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JW.org Says Apostates are "Mentally Diseased"


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First of all, before I begin answering, I wanted to say that I have long expected that any JWs who go online to defend their views publicly will see more and more of what is beginning to happen here. The specific challenges coming from you (@4Jah2me), @Witness and @Srecko Sostar (and a few others) have lately seemed like a stronger "anti-JW onslaught" than this forum has seen before. Personally, I think it's a good thing that more and more JWs are prepared for just this type of barrage. At the m

This might be true, but I think that you have had some trouble pinning this "GB worshiper" label on people here. You probably see a lot of potentially contradictory ideas that seem like cognitive dissonance to you. But this might just be a point that many thousands of JWs have reached, while trying to make sense of the extent of human imperfection in trying to put a human structure around good spiritual concepts. We often look back at Israel's past, or even note the imperfect leadership of

The original post states that "JW.org Says "Apostates are Mentally Diseased." Whilst true, what is ommitted is that JW.org  is reflecting the Bible's view. Apart from what has already been quoted, Peter makes reference to that early apostate Balaam who sought to attack God's people. He says that when Balaam was hindered in his attempt to stumble worshippers of Jehovah by a "voiceless beast of burden", the effect was to hinder "the prophet's mad course" 2Pet.2:16. In using the Greek word "pa

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2 hours ago, Witness said:

To clarify, each person in our household left the organization for different reasons.  Can a disfellowshipped person influence another to lose their “faith” in the organization?  Yes; however, my spiritual decisions for leaving are not at all the same reasons why the other three left. And, I was not the first to leave.  Each one of us, saw specific flaws in a belief system that caused us to doubt God’s involvement in…hypocrisy, rules applied by men that went against sound reasoning, rules established according to men’s doctrine and not according to scripture. The result is, two in the house have no more belief in God or Christ.  One has retained a belief, but struggles in making it a central part of life. 

The organization’s record of unsound and failed/changed teachings, and failures in shepherding, are generally what bring forth doubt and lack of faith in God and Christ. Each one of these listed, causes spiritual ‘infection’.  To think JWs are immune to this, is fallacy. 

My husband had a CT scan a while back.  This was to be beneficial in finding the reason he was sick, by locating and identifying the disease.  Yet, the requirement of an iodine contrast which is used to enhance the scan’s ability to detect abnormalities, resulted in severe reactions.  The fluid flushed through his veins caused side effects that are still with him two months later. The CT scan had its advantages in targeting the disease, but the harsh reactions he experienced also left its visible mark, since his entire body is covered in large rashes – a form a dermatitis that doctors say needs to be fought with more drugs. We have chosen an alternative route to treat it, using natural remedies.

Who would have thought that something routinely prescribed as providing beneficial results, would also produce such harm?  Because the WT has targeted and explained a handful of false teachings in religions, the majority of JWs adopt the belief that all WT’s teachings must be fully beneficial, aiding one to recover from say, “christendom’s” lies.    Since we know a lie is a lie, and wrong teachings remain wrong teachings, and the organization has had its large share in wrong teachings (lies), a JW’s faith is not immune to experiencing spiritual infection from a bad dose of wrong information (rotten fruit/poisoned waters), accompanying a known truth.  God’s word does not condone building our faith on a little truth and a lot of lies.  (Matt 12:33,34; Luke 6:43-45)  Can you imagine Jesus saying to his apostles, “Oh, go ahead and partake of the leaven of the Pharisees…because they will still produce some truth”? (Matt 16:6,12;7:20; Luke 6:47-49)  For the most part, JWs will not notice how they are spiritually infused with paltry waters/teachings that had no advantage in beneficially aiding the growth of one’s faith; unless one  is putting faith and trust in an organization.  In that case, there is always a promise of good things that men will produce, and which places a bandaid over the 'infection' resulting from bad teachings.  (Jer 6:14; Ezek 13:10)  

Jesus spoke of “living waters” that would be evident in those anointed whom he sends.   No side effects, no ‘infections’, but only teachings that build upon teachings, and all are truth. (Matt 10:40,41; John 15:16)   

