Look out for those causing divisions

//Look out for those causing divisions

QUESTION: As a long time reader of what you’ve shared through the years, I’m curious as to your view of Paul’s words to the followers of Jesus living at Rome: Rom 16:17 “Now I beg you, brothers, look out for those who are causing the divisions and occasions of stumbling, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and turn away from them.” —Rom 16:17. My question is this: given the growing record and evidences of the Watchtower organization’s leadership causing not only the stumbling of brothers and sisters because of policies such as child sex abuse and the “two-witness rule,” but also causing causing divisions within the Christian congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses by silencing those brothers and sisters who would speak out as fellow believers to the wrongness and injustice, not to mention the imposition of doctrines such as “1914” — how are we to understand Paul’s counsel and apply it to ourselves, on both a congregational as well as organizational perspective?

That question hits home with me since I was disfellowshipped back in 2005 on the grounds that I was causing divisions among Jehovah’s Witnesses. And how could I deny it? Originally I mailed something like 8,000 letters to elders throughout the English-speaking world to inform them of the Watchtower’s duplicitous treachery in connection with their secret, decade-long NGO association with the United Nations. It was the truth. The elders could not dispute the facts. Nevertheless, unity is valued more highly than truth. And I accept that. After all, I am not a promoter of lawlessness. I recognize the authority of the congregation elders and Governing Body. My perspective is the same as the apostle Paul, who wrote to the Corinthians: “Now we pray to God that you may do nothing wrong, not that we may appear approved, but that you may do what is fine, even if we may appear disapproved. For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth.” —2 Corinthians 13:7-8

Although I may appear to be disapproved, I believe Jehovah’s Witnesses are in the truth, as the expression goes. I recognize that God has a purpose and Jehovah’s Witnesses are part of his grand purpose. Jesus –the head of the congregation — is the agent that Jehovah is using to accomplish his purpose. In the first century the followers of Jesus were grouped in various congregations throughout the Middle East, Asia Minor and as far as Rome. The purpose of the congregational arrangement was for the building up of the body of Christ so that they could accomplish their ministry, because it is God’s will that the good news be preached. It is the same today.

Satan is the adversary. He tried to kill Jesus when he was just an infant and ultimately succeeded when the time came for Jesus to sacrifice his life. Leading up to his death the Devil used one of Jesus’ own handpicked apostles to betray Christ. After the congregations began to be established the Devil employed the same strategy, infiltrating the congregations with his own agents in order to corrupt and mislead Jesus’ disciples, if possible.

One of the most divisive issues in the first century was circumcision. Some militant Jewish Christians were intent on imposing Jewish customs upon gentile believers. Even the apostle Peter was misled into briefly separating from non-Jewish brothers, which was no doubt an enormous potential stumbling block for others. That is why the apostle Paul publicly reproved Peter. He did not allow loyalty to his fellow apostle to cloud his judgment. So, everything was not as it should have been even with the apostles. The point is, unity is the ideal but not the reality. 

Satan was evidently able to achieve limited success in the Corinthian congregation, where the superfine apostles presided, whom Paul outed as being phony ministers of righteousness who had merely taken on a Christian disguise in imitation of Satan disguising himself as an angel of light.

In his first letter to the Corinthians Paul exhorted them to speak in agreement —reminding them that there should not be divisions. But the counsel was obviously given because there were divisions and disagreements. Again, unity and agreement is the ideal. 

Ironically, though, in his second letter wherein he exposed the superfine apostles, in that instance Paul was intent on creating a division, some separation if possible, since apparently many of the Corinthians was not aware of the evil influence that they had come under. That is why Paul expressed his concern that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent, their minds might be corrupted away from the sincerity and chastity due the Christ. And mind you, the potentially corrupting influence Paul was alluding to was within the Corinthian congregation. (2 Cor 11)

Unfortunately, we do not know the outcome of that situation, which may be intended; for it is as if the same condition persists to this day within congregations and the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

So, while Christians are under obligation to not promote divisions or give cause for stumbling others, the fact of the matter is, divisive influences and stumbling blocks are inevitable and unavoidable —at least as long as Satan is allowed to slither around. Jesus himself said as much at Luke 17:1, saying: “It is unavoidable that causes for stumbling should come. Nevertheless, woe to the one through whom they come!”

