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Jehovah’s Witnesses facing tax turmoil

The secretive Christian group has begun legal action against the charity watchdog after it quietly revoked the organisation’s tax-exempt status over concerns with its opaque global structure.   

    Hello guest!

I received this alert in my Google feed as well as the exjw who posted it.  I am not getting a subscription to the Australian newspaper to verify the article.  I'll leave that up to the readers here. I am sure it will come out in other news sites soon.  As usual, the organization puts money ahead of the lives of individuals.

This is the copied article supplied by the exjw:

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have taken legal action against Australia’s charity watchdog after it ­revoked the organisation’s tax-­exempt status over concerns with the religion’s opaque global donations structure and alleged failure to protect vulnerable people.

The organisation’s charitable arm, the Watchtower Bible and Tract ­Society of Australia, which posted an income of $32m in the year to August 31, has been ­accused of pushing cash offshore after directors splashed $16m of its total expenses on undisclosed­ ­donations and “overseas aid”.

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission informed Watchtower in November of its intention to revoke the ­organisation’s charity status, citing a litany of concerns about alleged contraventions of the Corporations Act and a failure to comply with a host of governance and conduct standards.

Lawyer and abuse survivor Alec Spencer, a PhD candidate at James Cook University, said the ACNC’s decision was comparable to the abolition of the so-called “Ellis defence” in NSW in 2018, which ended the Catholic Church’s long-standing immunity to lawsuits.

“If registration were to be removed, it would serve as a wake-up call for many other religious charities who have systemically failed to protect sexually abused children,” he said.

“The removal of charitable registration would be an extraordinary outcome, both for the commission and the religious charity sector in particular.”

The charity, which is seeking judicial review of the ACNC’s ­decision in the Federal Court, has been accused of “operating outside of Australia” and breaching its requirement to protect vulnerable people, including children, when conducting operations overseas.

In a statement, Watchtower ­director Terry O’Brien denied the ACNC had moved to strip the ­organisation of its charity registration. “The ACNC has assured the ­directors that they do not intend to revoke Watchtower Australia’s charity status,” Mr O’Brien said.

However, court documents filed last week reveal the ACNC sent a notice to revoke Watchtower’s charity registration to the group’s directors in November.

The ACNC has accused Watchtower’s directors of failing to comply with key conduct standards, including a requirement to disclose conflicts of interest and a requirement to protect children who are accessing benefits under the charity’s programs.

If the court upholds the ACNC’s decision, Watchtower will lose its status as a registered charity and will not be entitled to receive tax concessions, including lucrative tax breaks.

According to an application for judicial review filed by Watch­tower, the ACNC’s decision is ­“unlawful” and an “unreasonable and inappropriate exercise” of its discretion.

The organisation, which has nearly 70,000 members in Australia, has allocated almost $120m from 2014-20 to “donations and overseas aid”.

“As a donor, I would be very troubled by this,” Mr Spencer said. “And as a regulator, their hands are tied due to the differential treatment bestowed on basic ­religious charities.

“The ACNC could deregister a charity but the decision and why that occurs is not disclosed,” he said. “It allows them to operate in a cloud of secrecy.”

Watchtower argues that the decision contains multiple errors of law, including that the legislation confers “no function with respect to child protection” on the ACNC.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse warned that there were systemic problems within the ­Jehovah’s Witness religion in dealing with abuse, including a failure to report credible alle­gations to the police.

The commission heard Jehovah’s Witnesses had documen­tation of abuse allegations by 1800 children involving more than 1000 perpetrators since 1950.

Former church member and child abuse survivor Lara Kaput said revocation of Watchtower’s charity status would be a “watershed moment” if it were upheld by the Federal Court.

“They were reticent to revoke their charity status because the charity commission knew it would set a precedent, and they don’t want that to happen,” Ms Kaput said.

An ACNC spokeswoman said it was unable to comment on the “particular circumstances of a charity” and whether or not a charity was being investigated.

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Just another thought.  Did the Wt. retract their "news" (hogwash) about God sending a typhoon to Micronesia?  I haven't seen a retraction as of yet. 

@TrueTomHarley, If you'll remember at the outset, I said: If I was weaselly, I would not have brought the correction to this forum that the Australian made, as soon as I saw it. These words, I will always stand by: And: Mark 4:14 - "For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open." For you, is it more important that article turned out to be wrong than the whole reason that the Wt dragged its feet bef

Jehovah’s Witnesses facing tax turmoil The secretive Christian group has begun legal action against the charity watchdog after it quietly revoked the organisation’s tax-exempt status over concerns with its opaque global structure.   Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. I received this alert in my Google feed as well as the exjw who posted it.  I am not getting a subscription to the Australian newspaper to verify the article.  I'll leave that

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5 hours ago, Arauna said:

that is an opinion - your opinion... don't bother to reply in a barrage.

"For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing concealed that will not be brought to light."  Mark 4:22

5 hours ago, Arauna said:

We do give aid to others. And in this time of lockdown,  it has become crucial - so they need money to do this.... It does not fall like manna from heaven......

Then perhaps they could be transparent, instead of "opaque".  What do they have to hide?

 

14 hours ago, Witness said:

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have taken legal action against Australia’s charity watchdog after it ­revoked the organisation’s tax-­exempt status over concerns with the religion’s opaque global donations structure and alleged failure to protect vulnerable people.

 

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6 minutes ago, Arauna said:

They are transparent because they have made a court case.

 

15 hours ago, Witness said:

In a statement, Watchtower ­director Terry O’Brien denied the ACNC had moved to strip the ­organisation of its charity registration.

For now, this is the only statement that counts. It could change, but for now O’Brien is the way to go.

These other opposing characters live on fumes and wishful thinking, reporting the slightest rumor as fact. We have seen 4Jah quoting a lawyer’s advertisement for clients as though it were a news item. (and then not backing down when called on it!!) Well, no advertising would ever say something not true, is his position. Does it become clear why some here have unkindly called him a dodo?

Lloyd’s chum did the same, heralding rumor to the heavens, and then removing it. He certainly didn’t want to contribute to the “lying apostate” stereotype, and to prove it, he resolved to take down the mother of all lies he had posted, after it had registered with the gullible ones.

    Hello guest!

For now, it is enough to know that the underlying rationale is bogus—not completely hogwash, but shamelessly overstated, as Holly Folk pointed out:

    Hello guest!

Who knows? Should it turn out as Witness hopes, maybe Australia will become another France, which imposed a 60% tax on Witness finances that took many years for the ECHR to throw out as discriminatory.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Arauna said:

They are transparent because they have made a court case.

Anyone can make a court case and still lie, still cover their sins.  See the video.

1 hour ago, Arauna said:

If they were hiding something they would just accept unfair treatment and keep quiet.

Firstly, if the Wt is hiding pertinent information, and it is found out, would the treatment doled out on them, be unfair?  Wt fights tooth and nail, whether they are right or wrong.       

1 Cor 6:7 - Actually, if you are bringing lawsuits against each other, it is already a defeat for you. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?

 

 

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UPDATE!

 

Correction from The Australian to yesterday’s story suggesting ACNC had withdrawn Watchtower’s charity status. This was false. (Article behind paywall, but someone sent me the content below)renderTimingPixel.png

    Hello guest!

 

 CORRECTION: If any readers understood an earlier version of this article as suggesting the ACNC had withdrawn Watchtower’s charitable status, The Australian withdraws that suggestion. The Jehovah’s Witnesses say they have resolved legal action with Australia’s charity watchdog. after it threatened to revoke their tax-exempt status in November last year. Watchtower ­director Terry O’Brien said the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission confirmed on April 14 that they would not be revoking the organisation’s charity status and that the matter had been closed. Mr O’Brien said The Australian’s suggestion that the ACNC had revoked their charitable status was false.

