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JW.org Says Apostates are "Mentally Diseased"


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On 11/10/2019 at 9:43 PM, Witness said:

Because of the act of shunning, wouldn’t you say that all four in our house are considered, “apostates”?

It sounds like a lot of JWs are treating all of you as if you were all apostates.

I've seen situations in households that sounded similar where the persons who were not disfellowshipped were still associated with as a way to continue to keep tabs on other persons. I've see situations where the non-disfellowshipped members had the exact same views as the disfellowshipped but family members continued to associate with the non-disfellowshipped ones as a means to continue having the semblance of some kind of family: especially to see children, grandchildren, etc. Also, I have seen cases, and this includes one of my now deceased uncles, who was baptized young, and disfellowshipped when he left as a teenager. Long before I was born, he would say stupid and terrible things about JWs and Jehovah, just to get a rise out of my mother and grandmother (his sister and mother). But over the years he settled down, got married, raised kids, took good care of his wife and his share of taking care of his mother and other elder aunts and uncles of his. But he couldn't come back to the JWs if he wanted to, because he was now an "affirmed" atheist/agnostic with no interest in religion - but no interest in speaking out against religion, either. By the time I was growing up, we never went out of our way to visit him and his family, but they were often over at my grandmother's house.

So, a disfellowshipped person, who is now an atheist and who doesn't focus on JWs is somewhere near the middle of this spectrum.

Some of the groups on the spectrum therefore include:

  • JWs in good standing who apostasized from other religions.
  • Former JW's who were not DF'd, but who drift away because they have no interest in speaking out against JWs. These would not really be distinguishable from those who drift into inactivity for unknown reasons.
  • Former JW's who were disfellowshipped and or who left because they couldn't live up to moral standards.
  • Former JW's who were disfellowshipped for any known reasons but so long ago that a kind of unwritten "statute of limitations" has run out, especially for purposes of associating with family and relatives.
  • Former JW's who were "stumbled" by something they saw, or experienced: abuse, 1925, 1975, changed teachings, etc.
  • Former JWs who didn't want to be disfellowshipped, but who were "cast out of the synagogue" because they felt a conscientious need to speak out against one or two specific teachings or practices. (Those who did not "push" away but who were "pushed.")
  • Former JW's who speak out against specific teachings or practices, but for whom their confusion is chalked up to a mental illness they have no mental capacity to overcome. (I'm talking about an obvious mental illness handicap of some kind, not merely an accusation.)
  • Those DF'd for apostasy, but who we never hear from again.
  • Those DF'd for apostasy, but who continue to make noise against JWs.
  • Those NOT DF'd for apostasy, but who make a lot of noise and accusations specifically against JWs

Then we also have a category, of those who are truly apostate, but who are not found out and remain in full association. Perhaps they find ways to undermine fellow JWs or manipulate, sometimes in a more subtle way, perhaps by a haughty attitude, perhaps by giving them a bad reputation in the way they take advantage of others. Some may find semi-anonymous settings in which to create contentions, and make strong judgments to "curse" others. Some may get away with their own immoral practices and defend themselves in ways that draw in the vulnerable. These are like the rocks/reefs in Jude 1:12:

When these people eat with you in your fellowship meals commemorating the Lord’s love, they are like dangerous reefs that can shipwreck you. They are like shameless shepherds who care only for themselves. They are like clouds blowing over the land without giving any rain. They are like trees in autumn that are doubly dead, for they bear no fruit and have been pulled up by the roots. (New Living Translation)
 

There are some who do speak up and offer false or confusing teachings, or maybe even true teachings but in a way that creates disorder and confusion.

We should remember that there were those who would speak up in the early Christian congregation with a saying or a bit of knowledge or a tongue, or a translation for someone who had been moved to speak in a tongue. Not all of these bits of knowledge would make sense to everyone. Paul knew that. John knew that. Not everything would build up. Sometimes the utterance would be worthless, or worse, might appear to have been from a demonic spirit. These gifts were causing confusion, and Paul wished to bring some order to the congregations. Ultimately, a simple solution was apparently implemented. If it promoted Jesus Christ as Lord, let it stand.

