Jump to content
The World News Media

If a JW votes in a national election ... will there be congregational sanctions against him?


James Thomas Rook Jr.

Recommended Posts

  • Member

If a JW votes in a national election ... will there be congregational sanctions against him?

The last thing I heard was in 1999 in the Watchtower that it had changed that we were now allowed to follow our consciences, in voting quoted here:

" Questions From Readers

How do Jehovah’s Witnesses view voting?

There are clear principles set out in the Bible that enable servants of God to take a proper view of this matter. However, there appears to be no principle against the practice of voting itself. For example, there is no reason why a board of directors should not take a vote in order to arrive at decisions affecting their corporation. Congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses often make decisions about meeting times and the use of congregation funds by voting with a show of hands.

What, though, of voting in political elections? Of course, in some democratic lands, as many as 50 percent of the population do not turn out to vote on election day. As for Jehovah’s Witnesses, they do not interfere with the right of others to vote; neither do they in any way campaign against political elections. They respect and cooperate with the authorities who are duly elected in such elections. (Romans 13:1-7) As to whether they will personally vote for someone running in an election, each one of Jehovah’s Witnesses makes a decision based on his Bible-trained conscience and an understanding of his responsibility to God and to the State. (Matthew 22:21; 1 Peter 3:16) In making this personal decision, the Witnesses consider a number of factors.

First, Jesus Christ said of his followers: “They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world.” (John 17:14) Jehovah’s Witnesses take this principle seriously. Being “no part of the world,” they are neutral in the political affairs of the world.—John 18:36.

Second, the apostle Paul referred to himself as an “ambassador” representing Christ to the people of his day. (Ephesians 6:20; 2 Corinthians 5:20) Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Christ Jesus is now the enthroned King of God’s heavenly Kingdom, and they, like ambassadors, must announce this to the nations. (Matthew 24:14; Revelation 11:15) Ambassadors are expected to be neutral and not to interfere in the internal affairs of the countries to which they are sent. As representatives of God’s heavenly Kingdom, Jehovah’s Witnesses feel a similar obligation not to interfere in the politics of the countries where they reside.

A third factor to consider is that those who have a part in voting a person into office may become responsible for what he does. (Compare 1 Timothy 5:22, The New English Bible.) Christians have to consider carefully whether they want to shoulder that responsibility.

Fourth, Jehovah’s Witnesses greatly value their Christian unity. (Colossians 3:14) When religions get involved in politics, the result is often division among their members. In imitation of Jesus Christ, Jehovah’s Witnesses avoid becoming involved in politics and thus maintain their Christian unity.—Matthew 12:25; John 6:15; 18:36, 37.

Fifth and finally, their keeping out of politics gives Jehovah’s Witnesses freeness of speech to approach people of all political persuasions with the important message of the Kingdom.—Hebrews 10:35.

In view of the Scriptural principles outlined above, in many lands Jehovah’s Witnesses make a personal decision not to vote in political elections, and their freedom to make that decision is supported by the law of the land. What, though, if the law requires citizens to vote? In such a case, each Witness is responsible to make a conscientious, Bible-based decision about how to handle the situation. If someone decides to go to the polling booth, that is his decision. What he does in the polling booth is between him and his Creator.

The November 15, 1950, issue of The Watchtower, on pages 445 and 446, said: “Where Caesar makes it compulsory for citizens to vote . . . [Witnesses] can go to the polls and enter the voting booths. It is here that they are called upon to mark the ballot or write in what they stand for. The voters do what they will with their ballots. So here in the presence of God is where his witnesses must act in harmony with his commandments and in accordance with their faith. It is not our responsibility to instruct them what to do with the ballot.”

What if a Christian woman’s unbelieving husband insists that she present herself to vote? Well, she is subject to her husband, just as Christians are subject to the superior authorities. (Ephesians 5:22; 1 Peter 2:13-17) If she obeys her husband and goes to the polling booth, that is her personal decision. No one should criticize her.—Compare Romans 14:4.

What of a country where voting is not mandated by law but feelings run high against those who do not go to the voting booth—perhaps they are exposed to physical danger? Or what if individuals, while not legally obliged to vote, are severely penalized in some way if they do not go to the polling booth? In these and similar situations, a Christian has to make his own decision. “Each one will carry his own load.”—Galatians 6:5.

