A brother at my wife's congregation wants to study the Bible Teach book...

by garyneal 79 Replies latest jw friends

  • kurtbethel

    Here is a good thing to have in your toolkit when studying that book.


    I used it to really create havoc with the study. Choose your battles wisely, even if it means going along with most of the points. Remember the cadence of their literature, which is to make a true assertion, then a questionable one and then a false one. It would be wise to target the easily falsifiable statements. Perhaps one bullet point at the end of each chapter could be discredited by you, enough to make the overall book look shaky.

    One of the things I did early on was pull the rug out from under them by establishing there were no scholars writing their literature. They would claim there were, and I would ask for their names and get nothing. So I would repeat there are no discernable scholars writing any of it. I sidestepped the matter of where they went to school for scholarship so they could not come back that it was a satanic school, instead I pointed out that a scholar is willing to do the hard work to study their subject and become a scholar, but that they could not name for me anyone who was motivated to serve God by doing that hard work. Any time there was some questionable writing I could dismiss it as not having any scholarly support, but merely the anonymous assertions of unscholarly persons who refuse to present their credentials for examination.

    Another tactic I used was to personalize things. I would be told that the pastor at XX church taught xx, which was not Bible truth. I would note that, then at the next study remind them what they said. I would ask what the pastor's name was, and usually they had no idea. I would tell them the pastor's name, and say I had called him telling him that JWs are saying things about him and wanted his side of the story, which he then refuted. Hey, this is theocratic warfare. So they would be caught in a slanderous lie that way. I did this several times. I would get them in a generalization and ask for specific names, places, times. This would evaporate many of their claims, especially the JW urban legends. Christendom, Babylon, Satans's organization and all their other straw men would get called out and I would ask for specific deeds from specific people who could be named, and was usually met with some serious backpedaling. Such fun!

    So go get 'em!

  • JunkYardDog

    garyneal; Your waating your time with the "hat does god teach book" I would go straight for the "rev. grand climax at hand" book and get right into 1914,1918,1919, millions now living will never die and the 1919 1922 convetions. I would start out asking him if he think everything in this book is true? Most im[portant has he tested all references to 1900-1928 wts to prove it? if he says yes or no it don't matter. I would tell him be bring original copies of all wt book quoted in the CLIMAX book . At this point you have just gave bro Hero a SHOVEL and i would toy with him as he was digging his own grave. Just keep to the bible command to PROVE ALL THING TRUE. remember you WANT TO BE JUST AS HAPPY JESUS WAS WHEN HE INSPECTED THE WTS FROM 1914-18. HENCE YOU WANT TO READ ORGINAL WTS FROM THE TIME. If you hold to this stance you can't lose. Depending on how much a jerk this guy turns out to be. I might not even get him out of the first page in chapter 1. you can bury him on pg 8 and make him find a copy of "the finished mystery" 1917 . You have to taqke control of the topics. and stop wasting your time, while he tries to soften you up with what he did in the first hour with you. he can keep that up for years You have to turn the Hero into a ZERO fast. if you don't put the pressure on you will get nowhere slow. good luck

  • garyneal

    Okay, the second study happened last night. Brother Hero arrived early with his grandson and everyone started to clear the house save for myself. I’ve asked my wife to sit in on a study with us and she responded with, “I wanted to wait until you are comfortable with him first.”

    Anyhow, we spoke more about life and how sacred it is to God, how we were not suppose to hate our brother, and how doing so is the same as being a manslayer. He sure does like to elaborate / preach on many points and I felt like we would only get through 5 more paragraphs today. I was surprised at how quickly this chapter started moving along as we managed to get through 10 paragraphs and stopped just shy of the paragraph where it speaks of blood transfusions. Leading up to it, of course, it references where the Bible speaks of the prohibitions on eating blood as well as how the blood of an animal is to be poured onto the ground. We read a few verses there to show where the Bible speaks of this. A part of me wonders if, perhaps, Brother Hero is onto me since on some paragraphs that we covered he did not even bother to look up the scripture references.

    His grandson was restless and obviously bored. During the opening prayer he stood up twice and while I could not fully make out what he was doing (as I had my head down and was looking out the corner of my eye), he appeared to be waving his arms around (I thought the witnesses did not believe in having the spirit in them). He brought a Nintendo DS with him and I remarked at how he had brought himself something to do during our study. Brother Hero made him turn it off before the study started though and he would not allow him to read any of the paragraphs and limited him on what questions he was allowed to answer. “This is Gary’s study, you will have yours later,” he said. Frankly, I don’t know why he insists on bringing his grandkid with him to these things when the poor kid obviously looks so bored.

