WHO'S AWAKE AT THE WATCHTOWER?
WATCHTOWER JUNE 15, 2014
COMMENTS FROM VISITORS
Article 2: You Must Love Your Neighbor as Yourself.
Article 3: Do You View Human weakness as Jehovah Does?
Article 4: Help Others “Reach Their Full Potential
Article 4: Help Others “Reach Their Full Potential
September 3, 2014 - Boston Massachusetts USA
On first reading with no critical thinking applied to this study article one might praise it as specimen of inspiring encouragement. There are comments that are of value. However has anyone noticed that an article that supposedly has the aim of encouraging one to reach their full potential absolutely ignores the Chief Agent and perfector of our faith, Jesus Christ in the ENTIRE article!!! Not ONE mention of our Lord! He is the very one who said: “Come to me all you who are toiling and loaded down, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am mild tempered and lowly in heart, and you will find refreshment for yourselves. For my yoke is kindly, and my load is light.” (Matt.11:28-30).
Par. 3 States: “However, some fellow believers, including young or newly baptized brothers, may not yet have found their place in the congregation. How can we help them reach their full potential?” Well the reason they have not found their place is because, their place is to become part of the body of Christ. See Eph. 4:16; Col. 1:18. They are disconnected! This entire article maintains that disconnect by not mentioning Jesus Christ role in helping a person reach their full potential even once!
Pars. 5 – 8 Here we have displayed the examples of Gideon, Amos and King David. Which one of these men have we ever read, did what our Lord said and did: “Jesus was indignant and said to them: “Let the young children come to me; do not try to stop them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such ones.’ ….And he took the children into his arms and began blessing them, laying his hands on them.” (Mark 10:14-16). I would venture to say every one of those blessed children reached their fullest potential before death, a potential that no ancient prophet or King could ever begin to bestow. But of course no one would ever reflect on this because you completely ignored Jesus Christ in the entire article!
Part of the essence of Jesus mission was to help all mankind reach their fullest potential by revealing to them that they were so highly valued by our Father, that he wanted to confer the dignity of sonship upon them. As a matter of fact, Timothy reached his fullest potential for the very reason that he was a partaker of the body of Christ. He was a full-fledged SON of our heavenly Father and not just a FRIEND!!! He was part of the body of Christ!
Pars. 11-14 I liked this series of paragraphs because they reminded me of the attention that was given me as a young child who lost his earthly father by concerned men in the congregation. The great handicap I see in hindsight was that these well intentioned men failed to lead me to Christ as a faith son of adoption. (Rom. 8:15). Had they have done this I am certain I would have been a much more spiritually conscious son of God, in contrast to being a religiously conscious Jehovah’s Witness. I would have been spared a number of unfortunate mistakes, because I would have recognized my body is the temple in which the spirit of God dwells. (1Cor 3:16,17; 6:19)
The absence of this knowledge prevented me from reaching my true fullest potential. I had to wait for decades to pass until I stumbled across this website to discover my true excelling value and potential which my Father had been extending to me all along.
There is so very much more I can write about this pitiful article that so blatantly ignores the one who came to this earth to reveal the Father in heaven and aid us all to become giants of potential. My spirit is too pained to continue.
Please brothers and sisters, will you pick up where I left off?
Article 3: Do You View Human weakness as Jehovah Does?
August 26, 2014 - Iowa, USA
Hello Brothers & Sisters
I have a hard time understanding how these authors can write the below words and yet fail to understand what we are doing by shunning and marking people along with the articles they write about avoiding all contact with these people. I have heard it stated that having any contact with them is like touching poison and they are mentally diseased. Is that our intent to hurt rather than heal? There is something dreadfully wrong with this picture.
Paragraph 7 ....... “If brothers avoid you or do not act the way you would expect close friends to act, it can hurt. When you are going through trials, you need people around you.” David of old knew the feeling of being avoided.—Ps. 31:12.
Proverbs 18:1 Whoever isolates himself pursues his own selfish desires; He rejects all practical wisdom.
