Jehovah’s Witnesses watchman Forums Watchman Forum Hate the Sin – Love the Sinner?

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  • Prodigal_oneprodigal_one
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    Post count: 1
    #39819 |

    There have been some recent articles and posts mentioning “Gay Pride” marches and the rise of the “LGBT” profile in many spheres of life nowadays. These are used justly in reference to the moral condition of the World. It is proof that this affects a significant and growing percentage of people in society.
    Jehovah’s Witnesses are made up of a cross section of society and so are the readers of this website. It must therefore fall, that there are readers on here who, by “definition”, belong to these said groupings of people. This is because, in many people’s minds (unlike other sins) – this is not just about what you Do, it’s what you ARE.
    Although I have been an avid follower of the eWatchman, since its online inception. This is my first post as I felt moved to respond to the article – ‘Scene of this World is changing’ [July 11]
    Please forgive me, if you feel I should of remained silent.
    I wholeheartedly agree with every word Robert has written in it. The world is truly at its peak of imperfection and we are all fall so very short of the ideal. The reason this particular article has prompted me to write, is because it created a shadow that I felt fell on me very hard and brought to mind troubling feelings of discouragement and unworthiness.
    All of us on here are reaching out to a virtual congregation of fellow believers. This is either instead of the actual physical WT led Congregation or, for some, to supplement their association with it.
    My desire to gain spiritual comfort and sustenance on here comes from the reason why I cannot (or shall I say, find it very difficult to) associate in person with God’s Earthly Organisation.
    In Biblical days, Lepers were considered unclean and untouchable. They were not in this situation due to any specific act of sin on their part. They had just been randomly selected through accident of birth to have this disease. This disease born as a result of Adamic Sin.
    As we know, they were forced to live apart from society and their condition was considered to be the worst one a living being could find themselves in. This is what made Jesus’ act of kindness so touching, when he himself chose to touch and heal them or allow their own faith to act as a conduit towards their full recovery.
    Leprosy is repulsive, especially towards people who are blessed with good health. In the same way variances or oddities in the human condition easily provoke feelings of repulse in people who inhabit the normal status quo. This is true, even with people in the World.
    I was an active Jehovah’s Witness for 10 years. from 17-27. I came to the Truth from the World and gave everything up for it including all my family.
    On the outside, everything functioned as was expected. On the inside, there was an existential battle that consumed every step and conscious thought.
    Without dragging out an already long spiel, let’s just say, I related to a group of people that the above article refers to.
    The World groups these people into the following Group – “LGBT” – which can be explained in the following term.
    “We don’t actually relate to or even accept each other – but this is the only Club that will have us. After all, even people like us have to belong somewhere!”
    This article is so topical, as 50 years ago a Bill was assented in the British Parliament ending the “decriminalisation” of Homosexuality.
    Did this signal that the World had embraced these people with open arms?
    No – Even Quentin Crisp was quoted to say on this matter.
    “Toleration has come in a form that is slightly insulting. That is to say one imagined the message, when it came, would read.
    “Forgive us for having for so long allowed our prejudices to blind us to your true worth and cross our unworthy threshold with your broad-minded feet.”
    Instead, the message now reads.
    ”Oh come in. The place is a mess. YOU’LL love it.”
    He acknowledged that this lifestyle was only “accepted” because the World was busy doing everything else anyway.
    That was 50 years ago. The World has of course worsened considerably since then. Even so, it still singles out certain behaviours for exceptional discrimination and abuse. Hence the apparent need for these so-called “Pride Marches”.
    Certain Sins are worse than others, especially “Sins” that the majority feel absolutely no urge to commit.
    I know that some Christians will claim to put on the “new personality” and conform, even marrying.
    How truly successful can these ones be? I would argue, as successful as a Heterosexual person forcibly “converting” themselves the other way.
    (I leave that with you to consider)
    I admire them, but all I can comment on is my own experience. Please believe me. I have tried.
    For 50 years I have been celibate. But is even this truly enough? is it enough for some to be “Sin Free”?
    As in the World, certain “Sins” are considered to be more abhorrent than others.
    May I ask you all to honestly examine within yourself the following question?
    When does a Christian Sin when they commit NO sin?
    When do they Sin just by breathing, and being?
    When do they Sin, just by existing?
    The saying may go, “Love the Sinner, hate the Sin”
    From my personal experience, this is easier for Christians to say than to implement. Or at least it is for certain “Sins”.
    A Christian can dedicate their life to chastity and complete rejection of “unnatural urges” BUT in the eyes of humans, because it is perceived, that in their heart they must be “capable” of these especially ‘disgusting’ sins, they are treated as Lepers, even if they have turned their hearts away from the practice of these things.
    The years I associated with the physical congregation were truly wonderful, but at the same time I felt constantly inadequate and judged on a personal level, not for actual sins, but for my assumed predisposition toward them.
    By being different – I was sinning
    By not marrying – I was “sinning”
    By people being aware of my “difference” – I was ‘sinning’
    By my very being in existence, I was sinning.
    I was “a bit like that” – so I was a “sinner”
    Add to this mix, my own heavy judgement of my condition and of unworthiness
    This led to a decade of depression and constant thoughts of suicide.
    The whole point of this long introduction is.
    There must be many readers on this site who relate in some way to the points made in the above article. Whilst it is true that Jehovah has standards of behaviour that must be met, he also has the same compassion that Jesus demonstrated.
    Whilst it is very easy to show disgust at behaviours that even conflict with our own imperfect human condition of “normalised Heterosexuality , may we also be mindful that there must also be a number of Christians reading this, who, as a result of many thousands of years of inbred imperfection, by birth fall short of this ideal and are struggling with this battle.
    I long for the day that Jehovah in his mercy, restores me to be the person I would have been, were it not for errors in my genetic makeup.
    I can consciously flee from Sin, but I cannot make myself perfect.
    I felt there was no place for someone like me in this present System’s Congregation.
    With every breath of my being, I pray that there will be a place for me in the New System.
    For that to be the case I truly need the blessing of a miracle. One that even surpasses the healing of the Lepers, blind and crippled.
    One that actually restores all to a pre-imperfect genetic condition. Not just, re-wirering our brains to be able to cope, which Jesus could so easily of done. No. When they reached out for bread, they were not handed a stone. I pray this is a for-gleam to show us how Jehovah’s hand will not be cut short and that our Faith will not prove to be in vain, but will, in fact make us clean.
    Once restored to full health, there will be a place for everyone in Jehovahs righteous New World.