 

SEE CONVERSATION HERE:   

 

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7 minutes ago, César Chávez said:

What's the difference, YOU reposted it!! Own your own failures!!!

I "reposted" WTJWorg lies about 1941. Who are you going to blame? Me or WTJWorg Company?

Cartons of Children that had been deposited in The Arena were now opened, and Judge Rutherford instructed the children how to come and each get a copy thereof, those in the rear half of The Arena marching in two columns out through a side exit, and those in the front half of The Arena marching up over the platform and out through a rear exit. As the march began, the orchestra (minus all its children instrumentalists) struck up and rendered songs, "Children of the Heavenly King," "The Sword of the Lord and of Gideon," and "Who Is on the Lord's Side'" while the vast audience sang. Never was there a more moving Sight in these "last days". Many, including strong men, wept at the demonstration. Receiving the gift, the marching children clasped it to them, not a toy or plaything for idle pleasure, but the Lord's provided Instrument for most effective work in the remaining months before Armageddon. What a gift I and to so many! The manner of releasing the new book Children was an outnght surprise to all, but the almighty hand of the All-wise One, Jehovah, was in it, and the maneuver was most blessed indeed. Thereafter Children, the author's edition, was disposed of to adult conventioners, on a contribution.    Wt, September 15 Page 288

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6 hours ago, Witness said:

Correction from The Australian to yesterday’s story suggesting ACNC had withdrawn Watchtower’s charity status. This was false.

Do I have a basis for yet another story of false news being so eagerly related and almost immediately thereafter declared hogwash? 

    Hello guest!

Yes, yes—big print. I got it, you ol battle ax—a prominent retraction.

Would that it would prevent your next breathless heralding of your wishful thinking as though fact.

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      I've often thought of this point of reproof from the platform. It does nothing positive at all, it just leaves people wondering why the person was reproved.
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      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      by Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. In January of 2019, elders in the congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses were issued a new version of their confidential handbook, "Shepherd the Flock of God." This handbook covers, among other topics, when a person should be "reproved."
      For those unfamiliar with the their practices, Jehovah's Witness elders might determine that someone guilty of a serious sin is repentant and will be "reproved" rather than disfellowshipped [excommunicated]. This reproof might be administered privately, or it might include a very brief announcement to the congregation.
      Public Reproofs Are Not a Protection
      The "Shepherd" book makes the claim that a public reproof serves as a "protection" to the congregation against certain dangerous behaviors, such as child sexual abuse; note this statement from chapter 14, "Child Abuse::

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. However, this announcement of reproof includes no information about the person's "sinful" behavior, as instructed in chapter 16, "Procedure for Judicial Hearings":

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. The "Shepherd" book even outright instructs that a person's sinful acts should not be connected to their reproof, such as when a "warning" talk is given regarding their behavior; also from chapter 16:

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. This statement alone demonstrates that the entire "public reproof" arrangement protects no one from congregation members who might pose a danger to others, including children. Simply stating that someone has "been reproved" doesn't warn a congregant of that person's specific behavior, and especially when there is a long list of reasons why someone might be publicly reproved, including:
      Smoking Fornication, adultery Theft Lying, slander Various forms of "apostasy" Severe fits of temper, fighting Drunkenness Using narcotics Taking up boxing After hearing a rather generic announcement that someone has been "reproved," without knowing the actual reason for that reproof, how would congregants know to keep their children away from them? Another congregant might assume that a person being reproved was caught smoking or fornicating with an adult; child sexual abuse might be the last thing they would consider when they hear of someone having been reproved!
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      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. The bottom line is that Jehovah's Witnesses and elders especially have no problem lying to themselves and to the general public about their supposed "protections" for congregants. They shield alleged molesters by purposely ensuring that no information about a particular act is associated with "reproved" persons, and then tell themselves that this passive-aggressive "hinting around" is going to somehow alert congregants to the need to keep their child away from him or her.
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      Their complicity in this horrific act is bad enough, but their smug self-righteousness in thinking that they've somehow done enough to protect children with a generic "reproof" is just another slap across the face of those same children.
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      The photo dates from 1957, the horse and buggy from an earlier era. The Kingdom Hall Store was located in Burt St, Boulder, Australia

      Via
    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      After enduring years of secrecy and betrayal, Shelly Rose Braieoux finally dug deep within herself and picked up the phone.
      Key points:
      Shelly Braieoux said Jehovah's Witnesses elders failed to face up to her abuse allegations She said she felt like God would strike her down when she cut ties with the church Her initial experiences with police and the legal system prompted her to study law Having grown up with parents who were strict Jehovah's Witnesses, she remembers being taught to fear outsiders.
      Making a report to the police, an elder told her, would "bring reproach" upon Jehovah's name.
      But she had something to say.
      Her father — a man who had forced her to carefully write out scriptures on a poster, and had forbidden her from wearing two bangles on her wrist — had inflicted violence and sexual abuse at home in the past.
      In the period after she cut ties with the church, Ms Braieoux said she felt like God was going to strike her down at any moment.
      But a voice on the other end of the line, that of Detective Senior Constable Natalie Bennett, offered her some genuine compassion.
      Read more: 
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    • By Witness
      "On Sunday, March 31, Anthony Morris, a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, was filmed at Bottle King, a discount booze store in Ramsey, NJ, buying 12 bottles of very expensive single malt. My “Bottlegate” video sharing the footage has since accumulated tens of thousands of views, with many saying the incident represents an act of hypocrisy from a man famous for his somewhat judgmental approach to morality and Christian living. The team discusses the permutations of the remarkable footage, and the widely known culture of drinking at bethel."
      This video expresses the opinions of a past member of Bethel in Australia, and those of his wife, also Mark O'Donnell whose story under the article " A Secret Database of Child Abuse" was posted in The Atlantic, and "Covert Fade", author at JWsurvey.  
      From the comments I have seen here, JWs are measuring Anthony Morris' actions by worldly standards; yet, for someone who claims to be "faithful and discreet", worldly standards do not apply.  
      "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven."  Matt 5:20
       
       
    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      Were you or a loved one sexually abused by Gonzalo Campos, an elder with various Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations in the San Diego area?
      Legal Support For Alleged Victims Of Gonzalo Campos
      After admitting to molesting at least 8 children during the 1980s and 1990s, Campos fled to Mexico, evading criminal justice here in California, but some sexual abuse survivors may still be eligible to file suit against the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York.
       
