An other Christian WordPress.com site – Een andere Christelijke WordPress.com site

Posts tagged ‘Jehovah Witnesses’

On April 21 brother Nelson, in the world better known as Prince was lost

The Very Best of Prince

The Very Best of Prince (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After the well-known Jehovah witness singer-dancer Michael Jackson the movement lost again a pop star. As an adult superstar musician Prince became a Jehovah’s Witness and went regularly to a place were there was no dance club or a recording studio, were there are not even any musical instruments except for a piano hidden in a closet that no one uses. The walls being of various shades of beige encloses a hall were nothing shines, and nothing is purple. Nothing about it says “Prince.”

Prince's Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall

The Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Minnetonka, Minn., where Prince was a congregant. (Matt Pearce / Los Angeles Times)

English: Prince performing at Coachella 2008.

Prince performing at Coachella 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Auditorium A in the Kingdom Hall of the St. Louis Park Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses was the place were Prince reflected on his life and knew who was the real big superstar of this universe. Prince Rogers Nelson was not celebrated in that hall as Prince, the music megastar, but was like all others a Brother, brother Nelson, the Jehovah’s Witness. Here, one of America‘s greatest sex symbols didn’t arrive in spandex and stilettos but in conservative suits and ties. He was often hard to spot among the congregation of dozens unless you were looking right at him. And that wasn’t the only way he blended in.

Too many people forget that artists and even so called ‘world stars’ or ‘superstars’ also can leave at certain moments the world for what it is. They too can know that there are more important matters in this life and this world than ‘stardom’ in this world or than all the glory people want to give them. They too can know to whom the real glory belongs.

Over the final decade of his life, Prince worshipped at Auditorium A in the Kingdom Hall of the St. Louis Park Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Also people with fame can have enough wisdom to analyse the Bible and to come to the Biblical truth, willing to put human doctrines aside and preferring to give everything to the Word of God. Like Michael Jackson Prince was a fellow believer in the Jehovah’s Witness tenets: that Jesus was a saviour but was lesser to God, that these are the final days of civilization, that the dead will be resurrected, and that the world will live under a global government lead by Jehovah, a Hebrew name for God. Among the St. Louis Park congregation, Prince wasn’t a celebrity but an equal in faith.

For believers like us, this star was accepted as a brother. Congregant Josephine Parker, 74 said on Sunday April the 24th

“He wasn’t treated as maybe the world would treat him.”

Remembering Prince as a gentle soul and a “mild spirit,” and his death at age 57 braking her heart, she added

“I look forward to the time we can welcome him back on the Earth.”

Lots of things may be said about his life, lots of guesses may be made about his death. No matter how long we’ve made it, no matter our race, our colour, our creed, our sexual orientation, all of those who live in the land of music, will have felt his departure from this world as an earthquake, and for the brothers and sisters it came also as a surprise.

On April 21, 2016 the world lost a great musician. What the world perhaps did not know, that it was also a man with a soul, an inner feeling and a mind who was conscientious about more important things than all the glitter of this world.

Prince first visit to ireland

Prince first visit to ireland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Strangely enough for some, his flamboyant stage presence, extravagant dress and make-up, and wide vocal range was put secondary at certain moments of the week. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the first year of his eligibility Rolling Stone ranked Prince at number 27 on its list of 100 Greatest Artists — “the most influential artists of the rock & roll era”, he was humble enough to be a brother like the others in the Christian community of worshippers of the Most High Superstar, Jehovah God.

News went around that Prince may have been already 6 hours death before his body was found. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune one day before his body was found, Prince was also given intravenous fluids at a Minneapolis area hospital. Prince’s publicist said he was suffering from the flu.

Kirk Johnson who was also at the scene sent a statement to CNN through his attorney saying in part:

“I greatly respected Prince’s privacy, and ask in turn during this difficult time, others respect the privacy of those who worked with and represented him.”

But fans coming to know Prince was a Witness also started blaming the cause of his death Prince refusing a blood transfusion as a Witness. Those fans and acquaintances who have wondered whether Prince’s religious beliefs may have even contributed to his death, because Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe in taking blood transfusions for scriptural reasons, do forget that believers like us accept other and safer medical treatments.

Prince, who was raised as a Seventh-day Adventist, was converted — or at least helped along — by Larry Graham, the former bass player for Sly and the Family Stone.

“I don’t see it really as a conversion,”

Prince told the New Yorker magazine in 2008.

“More, you know, it’s a realization. It’s like Morpheus and Neo in ‘The Matrix.’”

Prince embraced the faith and even proselytized his neighbours around his Paisley Park estate in the Minneapolis suburbs, who were sometimes shocked to find the star on their doorsteps.

++

Additional reading

Lawrence Wright’s 2013 bestseller made in documentary ‘Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief’

+++

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

There was an early split during the life of Russell and a number of splits immediately after his death and several in later times. Most of the earlier groups have held to the teachings of Charles Taze Russell and trace their origin to him and denounce Jehovah’s Witnesses as not tracing their origin to him. In response to this Jehovah’s Witnesses call all of these groups “the evil slave” class. They are:

  1.  New Covenant Believers
    was formed in 1909 by former Society secretary-treasurer E.C. Henninges, the Australia branch manager of the International Bible Students Association, also called Free Bible Students – based in Melbourne.
  2. The Pastoral Bible Institute
    was founded in 1918 by former directors of the WBTS.
    It is now defunct but still publishes The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom, first edited by R. E. Streeter and now with only an editorial committee publishing the magazine.
  3.  Berean Bible Institute
    formed in 1918 in Australia and publishes The Voice and the People’s Paper magazine. Membership is estimated to be less than 100.
  4.  Stand Fast Bible Students Association of Portland Oregon
    was formed in 1919 after Charles E. Heard and others had a pacifism issue with Rutherford over purchase of war bonds, which they considered to be wrong.
  5.  Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement
    was founded by Paul S. L. Johnson in 1919. He believed he had been appointed by God as Russell’s official spiritual successor. Johnson’s death in 1950 led to the formation of new splinter groups, such as the Epiphany Bible Students Association, and the Laodicean Home Missionary Movement.
  6.  Christian Millennial Fellowship
    as formed in 1928 by the Italian Bible Students Association in Hartford, CT after their break with the WBTS.In 1940 they began publishing The New Creation, a Herald of God’s Kingdom magazine and later relocated to New Jersey, forming branches in Australia, Austria, England, Ghana, Germany, India, Italy, Japan and Romania. However, eventually they discarded most of Russell’s writings and joined the “New Covenant Bible Students” as “Free Bible Students.”
  7.  Dawn Bible Students Association
    The Dawn Office in East Rutherford, New Jersey

    The Dawn Office in East Rutherford, New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    is the largest of the Bible Student movements. It was formed in 1931 when Norman Woodworth, cousin of C. J. Woodworth to resume publication of Russell’s Studies in the Scriptures, which the WBTS Tower Society had ceased to publish in 1927. Their magazine is entitled Dawn — A Herald of Christ’s Presence.
    In recent times some have distanced themselves from some of Russell’s teachings.
    In 1974, a splinter group was formed called Independent Bible Students.

  8. The Goshen Fellowship
    was formed by Jesse Hemery in England in 1951. He had been the overseer of the WBTS’s British Isles branch office, appointed by Russell in 1901 and holding that post until 1946.
  9. was formed by Romanian Witnesses after their isolation during the communist era when there was little communication with the WBTS. Evidently this involved a difference of opinion about procedures or in doctrine.
    *
    Note: The history of Jehovah’s Witnesses may be read in the WBTS produced book Jehovah’ Witnesses – Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom, although there are certain important omission concerning the splits, and a certain gloss and prejudice has been put upon some events.
Related articles

Different approach in organisation of services #3

Radio calls and booklets

Today the Jehovah Witnesses are the biggest known Bible Student Group in Belgium. At first they could find Bible Students groups associating with them and start growing from the previous preparations of those groups. But they too had to see members leaving them.

Français : Jumet (Charleroi - Belgique) - Chap...

Français : Jumet (Charleroi – Belgique) – Chapelle Notre Dame de Heigne (XIIe siècle) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As result of the broadcastings in the mid 20° century, in French and sponsored by the Brethren of Dawn from the U.S; 3 Belgian families were interested in the Present Truth. It was Brother Armand Lechien who got in touch with Brother Félix Pilarski through the mail service of Radio Luxemburg: Brother Félix aimed him towards Jumet. These 3 families left the movement they were members of (the Jehovah Witnesses) because they thought the teachings they heard were not in harmony

with the Scriptures. The Polish-Belgian Brother and Sister Wlodarski had got French brethren and sisters in their circles and found more brethren from the French Association des étudiants de la Bible coming more and more frequently to serve the Word of God (brother François Wozniak, Kosmalski A. Liszka, T. Kubiak, J., Osorowski S.,TF et Ed. Pilarski, Speil, a few from Saint Etienne and many others …..); the family Kula, their younger daughter and one son attended the meetings, in the following years just like in France, pilgrim brethren came from the United States and later from Poland.

Courcelles coal mine ” 6 périer ” Souvret

The families – Armand et Louise Lechien – Ernest et Helena Duchateau –  Edmond et Jeanne Henrioule decided to have meetings during the week (on Wednesday and Thursday) to study the Figures of the Tabernacle. With their agreement, the families Wlodarski and Kula joined them. The studies were held in two languages with the help of a translator (2 languages were spoken French and Polish).

Brother Félix Pilarski and other brethren worked a lot for these meetings because they spoke French perfectly.
Brother Félix Pilarski made a handsome contribution to the development of the meeting of Courcelles with edifying biblical discourses and his visits. He was also personally active in the country of Liège and in Brussels where he had a deposit of booklets. Other brethren also paid many visits; among them we can mention Brother Joseph Wozniak, Adolphe Debski, and others.
After Brother Ernest Duchateau died suddenly, meetings continued for some time. When Brother Lechien died after a quite long disease, we could see a repetitive thing around the house churches, the ecclesia of Courcelles disappeared in the mid 70’s.

Former town hall of Jumet, where the film “Why did He come to earth?” of the Bible Students was given.

On October 24th 1987, the ecclesia of Jumet organised two projections of the film “Why did He come to earth?” in the community City Hall of Charleroi. Those shows were announced with advertising: posters in public places, advertising in the city with loudspeakers, spots on local newspapers radio and TV, display on electronic screens, distribution of leaflets.
More than hundred persons attended these film projections. Leaflets and tracts were given to the participants but only few asked for further information and other booklets.

Soothed to sleep with man’s talk

Very soon in history the majority in Christendom went running after the false teachers. The myths were more pleasing to the ear than the actual truth. They were soothed to sleep with it. Early on the Brothers, as true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, were in the minority. Their faith of the true gospel was of ‘origin’ pure, by the human impurities it was swung back and forth by the years gone.

In Belgium and the Netherlands remained Bible Faithful following Jesus’ command and continued preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God.
The first nor the second world war had kept them from it, even though many of them were anxiously looking forward to the action of the two warring camps, because they were against fighting, and because they adhered to a faith that was not liked by anyone.

That Jesus and his apostles spoke about the news that there would be established a Kingdom on earth, that would be ruled by Jesus Christ and in which the faithful of all ages would have a place alongside their Lord: i.e. as co-rulers, this sounded obviously not fine in the ears for them (the German Fuehrer wished to be the only ruler). But the cheerful message for humanity survived now the fight under people and brought unprecedented peace in some families.

The doctrine of Christ’s reign on earth was first treated as highly symbolic, gradually became labelled as a very questionable and useless thought and was ultimately rejected as an absurd invention of heresy and fanaticism.
God’s light happily extinguishes not; it is an eternal flame. The people of Israel in ancient times also reached detritus. They even served other gods. Nevertheless, there remain at this time believers in the One God and history now could repeat itself. Faithful to God those bible students wanted to share their findings and in spite the continuous opposition dared to go against the most popular doctrine of men.

Getting a base in Holland

After attempts from the Netherlands were made to bring Truth to England (in the 16th Century) and having a flight of truth seekers to the New World in the 19th century, now letters of truth seekers from the New World could again send truth to Europe.

The teachings of Elias Smith and John Thomas now, the time was ripe, an opportunity was given to a ‘resurgence‘ of Bible Faithful. They also found their way across the ocean and in all English-speaking countries they could find a foothold.

Through the centuries, the Gospel of God’s Kingdom, which was preached by Jesus and the apostles, showed a dynamic force which has all the opposition of powerful religious groups defied and still serves as the sole basis of faith for those who want to search God.

Website of the Brothers in Christ or Christadelphians in the Netherlands - Website van de Nedrlandse Broeders in Christus

Website of the Brothers in Christ or Christadelphians in the Netherlands – Website van de Nedrlandse Broeders in Christus

In 1956 in the Netherlands finally the group of Brothers in Christ could get solid and communities as “de Broeders in Christus“, arose in Den Haag (The Hague), Amersfoort, Ede and Groningen.

From 1957 officially recognised, seeing it as our duty to our Lord to make his name known among the people in our area, as well as among other nations, they made work of it to go around billing leaflets. They kept their focus on the Bible as the source of all knowledge and followed the guiding principle of the word of our Lord, “Freely ye have received, freely give.” They also began to spread the magazine “Met Open Bijbel” (With Open Bible) of which Rudolf Rijkeboer was the driving force.

