[W21/03 p. 2]
Reports are coming in that fewer and fewer young men are reaching out for “privileges” in the congregation. I believe that in great part this is due to the fact that young people are active on the internet and so are aware of the gross hypocrisy of the organization and want to part of it; but due to the threat of being shunned and cut off from family and friends, they continue to associate while avoiding reaching out for anything beyond the bare minimum.
In paragraph 2, we learn that the examples we will learn from are all from the Israelite times. This is part of the organization’s strategy of focusing attention on the times of the law instead of the times of Christ. Focusing on Christ will raise many questions that are best not faced by those wishing to exercise rules and laws.
Paragraph 3 speaks of non-spiritual ways in which young people can help out in the congregation. Paragraph 4 holds the promise of a more spiritual view by speaking of caring for the flock, but when it comes to any practical application, it fails by applying what it says to “diligently fulfilling any assignment they are given.” Yes, it is good to care for the flock but that means obeying the elders, not actually caring for the flock. How rare it is these days to hear of elders leaving the 99 behind to care for that one lost sheep.
Paragraph 5 provides us with a head scratching moment when it speaks of David cultivating a friendship with God, calling him David’s “close friend”, citing Psalm 25:14 which says nothing about God being David’s friend. What it does say is that God makes a covenant with those who are known to him. Since there is no covenant made with the other sheep “friends of God” based on JW theology, this text has no application whatsoever. If JWs were taught that all Christians are children of God in a covenant relationship with their heavenly Father, then Psalm 25:14 would be most relevant. However, instead they speak of David as God’s friend while at the same time calling Jehovah our heavenly father. Why not speak of being sons not friends?
Paragraph 6 states, “And by relying on his Friend, Jehovah, for strength, David struck down Goliath.” Again they beat the drum of “friendship with Jehovah”. This is an intentional effort to distract Christians from their true calling as children of God. There is nothing in the account that mentions Jehovah as David’s friend. I have many friends, but I have only one father. They refer to Jehovah as the father of all Jehovah’s witnesses, but they never refer to Jehovah’s Witnesses as his children. What a strange family they have created where there is one father over all Jehovah’s Witnesses, yet all 8 million of them are not his children.
Paragraph 11 speaks of the elders as ‘gifts’ which Jehovah gives the congregation. They cite Ephesians 4:8 which is badly translated in the NWT as “gifts in men”. A proper translation should be “gifts to men” which means that all the members of the congregation receive various gifts from God to be used for the benefit of all.
Paragraphs 12 and 13 make an excellent point. When Asa relied on Jehovah, all went well. When he relied on men, things went badly. Sadly, few Witnesses will see the parallel. They will rely on the men of the Governing Body for guidance even when their direction conflicts with that of the Bible. Witnesses will obey the Governing Body before they obey Jehovah God.
Paragraph 16 tells young ones to listen to the counsel of elders. But is It not the elders that frequently give the unscriptural advice to avoid higher learning, and who will punish a brother or sister for going to university to better themselves?
The final sentence states: “And above all, in everything you do, make your heavenly Father proud of you.—Read Proverbs 27:11.”
I find it amazing how Witnesses will read this and completely miss the irony. Proverbs 27:11 reads: “Be wise, my son, and bring joy to my heart; then I can answer anyone who treats me with contempt.” According to JW theology, it should read, “Be wise, my friend, and bring joy to my heart; then I can answer anyone who treats me with contempt.”
Only the anointed are called God’s sons.