Jump to content
The World News Media

Is it Time for Jehovah's Witnesses to Apologize? Part 1


Recommended Posts

  • Member

Elizabeth Chuck wrote an article about Jehovah’s Witnesses and I would have preferred she write one instead about the PTA meeting in her town. It is a normal reaction, for it was news of a huge-dollar verdict against a religious organization I hold dear. Of course I hate to see it; that’s only natural. When you find yourself on the gallows you do not angle for a selfie with the hangman.

Still, if you must hear bad news, hear it from Ms. Chuck, for her news in this case is straight reporting, not one of the hatchet jobs we often get. The topic is the most white-hot topic of all, child sexual abuse, and temptations to whip it into fever pitch are not resisted by all. She does resist it. That’s not to say I might not write it up differently. With every story, it is a matter of which facts you put where. But she doesn’t make any up or deliberately misrepresent them. Having said that, it is not to suggest that even those who do misrepresent do so on purpose, as I will outline. Well…I guess it is to suggest that, but only to suggest. It is not proof positive. When your own people merely say that they ‘abhor child abuse and strive to protect children’, but otherwise do not comment, what’s a reporter to do?

Here’s what I like about

    Hello guest!

First of all, it is not like the Matt Volz AP article, picked up by many sources, that expressed seeming bewilderment that “the Jehovah’s Witness cases haven’t received the same national attention” [as the Roman Catholic Church]. Is not the reason a big ‘Duh’? The Montana case abuse under trial was all within a family and church leaders were accused of botching the handling of it, though blameless themselves. It’s a little different than church leaders actually committing the abuse, something which is very rare with Witnesses.

Ms. Chuck correctly (and atypically) makes clear that a “two-witness rule” used by Witnesses “is only for internal modes of discipline and does not prevent a victim from going to the police.” She correctly points out that “there are very strict internal modes of discipline within Jehovah's Witnesses.” Yes. It is not an anything-goes religion. She correctly observes that being disfellowshipped is often a painful experience and serves as a negative incentive to do what might trigger it. So far so good. It might not be as I would phrase it, but it is certainly acceptable reporting.

She stumbles briefly, though not seriously, when she says: “Jehovah's Witnesses are a misunderstood and very self-enclosed group, despite counting some celebrities among its ranks — including Venus and Serena Williams.” She is right that they are misunderstood. The only footnote I would add is about her seeming acquiescence to the common wisdom that groups are validated by having celebrities in their camp, many of whom are among the most silly people on earth, living radically different lives than anyone else. However, the miscue is minor, and, after all,

    Hello guest!
, too.

Ms. Chuck does her homework. She consults experts on religion, such as “Mark Silk, a professor and the director of the Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn [who says of Witnesses] ‘They don't vote. They don't celebrate birthdays and holidays. They don't say the pledge [of allegiance]. They are not just another Christian denomination.’” It is not her fault if she does not know that the guy (likely) has it in for us, spinning his facts negatively, and the reason is revealed in his very job title: he is a professor at Trinity College. If you do not accept the Trinity teaching, you are toast in the eyes of many of these people. Nonetheless, what the professor about voting and not pledging allegiance is true enough. He does not mention that if nobody pledged allegiance to human institutions maybe the national king could not pit them so easily against each other in times of war, but that is beyond the scope of his information request. At least he doesn’t inaccurately charge that Jehovah’s Witnesses are disrespectful to country, for there are few people as scrupulous about ‘rendering to Caesar what is Caesar’s’ (taxes) than they. Reporter Chuck relates the words of another expert: “"Whatever belief they have or mode of internal discipline they have, they have a biblical justification for it.” I’ll take it. It’s true. We don’t apologize for it. I prefer it infinitely over church reporters saying we are not Christian because we do not accept the Trinity. The reason we not accept it is that its scriptural support is based almost entirely upon taking literally certain passages which, if they were seen in any other context, would be instantly dismissed as figure of speech.

She relates dutifully the sparse words of the Watchtower organization that they “abhor child abuse and strive to protect children from such acts,” attributing the sparseness to “a penchant for privacy.” She takes it at face value. She does not imply that they are lying through their teeth,

    Hello guest!
dismissing the words as ‘boiler plate,’ and even ending his article with an anecdote of spying artwork at the JW headquarters captioned ‘Jehovah loves children,’ and using it as a pretext to wink at his readers as though to say: ‘Yes, I guess we know just how they love them’ before returning to his Witness-hating base on a Reddit thread, where he is hailed as a hero. He made me so mad that I responded by letter, and when it was ignored I put it online (and I wish it got more play than it actually does, for it is good, not the whole picture perhaps, but what is?  It represents facts not exactly shouted from the rooftops. It offers perspectives not heard anywhere else.)

