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  1. James Thomas Rook Jr.

    James Thomas Rook Jr.

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    • By Anna
      I have noticed many friends seem to be stressing about the acquisition of the memorial symbols during the coronavirus lockdown. There have been quite a few discussions on social media and in person.
      These discussions were mainly regarding the necessity for memorial symbols if such became troublesome to purchase and if no one in the household was a partaker. The elders sent out information, one  of which was the 85 WT 2/1/ p. 31 "question from readers" (
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. )which says in part: "On occasion, raging storms or floods have prevented a congregation, or some of its members, from meeting together as planned. In rare cases, martial law has been in effect with armed soldiers barring citizens from being out-of-doors after sunset. Other Christians have not been able to be at the congregation’s celebration because of being hospitalized or seriously ill. What can be done in such instances?
      While it is fitting for the whole congregation to unite for this important event, circumstances such as noted above may make that impossible. When extreme weather, a natural disaster, or the like, absolutely prevents a family or a portion of a congregation from meeting with the congregation, the isolated ones can meet and discuss Scriptural accounts such as found in Luke 22:7-23, 28-30 and; 1 Corinthians 11:20-31, as well as discussing the meaning of the occasion. Similarly, if an enforced curfew makes it impossible for a congregation to gather on the appropriate night, meeting in Congregation Book Study groups or neighborhood groups might be the best alternative, the sum of those in attendance serving as the congregation’s attendance report. A brief talk may even be given if a capable, dedicated brother is in the group. There need not be concern that no suitable emblems are available as long as no one in this emergency situation previously partook of the bread and the wine as an anointed Christian".
      It made me think about the whole topic a little bit more. To observe the memorial was a command by Jesus for the anointed, and as far as I am aware, there is nothing in the Bible commanding the great crowd to observe it, even as spectators. However, at the beginning, before the great crowd was identified, all were partakers. After that, the emblems kept being passed, and those who were anointed partook, and those who were not obviously didn't. Fast forward to today, in a congregation setting, even if we "know" that currently no one partakes, that can change. So while all the anointed are not sealed yet, we cannot assume, and stop passing along the emblems on the account that we think no one is anointed in our congregation. No one is asked beforehand if they are going to partake, that only becomes evident when the emblems reach them, and they eat the bread and drink the wine. That way, no one is put on the spot. Of course, on top of that, since we are one flock, and we support the anointed in everything, we observe the memorial with them, as spectators, and also to show appreciation for what Jesus did for us. But, under lockdown circumstances if we know for sure no one is going to partake in our family, then there is really no need for the emblems. That's how I see it anyway. But some prefer to have the emblems to help them visualize things better. Although we are supposed to be walking by faith, not by sight...😀
      I like how our website puts it: "The purpose of the Lord’s Evening Meal is to remember Jesus, showing our gratitude for his sacrifice in our behalf. (Matthew 20:28; 1 Corinthians 11:24) The observance is not a sacrament, or a religious practice that imparts merit such as grace or the forgiveness of sins. * The Bible teaches that our sins can be forgiven, not by a religious rite, but only through faith in Jesus".—Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:1, 2.
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Unfortunately, it seems like some are viewing the memorial as some kind of religious ritual, and are even going to pass the emblems among themselves as if touching them somehow makes all the difference....Because I come from a Catholic family, I find this kind of reasoning a little disappointing...
      Also, I don't know if anyone has listened to the memorial talk, the brother says that Jehovah's Witnesses would risk their lives to be at the memorial. In view of all the above, isn't that statement a little far fetched?
      Any thoughts?
       
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      If a JW votes in a national election ... will there be congregational sanctions against him?
      The last thing I heard was in 1999 in the Watchtower that it had changed that we were now allowed to follow our consciences, in voting quoted here:
      " Questions From Readers
      How do Jehovah’s Witnesses view voting?
      There are clear principles set out in the Bible that enable servants of God to take a proper view of this matter. However, there appears to be no principle against the practice of voting itself. For example, there is no reason why a board of directors should not take a vote in order to arrive at decisions affecting their corporation. Congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses often make decisions about meeting times and the use of congregation funds by voting with a show of hands.
      What, though, of voting in political elections? Of course, in some democratic lands, as many as 50 percent of the population do not turn out to vote on election day. As for Jehovah’s Witnesses, they do not interfere with the right of others to vote; neither do they in any way campaign against political elections. They respect and cooperate with the authorities who are duly elected in such elections. (Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ) As to whether they will personally vote for someone running in an election, each one of Jehovah’s Witnesses makes a decision based on his Bible-trained conscience and an understanding of his responsibility to God and to the State. (Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ) In making this personal decision, the Witnesses consider a number of factors.
      First, Jesus Christ said of his followers: “They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world.” (Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ) Jehovah’s Witnesses take this principle seriously. Being “no part of the world,” they are neutral in the political affairs of the world.—Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .
      Second, the apostle Paul referred to himself as an “ambassador” representing Christ to the people of his day. (Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ) Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Christ Jesus is now the enthroned King of God’s heavenly Kingdom, and they, like ambassadors, must announce this to the nations. (Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ) Ambassadors are expected to be neutral and not to interfere in the internal affairs of the countries to which they are sent. As representatives of God’s heavenly Kingdom, Jehovah’s Witnesses feel a similar obligation not to interfere in the politics of the countries where they reside.
      A third factor to consider is that those who have a part in voting a person into office may become responsible for what he does. (Compare Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , The New English Bible.) Christians have to consider carefully whether they want to shoulder that responsibility.
      Fourth, Jehovah’s Witnesses greatly value their Christian unity. (Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ) When religions get involved in politics, the result is often division among their members. In imitation of Jesus Christ, Jehovah’s Witnesses avoid becoming involved in politics and thus maintain their Christian unity.—Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .
      Fifth and finally, their keeping out of politics gives Jehovah’s Witnesses freeness of speech to approach people of all political persuasions with the important message of the Kingdom.—Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .
      In view of the Scriptural principles outlined above, in many lands Jehovah’s Witnesses make a personal decision not to vote in political elections, and their freedom to make that decision is supported by the law of the land. What, though, if the law requires citizens to vote? In such a case, each Witness is responsible to make a conscientious, Bible-based decision about how to handle the situation. If someone decides to go to the polling booth, that is his decision. What he does in the polling booth is between him and his Creator.
      The Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , said: “Where Caesar makes it compulsory for citizens to vote . . . [Witnesses] can go to the polls and enter the voting booths. It is here that they are called upon to mark the ballot or write in what they stand for. The voters do what they will with their ballots. So here in the presence of God is where his witnesses must act in harmony with his commandments and in accordance with their faith. It is not our responsibility to instruct them what to do with the ballot.”
      What if a Christian woman’s unbelieving husband insists that she present herself to vote? Well, she is subject to her husband, just as Christians are subject to the superior authorities. (Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ) If she obeys her husband and goes to the polling booth, that is her personal decision. No one should criticize her.—Compare Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .
      What of a country where voting is not mandated by law but feelings run high against those who do not go to the voting booth—perhaps they are exposed to physical danger? Or what if individuals, while not legally obliged to vote, are severely penalized in some way if they do not go to the polling booth? In these and similar situations, a Christian has to make his own decision. “Each one will carry his own load.”—Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .
      There may be people who are stumbled when they observe that during an election in their country, some Witnesses of Jehovah go to the polling booth and others do not. They may say, ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses are not consistent.’ People should recognize, though, that in matters of individual conscience such as this, each Christian has to make his own decision before Jehovah God.—Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .
      Whatever personal decisions Jehovah’s Witnesses make in the face of different situations, they take care to preserve their Christian neutrality and freeness of speech. In all things, they rely on Jehovah God to strengthen them, give them wisdom, and help them avoid compromising their faith in any way. Thus they show confidence in the words of the psalmist: “You are my crag and my stronghold; and for the sake of your name you will lead me and conduct me.”—Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ."
      Now, all this is well and good .... but if a Brother's conscience will allow him to vote in national elections ... will he be chastised, sanctioned, or punished for the free exercise OF his conscience, by the CCJW ?
       
