Wednesday, July 27
You guide me with your advice.
Whenever we need guidance, we can “take notice of” Jehovah by consulting his Word to find out his view of matters and by seeking to apply Bible principles. Sometimes, though, a trialsome situation lingers. You may have a grievous personality conflict with someone in the congregation. For instance, you may be hurt by a remark that you consider to be unkind. Yet, the brother who made the remark receives privileges in the congregation and seems to be well-thought-of by others. ‘How can this be?’ you wonder. ‘Does Jehovah not see? Will he not act?’ While you may feel that the other party bears most of the blame, God may view things differently. From his standpoint, you may be more at fault than you realize. The comment that you considered to be so hurtful may, in fact, have been well-deserved counsel that you ought to give thought to.
It may be, that, the one who is undergoing a lingering, trialsome situation is a child who has been seduced and sexually abused by someone who receives privileges in the congregation and seems well-thought-of by others.
The confusion this creates in the mind of the child is incomprehensible. They may be too afraid to even tell their parents. Sometimes the cunning pedophile further terrorizes the child by telling them that God will punish them if they do not keep the crimes committed against them secret.
But some children do come forward. They have been led to believe that the elders in their congregation will set matters right. How often the hope and expectations of those tender ones have been crushed when not only are they disbelieved by the elders, they are ordered to be silent, again, and not tell anyone in the congregation their unfounded allegations. Sometimes the parents have been ordered not to report the crime to police, since doing so might bring reproach on Jehovah. They are told to suffer in silence and wait on Jehovah.
Years may pass and the terror turns to rage, and rightfully so —especially when they realize that their’s is not a unique situation, that literally thousands of children of Jehovah’s Witnesses have been raped and abused and the Watchtower’s hush-hush policy is designed to protect the pedophile and persecute and punish their victims.
In fact, although the Watchtower’s spokesmen always repeat, verbatim, that Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘abhor child abuse,’ behind the closed doors of courtrooms Bethel’s lawyers are on record disavowing that elders have any fiduciary responsibility whatsoever to protect the children under their charge from the crimes of a congregant. Essentially, the Governing Body has denied Jehovah.
As adults some abuse victims have taken up legal action against the Watchtower and the local elders who are charged with carrying out the Legal Department’s policies. Sometimes the Watchtower settles lawsuits out of court. But when victims agree to a settlement they once again are ordered to be silent. This time the Watchtower imposes a legally binding gag order upon them to prevent them from speaking about the details of the crimes committed against them or the settlement they accepted.
Although Bethel has steadfastly denied that they have any responsibility in these matters, ‘God may view things differently.’
According to God he is not primarily concerned with our gifts of sacrifice, such as hours spent in field service, meeting attendance, and the numbers of those baptized at the last convention or how many millions of Bible based publications have been printed. What Jehovah expects is that we practice justice and mercy. The very essence of true worship, which Jehovah’s Witnesses boast of practicing, is that men in positions of oversight look after orphans and widows in their tribulation.
Those many victims and others aware of the terrible evils that have been and are being perpetrated in spiritual paradise may rightly wonder: ‘Does Jehovah not see? Will he not act?’
According to the Watchtower the answer is no. God will not act, because God has already acted, back in 1918, or whenever. The coming day of judgment is against the evildoers of Christendom and the world. But that very attitude on the part of the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses betrays them as being the ones pictured in the book of Zephaniah of whom Jehovah says: “At that time I will carefully search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will call to account the complacent ones, who say in their heart, ‘Jehovah will not do good, and he will not do bad.’”
Contrary to their assumptions, Jehovah will do something “bad.” He will call them to account for their faithlessness and unfaithfulness and bring upon them distress and humiliation. He will reduce their revered visible organization to a heap of ruin. Though they may presently feel secure in their watch tower-like fortress, their lawyers will not be able to forestall the judgment of the Almighty. No restraining order will be effective against the army that Jehovah is now mustering. No gag order will be able to prevent Jehovah from speaking his judgments. Bethel’s mighty spiritual warriors will become terrified. Zephaniah continues: “The great day of Jehovah is near! It is near and it is approaching very quickly! The sound of the day of Jehovah is bitter. There a warrior cries out. That day is a day of fury, a day of distress and anguish, a day of storm and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick gloom, a day of the horn and of the battle cry, against the fortified cities and against the high corner towers.”
The chapter entitled Zephaniah in Jehovah Himself Has Become King considers the prophecy in more detail.