Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Shun - Hate - Kill

For well over half a century the Watchtower Society has made its doctrine and feelings clear on the matter of those who leave the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses.

The Watchtower, November 15, 1952, page 703, Questions from Readers:

"In the case of where a father or mother or son or daughter is disfellowshipped [disassociated], how should such person be treated by members of the family in their family relationship?

We are not living today among theocratic nations where such members of our fleshly family relationship could be exterminated for apostasy from God and his theocratic organization, as was possible and was ordered in the nation of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai and in the land of Palestine. . . Being limited by the laws of the worldly nation in which we live and also by the laws of God through Jesus Christ, we can take action against apostates only to a certain extent, that is, consistent with both sets of laws. The law of the land and God’s law through Christ forbid us to kill apostates, even though they be members of our own flesh-and-blood family relationship. However, God’s law requires us to recognize their being disfellowshipped from his congregation."

The message to Jehovah's Witnesses above is a family member should be killed as they were exterminated (Stoned to death) for apostasy among "theocratic nations". The only things stopping them are the law of the land and God's law through Christ. Basically, too bad such laws are in place or else we would stone our apostate fleshly family members to death!

The Watchtower, July 15, 1961, page 420:

"Jesus encouraged his followers to love their enemies, but God's Word also says to "hate what is bad." When a person persists in a way of badness after knowing what is right, when the bad becomes so ingrained that it is an inseparable part of his make-up, then in order to hate what is bad a Christian must hate the person with whom the badness is inseparably linked."

The Watchtower Society's message is clear. Despite Jesus' teaching to love your enemy, the principle to hate what is bad must be followed to a superlative degree. It is not just to hate what a person has done, but to hate the person.

Our Kingdom Ministry, August 2002, Page 4, paragraph 12:

"Benefits of Being Loyal to Jehovah: Cooperating with the Scriptural arrangement to disfellowship and shun unrepentant wrongdoers is beneficial."

As time has progressed and the Watchtower Society is being exposed for its destructive cult-like doctrines such as those regarding treatment of ex-members, notions of killing apostates and hating people have taken a slightly softer tone. In more recent years, they don't make such brazen statements as exterminate, kill, and hate. Rather, the article quoted above uses the key-phrase "shun unrepentant wrongdoers". Note too, just before such a statement is made, the phrase "Being Loyal to Jehovah" is stated. By doing so, the intent is to equate loyalty to Jehovah to shunning those who are ex-members.

Keep Yourselves In God's Love (2008), Appendix, How To Treat A Disfellowshipped Person:

"Is strict avoidance really necessary? Yes...Loyal Christian family members do not look for excuses to have dealings with a disfellowshipped relative not living at home...Bible principles on this subject apply equally to those who disassociate themselves from the congregation."

If there is still any confusion on the matter, one of the Watchtower Society's more recent publications once again emphasizes their feelings. However, again over the course of time, people continue to educate themselves and many know that shunning is used in cults and high-level control groups. The Watchtower Society avoids using the word "shun". Nonetheless, their counsel and directions are to do just that to those who defy them.

Shun? Hate? Kill? The ideas and notions from the Watchtower Society through their twisted interpretation of scripture and warped viewpoint is so far from the teachings of Jesus Christ as found in the Bible. For the organization to indoctrinate their members in such a way is in part what brings people to see Jehovah's Witnesses as a dangerous and destructive cult.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Shunning Hypocrisy

The publication Keep Yourselves In God's Love published by the Watchtower Society and started to be distributed in 2008, states the following under the section 'How To Treat A Disfellowship Person':

"How we respond to the Bible's direction on this matter can reveal the depth of our love for God and of our loyalty to his arrangement...We do not have spiritual or social fellowship with disfellowshipped ones...A Simple 'Hello' to someone can be the first step that develops into a conversation and maybe even a friendship...Is strict avoidance really necessary? Yes...Although there might be a need for limited contact on some rare occasion to care for a necessary family matter, any such contact should be kept to a minimum."

Additionally, the '[Footnote]' section states the following:

"Bible principles on this subject apply equally to those who disassociate themselves from the congregation."

The Watchtower Society's Governing Body is instructing Jehovah's Witnesses to shun individuals. Indeed, one should not even say 'Hello' to a disfellowshipped or disassociated person. Strict avoidance is necessary according to the Watchtower Society. The Governing Body is manipulating the thinking and actions of Jehovah's Witnesses respecting people who are their friends and family members but no longer an active Jehovah's Witness. Through their interpretation of scriptures, the Watchtower Society is directing Jehovah's Witnesses that following such admonition measures their love and loyalty to God.

However, such directions are hypocritical and the Governing Body is imposing a double standard. The reason for this is clearly evident when one reads the July 2009 Awake! article "The Bible's Viewpoint - Is It Wrong to Change Your Religion?” The following statements are made:

"The Bible assures us that God wants us to "really find him". Since our Creator wants us to search for truth, it cannot be wrong to act on the evidence we find - even if that means changing our religion...God allows each person the freedom to choose how he or she will respond. No one should be forced to worship in a way that he finds unacceptable or be made to choose between his beliefs and his family."

