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    • Jehovah’s Witnesses go to court to block sex abuse report publication https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2020/01/jehovahs-witnesses-go-to-court-to-block-sex-abuse-report-publication/
    • What if you actually knew what an apostate was ? That would help you both. Not the GB / JW Org meaning of course , but the true meaning as below.  apostate /əˈpɒsteɪt/ noun a person who renounces a religious or political belief or principle. "after fifty years as an apostate he returned to the faith"   adjective abandoning a religious or political belief or principle.   Apostasy is the formal disaffiliation from, abandonment of, or renunciation of a religion by a person. It can also be defined within the broader context of embracing an opinion that is contrary to one's previous religious beliefs. One who undertakes apostasy is known as an apostate.   Tom tries so hard to pretend that Apostates do not love God or Christ.  Why Tom ?   Apostates of JW Org are just that. Apostates of JW Org....... It simply means that a person has left the JW Org and no longer wants to be one of them. It does not mean that a person does not want to believe in or love God and Christ. Unfortunately though Tom and Anna, you have both been duped into believing what your GB and writing dept' tell you.    Tom says, " “What discourages me most,” I said, “is that apostates are taking public shots at the God and the community that I hold dear, "   So do you think all those ex JWs are taking a shot at Almighty God ?   Or are they just taking shots at the GB and JW Org ?   
    • Hey Tom, @TrueTomHarley do you think you could possibly post your above comment in the "Closed Club" topic I created? I think, just my opinion of course, that it is up to your conscience. If your conscience still allows you to interact, for the simple reason that YOU know what it's about and THEY (elders) don't, (they don't know what they are talking about) then I would suppose it  should be OK. (Maybe they are just worried you are giving a bad example, and others might not be as able as you, to refute the "lies" and may go on believing them). And I have to agree, knowing the things we do, because of Apostates, is actually faith strengthening. It is true in this case also, that information is empowering.....or put another way, knowledge is power (and of course I don't mean power in the bad sense of the word). I just had a crazy hypothetical thought. What if the WT gave the opposite advice. What if we were told to go and interact with apostates, after all "iron sharpens iron", "make sure of all things" "make the truth your own" etc...... What would happen then?  
    • From the Watchtower Library link @Srecko Sostar provided above.  “This is what you are to say to the sons of Israel: ‘Jehovah the God of your forefathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name to eternity, and this is the memorial of me to generation after generation.” (Ex. 3:13-15) We, therefore, have the Creator’s own words for it that his name is Jehovah. Um, not exactly, because the name Jehovah would not have been used.  YHWH does not translate to Jehovah.  Whenever they came across the tetragrammaton, JHVH, they studiously substituted the Hebrew words  Quite funny as when I studied with JWs I was told it was YHWH but this W/t link says JHVH. Um, which is actually right I wonder ?  The Tetragrammaton is the four-letter Hebrew word יהוה, the name of the biblical God of Israel. The four letters, read from right to left, are yodh, he, waw and he. While there is no consensus about the structure and etymology of the name, "the form Yahweh is now accepted  Jehovah (/dʒɪˈhoʊvə/) is a Latinization of the Hebrew יְהֹוָה, one vocalization of the Tetragrammaton יהוה (YHWH), the proper name of the God of Israel in the Hebrew Bible[1] and one of the seven names of God in Judaism. The consensus among scholars is that the historical vocalization of the Tetragrammaton at the time of the redaction of the Torah (6th century BCE) is most likely Yahweh. The historical vocalization was lost because in Second Temple Judaism, during the 3rd to 2nd centuries BCE, the pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton came to be avoided, being substituted with Adonai ("my Lord"). The Hebrew vowel points of Adonai were added to the Tetragrammaton by the Masoretes, and the resulting form was transliterated around the 12th century as Yehowah.[2] The derived forms Iehouah and Jehovah first appeared in the 16th century. "Jehovah" was popularized in the English-speaking world by William Tyndale and other pioneer English Protestant translations such as the Geneva Bible and the King James Version.[3] The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops states that in order to pronounce the Tetragrammaton "it is necessary to introduce vowels that alter the written and spoken forms of the name", resulting in "Yahweh" or "Jehovah".[4] It also remains in use by the Watchtower Society translators of the New World Translation, and appears in the still-popular translations of the American Standard Version (1901) and the Young's Literal Translation (1862, 1899), but it does not appear in current mainstream English translations, some of which use Yahweh but most continue to use "Lord" or "LORD" to represent same.[5 Food for thought. Would the true Anointed use Jehovah or Yahweh ?   
