Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dead Cleanup - A Privilege And Joyous Work

Lately, the Watchtower Society has been stressing in their teaching sessions for Jehovah's Witnesses the importance of cleanliness. This includes articles from The Watchtower, December 1, 2008 issue, as well as in the recent Congregation Book Study meetings from the publication, Keep Yourselves In God's Love. Part of the history and teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses includes the belief that survivors of Armageddon have the privilege of burying the dead ones who are destroyed during that time. This (in general) means ~7 billion dead being handled by some of the ~7 million Jehovah's Witnesses survivors.

Their burying of dead ones is based on the Watchtower Society's interpretation of the scripture found in Ezekiel 39:14-16. From The New World Translation, it reads as follows:

"‘And there will be men for continual [employment] whom they will divide off, passing along through the land, burying, with those passing through, those left remaining on the surface of the earth, in order to cleanse it. To the end of seven months they will keep making search. And those passing through must pass along through the land, and should one actually see the bone of a man he must also build beside it a marker, until those who do the burying will have buried it in the Valley of Gog’s Crowd. And the name of [the] city will also be Ha·mo´nah. And they will have to cleanse the land.’"

As the Watchtower Society often does, instead of just applying the passage in the context and times of which it had occurred or was written for, they claim there is a future, or sometimes referred to as a greater fulfillment of scripture. Again, this is according to the Watchtower Society's interpretation. It has resulted in the following spiritual food for Jehovah's Witnesses...

The Watchtower, August 1, 1956, page 465, paragraph 17, from the article entitled, Jehovah’s Message Against Gog of Magog, states:

"With such a glorious feast of victory concluded, only the bones, bones from one end of the earth to the other, will be left for burial. What a task that will be for the survivors, to cleanse the earth of every remaining evidence of Gog’s forces! Even with the work well organized it will take seven months, Jehovah says, just to bury the bones. Scouting corps will be sent out on a full-time basis to search the land thoroughly and, when bones are found, markers will be set up for those with the spades and shovels who follow. (Ezek. 39:14, 15) Those privileged to share in that cleanup work will not view it as a revolting and disgusting assignment but will rejoice to be alive when Gog’s long and oppressive rule has come to an end and when the wicked are no more. Survivors of Armageddon will be happy and will greatly rejoice to have a share in preparing the earth for a global paradise of beauty and perfection under the reign of the King Christ Jesus. But first, before that happy day, this message against Gog must be delivered in its completeness."

What a task, indeed! Just think all those neighbors and family members who refuse to believe the Watchtower Society's interpretation of matters as overseen and directed by a few men in Brooklyn calling themselves the Governing Body will need to be buried - Perhaps by your own hand if you're one of Jehovah's Witnesses; all those elderly ones and all those children. And they will not find this revolting or disgusting, but Jehovah's Witnesses will rejoice.

But this good news that Jehovah's Witnesses have did not stop in 1956, as a one time teaching. Perhaps, the light had brightened. Jehovah's Witnesses really won't have to clean up the dead, including those whom they loved and known for so many years, right?

According to the Watchtower August 1, 1961 page 469, paragraph 17, from the article entitled, Enlarging Your Privileges of Service, Jehovah's Witnesses are informed:

"After God’s execution of judgment upon the wicked in his war of Armageddon, the earthly subjects of the King will have before them a world-wide cleanup program that will eclipse anything this globe has ever seen. Countless numbers of human dead will have to be buried. (Ezek. 39:11-16)"

Evidently, the future world-wide cleanup program of dead loved ones is still in effect. Jehovah's Witnesses should get a good look at those not Jehovah's Witnesses around them, as the majority of them will possibly be buried by their hands. Not to fret over it though, after all according to the Watchtower Society, it is a way in which one can enlarge their 'privilege of service'. And what a fine privilege this will be. According to surveys taken by such organizations as the Pew, upwards of over 60% of Jehovah's Witness children leave the religion. In knowing that information, it surely leads to a fine privilege for Jehovah's Witness parents to look forward too.

More good news, such spiritual truths did not end in 1961 either. In the Watchtower Society publication published in 1971, The Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah - How?, chapter 20, Land of Magog No More to Threaten Mankind, pages 374-375, paragraph 15, states:

"The "new earth" of human society under Jehovah’s Messianic kingdom of the heavens in the hands of "David my servant" must be perfectly clean of all traces of Gog’s crowd. To make a vivid picture of this, the "utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah" goes on to say respecting the survivors of Gog’s attack: "And there will be men for continual employment whom they will divide off, passing along through the land, burying, with those passing through, those left remaining on the surface of the earth, in order to cleanse it. To the end of seven months they will keep making search. And those passing through must pass along through the land, and should one actually see the bone of a man he must also build beside it a marker, until those who do the burying will have buried it in the Valley of Gog’s Crowd. And the name of the city will also be Hamonah. And they will have to cleanse the land."—Ezekiel 39:14-16."

