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Posts tagged ‘Sexual Abuse’

Belgian Jehovah’s Witnesses sexual abuse scandal

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

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

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To remember

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

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Preceding

Abuse been kept silent by Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation

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Additional

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

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This 2015 video from the USA says about itself:

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

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

Translated from Belgian daily De Standaard, 3 April 2019:

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

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

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

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Abuse been kept silent by Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation

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

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

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

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

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

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

“a paradise for paedophiles”.

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

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

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

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

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

we known from more than one source.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Find also to read:

Papers documenting instances of child abuse by the JW

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

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

Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses revised its instructions to elders on dealing with allegations of child abuse

A modification of the October 1st 2012 letter to elders, which served as a guideline for Jehovah’s Witness elders who have come to obtain knowledge of an accusation of the physical or sexual abuse of a minor, is newly released to all elders dated August 1st 2016 by the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

It seems that the organisation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses still does not advice its elders to go straight to the police or child protection authorities when they have heard of or have a misdoubt of sexual abuse by one of their members.

Leave me alone, dirty cuckold Português: Deixa...

Leave me alone, dirty cuckold Português: Deixa-me em paz, corno tarado (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Though the organisation warns the elders that they may be obligated to report an allegation of child abuse to local authorities, they request them to inform the organisation first, immediately calling the Legal Department for legal advice when the elders learn of an accusation of child abuse.

If you are asked, make it clear that whether to report the matter to the authorities or not is a personal decision for each individual to make and that there are no congregation sanctions for either decision.

As such we can only hope those who know about such a case shall take it at heart to protect the victim and shall report it to the authorities.

For some it might be that the organisation is now obfuscating procedures by suggesting inaction on the part of elders, and shifting the burden of reporting abuse to the victim. There is a substantial difference between never telling someone not to report, and actively telling someone they should report.

From different sources we may know about the infamous JW “Two Witness” rule which allows an environment of tolerance to exist inside this religion which has paved the way for many sexual encounters between these predators and innocent Witness children. It is a well-known fact that often abusers confronted with what they have done shall lie and say no such thing happened or will try to make themselves in a victim of the one who challenged them.

In many cases, elders have disfellowshipped on the grounds of “lying” rather than the actual crime of child abuse. From many cases it also looks like the elders discouraging the Jehovah’s Witness from contacting the authorities for not damaging the community. Such request from the elders puts even more pressure on the victim and makes the chance of additional victims coming forward even more unlikely.

Big problem with the organisation is also that in several cases they have seem done all they could to avoid having the case come in court. Rather than co-operate with ongoing investigations in several countries, which would have given a clear signal that Watchtower felt it had nothing to hide, the religious group has instead fought tooth and nail to get the investigations killed off, mounting multiple legal challenges in order to prevent the investigation from even taking place.

The newly released Watchtower letter focuses a great amount of attention on the internal investigations of any accusations of physical or sexual abuse of a minor. It is significant that an organization which directs so much effort into their internal religious justice system has been the subject themselves of worldwide investigations by the very secular authorities which Witnesses claim to obey.

Still today a non-Witness parent his presence at a JW judicial meeting is completely undesired. When one of their children is abused by a JW the child may find it very difficult to have to face the abuser in the JW tribunal without its own parents their to help her or him.  Now

“Elders should remember that during the investigation
process and during the judicial committee process, a victim of child sexual abuse is not required to make her allegation in the presence of the alleged abuser.”

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Read more about it:

News Bulletin: Watchtower again loses legal fight to stop UK Charity Commission Investigation

News Bulletin: Watchtower Releases Updated Child Abuse Directive to Elders; Lack of Adequate Policy Change Continues To Endanger Jehovah’s Witness Minors

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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.

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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?

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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

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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

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  • 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.

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.

