“I myself will search for my sheep, and I will care for them.” – Ezekiel 34:11
[Study 25 from ws 06/20 p.18 August 17 – August 23, 2020]
This article is based on the premise that the congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses is the only place where God’s sheep are found because it is the [only, is implied] Christian congregation!
Paragraphs 4-7 covers the topic “Why do some stop serving Jehovah?”
This is based on the premise that serving Jehovah can only be done in the congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
It gives the following reasons for leaving Jehovah as the Organization defines it:
- Materialism, through working more secularly
- Overwhelmed with problems – health and a problem of the Organization’s making, the disfellowshipping of a family member.
- Unjust treatment by a fellow witness (or fellow witnesses)
- Guilty conscience
Not surprisingly it does not mention disagreeing with the Organization’s teachings or its policies on child abuse accusations! That would alert brothers and sisters to what are probably the biggest reasons Witnesses are leaving the Organization today. The congregation with which we are officially still part of has lost some 10+ individuals this way in the last 2 years, with none of the 4 reasons given in the Watchtower article, the cause of the leaving. We are also familiar with another congregation, Pennsylvania, which likewise has lost around 10 individuals in the last 6 months because of disagreeing with the Organization’s teachings and policies on child abuse accusations. No doubt you know as we do of many others who have left for the same reasons.
In paragraphs 10-14 it covers “Jehovah searches for his sheep”.
It suggests that “First, the shepherd would search for the sheep, which could require much time and effort. Then, once he located the stray, the shepherd would bring it back to the flock. Further, if the sheep was injured or starving, the shepherd would lovingly support the weak animal, binding its wounds, carrying it, and feeding it. Elders, the shepherds of “the flock of God,” need to take these same steps to help any who have strayed from the congregation. (1 Peter 5:2-3) The elders search for them, help them to return to the flock, and show them love by providing the necessary spiritual support”.
These are all good fine words but try stopping attending meetings telling others it is because you disagree with some of the Organizations teachings and see what happens. There likely will be a rush to arrange a meeting of yourself with 3 elders for the purpose of “spiritual assistance”, at the end of which the likely result will be that you are disfellowshipped.
The final three paragraphs 15-17 discuss “How should we feel about God’s lost sheep?”
It correctly points out that “As the fine shepherd, Jesus also did his utmost to avoid losing any of Jehovah’s sheep. Read John 6:39”.
In light of this, we ask, if the Governing Body is truly the Faithful and Discreet Slave, why are they driving so many Witnesses away with their false teachings including prophesying about being in the last day of the last days and their unjust policies on child sexual abuse? Why do they not obey the words of Jesus, who they claim is their master?
Jesus spoke this way to the Pharisees of his day and by extension all those today who act in a Pharisaic way, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you give the tenth of the mint and the dill and the cumin (all cheap, small, light herbs and spices), but you have disregarded the weightier matters of the Law, namely justice and mercy and faithfulness. These things it was binding to do, yet not to disregard the other things. Blind guides, who strain out the gnat but gulp down the camel.” Here Jesus acknowledged it was binding to look after the small things such as the 10th of the mint, but not at the expense of disregarding the other things, justice and mercy and faithfulness.
Are we being unfair about this?
No, paragraph 6 gives the following experience “Consider the experience of Pablo, a brother in South America. He was falsely accused of wrongdoing and, as a result, lost a privilege of service in the congregation. How did he react? “I got angry,” says Pablo, “and I gradually drifted away from the congregation”.
If it is a true experience, (because as usual, we cannot verify it), where was the application of the two-witness rule to his situation? Or are we expected to believe that there were 2 or more people prepared to lie and accuse him falsely of wrongdoing? (which sadly is actually possible, as the author knows from bitter personal experience). More importantly, one of the scriptures the Organization misapplies to accusations of child sexual abuse actually relates directly to his position. This is 1 Timothy 5:19, which says “Do not admit an accusation against an older man, except only on the evidence of two or three witnesses”. (Paul was not giving a rule that could not be broken, but a principle to minimize petty accusations (caused by jealousy) against hard-working brothers in the congregation). If the principle is wrongly turned into a rule, why is it not enforced equitably? Is there not a saying, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. If the two-witness rule is enforced on child sexual abuse for which it was not designed, then why was it not enforced to exonerate Pablo?
