By Srecko Sostar
In the OT, there is a direct command, “Thou shalt not kill (murder)!” This command should contain God's view of human life, which emphasizes that life is holy, sacred before God, but also that people must have the same feeling about the lives of other people around them.
By reading the Bible, which describes the events before and after the occurrence of this commandment, we can see that this commandment has no absolute power. Within the same set of legal provisions, there are other commandments that were binding on the Israelites, too. For example, commands like; "Don't steal, don't lie, don't commit fornication ...". These commandments should never have been ignored or mitigated by some extraordinary circumstances.
The specificity of this commandment, "You shall not kill," is evident in the fact that it was not of valid, obligation for all men and for all circumstances. Powerful individuals in Israel sometimes making their own decisions to go on military campaigns against others (Israelis and non-Israelis) The law also justified killing for revenge.
In some other places, God commands the death penalty against an individual. Also, the Bible describes that God instituted great actions that justified killing of other people. These were most often military actions aimed at killing soldiers of the enemy army, but also their families. The killings of these other tribes and people were justified on the basis of several facts: 1) they were not Israelis 2) they lived in territory that the Israel nation were to conquer for themselves, 3) they belonged to other religions.
The execution of the death penalty for a crime still exists today in some societies and legal systems. Obviously, the death penalty decision is based on balance. The one who killed must be killed. But from some other biblical examples we have seen that murder is not the only crime punishable by death. The disobedient child was also sentenced to death. Different religious affiliations or different religious beliefs also led to the death penalty. Adultery was punished by death.
From what we have described so far, we can see how the command, "shall not kill," had a stretched meaning. It is therefore necessary to look at religious practices that are not new but may draw some parallels in symbolism and meaning. As you may already guessed, it is about an act of symbolic "killing" that is carried out in such a way to exclude (disfellowship) another person from a particular social (religious) group in a specific way - by ignoring aka shunning. Shunning (this is about JW organization in particular) can be made because of two conclusions.
The first conclusion is reached by an individual JW member who believes that another member of the congregation has wronged/sinned against the Bible and its principles to the extent that he / she personally presents a spiritual anomaly (in the form of a spiritual illness or threat) and decides to "label" particular person as inappropriate for him to have socializing contacts. He seeks to avoid contact and minimize any literal and spiritual communion.
In second conclusion, the conviction of the inappropriateness of a member is made by the body of the elders. The judgment may be based on the morally inappropriate behavior of an individual member, or it may be that an individual no longer agrees with the ideological and organizational structure or with the theological solutions of the organization what made him/her as "hostile element".
This is when a person is removed from congregational members aka "spiritually killed" in such a way to excommunicate (dfd) them (he,she) from the community and impose a ban on almost every contact with the dfd person. The ban has few variations and interpretations of how the shunning should be carried out. But the very core of such a demand not to contact the excluded person is evident from the widespread practice that JW members have consistently implemented - the excluded (dfd) is not even greeted with the simplest “Good afternoon” greeting (hallo) on the street.
JW's want to be peaceful people who go to jail in some countries because not want even to carry weapon in mandatory military service. They don't want take self-defense courses even for protect themselves when attacked. But they are motivated to be active in using spiritual weapons and warfare against ex members who are in a disagreement with doctrinal issues. And "killing" them with shunning.
What are your thoughts?
By The Librarian
Part of a series on:
We didn't capitalize the "w" until the 1970's except in a title or a quotation from someone who didn't know the "rule."
At the Bethel Library when it was at 124 Columbia Heights (before it moved to 25 and then Patterson) there was about 20 feet of shelf space dedicated to Jw court cases, and even on the outside cover you would see titles like "Supreme Court Cases of Jehovah's witnesses" and the outer spine of the cover would have it abbreviated as "Jw's" or "J.w.'s."
Although my day-to-day assignment at Bethel was to do artwork, I sometimes
helped out the proofreaders and it turned out that the year I came to Bethel was the same year we made the change from J.w.'s to J.W.'s. Some of the writers weren't used to it yet, and there were also translation issues. There was a legal reason behind the change, too.
If you check the Watchtower Library CD, you'll see that the change happened between the printing of the March 15 and April 1 issues of The Watchtower in 1976. (And between the March 8 and the March 22, 1976 Awake!) The lower case "w" rarely shows up any more unless a new publication is directly quoting an older publication in a place that has it, and even then we will sometimes go ahead and capitalize it in the quotation.
For those who find such trivia interesting, here is a reference from that time period. Note the only exception to the rule in the following 6 examples:
*** g76 3/8 pp. 21-22 A Conspiracy Thwarted in “the Land Down Under” ***
He had written on behalf of the Methodist people of his district, who had . . . supported a Tasmanian government request . . . that Jehovah’s witnesses be declared illegal. . . . Another Australian clergyman, objecting to the zealous public preaching of Jehovah’s witnesses, wrote to Mr. W. M. Hughes, then Attorney-General of Australia: “The sect calling themselves Jehovah’s Witnesses are a distinctly disloyal lot of people and in my estimation ought to be declared as such.”
These letters from clergymen did not contain any evidence of subversive or illegal acts on the part of Jehovah’s witnesses. . . ."
The Commonwealth Archives show that the Attorney-General had been pressured also by the Catholic clergy to suppress freedom of religion enjoyed by Jehovah’s witnesses. However, in a direct reply to the then Catholic archbishop of Sydney, N. T. Gilroy (later elevated to be a cardinal), the Attorney-General confirmed that the government had no legal grounds to restrain the Christian activity of Jehovah’s witnesses.
*** end of quote ***
via @JW Insider Link
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
Church ‘shuns‘ 15-year-old, then father – ends up in court
Posted by SDD Contributor on November 9, 2019 at 4:20 am
The Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments Thursday in a lawsuit against a religious congregation’s “shunning” practice, but the congregation and several other groups contend the justices had no right to even take part in the case.
Randy Wall, a real estate agent, filed the suit against the Highwood congregation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization in Calgary, Alberta.
Wall was expelled from the congregation for getting drunk and not be properly repentant, court records said. He pursued an appeals process through the Jehovah’s Witnesses then went to court because he said the Witnesses’ “shunning” — the practice of not associating with him in any way — hurt his business.
He explained his two occasions of drunkenness related to “the previous expulsion by the congregation of his 15-year-old daughter.”
A lower court opinion said: “Even though the daughter was a dependent child living at home, it was a mandatory church edict that the entire family shun aspects of their relationship with her. The respondent said the edicts of the church pressured the family to evict their daughter from the family home. This led to … much distress in the family.”
The “distress” eventually resulted in his drunkenness, Wall said.
Wall submitted to the court arguments that about half his client base, members of various Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations, then refused to conduct business with him. He alleged the “disfellowship had an economic impact on the respondent.”
During high court arguments Thursday, the congregation asked the justices to rule that religious congregations are immune to such claims in the judicial system.
The lower courts had ruled that the courts could play a role in determining whether or not such circumstances rise to the level of violating civil rights or injuring a “disfellowshipped” party.
The rulings from the Court of Queen’s Bench and the Alberta Court of Appeals said Wall’s case was subject to secular court jurisdiction.
A multitude of religious and political organizations joined with the congregation in arguing that Canada’s courts should not be involved.
The Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms said in a filing: “The wish or desire of one person to associate with an unwilling person (or an unwilling group) is not a legal right of any kind. For a court, or the government, to support such a ‘right’ violates the right of self-determination of the unwilling parties.”
Previous case law has confirmed the right of religious or private voluntary groups to govern themselves and dictate who can be a member.
But previously rulings also reveal there is room for the court system to intervene when the question centers on property or civil rights.
The Association for Reformed Political Action described the case as having “profound implications for the separation of church and state.”
It contends the court should keep its hands off the argument.
“Secular judges have no authority and no expertise to review a church membership decision,” said a statement from Andre Schutten, a spokesman for the group. “Church discipline is a spiritual matter falling within spiritual jurisdiction, not a legal matter falling within the courts’ civil jurisdiction. The courts should not interfere.”
John Sikkema, staff lawyer for ARPA, said: “The issue in this appeal is jurisdiction. A state actor, including a court, must never go beyond its jurisdiction. The Supreme Court must consider what kind of authority the courts can or cannot legitimately claim. We argue that the civil government and churches each have limited and distinct spheres of authority. This basic distinction between civil and spiritual jurisdiction is a source of freedom and religious pluralism and a guard against civic totalism.”
He continued: “Should the judiciary have the authority to decide who gets to become or remain a church member? Does the judiciary have the authority to decide who does or does not get to participate in the sacraments? Church discipline is a spiritual matter falling within spiritual jurisdiction, not a legal matter falling within the courts’ civil jurisdiction. The courts should not interfere. Here we need separation of church and state.”
The Alberta Court of Appeal, however, suggested the case was about more than ecclesiastical rules.
“Because Jehovah’s Witnesses shun disfellowshipped members, his wife, other children and other Jehovah’s Witnesses were compelled to shun him,” that lower court decision said. “The respondent asked the appeal committee to consider the mental and emotional distress he and his family were under as a result of his duaghter’s disfellowship.”
The church committee concluded he was “not sufficiently repentant.”
The ruling said “the only basis for establishing jurisdiction over a decision of the church is when the complaint involves property and civil rights,” and that is what Wall alleged.
“Accordingly, a court has jurisdiction to review the decision of a religious organization when a breach of the rules of natural justice is alleged.”
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
The Supreme Court Rejected a Case About the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Sex Abuse
By Hemant Mehta October 8, 2019 Yesterday, the Supreme Court announced that it would not take up a wild case concerning the organization that oversees the Jehovah’s Witnesses. We can breathe a huge sigh of relief that the case won’t be overturned. (In that link, it’s case 19-40 on page 42.)
The case, which involved child molestation and religious secrecy, centered around an incident that took place on July 15, 2006.
J.W., a nine-year-old girl with Jehovah’s Witness parents, was invited to her first slumber party at the home of Gilbert Simental. He had a daughter her age, so that wasn’t too weird. Two other girls (sisters) were also at the party. These families all knew and trusted Simental because, while he was no longer a local Witness leader, he had spent more than a decade as an elder in the faith. He was a religious leader who stepped down, he said, to spend more time with his son. They believed him. They all respected him. It’s why they allowed their girls into his home.
