An article of great impact. I have felt this for a long time, but have never found the right words.
A Return to the Basics - Part I
A great artical Farkel have you nolticed why people including christians of other denominations respect the Salvation Army so much , its because of there unconditional love for there fellow man.
The WT and Proclaimers book specifically state that for the congregation as an entity to help out one of their own in need the following POLICIES must be observed:
1) The person in need must first have asked all his/her relatives for help and been refused any help.
2) The person in need must have had a LONG record of service in the Watchtower religion.
3) The person in need must have also had not just a long record of service, but a long record of FA ITHFUL service in the Watchtower religion.
I don't know anything about this. However it does make some sort of sense, my own mother has been approved for residence in one of the Jah-Jireh homes when she finds that she can't cope any longer. She tells me that the approval is based on her years of service. Please can someone quote the Proclaimers book exactly in this thread?
Here are the relevant Proclaimer quotes, and a few of my modest comments:
: *** jv 304-10 19 Growing Together in Love ***
"Do Jehovah's Witnesses in modern times engage in works that demonstrate such concern for the well-being of others? "
"If so, are these performed by only a few scattered individuals,..."
: "... or does the organization as a whole encourage and support such efforts?"
"Loving Help in Local Congregations
"Among Jehovah's Witnesses, care for orphans and widows in the congregation, as well as for any faithful ones who experience severe adversity, is viewed as part of their worship. (Jas. 1:27; 2:15-17; 1 John 3:17, 18)
Well, it's not exactly viewed part of their worship. Dubs are FIRST encouraged to suck off the government where at all possible, because as the following clearly states, the PRIMARY responsibility of all dubs is to SELL BOOKS:
"Secular governments generally make provision for hospitals, housing for the elderly, and welfare arrangements for unemployed people in the community at large, and Jehovah's Witnesses support those arrangements by conscientiously paying their taxes. However, recognizing that only God's Kingdom can lastingly solve the problems of humankind, Jehovah's Witnesses devote themselves and their resources primarily to teaching others about that. This is a vital service that no human government provides.
"In the more than 69,000 congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide, special needs that arise because of advanced age and infirmity of individuals are usually cared for on a personal basis."
In otherwords, "it's not the considered to be the responsibility of the Watchtower Organization."
"As shown at 1 Timothy 5:4, 8, the responsibility rests primarily upon each Christian to care for his own household. Children, grandchildren, or other close relatives display Christian love by providing assistance to elderly and infirm ones according to their needs. Congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses do not weaken this sense of responsibility by taking over family obligations. However, if there are no close family members, or if those who have the responsibility simply cannot carry the load by themselves, others in the congregation lovingly come to their aid. Where necessary, the congregation as a whole may make provision for some assistance to a needy brother or sister who has a long record of faithful service.-1 Tim. 5:3-10."
As I've said, they've qualified helping to the needy to the point that even if the person in need DOES have the requisite "long record of faithful service," even then the congregation only MAY step forward for "some" assistance.
In WatchtowerWorld their ever-so-conditional charity is about "deeds," not "needs."
The Watchtower would re-write Jesus words this way:
Samaritan to injured man on the road: "Do you have a long record of faithful service?"
Injured man: "Well, no, I don't."
Sarmaritan: "Tough cookies for you, then. Have a nice day."
Edited by - Farkel on 13 August 2002 12:2:18
Your post is such a good one. Full of insight and good common sense. You are so right about getting stuck--just like the U2 song "Stuck In The Moment"........which I listened to the other evening so intently, as the words were really hitting home with me.
We need the help and support that your wisdom provides here on this Forum.
Your closing words ...."despite what they say, they don't even have the basics right" really hits home.
If we have selective and conditional love, what good is it, if it separates family and friends in the name of religious dogma? If we have to have rules for every single thing in our life, dictated by a man made authority, what good is a conscience?
When a person is down the most, that's when they need help the most. They don't need to be shunned, disowned, rejected, labled, disfellowshipped. Yet, this is what JW's do when a person is at their lowest place. They push them down even further and they trample them. Where is the love I ask?
Certainly, not within the WTBTS.
Excellent points, Farkel.
I've always been bothered by the WTS's rules about helping others. I felt as if I was disobeying God if I wanted to help in a soup kitchen, or give to the United Way or Red Cross. Oh no, shoving a WT rag in some poor starving man's face was what God wanted me to do. LOL!
Once while in street work, I actually snuck this poor freezing, tattered man with a broken leg into a coffee shop. He asked for nothing when I saw him, but I felt he would collapse at any moment. I bought him coffee and donuts, then left him in the warm shop. I told no other 'hovahs what I did.
I'll bet you gave great talks, too bad you couldn't have written your own material back then. There is a simple answer why the JW leaders do not preach the basics. How many NEW books and magazines could you sell that said the same simple basic things over and over again?
The JW religion is a billion dollar corporation, that level of finical success cannot be achieved by contributions alone, it needs a product to sell. As in any product there are many "me too" type products being sold by competitors. Any money making corporation needs to constantly update and improve their product line to keep up with their sales projections. I have yet to hear of a large district convention held during the summer that didn't introduce new products "books" to their eager customers. You have millions of JW's attending the conventions and you have millions of products sold during those conventions and for several months following.
The JW's have always argued that the publications or "products" are sold at a very low cost. Well,...being a business owner and owning a manufacturing company previously myself I know that the cost of goods have many factors to consider to set it's retail price. The JW corporation being nonprofit can escape these costs. They pay their factory workers peanuts, they have no distributor or reseller that has to make a profit and they avoid paying taxes. When this is done your costs can stay very minimal.
To simply state the basic truth over and over again wouldn't be profitable. They need to make up new stuff all the time to sell their books and magazines. The only basics the JW's practice is simply business practices of supply and demand. Being a religion and having all their followers duped they create the demand by creating a need. They create the need by using fear. Fear sells almost as well as sex. The simple truth and basic concepts you speak of simply do not sell well.
Do you have a long record of faithful service..No..Tough cookies for you?..LOL...OUTLAW
I noticed they never learned the basic principle of "Judge others as you expect to be Judged" . In other words .. they don't want to and refuse to be judged with the same yardstick they use for others. And if this is pointed out then it's "persecution" of course. For example: Singing a song about a Christmas Tree or standing for the national anthem at a baseball game is defined as worshipping the Tree or the Country .. but singing a song about Jesus in the meeting is not considered worship. They don't think its relevant to bring up past errors in the Literature and failed predictions, but yet the Inquisitions and other past ancient history of Christendom is always brought up to compare with themselves to downplay the mistakes. Or even the latest with the Child molesting.. "elders are just imperfect" but Catholics are downright sinister and Evil for doing the very same things the Watchtower is now being exposed for. That is a basic I feel the Watchtower skipped right over.