This blog is utterly inspired by "Crisis of Conscience" and my desire for justice and an awakening for JW's.Ultimately for them to find freedom in Christ,who has no bloodguilt or hypocrisy or lies in him.Organizational loyalty sure can cause a lot of damage.Jesus didn't separate his sheep into two classes,with a great disparity in the number in those classes with the right of the one in the ivory tower to dictate the consciences of the rest.Lording it over them with legalistic policies that are either fully met or sheep are tossed,no matter how arbitrary those policies might be.
"Through Isaiah,Jehovah spoke of the need to untie and snap every yoke,setting free those burdened and weighed down.Christ described regulations and prohibitions arbitrarily imposed by religious authorities as heavy burdens,and his disciples recognized that even the the Law had been a yoke difficult to bear.Legalism and insistent pressures to perform specified activities and to observe imposed prohibitions,with failure to conform creating the heaviness of guilt,continue to this day."p 578 "In Search of Christian Freedom" by Ray Franz
Matthew 23:2 “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the seat of Moses. 3 Therefore all the things they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds, for they say but do not perform. 4 They bind up heavy loads and put them upon the shoulders of men, but they themselves are not willing to budge them with their finger.
Beginning in 1964,JW's in Malawi experienced unprecendented persecution,brutality,violence,savage mobs etc..also in 1967,1972,and 1975.Families had homes burned or demolished,crops destroyed.In 1967,there were rapings of over 1,000 women,one mother being violated by 6 different men,her 13 year old daughter by three men.At least 40 had miscarriages due to this.There were beatings,torture,even murder!Young children died because of lack of medicine or medical treatment.
Why did all of these nightmares occur?Because the JW's were forbidden by their organization to purchase a party card of the ruling political party.(that is they couldn't if they wanted to remain loyal to the WT and not lose their eternal salvation,because we all know the organization threatens that if we don't believe exactly what and do exactly what they say that we can't live forever because you have to be an accepted member of the WT society to be saved.)The society said that it would compromise their neutrality and make them unfaithful to God.
As Ray points out in his book,to be a citizen of any country IS to be a MEMBER of a political state.The extent to which one succumbs to its demands may vary ,but the membership is still a fact.Paul told us to be submissive to governments even though they can be corrupt.That doesn't mean everything political is inherently evil.Otherwise,God wouldn't have told us to submit at all,right?Is citizenship inherently bad?If not,then why should a corporation be able to tell those in Malawi they couldn't possess a card even at all costs like death,rape,plundering,violence etc.?
To quote Ray:
"If a person could be a citizen,and hence a member of the national political community,without violating integrity to God,where was the evidence that being submissive to the government's insistence that everyone purchase a card of the ruling party would constitute such a violation of integrity to God?How major is the difference?How would Christians in the first century have viewed it in light of the apostle's exhortation, "Render to all their dues,to him who calls for the tax the tax;for him who calls for the tribute,the tribute;to him who calls for fear,such fear;to him who calls for honor such honor?"(Romans 13:7)"p.147 "Crisis of Conscience"
It's one thing for something to disturb your personal Christian conscience and to then refuse it.It's another to have some corporation DICTATE your conscience in order to remain "saved" and unshunned and loved by those you love most.That kind of imposition of conscience is awful,especially given some scriptural support for actually submitting to the political state's request..they didn't ask them to kill anyone or something that God would CLEARLY find abominable.(like worshipping a man or a statue)
Now let's examine more Watchtower society hypocrisy at work.At the same time all these Malawi nightmares were occurring,Jehovah's Witness men in Mexico were given permission to BRIBE military officials to complete a certificate falsely stating that they had fulfilled their military service obligations.After obtaining this certificate from bribing,these witnesses were then placed IN THE FIRST RESERVE OF THE MILITARY.This is clearly inconsistent with organizational standards as well as,bribing and such, a clear violation of God's principles.I'm not judging the men here,just exposing how Jehovah's Witnesses' organizational loyalty can make them succumb to whatever they're told by an elite few men in NY.
To quote Ray:
"The Witnesses in Malawi risked life and limb,homes and lands,to adhere to the stance adopted by the organization for their country.In Mexico,there was no such risk involved,yet a policy of the utmost leniency was applied.There,Witness men could be members of the first reserves of the army and yet be Circuit or District Overseers,members of the Bethel family!"p.159
Keep in mind this is a society/publishing corporation,the WT organization,that actually forbid substitutionary service as opposed to military service!Yet somehow they found bribing and having certificates of military service fulfillment and enrollment in the first reserve perfectly ok.Talk about double standards and handling the sheep carelessly and arbitrarily and sadly.
To quote Ray:
"When I brought up the matter,I heard no expression of dismay at the disparity in the standard applied in Malawi and the one applied in Mexico.Most of the members apparently found they could accept the Mexico policy while simultaneously insisting upon a totally different standard for people elsewhere.I do not think the matter simply resolves down to personalities,the individual members involved.I have come to the conclusion that this outlook is in reality a typical product of any authority structure to see double standards exist without feeling strong qualms of conscience."p.162
Then Ray goes on to say that brothers in Mexico were disturbed by these double standards in their consciences because of the suffering in Malawi but that
"Those in Brooklyn,at the "top,"in the so called "ivory tower,"however,seemed strangely detached from such feelings,insensitive to the consequences to people from such double standards.This,too,I believe is an effect of the system,which is one reason I find such a system personally repelling." p.162
He goes on to point out this insensitizing effect organizational loyalty can produce is well documented throughout the centuries,from the Inquisition to the Nazi regime.It is sickening and disconcerting.We're talking about bloodguilt here,lives destroyed,people affected.(rape,torture,death etc.)
Should organizational interests be more important than the interests of ordinary people?Are men in charge and their consciences somehow superior to the common man's?
Jeremiah 23:1 "Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!" declares the LORD. 2 Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: "Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done," declares the LORD.
Contrast the careless shepherds who say only their organization can save you with Jesus:
John 10:4 his(Jesus's) sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice." 7Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Contrast those whose policies can sometimes be burdensome,duplicitous and unwarranted with Jesus:
Matthew 11:28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.