    Until that day though, I sadly, but understandably, as a realist, feel that there is NO place for those who many consider being, the “Lepers of our time”.

    3+
    Robert KingRobert King
    Keymaster
    Post count: 31

    I appreciate your struggle. I am sure Jehovah does too.

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    Rlong9000rlong9000
    Participant
    Post count: 8

    Leprosy quarantine as a comparitive state to the conditions of existence you find yourself in ought make more than a few of us pause the state of our capacity for Christian love, my brother. I will say again that your commentary has provided a bracing I was sorely in need of. It is certainly true that for some of us, the sum of our WT centered lives yeilds a love that is narrower, rather than the ever-widening one taught by Christ and his apostles. Be in Jehovah’s love always, and enjoy freedom of association at ewatchman to your hearts desire knowing I, for one, will always be willing to bring gifts of compassion to the leper’s colony.

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    SeraphimSeraphim
    Participant
    Post count: 1

    Hi prodigal_one. That was a very well written and heart felt piece I must say.
    I am a gay ex JW who still has a belief in Jesus and God. I would welcome a chat with you if your open to it on skype. My contact name is lappeta. I’m not sure if my biblical views would be welcome on this site, which is why I suggest it. I don’t wish to stir pots if I don’t have to. However I would love a chat on the whole biblical interpretation on the subject, with you.

    Regards Brian from the UK.

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    Frank CongerFrank Conger
    Participant
    Post count: 47

    Hi Prodigal_1:

    I was moved by your comment and have wanted to comment but did not really know what to say. It’s a very touchy subject so I am cautious about saying anything for fear I might hurt some feelings. Seems I have done that on this board without even trying. But here goes.