During that party, everyone got into a pool in the backyard… including Simental. And he proceeded to molest J.W. and the sisters. He did it again later that night. The sisters eventually told their parents, who reported Simental to local Witness elders (which is what they’re taught to do in these situations).
Simental confessed to some of the allegations, and the elders basically gave him a faith-based slap on the wrist: a reprimand that had no meaning outside church circles.
Things changed only when the sisters’ school principal learned about what happened and, as required by law, reported the abuse to local law enforcement. Police soon contacted J.W.’s family asking for their story, but after consulting with the Witnesses, her father chose not to speak with the cops.
It was a year later when J.W., then 10 years old, told her parents what Simental did to her in the pool. It infuriated them, and they told the Witness elders that they wanted a restraining order against him. The elders told him not to do that since it would require informing the police about what Simental did — and they preferred to keep his actions private.
Here’s the bigger problem: There’s reason to believe the Witnesses were aware that Simental was a child molester… and they kept it from the families. Simental was allowed to be a religious leader — earning respect from the community — even though higher-ups in the religion knew that he shouldn’t be around children.
It raised an important question: How much blame did the Witnesses deserve for what happened at that pool party?
J.W.’s family eventually filed a criminal lawsuit against Simental and a separate civil suit against the Watchtower Society (the Witnesses’ governing organization). They basically said the Witnesses should have informed congregation members about Simental and stopped him from being around children. They never should have allowed him to be a religious leader.
The Watchtower Society’s argument? They didn’t know Simental was a child molester, and the pool party occurred after he was no longer a religious leader, and the slumber party wasn’t a church-sponsored event, so leave them out of this.
(To be clear, I’m simplifying the details of this case and the legal journey quite a bit.)
When this case went to trial in California, J.W.’s family demanded that the Watchtower Society produce documents relating to what they knew about child molesters within the faith. The Witnesses had already admitted to keeping lists of problematic leaders along with their specific “crimes” — similar to the Catholic Church. If Simental was on that list — from 1997, nearly a decade before the pool incident — it would essentially be a smoking gun showing the Witnesses knew he was a threat to kids but did nothing about it.
But the Witnesses refused to hand over that material. They treated it like Catholics treat confession: It’s private information, they argued, and to reveal what was said internally would violate their religious beliefs.
J.W.’s family didn’t buy that argument. The information they wanted wasn’t bound by clergy-penitent confessional privilege. It’s not like Simental told the elders what he had done in order to confess his sins. He was caught. The Witnesses were merely shielding him from legal punishment.
In the criminal trial, Witnesses elders were forced to admit their practices and that the private discussions they had about abusive clergy members were not considered confidential under the law.
Mark O’Donnell, writing at JWSurvey, explained what happened next:
Simental’s appeal got him nowhere. He’s in prison today. But there were still so many questions about what responsibility the Witnesses had in this whole matter.
J.W.’s family wanted to know why Simental, a known pedophile, was promoted within the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Why did they allow him to be around children? Why didn’t they warn families? Why did they just give him a slap on the wrist?
In 2013, the civil trial began against the Watchtower Society, but again, the Witnesses didn’t want to provide necessary documents. They eventually lost the case. In 2015, the Riverside Superior Court of California awarded J.W. a judgment of $4,016,152.39. This past December, the Fourth District Court of Appeal in California upheld that decision.
You get the idea: The Witnesses refused to hand over internal data, presumably because it would’ve been like handing over a loaded gun. So the courts had no choice but to assume the plaintiff was telling the truth and the Watchtower Society was negligent in their handling of Simental.
Earlier this year, in a Hail Mary attempt to reverse their punishment, the Watchtower Society appealed to the Supreme Court. They wanted the justices to say that documents relating to child abuse within a religious group can be kept confidential.
Here’s how the Witnesses’ attorney introduced his case to the justices. (You don’t need a law degree to see how he just completely dismissed the molestation.)
Watchtower attorney Paul Polidoro said the Supreme Court needed to consider whether California violated the Constitution when it held the Jehovah’s Witnesses responsible for what Simental did “during non-church activity,” forced them to hand over internal communications, and punished them for protecting everyone’s “privacy rights.”
J.W.’s attorney responded to that brief asking the Court to flat-out reject this case.
Indeed, that’s what the Court decided. When the first set of orders in the new term was released yesterday, there was this case among many many others, in the list of those which would not get heard this term.
It was the right move. There’s nothing further to debate here. Finally, this case has been put to rest.
(Image via Shutterstock. Large portions of this article were published earlier)
By Srecko Sostar
GB claims how they are not "inspired". They also claim that the Organization is "spirit-guided". There is also an idea that God has always had his organization on Earth, the first being the Old Nation of Israel, and then First Assembly at the time of the Apostles, and after long centuries of darkness organization appeared again in 1879 as WT Society. So, we have three organizations in three time periods.
Who has guided, led these organizations? We see that organizations were guided by people. The first was Moses, then the Judges and Prophets, the Kings, and then the Apostles and today is The GB. According to the present claims of this modern organization of God, it is logical to conclude that both of the previous two organizations had been guided by God by the same principles too, meaning, that no inspirational/uninspired people were at the forefront of a spirit-guided organization.
Which tools are used to run today's organization? Thousands and thousands of pages of written text and public and private talks. All of these published texts and speeches were/are not "inspired", in fact, they presented many erroneous teachings and instructions, in the face of claims, that the organization is/was spiritually driven at the same time. So we have a God's spirit-guided organization that teaches the wrong things.
What does this have to do with past God's organizations? In the past, members of those two perished Organizations also wrote texts and held public and private speeches. Did those texts and the words been "inspired". If we judge according to today's GB teachings and the way how God, supposedly, leads a modern organization, we could rightly say that, how past leaders were not "inspired" when writing and gave speech. Because God has no need to "inspire" imperfect servants when He already has "spirit guided organization" :))
What is "inspired" in that, if someone had wrote what he has seen or heard during her life? Or if they write down their memories after a few years after the event? Most of the biblical text is precisely this - writing what someone saw and heard personally or that writing came through the oral tradition, something that other people have seen, heard, and spoken in some period of time. Only in exceptional cases, the authors of certain parts of the script, claimed that the instructions/revelations/prophecy were received through dreams, visions or God or angel directly addressed them. So, for a very small part of the text in the Bible, we can say that it is "inspired" by divine supernatural power. The vast majority of the text in the Bible is actually a retelling of the events that have been experienced - either from oneself or from other people. And for such, there is no need for extra "inspiration", but a good memory of those who recount the event and a good memory of the one who later writes it.
To bring claim that God, with his spirit, has led each of these three organizations, but that only the Israeli representatives (and writers) and representatives of the 1st Assembly (and the writers) had "inspired" directly with His spirit to make the written and spoken content, but how God changed his mind in the 19th century and gave up from doing the same way of managing his organization, it seems strange. Why would God be inconsistent with his principle of how to lead his earthly organizations? Why would God "inspire" Moses and the John (and all the rest between) to speak and write, but today he does not want to "inspire" his Anointed Representatives who sitting in GB? Was theirs time more difficult than today? Do not we live in the end time when all is much worst than before? :)))
If JW members considers that it is quite right and normal for God to lead his organization through "not inspired" texts of today's "servants of God" whose "research and knowledge was multiplied" and become far greater, clearer and safer because of more and more "Brighter Lights" that is far more advanced than before, of all what previous generations of God's servants knew and understand, then it is strange that today's texts and public speeches are so inaccurate and unsafe and need to be continually changed and corrected.
From this WTJWORG idea of how God has kept his earthly organization in continuity since Moses' time, it is not difficult to doubt the accuracy of the texts that people have collected and incorporated into a single book, the Bible. In fact, if today's WT Society (WT is equal to God's Organization) texts contain both, accurate and incorrect things, then we could assume that the old records, "publications" and "public and private talk" of Old Time Organizations, in their content were subject to the influence of the human factor too. The idea may seem strange and impossible (because "God with the spirit" leads his organizations) but that not give guaranties that such Organizations will not End Up in Some Form of Slavery (to inside and/or to outside Masters). Recall yourself how had ended previous 2 God's Organizations.
But what do you think that after 1 or 2 thousands of years from now, when we all become old dust and ashes, someone came up with the idea of choosing certain WT Society texts and create a modern "Bible" for JW?
By Srecko Sostar
Inspired ....spirit-driven.... spirit-guided.....motivated.....to have spirit of....lead up by spirit....to feel that spirit leads us ..... spirit impelled him .... he came in the spirit....sent out by the spirit....spirit did not permit them.....bound by the spirit...he was in the spirit....carried him away in the spirit... and many more other phrases in the Bible.
Why JW's mostly, generally think that "inspiration" is action reserved only to JHVH and Jesus or devil and demons?
"Inspiration" is state/condition of some person soul, mind and emotions. The biblical / religious state of inspiration comes mainly out of the will of the people. But do you think how this is something that can be achieved/put on/force upon only by the actions of superhuman powers?
JW's are very occupied with their religion in own life and have specific relationship to this word and have specific (organizational) understanding of the concept about this special word - inspired. They think, I think that they do think :)), about this word only in religious sense and consider how it is about or only about some sort of divinity or divine holiness (or devil evil) in background.
Because they attach great importance to this word in only one direction, they forget that there is also a very powerful influence of another force. It's the spirit of man. JW's must recall themselves more often that people are created on the image of God. And that all people in themselves have a strong spirit (of divine source by birth and genetically inherited). This human spirit is powerful and can inspire other people (earthly spirits) around them. You, as individual can be inspired by people around you or by people about whom you hear about, you are watching, you read about.
Also it is interesting how some other things can inspire people. For example; nature, music, poetry, stories, events, animals, imagination.
Please, join to this topic and give, express your thoughts. Let your spirit free and let's inspire others :)))
Something I thought might be relevant since we are studying the God's Kingdom book. Not long ago, in a WT article, it was mentioned in reference to the "Kingdom being preached in all the inhabited earth" that this will not mean that literally everyone on Earth would have heard about the Kingdom before Armageddon starts.
