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.
By JOHN BUTLER
This brings me to an interesting question then.
Can anyone baptise anyone else ? If not then it brings us back to the Clergy Class once more.
So, does a person need to be part of an Organisation to be able to baptise others ?
If we go back to Russell or Rutherford, whichever one of them it was that said an Organisation was not needed, then did they baptise others, even though they were not part of an Organisation ?
And another question. What makes a person a Minister of God's word ? Or a person able to baptise others ?
By The Librarian
*** w1955 7/1 411 Christian Baptism for the New World Society ***
15 A Christian, therefore, cannot be baptized in the name of the one actually doing the immersing or in the name of any man, nor in the name of any organization, but in the name of the Father, the Son and the holy spirit. This shows, among other things, that Christianity is not a denominational affair, that sects have nothing to do with it. “Does the Christ exist divided? Paul was not impaled for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I am thankful I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name.”—1 Cor. 1:13-15, NW.
*** w1966 10/1 603-4 Serving with Everlasting Life in View ***
15 This is what we mean when we dedicate our lives to Jehovah. We do not dedicate ourselves to a religion, nor to a man, nor to an organization. No, we dedicate ourselves to the Supreme Sovereign of the Universe, our Creator, Jehovah God himself. This makes dedication a very personal relationship between us and Jehovah.
*** w1958 8/1 478 Baptism ***
22 It is essential that with the mouth a public declaration of faith be made. Two
questions are therefore asked the candidates: (1) Have you recognized yourself before Jehovah God as a sinner who needs salvation, and have you acknowledged to him that this salvation proceeds from him, the Father, through his Son Jesus Christ? (2) On the basis of this faith in God and in his provision for salvation have you dedicated yourself unreservedly to God to do his will henceforth as he reveals it to you through Jesus Christ and through the Bible under the enlightening power of the holy spirit? 23 Everyone who can answer “Yes” to these questions is eligible for baptism and should take this step without hesitation or delay.
*** w1960 5/15 308 "What Prevents Me from Getting Baptized?" ***
23 The first question is: Have you recognized yourself before Jehovah God as a sinner who needs salvation, and have you acknowledged to him that this salvation proceeds from him, the Father, through his Son Jesus Christ?
24 The second question is: On the basis of this faith in God and in his provision for salvation have you dedicated yourself unreservedly to God to do his will henceforth as he reveals it to you through Jesus Christ and through the Bible under the enlightening power of the holy spirit?
25 Everyone who has answered “Yes” to these two questions is eligible for baptism and should be baptized at that same circuit or district assembly of Jehovah’s witnesses.
*** w1973 5/1 280 Baptizing Follows Discipling ***
we suggest that you consider the following two questions, which are asked of
candidates for baptism:
(1) Have you repented of your sins and turned around, recognizing yourself before Jehovah God as a condemned sinner who needs salvation, and have you acknowledged to him that this salvation proceeds from him, the Father, through his SonJesus Christ?
(2) On the basis of this faith in God and in his provision for salvation, have you dedicated yourself unreservedly to God to do his will henceforth as he reveals it to you through Jesus Christ and through the Bible under the enlightening power of the holy spirit?
If you find that you can answer “YES” to these questions, then it would be appropriate for you to speak to the presiding overseer in the congregation of Jehovah’s witnesses with which you associate, with a view to getting baptized.
*** w1985 6/1 30 Subjecting Ourselves to Jehovah by Dedication ***
The first question is:
On the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, have you repented of your sins and dedicated yourself to Jehovah to do his will?
The second is:
Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization?
Having answered yes to these questions, candidates are in a right heart condition to undergo Christian baptism.
*** w1987 4/15 12 Gaining Peace With God Through Dedication and Baptism ***
By baptism you identify yourself as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s worldwide congregation.
*** w87 4/15 12 Gaining Peace With God Through Dedication and Baptism ***
Recently the two questions addressed to baptismal candidates were simplified so that candidates could answer with full comprehension of what is involved in coming into intimate relationship with God and his earthly organization.
*** w1989 1/15 13 What Prevents You From Getting Baptized? ***
for the first of two questions the speaker asks them is: “On the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, have you repented of your sins and dedicated yourself to Jehovah to do his will?” Only if the individual answers in the affirmative and also understands that his dedication and baptism identify him as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization can he acceptably undergo water immersion.