However, eclipsing her skill at side-stepping all these landmines is that she puts her finger on the real problem in the very first paragraph of her article: Jehovah’s Witnesses are ‘insular.’ She doesn’t even try to spin that into a crime, as do some. Most Witnesses would not agree to the label ‘insular’, but that is primarily because they are unfamiliar with it and unsure just what attachments might come with it. They will instantly, even proudly, acknowledge two closely related phrases: they are ‘separate from the world’ and ‘no part of’ it. It is a scriptural imperative, they will say, because if you want to lend a helping hand, you must be in a place of safety yourself. Not all will agree that life today is constantly-improving. Some will say the overall picture more closely resembles the Titanic floundering. Did I not just read that generalized anxiety has replaced depression as the number one mental health malady? Can that be because there is nothing to worry about in life today? I think not. It is the ramifications of these two views, society is ever-improving vs floundering, that causes most of the ‘misunderstanding’ that opponents of Witnesses speak of. Witnesses are ‘insular,’ biblically mandated, and here is an instance where that insularity has contributed to a significant tragedy. Witness leaders find themselves in a situation parallel to certain vehicles being exempt from normal traffic laws—say, cops and fire emergency vehicles. Yet, in making use of that exemption, a terrible accident results and the public outcry is so great that they are convicted even though following the law. Or, to apply it more accurately, public anger is so great that the law is reinterpreted so it can be established that they did break it.

I am not a lawyer. I can quickly step out of my depth. Yet most persons reading this section of the Montana child abuse reporting laws would, I suspect, agree that the Witness organization followed the letter of the law as stated. They make every effort to do that. The prompt appeal of any Witness judicial committee to their Branch organization is not to see how they can evade child abuse laws, as their opponents often spin it, but how they can be sure their actions are in harmony with them.

On the very bottom of the document ‘

    Hello guest!
’ is a section labeled "Members of the clergy or priests are not required to report when the following condition is met....a member of the clergy or a priest is not required to make a report if the communication is required to be confidential by cannon law, church doctrine, or established church practice.”

Even “established church practice?” It seems extraordinarily loose, and yet there it is. It is a part of a doctrine called ‘ecclesiastical privilege.’ It has long been encapsulated into law, as has the privileged nature of the doctor-patient relationship and the attorney-client relationship, on the recognition that these relationships cannot function without the expectation of confidentiality.

If such is the law, why is the Witness organization found culpable despite stringent efforts to follow it? Because the war today is against child sexual abuse, deemed the most critical crusade of our time, and they were expected to ‘go beyond the law’ so as to facilitate that end. Thus, the law was reinterpreted so as to allow that they did violate it.

The Witness organization finds itself in a situation

    Hello guest!
, the coach who was universally praised throughout his life as an excellent role model but then was excoriated beyond redemption when he merely obeyed the law regarding an unspecific allegation he heard of child sexual abuse but did not 'go beyond it.'  He followed it. He reported the allegation to his superiors. But he did not ‘go beyond the law,’ reporting it directly to police. When the allegation turned out to be true, his career was over, and even his life, for he died two years later.

If it is so crucial to ‘go beyond the law,’ then make that the law. This is exactly what Geoffrey Jackson of the Witnesses’ Governing Body pleaded for three times before an Australian Royal Commission. Isn’t that the purpose of law – to codify what is right? Make the law clear, unambiguous, and allow for no exceptions. Jehovah’s Witnesses are universally recognized for meticulously following secular law even as they are primarily guided by biblical law. Make universal mandating the law, with no exceptions. Requiring parties to ‘go beyond the law’ only enables Monday-morning quarterbacking to assign motives, invariably bad ones, to unpopular parties failing in this regard.

An article in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle dated November 20th, 2011 observed that: “it's a mistake to think that the failure…to report the abuse is a rarity....Studies over the past two decades nationally have consistently shown that nearly two-thirds of professionals who are required to report all cases of suspected abuse fail to do so....."I think that we fail miserably in mandated reporting," said Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Kristina Karle...” Is it not hopelessly chaotic to excoriate those who did their best to follow the law when two thirds of all professionals, for a variety of reasons, do not? Does anyone charge, as has been done with Jehovah's Witnesses by their opponents, that two thirds of all professionals do not give a hoot about children? Plainly there are other factors at work. Yet when the crusade against child sexual abuse reaches fever pitch only one factor is deemed to have any significance.