When one does a bit of mathematics (not my forte) and calculates the percentage of current Jehovah's Witnesses in comparison to the World's population we arrive at 0.1%. This is a very small percentage indeed. (8 million JW to 8 billion population)
If we were to assume some averages, and use the United States as a fair example, then we can assume the ratio of 1 publisher to roughly around 400. This seems a fair number since "only a few are the ones finding the road to life". However, as we know, there is practically a non existent ratio when it comes to India and China, two of the world's countries with a population of over 1billion each (the majority of whom have never heard of the Bible, never mind Jehovah's Witnesses). If we would assume the same ratio of 1:400, then this would immediately create over 3 million Witnesses in each of the two countries, i.e. over 6 million in India and China alone, bringing the total of JWs to over 14 million. If we were to also add 650 thousand in Indonesia, 485 thousand from Pakistan, and 402 thousand from Bangladesh that adds another 1.5 million bringing the total to over 15 million, almost doubling the Witnesses today.
If we go by the fact that all people are equal in Jehovah's eyes, and that no nation is above another when it comes to salvation, and that all people are basically the same, then we have to assume that there are people in those countries who, if given the chance, would embrace the truth and put themselves on Jehovah's side and create that ratio of 1:400.
With that in mind, it is evident that either there is going to have to be a lot of preaching done, verging on the miraculous, in order to bring in over 7 million new Witnesses within the allotted time of the "Generation", or, Jehovah will judge their hearts and allow nearly HALF of the people, (agnostics or believers in false Gods) entry into the new world without them even needing to know him.
Or, is "this Generation" a lot longer than we think.....
Any scriptural thoughts?
1888 "In this chapter we present the Bible evidence proving that the full end of the times of the gentiles, i.e., the full end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in A.D. 1914; and that the date will be the farthest limit of the rule of imperfect men. And be it observed, that if this is shown to be a fact firmly established by the Scriptures, it will prove; Firstly, that at that date the Kingdom of God, for which our Lord taught us to pray, saying, Thy Kingdom come, will obtain full, universal control, and that it will then be set up, or firmly established, in the earth, on the ruins of present institutions." (The Time Is At Hand, 1888, p. 76, 77)
1889 "Be not surprised, then, when in subsequent chapters we present proofs that the setting up of the Kingdom of God is already begun, that it is pointed out in prophecy as due to begin the exercise of power in A.D. 1878, and that the 'battle of the great day of God Almighty (Rev. 16:14) which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced. The gathering of the armies is plainly visible from the standpoint of God's word." (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, The Time Is At Hand, 1889 Ed., p. 101. The 1915 Edition of this texts changed "A.D. 1914" to read 'A.D. 1915')
By The Librarian
Part of a series on:
Sources of doctrine
Jehovah's Witnesses believe their religion is a restoration of first-century Christianity. Doctrines of Jehovah's Witnesses are established by the Governing Body, which assumes responsibility for interpreting and applying scripture. The Watch Tower Society does not issue any single, comprehensive "statement of faith", but prefers to express its doctrinal position in a variety of ways in its publications. Its publications teach that doctrinal changes and refinements result from a process of progressive revelation, in which God gradually reveals his will and purpose, and that such enlightenment results from the application of reason and study, the guidance of the holy spirit, and direction from Jesus Christ and angels. The Society also teaches that members of the Governing Body are helped by the holy spirit to discern "deep truths", which are then considered by the entire Governing Body before it makes doctrinal decisions. The religion's leadership, while disclaiming divine inspiration and infallibility, is said to provide "divine guidance" through its teachings described as "based on God's Word thus ... not from men, but from Jehovah."
The entire Protestant canon of scripture is considered the inspired, inerrant word of God. Jehovah's Witnesses consider the Bible to be scientifically and historically accurate and reliable and interpret much of it literally, but accept parts of it as symbolic. They consider the Bible to be the final authority for all their beliefs, although sociologist Andrew Holden's ethnographic study of the religion concluded that pronouncements of the Governing Body, through Watch Tower Society publications, carry almost as much weight as the Bible. Regular personal Bible reading is frequently recommended; Witnesses are discouraged from formulating doctrines and "private ideas" reached through Bible research independent of Watch Tower Society publications, and are cautioned against reading other religious literature. Adherents are told to have "complete confidence" in the leadership, avoid skepticism about what is taught in the Watch Tower Society's literature, and "not advocate or insist on personal opinions or harbor private ideas when it comes to Bible understanding." The religion makes no provision for members to criticize or contribute to official teachings and all Witnesses must abide by its doctrines and organizational requirements.
Jehovah and Jesus Christ
Jehovah's Witnesses emphasize the use of God's name, represented in the Hebrew Scriptures of the Bible by the Tetragrammaton. In English we prefer to use the name Jehovah. We believe that Jehovah is the only true God, the creator of all things, and the "Universal Sovereign". We believe that all worship should be directed toward Him, and that he is not part of a Trinity; consequently, our religion places more emphasis on Jehovah God than on Christ. We believe that the holy spirit is Jehovah God's applied power or "active force", rather than a person.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus is God's only direct creation, that everything else was created by means of Christ, and that the initial unassisted act of creation uniquely identifies Jesus as God's "only-begotten Son". Jesus served as a redeemer and a ransom sacrifice to pay for the sins of humanity. They believe Jesus died on a single upright torture stake rather than the traditional cross. They believe that references in the Bible to the Archangel Michael, Abaddon (Apollyon), and the Word all refer to Jesus. Jesus is considered to be the only intercessor and high priest between God and humanity, and appointed by God as the king and judge of his kingdom. His role as a mediator (referred to in 1 Timothy 2:5) is applied to the 'anointed' class, though the 'other sheep' are said to also benefit from the arrangement.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Satan was originally a perfect angel who developed feelings of self-importance and craved worship. Satan caused Adam and Eve to disobey God, and humanity subsequently became participants in a challenge involving the competing claims of Jehovah and Satan to universal sovereignty. Other angels who sided with Satan became demons.
Jehovah's Witnesses teach that Satan and his demons were cast down to earth from heaven after October 1, 1914, at which point the end times began. Witnesses believe that Satan is the ruler of the current world order, that human society is influenced and misled by Satan and his demons, and that they are a cause of human suffering. They believe that human governments are controlled by Satan, but that he does not directly control each human ruler.
Life after death
See also the video: What Happen's after Death?
Jehovah's Witnesses believe death is a state of non-existence with no consciousness. There is no Hell of fiery torment; Hades and Sheol are understood to refer to the condition of death, termed the common grave. Jehovah's Witnesses consider the soul to be a life or a living body that can die. Watch Tower Society publications teach that humanity is in a sinful state, from which release is only possible by means of Jesus' shed blood as a ransom, or atonement, for the sins of humankind.
Witnesses believe that a "little flock" go to heaven, but that the hope for life after death for the majority of "other sheep" involves being resurrected by God to a cleansed earth after Armageddon. They interpret Revelation 14:1–5 to mean that the number of Christians going to heaven is limited to exactly 144,000, who will rule with Jesus as kings and priests over earth. Jehovah's Witnesses teach that only they meet scriptural requirements for surviving Armageddon, but that God is the final judge. During Christ's millennial reign, most people who died prior to Armageddon will be resurrected with the prospect of living forever; they will be taught the proper way to worship God to prepare them for their final test at the end of the millennium.
Main article: Eschatology of Jehovah's Witnesses
A central teaching of Jehovah's Witnesses is that the current world era, or "system of things", entered the "last days" in 1914 and faces imminent destruction through intervention by God and Jesus Christ, leading to deliverance for those who worship God acceptably. They consider all other present-day religions to be false, identifying them with "Babylon the Great", or the "harlot", of Revelation 17, and believe that they will soon be destroyed by the United Nations, which they believe is represented in scripture by the scarlet-colored wild beast of Revelation chapter 17. This development will mark the beginning of the "great tribulation". Satan will subsequently attack Jehovah's Witnesses, an action that will prompt God to begin the war of Armageddon, during which all forms of government and all people not counted as Christ's "sheep", or true followers, will be destroyed. After Armageddon, God will extend his heavenly kingdom to include earth, which will be transformed into a paradise similar to the Garden of Eden. After Armageddon, most of those who had died before God's intervention will gradually be resurrected during "judgment day" lasting for one thousand years. This judgment will be based on their actions after resurrection rather than past deeds. At the end of the thousand years, a final test will take place when Satan is released to mislead perfect mankind. Those who fail will be destroyed, along with Satan and his demons. The end result will be a fully tested, glorified human race. Christ will then hand all authority back to God.
Watch Tower Society publications teach that Jesus Christ began to rule in heaven as king of God's kingdom in October 1914, and that Satan was subsequently ousted from heaven to the earth, resulting in "woe" to humanity. They believe that Jesus rules invisibly, from heaven, perceived only as a series of "signs". They base this belief on a rendering of the Greek word parousia—usually translated as "coming" when referring to Christ—as "presence". They believe Jesus' presence includes an unknown period beginning with his inauguration as king in heaven in 1914, and ending when he comes to bring a final judgment against humans on earth. They thus depart from the mainstream Christian belief that the "second coming" of Matthew 24 refers to a single moment of arrival on earth to judge humans.
Meetings for worship and study are held at Kingdom Halls, which are typically functional in character, and do not contain religious symbols. Witnesses are assigned to a congregation in whose "territory" they usually reside and attend weekly services they refer to as "meetings" as scheduled by congregation elders. The meetings are largely devoted to study of Watch Tower Society literature and the Bible. The format of the meetings is established by the religion's headquarters, and the subject matter for most meetings is the same worldwide. Congregations meet for two sessions each week comprising five distinct meetings that total about three-and-a-half hours, typically gathering mid-week (three meetings) and on the weekend (two meetings). Prior to 2009, congregations met three times each week; these meetings were condensed, with the intention that members dedicate an evening for "family worship". Gatherings are opened and closed with kingdom songs (hymns) and brief prayers. Each year, Witnesses from a number of congregations that form a "circuit" gather for one-day, and two-day assemblies. Several circuits meet once a year for a three-day "district convention", usually at rented stadiums or auditoriums. Their most important and solemn event is the commemoration of the "Lord's Evening Meal", or "Memorial of Christ's Death" on the date of the Jewish Passover.
Different Schools Provided for Training within Jehovah's Witnesses
Do Jehovah's Witnesses Practice Tithing?
