Keep Testing Whether You Are in the Faith

//Keep Testing Whether You Are in the Faith

Monday, June 13

The peace of God . . . will guard your hearts.Phil. 4:7.

Having a grateful heart can help us to cope with grievous trials. We may feel overwhelmed if we are suddenly confronted with life-altering circumstances, such as the unfaithfulness of a marriage mate, a life-threatening illness, the death of a loved one, or the devastating effects of a natural disaster. At such times, we will be comforted and strengthened by reflecting on our blessings. Irina, a regular pioneer in North America, was married to an elder who proved unfaithful and abandoned her and their children. What helped Irina to go on serving Jehovah faithfully? She says: “I am grateful for Jehovah’s personal care for me as an individual. By choosing to count my blessings each day, I can see what a privilege it is to be known and loved by our protective heavenly Father. I know that he will never abandon me.” Her joyful spirit continues to sustain her, and she is a source of encouragement to others.

COMMENTARY

Although not as unequivocal or overtly calamitous as a life-threatening illness or natural disaster, nonetheless one of the most disturbing and potentially faith-shattering things Jehovah’s Witnesses can experience is being confronted with the Watchtower’s hypocrisy and error.

Or we may personally suffer evil and unloving treatment at the hands of fellow congregants or even bear the brunt of harsh, pharisaic elders.  Our firsthand experience or even witnessing the unfaithfulness of others or the hypocrisy of the Governing Body can be as devastating as the unfaithfulness of a mate.

Those who experience such stumbling blocks need the peace of God to guard their hearts, so as not to lose faith and allow our hope to dim.

One thing that may help is our knowing that the unfaithfulness of others, even on the part of the most prominent men, does not nullify the faithfulness of God. Nor does it diminish the truth. There are numerous examples in the Bible of unfaithful individuals —kings, priests and prophets —who were eventually judged by Jehovah and removed.

Consider the account of an elder in a Christian congregation in the first century; a fellow named Diotrephes, who liked to have the first place in the congregation; who slandered the apostles and refused to receive anyone sent from them with respect. Not only that, John went on to say of him: “Not being content with this, he refuses to welcome the brothers with respect; and those who want to welcome them, he tries to hinder and to throw out of the congregation.”

Imagine being thrown out of a congregation by the presiding elder simply because you were hospitable to a visiting brother! How outrageous! Yet, apparently that is exactly what some suffered. No doubt persons aware of the distressing situation may have been disturbed over the fact that it was allowed to even happen. How could this be Christ’s congregation if this sort of thing goes on? —some may have reasoned.

The same thing goes on now in various forms. And sadly those who experience such badness may come to the conclusion that it is not the truth. But in his same letter to the congregation John contrasted the bad behavior of Diotrephes with the faithfulness of another brother, writing: “Beloved one, do not imitate what is bad, but imitate what is good. The one who does good originates with God. The one who does bad has not seen God. Demetrius has been well-reported-on by them all and by the truth itself. In fact, we too are bearing witness about him, and you know that the witness we give is true.”

Just as there are wicked individuals among Jehovah’s Witnesses, even in the highest office, there are most assuredly brothers who are well-reported on by the truth itself. Part of the problem for Jehovah’s Witnesses, though, is that the Watchtower occupies such a dominate place in their lives and it presents the organization as a trouble-free spiritual paradise. Not only that, but the Governing Body have assumed the mantle of the infallible mouthpiece of God. So, there is no support for fellow believers who are confronted by various evils within, or the realization that God’s mouthpiece is not so truthful. Consequently, more and more Jehovah’s Witnesses find themselves wondering: ‘How could this be Jehovah’s organization if this is allowed to go on?’ Tragically, many have abandoned their faith altogether, some after many years of faithful service.

But if we allow the misdeeds or unfaithfulness of others to determine our course, is that not an admission that we are following men? Better to follow the apostle’s wise advice to keep testing whether we are in the faith and keep proving what sort of persons we are, even if doing so is as one who has been thrown out of the congregation by men. 

