The Apostle Paul told the congregations of the Ephesians (ostensibly all Christians) that we are at War. In his Letter to the Ephesians, in chapter 6 and verse 12 we read:
New World Translation
12 “because we have a wrestling, not against blood and flesh, but against the governments, against the authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places.”
New International Version
12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Good News Translation
12 “For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age.”
In the verse just before this one, Paul had given the exhortation to put on the armor of God as the only means by which to stand against the Devil’s evil tricks.
What did this armor consist of? The answer to that question is important in identifying whether or not a person or a group of people is using God-given equipment to wage war against Satan and his seed. The answer also makes it clear when there has been some deviation and one has taken up some other armor and cause.
If you examine Ephesians 6:14-17, you will notice that all the articles of Christian armament are both noble and virtuous. For convenience sake, here are verses 10-20 as quoted from the New International Version, Good News Translation, and the Bible that the Watchtower Society has published The New World Translation.
New International Version
10 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”
Good News Translation
10 “Finally, build up your strength in union with the Lord and by means of his mighty power. 11 Put on all the armor that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil’s evil tricks. 12 For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age. 13 So put on God’s armor now! Then when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy’s attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground. 14 So stand ready, with truth as a belt tight around your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate, 15 and as your shoes the readiness to announce the Good News of peace. At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One. 17 And accept salvation as a helmet, and the word of God as the sword which the Spirit gives you. 18 Do all this in prayer, asking for God’s help. Pray on every occasion, as the Spirit leads. For this reason keep alert and never give up; pray always for all God’s people. 19 And pray also for me, that God will give me a message when I am ready to speak, so that I may speak boldly and make known the gospel’s secret. 20 For the sake of this gospel I am an ambassador, though now I am in prison. Pray that I may be bold in speaking about the gospel as I should.”
New World Translation
NWT Eph 6:10-20
10 “Finally, go on acquiring power in the Lord and in the mightiness of his strength. 11 Put on the complete suit of armor from God that You may be able to stand firm against the machinations of the Devil; 12 because we have a wrestling, not against blood and flesh, but against the governments, against the authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places. 13 On this account take up the complete suit of armor from God, that You may be able to resist in the wicked day and, after You have done all things thoroughly, to stand firm.
14 Stand firm, therefore, with Your loins girded about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 ad with Your feet shod with the equipment of the good news of peace. 16 Above all things, take up the large shield of faith, with which You will be able to quench all the wicked one’s burning missiles. 17 Also, accept the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, that is, God’s word, 18 while with every form of prayer and supplication You carry on prayer at every occasion in spirit. And to that end keep awake with all constancy and with supplication in behalf of all the holy ones, 19 also for me, that ability to speak may be given me with an opening of my mouth, with freeness of speech to make known the sacred secret of the good news, 20 or which I am acting as an ambassador in chains; that I may speak in connection with it with boldness as I ought to speak.”
Notice that in verse 14, Paul first states, “So stand ready, with truth as a belt tight around your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate”,… Obviously, it is essential for a true Christian soldier to be a Truth bearer. Stated another way, a person must tell the truth and not be a liar.
Almighty God Jehovah hates liars. The Scriptures are full of evidence that this is so.
New International Version (NIV)
16 “There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes,a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies and
a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”
New King James Version (NKJV)
22 “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
But those who deal truthfully are His delight.”
American Standard Version (ASV)
29 “Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but such as is good for edifying as the need may be, that it may give grace to them that hear.”
Amplified Bible (AMP)
8 “But as for the cowards and the ignoble and the contemptible and the cravenly lacking in courage and the cowardly submissive, and as for the unbelieving and faithless, and as for the depraved and defiled with abominations, and as for murderers and the lewd and adulterous and the practicers of magic arts and the idolaters (those who give supreme devotion to anyone or anything other than God) and all liars (those who knowingly convey untruth by word or deed)—[all of these shall have] their part in the lake that blazes with fire and brimstone. This is the second death.”
These Biblical quotations make it clear that lying is not a legitimate component of the Christian arsenal. To the contrary, lying is an indication that one originates with the father of the lie, Satan the devil.