      The Watchtower, the national organization for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, has already settled at least two lawsuits involving Campos’ misconduct. In March 2018, the organization came to terms with two of Campos’ victims, men who claimed the elder abused them decades ago. Neither the Watchtower nor the plaintiffs are allowed to disclose details of the settlement.
      Experienced Attorneys Launch Full Investigation
      Our compassionate sexual abuse attorneys believe that other victims of Campos may still be able to pursue justice, accountability and compensation by filing a civil lawsuit. We have opened a full investigation into the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society to understand how Campos was allowed to remain around children, even after serious sexual abuse allegations had been filed against him.
      We understand the powerful storm of emotions that sexual abuse can cause. You may still be struggling to deal with painful feelings of embarrassment and shame, rage or depression. You do not have to go through this alone. Our committed legal team is here to help.
      You may have powerful legal options. The prospect of stepping forward to report the abuse may seem terrifying, but it can be a powerful step on the road to recovery. You deserve justice. You may also be entitled to financial compensation. Filing a civil lawsuit can help you take control of this terrible situation. The Watchtower should be held accountable.
      Watchtower Hit By Court Penalty For Withholding Evidence
      The Watchtower has already been accused of hindering investigations into allegations of child sexual abuse. In the cases involving Gonzalo Campos, the Watchtower was ordered to pay a penalty of $4,000 every day because it refused to turn over internal documents containing information about church leaders who had been accused of child sexual abuse.
      This was not the first time the Watchtower failed to stand up for sexual abuse survivors.
      Critics say Gonzalo Campos was allowed to abuse at least 8 children in San Diego between 1982 and 1995, even though the Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations he belonged to were aware of his misconduct. After abusing a 7-year-old in 1994, Campos was removed from the Church, but he was reinstated by church elders who claimed he was a changed man.
      In their lawsuits, two men who said they had been abused by Campos accused church elders of knowing about Campos’ misconduct as early as 1982, but covering it up and allowing him to continue working with young children. We believe the victims.
       

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    • By The Librarian
      The photo dates from 1957 the horse and buggy from an earlier era. The Kingdom Hall Store was located in Burt St Boulder Australia
    • By Srecko Sostar
      Second link is G.J. testimony from August 14 2015 

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      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  
       
    • By The Librarian
      Heavy rains have caused severe flooding in Northeast Australia. Floods have displaced thousands of residents and have caused serious damage to property and power outages.

      The Branch of Australasia reports that, as a result of the floods, 58 publishers of three congregations needed to move to family homes or other witnesses. A total of ten homes of our brothers were flooded, two of which were destroyed.

      The Branch has set up a disaster relief committee, and the circuit overseer and local elders are supporting the affected publishers. We pray that our brothers and sisters continue to endure and be comforted under the care of these loving pastors. - 1 Peter 5:2.
    • By JOHN BUTLER
      OK, I've sort of shot myself in the foot by saying I'm now going to take this forum as a joke and have a laugh. In most ways i will continue to do so BUT.
      This evening I was given some information that 1.maybe I shouldn't have been given. 2. Maybe i wish i hadn't been given. 
      Some of you may say I'm telling lies. Some of you may say I'm just after attention. Some may say I'm just trying to put down the JW Org.
      However i have to think on something i say a lot. DUTY OF CARE. Care of everyone, in or out of that JW Org. 
      I have been given this information :-
      Somewhere between 18 months to 2 years ago, a young man that is a member of Honiton Congregation (my ex congregation) committed a sexual offence against a young girl that would have been around 7 or 8 years old at that time.. 
      The young man was visiting the home of this child and he went up to the girl's bedroom and asked the girl to have sex with him. I do not think that sexual intercourse took place but from the information that I've been given, he laid her on the bed and got on top of her and 'humped' her as if he were having sexual intercourse with her.  
      The incident was reported to the Elders and the police were not informed. I have no idea what action the Elders took but the congregation were not informed.
      The young man ( who's name I have ) would have been in his very early twenties at the time, but his mental age is lower. He is a bit slow in learning things and possibly has mental disorders. That is not meant as an insult, but i do know this young man personally and he does act a bit strange sometimes and frightens people.  
      The young man's father was a single dad of three children ( i knew this man quite well ), but he invited a foreign lady (a sister in the JW Org) over to the UK, and they married. The marriage did not go well as the woman wanted to 'be the boss'. They split up and she went back to her country of origin. But then she came back to have a 'second try' at the marriage.  I do not know the marriage situation at this time. However the whole issue would have been totally upsetting for the three children, especially for this young man that found it difficult to cope with some situations. 
      The person that gave me this information, in my opinion, is completely trustworthy, and once again in my opinion, would not have any reason for making up a 'story'. As I was given the young man's name, and i know the young man and his father, it all seems quite genuine to me.
      Now i come back to the duty of care.  For, in my opinion, it is the duty of anyone that has any information concerning child abuse to report it to the police. 
      This could be just a one off incident, but it could be the start of a young man becoming a pedophile. I honestly don't know where my duty is here. 
      The young girl that was the victim of this assault may need help getting over the situation. The information was also that the father of the victim does not want 'any trouble'. Hence he did not want the police involved. That helped the Elders to keep it secret, well almost. 
      Now this young man may commit sexual assault again, within the JW congregation or outside of it.  And that young lady will be in fear of him and yet still have to attend that Kingdom hall where she will see him every week. 
      So should i report what i have been told to the police or not ? Of course I would have to tell the police it is only third hand information.
      BUT, if the police could get hold of the 'records' / paperwork from the Kingdom hall regarding the incident, then it would be proved as true. 
      I do not expect that the Elders would willingly hand over paperwork, so I've no idea how it would work out in the end. But it's my actions that I'm concerned about here , my responsabilites. What should i do ?  
       
       
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      From the Newspaper the “San Diego Reader” - October 12, 2017
      Jehovah's Witnesses look in other direction
      Lawyers for religious group argue against daily fines in sex-abuse case
      By Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
       
      Attorneys for the Jehovah's Witness church appeared before a state appellate court yesterday (October 11) in hopes of overturning the $4000 daily sanctions that a trial court ordered them to pay for refusing to turn over documents in one of two sex-abuse cases.
       
      Osbaldo Padron, a former parishioner of the Linda Vista Jehovah's Witness congregation, filed his lawsuit against the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, JehovahÂ’s WitnessesÂ’ governing body, in 2013. Padron was one of seven people who sued the kingdom over sexual abuse they suffered by a former church elder, Gonzalo Campos.
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Campos admitted to molesting seven children from 1982 to 1999. Despite his admission, church elders agreed to let Campos rejoin the congregation after a four-year expulsion.
       
      In a 1999 letter, Linda Vista church elder Eduardo Chavez argued for reinstating Campos. He wrote, “In our meeting with him he said he was very repentant for what he did. He stated that he wanted to return to Jehovah. He is willing to face the victims and ask their forgiveness. He now wants to obey Jehovah. Before, when he would speak to people on the platform he would not meditate on what he was doing. Although he needed to confess, he felt shameful and had fear of mankind. He would deceive himself thinking that he could continue serving as an elder. Now he realized that he could not change without help. Ever since his expulsion he has not abused anyone."
       
      In 2010, five victims sued the Watchtower for allowing Campos to serve as an elder despite having knowledge that he molested several children in the congregation. Watchtower settled that case in 2012. The terms of the settlement as well as the evidence against the Watchtower were sealed.
       
      Two more victims, Padron and José Lopez, followed suit.
       
      In 2013, San Diego Superior Court judge Joan Lewis ordered Watchtower to pay $13.5 million for repeatedly refusing to turn over documents that showed the church was aware of sexual abuse and did nothing to stop it.
       
      Attorneys for the Watchtower filed an appeal. They argued that Judge Lewis had acted too soon in issuing the $13.5 million in sanctions and instead the trial court should have imposed less severe sanctions. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .
       
      In their ruling, the justices wrote, "We conclude the court erred in ordering terminating sanctions because there was no evidence that lesser sanctions would have failed to obtain Watchtower's compliance with the document production order and because there were other possible sanctions that could have effectively remedied the discovery violation. On remand, the court has broad discretion to start with a different sanction that does not wholly eliminate Watchtower's right to a trial."
       
      Then, last year in the Padron case, a different superior court judge, Richard Strauss, followed the appellate court's advice and instead of issuing terminating sanctions Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. for refusing to turn over the documents that Padron's attorneys had requested.
      Again, Watchtower's attorneys filed an appeal.
       
