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This subject is unlikely to subside.

@AnneOMaly has related that "there is a campaign to have the UK JWs' child abuse allegation procedures officially investigated due to failings that have come to light in high profile cases over the past few years." This thread was started. due to publicity around the issue.

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has reported on the campaign, (although a subscription is required to get the full account).

The campaign includes pressure to include the matter in the investigation, currently in the UK, of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse which has commenced hearings despite an extremely shaky start.  

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.

So with this backdrop, don't miss an enlightening BBC drama looking at a particular series of incidents in Rochdale, UK. This illustrates some context around this disgraceful crime, and provides insight regarding the failings of institutional response, highlighting something of the general social and institutional environment that all, including Jehovah's Witnesses, find themselves within, particularly in the UK.

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As these are time limited links, the drama is also available on youtube:

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I suspect that it really is much worse in other religions. I have already seen people who take the data that comes out of the Australian studies to try to show that it must be about 10 to 50 times worse, as a ratio, among Jehovah's Witnesses as it is among Catholics. I think this interpretation of the numbers is ludicrous. I found it to be a useful point when you pointed out that the numbers among JWs may refer to both "higher ups" AND the "rank and file," while the numbers from the Catholic Chu

I will not, for I can already spot a dissimilarity. Pedophile victims survive. First Degree Murder victims do not. Moreover, pedophile victims frequently recover. This is especially true when we are dealing with the non-violent, non-rape pedophilia which hysterical persons lump all together as one with the more infrequent predator sort. Ancient Greece, as you well know, with all of your 'founding father' comments, is regarded as the cradle of Western civilization,  the first glimmering

I always exaggerate. 'Never' in MySpeak means 'rarely.' 'All' means 'most.' But in this case, I hold to the never. It is membership I am speaking of. Everybody's clergy gets outed when they do wrong in this regard, but nobody's membership. It's because nobody has a clue as to what their membership is up to. Nobody feels the obligation to present to God a morally clean people, so they don't bother checking to see what members apply biblical morality and what do not. If a member gets blown in

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It is a classic example of getting slammed for doing the right thing, and it should not be spun any other way.

The way to avoid such messy critiques is to preach to the congregation on Sunday and let that be the end of it. It's up to them what they do with it. That way, if somewhere down the line a member of a religion is busted for child abuse, leaders can truthfully say, like Sergeant Shultz, 'I know notttthhhhiiiiiiiinnnngg!' 

Let them come to consume religion, and no more. Give no thought to disciplining congregants who misbehave. Construct matters so that you never know about these ones.

Fail in your duty to God to produce for him a people spirituality and morally clean. Tell Him: "What you see is what you get. It's not my problem.'

Surely this explains why we never hear religious affiliation for anyone other than JWs when abusers are found out. Nobody else cares about Scriptural direction to maintain cleanliness as a congregation. Nobody else has a clue what their members are up to. When cops nab an abuser, their religion is never reported because few imagine that today's religions should result in clean people; it's not their job. Only Jehovah's Witnesses take it upon themselves to insist upon clean people.

For the most part, former Witnesses who are now enemies and who push this narrative for all it is worth were disciplined at one time for one thing or another, and are livid over it. It's no more complicated than that.

 

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1 hour ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Surely this explains why we never hear religious affiliation for anyone other than JWs when abusers are found out.

I think your general sentiment is right, of course, but this idea reminds me that a couple weeks ago, I was sent a few newspaper articles from Australia (via Facebook) that were supposedly from a follow-up on the ARC cases. The majority of them had no religious affiliation so I had to take his word for it. I did a search on a few of the names, and was able to figure out that at least one of the accused abusers had been identified as a Witness.

It made me think that this probably happens a lot more often than I had thought, where a newspaper writer will often leave off the religious identity unless they think it's an important part of the story.

That made me think that what happens on forums like this is that there are always some persons, both for and against us, who have their news feeds set up to find any mention of Jehovah, Jehovah's Witnesses, Watchtower, Kingdom Hall, Watchtower, etc., as key words for their searches. So naturally, the news that gets talked about here is news where a Witness has been identified in the news article.

 

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5 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

we never hear religious affiliation for anyone other than JWs when abusers are found out.

Actually this is a valid point but is also an overstatement. The word "never" exaggerates. The Roman Catholic church, as an example, has received considerable publicity over this matter, albeit with a focus on clergy crime. 

This topic provokes strong reactions wherever it is raised, not least because it seems to be one of the final frontiers of morality left in this broken system. Many Jehovah's Witnesses have little detailed knowledge of the topic from a media perspective, both because of it's extreme distastefulness as well as the aforementioned negative media bias with it's apostate links.

It is difficult to get a rational grasp on the matter, even more so on the real facts behind what appears in the media. I have found the factual element of what has been posted on this forum to be very useful along with links to information sources. The various viewpoints expressed, including those I do not share, have been enlightening. 

In field ministry recently, I met the director of a national mental health organisation. He is known for having very strong and negative views on Jehovah's Witnesses in general, and particularly in the area of handling child abuse. He is not averse to loudly disputing with Witnesses on the street, hailing facts and figures to support his views to such an extent that most cannot engage with him. The information I had gleaned from postings here was very useful, and I was able have have a fact-driven conversation with this vociferous man, with an insight into his pattern of thinking. At least the level of emotion  and speech volume was reduced, and I think that being able to engage rationally and factually was a factor in that. A position held in ignorance of facts in an emotional exchange is guaranteed to fuel an angry reaction.

Hopefully, this topic will generate a useful contribution.

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4 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Actually this is a valid point but is also an overstatement. The word "never" exaggerates. The Roman Catholic church, as an example, has received considerable publicity over this matter, albeit with a focus on clergy crime. 

I always exaggerate. 'Never' in MySpeak means 'rarely.' 'All' means 'most.'

But in this case, I hold to the never. It is membership I am speaking of. Everybody's clergy gets outed when they do wrong in this regard, but nobody's membership. It's because nobody has a clue as to what their membership is up to. Nobody feels the obligation to present to God a morally clean people, so they don't bother checking to see what members apply biblical morality and what do not. If a member gets blown in for child abuse, it's not their affair; in fact, they know nothing about it. They are not the 'middleman'  and thus cannot be called to account for whether or not they handled matters in the way deemed acceptable by abuse people today.

So with regard to members, how else are we to know an abuser's religious affiliation? Can we imagine the police or the judge will ask about it? Of course, they will not, so the only membership you will hear about is Jehovah's Witnesses. We have a 'vulnerability' in this regard, and it is vulnerability that stems from doing the right thing. If we ignored the conduct of our members, as others do, we would not have this vulnerability. We also, in time, would not have a congregation looking much different than the world in matters of morality. That is what infuriates former members who are now enemies: our attempt to do so, for many of them were once on the losing end of discipline. 

Our 'clergy' stack up pretty well with regard to abuse, and clergy is the only place where you can compare apples to apples - you can't do it with membership because no one else keeps track.

In 2007,  Watchtower settled a number of abuse cases. This statement was released to the media at that time: "For the sake of the victims in these cases, we are pleased that a settlement has been reached. Our hearts go out to all those who suffer as a result of child abuse....During the last 100 years, only eleven elders have been sued for child abuse in thirteen lawsuits filed in the US. In seven of these lawsuits against the elders, accusations against the Watchtower Society itself were dismissed by the courts. Of course one victim is one victim too many. However, the incidence of this crime among Jehovah’s Witnesses is rare..."

We have a missing puzzle piece here. We know the stats for abuse among our 'clergy.' We know the stats for abuse among the clergy of others. But when it comes to membership, we only know the stats for Jehovah's Witnesses. So as not to be comparing apples to oranges, we need to know the stats for the membership of other faiths. We will never get them because nobody keeps track. So people who know better (and many who don't) will continue to equate the membership of Jehovah's Witnesses with the clergy of other religions.

With a missing puzzle piece that will not be supplied, all we can do is extrapolate. If eleven Witness clergy were sued over 100 years, with only four of them stemming from any culpability from the organization, then I submit that the overall rate among the members will also be low. If it is seen to be high, then the overall rate among memberships elsewhere will be astronomical.  

Of course, we see that it is. Child sexual abuse everywhere is an absolutely out of control pandemic. Like nurturing a seedling plant through inclement weather, apostates promote the idea that the pedophilia problem is disproportionately a Witness problem. It is not. If stats are disproportionate, it is probably the other way, as it is with clergy.

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8 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

I always exaggerate............................But in this case, I hold to the never.

Exaggeration is a feature of this area of debate and (for me) has no place in informed discussion on such a serious matter.

I haven't seen any analysis on the religious persuasion of child abusers and agree that some apostates contribute to fueling the biased reporting on the religious identity of child abusers who are or may have been connected at some time with Jehovah's Witnesses.

I recognise that the reporting on the religious identity of child abusers amongst religions other than Jehovah's Witnesses is biased toward "clergy" or other religious officials. However, in view of their imaginary office, I still view them just as members. Obviously, a cursory look at the vast numbers of reported child abuse cases indicates that the proportion of non-clerical membership of various religious groups engaging in this crime must be higher than commonly perceived.

And as you have now explained that your "never" means "rarely", I hold to my view.

 

21 Nov 2007 JW Press release.pdf

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4 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

 

And as you have now explained that your "never" means "rarely",

When you come right down to it, do absolutes ever apply to entire populations? In any group consisting of millions, you will find many examples of anything. It is enough to focus on the preponderance of evidence, the overall pattern, the forest - even when discussing individual trees.

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    Unfortunately child abuse will likely only get worse as this system goes down as seen from 2 Tim 3:1-5, 13.. It is found  everywhere in the world not just among religious groups.  In the First Century the Christians also had a problem with "such immorality as is not even among the nations" 1 Cor. 5:1 [also chp 5, 6 and 7 also deal with this incident]. The incident in this case was "incest" which CAN be child abuse if the victim is a child. Of course in the Corinthian congregation the APOSTLE  Paul  was counseling them because they were not handling it correctly {making excuses instead of removing him from association]. Yes Christians including those in authority do make mistakes but eventually as noted in this Scripture it was handled "properly"{remove the wicked man} although many in satans world may have handled it "differently".

   Jehovah's way is always the best way even if we do not understand why Jehovah may do certain things in certain unusual ways [expect the unexpected]. After all someone could conclude on principle that Jehovah was guilty of child abuse when he told Abraham to "tie up the boy" and then hold a knife to him to kill him? {Quality of Loyalty? obviously not just a prophetic drama}. From that day on, Jehovah called Abraham his friend. Do you know why? Abraham did whatever Jehovah wanted him to do, evenwhen he didn’t understand why Jehovah had asked him to do it 2 Tim 3:16; 1 Cor. 10:11.

