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The Librarian -
Srecko Sostar -
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Learning and making money to support oneself/family isn’t a problem. But putting oneself in an environment that promotes standards and objectives that conflict with or are at odds with our own spiritual outlook and objectives CAN be a problem - and it has often been that way in real life experience. Sure, there are exceptions to both sides of the equation. But there certainly is more of a risk to one’s spiritual health on a number of fronts. If one of your primary objectives is to preach the gospel and support yourself while doing that, where would your focus be? Jesus, the apostles, early Christians all made choices that reflected their priorities - even if at times it meant leaving lucrative businesses. Why should it seem so strange that Christians today with the same mandate would choose to do the same? A human perspective that doesn’t take God into consideration would logically pursue a course tilted toward this world’s thinking/reasoning/priorities. But if you have faith in God’s promise to provide what you need when you put his will first, your choices would logically be different. So, if you actually believe that God will see to it that you have what you need, then going much beyond that would be for what are “wants” - and for that you would likely need more money and sacrifices will have to be made on one side to gain on the other. “You can’t serve two masters“ as Jesus correctly pointed out. He lived by what he said. Look at the hundreds of thousands of pioneers in the world today - or even in your own congregation. Sure they have challenges like the rest of us, but are they suffering/destitute or unhappy generally? “Money can be a protection“ but as they say: “Money can’t buy happiness.” True happiness comes from within and having a good relationship with God - we were created that way. The main host of one of the tv travel documentaries was asked: “Who did you find were the happiest people in the world?” (No he didn’t say JWs although that may have been true;) His answer was that the happiest people were also the poorest materially. He referred to a very poor group of people in a village in Sri Lanka whose families often could only afford one meal a day. Poor yes, but also the happiest. I’m not suggesting that we should follow suit, but just making the point that happiness is a quest anyone would want. But this system promotes satisfying essentially spiritual needs with physical “things.” Pursuing higher education is often less about satisfying basic and legitimate needs and more about lifestyle. Wise king Solomon knew the truth about these things. His observations are worth a second look. 

That being said, I would have to admit that taking the choice as to what type of education to pursue out of the hands of parents and individuals and handing that choice to imperfect men who may not be any smarter does sound cultish to me. True, people can actually choose, but it’s like “choosing” whether to jump off a bridge or not, when you will be punished for not making the “right” choice. On the other hand, and to be fair, when people in positions of responsibility set an example of accepting a course that could put one in harm’s way, it could set a harmful precedent. So there’s that.. 

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Gotta admit, all the legal higher education the watchtower is utilizing now isn't helping out very much now adays as they are loosing legal battles, quite the opposite when they at one time were very successful in winning supreme court cases.

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8 hours ago, b4ucuhear said:

But there certainly is more of a risk to one’s spiritual health on a number of fronts.

Adam and Eve were at risk too. Their coming on Scene of Life was risk itself. But God himself put them at risk even more.... with The Tree, and with allowing devil to visit them. Without warning Adam and Eve what is coming on them.

In our life we have to be challenged from non friendly "elements" too, and main purpose is: to be stronger than before. Of, course you will not go purposely to prison to be surrounded by criminals for that reason, but it seems how some JW's consider non-JW people as "enemies".  

8 hours ago, b4ucuhear said:

The main host of one of the tv travel documentaries was asked: “Who did you find were the happiest people in the world?” (No he didn’t say JWs although that may have been true;) His answer was that the happiest people were also the poorest materially.

Than, it would be interesting to understand why many poor people want to stop to be poor. And why many people who are not poor (according to statistics and normative about what poverty is) are not ready to leave their material position for purpose to be "more happy" with less money.

Does this poor people, described in comments, are happy because they are among people with similar material status, and such position not cause comparison or envy and jealousy?  

8 hours ago, b4ucuhear said:

Pursuing higher education is often less about satisfying basic and legitimate needs and more about lifestyle. Wise king Solomon knew the truth about these things. His observations are worth a second look. 

People want to learn, to know more, generally. And as such this is one way how to satisfying basic and legitimate needs. Adam and Eve also want to learn more, about The Tree. Despite the ban of eating (eating = get knowledge), their natural need (putted in them in moment of Creation by God) for learning and know more put them in the risk.