    • By The Librarian
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. observe the Memorial of Christ’s death (also called “the Lord’s Evening Meal” - 1 Corinthians 11:20) because Christians are commanded to. Jesus said to "Keep doing this in remembrance of me.” (1 Cor. 11:24) But how often? The Memorial of Jesus’ death is truly a memorial, and memorials are usually observed annually.
      Additionally, when Jesus was on Earth, Jesus celebrated the Passover with his apostles, and then instituted the Lord’s Evening Meal. Because this meal replaced the Jewish Passover it is appropriate to observe it just once a year.
      Does Paul's use of the word "often" mean that the Lord’s Evening Meal should be celebrated more often than once a year? Referring to the institution of the Memorial of Jesus’ death, Paul wrote: “As often as you eat this loaf and drink this cup, you keep proclaiming the death of the Lord, until he arrives.” (1 Corinthians 11:25, 26) So what did Paul mean here? Did he really mean for Christ's death to be commemorated frequently - more often than once a year? Notice this excerpt from the w03 1/1 p. 31; Questions From Readers; par. 2: "In the context of 1 Corinthians 11:25, 26, Paul was discussing, not how often, but how the Memorial should be observed. In the original Greek, he did not use the word pol·la′kis, which means “often” or “frequently.” Rather, he used the word ho·sa′kis, which means “as often as,” an idiom meaning “whenever,” “every time that.” Paul was saying: ‘Every time that you do this, you keep proclaiming the death of the Lord.’" 

    • By The Librarian
      Jehovah's Witnesses commemorate Christ's death as a ransom or "propitiatory sacrifice" by observing the Lord's Evening Meal, or Memorial. They celebrate it once per year, noting that it was instituted on the Passover, an annual festival. This is the only celebration the Bible commands Christians to observe.

      Of those who attend the Memorial, a small minority worldwide partake of the unleavened bread and wine. This is because Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the majority of the faithful have an earthly hope. Only those who believe they have a heavenly hope, the "remnant" (those still living) of the 144,000 "anointed", partake of the bread and wine. In 2014, the number of persons who partook worldwide was 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , whereas the number who attended was Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .

      The Memorial, held after sunset, includes a talk on the meaning of the celebration and the circulation among the audience of Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  and Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Jehovah's Witnesses believe the bread symbolizes Jesus Christ's body which he gave on behalf of mankind, and that the wine symbolizes his blood which redeems from sin. They do not believe in transubstantiation or consubstantiation. Because many congregations have no members who claim to be anointed, it is common for no one to partake of the bread and wine.

      See also: What is the meaning of the bread and the wine served at the Memorial?

      Jehovah’s Witnesses observe the Memorial after sundown on Nisan 14, according to the reckoning of the Jewish calendar that was common in the first century. The Jewish day begins at sundown and extends until the following sundown. So Jesus died on the same Jewish calendar day that he instituted the Memorial. The beginning of the month of Nisan was the sunset after the new moon nearest the spring equinox became visible in Jerusalem. The Memorial date is 14 days thereafter. (Thus the date for the Memorial may not coincide with that of the Passover kept by modern-day Jews. Why not? The start of their calendar months is set to coincide with the astronomical new moon, not the visible new moon over Jerusalem, which may come 18 to 30 hours later. Also, most Jews today keep the Passover on Nisan 15, not on the 14th as did Jesus in harmony with what was stated in the Mosaic Law.)

      Memorial is always held on the first full moon after March 21st. It's always a full moon because Memorial is always held 14 days after the new moon. Hebrew months start on the new moon (the new month). Therefore Nisan 14 is always a full moon (+- 24 hours).

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  
      Why is it observed annually?
       
      Talk: The Last Hours of Jesus Christ
      Particularly beginning in the 1930’s, prospective members of the “great multitude,” or “great crowd” of other sheep, began to manifest themselves. (Rev. 7:9, 10, KJ; John 10:16) These were at that time referred to as Jonadabs. For the first time, in its issue of February 15, 1938, The Watchtower specifically invited them to be present at the Memorial, saying: “After six p.m. on April 15 let each company of the anointed assemble and celebrate the Memorial, their companions the Jonadabs also being present.” They did attend, not as partakers, but as observers. 
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      TTH:
      Just wait until YOU get to be 73, and find battle scars galore.
      A lot of mature restraint is really just being too TIRED.
      Ya wanna FIGHT!?
      ..... yeah, yeah, yeah ....... start without me.
      I need to take a nap.
      ==============================================================
       
      ... except for the Governing Body.  
      When THEY make mistakes, they pay no price whatsoever.
      WE DO.
      They .... never miss a meal.
    • By 4Jah2me
      So lets try to be a bit positive.  A question.  How is the GB and the JW Org moving forward SPIRITUALLY ?
      What progress has it made in the last fifty years ?   I'm not talking about physical things, not buildings, not books, not meeting times........ 
      I'm talking about purely spiritual matters.  Spiritual guidance, true spiritual love from the top of the Org down, mercy, understanding of people, serving the congregants as a way of serving God Himself (as Jesus did), showing patience without having weakness, making true adjustments according to true scripture not according to man's guesses. 
      You may of course comment as to what you feel would make for good spiritual progress within the JW Org too. 
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      Norway is the great catalyst that will force the GB to start thinking about basic human rights, as currently there is a lot of discussion in the Norwegian Government about " ... Why are we giving the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society Norwegian dollars (Kroners) every year from Tax money for their charities ... for EACH and every of the approximately 112,000 JWs in Norway (paraphrased), when they prohibit their members to vote"... which THEY consider to be an inalienable, and non-negotiable human right of all peoples, everywhere.
      The WTB&TS is currently being governed by the Lawyers, Accountants, and the Finances department, with the GB not admitting being personally responsible for ANYTHING.
      What we consider "reasonable", they consider EXTREMIST, and many European nations give tax money to ALL legitimate churches, without restriction on how they spend it.
      By violating what these governments' and peoples' basic understanding on what constitutes extremism, soon, if not already, it is going to affect the flow of cash into the Society's Treasury.
      One of several major concerns of the Governing Body is to not hemorrhage money, as it has been doing for years in the constant Child Sexual Abuse court cases.
      THIS is what will drive any change .... not love ... not justice ...not fairness .... MONEY!
      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      By the way .... has the Society recently decided that voting is a matter of personal conscience?
      What I have read is so "weasel worded", I cannot tell.

    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      I realize there are many reasons to go to an Assembly, or Convention, and when my children were living at home they would go to others' conventions  for a variety of reasons, as well as their own.
      I would always ask them when they returned home "What did you learn that was new?" .  This was important to me as I had to work long hours to afford to finance their explorations and socialization, which I thought was important ... but I still expected them to learn something new ... and since I was paying for their travels, to tell me what was going on.
      Generally, attendance to an out of town Convention nearby would cost about $200 a day, times three days, so that would be $600.
      Now that I am retired, and my income has been cut by about 80%, it's even MORE important to me to want to get good value for the time and money I would be spending for my wife and I to spend three days, traveling out of town, to learn something of lasting value .... something worth at least three days of our time, which is painfully obviously shorter, and the what is now considerable effort and considerable expense.
      In Engineering it's important that the "Law of diminishing returns" be observed so that you do not go physically, mentally or emotionally bankrupt.
      Perhaps I am just asking for some encouragement that the effort is worth the cost and effort, and that the benefit is worth it, so if I may ask ......
      WHAT DID YOU LEARN THAT WAS NEW AT THE 2019 "LOVE NEVER FAILS" REGIONAL CONVENTION ?
      ......
       