   And Jesus said to eat his flesh and blood so was that "misleading false information" was it "right or wrong"? {Loyalty}  Who dares tell Jehovah that his way or his representatives are WRONG in how Jehovah handles things or finds "fault" except of course Satan and other DISLOYAL ones {Korah-like apostates}. Genesis 22! {. Ez 18:25. Isa. 55:8,9}.

   These fundamental principles from God's Word are as relevant today as when they were first written even if today's society says otherwise. It is not up to US to "reform" Jehovah's Organization. Christ is the HEAD of the Congregation - our commander and chief.

   "Whether good OR BAD, we will obey the voice of Jehovah". And who was that "voice" that instructed them? "To Jeremiah [an imperfect human]...do exactly as Jehovah your God instructs us THROUGH YOU" Jer. 42:5,6. Humble LOYALTY is the point, to Jehovah and his organization. Heb. 13:17.

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5 hours ago, bruceq said:

Unfortunately child abuse will only get worse as this system goes down. It is found  everywhere in the world.  In the First Century the Christians also had a problem with "such immorality as is not even among the nations" 1 Cor. 5:1 [also chp 5, 6 and 7 also deal with this incident]. The incident in this case was "incest" which can be child abuse if the victim is a child. Of course in the Corinthian congregation Paul was counseling them because they were not handling it correctly. Yes Christians including those in authority do make mistakes but eventually as noted in this Scripture it was handled properly although many in the world may have handled it differently.

Not every problem needs to get worse as the system goes down. Plagues and flu that have killed millions of people may have seen their worst days from the Middle Ages until about 1919. Soap and a better understanding of germs and cleanliness (clean water, etc) has likely been the reason that the population of the world has grown so rapidly especially in the last two or three generations since 1919.

The Watch Tower publications were not the only sources of bad (false) information about germs, up until as recently as 1931. Note:

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Of course, we have had multiple plagues in the world from the even before Jesus predicted that these things would continue to occur. And we could be hit with something unexpected and terrible in the near future, but plagues are no longer the kind of worry they were during the days of exploration from the 13th to the 17th centuries. Lack of plagues results in rising populations and therefore food shortages, however.

Child abuse might actually be another matter that gets better, not worse, as the system heads towards the end. More public awareness (including families of course), and more education, and more alert institutions (religious, educational/academic, health, government services) can make a huge difference, especially as children are made aware of the potential problem at younger ages. Although there is still scrutiny and a lot of news about the problem, I think the situation might already be improving. The circuit overseer in my parent's congregation, Kent K*rr*s.,  in private conversation, claims that the problem is much rarer in the past few years than it was 10 years ago. I suspect the same is, or will soon be true with better vetting in the Catholic churches, too. My aunt is a lapsed Witness who attended a funeral for a friend in a Catholic Church about 4 years ago, and picked up a letter from the archbishop to all members in the back "foyer" of the church that announced that their new priest was on leave for an investigation into such a scandal, and that this was especially difficult on all church members since their bishop had just been removed indefinitely although he claimed innocence of similar charges. The archbishop promises that great care will be taken to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again.

I understand your point about bringing the incest problem from 1 Cor 5 into the mix, although that was not at all about child abuse. The idea that even the world might have handled this particular problem better than the Corinthian congregation was handling it is an interesting point. I hadn't thought of that. 

But the real point I wanted to make was that it seems like a real non sequitur when you add this:

5 hours ago, bruceq said:

Jehovah's way is always the best way even if we do not understand why Jehovah may do certain things in certain unusual ways. After all was Jehovah guilty of child abuse when he told Abraham to "tie up the boy" and then hold a knife to him to kill him?  Who dares tell Jehovah that his way was wrong except of course Satan and his minions. Genesis 22!

Of course Jehovah's way is best! But your logic is hard to follow here. What does Jehovah doing things in certain unusual ways have to do with child abuse? And how is handling child abuse in any way akin to telling Jehovah he was wrong in Genesis 22?

It comes across as a kind of defense of the long-standing way in which the Organization has handled child abuse cases just because, for example, we were trying to make excessive(?) use of the two-witness rule (which had the supposed advantage of keeping most of these cases quiet from both the rest of the congregation and the press). Even now there are very few Witnesses who know the identity of more than just a few of the 1,003 child abusers in Australia, for example. I happen to know for an absolute fact that just a very few of these were men that were regularly seen by tens of thousands of fellow Australian Witnesses due to their high positions. There had been an unofficial move-them-around policy similar to what happened in some Catholic dioceses. Something very similar came up in the UK Branch Office so that a few people at the very top lost their positions (a couple years ago) so that the branch in the UK would be in a better position to save their threatened status as a charitable organization. By the way, if you happen to know the three or four top persons who lost their positions, I am not referring to whether or not any or some had been personally accused of crimes, I'm also referring to a claim of undeniable knowledge of crimes that were not handled correctly, ethically, or even according to law in some cases.

Also, I should mention that it is now the Governing Body's position that certain things must be done by the law of the land even if we know that the Bible itself recommended a different process under the nation of Israel. This is why Brother Jackson refused to admit that the Bible supports corporal punishment of children and focused on only one scripture in that regard that could be said to have a non-literal meaning. The rights that Jehovah has to create a prophetic drama by having a specific situation played out is not relevant at all to how we handle matters of abuse today. (When Jehovah asks a prophet marry a prostitute, or cook his food with excrement, or even see just how far a person will go when asked to kill their son: none of these have anything to do with how we should handle child abuse or defend processes just because Jehovah may do certain things in unusual ways.)

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"What does Jehovah doing things in certain unusual ways have to do with child abuse?"

This was the thinking also of a certain other poster on a similar thread, and I hate saying this, but perhaps this kind of mentality has been the reason for non reporting and other inefficiencies regarding the handling of child sexual abuse. Yes, it is true that Jehovah should figure in our trying to solve problems, since being a JW is a way of life, but when it comes to handling of child sexual abuse, "waiting on Jehovah" and other perceived theocratic sensibilities just don't seem appropriate in this situation.

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The President of the Philippines was interviewed recently by the Russian Times.image.gifAnd boy oh boy, did he ever unload:

MF: Can I ask you a personal question, please? Two years ago, you shocked the media by revealing that you had been molested by a priest when you were 14 or 15 years old. And later, you even identified that priest. He was an American national.

RD: Yes. Not only I – the whole class. Two generations up and two generations down. All of us.

MF: You were 70 years old at that time. Why would you make that confession more than 50 years later?

RD: I said this because of the penchant to keep silent. The abuses of the priests had been filmed everywhere. There was an Italian underground film – I’m sure you saw that – priests were running naked there. And they don’t really bother to investigate. There is no condemnation. Nothing. They show the priests and the religious people doing shenanigans, but it is seen just as part of the show of the night. Is it liberality? Is it because you don’t want to condemn your own countrymen? Or is it because the victims were just natives? Never mind about them. We were considered natives. And sometimes pictured as apes.

13 hours ago, JW Insider said:

I am not referring to whether or not any or some had been personally accused of crimes, I'm also referring to a claim of undeniable knowledge of crimes that were not handled correctly, ethically, or even according to law in some cases.

In view of the above interview, it is obscene to even include Jehovah's Witnesses in the same discussion of rank pedophilia. It is obscene not to continually slap down persons who would attempt to equate the two. 

Knowing of a case that was not handled 'correctly' is poles apart from being the predator of that case. They would not even have that knowledge if they were like the churches that make no effort to keep themselves clean morally in God's eyes.

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1 hour ago, TrueTomHarley said:

 

In view of the above interview, it is obscene to even include Jehovah's Witnesses in the same discussion of rank pedophilia. It is obscene not to continually slap down persons who would attempt to equate the two. 

Knowing of a case that was not handled 'correctly' is poles apart from being the predator of that case. They would not even have that knowledge if they were like the churches that make no effort to keep themselves clean morally in God's eyes.

"Since all these things {including child abuse} are to be dissolved in this way, consider what sort of people you ought to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion,   as you await and keep close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah,  through which the heavens will be destroyed  in flames and the elements will melt in the intense heat!   But there are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise,  and in these righteousness is to dwell. Therefore, beloved ones, since you are awaiting these things, do your utmost to be found finally by him spotless and unblemished and in peace".—2 Pet. 3:11-14.

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      You get the idea: The Witnesses refused to hand over internal data, presumably because it would’ve been like handing over a loaded gun. So the courts had no choice but to assume the plaintiff was telling the truth and the Watchtower Society was negligent in their handling of Simental.
      Earlier this year, in a Hail Mary attempt to reverse their punishment, the Watchtower Society Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . They wanted the justices to say that documents relating to child abuse within a religious group can be kept confidential.
      Here’s how the Witnesses’ attorney introduced his case to the justices. (You don’t need a law degree to see how he just completely dismissed the molestation.)
      Watchtower attorney Paul Polidoro said the Supreme Court needed to consider whether California violated the Constitution when it held the Jehovah’s Witnesses responsible for what Simental did “during non-church activity,” forced them to hand over internal communications, and punished them for protecting everyone’s “privacy rights.”
      J.W.’s attorney Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. asking the Court to flat-out reject this case.
      Indeed, that’s what the Court decided. When the first set of orders in the new term was released yesterday, there was this case among many many others, in the list of those which would not get heard this term.
       
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  
      It was the right move. There’s nothing further to debate here. Finally, this case has been put to rest.
      (Image via Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Large portions of this article were published earlier)
         
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      A new worship centre for Jehovah's Witnesses is coming to Gloucestershire.
      Plans were approved earlier this week (June 19) by Gloucester City Council to build the place of worship in Kingsway.
      The development will be the second Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Gloucester, the first being based in Abbeydale.

      The plans for the Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall in Kingsway (Image: Gloucester City Council)
      The proposal includes a single storey building to be used by Jehovah's Witnesses as a place of worship and religious education, as well as five car parking spaces.
      The developer, Elevation One building design, said the building will resemble a site used by the religious group in Dover.
      A planning statement submitted by the firm said two new halls like the proposed have been built in the last year and another 14 nationwide have been planned.
      The site fronts Thatcham Avenue and abuts the southern boundary of Kingsway Primary School.

      The plans for the Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall in Kingsway (Image: Gloucester City Council)
       
      It is not clear when building works will begin.
      It will be the ninth Kingdom Hall in Gloucestershire with others in Cirencester, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury, Stroud, Dursley, Blakeney and Lydney, in addition to the existing on in Gloucester.