The Apostle goes on to the next article of Christian armor saying, “and having on the breastplate of righteousness”.
Righteousness has been defined as the state of moral perfection required by God to enter the Kingdom. To be deemed so by our Lord means that for our part, we must think and behave in such a moral upright manner. Again, this would preclude a course of lying. What liar doesn’t invent a mental justification (excuse) for doing so? Many will say, “the end justifies the mean”. That has never been the message of God’s Holy Bible. The connotation of Paul’s words here is of purity and cleanness. How could deliberate falsehood be considered virtuous? Note Paul’s words recorded at Philippians 4:8:
New International Version (NIV)
8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
A wicked person, not righteous, would consider lying as admirable and acceptable.
Is lying an appropriate “Theocratic strategy” as implied by the teachings of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (WTBS)?
As far back as 1957 (see Watchtower magazine, May 1, 1957, page 285), the WTBS has taught this to be true. Citing the experience of one Witness in Communist East Germany in which a sister misled government authorities, the magazine asked, “Was she lying?” The writer goes on to say, “No, she did not. She was not a liar. Rather, she was using theocratic war strategy, hiding the truth by action and word for the sake of the ministry.” Apparently they feel it’s okay to lie to keep out of trouble/danger. Or perhaps they believe that whether something is the truth or a lie depends upon the situation. Such duplicity is not founded on Scripture. Such thoughts belong to the theory of Moral Relativism.
How does Lord Jesus, the Head of the Christian congregation feel about that? Well, the Apostle Peter lied three times out of fear of what would happen if he told the truth. This all occurred just after Jesus’ arrest and he had been taken before the Sanhedrin. By the context of what is recorded in Luke 22:61,62, Jesus’ reaction to what Peter’s lies was not one of approval. The text of these verses states, “The Lord turned around and looked straight at Peter, and Peter remembered what the Lord has said to him ‘Before the rooster crows tonight, you will say three times that you do not know me.’ Peter went out and wept bitterly.” (GNT)
Peter was not proud of what he had done and remorsefully went away. Remember, Peter had previously asserted that he would always be loyal to the Lord Jesus. That is when the Lord prophesied of Peter’s lying, indicating a weakness in him.
When Stephen was seized and brought before the Sanhedrin on the charge that he spoke against the Law and the Temple, he did not resort to lying. They had heard him say that Jesus of Nazareth would destroy the Temple in Jerusalem and change the customs handed down by Moses. Rather than lie to protect himself, he gave what is arguably the most elegant witness recorded in the Bible. He stood behind the “large shield of faith” and not lies. (Acts 6:8-7:60).
Some have pointed to Rahab the harlot’s actions when she hid the two spies sent out by Joshua in the land east of the Jordan River (Joshua 2) as justification for their lying strategy. Are the circumstances the same? The writer of the Book of Hebrews lauds Rahab for, not lying, but her act of faith in God.
Note the warning given in Proverbs 19:9:
(GNT) “No one who tells lies in court can escape punishment; he is doomed.”
(NIV) “A false witness will not go unpunished, and whoever pours out lies will perish.”
(NWT) “The false witness will not be free from punishment, and he that launches forth lies will perish.”
(New English Translation) ” A false witness will not go unpunished, and the one who sprouts lies will perish”.
With these Biblical verses and those quoted earlier, it should be clear what Almighty God’s view is about lying. The Holy Scriptures is not a book of contradictions. It is the Devil and his demons that resort to lying; but he, as is his manner is, wants to project his wickedness on the Holy One. In teaching lying is a part of pure Christian warfare, the Society helps in his cause.
The Watchtower’s teachers have told lies in their own self-interest. Their officials and lawyers have unabashedly gone into to Court and lied under oath. Proverbs 19:9 states to do so brings condemnation and it is not excusable. Under the pressure of a collapsing scaffold of treacherous failed prophecy predictions, lies, and deceit, for WBTS it’s open LYING SEASON.
