Blood and Tears

by Bookey 6 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Bookey

    Hi Folks, here is my article that I posted in the Friends category by mistake (didn't realize this area existed)...Please give me any feedback/criticism whatever you feel in your heart please speak it...Thanks

    BLOOD & HYPOCRISY The Jehovah's Witnesses have taught that blood is sacred (human blood that is) and that receiving blood via a medical transfusion to sustain life is a sin. On the basis of the following bible texts, I wish to prove the witnesses as false teachers on this subject...(from the ASV).. Mar 7:6 And he said unto them, Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoreth me with their lips, But their heart is far from me.
    Mar 7:7 But in vain do they worship me, Teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men.
    Mar 7:8 Ye leave the commandment of God, and hold fast the tradition of men.
    Mar 7:13 making void the word of God by your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things ye do.
    Mar 7:14 And he called to him the multitude again, and said unto them, Hear me all of you, and understand:
    Mar 7:15 there is nothing from without the man, that going into him can defile him; but the things which proceed out of the man are those that defile the man.
    It should be emphasized more then once, the critical aforementioned verse 15 of Mark's Gospel of the future Kingdom Chapter 7, which I will paste from another bible version (Young's Literal)... Mar 7:15 there is nothing from without the man entering into him that is able to defile him, but the things coming out from him, those are the things defiling the man. There is not one thing, that entering a man's body can defile him. I know this to be completely true spiritually, because of the fact that there is only ONE sin out there that a person can commit that is a sin "against the flesh" of the body. That sin is fornication. This is not to say that there aren't other sins that one can commit that defile us spiritually, for there are many. But the main point of the aforementioned texts is to sway or curry favor in Christ towards the idea that he taught us that whatever we put into our bodies cannot actually defile our temple. (the opposite of what JW's teach)

    Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
    1Co 6:19 Or know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God? and ye are not your own;
    for ye were bought with a price: glorify God therefore in your body.

    There you have it. Fornication is the only sin that can cause us to sin against our own body. All other individual sins are not inflicted upon our own flesh.
    IF the bible was teaching us that blood transfusions are a sin and that they would defile us physically, then why does Paul say that only fornication defiles the body? Don't misunderstand me, I would not receive a transfusion myself, unless there was no alternative due to some of the known possible side effects of transfusions. I can however, safely say that when push comes to shove, I will choose life over death, and if that means getting a blood transfusion, by golly, I'm telling the doctor to stick the needle in!

    The simple truth is that the bible's comments on blood have to do with Jewish law customs regarding foods, and barbarian and other traditional ceremonies regarding large cups of blood that they would drink during events like the Colosseum or other barbaric events, gladiator games, and so on. This was a chalice of victory, much like today's drunkards in the pubs would hold up a large pitcher of beer and gulp it down in their revelry of sporting events and so on.

    This has absolutely nothing to do with 21st century hospitals and medicine. A person is completely free to decide on their own consciousness, (something the WT doesn't want most of it's members to have) whether or not they should receive intravenous blood transfusions.

    This brings up another point, that of the way in which blood was ingested in the biblical sense, and how it is transfused in the modern sense. It is NOT the same as feeding someone with a tube, or giving someone an IV drip of sugar and water. This is absurd to compare the two types of practices as the same.

    When I am laid up in a hospital bed, looking all around at the white clean tile floors, and the metal rails and expensive equipment being used to help save my life, the iv tube in my arm being used to keep me alive because my mouth is wired shut from a car accident, I am not thinking of the food I am receiving as a large turkey dinner with trimmings. This logic that the WT soc presents is ludicrous when looked at rationally from ALL perspectives

    One cannot compare 1st century barbaric gladiator game rituals to 21st century life saving techniques with the human anatomy.

    Let's look at the bible texts that deal with the "use of blood" from a perspective of ingesting it and see if we can, at all, derive any sense of these scriptures telling us not to allow a physician to administer life saving medical treatment to us if we are in desperate need of the life sustaining fluid needed to keep our sons and daughters alive for (hopefully) the next 50 to 60 years of their lives.

    The word blood is mentioned approximately 371 times in the scriptures, most of the time dealing with murder or animal sacrifice. (Shed blood or blood atonements of animals)...when dealing with consumption or ingestion in some way the bible only mentions this topic about 3 times, in Genesis, Leviticus and Acts.