(1 Corinthians 12:1-3) . . .Now concerning the spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 . . .  3 Now I would have you know that nobody when speaking by God’s spirit says: “Jesus is accursed!” and nobody can say: “Jesus is Lord!” except by holy spirit.

(1 John 4:1, 2) . . .Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired statement, but test the inspired statements to see whether they originate with God,. . .2 This is how you know that the inspired statement is from God: Every inspired statement that acknowledges Jesus Christ as having come in the flesh originates with God.

(Revelation 19:10) . . .For the witness concerning Jesus is what inspires prophecy.”

Because of the wide variety of persons both inside and outside the congregation to watch out for, I think a lot of the onus is on individual Christians to decide who is good or bad association for themselves. The apostate may feel himself under no obligation to stand off from us, so we have to "apostasize" from them, especially those who continue to associate. We "mark" them. But if they have not stood away from us, and still want to associate, then technically they might not even be "apostates" and we should not judge them so harshly. But if we feel they are not building us up spiritually, and we seem not to be able to offer them anything, then they can be to us like a man of the nations or a tax collector. We can therefore associate as needed, but always, as with anyone, we keep a view to how this association might build us up or tear us down, and therefore we are very careful of such associations.

When we use the expression, "they went out from us because they were not of our sort," we have to be careful that we are referring to the sort of people we should be. We should be the sort of persons who will continue to show love to all kinds of persons, even our enemies. We have to be careful that we have not become the sort who judge harshly, or who push people away just because we don't understand them, or because we are too haughty to be questioned.

 

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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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27 minutes ago, 4Jah2me said:

It seems that Moses jumped ahead of following God's instructions. It seems as if Moses was puttin

It was disobedience. He was told to speak to the rock.  The previous time jehovah told him to hit the rock..... so he did as he did the previous time.

 

 

 

 

Could not copy link-  apologies

This idea that one can apostacize from another religion is ludicrous. One can only apostacise from the truth. There is only one truth - you either have it or you do not.  

JWs do not teach immortality of the soul, hellfire, heavenly calling for everyone,  that kingdom is a condition of the heart, trinity,  hide jehovahs name.... and I can go on and on...... these are truths that others Christian denominations do not teach.

But I do agree that we should not judge too fast or harshly when people have questions....  always show love.

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1 hour ago, Arauna said:

What is the point today? We have understood the scriptures, which refer to the nations on the earth for a 1000 years,  for 84 years.  So this proves that if these scholars had the Spirit of jah they would have understood it too!

I was just remembering how easy it is to criticize, and how it made us feel superior that we could make fun of the beliefs of others. I also remember how it struck me that the Watchtower had been teaching this same thing for about HALF of its existence (50 out of 100 years) when I first learned that Russell had defended another point of view from the Bible. According to you, if Russell had the spirit of Jah he would have understood it, too, but he never did. I don't judge him that harshly.

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2 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

I was just remembering how easy it is to criticize, and how it made us feel superior that we could make fun of the beliefs of others. I also remember how it struck me that the Watchtower had been teaching this same thing for about HALF of it's existence (50 out of 100 years) when I first learned that Russell had defended another point of view from the Bible. According to you, if Russell had the spirit of Jah he would have understood it, too, but he never did. I don't judge him that harshly.

No I never would have expected Russel to understand everything as some people do.  Jehovah gives information as we need it.    This is why I do not critisize them as some people here on this forum do.  

 

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50 minutes ago, Arauna said:

This idea that one can apostacize from another religion is ludicrous.

This is usually true in the common usage of the term, and in the majority of Bible uses, too. I was only going by the definition, and how it is used in ancient Greek and sometimes in the Bible.

*** it-1 p. 126 Apostasy ***
This term in Greek (a·po·sta·siʹa) comes from the verb a·phiʹste·mi, literally meaning “stand away from.” The noun has the sense of “desertion, abandonment or rebellion.” (Ac 21:21, ftn) In classical Greek the noun was used to refer to political defection, and the verb is evidently employed in this sense at Acts 5:37, concerning Judas the Galilean who “drew off” (a·peʹste·se, form of a·phiʹste·mi) followers. The Greek Septuagint uses the term at Genesis 14:4 with reference to such a rebellion. [(Genesis 14:4) 4 They had served Ched·or·la·oʹmer for 12 years, but they [[apostasized, LXX]] in the 13th year.