The Watchtower Society has in earnest over the last three decades have been expelled from the congregation those who will not in lockstep bow to its more than questionable doctrines. Anyone acquainted with the Organization that is truthful will admit that those who are disfellowshipped are shunned by the congregation. The Watchtower’s own words condemn them for doing so. At one time, the Watchtower Magazine warned that Congregation members should shun people who exhibit the behaviors the Governing Body is encouraging the Congregation to adopt today!
Watchtower Magazine July 15, 1966 page 422
PRESENT-DAY DANGERS OF TOGETHERNESS
“As in the past so today the cry all too often is for unity without regard to the motive or the objective—peace at any price. ‘Come and be one of us regardless of what you believe, as long as you keep your beliefs to yourself,’ is frequently the alluring invitation. But whether it is a religious association or simply a small social group, you do well first to investigate their thinking and their objectives.
It so often turns out that a group is dominated by a few who lack respect for God and his written Word. In their circle the open expression of your Bible-based beliefs will be frowned upon. They will tell you that religious discussion divides people instead of uniting them. Yet the same group may be heard hotly discussing some controversial political point. Can it be that their real fear is that discussion of God’s Word may bring their habits and practices into judgment?
A definite danger in such association is that you may incur guilt by silence. When the time arrives for open discussion and some of the members lie about God and his Word and speak blasphemously, it takes a person of strong faith to speak out in support of truth. Usually the timorous sort just keep quiet to avoid a collision of ideas and the risk of losing the esteem of associates. Of course, there is “a time to keep quiet and a time to speak,” but we cannot consistently keep quiet if we would avoid being classified with liars and blasphemers.—Eccl. 3:7.
By reason of shunning selfish and godless associates King David of the tribe of Judah could approach his God confidently in prayer, saying: “I have not sat with men of untruth; and with those who hide what they are I do not come in. I have hated the congregation of evildoers, and with the wicked ones I do not sit.” (Ps. 26:4, 5) “Those who hide what they are” surely includes those who discourage any and all Bible discussion for fear that their taking a clear stand on some principle may cost them “friends” or bring upon them responsibility to act in harmony with their words.
Even if you find yourself in association with persons who are law-abiding, but who have little faith in God and his Word, their influence could prove to be detrimental. You may find yourself gradually deteriorating to the point where you have more concern about man’s approval than you have about God’s. Nor can you expect to bring about the reformation of such a group. Is it not more likely that their godless attitudes will rub off on you? The apostle Paul perceived this danger and sounded the warning: “Do not be misled. Bad associations spoil useful habits.”
The above is the truth to the WBTS as long as it doesn’t include them. They have disfellowshipped and shunned in the inverted, backward way of Satan the Devil. They have been “throwing” true Christians out of the congregation on this basis of the stance they once commend as quoted above.
There are of course other reasons regarding morality upon which one may be disfellowshipped. Regardless of that being the case, shunning is applied to all excommunicated this way. So, why would the WBTS and its representatives lie by denying their course of action and how they direct their followers to treat disfellowshipped individual?
Yet that is what they do under the guise of “spiritual war strategy”. Vincent Toole, a solicitor on behalf of the WBTS stated, “Shunning is a myth!”. That was an outright lie. If they believed what they have been doing is correct in God’s eyes, why would they lie about it?
The Watchtower Society is not involved in Christian spiritual warfare at all; but rather, something quite the opposite.
The tactics presently being employed by the leaders and teachers of the Watchtower resembles the same psychological techniques used by terrorist who would use fear, intimidation, and division to coerce into submission.
The next portion is an analysis of the current symposium talk being given at the 2013 District convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Before the transcript, there is a brief commentary on the clever tactics employed by the Watchtower in its verbal assault. The following is a work of and the contribution of a fellow slave of Christ Jesus. By instilling the thoughts conveyed in this message into the minds of their listeners they are as good as throwing a bomb into families and blowing them away. They have effectively created hostility and altered intimacies amongst the closest relationships. The threat of seeing these is enough to coerce obedience.