But stumbling blocks will not always exist. According to Jesus’ harvest illustration in the 13th chapter of Matthew, at the conclusion of the Christian era the master will dispatch his angels “and they will collect out from his Kingdom all things that cause stumbling and people who practice lawlessness, and they will pitch them into the fiery furnace.”

In this instance the “Kingdom” is Christ’s congregation. So, the situation that developed in the first century beginning with Judas and the superfine apostles will prevail in some fashion up until the conclusion. But as in the first century, Christ will assuredly accomplish his purpose in spite of the stumbling blocks and discord. Hence, the artificial unity imposed by the Watchtower is necessary to accomplish the worldwide preaching work before the conclusion of the system.

Of course, Jehovah’s Witnesses are laboring under the delusion promoted by a man of lawlessness that the conclusion began in 1914, and that for some reason Jesus removed all the stumbling blocks from Christendom, or whatever. The Watchtower’s nonsensical interpretations aside, we can be sure that Jesus has not sent forth his angels to uproot the weeds. But when it begins Christ will create a schism, a decisive division between the faithful slaves and the wicked slaves —ultimately, dividing the sheep from the goats, the good fishes from the unsuitable.

Once the stumbling blocks and imposters are removed, then truth and unity will prevail, at last. Until then the best we can hope for is to keep our faith intact and not allow ourselves to be stumbled or stumble others.

2017-08-24T06:57:23+00:00 August 19th, 2017|Mailbag|36 Comments
  • Burt Reynolds

    This is another issue that closes the watchtower to the exposure of the lie. If one has a concern, it is quashed under the infallibility of the watchtower. If one talks to another on the matter, that is causing a division. If one persists, then they are deemed apostate. If one listens to the concern, they are being misled and are weak and easily led. If an elder takes it on board, he is not waiting on Jehovah. Be it a new one, he still carries Christendom with him and does not understand. He needs more study, people should be wary of his worldly ways. Even if the concern is scripturally evidenced, it cannot be a correct understanding and we should wait in Jehovah for an explanation that never comes. Concerns are sent to be ‘researched’ and fade away because the researcher knows not where to look as there is no guidance. Questions from readers to the watchtower are bent, half answered and buried in brotherly concerns to wait on Jehovah. And truth, as is said here, is secondary to unity. And not only is that unity, a unity in corporate deception, but the unified are deceived as well. As soon as one questions a doctrine, without even consideration, the hearer clasps his hands to his ears and shouts apostate. The watchtower survives on doubt. No one knows the truth, so no one can accept it. They don’t know what it is and are taught not to seek it. Their thinking is managed. There is no need for them to look for it. It will come to them in due time. The watchtower will drag so many to their deaths because thier victims will not know the way out. The truth has become a lie, something to fear. So strong is the influence, the majority of those who wake to the wrongdoing, still are unable to see the truth in it, of it, pertaining to the scriptures, or themselves. They abandon it for the world and carry on their blindness in an empty war against the watchtower.

    • Zeek

      Ditto Brother!!!!!
      🙂

      Dan 8:12
      “…it kept throwing truth to the earth…”

      2Th 2:10 
      “…every unrighteous deception for those who are perishing, as a retribution because they did not accept the love of the truth in order that they might be saved.”

      I’m very curious about ‘just how ripe’ the Org’s rot must get before we aren’t expected to keep swallowing what they feed us… Mixed with teachings of demons… Especially when those with more sensitive constitutions, or who were traumatized by the Org’s “Christian malpractice”…, litteraly cannot stomach or any longer & simultaneously be well & healthy.

      1Cor 10:20b-22 seems all too clear-cut to me, to reject outright any “spiritual tables” tainted with demonic deception… Like the WTS spreads weekly, in utter hypocrisy, so how can we remain guiltless if we mix with them in such “mixture” of demonic teachings with some Bible truths? How does that make us any better that another denomination of Christendom that recognizes Jehovah name & sovereignty but still has some demonic lies mixed in…?

