Tuesday, July 7
The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one. —1 John 5:19.
Satan wants us to become like him —a rebel who ignores Jehovah’s standards and is motivated by selfishness. He surrounds us with people who are already corrupted by him and hopes that they will “spoil” or “corrupt” the way we think and act. (1 Cor. 15:33; ftn.) Satan also tries to infect our heart by getting us to trust human wisdom rather than Jehovah’s thinking. (Col. 2:8) Consider just one idea promoted by Satan —that getting rich should be a primary goal in life. Those who think this way might become wealthy, or they might not. Either way, they are in danger. Why? Because they may become so focused on making money that they will sacrifice their health, their family relationships, and even their friendship with God just to reach their goal. (1 Tim. 6:10) We can be grateful that our wise heavenly Father helps us to have a balanced view of money.
It is true, the wicked one promotes greed and materialism in order to ensnare us. However, it is really hard to take such advice from an organization that has become all about money in recent years.
A long, long time ago a young man brought together some fellow Bible students and they rediscovered the basic truth originally taught by the apostles. Charles Taze Russell was a millionaire due to being a partner in his father’s men’s clothing business. And back then a million dollars was a lot of money— not so much so now. Anyway, young Russell found his pearl of high value and sold out his interest in his father’s business and plowed his fortune into the newly-formed Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.
He once said back then that the Watchtower would never solicit money and that if one day the funding dried up Russell would consider that to be the time to close shop and suspend the publication of the Watchtower.
That really was a long time ago. Although the WT still boasts of not passing a collection plate like the money-grubbing churches, in reality, the organization has hatched dozens of much more sophisticated money-raising schemes than merely panhandling among parishioners for spare change.
In recent years the Watchtower has set up schemes to have JW’s donate their homes, life insurance policies and bank accounts. The organization accepts anything of value, including stocks, bonds, even rewards points. (See article: They Have Grown Fat and Smooth)
Back when hedge funds emerged as a way to game the financial system the Watchtower sent representatives to the annual hedge fund conference in London, presumably so they could learn the tricks of the trade. (See article: Watchtower Society Hedge Fund)
By far the most egregious money operation is the sale of real estate. It is well-known that the Brooklyn headquarters properties, with its iconic signage, was sold off during the height of the real estate boom, fetching a billion dollars. Branch offices have also been sold off, like the Mars Hill Bethel in London.
Exploiting the army of free laborers at their disposal the Governing Body cashed out of the big city and had a plush new headquarters complex constructed for themselves in the New York countryside. The Governing Body enjoys lakefront views in their luxury condominiums; they drive expensive cars or are chauffeured, they fly first class, have full medical benefits, and have every need taken care of from the labors of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They live like kings and are treated as such.
Dozens of kingdom halls are also being flipped too. This can only be described as thievery. That is because virtually every kingdom hall is built by Jehovah’s Witnesses who volunteer their labor. The local congregations borrow money from the WT to purchase the property and building materials. But when the loan is paid off the congregation does not own the property. The Watchtower does.
Now the organization is shutting down dozens of kingdom halls all over America and Britain and ordering the local JW’s to go elsewhere, sometimes a considerable distance. The properties are put up for sale.
Not far from me in Michigan a perfectly new kingdom hall was put on the market like ten years ago and has remained empty up until now while the former congregants are made to drive 40 miles or more. It is outrageous.
Keep in mind that every kingdom hall is solemnly dedicated to Jehovah. So, at some point soon, the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses is going to have to answer to God for why they have robbed him of the property once dedicated to Him. (See article: Why so many kingdom halls for sale?)
In what way does the organization display a balanced view of money as they advise us to have? Money is valued more than people, certainly more than abuse victims, more than hard-working JW’s who are used like serfs.
It should be apparent by such brazen greed on display that Satan the Devil is far more influential over the organization than Jehovah’s Witnesses realize. How tragic to sacrifice one’s friendship with God in pursuit of profits for a corporation that has by all accounts outlived its usefulness.