Vanishing interest

It clearly appeared that after the ‘golden age’ with the children boom and citizens of Belgium having their life becoming better, the interest for the biblical message of Truth is vanishing with time passing on.
The Bible Students saw their number of members in ecclesiae decreasing.The visiting brethren and sisters from the Christadelphian Bible Mission (CBM) for 25 years made regular visits to put leaflets and pamphlets in the postboxes. Their short visits trying to get people on the street interested in the works of Christ and in the promises of God, did not work out. At the time (early 21° Century) they wanted to give it all up and several Christadelphians left Holland to return to England or to go to Australia.
At the end of the 20° Century some Bible Students with ex-Jehovah Witnesses formed the Vrije Christenen or Free Christians. In that movement was also the non-trinitarian Baptist Marcus Ampe very active. Even before he himself became a Christadelphian he had already brought others to the Christadelphian faith. In Flemish Brabant and in Hainaut, plus on the net, with him, again an effort was made to bring the Good News of the coming Kingdom.
The Belfry in Mons

The Belfry in Mons, one of the meeting places of the Free Belgian Christadelphians

Last year brother Marcus tried to get several Bible Student groups together, but failed because of their will to have a certain power and the will to keep everything in control themselves. Plus some, like our confrères which we ourselves could not get over the bend to join the other Christadelphians in Belgium, made it impossible to have the different bible Students exchanging ideas, meeting sessions and information about their where-about and working. For our Australian brothers, of the Australian Bible Students, the CBM members were not close enough in following the teachings of brother Dr. John Thomas and mixing with the too loose teachings would dilute the whole system (they thought).

The man from the North and his organisation, have most of the Bible Students (except the JW) living in Belgian. But they resisted in giving the addresses of their ecclesiae in Oostende, Gent, (Brussels) and Antwerp. this made that the few but very active Christadelphians from Brussels, Leuven and Mons, could not meet with more Christadelphians in Belgium.
We too had to face the difficulty of bringing people together in peace and where confronted with a loss in our ranks, but our invitation is still open to join as members of the Body of Christ, united in the love of Christ.
We are convinced that our preaching work is important and that even when we do not reach so many people in Belgium, we do hope we can reach some others far away from us. We do hope that our voice may also sound in the darkness and bring some light to people we do not know, but who we do hope to meet in the Kingdom of God. We look forward to meet many new faces, happy to be under the Guidance of the Lord and not bounded by single people, but constructed on the cornerstone Jesus Christ.
Though we may have a different approach in organisation of services we do believe we all should go for the same truth and for the unification under Christ, by which each group might have a different name, but is willing to be united in spirit, sharing to build up and construct positively working to help each other entering the gate of the coming Kingdom.
+
Preceding articles:
++

Please do find out more about the Christadelphians and find further related articles:

  1. Not all christians are followers of a Greco-Roman culture
  2. Two new encyclopaedic articles
  3. Who are the Christadelphians
  4. What are Brothers in Christ
  5. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  6. Christadelphian people
  7. Christadelphians or Messianic Christians or Messianic Jews
  8. About the Belgian Free Christadelphians
  9. What Christadelphians teach
  10. Small churches of the few Christadelphians
  11. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  12. 19° Century London Christadelphians
  13. Breathing and growing with no heir
  14. Commitment to Christian unity
  15.  Parts of the body of Christ
  16. What part of the Body am I?
  17. The Church, Body of Christ and remnant Israel synonymous
  18. United people under Christ
  19. Fellowship
  20. The Ecclesia
  21. The Ecclesia in the churchsystem
  22. The ecclesia or Christadelphian church
  23. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  24. Our ecclesia or Christadelphian-church
  25. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  26. An ecclesia in your neighbourhood
  27. Communion and day of worship
  28. Christadelphians today
  29. Small churches of the few Christadelphians
  30. Who Celebrates Easter as Religious Holiday
  31. Eostre, Easter, White god, chocolate eggs, Easter bunnies and metaphorical resurrection
  32. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  33. Harvest in Belgium
  34. Building up the spirit of the soul
  35. No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks
  36. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  37. Change of name
  38. Quibbling siblings united or allied children of an organisation or a church
  39. Small churches of the few Christadelphians

+++

Male domination and tyranny giving opportunities to defile the Name of God

All human beings can and shall make faults in their life; Nobody can escape. The only one who did nearly escape was Jeshua, the Nazarene Jew who did everything to please his heavenly Father. But by doing so he more than once probably frustrated his earthly parents; For sure he made them twice in his lifetime very worried and sad. Once when he was 12 years old and did not follow up the wishes to stay close to his family in the big city Jerusalem. there he had not thought of the worries his parents might get when he would not be in the caravan back home. An other time he worried his mother very much was when he was taken prisoner and later brought up to the hill for execution nearby the walls of that same city. An other time he got out of the normal behaviour a human being should stay, was when he saw all those sellers in the temple, the house of God. He really lost his temper and threw the tables over and shouted to those vendors in what Jesus considered a house of prayer and not a sales market. Jesus like any other human being could sin, but did not. What he did was righteous in the eyes of God.

To be all the time righteous for any person is ‘very difficult’. When you look around you, you shall be able to see people you like very much and others you like less, but also some you do not like at all. From those you know you also shall be able to tell good things but probably also bad things. Also about yourself you shall have to admit there are good and bad things.

Secrets of Pedophilia in an American ReligionThere does not exist any organisation which can escape to undergo things in its ranks which would better not have occurred at any time. It is worse or gets really bad when organisations do not want to see what goes wrong in their organisation or worse even try to hide the things which went wrong in their organisation. In the last instance we do have to ask questions and we do have to be more aware of the danger of such activities.

When people in charge of parishes or communities to something wrong to people where they should take care off their wrongdoings are even worse than those who do not know better. We should always take into account the people who are poor in mind or who do have a brain which is not working like it should do. but by those who get a position to take care over a flock or some people who give their trust in his or her arms, than it becomes abominable.

When elders, priests, pastors, ministers commit acts which are an abomination in the eyes of God it becomes worse, because those people are considered ‘workers for God’ and should be defending the Faith. they should be an example for the community and for those who have to be brought to God. They should not be persons who give others the opportunity to blame the Church or to spit on religion or to defile the Name of God.

We can not deny that also by groups who call themselves Bible Students there can be found people unworthy of such name. We also can not deny that in such groups there can be found people who should know better, and who really study the Word of God, but could not resist doing things which are against the Laws of God.

No denomination in Christendom nor in Christianity seems to escape the evil of some men or women in own ranks. When there can be found such evildoers in a group which bears the name of the Most High it becomes even worse. But that should not get such organisations try to hide such things for others, because then they do even more damage to their own organisation and worse to the Name of God.

Rape Infographic

Rape Infographic (Photo credit: Snipergirl)

Former elder Mark Sewell is the last mentioned case of such an example which no Christian organisation would like to find in their midst. According to the accusations he used his “position of power” to “exploit and abuse” women and children over a ten-year period.

Officials at head office of the Jehovah Witnesses appointed a seven-man committee to investigate what had happened.

As a result Tom Brown was stripped of his post as presiding overseer but remained as an elder, while Anthony Sewell was removed as an elder because of events he concealed and tried to conceal.

A four-man committee then investigated the claims of assault and rape against Sewell, resulting in him being ‘disfellowshipped’, which meant being removed from the church and “shunned” by other Witnesses.

What is important that people look for the intentions of some one. Those of a person claiming to belong to Jehovah His organisation when he does fornication or rape does something which not only brings blame on that worldly organisation but also on the organisation of God and on His Name.

In 2012 the Watch Tower Society had already issued a letter to all Bodies of Elders instructing them on how to handle cases of child abuse in the wake of the Candace Conti verdict, but some years on now, we wonder how those elders in the different countries do the right thing and follow the rules of the countries in which they are working and living.

It was already chocking in 2012 that the Governing Body did not use the lessons learned from the Conti case to bring the Society’s child protection policy into conformity with the law, not to mention the basic principles of community responsibility.

Despite the jury’s multi-million dollar award of punitive damages against the Society in the Conti case, little was being done to ensure that similar cases would not arise in the future. And the world could hear of many many different cases of child abuse and of sexual harassment by elders and the female Witnesses.

For us we can not understand why parents in the 21st century still react like the parents in the 1950ies and 60ies did in the Catholic families. It can be that the Witnesses are only in that stadium and are 50 or 60 years behind the time, which would mean that over such time we are going to see empty Kingdom Halls or having only Kingdoms Halls in 2060 with just 5 or 6 attendants.

The organisation and the people leading a congregation should know that not one religion can make a psychological/criminal evaluation in case they themselves did not receive a higher education in that field. They also should know they have to take the responsibility to protect the weaker people in their community and should always investigate every sign of wrong going.

We agree that a person accused of being a paedophile should always be considered innocent until proven. But to say he is innocent unless two people witnessed the abuse (the victim and someone else) is ridiculous, because any sex offender shall probably take care there would be no witnesses or nobody who would come to stand up against him or her.

To have an organisation ruling out paedophilia because there would be no witnesses to confirm it would make that there nearly never would be a case in instances of child molestation to confirm the allegation. Certainly in very confined communities with very strict rules, like the  Jehovah Witnesses or any small  or big fundamentalist religious organisation, child molesters who are smart enough to carry out their despicable crimes without someone else watching, shall always feel the protective hand above them because nobody lower than them would go against them.

Saying that those accused of child abuse have not to be judged by “worldly” standards, but through God’s standards as determined through a mistaken application of the Mosaic law is taking the law in their own hands and not giving the Caesar what belongs to the Caesar (like Jesus said), but denying jurisdiction to do her work .

It was hoped that the Conti case might have resulted in the Society revisiting the “two witness rule”, but until now there is not such a thing.

Demanding a confession is not always to bring such a confession when somebody did really something he or she should know is really not allowable in our worldly nor in our spiritual society.

The rule the JW organisation asks to be followed goes in against any lawful acceptable position. when a child and her parents do not find others who have seen something which went wrong between the child and the sex offender, the parents may feel guilty to bring a complaint because they have no witnesses of the events their child is talking of.

“Do not admit an accusation against an older man, except only on the evidence of two or three witnesses. Reprove before all onlookers persons who practice sin, that the rest also may have fear…. The sins of some men are publicly manifest, leading directly to judgment, but as for other men [their sins] also become manifest later. In the same way also the fine works are publicly manifest and those that are otherwise cannot be kept hid.” (1 Timothy 5:19,24,25 – New World Translation)

However, in evaluating the evidence for internal congregational purposes, they must bear in mind the Bible’s clear direction: ‘No single witness should rise up against a man respecting any error or any sin . . . At the mouth of two witnesses or at the mouth of three witnesses the matter should stand good.’ (Deut. 19:15) {Shepherding textbook, chapter 12, paragraphs 18-21}

When a girl, woman, boy or man is on his own, not finding somebody who has seen that she or he is molested, this would mean she or he does not make any change in the congregation to be heard, and worse could become seen as somebody bringing the unity in the congregation in danger, so becoming herself or himself an object of exclusion.

To say

“the elders are not authorized by the Scriptures to take congregational action unless there is a confession or there are two credible witnesses.” {2012 letter to all Bodies of Elders paragraph 11}

shall not give any opportunity to righteous and honest elders to act lawfully and honestly.

Barbara Anderson, who once worked at the Brooklyn headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses from 1982 to 1992 and was a member of Jehovah’s Witnesses from 1954 to 1997, became a long-time campaigner for the Society to drop its negligent approach towards child protection. She did research as well as wrote a number of articles for their Awake! magazine and has done extensive research on issues related to child sexual abuse in the religion leading to interviews on major TV and radio programs as an outspoken critic of Jehovah’s Witnesses sexual abuse policies. The first time she heard about child sexual abuse within the organization was around 1984, which may be considered quite late, when we do know that lots of sexual offences in the other denominational churches had most of their offences in the 1950ies and 1960ies.

It can well be that by the wishes to stay truthful to Bible teaching there could be lesser cases, but as long as not more JW will come out of the dark to bring such accusations and developments after such knowledge into the open, we would not know for sure and could only guess. this guessing by the public can do more damage to the organisation which by many already now is considered to be a sect and not a proper church organisation.

Barbara Anderson writes on her website:

At the time I thought this behavior was an aberration, but later I found out just how wrong I was. The evidence that there were more than just the case related above where children of Jehovah’s Witnesses were molested and kept silent about the abuse, was the authorizing of a series of articles in the January 22, 1985 Awake! the cover title being, “Child Molesting, Every Mother’s Nightmare.” From my past experience with the Writing Department I knew that it was doubtful that the Society would have had a cover series of articles dedicated to the problem unless the child sexual abuse revelations were on the increase within the Witness organization and Witness leaders knew parents needed instruction how to protect their children from being molested and how to recognize signs of molestation. Sadly, though, there was little information in the articles provided to help caregivers and victims deal with the impact of abuse; neither was there a directive to immediately report abuse to the authorities. In fact, in the upstate New York case, it was school officials who notified the authorities about the sexual abuse of one of the children. {Awake! Articles Discuss Molestation; The Life and Discoveries of Barbara Anderson}

World headquarters of the Watch Tower Bible & ...

World headquarters of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From 1992 on she was so worried about the Watchtower Society’s problematic procedures in the matter of child sexual abuse that she missed seeing the obvious—Witness leaders were treating accusations of child sexual abuse no differently than from the sin of fornication or drunkenness. In case they are still doing this so, as it looks like, it  is clear that the organisation world wide but even more important, the local organisations, would treat such accusations to serious to treat them on their own. Elders should understand that at first they may have to investigate it first, but as soon as they have any idea or hear of a possible child sexual abuse allegation, they should also inform the authorities, because child sexual abuse is a crime — a form of rape – a point the Society still does not seem to fully comprehend. Police handle crime, elders deal with sin!

Any crime is also a sin, but the handling should always happen on two sides. The first direction has to go to the police forces and juridical departments of the authorities. Next the juridical department of a church can take additional matters.

If elders need procedural directions for disfellowshipping someone for child abuse, it should be made clear that the instructions are only for that. Elders are not magistrates. If two witnesses are required to determine guilt to disfellowship the accused, so be it, but only so long as the authorities are notified of the accusation by those involved. {Finally Disillusioned; The Life and Discoveries of Barbara Anderson}

Putting the victims to the side where they have no voice or right of speaking made many leave the organisation but made also that many lost faith in the God which they had hoped would have protected them in “His Organisation”. What most of them forget to see is that William H. Conley, the first president of the Watch Tower Association formed in 1881 (not Charles Taze Russell) and Joseph Lytel Russell took care that people where willing to come to believe that what they, as human beings had formed, was not theirs but Jehovah His Organisation. They misused the Name of God to create an organisation which would take the right away to any other witness of Jehovah to call himself publicly a witness, because than everybody in the world would consider them to be a Jehovah Witness, being part of the organisation with that name.

