Comments You Will Not Hear at the 04-27-08 WT Study (March 15, 2008, pages 3-7 )(BALANCED)Review comments will be in redWT material from today's WT will be in black
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BE YIELDING, BE BALANCED"Continue reminding them...to be yielding."--TITUS 3:1,2, ftn
Many jws have learned to be passive-aggressive when dealing with the "authority" in the WTS. Many do not study with their families or wives; many do not go out the "suggested" ten hours per month; others go to movies and watch tv programs that have been labeled as bad, they don't donate to the organization. As long as they are not seen by the "authority," humans.
START OF ARTICLE
Q 1, 2. What do the Scriptures say about being yielding, and why is this fitting?
1. JEHOVAH, our loving heavenly Father, is infinitely wise. As his creatures, we look to him for guidance in our lives. (Ps. 48:14) The Christian disciple James tells us that "the wisdom from above is first of all chaste, then peaceable, reasonable ["yielding," ftn.]i ready to obey, full of mercy and good fruits, not making partial distinctions, not hypocritical."-Jas.3:17.
2. "Let your reasonableness ["yielding(ness)," Kingdom Interlinear] become known to all men," exhorts the apostle Paul.* (Phil. 4:5) Christ Jesus is Lord and Head of the Christian congregation. (Eph. 5:23) How important it is for each of us to act in a reasonable way, yielding to Christ's direction and being yielding in our dealings with other humans!
* The apostle Paul used a word that is difficult to render with a single English word. One reference work notes: "Involved is the willingness to yield one's personal rights and to show consideration and gentleness to others." So the word has the sense of being yielding and reasonable, not insisting on carrying out the letter of the law or demanding one's rights.
"Christian disciple"--James was but would he have called himself "one of Jehovah's witnesses"?
"Christian congregation"--only the anointed, the 144,000 by WTS definition. Where does the "great crowd" fit into this picture? By definition, they are not part of the Christian congregation.
*** w07 4/15 p. 21 Let the Congregation Praise Jehovah ***
The Anointed Congregation of God
Applying David’s words found at Psalm 22:22 to Jesus, the apostle Paul wrote: “‘I will declare your name to my brothers; in the middle of the congregation I will praise you with song.’ Consequently [Jesus] was obliged to become like his ‘brothers’ in all respects, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God.” (Hebrews 2:12, 17) David had praised God in the midst of the congregation of ancient Israel. (Psalm 40:9) However, to what was Paul referring when he said that Jesus praised God “in the middle of the congregation”?
7 What we read at Hebrews 2:12, 17 is significant. It shows that in an inclusive sense, Christ was a member of a congregation where he declared God’s name to his brothers. Who were those brothers? Those forming part of “Abraham’s seed,” the spirit-anointed brothers of Christ, “partakers of the heavenly calling.” (Hebrews 2:16–3:1; Matthew 25:40) Yes, the primary sense of “congregation” in the Christian Greek Scriptures is the composite group of spirit-anointed followers of Christ. These 144,000 anointed ones constitute “the congregation of the firstborn who have been enrolled in the heavens.”—Hebrews 12:23.
"Christ's direction"--does that mean WTS = Christ? Where's Jesus? How many times is Christ mentioned compared to the organization "directing" in the WTS publications?
*** w07 10/1 p. 24 par. 12 Pursuing God’s Purpose Today ***
As a dedicated servant of Jehovah, always look to him and to his organization for direction
*** w04 1/1 p. 30 Highlights From the Book of Genesis—I ***
Jehovah speaks to us through his written Word and gives direction through his organization
*** w04 8/1 p. 11 par. 14 Jehovah Reveals His Glory to Humble Ones ***
This should motivate us to continue looking to Jehovah, his prophetic Word, and his organization for direction
Q. 3, 4. (a) Illustrate the benefits that result when we yield. (b) What will we consider?
3 Benefits result when we are disposed to be yielding in a balanced way. To illustrate: After a suspected terrorist plot was uncovered in Britain, airline passengers in general seemed ready to follow regulations against taking on board items they had previously been allowed to carry. When we drive an automobile, we see the need to yield to other drivers, such as when negotiating traffic circles, to make sure that everyone is safe and traffic flows smoothly.
4. For many of us, it is not easy to be yielding. To help us, let us consider three aspects of being yielding, namely; our motive, our attitude toward authority, and the extent to which we should yield.
"in general seemed"--are these illustrations valid. How obedient are jws when it comes to non-WTS rules? or even WTS rules? Have you everseen how jws act toward the jw parking attendants at a convention?