Jehovah's Witnesses are known for their preaching from house to house.
See also: Jehovah's Witnesses publications
Jehovah's Witnesses are perhaps best known for their efforts to spread their beliefs, most notably by visiting people from house to house, distributing literature published by the Watch Tower Society in 700 languages. The objective is to start a regular "Bible study" with any person who is not already a member. Once the study course is completed, the individual is expected to become baptized as a member of the group. Witnesses are told they are under a biblical command to engage in public preaching. They are instructed to devote as much time as possible to their ministry and are required to submit an individual monthly "Field Service Report". Baptized members who fail to submit a report every month are termed "irregular" and may be counseled by elders; those who do not submit a report for six consecutive months are termed "inactive".
Ethics and morality
See article: Sex and Jehovah's Witnesses
Their views of morality reflect conservative Christian values. All sexual relations outside of marriage are grounds for expulsion if the individual is not deemed repentant; homosexual activity is considered a serious sin, and same-sex marriages are forbidden. Abortion is considered murder. Suicide is considered to be "self-inflicted murder" and a sin against God. Modesty in dress and grooming is frequently emphasized. Gambling, drunkenness, illegal drugs, and tobacco use are forbidden. Drinking of alcoholic beverages is permitted in moderation.
The family structure is patriarchal. The husband is considered to have authority on family decisions, but is encouraged to solicit his wife's thoughts and feelings, as well as those of his children. Marriages are required to be monogamous and legally registered. Marrying a non-believer, or endorsing such a union, is strongly discouraged and carries religious sanctions. Divorce is discouraged, and remarriage is forbidden unless a divorce is obtained on the grounds of adultery, termed "a scriptural divorce". If a divorce is obtained for any other reason, remarriage is considered adulterous unless the prior spouse has died or is since considered to have committed fornication. Extreme physical abuse, willful non-support of one's family, and what the religion terms "absolute endangerment of spirituality" are considered grounds for legal separation.
Main article: Jehovah's Witnesses and congregational discipline
Formal discipline is administered by congregation elders. When a baptized member is accused of committing a serious sin—usually cases of sexual misconduct or charges of apostasy for disputing the Watch Tower Society's doctrines—a judicial committee is formed to determine guilt, provide help and possibly administer discipline. Disfellowshipping, a form of shunning, is the strongest form of discipline, administered to an offender deemed unrepentant. Contact with disfellowshipped individuals is limited to direct family members living in the same home, and with congregation elders who may invite disfellowshipped persons to apply for reinstatement; formal business dealings may continue if contractually or financially obliged. Witnesses are taught that avoiding social and spiritual interaction with disfellowshipped individuals keeps the congregation free from immoral influence and that "losing precious fellowship with loved ones may help [the shunned individual] to come 'to his senses,' see the seriousness of his wrong, and take steps to return to Jehovah." The practice of shunning may also serve to deter other members from dissident behavior. Members who disassociate (formally resign) are described in Watch Tower Society literature as wicked and are also shunned. Expelled individuals may eventually be reinstated to the congregation if deemed repentant by elders in the congregation in which the disfellowshipping was enforced. Reproof is a lesser form of discipline given formally by a judicial committee to a baptized Witness who is considered repentant of serious sin; the reproved person temporarily loses conspicuous privileges of service, but suffers no restriction of social or spiritual fellowship. Marking, a curtailing of social but not spiritual fellowship, is practiced if a baptized member persists in a course of action regarded as a violation of Bible principles but not a serious sin.[note 4]
Main article: Jehovah's Witnesses and governments
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the Bible condemns the mixing of religions, on the basis that there can only be one truth from God, and therefore reject interfaith and ecumenical movements. They believe that only their religion represents true Christianity, and that other religions fail to meet all the requirements set by God and will soon be destroyed. Jehovah's Witnesses are taught that it is vital to remain "separate from the world." Watch Tower Society publications define the "world" as "the mass of mankind apart from Jehovah's approved servants" and teach that it is morally contaminated and ruled by Satan. Witnesses are taught that association with "worldly" people presents a "danger" to their faith, and are instructed to minimize social contact with non-members to better maintain their own standards of morality.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe their highest allegiance belongs to God's kingdom, which is viewed as an actual government in heaven, with Christ as king. They remain politically neutral, do not seek public office, and are discouraged from voting, though individual members may participate in uncontroversial community improvement issues. They do not celebrate religious holidays such as Christmas and Easter, nor do they observe birthdays, nationalistic holidays, or other celebrations they consider to honor people other than Jesus. They feel that these and many other customs have pagan origins or reflect a nationalistic or political spirit. Their position is that these traditional holidays reflect Satan's control over the world. Witnesses are told that spontaneous giving at other times can help their children to not feel deprived of birthdays or other celebrations.
They do not work in industries associated with the military, do not serve in the armed services, and refuse national military service, which in some countries may result in their arrest and imprisonment. They do not salute or pledge allegiance to flags or sing national anthems or patriotic songs. Jehovah's Witnesses see themselves as a worldwide brotherhood that transcends national boundaries and ethnic loyalties. Sociologist Ronald Lawson has suggested the religion's intellectual and organizational isolation, coupled with the intense indoctrination of adherents, rigid internal discipline and considerable persecution, has contributed to the consistency of its sense of urgency in its apocalyptic message.
See also: Are Jehovah's Witnesses a Religion?
Yearbook 2002, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, p. 31, 2002 Van Voorst,Robert E. (2012). RELG: World (with Religion CourseMate with eBook Printed Access Card). Cengage Learning. p. 288. ISBN 1-1117-2620-5. Organized to Do Jehovah's Will, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 2005, pages 17–18. "Cooperating With the Governing Body Today,", The Watchtower, March 15, 1990, page 19. Beckford 1975, p. 119 "Focus on the Goodness of Jehovah's Organization". The Watchtower: 22. 15 July 2006. "Impart God's Progressive Revelation to Mankind", The Watchtower, March 1, 1965, pp. 158–159 Penton 1997, pp. 165–171 "Flashes of Light—Great and Small", The Watchtower, May 15, 1995, page 15. Penton 1997, p. 165 J. F. Rutherford, Preparation, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1933, page 64, 67, "Enlightenment proceeds from Jehovah by and through Christ Jesus and is given to the faithful anointed on earth at the temple, and brings great peace and consolation to them. Again Zechariah talked with the angel of the Lord, which shows that the remnant are instructed by the angels of the Lord. The remnant do not hear audible sounds, because such is not necessary. Jehovah has provided his own good way to convey thoughts to the minds of his anointed ones ... Those of the remnant, being honest and true, must say, We do not know; and the Lord enlightens them, sending his angels for that very purpose." "The Spirit Searches into the Deep Things of God", The Watchtower, July 15, 2010, page 23, "When the time comes to clarify a spiritual matter in our day, holy spirit helps responsible representatives of 'the faithful and discreet slave' at world headquarters to discern deep truths that were not previously understood. The Governing Body as a whole considers adjusted explanations. What they learn, they publish for the benefit of all." "Do We Need Help to Understand the Bible?". The Watchtower: 19. February 15, 1981. "True, the brothers preparing these publications are not infallible. Their writings are not inspired as are those of Paul and the other Bible writers. (2 Tim. 3:16) And so, at times, it has been necessary, as understanding became clearer, to correct views. (Prov. 4:18)" "Do You See the Evidence of God's Guidance?", The Watchtower, April 15, 2011, pages 3–5, "How, then, do we react when we receive divine direction? Do we try to apply it “right afterward”? Or do we continue doing things just as we have been accustomed to doing them? Are we familiar with up-to-date directions, such as those regarding conducting home Bible studies, preaching to foreign speaking people, regularly sharing in family worship, cooperating with Hospital Liaison Committees, and conducting ourselves properly at conventions? ... Do you clearly discern the evidence of divine guidance? Jehovah uses his organization to guide us, his people, through “the wilderness” during these last days of Satan’s wicked world." "Unity Identifies True Worship", The Watchtower, September 15, 2010, page 13 par.8 "This spiritual food is based on God’s Word. Thus, what is taught is not from men but from Jehovah." "Overseers of Jehovah’s People", The Watchtower, June 15, 1957, "Let us now unmistakably identify Jehovah’s channel of communication for our day, that we may continue in his favor ... It is vital that we appreciate this fact and respond to the directions of the “slave” as we would to the voice of God, because it is His provision." Penton 1997, p. 172 All Scripture is Inspired of God, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1990, page 336. All Scripture is Inspired of God, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1990, page 9. Reasoning From The Scriptures | pp. 199–208 Jehovah's Witnesses Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 67, "Materials such as The Watchtower are almost as significant to the Witnesses as the Bible, since the information is presented as the inspired work of theologians, and they are, therefore, believed to contain as much truth as biblical texts." James A. Beverley, Crisis of Allegiance, Welch Publishing Company, Burlington, Ontario, 1986, ISBN 0-920413-37-4, pages 25–26, 101, "For every passage in Society literature that urges members to be bold and courageous in critical pursuits, there are many others that warn about independent thinking and the peril of questioning the organization ... Fear of disobedience to the Governing Body keeps Jehovah's Witnesses from carefully checking into biblical doctrine or allegations concerning false prophecy, faulty scholarship, and injustice. Witnesses are told not to read books like this one." "Keep Clear of False Worship!", The Watchtower, 15 March 2006, "True Christians keep clear of false worship, rejecting false religious teachings. This means that we avoid exposure to religious programs on radio and television as well as religious literature that promotes lies about God and his Word." "Questions From Readers—Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses decline to exchange their Bible study aids for the religious literature of people they meet". The Watchtower: 31. May 1, 1984. "So it would be foolhardy, as well as a waste of valuable time, for Jehovah’s Witnesses to accept and expose themselves to false religious literature that is designed to