    Here is the first mention of "eating blood" in Genesis, just after Noah gets off the ark. Gen 9:3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be food for you; As the green herb have I given you all.
    Gen 9:4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
    Clearly we can see that this has to do with eating an animal that is full of blood, or the blood has not been drained out of it. This has nothing to do with saving lives. Lev 17:10 And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among them, that eateth any manner of blood, I will set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people.
    For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh atonement by reason of the life.
    Therefore I said unto the children of , No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood.
    Lev 17:13 And whatsoever man there be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among them, who taketh in hunting any beast or bird that may be eaten; he shall pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust.
    Lev 17:14 For as to the life of all flesh, the blood thereof is all one with the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh; for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.
    Lev 17:15 And every soul that eateth that which dieth of itself, or that which is torn of beasts, whether he be home-born or a sojourner, he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even: then shall he be clean.
    But if he wash them not, nor bathe his flesh, then he shall bear his iniquity. First of all it should be noted that the Levitical law and it's priesthood have been fulfilled by the High priest Yeshua the Christ, and that none of these ordinances can any longer bind someone (a Jew) to death for breaking them. There is however a new covenant that is being preached that happens to mention a continuation of this idea, in Acts chapter 15, but as we shall see, just like the aforementioned chapter, this is dealing with animal blood being used as food in some way, and not human blood being used to keep fellow humans alive.

    but that we write unto them, that they abstain from the pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from what is strangled, and from blood.
    Act 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things:
    Act 15:29 that ye abstain from things sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication; from which if ye keep yourselves, it shall be well with you. Fare ye well.
    Here in Acts, a great problem has arisen in light of what to teach the Gentile nations in respect of the law of Moses. The Jews wanted Gentiles to be circumcised, and to follow the whole law of Moses. Peter objects to this, and teaches that there are really literally only a few things that the Gentiles need to take care of in order to be on the right track of the new covenant (love) of the Christ. These things are found in the law covenant, as well as in the spiritual law of Christ. Just as murder would be condemned under the law, it is also condemned according to Christ.

    Once again, this is another area of bible text that the WT uses to defend it's choice on receiving medical treatment without blood. The facts are simple though, that the bible is talking about food, fornication and animal blood, which the Gentiles where renowned for using in all sorts of ritualistic acts of sacrifice (differing from the oracles of Yahweh in the covenant with Moses). They would drink blood from chalices and spill it on barbarians as they paraded through streets before a gladiator game for instance, whereas the Jewish custom was to atone for sin at the altar with it in a more simplistic manner towards God.

    Where are the texts that tell us not to use human blood for medicine? Well, for one thing, I don't think these people could even have been thinking about such uses for blood since they didn't even have aspirin or band aids yet. No, there was no peroxide or sterilization tools available, no anesthetics, no scalpel, no stitches, no cold compress, no morphine drip, and there certainly weren't any BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS going on!

    The subject in ALL of these bible texts has to do with an entirely different time and people in general. It has to do with events that were taking place 2000 years ago as far as what these restrictions imposed were meant for. Of course, just like today, fornication was going on back then, and this is still the biggest sin going as far as I know, second only to maybe murder. To be honest, I am not sure which is happening more often today, murder or adultery/fornication, but I am quite sure that both are high in statistical count. Which is why the text including fornication was included as a big problem among the Gentile world at that time.

    There aren't many blood drinkers though today, except for some small third world voodoo countries and maybe some other cultures I am unaware of. They definitely foot the bill for what the real bible message is talking about in terms of blood. Not the well educated doctors that work in the medical facilities of this country and many others.

    There are many other issues with doctors and medicine that I disagree with completely, but blood is not one of them. All this pharmaceutical advertisement to get people on the variety of drugs available out here would be more of a concern I would think, and not so much the loving kind act that one can receive in an emergency room in a split second decision today because of the small number of people who still have LOVE of the greater number, and are willing to sacrifice their selfish needs for others, which is what a blood transfusion really is. This is actually an act that Jesus would probably see as an act of love, based on what I hear from the bible. To hear the text, is a gift that we must appreciate.

    And a second like unto it is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
    Mat 24:12 And because iniquity shall be multiplied, the love of the many shall wax cold.

    Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; even as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
    Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

    Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

    Rom 13:8 Owe no man anything, save to love one another: for he that loveth his neighbor hath fulfilled the law.
    Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: love therefore is the fulfilment of the law.

    All of 1st Corinthians Chapter 13 is good to read on this whole subject. If you have never read it, please pick up the bible and do so, you will be rewarding yourself greatly.

    Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. I think John really deals a large blow to the JW ideas concerning blood being given from the life of one human to his fellow neighbor. The life is in the blood as the bible says in Genesis 9:4, and that makes this passage also tell us that if a man gives up his blood (life) for his friend, then he is fulfilling a great love. The book publishing company that disguises itself as a religious power just cannot equate their hypocritical decrees upon it's members with the true words of Jesus on this matter of love. Jesus taught love, and all I can see when I look at the works and deeds of those who give blood to the blood banks are kind, giving, longsuffering people with hearts set on loving their neighbor. This fulfills Jesus' law. This is Christianity.

    If any man thinketh himself to be religious, while he bridleth not his tongue but deceiveth his heart, this man's religion is vain.
    Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. This text really drives home a few points against the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York (Jehovah's Witnesses), and that is that they are not really putting the higher law of love first in a great majority of their doctrinal decisions, the second major point is that I wonder how many disfellowshipped widows and disfellowshipped fatherless children there are out there? There are certainly some if not a lot, and I wonder why they are being shunned rather then being cared for by "God's organization"? This means that there are actually people alive today who fit the James text perfectly, but are being ignored on purpose directly by a Jehovah's Witness due to their traditions. The traditions of men. The very same type of traditions of men that are not scriptural at all when viewed by those who have the eyes of love (real disciples), the very same type of traditions that Jesus said was the reason these people are a brood of vipers, that would not inherit the Kingdom. Mat 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said unto them, Ye offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

    Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven.
    Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works?
    And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. I am a very strong believer in the fact that the "will of the Father" is the command to love one another, to preach the good loving news of the Kingdom to all our neighbors throughout the Earth, and to repent from our real transgressions, (murder, theft, idolatry, fornication, greed, drug addiction, drunkeness, etc) and not the acts of love that are in the hearts of millions of blood donors worldwide.

    With great love for all of you, in Christ Jesus for the coming Kingdom of God on the Earth, when Christ returns and EVERY EYE WILL SEE HIM,

    Andy C Szewczak

  • Leolaia

    Other points can be made as well.

    For instance, in 1 Corinthians 8 Paul has an extensive discussion on "food sacrificed to idols" (one of the three things Christians are urged to refrain from in Acts 15) but he has a rather sophisticated understanding of the issue. He does not view them as automatically forbidden, end of story. He notes that Christians can indeed eat them, provided they have the understanding that idols are nothing (thereby precluding such eating as idolatrous), and would not stumble their brethren who do not share this knowledge. Since many Christians do not have strong faith and could be stumbled, Paul strongly cautioned against eating meat in a temple even tho there is nothing wrong in this act by itself if done in the light of full Christian faith.

    Another pertinent text is the following story:

    "One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, 'Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?' He answered, 'Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.' Then he said to them, 'The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath' " (Mark 2:23-27).

    Here Jesus shows that in need, even more when life is at stake, the requirements of one commandment can be relaxed in favor of another. This idea btw is not that innovative within Judaism, which handled these issues in a similar way. For instance, 4Q265 states that one may throw a towel to a man who has fallen into a pool on the sabbath (cf. b Shabbat 128b) and a voice from heaven informs Abba Tahnah in Ecclesiastes Rabbah 9.7 that it is okay help a sick man on the sabbath. Similarly, the Maccabeans were able to fight on the sabbath to prevent themselves from being "destroyed from the earth" (cf. 1 Maccabees 2:40-41), and the Mishnah also rules that doctors can care for their patients on the sabbath (b. 'Abod. Zar. 27b, Mek. Exodus 31:12). The general principle is the following: "Whenever there is doubt whether life is in danger, this overrides the Sabbath" (m. Yoma 8:6). The idea is not that the law is broken, but that the lesser of two goods is superseded by another...and in this case, the rule on the sabbath is relaxed in favor of Leviticus 19:16-18, i.e. "You must not jeopardize your neighbor's life ... You must love your neighbor as yourself". That this is Jesus' view in Mark can be seen in ch. 3:

    "Is it against the Law on the sabbath to do good, or to do bad, to save life, or to kill?" (Mark 3:4).

