With all this talk about the WTS owning stock in the Military and all.. Is this the real question? When I was a JW, gambling was considered a no-no. Isn't owning/buying/dealing in stocks, in itself gambling? Just a thought..
WTS owning Stock.....
Hi Rip: You asked, "Is this the real question? When I was a JW, gambling was considered a no-no. Isn't owning/buying/dealing in stocks, in itself gambling?"
Life is a gamble. Driving down the street, taking an elevator, flying, working with equipment, or fixing our home. The better word is "risk" and whether the objective of an endeavor is "worth" the risk.
Buying stock means that you have legal ownership interest in a company. You are entitled to the dividends from the profits, and the value of the stock if the company sells to another. It is an investment "risk." If the stock fails to perform, and loses value or the company is not able to pay out dividends, the risk was there all along.
Casino gambling is not an act of ownership, and no rights exist except the right to throw the dice, play the cards, or pull the handle on the slot machine. The risk/odds are set by state law, usually 60%/40% in the house favor. If you lose the game of chance, you loss your bet. No rights remain unless you bet again, buying a new chance.
The Bible does not directly condemn gambling. It condemns greed, and getting something for nothing ... some reason that gambling is an act of entertainment, and they plan to spend a certain amount on it, and stop ... if they win great, and if they lose, they have conditioned themselves to accept that outcome. My dad gambled many times at Las Vegas, and always broke even or came out slightly ahead ... but he was a rare case.
Since leaving the JWs, I have spent one outing at Reno, Nevada ... and set my limit, and stuck to it. I won some and lost some. But netted a loss in the end.
The Watchtower's ownership of stock, in and of itself does not bother me. My concern has more to do with their claim to be a non-profit religion, and how they justify profits from stock dividends. Also, and far more importantly, they teach the JWs not to seek this world's riches, getting ahead financially, yet they hold stock and benefit from its profits ... getting ahead financially.
The greatest issue in this, for me, is the fact that they condemn the military and governments of this world as being of Satan, and they hold to being consciencious objectors ... and would DF any JW owning such stock in military manufacturing ... yet, the Society continues to hold stock in Rand Cam (US Regi) ... and while it is not a huge investment, worth about $2.5 to $3 Million, it is a clear double standard and fits in with being grossly hypocritical. That is the issue.
Following Bible principles, we will avoid trying to live - or demand others to live - by an extensive and rigid set of dos and don'ts that go beyond the teachings of the Bible. The Watchtower, 4-15-02, pg 22, pp 15