       
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      Is it fair?
       
       
      Is it FAIR.wmv
    • By JOHN BUTLER
      I find it interesting when so much is compared between the Jews and the JW's.
      But in my opinion, one big difference between being a Jew before and in the time of Jesus, and being a JW, is choice. 
      If a person was born into the Nation of Israel, they were born under Law and ruled over by the Religious leaders (and the Romans) at that time. There was no choice of being a Jew or not being a Jew. They were born into it. So of course many of them, probably all of them, committed 'sin' and had to make sin offerings. God had chosen that Nation, those people had responsibility but not of their choice. 
      Now, people that enter the JW religion do so voluntarily.  ( Unfortunately for those born into it, they have to go through the motions of serving the JW Org until they are of an age whereby they can leave home. Then, when of age they too can volunteer to be a JW or chose to leave the Org.). 
      There is a big difference from being born into a Nation which you may not like, than voluntarily joining a religion which you do like.
      So the big question is, if 'millions' of people voluntarily join this JW Org, why do so many commit child abuse, adultery and many other sins ? 
      If this is supposed to be 'THE true religion', why are the people not guided by God through Jesus  Christ ?  Just reading comments on here from so called JW's makes me laugh. There is no love, no mercy, no understanding, no respect even. 
      Being an ex JW and seeing things from both sides i have found more genuine love, kindness, friendship, respect, warmth, understanding etc outside of the Org than inside. Inside the Org people have to be told to 'love one another', outside the Org people do it anyway. 
      It has amazed me how JW's can really believe that God is with them when they are so cold and selfish.
      With the Jews that were born into that Nation, they had no choice about their way of life. It was basically a dictatorship by God. The Laws were from 'above'. Obviously for the right reason, to bring forth Jesus Christ who in turn would 'rescue' the human race from complete destruction. But it was a totally different situation to the JW Org today.
      So now all you 'JWs', think on it. Do you truly believe you are in this' special environment' within the Org ? Do you really think that your Org has God's approval ? 
      Think deeply about all the problems within JW Org. All the disgusting things being done voluntarily by all the volunteer JW's. 
      Now ask yourself, are you really a volunteer JW or are you trapped in the Org for fear of losing all those 'so called friends' ? 
      You know that you can only have your family and 'friends' as long as you are a JW.   Do you feel like the Jews must have felt, trapped in that Nation ? 
      As we know many of the Jews left the Jewish religion and way of life to follow Christ, but it was difficult for them. However, they did have God's approval and God, through Christ made this known clearly. And it seems that many are leaving the JW Org to seek God's approval too. 
      But remember that all JW's are volunteers, or should be, so why oh why is there so much trouble in that Org ? 
       
    • By JOHN BUTLER
      I've often thought of this point of reproof from the platform. It does nothing positive at all, it just leaves people wondering why the person was reproved.
      And it certainly does not protect the congregation.  
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      by Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. In January of 2019, elders in the congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses were issued a new version of their confidential handbook, "Shepherd the Flock of God." This handbook covers, among other topics, when a person should be "reproved."
      For those unfamiliar with the their practices, Jehovah's Witness elders might determine that someone guilty of a serious sin is repentant and will be "reproved" rather than disfellowshipped [excommunicated]. This reproof might be administered privately, or it might include a very brief announcement to the congregation.
      Public Reproofs Are Not a Protection
      The "Shepherd" book makes the claim that a public reproof serves as a "protection" to the congregation against certain dangerous behaviors, such as child sexual abuse; note this statement from chapter 14, "Child Abuse::

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

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

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. This statement alone demonstrates that the entire "public reproof" arrangement protects no one from congregation members who might pose a danger to others, including children. Simply stating that someone has "been reproved" doesn't warn a congregant of that person's specific behavior, and especially when there is a long list of reasons why someone might be publicly reproved, including:
      Smoking Fornication, adultery Theft Lying, slander Various forms of "apostasy" Severe fits of temper, fighting Drunkenness Using narcotics Taking up boxing After hearing a rather generic announcement that someone has been "reproved," without knowing the actual reason for that reproof, how would congregants know to keep their children away from them? Another congregant might assume that a person being reproved was caught smoking or fornicating with an adult; child sexual abuse might be the last thing they would consider when they hear of someone having been reproved!
      Your Conscience Shouldn't Be Clean
      This begs the question of why Jehovah's Witnesses think that their consciences can be clean in these cases. Elders honestly think that making an announcement of so-and-so having been "reproved" protects the congregation and so they've done their job of keeping people and children safe?
      Nothing can be further from the truth, especially when it comes to child sexual abuse. This "public reproof" arrangement purposely conceals the action that warranted the reproof, so it warns no one about a congregant who might be a danger to their children.
      This announcement does not take away from an elder's complicity in hiding allegations of abuse. Any elder who hears of such a credible allegation and doesn't notify authorities, cooperate with their investigations fully, and then do everything possible to keep a potentially dangerous person away from children shares guilt and blame if that person goes on to molest another child.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. The bottom line is that Jehovah's Witnesses and elders especially have no problem lying to themselves and to the general public about their supposed "protections" for congregants. They shield alleged molesters by purposely ensuring that no information about a particular act is associated with "reproved" persons, and then tell themselves that this passive-aggressive "hinting around" is going to somehow alert congregants to the need to keep their child away from him or her.
      While the authors of these practices and the elders charged with enforcing them might go to bed with a clean conscience, remember it's not them who suffer the consequences of their actions; the elders are not being raped and abused, the men who wrote this "Shepherd" book are not the ones who will be the next victims of these "reproved" persons.
      Their complicity in this horrific act is bad enough, but their smug self-righteousness in thinking that they've somehow done enough to protect children with a generic "reproof" is just another slap across the face of those same children.
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      Here is another question.
      If Christ has ALREADY come to Earth as an invisible presence, and is ruling as King NOW ......  starting in 1914 ...... why are we still celebrating the Memorial?
    • By Anna
      When a judicial committee is formed, why does it only consist of three elders (usually) but does not involve the whole body of elders? And is there a scripture this is based on?
    • By The Librarian
      "We do not have a paid clergy in our organization. Instead, as was done when the Christian congregation got its start, qualified overseers are appointed “to shepherd the congregation of God.” (Acts 20:28) These elders are spiritually mature men who take the lead in the congregation and shepherd, “not under compulsion, but willingly before God; not for love of dishonest gain, but eagerly.” (1 Peter 5:1-3)"

      Each congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses has a body of unpaid elders, who are responsible for teaching the congregation. Elders maintain general responsibility for congregational governance, pastoral work, selecting speakers and conducting meetings, directing the public preaching work and creating "judicial committees" to investigate and decide disciplinary action for cases that are seen as breaching scriptural laws.

      There are no secular educational requirements for Witness elders. Elders are considered "overseers" based on the biblical Greek term, ἐπίσκοπος (episkopos, typically translated "bishop"). 

