By Srecko Sostar
In the OT, there is a direct command, “Thou shalt not kill (murder)!” This command should contain God's view of human life, which emphasizes that life is holy, sacred before God, but also that people must have the same feeling about the lives of other people around them.
By reading the Bible, which describes the events before and after the occurrence of this commandment, we can see that this commandment has no absolute power. Within the same set of legal provisions, there are other commandments that were binding on the Israelites, too. For example, commands like; "Don't steal, don't lie, don't commit fornication ...". These commandments should never have been ignored or mitigated by some extraordinary circumstances.
The specificity of this commandment, "You shall not kill," is evident in the fact that it was not of valid, obligation for all men and for all circumstances. Powerful individuals in Israel sometimes making their own decisions to go on military campaigns against others (Israelis and non-Israelis) The law also justified killing for revenge.
In some other places, God commands the death penalty against an individual. Also, the Bible describes that God instituted great actions that justified killing of other people. These were most often military actions aimed at killing soldiers of the enemy army, but also their families. The killings of these other tribes and people were justified on the basis of several facts: 1) they were not Israelis 2) they lived in territory that the Israel nation were to conquer for themselves, 3) they belonged to other religions.
The execution of the death penalty for a crime still exists today in some societies and legal systems. Obviously, the death penalty decision is based on balance. The one who killed must be killed. But from some other biblical examples we have seen that murder is not the only crime punishable by death. The disobedient child was also sentenced to death. Different religious affiliations or different religious beliefs also led to the death penalty. Adultery was punished by death.
From what we have described so far, we can see how the command, "shall not kill," had a stretched meaning. It is therefore necessary to look at religious practices that are not new but may draw some parallels in symbolism and meaning. As you may already guessed, it is about an act of symbolic "killing" that is carried out in such a way to exclude (disfellowship) another person from a particular social (religious) group in a specific way - by ignoring aka shunning. Shunning (this is about JW organization in particular) can be made because of two conclusions.
The first conclusion is reached by an individual JW member who believes that another member of the congregation has wronged/sinned against the Bible and its principles to the extent that he / she personally presents a spiritual anomaly (in the form of a spiritual illness or threat) and decides to "label" particular person as inappropriate for him to have socializing contacts. He seeks to avoid contact and minimize any literal and spiritual communion.
In second conclusion, the conviction of the inappropriateness of a member is made by the body of the elders. The judgment may be based on the morally inappropriate behavior of an individual member, or it may be that an individual no longer agrees with the ideological and organizational structure or with the theological solutions of the organization what made him/her as "hostile element".
This is when a person is removed from congregational members aka "spiritually killed" in such a way to excommunicate (dfd) them (he,she) from the community and impose a ban on almost every contact with the dfd person. The ban has few variations and interpretations of how the shunning should be carried out. But the very core of such a demand not to contact the excluded person is evident from the widespread practice that JW members have consistently implemented - the excluded (dfd) is not even greeted with the simplest “Good afternoon” greeting (hallo) on the street.
JW's want to be peaceful people who go to jail in some countries because not want even to carry weapon in mandatory military service. They don't want take self-defense courses even for protect themselves when attacked. But they are motivated to be active in using spiritual weapons and warfare against ex members who are in a disagreement with doctrinal issues. And "killing" them with shunning.
What are your thoughts?
By Srecko Sostar
JW's preach about Kingdom, Armageddon, and Eternal Life. This eternal life shall be in the future, after the last ordeal/exam at the end of the Kingdom of Christ, that is, at the end of 1000 years of that Kingdom.
The concept of eternity and therefore of eternal life for man is great desire of all people. No one wants to die, unless he is very old and infirm or severely ill or in great suffering. But many people, even under such circumstances, have desire to survive and live.
JWs are not sure, will they get eternal life. But they have great hope for it, if they remain faithful to God, as they say.
Because of such stand, it is interesting to note the famous words written in the Bible. "And this is an eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." - Mat 17
This is where we meet the equalization of terms. Knowing God and Jesus = Eternal Life. Conversely, eternal life = the knowledge of God and Jesus.
What JW's doing to get knowledge of God (and eternal life as result)? They read the Bible, they read WT publications, they listen to lectures, going preaching ..etc. The program for getting to know God and Jesus consists of, for the newcomers, in the Bible study system, attending meetings, preaching, and baptism. Consecration and baptism should mean that these new members have had by then, to that moment (cca 6 months or 1 year) came to know God and Jesus enough to give their lives to Them .... and to have hope for future eternal life.
