This time I'll concentrate in giving a factual, documented proof,
concerning the great issue of :
" civilian service that is a part of national service
under a civilian administration "
Let's start with the " new light/ viewpoint/ doctrine/ opinion"
which was published by the WTBS in the year 1996:
*** w96 5/1 20 Paying Back Caesar's Things to Caesar ***
19 What, though, if the State requires a Christian for a period of time to perform civilian service that is a part of national service under a civilian administration? Here again, Christians must make their own decision based on an informed conscience. We shall all stand before the judgment seat of God. (Romans 14:10) Christians faced with a requirement of Caesar should prayerfully study the matter and meditate on it. It may also be wise to talk the matter over with mature Christians in the congregation. After this a personal decision must be made.Proverbs 2:1-5; Philippians 4:5.
Let's read two paragraphs further down;
" 21 What if the Christians honest answers to such questions lead him to conclude that the national civilian service is a good work that he can perform in obedience to the authorities? That is his decision before Jehovah. Appointed elders and others should fully respect the conscience of the brother and continue to regard him as a Christian in good standing. If, however, a Christian feels that he cannot perform this civilian service, his position should also be respected. He too remains in good standing and should receive loving support.1 Corinthians 10:29; 2 Corinthians 1:24; 1 Peter 3:16. "
Great, the WTBS Inc. waited until the year 1996, before, writing to the R&F, and above all the young brothers, coming to the conclusion, at the end of the with article , that to accept or refuse : " civilian service that is a part of national service under a civilian administration "
was , after all a matter of:
1*** " own decision based on an informed conscience ";
2*** " a personal decision..";
3*** " is his decision before Jehovah.."
Now, the WTBS Inc. again, thought that most of the R&F had short
memory, and/or read very little and/or made no researches at all, and
all this without forgetting the impact made by the above mentioned article
on the thousands of JWs and ex-JWs touched personally by theconclu-
sions printed .
So as usual , we take the time machine and arrive in the year 1974 when
an article on the Awake! stated this:
*** g74 12/8 22 The Netherlands Frees Imprisoned Witnesses
*** But Jehovahs witnesses in the Netherlands have refused, not only military service, but also any noncombatant work offered as a substitute.
The Scriptural reason for their stand will be considered later in this article."
*** g74 12/8 23
The Netherlands Frees Imprisoned Witnesses ***
Authorities Begin to Listen
On March 26, 1971, three representatives of Jehovahs witnesses met with a forum representing the ministries of Defense and Justice. The discussion lasted two and a half hours.
One of the first points of discussion presented by the forum was this: That you wish no part in performing military service is clear and needs no further explanation. But what really is your objection to civil, alternative service?
The Witnesses explained that it is not that they are opposed to civil service as such, but, rather, it is a matter of strict neutrality. Therefore, any work that is merely a substitute for military service would be unacceptable to Jehovahs witnesses.
Other questions narrowed the issue down still further. When a person objects to military service, the governments agents declared, he passes from military jurisdiction on to civil jurisdiction and from that moment has nothing at all to do with the military. Why, then, is the accepting of such civil service still so objectionable?
