The new elder's manual, Shepherd the Flock of God, provided by the Watchtower Society, makes a few disturbing statements in just a couple of paragraphs. Notice what is highlighted on page 38, paragraphs 19 and 20, respecting the past sins of an elder:
Paragraph 19 states:
"If it comes to light or an appointed brother confesses that he has committed a disfellowshipping offense years in the past: The body of elders may determine he can continue to serve if the following is true: The immorality or other serious wrongdoing occurred more than a few years ago, and he is genuinely repentant, recognizing that he should have come forward immediately when he sinned. (Perhaps he has even confesses to his sin, seeking help with his guilty conscience.) He has been serving faithfully for many years, has evidence of God's blessing, and has the respect of the congregation."
So if an elder has a serious sin, one worthy of being disfellowshipped and does not mention it, waits some years, and then confesses; the congregation will never be the wiser, as long as the other elder's believe that elder is sincere in his relatively recent display of repentance and regret. It will be like the sin never occurred and the man would remain an elder over Jehovah's Witnesses. He can continue to serve as an elder - No consequences are experienced.
Surely, they must draw a line at something as detestable as child abuse, no? Paragraph 20 informs:
"If the sin occurred before he was appointed as an elder or a ministerial servant, the elders will need to take into consideration the fact that he should have mentioned this possible impediment to his being qualified when elders interviewed him just prior to announcing his appointment. Moreover, the nature of the sin may reflect greatly on his qualifications to serve. For example, the sin may involve past child abuse, and this would likely disqualify him for many years."
According to the organization, and the directives elder's are provided, a gross sin, one worthy of disfellowshipping, only serves as a possible impediment for the man to be appointed. In fact, the Watchtower Society states that even if it involved past child abuse it would only likely disqualify a man. It may reflect greatly on his qualifications to serve.
In fully understanding the consequence of this 'spiritual direction', let's paint a scenario.
A child abuser has been 'appointed' to an elder and has been one for many years. Finally, he comes forward and states he used to abuse children. The admonition is that he would likely be disqualified but not definitely as an elder; the same applies for any so-called brothers reaching out for ministerial servant or wanting to become an elder. Although abusing children in the past, but stating he has not done so for many years; that individual is not definitely disqualified or will never serve, only likely.
How would you like that individual to remain an elder? What if that elder is going door to door or whatever else with your child, brother, sister, niece, nephew, or any other family member? You'll never know, and there is nothing coming from the hierarchy of the organization stopping it. The so-called ‘appointment’ and keeping that man in such a position was made by a bunch of local men, who believe they are being guided by holy spirit with the nonsense spewed from the Watch Tower Bible Tract Society.
So keep that sin a secret, brothers! Wait several years, and in the meantime do works that prove how repentant you are and build a sterling reputation. Convince the congregation you are a fine character and an asset to the congregation. This will show "evidence" of "God's blessing" and you will likely be absolved of any consequence of that sin...Even past child abuse is possibly permissible...
Sickening to think the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses claims to be the only true religion composed of the only true Christians. It's more like a place where a devious and sneaky man's dream can come true. If you're a male, you just have to play the game.