Your people will be my people, and your God my God.
Note Ruth’s love for Jehovah. The landowner Boaz later praised Ruth for seeking refuge under Jehovah’s wings. That may remind us of a baby bird taking refuge under the wings of a powerful, protective parent. Jehovah became such a parent to Ruth. He rewarded her for her faith, and she never had any reason to regret her decision. Today, many learn about Jehovah but hesitate to take refuge in him. They hold back from becoming his dedicated, baptized servants. If you hesitate to make a dedication to Jehovah, have you stopped to ask yourself why? Everyone alive serves some god or other. Why not take refuge in the only God worth serving? Making a dedication to Jehovah is an excellent way to demonstrate faith in him. He will help you live up to that decision and face whatever challenges may arise. That is what God did for Ruth.
A growing number of persons who have studied with Jehovah’s Witnesses have asked themselves why they have not gotten baptized. And they have answered it. For many, the answer is that they cannot in good conscience dedicate themselves to the Watchtower. For them, taking refuge in Jehovah is not a problem. They do trust God. It is dedicating themselves to the Watchtower that is objectionable.
And if anyone thinks that is not a legitimate reason why some hesitate to get baptized, why is it the Watchtower requires every person who undergoes baptism to confess that they not only recognize themselves as sinners, but that their undergoing baptism brings them under the authority of “God’s spirit directed organization”? Many of us certainly find it unacceptable that the Watchtower has presumptuously inserted itself into the sacred baptismal vow to God. And we expect that the men who are the promoters of this sort of insidious idolatry will at some point be made to answer for their error.
Unfortunately, the worship of the organization does not end there. That is just the beginning. Many who refuse to commit to becoming officially accepted Jehovah’s Witnesses are disgusted with the disgraceful way the Watchtower has persecuted the victims of child abuse and coddled and protected the abusers. They are sickened by Bethel’s double-talk and hypocrisy. For example, for years the Watchtower arrogantly denied that there was even a problem. They simply disfellowshipped any JW who said otherwise. They claim opposers and apostates are stirring up trouble. Some Governing Body fellows have called child abuse victims liars.
But reportedly, the Watchtower’s lawyers have recently implemented a policy where the elders are notified that a known pedophile is in their midst. The elders are then required to discreetly notify the parents of minor children that brother so-and-so is a child abuser. (Those without children are not notified) Then the elders sign a statement declaring that the parents have been warned. This is obviously done to protect Bethel from future litigation, not to protect children. Of course, congregations that do not have known pedophiles have no clue the Watchtower has quietly implemented this policy. They are still under the delusion that it is all apostate lies. But as the Scriptures say, there is nothing done in the darkness that will not come to light. And Bethel’s wickedness is coming to light.
Still, others cannot in good conscience become baptized because they do not believe that Christ began ruling the world in 1914. Many tens of thousands have read the information presented on this site and in the book Jehovah Himself Has Become King and they are fully convinced that the Watchtower is the source of the deluding influence Paul foretold. Naturally, it is hard for them to support an organization that is responsible for promoting one of the biggest hoaxes that has ever been perpetrated on a trusting people.
Even at that, some lovers of Jehovah are willing to be baptized, except the elders are tasked by Bethel with making sure that anyone who does not accept the 1914 rigamarole is not allowed to formally dedicate themselves to God and Christ. So, it is not that such God-fearing persons are not willing, the responsibility for their being denied the opportunity lies with the Governing Body and the elders for erecting barriers that have nothing to do with serving Christ, but only with maintaining a lie. It is their tyranny that prevents people from being baptized. Most assuredly, that is why James warned that teachers will receive a heavier judgment.
On a personal note, a few months ago a couple of elders stopped by to make their annual shepherding call on disfellowshipped persons. The elders know me from attending meetings, but they do not know the reason for my being disfellowshipped.
The one elder, whom I will say is a very knowledgeable and imposing brother with quite a presence, asked me pointedly if I had repented of the sin for which I was disfellowshipped. I said, “Well, honestly, I’d have to say no.” He asked why. I said that I was disfellowshipped for having publicly accused the Watchtower of apostasy and I was unrepentant.
I went on to explain my work and presence on the Internet these past 15 years. The elder simply could not accept that anyone could be true to God and defy the Watchtower. I offered him the example of David, who although anointed by God was an outcast and lived as a fugitive, ostracized from Israel because of the maddened tyranny of king Saul; yet, David continued to fight Israel’s battles. He countered and said, ‘Yes, but David was in contact with the high priest.’ My reply that I was in contact with the High Priest too was met with a disapproving sneer; because, in the minds of Jehovah’s Witnesses it is not possible nor necessary to take refuge in Jehovah outside the confines of “God’s spirit-directed” Watchtower.
Like one of Job’s false comforters, the elder went on to deride me for having allowed the Devil to defeat me. I responded that such was definitely not the case.
The fact is, it is easy to take refuge in Jehovah within the congregation. The real test of faith is relying on God when isolated and abandoned. Although the Watchtower has stumbled untold multitudes of Jehovah’s Witnesses and interested persons, thankfully some have taken refuge in Jehovah apart from the Watchtower. It is our hope that Jehovah’s Witnesses will have the faith going forward, when it becomes painfully obvious the Watchtower has misled you. Then Jehovah will be the only refuge. And that is how it should be.
“In you, O Jehovah, I have taken refuge. May I never be put to shame. Rescue me because of your righteousness. Incline your ear to me. Come quickly to my rescue. Become for me a mountain stronghold, a fortified place to save me. For you are my crag and my stronghold; for the sake of your name, you will lead me and guide me. You will free me from the net that they have secretly laid for me, for you are my fortress. Into your hand I entrust my spirit. You have redeemed me, O Jehovah, the God of truth. I hate those who are devoted to worthless, vain idols, but as for me, I trust in Jehovah. I will rejoice greatly in your loyal love, for you have seen my affliction; you are aware of my deep distress. You have not handed me over to the enemy, but you make me stand in a place of safety.”
– Psalms 31