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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.
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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

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A Society pleading poverty

It is incredible how many people can get enthusiast to do the work Jesus had asked from them. All those who call themselves Christian should go out in the world and preach the Gospel of the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God. Though we are afraid we can not find many Christians bringing that Good News worldwide. But it is also wrong of the Jehovah Witnesses to think they are the only ones who bear witness. We do agree the other groups, like Mormons, Abrahamic Faith, Church of God people and Biblestudents and Christadelphians are minority groups. But they also try to bring the Word of God to as many places as they can. Those groups are by a lot of people considered to be sects or cults, because they do not adhere to the mainstream believe.

Politics and acceptance

In the world it can go very strange with ideas about those preaching groups. As soon as one of the groups becomes more powerful or has something to offer politicly it can be changed. For example the Baptists in Belgium are a sect or cult according to the State committee about sects, while in the United States they are one of the mainstream churches. The Mormon Church in Belgium and the United States are also mentioned under the list of sects. But recently the Billy Graham group threw his support behind Mitt Romney due to his clear support of biblical values of marriage and opposition to abortion and lots of Americans suddenly do not consider the Mormons a cult but the best Christian value. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association seems to find Mormons being Christians like they are, and a group they do not need to evangelize, while the others are non-trinitarian and therefore not Christian and in high need to get to know Christ. The only thing is that they forget that they themselves are not following Christ Jesus as it should and that they believe other values than thought in the Holy Scriptures, the Book of books which Bible Sudents,  Jehovah Witnesses, Christadelphians, Church of Abrahamic Faith and others like Messianic Jews take as the Book to follow.

Jehovah's Witnesses House Bratislava

Jehovah’s Witnesses House Bratislava (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today we can not only see hiding the light of the Gospel under a bushel in the name of politics, some groups do not mind bringing cover-up policy, like the Roman Catholic Church and the Jehovah Witnesses about the paedophilia acts of their preachers. The ongoing ‘accidents’ and ‘files being lost’ in the court case of the archbishopric Mechelen and the diocese Bruges show clearly how politics and Roman Catholic Church are still interwoven in the jurisdiction system of Belgium, though the last few years the Roman Catholic Church had to give the power over the country to the Banks. The Witnesses kept all the time quiet about the matters that went wrong between youngsters and people in charge of certain Kingdomhalls.

Sanctity of life and love

The sanctity of life is extremely imperative to our foundation of love and creation and the last few years many so called Christian organisations are making a joke out of it. The main motivating factor to do missions or to proclaim the Word of God needs to be love. This love in-comprehends the respect to others, also other believers. But those who want to proclaim the Word of God do also have to live according this Word of God. They should be an example for all people, believers and non-believers. They also should be honest to all people, believers and non-believers. It can not be that they would fool their own believers and do wrong to their own congregation. But this is what we have seen happening the last few years with the Roman Catholic Church and by the Jehovah Witnesses.

Energy, time and money spend

The apostle Paul may perhaps have written that he suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, but that does not mean that the church or organisation should take as much as they can from their followers because they should count it as of no value and have to consider any worldly material as rubbish.

Photos by Patrick Dove/Standard-TimesSan Angelo members of the Jehovah's Witnesses faith walk into a new Kingdom Hall built on Pullium Street across from the Shannon Health System's St. John's Campus. The new building can hold both English- and Spanish-speaking services at the same time.

San Angelo members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses faith walk into a new Kingdom Hall built on Pullium Street across from the Shannon Health System’s St. John’s Campus. The new building can hold both English- and Spanish-speaking services at the same time. – Photo by Patrick Dove/Standard-Times

For years the people who followed the Watchtower Society gave all of their best to the Society with the idea they where giving everything for the Work of God. And yes it is good that we can give to the work of God, and we should do that. But when we give our time and money to an organisation to do the work of God, they have to value it and make good use of it. Lots of Jehovah Witnesses have been motivated by love, when they did their preaching work. From door to door they went and offered leaflets and Watchtower brochures to the people to whom they could talk to. Several did it for many years without regretting the work they do or did. Others you can see at their faces  or at their customary uniform clothing that they are not so interested any more and that it has become a burden. With other organisations mostly the people quit if things get tough, but we must say that those Jehovah Witnesses, no matter what happens, continue in their ardent task of telling others about the end times.