2013 District Convention Talk
(The full transcript of the second part of the Symposium: “Beware of Apostates”)
This convention part illustrates examples of how the society manipulates truth and hides its own sins by accusing others it considers enemies of the very sins it is guilty of. An analysis of this transcript shows that the organization manipulates truth in “feeding their flock” by means of a number of different techniques practiced by propaganda experts. Those found in this transcript include fallacious reasoning, misuse and distortion of scripture and the following lesser-known techniques employed by those who engage as professionals in the practice of deception.
Reversal Of Reality:
In this technique one must have the nerve to completely reverse reality, and say the exact opposite of the truth.
Projection is a psychological technique where someone accuses other people of the sins and crimes of which he himself is guilty. Projection is also a kind of reversal of reality. The facts are really just unimportant, trivial details, not worth mentioning.
Lying By Omission and by Half-Truths: Which is also known as Suppressed Evidence. This one is more subtle. It has the advantage that you can’t get caught in a lie, because everything that you say is true. You just happily fail to mention all of those bothersome little facts that do not support your point of view. Should a critic point out one of those annoying undesired facts, you can at least feign innocent ignorance, or claim that the fact was unknown. A half-truth can take the form of a deceptive statement that includes some element of truth. The statement might be partially true, the statement may be totally true but only part of the whole truth, or it may utilize some deceptive element, such as improper punctuation, or double meaning, especially if the intent is to deceive, evade, blame or misrepresent the truth. Half-truths are also defined as those things that may be true in some instances, but not necessarily in the context they are being stated. Many argue, there is no such thing as a “half” truth any more than there are “White Lies’ or women who are “partially” pregnant.
Applying Labels: Apply labels to things or people — especially derogatory labels that demonize the subject in the audiences’ mind. This is also known as name-calling. . . If someone raises a question about beliefs, scream “That’s Apostasy!” Or if someone disagrees with official doctrine, they are an “An Apostate.”
Also, there is the technique of surrounding a lie with the truth: A lie that is packaged inside of a box wrapped with attractive paper and the ribbon of truth is the most likely to be well received. This is also true when a lie is presented as a sandwich with two pieces of truth acting as the outer covering to an inside spread which is a lie. In describing how truth can be used to promote a lie William Blake in one of his poems is quoted as saying; “A truth that’s told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent”.
A line by line analysis of the above transcript indicates that the society used these techniques in the talk entitled “ Beware of Apostates” it presented to the audience at the 21013 District assembly.
In this analysis explanations are italicized.
The Talk, Part 2. of a symposium: “Beware of Apostates”)
[An overall distortion begins with the pre-assumption of a previously established unscriptural and unproven premise, which is: that anyone who voice complaint over or who questions either a policy or doctrine formulated by the Governing body is an apostate. This constitutes ”applying labels”]
(With added commentary italicized and referenced verses inserted for convenience of the reader)
“You cannot be partaking at the table of Jehovah and the table of demons. These inspired words of the apostle Paul found at 1 Corinthians 10:21 show that two figurative tables are set before us. For the last day-and-a-half, you have been partaking at the table of Truth of Jehovah and haven’t you found it to be good? [Clapping]. Jehovah uses human representatives, the faithful and appointed elders to dispense truths for those eating at his table. The apostate Satan disseminates falsehoods in a similar way. He mimics Jehovah by using human representatives. Who are they? If Satan and his demons are chefs in his evil kitchen then human apostates are his helpers.”
[This is an example of surrounding a lie with the truth. Also, while most of the paragraph may be essentially true, it becomes less than true by virtue of the fact that it refers to apostates as helpers while failing to mention false teachers within the congregation who Satan uses as helpers as well. This demonstrates the technique known as lying by omission.]
“Wicked humans imitate the original apostate Satan. Like Satan, human apostates are unruly men who cook up wicked reasoning and season their brew with poisonous lies that deceive minds. Human apostates have sat at the table of Jehovah. At Jehovah’s table they enjoyed a table of well-oiled dishes, a banquet of wine kept on the grapes; they were domestics, part of the household of faith and partook of Bible truth, prepared and dispensed by the faithful steward, the Governing Body.”
