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That's true, but it would not attract as much attention. Rutherford had been a political marketer before following Russell/WT/Bible Students. This is why he would ADV/ADV/ADV. And why gimmicks like putting David and Abraham on a property deed were important to him. This is why he used the title "Judge." But I think it was Covington who figured out that he could do much better in the courts if we agreed to be recognized as a religion. Religious rights were easier to fight for than unspecifie

As vitriolic as the spiteful crticisms of apostate opposers are, there is a remarkable tide of recognition of the integrity of Jehovah's Witnesses, even among those who do not share our beliefs. Speaking of the voluntary stand of Jehovah's Witnesses against the oppressive demands of the Nazi and Fascist regimes in Germany and Italy this observation was recently made: "We owe it also to their sacrifice that there was the powerful push in civil society that gave birth to the European pro

Nobody but nobody has “apostates” like Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is almost as though I am proud of them. Every NT writer wrote about opposition and apostasy. If it happened then, it should happen now. What if there was no opposition today? Wouldn’t you have to wonder why? Since Witnesses do not seek to evade taxes, they pay into social & police services to a greater proportion than most groups. Since they put into practice Bible principles that improve lives, they draw upon those services

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7 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Have you learned nothing from Allen Smith? Many times he has grumbled (with some bitterness) about how I have banned various ones of his group. Vic Vomidog

You must be confused TTH. I know the parrot is you. I don't think you would "BAN" yourself, unless you feel you need to do it in order to confuse people or make a deceptive point. I've known that Parrot since Jehovah's Witness dot net when you spoke harshly about the Watchtower.

So, try to keep your deceptive story straight. You will make a better storyteller. But, I will agree, I have been banned because of people like you, Anna, JWinsider, JTR. People that are far from being witnesses. So, I don't see why you argue with "witness" another false prophet, when you should be, agreeing with her.

I don't see the need to continue being deceptive about whom the Admin and the Librarian is. Who the old hen is. That boat sailed long ago when you gave up that info by trying to computer hack a member of my group.

Therefore, stop trying to be cute and witty, you're no better a liar than, JWinsider.

Ban me again!

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10 hours ago, Witness said:

Yes Tom, I have more power to mislead a JW than 8 men put together.  Incredible, isn’t it?

I’m glad you finally admit, what a false prophet you are. I agree with your assessment that you alone can mislead more JW’s than 8 men. The good thing, those 8 men don’t have the support of Satan, much as you do, witness.

I see you still try to impress everyone by your long post. When will you and JWinsider learn, expanding your comments weakens your position of not applying scripture in a manner consistent to Christ teachings. Misrepresenting Watchtower literature is so last, year.

With your comment, you condemn Christ. You crucify him once again, and for what. As you stated, to mislead more JW’s.

I framed it for prosperity. I assume you will try to clean what is actual truth in your statement. Let, Pearl know she needs to get better students.

Since you entered Psalms 140:1, what danger do you feel those 8 men pose to you that you alone pose to yourself? Keep in mind, the context here is “prayer for rescue”, not exactly the same as in Matthew about fruits of the tree.

Matthew’s context that you submitted has to do with, knowing them by their fruits. Matt 7:15-20

So, who is them? Are you them? What fine fruits can you bear with hate in your heart?

 In 2 Corinthians 4:1-4 Paul is making a distinction between the “light of Christ gospel” “A treasure in Clay jars” “Treasure in earthen vessels”

So, what fine gospel of Christ can be compared to the disdain you harbor for your fellow humans, especially those you hate, the 8 men? What kind of pearl of wisdom can be applied by your standards, that others would be willing to accept?

How does this comparison give you a sustainable argument against the 8 men you so hate?

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7 hours ago, Allen_Smith said:

You must be confused TTH. I know the parrot is you. 

Arrgghhhh

7 hours ago, Allen_Smith said:

I've known that Parrot since Jehovah's Witness dot net when you spoke harshly about the Watchtower.

I have not spoken harshly about the Watchtower, and I don’t think I ever commented on jw.net. At any rate, the parrot was selected specifically for an identity here. Vic Vomidog is an fictional apostate from my first book—a “perennial” apostate, George Chrysiddes  has called him—and he has not appeared on any other website than here.

Possibly you are thinking of some comment meant to be humorous and the humor missed the mark, at least in your instance.

