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CHURCH 'SHUNS' 15-YEAR-OLD, THEN FATHER – ENDS UP IN COURT

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The Supreme Court of Canada Thursday heard arguments in a fight over a church’s “shunning” practice, and said it would release a ruling later, but the congregation involved and several other groups argued that the justices had no right to even take part in the fight.

The fight is between Randy Wall, a real estate agent, and the Highwood congregation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization in Calgary.

Wall was expelled from the congregation for getting drunk and not be properly repentant, court records said. He pursued a church appeals process, unsuccessfully, then went to court because he said the church’s “shunning,” that is, 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 explained, “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 “much distress” eventually resulted in his drunkenness, Wall said.

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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 say that congregations are immune to such claims in the judicial system.

The lower courts had ruled that the courts could play a role in determining if, and when, 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 the 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 ability 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 is one of property or civil rights.

The Association for Reformed Political Action, described the case as having “profound implications for the separation of church and state.”

Its position is that the court should keep 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 fight 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.”

 

 

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7 hours ago, Nicole said:

Previous case law has confirmed the ability of religious or private voluntary groups to govern themselves and dictate who can be a member.

Normally. :):)

7 hours ago, Nicole said:

Wall was expelled from the congregation for getting drunk and not be properly repentant,...The church committee concluded he was “not sufficiently repentant.”

Perhaps my English is not sufficient, but here i see two separate issue. 1) expelled from congregation 2) not be properly repentant. My question is, For what reason Wall was disfellowshipped? Because of "for getting drunk" or because he was not been "properly repentant" ??? If he was df because of "been drunk" we can complicate issue on this with questions; Who can determine "drunkenness", by what parameter  public can see that one person is drunk? By his walking left/right? By alcometer and degrees of alcohol  in blood as in traffic law? Who and how and by what behaviour others can said, He is drunk? What is permitted level of alcohol in JW congregation to be able to say, this bro or sis drinking too much?  This questions are just for mediate a little more on issue. 

Another  thing is "not be properly repentant". This is very slip area. Even for "spiritually mature" elders :))))). I will not talking this time about how "Sheperd book" try to explain what is the "signs" of "truthful" repentance. It is complicated for elders to be judges of MOTIVES, and by entering in repentance issue, that is what in fact it is. Entering in "heart and mind and kidneys". Elders has no education, education of several levels, only some personal experience, to be able to properly look into  the "deepness of soul".

So by that i hold understanding how no one can be, and should not be disfellowshipped due to "quantity, types and the way of expression" of repentance.  

7 hours ago, Nicole said:

“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.

This is area for lawyers and philosophers and other sociologists and anthropologist. But i would cut this "knot" very easy for the purpose of this panel discussion. Romans 13:1 nwt said:  "Let every person* be in subjection to the superior authorities,+ for there is no authority except by God;+ the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God.+ 2  Therefore, whoever opposes the authority has taken a stand against the arrangement of God; those who have taken a stand against it will bring judgment against themselves. 3  For those rulers are an object of fear, not to the good deed, but to the bad.+ Do you want to be free of fear of the authority? Keep doing good,+ and you will have praise from it; 4  for it is God’s minister to you for your good. But if you are doing what is bad, be in fear, for it is not without purpose that it bears the sword. It is God’s minister, an avenger to express wrath* against the one practicing what is bad.      

By this inspired words, as to my interpretation and understanding , secular authority can, if they want, going into the field of "church rules and regulations, customs and social mores of group" to determine is it acceptable or not.           

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8 hours ago, Gnosis Pithos said:

A concept

Interesting and very complex issue. It is hard to read legal matters from link you provide, but is good example how it is difficult to judge and to be Judge aka elders in judicial committees. This just shows how is better for elders to not be so sure, or proud and arrogant  in self righteous and abilities in handling on people's life,   in their judgements of acts, motives and emotions, and "repents signs" of accused person in congregation.

"...he believed honestly and reasonably that the..."

"...words "knowingly or wilfully", it is a valid defence for an accused to show that he acted upon the honest belief that the ..."

Put name Paul or someone like him in OT or NT records about some events. For the "sake of argument" can we tell how Paul is "guilty" for been approved, involving  stoning of Stephen or persecution of Jesus followers (it is reasonable to believe how many of them are wounded and killed) . Did he "believed honestly and reasonably" how his action is according to The Law? YES HE DID. Did he done that "knowingly or wilfully"? YES HE DID.

