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Bibelen 2020, a contemporary version of the Old and New Testaments published by the Danish Bible Society (DBS)

The new Danish Bible translation “Bibelen 2020” got accused of anti-Zionism and even anti-Semitism and recently was the cause a furor.

Bibelen 2020 is a contemporary version of the Old and New Testaments published by the Danish Bible Society (DBS). It had eliminated the word “Israel” in many places. In some passages, particularly in the New Testament, “Israel” was replaced by such wordings as “the Jews,” “the Jewish people,” or simply “the People.” In others, it was changed even more radically, as when Psalm 121:4,

“He who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps,”

became

“He who watches over us.”

A reaction was not long in coming from Danish Bible readers.

“Bible 2020 is an assault on the faiths of both Jews and Christians, and an attack on the history of the Jewish state of Israel,”

wrote Dr. Petra Heldt, director of the Ecumenical Theological Research Fraternity in Jerusalem.

Referring to Psalms 121:4, she went on:

“DBS pretends that we get the divine watchfulness. [The identity of Israel] has been stolen.”

Heldt accuses DBS of

“emulating the current social attitude that develops from the anti-Israelism of Muslim immigrants and that is picked up by other parts of Danish society.”

The Danish Bible Society sought to defend itself.

“Nothing could be further from the truth,”

it declared in a prepared statement, than the charge that its translation had an anti-Jewish or anti-Israel bias.

“The words Israel and Israelites [still] occur in the translation more than 2000 times and the words Jew and Jewish occur more than 500 times,”

the statement said.

Bibelen 2020,according to them

“is a special kind of Bible translation directed at secular readers with no or little knowledge of the Bible and of its history and traditional church and Bible language.”

It was made, the DBS asserted, for that “majority of Danish readers” who might confuse the biblical concept of Israel with the modern country bearing that name and

“wouldn’t know that Israel in the New Testament at large refers to the people of God with which He has made a covenant.”

Its aim was disambiguation, not the delegitimization of the Jewish state.

When Belonging to the escaped ones gathering in Jesus name

This coming Wednesday it is going to be a very strange particular night to remember.

Normally 14 Nisan is the day that followers of the Nazarene master teacher remember the night that Jesus came together with his close disciples to commemorate the liberation of the People of God. As a devout Jew, Jesus kept to the demand of his God to commemorate that the Elohim requested that month to be the beginning of months for them (the first month of their year). Jesus had not forgotten to tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of that month they had each to select an animal of the flock according to their fathers’ households, one animal per household and how they had to keep it until the fourteenth day of that month.

Passover – The sprinkling of the doorposts with the blood of a lamb.

Then the whole assembly of the community of Israel having to slaughter the animals at twilight. For they had to take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses where they eat them.

Jesus remembered how they are to eat the meat that night; they should eat it, roasted over the fire along with unleavened bread and bitter herbs…

Here is how you must eat it: you must be dressed for travel, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. You are to eat it in a hurry; it is the Lord’s Passover.

This Wednesday it is that day of remembrance.

It is the night that we normally would come together to remember how the messenger of God passed through the land of Egypt on that night and struck every firstborn male in the land of Egypt, both man and beast. It is the night that we remember how everybody in the land had to know that there is only that One God, Jehovah, the God above all gods and leaders (be them a Pharaoh, King, President or minister) of a country.  It is That Invisible God Who will execute judgments against all the gods of Egypt, but also over all other gods of the world and over all people on this globe.

Wednesday night is the night that we remember that the blood on the houses where those people in Egypt were staying was to be a distinguishing mark for them but also for us.

“1  The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, 2 “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. 3 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. 4 If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbour, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. 5 The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. 6 Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. 7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the door-frames of the houses where they eat the lambs. 8 That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. 9 Do not eat the meat raw or cooked in water, but roast it over the fire—head, legs and inner parts. 10 Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. 11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’s Passover. 12 “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn—both men and animals—and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.” (Ex 12:1-13 NIV)

For God and His people it was clear that meal should be imprinted in the memories of the following generations, and every night of this commemoration the elders had to tell about what happened and why it happened and how God liberated and guided His people. Therefore, real lovers of God should continue the tradition to tell others about what God has done for His people.

The tradition wants that all believers in God and in His son, Jesus Christ, also come together on 14 Nisan to have a Memorial Meal.

In 2020 the world got an unseen enemy raging over the globe, and as such most people have found themselves under the rules of lockdown, not able to come together with other believers to have a memorable evening or great night in unity. They shall have to stay at home in isolation and just have the meal on their own with a restricted family gathering (in many cases not even having the children able to visit their parents).

The Passover meal of Jesus

Like Jesus earnestly desired to eat this Passover with his apostle we also should still do that this Wednesday on April the 8th 2020, the 14th of Nisan. Not only shall we then have to remember God, seeing the blood will then “pass over” the houses of the Israelites (Exodus 12:13), while smiting the Egyptians with the tenth plague, the killing of the first-born sons. After God used a man named Moses to deliver them from their slavery, around 1,500 B. C., we also remember God used a man named Jeshua (Jesus Christ) to deliver the whole mankind from their slavery of sin and to liberate them from the curse of death.

It was before he was to suffer, he received a cup to share it among his close friends. In the same manner, he had blessed the cup, he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples telling them that this represented his body which is given for them, but also for us. that symbolic act he presented to them on that night in the upper room in Jerusalem, he wanted to be done regularly in remembrance of him. That way we also should remember that installation of the New Covenant in the blood of this sent one from God, the Kristos or Christ, which is poured out for us all.