    • Unlike most here, and possibly everyone here, my online activity is known in my home congregation. This is not due to this forum, which probably Is unknown to them, but to my blog. I have blogged for years. I don’t advertise the fact, but word gets around, and within the year elders have approached me to say that they would like to use me more in the congregation, but is there anything to what they have heard that I engage with apostates? I at first told them that I did not; however what I did do came close enough to it that it could easily be taken that way and for that reason they probably should not use me in any visible capacity. As long as counsel is what it is, this seems the reasonable course to me. If there is a blatant example of not following counsel on a point repeatedly made—well, ‘he doesn’t enjoy privileges in the congregation,’ does he? This is not quite fair to me, but it is not about me. I consider it a win-win. Many times in my writing I have made the point that I am not trying to set an example for others to follow, that I am pure-and-simply a bad boy in this one respect and I don’t try to present myself otherwise—though I will say that it is the only area in which I am a bad boy—I am a good boy in all other respects. I am on excellent terms with all of my elders— all upstanding men whom I respect—and with the congregation as a whole. If a list was ever made as to who is trying or discouraging or toxic or headstrong or aloof or a downer in any respect, I would be the last person on it. I am a fine example in every way—except one, and this troubles them. Anyone visiting my blog can see the book cover for TrueTom vs the Apostates! so its a little hard to say: ‘Don’t know nothing about no apostates here!” One brother on FB, who writes himself, when he saw that cover, said, “You’re brave.” I have never made any attempt to hide what I do. I have even written HQ about it, more than once, as to what I am doing and why. They have not responded. I’ve said I don’t expect or require them to, but I will take to heart anything that they do say. Nothing. As for me, the show is not interesting unless there are villains and apostates for me make the perfect villains!—they have tasted the good food and spit it out. Two elders wanted to speak with me following Sunday’s Watchtower. How did I still feel regarding interaction with apostates after that lesson and similar items in the past? There have been two other discussions—probably spurred on to priority by consideration of Paul’s counsel that certain pernicious sayings “spread like gangrene” so you want to get right on top of it—the counsel to not engage with apostates is pretty clear. These are good men and I do not doubt for one moment their concern for me. There is no way I am going to get into any sort of confrontation with them. This is a little challenging because if one has engaged with the malcontents—in some cases the scoundrels—then one knows things in detail that they know only vaguely, and in some cases, not at all. I asked if I could speak candidly. Obviously, this is just a verbal opening to present that I wanted to speak from the heart and not just regurgitate platitudes or ‘what I am supposed to say’—it’s not to suggest that I would be normally lying through my teeth. Of course, they agreed. The article was of a catch-all nature of several things to watch out for, several unrelated things that could pierce your shield if you didn’t maintain it—materialism, undue anxiety, lies, and discouragement were in the mix. Now, the only one of these that you can actually sink your teeth into as a direct measurement is ‘lies and distortions.‘ Do you engage with those who originate them or not? Easy black and white answer. What can one possibly say about materialism? It is much more subjective. “Did you move into that house that has far more space than you need or didn’t you?”—it’s ridiculous! No one is ever going to say that. The best you can do is what the Watchtower did do—point out that while you might easily be able to afford something with money, which you have far more of than your neighbor, that does not mean that you can afford it with time (for use and maintenance of), which you have no more of than your neighbor.  As a byproduct of these other areas being hard to pin down, the only one that might possibly incur restriction of privileges is dealing with apostates. ‘There are brothers here and in other Halls that show significant weakness as regards to the other three—materialism, discouragement, and anxiety, and it can be plainly seen in their demeanor in some cases,‘ I said, ‘yet no way would their privileges ever be affected by it—only for that involving how to deal with opposers.’ I spoke of the paragraph about discouragement—one of the four sharp arrows. “What discourages me most,” I said, “is that apostates are taking public shots at the God and the community that I hold dear, and they are catching the ear of many who take to heart what I say and sometimes ignore us in our ministry because of it, and I want to provide an answer and defend the truth, but I can’t because I don’t know what they are saying.” It is not true for me—I do know what they are saying—but for most publishers it is true. I spoke of the hypothetical youngster who cannot resist, whose curiosity or desire to defend the truth leads him to go to where the bad boys hang out, where he hears distortions that he has never heard before and is totally unprepared for and he is stumbled, at which point no one is able to help him because no one here knows in any detail what he has come across. It’s a lose-lose. I did not say (you always think of your best lines too late) that if you leaned on youngsters not to have illicit sex, and yet one did anyway and acquired an STD, you would not stand by and watch him die. You would educate yourself any way that you had to so as to provide backup rescue. There is only so far you can go with this reasoning because they only understand what they are counseling you about from just one angle—the spiritual angle, to be sure, which is the most important one, but still only one angle, and not the angle from which there is a huge non-spiritual vulnerability. They hear and acquiesce to all the points made—they may all be facts—but they are like people anywhere, and certainly displayed daily on this forum—just because they are facts does not mean they are the overriding facts. They keep coming back to counsel not to engage with apostates? Do they mean engage like a military general confronting the enemy or engage like a man putting a ring on the finger of his future bride? You almost can’t go there, because they themselves maintain such distance from the topic that they can’t readily distinguish between the two and consider it inappropriate to get close enough to try. The brother taking the lead is very smart, very loving, very much a balm to everyone. I’ve known him for the longest time and there is no one whom I value more. I have no question that he is primarily and genuinely concerned about my spiritual welfare. I feel bad that I should be the cause of he and some brothers before he feeling obliged to buy out time to speak with me over this—they have other things that they could be doing. I know this because for many years I was an elder and I had many things that I could be doing at any given moment—yet he and others have bought out significant time for me. I’m a bit embarrassed over it. “How has my spirituality been affected?” they ask. Possibly they are anticipating an answer such as might be on a video: “Well, I have to admit, my spirituality is suffering. I’m not finding the joy I used to....etc.” I tell them that my spirituality, as near as I can tell, gets better all the time because I am able to fire when I see the whites of their eyes—and even that my healthy spirituality is plainly reflected in how I conduct myself and how others view me.  “Well, pray on it,” one advises. Gingerly I suggest that what if I have prayed on it and then afterward have decided that it is okay, in fact, just the ticket, to do as I am doing?” Nevertheless, how can one turn down the invitation to pray? Sure, I will pray—and in fact, presently I think of the degree to which they may be right and how I might modify my conduct. As is my M.O, I think best when I am writing. As is my M.O, I write best when I realize I am writing before a varied audience ranging from supportive to apathetic to dismissive to opposed, and imposing the discipline upon myself to choose words that will be as effective as possible to all four. They say things like how Jehovah has all bases covered. He sees that we have the proper direction when we need it, and so forth. While the things I say may be so, and certainly my action is well-meaning, what about just being obedient to counsel? There they have me. Because I do believe that Jehovah has all bases covered and I do believe in following the lead of the older men—it is part of the package that I signed on for. I can give them a hard time: “Don’t worry about my spirituality—I’ll be just fine—it’s enough to worry about your own spirituality!” but why would I do that? I can tell them to buzz off and mind their own business, but why would I do that? These are the men—all of them friends of mine—who will lay down their life for me should the occasion arise, as in John 15:13, for example. Not only will they die for me, but they will live for me, and they prove it all the time. The right-in-their-own-eyes opposers on this forum will not die for me. Even were they inclined to, they live on perches of self-isolation and say “Who needs organization?” so that if i get into hot water they will not know of it until they read my obituary. I should give my elders a hard time or interfere with that dynamic of living and dying for me? No. All they want is for me