What will be, what should be verdict? Or Is it this case for judging at all? One man died. Many people suffered and died.  Who will take responsibility for so many ruined lives? Or should we can say, this was God's plan for Paul, because that is what he need to change his mind and become apostle? :))

By what sort of law, by whom,  Paul's deeds have to be processed. By what precedence he would be judged and set free or guilty for death of other people? Civil Law, Congregational Law, JHVH Law???

:)    

     

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If you not see before. Some interesting details about involved parties in  these case. Here is a link:

http://www.scc-csc.ca/case-dossier/info/parties-eng.aspx?cas=37273

With WT Lawyers here i can see "supporters" for WT. :))))))

Judicial Committee of the Highwood Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses (Vaughn Lee - Chairman and Elders James Scott Lang and Joe Gurney) and Highwood Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses is Appellant. 

Wall, Randy   is Respondent.

 Canadian Council of Christian Charities, Association for Reformed Political Action Canada, Canadian Constitution Foundation, Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, Catholic Civil Rights League, Christian Legal Fellowship, World Sikh Organization of Canada, Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Canada, Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Canada, British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association are Interveners.

IT is interesting what colorful society we have here :)) Babylon the Great and Secular agencies are here to support WT JWorg. 

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1 hour ago, Srecko Sostar said:

IT is interesting what colorful society we have here :)) Babylon the Great and Secular agencies are here to support WT JWorg. 

And so they should! And there are a lot who should be there who are not!

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    • By Jack Ryan
      "Sunday, December 30
      Asa’s heart was complete with Jehovah all his life.—1 Ki. 15:14.
      Each of us can examine his heart to see if it is fully devoted to God. Ask yourself, ‘Am I determined to please Jehovah, to defend true worship, and to protect his people from any corrupting influence?’ For example, what if someone close to you has to be disfellowshipped? Would you take decisive action by ceasing to associate with that person? What would your heart move you to do? Like Asa, you can show that you have a complete heart by fully relying on God when you are faced with opposition, even some that may seem insurmountable. You may be teased or ridiculed at school for taking a stand as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Or colleagues at work may taunt you for taking days off for spiritual activities or for not often working overtime. In such situations, pray to God, just as Asa did. (2 Chron. 14:11) Remain firm for what you know is right and wise. Remember that God strengthened and helped Asa, and He will strengthen you.
      w17.03 3:6-8 "
      https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/dt/r1/lp-e/2018/12/30
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Un grupo de testigos de Jehová realizó lo que podría considerarse como uno de los secuestros más extraños hasta el momento, y es que privaron de la libertad a sus vecinos asegurando que se encontraban huyendo del fin del mundo, de acuerdo con reportes policiales de Alberta, en Canadá.
      Jacqueline Schaffter, juez de la corte provincial argumento que los tres detenidos, dos mujeres y un hombre que hasta el momento no han sido identificados, sufren de un extraño trastorno psicótico el cual hasta el momento no ha sido revelado y por el que deberán llevar un tratamiento para evitar hacerse daño a si mismos o a terceros.
      El extraño secuestro ocurrió en el mes de noviembre del año 2017 cuando cinco personas entre ellas dos menores de edad, fueron obligados a abandonar su hogar y abordar una camioneta junto a los testigos de Jehová, cuatro de los cuales se encontraban completamente desnudos.
      El hombre y su familia lograron escapar y ayudaron a las autoridades a dar con los sospechosos quienes de inmediato fueron arrestados.
      Al declararse culpables por los delitos de secuestro y confinamiento ilegal, los detenidos recibieron como sentencia un año de servicio comunitario y dos de libertad condicional, además de tener que someterse a un tratamiento de consejería.
      http://periodicoelnacional.mx/2018/12/24/testigos-de-jehova-se-desnudan-y-secuestran-a-una-familia-en-canada/
       