(The Democrat and Chronicle article is behind a paywall. Snippets of the above quote exist here and there, but to my knowledge, the only complete package is found in a JoePa

    Hello guest!
. All is not lost. Your employer will pay to get you behind that wall, and probably already has an account. Alas, my employer is me, and he likes to cut costs, seeing no need to return there, as he already have what he needs.)

 

End of Part 1. Part 2 to follow soon.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Views 638
  • Replies 10
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

These "Wolves in Sheeps Clothing" that abuse children came INTO the truth...as Wolves do...To..abuse children.  They just bided their time...waiting.   A "True" Christian of course, would never do such a thing.  Sign of the Times.   Jehovah IS "Cleaning Up"!   Trust in Jehovah with all your heart.   His "eyes" are everywhere.   He is not a God to be Mocked.

obviously your not from the US. In the US, the evangelicals elected Trump and put the newly elected Supreme Court judge on the bench. This is modern Christianity at its worst. You are correct, Christ made it a point to separate church and state. None of which the majority of Christendom is not doing across the world.

  • Member

   These "Wolves in Sheeps Clothing" that abuse children came INTO the truth...as Wolves do...To..abuse children.  They just bided their time...waiting.   A "True" Christian of course, would never do such a thing.  Sign of the Times.   Jehovah IS "Cleaning Up"!   Trust in Jehovah with all your heart.   His "eyes" are everywhere.   He is not a God to be Mocked.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member

This will move to the appellate court then the Supreme Court, where in case anyone hasn’t noticed, is now occupied by moderate conservatives that adhere to the constitution rather than try to interpret the constitution.

There is no doubt that many of these cases in the eyes of liberals, merit a distinct punishment. Even within religious ranks, there are those that blame the heads rather than see reality for what it is. No one can predict what another human will do, and it is silly to think so.

When it comes to certain religions, as you can see, most news media attach extra meaning to make that religion look worse, even though the Catholic Church has been proven to hide pedophiles within their ranks, and have internal centers to subject those individuals to reform. I don’t know if the Watchtower harbors such a center. I have never heard of one.

This has been a conflict for scholars to debate. What sets the Watchtower apart from other religions? The most meaningful discussions come from the partisan understanding that witnesses are not converted to a sinless state for having become one.

The only reason the Watchtower should apologize if they read someone’s mind and didn’t report it to the authorities. However, they would still need to prove this supernatural phenomenon. ?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member

Oh dear more whitewash.

Does it clear your conscience Tom tom ?  Wow they obeyed the law on the 'world'. You think they deserve a prize ?

Um, the JW Org is supposed to be no part of the world, and yes even Jesus said to go the 'extra mile'. 

In cases of Child Abuse the law of the land should not even be a consideration.  Doing right in God's eyes, not the Organisation's eyes, not in the world's eyes, DOING RIGHT IN GOD'S EYES, is what is needed. .

 But whoever stumbles one of these little ones who have faith in me, it would be better for him to have hung around his neck a millstone that is turned by a donkey and to be sunk in the open sea.

So you've found a reporter that serves the Org well. Good for you. BUT it will never make the facts different. 

So where did your Ms Chuck get her information from, a JW I presume. 

The two witness rule is for internal use. yes everyone knows that, but it's that two witness rule that makes the BIG DIFFERENCE between the Elders believing a VICTIM or calling a VICTIM a LIAR. if the Elders by ONLY using the T W rule come to the conclusion that there is 'no case to answer', then the Victim is called a liar and is further victimized by congregants and Elders alike, with the fear of being disfellowshipped.

This two witness rule is the threat used by the Elders to stop Victims making a complaint against an Elder or adult for Child Abuse. 

One more very important point, which neither you or I can prove or disprove, but has been mentioned by many of the Victims Earthwide is, that Victims have been told NOT TO REPORT CHILD ABUSE TO THE POLICE. 

It makes no difference looking at the what the JW rules' say now. We are talking about over the past twenty years at least. 

You've written a lot here which you probably think go in the favour of the JW Org and its GB. How wrong you are. 

You have just proved how much the JW Org is part of the world. How much it uses the laws of the world, instead of relying on God's laws, which should be written on the heart. . There are so many scriptures that show how wrong the GB and the Org are in so many ways regarding Child Abuse, but it would be of no use. You want to continue to be blind so that you can pretend your conscience is clear. So that you can continue to serve you GB through your Elders. Why not think about actually serving God through Christ ?

