"Dub"ble Standards!

by sabastious 16 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • sabastious

    I have been reading through this Flook Book thing and I have come across something distrubing. Check out the choice of words the Flock Book uses when talking about an Elder that was appointed and confesses to other elders that he did something that was deserving of a judicial committee and didn't tell anyone (bolding mine):

    Flock Book pg 39:

    Procedure for Reviewing the Qualifications of
    Appointed Brothers Who Experience Difficulties

    22. Do not be quick to recommend deletion unless
    there is a solid basis for doing so. It may be possible
    to assist the brother so that he can correct the reasons
    for disqualification and continue to serve. Has
    the brother served faithfully for many years? What
    has he done or failed to do that raises questions? How
    did he react to counsel? Has he had such difficulties
    in the past, and how did he then respond to efforts to
    help? Was his wrongdoing really so serious that it requires
    restricting his privileges?
    Possibly hejust made
    a mistake
    , using poor judgment on an occasion. The
    congregation in general may still have respect for
    him and confidence in him
    as an elder or a ministerial
    servant. Perhaps thematter is not widely known, if
    at all
    . If he realizes his action was unwise, has learned
    from his mistake, has a good attitude, and wants to
    , it may be that he can continue to serve.

    Notice the outs that are given? They are like cherries for the picking and oh so sweet. Talk about licence to sweep something under the carpet!

    Now lets check out the language of how they are to treat Rank and File "wrongdoers" (bolding mine):

    Flock Book pg 91+:

    Determining Genuine Repentance

    6. In Greek, two verbs are used in connection with
    repentance. The first stresses a changed viewpoint or
    disposition. The second emphasizes a feeling of regret.
    Therefore, repentance involves a deep regret
    over a damaged relationship with Jehovah, remorse
    over the reproach brought upon Jehovah's name and
    , and a sincere longing to come back into
    God's favor. It includes a heart-motivated rejection of
    the bad course as something repugnant, hated. (Rom.
    12:9) Such an attitude should be demonstrated by
    "fruits that befit repentance," making evident to an
    adequate degree a sinner's claimed repentance.-Luke
    3:8; it-2 pp. 770-777.
    7. Judging repentance is not simply a matter of determining
    whether the wrongdoer is weak or wicked.
    Weakness is not synonymous with repentance.
    (w95 1/1, pp. 27-29) Neither should the judicial committee's
    decision be determined by the notoriety of
    the wrong. The judidal committee should look for
    clear works of repentance commensurate with his
    wrongdoing. (2 Cor. 7:10, 11) In order to extend
    mercy, the committee must be convinced that the
    wrongdoer has a changed heart condition and that
    he has a zeal to right the wrong and is absolutely determined
    to avoid it in the future.
    Even if this is the
    individual's first time before a judicial committee, it
    is necessary to determine whether his actions and attitude
    indicate that he has repented and can thus remain
    in the congregation.

    8. The extent to which the person deviates from
    righteousness may be major or minor, and logically
    the degree of regret (repentance) ought
    to be commensurate with the degree of deviation.
    Was the individual caught off guard so that he
    Chapter 7 91
    momentarily succumbed to temptation, or did he
    plan to do wrong?
    Was he unaware of the gravity of
    his sin, or did he deliberately ignore counselor warnings?
    Was it a single offense, or was it a practice? The
    more an individual repeats serious sin, the more that
    one reasonably gives evidence of being like wicked
    people who are "practicers of what is hurtful."
    - Ps.
    28:3; it-2 p. 771 par. 5.
    9. While there is no such thing as automatic disfellowshipping,
    an individual may have gone so
    far into sin
    that he may not be able to demonstrate
    sufficient repentance
    to the judicial committee
    at the time of the hearing. If so, he must be
    , allowing time to pass for him to
    prove his repentance. Or it may be that the individual
    has been dealt with judicially a number of times in
    the past. Because he appeared repentant, he was reproved
    each time. Now he has sinned again. In such
    cases his life course may indicate a lack of repentance.
    -w81 9/1 p. 26 par. 23.
    10. Below are some indications of repentance.
    However, none of these is the sole criterion for determining
    whether the sinner is repentant or not.
    • Was his confession voluntary, or did he have to
    be accused by others?
    Some offenders are so
    deeply ashamed or have such difficulty expressing
    themselves that they are reluctant to speak.
    • Is the individual truthful? (Acts 5:1-10) When
    questioned, are his answers forthright? Is he cooperative
    with the judicial committee? The judicial
    committee should be especially cautious if
    the individual has shown himself to be guilty of
    hypocrisy, lying, or deliberate efforts to deceive.