*** knowledge 176 18 Make It Your Aim to Serve God Forever ***
Baptism ‘in the name of the holy spirit’ signifies that the baptismal candidate
recognizes Jehovah’s holy spirit, or active force, as God’s instrument for carrying out His purposes and for empowering His servants to do His righteous will in association with His spirit-directed organization.
By Jack Ryan
Modern JW Baptismal question contradicts previous Watchtower claims
By JOHN BUTLER
The JW Org / GB say that Armageddon is very close. They also say that Jehovah is speeding up the work in these 'last days'.
Now, it seems I'm not one for knowing truth from lies, so people keep telling me, but this webpage/site seemed interesting to me.
It seems to show more of a decrease in JW's, but more importantly it seems to show more of a lack of faith, or lack of action / 'works' of JW's. It also shows a large number of people leaving the JW Org.
If this video or page has been used before then I apologise for any repeat. But I thought it was of interest.
By Guest Nicole
I was told by some other sisters that I have to wear a black T-Shirt instead of the normal bathing suit. Is this true?
By Guest Nicole
Each year in mid-summer the two little bergs in my area swell to the bursting point for a period of two short two days. Ordinarily, the total count of inhabitants within a 15-mile range is less than 500 people. But during what is called, the “Death Ride”, the entire county becomes a swarming nest of thousands of people and bicycles, along the major roads that traverse up the mountain passes in the area. Many of its contestants spend every spare moment preparing for this race, and once the hint of warmth arrives in the spring, local bicyclers begin appearing along the highways in preparation for the big day.
For those who participate in the race, they live fully for the moment they succeed in reaching their goal of traversing their choice of 1, 2, or up to 5 mountain passes, and up to 129 miles. Everyone is a winner, according to the goal they individual set for themselves. Even though it is considered a “killer”, the Death Ride is enjoyed for its momentary exhilarating challenge and pristine mountain setting. After this grueling bike race finishes, life returns to normal for local residents.
Last summer, the JWs convention was entitled “Don’t Give Up” and showed a runner on the invitation to attend, which was distributed worldwide. This year’s circuit assembly topics are “Don’t Give Up Doing What is Fine” and “Don’t Give up in Fulfilling the Law of Christ”. What is the underlying drive behind these titles? Well, a few days ago a JW revealed the true “race” that Watchtower members are participating in. Within his statement, he included “….brothers and sister that serve the org.….” JWs, is the endurance of your faith measured by the selective avenues of the “race” you participate in when serving the organization; such as qualifying as a pioneer, or making all the meetings, or striving to be an elder, or serving at Bethel? Do you believe reaching out to meet such goals is a ‘fine thing’, and your preaching work fulfills the law of Christ? Ironically, this is exactly what your dedication at baptism expects of you.
A new Watchtower magazine (3/2018) addresses baptism, just in time for this year’s upcoming summer convention. It focuses on potential candidates but especially targets children; preparing them for the ritualistic baptism into the organization. You must be aware, JWs, of Watchtower’s spurious and hypocritical teachings regarding this critical step, which they promulgate as entering the race leading to eternal life.
Watchtower quote: “Yes, it seems that hundreds of his followers were present when Jesus gave the commission to make disciples. Jesus thus revealed that baptism would be a requirement for those who accept the yoke of Christian discipleship. (Matt. 11:29, 30) Anyone who wished to serve God ACCEPTABLY would have to acknowledge and accept Jesus’ role in the outworking of Jehovah’s purpose. After doing so, that person could get baptized. THIS WOULD BE THE ONLY WATER BAPTISM HAVING GOD’S APPROVAL."
Let that sink in a moment. One’s dedication to God must not be enhanced in any form, by additional words of men, or it loses God’s approval by transgressing His purpose, and the law of Christ.
As the magazine states: “After all, it is each individual’s dedication, baptism, and FAITHFUL SERVICE TO GOD that will bring him in line for being MARKED FOR SALVATION during the coming great tribulation.” —Matt. 24:13. Par 16
At one time many years ago, the organization followed scriptural direction when baptizing individuals, but since 1985 the questions had been altered to include dedicating oneself to the organization. Yes, deceitful men have added a footnote to your acknowledgments of Watchtower’s pagan ritual. Under the article’s topic, “Baptism, Requirement for Christians” it addresses the first question only, asked of each candidate:
“On the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, have you repented of your sins and dedicated yourself to Jehovah to do his will?”
It then quotes Matt 16:24 “If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself and pick up his torture stake and keep following me”.
What does it mean to pick up our “torture stake” and follow Christ?