      On October 11, those attorneys appeared before the Fourth District Appellate Court to argue that the trial court was wrong to issue daily sanctions — exactly what they had argued for in the appellate court Lopez case just months prior.
       
      Justice Richard Huffman did not hide his displeasure that Watchtower's attorneys were arguing against what they had previously supported to the same court.
      "You can't have it both ways," Huffman said during argument. "[The Lopez] ruling has come around to bite you and now you're saying, 'not fair, not fair.' You were headed in one direction before and now youÂ’re headed another way. It's a breathtaking position to listen to."
      The appellate court has 90 days to issue its formal ruling."
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Our donations are being used to OBSTRUCT JUSTICE !
       
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      .
      TIRED OF BEING MANIPULATED BY FAKE NEWS?
      VERY SIMPLE SOLUTION ... GET EDUCATED ABOUT WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON AROUND YOU!
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
       
      With Case Study 54 only a few days away, THIS FRIDAY (AUSTRALIAN TIME) MARCH 10, 2017 (You do the math for local time...) a lot of discussion has been circulating as to exactly what we can expect when Watchtower appears once again before the Australian Royal Commission.
      I’ve decided to chip in a few observations here to help set expectations and to contribute to the discussions as best I’m able. So without further ado, let’s quickly run through what we know:
       
      What exactly will be discussed?   According to the Commission website, the scope of the study is as follows
      1.      The current policies and procedures of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd in relation to child protection and child-safe standards, including responding to allegations of child sexual abuse.
      2.      Factors that may have contributed to the occurrence of child sexual abuse at Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd institutions.
      3.      Factors that may have affected the institutional response of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd to child sexual abuse.
      4.      The responses of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd to relevant case study report(s) and other Royal Commission reports.
      5.      Any related matters.
      The purpose of this public hearing is not to inquire into individual sets of facts or particular events as has occurred in previous Royal Commission case studies.
      Why does the Case Study 54 hearing appear to be only one day long?   This may appear at first glance to be a surprise. How can a single day of testimony possibly be enough to cover the vast and complex issue of Watchtower’s child abuse scandal?
       
      Well, remember that Case Study 54 isn’t a fact finding mission. That was Case Study 29. The Commission spent days digging and interviewing, and Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . As far as the Commission is concerned, the facts are in. There is no further debate. Case Study 54 is tasked purely with a quick review of those facts and then with publicly asking Watchtower what is has done to address the damning failures identified in Case Study 29.
      Remember what Justice McClellan said to Watchtower’s legal team? That they were going to come back to Watchtower and publicly ask them what had been done to address the issues?
      That’s what this is.
       
      So what has Watchtower done in the 21 months since Case Study 29?   As far as I am aware, the only potential effort from  Watchtower to address any of the concerns raised in the Royal Commission has been to no longer require an abuse survivor to confront their attacker. However, it was not clear from testimony if this practice had actually been halted before the Commission sat. Watchtower seemed to insist in testimony that it was, but their documentation did not reflect this.
      Thus one cannot say with certainty that even this potential change has come as a result of the Commission report.
       
      So Watchtower is going to stand before the Commission, after 21 months, and basically say they’ve done nothing at all?   I have no idea.
       
      I mean, that would be the honest thing to do, but remember how slippery and devious Watchtower was in Case Study 29, with senior Watchtower officials like Rodney Spinks, Terrence O’Brain and Governing Body Member Geoffrey Jackson attempted to mislead and outright lie to the Commission on multiple occasions. As far as I can see, Watchtower has three options
       
      Admit they’ve done nothing and that they don’t intend to for religious reasons, and turn the whole thing into an issue of religious freedom.   Try to stall and muddy the waters by saying they’ve not had enough time, that they have no authority to make the changes required without Brooklyn agreement, knowing full well that Brooklyn is beyond the reach of the Commission. The idea here would be to stall until the day is over, then slink away and wait, knowing no further testimony is required.   Dive full into another round of misleading doublespeak and outright lies to try and pull the wool over the Commission’s eyes. Which one will they pick? Again I have no idea. Judging from Watchtower’s jaw-dropping legal incompetence in Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. and in the recent Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , it’s very hard to predict their strategy. It seems to have no rhyme or reason, but keep in mind three things.
       
      The men in charge of Watchtower are firstly very deluded. They genuinely think they are defending God’s organization against Satanic and apostate attack, and feel that compromise will be a victory for Satan.   The men in charge of Watchtower are very out of touch with real life, spending all their days in a world where you don’t question Watchtower or those who run it, and now they’ve risen to the top. Their word is law. Odds are that no-one has told Anthony Morris III that his ideas are stupid for a very long time. They have no idea how to handle the kind of environment the Royal Commission brings to the table. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , where Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. was proof of that.   The men in charge of Watchtower are caught between being honest with a Commission that has all of their dirty little secrets on the one hand, and playing to the growing audience of JW’s who they know WILL find out about March 10th one way or the other. They have to both be as compliant as possible to the Commission whilst also appearing to be steadfast and unmovable to the Witnesses who will end up seeing the testimony on YouTube.   So delusion, seclusion, and public relations are all going to crash into once horrible mess as they did in Case Study 29 and as a result I have no idea what Watchtower will do on Friday.
       
      We  hope to preserve the live steam video for future reference as the Commission does not archive or make this video available once the live stream is over. However, technical gremlins are always a factor so if you have the ability to record the live stream, it would be a great idea to do so as well. The more people do this, the less chance of this footage being lost forever.
       
      Lastly we will of course be following up with articles on the day, giving you a more detailed analysis of what has transpired.
      Get your popcorn (and your coffee if you’re staying up late) and lets all observe the car crash together!
      And one last thing: if it is safe for you to do so, please tell as many Jehovah’s Witnesses as you can about the events on March 10th. Their children are at risk and they don’t even know it. They may choose not to look up the Case Study, but simply being aware that it exists is the first step in raising awareness that the Governing Body is not being honest with them about the international scandal of child abuse inside the Watchtower organization.
      (edited for political correctness and other stuff ...) JTR
       
       







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    • My best guess is that Cesar really hates Jehovah's Witnesses, individually ... all of them, and is crude, rude, insulting and vulgar without letup to demonstrate to non-Witnesses that if they are considering the Jehovah's Witnesses religion, they will become like him .... thereby horrifying them, and scaring them away. I would also guess that this is caused by raging, massive and persistent neurotic insecurity, and is over-compensation due to unawareness. I don't expect perfection, or
    • Like I said, he's nothing but a troll...
    • @César Chávez You appear to have some special reason or need to respond to others with vulgarity. You've done this to several people in the past, too. If "Pudgy" had been vulgar first, perhaps I missed it. Still, considering your claims to moral superiority over everyone, it seems a bit unseemly. This wasn't a topic under any religious heading or club, so I won't spell out Ephesians 5:3-4.
    • When there is a good interlocutor, like you, it is so simple and easy to go from the topic of artificial satellites and torn parts flying in Earth orbit to the topic of the persecution of Christians. :))
    • Are Cats For Christians QUESTIONS FROM READERS "Is it appropriate for a Christian to own a cat in light of their past pagan religions affiliation and the new medical information that is now coming to light?" Many conscientious ones among Jehovah's people today have wondered if Christians should own cats in view of their sorted past and many health risks. What may be acceptable to one person may, although unintentionally, stumble another. This can become a life-or-death issue since
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    • Eric Ouellet