King Solomon was extremely rich. And, as he quoted few times personally, he was in position to afford for himself all "this wisdom" not only because of Heavenly Revelations that came to him few times, but because of Riches he had (and people, poor and rich Israeli people have made it possible for him). 

Solomon proved main issue, that you can be rich and happy in the same time.  :)))   

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6 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

Adam and Eve were at risk too. Their coming on Scene of Life was risk itself. But God himself put them at risk even more.... with The Tree, and with allowing devil to visit them. Without warning Adam and Eve what is coming on them.

In our life we have to be challenged from non friendly "elements" too, and main purpose is: to be stronger than before.

??? I'm not sure I understand your reasoning, but my response would be: "When under trial, let no one say: "I am being tried by God." For with evil things God cannot be tried, nor does he himself try anyone." James 1:13.  Other than that, I would suggest you look up "non sequitur" in the dictionary. 

6 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

it seems how some JW's consider non-JW people as "enemies". 

Romans 5:10 "For if when we were "enemies" we became reconciled to God..." So God views individuals alienated from him as "enemies" but with the same hope and attitude we have, that they become reconciled to God. We view non-JW people as potential brothers - don't hate them. As Jesus taught us, we love even our enemies - yes, even in times of war. But more than that, MUCH more than that. Worshippers of Jehovah have always had "enemies." The faithful patriarchs, the nation of Israel and faithful men therein, Jesus Christ, early Christians, faithful men who were burned at the stake for producing Bibles, modern-day worshippers of Jehovah... As the recent broadcast mentioned, JWs are experiencing persecution on an unprecedented scale. Matthew 24:9 "Then people will hand you over to tribulation and will kill you and you will be hated by all nations on account of my name." John 17:14 "I have given your word to them, but the world has hated them, because they are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world." John 15:18-20 "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before it has hated you...for this reason the world hates you...A slave is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you..." Mark 13:13 "And you will be hated by all people on account of my name. But the one who has endured to the end will be saved." Frankly I could go on, but you get the idea. Do yourself a favour and do a word search on all the times "enemy" is used in the Bible and in what context. The historical, firsthand experience of JW's in countries around the world makes it clear that many non-JW people have acted as enemies, whether it be totalitarian governments, different religions, tribalism, and just plain "haters." And why should that surprise us? What would you expect from a world whose God is Satan the Devil? 1 John 5:19 "We know we originate with God, but the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one." Luke 4:6 "Then the Devil said to him: 'I will give you all this authority and their glory, because it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish." Revelation 12 - all of it but vs 17 should suffice: "so the dragon became enraged at the woman and went off to wage war with the remaining ones of her offspring, who observe the commandments of God and have the work of bearing witness concerning Jesus." In a nutshell: if you, while living in Satan's system don't find you have any "enemies," you may want to seriously consider whose side you're on.

6 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

it would be interesting to understand why many poor people want to stop to be poor. And why many people who are not poor (according to statistics and normative about what poverty is) are not ready to leave their material position for purpose to be "more happy" with less money.

I will accept responsibility for your misunderstanding of the point I was making. I wasn't very clear I guess. Sorry about that. It was my mistake. I was NOT making the point that you have to be poor to be happy. in fact, a poor person can be more materialistic than a wealthy person. But if you look to material prosperity as the ultimate gauge of happiness, you will be on a never-ending quest. Wealthy people are rarely satisfied even when they have an abundance. I was making the point that even poor people can be happy. Wealth does not in of itself equal happiness - which is the false hope some have. Psalm 37:16 "Better is the little of the righteous one than the abundance of many wicked ones." Luke 12:16 ""keep your eyes open and guard against every sort of greed, because even when a person has an abundance, his life does not result from the things he possesses." 

6 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

King Solomon was extremely rich. And, as he quoted few times personally, he was in position to afford for himself all "this wisdom" not only because of Heavenly Revelations that came to him few times, but because of Riches he had (and people, poor and rich Israeli people have made it possible for him). 

Solomon proved main issue, that you can be rich and happy in the same time. 

