Hi everyone, yet another analysis of a recent Watchtower I'm afraid. This one's a little closer to home, as it concerns apostates. Yes - I'm referring to the forthcoming article "Will You Heed Jehovah's Clear Warnings?" (w11 7/15 p15-19) to be discussed at the meetings very shortly indeed, between September 5th and 11th.
You may want to brace yourselves, and/or your loved ones, because it contains some real venom!
I'll start with my "headline" item - where the society are evidently now dissuading brothers from watching news items that touch on Jehovah's Witnesses, or on which former witnesses are interviewed. The Society issues this order both in print, and by means of a not-so-subtle visual aid which conveys their guidance as to the degree to which witnesses should be on their guard...
So, the lesson for us? If a credible news report featuring a former witness flashes up on your TV screen whilst you and your wife are doing your Days Text over coffee and muffins, you should switch that channel, even if the item has been well-researched and substantiated by a responsible journalist. The written instructions appear in paragraph 7 as follows:
"What is involved in avoiding false teachers? We do not receive them into our homes or greet them. We also refuse to read their literature, watch TV programs that feature them, examine their Web sites, or add our comments to their blogs. Why do we take such a firm stand? Because of love. We love "the God of truth," so we are not interested in twisted teachings that contradict his word of truth. (Ps. 31:5; John 17:17)"
Needless to say, the article DOESN'T go on to say... "Ironically, you'll never know just how twisted our teachings are, because you're now banned from finding out!"
The article includes some forthright assertions about apostates and their motives:
- Apostates are false teachers, or 'dried up wells'. "Anyone coming to them for waters of truth will be bitterly disappointed". Isn't anybody who teaches something that can be proved as false automatically a "false teacher"? Are the Society willing to have their beliefs and teachings independently verified as to their truthfulness?
- What do apostates want? "They are not content just to leave the organization that they perhaps once loved. Their aim, Paul explained, is to 'draw away the disciples after themselves.' Note the definite article in the expression 'the disciples'. Rather than going out and making their own disciples, apostates seek to take Christ's disciples with them. Like 'ravenous wolves,' false teachers are out to devour trusting members of the congregation, destroying their faith and leading them away from the truth.-Matt. 7:15; 2 Tim. 2:18.This inadvertently reveals the real issue that is of most pressing importance to the Society - people coming back and snatching their devoted followers. "Leave our followers alone, go and find your own followers, we found ours first!" Also, how can Paul's words be arbitrarily applied to anybody who leaves the organisation, when the majority of "apostates" remain Christian, and aren't interested in drawing people away from Christ at all - more in saving individual witnesses from spending their entire lives in absolute servitude to a flawed human organisation?
- The methods of apostates reveal a cunning spirit, as they "quietly bring in" corruptive ideas. "Like smugglers, they operate in a clandestine manner, subtly introducing apostate views. And just as a clever forger tries to pass phony documents, so apostates use "counterfeit words," or false arguments, trying to pass their fabricated views as if they were true. They spread "deceptive teachings," "twisting... the Scriptures" to fit their own ideas. (2 Pet. 2:1, 3, 13; 3:16) Clearly, apostates do not have our best interests at heart.There is nothing clandestine whatsoever about books such as Crisis of Conscience, or websites such as jwfacts, and all information contained in both of those resources can be fully verified by documentary evidence. Actually, most of the above quote can be re-directed towards the Society themselves, as it is they who have subtly and gradually introduced blatantly flawed doctrine over many decades, "trying to pass their fabricated views as if they were true", and "twisting the Scriptures to fit their own ideas" (i.e. the "increasing light" doctrine). Do the society have "our best interests at heart" by breaking up families rather than allowing disfellowshipped wrongdoers to undermine their influence and authority by sharing the 'real truth' with their family members?
- "apostates are 'mentally diseased,' and they seek to infect others with their disloyal teachings. (1 Tim. 6:3,4) Jehovah, the Great Physician, tells us to avoid contact with them.This is perhaps where the article hits the 'lowest of the low' where aspertions are cast against the mental integrity of anybody who would be crazy enough to be disloyal to the organisation. Interestingly, the mental health of memorial partakers is also brought into question in another recent article, so your regular publisher has a straight choice between accepting information from 'mentally diseased' former witnesses, or the 'mentally or emotionally imbalanced' memorial partakers who serve on the Governing Body. It's what's often called 'being stuck between a rock and a hard place'! As the glamrock group Slade once put it, "Mama weer all crazee now!"
As always, the thoughts of all you loonies and crackpots out there would be greatly appreciated. And remember, stay away from that TV, and particularly any reputable new items about the witnesses!