There's nothing here yet
Article in People Magazine:
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
Church ‘shuns‘ 15-year-old, then father – ends up in court
Posted by SDD Contributor on November 9, 2019 at 4:20 am
The Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments Thursday in a lawsuit against a religious congregation’s “shunning” practice, but the congregation and several other groups contend the justices had no right to even take part in the case.
Randy Wall, a real estate agent, filed the suit against the Highwood congregation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization in Calgary, Alberta.
Wall was expelled from the congregation for getting drunk and not be properly repentant, court records said. He pursued an appeals process through the Jehovah’s Witnesses then went to court because he said the Witnesses’ “shunning” — the practice of not associating with him in any way — hurt his business.
He explained his two occasions of drunkenness related to “the previous expulsion by the congregation of his 15-year-old daughter.”
A lower court opinion said: “Even though the daughter was a dependent child living at home, it was a mandatory church edict that the entire family shun aspects of their relationship with her. The respondent said the edicts of the church pressured the family to evict their daughter from the family home. This led to … much distress in the family.”
The “distress” eventually resulted in his drunkenness, Wall said.
Wall submitted to the court arguments that about half his client base, members of various Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations, then refused to conduct business with him. He alleged the “disfellowship had an economic impact on the respondent.”
During high court arguments Thursday, the congregation asked the justices to rule that religious congregations are immune to such claims in the judicial system.
The lower courts had ruled that the courts could play a role in determining whether or not such circumstances rise to the level of violating civil rights or injuring a “disfellowshipped” party.
The rulings from the Court of Queen’s Bench and the Alberta Court of Appeals said Wall’s case was subject to secular court jurisdiction.
A multitude of religious and political organizations joined with the congregation in arguing that Canada’s courts should not be involved.
The Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms said in a filing: “The wish or desire of one person to associate with an unwilling person (or an unwilling group) is not a legal right of any kind. For a court, or the government, to support such a ‘right’ violates the right of self-determination of the unwilling parties.”
Previous case law has confirmed the right of religious or private voluntary groups to govern themselves and dictate who can be a member.
But previously rulings also reveal there is room for the court system to intervene when the question centers on property or civil rights.
The Association for Reformed Political Action described the case as having “profound implications for the separation of church and state.”
It contends the court should keep its hands off the argument.
“Secular judges have no authority and no expertise to review a church membership decision,” said a statement from Andre Schutten, a spokesman for the group. “Church discipline is a spiritual matter falling within spiritual jurisdiction, not a legal matter falling within the courts’ civil jurisdiction. The courts should not interfere.”
John Sikkema, staff lawyer for ARPA, said: “The issue in this appeal is jurisdiction. A state actor, including a court, must never go beyond its jurisdiction. The Supreme Court must consider what kind of authority the courts can or cannot legitimately claim. We argue that the civil government and churches each have limited and distinct spheres of authority. This basic distinction between civil and spiritual jurisdiction is a source of freedom and religious pluralism and a guard against civic totalism.”
He continued: “Should the judiciary have the authority to decide who gets to become or remain a church member? Does the judiciary have the authority to decide who does or does not get to participate in the sacraments? Church discipline is a spiritual matter falling within spiritual jurisdiction, not a legal matter falling within the courts’ civil jurisdiction. The courts should not interfere. Here we need separation of church and state.”
The Alberta Court of Appeal, however, suggested the case was about more than ecclesiastical rules.
“Because Jehovah’s Witnesses shun disfellowshipped members, his wife, other children and other Jehovah’s Witnesses were compelled to shun him,” that lower court decision said. “The respondent asked the appeal committee to consider the mental and emotional distress he and his family were under as a result of his duaghter’s disfellowship.”
The church committee concluded he was “not sufficiently repentant.”
The ruling said “the only basis for establishing jurisdiction over a decision of the church is when the complaint involves property and civil rights,” and that is what Wall alleged.
“Accordingly, a court has jurisdiction to review the decision of a religious organization when a breach of the rules of natural justice is alleged.”
By Guest Indiana
Juror Dan Stinnett, in his first interview about the case, explained how he and eight other Sanders County jurors found the Jehovah’s Witnesses governing organizations negligent and “guilty of malice” in the child sexual abuse of Alexis Nunez, awarding her $35 million. “I believe they were trying to cover up, yes. I have no doubt about that,” Stinnett said. When asked if he was trying to send a message with his jury vote, Stinnett responded, “Why, absolutely. We as jurors and as society really don’t condone … any of this.”
The Nunez case is one of dozens tallied by the Hearst Television National Investigative Unit as part of a yearlong investigation that uncovered new allegations of child sexual abuse and decadeslong cover-ups inside the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization in the United States. The allegations span congregations, states and generations.
From John Redwood...
A preview of upcoming news:
Jehovah's Witnesses are appealing to the Supreme Court of the United States, but this time it has nothing to do with preaching or saluting the flag.
It's all about child abuse.
Specifically, the protection (or cover-up) of information, documents, and testimony of persons involved in cases of child abuse.
I will be covering this story in the coming weeks and months, but I thought I would share some of this news and try to distill it down as simply as I can.
I'd like to point out first that Watchtower has appealed to the Supreme Court in connection with their loss of yet another California child abuse case. The chance that Watchtower's appeal being will be heard by the Supreme Court is slim, but anything is possible.
What brought this about?
There are many ongoing civil child abuse cases in California. One such case is J.W. versus Watchtower. J.W. happens to be the initials for the victim of former JW elder Gilbert Simental, who went on a spree of molestation which touched the lives of numerous victims.
As with other cases, the plaintiff demanded that Watchtower turn over to the court a database of child abuse cases known to be maintained by Watchtower of New York.
In this particular case, because Watchtower failed to turn over the documents in a timely manner, attorneys asked for a default judgment of just over 4 million dollars.
The court agreed with the plaintiff and entered a default judgment in that amount. Watchtower was required to post a bond of more than 6 million dollars while their appeal was pending.
Watchtower lost their appeal, and the decision of the court was upheld. This decision is final- with one exception.
Watchtower has decided to appeal to the United States Supreme court on the basis that their judicial hearings related to child abuse matters are "confidential intra-faith communications" and that they do not, and should not, reveal those communications or documents to anyone, including civil courts.
I'd like to make it very clear what Watchtower is doing here. They are fighting for their right NOT to allow civil authorities to dictate what is confidential, and what is not confidential.
All of this is in relation to their claim that elders do not have the right or duty to report child abuse to the authorities.
Watchtower overtly lies to their members by claiming that they obey secular laws, except when they conflict with God's laws.
Yet they break the law every single time by advising elders NOT to report child abuse to the authorities.
It does NOT matter whether child abuse occurs in a mandatory reporting state- elders STILL do not report to the police because Watchtower has told them that ALL of their communications are protected by clergy-penitent privilege.
This is false- and it is exactly why they are losing tens of millions of dollars in child abuse civil cases. Watchtower advises elders to break the law.
And now they want the Supreme Court of the United States to agree with them.
The claim that the state of California has unfairly targeted Jehovah's Witnesses and "intruded upon matters of church governance."
How does compliance with mandatory child abuse reporting laws conflict with God's laws? It doesn't. This is a fabrication of Watchtower attorneys working for the Governing Body, and it's become quite clear that they feel that compliance with these civil laws will spell disaster for their religion.
And they might be right.
If Jehovah's Witnesses did the right thing and complied with the law, they would lose the tight grip of control over their elder bodies in ways which frighten the hell out of them.
There is a whole lot more to this story as well as the underlying cases involved, but I wanted to let you know what's going on.
Attorneys for J.W. (the abuse victim) will be filing an opposition to Watchtower's appeal in August, and we should have a decision from the Supreme Court by October on whether they will accept Jehovah's Witnesses appeal for review.
By JOHN BUTLER
OK, I know some people will not like this and they will call it gossip but my wife and I are worried about it so it needs to aired out.
We have one daughter that is still a JW. i will call her H. She is married to a non JW. She has 4 children.
This daughter does not seem to recognise any dangers at all about her children. She invites anyone to her house without really knowing who they are or anything about their past.
3 of the children are girls and they attend ballet and tap dance lessons. They are only young, the oldest being around 8 years old.
Today they were in a performance /show in Exeter, a biggish show that their teacher was putting on for all parents, grandparents, etc.
I wasn't allowed to go of course as I'm a 'naughty boy' that left the Org.
My wife went to the show and was surprised to find two 'brothers' there.
One of the 'brothers' is a young single Elder and the other 'brother' is an old man that has recently been reinstated and moved into Honiton congregation.
This older man frequently visits H and her daughters at their home and the girls call him Uncle Phil. He seems very 'friendly' toward the girls.
H does not know where this 'brother' is from but he is now part of the Honiton Congregation which H and her children attend, here in Devon.
It seems strange to me that this man has just arrived at Honiton Congregation and just been reinstated. My wife says he has a London accent.
