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ComfortMyPeople

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  1. It is NOT a matter of conscience ... well, it depends on how far you want to work in the organization. Here in Spain the situation is as follows: In many congregations one may serve as elder still wearing a beard, and therefore enjoy any other local privilege. But that does not work for you in the neighboring congregation. It is usual for a speaker with a beard to inform when they invite him that he is wearing a beard, in case it bothers the conscience of the brothers of the congregation where he will speak. At the circuit level, forget to have part from the platform (with beard). I know of a case that they interviewed a brother with a beard. The traveler (district) forced him to cut it if he wanted to go out in the next section. As he did not want to, they did not let him leave. I think that in some circuit brothers with beards have served as ushers and other auxiliary works, but it has not been general. In the case of another circuit they asked the traveler about which males with beards could be ushers. Answer: "When you see one of Bethel with a beard, then. Meanwhile I do not want to be the first. On a global level, have we seen a man with a beard in the broadcasting, or in the videos of the regional assemblies? Yes ... representing the role of non-believer, opposite husband or person in a bad spiritual state. Result of all the previous thing: to take beard between us is a thorny subject, problematic, if you want to have to fully serve for others. If you settle for being "rank and file" maybe they do not mess with you. If, when going to preach, people would say to me "can you wear a beard?" I will give you a short answer: yes, of course. The most extensive answer is the one I mentioned above. A well-groomed beard in Spain is not at all a sign of rebelliousness or careless dress. The King of Spain has a beard. The previous prime minister too. When preaching, it does not attract attention. Someone will say: "Videos and broadcasting are prepared taking into account the society or brotherhood of North America" To which I will reply that it is said again and again that the Governing Body intends an "international flavor" in our publications and videos, collecting scenes from everywhere, even the clothes. So, why is not it seen in the videos, or in the pictures in our magazines an elder directing the Watchtower study with a beard? Why are all seen with beards unbelievers? Why, when you progress, you see them shaving? I find that it is a minor matter whether I wear a beard or not. That's why I will not leave it, to avoid more complications than the many I have in my life. But what is not a minor issue is that we are imposed the conscience of others (2 Corinthians 1:24) “Not that we are the masters over your faith, but we are fellow workers for your joy”
  2. In Spain, legislation is extremely protective and protects individual liberties and the rights of citizens. One of these rights is the "protection of personal data". That is, when a third party wants to obtain my information (name, address, for example) or much more importantly (my religion, medical issues, financial issues) I have to authorize him. Otherwise it is prohibited and is punishable. That's why in Spain we do not use the forms of preaching records to record "not at home", return visits, etc. We did it on personal sheets, and lately we are recommended to do it on the mobile or tablet to be more discreet. Still, legally, if I write down "Ms. Maria, street x, interested," you should ask her for permission to have that information. In short, a real problem. None of us do that. And that brings us to the fine. What the Hospital Liaison Committees have done is illegal. They have done it in good faith, but it is illegal. They have interviewed doctors and collected information from patients (Witnesses) and, without their consent, they have taken note of these data, they have collected them in an electronic file, and (of this I am not sure) they have transfer this data to third others. All this is penalized. Here when you enter the door of a doctor the first time the first thing they do is to extend a form where you authorize the query to keep your data. What saddens me in particular is the lack of orientation that the headquartes has given to the brothers who attend this work. Only a small form would have sufficed, asking the interested parties if they give their consent to the fact that the interview information could be collected and stored for later use. Let's see if they do it in the future, because this fine affects a small community in this country, but luckily the government agency has not investigated the rest of Spain.