“14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfilment in the kingdom of God.” 17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said,

“Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” (Lu 22:14-20 NIV)

On 14 Nisan we do remember how God provided a sign of a lamb for the exodus from Egypt and how he about 2 000 years ago gave the lamb Jesus as the fulfilment of the Passover. Jeshua or Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God, sacrificed to set us free from bondage to sin. (John 1:29; Psalm 22; Isaiah 53) The blood of Jesus covers and protects us, and his body was broken to free us from eternal death (1 Corinthians 5:7).

These days it is very important to remember how Christ Jesus is the perfect sacrifice, to liberate us from all ailments of this world and to safeguard our spiritual life. Yes, we can be killed by a virus or by men, but no illness neither any man can take away the life given by the ransom offering of Jesus Christ. That knowledge should take away all fear that we might have by all the bad news that reaches us in these days of CoViD-19.

Traditionally the Bible Books have already lots of teachings concerning infectious diseases, cleanliness, and hygiene, which were well ahead of our time. They were ultimately inspired by God to benefit and protect humans from illnesses and promote healthy lifestyles. Infection control is an inherent part of Jewish teachings concerning hygiene, but Christians can learn a lot from them. The guidelines that are practised today by major health organizations are almost entirely inline and inspired by the teachings of the Bible and also of the Koran.

One reason why the Memorial was instituted also for non-Jews or goyim, had to do with one purpose served by Jesus’ death. He died as an upholder of his heavenly Father’s sovereignty. Christ thus proved that the idea the first people got in their head was a totally wrong idea and that the false charge that humans serve God only out of selfish motives, is just a lie. (Job 2:1-5) Jesus’ death in faithfulness proved this contention false and made Jehovah’s heart rejoice.​ Proverbs 27:11.

We should show the outer world that we keep ourselves safe by social distancing and by isolating ourselves, but that we do not serve God our of fear but out of thankfulness and willingness to please Him and not to please the world. The majority of the world namely wants to keep to human traditions and to heathen festivals. But real lovers of God prefer keeping to the God-given annual festivals, like Passover.

This year the Passover festival may fall at the same time of the Good Week of the Catholics and their Easterday may also be one of these days (Easter Sunday for Roman Catholics: Sunday, April 12; for Othodox Catholics: Sunday, 19 Apr 2020), though we can bet most of them shall not have such a religious meal as we have.
Let us make sure we keep to the command of God, and though we may not invite anyone from farther away, let it be a modest evening full of Bible reading and reflection on what God has done and of how He is good for mankind.

This Wednesday, even when we are not with many, let us remember that 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. (John 3:16) Indeed,

“ For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Ro 6:23 NIV)

Observance of the Lord’s Evening Meal reminds us of the great love shown by both Jehovah and his Son in connection with Jesus’ sacrificial death. How we should appreciate that love!

Having escaped from the chains of death should not have us to think we are free from everything bad this world can offer. Make sure you do not tempt it. Always be careful to keep social distancing and keeping all hygienic regulations.

To have contact with others we shall have to rely on modern gadgets like Hangouts, Face Time, Skype, Messenger, Houseparty a.o., that way preaching and telling also other about why this night is so important.

As we commemorate this important evening in seclusion, let us sense that we will indeed be united with brothers and sisters all over the world in prayer and spirit in union with Christ Jesus.

Bread and wine symbols for the covenants of God and His liberation from slavery of man, salvation from the curse of death.

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Preceding

Making sure to be ready and to belong to the escaped ones

14 Nisan a day to remember #1 Inception

14 Nisan a day to remember #2 Time of Jesus

14 Nisan a day to remember #3 Before the Passover-feast

14 Nisan a day to remember #4 A Lamb slain

Most important weekend of the year 2016

Preparing for the most important weekend of the year 2018

The Most important weekend of the year 2018

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Additional reading

  1. 1 -15 Nisan
  2. Purification and perfection
  3. A Holy week in remembrance of the Blood of life
  4. High Holidays not only for Israel
  5. Deliverance and establishement of a theocracy
  6. Torah hanging on two commandments and focussing on a Mashiach
  7. Yom Hey, Eve of Passover and liberation of many people
  8. Around the feast of Unleavened Bread
  9. Observance of a day to Remember
  10. A night different from all other nights and days to remember
  11. Jesus memorial
  12. The Most special weekend of the year 2018
  13. Soon it shall be Erev Pesach and Passover 2019
  14. The unseen enemy
  15. Dark times looking like death is around the corner – but Light given to us
  16. In a time when we must remain in our place
  17. First time since Nazi time no public gathering
  18. No idea yet for 14 Nisan or April the 8th in 2020 Corona crisis time
  19. Only a few days left before 14 Nisan
  20. A meal as a mitzvah so that every generation would remember
  21. A Passover for unity in God’s community
  22. To turn the world into a “vessel” receptive of God
  23. The Application of the New Covenant
  24. Redemption #5 The perfect sacrifice
  25. Redemption #7 Christ alive in the faithful
  26. Even in Corona time You are called on to have the seder
  27. Call to help others
  28. Catholics facing a totally different Holy Week