      CHANTONS À JÉHOVAH UN CHANT NOUVEAU
      Il est bon de rendre grâces à Jéhovah
      et d’exécuter des mélodies pour ton nom, ô Très-Haut !
      D’annoncer ta bonté de cœur le matin
      et ta fidélité pendant les nuits,
      sur un instrument à dix cordes et sur le luth,
      aux accords sonores de la harpe.
      Car tu m’as réjoui, ô Jéhovah, à cause de ton action ;
      à cause des œuvres de tes mains je pousse des cris de joie.
      Que tes œuvres sont grandes, ô Jéhovah !
      Tes pensées sont très profondes.
      L’homme dépourvu de raison ne peut les connaître,
      et le stupide ne peut comprendre cela.
      Quand les méchants germent comme la végétation
      et que fleurissent tous ceux qui 
      pratiquent ce qui est malfaisant,
      c’est pour être anéantis pour toujours.
      Mais toi, tu es là-haut pour des temps indéfinis, ô Jéhovah!
      Car voici que tes ennemis, ô Jéhovah,
      car voici que tes ennemis périront;
      tous ceux qui pratiquent ce qui est malfaisant seront séparés les uns des autres.
      Mais tu élèveras ma corne comme celle du taureau sauvage;
      je m’arroserai d’huile fraîche.
      Mon œil regardera mes ennemis;
      mes oreilles entendront parler de ceux
      qui se dressent contre moi, les malfaiteurs.
      Le juste fleurira comme un palmier ;
      il grandira comme un cèdre du Liban.
      Ceux qui sont plantés dans la maison de Jéhovah,
      dans les cours de notre Dieu — ils fleuriront.
      Ils prospéreront encore durant les cheveux gris,
      ils resteront gras et frais,
      pour annoncer que Jéhovah est droit.
      Il est mon Rocher, Celui en qui il n’y a pas d’injustice.
      Jéhovah lui-même est devenu roi!
      De grandeur il est vêtu ;
      Jéhovah est vêtu de force Il s’est ceint.
      Le sol productif aussi s’établit solidement
      de sorte qu’il ne peut chanceler.
      Ton trône est solidement établi depuis les temps anciens ;
      tu es depuis des temps indéfinis.
      Les fleuves ont fait retentir, ô Jéhovah,
      les fleuves ont fait retentir leur bruit ;
      les fleuves sans arrêt font retentir leur fracas.
      Par-dessus les bruits des eaux immenses,
      des vagues majestueuses de la mer qui déferlent,
      Jéhovah est majestueux dans les hauteurs.
      Tes rappels se sont révélés très dignes de foi.
      La sainteté convient à ta maison, ô Jéhovah,
      pour la longueur des jours.
      Ô Dieu aux actes de vengeance
      Jéhovah , ô Dieu aux actes de vengeance, apparais.
      Lève-toi, ô Juge de la terre!
      Fais revenir la rétribution sur les orgueilleux.
      Jusqu’à quand les méchants, ô Jéhovah,
      jusqu’à quand les méchants vont-ils exulter ?
      Sans cesse ils font jaillir un flot de paroles,
      sans cesse ils parlent avec audace;
      sans cesse ils se vantent, 
      tous ceux qui pratiquent ce qui est malfaisant.
      Ton peuple, ô Jéhovah, ils continuent à l’écraser,
      et ton héritage, ils continuent à l’affliger.
      Ils tuent la veuve et le résident étranger,
      ils assassinent les orphelins de père.
      Et ils continuent à dire : “ Yah ne voit pas;
      le Dieu de Jacob ne le comprend pas. ”
      Comprenez donc, vous qui êtes dépourvus de raison parmi le peuple;
      et vous, stupides, quand serez-vous perspicaces ?
      Celui qui plante l’oreille, est-ce qu’il ne peut pas entendre ?
      Ou Celui qui forme l’œil, est-ce qu’il ne peut pas regarder ?
      Celui qui corrige les nations, 
      est-ce qu’il ne peut pas reprendre,
      oui Celui qui enseigne la connaissance aux hommes?
      Jéhovah connaît les pensées des hommes,
      il sait qu’elles sont comme une vapeur.
      Heureux l’homme robuste que tu corriges, ô Yah,
      et que tu enseignes par ta loi,
      pour lui donner le calme aux jours du malheur,
      jusqu’à ce qu’une fosse soit creusée pour le méchant.
      Car Jéhovah n’abandonnera pas son peuple,
      et il ne quittera pas son héritage.
      Car la décision judiciaire retournera à la justice,
      et tous ceux qui ont le cœur droit la suivront.
      Qui se dressera pour moi contre les malfaiteurs?
      Qui se postera pour moi contre ceux qui pratiquent ce qui est malfaisant ?
      Si Jéhovah ne m’était venu en aide,
      sous peu mon âme aurait résidé dans le silence.
      Lorsque j’ai dit : “ À coup sûr, mon pied chancellera ”,
      ta bonté de cœur, ô Jéhovah, m’a soutenu sans relâche.
      Quand mes pensées troublantes se multiplièrent au-dedans de moi,
      tes consolations se mirent à cajoler mon âme.
      Sera-t-il allié à toi, le trône qui cause des adversités,
      tandis qu’il façonne le malheur par décret ?
      Ils lancent de vives attaques contre l’âme du juste
      et déclarent coupable le sang de l’innocent.
      Mais Jéhovah deviendra pour moi une hauteur sûre,
      et mon Dieu, le rocher de mon refuge.
      Il ramènera sur eux leurs méfaits
      et les réduira au silence par leur malheur.
      Jéhovah notre Dieu les réduira au silence.
      Oh ! venez, poussons des cris de joie vers Jéhovah !
      Poussons des cris de triomphe vers notre Rocher de salut.
      Présentons-nous devant sa personne avec des actions de grâces;
      avec des mélodies poussons vers lui des cris de triomphe.
      Car Jéhovah est un grand Dieu
      et un grand Roi au-dessus de tous les autres dieux,
      lui en la main de qui sont les profondeurs 
      les plus secrètes de la terre
      et à qui appartiennent les cimes des montagnes;
      lui à qui appartient la mer qu’il a faite
      et dont les mains ont formé la terre ferme.
      Oh ! entrez, adorons et courbons-nous!
      Agenouillons nous devant Jéhovah notre Auteur.
      Car il est notre Dieu, et nous sommes le peuple
      de son pâturage et les brebis de sa main.
      Aujourd’hui, si vous écoutez sa voix,
