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IICSA: survivors speak of influence of religion


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10 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:
10 hours ago, Anna said:

[to 4Jah]: And bad people will do what they want, and of course they will do it in secret, and when chalenged they will deny and deny. How would you handle that?

Not to worry. We can expect a True Anointed to come along any minute and fix it.  (Tom's words)

Acts 5 : 1-4 

However, a man named An·a·niʹas, together with his wife Sap·phiʹra, sold some property.  But he secretly held back some of the price, with his wife’s knowledge, and he brought just a part of it and deposited it at the feet of the apostles.  But Peter said: “An·a·niʹas, why has Satan emboldened you to lie to the holy spirit and secretly hold back some of the price of the field?

Here is the answer. So think on it. How did Peter know the truth of the matter ?

You of little faith. You have stopped believing in God's Holy Spirit and it's power.

With a True Anointed, God can use them. God can send His Holy Spirit which will know truth from lies. But you people only think in a physical way. You have stopped believing in God's powers. If God wants a truly clean Organisation, HE will have one. 

 

 

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... apparently not, as it IS up to God ...

Parents are the ones who give consent to anyone, whether it be an Elder, a ministerial servant or a publisher to study the Bible with their child and/or go in service.  It is a private arrangement and agreement between the parent and the relevant person. Everyone is educated at the meetings, including the children who should sit with their parents. If someone else is "teaching their children" or if children are sitting with someone else besides their parents, then that is by the parents own arra

Noted, and probably deserved. It is good for me to be rebuked on this from time to time, for I might be far worse without it. On the other hand: Actually, arguing doesn’t play a role in “scriptural arguments.” You know the verses as well as I: debates about words, leave blind guides be, answering a fool, even spreading pearls before swine. At least if I spread stuff before “swine,” it is not pearls. I can think of a way of solving that problem. In addition to blasting away at

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8 hours ago, Arauna said:

I should have used the world "when".  And then you go off on a totally different subject about research on this concept............ srecko .... you always go to the ploy of semantics to change the point of the thread. 

You asked about 2 kinds of unrighteousness...... I give the answer..... without considering this (my use of the word "if" sends you off on a totally other subject...... ....can you not concentrate on one subject at a time...... or is it a deliberate  ploy to troll?

"If he gets  a resurrection in the new system" ??

I don't know what made questionable about this man, and you said IF. Jesus promised him that he will be with him in Paradise, so is your IF showing lack of faith in Jesus promise to criminal man? And about when and where he will live is not in our interpretations.

Yes, Arauna, you are right. I should have known you had faith in every word of Jesus.

But I also assumed you had faith in most of what the WTJWorg interpretation is, so your IF confused me a bit. Because WTJWorg explains how this criminal will be with Jesus in Paradise not in heaven but on earth. That claim can be true, or it can be wrong. 140 years of publishing at WTJWorg gives us reason to be wary. :))

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10 hours ago, Anna said:

Back to the topic of CSA

There is absolutely nothing one can do to control what members do in the privacy of their own homes, or other people's homes, regardless their status in the congregation.  Elder "oh so nice" at the KH could be touching Jane, his 6 year old daughter every night during bedtime story time. Ministerial servant "extra helpful" could be touching Tommy, his 12 year old Bible student, while conducting a Bible study with him at his home, with the unsuspecting single mother in the next room; grateful that she could approach a servant to help her with the fatherly task of educating her fatherless son. None of these things the congregation or JW org can be held responsible for. It would not stand up in court. This is why in the case of Candace Conti, for example, it was so important for the court to establish that she was molested during field service, because that was recognized as a church based activity, which the congregation could be held responsible for.

Years later, when Jane and Tommy have reached adulthood, they finally disclose their abuse. Not to the elders, but to the media. And later file a lawsuit. What is the congregation/JW org. supposed to do?