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Further related

  1. Holy Week: a week set apart, in a time set apart.
    Today we begin Holy Week. This is the final part of a longer period leading up to Easter, called Lent. We do this every year, as part of the annual cycle. It is a familiar and comforting ritual for many people of Christian faith.
    This year, however, will be different. In the middle of a viral pandemic, with restrictions prohibiting gathering for worship, Christian people will be walking through Holy Week in their own homes, not in gatherings at church. This is a week set apart, for people of faith, in a time set apart, for all of society.
  2. Pandemics, Plagues and Passover
    It wouldn’t be right to have a blog called Life and Faith Today and ignore what is happening in the world right now! Today is April 4th 2020, and this day finds many centres of population around the world on lock-down, with everybody confined to their homes, while battles rage on the front-line; a front-line that moves relentlessly across the world. COVID-19 is a viral pandemic that has been fuelled by our modern lives and is now destroying them.
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    We pray for your protection for the old and vulnerable
    for pregnant mothers and those undergoing other treatments at this time.
    Almighty God, reach down and soften the hearts of the affluent,
    the greedy and opportunistic, bring humility, caring and giving back into their lives.
    We pray for positive change, that we all learn the lesson of caring for our environment,
    and to respect Your wonderful planet while it’s under our stewardship.
    Help us to learn again to care for each other
    and that together in Your name we are stronger.
    Almighty God, we come to you in deep humility.
    Hear our prayer at this time of our distress.
    Through Jesus Christ our Lord
    Amen
  3. Coronavirus Live Updates: Trump Warns of ‘a Lot of Death’ While Revisiting Easter Services
    Veering from grim warnings to baseless assurances in a single news conference, President Trump on Saturday predicted a surging death toll in what may be “the toughest week” of the coronavirus pandemic before also dispensing unproven medical advice. He suggested again that Americans might be able to congregate for Easter Sunday services.
    “There will be a lot of death,” Mr. Trump said at the White House, where he and other American officials depicted some parts of the United States as climbing toward the peaks of their crises, while warning that new hot spots were emerging in Pennsylvania, Colorado and Washington, D.C.At one point Mr. Trump, who initially set Easter Sunday as a target date for reopening the country before backing off, said that the holiday would be a particularly “sad” day for Americans prohibited from gathering in large numbers. He said he would again like to consider relaxing social distancing rules for Easter services and that he had told advisers, “maybe we could allow special for churches” gatherings that were possibly outside with “great separation.”
  4. Easter Bread Recipe
    On April 19th, Greek Orthodox celebrate Easter and this year it’s different.
    Ever since the COVID-19 outbreak and things are not the same. While Easter celebrations are not about clothes or Easter eggs, people gathering to share the joy and true meaning of the holiday is. And this year it’s different! People are asked to remain isolated and social distancing is advised to prevent infection.
    Nevertheless, one thing remains, the faith of better days to come and hope that the coming holidays will bring more joy and peace to everyone.
  5. Virus alters Holy Week celebration worldwide
    For Pope Francis at the Vatican, and for Christians worldwide from churches large and small, this will be an Easter like none other: The joyous message of Christ’s resurrection will be delivered to empty pews.
    Worries about the coronavirus outbreak have triggered widespread cancellations of Holy Week processions and in-person services. Many pastors will preach on TV or online, tailoring sermons to account for the pandemic. Many extended families will reunite via Face Time and Zoom rather than around a communal table laden with an Easter feast on April 12.
    Pope Francis, the first pontiff from Latin America, will be celebrating Mass for Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday and Easter in a near-empty St. Peter’s Basilica, instead of in the huge square outside filled with Catholic faithful.
  6. Holy Week & Coronavirus thoughts.
    coming around to special-ness of having Easter with my church family. looking forward to it since we hadn’t enjoyed it with our church in 3 years. then COVID-19 happened. and we haven’t had a church service in person in over a month. and we won’t be able to celebrate Easter together. best day, the best thing anyone could ever do for me and i can’t celebrate it on its traditional day with my brothers and sisters in Christ. i’ve went to the same church my entire life. 19 years. most of those people are like family. i love them so much. they are my family.
  7. Celebrating King Jesus while Sheltering-in-Place
    here we are, celebrating King Jesus on this special Palm Sunday, while locked down in our homes, helping to “flatten the curve” of the spread of this COVID-19 virus.
    Of course, we are not alone. It seems half the world is observing the “shelter-in-place” orders of the “authorities” over them. Paul told Pastor Timothy that such submission “is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior” (1 Timothy 2:3).

Belgian Jehovah’s Witnesses sexual abuse scandal

It is a shame the JW are still considered by many a sect. The documentary of Pano at VRT Eén and the days around it on ‘Terzake’ and ‘De Afspraak’ (both programs of the Flemish state television VRT channel Canvas), and in Van Gils (on Eén) tried to bring the religious organisation in the picture with something which can not be allowed in any group (be it religious, sportive or artistic).

Good for the elder who dared to come out of anonymity in the hope this abuse which could also be found in other religious groups (be them Catholic and/or protestant) would be uncovered and stopped.