not to cross swords with apostates. They probably are not crazy about my going there in the first place, but that is not the topic of discussion. If I go there to scope out what the enemy is up to, I set no bad example—nobody knows of it. If I go there to refute, I publicly do what the ones I respect for taking the lead have asked me not to do. How do I know that they are not right? How do I know that I am not like the fellow signing out on the city wall after Hezekiah has told the troops to zip it? If I am ineffective, others come to help me out, against Hezekiah’s counsel. If I am effective, others are inspired to do likewise, against Hezekiah’s counsel. How do I know that they will not end up with an arrow through the head on my account?  What am I doing when I am answering back the malcontents here? I am having a ball is what I am doing! But is it affecting my spirituality as the brothers asked? Well, no—for the most part—that has grown stronger. On the other hand—@arauna speaks of OCD and she ought to speaking of it to me—sometimes I come here with a certain eagerness looking for “apostates” to beat up on. When one or another flames out, like Matthew4 5784 did a few weeks ago and reveals himself pure hate on two legs as respects Jehovah’s people, dropping all pretense of being here to help us, I paint an A on my fuselage and pump my fist! But is it good for me? I do get to hone my writing skills, but is that enough to override other matters? I am not exactly doing a “May Jehovah rebuke you!” am I? I am not exactly imitating Jesus in saying “leave them be—blind guides is what they are,” am I? I’m going to turn over a new leaf with regard to interacting with these guys. It doesn’t mean I won’t still be here and it doesn’t mean I won’t still interact with those who strike me as on our team—even if I question their judgment sometimes. I’ll probably renege from time to time, though perhaps not, and if I do I will forgive myself, but the effort will be to follow through. If need be, I will write a reply to this or that fathead and then not send it—I’ll incorporate it elsewhere or stick it in the file. “How’s that for praying about it and see what comes out of it?” I’ll tell someone someday. Then, too—and I’m almost ashamed to put this last, since it should be first—though not necessarily from the reader’s point of view, which is why I place it where I do—my wife is far more conventional than me and has long been troubled by my online activity. She doesn’t for one second worry about my loyalty, but she does in some undefined way worry that maybe I will yet come to harm somehow. I’ll modify my approach for her sake as well. Are the brothers “brainwashed”—the ones who counseled me about a matter that they do not understand themselves from a fleshly point of view—the only point of view that is of concern to the greater world? I would say that they are in this regard—with the important caveat that there is barely anyone anywhere who is not. Follow the flag and get your head blown off in consequence, and only some of your countrymen will think your death noble—everyone else in the world will consider your death in vain. It doesn’t take some brainwashing to fall for that? Follow unquestioningly the overall goals of this system to ‘get a good education so that you may get a good job’—not a tad of brainwashing there that that is the path to happiness? When my wife worked as a nurse with the geriatric community, she said the most common thing in the world was for bewildered elderly persons to look around them in their waning years and say, “is this all there is?” These were not ‘losers’ in life, for the most part. These were persons who had had careers and loving family. But there was an aching emptiness at the end, a certain vague but overpowering sense of betrayal. It’s the result of being brainwashed by mainstream thinking, as far as I can see. Steve Hansen is not wrong when he says that humans are easily influenced by others. Humans are just that way. That is why some god-awful style comes upon the scene and within ten years we’re all wearing it, wondering how we ever could have imagined that those dorky styles of yesterday did anything for us. Where Steve is wrong in my view is that he gives a free pass to his side—the mainstream. I have said before that it is not brainwashing that he objects to—it is brainwashing that is not his. Just because he was stupid enough to be sucked into the Moonies, what is it to him if people want to explore non-traditional paths? Of course there may be pitfalls along the way, but there are pitfalls anywhere. If the mainstream he embraces successfully answered all the burning questions of life, he wouldn’t have to worry at all about ‘cults’ People would reflect upon how the present life and traditional goal rewards fully in happiness and wherewithal, and reject those ‘cults’ out of hand.
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