As a sidetrack, I do not agree with massive 'payouts' to Victims, though i do agree they are due compensation. I also realise it is all big business for the lawyers / solicitors etc, which is just part of the world. But in my opinion it is God's way of cleaning out the Org. 

Are you going to write such long essays about every case Earthwide or it it that this one seems good to you ? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member
19 hours ago, Judith Sweeney said:

   These "Wolves in Sheeps Clothing" that abuse children came INTO the truth...as Wolves do...To..abuse children.  They just bided their time...waiting.   A "True" Christian of course, would never do such a thing.  Sign of the Times.   Jehovah IS "Cleaning Up"!   Trust in Jehovah with all your heart.   His "eyes" are everywhere.   He is not a God to be Mocked.

Judith, Judith, I cannot believe that you have written this. 

" Jehovah IS Cleaning Up " you say. But I've been saying that all along.  His eyes are everywhere. Yes of course. So why oh why does the GB think they can get away with the things they do ? Why have Elders thought they could get away with Child Abuse, and why have other Elders covered up for the pedophiles ?  

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member
1 hour ago, Hankulan Tunani said:

This will move to the appellate court then the Supreme Court, where in case anyone hasn’t noticed, is now occupied by moderate conservatives that adhere to the constitution rather than try to interpret the constitution.

There is no doubt that many of these cases in the eyes of liberals, merit a distinct punishment. Even within religious ranks, there are those that blame the heads rather than see reality for what it is. No one can predict what another human will do, and it is silly to think so.

When it comes to certain religions, as you can see, most news media attach extra meaning to make that religion look worse, even though the Catholic Church has been proven to hide pedophiles within their ranks, and have internal centers to subject those individuals to reform. I don’t know if the Watchtower harbors such a center. I have never heard of one.

This has been a conflict for scholars to debate. What sets the Watchtower apart from other religions? The most meaningful discussions come from the partisan understanding that witnesses are not converted to a sinless state for having become one.

The only reason the Watchtower should apologize if they read someone’s mind and didn’t report it to the authorities. However, they would still need to prove this supernatural phenomenon. ?

You seem to be coming at this from a political angle. Being English I have no idea of American politics, in fact I've no idea of politics at all as I'm no part of this world. 

Do you know anything about the rules the Governing Body had given to the Elders of congregations  concerning Child Abuse ?

Do you know that those rules have been slightly changed in 2017 and probably again since ? 

The Governing Body have at least twenty years worth of Child Abuse accusation documents concerning America alone. 

Do you know anything about the Australian Royal Commision, The Charity Commision here in the UK, the court cases in Canada, the organisation in the Netherlands for victims of child abuse in the JW org ? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member

I think @admin will not mind this. it is clearly relevant and he is mentioned. Of course, he wants to keep traffic on his page. Every forum host does. That is why I do not seek to undermine his interests. I allow no comments on mine. Anyone wanting to do so must come back here. My post even links back to him.

    Hello guest!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member
1 hour ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

You seem to be coming at this from a political angle. Being English I have no idea of American politics, in fact I've no idea of politics at all as I'm no part of this world. 

Do you know anything about the rules the Governing Body had given to the Elders of congregations  concerning Child Abuse ?

Do you know that those rules have been slightly changed in 2017 and probably again since ? 

The Governing Body have at least twenty years worth of Child Abuse accusation documents concerning America alone. 

Do you know anything about the Australian Royal Commision, The Charity Commision here in the UK, the court cases in Canada, the organisation in the Netherlands for victims of child abuse in the JW org ? 

Anything having to deal with this world has become political. Even Christianity has become political. If you’re not part of this world, then why do you politicize this argument that by insisting on every thread.

I understand, what has been going on with the Watchtower, just like the Vatican and many more other sects within Christianity. I just don’t believe in singling out one group because of hatred.

So, please don’t start taking a tone with me, Bulter. If you don’t like my opinion. State your own then press on. I will not be bullied by you.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member
25 minutes ago, Hankulan Tunani said:

Anything having to deal with this world has become political. Even Christianity has become political. If you’re not part of this world, then why do you politicize this argument that by insisting on every thread.

I understand, what has been going on with the Watchtower, just like the Vatican and many more other sects within Christianity. I just don’t believe in singling out one group because of hatred.

So, please don’t start taking a tone with me, Bulter. If you don’t like my opinion. State your own then press on. I will not be bullied by you.