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To remember

  • Almost a week after the broadcast = more than seventy people involved in sexual abuse or domestic and psychological violence”, according to a press release from Reclaimed Voices Belgium.
  • serious psychological damage > exclusion by Jehovah’s Witnesses from community = greater impact in certain cases than abuse itself
  • In the Netherlands, theme gained momentum in early 2018 after establishment of non-profit association “Reclaimed Voices”, which collects testimonies about sexual abuse among Jehovah’s Witnesses.
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses’ elder, Kurt De Kerf (55) from Sint-Niklaas testified anonymously in Pano report but choose to leave anonymity <= “nothing to hide + because important this finally comes into the open.”
  • Crimes rarely reported to secular justice > Legal Committee, elders themselves investigate + punish crimes, ranging from intoxication, corruption to adultery.

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Preceding

Abuse been kept silent by Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation

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Additional

Herbekijk: “Pano” over het toedekken van seksueel misbruik bij Jehova’s getuigen

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This 2015 video from the USA says about itself:

Candace Conti: Former Jehovah’s Witness Takes on Church over Sex Abuse Allegations

Candace Conti says the church failed to protect her from a predatory pedophile, which Jehovah’s Witnesses has denied.

Translated from Belgian daily De Standaard, 3 April 2019:

Already seventy possible victims of abuse report to the Jehovah’s Witnesses hotline

The scandal of abuse within Jehovah’s Witnesses first erupted abroad, but has also received attention in Belgium since last week’s Pano [TV show] report. There are seventy possible victims reporting to the “Reclaimed Voices Belgium” hotline.

Since two weeks, “Reclaimed Voices” has also a hotline in our country, and in the aftermath of the Pano broadcast it is receiving “disturbing messages”. “Almost a week after the broadcast, there are more than seventy people involved in sexual abuse or domestic and psychological violence”, according to a press release from…

View original post 867 more words

Abuse been kept silent by Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation

The Watchtower’s child abuse protocols read like a mashup of Scripture and corporate policy.
From a 1989 Watchtower letter to all U.S. elders describing the importance of secrecy:

“Often the peace, unity, and spiritual well-being of the congregation are at stake.
Improper use of the tongue by an elder can result in serious legal problems for the individual
the congregation, and even the Society.”

Every year in the United States, 60,000 children (aged 11 and younger) are sexually abused.
Every year, 321,500 (aged 12 and older) are sexually assaulted or raped.
80% of all those sexually abused under the age of 18 are abused by a parent or stepparent. (RAINN, 2019).

Normally believing people following Jesus should try to have an immaculate life, taking care of and protecting those around them.

From Jehovah’s Witnesses one would expect that they would show respect for men, women and children and would take care that those who do something atrocious against the Law of God would be punished and would be put out of the community. Often we hear about people have been disfellowshipped for matters which could be talked about and which are not so terrible as for the matters we came to hear about the last few weeks.

At the end of March a documentary was shown on the Flemish state television about reports of sexual abuse by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. At the edition of “Pano” on VRT Eén the documentary brought to light that the organisation had been covering up sexual abuse of minors via an internal ‘disciplinary’ system for years. That way, none of the claims were reported to the police. One of the witnesses, who has been an elder in the organisation, was very straightforward in the documentary, in calling it

“a paradise for paedophiles”.

The (protected and therefore made anonymous) elder made it clear the organisation had in March 1997 already sent a letter to each of its 10,883 U.S. congregations, and to many more congregations worldwide indicating for the dangers if some news about paedophile acts would come into the public. The organization was concerned about the legal risk posed by possible child molesters within its ranks. The letter laid out instructions on how to deal with a known predator:

Write a detailed report answering 12 questions — Was this a onetime occurrence, or did the accused have a history of child molestation? How is the accused viewed within the community? Does anyone else know about the abuse? — and mail it to Watchtower’s headquarters in a special blue envelope. Keep a copy of the report in your congregation’s confidential file, the instructions continued, and do not share it with anyone.

The man in charge for Belgium, Louis De Wit was not really willing to give a reasonable reply for what was going on behind the doors of this religious organisation.  He gave the impression he did not know about such “blue envelope”.

One would think Jehovah’s Witnesses disapprove of sexual abuse, and would do everything to react properly against such unwanted actions. When there were sent “blue envelopes” like many from different countries tell, are sent to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, they must have a large database of undocumented child molesters:

at least two decades’ worth of names and addresses —likely numbering in the tens of thousands — and detailed acts of alleged abuse, most of which have never been shared with law enforcement, all scanned and searchable in a Microsoft SharePoint file.

we known from more than one source.

In recent decades, much of the world’s attention to allegations of abuse has focused on the Catholic Church and other religious groups. Less notice has been paid to the abuse among the Jehovah’s Witnesses, though this Christian group with more than 8.5 million members was much spoken off at several fora and blogs of ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses, stating such and other problems in that organisation.

In the United States already millions of dollars have been paid over the years to keep it secret.

Because the church, and its community, is for many of those victims their life, it is even more difficult to cope with, because they also feel that they can give a negative impression over their religious group. Often they live in a certain way isolated of the outside world. They go to school but friendship with non-JW is not exactly recommended or encouraged. In several countries and several JW families kids aren’t allowed to play sports in school or participate in holiday observances in school.

When the abused persons tell others about what happened they are asked to keep it quiet or are treated as the trespasser and soon after talks with elders they become considered as a “reproofed” member of the congregation, being effectively shunned,  not permitted to speak unless spoken to. Often they even become forbidden from participating in church activities and as such having been made invisible in the eyes of the church.