deceive." Question Box, Our Kingdom Ministry, September 2007, "Throughout the earth, Jehovah’s people are receiving ample spiritual instruction and encouragement at congregation meetings, assemblies, and conventions, as well as through the publications of Jehovah’s organization. Under the guidance of his holy spirit and on the basis of his Word of truth, Jehovah provides what is needed so that all of God’s people may be fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought and remain stabilized in the faith. Surely we are grateful for Jehovah’s spiritual provisions in these last days. Thus, the faithful and discreet slave does not endorse any literature, meetings, or Web sites that are not produced or organized under its oversight." "Make Your Advancement Manifest", The Watchtower, August 1, 2001, page 14, "Since oneness is to be observed, a mature Christian must be in unity and full harmony with fellow believers as far as faith and knowledge are concerned. He does not advocate or insist on personal opinions or harbor private ideas when it comes to Bible understanding. Rather, he has complete confidence in the truth as it is revealed by Jehovah God through his Son, Jesus Christ, and the faithful and discreet slave." Testimony by Fred Franz, Transcript, Lord Strachan vs. Douglas Walsh, 1954. page 123, Q: "Did you imply that the individual member has the right of reading the books and the Bible and forming his own view as to the proper interpretation of Holy Writ? A:" .... No....The Scripture is there given in support of the statement, and therefore the individual when he looks up the Scripture and thereby verifies the statement,...search[es] the Scripture to see whether these things were so." "Do We Need Help to Understand the Bible?", The Watchtower, February 15, 1981, page 19, "Jesus’ disciples wrote many letters to Christian congregations, to persons who were already in the way of the truth. But nowhere do we read that those brothers first, in a skeptical frame of mind, checked the Scriptures to make certain that those letters had Scriptural backing, that the writers really knew what they were talking about. We can benefit from this consideration. If we have once established what instrument God is using as his 'slave' to dispense spiritual food to his people, surely Jehovah is not pleased if we receive that food as though it might contain something harmful. We should have confidence in the channel God is using." Beckford 1975, pp. 84, 89, 92, 119–120 "Questions From Readers", The Watchtower April 1, 1986 pp. 30–31. Holden, Andrew (2002). Jehovah's Witnesses: Portrait of a Contemporary Religious Movement. Routledge. p. 24. ISBN 0-415-26609-2. Ringnes, Hege Kristin; Helje Kringlebotn Sødal (ed.) (2009). Jehovas vitner—en flerfaglig studie (in Norwegian). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. p. 27. Holden, A. (2002). Cavorting With the Devil: Jehovah's Witnesses Who Abandon Their Faith (PDF). Department of Sociology, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YL, UK. p. Endnote . Retrieved 2009-06-21. Alan Rogerson (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die. Constable. p. 87. Beckford 1975, p. 105 Revelation Its Grand Climax, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1988, pg 36, "In the songbook produced by Jehovah’s people in 1905, there were twice as many songs praising Jesus as there were songs praising Jehovah God. In their 1928 songbook, the number of songs extolling Jesus was about the same as the number extolling Jehovah. But in the latest songbook of 1984, Jehovah is honored by four times as many songs as is Jesus. This is in harmony with Jesus’ own words: 'The Father is greater than I am.' Love for Jehovah must be preeminent, accompanied by deep love for Jesus and appreciation of his precious sacrifice and office as God’s High Priest and King." Alan Rogerson (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die. Constable. p. 90. "What is the Holy Spirit?". The Watchtower: 5. October 1, 2009. "There is a close connection between the holy spirit and the power of God. The holy spirit is the means by which Jehovah exerts his power. Put simply, the holy spirit is God’s applied power, or his active force." Hoekema 1963, p. 262 Hoekema 1963, pp. 276–277 Penton 1997, p. 372 Hoekema 1963, p. 270 "Stay in the “City of Refuge” and Live!", The Watchtower, November 15, 1995, page 19 Penton 1997, pp. 188–189 Penton 1997, pp. 188–190 Hoekema 1963, pp. 298–299 Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 25 "Identifying the Wild Beast and Its Mark". The Watchtower: 5. 1 April 2004. "This does not mean, however, that every human ruler is a direct tool of Satan." Hoekema 1963, pp. 322–324 Hoekema 1963, pp. 265–269 Penton 1997, p. 186 Penton 1997, p. 193–194 "Remaining Organized for Survival Into the Millennium", The Watchtower, September 1, 1989, page 19, "Only Jehovah's Witnesses, those of the anointed remnant and the 'great crowd,'as a united organization under the protection of the Supreme Organizer, have any Scriptural hope of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil." You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth,, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1989, pg 255, "Do not conclude that there are different roads, or ways, that you can follow to gain life in God's new system. There is only one ... there will be only one organization—God's visible organization—that will survive the fast-approaching 'great tribulation.' It is simply not true that all religions lead to the same goal. You must be part of Jehovah's organization, doing God's will, in order to receive his blessing of everlasting life." "Our Readers Ask: Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe That They Are the Only Ones Who Will Be Saved?", The Watchtower, November 1, 2008, page 28, "Jehovah's Witnesses hope to be saved. However, they also believe that it is not their job to judge who will be saved. Ultimately, God is the Judge. He decides." Hoekema 1963, pp. 315–319 Insight on the Scriptures Volume 1 p. 606 "Declare Righteous" Hoekema 1963, p. 297 Hoekema 1963, pp. 286 "Apocalypse—When?", The Watchtower, February 15, 1986, page 6. Penton 1997, p. 180 Hoekema 1963, pp. 307–321 Penton 1997, p. 17–19 The Watchtower 10/1/92 p. 16 par. 6 "The Messiah’s Presence and His Rule" Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 64–69 2010 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses: p. 6 Highlights of the Past Year "UPBUILDING AND ENJOYABLE FAMILY WORSHIP" The Watchtower 5/15 2011 p. 14 par 13 Christian Families—“Keep Ready” Maintain a Family Worship Evening Hoekema 1963, p. 292 Crompton, Robert (1996). Counting the Days to Armageddon. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. p. 5. ISBN 0-227-67939-3. Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. p. 1. ISBN 978-0094559400. Whalen, William J. (1962). Armageddon Around the Corner: A Report on Jehovah's Witnesses. New York: John Day Company. p. 15,18. "Global Printing—Helping People to Learn About God", online, jw.org Ringnes, Hege Kristin; Helje Kringlebotn Sødal (ed.) (2009). Jehovas vitner—en flerfaglig studie (in Norwegian). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. p. 43. "Question Box: How long should a formal Bible study be conducted with an individual in the Knowledge book?". 'Our Kingdom Ministry. October 1996. "We want people to receive a basic knowledge of the truth. Yet it is expected that within a relatively short period of time, an effective teacher will be able to assist a sincere average student to acquire sufficient knowledge to make an intelligent decision to serve Jehovah... (if there is no) clear evidence of his desire to serve Jehovah .... it may be advisable to discontinue the study." Botting, Heather; Gary Botting (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 77. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7. "The society states explicitly that all Bible studies should quickly show signs of 'real progress' to be deemed worthy of pursuit ... unless the potential converts are willing to give clear indication that they accept both the doctrines and the consequent responsibilities of attending meetings and going from door to door themselves, the study should be discontinued." Bearing Thorough Witness About God's Kingdom, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 2009, page 63, "Do you obey the command to bear thorough witness, even if the assignment causes you some apprehension?" "Determined to bear thorough witness," The Watchtower, December 15, 2008, page 19, "When the resurrected Jesus spoke to disciples gathered in Galilee, likely 500 of them, he commanded: 'Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you.' That command applies to all true Christians today." Botting, Heather; Gary Botting (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 52. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7. "Do You Contribute to an Accurate Report?", Our Kingdom Ministry, December 2002, page 8, "Jehovah’s organization today instructs us to report our field service activity each month ... At the end of the month, the book study overseer makes sure that all in the group have followed through on their responsibility to report their activity." "Regularity in Service Brings Blessings", Our Kingdom Ministry, May 1984, page 7. "Helping Irregular Publishers". Our Kingdom Ministry: 7. December 1987. "Keep the Word of Jehovah Moving Speedily". Our Kingdom Ministry: 1. October 1982. Chryssides, G.D. (1999). Exploring New Religions. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 103. ISBN 0-304-33651-3. "Imitate Jehovah—Exercise Justice and Righteousness", The Watchtower, August 1, 1998, page 16. Holden & 2002 Portrait, pp. 26–27, 173 "Questions From Readers". The Watchtower: 30,31. June 15, 2002. Penton 1997, pp. 152, 180 "The Bible's Viewpoint What Does It Mean to Be the Head of the House?".Awake!: 26. July 8, 2004. "Christian Weddings That Bring Joy". The Watchtower: 11. 15 April 1984. Shepherd the Flock of God. pp. 37–38, 124–125. "How should individual Christians and the congregation as a whole view the Bible advice to marry "only in the Lord"?". The Watchtower: 31. 15 March 1982. Penton 1997, pp. 110–112 "Adultery". Insight on the Scriptures 1. p. 53. "Marriage—Why Many Walk Out", Awake!, July 8, 1993, page 6, "A legal divorce or a legal separation may provide a measure of protection from extreme abuse or willful nonsupport." "When Marital Peace Is Threatened". The Watchtower: 22. 1 November 1988. Beckford 1975, pp. 54–55 Penton 1997, pp. 106–108 Osamu Muramoto (August 1998). "Bioethics of the refusal of blood by Jehovah's Witnesses: Part 1. Should bioethical deliberation consider dissidents' views?". Journal of Medical Ethics 24 (4): 223–230.doi:10.1136/jme.24.4.223. PMC 1377670. PMID 9752623. The Watchtower April 15, 1988. Jehovah's Witnesses Official Media Web Site: Our History and Organization, "Do you shun former members? ... If, however, someone unrepentantly practices serious sins, such as drunkenness, stealing or adultery, he will be disfellowshipped and such an individual is avoided by former fellow-worshipers. ... The marriage relationship and normal family affections and dealings can continue. ... Disfellowshipped individuals may continue to attend religious services and, if they wish, they may receive spiritual counsel from the elders with a view to their being restored. They are always welcome to return to the faith [emphasis retained from source]" "Display Christian Loyalty When a Relative Is Disfellowshipped". Our Kingdom Ministry: 3–4. August 2002. "Disfellowshipping-How to View It". The Watchtower: 24. 15 September 1981. "Appendix: How to Treat a Disfellowshipped person". Keep Yourselves in God's Love. Jehovah's Witnesses. 2008. pp. 207–209. Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 163 "Disfellowshiping—How to View It", The Watchtower, September 15, 1981, page 23. "Do You Hate Lawlessness?", The Watchtower, February 15, 2011, page 31. Franz, Raymond. Crisis of Conscience. p. 358. Shepherd the Flock of God. Watch Tower Society. p. 119. "Questions From Readers", The Watchtower, January 1, 1983 pp. 30–31. "Should the Religions Unite?". The Watchtower: 741–742. 