Saturday, July 4
All things are naked and openly exposed to the eyes of the one to whom we must give an account. —Heb. 4:13.
Under the Mosaic Law, appointed older men were responsible for handling not only spiritual matters but also civil and criminal cases. Consider a few examples. If an Israelite killed someone, he was not arbitrarily executed. The elders of his city would investigate the circumstances before deciding if the death penalty was appropriate. (Deut. 19:2-7, 11-13) The elders also judged numerous aspects of daily life —from resolving public controversies over property to settling private marital disputes. (Ex. 21:35; Deut. 22:13-19) When the elders were fair and the Israelites obeyed the Law, everyone benefited, and the nation brought honor to Jehovah. (Lev. 20:7, 8; Isa. 48:17, 18) From this we see that every aspect of our life is important to Jehovah. He wants us to be just and loving when dealing with others. And he takes notice of what we say and do, even in the privacy of our home. w19.02 23 ¶16-18
Unlike in Israel in ancient times, Christian elders today do not handle criminal cases. Jehovah has appointed other men to do that. They are the civil authorities. Concerning them, the apostle wrote: “Let every person be in subjection to the superior authorities, for there is no authority except by God; the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God. Therefore, whoever opposes the authority has taken a stand against the arrangement of God; those who have taken a stand against it will bring judgment against themselves…It is God’s minister, an avenger to express wrath against the one practicing what is bad.”
The Watchtower Bible Society has taken a stand against the arrangement of God. They have become opposers of Jehovah’s authority. Did not Paul foretell that a man of lawlessness will stand in opposition? This is plain for all to see in the matter of child abuse. Child abuse is a crime— just like murder, rape, kidnapping, etc. There have been many thousands of children among Jehovah’s Witnesses who have been victimized by pedophiles. Unfailingly, the Watchtower’s legal department has prevented elders from cooperating with Jehovah’s legal authorities. Anyone who says differently either doesn’t know the facts or is lying. For example, in Australia, the Royal Commission brought to light that there were over 1,000 cases of reported child abuse in the congregations, and not a single crime was reported to Jehovah’s appointed authorities!
Like the Pharisees of old The Governing Body claim they are bound by the law of God and cannot go beyond the things written even to show mercy and protect the defenseless. The things written state that any accusation of wrongdoing must be corroborated by two witnesses. Invariably, accused pedophiles have been allowed continued access to children because the demands of the law of God— as understood by the Governing Body— are not met by the accusation of an abuse victim (singular).
In view of the fact that Jehovah requires those who judge his people to defend the oppressed and vulnerable foremost, we would expect the tendency would be to do everything to support the victim. That is exactly the opposite of what the Jehovah’s organization has done. Victims are dismissed. Disbelieved. Pedophiles are coddled and protected. As outrageous as it sounds in some cases the Watchtower has even paid the legal fees of convicted pedophiles and disfellowshipped victims who spoke out about the crimes committed against them.
Regardless of whether or not there are two witnesses to the crime, cooperating with the police and prosecutors should be the rule. True, because of intense public scrutiny now the WT boasts that it encourages victims to go to the police. However, that is not the same as actively cooperating with the police. Instead of elders being required to call Bethel’s Legal Department for instructions how much better it would have been if the elders were ordered to immediately call the police and cooperate fully with them. Police interrogators are trained and skilled at getting to the truth. And even if their findings are not used as evidence in the congregational judicial proceedings the victim would at least know the accused has been investigated by the police and the congregation would know that there is a suspected child abuser in their midst.
As stated already, since Jehovah requires his judges to protect the rights of the vulnerable– it being the very foundation of Christian law– personally, I would much rather stand before Heaven’s judgment seat and be accused of being too zealous to defend the abused rather than be found guilty of supporting a child rapist.
The 82nd Psalm is a preview of the judgment that will take place at the Second Coming of Christ. Addressing those who have been giving god-like powers to judge others it is evident that the Psalms specifically calls to account anointed elders who preside over God’s people. That’s why they are called “sons of God.” Speaking to them the Psalm says:
“God takes his place in the divine assembly; in the middle of the gods he judges: “How long will you continue to judge with injustice and show partiality to the wicked? Defend the lowly and the fatherless. Render justice to the helpless and destitute. Rescue the lowly and the poor; save them out of the hand of the wicked.” They do not know, nor do they understand; they are walking about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are being shaken. “I have said, ‘You are gods, all of you are sons of the Most High. But you will die just as men do; and like any other prince you will fall!” Rise up, O God, and judge the earth, for all the nations belong to you.”
Although the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses imagines they have Heaven’s everlasting protection and support for all they do, in the coming days as this system collapses and the legal protections enjoyed in democratic lands are swept away, the princes of Bethel are going to be lead away in handcuffs. Jehovah has spoken!
“Rise up, O God, and judge the earth!”