Further question applies to both, newly baptized and those who have been "in the knowledge of God and Jesus" for decades. Do you have eternal life? Do you have it now?
JW's are very sure how they know the truth and Them, now. What is the truth? To know Them. Jesus also said: I am The Way, The Truth and The Life. What Life? Eternal Life or some other Life? As result of what JW's know, we should, supposedly, conclude how JW's have: The way, the truth and the eternal life, because of how this facts are presented by them, about knowledge they have.
JW's will say how they will get it (eternal life), after the end of 1000th year Kingdom. But Jesus said how eternal life IS knowing Them. When?.... when you/they will know Them? In 1 century, after every Jesus' lessons and speech? Or after teaching that people received by Apostles who had been "inspired"? Or after people have been educated by Russell' publications, and get to know Them in such way? Or through preaching methods incorporated by JW organization?
Well, if JW's say how they will get eternal life in the future, that would mean how they don't know God and Jesus today. Jesus spoke about different logic: To know Them means you have eternal life. Do you know Them now? If you say, Yes, this would mean you have eternal life now.
But i see another issue here, too. God (and Jesus) living from eternity to eternity. In that sense, all what is connected about knowing Them is outside life span of every human. Possibility to know God and Jesus is impossible to human, because we are not eternal. Even with future aspect that some of us will live forever, it is not enough time to be in position to collect (with mind and heart) all what is possible to know about Them. In our position today, as people who lives 70-90 years, it is also impossible to know Them in such short period.
We coming to these questions too:
About what knowledge (in quality and quantity) Jesus spoke?
About what eternal life (when and what sort of life....You will be in paradise with me, today, or after 1914, or after Kingdom ends... etc.) Jesus spoke?
... or you can suggest some other questions too :))
By Srecko Sostar
The WT Society interprets that JW elders have the right not to disclose secrets to the police and to other government agencies regarding child abuse when members of the organization give them information, whether they are victims or perpetrators.
In this appeal, WT lawyers defend this right by invoking the Catholic Church and their clergy. In fact, although the WT Society and JWorg claim to have no priestly class as the Catholic Church, they do want the same privileges for their elders, before the bodies of the law, as Catholic priests do.
What is the doctrine in the Catholic Church regarding "confession"? What is the doctrine of the WT and JW Organization regarding "confession"?
The Catholic Church allows their priests to listen to the voluntary confessions of their believers and to give them comfort and forgiveness in the name of God as part of Christian mercy. Priests must never reveal to anyone the confession secrets they have heard from believers.
The WT JW organization teaching that the believers of their religion should also confess their sins to their "priests", who are the elders. Although in the formal every day language, words "confession of sin" are viewed in different way, different picture than it is in Catholic church, it can be said that it is formally the similar idea as in the Catholic Church. Awareness of one's sin may come to elders in two ways: as a voluntary confession of one's sins before one or more elders or when a member of the Assembly declared the sin of another member of the organization.
There are two outcomes for a JW believer after the elders find out about a sin. He will either be allowed to remain as full member of the assembly, or be expelled/dfd from the organization.
What does that tell us? Although the WT JW organization claims that it is incorrect and unbiblical when a Catholic priest forgives sins to a Catholic believer, we are free to observe that in their treating, JW elders towards their member, they act in the same way as a Catholic priest. By allowing JW sinner to remain to be a member of the congregation, they, as the Judges of the JW Church, forgave him. They forgave him on their's behalf, on behalf of the injured party, and on behalf of the assembly. In the event that they had excluded sinners, it would mean that no one had forgiven him. This kind of treatment denies the allegations regarding the Catholic Church about who have right to "forgive sins".
Certain Bible passages teaching assembly members to be prepared to forgive the sins of other members. This actually means that there is a basis on which one sinner can forgive sins of a another sinner. If so, then it means that some sin can be forgiven, not just by the directly injured party, but by any other member of the congregation. Every member can, if he wants and wish, but he is not forced if he does not want to.
But in the Catholic Church, a believer who has the burden of sin and wants to confess it in his church, goes to only one priest, not two or three, and confesses his sin only to him. In this case, sin is confessed to only one person. And that forms the basis for the "secret" in the Catholic Church. Because the secret is revealed to only one person.