I am not saying the case of Jane and Tommy happens in all cases. Not at all. There are many various scenarios. But the case of Jane and Tommy are based on true stories that actually happened.
Then we have other cases where suspicions of a persons vile acts were reported while the victim was still a child (unfortunately that does not happen very often as children rarely disclose) and usually these cases are reported to the police by the parent. Often times the police don't do anything! If the parent only reports it to the congregation, then the elders have to use their judgement to verify the facts. This is the only time it's possible for the elders to screw up. They may not believe the child or think the child may be exaggerating especially if the perpetrator denies. The child may be saying the truth, and the perpetrator may be a liar. The case gets put on the back burner. A year later the perpetrator molest another child, who says nothing, then another child, who also says nothing...until we have several children who have been molested by the original perpetrator. Now THIS is BAD indeed. Years later one of the victims comes forward and takes the case to court. Now it looks as if we harbor pedophiles. But in fact it's because the elders screwed up, made a mistake in judgement, not because they believed the guy was really a pedophile, but because they did not believe he was a pedophile. Big difference. Bad mistake, no doubt about it.

So you are barking up the wrong tree when you are trying to find fault with the JW organization but really, it is a problem with the organization's members (elders, servants, publishers) when they do bad things in secret. At the KH everyone can put on an act, but who you really are becomes manifest in private. The organization has no control there.  Sometimes, even with simple things, the congregation overseer's job is comparable to trying to herd cats. Trying to motivate people to cooperate is a nightmare sometimes. And bad people will do what they want, and of course they will do it in secret, and when chalenged they will deny and deny.

How would you handle that?

In WTJWorg, a structure is set up, a hierarchy that is both - spiritual and administrative. According to this measure, the WTJWorg Institution (I remind you again, JW lawyers claim in Court that according to the hierarchical system they are the same as the Catholic Church) determines who is allowed to say what and who is allowed to do what and how to do it.
Because of such an "organized system", because the JW Church is an Organization, a Legal Body aka a Corporation and the people who are in the governing structures of this Organization have responsibility for the way they act and for the consequences of how they react to all events within each assembly. If the Organization is not able to “lead” the herd, if it is not able to have “under control” the elders and their ability to handle everything they have to solve in the assembly then it is a good question you ask; 
How would you handle that?

The second part of the problem is the mentality of people (members), shame, hiding, feeling powerless, the question of who and how to ask for help, caution. 

And then we have the question of trust between members, trust between members and clergy (because elders want to be like Catholic clergy by privilege) , so we again have JW lawyers asking the Court Clergy Privilege, for what is being condemned as “unbiblical” in WTJWorg publications and in members mind. There are double measures inside congregations, favoritism and other "institutional (organizational) sins". And many more. So you ask good question:  How would you handle that?

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16 hours ago, Anna said:

Back to the topic of CSA

There is absolutely nothing one can do to control what members do in the privacy of their own homes, or other people's homes, regardless their status in the congregation.  Elder "oh so nice" at the KH could be touching Jane, his 6 year old daughter every night during bedtime story time. Ministerial servant "extra helpful" could be touching Tommy, his 12 year old Bible student, while conducting a Bible study with him at his home, with the unsuspecting single mother in the next room; grateful that she could approach a servant to help her with the fatherly task of educating her fatherless son. None of these things the congregation or JW org can be held responsible for. It would not stand up in court. This is why in the case of Candace Conti, for example, it was so important for the court to establish that she was molested during field service, because that was recognized as a church based activity, which the congregation could be held responsible for.

Years later, when Jane and Tommy have reached adulthood, they finally disclose their abuse. Not to the elders, but to the media. And later file a lawsuit. What is the congregation/JW org. supposed to do?

I am not saying the case of Jane and Tommy happens in all cases. Not at all. There are many various scenarios. But the case of Jane and Tommy are based on true stories that actually happened.
Then we have other cases where suspicions of a persons vile acts were reported while the victim was still a child (unfortunately that does not happen very often as children rarely disclose) and usually these cases are reported to the police by the parent. Often times the police don't do anything! If the parent only reports it to the congregation, then the elders have to use their judgement to verify the facts. This is the only time it's possible for the elders to screw up. They may not believe the child or think the child may be exaggerating especially if the perpetrator denies. The child may be saying the truth, and the perpetrator may be a liar. The case gets put on the back burner. A year later the perpetrator molest another child, who says nothing, then another child, who also says nothing...until we have several children who have been molested by the original perpetrator. Now THIS is BAD indeed. Years later one of the victims comes forward and takes the case to court. Now it looks as if we harbor pedophiles. But in fact it's because the elders screwed up, made a mistake in judgement, not because they believed the guy was really a pedophile, but because they did not believe he was a pedophile. Big difference. Bad mistake, no doubt about it.