If I were still a JW I would ask him bluntly why he was disfellowshipped and where he is from, but of course I cannot do that now.
I have his full name, so is there any way i can run a check on him ?
Should i contact an Elder at Honiton Congregation and tell them of the concern my wife and I have ?
If this 'brother' had been involved in a child abuse accusation would they have told H about it so that she could be on her guard ?
Some on here may think I'm just trying to cause trouble, but my wife came home this evening and is looking very worried.
It seems that H had invited both 'brothers' to the meal afterward and my wife felt unhappy about the whole situation.
TTH will probably bring out the rule book again and say 'it never happens', but child abuse does happen and needs to be looked for all the time.
Our daughter H seems to have no idea about the situations that have taken place, and in honesty she doesn't want to know. So how can my wife warn her ?
By JOHN BUTLER
I find it interesting when so much is compared between the Jews and the JW's.
But in my opinion, one big difference between being a Jew before and in the time of Jesus, and being a JW, is choice.
If a person was born into the Nation of Israel, they were born under Law and ruled over by the Religious leaders (and the Romans) at that time. There was no choice of being a Jew or not being a Jew. They were born into it. So of course many of them, probably all of them, committed 'sin' and had to make sin offerings. God had chosen that Nation, those people had responsibility but not of their choice.
Now, people that enter the JW religion do so voluntarily. ( Unfortunately for those born into it, they have to go through the motions of serving the JW Org until they are of an age whereby they can leave home. Then, when of age they too can volunteer to be a JW or chose to leave the Org.).
There is a big difference from being born into a Nation which you may not like, than voluntarily joining a religion which you do like.
So the big question is, if 'millions' of people voluntarily join this JW Org, why do so many commit child abuse, adultery and many other sins ?
If this is supposed to be 'THE true religion', why are the people not guided by God through Jesus Christ ? Just reading comments on here from so called JW's makes me laugh. There is no love, no mercy, no understanding, no respect even.
Being an ex JW and seeing things from both sides i have found more genuine love, kindness, friendship, respect, warmth, understanding etc outside of the Org than inside. Inside the Org people have to be told to 'love one another', outside the Org people do it anyway.
It has amazed me how JW's can really believe that God is with them when they are so cold and selfish.
With the Jews that were born into that Nation, they had no choice about their way of life. It was basically a dictatorship by God. The Laws were from 'above'. Obviously for the right reason, to bring forth Jesus Christ who in turn would 'rescue' the human race from complete destruction. But it was a totally different situation to the JW Org today.
So now all you 'JWs', think on it. Do you truly believe you are in this' special environment' within the Org ? Do you really think that your Org has God's approval ?
Think deeply about all the problems within JW Org. All the disgusting things being done voluntarily by all the volunteer JW's.
Now ask yourself, are you really a volunteer JW or are you trapped in the Org for fear of losing all those 'so called friends' ?
You know that you can only have your family and 'friends' as long as you are a JW. Do you feel like the Jews must have felt, trapped in that Nation ?
As we know many of the Jews left the Jewish religion and way of life to follow Christ, but it was difficult for them. However, they did have God's approval and God, through Christ made this known clearly. And it seems that many are leaving the JW Org to seek God's approval too.
But remember that all JW's are volunteers, or should be, so why oh why is there so much trouble in that Org ?
By JOHN BUTLER
I've often thought of this point of reproof from the platform. It does nothing positive at all, it just leaves people wondering why the person was reproved.
And it certainly does not protect the congregation.
2019 “Shepherd the Flock of God”: The Problem With Public Reproofs for Child Sex Abuse
by Alexandra James In January of 2019, elders in the congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses were issued a new version of their confidential handbook, "Shepherd the Flock of God." This handbook covers, among other topics, when a person should be "reproved."
For those unfamiliar with the their practices, Jehovah's Witness elders might determine that someone guilty of a serious sin is repentant and will be "reproved" rather than disfellowshipped [excommunicated]. This reproof might be administered privately, or it might include a very brief announcement to the congregation.
Public Reproofs Are Not a Protection
The "Shepherd" book makes the claim that a public reproof serves as a "protection" to the congregation against certain dangerous behaviors, such as child sexual abuse; note this statement from chapter 14, "Child Abuse::
However, this announcement of reproof includes no information about the person's "sinful" behavior, as instructed in chapter 16, "Procedure for Judicial Hearings":
The "Shepherd" book even outright instructs that a person's sinful acts should not be connected to their reproof, such as when a "warning" talk is given regarding their behavior; also from chapter 16:
This statement alone demonstrates that the entire "public reproof" arrangement protects no one from congregation members who might pose a danger to others, including children. Simply stating that someone has "been reproved" doesn't warn a congregant of that person's specific behavior, and especially when there is a long list of reasons why someone might be publicly reproved, including:
Smoking Fornication, adultery Theft Lying, slander Various forms of "apostasy" Severe fits of temper, fighting Drunkenness Using narcotics Taking up boxing After hearing a rather generic announcement that someone has been "reproved," without knowing the actual reason for that reproof, how would congregants know to keep their children away from them? Another congregant might assume that a person being reproved was caught smoking or fornicating with an adult; child sexual abuse might be the last thing they would consider when they hear of someone having been reproved!
Your Conscience Shouldn't Be Clean
This begs the question of why Jehovah's Witnesses think that their consciences can be clean in these cases. Elders honestly think that making an announcement of so-and-so having been "reproved" protects the congregation and so they've done their job of keeping people and children safe?
Nothing can be further from the truth, especially when it comes to child sexual abuse. This "public reproof" arrangement purposely conceals the action that warranted the reproof, so it warns no one about a congregant who might be a danger to their children.
This announcement does not take away from an elder's complicity in hiding allegations of abuse. Any elder who hears of such a credible allegation and doesn't notify authorities, cooperate with their investigations fully, and then do everything possible to keep a potentially dangerous person away from children shares guilt and blame if that person goes on to molest another child.
The bottom line is that Jehovah's Witnesses and elders especially have no problem lying to themselves and to the general public about their supposed "protections" for congregants. They shield alleged molesters by purposely ensuring that no information about a particular act is associated with "reproved" persons, and then tell themselves that this passive-aggressive "hinting around" is going to somehow alert congregants to the need to keep their child away from him or her.
While the authors of these practices and the elders charged with enforcing them might go to bed with a clean conscience, remember it's not them who suffer the consequences of their actions; the elders are not being raped and abused, the men who wrote this "Shepherd" book are not the ones who will be the next victims of these "reproved" persons.
Their complicity in this horrific act is bad enough, but their smug self-righteousness in thinking that they've somehow done enough to protect children with a generic "reproof" is just another slap across the face of those same children.
By JOHN BUTLER
Having read lots of comments on this forum it is very easy to see that all that Jehovah's Witnesses have is their belief in their Governing Body and it's Writing Department.
If they believe, as a certain cowboy would have it, that a person can gain no true knowledge from the bible itself, then how else does a person gain true knowledge ?
It would seem that Jehovah's Witnesses rely totally on their GB 'boses' and on the Writing Department of same, to tell all JW's what to believe and when to believe it.
Why do i say 'and when to believe it' ? Well you have to keep up you know . What is said to be 'truth' by the GB and co one day, will be said to be totally untrue the next day or week.
JW's have nothing, no proof of any 'enlightenment' from above. They talk proudly about having 8.5 million members earthwide, but how many Muslims are there earthwide ? How many Catholics earthwide ? Numbers prove nothing as it can be clearly seen.
Yes I was once fooled by all the 'niceness' of a few brothers and sisters. But once I got to know those people properly I soon found out that they are no better than people in the world.
The JW Org is no better than any other organisation that pretends to serve God, but the JW Org is in some ways more dangerous. It wraps itself around people's lives and restricts people's freedom of thinking. It pretends to have 'special knowledge' from God that no other organisation has.
But then if one looks closely one can see it is all just a smoke screen. The JW Org only has 8 men in America dominating it, and 8.5 million people worshiping those 8 men.
I do feel a bit foolish having wasted years of my life believing all of it's lies and deceit, but I congratulate myself for not being frightened to ask questions and do research for myself.
No matter what any Jehovah's Witness tells you, the truth is, all they have is a belief in their GB, and they follow their GB's orders via all the others in charge including the puppet men Elders.
At meetings, conventions, assemblies, on the ministry et al, all they do is use the literature provided for them by the GB and the Writing dept. Without question they pump this 'information' into other people. When conducting a supposed 'bible study' it is actually a book study, studying the words of the GB / writing dept, not studying God's written word properly. They spend more time reading the paragraphs and answering those questions than they do reading scriptures and focusing on God's words.
It is a horrid way of brainwashing people, washing out the common sense and replacing it with lies from the GB / writing dept. Dictating, giving orders and pretending it is God's will.
Removing the love that people have for one another and replacing it with discrimination. Shunning family members, turning their back on anyone that is not a JW by saying all other people are just 'part of the world' and therefore wicked.
Frightening people with threats of 'armageddon' killing them.