    Jehovah loves all of his sons and daughters. Even when we sin he still loves us. That’s why he had his Son come to earth and give his life for mankind. In the nation of Israel gays were many times put to death as Jehovah said that anyone practicing such things could not be in the nation of Israel. Well, Israel was a foreshadow of the Kingdom to come, and the same thing is true of the Kingdom. Homosexuality will keep you or anyone else practicing it out of the administration of the Kingdom. You will not be permitted to be an administrator in the Kingdom. But, there will be all kinds of sinners who are citizens in the Kingdom and their sins will be varied and strong even upon resurrection.

    All those who call on the name of Jehovah will be saved by their faith, not by their actions. We are a far distance from perfection (if we ever were perfect that is). Keep your faith strong and if you find yourself in the midst of the great tribulation and the mark of the beast, be sure to show love to all who give you an opportunity to do so. It will help to save you. The test that is coming upon mankind is a love test. When the tribulation comes and the mark of the beast is here it will be easy to claim faith, but very hard to show love when your life is at stake. But this will be a love test. Jehovah values true love even more than faith. It will be easy to show faith when the fulfillment of scripture is easy to see all around you, but very hard to show love. let your love shine at that time brother and keep your faith as well.

    1 Corinthians 13: 12, 13 says ” For now we see in hazy outline* by means of a metal mirror, but then it will be face-to-face. At present I know partially, but then I will know accurately,* just as I am accurately known. 13 Now, however, these three remain: faith, hope, love; but the greatest of these is love.+”

    Paul did not say the greatest of these is faith, because again when we are under pressure faith is an easy quality to cultivate (no atheist’s in a foxhole). But when under pressure of death, how hard it will be to show love. Keep the faith and whatever you do let your love shine.

    Frank

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    SongofHannahSongofHannah
    Keymaster
    Post count: 55

    Frank that was absolutely beautiful, and I whole-heartedly agree with you. It is going to boil down to love, not just faith. It becomes very obvious when we examine Jesus’ words at Matthew 25:

    When the Son of man arrives in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit down on his glorious throne. 32 And all the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will put the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left. 34 “Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, YOU who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for YOU from the founding of the world. 35 For I became hungry and YOU gave me something to eat; I got thirsty and YOU gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and YOU received me hospitably; 36 naked, and YOU clothed me. I fell sick and YOU looked after me. I was in prison and YOU came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous ones will answer him with the words, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty, and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and receive you hospitably, or naked, and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to you?’ 40 And in reply the king will say to them, ‘Truly I say to YOU, To the extent that YOU did it to one of the least of these my brothers, YOU did it to me.’

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    Frank CongerFrank Conger
    Participant
    Post count: 47

    Hi SOH:

    I think it is what the scriptures teach. Another point that could be made how narrowly Jehovah’s Witnesses define the word brother in that parable that you quoted. I disassociated from the Watchtower in mid 2006 yet before that I was a died in the wool JW for nearly 30 years (baptized in 1977, February). As far as I know they have not released any “new light” from the “wide awake John class) on the subject, but up until that time at least “brother” was very narrowly defined. It is defined to mean only those that are in the new covenant with Jesus to be his “bride”.

    In the Jewish scheme of things, that is not the case and the ones listening to Jesus would not have taken the very narrow meaning of that word. In Jewish culture your brother was anyone who could trace their line of lineage to the existing Patriarch or head of the “family”

    A good illustration of this is the patriarch’s Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, from oldest to youngest. Although Abraham is grandfather to Jacob, Jacob would consider Abraham his “Father” and would refer to him as Father Abraham since Abraham was the patriarch in that system. The same would be true for Jacob’s sons and grandson’s if they were alive simultaneously with Abraham. But, anyone else in your family tree, especially the males, if you were not referring to them by name, you would consider your “brother”. This is the brother that Jesus is talking about and the family tree that he is using this term with is a spiritual family tree, not of genetic lineage.

    So, instead Jesus is referring to salvation covenant lineage and their respective families and “brothers”. Since Abraham is the mediator of two covenants with Jehovah God, he becomes the “father” of all those who express a faith like his whether they are circumcised or not. Abraham is the “Father” of all those with faith, those who express real faith but have not been compelled to join a true faith (circumcision) and he is the Father of those that have real faith and then are “circumcised”, which for the Jews would have been actual circumcision, but for those in the Christian era would be baptism.

