Treasures from God’s Word – When Jehovah forgives, does he forget?
Ezekiel 18:19, 20 – Jehovah holds each person responsible for his own actions (w12 7/1 page 18 para 2)
The last sentence of the reference states accurately, “Each individually had a choice; each one was responsible for his own course of action.”
Some questions for all those Witnesses who still are appointed elders:
- If you are instructed to sell-off your Kingdom Hall and move to share a hall that is far less convenient and more expensive to travel to for the flock under your care, what will you do? Follow the organization’s direction blindly and try to abdicate responsibility to them?
- What if you are convinced that someone who has come before you in a judicial committee accused of child sexual abuse is guilty, but there is only one witness. Will you say nothing as instructed?
- If you know of a case of child abuse, where there is at least one credible witness, will you comply with Bible instruction found at Romans 13:1-7 and inform “God’s Minister” appointed by Jehovah for dispensing criminal justice? Will you recognize that the secular government is more equipped to find and qualify evidence and has a larger responsibility to protect all members of society, not just the members of your congregation? Will you see that by doing this you are upholding the sanctity of Jehovah’s name?
- Will you put the direction of the branch Service Desk and/or Legal Desk above the dictates of your Christian conscience?
If you feel duty bound to follow the direction of the organization, are you aware they could easily ‘leave you hanging out to dry’ on your own, if legal action is taken against you and the organization in years to come? Remember the Nuremberg Defense? Adolf Eichmann also used this defense at his trial in Israel in 1961. In part he said “I cannot recognize the verdict of guilty. . . . It was my misfortune to become entangled in these atrocities. But these misdeeds did not happen according to my wishes. It was not my wish to slay people. . . . Once again I would stress that I am guilty of having been obedient, having subordinated myself to my official duties and the obligations of war service and my oath of allegiance and my oath of office, and in addition, once the war started, there was also martial law. . . . I did not persecute Jews with avidity and passion. That is what the government did. . . . At that time obedience was demanded, just as in the future it will also be demanded of the subordinate.”
It will be no defense at all, when before Christ the Judge of all the earth, to say “I am not guilty … It was my misfortune to become entangled with these misdeeds. These misdeeds did not happen according to my wishes. It was not my wish to allow others to also become victims. Once again I would stress that I am guilty of having been obedient to the organization, having subordinated myself to my official duties as an elder which required me to co-operate unquestioningly with the Governing Body and its representatives. I did not willingly let perpetrators of child sexual abuse go free and unhindered. That is what the organization did … At that time obedience was demanded, just as it is now”. Sobering thoughts indeed, especially when the Judge, Christ Jesus replies “Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness”. (Matthew 7:21-23) “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of the least of these my brothers (including little ones), you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40)
Do you forgive yourself? (video)
Once again the video reinforces the unbiblical stance taken by the organization on reinstatement after disfellowshipping. Why did the sister have to wait a year before reinstatement? One assumes she was likely disfellowshipped for immorality as she has 2 children with no husband shown in the video. If she was no longer being immoral and had asked Jehovah for forgiveness, then what right does a judicial committee have to insist on man-made rules as to what she has to do and for how long, before being reinstated?
How do the organization rules sit with the thought in Luke 17:4 where it says “Even if he (your brother) sins seven times a day against you and he comes back to you seven times saying ‘I repent’, you must forgive him”?
Additionally, what about the counsel in 2 Corinthians 2:7,8 where Paul asked that the congregation “kindly forgive and comfort” the brother who had been rebuked because of taking the wife of his father, (1 Corinthians 5:1-5) so that he would “not be swallowed up by his being overly sad”? This request was only made a few months after Paul’s instructions in 1 Corinthians. There were no instructions to not speak to, nor greet this person at their meetings for at least a year while the local elders decided if he qualified for reinstatement! Such a treatment would be counterproductive. We would also be unable to follow the encouragement Paul gave in vs. 8 by confirming our love for such a one, if we are forbidden to speak to such a person by the Organization.
The video also gives no indication that the children of the sister were treated any differently to their mother. Where they members of the congregation who knowingly committed a serious sin against Jehovah like their mother? Of course not. So why did they and their mother get the same silent treatment having to sit alone in the back room of the hall? Because these are pharisaical rules that stay the congregation members from acting in love in line with Christian principles and common sense.
Young People ask – How can I deal with my mistakes?
