COMMENTS YOU WILL NOT HEAR AT THE 8-17-03 WT STUDY Reviewer comments are in black and parentheses ()
WT quotes are inred and quotes "" "GOD IS LOVE"
"He that does not love has not come to know God, because God is love. ~ JOHN 4:8.
John 4:8 is one of those scriptures that is used over and over in the WT publications. What JWs remember most is the snippet, "God is love." But what about the phrase before, "he that does not love has not come to know God."
The WTS (FDS) claims to be the only way to God’s love, the only channel. That is, if you are not part of their organization you cannot know God.
w6710/1 p. 591
Make haste to identify the visible theocratic organization of God that represents his king, Jesus Christ. It is essential for life. Doing so, be complete in accepting its every aspect. We cannot claim to love God, yet deny his Word and channel of communication.
As the only way to God’s love, how does the WTS treat its members? With its doctrines of marking, reproving, disfellowshipping, disassociating, and reinstating that are capriciously applied by imperfect men, the WTS has caused much harm. With its constantly adjusting doctrines on medical treatments such as organ transplants and what constitutes blood (fractions) transfusions, many people have died. With its abrupt turnaround about alternative service, the WTS does not take into consideration those who lost years and lives because of upholding their doctrine not because of making a personal decision as they accuse the rank and file. And when the JWs in Malawi were being tortured or dying because of not buying a card and the JWs in Mexico were committing fraud to get a card, where was God’s love in these things?
START OF ARTICLE
The beginning of this article are all the trite, over-used statements about "God is love" over the last 50 years. But to set the "mood":
Jehovah's power enables him to act. His justice and his wisdom guide the way he acts. However Jehovah's love motivates him to act. And his love is always reflected in the way he uses his other at tributes.
It is often said that Jehovah is the very personification of love. Hence, if we want to learn about love, we must learn about Jehovah.
If that is the case, the WTS should listen up to their words and make application.
The Greatest Act of Love
Jehovah has shown love in many ways, but there is one that stands out above all others. What is it? It ishis sending his Son to suffer and die for us.
For more than 13 billion years, the WTS says:Jehovah and his Son worked together to bring all other things into being. What thrilling, happy times they had! Who of us, then, can begin to fathom the power of a bond that has existed over such an immense span of time? Clearly, Jehovah God and his Son are united by the strongest bond of love ever forged.Nevertheless, Jehovah dispatched his Son to the earth to be born as a human baby. Doing so meant that for some decades, Jehovah had to forgo intimate association with his beloved Son in heaven. (if a thousand years is as a day to God then he was separated from Jesus for 48 minutes and Jesus didn’t remember anything in his previous life for the first 30 years of his 33 ½ years on earth.)Why did the Father subject himself to such pain? Jehovah reveals something wonderful to us at John 3:16--a Bible verse so important that it has been called the Gospel in miniature. It says:" God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life." So God's motive amounted to this: love. How Jehovah Assures Us of His LoveHowever, an important question arises: Does God love us personally? Some may agree that God loves mankind in general, as John 3:16 says. But they feel, in effect, 'God could never love me as an individual.' The fact is that Satan the Devil is eager for us to believe that Jehovah neither loves us nor values us. On the other hand, no matter how unlovable or worthless we may think we, Jehovah assures us that each of his faithful servants is of value to him.
Yes, God loves us individually and his gift was freely given because nothing we can do can ever earn or repay God or Jesus for the ransom sacrifice.Psalm 49 (NWT)
7 Not one of them can by any means redeem even a brother,
Nor give to God a ransom for him;
8 (And the redemption price of their soul is so precious
That it has ceased to time indefinite)
9 That he should still live forever [and] not see the pit.
And why do so many JWs feel worthless? Because God is not satisfied with what they can give?Luke 21 (NWT)
Now as he looked up he saw the rich dropping their gifts into the treasury chests. 2 Then he saw a certain needy widow drop two small coins of very little value there, 3 and he said: "I tell YOU truthfully, This widow, although poor, dropped in more than they all did. 4 For all these dropped in gifts out of their surplus, but this [woman] out of her want dropped in all the means of living she had."
While God and Jesus are satisfied with what we can give, the WTS is constantly pushing to give until it hurts. One way is to give experiences of people who have persevered under unusual circumstances. Not attending enough meetings:Kingdom Ministry 1/94 1 Meeting Attendance—A Serious Responsibility
Some of our brothers walk for hours along dusty roads and cross crocodile-infested rivers in order to attend meetings. In your own congregation, there may be faithful ones who are "never missing" despite severe health problems, physical disabilities, crushing work loads at their place of employment, or demanding assignments at school. (Luke 2:37) Why do they make the effort to attend? Because they know that they cannot meet the challenges of this pressure-filled world in their own strength. They must rely on the strength that God provides.
Not going out in the ministry enough:9/22/90 Awake p. 25
My desire to witness from house to house was satisfied when brothers and sisters in the congregation offered to push my wheelchair. I can talk to the householders but, not having the use of my arms and hands, using the Bible is out of the question. So I refer to scriptures, and my companion then shows the verses from his Bible and offers the Bible study aids I refer to.