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2017-03-18T10:37:43+00:00 June 13th, 2016|Commentary|17 Comments
  • “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” is an idiomatic expression and a concept used to suggest an avoidable error in which something good is eliminated when trying to get rid of something bad, or in other words, rejecting the essential along with the inessential.

    This is what pop’s up in my mind when I read about individuals who have turned their backs on Jehovah, because of a few wicked people in the congregation.

    So sad……

    • Burt Reynolds

      Hello Joseph, you are right. I see this every day on the Internet, that brothers and sisters pronounce the evils within the watchtower and tar all remaining witnesses with the same brush. They forget that they were once the people they now denounce as evil, mindless and other epithets. They have, many of them, abandoned Jehovah and thrown him out with the bath water…..I suppose in Americanese, it should be ‘thrown out with the Tub water!’ They have been so blinded that they see the watchtower as one with Jehovah and not as it should be, an implement to wield in his hand. How can brothers continue to equate the two as one? How can they match the crass management of the watchtower and remain content, thinking that this is Jehovah’s way? I sometimes contemplate that Jehovah gave them the Internet to make fools of themselves before the entire world; that this bumbling governing body should be seen so that the flock could see for themselves. He is drawing them as with hooks in their jaws towards the inevitable conclusion. You are right, how sad it is that many will be deceived by them but these internet sites only mock. They do not praise Jehovah for their regained insight, neither do they explain the truth so that a true relationship with Jehovah can grow.

      • Hello Brother Burt, this was a very good explanation of the current state of mind with the disgruntled JW’s. They never really loved Jehovah, because if they did they would have searched for answers. Instead they just want to point out problems . Followers of men and not Jehovah.

  • The Ancient Witness

    Good points Robert. However, sometimes a “brother” must go much further than remaining silent and ever so sheepish as the GB has indoctrinated everyone to be. Jehovah expects you as an individual to standup to the bully-type elders and false and misleading doctrine of men. Say something and do something! Try to be part of the solution and not the silent epidemic problem. Remembering we serve Jehovah and his son Jesus Christ.—-NOT a group of self proclaimed anoited men. If we knowlingly stand by and do nothing when we witness evil and such within our belief system – Kingdom Halls, etc, we then become no better than those who have perpatrated the sin. We have become blood guilty and deserving of death. Yes, never walk away from God! But never be such a cowardly man that stands by and does nothing while the innocent are harmed. Jehovah and his son Jesus Christ are rightfully disgusted by such men!

    Food for Thought….

    • Bklyn Kevin

      How is it possible for us to be blood guilty when Jesus himself told us it was his will for the man of lawlessness to remain until he comes?.
      Jesus said to him: “If it is my will for him to remain “until I come”, of what concern is that to you?
      You continue following me.” John 21:22.

      At this point the only way we could be part of the solution is to plant seeds and pray that Jehovah makes it grow and if it is his will then the seed will sprout roots.

      But ultimately when Jesus does come the lawless one will be revealed, then Jesus will do away with him by the spirit of his mouth and brought to nothing by his manifestation of his presence 2 Thessalonians 2:8.
      And in the meantime we are to continue to follow Jesus regardless of the present circumstances within the congregations until his manifestations.

      • Beverly kenyon

        When you know about the dodgy dealings of the WT and the really bad treatment of Widows and Orphans it can get your back up and you might want to become pro-active and not just a bystander, if we recognise Jesus Christ as the head of the congregations, Col1:18, we should be reassured when Jesus said, he will be doing away with the Lawless one by the spirit of his mouth as mentioned in 2 Thess 2:8. Only Jesus has the power to do that. We just have to stand back and know it will happen. It’s a foregone conclusion and like you pointed out Bklyn Kevin, we have to continue following Jesus until he comes back.

    • Joe Dman

      I agree with Kevin here. And like Brother King mentioned, You have to be cautious so as not to lose your freedom of speech in the congregation. You may need it for a time when you may need to help give understanding when the watchtowers voice is silent.
      BTW, I noticed that Irina didn’t mention getting help from the elders, but put her trust in Jehovah. Probably why she’s still in. If it’s a true story.