Having had little contact with the outside world, staying with their own, save for going door-to-door to convince others that their religion was the one and true path to salvation in these, the final days of human history, they feel like betrayed and shut down by their own “family”. For the devout, disfellowshipping feels literally like a death sentence, because according to what they have learned one has to be a JW or to “belong to the Truth” to be able to enter the Kingdom of God.

Jehovah’s Witnesses call their version of excommunication disfellowshipping, a punishment by shunning to rid the faithful of bad associations with those who break the laws of God. Though this time not the abuser is disfellowshipped but the victim which makes she or he as expelled person cannot have any further contact with Witnesses, even polite acknowledgement on the street, until they take back the accusations or allegations and have proved ‘their repentance and willingness to return obediently’ to the organization.

Midway through the last century, the Watchtower took the power to judge and punish Witnesses away from the entire membership of congregations and gave it to the elders in each kingdom hall. The Watchtower also began to emphasize the importance of keeping the organization “spiritually clean.” By the early 1990s, roughly 40,000 Witnesses were disfellowshipped each year, according to Watchtower literature.

For decades, Jehovah’s Witnesses literature has described the importance of cutting off unrepentant sinners, even when they are family members. A 1988 Watchtower article traces the roots of the organization’s shunning policies to Deuteronomy, which says Israelite parents must bring rebellious children before the elders to be judged and executed

“to clear away what is bad from the midst of Israel.”

Israelite parents even participated in the execution of their own children to show their loyalty to God before family, the article states, because such demonstrations of devotion can be necessary to save one’s own life.

From the way the organisation reactions we can have the impression those youngsters who say they are misused are rebellious children who themselves created such situations where the adult fell in their trap.
What is also so ‘funny” is that those people by others are called “man of God” and should receive full respect and as such nothing bad can or could be said about them.

The same as what seems to happen in many other countries (like the Netherlands) the organisation does not have any policies to prevent sexual abuse or report it to the police and even worse want to keep it silent, sometimes even giving the victims the idea that they are the cause or warning them that they may not let outsiders know about this.

Victims that quit the organisation are not only ignored completely but become disfellowshipped and considered outcast nobody of the JW (lower) members may have contact. Only elders are supposedly to have contact with them, but do not seem to do anything to help them really.

According to CIAOSN, an independent centre set up by Belgium’s Department of Justice to study sectarian organisations, there are similar findings in 12 other countries. The report concludes that the issues in all other countries are the same. Due to the strict hierarchy of the organisation, it’s very difficult to come forward, reports CIAOSN. Another issue that returns frequently in CIAOSN’s report is that victims have to give their statements about the abuse in the presence of their abusers. If the accused denies involvement, they’ll only further the investigation after two other witness statements. In all these 13 countries, there is not one woman involved in the internal disciplinary system.

Reclaimed Voices Belgium finds that it is noteworthy how many people that talk about the severe psychological damage that the exclusion by the community brings with it. They say

“In conversations we’ve had with victims so far, it seems that the trauma caused by the exclusion that follows when a victim speaks up about the abuse has an even bigger impact than the abuse itself.”

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Find also to read:

Papers documenting instances of child abuse by the JW

Over the past couple of years, Mark O’Donnell has been leaking stolen letters and other papers documenting instances of child abuse. (Lexey Swall)

  1. A Secret Database of Child Abuse; A former Jehovah’s Witness is using stolen documents to expose allegations that the religion has kept hidden for decades.
  2. Belgian Jehovah’s Witnesses sexual abuse scandal
  3. Sexual or indecent assault in the Belgian Criminal Code
  4. Let’s talk about it
  5. Amendment to hide child sex abuse claims
  6. Jehovah’s Witnesses use 1st Amendment to hide child sex abuse claims
  7. Jehovah’s Witnesses cover up child sex abuse and oust a victim
  8. ‘Punished’ for being sexually abused in York County: Jehovah’s Witnesses’ culture of cover-up
  9. Jehovah’s Witness leader says child sex abuse claims are ‘lies’
  10. She spoke about Jehovah’s Witness abuse, and her home was vandalized
  11. Surviving
  12. A Moment of Silence
  13. Child abuse
  14. Dear Dairy
  15. No Comment: Fordham’s Continued History of Silence on Sex Abuse Claims
  16. George Pell: A Devil in the Disguise of a Saint – One of the worst immoral things/crimes I can think of is child abuse, physical or sexual.
  17. What Do the Church’s Victims Deserve?

Dave Norris and his writings on the Belgian Bible Students

With articles like “The Watchtower Belgian Biblestudents“, “, “, “” the blogger Dave Norris who likes us to call “kindergartner” “toddler” or sometimes “spiritual kindergarteners”, he presents a lot of nonsense about our community, clearly showing he does not know much about us nor similar groups, but even worse, does not seem to have a clue about the Bible Student movement and the history of such religious groups as the Bible Students, Christadelphians, Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW) and many other non-Trinitarian groups.

On the blog “The Bible & Exposing Cult Error Darkness Into Light” he wants his readers to believe he exposes errors of others but in fact does nothing more than presenting his own errors, ignorance or lack of knowledge.

We do notice we are not the only target or are not spitting the only purpose of his gal. He seems so frustrated in his faith and religion he loves to write a lot about other religious groups instead spending more time to proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God or to give more information about his own faith group or church.