And now it seems that they are almost begging for contributions as they seem to be getting short of money. Well paying off millions in compensation for the Child Abuse / Pedophilea of course. Selling off Kingdom Halls too as funds run low.
Oh how low that religion has sunken. Are they really stupid enough to believe that God is with them ?
By JOHN BUTLER
I was going to add this to another topic but remembered we are told to start new topics, so I've done that.
Hope this hasn't been added before but it would take me a month to go through all the topics to see if its on here.
It is about the baptism of children, but I also thing it involves making children go on the ministry.
"On Sunday, March 31, Anthony Morris, a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, was filmed at Bottle King, a discount booze store in Ramsey, NJ, buying 12 bottles of very expensive single malt. My “Bottlegate” video sharing the footage has since accumulated tens of thousands of views, with many saying the incident represents an act of hypocrisy from a man famous for his somewhat judgmental approach to morality and Christian living. The team discusses the permutations of the remarkable footage, and the widely known culture of drinking at bethel."
This video expresses the opinions of a past member of Bethel in Australia, and those of his wife, also Mark O'Donnell whose story under the article " A Secret Database of Child Abuse" was posted in The Atlantic, and "Covert Fade", author at JWsurvey.
From the comments I have seen here, JWs are measuring Anthony Morris' actions by worldly standards; yet, for someone who claims to be "faithful and discreet", worldly standards do not apply.
"For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." Matt 5:20
By Guest Indiana
In February, a Russian court sentenced a Danish citizen who was a legal resident of Russia to six years in prison for such an extremist offence as organizing other Witnesses to shovel snow from their church’s property.
A month later, Sergei Skrynnikov, a Russian and allegedly a Jehovah’s Witness, was charged with “participating in an extremist organization,” an offence under Russian law that could earn him up to six years in prison. Jehovah’s Witnesses have been fleeing Russia and seeking asylum in Germany and Finland to escape such harsh sentences.
In China, state authorities harass Jehovah’s Witnesses and raid their meetings. Authorities also deport foreign Witness missionaries from countries such as South Korea.
South Korea has only recently dropped a 2003 law prohibiting conscientious objection to fighting in its armed forces, a law that confined young Witness men — as well as other men — to jail.
All these states violate international laws that protect religious freedom, including the freedoms of unpopular minorities. Article 18, 1 of the 1976 United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights protects everyone’s freedom to “have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice” and “to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.”
A long history of persecution
Jehovah’s Witnesses were among the first groups the Nazis persecuted. There were about 25,000 to 30,000 Witnesses in Germany in 1933. About half of those who did not flee were convicted of various crimes and between 2,000 and 2,500 were sent to concentration camps, where about 1,000 died. About 250 were also executed.
Some years ago I met a Jehovah’s Witness in the city where I live who told me the Nazis had beheaded his grandfather. Germany’s Jehovah’s Witnesses were not merely passive religious group that refused to adopt the Nazi ideology: they also actively tried to expose Nazi atrocities.
In the 1960s and ‘70s in Malawi, entire villages of Jehovah’s Witnesses were burned, and many villagers were raped, tortured or murdered as they tried to flee. Their crime was refusal to participate in rituals of loyalty to the newly independent Malawian state and its president, Hastings Banda.
The Malawi government denied me a visa in the early 1980s when I told its High Commission in Ottawa that I wanted to know what had happened to these Witnesses for research for my book, Human Rights in Commonwealth Africa.
Many Witnesses in Rwanda, both Tutsi and Hutu, lost their lives during the 1994 genocide, many trying to hide people at risk of being murdered.Even now, Rwandan authorities expel some Witness children from school and have fired some Witness teachers because they refuse to sing the national anthem or participate in religious training.
Persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Canada
Here in Canada, Jehovah’s Witnesses have not always enjoyed their rights to freedom of religion and expression.
During the Second World War, Witness children were banned from schools in several locations because they would not salute the flag, sing the national anthem or repeat the pledge of allegiance. A Witness father sued the Hamilton Board of Education on behalf of his two sons, who had been expelled from school in 1940. In 1945, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, saying the Board was required to excuse students from participating in religious exercises to which their parents objected.
By Guest Indiana
Were you or a loved one sexually abused by Gonzalo Campos, an elder with various Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations in the San Diego area?
Legal Support For Alleged Victims Of Gonzalo Campos
After admitting to molesting at least 8 children during the 1980s and 1990s, Campos fled to Mexico, evading criminal justice here in California, but some sexual abuse survivors may still be eligible to file suit against the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York.
The Watchtower, the national organization for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, has already settled at least two lawsuits involving Campos’ misconduct. In March 2018, the organization came to terms with two of Campos’ victims, men who claimed the elder abused them decades ago. Neither the Watchtower nor the plaintiffs are allowed to disclose details of the settlement.
Experienced Attorneys Launch Full Investigation
Our compassionate sexual abuse attorneys believe that other victims of Campos may still be able to pursue justice, accountability and compensation by filing a civil lawsuit. We have opened a full investigation into the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society to understand how Campos was allowed to remain around children, even after serious sexual abuse allegations had been filed against him.
We understand the powerful storm of emotions that sexual abuse can cause. You may still be struggling to deal with painful feelings of embarrassment and shame, rage or depression. You do not have to go through this alone. Our committed legal team is here to help.
You may have powerful legal options. The prospect of stepping forward to report the abuse may seem terrifying, but it can be a powerful step on the road to recovery. You deserve justice. You may also be entitled to financial compensation. Filing a civil lawsuit can help you take control of this terrible situation. The Watchtower should be held accountable.
Watchtower Hit By Court Penalty For Withholding Evidence
The Watchtower has already been accused of hindering investigations into allegations of child sexual abuse. In the cases involving Gonzalo Campos, the Watchtower was ordered to pay a penalty of $4,000 every day because it refused to turn over internal documents containing information about church leaders who had been accused of child sexual abuse.
This was not the first time the Watchtower failed to stand up for sexual abuse survivors.
Critics say Gonzalo Campos was allowed to abuse at least 8 children in San Diego between 1982 and 1995, even though the Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations he belonged to were aware of his misconduct. After abusing a 7-year-old in 1994, Campos was removed from the Church, but he was reinstated by church elders who claimed he was a changed man.
In their lawsuits, two men who said they had been abused by Campos accused church elders of knowing about Campos’ misconduct as early as 1982, but covering it up and allowing him to continue working with young children. We believe the victims.
By Srecko Sostar
some quotes from https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/102009288 (my emphasis and enumeration)
If, then, the clergy-laity distinction is not based on the model set by Jesus’ apostles and other early Christians, does that make it wrong? According to the Bible, yes.
All you are brothers.”—Matthew 23:8.
1. God’s Word tells us that all Christians serve as God’s ministers and that none is above or beneath the other. (2 Corinthians 3:5, 6)
2. Spiritually older men did, of course, serve as overseers, which included being shepherds and teachers. (Acts 20:28) However, these men were not paid clerics.
3. For the most part, they were ordinary working men—husbands and fathers. Moreover, they qualified to serve as overseers, not by attending religious seminaries, but by being diligent students of God’s Word and by cultivating the spiritual qualities required by God.
4. As for ministering within the congregation, Christian men in general are encouraged to reach out for that privilege, which is the custom among Jehovah’s Witnesses.—1 Timothy 3:1.
5. The clergy-laity distinction exalts the clergy class, an evidence being adulatory religious titles. Yet, Jesus said: “He that conducts himself as a lesser one among all of you is the one that is great.” (Luke 9:48) In harmony with that spirit of humility, he told his followers not to adopt religious titles.—Matthew 23:8-12.
2.-1. A paid clergy class can impose a heavy financial burden on the laity, especially when the former have lavish lifestyles. Christian overseers, on the other hand, care for their financial needs by doing normal secular work, thus setting a good example for others.*—Acts 18:1-3; 20:33, 34; 2 Thessalonians 3:7-10.
2.-2. Because a clergyman may depend on others for financial support, he might be tempted to dilute the Bible’s message in order to please parishioners. Indeed, the Scriptures foretold that this very thing would occur.
6. The clergy-laity distinction tends to cause lay people to relegate religion to the clergy, while the laity just turn up for weekly services. Yet, all Christians must be conscious of their spiritual need and be good students of the Bible.—Matthew 4:4; 5:3.
7. When the laity are Biblically uninformed, they can easily be misled by clerics, even exploited by them. Indeed, history contains many examples of such abuses.*—Acts 20:29, 30.
In order to adhere closely to the pattern set down in the Bible, Jehovah’s Witnesses have, not a clergy class, but unpaid spiritual shepherds and teachers who willingly minister to God’s flock.