Many Bible Students felt dishonoured by that organisation by which many people thought they would be part of, which they were not and are not. Lots of people take the Bible Students to be the same as the Watch Tower Society’s Organisation of Jehovah Witnesses.

Well-known Witness attorney, Hayden C. Covington with Lloyd Barry, Jack Barr, Arthur Worsley and Karl Klein did not take the necessary efforts to bring justice to those who did offences which should have been brought to justice. It were those persons who did not bring out the truth about Rutherford who choose only those around him who were willing to follow him and who would not oppose any idea of him. Rutherford endeavoured to mollify the authorities in every possible way. The organisation of today does not seem to respect the authorities yet.

Like we can see in other communities, like the Amish who are struggling with the changes in technology and society, there may be abusive domination and tyranny of women and children by rigid, domineering patriarchal men in the faith who used Bible teachings as a whip.

Gordon Leighton

Gordon Leighton, 53, was found guilty on two counts of indecency with a child, and six of indecent assault after a six-day trial.

In the JW society many elders are aware of such facts but do not handle it properly. Still today there may be found too many unhappy Witness wives complaining of their husbands’ misuse of their authority as head of the house. For children having to face such patriarchal dictatorship it is very difficult to come up to their father or to their mother to tell them when they are misused. Probably a lot of abuses are not coming into the open in the family itself. Befroe it comes into the open outside the family circle it must be already a very severe case.

We can read on Barbara’s site:

One angry woman told me about a Witness who claimed she was raped by a man, who also was a Witness, when she was cleaning the man’s house. When questioned, the man admitted to the elders they had sex, but he said it was consensual and he expressed repentance. She denied it was consensual and said she was raped. She was disfellowshipped for lying; he was not disfellowshipped because he admitted and regretted his sin. Witness women who knew the accused were outraged because the man did not have a good reputation and they believed he was not trustworthy. (Incidentally, no one reported the rape to the authorities.) {Respect for Women; The Life and Discoveries of Barbara Anderson}

It can not be that only after a victim, when she has become an adult, breaks her silence by making a complaint to the police that the authorities could come to hear about such a case and can come to investigate. It is even worse to know that still today many elders refuse to cooperate with the police investigation.

We can only hope the JW organisation shall be uncovered one day and shall have to confess like the present pope of the Catholic Church did recently and too late.

***


+

***

+

Please do find additional reading:

  1. Religions and Mainliners
  2. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  3. A visible organisation on earth
  4. A Society pleading poverty
  5. Belonging to or being judged by
  6. Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings
  7. Parish, local church community – Parochie, plaatselijke kerkgemeenschap
  8. Do we have to be an anarchist to react
  9. Good or bad preacher
  10. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  11. Many churches
  12. What’s church for, anyway?
  13. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  14. Surprising figures about Jehovah Witnesses
  15. Around C.T.Russell
  16. Biblestudents & T.C.Russell
  17. Russell and his beliefs
  18. Russell himself never claimed to be a prophet.
  19. Bijbelonderzoekers en RusselismBibleresearchers and Russelism
  20. Manifests for believers #1 Sex abuse setting fire to the powder
  21. Manifests for believers #2 Changing celibacy requirement
  22. Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger steps down as Pope Benedict XVI
  23. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  24. Responsibility for children who were molested by clergy
  25. Catholic church asking for forgiveness and promising to take action against child-abusers
  26. An Ex-Muslim’s Open Letter
  27. Why Think There Is a God? (3): Why Is It Wrong?

+

The Secet Lives of Women

About sex abuse by Jehovah Witnesses:

  1. The Watchtower Punished: Society loses legal battle over child abuse case
  2. “We will decide who is a predator!” – New Watchtower Instructions to Elders on Child Abuse
  3. Barbara Anderson’s Anecdotes
  4. Why Watchtower shut down JWsurvey.org for over 24 hours
  5. The Girl Who Took On The Watchtower – Candace Conti Speaks Out
  6. Watchtower files appeal after JNOV motion is denied
  7. Bo Juel Jensen: Could he be Watchtower’s worst nightmare?
  8. Ex-Elder to appear in court after admitting to pedophilia on Facebook
  9. Elders frustrate UK authorities in child abuse cover-up
  10. In their own words: Candace Conti and Rick Simons speak out in their 2013 interview videos
  11. License to harm: Predator Gonzalo Campos was allowed by elders to prey on children
  12. Disfellowshipped but Not reported: UK pedophile subjected boys to “truly wicked” acts
  13. Under Siege: Watchtower hit with fresh child abuse lawsuit
  14. Zalkin files third JW lawsuit as New Mexico child abuse victim steps forward
  15. Watchtower files reply brief as Conti appeal continues
  16. Kathleen Conti supports new bill for victims of child abuse
  17. The Lawsuit Landslide: Irwin Zalkin representing Eleven child abuse victims against Watchtower
  18. Candace Conti speaks out at RNA 2013 conference
  19. Governor Brown’s SB 131 veto leaves Watchtower child abuse victims frustrated
  20. Oklahoma police investigating whether elders failed to report serial pedophile
  21. Jonathan Rose – the pedophile elder who won the support of a congregation
  22. Governing Body stands accused by District Attorney in Oklahoma child abuse case
  23. Kathleen Conti breaks down during emotional SNAP presentation
  24. Off the hook: Charges against Lawrence dropped as lawsuit is thrown out by judge
  25. A Life Lost and a Life Found
  26. Prevention order for jailed Jehovah’s Witness who fled to the Caribbean to molest kids
  27. Piling on the torment – New Moston elders allow pedophile Rose to quiz victims
  28. Elders labelled “spiritually corrupt and morally bankrupt” in Mark Sewell trial
  29. Jehovah’s witnesses pedophile policy
  30. This is the way Jehovah’s Witnesses treat victims of child sexual abuse
  31. Jehovah’s Witnesses Child Molestation Victims seek justice
  32. Pedophilia amongst the Jehovah’s Witnesses
  33. Abused lambs speak out (Silent Lambs)
  34. Battered lambs
  35. Video’s: Jehovah’s Witnesses ordered to pay $21 million in child sex abuse case
  36. Victim advocacy group for survivors of the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses within Australia
  37. Submission to Child Abuse Inquiry by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia (April 9, 2013) – pdf

    Submission to Child Abuse Inquiry by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Annexure 1 – (Policy Letter to all Jehovah’s Witness elders) – pdf

++

Of interest – Related:

  1. Cult or True Religion
  2. Who are Child Sexual Abuse Predators?
  3. Is Pedophilia a Sexual Orientation?
  4. Dr. Benjamin Carson: Same-Sex Marriage and the correlation between Homosexuality, Pedophilia, and Bestiality
  5. Domestic and Sexual Violence in the Church: A Sisterhood Reality Show Review
  6. Five Frequently Asked Questions About Religious Spiritual Abuse and Child Sexual Abuse
  7. Why do People Sexually Abuse Children? By Minister Marlene
  8. What is Child Sexual Abuse Grooming?
  9. Child Sexual Abuse: Submerge to Emerge
  10. Child Sexual Abuse Grooming: Confusion and Manipulation
  11. Sharp rise in paedophile sexual abuse calls
  12. Probe into twenty schools over Sexual abuse
  13. Women and Child Sexual Abuse
  14. Homeless Teens: How to Protect your Child from Sexual abuse
  15. You Are A Survivor Of Child Sexual Abuse
  16. Silence is Violence: End Child Sexual Abuse
  17. Ten Ways to Safeguard your Child from Sexual Abuse
  18. Ten Ways to Safeguard your Child from Sexual Abuse #10
  19. Why Child Sexual Abuse Grooming Must Become A Felony: The Story of Jason Kidd and His Daughter
  20. How Can You Define Premeditated Child Sexual Abuse?
  21. Overcoming Incest and The Effects of Child Sexual Abuse Grooming
  22. Will the Church Help Child Sexual Abuse Survivors with Mental Illness?
  23. How Should a Pastor Respond to Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse?
  24. Sex Education: Is it grooming children for child sexual abuse?
  25. [Media Release] Heal Me With Words™ Photo Exhibit during National Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Month 2013 +
  26. Heal Me With Words ™ A National Campaign where Healed People, Heal People for Child Abuse Awareness Month
  27. Marko Hamlin: One Man’s Story Of Overcoming Child Sexual Abuse and Depression
  28. Is Child Sexual Abuse apart of a Government-Funded, Satanist-Organized Plan?
  29. When Sisters Die: A Look At Child Sexual Abuse And Sisterhood
  30. Five Myths About Lil’ Wayne and his Child Sexual Abuse
  31. Sugar Ray Leonard at Penn State Child Sexual Abuse Conference
  32. Why Ressurrection Graves Introduces Child Sexual Abuse Grooming As A Crime
  33. [Exclusive Interview]: Domonique Scott of the Sisterhood Reality Show on Overcoming Child Sexual Abuse, Foster Care and Prostitution
  34. Thandie Newton Speaks Out About Sexual Abuse
  35. Pedophiles are Watching Coy Mathis, and Lil Poopy: What these Children have to do with Legalizing Sexual Abuse
  36. Quote of the Day: National Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Month
  37. Dr. John E. B. Myers at Penn State Child Sexual Abuse Conference on Family Court
  38. The Jennie Withers Story: How An All-Star Became A Survivor Of Spiritual And Child Sexual Abuse
  39. Jerry Sandusky: Guilty Of 45 Counts Of Sexual Abuse and What We Can Do To Prevent This From Happening In Our Own Lives
  40. Survivor on Boy Scouts of America release of Internal Child Sexual Abuse ‘Perversion Files’
  41. US border officials abuse unaccompanied migrant children: Rights groups
  42. US Military is riddled with Sexual abuse
  43. Female German Soldiers sexually abused
  44. Paedophile gay couple sexually abused a Russian boy for years
  45. Woman sues Jehovah’s Witnesses for alleged abuse
  46. Child Sexual Abuse within the Dutch Catholic Church
  47. Child Sexual Abuse : Spread the Word!!!
  48. Sex, Celibacy, and Priesthood: A Bishop’s Provocative Inquisition
  49. Catholic Clergy Sexual Abuse? They are Unsaved! By Minister Marlene
  50. Acquitted Priest resumes Ministry after sexual abuse charges
  51. Diary of a Seducing Spirit: Part 2 Creepy Church Abuse 1
  52. Diary of a Seducing Spirit: Part 2 Creepy Church Abuse 2
  53. New lawsuit accuses Philadelphia church of sexual abuse
  54. 1 in 3 sexually abused in Westminster
  55. Over 800 complaints to Austrian Catholic Church sexual abuse commission and Abuse confession
  56. Belgium launches legal action against the Vatican for sexual abuse by paedophile priests
  57. Clergy sexual abuse victims ask Redemptorists to drop defense of defrocked priest AND
  58. No change in abuse policy: US Bishops’ head and Retiring Bishop proud of his strong stance on sexual abuse
  59. Papal Commission demands accountability for abuse in Catholic Church
  60. Vatican named in lawsuit alleging sexual abuse
  61. Vatican to set up clergy sexual abuse help centre
  62. Victims of sexual abuse by priests barred from meeting pope
  63. I’m anti-Catholic says Byrne after sexual abuse by priest
  64. Top Catholic pins sexual abuse on married men
  65. Senator names and shames priest accused of sexual abuse
  66. German priest admits 280 counts of sexual abuse
  67. Dutch Bishops Apologize for Sexual Abuse
  68. Vatican protesters evicted by police and Catholic Diocese spends $1M on priest sexual abuse cases
  69. Priest faces court over child sexual abuse allegations
  70. Vatican sex crimes prosecutor warns bishops and Sexual abuse silence “deadly” for Church: Vatican official
  71. “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House of God” Documentary Blames Vatican For Poor Handling Of Catholic Sexual Abuse Case
  72. Bura na Mano Holi Hai?
  73. Say No to Eve-teasing!
  74. Will the Church Help Child Sexual Abuse Survivors with Mental Illness?
  75. Zhang Muyi a 24-year-old pop star in China is Child Sexual Abuse Grooming a Child from Canada with millions of approving followers
  76. R&B Divas LA Reunion’s Reveal on Domestic and Sexual Violence
  77. The Bible and Child Sexual Abuse
  78. The Bible and Child Sexual Abuse II
  79. UN denounces Vatican over child abuse and demands immediate actionphedopile-1-300x199
  80. United Nations wants the Vatican to hand over details of child sexual abuse cases
  81. No privileges for bishops on abuse: Pope
  82. The Anti-Pope to meet with sex abuse victims at the Vatican
  83. Francis: I ask forgiveness for damage caused by abusers
  84. The abuse survivor who reminds me that we are suppopsed to be a light to the world
  85. More than 150 allegations of sexual abuse have been made against BBC employees
  86. Sexual Abuse Scandal at Horace Mann Schoolsauditerrorists
  87. Saudis sexually exploit teenage Syrian girls: Report

+++

 