      • Burt Reynolds

        This topic is discussed now and again on this site. Some here still go to meetings and get some refreshment from them spiritually. After all, the basic teaching is truth. Some it is thought may wish to stay to help others spiritually and are aware of the true situation but like others, still recognise it as Jehovah’s arrangement. Yet others, feel that such is the contamination, the loss of love, the stifling of the greater truths is just too much for them. Clearly you feel the same way. That’s fine, but each to their own conscience. We are tested as individuals, we answer for our actions as individuals. Our faith speaks with us as testament to that. We do not attend meetings to please others, we go where Jehovah is. Currently, it appears that Jehovah still has a use for the watchtower, but we are not tested beyond what we can bear, and certainly our consciences have to be clear. So in answer to your question, it’s largely up to you. Someone will no doubt supply the scriptures….I can’t recall the day of the week sometimes.

        • Jamie Mac

          It’s Saturday Burt and as usual you are in fine form. I hope one day our paths will cross in better circumstances.

          • Burt Reynolds

            I’ve been wondering where you had got to Jamie. I was beginning to get worried that Satan had taken a Megabite at you, or that you lost a thread or even posted a link on the wrong site. That would be a terror-bite thing to happen.

            • Jamie Mac

              Hi Burt, I have been lurking as they say but really been tired after working 12 hours days recently. I long to have a job with real meaning and purpose. Guess we will all have to wait until we are in the kingdom.

              On the subject of the Kingdom, is it possible to get tired waiting for it. I have been reading for years the following quotes:

              ‘it is just around the corner’
              ‘ it is almost upon us’

              Even reading some of the comments on Robert’s site some of us are expecting events to kick off at any moment. It is no wonder the scriptures say ‘Where is this promised presence’ etc. Don’t you have moments when you ask yourself the question, is it really going to happen. I have found myself asking this question more recently and it is scaring me as I do not want to be caught off guard.

            • Burt Reynolds

              That is a natural way to feel Jamie. Robert will be waiting with baited breath for just one little sign of the beginning. We all judge our hopes by our fears and from what we see and what we want. But if one looks at the state of the earth and how it all keeps hanging on and hanging on…like a piece of metal in a stress test machine stretching and stretching beyond belief….we will all wonder how much longer. I did just that looking up at the stars last night. ‘Will you ever come….is it just a dream….will I live to see it?’ And shut the door and went to bed. I tend to think that what we see now, is nothing to what we will see. Life has taught me that there is no depth to which people will sink. No depth limit at all. I experienced that from many in the army; a psychopathic love of having no restraint in the people I met. There was actual joy in killing, total abandonment in gratifications of all and every sort and with it, no conscience whatsoever. It simply was not there, even to be pricked by the dullest of needles.

              However, is it that madness a sign we should be looking for? It’s potential is already with us, in fact, more than its potential, it IS already here. It’s capacity is both full and ripe and bursting at the seams. But should we be aware of this as a whole? No. Because if it were visible, how could we not be expecting the master to appear? No one knows that time. So rather than be looking for the cracks, look instead for the peace, the facade, the giving and taking in marriage. It is part of the test for us to be so restless, else why should we be told to keep awake. We all feel not yet, we all weary and fall asleep and the end will come, when we least expect it. I think Jehovah had a good sense of humour…..stay awake, don’t expect it, keep on the watch, wait upon Jehovah, the end is coming soon, (not in your time but mine!), and here is one for the sisters….woe to those pregnant and with young…a great crowd, but few will be the ones finding the path….have faith….but you may die…. And so on. It’s not contradiction, but fact. We are being loved and warned. Thankfully we are not conscious asleep either in bed or the grave, so we can always be sure of one thing. The tribulation will definately come tomorrow.

            • Jamie Mac

              ‘Will you ever come….is it just a dream….will I live to see it?’ I am relieved to know someone else has these thoughts, although from your description you dismissed them quickly by shutting the door and going to bed. If it did come tomorrow, would you be ready?

