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33 minutes ago, Ann O'Maly said:

But the 'wicked' in this context was specifically about a kind of Gnostic Christian who taught Jesus was not a flesh-and-blood person which went against the fundamentals of the Gospel. It wasn't a generic 'any who an ecclesiastical authority deems wicked, for any number of reasons, do not speak to them at all.' If we were to shun all 'basically wicked' people we wouldn't speak to anybody at all. Cp. Luke. 11:13 (Matt. 7:11). ;)

So, you are saying that as long as you believe Christ came in the flesh and was resurrected, but that you had to adhere to circumcision to be saved, that was *not* John's intent? Or that you believed that Jesus was flesh and blood but forbade Jews from being Christians, that was OK?  You want to say that John *only* had *1* specific target for his warning?

Really?O.o

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Is it Christian NOT to accept someone who comes to the congregation and asks for forgiveness ?  Asking for forgiveness is not the only criteria as John the Baptist made clear at Matt 3:8. "Thank you Eoin, But I am sure you have an opinion of your own" you said. Well here is my opinion: If a person is sick, they need medical attention. If their sickness is contagious, additional precaution must be taken to avoid infecting others and this may include isolation until the sickness is no lo

You have used James 5:14 to answer your own question

I can't make sense of your objection here, AnonymousBrother . John does not allude to the issue of circumcision in his 2nd letter. Surely we are agreed on that? I also said that John talks about staying in the teaching of Christ. So we are agreed on that. I made no interpretation regarding 'the teaching of Christ' but I did ask a question about what actually was the 'teaching of Christ.'

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1 hour ago, AnonymousBrother said:

So, you are saying that as long as you believe Christ came in the flesh and was resurrected, but that you had to adhere to circumcision to be saved, that was *not* John's intent?

I can't remember Jesus teaching anything about circumcision, the question was long resolved by the time John wrote his letter, and he didn't allude to the circumcision issue here, so no, warning against the pro-circumcision lobby was not John's intent

 

1 hour ago, AnonymousBrother said:

Or that you believed that Jesus was flesh and blood but forbade Jews from being Christians, that was OK?

Again, banning Jews from Christianity is not the issue that John alludes to. 

The doctrinal threat to Christianity was more fundamental: if Jesus didn't really die, then there was no resurrection. If Jesus wasn't resurrected, Christian faith has no basis (as Paul said in 1 Cor. 15).

1 hour ago, AnonymousBrother said:

You want to say that John *only* had *1* specific target for his warning?

John talks about love, warns about those who teach that Jesus didn't come in the flesh and urges Christians to remain in Christ's teaching (and what exactly was Christ's teaching?). Any other perceived target is eisegesis, pure speculation. 

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10 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

I can't remember Jesus teaching anything about circumcision, the question was long resolved by the time John wrote his letter, and he didn't allude to the circumcision issue here, so no, warning against the pro-circumcision lobby was not John's intent

Again, banning Jews from Christianity is not the issue that John alludes to. 

The doctrinal threat to Christianity was more fundamental: if Jesus didn't really die, then there was no resurrection. If Jesus wasn't resurrected, Christian faith has no basis (as Paul said in 1 Cor. 15).

John talks about love, warns about those who teach that Jesus didn't come in the flesh and urges Christians to remain in Christ's teaching (and what exactly was Christ's teaching?). Any other perceived target is eisegesis, pure speculation. 

You, yourself, say "alludes to". That is a *subjective* statement, whose meaning, is up to the interpretation of the listener. That you might only want to see one particular issue and ignore all other possibilities, which rely on the actual tense of how you interpret "of Christ", which, in itself, in this case, is subjective (and which the majority of scholars interpret as "Christ's teachings" not "teaching that Christ was", which lends itself open to the heresies I mentioned--and more--which you "assume" John did not mean, based on---?)

You mentioned 

On 2/27/2016 at 1:46 AM, Ann O'Maly said:

as perceived by the JW organizational hierarchy.

yet, in your own perceptions, you make the statement

10 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

 was not John's intent

based on your personal interpretation of "teaching of Christ" which, once again, goes against the majority of opinions in Biblical scholarship. And I would have to agree with them (which, of course, I do not always do), since it makes *much* more sense for John to be warning against those not following "the things Christ taught" (which, among other things, BTW, *was* that he came down *in the flesh* and *died* so that we may achieve salvation) as a totality and is not just a specific redundancy to what he already said in verse 7, where he condemns such, not just as sinners, but "antichrists." Not to mention, 1 John 4 already covers this particular heresy. So, saying that 2 John 9 only covers the heresy of Jesus not coming in the flesh actually seems out of place, when 1 John 4 essentially covers it already, making the level of rehash particularly insensible if that is *all* 2 John 9 is meant to cover.

Especially when the actual wording "teaching of Christ" translates more properly as "doctrine Christ taught" (search via tufts or even biblehub).

 

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I can't make sense of your objection here, AnonymousBrother . John does not allude to the issue of circumcision in his 2nd letter. Surely we are agreed on that? I also said that John talks about staying in the teaching of Christ. So we are agreed on that. I made no interpretation regarding 'the teaching of Christ' but I did ask a question about what actually was the 'teaching of Christ.'

