The Australian: Women to 'Never Rule' in Jehovah's church

by AndersonsInfo 33 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • AndersonsInfo

    August 4, 2015 Annette Blackwell

    A JEHOVAH'S Witness official says the church's stance to never let women hold decision-making roles compares to Muslim and Aboriginal people adhering to their own ancient beliefs.

    RODNEY Spinks, who advises church elders on how to handle child sex abuse cases, told the sex abuse royal commission on Tuesday women would never make decisions in the Jehovah's Witnesses because it would mean changing a "clear scriptural arrangement".

    Commission chair Peter McClellan said the practice did not fit with current understandings of responses to child sex abuse and asked if women could become decision makers because victims often preferred to tell their intimate stories to women.

    Mr Spinks said there was no possibility that would happen because the church would not adjust what it saw as "clear instructions" in the Bible.

    When Justice McClellan pointed out social and political contexts had changed since the Bible was written, Mr Spinks asked: "Will Muslim people change what they believe is in the Koran, will Aboriginal people change what they believed is in their culture?"

    "I think there are just some things that are so deeply a part of their faith and belief system" that they cannot be changed, he said.

    Mr Spinks, who runs the service desk at Watchtower Australia - the church's legal entity, was giving evidence on the sixth day of a hearing into how the theocracy deals with sexual abuse allegations.

    He and other church witnesses have faced detailed questioning on the internal practice of expecting abuse victims to confront abusers in front of a judicial panel of three elders - all men.

    Mr Spinks also said where there was a conflict between the Bible and science, the Bible would prevail, because all scripture is "inspired by God".

    Justice McClellan asked what would happen if the law of the country was to prescribe a mode of behaviour which conflicted with the Jehovah's Witness understanding of the Bible.

    Mr Spinks: "We would apply the words in the Book of Acts, (fifth book of the New Testament) 529 to obey God as we did in the Second World War (against the Nazis)".

    Justice McClellan asked if Witnesses applied St Paul's injunction to Corinthians that women should be kept silent in congregations and not permitted to speak.

    Mr Spinks said the verse was being quoted out of context and women in the Jehovah's Witnesses were very outspoken at congregational meetings, but they could not teach.

    Church witnesses have repeatedly referred to Watchtower publications as the source of detailed and sensitive advice to congregations on how to deal with child sex abuse victims.

    Counsel for the commission, Angus Stewart SC, said the problem for the commission was trying to pin down the source of the policies was like trying to "put your finger on a ball of mercury".

    The hearing continues on Wednesday with more witnesses from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia - the church's legal entity.

  • jwleaks
    Angus Stewart SC, said the problem for the commission was trying to pin down the source of the policies was like trying to "put your finger on a ball of mercury".

    Translation - "slippery little buggers trying squirm out of a situation"

  • WTWizard

    Everywhere you see this damnation book or its cousin the quran, you see women treated as scum. Judaism is no better--it is the root of the whole problem. Going back to Eden where the woman was blamed for our damnation, to rules in Leviticus doubling uncleanness for a girl instead of a boy, to who knows how much smut about women causing problems (lies) in that damnation book. Then Paul adds to it.

    Granted, women tend to have differences from men. However, they are just as capable of leading as men, and should be allowed to do so without having to submit to a male boss. Just because women have a harder time, generally speaking, lifting heavy loads than men do does not make them inferior--men have their own failings, including fine detailed work. And women have the ability to make decisions without consulting men--just brute strength does not make one competent to lead.

  • Crazyguy
    Its curious in the book of Thessalonian's I believe woman are not to speak at all in the congregational meetings, only confide in their husbands with questions etc. The JW religion is not holding fast to this rule yet they, woman, are not to lead? What hypocrisy!
  • respectful_observer
    Counsel for the commission, Angus Stewart SC, said the problem for the commission was trying to pin down the source of the policies was like trying to "put your finger on a ball of mercury".

    Haha...too funny. The WT lawyers are trying very hard to avoid confirming any direct link between the creation and management of the Organization's policies (including child abuse) and the GB. If that happens, then Jackson will immediately be on the hook to testify. Their argument that Jackson's testimony as a GB member would be of little value because he's responsible for language translation is beyond laughable. I'm sure the Legal Dept does all the legwork of building the policies, but I don't think a single JW-- no matter how much Kool-Aid they drink-- would imagine that the GB hasn't reviewed and approved the policies and procedures for something as serious and judicial as child abuse.

    Based on what I've heard so far from the RC hearings, the WT lawyers received the direction: "Inveigle and obfuscate. Inveigle and obfuscate."

  • ToesUp

    I have worked and associated with women that could run circles (intelligence/financially) around these "men."

    This cult treats women as second class citizens. I could tell this pissed the commission off. This cult is not fooling the RC, they see right through it.

  • breakfast of champions
    breakfast of champions

    It would be great if the society's response to this matter was to no longer permit women's participation in congregation meeting since the bible commands "women to be silent." 😉

    That was a great point made by McClellan, highlighting the society's inconsistent application of scripture.

    I had wondered about that myself while "still in" but would not have questioned it openly in a million years for fear of reprisal.

  • Heaven

    The GB almost braggingly state they 'lovingly provide spiritual food at the proper time'. And yet they cannot go to a Royal Commission hearing to braggingly testify to this?

    Something is rotten in the state of Denmark... uuuh... I mean, Australia.

  • umbertoecho
    Yes. It's wonderful to hear these men attempt at times to preach, then have His Honour or Stewart refuse a theological debate. For........."were not here to discuss ......your' views on the bible..........." (loose quote from today)
  • done4good

    ToesUp - I have worked and associated with women that could run circles (intelligence/financially) around these "men."

    Overall, some of the most capable leaders I know of are women, (I include in this my wife, CIO, and others). Generally, more sound decisions are made without the extra shot of testosterone.

    FWIW, as bad as WT is, there is almost no way this issue would exist if the organization were ran by women.


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