However, in the Christian Greek Scriptures it is used primarily with regard to religious defection; a withdrawal or abandonment of the true cause, worship, and service of God, and hence an abandonment of what one has previously professed and a total desertion of principles or faith. The religious leaders of Jerusalem charged Paul with such an apostasy against the Mosaic Law.

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5 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:
16 hours ago, Arauna said:

Billion Christian's on earth in various denominations whom ALL think they are going to heaven to be with jesus to rule over whom?

I am not sure do they want to "Rule"...... or just to be in Paradise with him. :))

According to the Book, those who go there are to “rule.”

with your blood you bought people for God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kings over the earth.” (Revelation 5:10) 

It is a meaningful verse to me. It shows the purpose of the heavenly hope. It shows the silliness of all persons thinking they are going there.

5 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

I am not sure do they want to "Rule"...... or just to be in Paradise with him. :))

Well—maybe they just want the perks, not unlike the hordes in government today.

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On 11/9/2019 at 6:40 AM, Tom Henry said:

Can certain past understanding be revised, yes they can. Especially to accommodate what is happening in the world.

 

Further examination with respect to understanding, the

Agreed.  The clay and iron mentioned in the feet was correctly understood before....... but the current acrimony between conservatives who are the far right  and the far left (which has been high-jacked by extreme new ideas) is irreconcileably divided.   This is happening in Canada, USA, Europe, Australia and UK. One can gain better insight into a situation as time passes. 

The UN Agenda 21 and Agenda 2030 gives me deeper insight regarding their ( UNs) future plans for the world.  How they are forcing LGBTQ onto most societies by means of UNESCO is more evidence that we are heading very quickly to collapse of morality.  Their plans for the environment gives us insight how far things have progressed regarding the ozone of the earth and biosphere.  176 nations have given over their autonomy to the UN by means of these agreements.  It will just be a matter of time for them to claim they can bring peace and security.

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1 hour ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Well—maybe they just want the perks, not unlike the hordes in government today.

The more typical saying from people in Christendom who learn about the possibility of heaven is something like this: "I don't care if the Lord just wants to use me as a doormat, I just want to be with Lord because I love him."

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4 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Therefore, at the benign end of the apostasy spectrum are those who realize that apostasy can be a good thing, by definition,

Forgive me, but I cannot read this expression “apostasy spectrum” without thinking of the newfound “autism spectrum” that is all the rage today, as moderns try to come to grips with the fact that, for whatever reason, autism is off the charts today, and so they try to normalize it.

In both cases—apostasy spectrum and autism spectrum—is not the emphasis on what is actually the least helpful? Is not the emphasis on symptoms, whereas it would be both more useful and revealing were it on causes?

With autism, there is vehement disagreement as to causes. Some suggested causes are thought absolutely taboo to the established world view, and so it is symptoms that dominate the discussion. Symptoms are easier than causes to get one’s head around. You can argue till the cows come home about causes, but symptoms are straightforward. Easier to talk about symptoms, therefore, even if less valuable.

So we can talk about the “apostasy spectrum,” and it is all very nice—I do appreciate the insight and work that has gone into writing of it, but it is more helpful to speak of the causes—for there is where one might do something so as to not fall victim to incessant and even bitter complaining.

Most discussions on this forum about congregation discipline consider it from the standpoint of human rights. As such, I will concede that some of them make valid points. But they will never make too much headway with the GB, I think, because the latter are primarily concerned with, as Tom Henry puts it, “God’s rights.” That expression is a little off-base because he is God—his rights are anything he wants them to be, It is better to speak of “God’s requirements,” the way Witness publications do.

God’s requirements are that there should be a people for his name that is absolutely separate from the world—“no part of the world.” This concern of his almost never factors in to discussions here—almost always it is “human rights,” and the unspoken assumption is that if human rights are cared for, God’s rights will be. It is a humanist view that prevails, divorced from spiritual concerns. 