Ok if you want to take that attitude so be it. It says under your name 'Newbie'. Hence i was asking if you knew about such things.

Part of your previous comment says "is now occupied by moderate conservatives that adhere to the constitution rather than try to interpret the constitution. There is no doubt that many of these cases in the eyes of liberals, merit a distinct punishment." 

THAT is political. True Christians should not be involved in politics. As Jesus said "they are no part of the world just as I am no part of the world"  

And I will say to you what i say to others. This forum is Jehovah's Witnesses Public Club. It is not the Catholic club or the Protestant club etc. It is about JW Org. Hence I talk about JW Org. Doesn't that make sense to anyone here ? 

And for a final thing, if you think I have bullied you, my oh my, you must have led a sheltered life.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member
29 minutes ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

THAT is political. True Christians should not be involved in politics. As Jesus said "they are no part of the world just as I am no part of the world"  

obviously your not from the US. In the US, the evangelicals elected Trump and put the newly elected Supreme Court judge on the bench. This is modern Christianity at its worst. You are correct, Christ made it a point to separate church and state. None of which the majority of Christendom is not doing across the world.

Link to post
Share on other sites




  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Popular Contributors

  • Topics

  • Posts

  • Members

  • Recent Status Updates

    • Claud's Lst  »  misette

      Bonjour ma sœur Misette. Comment vas-tu ? J'espère avec l'aide de Jéhovah toute la communauté et especialement toi vont bien. 
      Je n'ai pas reçu la réunion de cette semaine, est-ce qu'il y a un problème pour cette semaine ? 
           Bonne journée ou soirée 
                                   Agape 
      · 1 reply
    • folens  »  Eric Ouellet

      Bonjour Eric merci pour cet exposé.
      Bonne journée Michel
      1LE BATEAU.pdf
      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      La sagesse est plus précieuse que l’or et la crainte envers Jéhovah est notre salut.
       