    In fact, according to b. Sanhedrin 74a, all the laws (i.e. "every law of the Torah") can be transgressed in order to save a life, other than murder, idolatry, and incest. These sources show, btw, that the Pharisees were actually much closer to Jesus' teaching than represented in the gospels, but the Society lacks all the nuance that can be found in Jesus' sayings and in rabbinical sources by treating the "law on blood" as inviolable even in life-or-death circumstances. In order words, they privilege this rule above the law in Leviticus 19:16-18 which forbids jeopardizing your neighbor's life. And yet Mark 12:31 states that "there is no commandment higher than this", and it forms a basic part of Christian ethic in Romans 13:9, Galatians 5:14, and James 2:8.

  • lost_light06

    All these points are very well made.

    What really convinced me of the absurdity of JW’s ban on blood transfusions was the idea that you were somehow eating blood. What brought this point home to me was the illustration of a man in the hospital dying from starvation. Would a doctor give him intravenous food or a blood transfusion? The answer is simple. A blood transfusion would not nourish his body like intravenous food would. Therefore the illustration used by the society of a man told by his doctor to not drink alcohol but still he injects alcohol into his body being the same as Christians told not to eat blood but injecting it into their bodies is unfair….apples and oranges. Blood, unless eaten through the mouth or digestive system, is not used by the body for nourishment. Now, the society counters this argument by saying the blood is used by the body to carry the foods nourishing components to the rest of the body. Still not the same, it is not in itself being used for food, it is being used to transport the food among many other things and many other functions.

    The other point that really makes sense to me is the whole view of blood from God’s standpoint. Blood is symbolic of life. Life is sacred to God and therefore blood is sacred to God because it represents life. What the WTBTS does is place the importance of the symbol ABOVE the importance of that which it symbolizes. This simply does not make sense. I come's down to this, which I more sacred to God your life or a symbol of your life (blood)?

    Leolaia, I really appreciate your point. I did not realize how God allowed his own rules to be bent, even broken, when the loss of life was on the line.

  • Leolaia

    *** w68 6/1 pp. 345-346 The Christian’s View of Self-Defense ***

    Jesus said: "You must love your neighbor as yourself." (Matt. 22:39) As a person is to love his neighbor, he is also to love himself. That means he ought to take care of his mind and body. The Christian, therefore, should not needlessly jeopardize his life, for that would bring no honor to God. Since a Christian has dedicated his life to do God’s will, he is to protect it so he can serve his Creator.—Rom. 12:1.

    Jesus did not give up his life needlessly....The apostle Paul likewise loved his life and protected it. He fled from dangerous situations many times. (Acts 9:23-25; 14:5, 6) Even when he was taken into custody by the authorities, he worked for his release by appealing to Caesar.—Acts 25:11.

  • Leolaia


  • Bookey

    I think the main concern with this entire issue always has been the organization holding on to a law from a covenant that we are no longer under the mediation of. The law of Moses was complete in Messiah, and therefore rendered obsolete with his shed blood. The witnesses claim to believe this, yet they still fashion organizational standards based on the law of Moses, showing that they do not have 100% faith and practice it in the Messiah's covenant.

    This is why the WT seems arrogant and hypocritical in my opinion. They do not render complete surrender to the kind act of love, and humility. For freedom did Christ set us free of the yoke of slavery under the Mosaic law. Now, false teachers want to put us back under the law, for their benefit.

    May Yahweh Elohim rebuke them all with love or fire, whatever he decides, in the name of the Messiah Yeshua, let it be done.


  • Narkissos

    Christ as "the end of the Law" was only one option in the nebula which we simplistically call "early Christianity".

    As Leolaia pointed out, the so-called "Jewish Christians" as well as the Pharisees or Essenes which maintained the eternal validity of the Torah all had some traditional jurisprudence which made its application morally responsible. This is the point of the rabbinical pikuach nephesh (saving a life has precedence over any commandment), which is already echoed in the Gospels. A similar principle can be found in Islam.

    The problem with modern Christian legalism, especially in the Protestant branch, is that it has lost any reference to such a traditional jurisprudence. There is nothing to balance the so-called "Bible requirements". For this reason it often gets sillier and more harmful than age-old legalistic religions.

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