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    • By Anna
      Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that despite this informative document recently made available to download in several languages on the JW website, there is not too much of a mention of it by any of the opposers and "campaigners" against child abuse in the JW organization.
      Here is the entire document:
      JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES’ SCRIPTURALLY BASED POSITION ON CHILD PROTECTION
      Definitions: Child abuse may include neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse.
      Child sexual abuse is a perversion and generally includes one or more of the following: sexual inter-course with a child; oral or anal sex with a child; fondling the genitals, breasts, or buttocks of a child; voyeurism of a child; indecent exposure to a child; or soliciting a child for sexual conduct. It may include sexting with a minor or showing pornography to a minor.
      In this document, references to parents apply equally to legal guardians or other persons who hold pa-rental responsibility for a minor.
      1. Children are a sacred trust, “an inheritance from Jehovah.”—Psalm 127:3.
      2. The protection of children is of utmost concern and importance to all Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is in harmony with the long-standing and widely published Scripturally based position of Jehovah’s Witnesses, as reflected in the references at the end of this document, which are all published on jw.org.
      3. Jehovah’s Witnesses abhor child abuse and view it as a crime. (Romans 12:9) We recognize that the authorities are responsible for addressing such crimes. (Romans 13:1-4) The elders do not shield any perpetrator of child abuse from the authorities.
      4. In all cases, victims and their parents have the right to report an accusation of child abuse to the authorities. Therefore, victims, their parents, or anyone else who reports such an accusation to the elders are clearly informed by the elders that they have the right to report the matter to the authorities. Elders do not criticize anyone who chooses to make such a report.—Galatians 6:5.
      5. When elders learn of an accusation of child abuse, they immediately consult with the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses to ensure compliance with child abuse reporting laws. (Romans 13:1) Even if the elders have no legal duty to report an accusation to the authorities, the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses will instruct the elders to report the matter if a minor is still in danger of abuse or there is some other valid reason. Elders also ensure that the victim’s parents are informed of an accusation of child abuse. If the alleged abuser is one of the victim’s parents, the elders will inform the other parent.
      6. Parents have the primary responsibility for the protection, safety, and instruction of their children. Therefore, parents who are members of the congregation are encouraged to be vigilant in exercising their responsibility at all times and to do the following:
      • Have direct and active involvement in their children’s lives.
      • Educate themselves and their children about child abuse.
      • Encourage, promote, and maintain regular communication with their children. —Deuteronomy 6:6, 7; Proverbs 22:3.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses publish an abundance of Bible-based information to assist parents to fulfill their responsibility to protect and instruct their children.—See the references at the end of this document.
       7. Congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses do not separate children from their parents for the purpose of instruction or other activities. (Ephesians 6:4) For example, our congregations do not provide or sponsor orphanages, Sunday schools, sports clubs, day-care centers, youth groups, or other activi-ties that separate children from their parents.
      8. Elders strive to treat victims of child abuse with compassion, understanding, and kindness. (Colossians 3:12) As spiritual counselors, the elders endeavor to listen carefully and empathetically to victims and to console them. (Proverbs 21:13; Isaiah 32:1, 2; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; James 1:19) Victims and their families may decide to consult a mental-health professional. This is a personal decision.
      9. Elders never require victims of child abuse to present their accusation in the presence of the alleged abuser. However, victims who are now adults may do so, if they wish. In addition, victims can be accompanied by a confidant of either gender for moral support when presenting their accusation to the elders. If a victim prefers, the accusation can be submitted in the form of a written statement.
      10. Child abuse is a serious sin. If an alleged abuser is a member of the congregation, the elders conduct a Scriptural investigation. This is a purely religious proceeding handled by elders according to Scriptural instructions and is limited to the issue of membership as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. A member of the congregation who is an unrepentant child abuser is expelled from the congregation and is no longer considered one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (1 Corinthians 5:13) The elders’ handling of an accusation of child abuse is not a replacement for the authorities’ handling of the matter.—Romans 13:1-4.
      11. If it is determined that one guilty of child sexual abuse is repentant and will remain in the congregation, restrictions are imposed on the individual’s congregation activities. The individual will be specifically admonished by the elders not to be alone in the company of children, not to cultivate friendships with children, or display any affection for children. In addition, elders will inform parents of minors within the congregation of the need to monitor their children’s interaction with the individ-ual.
      12. A person who has engaged in child sexual abuse does not qualify to receive any congregation privileges or to serve in a position of responsibility in the congregation for decades, if ever. —1 Timothy 3:1-7, 10; 5:22; Titus 1:7.
      13. This document is available upon request to members of the congregation. It is reviewed at least once every three years.
      Source:
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      If you’ve been in Newcastle city centre recently, you will have noticed them.
      Happily handing out copies of The Watchtower from carts, Jehovah’s Witnesses are taking to Newcastle’s streets in their droves.
      And the reason for the recent increase is simply due to a change in tactics.
      For years, members have gone door-to-door to spread the word about the faith.
      But now members are heading into the city to try and reach out to more people.
      “We feel the use of carts allows us to reach people we perhaps wouldn’t meet at home due to their work schedules or other factors,” said spokesperson Andrew Schofield. “The carts also provide the public with the choice of approaching us or not, which some people appreciate.
      Read more: 
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have left hospital after the arrival of their third child, a boy.
      The couple's second son, who was born at 11:01 BST, weighing 8lb 7oz, is fifth in line to the throne.
      Prince George and Princess Charlotte had visited their brother at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, London.
      Leaving the hospital Prince William said the couple were very happy, before holding up three fingers and joking he had "thrice the worry now".
      "We didn't keep you waiting too long this time," he added.
      When someone asked him whether the couple had decided on a name, he said: "You'll find out soon enough."
      Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43864933

    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Michael John Hewitt was described as a significant risk to young children and a dangerous offender.
       
      A man who took advantage of his position of trust in a Surrey branch of Jehovah's Witnesses and sexually abused three young girls has been sentenced to 15 yearsÂ’ imprisonment on Monday, 12 March at Croydon Crown Court.
      Michael John Hewitt, 71 and now of Fremington in Devon, was found guilty of eight counts of indecency with children who were all aged under 16 years at the time.
      He will be on the sex offenders register for life and have a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and Restraining Order served.
      The court heard that in the 1980s Hewitt, who previously lived in Wallington, was a member of the Jehovah's Witness Congregation and abused his victims over several decades.
      Two of HewittÂ’s victims were as young as five when the abuse started. He sexually abused all three of them in his and their home addresses, undetected by family members.
      He later sold his home in Surrey and moved to Devon.
      On January 11, 2016, two of the victims reported what had happened to a family member, who then contacted police. Hewitt was later arrested in January 2016 and bailed pending further enquiries.
      Following extensive research by detectives from the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command, the third victim was identified and came forward when told Hewitt was under investigation for two similar offences.
      In May 2017, Hewitt was charged with eleven counts of indecency with three girls under 16 years old. He was later acquitted of three offences.
      Whilst sentencing Judge Flahive described Hewitt as a significant risk to young children and a dangerous offender.
      Detective Constable Janet Williams, the investigating officer from the Met's Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command said: "The victims were abused by Hewitt at a very early age. Only when they were older were they able to understand what Hewitt subjected them to. Hewitt abused his position of trust to exploit the young girls for his own satisfaction.
      "I would like to pay tribute to the victims who had the courage to report these distressing crimes to police. I hope today's conviction gives the victims a measure of comfort and closure."

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Independent investigators in the United Kingdom are weighing whether to launch a new investigation into the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the U.K. after receiving a “considerable number” of abuse allegations.
      The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, or IICSA, a government-sanctioned investigative panel in England and Wales, told The Guardian that it had gotten a “considerable number” of reports from both the public and elected officials about the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the U.K. A spokesperson told the newspaper the panel would “consider calls for a Jehovah’s Witnesses–specific investigation carefully.” 
      It was unclear how many reports the watchdog group had received. When contacted by Newsweek, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ public information office did not immediately comment.
      Kathleen Hallisey, a lawyer who brought charges against the Jehovah’s Witnesses for sexual abuse in 2015, said she suspected there are thousands of such cases in the U.K., The Guardian reported. 
      “The Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to recognize the issue of child abuse in their organization or to create robust safeguarding procedures to protect children,” she said. “An investigation by IICSA into the Jehovah’s Witnesses is an opportunity for the inquiry to effect real change in an organization that refuses to shine a light on child abuse and protect children.”
      News of the possible investigation comes weeks after the nonprofit religious transparency organization Faithleaks leaked 33 letters and internal documents revealing a pattern of sexual abuse by one Jehovah’s Witness member, and the lengths the church went to cover up the scandal. 
      Those documents detail communications among church leaders and several legal entities—collectively known as Watchtower—between 1999 and 2012. In one letterto Watchtower dated November 14, 1999, the Palmer Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses from Brimfield, Massachusetts, said it had reviewed claims by two women who alleged their father sexually abused them as children. The group found those claims to be true. 
      “Our impression upon speaking with both girls was similar. That they are both quite rational. It certainly appears that these were real events,” the letter said. 
      In that case, church leaders pressured one of the accusers not to report the abuse to police. Years later, the church held an in-house trial and briefly excommunicated the father. 
      That victim was not the only person pressured to remain silent. 
      In the U.K., several alleged victims had come forward with similar claims in November 2017, according to The Telegraph. 
      “Frankly, I would equate this to a scandal and a cover-up akin to the Catholic Church,” Hallisey told The Telegraph at the time.

