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Srecko Sostar

You shall not murder vs You shall not shun

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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? 

 

 

 

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It would be nice to see any written 'rules' made by the GB or others in regard to shunning a person that has left the JW Org. Maybe JW congregants should be issued with a GB rule book of do's and don'ts. That way every one would know exactly what procedure is right when serving the GB and it's Org. :) 

My feeling is that in the first century, all those that became true Christians, serving God through Christ, were of the Anointed, heavenly calling. Therefore it was more important for them to be 'without spot from the world'.  So stricter discipline would be more acceptable to those of the Anointed class. 'To whom more is given, more will be demanded'.  Hence IMO, the scriptures are written for the Anointed, and then the Anointed should teach the earthly class. (The GB are not of the anointed. By their works you will know them).  So then @Srecko Sostar the questions would be more complicated. Should stricter rules apply to the Anointed than to the earthly class ?  The Anointed should be inspired of holy spirit and capable of more self control........ All those scriptures were written by Anointed ones for Anointed ones at that time.  

 

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2 hours ago, 4Jah2me said:

It would be nice to see any written 'rules' made by the GB or others in regard to shunning a person that has left the JW Org. Maybe JW congregants should be issued with a GB rule book of do's and don'ts. That way every one would know exactly what procedure is right when serving the GB and it's Org.

We have had a very detailed policy and rule book, organizationally, since 2010, if memory serves, ."Shepharding the Flock of God"

Unfortunately it is only "Elder Eyes Only", and Sisters are not supposed to read it.

Most JWs do not even know this book exists.

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9 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

They are that these are not your words. Who wrote this?

I used Google translator for all text this time, perhaps that is the reason :)))))) Do you want my Croatian original?

Examples, instructions and advises are published on many places in WT magazine study articles mainly, and some specifics are in "Flock" rule book. All we need is time and patient to find it and make a list of them (by chronology, by subject...)

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9 hours ago, 4Jah2me said:

'To whom more is given, more will be demanded'.  Hence IMO, the scriptures are written for the Anointed, and then the Anointed should teach the earthly class. (The GB are not of the anointed. By their works you will know them).  So then @Srecko Sostar the questions would be more complicated. Should stricter rules apply to the Anointed than to the earthly class ?

To whom more is given, more will be demanded' - this is fine proverb. What i see in this verse is not how "classes" come to existence. 

You open interesting question. Does some "rules" are obligated to specific "class" of people inside same group of people. Or, are they "same group" if they have "classes"? Is JW one "flock" with two separate groups? It can depends on Who is the Source and Creator of structure and how He/They imagined it have to look like...... and so on.

To be inside topic, we should ask your question in this way: Does practice of shunning is only mandatory for one sort of people, "class" of JW (elders for example)? And how other JW's are not obligated to follow such strict rule in this subject?

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11 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

 

We have had a very detailed policy and rule book, organizationally, since 2010, if memory serves, ."Shepharding the Flock of God"

Unfortunately it is only "Elder Eyes Only", and Sisters are not supposed to read it.

Most JWs do not even know this book exists.

@James Thomas Rook Jr.

I believe this 'Rule Book' shifts the goal posts quite often, with updates on certain matters. 

Also as you say it is Elder's eyes only. So how do the congregants know proper the 'rules' then ? 

Surely each Elder could 'translate' the rules according to His own needs. 

And as you say 'Most JWs don't even know about that book. 

What does that show ? It shows that congregants are naive and blindly follow the words of the Elders. 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Separate comment 

@Srecko Sostar

3 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

To whom more is given, more will be demanded' - this is fine proverb. What i see in this verse is not how "classes" come to existence. 

You open interesting question. Does some "rules" are obligated to specific "class" of people inside same group of people. Or, are they "same group" if they have "classes"? Is JW one "flock" with two separate groups? It can depends on Who is the Source and Creator of structure and how He/They imagined it have to look like...... and so on.

To be inside topic, we should ask your question in this way: Does practice of shunning is only mandatory for one sort of people, "class" of JW (elders for example)? And how other JW's are not obligated to follow such strict rule in this subject?