Pearl Doxsey’s article entitled “Dedication – Happiness” states:
“Imagine that you hear, or read on the news,
that a race is approaching which guarantees the winner a prize of unlimited wealth, health, a removal of all life's problems, and happiness. (2Cor.1:22; 5:5; Eph.1:14; Heb.6:10; John3:33; 10:10 B; 1Cor.2:9; Rev.21:4,5).
You also learn that your father greatly desires for you to have this prize, due to his love for you (John3:16; Luke11:13; John16:27; 1John4:8; Isa.49:15). He promises to contribute his own resources to support you, guaranteeing success (should you accept the challenge) (Phil.4:6,13; 1Cor.1:8,9; 10:13; 2Pet.2:9; 2Chron.16:9 A; Rom.8:37; Heb.4:16).
But then the race is described to you. It is grueling, long, and perilous (Acts14:22; Luke13:24; 2Tim.3:12; 2Cor.4:9; 6:4; 1Thess.3:3; Heb.10:32,33; Rev.1:9).
It will demand tremendous dedication, self-control, endurance, and sacrifice (1Cor.9:25; 2Tim.2:5; 1Pet.1:13; 4:7; 1Thess.5:6,8; Titus 2:12).
Does the race lead to short-term happiness? Certainly not!
But then what if you heard that winning is possible and that everyone who crosses the finish line, wins? (2Tim.1:12; 4:7,8; James1:12; Matt.24:13)
For those chosen by God (Isa.66:21; 1Pet.2:9), this race also includes accepting an assignment of work (2Tim.4:5; James2:17,20; 1Cor.3:8,13,14; Acts.10:42; Matt.16:27; 9:37,38; 25:19; 1Pet.2:5; Mark9:35; Luke12:35,43; Rom.12:6,7,8). That work must be done during the race. In addition, all runners must deal with an opposer and his cohorts, who constantly do all they can to make the road to the finish, impossible (Rev.2:10; Eph.6:12; 1Pet.5:8,9; Luke18:26,27). (4womaninthewilderness)
When an individual joins the organization, the “race” one enters is not based on a dedication to Christ or the Father, but on serving an organization, which was made clear by the JW’s comment above. However, Watchtower calls it, serving God; and they do it thusly:
“When presenting themselves for baptism, such new disciples confirm that they have disowned themselves and are determined to serve God with all their strength, means, and abilities. (Rom. 12:1) FOR THESE REASONS, BAPTISM CANDIDATES ARE ASKED TO CONFIRM THAT THEY HAVE DEDICATED THEMSELVES TO JEHOVAH TO DO HIS WILL.”
How is this asked of JWs? The second question not mentioned in the article to the unknowing candidates is:
“Do you understand that your dedication and baptism IDENTIFY you as one of Jehovah's Witnesses in association with GOD’S SPIRIT-DIRECTED ORGANIZATION? Having answered yes to these questions, candidates are in a right heart condition to undergo Christian baptism."
Simply, this type of water baptism does not have God’s approval, but God’s condemnation. I hope you can perceive this, JWs. Watchtower’s allegations go beyond Christ’s words, expecting your devotion to another Master. Matt 6:24; Deut 4:2; 12:32; Rev 22:18 Please, notice how you are “marked”, not for survival but for slavery to men and their self-driven desires for unrighteous gains. Jer 17:10-13 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt+6%3A24%3B+Deut+4%3A2%3B+12%3A32%3B+Rev+22%3A18%3B+Jer+17%3A10-13+++&version=NIV
From the 1950 Watchtower publication, “This Means Everlasting Life”: “When a justified believer is baptized into the “body of Christ” and so becomes a member of the Theocratic organization, he comes under Christ Jesus the Head and so comes under certain responsibilities and cannot act independently of the one whom God as made Head of the organization to direct it. HE MUST SUBMIT HIMSELF TO ORGANIZATION INSTRUCTIONS…” p. 126
I am appalled at these words I have come across. They admit to the early beginnings of the “trampling” of the Temple of God – the anointed priesthood and Body of Christ. Matt 24:15;Dan 9:27;11:31; 2 Thess 2:3,4; Rev 11:1-3 Watchtower’s “theocratic organization” empowers a false priesthood to demand obedience to itself, as a “god”. It is the counterfeit to the Body of Christ – the Body of Satan. 1 Pet 2:5,9; 1 Cor 3:16,17; Eph 2:20-22 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt+24%3A15%3BDan+9%3A27%3B11%3A31%3B+2+Thess+2%3A3%2C4%3B+Rev+11%3A1-3%3B+1+Pet+2%3A5%2C9%3B+1+Cor+3%3A16%2C17%3B+Eph+2%3A20-22++&version=NIV
Pearl Doxsey – “The GB has laid a new foundation for themselves...