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    • By TrueTomHarley
      Here is a 14 year-old girl who sexted an explicit picture of herself to her boyfriend via Snapchat - and he spread it about widely. Guys will do things like that and girls should not be dumb.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. She is looking at 10 years felony jail time for violation of Minnesota's child-porn law. The ACLU spokesperson defending her says this is a "teachable moment" for parents to inform the girl that her actions have consequences. Tell me about it.
      It is also a "cautionary tale," the ACLU adds. Yes. It IS cautionary for a 14 year old trying to live in an insane world supplied her by adults that pushes powerful social media tools, a sexually promiscuous culture, and then ten years for making use of them.
      Only RT.com picks this story up (besides local media), probably in a quest to embarrass the West, but that is hard to do because the West routinely embarrasses itself yet feels no embarrassment. To the contrary, it parades around in its wisdom. Meanwhile – ‘wisdom from the mouth of babes’ – the girl says “Sexting is common among teens at my school, and we shouldn’t face charges for doing it. I don’t want anyone else to go through what I’m going through.” Of course. It is a no-brainer. It is not that what she did wasn’t wrong – it is that the entire adult world should be prosecuted ahead of her. That way, there will be no room left in jail for the child.
      In a greater context, the story highlights the absolute failure of the world to vanquish pedophilia, which it has declared public enemy #1 - with its frothing take-no-prisoners, pulling-their-hair out frustration over making no dent in the pandemic, and so wildly overswinging to compensate. It is the frenzied carpenter who misses the nail and then furiously hammers ten times more, again missing each time. This is how it is with zealots who see their cause and nothing else – and the world is full of such people.
      It mirrors the Arizona law of 2015 criminalizing contact with the private areas of any child under 15 REGARDLESS OF INTENT. Prosecutors did not back down even when it was pointed out that the law criminalizes parents changing diapers. No “sane or reasonable prosecutor” is going to misuse the law that way, they said. That is reassuring, but what about the insane and unreasonable ones? Will the law be repealed? Not easily. Just try repealing it and political enemies will scream you are being soft of pedophiles – no politician dares risk that.
      Meanwhile, Jehovah’s Witnesses, of all people, get caught in the cross-fire of pedophilia for doing what no other religion attempts to do. Where there are reports of wrongdoing in their midst, they investigate, so as to keep the congregation morally clean – an obligation they feel before God. There is the unfortunate by-product that their name is always attached to pedophiles within their ranks, something that happens nowhere else. No other faith dreams their members should actually apply Christian conduct in their lives. No other faith looks into such things – preach Sunday and be done with it - and thus rarely learn of them. Thus pedophiles, who appear to be every third person on the planet, especially when the statute of limitations is forever, and the 14-year old and folks changing diapers are included, are never ever identified with any religion (unless they are clergy), with but a single exception.
      The book I am almost finished with about Witness persecution in Russia will contain individual chapters on all charges made against Witnesses. ‘Pedophilia’ will be one of them, even though the subject did not arise there, strangely. It has arisen most everywhere else and it is only a matter of time there. The Russian embassy to the U.S. recently did mention the topic in a tweet, attempting to justify its ban – the first such mention I have ever seen, despite years of flinging dirt in that country to see what will stick.
      Even my shoving match with @Ann O'Maly over who has the best child-protective video is in the pedophile chapter.
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Children who were sexually abused by Jehovah's Witnesses were allegedly told by the church not to report the crimes.
      Victims from across the UK told the BBC they were routinely abused and that the religious organisation's own rules protected perpetrators.
      One child abuse lawyer believes there could be thousands of victims across the country who have not come forward because of the "two witness" rule.
      A spokesperson for the church said it did not "shield" abusers.
      'Bring reproach on Jehovah'
      BBC Hereford and Worcester spoke to victims - men and women - from Birmingham, Cheltenham, Leicester, Worcestershire and Glasgow, one of whom waived her right to anonymity.
      Louise Palmer, who now lives in Evesham, Worcestershire, was born into the organisation along with her brother Richard Davenport, who started raping her when she was four. He is serving a 10-year prison sentence for the abuse.
      The 41-year-old, formerly of Halesowen, West Midlands, said when she told the church of the abuse she was told not to go to police.
      Read more: 
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    • By TheWorldNewsOrg
      UK - Conservation work set to silence much-loved Big Ben for four years
       
       
    • By TheWorldNewsOrg
      UK - Big Ben sounds its midday bongs for the last time in four years... and it upsets many Brits!
       
       
    • By The Librarian
      NORTH KENSINGTON, London – Not less than four members of Jehovah’s Witnesses survived the inferno that ravaged the 24 storey Grenfel Tower, London killing at least 79 people.

      None of the witnesses died in the inferno, which has led to revolution and evacuation of about 25 other blocks that have failed fire resistant test in London.
      The 4 witnesses however lost their apartments and properties in the fire. 
      “Witnesses that live near the now fire-gutted apartment building provided food, clothing, and monetary aid to their fellow members and their families that were affected. The Witnesses are also offering spiritual comfort to the grieving members of the North Kensington community”, the JWs said on their website.Jehovah’s Witnesses are known worldwide for their speed in mitigating the affliction of their neighbours worldwide.See full statement below.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses are assisting victims of a catastrophic fire that engulfed the Grenfell Tower, a 24-story apartment building in the North Kensington area of London, in the early morning hours of June 14, 2017. Authorities are reporting that at least 79 people were killed.
      Four Witnesses were evacuated from the apartment building, two of which were residents of Grenfell Tower. Fortunately, none of them were injured, although the Witnesses’ apartments were among those completely destroyed in the blaze.
      Witnesses that live near the now fire-gutted apartment building provided food, clothing, and monetary aid to their fellow members and their families that were affected. The Witnesses are also offering spiritual comfort to the grieving members of the North Kensington community.

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    • By Jack Ryan
      In Newcastle town centre. UK.
      The Chronicle Live. 15 June 2017.
      A council worker will stand trial after he was accused of being drunk at the wheel of his road sweeper in Newcastle city centre.
      John Paul Carruthers, who has since resigned from his post at Newcastle City Council, was allegedly over the legal drink-drive limit when he ploughed into a Jehovah’s Witness stand on Northumberland Street near to Haymarket Metro Station.
      Prosecuting, James Long told Newcastle Magistrates’ Court: “The allegation is that he was driving a Newcastle City Council road sweeper when he collided first with a Jehovah’s Witness stand next to Haymarket Metro Station. He carried on then a short while later was detained on Ridley Place and was said to be aggressive.

      READ MORE: 
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    • By Jack Ryan
      09:38  Official police statement 
      Detectives have launched a murder investigation following the suspicious death of a man in Honiton today [6 June].
      Police and ambulance crews were called at around 3.40pm after concerns were raised for the welfare of the man at a premises in Dowell Street.
      On arrival they found the man, who is yet to be identified, deceased at the scene. He had sustained a number of stab wounds.
      A 55-year-old man was located nearby and has been arrested on suspicion of murder. He has been taken into custody in Exeter awaiting questioning.
      Detectives from the Major Crime Investigation Team have launched an investigation to establish the circumstances of the man’s death.
      Officers are appealing for anyone who may have information which may assist with the enquiry to contact them.
      A cordon remains in place around the scene while a forensic examination is carried out by scenes of crime officers.
      Anyone who may have information about the incident is asked to contact police via 101@dc.police.uk or by telephoning 101, quoting log 529 of 06/06/17.
      Information can also be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers via 0800 555111 or the charity’s website at 
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      ---------------------------------------
      The question now is.... are either of the two Jehovah's Witnesses?
    • By TheWorldNewsOrg
      via TheWorldNewsOrg
      World News
    • By admin
      Terrorist incident at Manchester Arena 
      Police shutdown central Manchester, early Tuesday morning, after a suspected explosion at the Manchester Arena killed 19 and injured 50.
      Suicide Bomber suspected
      The incident is thought to have occurred at 22.35 local time (21.35 GMT), at the end of an Ariana Grande concert as 20,000 + attendees were leaving the premises. Emergency vehicles streamed to the arena and helicopters circled above as police urged people to stay clear of the area.
      As we all get more details about this event please post news below as a reply
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      A WOMAN  who was molested by her father over 5 years and afterwards by a Jehovah’s Witnesses she asked for assistance has oral out about her ordeal.
      Terrified Angie Rodgers, from Ayrshire, was abused weekly by her perverted Jehovah’s Witness father Ian Cousins from a age of 11.

      Angie Rodgers was 11 years aged when her father started abusing her
      The dauntless teen eventually plucked adult a bravery to disclose in a Jehovah’s Witness elders, who took small action and she was after abused by one of them too, Harry Holt.
      Angie, now 36, said: “I incited to a church for assistance and we was abused a second time.
      “I was a child and they should have helped, though they incited on me. They make me feel sick.
      “I don’t consider I’ll ever get over what happened. I’ve usually schooled to live with it.
      “I have nightmares and flashbacks all a time and been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress.”
      Angie’s father was detained for 5 years in 2002 for his crimes, while Holt was usually jailed final year for Angie’s attack along with 7 others he molested.
      Now aged 36, Angie, a mother-of-four, has bravely waived her anonymity in a wish her story will assistance other people.
      She said: “Dad did it whenever he got a chance, even when we was ill.

      Angie Rodgers poses here with others in a Jehovah’s Witness community
      “Once, we was throwing adult with gastric influenza when father brought me home a feathery bunny, with a organic white floral dress and bloomers.
      “My wordless went to a Kingdom (church) and my father scooped me adult in his arms from a couch, took me to his room and molested me.
      “I prayed my wordless would come and save me though she never did. After that he used to try to hold me whenever we were alone. It got worse and worse.
      “We went to a Jehovah gathering when we was about 14 and he attempted to rape me in a tent. He was usually interrupted when an elder shouted him from outside.”
      At a age of 15 Angie confided in a friend, whose father led a opposite church, in a wish that they would be means to stop a abuse.
      While her father Cousins was called in for a “judicial meeting” no movement was taken, as Jehovah’s Witness elders can't act opposite suspects unless “there is a admission or dual convincing witnesses”.
      Angie was afterwards subjected to an talk by 3 masculine elders including Holt, where she was done to plead insinuate sum of a abuse.
      She explained: “They even asked what I’d been wearing, as if it was my fault. It was excruciating. we was so genuine we was still personification with toys and Lego during 18.”
      As Cousins showed plea for his sins he was authorised behind into a church after being reprimanded – and a abuse stopped.
      A brief while after in 1997, Holt done a pierce on Angie when pushing her home following a event door-knocking for members.
      She said: “On a approach home in a automobile he grabbed my leg and felt his approach adult towards my underwear.”
      Shocked, a immature lady told her relatives about a occurrence and a explanation led to Holt journey to Edinburgh.
      It was suggested in justice final year that he went on to abuse some-more children.
      Angie motionless to make a censure to a military about her father when she found out he had also abused another dual girls.
      She also incited her behind on a Jehovah’s Witnesses during 19 in a wish of starting fresh.
      The sacrament is pronounced to inspire members to reject people who leave, and Angie claimed that she didn’t see her mom for 6 years after she left.
      In 2014 a censure was done opposite Holt, and Angie concluded to come brazen and pronounce about her horrific experience.
      In Feb 2016, 71-year-old Holt was condemned to three-and-a-half years in jail for a abuse of 8 girls between 1971 and 2004.
      Angie said: “If what happened to me helps usually one immature lady – or child – go to a military it will have been value it. What happened to me is horrible though I’m perplexing to pierce on, differently my abusers have won.
      “The sacrament is zero though a cult. Children are kept wordless by fears of Holy condemnation and Armageddon if they move a church into ill repute.
      “It’s that fear and a fear of being shunned by friends and family if we leave that stops victims from stating to police. It’s primitive and it has to stop.”
      When contacted, a Jehovah’s Witnesses wouldn’t criticism on Angie’s box though they did criticism on their position in general.
      The matter said: “Jehovah’s Witnesses detest child abuse and perspective it as a iniquitous crime and sin. Safety of a children is of a pinnacle importance.
      “Elders do not defense abusers from a authorities. Anyone who commits a impiety of child abuse faces exclusion from a congregation. Any idea Jehovah’s Witnesses cover adult abuse is false.
      “We are doing all we can to forestall child abuse and to yield devout comfort to any who have suffered from this terrible impiety and crime.”