If the Organization really cares about the welfare of lost sheep then it should stop disfellowshipping and supporting the shunning of those child sexual abuse victims who have left the Organization because they cannot cope with being in close proximity to their abuser who has escaped any similar censure. Let them not stick to the two-witness principle in positions where it results in injustice to the victims, straining out the gnat, and then going on to gulp down the camel by ignoring the spirit of reporting laws and ignoring justice for the vulnerable and unprotected.
Jehovah and Jesus Christ view their sheep as precious, but how many they will find among the elders and Bethelites and Governing Body is a good question.
I thought it sonewhat misleading to use Ezekiel 34:11 as the theme scripture of the article. Verses 1to 9 give the reason for Jehovah searching for the sheep. It was because of the bad shepherds if Israel who were abusing the sheep for the reasons that are mentioned in those verses. Selective biblical interpretation is deceptive and shows a lack of integrity on the part of the organization. I really doubt whether tthe GB has anything to do with the writing of these study articles.
Here is one of the beauty of previously reviewed Watchtower article on this platform as it concerns an INACTIVE or SPIRITUALLY WEAK SHEEP. The below are what the ORGANIZATION sees as SPIRITUAL goals directed to the young ones in the Watchtower [From ws 12/18 p. 24 – February 25 – March 3] Read along as Nobleman one of the reviewer on this platform breaks it into those that are SCRIPTURAL or ORGANIZATION CENTERED. 1. Getting more out of my Bible reading (Scriptural) 2. Becoming more conversational in the ministry (Organizational) 3. Reaching dedication and baptism (Organizational – because baptism is… Read more »
For those who still want to really understand WHAT RIGHTEOUS REQUIREMENTS and INTEGRITY is based upon in the ORGANIZATION of JWS. They need to take a second look at the Watchtower of July 1943 page 204 to page 205. Part of what is on that page 205 goes thus…….m He says Let us assign the field, the world, to special pioneers, regular pioneers and companies of JWs in orderly way……….He says the requirements for special pioneers shall be 175 hours and 50 back calls……. It is for your good that these requirements are made; for thereby you are able to… Read more »
As an addition to previous post. From the watchtower study article…… EXPRESSION EXPLAINED: An INACTIVE PUBLISHER is someone who has not reported any activity in the preaching and disciple-making work for six months or more. Even so, inactive ones are still our brothers and sisters, and we love them. In essence what makes one a JEHOVAH’S witness basically is witnessing about Jehovah most times formally as directed by the Governing Body. Since informal witnessing will be frowned upon if one were to go that way all the time. When a JW failed to report for 6 months. It is as… Read more »
As for the review let it keep coming @Tadua. Many are not here for the review alone. They are here for the comments as well. Just like the main review many of the comments come with salient points that have become major switch that keep the awakening process going.
I still frequent the archives and old articles reviewed and they are still available with many gems discovered on this platform in the past.
For those still in the process of AWAKENING, the key terms to take away is looking for the 1. INACTIVE ONES. Do well to seek what INACTIVE ONES mean in the eyes of the ORGANIZATION and light of the scriptures? Tabulate parameters of being active one and inactive one as defined in the SCRIPTURE and by the ORGANIZATION. Compare and contrast which you will hold dear and alllign with what God requires of you? As an example Romans 12: 1-21 is a very good verse that shows how to be ACTIVE as a CHRISTIAN now compare it 10hrs monthly report… Read more »
Thank you very much for the review of this article @ Tadua. A real experience conveyed in the following questions…. What is the essence of RETURNING to an ORGANIZATION after been disfellowshipped based on EVIDENCE not understood by the judicial committee who are now seeking to APOLOGIZE for that miscalculation. What is the basis for returning to an ORGANIZATION when an ELDER continually SNUB and SHUN that disfellowshipped person working at same SECULAR ORGANIZATION based on EVIDENCE not understood by the JUDICIAL COMMITTEE who are seeking RECONCILIATION when that person had moved on from the incidence? The basis for returning… Read more »
Thank you Tadua, whoever you are, for all your hard work. I think though that we have discussed the subject of Jehovah’s Witnesses long enough. Those of us who come to this site are more than well aware of the fact that wt is irrelevant in the scheme of things. The fact is though, we still need building up and encouraging. I would be much happier if we discussed the thoughts expressed in God’s Word. We seem to be making the same error that we did as JWs that is, Jesus said to proclaim the good news of the kingdom… Read more »
Hi Christian. I think that Tadua’s work is very useful for those still within the WT congregations that are in various levels of awakening. Many JWs have doubts that may be clarified through such articles and the seeds of truth can be planted into hearts of many. Many of our JW brothers and sisters are still under the influence of mind programming or fear. Such articles reveal Org’s false teachings and can help many to step into Christian freedom. But reviews of WT articles form only part of diverse content of this site. If you are interested in some special… Read more »
Good to the point answer Frankie and I might add under the “About” tab in the tool bar It is clearly stated The purpose of Beroean Pickets – JW.org Reviewer is to provide a place for honest-hearted Jehovah’s Witnesses to gather to examine both the published and broadcast teachings of the Organization in the light of Bible Truth. That said, I agree with Jack & Christian we all need up building and encouragement from the scriptures as well as association. I believe Eric Wilson the founder of this forum has established a weekly ZOOM meeting for that purpose free of WT criticism… Read more »
Why not try https://beroeans.net/2020/03/10/confirmation-of-the-genesis-record-from-an-unexpected-source-part-1/ and the rest of its series.
