Comments You Will Not Hear at the 10-10-04 WT Study (September 1, 2004 issue) ABBREVIATED Review comments will be in black and parentheses ()
WT quoteswill be in red and quotes ""
Quotes from other sourceswill be in blue
GLORIFY GOD "WITH ONE MOUTH"
"With one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."?Romans 15:6
From the title you can get the drift that the theme is that all JWs must say the same things (and believe the same things) except?.
This article is an example of how the WTS speaks out of both sides of their mouth. Yes, you can have different opinions?as long as it doesn?t violate a scriptural principle?and it doesn?t offend/stumble someone else.
Conclusion: You can?t have a different opinion.
This is the introductory article to the article based on the talk given at the district convention last year, "Beware of ?the Voice of Strangers.?"
Strangers = Apostates.
The first paragraph in this article is one of total absurdity. What do you think?
START OF ARTICLE
Paragraph 1Not all Christians (buzzword meaning only JWs) make the same choices or have the same preferences.
Yet all Christians (only JWs) must walk arm in arm on the road to life. Is that possible?
Not much "arm in arm" here.
Yes, if we do not make major issues of minor differences.
What is minor, can?t store blood but can accept blood fractions made out of stored blood?The Importance of Christian Unity
Paragraphs 2-4Paul knew that Christian unity is vital, and he gave fine counsel to help Christians (only JWs) put up with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:1-3; Colossians 3:12-14)
(Romans 15:5,6) Today, we likewise must glorify Jehovah God "with one mouth" as a united group of his people.
At times certain members of the congregation (early Christian) had different viewpoints on some matters?.how to handle differences.
Some Jewish Christians apparently could not bring themselves to stop practicing certain customs they had observed under the Mosaic Law, even though they should have realized such practices were not essential for salvation..
Does this remind you of how often the WTS reaches back into the Law code to justify their doctrines?w03 2/1 pp. 30-31 Questions From Readers Why does the Bible say that a person should scream if threatened with rape?The Bible does not shy from recounting some cases of rape and attempted rape that occurred in the past. (Genesis 19:4-11; 34:1-7; 2 Samuel 13:1-14) But it also offers counsel on what one should do when threatened with rape. What the Law says on the matter is found at Deuteronomy 22:23-27. This covers two situations. In the first case, a man found a young woman in a city and lay down with her. Even so, the woman did not scream or cry for help. Consequently, it was determined that she was guilty "for the reason that she did not scream in the city." If she had cried out, people nearby might have been able to come to her rescue. In the second instance, a man found a young woman in the countryside, where he "grabbed hold of her and lay down with her." In defense, the woman "screamed, but there was no one to rescue her." Unlike the woman in the first instance, this woman clearly did not give in to the actions of the attacker. She actively resisted him, crying for help, but she was overpowered. Her screaming proved that she was an unwilling victim; she was not guilty of wrongdoing.Although Christians today are not under the Mosaic Law, the principles mentioned therein provide them with guidance. The above account underscores the importance of resisting and screaming for help. Screaming when threatened with rape is still viewed as a practical course. One expert on crime prevention stated: "If a woman is attacked, her best weapon is still her lungs." A woman?s screaming may attract others, who can then assist her, or it may startle an attacker and make him leave. A young Christian woman who was attacked by a rapist stated: "I screamed with all my might, and he backed off. When he came toward me again, I screamed and ran. In the past I had often thought, ?How can screaming help me when some big man grabs me with only one thing on his mind?? But I?ve learned that it works!"
Even in the sad case where a woman is overpowered and raped, her struggle and screaming for help is not in vain. On the contrary, it establishes that she did all she possibly could to resist her attacker. (Deuteronomy 22:26)All could praise God "with one mouth" if they maintained the proper mental attitude toward one another.
What is that "proper mental attitude"?"Welcome One Another"
Paragraphs 5-10Law was no longer binding after Jesus died. (Ephesians 2:15)
Some Jewish Christians may have felt that they could eat pork?repulsive to other Jewish Christians.
Such sensitive ones might have felt instinctively offended.
Gentile Christians?never included dietary prohibitions..may have been puzzled.
Of course, it was not wrong for someone to abstain from certain foods, as long as he did not insist that such abstinence was necessary to gain salvation.
Different viewpoints could easily have fueled controversy in the congregation.
Like some that push certain bizarre health concoctions or treatments.Even after becoming Christians, they (Jews) may have set the seventh day aside.
Were they wrong to do so?No, provided that they did not insist that the Sabbath observance was required by God.
Paul strongly condemned those who tried to force fellow believers to submit to the Mosaic Law as a condition for obtaining salvation.Paul argues that making different choices need not be a threat to unity as long as no clear violation of Christian principles is involved.
Christian principles based on the Law Code and defined by the WTS as the only channel.w94 10/1 p. 8 The Bible?A Book Meant to Be Understood ***
CHANNEL TO UNDERSTANDING THE BIBLEJESUS assured us that after his death and resurrection, he would raise up a "faith-ful and discreet slave" that would serve as his channel of communication. (Matthew 24:45-47) The apostle Paul identified this channel to the Ephesian Christians when he wrote that "there might be made known through the congregation the greatly diversified wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose that he formed in connection with the Christ, Jesus our Lord." (Ephesians 3:10, 11) It was the congregation of anointed Christians, born at Pentecost 33 C.E., that was entrusted with the "things revealed." (Deuteronomy 29:29) As a group, anointed Christians serve as the faithful and discreet slave. (Luke 12:42-44) Their appointed assignment from God is to provide spiritual understanding of the "things revealed."
