Tuesday, January 12

Listen to me, all of you, and understand the meaning.Mark 7:14.

A person may hear the sounds of someone speaking to him. He may even note the tone of voice. But of what use would that be to him if he did not understand the meaning of the words being spoken?  In a similar way, thousands heard what Jesus was saying. He even spoke to them in a language that they could understand. However, not all of them understood the meaning of his words. For this reason, Jesus told them the above. Why did many fail to understand the meaning of what Jesus said? Some had preconceived opinions and wrong motives. Jesus said of such ones: “You skillfully disregard the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.” These people did not really try to get the meaning of his words. They did not want to change their ways and views. Their ears may have been open, but their hearts were tightly shut!

COMMENTARY

Jesus cited a particularly immoral practice of the Pharisees that made the word of God invalid. It involved pledging their wealth to God as “corban” as a means to avoid materially assisting one’s parents. Jesus condemned them for not honoring their fathers and mothers by pretending to honor God.

trappedSimilarly, the leadership of the Watchtower have skillfully disregarded the commandment of God. How so? Both the Mosaic law and Christian law require men in power to defend the weak and disadvantaged, typified by the widow and the fatherless boy. But Bethel and her lawyers have actually become the legal adversaries of sexually abused children.

For many years the Watchtower surpassed the plaintive cry of the abused by pretending to honor God. The biblical requirement of two or three witnesses was rigidly applied to stifle any attempt to look into the allegations brought forward by abused children.

Instead of using the police as God’s legitimate public ministers, as Paul called them in the 13th chapter of Romans, in order to do a thorough criminal investigation, elders were specifically instructed to not cooperate with the police. Victims were often intimidated and bullied into not reporting pedophiles to the police on the phony grounds that doing so would bring reproach on Jehovah. 

When Jesus publicly rebuked the Pharisees for their hypocrisy he quoted from the prophecy of Isaiah. Specifically, he quoted Isaiah 29:13, which says:  “This people approaches me with their mouth and they honor me with their lips, but their heart is far removed from me; and their fear of me is based on commands of men that they have been taught.”

Jesus only applied the prophecy to the Pharisees in principle. The context of Isaiah actually relates to the coming of Christ. And those who teach the commands of men are Christian elders — the wise men. Jehovah’s denunciation continues: “Woe to those who go to great lengths to conceal their plans from Jehovah. Their deeds are done in a dark place, while they say: ‘Who sees us? Who knows about us?’”

While Jehovah’s Witnesses are generally in the dark as to the great lengths to which the Watchtower has gone in their war against abused children, obviously Jehovah sees. For example, while the Watchtower pretends to be the defender of children —publishing children’s books and videos —behind closed doors the Watchtower’s lawyers have argued that Christian elders have no fiduciary duty to protect the children under their watch from the crimes of congregants. And, of course, the Legal Department has strictly forbid elders from alerting parents when even known pedophiles have lurked among them. 

The coming of Christ will shine a light into the dark place and expose the hypocrisy of the Watchtower.

Child Abuse (category)

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