In the JW congregation, "confession of sin" gets another level of "secrecy." The secret does not remain verbally spoken between two people, but the "secret" extends to 3 or 4 people, maybe more. However, it is very important to note that the "confession" is also documented in writing. According to what i know, a Catholic priest does not making (mandatory) written record for the sins of his believers. JW elders, by contrast, must make a "confidential file" kept in the archives and / or destroyed if it would be said so by the authority of the higher hierarchy body.
It is unacceptable that the WT JW organization invokes the Catholic Church and their "penitent privilege", or "confessional secrets" between believers and chaplains (soul carrier, shepherd), as the basis by which it operates within its own organization and regulates the spiritual life of believers in the JW Church.
The "confessional secret" in the Catholic Church and "confession of sin" before the elders in the JW assembly are two things.
By Srecko Sostar
Go, therefore, and make disciples of people of all the nations,+ baptizing them+ in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, - Mat 28:19 nwt
WT Society have changed few times, in last 140 years, baptismal questions.
Also they stopped to respect, obey Jesus command quoted above. At some moment (perhaps about 1970's , please correct this guessing if it is wrong) JW person who immersing new member into water doing that silently. They do not repeat this Jesus words while baptizing "disciples".
What do you think about this? Whether the absence of spoken words (in the name of ....) is the reason why such baptism would be considered invalid? Or, that is not matter?
By Srecko Sostar
TEACHING BOX 16A - https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1102017945
Is Christendom the Antitypical Jerusalem?
In the past, our literature has referred to Christendom as the antitype of apostate Jerusalem. The conditions in unfaithful Jerusalem—including idolatry and widespread corruption—certainly remind us of what is happening in Christendom. However, in recent years our publications, including the one you are now reading, have not taken the type-antitype approach to prophecy except where the Bible provides a clear basis for doing so. Is there a solid Scriptural basis for referring to Christendom as the antitypical Jerusalem? No.
Consider the following: Jerusalem was at one time a center of pure worship; later, its inhabitants turned apostate. By contrast, Christendom has never practiced pure worship. Right from its inception in the fourth century C.E., Christendom has always taught false doctrine.
In addition, after Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians, Jehovah restored the city to his favor and it again became the center of true worship. Christendom, on the other hand, has never had God’s favor, and once it is destroyed during the great tribulation, it will never rise again.
In view of the foregoing, what may we conclude? When we examine Bible prophecies that were fulfilled on unfaithful Jerusalem, we may say, ‘This or that reminds us of what we see in Christendom today.’ But there appears to be no Scriptural basis for referring to Christendom as the antitypical Jerusalem.
First, perhaps is about Lexicon, Vocabulary in JW Culture. When JW Church and members talking about "Christendom" they refer firstly or mostly to Roman Catholic Church and all Churches and Denominations that believe In Jesus Christ...but in wrong, false and idolatrous way. But JW consider themselves to be Christians too, but not part of "Christendom" (by this they quote can be consider as Christendom. "....we are Christians who do our best to follow the example set by Jesus Christ and to live by his teachings." -https://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/are-jehovahs-witnesses-a-cult/
Why this linguistic distinction is so important to JW? To be, sometimes, called with name "Christians" but want to run miles away from word "Christendom"?
Christendom - https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Christendom
noun - English Language Learners Definition of Christendom
: people who are Christians
: the part of the world where most people are Christians
But another thing is of bigger importance. Do you remember how many articles and books and magazines taught you all, over such long period of decades, on so many meetings and congregations baked up with so many Bible verses and Study paragraphs about who is Jerusalem and who is Christendom and all that stuff??!!
And now they figured up, they rowed deep, Under Spirit Motivation and Guidance, to tell you how Now there is No Single One Solid Scriptural Basis to believe in that teaching, doctrine, dogma!
Do You really believe how Church Leaders and Guardians of Doctrine in WTJWORG know what they are talking about , as those who watch for your souls?!
I found this on another forum. It is a photo from the jw org online glossary. Does any JW have an opinion as to why "Jesus" is left out of the glossary? "Christ", as well as "Messiah" are both noted. (Matt 24:24; Mark 13:22 NKJV) (Matt 24:24; Mark 13:22 NIV) Yet, "Jesus", whose name means "YHVH is salvation", or, "Yah will save", isn't listed. Also, both "Emmanuel"/"Immanuel", which means "God is with us" are not listed. (Matt 1:23)
Here is the link: https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/publication/r1/lp-e/nwtstg/E/2019/172
By Srecko Sostar
Inquiry announces new investigation into child protection in religious organisations and settings
2 May 2019 The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has announced a new investigation into child protection in religious organisations and settings.