Yet this is what disfellowshipping forces upon a person regardless of the degree of repentance they may display.
Where is the love for our fellow brother/sister that is undergoing a trial?
I hope that someday all of the hate that we are expected to show against someone that has made a mistake will be done away with. If I am commanded to love my enemy why am I not commanded to love my brother/sister that has made a mistake and is repentant? I do not consider shunning as an act of love as it does nothing to bring the person back to Jehovah.
Please keep up your fine work and God Bless and protect you.
From the Authors:
Thank you for your email and for visiting our website. Anyone who is familiar with this website knows our position on the Watchtower organization’s disfellowshipping policy. We certainly agree with a number of the points you have stated. But there is more to the situation than appears on the surface. We invite you to (See Question and Response December 28, 2012).
Without a doubt the Watchtower organizations shunning policy needs drastic overhauling. One of the reasons for our dramatic series (Possibilities) is to illustrate what a genuine Christian fellowship can accomplish when based on the plain and open teachings of Jesus Christ. One should not view these dramas as mere entertainment or a delusional pipe dream. This is a viable footprint or strategic plan, to produce a fellowship of believers throughout the world that would virtually eliminate the need for any type of shunning. If you have not done so we would encourage you to start from the beginning of (Possibilities For the Father’s Acceptable Year) and read the entire series.
You said you “hope someday all of the hate we are expected to show against someone that has made a mistake will be done away with.” We hope so too! This dramatic series illustrates our commitment to making it happen!
August 24, 2014 - Washington, USA
I find this article to be very encouraging. However, not one time was Christ mentioned. Christ was the epitome of helping people with weaknesses. Do we remember the woman with the flow of blood for many years? Or how about the woman who, with tears, wet his feet and wiped them off with her hair. The Pharisee viewed the woman as a sinner, but Christ told her, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace." (Luke 7:36-50)
The opening picture on page 23 shows a couple who are judging mother and her daughter for coming in late to the meeting. I have been guilty of this myself (judging others). This would have been a perfect opportunity to highlight one of Christ's commands: "Stop judging that you may not be judged; 2 for with the judgment you are judging, you will be judged, and with the measure that you are measuring out, they will measure out to you." (Matt 7:1,2) And this command was reiterated by Paul: "But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you also look down on your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says Jehovah, ‘to me every knee will bend, and every tongue will make open acknowledgment to God.’” So, then, each of us will render an account for himself to God. Therefore, let us not judge one another any longer but, rather, be determined not to put a stumbling block or an obstacle before a brother." (Rom 14:10-13)
Paragraph 4 shows that there are body parts that seem weak, but still have a function. They highlight 1 Corinthians 12:12, 18, 21-23. This, of course, describes how all are members of the body of Christ, no matter whether weak or strong. Why did they leave that part out? Verses 13 and 14 are key to showing this. As is verse 27. They miss the entire point of this passage.
In paragraph 9, the illustration is of a motorcyclist who gets into an accident and receives immediate medical assistance. They say this: "Similarly, if a fellow believer has been weakened by personal problems, our priority should be to provide spiritual assistance." Spiritual assistance? This, frankly, is not useful. While we should give comfort, I am reminded of 1 John 3:17, 18: "But whoever has the material possessions of this world and sees his brother in need and yet refuses to show him compassion, in what way does the love of God remain in him?"
Unfortunately, this paragraph highlights the problem among Jehovah's Witnesses. In saying that spiritual assistance should be provided, most view that as the job of the elders, the shepherds. And just, many will not lift a finger to help. Some will. Many will not.