  • Little Tidbit #3: My Excuses (rebeccafellrath.com)
    Our excuses are endless.“I got drunk, because there was alcohol at the restaurant.” “I lusted because that woman’s shirt was too revealing.” “I gossiped because I was on Facebook.” “I said those things, because of the bad music they play at work.”
  • Watching Porn At Church (leadingfamilydevotions.com)
    our bodies are now the temple of God. Inside of them resides the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit desires for them to be set apart from defilement. Can you imagine bringing your iPad into the Jerusalem temple (assuming they had wifi) and pulling up a pornographic video to watch during the worship service? Of course you can not. That would be wrong wouldn’t it. But it is the same way with our bodies now. Our bodies are the temple of God’s Spirit. If we bring such garbage into the temple of our body, we are polluting and defiling God’s sanctuary. What a horrible effect this sin has caused in our society. Flee such perversion!
  • Season of Rape: Why we defile small girls – Pastor, others (vanguardngr.com)
    Child defilement is becoming a source of concern in Benin-City, Edo State capital. It is even more worrisome when the act is carried out by supposedly men of God.In the last few weeks, no fewer than five children have, allegedly, been defiled in Benin-City by men old enough to be their fathers. On Thursday,  Edo State Police Command paraded 32 suspected criminals, amongst them, three accused of defiling children. The suspects include  a pastor with the Deeper Life Bible Church, Abudu, Edo State, Eze Fidelis, who was said to have had carnal knowledge of two girls: Joy, 9, and Anthonia,11.
  • Teacher arrested in Ibadan for defiling pupils (whatsupibadan.com)
    A teacher at the Calvary Heritage Kiddies Castle, Oluyole Estate, Ibadan, Olayinka Oluwadare Folarin has been arrested by the Oyo State Police Command for defiling three pupils under his care. Folarin is a teacher at the Heritage Home, a non-governmental organization where orphans and vulnerable children are catered for. His victims, who have been subjected to sexual trauma on a weekly basis since 2013 are said to be between 10 and 11 years old and they are primary five pupils. Two of the victims are orphans in the home where they have been living since they were two years old. Folarin allegedly began the escapade last year on a weekly basis inside the school toilet with a threat to kill the pupils should they tell anyone. For easy access, the father of four was alleged to have been applying lubricant gel on the girls. He was said to have been sacked from his previous school on account of the same behaviour. The secret act of the teacher came to the open when a group of male pupils found one of the teenage girls crying after being sexually abused by the teacher.
  • Islam’s Halal Sexual Practices (banislamofficial.com)
    it is utmost important to study what sexual practices were carried out by him in his life so that all Muslims can practice those sunnas and follow his footsteps.
    +
    A Muslim man can have sexual pleasure with a little girl as young as a baby. But he should not penetrate her vaginally, however he can sodomize her.
  • Islamic Dogs of War – The Use Of Gang-Rape to Subjugate Infidels and Those that Resist (trevorloudon.com)
    As a young child, standing by my father, watching the nightly news, I innocently asked what the word ‘rape’ meant. I never received an answer and rightly so. It was not something that you discussed – it was too evil, too horrific. Today, rape is a commonplace epidemic growing across Europe and the world — the perpetrators are primarily radical Islamists. Committed by power freaks and evil incarnate who are not spoken of because it is politically incorrect to do so. So, we tell our women to be quiet… to obey… to cover themselves and hide, rather than fight the depraved animals who degrade, torture, abuse and murder them in the name of Allah.
  • Abu Ghraib prison eulogy – Satire (younglbadult.wordpress.com)
    Ah Abu Graib, the suspended garden of democrazy ! A great work of art, where photographing beautiful atrocities were so much fun.Remember the smile of Mrs England pointing her finger to a male sexual organ ? ( couldn’t remember what species ).
  • The Wedding Night in Islam With Hadith Explanation (ohack.in)
    Our Beloved Prophet muhammad(pbuh) has clearly explain the sahaba about how to make an wedding night in islam,As Follower of islam we need to do same as what prophet muhammad(pbuh) has did, Many of them think’s that it is usual way as what other’s did(By watching Tv,hearing From Friend’s,Learning through Book’s).
    +

    Ramadan, Hadith Regarding Fasting
    In ramadan Who ever fast should abstain from sexual activity from dawn to duck and also immoral behaviour like Anger,Abuse.

  • Muslims Allowed to Rape Captive Women (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
    Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess: Thus hath God ordained (Prohibitions) against you: Except for these, all others are lawful, provided ye seek (them in marriage) with gifts from your property, – desiring chastity, not lust, seeing that ye derive benefit from them, give them their dowers (at least) as prescribed; but if, after a dower is prescribed, agree Mutually (to vary it), there is no blame on you, and God is All-knowing, All-wise. S. 4:24 Y. Ali The above passage emphatically allows for the raping of women that are taken captive, even if these captives happened to be married!
  • The Paths of Deceptions-The Infiltrated Paths! (ministry786.wordpress.com)
    Over 1400 years ago when the Quran was revealed; it was mentioned in Chapter 4 verse 119 that Satan will order people to change their looks that Allah (God Almighty) has created. Today you can notice that on a daily basis either on the roads or in TV! May Allah SWT guide those who are following the footsteps of Satan & may He guide us & increase our faith
    Quran Chapter 4, verses 117 They call upon instead of Him none but female [deities], and they [actually] call upon none but a rebellious Satan.
    +
    The adultery of the eye is the lustful look and the adultery of the ears is listening to voluptuous (song or talk) and the adultery of the tongue is licentious speech and the adultery of the hand is the lustful grip (embrace) and the adultery of the feet is to walk (to the place) where he intends to commit adultery and the heart yearns and desires which he may or may not put into effect.

Belonging to or being judged by

What to be and where to belong

Many Christians may have lots of questions about why we are created so and so, what we do have to do, how we have to behave and form our selves.  Jehovah’s Witnesses also can become confronted with such questions which can bring them into many doubts. They also can become frustrated.

Jehovah's witnesses from door to door

Jehovah’s witnesses from door to door (Photo credit: ideacreamanuelaPps)

Strangely in our world today we may find people who are excluded by the community of Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW), but who are still feeling 100% pro-Jehovah’s Witnesses. This despite the fact that the organisation has removed them from the congregation, and despite the believer his or her belief that the organisation happens to be in error for doing so!

What we do find strange by many ex-Jehovah Witnesses is that they either go totally against the Faith in One God or that they go totally against the non-trinitarian idea and go to an other organisational church. Many of them keep thinking you need A Organisation, others came to come to see clear and do find it is not as such the church of men but the church of God they have to look for.

Witnesses for Jehovah

A few believe that there is no other religious organization on earth today that is so completely committed to doing the work Jesus asked of his followers, and following in his footsteps, worshipping the God of the Bible, in the way that he prescribes, doing their utmost to be continually teaching and living by the truth of his word, and not simply the often-vacillating moral and secular opinions of men. They stay blinded that there are no other serious Bible Students who try to do the task Jesus had ordered his followers to do. This mainly because they limit their idea about preaching to having to go on the streets and to knock at the door or ringing the bell.

We do agree that the Jehovah Witnesses organisation is a powerful organisation, very well structured, and because having enough money and interested people, able to bring the tasks together, organise editions and meetings, much better than many others. They have very beautiful good publications to help people willing to learn about the Word and Work of Jehovah God. Though sometimes they seem to forget that it is “God’s word is alive, and exerts power,” (Hebrews 4:12) and that it is God’s Hand which hovers over the world bringing all sorts of people active in the Word of God. The Jehovah Witnesses  and the excluded ones who still hope to be part of the Jehovah Witnesses (JW) overlook that there are also other witnesses for Jehovah active in the whole world. We consider ourselves some of them.

When all in union or being united

The congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses mistakenly consider them as the only people who are truly united by their religion “in the same mind and in the same line of thought” as Jesus Christ, not just locally, but everywhere around the globe. The JW rightly consider that if all people on earth were Jehovah’s Witnesses, there would be no wars, no violent conflicts. But we also could say in case all Christians would follow the teachings of the one they say they take as their master, than also there would be already less fighting and less problems in the world. In case all people would be real Christians, and not just name Christians, really following the commandments of God, than also there would be no wars, no violent conflicts. The same simply cannot be said of the myriad of other religions on earth today, because there are so many divisions and many having non-Scriptural teachings. Taryn Viv having been a JW, and still feeling like one, seems to know one of the problems of the people in the organisation. She writes:

To their credit, Jehovah’s Witnesses are sincerely diligent when it comes to applying Bible counsel to themselves, and to the congregation. Faithfully doing so has proven to have tremendously positive results, which only makes sense. If the Bible really is, as it claims, the word of our creator, his wisdom certainly must surpass ours, and as it is summed up at Isaiah 48:17, “I, Jehovah, am your God, the One teaching you to benefit yourself.”

Fallible or infallible organisation

Diagram Representing Organisational Structure ...

Diagram Representing Organisational Structure of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to us some Witnesses give the impression their organisation is infallible and only brings the Words of God. They have given the Watchtower and tract Society (Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania + Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York + Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses) with their so called ‘Faithful Slave’ the same position as many Christians do give the Pope of the Vatican. It is that Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses based in Brooklyn, New York which is the ruling council of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They may formulate the policy and doctrines everybody has to follow. Strangely enough the members of the Governing Body say they are followers of Christ rather than religious leaders, but take the position of dictatorial leaders, whose rules and ideas everybody has to follow.
When the Society’s second president, J.F. Rutherford, encountered opposition from directors in 1917, he dismissed them; in 1925 he overruled the Watch Tower Society’s editorial committee — selected by Charles Taze Russell to have editorial control of The Watch Tower after his death—when it opposed publication of an article that altered doctrines on Bible chronology related to 1914. In 1931, the editorial committee was dissolved and until January 1976, the president of the Governing Body exercised complete control of doctrines, publications and activity of the Watch Tower Society and the religious denominations with which it was connected — some of the Bible Students Movment and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The ones to tell what is right or wrong

Though not one man is infallible and knows everything. Even Jesus did not know when he would return to the earth. But the organisation claims that they can tell all people what is right and wrong, and that they are the only ones who can bring people to God. For sure they will help a lot of people to find the Only One God and to come to see the difference between the man made gods and the Only One God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah. We should know that we as human beings have all our limitations and cannot expect perfection of one another in this system of things, nor can we expect it of the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses, nor those appointed to positions of responsibility, in spite of the tremendous good that Jehovah clearly is using the JW, Bible Students, Christadelphians and other non-trinitarian Christians who freely  and sincerely, contribute to the work of God.

Transgender – Being and feeling in a body

As a transgender woman for many, many years, the writer was quite frankly a bit shocked that, within weeks of her first surfacing the truth of her situation openly with a brother whom she considered a long-time friend, the congregation elders had decided this was a “judicial matter,” and scheduled a meeting to essentially determine whether she would be “repentant,” or would need to be removed from the congregation. Strangely enough you could wonder how it did happen they did not know earlier.
Such people with a gender problem, which we encounter much more today (also have a look at the articles on Stepping toes) are not only in trouble with their own situation, having to suffer from major depressive illness for some years and as a result having very little contact with their own family, do not have it always easy  to mix with others and to enjoy friendly contacts and group meetings in Christian groups.

Exclusion because of gender choice

Dr. Camille Cabral, a transgender activist at a demonstration for transgender people in Paris, October 1, 2005

Because Taryn Viv cannot, and will not dress and present herself as the “man” she had come to realize she never truly was in the first place, she has been removed from the congregation. This is somewhat shocking which we often have to hear about the JW, who exclude followers and have their family members and friends of the faith-group charged not to meet the excluded person any more.

When we do know that everybody is created in the likeness of God, and that we do bear the image of God, you may wonder if those who do not feel at ease in their body are really doing something against the Will of God ,when they let science help them to become the person they, in first instance feel to be?

For sure, those who would knowingly and wilfully practice such things that Jehovah condemns as seriously harmful, unloving and wrong, could not rightly still be considered a follower of Christ. Those who practice fornication, theft, murder, and do not regret what they have wrong, even when baptised, can not be any more be considered a person being part of the Body of Christ. We do agree that in many Christian denominations there are a lot of people who believe we do not have to work any more once we are ‘reborn’. They think once baptised that they would enter in heaven because they are saved by Christ. But Faith without works is death.

Looks, judging and counselling

In case people of the congregation see that there is something wrong they should bring this into discussion. Faithful brothers and sisters should be counselled then to avoid any association with such a person, even to the point of just sitting down to a meal with them, where others could see the association with that person. But we do not find it right that natural brothers and sisters and parents are not allowed to speak or associate with their brother or sister or child.

According to us they should be the first ones to bring the other to get to see what he or she did wrong, but than there have to have been something wrong. Therefore we as Christians should examine everything very careful and be attentive before we judge some one else. We also should be aware that by the ages many traditions came into our life as well as ideas how we should be or what would be accepted as normal or acceptable in our community.
For example the JW always like to go around in business suits and do not find it appropriate to wear casual clothing in service. Their way of dress is also not always conform the dress in the country they preach. As such, in West Europe everybody straight ahead recognises the JW because of their Americanised out of date dressing. But that has nothing to do with commandments of God, where no where in Scriptures is written that a dress for a girl has to have a length of so many centimetres beneath the knees or up to the ankles.

Exclusions of persons

Christians should be very careful with exclusions of persons from their community and should also try to do every effort to get the person back on the right track. They never may forget that the rules of exclusion are about someone who has not shown any repentance, remorse or regret for such serious wrongs, and that the purpose of such “disfellowshipping,” as Jehovah’s Witnesses call the practice is twofold.

  • First, it may move the person to reconsider the seriousness of what they have been doing and to turn around, thereby restoring a good relationship, first and foremost, with Jehovah God, but also with their spiritual family, who are urged to “kindly forgive and comfort” them. (2 Corinthians 2:7)

  • A second key reason is that, in the event they should remain unrepentant, “a little leaven ferments the whole lump.” (1 Corinthians 5:6)

Wisdom of scriptural admonition evident

The writer of the article A Matter of Judgement recognises that the wisdom of the scriptural admonition is evident, and can be clearly seen by counterexample. No doubt we’ve all heard of some widely publicized cases of unthinkably horrid offences committed by members of various religions. (Child molestation, for example, comes to mind. Murder is another, such as the bombings of abortion clinics, for example.) When those engaging in such acts, even repeatedly, can yet remain affiliated with others of their “faith,” as though even such gross wrongs are tolerable, or beyond judgement, what does it say to the world at large about that faith?

“Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26)

More believers should hear the call of those who came onto this world in an other body than there mind tells them.

For now, though, I’ll conclude by saying I am grateful to be attending meetings regularly at the Kingdom hall again, and despite being considered “disfellowshipped” I find them spiritually strengthening and encouraging.
These days I am glad to say I can be more sociable again, and although it saddens me that I cannot now freely associate with many of my friends, brothers and sisters in the congregation, I find I am being given precious opportunities to speak about the good news of God’s Word with others I come into contact with.

Far from letting my circumstances cause me to be negative, many an acquaintance has told me they have come away after a conversation with a better view of both the Bible and Jehovah’s Witnesses than they had before.

It pleases me know that I can still plant seeds of truth. I would encourage anyone in my sort of situation to do the same. Jehovah is a rewarder of those loyal to him, and so although the appointed elders may still expect to see me doing things that I cannot do, I know that Jehovah is pleased to see me doing what I can.

We only can hope that those who found their way to Jehovah the Only One God, by the help of the marvellous work of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, when they leave that organisation will continue in the Faith and in the Truth, loving God and all His creation, the good and the bad people also.

English: Moordown: Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s W...

Moordown: Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses Tucked away in Elmes Road, otherwise a residential back street of Moordown. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

+

Please do find:

  1. Taryn Viv a Wrongful Imprisonment ~ Faithful reflections of a transgender Jehovah’s Witness
  2. A Matter of Judgement
  3. Food for thought, that’s all.
  4. Failing to Answer the Most Vital Question About “Becoming Jehovah’s Friend”
  5. Jehovah’s Witnesses Shun Family Members for Selfish Reasons
  6. Focus on Jehovah’s Witnesses
  7. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  8. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  9. Followers with deepening
  10. The business of this life
  11. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  12. Determine the drive
  13. Does the method of preaching from house to house have its basis in the Scriptures?
  14. Blogging for Jesus…
  15. Creator and Blogger God 4 Expounding voice
  16. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  17. Bringing Good News into the world
  18. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  19. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  20. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
  21. A Voice to be heard
  22. Breathing to teach
  23. Church sent into the world
  24. Church enemy of faith
  25. Breaking up with a cult
  26. Dependence
  27. Feeling-good, search for happiness and the church
  28. Casual Christians
  29. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  30. Uncovering the Foundations of Faith
  31. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  32. Testify of the things heard
  33. How should we preach?
  34. When discouraged facing opposition
  35. Reasons to come to gether
  36. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  37. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
  38. Witnessing at LaGuardia Airport
  39. Bible for you and for life – TheBible4Life Committee explain what is planned for the national preaching effort next year.
  40. Good or bad preacher
  41. Holland Week of billing
  42. Trying to get the youth inspired
  43. Jew refering to be religious or to be a people
  44. Christian fundamentalism as dangerous as Muslim fundamentalism
  45. Faith and works
  46. Repentance and conversion are not milestones which we pass on the way of life and never see again
  47. God receives us on the basis of our faith
  48. God loving people justified
  49. Creation and the Bible

+++

  • Jehovah’s Way: At the First Sign of Their Religious Doubt, Freeze Out Your Own Flesh and Blood (patheos.com)
    The elder Gonzalez is a Jehovah’s Witness. After his son expressed doubts about the movement, its Watchtower Governing Body promptly ordered the father to shun Rick and Lucas.
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses Hateful practice of unbiblical shunning (christiansparlock.wordpress.com)

    “The result of ‘shunning’ is extreme anxiety, depression, self hatred, increased blood pressure, loss of appetite, self injury and suicidal thoughts and attempts. This is not only painful but excruciating.” – Allan N. Schwartz, PhD

  • The Redemption (and Apostasy) of a Devout Jehovah’s Witness (patheos.com)
    James Zimmerman grew up as the kind of Jehovah’s Witness who might have knocked on your door. Devout and fervent, he knew what the consequences were for apostates. And yet he found a way to break free.

    His new memoir detailing his upbringing — and how his questioning of the faith eventually led him away from it — is called Deliverance at Hand!: The Redemption of a Devout Jehovah’s Witness (Freethought House, 2013):

  • Jail for Jehovah’s Witness elder who molested girls (manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
    A Jehovah’s Witness elder who was exposed as a paedophile on Facebook has been jailed.

    Jonathan Rose was branded a hypocrite as he was locked up for molesting two little girls he met through the church.
    +
    The family of Rose’s first accuser say they were encouraged to cover up their allegation. He was cleared of groping the then teenage girl in 1995 trial, but she would go on to be a witness in the latest court case. Her family say they were hounded out of the Jehovah’s Witnesses when they expressed concerns.

  • What Does The Bible Really Teach? – Chapter 18 Review (watchtowerinvestigated.co.uk)
    You are not baptised in the name of the father, son and holy spirit you are baptised into the organisation. In fact the last question they is “Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization?”
    +
    Gods law are not burdensome, but let me list some things that the watchtower burden with when you are baptised:-• Fill out a report card every month detailing how much ministry you have done (or not as the case may be).
    • You Must go to all the meetings.
    • You Must go on the field service.
    • You Must not have a blood transfusion even if your life depended on it.
    • You Must not get involved in any holidays, Christmas, Birthday, Mothers Day, Fathers Day…the list goes on.
    • You Must cut off love ones if they reject the religion…
    • The list goes on…
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses call on Christians to safeguard their consciences (modernghana.com)
    Jehovah’s Witnesses at the weekend held a special assembly day programme with a call on Christians to safeguard their consciences to aid them walk with God and follow Jesus’ footsteps.

    The aim of the programme was to help the delegates to work towards acquiring a bible-trained and holy spirit-led conscience, which together with the bible, could serve as a reliable guide in deepening their relationship with God.

Good or bad preacher

Ups and downs

Everybody in the world has his or her ups and downs, good and bad days. A pastor, minister or a person of God is not exempt from the problems of this earth, the illnesses nor bad feelings.

As human being we like to compare ourselves to others and also often want to know what others think of us. Many of us want a big following and lots of friends. But would that big amount of friends be a good sign or mean that we are on the right track?

Those who are willing to bring forwards the Word of God also would like to have enough people who listen at them. Who would not like a lot of people listening to what you have to tell? A preacher is no different and is nothing without people listening. And we do agree we are just as human like any body else and would love to have some feedback and see that people enjoy what we have to offer to them.

Personal gain

Those teaching or in the “preaching sector” being in it for the money, have chosen the wrong profession. Though we do agree we can see several mega churches which seem to flourish. Religiously sensitive people who prefer not to turn from their sin are willing to pay to hear preachers teach that all God requires of you is to be religiously sensitive, not to turn from your sin. In certain countries teachers claim that people can buy themselves free of the punishment of sin. By giving money to the church, those teachers claim, the believers would be set free and could have a much better life. Often the preachers want the people to believe that how more they give to the church how better their life will be.

This clearly should be a sign for the believer to know he is not in a House of God, but in the house of the wicked. We should look at those preachers as the insubordinate, unruly and vain talkers and deceivers of souls, like the apostles encountered already in their time. Also by the Jews, the men of the circumcision, such preachers could be found. For gifts or for money their mouths were expedient to stop. They were teaching things which they ought not for the sake of filthy lucre. It has been of all times that there where preachers who did  like to go for their own profit and did not mind to subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for dishonest gain. Such persons we should recognise as false teachers and we should rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; not giving heed to Jewish or Christian fables and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.

“10 For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. 11 They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 Even one of their own prophets has said, “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith 14 and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the commands of those who reject the truth.” (Titus 1:10-14 NIV)

False apostles and boasters

The apostle Paul warned already for such  false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:13) He also gave the advice to look out if those preaching were people of sound mind, blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly, having charity out of a pure heart, with a good conscience and with faith unfeigned.

“5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk.” (1 Timothy 1:5-6 NIV)

God does not like empty boasters of knowledge, rights, and particular privileges; all noise, empty parade, and no work. For sure those who are willing or saying they want to or work for God, should be of the right attitude. Specious pretensions should not find any place in the heart of a preacher or of somebody willing to work in the church community. It is not because they can be handy man putting words together, playing by good words and fair speeches that they will necessary bring the Word of God. We should be on the lookout that it are not a multiply of words which deceive the hearts of the simple.

Being there for each other

English: Jewish Children with their Teacher in...

Jewish Children with
their Teacher in Samarkand. Early color photograph from Russia, created
by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii as part of his work to document
the Russian Empire from 1909 to 1915. (Photo credit:
Wikipedia)

The one who likes to preach and have people in front of him he has to take care of,  knows that when he is a pastor of a flock he is like a teacher having to really love his students, willing to ensure that each one knows how uniquely talented he or she is and how we all have our reason to be here on this planet and to be a child of God. As a child of God every person has his  or her own speciality and those in charge of the ecclesia or community should try to see and nurture the potential in each member of the community.

As a preacher it is the task as like a teacher to care deeply about the meanings and purposes of the flock or members of the community their lives. We should be there for each one individually as a beacon in the dark see.  At all time we should be ready to be there for them who need us. We always should be willing to help them see the connections between their powerful talents and their callings and their futures.

Popularity trap

Today we can fall in the trap of the taste of popularity. Several churches around us do everything to be the most popular in their region. As believer in the Word of God, we should wonder if the aim by such churches is to grow to further the Word of God or to be a church which can bring enough money in the till for the pastor to survive on it or even to bring more wealth to that church than necessarily so.

In the postmodern age the church no longer enjoys a prevalent role in society and may look as something “passé”. We would tell lies if we would say we would not be interested in the growth of our church. We as preachers and leaders want our churches to grow and flourish through programs, curriculum, and outreach efforts. Many of us do also their best to reach as many people as possible. Lots of us are very limited in the means to attract people. Many preachers do not have an own church to preach in. Are those than the bad preachers? No. Are those the less fortunate preachers? Not necessarily so.

Church attendance in the industrialised countries is on the decline. Most of the people in the wealthy world are not interested in God. but there is one of the functions laid in front of the preacher or teacher. We do have to get people back to God. We should show those around us how important it is to have God in our life.

Ambiguity

A Boris on Rob Fairbanks his The Drum discussing a book by the editor of the Missional Church, Darrel L Guder, looks at life full of ambiguities we can have to face, because it is shaped by its context as the gospel reshapes the context.

In Ambiguity In the Church Fairbanks writes:

While ambiguity can cause stress, I’d like to argue that it is God’s tool to keep us on our toes. Instead of approaching the question of “are we reaching our culture?” as a reactionary instinct to a church crisis, I’d like to offer that we approach the issue as an opportunity to seek God. You see, the cause of ambiguity, and therefore many church problems, is not the lack of love for God or decline in spirituality (although this may sometimes be the case). The cause, as Guder puts it, is the dynamic “interaction between the gospel and all human cultures.” These cultures are always changing and need constant re-engagement by the church. In other words, ambiguity should be to the church as potholes are to the streets department (to contextualize it to the great City of Spokane). This is our business. As we move through ambiguity, we must seek God and the power of His Spirit to contextualize the message of the gospel and proclaim Jesus.

According to Darrell L. Guder in his book,Missional Church, the real issues in the current crises of the Christian church are spiritual and theological. Many have forgotten that the core of the church needs to flow from God and not as such from one or the other denominational organisation, be it the Papal instructors from Rome or the Tract and Bible Society from Pennsylvania.

Servant of the Master Teacher

We all should remember the task the Master Teacher Jeshua (Jesus Christ) has given those who are willing to follow him. Those who claim to be Christian should first of all be followers of Christ Jesus and try to do that what Jesus asked them to do. Secondly they also should take an example of their Master and try to step in his footsteps willing to become like him.

When you look for a good church, a good minister or good pastor you should look if in that place where you want to find God you can find the message of Christ and you find people trying to get the character of Jesus. The character of us individually and the character of us, collectively as a family, should clearly show positive results of the teachings of Christ and should show that it is a family of God. It was individual character and values that caused the first century church to grow rapidly during the Roman Empire’s pagan culture of many gods and emperor worship.

Lesslie Newbigin writes in Missionary Theologian:

Just because of the total dominance of European culture in the ecumenical movement there has seldom been any awareness among Western theologians of the extent to which their own theologies have been the result of a failure to challenge the assumptions of their own culture, and because theologians of the younger churches have been compelled to adopt this culture as the precondition of participation in the ecumenical movement they have not been in a position to present the really sharp challenge which should be addressed to the theologies of the Western churches.

In the religious world we have seen that the big accent went to what theologians had to say. Many forgot the Word that they had received and which was handed down from one generation to the other. Lots of priests, ministers, pastors or just the majority of clergymen where taken by the books of worldly people instead putting all their attention to the Holy Scriptures, the Book of books god has given humanity to find everything out.

Gospel Communication

It is truly the communication of the gospel which should conquer the hearts. And we should know that the right or the good preacher can be noticed in the willingness of him to submit himself to that Word of God and to let that Word of God speak for itself. The main focus in a service should be on that Word of God and not on the words of speaker such and so.

Preachers are not called to preach what’s popular according to the polls. They should concentrate on the Plan of God and may bring that in view by showing people the relation of what is going on and what God has in mind for our future. What happens today can be compared to previous happenings recalled in the Holy Scriptures. But the one speaking in front of the community is not called to preach merely moral exhortations or history lessons or social commentaries. We are called to preach the Word of God to the church of God and to everyone in His creation. This is how God brings life. Each person . . . is flawed and has faults and has sinned against God. And the terrible thing about our fallen natures is that we are greedy for ways to justify our sins against God. Every single one of us wants to know how we can defend ourselves from God’s charges. Therefore, we are in desperate need to hear God’s Word brought honestly to us, so that we don’t just hear what we want to hear but rather what God has actually said.