Many people, of course, come to visit me at home, and in this way I can conduct Bible studies. I have also mastered the art of writing letters by holding a pen in my mouth, so I can be active in preaching at any time of the day. And I have been able to auxiliary pioneer regularly for three years.
So if we aren’t attending all the meetings and managing to auxiliary pioneer at least 3 times a year, how can God love us and we are worthless in comparison to these people.
And how long does it take for God to forgive? A year like it does after being reinstated from being disfellowshipped? How long did the prodigal son’s father wait to celebrate his son’s return?Luke 15:20-24
So he rose and went to his father. While he was yet a long way off, his father caught sight of him and was moved with pity, and he ran and fell upon his neck and tenderly kissed him. 21 Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Make me as one of your hired men.’ 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quick! bring out a robe, the best one, and clothe him with it, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened young bull, slaughter it and let us eat and enjoy ourselves, 24 because this my son was dead and came to life again; he was lost and was found.’ And they started to enjoy themselves.
For example, consider Jesus' words recorded at Matthew 10:29-31. Illustrating the worth of his disciples, Jesus said: "Do not two sparrows sell for a coin of small value? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father's knowledge. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore have no fear: you are worth more than many sparrows."
Does the WTS or its representatives, elders, value "insignificant" people. I can remember a congregation where a member of the GB was visiting. Who did the elders determine had more value and deserved the special privilege of having a meal with this man and his wife? The older ones with many years of service to God? No, only the elders and their wives were considered worthy of this privilege. Did they view these older ones as Jesus describes above?How intimately Jehovah must know us in order to recreate us! He values us so much that he remembers every detail, including our complex genetic code and all our years of memories and experiences.
God knows us well but how many of you have been in the same congregation, 10, 15, 20 years and never seen the inside of the homes of certain "prominent" ones in the congregation although you have had them to your house? Have some of you had Sunday after Sunday go by with the WT conductor stumbling over your name or the names of your children? Have you had elders say they couldn’t contact you because they didn’t have your phone number but it has been in the phone book unchanged for 15 years?Jehovah's righteous anger did not blind him to the "good things" about Jehoshaphat. Is it not reassuring to know that our God looks for the good in us even though we are imperfect?
How many times has an elder or others in the congregation come up just to give you a compliment without it being a lead into some "counsel." I can remember a brother who spent all night shampooing the carpet at the KH for the Memorial only to be counseled by an elder that his T-shirt had a logo on it and he should have turned it inside out.A God Who Is "Ready to Forgive" When we sin, the disappointment, shame, and guilt that we feel may cause us to think that we could never be worthy of serving Jehovah. Remember, though, that Jehovah is "ready to forgive." (Psalm 86:5) Yes, if we repent of our sins and strive hard not to repeat them, we may benefit from Jehovah's forgiveness.
What hope then does the WTS give us? "If we repent of our sins and strive hard not to repeat them, we may benefit from Jehovah’s forgiveness."
And who are they to decide that God won’t forgive?!"As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." (Italics ours; Psalm 103:12, The Amplified Bible) David's inspired words tell us that when Jehovah forgives, he puts our sins as far away from us as we can imagine.
And how far away does the WTS and its representatives the elders put our sins?"Though the sins of you people should prove to be as scarlet, they will be made white just like snow; though they should be red like crimson cloth, they will become even like wool." (Isaiah 1:18) The word "scarlet" denotes a bright-red color. * "Crimson" was one of the deep colors of dyed material. We can never through our own efforts remove the stain of sin. Yet, Jehovah can take sins that are like scarlet and crimson and make them white like snow or undyed wool. So when Jehovah forgives our sins, we need not feel that we bear the stain of such sins for the rest of our life.
Do the stains of your sins still follow you in the congregation and subsequent congregations?"You have thrown behind your back all my sins." (Isaiah 38:17) Jehovah is here portrayed as taking the sins of a repentant wrongdoer and throwing them behind Him where He neither sees them nor takes notice of them anymore. According to one reference work, the idea conveyed may be expressed: "You have made [my sins] as if they had not happened." Is that not comforting?
Have the elders and others in the congregation made you feel as if your sins had not happened?Micah's words (Micah 7:18, 19) thus indicate that when Jehovah forgives, he removes our sins permanently.
Have your sins been removed permanent in the congregation or are you being made to pay for them 20 years later by the elders and others?Jehovah does not show compassion to his people only as a group. Our loving God is deeply concerned about us as individuals .
And how does he show that concern?He does not necessarily remove the cause of our suffering. But he has made abundant provisions for those who cry out to him for help. His Word offers practical counsel that can make a difference. In the congregation, he provides spiritually qualified overseers, who endeavor to reflect his compassion in helping others .
That’s right, God is dependent on the "qualified" overseers to reflect his compassion towards you.
But don’t feel dismay, you have the "carrot" to look forward to which is eternal life.And may Jehovah, the God who is love, draw ever closer to you-throughout all eternity! Concluding Comments
It is sad to think that we can only know God’s love through the actions of the elders or through the channel of the WTS/FDS. The only person we have to go through is Jesus and that is because he paid the price. He suffered for us when we were not able to pay the price ourselves. He suffered for us when we had not yet been born.