As has been the case over the summer, my wife and I have been going to two different churches every Sunday. Generally, before church service we speak of religion and the various differences and, of course, why she believes hers is right. This time, we spoke briefly about holidays first. She told me last night that she still wants to celebrate them and feels torn and doesn't understand why God does not want her to celebrate them (something like that).
So this morning, I brought that up with the phrase, "If you feel torn about celebrating the Holidays, imagine how you might feel if our daughter needed an emergency blood transfusion that would save her life." Her response? "Well, I personally believe that blood really does not save lives the way they claim and I do not support blood transfusions of any kind." I replied, "Even though blood saves 10,000 lives a day?" "The saline solution works just as good." "The saline solution does not carry oxygen. Your cells are 'suffocating' due to lack of oxygen that the red blood cells bring. Saline solution cannot replace blood." "The saline solution has water, and water has oxygen." "The body cannot extract oxygen from water like that. Red blood cells are needed."
I then pointed out the inconsistencies of their doctrine. They allow blood fractions, but not blood. They do not allow Jw's to donate blood so that the fractions may be used to help another JW. I asked her, "So where does the blood used to make these fractions come from?" Doesn't this parallel in a way abortions when one asks, when is a fetus not a living person? So when is blood, no longer blood? Her response, "When it can no longer sustain life." It's hopeless....
Of course, her final response was, "Look, I do not support it, but as my head, if you decide that our daughter needed the transfusion, I will not go against it." I just followed up with, "Well, if it will help you to hide behind my headship so you won't get disfellowshipped over it, I'll accept full responsibility to the witnesses and if necessary to God for my decision on this." This is an issue where I believe the Watchtower to be wrong on (and I did not come to this conclusion easily).
For all Jehovah's Witnesses lurking these posts, try to understand that the blood fractions that are allowed by the Watchtower can be recombined together with water to reproduce the majority of the contents of blood (greater than 97% of it). I'm sure you've heard this all before but I find it difficult to understand how the Watchtower can have such a complicated doctrine regarding blood (when compared to God's simple commandments, this certainly sound man-made). Even if the Watchtower Society is correct in its interpretation of "abstaining from blood" in applying it to blood transfusions, why create these 'exceptions?'
The most dangerous aspect of this doctrine is what happens to hapless Jehovah's Witnesses who are faced with the scenario I described. Trying to wrestle with their desire to serve Jehovah while simultaneously asking themselves (and God) how He could be so cruel to deny this life-saving treatment of their little one. (Just ask Paul and Pat Blizzard of this.) Not abstaining from blood may be considered a sin according to the Watchtower, but it is not the unpardonable sin so why be so quick to disfellowship them and cut them off from the everlasting life? Who amongst the Jehovah's Witnesses who truly cares about another person's life wouldn't feel torn over this rule?
Even Jesus loosed the sabbath day restriction to heal others and quickly pointed out to the hypocritical Phariseahs that they would be quick to 'work on the sabbath' as well if the circumstances were right.