"motive"--judged by other jws?
*** w05 6/1 p. 17 par. 10 Saved, Not by Works Alone, But by Undeserved Kindness ***
While no one can accurately judge another’s motives, Jehovah “is making an estimate of hearts.”
*** w05 6/1 pp. 18-19 par. 16 Saved, Not by Works Alone, But by Undeserved Kindness ***
Since no human can accurately know the motives of others, however, we must beware of judging others. “Who are you to judge the house servant of another?” we are asked, with the obvious answer: “To his own master he stands or falls.” (Romans 14:4) Jehovah, the Master of all, and his appointed Judge, Christ Jesus, will judge us, not on the basis of our works alone but also on the basis of our motives, our opportunities, our love, and our devotion. Only Jehovah and Christ Jesus can accurately judge whether we have done what Christians are admonished to do
*** w99 1/15 pp. 23-24 Do Others Accept Your Counsel? ***
Since you cannot read the heart, it is especially important not to judge the motives of the one you counsel. He may be innocent of any bad motive and unaware of any wrong attitude or actions.
"attitude toward authority"--God, Jesus or the WTS?
Why Be Yielding?
Q. 5. Under the Mosaic Law, what could prompt a slave to choose to stay with his master?
5. An example from pre-Christian times focuses on the right motive for being yielding. Under the Mosaic Law, Hebrews who had become slaves were to be set free in the seventh year of their servitude or in the Jubilee year, whichever came first. But a slave could choose to remain a slave. (Read Exodus 21: 5, 6.) What could prompt a slave to do this? Love prompted the slave to remain in that situation, under the authority of his considerate master.
OT example--"choose to remain a slave" but under whose authority, God's or another human's? Does that imply it is a good thing to choose eternal slavery under the WTS?
Q 6. How is love involved in our being yielding?
6. In a similar way, our love for Jehovah moves us to dedicate our lives to him and then to live up to our dedication. (Rom. 14: 7, 8) "This is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments; and yet his commandments are not burdensome," wrote the apostle John. (1 John 5:3) This love does not look for its own interests. (1 Cor. 13:4, 5) When we deal with other humans, love of neighbor inclines us to yield and allow them the first place. Instead of allowing selfishness to rule, we consider the interests of others.-Phil. 2:2, 3.
"dedicate our lives to him" = dedicate our lives to the WTS?
The "commandments" of the WTS go beyond the scriptures, e.g., men forbidden to have beards.
"allow them first place"--the elders?
(Matthew 15:1-11) 15 Then there came to Jesus from Jerusalem Pharisees and scribes, saying: 2 “Why is it your disciples overstep the tradition of the men of former times? For example, they do not wash their hands when about to eat a meal.” 3 In reply he said to them: “Why is it YOU also overstep the commandment of God because of YOUR tradition? 4 For example, God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Let him that reviles father or mother end up in death.’ 5 But YOU say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother: “Whatever I have by which you might get benefit from me is a gift dedicated to God,” 6 he must not honor his father at all.’ And so YOU have made the word of God invalid because of YOUR tradition. 7 YOU hypocrites, Isaiah aptly prophesied about YOU, when he said, 8 ‘This people honors me with their lips, yet their heart is far removed from me. 9 It is in vain that they keep worshiping me, because they teach commands of men as doctrines.’” 10 With that he called the crowd near and said to them: “Listen and get the sense of it: 11 Not what enters into [his] mouth defiles a man; but it is what proceeds out of [his] mouth that defiles a man.”
Q 7. Being yielding plays what part in our ministry?
7 Neither our speech nor our actions should stumble others. (Eph. 4:29) Indeed, love will impel us to avoid doing anything that might hinder people of different backgrounds and cultures from progressing toward serving Jehovah. This often involves our being yielding. For example, missionary sisters accustomed to wearing cosmetics or nylons do not insist on using them in localities where that might call their morals into question and stumble others.-1 Cor. 10: 31-33.
"stumble others"--is it possible to please everyone? Are Christians to be men-pleasers?
What if an individual in a US congregation thought only "whores" wore makeup? Would the women in that congregation have to "yield" and give up makeup to avoid "stumbling" that one individual?
Q 8. How can love for God help us to conduct ourselves as 'lesser ones'?