      "The word "overseer" is translated from the Greek word episkopos, which literally means "one who visits and inspects." It applies in Jehovah's organization to one who watches out for and takes care of the interests of God's flock. The apostle Paul says, at 1 Timothy 3 :1 (NW) :"If any man is reaching out for an office of overseer, he is desirous of a right kind of work." " - Qualified to be Ministers(1955)

      Before 2014 prospective elders were recommended from among ministerial servants and former elders by the local elder body for appointment by the branch; Now the Circuit Overseer appoints and deletes elders.(
      branch offices may also approve appointments to local Congregation Service Committees. As of September 2014, it will be the responsibility of circuit overseers to appoint the elders and ministerial servants, similar to how described by the Bible in Acts. This is in an April 2014 letter to congregations. Previously they were recommended for appointment by the local body of elders and then appointed by the Service Desk at HQ. Before that a congregation or company servant was appointed by the branch office. Before October 1932 (watchtower citation needed) such brothers were elected by the local congregations.
       
      Qualifications for Overseers
      The Apostle Paul set down the qualifications for overseers at 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9


      Service Committee roles include:
      Coordinator of the Body of Elders: (previously known as the Presiding Overseer) chairs elders’ meetings, assigns duties and speakers for most congregation meetings, and oversees financial matters. (as of Sept 2014 he must be less than 80 years of age)
      Service Overseer: organizes matters related to public preaching, and oversees those handling Witness literature and territories.
      Congregation Secretary: maintains congregation records, reports congregation activity to the branch headquarters, advises the congregation about conventions and assemblies, and oversees those handling accounts.[1]
       
      Additional roles within the body of elders include:
      Watchtower Study Conductor: leads the weekly study of The Watchtower.[2]
      Theocratic Ministry School Overseer: conducts the Theocratic Ministry School, assigns student assignments, counsels students with a goal to improving their preaching skills, and conducts bi-monthly question-and-answer reviews.[3][4]
      Auxiliary Counselor: responsible for providing private counsel, as needed, to elders or ministerial servants that handle meeting parts.
      Operating Committee Members: responsible for the care of the building and property of Kingdom Halls that are shared by two or more congregations.
      Group Overseers: oversee groups for public preaching and pastoral care.[4]
      Public Talk Coordinator: schedules speakers and talks for the public meetings and co-ordinates traveling speakers from his congregation.
      Literature Coordinator: responsible for inventory, ordering, and distribution of literature for Kingdom Halls that are shared by two or more congregations.
       
      Additional roles outside the body of elders include:
      City Overseer
      Convention Overseer
      Rooming Overseer
      Headquarter's Representative (Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ) (sometimes referred to as a Traveling Overseer)
      District Overseer (position deleted) (sometimes referred to as a Traveling Overseer)
      Circuit Overseer (sometimes referred to as a Traveling Overseer)

      (1 Timothy 5:17) 17 Let the older men who preside in a fine way be reckoned worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard in speaking and teaching.
       
      In Watchtower Publications elders are sometimes biblically referred to as:
      Teachers
      Glorious Ones
      Overseer
      Capable Men
      Stars in the right hand of Jesus (See Revelation)
      Dukes
      Gifts in men
      Princes (Not all elders, only GB Helpers, and Circuit Overseers)
      "Hiding place from the wind"
      Committee Chairman (or member)
      Zone Overseer (Term has been retired from use)
      Branch Committee member
      Presiding Overseer (Term has been retired from use)
      Coordinator of the Body of Elders COBE
      Congregation Servant (Term has been retired from use)
      "Spiritually qualified older men"
      Pillars in the truth
      "Those keeping watch over your souls.."
      Mighty men
      Sheiks
      Shepherds
       
      Historical Publications Referencing Elders
      The New Creation, Watch Tower, 1904, pages 289-290, "The administration of discipline is not the function of the elders only, but of the entire [congregation]. ... If the reproved one fails to clear himself, and continues in the error or sin, then two or three brethren without previous prejudice should be asked to hear the matter and advise the disputants. (Elders they may or may not be, but their eldership would add no force or authority in the case except as their judgment might be the riper and their influence the more potent.) If this committee decide unanimously with either party, the other should acquiesce and the matter be wholly at an end--correction, or restitution, so far as possible, being promptly made. If either of the original disputants still persists in the wrong course, the [accuser, a committee member] or, preferably, all of these together, may then (but not sooner) exercise their privilege of bringing the matter before the [congregation]. Thus it is evident that the Elders were in no sense to be judges of the members—hearing and judgment were left to the [congregation]. The two preliminary steps (above mentioned) having been taken, the facts being certified to the elders, it would be their duty to call a general meeting of the [congregation], as a court--to hear the case in all of its particulars, and in the name and reverence of its Head to render a decision. ... if the transgressor refuse to hear (obey) the decision of the entire [congregation], ... the [congregation] is to withdraw from him its fellowship and any and all signs or manifestations of brotherhood. [emphasis retained from original]
       
      Talks Regarding Elders
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
       
      See also

      Kingdom Ministry School for the 2015 Service Year

      List of JW Terminology
      Bethel Elder (no longer used) 
      Traveling Overseer
      Kingdom Ministry School
      School for Congregation Elders 
      2011 Manual - School for Congregation Elders Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
       
      Publications referencing Elders
      2015 Amendments included in this 2012 printing of the "Shepherd the Flock of God"
      2014 Letters to Bodies of Elders

      July 13, 2014 Letter to Body of Elders (regarding appointment and deletion of elders and ministerial servants)
      2005 - Organized to do Jehovah's Will
      2013 Kingdom Ministry School Videos (Elders only viewing please)
      1991 - ks-91E * "Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock"
      2010 - ks-10E * 'Shepherd the Flock of God' (Revised version)
      1977 - "Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock"
      1961 - Kingdom Service Questions
      1955 - Qualified to be Ministers
      1961-2010-Elder-Manuals-Combined-R.pdf References
      Our Kingdom Ministry 10/98 p. 7 par. 1-2 Overseers Taking the Lead—The Secretary, "As a member of the Congregation Service Committee, he cares for the congregation’s communications and important records. ... He directly oversees those handling accounts and subscriptions as well as all convention-related matters." Our Kingdom Ministry 12/98 p. 8 Overseers Taking the Lead—The Watchtower Study Conductor Our Kingdom Ministry 11/98 p. 8 Overseers Taking the Lead—The Theocratic Ministry School Overseer Our Kingdom Ministry'10/07 p. 3 Theocratic Ministry School Schedule for 2008' The Congregation Book Study—Why We Need It, Our Kingdom Ministry June 2004, p. 4 pars. 4-5.
    • By Jack Ryan
      If it was a crime can you imagine a judge saying "well nobody found out you robbed the bank because you covered it up. Well done you can continue as the bank manager and not go to prison."
      unless...
      "evidence of God's blessing" IS not getting caught - lmao 😂🤣
    • By The Librarian
      Part of a series on: Jehovah's Witnesses >
      Jehovah's Witnesses began capitalizing Governing Body as a proper noun in 1971;The Watchtower that year announced "The present Governing Body comprises eleven anointed witnesses of Jehovah." The original members of the 1971 Governing Body, all now deceased, are indicated in italics in the lists below.