John 10:16 Jesus said :-

"I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd."

So there are two folds it seems. A fold can be a hollow in the ground, or a group of people. 

I always thought a 'fold' was a fenced area in a field or farm yard. 

My point is that i think the Greek scriptures are for the Anointed to follow more closely. The Anointed are in one fold, the earthly class in a different fold. But are one flock because they follow the one shepherd, Jesus Christ. However, i think God and Christ demand much more from the Anointed because this is the testing ground of the Anointed, here and now.  The earthly class will get a thousand years to grow back to perfection, and then a final test. 

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12 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

Most JWs do not even know this book exists.

Everybody knows the book exists.

Pioneer service school also has a book not for general distribution. Everybody knows it exists.

They either know of it specifically or they know of it in the ’Well.....duh!’ sense that they know that any training of any class of any subject in any discipline just may feature a curriculum and textbook not for general distribution.

It is not a conspiracy. The world is not flat. GM did not invent a 100 mile per gallon carburetor that they have sat upon for umpteen years.

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1 hour ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Everybody knows the book exists.

:))) you are not a person who speaks things that are not true ...... only things you believe it is true, but you claiming funny thing with this. 

Please go to JW library, link below, and you will not find nothing about this elder's book, or pioneer's book ....they don't exist for public.

 

    Hello guest!

 

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37 minutes ago, Srecko Sostar said:

:))) you are not a person who speaks things that are not true ...... only things you believe it is true, but you claiming funny thing with this. 

Oh? 

And you have moved beyond the limits of the flesh to speak, not just things that you believe to be true, but things that ARE true?

Next thing you know, you will be joining Witness in claiming to be the “true” anointed

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2 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Everybody knows the book exists.

Not necessarily.  As a "good" elder's wife, I didn't know it existed since I never looked into his briefcase; and as a "good" elder, he never told me it existed.  

20 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

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.  

"Covert" -  hidden or secret, such as covert military operations.

"Extremism" - the fact of someone having beliefs that most people think are unreasonable and unacceptable, such as religious extremism.

Yes, I would call it,  covert extremism.  

-----------------------

 

Keeping in mind that the organization has among its members an authentic priesthood appointed by God, (1 Pet 2:5,9)  who are “represented”/replaced by men appointed by men, Pearl Doxsey, an anointed woman, posted the following just yesterday, and it fits well with this topic.  To all readers here, please, don’t just read it and not look up the scriptures.  God’s Word reveals what we face today in the organization. 

I work to expose "Jehovah's Witnesses", by exposing the false doctrine produced by their leaders. This I do through a comparison of their doctrine, to the very Bible they claim to be guided by.

In this post, I will offer scriptures that shed light on the office of "elder", and how that office is defined by the WT, as a station by holy spirit, authorizing an "elder" to render judgment over others.

Many JWs and exJWs have observed injustice in that arrangement. This is because the WT's arrangement, authority, and power of their "elders" is exposed as a lie, according to scripture and prophecy. The only ones sanctioned by Jesus as judges, were those chosen to fill the office of priest (John20:21-23).

If God's chosen priests (being both men and women) were not trampled and stripped of power, replaced by Gentile "elders" who have no real divine authority (1Cor.3:17; Matt.24:15; 2Thess.2:4; Luke21:24; Rev.13:10,7; 11:2; Isa.28:7; Matt.24:49).......

.......then the judgments being rendered by those whom Jesus did give authority to judge, would be very different (John20:21-23; 1Cor.6:2) from those passed by "elders" today. There would be no tolerance of pedophiles, domestic abuse, or shunning of sheep. [Shunning was to be limited to those "called a brother" of Christ.... anointed, who fall into an alliance with the Devil.]

1 Corinthians 5:11; Rev.2:20; 17:6; Luke12:45

Yet this replacement of God's priests by the Gentile "man of lawlessness", was prophesied to happen.

How?

Scripture tells us, that the false prophet "breathes" into the image of the Beast (organization) so that it appears spirit-directed/(breath-infused), and authorized to condemn to death, any who refuse to worship that image (Rev.13:11,14-15; 19:20).