[In this statement a basic truth is altered by seasoning it with a lie. The lie is in crediting the Governing body for Bible truth, rather than Jehovah]
“But they pushed away from the table of Jehovah.”
[This is a distortion of fact based on a false premise that “apostates” D.F. themselves. The reality is that even if the organization was a source of truth as it claims, it was they who pushed a disfellowshiped one away from the table of Jehovah]
“Their preference is to partake of falsehoods at the table of demons.”
[This alludes that the disfellowshiped ones preference for falsehood is the reason for apostasy and the subsequent disfellowshiping action, when the truth is that most disfellowshiped ones may have seen and exposed falsehood within the Governing Body. The true reason for the Governing Body taking action more likely is to isolate the dissenter from sharing doubts or questions with rest of the brotherhood and to intimidate others who may find reasons to disagree with official policy. This is an example of lying by omission. A lie by omission occurs when an important fact is left out in order to foster a misconception. Lying by omission includes failures to correct pre-existing misconceptions. When the seller of a car declares it has been serviced regularly but does not say that a fault was reported at the last service, the seller lies by omission.]
“This action of pushing themselves away from the table of Jehovah is described for us in 1 John 2: 19 (They went out of us, for they were not of our sort…). In 1 John 2:19, scripture speaks of those
Apostates do not drift away from the truth. They deliberately decide to go out from among God’s people because they are not our sort.”
[Here it uses and applies a passage to apostates which in context (1 Joh 2: 18, 19 and 2:22,26) is only applicable specifically to those who exhibit an “Anti Christ” attitude as not being “our sort”. There is no scriptural justification to apply it to those who may disagree with what they see as unscriptural teachings and doctrines. This is an example of promoting falsehood by means of fallacious reasoning called “The Fallacy of Argument By Exploiting The Ignorance Of Listeners”]
“Human apostates are part of the seed of the serpent spoken of in Genesis 3:15. If we wish to please Jehovah we cannot sit at his table and at the same time be nibbling at the table of demons, eating from the hands of Satan’s helpers, human apostates. So, for the next few minutes we are going to discuss how to identify human apostates and what you must do to protect yourself from the poison of apostasy.”
[This should raise questions in honest hearted ones who love truth. They are; By whose standards do we determine what constitutes an apostate? For example, is an apostate from a religious institution like the Catholic Church, Mormon Church or any other church organization even such as the (W.T.) necessarily an apostate from Jehovah himself? A truth seeker would want to know what constitutes apostasy in Jehovah’s eyes, then how this applies to the subject at hand, and then decide whether the information fits or not]
“Let’s first discuss how to identify human apostates. Apostasy often starts with the prideful rejection of counsel and escalates into bitterness and jealousy – James 3:14. Because apostates allow bitterness to take root in their heart, they become defiant of and false to the truth.”
[This is at best a mere generalization based on opinion and nothing else. It does not take into consideration the wide variety of other reasons why apostates may become bitter nor does it justify the charge of jealousy with any evidence or proof.]
“How does this defiance to the truth manifest itself?”
With this statement it presumes all apostates to be defiant of truth simply because it has said so. It has not made as case that this is actually the fact. This demonstrates another form of fallacious reasoning called the “fallacy of circular reasoning”.]
“The actions of apostates bear three characteristics. [[To imply the actions of apostates are limited to three characteristics, is in the least an incomplete characterization and at worst misleading by virtue of omitting important information] These characteristics help us identify human apostates. The first identifying mark of human apostates is commented on at Luke 6: 46 (Why call me Lord, but not do the things I say). Apostates profess to be followers of Jesus, but are not obedient to his commands.”
[This is an example of “Projection” with the finger being pointed at the one who is pointing the finger. Many of the “alleged ” apostates cite Luk. 6:46 as the very reason for their contention with the organization. To not disclose this as a counter- charge against the accuser by accusing “apostates” is also an example of “lying by omission”.]
“A recent example of when this happened was in the mid-70’s when some prominent elders, some who even served at Bethel felt it was below their dignity to witness from house to house, proclaiming the message as commanded by Jesus. They urged others to take it easy because the humble work of witnessing from house to house work was not necessary or unscriptural.”