      Current
      The following people are members of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses[7] (year appointed in parentheses): Samuel Herd (1999) Geoffrey Jackson (2005) M. Stephen Lett (1999) Gerrit Lösch (1994) Anthony Morris III (2005) Mark Sanderson (2012) David H. Splane (1999) Kenneth Cook (2018)  Deceased
      The following individuals were members of the Governing Body until death (years active in parentheses, including years as Watch Tower Society directors, informally identified as the "governing body" prior to 1971): Carey W. Barber (1977–2007) Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  (1977–2010) William Lloyd Barry (1974–1999) Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  (1974–1996) Charles J. Fekel (1974–1977) Frederick William Franz (1944–1992)—5th President of Watch Tower Society George D. Gangas (1971–1994) John O. Groh (1965–1975) Milton George Henschel (1947–2003)—6th President of Watch Tower Society William K. Jackson (1971–1981) Theodore Jaracz (1974–2010) Karl F. Klein (1974–2001) Nathan Homer Knorr (1940–1977)—4th President of Watch Tower Society Guy H. Pierce (1999-Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ) Martin Pötzinger (1977–1988) Albert D. Schroeder (1974–2006) Grant Suiter (1938–1983) Thomas J. Sullivan (1932–1974) Lyman Alexander Swingle (1945–2001) Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  (1974–2006) Resigned
      The following individuals Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  (years active in parentheses): Ewart Chitty (1974–1979) Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  (1971–1980) Leo K. Greenlees (1971–1984)  
    • By Jack Ryan
      Loesch, Barr in the middle, Barry in the foreground
    • By JOHN BUTLER
      Luke 10 v 21  In that very hour he became overjoyed in the holy spirit and said: “I publicly praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have carefully hidden these things from wise and intellectual ones and have revealed them to young children. Yes, O Father, because this is the way you approved.
      This seems to show that 'higher education' was not needed to learn, understand and teach, the truth from God, at that time. 
      It seems to be a well know thing within the JW Org and by people outside of same, that JW's are 'told' not to aim for higher education. I say told, although some will say strongly advised, with a possible caution of being disfellowshipped. 
      Now I've noticed on here recently that deep conversation about many things has been and is taking place. Politics earthwide. religious beliefs earthwide and the latest thing seems to be Evolution (from a very deep standpoint ). ( These things were never taught to me at school. )
      I left school at 15 years old, as soon as I was able, for reasons previously mentioned. Here in UK now teenagers have to remain in education until they are 18. The three years from 15 to 18 seem to me to be almost 'higher education', but compulsory.  How much they learn at school now I've no idea. 
      My feelings are, and yes ok i cannot put proof to these feelings, but, my feelings are, that all forms of higher education are advised against by the GB and the JW Org. Some of you may have some proof of this in writing. So, where does this leave JW's ?
      If a young person leaves school to go into full time 'service' ministry, they do not get a higher education. Their 'basic' education may have been just that, very basic. They are then not 'qualified' to talk to others on a higher education level, and this might even be to the point of not understanding such things as are being discussed on here lately. 
      ( Much of what is being discussed leaves me miles behind. I'm a very simple person. Plus at 69 I forget more than i learn. Yes I do write lots of notes and have books for recording different things, but the mind boggles. )
      With respect for those I knew and loved in the past, within my ex congregation, many of them were 'simple country folk'. And I think Tom said about not having the time or inclination to do research online or or otherwise. So let us go back to the scripture at the top. 
      So many questions. Does God reveal more to those of a lesser education ?  Is higher education and greater knowledge a disadvantage when wanting to serve God properly?
      Or is it that those of higher education are too stubborn to learn God's way ?  Too proud maybe ?   
      There are many things that the Bible doesn't tell us. is that deliberate ? Does God want to keep it simple for us ? So, should we pursue more knowledge about worldly things ? 
      A problem may occur when talking to others about God, in that they may have more knowledge on a certain subject than we do and therefore believe something different. Should we then educate ourselves to their level on the same subject, or just pass them by ?  Bearing in mind the scripture at the top of this page. 
      There has to be a balance of course. But my feelings are that the GB would like JW's to be educated only by the Watchtower studies and by the 'workbook' evening meeting studies. And of course by personal Bible reading.   But do JW's do as they are told in this respect or do a lot of them 'educate themselves', or take further education elsewhere ? 
       
       
    • By TheWorldNewsOrg
      People who lied, betrayed someone or committed other immoral act begin to perceive what is good or bad in another way.
    • By The Librarian
      All posts tagged 'Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. " 
      Brother Jackson started pioneering in February 1971 in Tasmania, the island state of Australia. In June 1974, he married Jeanette (Jenny). Shortly thereafter, they were appointed to serve as special pioneers. From 1979 to 2003, they served as missionaries in Tuvalu, Samoa, and Fiji—island nations in the South Pacific. While in the islands, Brother and Sister Jackson also contributed much to the work of translating Bible literature. Beginning in 1992, Brother Jackson served on the Branch Committee in Samoa, and from 1996, on the Branch Committee in Fiji. In April 2003, he and Jenny became part of the United States Bethel family and began to work in the Translation Services Department. Soon thereafter, Brother Jackson was made a helper to the Teaching Committee of the Governing Body. (See Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ) Tragically, Geoffrey's wife Jenny lost her battle with cancer and died 22 December 2009 at the age of 54. Geoffrey has since remarried. He is one of the youngest members of the Governing Body, born in 1955.   Recent news:

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  and Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  on Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  Australian time.
        Milshon Masara (L) posing for a picture with guest speaker Geoffrey Jackson and his current wife, Loraini Jackson. 

      Taken at the Zimbabwe 2014 International Convention - Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
       

      Geoffrey and Rae Jackson

      Loraini Jackson is from Tazmania according to Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  
      Related Items:
      Talks by Geoffrey Jackson
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  - Encouraging clip of a talk by Geoffrey Jackson of the Governing Body

      Talks translated into Spanish
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.



      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
       
      International delegates running into Geoffrey and Loraini Jackson in Harare, Zimbabwe.   
    • By Jack Ryan
      While chanting: Listen, Obey, and be blessed
    • By TrueTomHarley
      How many of them do you want answered?
      We went round and round on a prior thread and you just repackage your questions and run them through again.
      The verse says: ‘Taste and see that Jehovah is good.’ If you tasted and saw that he was bad, what can I say? Check your taste buds. But you can just as easily say it to me.
      It may be that you should be praying to The LORD. It is the GB that brings God’s name to the fore, nearly everyone else seeks to bury it, and you have made clear that you don’t trust the GB as far as you can spit.
    • By Jack Ryan
      I suspect @James Thomas Rook Jr. made this one... LOL
    • By Jack Ryan
      Did You Know?
      You can openly and publicly question if the President of the United States is fit for office. You can question his policies, his statements, and his character. Your family and friends will not be taken away from you.
      You can openly and publicly question the policies, fitness for office, statements, and character of governors, senators, congressmen, judges, and various other politicians and leaders in the United States. Your family and friends will not be taken away from you.
      If you believe in a god, you can pray to your god questioning his authority, ability to rule, his decisions, and his purpose. When you open your eyes, you will find that your family and friends have not and will not be taken away from you.
      Jesus had his authority questioned many times. (Matt. 21: 23-27) According to the Bible, he would have had the power to punish those questioning him. Yet, he did nothing to them. He harmed no one physically or emotionally.
      You can confidentially question the ability to lead, the validity, the teachings, the doctrines and policies of the Governing Body to only two family members or close companions.  Your family and friends WILL be taken away from you. You will be labeled as dead, evil, and mentally diseased. You can and will likely lose all the social connections and relationships you have developed over a lifetime.
      Only absolute dictators take away the rights of those they rule if their authority is questioned. Look at the examples of Stalin, Hitler, Bashar al-Assad, and Kim Jong Un. 
      The Governing Body today will attend court hearings in other countries rejoicing when freedoms are granted to their followers. They will organize letter writing campaigns to lobby for religious freedoms of Jehovah's Witnesses. They will take legal arguments to the highest courts to fight for the rights of the organization that they govern. Yet, all it takes for you to lose all of your freedoms to be with your very own family is the admission to enough witnesses that you no longer believe the Governing Body are chosen by God and have authority over you. 
      Did You Know? The Governing Body will fight tooth and nail for their own perceived freedoms, but they have no problems taking away your own freedoms and declaring you dead if you dare to question them.