What is wrong here? How with intentions and practice inside WT JWorg? Intentions are looking good, theoretically. But, in practice, phrase 1. none is above or beneath the other is not fully correct, or it is not correct at all. Because, 2. Spiritually older men did, of course, serve as overseers, which included being shepherds and teachers. By this explanation, this men are in, are putted in position to be above other people who are not enough "spiritually older", what ever that could mean to be "older". In fact this phrase "spiritually older" means that such men, male (not any female, god save you from female spiritually older person :))))), are ordained and appointed by Management Structure (In past WT Headquarter made approval, today CO doing this, formally, but Who are involved, in fact, in this process is "heavenly secret", i guess, haha)
Move ahead with 2. these men were not paid clerics. 2.-1. A paid clergy class can impose a heavy financial burden on the laity 2.-2. Because a clergyman may depend on others for financial support, he might be tempted to dilute the Bible’s. What's wrong with these statements? This is Half truth. Major elder class worldwide who are in congregations are not paid for ministry. They are half ammeters and half professionals, it depends on their experience and how deep and honest they personally are as Christians and as Persons. Other "appointed" servants are depends on other people money. They get financial support in many various forms. In money or in kind. So, yes they get paid for work they doing. And they depend on others for financial support. They receives some money, and they have sort of free Medical care and guess some Insurance and Pension fund. Many JW people working in Betel's are not "clergy" but have status of Elders, Ministerial Servants, Full Time Servants, CO-s, etc, they gave Oath to Poverty, and other similar stuffs unknown to Public. By Donation money JW members supporting, not only publishing magazines and publications and books, but Works aka Life of all others JW people who are involved in many and various Organizational Programs (Missioner activity, Building KH that belongs to Society not to congregants, Lawyers and Lawyers Firms that are Witnesses or non-Witnesses, for Court cases of all kind etc.) By that JW have paid classes of people who working In The Company.
3. serve as overseers, not by attending religious seminaries, Here we have another incorrect claim. Elders are invited and participated in "religious seminaries" prepared, arranged and guided by WT Society. They get instructions, advice's, new information's, etc. on how to run The Program inside Congregations.
4. Christian men in general are encouraged to reach out for that privilege, which is the custom among Jehovah’s Witnesses Here is one interesting thing i put just for emphasis question of Customs, Traditions and Folklore. All people, no matter of who they are, have this things. So, JW people are also under this influences. Good or bad, that is another question to discus.
5. not to adopt religious titles. WT Corporation has many Titles for people who are inside: Rank and File, Brother. Sister, Publisher, Unbaptized Publisher, Regular Pioneer, Auxiliary Pioneer, Special Pioneer, Missioner, Ministerial Servant, Elder, Overseer, Circuit Overseer, Secretary, Treasurer, Betel Member, International Servant or Volunteer, Construction Servant, Helper, Governing Body member, Anointed, etc. So, WT JWorg are not so different with titles for those who are inside Organization.
6. The clergy-laity distinction tends to cause lay people to relegate religion to the clergy, while the laity just turn up for weekly services. Because those "In Charge" aka elders are only one who are delegate by WT to give shepherding and teaching to the "flock" aka laity, that can cause relegate syndrome for laity aka rank and file members in JW congregation to be submissive to elders class in/to such measure to visit Sunday Church Meetings as all other religious people who come to meetings for Social Reasons.
7. When the laity are Biblically uninformed, they can easily be misled by clerics, even exploited by them. This is what take place in many issues in JW life and service. Take for example publication as "Shepherd book" or some other Internal memos coming from WT Headquarter to elders. If spiritual food in this documents are something based on Bible and are released to improve Congregation and Christian life and ministry, What can be reason for secrecy? Why only elders can see what was written there? That is clear evidence how exists Clergy-Laity distinction inside JWorg. What can be reason to not provide to members information's about content of such "only for Elders eye book"? Examples from Bible show how elders and all other members must follow "Bible principles". One of significant bible principles is that "Judicial things" must be free and open to all who want to know, who are involved, and those who are not involved in "case". "Investigation and Judging" must be in public place, beside city gates "Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace". Why in public? Think about reasons for that. Existence of "secret books and memos only for elders eyes" contribute to Elders-Laity class distinction" among JWorg. Is there something in this book that rank and file member will understand wrongly, or will be unable to understand rightly ?? :)))
Beside these what was said, think about why Elders call for "clergy privilege" when Judge on Court ask them to reveal things about something what took place inside JW members. And based on this Elders refuse to answer questions on Court. How that can be, JW elders are not nominally "Clergy" but acting as normal "Clergy" in full measure.
Well, some of clergy inside JWorg are not paid for service, and some are paid for service. Distinction existing.
By JOHN BUTLER
OK, not really a topic, but I'm confused
J W's Open Club ? this one that I've just joined.
What happened to the other JW club ? Do you know I cannot even remember what it was called.
Was it JW's Private club ? Any way did i miss something happening and if so what, when and why ???
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
From the Newspaper the “San Diego ReaderÂ” - October 12, 2017
Jehovah's Witnesses look in other direction
Lawyers for religious group argue against daily fines in sex-abuse case
By Dorian Hargrove, Oct. 12, 2017
Attorneys for the Jehovah's Witness church appeared before a state appellate court yesterday (October 11) in hopes of overturning the $4000 daily sanctions that a trial court ordered them to pay for refusing to turn over documents in one of two sex-abuse cases.
Osbaldo Padron, a former parishioner of the Linda Vista Jehovah's Witness congregation, filed his lawsuit against the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, JehovahÂ’s WitnessesÂ’ governing body, in 2013. Padron was one of seven people who sued the kingdom over sexual abuse they suffered by a former church elder, Gonzalo Campos.
As detailed in an August 30 Reader article, Campos admitted to molesting seven children from 1982 to 1999. Despite his admission, church elders agreed to let Campos rejoin the congregation after a four-year expulsion.
In a 1999 letter, Linda Vista church elder Eduardo Chavez argued for reinstating Campos. He wrote, Â“In our meeting with him he said he was very repentant for what he did. He stated that he wanted to return to Jehovah. He is willing to face the victims and ask their forgiveness. He now wants to obey Jehovah. Before, when he would speak to people on the platform he would not meditate on what he was doing. Although he needed to confess, he felt shameful and had fear of mankind. He would deceive himself thinking that he could continue serving as an elder. Now he realized that he could not change without help. Ever since his expulsion he has not abused anyone."
In 2010, five victims sued the Watchtower for allowing Campos to serve as an elder despite having knowledge that he molested several children in the congregation. Watchtower settled that case in 2012. The terms of the settlement as well as the evidence against the Watchtower were sealed.
Two more victims, Padron and JosÃ© Lopez, followed suit.
In 2013, San Diego Superior Court judge Joan Lewis ordered Watchtower to pay $13.5 million for repeatedly refusing to turn over documents that showed the church was aware of sexual abuse and did nothing to stop it.
Attorneys for the Watchtower filed an appeal. They argued that Judge Lewis had acted too soon in issuing the $13.5 million in sanctions and instead the trial court should have imposed less severe sanctions. The appellate court agreed.
In their ruling, the justices wrote, "We conclude the court erred in ordering terminating sanctions because there was no evidence that lesser sanctions would have failed to obtain Watchtower's compliance with the document production order and because there were other possible sanctions that could have effectively remedied the discovery violation. On remand, the court has broad discretion to start with a different sanction that does not wholly eliminate Watchtower's right to a trial."
Then, last year in the Padron case, a different superior court judge, Richard Strauss, followed the appellate court's advice and instead of issuing terminating sanctions imposed $4000 daily sanctions on the Watchtower for refusing to turn over the documents that Padron's attorneys had requested.
Again, Watchtower's attorneys filed an appeal.
On October 11, those attorneys appeared before the Fourth District Appellate Court to argue that the trial court was wrong to issue daily sanctions Â— exactly what they had argued for in the appellate court Lopez case just months prior.
Justice Richard Huffman did not hide his displeasure that Watchtower's attorneys were arguing against what they had previously supported to the same court.
"You can't have it both ways," Huffman said during argument. "[The Lopez] ruling has come around to bite you and now you're saying, 'not fair, not fair.' You were headed in one direction before and now youÂ’re headed another way. It's a breathtaking position to listen to."
The appellate court has 90 days to issue its formal ruling."
Our donations are being used to OBSTRUCT JUSTICE !
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
TIRED OF BEING MANIPULATED BY FAKE NEWS?
VERY SIMPLE SOLUTION ... GET EDUCATED ABOUT WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON AROUND YOU!
Royal Commission Case Study 54: What to expect - by an anonymous reporter who DOES homework !
With Case Study 54 only a few days away, THIS FRIDAY (AUSTRALIAN TIME) MARCH 10, 2017 (You do the math for local time...) a lot of discussion has been circulating as to exactly what we can expect when Watchtower appears once again before the Australian Royal Commission.
I’ve decided to chip in a few observations here to help set expectations and to contribute to the discussions as best I’m able. So without further ado, let’s quickly run through what we know:
What exactly will be discussed? According to the Commission website, the scope of the study is as follows
1. The current policies and procedures of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd in relation to child protection and child-safe standards, including responding to allegations of child sexual abuse.