Serious word or entertainment

That what God has actually said must be brought forward. In the ecclesia everybody should come aware of what is written in the most Holy Book of Books. In case not much is read in the Bible at a service or in church, the visitor should wonder if in that church enough place is given to the Word of God. A tendency in churches today is that because people want to be entertained the church leadership is willing to oblige. If the people want more music and drama, many churches are willing give it and even to cut back on the time given to reading fragments of the Bible and on the time spent for the sermon or exhortation. Today music and drama will win hands down over preaching in many of our churches.

Holding on

When we look for a church we should look for the love of that word of life (Philippians 2:16). The great task of the preacher is to “hold out the word of life” to people who need it. The preacher willing to put himself aside for enabling that Word of God to resound in the church is the good preacher. Perhaps he may not be the best talker, the best preacher and not be the best entertainer, what is important is that he is a man of God and behaves like it.

Jehovah witnesses convention hall or Kingdom-hall in Varkaudessa

As a man of God he shall show love for God His Creation and shall respect all creations, no matter which believe they may have. We should listen very carefully how the preacher talks about others or how that church looks at other churches or treats other denominations. Do they bring hate talk or do they enjoy making the others look like devils? On the internet we can find hundreds of websites who spit on non-triniarian denominations like the Jehovah Witnesses (JW), the Bible Students (BS) and Christadelphians (Cd). Often many lies are told about those denominations and people are made afraid to encounter people from those denominations or to let others know they had already met such people.

Peterborough Cd Hall

Peterborough Christadelphian Hall

We would advice any person who has heard weird ideas about the JW, BS, or Cd, to go and look for themselves at their websites and to visit their kingdom halls, their a places of worship, prayer meeting-rooms or ecclesia buildings. It is not by a church-building with a classical tower that you shall be able to find the right preacher or right church. Church can be made in any sort of place. Any public room can be a place where people come to gather in the name of Christ, and there God will be with them. In church you should find people who love Jehovah, the Only One God, and who keep to His commandments and as such do not pray in front of portraits or statues, bow down for pictures and pray not to death people are saints, but direct their words to the Most High, Elohim Hashem Jehovah.

Watchdogs

We must be on our guard that we are not taken in by lies just because we hear them over and over again. We must also make sure that we ourselves are not guilty of trying to convince others of something that is not true by the use of repetition. We must be careful not having the Blind leading the blind. In the religious world there are many rebuking what is false but who not focus their teaching toward sound doctrine. Stemming from a pedestal of moralistic pride, Watchdog Preachers harp on everything that is wrong with the world. By those so called “Watchdog preachers” you shall  be able to find many who from their websites and from the pulpit spit on other denominations and try to picture those other denominations as awful as possible. For many it looks like a sport to find denominations which they can pull down. They would love to shoot down the ones in charge of that ghastly denomination. The preachers who love to show their dread and whose words are full of horror, should show you those are not people with love for the others in their heart.

When you encounter a website or when you do come in a church where you only hear remarks about others, you should question this. Those only telling their sheep where the poisoned food is, we often do not find them looking in their own bosom. Such Watchdog preachers rarely expound on the pure spiritual food of God’s word. Mostly they are more concerned to blacken others good name, to bring a misinterpretation of other denominations, to enjoy the slander and to run down the reputation of others. In the Body of Christ such malignant speaker when targeting other genuine Christians whose theology or philosophy of ministry does not exactly match up to theirs. Such a dogmatic approach makes the congregation sceptical of (at best) or judgemental toward (worst) anyone outside their camp. This also would make it more difficult for anybody with their previous background of an other denomination to have no conflicts after some time in that new camp of the Watchdog preacher.

All right, All good teachers

On the other hand having preachers who find everything is all right and everything can be done, it is also not good. Not everything is good ion the world. Not everything can be right. We live in a world of right and wrong, where not everything should be fully black and white. There may be shades of grey. While the Watchdog preacher may spit on those from outside he perhaps forgets to look what happens really in his own circles and like the “It’s All Good” Preachers he can look over the faults or wrong things which can happen in their own community.

Anybody in a Christian community always should listen carefully to and look at what others do and say in the community. When something happens which would not be according the teachings of Christ he or she should let the others know. The elder or preacher should exhort the people of the community and should help them to stay on the right track. But he also when he would be saying which could be wrong should be made aware of it. Perhaps it can be a misinterpretation or misunderstanding, but it is important that everything what is shared in the church community is according to the Biblical teachings.

Searching God’s Word

the word of God

The word of God (Photo credit: jangkwee)

Every teacher has to address false winds of doctrine. He himself should not only look to others that that preach according to the Holy Scriptures, but he also should always make enough effort to check that everything he says in the community is according to the Bible. He also best uses the Bible to let it speak in the meeting. The better teacher is that one who is willing to show others where in the Holy Scriptures is written that what he says it claims to say. A good teacher should not be afraid of the best handbook which God provided for him. We should be proud of it and use it as much as we can.

The good teacher or preacher is the one who understand that God is the Best Teacher and that His Word is the best way to bring the thought over to people.

Criticism and evaluation

Those who think the elder, pastor or minister may not criticise too much what is happening in the world should wonder if it is not our responsibility to look at the world and to take position in it. A “It’s All Good” Preacher may fail to critique current issues that need to be addressed and their congregation may never learn how to compare and contrast a secular worldview with a biblical one. Over time their congregation views current popular culture values as their source of authority in addition to (or instead of) the Bible. This results in over synthesizing and over-assimilating the unbiblical values of the culture.

In the past times admonition, warnings, and judgements were proclaimed, and so was good news — of victories, deliverance, and blessings — as well as praises to Jehovah God. (1Chronicles 16:23; Isaiah 41:27; 52:7) Many prophets like Jesus acted like an official herald, alerting their listeners to their Sovereign God’s activity, to a time of opportunity and decision. It was not only the ‘Good Newsshow’ which the prophets brought.

Comparison and attitude

When you are looking for a church you have to see and hear what is done and said in that church and should compare it to the Biblical texts and checking if what is preached is also be done or lived by.

Studying the Bible together in each others house or in a small space

As a preacher you should aim to live according to the commandments of God and to bring the Word of God in all its forms. You should try to do your uttermost best but should know that being a good preacher in the eyes of god does not necessarily mean that you will be a good preacher in the eyes of men.

You will notice when you look around that some people will believe the things said while other listeners would not believe. (Acts of the apostles 28:24) As a preacher it shall require patience and trust in God, who is the One who calls. Those coming in a Christian meeting should see if the Word of God gets the first place. Real Christian preaching should be based on God’s Word, making people to think about the essence of that Word and giving the community an opportunity to study that Word and to bring it in practice. Studying the Bible requires a response of some kind. It is vigorous, dynamic, and above all, it presents an issue on which people must take sides.

Man of God

Having a person of God, willing to serve the Only One God, Creator of heaven and earth, shall make that others look in vain to him or out of jealousy and out of anger others, also other preachers, will oppose him. Like  Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, (Acts of the apostles 13:50) teachers of ‘high position’ or noted people in the civil community, will oppose those men of God. Also good preachers will find that others will hate them and  be filled with envy, speaking  against those things which were spoken honestly from the heart in love with God. The other denominations contradicting and blaspheming the ones who dare to keep to the teachings of the Bible and withholding any form of tradition. The  unbelieving so called Christians shall like the unbelieving Jews stir up the Gentiles and plant evil in their minds against the brethren. (Acts 14:2) Therefore a teacher or preacher following the Word of God should not be afraid or wondering if he is doing right keeping on the track of God, when an assault is made both by the gentiles and also the preachers of other denominations, with their rulers. The preacher willing to be a man of God should know that when he places God His Word in the first place, he an the brethren he can show God’s Purpose, becoming followers of the churches of God in the world which are in Christ Jesus, remembering the suffering of the first Christians, for you also have suffered like things from your own countrymen, even as they have from the Jews. (1 Thessalonians 2:14)

Going out in the world

Going from house to house witnessing for Jehovah God – Lisboa, Portugal

A brother or sister in Christ, following the task Jesus has given: to go out in the world and to teach the Gospel of the Good News. When Jesus sent out his early disciples to preach, he directed them: “Into whatever city or village you enter, search out who in it is deserving.” (Matthew 10:7, 11-14) A good teacher, preacher or elder can stimulate the ones in the congregation to keep going around telling the Word of God. The good preacher can persuade the listeners around him to continue in the grace of God, and is not afraid to personally dispute in the synagogue with the Jews, on the net with the other preachers who oppose him, and with the devout persons, and in the marketplace daily with those who met with him to discuss the Word of God. (Acts 17:17). But we should also know that such ‘searching out’ would reasonably include going to the people’s homes, where “deserving” persons would heed the message and where disciples even would be able to find lodging for the night if necessary. (Luke 9:1-6).

Place to meet

All people should know that there is no requirement of a special church building, but that any place can be a house for God. We as preachers should not be ashamed we do not have our own church building and do perhaps have to meet in small places not of our own, to discuss the Word of God. As the first followers of Christ came together in their own houses we also as brethren and sisters in Christ and as interested people in the Word of God, should share our houses with those who are willing to learn about that Word of God. Any private house is worthy to become a place where people can meet to read in the Holy Scriptures and to talk about the Wishes of God. A preacher should be happy when he can find such a house as a house-church, where he can enter and say first, ‘May this house have peace.’ (Luke 10:1-7) Than to make it a place where people can gather in peace and share the love of God between each other.

Presenting a place where holiness and expression of worship can come from inside shall foster a small community rich in spirit. With that fire going in the few their heart the preacher as well as the followers should be pleased because it will be a much higher treasure than what those people, present in a mega church, perhaps can find. Having not only a preacher committing himself to the trustworthy creator, but all present offering themselves to God, shows where the right preacher is working.

Action and reaction

As a person present in the community, but also as preacher you should know that some may become active opposers of the Kingdom message. (Acts of the apostles 13:50; 18:5, 6) We all should know that it is quite possible that some will listen for a time, but eventually will turn their back for various reasons. (John 6:65, 66) Not those disappointing happenings should get our minds in distress, but we should find joy in those, even when it are just a few, who will accept the good news and act upon it. (Acts 17:11; Luke 8:15). We should be pleased when we can find a growing amount of people willing to do the Will of God.

All of the community should go out and tell the world about the work Jesus has done for all of us. It is the task of the leaders to guide such a preaching work. At such occasions the good preacher should provide counsel on such superintending ministry. The good teacher shall always be reminding the ones of the community of our important task to bring the Word of God to all people all over the world. He shall not be afraid of telling about the biblical orders or commandments, charging them before God as witness, observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word.

A place of peace and clean pure words

In the place where God shall be able to be found it will be the preacher with the elders who shall take care that people can peacefully come together not to fight about words, a thing of no usefulness at all because it overturns those listening. They shall take care that all members of the gathering will be willing to give their share to the community and will do their utmost, to present themselves approved to God, a workman with nothing to be ashamed of, handling the word of the truth aright.

The good preacher shall shun empty speeches that violate what is holy; for they will advance to more and more ungodliness, and their word will spread like gangrene. The good preacher shall do his utmost best to use the Word of God to proof what we should know and how to keep all believing the right things.

Small but strong and upright, belonging to God

It is better to have the solid foundation of God staying standing strong in a small community than having a mega church where many people may have a lot of fun but do not really learn much about God His Word. The good or right church, or the best community or ecclesia is the one which is looking for God His Will.

The pleasure for the pastor should be that he can see that the flock is listening to God and having this seal: “Jehovah knows those who belong to him,” and: “Let everyone naming the name of Jehovah renounce unrighteousness.”

“14  Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarrelling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 19  Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”” (2 Timothy 2:14-19 NIV)

Every preacher, pastor, minister or elder should be willing to give himself totally in the hands of God. Those people in charge of a church-community should make sure that their flock will gather regularly to hear from God.

When we have been hearing all sorts of messages all week long; when we come together with like minded brethren and sisters we all should take time to hear a message from God His Word and to feel how we all can be united under Christ as children of Jehovah God. As important as it is for the people in the gathering to have time to express themselves to God, it is more important that they hear God express Himself to them; that they be fed from His Word; that they be instructed in the ways of God’s kingdom; that they be effectively strengthened by His might in their inner beings to be salt and light to the world in which God has placed them and to have their joint training for the kingdom.