Or The Messianic Prophecy of Daniel 9 series https://beroeans.net/2020/05/27/the-messianic-prophecy-of-daniel-924-27-part-1/ if you would like something which doesn’t mention the WT or the Organization. Or You and Deep Blue, the recently posted article before this WT review.
Is there a forum here where the Bible alone is discussed?
Can the Gospel of Matthew, as a whole, be dissected and discussed here?
Verse by verse, chapter by chapter.
No need to have all the answers.
Just a sincere effort to know Christ.
This would mean letting go of all preconceived ideas and allowing Christ words to enter our hearts and minds.
Allowing him to speak to us. As he spoke to his early disciples.
BEING with Christ.
Is there something else for us?
I believe there is a Bible Study on Sundays.
There are literally thousands of websites you can go to where just the Bible is discussed.
This website happens to be named JW reviewer. If you don’t like this one and you knew what you were entering when you opened the page then go turn some pages. This website was not designed to start a new religion but hopefully to end a false one.
Some of those whom Christendom considered as apostates in the past are now recognized as heroes by JW members.
Why then, might it be so hard for some to contemplate that the same, might be happening today?
Every word published by the Watchtower has become irrelevant.
It’s like trying to find truth in a crossword puzzle; a bunch of disconnected thoughts fragmentally joined.
Greetings! Tadua, your first paragraph hit the nail on the head in my opinion. The article and the whole mindset of JWs who look at those who have left, is skewed. They assume they know why, and attach spurious motives to those of us who have simply moved on to the freedom of Christ, realising that we do not need their organisation or any religious structure to worship in spirit and truth. The idea that one can worship outside of their organisation is anathema to them. It doesn’t compute. I’ve recently been contacted by an old friend who had been… Read more »
Some need the comfort of association.
I wish them well. Does it matter in the end? Will only former Witnesses gain life? No. But still once we “see”, we see.
Yet, though we see the Org. for what it is we are still in need of salvation and recognition that we are nothing, no better than our brother whomever he may be; JW, Catholic, Baptist, Jew or anyone else.
We cannot judge hearts.
Thanks to Jehovah who has not placed that burden on us because we are merely flesh who do not always know our left from our right.
How then can we judge our brother?
Matt 11:30; Romans 14:10; 2 Tim 4:1; James 4:12.
I agree with you, Jack. When the realization sinks in that all you’ve believed may not be what you believed it to be, the heart feels heavy and it suddenly feels lonely in a world made up of lies.
I do believe we need comfort as well as truth.
I have seen many that just tear down what we have held dear. I believe strongly in building up.
Thank you Tadua for your regular and reliable srticles. What is the point of including the example in paragraph 8 of the lost sheep, if elders do not apply it ? Do they go out once a year to those who have stopped attending meetings, or has this ceased ? Do they go out to shepherd those assigned to them ? It seems to me that preventive shepherding is much more likely to be successful that locking the stable door after the sheep has scarpered. Paragraph 9 states clearly that a good shepherd would certainly notice if even one sheep… Read more »
Hello, Leonardo. I’m currently assisting a disfellowshipped individual. Scripturally, all of us who are “Ambassadors substituting for Christ” have an obligation to beg all people who are not at peace with God to “become reconciled to God”. We offer them the terms of reconciliation exactly as they’re given to us by the King. I’m convinced that the Jehovah” of the Watchtower is not the Jehovah of the Bible.
It isn’t what actually occurs, Leonardo. All we have to do is read Ezekiel 34:1-10 to understand the main reason for what Jehovah says in verses 11-16. Bad shepherds! Yet, the context of the theme scripture isn’t even considered. Wonder why?