The first paragraph under the heading “How to learn from your mistakes” makes the true and insightful comment, “Everyone makes mistakes. And as we have seen, it is a sign of humility and maturity to own up to them – and to do so right away.”
Sadly the writers of these words are not prepared to follow their own advice.
In the light of this statement, the Organization cannot be seen as showing humility and maturity, as they have not learned from their mistakes, but stubbornly refuse to change. Rather then own up, they actually seek to cast blame on others. For instance, there is a video in the last talk of this year’s Regional Convention’s Friday program that lays the blame for the debacle of 1975 as the year of Armageddon at the feet of the rank and file, not the Governing Body who promoted it repeatedly in the publications and in meeting and assembly parts. Likewise, they claim that they don’t shun victims of child abuse who leave the congregation, but instead of the ones being shunned by the victim.
So, a question we should ask ourselves is: What confidence can we put in any of the literature they publish? How much respect can you give the writings of people who by their own definition are ‘proud and immature’? Their stance on these matters is self-defeating. As the article, shows when we own up to our mistakes, we gain the respect of others. When we try to avoid apologies or worse, blame others for the error, we gain disrespect and derision.
Gods Kingdom Rules (kr chap 15 para 9-17) – Fighting for Freedom to Worship
This week again deals with instances where congregations have been refused the right to meet at kingdom halls and the right to own Branch offices.
The claim is made in paragraph 14 that “Jehovah’s people today fight for the freedom to worship Jehovah in the way that he has commanded”. But again we ask, while law abiding citizens should be free to meet and worship as they please, why do they need large legal entities with lots of money? In the case of France, this served as a target for opposers of the organization. There were no Branch offices with large treasuries among the 1st century Christians and yet they still managed to fill the whole earth with their preaching according to Acts 17:6. So is a Branch office a necessary part of worship in the Scriptures or is it only an organizational requirement?
The other area covered is that of medical treatment, the largest area of problems being that of blood transfusions.
The three scriptures commonly used to support the stance of ‘No Blood transfusions’ are Genesis 9:4, Deuteronomy 12:15,16 and Acts 15:29 which all relate in context to the practice of eating blood with flesh (meat). Acts 15 was referring to meat\flesh that was sacrificed to idols and was not bled properly.
Once again because of the organization’s practice of laying down laws—instead of stating guiding principles so that we can make our own decision based on our own conscience—a ludicrous situation has resulted. The official teaching is that a witness could be disfellowshipped for accepting a blood transfusion, while accepting blood fractions is left up to his conscience. On this basis, provided the witness had all the blood fractions one after another, he could have the equivalent of a whole blood transfusion, without being subjected to disfellowshipping action.
 Quoted from the Nuremberg Defense from Eichmann’s own words.
 From an article in The West Australian: “Jehovah’s Witness Australian branch committee member Terrence O’Brien said disassociation was an individual’s choice. ‘They are actually taking the stand to shun the congregation. They understand the implications of that,’ Mr O’Brien said. ‘I agree it puts them in a difficult situation but it is a choice.'”
Last thought, you state “The video also gives no indication that the children of the sister were treated any differently to their mother.”
I understand the agenda you’re pushing. It is true that the Organization’s policy concerning it’s practice of shunning, and I agree with you, it is harsh and unscriptual. However, the video also gives no indication that the children were shunned same as their mother either. I personally have seen a few situations exactly as depicted in the video and the children, even teens, we’re not treated the same as thier parent(s).
Hello Thaddeus, I can only give my experience. When I was around 7 years of age My dad was the assistant congregation servant and for various reasons he stepped down and eventually became inactive. We as kids and my mom were not technically “shunned” but we were blackballed or what ever you want to call it. My mom was one of those sisters that was at every meeting and every Saturday was out in service. I was at that hall until I could drive and go to another hall. We were never accepted there and it hurt. There were only… Read more »
We had an arrangement for a widow in the congregation , where we invited her around for a meal and association with us every Wednesday , it lasted for 5 years , however when my son left the religion because he is gay , she didn’t come again after that !
This was years ago, but I was close to a sister who would always comment that the older sisters never wanted to take her out in service or invite her places but would invite the other younger sisters. Why, because her mother was DF, culture of the organization.
Well written, thank you for sharing your thoughts.
I must say though that the last sentence of the last paragraph is totally false, impossible. There is no “fraction” of red cells, white cells, plasma nor platelets. There are fractions of other parts of blood that Witnesses may or may not take and the jest of the last paragraph I feel is correct, but the last sentence is medically not accurate.