Jesus mentioned the "disgusting thing standing in the holy place". It is in plain sight... but as Jesus said, "Let the reader use discernment/perception/understanding" (Matt.24:15; Mark13:14; Eze.36:8).

Articles: 

“Jew or Gentile”

"Trample" - How does it happen?

4womaninthewilderness blogspot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It is interesting how from time to time, from post to post some unanimous individuals falling from some unknown Planet, and start giving down-vote symbol to other people comments.   :))))) 

This is funny, but also very good. Because their reaction are proof how they read comments and found it serious to such level that they (comments) in fact pressed right bottom in people's minds and feelings. 

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1 hour ago, Witness said:

Extremism" - the fact of someone having beliefs that most people think are unreasonable and unacceptable, such as religious extremism. Yes, I would call it,  covert extremism.  

“And the disciples asked Jesus, ‘How will we know, in future times, what is truth?’

He answered: ‘Take note of what “most people think is unreasonable and unacceptable.” When you have discovered those things, avoid them like the plague. You do not want them to call you extremist.’”

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4 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Next thing you know, you will be joining Witness in claiming to be the “true” anointed

You seem to be indicating that I don’t think there are “true”, authentic anointed in the organization.  Have I ever said that, or have I repeatedly drawn attention to their existence among JWs?  Unless….you are referring only to the GB as “true” anointed and disregard all other anointed, which wouldn’t surprise me. 

I do believe the GB were anointed, but they have lost any Holy Spirit they had once received.  THEY now direct their false priesthood to carry out “covert extremism” to shun those who will not accept their tainted version of “truth”.  As my comment brought out, it is they who should be shunned. 

2 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

And the disciples asked Jesus, ‘How will we know, in future times, what is truth?’

He answered: ‘Take note of what “most people think is unreasonable and unacceptable.” When you have discovered those things, avoid them like the plague. You do not want them to call you extremist.’”

It is very sad that you joke about God’s word and the man who spoke them.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Witness said:

It is very sad that you joke about God’s word and the man who spoke them.

It is very sad that you quote verses by the truckload and yet don’t get the sense of any of them.

If I took any liberties with God’s word, what I produced is exactly in harmony with it.

Did Jesus advise his disciples that they should strive to be popular with men or that they should not be concerned when they prove unpopular?

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2 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Did Jesus advise his disciples that they should strive to be popular with men or that they should not be concerned when they prove unpopular?

Are you speaking to me or to the anointed in the organization who are most definitely not working in their given capacity as God’s priesthood that they should?  They are proving to be very unpopular with the elder body.  Rev 11:1,2;13:1,2,5-7

2 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Did Jesus advise his disciples that they should strive to be popular with men

For some, it just comes naturally. 

    Hello guest!

2 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

or that they should not be concerned when they prove unpopular?

"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him." 1 Cor 1:27,28

"And who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, 15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 16 and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong."  1 Pet 3:13-17

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Matt 5:11

Tom, just because anointed who have left the organization speak out against the ruling authority that disfellowshipped them for disagreeing with their false teachings, doesn't mean they are seeking 'first place'.  They are doing what Jesus expects them to do; just as the apostles did.  Tell the truth, expose the lies, and not fear men while doing it.  Prov 14:5; Eph 5:11; 4:25; 2 Cor 10:4,5

 Stop trusting in mere humans, who have but a breath in their nostrils. Why hold them in esteem?...as the people in the video have done.  Isa 2:22

 

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11 hours ago, Witness said:

TTH: Everybody knows the book exists.

Not necessarily.  As a "good" elder's wife, I didn't know it existed since I never looked into his briefcase; and as a "good" elder, he never told me it existed.  

 

Now, now. Tell the truth and shame the devil.

Would you have been shocked to discover that, at a weekend school on how to be a good shepherd, he was released a textbook?

Say in his secular work he is a manager at WalMart. Would you be shocked that he is issued some literature not made available to everyone else?

Say he was not a manager but was a team leader there. Would you be shocked that he is issued some literature not made available to everyone else?