You must understand that when I write of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I give away many a fault, but they are nearly always quirks and human foibles. This is deliberate and is not meant to convey any disrespect to the Watchtower. If we try to present ourselves as Rhodes scholars, people visit a Kingdom Hall and see through it in two seconds. No. We are ordinary people—with an emphasis on the ordinary, the same as was true of the early Christians. They did not “lift themselves up by their own bootstraps” later in life. They remained always “uneducated and ordinary” by the world’s standards, that description of the ones taking the lead in Jerusalem. Such is the nature of Christianity. Jehovah’s Witnesses have held on to that pattern. It is a working-class religion. It always has been. It draws disproportionally from that group. Ones more highly educated are welcome, but not to assume the takeover rights to which they are accustomed. 

My aim always is to present Jehovah’s Witnesses as earthen vessels, and they are more desirable on that account. Moreover, God is more to be praised on that account: “However, we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the power beyond what is normal may be God’s and not from us.” - 2 Corinthians 4:7

I don’t even kick back anymore when some scoundrel tries to present it as though JWs have higher than elsewhere incidences of mental illness. I have no idea whether that is true or not, but I say that if it is, it is exactly what one would expect from Jesus’s remarks that he came to minister, not to those not who do not need a physician, but to those who do. He is speaking “spiritual sickness,” of course, but sickness tends to overflow its banks. Ones truly “sighing and groaning over all the detestable things” may well display signs of emotional stress. This does not make them undesirable. It is the ones that sail full speed ahead, untroubled by the atrocities so clearly visible on all sides that you have to wonder about. With admittedly some exaggeration, I have stated: “When Jehovah’s Witnesses go nuts, they are still well-meaning persons who wouldn’t hurt a fly. When those of the greater world go nuts, you’d better call the SWAT team.

Humor can make “the medicine go down.” People like humor. But it does not translate well, and there are some people with no sense of humor at all. If it does not translate well, then snark and sarcasm translate even worse. I use them all. My intended audience is not primarily the friends. I hope they like it, but I am not mainly writing for them.

This is the reason that the Watchtower writes very plainly (some would say blandly). It is frustrating to those who love to read, but it is something that must be—they do not want their writing diluted when some take exception to what doesn’t have to be there in the first place, so they stick to strictly the spiritual aspects of things and touch on current news topic specifics to such a shallow degree that it is a turnoff to those imagining themselves better plugged in.  It has to be that way. Just look at how JWI and Arauna are going at it over something that both concede is a sidepoint. It is perfectly okay for such to play out here, but the WT organization would never even touch the topic.

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15 minutes ago, Arauna said:

Let me make it clear - I do not explain to those with permanent OCD hate of JWs.   

Sometimes things speak for themselves and I think that is nowhere more evident than with her comments—even more so with her manner than with the comments themselves. Imagine—invariably including a deluge of scripture—and yet none are selected unless they elevate her own piety and can be used to put down those she dislikes. I have never seen her make any other use of verse.

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19 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

she easily could be accused of “running ahead,” and “going beyond the things written”

True,  but I do not go beyond what is written in the bible.  NEVER!  If we are to meditate on things in the bible, we definitely will come up with insights that are not broadly accepted but this does not mean it is wrong to speculate.  .... or wrong to see a new insight.  Even Angel's wish to peer into these things.  

I see what is in the bible and what is in the world and make a connection.   I see what is in the bible about scientific subjects and  make a connection with what I know or have read.... it has enriched my thinking and love for the truth.

I have prayed about this..... that jehovah chastize me if I am moving in a wrong way...... I am ready to be corrected. ...... running ahead can be like spiritism.... so it is something to be careful of...... show caution..... on the other hand I do think things are moving in certain directions in the world and I think think things are moving fast. 

I do not "bend" scriptures as I have seen some do here. 

 

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17 hours ago, Matthew9969 said:

Hey bub, it's your governing body who keeps on changing the spiritual food they dish out, which is supposedly from Jehovah, it's your governing body who are telling Jehovah what to say, and you are worshipping them, that's all on you.

Anna seems to think you were being sarcastic toward JW’s and Not God. What she “fails” to understand is, I wasn’t referring about JW’s but instead concentrated on your own blasphemous words?