So you are barking up the wrong tree when you are trying to find fault with the JW organization but really, it is a problem with the organization's members (elders, servants, publishers) when they do bad things in secret. At the KH everyone can put on an act, but who you really are becomes manifest in private. The organization has no control there.  Sometimes, even with simple things, the congregation overseer's job is comparable to trying to herd cats. Trying to motivate people to cooperate is a nightmare sometimes. And bad people will do what they want, and of course they will do it in secret, and when chalenged they will deny and deny.

How would you handle that?

The elders didn’t screw up Anna..it was the way things were done back then...their hands were tied....we have to acknowledge that...our policies have changed because of the ARC....

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17 hours ago, Anna said:

Habakkuk 1:2-3

How long, O Jehovah, must I cry for help, but you do not hear? How long must I ask for help from violence, but you do not intervene? Why do you make me witness wrongdoing? And why do you tolerate oppression? Why are destruction and violence before me? And why do quarreling and conflict abound?

We're all familiar with Habakkuk's plight and we can add our own sentiments; "how much longer do we have to watch people suffering because of the things he mentioned, but also because of disease, starvation, old age etc.". My mother in law is 90, and is in severe pain from arthritis every day. Two of my friends died a horrible painful death from cancer. Small children dying of cancer and other diseases... everywhere you look there is SO much anguish and suffering. We ask the same questions as Habakkuk did 2600 years ago.... and Jehovah has had to watch mankind's suffering since the inception of sin. I have to keep reminding myself that Jehovah is the wisest being in the universe, also just and kind. Only he knows the perfect time to step in. Then also if we compare a lifetime of suffering of 80 years or so, and then eternity of mental peace and happiness and physical health, the suffering then is short lived and pales into insignificance.

It's a little easier to bare things if you know they are temporary....

I’m guessing it will go so far as tho we may feel we have been deceived or tricked....or he has completely  forgotten us....

I hope not but I often wonder if we will be tested as Jesus was...

Mathew 27:46

My God My God why has thou forsaken me....

( how utterly terrifying to feel that ) and STILL REMAIN faithful to A God who you think has left you..

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12 minutes ago, Thinking said:

our policies have changed because of the ARC....

As I said before -  JWs had to get by without proper government laws.  Now that governments were at last  taking their responsibility seriously,  to have an inquiry to see how they can close the loopholes in the laws. Now we can use this to improve the outcome of these matters. The ARC came way too late... there were many loopholes in the law.... same as in USA.

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On 2/26/2021 at 10:55 AM, Anna said:

Love reading your experiences!

We have discussed this issue a number of times on here. Jehovah reads hearts.

Also, what about all those people who have never heard the good news? And since time does not stand still, there will always be those who have never heard, because people are being born and living through the stream of time, so people will not all be in exactly the same position when Armageddon comes. There will always be someone who may have accepted the truth had they learned it sooner, but then Armageddon came....will Jehovah say sorry, too late?....For sure he will not because he is a just and loving God. So when we say only baptized JWs will be saved, it cannot be true...

He will probably treat them like he did the thief on the stake next to him but the thing is he repented at the last moment...where as the other fellow didn’t ......so what happens to him....wouldn’t he be covered by Jesus ransom...?

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9 minutes ago, Arauna said:

As I said before -  JWs had to get by without proper government laws.  Now that governments were at last  taking their responsibility seriously,  to have an inquiry to see how they can close the loopholes in the laws. Now we can use this to improve the outcome of these matters. The ARC came way too late... there were many loopholes in the law.... same as in USA.

Arauna I agree with so much of what you say...but as a people we shouldn’t have needed the ARC..to do the right thing....that’s what some are arguing here.