      La vraie sagesse de Dieu est un cadeau inestimable, car seul ceux qui obéissent et suivent ces préceptes en recoivent les bienfaits. En Psaume 111:10 déclare ceci: “La crainte de Jéhovah est le commencement de la sagesse.”
      Qu’est-ce que cela veut dire? La sagesse est la capacité d’utiliser efficacement sa connaissance et son intelligence pour résoudre un problème, éviter un danger, atteindre un objectif. Elle sous-entend un bon jugement. Le commencement, la première partie, le fondement de cette sagesse, c’est la crainte de Jéhovah. Pourquoi cela? Bien que toute création est l’œuvre de ses mains et dépend de lui. Il a accordé aux humains le libre arbitre, mais pas la faculté de diriger leurs pas avec succès sans tenir compte de sa direction (Josué 24:15; Jérémie 10:23). Nous ne connaîtrons le succès durable qu’à la condition de bien saisir ces idées fondamentales sur la vie, et de nous y conformer. Si notre connaissance de Jéhovah nous donne la ferme conviction que la volonté divine est promise au succès, et qu’il tiendra sa promesse de récompenser ses fidèles, alors la crainte pieuse nous poussera à agir sagement. — Proverbes 3:21-26; Hébreux 11:6.
      Prenons un exemple: Il y a quelques dizaines d’années, un jeune homme fréquentait l’université de Saskatchewan, au Canada. Au programme de sa formation figurait la biologie, et on lui a enseigné l’évolution. Après avoir été diplômé, il s’est spécialisé dans la physique nucléaire, profitant d’une bourse pour continuer ses études à l’université de Toronto. Au cours de ses études, il a constaté dans la structure des atomes révélaient des témoignages stupéfiants d’un ordre et d’une finalité extraordinaire . Mais personnes ne répondait pas à ces questions: Qui a conçu tout cela? Quand? Et pourquoi? Sans ces réponses, pouvait-il utiliser sagement ses connaissances dans un monde remplis interrogations ? Qu’est-ce qui le guiderait? Le nationalisme? Le désir de gratifications matérielles? Avait-il acquis la vraie sagesse?
      Peu après avoir été diplômé, cet homme ainsi que sa femme se sont mis à étudier la Bible avec les Témoins de Jéhovah. Dans la Parole de Dieu, ils ont peu à peu trouvé les réponses qui leur manquaient. Ils ont appris à connaître le Créateur, Jéhovah Dieu. En étudiant ce qui est arrivé à Moïse à la mer Rouge, à Daniel et à ses compagnons à Babylone, ils ont appris l’importance de craindre Dieu, et non les hommes (Exode 14:10-31; Daniel 3:8-30). Cette crainte pieuse mêlée d’un amour sincère pour Jéhovah a commencé à les animer. Rapidement, leur vie a changé. Enfin cet homme connaissait Celui dont il avait étudié l’œuvre en biologie. Il a progressivement compris le dessein de Celui dont il avait constaté la sagesse dans ses cours de physique. Au lieu d’employer sa connaissance à élaborer des instruments de destruction, il a choisi, avec sa femme, d’aider autrui à aimer Dieu et son prochain. Ils ont entrepris le service de prédicateurs du Royaume de Dieu à plein temps. Par la suite, ils ont suivi les cours de Galaad, l’École biblique de la Société Watchtower, et ont été nommés missionnaires.
      Bien entendu, tout le monde ne peut pas être missionnaire. Mais tous nous pouvons bénéficier de la sagesse fondée sur la crainte de Jéhovah. Si nous cultivons cette sagesse, nous ne consacrerons pas le meilleur de notre vie à étudier les philosophies humaines, qui n’échafaudent que des suppositions sur le but de la vie. Nous nous appliquerons à l’étude de la Bible, livre inspiré de Jéhovah Dieu, la Source de la vie, celui qui peut nous donner la vie éternelle (Psaume 36:9; Colossiens 2:8). Au lieu de nous rendre esclaves d’un système commercial chancelant, au bord de la ruine, nous écouterons Jéhovah, qui nous conseille de nous contenter de la nourriture et du vêtement, et d’accorder à nos relations avec lui la priorité dans notre existence (1 Timothée 6:8-12). Au lieu de nous comporter comme si notre avenir dépendait d’une belle situation dans le monde actuel, nous croirons la Parole de Jéhovah, qui nous affirme que le monde est en train de passer, de même que le désir du monde, alors que celui qui fait la volonté divine demeure pour toujours. — 1 Jean 2:17.
      Dans le livre de Proverbes 16:16, Salomon nous encourage par cette déclaration certaine: “Acquérir la sagesse [la sagesse qui commence par la crainte de Jéhovah], oh! combien cela vaut mieux que l’or! Et acquérir l’intelligence est préférable à l’argent.” Poussés par cette sagesse et cette intelligence, nous considérerons l’accomplissement de la volonté de Dieu comme le premier centre d’intérêt de notre vie. Et quelle activité Dieu a-t-il confiée à ses Témoins en cette période de l’histoire humaine? Faire connaître son Royaume par la prédication et aider les personnes sincères à devenir de vrais disciples de Jésus Christ (Matthieu 24:14; 28:19, 20). Il s’agit d’une activité dont on retire une satisfaction véritable et un grand bonheur. C’est donc à propos que la Bible dit: “Heureux l’homme qui a trouvé la sagesse, et l’homme qui acquiert le discernement.” — Proverbes 3:13.