    • Has he contritely prayed to Jehovah and sought
    his forgiveness and mercy? Keep in mind that
    some wrongdoers, though repentant, find it difficult
    to pray.-Jas. 5:14.
    92 "Shepherd the F1ockofGod"-l Peter 5:2
    • Has he made restitution, expressed willingness
    to do so, or apologized to offended ones, those
    damaged by his sinful course?
    Has he sought
    forgiveness of those wronged?-w92 9/15 p. 10;
    w81 9/1 pp. 25-26; w73 p. 35l.
    • In cases of adultery, has he confessed to the innocent
    mate and asked for forgiveness? - w73
    pp. 351-352; w68 pp. 319-320.
    Note: The option to forgive adultery rests with
    the innocent mate. The guilty mate cannot be
    viewed as repentant if, after committing adultery,
    he refuses to inform her and allow her the
    opportunity to forgive. If the wrongdoer is unwilling
    to confess and ask for forgiveness because
    of fear of violence hy the innocent mate,
    contact the branch office before proceeding.
    • Does he manifest a spirit of agony and regret
    over having damaged his relationship with Jehovah?-
    Ps. 32:3-5; 51:1-4.
    • Does he demonstrate godly sadness or worldly
    (2 Cor. 7:8-11) Is his sadness primarily
    because of hurting Jehovah and bringing
    Him into reproach or because of the disappointment
    he has caused to family and friends and
    the shame he has experienced?
    (Ez.ra 10:1; Luke
    22:59-62) Individuals vary in their emotional
    makeup and control. Tears do not necessarily indicate
    sincere repentance
    ; neither does a lack
    of strong emotion show a lack of repentance.
    -Gen. 25:29-34; 27:34.
    • Does he accept responsibility for his error, or
    does he minimize or justify his bad course?
    -1 Sam. 15:24; 2 Sam. 12:13.
    • Does he recognize the fact that lesser sins led up
    to the wrongdoing, and is he determined to
    avoid these?
    Chapler 7 93
    11. Each case is different. The judicial committee
    should consider all the unique factors involved, including
    any extenuating circumstances. For example,
    the wrongdoer may have been a victim of
    some type of abuse in the past. Extenuating circumstances
    do not excuse the wrongdoing. (g93 10/8
    p. 4) However, discerning them will help the judicial
    committee to understand better the wrongdoer and
    his response to the judicial committee. Nevertheless,
    there would be no basis to extend mercy if
    fruits of repentance are lacking.

    12. The same is true regarding wrongdoers who
    suffer from mental or emotional problems. (See
    6: 16) The congregation cannot overlook his wrongdoing
    if he is able to discharge normal responsibilities
    toward himself and the community in a reasonably
    acceptable manner and others generally view
    him as one who could be held accountable for what
    he does and says.
    However, the judicial committee
    should show consideration and patience in their
    dealings with him and be especially aware of the
    need for discernment in evaluating his repentance.
    On the other hand, if the judicial committee discerns
    that his mental condition is so severe that others generally
    regard him as not being responsible for what
    he does, they may recommend to the body of elders
    that no judicial action be taken, explaining the reasons
    for their recommendation.


  • leavingwt

    In essence, this knowledge encourages an elder to sweep his own failings under the rug, and then bring it up many years later, IMHO.

    Of course, it's all BS, so it doesn't really matter. Why he should he confess to three bozos what they're also doing in secret?

  • Lozhasleft

    Blatant and disgraceful. How on earth do they justify it?

    Loz x

  • sabastious

    Here is how elders are "sworn in":

    Flock Book pg 35:

    After You Receive the Response From the Branch Office

    12. When the body of elders receives notice from
    the branch office of the appointment of a brother as
    an elder or a ministerial servant, the coordinator
    should assign two elders to meet with the brother before
    announcing the appointment. The atmosphere
    during the discussion should emphasize the seriousness
    of the matter; the elders should not rush the
    discussion or handle it in a casual manner.
    13. In every case, the elders must ask the following
    questions: "Is there anything from your past,
    even before baptism, or in your personal or family
    life that disqualifies you or that would prevent you
    from accepting this appointment? Is there any reason
    why your appointment should not be announced to
    the congregation?
    " If the brother has not previously
    served as an elder or a ministerial servant, ask the following
    question: "Have you ever been involved at
    any time in the past with child sexual molestation?
    If he answers yes to any of these questions, do not announce
    the appointment. Return the S-2 form or
    5-52 appointment letter to the branch office, and provide
    a complete explanation as to why the appointment
    should be annulled. If the brother answers no
    to these questions and accepts the appointment, the
    elders might direct his attention to information provided
    by "the faithful and discreet slave" that will
    help him fulfill his new privilege of service.- Matt.
    24:45; od chaps. 5-6.

    ^ So they have to swear an oathe that they haven't done anything that would otherwise disqualify them from becoming an elder.


  • talesin

    How like a corporation .... management is valuable, so is easily forgiven... on the other hand, the 'worker bees' are expendable ...


  • talesin

    If the brother has not previously
    served as an elder or a ministerial servant, ask the following
    question: "Have you ever been involved at
    any time in the past with child sexual molestation?

    What I found interesting about this is ..... only those who have not previously served are asked the question ... I guess it's assumed that if you are/were an elder/MS in the past, then you are automatically assumed to be above reproach? Or maybe this lets them off the hook if they have covered up child abuse in the past as a member of a JC.


  • Wonderment

    I see a difference in tone. It is obvious the WT does not want "appointed brothers" to lose their position unless they "should" because of a "scandal" in the congregation.

  • sabastious
    How like a corporation .... management is valuable, so is easily forgiven... on the other hand, the 'worker bees' are expendable ...

    It's a gentelman's club through and through. The men "fix" all the congregation's problems (men stuff) while the Large Army of Women slave away by day knocking on doors and having bible studies, which sustains the organization by providing growth, and cooking up bitchin' grub by night.


  • Quarterback

    This was the practice in the older Elder's Manual. The one that I was familiar with. I thought that they would of eventually gotten rid of that double standard part. This really sucks.

  • palmtree67


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