The Awake! article stresses that one should not feel forced to worship in a way that is unacceptable to them. A person who disassociates themselves from Jehovah's Witnesses has found that religion's way of worship unacceptable. Nonetheless, by the Watchtower Society's teachings as found in their publications such as Keep Yourselves In God's Love, family and friends are torn apart if not completely destroyed when one no longer chooses to be a part of the Watchtower Society's organization.

The Governing Body's hypocritical double standard on this matter is sickening. In effect the message is everyone has the God given freedom and right to change religion without the consequence of choosing between belief and those dear to them, except if you are a Jehovah's Witness. You leave the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses then you lose your family and friends who are Jehovah's Witnesses by being shunned.

As a Jehovah's Witness, the instructions and admonition you receive is your loyalty and love for the Watchtower Society organization equates to your loyalty and love for God. That is twisted and very cultish.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Voting - What Jehovah's Witnesses Are Instructed

What is the definitive stance of Jehovah's Witnesses doctrine regarding voting? It depends on what point in time you are reviewing their teachings.

It is a conscience choice according to the November 15, 1950, issue of the Watchtower, on pages 445 and 446 in the article ‘Subjection to the Higher Powers’:

"Likewise where Caesar makes it compulsory for citizens to vote. After they have registered and when election day comes, they 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. They must act in accord with their conscience as enlightened by the study of God's Word."

23 years later and the Watchtower Society is providing this information to Jehovah's Witnesses:

The Watchtower, October 15, 1973, on page 627 in the article entitled: ‘Why People of All Kinds Are Becoming Jehovah's Witnesses’ it states:

"“You gave me the right answer to the first question,” said the man, “but you probably won’t answer the next one right. I am looking for a religion which has absolutely nothing to do with politics. Do you have anything to do with politics?” Informed that Jehovah’s Witnesses keep separate from all politics, not even voting, the man was indeed surprised. Eventually a Bible study was started with him and his wife. Now both of them are baptized witnesses of Jehovah."

The Watchtower, December 15, 1973, page 741 in the article ‘Earth’s Rulers for a Thousand Years’ states:

"They do not have the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand. That is, they do not have the identification as slaves of the state and do not lend an active hand in carrying on its worldly activities, often beastly. They do not run for political offices, or vote for political candidates."

For a Jehovah's Witness the above direction was to be applied to their life personally. Voting is clearly not allowed per the Watchtower Society if you were one of Jehovah's Witnesses at this time. Furthermore, this stance continued to be sustained even 13 years later:

The Watchtower, September 1, 1986 issue, page 21:

"They do not seek or offer compromises…To serve in the army, to vote, or to give the Hitler salute would have meant a recognition of the claims of this world as dominant over the claims of God."

To go against the directions of the Watchtower Society, the consequences would have been devastating. For the Elder's manual, Pay Attention To Yourselves and to All the Flock regarding the revision being used at that time (Copyright 1981) stipulates the following on page 149 under point '(4) Neutrality':

"Jehovah's Witnesses are neutral with regard to political and military affairs of the nations. They do not interfere with what others do as to voting in political offices, running for or campaigning for political offices, joining the military, etc. Since true dedicated Christians are "no part of the world," if one pursues a course in violation of his Christian neutrality, he disassociates himself from the neutral Christian congregation...treated as one disfellowshipped.”

Thereby, if a Jehovah's Witness was to vote when the Watchtower Society stated it was not allowed, it would be seen as an act of disassociating oneself and they would be treated as one disfellowshipped.

But wait, another 13 years later after the 1986 Watchtower article, new light shines forth from the Watchtower Society.

The Watchtower, November 1, 1999, ‘Questions for Readers’, on pages 28 and 29:

"How do Jehovah's Witnesses view voting?...there appears to be no principle against the practice of voting itself...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 State...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...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 matters of individual conscience such as this, each Christian has to make his own decision before Jehovah God."

Their stance has gone full circle. They are back to their doctrinal position from 1950.

If you ask many Jehovah's Witnesses today, they may still believe that voting is absolutely wrong according to God and the Bible and they do not have a conscience choice in the matter. Indeed, they may believe that 'true Christians’ do not vote. After all, the Watchtower Society taught Jehovah's Witnesses for years that was the case. Nonetheless, the Watchtower Society has proven once again another doctrinal teaching in which they flip-flop on:

1950 - Conscience choice
1973 - Do not vote
1986 - Do not vote
1999 - Conscience choice

Furthermore, we should not forgot all the Jehovah's Witnesses who either lost their life in such places as Cameroon, Africa during the 1970's and 80's or were beaten, tortured, imprisoned, and starved for following what they believed is God's direction and stance regarding voting.

Does this type of doctrinal position read as coming from an organization exclusively chosen and directed by God? Would anyone want to be led by such an organization? These questions are important to ponder, especially in light of the fact that the bloodguilt and misdirection of the Watchtower Society is undeniable.

What Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught regarding a matter as being “the truth”, as in the area of voting can change to become something different and yet change again to a former belief. Not only do the consequences affect an individual’s freedom, following the Watchtower Society’s teaching can cost you your well-being if not your life.