A heart for work

The church is the tool God uses to push his good news into every hidden corner of the planet to shine his glorious light and God uses many people all over the world to do His job on earth. those who can do such work in love of the Almighty should be pleased to do it. Organisations who can have enough people willing to join the work should be glad and thank God for them.

“Do You Have ‘a Heart for Working’?” has been asked worldwide at the three-day conventions of the Jehovah Witnesses.

Nehemiah made many sacrifices to see that the walls in Jerusalem were rebuilt and the gates remade so as to give God’s restored people a secure future. There is an article regularly featured in the Watchtower magazine entitled “Learn from God’s Word.” It helps others and the faithful to deepen their knowledge of God, His Will and purpose.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, (Colossians 3:23) is written in the Holy Scriptures, so many Christians do their work for their church heartily as though they were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people. So the work should be done not by mere force and necessity, grudgingly, and with murmurings, but from the heart, and with good will, having a true, real, and hearty affection for their masters, having their good and interest at heart, and a delight in their service; like the Hebrew servant, that loved his master, as also his wife and children, and therefore would not depart from him, see Exodus 21:5.

Christian empires

As such many people also devote their time for their organisation to build up a congregation. Over the years the Watch Tower Society could build up, like the Roman Catholic Church did in previous centuries, a great empire. They managed to buy lots of grounds and buildings. All over the world the organisation did find enthusiast hands who could construct in a few days time a new Kingdom Hall. Often they are able to build a Kingdom Hall in less than three weeks, thanks to hundreds of volunteers who descended on the work site as part of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Regional Building Committee. People come from all parts of the country, working with members of the local congregations. It is great to see them at work and to see them so organised. People that have registered with the Regional Building Committee are put into a database according to what department they would work in. Like roofing, concrete, trimming, painting, the kitchen, electrical, plumbing, bricklaying, welding, everything is notated, registered and taken care off by volunteers. to clear such huge projects in such a short time it would cost a lot of money.  Here for those projects it are all the people of the congregation and others who voluntary give money and time to the organisation so that it may grow. and it has grown enormously.

Assets

Strangely enough, the organisation pretends now that it has not enough assets to help out on those in affliction because certain things went wrong at certain of their congregations.

For more than 70 years, the Watch Tower Society has prided itself on its clean legal record, although this has now collapsed in dramatic fashion after a jury at the Alameda County Superior Court found Jehovah’s Witnesses legally responsible for the sexual abuse of Candace Conti, who suffered repeated molestation at the hands of a member of her congregation when only nine years old. Candace Conti, now 26 and living in Stockton, is one of the rare courageous girls who dared to take legal action against the organisation. As in many other cases the congregation and the Watchtower Society concealed the important information from her parents. In showing such shocking negligence, a jury has found that the Fremont elders were acting under the Watch Tower Society’s instructions. The elders failed to report these incidents to the authorities, or warn parents in the congregation.

The Watch Tower Society has therefore been held to account for the abuse suffered by Candace, and has been ordered to pay millions of dollars both in compensation and punitive damages. Compensatory damages of $7 million have been awarded, of which the Society must pay 40%. A further $21 million is due to be paid by the Society in punitive damages. On its official website, the Society has announced it will appeal this decision. It is feared that such an appeal will potentially drag the case out over a considerable period.

Attitude taken

Worse is also the attitude the organisation further takes.

Like in the Roman Catholic Church the than still Cardinal Ratzinger in 2001 issued a secret Vatican edict to Catholic bishops all over the world, instructing them to put the Church’s interests ahead of child safety the Watchtower Society have seem to have like to do the same way, not loving God’s people but loving more the organisation structure and income.