15 December 1953. "Is Interfaith God's Way?". The Watchtower: 69. 1 February 1952. Beckford 1975, p. 202, "The ideological argument states that, since absolute truth is unitary and exclusive of all relativisation, there can only 'logically' be one human organization to represent it. Consequently, all other religious organizations are in error and are to be strictly avoided. The absolutist view of truth further implies that, since anything less than absolute truth can only corrupt and destroy it, there can be no justification for Jehovah's witnesses having any kind of association with other religionists, however sincere the motivation might be." "15 Worship That God Approves". What Does The Bible Really Teach?. p. 145. Reasoning From the Scriptures, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1989, pages 435–436. "Live a Balanced, Simple Life", The Watchtower, July 15, 1989, page 11. Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 12 "Keep Your Distance When Danger Threatens". The Watchtower: 23. February 15, 1994. "Steering Clear of Danger ... We must also be on guard against extended association with worldly people. Perhaps it is a neighbor, a school friend, a workmate, or a business associate. ... What are some of the dangers of such a friendship? We could begin to minimize the urgency of the times we live in or take a growing interest in material rather than spiritual things. Perhaps, because of a fear of displeasing our worldly friend, we would even desire to be accepted by the world." Holden & 2002 Portrait, pp. 109–112 Franz, Raymond (2007). In Search of Christian Freedom. Commentary Press. p. 409. ISBN 0-914675-17-6. ""Each One Will Carry His Own Load", The Watchtower, March 15, 2006, page 23. Bryan R. Wilson, "The Persistence of Sects", Diskus, Journal of the British Association for the Study of Religions, Vol 1, No. 2, 1993, "They have extensive contact with the wider public, [in Britain in 1989, 108,000 publishers undertook 23 million hours of house-calls]. Yet, they remain little affected by that exposure—they confine their contacts to their single-minded purpose and avoid all other occasions for association." Questions From Readers, The Watchtower, November 1, 1999, p. 28,"As to whether they will personally vote for someone running in an election, each one of Jehovah's Witnesses makes a decision based on his Bible-trained conscience and an understanding of his responsibility to God and to the State." Questions From Readers, The Watchtower, March 1, 1983, p. 30 Reasoning From The Scriptures p. 178 Holidays The Watchtower 8/15/09 p. 22 par. 20 “Keep Yourselves in God’s Love” The Watchtower 9/15/68 p. 573 par 6 "The Seriousness of It" The Watchtower 10/15/92 p. 18 par. 21 "Work to Preserve Your Family Into God’s New World" Worship the Only True God, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 2002, p. 159. Korea government promises to adopt alternative service system for conscientious objectors Education, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 2002, pp. 20–23 Owens, Gene (September 1997). "Trials of a Jehovah's Witness.(The Faith of Journalists)". Nieman Reports. Racial and ethnic unity Jehovah’s Witnesses Official Media Web Site Ronald Lawson, "Sect-state relations: Accounting for the differing trajectories of Seventh-Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses", Sociology of Religion, Winter 1995, "The urgency of the Witness's apocalyptic has changed very little over time. The intellectual isolation of the Witness leaders has allowed them to retain their traditional position, and it is they who continue to be the chief purveyors of the radical eschataology ....This commitment (to principle) was bolstered by their organizational isolation, intense indoctrination of adherents, rigid internal discipline, and considerable persecution."
In view of last weeks WT study "Do you have the facts" (August 2018, page 3) and thanks to @Gone Away for highlighting the following reports, I thought I would put this in a separate and concise topic to show an actual and recent example of misinformation.
NEWS REPORT: (I cut it a little short because the article went on about the ban in general. You van read the whole thing here: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/five-jehovah-s-witnesses-detained-in-russia-investigators-10812938)
MOSCOW: Five Jehovah's Witnesses have been detained in Russia and charged with possessing weapons and running an extremist group, investigators said Wednesday (Oct 10, 2018), in the latest case targeting the banned religious movement.
They were arrested in the Kirov region northeast of Moscow, where authorities said they found two grenades and a landmine in searches of their homes.
The Jehovah's Witnesses are a Christian denomination that originated in the United States in the late 19th century.
The Russian authorities consider the movement a totalitarian sect and last year the country's supreme court banned the Jehovah's Witnesses from operating in Russia.
"They had been conducting meetings and called on others to join their organisation," Yevgenia Vorozhtsova, a spokeswoman for regional investigators, said.
She said officials were investigating how the members of the Jehovah's Witnesses had obtained the ammunition, but declined to provide further details.
Yaroslav Sivulskiy, a member of the European Association of Jehovah's Christian Witnesses, said it was the first time the Russian authorities had accused members of the movement of possessing ammunition.
"We were shocked," he said from the Latvian capital Riga. "It is both funny and strange. Why mines?"
One of those detained was a Polish national residing in Russia, he said.
THE FACTS: (here I took the liberty of slightly adjusting the translation by Google, so it made more sense)
On October 9, 2018, in the city of Kirov, during a search of the house of retired Vladimir Bogomolov, a collector of artifacts from the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945), investigators seized fragments of obviously unusable rusty shells. The man was searched because his 69-year-old spouse (the only one of her entire family) professes the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. The woman does not share her husband's fascination with antiques. Thus, the report that the ammunition was seized allegedly from Jehovah's Witnesses is not true.
Jehovah's Witnesses do not take weapons for conscience reasons. For this position they appeared before tribunals of different countries and went to concentration camps. They will be grateful to the media for clarifying the misunderstanding .
Vladimir Bogomolov, from whom the relics were confiscated, was in the past an active participant in a search movement (aimed at burying the remains of the soldiers who died in World War II), he was the brigadier of the search party. The activities of his squad were written about in newspapers. On October 9, 2018, upon the discovery of the artifacts, a criminal case on the illegal possession of weapons was instituted, it was allocated in a separate proceeding. The items were sent for examination.
By The Librarian
United Arab EmiratesÂ
Today Presidents Trump and Putin meet for summit, and the New York Times tells of an exiled Jehovah's Witness who proposes Trump ask Putin a simple question: "Why are Russians who pay their taxes, follow the law and embrace the Christian values promoted by the Kremlin being forced to flee their country?"
A simple [and single] question. To propose that Trump do this is exactly the non-confrontational style of Jehovah's Witnesses, and is proof in itself that they are not extremist. Moreover, because the goal is so modest, it is not impossible that it could happen. Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia is not everywhere, but where it is, it is draconian, with police dressed in riot gear breaking down doors to arrest them.
Meanwhile (and irrelevant), I did a google search of "New York Times Jehovah's Witnesses." The second hit is an article from 1958, telling of (I think) the largest Christian assembly in history.
Remember, Google is personalized. Your results may vary.
By The Librarian
As you read this.... remember PERCEPTION is 90% of everything. Sometimes it even trumps the truth itself for centuries. It is that important.
I suspect we should consider that most businesses no longer require suits (business casual and clean is now ok for most jobs)
I try to not bring my electronic devices to my business meetings. It sends the wrong message I think.Â What is wrong with the Bible and songbook (actual books)?
Let's also consider what a Kingdom Hall full of Mercedes and Audis appears like to the public.
I remember how I felt as a regular pioneer showing up in California one day at a KH with all their expensive cars. WRONG MESSAGE!!!
Remember what Jesus said about the RICH?
Just some random thoughts when I saw this on Facebook.
View the full article
By Guest Nicole
The Jehovah’s Witnesses community in the Netherlands will not hold an independent inquiry into the sexual abuse of members, despite being urged to do so by justice minister Sander Dekker. By last month, 267 reports of sexual abuse involving Jehovah’s Witnesses had been made to a hotline set up by the Reclaimed Voices foundation in 2017 after Trouw published a report on the growing scandal. Dekker told RTL Nieuws on Tuesday that the organisation’s decision is ‘disappointing’ and that it is ignoring the victims who want to be heard. He has no powers to force the organisation to hold an inquiry.
Read more: https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2018/05/jehovahs-witnesses-reject-calls-for-independent-inquiry-into-sexual-abuse/
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
FSB starts detaining Jehovah’s Witnesses on Kola, dozens flee to Finland
Criminal cases are initiated after FSB and Rosgvardia raided six addresses in the closed navy town of Polyarny.
By Thomas Nilsen - The Independent Barents Observer
April 20, 2018
Last April, a ruling by Russia’s Supreme Court banned all Jehovah’s Witnesses organizations throughout the country, arguing the religious group to be extremist.
On Friday, Murmansk regional authorities’ newspaper Murmanski Vestnik reports about raids made by FSB and the National Guard of Russia (Rosgvardia) in Polyarny on the Kola Peninsula.
Two local residents were detained under suspicions of being members of the administrative centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, organizing teaching and meetings where reading of banned religious literature took place. Searches were carried out at six addresses in Polyarny.
The town is home to a naval yard and several of the diesel-powered submarines and other warships of the Northern Fleet have Polyarny as homeport.
The extremist law banning Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia provides for a maximum sentences of 6 to 10 years in jail.
Meanwhile, a wave of practicing Jehovah’s Witnesses are fleeing Russia. More than a thousand people are now seeking asylum in several European countries, including Finland, the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reported earlier this winter.
It all started last summer, and that’s when the first Witnesses sought asylum in Finland, spokesperson Veikko Leininen with the organization’s Finnish branch told the newspaper. Many dozens at least are still to come, he said.
Press adviser Therese Bergwitz-Larsen with the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) can’t go into details about particular reasons for asylum seekers coming to Norway.
Unfortunately, we can’t say anything in general on the background for reasons to apply for asylum, since the number [from Russia] is so small, Bergwitz-Larsen tells the Barents Observer.
Statistics from UDI show that 15 persons came from Russia the first three months this year. In 2017, 58 Russian asylum seekers came to Norway.
In Russia, the number of Jehovah’s Witnesses are estimated to about 175,000. That be, before the organization was declared extremist. Viewed with skepticism for denying military service, voting and refusal to take blood, the members are seen as both a threat to themselves, their children and public safety.