In fact, observing God’s requirements will ultimately work out best for even “human rights” but we do not necessarily recognize that because we are short-sighted. We want what we want now. We are like kids in the car incessantly whining, “Are we there yet?” and at last father whirls around and says, “If you kids don’t stop crying back there, I’m going to stop this car and give you something to cry about!”

No, I think there will be little fundamental change on disfellowshipping because the GB dares not neglect “God’s right’s” to a people for his name separated from the world. Disfellowshipping is the wall to keep alien views out. That is not to say it will not be tweaked, and it is being tweaked. The word itself is not used in congregation announcements for many years. Associating with a disfellowshipped family member, while it may trigger counsel and may exclude one from being viewed as “exemplary” and thus ineligible for congregation office, will not bring the same sanctions as associating with a non-family disfellowshipped person. The situation of those baptized when young is handled by simply cutting them a bit more slack when they err. 

Human rights will never be the driving factor in the Witness organization. God’s requirements will be the focus. The whole concept of human rights is a bit pretentious anyway. For someone to be said to have “rights,” ought you not be able to DO something about it if those rights are violated? Yet, violated “rights” are the norm in today’s world. Even “holding people accountable” and making them “take responsibility” do little to close the gap. They are more media talking points than there are substantial reality. They are too feeble to get all hopped up about.

And yet when we focus on disfellowshipping HERE, we are primarily obsessed with “human rights.”

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7 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

Imagine yourself as Lawyer who defending innocent person. But what if you are so clumsy and unprepared and from time to time looking in a bottle. How this can help your client - God? 

I think how God can defend self much better than human will and would do it for Him. An at last, according to Bible that work (defending Fathers rights) Jesus already finished very successfully.

The common definition can only be applied to mental illness or mental disorder. Once again, these definitions are “behavioral” (uncontrollable) in extent. Mentally diseased is an “implied” condition (controllable). Perhaps psychology is not understood by many, however, it should make a difference with those not willing to focus on the true intent of the Watchtower articles. I wouldn’t expect them to.

With respect to the comment above. I do agree, God is capable of defending himself better than humans. Unfortunately, humans tend to argue the very existence of God and the authority God places on earth for “all” of us. There should be no doubt to any Christian, God holds structured governments within secular and spiritual. We should always remember, we are servants not to argue with the ones God has given authority over us. 2 Thessalonians 3:3

In that, God will defend us as loyal servants.

It only becomes a conflict when humans allow the deceptive nature of the God of this world influence us to mentally think otherwise. To use that influence as a distraction. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Therefore, I don’t believe witnesses have used Bible knowledge as a tool for superiority. What witnesses do take comfort on, they are willing to take time from their personal lives to have an exact knowledge of Bible Truth. That is not a simple task, and they do not need to feel ashamed for it.

On the internet, people don’t realize, many of the information posted by other religious groups have a history with Jehovah witnesses as former members. The same can be said about the information posted by Bible Students.

1 hour ago, Arauna said:

The UN Agenda 21 and Agenda 2030 gives me deeper insight regarding their ( UNs) future plans for the world.  How they are forcing LGBTQ onto most societies by means of UNESCO is more evidence that we are heading very quickly to collapse of morality.  Their plans for the environment gives us insight how far things have progressed regarding the ozone of the earth and biosphere.  176 nations have given over their autonomy to the UN by means of these agreements.  It will just be a matter of time for them to claim they can bring peace and security.

We as witnesses understand the collapse and the catastrophic nature humans are headed toward. Scripture states to stay alert and keep on the watch.

The real focus should be on spiritual advancements and how to apply them in our daily lives. We have full control with that, while we cannot control the other.

 

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1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

 is something like this: "I don't care if the Lord just wants to use me as a doormat, I just want to be with Lord because I love him."

After you have done all these things, say, “We are good-for-nothing doormats. What we have done is what we ought to have done.”

I love the (actual) expression. When you do as you should, you don’t go strutting around with chest puffed out. You downplay your own role. It is somewhat like the verse used in last week’s Watchtower study: 

“by God’s undeserved kindness I am what I am. And his undeserved kindness to me was not in vain, but I labored more than all of them; yet it was not I, but the undeserved kindness of God that is with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10) 

It is the same, really, as Jesus’s saying. The gift is not his, but God’s. Still, he will not waste it, but will put it to good use. Afterwards he will say, “I am a good-for-nothing slave. What I have done is only what I ought to have done.”