 

“On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus was standing in the temple courtyard. He said loudly, “Whoever is thirsty must come to me to drink. 38 As Scripture says, ‘Streams of living water will flow from deep within the person who believes in me.’” 39 Jesus said this about the Spirit, whom his believers would receive.”  John 7:37-39a 

 Many in the organization are becoming alert and keenly aware of painful results from the absolute “bitter” waters they have been ingesting and seek other means to remedy the resulting effects.  In my household there are four examples of how one leaves the WT and pursues relief from spiritual “infection”.  Not all of them are on a right path; but neither are those tolerating contaminated waters in the WT.  (Jer 23:14-22)  If the GB truly adhered themselves to the teachings of Christ, as they say they do, they would undoubtedly, and continually, produce “living waters” -  pure, and trustworthy. (John 4:14; 6:63; 2 Cor 4:7; 1 Cor 3:16; Eph 2:21,22; Rev 22:17) If excuses are made for their falsehoods, then there is total disregard for the promise Jesus gave us, that he would provide reliable Truth in those whom he sends. (Matt 21:33-45)  There would be no need for a persuasive ‘lecture’ about whom we should trust, as Gerrit Losch felt necessary to convey. John 15:5

 “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled”  Heb 12:14-15

“Bitterness” - acridity (especially poison), literally or figuratively:—bitterness.

“Defiled” -   contaminate 

The root of the “trouble” and divisions caused among disgruntled members who leave the WT, falls on the shoulders of the GB, and the elder body that dispenses the GB's “waters”.  (Rom 16:17;Jude 1:17-19; Rev 8:10,11; 13:11,12,16,17; 17:15)  If we continue to apathetically believe we can spiritually thrive on WT’s infected waters, then our spiritual outcome falls on our shoulders.  (Heb 4:12; Rev 18:4-8)

 

 

 Of interest - " Locust - Scorpions " / " Abaddon " / " fallen star " / " Wormwood "

Pearl Doxsey,  4womaninthewilderness blogspot

 

 

 

If you have a 'household' of 4 people that are all non JW's then you have communication and friendship amongst you.

There are probably two things that keep people in the Org.

1. It is like a social club where people spend time together when not in 'service' or meetings. They go shopping, have parties, visit each other, hence they are UPBUILT, not by the false spiritual food from the GB / elders, but by the day to day activities of a kind of friendship with other JW's.  

2. The fear of losing everyone that they had associated with, thereby having no contacts / friends, and possibly family. Also as has been mentioned in another topic, the fear of loss of business when one does lots of business with brothers and sisters. 

I think some call it, physically in / mentally out or spiritually out. So just using the 'contacts' inside, not using the fake spiritual blurb... 

 

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28 minutes ago, Witness said:

They will pull another wild card from their sleeve – another David Splane with a chart.......

Will JWs show good sense and finally realize they have been defrauded of truth…for years

Not if you take what they say as speculation on their part. Which is what I think it is. Anyone has the right to speculate. I have no qualms telling Br.Splane that I think his chart is based on speculation. And I'm sure he'd reply that that's my opinion. In which case he is right too. No harm done, we both have our opinion. It's not as if "the Generation" is a fundamental teaching required for salvation is it?

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17 minutes ago, Anna said:

Not if you take what they say as speculation on their part. Which is what I think it is. Anyone has the right to speculate. I have no qualms telling Br.Splane that I think his chart is based on speculation. And I'm sure he'd reply that that's my opinion. In which case he is right too. No harm done, we both have our opinion. It's not as if "the Generation" is a fundamental teaching required for salvation is it?

Isn’t this teaching served on “Jehovah’s rich spiritual table”?  Isn’t it based on a principle that is part of the foundation of the organization?  1914?  Every teaching on generation revolves around this date, and if anyone verbally rejects this date, they can be disfellowshipped.  