“Its good food until it becomes rotten, and Jehovah has to come up with new food”

God doesn’t need to provide anything to us humans. He does so, so that we can benefit from his spiritual wisdom. God gave up his son as a sacrifice in order for humanity to have a second chance for internal life. How dare you insinuate as well as Anna that it was meant to be sarcastic toward JW’S?

How dare you command God that he has to come up with new food? That’s what “has to” is, a command. When, did you become above God to order God to do something. An attack to God’s sovereignty as well.

Your blasphemous statement that “Jehovah has to come up with NEW FOOD is a direct attack on God. You have made the, grievous of sins since you attacked God’s Holy Spirit that dispenses that “fine” fruits. IT IS UP TO GOD TO DECIDE IF THAT FRUIT SHOULD BE REVISED FOR THE NEXT GENERATION, NOT YOURS, NOT WITNESS, NOT JWINSIDER, NOT TTH, NOT ANNA, NOT JTR, NOT ANYONE’S BUT HIS ALONE.

Anna might want to dismiss your words. She can’t. She doesn’t have the power to forgive such a sin. She, might think so, but she would only be fooling herself.

People need to start respecting God more here. As for the governing body. They hold, apply, and obey God’s words more than you. You are a sanctimonious and arrogant man that just lost his soul.

This is the kind of Christianity being argued here by opposers? Get behind me Satan. That’s all on you Bub!

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20 minutes ago, Arauna said:

If we are to meditate on things in the bible, we definitely will come up with insights that are not broadly accepted but this does not mean it is wrong to speculate.  .... or wrong to see a new insight. 

Of course. I said that you “could easily be accused of running ahead.” I didn’t say that I would do it. I would not. Everyone here “runs ahead” to one degree or another. Moreover, the censure of anyone here doesn’t matter. It is understood that the site has nothing to do with the congregation and does not attract any Witness that is typical.

20 minutes ago, Arauna said:

Even Angel's wish to peer into these things.  

Yes. It was my answer that I never got around to making when CMP—or was it JWI?—presented his wish list of what the annual meeting might present. He wished for less emphasis on the nearness of the end, and even suggested that the last days should be understood to have commenced in Jesus’ time. “Angels are desiring to peer into these things” I almost said. “Are you going to tell them to straighten up and get back to work?”

20 minutes ago, Arauna said:

I see what is in the bible and what is in the world and make a connection.   I see what is in the bible about scientific subjects and  make a connection with what I know or have read.... it has enriched my thinking and love for the truth.

It makes the Bible come alive when we do this.

20 minutes ago, Arauna said:

I have prayed about this..... that jehovah chastize me if I am moving in a wrong way...... I am ready to be corrected.

One really can’t go wrong with this attitude. I do this myself—and all the more so since I am clearly “out there” for a brother.

20 minutes ago, Arauna said:

I do not "bend" scriptures as I have seen some do here. 

Whole lotta bending going on here, that’s for sure.

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Every time I hear any counsel against "running ahead", I think ... running ahead of what ... or who?

It's important that we differentiate from "running ahead" of the words of the Bible, which results in "old light", touted as "new light" ... until "newer light"  comes out, of which many of us old-timers have seen so much of that it seems like a disco lounge strobe light.

I think running ahead of the pontifical pronouncements of the WTB&TS management is quite a different issue than running ahead of Jehovah God, or completely unambiguous scripture.

But ... it seems to me, as individuals, that if you are in the race for life, which should be secondary to serving Jehovah God just because he is worthy of service, and obedience, and honor .... that it's better to be ahead of the race, instead of behind the race.

Why not as an organization?

Because If we as individuals are wrong, only we "pay the price" of being wrong, and have to bear the consequences.\

If we as an organization are wrong, we as individuals STILL have to pay the full price for being wrong  .... times 8 million people ... and the perpetrators pay NO PRICE WHATSOEVER.

Everybody knows that in a horse race ... ONE of the horses is going to win.

Which one, makes all the difference in the world.

A three legged horse with motivation, spunk, desire and the best behaved horse in the whole pack of runners may be all of that and more ... but for sane people, that is not the way to bet. 

There is also the issue of intellectual integrity ... but that is another topic.

In over a hundred and five years of recorded experience of watching "OUR" horse run ... what track record do we have to use as a basis for credibility?

