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JW.org Says Apostates are "Mentally Diseased"


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@JW Insider you shared fine thoughts and showed your awareness and understanding of objections and questions other people accented and saw as serious items that need to be put on table for discussion and challenged. That is one of reason i like to read your comments which are respectful to other people, even when you are in a disagreement with them, about subject.    

55 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

I hope you can see that, even with JWs out of the picture, you could probably accept this entire situation as a possible, and even normal, Christian congregation.

What you described, can be also applicable for many human activities. For example, people who have common interest in producing food and living in some rural area, joined together. Looking for ways how support each other and care about each other and shield each other from outside bad influence, greedy merchants, natural disasters and so on. Well, in technical way, things can be looked as same. People, in that small community, will be facing inside problems and making regulations, rules and laws. 

How far will they go? To proclaim such rules as "God given"? Would they stick to rules at any cost or would be, as TTH said, "adaptive to modern technology". Or, not only to technology :))) 

Of course, we always have fear and potentially difficult situation in both directions - to stick with old things, as well to accept new and unknown. Burden is heavier, because in all this we (they) want to PUSH God as reason, motive and result.

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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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@JW Insider Yes I'm angry and I'm confused, as are others that trusted the JW Org for years, only to find out things that the GB / Org does that cannot surely be approved of by God. 

Unfortunately you use that word apostates again, because JW's are brainwashed with that word by GB / Elders.  I do wonder is there ever a meeting in a KH where that word isn't mentioned, either from platform of congregation. Can you not just accept that some of us are seeking TRUTH. 

Quote "Of course, I've brought up some of these same challenges myself, ...."  "I believe that we need some doctrinal adjustment"

" I'm not exactly defending the GB position against your challenges. "    (I come to bury Caesar not to praise him). :) 

" Yes. The GB dictate to the congregations and, unless the dictate is seen as unconscionable or unscriptural, the members of the congregations are expected to obey. Naturally, this can go too far,... "  (and it does go to far hence people complaints).

" GB's request to be trusted while admitting that some of the teachings and processes are bound to be mistaken now and then.. "

I believe the Watchtower comment was that the "GB are not inspired, so they can 'make mistakes and err' "

I picked up on this because the word 'err' can mean make mistakes or deliberately do wrong. 

But they would have written 'make mistakes and make mistakes'  so the word 'err' in this case must have been meant to deliberately do wrong.  Add to this that you are saying that "some of the teachings and processes are bound to be mistaken now and then.. "  

So if your GB are the F&DS  FAITHFUL AND DISCREET SLAVE,  why would God or Christ give them false information, or why would they be so indiscreet as to 'run ahead' of God given information. They admit to not being inspired, we agree on that much, surely they should be, as you would say, 'spirit directed' ?   Do you thing the 'overlapping generations' is spirit directed ? 

By the way, in your hypothesis, I didn't see the mention of God's holy spirit playing a part even once. 

I think I'm actually 'offended' (that not being exactly the word I'm looking for but.) by the words Governing Body. I hate when people use that to describe the first century overseers. Governing surely means to be in charge of, whereas those at the top should not be 'lording it over the congregation of God'. I would think a different title would be more appropriate.  What is your opinion on that ? 

"guardians of doctrine." didn't the Catholic church once use that expression ? So much so that they didn't allow people to have the Bible.....  But JW's are allowed to have their own Bibles and to do private study. However if JW's come to their own conclusion about certain scriptures, they must not share that with other JW's or it may be seen as 'causing a division in the congregation'. :) I find it funny, sorry.  It's like, yes read the Bible yourself but only believe what we say. 

It is now just after 12 noon here in UK. I need lunch and coffee (just to show you that I'm actually human). I could write tons more, such as the GB being 7 of the 8 American, whereas it could be more men from different countries. Or , such as the GB now being famous earth wide, but then telling the rest of the Anointed to not even contact each other. The GB saying only they are the F&DS, where as it was once the whole of the Anointed being the F&DS.  Thelist goes on.

And the fact that you are @JW Insider   A JW but giving out info about the GB and it's Org, so you cannot be completely happy with it yourself. Physically in but possibly spiritually out. Have a good day. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, 4Jah2me said:

Yes I'm angry and I'm confused, as are others that trusted the JW Org for years

There's trust as in the type of trust you have in a trusted friend, and blind trust in someone who turned out not to be what you thought they were. I don't think of the organization as the religion we trust in. True religion is helping people who we can best help - materially, spiritually, emotionally -- with the proper unselfish, loving motivation, and therefore without spot from this world. An organization, i.e., a publishing house, researchers, coordinators, a legal department, etc., are just tools that a group of sincere Christians might be expected to utilize for a more efficient method of getting the word out in the midst of a complex world. It's not something to trust blindly as if it is Christianity, or even as if it represents true Christianity.

(These are my opinions, of course.)

I think that a lot of persons get baptized as Witnesses with a kind of naive view that the organization is more than it really is. This might even be true of new GB members who are asked to join that particular committee of elders. Perhaps they are surprised at the difference between reality and expectation. But I think they are better prepared, since they have already worked at various levels of the organization.

I didn't mean to call myself JW Insider here. I intended to use "The Bible's Advocate" but when I joined someone was making a claim that was easily clarified by someone who had worked directly with members of the GB before. I had worked with members of the GB from 1976 to 1982. I worked directly for a member of the GB from about 1979 to 1982. I planned to tell some of the stories from that period, and therefore called myself "JW Insider" and allowed it to stick, in spite of some unintended implications.