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      World News
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      By Guest Kurt
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    • Eric Ouellet

      Nous ne pouvons rien cacher à Dieu, Droite est la vision de Justice de Jéhovah 
      Louez Yah !
      Remerciez Jéhovah, car il est bon ;
      son amour fidèle est éternel.
      Qui peut proclamer tous les actes puissants de Jéhovah
      ou annoncer toutes ses actions dignes de louanges ?
      Heureux ceux qui agissent avec droiture,
      qui se comportent toujours avec justice.
      Souviens-toi de moi, ô Jéhovah, quand tu accordes ta faveur à ton peuple.
      Occupe-toi de moi par tes actes sauveurs,
      pour que je savoure le bien que tu fais à ceux que tu as choisi ;
      Pour que je me réjouisse aux côtés de ta nation,
      pour que je te loue fièrement aux côtés de ton héritage.
      Nous avons péché, comme nos ancêtres;
      nous avons mal agi, nous nous sommes conduits méchamment.
      Nos ancêtres, en Égypte, ne comprirent pas le sens de tes œuvres prodigieuses.
      Ils ne se souvinrent pas de ton immense amour fidèle,
      et ils se rebellèrent près de la mer, la mer Rouge.
      Mais par égard pour son nom, il les sauva,
      afin de faire connaître sa puissance.
      Il réprimanda la mer Rouge, et elle s’assécha ;
      il les conduisit à travers ses profondeurs comme à travers un désert;
      il les sauva de la main de leur adversaire,
      il les racheta de la main de l’ennemi.
      Les eaux recouvrirent leurs adversaires ;
      aucun d’eux ne survécut.
      Alors ils eurent foi en sa promesse ;
      ils se mirent à chanter sa louange.
      Mais ils oublièrent vite ce qu’il avait fait ;
      ils n’attendirent pas son conseil.
      Ils cédèrent à leurs désirs égoïstes dans le désert;
      ils mirent Dieu à l’épreuve dans les solitudes.
      Il leur accorda ce qu’ils demandaient,
      mais il les frappa ensuite d’un mal qui les fit dépérir.
      Dans le camp, ils devinrent jaloux de Moïse
      et d’Aaron, le saint de Jéhovah.
      Alors la terre s’ouvrit et engloutit Dathan,
      et elle recouvrit ceux qui s’étaient rassemblés avec Abiram.
      Un feu flamba parmi leur groupe,
      une flamme consuma les méchants.
      Ils firent un veau en Horeb
      et se prosternèrent devant une statue en métal;
      ils échangèrent ma gloire
      contre la représentation d’un taureau, d’un mangeur d’herbe.
      Ils oublièrent Dieu, leur Sauveur,
      qui avait fait de grandes choses en Égypte,
      des œuvres prodigieuses au pays de Cham,
      des actes redoutables à la mer Rouge.
      Il allait ordonner leur anéantissement,
      mais Moïse, celui qu’il avait choisi, intercéda auprès de lui
      pour détourner sa colère destructrice.
      Puis ils méprisèrent le pays désirable ;
      ils n’eurent pas foi dans sa promesse.
      Ils n’arrêtèrent pas de grogner dans leurs tentes ;
      ils n’écoutèrent pas la voix de Jéhovah.
      Alors, levant la main, il jura
      de les faire tomber dans le désert,
      de faire tomber leurs descendants parmi les nations
      et de les disperser dans tous les pays.
      Puis ils prirent part au culte du Baal de Péor
      et mangèrent des sacrifices offerts aux morts.
      Ils provoquèrent sa colère par leurs actions,
      et un fléau éclata parmi eux.
      Mais Phinéas se leva pour intervenir,
      et le fléau s’arrêta.
      Et cela fut porté à son compte comme justice,
      de génération en génération, pour toujours.
      Ils provoquèrent sa colère aux eaux de Meriba,
      et, à cause d’eux, les choses tournèrent mal pour Moïse.
      Ils aigrirent son esprit,
      si bien qu’il parla avec ses lèvres sans réfléchir.
      Ils n’anéantirent pas les peuples,
      contrairement à l’ordre de Jéhovah.
      Mais ils se mêlèrent aux nations
      et adoptèrent leurs manières d’agir.
      Ils servirent leurs idoles,
      et celles-ci devinrent un piège pour eux.
      Ils sacrifièrent leurs fils
      et leurs filles aux démons.
      Ils firent couler le sang d’innocents,
      le sang de leurs propres fils et de leurs propres filles
      qu’ils sacrifiaient aux idoles de Canaan;
      et le pays fut profané par le sang versé.
      Par leurs œuvres, ils se rendirent impurs ;
      par leurs actes, ils pratiquèrent la prostitution spirituelle.
      Alors la colère de Jéhovah éclata contre son peuple,
      et il en vint à détester son héritage.
      Maintes fois il les livra aux nations,
      pour que ceux qui les haïssaient dominent sur eux.
      Leurs ennemis les opprimèrent,
      et ils furent soumis à leur pouvoir.
      Bien des fois il les secourut,
      mais ils se rebellaient et désobéissaient,
      et ils étaient abaissés à cause de leur faute.
      Cependant il voyait leur détresse
      et entendait leur appel à l’aide.
      Pour eux, il se souvenait de son alliance ;
      dans son grand amour fidèle, il avait pitié.
      Il éveillait envers eux la pitié
      de tous ceux qui les tenaient captifs.
      Sauve-nous, ô Jéhovah notre Dieu,
      et rassemble-nous du milieu des nations
      pour que nous puissions glorifier ton saint nom
      et te louer dans la joie.
      Que Jéhovah, le Dieu d’Israël, soit loué
      pour toute l’éternité.
      Et que tout le peuple dise : « Amen ! »
      Louez Yah !