It is true that a sequential administration of all available blood fractions would not equal a dose of whole blood. But that misses the point that the original JW ban on blood transfusions was unique in the Christian world of putting the dietary counsel of Bible above the value of human life. No other groups, including Jews, have made that interpretation. To compound the problem, the governing body (back we they were lower case) named four “major fractions” of blood as carrying the same restriction, opening up a judicial proceeding for any not accepting this arbitrary judgement. This made platelets,… Read more »
One thing that helped me wake up to the governing body’s lies was thinking on God’s prohibition of pork. Could a Jew have a soup made of pigs feet and justify that he was only eating a “fraction” of the pig and not the whole pig? Could Adam and Eve have eaten just the seeds of the forbidden fruit and then present the excuse that they didn’t eat the whole thing? How do they justify transfusions of fractions of blood if according to them blood transfusions are wrong? IF in God’s eyes blood is not to be used in any… Read more »
Love the reasoning. Obvious but missed it before as to donating blood for fractions. Really what you say is behind Ray Franz Search for Christian Freedom, namely the right to make our own conscientious decisions based on our understanding of the Bible. Each of us must render an account to God, of course, but Jesus said that the truth will make us free. Of course in any organisation there will be those who explain the scriptures and advise, but what Jesus condemned was the heavy loads put on by the religious leaders of his day. It does not seem much… Read more »
Love your reasoning on all those points.
Thanks Yehorakam , good points , I think they have not only sat themselves in the seat of moses , but in the seat of God in fact even beyond what God does , they seem to have become , law giver , enforcer and executioner , at least god has given us free will . Why do they do that ? There’s plenty of serious warnings about this in the bible !
Sorry I’ve removed this comment
I can understand where you’re coming from, you who has a brain. ☺ The pain inflicted by their actions can certainly cause you to think their motives are evil. But I tend to refrain from going that far as to judge their motives as wicked. Jesus will call out those that indeed had a wicked motive and declare them as wicked slaves if they so deserve that designation. The way I try to see it is much the same as the apostle Paul. He saw that there were some that thought they were anointed and therefore they thought they were… Read more »
Yes , of course thanks for your correction , who am I to judge these people , I’m sorry , I’ve become really cynical , I think the problem that I’ve had over the years is that , I’ve tried to be reasonable , I’ve tried to give everybody in the religion the benefit of the doubt . But I’ve found that when I did that I was just trampled on and abused , , I’m of the mind now , that I just say things as I think they really are , I’m absolutely convinced that what I said… Read more »
Not to worry. I didn’t intend to correct you, but rather try to put things in a different perspective. I certainly appreciate the sincerity and straightforwardness in all your comments. I hope you will continue to do so! Your thoughts and feelings are important.
Ifonly…. I know how you feel. As yehorakam said you do have a brain, that why you feel like speaking out. I have the same problem.. Maybe my name should be ifionlyhadastopperformymouth ?? That’s why I like writing instead of speaking. I can edit and edit my written words; wouldn’t it be great if we could rewind what we say and edit that! I too enjoy your straightforward way of speaking…. It may be a bit abrasive at times but it certainly is stimulating. And the fact you’re willing to take advice and reword your feelings endears you to us… Read more »
Thanks , I don’t know where the line is , but this was the problem I had on the body of elders , there were those who just wouldn’t stand up for what’s right , they were too frightened of offending perhaps another elder , they thought that keeping the peace , is more important , I really don’t want to judge or offend anyone , but at the same time when we see an injustice we have to speak the truth and stand up for what’s right ,in fact that’s the reason I’ve been dissed , I had to… Read more »
I feel this is the place to speak direct as the people here are not trying to squeeze anyone into their own “box” of truth. And if censure is needed I would rather it comes from here than some self righteous elder who thinks he speaks on behalf of Jehovah,which I once believed of myself thanks to years of indoctrination. Seeking truth with the help of others is so refreshing.
Last evening we had the CO visit, so the “Bible Study” coverage of persecution and Jehovah’s backing of his people was replaced with a talk. The announcement was made at the outset of the latest news from the Russian Supreme Court, who denied the appeal of the ban and dissolution of the branch and all congregation activity, with GB member Sanderson present. But nothing was said about the ironically omitted material (kr chap15, par 14: “Does Jehovah act on such prayers [for brothers suffering on account of legal injustices]? Our victories in court suggest that he certainly does!” Our Russian… Read more »