8 Our love for Jehovah helps us to banish pride. After a dispute among the disciples as to who was the greatest, Jesus stood a young child in their midst. He explained: "Whoever receives this young child on the basis of my name receives me too, and whoever receives me receives him also that sent me forth. For he that conducts himself as a lesser one among all of you is the one that is great." (Luke 9:48i Mark 9:36) Individually, we may find it a real challenge to conduct ourselves as "a lesser one." Inherited imperfection and a tendency to be proud may motivate us to seek prominence, but humility will help us to yield.-Rom.12:10.
"lesser one"--do the elders do so?
How many times did my husband the elder tell me that they had been called "mighty men" and that they had more holy spirit than the publishers.
Q 9. To be yielding, what must we take into account?
9 To be yielding, we must take into account divinely constituted authority. All true Christians recognize the important principle of headship. The apostle Paul outlined this clearly to the Corinthians: "I want you to know that the head of every man is the Chrisi in turn the head of a woman is the man in turn the head of the Christ is God." -1 Cor. 11:3.
"divinely constituted authority"--a phrase that occurs often in the WTS publications.
"true Christians"--only jws
Are the elders head over single women in the congregation based on 1 Corinthians 11:3? Or is their headship the same as that over single men in the congregation?
(Numbers 30:9) “In the case of the vow of a widow or a divorced woman, everything that she has bound upon her soul will stand against her.
Q 10. Our yielding to Jehovah's authority demonstrates what?
10 Yielding to God's authority demonstrates our trust and confidence in him as our loving Father. He is aware of all that happens and can reward us accordingly. It is helpful to bear that in mind when others do not treat us with respect or they become angry and lose their temper. Paul wrote: "If possible, as far as it depends upon you, be peaceable with all men." Paul punctuated that advice with this directive: "Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but yield place to the wrath; for it is written: 'Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says Jehovah.' "-Rom.12:18, 19.
Is "yield to God's authority" mean that we must yield to everything the WTS says? Does the WTS = God?
What if it is the elders who "do not treat us with respect or they become angry and lose their temper"? If this happens over and over, should they remain elders?
Q 11. How can we show that we are yielding to Christ's headship?
11. Divinely constituted authority is also a factor within the Christian congregation. Revelation chapter 1 depicts Christ Jesus as holding the "stars" of the congregation in his right hand. (Rev. 1:16, 20) In a general sense, these "stars" represent the bodies of elders, or overseers, in the congregations. Such appointed overseers yield to Christ's leadership and imitate his kindly way of dealing with others. All in the congregation submit to the arrangement that Jesus made for "the faithful and discreet slave" to provide spiritual food at the proper time. (Matt. 24:45-47) Today, our willingness to study and apply this material demonstrates that we personally are yielding to Christ's headship, which contributes to peace and unity.-Rom. 14: 13,19.
"Divinely constituted authority"--Christ's or man's
Actually, the "stars" represented only anointed Christians which is why the WTS says "in a general sense." They insert their "great crowd" doctrine into Revelation. Up until the 1940's, only "anointed" jws could be elders or congregation servants.
Did Jesus arrange for the FDS, or was it meant to be understood as an illustration in the context of the Bible?
Yield--To What Extent?
Q 12. Why does being yielding have limits?
12. Being yielding does not, however, mean that we compromise our faith or our godly principles. What stand did the early Christians take when ordered by the religious leaders to stop teaching on the basis of Jesus' name? Peter and the other apostles said boldly: "We must obey God as ruler rather than men." (Acts 4:18-20; 5:28, 29) So today, when governmental authorities try to force us to cease preaching the good news, we do not stop, although we may adjust our methods in order to handle the situation tactfully. If there are restrictions on the house-to-house ministry, we may seek out alternative ways to contact householders and continue obeying our God-given commission. Likewise, when "the superior authorities" proscribe our meetings, we meet discreetly in small groups.-Rom.13:1; Heb.10:24, 25.
But aren't jws made to compromise their godly principles when they follow blindly what the WTS teaches? What if they had believed that organ transplants were correct according to the Bible between 1967 and 1980?
*** w67 11/15 p. 702 Questions From Readers ***
When there is a diseased or defective organ, the usual way health is restored is by taking in nutrients. The body uses the food eaten to repair or heal the organ, gradually replacing the cells. When men of science conclude that this normal process will no longer work and they suggest removing the organ and replacing it directly with an organ from another human, this is simply a shortcut. Those who submit to such operations are thus living off the flesh of another human. That is cannibalistic. However, in allowing man to eat animal flesh Jehovah God did not grant permission for humans to try to perpetuate their lives by cannibalistically taking into their bodies human flesh, whether chewed or in the form of whole organs or body parts taken from others.
