Let's talk about Blood again....
Keep them coming
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
Genesis 9:4 "Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.
God is love.....Don't eat blood but show great love by giving your life(blood) to your friends..easy.
As ScenicViewer put it, It's a rule and that is that. To argue is to apostatasize .
I was at a special meeting programme done by the U K HLC and the head man said with great gravitas ( having the chart of acceptable and not acceptables behind him) THE GOVERNING BODY have decided that this is the correct view...
So they follow men, not God.
stuckinarut2 ,I bumped a 13 year old thread that i feel compliments your post that i hope helps newbies.
I think your illustration is spot on ,anything to expose WT/GB hypocricy in a life /death situation especially in regards to children who are the most vulnerable.
Awake : 26 Children Who Put God First In Their Lives ? I often wonder how many of these parents still feel the same way.
The blood issue was one of the key factors in my awakening and remains one of my favourite topics as it is nothing more than a completely illogical mess.
You have a symbol that is worth more than the thing it symbolises.
You have arbitrary rules with no scriptural backing that determine what is acceptable and what is not acceptable.
You have outrageous logical inconsistencies like refusing to donate blood because it should be poured out yet be perfectly happy to accept fractions of blood that have come from blood donated by others.
You have repeated straining of the gnat with semantics to try and justify the unjustifiable.
You have a policy so complex that people don't really know what it is they can do and default to the most lenient interpretation depending on what is deemed acceptable and unacceptable. So much for conscience.
When the issue raises it's head then they need a cohort of heavies to try and intervene in people's personal treatments, What's worse is that individuals seek the advice of the HLC ahead of their medical consultants. One day the elder could be making arguments about medical procedures to a sick Witness and the same HLC elder could be coming round to wash the windows of the consultant the next day.
If an individual takes a conscience decision not to have treatments like cell salvage they are treated like a pariah for creating questions in the minds of the experts about what Witnesses really believe.
Finally no one can say what the policy shall be tomorrow. What is acceptable today may be unacceptable or, more likely, what is unacceptable becomes acceptable. Life changing decisions are being made on a policy that has changed out of all context over time and no doubt will continue to do so.
Thanks to the entrenched nature of GB thinking, however, I think it's more likely that we would see change to the understanding of 1914 than the retraction of the prohibition of blood transfusions.
I'm agree with wolfman85 about blood was considered sacred in the bible. But I was reading this article of why the obsession of the Israelites of the use of blood:
"Why was such care taken to drain every drop of blood from the sacrificial animals for no other purpose than to dispose of it in various ways on the main altar of the temple. Why this strange, barbaric obsession with blood in such an apparently theologically sophisticated group of people? There were three reasons for the taboos associated with blood and its ritual disposal in ancient Israel.
First, like many people with animist and semi-animist beliefs, the Israelites held that the nephesh, the life of a human being or an animal, lay in its blood. Every living creature had a nephesh. This nephesh was its life-breath, its spirit, that strange life force that pervaded its body and so kept it alive. When a human being or an animal lost its blood, this lifepower would go out from it, and its flesh would die. The Israelite priests described this connection between the nephesh and the blood in four ways:
a. The blood is the life (Deut 12:23);
b. The life of any flesh (any animate creature) is its blood (Lev 17:14b );
c. The life of any flesh is its blood as its life (Lev 17:14a );
d. The life of any flesh is in the blood (Lev 17:11).
Both the Israelites and Canaanites agreed that vitality and blood belonged together in some way. Yet they differed radically in their consequent use of the blood taken from animals. Whereas the Canaanites quite commonly ate meat with blood in it, because they held that the blood in it was spiritually energizing and life-giving, the Israelites refused to eat meat with blood in it. This taboo against the consumption of blood was based on their refusal to assimilate the spirit of the animal and imbibe any life-power from it (Deut 12:23). The Lord, the God of Israel, had in fact forbidden the consumption of blood by his people. They were allowed to eat meat with the blood drained out of it, but the consumption of blood was strictly proscribed at the pain of excommunication by God himself (Lev 17:10; cf. 7:27). Under no circumstances could the Israelites eat meat with blood in it (Gen 9:4; Lev 7:26; 17:12, 14; Deut 12:16, 23-25; 15:23). It was impossible for the Israelites to gain supernatural life-power from animals by the consumption of their blood.
