“He loves righteousness and justice. The earth is filled with Jehovah’s loyal love[i].”— Psalm 33:5
[From ws 02/19 p.20 Study Article 9: April 29 – May 5]
As in another recent article, there are many good points here. A read of the first 19 paragraphs is beneficial to all.
However, there are some statements made in paragraph 20 that need discussing.
Paragraph 20 opens with “Jehovah has compassion for his people, so he put safeguards in place to prevent individuals from being treated unfairly.”. No quibbles here.
Next, the paragraph says, “For example, the Law limited the possibility that a person would be falsely accused of a crime. A defendant had the right to know who was accusing him. (Deuteronomy 19:16-19; 25:1)”. Again, a fine point.
However—this is an important point—in the quasi-Judicial system the Organization has created, many elders do not rule for justice itself. Furthermore, unlike the arrangements under the Mosaic Law where any accusations and judgements were dealt with in public at the city gates, judicial hearings are in secret, often with only the accused and three elders present. Do miscarriages of justice occur? More frequently than the Organization will admit. Sometimes, the accusers are the elders themselves. No prizes for guessing the judgement they will make. For a recent shocking example watch this interview of a 79 year old sister who was recently disfellowshiped in absentia, without the opportunity to know who her accusers were nor the specifics of what she was alleged to have done.
The second point the paragraph makes is “And before he could be convicted, at least two witnesses had to give evidence. (Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15). A question we do not know the answer to is whether there were two witnesses in this sister’s case. Additionally, important points are that Deuteronomy 17:6 is discussing accusations which if proved true would result in the death penalty. Furthermore, the context of Deuteronomy 19:15 shows there were arrangements to handle serious accusations by one person. Verses 16-21 deal with this and shows the accusations would be thoroughly investigated in public by many, not by a few in private. This gave the opportunity for other witnesses to come forward. The accusations of one person would not be ignored and swept under the carpet. This context was obviously overlooked by the article writer as he next offers this opinion “What about an Israelite who committed a crime that was seen by only one witness? He could not assume that he would get away with his wrongdoing. Jehovah saw what he did.” While this is true, according to Deuteronomy 19:16-21 discussed above, he might have been convicted because of evidence discovered in the thorough investigation. Surely a more satisfying outcome for all.
Paragraph 23 goes on to say “The Law also protected family members from sex crimes by forbidding all forms of incest. (Lev. 18:6-30) Unlike the people of the nations surrounding Israel, who tolerated or even condoned this practice, Jehovah’s people were to view this type of crime as Jehovah did—as a detestable act.”
Sexual abuse of a child is a serious crime, whether incest or rape. An allegation of sexual abuse should be taken very seriously, whether by one witness or not, just as any allegation of murder or serious fraud. Such allegations of serious crimes should be reported to the superior authorities today, as per the principle in Romans 13:1, just as required in the time of the Mosaic Law. An allegation does not need to be proven. If the allegation is subsequently proved false, the superior authorities can take action against the accuser as can the accused. These allegations should only be handled at all within the Christian congregation after the secular authorities have been informed and have ruled on the case. Trying to draw comparisons between the present elder arrangement in the Organization today and the older men of the Israelite villages and towns is not valid. The older men were not spiritual guardians, rather they were civil appointments. The role of spiritual guardian was handled by the priests, who were only called upon in exceptional circumstances. (Deuteronomy 19:16-19)
Finally, in paragraph 25 we read “Love and justice are like breath and life; on earth, one does not exist without the other”.
If true Christian love does not exist, there cannot be justice. Likewise, if justice is missing, then the identifying mark of love for all will also be missing. Isolated incidents can be ignored, because there will always be isolated wicked individuals. However, evidence of a large amount of injustice cannot be so easily explained away and indicates true Christian love is not present.
In conclusion, for the majority of this article we can benefit from the review of the positive benefits of the Mosaic Law. However, the final paragraphs from paragraph 20 onward should raise serious questions in our minds about whether or how any aspects of the Mosaic can be or should be or really are, applied today within the Organization.