            • Burt Reynolds

              We will have to see tomorrow. Then tomorrow, if it hasn’t, then we can prepare for it to come tomorrow. You’ve seen the pub sign haven’t you? ‘Free beer tomorrow.’?

            • Jamie Mac

              Oh Mr Reynolds I love your light hearted approach you take sometimes. Personally I will be looking out for the signs: ‘He is in here’ or ‘He is in the inner chambers ( beer cellar )’

            • Brian

              Jamie, it you are actively looking for the first signs “that he is near at the door” you won’t get caught off guard or at least you shouldn’t, I know there is or has been some “false starts” and there have been many that have even shoehorned events to make it look like things are happening only to receive the deserved egg on face treatment, I have often thought about this also whether I will even live to see it come but still maintaining the expectation of it coming, figure it is to be better to be in expectation all of your life than risk missing the signs that will show and will be as plain as the nose on ones face, the Kingdom may be coming with no “striking observableness” but we are given “pointers” for it being near.

            • Jamie Mac

              Yes Brian, I agree,but it is still hard to shake off those thoughts sometimes, e.g. Will it really happen etc. It’s all part of our fragile, complex, sinful human nature that’s makes us have lapses of faith and we start to think like non believers who will only mock and scorn at such thoughts pertaining to the kingdom. It’s great that I can share my thoughts here knowing full well I would not be mocked or scorned.

              I get the impression from Burt, he does not ponder too deeply such things, he shut the door and went to bed. Not all of us can do that.

            • Brian

              Indeed although I don’t really question the “will it happen”, more like will I see it. Easier said than done to just pick yourself up and carry on I suppose for some people especially when life and surrounds are constantly nagging at one. One thing at the moment seems for certain that is we are moving to a Geopolitical juncture that could very well spark the start of a major stoush between the heavyweights of the world. Of course this has happened before but politically the world is divided on very definitive lines and we are getting the precursors to conflict with currency and now trade wars, historically these have been followed by hot ones, still doesn’t mean it is it though. Maybe this doesn’t help but “chin up” anyway!

            • Burt Reynolds

              I should have said Jamie that I went to bed to PRAY!

            • Jamie Mac

              oops sorry Burt. That was rather a loose comment I made and I didn’t mean to make it sound like it did. My apologies to you.

            • Burt Reynolds

              Not in the least. I read it in the way it was intended. !

            • Jamie Mac

              I see you have not lost your sense of mischief Burt. It would indeed be a terabyte thing to happen if Satan continually gets the better of any of us on this site

              Notice the correct spelling of terabyte he he

            • Burt Reynolds

              The terror-bite was a grammatical pun…..sigh….I don’t know, you computer geeks!!!!!. Only understand the binary language. 10011010011000100100001111010101011010 ! There is a binary pun for you! ?

            • Jamie Mac

              Indeed Burt, I should have realised that. The WatchTowers stance on 1914 can either be true or false. Which one do you think it is 1 or 0

            • Burt Reynolds

              I don’t know on this point. I had enough difficulty mastering the binary dictionary. Zero could be the standard and one the addition, so I will say that the watchtower lie is a one because they are always adding their own opinion.

            • Jamie Mac

              Hi Burt, me again, making up for lost time with my comments. Here’s a challenge for you. Here is a pukka series of binary numbers. See if you can translate to text. Hint, google binary to text converts.

              00110001 00111001 00110001 00110100 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01100001 00100000 01101000 01101111 01100001 01111000

            • Burt Reynolds

              Ha ha. I got your (binary) number. Yes it is. I agree!

    • Brian

      Not all abandon “it” for the world. The”truth” from the watchtower was always as it is, it all started in the search of “truth” but it was a lie at the start, embellished and polished in the middle and still being served up to this very day. I suppose they get credit for getting people,to at least read the bible that for the latter part of two millennia has been written in plain understandable languages, the words have always been there.

      • Daisy

        The proof of the “lie” today is that Jw.Org is a billions of dollars publishing and property owning business…all hidden under a “special possession” make believe “religion”.
        Too true, the ‘words have always been there’ …till you get to the ‘begats’ lol.