*** w80 3/15 p. 31 Questions From Readers ***
Body cells are said to be replaced about every seven years, and this would be true of any human body parts that would be transplanted. It may be argued, too, that organ transplants are different from cannibalism since the “donor” is not killed to supply food. In some cases persons nearing death actually have willed body parts to be used for transplants. Of course, if a transplant should require taking in another person’s blood, undeniably that would be contrary to God’s command.—Acts 15:19, 20. Clearly, personal views and conscientious feelings vary on this issue of transplantation. It is well known that the use of human materials for human consumption varies all the way from minor items, such as hormones and corneas, to major organs, such as kidneys and hearts. While the Bible specifically forbids consuming blood, there is no Biblical command pointedly forbidding the taking in of other human tissue. For this reason, each individual faced with making a decision on this matter should carefully and prayerfully weigh matters and then decide conscientiously what he or she could or could not do before God. It is a matter for personal decision. (Gal. 6:5) The congregation judicial committee would not take disciplinary action if someone accepted an organ transplant.
Must they not obey God rather than men, even men who claim to have God's backing?
Q 13. What did Jesus say about yielding to those in authority?
13. In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus pointed out the need to yield to authority: "If a person wants to go to court with you and get possession of your inner garment, let your outer garment also go to him; and if someone under authority impresses you into service for a mile, go with him two miles." (Matt. 5:40, 41)* Consideration for others and a desire to help them also move us to go the extra mile, so to speak.-1 Cor. 13:5; Titus 3:1,2.
* See the article "If You Are Impressed Into Service," in The Watchtower of February 15, 2005, pages 23-6.
How far should that mile be? Who is going that extra mile, the elders, the WTS, or the rank and file?
Q 14. Why should we never yield to apostasy?
14. Never should our desire to be yielding, though, lead us to compromise with apostates. Our clear, firm stance in this regard is needed to preserve the purity of the truth and the unity of the congregation. Regarding "false brothers," Paul wrote: "To these we did not yield by way of submission, no, not for an hour, in order that the truth of the good news might continue with you." (Gal. 2:4, 5) In the rare instance that apostasy does appear, devoted Christians will remain firm for what is right.
Does the WTS define apostasy or apostates? Isn't it really anything or anyone that does not agree completely with the WTS?
Would Paul have been considered apostate when he disagreed with other Christians on the resurrection? When he corrected Peter forshunning Gentile Christians, and doing so in front of other Christians?
What if a jw had not agreed with the 1914 generation before 1995 when the WTS officially changed it? Would they have been cast out as apostate?
"devoted Christians"--only jws
Do they support God or the WTS? Is what is right in the WTS publications or the Bible?
Overseers Need to Be Yielding
Q 15. In what way can Christian overseers be yielding when meeting together?
15. One of the qualifications for those appointed to serve as overseers involves being willing to yield. Paul wrote: "The overseer should therefore be. ..reasonable ["yielding," ftn.]." (1 Tim. 3:2, 3) This is especially vital when appointed men meet to consider congregation matters. Before a decision is reached, each one present is free to express himself clearly, though it is not required that every elder make some comment. During a discussion, an individual's view may change as he hears others direct attention to Scriptural principles that apply. Rather than resisting and holding to a personal view, a mature elder yields. At the outset, there may have been differing views, but prayerful reflection promotes oneness among modest and yielding elders.-1Cor. 1:10; Read Ephesians 4: 1-3.
Do jw elders yield to each other? How many of us know of fights between elders and bodies of elders.
"free to express"--It would be interesting for current or past elders to describe what "freeness speech" entails in a meeting of the elders. I learned it means free to say whatever they want about another elder, ripping into them putting that elder on the defensive, doing so without presenting proof.
Yes, as a junior elder sees where the other elders are going, he knows that to survive, he will support their decisions whether they are based on the Bible or not. As one junior elder was told, "we base our decisions of the Pay Attention book" not the Bible. He learned to put his Bible away and to always use the elders' manual.
Did Jesus seek oneness with the Pharisees?
Q 16. What spirit should a Christian overseer display?
16. In all his activity, a Christian elder should strive to uphold theocratic order. That spirit ought to carry over even in his shepherding of the flock, helping him to show consideration and gentleness to others. "Shepherd the flock of God in your care," wrote Peter, "not under compulsion, but willingly; neither for love of dishonest gain, but eagerly."-1 Pet. 5:2.
What is "theocratic order"? Doing everything the WTS or Bible way? Is lying to the flock showing love? Yet, the elders receive one version of the letter to the congregation from the WTS and another version is read to the congregation.