2. Factors that may have contributed to the occurrence of child sexual abuse at Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd institutions.
3. Factors that may have affected the institutional response of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd to child sexual abuse.
4. The responses of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd to relevant case study report(s) and other Royal Commission reports.
5. Any related matters.
The purpose of this public hearing is not to inquire into individual sets of facts or particular events as has occurred in previous Royal Commission case studies.
Why does the Case Study 54 hearing appear to be only one day long? This may appear at first glance to be a surprise. How can a single day of testimony possibly be enough to cover the vast and complex issue of Watchtower’s child abuse scandal?
Well, remember that Case Study 54 isn’t a fact finding mission. That was Case Study 29. The Commission spent days digging and interviewing, and ultimately issued a detailed report on every aspect of Watchtower’s failure. As far as the Commission is concerned, the facts are in. There is no further debate. Case Study 54 is tasked purely with a quick review of those facts and then with publicly asking Watchtower what is has done to address the damning failures identified in Case Study 29.
Remember what Justice McClellan said to Watchtower’s legal team? That they were going to come back to Watchtower and publicly ask them what had been done to address the issues?
That’s what this is.
So what has Watchtower done in the 21 months since Case Study 29? As far as I am aware, the only potential effort from Watchtower to address any of the concerns raised in the Royal Commission has been to no longer require an abuse survivor to confront their attacker. However, it was not clear from testimony if this practice had actually been halted before the Commission sat. Watchtower seemed to insist in testimony that it was, but their documentation did not reflect this.
Thus one cannot say with certainty that even this potential change has come as a result of the Commission report.
So Watchtower is going to stand before the Commission, after 21 months, and basically say they’ve done nothing at all? I have no idea.
I mean, that would be the honest thing to do, but remember how slippery and devious Watchtower was in Case Study 29, with senior Watchtower officials like Rodney Spinks, Terrence O’Brain and Governing Body Member Geoffrey Jackson attempted to mislead and outright lie to the Commission on multiple occasions. As far as I can see, Watchtower has three options
Admit they’ve done nothing and that they don’t intend to for religious reasons, and turn the whole thing into an issue of religious freedom. Try to stall and muddy the waters by saying they’ve not had enough time, that they have no authority to make the changes required without Brooklyn agreement, knowing full well that Brooklyn is beyond the reach of the Commission. The idea here would be to stall until the day is over, then slink away and wait, knowing no further testimony is required. Dive full into another round of misleading doublespeak and outright lies to try and pull the wool over the Commission’s eyes. Which one will they pick? Again I have no idea. Judging from Watchtower’s jaw-dropping legal incompetence in Case Study 29 and in the recent Fessler case, it’s very hard to predict their strategy. It seems to have no rhyme or reason, but keep in mind three things.
The men in charge of Watchtower are firstly very deluded. They genuinely think they are defending God’s organization against Satanic and apostate attack, and feel that compromise will be a victory for Satan. The men in charge of Watchtower are very out of touch with real life, spending all their days in a world where you don’t question Watchtower or those who run it, and now they’ve risen to the top. Their word is law. Odds are that no-one has told Anthony Morris III that his ideas are stupid for a very long time. They have no idea how to handle the kind of environment the Royal Commission brings to the table. Geoffrey Jackson’s excruciating performance, where the Commission made mincemeat of his arguments, was proof of that. The men in charge of Watchtower are caught between being honest with a Commission that has all of their dirty little secrets on the one hand, and playing to the growing audience of JW’s who they know WILL find out about March 10th one way or the other. They have to both be as compliant as possible to the Commission whilst also appearing to be steadfast and unmovable to the Witnesses who will end up seeing the testimony on YouTube. So delusion, seclusion, and public relations are all going to crash into once horrible mess as they did in Case Study 29 and as a result I have no idea what Watchtower will do on Friday.
We hope to preserve the live steam video for future reference as the Commission does not archive or make this video available once the live stream is over. However, technical gremlins are always a factor so if you have the ability to record the live stream, it would be a great idea to do so as well. The more people do this, the less chance of this footage being lost forever.
Lastly we will of course be following up with articles on the day, giving you a more detailed analysis of what has transpired.
Get your popcorn (and your coffee if you’re staying up late) and lets all observe the car crash together!
And one last thing: if it is safe for you to do so, please tell as many Jehovah’s Witnesses as you can about the events on March 10th. Their children are at risk and they don’t even know it. They may choose not to look up the Case Study, but simply being aware that it exists is the first step in raising awareness that the Governing Body is not being honest with them about the international scandal of child abuse inside the Watchtower organization.
(edited for political correctness and other stuff ...) JTR
By Guest Nicole
I just read that the Spanish organization "Abusos TJ" has sent a letter to the Ministry of the Interior on Wednesday to urge himÂ to investigate the alleged cases of sexual abuse that have been concealed for years from the different congregations in Spain of the Jehovah's Witnesses. And the news shows this photo of the instructions given to the elders
If these instructions are true, my question is what Bible base have these instructions? And why not inform the elders of the new congregation about a person who could be a danger to the community?Â
By Jack Ryan
The Jehovah's Witness Church in Australia failed to protect children in its care from sexual predators, a report has found.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse delivered its report into the organisation on Monday.
It stated that: "Children are not adequately protected from the risk of child sexual abuse in the Jehovah's Witness organisation and [the commission] does not believe the organisation responds adequately to allegations of child sexual abuse."
Survivors of sexual abuse within the church and senior church members appeared before a public hearing last year.
The inquiry heard the church received allegations of child sexual abuse involving more than 1000 of its members over a 60-year period but did not report a single claim to police.
In its report on the inquiry, the royal commission found that the organisation's general practice of "not reporting serious instances of child sexual abuse to police or authorities, demonstrated a serious failure on its part to provide for the safety and protection of children."
The royal commission determined that the church's response to allegations of child sexual abuse were outdated, including a rule that there must be two witnesses to an incident, which "showed a serious lack of understanding of the nature of child sexual abuse".
"It noted the rule, which the Jehovah's Witness organisation relies on, and applies inflexibly even in the context of child sexual abuse, was devised more than 2000 years ago," the report found.
Royal commission chairman Justice Peter McClellan. Photo: Jeremy Piper
The Jehovah's Witnesses approach to handling claims internally was not appropriate for children or survivors of sexual abuse, the report found.
"Survivors are offered little or no choice in how their complaint is addressed, sanctions are weak with little regard to the risk of the perpetrator re-offending."
The head of the Jehovah's Witness community's service desk, Rodney Spinks, is considering the report and is expected respond on Monday afternoon.
By Guest Nicole
Legislators ‘need to stopÂ’ working for institutions
Dave Kohler, of Allentown, was abused by an ordained minister in the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in November 1965. He was 9 years old.Â
When Kohler was 17, his abuser told him to never talk about the abuse again.Â
Â“So I obeyed and kept my mouth shut,Â” Kohler said.Â
HeÂ’s been coming to Harrisburg for about five years to show his support for statute of limitations reform. Â“Individuals vote them in, and then they work for institutions,Â” Kohler said of the state legislators. Â“That needs to stop.Â”
If reform is passed that would allow Kohler the opportunity to sue his abuser, Kohler said he knows what he would do with any money he could collect.
Â“I will hopefully be able to afford therapy,Â” he said.
Dave Kohler, who said he was abused by an ordained minister in the Jehovah's Witnesses in Kutztown and Emmaus, talks about his experience, during the demonstration for statute of limitations reform to the state's childhood sexual abuse laws at the state capitol in Harrisburg on Monday.Â (Photo: Paul Kuehnel, York Daily Record)
By JOHN BUTLER
This topic is aimed toward asking ADMIN these questions. I do not know who Admin are. Some folks here seem to have made friends with Admin where as I just use the forum.
Why was Jehovah's Witnesses Private Club set up ?
Should it be 999% about Jehovah's Witnesses and their Organisation, which would include the GB ?
Am I therefore wrong when i only talk about Jehovah's Witnesses and have no interest in other religions ?
There are those on here that regularly 'bite my ears off' because i only talk about the JW's, but I thought that was the intention of this forum.
Admin please clarify these matters for me, please ......
By The Librarian
This cover up goes all the way up to the Vatican!
The Vatican is not even respondingÂ
By Guest Nicole
YELM, Wash. — Authorities on Wednesday were investigating after someone tried to set fire to the Kingdom Hall of JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in Yelm.
This comes after four other recent attacks onÂ Kingdom Halls of JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in Thurston County that are being investigated as hate crimes.
In the latest incident, authorities were called around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday to the report of an attempted arson at the Kingdom Hall on Vail Road SE in Yelm.
The ensuing investigation closed a large section of Vail Road for most of the day.
Church elders had arrived to find fire logs stacked up against an outside wall that was smoldering. They doused the logs with water and prevented any further damage to the building.
The elders reported finding a suspicious device placed on the ground on the west side of the building. It Â“had the appearance of being an explosive device,Â” so deputies called the bomb squad to the scene.