I believe the word he used in describing your scenario, was "vanity" or "futile." But that's another discussion... :)

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5 hours ago, b4ucuhear said:

??? I'm not sure I understand your reasoning,

I just want to point out how, life is a sort of risk. Events that took place in Eden Garden (and in Heaven Realm with angels) show us how many things can go wrong when you are alive.

People who do not live (do not exist), or are dead, are not at risk and not causing any risk, (only health risk if they are not properly buried or burnt).  Perhaps corps are not risk for vultures. (black humor)

But want to show how facing "risks" is "normal" thing. You are at risk even in your congregation meetings. You can fall in love with person you should not to fall. Or somebody can be in "crush" with you. You are at risk to follow human interpretations of God's words!!! Children are at risk to be victims too. We have literal and spiritual risk that took place in congregation. And you have to deal with them. In that way, you are at risk where ever you go. Bible verses can give you good advice or warning, but they will not save you from every risk. If you are in a place, you believed is the safest place on Earth, than you are at risk ..... Bible shows this too :)) 

 

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4 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

But want to show how facing "risks" is "normal" thing.

Fair enough and I agree with you on that. There is always a risk - even when we try to do the right thing, pray, follow scriptural principles, avoid bad areas... I'm sure you would also agree though, that some actions are riskier than others. i.e. jumping off a cliff is riskier than jumping off a curb - (unless you are jumping off the curb into traffic)  For instance, if you know an area of your city is known to have a high crime rate - especially at night, you might feel it prudent to avoid that area when you have a choice. True you may not be attacked, but the chances of that happening to you are significantly greater if you expose yourself to that environment. Not to flog this... (OK yes, I am flogging it ;)) One more example. You might not get cancer from smoking cigarettes, but the evidence shows your chances are greater of getting it. And in fact, even if you felt you were willing to take the chance yourself, would you be willing to set that example for your kids by smoking at home? They would see your example and possibly feel it's fine to follow your example, in turn putting them at greater risk of both addiction and cancer. That's the point I was clumsily trying to make. Personally, per se, I am not a dogmatic "opposer" of higher learning such that I would take it upon myself to punish others for choosing that option. But I would also candidly admit from real-life examples I have seen, that it poses a higher risk to spiritual objectives than other grades of schooling (which of course, as I recognize, can come with their own risks.) 

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11 hours ago, b4ucuhear said:

 

Are you volunteering as a poster boy for the need for higher education? ;) 

Typing on a tablet is difficult sometimes....but I'm sure my education surpasses your 4 year awake and watchtower education:)

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2 hours ago, b4ucuhear said:

Personally, per se, I am not a dogmatic "opposer" of higher learning

Thanks for respond and for your understanding. 

I would like to add also this about WT Society "warnings" and strong recommendations through publications and public talks about "higher education".

We have young people who going to High school of some sort. WT Society not giving explicit "warnings" about this level of education. Perhaps because WT think how young "worldly" people of that age are not big "risk" for young JW members. :))

Also, we have young people who going to Universities and similar educational level. But WT consider how young "worldly" people of that age is very "dangerous" and are big "risk" for young JW members. :))

But, have in mind also this. Many of this young "worldly" people from both level of educations ended....where?? At some working place, on some job. And now we have big surprise. Where young and not young JW members working, on what working place, on what job? At same place with all those "worldly" people who JW members try to avoid when were younger, when were in similar/same age. And now they are all together ....despite all efforts JW members done in previous years. Some JW member working at place as janitor and his school colleague (known or unknown)  is Principal or Manager or Boss who giving him orders what and how to do something. JW members avoid to be with him at University but spend with him cca 8 hours a day in same Firm. Well, what is so special to be benefit of that?   

To be in Line, to be Consistent  in "warnings and advice" about issue how to avoid this sorts of "risk" to be near "worldly" people,  WT Society should have to warn JW people not to looking for "secular" job because it is big "risk" to put yourself in such a godless society/environment. 

Bible shows how old and young can be caught in same sort of "trap".

:))

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    • By The Librarian
      Gerrit Lösch: Do Not Hold a Grudge (1 Cor. 13:8) 
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