Paragraph 11 highlights Psalm 130:3. This is indeed a beautiful verse. However, in context, it relates to the sending of Christ to redeem Israel. Verse 8 even reminds us of the new covenant where Jehovah promises: "For I will forgive their error, and I will no longer remember their sin." (Jer 31:34)
From the Authors:
The insight you displayed in your comments is what we are attempting to get the entire household of Jehovah’s Witnesses to develop. We must begin to appreciate the role of Jesus active human life and teachings in every aspect of living. While you appreciated the parts of the study article which had value, still, your spiritual consciousness quickly picked up on the absence of the “ Chief Agent and Perfecter of our faith, Jesus….” (Heb. 12:2) Thank you for taking the time to post to our forum.
August 22, 2014 - Los Angeles, California
Hello friends at AnointedJW, my comment has to do with the picture on page 26 of the angel encouraging Elijah and it's seems to me if angelic encouragement was adequate for early servants of God I wonder how many Jehovah Witnesses believe the angels truly minister to you individually and if you do believe they assist, just how then is it done? Because I believe that if more men and women as well as children truly except the reality of these hard working invisible beings the better off mankind would be. I for one believe wholeheartedly that God wants us to seek angelic help and to use every gift he has so graciously provided for mankind in this unprecedented time in human history. Wake up brothers and sister we are not alone and never have been, thank you for your time
August 21, 2014 - Boston, Massachusetts USA
I would like to offer some comments regarding the WT study Study article: “Do You View Human Weakness as Jehovah Does?”
Preface: Many of the problems of human weakness could be drastically reduced by an individual taking the brave step of accepting full sonship in place of mere friendship with our Heavenly Father! This was the invitation Jesus extended to all mankind. He taught us to regard God as “Our Father in heaven….” True faith sons of the Father operate and function on much higher levels of living and thinking than mere friends of God. This transcendent form of living embodies a sublime internal force that compels the faith son to strive to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. (Matt. 5:48) Human weakness progressively gives way to Godlikeness!
Par. 5 States: Unlike Satan, who strips humans of their dignity, Jehovah views all of his servants, including those who seem to be weaker, as “necessary.”
While you accuse Satan deservedly of striping humans of their dignity, do not you do an equally insidious deed to millions of our brothers & sisters by your message that they are withheld honorary and dignified full sonship with their Heavenly Father and must accept your self invented position as mere friends of our Father? You deny them what the Father through Christ Jesus has freely extended to them. The apostle Paul never regarded any person exercising faith in Christ as a mere buddy of God. Galatians 3:26 “You are all, in fact, sons of God through your faith in Christ Jesus.” And how about our Lords own words at Matt. 5:9 “Happy are the peacemakers, since they will be called sons of God.”
Par. 8 The question is asked, “What will help us to become more empathetic?” The paragraph excellently describes what true empathy is, I applaud you. Yet the gap between what is written and what is performed is enormous. May I ask where is the empathy when the governing body sends out their operatives into the congregations where there are a large number of true faith sons who partake of the body of Christ at the annual memorial and investigate them as if they have committed some crime. Where is the empathy when elders and circuit overseers regard these faith sons and daughters as apostates for their obedience to the Christ and haul them into committee meetings for questioning?
These study lessons while often beautiful in principle sicken me due to the gross hypocrisy of you men who have so horribly failed to capture the true mind of Christ in actual practice. Should not you be sobered by these words of our Lord at Matt. 25:40 “In reply the King will say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
Par. 11 Starts with the bold subheading in all capital letters: ADJUST YOUR VIEW TO JEHOVAH’S VIEW. What follows is an eye popping, sobering question. The paragraph ask: “Or how would you have considered Aaron’s attitude when, influenced by his sister, Miriam, he criticized Moses for marrying a foreign woman? (Num. 12:1,2)
I commend you for putting the bold challenge out there to “adjust your view to Jehovah’s view.” Let’s see what the implications of that statement would involve in light of the paragraph example you cited. I hope you can handle what follows. As supposedly mature Christian men don’t wimp out on me!
So I would like to ask you the same question you posed to the public. How should we view a Christian sister who meets a fine outstanding Christian man from another religion who confesses faith in Jesus and wants to marry him? Stop squirming? If Jehovah found no fault with Moses marrying a foreign woman and not choosing a wife from the “Jewish organization” how can you label a Christian man of another religion to be worse than the Egyptian Zipporah? And let me remind you that repeatedly in your publications you have regarded Moses as a symbol of Christ Jesus!!! Now why is this so significant?