    We talked about abortion and I pointed out that one situation would make the decision very difficult, aborting the fetus to save the life of the mother. He did not have an answer and said that it would be a tough call indeed. Then pointed out how abortions in other circumstances are clearly wrong and how if people did not commit fornication to start with, then the whole abortion thing would not be an issue.

    Since we stopped short of the paragraph that dealt specifically with blood transfusions, I did not bring out my tough questions. He did ask if I had any questions but I said, “Not at this time.” My wife and kids returned home and I was not prepared for the discussion on blood transfusions at the time. Then he said something that makes me think that this will be a waste of time. He said, “We will be discussing some things that you do not understand or even agree with and I may not answer your every question, but just keep studying. I remember when I was studying I had a lot of questions and the study conductor told me to just keep studying and your every question will be answered.” I asked him how long did he study to which he replied, “One year. I started studying in 1971 and finished and was baptized in 1972.” “Hmmm, before the change in the baptismal questions,” I thought. I then asked him, “Are your parents witnesses?” “My mom was a witness but not my dad. My dad died when I was young from alcoholism.” More food for thought as I figured that of course he would eventually find the answers to his questions as he was probably indoctrinated since birth and without his father around, I am sure he had a strong motivation.

    I later told my wife that I was disturbed by him saying that he might not answer my every question. I mean, if he just refuses to answer my questions and tell me to keep studying then what is the whole point of him being there? Personally, I feel like I can read the book and answer the questions on my own (though I did not tell her this).

    Next week is when I plan to drop the hammer on him with the questions (in the presence of his grandkid if he is still there). Some topics I plan to bring up are as follows:

    If a doctor told you to abstain from alcohol, do you think the doctor would allow alcohol to be used to treat a wound? Even if the alcohol came from a bottle of whiskey?

    If Jehovah views all life as sacred then does Jehovah value life itself above the Old Testament law?

    We spoke a lot about the Jews, I’ve read that the Jews follow the dietary restrictions of the blood laws to the letter. However when it comes to blood transfusions, they are permissible (not to mention required if deemed medically necessary) because they believe that saving a life is the most important commandment above all others. Does this not harmonize with everything we’ve talked about so far?

    Let’s assume that the Jews are wrong and the Jehovah’s Witnesses are right in regards to how to interpret the blood restrictions found in the Bible. How does allowing blood fractions harmonize with the commandment to abstain from blood? Since blood fractions come from human and animal blood, how does this harmonize with the commandment that requires us to pour the blood onto the ground?

    Depending on where Brother Hero goes with these questions, I may ask some more along the lines of:

    Has the Watchtower always banned blood transfusions?

    Is there anything else the Watchtower has prohibited its Jehovah’s Witnesses from, even at the cost of that witness’s life?

    Apparently, according to Jewish law, there are only three things that take precedence over a person’s life: murder, certain sexual offenses, and idolatry.

  • wasblind

    Gary, on page 71 in the reasoning book it states that blood fractions should be avoided.

    then in the 2006 August awake I think on page 12 it states that the bible does not say

    anything about blood fractions. JW,s say they stick strickly to Bible counsel and do not

    go beyond the things taught, if you show him these things out of his own literature

    it shows from the reasoning book when compared to that Awake mag, they clearly went

    beyoud the things the Bible teach. And changed it

  • wasblind

    I also think it's ashame that that poor child had to not only sit through your study

    but have to sit through the same thing again in his own, just so granpa can get more hours


  • garyneal

    Well, we finally delved into the blood doctrine part of this chapter and I had questions. Truth is, I was not sure how to broach the questions as I did not want to appear confrontational but he knew that there would be some things I would disagree with. We read paragraph 13 with little push back, then proceeded into paragraph 14. At the end of paragraph fourteen he asked the stock question concerning what should Christians do if a doctor says that a blood transfusion is required, this was where it all started.

    “Are you asking me what I think Christians should do or what the paragraph says?” I asked.

    Brother Hero started laughing as if he knew I would have a different viewpoint, he then asked me to read the paragraph first and then I could tell him what I thought. Very well, I read the paragraph’s answer where it spoke of alternative treatments then I proceed with my reasoning.