      n’endurcissez pas votre cœur comme à Meriba,
      comme au jour de Massa dans le désert,
      quand vos ancêtres m’ont mis à l’épreuve ;
      ils m’ont examiné, ils ont aussi vu mon action.
      Pendant quarante ans j’ai éprouvé du dégoût pour cette génération,
      alors j’ai dit :
      “ C’est un peuple au cœur errant,
      et ils n’ont pas appris à connaître mes voies ” ;
      à propos de qui j’ai juré dans ma colère:
      “ Ils n’entreront pas dans mon lieu de repos
      Chantez pour Jéhovah un chant nouveau.
      Chantez pour Jéhovah, vous tous, gens de la terre !
      Chantez pour Jéhovah, bénissez son nom.
      De jour en jour annoncez la bonne nouvelle de son salut.
      Proclamez parmi les nations sa gloire,
      parmi tous les peuples ses œuvres prodigieuses."
      Car Jéhovah est grand et on doit le louer infiniment.
      Il est redoutable par-dessus tous les autres dieux.
      Car tous les dieux des peuples sont des dieux sans valeur ;
      mais Jéhovah, lui, a fait les cieux.
      Dignité et splendeur sont devant lui;
      force et beauté sont dans son sanctuaire.
      Attribuez à Jéhovah, ô familles des peuples,
      attribuez à Jéhovah gloire et force.
      Attribuez à Jéhovah la gloire qui appartient à son nom;
      portez un don et entrez dans ses cours.
      Prosternez-vous devant Jéhovah en ornements sacrés;
      soyez dans de violentes douleurs à cause de lui, 
      vous tous, gens de la terre !
      Dites parmi les nations :
       “ Jéhovah lui-même est devenu roi."
      Le sol productif aussi s’établit solidement,
      de sorte qu’il ne peut chanceler.
      Il va plaider la cause des peuples avec droiture. 
      Que les cieux se réjouissent, et que la terre soit en joie.
      Que gronde la mer et ce qui la remplit.
      Qu’exulte la campagne et tout ce qui s’y trouve.
      Qu’en même temps tous les arbres de la forêt 
      poussent des cris de joie devant Jéhovah. 
      Car il est venu ;
      car il est venu pour juger la terre.
      Il jugera le sol productif avec justice
      et les peuples avec sa fidélité.
      Jéhovah lui-même est devenu roi ! 
      Que la terre soit en joie.
      Que les îles nombreuses se réjouissent
      Des nuages et une obscurité épaisse sont tout autour de lui;
      justice et jugement sont le lieu fixe de son trône.
      Devant lui marche un feu,
      il consume ses adversaires tout autour.
      Ses éclairs ont illuminé le sol productif ;
      la terre a vu, elle a été prise de violentes douleur.
      Alors les montagnes ont fondu
      comme de la cire à cause de Jéhovah,
      à cause du Seigneur de toute la terre.
      Les cieux ont annoncé sa justice,
      et tous les peuples ont vu sa gloire.
      Qu’ils soient honteux,
      tous ceux qui servent quelque image sculptée,
      ceux qui se glorifient en des dieux sans valeur.
      Prosternez-vous devant lui, vous tous les dieux !
      Sion a entendu et s’est alors réjouie,
      et les localités qui dépendent de Juda sont devenues joyeuses
      à cause de tes décisions judiciaires, ô Jéhovah !
      Car toi, ô Jéhovah, tu es le Très-Haut sur toute la terre ;
      tu es très haut dans ta montée par-dessus tous les autres dieux.
      Ô vous qui aimez Jéhovah,
      haïssez ce qui est mauvais.
      Il garde les âmes de ses fidèles;
      de la main des méchants il les délivre.
      La lumière est apparue pour le juste,
      et la joie pour ceux qui ont le cœur droit.
      Réjouissez-vous en Jéhovah, ô vous les justes,
      et rendez grâces à son saint mémorial.
      Chantez pour Jéhovah un chant nouveau,
      car prodigieuses sont les choses qu’il a faites.
      Sa droite, oui son saint bras, lui a procuré le salut.
      Jéhovah a fait connaître son salut;
      aux yeux des nations il a révélé sa justice.
      Il s’est souvenu de sa bonté de cœur et de sa fidélité
      envers la maison d’Israël.
      Toutes les extrémités de la terre ont vu le salut de notre Dieu.
      Poussez des cris de triomphe vers Jéhovah, vous tous, gens de la terre !
      Égayez-vous et poussez des cris de joie et exécutez des mélodies.
      Exécutez des mélodies pour Jéhovah avec la harpe,
      avec la harpe et la voix de la mélodie.
      Avec les trompettes et au son du cor,
      poussez des cris de triomphe devant le Roi, 
      JÉHOVAH.
      Que gronde la mer et ce qui la remplit,
      le sol productif et ceux qui y habitent.
      Que les fleuves battent des mains ;
      que toutes ensemble les montagnes poussent
      des cris de joie devant Jéhovah
      car il est venu pour juger la terre.
      Il jugera le sol productif avec justice
      et les peuples avec droiture.
      Jéhovah lui-même est devenu roi.
      Que les peuples s’agitent.
      Il siège sur les chérubins. 
      Que la terre frémisse.
      Jéhovah est grand dans Sion, et il est élevé
      par-dessus tous les peuples.
      Qu’ils louent ton nom.
      Grand et redoutable, celui-ci est saint.
      Avec une force de roi il a aimé le jugement.
      C’est toi qui as solidement établi la droiture.
      Le jugement et la justice en Jacob, c’est toi qui les as réalisés.
      Exaltez Jéhovah notre Dieu et prosternez-vous
      devant son marchepied ; Car Il est Saint.
      Moïse et Aaron étaient parmi ses prêtres,
      et Samuel parmi ceux qui invoquaient son nom.
      Ils appelaient Jéhovah, et lui leur répondait.
      Dans la colonne de nuage il leur parlait.
      Ils gardaient ses rappels et la prescription qu’il leur avait donnée.
      Ô Jéhovah notre Dieu, tu leur répondais toi-même.
      Tu as été pour eux un Dieu qui pardonne,
      mais qui exécutait la vengeance
      contre leurs actions scandaleuses.
      Exaltez Jéhovah notre Dieu
      et prosternez-vous à sa montagne saint.
      Car Jéhovah notre Dieu est saint.