+

Of interest:

  1. Does God Exist?
  2. Creator of heaven and earth and everything around יהוה
  3. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  4. God is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him
  5. Only One God
  6. God is One
  7. יהוה , YHWH and Love: Four-letter words
  8. God should be your hope
  9. Faith
  10. Faith a commitment to the promises of Christ and to to the demands of Christ
  11. God receives us on the basis of our faith
  12. Belief of the things that God has promised
  13. Fearing the right person
  14. Getting to know the Truth
  15. How to look for and how to handle the Truth
  16. Eternal Word that tells everything
  17. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  18. The World framed by the Word of God
  19. Bible word of God, inspired and infallible
  20. True riches
  21. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  22. Meeting – Vergadering
  23. Congregate, to gather, to meet
  24. Commit your self to the trustworthy creator
  25. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  26. Doctrine and Conduct Cause and Effect
  27. Parish, local church community – Parochie, plaatselijke kerkgemeenschap
  28. The Church, Body of Christ and remnant Israel synonymous
  29. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #4 Mozaic and Noachide laws
  30. Many churches
  31. Was Jesus Religious
  32. How is it that Christ pleased God so perfectly?
  33. Called Christian
  34. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  35. Casual Christians
  36. Breathing to teach
  37. Manifests for believers #1 Sex abuse setting fire to the powder
  38. Manifests for believers #2 Changing celibacy requirement
  39. Manifests for believers #3 Catholic versus Protestant
  40. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
  41. Making church
  42. Charles Taze Russell never claimed to have found a new religion, or a new church.
  43. Judaism & Catholicism Universal ‘churches’
  44. Synagogue, Church or Ecclesia for the Christian
  45. Those who call the Christadelphians a cult
  46. Uncovering the Foundations of Faith
  47. What’s church for, anyway?
  48. Rebirth and belonging to a church
  49. Commitment to Christian unity
  50. United people under Christ
  51. Exceptionalism and Restricting Laws
  52. An ecclesia in your neighborhood
  53. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  54. Hello America and atheists
  55. Engaging the enemy
  56. Six Reasons Young Christians Leave Church
  57. Knowing where to go to
  58. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  59. Love and cultivate that which is pure
  60. The business of this life
  61. Church sent into the world
  62. Democratic principles for the church of today
  63. Sociological changes to be taken serious by the church
  64. People who know how to pray to move God to take hold of our affairs in a mighty way
  65. Church is a Hospital for sinners
  66. Reflection for today: hating your brother
  67. Kill the messenger
  68. The truest greatness lies in being kind
  69. Don’t let anyone move you off the foundation of your faith
  70. Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair
  71. Faith is a pipeline
  72. Faith and trial
  73. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  74. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  75. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  76. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  77. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  78. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  79. A Living Faith #7 Prayer
  80. A Living Faith #8 Change
  81. A Living Faith #9 Prayer
  82. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  83. Aim High: Examples of Godly Characters to follow
  84. Solving all the problems that come to us
  85. Being Justified by faith
  86. Preventing us from going window-shopping in prayer
  87. Be Honest
  88. Kindness
  89. Walking in love by faith, not by sight
  90. Let me keep to “first importance” things
  91. Bearing fruit
  92. Living in faith
  93. Feed Your Faith Daily
  94. He who kneels before God can stand before anyone!
  95. Man’s plans prevailed by God’s purpose
  96. Who are you going to reach out to today
  97. Don’t Envy the World
  98. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  99. Character transformed by the influence of our fellowships
  100. Let us meet in any suitable place
  101. An ecclesia in your neighborhood

++

Readings from other groups and denominations:

  1. Does the method of preaching from house to house have its basis in the Scriptures?
    Some religions have acknowledged the Christian obligation to preach in public places and from house to house, although this is often left to a limited group of missionaries or clergy to fulfill… not every member.
  2. What is the “Good News of the Kingdom”? Who is Preaching it? And What Does “For a Witness to all the Nations” Mean? (Mt. 24:14)
    Telling us what will mark the last days, Jesus went on to say: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be great earthquakes, and in one place after another pestilences and food shortages; and there will be fearful sights and from heaven great signs.” (Luke 21:10, 11) Jesus also said: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.”(Matthew 24:14)
    +
    Jesus did not specifically say that every man, woman and child on earth will have the good news directly preached to in the last days. He said that the good news will be preached in all of the Earth for a witness to all of the nations. This means that every nation will have the good news preached in it to some extent.
  3. Following Jesus’ Footsteps
    We love and cherish our heavenly father Jehovah; we are committed to sharing the ‘good news’ of God’s kingdom, the same as Jesus.
  4. How Is Our Kingdom-Preaching Work Organized?
    We try to contact people at their homes. Jesus trained his disciples to preach the good news from house to house. (Matthew 10:11-13; Acts 5:42; 20:20) Those first-century evangelizers were assigned preaching 31specific territories in which to preach. (Matthew 10:5, 6;2 Corinthians 10:13) Similarly today, our preaching work is well-organized, and each congregation is given an assigned area to cover. This enables us to fulfill Jesus’ command to “preach to the people and to give a thorough witness.”—Acts 10:42.
  5. Preach the word, be at it urgently
    When you consider what stands to be gained or lost as a result of our preaching, you probably feel an urgent need to speak to others about the good news. (Rom. 10:13, 14)
  6. Bearing thorough witness concerning the kingdom of God and by using persuasion with them concerning Jesus
    Was Paul disheartened because not everyone accepted the good news? By no means! Acts 28:30, 31 tells us: “He remained for an entire two years in his own hired house, and he would kindly receive all those who came in to him, preaching the kingdom of God to them.” w12 1/15 2:18-20
  7. As you go, preach, saying, “The kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.”
    Jesus warned his apostles that many would oppose their Kingdom-preaching work. (Matt. 10:16-23) An especially painful form of opposition is experienced when family members reject the Kingdom message. (Matt. 10:34-36) Does this mean that happiness is out of reach for Christ’s followers who live in religiously divided households? Not at all!
  8. Preaching with zeal and urgency vital to keeping on the watch.
    no chain could silence the zealous apostle! Paul continued to find ways to bear witness. After three days, Paul summoned the principal men of the Jews in order to give them a witness. Then, on a chosen day, he gave an even greater witness.—Acts 28:17, 23, 24.w12 1/15 2:17, 18

+++

Additional reading about House-churches:

  1. An organic church
    By “organic church,” I mean a non-traditional church that is born out of spiritual life instead of constructed by human institutions and held together by religious programs. Organic church life is a grass roots experience that is marked by face-to-face community, every-member functioning, open-participatory meetings (opposed to pastor-to-pew services), non-hierarchical leadership, and the centrality and supremacy of Jesus Christ as the functional Leader and Head of the gathering.
    Put another way, organic church life is the “experience” of the Body of Christ. In its purest form, it’s the fellowship of the Triune God brought to earth and experienced by human beings.
  2. The House Church Movement: Learning from the Past – Pioneering for the Future
  3. Why house church
    Many people today are catching the vision of what the church is meant to be as she throws off the hindrances and becomes the Spirit-filled movement of Believers she is destined for. They are catching the vision for living life 24/7, with and for God without one moment or place being more holy than another. It is a vision of every believer contributing to one another through the spiritual gifts that reside in each one.
    +
    Perhaps the most significant case for house churches is that they can be easily started and multiplied. God’s clear desire is for the earth to be filled with the “knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14). Rather than build buildings and organizations that require tremendous time, finances, and energy to reproduce, The Kingdom of God multiplies organically: one seed produces fruit, that produces more seed that produces more fruit. The principle of multiplication is far more powerful than we realize. Take a look at any forest and realize how much is accomplished through natural reproductive processes without any human aid at all.
  4. Are You in the Wilderness?
    So many Christians I meet today, whether in person, on social networks, or through emails, tell me that they are living in a spiritual wilderness. They feel alone, spiritually isolated, and they don’t have too many Christian friends that they are experiencing a rich and full fellowship in Christ with.
    Some of them attend a church on Sunday morning, yet still, they are living in the desert and they know it.
  5. Church in the Home? Or at Home in the Church?
    what we do in our own houses, our relationships with our families, with our sons, daughters, with our wives, we should bring all of it into the church. We should act as if these people are really our own brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers, because that is what they really are.
  6. A Hundred Mothers, Brothers…Intimate Relationships
    true “house church” is bringing the home into our church life, not bringing our church into the homes. It’s very superficial to just bring our big building into little buildings, but never change anything in the heart.
  7. Time to Listen and Change
    The books of the Bible were written across continents. The letters and relationships are across years and across cities, countries and continents. Not a single book in the Bible is about only one local assembly. The point is, that even across the miles and the continents, we need each other. God’s call to us today is that we begin to live that way and involve ourselves in each other’s lives. Are we to admonish one another on Sunday only? No, daily. Why? So that we won’t be hardened and deceived. That’s in the Bible. Be called alongside one another daily so that we won’t be hardened and deceived. Whether we are old or young, single or married, ten children or two children, teenager or toddler—who are my mothers, brothers and sisters? We need each other, because you have gifts I don’t have.
  8. House Church Central
    All of the churches in the New Testament era were small assemblies that met in homes. While setting up institutional forms of “church” may or may not provide a way to honor God, the movement toward the institution and the human authority that tends to accompany hierarchical institutional structure are not theologically neutral.
  9. Thoroughly Biblical Church
    When they came together in their houses their corporate worship and sharing together was completely open and spontaneous (I Corinthians 14v26 describes the proceedings as, “…each one has…”), with no one leading from the front. The early believers didn’t have anything that even approximated a church service.
    As part of these proceedings they ate the Lord’s Supper as a full meal, indeed as their main meal of the day, commonly referring to it as the love-feast.
    They understood each church to be an extended family unit (the idea of churches being institutions or organizations would have been totally alien to them), and practiced non-hierarchical plural male leadership that had arisen from within the church they would subsequently lead. This indigenous eldership (elder, pastor/ shepherd, bishop/overseer being synonymous terms in the New Testament) sought to lead consensually wherever possible, and was understood to be purely functional and not in any way positional.
  10. Devonport House Church ->
    About House Church
    House church is an informal term for a group of Christians gathering regularly or spontaneously in a home instead of a building dedicated to the purpose. Another term with the same meaning is “home church”.
    Some groups meet like this because they lack a conventional church building; but these are not normally regarded as house churches. Others meet in homes because they prefer to meet informally, or because they believe meeting in a home is the true pattern set in the first century and intended by Christ. Some, perhaps, meet in homes for several of these reasons.
    House churches should not be confused with cell churches. A house church is not normally part of a larger, overseeing organization, although the group may associate informally with other Christians and house churches in networks reflecting equality rather than hierarchy. Those who meet in house churches regard themselves as belonging to the worldwide Church, but are self-governing and independent, generally without formal relationships with established “institutional” churches.
    Some house churches have a conventional leadership structure, others have none.
  11. The House Church Movement, the perfect church
    Thousands of Christians are now meeting in simple House Churches in the United States. They have “dropped out” of institutionalized religion and prefer to worship Jesus in biblical authenticity and simplicity – just like the early Christians did.
    +
    From living rooms to coffee shops, offices to parking lots, under trees and secretly underground (in oppressive countries), these new expressions of the Body of Christ are rapidly multiplying around the world. In recent years, Christian researchers and secular media alike have taken notice of the dramatic transformation within Christianity.
  12. House Church Basics — Pt. 3: Missional Church
    One of the hallmarks of the house church movement is that it seeks to be what the church, in fact, is: missional. Jesus went everywhere proclaiming and demonstrating the reality, love, and power of the Kingdom (healing the brokenhearted, setting captives free, proclaiming God’s acceptance, etc.) The church (the people of God) goes and does the same.
    This means that church, first of all, needs to transition from being a “come and see” place to a “go and be with the lost” movement.
  13. Inspired by Cuban Christians
    They have very little money, limited transportation, limited communication, no freedom of speech, no freedom of assembly, no church buildings in which to minister, and the knowledge that they are constantly being watched. The Christian work is primarily through house churches and word of mouth.
    Yet what passion; what joy; and what commitment to the Lord. They are sacrificing for the Lord in ways that would make most American Christians embarrassed.
  14. China cracks down on house church groups again
    The church tried to hold services in the open air after it was evicted from a rented space as the landlord was pressured to not renew the lease, China Aid said.
    +
    Underground church members are routinely sent to labor camps where abuse and persecution is reported even as they languish in the camps without trial.
  • Thoughts Concerning the Preacher (fromthepreacherspc.org)
    There is usually a lot of confusion in most congregations of the Lord’s church concerning the work of the preacher. Many have their own ideas, some have no real idea, and others have the wrong idea about the preacher’s job. To help the church and the preacher have a better working relationship, consider the following thoughts.
  • What if Modern Preachers Preached What Jesus was Preaching? (holyspiritactivism.wordpress.com) wonders what would happen if certain preachers did what Jesus preached according to the Bible.
  • A Plea for Sharp and Polished Preachers… (pastorkemp.com)
    It is very easy to become so preoccupied with the work of the ministry that we fail to remain hidden for long periods of time with God.  It is seldom those hectic busy moments that are always clamoring for our time and attention where we are sharpen and polished by God—that only occurs when we are close to the “flesh-killing” presence of Almighty God.
  • In Have You Seen the Viral Videos of the ‘Pint-Sized Preachers’ Yet? (theblaze.com) you can see how children can be exploited and which impression some people have about “teaching” and “preaching” and what certain people do call a “sermon”.
    +Are you ready for National Geographic’s “Pint-Sized Preachers?” The new hour-long documentary explores the lives of three kid preachers who give their all to spread Jesus Christ’s message.While some believe that these children are being exploited my overly fervent parents, others see them as a beacon of hope. This latter group believes that, despite their youth, God has chosen to speak through them.

    The bizarre part (and there are some very intriguingly odd pieces to this puzzle)? One of the three — 4-year-old Kanon Tipton — is barely out of diapers, yet he delivers fiery sermons and inspires faith in those who listen.

  • Cotton Candy Preaching (fromthepreacherspc.org)
    Is it worse to teach in the Lord’s church false doctrine or to teach simple pleasant truths from God’s word? In answer to this question most people would quickly say that false doctrine would be the worst thing of all to teach. But consider this, what if we only taught concerning the loving story of Ruth, or about benevolence, or about the need for loving families, or about the need to feel good about ourselves? Now these are topics that we should be concerned about and are issues of interest, and should be taught. But, can a Christian survive spiritually solely on this kind of diet? Can a child of God mature and be grounded in the faith solely on these kinds of meals? The answer is no!
    +
    Many preach to please men and tickle their ears with what they like to hear. Paul said, “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Gal. 1:10). Paul warned Timothy about people who have “itching ears” and warned that such people will gather around those who will scratch their ears by teaching lies (2 Tim. 4:3-4). The whole counsel of God must be preached, regardless of how it is received (Acts 20:26-27)! The truth is truth and must be preached! I didn’t write the book (Bible) and have no right to “water it down” to please men.
  • More Expository Preaching Please! (watumishiwaneno.wordpress.com)
    • Humanity seeking Self-Praise- All men uniting to build a tower whose top reaches the heavens with one aim of making a name for themselves!

    This is what man-made religion does; seeking glory and praise for man instead of giving praise and glory to God.

