Saturday, 12 April 2014

Quit The Governing Body

The June Watchtower (PDF), on page 4, asks the question: "What is God's view of smoking?"

Watchtower, June 2014, Page 4

Watchtower, June 2014, Page 5

Basically the article gives quotes that are meant to show the Biblical view on smoking. The first is:

"All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, so that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17, New World Translation)

It doesn't mention smoking, but the article says:

"For many, that knowledge provided the incentive they needed to resist and quit the habit." (Watchtower, June 2014, Page 4)

Not the strongest argument that smoking is the work of the devil and something you can be disfellowshipped for. The next Biblical quote in the article points to Romans 6:16 for guidance:

"Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness?" (Romans 6:16, New World Translation)

Let us put to one side that the article omits "either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness" which seems to be the major point - Sin and you die, but be obedient and you'll be righteous and presumably make your way to Paradise on Earth when Armageddon happens.

The bigger problem is the beginning of the quote: "Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey" which says if you are obedient slaves you are slaves of the one you obey. Which the article uses to say if you smoke you are a slave to smoking and as an obedient slave of smoking you cannot be an obedient slave of God.

Surely, that quote could be tied to anything not Biblical? If you are obedient to something, or someone, other than God you are a slave to that thing or person.

Would the Governing Body not be the same as smoking in that sense then? After all the Governing Body has changed its opinion on various things over the years and if the Bible is the book of God (or Jehovah) and you obey the Governing Body which later admits mistake and changes policies then you have been a slave to an ungodly thing and as such are a sinner.

And as such if smoking and obeying the Governing Body are against God then every Jehovah's Witness should be disfellowshipped and the religion disbanded for following what the Governing Body says.

I already know that some Jehovah's Witnesses will claim that the Governing Body change things when they receive new insight or translations become clearer. My answer to that is that the Jehovah's Witnesses claim to be the one true religion that is the word of God. So did God change his mind? Did God claim to be misquoted in the Bible? Did God not guide the New World translation?

You cannot have it both ways. If smoking makes you a slave of nicotine and is against God then being a slave to the Governing Body with ever-changing policies and practices would also be against God.

The article then goes on to share some experiences of people who have given up smoking. Jayavanth, a physician in India, quit smoking after 38 years. He is quoted as saying:

"I quit smoking as a result of having a Bible Study. The desire to please Jehovah motivated me to quit the habit straight away." (Watchtower, June 2014, Page 5)

Once again the same thing applies. If smoking displeases Jehovah then practicing some man-made rule which is later deemed by the very same people who made the rule to be erroneous would be displeasing to Jehovah also.

I'm not advocating smoking in way but if a religion can have you disfellowshipped for it, then something which meets the same standards as smoking should be met with the same outcome.

On a personal note if smoking is the biggest problem a religion has with a person then that person doesn't seem that bad to me. Especially when the very same religion will pour millions of donated dollars into fighting the defense of pedophiles because there was not 2 witnesses. But that is a whole different post in itself.

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