The investigation will be thematic and will review the current child protection policies, practices and procedures in religious institutions in England and Wales.
Organisations falling under the remit of this investigation will include non conformist Christian denominations, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Baptists, Methodists, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism and Buddhism. This investigation is separate from our investigations into the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches.
Religious settings such as mosques, synagogues, churches and temples are in scope. Places of faith tuition such as Muslim madrassahs and Christian Sunday schools and places where children and young people gather in connection with their religious beliefs, including youth groups and camps will also be investigated by the Inquiry.
More than one in 10 survivors of child sexual abuse (11 per cent) who shared their accounts with the Inquiry’s Truth Project reported sexual abuse in a religious institution. Of this group, almost a quarter (24 percent) told the Inquiry they were abused in institutions in scope of this new investigation, including Jehovah's Witnesses, Baptists, Methodists, Judaism and Islam. Not all participants provided details about the religious denomination of the institution or perpetrator.
Organisations and individuals are being invited to apply for core participant status. Core participants must have a significant interest in this investigation and have special rights defined by legislation.
A preliminary hearing will take place at 2pm on 23 July 2019 and public hearings will take place in 2020.
By Srecko Sostar
Many people wish, want to know what is, how looks Context about some issue. That is because of reason to be able to understand more and better some issue, and if they have to make some decision about to be sure they will make good choice.
Here is example how WT "scribes" manipulates with Context !!!!!!
Reasoning from the Scriptures, page 89, Cross; The Imperial Bible-Dictionary acknowledges this, saying: “The Greek word for cross, [stau·rosʹ], properly signified a stake, an upright pole, or piece of paling, on which anything might be hung, or which might be used in impaling [fencing in] a piece of ground. . . . Even amongst the Romans the crux(from which our cross is derived) appears to have been originally an upright pole.”—Edited by P. Fairbairn (London, 1874), Vol. I, p. 376. Text in red color is missing text in Reasoning book. Very important CONTEXT. Oh, context always problem with you:))) _____________________________________________________ The Imperial Bible-Dictionary acknowledges this, saying: “The Greek word for cross, [stau·rosʹ], properly signified a stake, an upright pole, or piece of paling, on which anything might be hung, or which might be used in impaling [fencing in] a piece of ground. But a modification was introduced as the dominion and usages of Rome extended themselves through Greek speaking countries. Even amongst the Romans the crux (from which our cross is derived) appears to have been originally an upright pole and this always reminded the more prominent part. But from the time that it began to be used as an instrument of punishment a transverse piece of wood was commonly added; not, however, always even than..... The following text continues, describing the types of crosses and the ways in which the convicts were murdered...,others extending their arms on a patibulum. There can be no doubt, however, that the later sort was the more common and that about the period of the gospel age crucifixion was usually accomplished by suspending the criminal on a cross piece of wood. But this does not itself determine the precise form of the cross; .... the text continues to describe 3 types of crosses.—Edited by P. Fairbairn (London, 1874), Vol. I, p. 376. Please, if you know some more examples about similar "intellectual dishonest" give example
By Srecko Sostar
Just one of many changes WT made in recent years.
19 In review, what have we learned? In the beginning of this article, we raised three “when” questions. We first considered that the great tribulation did not begin in 1914 but will start when the United Nations attacks Babylon the Great. Then, we reviewed why Jesus’ judgment of the sheep and the goats did not begin in 1914 but will occur during the great tribulation. Finally, we examined why Jesus’ arrival to appoint the faithful slave over all his belongings did not occur in 1919 but will take place during the great tribulation. So, then, all three “whens” apply to the same future time period—the great tribulation. How does this adjusted view further affect our understanding of the illustration of the faithful slave? Also, how does it affect our understanding of other parables, or illustrations, of Jesus that are being fulfilled during this time of the end? These important questions will be considered in the following articles.
source of paragraph: https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2013530
Here in this paragraph we see just some of many changes from past teachings in Watchtower ideology.
Well, questions are as follow:
What is The Truth?
Can The Truth Stop To Be True?
Does The Truth have the Owner?
Why do some people like to claim that Only They know a Certain Truth?
Does some Truth exists outside of our awareness of the existence of such truth?
Why do we argue how some Truth or Truths can never change?
Why can not we name The Truth, which has ceased to be true, that it is a Lie or at least Not The Truth?
Do these truths from paragraph 19 cease to be true on the day of publication in the Watchtower Journal on July 15 2013 or are they, in fact, have never been The Truth?
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Leander H. McNelly