The second reason for exclusive use of blood in the sacrificial ritual was to prevent its misuse in other popular non-Israelite rituals. Some of the Canaanites slaughtered animals and poured out the blood on the graves of their ancestors as food for their spirits. In return they secured protection, vitality and good luck from their ancestors (cf. Ps 16:3, 4). First-born male animals were also sacrificed in such a way that their blood was given to the earth and the underground deities residing in it. In this way the Canaanites gained good crops for themselves and fertility for their animals (cf. Lev 17:5, 6). Blood was even offered up to demons to appease them (Ps 106:34-39; cf. Deut 32:17) and as nourishment to ghosts to conjure them up for the purpose of divination by augury or necromancy (Lev 19:26; cf. Isa 57:5-10; 65:3-7). In each of these cases blood was used ritually to secure something supernatural, such as vitality, protection, blessing, power, or knowledge. All these ritual practices were eliminated by two divine commands. On the one hand, the Lord instructed the Israelites to bring their burnt offerings and peace offerings to the central sanctuary and to offer them to him only there at his altar (Deut 12:20-25). Anybody who offered a sacrifice anywhere else was treated as a murderer and excommunicated from the people of Israel (Lev 17:1-9; cf. Lev 7:27; Deut 12:26, 27). On the other hand, the Lord also decreed that all the blood from the sacrificed animals should be poured out there on his altar (Lev 17:6; Deut 12:27). It could not under any circumstance be used anywhere else and for any other purpose.
The third and most important reason for the taboo on the consumption of blood lay in the Lord‟s mandate for its use in the rite of atonement. The Lord had forbidden any other human use for the blood of animals so that it could be used only by him for the benefit of his people. Leviticus 17:11 has this singular decree: the life (nephesh) of the flesh is in the blood; and I myself have given it to you for making atonement for your lives (nephashoth) upon the altar; for it is the blood that atones by means of the life (nephesh).
Thus the taboo on the consumption of blood resulted form the divine institution of the rite of atonement as part of daily sacrificial ritual at the tabernacle and, later, at the temple. The Hebrew idiom in Leviticus 17:11 is most arresting. In the ritual texts of the Pentateuch the priests are often said to „give‟, or „place‟, the blood on the horns of the altar (eg. Exod 29:12; Lev 8:15; 9:9; 16:8 etc). Elsewhere the Lord uses the same form of the verb nathan in the first person as here to make a formal endowment of some portion from the offerings to the priests as their due and stipend (Lev 6:10; 9:34; Num 18:8, 11, 12, 19, 21, 24, 26). But in Leviticus 17:11 the Lord does not use this idiom to grant the blood of animals to the Israelites as food for them. Instead, he institutes the ritual use of blood as the means by which both they and he made atonement for their lives. He grants them atonement through the blood placed on the altar by them. This word in Leviticus 17:11 founded the rite of atonement as a sacramental enactment. That word did not merely announce what he would accomplish for them in that rite; it actually empowered the rite, so that he worked atonement for his people through their faithful performance of it. That atonement was granted by means of the blood which was placed on the altar. So, by divine decree, the blood of sacrificed animals could no longer be used directly by the Israelites to boost their vitality but was reserved exclusively for the enactment of atonement."
Kleinig, J. (1999). The Blood for Sprinkling Atoning Blood in Leviticus and Hebrews. Lutheran Theological Journal, 33, 3, 124-135.
As you notice, blood in ancient times was used in liturgical rites for purification and atonement, because it was considered the life giver. Today, thanks for the medical advances and knowledge of human body, people can live despite great blood loss, and people can die even if there is no blood loss (poisoning, electrocution, bacteria/viruses, etc.)
Blood is not intrinsically sacred; it is only sacred insofar as it represents a life that has been taken.
In the case of a transfusion no life has been taken and therefore the blood is not sacred. It can be used to sustain life, just as the Israelite could eat the unbled meat of an animal found "already dead". - Lev.17:15
What Wolfman85 and Cofty said.
The whole point of the scriptural prohibition is that the blood represents the soul or life that has been lost. The blood is a symbol only of the life lost.
There is not a single scripture where the prohibition is given where a soul has not been lost. In all cases, the blood not to be consumed has come from a dead soul.
Is any soul or life lost in the case of a blood transfusion?? None whatsoever.
With a blood transfusion the blood has absolutely no symbolic value as there is no loss of life.
it was the blood issue that got me out of the cult. back in the day--the society "suggested" we each make our minds over about this.
well--in 1971 my-then wife--a born in--was preggy with our first. i thought long and hard about the blood transusion issue should it turn out that way. i realised i could never risk my child--or my wife's life--even if god commanded it it was then i faced the fact i did not believe in god anyway--and therefore had no business being a witness..
i remember the day i quit. i was supposed to do the sunday public talk that afternoon. a phone call--and a visit to our congregation overseer--a former branch servant i had a lot of time for---i explained my feelings to him--and he suggested i back right out for a while--and think it all over. he did my talk that afternoon.