      · 0 replies
    • folens  »  Eric Ouellet

      Hello Eric merci pour tes sujets et partages. Bonne journée Michel
      12 SECRETS POUR MAINTENIR LA JOIE DANS l organisation de Jéhovah.pdf memoire_vivante56.pdf Un athée.pdf
      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      Que nos sacrifices de paix venant du coeur soit pur aux services de Dieu
      Le Lévitique a été écrit il y a 3 500 ans, mais Jéhovah l’a préservé pour nous instruire  (Rom. 15:4). Ce livre nous aide à comprendre ce que Jéhovah pense et ressent. Nous devrions donc nous y intéresser de près. En fait, nous pouvons tirer beaucoup de leçons de ce livre inspiré de Dieu. Examinons-en quatre.
      COMMENT OBTENIR L’APPROBATION DE JÉHOVAH
      Première leçon : nous devons avoir l’approbation de Jéhovah si nous voulons qu’il accepte nos sacrifices. Chaque année, le jour de la Réconciliation, la nation d’Israël se rassemblait et des sacrifices d’animaux étaient offerts. Ces sacrifices rappelaient aux Israélites qu’ils avaient besoin d’être purifiés de leurs péchés. Mais avant d’entrer dans le Très-Saint avec du sang provenant des sacrifices, le grand prêtre devait d’abord accomplir une autre tâche, une tâche dont l’objectif était bien plus important que le pardon des péchés de la nation.
      (Lire Lévitique 16:12, 13.) Imagine la scène : Nous sommes le jour de la Réconciliation. Le grand prêtre entre dans le tabernacle. C’est la première des trois fois où il va entrer dans le Très-Saint ce jour-là. Dans une main, il tient un récipient contenant de l’encens parfumé, et dans l’autre un récipient à feu en or rempli de braises. Il s’arrête un instant devant le rideau du Très-Saint. Puis, avec un profond respect, il entre et va se placer devant l’arche de l’Alliance. De façon figurée, il se trouve en présence de Jéhovah lui-même ! Puis il verse avec soin l’encens sacré sur les braises, et la pièce se remplit d’un parfum délicat. Plus tard, il va de nouveau entrer dans le Très-Saint avec du sang provenant des sacrifices pour le péché. Remarque qu’il brûle l’encens avant de présenter le sang des sacrifices pour le péché
      Qu’apprenons-nous de ce que le grand prêtre devait faire avec l’encens le jour de la Réconciliation ? La Bible montre que, pour Jéhovah, les prières de ses fidèles adorateurs sont comparables à de l’encens (Ps. 141:2 ; Rév. 5:8). Comme nous venons de le voir, c’était avec un profond respect que le grand prêtre apportait l’encens jusque devant l’arche de l’Alliance, qui symbolisait la présence de Jéhovah. De la même façon, quand nous nous approchons de Jéhovah par la prière, nous le faisons avec beaucoup de respect. Nous sommes très reconnaissants au Créateur de l’univers de nous permettre de nous approcher de lui comme un enfant le fait avec son père (Jacq. 4:8). Il accepte que nous soyons ses amis ! (Ps. 25:14). Nous apprécions tellement cet honneur que nous ne voudrions jamais le décevoir.
      Souviens-toi que le grand prêtre devait brûler l’encens avant de pouvoir offrir les sacrifices. Ainsi, il faisait le nécessaire pour avoir l’approbation de Dieu au moment où il les offrirait. Qu’est-ce que cela nous apprend au sujet de Jésus ? Avant de pouvoir offrir sa vie en sacrifice, il a fallu qu’il fasse quelque chose d’essentiel, dont l’objectif était bien plus important que le salut des humains. Qu’a-t-il dû faire ? Il a dû rester fidèle à Dieu et obéir à ses commandements durant toute sa vie sur terre, ce qui permettrait à Jéhovah d’accepter son sacrifice. En restant intègre, Jésus prouverait qu’accomplir la volonté de Jéhovah est la meilleure façon de vivre. Et il justifierait la souveraineté de son Père : il apporterait la preuve que sa façon de gouverner est bonne et juste.
      Durant sa vie sur la terre, Jésus a toujours obéi parfaitement aux normes de Jéhovah. Aucune tentation ni aucune épreuve, ni même la mort atroce qui l’attendait, n’a pu affaiblir son désir de défendre la façon de gouverner de son Père (Phil. 2:8). Dans l’épreuve, Jésus priait « avec des cris puissants et des larmes » (Héb. 5:7). Ses prières intenses venaient d’un cœur fidèle à Dieu, et elles renforçaient son désir de lui rester obéissant. Pour Jéhovah, les prières de Jésus étaient comme le parfum délicat de l’encens. Par sa façon de vivre, Jésus a grandement réjoui le cœur de son Père et a justifié sa souveraineté.
      Nous imiterons Jésus en faisant le maximum pour rester fidèles à Jéhovah et obéir à ses lois. Et dans l’épreuve, comme nous voulons lui plaire, nous le supplierons de nous aider. Nous montrerons alors que nous soutenons sa souveraineté. Nous savons qu’il ne répondra pas à nos prières si nous avons une conduite qu’il n’approuve pas. Cependant, si nous respectons ses normes, nous pouvons être sûrs que nos prières sincères seront pour lui comme de l’encens au parfum délicat. Nous pouvons également être certains que notre fidélité et notre obéissance réjouiront notre Père céleste (Prov. 27:11).
      NOUS SERVONS DIEU PAR RECONNAISSANCE ET PAR AMOUR
      Deuxième leçon : nous servons Jéhovah parce que nous éprouvons pour lui de la reconnaissance. Pour développer cette idée, parlons des sacrifices de paix, un autre aspect important du vrai culte dans l’ancien Israël. Dans le livre du Lévitique, nous apprenons qu’un Israélite pouvait offrir un sacrifice de paix « pour exprimer sa reconnaissance » à Dieu (Lév. 7:11-13, 16-18). Il offrait ce sacrifice, non pas parce qu’il était obligé de le faire, mais parce qu’il le voulait. Il s’agissait donc d’un sacrifice qu’une personne faisait volontairement parce qu’elle aimait son Dieu, Jéhovah. Cette personne ainsi que sa famille et les prêtres mangeaient ensuite la viande de l’animal sacrifié. Mais certaines parties de l’animal étaient réservées exclusivement à Jéhovah. Lesquelles ?
      Troisième leçon : par amour pour Jéhovah, nous lui donnons ce que nous avons de meilleur. Jéhovah considérait la graisse comme la meilleure partie de l’animal. Il a aussi fait savoir que d’autres parties de l’animal, comme les rognons, étaient particulièrement précieuses pour lui (lire Lévitique 3:6, 12, 14-16). Cela lui faisait donc très plaisir quand un Israélite lui offrait volontairement ces parties de l’animal et la graisse. Cet Israélite montrait qu’il désirait vraiment lui offrir le meilleur. De la même façon, Jésus a offert à Jéhovah ce qu’il avait de meilleur en le servant de toute son âme et par amour (Jean 14:31). Pour Jésus, faire la volonté de son Père était un plaisir ; il avait un amour profond pour la loi de Dieu (Ps. 40:8). Comme cela a dû réjouir Jéhovah de voir son Fils le servir avec autant d’enthousiasme !
      Comme ces sacrifices de paix, notre service pour Jéhovah est une façon de lui montrer ce que nous ressentons pour lui. Nous lui donnons ce que nous avons de meilleur, et nous le faisons parce que nous l’aimons de tout notre cœur. Comme cela doit le réjouir de voir des millions de personnes le servir avec plaisir parce qu’elles ont un profond amour pour lui et pour ses normes ! Cela nous réconforte de savoir que Jéhovah voit non seulement nos actions, mais aussi nos mobiles, et qu’il y accorde de la valeur. Par exemple, si tu es âgé et que tu ne peux plus en faire autant qu’avant, sois certain que Jéhovah comprend tes limites. Tu penses peut-être que tu n’as pas grand-chose à lui offrir. Mais lui, il voit que ton profond amour pour lui te pousse à faire ce que tu peux. Il accepte avec plaisir ce que tu as de mieux à lui donner.
      Que nous apprennent les sacrifices de paix ? Alors que le feu consumait les meilleures parties de l’animal, la fumée s’élevait vers le ciel et cela faisait très plaisir à Jéhovah. Tu peux donc être sûr que Jéhovah est vraiment content de toi quand tu fais tout ce que tu peux pour le servir (Col. 3:23). Imagine son sourire d’approbation. Il considère comme très précieux les efforts que tu fournis à son service, qu’ils soient grands ou petits, et il ne les oubliera jamais (Mat. 6:20 ; Héb. 6:10).
      JÉHOVAH BÉNIT SON ORGANISATION
      Quatrième leçon : Jéhovah bénit la partie terrestre de son organisation. Rappelle-toi ce qui est arrivé en 1512 avant notre ère, quand le tabernacle a été dressé au pied du mont Sinaï (Ex. 40:17). Moïse a présidé une cérémonie durant laquelle Aaron et ses fils ont été établis prêtres. La nation d’Israël s’était rassemblée pour voir les prêtres présenter leurs premiers sacrifices (Lév. 9:1-5). Comment Jéhovah a-t-il montré qu’il approuvait cette nouvelle prêtrise ? Alors qu’Aaron et Moïse bénissaient le peuple, Jéhovah a fait descendre du ciel un feu qui a complètement consumé le sacrifice sur l’autel (Lévitique 9:23,24)
      Dans quel objectif Jéhovah a-t-il provoqué ce spectacle impressionnant à la fin de la cérémonie durant laquelle Aaron a été établi grand prêtre ? Il voulait montrer par là qu’il soutenait pleinement la prêtrise aaronique. Et les Israélites ont clairement vu qu’elle avait son approbation. Ils avaient donc toutes les raisons de la soutenir eux aussi. Est-ce important pour nous de savoir cela ? Oui ! La prêtrise en Israël n’était qu’une « ombre » d’une prêtrise bien meilleure. Le Christ est le Grand Prêtre par excellence et 144 000 humains seront prêtres et rois à ses côtés au ciel (Héb. 4:14 ; 8:3-5 ; 10:1).
      En 1919, Jésus a choisi un petit groupe de frères oints pour former l’« esclave fidèle et avisé ». Cet esclave dirige la prédication et donne aux disciples du Christ « leur nourriture au bon moment » (Mat. 24:45). Avons-nous des preuves que Dieu l’approuve
      Satan et son monde font tout ce qu’ils peuvent pour empêcher cet esclave d’assumer ses responsabilités, à tel point que, sans l’aide de Dieu, il n’y arriverait pas. Toutefois, malgré deux guerres mondiales, des persécutions incessantes, des crises économiques mondiales et des traitements injustes, il continue de fournir de la nourriture spirituelle aux disciples du Christ sur la terre. Pense à toute la nourriture spirituelle qui est aujourd’hui disponible gratuitement dans plus de 900 langues ! C’est une preuve incontestable du soutien de Dieu. Et voici une autre preuve encore : la prédication. La bonne nouvelle est prêchée « sur toute la terre » ! (Mat. 24:14). Il n’y a pas de doute, Jéhovah guide et bénit abondamment son organisation.
      Demandons-nous : « Suis-je reconnaissant à Dieu de pouvoir collaborer avec la partie terrestre de son organisation ? » Jéhovah nous donne des preuves qu’il la soutient, des preuves aussi convaincantes que le feu qui est descendu du ciel à l’époque de Moïse et d’Aaron. Nous avons de nombreuses raisons d’être reconnaissants à notre Dieu (1 Thess. 5:18, 19). Comment pouvons-nous soutenir l’organisation qu’il utilise ? En suivant les conseils basés sur la Bible qui nous sont donnés dans nos publications, aux réunions et aux assemblées, ainsi qu’en participant le plus possible à l’activité de prédication et d’enseignement (1 Cor. 15:58).
      Soyons déterminés à appliquer les leçons que nous avons tirées du livre du Lévitique. Cherchons à obtenir l’approbation de Jéhovah pour qu’il accepte nos sacrifices. Servons-le par reconnaissance. Continuons de lui donner par amour ce que nous avons de meilleur. Et soutenons de tout notre cœur l’organisation qu’il bénit. Nous lui montrerons alors que nous chérissons l’honneur de le servir et d’être ses Témoins !
      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      Soyons remplis de gratitude envers autrui 
       
