Love one another intensely...avoid partiality

by RULES & REGULATIONS 20 Replies latest watchtower bible


    The Watchtower—Study Edition | March 2020


    Love One Another Intensely

    If we have intense “love for the whole association of brothers,” we will avoid being partial

    7 Jesus urged us to keep treating others the way we want to be treated. He added that we should not limit our love only to those who show love in return. (Luke 6:31-33) Though it would be unusual, what if someone in the congregation avoids you and refuses to greet you? That is what Lara experienced. She explains: “A sister ignored me, and I did not know why. I felt tense and did not enjoy going to the meetings.” At first, Lara reasoned: ‘I am not at fault. After all, others in the congregation also feel that this sister behaves strangely.’

    19 We have examined how having intense love for one another can help us to be peacemakers, to be impartial, and to be hospitable. We must overcome any negative feelings and love our brothers and sisters intensely from the heart. If we do, we will be happy and we will prove that we really are Jesus’ disciples.​—John 13:17, 35.

    A whole study article had to be written about loving one another, being impartial and being hospitable towards members in every Kingdom Hall. But aren't these practiced in every congregation? I don't think so!

    The study article photo (above) is not an exaggeration. Who has time to talk to elderly Joe who is old and boring?There are so many cliques inside the Kingdom Hall, you cannot count all of them. You have the young teen cliques, the elder wives cliques, the married couples cliques, the pioneer cliques and the elder cliques. You're out of luck if you happen to be a single male/female or a married brother/sister who attends the meeting by themselves because of an unbelieving mate. How many times were you not greeted or invited to an occasion by your loving congregation members?

    The article forgets to mention all the drama, backstabbing, rumors, divorces, verbal fights, heated words, conflicts, shady business practices inside the Kingdom Halls, loans that are never paid in full and infighting for power control of the local Kingdom Hall.

  • truth_b_known

    Self-incriminating article to say the least. I experienced this all too well while I was a Witnesses. Love is the only metric required to prove or disprove a religion.

  • DesirousOfChange

    Every Cong has those people (like the old guy in the photo) or families that fall through the cracks. Seems like they ended up in our car group on many Saturday mornings as everyone else had "prior plans" or were "working as a family" (which I think translates to just going home).

  • StephaneLaliberte

    Such articles honorably try to foster friendship and good relationships across cultures and ages. However, the actual outcome is largely not what these articles aim for. This issue applies to all religions where members gather based on their shared faith.

    Through the years, I noticed that after such articles would come out, people (including me), would reach out to people they normally didn’t hang out with. These attempts would often fail and result in shallow conversation. Both participants understood the conversation was a result of such articles about “Christian love” and felt a bit forced. Some would give up on these attempts while others would keep trying, appearing phony with many members of the congregations. This whole social endeavor generally ended right back to what people were doing before the articles, except that people judged each other a bit more.

    I came to understand this social dilemma years back when I had a conversation with an elder. I confronted him on how the elders basically ignored me for over a year since I had joined their congregation. He started by asking for my forgiveness as he had failed his role as a “Shepard”, but then, provided a bit of a context so that I wouldn’t judge other brothers too harshly. He explained that his life was made up of a wife, children, job, elderly parents, being an elder and hunting. We had none of these things in common. Its easier to make friends with people when we have such things in common. Its just human nature.” In the following months, he invited me in service, gave me parts at the kingdom hall, talked with me after the meetings, etc. I always respected him for that. Yet, I understood that it didn’t come easy for him. He made the effort as he was an elder, it was his “responsibility”. Still, should such expectations apply to everyone in a congregation? Of course not!

    Articles like these teach that having faith in common is sufficient for a great friendship. While this might be true for very active members, it will not be the case for most rank and files. Additional shared experiences and interests are needed and people will not become great friends simply because they believe in the same God. You can’t force friendship no more than you can force love and articles such as these don’t seem to set proper expectations.

    Hence, in the picture seen above, the elderly brother should not look at the kids thinking: “They’re ignoring me”. He needs to think of what else he can do to have their attention; outside of “spiritual” stuff. Does he have a pool? A chalet? Can he run errands with a car? Does he offer any jobs? Does he offer his house as a place for service and offer coffee when they come in? Does he play chess? Does he have a cool basement with a big tv and mini bar? Does he know a lot about forestry? History? Science? Anything they don’t normally read about in the Watchtower and Awake? People need to understand that they need more than their faith to attract attention.