People living nearby the church told Q13 News they were told by law enforcement to evacuate for their own safety.
Â“I got woken up by my roommate Zachary saying there was a device on the church next door to our house and we needed to evacuate,Â” said Richard McIntire.
McIntireÂ’s shared his concern about living so close to whatÂ’s become a repeated target.
Â“I donÂ’t understand why people have to target churches,Â” he said.
Neighbors in rural Yelm expressed their worries about the attacks and hoped police would soon make an arrest before someone gets hurt.
By late afternoon investigators determined the suspicious device wasnÂ’t dangerous. The Thurston County SheriffÂ’s Office laterÂ tweeted, Â“The suspicious device was made to look like a real bomb but in the end, it was found to be fake.Â”
Read more:Â https://q13fox.com/2018/08/08/possible-explosive-device-found-after-attempted-arson-at-kingdom-hall-in-yelm/
The flocking of many humans to worship Jehovah with his people in this time of the end was foretold by two ancient prophets. Isaiah prophesied: “Many peoples will go and say: ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will instruct us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths.’ For law will go out of Zion, and the word of Jehovah out of Jerusalem.” (Isa. 2:2, 3)
If, therefore, we wish to benefit from Jehovah’s protection during the great tribulation, we must recognize that Jehovah has a people on earth, organized into congregations. We must continue to take our stand with them and remain closely associated with our local congregation. With all our hearts, may we join the psalmist in proclaiming: “Salvation belongs to Jehovah. Your blessing is upon your people.” —Ps. 3:8.
Protection? Blessings? Have you considered how a victim of abuse feels about this?
Tell me, JWs, when the court systems of the world must alert and teach JWs to show compassion and righteous judgment to victims of child abuse, where is the “law that goes out from Zion” – GOD’S LAW?
Does this organization protect and nurture, through the teaching of God’s law which is far superior than any court law of the land? The “law” is found in the hearts of the anointed priests and kings that YOU refuse to recognize due to your submission to a Harlot/false prophet/ Wicked Slave; and her muscle, the elder body carrying out their own version of God’s laws. Isa 43:10; I Pet 2:5,9,10; Heb 8:10; Rev 13:1,6,7,11,14-17; Matt 24:48-51
WAKE UP! It can’t be excused away that this organization IS Zion, yet offers no protection or blessing from the true God, YHWH. It is all, a delusion. 2 Thess 2:9-12
Mount Zion, in all its glory, is NOT FOUND IN SATAN’S WORLD, called the “mountainlike organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses” but in the hearts of righteous faithful anointed ones, who LEAVE THIS LIE BEHIND. Many others, have found it to be “neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, the now “apostate city” of Harlots and their hardened hearts. 2 Chron 7:14 “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:21-24
“What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’” Zech 4:7
“The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, 9 a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.” Rev 8:8,9
It is blasphemy to believe that the cornerstone of God’s Zion/Temple (1 Pet 2:6) and his fulfillment of the “law” based on love, would approve of such twisting of God’s decrees, by men who trust only in themselves. Isa 2:22
YHWH’s Genuine Mountain – Pearl Doxsey 4womaninthewilderness
edited for sentence structure
Immigration This is how they treated us: children separated from their parents at the border tell of their days in detention in the United StatesBy Guest Nicole
Many of the children described conditions at US Customs and Border Protection facilities, where they were taken and processed during the first days after crossing the border. In the reports they were only identified by their first names. Timofei, 15, from Russia, who sought asylum on the border with his parents for his beliefs as Jehovah's Witnesses, said they were crowded night and day in the closed and crowded room, detained along with other boys. He said there was only one window that opened onto an empty hallway and that they did not have soap in the bathroom, and that only sometimes, they gave him a toothbrush for individual use. He also said that he was offered a shower when he arrived at the facilities in San Ysidro, California, but he did not and the second or third day there did not allow him to do so.
By Jack Ryan
A message to young people in this weeks Watchtower Study paragraph 12:
How to use the website jw.org to guide you answering a peer asking “Why do you believe in god?”
The answer to that question can and should not be guided. If the question was about the flood or the end of the world then yes, use a textbook answer that can be “researched” on the website.
But a personal question like that shouldn’t need to be guided from any outside source. If you have a real faith or belief in a higher power then you wouldn’t need an outside source to help you explain that.
This is in response to Jack Ryan's thread entitled, "...the angel of Jehovah camps all around those fearing him" https://www.theworldnewsmedia.org/topic/57218-“’the-angel-of-jehovah-camps-all-around-those-fearing-him’/
It concerns the leaked Attendant Training Videos, of which I saw only a condensed review of them. The speaker of the training video remarks:"
“Well, with a warm smile, you have the privilege to welcome all to a place of worship where the atmosphere is like a spiritual oasis in a parched land, and by taking the initiative to offer a helping hand you can be like those streams of cool water that bring refreshment to all. And by promoting a safe and peaceful environment you can provide a place of concealment for all f our invited guests…It’s as if our great host Jehovah has extended his welcoming arms by means of you, so that everyone in attendance will feel like they have entered a house that is safe and secure. Remember, too, you will not be working alone in behalf of God’s people. Psalm 34:7 assures us, the angel of Jehovah camps all around those fearing him, so by means of his powerful angels, Jehovah can shield his faithful worshipers from harm, “IF IT BE HIS WILL”.
Jack Ryan's comment:
“It appears that it wasn’t/isn’t Jehovah’s will to protect children from being sexually abused within His own congregations. It appears that these powerful angels are shielding no one, if He isn’t protecting these most vulnerable amongst us.
Frankly, it appears that it isn’t Jehovah’s will to protect His people in general.”
“IF IT BE HIS WILL”
Temperamental god, this “Jehovah”. Would a God of love be so fickle?
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.’” Ps 91:1,2
The true God, YHWH, that I am coming to know keeps His promises toward His faithful ones. If this speaker has doubts and feels the need to add an addendum to Ps 34:7, he is fully aware of the organization’s risky status in Russia and other countries, or he is reflecting on the rampant child abuse situation that the Watchtower unashamedly refuses to concretely address. Jer 8:11,12; Eph 5:11 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jer+8%3A11%2C12%3B+Eph+5%3A11&version=NKJV
The video is playing out a “showy display” of compassion and love before the masses, outweighing the hidden lack of it, which results from transgressing God’s requirements. Eph 5:6,8,9 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Eph+5%3A6%2C8%2C9&version=NKJV
To be found “faithful” with the Father, we submit to His discipline and refinement. We prove ourselves worthy of His protection by following Christ’s Words. Zech 13:9; Mal 3:2-4; Heb 12:6 It is not God’s will that we rely on a corrupt organization for protection. Ps 26:4,5 It is His will that we rely on Him and His Son. Joel 2:12,13; Isa 48:17,18 Nowhere in the scriptures are we told to turn to an earthly image – a god of fortress for protection during the end times. (1 Sam 7:3) Dan 11:38,39; Rev 13:1,5-8 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Zech+13%3A9%3B+Mal+3%3A2-4%3B+Heb+12%3A6%3BPs+26%3A4%2C5%3B++Joel+2%3A12%2C13%3B+Isa+48%3A17%2C18%3B+1+Sam+7%3A3%3B+Dan+11%3A38%2C39%3B+Rev+13%3A1%2C5-8++&version=NKJV
On the contrary, we are told to worship in spirit and truth and to seek out those Christ sends, at the same time to be on the lookout for false prophets. John 4:24;3:8; 16:13,14; Matt 23:34; John 13:20; Acts 17:24; Heb 9:11; Matt 7:15-20 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+4%3A24%3B3%3A8%3B+16%3A13%2C14%3B+Matt+23%3A34%3B+John+13%3A20%3B+Acts+17%3A24%3B+Heb+9%3A11%3B+Matt+7%3A15-20&version=NKJV
Is “Jehovah’s CHARIOT” leading the sheep to truly love one another? All evidence of its past and present failings to protect the flock, point to “no”. Mark 12:29-31; Matt 22:40; John 15:9-14; Rom 13:8-10 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+12%3A29-31%3B+Matt+22%3A40%3B+John+15%3A9-14%3B+Rom+13%3A8-10&version=NKJV
Please, do not sweep the obvious under the carpet, JWs!
