Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Unshakable Friendship

On Sunday, December 27, 2009, Jehovah’s Witnesses studied together the article from the October 15, 2009 issue of the Watchtower magazine on pages 17-21, entitled: “Maintaining Friendships In A Loveless World”.

Interestingly, paragraph 4 states the following:

"True, those who do not love Jehovah can also form rewarding friendships. But when individuals are drawn together by a mutual love for God, their friendship will be unshakable. If misunderstandings arise, true friends will treat each other in a way that pleases Jehovah. If opposers of God try to cause divisions, these enemies discover that friendships among true Christians are unbreakable. Throughout history, servants of Jehovah have proved their willingness to face death rather than betray one another."

To their credit, it is good to see that the Watchtower Society acknowledges that those who are not Jehovah’s Witnesses can “form rewarding friendships”. However, the above is implying if you are not one of Jehovah’s Witnesses your friendships are ‘shakable’. They out rightly state that friendships among those who have a mutual love for God, while the paragraph links “true Christians” and “servants of Jehovah” , in other words the Watchtower Society’s definition of Jehovah’s Witnesses, are unshakeable. According to the Watchtower, Jehovah’s Witnesses have friendships that are unshakable.

The word unshakable is defined as:

“Marked by firm determination or resolution; not shakable; "firm convictions"; "a firm mouth"; "steadfast resolve"; "a man of unbendable perseverance"; "unwavering loyalty". Not easily panicked or upset, steady, abiding, adamant, firm, fixed, impregnable, inflexible, unflappable, unsinkable, unwavering”.

To summarize, friendships formed by Jehovah’s Witnesses should last through anything. Contradictory to this idea, we see how quickly fleeing and conditional these so-called “unshakable” friendships are in paragraph 15 of the same article. There it states:

"What, though, if a friend inside the congregation decides to turn his or her back on Jehovah, perhaps needing to be disfellowshipped? Such a circumstance can be very distressing. Describing her reaction when a close friend stopped serving Jehovah, one sister said: "I felt as if something inside of me died. I thought my friend was firmly grounded in the truth, but she was not. I wondered if she had been serving Jehovah just to please her family. I then began to reassess my own motives. Was I serving Jehovah for the right reasons?" How did this sister cope? "l threw my burden on Jehovah," she says. "I am determined to show Jehovah that I love him for who he is, not just because he provides me with friends inside his organization.""

There is an old saying, ‘With friends like these, who needs enemies?’ The above paragraph epitomizes that statement. From the start, many Jehovah’s Witness friendships and overall relationships are conditioned and highly influenced, if not completely controlled by one’s loyalty to the Watchtower Society. As long as an individual follows the organization’s interpretations and directions including knocking on doors and attending the meetings, the friendship continues. However, the moment a person no longer supports the Watchtower Society, the friendship ends.

This type of conditional friendship is an excellent example of the conditional love found within the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Make no mistake about it, many family ties are handled in the same fashion. The teaching and belief of ‘unshakable’ friendships among Jehovah’s Witnesses is more a farce and façade. The truth among Jehovah’s Witnesses is you will find many conditional friendships with loyalty to the Watchtower Society as the determining factor.