I wrote to Mr. Angus Stewart regarding the "bible-based two witness rule" claims made by the Watchtower at the ARC
Besides the email message to Mr. Angus Stewart that I have posted on the other thread, I have send him the following email regarding the two-witness rule and the claims it can't be changed because it's "bible-based":
"Dear Mr. Angus Steward,
I would like to draw your attention to another aspect of the arguments presented by the leadership of the Jehovah's Witness, in this case regarding the "two witness rule" and the duty to report to secular authorities.
Allow me to draw your attention to LEVITICUS 5:1
"If someone sins because he has heard a public call to testify and he is a witness or has seen or learned about it and he does not report it, then he will answer for his error."
(New World Translation)
"If anyone sins because they do not speak up when they hear a public charge to testify regarding something they have seen or learned about, they will be held responsible."
(New International Version)
This passage is often used in the Watchtower publications to remind the Jehovah's Witnesses that they have the moral obligation to report to the elders of the congregation if they become privy to some misconduct from another member of the congregation, even if that person is a close family member. Failing to do so is a serious sin and may bring the person before a judicial committee.
Notice how the person who has become privy to the information needed not two witnesses in order to report to the authorities what he came to know; nor is he required to establish the credibility of the information before reporting it; nor should he seek a confession from the accused before reporting it; nor should he inquiry if it was mandatory in his town to report it.
Accordingly, if an Elder in a congregation of the Jehovah's Witnesses is informed of an allegation of sexual child abuse in the congregation, he should report it to the proper authorities without attempting to establish the credibility of the allegations, or seek a confession from the accused, or waiting for two witnesses of the incident to come forth and bear witness, or even inquiry if reporting is mandatory in his territory. The Bible is clear: report it to the authorities!
Who are the "authorities" here? Well, since sexual child abuse is both a sin AND a public crime, it stands to reason that the sin is to be dealt by the religious authority and the crime is to be dealt by the judicial authorities. The Elders should not wait for instructions from the legal department from the Branch Office and abstain from taking action if they can't establish guilt. Even from the Bible standpoint, it would be extremely easy for the Governing Body of the Jehovah's Witness to look at Leviticus 5:1 and tell the Elders: "Sexual child abuse is a CRIME and in the spirit of Leviticus 5:1, the Elders who become privy to such allegations must immediatly report them to the police and let justice take its course. Only then they can take steps to deal with the sin." How hard would that be?
Obviously, the main concern of the leadership of the Watchtower Society isn't to protect the children and support the victims, but solely to protect its reputation and its own assets."
XXXX XXXXX XXXX XXXX
From what I observed in the ARC, Angus is more knowledgeable about JW doctrine and procedure than the average JW.
Their Governing Body takes a passage from an old and superseded law covenant - and gives it a literal application to one of the most secretive crimes known to humankind (child sexual abuse).
Yes, well written.
The 2 witness rule is cherry picked by the society.
They try and say it applies for a serious crime like child abuse, while conveniently ignoring it if someone is suspected of APOSTASY! (A far greater crime it would seem)
Just the slightest whisper that someone no longer feels the society has "the truth", and that stuff will spread like wildfire, and be the subject of "marking / warning" talks in the hall!
So much for proof, or 2 witnesses!
I have received a reply from the Australian Royal Commission, signed by its CEO, Mr. Philip Reed, on behalf of Mr. Angus Stewart, thanking me for my letter, and informing that it has been "passed to the appropriate officers within the Royal Commission for their consideration."
They are listening.
"From what I observed in the ARC, Angus is more knowledgeable about JW doctrine and procedure than the average JW."
More like -
"From what I observed in the ARC, Angus is more knowledgeable about JW doctrine and procedure than the average Governing Body member."
Well done Eden!
I also contacted the ARC and discussed several of the points.
They were SO nice to speak with, and took the observations very seriously. I drew their attention to the 2016 convention videos and the november broadcast about how they view "worldly" ones and those who leave...
They took notes of the references, and immediately followed the links to the official videos of the society!
My respect for the people involved in the ARC is so high!