    I told him that since the chapter concerned the sanctity of life and that the laws were given to the Israelites, Jews, that I did a little background research on Jewish practices today. I indicated that my curiosity came about due to our speaking about meat and kosher products Jews buy today. I even indicated that the Jews were particular about keeping the law, and told him that I had heard that at Jewish hospitals the elevators stop on every floor on the Sabbath so an orthodox Jew would not have to ‘work’ to press the floor button. Yet, in spite of this, when it came to blood transfusions, life took precedence over the law. If a blood transfusion was medically necessary, they were obliged to take it. I told him about Yom Kippur and how Jews who had medical conditions that could be aggravated by fasting were not permitted to fast during this period, etc..

    He and I spoke before about abortions and the scenario where is a mother’s life was in danger should she get the abortion. It was a tough one for either of us to answer but the Jews have an answer according to my research. Life takes precedence over the law and the life of the mother is considered more important. Only three laws could not be broken when a life is at stake, murder, sexual immorality, and idolatry (though at the time I could not remember that last one for him). “It would seem to me,” I said, “that these beliefs operate in harmony with Jehovah’s view about life as we discussed earlier in this chapter.”

    He came back by saying that the Jews do not follow the law now, otherwise they would accept Christ. The Jews are not God’s chosen people, in spite of what everyone is saying. Their nation is no more holy than this coffee table (pointing to our coffee table). We can’t go by what the Jews do today, we must go by what Jehovah says we must do. During his little rebuttal, I said, “What about messianic Jews?” I knew I was going out on a flimsy limb with this one because I knew that those Jews aren’t considered Jews at all by the general Jewish population. However, Brother Hero did not know this and he just kept right on ranting about how the Jews are not God’s chosen people anymore and how they should not be relied upon for understand God’s will. I just let it go at that point.

    Frankly, as I now reflect on that part of the conversation, I have to admit that his remarks struck me as odd because just before we started the study he reiterated how the JEWS and the Gentiles who were coming into the Christian Congregation TM were in dispute over whether or not the Gentiles should receive circumcision. As you know this was the lead up to him explaining how Paul and Barnabus went to Jerusalem to see the Governing Body TM , who existed at the time, to straighten the matter out leading to the laws that carried over today including abstaining from blood. In case you are wondering, yes he did use those “theocratic terms.” Kind of contradicts his arguments concerning the Jews not being God’s chosen ones (though I know if I had brought that up, he would find a Bible verse to counter it), anyhow…

    Moving on, we discussed paragraph fifteen and its attempts to indoctrinate the reader to accept this abstaining from blood transfusions law as divine. After all, you don’t want to displease God for a few meager years in this system of things TM do you? Even at the cost of your everlasting life? Hmmm, aside from my views that salvation cannot be lost by merely committing a ‘sin,’ this struck me as martyr-ism and I indicated this by asking, “So you all believe in being martyrs?”

    Quick to dispel that thought, he quickly answered, “No, no, we’re not being martyrs. We’re not like those people over in the middle east who strap bombs on themselves and blow themselves up and all.” He obviously did not get my point and I suppose that he was doing this to quickly dismiss that notion for himself and his grandkid. Perhaps. I do not know his real motives but never-the-less, he was all too quick to denounce that.

    We looked up the scripture references in that paragraph and I held my place on John chapter 5 while he continued on about how important it is to abstain from blood and how doctors would sometimes lie to get people to accept blood. That did not sit right with me and I expressed that too by saying, “Um, come on. Why would a doctor lie about something like that?” He gave his experience over how his wife needed to have surgery done and they encountered a doctor who was adamantly opposed to performing it without being able to do a blood transfusion. They were faithful and they found another doctor who would and this doctor told her what to do to get prepared, getting her blood count up, etc.. “That’s wonderful,” I said, “but what about countries where the technology isn’t available for performing ‘bloodless’ surgeries? What should they do?” Again, he took me back to paragraph 15 and reiterated how Christians should take that stand even if it costs them their lives. Great, more martyrism.

    I was looking at my Bible (as I had it opened to John 5) and I noticed in the beginning of that chapter it speaks of Jesus breaking the Sabbath. I kindly interrupted his spiel of how doctors try to force transfusions on their patients and his examples of his doctors ‘lying’ and what not and directed him to that passage in scripture. “Jesus breaks the law of the Sabbath to tend to a man’s physical needs, does that not harmonize with what the Jews believe today concerning life being above the law?” He stammers (as he did with some of my other questions) and finally concludes that Jesus is above the law and he freed us from the law. Then he went on to point out the hypocrisy of the Pharisee when Jesus spoke of how they would rescue a sheep that had fallen in a pit on the Sabbath.