  3. Curiously, the spanish version says: "because this is how I collaborate with the work of Jehovah every month" It may be the translator felt hesitant to pour out such a shocking phrase
  4. @Srecko Sostar I agree. Period. I'd also add this situation mention in an old Awake magazine: *** g81 10/22 p. 6 “I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic” *** “The last lifeboat was being loaded. A middle-aged gentleman was with his very young, pregnant wife. He helped her into the lifeboat, then looked back to the deck and saw others wanting to get aboard. He kissed his wife good-bye, and, returning to the deck, grabbed the first person in his path. Fortunately, I was there in the right place at the right time and he put me into the lifeboat. I screamed for my sister who had frozen from fright. With the help of others, she also was pushed into the lifeboat. Who was the gallant man who performed this kind act? We were told he was John Jacob Astor IV. At that time he was 45 years old and his wife, Madeleine, was 19. They were traveling to the United States because they wanted their child to be born there. Many newspaper stories were written that told how John Jacob Astor gave up his life for a young immigrant. I personally consider this gentleman a lot better than me, I'm quite sure I'd find some reasons to stay at the boat. And yes, this fine man wasn't a JW. Regarding the video about the mother refusing answer her daugther call, what can I say? It's a shame. I also suppose that faithful servants of all times weren't always happy with the behavior of co-worshipers, not even the prominent ones.
  5. They stumbled ... or were they tripped? (Mark 9:42) . . .But whoever stumbles one of these little ones who have faith, it would be better for him if a millstone that is turned by a donkey were put around his neck and he were pitched into the sea. . . I can not but agree with a lot of the exposed by some of you. The steward (slave) class, I think, represents any brother with authority over others in the congregation (in the house). Par excellence the brothers on charge over the worldwide work fits more than any other to the meaning of the slave parable. Presently, we’ve reduced the meaning of the Jesus’s illustration to a mere warning, a remote possibility: the slave NEVER become bad. I understand it’s difficult to admit, as difficult as it was for the apostles to recognize that, in spite of being warned by Jesus, they would betray and abandon him. “We… do that! Never! Similarly, the Bible, everywhere, warn us the God’s people, overall, globally, will face a bad condition in precisely the last days: Between others: · The foolish virgins · The slave with one talent · The man not wearing a marriage garment (Mt 22) · The slave hiding the mina (Lk 19) · The love of the greater number will grow cold (Mt 24:12) · Critical times (in the congregation, please note the context: 2:20; 3:6) And more precisely SOME of the brothers on charge · Some of those having insight (Da 11:35) · The evil slave · The steward Now, concerning this thread we have the situation about the 1975 issue. Was it a mere doctrinal point, without relevance? · 1976 service year publishers: 2.138 million · 1978 service year publishers: 2.086 million Thousands of little ones stumbling Has been shown in this thread some “sincere” recognition of guilt or responsibility from the responsible brothers. But, sincerely, these sounds to me as the Aaron’s answer: · Ex 32:22, 24: “You well know that the people are inclined to do evil… Then I threw it into the fire and out came this calf.” It was the people’s fault, not mine. The calf arose by itself from the fire, I just had nothing to do! The same pride I observe in myself, and many others overseeing the flock. The difference lies in that I harm to my family, perhaps to my own congregation, but the brothers on charge of the worldwide instruction harm the entire brotherhood. Regarding this harm, presently, the most dangerous doctrinal matter affecting, not our ideas, but the real life of sincere Christians around the world is the deals with disfellowshipped persons, more precisely family members. This is a horrible misinterpretation of the Bible teaching in 1 Cor 5. I literally cry many times observing families broken, many times with life wounds. Perhaps another day I will write more about this, so don’t extend now. And, regarding the part of the parable saying starting “to eat and drink and get drunk,” (Lk 12;45) I also wish to point out some ideas in another post. Am I worried? Yes, certainly, but confident that as Jehovah in all times disciplined and cleaned His servants so will do if He see it necessary (yes, I see it necessary)
  6. The same with the 1975 affair. It was mainly our -the brotherhood- fault; not the 'slave', or GB, or board of directors, or brother Franz fault. I can still perceive this mock humility in too many levels in our people (me the first, obviously)
  7. JWI, you always sorprise me! I appreciate your wishes to share useful information. Could not we have something similar? How hard would it be?