Even as Bible prophecy pointed forward to the Messiah, it also directs us to the close-knit body of anointed Christian Witnesses that now serve as the faithful and discreet slave. It helps us to understand the Word of God. All who want to understand the Bible should appreciate that the "greatly diversified wisdom of God" can become known only through Jehovah?s channel of communication, the faithful and discreet slave.?John 6:68.According to Paul, Christians (only JWs) with a weaker (?) conscience must refrain from condemning their brothers who have a broader viewpoint . Christians who are strong must not look down on those who conscience is still weak in certain areas.
All should respect the proper motives of others.
Who is "weak" and who is "strong" when it comes to beards. Who irrationally retain the view that beards are worn only by rebels and that the average person is put off by them? Why is a viewpoint that may have been valid 30 years ago still being used by the "weak" to condemn the "strong"?w75 8/15 pp. 500-501 Do Not Let Yourself Be Ensnared by Fads and Entertainment Extreme hair styles can easily lead one into a trap of the Devil also, and cause others to stumble. For example, a young man in the United States was making fine progress in his study of the Bible, and he was moved to share with an experienced Witness in preaching to others about the good things he was learning from the Bible. From early youth he had let his beard grow, and since some in the business community wore beards, he felt that his wearing one in preaching to others would be acceptable generally. But in speaking to a lady he was unable to do more than introduce himself, when she said: "I?m sorry, young man, I do not want to become involved in student revolt." No amount of explanation after this sufficed to clear up the misimpression. After the conversation ended with the closing of the door, he asked the experienced Witness what had happened. He was invited to consider his appearance in relation to what he claimed to be, a servant of God. Not wanting to be responsible for even one person?s being stumbled so as to miss the way to everlasting life, this new Kingdom publisher shaved off his beard. Would you be willing to do the same or to make similar adjustments if your appearance gave the wrong impression in a certain community?
Brotherly Love Products Unity Today
Paragraphs 11-14In his letter to the Romans, Paul was addressing a unique situation. Jehovah had recently abolished one covenant and established a new one?That precise situation does not exist today?but similar issues may arise at times.
A Christian woman may once have belonged to a religion that emphasized plainness of dress and appearance.
After 40 plus years in the WTS, living in Amish/Mennonite country, I have never seen this situation. The WTS is reaching.When she accepts the truth (buzzword meaning only what the WTS teaches in all its adjustments/clarifications/flip-flops), she may find it hard to adjust to the idea that it is not forbidden to wear modest, colorful clothing on appropriate occasions or to make tasteful use of makeup .
I remember an elder who denounced all makeup and refused to let his wife and daughter wear it. It also said no sister should wear it and was quite pushy. Then the new CO showed up with his wife. Man, there was a woman you could say put in on with a trowel. She had her nails manicured professionally every week, painted red, they looked like daggers. That elder turned white the first time he saw her.Since no Bible principle is involved, it would not be proper to try to persuade that Christian woman to violate her conscience.She should not criticize Christian women who conscience allows them to make use of such things. w72 11/1 p. 668 What the Way You Dress Tells About You *** Of course, it is good for young girls to realize that cosmetics can often do more harm than good. They can ruin a good complexion or make a poor one worse. Besides this, cosmetics frequently mask the freshness of youth that is really of far greater beauty than the artificial effect cosmetics create.
Overuse of cosmetics by girls often only draws attention to weak points. Worse, it may prevent any beauty of personality (which is actually more attractive than good looks and far longer lasting) from showing through or being noticed. Overuse of cosmetics can pervert your personality in the eyes of others and, in time, can even tend to mold your personality into the cheapened image you thereby present.?Compare 2 Kings 9:30.A Christian man may have been brought up in an environment where the use of alcohol was frowned upon?.learns Bible?s view that wine is a gift from God?still?prefers to abstain.But he does not criticize others who make moderate use of them.
But as the DC this year showed, he may insist that those who use them store them in the bedroom rather than the public areas.They might make different choices?for example, in the matter of dress and grooming.
Of course, the Bible lays down clear principles that all sincere Christians observe.None of us should wear clothing or hairstyles that are eccentric or immodest or that identify us with undesirable elements of the world (see Beard quote above).Christians remember that at all times, even when they are relaxing, they are ministers.
That explains why sisters are always wearing dresses on picnics.Avoid Stumbling Others
Paragraphs 15-19At times, a Christian (JW) with a well-trained conscience might decide not to make a choice that is open to him?might harm others.
When the conscience of a fellow Christian could be offended by what we do, brotherly love will move us to be considerate and restrict our choices.
An example of this might be the use of alcoholic beverages?permitted to drink wine in moderation?might stumble his companion, he will not insist on his rights.
Drink at home in the bedroom, since you have stored it there already not to stumble others.A wealthy Christian may move to serve where the need is greater among people who are of little means. He might choose to show consideration for his new neighbors by dressing very simply or by otherwise living more modestly than his finances permit.
I have never seen anyone dress down or drive a lesser car to save the feelings of those in his area. Why not donate a few dollars to make their lives easier.Surely we are willing to sacrifice our rights. Concluding Comments
So who insist on their rights? Who insist on their own viewpoints?
See you for next week?s article.Blondie