    • By Jack Ryan
      This was a case where in June 1987, the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld the Witnesses' right to shun those who fail to live by the group's standards and doctrines, upholding the ruling of a lower court.
      http://openjurist.org/819/f2d/875
      Has there been any cases after this, where DF cases went to court? Have there been cases in other countries were DF decisions were challenged and reversed?
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      Here in the United States we have Cable TV with such things as "History Channel", "Discovery Channel", "Scifi Channel", and "A&E" the "Arts and Entertainment Channel".  Apparently around November 13 of this year they had a famous (?) TV star, Leah Remini,  who had been a Scientologist since she was eight years old turn Apostate, and she has done at least two TV seasons exposing the ills of the Church of Scientology", do an Expose' of Jehovah's Witnesses.
      I do not watch TV as a rule, and missed it, and I spent a few days looking for it and trying to download a copy.  It was not on YouTube, but I did find it under "Aftermath Jehovah's Witnesses" on the Russian equivalent of YouTube, "Rutube.ru". It would not download with my usual download software, so I had to find a free screen capture software, which took about four hours to get the settings just right, and I was able to download the two hour program from my monitor, as it was playing.
      Therefore, I watched the TV program three times, as I experimented with the settings to get a good screen copy to my hard drive..
      I could see both sides of the program viewpoints presented, and did not find us to be misrepresented in any way whatsoever ... but if there was EVER a clear example of the Law of Unintended Consequences, the horror the Governing Body has caused in disfellowshipping the way that it is currently done ... by ripping families apart, and creating  irreparable damage that can never be corrected with reinstatement, was chilling, and puts us in the same class as Scientologists ... which completely disregarding the horror and hardsip, and cruelty without any mercy whatsoever it creates locally, shames Jehovah's Name and Reputation over the whole planet.
      I don't believe there is anything a local Jehovah's Witness could do ... rob a bank ... have a harem ... have sex with horses ... etc., ad nauseum ... that would besmirch Jehovah's name and reputation globally as much as our current blatantly cruel public policies of destroying whole families for the sins of one person.
      I am very glad to have the education I have to know that the TRUTH is still the truth .... even though the 85% drivel has rotted and fermented into rotten sewage.
      Most JWs do NOT have this educational advantage ... so their lives are permanently destroyed.
      I don't expect much from people, and almost NOTHING from groups of people .... so for me, like getting one of those great salads at the Olive Garden Restaurant, and finding a big chunk of solid sewage in it ... I hold my nose, and eat around it.
      This TV Special is global news .... what could I possibly say to the average person that would clear the Name of God, that the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, NOT THE TELEVISION PROGRAM, has corrupted by its Pharisaic policies that have real world consequences?
      The exact same thing happened in ancient Israel, and a system that God blessed and supported for a thousand years and more was abandoned by God.
      The exact same thing.
       
       
       
       
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      CAN A PERSON ... OR SHOULD A PERSON . BE DISFELLOWSHIPPED IN ABSTENSIA?
      Here is the situation .....  a person REPORTED to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses is accused, and NOT convicted ( ... because he is a fugitive from Justice ...) .....

      Apparently he was at one time in a "Position Of Authority", which possibly alludes to his being an  "Elder", and he may have relocated to another State or even another Country. Possibly using an alias.
      The  various Congregation Elders cannot find him, the Society cannot find him, and the U.S. Marshal's Service cannot find him.
      Not having any indication to the contrary ... at least from the information given in the pseudo-Wanted Poster shown above, he is possibly still officially one of Jehovah's Witnesses.
      Whether he is or not, his bad example raises an interesting  aspect of trying to figure out how the disfellowshipping "system" protocol actually works.
      Can any of the Congregations  he went to disfellowship him without his being present  to answer charges ?
      ... and SHOULD he be?
       
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Paramedics say one person is dead after two small planes collided in mid-air over Ottawa‘s west end just after 10 a.m. on Sunday morning.
      Ottawa police said that one of the aircraft crashed into a field near McGee Side Road just east of the 417 in Carp in rural west Ottawa. A spokesperson for Ottawa paramedics said an occupant of that plane was pronounced dead on the scene.
      The other aircraft was redirected to Ottawa International Airport and landed safely, sustaining only minor damage. No injuries were reported aboard that plane.
      It’s not known how many people were aboard each aircraft, or how exactly the collision occurred.
      The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating
      Read more: https://globalnews.ca/news/4628657/ottawa-aircraft-collision-midair/
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      DO  WE STILL  DISFELLOWSHIP  THE  MENTALLY  ILL ?
      I was a teenager in the 60's,  and I had a good friend that on Scout camping trips I introduced to the Truth, and I was there in NYC at Yankee Stadium when he was baptized as one of Jehovah's Witness. He was a true "straight arrow", and pioneered, always dressed immaculately, and eventually over the years became an Elder.
      One night, at an Elder's Meeting, he announced to the other Elders that he was Jesus Christ, and that his mother was the virgin Mary, and of course he was disfellowshipped.
      He spent several years in private mental institutions until his insurance money ran out, then in a State institution for several years.
      He called me up, and told me the story, and I told him I was the Great Turtleman, and every November, before I hibernated, I rose from the swamp and gave toys to all the good little boys and girls.  I was just pulling his leg, but he was dead serious.
      Later, he was in England, while his wife was trying without success to get him to take his medications, and fell over a balcony at Heathrow Airport and got killed.
      DO  WE STILL  DISFELLOWSHIP  THE  MENTALLY  ILL ?
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      from 2016 the year that they started the return to Jehovah brochure.
    • By Jack Ryan
      a heartbreaking video has emerged online showing how far reaching and deeply ingrained this shunning policy is; a video showing JehovahÂ’s Witnesses clapping in applause as a little girl announces she is shunning her own sister.
      Little Melody, and the sister she doesnÂ’t have.
      The incident appears to take place at one of this years Watchtower conventions. The video was posted on youtube by the girls parents, apprently eager to share with the world how they had trained one of their children to pretend her sister didnÂ’t exist purely on the basis of religious dogma.
      The video was comment-protected once viewers began expressing concern and displeasure at what they saw, but at the time of writing the video itself is still live and can be viewed below on the family’s youtube page. (EDIT 11/09/2017 – The video has been removed, but we have linked to an alternate site which has a copy)