We have thousands of beautiful sisters in our association who are denied going through life with a mate and possibly bearing beautiful children to enjoy if they desire because you have so narrowly defined who is a Christian. You have not followed your own advice to ADJUST YOUR VIEW TO JEHOVAH’S VIEW and embrace the entire household of those professing union with Christ throughout the world like Jehovah embraced the foreign woman Zipporah, but you have arrogantly limited the household of God to Jehovah’s Witnesses. You are responsible for unnecessary loneliness and sadness among many of our dear sisters. Then to make matters worse you have swept the cream of the crop among young brothers to work in your factories under the auspices of “sacred service” and then drop a guilt trip on our sisters for finding interest in “a foreign man” who like Moses the symbol of Christ found interest in and married “a foreign woman.”
Let me leave you with this thought it is found at 1 Corinthians 2:16 “For “who has come to know the mind of Jehovah, so that he may instruct him?” But we do have the mind of Christ. My question, Is the mind of Christ big enough for you?
I look forward to hearing other comments from those who are Awake at the Watchtower study.
Article 2: You must love your neighbor as yourself.
August 16, 2014 - Rennes, France
[Translated from French]
Yesterday, while reading the subject the brother from the Philippines sent, I said to myself afterwards, How on the basis of Matthew 22:39 should Jehovah's Witnesses react towards a disfellowshipped one?
The Watchtower Society urges their followers (see the simplified Watchtower in French page 25; while this sentence isn't in the study edition of the Watchtower) "The only way to please Jehovah is to do what his organization asks us." They ask of us, in regards to disfellowshipped ones, to no longer associate with them. And the brother from the Philippines explained, according to the subject, that it is not Christian to not reach out to a disfellowshipped one who needs it.
We often present situations where it is the disfellowshipped person reaching out. Reversing the roles, how would a Witness react if faced with a major problem; for example, a car crash in the middle of the night and on arriving at a car shop sees a disfellowshipped one on duty. Is he going to ask him to do something for him?
Example: A disfellowshipped person is a volunteer firefighter and is called to help an older woman who fell at her home and who is a Witness. Is she going to accept the help the disfellowshipped one can bring her?
Actually, the Watchtower Society often presents situations that are unfavorable to those who aren't Witnesses (which is normal since they live a bubble [Bethel] and whatever happens to them, a solution is found by someone [a Witness] right next to them) but do not consider them as people who could be received as in the parable of the man who received blows and thus needed help (which could happen). And by extension, having to call in an emergency situation or out of necessity someone who would be disfellowshipped.
Let the reader use discernment.
August 16, 2014 - USA
I would like to offer my observations on Sunday’s Watchtower lesson: “You Must Love Your Neighbor as Yourself.”
The overall principles stated in the article are above reproach and well stated. The problem is the enormous gap between what is preached in these articles and what is practiced in the Watchtower organization and many local congregations throughout the world. I know whereof I speak. I have been a baptized brother for over 45 years and an appointed servant for 75% of that time until stepping down as an elder over the issue of sonship. So take my comments as not from a disgruntled outsider but as a person who has spent the better part of his life at the heart of this organization.
Par. 5 An example is cited of what Jehovah’s Witnesses did in one community in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The paragraph states: “Jehovah’s Witnesses organized a program that enabled them to help one another as well as others.” The problem is that non-witnesses only experience help peripherally if Jehovah’s Witnesses happen to be in an area where disaster strikes. I don’t know of a single instance where the Society has gone out of their way to serve communities hit by disaster where there were no witnesses. As a matter of fact the average witness will not contribute either monetarily or physically to agencies such as the Red Cross or the Salvation Army. Why? Because they have judgmentally labeled them as part of “Babylon the Great.” Can you imagine our Lord Christ Jesus turning his back on such organizations out to help their distressed fellow man based on some superior religious attitude? Does this not smack of the very attitude of the Pharisees? This saddens me.