        • Brian

          Yes, the old English is ridiculous but they could/should have understood it then. I wouldn’t mind putting together a list of all of the future events that are to take place and line them up with what the JW’s have said has already happened, I think people (some) would be shocked to see how many things they still believe from their time there and still there that are tied to the “false arrival” of Jesus way back then!

      • Burt Reynolds

        Well Brian I would contend that it was wrong from the start, rather than a lie. It needs to be taken in context with the time in which it began, where search for truth was at its height. There was no one to teach, so they discussed and from those discussions came a semblance of truth. It had to offer, what no one had offered before, insight into the scriptures on a grand scale. The intent was honest. Jehovah puts things into the hearts of men to carry out. I have been a liar from the start though I try to tell the truth on every occasion. I am full of sin, I do all sorts of things, but my intent is to do and be of the truth. As the scripture says, that which I should do, I do not do…… The difference, I like to think, between me and the watchtower is that I still try to emulate Jehovah as best I can. And just as Jehovah drew the good out of sodom, and saved the righteous at the flood, so he will do at the tribulation. The good thing about the watchtower’s decay is that it is a signal to the righteous. Thank Jehovah that it is. How much more difficult would it be to see the truth if the watchtower was all loving, kind and righteous but still a liar to the truth in secrecy so great, no one could discern it? Just like the priests that Ezekiel? saw through the wall of the temple. If you are up to speed with monty Python, you might like to watch the closing scene of the Life of Brian. It will put things in perspective more ably than I can. ‘ Always look on the bright side of life……..’

        • Brian

          Indeed we should always look on the bright side of life. Now on saying that and in regard to the Bible students understanding and in which they did have an understanding that no one else seemed to have at the time it would appear that they made the mistake of applying all what they knew eventually to themselves and themselves alone and applying things learnt to the then and now to achieve what looks like trying to drive or dictate prophecy for their own glory and benefit and in doing so have created this massive convoluted scenario when all they and anyone else was charged with was to find, feed and nurture Jesus potential brothers which are all of those that profess union with Jesus (every follower). I won’t go into subjects that I have already discussed on here before related to this part of it.

          • Burt Reynolds

            Yes I see your point. My thinking was that it started out with honourable intentions, but as with any good intent in politics and religion, soon became corrupted. If it was corrupt to begin with, surely Jehovah would not have used it. In the history of the watchtower I have not found deliberate attempts to mislead during the time of Russell. Plenty of mistakes and maybe some self engrandesment, but look at the good that it has done! What profit was there made to begin with and look at the amount of people that left when Rutherford stepped in with his clearly suspect behaviour. Yes you may be right. I wasn’t there, but there may be millions here now, that otherwise may not be, because of them. Good cannot come from something entirely corrupt.

    • Yuri Fisher

      This is true. We all in WT organizations are feed half truth and half lies. But you can imagine how Jesus felt in synagogue when he heard Pharesies talk from platform and how they twisted the truth and were blind guides. But still he went to synagogue again and again. So we are now. We know truth as it is and forced to listen to nonsense of WT. Elders repeat nonsense from platform again and again. Until Jehovah and Jesus say enough of it WT will repeat nonsense again and again. Who is believed to those nonsense will loose favor of Jehovah. Who is not believing in WT and other religions nonsense have a good chance to survive. I am sorry for brothers in our congregation and all over the world that they can loose their lives only for being blind spiritually. But this is what they want. Jews also wanted to go after Pharesies and not after Jesus. So they received death.
      Blessings to all.

  • Zeek

    Can you please explain exactly why you said, “unity is valued more highly than truth. And I accept that”?

    Also, given that we objectively know (by clear evidence) how the WTS has been compromised by “the table of demons” & “lawless one’s presence is by the operation of Satan” (2Th 2:9-12), does not 1Cor 10:20b-22 clearly apply to any demonically-tainted “spiritual food” via the WTS, & how bad exactly does it have to get (& at which specific point & “sign” will it be), before we can justly say enough is enough & be completely justified in refusing to be spoon-fed spiritual manure by the WTS?