It is hyperbole. The Master doesn’t really consider us “good-for-nothing.” Jesus used hyperbole all the time. It was one of the tools in his teaching toolbox. It has the added advantage that those of common sense and humility instantly get the point, and those without those fine qualities do not—they are more inclined to harp on the Lord thinking his people “good-for-nothing” and how that violates their human rights.

Sometimes I even think Trump’s tweets, with their numerous spelling errors, may—probably inadvertently, be taking a page from this playbook. Maybe they are just his form of “hyperbole.” When he tweets that North Korea has launched all its nuclear missels, people of common sense will run for the hills. People without that quality will run to their keyboards to point out that the idiot can’t even spell the word right.

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7 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Forgive me, but I cannot read this expression “apostasy spectrum” without thinking of the newfound “autism spectrum” that is all the rage today

That was intended. Also I believe the autism spectrum is very useful in helping to understand autism in its various forms. Math is also all the rage in schools today, but it doesn't mean we should reject it.

7 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Is not the emphasis on symptoms, whereas it would be both more useful and revealing were it on causes?

For those already suffering, it is much more practical to deal with symptoms. In the long run, yes, it is much more useful and revealing to put the emphasis on causes.

7 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

So we can talk about the “apostasy spectrum,” and it is all very nice—I do appreciate the insight and work that has gone into writing of it, but it is more helpful to speak of the causes—for there is where one might do something so as to not fall victim to incessant and even bitter complaining.

You might notice that I was just brainstorming about the various "levels" of benign and malignant apostasy so that we would think about the ways we judge others. I think it's revealing, and not necessarily in a bad way, that two persons can spout the same apostate views about the Bible or the Watchtower Society, and only one of them gets disfellowshipped. The other still says the same things but he will often get full association with his Witness family and relatives. I think it shows the desire to have a form of natural affection, which by definition is "natural." (2 Timothy 3:3). I think some of us are here are good Witnesses without many qualms at all about association (online at least) with those who have clearly apostasized.

On the "spectrum," so to speak, I actually spoke a lot about causes, and very little about the symptoms. Of course, I wasn't too specific about either, as I was just trying to come up with some sample categories to show just how the types can be all over the place, and sometimes our own treatment of persons, and the Society's treatment too, is necessarily inconsistent. 

And one of the points is that we have a personal responsibility to watch out for our spirituality, and can't just follow what others tell us to do in every case. Imagine the possibilities if some Witnesses showed a lot more love to persons in the @Witness household, who were not DF'd, and how this might result in a good Witness (no pun intended). Or imagine the possibilities if some Witnesses decided to associate with persons in the @Witness household without any concern to their own spirituality, and became "infected" with thought that resulted in doubt and a lack of faith. The point is that we are sometimes on our own, and must always be careful about anyone and anything that we associate with. Jesus associated with tax collectors, but we are also given a Biblical responsibility to treat some in the congregation as tax collectors, even some who might be called a brother.

7 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Most discussions on this forum about congregation discipline consider it from the standpoint of human rights. As such, I will concede that some of them make valid points. But they will never make too much headway with the GB

Hard to say. Personally I think there is room for some individual conscience in a lot of areas that are currently matters of "legalism." This does not mean that anyone can expect to depend completely on their own conscience without appropriate counsel when it seems to affect their spirituality. But the GB have given a lot of thought to human rights, and have made a lot of progress in many nations of the world to defend right to assembly, right to our own religious practices, right to preach from door to door, right to "demand" blood alternatives, right to be seen as ministers, or as a legal religion.

To our long-term benefit, GB members have acknowledged human rights more and more in interviews about child abuse, child endangerment, education, corporal punishment (especially seen before judges in custody cases, presentations before the ARC, questions fielded by the "PR"/correspondence departments, etc). In a practical way, some of the practice hasn't caught up with the "human rights" rhetoric yet.