  • Partake appreciatively of the spiritual food available only at Jehovah’s table, and you will not be misled by false teachers or wicked spirit forces. w06 11/15 pp. 21-25
  • “When I go to Christian meetings, conventions, and assemblies and I am able to feast at Jehovah’s spiritual table, this really refreshes me spiritually,” she observes. w02 9/15 pp. 8-9

Can a typical JW distinguish between what is served on “Jehovah’s spiritual table” and what is concocted from the minds of men?  Yes, anyone has the right to speculate, but does the GB encourage it?  Are you even suppose to “go there” and "speculate" otherwise?

Why should we be on guard if someone begins to speculate or to speak critically?

We are nearing the outbreak of the great tribulation and the end of this wicked system, so those inspired warnings given in the first century take on greater significance. We definitely do not want to ‘miss the purpose’ of Jehovah’s undeserved kindness and lose out on the promise of everlasting life, be that in heaven or on earth. (

    Hello guest!
) If ever someone attending our congregation meetings would try to entice us into discussions of personal speculations or critical conversations, we should definitely be on guard." w13 12/15 p. 9

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3 hours ago, Witness said:

"On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus was standing in the temple courtyard. He said loudly, “Whoever is thirsty must come to me to drink. 38 As Scripture says, ‘Streams of living water will flow from deep within the person who believes in me.’” 39 Jesus said this about the Spirit, whom his believers would receive.”  John 7:37-39a 

Water as symbol of God's Spirit.

By this, what Jesus told, this "inspirational water" has The Source in Jesus (and God). Well, it would be normal, and not mental issue, if somebody  come with claim how he/she is "inspired". :)) 

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27 minutes ago, Witness said:

Isn’t it based on a principle that is part of the foundation of the organization?  1914? 

Not sure what you mean by principle. If it's not 1914 it could be1934, or even some other completely different date. Either way, calling whichever date as being part of the foundation of the organization is not important to me.

34 minutes ago, Witness said:

Every teaching on generation revolves around this date, and if anyone verbally rejects this date, they can be disfellowshipped.  

I am not interested in verbally rejecting this date. Who am I to do that? It's either right or wrong, time will tell soon enough and I am not going to lose sleep over it.

38 minutes ago, Witness said:

Can a typical JW distinguish between what is served on “Jehovah’s spiritual table” and what is concocted from the minds of men? 

That I don't know. If someone is like a Beroean, or mindful of the apostle Paul's words regarding this subject, and knows their Bible, then they shouldn't have too much trouble.

43 minutes ago, Witness said:

Yes, anyone has the right to speculate, but does the GB encourage it?  Are you even suppose to “go there” and "speculate" otherwise?

" entice us into discussions of personal speculations or critical conversations"

There is a difference between personal speculations and leaving it there, and forming intense discussions around it as if we want to persuade others to see it our way. Unless it is something extremely important and true, which speculations are not, then who are we to push our personal ideas? As for the GB speculating, well they are in a role where they have assumed the provision of spiritual food. At the same time we are aware they can make mistakes. I shall leave it at that.

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2 hours ago, Anna said:

Not if you take what they say as speculation on their part. Which is what I think it is. Anyone has the right to speculate. I have no qualms telling Br.Splane that I think his chart is based on speculation. And I'm sure he'd reply that that's my opinion. In which case he is right too. No harm done, we both have our opinion. It's not as if "the Generation" is a fundamental teaching required for salvation is it?

@Anna Sorry but i think you are being naive on this point or deliberately not wanting to see the truth of it. 

I have to agree with @Witness (above post) on this issue, on two points.

1. If it is offered as spiritual food from 'Jehovah's table' then it should be fact not speculation. 

2. If a person makes mention of disagreeing with the GB / Org's 'teachings' they can be disfellowshipped for 'causing a division in the congregation'...  

A question though. If     "It's not as if "the Generation" is a fundamental teaching required for salvation is it? " 

Then, if they have no 'proof' of their claim, why can't they just say "We don't know" 

Why do the GB / Writing Dept' et al have to pretend that they know more than they actually do know ?

It only shows people that those at the top are 'running ahead' and not waiting on Jehovah / Jesus Christ for true guidance. 

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5 hours ago, 4Jah2me said:

they have no 'proof' of their claim, why can't they just say "We don't know" 

The fact is- you have no proof they are wrong. 