Recall that I clarified just how JWs know the book exists:

13 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

They either know of it specifically or they know of it in the ’Well.....duh!’ sense that they know that any training of any class of any subject in any discipline just may feature a curriculum and textbook not for general distribution.

Not every piece of writing not made public is the smoking gun.

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On 12/7/2019 at 1:45 PM, Srecko Sostar said:

"You shall not kill," is evident in the fact that it was not of valid, obligation for all men and for all circumstances.

Some good points there Srecko.

It was obviously God who decided when it was ok to kill, based on laws that superseded the command not to kill. The question then is, when it comes to shunning, who decides when it's ok to shun and when it is not ok? Or is there something that supersedes the command to shun? First I want to address this comment you made:

On 12/7/2019 at 1:45 PM, Srecko Sostar said:

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.

I understand the parallels you are trying to draw. There are many examples in history of family members disowning other family members, cutting them off as if the other person no longer exists. In these instances it is humans that make their own personal law. Sometimes it's based on understandable reasons, (extreme evilness on the part of the one who is being disowned) and sometimes on purely frivolous grounds (used as blackmail). Of course there are many many different reasons, too many to mention.

On 12/7/2019 at 1:45 PM, Srecko Sostar said:

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.

I suppose this sounds reasonable. Usually when this situation occurs, the person is not in a disfellowshipped state.

On 12/7/2019 at 1:45 PM, Srecko Sostar said:

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.

I have often thought about this problematic and I have still not found satisfactory justification for some of these actions.

I can understand that a person guilty of breaking the Bible's commands and not repenting, or changing, should not be a part of the congregation. The congregation must be kept clean, otherwise Jesus "could vomit it out of his mouth". (Rev 3:16) He says "All those for whom I have affection, I reprove and discipline. So be zealous and repent" (Rev 3:19). And  "‘Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first. If you do not, I will come to you, and I will remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent". (Rev 2:5) and “‘Nevertheless, I have a few things against you, that you have there those adhering to the teaching of Baʹlaam......  So repent. If you do not, I am coming to you quickly, and I will war against them with the long sword of my mouth" 

I think just those few scriptures in Revelation show clearly Jesus' feelings about keeping the congregation morally and spiritually clean. We also have Paul's counsel. However, we know that those who have not repented are not thrown out of the congregation literally, but symbolically. They can still attend the meetings if they want. But they cannot participate and speak to anyone. Why? Because they have been disfellowshipped. So in this sense they have been "removed" BUT by being able to still go to meetings they are able to receive Jehovah's instructions and come to repentance, and then be welcomed back. Now imagine if this person had literally been thrown out, and was not allowed to put foot inside the KH. How would they be able to "repent and come back"? How would that work in practice? So in this sense, disfellowshipping is a merciful and loving provision, because the person is still able to receive spiritual instruction. But if they weren't disfellowshipped, and everyone would speak with them, then there would be no difference at all would there? Now the questions I ask is, it makes sense for the congregation, but how is it outside the congregation? This is where I find the difficulty. There are several things to consider. One is; are we Christians only inside the congregation, or are we Christians 24/7? Obviously we are Christians all of the time. So we could argue that whatever applies inside the congregation should also apply outside of it. Then there is the family. Frequently there is a misunderstanding in what family means. The broad definition is "a group of people who share common ancestors" a more usual definition is "group of people that may be made up of partners, children, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents" then the classic definition, and the ones JW mean when they say family is; "a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household" It's also called the nuclear family. We know that members of a household or nuclear family are not shunned. Only those living outside the household. 

I am ok with that, but I think that associating with family living outside the household should be left up to conscience, (your first conclusion). That is just my opinion.

So is there something that supersedes the command to shun? (this is for anyone to answer, not just Srecko)

 

 

 

 

On 12/8/2019 at 6:34 AM, 4Jah2me said:

So how do the congregants know proper the 'rules' then

The basics are in the Bible, for anyone to see

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43 minutes ago, Anna said:

Now the questions I ask is, it makes sense for the congregation, but how is it outside the congregation? This is where I find the difficulty. There are several things to consider. One is; are we Christians only inside the congregation, or are we Christians 24/7? Obviously we are Christians all of the time. So we could argue that whatever applies inside the congregation should also apply outside of it.