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      Wt. 11/7/15 - “HOW DO FALSE TEACHERS OPERATE? THEIR METHODS REVEAL A CUNNING SPIRIT. APOSTATES “QUIETLY BRING IN” CORRUPTIVE IDEAS. LIKE SMUGGLERS, THEY OPERATE IN A CLANDESTINE MANNER, SUBTLY INTRODUCING APOSTATE VIEWS”.
      It begins benignly, truthfully, like this:
      Wt. 1882, pgs 71-71 – “BEWARE OF ‘ORGANIZATION’. It is wholly unnecessary. The Bible rules will be the only rules you will need. DO NOT SEEK TO BIND OTHERS’ CONSCIENCES, AND DO NOT PERMIT OTHERS TO BIND YOURS. Believe and obey so far as you can understand God’s Word today, and so continue growing in grace and knowledge and love day by day”.
      And escalates into this:
      Wt. 11/15/81 “Make haste to IDENTIFY the visible theocratic ORGANIZATION of God that represents his king, Jesus Christ. IT IS ESSENTIAL FOR LIFE. Doing so, be complete in accepting its every aspect”.
      Wt. 13/11/15 –“ At that time, the life-saving direction that we receive from JEHOVAH’S ORGANIZATION may not appear practical from a human standpoint. ALL OF US MUST BE READY TO OBEY any instructions we may receive, whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not.”
      Rev 16:13,14:
      “And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth, (the anointed ones Rev 1:5) and of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty.”
      We are aware that a fertilized egg of a frog is laid in a mass under water. In a few days, a tadpole is formed, and eventually, the metamorphosis is complete, as a mature frog has developed. Even the diet during this process changes from grasses to meat.
      In the Watchtower, what begins as a scriptural truth, becomes a full-fledged lie, sourced in Satan’s “sea”, that consumes the individual who submits his mind and heart to it. Each beginning of a lie is part of many, that the Watchtower has ‘morphed’ over the years. These teachings have become unique to Jehovah’s Witnesses. Rev 13:1,2 (Prov 14:25) 
       
      Again, from the WT 11/7/15:
      “AND JUST AS A CLEVER FORGER TRIES TO PASS PHONY DOCUMENTS, SO APOSTATES USE ‘COUNTERFEIT WORDS’, OR FALSE ARGUMENTS, TRYING TO PASS THEIR FABRICATED VIEWS AS IF THEY WERE TRUE.” 
      Here's an example of a fabricated view:
      Wt. 14/1/15 - “How did Jehovah become King in 1914, and what were some of the Kingdom’s early accomplishments? The subsequent famines, earthquakes, and pestilences as well as the fulfillment of other Bible prophecies proved CONCLUSIVELY that Jesus Christ had begun to rule in heaven as King of God’s Kingdom in 1914. By enthroning his Son as the Messianic King, Jehovah had, indeed, become King in a new sense!” 
      The SYMBOLIC famines, earthquakes, pestilences are the labor pains that PRECEDE the birth of God’s Kingdom. This is the natural order of birth. Luke 21:8,9; Mark 13:8; Ezek 22:28  
       “Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your ]composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a MESSAGE OR A LETTER AS IF FROM US, TO THE EFFECT THAT THE DAY OF THE LORD HAS COME. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.” 2 Thess 2:1-4
      Watchtower continues: 
      “THEY SPREAD 'DECEPTIVE TEACHINGS,' 'TWISTING'...THE SCRIPTURES TO FIT THEIR OWN IDEAS. (2 Pet. 2:1, 3, 13; 3:16)” 
      Twisting the scriptures, and creating new doctrine such as:
      Wt 02/8/1 - “Representing the royal priesthood are appointed elders, who serve in positions of responsibility in congregations of Jehovah’s people around the earth. These men deserve our respect and wholehearted support, whether they are of the anointed or not. Why? Because, through his holy spirit, Jehovah has appointed the older men to their positions. Hebrews 13:7,17" 
      JWs, go back to the scriptures to find the truth:
      Num 18:7 - “But you and your sons will carry out your priestly responsibilities for everything concerning the altar and for what is inside the veil, and you will do that work. I am giving you the work of the priesthood as a gift, BUT AN UNAUTHORIZED PERSON WHO COMES NEAR THE SANCTUARY WILL BE PUT TO DEATH."
       Who are the Temple sanctuary?  1 Cor 3:16,17; 1 Pet 2:5,9; 2Chron.13:9; Ezek 22:26;Eze.44:6,7,8,9; 2Thess.2:4; Dan.11:31; Matt.24:15; Rev 11:1,2
      “CLEARLY, APOSTATES DO NOT HAVE OUR BEST INTERESTS AT HEART. FOLLOWING THEM WOULD DIVERT US FROM THE ROAD THAT LEADS TO ETERNAL LIFE”. 
      Shepherd the Flock book, page 65 (the previous version) – 
      “Apostasy is a standing away from true worship, a falling away, defection, rebellion.”
      It includes: 
      “Deliberately spreading teachings contrary to bible truth…
      AS TAUGHT BY JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES”
       