He calls us a “Spirit of deception” but clearly he throws so much untruth on the net we can not resist in the end to react to it and to let others know some of the incredible untruths that he proclaims as our doctrine. It is therefore very important that we expose these gross lies and clarify our positions. It is because of several of his writings and attacks on us and other their attacks we started in the end to present a new website for unmasking people like him: Please find and look at the new site Unmasking anti Jehovah sites and people.

The man, who presents himself as a bully in his mails to us, writes on the internet:

The Watchtower Belgian Bible student movement did precede the actual formation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Charles T Russell was their leader. {The Watchtower Belgian Biblestudents}

Charles Taze Russell may have been a pupil of John Thomas, the founder of the Brothers in Christ or Christadelphians, but for sure has never been our founder nor our leader.

Ch. T. Russell may be called the founder of the American Bible Students and of the International Bible Students, but is neither the founder of the Free Bible Students (who discarded many of the teachings of the American Bible Student founder Charles Taze Russell) nor from Belgian Bible Students nor the founder of the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Russell never was a Jehovah’s Witness, like Mr. or the adolescent Norris wants his readers to believe. In case Mr. Russell would present himself to become a Jehovah’s Witness he would even not be accepted by that organisation.

An other fault which Mr. Norris does is to say we are associated with the Jehovah’s Witnesses Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society which is at all not so. We do have no association with that publication institute nor with the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society Organisation be it of Brooklyn, New York, Pennsylvania or of Canada or even of any other states like Australia, nor with the JW Organisation. For clarity the Belgian Bible Students have nothing to do with the Jehovah’s Witness nor with any of their other organisations or missions.

It is not because we do believe in the same One True God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah, that we would belong to one and the same Church.

We too may come from hundreds of ethnic and language backgrounds, and may, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, have the same goal to praise and honour Jehovah God being united by common goals. The same as those lovers of God, we too want to do our best to imitate Jesus Christ and are proud to be called Christians. As followers of Christ Jesus we take his command to go out in the world as a serious matter and like the JW we too witness for Jehovah, each of us regularly spending time helping people learn about the Bible and God’s Kingdom. Because we witness, or talk, about Jehovah God and his Kingdom, some may confuse us with those other people who have the same goal as us and are known as Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Opposite claims by Mr. Norris, we have very clearly presented our history to him, which can be found more extensively on the net. As such we find again a gross misrepresentation of the facts, him writing on the net:

I wish the Belgian Biblestudents would be honest with me about their history as they have not been.

I do admit that they were right about Charles Russell not beginning Jehovah’s Witnesses. He was a false prophet nevertheless and they can’t get around that. Woe to the foolish Prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing.{The Watchtower Belgian Biblestudents}

Though after this writing he continues

Biblestudents are a deceptive group under their leader Charles T Russell who is the founder of the Watchtower and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The group Christadelphians have a lot to do with this movement. Imposters will grow worse and worse deceiving and being deceived. They are presently deceivers because they were being deceived by Charles Russell whom they hold up as their leader. {Belgian Biblestudent Deception- 1}

and repeats

They claim to follow the Bible but they deny the Triune Godhead. As I said in another report before Russell founded Bible students he began the Watchtower with the basic Jehovah’s Witnesses Doctrine in force. {Belgian Biblestudent Deception- 1}

Who is the deceiving person or spirit in this case?

He then presents a whole of prophesies we supposedly would have believed or followed, which is totally untrue and we even do not get any idea where he gets it form we would have hold fast on such prophesies when we ourselves always clearly say it is no man given, even not Christ Jesus, to know when the end times are coming, though we agree we can see the signs, we can never say an exact date. We, like nobody, according to us, can ever give a correct date on it.

We want our readers to know we do have nothing to do with prophesies of the Jehovah’s Witnesses nor ever would have believed in such a date setting.

Prophecies which may have been made by the JW but never by the Belgian Biblestudents (like Dave Norris and some other bloggers on the net want their readers to believe).

Mr. Norris also wants his readers to believe in high and low that we

are almost like the New Apostolic Reformation with a prophecy accuracy rate of 20%. {Belgian Biblestudent Deception- 2}

and asks his readers to examine for themselves, but giving a photograph of a Watchtower which is even not the Zion’s Watchtower of the American Bible Students nor our old magazine Zion’s Wachttoren (19th and 20th century publications) and not at all a magazine of our community, but a publication by the WTBTS.

Though Mr. Norris in his previous writing said he understood Russell was not the founder of the JW he again presents him as a prophet for the JW and worse of all also for us, which is against our teachings, we only are recognising such prophets as those declared by the Word of God, namely Nehemiah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadia, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaiah, Haggai, Zecharia, Malachi and Jesus, considering many others as false prophets.

Mr. Norris also wirtes

Biblestudents don’t believe in the hell that Jesus talked about and yet they say they follow Jesus. {Belgian Biblestudent Deception- 2}

which is again a lie, we believing in sheol or hell, like Jesus was for three days in hell and also talked about hell.

Continuously that blog writer from the so called exposing Christian error site wants to associate us with the JW and again giving wrong dates concerning our history.