    Finally, we read paragraph 16, and I recognized the contradiction right away. “They will not eat it in any form. Nor will they accept blood for medical reasons.” After reading that paragraph, I interrupted his continuing blather about the blood and asked, “It says here that ‘they will not eat it in any form’ but I thought you were allowed to have blood fractions?” I think that threw Brother Hero for a loop for his explanations were downright comical.

    “Well, how can I explain this, say you we’re not allowed to have milk, but you could eat the cream that is in the milk.”

    “So I can have some of the blood then?”

    “Well, hang on, let me see. Well, just because you take a shot that has blood in it, there is not much there. It is not like taking a lot of blood in a blood transfusion.”

    I then told him that “my wife was RH- and needed a shot during her both her pregnancies. I read up on that and learned that it takes 38 to 40 pints of blood to make one dose.” I agreed that obviously that dose did not contain THAT much blood so it must have been taken apart. “However, don’t blood fractions come from blood?”

    “I don’t know.”

    “Well, I thought it did, where else can it come from and if it did, are we not taking in blood?”

    “Well, you see, you know if you take poison it can kill you but if you take just a drop… um, wait a minute. Well, you don’t think a drop of poison is deadly, right?”

    “Maybe, but if not could it not make you sick?”

    “Um, well, well all I know is that the blood fractions in those needles are not enough, not whole blood.”

    “Just a part of blood?”

    “Well, we aren’t allowed to take whole blood, but we can take what can amount to just a drop,” he said as he was holding up his pinky to illustrate how much is enough.

    “Who determines how much blood is too much blood?” I asked.

    “Um, well, um… The doctors! They are the ones who give you the fractions, they’ve already measured it out.”

    “I see, the doctors determine what it too much and what is okay,” I responded and he responded, “Right!” I tell you, the sheer lunacy of his comments knows no bounds. The doctor’s cannot be trusted and are lying but those same doctors can be trusted to determine how much blood is acceptable. He obviously knows NOTHING about the blood doctrine. I held back, he did well to hang in there this long so I decided not to plaster him on the walls too much. But I had to ask this, “Okay, if I were to become a Jehovah’s Witness, would I be allowed to donate blood so that its fractions could be used?”


    “Why not?”

    “Because, blood has to be…” he wanted me to fill in the rest so I said.

    “Um, poured out onto the ground?”

    “Well, uh, yes, but it must be SACRIFICED!” Okay, I am like dumbfounded, does he realize what he is saying?

    “So, any blood that comes out of my body must be sacrificed?”

    “Well, not entirely, doctor’s can draw blood samples but we cannot donate blood because that blood must be…” leading off again and then he finishes it with, “SACRIFICED!”

    “I see, well I guess it does not make sense to me because if I were a witness and I needed blood fractions who else can I get it from? Worldly people?”

    “I don’t know,” he said.

    Wow, all I got to say is WOW. Well, I have to say the conversation was very interesting. I hope his grandson was taking notes as this was his last week in town. The conversation was actually pleasant overall considering. I was a nervous wreck as I was sure this whole thing would become confrontational and end with him assassinating my character similar to what my wife does. My agreeing with a few of his comments about how things are so much better in God’s kingdom than it is here on Earth, I think, helped him realize that I was not trying to dismiss EVERYTHING he was saying. He talks a lot, that’s for sure, but he stayed relatively on subject in spite of him repeatedly saying that doctor’s sometimes lie and that we must use our common sense judgment when examining things. Funny, I thought I was doing exactly that concerning their reasoning on blood.

  • Married to the Mob
    Married to the Mob


    Right now brother hero's brain has exploded if he actually sits back and thinks about the conversation!

    Your conversation sounds like the one I have time and time again with my mother in law! The difference is my MIL would say that blood fractions are a matter of conscience and she wouldn't have them but its ok for worldy people to give them even if it is wasteful of blood! Her brain is programed that thats okay even the statement is wrong on so many levels!

  • garyneal

    Well, we will finish the chapter this week. Guess I will need to find another chapter or let Brother Hero take the lead.

    The 1919 selection would be a good one but I need to somehow get him to lead into it.

  • Broken Promises
    Broken Promises


    Your reasoning on the blood issue was priceless. Bro Hero either hasn't thought too deeply on the subject, or is in denial.

    I appreciate your comments on the studies you are having. It's good to see an outsider's point of view.

  • garyneal

    Oh, and I forgot to mention this in my post but during the closing prayer, Brother Hero reiterated that they were not being martyrs in his prayers. No doubt, I guess he was trying to confirm it in my mind or perhaps, in his and/or his grandson's.

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