Willingly accepting such work is objectionable to the Christian because of what Gods law says about the matter: You were bought with a price; stop becoming slaves of men. (1 Cor. 7:23 ) Civilian servitude as a substitute for military service would be just as objectionable to the Christian. In effect, he would thereby become a part of the world instead of keeping separate as Jesus commanded.John 15:19; 17:14-16.Do you notice that contrary to the statement made on *** w96 5/1 20 Paying Back Caesar's Things to Caesar *** , it was not an individual witness who face the representatives of Dutch " ministries of Defense and Justice", but some " three representatives of Jehovahs witnesses "! Now if the issue was really a matter of: 1*** " own decision based on an informed conscience "; 2*** " a personal decision.."; 3*** " is his decision before Jehovah.." why somebody else should speak, in an issue which involves a "personal decision "? Then we should not forget what those " three representatives of Jehovahs witnesses " stated: ***" any work that is merely a substitute for military service would be unacceptable to Jehovahs witnesses." And also, something else which I believe is of the greatest importance: "Civilian servitude as a substitute for military service would be just as objectionable to the Christian. In effect, he would thereby become a part of the world instead of keeping separate as Jesus commanded.John 15:19; 17:14-16." It clear that in 1974, was officially stated in front of government officials that: a) " any work that is merely a substitute for military service.." and , just in case the position would not be clear enough it was added , always by " three representatives of Jehovahs witnesses " that : b) "Civilian servitude as a substitute for military service would be just as objectionable to the Christian." It should be added that this - firm - position was backed up supporting scriptures, i.e. John 15:19; 17:14-16.- Should we remind all, that any brother who might have chosen: " any work that is merely a substitute for military service.." or "Civilian servitude as a substitute for military service would be just as objectionable to the Christian." would have been considered, by the congregation's elders, according to the WTBS Inc.'s directives published in the elders' manual " Pay attention to the flock " as having dissociated himself from the congregation and as resultto be shunned and avoided by all " loyal Christians" in the congregation. (See ks/ page 101, sub heading " Implications of disassociation). Wothy reminder is also the article which was published in the year 1966 (Awake ! September 22 nd , 1966 pages 21-23 ) and also in the Yearbook 1991 where it is written: *** yb91 166 Sweden-1991 Yearbook Report *** Representatives of the branch office appeared before the committee, explaining that the Witnesses could not accept any substitute for military service whatsoever, no matter how praiseworthy the task. Please notice than in the early 70's , the : " epresentatives of the branch office", not the individual witness by himself, explained to a Governmental committee that: Witnesses could not accept any substitute for military service whatsoever, no matter how praiseworthy the task. In case one should forget, the WTBS Inc. hammered again the same nail in the year 1986, with this statement: *** w86 9/1 20 Christian Neutrals in a Bloodstained World *** 16 These Christians continued to pay back Caesars things to Caesar. They obeyed the laws of the land as upright citizens. (Matthew 22:17-21; Romans 13:1-7) But more importantly, they paid back to God the things that belonged to him, including their dedicated lives and Christian worship. Hence, when Caesar demanded to have Gods things, they acted in harmony with the principles stated at Acts 4:19 and Ac 5:29. Whether the issue was shedding blood, noncombatant military work, alternative service, or saluting an image such as a national flag, faithful Christians took the position that there was no middle ground . In some cases they were executed because of this stand.Matthew 24:9; Revelation 2:10. Much surprise and indignation, was felt by thousands of brothers world-wide when such comments appeared on a magazine in 1998 : *** w98 8/15 17 Strengthening Our Confidence in God's Righteousness *** Feelings of Having Suffered Needlessly 6 In the past, some Witnesses have suffered for refusing to share in an activity that their conscience now might permit. For example, this might have been their choice years ago as to certain types of civilian service. A brother might now feel that he could conscientiously perform such without overstepping his Christian neutrality regarding the present system of things. 7 Was it unrighteous on Jehovahs part to allow him to suffer for rejecting what he now might do without consequences? Most who have had that experience would not think so. Rather, they rejoice that they had the opportunity of demonstrating publicly and clearly that they were determined to be firm on the issue of universal sovereignty. (Compare Job 27:5.) What reason could anyone have to regret having followed his conscience in taking a firm stand for Jehovah? By loyally upholding Christian principles as they understood them or by responding to the proddings of conscience, they proved worthy of Jehovahs friendship. Certainly, it is wise to avoid a course that would disturb ones conscience or that would likely cause others to be stumbled. We can think in this regard of the example that the apostle Paul set.1 Corinthians 8:12, 13; 10:31-33. 9 In modern times, there have been some Witnesses who were very strict in their view of what they would or would not do. For that reason they suffered more than others. Later, increased knowledge helped them to expand their view of matters. But they have no reason to regret having earlier acted in harmony with their conscience, even when this possibly brought extra suffering. So, within the space of almost 40 years now itis the brothers fault !! It was their conscience after all ! On top of it, how nice , how grateful they should be nowbecause increased knowledge helped them to expand their view of matters . This is a clear case of adding insults to the injuries. In conclusion I do believe that again we can see very clearly, the devastating effects of another man opinion/viewpoint/doctrine, of a worldly proportion. Again just few words but how many lies does recent WTBS Inc. s history reveals. I hope that this part too, could be useful. Greetings, J.C.MacHislopp " Per quae peccat quis, per haec et torquetur " (Solomon , Wisdom, XI, 17)