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5 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

I can't make sense of your objection here, AnonymousBrother . John does not allude to the issue of circumcision in his 2nd letter. Surely we are agreed on that? I also said that John talks about staying in the teaching of Christ. So we are agreed on that. I made no interpretation regarding 'the teaching of Christ' but I did ask a question about what actually was the 'teaching of Christ.'

Love.....love was the teaching of Christ. 

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17 hours ago, gfnslave said:

Love.....love was the teaching of Christ. 

... Among a few other things, including that he would be killed (Mark 10:32-34). And he was killed. That's why John found the Docetists' teaching so offensive.

Returning to the wider thread theme, AnonymousBrother stated:

On 2/27/2016 at 11:58 AM, AnonymousBrother said:

In those case where an expulsion has not taken place, but just discipline has been carried out, Paul advises us:

2 Cor 2:5~11 (ASV) 

Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.

But this Scripture is talking about after an expulsion has taken place and welcoming the man back.

*** w10 6/15 p. 13 Keep Building Up the Congregation ***


“Kindly Forgive and Comfort Him”
13 The first-century Corinthian congregation faced the situation of a man who unrepentantly practiced fornication. His conduct threatened the purity of the congregation and was a scandal even among nonbelievers. Hence, Paul rightly directed that the man be removed from the congregation.—1 Cor. 5:1, 7, 11-13.


14 That discipline had a good effect. The congregation was protected from a corrupting influence, and the sinner was brought to his senses and to sincere repentance. On the basis of the man’s works befitting repentance, Paul indicated in his second letter to that congregation that the man should be reinstated. This was not all that was required, however. Paul also directed that the congregation “kindly forgive and comfort [the repentant sinner], that somehow such a man may not be swallowed up by his being overly sad.”—Read 2 Corinthians 2:5-8.
 

Again, there is no hint that the congregation's policy was (to adapt Giannis' words): "Neither we nor your family will speak to you until you prove you are remorseful and attend every congregation meeting for at least a year." 

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14 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

... Among a few other things, including that he would be killed (Mark 10:32-34). And he was killed. That's why John found the Docetists' teaching so offensive.

Returning to the wider thread theme, AnonymousBrother stated:

But this Scripture is talking about after an expulsion has taken place and welcoming the man back.

*** w10 6/15 p. 13 Keep Building Up the Congregation ***


“Kindly Forgive and Comfort Him”
13 The first-century Corinthian congregation faced the situation of a man who unrepentantly practiced fornication. His conduct threatened the purity of the congregation and was a scandal even among nonbelievers. Hence, Paul rightly directed that the man be removed from the congregation.—1 Cor. 5:1, 7, 11-13.


14 That discipline had a good effect. The congregation was protected from a corrupting influence, and the sinner was brought to his senses and to sincere repentance. On the basis of the man’s works befitting repentance, Paul indicated in his second letter to that congregation that the man should be reinstated. This was not all that was required, however. Paul also directed that the congregation “kindly forgive and comfort [the repentant sinner], that somehow such a man may not be swallowed up by his being overly sad.”—Read 2 Corinthians 2:5-8.
 

Again, there is no hint that the congregation's policy was (to adapt Giannis' words): "Neither we nor your family will speak to you until you prove you are remorseful and attend every congregation meeting for at least a year." 

There were *many* others in addition to the Docetists, so I still think you want to be too specific, when most scholars also disagree.

But, back to them main, the "hint" was there for *sincere repentance". How did they figure "sincere?"

I know you want to find every single fault, but what it comes down to is how you interpret those scriptures. You see "tomeito" and I see "tomahto."

I see the need to be sure someone is repentant, which the scriptures indicate takes place. You just want to take their word for it, which the scriptures do not indicate is adequate. 

"6 For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, 7 so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow."

How do you know it was "enough" if you cannot observe change? Take your eyes off the publications you seem to find so much fault in and tell me: How do you know? Wait for another abuse case to be reported? Then DF again?

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13 hours ago, AnonymousBrother said:

There were *many* others in addition to the Docetists, so I still think you want to be too specific, when most scholars also disagree.

Many other what? Groups/people who believed Jesus was an apparition? Who?

Which scholars disagree that John was targeting the Docetic heresies?

14 hours ago, AnonymousBrother said:

I see the need to be sure someone is repentant, which the scriptures indicate takes place. You just want to take their word for it, which the scriptures do not indicate is adequate. 

Where is there scriptural precedent for a congregational policy that has the person attending every meeting for a year or more, and all the while family and friends not conversing with him until the elders finally deem him repentant and reinstate him?

14 hours ago, AnonymousBrother said:

How do you know it was "enough" if you cannot observe change? Take your eyes off the publications you seem to find so much fault in and tell me: How do you know? Wait for another abuse case to be reported? Then DF again?

How do you know that the person seeking reinstatement is not putting on an elaborate act of repentance? Maybe the person just wants to be able to talk to/associate with their family again. Maybe it's part of the plan to have a new (adulterous) marriage accepted, given enough time (I know two cases where that happened). How can an elder body really know either way before making a decision?