Footnote: As this article is the first article of a series of four articles, we will confine our review comments to the material contained in the specific article being reviewed to avoid repetition.
[i] The NWT reference edition says, “With the loving-kindness of Jehovah the earth is filled”.
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Unfortunately the video you refer to wa of a faceless and nameless couple and could be completely fake.
this youtube video is a good example
Hi Gogetter, regarding the 2 child abuse study articles, I have been preparing several carefully worded comments already and thought I would share these here. I actually have been working with children 0-12 yrs old for 26 years as a mandated reporter of child abuse based on “reasonable grounds evidence” in Victoria Australia. I am an Out of School hours/holiday programs Co-ordinater and a nanny… So..my comments.. 1. “Sadly, bringing reproach on Jehovah’s name and org. has stopped some from reporting the crime of pedophilia or other abuses to the police”. 2. “One of the scriptural principles that apply here… Read more »
Lost in Space Another scriptural principle that applies to reporting sexual child abuse, and this is a Christian one, and not an archaic Jewish Law principle, is OBEY THE LAWS OF CAESAR. (Romans) I remember the ARC hearings about WT that were held in your country. It was brought out in those meetings, by the man acting as the head authority in those hearings and the lawyer questioning WT, that WT violated mandatory reporting laws in Victoria. I can’t remember if it did so in your other provinces. But possibly in others as well, as WT referred absolutely zero allegations… Read more »
Of course, while the majority of points made above are correct, we must remember that we are not under the Judeo-Christian manner of doing things. That being said, we can “gleen” certain dealings as it relates to sinners, confession, sins, and how they are should be handled under the Christian scriptures. The vast sum of trespass under the Governing Body set of rules cannot be supported by scripture, since they are generally not mentioned in the biblical record as something spoken of as offensive to Jah (i.e. birthdays, etc). While there has been some good accomplished by the JW organization,… Read more »
When reading the part about judging it reminded me of a scripture that caught my attention in the OCLM meeting Bible reading some time ago. 1 Corinthians 6:5 NWT 2013 “Is there not one wise man among you who is able to judge between his brothers?” Kingdom Interlinear 1985 “Thus not is in YOU no one wise who will be able to judge through up midst of the brother of him” ESV “Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers” HCSB “Can it be that there is not one… Read more »
Hi Berardbooks. Very interesting observations and we would agree also therefore with your natural, probably obvious conclusion to WT leadership agenda with regard that scripture. ?
Great analysis and comments! I would like to suggest that Tadua do an early analysis of the May Watchtower study articles that I believe will be covered in July with a focus on those of us still in (PIMO) to be able to make intelligent and strategic “wake up!” Comments where possible. I dare say most of the publishers are totally unaware of the child abuse situation including the ARC and mega lawsuits. If performed correctly this can serve to help them do their own investigation, the more friends that actually know what is going on the better. The only… Read more »
Hi gogetter, yes as a fellow pimo, I have been thinking about to best word our comments when this article is read. Having a “third person authority” approach, as in my case as a mandated reporter of abuse in my line of childcare 0-12 yr old Out of School hours care and nanny, answer ing “in my childcare course social welfare officers spoke of the long history of the culture of the cover up and denial. Whether it be unwed mothers,alcoholism, domestic violence or all child abuse.so too…” Also another answer I have prepared is: “Sadly, concerns for bringing reproach… Read more »
Right now the Governing Body is petitioning courts to force many activists who are not active in JW congregations anymore to give WT the names of persons who have provided them with certain WT docs, and/or to cease and desist from posting certain WT published materials and WT internal memos online. Some elders have also been instructed to summon activists that have been congregationally inactive for years to judicial hearings and charge them with “causing divisions”. Even though these inactive ones have had no contact with any congregation for years. Nor do they want to. The GB definitely is concerned… Read more »
Great comment Alithia. Very thorough. So often we get the response “Do you think Jesus is directing the congregation, and don’t you think that if it is important, he will correct it ?”