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    • Eric Ouellet

      Qu’est-ce que le Jour du Jugement ?

      La Bible dit que Dieu “ a fixé un jour où il va juger la terre habitée ”. (Actes 17:31.) Pour beaucoup, l’idée d’être soumis à un jugement, quel qu’il soit, est désagréable. Voyez-vous les choses ainsi ?
      SI C’EST le cas, rassurez-vous : le Jour du Jugement est une disposition pleine d’amour qui apportera de grands bienfaits à la famille humaine, y compris aux morts (Matthieu 20:28 ; Jean 3:16). Mais pourquoi est-il nécessaire ? Et que se passera-t-il réellement pendant ce “ jour ” ?
      Pourquoi le Jour du Jugement est nécessaire
      Lorsque Dieu a placé les humains sur la terre, il ne la destinait pas à n’être qu’un lieu d’épreuve en vue d’une existence dans un autre monde. Il a créé les humains pour qu’ils y vivent éternellement. Bien que parfaits physiquement et mentalement, Adam et Ève, le premier couple, se sont rebellés contre Dieu. Ils ont alors perdu la perspective de la vie éternelle pour eux-mêmes, et ont transmis le péché et la mort à tous leurs descendants. — Genèse 2:15-17 ; Romains 5:12.
      Le Jour du Jugement sera une période de mille ans durant laquelle les hommes auront la possibilité de retrouver ce qu’Adam et Ève ont perdu*. Remarquez que, selon Actes 17:31, cité plus haut, ce “ jour ” concerne les personnes qui vivent sur “ la terre habitée ”. Celles qui recevront un jugement favorable vivront sur la terre, éternellement et dans des conditions parfaites (Révélation 21:3, 4). Le Jour du Jugement contribue donc à l’accomplissement du dessein originel de Dieu pour l’homme et pour la planète.
      Le Juge que Dieu a établi est Christ Jésus. La Bible révèle qu’il va “ juger les vivants et les morts ”. (2 Timothée 4:1.) Qui sont “ les vivants ” qui seront jugés ? Comment les morts vont-ils revenir à la vie sur “ la terre habitée ” ?
      Jésus juge “ les vivants ”
      Nous sommes maintenant proches de la fin annoncée du présent système de choses, où Dieu va détruire tous les éléments de la société humaine corrompue et supprimer les méchants. Les personnes qui réchapperont seront “ les vivants ” qui seront jugés. — Révélation 7:9-14 ; 19:11-16.
      Durant la période de jugement qui durera mille ans, Christ Jésus ainsi que 144 000 hommes et femmes ressuscités pour vivre dans les cieux dirigeront la terre. Exerçant les fonctions de rois et de prêtres, ils dispenseront les bienfaits du sacrifice rédempteur de Jésus et amèneront progressivement les humains fidèles à la perfection physique et mentale. — Révélation 5:10 ; 14:1-4 ; 20:4-6.
      Pendant le Jour du Jugement, Satan et ses démons ne seront plus libres d’influencer l’activité humaine (Révélation 20:1-3). Toutefois, à la fin de ce “ jour ”, Satan sera autorisé à éprouver la fidélité de tous les humains alors en vie. Ceux qui resteront fidèles à Dieu passeront avec succès l’épreuve à laquelle Adam et Ève ont échoué. Ils seront jugés dignes de recevoir la vie éternelle sur la terre redevenue un paradis. Ceux qui décideront de se rebeller contre Dieu seront détruits pour toujours, de même que Satan et ses démons. — Révélation 20:7-9.
      Le jugement des “ morts ”
      On lit dans la Bible qu’au Jour du Jugement les morts “ se lèveront ”. (Matthieu 12:41.) Jésus a dit : “ L’heure vient où tous ceux qui sont dans les tombes de souvenir entendront sa voix et sortiront, ceux qui ont fait des choses bonnes, pour une résurrection de vie, ceux qui ont pratiqué des choses viles, pour une résurrection de jugement. ” (Jean 5:28, 29). Il n’est pas question ici des âmes désincarnées des défunts. Ces derniers sont totalement inconscients et n’ont pas d’âme qui survive à la mort (Ecclésiaste 9:5 ; Jean 11:11-14, 23, 24). Jésus relèvera sur la terre tous ceux qui se sont endormis dans la mort.
      Seront-ils jugés sur la base de ce qu’ils ont fait avant leur mort ? Non. Les Écritures enseignent que “ celui qui est mort a été acquitté de son péché ”. (Romains 6:7.) Ainsi, tout comme les survivants de la fin du système actuel, les ressuscités pour la vie sur la terre seront jugés “ selon leurs actions ” au cours du Jour du Jugement (Révélation 20:12, 13). En fonction de l’issue de leurs actions, leur résurrection se révélera aboutir soit à l’éternité, soit à la destruction. Nombre de ces ressuscités découvriront Jéhovah Dieu et ses exigences pour obtenir la vie. Ils auront la possibilité de se conformer à la volonté de Dieu et de recevoir la vie éternelle sur la terre.
      Aucune raison d’avoir peur
      Le Jour du Jugement ne sera pas seulement un temps d’instruction divine, mais aussi un temps où tous les vivants appliqueront ce qu’ils apprendront et en verront les bienfaits. Imaginez la joie que vous ressentirez quand vous retrouverez vos chers disparus et progresserez à leurs côtés vers la perfection !
      Imaginez la joie que vous ressentirez quand vous retrouverez vos chers disparus.
      Au terme du Jour du Jugement, Dieu permettra à Satan d’éprouver la fidélité des êtres humains. Il n’y a cependant pas lieu d’être inquiet ou d’avoir peur. Tous seront alors solidement armés pour faire face à cette dernière épreuve. Ainsi, le Jour du Jugement est une étape dans l’accomplissement du dessein divin qui effacera toutes les conséquences de la rébellion originelle contre Dieu dans le jardin d’Éden.

      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      Chantons avec coeur et allégresse 
      Psaumes
      146 Louez Jah!
      Que tout mon être loue Jéhovah !
       2 Je veux louer Jéhovah toute ma vie.
      Je veux chanter des louanges à mon Dieu aussi longtemps que je vivrai.
       3 Ne mettez pas votre confiance dans les princes,
      ni dans un fils d’homme, qui est incapable de sauver.
       4 L’esprit de l’homme sort, l’homme retourne au sol ;
      ce jour-là, ses pensées périssent.
       5 Heureux celui qui a pour secours le Dieu de Jacob
      et dont l’espoir est en Jéhovah son Dieu,
       6 Celui qui a fait le ciel et la terre,
      la mer, et tout ce qui s’y trouve,
      celui qui reste fidèle pour toujours,
       7 celui qui garantit la justice aux spoliés,
      celui qui donne du pain aux affamés.
      Jéhovah libère les prisonniers ;
       8 Jéhovah ouvre les yeux des aveugles ;
      Jéhovah relève ceux qui sont courbés ;
      Jéhovah aime les justes.
       9 Jéhovah protège les résidents étrangers ;
      il soutient l’orphelin de père et la veuve,
      mais il contrecarre les projets des méchants
      10 Jéhovah sera Roi pour toujours,
      ton Dieu, ô Sion, de génération en génération.
      Louez Jah !