      Elle nous retient de commettre le mal
      Un deuxième bienfait que nous procure la crainte de Dieu est qu’elle nous retient de commettre le mal. Celui qui respecte profondément Dieu ne détermine pas par lui-même ce qui est bien et mal. Il ne tient pas pour mauvais ce que Dieu déclare bon, ni ne considère comme bon ce que Dieu déclare mauvais (Psaume 37:1, 27; Ésaïe 5:20, 21). De plus, celui que motive la crainte pieuse ne se contente pas de savoir ce que Jéhovah déclare bon ou mauvais. Une telle personne aime ce que Jéhovah aime et elle hait ce que Jéhovah hait. En conséquence, elle agit en harmonie avec les préceptes divins. Ainsi, comme le dit Proverbes 16:6, “par la crainte de Jéhovah, on se détourne du mal”. Cette crainte pieuse devient une motivation puissante qui permet d’atteindre des résultats qu’on n’obtiendrait pas même si une personne commence tout juste à l’éprouver, la crainte pieuse peut lui donner le courage de ne pas faire quelque chose qu’elle regretterait le restant de ses jours. Au Mexique, par exemple, une femme enceinte a demandé à une chrétienne Témoin de Jéhovah ce qu’elle pensait de l’avortement. La chrétienne lui a lu plusieurs versets bibliques, puis lui a tenu ce raisonnement: “Pour le Créateur, la vie est très importante, même la vie de ceux qui ne sont pas encore nés.” (Exode 21:22, 23; Psaume 139:13-16). Des examens laissaient entendre que le bébé serait anormal. Néanmoins, après ce qu’elle avait vu dans la Parole de Dieu, cette femme a décidé de garder son enfant. Son médecin a refusé de la revoir, et son mari l’a menacée de la quitter, mais elle a tenu bon. Elle a finalement donné naissance à une magnifique petite fille, normale et en bonne santé. Par gratitude, elle a recherché les Témoins et s’est mise à étudier la Parole de Dieu avec eux. Moins d’un an après, son mari et elle se faisaient baptiser. Quelques années plus tard, à une assemblée de district, tous deux ont été enchantés de rencontrer la chrétienne qui avait parlé à la femme la première fois. Ils lui ont présenté leur jolie fillette de quatre ans. Incontestablement, le respect de Dieu et le désir puissant de ne pas lui déplaire exercent une grande influence.
      La crainte pieuse peut nous garder d’un grand nombre de mauvaises actions (2 Corinthiens 7:1). Cultivée avec soin, elle est capable d’aider quelqu’un à mettre un terme à des péchés cachés, connus de lui seul et de Jéhovah. Elle peut l’aider à se libérer de la dépendance de l’alcool ou de la drogue. Un ancien drogué d’Afrique du Sud a raconté: “Au fur et à mesure que j’apprenais à connaître Dieu, la crainte de le décevoir ou de lui déplaire grandissait en moi. Je savais qu’il m’observait, et je désirais ardemment son approbation. Cela m’a incité à me débarrasser de la drogue qui était en ma possession en la jetant dans les toilettes.” La crainte pieuse a aidé des milliers de personnes de la même manière. — Proverbes 5:21; 15:3.
      La crainte salutaire de Dieu nous préserve également de la crainte de l’homme. La plupart des humains connaissent, à des degrés divers, la crainte de l’homme. Les apôtres de Jésus Christ l’ont abandonné et se sont enfuis lorsque les soldats se sont emparés de lui dans le jardin de Gethsémané. Plus tard, dans la cour du grand prêtre, désarçonné et en proie à la crainte, Pierre a nié faire partie des disciples de Jésus et même le connaître (Marc 14:48-50, 66-72; Jean 18:15-27). Mais grâce à l’aide qu’ils ont reçue, les apôtres ont retrouvé leur équilibre spirituel. Par contre, aux jours du roi Jéhoïakim, Urie, fils de Schémaïah, fut terrassé par la crainte au point d’abandonner son service de prophète de Jéhovah et de fuir le pays, ce qui ne l’empêcha pas d’être capturé et tué. — Jérémie 26:20-23.
      Comment vaincre la crainte de l’homme? 
      Après nous avoir prévenus que “trembler devant les hommes, voilà ce qui tend un piège”, Proverbes 29:25 ajoute: “Mais celui qui se confie en Jéhovah sera protégé.” La réponse tient donc dans la confiance en Jéhovah. Cette confiance s’appuie sur la connaissance et l’expérience. L’étude de sa Parole nous démontre que les voies de Jéhovah sont droites. Nous découvrons des événements attestant qu’il est digne de confiance, que ses promesses sont sûres (y compris celle de la résurrection), qu’il est amour et qu’il est tout-puissant. Lorsqu’ensuite nous agissons conformément à cette connaissance, accomplissant ce que Jéhovah demande et rejetant fermement ce qu’il condamne, nous commençons à constater dans notre propre cas qu’il prend soin de ses serviteurs avec amour et que l’on peut compter sur lui. Nous acquérons personnellement la certitude que sa puissance est à l’œuvre pour que s’accomplisse sa volonté. Notre confiance en lui s’accroît, de même que notre amour pour lui et notre désir sincère de ne pas lui déplaire. Cette confiance est bâtie sur un fondement solide. Elle est un rempart contre la crainte de l’homme.
