Justice #24b - Flock Book & Matt. 18

by Amazing 6 Replies latest jw friends

  • Amazing

    The "Flock" book recommends using Matt. 18, and in that I believe it to be correct, that is, if one is to follow Christian principles ... but ... the hard realities of JW life do not lend themselves well to this application ... here is what the "Flock: book states:

    Applying Jesus' Counsel on Handling Certain Wrongs

    Some accusations involve minor misunderstandings that should be handled on a personal basis. (Matt. 5:23, 24; 6:12, 14; Eph. 4:25-27)

    At Matthew 18:15-17 Jesus gave counsel on handling serious wrongs that might be settled on a personal basis. (w81 9/15 pp. 17-20; om pp. 142-5)Jesus' counsel concerns serious sins committed against one personally, such as fraud or slandersins serious enough to lead to a person's being expelled from the congregation.

    The person who believes he has been wronged takes the first step toward resolving the matter; elders may encourage him to do this.(Matt. 18:15)

    The second step involves taking one or two persons with him to speak with the individual. (Matt. 18:16)

    These should preferably be witnesses of the alleged wrongdoing or respected brothers, usually elders, who can examine the evidence and offer counsel for resolving the matter.

    They also become witnesses to the evidence presented in the discussion.

    The person who believes he has been wronged takes the third step, bringing the matter to the congregation, as a last resort. (Matt. 18:17)

    If the congregation elders are unable to bring a wrongdoer to his senses, he is to be treated "as a man of the nations and as a tax collector."

    The unrepentant wrongdoer would be expelled (disfellowshipped) from the congregation.

    1991 Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania

    In my 25 years with the organization, I only observed an Elder recommend Matthew 18 on one occasion in a matter that was not a Matthew 18 issue, but involved a Regular Pioneer openly teaching against the Congregation. Yes, I now agree with the Pioneer sister, but at the time, the Elder did not follow this simple procedure. I believe that 99% of the issues in the congregation could be solved among individuals without involvement of the Elders ... but for some reason, Matthew 18 is rarely applied as Jesus recommended.

    The point about there being "two witnesses to the wrong doing" was modified to mean "two witnesses to the Matthew 18 efforts" but then the Society has waffled on this like other issues, and as of 1991 seems to have it back to two witnesses of the wrong act. --- Notice always Elders are preferred ... so in a sense, the average JW is not considered as credible, and in another sense, this really brings the congregation into the issue at step 2 before Jesus recommended such.

    Finally, NOTE that FRAUD and SLANDER are disfellowshipping offenses ... thus, when JR Brown, and the Governing Body made slanderous remarks against Bill Bowen , Barbara Anderson, and the Pandelo's, he and they made themselves liable for Disfellowshipping, - technically, and only technically as a matter of procedure, the Watchtower Elders should confer a Judicial hearing to consider whether JR Brown and the Governing Body are guilty of slander and if so are they repentant ... and even if repentant and not DFd they should all be removed from their exemplary position and sent away from serving at Bethel ... that is, if they were to do this as is often done and recommended to be done in the congregation ... for when an Elder or MS seriously sin, though repentant, they are supposed to be removed ... but wait, there is more ...

    According to the 1992 KM School and it discussion of the October 1972 KM, Elders and MSs who sin seriously have a loophole ... if they keep their mouths shut for two or three years, they do NOT have to be removed ... ahhhhh ... but too late for the JR Brown and the GB, because the whole world knows about their slanderous acts, and there is no time for two or three years to pass in secret ...

    Tomorrow, Justice #24c The Judicial Committee

    Edited by - Amazing on 8 October 2002 17:16:6

  • dyan4help

    I know from personal experience. After having major problems with the PO of my congeration I went to other elders to ask for help. They in turn called the CO about the matter and he called me at home. He then met with the PO who said I was lying. The CO asked to meet with me with proof. I met with him and gave him the proof he needed that the PO was lying. After meeting with the PO again, the CO called me at home and said he caught the PO in a lie and that he would take care of the matter. I should do nothing but wait. After waiting 6 months I requested a meeting with the elders again. They said they thought the matter was over and settled. They asked me to wait while they looked into it again. After a while I asked for another meeting. This time I looked up the very scriptures you have here and the watchtower articles about lying and the problems I have with this PO, who by this time is no longer the PO. I printed about 10 pages of stuff from the watchtower CD and went before the elders. They handed me back the papers without even looking at them and said they did not care what was in them because they don't go by the rules that are laid out in the watchtower for people like me. They, meaning elders, have their own set of rules to go by. As far as they were concerned, the matter was over. And if I tried to take them to court, Jehovah would strike me dead for shaming his name. I am disfellowshipped........he is in good standing.


  • Big Tex
    Big Tex
    "two witnesses to the wrong doing"


    This is interesting reading. Thanks for sharing it with us. In my congregation my elders narrowed the two witness rule to mean 2 Jehovah's Witnesses. (This was in regards to my charge of incest against my father.) I had produced two witnesses my aunt and my paternal grandmother, but they were immediately disqualified because they were "wordly". This narrowed definition of two witnesses was backed up by the CO who went further (and actually referred to the Flock book) when he said they had to be eyewitnesses to the actual penetration. Then, and only then, would a judicial committee convene to investigate; not charge, not punish, just investigate. So to sum up, there had to be 2 baptized Jehovah's Witnesses in good standing watching a child being raped (evidently stooping to witness the actual penetration) before an investigation could be convened. From what I am hearing and reading from your posting, that does not appear to be what the Flock book says.

  • Amazing

    HI BigTex:

    So to sum up, there had to be 2 baptized Jehovah's Witnesses in good standing watching a child being raped (evidently stooping to witness the actual penetration) before an investigation could be convened. From what I am hearing and reading from your posting, that does not appear to be what the Flock book says.