They have made themselves the cornerstone (Phil.2:6; 1Cor.3:11), being benefactor to a NON-anointed Organization of counterfeit priests (Rev.13:14,15; 19:20)...
creating a foreign temple to a "foreign god" (Dan.11:37,38,39; Rev.9:11; 13:8,15; Eze.8:5,6,7,8,9,10).
They have erected a counterfeit Mt. Zion (Rev.8:8; Zech.4:7,9), (Isa.2:2,3)
and a decoy "Kingdom" while Satan yet rules.”
(From “Discerning the Body-A God of Order”) 4womaninthewilderness
Please, I ask you to consider, JWs; that you, and the authentic, anointed Body of Christ, have picked up the wrong torture stake. Not until it is realized what “mark” you bear, does the real torture stake then present itself. Your “opposer and cohorts” will come into focus, if you choose to enter the authentic race leading to life. Jer 17:1; Rev 13:1,3,4,10-17; Exod 20:1-7; Luke 4:8
The race JWs presently run, their comparative “torture stake” in a “spiritual paradise”, is soon to come to an abrupt, and tumultuous end. 1 Thess 5:3; Rev 6:12-17; 8:8; Zech 4:7; Job 9:5,6; 14:18-22
(Mark of Slavery 4womaninthewilderness)
I wrote down these thoughts just this morning when reading James chapter 1:
When we wake up to Wt.’s deceptions, mulling over in our minds how to deal with them; we have two choices; to either step onto the course leading to life by slaving only for God, or settle with our conscience and continue running Wt’s categorized routes, explicitly showing faith in the organization as salvation. Deut 6:6,8; 11:18; Exod 13:9 When this choice is apparent, it is then that the Beast/org.’s threatening stance looming over us, is perceived. Can we bear being called a “loser” by the Beast and everyone we love if we draw out of the race? Matt 5:11; Rev 11:7;13:15 Who really is it, that loses out on eternal life?
Tonight, I find this comment regarding a JW “sighing and crying over the detestable things” in the organization (Ezek 9:3,4):
“Whoever the bozo is that wants to quit...go ahead and do it loser. You are "already gone"
“A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those WHO WORSHIP THE BEAST (organization) AND ITS IMAGE, (spirit-directed “Jehovah’s organization) OR FOR ANYONE WHO RECEIVES THE MARK OF ITS NAME.”
This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who KEEP HIS COMMANDS AND REMAIN FAITHFUL TO JESUS.” Rev 14:9-12
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12
“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For, ‘In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.’
38 And, ‘But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.’ 39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.” Heb 10:36-39
By Jack Ryan
In the Gospels we find John the Baptist baptizing people in the Jordan River. But where did the concept of Baptism originate? Was this a command from God that we are not told about? Did John develop the concept of Baptism? Was baptism being done before the New Testament? Why was John baptizing people in the Jordan River? Because the Bible is silent on these issues, Churches have created their own doctrines concerning baptism.
By Bible Speaks
??Kevin Richardson-The Lion Whisperer…True trust, and deep love. This man amazes me. To be able to follow him around,for just 1 day,to be able to get close to these beautiful,and powerful animals…would definitely be a dream come true. Maybe soon in New World will be reality?
By Guest Nicole
Our brother is enjoying the moment with his parents after his baptism in Maui.
By Guest Nicole
It is all over the internet. The changes made to the old “Song 58” and rendered into the new “Song 50” are found here.
The words, “take my mind that I may serve, fully Lord without reserve” have been eliminated. Does anyone see why? What has been added into the new song is, “take my silver and my gold. Nothing, Lord, would I withhold”.
This song is based on Matt 22:37 - "Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’"
Since serving God with our mind is now removed in the new song, what does this tell us? Is it more important to serve God with our money, as if that is part of whole-souled worship?
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [money, possessions, fame, status, or whatever is valued more than the Lord]. Matt 6:24 AMP
By Guest Nicole
Our dear sister lshe is happy to see her mom and dad getting baptized at the Regional Convention, this makes her faith grow.