      • “Who really is the faithful and ________ slave…”

      • Bklyn Kevin

        Micah 7:
        5 Do not put faith in your companion Or trust a close friend. ” Guard what you say” to the one who lies in your embrace.

        6 For a son despises his father, A daughter rises up against her mother, And a daughter-in-law is against her mother-in-law; A man’s enemies are the men of his household.

        Read more https://www.jw.org/en/publications/bible/nwt/books/micah/7/#v33007006

        • Joe Dman

          Kevin, How did I know you’d put it into scriptures. How do you do that? Your title should be “The Scripturanator” or “The Scripturizer” or just “Scriptor”. But seriously, I figured if you responded, you would in that way. I really appreciate it.

          • Bklyn Kevin

            Psalms 119:
            97 How I do love your law! “I ponder” over it all day long.

            103 How sweet your sayings are to my palate, More so than honey to my mouth!.

            Psalms 37:23
            Jehovah guides the steps of a man When He finds pleasure in his way.

            Exodus 4:
            11Jehovah said to him: “Who made a mouth for man, or who makes them speechless, deaf, clear-sighted, or blind? Is it not I, Jehovah?
            12 So go now, and I will be with you as you speak, and I will teach you what you should say.”

            • Beverly kenyon

              Hiya, Bklyn Kevin, Joe Dman is right. You are the “Scriptanator”. A while back Brother King mentioned about musing about Jehovah God (which something I do all the time), and I wanted to know exactly where in the bible that is mentioned. I looked and looked and googled but didn’t come close. So I thought I’m gonna have to ask Bklyn Kevin for help. I’ve just this minute read your post and the first scripture you quote is Psalms 119:97. I’m sure that’s the scripture I was trying to find. Had a feeling it might’ve been in Psalms.

            • Bklyn Kevin

              Matthew 5:3
              Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need, since the Kingdom of the heavens belongs to them.

              This book of the Law should not depart from your mouth, and you must read it in an undertone day and night, in order to observe carefully all that is written in it; for then your way will be successful and then you will act wisely
              Joshua1:8.

              Ponder over these things; be absorbed in them, so that your advancement may be plainly seen by all people.
              1 Timothy 4:15.

            • Beverly kenyon

              Thank you Bklyn Kevin. Appreciate that.

      • Bklyn Kevin

        Daniel 11:
        33 And those having insight among the people will impart understanding to the many. And they will be made to stumble by sword and by flame, by captivity and by plundering, for some days. Read more https://www.jw.org/en/publications/bible/nwt/books/daniel/11/#v27011033

  • e.v.g

    The apostle Paul gave an excellent example when he said:
    To the Jews I became as a Jew in order to gain Jews; to those under law I became as under law, though I myself am not under law, in order to gain those under law.To those without law I became as without law, although I am not without law toward God but under law toward Christ, in order to gain those without law. To the weak I became weak, in order to gain the weak. I have become all things to people of all sorts, so that I might by all possible means save some. But I do all things for the sake of the good news, in order to share it with others.
    For some, continue in the congregation under hostile circumstances can be difficult, probably Paul’s example can help us.

  • Basavaraj Of North Karnataka

    It come to my mind the year 2010 when I was stumbled and want to get out of the congregation and turn into an atheist. It was exactly at that time when I goggled I got something from the blue that is e-watchman’s website, that really strengthened my faith and once aging I turned towards Jehovah. Yes exactly I was going to Kingdom hall for the sake of my wife as she is a very good woman. Only after reading this watchman’s web site I really learned the truth. Yes Robert King is right, in stating in the beginning line of the last paragraph: But if we allow the misdeeds or unfaithfulness of others to determine our course, is that not an admission that we are following men? Yes now I can say that I was stumbled because I was following men and my wife not Jehovah, Jesus or the truth. The last 3 lines in the last paragraph is an excellent advice for all people like me. More than that I could able convince my wife that 1914 is a greatest fraud, I say it is great becasue she is a staunch JW as her father and brothers are elders who are staunch society men. Any way thanks to Robert for opening my eyes and led towards light and actually strengthened my faith in Jehovah once again. May Jehovah through Jesus give you long life and good health just like that of Methuselah.

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