Yes, Anna. I found, how it is unreasonable, out of common sense, not to have normal conversation of two human, or at least, as minimum to say, Hallo. Sometimes it would depend on in what relations they were before, of course.  

When you mentioned, Christians 24/7, i suppose how that would include to "love the enemy" as Jesus said. If some JW member want to "love his enemy" in Jesus' context of teaching, i guess how dfd or dis member are not consider to be worst than "the enemy, men from nation" ?! :)) Or is he/she?

If we go so far in conclusions about some bro/sis, perhaps it will be good to remind self how sort of "final judgement" for all of us will be in some future time, i guess, and not now. And process subject in that "judgement" will not be because we belonged or not belonged to particular religion, now, but because of some other issues. 

Below is quote from WT publication what JW believes it is Judgmental Day.

(Judgment Day will be not only a time of instruction from God but also a time for those alive to apply what they learn and enjoy the blessings that result.) - 

    Hello guest!
.

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@Anna  I don't think you answered the situation where by a person LEAVES the JW Org because they know about the disgusting things that go on in it, such as Child Sexual Abuse Earthwide. And they know about the false teachings which have been made so clear on this forum. And they do not want to teach lies to members of the public. 

What is your opinion then of such a person that leaves the JW Org of their own free will ? 

If they are to be treated as a 'tax collector' or a 'person of the nations' then shouldn't JWs talk to them ?

Jesus spoke to and ate meals with such ones. 

 

So how do the congregants know proper the 'rules' then

Quote @Anna  " The basics are in the Bible, for anyone to see "

But JWs have to obey the GB's / JW Org rules, so your comment doesn't help. 

 

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    • You are probably referring mostly to the attention given to a racist media tycoon (Jimmy Lai) who has been working with John Bolton, Steve Bannon, Marco Rubio, etc., (tons of documentation) to overthrow the government of Hong Kong. The United States has been caught red-handed inciting violence in Hong Kong, providing strategies that the United States has used illegally elsewhere in the world. My goal here is to help people realize how easy it is to judge a specific group with a measuring
    • Met a young guy in field service here which believed that we are in a nasty computer game.  I said to him that God does not play nasty games but there are very nasty humans involved who are playing us all. Yes, they built wires into peoples heads in the 1950 and 60s already during MKULTRA experiments.... burn half of their brains without their permissions and made them into zombies.  Others they controlled so they committed crimes.  Behavior science is now at the point far beyond this, wher
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    • folens  »  Eric Ouellet

      Bonjour Eric, merci pour cet exposé sur Hanna, Bonne journée. Michel
      ENTRETIEN AVEC DIEU.pptx
      · 1 reply
    • Eric Ouellet