Also during Soviet times, the Witnesses were persecuted.
Human Right Watch recently called on Russian authorities to drop charges against Danish citizen Dennis Christensen adherent for practicing his faith. Christensen has been in pretrial custody for 11 months in the town of Orel. Human Right Watch argues that Russia is a member of Council of Europe and a party to the European Convention on Human Rights, and therefore is obligated to protect the rights to freedom of religion and association.
My note: Russia passed a law in 2015 that basically stated that any CE or ECHR resolution or ruling they disagreed with could be ignored. I think it is a very good idea when governments start rounding up people for gas chambers, concentration or slave labor camps, or prison ... just be somewhere else.
You may have to abandon everything you and your family ever worked for, with the clothes on your back, but at least when they upholster the living room furniture you left behind ... it won't be with YOUR SKIN.
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
(New news ....) A MONTANA Judge Orders Jehovah’s Witnesses to Turn Over Internal Documents Related to Childhood Sexual Abuse
April 12, 2018
On April 5, 2018, Judge James Manley of Sanders County, Montana ordered the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization to produce documents and testimony related to internal reports and investigations into the childhood sexual abuse of NPR’s two clients.
In this case, the two Plaintiffs were sexually abused as children by a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Elders in the local Jehovah’s Witness congregation in Thompson Falls, Montana were aware of the abuse and failed to report it to the police, choosing instead to handle the reports and investigations internally pursuant to Jehovah’s Witness guidelines. Their decision not to report the abuse to authorities allowed the perpetrator to remain in the congregation and continue to abuse one of the Plaintiffs.
Throughout this case, and similar childhood sexual abuse cases across the country, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have refused to produce documents related to their internal handling of reports of sexual abuse and related investigations and disciplinary actions claiming that the information is protected by the clergy-penitent privilege and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Through briefing to the court, NPR convinced the Judge that Defendants’ privilege claims were unsupported and improper under the law. The Court agreed that Defendants could not blanket everything related to their investigations in secrecy and that they must turn it over to the Plaintiffs. Often, this is the very evidence that can win or lose a case like this against a religious institution.
The case of Nunez, et al. v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York, et al. is set to go to trial in September of 2018.
The plaintiffs in this case are represented by NPR partner D. Neil Smith and associate Ross E. Leonoudakis.
A Jury of 12 held in public view ... or a tribunal of three held in complete secrecy.
Which would YOU choose, to get Justice?
By Guest Nicole
Helene Gotthold, a Jehovah's Witness, was beheaded for her religious beliefs on December 8, 1944, in Berlin. She is pictured with her children. Germany, June 25, 1936.
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
Which Pill Would We Take ..... The Red Pill? .... or the Blue Pill?
In the political world, more and more people are rejecting "Fake News" as provided by CNN (Clinton News Network), ABC (All 'bout Clinton) and NBC (Nothin' but Clinton), etc., and are seeking the truth about what they are being told ..... wherever it may be found.
Today John Stossel had an article about this on Foxnews which is incredibly important ... not only for the political ramifications ... but every manner of philosophical thought ....Â and our very view of how the Universe works, and what "makes it tick".
If you have seen the movie "The Matrix" .... a MUST SEE movie .... you already know the common expression "Red Pill? Blue Pill?".
If you don't ... YOU SHOULD.Â
The concept behind the expression is incredibly important ... as to whether we live in and artificial fantasy construct world ... or a world of what is actually REAL.
JOHN STOSSEL: More people tuning out mainstream media, embracing 'truth'
Oh ... and if you have not seen it .... get a copy of the movie, so you will actually get a "feel" for the depth of the now commonly understoodÂ idiomatic expression.
(For those in Rio Linda, that has nothing to do with sex, it has to do with basic understanding .....)
By Sergey Christosenko
After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.Â 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb!Â (Rev. 7: 9-10)Â .
Today, on the ground there are thousands of religions that have made billions of people slaves of their religious teachers.Â Even atheism is as much a religion as everyone else, just atheists do not believe in the Creator, and the existence of a certain matter, which is magically formed our very complex and surprisingly organized universe, including living organisms and humans.Â The slavery that exists on our planet thousands of years, is in the most bizarre forms, and at first glance it seems freedom.Â But who, in reality from the people in the world, rich or poor, smart and silly, important and simple free from the bondage of sickness and death?
In the world there is no free people!Â There are only slaves, because the people is not available, and dependent creature creator.Â Just a few know about it, and most of the other does not know about it until the time comes to get sick and die!Â When people do not know their future, they are easily fooled.Therefore, Jehovah's Witnesses religious teachers deceive the flock, saying that "great crowd" of Revelation 7: 9, are members of their religion.Â who survived a bloody Armageddon.Â But can there be such slaves to religion, were free from death?
Of course, it can not be!Â That is why the leaders of the people and their leaders, including religious and trying to convince people the idea that they can be free, including from disease and death.Â Of course, God is well aware of this, so he ordered to be written in His Word - the Bible, about who are the religious leaders of all religions existing on earth, and especially such a religion, as Jehovah's Witnesses:
Â 17 These are waterless springs, and mists driven by a storm: they prepared the gloom of eternal darkness.Â
18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure in the lusts of the flesh and much wantonness, those who are just escaping from being misled.Â 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption;Â For if a man who is defeated, he brought in bondage.Â (2 Peter 2: 17-19)
Is it not a very exact words with which religious teachers of Jehovah's Witnesses are described as "wells without water", ie have no life, "cloud", which quickly appear and disappear quickly, because their speech is "great swelling words of vanity," with by which they deceive their religious lie even those "who barely, that is quite a few, have lagged behind in error a variety of false doctrines, such as atheism with his theory of evolution, without any evidence, and such as Christianity, with its one God from three heads,Â each of which then by itself, then acts together.
Therefore, the apostle Peter writes about the right of all religious leaders, and in particular, the leaders of Jehovah's Witnesses, they "promise their followers the freedom" are themselves being slaves of corruption, that is, diseases and death !.Â And then the apostle writes about the sad fate of the religious leaders, who seem to have rejected the deceitfulness of the godless world, and seems to have acquired a knowledge of Jesus Christ, but again and again, like dogs srygnuvshie food, keep returning to eat that vomit them previously.Â That's why these people are completely in vain learned about Yehovahe - the God of Israel and sent them to the people of renegade Jesus Christ.Â
20 For if they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the first.
21 It would be better to them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.Â 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog returns to its vomit, and: washed pig [is] wallow in the mud.Â
(2 Peter 2: 20-22)
And why slaves freedom, if they see the happiness of the people in bondage?Â So today in bondage to the American Watchtower Society held in slavery around 20 million people, with 8.5 million of them, so to speak, active slaves who show diligence in the execution of the will of their religious teachers of the Governing Body.Â Teachers of the Christian sect, as well as other Christian faiths, seduce his students that promise to release them in the near future and from diseases and poverty, and on crime and violence, and even death, the promise of eternal life in paradise on the ground.
But as you know, none of the promise of these religious teachers, as well as all others, no one will.Â Just because they are in bondage to death.Â They are her slaves, despite the fact that they are trying to present the case so that they are holy and righteous before God.Â In fact, there is none of the people living on earth today, neither holiness nor righteousness before Yehovahom - the God of Israel.Â There are just silly religious fantasies, in which some people naively believe!Â
Freedom from disease and death of the people can only give the Creator - Yehovah.Â So he gives to those who are worthy of the people, by virtue of its divine or holy spirit to adopt them as his adopted children.
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.Â 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage, [to] again [to live] in fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, "Abba, Father!"Â
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are - children of God.Â
17 And if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him, to his glory.Â
18 For I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory which shall be revealed in us.Â (Romans 8: 14-18)
That is why stupid to become a disciple of any particular religion, but should only become a disciple of the sole mediator in the adoption, by the power of Yehovaha, a man named Yehoshua Anointed One, or as it was called Greeks, Christ Jesus.Â Only the teaching of Jesus Christ, which bears no relation to Christianity or any other religion, is able to free man from the slavery of human teachings, and hence from the slavery of death!
And what is happening in religions?Â And in the religions, all religious teachers - leaders of these religions, prevent, so you can be free to follow Jesus Christ, repeating his steps, making adherents to live the commandments, the long-dead law of Moses, and they invented rules.Â Therefore, even taking the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, a person staying in one religion or another again loses this freedom, and returned as the "dog to his vomit", following the instructions and tips are not the Christ, and their religious leaders.
For example, in the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses, religious teachers force their students to live according to the precepts of the Mosaic Law, requiring them to knock each other elders of the congregation, prohibit blood transfusions, forbidding to marry with someone who is not in the religion, are forced to proselytize - in proselytizing, and other nonsense, which have no relation to faith in Christ as their only teacher and mediator.Â This is why the disciples of the American Society of watchtower flies not freedom in Christ, and only the yoke of slavery!Â
1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, if ye be circumcised, will not do you any good from Christ.Â 3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he should do the whole law.Â 4 You are justified by the Law of Moses, were without Christ, they have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.Â 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision, but faith working through love.Â (Gal 5: 1-6) The Gospel of Luke tells us that after his baptism in the Jordan, Jesus Christ forever leave his collection to the city of Nazareth, where he taught from the age of 12 the Pharisees and scribes of the Jewish religious system of worship Yehovahu - the God of Israel.Â Therefore, today, those who really got the spirit Yehovaha rather than imitates this event, pretending to be a party to the New Testament, as a guarantee of its adoption, become his anointed, that is Christ, and forever leave their religion.Â Well, why do they promise which the people if he Yehovah gave them the spirit of their adoption?Â
21 establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us [there is] God,Â
22 who also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.Â (2 Corinthians 1: 21.22)
As is well understood by those who read the Bible carefully, rather than across the page, with tea and scones, God is going to raise a limited number of anointed ones, that is, people who have, so to speak, on his brow seal Yehovaha.Â The total amount of those of them who remain faithful until death, all of the first apostles of Christ is limited to 144000 of 12 conventional (the number of the Apostles) tribes of Israel.Â What this means for the rest of the people who have ever lived on the earth?Â
This means that they "looked forward to the revelation of the sons Yehovaha who begin their reign as kings in heaven with Jesus Christ in his 1000 year kingdom.