    Ok, sure, the kids could go and great him, but that will generally be a somewhat forced and phony experience for all the reasons I mentioned above. Is this really any better than not saying hi at all?

  • asp59

    To many people are in congregations with out wanting to. Afraid of getting DF and not having contact with family. Or accepting appointments for wrong reasons. That's why this articles are total waste of time. You have to be 100% in to wake up every day and make changes you want. We'll don't matter now anyways, sure they going online and that be end of congregations. We'll probably ended with pandemic.

  • WTWizard

    And what about those who intentionally seek to ruin lives? Such as those who seek to single out someone to make every single rule as strict as possible, pretending that it will stumble someone if you do something that remotely resembles normal? You try being nice to this scum, and you will have to give up everything to the point where you will be the odd one out. Or, those who are abusive--consistently. Why would you wish to expose yourself to that?

  • LongHairGal


    Your comments (in bold) made me remember how it was.

    They meant well when they wrote this article but unfortunately it’s doomed to failure because it’s only human nature that people form cliques. Luckily, I am a loner by nature so I wasn’t hungry for attention. Unfortunately, I am single and not too many people were interested in being friends. I also had the double whammy because I worked full-time and that’s a no-no in the Witness religion. But, in spite of it all, I still had a few friends here and there. Some of the elderly were very kind and hospitable and I will always remember them.


    Good post. You analyzed it all and your conclusions are right. I give that elder credit for trying to do the ‘right’ thing. You are right about what you say that there ‘must be more than the faith to attract attention’. As far as the things you mention, it’s true people will seek a person out if they (unwisely) open their home and offer free food and refreshments and also offer ‘free’ or discounted services that Witnesses are famous for wanting 🙄.. Somebody would have to be nuts, in my opinion.

    Yes, people would be ‘interested’ but I would hardly call this friendship. A person would just be opening themselves up to every User imaginable who are looking for freebies and a Mother Teresa type to do favors. (This seems to be a problem in other Christian religions as well.). I can’t speak for anybody else, but I NEVER would have been interested!! I had criticism heaped on me by JWs for working a full-time job plus being picked on for my figure and clothing, and believe me I tried to be modest.

  • punkofnice
    Jesus urged us to keep treating others the way we want to be treated. He added that we should not limit our love only to those who show love in return.

    Well, that's 'disfellowshipping(tm)' out of the window then!

    Of course, whilst the Governing Body(tm) (P1ss be upon them), are getting money by not allowing Jobots to talk to 'mentally diseased apostates(tm)' who can show them that it's all a scam, then the beatings will continue.

  • LV101

    I agree with WTWizard. Hopefully, the elderly man has friends in his age/peer group and doesn't have to subject his residence/possessions to wear/tear and worse. Religions used to have recreation halls/social areas -- JW cult needs every nickel for luxury abodes/vacays/security/luxurious jewelry/clothing for all clergy-class in upper echelon.

    I recall a JW who located to this area and the #1 criteria buying home was a pool for schmooze/entertainment to fit into the hall's clique. They've no idea/desire to reach out to the disadvantaged or elderly.

  • FedUpJW

    Quite a few years ago back when "local needs" parts could be left up to the person assigned, my father (an elder in the kindest sense of the word) had the part and titled it "Community or Camaraderie". He first gave commendation to the congregation about their showing a strong sense of community, then went on to try and encourage the congregation to develop a true sense of camaraderie. Of course it fell on deaf ears, and as I have mentioned in the past my father said, "Jehovah's Witnesses have 'love' on their lips, but NONE in their hearts!"

    He did in that part use these definitions to assist in making the point more plain.

    Community: a group of people who have the same interests, religion.

    Camaraderie: mutual trust and friendship among people who spend a lot of time together.

    JW's may show a sense of community but it is extremely rare that any of them show any genuine camaraderie. That is why articles like this are nothing except page filler uncastrated male bovine excrement!

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