By Jack Ryan
Here is the text of the new letter (hopefully available in original format soon)
of Jehovah’s Witnesses
The Ridgeway, London, NW7 1RN Telephone: 020 8906 2211
August 1, 2016
TO ALL BODIES OF ELDERS
Re: Protecting Minors From Abuse
Table of Contents
Legal Considerations ................................................................ Pars. 5-9
Congregation Considerations ...................................................... Par. 10
Providing Spiritual Assistance to Victims ............................ Pars. 11-12
Investigating Allegations ............................................................. Par. 13
Judicial Committee ...................................................................... Par. 14
Reinstatement Committee .................................................... Pars. 15-16
Restrictions ........................................................................... Pars. 17-19
Filing ............................................................................................ Par. 20
Moving to Another Congregation ........................................ Pars. 21-22
Notification by Secular Authorities ............................................. Par. 23
Sexual Misconduct Involving Only Minors ......................... Pars. 24-25
Notations in the Shepherding Textbook ...................................... Par. 26
1. This letter replaces the letter dated October 1, 2012, to all bodies of elders regarding
child abuse and has been added to the list of policy letters cited in Index to Letters for Bodies of Elders
(S-22). Please carefully study the entire letter. While the following information refers to an accused
in the masculine gender and to the victim in the feminine gender, it applies equally when the
genders are different. Similarly, references to parents apply equally to legal guardians.
2. Child abuse includes the sexual or physical abuse of a minor. It would also include the
extreme neglect of a minor by her parent. Child sexual abuse is a perversion and generally includes
sexual intercourse with a minor; oral or anal sex with a minor; fondling the genitals, breasts, or buttocks
of a minor; voyeurism of a minor; indecent exposure to a minor; or soliciting a minor for sexual
conduct. Depending on the circumstances of the case, it may include involvement with child
pornography or “sexting” with a minor. “Sexting” describes the sending of sexually explicit messages
or images electronically.
3. From the Bible’s standpoint, child sexual abuse is a gross sin. (Deut. 23:17, 18; Gal.
5:19-21; ks10 chap. 5 par. 10; w97 2/1 p. 29; g93 10/8 p. 10, ftn.) Jehovah’s Witnesses abhor child
sexual abuse. (Rom. 12:9) Thus, the congregation will not shield any perpetrator of such repugnant
acts from the consequences of his sin.
4. The Scriptures place the responsibility on parents for teaching and protecting their children.
(Eph. 6:4) As spiritual shepherds, elders can help parents to shoulder their Scriptural responsibility.
Our publications and website contain much helpful information to assist parents.—w10
11/1 p. 13; w08 10/1 p. 21; g 10/07 pp. 3-11; lr pp. 170-171; g99 4/8 pp. 8-11; g97 4/8 p. 14; w96
12/1 pp. 13-14 pars. 18-19; fy pp. 61-62 pars. 24-26; g93 10/8 pp. 5-13; g85 1/22 pp. 3-10.
Re: Protecting Minors From Abuse
August 1, 2016
5. Legal Considerations: In some jurisdictions, individuals who learn of an allegation of child abuse may be obligated by law to report the allegation to the secular authorities. In all cases, the victim and her parents have the absolute right to report an allegation to the authorities.—Gal. 6:5; ks10 chap. 12 par. 19.
6. To ensure that elders comply with child-abuse reporting laws, two elders should immedi-ately call the Legal Department for legal advice when the elders learn of an accusation of child abuse. (Rom. 13:1-4) A call should be made even when both persons involved are minors. The elders should not ask an alleged victim, the accused person, or anyone else to call the Legal Department on the el-ders’ behalf. The elders should call the Legal Department even in the following situations:
• The alleged abuse occurred many years ago.
• The alleged abuse is based on the testimony of only one witness.
• The alleged abuse is believed to be a repressed memory.
• The alleged abuse involved perpetrators or victims who are deceased.
• The alleged abuse is believed to have already been reported to the secular authorities.
• The alleged perpetrator or victim is not a member of your congregation.
• The alleged perpetrator is a non-Witness associating with the congregation.
• The alleged abuse occurred before the alleged perpetrator or victim was baptized.
• The alleged victim is now an adult.
• The alleged abuse occurred in the past, and it is unclear whether your congregation elders ever called the Legal Department for direction.
7. The Legal Department will provide legal advice based on the facts and the applicable law. If the individual who is accused of the child abuse is associated with your congregation, the two elders calling should provide the Legal Department with the individual’s date of birth and, if applicable, his date of baptism. After speaking with the Legal Department, the call will be trans-ferred to the Service Department so that the elders can receive further assistance.