*** w07 2/1 p. 6 Why Be Truthful? ***
Every lie is an untruth, but not every untruth is a lie.
Q 17. How can all in the congregation show a yielding spirit in dealing with others?
17. Elderly members of the congregation appreciate the valuable help of those younger in years and treat them with dignity. In turn, youths respect older ones who have years of experience in serving Jehovah. (1 Tim. 5: 1, 2) Christian elders seek out qualified men to whom they can delegate certain responsibilities, training them to help care for God's flock. (2 Tim. 2:1,2) Each individual Christian ought to value Paul's inspired advice: "Be obedient to those who are taking the lead among you and be submissive ["yielding under," ftn.], for they are keeping watch over your souls as those who will render an account; that they may do this with joy and not with sighing, for this would be damaging to you."-Heb.13.:17.
Have you seen older elders moved out of their positions? While they remain elders in name, their duties are reduced. A recent circuit overseer through this area removed 10 elders, all of them over 65. I wonder why?
"each individual Christian"--only jws
How obedient should they be? Shouldn't the Bible come first? Didn't Paul demonstrate that when he corrected Peter about avoiding association with the Gentile Christians?
Being Yielding as Family Members
Q 18. Why is a yielding spirit appropriate within the family?
18 A yielding spirit has a place within the family arrangement too. (Read Colossians 3: 18-21. ) The Bible outlines the respective roles of the various members of a Christian family. The father is both head of his wife and the one primarily responsible for directing the children. The wife is to recognize the authority of her mate, and the children should strive to be obedient, a course that is well-pleasing to the Lord. Each member of the family can contribute to the unity and peace of the household by being yielding in a proper and balanced way. The Bible contains some examples that help to illustrate the point.
What does the WTS mean when they say "respective roles"?
Unity--doesn't this mean uniformity whether it is in the jw family or congregation?
Q 19, 20. (a) Contrast the example of Eli and that of Jehovah in being yielding. (b) What lessons can parents learn from these examples?
19. When Samuel was just a boy, Eli served as high priest in Israel. However, Eli's sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were "good-for- nothing men" who did not "acknowledge Jehovah." Eli heard bad reports about them, including the fact that they were committing fornication with women who served at the entrance of the tent of meeting. How did he react? Eli told them that if their sin was against Jehovah, there was nobody to pray for them. But he failed to correct and discipline them. As a result, Eli's sons continued in their bad course. Finally, Jehovah justly determined that they merited the penalty of death. Upon hearing the news of their deaths, Eli himself died. What a sad outcome! Clearly, Eli's improperly yielding to their wicked actions---in the sense that he allowed them to continue---was not right. ---I Sam. 2:12-17,22-25,34,35; 4:17,18.
20. By way of contrast, consider God's dealings with his angelic sons. The prophet Micaiah had a remarkable vision of a meeting of Jehovah and His angels. Jehovah asked which of the angels could fool King Ahab of Israel to bring about the downfall of the wicked king. Jehovah listened to the suggestions of various spirit sons. Then one angel declared that he would do it. Jehovah asked him how. Satisfied, Jehovah commissioned the angel to carry it out. (I Ki. 22:19-23) On a human plane, cannot family members learn from that account lessons about being yielding? A Christian husband and father does well to consider the ideas and suggestions of his wife and children. Conversely, wives and children should see that if they have offered an opinion or a preference, they may then need to be yielding in respecting direction from the one Scripturally authorized to decide.
OT example--Eli and his sons
Was it really Eli's job to correct and displine his grown sons, or didn't the Israelite community have the responsibility.
OT--seeing God taught his sons it was all right to lie at times per the WTS explanation. Are we surprised when the elders lie to the
How many times has the elder body listened to the "suggestions" of women in the congregation?
Q 21. What will be considered in the next article?
21 How grateful we are for Jehovah's loving and wise reminders to be yielding! (Ps. 119: 99) Our next article will consider how being yielding in a balanced way contributes to finding joy in marriage.
Interestingly enough, divorce and unhappy marriages is a common this among jws. I can count at least 25 in my age group alone.
How Would You Answer?
What good fruitage can being yielding produce?
How can overseers display a yielding spirit?
Why does a yielding spirit have a place in family life?
Nothing as exciting as last week. Just a introductory article that sends the message that jws are not "obeying" the elders or the WTS representatives. Next week's topic is a subject that the WTS presents jws as being outstanding in having good marriages. But the rank and file are not being "yielding."