“…Love does NO HARM to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” Rom 13:10
The trouble begins within the internal mechanism of the organization; the ruling elders, both the leaders and their henchmen; therein, is the source of all suffering, seen and unseen, happening within the Watchtower. Rev 8:10,11; Amos 5:7; Rev 9:1-4; Joel 2:1-10 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rev+8%3A10%2C11%3B+Amos+5%3A7%3B+Rev+9%3A1-4%3B+Joel+2%3A1-10++&version=NKJV
Watchtower 13/1/15 pg 27-31 “Rather than making rigid rules for the congregation, ELDERS rely on Scriptural principles and direction from Jehovah’s organization. After all, present-day elders are not the masters over their brothers’ faith. —1 Pet. 5:2, 3
In reality, scriptural principles are basically ignored, while direction from the organization dictates every working aspect of the Watchtower. We have proof of this with the leaders’ latest resolve to barely bend their rigid rules with child molestation cases. Isa 10:1,2 They are WITHOUT A DOUBT cruel masters over the faith of each JW through their restrictive decrees that conflict with the ordinances of the true God, founded on love and righteousness. Isa 29:13;Hab 1:4; 2 Cor 11:4,20;Col 2:20-22; Ps 89:14-17https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isa+10%3A1%2C2%3B+Isa+29%3A13%3BHab+1%3A4%3B+2+Cor+11%3A4%2C20%3BCol+2%3A20-22%3B+Ps+89%3A14-17+&version=NKJV
As a result, it is absolutely clear the organization does not follow God’s laws outlined by Christ and verified by scripture. Remembering that the governing body admit they are NOT INSPIRED by God’s Holy Spirit, (Wt 2017/2) Anthony Morris recently stated that the “theocratic organization” receives its decisions or “decrees” from God. Doesn’t it make you question the source of these decrees since God’s Holy Spirit does not “inspire” the governing body?
Quote: “When that direction comes out to Branch committee members, or when it comes out to the congregations; IF you want Jehovah’s blessing ON YOU as an individual or family, certainly as an ELDER or congregation, it’d be best to ask Jehovah to help you understand it, BUT OBEY THE DECISION.” (Joel 2:7)https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joel+2%3A7&version=NKJV
Deut 4:2: “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”
John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commandments.”
One of those long held unscriptural decrees is for the elders to stand/rule over the authentic priesthood of God and their companions, while charging them as conspirators for accepting Christ’s lead above the organizational format, resulting in a judgment of “death” by disfellowshipping. Ezek 44:6-9; 1 Pet 2:5,9; 1 Cor 3:16,17; Matt 24:15; 2 Thess 2:3,4;Rev 13:5-7,11,12,15; 1 John 3:11,12 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezek+44%3A6-9%3B+1+Pet+2%3A5%2C9%3B+1+Cor+3%3A16%2C17%3B+Matt+24%3A15%3B+2+Thess+2%3A3%2C4%3BRev+13%3A5-7%2C11%2C12%2C15%3B+1+John+3%3A11%2C12&version=NKJV
God, who does not change His mind unlike “Jehovah’s organization”, PROMISES to be our shield and strength, IF we submit and follow HIS decrees through Christ, the head of the anointed Body. Deut 33:29; 2 Sam 22:31; Nahum 1:7 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deut+33%3A29%3B+2+Sam+22%3A31%3B+Nahum+1%3A7+&version=NKJV
The anointed priesthood of God has a purpose – to offer sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving, to teach God’s laws written on their heart, admonish, direct, and heal, God’s sheep. Isa 43:21; 1 Pet 2:9; Rom 2:13,15; Heb 13:15; Rev 7:10; Isa 44:23; Ezek 44:23; Jer 23:22; Mal 2:7; Rom 8:19-22; Rev 22:1,2 Yet, they have been restrained by a Wicked Slave/Harlot/Wormwood/false prophet and its delegated army from doing so, creating within the Watchtower, a spiritually “parched land”, void of the knowledge of God’s ordinances. (Yes, all these characteristic titles are prophetically fulfilled by the governing body) Zeph 3:4; Amos 8:11; Joel 1:5-7; Rev 8:8 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isa+43%3A21%3B+1+Pet+2%3A9%3B+Rom+2%3A13%2C15%3B+Heb+13%3A15%3B+Rev+7%3A10%3B+Isa+44%3A23%3B+Ezek+44%3A23%3B+Jer+23%3A22%3B+Mal+2%3A7%3B+Rom+8%3A19-22%3B+Rev+22%3A1%2C2%3B++.++Zeph+3%3A4%3B+Amos+8%3A11%3B+Joel+1%3A5-7%3B+Rev+8%3A8&version=NKJV
Can you imagine how God and Christ view the appointed Temple priesthood submitting to the rules of men and their handbook; and not to Christ and the laws written on their heart? Ezek 8:5,6 Those who are “ambassadors of Christ” are to work as one anointed Body, with each one a branch of the vine of Christ, which allows Holy Spirit to feed and direct the Body through all of its members. John 15:5-8; 1 Cor 12:20,25,26 Paul spoke of it as a “fearful responsibility” to carry the message of reconciliation. 2 Cor 5:11,19,20 (NLT) https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezek+8%3A5%2C6%3B+John+15%3A5-8%3B+1+Cor+12%3A20%2C25%2C26%3B+2+Cor+5%3A11%2C19%2C20++&version=NKJV
Are the unanointed elders who “represent the royal priesthood”, the true “ambassadors” or representatives of Christ? In the first century, would Christ have condoned others to replace the apostles who are the foundations stones of his Temple Body? 1 Cor 3:10,11 Neither should men muscle aside the “living stones” of God’s Temple from performing their duties as Christ’s ambassadors. Ezek 34:20-23; Eph 2:20-22; John21:17; Luke12:42; Matt.5:14-15; Rev.1:20; Mal.2:7; Rev.22:6; John13:20 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezek+34%3A20-23%3B+Eph+2%3A20-22%3B+John21%3A17%3B+Luke12%3A42%3B+Matt.5%3A14-15%3B+Rev.1%3A20%3B+Mal.2%3A7%3B+Rev.22%3A6%3B+John13%3A20+&version=NKJV
Can you imagine God’s disgust, as His priests continue to allow a Harlot/false prophet “decree” that they remain apart from one another, not seek one another out, not “study the Bible together”, passively swallowing such UNSCRIPTURAL lies, and allow themselves to be trampled down by them? Matt 24:15; 2 Thess 2:3,4,9-12; Rev 11:1-3; Joel 1:4,5; Eph 5:14-20 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt+24%3A15%3B+2+Thess+2%3A3%2C4%2C9-12%3B+Rev+11%3A1-3%3B+Joel+1%3A4%2C5%3B+Eph+5%3A14-20&version=NKJV
In each instance when God’s people in the past disregarded His ordinances, He “sent”, or allowed, discipline to fall on them. (Deut 8:1-6; Heb 12:11) Usually, it was in the form of an enemy’s stronghold. The “rod” of discipline this time, is the organization; specifically, the very army of elders who rule over them. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deut+8%3A1-6%3B+Heb+12%3A11&version=NKJV
The very army that chooses to ignore the plight of the helpless ones. Ps 89:30-32; Rev 3:19; Rev 9:1-11 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ps+89%3A30-32%3B+Rev+3%3A19%3B+Rev+9%3A1-11&version=NKJV
Joel 1:4 describes them as locust in all historic and individual stages of type and development.
That which the palmerworm hath left --- “a creeping locust without wings”-“to devour”…
…hath the locust eaten --- a locust “swarm”…
…and that which the locust hath left …
…hath the cankerworm eaten --- “a devourer; specifically, the young locust”…
…and that which the cankerworm hath left…
…hath the caterpiller eaten --- “a locust not yet winged” “the ravager”
Now, picture the locust swarm “released” by the Harlot/Wormwood to come against the anointed priesthood – against the Temple of God:
“Many Christian men apply that encouragement and make spiritual progress to qualify for privileges in the congregation. The result is that God’s people are blessed with TENS OF THOUSANDS of capable elders and ministerial servants. But because of the increase seen in the congregations, there is a need for more brothers to reach out.” Wt 14/9/15
FROM PEARL DOXSEY’S ARTICLE: “THE GREAT TRIBULATION – WHAT AND WHY”:
“The Great Tribulation is a spiritual assault by Satan upon the remnant, (Rev.12:17; 20:7-10; 16:13-16; 1Tim.4:1; Luke 21:20-22 t
through the greatest Army that has ever existed [Rev.13:1,4; 11:2; 9:7,10; Luke22:31; 21:20-22,24; Mark13:14 -(Num.18:7);Matt.24:15-16]
It has a deceptive priestly - princely veneer (Jer.7:4,8; Eze.44:6-9; Rev.9:7; Nahum 3:17)
of divine INSPIRATION*** and approval,through endorsement by the false prophet's lying spirit,
NOT by God's spirit! (Rev.13:14,15; 19:20) ("Disgusting Thing") (Rev.2:2;2Cor.11:13-15; 2Tim.3:5,13; Matt.7:15; 1Tim.4:1; Rev.16:14,13,15; 19:20; Matt.24:24,25; Rev.13:15--***"breath" -John20:22).