There may be people who are stumbled when they observe that during an election in their country, some Witnesses of Jehovah go to the polling booth and others do not. They may say, ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses are not consistent.’ People should recognize, though, that in matters of individual conscience such as this, each Christian has to make his own decision before Jehovah God.—Romans 14:12.

Whatever personal decisions Jehovah’s Witnesses make in the face of different situations, they take care to preserve their Christian neutrality and freeness of speech. In all things, they rely on Jehovah God to strengthen them, give them wisdom, and help them avoid compromising their faith in any way. Thus they show confidence in the words of the psalmist: “You are my crag and my stronghold; and for the sake of your name you will lead me and conduct me.”—Psalm 31:3."

Now, all this is well and good .... but if a Brother's conscience will allow him to vote in national elections ... will he be chastised, sanctioned, or punished for the free exercise OF his conscience, by the CCJW ?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Views 2.1k
  • Replies 24
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

If a JW votes in a national election ... will there be congregational sanctions against him? The last thing I heard was in 1999 in the Watchtower that it had changed that we were now allowed to f

Perhaps some of us are thinking on more spiritual matters.  And of course some of us do not live under the GB's CCJW rules. Have a good day James. 

I asked my father about this, because he has been to 'elder's school' in the last few months. I didn't ask how recently it came up, but he implied that it came up at a previous elder's school a couple

  • Member

If a person needs to be told by an Organisation that they have 'Free Will' to do something then in truth they DO NOT have Free Will at all, but are just doing as they are told by MEN. 

 Questions From Readers

How do Jehovah’s Witnesses view voting?

If a person even has to ask that question they show that they have no free will.

It is becoming more clear to me each day what a domineering Org, JW Org is. 

Surely if a question is asked it should have been 

How does God view voting ? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Member

Probably because witnesses won't consider an action that was set by the pharisees to gain political power and influence. However, you don't need someone's permission JTR to vote. If someone see's you and makes it known to the elders in your congregation, it will be your own action on display, not someone else's. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • Member
On 2/23/2020 at 1:21 AM, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

Now, all this is well and good .... but if a Brother's conscience will allow him to vote in national elections ... will he be chastised, sanctioned, or punished for the free exercise OF his conscience, by the CCJW ?

It is now THREE weeks, and nobody knows the answer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Member

I am absolutely sure that there is an answer that the GB has decided upon ...It's just that it has not been conveyed to us in general.

Somewhere in 8-1/2 million people it seems reasonable that this issue has been adjudicated one way or the other, already.... and the question HAS been answered in actual practice.

I think it is VERY important to know the answer.

That will establish either the nonsense or the credibility of the 1999 article about that subject, down on the ground, where "the rubber meets the road".

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Member
8 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

Somewhere in 8-1/2 million people it seems reasonable that this issue has been adjudicated one way or the other, already.... and the question HAS been answered in actual practice.

I asked my father about this, because he has been to 'elder's school' in the last few months. I didn't ask how recently it came up, but he implied that it came up at a previous elder's school a couple of years prior. I don't know if he was quoting an instructor, but it sounded like he might have been trying to. His answer went something like this, not an exact quote:

Obviously, we don't want to create any documentation that makes it look like we are interfering with a person's right to participate in political activities. In some countries, that can be very dangerous. But if a person is so willing to get so involved with the world, then it surely means that he is not taking Jehovah's counsel to heart in OTHER areas, too. He will need counsel and discipline and we [elders] need to be alert to the OVERALL spiritual welfare of the brother.

He wouldn't say if he thinks this position might result in trying to replace the "discipline" for political involvement with "discipline" for other areas of conduct or belief. Actually, he said he didn't think so, but that it just meant that political involvement is a symptom of spiritual weakness.