[While this may be using an actual experience or not, an unbiased truth-seeking person would ask themselves why anyone who dedicated their lives to serving Jehovah would come to think of any of their work as unscriptural or unnecessary. Withholding these reasons from hearers constitutes an example of a Fallacy by hasty generalization].
“The Governing Body expelled the unrepentant apostates from the organization. The faithful slave did not allow the efforts of these apostates to distract it from the primary work of Jehovah’s witnesses, proclaiming God’s word of truth.”
[There is a red herring fallacy here; somehow one who disagrees with something they may see as unscriptural and has been labeled an Apostate as a consequence, is now painted to be distracting ones from proclaiming God’s word of truth]
“So the first characteristic we can use to identify human apostates is that they reject God’s service. Many balk at Jesus’ command to go and make disciples.”
[This an un-substantiated generalization; “The fact that they reject one aspect which does not comply scripturally in their mind does not mean they reject God’s service in its entirety. This is an example of faulty reasoning called “fallacy by generalization” The Awake! 2000 June 22 p.4, under an article entitled“The Manipulation of Information” had this to say about making generalizations; “Another very successful tactic of propaganda is generalization. Generalizations tend to obscure important facts about the real issues in question, and they are frequently used to demean entire groups of people”.]
“A second characteristic that identifies human apostates is commented on at Acts 20:30 (men will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the disciples for themselves). What is it that apostates want? Most are not content to simply leave the faith they once viewed as true. They want to take others with them. Rather than going out and making their own disciples, many apostates seek to draw away Christ’s disciples after themselves. Like a kidnapper who carries an unsuspecting victim away from his family, apostates prey upon trusting members of the congregation, seeking to carry them away from the flock. In addition they seek to cause divisions in the congregation – 2 Peter 2:1 (false teachers who quietly bring in destructive sects). To accomplish their goal of drawing away disciples after themselves or dividing the congregation, apostates may use smooth talk on the internet, on television or through letters to loyal witnesses of Jehovah.”
[All three of the highlighted statements constitute generalizations and possibly outright falsehood. While they may be true in some individual instances, to apply these reasons in such a universal sense without justification constitutes in the least dis-ingenuousness if not outright deception.]
“So a second characteristic that identifies human apostates is that they seek to draw away Christ’s disciples after themselves and cause divisions.”
[A conclusion cited as fact without any credible evidence whatsoever]
“A third characteristic manifested by human apostates is they claim to serve Jehovah, yet they reject his representatives – 3 John 9-10 (does not receive anything from us with respect, using wicked words).
3 John 9, 10. 9 “I wrote something to the congregation, but Di-ot’re-phes, who likes to have the first place among them, does not receive anything from us with respect.10 That is why, if I come, I will call to remembrance his works which he goes on doing, chattering about us with wicked words. Also, not being content with these things, neither does he himself receive the brothers with respect, and those who are wanting to receive them he tries to hinder and to throw out of the congregation.””
[Here we have an example of a scriptural passage being twisted to support ones contention. While Di-ot’re-phes who was apparently a leading member of the congregation and in a position to “throw” someone “out” of the congregation was wrong in not receiving the anointed ones with the due respect he should have, this was not matter of “apostasy” from God. It may have been a bad attitude that he had or even a false viewpoint. Still, while the apostle speaks of exposing him before the congregation, nowhere does he mention throwing him out, disfellowshipping him or shunning him.]
“Apostates claim to serve God, but reject his representatives. They lie to authorities.”
[Again, here we have a gross generalization that may apply to an individual, even a number of individuals, but to apply such a statement to an entire group is nothing short of dishonesty]
“Through the media they seek to discredit Jehovah’s people and incite bans on our work. For instance, in one country a news report instigated by apostates falsely stated that Jehovah’s witnesses supported Hitler’s regime during world war two.”
[What the speaker leaves out is that these “falsely stated” charges were documented by a number of sources and that direct facsimile evidence proving the charges were supplied. He is being less than honest. Accusing sources of “falsely stating” when there is incontrovertible evidence to the contrary constitutes lying. (See“Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah’s Witnesses”) by James Penton and other sources for proof and to view the documents behind the charges.]