For core truths discerned ... arguably about 95%.

For mountains of drivel, false prophesies, bogus types and anti-types, and silliness and pronouncements that defy all common sense, perhaps somewhere around 85%, with 15% having real value, or at a minimum, even making some form of common sense.

And of course, being obviously flat WRONG, when simple human common sense could have avoided that.

SO ... basically the WTB&TS position is that THEY can run ahead all they want, and if we do not believe what they come up with, we can be disfellowshipped and have our and our family's lives ruined ...... but if WE run ahead we can ALSO be disfellowshipped and have our and our family's lives ruined.

.... and no matter what they do ... no matter how egregious ... the money keeps rolling in, and they NEVER apologize for anything.

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22 hours ago, Allen_Smith said:

You have not chased anyone away.

Actually I have. And I don’t mean chasing them away by being unpleasant. I mean by specifically cautioning a few, who seemed too unaware of their surroundings, that they should think it through before they continue to engage. I didn’t say that they shouldn’t do it—that is up to them—but that they should know the score before they did. @Indiana is the last one I did this with. Ask him if you doubt it.

22 hours ago, Allen_Smith said:

This site is meant to give spiritually weak people the platform to speak out against the Watchtower.

Yes, but I have taken it over, and it will now do what I want it to. You have helped me in this, by insisting time and again that I am the owner. No one else has done that. “If he gets people thinking that, then I might as well carry on as though it were so,” I have “reasoned.” It is amazing to me that this has happened, but there it is. Sometimes I even wish that @admin or @The Librarian (that old hen) will get fed up and ban me, for I sure do spend a lot of time here and maybe that time would be best spent elsewhere. Ah well...if Admin’s fears are realized, this site will not be around much longer anyway.

I also feel strongly about not stumbling others and about not spreading contentions among brothers. When Bruce G carried on as though he had been stumbled after I liked the comment of an “apostate,” I decided not to do that anymore. I held to that resolve for the longest time, and I still almost never do it. Of course, that concern is partly offset by the realization that anyone so concerned about stumbling ought not be here in the first place, but I stopped “liking” comments of certain ones nonetheless. It is understood that this site is a collection ranging from atypical and avant-garde Witnesses to those who can’t stand them. This must be understood going in. (It is those few who did not seem to understand this that I have cautioned.) You can’t charge into someone else’s home and accuse him of not playing by your rules.

22 hours ago, Allen_Smith said:

What they do care, is “sitting the record straight” about many deceptions, misleading, misguided, misrepresentation and plain false allegations about the Watchtower and Bible Truth.

You know very well that the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses would not recommend your engaging here any more than they would me. They would not say: “whole lotta liars on that site, but not to worry—we have our man Allen to straighten them all out.” 

While I doubt very much that you have done so, I have candidly written the WBTS as to what I am doing. While I am “rogue” I do not want to be “out of control.” I respect their lead. I do not think that I am above them. Were I to hear: “What are you doing, TTH, singing on the wall when Hezekiah has told the troops to zip it—you’re messing everything up!” I would desist. I have not received any reply. 

22 hours ago, Allen_Smith said:

The point is, this site has a “false” presentation about “News regarding JW.org, Watchtower, IBSA including...  change your website platform to exclude the Watchtower and stop advertising this site as a JW friendly site.

It is true about much of this site—that it pretends to be what it is not. I stumbled across it in just that way, through an advertisement on Twitter. I was quite put out about the deceptive advertising—many of my early posts reflect that. Whether it was wise for me to stay I still do not know, but stay I did and I used the site to hone my own writing and parlayed that into some books. It has been a lot of fun for me, but no way is it conventional. If one transforms the whole place into a comedy club, that is another way of discrediting the malcontents who frequent here, which I believe you have said is your goal.

And for crying out loud, Allen, it is not my site. Everyone else understands this but you—well, they probably do not all understand it at this point because I have played into it. But you made it all possible.

 

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1 hour ago, Arauna said:

I have prayed about this..... that jehovah chastize me if I am moving in a wrong way.

Invariably the ones who examine themselves closely over broadcasted reproof are the ones for whom it was not intended and do not need it. The blockheads for whom it was intended simply dig in their heels and press on afresh.

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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



      · 1 reply
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