In a remarkable twist, on June 20th Judge Robert D. McGuinnes ruled that the real estate assets of the Watch Tower Society were to be effectively frozen pending the outcome of the Society’s appeal against the judgement. This would mean that, for a considerable period, the Watch Tower Society would be powerless to buy, sell or exchange property without first seeking the permission of the court in Alameda. It is estimated that the total value of the Watch Tower Society’s remaining Brooklyn property portfolio alone is a staggering 1 Billion dollars.

The Watch Tower Society has been ordered to pay millions in damages for their part in the abuse suffered by Candace Conti (pictured) – Photo jwsurvey.org

Now the Society appears to be pleading poverty, indicating that it cannot afford to produce the required $17.3 million dollars by way of surety without using property instead of cash. Amazingly, the Society is prepared to put their Patterson complex (The Watchtower Educational Center) on the line over this judgement, offering it as surety rather than starting the payments. However, this remarkable proposal has been blocked by Candace’s legal team. They understandably want cash to be paid as surety, not shaky property assets during times of economic uncertainty.

The Society has described the payment of $17.3 million in damages along with the premium as something that would cause them “immediate irreparable harm and hardship”.

It is normal that such a huge sum is going to do a certain damage, but trying to get rid of the fine is not an attitude which we would like to see from an organisation who, at first got all the money from its members, and secondly has done grave mistakes. Weekly lots of magazines and other publications or distributed worldwide. For the printed work they receive cash money which is partly also transferred to the headquarters. They should bear the consequences of their acts, like they so often tell others to do, and should bear the fine.

Meltdown

We totally agree with the Jehovah Witness Cedars who writes on his blog Jehovah’s Witnesses Survey:  “Many Witnesses will no doubt be shocked to hear that the organization, said to be enjoying Jehovah’s blessing, is in such a perilous predicament that it is seemingly only $17.3 million dollars away from meltdown! They will be just as amazed to learn that the Society is seeking to effectively put Patterson on the gambling table, to be given to Candace Conti if Watchtower loses its appeal.”

The whole problem is that even ordinary members of the “anointed class” do not have a voice on decisions involving ways to go or legal and doctrinal matters, despite the Governing Body’s claim that it serves as a “representative” and “mouthpiece” to the “Faithful and Discreet Slave” anointed remnant and lots of money is involved in the structure of this worldwide organisation which has become very powerful at the cost of ‘poor’ believers.

We can wonder if it are really Jehovah Witnesses who dare to come out of one’s shell to take care that Jehovah’s name shall not be dragged through the mud by an all-powerful organisation which has become blinded by its worldly and economic power. In case those whistle-blowers are really Jehovah Witnesses, than we wish them lots of courage and appreciate it that they are trying to save all the good work that many Jehovah people have done by the years gone by. In such instance they probably shall have to play a more important  role to safeguard the name of the people who really love God and are spending so much time on the streets to get Jehovah been known all over the world.

The Watchtower Society shall have to show her real face and show the world if it would like to to save face over their doctrinal stance on child abuse, or for their very survival as a global organisation willing to keep the power over many persons worldwide!

Good reason to have cleansed the name of many preachers

In several countries elders have done things which are humanly and legally not right. Not to recognise such faults of those humans or even worse, to punish victims by humiliating them or by putting them out of the organisation is not respectful to those who have given their love and time to Jehovah and to the organisation they sincerely believe to be Jehovah’s Organisation. Many more people should have to see in the handling of these matters that it clearly shows that it is an organisation which may have the luck to receive a lot of God’s blessing, but that it is a human organisation like all the churches here on earth, and as such have humans ruling it who can do also faults like any other human being.

It can happen that people do something wrong. Not one person is without sin. So people should recognise that also in the organisation of the Jehovah Witnesses there can be people who do serious sins. what surprises us is that the people in charge of the organisation prefer covering up certain sins of elders, while the ordinary people are easier expelled and punished in a way that they even cannot have contact with family members any more.

The value and sincerity of the preaching is also pulled down. The action of the Board of Directors makes that outsiders who hear the news in the media are going to shit on the Jehovah people even more. The preaching wich is necessary shall be done a lot of damage, because the faithfulness or fidelity of the followers of the Watchtower and Tract Society shall not be appreciated by the general public.