  8. I, as a Witness, feel relatively proud of my Bible knowledge. I also appreciate a lot of excellent articles, emotive videos and many other educational materials our people receive from the brothers on charge. The steward class. Also, when I observe some brothers talking in our TV channel I cannot but feel upbuilding. Well, one of my complaints is to observe that the average JW know perfectly well different passages related to a lot of themes, and that is good! But I find an enormous lack of knowledge of the Bible books content for themselves. What I mean: what Galatians book does talk about? Common answer: · The fight of Paul with Peter · The works of the flesh and the fruitage of the spirit · If a man takes a false step · And yes, many other verses But I appreciate if we could, more or less easily, explain the connections between the different parts in Galatians. The reason why Paul wrote in this way. The meaning in context. Also, if Paul tried similar theme (the Law and the faith) in the Romans letter, what are the differences between these two letters? But sadly, I’ve discover that not only others, I myself have trouble to answer the questions above. Why if I’ve spent all my life attending meetings, studying, preaching, directing Bible studies? In my opinion, perhaps wrong opinion: · Our literature (now I will show the exceptions) have focus in Bible themes and its application, not Bible books and its content. · The explanation of Bible passages is spread all over decades · It is quite rare to find the explanation of the context in any given text used in our publications. Only the use the writer wants to make of it is explained. · A lot of passages are without any comment Exceptions Prophetic Books: · Isaiah · Daniel · Ezekiel · Revelation But, all these, full of types-antitypes old-aged stuff. Poetic books: · Some Psalms series · Some Proverbs series · Ecclesiastes Spread in a lot of years Historic books: · The Gospels · Acts Pastoral letters · John letters (too short articles in magazines) · James (the best one!) · Peter letters What I mean with this: I’m missing some kind of Bible Encyclopedia edited by JW. In this way, when I consult other sources,I must continuously discard false teachings trying to find the explanations of the Bible Books contents. What do you think?
  9. I believe that this concern is mainly because we have been taught directly or indirectly that, since we are the people of God, we are the only ones who are going to be saved. The answer in our web site:
      Hello guest!
    is politically correct, but not fully sincere. @JW Insider has already mention this. Almost every Witness firmly believe the world (of people alienated from God) will perish. Why preach then, if other people supposedly be saved without our efforts? Proof of this doctrine: · Those who were in the ark were saved, but nobody was. · Those who left Sodom were saved, not those who remained. · The world will be divided between sheep -saved- and goats -destroyed-. There will be no third class · Those who do not obey the good news will "burn" in a flaming fire, as he brings vengeance on those who do not know God and those who do not obey the good news about our Lord Jesus. 9 These very ones will undergo the judicial punishment of everlasting destruction (2Th 1;8-9) · Many others points But, let’s consider: The goats will be judged according to their attitude to Jesu’s brothers. But what if in a particular place of the planet never the Bible has reached. Or in some mental institution. Would not it be unfair be judged as not supporter of Christ’s brother if this person never has ben in touch with any Chris’s brother, not even any JW’s? Some wicked will be “buried” for lack of obedience to the Good News. But what if they never heard the good news? Lot’s daughters are a weak model of morality if we’re going to be represented by them Yes, many brothers feel more comfortable thinking that Jehovah will produce an almost miraculous event so that the good news reaches every corner on Earth. Or that God will make the right people meet with Witnesses. And that is perfectly possible! But, if He chooses to forgive those who have not had the opportunity to "be with us" (Mark 9:40) will anyone dare to criticize Him? Will someone say: if I get to know that God is going to save them too, I would not have preached so much? --Jonah 4: 2 I do not!
  10. (Romans 2:14-16)  For when people of the nations, who do not have law, do by nature the things of the law, these people, although not having law, are a law to themselves. 15 They are the very ones who demonstrate the matter of the law to be written in their hearts, while their conscience is bearing witness with them, and by their own thoughts they are being accused or even excused. 16 This will take place in the day when God through Christ Jesus judges the secret things of mankind, according to the good news I declare. According these words, some people will not be judged as belonging to some religion, but regarding the deeds they did and their conscience approve or disapprove
  11. Years ago, when reflecting about this same fact, I came to the same conclusion: Jehovah propitiated, tolerated in some way that His people was taught with a false, or incorrect idea, in order to a higher benefit: strengthen the resolution of witnesses during IIWW in order to face the cruel persecution. But, some questions arise: · Did the Christians of the first century need to think incorrectly about Romans 13 in order to resist the persecution of Nero? · When our point of view was finally rectified (I believe in 1963 or close) did the brethren under the steel curtain begin to be less faithful then? The answer is obvious. Isn’t it? I fully agree with you regarding Moses, Israelites, loyalty and faith. So, perhaps you’re annoying, to some extent, with thoughts openly exposed here by @JW Insider or myself, in the sense that certain teachings or explanations of the "slave class" are incorrect. · In the first place, is it necessary to be faithful to accept all the explanations provided by the slave? · Can I be faithful if, although I am not convinced of certain explanations, I try not to disturb others and I go ahead? Let me explain what I’m trying to do with this kind of situations. In the recent regional convention, in the last talk, was mentioned the end is imminent (well, the Spanish expression was “inminente”, I suppose in English was used another equivalent). Now, not that I do not believe that the end is imminent, is that I do not know. My base: our Master declaration: “…at an hour that you do not think likely, the Son of man is coming.” I’ve watched the danger of these kind of imprudent (in my view) declaration many times, during many years (1914, 1925, 1975, 1994 end of generation, now overlapped generation). Brothers disappointed, at some degree bitter. The clear majority of Jehovah’s servants don’t need a false sense of immediacy. We give Him the most day by day. The end will come at his own due time. Concerning this, one question: · Is it more loyal if you strive because you believe that the end is imminent? · What happens to those who do not know when the end comes, and despite this we give Jehovah one hundred percent? · Are we therefore less loyal? Do you know, in my zone, the most repeated expression after the convention? “the end is imminent, the slave said this”. My answer: “oh yes, when I was a child also believed the end was imminent, in 1975. Sometimes our wishes are so strong that make this kind of statements”. Oh, I wish go further, but for several weeks I’ll be busy
  12. What does not cease to amaze me, and at the same time causes me deep sadness, is the lack of humility in expressing our positions regarding prophecies. I would like a tone more as if we were "Students of the Bible" But we usually speak as "touched" by God. Like their Channel, in the sense that when the GB meets on Wednesdays the Shekhina light shines on them. I remember at a recent annual meeting the brother explaining a new prophetic understanding. In closing he said something like "are not we happy to see how Jehovah has shown us these things?" I thought, "And if in a while you have to teach just the opposite, is Jehovah wrong now?" I mean, (I've said it many times in several posts) Why do not we do like the recent Watchtower we studied, regarding what Jesus meant when he asked Peter "Do you love me more than these?" W17, May, p. 22 “After serving them breakfast, Jesus turned to Simon Peter and said: “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” To what was Jesus referring? Peter was quite attached to fishing. So it seems that Jesus was asking him where his true affection lay” The explanation is presented as a probability. That is humility. And with the HUGE amount of evidence pointing to the weakness of 607, seven times, 1914, parousia = presence, invisible parousia, etc, etc., how good would it be that we were humbler. Above, I have said that this astonishes me. I ask myself, "Do not the responsible brothers see the amount of evidence in another direction? It cannot be, because I am rather limited, and I see it. Don’t they realize that we may incur in God's displeasure if we remain so stubborn? Are not we loving our traditions too much? By the way, thank you very much @JW Insider for providing us with such complete and scholarly information.
  13. You read my mind! Sadly, many do think that 1914 is a backbone doctrine. And to a great extent this is so when we refer to how we understand the prophecies of the last days. How sad that Russell when he looked at adjusting the failures regarding dates found interesting Benjamin Wilson (and his use of parousia in the Diaglott) and did not get to familiarize himself with the recent findings (at that time) of Deissmann, regarding the specialized use of parousia (The visit of the king), different from the common (presence). How much I would like to comment on this! But now I'm right in the middle of a move to another city!!
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