      · 0 replies
    • folens  »  Eric Ouellet

      Hello Eric merci pour ce bon condensé sur les vœux. Bonne journée et à bientôt. Michel
      b-13-sculptures-de-givre-ggo-wp1.ppsx
      · 1 reply
    • Eric Ouellet

      « Le vœu que tu fais, acquitte toi de se voeux sans renoncer »
      « Tu dois t’acquitter envers Jéhovah de tes vœux » (MATTHIEU 5:33).
      YIPHTAH était un chef et un guerrier courageux. Hanna était une femme humble qui prenait soin de son mari et de sa famille. Tous les deux adoraient Jéhovah. Mais ils ont un autre point commun : ils ont fait un vœu à Jéhovah et ils l’ont respecté fidèlement. Ils sont d’excellents exemples pour les chrétiens qui décident de faire des vœux à Jéhovah. Répondons maintenant à ces trois questions : Qu’est-ce qu’un vœu ? Faire un vœu à Jéhovah, est-ce sérieux ? Quelles leçons tirer des histoires de Yiphtah et de Hanna ?
      Dans la Bible, un vœu est une promesse sérieuse faite à Jéhovah. Par exemple, la promesse de faire quelque chose, d’offrir quelque chose, de commencer un certain service, ou de ne pas faire certaines choses. On fait un vœu volontairement, en utilisant sa liberté de choix. Personne n’est obligé de faire un vœu. Mais si on décide d’en faire un, Jéhovah le considère comme une promesse dont on doit s’acquitter. D’après la Bible, un vœu est aussi important qu’un serment. Un serment, c’est quand une personne jure de faire ou de ne pas faire quelque chose (Genèse 14:22, 23 ; Hébreux 6:16, 17). Que dit la Bible à propos du sérieux des vœux faits à Jéhovah ?
      Dans la Loi de Moïse, on lit que si quelqu’un fait un vœu à Jéhovah, « il ne doit pas violer (trahir) sa parole. Il fera selon tout ce qui est sorti de sa bouche » (Nombres 30:2). Plus tard, Salomon a écrit : « Quand tu fais un vœu à Dieu, n’hésite pas à t’en acquitter, car il n’y a aucun plaisir dans les stupides. Le vœu que tu fais, acquitte-t’en » (Ecclésiaste 5:4). Plus tard encore, Jésus a enseigné qu’un vœu fait à Jéhovah est quelque chose de sérieux, en rappelant : « Il a été dit à ceux des temps anciens : “Tu ne dois pas jurer sans tenir [parole], mais tu dois t’acquitter envers Jéhovah de tes vœux” » (Matthieu 5:33).
      C’est donc clair qu’il faut prendre très au sérieux toute promesse qu’on fait à Jéhovah. Respecter ou non nos vœux a des conséquences sur notre relation avec lui. Un jour, David a demandé : « Qui pourra monter à la montagne de Jéhovah, et qui pourra se lever en son lieu saint », autrement dit être accepté par Jéhovah ? Il a répondu que c’est celui qui ne fait pas de « serment avec tromperie » (Psaume 24:3, 4). Mais quels vœux Yiphtah et Hanna ont-ils faits ? Cela a-t-il été facile pour eux de s’en acquitter ?
      ILS SE SONT ACQUITTÉS DE LEURS VŒUX
      Yiphtah a fait sa promesse à Jéhovah avant de combattre les Ammonites, des ennemis du peuple de Jéhovah (Juges 10:7-9). Il a fait ce vœu (en résumé) : « Si vraiment tu me donnes la victoire, voici ce qui devra arriver : quand je reviendrai en paix de chez les fils d’Ammôn, la personne qui sortira de ma maison à ma rencontre, celle-là devra alors t’appartenir. » Jéhovah a répondu à la prière de Yiphtah en l’aidant à gagner la guerre. Quand Yiphtah est rentré chez lui, sa fille chérie est sortie vers lui. Ce serait donc elle qui « appartiendrait à Jéhovah » (Juges 11:30-34). Qu’est-ce que cela allait changer pour elle ?
      Pour respecter le vœu de Yiphtah, sa fille devrait partir servir Jéhovah à plein temps au tabernacle. Yiphtah avait-il fait son vœu sans réfléchir ? Non. Il savait sans doute que sa fille pourrait être la première personne à sortir vers lui. Mais qu’il l’ait su ou pas, cela n’a pas été facile pour lui de respecter son vœu, et pour sa fille non plus. En effet, en la voyant sortir, il a dit que cela lui causait un grand chagrin. Et elle, elle est partie « pleurer sur sa virginité ». Pourquoi ont-ils pleuré ? Yiphtah n’avait pas de fils, et maintenant sa fille unique ne se marierait jamais et n’aurait pas d’enfant. Le nom de famille de Yiphtah disparaîtrait. Mais tous les deux comprenaient que le plus important, ce n’étaient pas leurs sentiments. Yiphtah a dit : « J’ai ouvert ma bouche pour Jéhovah ; je ne [peux pas] revenir en arrière. » Et sa fille a répondu : « Fais-moi selon ce qui est sorti de ta bouche » (Juges 11:35-39). Tous les deux étaient des personnes fidèles : ils n’auraient jamais eu l’idée de casser un vœu fait à Jéhovah, même si c’était difficile de le respecter (lire Deutéronome 23:21, 23 ; Psaume 15:4).
      Hanna aussi a fait un vœu à Jéhovah dans un moment difficile de sa vie. Elle était malheureuse parce qu’elle ne pouvait pas avoir d’enfants, et qu’à cause de cela elle subissait des remarques méchantes (1 Samuel 1:4-7, 10, 16). En exprimant ses sentiments à Jéhovah, elle lui a fait cette promesse : « Ô Jéhovah des armées, si tu ne manques pas de regarder l’affliction (le chagrin) 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). Jéhovah a répondu à sa prière : l’année suivante elle a eu un fils, Samuel. Elle était très heureuse ! Mais elle n’a pas oublié le vœu qu’elle avait fait à Jéhovah. Après la naissance de son fils, elle a dit : « C’est à Jéhovah que je l’ai demandé » (1 Samuel 1:20).
      Quand Samuel a eu environ trois ans, Hanna a tenu sa promesse. Elle a amené Samuel au grand prêtre Éli, en disant : « C’est à propos de ce garçon que je priais, pour que Jéhovah m’accorde [...] ce que je lui demandais. Et moi, à mon tour, je l’ai prêté à Jéhovah » (1 Samuel 1:24-28). À partir de ce jour-là, Samuel a habité au tabernacle. La Bible dit que « le garçon Samuel grandissait auprès de Jéhovah » (1 Samuel 2:21). Cela n’allait pas être facile pour Hanna de respecter son vœu. Elle ne pourrait plus passer du temps chaque jour avec son fils qu’elle aimait tendrement. Ce serait dur de ne pas le voir grandir. Mais elle a pris son vœu au sérieux. Pour tenir sa promesse, elle a accepté volontiers de sacrifier des choses qui étaient importantes pour elle (1 Samuel 2:1, 2 ; lire Psaume 61:1, 5, 8).
      Parmi les vœux faits à Jéhovah, il y a le vœu de l’offrande de soi, le vœu du mariage et le vœu des serviteurs spéciaux à plein temps
      T’acquittes-tu de tes vœux envers Jéhovah ?
      LE VŒU DE L’OFFRANDE DE SOI
      Le vœu le plus grand qu’un chrétien puisse faire, c’est celui de s’offrir à Jéhovah pour toute la vie. Dans une prière personnelle, ce chrétien promet à Jéhovah d’utiliser sa vie pour le servir pour toujours, quoi qu’il arrive. En faisant ce vœu, il « se renie lui-même » : il promet de donner la plus grande importance non pas à lui-même, mais à Jéhovah (Matthieu 16:24). À partir de ce moment, il appartient à Jéhovah (Romains 14:8). Il prend au sérieux son vœu d’offrande de soi. Il pense comme l’écrivain des Psaumes qui a dit : « Que rendrai-je à Jéhovah pour tous ses bienfaits envers moi ? Je m’acquitterai de mes vœux envers Jéhovah, oui devant tout son peuple » (Psaume 116:12, 14).
      As-tu fait le vœu d’offrir ta vie à Jéhovah, et l’as-tu montré en te faisant baptiser dans l’eau ? Si oui, félicitations ! Rappelle-toi le discours de ton baptême. Le frère t’a demandé si tu avais offert ta vie à Jéhovah, et si tu comprenais qu’en te faisant baptiser, tu montrais « que tu devenais Témoin de Jéhovah ». En entendant ton « oui », tous les assistants ont compris que tu avais offert ta vie à Jéhovah et que tu pouvais te faire baptiser ministre ordonné de Jéhovah. Tu as certainement fait très plaisir à Jéhovah !