(*** False prophet produces a counterfeit of "God's SPIRIT - DIRECTED Organization")
[The AUTHENTIC Temple of God's spirit, is His Chosen, anointed priesthood (1Cor.3:16; 2Cor.6:16; 1Pet.2:10,9,5; Eph.2:20-22)]
God sends / allows this abomination, to assault and discipline His people (Isa.42:24; Dan.9:12; Joel 2:25 C; Joel 2:11; Mal.3:2;Zech.13:8-9; Eze.6:9-10; 14:22-23; Joel 3:17) (Zech.9:3; Rev.8:7; 9:18; Job 23:10), because in the time of the end,
GOD’S PEOPLE are tolerating, subjecting themselves to, and participating in IDOLIZING, the collective "Image" of that very Army (Rev.13:14-15,7-8; 2:20; Matt.24:24-25; Luke 21:24; Rev.14:12).
THAT IS WHY THEY ARE BEING TRAMPLED BY IT” (Ec.10:7; Prov.25:26; 2Cor.11:4,20; Matt.5:13; Luke 21:24,22; Rev.11:2;13:10,7 Isa.51:23; 2Cor.11:20,4,3,2; Mal.3:2-3; Zech.13:9; Rev.2:5; 3:3).
The love which results in righteous acts, simply does not exist in the organization since the climate of lawlessness has erased true justice. Deut 6:24,25 For those anointed who reject the GB that “substitutes” for Christ (NWT 2 Cor 5:20) ,turning instead to Jesus Christ to lead them directly; they are freed from the crushing weight of lawlessness – “ the disgusting thing standing in the holy place” – the elder body “standing” in/over the “living stones” of the Temple of God. 2Chron.13:9; 2Thess.2:4; Isa 43:10; 1 Pet 2:5,9; 1 Cor 3:16,17; Eph 2:20-22 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deut++6%3A24%2C25%3B+2Chron.13%3A9%3B+2Thess.2%3A4%3B+Isa+43%3A10%3B+1+Pet+2%3A5%2C9%3B+1+Cor+3%3A16%2C17%3B+Eph+2%3A20-22++&version=NKJV
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with LAWLESSNESS? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the TEMPLE OF GOD with idols? For youare the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”
“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
18 “I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Cor 6:14-18
We are reminded during this time period, of “Who is like God”, since “Jehovah’s organization” with all its “temple” sublets, has seduced God’s people into idolatry and the transgression of God’s laws fulfilled in Christ. Deut 4:23,24; Isa 40:25; Dan 12:1; Rev 12:7-9; Rev 13:4; Gal 5:14 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deut+4%3A23%2C24%3B+Isa+40%3A25%3B+Dan+12%3A1%3B+Rev+12%3A7-9%3B+Rev+13%3A4%3B+Gal+5%3A14+&version=NKJV
Within Watchtower’s walls, instead of an angel of God camping all around those fearing Him, another angel – Belial - has surrounded the camp of holy ones, utilizing a Harlot/false prophet and the organization she so presently loves, to keep them captivated and inebriated on wormwood, and a false sense of peace and security. Matt 25:5; 22:8; Rev 18:3; 1 Cor 6:15; Jer 51:7; 1 Thess 5:3; Rev 20:9 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt+25%3A5%3B+22%3A8%3B+Rev+18%3A3%3B+1+Cor+6%3A15%3B+Jer+51%3A7%3B+1+Thess+5%3A3%3B+Rev+20%3A9++&version=NKJV
13 “If you carefully obey my commands I am giving you today, to love the Lord your God and worship Him with all your heart and all your soul, 14 I will provide rain for your land in the proper time, the autumn and spring rains, and you will harvest your grain, new wine, and fresh oil. 15 I will provide grass in your fields for your livestock. You will eat and be satisfied. 16 Be careful that you are not enticed to turn aside, serve, and bow in worship to other gods. 17 Then the Lord’s anger will burn against you. He will shut the sky, and there will be no rain; the land will not yield its produce, and you will perish quickly from the good land the Lord is giving you.
18 “Imprint these words of mine on your hearts and minds, bind them as a sign on your hands, and let them be a symbol on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates, 21 so that as long as the heavens are above the earth, your days and those of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your fathers. 22 For if you carefully observe every one of these commands I am giving you to follow—to love the Lord your God, walk in all his ways, and remain faithful to him— 23 the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will drive out nations greater and stronger than you are. 24 Every place the sole of your foot treads will be yours. Your territory will extend from the wilderness to Lebanon and from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea. 25 No one will be able to stand against you; the Lord your God will put fear and dread of you in all the land where you set foot, as he has promised you.
26 “Look, today I set before you a blessing and a curse: 27 there will be a blessing, if you obey the commands of the Lord your God I am giving you today, 28 and a curse, if you do not obey the commands of the Lord your God and you turn aside from the path I command you today by following other gods you have not known. Deut 11:13-28
Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that despite this informative document recently made available to download in several languages on the JW website, there is not too much of a mention of it by any of the opposers and "campaigners" against child abuse in the JW organization.
Here is the entire document:
JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES’ SCRIPTURALLY BASED POSITION ON CHILD PROTECTION
Definitions: Child abuse may include neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse.
Child sexual abuse is a perversion and generally includes one or more of the following: sexual inter-course with a child; oral or anal sex with a child; fondling the genitals, breasts, or buttocks of a child; voyeurism of a child; indecent exposure to a child; or soliciting a child for sexual conduct. It may include sexting with a minor or showing pornography to a minor.
In this document, references to parents apply equally to legal guardians or other persons who hold pa-rental responsibility for a minor.
1. Children are a sacred trust, “an inheritance from Jehovah.”—Psalm 127:3.
2. The protection of children is of utmost concern and importance to all Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is in harmony with the long-standing and widely published Scripturally based position of Jehovah’s Witnesses, as reflected in the references at the end of this document, which are all published on jw.org.
3. Jehovah’s Witnesses abhor child abuse and view it as a crime. (Romans 12:9) We recognize that the authorities are responsible for addressing such crimes. (Romans 13:1-4) The elders do not shield any perpetrator of child abuse from the authorities.
4. In all cases, victims and their parents have the right to report an accusation of child abuse to the authorities. Therefore, victims, their parents, or anyone else who reports such an accusation to the elders are clearly informed by the elders that they have the right to report the matter to the authorities. Elders do not criticize anyone who chooses to make such a report.—Galatians 6:5.
5. When elders learn of an accusation of child abuse, they immediately consult with the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses to ensure compliance with child abuse reporting laws. (Romans 13:1) Even if the elders have no legal duty to report an accusation to the authorities, the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses will instruct the elders to report the matter if a minor is still in danger of abuse or there is some other valid reason. Elders also ensure that the victim’s parents are informed of an accusation of child abuse. If the alleged abuser is one of the victim’s parents, the elders will inform the other parent.
6. Parents have the primary responsibility for the protection, safety, and instruction of their children. Therefore, parents who are members of the congregation are encouraged to be vigilant in exercising their responsibility at all times and to do the following:
• Have direct and active involvement in their children’s lives.
• Educate themselves and their children about child abuse.
• Encourage, promote, and maintain regular communication with their children. —Deuteronomy 6:6, 7; Proverbs 22:3.
Jehovah’s Witnesses publish an abundance of Bible-based information to assist parents to fulfill their responsibility to protect and instruct their children.—See the references at the end of this document.
7. Congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses do not separate children from their parents for the purpose of instruction or other activities. (Ephesians 6:4) For example, our congregations do not provide or sponsor orphanages, Sunday schools, sports clubs, day-care centers, youth groups, or other activi-ties that separate children from their parents.
8. Elders strive to treat victims of child abuse with compassion, understanding, and kindness. (Colossians 3:12) As spiritual counselors, the elders endeavor to listen carefully and empathetically to victims and to console them. (Proverbs 21:13; Isaiah 32:1, 2; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; James 1:19) Victims and their families may decide to consult a mental-health professional. This is a personal decision.
9. Elders never require victims of child abuse to present their accusation in the presence of the alleged abuser. However, victims who are now adults may do so, if they wish. In addition, victims can be accompanied by a confidant of either gender for moral support when presenting their accusation to the elders. If a victim prefers, the accusation can be submitted in the form of a written statement.
10. Child abuse is a serious sin. If an alleged abuser is a member of the congregation, the elders conduct a Scriptural investigation. This is a purely religious proceeding handled by elders according to Scriptural instructions and is limited to the issue of membership as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. A member of the congregation who is an unrepentant child abuser is expelled from the congregation and is no longer considered one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (1 Corinthians 5:13) The elders’ handling of an accusation of child abuse is not a replacement for the authorities’ handling of the matter.—Romans 13:1-4.
11. If it is determined that one guilty of child sexual abuse is repentant and will remain in the congregation, restrictions are imposed on the individual’s congregation activities. The individual will be specifically admonished by the elders not to be alone in the company of children, not to cultivate friendships with children, or display any affection for children. In addition, elders will inform parents of minors within the congregation of the need to monitor their children’s interaction with the individ-ual.
12. A person who has engaged in child sexual abuse does not qualify to receive any congregation privileges or to serve in a position of responsibility in the congregation for decades, if ever. —1 Timothy 3:1-7, 10; 5:22; Titus 1:7.
13. This document is available upon request to members of the congregation. It is reviewed at least once every three years.
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