I am taking the teaching Anthony Morris is promoting to show that they are condemned by their own words. Based on this and your comment on my last article, I get the impression that you think the articles are supposed to prove what the title says. That is not my intent. The purpose of this article is not to promote the… Read more »
It is not my intent either. However, since the GB chose to give their program that title, and you chose to discuss it, it does seem fair to bring up the subject. My point was that when the GB makes a statement like “Jehovah blesses obedience” they may be using that title in a way that would tend to manipulate others. Surely if the Bible contained such a quotation, they would cite it, but they don’t. We must also ask, if Jehovah blesses obedience, then obedience to whom? To Jehovah? To the GB? To anyone that demands obedience from us?… Read more »
You make a good point regarding Jehovah expecting obedience from us with no strings attached. Unconditional obedience, absolutely, because that is his right and our obligation. However, the account in Genesis 3 sets the tone for the whole bible. Without being able to site a scripture that specifically says that, it’s pretty clear to me that obedience is the whole point, and the blessings do come, even if good people suffer bad things and vice versa. In fact, I feel obedience is really the universal issue being resolved now, not Jehovah’s sovereignty (I think that’s a red herring to make… Read more »
I agree with your reasoning, 1984. While the purpose of my article wasn’t to prove that Jehovah blesses obedience, I did take that as a foregone conclusion. I also agree with you that the sovereignty issue is a GB red herring, used to support their own claim to authority. As evidence that God blesses obedience we have Hebrews chapter 11. The pivotal text of that chapter in my humble opinion is this one: “Moreover, without faith it is impossible to please God well, for whoever approaches God must believe that he is and that he becomes the rewarder of those… Read more »
Well, the bible as we know it does not contain that exact phrase. However, it has various passages that carry that message. for example: Isa 56:2 The people who do this will be blessed, the people who commit themselves to obedience, who observe the Sabbath and do not defile it, who refrain from doing anything that is wrong. I guess the point Is, that the Father will bless those who obey HIM and not the people that have made themselves prophets or His spokesmen. The Father says: Luk 9:35 Then a voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my… Read more »
“if you know of such a passage, it would be helpful it if you could cite that for us.” God IS inclined to bless our obedience to Him, and to His Son only. Since God created man, the establishment of exclusive obedience to God has not changed. Sure, the wicked can and will prosper, but the end of the matter is a different story. “For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. 23 But this command I gave them:… Read more »
I have to respond to the claim that the matter Paul brought to Jerusalem was in an open forum. After the false brothers stood up from their seats and brought out the accusation, notice what Acts 15:6 says: “So the apostles and the elders gathered together to look into this matter.” This implies something aside from the entire multitude. The question is whether “the entire group” in verse 12 refers to just the apostles and the elders, or the entire congregation there. But, the discussion into the circumcision issue appears to be limited to the apostles and the elders with… Read more »
Indeed, it could well be that the apostles and elders got together to discuss a bit separate from the crowd / congregation / church. Which makes sense in my view as this was a serious topic and making it a group discussion would never lead to an outcome. But if I read verse 12 it gives me the impression the group was present, close to the discussion of the apostles and elders. That would mean / confirm that all happened in the open or in a very transparent way.
This article is spot on and mirrors my thoughts exactly. The latest videos would appear to be trying to convince everyone that we are beyond reproach in these cases and are quite simply damage control. I have provided links. The video “I Gave Up on Religion” is interesting. How someone can go from teaching others to think for themselves and have critical thinking skills to then having an organisation do their thinking for them is beyond me. It’s when people are feeling low/depressed that they are at their most vulnerable and they become low hanging fruit ripe for the picking… Read more »
When I discovered the appalling record of child abuse within the Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I did not turn a blind eye. I took what I thought was appropriate action, as did many others. I also made the decision to discontinue field service arrangements and finally meeting attendance, because I believed that to take part in these activities would serve to direct people to an environment where children were at risk. I no longer carry any of WTs guilt. Like many others who have left different religious organisations and cults, I have repented of being involved in false teachings. The… Read more »
I share these sentiments !! Take care.
we have hidden this dirty laundry for more than half a century, hoping that our self-image as the only truly righteous people on earth might not be tarnished
No one expected to be here a half century later. The short-sighted policies and decisions were almost certainly influenced by “end is near” thinking. Thinking it does belong to us to know times and seasons also has consequences.
An excellent point, Andere.