David Splane’s Talk “Put Up a Hard Fight For the Faith” was that last talk presented on the Saturday of the Annual convention. This talk was to largely address apostates and restated ideas and arguments often presented before. However, this year, Watchtower is spending more time in disqualifying negative findings originating from secular courts and here is the segment of interest here:
“Charged and investigated. That doesn’t mean he’s guilty. Or supposed that someone is convicted and put in jail. That would apply to our young brothers in Korea. They were convicted and jailed. And what was their crime? They refused to kill someone. Did they do anything wrong? Or someone is found guilty by man, as Jesus was, that doesn’t mean that he is guilty in the sight of God.
So brothers, we really have to think about these things, we may read that a person or organization was sued and than settled out of court. Does settling out of court mean that they were guilty? Not necessarily. Court cases are often handled by a jury. Now who are on the jury? Ordinary citizens with no legal training. Not only that, these ordinary citizens don’t always have access to all the facts. Because the judge and lawyers decide which facts will be shared with the jury. So its unlikely that the whole truth will ever come out in court. Actually, neither sides probably wants the whole truth to come out in court.
But someone would say, no! I don’t believe in settling out of court. I believe in justice and truth! So that bring up the question: Is it wrong to settle a matter before it goes to trial? Or is it scriptural? Lets let Jesus answer that question: Turn to Matthew chapter 5, verse 25 and 26. Interesting that Jesus should mention this with all the important things that Jesus thought.
- Be quick to settle matters with your legal opponent while you are with him on your way there so that somehow the opponent may not turn you to the judge and the judge to the court attendant and you get thrown into prison. I say to you for a fact you will certainly not come out of there until you have paid over your last small coin.
Now this is interesting, think about the mosaic law. Was there any provision in the mosaic law to throw someone in jail if he couldn’t pay a debt? That wasn’t the way. If he couldn’t pay, he’d have to work it off. Or a family member would have to work it off. So when Jesus talks about prison and a judge, he’s obviously referring to what a gentile judge would do. And you couldn’t necessarily expect justice from him. Why might he rule against our brother? Well, maybe he got paid under the table by the other party. Or maybe he was prejudiced against the race or the religion.
Now notice that Jesus didn’t say that the man should settle only if he was guilty. So brothers, lets not be naïve, don’t believe everything you read. Just because an article is called a news report doesn’t make it true. And an editorial has someone’s opinion and that someone may be wrong. And TV producers, they have their own agenda, prejudice and viewpoint.”
This is the first time JWs unambiguously include negative court findings into the “anything negative about JWs is linked to apostacy” group. Hence, JWs no longer have the ability to discuss such court cases with their JW friends as this could now bring reprisals. This is BIG.