Par. 7 In bold print the paragraph begins: Follow the Golden Rule. What follows is the Masters words found in Matt. 7:12 “All things…that you want men to do to you, you must do to them. This, in fact, is what the Law and the Prophets mean.” What I would like the writers to ask themselves is would you like to be labeled as rotten figs slated for destruction at Armageddon. Would you like to be caricatured as evil poisonous water that if a person takes one sip they are spiritually polluted , and if they don’t become members of your organization they will receive our Lords disapproval, even though they confess the Christ as their savior and partake of the body of Christ, something 99% of witnesses refuse to do? Is that how you would like to be treated? So out of one corner of your mouth you sanctimoniously proclaim the Lords words of love, but out of the other corner of your mouth you spew out unwholesome, unloving, insensitive invectives about other people’s religions. Witnesses would do better to borrow the best in their neighbors' living spiritual faith rather than to denounce the worst in their lingering superstitions and religious doctrines.
Even if you cannot find love within your hearts for these folks and their religion, and feel compelled to regard them as your enemies, and enemies of Christ, you still fail to follow your own counsel in paragraph 8 where you again cite our Lord’s words but utterly fail to apply them. He said as I quote from the writings at YOUR OWN HAND: Love your enemies. “You heard that it was said: ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy,’….However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those who persecute you, so that you may prove yourselves sons of your Father who is in the heavens.” (Matt. 5:43-45) How can you so smoothly write these words and then commission our brothers and sisters to go out into the community engaged in tract campaigns condemning “Christendom” and with your declamatory message preach their destruction at Armageddon. It is simply amazing that a simpleton like me can see the error in this, but you scholars sitting in the ivory tower of the Bethel writing department cannot get it!
May I remind you our Lord Jesus Christ never told HIS witnesses to go out in the judgmental spirit of the Old Testament prophets. We are not modern day Jeremiah’s, Elijah’s, Isaiah’s or any other such prophet. As supposedly intelligent Bible researchers why is it you cannot comprehend very fundamental teachings of the Christ. We are HIS (Jesus) witnesses commissioned to proclaim “THE GOOD NEWS OF THE KINGDOM.”
The apostle Paul later intelligently perceived what the Masters intention was. He said: (2 Corinthians 5:20, 21) We are therefore ambassadors substituting for Christ, as though God were making entreaty through us. As substitutes for Christ we beg: “BECOME RECONCILED TO GOD.” The one who did not know sin he made to be sin for us, that we might become God’s righteousness by means of him.
We have a LOVING MESSAGE OF RECONCILIATION, NOT JUDGEMENT! These are the ideas the spirit is trying to wake you up to write about and practice! Please obey the spirit, not your own wisdom or the wisdom of some members of your governing body who apparently rubber stamps and approves these un-loving, un-Christ-like methods of behavior.
Again I apologize to the website host for the length of my post. I simply cannot find a way to abbreviate these thoughts that are so dear to me. I could continue at length but will remain.
I look forward to hearing other brothers and sisters comments who are Awake at the Watchtower study.
August 11, 2014 - Boston, Massachusetts USA
Dear Friends, I would like to offer some comments regarding the study article:You Must Love Jehovah Your God.
Par. 5 cites Matt. 5:3 Which says indicates the Kingdom of the Heavens belongs to those conscious of their spiritual need. This contradicts par. 11 where spiritually conscious integrity keepers will enjoy life on a paradise earth.
Par. 11 cites Luke 23:43 as the basis of a global paradise earth. Yet the scripture simple records Jesus as saying: "Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise." If one does a search of the Bible using the Societies new electronic Bible and types the word Paradise in the search engine you will only get three other scriptural references using the word Paradise. Two of them clearly connect Paradise with heaven. They are Rev. 2:7 & 2 Cor. 12:4 the third one is a poetic reference in the Song of Solomon 4:13 If we let the Bible interpret the Bible then it is clear that the Christian Greek scriptures indicate Paradise is in heaven! How long will it be before the writers restore the real hope that Jesus taught, "the Kingdom of the Heavens."