And they are right....BUT..we have corrected  the error..even if it was forced on us....our policies have been updated..and this would never happen again...it will never be sorted in house or quietly .

we are under Jehovah’s Laws...and there are no loopholes with them...but he taught us...thru the ARC.

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1 hour ago, Thinking said:

but as a people we shouldn’t have needed the ARC..to do the right thing.

It depends upon what you define as “doing the right thing.” In the eyes of are determined critics, we still are not “doing the right thing” and will not until any so much as a hint of CSA allegation is immediately forwarded by elders to the police—effectively making them an arm of the state. It is not for elders to make any judgment as to credibility or severity. Send any allegation to police. 

We may think we have settled matters by making clear there is no stigma in affected or knowledgeable parties going to police with CSA allegations “unproven” or not.  But they will not think so.

Sometimes I think these matters of who is mandated to report and who is not would be best settled by extending it across the board. At present, clergy, or in our case those who parallel them in some respects, are called upon to “do the right thing.” Doctors also are called upon to “do the right thing.” Extend it to lawyers that they also must “do the right thing”—send any admission or suspicion of CSA straight to police—and the entire mandated structure of other parties might reverse.

So desperate is the world to stop CSA, so ineffectual are they at doing it, that the idea has been floated of make any person a mandated reporter.

Of course, in the eyes of our really determined critics, we will not be “doing the right thing” until we cease to exist. It is why I was so taken with Holly Folk’s frank caution: “If you are a past or present JW victim of CSA, be careful that you are not victimized anew by those who feign interest in your trauma so as to use you in their quest to take down a religion they dislike.

 

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10 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Extend it to lawyers that they also must “do the right thing”

Wow, yes please. Then the GB's lawyers might have to tell the truth, but then i doubt it. 

And maye it still boils down to the fact that if an Elder does not believe a victim, OR pretends not to believe a victim or victims parents, then nothing gets done internally or outwardly.  What a BIG loophole that is. 

10 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

and will not until any so much as a hint of CSA allegation is immediately forwarded by elders to the police—effectively making them an arm of the state. It is not for elders to make any judgment as to credibility or severity. Send any allegation to police. 

If the law was that ALL allegations had to be forwarded to the police then it would simply be obeying the Superior Authorities.  

Now if Elders, Circuit Overseers, et al, were not doing the jobs of the Anointed, then maybe the jobs would be done properly. If the True Anointed were in those positions the jobs would indeed be done better.  Because, regarding the Anointed, to whom more is given, more will be expected in return. 

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13 minutes ago, 4Jah2me said:

If the law was that ALL allegations had to be forwarded to the police then it would simply be obeying the Superior Authorities.  

Yes. Geoffrey Jackson made that point to the ARC but they didn't want to hear it.

In the Dear Mr. Putin ebook, I included:

"Three times before the Australian Royal Commission, Geoffrey Jackson, of the Witness Governing Body, pleaded for universal, mandatory reporting laws, with no exceptions—if that could only be done, it would make the job of the Witness organization in policing its own without raising the ire of those outside the congregation “so much easier,” he said.

"Continuing his cross-examination, Justice Angus Stewart said: “Leaving aside the question of overriding mandatory law from the civil authorities...” I almost wish that Brother Jackson would have interjected at this point, “I wish you would not leave it aside, for it would solve the problem.” The greater world cannot make a dent in preventing child sexual abuse, and so it puts the onus on those who are trying to do something about it. Alas, our best lines invariably occur to us too late—had Brother Jackson picked up my line, it probably just would have got their backs up—and then (gulp) he would have looked at me with displeasure."

Alas, this passage does not survive into the rewrite, but I'll stick it somewhere.

If only CC could refrain from spewing battery acid on everyone--he really does have some valuable insights here.

 

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    • folens  »  Eric Ouellet

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

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

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    • Darlene  »  T.B. (Twyla)

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

      Can not open weekly study material 
      · 3 replies
    • Deborah T. Calloway  »  T.B. (Twyla)

      Thank you so much for the meeting work book. I really appreciate your hard work 
      · 0 replies
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