We've been talking generally but you bring up abuse cases - crimes rather than sins. The way you framed the question suggests to me that you may not be aware of how an abuse case would be handled as a matter of course. As JW policy stands now, an alleged abuser can only be dealt with if there are two witnesses to the crime. If there aren't two witnesses to the crime, another child or young person would have to have been abused and come forward before the elders would do anything - like e.g. disfellowship the abuser.

If the abuser is disfellowshipped for child abuse, one would hope that he has also faced justice in the courts. If he has faced the courts and been convicted, he would then be put on the sex offenders' registry and monitored by the authorities. If he was then reinstated into the congregation, whether he was genuinely repentant or not, the elders and congregation members would be alerted to the fact that there is a convicted sexual predator in their midst and take precautions to protect their children from becoming another victim.

 

 

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18 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

Many other what? Groups/people who believed Jesus was an apparition? Who?

Which scholars disagree that John was targeting the Docetic heresies?

Let's see for a short list: Barnes, 
Alford,
AE Brooks, 
the team at Intervarsity Press, 
W Hall Harris, 
Pulpit commentaries, 
FB Hole, 
William Kelley, 
J R Dummelow,
Leon Morris,
James Macknight,
Coffman's commentaries has a slew of others, need more?
 

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8 hours ago, AnonymousBrother said:

Let's see for a short list: ... ...

OK.

I notice that you do not give specific references or quotes to support your point. This makes it harder to verify your claim. Perhaps you just threw out names hoping some might stick. It's appears you didn't bother to actually check what they said.

Barnes refers the reader of 2 John 7 to his notes on 1 John 4:2 where he says,

"It is quite probable that the apostle here refers to such sentiments as those which were held by the 'Docetae;' and that he meant to teach that it was indispensable to proper evidence that anyone came from God, that he should maintain that Jesus was truly a man, or that there was a real incarnation of the Son of God."

Alford neither agrees nor disagrees. He doesn't mention the Docetists in his commentary.

A.E. Brooks - The Johannine Epistles, I presume. While he questions whether John was specifically pinning down Docetism as the 'false teaching,' he does say that the "connection of the [first] Epistle with Gnostic ideas is quite apparent" (p. xliii). He also acknowledges that the recognized connection between John's First and Second Epistles with Docetism has had a long history and, while he finds it unfortunate that the term 'Docetism' has both a "wider and narrower signification," he says it can be applied in a more popular sense,

"to characterize all teaching which denied the reality of the Incarnation, and therefore the reality and completeness of the Lord's humanity." (p. xliv) 

This application is still pretty specific and again is not meant to be a catch-all for any infraction of an ecclesiastical authority's policies and teaching.

"The team at Intervarsity Press" - too vague. 

W Hall Harris - Are you referring to his book, 1, 2, 3 John - Comfort and Counsel for a Church in Crisis? P.211 - "There is no indisputable evidence for docetism in the Johannine letters." Well, that's one scholar so far.

The Pulpit Commentary:


"These seducers deny 'Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh,' or they deny 'Jesus as Christ coming in the flesh.' The present participle ἐρχόμενον seems to indicate exactly the position of some of the Gnostic teachers. ... The Gnostic denied that the Incarnation could take place: no such Person as the Christ coming in the flesh was possible; that the Infinite should become finite, that the Divine Word should become flesh, was inconceivable. The teacher who brings such doctrine as this 'is the deceiver and the antichrist' about whom the elder's children had been so frequently warned."

Docetism was a form of Gnosticism.
 
FB Hole neither agrees nor disagrees with the idea that John was targeting Docetists because he doesn't mention them. He applies John's words to 'Modernism.'

William Kelly -  neither agrees nor disagrees. He doesn't mention the Docetists but talks in generalities.

J R Dummelow - his introduction to 2 John discusses the historical context of the letter and how the Docetist view, which denied Jesus' true nature, was a threat to the Christianity that John held dear. No disagreement from Drummelow.

Leon Morris - did he do a discussion of John's letters? I cannot find one among his listed works.

James Macknight -  A New Literal Translation, from the Original Greek, of all the Apostolical Epistles, with a Commentary, and Notes, Philological, Critical, Explanatory, and Practical. To which is added, A History of the Life of the Apostle Paul, Vol VI - an old 18th century commentary. MacKnight says that the purpose of the 2nd epistle to John was 

"to confute the error of Basilides and his followers, who affirmed that Christ was not a real man, but only a man in appearance; consequently, that he neither did nor suffered what he appeared to do and suffer." (P. 134)

MacKnight was mistaken in attributing the heresy to Basilides as he lived after John's letter was supposed to have been written, but it's clear that MacKnight thought John was targeting Gnostic heresy.

Coffman's commentaries:

"The heresy of the false deceivers was that of denying the Incarnation. Various scholars have identified such teachers as Docetists, Cerinthians, and Gnostics."

Quote

need more?

Nah. Your "most scholars" that "disagree" John was targeting the Docetic heresy amount to ... let me get my calculator ... a grand total of ... one.

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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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