    & As for those who have been psychologically traumatized by the policies of the WTS, leaving them damaged or with C-PTSD…, if they cannot cope with the Org any longer, who then can rightfully say that they should remain in company with the Org who ruined their lives?
    Is it not reasonable & merciful for God to allow them to seek peace that they can only find away from the Org’s demonic policies? After all when ancient Israel went apostate in idolotry, Jah’s faithful wouldn’t go to their apostate high places nor worship together with apostates anywhere in Isreal would they???

    Doesn’t this apply to JW meetings today??? & Please explain:
    Mal 2:3
    “Look! I will ruin your sown seed because of you, and I will scatter dung on your faces, the dung of your festivals…”

    Am 5:21-23
    “I hate, I despise your festivals, And I take no pleasure in the aroma of your solemn assemblies.
    22 Even if you offer me whole burnt offerings and gift offerings, I will find no pleasure in them; And I will not look with favor on your communion sacrifices of fattened animals. 23 Spare me the din of your songs; And let me not hear the melodies of your stringed instruments.”

    • Huldah

      My husband and I just had this conversation. We both have PTSD from our time pioneering. It’s trauma just to go to any meeting anywhere. It brings to mind the abuse and adds a giant helping of guilt too.

      I’ve tried to read the WT but too many times lately I’ve felt that the truth contained therein may be a fine prime rib, but it’s served up with a side of vomit whose stench makes the whole something to wretch at. The man of lawlessness, it seems, must always throw in his two cents. I’m quite sensitive to the bullying and brainwashing of the MOL, now that I can spot it.
      Wish things were different.

      • Cathii D’Anthonii

        We watched the sun set tonight and saw the green flash over the ocean and what peace we will have when the Kingdom rules. An elder told me once, people do what they wanna do, and there’s nothing you can do about it…”.As for our household, we shall serve Jehovah” ..our foot is light at the Kingdom hall too, we love to study and talk to as many as we can.. That’s all….

      • Burt Reynolds

        I suffered greatly from PTSD (Persistent Theocratic Scriptural Disappointment) too. It comes from sensing the conflict within the soul, but grows unchecked because there is no readily perceived solution to it. The conflict in the mind is all pervasive and often reaches into other realms of the psyche such as honesty, compassion, tollerance, self control, mercy and identity to name but a few. All these things have an example in ex military personnel due to the embedment of rules contrary to independant choice and conscience, and the suppression of, and total abdication of natural reasoning and which in itself, produces fear. It murders the soul. How many of these issues can you recognise in the dedicated watchtower followers? And how many of these presented with the truth, can thus recognise it with these reduced mental faculties? This is why we have the above article.

        Now when you compare the watchtower mental demands (WMD) on the brothers and compare these with the lasting offerings very near (LOVE) of Christ, you have your way out. The best way for us to rid ourselves of these symptoms is to resolve the conflict of mind by coming to live the truth and thus understand the reasons for our deception. When we know the cause and the enemy, we can exert the solution. Thus it is that we shall all be healed.

  • Craig Knight

    Since those in Christendom are already in deep blindness and for the most part already condemned it makes sense that the Devil will slither into where Jehovah’s people dwell just as He has always done. Why would He slither into the Catholic church for example? He’s got them just where He wants them. People who love Jehovah have target’s on their backs and so we shouldn’t be surprised there are so many stumbling blocks. Being a JW and having your eyes opened to what’s going on in the WTO is a very strange and confusing place to be. However a person chooses to handle that challenge just don’t leave Jehovah and the things we know are true. Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Surely it is very distressing to find out that what we thought was a spiritual paradise is more of a spiritual mess. This is a huge test for all current JW’s and ex JW’s as well. Will a group of men separate you from God’s love? I think not!!!

  • Sharon

    I agree with you zeek 100%

  • Ken Rosenberg

    I don’t accept unity over truth. For Jesus came to light a fire on the earth, to cause division between a mother and a daughter. This is what the good news does to people, because when you say the truth about 1914, you are treated like the son of satan.

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