“In other countries apostates used the media to accuse Jehovah’s witnesses of refusing to give medical treatment to their children and of deliberately condoning serious sins committed by fellow believers.”
[Again, while this may be true in some given individual instances it is not true as the generalization in which it is framed. In many cases, if not most, the media reported based on the facts as they saw them. Argument by the use of Generalization is considered an insult to some listeners as it betrays a general lack of respect for a listener’s innate intelligence or implies that the arguer using generalization regards his listener to be ignorant and unable to see through his fallacious reasoning.]
“So a third characteristic that identifies human apostates is that they reject and try to discredit Jehovah’s representatives here on earth.”
[Failure to insert the word ”some” between “identifies” and “human apostates” makes this statement just one more gross generalization]
“Now that we know how to identify human apostates, what must we do to protect ourselves from the poison of apostasy? Romans 16:17 (keep your eye on those causing stumble and avoid them).
Suppose a doctor told you to avoid contact with someone who was infected with a contagious deadly disease. Would you reason that limited contact is okay? Similarly human apostates are mentally diseased and they try to infect others with their disloyal teachings.”
[“ mentally diseased” ? An irresponsible label imposed as a personal attack; (a Fallacy of Argument by Accusation) and an example of “Applying demeaning labels”]
“Jehovah, the great physician tells us to avoid contact with them. What is involved in avoiding apostates? 2 John 10-11 (never receive him into your home or say a greeting, not to become sharers in their wickedness).
First of all, 2 John 2:and 11 refers specifically to “Everyone that pushes ahead and does not remain in the teaching of the Christ”.”
[The issue that remains, aside from unfounded generalizations and broad accusations is; Is everyone who is labeled an “apostate” promoting teachings that are out of harmony with the Christ? Or is it possible that the word “apostate” is being used as a “Red Herring” fallacy to paint anyone who dares disagree with the man-made doctrine of the Watchtower organization with the same brush, whether it is appropriate or not? The real topics which seem to be obscured by all these generalizations and accusations are; a). Exactly what constitutes an apostate in God’s eyes and b). Who actually fits that definition? When these two questions are answered truthfully and honestly, it becomes apparent that the accuser may be the real apostate and the accused may be the one who more closely fits God’s idea of a loyal supporter.]
“Avoiding apostates means we will not allow them in our homes, reading their literature, watching TV programs that feature them, examining their websites or adding our comments to their blogs. Why do we take such a firm stand? We do not want to become sharers in their wicked works. We love the God of Truth. We are not interested in twisted teachings that contradict God’s word of truth. We love Jehovah’s organization, the organization that taught us thrilling truths. Truths about Jehovah’s name and its meaning. God’s purpose for the earth. The condition of the dead and the hope of the resurrection.”
[We used bold text to highlight the one sentence for the following reason; If you believe it was the organization that revealed these “thrilling truths” and that those truths did not or do not exist apart from the organization, then this statement appears true to you. If on the other hand, you believe that it was God himself, through his Holy Spirit who revealed and taught you these things and that they do exist apart from the organization, then claiming” the organization taught us these truths may be only partially true or even untrue and actually border on blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.]
“Can you recall how you felt when you first learned these and other precious truths. Why then allow yourself to be sour? Poisoned by anyone who would belittle the organization through which you learned these truths. Does avoiding apostates imply that our faith is not strong enough to discern truth from falsehood? That our faith is not strong enough to discuss different views? Not at all. In our ministry we discuss with those who have different views.”
[This starts off with a fallacy known as “Appeal to Emotion” and ends with a distortion of truth where we see a bit of a stretch. The reality is we lecture those who have different views and refuse to even consider their views. That Is not exactly what discussing actually means.]
