Bethel "Vow of Poverty" documents scanned.

by What-A-Coincidence 49 Replies latest jw friends

  • cyberdyne systems 101
    cyberdyne systems 101

    Why is it that the Apostle Paul worked so as to provide for himself, and yet the society doesn't follow his biblical example? Can anyone site scritural support to my statement? I will try and look it up later too, thanks


  • Mary

    Acts tells us that Paul was a tent maker, so he probably supported himself partially by working. However, he also accepted charity from those in the various congregations. I have no problem with that, but here's a scripture quoting the Apostle Paul that I found quite amazing:

    2 Corinthians 11: 7 "..Was it a sin for me to lower myself in order to elevate you by preaching the gospel of God to you free of charge? I robbed other churches by receiving support from them so as to serve you. And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so..."

    Soooo, was Paul the original Robin Hood?

    With regards to Bethel, in theory there is nothing wrong with supporting those that work there. Other religions have a system where they financially support their priests or ministers or missionaries, etc. However, I find it very disturbing that this "Order" is apparently a completely seperate religion, in the legal sense of the word, than the WTB&TS and that anyone entering it has to literally sign their Rights as a free thinking human being away and pledge "obedience" to the Governing Body (why do I suddenly picture Anakin Skywalker kneeling before the Chancellor pledging obedience to his new Master?)

    Plus the term "Order" is a pretty creepy term. Didn't they use this term in George Orwell's 1984?

  • sass_my_frass

    I just had creepy shivers all over my body, stunned that thousands of people have submitted to it.


  • Sheepish

    Oh, it's worse than that. There is this "little" thing called a 501-C3 non-profit designation, that all the churches (who don't care, or don't know about!) file.

    In America, Churches are automatically tax exempt. But because they want their members to be able to claim their tithes and gifts for tax purposes (and other reasons) (show me scripture on that one!), they trade that legal tax exempt status for a CONTRACT WITH THE GOVERNMENT. Essentially it says that they agree to comply with all additional (and future additional) laws and policy that the government lays down. They trade their freedom of religion for a NUMBER.*spooky music swells here* Jehovah's Witnesses are no different from most of Christendom in this! They are in an unnecessary legal committment with "The Beast!"

    What that means is, if the Gov. tells you it's against the law to preach against, say, abortion, or homosexuality, from the pulpit, and you go ahead anyway, they can legally shut you down. Or, if you (Jdubs won't of course) endorse a candidate from the pulpit-they can shut you down. Or any number of things they might decide to do. This is really insidious, and most people, as well as a lot of Pastors don't know about it.

    Yeah, a religion that says it's following Jesus, mentions they have a legal department, that should be your first clue!

  • Trojan

    This is an indeed interesting topic. YES, we all signed that paper, and everytime you open your mouth, you will be reminded that you have signed that vow....the "you are a volunteer"-thing becomes: "you are our slave"-thing.

    What-a-Coincidence: right with the other countries they calculate that a bethelite "costs" 5 US$ a day (the meals are to be kept at rate of 1 US$/each meal, that is worldwide standard even in missionary homes....they have to fill out a report where they disclose every salad they ate and the cost and then the quantity of plates, the branch office checks if they're food costs aren't rising....)

    Here is something else that's interesting:

    When I was a pioneer, we would use the reasoning that the catholic church did so many mistakes by misunderstanding the words for "elder" and "ministerial servant" (episkopos presbyter) and therefore created another clerical class, called: bishop and another called cardinal etc.

    We have done that ourselfes! Did you knew that "Bethel elders" exist? No? Yes, my dear, you can be appointed a second time. First you get appointed as elder in the Hall. Later if you're in Bethel, you can get a second appointment called "Bethel elder" (one elder appointment on top of the other, gives you more power and "privileges".....huahauahauaha, (spooky laughter in the background)....

    Circuit Overseer, District Overseer are similar in their ranking as higher priests in other churches (one time I doubted their power and have been told that they are "just elders" like us....well the ones among you that have tried to contradict the local CO will tell me otherwise...)

    So, here in short a few parallels between Catholic church and JW:

    Bethel elder/CO/DO = Bishop, Cardenal, etc.

    Bethel = Order = Monks in Monasteries

    Gilead Missionaries = Jesuits (there are remarking parallels that i don't have time to show right now, but very interesting for an topic itself)

    Underlining your Watchtower = Praying the rosary.

    WHY? you might ask (last point on my list): We always have signed at Cath. church for doing ritualistic, NO-Thinking, repeated stuff (like praying with an rosary). Well, think about this. Many JW (most) will tell you: YOU HAVE to underline the answers in your WT. So here I go with an white WT to my Hall (I still have read EVERYTHING, grasped the main points and even know from memory EVERY scripture - i have a photographic mind and can memorize things and remember them years later - now to my regret....) So, everybody comes hammering at me: hey, dude, you haven't prepared for your WT study. I tell them, yes I have I know what the WT is about, then I ask them what the WT was about (they all have underlined) and nobody remembers. Do the test yourself. Now, if that doesn't have similarities to the rosary....(repetitive task, without thinking and still thinking you're a great guy because you did it.....go figure)

    When I was young (not that I'm old now, but for the stories sake), there was this elder that would show my family and me how to study the WT, and he insisted that A answers have to be yellow and B answers, there I had my mother going to buy yellow and green highlighters....because that's how it was supposed to be. I know it was once upon a time a suggestion, but cute little JW made another burdensome RULE.


  • Buster

    This is the most thought-provoking thread I've read in a long time. I'm just now able to get my jaw back up off the keyboard.

    Until today, I never heard of the "Order of Special Full-Time Servants". Don't we all remember when we refrained from calling ourselves a religion - lest we find ourselves associated with Christendom and false religion? And to find out, they have a class of members that become part of an Order?

    Blondie: I know they did this for tax and other legal protections. I know I should be over it by now but I am still struck by the gall.

    Mary: Yup, I thought it was a joke until I got to the latter pages.

    Trojan: I like those analogies very much.

  • Kenneson

    Isn't their arguement in the recent Bethelite comp case have to do with the fact that they are a religious order? And as members of an order they have taken vows of povertys. They're sounding more and more like the Catholics whom they despise.

  • Think

    Now you know what to ask when you get document like that.

    It was Jesus Idea? It is in the Bible ? No? OK

    There is a special place for stuff like that: Garbage can.

    Also the watchtower magazine, awake ,and the others False Prophet books feel most comfortable in the same place: Garbage can.

    So, put them in place , where they belong. Do not be afraid, False Prophet Baal can't do anything about that.

  • Billygoat

    This completely creeps me out. I can't believe all those thousands upon thousands of people have signed that thing. I would like to think that even as a Witless, I would get creeped by that, but sadly, I don't know if that's true.


  • Elsewhere

    What-A-Coincidence was able to send me a copy of the document so I could host it....

    Click Here to see a full scan of the document...

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