Keep hold of the weak, be patient with everybody.
Rather than quickly giving up on the weak, let us “keep hold” of them, as it were, and continue supporting them. In the past, Jehovah dealt patiently with those of his servants who at times were discouraged. For instance, God was very gracious with Elijah, considering his feelings. Jehovah provided what the prophet needed to carry on in his service. Because David was genuinely repentant, Jehovah kindly forgave him. God also helped the writer of Psalm 73, who almost gave up serving Him. Jehovah is gracious and kind to us, especially when we are downhearted and discouraged. His mercies are “new each morning,” and they “will certainly not come to an end.” Jehovah expects us to follow his example and treat the depressed ones with tenderness.
The Watchtower is certainly aware of the fact that there is a growing number of disaffected Jehovah’s Witnesses. Many have become weak and discouraged. Some choose to disassociate themselves from the organization. Others have decided to “fade” — this tactic so that they may avoid a judicial inquiry and possible disfellowshipping and ostracism from their families.
At the 2015 district conventions the Watchtower released a brochure entitled: Return to Jehovah to appeal to the hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of Jehovah’s Witnesses who have left the Watchtower.
A kindly elder in my community who knows I am disfellowshipped (He does not know the details) dropped by the day after the convention and presented me with a copy.
The Watchtower tries to appeal to those who have left because of having people problems with individuals within the congregation. No doubt that is the case with some. But in the entire brochure there is not even so much as a hint of acknowledgment of Bethel’s own culpability or their responsibility for having spiritually sickened, disheartened and stumbled untold numbers of Jehovah’s dear sheep for whom Christ died.
Surely the Governing Body is aware of this state of affairs.
The underlying problem is revealed in the very title of the Governing Body’s brochure. The implication is that if a person has become inactive or is no longer even associated with the congregation that they have left Jehovah. And while it is undoubtedly the case that many have abandoned their faith and adopted a lifestyle of the world and no longer wish to even be associated with the name of Jehovah in any way, that is not the case with all.
“Return to Jehovah” really means return to the Watchtower and submit oneself to it. But for many of the disheartened that is impossible.
While I do not deny that the Watchtower is Jehovah earthly organization, as advertised, I do not believe that the leadership of that organization has received carte blanche. On the contrary, as Jesus stated in the 12th chapter of Luke in regards to those who are charged to feed the master’s servants, much will be demanded of them in the day of their being called to account.
If the Governing Body and their helpers were really concerned about searching for and finding Jehovah’s lost sheep and bandaging their spiritual wounds, we would expect them to address the real reasons that many are leaving. As it stands, the leadership continue to feed themselves, publishing information that only pretends to show concern, while continuing to glorify the organization.
What is the end of the matter? Ultimately, the Watchtower is going to be relieved of its duty to feed the Master’s sheep. That is because they will completely and utterly fail to hold the organization together when the judgment begins, during the “day of clouds and thick gloom.”
Then all of Jehovah’s sheep will be scattered! This will necessitate a new arrangement.
The great Shepherd will intervene personally to regather his flock of scattered sheep. The Watchtower and its appointed under-shepherds will be relieved of their duty.
This is explained in the 34th chapter of the prophecy of Ezekiel: “This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: ‘I am against the shepherds, and I will demand an accounting of them for my sheep, and I will dismiss them from feeding my sheep, and the shepherds will no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouth, and they will no longer be food for them.’ For this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: “Here I am, and I myself will search for my sheep, and I will care for them. I will care for my sheep like a shepherd who has found his scattered sheep and is feeding them. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered in the day of clouds and thick gloom.”
The Watchtower actually teaches that the shepherds who will come under Jehovah’s judgment are not Christian elders, but rather, they are “governmental shepherds.” According to the Watchtower apparently Jehovah expects worldly tyrants to feed and protect his sheep. This is the kind of nonsensical flimflam that the Governing Body will have to account for.
Hopefully, at some point individual brothers will repent and Jehovah will forgive them for their sin.