    So, all men and women with true faith in God can be said to be Abraham’s covenant children and their relationship with each other is that they are brothers. Isaac is the first one to be circumcised, therefore he is the Father of all those who have faith and then follow that up by joining the true church of their age (if it was there). Isaac is the Father of all those such defined and they are brothers with the rest of Isaac’s children and Abraham’s since Father Isaac is son to Father Abraham. Jacob, Abraham was told would be Father of a great number of children who were represented by the Stars of Heaven. These are those that have faith in God, were motivated to get (circumcised or baptized) into the true faith of the time, and were selected by God to be his son or daughter, being “born again”. Those “born again” would view Jacob as their covenant Father. Jacob’s son’s would be all those in his family tree. These ones would view any still alive from the families of Abraham, and Isaac to be their “brothers”

    It is the same today, even though we are not Jewish (at least most of us, I think). But everyone with “faith” (without circumcision or baptism) is our spiritual brother if we too have faith. All those who have faith and join a true faith of their time are also our brother. And lastly, all those who have faith, have been baptized into the true faith of the time are also our “brother’s” including “those born again, and the remnant of the Bride of Christ.

    This is how I think we are to take the parable of the sheep and the goats. During the time of trouble that is going to happen soon in this system of things, dreadful times will be here for a short time. Our brothers, many of whom we do not even know are our “brothers” will find themselves in dire need of a meal, some warmth, or any number of perilous situations. What will we do at that time, even if our “faith” seems to be waning? Hopefully, for our sakes, we will be motivated by the love that Jesus spoke about in this parable. Even at the cost of our own lives, will we show love for our “brother”, Jesus “brother”? You see, even though Jesus was and is the “Son of God”, he was also in the family tree of all the patriarch’s of his day. So, all the ones that we described earlier are Jesus “brothers”, not just those who are engaged with him to be married as is taught by the sleepy John class in the Watchtower.

    If you have faith, but nothing more Abraham is your covenant Father through his mediator-ship of that faith covenant. If you have faith and were motivated to get baptized into the true faith of this time, your covenant Father is Isaac, and if you are a person with faith, who was baptized, and later received the token of your being adopted by Jehovah as his son or daughter, your covenant Father is Jacob, and if later brought into the new covenant with Jesus to be his bride, Jesus is your covenant Father. But, the entire spiritual family tree are Jesus “brothers” so we should look out for every opportunity to show real love for them.

    True love is what Jehovah and Jesus are attempting to cultivate in us as their children. It is not easy to achieve in this system and will be even harder when we come under the love test. Keep the words of Jesus in mind as these days quickly approach and resolve in your heart that when the time comes, you will show ‘the tested quality of faith” and love at that time. If you do, Jesus will be proud to call you his “brother”. I think this is true even of those who now lack faith. If they show this kind of Love when tested to the max, Jehovah and Jesus are willing to take a chance on them in the 1,000 year Kingdom of God.

    Frank

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    Luismeriovsquezluismeriovsquez
    Participant
    Post count: 3

    ”Well, Israel was a foreshadow of the Kingdom to come, and the same thing is true of the Kingdom. Homosexuality will keep you or anyone else practicing it out of the administration of the Kingdom. You will not be permitted to be an administrator in the Kingdom. But, there will be all kinds of sinners who are citizens in the Kingdom and their sins will be varied and strong even upon resurrection.”

    I completely disagree with this in some way… I don’t think that Jehovah will allow that all those people who now struggle with unnatural desires and maybe those with addictions like alcohol, pornography, smoking, drugs and all those terrible burdens and feelings will feel them during the 1000 years reign. At least not until the end when we will reach perfection, that would be very very cruel. If now we feel with low self-esteem and feelings of unworthiness because of some weaknesses during 70 years, I cannot imagine how bad will be living in paradise with all that and struggling with it. We wouldn’t be happy at all. Like the watchtower now teaches, I think that the survivors of the great tribulation will be healed short after the beggining of the 1000 years, healed from diseases and mental disorders which include all that I previously mention. Because, can you imagine people building a paradise with depression or bipolar disorders or with feelings of homosexuality? That will be a mess. Although we will still be sinners and will struggle and make an effort to follow the rules and the new scrolls, we will not struggle with these horrible weaknesses.