In 1879 he began the perversion of Jehovah’s Witnesses but under a different name. The Biblestudents didn’t start until 1876 and they themselves told me that when they said Russell was their founder. His organization wasn’t yet called Jehovah’s Witnesses but the obvious poisonous theology was in place. {Belgian Biblestudies Deception- 3}

Wappers - Episodes from September Days 1830 on the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville in Brussels.JPG

A painting depicting the conflict which led to the secession of the southern provinces (mainly the former Southern Netherlands) from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and the establishment of an independent Kingdom of Belgium. – Episode of the Belgian Revolution of 1830, Gustaf Wappers (1834), (Museum of Fine Art, Brussels)

After the Battle of Waterloo (1815) several Students of the Bible living in the region of France its Low Countries got a more nationalistic feeling and when the Dutch-speaking Flemings and French-speaking Walloons had meetings in Rheims or Paris they wanted to make it clear they came from the Gallic (Gaul) or Belgica or Côtes Lorraines region or the plain of Flanders, and the Kempenland (French: Campine) and did not consider themselves any more to be part of the Nord–Pas-de-Calais or le Nord (North of France) region with Cambrai where also several Bible Students had found their home in a very hostile area for non-Trinitarians and/or Protestants. After the States-General in Brussels voted in favour of secession and declared independence the small state Belgium was formed and with it also the “Belgian Bible Students”, which at that time, may have had most of it members in the Famenne, Sambre, La LouvièreBorinage and Hainaut region, long before Charles Taze Russell (February 16, 1852 – October 31, 1916), or Pastor Russell, the American Christian restorationist minister from Pittsburgh, was born. It were such sincere students of the Bible who made it possible to get one of the first major Bibles in the French language circulating in the region and had one which was printed in Mons. There in Mons can still be found a copy of the first Gutenberg Bible (1455) which was used as a base (unfortunately incomplete). It was Canon Edmon Puissant (1860-1934) who came into possession of this copy in 1926.

 

D Norris telling a lot of nonsense in several articles on what he calls on Belgian Biblestudies, though our community is called Belgian Bible-students and has nothing to do with Ch.T. Russell as so called founder and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Though we do agree Ch.T. Russell’s writings circulated and still circulate amongst us and got several of his and other brethren their English writings translated in French, Swiss German and Dutch by our community. In the early 20th century Russell even came to visit our community.

Next he presents an article on Armstrong false prophecy as a ‘Next’ article containing false prophecies of Herbert W Armstrong marking him as a false prophet, as if we would also follow this man.  This article is followed by “Belgian Biblestudies Deception- 4” were he keeps dragging on with prophecies of some one we do not have as our leader, what he keeps others to believe. And than he asks

Here are two more of Charles Russell’s false prophecies. What amazes me is how Belgian Bible students can justify this? {Belgian Biblestudies Deception- 4} {find our reaction if he publishes it}

And he keeps disbelieving that Russell was not our founder, as if we, as community would not know our own history and he knowing it much better than serious history writers or serious encyclopaedia.

But the Belgian Biblestudents still speak very highly of their founder Charles Russell despite all his false prophecies. Examine also the references for the false prophecies. They’re in the very same Bible studies that the Belgian group supports. Are they as blind as their founder was? I will have more in part 5. {Belgian Biblestudies Deception- 4}

Nowhere shall you find prophecies made by Russell or any other person which we would say you have to believe. We also do not know where he gets it from that we would hold Charles Russel‘s “Studies in the Scriptures” in such high regard. (Perhaps he assues that because we also took care for a translation and distribution of this work in our regions.) {Belgian Biblestudies Deception- 5} {we asked him also} Again he wants to do that Russell is the founder of our community and writes

the founder of this group as this book is full of lies and false prophecies. Worse still the Belgian Biblestudies group backs thiss book to the hilt. They know what’s in here and they believe it. {Belgian Biblestudies Deception- 5}

Dave Norris his continual misleading of the internet-public with attacking plus false sayings and making false connections in several of his articles, a.o. in his series Belgian Biblestudies Deception – {picture fragment from Belgian Biblestudies Deception – 6}

After a reaction we made on 2018 August 10 19.35 pm about having our name right we noticed he suddenly changed the title of his series.

In Belgian Biblestudents Deception- 7 Mr. Norris keeps telling untruths, now saying JF Rutherford otherwise known as Judge Rutherford

took over when Russell died as head of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. {Belgian Biblestudents Deception- 7}

Judge Rutherford being jailed for sedition against the Armed Forces is considered by Mr. Dave Norris a sign of him and Non-Trinitarian pacifists to be losers

Mr. Dave Norris in his series Belgian Biblestudents Deception- 8 all the time bringing in matters of prophesies in which we do not believe but which he wants to have his readers come to believe they are part of our teachings (which they are not at all)

Also when looking at the lies he writes about other denominations one an wonder what Mr. Norris his agenda really is?!? Problem would be in case many of his readers would consider his writings as bringing the truth about us and those other denominations.

Clearly he twists the truth and does as if we changed our teachings, but again uses material from an other  denomination to have it look as if it is ours.

Mr Norris looking at the New World Edition of the Bible which Jehovah’s Witnesses cherish, presenting it in his article Belgian Biblestudents Deception- 8 as if it is ours + asking to look at the changes

Mr. Norris also wants to give the impression when people read certain books, they are taken by those books and agree with everything what is in those books. He might perhaps follow everybody whose books he reads and may be limited in his amount of reading books and papers, only concentrating on what he agrees with. His knowledge about us and other groups he tries to pull down, shows clearly enough he did not do enough research and did not read enough about those groups, their leaders and teachers, often having no clue at all about their teachings, the same as with us. Or, in case he knows what our and their teachings are and what the background is of those groups he writes about, then it is clear he wants to spread fake news (therewith wanting to be popular in these times of someone speaking all the time of fake news) or does not mind to bring all sorts of inaccuracies to bring damage to those societies or communities.