8. Two elders should immediately call the Legal Department regarding any prison inmate, baptized or unbaptized, who has been accused of child abuse and who is now associating with a congregation. This would include his attending congregation meetings held in the prison. In some cases, elders may not be permitted to inquire about the offense that an inmate may have committed. However, if the elders learn that the alleged offense has to do with child abuse, they should imme-diately call the Legal Department.
9. If the elders become aware of an adult associated with a congregation who has been in-volved with child pornography, two elders should immediately call the Legal Department. Likewise, if the elders become aware of an adult or a minor associated with a congregation who is “sexting” with a minor, the Legal Department should be called immediately. The Legal Department does not need to be called when the elders receive reports of adults “sexting” one another.
10. Congregation Considerations: When discussing child sexual abuse from a congrega-tion standpoint, we are not discussing a situation in which a minor who is a willing participant and who is approaching adulthood is involved in sexual activity with an adult who is a few years older than the minor. Nor, generally speaking, are we discussing situations in which only minors are in-volved. (See paragraphs 24-25.) Rather, we are referring to an adult guilty of sexually abusing a minor who is a young child, or an adult guilty of sexual involvement with a minor who is approaching adulthood but was not a willing participant.
Re: Protecting Minors From Abuse
August 1, 2016
11. Providing Spiritual Assistance to Victims: As elders provide ongoing spiritual shep-herding, it is especially important that they demonstrate empathy and compassion to victims of child sexual abuse and their families. (Isa. 32:1, 2) Helpful suggestions and guidelines can be found in the Shepherding textbook, chapter 4, paragraphs 21-28. The elders should carefully review this material when helping victims of child sexual abuse. In the case of any discussion with a child abuse victim who is still a minor, an elder should never meet alone with the minor but should al-ways involve another elder and another adult member of the congregation, preferably the minor’s parent(s). If it is not possible to include the parent (for example, if the parent is the accused), then another adult member of the congregation who is a confidant of the victim should be included. In addition to the spiritual shepherding provided by the elders, the victim or her family may desire other assistance. For example, the victim or her family may decide to consult a mental-health pro-fessional. This would be a personal decision for them to make.
12. When an elder is approached by an adult who is concerned or distraught about past abuse, he should “speak consolingly” to the person. (1 Thess. 5:14) Elders should manifest an em-pathetic, compassionate, patient, and supportive response to those approaching them about such matters. An elder must never meet alone with or become the sole confidant of a sister to whom he is not closely related.
13. Investigating Allegations: The elders may learn of an allegation of child sexual abuse directly from the victim, through her parents, or through a trusted confidant of the victim. After re-ceiving assistance from the branch office, the body of elders will appoint two elders to conduct a Scriptural investigation of every allegation of child sexual abuse. These elders should carefully fol-low Scriptural procedures and the Bible-based direction outlined in this letter and in the Shepherd-ing textbook, particularly chapter 5. Elders should remember that during the investigation process and during the judicial committee process, a victim of child sexual abuse is not required to make her allegation in the presence of the alleged abuser. In the exceptional event that the two elders believe it is necessary to interview a minor who is a victim of child sexual abuse, the elders should first con-tact the Service Department.
14. Judicial Committee: If the body of elders concludes that there is sufficient Scriptural evidence to warrant the formation of a congregation judicial committee on the grounds of child sex-ual abuse, the coordinator of the body of elders should first contact the circuit overseer. (ks10 chap. 5 par. 37; chap. 6 pars. 1-2) The circuit overseer will designate an experienced elder to serve as chairman of the judicial committee and, if needed, the appeal committee. If wrongdoing is estab-lished and the wrongdoer is not repentant, he should be disfellowshipped. (ks10 chap. 7 par. 26) On the other hand, if the wrongdoer is repentant and is reproved, the reproof should be announced to the congregation. (ks10 chap. 7 pars. 20-21) This announcement will serve as a protection for the congregation.
15. Reinstatement Committee: If a person who has been disfellowshipped for child sexu-al abuse applies for reinstatement, the coordinator of the body of elders should contact his circuit overseer and provide the names of those who served on the original committee. The circuit overseer will designate an experienced elder to serve as chairman of the reinstatement committee. If the deci-sion is to reinstate, two elders should immediately call the Service Department. This call must be made before the reinstatement is announced to the congregation.—ks10 chap. 11 pars. 1-6, 11-15.