The world needs a lot of preachers to proclaim the Word of God. The Jehovah Witnesses may have been the most known preachers who dare to tell others the Name of the God of gods. Hopefully those who leave the organisation on matters of the above mistrust shall stay convinced that Jehovah is the Only One God they should go for, and that we have to let the world to get to know His son Jesus and have to look for his return. That they shall stay clear and eager to tell the world the Truth.

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Please do read:

  1. A discussion of theology among friends What’s up with this???
  2. Jehovah’s Witnesses convention kicks off on high note
  3. It takes a village to build a kingdom
    Several years ago, the four congregations of the Jehovah’s Witnesses cq in San Angelo had a dream of building a new Kingdom Hall.
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    The spacious, 8,900-square-foot brick building has matching auditoriums with plenty of room for worshippers. There’s also a library, conference room, literature room, restrooms and other support rooms.
  4. The Girl Who Took On The Watchtower – Candace Conti Speaks Out
  5. The Watchtower Punished: Society loses legal battle over child abuse case
  6. Patterson on the line: Watchtower claims that paying cash bond would cause “immediate irreparable harm and hardship”
  7. “We will decide who is a predator!” – New Watchtower Instructions to Elders on Child Abuse
  8. Manifests for believers #1 Sex abuse setting fire to the powder
    In the 50s and 60s of the previous century many acolytes and young boys became confronted with not such a nice site of human nature and his urge to have physical contact. Growing older and not having been able to cope with the old trauma some got up from their quit seat and started to tell tales out of school.
  9. Manifests for believers #2 Changing celibacy requirement
    For decades, the problem of paedophilia has been badly managed within the church and now that everything comes out of the cesspool this brought the church in discredit and got even more people leaving their church and their faith. Some wonder if you can you blame Catholics for leaving the faith when these types of attitudes run rampant in the church?  The problem becomes bigger when they do take it that “the Church” is bad and that they should not go to any church or return to the Catholic Church because they get the impression that nothing is being done to prevent abuse from happening.  It certainly doesn’t seem that the Catholic church has a screening process that will eliminate paedophiles and child molesters.
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    With all the tribulations and sex scandals many have lost their faith. Many do claim God for what happens in the world, but then they forget that at the beginning of the world-existence God had given men liberty to go his own way.
  10. Manifests for believers #3 Catholic versus Protestant
    The sex-scandals in the Roman Catholic Church did already too much damage. The clergy as well as the believers needed the commotion like they needed a hole in the head. They want to adhere to the Catholic teachings but would prefer to go back to the first century church. They do think they have enough teachings provided in the Holy Bible so that men do not need to bind others to man made teachings or to restrict others by their own teachings.  They just wanted to go back to the teachings which were already part of the church life in early centuries. They also found that the church had to put away certain teachings which where brought into existence for all sorts of reasons, of which some were financial (as protecting the church property).
  11. Roman Catholic Church at war
  12. Breathing to teach
  13. Representatives of the “Slave Class” or the Real “faithful and discreet slave”
  14. Breathing and growing with no heir
    Some may think we aren’t called to just preach. Jesus has given the major task to his followers to go out in the world and to let the Good News be known wherever they go. We also as followers of Christ Jesus should let others know that marvellous Good News.We have marvellous tools which brings us very easily much further than the doorstep.
    Jehovah Witnesses for a long time took it for granted it was the best way to reach people by bothering them at any moment of the day, ringing the bell and talking to them at the doorstep. But it seems that they today, also have found the modern means of the computer and internet. On the internet they now seem to have opened up and present more literature to the general public. Which is nice, because they also have very good literature, which can bring many more people to God.