      AVEZ-VOUS déjà reçu un petit mot de reconnaissance auquel vous ne vous attendiez pas ? Si c’est le cas, cela vous a certainement fait chaud au cœur. Après tout, il est naturel de vouloir être apprécié. — Matthieu 25:19-23.
      Toute expression de gratitude tend à renforcer les liens entre celui qui en est l’auteur et celui qui en est le destinataire. En outre, quiconque manifeste de la gratitude suit les traces de Jésus Christ, qui n’a jamais manqué de remarquer les belles œuvres des autres. — Marc 14:3-9 ; Luc 21:1-4.
      Malheureusement, exprimer sa gratitude, de vive voix ou par écrit, semble se faire de plus en plus rare. La Bible avait annoncé que, durant “ les derniers jours ”, les hommes seraient “ ingrats ”. (2 Timothée 3:1, 2.) Si nous n’y prenons pas garde, cette tendance si répandue aujourd’hui risque d’étouffer en nous tout sentiment de reconnaissance.
      Quelles mesures concrètes les parents peuvent-ils adopter pour enseigner à leurs enfants à manifester de la reconnaissance ? À qui devrions-nous exprimer notre gratitude ? Et pourquoi devrions-nous être reconnaissants, même si ceux qui nous entourent se révèlent ingrats ?
      Dans le cercle familial
      Les parents ne ménagent pas leurs efforts pour subvenir aux besoins de leurs enfants. Mais il leur arrive d’avoir le sentiment que ces efforts ne sont pas appréciés à leur juste valeur. Que faire pour remédier à cette situation ? Trois paramètres sont à prendre en compte.
      1) L’exemple. Comme cela se vérifie souvent en matière d’éducation, la réussite passe par l’exemple. La Bible disait jadis d’une Israélite travailleuse : “ Ses fils ont voulu la féliciter. ” Où ces enfants avaient-ils appris à exprimer leur reconnaissance ? La suite du verset nous éclaire : “ Son mari est le premier à la louer. ” (Proverbes 31:28, Bible des Peuples). Les parents qui s’expriment de la reconnaissance montrent à leurs enfants que ce genre de témoignage procure du plaisir à celui qui en est l’objet, améliore les relations familiales et constitue un signe de maturité.
      Stephen, un père de famille, déclare : “ Je me suis efforcé de donner l’exemple à mes enfants en remerciant ma femme pour le dîner. ” Qu’en est-il résulté ? “ Mes deux filles l’ont remarqué, et cela leur a fait prendre conscience de l’importance de se montrer reconnaissant ”, dit-il. Si vous êtes marié, remerciez-vous régulièrement votre conjoint pour les tâches quotidiennes qu’il accomplit et qui auraient vite fait de passer inaperçues ? Dites-vous merci à vos enfants, même lorsqu’ils font ce qu’on attend d’eux ?
      2) L’éducation. Le sentiment de reconnaissance est comme une fleur. Il a besoin d’être cultivé pour produire les meilleurs résultats possibles. Comment les parents peuvent-ils aider leurs enfants à cultiver et à exprimer de la reconnaissance ? Le sage roi Salomon a mis en évidence un principe clé lorsqu’il a écrit : “ Le cœur du juste médite pour répondre. ” — Proverbes 15:28.
      Pouvez-vous apprendre à vos enfants à songer aux efforts et à la générosité qui ont précédé chaque cadeau qu’ils reçoivent ? Ce genre de réflexion constitue le sol dans lequel la gratitude s’enracine. Maria, qui a élevé trois enfants, constate : “ Cela prend du temps d’expliquer à ses enfants tout ce que signifie recevoir un cadeau : qu’une personne a pensé à eux en particulier et qu’elle a souhaité leur montrer à quel point elle s’intéresse à eux. Mais je suis convaincue que ça en vaut la peine. ” Grâce à de tels échanges, les enfants apprennent non seulement quoi dire pour exprimer leur reconnaissance, mais aussi pourquoi ils doivent le faire.
      Il est sage, pour des parents, de faire en sorte que leurs enfants n’aient pas le sentiment que tout ce qu’ils reçoivent de bon leur revient, finalement, de droit. L’avertissement figurant en Proverbes 29:21 à propos de la manière de traiter son serviteur s’applique tout autant aux enfants : “ Si l’on gâte son serviteur dès sa jeunesse, par la suite dans sa vie il deviendra un ingrat. ”
      Comment aider de très jeunes enfants à témoigner de la reconnaissance ? Linda, mère de trois enfants, explique : “ Mon mari et moi avons encouragé nos enfants à s’associer à nous quand nous écrivions des cartes de remerciement, en y joignant un dessin ou en les signant. ” Naturellement, le dessin sera peut-être simple, et l’écriture approximative, mais la leçon que les enfants tireront de ce geste restera gravée en eux.
      3) La persévérance. Nous avons tous une tendance innée à l’égoïsme, qui risque d’étouffer en nous tout élan de gratitude (Genèse 8:21 ; Matthieu 15:19). Mais la Bible adresse aux serviteurs de Dieu cette exhortation : “ Vous devez être renouvelés dans la force qui anime votre intelligence et revêtir la personnalité nouvelle qui a été créée selon la volonté de Dieu. ” — Éphésiens 4:23, 24.
      Les parents expérimentés savent, toutefois, qu’aider les enfants à “ revêtir la personnalité nouvelle ” est plus facile à dire qu’à faire. Stephen, cité plus haut, déclare : “ Il nous semblait que nos filles mettaient du temps à dire spontanément merci, sans qu’on ait besoin de le leur rappeler. ” Mais lui et sa femme n’ont pas abandonné. “ Notre persévérance a payé, poursuit Stephen : nos filles ont retenu la leçon. Aujourd’hui, nous sommes fiers de la manière dont elles manifestent leur gratitude aux autres. ”
      Envers les amis et le prochain
      Lorsque nous oublions de dire merci, ce n’est pas forcément par manque de reconnaissance, mais parfois simplement par négligence. En définitive, du moment que nous éprouvons de la gratitude, est-il si important que cela de l’exprimer ? Pour répondre à cette question, considérons ce qui s’est passé un jour où Jésus a guéri des lépreux.
      Alors qu’il se rendait à Jérusalem, Jésus a rencontré dix hommes atteints de lèpre. La Bible relate : “ Ils élevèrent la voix et dirent : ‘ Jésus, Instructeur, aie pitié de nous ! ’ Et lorsqu’il les vit, il leur dit : ‘ Allez vous montrer aux prêtres. ’ Or, comme ils s’en allaient, leur purification eut lieu. L’un d’eux, quand il vit qu’il était guéri, revint sur ses pas, glorifiant Dieu d’une voix forte. Et il tomba sur sa face aux pieds de Jésus, en le remerciant ; or, c’était un Samaritain. ” — Luc 17:11-16.
      Jésus n’a-t-il accordé aucune importance au fait que les autres n’aient pas exprimé de gratitude ? Le récit poursuit : “ En réponse Jésus dit : ‘ Les dix ont été purifiés, n’est-ce pas ? Où sont donc les neuf autres ? Ne s’est-il trouvé personne pour revenir rendre gloire à Dieu, que cet homme d’une autre nation ? ’ ” — Luc 17:17, 18.
      Les neuf autres lépreux n’étaient pas des hommes méchants. Auparavant, ils avaient ouvertement exprimé leur foi en Jésus et avaient suivi de bon gré ses instructions, qui exigeaient qu’ils se rendent à Jérusalem pour se montrer aux prêtres. Or, même s’ils ont indéniablement éprouvé une profonde gratitude pour ce que Jésus avait fait, ils ne la lui ont pas exprimée. Leur comportement a déçu Christ. Et nous ? Quand quelqu’un se montre bon à notre égard, sommes-nous prompts à dire merci et, si cela s’y prête, à lui montrer notre reconnaissance en lui envoyant une petite carte ?
      La Bible dit que l’amour “ ne fait rien d’inconvenant. Il ne cherche pas son propre intérêt ”. (1 Corinthiens 13:5, Bible du Semeur.) Par conséquent, un témoignage de reconnaissance donné avec sincérité non seulement traduit un respect des convenances, mais aussi est une preuve d’amour. Comme nous l’apprend l’exemple des lépreux, ceux qui souhaitent plaire à Christ doivent exprimer un tel amour et une telle reconnaissance à tous, indépendamment de leur nationalité, de leur race ou de leur religion.
      Posez-vous la question : ‘ Quand ai-je pour la dernière fois remercié un voisin, un collègue de travail, un camarade de classe, un membre du personnel hospitalier, un commerçant ou qui que ce soit d’autre qui me soit venu en aide ? ’ Pourquoi ne pas noter pendant un jour ou deux le nombre de fois où vous dites effectivement merci ou exprimez votre reconnaissance d’une façon ou d’une autre  ? Peut-être verrez-vous la nécessité de vous améliorer dans certains domaines.
      Bien entendu, celui qui mérite le plus de remerciements de notre part, c’est Jéhovah Dieu. De lui vient “ tout beau don et tout présent parfait ”. (Jacques 1:17.) À quand remonte la dernière fois où vous avez sincèrement remercié Dieu pour avoir fait quelque chose de particulier en votre faveur ? — 1 Thessaloniciens 5:17, 18.
      Pourquoi se montrer reconnaissant même quand les autres sont ingrats ?
      Nos témoignages de reconnaissance ne seront pas forcément payés de retour. Par conséquent, pourquoi manifester notre gratitude si nous sommes les seuls à le faire ? Arrêtons-nous simplement sur une bonne raison d’agir ainsi.
      Faire du bien à ceux qui ne sont pas enclins à la gratitude, c’est imiter notre Créateur bienveillant, Jéhovah Dieu. Que beaucoup ne soient pas sensibles à l’amour que Jéhovah leur témoigne ne l’empêche pas de leur faire du bien (Romains 5:8 ; 1 Jean 4:9, 10). Il fait “ lever son soleil sur les méchants et sur les bons et [...] fait pleuvoir sur les justes et sur les injustes ”. Si, bien que vivant dans un monde ingrat, nous nous efforçons d’éprouver et d’exprimer de la gratitude, nous nous montrerons “ fils de [notre] Père qui est dans les cieux ”. — Matthieu 5:45.