Link to comment
Share on other sites





  • Recently Browsing

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Popular Contributors

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • That's completely false. You invariably attempt to weasel your way out of your false statements by claiming that someone has distorted your words. You make false claims about them and claim that they are the ones in the wrong. Then you bluster with some barely-related material hoping it impresses someone (or yourself) into thinking you are some kind of expert or authority. That barely-related material you make use of invariably says nearly the opposite of what you had claimed, which you should have known had you just read the context, or understood what you were reading.  I'll get to the specifics at a later time on this particular point, but it is nearly the same as with almost all these matters. I have learned to expect you to NEVER admit an error, no matter how much evidence is shown. I don't expect you to admit your error on these recent points, but your "style" provides a revealing display of the lengths people will go to, in order to support a pseudo-chronology.   
    • In response to your email, it is important to note that the Watchtower chronology begins at 4026, adhering closely to the numerical indications in scripture. The significant distinction lies in the fact that not everyone begins at 4026; some might commence their chronology at 4004, for instance. Consequently, this creates a noticeable gap between those who employ different starting points for their chronologies. Consider that the new Bible Students have rejected Russell's starting point and instead adjusted it to align with Modern Israel. They have suggested a year around 3954, or something like that, I can't remember, but it seems unfounded. Some of their sects started Criticizing Russell about this matter, and it appears unjustified, as their own knowledge may be limited. Following the Watchtower's guidance is straightforward: align events with their corresponding numerical values. It is important to remember that the Watchtower does not view its chronology as an absolute, unlike secular chronology which seeks to impose its perspective. According to the Watchtower, the pivotal date for the divided kingdom is 997. Look it up in our archives and publications.  The Watchtower's chronology will always diverge from conventional chronology due to its distinctive starting point. The organization holds steadfast to the numbers in the Bible, guided by faith in scripture rather than human interpretations. Despite persistent challenges, the unwavering stance of the Watchtower remains unchanged, as it is grounded in divine guidance, not the opinions of anonymous and faithless individuals.
    • Consider this: if we assume that the tablet dated back to 568 refers to Nebuchadnezzar, and that the king issued an order for Borsippa, a city 12-15 miles from Babylon, then it suggests that King Nebuchadnezzar might have been in his palace giving that order, since logically it would have taken weeks or a month or so for a runner to dispatch such an order from Judah that was for Borsippa in 588/587, as historically suggested, since we can use the same date 588/587 for that event.
    • It appears that he is struggling to accept the reality that Borsippa is approximately 15 miles away from Babylon, and depending on who you ask for directions, it is about 617 miles from Jerusalem. Therefore, if VAT 4956 mentions the death of an individual by the order of a king, in Borsippa and disease then we can reasonably assume it was Nebuchadnezzar based on the 37th year language in that secular evidence rather than the Bible, it suggests that the conflicts in the region were more extensive. This clearly demonstrates that no single conflict can be definitively determined or pinpointed solely by relying on that tablet designated to the year 568, regardless of how convincing it may appear. Making an absolute claim would be dishonest if the information contradicts itself. The same can be said if someone uses the date designation of 587/586 or 588/587. Only people who are desperate would argue that.
    • Stop behaving foolishly and distorting my words. I didn't say that the tablet mentioned 588. What I actually said is that your argument about 587 can also be interpreted as 588. The tablet clearly mentions the city of Borsippa which is way further in distance from Jerusalem, which nobody else has mentioned before, and it reveals the conflicts within it that are indicated in that infamous tablet VAT 4956, which Professor Francesca Rochberg is alluding to.    "Year 37 of Nebukadnezzar, King of Babylon. Month I," "Additional reports in this Diary include that someone was killed “by the command of the king,” that a fox entered the city, a wolf killed two dogs in Borsippa, and that there was disease." I understand that it can be challenging to be proven wrong repeatedly, especially when faced with evidence that can't be easily dismissed. "IN THIS DAIRY" means the same diary. If it's not VAT 4956 it has the same language as VAT 4956. Are you now refuting VAT 4956? Your refutation lacks substance and credibility. There are many other aspects of those dates that can be proven, failing your COJ stance.
  • Members

    No members to show

  • Recent Status Updates

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      65.4k
    • Total Posts
      159.3k
  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      17,679
    • Most Online
      1,592

    Newest Member
    Techredirector
    Joined
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Service Confirmation Terms of Use Privacy Policy Guidelines We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.