“Apostates differ from those we meet in our ministry. Apostates are not sincere in their expressions.[(Fallacy of Argument by Accusation)] Their aim is to manipulate your mind and undermine your faith [(The Fallacy of Argument by Accusation, unsubstantiated)] – Psalm 12:2 (untruth they keep speaking).[(Fallacy of Argument by Accusation)] With good reason the Bible then tells us to avoid apostates, just as we would avoid a person who was infected with a deadly contagious disease– 1 John 2:18-19
[Does the Bible in the verse cited tell us to avoid apostates, abandon apostates or does it relate that those of an “Anti Christ” nature “went out from” (left) the congregation? There is a vast difference between quoting scripture accurately and twisting scriptural meaning.](many Anti-Christ’s that went out from us). Because they oppose the truth, apostates are part of the Anti-Christ. They are liars and deceivers, out to destroy your relationship with Jehovah God and his son Christ Jesus.”
[To make this broad and general accusation without offering a logical argument or sound reason for it either indicates ignorance or betrays the existence of a hidden agenda of some sort.]
“Deuteronomy 32:46-47 (apply your hearts to all the words I am speaking and warning; it means your life).”
[These may be the truest words spoken by the speaker as they apply equally well to the accuser and the accused. Perhaps as a means of emphasis, we should underline the fact that this verse refers to “all” the words of God. We should not let human doctrine and fallacious reasoning obscure real Bible truth.]
“Heeding his inspired warnings means our very life. How thankful we are for divine warnings against apostasy.”
[Since when are organizational warnings considered divine? Did this talk outline emphasize the thinking of Jehovah God or the thinking of men presuming divine authority?]
“May we show our appreciation by walking in God’s word of Truth. May we stay busy in the work Jesus assigned us to do; Sharing God’s word of Truth with others. By doing so, you will forever enjoy Jehovah’s divine seal of approval.”
[The talk ends as it began, with a slice of the bread of truth covering the cold cuts of deception between slices, which it has offered as delectable sandwiches for the flock in its care.]
When most people think of “terrorism”, they generally think in terms of the activities that have been defined as acts of terrorism. But the term is actually defined by the intent of the perpetrator(s). The primary intention is to unnerve and destabilize a people’s psychological well-being and state of mind.
Terrorism is not limited to overt acts like those that lead the news almost every day. It can also be accomplished in seemingly almost benign ways that are often ignored. Use of fear-inspiring tactics can begin very early life. The bully on the playground terrorizes by intimidation. And its effects in the form of psychological disorders have often taken its toll almost from the beginning of life. As a residual effect, it can leave the victim(s) with life-long timidity and impulses to panic.
There is a difference between “spiritual warfare” and “psychological warfare”. We have discussed spiritual warfare and it is not based on efforts to create fear. It’s interesting that one reader of an article on psychological terror wrote, “The worst psychological terrorism that I believe exists in the world today, is what is professed to be Christian, or “the Bible”, but really is not.” Many so-called Christian religions and ministers have regularly used fear to control their followers. Many can remember Jim Jones, the leader of a group called the Peoples Temple. If you view videos of his speeches, you will note that he too used fear mongering as a tactic. He instilled in his congregation a “siege mentality”. Near the end he had resorted to using armed guards to keep his congregation in line. But, most of the time, such overt means cannot be employed. Others who wish to control as he did use more insidious tactics; instilling unjust fear as is accomplished in the talk critiqued above is one of them. Like the Watchtower Society, they have chosen to use strategic psychological warfare that is aimed at discouraging and altering the opinions of large groups of people by fear.
If the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses actually believed that they were being attacked with falsehoods (and I believe they do not), you would expect that they would follow the example of Lord Jesus Christ under the circumstances. 1 Peter 2:21-23 tells us:
New World Translation
21 “In fact, to this [course] YOU were called, because even Christ suffered for YOU, leaving YOU a model for YOU to follow his steps closely. 22 He committed no sin, nor was deception found in his mouth. 23 When he was being reviled, he did not go reviling in return. When he was suffering, he did not go threatening, but kept on committing himself to the one who judges righteously.:
As you look at the photo below, think about what these men are doing and whether or not their actions really reflect the spiritual warfare the Apostle Paul spoke of as recorded Ephesians 6:10-17:
10 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (NIV)