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    • Eric Ouellet

      Enracinons nous dans la foi comme un arbre luxuriant.
      EN ISRAËL pousse un arbre presque indestructible. Même lorsqu’on l’abat, sa souche ne tarde pas à produire de nouvelles pousses. Par ailleurs, ses fruits fournissent une grande quantité d’huile utile tant pour la cuisine et l’éclairage que pour l’hygiène et les soins de beauté.
      Selon une parabole des temps bibliques consignée dans le livre des Juges, “ un jour les arbres s’en allèrent pour oindre un roi sur eux ”. Quel arbre choisirent-ils ? Le résistant et fertile olivier. — Juges 9:8.
      Il y a plus de 3 500 ans, le prophète Moïse décrivait Israël comme “ un bon pays, [...] un pays d’olives ”. (Deutéronome 8:7, 8.) Aujourd’hui encore, du pied du mont Hermôn à la campagne de Béershéba en passant par la plaine côtière du Sharôn, les pentes rocailleuses de la Samarie et les vallées fertiles de la Galilée, le paysage est parsemé d’oliveraies du nord au sud.
      Les rédacteurs de la Bible ont souvent parlé de l’olivier dans un sens figuré pour illustrer, par exemple, la miséricorde de Dieu, la promesse de la résurrection ou encore le bonheur familial. L’examen de quelques-unes de ses caractéristiques nous aidera à mieux comprendre ces références et à apprécier cet arbre exceptionnel qui fait honneur au Créateur. — Psaume 148:7, 9.
      Un arbre robuste
      L’olivier n’est pas spécialement impressionnant à première vue. Il n’a pas la majesté des vertigineux cèdres du Liban, son bois n’a pas la qualité du genévrier ni ses fleurs la beauté de celles de l’amandier (Chant de Salomon 1:17 ; Amos 2:9). En fait, sa partie la plus importante demeure invisible, puisque le secret de sa résistance et de sa grande prolificité réside dans ses longues racines, qui peuvent s’enfoncer jusqu’à six mètres sous terre et rayonner plus loin encore.
      Ses racines permettent à l’olivier poussant sur des versants rocailleux de survivre à la sécheresse quand d’autres arbres situés au fond de la vallée sont déjà morts de soif. Elles lui permettent également de produire des olives des siècles durant, même lorsque son tronc noueux ne semble plus bon qu’à servir de bois de chauffage. Tout ce dont cet arbre rustique a besoin, c’est de place pour pousser et d’un sol aéré pour respirer, loin des mauvaises herbes et autres plantes qui peuvent abriter des parasites. Si ces conditions simples sont réunies, un seul arbre peut fournir jusqu’à 60 litres d’huile par an.
      Cette huile était manifestement appréciée des Israélites. Ils s’en servaient pour éclairer leur intérieur à l’aide de lampes à mèches, pour cuisiner, pour protéger leur peau du soleil et pour fabriquer du savon (Lévitique 24:2). Étant donné que le blé, le vin et l’olive constituaient les principales productions de la région, une mauvaise récolte d’olives était une catastrophe pour une famille israélite. — Deutéronome 7:13 ; Habaqouq 3:17.
      Cependant, en général, l’huile d’olive ne manquait pas. Sans doute Moïse a-t-il décrit la Terre promise comme “ un pays d’olives ” parce que l’olivier y était l’arbre le plus cultivé. Au XIXe siècle, le naturaliste Henry Tristram a d’ailleurs qualifié l’olivier d’arbre emblématique de la région ”. En raison de sa valeur et de sa profusion, l’huile d’olive servait même de moyen de paiement dans tout le bassin méditerranéen. De là, l’allusion de Jésus Christ à une dette de “ cent baths d’huile d’olive ”. — Luc 16:5, 6.
      “ Comme des plants d’olivier ”
      L’olivier illustre de façon appropriée les bénédictions divines. Comment l’homme qui craint Dieu serait-il récompensé ? “ Ta femme sera comme une vigne qui porte du fruit tout au fond de ta maison, a chanté un psalmiste. Tes fils seront comme des plants d’olivier autour de ta table. ” (Psaume 128:3). Que sont ces “ plants d’olivier ”, et pourquoi le psalmiste les comparait-il à des fils ?
      L’olivier a ceci de particulier que de nouvelles pousses sortent continuellement de la base de son tronc. Lorsque, en raison de son âge, le tronc principal ne produit plus autant qu’auparavant, les cultivateurs peuvent laisser plusieurs plants, ou nouvelles pousses, se développer jusqu’à devenir partie intégrante de l’arbre. Au bout d’un certain temps, trois ou quatre nouveaux troncs vigoureux entoureront celui d’origine, comme des fils autour d’une table. Ces plants issus de la même souche produisent ensemble une grande quantité d’olives.
      Cette caractéristique de l’olivier illustre bien la façon dont les fils et les filles peuvent devenir fermes dans la foi, grâce aux robustes racines spirituelles de leurs parents. En grandissant, eux aussi portent du fruit et épaulent leurs parents, qui se réjouissent de les voir servir Jéhovah à leurs côtés. — Proverbes 15:20.
      “ Il existe un espoir même pour un arbre ”
      Un père âgé qui sert Jéhovah se réjouit que ses enfants adorent Dieu. Mais quelle tristesse quand ce père finit par ‘ s’en aller par le chemin de toute la terre ’ ! (1 Rois 2:2.) La Bible nous aide à surmonter pareille douleur en nous donnant l’assurance qu’il y aura une résurrection. — Jean 5:28, 29 ; 11:25.
      Job, père de nombreux enfants, était très conscient de la brièveté de la vie, qu’il a comparée à une fleur qui se flétrit rapidement (Job 1:2 ; 14:1, 2). Job désirait la mort pour se soustraire à ses souffrances, considérant la tombe comme une cachette d’où il pourrait revenir. “ Si un homme robuste meurt, peut-il revivre ? ” a-t-il demandé. Et d’exprimer sa confiance : “ Tous les jours de ma corvée, j’attendrai, jusqu’à ce que vienne ma relève. Tu [Jéhovah] appelleras, et moi je te répondrai. Tu languiras après l’œuvre de tes mains. ” — Job 14:13-15.
      Comment Job a-t-il illustré sa conviction que Dieu le rappellerait de la tombe ? Au moyen d’un arbre, dont la description correspond apparemment à celle de l’olivier. “ Il existe un espoir même pour un arbre. Si on le coupe, il bourgeonnera encore. ” (Job 14:7). Pour peu qu’il ne soit pas déraciné, l’olivier peut effectivement être coupé sans que cela le fasse mourir. Si ses racines demeurent intactes, il repoussera avec une vigueur renouvelée.
      Même si une sécheresse prolongée dessèche profondément un vieil olivier, la souche ratatinée peut repartir. “ Si sa racine vieillit dans la terre et si sa souche meurt dans la poussière, à l’odeur de l’eau, il bourgeonnera, oui il produira une branche comme une plante nouvelle. ” (Job 14:8, 9). Job vivait dans une région aride et poussiéreuse où il avait probablement dû observer beaucoup de vieux oliviers complètement desséchés qui semblaient morts. Cependant, dès qu’arrivaient les pluies, ils revenaient à la vie, et un nouveau tronc émergeait de leurs racines “ comme une plante nouvelle ”. Cette résistance hors du commun a conduit un horticulteur tunisien à déclarer : “ Il n’est pas exagéré de dire que les oliviers sont immortels. ”
      Tout comme un cultivateur espère voir renaître ses oliviers desséchés, Jéhovah languit de ressusciter ses serviteurs. Il attend avec patience l’époque où des fidèles comme Abraham et Sara, Isaac et Rébecca, et de nombreux autres seront ramenés à la vie (Matthieu 22:31, 32). Comme il sera merveilleux d’accueillir les ressuscités et de les voir mener de nouveau une vie productive !
      L’olivier symbolique
      La miséricorde de Dieu est manifeste dans son impartialité ainsi que dans la disposition qu’est la résurrection. L’apôtre Paul s’est servi de l’olivier pour illustrer comment la miséricorde de Jéhovah s’étend aux humains indifféremment de leur race ou de leur origine. Pendant des siècles, les Juifs se sont enorgueillis d’être le peuple choisi de Dieu, “ la descendance d’Abraham ”. — Jean 8:33 ; Luc 3:8.
      Il n’était pas nécessaire d’être né au sein de la nation juive pour obtenir la faveur divine. Les premiers disciples de Jésus, cependant, étaient tous Juifs et ils ont eu le privilège de figurer parmi les premiers humains choisis par Dieu pour constituer la semence promise d’Abraham (Genèse 22:18 ; Galates 3:29). Paul les a comparés aux branches d’un olivier.
      La majorité des Juifs de naissance ont rejeté Jésus, se privant ainsi de la possibilité de faire partie du “ petit troupeau ”, ou “ Israël de Dieu ”. (Luc 12:32 ; Galates 6:16.) Ils sont devenus comme des branches d’olivier qui auraient été coupées. Qui allait prendre leur place ? En 36 de notre ère, des Gentils ont été choisis pour faire partie de la semence d’Abraham, comme si Jéhovah avait greffé des branches d’olivier sauvage sur un olivier domestique. La semence promise d’Abraham inclurait donc des gens des nations qui pouvaient désormais devenir ‘ participants de la racine de graisse de l’olivier ’. — Romains 11:17.
      Pour un cultivateur, greffer une branche d’olivier sauvage sur un olivier domestique serait impensable et “ contre nature ”. (Romains 11:24.) On lit dans La terre et le Livre (angl.) : “ Greffe le bon sur le sauvage, ont coutume de dire les Arabes, et il dominera le sauvage, mais tu ne pourras pas revenir en arrière. ” Les chrétiens d’origine juive ont été surpris lorsque Jéhovah, “ pour la première fois, s’est occupé des nations pour tirer d’entre elles un peuple pour son nom ”. (Actes 10:44-48 ; 15:14.) C’était la preuve évidente, toutefois, que la réalisation du dessein de Dieu ne dépendait pas d’une nation particulière. En effet, “ en toute nation l’homme qui le craint et pratique la justice est agréé de lui ”. — Actes 10:35.
      Paul a souligné que puisque les “ branches ” juives infidèles de l’olivier avaient été coupées la même chose pourrait arriver à toute personne qui, par orgueil ou désobéissance, perdrait la faveur de Jéhovah (Romains 11:19, 20). Cela montre sans l’ombre d’un doute que la faveur imméritée de Dieu ne devrait jamais être considérée comme définitivement acquise. — 2 Corinthiens 6:1.
      Enduire d’huile
      Les Écritures mentionnent l’utilisation de l’huile d’olive non seulement au sens littéral, mais également au sens figuré. Dans les temps anciens, les blessures et les contusions étaient “ adoucies avec de l’huile ” pour accélérer la cicatrisation (Isaïe 1:6). D’après un exemple de Jésus, le bon Samaritain a versé de l’huile et du vin sur les blessures de l’homme qu’il avait trouvé sur la route de Jéricho. — Luc 10:34.
      L’application d’huile sur la tête est rafraîchissante et relaxante (Psaume 141:5). Lorsqu’ils ont à traiter un cas de faiblesse spirituelle, les anciens peuvent ‘ enduire d’huile un membre de la congrégation, au nom de Jéhovah ’. (Jacques 5:14.) Leurs conseils bibliques pleins d’amour et leurs prières sincères en faveur de leur compagnon sont comparables à de l’huile versée sur des plaies. Détail révélateur, en hébreu, “ huile d’olive pure ” est une expression imagée qui sert à désigner un homme bon.
      “ Un olivier luxuriant dans la maison de Dieu ”
      Compte tenu de ce qui précède, il n’est pas surprenant que les serviteurs de Dieu puissent être comparés à des oliviers. David désirait ressembler à “ un olivier luxuriant dans la maison de Dieu ”. (Psaume 52:8.) Tout comme les familles israélites avaient souvent des oliviers autour de leur maison, David souhaitait être proche de Jéhovah pour produire du fruit à sa louange. — Psaume 52:9.
      Tant qu’il est resté fidèle à Jéhovah, le royaume de Juda était comme un “ olivier luxuriant, beau par le fruit et par la forme ”. (Jérémie 11:15, 16.) Mais ses habitants ont perdu leur position privilégiée lorsqu’ils ‘ ont refusé d’obéir aux paroles de Jéhovah et ont marché à la suite d’autres dieux ’. — Jérémie 11:10.
      Pour devenir comme des oliviers luxuriants dans la maison de Dieu, nous devons obéir à Jéhovah et accepter de bon gré la discipline par laquelle il nous “ taille ”, afin que nous puissions porter davantage de fruit en œuvres chrétiennes (Hébreux 12:5, 6). En outre, tout comme un olivier doit avoir de longues racines pour survivre à une période de sécheresse, nous devons fortifier nos racines spirituelles pour endurer les épreuves et la persécution. — Matthieu 13:21 ; Colossiens 2:6, 7.
      L’olivier symbolise bien le chrétien fidèle, inconnu du monde mais connu de Dieu. S’il vient à mourir dans ce système, il reviendra à la vie dans le monde nouveau à venir. — 2 Corinthiens 6:9 ; 2 Pierre 3:13.
      L’olivier, presque indestructible, qui continue de donner du fruit année après année nous rappelle la promesse de Dieu : “ Les jours de mon peuple seront comme les jours d’un arbre ; et ceux que j’ai choisis profiteront pleinement de l’œuvre de leurs mains. ” (Isaïe 65:22). Cette promesse prophétique s’accomplira dans le monde nouveau de Dieu. — 2 Pierre 3:13.


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