But I mention this because if a person can work with (and around) some of these same persons for a few years, then they are already prepared for an experience that is quite different from the expectation of the average Witness. They have seen them in a bad mood, they have seen them curse and yell, they have seen them make mistakes, they have seen their prejudices, seen them connive, possibly even be dishonest. I have seen all these things among a couple of them, but I'm obviously talking about exceptions to their usual conduct and demeanor. And for MOST of the members that I knew, I never saw any of these things, they always came across as perfect "saints." But I would not have been surprised to learn of a different side, because of what I had seen in a very few others, even if I only saw it rarely.

I also had an advantage of an uncle who was a circuit overseer, and a grandmother and grandfather who seemed to know all the "big shots" from headquarters. (My great grandfather was a Chicago Bible Student who traveled with Russell and spoke at conventions with him.) But most of these relatives were apt to say things like, "Jehovah puts half of us here to test the other half," when referring to some of these same persons. Before going to Bethel, I heard a Circuit Overseer evoke laughter from another by asking, "Can you imagine how the Apostle Paul would have blown up if anyone told him he had to keep all these numbers [records] on everyone?"

So, I probably come at some of these human imperfections from a different perspective than most. I'm hardly surprised at anything. My grandparents who knew Rutherford thought he was sleazy. My table head at Bethel had a personal "hatred" of him. But Russell himself was apparently dishonest, too, sometimes. Both Russell and Rutherford weren't defined by these errors, because their greater goal was to spread the word about the Kingdom hope amidst expectations of the imminent end. And now, we've gotten rid of most of that chronology rhetoric and spend more time highlighting the positive, life-changing aspects of the message. And I see a great value, like a pearl, in the overall set of teachings we stand for. And I do tend to fall back on how the Israelites had asked for a king and got a range of kings, from evil to good, but none perfect, of course.

I am out for the rest of the day without much access, so I won't spend much time revisiting issues already covered. And I know the answers won't be satisfactory anyway. I should also say that I hope you don't lose your spirituality. Many exJWs do. Also, I wouldn't make too much of the fact that I used the word "apostate" when referring to the challenges you offer. I don't think of you as apostate as long as you are in a stage, as you describe, of anger and confusion. That could be understandable. I would hope you could see that there is a beautiful baby in that bathwater before you throw it all out.

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9 minutes ago, John H Slaughter said:

That’s understandable. That’s what I’m saying, you’re not alone with your belief. JWinsider (JW) believes it, Srecko (exJW) believes it, and Witness (exJW).

 

You are among the same type of friends that have the same belief not in accordance with scripture. You’re doing fine. There is no need to be angry here.

 

1 Corinthians 12:12-27 New International Version (NIV)

 

Unity and Diversity in the Body

 

12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[a] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

 

Hence I feel the scriptures were / are written for the Anointed, not for the earthly class. 

I feel that only the Anointed should fully understand scripture as they are 'one' with Christ. 

The rest of us are just the other sheep.  :)  I like the scripture about 'Ten men clinging to the skirt of a Jew' 

The 'Jew' being the Anointed class, the ones clinging being the earthly class. 

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49 minutes ago, John H Slaughter said:

You are among the same type of friends that have the same belief not in accordance with scripture. You’re doing fine. There is no need to be angry here.

What?  I'm sorry YOU are wrong.  There was a time when the organization clearly taught that the Body of Christ is comprised of the anointed ones.  It can still be found on their web page.  

    Hello guest!

I might be wrong, but it could be that Allen is back.  

 

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Witness which I suspect is you, :) 

Is this rubbish really going to start again. I was following this blog / forum long before I chose to join it, and one reason I didn't join earlier was reading all the horrid stupidity of people saying, x was y, and you must be he, and telling one person that they had three different user names just to give themselves up votes etc etc, 

It is obviously people that are losing a debate / discussion, or people who feel hurt by someone's comments. BUT it does no good to the blog as a whole. Just wastes everyone's time. 

 

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9 hours ago, Arauna said:

Living in the past again?  Now some of them also believed in the Trinity before becoming JWs. Why not go that far back?  

Let me help you out with that link I had provided from your organization's website.  

    Hello guest!

"Also called 144,000; Anointed; Body of Christ; Bride of Christ; Chosen Ones; Elect; Holy Nation; Israel of God; Kingdom Class; Little Flock; New Creation; New Nation; Royal House; Royal Priesthood; Sanctuary Class; Sons of Levi; Spirit Begotten; Spiritual Israel; Spiritual Sons)"

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On 11/17/2019 at 2:14 AM, Arauna said:

Living in the past again?  Now some of them also believed in the Trinity before becoming JWs. Why not go that far back?  

Actually, @4Jah2me and @Witness are right in this case.

*** w09 10/15 p. 5 par. 10 “Be Aglow With the Spirit” ***
. . . the “other sheep” are not part of the composite body of Christ . . . .

And @Witness is right that this is a difference between the Watchtower teaching and the "theology" that Allen Smith has claimed to believe. And if Allen Smith thought this was right you can best believe that it will also be defended to the nth degree by: @Bogdan11 @John H Slaughter @Alithís Gnosis @DespicableME, @alvi languore insanabili @Grey Reformer @Tom Henry etc., etc., etc.

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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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    • 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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