      t shows a little girl called Melody. She is ten years old, and was apparently baptised when she was 9. This means that Melody is now committed to the religion for life, and will be shunned if she ever leaves, or “unrepentantly” breaks any of its vast array of detailed rules.
      During the interview, Melody explains that she has a sister who was “disfellowshipped,” which is the Witness term for one who is excommunicated; someone who was thrown out of the faith rather than leaving of their own accord. We are not told the reason for the disfellowshipping, but one can be subjected to it for a wide range of reasons such as pre-marital sex, celebrating Christmas or birthdays, voting, taking a blood transfusion, joining the military, or simply questioning any of the doctrines of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      Melody states that her sister was trying to contact her, and asking her to stay in contact despite Watchtower decreeing that she be shunned. Remember, MelodyÂ’s sister has probably lost all her family and friends at this point; everyone she ever knew and loved.
      Melody admits that she misses and loves her sister, but states that she was afraid that if she didnÂ’t cut her sister off completely, she might be tempted to keep some form of relationship going. Thus, she has decided to shun her completely, as Watchtower demands. She claims that this was to protect her relationship with Jehovah.
      The audience of JehovahÂ’s Witnesses watching this announcement applaud.
      Source
    • By Jack Ryan
      This comes from the final talk at the Birmingham, AL Convention. Herd talks kind of low and there is some background noise, so here is a transcript starting at about 1:25.
      I thought this was interesting because it doesn't appear to be in the talk outline. Admittedly, I just skimmed through the outline quickly, so it might be in there. Either way, there is something twisted about comparing the shunning of children to casting out demons from heaven.
      Edit: For those wondering, this talk is from August 5. The part before when the transcript starts is Herd talking about King Asa removing his grandmother from her position.
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Read more: https://www.businesspost.ie/news/concerns-grow-jehovahs-witnesses-irish-child-sex-abuse-files-421695
    • Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Canada’s top court has agreed to wade in on the question of whether private organizations, such as churches, can have their decisions reviewed by the justice system.
      At issue is whether a Calgary man, expelled from a local Jehovah’s Witness congregation, can appeal that decision to a court.
      Calgary Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Earl Wilson said he could and the Alberta Court of Appeal, in a 2-1 decision, agreed.
      On Thursday, the Supreme Court granted leave to appeal that ruling to the Highwood Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      That decision is being applauded by the Canadian Constitution Foundation, which says the lower court rulings could open up judicial appeals to all sorts of private organizations, from service clubs to amateur sports clubs to churches.
      “Not only would this directly violate the Charter rights to freedom of association and religion, it would impose cumbersome and costly new burdens on voluntary organizations,” foundation executive director Howard Anglin said in a news release.
      The Calgary man, whom Postmedia is not naming, was expelled from the Jehovah’s Witnesses church in April, 2014, for not being repentant enough for getting drunk twice.
      He appealed his expulsion to the church’s appeal branch, but the decision was upheld.
      The man said he got drunk on two occasions, including once where he verbally abused his wife.
      He explained his drinking was related to pressures on the family relating to the earlier expulsion of their 15-year-old daughter and the subsequent shunning they were required to give her.
      The (father) said the edicts of the church pressured the family to evict their daughter from the family home,” the Court of Appeal said in its decision last September upholding Wilson’s ruling.
      “This led to further serious consequences, and much distress in the family.”
      No date has been set for the Supreme Court to hear the case.
      http://news--of-the-day.com/2017/04/14/supreme-court-to-hear-case-involving-calgary-man-expelled-from-jehovahs-witnesses/
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    • An interesting take with a lot to say for it. When Jude mentions these "rocks beneath the surface" for example, it always reminds me of the first time I read "Paul and Thecla" while at Bethel, but at the NYPL, via a book about Christian widows of the 2nd century. Paul and Thecla is an early Christian short story or novella with Thecla, not Paul, as the hero. It's one of a few stories of this type, probably written by and for women in the early Christian congregations. The antagonists of some of these stories are the 2nd century "circuit overseers" who would go from congregation to congregation saying all the right things from the "platform" but then they would also quietly worm their way into the houses of well-meaning sisters and widows, and try to take advantage of them sexually. I was quite surprised when the Watchtower last year mentioned Paul and Thecla for the second time in nearly 100 years, and was again surprisingly supportive of the work as containing possible reflections of true traditions believed in the 2nd century: *** w18 March p. 13 par. 3 Questions From Readers *** The Acts of Paul and Thecla was highly regarded in early centuries, as confirmed by the fact that 80 Greek manuscripts of it exist, as well as versions in other languages. Thus, our artistic presentations are in line with some ancient indications of what the apostle looked like. I personally have never experienced a "bad" circuit overseer. All of them have been exemplary and I have always looked forward to their visits, especially when hearing a new one for the first time. But I think all of us old-timers have had experience with congregational drifters, and we often look at them with the same kinds of suspicions. Sometimes it's a young brother who is very vague about his last congregation and who quickly latches on to an association with another eligible sister. Sometimes it's a more elderly brother, perhaps even a special pioneer, looking for an alternate congregation, hoping the trouble he caused in the last congregation won't get reported in too much detail. (Speaking from a real example, this elderly brother also latched onto a "relationship," and place to stay, with a family of sisters: a sister with an unbelieving and ailing husband, and a couple of daughters. It was a recipe for disaster.) The younger brother caused some heart-ache by getting engaged to a sister, and the engagement was later broken off.  It's hard for me not to imagine such cases when I read Jude. So, at first, it was hard for me to see them as drifters into forums like this one to cause other kinds of trouble, but I can definitely see a similarity now.  
    • I’m not really sure what “worshipful” means.  When celebrities come into town, they are mobbed by fans. Are those fans worshipful? I might say yes, but the fans themselves will just say they they are flocking to them out of respect for their accomplishments. If brothers pose for selfies with the GB members (much to the latter’s annoyance, I am consistently told, someone said with the possible exception of Lett) are they “worshipful?” It’s in the eye of the beholder, I think. Though I have a great many faults, admiring personalities is not one of them. I would love to have a GB member stay at my house so I could ignore him. “There’s your room—make yourself at home. If you’d like to visit, that works fine, but you have many things to do and if you ignore us completely that also works fine with us,”  Probably there are few words they could hear that would please them more. And no, @James Thomas Rook Jr., I wouldn’t present them with a list of my QUESTIONS that, as MEN of HONOR, they are obligated to answer,
    • Just for interest, here is an interview with prince Andrew. It's acutely embarrassing the excuses  he makes and the denials.... Read comments, they are entertaining  
    • Yes. Just watched it. I like that you talk about the broad effects of the impact whistleblowing has had in this particular area. It's not just the Witnesses, but many institutions. Many guilty people would have probably got away with sexual abuse 20 years ago, but not so much today. Even royalty have been put under the microscope. History is rife with stories of rich dirty old men having sex with underage girls and getting away with it. When enough people make noise, it can't be ignored.
    • Maybe this was in the sense of these "bad elders" rejecting the counsel given by "good elders" who were quoting Bible books and the Mosaic Law (as transmitted through angels), or these "bad elders" were speaking out against sayings of Jesus and inspired writings of the apostles, as if they held no value to this time they were in, so many decades after Jesus originally spoke them. Also (less likely) Jude quotes the book of Enoch, specifically a part about the judgment of angels, and he appears to refer to another book about the "Assumption of Moses." We don't know how much more of those books were accepted other than the portions referenced, but these books were part of a genre that gave names to dozens of angels and referenced many more hierachies of thousands of angels. Good point! I doubt it. There are too many scriptures, and too much context that shows what Paul was up against in trying to get the congregations to accept and understand the concept of "grace" or "undeserved kindness." (Along with "law" "legalism" "works" "righteousness" "sin" "conscience" etc.) Paul had to write chapters, nearly whole long letters, on the subject, and it even put him for a short while at odds with the Jerusalem council. Probably it is sometimes. But I'd guess there are some exceptions, too. For example, the whistleblowing of the CSA cases all over the world has drawn attention to a lot of things that go on in the world where the abused victims felt powerless. In many institutions, including once-hostile work environments, this is actually changing for the better. The threat of monetary sanctions has made even rich men who could once get away with anything (as Trump claimed), think twice. It has definitely helped in some suburban schools and even corporations I once worked for. I suspect that many priests and elders who once thought they would get away with anything are now more apt to think again before abusing persons.