I had not thought it as blasphemy before, as (a) it is telling us that if the teaching is wrong, that he has allowed it or (b) that he permits wrongdoing under the the name of his rulership.
Currently JW judicial procedures are inappropriate, inadequate and demonstrably harmful to many who are drawn into the process, especially victims of child abuse. Not to mention not being compliant with the Australian law where knowledge of such abuse is mandatory to be reported to the relevant authorities. The two witness rule, how it is interpreted and applied is a joke. I would like firstly to say that there is no question as to the bible mentioning 2 or 3 witnesses in connection with solving issues, where there is strife, or where incontrovertible proof needs to be established. However, I think… Read more »
I am total agreement with everything you said.
They are neither faithful to God’s inspired word in its complete context, nor discreet in their application of chosen parts. Nor humble, nor honest, nor loving. Truly a wicked slave.
Dear friend, what you have posted on our “small” forum with our Beroean family needs to be shouted from the rooftops and contributed to many other media/internet spaces. The insightfulness and righteous Bible reasoning presented was masterful and I can only believe, fully spirit directed. May our fellow readers be able to bring your discussion to the attention of activists and any who are willing to engage. This message truly needs to go “viral”. Our warmest regards to you and for such a mighty witness for the true justice of Jehovah and Jesus
Addressed to Alithia??
Well Said Brother,
Why does the JW .Org GB leadership get it so wrong on child abuse & the Judicial process in general? Basically as you highlighted above.
Many active JWs are simply not aware of the process to resolve issues. And many are not accurately taught what and how these texts should be applied. Rather they are taught the misapplication.
So this criticism is fully justified Alithia. It’s a very thorough critique.
Yes Lazarus, I think we all have been affected to a degree, we find hard to fathom at times. We have heard the scriptures misapplied so many times for soooo long that it has been ingrained in our minds and the brain synapsis just fire off automatically. We may at times even think that our thoughts are truly the product of our own thinking, meditation and conclusions, however often in the end we realise it is simply indoctrination. Never ceases to amaze me , the scripture which says the god of the system of things has blinded the minds of… Read more »
This analysis is perfection. I wish this could be substituted for the Watchtower discussion on Sunday. I loved the point you made about the Hebrew word for “witness.” It doesn’t need to be a person, it can be an assortment of evidence. Well done.
Also I need to watch the ARC. I haven’t gotten to it yet.
Good work again Tadua. 1. In paragraph 12 the article states that when they obeyed the Law, he blessed them. The history of Israel as recorded in the Bible and specifically throughout the prophetic books, the charge is that the Law was corrupted by judges, etc. hence the people were oppressed. The question is could this happen today? The nonsense talked about bringing reapproach on God’s name hold people back. The reality is no human can bring reapproach on his Name. The entire dealings with Israel demonstrate this. 2. In paragraph 22-24, we see the Law protecting widows and orphans.… Read more »
“In practice, the vast majority of Elders await direction from the Branch, who get it from the GB. This means that the injustices and failings arise from that group and they have not apologised or offered support to the victims. Strangely, most of Christendom’s churches have done this! It seems like Satan’s organisations (according to WT definition) are proving repentant, contrite and humble!!!”
Amen to that. And how sad the GB can’t be moved to even acknowledge, much less apologize.
Thank you Tadua, for your thoughts. Regarding the two witness rule, in Ancient Israel there was also the provision suggested strongly by Leviticus 5:1 – namely a call to testify.
If the men at the gates could not find two witnesses, they could have used this provision to ensure justice was meted out. The call to testify is important to a fair trial, but is sadly lacking before a JW appeal or a judicial committee, as the accused often does not know the full details of his accusation and has no one to speak on his behalf,
Well done Tadua for your continued consideration of the study material. We would highly recommend two current postings on youtube channel ” witness for Jesus” of a mighty, reasoning-with-the-scriptures sister, who had faded, and now faces a judicial committee and then
an appeal committee soon after. Both are recorded, even the brothers deliberations in their decision. A bold and righteous testimony in contrast to the “company men”.