    But, we should not let them do all the work, and let them get people in their Kingdom hall, while we have other thoughts of which we are sure they are also valuable for the people and leaving them more free. We should get others to know that there are other places of worship where honest God loving people can come together as a congregation.They may offer over there Theocratic Ministry School with a common global curriculum and nest to the weekly services with Watchtower-study they also may offer Pioneer Service School for full-time preachers, and the Kingdom Ministry School for elders and ministerial servants. The Kingdom Hall of the Jehovah Witnesses should be known as the only sort of kingdom hall the world offers good Bible teaching and worship to the One and Only God.

    We should be more conscious that we also have a lot to offer to the unbelievers and those looking for the Truth. We Can offer the Truth, but than we may not stay in our little cocoon of our armchair at home. We should get off our ass and do something.

    It is more than high time that more people would come out of their house and take up the task Jesus has given them.

  15. Which back voters in the US wants to see
  16. Mormons, just an other faith

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  • Cult or True Religion (wordsonsergebenhayon.wordpress.com)
    “…if you believe in it, it is a religion or perhaps ‘the’ religion; and if you do not care one way or another about it, it is a sect; but if you fear and hate it, it is a cult.” Leo Pfeffer.
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    Call someone a name and you don’t have to refute their argument – it makes it easy to toss it aside as the workings of a potentially crazed mind rather than something that may be of value, truth and substance.Why are there two separate words in the English language – cult and religion – that are understood by most to refer to two separate things. Calling new religions ‘cults’ is a very clever scare tactic used by the older religions in order to protect their market share. Christianity sees other religions that do not follow its version of doctrine as cults… so that makes all Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, followers of Islam plus all other religions, and thus a very large proportion of the population, cult members on those grounds.
  • Billy Graham: Mormonism No Cult (orthodoxyandheterodoxy.org)
    it seems that Mormonism is no longer a “cult”
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    now even the walking-Evangelical-saint Billy Graham has sacrificed doctrine for politics, that his desire for a Republican in the White House has transcended his commitment to the distinctives of his Southern Baptist religious faith.
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    The Graham definition above—”any group which teaches doctrines or beliefs that deviate from the biblical message of the Christian faith”—is similarly problematic. How would this definition include Jehovah’s Witnesses but not Roman Catholics? How would it include Unitarian Universalists but not Mormons? Isn’t it true that all of these groups (and many more) would deviate from most Evangelicals’ understanding of “the biblical message of the Christian faith”?
  • Defining Christianity (reneland.wordpress.com)
    I recently had a very good friend of mine who is Catholic and went to a Catholic school until the 9th grade say to me that she wasn’t a Christian, she was a Catholic. She said that the nuns told her she wasn’t Christian.
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses (calltoprayerministries.wordpress.com) {the writer of this article does not seem to see what it really means to be a ‘Christian’ and wants to take hold only on a sort-sighted vision.}
    Jehovah’s Witnesses come up in conversation more times than one might think. I guess that it’s because there are many people who know JW’s and there don’t seem to be many obvious differences between their faith and ours. Many JW’s are nice people, talk about Jesus, share their faith, and care about their families… just like Christians. So what are the differences? Are they just a different kind of Christian?
  • ‘Mormonism’ Taken off Site’s Cult List (abcnews.go.com)
    The prominent Christian evangelist Billy Graham has taken public steps to embrace Mitt Romney for president this week, removing Romney’s Mormon religion from a list of cults on his website and taking out an advertisement that appears to urge people to vote for Romney.
  • Billy Graham Offers To Help Mormon Mitt Romney And Then Removes Section From Website Calling Mormonism A Cult! (soulrefuge.org)
    The scriptures make it very clear that true believers in Jesus Christ should not be “yoked” together with unbelievers. Why would any true Christian want to help and support a Mormon who teaches that Jesus Christ is the spirit brother of Lucifer?
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  • Billy Graham Risks His “Legacy” By Scrubbing His Website Of Mormonism Cult Reference, But He Also Changed His Views About The Cult Of Rome Over 50 Years Ago (soulrefuge.org)
  • Grahams tighten Romney ties (newsobserver.com)
  • Mormons off Graham’s ‘cult’ list (upi.com)

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