    • The old method of handling this was to use the expression "present truth." Many adventists including Seventh Day still use the expression. It's based on a mistranslation of 2 Peter 1:12 where the KJV said: Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. The tendency among 19th century Adventists was to see a "chronology" element or "time" element in the English expression that did not exist in the original Greek. Therefore, the idea was that: even when in the midst of learning or teaching falsehood, it was still "present truth" at the time, and what is now "present truth" could turn out to be false in the future, but it will always have been "present truth" because it's always the best we had at the time. From the Greek, this is better translated as "the truth that is present in you" (American Standard and NWT).  A similar rush to see a time element in the English translation was done by Barbour and Russell and others who had been associated with Adventists. Here's an example from Leviticus: (Leviticus 26:28) 28 I will intensify my opposition to you, and I myself will have to chastise you seven times for your sins. This was originally the primary source for Russell's 7 times = 2,520 years, and the 7 times of Nebuchadnezzar's dream about his own insanity was only a secondary source. But we have since learned that Leviticus here didn't refer to chronological "times" but the sense was "7 times as much" as in "I will hit you twice as hard, or three times as hard, or seven times as hard." This was already in the context, but chronologists and numerologists rarely notice the context until they have already formed a time related doctrine. (Leviticus 26:18-21) . . .“‘If even this does not make you listen to me, I will have to chastise you seven times as much for your sins. . . . 21 “‘But if you keep walking in opposition to me and refuse to listen to me, I will then have to strike you seven times as much, according to your sins. Now that we have noticed this, we have been stuck with using Nebuchadnezzar as if his wicked Gentile kingdom somehow represented Christ's Messianic non-Gentile kingdom. (Another contradiction between 1914 and the Bible.) We still tend to make a "chronology word" out of things having to do with time when we translate the Greek word for time as "appointed time" instead of what might better be translated as "opportune time." Note that it's the exact same word "time" in these two verses: (Ephesians 5:16) 16 buying out the opportune time for yourselves, because the days are wicked. (Luke 21:24) . . .and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled. Neither the word opportune nor appointed is found in the Greek, only the word time. But the more typical meaning is "opportunity" as in: Will you find the opportunity to do this? Will you find the time to do this? Not: Will you find the appointed day and hour to do this? We have added a more specific chronological sense that usually isn't necessary in the Greek.  
    • Elon Musk shows himself to rather out of touch with science. He is using his money to make a name for himself by driving forward with some outlandish plans. He is an embarrassment to his own employees sometimes when he quotes pseudo-scientific ideas that have been obsolete for decades. (One of these was the idea of using nuclear explosions to make Mars inhabitable.) But his optimism to get employees to "make it happen" will drive some scientific progress in spite of himself. Even here, however, he has often just attached his name to some idea that came out of Japan or China or some US or European scientific think tank that was never associated with Musk. He attaches his own unrealistic timelines to these ideas, however, and then begins to lose credibility.  This particular idea has some merit, but there is a lot more expense in creating the infrastructure than people realize. There is the mining of the elements that go into solar cells, the manufacture of solar panels, the trucking of materials to such a solar hub, the infrastructure to build out the lines from the hub across the USA. Currently these types of expenses reduce the ROI value of this particular type of renewable energy so much that it makes carbon (coal/oil/petroleum) seem much more desirable for generating power, and for which an infrastructure is already in place. When viable, I would like to see how close to Hoover Dam this could be built to re-use some power lines that emanate from there, and already reach to many southwest states. Perhaps an even better idea would be to find a place near Yuma or Mexicali, so that half of the power would be used to desalinate water for Mexico and the US by piping saltwater from the Gulf of California, then freshwater back out with a mountain or salt and minerals as a byproduct.    
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