       
      Pearl Doxsey, 4womaninthewilderness blogspot
      “The Kingdom—1914?”
      “The Sign of the End”
       
       
    • By SciTechPress
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      VentureBeat
      BRUSSELS – Facebook, Twitter, Google's YouTube and Microsoft pledged on Tuesday to review requests for the removal of hateful content posted on their platforms within 24 hours as part of a code of conduct agreed with EU regulators. Authorities across ...

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    • By SciTechPress
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      The Verge
      Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, and YouTube today agreed to European regulations that require them to review "the majority of" hateful online content within 24 hours of being notified — and to remove it, if necessary — as part of a new "code of conduct ...
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Engadget
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    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      DO  WE STILL  DISFELLOWSHIP  THE  MENTALLY  ILL ?
      I was a teenager in the 60's,  and I had a good friend that on Scout camping trips I introduced to the Truth, and I was there in NYC at Yankee Stadium when he was baptized as one of Jehovah's Witness. He was a true "straight arrow", and pioneered, always dressed immaculately, and eventually over the years became an Elder.
      One night, at an Elder's Meeting, he announced to the other Elders that he was Jesus Christ, and that his mother was the virgin Mary, and of course he was disfellowshipped.
      He spent several years in private mental institutions until his insurance money ran out, then in a State institution for several years.
      He called me up, and told me the story, and I told him I was the Great Turtleman, and every November, before I hibernated, I rose from the swamp and gave toys to all the good little boys and girls.  I was just pulling his leg, but he was dead serious.
      Later, he was in England, while his wife was trying without success to get him to take his medications, and fell over a balcony at Heathrow Airport and got killed.
      DO  WE STILL  DISFELLOWSHIP  THE  MENTALLY  ILL ?
       
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      The invasion of the mentally ill professional apostates is repeated again, at a Kingdom Hall in full meeting. Once the prayer is over, an invader gets on the stage and the ushers are forced to lower it. But among the attendees there are more apostates, including the one who is recording the video. They almost have to be forcibly evicted because they are reluctant to leave  while criticizing the organization. They gather at the door while the brothers prevent them from entering again and call the police. The arrival of the police causes some to run away, and the agent takes data from those who bother a private meeting. Let's take note of the scene that will surely be repeated in many  countries.
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      I see more and more stories about this woman Barbara Anderson
      What exactly did she do at Bethel? Does she have an interesting story?
    • By Jack Ryan
      A major front page headline and two page article in Sweden's Metro newspaper.
      The Metro newspaper is a free newspaper that distributes 550,000-copies daily with a daily readership of some 1,153,000 people

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. HBTQ = Homosexual, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer.
      Defector: Jehovah's film dangerous to the children
      Jehovah's Witnesses Show Movies That Disregard Children's HBTQ - Missing permission
      I'm compared to pedophiles and killers - to the joy of the sect
    • By Jan Malviluoto
      Swedish police investigates, among other things, film shown at regional convention day 3 
      I don't have time to translate this now because I have to go now for the 2nd day of the special convention in Oslo

      https://www.metro.se/artikel/efter-metros-avslöjande-om-jehovas-vittnen-polisen-inleder-förundersökning-om-hets-mot-folkgrupp
    • By Jack Ryan
      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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