    This is typical policy to only use active JWs in good standing as credible witnesses. It is a wicked policy, and what happened to you is the root of the problem that Bill Bowen has been dealing with via SilentLambs.

    The "Flock" book quote above only deals with a Matthew 18 issue between two JWs, and not necessarily congregational action ... I will be adding to this series each day as I go through the Flock book ... and more should come out about the use of "two witnesses" in other situations.

  • minimus

    In our congregation, Mt 18 was always being brought up. Local needs talks had to be given because everybody that had an issue with someone [wrongly] was applying this passage...The biggest offenders??? The ELDERS!

  • UnDisfellowshipped

    Here is some more Information and Watchtower Quotes on the "Matthew 18:15-17" Rule:

    The Watchtower Society's "Organized To Accomplish Our Ministry" Book (1983 and 1989 Editions) state that MATTHEW 18:15-17 ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT APPLY TO ANY SEXUAL MATTERS OR OTHER "GROSS" SINS.

    Here are the Quotes from the "Organized to Accomplish Our Ministry" Book which I found at http://watchtower.observer.org (I believe this Book is only given to Baptized Witnesses or Witnesses who are about to be Baptized, this Book's "Nickname" is the "Organization Book"):

    Organized To Accomplish Our Ministry Book (1983 and 1989 Editions), Chapter 12, Under the Sub-Heading "NOT OVERLOOKING SERIOUS WRONGS":

    When giving counsel, Jesus outlined some specific procedures for resolving problems of serious wrongdoing, such as fraud or slander, that arise between fellow Christians. Note the steps that he set out: "Moreover, if your brother commits a sin, [1] go lay bare his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, [2] take along with you one or two more, in order that at the mouth of two or three witnesses, every matter may be established. If he does not listen to them, [3] speak to the congregation. If he does not listen even to the congregation, let him be to you just as a man of the nations and as a tax collector." -Matt. 18:15-17.

    ...although serious, the offenses here discussed were limited in nature to such as could be settled between the individuals involved. This would not include such offenses as fornication, adultery, homosexuality, blasphemy, apostasy, idolatry and similar gross sins that should be reported to the elders and handled by them. When the Law covenant was in force, these sins required more than forgiveness from an offended individual. -1 Cor. 6:9, 10; Gal. 5:19-21.

    ...in view of the illustration that Jesus subsequently gave, as recorded in Matthew 18:23-35, the sins considered in Matthew 18:15-17 evidently were sins such as those involving financial or property matters--failure to make proper payment for something or some action involving a measure of fraud. The sin might damage one's reputation by actual slander. In these cases, if the offender recognized his wrong, expressed willingness to right it to the extent possible and sought forgiveness, the matter could be settled by the offended one's granting forgiveness. -Compare Matthew 5:25, 26.

    HOWEVER, in the November 1st 1995 Watchtower Issue (which is on the Official Watchtower.org Website at this Address: http://www.watchtower.org/library/w/1995/11/1a/article_01.htm ), it states the following:

    What if the sufferer decides that he wants to make an accusation? (FOOTNOTE SAYS: It may also be necessary for the step outlined in this paragraph to be taken if the matter has become common knowledge in the congregation.) Then the two elders can advise him that, in line with the principle at Matthew 18:15, he should personally approach the accused about the matter. If the accuser is not emotionally able to do this face-to-face, it can be done by telephone or perhaps by writing a letter. In this way the one accused is given the opportunity to go on record before Jehovah with his answer to the accusation. He may even be able to present evidence that he could not have committed the abuse. Or perhaps the one accused will confess, and a reconciliation may be achieved. What a blessing that would be! If there is a confession, the two elders can handle matters further in accordance with Scriptural principles.

    If the accusation is denied, the elders should explain to the accuser that nothing more can be done in a judicial way. And the congregation will continue to view the one accused as an innocent person. The Bible says that there must be two or three witnesses before judicial action can be taken. (2 Corinthians 13:1; 1 Timothy 5:19) Even if more than one person "remembers" abuse by the same individual, the nature of these recalls is just too uncertain to base judicial decisions on them without other supporting evidence. This does not mean that such "memories" are viewed as false (or that they are viewed as true). But Bible principles must be followed in establishing a matter judicially.

    What if the one accused though denying the wrongdoing is really guilty? Does he "get away with it," as it were? Certainly not! The question of his guilt or innocence can be safely left in Jehovah's hands. "The sins of some men are publicly manifest, leading directly to judgment, but as for other men their sins also become manifest later." (1 Timothy 5:24; Romans 12:19; 14:12) The book of Proverbs says: "The expectation of the righteous ones is a rejoicing, but the very hope of the wicked ones will perish." "When a wicked man dies, his hope perishes." (Proverbs 10:28; 11:7) Ultimately, Jehovah God and Christ Jesus render everlasting judgment in justice. 1 Corinthians 4:5.

    However, the NEW "Worship the Only True God" Book, in Chapter 16, states that the Matthew 18:15-17 Rule is NOT SUPPOSED TO BE USED FOR "GROSS" SINS OR SEXUAL MATTERS!

    So, with that 1995 Watchtower, the Society was either saying that SEXUAL Matters ARE supposed to be covered by the Matthew 18:15-17 Rule, OR they are saying that molestation is NOT a "Gross Sin".
  • Pathofthorns
    I believe that 99% of the issues in the congregation could be solved among individuals without involvement of the Elders ... but for some reason, Matthew 18 is rarely applied as Jesus recommended.

    This is something I noticed too and was rather vocal about many times. There is something about JW culture that drives elders to get involved in so many trivialities that just bog them down and make mountains out of molehills.


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