Belgian Biblestudents Deception- 8 by D Norris on Exposing Christian error -about JW + Cd + false prophecies ~~~ Russell never made his own Bible or Scripture or never made our Holy Scriptures, like Norris wants his readers to believe.

Mr. Norris has also clearly a different view of what a cult is than what the state or a court would consider a cult or a sect. We can assure all his and our readers they do not have to worry that we would try to lure them in a sect and like certain churches do, then demand money and oblige them to stay with us. Every body is free to come and free to go in our churches (ecclesiae).

Only if one wants to join our community (as a member) we ask the candidate to believe in God as the Only True God and to believe that through God His only begotten beloved son salvation has come upon mankind and that this man of flesh and blood is the way to God and now the mediator between God and the people and is our high priest for God.

Psalms 83:18 (AKJV)
18 That men may know that you, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, are the most high over all the earth.

Romans 10:13 (AKJV)
13 For whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Matthew 3:16-17 (AKJV)
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, see, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting on him: 17 And see a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

John 14:6 (AKJV)
6 Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.

1 Timothy 2:5 (AKJV)
5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Hebrews 12:24 (AKJV)
24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things that that of Abel.

Hebrews 3:1 (AKJV) Hebrews 3
1 Why, holy brothers, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

Hebrews 6:20 (AKJV)
20 Where the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Clearly the intentions of Mr. Dave Norris can be seen in his many articles against Catholics and all sorts of Protestants, Emergent Church, Extreme Prophetic MovementHebrew Roots Movement, but also Judaism. Main churches also do not escape his acid pen. But Non-Trinitarians seem to work on him as a red cloth on a bull. He not only writes about them a lot of lies but also has no decency when they write to him in a polite manner. Some of his replies may be lot worse than the once shown here (and therefore we would not make public.).

An example of the way Mr. Dave Norris answers people who wrote to him

An example of the way how Mr. Dave Norris react to people when they ask him to show the link for the article he talks about in a previous reply, him writing: “I linked to an article from Wikipedia it clearly states your history. Russell did many false prophecies as in his successor Rutherford Hayes. You need to Bone up on your history.” And we having stated that there is no such page in Wikipedia telling about the history of the Belgian Biblestudents.

Though we can only find

Proof of “Belgian Bible Students” Wikipedia page not existing on 2018 August 11

 

+

Preceding

Charles Taze Russell and what he started

Was Russell and Rutherford “Illuminati”?

Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (WBTS) main groups that broke away

Different approach in organisation of services #1

Different approach in organisation of services #2

Different approach in organisation of services #3

Belonging to or being judged by

Jehovah’s Witnesses Circuit Assembly and a Pillar to freedom

++

Please find also to read

  1. International Biblestudents Association
  2. International Bible Students Association
  3. International Bible Students Association
  4. Jehovah’s Witness
  5. Charles Taze Russell
  6.  Dawn Bible Students Association
  7. Italian Bible Students Association in Hartford, CT Christian Millennial Fellowship
  8. What are Brothers in Christ
  9. Who are Christadelphians
  10. Against the anti Jehovah people
  11. Unmasking anti Jehovah sites and people
  12. Aim of Unmasking anti Jehovah people
  13. Joseph Rutherford with the iron glove
  14. To remove the whitewash of the Jehovah Witnesses as being the only true Bible Students and Bible Researchers
  15. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  16. Faith coming by hearing and sent preacher gift from God
  17. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  18. Confrontation by people telling lies to force others to avoid the targetted groups
  19. For those who do everything to stop the work of Christadelphians
  20. Who cries out against a hearty and uncompromising castigation of error
  21. re-frame obligation into conscious choices
  22. Christianity primarily a matter of imitation

+++

When Jesus speaks of obedience, he is speaking of a lifestyle of devotion to that which garners his devotion. Jesus’ disciples obey him by keeping what he keeps, and holding on to that which he holds… with a steadfast dedication. Once again we see our definition of a disciple emerge:

Necessity to imitate the Jewish master teacher Jeshua or Jesus Christ, following his commandments trying to become like him, is what the Belgian Bible Students do.

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Related

  1. 4 attacks on Jehovah’s Witnesses churches linked -25k reward offered
  2. Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses preach?
  3. Romans 8:12-17 – Heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ
  4. Brothers in Christ – bond in Christ
  5. To the Compulsive Liar
  6. The Value of Truth
  7. Myths About Net Neutrality
  8. Lovers of God are Better Lovers
  9. Part 1 – Your Relationship with God
  10. 6 Priorities You Need
  11. Four – Understanding Our Purpose, p. 126 Jesus came to be what the original Adam was supposed to be: the very “image” of God.
  12. Four – Understanding Our Purpose, p. 128
  13. Six – Understanding the Holy Spirit, p. 176
  14. Six – Understanding the Holy Spirit, p. 178
  15. Imitating Jesus — From the new book Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus)
  16. Following Jesus requires you to grow up
  17. Proclamation
  18. Ep. 4 – Jehovah’s Witnesses
  19. Notes on the Proclaimers Book
  20. Some Prophetic Speculations
  21. Jehovah’s Witness Myopic View Of Jesus (I)
  22. Jehovah’s Witnesses and False Prophecies
  23. Dance me to the end

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