  • 10 Scriptures In The Bible That ‘Prosperity Preachers’ Choose To Ignore! (endtimereport.net)
    On one so called ‘Christian’ channel this evening, a prosperity pimp is selling potential “salvations” for 5 of your “loved ones”  in return for a financial donation. On another, a (proven) fraud is offering his “miracle mixture” and on another a so-called ‘financial preacher’ is manipulating the viewer to hurry up and send in a $58 ‘seed’ for a “triple blessing.”No mention of Jesus or any solid Bible teaching or call for repentance, just a manipulative call for your hard-earned cash! Welcome to perhaps 50% or more of Christian programming today (unfortunately).
  • Thinking over my life (mysecretlifewithyou.wordpress.com)
    People are really interested in just reaching the masses, and not everyone has issues and so we don’t have to talk about everything, but wouldn’t it be comforting to have someone talk to you in your situation.  I’m grateful that I’ve heard some great preachers in my life that have brought healing to my heart, but the majority of people I know in my church are about pretense and appearance.  I do it to, I smile when I don’t want to…. I shake hands and clap backs, and act like I’m happy, because being unhappy means I don’t have faith and I don’t believe God can handle my situation.

Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger steps down as Pope Benedict XVI

We can not avoid talking about the news of the day. Yesterday the television-programs had their mouthful of the resignation of 85-year-old Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger alias Pope Benedict XVI.

English: Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Squa...

Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter’s Square, Rome (2007).(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Roman Catholic church has always claimed to be the rightful bearer of the Church of Christ and having the right to have the follower of the apostle Peter, whom they consider to have been the first Pope. though if they would read the Holy Scriptures more carefully they would notice that there was not such an hierarchy in the first faith-group which tried to follow the teachings of Christ.

when Jesus was alive he also did not place one pupil in front of the other and taught them that they should be humble, respecting each other and trying to use all the gifts they received from the Father above to do their duties as good as possible. In the united body to honour God and to be followers of Christ, there is no such order that one person would be above or under the other. All have to be united as brothers and sisters in Christ. All having Christ Jesus as the cornerstone and the example to follow.

“for any other foundation can no one lay than the [one] being laid, who is jesus christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:11 MKJV)

The last few months we could notice that more than one person in that Catholic Church tried to cover up the crimes of their priests. Also Benedict, when he still was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, and led the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, this cardinal not only covered paedophile crimes, when he had become Pope, he and the Vatican office did first as if they did not know about such things. Only when letters proofed that they should have been aware of those crimes and did not the right thing, they agreed to the letters, but said they did what they could do, but forgot to warn the juridical powers.

In archdiocese documents released under a court order earlier this month, Mahony is revealed to have taken actions deliberately contrived to avoid legal prosecution of priests who had sexually abused — and even raped — children. The documents were so damaging that Mahony, now retired and once thought to be a contender for the papacy, was publicly rebuked by current Archbishop of Los Angeles Jose Gomez, and stripped of any public duties, an unprecedented censure of a cardinal archbishop by his successor.

Amid the cache of church records, released as part of a settlement between the archdiocese and 500 sex-abuse victims, are several letters to Ratzinger from Mahoney, in which the California prelate reports to the Vatican his reasons for various actions (such as defrocking) taken against the offending priests. The records amount to some 30,000 pages, so their full contents have yet to be pored through by investigators and journalists.

What is clear, though, is that Mahony repeatedly failed to act on concerns about the sexual abuse of children by priests that brought to him by pastors and church officials throughout the diocese, and that when he did, his actions were designed to avoid criminal prosecutions of the predator priests. And it is also clear that in his Vatican office, Ratzinger was the recipient of letters from Mahony informing the Holy See of what actions he had taken.

Back in 1045, the irredeemably outrageous Benedict IX – the only man to be pope more than once, and the only one ever to sell the papacy – also stepped down, essentially for the cash. Accused by St Peter Damian of “feasting on immorality”, by Bishop Benno of Piacenza of committing “many vile adulteries and murders” and by Pope Victor III of being a pope “so vile, so foul, so execrable, that I shudder to think of it,” Benedict ostensibly resigned to get married – but not before he had sold the office to his godfather, who became Gregory VI (and had to resign himself the following year because, even by the standards of the 11th century, buying the papacy wasn’t really on).

In 1415 we also find an other resignation.  Bishop of Castello from 1380 and titular Patriarch of Constantinople in 1390 and pope on 30 Nov., 1406, forsaken by most of his cardinals, Gregory XII resigned. At that time there was also a rival pope in Avignon, Benedict XIII. The schism erupted in 1378 one year after Gregory XI was named the Pope in Rome, ending the sixty-seven year reign of the ‘Avignon Papacy’ during which time seven pontiffs ruled from that city in southern France. (Gregory XI was actually named Pope in 1370, as the last of the seven ‘Avignon popes,’ but he did not move to Rome until seven year later).

Following the death of Gregory XI in March 1378, under pressure from Romans to elect a Roman leader of the church, the cardinals named Pope Urban VI who was from Naples. Urban VI quickly fell out of favor, leading to the election of a ‘rival pope,’ Pope Clement VII, in September of that year, who re-established the papacy in Avignon – meaning the Catholic Church now had a pope and an ‘anti-pope,’ thereby dividing the European continent.

After Clement VII and Urban VI died, the schism continued through their respective successors, Pope Boniface IX (who became the ‘Roman’ pope in 1389) and Benedict XIII (the Avignon antipope who was crowned in 1394).

H.H. Pope Innocent VII

H.H. Pope Innocent VII (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Upon the death of Boniface in 1404, some hopes for a resolution to the schism emerged when the cardinals in Rome offered not to name a new pope immediately if Benedict would resign and give up the Avignon faction’s claims on the papacy. When Benedict and his representatives refused, the Roman Cardinals named Pope Innocent VII as the new pope in Rome. Upon Innocent VII’s death in 1406, Gregory XII was named his successor (while Benedict XIII still ruled in Avignon).

The dispute deteriorated into further complications in 1409 when a church council in Pisa elected yet another anti-pope, Alexander V, who lasted about a year, until he was succeeded by John XXIII.

The issue was not resolved until 1414 when the Council of Constance pressured anti-pope John XXIII to resign and excommunicated the Avignon Pope, Benedict XIII.

File:Gregory XII.jpg

Gregorius XII

Due to his great piety and his earnest desire for the end of the schism after the death of Innocent VII the cardinals at Rome unanimously had elected Angelo Corporrario pope on 30 Nov., 1406. The split that divided the Catholic church for nearly 40 years and had, by the stage Gregory did the decent thing, reached the point where there were three different claimants to the papal throne: Roman Pope Gregory XII, Avignon Antipope Benedict XIII, and Pisan Antipope John XXIII.

However, Gregory XII’s resignation was not, strictly speaking, voluntary since it involved various behind-the-scenes machinations and intrigues, complicated by the Avignon and Pisa claimants.

Thus, perhaps the last truly voluntary resignation by a Pope occurred decades earlier, in 1294, when Pope Celestine V quit after serving only five months.

Succeeding Pope Nicholas IV in July 1294, perhaps Celestine V’s most notable achievement was issuing a decree which granted the right of a pope to abdicate (a step he himself took in December of that year).

Explaining his wish to resign, Celestine V said he was motivated by “the desire for humility, for a purer life, for a stainless conscience, the deficiencies of his own physical strength, his ignorance, the perverseness of the people, [and] his longing for the tranquility of his former life”.

Pope Benedict XVI who stunned the world by becoming the first Pope after World War II to step down earlier. Since no pope has retired in almost 600 years, there is no formal retirement plan for popes. However, as a bishop (and possibly a cardinal), Benedict will continue to have access to the Vatican’s lavish healthcare plan and probably also to the private doctors who currently manage his medical treatment. The pope does not officially receive a salary, though his needs are seen to by the Holy See. Canon law requires each diocese to provide support and housing for its priests after they retire, though the details of priests’ and bishops’ pension plans vary from country to country.

Dr. Donald Prudlo of the Vatican says about the significance of this decision of Ratzinger to resign:

“The important thing is that the Catholic Church is such an historically rooted church that we do have things to look to in order to deal with an event of this type. As unusual as it is, we can look back at other examples and know that the laws which govern these things have been long established in Catholic canon law (canon 332 of the Code of Canon Law). And so, for instance, the rules regarding the conclave that is to come up have been rehearsed for nearly a millennium. And the Pope, Blessed John Paul II in his Constitution Universi Dominici gregis, once again re-affirmed these things that have been thought about and discussed for an exceptionally long time. So while we have, what is to us, a very, very shocking, and something that makes us certainly have concern for Pope Benedict himself, we know that the church has the resources and has the things from her history to be able to meet these challenging situations.”

This occasion calls for looking into the reality of figures allowed or chosen by God to rule his church. The Roman Catholics do have their Pope, the Jehovah Witnesses do have their Watch Tower Society which receives the same infallibility as the Catholic Pope.

Jesus himself did not know when he would return, and for many things he said the people around him it was a matter of his Father. How on earth would other people receive more knowledge or power than Jesus? He himself also did not appoint anybody or wanted to have one person in a higher position than the other. The opposite, Jesus wanted all his followers to be humble brethren and sisters willing to be the slave of others, working as servants for God.

The apostles and prophets mazy be used for the foundation of a working community in Christ but that community at to be build up by the teachings of Christ Jesus making every person fit to be part of the building stones, fitting each in brick by brick. Stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that should hold all the parts together. As the apostles could see it taking shape day after day — a holy temple built by God, we too, today can still find people gathered together, willing to be under Christ, as one body of faithful believers.

The church or Christian community does not need a sorry bunch — pseudo-apostles, lying preachers, crooked workers — posing as Christ’s agents but sham to the core. The church of God should be made up by people who really love God and accept His son for what he really was and is. It should be people who call others also to be welcome to the living Stone, the source of life. People who know that it is God who knows the heart and God who chooses His people, His workmen. And those who may feel to be called should be humble workers for God and not for themselves or worldly organisations. God should be the priority, and the telling of the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God.

It is  God who sets in the place of honour. Every believer has to present him or herself as building stone for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life, in which they’ll serve as holy priests offering Christ-approved lives up to God. The Scriptures provide precedent:

“4  As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by

God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being

built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual

sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture

it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone,

and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”” (1 Peter

2:4-6 NIV)

“20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.” (Ephesians 2:20-21 NIV)

“But I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles”.” (2 Corinthians 11:5 NIV)

“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:13 NIV)

The apostle Peter knew that Christ was the ultimate rock.

“8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 He is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’” (Acts 4:8-11 NIV)

Also the apostle Paul was aware that he was not the most important apostle, nor peter whom he even rebuked at a certain point. (Galatians 2:11)

“23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives for ever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” (Hebrews 7:23-25 NIV)

“For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.” (Romans 6:9 NIV)

“For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour.” (Ephesians 5:23 NIV)

“22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fulness of him who fills everything in every way.” (Ephesians 1:22-23 NIV)

When we look at 1 Corinthians 3:11 where we are called to remember that there is only one foundation, the one already laid: Jesus Christ, how can it than be that there should be special throned people who can be Pope and call themselves the main Leader of the Church?

“For no-one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:11 NIV)

When the Catholic Church or the Jehovah Witnesses claim that only the faithful slave, either the Pope for the Roman Catholic church, or the Watchtower Society, can be the one spokesperson and the one bringing infallible teaching to the flock, than you could wonder why Jesus is called the one mediator between god and man. Jesus, the son of God is namely sitting at the right hand of Jehovah God, and has taken the role of mediator, so that he can speak for the earthly beings, whom he also shall have to judge at the end-times.

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

God does not want an other mediator and Christ Jesus should be for us the most respectable and most perfect spokesman. We do not need a Pope when we trust that Christ Jesus also would lead his church here on earth and will follow it up from above in heaven. As Jesus trusted his Father we should trust God, giving to those who he thinks necessary to give guidance in the ecclesia and God providing people with the necessary gifts to proclaim the Good News and the Kingdom of God.

+

Read also:

Pope Benedict XVI resigns
Yesterday the Vatican has confirmed that Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger’s papacy began in 2005 will come to an end at the end of the month, because Pope Benedict XVI is to resign. This is reportedly only the second time a head of the Catholic church has stepped down. The last time was nearly 600 years ago.

The Pope Resigns
The Roman Catholics claim that Jesus Christ appointed Peter, one of his disciples, the first Pope, and since then there has been a handing on, or a succession, to this office, right down to Pope Benedict himself.
+
They claim that here Jesus pronounces that Peter is to be the leader of the church. But a careful reading of what he is saying reveals that Jesus is actually saying that the rock on which the church is built is his confession and understanding of who Jesus is.

Virtually unprecedented: papal resignation throughout history

+++

 

Tag Cloud

The Eccentric Fundamentalist

Musings on theology, apologetics, practical Christianity and God's grace in salvation through Jesus Christ

John 20:21

"As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you."

The Biblical Review

Reviewing Publications, History, and Scripture

Words on the Word

Blog by Abram K-J

Bybelverskille

Hier bestudeer ons die redes vir die verskille in Bybelvertalings.

Michael Bradley - Time Traveler

The official website of Michael Bradley - Author of novels, short stories and poetry involving the past, future, and what may have been.

BIBLE Students DAILY

"Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life." Revelation 2:10

God's Simple Kindness

A place to share your daily blessings

takeaminutedotnet

All the Glory to God

Religieus Redeneren

Gedachten en berichten over hedendaags (on)geloof

Jesse A. Kelley

A topnotch WordPress.com site

JWUpdate

JW Current Apostate Status and Final Temple Judgment - Web Witnessing Record; The Bethel Apostasy is Prophecy

Sophia's Pockets

Wisdom Beyond Walls

ConquerorShots

Spiritual Shots to Fuel the Conqueror Lifestyle

Examining Watchtower Doctrine

Truth Behind the "Truth"

Theological NoteBook

Dabbling into Theology

sowers seed

be careful 'how you hear'

Next Comes Africa

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me - Psalm 139: 9,10

friarmusings

the musings of a Franciscan friar...

%d bloggers like this: