b4ucuhear

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  1. We sometimes make broad application of selected verses in God's Word as if there were no exceptions or as if they are true in every case. A legitimate example of this might be Heb. 6:18 "...it is impossible for God to lie." An example of another verse where we might not assume to make a broad application of is Proverbs. 16:7: "When Jehovah is pleased with a man's ways, he causes even his enemies to be at peace with him." Is that always the case? We might say it was true during Solomon's reign, but what about other faithful servants of Jehovah who obviously had enemies that were not at peace with them? (David, Jeremiah, Jesus, JW's today...) Could we reason conversely that if they/we had enemies, Jehovah is not pleased with them/us? Hardly. It's just that making a broad application to some passages raises obvious questions. Another scripture to consider is that found at Psalm 119:165: "Abundant peace belongs to those who love your law; Nothing can make them stumble ("for them there is no stumbling block")." The conclusion often drawn from that is that "true" worshippers can't be stumbled. But the reality is that quite often true worshippers are stumbled. If fact, that is not only a fulfillment of Bible prophecy, but in line with the warning Jesus gives at Matthew 18:6: "But whoever stumbles one of these little ones who have faith in me, it would be better for him to have hung around his neck a millstone that is turned by a donkey and to be sunk in the open sea." So clearly both Jesus and Paul (Romans 14:21) indicate that our "brothers" could be stumbled by the choices we make (even if those choices may be "lawful" according to our conscience.) Is there a contradiction here? It might seem that way and has in fact to some (this isn't the first time this issue has been raised.) If you you look in the CD WT library at all the references (it will take a lot of time) you will see that generally these articles focus on one OR the other without considering how one relates or contributes to our understanding of the other - but not all. Either "nothing can make true worshippers stumble," OR "be very careful about stumbling or fellow worshippers by the way we act on our conscience." Is it fair to assume that those who stumble are not "true worshippers" or "not of our sort" going out from us? Hardly, because Jesus clearly identified such as "little ones who have faith" - and yet could be stumbled. However, as mentioned earlier, not all articles present these verses as an "either - or" situation. Here are some comments from the WT that explain this seeming contradiction: "True, were all Christians fully mature, there would be no danger of stumbling another: (Ps. 119:165). but since not all Christians are strong in faith and mature, we must exercise care." "The person being stumbled to a fall might be a 'little one,' but that would not minimize the seriousness for the one causing the stumbling in this case. Why not? Because it involved "one of these little ons that believe." This would designate a believer in Jesus as the messianic Son of God. The belief of such "little ones" puts them on the way to everlasting life. So, if anyone willfully, purposely, inconsiderately caused such a 'little one' on the way to eternal life to take due offence and stumble out of the the living way into destruction, it would be tantamount to committing murder. It would show a lack of love for the one stumbled." So we can surmise that Psalm 119:165 basically refers to those who have a level of spiritual maturity, because they "love God's law" and "rove about in it," - (but that might not be true of all true worshippers). Likely these mature ones would have experience in applying God's law - and eating "solid food" (as mature ones would do) and so not be stumbled by what might stumble newer ones. But those newer ones acquainted only with "milk" and with weak consciences, could in fact be stumbled and we have to be careful about that. Finally, depending of the severity of the circumstance, even mature ones have stumbled by what they may have seen/heard/experienced. Therefore, the admonition at 1 Corinthians 10:12 is important: "So let the one who thinks he is standing beware that he does not fall."
  2. Not bad. Thanks for caring enough about your brothers and sisters to share what has helped you. I might add something re: Psalm 119:165 later. I'm sure those who need it most will find this especially helpful.
  3. Got it. Sorry. Was typing while you were posting it. Thanks and sorry again.
  4. While I quoted just the beginning of your post there, I do mean the whole thing. I don't know why you would think I would disagree with anything there. I don't. (SURPRISE!) EXCEPT for your snarky comment about "Anna believing the Governing Body was comprised to hold everyone's hand." Not fair and not true.
  5. Not sure that not being dogmatic about 1914 qualifies as a "flip flop." (In fact I am sure it doesn't - despite how you try to spin it.) Note truthfully that I am not against that date either - as you dishonestly try to make it appear. Here is my take on it and why I have very little interests in dates anyway - any of them. I didn't dedicate my life to a date. Not 1975; not 1922 or several others that haven't panned out; not even 1914. If some tie their faith to that it's up to them. But if Armageddon doesn't come when I expect it; or I don't live to see the fulfillment of earthly promises...that's fine. I'm in good company with many other faithful men who loved and worshipped Jehovah even though they didn't get to see the fulfillment of the reward. I know Jehovah's promises are sure to be fulfilled, and while I believe that time is soon, if it should delay, I'll just patiently wait. That's all. It's not about my salvation anyway. It's about living a life that honours Jehovah and proves Satan a liar - that when things get tough and I experience Job-like tests of faith I'll face those tests with dignity faith and integrity (although some stuff was VERY difficult, so I don't want to sound like more than I am). Job was a better man then me. So was David, Jeremiah, Joseph, Jesus, Isaiah and others whose examples were models for me to follow in dark times.
  6. I respect you for that. Knowing bad things can happen yet having the strength of faith and character to stay - as you seem - spiritually strong in the truth. Might I ask you to share with us what enables you to maintain your faith and dedication despite faith testing situations (whether you were personally in that congregation or not?) That's a kind suggestion I hadn't thought of and worth noting. I've been to Africa (much of the world actually), and while I haven't personally witnessed such atrocities, I know they exist there in certain places. You could be right. Maybe that's what's affected him.
  7. Is that what I should have told my sister? My younger sister was sexually molested by an elder. She stayed despite that without making waves, until she started to see other things she found deeply disturbing and then she did "move on" as you say. Actually, she shouldn't have "moved on" because later on, most of the elders (the bad ones) were either removed or disfellowshipped - half of them were apostate (but that's not all they were up to). Of course nobody wanted to believe anything (even with concrete evidence) since they were regulars on the circuit assembly platform and on even on the district convention. It took about 10 years to sort itself out (should have been much quicker considering the evidence), but it did, (although it took other elders to step in and do what actually had to be done.) Still, 1 Timothy 5:24 will prove to be true if you wait, in one way or another.
  8. I won't say anything except that is exactly what would happen. This primarily is referring to anointed Christians who have "received the heavenly free gift and become partakers of holy spirit." However, by extension, we also apply it to the great crowd. It would be dangerous however to set ourselves up as being in the judgment seat of God and decide for ourselves that people whom we may disagree with (or are in fact wrong) can't make changes before they die or merit everlasting destruction. It would be pretty dangerous to throw that around lightly in this kind of venue. I don't think anybody is suggesting there won't continue to be congregations, even despite stuff that shouldn't happen. As far as "...experienced blemishes at least as bad as is claimed by some happens today...," I just read those two chapters over and I won't comment on that, just to say I think "blasphemy" would be worse for sure. I couldn't add any further without being too specific. Seriously? Ask a Catholic choir boy...or... You mean like quoting John 8:7, and from a different translation that you cherry picked to agree with you? The F&DS tell us that the 12 verses at John 7:53-8:11 are spurious and "...have been obviously added to the original text of John's gospel." But having the NWT, you already know that don't you? So to highlight your own agenda you quote a spurious passage from a translation that we don't even use/accept the passage of (except on the side). Another reason some feel that verse is spurious is that it in principle, contradicts God's word - especially when it comes to exposing wrongdoing from within the congregation. What religion did you say you were again? It doesn't read that way in our Bible. (And I won't bother to comment on your omission of verse 19 of 1 Corinthians 11 - as translated in the literal Kingdom Interlinear and pretty well every other Bible.)
  9. I had never heard of "Johnny the Bethelite," "Rick Fearon" nor any of the blogs/websites you linked to until I saw your post. That is because I don't go to those places except by accident. But apparently, in direct violation of the clear direction we get from the Faithful and Discreet Slave, you do. Your post is like telling someone: "Hey there is a roaring lion down the path in that cave that wants to kill you. Why don't you go and check it out? In fact, I'll help you along by greasing that slippery slope with a direct link to it." Whose side are you on anyway? It brings to mind a couple of expressions: "A danger to himself and others" and "with friends like that who needs enemies?" Are you kidding me? Someone disagrees with you and you come up with that nonsense? My intention has always been to help people stay active and in the truth, despite the things that have stumbled many. Things that they find hard to rationalize. Things that YOU can't even stand to hear, let alone experience in real life. The fact is, I would have found it very difficult myself had not others patiently and lovingly showed they understood what I was seeing/going through, having experienced it themselves and providing seasoned scriptural advice to make sense of this madness. No one else would have understood and I would have been on my own. I think such ones are a gift from Jehovah. And although some people live in "pretend world," or as most, simply never see this stuff, shouldn't basic common sense tell you that this stuff goes on? When someone is df'd let's say as an apostate/immoral/molester... How long do you think that has been going on for? Just that day? Doesn't reality tell you that at times these (prophesied about) wicked men and imposters were men that were "not whom they appeared to be" for years, decades even? So what (sometimes) happens to the ones who are exposed to such men? Nobody believes them (or wants to believe them) - that's what. Or they are viewed as negative trouble-makers by guys like you. Guys who set themselves up as "keepers of the faith" while ignoring/denying these spiritual "widows and orphans." These little sheep often leave the truth when they are treated like that.
  10. I'm hoping that the purpose of posting isn't just to expose organizational flaws - it isn't in my case anyway. It's not fair for members of a family just to air dirty laundry. It seems apparent that Jay Witness has a bad agenda and as one poster mentioned in effect, we shouldn't believe everything opposers say. It is more to get us thinking about our own attitudes toward wrongdoing we may face from within the organization. Some seem to have a culture of "see no evil, hear no evil" as if considering anything "negative" from within is somehow being disloyal or disobedient. "Only draw attention to good things; ignore anything bad/negative so as not to be discouraging." Question: Is that the example Jehovah set for us? Do you get the impression from reading his Word that in his organization (both heavenly and earthly) nothing bad ever happened? What about Jesus? Did he pretend badness/flaws didn't exist both in Jehovah's organization at the time (the Jews) or even among his followers? Or what about later when the Christian congregation was established...? Or what about the information published by the F&DS today? (i.e. chapter 28 of the Proclaimers Book: Testing and Sifting from Within). Can this all be just "airing dirty laundry?" But yet, some feel if we consider these realities, it's somehow bad. To be clear: No one is suggesting a steady diet of negative experiences, so why consider them at all? To use your illustration: "...when you shine a bright light upon cockroaches...they don't stop being cockroaches...they just go somewhere else." When is that true? Whenever you look the other way and pretend they don't exist. Usually, when people go to the trouble of shining a light on something it is to do something about it. Otherwise, they just continue to exist - as you have correctly mentioned - and even proliferate. So, of course, we have a scriptural system in place whereby we don't just look the other way when we encounter wrongdoing. We report it and even when justice may take years, decades or even lifetimes, we leave matters in Jehovah's hands since we have fulfilled our personal obligation and not take matters into our own hands.I don't see anyone suggesting a mutiny for the organization to change here. Is that the end of the story though? What about in the meantime when we see people being stumbled or deeply troubled by something, THEN what is our obligation? Pretend it doesn't exist? Or apply God's counsel to us at 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4: "Praised by the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of tender mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all out trials so that WE MAY BE ABLE TO COMFORT OTHERS IN ANY SORT OF TRIAL WITH THE COMFORT THAT WE RECEIVE FROM GOD." Some of us have seen and experienced things that would assuredly stumble others (I don't even tell elders or Circuit Overseers because the problem is not whether they would even believe me anyway ((they wouldn't)), but rather, what if they DID believe me? (I wouldn't go around blabbing about this stuff anyway). They would possibly be stumbled - even though they may THINK they have "seen everything." Some of these things are WAY outside the box. Things people wouldn't even think would exist or call to mind as a possibility. That is why those specifics are not being mentioned here. The fact is, none of these things as bad as they may be should stumble anyone - they haven't stumbled us and we have survived. But often what makes these things (although rare) survivable is the kindness, understanding, validation, acceptance and love of those who really have been there. Who can understand and help one make sense of things they thought could never happen because "angels would cull out whatever would stumble anyone." (they misunderstand the import of that verse in Matthew and so have unrealistic expectations of what should happen.) One of Jehovah's provisions to help us, is the support we get from our brotherhood. They can be a personal lifesaver and comfort that you wouldn't normally get from a magazine or public talk
  11. I was trying to say similar, but I think you have expressed it better. 2 Corinthians 1:4 applies here. But those who need comfort won't get it if everyone pretends it doesn't exist - and it really doesn't for most people. Who in the congregation would even believe you, or even want to? The answer is: nobody - unless they have seen and been through it themselves. Fortunately for me, I knew very strong and zealous brothers of many years who shared their experiences with me which was of great encouragement because as you correctly stated it provided "relief I wasn't going crazy." But they wouldn't go talking about these things just to anybody in the congregation. It's too outside the realm of experience for most. We are encouraged to overlook the "imperfections" of others, which is scripturally loving and appropriate. But what we are alluding to is much more than some garden variety imperfection. These are often disfellowshipping offences and other forms of badness. I wouldn't think everyone reading this would believe/agree with this thread. But for those of us who have had to come to terms with some pretty hairy stuff, your expressions above ring true - spot on in fact.
  12. It is one thing to speak frankly and honestly (rather than live in "pretend world") while also contributing to the spiritual welfare of our brothers and sisters. Some of our brothers and sisters in fact do experience some pretty bad stuff and they need validation and understanding. They won't be helped to cope by pretending it doesn't exist or a lack of transparency or even punishing them for exposing things that are clearly bad. On the other hand, it's another thing to have an agenda. An agenda to only tear down and direct people away from Jehovah's organization. That paints with too wide a brush and denies all the good that is done and can yet be done. One conspicuous omission I see from all these cowardly nay-sayers, sniping from behind the safety of a computer screen, is: What are you offering that is better? What religion are you in that is so much better? Let's examine your beliefs publicly and see if it stands the same level of scrutiny you hold us to. While we are obedient to Christ's command to preach the good news world wide, what are you offering? Let me guess: Bingo, bake sales and bazaars...?
  13. Unfortunately, that wasn't just true back in the '80's. I have seen the same thing and so have others - and it's not just true of NY Bethel. The trick for those of us who have lived through and seen these lying machinations is not only to stay faithful to our dedication and respect for the authority of our organization (while being more than aware of things that might destroy the faith of our brothers and sisters), but to help them to stay grounded despite the faith-testing/destroying machinations of men who have something to hide, and who will lie, plot and scheme to protect themselves. To try to help our friends have faith that overall, we are a spiritual organization, not just the political entity proud ambitious men would turn it into.We expect this behaviour in the world, but when men in authority ("angels in Jesus' right hand") act as if they are in Satan's right hand, then most would have a hard time to rationalize what they may see or even experience within the context of their faith - it's just too "out there." But prophetic warnings in Gods Word make clear that this type of stuff will happen - (not just could happen).. It's just that people think it's "negative talk" or something that "allegedly" happens to someone else until it happens to them. I have a lot of respect for mature, battle-hardened/wisened Christians who in a spiritual sense, are like the valiant mighty men of old who faced dangers from outside and within in defence of pure worship. Although I love also my "weaker" in faith brothers and sisters who would rather act as if these things can't/don't exist or even acknowledge it, I wouldn't want to be like that - in "pretend world." I have always wanted to know the "truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" - even when it is uncomfortable - at least it's real and I know who/what I am dealing with. We can easily accept there will be wickedness from Satans system. Not so easy when it's from within "Jehovah's organization." But those who have this "tested quality of our faith" are a living testimony that these things are survivable, doable, and they can even maintain their joy in serving Jehovah stronger and wiser than before.
  14. "Paul wrote the Corinthians a second letter. He told them: “Not that we are the masters over your faith, but we are fellow workers for your joy, for it is by your faith that you are standing.” (2 Cor. 1:24) What did Paul mean by that? And how should those words affect Christian elders today? OUR FAITH AND OUR JOY 3 Paul mentioned two vital aspects of our worship—faith and joy. Recall that regarding faith, he wrote: “Not that we are the masters over your faith, . . . for it is by your faith that you are standing.” With these words, Paul acknowledged that the brothers in Corinth stood firm, not because of him or any other human, but because of their own faith in God. Hence, Paul saw no need to control the faith of his brothers, and he had no desire to do so. He was confident that they were faithful Christians who wanted to do what was right. (2 Cor. 2:3) Today, elders follow Paul’s example by expressing confidence in their brothers’ faith and motives for serving God. (2 Thess. 3:4) Rather than making rigid rules for the congregation, elders rely on Scriptural principles and direction from Jehovah’s organization. After all, present-day elders are not the masters over their brothers’ faith.—1 Pet. 5:2, 3." WT 2013 I am in full agreement with that the direction we receive in that article. One of the ongoing problems I see at times is that many/some brothers take suggestions/principles...and make them into their own hard and narrow personal rules. Or that some are so dominated by authority that they are afraid to make any decision that isn't "safe" - even if it is legitimate within the framework and direction we receive and may even impinge on the faith of others. I also worry when the direction we receive (and I respect) starts sounding like our personal choices are being overruled/dictated to us by imperfect men - especially when it is well beyond the boundaries of doctrinal matters. I recognize the value of the counsel (ie higher learning) and the potential dangers associated with it. But I am uncomfortable when parent's decisions (not involving doctrinal matters) is in effect taken away from them and assumed by someone else, or face the threat of penalty.
  15. The anti college/university warnings may seem a bit weird but the warnings are there for a reason. Some have fallen away from the faith because of closer association and involvement with the world. That being said, I do understand your point about double standards. When the society needs lawyers, doctors, engineers...it's all good - they just won't pay for it now for the most part. However, if parents and the brother feels he needs to go to university (apparently college is OK) then that is more than a warning/discouraged (can't speak for how this is being applied elsewhere). The most recent direction we have from the society is that if a son chooses to go to university, the Father's elder qualifications are required to be put into question or they may not be even recommended at all. But that removal/not being recommended review is being taken by both elders and Circuit Overseers as a law - even though there is a series of questions elders should go through to determine if a brother should be removed/recommended if his son goes to university. At the same time that a brother has not been recommended in our congregation because his son is going to university (he is exemplary in every way, including his family and the said son that is attending university), there is a visiting brother who did go to university who has privileges but is "being used by Bethel." It is very disappointing because the brother and his family is one of the most exemplary in the congregation AND, the vast majority of elders favour recommending him. (The Kibosh on the recommendation comes from higher up). So these types of double standards and "going beyond the things written" in creating new defacto laws to control or penalize personal decision is what makes us appear to be cultish both from outside and within the organization.