16. If a person who has been disfellowshipped for child sexual abuse has moved and applies for reinstatement in a different congregation, the coordinator of the body of elders of the new con-gregation should contact his circuit overseer. The circuit overseer of the new congregation will desig-
Re: Protecting Minors From Abuse
August 1, 2016
nate an experienced elder to serve as chairman of the reinstatement committee in the new congrega-tion. If that committee recommends that the person be reinstated, the committee should contact the coordinator of the body of elders of the original congregation, who should then contact his circuit overseer and provide the names of those who served on the original judicial committee. That circuit overseer will designate an experienced elder to serve as chairman of the reinstatement committee in the original congregation. If that committee agrees to reinstate, two elders from each congregation should immediately call the Service Department. These calls must be made before the reinstatement is announced in both congregations.—ks10 chap. 11 pars. 7-10, 13.
17. Restrictions: The elders should carefully adhere to all direction provided by the Ser-vice Department regarding reasonable steps that should be taken to protect minors from one who has engaged in child sexual abuse. For example, the Service Department will provide direction when (1) a congregation judicial committee determines that one guilty of child sexual abuse is re-pentant and will remain in the congregation, (2) one disfellowshipped for child sexual abuse is rein-stated, (3) when an unbaptized publisher or a baptized member of the congregation who denies an accusation of child sexual abuse is convicted by the secular authorities, or (4) one viewed as a child molester by the community or the congregation becomes a publisher or becomes a baptized member of the congregation.
18. Direction from the Service Department to the elders will include restrictions imposed on an individual’s activities within the congregation, on his participation in the field ministry, and on his interaction with minors. The elders will be directed to caution the individual never to be alone with a minor, not to cultivate friendships with minors, not to display affection for minors, and so forth. In some cases, the Service Department may specifically direct elders to inform parents of minors within the congregation of the need to monitor their children’s interaction with an individu-al. If the body of elders has questions about a past case, two elders should be assigned to call the Service Department for direction. The coordinator of the body of elders should ensure that newly appointed elders and elders who move into the congregation are made aware of the Service De-partment’s direction regarding such individuals.
19. One who has engaged in child sexual abuse does not qualify to receive any privileges in the congregation for many years, if ever. This includes seemingly minor privileges. Elders should keep in mind what is stated in the January 1, 1997, Watchtower article “Let Us Abhor What Is Wick-ed,” page 29, paragraph 2: “Child sexual abuse reveals an unnatural fleshly weakness. Experience has shown that such an adult may well molest other children. True, not every child molester repeats the sin, but many do. And the congregation cannot read hearts to tell who is and who is not liable to mo-lest children again. (Jeremiah 17:9) Hence, Paul’s counsel to Timothy applies with special force in the case of baptized adults who have molested children: ‘Never lay your hands hastily upon any man; nei-ther be a sharer in the sins of others.’ (1 Timothy 5:22).” Therefore, if the body of elders believes that one who has engaged in child sexual abuse decades ago may now qualify for minor privileges, such as carrying or adjusting microphones, operating audio/video equipment, or assisting with accounts, liter-ature, magazines, or territories, they should assign two elders to call the Service Department. The as-signed elders should call the Service Department before any congregation privileges are extended.
20. Filing: Information concerning individuals associated with the congregation and ac-cused of child sexual abuse (established or not), including letters of introduction, should be placed in an envelope labeled with the individual’s name and marked “Do Not Destroy.” This envelope should be kept indefinitely in the congregation’s confidential file. This would include Notification of Disfellowshipping or Disassociation (S-77) forms on individuals who have committed child sex-ual abuse, even if later reinstated.
Re: Protecting Minors From Abuse
August 1, 2016
21. Moving to Another Congregation: When an individual who has been accused of child sexual abuse (established or not) moves to another congregation, two elders from the congregation the individual moves from should immediately call the Legal Department. The elders should be prepared to provide the name of the new congregation, if known. This should be done even if the individual is disfellowshipped or is in prison and is transferred to another facility or is released. The Congregation Service Committee should not send any information to the new congregation until after receiving le-gal advice from the Legal Department and direction from the Service Department.
22. When the elders are informed that an individual who has been accused of child sexual abuse (established or not) has moved into the congregation, two elders should immediately call the Legal Department. This should be done even if the individual is disfellowshipped or is in prison and has transferred from another facility or is released. If the individual is disfellowshipped and living within the congregation’s territory, the elders should list that address on the appropriate congrega-tion territory card as a “Do Not Call.”
23. Notification by Secular Authorities: From time to time, secular authorities may in-form the elders that a sex offender is living in the area. The notice may provide the address of the individual and may state the nature of his criminal activity. In such a case, the elders should list that address on the appropriate congregation territory card as a “Do Not Call.”