      Quand tu t’es fait baptiser, tu as promis à Jéhovah d’utiliser ta vie pour le servir, et de tout faire pour obéir à ses normes. Mais le baptême n’est qu’un début. Le temps passant, on doit tous continuer à s’examiner. Alors, demande-toi : « Ma relation avec Jéhovah est-elle de plus en plus forte depuis mon baptême ? Est-ce que je le sers toujours de tout mon cœur ? (Colossiens 3:23). Est-ce que je prie souvent ? Est-ce que je lis la Bible tous les jours ? Est-ce que j’assiste régulièrement aux réunions de la congrégation ? Est-ce que je prêche aussi souvent que possible ? Ou, au contraire, est-ce que j’ai perdu un peu de mon envie de faire ces activités ? » D’après l’apôtre Pierre, pour ne pas devenir inactifs dans notre service pour Jéhovah, nous devons nous efforcer de faire grandir en nous la foi, la connaissance, l’endurance et l’attachement à Jéhovah (lire 2 Pierre 1:5-8).
      Une fois que quelqu’un a prononcé le vœu de servir Jéhovah, il ne peut pas reprendre sa parole. S’il en a assez de servir Jéhovah ou de vivre en chrétien, il ne peut pas dire : « Je n’ai jamais vraiment offert ma vie à Jéhovah ; mon baptême n’était pas valable* » (lire la note). Si un chrétien commet un péché grave alors qu’il s’est offert à Jéhovah, il est responsable de sa conduite devant Jéhovah et la congrégation (Romains 14:12). Nous ne voulons pas ressembler aux chrétiens à qui Jésus a dit : « Tu as laissé l’amour que tu avais au début. » Au contraire, nous voulons qu’il puisse nous dire : « Je connais tes actions, et ton amour, et ta foi, et ton ministère, et ton endurance, et je sais que tes actions récentes sont plus nombreuses que celles d’autrefois » (Révélation 2:4, 19). Nous voulons faire plaisir à Jéhovah en nous acquittant avec zèle de notre vœu.
      LE VŒU DU MARIAGE
      Des mariés échangent leurs vœux de mariage
      Le deuxième vœu le plus important qu’on puisse faire, c’est celui du mariage. Le mariage est sacré. Jéhovah considère ce vœu comme quelque chose de très sérieux. Quand des mariés prononcent leurs vœux, ils font une promesse devant Jéhovah et devant les personnes présentes. Ils se promettent de s’aimer, de se chérir et de se respecter l’un l’autre aussi longtemps qu’ils vivront ensemble sur la terre dans le cadre du mariage tel qu’il a été institué par Dieu. Quelles que soient les paroles exactes que les mariés se disent, dans tous les cas, ce sont des vœux faits devant Jéhovah. En les faisant, ils deviennent mari et femme. Le mariage doit être une union pour toute la vie (Genèse 2:24 ; 1 Corinthiens 7:39). Jésus a dit que personne ne doit séparer ce que Jéhovah a uni (Marc 10:9). Un homme et une femme qui se marient ne doivent pas se dire que, si leur union ne marche pas, ils pourront toujours divorcer.
      Bien sûr, il n’y a pas de mariage parfait puisqu’il n’y a pas d’humain parfait. C’est pourquoi la Bible dit que toute personne mariée aura parfois « des tribulations (des problèmes) » (1 Corinthiens 7:28). Dans le monde d’aujourd’hui, beaucoup ne prennent pas le mariage au sérieux. Ils pensent : « Si ça ne marche pas, on pourra toujours divorcer. » Mais les chrétiens ne considèrent pas le mariage de cette façon. Ils sont conscients qu’ils ont prononcé leur vœu de mariage devant Jéhovah. S’ils cassaient leur vœu, ce serait comme s’ils lui mentaient. Or Jéhovah déteste les menteurs ! (Lévitique 19:12 ; Proverbes 6:16-19). Les chrétiens mariés doivent se rappeler ces paroles de l’apôtre Paul : « Es-tu lié à une femme ? Cesse (arrête) de chercher à t’en détacher » (1 Corinthiens 7:27). Paul a pu dire cela parce qu’il savait que Jéhovah déteste aussi les divorces quand ils sont des trahisons (Malaki 2:13-16).
      Jésus a enseigné que la seule situation qui donne une raison de divorcer, c’est lorsqu’un mari ou une femme commet l’adultère (est infidèle à son conjoint) et que le conjoint innocent décide de ne pas lui pardonner (Matthieu 19:9 ; Hébreux 13:4). Par ailleurs, peut-on se séparer de son conjoint ? La Bible est claire à ce sujet aussi (lire 1 Corinthiens 7:10, 11). Il n’existe pas de raison biblique de se séparer de son conjoint. Mais parfois un chrétien (ou une chrétienne) pense que c’est absolument nécessaire. Par exemple, il est sûr que sa vie ou sa relation avec Jéhovah seront en très grand danger s’il reste avec un conjoint violent.
      Si des conjoints demandent conseil aux anciens de la congrégation pour rendre leur couple plus solide, les anciens pourraient leur demander s’ils ont regardé la vidéo Qu’est-ce que le vrai amour ? et s’ils ont étudié la brochure Le secret des familles heureuses. Ces documents montrent quels principes bibliques peuvent rendre un mariage plus solide. Des Témoins racontent : « Depuis que nous étudions cette brochure, notre couple est plus heureux que jamais. » Une sœur mariée depuis 22 ans pensait que son mariage allait bientôt se briser. Mais elle a regardé la vidéo. Elle raconte : « Nous sommes tous les deux baptisés, mais sur le plan affectif nous étions complètement différents. La vidéo est arrivée au bon moment ! Maintenant, notre couple va beaucoup mieux. » Vraiment, si un mari et une femme appliquent les conseils de Jéhovah, leur union devient plus heureuse et plus forte.
      LE VŒU DES SERVITEURS SPÉCIAUX À PLEIN TEMPS
      Au début de l’article, nous avons parlé des vœux de Yiphtah et de Hanna. Grâce à ces vœux, la fille de Yiphtah et le fils de Hanna ont passé leur vie à servir Jéhovah d’une façon spéciale. À notre époque, beaucoup de parents chrétiens ont encouragé leurs enfants à s’engager dans le ministère à plein temps et à concentrer leur vie sur le service pour Jéhovah. En fait, nous pouvons tous encourager ces jeunes frères et sœurs à tenir bon dans leur service (Juges 11:40 ; Psaume 110:3).
      Aujourd’hui, il y a des dizaines de milliers de membres de l’Ordre international des serviteurs spéciaux à plein temps des Témoins de Jéhovah. Certains servent au Béthel, ou dans l’activité de construction ou alors dans le service de la circonscription. D’autres sont formateurs aux écoles bibliques, pionniers spéciaux, missionnaires, ou serviteurs affectés à une Salle d’assemblées ou à un centre d’écoles bibliques. Ils ont tous fait un « Vœu d’obéissance et de pauvreté ». En le faisant, ils ont promis de concentrer leurs efforts sur toute activité qu’on leur donne au service de Jéhovah, d’avoir une vie simple, et de ne pas avoir un emploi payé s’ils n’en ont pas l’autorisation. Ce ne sont pas les personnes qui sont considérées comme spéciales, mais leurs activités. Ces chrétiens sont humbles, et ils sont décidés à s’acquitter de leur vœu tout le temps qu’ils resteront dans le service spécial à plein temps.
      Dans cet article, nous avons étudié trois vœux qu’un chrétien pourrait faire aujourd’hui à Jéhovah. Peut-être que tu en as fait un, ou deux, ou les trois. Nous savons que nous devons prendre nos vœux au sérieux et tout faire pour les respecter (Proverbes 20:25). Si nous ne respectons pas nos vœux faits à Jéhovah, les conséquences risquent d’être graves (Ecclésiaste 5:6). Faisons donc comme le psalmiste qui a dit à Jéhovah : « Je veux exécuter des mélodies pour ton nom à jamais (pour toujours), pour m’acquitter de mes vœux jour après jour » (Psaume 61:8).


      · 0 replies
    • K625XM

      Hello Twyla,
      I am not able to view the study materials.  Can you help me out pls ?  Thank you.
      · 0 replies
    • Claud's Lst  »  misette

      Bonjour ma sœur Misette. Comment vas-tu ? J'espère avec l'aide de Jéhovah toute la communauté et especialement toi vont bien. 
      Je n'ai pas reçu la réunion de cette semaine, est-ce qu'il y a un problème pour cette semaine ? 
           Bonne journée ou soirée 
                                   Agape 
      · 3 replies
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