      · 0 replies
    • REDROCHA  »  T.B. (Twyla)

      Thank you Sister !!!!
      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      LES QUALITÉS D'UN BERGER ET LES ASSISTANTS DE L'ASSEMBLÉE 

      PREMIÈRE LETTRE DE TIMOTHÉE

      3 La parole suivante est digne de foi : Si un homme aspire à être un responsable, il désire une belle œuvre. 2 Il faut donc qu’un responsable soit irréprochable, mari d’une seule femme, modéré dans ses habitudes, réfléchi, ordonné, hospitalier, capable d’enseigner, 3 que ce ne soit pas un ivrogne ni un homme violent, mais un homme raisonnable, non querelleur, non ami de l’argent, 4 un homme qui dirige d’une belle façon sa propre famille, qui tienne ses enfants dans la soumission en toute dignité 5 (car si un homme ne sait pas diriger sa propre famille, comment prendra-t-il soin de l’assemblée de Dieu ?), 6 que ce ne soit pas un homme récemment converti, de peur qu’il se gonfle d’orgueil et tombe sous le coup de la condamnation portée contre le Diable. 7 D’autre part, il faut aussi qu’il reçoive un beau témoignage des gens extérieurs à l’assemblée, afin de ne pas tomber dans le déshonneur et dans un piège du Diable.
      8 De même, il faut que les assistants soient des hommes dignes, qu’ils n’aient pas un langage double, qu’ils soient modérés dans la consommation de vin, non avides d’un gain malhonnête, 9 attachés au saint secret de la foi avec une conscience pure.
      10 De plus, qu’ils soient d’abord mis à l’épreuve quant à leurs aptitudes ; puis, s’ils sont exempts d’accusation, qu’ils servent comme ministres.
      11 De même, il faut que les femmes soient dignes, non calomniatrices, modérées dans leurs habitudes, fidèles en toutes choses.
      12 Les assistants doivent être maris d’une seule femme et diriger d’une belle façon leurs enfants et leur propre famille. 13 Car les hommes qui servent d’une belle façon acquièrent une belle réputation et une grande confiancepour parler de la foi en Christ Jésus.
      14 Je t’écris ces choses, bien que j’espère venir bientôt chez toi, 15 pour que, au cas où je serais retardé, tu saches comment tu dois te conduire dans la maison de Dieu, qui est l’assemblée du Dieu vivant, colonne et soutien de la vérité. 16 Oui, il faut avouer qu’il est grand, le saint secret de l’attachement à Dieu : « Il a été manifesté dans la chair, a été déclaré juste dans l’esprit, est apparu aux anges, a été prêché parmi les nations, a été cru dans le monde, a été enlevé dans la gloire. »





      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      Bergers, imitez les Grands Bergers
       
      Christ [...] a souffert pour vous, vous laissant un modèle pour que vous suiviez fidèlement ses traces » (1 PIERRE 2:21)

      QUAND un berger s’intéresse de près au bien-être de son troupeau, les moutons se portent bien. Selon un manuel sur l’élevage ovin, « l’homme qui se contente de mener le troupeau au pré puis n’y prête plus attention risque fort, en quelques années, d’avoir de nombreuses bêtes malades qui ne rapportent rien ». Par contre, quand les moutons reçoivent l’attention voulue, le troupeau prospère.
      La qualité des soins et de l’attention que les bergers du troupeau de Dieu prodiguent à chaque brebis dont ils sont responsables influera sur la santé spirituelle de toute la congrégation. Tu te souviens peut-être que Jésus a eu pitié des foules parce qu’« elles étaient dépouillées et éparpillées comme des brebis sans berger » (Mat. 9:36). Pourquoi se trouvaient-elles en si piteuse condition ? Parce que les hommes chargés d’enseigner la Loi de Dieu au peuple étaient durs, exigeants et hypocrites. Au lieu de soutenir et de nourrir les membres de leur troupeau, les guides spirituels d’Israël posaient sur leurs épaules de « lourdes charges » (Mat. 23:4).
      Les bergers chrétiens d’aujourd’hui, les anciens, ont donc une lourde responsabilité. Les brebis du troupeau sous leur garde appartiennent à Jéhovah ainsi qu’à Jésus, qui s’est présenté comme « l’excellent berger » (Jean 10:11). Les brebis ont été « acheté[e]s à un prix », que Jésus a payé avec son propre « sang précieux » (1 Cor. 6:20 ; 1 Pierre 1:18, 19). Jésus aime tellement les brebis qu’il a bien voulu sacrifier sa vie pour elles. Les anciens ne devraient jamais oublier qu’ils sont des sous-bergers sous la surveillance du Fils bienveillant de Dieu, Jésus Christ, « le grand berger des brebis » (Héb. 13:20).
      Comment les bergers chrétiens devraient-ils traiter les brebis ? Les membres de la congrégation sont exhortés à « obéi[r] à ceux qui [les] dirigent ». De leur côté, les anciens ne doivent pas « commande[r] en maîtres ceux qui sont l’héritage de Dieu » (Héb. 13:17 ; lire 1 Pierre 5:2, 3). Alors comment peuvent-ils diriger le troupeau sans le commander en maîtres ? Autrement dit, comment peuvent-ils répondre aux besoins des brebis sans abuser de l’autorité dont Dieu les a investis ?
      « IL LES PORTERA SUR SON SEIN »
      Parlant de Jéhovah, le prophète Isaïe a déclaré : « Comme un berger il fera paître son troupeau. De son bras il rassemblera les agneaux ; et sur son sein il les portera. Il conduira doucement celles qui allaitent » (Is. 40:11). Cette comparaison montre que Jéhovah se soucie des besoins des membres de la congrégation faibles et vulnérables. De même qu’un berger connaît les besoins particuliers de chaque brebis de son troupeau et se tient prêt à les combler, Jéhovah connaît les besoins des membres de la congrégation et est heureux de leur apporter le soutien voulu. À l’image d’un berger qui, si nécessaire, porte un agneau nouveau-né dans le pli de son vêtement, « le Père des tendres miséricordes » nous portera, ou nous consolera, quand nous serons durement éprouvés ou rencontrerons un besoin particulier (2 Cor. 1:3, 4).