So here we have a somewhat brighter or clarifying light helping Jehovah's Witnesses to appreciate that in order for human society to be "perfectly clean" this burying of dead ones is necessary. Is it not comforting to know, that Jehovah's Witnesses possibly burying their family and others they may care so much about is needed for them to obtain perfect cleanliness?

Jehovah's Witnesses are taught not to speculate on matters, but let's ponder this for a moment:

- Who receives the blessing of burying the remains of babies and toddlers?
- Does each Jehovah's Witness head have the honor and privilege of burying their dead family members?
- Will Elders or/and Ministerial Servants have to bury those in the congregation who didn't quite make it pass Armageddon?
- Does a son receive the privilege of burying their father, and fathers the privilege of burying their son? Perhaps even mothers and daughters can be involved in this wonderful and joyous work.

What a privilege to be known and taught as Jehovah's Witnesses!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

True Christians Are Clean

For the week commencing August 3, 2009 Jehovah’s Witnesses are covering material in the Watchtower Society’s publication Keep Yourselves In God's Love, entailing pages 86-96, Chapter 8, 'God Loves Clean People'.

Directing our attention to paragraph 10 it states the following:

"Today, we as true Christians must be careful not to become contaminated by false worship. (1 Corinthians 10:21) Caution is essential in this regard, for the influence of false religion is pervasive. In many lands, various traditions, activities, and rituals are connected with false religious teachings, such as the notion that something inside us survives death. (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6, 10) True Christians avoid customs involving false religious beliefs. We will not allow pressure from others to cause us to compromise the Bible's standards of clean worship.-Acts 5:29."

Are Jehovah's Witnesses truly fed the above concepts consistently by the Governing Body through the various pages of the Watchtower Society's publications? Do they truly practice the above sentiments?

Take the Watchtower Society's teaching on Piñatas, per September 22, 2003, Awake!, page 24, 'The Piñata - An Ancient Tradition':

"We found that for many people in Mexico, the piñata has lost its religious significance and is considered by most to be just harmless fun...A main concern is, not what the practice meant hundreds of years ago, but how it is viewed today in your area. Understandably, opinions may vary from one place to another. Hence, it is wise to avoid turning such matters into big issues."

Meanwhile, the origin of the Piñata and the history behind it shows usage attached to celebrating the coming of Spring and part of the Posada in the Catholic culture. Furthermore, it symbolizes sins and the breaking of the Piñata equates to the destroying of sins, while the flowing candy and treats from the broken Piñata symbolizes the forgiveness of sins and the releasing of blessings.

The Watchtower Society makes the point in the study lesson of the sited paragraph 10 that "...rituals are connected with false religious teachings, such as the notion that something inside us survives death."

How quickly they must have forgotten what they were just teaching at the Book Study not too long ago…

According to Revelation – Its Grand Climax At Hand! - Both the original 1988 and 2006 revision - on page 125 it states:

“It is fitting, then, that one of the 24 elders representing anointed ones already in heaven, should stir John's thinking...(Revelation 7:13, 14a) Yes, that elder could locate the answer and give it to John. This suggests that resurrected ones of the 24-elders group may be involved in the communicating of divine truths today.”

The Watchtower Society believes and teaches that dead anointed members [Those of which according to Watchtower Society doctrine are of a literal 144,000 individuals] have involvement in communicating divine truths to living Jehovah’s Witnesses.

What further things have Jehovah's Witnesses been taught? Looking up information in the Watchtower Society's 'Watchtower Library CD-ROM', the Watchtower, January 15, 1972 on page 64 makes the following statement concerning wedding rings:

"Of course, a wedding ring is by no means a Christian requirement. One Christian might decide not to wear a wedding ring, because of conscience, personal taste, cost, local custom, or some other reason. Yet another Christian might decide to indicate his married status by means of a wedding ring. Hence, in the final analysis the decision is a personal one, to be made in accord with the conscientious views one holds."

That is an odd stance to take from an organization that is supposed to be representing God's “clean” servants. Wearing a wedding ring is a conscience choice. However, like the Piñata, if one was to perform some research they would find pagan and false religious origins attached to it. In fact, the whole wedding ceremony which is practiced by Jehovah's Witnesses, including the wedding party, dressing up, and many other activities also are of pagan and false religious origins. Why is it okay for Jehovah's Witnesses to practice these things? Undoubtedly, it is given the same 'pass' approval decided by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses for Piñatas.

Inconsistent teachings including wishy-washy stances on activities and items that clearly originate from pagan and so-called false religious beliefs and practices is intertwined with what is taught to and practiced by Jehovah's Witnesses. This is inclusive of the notion that dead Jehovah's Witnesses are providing instruction and direction to current living members. How are Jehovah's Witnesses truly "clean" as they fail the same standards they set for everyone else?

The conclusion of the matter is Jehovah's Witnesses are given a perceived 'cleanliness' focused on certain things while overlooking other areas; all based on the publications of the Watchtower Society, decided upon by a few men who call themselves the Governing Body.