      LA FOI D'HANNA ENVERS DIEU APPORTE SA RÉCOMPENSE
      UNE femme de foi adresse une prière à Jéhovah. Convaincue que c’est Dieu qui l’a relevée de la poussière, transformant son abattement en exultation, elle le loue à haute voix.
      Cette femme, c’est Hanna. Qu’est-ce qui explique son spectaculaire changement d’état d’âme ? Pourquoi est-elle à présent si joyeuse ? En quoi ce qu’elle a vécu peut-il nous être utile ? Intéressons-nous à son histoire.
      Une famille sous pression
      Hanna est l’une des deux femmes d’Elqana, un Lévite de la région d’Éphraïm (1 Samuel 1:1, 2a ; 1 Chroniques 6:33, 34). Bien que n’entrant pas dans le dessein originel de Dieu pour l’humanité, la polygamie est autorisée et réglementée sous la Loi mosaïque. Elle est néanmoins une source fréquente de discorde. La vie de cette famille, qui pourtant adore Jéhovah, en témoigne.
      Hanna est stérile, tandis que Peninna, l’autre femme d’Elqana, a plusieurs enfants. Peninna se comporte en rivale. — 1 Samuel 1:2b.
      Pour une Israélite, la stérilité est un déshonneur, et même un signe de la défaveur divine. Mais, dans le cas de Hanna, rien n’indique que son incapacité de procréer soit liée à la désapprobation de Dieu. Peninna ne la console pas pour autant ; elle se prévaut au contraire de son statut de mère pour l’humilier.
      Au sanctuaire de Jéhovah
      Malgré ces tensions, la famille entreprend le voyage annuel en direction du sanctuaire de Jéhovah, à Shilo, pour y offrir des sacrifices. L’aller-retour de quelque 60 kilomètres se fait vraisemblablement à pied. Cet événement doit être particulièrement pénible pour Hanna. En effet, Peninna et ses enfants reçoivent plusieurs portions du sacrifice de communion, alors que Hanna, elle, n’en reçoit qu’une seule. Peninna trouve là une opportunité supplémentaire de la blesser et de la mettre dans l’embarras ; il semble que Jéhovah ait “ fermé sa matrice ”, et elle ne manque pas de le lui rappeler. Tous les ans, c’est le même calvaire. Tous les ans, Hanna pleure et cesse de manger. Ces voyages qui normalement devraient la mettre en joie la plongent dans une profonde détresse. Hanna se rend néanmoins chaque année au sanctuaire de Jéhovah. — 1 Samuel 1:3-7.
      Voyez-vous en quoi Hanna est un bel exemple ? Comment réagissez-vous lorsque vous êtes déprimé ? Vous isolez-vous et évitez-vous les contacts avec vos compagnons chrétiens ? Ce n’est pas ce qu’a fait Hanna. Les rassemblements avec les adorateurs de Jéhovah étaient pour elle une habitude de vie. Même face à des circonstances éprouvantes, il devrait en être de même pour nous. — Psaume 26:12 ; 122:1 ; Proverbes 18:1 ; Hébreux 10:24, 25.
      Elqana tente de réconforter Hanna et il l’amène à exprimer ses sentiments profonds. “ Hanna, pourquoi pleures-tu et pourquoi ne manges-tu pas ? Pourquoi ton cœur a-t-il mal ? lui demande-t-il. Est-ce que je ne vaux pas mieux pour toi que dix fils ? ” (1 Samuel 1:8). Peut-être n’a-t-il pas conscience de la malveillance de Peninna. Et peut-être Hanna préfère-t-elle se taire plutôt que de se plaindre. Quoi qu’il en soit, cette femme spirituelle se tourne vers Jéhovah dans la prière pour retrouver la paix intérieure.
      Le vœu de Hanna
      Les sacrifices de communion étaient consommés dans le sanctuaire. Après avoir quitté la salle à manger, Hanna prie Dieu (1 Samuel 1:9, 10). “ Ô Jéhovah des armées, implore-t-elle, si tu ne manques pas de regarder l’affliction de ton esclave et si vraiment tu te souviens de moi, si tu n’oublies pas ton esclave et si vraiment tu donnes à ton esclave un descendant mâle, oui je le donnerai à Jéhovah pour tous les jours de sa vie, et le rasoir ne viendra pas sur sa tête. ” — 1 Samuel 1:11.
      La prière de Hanna est précise. Elle demande un fils, et elle fait le vœu que cet enfant sera toute sa vie un naziréen de Dieu (Nombres 6:1-5). Ce vœu nécessite l’approbation de son mari, et certaines actions ultérieures d’Elqana montrent qu’il approuve l’engagement pris par sa chère femme. — Nombres 30:6-8.
      À cause de la manière dont Hanna prie, le grand prêtre Éli la croit ivre. Il voit effectivement ses lèvres frémir, mais il ne l’entend pas parler. C’est qu’en fait Hanna prie dans son cœur, avec ferveur (1 Samuel 1:12-14). Imaginez ce qu’elle ressent lorsque le grand prêtre l’accuse d’être ivre ! Pourtant, elle lui répond respectueusement. Comprenant alors que Hanna était en train de prier “ dans l’abondance de [son] inquiétude et de [son] dépit ”, il lui dit : “ Que le Dieu d’Israël accorde ta requête. ” (1 Samuel 1:15-17). Sur ces paroles, Hanna s’en va ; elle mange et “ son visage ne par[aît] plus soucieux ”. — 1 Samuel 1:18.