      Notre confiance en Jéhovah, alliée à la crainte pieuse, nous rendra fermes en faveur du bien dans le cas où un employeur menacerait de nous renvoyer si nous refusions de participer à des pratiques commerciales malhonnêtes (voir Michée 6:11, 12). Grâce à cette crainte pieuse, des milliers de chrétiens persévèrent dans le vrai culte malgré l’opposition de membres de leur famille. Elle donne aussi aux jeunes le courage de se faire connaître comme Témoins de Jéhovah à l’école, et elle les affermit face aux moqueries de leurs camarades de classe qui méprisent les principes bibliques. Ainsi, une adolescente Témoin de Jéhovah a dit: “Ce qu’ils pensent m’est bien égal. L’important, c’est ce que pense Jéhovah.”
      La même conviction donne aux vrais chrétiens la force de rester attachés aux voies de Jéhovah lorsque leur vie est en jeu. Ils savent qu’ils risquent d’être persécutés par le monde. Ils sont conscients que les apôtres ont été fouettés et que même Jésus Christ a été frappé et tué par des hommes méchants (Marc 14:65; 15:15-39; Actes 5:40; voir aussi Daniel 3:16-18). Mais les serviteurs de Jéhovah sont assurés qu’il peut leur donner la force d’endurer, qu’avec son aide ils peuvent remporter la victoire, que Jéhovah récompensera sans faute ses fidèles, si besoin en les ressuscitant dans son monde nouveau. Leur amour pour Dieu ajouté à la crainte pieuse les pousse puissamment à éviter toute action qui pourrait lui déplaire.
      C’est parce qu’ils étaient animés d’une telle motivation que les Témoins de Jéhovah ont supporté les horreurs des camps de concentration nazis dans les années 30 et 40. Ils ont pris à cœur le conseil de Jésus consigné en Luc 12:4, 5: “D’autre part, je vous le dis à vous, mes amis: Ne craignez pas ceux qui tuent le corps, et qui après cela ne peuvent rien faire de plus. Mais je vais vous indiquer qui vous devez craindre: craignez celui qui, après avoir tué, a le pouvoir de jeter dans la Géhenne. Oui, je vous le dis, Celui-là, craignez-le.” Par exemple, Gustav Auschner, un Témoin qui avait été interné dans le camp de concentration de Sachsenhausen, a écrit plus tard: ‘Les SS ont exécuté August Dickmann et ont menacé de nous passer tous par les armes si nous refusions de signer un document par lequel nous abjurions notre foi. Pas un seul n’a signé. Notre crainte de déplaire à Jéhovah était plus forte que la crainte de leurs balles.’ La crainte de l’homme mène aux compromis, mais la crainte de Dieu nous affermit pour faire le bien.
      La préservation de la vie
      Noé a connu les derniers jours du monde antédiluvien. Jéhovah avait décidé de détruire le monde d’alors en raison de la méchanceté des humains. Toutefois, en attendant, Noé a vécu dans un monde où régnaient la violence, l’immoralité sexuelle choquante et le mépris de la volonté divine. Noé a prêché la justice, et pourtant “ils ne s’aperçurent de rien jusqu’à ce que le déluge vînt et les emportât tous”. (Matthieu 24:39.) Noé n’a cependant pas renoncé à l’activité que Dieu lui avait confiée. Il fit “selon tout ce que Dieu lui avait ordonné. Ainsi fit-il”. (Genèse 6:22.) Qu’est-ce qui a permis à Noé, année après année et jusqu’au déluge, de toujours agir comme il convenait? Hébreux 11:7 répond: “Par la foi, Noé, divinement averti de choses qu’on ne voyait pas encore, fit montre d’une crainte pieuse.” Pour cette raison, sa femme, ses fils, leurs femmes et lui ont été sauvés du déluge.
       Notre époque ressemble de bien des manières à celle de Noé (Luc 17:26, 27). De nouveau un avertissement est lancé. Révélation 14:6, 7 parle d’un ange qui vole au milieu du ciel et invite les gens de toute nation et tribu et langue à ‘craindre Dieu et à lui donner gloire’. Quel que puisse être le comportement du monde autour de vous, obéissez à ces paroles, puis transmettez l’invitation à autrui. À l’instar de Noé, agissons avec foi et manifestons une crainte pieuse. Par cela, des vies peuvent être sauvées: la vôtre et celle de nombre de vos semblables. Lorsque nous considérons les bienfaits dont profitent ceux qui craignent le vrai Dieu, nous ne pouvons que souscrire aux paroles du psalmiste divinement inspiré qui chanta: 
      “Heureux est l’homme qui craint Jéhovah, dans les commandements de qui il prend grand plaisir!” — Psaume 112:1.

      · 0 replies
    • Darlene  »  T.B. (Twyla)

      I can not open study material 
      · 0 replies
    • Darlene  »  T.B. (Twyla)

      Can not open weekly study material 
      · 3 replies
  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      63,683
    • Total Posts
      131,933
  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      16,943
    • Most Online
      1,592

    Newest Member
    Jess
    Joined
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Service Confirmation Terms of Use Privacy Policy Guidelines We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.