18 For I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory which shall be revealed in us.Â 19 For the creation waits with eager children of God, revelation, 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but by reason of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from the bondage of corruption into the glorious freedom of the children of God.22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now;Â 23 And not only [it], but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for adoption, the redemption of our body.Â 24 For we are saved by hope.Â But hope that is seen is not hope;Â For if someone sees it and hope that it?Â
(Romans 8: 18-24)
Only in the end of the 1000-year reign of Jesus Christ, "the whole thing", that is, all creation Yehovaha can finally get rid of the bondage of disease, poverty, crime, death and old age.Â Here is how this painting the liberation of mankind from the bondage of the book of Revelation describes the prophet John.Â
9 After this (after 1000 years) I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.Â 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb!Â (Rev. 7: 9.10)
Thus, we see a great many are not Jehovah's Witnesses, and in general people do not consist of any one religion.Â They all praise Yehovaha - the God of Israel and Jesus Christ as their savior.Â Their white clothes makes it clear that they are far from any religious system that people have created on earth for thousands of years.Â But religious leaders are not satisfied.Â So they, like all children of the devil uses deception to deceive humanity and forced under threat of eternal torture, or threat of bloody Armageddon, to serve them, to be their slaves.Â
Yehovah is a spirit;Â and where the spirit Yehovaha, there is liberty.Â
2 Corinthians 3:17
By Noble Berean
The February 2017 WT had this to say about the GB:
Compare this to the November 2016 WT which had this to say about the GB's authority:
The GB wants the unquestioned control and the credit for leading God's organization, but they also wants total freedom from accountability when they are wrong. The existence of the org is based around everyone accepting this premise.
But how is this premise not 100% illogical and absurd? The GB is presenting itself in 2 completely conflicting ways:
The GB is uninspired, fallible, and errs, so they should not be blamed for incorrect direction. The GB should not be questioned by JWs, and there is no place for independent thinking. The GB cannot state they make errors in their direction and simultaneously demand unquestioned obedience to their direction. That doesn't make any sense. If anything, JWs should be skeptical of the GB's directions because of their history of incorrect direction. However, critical thinking is discouraged as a negative trait in organization literature--even when that thinking is based on the Bible.
If there is a God, then surely he is just, and I cannot imagine he would structure an organization on such an illogical premise.
Think of how this premise negatively affects JWs. Adherents are essentially commanded to follow direction that may be 100% wrong. They are told to "wait on Jehovah" if they have doubts. This also means that a JW could be punished for having a correct idea that is currently not in harmony with the GB. I'm sure this has happened with JWs over its history.
Also, isn't it disturbing that the GB have set things up so that they have maximum control and minimum accountability? It's the definition of plausible deniability. Everyone here is well aware of the legal issues with blood transfusion rejection and the sex abuse. In these legal matters, it is pretty clear that the organization is distancing themselves from any accountability and is instead placing the burden on the individual JW. This flies in the face of the culture of the religion where everything a JW does revolves around supporting the organization. There is no room for personal opinion. To suggest otherwise in legal cases is very dishonest and shady. Moreover, it goes against the idea that their is an equal relationship--we're supposed to die over organizational doctrines but the GB won't even acknowledge their role in court proceedings?
The very fact the organization uses plausible deniability in their literature is highly suspect. The fact that they can force JWs to follow their direction, but when it's wrong they can point to a WT and say, "See! We said we were fallible and uninspired!" It all smells dishonest and shady.
The God delusion- are Jehovah's Witnesses the exception?
Religion seems to be more divisive and destructive than any other belief system. Why does the beliefÂ in a superhuman powerÂ bear such "rotten fruit"?Â
Each religion claims they are the one and only true religion. Is there such a thing as the onlyÂ true Religion, and one that actually bears "good fruit"?
Please watch the documentary below and feel free to shareÂ any observations you might have, or comment onÂ the problem of religion and belief you have identified and/or the areas where Jehovah's Witnesses differ....etc.
At the end of the video Dawkins asks imploringly, appealing to our sense of gratitude:Â Â“People sometimes say there must be more to this life....but how much more do you wantÂ”?
I guess you can present that question to someone who was born in poverty and disease, and has no way out. Or you can ask someone who has been diagnosed with a fatal illness and has no way of getting better. Or you can ask someone who has lost loved ones who cannot be brought back. Â I am sure they would tell you they wished for more.....Â Â
By Guest Nicole
IRON RIVER, Mich. (WLUC) - Two years ago Mary Kurtz suffered from gastroesophageal reflux disease making daily activities unbearable.
"I would wake up with terrible terrible pain in the chest area, it wasnÂ’t a heart attack, I knew that, but it took my breath away," said Kurtz.
Typically a surgeon could perform an open surgery by making a long incision in the abdomen to prevent acid reflux. However this wasnÂ’t an option for Kurtz.
"Being a witness, we abstain because in the Bible it tells us in Acts 15:20 to abstain from blood through digesting it or taking it in as a medical use and this is our belief," explained Kurtz.
After consulting with non-witness and witness friends, Kurtz came across Dr. Fanous who could offer a TIF surgery where her esophagus could be worked on by entering through the mouth.
"TIF or Transoral incisionless fundoplication where we use the device called the EsophyX HD device to go in, use the patient's tissues to construct the valve between the stomach and the esophagus," said Dr. Medhat Fanous.
Currently Aspirus is the only program in the UP that provides this new option for surgery. Not only is it safe and durable but done as an outpatient procedure.
"It was the best thing IÂ’ve ever done," said Kurtz. "After two years, I have no pain I have no acid reflux, I can eat things that I never even thought about touching before."
And Kurtz isnÂ’t the only one who seen the benefits of the TIF procedure, in just under two years, Aspirus has helped more than 150 patients go through similar surgeries.
"ItÂ’s a tight community and the word of mouth is very strong but the fact weÂ’ve seen 150 procedures, itÂ’s a testimony to the quality of our work," said Dr. Fanous.
Recently Dr. Fanous published a study regarding the safety of the TIF with Jehovah witnesses and Kurtz couldnÂ’t be more thankful for his work and consideration of her beliefs.
"I am happy that Dr. Fanous went along with this, because it is a big thing for us."
Here is a 14 year-old girl who sexted an explicit picture of herself to her boyfriend via Snapchat - and he spread it about widely. Guys will do things like that and girls should not be dumb.
She is looking at 10 years felony jail time for violation of Minnesota's child-porn law. The ACLU spokesperson defending her says this is a "teachable moment" for parents to inform the girl that her actions have consequences. Tell me about it.
It is also a "cautionary tale," the ACLU adds. Yes. It IS cautionary for a 14 year old trying to live in an insane world supplied her by adults that pushes powerful social media tools, a sexually promiscuous culture, and then ten years for making use of them.
Only RT.com picks this story up (besides local media), probably in a quest to embarrass the West, but that is hard to do because the West routinely embarrasses itself yet feels no embarrassment. To the contrary, it parades around in its wisdom. Meanwhile – ‘wisdom from the mouth of babes’ – the girl says “Sexting is common among teens at my school, and we shouldn’t face charges for doing it. I don’t want anyone else to go through what I’m going through.” Of course. It is a no-brainer. It is not that what she did wasn’t wrong – it is that the entire adult world should be prosecuted ahead of her. That way, there will be no room left in jail for the child.
In a greater context, the story highlights the absolute failure of the world to vanquish pedophilia, which it has declared public enemy #1 - with its frothing take-no-prisoners, pulling-their-hair out frustration over making no dent in the pandemic, and so wildly overswinging to compensate. It is the frenzied carpenter who misses the nail and then furiously hammers ten times more, again missing each time. This is how it is with zealots who see their cause and nothing else – and the world is full of such people.
It mirrors the Arizona law of 2015 criminalizing contact with the private areas of any child under 15 REGARDLESS OF INTENT. Prosecutors did not back down even when it was pointed out that the law criminalizes parents changing diapers. No “sane or reasonable prosecutor” is going to misuse the law that way, they said. That is reassuring, but what about the insane and unreasonable ones? Will the law be repealed? Not easily. Just try repealing it and political enemies will scream you are being soft of pedophiles – no politician dares risk that.
Meanwhile, Jehovah’s Witnesses, of all people, get caught in the cross-fire of pedophilia for doing what no other religion attempts to do. Where there are reports of wrongdoing in their midst, they investigate, so as to keep the congregation morally clean – an obligation they feel before God. There is the unfortunate by-product that their name is always attached to pedophiles within their ranks, something that happens nowhere else. No other faith dreams their members should actually apply Christian conduct in their lives. No other faith looks into such things – preach Sunday and be done with it - and thus rarely learn of them. Thus pedophiles, who appear to be every third person on the planet, especially when the statute of limitations is forever, and the 14-year old and folks changing diapers are included, are never ever identified with any religion (unless they are clergy), with but a single exception.
The book I am almost finished with about Witness persecution in Russia will contain individual chapters on all charges made against Witnesses. ‘Pedophilia’ will be one of them, even though the subject did not arise there, strangely. It has arisen most everywhere else and it is only a matter of time there. The Russian embassy to the U.S. recently did mention the topic in a tweet, attempting to justify its ban – the first such mention I have ever seen, despite years of flinging dirt in that country to see what will stick.
Even my shoving match with @Ann O'Maly over who has the best child-protective video is in the pedophile chapter.
By Guest Nicole
I have posted this issue before, but it was during the time of the hot topic of the persecution in Russia and maybe got overshadowed by it. A poster brought it up again in one of the threads so I thought I will try again to post it as a topic. My goal is not to sow doubts, nor to promote some false ideas, but rather to get to the bottom of this as I feel it is a valid question. The summary of the problem can be seen in the quotes below:
Referring to people leaving their religion to join Jehovah's Witnesses:
"No one should be forced to worship in a way that he finds unacceptable or be made to choose between his beliefs and his family". Awake 7/09 page 29
Regarding those disfellowshipped from Jehovah's Witnesses:
"Really, what your beloved family member needs to see is your resolute stance to put Jehovah above anything else - including the family bond.....Do not look for excuses to associate with a disfellowshipped family member, for example, through email" p.16, paragraph 19, Study WT Jan / 2013
In the above situation we are assuming that the reason for disfellowshipping was because of changing one's religion and/or apostasy (not because of immorality etc.)
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