      Quel exemple admirable pour un berger chrétien ! Comme son Père céleste, il lui faut être attentif aux besoins des brebis. S’il est au courant des difficultés qu’elles rencontrent et des besoins qui méritent une attention immédiate, il sera en mesure d’offrir l’encouragement et le soutien nécessaires (Prov. 27:23). Il doit donc bien communiquer avec ses compagnons chrétiens. Tout en respectant la vie privée de chacun, il s’intéresse à ce qu’il voit et entend dans la congrégation, avec amour, il se rend disponible pour « venir en aide aux faibles » (Actes 20:35 ; 1 Thess. 4:11).
      Parlons de la mentalité de bergers que Jéhovah a désapprouvés. Aux jours d’Ézékiel et de Jérémie, Jéhovah a dénoncé ceux qui auraient dû s’occuper de ses brebis, mais ne le faisaient pas. Quand personne ne surveillait les brebis, le troupeau devenait la proie de bêtes sauvages et se dispersait. Ces bergers exploitaient les brebis et, plutôt que de les faire paître, « ils se paissaient eux-mêmes » (Ézék. 34:7-10 ; Jér. 23:1). Le reproche que Dieu leur a fait est tout aussi valable pour les chefs de la chrétienté. Mais il souligne également combien il est important qu’un ancien s’occupe avec sérieux et amour du troupeau de Jéhovah.
      « JE VOUS AI DONNÉ L’EXEMPLE »
      En raison de l’imperfection humaine, certaines brebis peuvent être lentes à comprendre ce que le Berger suprême attend d’elles. Elles ne se conforment pas toujours à un conseil biblique ou ont un comportement trahissant un manque de maturité spirituelle. Comment les anciens doivent-ils réagir ? Ils devraient imiter la patience qu’a eue Jésus envers ses disciples quand ils cherchaient à savoir qui parmi eux serait le plus grand dans le Royaume. Au lieu de perdre patience, Jésus a continué à les enseigner et à leur donner des conseils bienveillants sur la pratique de l’humilité (Luc 9:46-48 ; 22:24-27). En leur lavant les pieds, il leur a fait une démonstration d’humilité, qualité que les surveillants chrétiens sont tenus de manifester (lire Jean 13:12-15 ; 1 Pierre 2:21).
      Le point de vue de Jésus sur le rôle du berger n’était pas le même que celui que Jacques et Jean ont un jour manifesté. Ces deux apôtres cherchaient à s’assurer une place en vue dans le Royaume. Mais Jésus a rectifié cet état d’esprit ainsi : « Vous savez que les chefs des nations dominent sur elles, et que les grands usent d’autorité sur elles. Il n’en sera pas ainsi parmi vous ; mais quiconque voudra devenir grand parmi vous sera votre serviteur » (Mat. 20:25, 26, Bible de Darby). Les apôtres devaient résister à l’envie de « commander en maîtres » leurs compagnons ou de « dominer sur » eux.
      Jésus tient à ce que les bergers chrétiens traitent le troupeau comme lui le traitait. Ils doivent être disposés à servir leurs compagnons, pas les dominer. Paul a manifesté une telle humilité. Il a dit en effet aux anciens de la congrégation d’Éphèse : « Vous savez bien comment, depuis le premier jour où j’ai mis le pied dans le district d’Asie, j’ai été avec vous tout le temps, travaillant comme un esclave pour le Seigneur, avec la plus grande humilité. » L’apôtre souhaitait que ces anciens soutiennent les brebis avec dévouement et humilité. Il a ajouté : « Je vous ai montré en toutes choses que c’est en peinant ainsi que vous devez venir en aide aux faibles » (Actes 20:18, 19, 35). Il a par ailleurs dit aux Corinthiens qu’il ne dominait pas sur leur foi. Il était plutôt leur humble compagnon de travail, pour leur joie (2 Cor. 1:24). C’est un bel exemple d’humilité et de courage pour les anciens de notre époque.
      « FERMEMENT ATTACHÉ À LA PAROLE FIDÈLE »
      Un ancien doit être « fermement attaché à la parole fidèle pour ce qui est de son art d’enseigner » (Tite 1:9). Mais il le sera « dans un esprit de douceur » (Gal. 6:1). Un bon berger chrétien ne force pas une brebis à agir de telle ou telle façon. Non, il réfléchit à la manière dont il stimulera son cœur. Il attirera peut-être son attention sur les principes bibliques à considérer avant de prendre une décision importante. Il reverra avec elle ce que les publications ont dit sur la question. Il l’exhortera à réfléchir aux conséquences de tel ou tel choix sur ses relations avec Jéhovah. Il pourra aussi insister sur l’importance de demander à Dieu sa direction avant de prendre une décision (Prov. 3:5, 6). Ensuite, il la laissera prendre elle-même sa décision (Rom. 14:1-4).
      La seule autorité que les surveillants chrétiens détiennent leur vient des Écritures. Alors ils doivent absolument se servir de la Bible avec habileté et adhérer à son contenu. Ils se garderont ainsi d’un éventuel abus de pouvoir. Car ils ne sont que sous-bergers ; chaque membre de la congrégation est responsable devant Jéhovah et Jésus de ses propres décisions (Gal. 6:5, 7, 8).
      « DES EXEMPLES POUR LE TROUPEAU »
      Après avoir déconseillé aux anciens ( prêtres )« commander en maîtres ceux qui [leur] sont échus en partage », l’apôtre Pierre les exhorte à « devenir des exemples pour le troupeau » (1 Pierre 5:3, note). De quelle façon sont-ils des exemples pour le troupeau ? Prenons deux des choses requises d’un frère qui « aspire à une fonction de surveillant ». Il lui faut être « sain d’esprit » et « présider de belle façon, sa propre maisonnée ». S’il a une famille, il doit la présider de manière exemplaire, car « si quelqu’un [...] ne sait pas présider sa propre maisonnée, comment prendra-t-il soin de la congrégation ( assemblée) de Dieu ? » (1 Tim. 3:1, 2, 4, 5). Il doit également être sain d’esprit, c’est-à-dire comprendre clairement les principes divins et savoir comment les appliquer dans sa propre vie. Il est calme et équilibré et se garde de porter des jugements hâtifs. Autant de qualités qui inspirent confiance aux membres de la congrégation.
      Les surveillants donnent également l’exemple en prenant la tête dans l’œuvre de prédication. Jésus lui-même leur a donné l’exemple à cet égard. La prédication de la bonne nouvelle du Royaume a occupé une grande partie de son activité terrestre. Il a montré à ses disciples comment il fallait l’accomplir (Marc 1:38 ; Luc 8:1). Qu’il est encourageant, de nos jours, de prêcher aux côtés des anciens, de constater leur zèle pour cette œuvre salvatrice et d’apprendre de leurs méthodes d’enseignement ! Leur détermination à consacrer du temps et de l’énergie à la prédication malgré un emploi du temps chargé insuffle du zèle à toute la congrégation. Enfin, les anciens donnent l’exemple en préparant les réunions de la congrégation et en y participant, mais aussi en prenant part à des activités comme le nettoyage et la maintenance de la Salle du Royaume (Éph. 5:15, 16 ; lire (Hébreux 13:7) 
      « SOUTENEZ LES FAIBLES »
      Quand une brebis se blesse ou tombe malade, un bon berger vole à son secours. Pareillement, quand un membre de la congrégation souffre ou a besoin d’une aide spirituelle, les anciens doivent réagir rapidement. Un chrétien âgé ou malade a sans doute besoin d’une aide pratique, mais il a surtout besoin d’un soutien spirituel et d’encouragements (1 Thess. 5:14). Les jeunes rencontrent peut-être des difficultés. Résister aux « désirs de la jeunesse » en est une (2 Tim. 2:22). Le berger doit donc rendre régulièrement visite aux membres de la congrégation dans le but de comprendre les épreuves qu’ils traversent et de les encourager par des conseils bibliques bien choisis. Quand ces visites pastorales sont faites au bon moment, beaucoup de problèmes peuvent être résolus avant qu’ils ne s’aggravent.
      Et si les difficultés d’un chrétien s’aggravent au point de menacer sa santé spirituelle ? « Quelqu’un parmi vous est-il malade ?, a demandé le rédacteur biblique Jacques. Qu’il appelle à lui les anciens de la congrégation, et qu’ils prient sur lui, l’enduisant d’huile au nom de Jéhovah. Et la prière de la foi rétablira celui qui est souffrant, et Jéhovah le relèvera. De plus, s’il a commis des péchés, il lui sera pardonné » (Jacq. 5:14, 15). Même quand un chrétien « souffrant » « appelle à lui les anciens », ces derniers doivent lui venir en aide dès qu’ils sont au courant de son état. Les anciens qui prient avec sont là pour le fortifier et aussi tout frères en difficulté, et ils les soutiennent, se révèlent une source de réconfort et d’encouragement (lire Isaïe 32:1, 2).
      Dans tout ce qu’ils font au sein de l’organisation de Jéhovah, les bergers s’efforcent d’imiter « le grand berger », Jésus Christ. Grâce à l’aide de ces hommes dignes de confiance, le troupeau se fortifie et prospère. Tout cela nous réjouit profondément et nous pousse à louer le plus Grand Berger sans pareil,  notre Dieu Jéhovah



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