      Que nous enseigne tout cela ? Lorsque nous prions Jéhovah à propos de nos inquiétudes, nous pouvons lui exprimer ce que nous ressentons et lui adresser des requêtes sincères. Si nous avons fait tout notre possible pour résoudre le problème, alors nous devrions laisser les choses entre ses mains. C’est ce qu’il y a de mieux à faire. — Proverbes 3:5, 6.
      Après une prière fervente, il est fréquent que des serviteurs de Jéhovah ressentent une sérénité comparable à celle que Hanna a éprouvée. Voici ce qu’a écrit l’apôtre Paul au sujet de la prière : “ Ne vous inquiétez de rien, mais en tout, par la prière et la supplication avec action de grâces, faites connaître vos requêtes à Dieu ; et la paix de Dieu, qui surpasse toute pensée, gardera vos cœurs et vos facultés mentales par le moyen de Christ Jésus. ” (Philippiens 4:6, 7). Après nous être déchargés de notre fardeau sur Jéhovah, nous devons le laisser s’en occuper. Puis, comme dans le cas de Hanna, il n’y a plus lieu de s’inquiéter. — Psaume 55:22.
      Un fils “ prêté ” à Jéhovah
      Dieu se tourne alors vers Hanna. Peu après, elle porte un enfant. Elle met au monde un garçon (1 Samuel 1:19, 20). C’est l’une des rares fois où la Bible fait état de la responsabilité de Dieu dans la naissance de l’un de ses serviteurs. L’enfant d’Elqana et de Hanna, Samuel, deviendra effectivement le prophète de Jéhovah, un prophète qui jouera un rôle important dans la mise en place de la monarchie d’Israël.
      Il est certain que Hanna parle de Jéhovah à Samuel dès sa petite enfance. Mais oublie-t-elle le vœu qu’elle a fait ? Absolument pas ! “ Dès que le garçon sera sevré, je devrai l’amener ; il devra paraître devant Jéhovah et habiter là pour des temps indéfinis ”, déclare-t-elle. Et en effet, une fois l’enfant sevré — peut-être à l’âge de trois ans ou un peu plus —, elle l’amène au sanctuaire, comme elle l’avait promis. — 1 Samuel 1:21-24 ; 2 Chroniques 31:16.
      Après avoir offert un sacrifice à Jéhovah, Hanna et son mari présentent Samuel à Éli. Hanna tient certainement la main de son petit garçon lorsqu’elle dit à Éli : “ Pardon, mon seigneur ! Par la vie de ton âme, mon seigneur, je suis la femme qui se tenait près de toi, en ce lieu, pour prier Jéhovah. C’est à propos de ce garçon que je priais, pour que Jéhovah m’accorde ma requête, ce que je lui demandais. Et moi, à mon tour, je l’ai prêté à Jéhovah. Oui, tous les jours qu’il sera, c’est quelqu’un de demandé pour Jéhovah. ” Ainsi commence, pour Samuel, une vie au service de Dieu. — 1 Samuel 1:25-28 ; 2:11.
      Le temps passe ; bien sûr Hanna n’oublie pas son fils. Les Écritures relatent : “ Sa mère avait coutume de lui faire un petit manteau sans manches, et elle le lui montait, d’année en année, quand elle montait avec son mari pour sacrifier le sacrifice annuel. ” (1 Samuel 2:19). Hanna prie sans aucun doute pour Samuel. Tous les ans, lorsqu’elle lui rend visite, elle l’encourage à coup sûr à demeurer fidèle dans son service pour Dieu.
      Pendant l’une de ces visites, Éli bénit les parents du garçon. Il déclare à Elqana : “ Que Jéhovah t’assigne une descendance de cette femme, à la place du prêt qui a été prêté à Jéhovah. ” C’est ainsi que le couple est récompensé par la naissance de trois autres fils et de deux filles. — 1 Samuel 2:20, 21.
      Quel formidable exemple pour les parents chrétiens ! Beaucoup de mères et de pères se montrent, eux aussi, disposés à prêter, figurément parlant, leurs enfants à Jéhovah ; en effet, ils les encouragent à entreprendre une forme de service à plein temps, même si cela implique que leur fils, ou leur fille, vive loin d’eux. De tels parents aimants méritent des louanges pour les sacrifices qu’ils font. Jéhovah les récompensera.
      Une prière qui déborde de joie
      Comme Hanna est heureuse, elle que la stérilité affectait tant autrefois ! Les Écritures ne contiennent que peu de prières faites par des femmes. Mais, en ce qui concerne Hanna, elles en rapportent deux. La première expose ses sentiments alors qu’elle est humiliée et affligée. La seconde exprime son exultation et son action de grâces ; elle commence par ces mots : “ Oui, mon cœur exulte en Jéhovah. ” Hanna se réjouit ensuite que ‘ même la stérile ait mis au monde ’. Et elle loue Jéhovah, celui “ qui élève [...], qui relève le petit de la poussière ”. Vraiment, il est celui qui “ de la fosse aux cendres [...] fait remonter le pauvre ”. — 1 Samuel 2:1-10.
      Cet épisode de la vie de Hanna, dont le récit a été inspiré par Dieu, montre que les imperfections, voire la malveillance, des autres peuvent nous blesser. Toutefois, nous ne devons pas permettre à ce genre d’épreuves de nous priver de notre joie de servir Dieu. Jéhovah est, par excellence, Celui qui entend la prière, qui répond aux appels à l’aide de ses fidèles et qui les délivre de l’affliction. Il leur accorde une paix profonde et de nombreuses autres bénédictions. — Psaume 22:23-26 ; 34:6-8 ; 65:2.