24. Sexual Misconduct Involving Only Minors: What steps should elders take when mi-nors engage in sexual misconduct with one another? As stated in paragraph 6, two elders should immediately call the Legal Department even when both persons are minors. Minors who engage in sexual misconduct with one another are not generally considered by the congregation as having en-gaged in child sexual abuse. However, regardless of the ages of those involved, such misconduct is serious and may even warrant congregation judicial action. The body of elders should work with the parents to ensure that the minors receive spiritual assistance. If elders have questions regarding a specific case, they should call the Service Department.—ks10 chap. 5 par. 61; chap. 6 par. 14.
25. The potential serious consequences associated with “sexting” highlight the importance of Christian parents supervising their children’s use of electronic devices. When baptized minors become involved in “sexting,” the elders must use good judgment in determining whether the wrongdoing has escalated to a point warranting congregation judicial action. Helpful information can be found in “Questions From Readers” in the July 15, 2006, issue of The Watchtower. Please review this material carefully before concluding that a baptized minor is guilty of gross uncleanness or brazen conduct. (ks10 chap. 5 par. 9) If the baptized minor has been previously counseled and persists in the wrong course, in most cases, congregation judicial action is taken. Each case must be evaluated on its own merit. In all cases, the body of elders should work with the parents to ensure that the minors receive spiritual assistance. (ks10 chap. 6 par. 14) If elders have questions regarding a specific case, they should call the Service Department.
26. Notations in the Shepherding Textbook: In view of the foregoing, each elder should make the following notation next to chapter 3, paragraph 20; chapter 5, paragraph 10, second bullet; chapter 7, paragraph 20, second bullet; chapter 10, paragraph 2; and chapter 12, paragraph 18, of the Shepherding textbook: “See letter dated August 1, 2016, to all bodies of elders.” In addition, each elder should cross out chapter 12, paragraphs 20-21.
27. It is imperative to adhere to the direction in this letter each time a matter involving child abuse comes to your attention. This will serve to uphold the sanctity of Jehovah’s name and to protect minors. (1 Pet. 2:12) Your full cooperation with this direction is appreciated. May Jehovah
Re: Protecting Minors From Abuse
August 1, 2016
grant you knowledge, wisdom, and discernment as you care for this and other weighty matters in connection with the flock of God entrusted to your care.—Prov. 2:6; 1 Pet. 5:2, 3.
c: Circuit overseers
By Guest Nicole
By Bible Speaks
The set of Likasi is regional French-speaking, Democratic Republic of the Congo in Katanga province.. We welcomed 41 new baptized to an audience of about 2,000 people. Es el conjunto de Likasi expresión francesa regional, República Democrática del Congo, en la provincia de Katanga. Dimos la bienvenida a 41 nuevos bautizados a una audiencia de cerca de 2.000 personas. Merci beaucoup M!
By Bible Speaks
The set of Likasi is regional French-speaking, Democratic Republic of the Congo in Katanga province..
We welcomed 41 new baptized to an audience of about 2,000 people.
Es el conjunto de Likasi expresión francesa regional, República Democrática del Congo, en la provincia
de Katanga. Dimos la bienvenida a 41 nuevos bautizados a una audiencia de cerca de 2.000 personas.
Merci beaucoup M!
By Bible Speaks
@yngbld6 shares with us: “My son Aaron, @the.8ran.15, giving his Mom and me a big hug after his baptism at the Regional Convention in Huntsville, Alabama, USA.”
Baptize Witnesses Today -- Men of Jehovah's Witnesses leaving beach to wade into water about 300 feet out for baptism by immersion. Scene was Orchard beach in Bronx. June 21, 1958By Guest Nicole
Baptize Witnesses Today -- Men of Jehovah's Witnesses leaving beach to wade into water about 300 feet out for baptism by immersion. Scene was Orchard beach in Bronx. June 21, 1958. (Photo by William N. Jacobellis/New York Post Archives / (c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images)
Minister of the Jehovah's Witnesses aid in the baptism of some of the 524 converts to the faith in a pool set up at Belmont Park Race Track.By Guest Nicole
Minister of the Jehovah's Witnesses aid in the baptism of some of the 524 converts to the faith in a pool set up at Belmont Park Race Track. The baptism is a high-light of the four-day Witnesses Divine Sovereignty assembly, which ends tomorrow. August 08, 1975. (Photo by Nury Hernandez/New York Post Archives / (c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images)
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Leander H. McNelly