Par. 13 In a single paragraph the writers indicate their distant relationship to the Father. (See par. 1 for Jesus example.) In this entire paragraph he is referred to as "our loving God" "God" "our caring God." This style is prevalent throughout the article. So what's the big deal? Jesus taught us to refer to God as "Our Father" How unfortunate the writers are not able to convey that close paternal relationship that our Lord warmly invited us to have. Accepting ones full sonship by partaking of the body of Christ would banish this feeling of alienation. While we appreciate the Father's power and majesty Jesus came to reveal him as a loving Papa! See Paul's close paternal expression at Romans 8:15
May I go on?
Par. 14 Reveals another blatant example of how the Watchtower writers continue to circumvent the authority of the Christ. If they would pull back the veil that Paul described in 2 Cor. 3:14 they would with "unveiled faces" be able to drink the "new wine" that we are witnesses of Jesus not Jehovah. See Acts 1:8, Matt. 28:20; Phil.2:9-11; Col.1:15-20 How long will it take the writers to come to a full appreciation of Jesus exalted role?
I would love to go on but I feel I have already exceeded the request to keep it short. Sorry! I look forward to reading other brothers and sisters observations who are Awake at the Watchtower study!
Response from AnointedJW:
Good example for all others on how to tastefully make the Writing Department accountable for twisting the scriptures and how they devalue the Christ at every turn.
August 10, 2014 - Phillipines
My apologies to the Watchtower writers for this article but I just felt loving thy neighbor, as Jesus taught us, is the opposite of shunning disfellowshipped (DF’d) JWs. While these people have sinned and were removed from the Congregation, I think they remain to be our “neighbor”, or within the meaning of neighbor in a sensible perspective. Hence, there is lack of basis for not speaking to them at all, totally ignoring them like mentally diseased patients or despising them like people suffering from leprosy.
Imagine seeing a DF’d JW after he became victim of tragedy – fire, crime, or any natural calamity. Think of a DF’d JW who knocks on your door, wet, shivering, and seeking for shelter after his house was displaced by rushing floodwaters? How about a DF’d JW friend who is so depressed who needs somebody to talk to to ease his emotional burden and avoid hurting himself physically?
Applying the Good Samaritan principle, we know which action to take that heeds Christ’s teachings on this matter. Snob the DF’d ones and let them feel more the burden of their sin and guilt, or show understanding, concern and LOVE to them for they are also our “neighbor”? Jehovah God knows very well our hearts. Christ’s apostles have undeniably supported Christ’s view of love of neighbor:
1 Corinthians 13:13 - And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Galatians 5: 22-23 - 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (If I may add to emphasize, AGAINST such things, e.g. LOVE there is NO LAW.)
I believe the above are 2 of the most powerful verses about LOVE which no directive from human organization, including the Governing Body, can refute and shatter its true meaning. Let our readers use discernment.
Response from AnointedJW:
Dear Brother, thank you for your email. It is apparent you have captured the mind of Christ and it was refreshing hearing your heartfelt expressions of brotherly love. You apparently understand the words of the disciple James who wrote: “Therefore, if someone knows how to do what is right and does not do it, it is a sin for him.” James 4:17. One must take responsibility for their own actions before God and this applies especially to disfellowshipped ones.
We have made it clear that many of the Watchtower organization’s problems that result from their disfellowshipping policy could be remedied simply by recognizing and encouraging the brotherhood to accept the invitation of full sonship with our heavenly Father as Christ Jesus encouraged. (See Question and Response December 28, 2012)
We invite you to read The Announcement! (a Drama) where we are calling for 2014 to become a jubilee year for our brotherhood and restore millions of our disfellowshipped brothers and sisters to full association.