      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      1 Samuel 2 : 1-10
      Hannah pria Dieu en ces mots:
      Mon cœur se réjouit au sujet de Jéhovah
      ma force grandit grâce à Jéhovah.
      Ma bouche s’ouvre toute grande contre mes ennemis,
      car je me réjouis de tes actes sauveurs.
      Il n’y a personne qui soit saint comme Jéhovah,
      il n’y a personne qui soit comme toi,
      il n’y a pas de rocher comme notre Dieu.
      Arrêtez de parler avec orgueil ;
      que rien d’arrogant ne sorte de votre bouche,
      car Jéhovah est un Dieu qui sait tout
      et il juge les actions avec justice.
      Les arcs des hommes forts sont brisés,
      mais les hommes faibles reçoivent de la force
      Ceux qui mangeaient bien doivent trouver du travail pour avoir du pain,
      mais les affamés ne souffrent plus de la faim.
      La femme stérile a donné naissance à sept fils,
      mais celle qui avait beaucoup de fils est devenue stérile.
      Jéhovah tue et il garde en vie,
      il fait descendre dans la Tombe et il en fait remonter.
      Jéhovah fait devenir pauvre et il fait devenir riche,
      il abaisse et il élève.
      Il relève le petit de la poussière
      et fait remonter le pauvre du tas de cendres
      pour les faire asseoir avec les princes
      et leur offrir une place d’honneur.
      À Jéhovah appartiennent les fondations de la terre ;
      sur elles, il pose le monde
      Il veille sur les pas de ses fidèles,
      mais les méchants seront tués dans l’obscurité,
      car ce n’est pas par la force que l’homme triomphe. 
      Jéhovah anéantira ceux qui combattent contre lui ;
      pour exprimer sa colère, il fera gronder le tonnerre dans le ciel.
      Jéhovah jugera jusqu’aux extrémités de la terre,
      il donnera du pouvoir à son roi et il fera grandir la force de son oint.
       
       
       


      · 1 reply
    • anniemsbelle@gmail.com  »  Queen Esther

      Do you have the print out for the regional convention 
      · 1 reply
    • anniemsbelle@gmail.com  »  Queen Esther

      Do you have the print out for the regional convention 
      · 0 replies
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