It is 105 years since the  kingdom government under Jesus started to rule. It is not many years, if one considers overlapping generations.

They do not fall into the trap of giving dates......... but I can lay my head on a block that this generation may stretch up to 120 years.  There is a precedent in the bible..... think about it.

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      bh chap. 11 pp. 110-112 pars. 12-15 - Imagine that a teacher is telling his students how to solve a difficult problem. A clever....student claims that the teacher’s way of solving the problem is wrong. What should the teacher do?....suppose that the teacher allows the rebel to show the class how he would solve the problem...he knows that allowing them the opportunity to try to prove their point will benefit the whole class. When the rebels fail, all honest students will see that the teacher is the only one qualified to lead the class....consider two things that the teacher in our illustration would not do............he would not stop the rebel student from presenting his case.
    • By Jack Ryan
      POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Polk County mother is outraged after she claims a school bus driver used her son to spread hate. Natalie Encarnacion told News Channel 8 that the bus driver, now identified as Violeta Jacobo, told her seven-year-old son he would go to hell for supporting his mom’s same-sex relationship. One afternoon, in the beginning of February, her son had missed his bus from Alta Vista Elementary School, so a different bus driver took him home. “He mentioned [to the bus driver] he was hoping his two mom’s wouldn’t be upset that he was home so late,” Encarnacion said. “She said ‘whoa God doesn’t like that,’ then she went on and on telling him how he wouldn’t make it into heaven and there is a such thing as hell.” She claims the bus driver even sent him home with a Jehovah’s Witnesses card, and hate in his heart. “Later that night, he explained why we should not be together anymore,” Encarnacion said. “He is absolutely questioning this now, something we have so smoothly transitioned into and never had any issues with.” Encarnacion said she contacted the school board and never heard back. She also contacted DCF. She told News Channel 8 the agency looked into the incident, but closed the case when they did not find any neglect. According to Polk County School Board Spokesperson Jason Geary, they are still reviewing the matter. However, they have spoken to the bus driver and instructed her that she must follow the code of ethical conduct. According to Geary, Violeta Jacobo is an active bus driver, employed since August 31, 2012. There is no past disciplinary action in her personnel file. “It’s shocking and it’s infuriating to know that nobody is doing anything about it. Just the thought that she could do this to other kids.” Encarnacion said she hopes something is done so she can’t do this to another family. “I am extremely devastated. My home life and everything is being affected by this. My son is rebelling against our relationship and it’s just putting everything into question. It’s really upsetting and I hope nobody ever has to go through this,” she said. “This has put hate in his heart.”


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    • By Michelle
      How ridiculous. Anyone asking such questions is not reading the material nor either listening to or attending meetings. Uniforms? Smacks of apostate individuals spreading falsehoods. 



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    • Not the usual Hebrew word for "law" but a late word borrowed from Persian, which is why they say it only shows up in Daniel and Esther (meaning law or custom). It did not come to mean ceremony/ritual until even later. In MODERN Hebrew, not Biblical Hebrew, is it also used to describe someone who is religious. From what I can tell, this is not the same word "dat" which is related to data/datum. That word "dat" is from the word "give" implying "thing" as it to "give a thing" or "any gi
    • Well the GB and Elders act as judges that's for sure, but they will suffer for it later.   
    • Interesting. In both Arabic and Hebrew the words for religion are “din” and “dat”, which both mean “law”. Religious leaders are basically judges. By the way, the word “dat” is the origin of the word “data”.
    • Any collective belief in some approach as "the way" to solve problems is, literally, a bringing together of individuals (re = again, ligio = bond, reverence, and religare = to bind).
    • Bitcoin adoption took another boost in South America yesterday after the Argentinian central bank announced measures to tighten controls on the movement of foreign currency. The announcement came shortly after the Argentine peso plunged over 10%, setting the long-suffering Argentinian people back further. Only 20 years ago, the Argentine peso was 1:1 with the USD, but corruption and mismanagement has seen its economy collapse and the national currency is now artificially pegged at 72:1
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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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