    Nevertheless, I do agree that Israel was a foreshadow of the 1000 years reign in the sense that all those who sin wilfully will be put to death and there will be new rules and steps to follow to reach perfection. But, in order to be happy we will not be ”slaves” of those feelings.

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    Luismeriovsquezluismeriovsquez
    Participant
    Post count: 3

    I would like to add something. Although Jehovah condemns homosexuality, you are not less than everyone just because you feel that. We are ALL sinners. If you continue fighting Jehovah will bless you always. You were asking that if it’s enough being celibate, well if you fight thats enough because the bible does not teach that “those who have homosexual desires will not inherit the kingdom” the bible does not teach that… the original word mentioned in the bible is arsenokoitai which means literally “man-bed” which at the same time means men who have sexual intercourse with other men. So, as long as you stay away from doing that and you fight against it you are clean.
    Nevertheless I must mention that you have to fight against those desires following this principle: “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” But look that the bible mentions in the same versicle greed and idolatry… so homosexualiity is not worse than those sins… you are not less worthy than other peole for feeling it. Furthermore just like you have to fight against that, many people fight against other tendencies… so you are not alone Jehovah is with you as lomg as you keep being faithful. So I encourage you to love yourself more and not look at you the way you are doing it, you can win that fight. Remember that in the first century some people were gay and they stopped doing that, and if they remained faithful and obeyed God and fought and changed they are now waiting in their tombs to live with Christ in heaven! Look how merciful is Jehovah God!
    On the other hand is really sad to read that some brothers do not imitate Jehovah and reject people for whatever reason they could have… in your case for having this tendency. And even sadder that this has pushed you to be inactive. It is awful! Jehovahs witnesses should be loving and merciful and should encourage you for being celibate and fight… their role is not jugding is loving!

    In conclusion, you are not less for feeling this we all have our struggles, some are harder than others but it doesnt mean you are less and unworthy. For God homosexuality is a bad as someone who is an idolater or commits adultery. You have to love yourself more and keep on struggling and never EVER leave Jehovahs hand. He loves you as He loves everyone and for him we are all the same. I send you a hug and keep on you can win this battle. You are not less christian or person for this what is important is that you have remained faithful and have fought. Who knows… maybe you will be declared “sheep” while those who you treated you bad will be thrown into the fiery furnace…

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    Frank CongerFrank Conger
    Participant
    Post count: 47

    Hi Luis:

    You mean to tell me that even though Jehovah accepted smokers as a part of Jesus Bride up until the time when the Watchtower decided that you could not be a good Christian and smoke. Did Jehovah change his mind about those ones he had already admitted simply because some self righteous individuals on the “governing body” came up with that idea. Please, Jehovah is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow. Will Jehovah allow people with spina bifida into the kingdom? That’s a terrible birth defect and gene defect. No defective ones in the Kingdom, is that it. It is the Kingdom that is going to cure all of mankind’s ailments including homosexuality, gender confusion etc. That is what the Kingdom is for in regard to sinful mankind.

    Frank

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    Luismeriovsquezluismeriovsquez
    Participant
    Post count: 3

    ”You mean to tell me that even though Jehovah accepted smokers as a part of Jesus Bride up until the time when the Watchtower decided that you could not be a good Christian and smoke. Did Jehovah change his mind about those ones he had already admitted simply because some self righteous individuals on the “governing body” came up with that idea. Please, Jehovah is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow”. I did not mean to say that, I am not interested in what the governing body says if the bible doesnt teach that. What I mean to say was that people that now suffers of ”spina bifida” like you said and homosexual desires and gender confusion and depression and adictions are going to be healed shortly after armageddon, that was my point. And also that if you suffer of one of those afflictions NOW it doesn’t mean that in the kingdom you will not be an administrator or something like that because we all be healed from whatever disease we could have now. And thats the big difference with the Law of Moses and the Israelites… in those times, people did not have the chance to change their condition but when Jesus came all that changed, the blinded saw, the deaf heard and so on… thats exactly what is going to happen during the 1000 years reign people will be instanstaneously healed shortly after armageddon and they will be able to do whatever Jehovah or Jesus will want them or choose them to do. I think that the parallel with the system under the law is that those people who are going to be resurrected with those afflictions and will not want to change them and be healed are those who will not be permitted to administrate or even live in paradise, they will be put to death, in that case, eternal death.

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